Fantasy Football Fun: Final Score

Tyreek Hill, Pat Mahomes celebrate

Once I saw Josh Klein's lineup, I knew what my Chief concerns were.

And when Pat Mahomes connected with Tyreek Hill for a 67-yard touchdown pass, I knew who was chief.

And I knew that, alas, someone had "Beat the Strick."

Klein, writer extraordinaire for The Riot Report, edged me out for fantasy football supremacy with a Week 17 lineup that neither I – nor any of the eight competitors that I did beat – could match.

Our unique format allows you to select non-Panthers just once over the course of the season, and while I had to make do with the likes of Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber and Jets receiver Robby Anderson, Klein had that Chiefs duo and Bucs receiver Mike Evans at his disposal. That allowed him to overcome the 10-point deficit he faced heading into the final week of the season-long contest and emerge with a 27-point edge.

The Mahomes-to-Hill strike was worth 23 points alone, but I got even better mileage out of the dynamic duo back in Week 11 when I rostered them for the epic Chiefs-Rams shootout on Monday Night Football. Another Chief actually proved to more be my downfall. I took running back Kareem Hunt in Week 13 against the same susceptible Raiders defense that Kansas City carved up in Week 17; that was the week the Chiefs waived Hunt. Josh had taken Hunt back in Week 7 when he piled up 32 fantasy points against the Bengals. Did I mention that Josh beat me by 27 points?

Bryan Strickland
Max Henson
Bill Voth
Jordan Gross
Jim Szoke
Total Points 1,359.78 (2nd) 1,205.34 (7th) 1,169.96 (9th) 1,197.54 (8th) 1,264.46 (5th)
Last week 59.00 (8th) 62.78 (5th) 64.58 (4th) style points (10th) 72.24 (2nd)
Jourdan Rodrigue
Mike Solarte
Kelsey Riggs
Josh Klein
John Halpin
Total Points 1,254.22 (6th) 1,1061.98 (10th) 1,291.48 (3rd) 1,387.08 (Champion!) 1,289.16 (4th)
Last week 61.14 (6th) 60.24 (7th) 70.94 (3rd) 96.54 (1st) 52.56 (9th)

"The thing is Bryan, what this goes to show is that good triumphs over evil in the long run," Klein said. "It shows what can happen if you have good thoughts in your heart and a love of Phillip Lindsay."

Ah, Phillip Lindsay. Klein was the first competitor to roll with the Broncos' undrafted running back, and he tried to play him two other times – a no-no twice over. I planned to be the last to play Lindsay, setting myself up to give Josh a taste of his own medicine. But what happened instead? The only undrafted offensive rookie ever selected to the Pro Bowl suffered a season-ending injury in Week 16 (against the Raiders), leaving me to turn to Barber.

But it isn't about just me and Josh. Well it is, but I'll pretend it's not. Kudos to WCNC-TV sports anchor Kelsey Riggs, who brought home the bronze with a strong final week to pass fantasy football analyst John Halpin. And kind-of congratulations to Bill Voth for barely edging out Spectrum News sports director Mike Solarte to avoid the indignity of last place.

Panthers and WBT announcer Jim Szoke rounded out the top half of the standings but can thank Jordan Gross and his tongue-in-cheek lineup of former Panthers teammates for opening the door. Gross' goose egg dropped him to eighth, behind the perpetually rallying Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer and my cubicle mate, Max Henson.

Reviews of this fantasy format from our star-studded panel were kind. They enjoyed the uniqueness of the format. After a successful run, who knows, maybe next season we'll open it up to the people. Stay tuned.