Fantasy Fantasy Football: The Experts’ Week 11 Picks

It’s time again for the most important weekly feature on the Internet: Fantasy Fantasy Football. Throughout the NFL season, we’ll be evaluating five fantasy football gurus as they tell us who to start and sit each week. Using a highly flawed method based loosely on mathematical principles, we’ll attempt to reveal the one true football prophet. (Here’s how it works: A pick counts in their favor if he ends up in the top half of the weekly scoring leaders. There are four categories — QBs, RBs, WRs, Defense/Special Teams — and points are awarded on a 5-1 scale in each.) The experts are:

1. Matthew Berry
2. Michael Fabiano
3. Mike Harmon*
4. Eric Mack*
5. Jamey Eisenberg

*As usual, we’ll be taking the first five picks only from Harmon and Mack to balance the numbers.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

Three weeks ago, Matthew Berry had a bye. He’s back, but in order to balance the scoring, each fantasy expert has to take a week off. Mack was off last week, and this is Eisenberg’s bye week. In his absence, point totals will range from 4 to 1 in each category. Here’s the remaining bye week schedule:

Week 12 — Mike Harmon

Weekly Results and Winners

Week 1 — (tie) Matthew Berry and Jamey Eisenberg
Week 2 — Eric Mack
Week 3 — Mike Harmon
Week 4 — Michael Fabiano
Week 5 — Eric Mack
Week 6 — Eric Mack
Week 7 — Eric Mack
Week 8 – Eric Mack
Week 9 – Michael Fabiano
Week 10 – Eric Mack

Quarterbacks

4 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Matthew Stafford, Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer, = 2/3
No: Vince Young, Andy Dalton, Josh Freeman = 2/3
Total: 4/6

3 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Tony Romo, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford = 4/5
No: Tim Tebow, Rex Grossman, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert = 2/5
Total: 6/10

2 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Ryan = 2/4
No: Vince Young, Matt Hasselbeck, Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco = 3/5
Total: 5/9

1 point: Mike Harmon

Yes: Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez, Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan = 3/5
No: Tim Tebow, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton = 1/3
Total: 4/8

Interlude 1: Fake Fantasy Advice You Should Not Heed

In Week 12, the St. Louis Rams are a good sleeper pick to start at the “arrested fans” position. The memory of the World Series has worn off, and they’re about to lose to the Cardinals to move to 2-9 on the year. Expect at least 40 fans to earn a lock up for assault, public intoxication, or even simple loitering.

Running Backs

4 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: DeMarco Murray, Michael Bush, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Lance Ball = 4/5
No: Jackie Battle, Beanie Wells, LeGarrette Blount, Roy Helu, Ryan Torain = 4/5
Total: 8/10

3 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Michael Bush, Marshawn Lynch, Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Brandon Jacobs = 3/5
No: Chris Johnson, Beanie Wells, Jackie Battle, LeGarrette Blount = 3/4
Total: 6/9

2 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: DeMarco Murray, Reggie Bush, Michael Bush, Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Jacobs = 4/5
No: Beanie Wells, LeGarrette Blount, Cedric Benson, Ryan Torain, DeAngelo Williams = 2/5
Total: 6/10

1 point: Eric Mack

Yes: Shonn Greene, James Starks, DeMarco Murray, Maurice Morris, Michael Bush = 2/5
No: Willis McGahee, LeGarrette Blount, Ryan Grant, Jonathan Stewart, Ryan Torain = 3/5
Total: 5/10

Interlude 2: Nostradamus Quote that Sounds like a Fantasy Fantasy Football Prediction

From here:

The great empire, everyone would be of it,
One will come to obtain it over the others:
But his realm and state will be of short duration,
Two years will he be able to maintain himself on the sea.

This is clearly prophesying that despite Eric Mack’s dominance during the regular season (“obtain it over the others”), he’ll fall in the playoffs to an unlikely contender. Perhaps “two years” means two weeks, and “the sea” means playoffs, which means he’ll lose in week three — the championship.

Receivers

4 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Brandon Marshall, Jordy Nelson, Dwayne Bowe, Denarius Moore, Brandon Lloyd = 2/5
No: DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant, Anquan Boldin, Greg Little, Mike Williams = 3/5
Total: 5/10

3 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Denarius Moore, Victor Cruz, Laurent Robinson, Plaxico Burress, Earl Bennett = 1/5
No: Vincent Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, Eric Decker = 3/4
Total: 4/9

2 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd, Anquan Boldin, Denarius Moore, Damian Williams = 1/5
No: Steve Johnson, Eric Decker, Mike Williams = 2/3
Total: 3/8

1 point: Eric Mack

Yes: Santonio Holmes, Dez Bryant, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Denarius Moore = 1/5
No: Eric Decker, Mike Williams, Donald Driver, Jabar Gaffney, Nate Burleson = 2/5
Total: 3/10

Interlude 3: False Memory About Hanging Out with a Fantasy Expert That is Actually a Scene from The Royal Tenenbaums

After Mike Harmon paints his face and drives a car into my mother’s second wedding (to an accountant), I chase him around the house and eventually tackle him over a garden wall separating our backyard from a neighbor’s. Exhausted, we lay on the ground. “Did I hit the dog?” he asks. “Yeah,” I answer.” “Is he dead?” “Yeah.” “I need help,” Harmon says. I stare up at the sky. “So do I.”

Defense/Special Teams

3.5 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Jaguars, Patriots = 2/2
No: Titans = 1/1
Total: 3/3

3.5 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Cowboys, 49ers, Patriots = 3/3
No: Eagles, Chargers, Chiefs = 2/3
Total: 5/6

2 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Patriots, Cowboys, Jaguars = 3/3
No: Giants, Jets, Bengals = 1/3
Total: 4/6

1 point: Eric Mack

Yes: Jets, Packers, Cowboys = 2/3
No: Redskins, Vikings, Dolphins = 1/3
Total: 3/6

The Results

At long last, Mack’s long winning streak (five straight victories and one bye week) has been broken. A statement week from Matthew Berry puts him at the top. Too late for the regular season, maybe, but all the sudden he’s looking like a scary playoff opponent.

1. Berry — 13.5 points
2. Fabiano — 11.5 points
3. Harmon — 9 points
3. Mack — 6 points

Overall Standings

A sudden surge from Fabiano reduces Mack’s lead to just 3.5 points! With only two weeks left in the regular season, the crown is still up for grabs.

1. Mack — 130
2. Fabiano — 126.5
3. Harmon* — 112
4. Eisenberg — 108
5. Berry — 103

*Has yet to sit out his bye week.

See you next week, when Berry will try to climb out of the cellar and Fabiano continues his late push for the title.

Previously by Shane Ryan:
Maui Invitational, Day 1: A Triumph of Discipline
About Last Night: Get Your Gronk On
Inspired by the Greatest Upset Ever: A Maui Invitational Preview
College Football Recap: A Frenetic Week 12


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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere