Terminated! Kicking Ourselves

This column chronicles the ups and downs of the team drafted by me and three friends to compete in the FFPC’s Terminator contest, in which one player from our roster must be eliminated each week. The first installment outlined the tournament rules.

So, let’s just get this out of the way up front: We’re still in last place. Which, in this case, is 11th, because so far our brightest moment in the Terminator league is when one team got kicked out for failing to cut someone. We had a much better showing, though, finishing as the fourth overall team last week.

Our cut was going to be pretty easy this week, since we have Mike Wallace, who broke his leg and was put on IR by the Eagles. Then, while looking at our roster, I noticed we also have Daniel Carlson, who missed three field goals and was cut by the Vikings. So now we have a cut candidate for next week, too. This column writes itself!

Our roster, before this week’s cut:



Considering who to cut does raise a question, and it’s one I’ve contemplated for a while now: Why do we need kickers in fantasy football? Is it because life itself isn’t arbitrary enough, so not only did we create a separate “fantasy” hobby and base it on a sport that was already enjoyable on its own, but we also decided that this version of magical football also required the addition of the player responsible for kicking an oblong spheroid through metal uprights? Who would do this?

Vile human beings, that’s who would do this. I mean, it’s disappointing to lose Wallace this early, but we did draft six other wide receivers (not including the injured Marqise Lee, whom we took by accident), up to four of whom can earn starting spots in this best-ball league. But we took three kickers to cover one roster spot, and we contemplated drafting a fourth, specifically because three might not be enough to last us the whole season.

We all know those fantasy owners who stream kickers, dropping one each week to pick up another. But now this seems to be a tactic of actual NFL teams. At least the Vikings upgraded to Dan Bailey. The Browns cut Zane Gonzalez and added … hold on, I need to Google this … Greg Joseph, an accountant from Cleveland Heights who won the job when he was the 100th caller to the local morning zoo radio show. Greg Zuerlein suffered the dreaded groin injury, so the Rams had to re-sign Sam Ficken, an accountant from – oh wait, I used that joke already. There have already been more kicker changes than weeks of the NFL season.

That’s not including the kickers who still have jobs … for now. On one team I have Phil Dawson, who I had to confirm was still actually employed by an NFL team, because he currently has zero point zero points for the Cardinals. Turns out, he has yet to attempt any point-scoring kicks. Rams punter Johnny Hekker has scored a point-after conversion, but Dawson has done nearly the least possible work a kicker can conceivably do. On the Cardinals’ lone TD this season, they went for two. All Dawson has done is kick the ball off. Unfortunately, I don’t get points for that, but even if I did, he probably has the fewest of those too. I cut Dawson for Bengals kicker Randy Bullock, who then went and did this:


For the love of all things holy, don’t start him! Drop him and run! You have been warned.

But back to my original point: We’re still in last, just not as far down as we were last week. We actually made up 0.7 points on the league leader, so, you know, at this rate we’ll overtake him by December 2021. Oh, but wait! We actually just need to catch the fourth-place team in order to qualify for the championship round. **Does some quick math.** Hmm, seems we are 0.6 more points behind this week than we were last week. Let’s look at the bright side, instead! While the absence of Le’Veon Bell continues to haunt us, two of our RBs (Tevin Coleman and Giovani Bernard) have ascended to temporary starting roles, and a third (Lavavius Murray) might get one, as well. Exciting stuff! I’m not crying!

We will likely cut Wallace this week, the logic being that the earliest he can start playing again is eight weeks from now, while Carlson might actually have a job again this time next week. So watch your back, Randy Bullock.

By Monty Phan | @MontyPhan | Archive