Guillotine League, Week 16: Championship

I’ve made it to the championship week! And I’m in good position, having a better team than my opponent,  though not as dominant as it would have been if I hadn’t made a few missteps along the way. Looking forward to the weekend and, hopefully, a championship in this winner-take-all league.


Last week I finally finished with the most points. It helped to only have two other teams. I got 175.9. The second place team – my opponent this week – got 129.2. My outstanding players were Hopkins with 39, Gurley with 34.4, and Mixon with 27. Disappointers were Roethlisberger with 13.1, Barkley with 9.6, Michael Thomas with 11.9, Kelce with 13.1, and Smith-Schuster with 8. Players I left on the bench included Dalvin Cook with 29.3 and Davante Adams with 21.9.

My Week 14 Lineup

QB: Ben Roethlisberger 13.1
RB: Saquon Barkley 9.6
RB: Todd Gurley 34.4
WR: Michael Thomas 11.9
WR: DeAndre Hopkins 39
TE: Travis Kelce 13.1
Flex: Juju Smith-Schuster 8
Flex: Ezekiel Elliott 19.8
Flex: Joe Mixon 27

Total: 175.9

Bench: David Johnson, Robert Woods, Davante Adams, D. Cook, Thielen, Ertz, Brandin Cooks, Ebron, Melvin Gordon, Fournette

The Chop

Since it was the semi-finals, the team that lost was a great team. Chopped players included Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Julio Jones, Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb, Mike Evans, Gronk, George Kittle, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson, and T.Y. Hilton.

My team and bench were already stacked, and I had $90 FAAB left to my opponent’s zero. That made my task of figuring out which players to snatch tough. Some players like Kamara and Hill are likely starters, and the rest was trying to figure out which players to keep away from the other team.

Ironically, the other team was able to significantly improve with the players I left for it than I was able to improve with the FAAB money I had to spend. It was able to upgrade Jared Cook to George Kittle, and grab Keenan Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Carson, and Chubb. It was also able to get some players off my bench, including David Johnson and Dalvin Cook, who I dropped to make room for Tyreek, Julio Jones and Kamara.

In part, my opponent was able to snag some good players because I was trying to strategically churn. I figured I could keep an additional seven or so players away from my opponent dropping players to waivers every day and then outbidding my opponent on them. That way, besides keeping the players on my bench away from my opponent, I could keep seven players constantly on waivers and therefore unavailable to my opponent. What I did not realize is that ESPN leagues do not allow this, and so on Thursday a bunch of players that I dropped went straight into free agency.


Melvin Gordon’s unremarkable Thursday evening was more than matched by Keenan Allen’s, giving me a 14.4 – 10.8 lead.

ESPN has me projected at 183.6 points to my opponent’s 159.1. The survival calculator says I have a 76% chance of winning, assuming a standard deviation of 25 points. At standard deviation 20, the odds would be 81%, and at the 15 standard deviation I’ve been using most of the season, the probability would be 88%. Future analysis would really benefit from a determination of  how predictive points projections are.

Here are the complete lineups:

My team:

QB: Andrew Luck
RB: Saquon Barkley
RB: Zeke Elliott
WR: Davante Adams
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
TE: Travis Kelce
FLEX: Todd Gurley
FLEX: Melvin Gordon
FLEX: Alvin Kamara

Bench: Julio Jones, Tyreek ., Eric Ebron, Joe Mixon, Zach Ertz, Robert Woods, Juju Smith-Schuster, Derrick Henry, Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas.

Other team:

QB: Pat Mahomes
RB: Christian McCaffrey
RB: Nick Chubb
WR: Antonio Brown
WR: Amari Cooper
TE: George Kittle
FLEX: TY Hilton
FLEX: Keenan Allen
FLEX: Dalvin Cook

Bench: Edelman, Gronk, Russell  Wilson, Damien Williams, David Johnson, Diggs, Tarik, Chris Carson, Jaylen Samuels, Philip Lindsay.

I like my chances. I feel like I have a couple of iffy players (Gurley if he starts but is not heavily used, Saquon with no OBJ against the Colts, Kamara against Pittsburgh), but so does the other team (Kittle vs the Bears, Dalvin Cook against the Lions with a possibly healthy Damon Harrison, Antonio Brown vs. the Saints’ pass defense).

Good luck to all the finalists out there – here’s hoping for a good championship week of fantasy football.


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