The halfway point has been reached for the EFFL. The playoffs loom large and teams have begun to jockey for position.
Non -Divisional Games
(5-2) dodgy touchdown 84.82 – 90.7 Earlston Earthquakes (4-2)
Top Scorers: M Forte 22.9 (dt), G Tate 21.4 (EE), R White 16 (EE)
Points left on bench: touchdown (9.38) Earthquakes (3.7)
The game of the week lived up to its billing and was only decided in the last 2 minutes of Monday Night. Dodgy Touchdown fell to 5-2, but with their main rivals also losing the effects weren’t disastrous. The Earthquakes got back into early season form and maintained their control of Kirk division.
The Earthquakes had a number of key performers in the game in addition to their top scorers. A Foster scored a respectable 15.5 points and was helped out by new Vikings starter J McKinnon who added 10.10 points. The Earthquakes rely heavily on Bears pair J Cutler and B Marshall and they could only muster a disappointing 12.7 points. However, weekly inconsistencies aside, the Earthquakes are the league’s top scorers and a handful for any team facing them. Next week promises another headline game featuring the Earthquakes as they face their fiercest rivals the Jaguars.
Dodgy Touchdown had another solid outing as they continued to improve their overall scoring rate. The shock defeat of Cleveland at Jacksonville started Dodgy Touchdown in an early hole with B Tate producing a poor 3.4 points, but it will be the dip in form for M Ryan that will be worrying Coach Russell more. He’s failed to produce a 20 point QB1 performance since week 04. However, this week’s loss could be laid solely at the TE position as H Miller posted a disappointing 1.3 points with starter Z Ertz on a bye. M Wallace and J Nelson continued their excellent seasons scoring 14 and 11 points respectively. Next week Touchdown face the Panthers.
(4-3) Mercy Flush 85.64 – 72.22 Tranent International Tornadoes (3-4)
Top Scorers:P Manning 28.62 (TT), T Brady 22.44 (MF), E Lacy 13.3 (MF)
Points left on bench: Flush(5.4) Tornadoes (2.9)
There was always going to be a morning after the night before and unfortunately for the Tornadoes it came one week after their stunning 150+ point outing. After last week’s embarrassment the Flush took an early lead and never looked like surrendering their advantage.
The Flush produced a solid game when it mattered in a low scoring week with T Brady (22.44), E Lacy (13.3) and M Floyd (10.7) all making double figures and every other starter except T Kelce making 5 points. They’ve had an inconsistent season and this can largely attributed to 2 positions QB and RB.
This week both of their underperforming players T Brady (22.44) and E Lacy (13.3) posted respectable scores, but unfortunately neither have reached the QB1/RB1 scoring consistency they were drafted to produce. The concern is with Z Stacy losing carries and M Ingram returning to the Saints starting lineup Flush will need to find a consistent RB3 to see them over the final 6 weeks.
It was always going to be tough for the Tornadoes to reproduce last week’s performance especially with star back L McCoy on a bye. P Manning (28.62) and T Hilton (10.7) scored well, but it was disappointing scores from A Smith (0.9) and L Fitzgerald (2.1) that ultimately left them short of victory. The biggest problem going forward is the lack of depth and scoring at the RB position for the Tornadoes as they’re currently producing around 7 points less than league average per game.
Next week the Tornadoes face the 3 game losing streak 187’s whereas the Flush face the inconsistent Oddities.
(2-5) Fog on the Tyne 86.78 – 65.9 SanFran-Gordon 69ers (3-4)
Top Scorers: D Thomas 29.1 (FT), A Rodgers 24.3 (SF), S Vereen 23.4 (SF)
Points left on bench: Tyne (17.8) 69ers (15.3)
Two wins in three weeks finally gives the Fog on the Tyne hope that they can turn their season around whereas the 69ers have won just 1 game in the last 3. The game was close until Sunday night when D Thomas helped P Manning break Brett Favre’s touchdown record by pulling in an enormous 29.1 points.
The Tyne got another solid score for the third week running with D Brees (20.98) and T Richardson (11.8) adding to Thomas’s score and supporting disappointing performer’s Jeffery (0.9), R Wayne (1.5) and J Witten (2.7). Like many teams in the league Fog’s RB positions have been underperforming, but the resurgence of T Richardson and the emergence of B Oliver will at least allow the Geordies to be competitive over the final 6 weeks of the season. A playoff run looks unlikely , especially with the competition in their division, but nothing is impossible in Fantasy.
For the 69ers it was a familiar tale of 2 standout performers and a cast of also-rans. This week A Rodgers and S Vereen scored almost 3/4 of the 69ers points with 4 starters producing a frustrating 3 points. The 69ers have the core of a good team, but outwith A Rodgers there is a real lack of consistency especially among the WRs. Next week they face one of the leagues most consistent, but not necessarily highest, scorers in the Bohemians. If they want to take control of a weak TJ Hooker division they’ll need to produce a week 4 rather than a week 6 performance.
(2-5) Pilton Panthers 86.54 – 86.44 Kelso 187s (3-4)
Top Scorers:R Hillman 22.3 (PP), L Bell 20.5 (K), R Cobb 18.3 (PP)
Points left on bench: Panthers (11.7) 187s (17.7)
In a game of inches the 187s came up just a couple of yards short of victory. In an absolutely cracking game the Panthers did just enough to hold off the 187s and win their first game since week 2. For the 187s it just heaped further misery on them as they slid to their 3 straight defeat and lost control of TJ Hooker division.
The Panthers had their 3rd best score of the season with nearly 40 points from RBs R Hillman and J Charles (16.7). They added another 25 points from their WRs R Cobb and R Randle (7.4). More worryingly is the continued poor play from QB where A Dalton played a 5 point stinker in N Foles’ bye week. The Panthers need to improve in a number of areas and are 3 games back on Shatner division leaders Nitten Pickaxe. Hopefully the bye week will have breathed some life back into N Foles and the Panthers season.
For the 187s their slide has come at just the wrong time and has allowed their divisional opponents to catch and then surpass them. In this game 5 players made it into double digits; L Bell, J Flacco (14.72), A Brown (13.12), D Allen (11.2) and E Sanders (10.1), but their Achilles heel in this game and throughout the season has been their inability to find an effective Flex player, consistent play at QB and a kicker who makes over 8 points a game. The 187s face the equally inconsistent Tornadoes next week in an attempt to avoid their 4th loss in a row.
(4-3) Earlstonian Bohemians 91.16 – 81.60 Jimmy’s Jerman Jaguars (3-4)
Top Scorers:A Luck 20.26 (EB), D Murray 19.2 (JJJ), C Newton/L Miller 14.3 (both JJJ)
Points left on bench: Bohemians (11.2) Jaguars (36.12)
Coach Jimmy will be left to rue some lineup decisions that in the end cost him the match and leverage for a wildcard spot. The Bohemians on the other hand will be happy with their first decent RB production of the season that helped fuel this smash and grab result.
The Bohemians will be very happy with a win against one of the league’s strongest teams. Their week started slowly on Thursday night with E Decker and R Gronkowski producing a solid, but unspectacular 13 points. Yet again it was left up to A Luck (20.26) to lead the team in scoring. He was finally supported by decent production from RB with D McFadden and J Bell scoring nearly 25 points. Rookie K Benjamin (12.1) continued his surprising season and the Bills DST chipped in a game winning 10 points.
The Jaguars continue to produce points and are led by a strong stable of RBs. This week D Murray, L Miller and M Lynch posted nearly 45 points, but it was again the TE and WR (just 13 points) positions that led to the team losing. Coach Jimmy will regret leaving R Wilson (37.12) and O Beckham (16.7) on the bench, but this loss was more about TE and WR depth rather than lineup decisions.
The inconsistency of the starting pair D Jackson and V Jackson is causing the Jaguars problems, but hopefully the emergence of O Beckham will alleviate those concerns or will it? Beckham has started his pro career strongly, but NFL defenses learn very quickly. The Jaguars only have 5 weeks to wait before J Gordon returns the question is can they afford to wait that long?
The Bohemians face the 69ers whereas the Jaguars face a stiffer test with the Earthquakes.
(3-4) Oakbank Oddities 86.22 – 96.2 Nitten Pickaxe (5-2)
Top Scorers: S Watkins 24.2 (OO), A Bradshaw 18.8 (OO), A Ellington 16 (NP)
Points left on bench: Oddities(21.3) Pickaxe (10.36)
It’s not very often a team with the top 2 scorers in a game loses, but to add further ignominy the Oddities had the top 3 scorers in this match-up. The Pickaxe can count themselves fortunate to move to 5-2, whereas the Oddities lost like all their TJ Hooker division rivals and fell to 3-4.
Despite not having any standout performers the Pickaxe had a consistent team effort with 6 of their 9 starters scoring more than 10 points. They were led by A Ellington and waiver wire pickup T Smith (14.1). P Rivers (14.2) had a sub-par week for him, but the story of the game and Pickaxe’s season is a strong team scoring performance from every position. RB is still below league average and with the loss of C Spiller there is a danger that their lack of depth could be exposed later in the season. Next week they face the improving Fog on the Tyne.
The Oddities frustrating season continues…..This week it was the turn of C Ivory (18.5) to score big despite playing a match-up in which no Jet back had ran for over 100 yards in 9 years whereas the strong Bengal running game and G Bernard (1.6) were posted missing against the light weight Colt D. Also on Coach Harry’s bench C Patterson woke briefly from his 4 week hibernation to post 7 points as F Jackson (2.8) ripped parts of his groin muscle from the bone and left early with injury in another “good” match-up. On a more positive note S Watkins had a breakout with 24.2 points in the same game and looks good to support the team until Megatron makes his return. The Oddities take their random adventures to Mercy Flush next week. Expect fireworks or more damp squibs.
Coach Harry on his team’s performance: “infamy, infamy they all have it in for me!”