The fantasy football season isn't quite over, but as of this week, the Fantasy Island competition is. After 16 weeks and a very tight race, we're pleased to announce that Matt Borcas has won a spot as our fantasy football writer. This week is Matt's soft open of sorts, and when it comes time for rankings and previews next summer, everyone will get a full introduction as we start ramping up to the season. Thanks again to everyone who participated in this year's competition, and to those who've read.
One hundred years after the sinking of the Titanic, another overblown, too-big-to-fail enterprise — the Philadelphia Eagles — is crashing and burning, and Andy Reid insists on bringing fantasy owners down with him. Case in point: On Wednesday, Reid announced that despite LeSean McCoy’s return to the starting lineup, he would employ the dreaded three-way split between McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Dion Lewis.
It didn’t have to end this way for the Eagles. Their skill position players were meant to carry fantasy teams to championships, not to the first overall pick in next year’s draft. But as Reid spends his final days in Philadelphia brooding like Captain Edward John Smith, owners of McCoy and Brown are left to fend for themselves.
Each week, the Fantasy Island contestants will submit a preview for each of that weekend's games. The best preview from each game will be selected and combined with the others into one comprehensive guide, and points are awarded based on how many individual previews from each writer are selected. Get it? OK. We sorta do, too.
December 2007: Wichita East High School’s Bryce Brown, a five-star running back largely considered to be the nation’s top junior prospect, verbally commits to the University of Miami. With no-nonsense head coach Randy Shannon, dual-threat quarterback Jacory Harris, super booster Nevin Shapiro, and Brown, a dynasty appears to be on the horizon at The U.
February 2008: As it turns out, Brown’s verbal was anything but solid. Handler/cell phone salesman/self-proclaimed “most connected guy in Wichita” Brian Butler — a slimier version of Buddy Garrity, if such a thing is possible — reveals that Brown might instead opt to play in the CFL, likely because of his longstanding affinity for Saskatchewanian literature.
March 2008: After a month of careful contemplation, Brown decides against becoming football’s Brandon Jennings and narrows his college search to six finalists: Miami, Kansas State, Tennessee, USC, Oregon, and LSU.
March 2009: Lane Kiffin lures Brown to Tennessee. In retrospect, it’s a minor miracle that this marriage lasted as long as it did.
Last year, Washington's clean sweep of the Giants was a curiosity lost amid New York's run to a second Super Bowl in five years. It was some sort of anomaly that Giants fans wrote off in their heads as irrelevant, a bad dream with Rex Grossman impossibly slicing through the same defense that brought the Packers and Patriots to their knees. This year, though, Washington's excellent work against their northern neighbors has produced a close loss and a hugely important narrow win.
That victory last night moves Washington into a playoff chase with surprisingly good opportunities available. As I covered yesterday, Washington's win last night gives them a likely tiebreaker advantage over the Giants in terms of in-division record, and if the Giants slip up once more over their difficult final four games, the Redskins would have a chance to control their own destiny with a win over the Cowboys in Week 17. Washington also holds tie-breaking victories over the Buccaneers, Cowboys, Saints, and Vikings, each of which could come in handy in terms of a possible wild-card berth.