Editor’s Note: With your lineup likely set for the week, we take the easy reading time of Saturday afternoons to bring you the Dynasty Confessional featuring entertaining stories from your DLF brethren. Today’s story comes from Cory G in Warren, Ohio. If you’d like to have your tale told, fill out the Dynasty Confessional Form and we may choose to interview you.
My friends and I had played fantasy football for about ten years. Redraft leagues were all that we knew at the time, but we started playing dynasty fantasy basketball. We loved the idea of keeping NBA players from year to year, so one summer day in 2008, we decided to incorporate the “keeper” element into our fantasy football teams.
The first year we drafted, a few teams stood head and shoulders above the others. My friend Andy and I were the obvious contenders, as we were in dynasty basketball, fantasy baseball and in our many previous fantasy football redraft leagues. Our rosters were absolutely stacked. I went 12-2 in the regular season, and I met Andy in the championship as expected. I beat Andy that year, a feat I still enjoy reminiscing about.
The 2009 fantasy football season went much the same as the previous year. I was sporting a roster that included Kurt Warner, Marion Barber, Chris Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, and Brent Celek. Chris Johnson was having his career year, Celek almost surpassed 1,000 yards, and most of the rest of my roster seemed to be coming together all at the right time. I drafted Barber the year after Julius Jones went to the Seahawks. He was the lead guy now, but he wasn’t playing up to the expectations I had placed on him.
I made the playoffs once again, in my sophomore season. I likely wouldn’t have much competition in the semi-finals. My only competition seemed to be Andy. In the midst of Barber’s disappointing season, I decided to bench him. He hadn’t scored a touchdown in seven weeks, and Quinton Ganther had scored two the previous week.
Christmas was only five days away, but any fantasy football owner knows that Santa Claus has nothing on the fantasy football playoffs. I watched as my team had an average week, but my opponent was not a world beater. To my dismay, Barber ended his scoreless streak against the New Orleans Saints while on my bench. Not only did he finally discover the exact latitude and longitude of the end-zone, but he actually found it twice. Just my luck.
By the time the afternoon games came on, I was clinging to a modest nine point lead. My opponent had Adrian Peterson and Visante Shaincoe left to play on Sunday night, and I still had Ganther as a safety net on Monday night. I had abandoned hope. Peterson would obviously score more than Ganther and the nine point difference combined. Not to mention Shaincoe should put him over the top. I could only hope against hope.
To my complete surprise, the Carolina Panthers defense had not only held Shaincoe to a mere 24 yards, but they had also held the superhuman Peterson to 35 yards rushing, one touchdown and only ten yards receiving. There was still about three minutes left in the Vikings matchup with the Panthers, and I was only down one point in my playoff game. At this point I’m thinking that Ganther is a lock for two or more points and I’ll be participating in my second championship in two years. The Vikings were losing by 19 points. There was no reason for their franchise player to still be in this meaningless, unwinnable game, right? Well, there was one reason, and I found it to be nothing other than to raise my blood pressure. Brett Favre threw a screen pass to his all-pro running back, which Peterson ran for a total of 63 yards. The fantasy football gods must loathe me.
Most of my friends were home from college for Christmas break, so the following night most of my league mates including Andy, my opponent and myself decided to congregate at the local Buffalo Wild Wings in Warren, Ohio. The New York Giants were in Landover, Maryland to face off against the Washington Redskins (editors note: I was at this game, small world). I still had Ganther left to play. He could be my saving grace. If I got eight, or more, points from Ganther, I would be facing Andy in yet another championship.
The first half came and went, and Ganther was largely ineffective. He was starting to lose touches to Rock Cartwright. The elixir that the bartender was offering me was no defense for the sorrow that had come over me. If I had just kept Barber in my lineup, over Ganther, I would easily have won my playoff game. Towards the end of the third quarter Ganther had accrued only 20 yards on 9 carries. I still needed a touchdown or a 60 yard run.
Late in the third quarter Jason Campbell started leading the Redskins down the field. The team made it all way down to the one yard line. My friends’ eyes all got big, but mine bulged out of my head when I saw Ganther get put in the game. Campbell handed the ball to Ganther, and Ganther punched it into the end-zone. I won my game. I went crazy running and screaming throughout the bar. “I won my championship, I’m going to the Super Bowl.” The bar patrons had no idea why I was celebrating a meaningless touchdown in a meaningless game for the Redskins, in Ohio nonetheless. My friends and I knew it was because I’d face my willing adversary and good friend Andy the following week.
Everything was right in Narnia.
Later that week I was doing all of the research I could in order to post the best possible lineup against Andy. Researching which defenses would score the most points came to be my obsession. I finally decided to hitch my wagon to the Atlanta Falcons defense who would be facing a subpar Buffalo Bills team. In order to pick them up, though, I must release someone from my team. There was a guy named Arian Foster, whom I liked a lot, but he hadn’t shown much this season and was third on the Houston Texans depth chart. I thought I’d be able to pick him up in the following years draft, and heck, it was the championship game. Six hours later Andy picked up Foster.
It was December 23, 2009. I heard something come down my chimney. It wasn’t Santa. It was the Elias Sports Bureau. They had were coming to announce that they had changed Warners passing touchdown to Anquan Boldin to a backwards pass. Boldin was awarded a rushing touchdown, and Warner was deducted a passing touchdown and the yardage. The difference was enough to now lose me the game.
I lost my semi-final by seven points, didn’t make the championship and lost Foster for good.
Andy won the championship and still has Foster today.
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