With only one week remaining in the regular season, 10 teams are duking it out for 6 playoff spots. For the Ladybugs, Namechangers, Bucs and Shruggz, the 2008 fantasy season has been a total waste. Like trying to make homemade mayonnaise, but adding the oil too quickly and ending up with canola soup polka-dotted with fat globules. The whole thing has to be trashed and was simply a waste of time.
Even if for the second time in three years I finish with the fifth most points but the eighth most wins, this season has been like a joint jerk session. Seemed like a good idea at first, wasn't so great halfway through but it was too late to quit, then I was filled with shame and regret when it was all over. There was no satisfaction to be had.
But for the six teams that make the playoffs, it will be like the seventh time making sex on a woman. Still new enough to be exciting, but familiar enough to be comfortable and maybe adventurous enough to introduce something new. I can only envy you.
In case you hadn't noticed, my brother is living with us while he searches for a new, ex-girlfriend free apartment, and my mother-in-law is in town all week for Thanksgiving. Right now, I am redlining the tach while the car is in P. Agggggghhhhhhh!
So...the playoff picture. Believe it or not, of the five 7-5 teams fighting for four playoff spots, none of them play each other. Which is what brings the three 6-6 teams into the mix. Let's start at the top.
Lowcountry All Stars - Lock up a bye if they beat the worst team in the league. If they lose and DFA wins, they'll need to outscore DFA in Week 13 by 15 points. If the All Stars lose and DFA loses, they need to maintain current scoring leads over the Swirls, Elbow, Tough Kids and Pounders. Those leads are 43, 55, 64 and 89, respectively.
St. A's Crusaders - Lock up a bye with a win. If they lose to DFA by 15 or less, they will stay ahead of DFA in the standings. Are 40 points ahead of the All Stars and 83, 95, 104 and 129 points ahead of the next four teams in the standings. If they lose by 17 or more and the All Stars win, the bye is gone.
Deathfromabove - Clinch a playoff spot with a win, assuming the Swirls, Elbow, Tough Kids and Pounders don't all win and make up significant points on DFA. The Tough Kids would have to make up 78 points and the Pounders 103 for DFA to miss the playoffs. DFA can clinch a bye if the All Stars lose, but DFA outscores the All Stars by 14 or less. DFA can also clinch a bye if they beat the Crusaders by 17 or more.
Purple Swirls - A win puts the Swirls in good shape, a big win puts the Swirls in great shape. If all four 7-5 teams win, the Swirls will need to maintain 21 and 46 point leads over the Tough Kids and Pounders. A Swirls loss brings VI back into the mix. The Swirls are only guaranteed a place if they win and the five teams behind them all lose. Beyond that, it will come down to total points.
The People's Elbow - Basically, the brothers Kress are in the same boat, though if Nate wins he'll knock VI out of the mix. If VI beats the Elbow, VI will jump the Elbow in the standings. If the Elbow loses, they need the Tough Kids and Pounders to also lose and score 8 or 33 fewer points, respectively. If Nate loses, he could grab the sixth seed with a Tough Kid loss, a Pounders loss and a Swirls loss, provided he maintains his point lead over CTK and ICP and outscores the Swirls by 9 or more.
Man, this is getting complicated.
Crafton Tough Kids - If the Tough Kids lose, it's not officially impossible for them to make the playoffs, but it nearly is. They would then need the Pounders to lose, the Hawks to lose and score fewer points than the Tough Kids and the Elbow winning would be better than VI winning.
Even if the Tough Kids win, they aren't guaranteed a spot. The Pounders would pass them with a win and 26 or more points than the Tough Kids. The best thing would be for the Tough Kids to win and put up 10 more than the Swirls and 22 more than the Elbow. Or 79 more than DFA.
Iron City Pounders - Now we're on the outside looking in. Basically, take everything we said about the Tough Kids and add 26 more points for the Pounders. At a minimum, the Pounders need to win while the Swirls and Tough Kids lose. If VI wins, the Pounders will really need some help. If all four 7-5 teams win, the Pounders at least need to score 26 points more than the Tough Kids. The Pounders could technically make the playoffs with a loss, provided the Swirls, Elbow, Tough Kids and Hawks all lose, plus they outscore CTK by 26 or more and the Elbow by 35 or more.
Vandulay industries - A win gets them in as long as the Swirls, Tough Kids and Pounders don't all also win. But in that case, VI has major point advantages over those teams. If VI loses, the Elbow is in, but Swirls, Tough Kids and Pounder losses could keep VI alive, with those same point advantages coming into play.
Stringfellow Hawks - Hey, Terry Schiavo wasn't techincally dead either. But the Hawks have the same jelly brain. A loss and they're out. If the Hawks win, they need the Tough Kids, Pounders and Vanduhlay to lose. If Vanduhlay wins, the Hawks would need the other two losses and have to outscore the Elbow by 10 or more.
Newbomb Turk - Time to focus on fantasy hockey.
Lake Balboa Ladybugs - Time to get a life.
Deathfrombelow - Time to pick a team name and stick with it.
Brookline Bucs - Time to wear last year's championship ring to the grocery store.
Atlas Shruggz - Time to start reading Marx.