So I hear there’s a football game this weekend. I wouldn’t know since the Bears are idle.
The Bears should be in hibernation here for a while, and I’m having a hard time manufacturing things to write about. I’m the last guy to talk about fantasy football to people that don’t care about fantasy football, but since my story has a Bears spin, I figured I’d share it.
Plus, back in August, I solicited advice from the readers. I wound up with the first pick in my 12-team league this year, and I wondered if others would make the safe pick and take LT, or if I should have taken Adrian Peterson, about whom I was skeptical that he could actually finish a season without being injured.
Of course I took the safe route and selected LT, and while LT still had a good year (top 5), he didn’t have an “LT year”. And Peterson wound up being in the top 2. The #1 rated fantasy back? Matt Forte, who I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole for no other reason than he was a Bears offensive player. The woman that selected Forte in the eighth or tenth round asked me what I thought when she took him, then watched him succeed all year. More on that later.
So I took LT, Michael Turner (good call), Anquan Boldin (good call), and Ryan Grant, Carson Palmer, John Kitna and Braylon Edwards (terrible despite their high rankings). I take the Bear defense every year, and this season with them getting torched and no return game, they became more of an achilles’ heel than a benefit, even though they were still top 5. More on this later, too.
In the fourth week of the season, I believe I was 1-3, ready to write my check to the commissioner as I always do, frustrated that my team sucks every year.
But thankfully at that point LT began to turn his season around. Michael Turner was unbelievable, and luckily I was able to make some deft pickups like Tampa’s Antonio Bryant, Santana Moss, Matt Ryan at quarterback and even the unknown Pierre Thomas who heated up at the end of the year.
Lo and behold, I made the playoffs as the second seed with a bye, somehow won the first game, and wound up in the championship game against the woman who fielded Matt Forte.
The week before the championship, I had acquired Philadelphia’s defense to hedge against the Bears getting blowed up every week. In the championship game I would face Forte, as mentioned, as well as Aaron Rodgers at QB, who also had a heck of a year fantasy-wise. Additionally, the Bears were playing the Packers on Monday night of Championship week, and I had an interesting decision on my hands.
I agonized over my lineups for that championship game. Matt Schaub had been red hot the last month of the season, so I benched Matt Ryan at Minnesota and picked up Schaub. Schaub wound up having a terrible game at Oakland, of course. And I decided that I was going to have faith in the Bears defense-which isn’t a common thing for me-and start them instead of the Philadelphia defense I felt I could trust more at that point.
The result? I won the fantasy league by taking the championship game—-by 4.5 points out of 200-some. If I wouldn’t have had faith in the Bear defense, I wouldn’t have won. Now that I’ve won one league, I can play forever and not really care how I do.
Now if only I could collect the money from people.