Inaugural High Stakes League Update 4

Updated: October 27th 2021

It’s interesting how a superstition can grab a hold of even the most analytical and scientific people sometimes.  That’s me.  Analytical and science-minded.  I know the superstitions I’m going to tell you about have no factual basis for believing in them, yet, I can’t escape the just-in-case scenario in my mind.  I had a little superstition building and grabbing a hold of me for the past two years or so in fantasy football.  It brought me a Championship in one league last year and I made it to the Super Bowl in another so there has to be something to it, right?  Super Bowl appearances in two of four leagues is a little compelling, no?

You see, I started noticing that the less I sat in front of my home PC and watched the live scoring for my fantasy teams and my opponents the better my fantasy football teams seemed to do.  In retrospect, using logical reasoning, I know that I’ve always done pretty well in my leagues.  Making the playoffs at around a 65%-70% clip which means I’m likely winning more than losing.  So, unless my superstition brings me up to a 100% win rate (or at least 90%), I should’ve probably simmered down a lot sooner.  But, winning Championships does funny things to people.

There’s nothing like your worst start ever in fantasy football to give you some perspective though.  Frankly, I was really proud of myself this year about how much I was getting away from my computer and accomplishing some things on Sundays.  If not watching the live scoring was supposed to be beneficial, then, something was not right.  Not right at all.  Going into last week I was 2-4 in the league in which I went to the Super Bowl and lost.  I was 2-4 in the league in which I won the Super Bowl last year.  I was 1-5 in another league of mine – my most expensive that I commission.  There was an orphan team I acquired in early August that was new for me and I mostly joined to help out but it’s turned out fun and I was actually 3-3 while floating along in easily the most winnable division going into last week.  My one bright spot.  And finally, the disaster that is this league here that I write about.  The High Stakes League.  In which I was 1-5 also going into this past week.  Another rough start.  A combined 9-21.  Easily my worst start ever.  How?  I mean, I was doing a bang up job of pleasing the fantasy gods this season with my absence in front of my PC.  So, how was this happening?

Being a man of science it was time to do some testing.  If I was going to be 9-21 at least I would enjoy some football with my live scoring on damnit.  This Sunday was a great test date.  A murky, rainy day outside.  My Chicago Bears playing the defending Super Bowl champion Tamp Bay Buccaneers, whom they somehow walloped last season, so obviously great things must be in store.  And, with my teams in such horrible shape, I had a bunch of must-win games to watch if these teams of mine were going to stay in the playoff hunt and avoid selloff before the trade deadline.

I’m happy to report that this weekend provided me the most inconclusive data possible.  I watched so much football and I had my live scoring up the entire time.  Thursday?  Yep.  Sunday all day?  Damn skippy.  Monday too?  You’re darn tootin’.  If my superstition was correct, I should’ve had a horrible fantasy football weekend.  I didn’t.  It wasn’t great.  But, it wasn’t horrible.  Very middle of the road and leaning negative.  Very….. . inconclusive.  It’s almost like it had no effect at all.  2 wins.  3 losses.  Eerily similar to my normal weekly outcome this season.  I think it’s officially time to give up on this superstition.  Maybe these things only last for a season?

Admittedly, I do have another fantasy football superstition where I always named my teams after one of my fantasy players on my roster.  But, I’ve been testing that one too.  When I joined this High Stakes League it seemed like owners had more legacy style names and I figured I’d name mine after one of my all time favorite players instead so it could remain unchanged when a player (that I had named my team after) no longer plays for my team.  But, here I am with inconclusive evidence on whether these superstitions are worth continuing.  The Fresh Prince of Helaire is 1-6 the same as These Truths to be Self Richard Dent is 1-6.  Frankly, with only Dancing on the Thielen above .500 there’s not much to sway a person one way or the other.  Maybe you all can help me.  Is there something I’m not doing right?  Do I need to make a sacrifice to the fantasy football gods?  I’d love some feedback from everyone on any additional rituals you perform.  Otherwise, I’m about to give up on this superstition thing despite many years of fun with it and a few Championships.

Here in the High Stakes League we have a few teams that are starting to pull away from the pack.  While six will make the playoffs and we have another half a season to play, these four teams are starting to look like a pretty good lock to make the playoffs.  We have a new #1 in “The Don” Piccolo who now sits at 6-1.  Even if it’s not the most convincing 6-1 you’ve ever seen.  “The Don” is fifth out of twelve teams in total points right now and not far off from sixth.  Our league takes the top four teams by record and the final two by total points.  So, total points do matter.  But in “The Don’s” case, enough wins can make it so it doesn’t matter.  Team owner, Ryan Bennett, specializes in IDP as he does IDP rankings for multiple sites including contributing to RSO.  He also competes in about 40 leagues these days.  Feel free to follow him on Twitter and don’t be afraid to throw him your weekly start/sit questions @piccoloFFIDP.  I reached out to him, being the current top seed, to see if he had any superstitions when it comes to fantasy football and you would not be surprised to hear that he said managing 40 fantasy teams requires a no nonsense professional approach.  And added, “Can’t afford superstitions when luck is already such a big factor.”

Y-Town was undefeated two weeks ago but has since suffered two losses, dropping them into second place in the standings.  The first loss was deserved after a miserable showing where they barely cleared 100 points.  The second one this past weekend came at the hands of a rising star who had high score of the week.  This squad needs to put an end to the skid as soon as possible but they are second in total points right now and 3rd isn’t really close behind.  There’s some breathing room there but best not take up too much before you get serious again.  That’s probably why, before this article was even mostly typed, Y-Town was making moves.  A big trade went down between Y-Town and currently 11th seed NJ Generals.  Tom Brady, Mike Evans, and Cole Beasley all go to a contender in Y-Town with about two weeks to go before the trade deadline.  In return Y-Town gives up a 2nd round pick along with Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, DJ Moore, and Jamaal Williams.  I like the aggressive move to stop the bleeding.  Let’s see if it turns into wins.

Then we have two teams at 4-3 that are worth a quick mention.  XFL Stars and owner Brayden Paget, who lead the league in total points.  Clearly, those wins will come with enough points but they have all their bases covered.

The Surdilla boys, owner of Big Tings, are 4-3 but put up high points (190) this past week while beating Y-Town and are 3rd in total points on the season.

Right now, these four teams look most likely to be playoff bound.  The final two spots are a little more murky.

If there’s a good ritual that you’ve found that works to get fantasy football wins, please share them with me where you see my posts on social media.  Or any superstition in general.  I want to hear them all.

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See you next time.

RSO High Stakes League Storyteller

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