The competition in the These Joes Be Pros Fantasy Football League has been intense so far, with the “Joes” keeping pace with their “Pros” counterparts. Both “Joe” managed teams – Luke’s Team, managed by Luke Benigno, and The Better Cardano, managed by Mike Cardano Jr. – won their way into a Week 15 quarterfinal matchup that pitted them against each other. The Better Cardano won that matchup, dispatching with his fellow “Joe” by a margin of 14.5 Fantasy points, which gained him a spot in the semifinals against the top-seeded team, Maaaarv, managed by Chris Meaney of the FNTSY Sports Network.
A look at the numbers associated with what looked to be a one-sided affair in favor of Maaaarv reveals that the end result really could have gone to either team. The final score was 134.82 to 130.50 in favor of Maaaarv, one of the closer match results of the entire season. Even more stunning, though, is the tally of points left on the benches of the respective teams. The Better Cardano left 42.24 points sitting on his bench, while Maaaarv left 42.42 points behind. That’s not a misprint – the difference in bench points was just .18!
Maaaarv received big performances from QB Colin Kaepernick (21.42), RB David Johnson (26.80) and TE Cameron Brate (18.30). Chris Meaney managed his team to perfection, fielding an optimized lineup and squeezing every possible point from his squad. Had he chosen to use either of the two other quarterbacks on his roster, he would have lost. Both Marcus Mariota (6.44) and Jameis Winston (17.48) were more than outgunned by Kaepernick, who many experts tabbed as a potential sneaky play for Week 15. The one (mild) surprise in Meaney’s lineup was the inclusion of Arizona Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson (14.80) over Marvin Jones Jr. (7.10) and Dion Lewis (12.40). Of course, using Jones would have cost him the win but he would have survived the inclusion of the Patriots RB, who had his best game of the season.
Mike Cardano Jr. may very well be kicking himself for the one choice he made that cost him the matchup. Instead of playing veteran TE Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys (13.10), Cardano chose to play Eric Ebron (7.60) of the Detroit Lions. Aside from that drastic mistake, Cardano also fielded an optimized lineup. He received great performances from QB Cam Newton (24), WR Jordy Nelson (19.40), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (19.30) and the Miami Dolphins DST (23). In all, it’s hard to find fault with Cardano’s thinking. His two tight ends were very evenly ranked entering Week 15 in terms of production, and Ebron’s matchup against the Giants was comparable to Witten’s against the Buccaneers. Things could have turned out in Cardano’s favor just as easily as not.
Maaaarv’s victory advances them to the Championship game against Team A, who easily dispatched Joe Buck Lite by the score of 167.24 to 75.92. Mike Blewitt’s Joe Buck Lite was sunk under the weight of some awful Fantasy performances by some stud players. For instance, Patriots QB Tom Brady put up a stinker with just 7.92 points, easily his worst effort of the season to date. Raiders WR Amari Cooper (3.80) undoubtedly killed not only Blewitt’s hopes, but those of many other Fantasy manager. Cooper has essentially disappeared over the last six weeks. Tyler Eifert (1.90), Todd Gurley (4.60) and the Kansas City Chiefs DST (8.00) all did their worst to ruin things for Joe Buck Lite.
However, the poor play of the aforementioned isn’t the only reason Blewitt will be watching from the sidelines in Week 16. The coach of Joe Buck Lite left a stunning 80.76 points on his bench. Ty Montgomery (30.30), Dak Prescott (19.16), Derrick Henry (17.80) and Quincy Enunwa (11.40) would have made this matchup far more interesting but alas, starting them over the choices Blewitt made would not have helped make this a close race. Blewitt was basically doomed by Team A’s optimized lineup, which featured all his best-scoring players on the active list.
So, the Week 16 Championship game of the Joes Be Pros League will feature the top two seeds, the two teams with the best in-season record against each other. Team A (9-4) will face Maaaarv (11-2) for all the marbles. May the best man win!