Reality Sports Online Writers’ League Update:
November is almost over and it’s time to provide an RSO update on the 14-team league I started with some of the best fantasy writers I know and enjoy competing against. With the playoffs three weeks away, all but one team is still technically alive. Here’s a quick rundown of the state of the league:
Playoff Bound (For Now)
Jim Day is atop the Grinders Division with an 8-3 record and the third in total points scored. Peyton Manning and Jimmy Graham have carried his offense with workmanlike help from Frank Gore and a mid-season boost from Zac Stacy. With the likes of Darren Sproles, Joique Bell, and Mike James on his bench, Day has one of the deepest core of backs in the league. His wide receivers aren’t bad – Eric Decker, Kendall Wright, and Marques Colston, but you’d have to think he’d be trying to deal one of his runners for a wideout – especially when Russell Wilson and E.J. Manuel comprise his QB depth chart. I guess if it ain’t broke, he’s not gonna fix it. Although he could miss the playoffs if he loses two in a row, it’s far more likely he’ll be one of the top three seeds.
Mike Clay and Sigmund Bloom are the Bangers Division co-leaders at 7-5 with Clay currently 12 points ahead of Bloom on the total points tiebreaker (4th and 5th in points scored overall). Clay has Drew Brees leading his starting lineup with Matt Forte, Danny Woodhead, and Andre Ellington (who he has been trying to sell for weeks) as the rotation of three prominent backs in a league that only starts 2 RBs. If Roddy White could return to form for Clay to pair with Victor Cruz, Clay could be even tougher to beat. Bloom’s team has been hot in recent weeks thanks to the return of Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen, and Jonathan Stewart. Garrett Graham getting love from Case Keenum hasn’t hurt, either. With LeSean McCoy, Jordy Nelson, and Alshon Jeffery as other strong core players, Bloom will be a difficult team to face in the playoffs as long as he wins out.
If Bob Harris was in the Bangers Division, he’d be tied for first, but he’s a game back of Jim Day with a 7-4 record. The fact that he’s doing it with Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Ryan Fitzpatrick tells you that there’s more ways to win then a stud quarterback. Jamaal Charles, Deangelo Williams, and Andre Brown are helping and Mark Ingram might provide him a boost next season. But I have to say that Harris’ team is a lineup challenge every week with the likes of Steve Smith, Eddie Royal, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson, and Stevie Johnson as his top receivers. It goes to show that Harris, who is 8th in points scored, is doing a nice job getting the most of his start/sit decisions.
Jeff Tefertiller is 6-4-1 thanks to no decimal scoring in this league. Despite great overall experience with the site and league type, this is one thing I would recommend RSO to change (or to show me where I turned off this option) with its leagues. Tefertiller is seventh in points scored and doing it with good lineup decisions and strength at receiver (Brandon Marshall, Pierre Garcon, James Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Terrance Williams, and Jarrett Boykin) while he’s hoping Ray Rice can get on track down the stretch. Robert Griffin is still giving him quality points, but not like he’s hoped. Jeff is one of several teams who could move further up the playoff seeding or be bounced out in just two weeks time.
Yours truly is 6-5, but because I’m the top point scorer overall I hold the tiebreaker over Bryan Fontaine for the final playoff spot heading into the weekend. Jay Cutler’s injury hurt, so did Terrelle Pryor’s. However, I still have Carson Palmer and picked up Josh McCown weeks ago as a hedge. Both quarterbacks have served me well, especially Palmer’s 400-yard game last week with Indianpolis ahead. My true strength is wide receiver – Calvin Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Keenan Allen, and Cecil Shorts are usually my starting four. Vernon Davis has been holding it down at tight end and Seattle’s defense has been providing me more points per game than my running backs combined. Speaking of RBs, Ben Tate and Steven Jackson are getting healthier at the right time. If my team continues to score at the same pace, I should be one of the more dangerous lower seed match-ups in the playoffs.
On the Bubble
Fontaine (5-6) is sixth in points scored and has one of the more solid lineups around with a lot of players capable of big weeks: Matt Stafford, DeMarco Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant, Antonio Gates, and Jordan Cameron. The emergence of Chris Ivory hurt Fontaine mid-season (he has Bilal Powell), but Pierre Thomas is fine depth. Tied with me record-wise in the Grinders Division I wouldn’t be surprised if Fontaine overtakes a couple of teams that are currently projected “in” – I hope mine isn’t one of them.
Rivers McCown is 5-6 in the Bangers division and 13th in points scored. Cam Newton, Adnre Johnson, and Rueben Randle are the corps players on his squad and the rest is a start-sit challenged: Daniel Thomas, Willis McGahee, Lance Moore, Tyler Eifert, Sean McGrath, and Jarius Wright. Without a strong starter at RB and Jermichael Finley, McCown has had tough luck down the stretch.
Jason Wood (5-6) has a dangerous team. Despite his record, he’s second overall in total points and has the likes of Philip Rivers, Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush, Demaryius Thomas, Eddie Lacy, Riley Cooper, and the Chiefs defense earning big totals for him. The problem for Wood has been up and down weeks against some of the more consistent teams at the wrong times. With the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Rashad Jennings on his bench, Wood has the firepower and depth to be a playoff Cinderella, but getting there is the first priority.
Tim Stafford (4-6-1) has Marshawn Lynch, Wes Welker, and Tony Romo as his solid starters and the rest is a M*A*S*H unit: Randall Cobb, Santonio Holmes, C.J. Spiller, Mike Goodson, Owen Daniels, and Leonard Hankerson to name a few. He still has a shot, but he’ll need huge weeks from his core trio and Spiller and Holmes to get healthy to make some true noise.
To learn more about the league and Reality Sports Online’s excellent concept, check out this page. In case you haven’t thought about it, I am getting paid to give them my endorsement. However, I don’t do this often – and I am contacted monthly with some kind of offer. RSO is something I truly value and I agreed to start a league and keep a monthly diary because I would have paid to start a league with this format if I knew about it before they reached out to me.
I’ll be keeping this monthly diary next year as well, because I still really believe in the concept – so stay tuned for opportunities to earn a discount for starting a league next year. In fact, to risk doing the wrong thing – Start your own league and get a discount when you use this coupon code: RSP20%OFF.