You did it. You finished another fantasy football regular season and if you’re reading this, you maybe even got your team into the playoffs. We started with 60 Bears fans looking to conquer the fake world in our Windy City Gridiron Tournament and the playoffs mean we have cut the field down to 30 for the ultimate crown.
A quick recap of what is at stake. Each of the five division winners will collect a reward from the OSS-extraordinaire Whiskey Ranger. You’ll have a unique souvenir of your accomplishment to brag to your friends about. The grand prize, however, will be awarded to the division winner who scores the most points in the Week 16 Championship Games. A game within a game. Finally, the plan is to choose the top players, in a super secret formula, to start a champions league for next year’s tourney.
I’ve asked each of the 4 staff commissioners to join me and writing a recap of their regular season and give a preview for the playoffs. Once again, thanks to everyone to participated and good luck to all except my opponents in the Payton Division!
Payton Division - Jeff Berckes
I’ve been very impressed by the competitiveness of the Payton Division all year. The league started to take shape pretty early on as the top half of the league broke away from the bottom half early. As a result, there wasn’t any real drama leading up to this week as the top 6 teams were just jockeying for playoff seeds. I was happy to avoid Trubiscuits&Gravy in the first round as the squad led by Patrick Mahomes and Todd Gurley probably has the best roster in the division. Further, because of seeding, Trubiscuits&Gravy would have to play Big Mack Sacks in the second round - a team led by Drew Brees and Saquon Barkley. Yours truly needs to navigate a slightly more reasonable path to the championship game against a Zeke Elliot-led squad and then the amazing tandem of Alvin Kamara & Christian McCaffrey. Despite losing Kareem Hunt and James Conner, I think the Peanut Punchers are up to the task.
Championship Prediction: Trubiscuits&Gravy over the Peanut Punchers
Butkus Division - Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.
Congrats to the playoff teams in the Butkus Division, 1) Nathaniel’s Team, 2) Miller Time, 3) License to Khalil, 4) Rage Against Shaheen, 5) A Millers Attack, 6) Big Mack Attack. but I don’t see anything stopping the top seeded Nathaniel’s Team. Patrick Mahomes, Adam Thielen, and Ezekiel Elliott has been huge for him all season. The 3rd seeded License to Khalil scored the most points this year, but I’m still picking Nathaniel’s Team to win it all.
It’s been a fun year, and seeing one winner crowned from so many divisions will make this league champ stand above the rest.
Halas Division - WhiskeyRanger
Halas Division has been super competitive this year, living up the the legacy of it’s namesake. As evidence of that, 4 playoff spots were still up for grabs as of week 13, and 7 teams still had a shot at them. You know it’s a competitive league when only 3 teams have been eliminated from the playoffs in week 13. But, competitive as it was, only 6 teams get to advance. Champaign Cubbies (Password is Taco) and Myself (Midway Turf Monsters) earned a 1st round bye, and a bit of breathing room at 11-2 and 10-3 respectively. Nomad30 (Zero Effort), finyards (Polk High Panthers), Bear Nuts (Bear Nuts), and BearAnBullsSoxOhMy! (Mitch N’ Biscuits) will battle it out in week 1, and with 1 win or less separating all these teams (they are all either 8-5 or 7-6), it looks to be a hard fought round.
It’s anyone’s guess how this Division, and this Tournament, will shake out between now and week 16... but one thing’s for sure. It’s gonna be fun to watch!
Championship Prediction: Bear Nuts over Midway Turf Monsters (Injuries finally catch up to a deep Midway Turf Monsters team, and they drop the most important game of the year in a shoot out between Todd Gurley and CMC).
Sayers Division - Patti Curl
I’m going to rip off the band-aid. I’m not in my division’s playoffs. I could make excuses—like Yahoo autodrafted my first pick while its leaky-garbage app was “loading” the draft room for several minutes—or make petty observations—like I scored more in total points than two of the playoff teams—but instead I will graciously congratulate the playoff contenders for their fine performances.
This weeks match-ups look to be nail-biters. First up, Punching Peanuts—who rode Gurley, Mahomes, and a cast of scrubs into the playoffs—will face ShowMeThemTDs—who’s name refers to what may have a decent pun referring to female secondary sex characteristics the first time I heard it, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard it. TDs made the prescient decision to start Isaiah Crowell over Derrick Henry and has Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Calling this game is hard, because Gurley will be useless against the Bears, but Rodgers...eww. I suppose it will be annoying for Packers fans if Rodgers has a career high game the week after being eliminated from the playoffs, so I’ll side with TDs in this one.
Hurricane Ditka takes on Bear Jordan with a Rivers/Keenan Allen stack and a side of Alvin Kamara. Bear Jordan has the more balanced squad, and despite having that name without Jordan Howard on his team, I think he pulls this off unless the Rivers Allen connection explodes . I’m not worried about that—I think that Bengals defense is enough games after firing their defensive coordinator to really hit its stride this week.
Of our two Byes, Swaggy Nagy sits on top with a wealth of running backs featuring Christian McCaffery, David Johnson, and Philip Lindsay. Zero Dark Ten can rest on his laurels this week knowing he has three Bears starting on his troop—Jordan Howard, Anthony Miller, and Tre Burton.
Championship prediction: Bear Jordan vs Zero Dark 10. Watch out Bear Jordan: ZD10-locks and his three Bears will be facing the SF defense in week 16.
Ditka Division - Sam Householder
Normally no one cares about your fantasy team, so this venue is a little different for me but I still hate to share a ton about my team. But I’m too proud not to share: This season has been one of the biggest single turnarounds for a fantasy team of my own. I was slow out of the gate but after starting 4-4 I won the last five in a row to win the regular season and earn the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Unbelievable.
My squad (On a Winning Tarik) is led by Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey and DeAndre Hopkins.
Now, that doesn’t mean my competition hasn’t been stiff. Right behind me in the seeding and also earning first-round byes are BlackDragon1628, led by Carson Wentz, Adam Thielen, Julio Jones and Melvin Gordon. In the third spot is It’s (A.) Miller Time (Webb Slinger), who has Patrick Mahomes, Rob Gronkowski and Devante Adams. The final bye belongs to Kiss My Butkus (sandersonjared), who boasts Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham and Stefon Diggs. Is he a closet Giants fan?
KMB actually earned a bye despite a losing record (6-7) to show just how tough this division was, living up to it’s namesake.
Trubisky and Whiskey (9-4, Dr. Acula III) clashes with Bill’s Elbow Chop (8-5, Bill Cartwright’s Elbow) highlight the round one games. Neither team has wow QBs (Jameis Winston and Josh Allen, respectively) but T&B has Ezekiel Elliott, Tyreek Hill and Phillip Lindsey while BEC has Travis Kelce, Alvin Kamara and Courtland Sutton.
I Khalil You (BigPoppa77) and Hold My Ditka (StellarPete22) should also be a good match up with Khalil You featuring Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Ridley and Tarik Cohen while My Ditka has Phillip Rivers, Michael Thomas and Antonio Brown.
Thanks again to everyone and good luck in the playoffs. Hit the comments below to discuss your playoff dreams or hit us up on Twitter @gridironborn @opinionbear @wiltfongjr @whiskeyranger29 @samhouseholder