Guillotine Leagues: Week 7 Recap

Week 7 is over, and guillotine leagues are now 10-team leagues.

I survived in all my leagues, again. For the second week in a row, I made the dumb mistake of failing to substitute Tyreek Hill for Dede Westbrook, but no harm resulted, since Dede ended up with more points this week.

The average score for the 5 teams that got chopped in my leagues was 55.97. If you scored 63 points, you were safe in all my leagues. Here is the average score of chopped teams in certain other weeks.

Week 2: 62.6
Week 3: 70.45
Week 5: 73.95
Week 6: 69.1

I got this information from e-mails sent to me by Fanball, but I did not get e-mails in weeks 1 and 4.

Spending Report

For the first time, nobody spent over 500 on a player. Nobody even spent 400. Spending is reaching the point where I’m getting some good players: I got Ingram for 79, Keenan Allen for 65, Hunter Henry for 44, Julian Edelman for 43, Emmanuel Sanders for 35, Brandin Cooks for 31, Kareem Hunt for 22, and LeSean McCoy for 19. Here are the players in my 7 leagues who went for 20 or more FAAB:

Josh Jacobs: 357, 211, 175
Christian McCaffrey: 355
Leonard Fournette: 271
Cooper Kupp: 240
Patrick Mahomes: 240
Alvin Kamara: 204
Deshaun Watson: 201, 57
James Conner: 200, 125, 95
Nick Chubb: 175, 127
Julio Jones: 145
Chris Godwin: 126, 91
Dak Prescott: 99
Tyler Lockett: 87
Todd Gurley: 80, 75, 67
Mark Ingram: 79
Kenny Golladay: 77
Ty Johnson: 77, 33, 29
D.J. Chark: 70
Keenan Allen: 65
George Kittle: 52
Adam Thielen: 51
Davante Adams: 51
Mike Evans: 51
Kirk Cousins: 51
Mohamed Sanu: 51
Jacoby Brissett: 46
Kenny Stills: 46
Brandin Cooks: 44, 31
Hunter Henry: 44
Julian Edelman: 43
Amari Cooper: 38
Zach Ertz: 35
Emmanuel Sanders: 35
Matt Stafford: 33, 26
Marvin Jones: 33, 25
Calvin Ridley: 33, 25
Tom Brady: 33
Latavius Murray: 31
Jameis Winston: 31
Kyler Murray: 26
Philip Rivers: 24
Marques Valdez-Scantling: 22
Kareem Hunt: 22
Jimmy Graham: 21
LeSean McCoy: 21

Budget Report

There are 70 teams left, of which a grand total of 13 (19%) have over 500 FAAB. If you take away my 5 teams, all over 700, then only 8 out of 65 teams (12%) have half their FAAB left. In comparison, 26 teams (37%) have less than 10% of their budget left. Here’s the distribution:

901 – 1000: 2
801 – 900: 1
701 – 800: 5
601 – 700: 1
501 – 600: 4
401 – 500: 5
301 – 400: 7
201 – 300: 11
101 – 200: 8
0 – 100: 26

Good luck surviving week 8, and Happy Halloween!

Guillotine League: Week 6 Recap

I thought spending was cooling down as guillotine leaguers found Jesus. But I guess they found Jeebus instead. Last week there were only two bids of 400 or over in my seven leagues. This week, there were five. Here are all bids over 20.

Saquon Barkley: 607
Dalvin Cook: 500, 456
Christian McCaffrey: 471
Chris Carson: 400
Cooper Kupp: 334, 185
Leonard Fournette: 316, 171
Melvin Gordon: 299, 37
T.Y. Hilton: 250, 63, 26
Davante Adams: 221, 161, 102
Kenny Golladay: 213, 98
Mark Ingram: 205, 91
Marlon Mack: 201, 175
David Johnson: 200
Travis Kelce: 196
Odell Beckham: 178
Keenan Allen: 171
Josh Jacobs: 141
Hunter Henry: 140, 101, 100
Aaron Jones: 123
Matt Ryan: 111
Evan Engram: 111
Tom Brady: 75
Amari Cooper: 70
James White: 51
Darren Waller: 45
Todd Gurley: 42
Juju Smith-Schuster: 41
Devin Singletary: 41
A.J. Green: 41
Jordan Howard: 35
Jamaal Williams: 35
Larry Fitzgerald: 33
Robert Woods: 31
Jamison Crowder: 29
A.J. Brown: 25
Will Fuller: 21
Jared Cook: 21
Jarvis Landry: 21

Notice the wide range of prices on some of these players. Leonard Fournette: 316 in one league, 171 in another. Cooper Kupp: 334 and 185. Melvin Gordon: 299, 37. T.Y. Hilton: 250, 63, 26. Davante Adams: 261, 161, 102 (I was the one who got him for 102). Golladay: 213, 98. Ingram: 205, 91.

In Gordon’s case I suspect this has to do with most people not believing he’s a superstar this year, and one person thinking he is and thinking that others think he is. In the other cases, I think this is a function of the big spenders not having a lot of money left, so players who would have gone for 300 in all leagues three weeks ago are only going for 300 in leagues where people who would spend 300 on them have money left.

Speaking of depleted treasuries, here is how little FAAB is left. Out of 7 x 11 = 77 teams in contention, this is the number of teams in each FAAB range:

901-1000: 4
801-900: 6
701 – 800: 2
601-700: 6
501-600: 3
401-500: 8
301-400: 10
201-300: 8
101-200: 10
0-100: 20

There are as many teams with 100 FAAB or less as there are with more than 500 – in both cases, 21 teams.

My Team Updates

I made some lineup and auction mistakes due to being too busy to pay close attention. In my ESPN league I left Rex Burkhead in the lineup because I was at a wedding before game time when in was announced he was out. I also kept my bench stacked with injured players in that league (A.J. Green, Chris Herndon, Saquon Barkley) and T.Y. Hilton was on bye, so I had a real shortage of substitutes.

In my Green Knights league (named for the Arthurian legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight), I made two bad mistakes. First, with Gurley anticipated to be out, I was left with only two RBS – Lev Bell and Rashaad Penny – and did not get a backup in case Penny was going to be inactive – as he was. And second, I forgot to put Tyreek Hill in the lineup, so played Dede Westbrook instead.

Nevertheless, I survived in all leagues. My ESPN league was very close – I needed about 14 points from Aaron Rodgers on Monday night to get out of last place. This week I’m in much better position with Saquon and Hilton back and Mike Williams and Jordan Howard claimed at auction (for $30 and $31). It’s a deep league (11 starters, 8 bench) so the latter are clear starters.

Good luck in Week 7. Don’t forget to plan ahead for your week 9 byes: Falcons, Bengals, Rams and Saints.

Guillotine Leagues: Week 5 Recap

Another quick recap before I head off for my cousin-in-law’s wedding. I’m travelling this weekend, so I’m posting earlier than usual in case I don’t get to work on Saturday. That means that unlike in previous week, these totals do not include the (usually modest) Friday night/Saturday morning free agency spending.

This week is 12 team week. There are 12 teams left, so you can evaluate your roster based on how it would look in a 12-team league. I almost said “evaluate your team,” but that would leave out your FAAB total, which is enormously important in guillotine leagues. A weak roster with a strong FAAB advantage could be a better than a strong roster with little FAAB left, at this point.

As expected, bidding continues to cool off. No bids over 600, only one between 500 and 600, one between 400 and 500, and four between 300 and 400.

Here are all the winning bids of $25 or more in my seven Fanball leagues:

Nick Chubb: 579, 221
Cooper Kupp: 461
Aaron Rodgers: 351
Keenan Allen: 335
Le’Veon Bell: 331
David Johnson: 326
Chris Carson: 299
Zach Ertz: 277
James Conner: 251, 200, 110
T.Y. Hilton: 236, 131
Damien Williams: 224
Sony Michel: 201
Mark Ingram: 196
Mike Evans: 189, 103
Carson Wentz: 178, 151
Todd Gurley: 175
Odell Beckham: 152
Darren Waller: 144, 104
Tyler Lockett: 109
Gerald Everett: 108
Robert Woods: 101
LeSean McCoy: 101
Austin Hooper: 100
D.J. Chark: 99
Courtland Sutton: 75
D.K. Metcalf: 75
James White: 67
Mark Andrews: 65
Adrian Peterson: 55
Gardner Minshew: 51
Hollywood Brown: 33
Jacoby Brissett: 31, 26
Sammy Watkins: 31
Alshon Jeffery: 28 (this was my bid)

Overall spending has been higher than I anticipated, which is good for those teams that have survived without spending too much. There are now far more teams with half their budget left or less (52) than with 501 FAAB or more (32), and significantly more teams with 200 FAAB or less (23) than with 801 FAAB or more (15). The breakdown by hundreds is as follows:

901 – 1000: 12
801 – 900: 3
701 – 800: 6
601 – 700: 7
501 – 600: 4
401 – 500: 9
301 – 400: 11
201 – 300: 9
101 – 200: 14
0 – 100: 9

My own totals in the 5 leagues that I remain alive in:
Rusty Blades: 919 (1 team has 1000 (but could be in trouble if it doesn’t get a TE today); nobody else has over 705)
Jacobin: 838 (2nd, 3rd and 4th teams have 808, 710 and 526; nobody else has over 500)
Green Knights: 888 (1st and 2nd place: 920 and 917 FAAB. Nobody else has over 600)
Sydney Carton: 947 (1st place 960; 3 other teams over 500, none over 750)
Bourgeoisie: 903 (3rd place after 986 and 940; no other teams over 700).

Good luck surviving Week 6!


Guillotine Leagues: Week 4 Recap

I lost another Fanball team this week, but not the one I thought. I was worried about Team Bourgeoisie, where I started Jameis Winston, Miles Sanders, Dede Westbrook and Paul Richardson, and Team Sydney Carton, where I started Kirk Cousins, Carlos Hyde, Melvin Gordon, and Larry Fitzgerald. Thos teams survived.

I was not too worried about Team Mine is the Earth and All that Is in It, but I lost. Eulogy below. I was nervoud about QB Kirk Cousins, an emergency fill-in for Jimmy Garoppolo, who was on bye. But I figured my other players – including Alvon Kamara, Will Fuller, Stefon Diggs, and Tyler Lockett – were good enough to let me survive. Wrong I was.


Some moves that I made that I probably shouldn’t have:

  1. Drafting a QB and top WR from the same team. I advised against doing this in my 7 Tactics for Drafting in Guillotine Leagues article, on the grounds that fantasy scoring between these two positions meaningfully correlate. But I did it anyway in this league. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking carefully enough while drafting, and only realized afterwards that I made this mistake.
  2. To correct this mistake, I got Jimmy Garoppolo off waivers. Which was a good move given that I made the mistake with Cousins – it’s just that my team got eliminated on his bye. A better move would have been to get Daniel Jones, who went for 10 FAAB (I spent 16 on Jimmy).
  3. This move hurt me: When I found out on the weekend that Rashaad Penny wasn’t going to start, I went to my bench for a replacement and found nobody there. I hadn’t worried about it during the week, because I did not take the injury concerns too seriously. When it came close to game time, it was too late to switch in my other RBs who had 1:00 games, T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake. Not that either of them scored enough points to save me. This is a rookie mistake, which only happened because I’m in too many leagues and didn’t take the time to set rosters carefully. But there’s a hidden lesson here for Fanball guillotine leagues, which have shallow benches and do not allow free agent pickups: by Friday evening’s waiver deadline, make sure your bench can handle an unexpected injury. That might include taking injury rumors more seriously that you would in other leagues.

Bidding Report

Spending has cooled off (only 11 bids over $200), but even so, I think there’s significant overspending, including two bids over 700 and three over 600. Here are all the players in my seven leagues that went for $25 or more.

Alvin Kamara: 755
Dalvin Cook: 701, 611
Patrick Mahomes: 444
Chris Godwin: 350
Odell Beckham: 319
Juju Smith-Schuster: 317, 113
Todd Gurley: 213
Kerryone Johnson: 211
Kenny Golladay: 201
Joe Mixon: 201
Jaylen Samuels: 199! (next highest bid: 13)
Delanie Walker: 161, 27
David Montgomery: 151
Chris Carson: 151
Tyreek Hill: 141
Brandin Cooks: 113
Courtland Sutton: 100, 85
Marlon Mack: 88
Tom Brady: 85
Jacoby Brissett: 81
Dak Prescott: 70
Ronald Jones: 66
Jordan Howard: 61
Hollywood Brown: 61
Philip Lindsay: 57
A.J. Brown: 53
O.J. Howard: 51
Josh Gordon: 41 (this was me – my highest acquisition cost of the season, I think)
Darell Williams: 37
Sammy Watkins: 35
Allen Robinson: 35
Will Fuller: 30
Desean Jackson: 27
Jimmy Garoppolo: 27
Tyrell Williams: 26

FAAB Report

Of the 33 teams (out of 98) that had between 901 and 1000 FAAB a week ago, only 14 remain (out of 91). The FAAB distribution is as follows.

901 – 1000: 14 teams
801 – 900: 13 teams
701 – 800: 9 teams
601 – 700: 8 teams
501 – 600: 6 teams
401 – 500: 7 teams
301 – 400: 9 teams
201 – 300: 9 teams
101 – 200: 9 teams
0 – 100: 7 teams

The spending will only cool more in the coming weeks. This week you could get deals like Juju for 113 and Mack for 88. In the coming weeks, there will be better and better deals, allowing you to improve your team for cheap.

Eulogy for Team Mine is the Earth and All that Is in It

In case you didn’t get the team name, it is a reference to the first two lines and last two lines of Rudyard Kipling’s great poem “If”:

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Onward! Good luck keeping your head in Week 5.

Guillotine Leagues: Week 3 Recap

I lost my first Fanball league, the one I’ve named Team Ali LaPointe. Eulogy below. This brings my total number of guillotine leagues down from 9 to 7, only three weeks in. Here’s my losing lineup:

QB: Andy Dalton
RB: Latavius Murray
RB: Nyhiem Hines
WR: Josh Gordon
WR: Odell Beckham
TE: Vernon Davis
FLEX: Mike Williams

How did I end up with a lineup this putrid? Well, here was my draft, from the 14 spot:
1: Odell Beckham (week 3 starter)
2: Antonio Brown (out of the NFL)
3: Hunter Henry (injured)
4. James White (didn’t play for joyous family reasons)
5. Rashaad Penny (injured)
6. Latavius Murray (bad pick)
7. Nyheim Hines (bad pick)
8. Josh Gordon (good pick, but too early)
9. Devin Singletary (great value, but injured week 3)
10. Albert Wilson
11. Ryan Fitzpatrick
12. Andy Dalton

Vernon Davis was a substitute tight end, and Mike Williams a value pickup. This was my first draft of the year, from late June. I don’t think I did a terrible job drafting, but I now think I should have picked a decent QB early. Five more points and I would have survived, which makes me think that if either Penny or White had played, I would have made it.

A couple more teams are making me nervous. In my Team Sydney Carton, my good RBs are Melvin Gordon (acquired for 4 FAAB last week – just a stroke of luck) and Matt Breida (bye). My other RBs are Carlos Hyde, Darrell Henderson, and Ty Johnson. Hyde is the obvious starter, but a scary #1 RB. I will probably have to risk a 3-touch game for Melvin Gordon unless it is announced he’s not playing. At quarterback, I had to pick up Kirk Cousins (after losing a tie-breaker for Minshew) because of a rumor that Stafford – my starting QB – may not be okay. Here’s the current lineup:

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Carlos Hyde
RB: Melvin Gordon
WR: Julio Jones
WR: Brandin Cooks
TE: Zach Ertz
FLEX: Larry Fitzgerald (or Josh Gordon)

Scary. I’d feel slightly better if Ertz had had a big Thursday night game, but he only had an okay game.

My other team is even worse. This is the team I’m calling The Bourgeoisie. It’s my other Antonio Brown team. Here’s the lineup I’m looking at:

QB: Jameis Winston
RB: Mark Ingram
RB: Miles Sanders
WR: Dede Westbrook
WR: Preston Williams
TE: Travis Kelce
FLEX: Paul Richardson

Unlike Team Sydney Carton, which is temporarily set back by the bye and the Melvin Gordon situation, The Bourgeousie just sucks (see what I did there?). My bench is Corey Davis, Antonio Brown, Geronimo Allison, Latavius Murray, and Kirk Cousins. If I survive this week, I might need to actually spend some serious FAAB money to remain in contention.

Spending Report

I think I still have access to all the details of my league, even after Team Ali LaPointe has been eliminated, so I’ll continue to report on all the (over)spending in my leagues. I would have thought all the spend-happy teams would have run out of FAAB by now, but no. There were six bids of $500 or more, five of $400 to $499, four of $300 to $399, five of $200 to $299, thirteen of $100 to $199, and seventeen of $50 to $99. Feast thine eyes on the players in my 7 leagues who went for $50 or more:

DeAndre Hopkins: 653, 651
Derrick Henry: 581 (runner-up bid: 309), 501 (runner-up bid: 500)
Odell Beckham: 512
Cooper Kupp: 501 (runner-up bid: 257)
Pat Mahomes: 485
Davante Adams: 425, 400
Adam Thielen: 425
Josh Jacobs: 401, 300
Le’Veon Bell: 341
Zach Ertz: 311
Julian Edelman: 300
Wayne Gallman: 298 (runner-up bid: 39), 157, 107, 101, 78, 59
Kerryon Johnson: 277
Daniel Jones: 270 (runner-up bid: 102), 64
Melvin Gordon: 227, 126
James White: 220, 150
Calvin Ridley: 157
Tyler Boyd: 156
Juju Smith-Schuster: 155
Philip Rivers: 154
Austin Hooper: 133
Rex Burkhead: 118
Devin Singletary: 100
Rashaad Penny: 100
David Montgomery: 96
Darrel Williams: 89, 50
Mike Williams: 79
John Ross: 77
D.J. Chark: 76
Peyton Barber: 75
Hollywood Brown: 75
LeSean McCoy: 67
Paul Richardson: 61
Tarik Cohen: 58
T.J. Hockenson: 57
Nelson Agholor: 55
Philip Dorsett: 51

Here is the FAAB distribution among the 7 x 14 = 98 remaining teams in my leagues:

901-1000 FAAB: 33
801-900: 10
701-800: 13
601-700: 9
501-600: 3
401-500: 8
301-400: 7
201-300: 5
101-200: 3
0-100: 7

Quick Tip of the Week

If you are trying to decide between players to drop, drop the one who is more likely to be picked up by another team, to increase the amount of FAAB spent by other teams in your league. If you can’t predict who that is, use the players’ ownership percentage as a proxy.


Ali LaPointe was a real-life Algerian revolutionary terrorist, and one of the main characters in one of my favorite movies of all time, The Battle of Algiers. He was not guillotined, but killed in the Battle of Algiers by the French colonial forces after he was located and refused to surrender. He was hiding out in a false wall in a residential home in the casbah, and the French killed him by bombing the house he was in, causing it to collapse on him. As the last revolutionary leader in the casbah of Algiers, his killing marks the moment that the French won the Battle of Algiers, but lost the war to retain control of Algeria.

I named a guillotine league after him because in the movie (don’t know if this happened in real life), he was transformed from a common criminal to a revolutionary by witnessing a political beheading carried out in prison.

Good luck surviving the guillotine in Week 4!