Midway Through the Battle: Weeding Out the GMRRFFA Contenders
Riff Raff Football is nothing if not gut-wrenching, as evident by your illustrious Commish’s week-to-week 2019 rollercoaster season. In safe spaces, fantasy football is expected to be fun and enjoyable, but GMRRFFA is not that. The last four weeks of the season have been more emotionally-draining than a Dead Sea column.
To recap, after starting off at 2-0, your Commish watched Saquon Barkley (the franchise behind the Trubisky Business franchise) get hurt in Week Three, witnessed Corey Davis’ lone breakout game knock off him off in Week Four, saw Tevin Coleman salvage a W in Week Five, and suffered the newly-acquired Stefon Diggs dropping 45 points while on the Commish’s bench in a 14-point loss. All of this to say, your Commish is an average .500 team, teetering on the brink of implosion halfway through 2019.
Alas, there is hope. First, Saquon returns to join Chris Carson as the arguably best starting running back tandem in the league. Combined with a wide receiver corps featuring Nuk (pronounced “Nuke”), Michael Thomas, Diggs and the much-ignored Tyler Boyd, the pre-season front runner once again seems to be a title contender.
However, in three seasons of GMRRFFA, the eventual champion hasn’t been apparent midway through the season. In 2016, Mark Hutchinson won the title as an eight seed following a 7-7 season. In 2017, the Unicorn’s magical run began with three straight losses before winning the Unicorn ring as a fifth seed. Finally, the reigning champ Sausage King started the 2018 season at a paltry 2-4 record before acquiring Christian McCaffrey in mid-October, starting a run that eventually ended with winning the title as a fourth seed.
Through six weeks, the Commish wishes he had a better record, but history shows there’s a long way to go before giving up on the season. Rather than pontificate on the wins and losses of Week Six, let’s do a GMRRFFA mid-season ranking of where teams stand. To be honest, your award-winning Commish would rather do this than ruminate on the Diggs performance anyways.
2020 Can’t Come Fast Enough
Denver Ponyboys (0-6)/Carlos
The Big Gronkowski (1-5)/Tito Galen
Dawg Pound Red Rockets (1-5)/The Unicorn
To spare your eyeballs, we can just lump these three together. They haven’t beaten anyone outside of each other (The Unicorn beat Carlos in Week Three; Tito Galen beat the Unicorn in Week Six).
Are folks familiar with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Army/Navy/Air Force college football teams each season? These three GMRRFFA owners are the participants of the contest, except the complete opposite of prestige and honor. Apparently, the winner of the GMMRFFA Commissioner’s Trophy gets some stock options in a Ukranian gas company. (ed: Go sit on a tack)
That said, none of these three will be competitive for a post-season berth, but they could be feisty in any given match-up. In Week Six, Tito Galen actually posted the highest score in the league while Carlos’ squad had a pulse against the reigning champs. All three have studs - including the Zeke-stakes - so a shot at a slice of the LB6 remains in play, and they could pose real problems for actual contenders in a given week.
Gettleman’s Bagel Boys (3-3)/Smeet
Congrats on the new baby, Papa Smeet, but don’t pretend you’re a legitimate contender after six weeks where you rank 12th in scoring. Keenan Allen’s season nosedived these past three weeks, as he only has 21 points total, and no one knows what is happening with OBJ. In these past three weeks where Smeet went 1-2, his squad averaged just 91 points, approximately 32 points below the league average. Smeet has four very tough weeks ahead - Garcia, Fredo Maisel, the Commish, and Coop - before a “reprieve” against Tito Galen in Week Eleven (see above) and the Sausage King in Week Twelve.
Carnival of Chaos (2-4)/Garcia
The Purveyor of Death is playing like he’s a contender, doubling the next highest league owner with 42 transactions thus far this year. That said, he’s currently 9th-best in scoring, posting 119 points on average. More concerning, Garcia hasn’t had a breakout game since a Week One loss to Fredo where he dropped 144 points. He added Hunter Henry and James White this week, both providing a solid floor for scoring, but the moves nor his roster really move the dial much. In three weeks, if Le’Veon Bell regains his 2017 form, this could all change.
Team Motley (2-4)/Makese
Your Commish refuses to write much on Team Motley, mostly because Makese is always busy (unless there’s an impeachment tweet) and has no time for fantasy football. In any case, Lamar Jackson and Leonard Fournette are keeping this squad on life-support, but his wide receivers are just barely better than fine, so take that for what it’s worth.
Lurking in the Weeds
Trubisky Business (3-3)/The Commish
We touched on this above, but flexing a lineup of Chris Carson, Michael Thomas, De’Andre Hopkins, Tyler Boyd, Stefon Diggs, and Tevin Coleman with a returning Saquon changes things. The Commish is currently just the 7th-best scoring team in the league, but again Barkley changes things. Let’s just move on…(ed: yes, please let’s do that)
[Some Liberal Gibberish Team Name] (3-3)/Toby Kobach
Just the 10th-highest scoring team in the league, the good doctor has been fortunate to face teams averaging just 106.1 points per week (3rd-lowest in the league). Unsurprisingly, Corey Davis hasn’t broken seven points in any week since Toby beat the Commish, but Toby’s squad has faced rampant injuries including Hunter Henry (traded), Damien Williams, TY Hilton, Michael Gallup, and Juju Smith-Sch- what’s that? Juju isn’t hurt? He’s just under-performing for a receiver some thought was a top-three player? Oh, that’s really sad.
Meanwhile, as you all know, your Commish LOVES Austin Hooper who has been lights-out, and is only three targets behind overrated Julio Jones for the team lead, which is spectacular. That’s the good news… more bad news? Toby’s next six opponents have playoff aspirations, including FIL, the Sausage King, and the Smile over the next three weeks.
And now, a quick reminder from Grandma Riff Raff...
Chubb’s Stout D (6-0)/Stabs
In the obvious “records can be deceiving” category, Stabs remains undefeated while posting the fifth-best scoring average in the league. That said, Stabs hasn’t defeated a team with a winning record yet this year, and your Commish posted the best score against him last week, a paltry 110.9.
Here’s the scores against Stabs in the first six weeks of the season:
101.2,110.1,103.3, 94.7, 102.5, and 110.9
Unless Stabs is playing Smeet every week, it’s pretty obvious his opponents have (for whatever reason) struggled mightily. Week Seven will be tougher, facing off with the 4-2 Dornish CPA coupled with a Chubb bye and the ghost of Will Dissly’s Achilles tendon still remaining in Stabs’ starting lineup. If he’s undefeated next week, let’s move him up to a serious contender.
Nuke the Cane (4-2)/Coop
With the Nats heading to the World Series and Coop’s repeatedly tight margins of victory, the League’s Nicest Smile is having a helluva fall season. Outside of a Week Two blowout over the carcass of the Unicorn (ed: I hate you), the point differential between Coop and his opponents is only 7.2 points, meaning every week’s outcome is determined on Monday Night Football, which is a terrible thing for Coop to suffer through every week. Currently enjoying a three-game winning streak, Coop could go on a run against the Commish, Carlos, Toby, Smeet, Makese, and Stabs (all very winnable). He wraps up the season against Fredo but stay tuned.
Meanwhile, a side note, is Coop an Astros fan, a Nats fan, or just a fair-weather fan of teams that win? He's probably dry-cleaning his Brady jersey ahead of January...
Dorne Diredonkeys (4-2)/Mark Hutchinson
First, the Dornish CPA hasn’t dropped a dud since his Week One loss to the Sausage King, where he posted a dismal 96 points. Since then, Mark is 4-1, including a heartbreaking 1.4-point loss to the Smile in Week Five. Even better, Mark faces the 6-0 Stabs this weekend, but doesn’t face a team with a winning record again for the remainder of the season. In fact, the combined record for his remaining six opponents is a dismal 9-27. That’s the good news…
The bad news: Mark shouldn’t feel too confident given Davante Adams has been sidelined for the last two games and looks to be out at least another week. Meanwhile, Alvin Kamara is banged up. Mark is still in a good spot particularly with his depth, but stringing a few wins together could be misleading.
Dude Where is My Carr (3-3)/FIL
Despite an average record, FIL is currently the third-highest scoring team in the league following a 1.3-point victory over Makese last week. Matt Ryan and Adam Thielen are carrying this team, but the roster is littered with issues, including Joe Mixon under-performing and Todd Gurley missing the Rams game against the 49ers. Whether FIL is a credible contender should be figured out in early November; Stabs, the Sausage King, and Fredo Maisel are all waiting for him, starting in Week Nine.
Cold and Timid Souls (4-2)/Fredo Maisel
First, Fredo is slowly inching his way out of the cellar of GMRRFFA history; with 17 wins (over three-plus seasons), he is just two away from surpassing Carlos for 13th-overall while his four year quest to make the playoffs appears within reach. Meanwhile, Fredo is second in scoring, averaging an impressive 144 points per week. His roster is loaded with talent, including a decent bench.
From the league office’s perspective, the only question mark surrounds his running backs. First, Fredo is running the Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekler tandem and if Fredo picks the wrong back to start, he could derail a match-up. Meanwhile, Mark Ingram is nothing short of a stud this season, on pace for 232 rushing attempts and 1,130 yards. That said, since he started playing in the NFL, Ingram has missed multiple games in five of eight seasons (to be fair, he missed four games due to a suspension last year), so durability may be an issue.
Nonetheless, if DJ Chark continues to prove himself and Evan Engram returns at full health, Fredo makes the playoffs. That’s a fact.
Vienna Sausages (6-0)/The Sausage King
Your Commish feels it’s only fair to end with the Sausage King as the most clear-cut contender in GMRRFFA. The reigning champ is currently enjoying a league-best eleven game winning streak dating back to when Tito Galen was a contender in 2018. Last week, the Sausage King faced a feisty Carlos, who posted his best score of the season, but the champion won comfortably by thirty points. Last week, you may recall the Sausage King dropped 224 for a GMRRFFA all-time best weekly score. It’s been smooth sailing thus far for the champ, with Coop the only team to come within ten points of the Sausage King this season.
That said, the streak (and maybe the title) are vulnerable, especially this week with McCaffrey on a bye… nevermind, forgot he faces the Amari-less Unicorn (ed: you can seriously go to hell). After Week Seven, the Sausage King does actually face competitive teams: Toby, Fredo, FIL, Stabs, Smeet, and the Commish. Is there a loss (or two) in there? Yes, probably.
Despite the triumvirate of CMC/Godwin/Kelce, the Sausage King’s one issue could be depth. James Connor and Julian Edelman are solid, but Matt Breida is no longer a top back while Josh Allen and Marvin Jones are okay. All this is to say the Sausage King isn’t invincible, and wannabe GMRRFFA champs will get their shots in the next few weeks.
On second thought, the "questionable depth" argument is just the Commish attempting to make GMRRFFA's owners feel better when heading in to match-ups with the Champ. We should probably wrap this thing up...
Like the GMRRFFA post-keeper power rankings back in August, this is obviously going to change, likely within the next 96 hours. That said, compared to 2018, the discrepancies between contenders and Smeet or the Unicorn is a little more obvious this season. In the meantime, let's sit back and enjoy a new level of losing your esteemed Commish surely will face in Week Seven.