Wednesday - Apr 24, 2019

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Keeping Ahead: The Man Above Giveth …

“So that happened … ” – Alec Baldwin in State and Main

There are times when I wish, as creepy and Big Brotherish as this is about to sound, that I could have live video streams of fantasy players across the world as events unfold.

For example:

Remember that fantasy owner we discussed here last week? I think his name was MJ? I heard from credible sources that he has both Le’Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles on his roster. I mean, think about that for a second – two of the hands-down best backs in all of fantasy football (non-Devonta Freeman category) and on the same team! It’s like a dream team.

Then Sunday rolls around. Jamaal Charles’ “other” ACL goes poof. I would imagine the look on his face was not unlike millions of other Charles’ owners at that exact moment. Confusion. Bewilderment. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Immediate Google searches for the name “Charcandrick” explode (some of which direct to this column, thank you very much), which leads Siri to autocorrect to “Charizard” and leave grown men in a bar looking at pictures of a Pokemon character. Not pretty.

Fast forward to Monday Night Football. Thankfully, Bell is still there to clean up the pieces of a troubling fantasy weekend, but, as always, things are not going quite according to plan. Mike (not Michael) Vick’s aim resembles Dick Cheney’s quail-hunting prowess for much of the evening, and suddenly getting a layup 22 points from Bell in a points per reception league seem daunting deep into the final quarter.

And then. Heroically. Confidently. Foolishly? Pittsburgh gives one last play to its all-world player, who manages to scrape and claw his way to a touchdown milliseconds before he is wrestled to the ground. Game-winner. Weekend winner.

Can you just imagine the collective faces of fantasy players everywhere as that last play unfolded? Pillows were grabbed and either hugged or thrown. Curse words were yelled in either exhalation or frustration. Seasons either stayed alive or withered and died.

As my friend and fantasy-colleague Evan would say: “Someone just got their [Fanduel] commercial.”

*******

Secret Fantasy Consultation Update

“How do you feel about Julius Thomas?”

It was early Sunday morning and I had just finished breakfast with my aunt and uncle when I received this text. I hesitated for a second and thought about why it may have been asked. I knew she needed tight end help after the loss of Jordan Reed and the ineffectiveness of Maxx Williams, but Julius Thomas? I wasn’t sure about that.

“He should be back soon – just been injured,” I replied.

“He is playing today,” she texted immediately back, “according to reports.”

I was stunned. I did a quick search and sure enough, there he was, active for the game.

Here’s the thing: I kind of do this fantasy thing nonstop. Full-time. Constantly checking updates and looking ahead to find out when players are in or out, who has the best matchups, etc. And I completely, utterly, missed this development. And she didn’t.

“I scour the news and injury reports. I’m a nerd,” she replied once I told her to absolutely jump on picking up Thomas off of waivers and plugging him in to her lineup.

That’s not a nerd. That’s a full-blown Fantasy Shark.

And guess what?

She got her first win. Here’s to many, many more.

About MJ Brown

MJ Brown has been an avid fantasy football keeper league enthusiast and player for over a decade. A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, MJ delivers weekly content on multiple platforms, bringing a combination of advice, humor, and tips to keep your team at the top of your league.