Divisional Round Observations
That Bills-Chiefs game was intense, especially because I have a live NFFC playoff entry where Patrick Mahomes was one of my original QBs. Why on earth would the Chiefs give the ball to Mecole Hardman on the goal line! They almost pissed that game away.
The Bills are really a cursed franchise though. Shades of Scott Norwood on the Tyler Bass missed FG, though Patrick Mahomes would probably have driven them into FG range anyway for the win, so it’s not entirely on him.
And did the Bills really fake a punt on 4th-and-5 and hand it to Damar Hamlin! Were they trying for a feel-good story rather than just lining up and going for it with the ball in Josh Allen’s hands? So strange to see coaches at these stakes trying the feel-good thing with Hardman and Hamlin rather than just doing the obvious to win the game.
I’m good with it though, as my NFFC squad now has Lamar Jackson and Mahomes at 3x each, with one of them guaranteed to get to 4x for the Super Bowl and Christian McCaffrey and Amon-Ra St. Brown at 3x each with one of them guaranteed at 4x too. The only real error I made was using Rashee Rice over Travis Kelce, and that could still be okay if Rice outplays Kelce the next two rounds, but it seems obvious now Kelce is the favorite to outperform him.
I do have a dilemma in that I have to choose between Kelce and Pacheco next week, and to use Kelce, I have to start Gus Edwards/Justice Hill at RB and the 49ers defense. If I use Pacheco (who is more highly owned), I would use George Kittle/Aiyuk and the Ravens defense, which I prefer. It’s just that with Mahomes, it’s better to pair him with Kelce than Pacheco, and it’s much better for me if the Chiefs beat the Ravens since only seven percent would have Mahomes at 4x, whereas about 50 percent would have Jackson. If you are familiar with the contest and have thoughts, feel free to share them.
For now, I think I’m leaning Kelce and holding my nose to use Edwards/Hill because I prefer the Chiefs win anyway, and Ravens RB at 1x won’t matter as much in that case.
. . .
I wasted $200 hedging on the Texans ML and ATS to hedge against the possibility I had screwed up by using Lamar Jackson over C.J. Stroud at the last second. I should have just done the ML (perfect) hedge, but thought if the Ravens win a close one, I can pay myself back for losing the ML hedge with the ATS bet. Turns out I lost both, and that money could have been used for a second entry into the contest where I would have just used Stroud anyway! But it goes to show my instinct of going one low-owned home run (Mahomes) and one chalk (Lamar) instead of the massive swing for the fences (Mahomes-Stroud) was correct. Or I shouldn’t say my “instinct” which is always to swing for the fences, but my knowledge of when to rein it in.
I won a smaller bet on the Lions -6.5, but only because the Bucs failed on that final two-point conversion. I’ll take it though.
Baker Mayfield played well enough to guarantee him a good deal next year, and Mike Evans is still playing at a superstar level.
Jared Goff is now one game removed from his second Super Bowl appearance. I’d put that line at about 8.5 (I’ve yet to check it), but that’s still roughly 20 percent chance he gets back there.
The Jahmyr Gibbs-Sam LaPorta-Amon-Ra St. Brown trio is as bankable as any in the league.
One of the craziest things about the weekend was how close the Packers-Niners game was. Had the Packers won, the Lions-Bucs would have been dueling for home field in the NFC title game which through three quarters was tied 17-17.
I only watched highlights of Niners-Packers — for some reason I couldn’t find the 40-minute version Sunday morning. I saw the missed Anders Carlson FG, the throw-across-his-body game-ending INT by Jordan Love and Christian McCaffrey running over people for a couple TDs, but never got a sense of the overall flow. That the game was so tight though tells me either the Packers were a top team by season’s end, or the Niners are not peaking right now and more vulnerable even to the Lions than we would have thought. My sense is it’s a little of both.