Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pyongyang Pikas Postgame: Weeks 6 and 7

After a frustrating loss to Tom's 2MuchJohnson4U in Week 6, the Pikas rebounded to reclaim a winning record with a victory over Zach's Beat Tom in Week 7.

The Pikas are now 0-2 against Calvin Johnson and company, losing to Tom's team in Week 3 by 4 points and in Week 6 by 5 points.  In Week 3, the loss came down to a bad decision to bench Aaron Rodgers; in Week 6, the Pikas could have started Frank Gore over Matt Forte, or Mike Wallace over Roddy White, or the Bears D/ST over the Ravens, and they would have pulled out the victory.  The Pikas front office never seriously considered any of those moves, though, and the Pikas actually had the lead going into the Monday night game.

Monday night turned into the most amusing construct of fantasy football yet.  Say the fantasy team you're playing against starts a certain defense; we'll call it the Jets defense.  And say the Jets are playing a certain offense; we'll call it the Dolphins.  Naturally, you want the Dolphins to score a lot of points, so that the Jets defense loses fantasy points, and you win.  But at some point, if the Jets defense is good enough (and oh, is it), the 10 points for a shutout start looking a whole lot better than the flood of points they could score if they yield a couple of field goals but rack up some sacks and turnovers along the way.

That's the situation the Pikas faced on Monday night of Week 6.  A comfortable 15-point lead quickly turned into a point short of a tie as the Jets defense picked up a quick fumble return for a touchdown--but that would have been okay, assuming the Dolphins offense scored any touchdowns at all.  Frankly, that would have been even have been okay assuming the Dolphins did literally nothing else on offense.  It would have been better for the Pikas had the Dolphins just swum away from the game and taken knees on every play.

But they didn't.  They tried--and failed--to score more points, and the Jets defense was all too happy to scoop up the football three more times on those failed attempts.  The Jets D/ST turned into 2MuchJohnson4U's biggest scorer, and the Pikas fell to .500 on the season.

Final score: 2MuchJohnson4U 115, Pikas 110

Fortunately, in Week 7, the Pikas found their way to their favorite patch of fresh grass: Zach's Beat Tom team.  Beat Tom has been kind to the Pikas so far, and Week 7 was no exception.  Aaron Rodgers led the effort with 25 fantasy points, but it wasn't a single-player effort: of the Pikas' nine players, six scored 11 points or more, and Jermichael Finley at tight end had a respectable 7.  A backup kicker (with New England's Stephen Gostkowski on bye) managed only 3, but kickers in this league are notoriously swingy.

The sole disappointment was early-season goat Chris Johnson, who was forced to start because new favorite Fred Jackson was on bye.  He hasn't picked his game up at all, cobbling together a mere 3 points.  Fortunately, it didn't hurt the Pikas in Week 7--but it could pose a problem in Week 8.

Beat Tom tried to make things interesting in the late games, with New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston coming back from injury to score 21 points, but it was too little, too late.  And although the Ravens suffered a pretty humiliating defeat at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars, their defense was still good for 11 points to end the week's action.

Final score: Pikas 112, Beat Tom 87  Current record: 4-3 (3-0 in division)

The Pikas are not looking forward to Week 8.  Five of their players have byes, including the league's best quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) and best running back (Matt Forte).  Fortunately, the league's second-best wide receiver (Wes Welker) and second-best running back (Fred Jackson) have gathered enough fresh grass for the time being and are back in action this week.  Hopefully that will be enough to go up two games to one in the season series against the North Dakota Narwhals.

Currently listening: "Santa Fe," Beirut

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