It’s the NJ Huskers World, You’re Just Living In It
Justin Penik (@JPenik74)
It's been quite a bizarre start to the season so far and believe it or not, we are rapidly approaching the halfway point in the NFL season. However in the fantasy season, week 7 marks our official halfway point for the regular season. I think it's safe to say that how the playoff bracket is constructed as of right now, fairly matches the potential of each team. It is pretty awesome to see how the fourth seed to the eight seed are all separated by one game and only two games to the third seed. Some teams may be one trade, one waiver wire pickup, one injury on a better team, to being right in the thick of things.
But in the meantime, we need to talk about the reign of dominance the NJ Huskers has had this season. Mike McKittrick recently left a message on the Bleeding Blue voicemail line (wait, I mean three, three minute voicemails. Francesa would have shut you down after 25 seconds), and that message consisted of comparing my team to the Boston Red Sox. His point being despite me drafting the #1 fantasy QB Russell Wilson at pick 62, the #1 fantasy WR at pick 42, found Will Dissly off of waivers, knew that Dalvin Cook (#2 fantasy RB currently) was going to be the stud he is the second year off of his ACL injury at pick 19, he claims that I treat these guys as if they are "underdogs." He then goes on to claim this blasphemy that instead of Bleeding Blue, I am more like a Boston Red Sox fan, who claims they have a team full of underdogs when in fact, they are rightfully recognized after all. Call me crazy call me maybe, I think my great friend Michael is searching for a way to burn a team that has scored more than 120 points more than any other team this season. I am not going to lie, this has been the best start I have had in a fantasy season out of my eight years of playing. However, I have never had such a top heavy team. Usually I go through the week to week decisions regretting sitting one guy over another. This year, the bench has been a glaring weakness for me. I have struggled trying to find consistency from my go to RB/WR off the bench. The NJ Huskers are one injury to Dalvin Cook, C-Mac, Tyler Lockett, Hunter Henry and/or Chris Godwin from being a mid-pack team.
This is an updating situation as I type this blog: Patrick Mahomes could be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks with a dislocated kneecap (did you see the training staff put that knee back in place on TNF, YUCK!). This marks yet another huge injury Brett Wiley's Mutant Birds have to climb through. After losing the #1 pick for four games (including vs TB), being without Evan Engram and now losing the first QB taken in our draft, it will be interesting to see if Brett can sustain his current five game winning streak.
Week 7 is probably the biggest week for a lot of you looking to solidify your teams as contenders or pretenders. The playoff bracket will look very very different this time next week. With the NJ Huskers playing Max's team, it's virtually serving as a bye week for me (sorry Max, check your lineup bud). For the rest of you, that leaves some nerve wracking matchups all around. Let's take a look at what I feel are the most important ones:
Brett's Mutant Birds (5-1) vs. Mark's Team Bernstiel (3-3)
This Mahomes injury changes everything for Brett's team for the next upcoming weeks. And probably the most interesting fun fact from this season so far is: Team Bernstiel's second leading team fantasy scorer is..... The Patriots Defense (113 points). For context, Ezekiel Elliot, the 8th ranked RB this year, has 109 points. With Mahomes only collecting 7 points this week, Brett's five game winning streak is at risk of coming to an abrupt end. Between the Patriots D playing the Jets Monday night, George Kittle playing in Washington (who do not cover TE's well at all) and Josh Allen facing off against Miami, Mark has the potential to really change the complexity of the league here. Also remember, Brett is getting Saquon Barkley back this week, who has a favorable matchup against Arizona. The Giants need an offensive spark and I can imagine he is going to be heavily involved despite coming off of a high ankle sprain. This is my matchup of the week!
David's Oh Saquon Can You See (3-3) vs. Bocra's Dak Over Wentz (4-2)
If all goes well and right for David, he could find himself going from the 7th seed to the 4th seed. However, after getting some key players back from their bye week last week, Bocra's team looks primed to put up another 150 + point performance. Meanwhile, after Royce Freeman took away catches and a TD from Phillip Lindsay Thursday night (who knew the one week the Huskers needed Freeman to start, he would get almost 17 points? I love being me this year!), and Travis Kelce suffered from Mahomes' departure, David has a steep mountain to climb this weekend to keep up with Bocra. David has the 7th most points scored in the league this year and unless he gets very lucky this weekend, he will probably remain towards the bottom half of the league.
Jimmy's The Gettlemaniacs (3-3) vs. Mike's Tiki Barber Shop (3-3)
Besides Mark and Brett's game, this matchup will probably be the closest and highest scoring of the weekend. Mike's team has been riddled with injuries and inconsistent play week in and week out and Jimmy's main question is trying to find a consistent Superflex and who the hell will be the main RB in Los Angeles for the Chargers (remember that Why Not Both taco commercial?). Mike has also run into some bad luck this year, scoring the third most points in the league while having the third most points scored against him as well. I say Mike comes away with the win and realistically, this is the first time I'm actually picking Mike's team to win a game this year in my brain. I love ya Mike, just sometimes, don't love your team but it's coming together, which kinda scares me.