Pinstripe Bowl won the 2020 Ladies and Edelman fantasy league championship. After taking some time to celebrate, brag on social media, and collect our winnings, we sat down to break down our miraculous season.
Record, Projections, and Weekly Grades
When you win the championship in your fantasy league, you better finish your season with good grades. Overall Pinstripe Bowl finished with a B+ season grade which speaks to our 10-6 record. If you look back at the numbers, we were projected to be just 7-9 and finished 10-6 and the title.
Our best grade was an A+, which we achieved four times – week one, four, six, and week 15, our semi-finals matchup. After that, we earned an A- in week two and an A grade in week 10, which meant we collected six top marks during the season. Our record in those matchups was 5-1. After that, we compiled a few B grades (4), C grades (5), and a single D+ (1). When the season was on the line in the semi-finals we earned an A+ and in the championship, we only managed a C grade.
Right after the draft, Yahoo provided us with a draft recap and season projection (our draft recap analysis is here). When you look back at our season, we defied expectations on five occasions and won our matchup even though the original expectations pegged us for a loss. We were on pace to lose both playoff matchups only to pull out a victory each time. On the flip side, we lost three weeks when the analysis projected us for the win.
The longest winning streak of the season was five games, weeks 6-10, and we followed that streak up with a season-high three-game losing streak in weeks 11-13. We reached first place in the standings thanks to the winning streak and barely clung to a playoff spot by losing three straight right at the end of the season.
Only on one occasion did Pinstripe Bowl only failed to reach 100 points (week 13) and scored a season-high 164.92 in week six. When we scored 164.20 points in the playoffs, it was the second time we eclipsed 160 and on both occasions, those scores were a league-best.
We failed to meet our projections during six matchups, which produced a 1-5 record. Even with those numbers in those matchups, we exceeded regular season projections by 8.30 points. When you factor in the playoffs, we were 31.26 points better.
Opponents scored 86.74 fewer points than projected for the season, allowing us to finish +134.84 for the regular season. When the playoffs were done, our numbers only improved to +149.84.
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the NFL this season, as the league decided to surge ahead with a full schedule. Players dropped in and out of the season and that forced teams to take unusual bye weeks and see their game start times altered hours before kickoff. The amazing thing about the 2020 NFL season is the league played at least once on every day of the week. Seeing the ball thrown, run, and kicked seven days a week expanded our spreadsheet further than we could have imagined and made us crush even more numbers.
As expected our best day for scoring points was Sunday. We managed to outscore our opponents on that day 1680.14-1608.60. Thanks to some impressive numbers on Monday, 246.18-214.32, we were able to win at least two matchups despite being down headed into the day. Thursday night football was also nice for us, where 119.96 points got us off to a solid start in those weeks. Opponents only managed 46.58 against us under the bright lights, a difference of +73.38. When the games expanded past the usual days of the week, Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, our numbers were not as good. With the exception of one Tuesday night game (20.60-0.00), we came out on the wrong side of Saturday (57.46-54.98) and Wednesday (26.40-12.60).
When you study the chart on the right, you’ll see our winning percentage for the season was 62%. We held a lead in 56% of our matchups after Sunday games and 100% of Saturday games. After that, we held a 31% winning percentage after Thursday and were either tied or losing on games held Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Studs and Duds
One of the rival managers once said to me that success comes from your first-round pick. We were fortunate enough to grab Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry who may be the best or second-best tailback in the league. This manager also sent us a text message when we grabbed quarterback Kyler Murray (Arizona) in the sixth round of the draft, saying that we stole his guy. Murray was one of the top three best players in fantasy land and won our best starter award on five occasions, besting Henry by one. Buffalo Bills superstar Stefon Diggs was the only player with multiple awards (2). Other players to win the weekly title were Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas), Odell Beckham Jr (Cleveland), Tom Brady (Tampa Bay), Diontae Johnson (Pittsburgh), and Kirk Cousins (Minnesota).
Of course, if there is the best player award, there had to be a worse player award. Henry (2), Beckham (2), and Johnson were the three players to make appearances on both lists. The trio was joined by a laundry list of players who failed to produce in a starting role. Hunter Henry (Los Angeles), DJ Chark, Jr (Jacksonville), Christian Kirk (Arizona) were two-time offenders, while everyone else popped up once. The others included Kenny Galloway (Detriot), Ronald Jones II (Tampa Bay), Frank Gore (New York), Dan Schultz (Dallas), and the Seattle Seahawks defence.
For the first time in six seasons, Pinstripe Bowl did not draft Brady, who went to Trump Towers. For some reason, the greatest of all-time ended up on the waiver wire after a handful of weeks and we signed him. In the final 11 weeks, he was on the roster, he won the best bench player award five times. He bested quarterback Murray (2) and receiver Chark Jr (2) as multiple winners. Everyone else on the list won the award once, with Johnson appearing on all three lists.
Pinstripe Bowl tied Pleasantly Plump for best player in the league awards with four apiece. Lamar the Merrier! was the only other team with multiple wins, while EarlThomas’Brother, KerryMy Johnson, Trump Towers, Nukl Busters, and WATCH WHAT U SAQUON each won once.
Starting Lineups vs. Bench Players
In 2019 we started to track how many points our starters scored compared to players left on the bench. This move offered another chance to analyze roster decisions, in the event we lost a matchup.
As we mentioned earlier in this review, our starters scored a lot of points and their best performance as a group was in week six with 164.92 points. They averaged 133.40 points a week while bench players managed half of that with 59.23. The non-starters produced their best numbers in the championship game, where they collected 98.42 points, just 27.16 points behind the starters.
When it was all said and done, the starters outscored their bench players by 1127.28 points. Because we finished with a 10-6 record, our roster decisions were never in question.
Another statistic we decided to keep track of this season was weekly averages based on positions. The three major positions would be quarterback, running back, and wide receiver.
Combined our position averages break down as follows. Wide receivers lead the way with an average of 36.48 points. Running backs came in second with 33.72 points and then our quarterbacks at 26.59. Our tight ends managed 10.77, slightly ahead of any player we put in the flex position, 9.03. The various kickers and team defences we employed throughout the season came very close to each other in regards to contributions, 8.50 and 8.31 respectively.
Yahoo fantasy gave us an amazing point production chart in our year-end review. The numbers were tough to screenshot, so we just imported them into the spreadsheet on the right. We ranked the teams based on how they finished the season.
Lamar the Merrier! lead the way with the highest percentage points by position with more than half of their points coming from their running backs. Next up The Bowl collected 49.29% of their points from their core of receivers. The last two league champions were the only teams to rely on so heavy upon one position to garner a win.
Trump Towers had former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson (Baltimore) as their quarterback, who made up 15.64% of their points. Chod’s Team employed a few tight ends, who scored 19.18% of their points. Chod’s also led the league with the highest percentage points from team defences, 7.39%. EarlThomas’ Brother had the best kickers in the league, who contributed a league-high 7.78% to their team’s points.
League Scoring & Matchup Victory Margins
To cut down on your reading time and the size of the pictures in this post, we decided to only share the top 10 scores in each category.
The winning team averaged 141.75 points in their wins, while the losing team only put up 109.37, both numbers are below the league averages of 2019. We averaged 133.40 points a week, which meant the league champions came in 8.35 points under the league average.
KerryMy Johnson was the only team to crack the 200 point mark in a weekly matchup. While WATCH WHAT U SAQUON and Lamar the Merrier! were the only two teams to pull off victories without scoring at least 100 points.
Cleveland Streamerz managed a league-best 158.90 points in a losing effort. Despite their best efforts that week, they still lost that matchup by 19.98 points. Chod’s Team was the only team to put up less than 60 points in a loss, scoring just 57.40 points and losing by 75.54.
The largest margin of victory in the 2020 season belonged to Pleasantly Plump, who nearly doubled up Trump Towers in week two. Their 178.40-84.36 win was a deficit of 94.04 points. Trump not only participated in the biggest blowout of the season, but they were also involved in the closet match of the season, a 0.22 point win over WATCH, 118.92-118.70 in week four.
Averages for the playoffs were a tad bit higher, with the deficits increasing by almost 10 points. The average amount of points scored by a losing team only went up by 1.85, while the victors scored 11.25 more points in their wins.
In 2014 we joined our first fantasy football league. We lost in the finals that season and never even made it back to the semi-finals. Somehow we defied all the odds in 2020 and beat the projections to win our first ever fantasy championship.
They often say that the numbers don’t lie and if you took the time to review all the data we compiled during the season, you will see that a lot of time and effort went into decision making that resulted in the big win.
See you all next season when Pinstripe Bowl returns to defend their title.