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Fantasy Football Part 3: The Conclusion and an Unbelievable Finish!

A replica of the Superbowl trophy
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The moment of truth… Which team will win it all?

As I work on this post on 1/8/23, I am waiting to see if The Seattle Seahawks NFL team will make it into the actual NFL playoffs. They came into the day with an 8-8 record, tied with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions for the 7th seed in the NFC division playoff race. While all three franchises have a season record of 8-8, only 1 team can make it in with one game for each to play. Due to the tiebreaking procedure, The Seahawks have to win today, and The Packers have to lose or tie with the Lions for the Seahawks to advance to the postseason. The Seahawks will advance because they won in week four of the regular season with a 48-45 Victory.

Seven teams in the NFC and AFC Conferences make it into the NFL playoffs. They are called seeds, and the number is determined by season record. The top seed has the best record, and it gets interesting with tie-breaking procedures, but the remaining six are organized after that by second to seventh-best records in their respective conference. Teams play each other at least once in their forum and twice if in the same division… Which decides the majority of potential tie breaks.

After a wild game that went into overtime, The Seahawks won! Now, I and every Seahawks fan are praying that The Packers Lose or Tie on the last game of the regular season.

This result is one that many experts in the preseason did not predict. The Greenbay Packers were expected to easily make it into the postseason because they have Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers who won the Most Valuable Player Award in 2020 and 2021 and has long been one of the best players in the League. His team, The GreenBay Packers, has been a perennial playoff team almost every year of his long career with them. Last year the Packers made it to the NFC championship game, one before the Superbowl.

The Seahawks and Lions were expected to team build for the future, with lots of rookie players and a few veterans. Sometimes, the coaching is excellent, the players selected in the NFL draft by the team General Manager are talented, a great fit with the staff, and the roster already has some talented veterans. Every year a player can break out, such as quarterback Geno Smith of the Seahawks, who became a top 5 player after being a backup player most of his career. He said this fantastic quote after a stellar performance in game one of the Season against star quarterback Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos… Who was the starting QB from 2012 until March 2022, when he was traded after the relationship between him and the Seahawks became contentious.

Geno Smith of the Seahawks quote gif: They wrote me off, but I didn't write back.

The year before, Geno Smith was the Seahawks’ backup to Russell Wilson. One year later, after a massive trade, he beat out everyone else in training camp and proved to be the guy going forward.

This is why the players play the sport. This is why as a fan, it’s entertaining to watch games. Because you don’t know how it will go until they play.

The Seahawks were estimated to win about 6 games.

The Lions were estimated to win about 6 games.

The Packers were estimated to win about 11 games.

2022 NFL win totals from Caesars Sportsbook

And that is why watching Football is exciting.

While the records of these real-life teams are not relevant to Fantasy Football… The individual players’ performance is. The playoff teams are usually the top defenses, which are a part of Fantasy Football. (Each team’s defense has a player slot in the lineup in our league).

Ironically, these records are relevant later in this post to the work fantasy football league playoffs I have written about before and the focus of this post.

More on this below…

I present the conclusion of this series about my time with my work Fantasy Football League. This post is about the Fantasy Football playoffs.

This post is the conclusion of a three-part series. The other two parts are linked below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

  1. The moment of truth… Which team will win it all?
  2. Stochastic
  3. Fantasy Football is, essentially… Stochastic.
  4. First-round results!
  5. Welcome to the Halftime show, brought to you by “Prince.”
  6. How trades work
  7. A tale of two Trades.
  8. What did I learn?
  9. Shoulda Coulda Woulda Didn’t. Fantasizing about an alternate Fantasy Football Universe.
  10. Acceptance: The Bowl Game:
  11. Against all odds…
  12. In the end, it’s random.
  13. What’s the point of all this?
  14. The Fantasy playoffs are over. Back to Real Football. The real-life playoffs start on the 14th. Let’s check back in on the Packers-Lions.
  15. 8:27 PM: THE SEAHAWKS MADE IT INTO THE PLAYOFFS, Thanks to a win by the Detroit Lions! Onto the Super Wildcard Round versus the San Francisco 49ers!



sto·​chas·​tic stə-ˈka-stik  




specificallyinvolving a random variable

stochastic process


involving chance or probabilityPROBABILISTIC

stochastic model of radiation-induced mutation


Fantasy Football is, essentially… Stochastic.

You can plan your team and research players, matchups, and min-max all you want, but in the end, your team’s fate and the performance of each player are determined by real-life game performances by the NFL players. Sometimes you get lucky, and a non-star player has a huge game. Sometimes you aren’t; the player gets injured, or the opposing team’s defense clicks that game and doesn’t allow them to perform well. In the worse case, your player doesn’t do well and gets injured. On rare occasions, something happens in real life that affects both teams playing. It’s the rarest of rare events that nobody can see coming. The most stochastic, the most random of events… Life.

For the most part, you can rely on star players. It’s why in the NFL, they are paid millions of dollars a year to play a sport. They have rare physical and elite football knowledge. These are athletes that train their entire lives to reach the NFL. In fantasy, it’s why they have a high value, according to the game creators. But it is gambling.

In the end, it’s random.

First-round results!

The first thing to know about the NFL postseason is that, typically, your season is over once you lose. Your record to that point doesn’t mean anything once the games start. Once the postseason begins, each team that makes it in has a record of 0-0, no matter their in-season record.

Picture of ESPN.com's fantasy league section. The scoreboard of results from round one of the playoff bracket for fantasy.
The round one of the playoffs scoreboard.

I lost.

Since my lineups for the season were set, and no more roster moves were to be made, I stopped paying attention. My Season was over, even though I was going to the consultation bracket. Maybe I could get third place, but that felt like settling. I was bargaining for outcomes that could have, should have, and would have happened instead of accepting the loss. I was upset because I spent the whole season totally invested in my team, doing everything I could to win, making 96 transaction moves between deciding my lineup, picking up players, and making trades. My opponent made one. He auto-drafted his team. I chose every player myself. It didn’t feel fair. I only know the word Stochastic because I was reading r/fantasyfootball on Reddit to cope and find others in the same situation.

I put meaning to a random mathematical process.

I know from my therapy journey that it’s okay to feel strong emotions. This Fantasy Football season was meaningful to me, and was further exciting because I was successful at it. For it to end like this is naturally upsetting.

Right after the game was decided, I congratulated my opponent in Slack. He didn’t respond, but it felt good to do the right thing.

Next was my own grief to deal with this situation.

Shock, Denial, Depression, Bargaining, Anger, Acceptance.

Ugh, I need a distraction. What a perfect time for Halftime.

But first, How the playoff format changed from how it was at the beginning of the season, where the top four teams played in the top bracket instead of six. Second a story about the mid-season bargaining stage of Fantasy Football… The trade deadline and two trades I was part of:

CONTINUED IN Quarter 2 (PAGE 2): “Halftime.”

(This is a joke. NFL games are 4 quarters long)

2nd Seed; The last two weeks… Fantasy Football episode 2.

Picture of the NFL Lombardi trophy given to the winner of the Super Bowl.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com (I just noticed that the text on this trophy says fantasy football )

This is part 2 of a series of posts about my experience in my work fantasy football league for this NFL season. You can read the previous post below:

Part 1:

Week 13, the battle for the second-best league record and the second playoff seed.

The matchup of the year. My team record is 9 wins and 3 losses. My Opponent’s record is 10 wins and 2 losses. He is the commish of the league and put this all together. It is week 13 out of 14 of the fantasy football season. Weeks 14-17 are the playoffs.

I want to win to get the second-seed spot in the playoffs and earn a BYE or a week where I don’t have to face a top 4 team with the potential to lose. I want to win the league championship. If I don’t earn a BYE and have to meet one of the other lower-record top-four teams, I may have a bad week and lose, or despite my team doing well, I could still lose because their team has a record week. The latter is a distinct possibility because those teams are managed better, and my coworkers chose better players because they are invested.

Song of the Post: Rollin'(Air raid vehicle) by Limp Bizkit

The only way through is to…

‘Just win, Baby!’

Quote by: Al Davis, the famous late former owner of The Raiders NFL team.

The final result? Victory! 137.82 – 100.04

I had some luck with how games played out, and one of my bench players had a solid performance at a key spot.

Our season points gap is 58.36. This means that I have to score 58.36 more points than this team to earn the 2nd seed and BYE week if we both win and end up with a tied record. This a likely outcome seeing as his Opponent is 2- 11 with multiple players off this week on an NFL BYE (which in the NFL context means that the team has the week off. Every team earns 1 BYE week during the season. There is also a Bye week later on in the NFL playoffs), and my Opponent which is 4-9 with a full roster, but not as strong as mine. Both of us Playoff teams in the race for 2nd seed have faced these same opponents before and won. I don’t foresee an upset for my rival team since his Opponent hasn’t been active with his roster this fantasy season.

Now to do my part and hopefully overcome that gap!

The Gap: 58.36 or an upset loss. Week 14, the last week of the regular fantasy season, remains. This week determines two teams’ fates for the 2nd seed.

I would have to score 58.36 more points than my rival team to earn the second playoff spot in the final week. This is a tall order, considering how well his team is constructed. But anything can happen in Fantasy Football from week to week. All it takes is 1-3 players having an astounding week, or the whole team does well. Or My rival has an awful week. We will see. In summary, to win the 2nd seed spot: I have to have a terrific week and score at least 59 more points than my rival, I have a great week, and my rival has a poor week, or more unlikely… My Rival loses to a team with two starters on bye with an opponent who has had 11 losses because he doesn’t manage his team.

Week 14

The final week of the regular Fantasy Football Season.

As you can see in the photo above, I had a fantastic week and won. A key detail, and why I chose to take a picture of my bench, is the player E(van) Engram. I picked him up off the waiver wire because my starting Tight End, David Njoku, had injuries to his ankles and knees and didn’t practice much during the week. At 940am on Sunday, Njoku was cleared to play. I put Njoku back in the starting lineup. He had a fantastic week of 18.7 points… Which is in the entire player productions for Tight Ends. I was debating whether to put Engram in the lineup in the second Flex spot since he was facing a favorable matchup, and Isiah Pacheco, a solid RB, is facing a more formidable opponent’s defense. Ultimately, I figured they would have about the same point production.

Naturally, Engram had a record week of 39.2 points. 😐 Which would have been enough for me to grab the second seed spot. Sigh. The final gap was 21 points. If I had started Engram, I would have had 27 more points. That’s just the way it is.

The season results?

My team is the third seed. I will have a harder path to winning in the playoffs. First, I have to win this week. If I lose, my season is over. There is a consultation bracket, but I don’t care about that. If I win, there is a rumor that the prize is an ounce of weed. But I don’t want that. I have too much already. If I win, I plan on splitting the prize and giving it to everyone in the league. The real prize is the social bonds formed this season because of the shared activity. I learned things about myself. I had an interesting subculture to write about and something to look forward to on the weekends. I’m considering doing this again in the next NFL season.

Onto the playoffs!

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On any given Fantasy Football Sunday

The image above is previous weeks fantasy football score

This post’s title is a play on the movie Any Given Sunday. This movie is alright if you like American Football. This speech delivered by Al Pacino, who stars in the movie is pretty good.

The picture above is week 6 of our works fantasy football score between a coworker and me.

I was ahead in points 107.92 to 86.26 and won because the running back he has waiting to play, Jamaal Williams, is on the NFL injured list. He has one other player who is not playing -Tight End Darren Waller- whose team is on a Bye or a week off this week. These are choices… In this case, my intention was not to do anything by my co-worker. He was asked to participate in the fantasy football league because we needed at least 10 people. So, he was there for the draft and set his roster back in September before the NFL season. He is 1-4 after 5 games, and I am 4-1 after 5. His registration is decent, and he had a good chance of winning against me this week, but he did not because he joined because my coworkers and I were more invested in playing Fantasy Football this NFL season.

If he had changed J. Williams and Waller for another player, he might have beaten me. I ended up squeaking by with the win. That gap in points at those roster spots was small enough to hit.

What is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy Football
Kinda, lol.

From Sports Illustrated:

Fantasy football … That thing everyone talks about around the water cooler. Well, fantasy football is a game that allows you to be the owner, GM and coach of your very own football team. Competing against your friends, you draft a team made up of NFL players and based on their on-field performance in a given week, you score points. For example, if you have Lamar Jackson on your team and he throws a touchdown, your team scores points. Add up all the points and the team with the most at the end of the NFL week is the winner. Not too complicated, right? Well, maybe, maybe not.

In addition to drafts at the start of the season, there are also auction leagues. This is another league type that will be further explained later. As the game has grown, the complexity has grown along with it. But at the end of the day, your team competes in a league typically composed of 10 or 12 teams. Each week, you go head-to-head against a different team.

If a player is struggling, you can release him, just like in the NFL. You can trade with other teams. And if no one has a player on their team, they are available to be added to your roster from the waiver wire.

Just like the NFL, your league has a postseason as well. The fantasy playoffs are usually played from Weeks 14-16. In the final week, a champion is crowned! You can play for fun, you can play for money. Either way, that’s fantasy football!”


Why play Fantasy Football?

It’s a way to connect with people. I am connecting with people at work who like the NFL or want to be part of a group activity. I like stats, things that require attention to detail; I grew up in the Moneyball era of baseball, and I love fantasy sports-themed manager games such as the Out of the Park Baseball Series and Front Office Football 7 (Between these two PC game series, I have probably have played about 6000 hours over the past 13 years… When I had problems finding consistent work), so this is right up my alley. And I get to play against other people around work. A needed boon for my social life and deepening relationships with others at work. I wouldn’t be surprised if this resulted in friendships later on.

Suppose you have a competitive streak like I do. In that case, you can have an edge on your league mates by reading NFL news, watching videos on Youtube by long-time Fantasy Football channels, reading blogs dedicated to the different styles of leagues, or subscribing to services such as ESPN+ to get expert takes.

Nobody really is an expert in this. The stats estimate each player’s value, or what they feel based on observation, past experience playing this game, or making decisions based on team and player news; in a nutshell, it’s gambling. Some Fantasy leagues are gambling, others for the fun of it. As the season continues, however, you start to get an idea if players can succeed after enough stats have accumulated. So, if a star player goes against a poor defense or a poor defender, you can assume they will produce points.

Naturally, I did research before our league draft was held.

How are points scored?

“In a standard league, the eight players on a team’s active roster earn points based on the statistics they generate in actual NFL games. These fantasy points are added together for a weekly team score. Statistics from bench players do NOT earn fantasy points. The winner of an fantasy football game is the team with more points earned for the week (two weeks for playoff games). In the event that both you and your opponent accumulate the same number of points, a tie will be awarded. No playoff game can end in a tie (see the Playoffs page for more information).

Quarterbacks (QB), Running Backs (RB), Wide Receivers (WR), Tight Ends (TE)

6 pts per rushing or receiving TD
6 pts for player returning kick/punt for TD
6 pts for player returning or recovering a fumble for TD
4 pts per passing TD
2 pts per rushing or receiving 2 pt conversion (note: teams do not receive points
for yardage gained during the conversion)
2 pts per passing 2 pt conversion
1 pt per 10 yards rushing or receiving
1 pt per 25 yards passing

Bonus Points
2 pts per rushing or receiving TD of 40 yards or more
2 pts per passing TD of 40 yards or more
(note: the player must score a touchdown to score the points)

Penalty Points
-2 pts per intercepted pass
-2 pts per fumble lost

Kickers (K)
5 pts per 50+ yard FG made
4 pts per 40-49 yard FG made
3 pts per FG made, 39 yards or less
2 pts per rushing, passing, or receiving 2 pt conversion
1 pt per Extra Point made
Penalty Points
-2 pts per missed FG (0-39 yds)
-1 pt per missed FG (40-49 yds)
(note: a missed FG includes any attempt that is blocked, deflected, etc.)

Defensive/Special Teams (D)

3 pts per defensive or special teams TD
2 pts per interception
2 pts per fumble recovery (Note: includes a fumble by the opposing team out of the end zone)
2 pts per blocked punt, PAT, or FG (Note: a deflected kick of any kind does not receive points)
2 pts per safety
1 pt per sack”


Each play in an NFL game by players who meet these requirements are given points based on the above criteria.

Week 8 of fantasy football
An example of having a bad week. I did have players on the bench who performed well, but this is the result. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do.
In Fantasy Football, sometimes you become a clown meme
Some weeks are like this. 🤡

Who is my team?

Starting Fantasy Football lineup:

  • Quarterback (QB): Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City Chiefs. 5th overall at his position, but can be the best in the NFL when he’s on.
  • Running back 1(RB): Joe Mixon. Cincinnati Bengals. 14th overall in points at this position.
  • Running back 2: Raheem Mostert. Miami Dolphins. 27th overall at his position. I picked him up on waivers September 21st. Been solid since.
  • Wide Reciever 1(WR): Justin Jefferson. Minnesota Vikings. 5th overall at position, and was the 5th overall pick in the first round in our initial draft.
  • Wide Receiver 2: Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit Lions. 28th overall at his position, but has been injured a few games this year. When healthy is one of the top 10.
  • Tight End (TE): Hayden Hurst. Cincinnati Bengals. While a waiver pickup, and my backup or Flex Tight End, and 11th in points, Hurst is my starting player this week because starter George Kittle is on Bye (or off week). One of the better waiver pickups I’ve made thanks to information by ESPN.
  • Flex spot 1: Allen Lazard. Green Bay Packers. 36th overall at Wide Receiver. Before the season when I chose him during the draft, I thought that he would be higher up based on being on a team with legendary QB Aaron Rogers. He has been solid, but not a top end player I expected. Oh well.
  • Flex spot 2: Khalil Herbert. Chicago Bears. 20th at position. Picked up on waivers on Monday…. Started him today, and he didn’t do well.
  • Defense (DEF): Buffalo Bills. Each fantasy team chooses one NFL team defense to have as a starter. 3rd overall at position.
  • Kicker (K): Daniel Carlson. Las Vegas Raiders. 5th at position, been great all year.

Fantasy Football Bench:

  • Bench 1: George Kittle. Tight End. San Francisco 49ers. 12th overall in points, usually my starting TE. Is on a BYE week.
  • Bench 2: Garret Wilson. Wide Receiver. New York Jets. 32nd overall at position, a rookie player, but is looking good lately.
  • Bench 3: Romeo Doubs. Wide Receiver. Green Bay Packers. 40th overall at position. Got him on waivers, but I’m not sure with his team offense being strangely inconsistent this year.
  • Bench 4: Alec Pierce. Wide Receiver. Indianapolis Colts. 49th at position. Another wavier add.
  • Bench 5: Pat Freiermuth. Tight End. Pittsburgh Steelers. 9th at position. On Bye, a great waiver add.
  • Bench 6: Isiah Pacheco. Running Back. Kansas City Chiefs. 66th at position. Waiver add. From what I’ve read, he could be a good late season pickup as The Chiefs like him as their top RB.
  • Bench 7: George Pickens. Wide Reciever. Pittsburgh Steelers. 51 at position. Wavier add. But looking to be the top Wide receiver on the Steelers.
  • Injury reserve: Jameson Williams. Wide Receiver. Detroit Lions. Has been injured all year with an ACL injury, but is looking to be back in in December. Was the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft by the Lions, and was known as a really good WR in college, so hes a gamble pick for December.

Team name

The team name that I chose is a reference to the anime One Piece. It currently has 1,039 episodes and has been published as a manga or comic in Japan since July 1997. It’s an epic fantasy set in an ocean punk world, and the story is maybe 70-80 complete. Only the author knows.

The name is specifically the devil fruit of the main character Monkey D Luffy. Gomu gomu no mi, or Gum Gum fruit in English is a magical fruit that gives the person who eats it in that story a specific magical power. In Luffys case, he becomes a rubber man with the properties of rubber.

Luffy eating the gum gum fruit
Luffy eating the gum gum fruit, and my team logo.

My teams current overall record is 6-2 on week 9. Which is 2nd place in my division, and tired for 2nd best record in the league. That might change after today as I am in a close match with a team who has a record of 5-3 with a good roster. We will know after the 520pm game.

Update: it is 511pm and my opponent is ahead 140.42 to 140.2, and we both have a star player left to play. If I don’t score at least 0.43 points than my coworker, I will lose by the smallest margin this season. I am wishing that my Star player, Patrick Mahomes and his team The Kansas City Chiefs defense can stop Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans. It could go either way, as Henry is the focus of the Titans Offense.


This will be the first part of two posts, maybe 3?, about this Fantasy Football Season at work. I haven’t written much in the past few months due to my health, and had to prioritize that, so we will see how many and how often I post. I am hoping for at least 1 post a week for now. Finding time while working a full time job, and dealing with long covid, the smokey weather, and self care has been tough. The forest fire smoke has been gone for a couple weeks, its finally cold, and I am starting to feel healthier again.