Fantasy Fantasy Football: The Semifinal(s)

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

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
Week 12 – Matthew Berry
Week 13 – Michael Fabiano

Two weeks ago, in the most dramatic installment of Fantasy Fantasy Football ever, Michael Fabiano came roaring from behind to stun Eric Mack and win the regular-season championship. It looked like Mack would run away with the title. But Fabiano made history — and made himself a legend — with the stirring comeback.

Final Standings:

1. Fabiano — 155
2.
Mack — 151.5
3. Eisenberg — 128
4. Harmon — 124.5
5. Berry — 120.5

And now, in Week 14, it’s time for: THE PLAYOFFS!

playoffs

This week, it’s the semifinals. Winner plays on, loser goes home. Are Mack and Fabiano destined to meet again in the championship? Let’s get right to it!


No. 1 Michael Fabiano vs. no. 4 Mike Harmon

It has begun.

Quarterbacks

2 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Matthew Stafford, Tim Tebow, Tony Romo, Carson Palmer, Matt Moore = 5/5
No: Philip Rivers, Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith = 3/5
Total: 8/10

1 point: Mike Harmon

Yes: Tim Tebow, Matt Ryan, Andy Dalton, Rex Grossman, Mark Sanchez = 2/5
No: Michael Vick, Carson Palmer, Josh Freeman, Cam Newton = 1/4
Total: 3/9

Interlude 1: Commentary

Folks, we’ve never had a 1-seed lose in the first round in Fantasy Fantasy football, and this is why. Fabiano comes out guns ablaze, leaving Harmon rattled after an easy QB victory.

Running Backs

2 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Beanie Wells, Roy Helu, Felix Jones, Reggie Bush, Cedric Benson = 2/5
No: Rashard Mendenhall, LeGarrette Blount, Frank Gore, C.J. Spiller = 3/4
Total: 5/9

1 point: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Beanie Wells, Reggie Bush, Shonn Greene, Cedric Benson = 2/4
No: Rashard Mendenhall, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Peyton Hillis, DeAngelo Williams = 2/5
Total: 4/9

Interlude 2: We’re Tied Up!

Harmon comes back from the dead with the narrowest of victories on running backs. Fabiano could’ve put him away there, and you have to wonder if he’ll live to regret the missed opportunity. You also have to wonder if he’ll ever know about the missed opportunity. Such is Fantasy Fantasy Football.

Receivers

2 points: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Jordy Nelson, A.J. Green, Marques Colston, Santana Moss, Nate Washington = 2/5
No: DeSean Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Santonio Holmes, Michael Crabtree, Pierre Garcon = 5/5
Total: 7/10

1 point: Mike Harmon

Yes: Antonio Brown, Santana Moss, Nate Washington, Dwayne Bowe, Demaryius Thomas = 2/5
No: Vincent Jackson, Anquan Boldin, DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith = 3/4
Total: 5/9

Interlude 3: It’s coming down to the wire!

Fabiano reasserts himself as the top dog, taking the lead going into the final category. But let’s not forget that Harmon was here just last week. Comebacks are his specialty.

Defense/Special Teams

2 points: Mike Harmon

Yes: Cardinals, Titans, Cowboys, Seahawks, Bengals = 3/5
No: Broncos, Jets = 2/2
Total: 5/7

1 point: Michael Fabiano

Yes: Lions, Bengals, Cardinals = 1/3
No: Steelers, Broncos, Chargers = 2/3
Total: 3/6

The Result

Harmon manages to tie things up at 6-6 with a stunning comeback win in the final category. Last week, Harmon and Berry were essentially tied on overall picks, so we went into overtime with the tight ends. This week, the totals for all categories were:

Fabiano: 22/35
Harmon: 18/34

That means that Fabiano advances on quality! No need for overtime; the 1-seed is alive and well. But Harmon should be congratulated for a spirited late push. Here’s how it goes down in the books:

Fabiano 6 (Q), Harmon 6

Let’s see who he’ll face in the championship

Big News …

Unfortunately, Jamey Eisenberg did not write a column this week. The timing was bad, but we’ve decided to let it slide and move the second semifinal to next week, Week 16. That means the championship will be held in the tricky Week 17, the hardest fantasy week of all due to unpredictable lineups. But if experts can’t navigate these tricky waters, they aren’t true champions, right?

See you next week for Semifinal no. 2.

Previously by Shane Ryan:
The Most Depressed Fan Base: Sorry, Oakland, You Can’t Even Win This
Why Baylor is the Most Interesting Undefeated Team in College Basketball
Wisconsin: The Most Boring Team in America


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Contact us at triangle@grantland.com

Filed Under: Shane Ryan, Start Em Sit Em

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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