ESPN week 18 Championships [update final]

Not looking great going into week two of championship scoring. Will need some massive overachieving rallying to come out with 5-4. [update: went 4-5 came up 3 points short of winning 5th]

Something Different +15 W +81

Deez D’s -8 L -24

Jackson Bullies -8 W +15

Elliot Ekeler -18 L-3

Northern Knights -45 L-27

Alaskan Knights +30 W +51

Dak Dalvin -45 L-15

Missed DaDraft +85 W +65

Hot Jo Jo’s -65 L -39

Good luck! Never been a fan of fantasy leagues that play until the last week of the NFL regular season. Too much risk that stud players are being rested by their teams.

We even discussed keeping the finals in week 16. But both my leagues feature 12 teams playing in 3 divisions at 4 teams each. With a 13 week regular season, we played our division rivals twice, and then 7 of the 8 remaining teams once. That was a bit of a lottery, too, as teams that didn’t have to play against one of the top teams had a certain advantage.

A 14 week regular season made sure that each team had to play against every other team at least once. So we went for 17 weeks in both leagues, and that worked pretty well. Also made sure we didn’t have any BYEs for the wildcard round.

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Without some evidence, I don’t buy in to the 'don’t play ‘till the end’ narrative. Sure there’s a risk, but how much really? I’ve yet to see any data to support any significant impact on results. Sure there may be isolated incidents, which I’ve yet to see in five years playing until the end, but even isolated incidents don’t move the needle for me.

Of course, I’m open to being proven wrong.

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NFL teams rest their studs all the time when there are no playoff or seed implications in their final week matchup

In one of my leagues, a team has Joe Burrow and Aaron Jones. I guess they would be pretty upset if they had to play their championship game this weekend without these two.

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That is the definition of isolated incident with no indication of impact.

  1. How common is that for finals teams? By virtue that championship teams represent 2 of 12-20 teams, it would therefore impact championship teams significantly less than eliminated teams, so significantly less impact on championships.
  2. If the team you reference was a competitive team, who would be their replacement players?
  3. In either sense, if they were a competitive team, what would the impact have been on the championship? Would the difference between their preferred starters and their backups have impacted the outcome?

Even if a finals team was impacted, they had no replacement players, and it impacted the outcome, it would be a relatively rare event. In my humble opinion not worth ignoring 6% of the season, when it only would have a material impact on the winner v. loser in what, 1 out of 100 seasons, maybe.

Of course, since there’s no data, we don’t know if there’s a material impact in more than 1% of all championships, or less. But like I said, unless there’s data to support that NOT cutting seasons prematurely impacts MOST championships, I’m playing the full season. Why wouldn’t I?

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Do whatever floats your boat. As a general rule, I’m not playing DFS in weeks 1, 2 and 18, as player performances tend to be a lot more random in those weeks, making it even more of a lottery than usual.

Packers benched a healthy Aaron Rodgers at halftime, while trailing their opponent. I wouldn’t want stuff like that to decide the final game of my entire fantasy season.

And without having any actual evidence, I would suspect that contending fantasy teams are hit harder. They tend to have top players rostered, otherwise they wouldn’t be contending. Top players often play for top NFL teams, that are more likely to have secured their playoff spots in week 18.

This may be more of an issue in dynasty than in redraft. But after weeks of making strategic decisions, I wouldn’t want my season to be decided in a lottery on how NFL teams distribute their workloads when they have nothing more to play for.

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I don’t mind playing into the final week. It’s adding another degree of difficulty, like an extra twist to a dive in the final round. You just have to anticipate who will be resting which players and act accordingly.

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What’s the difference between resting, injured or out with Covid? As long as you know before game time and can act accordingly? Sure it sucks to be without your studs, but that’s just part of the game.

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I benched Rodgers for Wentz and Chase for Gage on one championship team because I anticipated that they would not play a full game.

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If a player is injured or otherwise inactive, I know so before the game. If a team announces that my player is active, but then they just use him for a couple of snaps, it is a lot more difficult to project.

Fair enough. But when half of your starters may (or may not) be partially inactive, whereas your opponent can start a full lineup, then it will be difficult to compensate.

Of course, the same goes for surprise Covid. But that’s something I cannot change or avoid. But I can avoid week 18 finals.

Anyway, again, I certainly don’t want to tell anybody what they are supposed to like. I prefer to avoid week 18, but YMMV.

And I agree with @Grin - the season is short enough already, so having an extra week to play does have its benefits.

I left it to the team owners in both of my leagues, and both voted in favor of week 17 finals. Unanimously in one league, in the other one, two owners would even have preferred week 16 finals, to move even further away from the end of the season. But that would have meant wildcard games during the last BYE week, which wouldn’t have been any better.

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