Tough Season 2: How Have the Players Actually Performed?
If you haven't watched Lenovo's Tough Season 2 (follow Lenovo on Twitter), you're missing out. It's essentially a real-life version of fantasy football, where actual players - Andrew Luck, Wes Welker, Alfred Morris, AJ Green, Matt Forte and Mason Crosby - act as if they're on the same football team thanks to fantasy football, having no regard to their actual NFL teams.
Brad, the main character, gives his guys pep talks, has personal relationships with them, and basically lives the life every fantasy owner dreams of. It's fantastic.
The NFL players involved in the series are all top fantasy options in the leagues you and I play in. But how have they performed in 2014? Would Brad's team be toast?
Let's do a quick analysis. (Note: All numbers used were compiled prior to Week 15.)
Andrew Luck - Luck's featured in Tough Season 2, and he's certainly been a big player in 2014. Typically drafted as the fourth or fifth quarterback off the board, Luck's yet to finish with fewer than 15 standard fantasy points this season, ranking no lower than 14th in a given week. He's been the best fantasy quarterback in the NFL, as his ceiling is just as good -- Luck has eight top-six (high-end QB1) performances this year, which is tied with Aaron Rodgers. The difference? Rodgers started his season slow, whereas Luck has been consistent all year long.
Matt Forte - Forte was typically considered as the worst of the top-four running backs entering the year by many, but his performance this season has been fantastic. He's scored double-digit points each week in PPR leagues outside of Week 2's 8.6-point outing, and has nine top-six weeks at the position. His value has come through the air, as he's already seen 105 targets on the season, tied for the 11th-most targets a running back has seen since the year 2000.
Alfred Morris - Despite the mess in Washington, Morris, from Weeks 8 through 13, never dipped below 11.3 PPR fantasy points. He hasn't been overly consistent at the running back position this year, but his season-long totals will still show a top-15 back thanks to the lack of depth at the position. Unfortunately, Morris' Week 14 may have sunk the fantasy hopes and dreams of many, as he posted just 2.9 PPR points in what could have been the first round of league fantasy playoffs. In general, though, could you ask for much more from a running back in such an inept offense?
A.J. Green - An injury to Green at the beginning of the season had owners wishing they hadn't drafted him at the beginning of Round 2, but he certainly made up for it in Week 14, posting the seventh-best performance on the year by a fantasy wide receiver. He's scored at least 13 PPR fantasy points in all but one game he's completed this season, and it's not as though teams took a zero in his slot when he was out -- if fantasy owners drafted good depth, or used Cincinnati's number-two wideout, Mohamed Sanu, they were more than fine without Green. Now, Green's helping them win a fantasy championship.
Wes Welker - Perhaps the most disappointing player in Tough Season 2 is Welker, who started the season suspended and has since had just five double-digit PPR performances on the year. Welker's floor, which has made him such a good fantasy asset in year's past, has disappeared, scoring fewer than three PPR points three different times this season. He just hasn't been the Welker we wanted him to be.
Mason Crosby - Last but not least is Mason Crosby, who plays a position we'd all like to just eliminate in fantasy football all together (let's be honest). Crosby, however, is the sixth-best fantasy kicker this season. Our numbers see him as fortunate to be playing in such a high-powered offense though, as his actual performance on the field - our metrics being the guide here - have seen him as the 13th-best kicker in the NFL in 2014.
Again, if you haven't checked out Tough Season 2, you need to. And, if you comment on this post with your funniest moment in sports (either personal or professional sports), you'll be entered to win a piece of signed NFL merchandise from Lenovo US. You have until December 23rd to comment!