Simulated Experts’ Fantasy League: Championship Week

Worldwide Leaders got an early 15.8-point head start after the Thursday night game, with some production from Donald Brown but mostly 11 points from kicker Neil Rackers. Ray Rice, however, scored a big touchdown in the first half of his game with the Browns to give College Busters a slim lead. Jabar Gaffney picked up a receiving touchdown of his own to help College Busters pull away to a fairly comfortable lead heading into the late games, 62.7-40.8, as Worldwide Leaders failed to get double-digit production out of anybody. No one scored any touchdowns, and Mike Wallace was the most productive at 82 yards.

When Alex Smith proved to have a disappointing day, with no touchdowns and less than 200 all-purpose yards, the writing appeared to be on the wall for ESPN, cursing themselves for not shoring up their quarterback position, even with one more player still to play in the primetime games than College Busters. Matthew Stafford had a 378-yard, 3-touchdown day, good for nearly 28 points and giving YHOO a lead of over 56 points. Worldwide Leaders would need Jordy Nelson and Jimmy Graham to average 28 points and have Michael Turner basically be shut out, which would basically be a miracle. Nelson would do his part, scoring two touchdowns and 23.5 points, and Turner only scored 7.5 points, but Graham only put up 10.2 points of his own, well short of what was necessary.

Although College Busters snuck into the playoffs as a 4 seed, perhaps it’s fitting for the title to go to Yahoo, who was at the forefront of the fantasy phenomenon, rode fantasy to a position of being the most popular sports site, more so even than ESPN, and remains the most popular fantasy site of them all. A little poetic justice, perhaps.

Meanwhile, Ron Burgundy All-Stars pulled off another upset of Swimsuit Issues in the third-place game, thanks in large part to big days from Cam Newton and Victor Cruz, while SI once again got disappointing performaces, with Drew Brees the only touchdown-scoring starter. Commissioner’s Favorite got stung by the Tony Romo injury and Team Infograph rolled over them, while Inside Information and The SportsLine had the game of the weekend, with FLEA winning by less than two points with depth across the board (Michael Vick, Marshaun Lynch, and four others in double digits) over two or three great performances (Arian Foster and Brandon Marshall scored over twenty, while Matt Moore came close) and some good ones (Malcom Floyd and the Bengals defense scored over ten points, while Michael Bush scored 9.4). Finally, Indy Tea Party and Wisdom of Crowds had the two highest-scoring performances of the week to knock off Takedown Glaze and Politically Incorrect.

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