Pinstripe Bowl joined Ladies and Edelman for their inaugural season in 2019. For those of you who are new to us, we used to be Dawn of the Patriots, who were born in 2014. For the first four seasons, our fantasy football home was on NFL.com, where we lost in the Championship in season one. Since then, we have lost in the semi-finals, second round, and quarter-finals. For the last two seasons, we failed to make the playoffs in a separate private league, a trend that sadly continued in our first season in this private league.
In a tradition that started with fantasy baseball in 2018, we now track our fantasy teams in great detail to analyze where we went wrong and how we could have done better. Out of all our fantasy teams, baseball, hockey, and football, the closest we have ever gotten to winning a title were in football.
Record, Projections, and Weekly Grades
Yahoo Fantasy does a great job hosting fantasy football. They breakdown every matchup in a weekly recap sent directly to your email. They also previewed every matchup and provide a layout of the projections on whether you are going to have a good week or not.
Let’s start with our weekly grades. Our best grade was an A, which we achieved in Week 6. After that, we earned an A- grade in Week 2 and 6. We made a handful of B grades (5), C grades (5), D (2), and on F grade in week 13. Overall, our season was given a final grade of C-. We don’t quite agree with that since we were projected to be 3-11 and finished 7-7 in the regular season and 8-8 overall.
Right after the draft, Yahoo provided us with a draft recap and season projection. (You can read our draft recap analysis here.) They said we’d be 3-11, with our first win coming in week 7, the end of the first round of the schedule. Instead, we went 4-3 in those first seven weeks to find ourselves in fourth place. With those four wins, we exceeded projections by winning three of the games we weren’t supposed to win.
As the schedule flipped to the second round of head to head matchups, we didn’t fair as well. Down the stretch, we won three and lost four, bringing our final regular-season record to 7-7 and sixth place in the standings. We won two games that we were projected to lose, and lost one game we were supposed to win. Both playoff games went the way of projections, one loss and one win, thus bringing our season record to 8-8.
There were 14 games this season, and we failed to meet or exceed our scoring projections nine times (red numbers in the points for actual column). If there was one positive to take away from all those team scoring numbers is the points scored against. Despite finishing 0.500 and never meeting our weekly projections, our opponents only achieved or exceeded theirs four times. They say defence wins championships, and we had some of the best defences weeks in and week out.
Each week NFL games are played on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday. There was one week where the schedule changed from Thursday to Saturday, but ultimately games are held on those three days. Most matchups are not won or lost on Thursdays, but with a full slate of games on Sunday, matchups turn on that pivotal day. People may not get stressed on the weekend, but by Monday night, some teams live and die with the Monday Night Football matchup. The final outcome all comes down to how many players are in the game and what the point spread is.
Next season we need to keep better track of how many points we score each day. Instead this season, we just wrote down the scores at the end of each game day. That gave us some percentages on where we stood in the matchup.
It became clear that Thursday and Sunday were not our best days to score and lead matchups. We were ahead of only six of the sixteen matchups (post-season included). That means we were ahead in the matchup on 37% after Thursday. We improved slightly on Sunday, having a 43% win percentage. Those numbers grew even more after Monday because we rallied in Week 7 to win after trailing on Sunday night. We finished at 50% since our record was 8-8.
The NFL played three games on one Saturday afternoon, and we had a bunch of players in the lineup. Lucky for us, they performed pretty well and gave us a matchup lead after that day.
Studs and Duds
When it came down to our best and worse players, Tom Brady (New England) was the only Pinstripe Bowl player who ranked among the Top 25 players in the league. So naturally, he turned out to be our best player on three separate occasions, weeks one, two, and five. Fellow quarterback Ryan Tannehill (Tennessee) came in second with two weekly player awards, weeks 14 and 16. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones scored the best weekly player points in week 10 with 34.32.
Stefon Diggs (Minnesota) may be one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, yet on a really constant basis, he was our worst player. He took home worse starter of the week award three times (weeks two, three, and nine) along with San Francisco wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (weeks 10, 12, and 15). The only other player to appear on both the Best Starter (week eight) and Worst Starter lists (week 16) was the New England Patriot defence.
Matchups are won and lost with the right players in the starting line. When you don’t play the hot hand, sometimes you find yourself on the wrong side of the scoreboard. Every week we sat a player or two who went off on their opponents and cost us some valuable points. Denver running Phillip Lindsay edged out a handful of teammates (three times) by having great games on the bench in week three, five, and 11. Sanders, Diggs, Jordan Howard, and Ronald Jones II all had two appearances on this list.
Sanders and Diggs were the only players to appear on three lists, which Brady, Tannehill, Evan Engram, and Zach Ertz appeared on both best player lists.
Starting Lineups vs. Bench Players
At the beginning of the season, we thought we had a great team, which meant some people were going to play while others wouldn’t. We kept a weekly chart of how many points our starters collected and how many the bench players collected. There came a time when we were worried that one week the bench players would score more than our starters. Thankfully it never happened, but week 13 was the closest they got, by 8.02 points. Week four was also close, 10.30. The most significant deficit was in week two, where the starters outscored their bench teammates by 80.56 points.
The final numbers show that we left 969.48 points on the bench, while the starters compiled 1816.60, for a difference of 847.48. Our lineup choices were never in question, but that is a lot of points to leave on the sidelines.
League Scoring & Matchup Victory Margins
People may think all this statistical record-keeping is crazy, but it’s something we like to do. We wanted to see what it would take to compete in this league, and by tallying up scores, there are some answers.
The winning team every week average about 143.23 points, while the loser only put up 113.96. If you break down our numbers, we averaged 126.15 points in our wins and only scored 104.58 in losses. So we were 17.08 points from the league average for success and 9.38 points off the norm for losing.
Mother Buckners recorded three out of the top five highest scores, while KicknCoffinKicks record three of the worse five scores. Our highest point total came in week six, where we secured a win with 158.06 points. On the opposite end of the spectrum, our lowest score was week 13 when we put a poultry 54.16, good for the second-lowest score of the season.
Our biggest claim to fame this season was securing an 88.86 point victory in seven, which was good for the 120th highest score of the season. It was the only score to win a game that was under 100 points.
One other interesting fact to point out is that WATCH WHAT U SAQUON scored 186.62 points in week five, only to still lose. It was the highest single-game total, not to secure a victory.
Out of 128 scores, 109 of them were 100+ points, which meant only 19 times did teams fail to reach the century mark. Also of note, teams score 150+ points only 31 times, with Pinstripe Bowl only doing it once.
Teams put up a lot of points during the season. There was one other category we had to pay close attention too, and that was the matchup deficits.
The average margin of victory was 30.54 points. League Champion Mother Buckners once again tops this chart with their 87.70 point victory in the first round of the playoffs. Things were a little bit more spread out this time, where Buckners only took two of the top five spots.
Not only did Buckners secure the most significant margin of victory, but they also played in the closet game of the year, with a 2.02 point win in week five.
Pinstripe Bowl’s most significant margin of victory was in week two, where we secured a 63.24 point win. Our closet win came in week 12, where we won by just 5.10 points. On the flip side, we were on the wrong end of the fifth worse beat down of the year, when we lost in week four by 67.10 points. The closet loss we suffered was in week 11, which saw us lose by 7.84 points.
It was supposed to be a bad year, yet we managed to salvage some respectability in year one. As we reflect on what could have been, we can only crunch the numbers before we turn our attention to next season. Here’s hoping a bright future.
See you next season!