The dust has settled on the Joes Be Pros regular season with the end of the Week 13 games and the standings remained unchanged from where they were at the end of Week 12. First place and top seed for the Fantasy playoffs went to Maaaarv (11-2) managed by Chris Meaney. Second place went to Team A (9-4). Both teams will get a bye for the quarter-finals that will be played this week.
Kai Forbath Fanclub (8-5), managed by Scott Engel, finished in third place with his Week 13 win over Luke’s Team. In fact, KFF didn’t just beat Luke Benigno’s squad, he destroyed them 165.46 to 114.24. Since both teams will be in the playoffs, it’s worth noting that KFF won both regular season matchups against Luke’s team, and the earlier win (Week 2) was also by a large margin, 146.46 to 118.46.
Joe Buck Lite (7-6) edged out Beat Engel’s Team (6-7) by a score of 95.46 to 93.06. The win solidified JBL manager Mike Blewitt’s hold on sixth place, guaranteeing him a playoff berth. He will face Kai Forbath Fanclub in the quarter-final round Week 14. These two teams battled it out in Week 11, with Joe Buck Lite hanging on to win by a score of 127.50 to 116.80.
The remaining playoff spot went to the other “Joe” in the league, The Better Cardano (8-5) managed by Mike Cardano Jr. He barely beat Team A 114.08 to 112.58. Of course, this means that both of the “Joes” in this league made the playoffs. But in a cruel twist of fate, only one of them will get a chance to deeper into the playoffs because Team Luke and The Better Cardano will face each other in the quarter-finals.
I had an opportunity to speak with both “Joes” after they clinched their playoff berths. The text of our conversation follows:
TM: “Congratulations to both of you “Joes” on making the playoffs. You managed to knock six teams that were all managed by Fantasy industry pros. Both of you have a good chance to win the championship. Unfortunately, you are facing each other in the quarter-final round, so only one of you will get to go on to the semi-finals. In your opinion, which of you has a team that can go all the way? The winner between you two will have to face Maaaarv, which is by far the best team in the league with an 11-2 record. Do either of you think he’s beatable?”
Luke Benigno: “I feel that Mike and I both have strong teams. I feel very confident in my side to prevail, though. However, my area of concern is my quarterback position. I’ve had a revolving door there recently between Bortles, Taylor, and now Palmer. However, I think that either one of us can beat Maaaarv in the next round, so whoever advances with go on to win. Maaaarv’s roster has clear holes, and we’ve both proven we can hang with the experts all season. So, I’m looking forward to this weekend’s action.”
Mike Cardano Jr.: Obviously, this is a really big matchup, two Joes squaring off against each other. I’ll be honest, both teams are well-equipped to go all the way. Luke’s got some depth. At wide receiver, he has Crowder, Crabtree and Baldwin. His flex is Michael Thomas who’s playing like a WR1. In fact, he has Brandon Marshall on his bench. Tyreek Hill is emerging too. He’s got quality receivers and he has Le’Veon Bell and Jay Ajayi who’s been tremendous this season. So, he’s got a really good team. However, I have a good arsenal myself. I’ve got Cam Newton who faces a San Diego defense that isn’t mediocre anymore but they’re not great. I’ve got Jordy Nelson and DeVante Adams, both really good receivers. Theo Riddick is my flex. He’s always good in a PPR, and I’m hoping that Eric Ebron will come up big for me. All in all, it’s going to be a close one. I want to come out on top, but now at least one Joe will go to the semi-finals. But Luke and I have proven this season that we can play with the experts and that we can contend with the so-called best.
TM: Before I let you go Mike. I want to ask you about your Dad. You did a good job knocking him off this season. You pretty much left him in the dust. Did you and your Dad have any kind of bet riding on this league, and are you going to be rubbing it in over the holidays?
Mike Cardano Jr.: No, we didn’t have any kind of bet on this. But I will definitely be rubbing it in over the holidays. He’s always talking about how much he knows but Luke and I had no trouble competing with the Pros, and I’ll be reminding him about that during the holidays.
In what turned out to be a completely meaningless game, Gregg’s Super Team (6-7) beat the lost cause Liberty City Wrath (1-12) 130.62 to 74.30. Gregg Sussman’s squad ended up in eighth place, while LCW finished at the bottom of the basement in 12th place.
FerdinandoD’s Team (3-10) was on the losing side against Maaaarv. Nando DiFino entered the season feeling that a couple of trades was all his squad needed to be competitive. Unfortunately, he was only able to pull off one minor deal for Stefon Diggs, who didn’t offer much in the way of help. He ended up in 11th place.
George Kurtz lost yet another close game to Hi There – 144.10 to 143.14, less than one point apart. Oddly enough, when these two teams faced each other in Week 2, the end result was almost identical. The score was 136.80 to 135.12 in favor of Hi There. Once again, they were less than a point apart. Close games like that seemed to happen to George Kurtz all season. In fact, five of his losses were against teams that out-scored their season average when they faced him. Kurtz dropped three games in a row at the end of the season to fall out of contention.
Next week, the Joes Be Pros League pares down to just four teams. Until then, enjoy your Sunday and Monday football games. Before you know it, we’ll be talking about Spring Training.