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#FLEX League Recap: I'm Frankenstein

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It figures one of the few Hartline big games came last week. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
It figures one of the few Hartline big games came last week. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

#FLEX League (link)

A 1.1-point loss (really, Brian Hartline?!). Yes, again, luck rears its ugly head, punches me in the gut, pushes me down in the mud and slashes my car's tires as it laughs hysterically on its way out. I was trying to put a bowtie thought on this FLEX season for me, and then Nando Di Fino (@nandocbs) hit me with this email:

I was just going to write to you. Another heartbreaking loss, dude! You are the Frankenstein of this league (your creation destroying all that you love).

Wow. I couldn't have said it better.

I have campaigned for a league like this for years. Ever since I started pushing for inclusion into Tout Wars (fantasy baseball) years back (it's a long waiting list of premier talent), I wanted to get similar leagues going for football. Finally, with lots of pushing and help from Jamey Eisenberg (@JameyEisenberg) and David Gonos (@davidgonos), it happened. We had the FLEX leagues! My dream and creation came to fruition, and yet, luck beat the heck out of me and tarnished my enjoyment.

Don't get me wrong. I am thrilled to have FLEX going and only have bigger plans for next year. The inaugural season was a blast – well, some get to keep enjoying it longer – and the group of owners is top notch. Still, there is a bitter sweetness to the league, and it couldn’t have been better described than by Nando's "you are Frankenstein" quip.

Now, I just need to take down the Consolation bracket! Moral victories people, moral victories.

Recap

Both Eisenberg and Gonos got back to winning, securing first round byes. Scott Pianowski (@scott_pianowski) won his third straight, setting up a matchup with my man Nando. I'm proud of Nando defying the odds and squeaking in with a 6-7 record. He can send his thanks to Eric Mack (@EricMackFantasy) who lost his sixth straight game and missed the playoffs. Ouch. Matt Schauf (@SchaufDS) and John Halpin (@jhalpin37) square off in the other playoff game, and while they went 8-5 and 7-6 respectively, they were separated by just 1.86 points in the end.

Well, on to the playoffs we (they) go, so let's get to more input that normal from some of the big names.

Nando Di Fino

- Nicely done getting into the playoffs! Now, do you think your late-season success continues with a win?

This is actually a pretty solid team. When it's hitting on all cylinders, it's dangerous. Colin Kaepernick worries me a little bit, and my fourth receiver (this week it's Rod Streater) is a crapshoot every week, but I like the DeSean Jackson/Vincent Jackson/Alshon Jeffery WR combo a lot, and Vernon Davis is as reliable a tight end as there is. I wish Trent Richardson would have gone in a different direction, but it was a calculated risk. 

I also like having Knile Davis on my bench. It's just a nice insurance policy to have, even with Jamaal Charles on someone else's team.

Matt Schauf

1. Tough loss had you slip from 3rd to 4th, but you may like your matchup better. Do you? John Halpin did score around 74 points less on the year than Nando Di Fino.

I would never say anything to disparage any particular league mate. But yeah, John's team sucks. I'm looking forward to facing it. You know, if I'm just looking at things analytically.

2. Drew Brees has another tough matchup this week. Do you expect better and/or that he can carry you through Round 1?

Monday gave us Brees' worst fantasy outing of at least the past four years, so I'm certainly expecting more this week. The Panthers have been tough on QBs, but two of the past three to face them tallied at least 296 yards. I expect Brees to be the first QB to reach two TDs against Carolina on the season

3. Okay, be honest, how confident are you in winning?

Honestly, I don't love my team with a tough matchup for LeSean McCoy and Jordy Nelson still likely missing his QB. But Brees makes just about anything possible.

John Halpin

- Just one question for you. How confident are you in a Round 1 playoff win?

Schauf has Brees and some Saints' RBs against the Panthers, and that's not an easy matchup. His wildcard is the Pats' DST going against the Browns and their Unknown Quarterback, but if I lose because of a weird situation like that, so be it. Our teams finished within TWO points of each other this season, so this should be a close one. I'll predict a narrow victory for the Good Guys in this game.

Eric Mack

1. Give your honest opinion... What went wrong? You were the last undefeated team, yet, lost six straight to miss the playoffs in a tiebreak.

Ray Rice fell flat, Alfred Morris had his TDs stolen by Roy Helu and Darrel Young, and James Jones was worthless after Aaron Rodgers went down. Also, I had issues dealing with byes because I never made a FAAB move.

2. Who do you like as the favorite to take it all?

Jamey's team beat me by 200 points when Peyton Manning was on bye, gotta go with him.

Thoughts

Two takeaways here. First, let Mack be a lesson folks. Don't forget about waivers… ever. One week, just one, can make all of the difference. Mack would have easily been playoff bound if he pulled out one more game. Second, I think Eisenberg is one of the favorites, but don't overlook Di Fino. He said it himself, and I can't disagree, that lineup has loads of firepower. If he can get through Kaepernick facing the Seahawks this week, the matchups are golden for his potential championship run.

Waivers

About nothing. The main move, which I like, was Halpin grabbing Michael Crabtree for $5. If he makes it past the first round, Crabtree could be primed to help Halpin make some noise in Weeks 15 and 16 given the matchups. That was about it, as the rest of us not in the playoffs did the polite thing and left the waivers for those actually playing for something.

For more waiver wire recommendations, make sure to check out John Kerwin’s Waiver Wire Matinee.

Best Ball (link)

This is getting tight! Alex Miglio (@AlexMiglio) saw his lead over Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) shrink again, and it's now just 14.96 points. JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) isn't far behind, trailing Clay by only 17.94 points. Jonathan Bales (@BalesFootball) posted the high score for the second week in a row and sits 26.88 points behind Zachariason. We have less than 60 points separating first from fourth, and Bob Harris (@footballdiehard) and Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) are still in the hunt… if being somewhat of longshots. I think my boy Nick Raducanu's (@FantasyTrade411) season was over a while ago. Love ya Nick!