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.


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