What the Hell is the LB6?
Greetings to all the Riff Raff fans out there, eagerly anticipating the first weekend of their own, as well as the GMRRFFA, fantasy football playoffs. After Tuesday, I may have spent 6-8 hours in the last two days not revisiting my roster of unproven underdogs against the powerhouse #1 seed, FIL. Instead, I'd taken to Twitter, hounding every Fantasy Football Twitter handle who asked which player brought me to post-season glory.
And the answer shouldn’t surprise anyone – my ascension to the post-season wasn’t due to my band of underdogs; instead, my clinching the playoffs was due to the mediocrity of GMRRFFA second class. That’s right, I’ve declared myself the King of the Second Class Teams this year, and with good reason. The six owners facing off in the Loser’s Bracket (henceforth the LB6) this weekend are nothing short of abysmal, with a combined record of 30-48 (egads!), or a .384 winning percentage.
Know what, the LB6 vs the top eight in the league are a combined 14-33, or a .297 winning percentage. That’s… cataclysmic, even considering Week 9 when the LB6 were 3-1 against the top 8 (best of the season). Let’s be clear, its bad. So bad that for the first time in GMRRFFA history, a team with a losing record actually made the big 8 post season (thanks for nothing guys!) and that’s largely because of the Commish’s 6 wins, five came against the LB6…
In any case, I detailed the real playoffs on Tuesday, and I’m all about making picks, so see my choices on the right. BUT let’s be honest; the underlying “How the fuck does this all shake out?” league wide question this year has been surrounding the newly-created LB6 tax benefit, which as far as I know, it’s the first time I’ve seen a fantasy football league incorporate such a proposal. When I first thought about the idea, GMRRFFA was a bit hampered by being an auction draft, so owners couldn’t trade future draft picks like normal NFL teams, yet I looked at the NBA, who sends cash and expiring contracts all season to move assets, and BOOM we had an idea.
Thanks to a handful of owners, we came up with a fair way to trade future draft dollars, ensuring some balance and certainty that some owners wouldn’t sell out, win and ghost on the league leaving a barren roster of non-keepers for 2019 (Remember, if you traded future draft dollars this year, you aren’t getting paid until you make more than $100 as that actual money goes towards your team’s 2019 league dues).
So, here we are, 52 fucking trades later, $624 2019 draft dollars changed hands, including $109 collected in the league tax, rewarded to the winner of the LB6. In less than three weeks, someone like Smeet could have $530 draft dollars for 2019 while four owners in the post season will have the bare minimum $225. In fact, Smeet winning the LB6 would mean he has more than double the ’19 budget of six teams next year, including LB6 participant Coop. I’m scared for the repercussions next year but pleasantly surprised at how engaged all 14 owners have been over the course of the season, and all of a sudden, for the first time in fantasy football history, the Loser’s Bracket actually matters. At this point, this seems appropriate:
This is a long way to get to the lead, which is clearly buried by 550 words, but I’m satisfying the NEEDS of the Riff Raff audience by breaking down the LB6 match-ups this weekend!
#9 The Unicorn (6-7) vs. #10 Coop (6-7)
Just looking at the first match-up, this column is going to be a struggle. Most of these teams lack any real homerun hitters, wastelands of fantasy football rosters to be certain, and the apparent poor roster management is evident at nearly every corner. That said, the Unicorn pulled off a massive upset in Week 13, besting League cyborg Tito Galen, en route to a sixth victory that gets him Coop instead of Stabs. But let's be honest, the Unicorn’s team is utter garbage – seriously, the roster features Ty Montgomery (the Unicorn’s SECOND Baltimore RB) in his starting roster plus immortal football stars like Tyler Locket, Dante Pettis and Jimmy Graham. The only player projected to exceed 13 points this week is Cam Newton, whom the Unicorn traded for last week and promptly threw four INTs.
More fun, because I can’t ignore the Zeke trade to allegedly help increase and stabilize the Unicorn’s scoring (by acquiring Rodgers, Yeldon and Tate) post-Week 7… Just remember, pre-Zeke trade, the Unicorn averaged 108.5 and post-trade, his team averaged 106.8 (so the Unicorn achieved his goals?). That said, the Unicorn has two back-to-back games of 133/134, so maybe he’s surging. Meanwhile, he’s facing Coop, whom he beat in Week 4, 116 to 93, with a roster that currently only includes the same Kicker in his starting line-up, so take what you will from that match-up.
Coop’s trade report card was labeled “Incomplete” last week but let’s be honest that he’s likely finishing as a “Loser.” He went 1-3 down the stretch, missing out on the playoffs by one game (remember when he lost to Smeet by three points in Week 10?) and dropping an abhorrent 70 points last week. I give Coop credit for his consistent loyalty to his players; he has five players in his starting line-up that he played in Week 1, which is the best in the league, but I’d remind him that he won just six games and averaged 117 points per week, 10th best in the league.
Commissioner’s Pick: The Unicorn
#11 Toby Kobach (6-7) vs. #12 Stabs (5-8)
I’ve been largely positive for Toby this year and results prove the case; he’s 3-5 against the playoff teams with a margin of victory in those contests at just -7.7 (best among the LB6 teams). The point is he’s frisky, finishing 3-1 down the stretch averaging 133 points per week (again, the best among the LB6). I’ll knock his trade deadline performance, but his roster is pretty respectable: Wentz is trending up; Lindsey has a higher YPC than Saquon Barkley; Juju is in the midst of a debate as to who is Pitt’s #1 WR; Godwin will get an uptick in targets; and, Theo Riddick circa 2013 was decent.
Meanwhile, everyone fears Stabs, or something like that. As the GMRRFFA head counsel, he clearly knows how to blackmail as evident by numerous heists of CPA Mark Hutchinson (nabbing Mahomes and Chubb for Kamara; Tarik Cohen for Deshaun Watson) – anyone in the Boys Chat would not be shocked that Dorne’s owner would likely caught in compromising positions, but no one else has exploited it as well as Stabs, ESQ. That said, in Week 11, Stabs with Watson, recently-traded Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks, plus RB 2 Jalen Richard averaged 79 points per week. The Mahomes/Cohen/Chubb/Sammy Watkins replacements average 75 per week, so I think its safe to continue to fear Stabs today as much as you did two or three weeks ago, but if you’re fearing 7th best scoring team in the league, you’re likely in the LB6 anyways.
Commissioner’s Pick: Toby Kobach
#13 Fredo Maisel (4-10) vs. #14 Smeet (3-10)
God, I promised myself some weeks ago I’d try not to discuss these guys at length for the remainder of the season, but this match-up is harrowing on many levels. They both have a ton of cash for next year ($421 for Smeet, $389 for Fredo) and winning an additional $109 would be scary, though I’m certain if either won the LB6, they’d screw up the draft regardless. Recapping both their rosters is like navigating the aftermath of a typhoon – its destructive force leaves little to admire – but Fredo has some pieces in Goff, Golladay, and… nevermind. Smeet’s doing well with Trubisky, a is-he-or-is-he-not-an-RB1 Marlon Mack, and Tyler Boyd. In any case, these two teams have exactly three starters ranked in the top 10 at their positions (Goff and the Rams D for Fredo, the Texans kicker for Smeet) so who knows honestly.
Subsequently, Fredo is 2-9 in his last 11 (you read that correctly) and ranks 13th in scoring. Not to be outdone, Smeet’s 3-10 in his last 13 and hasn’t broken triple digits since his Week 10 performance over Coop. Not to be outdone, Fredo hasn’t broken 75 points per week in his last two. Not to be outdone, Smeet didn’t break triple digits in 6 of his 13 match-ups this year. Not to be outdone, Fredo’s averaging just 101 points per week over his last 6. Not to be outdone, Smeet is averaging just 100 over his last six.
You get the point. This match-up is probably the biggest “Con” for making the Loser’s Bracket relevant. It hurts my eyes. It hurts my soul. It compromises the GMRRFFA conglomerate. It compromises the sanctity of fantasy football.
Commissioner’s Pick: First team to 85 (Smeet)