Last night, the defense of my fantasy football league championship came to an end, as I was eliminated in the semifinals. While I will play this week for third place, it is anticlimactic. Heading into the semifinals, I felt good about my chances, but fate stepped in.
On Thursday night, Keenan Allen came crashing down in the end zone after almost making an incredible touchdown catch. Allen, who was expected to score 20 points, left the game with a big goose egg. It was later revealed that he had suffered a hip pointer. I was in a hole.
The hole got deeper after Phillip Lindsay put up only 8.4 points against Cleveland. The Browns, who had allowed 4.7 yards per carry to tailbacks this season, limited Lindsay to 24 yards on 14 carries. The only reason he got 8.4 points was because he caught four passes.
I had seven more starters, but one was a kicker and one was a defense, so I was going to need some big performances on Sunday from my other five starters. I had Andrew Luck, David Johnson, Amari Cooper, Aaron Jones and my tight end, Ian Thomas, on Monday night.
I benched Jones before kickoff in favor of Jaylen Samuels. This was a difficult decision that I wrestled with for days, but I finally opted to go with the Pittsburgh running back that I had picked up after James Conner was injured. Samuels had a good game, scoring 19.2 points.
If I had started Jones, the losing margin would have been worse. Jones left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury after putting up 0.8 points. I have now lost Conner, Allen and Jones – three of my best starters, in two weeks. If I somehow had made the finals, I couldn’t have won it.
Johnson did his part. Helped by an early touchdown run and three receptions, he put up 19.1 points. But Luck managed only 9.7 points, attempting only 27 passes. In that same game, Cooper caught four of seven targets for 32 yards. I was trailing by 26.3 points heading into last night’s game.
It I had been down 26.3 points and had Christian McCaffrey on my team, I would have had a chance. With a second-rate tight end, I had no chance. Thomas caught two passes for 14 yards and put up only 3.4 points. I had saved my worst performance of the year for the semis.