Power Rankings

2018 Power Ranks – Toppa Bowl VIII Preview

We’ve been doing this thing for 8 years now, and while it’s pretty much the best thing I have going in my life and every time I hear someone else talking about their fantasy league, I think in the back of my head, “You think your fantasy league is cool, but it fucking sucks compared to ours,” I feel like change can sometimes be a good thing. Sometimes, even if you have a good thing going, it can still feel a little stale. Sometimes you want to try a new thing to keep things fresh and see if everyone likes it.  You can think of this as Toppa League Butt Sex.

I thought I’d throw out some ideas I had to see if we could take this league up a notch. I’ve broken the ideas down by the 3 important parts of the Toppa SZN: the Draft, the SZN itself, and after the SZN.

Draft

Start Toppa Draft Earlier

There’s like 60 reasons why this needs to happen and I’m going to list all 60 now… Just kidding. Toppa Draft is a long day. It’s practically like going to a wedding. And weddings don’t start at 6pm. It’s a Saturday, this thing should be starting at like 1pm. And work is no excuse. If #Maini can catch a flight, you can take a day off of work. Put in for it now. You know when it’s going to be, do it now.

But there’s no reason anymore why I should be going to bed at 2am. And I don’t even have kids!! And we all know day drinking is the best. Why wouldn’t we incorporate day drinking into Toppa Draft? If Toppa Draft is going to go for 8 hours, I’m going to need at least 8 hours of sleep.

Plus, this helps address with the food situation. Last year I had a little issue with overindulgence, and instead of practicing control and moderation, we should just change the whole thing around to make up for my lack of self control. If we start the draft around noon, we can eat food a whole bunch of food as lunch, then at halftime, we can eat again as dinner. Instead of eating a whole bunch of food as dinner, then eating a whole pizza for a midnight snack.

Split Toppa Draft into 2 days

I credit VC with this one, and I don’t know how feasible it is, but I liked it so much that I want to bring it up. VC was talking about how much he loved Toppa Draft and wanted it to be even longer and basically go on forever. We then started joking that it should be like the NFL Draft where it starts on one night and ends on another day. I think this idea is so fantastic and ridiculous that I wanted to share it.

Logistically it’s a nightmare, but imagine telling someone at the bar that you have the first round of your draft on Friday night like the NFL Draft, then finish the rest on Saturday.

It probably makes the most sense to go through the first 2 rounds, since the first round of the NFL Draft takes 5 hours and the 1st round of a fantasy draft takes 30 minutes. It would be pretty hard to stop the draft after it just got started. But this would add a 20% chance I’d remember my team if we drafted this way.

Vegetables

I think I said this right after Toppa Draft 8, but we gotta do something about the menu. As much as I’d like to, a man cannot survive on Loftus Dip alone. Steak tips, chicken wings, meatballs, beans. These things are all delicious, but I think I need a food that isn’t brown. I took 3 shits before noon that Sunday. No joke. I’m not asking for a lot. I’m not looking for a vegan meal or anything. I just think I need like one or two vitamins. Like C and D will do.

If there’s a Keg, Drink the Keg

I did the math 2 years ago and calculated that with 2 thirty packs and a keg, each person at Toppa Draft would have to drink 19 beers. I haven’t drank 19 beers since my 19th birthday. That night we got through half of the keg and we had Tyler there, whose only job was to sit next to the keg and drink it. So this year, we learned our lesson, and with less people there, we bought the same exact amount of beer.

If we have a keg of beer, we should be drinking the keg of beer. Last year’s loser should have to be the one running pitchers back and forth from the upstairs to the driveway. In fact, what we’ve been doing is the exact opposite of the House Party Rules of Success. It’s been a while, so I’ve forgotten, but when you buy a keg and have people over, you save the 30 packs for when the keg runs out and you kick everyone out. We’ve been doing it backwards all along anyway. I really don’t think we need 30 packs if we’re getting a keg, but that’s just me.

Auction Draft

The two major downside to this is it makes a long draft even longer, which means that VC is all for it. And, ideally, you need someone to act as the auctioneer. I’m sure we could chip in and get a beach boy to do it though. All the need to do is pay attention and count. I’m sure there’s at least one, who can do it… okay maybe not. But we can find someone.

But I’ve heard that auction drafts are way more fun. You have a shot at every single player. Is it coincidence that the team finished the season with the 1-seed also had the first pick in the draft? I think not. Plus, think of how hilarious it’ll be when Timmy spends $45 on Tyler Lockett. I’m already excited.

Keepers

We’ve been in this league for 8 years. I feel like maybe we don’t have to start fresh every single year. I’m not talking about keeping our entire team in a Dynasty League or anything. Just like two guys. There’s nothing more fun than looking forward to Toppa Draft, this would be one more thing to prepare for, overthink and get excited about.

Suggestion: Anyone taken in the first 2 rounds can’t be kept. You give up the next year’s pick of what you drafted the guy at. If you keep him multiple years, then it increases by 3 picks per year. So if I draft a guy in round 14 last year, this year I give up my 14th rounder, if I keep him again the next year, I give up an 11th round, the year after that would be an 8th, then a 5th, etc.

If it’s an auction, you do the same thing except it’s what you paid for him the previous year, and make that price go up incrementally each year (+$15).

Get a Better Blender

I know this goes against the current trend of just using whatever we find in the 1st Beach Lost-and-Found, but that thing is not cutting it. There’s gotta be an affordable upgrade available on Amazon. Actually, there’s still time! Someone ask their mom for a blender for Christmas!

League

-50¢ for Every Pickup, +$1 for Every Trade

This is my idea for trying to get more trades going in the league. I really should be asking Woody how he gets it done. Anyway, currently if you pick a player up off the waiver wire, you pay 50 cents to the Toppa Kitty (meow). My idea is, if you make a trade, however, you get a dollar back from the Toppa Kitty (meow). Just a little extra incentive there.

Update scoring

Honestly, I’m fine with the majority of the scoring. The only thing I hate is that a fumble is -1 and then a fumble lost is -2. But you can’t lose a fumble without fumbling in the first place, so the whole thing ends up being -3. A lost fumble shouldn’t be -3 if an interception is -2. I suggest -1 for each (fumble & fumble lost).

Other than that, I think the scoring is fine, but I’ll leave this section here as a way to facilitate conversation. Queue Micho going, “we gotta get rid of the bonuses.”

Eliminate TE

I fucking hate tight ends. I have for years. Hate, hate, hate them! There’s like 2.5 good ones in the whole league. It’s why I’m always so shocked that JeffWho wants to play ANOTHER one at the flex.

There are 5 TEs who scored over 100 points so far this year. The 6th best TE (Gronk) is closer in points to the 25th best TE than the 5th best TE. There are also 19 kickers who scored more points than Gronk. Gronk also went 18th overall in Toppa Draft.

There were 10 TEs drafted in the first 10 rounds, they ended up being the 231st, 50th, 95th, 321st, 500th, 483rd, 230th, 1244th, 397th, and 423rd ranked players in fantasy. Why should I be wasting a draft pick on a guy who’s a steal in the 8th round if he ends up being the 300th best player in fantasy?

The second best tight end in fantasy is the 87th best player overall.

My tight end for a lot of the year was Kyle Rudolph, and he was the 15th best TE all year, he also averaged 4 points per week.

If you averaged the entire top-25 for the position it comes out to 7 points per week. SEVEN! We have a whole roster spot for 7 goddamn points! And that’s if we’re lucky!

I suggest two W/R/T flex spots. You can play a tight end if you want. You can even play two! But you shouldn’t HAVE to play this godforsaken, shitty, stupid position. I’d rather play 3 kickers than a tight end every week.

Maini gets an iPhone

I have 5 Toppa Conversations in my phone. I count the same 10 people in each one and somehow they are different and someone is always left out. Sometimes I’ll get a message from one and see a response in another. Pictures are sometimes really, really tiny and grainy. And the text bubbles are an unsightly green color. This needs to change.

Divisions

I’m not sold on this idea, but it also feels like it could be fun. I like writing East Lot and West Lot Conference Championship, but I just arbitrarily pick them every year. So we could actually have an East and West Lot Conference, each with 6 teams. You would play everyone twice then 3 out of conference games. I guess this messes up the current playoffs since you would basically have the playoffs within the division. It would also mean the two top teams getting byes. Then the actual conference champs meeting up in the Toppa Bowl. This is a pretty big, and probably unnecessary, change. Again, I’m not sold.

Post SZN

Banquet

What are we taking all these excessive dues for if we can’t throw a party at the end of the year. It’s like Toppa Draft but you don’t have to prepare. So for Timmy, it’s like Toppa Draft. There’s gotta be enough money in the kitty (meow) for a platter of chicken titties and 3 pitchers of beer. And at the banquet, we can present…

Toppa Trophy

I love my Championship Belt, but I can’t drink out of it. And it’s falling apart. We need something that will last the test of time. We need something that has Bianca Willfork, Suck My Warburton, Aqib Talib Kweli, EasleyChungLikeBrady, #BroNationEjaQlation, Wide Right and Tiger’s Wood etched into it to be remembered forever. We also need something the champion can drink out of all year.

Payout for Best Team of the Regular SZN

It’s way harder to win 13 games than to win 3. It’s way harder to be the best team in the league week in and week out. I still think we should keep a payout for the Toppa Bowl champion, but I also think you should get something for being the best team in the league in the regular SZN. It’s harder to do that than to win the consolation bracket.

Alright, those are ideas that you can think about all spring and summer. Let’s bring it back to 2018 with a playoff recap.

Playoff Recap

We had two pretty ugly match-ups to clinch a berth to the Toppa Bowl, but what else would you expect from December football. Good ole SMASHMOUTH. But as ugly as they were, they were exciting because they were close. Let’s hope the final game of the Toppa SZN is a bit more exciting with more scoring.

West Lot Conference Championship Game

#6 Mr. BoomBoom 122.25
#4 Woken KMICHO 103.95

This week I have another artist’s depiction of my matchup:

That’s me unwrapping the early Christmas present that Micho gave me by playing Melvin Gordon even though he didn’t play because of an injury. Apparently, there was some controversy surrounding this. Micho sent me a text that he “made the change” and was blaming Yahoo for it not going through. He even claimed he discussed it with Brendo and Vegas. Well, we all have nothing but thinking emojis and crying laughing emojis for you because I don’t know how you didn’t manage to take a guy out of your lineup an hour before game time.

Gordon was in Micho’s flex spot, and the position ended up being a -31 net for him, since he had 0 from Gordon and I got 31 points from Joe Mixon. That would really be the difference in this matchup because both of our teams kinda played like crap. Micho’s best player was the Atlanta defense, who had 7 sacks and 2 interceptions including a pick-six. But no one else on his team broke 20 points and only 3 others scored more than 10.

Micho had a chance to pull of the win, down by 18 going into Monday Night with his QB, Jared Goff going. Instead Goff had a pretty mediocre night with 339 yards but 2 fumbles and a pick.

East Lot Conference Championship Game

#1 Driveway Beers 135.25
#7 #MainiLovesBradyUggs 131.25

Wow, what a close one! Here’s an artist depiction of both of these guys watching this matchup:

The largest point differential throughout the entire weekend of this matchup was only 16 points. JBiggs pulled out to a 3 point lead on Thursday night. By the time Saturday was finished, #Maini had taken the lead by 7. Through the early and late afternoon Sunday games, the two teams stayed close but #Maini more than doubled his lead to 16 points. But, during the Sunday Night game is when JBiggs pulled ahead for good. Todd Gurley scored 24 points for Driveway Beers to take the win for JBiggs. By the end of Sunday night, JBiggs had a 2 point lead and #Maini was out of players. JBiggs got a few more points from his TE on Monday Night to seal the deal, and make sure he didn’t lose on a stat correction.

Aside from Gurley, JBiggs got a huge day from Dalvin Cook who had 33.3 points. The rest of the matchup was filled with some decent days from both sides, but no one else really stood out enough to make a difference.

Toppa Bowl VIII

JBiggs is hoping to become the first ever number 1-seed to win the Toppa Bowl. I’m hoping to become the third two-time Toppa Champ in league history. JBiggs has scored the most points in the league, out scoring the next best team by 212 points, or more than 16 points per week. That next best team, is me. So in terms of points, we have the two best teams of the 2018 Toppa SZN. In a year when offense has exploded, it turns out it has in fantasy as well.

Previous Matchup: In week 4, JBiggs started what would be a 3-week winning streak, beating me in a close, high scoring match up 166.40 – 161.00. Yahoo gave us both A+’s as we each exceeded our projections by over 20 points. I was able to get 35 points out of Zeke Elliot, plus another 30 from Phil Rivers and 21 from Robert Woods. While JBiggs didn’t have a player who scored as much as Zeke, or even Rivers, he had more players on his squad with 20+. Patrick Mahomes (26), Brandin Cooks (25), Todd Gurley (22) and Sony Michel (22) all came through for JBiggs.

The matchup was close throughout. JBiggs opened up the matchup on Thursday night with a 22 point lead, which was the biggest lead of the whole weekend. I pulled ahead during the early Sunday afternoon games, taking the lead by 11. By Sunday night we were separated by only 4 points, with me in the lead. On Monday Night Demaryius Thomas and Philip Lindsay combined for 16 points, but that was not enough to offset Mahomes’ 26, which gave JBiggs the lead and the win.

Key Players: Let’s see how each team matches up at each position.

Quarterback: So we start with Patrick Mahomes, who is the highest scoring player in fantasy. He has the lead over the second highest, Ben Roethlisberger, by 100 points. He’s averaging just under 40 points per game for JBiggs. He’s scored over 40 points 7 times this SZN, including the time he came 0.9 points short of 60. This week he’s going against the Seattle defense who have held the Dak Prescott, Phil Rivers, Matt Stafford and Jared Goff all under 25 points. But have also given up 35+ to Case Keenum and Nick Mullens, so… shoulder shrug emoji.

On the other side of the match-up, The Sirer Phil Rivers is the 6th best player in fantasy. This would be great, if I weren’t matched up against the best player in fantasy. Phil needs one more 40-yard TD to have one for each of his eight children. He’s matched up against the Baltimore Ravens who have given up the 4th least amount of points to QBs. Edge: Driveway Beers

Wide Receivers: Each team has a top-3 wide receiver. Davante Adams is the 2nd best WR in all of fantasy with 1315 yards and 12 TDs, as my WR1. Just behind him at #3 is Julio Jones, JBiggs’ WR1, who has 1511 yards but only 2 TDs. Julio is currently banged up and questionable. Don’t make Micho’s mistake. We each have a LA Rams receiver. JBiggs has Brandin Cooks and I have Robert Woods. Both are top-15 WR, with Woods being 11 and Cooks at 14. Then each of us have a hit-or-miss guy, who happened to be going up against each other. Allen Robinson is starting for JBiggs. He had a 30 point week in Week 10, but is averaging 5 points per week since. I have Dante Pettis who also has a recent 30 point game (Week 13) and has played well recently, but also has 3 single digit games, 3 zero pointers and 3 DNPs this SZN. A WR3 who plays well could decide this matchup. Edge: Push

Running Backs: So on top of having the best player in fantasy this year, JBiggs also has the best non-quarterback in fantasy, in Todd Gurley. Gurley is averaging almost 25 points per game. Currently, he is questionable with a knee tweak, but two hurt-running-back-Christmas-presents is too much to ask for me. Now, I almost match up with JBiggs by bringing Zeke Elliott to the table. Elliott is the 4th highest scoring running back in fantasy. Both have very friendly match-ups with Gurley traveling to Arizona giving up the 2nd most points to running backs and Elliott at home against the Buccaneers, who are giving up the 4th most points to running backs.

For my RB2, I’ve got Phillip Lindsay, my waiver wire wonder. He’s the 9th highest scoring running back in the league and all I had to do was drop Duke Johnson to get him. JBiggs has got Dalvin Cook, who has bounced around Toppa League but may finally be producing in the way everyone thought he would be. He put up 33 points last week and has scored double digit points in each of the 4 weeks before that. Edge: Push, maybe slight edge to Driveway Beers

Tight End: We each have a guy we picked up off the waiver wire that was really good two weeks ago. But then they both combined for 2 points last week. Edge: Push

Flex: As of right now, I’m going with Joe Mixon and JBiggs is going with John Conner. Conner is the sixth best running back in fantasy, but has missed the last two games with an injury. He’s questionable this week, and said that he’s “not ready” to return. If he does go, he’ll still have a tough day playing in New Orleans, who give up the 3rd least fantasy points to running backs. If he doesn’t go, JBiggs will have to decide between Courtland Sutton, LeSean McCoy, Robert Foster or Kalen Ballage. Joe Mixon is also questionable. I’m hoping and praying that he plays because he’s averaged 27 points in the last two weeks and he’s traveling to Cleveland, who are giving up the 9th most fantasy points against the run. Edge: Driveway Beers if Conner were healthy, Mr. BoomBoom if not. Calling it a Push for now.

Kicker: Do we really care? I think we’d all be pretty annoyed if this matchup came down to a kicker.

Defense: JBiggs has the Minnesota defense who is the 3rd best fantasy defense. I, however, just picked up the Indianapolis defense who is 4th. IDP is such a crapshoot and we both have top-15 guys. Edge: Push

There you have it. Position by position we’re very close if not equal. JBiggs has the edge in quarterback and slight edge in running back. Three months ago we played each other to a close game where 320 points were scored and JBiggs won by just 5 points. I think this one is gonna be close again.

Will we be crowning a brand new Toppa Champ? Or will an old champion be returning to glory?

Will we have two sets of champion brothers? Or three two-time champions?

This is so exciting I think I’m gonna puke. Nope, that’s just nervousness. It’s a battle between two of the league’s notable positions: the Vice Commish up against the Keeper of Record. An OG against a young buck. Two men who have been through the trials and tribulations of wearing a walking boot. This is Toppa Bowl VIII.

It kicks off with… no games tonight, oh man I wish I had known that before I stayed up late last night writing this thing. Anyway, we do have two games on Saturday. Washington (+10) is at Tennessee at 4:30pm and the Ravens are at the Chargers (-5.5) at 8:20pm. Set your lineup VC. And may the best man win. Goddammit, now I’m definitely gonna lose.

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas and all that shit.

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