To borrow a phrase that's probably trademarked and can't actually be borrowed, today's Worst Person in the World is … the eighth seed in your league's playoffs.
You really have to hate the eighth seed.
Not the individual, necessarily. Just the team. They probably slogged their way through the regular season at 5-8, anchored to Rudi Johnson and Lee Evans. They've really got no business in the fantasy playoffs.
But, of course, your commissioner had no business configuring the playoffs so they'd involve eight teams.
Your squad, the top seed – a franchise that earned its playoff berth honorably – has been carried all year by Adrian Peterson and Terrell Owens. You've steamrolled teams lately. You're 10-3. Everything about your team is scary, including its name.
You haven't gloated … much. It's possible that after beating an archrival in Week 9, when Peterson and Owens combined for 69 points, you may have posted links to certain online content featuring said rival, and those images are now collectively known to the league as "The Hy-Vee (explicit phrase) Chronicles."
All things considered, though, you've really been gracious about your success.
And it all ended in Week 14. Rudi Johnson and Lee Evans combined for 34 fantasy points; Peterson and Owens combined for two. And you're done. Just like that, the top seed exits the playoffs while the eighth seed advances.
You really have to hate that eighth seed. The seventh, too.
Am I just complaining because one or two of my teams may have exited the playoffs in Week 14 under circumstances similar to those described above – perhaps exactly under the circumstances described above?
Throughout the baseball and football seasons, I suppose I've been clear and consistent about this much: If you're in a custom league, you have to play to your league's settings. Usually, this refers to scoring peculiarities or transaction limits. If you sign up for a league where eight teams make the playoffs – which is ridiculous, even in a 20-team league – you can't really gripe to the commissioner in Week 14. Those are the settings. Manage appropriately.
You can still gripe generally, of course, and you can despise the team that ousted you, the 5-8 (now 6-8) pile-up of various Johnsons.
Eight playoff teams … bah.
In 10-team Yahoo! public leagues, four owners make the playoffs. That's totally reasonable. In the 14-team Friends and Family League, six owners made the playoffs with the top two teams earning byes. Again, totally reasonable. (Let's just ignore the fact that in the F&F league, I might have the worst team that's ever earned a bye, anywhere).
Your regular season needs to matter, at least a little. If eight of your 10 owners make the playoffs, then the regular season is really just add/drop practice. The only thing you need to worry about is earning waiver priority in Weeks 14-16.
Let's move onto some tasteful bullet-points:
• Late in the first quarter of the Monday night game, Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser were arguing about the relative merits of the Falcons quarterback in 2009, whoever he is, and their present quarterback, Chris Redman. Referring to Redman, Kornheiser said, "Come on, he's not the future…"
But the sentence was interrupted by a well-thrown touchdown pass to Roddy White, tying the game, 7-7.
Redman isn't likely to be Atlanta's 2009 quarterback, but he had exactly the Monday start against the user-friendly Saints that many of you needed: 298 yards, two TDs, one INT. The interception was really on Michael Jenkins, not Redman. His schedule gets more difficult in Week 15 at Tampa Bay, however.
The 57.6 percent-owned Kurt Warner gets the Saints next week.
• Kyle Orton will apparently quarterback the Bears next Monday. On national TV. Where everyone can see.
Do nothing with this information.
• Undrafted veteran Aaron Stecker carried 20 times for 100 yards against Atlanta, filling in for Reggie Bush. All the trendy players are undrafted lately. It's been widely reported that Bush (partially torn PCL) will miss the remainder of the season, but you should really wait for an announcement from the Saints before cutting him.
Stecker should be a reasonable deep-league flex play in the weeks ahead, as New Orleans faces Arizona, Philadelphia and Chicago. You can't expect 20 carries a game, though. Hope for 15-20 touches. Bush only managed 20 carries once this season.
• The "We've Gotta Get Jerious Norwood the Ball!" tour will continue for another week. And they'll never actually get him the ball. Norwood had yet another six-carry game on Monday, his seventh of the season.
• According to the Texans' website, Gary Kubiak said on Monday that "we were kind of hoping maybe (Matt Schaub) would be available this week, but it sure doesn’t look that way." Kubiak also indicated that Darius Walker (undrafted) would have "the chance to step up again," with Ron Dayne limited by the ankle injury. Houston has averaged 3.6 yards per rush this season, and they've scored only six rushing touchdowns. Don't get involved with that mess.