This season joins 2005 and 2015 as the year with the most playoff spots secured going into the final week. All told, nine out of 12 spots have been secured, although there is a lot of positioning yet to be determined. Here's how things are looking as we head into the finale:
After dropping out of the #1 AFC seed last week, Why Not Zoidberg? slipped out of a first-round bye altogether as Mike C has taken over the #2 seed. Meanwhile, Vlad M has been knocked out of the #6 seed spot by Ethan C.
All right -- playoff picture breakdown time!
Let's quickly go over what the goals are and what's on the line:
Goal #1: Make the playoffs, even if it's as a Wild Card.
Goal #2: Win your division. You make the playoffs and you get a $25 bonus.
Goal #3: Win your division as the #2 seed. Same as Goal #2, but you also can't get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Goal #4: Win your division as the #1 seed. Same as Goal #3, but rather than a $25 bonus, you get a $50 bonus.
So with all that in mind, let see who has what so far, and who needs what to make that happen this week. Let's begin in the AFC.
JPP's Missing Fingers -- AFC North Champion and locked-in #1 Seed (guaranteed 1st-round bye and $25 bonus)
Mike C -- AFC East Champion and current #2 Seed
Why Not Zoidberg? -- AFC West Champion and current #3 Seed
StuB -- AFC South Champion and current #4 Seed
Brenda's Bulldogs -- AFC North runner-up and current #5 Seed.
--Ethan C wins, Vlad M and Secretly Victorious lose: Ethan C makes the playoffs.
--Ethan C and Vlad M win, Secretly Victorious loses: Ethan C makes the playoffs.
--Ethan C and Secretly Victorious win, Vlad M loses: Ethan C makes the playoffs.
--Secretly Victorious wins, Vlad M and Ethan C lose: Secretly Victorious makes the playoffs.
--Secretly Victorious and Vlad M win, Ethan C loses: Secretly Victorious makes the playoffs.
--Vlad M wins, Ethan C and Secretly Victorious lose: Vlad M makes the playoffs.
So basically, Ethan C is "win-and-in". Secretly Victorious needs to win, and have Ethan C lose, while Vlad M need to win and have the other two lose.
But if they both win or both lose, then we'd go to the next tiebreaker -- pick total. And when we get there, Mike C has about a strong an advantage as one could have. He's currently 14 picks in the lead there, so basically Why Not Zoidberg? would have to make all his picks the opposite of what Mike C does, and then be correct on all of them. So basically, Mike C gets a bye with a win, while Why Not Zoidberg? make it by winning combined with a Mike C loss.
Who's In?: As in the AFC, all four division winners are in. as well as one Wild Card player:
Turf Toe -- NFC East Champion and current #1 Seed
Rabid Ferrets -- NFC North Champion and current #2 Seed
Boardwalkers -- NFC South Champion and current #3 Seed
Shucky Duckies -- NFC West Champion and current #4 Seed
Jeff B and Beep Bops have the advantage, as both of them are 9-6 while Evil Squad Of Evil is a match behind at 8-7. That means if all three win or all three lose, then it will be Jeff B and Beep Bops that make the postseason. However, Evil Squad Of Evil has beaten both of these players already this season, which gives him the tiebreaker advantage. So if either Jeff B or Beep Bops loses this week, then Evil Squad Of Evil would be in as long as he can get a win over Shucky Duckies.
The only thing that would be an extra factor would be if Shucky Duckies were the only one to win this week, then he would definitely earn a bye, but in order to earn the #1 Seed he would have to maintain his current one-pick lead over Turf Toe. Otherwise, Turf Toe would still keep a position ahead of Shucky Duckies.
Mike C: 162
I Will Win It All: 161
Lyle Alzado: 156
Brenda's Bulldogs: 155
Jeff B: 155
And while we're talking money, the only way we get to pay the winners is if everyone gets their entry fee in. So if you haven't already done so, please head over to the Subscription Page and hit the "this document" link to see if we still need your entry fee.
So that should about do it for this part of the season's final preview. Sunday is the only day with football this week, so please have your picks submitted by Saturday at 6:00 p.m. (keep in mind that's New Year's Eve, so if you're not going to be around, please make sure to get your picks in ahead of time).
Have a great week everyone!
What does that mean for the league? The loss by Evil Squad Of Evil means that Jeff B and Beep Bops have secured Wild Card spots in the NFC. So we have two more things left to be determined by the final game of the regular season:
--The remaining AFC Wild Card spot is still up for grabs -- Secretly Victorious needs a total score of 48 or higher, while Ethan C needs 47 or under.
--The #2 seed and first-round bye in the NFC still needs to be claimed. If the Packers win with a total score of 49 or more, then it goes to Rabid Ferrets. Any other result, and it's expected to go to Shucky Duckies.
Take a look at the updated pick chart, and check back later tonight for the regular season wrap-up!
But first, we have to wrap up the details of this season by crowning this season's top picker. Mike C took over the season pick lead in Week 9 and never let up. He's finishing the year with a very, very good 173-pick performance, making him our Player of the Year, and grabbing up the $25 bonus that goes along with it. Nicely done!
And let's not forget about the PotY's baby brother, the Player of the Week award! This season has been all about players winning multiple PotW awards. Over the first 16 weeks, nine players won the award -- seven repeats and two one-timers. Joining the one-timer list in the final week is Fighting Sporks -- the only player to go 14-of-16 to close the season.
We also have the weekly formalities of the completed pick chart and the final Standings for the year.
So, let's take a look at the official "who's in/who's out" chart:
There you have it -- next week, JPP's Missing Fingers, Mike C, Turf Toe, and Rabid Ferrets will be relaxing and waiting to see who they'll face in the Divisional Round. But next week will be the Wild Card Round, which will feature the following matches:
--Why Not Zoidberg? vs. Secretly Victorious
--StuB vs. Brenda's Bulldogs
--Boardwalkers vs. Jeff B
--Shucky Duckies vs. Beep Bops
All four of these are rematches from earlier this season (EDIT: No, only three of them are), and two of them feature divisional opponents facing off for the third time this year (EDIT: Wrong, it's only one of them). We'll have a full breakdown of what we can expect when we launch the playoff site tomorrow, but in the meantime those eight players can get a jump on submitting their Wild Card Weekend picks.
For everyone who didn't make it to this point, we hope you'll join back in and take another shot next September. Feel free to follow along via this site or the facebook page, and have a great offseason. For those who did make the cut, get those picks in and good luck in the playoffs!