This Is The Greatest Fantasy Football Comeback Win

Over the last four months, while the Seattle Seahawks have been playing their way to an NFC West divisional title, my fantasy football team, Thug Baldwin, was plotting a course of its own towards the post season. While it’s too early to know how far the Hawks will go this year—perhaps all the way to the Super Bowl—my fantasy season is officially over.

And I came out on top.

Approximately 60 million people play fantasy football each year in the United States and Canada. So even if you’ve never tried your hand at fantasy sports, you should be able to appreciate the magnitude of saying; “My fantasy football team pulled off the most incredible comeback win in the history of fantasy football.”

It’s an admittedly high bar to clear but allow me to make my case.

My historic season began back in August, before the fantasy draft, when I had to declare my “keeper” from my 2019 team to carry-over to my 2020 team. Not all leagues play with keepers, but mine does and it’s a major strategic element to the league’s draft.

In 2019, I was fortunate to roster Carolina Panthers running back, Christian McCaffery. And his transcendent, best-in-all-of-fantasy-football play powered my squad to a league championship. In response, heading into this season’s draft, McCaffery was widely considered the best player to roster and therefor, he was my obvious keeper to anchor my 2020 team.

But this was 2020. And nothing went according to plan in 2020.

After delivering two top-notch games, McCaffery got hurt and missed all but one of the season’s remaining 14 games. This is the fantasy equivalent of having the #1 pick in the draft, selecting the most “sure thing” player possible and then watching him fail to deliver on that guaranteed potential for the majority of the year.

Beyond being a heartbreaking turn of events, it also severely hindered my team’s chances of winning most weeks, let alone making the playoffs.

However, I made a few other fantastic draft choices (like Stefon Diggs, David Montgomery, and Kareem Hunt) and waiver wire moves (like Justin Herbert and Myles Gaskin) to construct a competitive team.

Somehow, despite all the hiccups, I managed to weather the tumultuous storm week after week. And as the regular fantasy season drew to a close, I found myself just barely squeaking into the playoffs as the #6 seed, a.k.a. the last spot. And that’s where the story really takes off.

ROUND 1

In the first round of the playoffs, I had to face the #3 seed team, Bye Bye Bam Bam. A fearsome squad whose season-long success was fueled by Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson and both Minnesota Vikings receivers, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson (in his breakout rookie season).

Fortunately for me, in week 14 of the NFL season none of Bam Bam’s players did much, aside from Wilson dismantling the New York Jets for 22 fantasy points. And on my side of the ledger, four players delivered significantly better points than their projections, handing me a stress-free, 139-59.5 blowout victory.

Lucky and awesome, but nothing truly shocking.

ROUND 2

Having survived the wildcard round of the playoffs, I advanced to face the league’s #2 seeded team, The Throbbing Hawks. In week 15, the Los Angeles Chargers played against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football, eventually winning in overtime 30-27 and giving my team a 28-point head start from my QB, Herbert.

But as the weekend rolled around, I only had two other players deliver real points for team Thug Baldwin, capping my final score at 115. Meanwhile, my opponent rolled out the Philadelphia Eagles rookie phenom QB, Jalen Hurts, who joined Vikings running back, Dalvin Cool for 113 points.

That might appear like another victory, but The Throbbing Hawks had Cincinnati Bengals receiver, Tyler Boyd rostered for Monday Night Football, meaning he needed only 2 points from Boyd to win the week.

Even facing the hard-hitting Pittsburgh Steelers defense, Boyd was a lock to make one or two catches for a few yards each and get the points the Throbbing Hawks needed to win. However, in an unbelievable turn of events, Boyd took a hard fall early in the first quarter and was removed from the remainder of the game with a concussion. 

His resulting zero points were equally fortunate, amazing and unbelievable, but the nail-biter win for me was above all, deeply appreciated. The fantasy gods had smiled on my team in the simi-final round.

ROUND 3

Despite all the twists and turns required to deliver Thug Baldwin to the Championship round, nothing could’ve prepared me for what happened next.

My opponent, Kirkland Signature Flushable Wipes’ roster was a one-two powerhouse punch of RB talent. Both Tennessee Titans, Derrick Henry and New Orleans Saints, Alvin Kamara lead his team all year long and posed the biggest threat.

In week 16, the NFL took advantage of the holidays and spread their games out from Friday to Monday, resulting in a rollercoaster-sequence of events… Beginning on Christmas Day.

To celebrate the holiday, Kamara scored six touchdowns against the Vikings to tie the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a single game. His resulting 56.5 points represented an impossible mountain I never expected to summit.

To say it was a disappointing end to Christmas would be a colossal understatement.

On Saturday, I had a few players answer back with excellent points of their own, but nothing close to Kamara’s single-handed extraordinary performance. Fortunately though, as the Saturday slate of games drew to a close, I had made up some ground against the formattable Flushable Wipes.

Then on Sunday, almost everyone else played their games and as the sun was setting on the day, I was still left looking up the mountain, needing 39.5-points with only Diggs to go on MNF.

But Diggs has been a special receiver this year. And on Monday night against the New England Patriots, things went from lucky to unimaginably blessed as Diggs caught three touchdowns and delivered me 41.5 points, giving me a walk-off, as close as it comes, 154.5-152.5 win.

It was amazing. I still don’t quite know how to wrap my brain around the sequence of events that led to my unlikely championship.

Among those other 60 million fantasy players, it’s impossible to know how many had seasons that may stack-up against mine, but from the McCaffery misfire in the draft and my ultimate-underdog #6 seed in the playoffs to Boyd’s timely goose in the simis and Diggs league-winning supernatural MNF game to overcome the impossible and win it all, I think it’s fair to say the Thug Baldwin 2020 season story is in the upper echelon.

Flying in the face of an otherwise disastrous year, the 2020 fantasy football season provided an incredible finale to the calendar—as well as a delightful distraction from the ongoing stress of COVID. And for once this year, the story had a happy ending. At least for me, my opponents would likely disagree.

But that’s just fantasy football. A fun game for the fans to play and feel more connected to the players, teams, and games throughout the NFL. And as nice as a fantasy championship is (and it’s really, really great!), my attention now turns exclusively to the real-life Seahawks.

Coming off another divisional win against the San Francisco 49ers yesterday, where both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett set franchise records for receiving yards and receptions respectively, the Seahawks look ready for the playoffs.

Let’s hope the Hawks can find similar levels as success as I did in the playoffs. Maybe they can surprise and delight their way into an unexpected and unlikely championship of their own.

In the shadow of 2020, stranger things have happened. Go Hawks!

About Jon Aiken 77 Articles
Born and raised in Seattle, Jon developed a deep love for the Mariners and Seahawks and continues to watch, analyze, and discuss them on a daily basis. As a professional advertising copywriter, the blending of these two loves (sports/words) seemed like a natural creative evolution. He recently moved south to Tacoma, fully embracing his new hometeam, the Rainers.

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