Week 14 means its officially time to stop messing around and lock into “playoff mode.” I consider my own “playoff mode” to be very similar to Marshawn Lynch’s “beast mode.” Instead of smashing through defenders on the way to the end zone, I smash through a bag of Dorritos and a twelve pack on my way to a fantasy playoff win….and both end with Skittles. Oh, how I love the fantasy playoffs!
Week 14’s edition of the Smash Back is a bit shorter, as trade deadlines have come and gone, but there are still ways to make your league more entertaining after the regular season has ended…
King of the Losers: This is a new addition I have made to my hometown league this season. Generally the non-playoff qualifying teams in fantasy leagues check out after week 13, try to forget their 4-9 record, and start preparing for fantasy baseball. However, the “King of the Losers” bracket is an easy way to extend the fantasy fun for all teams through week 16. All non-playoff teams are entered into this postseason tournament, where the winner is King Loser.
Try this: Match up all of your non-playoff teams in a playoff style bracket that will operate in the exact opposite fashion of your league’s actual playoff bracket, as the winning teams are eliminated and the losing teams advance. By week 16, you will have narrowed down the field to two teams, who will duke it out for the title of “King Loser.” Once the bracket has been established, send out an email soliciting ideas for the prize that the “King Loser” will receive. If you are feeling extra creative this weekend, maybe make a poll for your league mates where they can cast their votes on the fate of the champion loser. The prize could be as easy as buying food or adult beverages for next year’s draft, or could get as complex as creating an embarrassing shirt for the owner to wear (and be photographed in) at your 2012 draft. A league mate of mine suggested that we make our “King Loser” karaoke “We are the Champions” at our auction next year, with the lyrics changed to celebrate the league champ. Whatever your league chooses, make it fun and as inappropriate as your league allows.
Playoff Previews: As a fantasy commissioner, I love sending out my very own preseason predictions after my league’s draft each season. As the playoffs get ready to begin, I usually spend some time checking out my league’s playoff matchups and send out a playoff preview to the rest of the league as well. Whether you’re a commish or not, take this opportunity to predict your league’s title race, and as always, take as many shots at your league mates as possible when writing.
Try this: Go through each playoff matchup and give your two cents (or less…the economy is tough right now) on which team will be victorious and why. You could even channel your inner Ace Rothstein and hammer out some of your own point spreads on the games (I would make any team with Ray Rice running against Indy at least a 13.5 point favorite this week). It doesn’t have to be a novel, but have some fun creating debate about which team will bring home your league title in 2011, and of course, reminding everyone that you would have taken the trophy if it weren’t for that damn Jamaal Charles…
Fantasy leagues are much more fun when there is ample interaction between owners, so keep the good times rolling through the playoffs. Now go get yourself a playoff win!