SHAWNEE –– Four years after Championship Week heartbreak, the Rebel Alliance have claimed their first AFC title. Roe began his season with arguably the AFC's best draft class (ranked third by RateMyLeague.com) and then added breakout star TE Darren Waller in free agency. That was enough to win nine regular-season games and achieve the second-highest OPR OIL-wide. But the Rebels finished one game behind Steel Reign, dropping them to the AFC's second seed. However, given the opportunity to prove who the better team was on the field, the Rebels beat Steel Reign in the Thunder Bowl to claim their first championship.
Roe survived below-par games from QB Russell Wilson, WRs Tyreek Hill and Anthony Miller, and TE Darren Waller in large part due to Fitzgerald's team underperforming even worse.
Despite the loss, it was a great year for Fitzgerald. His Steel Reign squad won 10 regular-season games while he spent the season in Prague, Czech Republic. So, who's the real winner here?
AMARILLO –– Picked to finish second by RateMyLeague.com, the Vandals were a contender all season. But they had to defeat fifth-seeded The Xtreme, the top-seeded Nightmares, and second-seeded Team Tadlock to claim their first championship.
2019 was Lutonsky's third in the OIL. He went 9-4 his first season before suffering through a 4-9 season in 2018. But he drafted well in 2019, made the right moves in-season, and got hot at the right time. His semifinal upset of the Nightmares was one for the ages, as the Nightmares' 2019 season ranked sixth in OIL history (out of over 300 individual seasons). Congratulations to Tonk. His jersey will be ordered soon.
Tadlock seemed poised to be the one celebrating his first championship. He went 10-3 in the regular season, and, after the Vandals upset the number-one Nightmares, Team Tadlock was the clear favorite going into the Patriot Bowl. Alas, it was not meant to be. It wasn't a disaster for Tadlock, as he scored enough points to have won the AFC's Thunder Bowl. But he ran into a buzz saw in the PFC's Patriot Bowl, and can't be faulted for the Vandals' 194 points. Congratulations on a good season and best of luck next year, Tadlock.
Six teams. Four managers seeking their first championship. Three trophies. Two previous champions. Welcome to Championship Week 2019. Analysis after the jump.
Fourteen years have passed since we first sat at Snow Hall and learned that the 1st Battalion of the 158th Field Artillery regiment was being called up for service in Iraq. A lot has changed during that time, so let's take some time to catch up, this time with Team Tadlock manager Derrick Tadlock.
Are you still in the 158? If, not when did you get out?
TADLOCK: I am not still in the 158. I got out in 2013.
What did you do post-deployment?
TADLOCK: Post-deployment, I took some time off to drink, eat and get fat. Once I accomplished those goals, I went back to work.
Where are your from and how did you make it into the 158?
TADLOCK: I’m from Elmore City, Oklahoma (where the movie Footloose was based on). I was originally in the 171 starting in 1998 and eventually made my way to the mighty 158.
Where do you live now?
TADLOCK: I still reside in Elmore City.
What are your hobbies outside of FF?
TADLOCK: Travel, Music, Books, Podcasts, Hunting, Fishing, Outdoor Adventure are all things I’d like to do if I didn’t have a job. Come on, 100% VA disability!
What is your fantasy background? How long have you played FF? How many different leagues?
TADLOCK: I started playing fantasy baseball in the early 2000s and added fantasy football shortly after. Baseball wound up taking up way too much time, so I switched to FF only. I’ve probably played in at least a dozen different leagues.
How many championships have you won? How many have you finished second in?
TADLOCK: Not sure. I can remember winning six various titles (although none in theOIL), and I have no idea how many runner-ups I’ve had.
What is your general strategy in FF?
TADLOCK: I usually create a draft strategy based on how players performed the previous year. I tend to draft WR-heavy early but will pick up a sure-thing RB in the first if one is available. I like to get a solid QB in the mid to late rounds. I like to draft sleeper tight ends late when possible.
How much preparation do you do before each season?
TADLOCK: I usually start doing homework two to three weeks before the draft, and I keep up with all the offseason news.
Do you find you draft better at the cabin with the guys or at home online?
TADLOCK: Cabin. I've never drafted at home with the OIL.
Will you be at the draft cabin next year?
What is the best move you've made in FF?
TADLOCK: I’m not sure. I usually forget the season as soon as It’s over.
What is your favorite FF memory? What is the pinnacle of your FF career?
TADLOCK: My favorite memory is joining the OIL and all of our drafts. The pinnacle of my career hasn’t happened yet. That will happen when I win the Landrum Trophy for the first time.
Team Tadlock manager Derrick Tadlock is a perfect example of the consequences of slashing funding for the arts. Although Tadlock is a smart guy and good at fantasy football, his creative mind was never stimulated enough for him to develop a team name apart from the name he was born with. Sad!
Tadlock disappointed in his first season in the OIL in 2015, but he clinched the number-one seed in 2016 before being upset in the semifinals.
As the newest OIL conference grows, new franchises are being designed. PFC manager Derrick Tadlock was in the 158 on the 2008 Ramadi mission with Jessen, Zerger, Schuster, and Roe, among others. He's based his franchise's identity on the one thing no one can ever take from him: his name. The Tadlock franchise was designed by Michael Taylor and includes the Field Artillery's crossed cannons behind a single shield.