Lynch Nicks It For Steelers
RB Alvin Kamara please both coaches with this 2 yard TD run !
ALFF, regular season, headed into week 13 with most of the questions regarding post season participation having already been answered. One or two teams still to have their fates decided. This one was a little different. The Commish and his Drillers had already made the play off party and were looking for some icing on the cake. Should they win and the Killers were beaten, then they had the chance at the #1 seeding. They were also looking to retain the points title. The Ricker opted to go with some changes. In came Austin Ekeler for his first ALFF start, in place of Blount, in a tactical change. He got the nod ahead of Alex Collins to line up alongside Gurley. Michael Thomas was back in place of Sanu as the coach did not fancy the latter’s chances against the Vike’s. The Jag’s D was thrown in to replace the Rams unit. The Steelers had already been eliminated and were playing for pride. Coach Meek decided to play Marshawn Lynch in place of Hunt, and Jordan Matthews came in for Amari Cooper as a wide man. Tavecchio got the nod ahead of Walsh at Kicker. This one was all about Sunday action. Drew Brees has been something of a fixture in Drillers sides over the years, and has shown his worth on many occasions. He went 25 0f 34 for 269 yards with 2 sacks and a touchdown score, with a 10 yard pass to Thomas, to put up 6 for the Commissh. Over the other side of the park was DeShone Kizer, in his rookie season, but he kept up with Brees as he went 15 of 32 for 215 yards with 1 interception and 3 sacks, but scored on a 28 yard passing play. The game breaker came from the backfield of the Steelers. Alvin Kamara ran in from the 2 and the 20 for 6 points and then Marshawn Lynch went on a 51 yard rumble to add another 8. Agholor’s 27 yard catch made it 26-6 for the Steelers, but would it be enough? The Commish has had lots of points from Todd Gurley, this season and was looking for more of the same, but on this occasions he and Ekeler, posted a pair of goose eggs. The Drillers did pull back 3 courtesy of a, Funchess 24 yard reception, but it looked like, too little too late. Kicker Greg Zurlein has been a major source of points this season and he set about closing the gap. He connected on FG’s from 51, 20, 24 and 41 yards as well as 2 PATs (he actually missed another), for 16 points, but it was not enough. Tavecchio saw the Steelers home with a 39 yard FG and 3 PATs, and this one was done and dusted. The Steelers finish on 4-9 and split the 2017 RSS. They will have the 3rd pick in the 2018 draft (sometimes that’s more of a hindrance than a help). They finished 3-3 in their division, but the damage came against the rest of the league. They also become the first ALFF side to get, bonus, rushing scores from 3 players different in one season. In this case Lynch, Hunt, and Kamara, who might just turn out to be the find of the season. The Drillers and the Commish finish on 9-4 and miss out on the #1 seeding, thanks to this loss. The fact that the Killers also went down will, possibly, niggle a bit, as will some of the changes that were made. Sometimes, second guessing becomes an art form. They book end their season with losses; weeks 1 and 13 seeing them score 25 points and lose. They have been over this course on numerous occasions. Records show them as having won, double, bye weeks on seven occasions, but only once did this lead to winning the whole shooting match. The Drillers have won the title on 5 occasions, and number 6 is a, strong possibility. They also retain the Points title, becoming the first side to do so, twice. One cloud on the horizon is week 16. Should the Dolphins make it past week 15 they will collide with the Commish and his crew and that week could see the return of, scoring machine, Ezekial Elliot, so anything is possible. So 8 sides left and 4 weeks to go. The best of luck to all who are still on board, and commiserations to all those who have disembarked. To the latter…just remember…there is always next year. This is the Crimson Haybaler signing off for another year. Catch you all in 2018
Phins Find Form In Finale
Delanie Walker piles on the Arnhall points with a 24 yard counter.
Week 13, the last of
the regular season, and this was supposed to be the Divisional decider,
well it was until the Phins fell victim to the dawdling Dans recently
meaning that the result of this game bore no influence on the pennant.;
the Kincorth side had an unassailable divisional record. Having wrapped
up the Division, the Killers had already been crowned as champs; there
was however that little but inescapable driving force of pride to be
considered. The Killers had won the previous encounter and the Head
Gardener of the Phins was determined upon revenge. That said Auld
Compost made a surprise change to his side with the very low scoring
Julius Thomas coming in for Demaryius Thomas; I say low scoring but I
believe he had made one end zone visit previously this season; for
Arnhall’s NFL counterparts in Miami that’s a big time return for a TE.
The Killers also made one change that was equally surprising, known
quantity Dez Bryant making way for Bills rookie Zay Jones. (I suppose,
actually I don’t have a theory as to why this switch was made; it could
be that neither NFL parent team has a starting QB but that’s just
unfounded idle speculation). So, with nothing of intrinsic value at
stake except their head to head records, to the contest; if that’s the
correct term. The QB battle was one that I and many neutrals found
amusing if not entertaining. The Phins Russell “God bothering imbecile”
Wilson had an excellent 9 point night against a strong defence whilst
Tom “I’m the oldest starting cheat in the league” Brady did his best
Karen Brady impersonation and was pointless! Maybe that’s a sign of old
age creeping in, perhaps he’s forgotten how to cheat; yes I know that’s
unlikely but he’ll have some excuse, he always finds one when under
pressure (sic). The RB contest was intriguing as both Coaches had also
entered their players in the goose egg competition. Coach Compost
would’ve been shocked at the success Derv and his boys had here as both
Dion Lewis and Jordan Howard were flawless in the goose egg category but
Isaiah Crowell and Ty Montgomery came through for the Arnhall boys and
matched their performance. Goose Eggs all round at RB then and no change
to the score with Arnhall ahead by 9 – 0. Contrast, now there’s a
pleasing word and it will be used when describing the respective play at
WR and sadly not in a way that will go down well in that shady realm of
the city known as Kincorth or Kinkers to its natives. Surprisingly the
addition of Julius Thomas was an inspired move as pre-game the soon to
be ex-Dolphin was handed a map and shock, horror, he can read; this
resulted in the extraordinary spectacle of him finding the end zone for
a score. Team mates Jason Witten and Delaney Walker were inspired to
such a degree that they followed the bread crumbs left by their
colleague and likewise found the end zone. I don’t recall covering any
game before in which all 3 WR positions were filled by TE’s and all 3
scored but I’m sure the editor will correct me on this – he did sensor
me last week after all (that's a
Slashed By Blades ... Lions Limp On
Jimmy Graham hauls in a 5 yard YD grab for the Blades.
The Westburn Blades shook off their recent lethargy and made life uncomfortable for their opponents as the Pittodrie Division All Blacks swept the Laurel Lions aside with an lopsided 28-12 victory. Coach Hamilton had to endure a nerve shredding Sunday night into Monday morning to see if the battling Garthdee Gryphons could snatch away the last wildcard berth but the Pittodrie Div outfit fell just a little short to hand the 5-8 Lions the last ticket to the post season party. Ultimately, with the Birds losing, the result made no difference to either ball-club … but with the Commissioner having first dibs on the League crystal ball neither HC had any way of knowing that going in. When the game kicked off the equation for coach Hamilton was a plain “Win And Your In” story and the defending champion in his own words very much went to his ‘big guns’, despite the poor seasons some of them have had. Tough looking NFL match-up’s forced Mufasa to bring in 2017 RB enigma DeMarco Murray to join Lamar Miller in the Lions recently improving running game , while Jordy Nelson was recalled in place of DeSean Jackson with a preferred Chris Hogan still on the injured list. A more relaxed Stuie (if Scottish stereotypical St Andrews Day pictures of him swigging Irn Bru dressed in his kilt on an Antipodean balcony are anything to go by ), pretty much pencilled in as the No 6 seed , saw the now only non retired Bothwell recall back in favour Derek Carr at QB , swap out WR Jarvis Landry with Marvin Jones, while adding the newly acquired Robby Anderson at WR3. With No Thursday action (bar Stuie’s teeth curling Irn Bru binging) the game played out largely over the two Sunday periods... but in reality was all but settled early. Case Keenum again proved to be a solid if unspectacular element of the Lions attack with a pair of short TD tosses (2 and 6 yds) but with nothing from WR Stefon Diggs and kicker Ryan Succop accounting for all of the skinny 6pts harvested by Titans duo Succop & Murray, all the signs pointed to a low points total for the anxious wildcard chasing combo. RB Lamar Miller’s run of recent scores came to a crashing halt... meaning, with not much left in the tank , James’ charges had just 12pts to show for themselves .. with their season on the block. Across the line of scrimmage , with little or no pressure on, The Blades were being clinical. RB Leonard Fournette returned to scoring form with a 5 yard TD run to take the onus off scoreless Shady McCoy and WR duo Jones & Anderson, while kicker Justin Tucker enjoyed his best outing of the year too date with a massive 16(3)pt total that featured 5 XP’s and a triple FG provision that had a 51 yarder as the highlight. When Jordy Nelson, the only coach H starter out in the second Sunday period, failed to answer a 9 yard Derek Carr TD, leaving Youngblood 25-12 in front, with largely bit players left to come.... this one was effectively over. As it turned out Jimmy Graham won his head to head with Laurel’s Paul Richardson in a direct WR battle in the NBC phase in the Pacific NW to make it 28-12 while the two opposing defences fought out a scoreless draw that would have warmed the heart of Catenaccio aficionados. Despite this result the Lions limped through as No 8 seed with a closing 5-8 record on the back of 2 intra-Divisional victories over the identically 5-8 Gryphons. On this showing coach H knows his grip on the Steven Wood Trophy is tenuous at best and he will have to find some more consistency to make any post season impact. The Laurel Road based head honcho used up his last get of jail card for the season.. with a repeat of this effort sure to end his tenure as defending League champion. RB Demarco Murray continues to drive the Danestone based coaching crew crazy… any time he’s in, he’s stinks the whole running game up… yet leave him out and he’s SOW material. If the coach and player can get in synch, Murray may provide the support Keenum & Succop need to make this side play-off ready. With the Argyll Apaches waiting for them in Round 1, someone has to provide inspiration, or their 2017 knock-out competition experience may be a short one. The Blades move on to their 5th straight post season competition as No 6 seed with their 7-6 overall record their 5th straight winning campaign… out of 8 winning seasons in total. Having snapped a troublesome 3 games losing streak with their second 28pt showing in three games , the NZ based combo seem to have rediscovered their mojo at just the right time. They will now face an in- form Deevale Desperados who are a different side since coach Kiwi’s boys defeated them 27-23 in Wk 4. With Fournette looking back to his pre-disciplinary best and the QB unit showing flicker of life Youngblood should have some confidence his side can launch a deep run in the post season. A first ever season sweep in the series gives coach Bothwell the Younger a 4-2 lead in the RSS.
Player of the Week
Posse WR Tyreek Hill has been a contender for the ALFF WR Title since Week 1 .. but looked to have lost his way over the back end of the season. Without a score since Week 9 and having been largely swallowed up by the pack , Hill exploded in the 3rd quarter of his final RS game to not only put up the points that would win him individual glory... but also play a huge part in the final play-off berth. Tyreek's 9(3)pt effort , made up of 79 and 40 yard TD receptions win him the last RS Player of the Week award for 2017.
Play of the Week
The regular season opened up with Posse WR Tyreek Hill featuring in the Play of the Week column... and we almost signed off the regular season with a nice Hill "Wally Dug"... the receiver's amazing 79 yard TD catch and run. However... overall one other play may ( at that's only a may ) prove more significant. Scunthorpe Steelers RB Marshawn Lynch was recalled by his HC to face the 2 Minute Drillers in the Steelman's last outing of 2017. Lynch promptly rattled off a 51 yard , eight point scoring run that proved the difference in a 32-25 Scunny victory that denied the Commish the No 1 seed. Lynch's TD was the 8th , eight point running play of the season, and was also significant in that Adamski became the first coach in League history to have 3 different RB's get a bonus rushing TD in the same season ( Hunt & Kamara were the others).
Play -Offs Round 1
Argyll Apaches (5) v Laurel Lions (8)
Westburn Blades (6) v Deevale Desperados (7)
Play -Offs Round 2
Arnhall Dolphins (3) v TBC
Caledonia Express (4) v TBC
Play -Offs Round 3
Kincorth Killers (1) v TBC
2 Minute Drillers (2) v TBC
Double Cheeseburger Too Much For The Mac's
Le'Veon Bell takes advantage of VERY sloppy defending to score on a 35 yard reception.
In a season that promised so much -and still might deliver something- Coach Geacher The Senior after a four game losing streak signed off with a victory over the disappointing Wrecking Rebels who seem to have thrown in the towel a tad early this season. Coaches McConnachie fielded an unchanged team whilst Geronimo rang the changes....current Apache's Hall Of Famer QB Ben Cheeseburger returned to replace the hapless and Zekeless Dak Prescott whilst a concussion on Doug Martin meant a ALFF debut for Titan wideout Corey Davis in a 4WR set. The early Sunday games saw the Apaches get into their stride very quickly when Gostkowski rammed up 13 points with three field goals -including one from the 50- and two points after and when Denver's Justin Simmon's scored on a 65 yard interception return, that was games abogey for the Rosemount crew, Incidentally, that *D* score is only the second TD that the Apaches defence have scored in two seasons. I can also exclusively reveal (copyright Gerry MacNee, The Voice Of A Football) that Stephen Gostkowski is to be inducted into the Apache's Virtual Hall Of Fame where he joins fellow kicker Adam Viniatieri, Cheeseburger, Clinton Portis and Hines Ward. He's in good company. The Rebs reply was somewhat muted..... Keenan Allen scored for Mikey, a seven yard snare and Christian McCaffrey got his now customary receiving TD , this week from 21 yards out. Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas padded the scores with a 52 yard field goal and two points after, and thus brought the curtain down on a disappointing Rebs season. From a personal point of view, I do hope that both Coaches MacConnachie make it back for next year, I really do. Well it was all done and dusted before Monday night, but Cheeseburger showed up anyway with a pair of TD throws, one to fellow Brave LeVeon Bell to make the final score Apaches 28-13 Rebels. So the Apaches, the Diesel's pick for the Bowl are still in it, albeit with the #5 seed allocated to them, not the #'1 as seemed to be their destiny for much of the season, and they will face the defending champs, the Laurel Lions. One would think that the Kintyre based outfit will be the Vegas favourites what with an average of six points per game better than the Lions, but football's a funny old game, Saint. On another note, a second Geacher Bowl is a possibility, but if it happens, chances are it will be in the Bowl-Bowl, if you get my drift. Finally with this my last report for this season, the Diesel in me would like to point out that he called seven out of the eight play-off teams correctly, only missing out on the Steelers and getting the Lions wrong AND calling it correctly on one out of three Divisional winners, whilst the other two tipped hit second place. The Diesel, as you know is a modest man, and not one to blow his own trumpet, but next year he'll be using the Pen Name "Satchmo'" It's been fun, again, and I for one will be back next year, and maybe as defending chumpion (sic)! The Diesel has willed it! Ciao baby!
Pirates Steel Themselves For A Late Flourish
Pirates wide-out Antonio Brown get his side to within 1pt with this 6 yard score.
Alright guys, you’ve had your fun over the last few weeks, but now it is time to PAY THA MAN! “The RONaissance™” was trademarked for a reason; it’s probably the smartest thing I have ever come up with, and I include the “Strawberry Cheesecake Bagel” in that statement! There was nothing really at stake in this one though, as the Dan’s secured playoff action last week as the final wildcard while the Pirates were mathematically eliminated in week 12. With a win Ronnie’s rabble would have carded their 5th winning season in the last 6 – but that wasn’t to be. Still, if the 30-29 week 6 thriller was anything to go by, this one was going to be tighter than a witches - whatever that is supposed to mean..? As it would turn out, yes it would be pretty darn close. QBs Phil Rivers and Carson Wentz were symmetrically and surprisingly poor in their encounters against the Browns and (weakened) Seattle D’s respectively. Rivers got the yards but could only muster a solitary 7-yarder and the story was much the same for Wentz, who’s sole contribution came on a 27-yard strike. Jerrick McKinnon was the beneficiary of the ol’ goal-line dump pass to stick the Pirates’ noses in front before 4th receiver, David Njoku, dragged a defender into the endzone for a 28-yard bullet over the middle. The ageless (well, he’s 34) Larry Fitzgerald would claw things back to 09-06 in favour of Coach Matty’s side going in to Monday Night Football. So it was all pretty quiet to this point, but MNF representation was pretty high in this one, and with the spoils expected to go Pittsburgh’s way it was perhaps expected that this match would be the Pirates’ to plunder. However, it would appear that the Bengals did not receive their copy of the script. A.J. Green was on fire early on with two first half scores supplemented by two Randy Bullock PATs and two field goals to swing the contest back in favour of the Desperados. Then came the second half, and the script finally made it to the Cincinnati and the Bungles duly capitulated under the lights. Antonio Brown had gone into this week 1 point ahead at the top of the wideout charts, but was unceremoniously usurped by Tyreek Hill’s 9 point performance in KC. He would have to do with second spot behind the big play specialist after bringing in a short pass for a score. Chris Boswell’s 3 late field goals and two PATs ensured that the spoils would go to Pittsburgh and to Cove – both of whom won by 23 – 20 with comeback wins this week, leaving the first ever season series between the two is split 1-1. And so the Cove Bay Pirates finish with a “3 wins out of the last 4” flourish, which will surely put the taste of blood in the mouth of Coach Matty Ice and have the Pirates ready and raring to go for next season. I shalln’t say too much more about the debutant franchise as our exhalted Commisioner will pay a respectful synopsis below, but the final 4-9 standing is very harsh. A few results could have gone either way, but that is the beauty of the game. Nil desperandum for the Desperate one though, as his midseason sprint was enough to allow him to stumble over the line and into the playoffs where he will face a hot-or-not Blades side who have backed up into the playoffs after a hot start. Fortunes have flipped for the two sides since a tight one in week 4 went the way of Wellington. Onwards unto the the Thunderdome known as The ALFF Playoffs – “Two man enter; one man leave!” Good luck to our remaining participants, but, in the paraphrased words of Paul Pogba: “if you could all just suffer horrific season ending injuries to your star players now so I can win, that would be great.” Coach Kiwi – Over and out!"
The Pirates storming finish put a more "realistic" sheen on their inaugural campaign. Matthew's side only dropped below the 20pt mark on 3 occasions and had they played (for example) the Arnhall Dolphins schedule, would have won at least 7 games with another 3 going OT periods I have not worked out. That said they did fall into the classic mold of a team just one player short of getting over the hump. By using a second highest 21 players overall no-one can accuse the first year HC of not trying ! Coming in cold with an early draft slot is always challenging and it remains to be seen if Matthew will pick a WR in a similar slot in 2018. Up until the last three weeks Antonio Brown, as the 2nd player taken was a total bust but the Pirates cause was not helped when intriguing 2nd Rd pick Dalvin Cook was lost for the season in Week 4. Third and Fifth Rd picks OJ Howard and Hunter Henry looked like solid additions to bolster his Brown led WR corp... although both maybe had more PPR upside.. and 4th selection Philip Rivers was arguably a steal at that stage.. if his early season form did not quite support that reasoning. Steven Hauschka at No 7 rounded out what was in essence a decent first ALFF draft... although the peaky nature of the kicker's output was a contributing factor to the Pirates shaky start and once he switched to the more dependable Chris Boswell (and the Steelers picked up) the results started to flow. With one year's experience of the more black & white nature of the ALFF system (as opposed to PPR). Picking in the No 2 slot I fully expect coach Inkster to be challenging for honors in 2018. Thanks Matthew I hope you enjoyed it, and will be back for more next term.
Birds Plucked As They Fail To Climb Play-off Hill
QB Marcus Mariota gets the Express on track with this 9 yard TD run.
A season that had started so brightly ultimately ended in more early exit tears for coach Donny and his Garthdee Gryphons , as the Week 4 stand alone Pittodrie Division leaders crashed out of contention with a cruel but hard fought 22-27 loss to sibling rival Marty in the second , and last Garioch Bowl of 2017. The Bayler had to secure success and hope coach Kiwi could do him a favour by knocking off the Laurel Lions....and although the Blades did their bit... the Birds could not arrest an alarming two year losing sequence in the all Flying Garioch Bros fixture, to slither out at 5-8 on the back of a two loss tie break to the aforementioned Lions. Locked in as No 4 seed Marty had little to play for other than the bragging rights in the oldest ongoing rivalry in the League although he did have a sniff of glory in the ALLF Point Title chase if the 2 Minute Drillers were to come up small in Week 13. That said, going into this 41st RS all Garioch meeting , he could not resist one more spin of his QB carousel recalling Marcus Mariota in place of Dome bound Cam Newton in an otherwise unchanged side from the eight that clinched the Pittodrie Div pennant in Wk 12. On the other side of the ball the Crimson One had little room for manoeuvre but did unexpectedly plug in previously unused WR Jamison Crowder to partner QB Kirk Cousins in the Thursday night prologue. Cousins, who could have catapulted himself directly in to the individual passing Title race with a double digit offering, offered up a 2 TD contribution but did not hook-up with team-mate Crowder on either scoring toss , leaving the pundits to reason the Birds had come up a little short and were up against it versus the 3pt favorite Express. Although Marcus Mariota quickly tied the scores on Sunday with a swift 9 yard TD run in Nashville, the opening sequence of events in the Meadowlands initially gave the Gryphons some cause for optimism. A timely 1 yard TD breenge by RB Bilal Powell restored the Birds 6pt advantage while WR Travis Kelce totally eclipsed the WR title seeking Tyreek Hill by scoring first on a 22 yard TD grab and then following that up with a 36 yard counter. Leading 18-06 the Bayler was daring to hope but the ALFF Gods have a history of first inflating the bubble before applying the pin... and so it was here. Tyreek Hill’s stunning 79 yard TD reception put him bang on course to become ALFF receiving champion and was quickly followed by a more sedate 40 yard counter and all Donny’s early gains were abruptly swept aside. A score at this point from the long dormant Devonta Freeman might have reinvigorated the Garthdee ballclub but the early season pacesetter was held firmly in check by the Vikings D in Atlanta . A late 24 yard TD toss from Marcus Mariota completed the Posse’s comeback from their opening setbacks and brought the scores level. Tied at 18-18 and heading into the late Sunday stanza, and with the news from the Lions game highly encouraging the mood in the Garthdee Rd HQ was still relatively upbeat with regular contributors Mike Baldwin and Jake Elliott still to come in the NBC phase.... as long as the Posse did not stride away through RB Mark Ingram and K Graham Gano in the late Sunday events in the Superdome. Ingram (another Posse starter in the running for individual title glory) looked in the zone and came within one block of a huge eight point score... but he did get his reward with the subsequent 2 yard TD run. After that it was pretty much the Alvin Kamara show.. and worryingly for coach Marty, Gano was held to just to just PAT’s .. three of them to be precise. Was 27-18 a winning position ??? Well.. it spelled the end of the CalX’s ALFF Points Title dreams but from a Gryphons perspective trailing by just 9pts and with the Lions out of it bar a defensive avalanche, the play-off berth was there for their last two men to grab. Unfortunately (for the Bayler) that’s not the way it turned out. A mixture of poor clock management by the Eagles coaching staff and a fumble through the endzone by Wentz either side of half time limited Elliott’s initial total to just 3 pts (on a 26 Yd FG) leaving the Garthdee outfit still on the outside chasing a 21-27 deficit. On the very next drive after Wentz’s butter fingers horror it looked like Doug Baldwin had worked the Mythical Creatures to within just a FG (at 24-27) with a 48 Yd TD grab.. but on further review it was ruled the Gryphons wideout had just touched out of bounds at the 1 yard line and another “chance” had gone. The Eagles then immediately worked the ball into FG position..... but trailing 17-3 with more than a quarter to play ... to Donny’s dismay ... unsuccessfully went for a 4th and 3 from the 25 yard line. A late Elliot PAT did close the score to 27-22 but that’s as close as it got. Posse wide-out Juju Smith-Schuster provided a final violence laden, nasty tasting doughnut in last action of the game. The Posse finish a very healthy 8-5 , to equal their best season performance since 2011 , in this their first winning campaign in 6 years. With the Pittodrie Division pennant flying proudly over Dunlin HQ and the club sporting it’s first individual WR Title winner in Tyreek Hill since Jerry Rice in 1994, 2017 is proving to be a heady one for the Cove head honcho. After the luxury of one week off Marty now faces his biggest test.. how to end a 24 year play-off hoodoo. The Birds, 5-8 for a 2nd straight time, miss out on the post season for the 4th year on the trot... and sadly for Donny with a 5th straight 4th place finish in a Division he dominated for the six years prior to this awful run. From a position of strength at the conclusion of Week 4, standing 3-1 at the head of the Div standings, averaging a League best 30.5pt a game , the wheels came off big time for the founder owner. His last 9 games yielded just 2 more victories with an average score of just 19.5 pts over that second period. So where did it all go wrong ?? You don’t have to look too far past 1st pick Devonta Freeman to find at least part of the answer. The 3rd player taken overall (1st RB) was on fire through the opening 4 weeks of the season before going MIA with not a single point added to his 30pt total through 4 games. Indeed the Birds would see only 12 more points on the ground (including the 6 this week) in their remaining 9 fixtures. Align that to the previous observations on the Mythical Creatures fall from their Week 4 plateau, throw in Donny’s uncanny habit of having unusual in-game kicking injuries , his usual heavy dose of other “normal” injuries and you pretty much get the overall picture. Doug Baldwin was a reach as No 2 pick overall but understandable given the hard to fathom run on receivers that was in progress . Third Rounder Jordan Reed is an All ALFF Bust select contender but of a glut of players taken before the nibbles were up for grabs only 4th selection Travis Kelce and Kirk Cousins ( 6th Rd) proved to be the genuine article. When Freeman dipped .. it was really all on Cousins and Kelce and a kicking game that somehow survived the early loss of Caleb Sturgis, Jake Elliott proving to be one of the better pick-ups on the transaction front. The big fade out is not an unfamiliar story in Baylerville.... depth of roster arguably again a contributing factor. Donny will draft in the No 4 slot in the 2018 draft. Marty’s second season sweep on the trot reduces Donny’s overall lead in the RSS to 23-18.
Sleeper of the Week
With coach Donny unable to muster a Sleeper that would have kept his season alive the Sleeper focus switched to other matters. Time will tell if being seeded No 1 or No 2 will have much bearing on the Drillers fortunes.. but the Commish definitely missed a trick this week. In his pre-match considerations it was very much a toss up between pick-ups Austin Ekeler and Alex Collins for the RB 2 slot.. with the former getting the nod. Had the Drillers supremo went with Collins instead he would have netted 12 additional points... beaten the Steelers 37-32 ... and secure that No 1 seed. Instead the Ricker ends the regular season as he started it .. with a loss and the Sleeper of the Week prize.