CYRIL — Almost 111 days after the RateMyLeague.com crew ridiculed his drafting ability, Dirty Dogs manager Scott Buehre is the last man standing in the PFC. The Dogs defeated the upstart Xtreme 165.45-120.05 Monday night to claim their second championship in three seasons.
In hindsight, Buehre's draft was not that bad, aside from a horrible TE group and taking a defense too early. And he should get credit for drafting RB James Conner in the 15th round, keeping him away from the Le'Veon Bell owner. No, where Buehre's team faltered wasn't the result of draft whiffs; it was injury, as a whopping seven Dirty Dogs ended up on IR (including starting QB Andy Dalton, acquired in trade after Jimmy Garoppolo's season-ending injury, who ended up on IR himself shortly thereafter).
But what the RateMyLeague.com crew failed to account for is Buehre's in-season management. His 26 transactions were by no means the most in the league. But the effectiveness of those moves reiterated that what's important is making the right moves. Moments after clinching the championship, Buehre had a message for those that doubted him.
When reached for comment Tuesday, the Andy Goldstein of RateMyLeague.com had this to say:
The Dirty Dogs were carried by recent waiver-wire acquisitions QB Russell Wilson, RB Jaylen Samuels, TE C.J. Uzomah, and WR DaeSean Hamilton, who combined for 83.55 points. Samuels was filling in for season-long starting RB James Conner, who missed the entire playoff run due to injury. Most impressively, Buehre's optimal lineup was less than one point more than his Week 16 total, displaying Buehre's superior lineup management.
The Dogs went into Monday Night Football leading 149.45-119.05, but Buehre was not counting his chickens just yet.
"The game was neck and neck until the Sunday night game when I got a little lead," he said. "I felt pretty good going into Monday’s game but the week seven 32 points by Denver’s defense was lurking in the back of my mind."
But the Denver D/ST was nowhere to be found, and Buehre won his second championship in three tries as a result.
Xtreme manager Jason Bellar wasn't bitter and each manager made sure to congratulate each other on great seasons.
The victory lifted the Dogs to a franchise-best 12-3 record in 2018 and a 39-19 record overall. Buehre now leads the all-time series with Bellar, 3-2. With two championships in three seasons, the Dogs will have to be considered serious contenders going into 2019.
But Buehre wasn't the only manager proving RateMyLeague.com wrong this week. Xtreme manager Jason Bellar was roasted by the RML crew, having their draft ranked last in the PFC. And, whereas Buehre was forced to make two dozen moves to account for injuries, Bellar completed only eight transactions all season, with only two (TE Ian Thomas and WR Kenny Stills) post-draft acquisitions starting the Patriot Bowl. Yes, that indicates the Xtreme were extremely lucky when it comes to injuries, but it also shows that their draft picks were exceeding expectations.
Bellar was incredibly consistent (and incredibly mediocre) through his first four seasons, going 7-6 in each regular season from 2015-2017. But the Xtreme went 9-4 in 2018 before winning two playoff games to reach the Patriot Bowl. Unfortunately, when it mattered most, Bellar was let down by his top-three WRs (who combined for 3.60 points) and his special teams, as his K and D/ST combined for nine points. Regardless, even if all of those players met their projections, the Xtreme weren't catching the red-hot Dirty Dogs.
The loss dropped Bellar to 11-5 on the season and 32-25 overall. The Xtreme are now 2-3 all-time against the Dirty Dogs.