WORLD LEAGUE – After 13 thrilling weeks, the 6th Regular Season of the World Fantasy League has come to a conclusion and the post season is upon us. With 2 rookie franchises joining the league in 2017, seven charter members remain, and four of those veteran teams will be playing in this year’s playoffs, including 2 former World Champions and a third World Champion playing in their fifth season in the League. Through most of 2017, the strength of the league seemed to be centered in an Eastern Conference that produced 3 AF Pro Bowl Nominees and the league’s first ever 11 win season, while the Western Conference sends a pair of 7-6 teams as well as a sub .500 franchise to the post season. But on any given Sunday……
Western Conference Semi Final:
The Defending World Champion Dacusville Devils (7-6-0; 1168) get the homefield advantage in this rematch of a Week 5 victory over the Buenos Aires Blue Dogs (6-7-0; 1171), and the Devils are hoping for a Cindarella run for the ultimate homefield advantage with World Bowl VI being played in Greenville, South Carolina this year. That Week 4 meeting between the two, was a 120-103 tilt for the Devils who lead the all-time series between the teams by 4 wins to just 1 for the Blue Dogs. Their semifinal match will feature a duel between the #4 and #5 qurterbacks in the World League in Buenos Aires’ Cam Newton and the devils’ Tom Brady who won’t play until Monday night. Beyond the quarterback position, there’s no shortage of stars in this one, as the Blue Dogs feature the League’s number one receiver and Dacusville’s got the number one tight end, but the wild card in this one might be the Devils’ phenom receiver, josh Gordon who rejoined the team last week after being two years removed from football. Gordon’s performance ceiling might be why the betting centers have installed the Devils as a one touchdown favorite in this one. The winner, will face the Mexico Aztecs next week in the Conference Championship.
Eastern Conference Semi Final
The AF#24 Scandinavia Stars (10-3-0; 1202) and AF#20 London Falling (8-5-0; 1256) opened the 2017 season against each other in a nailbiter that came down to the final seconds of Monday Night Football and a blocked field goal by London’s Younghoe Koo that cost them -3 points as the game ended with a final score of 81.77-82.93. Koo was replaced within the week. Besides the opener, London last a second game this season by just a single point as well, and, making the their 8-5 record a bit misleading, led the league in scoring until being overtaken in Week 13 by Old England, and have averaged just over 100 points per game through the last 8 weeks. Scandinavia took their Week 1 victory and followed it with 7 more over the next 8 weeks, losing only to the 11-2-0 Old England Patriots. Plagued by injuries this season, the Stars lost a starting receiver in the game against London, lost their flexback in Week 4, another starting wideout in Week 5, their kicker in Week 7, and their tight end in the season finale, but nothing was as devastating as losing their franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers in their Week 6 match with the Mexico Aztecs. Despite the injuries, though, Scandinavia had climbed into 1st place in the league by Week 3 where they stayed for 8 consecutive weeks before being bumped out by the Patriots in Week 11. The all time series between the Stars and Falling stands at 6 to 5 with the edge going to the Falling, including a 108-88 playoff win by London in round 1 of the 2015 post season. The bookmakers are putting London down as double digit underdogs, however, and with the game already underway, the Stars lead 23-14 as Old England awaits the winner.