XN Sports League of Champions Week 1 Recap

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Andre Johnson

Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson (80) leaps over San Diego Chargers cornerback Richard Marshall (31) on a 27-yard reception in the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 1 of the NFL season in the books, so too is the first week of the fantasy football season. In our XN Sports League of Champions, a few teams have established themselves as the teams to beat, while others must wait to see if they just had a bad week or if they have work to do. And, throughout the week, the XN staff took to the Twittersphere to, shall we say, check in on each other. So here is out it all shook out in the opening week in the XN LoC. To see the full breakdown of the rosters and scores, just click on the heading of each matchup.

FANTASY FOUNDATION (Rich Hribar) 178.00, KEEPIN HEADS RINGIN (Michael Clifford) 115.50

The entire XN Sports stable of writers is being beaten by an 8-year-old. Hribar’s Fantasy Foundation put up a league-high 178 points in Week 1, and was led by 31.50 points from one Victor Cruz. Cruz was the one player Lord Reebs’ son was intent on drafting. Even hitting this week’s fantasy jackpot, Hribar still took to Twitter to dis on the salsa king.

He can afford to do that when he had three other players – Michael Vick, Vernon Davis, and Wes Welker – top 20 points. SlimCliffy, meanwhile, seemed all too content with knowing his week was going down in flames.

Cliff’s Canadian exchange rate was down this week as single-point performances from Eric Decker and Chris Givens, along with a -3 from David Wilson, drove the Ringin Heads to the second-lowest point total of the week. He may be hitting the maple syrup hard between now and Week 2.

FIFTY SHADES OF CATS (Felipe Melecio) 164.00, DERWOOD #DEGENERATES (C.D. Carter) 115.50

Felipe wasn’t going to wait until the Monday night games were played before letting C.D. know he was being taken to task.

Reggie Bush put up a solid 27 for Los Gatos, but it was the rest of the lineup the really won the week. With seven of his other players putting up 12.50 points or more, it was a very solid week all around. For the #Degenerates, their QB situation, which looked like it might be one of the weaker tandems in the league, outperformed expectations. Jay Cutler and Terrelle Pryor combined for a respectable 35 points. The problem for C.D. was that the rest of his team came up short. Pierre Garcon, Cecil Shorts, Alfred Morris, and Chris Johnson all fell short of double digits. There wasn’t much left for C.D. to say.

BLURRED GOAL LINES (Tony Consiglio) 160.00, COCONUT PETE (Tom Fitzgerald) 154.00

Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. This one had a Coconut Pete win written all over it. Petey took a 16.5 point lead into Monday night’s games with Arian Foster left to play, while the Fuzzy Lines had LeSean McCoy and the Houston DST. With the Texans giving up 28 points before long, it looked like Fitzy had it in the bag. But then Philip Rivers did what he does best, and threw an interception that Brian Cushing returned for a touchdown, and that play proved to be the difference as I took home a six-point win. I may owe this one to Cushing’s great catch and run, but McCoy, Jason Witten, and Randall Cobb helped me get there, too, as did Colin Kaepernick and Matthew Stafford. My two QBs combined for a 50 spot, which didn’t sit well with Captain Coconut.

He shouldn’t have been complaining too much, though. Two of his receivers – Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald – Combined for 56.50 points. A big goose egg from James Jones looked just like the hole in his booze cruise ship that sunk him.

MAKE IT WAYNE (Igor Derysh) 152.50, THE WINTER CLASSICS (Chris Blanchard) 123.50

Owning AP may bring with it a good deal of confidence, but Igor may have gotten a bit carried away after All Day’s season-opening touchdown run.

And it crushed Chris’s spirit right out of the gate.

It was a bit early for them to claim victory/throw in the towel, but it did end up working out that way. With 88.50 between Peterson, Demaryius Thomas, and Eli Manning, it was a three-headed monster that was too much for the Classics to overcome. Chris did have several good performances, but the duds that were Maurice Jones-Drew and Stevan Ridley, combining for just six points, killed any chances he had of a comeback. It’s hard to expect much more than this from Chris’s team, though. As his team’s name indicates, this isn’t the season for them. Check back in come November and December. As for Igor, let’s not get too far ahead of oneself.

Someone still has some chasing to do of his own.

MY BUDDY AND ME (Dave Major) 140.50, STUDFELDSVILLE (Salvatore Stefanile) 135.00

This proved to be the closest League of Champions matchup of the week, which isn’t a good thing for Dave and Friend. Not only did he start Peyton Manning and his 46 points, but he also had 32.50 from A.J. Green. It was pretty clear about both Dave and Sal felt going into Sunday’s games.

Even with that jump out of the gate, Studly put together a nice run to make it close. Jordy Nelson, Jordan Cameron, and Matt Forte led the way. If he had been able to get anything more than the 16 total points from C.J. Spiller, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Darrius Heyward-Bey, he might have been able to pull off the upset. Instead, a team featuring Geno Smith ended up in the winner’s column.

4TH AND GOAL (Neil Parker) 114.50, @BRYKNO RHINOS (Bryan Knowles) 88.00

This turned into the featherweight bout in the League of Champions, barely even able to muster a combined 200 points. For the Rhinos, he must have overestimated the production he could get from his team, as much as he does our own.

I, for one, don’t think we’d be a viable defense against Rich’s son and his friends. While Bryan is living dangerously with his QB pairing of Josh Freeman and Jake Locker, he was cursed by the underperformance of a couple of studs. Calvin Johnson managed just four catches for 37 yards and Marshawn Lynch barely topped 40 rushing yards. A -1 from Brandon Pettigrew, one point from Green Bay’s DST, and just three from Adam Vinatieri was a recipe for disaster in the season’s opening week, capped off by the decision to bench the player who would have been his best QB.

The biggest beneficiary of this is Neil. He was lucky enough to play the only team in the league he’d have beaten this week. Thanks to 44 points from Drew Brees and Andrew Luck, plus a surprise 18.50 from Shane Vereen, the Goalies were able to overcome poor production from his tight end, flex, and all three wide receivers, as Dez Bryant, Golden Tate, and Greg Little picked up just 15 points. While it was enough to get it done this week, it’s going to take more than that going forward if he wants to remain in the winner’s circle.

Tony Consiglio is a lifelong baseball fan and has worked for television and radio stations throughout New England.
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