I promised that once I had time that I would put a little more effort into these awards, and I will try and deliver this week with some standings chat and the odd little statistic thrown in as well.

Week 9 is done and there are just 4 games left for half of us! I think I was one of several people to ask Dan this morning about the playoff rules as it looks like it could be a tight one after the division re-alignment. The best two division winners get byes and that is currently the Spartans and the Packers. The Packers could lock up the South as early as next week if they beat my Eagles and both the Seahawks and Pythons lose, but a playoff place is almost guaranteed as they have the highest points scored in the league. The Spartans must stay on their toes as the entire North are only 2 games back and my Eagles can wrap up the Midlands with week 12 win against the Otters, but the first-round bye is the real goal now.

The next two best records currently stand as the Bandits and the Wombats as they edge out the Flyers by points scored, which would make it 3 Northern representatives. The highest remaining point scorer once again sees Dermy edged out but this time by Dan in the South. Only really the Sandslashers, Chargers and Fireflies are out of playoff contention, but stranger things have happened…

So, week 14 current looks like:

Eagles @ Seahawks Bandits @ Wombats BYE: Spartans, Packers

In the chat, Tom mentioned that he either has high highs or low lows and then he goes and wins with a score below 90. This got me thinking and I produced these:

The first table is a summary of all the points each team has scored so far and formatted to compared every score between all of us so the highest scores are in red and the lowest scores are in green, making Tom’s week 5 the reddest and Jason’s week 8 the greenest. Some patterns can be discerned but I calculated the standard deviation of each teams results to see how much of a spread the scores are from week to week. The averages and standard deviations are ordered below:

The averages pretty much show the league standings with the top 6 all currently in the playoffs, whilst the standard deviations show that Chris, Jason and Tom vary a lot and that Dan, Michael, me and Josh are the most consistent. Being 2nd in the averages and 4th bottom in the deviation surely makes the Bandits the mid-season favourites for the 4th season title, continuing the new name tradition on the trophy.

Just one more way of visualising the high-highs and low-lows, I took the average of the averages (105.82 points) and subtracted that from everyone’s scores, with those exceeding in green. I feel this is a better showing of how much luck comes into play and you can see with the Sandslashers that even though they scored better than the season average in 5 weeks, they have a record of 3-6 whilst the Wombats have only scored higher than the season average twice and have a 5-4 record.

All this together tells me that the 2 most dangerous teams are the Bandits and the Packers (shocking right!) as not only are they scoring high but are doing it on a consistent basis meaning that it would take a great week for another team to take them out. The Spartans are capable of this as they really do swing high or swing low each week so facing them in the playoffs will be a rollercoaster experience.

The Buzzsaw - Irish Flyers

Intra-divisional week mean that these games were especially impactful on playoff hopes and the two highest scorers of the week HAD to win to keep their chances alive. Olly’s Pythons are on the edge, 3 games back from the Packers but just 1 game off the best record places. He scored 136.62 points in the frankly one-sided Oxford derby (HEY!!! - Ed) that was only made respectable by Russell Wilson for the Seahawks. However, Dermy is in the harsh, barbaric North division and he scored the week highest 140.88 to keep the Wombats within touching distance and keep the entire division within 2 games. Jimmy G got off to a great start on Thursday night, Mike Evans continued his great season and Zack Ertz came alive along with Melvin Gordon to give the Flyers back-to-back wins for the first time since Week 4. It’s his first buzzsaw of the season and now every team in the North has won it this season.

Wigan Wombats – 🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Gateshead Spartans – 🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆
Nottingham Bandits - 🏆
Irish Flyers - 🏆

Highest Point Scorer - Oxford Seahawks

Some weeks the highest point scorer comes out of nowhere but this week the top two scorers are the favourites for the MVP award this year, Russell Wilson and Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is reportedly on pace for the highest ever fantasy season, beating the famous LaDainian Tomlinson 2006 season, and he got another 36.10 fantasy points this week.

What would the Seahawks be (Seattle or Oxford) without Russell Wilson? It is a joy to watch him play and he racked up 39.22 points against the very porous Buccs defense and I can’t wait to see him versus the 49ers next week. On the season, Wilson is just 0.9 points behind McCaffrey in total points (but has played a game more) which means it is no surprise that the Seahawks become the first team to win this award twice.

Wigan Wombats – 🏆
Flitwick Fireflies – 🏆
Oxford Seahawks – 🏆🏆
Nottingham Bandits – 🏆
Hereford Chargers - 🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆
Gateshead Spartans - 🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆

Unluckiest Loser - Nottingham Bandits

What a weird week for results. The 4th and 5th highest scores both lost this week whilst the 10th highest score won! The Bandits scored 118 points, but you must do better than that when you are playing a Northern division rival. However, it was the Spartans where that score is either too much for far too little. This was a good Spartans week, so they got the third highest score and put a game between them for top of the North.

Oxford Seahawks – 🏆🏆
Andover Sandslashers – 🏆
Hereford Chargers – 🏆
Coventry Eagles – 🏆🏆
Nottingham Bandits - 🏆🏆🏆

Closest Matchup - Chippenham Packers

It was a case of hoping on quarterbacks during Monday Night Football. The Fireflies needed 15 points from Daniel Jones and the Packers needed 20 points from Dak Prescott to get wins against the Eagles and the Sandslashers respectively. Jones, predictably, fell short and the Fireflies lose by 3.3 and Dak, predictably scores enough (21.48 points) to edge the Packers to a 1.1-point win!

Some teams either have good luck or no luck.

Oxford Seahawks - 🏆🏆🏆
Oxford Pythons – 🏆
Andover Sandslashers – 🏆🏆
Gateshead Spartans - 🏆
Coventry Eagles - 🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆

Most Impactful Injury - Coventry Eagles

Two injuries come to mind with one being more severe but the other having more of an impact.

The Fireflies lost their 2nd best receiver on the season for the season. Preston Williams had just started to show some promise for the Dolphins and that cannot be tolerated by the football gods, so they destroyed his knee. WR used to be my position of strength with AB, Adams, Julio and Hilton able to rotate around for bye weeks and minor injuries. AB has gone loco, Adams has the dreaded turf toe and now Hilton will miss multiple weeks with a calf injury. This will probably ruin my chances of getting a first-round bye.

I think the playoff implications should be more important than the 1st overall pick chase.

Gateshead Spartans - 🏆🏆
Oxford Pythons – 🏆
Irish Flyers – 🏆
Coventry Eagles – 🏆🏆
Wigan Wombats - 🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆

Worst Decision - Flitwick Fireflies

I feel awful about this (secretly I don’t!) but Michael follows my advice from last week and looks at the strength of the defences that Daniel Jones is playing vs the one that Kyler Murray is playing, and he starts Jones. If he starts Murray instead, he beats me but if you had a choice between a QB facing the 49ers D or the Dallas D, you would probably make the same decision. Still, a game-losing mistake. (He also starts Williams and Walton and now they are both out!)

Another game decider was Scott playing Gardner Minshew over Deshaun Watson, but this was a probably a heart decision more than a head as Scott would be at Wembley cheering his QB and wouldn’t want to be happy when the opposing QB is getting points. Still, a losing game mistake!

I think I give this one to Michael as I can’t blame Scott for going for his own QB.

Nottingham Bandits - 🏆
Irish Flyers - 🏆🏆
Hereford Chargers – 🏆
Coventry Eagles – 🏆
Wigan Wombats - 🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆
Flitwick Fireflies - 🏆🏆

Roll of Honour

Andover Sandslashers - 🏆🏆🏆
Chippenham Packers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Coventry Eagles - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Derby Otters - 🏆🏆🏆
Flitwick Fireflies - 🏆🏆🏆
Gateshead Spartans - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Hereford Chargers - 🏆🏆🏆
Irish Flyers - 🏆🏆🏆🏆
Nottingham Bandits - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Oxford Pythons - 🏆🏆
Oxford Seahawks - 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Wigan Wombats - 🏆🏆🏆🏆