I can't remember the last time we had multiple #1 vs. #2 games. And if Monday night had gone differently, we'd be looking at three matchups between top-two teams.
This #1 vs. #2 matchup pits the only two champions the AFC has seen in its four-year history. Zerger slipped up in Week One, but his Redlegs have been on a tear ever since, averaging 180 points per game since then. Meanwhile, Venable and War Pony have ridden a strong (auto)draft to a 4-0 start. With a win, they'll move their playoff odds to 100%. Fortunately, they're facing the Redlegs on a bye-heavy week. Look for the auto-drafted team to get to 5-0. Life isn't fair; nothing matters.
Another #1 vs. #2 matchup featuring the first champions of this storied league (Lucky Enuf in 2006 and 2008; Whackers in 2007). Unlike Venable, though, each of these managers drafted their own teams. Morgan is a favorite to win the whole thing, and he's facing his biggest competitor at a good time. Pyle's team is hit hard by byes this week. Conversely, the Whackers made it to 4-0 without the aid of Julian Edelman and Alshon Jeffery. Adding those two WRs to an undefeated team seems unfair, but hats off to Morgan for an amazing draft. Whackers get to 5-0 this week.
We're at the point in the season where a single loss can drop a team's playoff chances by as much as 30%. Unfortunately, we're also getting into bye week and injury season. The NFC number-one Whackers lost their starting QB for the year. Multiple star players are on byes. But the season rolls on. To the games:
War Pony is a two-time champion in this league, so his number-one ranking is not a surprise. But the Brewmasters have never been a true contender. If they're to make a bid for a championship, it starts here. Fortunately, War Pony is dealing with a host of bye weeks and injuries. That's why I'm picking the second-ranked Brew Crew to knock them off and ascend to the top spot.
Last week's number-one team faces this week's number-one team. The upstart Roughnecks vs. two-time champion Lucky Enuf. If Pyle can pull it out, his playoff chances will increase to 90.9%. The Roughnecks can move to a 59.6% playoff chance with a win. Although Baldwin's averaging 12 more points per game, I'm picking Lucky Enuf to get to 4-0. Baldwin just has too many injuries and byes.
The winner here sees their playoff odds move to 59.6%. The loser? 43.2%. Unfortunately, Cordes and Sixers are dealing with injuries to TE Evan Engram and RB Jay Ajayi. I'm picking Tadlock to march further towards the playoffs.
It's on to Week Three in the OIL, and we've got some great matchups coming up. Let's get to them:
Here we have the two-time defending champion Redlegs versus the upstart, top-ranked Brewmasters. This game is pivotal for Zerger, as a loss for the Redlegs would drop the defending champs' playoff odds to 29.89%. A win would increase that percentage to 54.2%. The Brewmasters are coasting on autodraft, but points are points.
This game will depend on the production of the Redlegs QB position, as they've been hamstrung the past two weeks by Marcus Mariota and Case Keenum. Remarkably, the Redlegs have averaged 145.35 points per game while only getting 9.675 points per game from the QB position. If Zerger can solidify his QB spot, he can win this one, and I'm picking him to pull the upset.
It is pretty early to have a playoff-elimination game, but that's what I think we have here. Teams that begin the season 0-3 have reached the playoffs only 5% of the time over 15 OIL seasons, and these two are 0-2. The AMMODOGS has a good team on paper, but they've massively disappointed due to regression from Deshaun Watson, Eli Manning's pop-gun arm handicapping Odell Beckham, and injuries to Jay Ajayi and Doug Baldwin. SoonerJack is a three-time champion who is always a trade away from contending. Largely due to the injuries, I'm picking Bruesch and SoonerJack to beat the AMMODOGS. However, even at 0-3, Rogers could buck the trend and make the playoffs. It all depends on health and things getting sorted out in the Houston and New York offenses.
SoonerJack is attempting to intimidate the AMMODOGS by wearing their black jerseys commemorating their third OIL championship in 2015. We'll see if it works.
In contrast to the NFC's Game of the Week, the winner of this matchup will increase his playoff chances to 89.5%. But the Great Plains Drifters look like paper tigers right now. Although they have the same 2-0 record as the FDC Chiefs, they average over 40 fewer points per game and their OPR is over 40 points lower than the Chiefs. I'm picking Pennington and his Chiefs to win this one.
Football season is back, and that means so are the Games of the Week. It's only Week Two, but we're already blessed with two #1 vs. #2 matchups. To the games!
#1 vs. #2. First Platoon vs. First Platoon. Bird vs. Bird. Marlow vs. Comanche. We couldn't ask for a better matchup in Week Two. Look for the Cocks pull out a close win to remain on top at least one more week.
Aside from the DARC NARCS' second-place finish in 2015, these two teams aren't used being near the top. But here they are. Look for Henderson to knock off the top-ranked Roughnecks, but there's plenty of football left to be played. Perhaps these two will meet again in the playoffs.
There's two ways to look at this. The first is the last-place team vs. the top team. But I prefer to look at it as the defending champion Brawlers vs. the 2018 favorite FDC Chiefs. Brake has been to the last three Patriot Bowls, so don't let his Week One hiccup define this team. They'll be contenders. On the flip-side, Pennington didn't have to draft his team from the back of a Humvee this year, and it shows. His team is the favorite to win it all. I think the Chiefs will win, but don't be surprised if the Brawlers even up their record at 1-1. Whether they win or lose though, the season is long from over for the PFC's most successful franchise.
Man, what a week in the OIL. In both the NFC and PFC, the top four teams all lost. Winless DominationStation gave undefeated SoonerJack their first loss of the season, meaning each OIL team has at least one loss. And the Nightmares continued their nightmare of a season, falling to 0-7 . . . the OIL's only remaining winless squad. Here are your games of the week (click on title to be taken to the matchup page on Yahoo!).
This is a rematch of last year's Thunder Bowl, when Zerger and the Redlegs defeated Green's Doughboys to win their first championship. It's fitting then that Zerger comes in ranked higher than Green. The Redlegs are built for this league, boasting the top two WRs in the OIL, the top pass-catching RB in Chris Thompson, and steady RB Mark Ingram. The Doughboys are built more for a standard league with RBs dominating the early draft rounds. I'm picking Zerger to continue his resurgence and move closer to a playoff berth (and perhaps first-round bye).
On paper, this looks like an easy Vandals victory. Lutonsky is ranked first in the PFC, averages 14 more points per game than Tadlock, and has a greater OPR. But the Vandals are dealing with six byes this week, so I'm picking them to lose their second-straight game (and fall out of first place).
This matchup will greatly affect each team's chances at securing a playoff berth in Week 14. Each team is 4-3 and right on the playoff bubble. But Baldwin's Roughnecks have already lost Odell Beckham for the season, Martavis Bryant to stupidity, and Leonard Fournette to a bye week. Meanwhile, Henderson's DARC NARCS, after a couple suspension scares, still have RB Ezekiel Elliott to lean on, along with RB Melvin Gordon and breakout QB Carson Wentz. Look for Henderson to make a statement as we get closer and closer to the playoffs.