One of the greatest boxers in the world, Muhamad Ali, used to employ a strategy called the rope a dope. He would wear down his opponents by taking a beating early in the fights, only to rebound at the end and secure the knockout blow to win.
Pinstripe Bowl has been on the ropes since the beginning of the season. There is little to no fight left as the hits just keep on coming. Whether it is a narrow loss or a blowout, this year’s team has come up short way too many times and now sits near the bottom of the standings with a 3-6 record. The boys would have to go on a three-game winning streak to just get even and pray for a miracle to occur and leapfrog a half dozen teams to secure a playoff berth.
The team’s hopes of repeating as fantasy league champions continue to fade away. From the number of punches to the gut they have taken, there is genuinely no rebounding from a disastrous 2021 season.
Pinstripe Bowl opened this week’s matchup with a 46.10 point lead thanks to a handful of players suiting up on Thursday night. The lead, which most teams would ride to victory after the weekend, had all but evaporated by Sunday afternoon as Cleveland Steamerz scored 140.98 on the day, grabbing a 29.72 point advantage.
Cleveland witnessed the score swing by 75.82 points in their favor, leaving them nothing to worry about heading into Monday Night Football. The Bowl scored just 7.30 points on the night to come 3.91 points under their initial projections. Cleveland failed to reach their predictions, but it was only 0.65 points. Instead of winning the matchup by 19.16, they finished the defending champions by 22.42 points.
Once again, Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis) was the Bowl’s best player collecting 34.00 points in the loss. He was joined by Goerge Kittle (San Francisco) and Ty Johnson (New York Jets) as the only three players who exceeded their projections and ended up on the positive side of the score sheet.
Rookie New England quarterback Mac Jones had an off week producing just 7.96 points, coming up 11.41 points short of his projections. As one of the leading candidates for rookie of the year, Jones has been filling in for injured star Kyler Murray (Arizona).
There were no standouts on the bench as all three eligible players failed to reach double digits, scoring a combined 17.40 points. Only Hunter Henry (New England) had a better week than Chase Claypool (Pittsburgh), who had 7.30 points in the flex position. Since the Bowl lost by over 20 points, the 2.60 extra points Henry could have scored wouldn’t have affected the outcome.
It was an odd week for scoring in the league as four teams failed to reach 100 points. The top two teams in the league, Garoppolyse Now and Nukl Busters, didn’t get into the triple-digit club, with Busters actually scoring a victory with less than 100 points in their matchup.
For the first time this season, the highest-scoring team in the league was What’s an ACL anyways?. The bottom team in the league finally found the win column, destroying the once undefeated Garoppolyse Now by 90.16 points. The margin of victory was so severe that it outscored three other teams in week nine.
The Bowl scored the third-highest point total of the week but remained in second to last place with a 3-6 record. Five teams in the league have a win-loss record separated by one game, while the top two teams will be fighting until the bitter end for the top spot in the standings.
Besides Murray, Taylor became just the second player to win multiple players of the week awards, thanks to his team-high 34 points. This week’s game was a season-high for Taylor, who eclipsed his 31.90 point performance in week six. It was also the fifth time he broke out for more than 20 points in a contest.
The team’s worse starter was kicker Jake Elliot (Philadelphia), who stepped in to replace Ryan Succop (Tampa Bay), who was on his bye week. Elliot didn’t get collect enough points to warrant a contract extension and was cut immediately following his 6.00 point performance.
As mentioned earlier, Henry was the team’s best bench player with just 9.90 points. Despite not playing in the starting lineup, he went on to score more points than the quarterback (7.96), a wide receiver (8.60), the flex position (7.30), the kicker (6.00), and the defense (8.00).
The Arizona Cardinals watched their bid for an undefeated season go up in smoke and then lost quarterback Murray to an injury. Everyone wondered what would happen, but they handed James Conner the ball; the rest was history. Conner managed to score 40.30 points in his team’s victory, the most by any player in fantasy this past week.
It was a hectic week in the manager’s office as the Bowl pulled off a handful of roster moves through the waiver wire.
First, the team cut ties with Henry Ruggs III after he was in the news for a car crash that cost him his job in the NFL. Then management focused their attention on who was available to fill in the gaps. An injured quarterback and star running back left plenty of holes that required immediate attention.
After the team waived Kendrick Bourne from New England, Ty Johnson (New York) came aboard. The Jets running back didn’t spend much time with his real-life teammate Corey Davis, who was moved in favor of kicker Elliot.
Then when word broke that Murray was not going to play due to a lower-body injury, management pulled the trigger on a deal to sign Jones out of New England to be their new signal-caller. To keep the team balanced, Succop (who was on his bye week) became the sacrificial lamb to acquire Jones, who may lead the team for the rest of the season.
Weekly Move Total: 3/4
Season Move Total: 12/50