What is up everybody?! Here we are, with Week 17 of the NFL season finished up and all fantasy football leagues crowning their champion. In the RazzBowl — the biggest Pros-vs-Joes best ball tournament out there — the champion crown went to a fan, Jerry Janiga!
Way back in August, over 200 fantasy footballers drafted teams for the second RazzBowl. The field was whittled down to ten fantasy footballers by Week 16, and Jerry fended off industry experts Ari Engel, Matthew Stevens, and our own Donkey Teeth to claim the RazzBowl trophy. Jerry was locked in a weekly battle with fellow fan Joey Wright for the #1 spot, and with the addition of Mick Ciallela from Fantrax, Jerry, Joey, and Mick controlled the #1 spot in the RazzBowl competition for about 80% of the tournament. In the end, Jerry won the RazzBowl by 7 points over Ari Engel, who had a tournament-leading 196 points in the final week. Thankfully for Jerry, the nature of the RazzBowl cutline scoring gave him the edge and the championship because he had higher scoring lineups in the best ball portion of the competition from weeks 1-9 and also better lineups in the playoff cutlines from Weeks 10-15. These higher averages were added to Jerry’s robust Week 16 score, allowing him to win by a touchdown.
Despite the situation with [waves hands around] all of this, more fantasy footballers than ever signed up for the RazzBowl, and we’re thankful to all the industry sponsors, as well as the industry players and fans who played. Special thanks go to the NFC for hosting this event and calculating all the scores for us.
Let’s celebrate Jerry’s victory with a little socially distanced interview!
For those of you who were following the trials and tribulations of the RazzBowl fan fiction, you’ll remember Jerry for his adventures in learning soccer with Joey and then spending an exciting day in a Holiday Inn. In real life, you can find Jerry on Twitter and send him kudos for winning the fantasy football equivalent of Survivor. Or Hunger Games. I can’t tell the difference anymore!
1) How did you learn about the RazzBowl? Were you a Razzball reader beforehand, or did you hear about it from somewhere else?
- I actually saw the post from Razzball to signup in 2018. I tried in 2019 but was shut out of the tournament. I was participating in the 2018 version of Drafting With Giants and was in a division with DonkeyTeeth. I was lucky enough to get in through the fan lottery for a spot in 2020. [EWB’s note: There were a whole bunch of different ways fans could increase their chances to gain entry into the RazzBowl…look for more fun games next year!]
2) If you were a regular Razzball reader, how long have you been around the community?
- I was always looking for an edge, and the Razzball site came up in many of my Google queries. I bookmarked the site and came back for weekly checks on just one little tidbit that was not found any other place.
3) Can you explain a little bit about your draft strategy? Did you have a specific strategy in mind, or did it develop as the draft went on?
- Drafting from the 6th spot, I knew I was getting the end of the 1st tier running backs. I was hoping for a Kamara slide, but he went #5 right in front of me. With the choice of Dalvin Cook, I was on my way. Coming back in round 2, I knew that a prime wideout would be available to me but I wanted to go RB/RB. After Julio Jones going 14th, it left Davante Adams as my number 1 receiver on my board. Now my strategy would be get one of the Top 5 Quarterbacks and not draft one til the first 4 were gone. In Round 6 it came to Josh Allen (I’m from Buffalo) and my 5th rated quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson it was… Filling out my Viking Trio in round 13 was prized rookie Justin Jefferson, he and Thielen filled my WR2/3 admirably after Adams. Now my final strategy was to get the 2 backup running backs of two injury plagued players. Round 20 was Gio Bernard and first add during the season was my league MVP Mike Davis. [EWB Note: The RazzBowl allowed $10 in FAAB in Weeks 1-9. Managers who grabbed James Robinson and Mike Davis out-performed much of the field]
4) How was your experience drafting in RazzBowl? Did you chat with your leaguemates or make connections that are worth mentioning? Was there a specific industry member in your league that stood out to you?
- With a little jabbing here and there and “a hey nice pick!”, but overall there was not much talk going on. I did notice that Anthony Cervino was in my division but otherwise I didn’t notice any of the big time names. This gave me hope to get a top 3 spot.
5) Whether it be Razzball or another site, is there a source of fantasy analysis that you prefer? Do you consider yourself to be an active member of a specific fantasy sports community?
- I’ve been following Matthew Berry from his early days. Matthew actually had a service to view and vote on trades. So our league had the soon to be famous Matthew Berry deciding the outcome of most of our trades. With a friend breaking into the business at Rotowire, Kevin Payne introduced me to some of the main analysts over there at the time. Soon I was in home leagues with the likes of Dalton Del Don, Scott Pianowski and Derek Van Riper.
6) Is this your first “industry” event, or have you regularly played them?
- I was able to get into a listener league with Rotowire for a couple of years and that was my first victory in an industry type event. Andy Singleton then invited me to Drafting With Giants in 2018. I was eliminated in the semi finals. 2019 was my first year with an invite to the Scott Fish Bowl. It was such an honor to get that invite for the first time. Making the playoffs that season led to another invite in 2020.
7) Your Twitter bio says you’re an aspiring fantasy writer. What should sites know about you that would encourage them to take a look at your work?
- I’ve been commissioning leagues since the newspaper days of 1985, some of which are still running today. I’m an avid player of all fantasy sports from Football to Hockey to Nascar. I believe my strong point is an ability to navigate the lengthy seasons without losing the interest of my audience. Keeping things fresh and up to date when it comes to information coming out sometimes at break neck speed in the mornings.
8) Anything else you would like to add?
- I developed my own fantasy football game back in the early 1980’s. I would love to find a site to be able to score it. It’s a H2H game with 8 categories. There are 15 points to be won in the game. Each category has its own amount of points. Points scored for your whole team is worth 3 points in the game.Passing/Rushing/Receiving are worth 2 points each. It is a full IDP game along with kick returners and punters. Total sacks, interceptions, punting average, and kick return yards are worth 1 point each. So if there is an opening in your company for a hardworking, well-rounded writer, I am your man. I thank you guys at Razzball for the opportunity to get my word out to the massive amount of readers you have. I will wear those T-shirts with pride and look forward to defending my Razzball Championship in 2021.