Collinsworth Invitational: Tight race for the playoffs

Reader Dave Knox is one of several teams still narrowly alive for a playoff spot in the Collinsworth Invitational celebrity league.

| 6 months ago
(Elsa/Getty Images)

(Elsa/Getty Images)

Collinsworth Invitational: Tight race for the playoffs

(Pro Football Focus gave subscribers the opportunity to win a team in the Cris Collinsworth Fantasy Football Invitational, playing alongside celebrities such as Warren Sapp, Jenny McCarthy and of course Cris himself. As the lucky winner of that contest, I will be writing a weekly piece that provides a view into what it’s like playing in a celebrity league and how I will use the PFF tools to give me an edge.)

With two weeks left in the Collinsworth Invitational regular season, there is a fight to the finish to see who makes the post season. Five teams make the playoffs in this league, with the top three seeds earning a bye for the first round in Week 15.


In the XM division, Karen Hunter has maintained her lead, but Commissioner Collinsworth is surging after starting 0-4 in the beginning of the season. Both are in contention for a playoff spot with one of them guaranteed a bye as the division winner.

The Sirius division is a different story. Greg McElroy and Warren Sapp (Sir QB Killa) are tied for the best record in the league at 9-3 and are in the driver’s seats to get a first-round bye. My team (Hard Knox Life) would be tied for first in the XM division at 8-4, but instead I am in third with Brad Hopkins (Tennessee Tuxedos) right behind me in fourth place.

That puts six teams at a record of at least 7-5 but only five playoff spots up for grabs. No matter what, someone is going to be left out of the party.

A crucial Week 13

With such a tight race for the postseason, Week 13 is shaping up to be a crucial one. In fact, four of the teams in the top six of the standings are playing each other.

In the first make-or-break game, Sapp (9-3) is facing off against Hopkins (7-5). This is a tough game for me. If Brad Hopkins loses, it helps my playoff chances considerably, as I basically lock up one of the top five seeds. However, if Sir QB Killa is defeated, it gives me a fighting chance for the top seed in the division or a first-round bye, since I am only one game back from first place. Brad has a tough battle in front of him as he will be without the services of DeMarco Murray given the Titans’ late-season bye. Sir QB Killa loses Marcus Mariota and Rishard Matthews to the bye week, but has Andrew Luck as his other quarterback.

The second game to watch is one that I am personally involved in. My 8-4 record is going into a rematch with Collinsworth and his 7 wins, 5 losses. A win could move Cris into a tie for the division lead, while a loss could very well knock him out of the playoffs. While I defeated him in Week 2 of the season, our teams are vastly different today. In that game, Cris had Le’Veon Bell on the bench as he was still serving his suspension, Tyler Eiffert was still out, Sammy Watkins was hobbled with a foot injury, and Donte Moncrief fractured his scapula. Fast forward to Week 13 and Cris has the services of a full healthy team, as well as the addition of Colin Kaepernick, who has surprisingly been the QB7 since winning the starting job in San Francisco. On my side, I was able to pick up Watkins from the waivers after Cris dropped him earlier the season. With his successful return to the field in Week 12, I will likely be rolling out Watkins for the Collinsworth rematch, along with his teammate LeSean McCoy as I hope for a high-scoring affair in Oakland.

The Collinsworth Invitational is shaping up to be a race to the finish with Week 13 a crucial one when it comes to playoff implications. No matter what, it should be fun to see how everything shakes out.

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