Fantasy Football Part 3: The Conclusion and an Unbelievable Finish!
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.
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.
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.
- The moment of truth… Which team will win it all?
- Fantasy Football is, essentially… Stochastic.
- First-round results!
- Welcome to the Halftime show, brought to you by “Prince.”
- How trades work
- A tale of two Trades.
- What did I learn?
- Shoulda Coulda Woulda Didn’t. Fantasizing about an alternate Fantasy Football Universe.
- Acceptance: The Bowl Game:
- Against all odds…
- In the end, it’s random.
- What’s the point of all this?
- 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.
- 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!
specifically: involving a random variable
: involving chance or probability: PROBABILISTIC
a 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.
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.
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)