Ahhh, football season. The glorious time of year where you can spend hours on end sitting in front of a TV, yelling and screaming like a lunatic as your quarterback throws yet another interception (I’m looking at you, Eli!) or as your rival’s kicker nails a 36-yard field goal in overtime to clinch the last playoff spot.
And for a while, just watching a great football game and cheering for your team was enough to satisfy even the most passionate fan. But then Fantasy Football entered the picture and completely changed the game. Now, almost every NFL game is critical as you set your lineup and cheer on your players in an effort to win your games and, ultimately, your Fantasy Football league.
Oh, that sweet, sweet taste of victory. The only thing better than winning your Fantasy Football league (and the bragging rights that go along with the title) is winning your Fantasy Football league to benefit a well-deserving charity. And fortunately for us, we were given the opportunity to earn a donation of $4,500 to a charity very near and dear to our hearts, The Wounded Warrior Project.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), their vision, according to their website, is “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” Through a number of programs that help wounded soldiers and their families recover mentally, physically and economically, they truly take a holistic approach to empowering and encouraging the brave men and women who gave so much of themselves for our country and helping them integrate back into the society that they fought to protect.
So, when we found out that Sean Murray of DailyFunder was organizing the second annual Alternative Lending Fantasy Football League for Charity where we could play for the organization of our choosing, it was a no-brainer. We wanted in. And with Jose Terrier at the wheel, I knew that we had more than a fighting chance to win the whole kit and caboodle for The Wounded Warrior Project.
I have to admit that as much as I love the game, my passion for Fantasy Football doesn’t even come close to that of Jose Terrier, the Director of Interactive Marketing here at Business Financial Services. Even before the NFL season started, he was already studying his color-coded excel spreadsheets with player rankings, sitting through rounds of Mock Drafts, and analyzing and strategizing for all four of his leagues (yes, that’s right, he keeps up with four separate leagues, much to the chagrin of his very patient wife).
Playing for a cause as great as WWP made us even more determined and motivated to win. And win we did! There were some serious contenders in our league who were playing for equally great causes, so it wasn’t an easy win by a longshot. I sat down with Jose to recap the ups and downs of our Fantasy Football season.
Christina Memorio: I know that going into the draft, you were well prepared, spreadsheets and all! Can you give me a rundown of how the draft went?
Jose Terrier: With the seventh pick in the 12 team draft, we took Jamaal Charles as our stud running back before taking two top receivers in Brandon Marshall and Roddy White. In hindsight, we probably should have taken another running back in the third round instead of White – especially since running back depth deteriorated rapidly and White had an unproductive, injury-ridden season. We also could have selected Frank Gore instead of Darren Sproles as our RB2 and done better with our late round picks. Jamaal Charles proved to be our saving grace but, all in all, it was a mediocre draft that left us with poor depth.
CM: Ok, not too terrible. A 12-team league can make for a difficult draft. But you seemed to have made up for it by staying on top of the waiver wire.
JT: Yes, definitely. Due to early injuries as well as performance and depth issues, we were forced to make hay by being very active on the waiver wire. Waiver wire pickups like Julius Thomas (TE) and Josh Gordon (WR) became strong additions to our squad. We also addressed our RB depth issues by picking up Andre Brown and Rashad Jennings as strong mid-season RB fill-ins when we needed it the most.
CM: Nice! Got a Giant on the roster! Take me through the matchups and our road to the playoffs.
JT: We had a rough 0-2 start after facing the two teams that would end up with league-best 11-3 records, Snap Advances and The Big Machers. We rebounded nicely with four consecutive wins before alternating losses and wins from week 7 to 11. With a 6-5 record going into critical week 12 and week 13 matchups with The Big Machers and Snap Advances respectively, we were staring elimination in the face. Luckily, we had very strong showings from Charles, Gordon and Stafford that helped us win our last three games and clinch a playoff spot.
CM: Wow, talk about cutting it down to the wire! With only two games left, there’s zero room for error. How’d we do in the playoffs?
JT: Even though we finished the season with the most points, we were the 4th seed in the playoffs due to our 9-5 record, and we played the top-seeded team, The Big Machers, in our semifinal game. In that game, Jamaal Charles exploded with 51 points on a five touchdown performance that led us to a Fantasy Football Super Bowl berth with the 2nd seed, Snap Advances. We won the championship game by a score of 99.38 to 79.38, with solid performances from Jamaal Charles, Julius Thomas and the Cincinnati defense.
CM: That’s awesome! Any last comments on the season?
JT: First of all, I think it’s a fantastic idea to be able to play a game we love for charity and Sean Murray deserves credit for putting this together. It’s good to see the alternative financing industry come together to have fun while supporting some really great causes.
In the end, it was a fun Fantasy Football season overall, with lots of the usual ups and downs. We’re definitely looking forward to a year’s worth of bragging rights and defending our title next season. And, while we enjoyed the draft and working the waiver wire, the very best part was being able to win a considerable $4,500 donation for The Wounded Warrior Project and the heroes that they support. Truly, there is no greater prize than being able to help support the heroes who have served our country and we’re proud to be able to do so. With some luck, we hope to do the same next year!