Great Moments in Fantasy Football History-9/21/2008: The Wildcat

Most of us here have played loads of fantasy football, especially in the last 10 years since the fantasy sports boom of the early 2000s. Throughout that time, there have been many “moments” that we remember due to the inception of some amazing collection of statistics, deliverance of a future star to the world, or most importantly, a performance that carried your team to the win. We all have these moments, and most of us share exceptional ones.

September 21, 2008, NFL 2008 Season Week 3

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

This game has significant value to not only fantasy football, but NFL history as well. This game introduced a successful version of the college staple “Option Play” to the modern NFL known as “The Wildcat Formation”, the   Wikipedia  description is as follows

Wildcat formation describes a formation for the offense in gridiron football in which the ball is snapped not to the quarterback but directly to player of another position lined up at the quarterback position (in most systems, this is a running back, but some playbooks have the wide receiver, fullback, or tight end taking the snap). The Wildcat features an unbalanced offensive line and looks to the defense like a sweep behind zone blocking. A player moves across the formation prior to the snap. However, once this player crosses the position of the running back who will receive the snap, the play develops unlike the sweep.

During this game, the Miami Dolphins unveiled the first instance of this formation, which allowed their two great Running Backs, Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown, on the field at the same time. The first time it was run, here was the score on the play:

>>Ronnie Brown right guard for 2 yards, touchdown

Miami would run the play 5 more times throughout the game, and here are the results of 4 of those plays.

>>Ronnie Brown left guard for 15 yards, TD
>>Ronnie Brown right guard for 5 yards, TD
>>Ronnie Brown pass complete deep left to Anthony Fasano for 19 yards, TD
>>Ronnie Brown up the middle for 62 yards, TD

The success of the play was amazing as it showed the Patriots and the NFL as a whole would have to plan for this offensive scheme or face the consequences.

At the end of the day, Ronnie Brown was enshrined into the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame, with the below box score:

Player Cmp Att Yds TD Att Yds TD Red Yds TD
Ronnie Brown 1 1 19 1 17 113 4 1 9 0

In standard scoring leagues, that leaves Brown with a points total of 40.2, leading many a fantasy team to the win for the week.

The Wildcat success was somewhat short-lived, as teams prepared for it, and schemes were created to prevent the big play from it, but Ronnie Brown, on that afternoon in September in 2008, will forever be a Great Moment in Fantasy Football History.

Week 3 Round Up

It’s a new day in Knoxville as the Vols finally knocked the 800 pound gorilla off their backs by beating Florida. It was hard to escape the story this week about the 11 year streak or all the ways the world was different the last time the Vols beat the Gators. For now all of that is over.

This will be a huge confidence boost to the team, the coaching staff, and the fans. After looking very sloppy in their first three games, this team went out and played a depressing first half of football that surely had most fans despondent. Tennessee looked worse in the first half against Florida than they had the last couple of years. I thought it was over. I wanted to stop watching.

That’s what made the second half so thrilling. The first TD was nice; I thought it would maybe keep us in the game. And then the tds just kept coming. The big plays, the wide open receivers, the juggling catches down the sideline or the fingertip grab in the end zone for a TD. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

And then we were in the lead… Not only did we take the lead, we made the Gators look stupid in the process. Jalen Hurd turned what should have been a 2 yard run into a 20 yard run, dragging half the Florida team with him, his body hidden underneath a pile of players as he kept moving forward. Our receivers were wide open and gained lots of yards after the catch.

If you count the missed touchdowns in the first half, and the fact that the Vols finished the game on Florida’s 1 yard line, we should have hung 60 some odd points on them – the number one defense in the nation!

This was the game we needed. This game validated Butch Jones and everything he’s been working for. This game –honestly really just the second half –is exactly what we’ve been needing for years: a beatdown of a hated rival. Yeah we only won by 10 points, but anyone who saw the second half knows that that was a beat down.

We needed it because this game was the first in a stretch of brutal SEC games which includes Georgia, Texas A&M, and Alabama. After what I saw from Georgia the last couple of weeks, we should beat them, but you can’t take anything for granted. After that, the next two games will be absolutely savage. A&M can score loads of points and their defense is gelling. We all know what Alabama is capable of.

Beat Georgia and the Vols will be riding a wave of confidence not seen in Knoxville since before the iPhone was invented. All along Butch has been saying “brick by brick” but the structure is almost complete and it’s almost time to move in.

As for the fantasy matchups this week, there’s still one big game left tonight that figures to be a shootout.  Let’s take a look at this past weekend’s matchups and see what we find.

Aye Skipper @ Team GronkIfUrHorny

Lauren got her first win against Jordan on the backs of the Chiefs D and LeSean McCoy.  Jordan had a couple of good players in Jordy Nelson and Travis Kelce, but his running backs didn’t give him much help this week.  This is the only settled matchup this week as everyone else has someone going in MNF.  Jordan slips to 2-1 and Lauren gets to 1-2 on the season.

Team 2Gurley’sOneCup @ MayTheSchwartz BeWithYou

It is entirely possible that Nathan pulls out a win against Colton, but he would need 6 field goals from his kicker without Colton getting anything from his tight end.  I’ve seen kickers do stuff like that before, but it’s probably not likely.  Neither of these guys got what they wanted out of their QBs.  Great play of Christine Michael by Nathan, but he benched Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill and both of them went off.  Colton got a lot of points out of his Colts players and some points out of David Johnson, but we’re all left wondering what on earth happened to the Cardinals?  If this plays out like I think it will, Colton will keep rolling at 3-0 and Nathan will slip to 1-2.

Team JBone12155 @ Team Titans

Even though he has the worst team name in history, Jason is up 41.2 points with only Julio Jones left to play for David.  Jason finally got the performance out of his Lions players that he’s been needing all year.  Marvin Jones may challenge Antonio Brown for #1 receiver by the end of the year.  Roethlisberger didn’t give David near enough points, but he could still win, theoretically.  Julio needs something like 200 yds receiving and 3 tds, but hey, they’re playing the Saints, so anything’s possible.  I know it sucks having to watch the entire Monday night game and stressing over every single snap.  Every time Matt Ryan throws it to any another receiver, David will be yelling at the tv.  I’m just speculating though because I’ve never even met Brian’s “friend” David…..just kidding, David.

Multiple Scorgasms @ Big Daddy

It was nice to see Mitch this past Saturday when he stopped by to watch Tennessee shellac Florida.  I can’t help but think he brought the good luck with him.  He’s down right now to Brian but he has Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks going tonight and this one figures to be a shootout.  Brian finally got the points from Todd Gurley that he needed, but it’s probably not going to be enough this week, because his receivers didn’t help him out enough.  Remember if you have a player who is marked IR or O, you can slide them into your IR slot and pick up another player.  Josh Gordon is coming back soon so Brian will get some receiver help.

Bill Cosby’s Sleepers @ Team Spurlock

I’m in a tight matchup with Coleman with 4 guys going tonight between the 2 of us.  I took a flyer on Minnesota’s defense and they paid off with a masterful performance against one of the league’s best offenses in Carolina.  Unless Matt Ryan helps me out though, I may lose this one.  Can’t believe I’m betting on Matt fucking Ryan.  He is the #1 FF QB so far this year though and they’ve got a chance to score lots of points on the Saints.  Coleman had 91 points on his bench but it may not matter if he gets what he needs from Mark Ingram, Devonta Freeman and Coby Fleener. There could be a lot of points tonight, so we’re going to have to keep an eye on this game even though the presidential debate is also on tonight.

Some other random thoughts:  Colton will likely be the leader in the clubhouse as far as best record goes.  If I lose tonight, he’ll be all alone atop the leaderboard.  There’s still a lot of games left to play but he’s looking tough to beat right now.

How good did Dak Prescott look last night?  Cowboys fans must be riding high right now.  If you’re Jerry Jones and Tony Romo gets healthy, what do you do?  As long as Prescott plays this well, I think Tony Romo won’t ever get to 100% if you know what I mean.  If Romo is truly healthy and Dak stumbles, then you’ll see Romo take back over.  But the Tony Romo era in Dallas could very well be over.  Dak and Zeke Elliott behind that Dallas O-Line could be a force to reckon with this year and for years to come.

Why are the Colts wasting Andrew Luck’s talent by refusing to put a great team around him?  Will he wake up in a few years and wonder what could have been had the Colts only given him the talent he deserves?

The Eagles could make the Super Bowl.  Carson Wentz looks like the real deal. They embarrassed the Steelers yesterday and handed them their worst loss since 1989.  

The Patriots don’t have a QB as Brady is still out and everybody else is hurt.  Does anyone doubt that if they put Edelman or anyone else in there that they’ll still win?  This defense is sick.  As long as Belichick is in charge this team is going to win, no matter who plays QB.

Denver didn’t miss a beat.  Elway looks like a genius. Minnesota is the real deal; their defense will keep them in every game they play.  Aaron Rodgers might be back on track, finally. • Everybody was hyping Jacksonville this year, but they’re the same old Jags. Oakland has improved faster than they have…

Y’all have a good week and good luck tonight!

 

Week 3 Abuelo’s League Fantasy Preview

In case you’ve been living under a rock, this week is Tennessee-Florida week. There’s a lot of pressure on Butch Jones to win this game. As I’ve been saying, winning this game would go a log way to calming many fans’ growing fears that Butch Jones is not the long-term answer at head coach that fans have been searching for. If the Vols lose yet another one, they will be calling for Jones to be fired.

Even if Tennessee were to win the rest of their games this season, the wait and tension week to week will be nerve racking for all involved. If they win the rest of their games including Alabama it will appease most people, but many will still have the bad taste in their mouths from the Florida game. Each week that passes will carry with it the reminder that we didn’t beat Florida and another loss will put us out of contention for an SEC title. If the Vols were to win the rest of their games after Florida, it will take months to be able to look back on it and see that it was only one conference loss, but each passing day will be brutal to bear.

If you want to see what the world was like the last time we beat the gators, check out this article from SB Nation: https://goo.gl/HdT5OC

While we wait on that, let’s take a look at this weekend’s upcoming fantasy matchups.

2Gurley’s OneCup (-7.7) @ MayTheSchwartz BeWithYou
Colton and Nathan face each other this week. Colton is 2-0 and only 10 points back from first place. For some reason he drafted both Colts receivers but it hasn’t stopped him yet. The Colts will need to score a lot of points this year because their defense is so bad so this strategy may eventually pay off. Carson Palmer is a solid fantasy QB although he tends to get hurt once a season. For Nathan, it looks like Cam Newton is going to have another great season, but he’s thin at RB. He’s gonna need more than 10 points out of Dez Bryant and 4.8 out of his RBs if he wants to contend this year.

Team JBone12155 @ Team Titans (-8.7)
Jason put all his eggs in one basket with Detroit and it didn’t pay off again. Most people probably thought Detroit would score a lot of points against Tennessee, but the Titans played tough and came out with a win. Antonio Brown had a poor outing last week but fortunately he doesn’t face the Bengals every week. Kelvin Benjamin is poised for a great year though for him. Jason needs a win to avoid slipping too far down in the standings. David (Titans) is a guy I’ve never met, but he’s 1-1 and favored this week versus Jason. David had a good, not great week last week and has some potentially great fantasy players in Julio Jones and Demarco Murray—players at the core of some championship teams in the past. Not sure why he started the Jets D over the Cards, but he probably won’t do that again.

Aye Skipper @ Team GronkIfUrHorny (-6.2)
Last week, Lauren had nearly as many bench points as regular points. DeAngelo Williams is a must-start at least until Bell comes back for Pittsburgh and he proved that again last week. Lauren is 0-2 but has a good chance to get a win this weekend if she starts the right guys. Jordan beat Mitch last week in a tight game. If Andrew Luck has a great week, Jordan will probably win, if not, he likely won’t. The thing is though that you want consistent players, not guys who score 44 one week and 10 the next. Jordan is 2-0 and 3rd in the standings so he’s in good shape to wait and see if his guys start playing more consistently.

Multiple Scorgasms (-6.8) @ Big Daddy
Mitch and Brian face off this week. Brian is surely getting nervous about his 1st round pick, Todd Gurley because he hasn’t been effective yet. Eric Decker isn’t flashy, but he scores a lot and at this point he’s a must start as a WR2 or Flex. If Josh Gordon comes back and plays like his old self, that will be a huge help for Brian. He will need it if his RBs continue to perform this poorly. He’s 2-0 though, so there’s some room for error. Mitch is 0-2 and he suffered a huge blow with Peterson basically being out for the rest of the year. Langford hasn’t panned out as we thought he would. I think Stefon Diggs is a must start; he just keeps scoring. Mitch has a few good QBs so maybe a trade for some RB help is in order. Brian is vulnerable so Mitch could get a win this week and be right back on track.

Bill Cosby’s Sleepers (-1.1) @ Team Spurlock
This is the closest “spread” in the league this week. For some reason I drafted Blake Bortles as my QB. I don’t deserve to win making decisions like that. I am now attempting a reboot with Matt Ryan. If it weren’t for Matt Forte and his 29 points last week, I would have lost to Nathan. That won’t happen every week so I’ve got to find some consistency out of the rest of my roster. Coleman is 0-2 and he had a pretty bad week last week with only his QB in double figures. His bench had nearly as many points as his active lineup. He’s got several players in the New Orleans-Atlanta game and with both team’s defenses as strong as a wet paper towel, he figures to get a lot of points out of that game. We’ll see how it turns out.

Good luck to everybody this weekend and Go Vols!