Inaugural High Stakes League Championship Recap

Updated: January 10th 2022

We have a champion and the name of the team is “The Don” Piccolo!  Congrats to Ryan Bennett, owner of “The Don.”  It wasn’t the prettiest season.  But, they often aren’t.  This team overcame adversity throughout and worked the waiver wire to keep his team in the game every week.  It wasn’t without a bit of luck along the way as his matchups constantly worked in his favor.  This team didn’t usually put up huge points, but they often put up enough points.  Including the final three weeks of the fantasy season where it matters most.  The playoffs and then the championship.

But, to just announce a champion would not do justice to the drama that unfolded throughout this matchup.  This is why I exist.  So, you get a story, my fellow owners.  I’m going to start at my favorite part.

“The Don” thought all was lost by 1:53p EST and came on the group chat to announce “gg.”  To be fair, his opponent XFL Stars, who had been rather dominant this season and entered as our number one seed, was off to a really hot start.  Like, really hot.  Hotter than Matt Nagy’s seat in Chicago.  XFL Stars had amassed a 70+ point lead in the first 45 minutes of play and was now favored in the projections by 20 points or so. Do you know how I know this wasn’t their first championship game?  Well, I actually asked them this question and reported they own fifteen championships already in all their years of fantasy football in my write-up last week so, that question wasn’t fair.  But, let’s assume I didn’t already know the answer and that you didn’t either because I know you read my write-up last week, right?  It’s because these guys responded to “The Don’s” gg announcement with: “We ain’t celebrating shit with Kyler and Herbert still to go haha”  Wise words, XFL Stars.  Prophetic, even if Kyler and Herbert may not have been the ultimate reason for the eventual win.  Kyler and Herbert did the same as most of “The Don’s” team did, they met their averages and/or underperformed a little.  No, two other late-season gems took this team to the promised land.

The guy who is the pride of Detroit lately, Amon-Ra St. Brown, came to play.  Keep your eyes on this kid.  He entered this contest on a four-game streak of 15-26 points while averaging over 22 pts during that span.  Already an easy choice to start but who knew the kid would drop 35 points in such a crucial week.  35 points from a Lions receiver was pretty unexpected.  While Amon-Ra was doing his thing, Rashaad Penny had nearly an equally impressive day.  This kid has been searching for the spotlight for years and battled injuries instead.  This week his name lit up the fantasy football chat boards.  Good for him.  And like Amon-Ra, he was already heating up, averaging  17 points over the previous three weeks and topped out at 26 points.  Then, he reached the pinnacle at the right time putting up 32 points.  “The Don” had both of these crucial pieces in place, but, they needed one more thing to go their way as the match was not over.

It was 5:25p EST, about an hour into Penny and St. Brown’s games, that XFL Stars came back to the chat to see if “The Don” was still watching football.  “The Don” simply replied he was and, XFL Stars co-owner, Nic, indicated that he was turning his TV off.  The tides had turned.  But, by the end of afternoon games, XFL Stars still owned a lead of about 3.46 points with “The Don” having Nick Chubb left to play.  It would seem like an easy amount of points for Chubb to obtain as he averaged about seventeen per game to this point in the season.  Nonetheless, we still have to play the game.  To Monday Night Football we go!  The score is XFL Stars 150.06 to “The Don’s” 146.60 points.

It’s this kind of suspense you want to see in a championship battle and these guys delivered.  Congrats again on the great battle here, guys.  As easy as those 3.46 points for Chubb seemed, the game would dictate a different outcome.  It’s not that he never got there.  I think the fantasy gods wanted to see “The Don” sweat and give XFL false hope.  We know how fickle the gods can be for seemingly no reason sometimes.  It was a strange game where Chubb was seen on the sidelines a bit more often than suspected and I saw rumors start swirling of a possible unknown injury.  Could it happen?  Could Chubb fall short of such an easy point total?  XFL Stars showed back up to the chat at halftime of the MNF game with a glimmer of hope.  “Survived the first half,” they said, followed by, “Never mind, no we didn’t by 0.4 haha.”  Yes, it seems the fantasy gods messed with those numbers long enough for XFL to get a little egg on their face.  This game was played with much less Chubb than most people would prefer.  Even the announcers began to question why the man wasn’t getting playing time.  By game’s end, Nick Chubb only had 5.8 points.  5.8 was enough Chubb today though.  The final score was 152.40 to 150.06.  “The Don” had done it and it was a great championship match that was decided in the final hour of football by roughly two points.  As The Storyteller, I couldn’t ask for much more.

For now, Stephen at RSO tells me that we are going to see a “CHAMPIONS” tab appear on the RSO home page in the near future where we will get to see all of the past champions of all sanctioned RSO leagues.  This must be an exciting prospect for both winners to date.  Season one champion, Philadelphia Freeways, who are owned by the tandem David Zurenko and Jared Smith along with our season two champ, “The Don” Piccolo, owned by Ryan Bennett, will now get to see their name in lights, as they say.

So, when are you getting into this league?  I sure hope to see your name around next season.  Make sure to contact someone at RSO to get on the list as soon as possible.  If you are a procrastinator like me, you probably want to join you just haven’t gotten around to it.  After all, we aren’t at the deadline to get on the list.  Do yourself a favor and send a quick email right now while you are thinking about it.  You’ll be happy you got in early this time.  Tell them The Storyteller sent you to make sure you are eligible for associated discounts.  You’ll know you’re in the right place because these guys are already talking about trades for next season.

I am personally signing off until at least February and then I plan to pop up occasionally as we navigate the offseason.  My sincere thanks to all of you who’ve joined us on our journey this season.  I hope you’ll follow along when we return for ’22.  This is The Storyteller, signing off on the ’21 season.  See you after the rollover.

~ RSO High Stakes League Storyteller 

More Analysis by Matt Russell