Fantasy Fantasy Football: The Experts’ Week 12 Picks

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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 (This week, Berry’s column includes a great intro about the Muppets)
2. Michael Fabiano
3. Mike Harmon*
4. Eric Mack*
5. Jamey Eisenberg

*As usual, we’ll be taking the first five picks only from 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 had to take a week off. Eisenberg was off last week, and this is Harmon’s bye week. In his absence, point totals will range from 4 to 1 in each category. After this week, we’ll be all square and no more byes will be necessary.

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
Week 11 — Matthew Berry

Quarterbacks

4 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Tim Tebow, Andy Dalton = 4/4
No: Philip Rivers, Joe Flacco = 2/2
Total: 6/6

3 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer, Josh Freeman = 3/5
No: Matt Leinart, Blaine Gabbert, Colt McCoy, Tarvaris Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick = 3/5
Total: 6/10

2 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Ben Roethlisberger, Tim Tebow, Carson Palmer, Mark Sanchez, Matt Ryan = 3/5
No: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Christian Ponder, Matt Moore, Andy Dalton = 2/5
Total: 5/10

1 point: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Tim Tebow, Philip Rivers = 2/4
No: Josh Freeman, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Rex Grossman, Matt Leinart = 2/5
Total: 4/9

Interlude 1: Fake Fantasy Advice You Should Not Heed

In Week 13, referee Ed Hochuli will make his first career interception.

Running Backs

4 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Maurice Jones-Drew, DeAngelo Williams, Cedric Benson, Shonn Greene, LeGarrette Blount = 3/5
No: Ben Tate, Joseph Addai, Chris Ogbonnaya, Adrian Peterson, Fred Jackson = 5/5
Total: 8/10

3 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Rashard Mendenhall, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Johnson, Beanie Wells, Shonn Greene = 2/5
No: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jackie Battle, Toby Gerhart, Chris Ogbonnaya, Ryan Torain = 4/5
Total: 6/10

1.5 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Chris Johnson, Cedric Benson, LeGarrette Blount, Jonathan Stewart, Willis McGahee = 2/5
No: Ryan Mathews, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Toby Gerhart, Brandon Jacobs, Jackie Battle = 3/5
Total: 5/10

1.5 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Beanie Wells, LeGarrette Blount, Kevin Smith, Shonn Greene, Jonathan Stewart = 1/5
No: Toby Gerhart, C.J. Spiller, Jackie Battle, Roy Helu, Kendall Hunter = 4/5
Total: 5/10

Interlude 2: Nostradamus Quote That Sounds Like a Fantasy Fantasy Football Prediction

From here:

Mount Aventine will be seen to burn at night:
The sky very suddenly dark in Flanders:
When the monarch will chase his nephew,
Then Church people will commit scandals.

This one has Eisenberg written all over it. Am I right, crazy people of Earth?

By the way, if you ever want to just straight up hate a dude, read Nostradamus for 10 minutes. Everything is vague nonsense, and it’s always doom and gloom. It’ll make you want to go back in time and punch whoever wrote this down.

Receivers

4 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Jordy Nelson, Percy Harvin, Antonio Brown, Vincent Brown = 1/4
No: Steve Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson = 2/3
Total: 3/7

2 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Steve Smith, DeSean Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Victor Cruz, Antonio Brown = 2/5
No: Sidney Rice, Jerome Simpson, Steve Johnson, Mike Williams, Reggie Wayne = 2/5
Total: 4/10

2 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Andre Johnson, Antonio Brown, Percy Harvin, Eric Decker, DeSean Jackson = 2/5
No: A.J. Green, Steve Johnson, Earl Bennett, Reggie Wayne, Mike Williams = 2/5
Total: 4/10

2 points: Eric Mack

Yes: Andre Johnson, Pierre Garcon, Jerome Simpson, Percy Harvin, Plaxico Burress = 1/5
No: Kevin Walter, Mike Thomas, Greg Little, Steve Johnson, Earl Bennett = 3/5
Total: 4/10

Interlude 3: False Memory About Hanging Out With a Fantasy Expert That Is Actually a Scene From The Thin Red Line

Matthew Berry and I stare silently at the sky while whispered prayers run through our brains.

Defense/Special Teams

4 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Steelers, Texans, Cardinals = 3/3
No: Eagles, Patriots, Vikings = 3/3
Total: 6/6

2.5 points: Matthew Berry

Yes: Bengals, Seahawks, Broncos = 3/3
No: Chargers, Packers = 2/2
Total: 5/5

2.5 points: Jamey Eisenberg

Yes: Bengals = 1/1
No: Giants = 1/1
Total: 2/2

1 point: Eric Mack

Yes: Texans, Panthers, Bengals = 3/3
No: Jaguars, Browns, Buccaneers = 1/3
Total: 4/6

The Results

Ladies and gents, Matthew Berry has now won two straight weeks! Just when you counted him out.

1. Berry — 12 points
2. Fabiano — 10 points
2. Mack — 10 points
4. Eisenberg — 8 points

Overall Standings

What drama! With just one week left in the regular season, Mack has a slim 3.5-point lead on Fabiano. The regular-season championship, I’m happy to report, is still up for grabs. In the bottom half, Matthew Berry has vaulted into fourth place, and is just one point away from grabbing the coveted third sport and a first-round playoff bye.

1. Mack — 140
2. Fabiano — 136.5
3. Eisenberg — 116
4. Berry — 115
5. Harmon — 112

I hate to use hyperbole, but next week could well be the greatest week in fantasy fantasy football history, bar none.

Previously by Shane Ryan:
About Last Night: Blue Devils Bedevilled
Challenge Talk: An ACC Fan Gets Real With A Big Ten Fan
College Football Recap: The Eye in the Storm


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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