After two weeks, we have a lot of balance throughout the league so far -- we have eight 2-0 players, eight 0-2 players, and 16 1-1 players balancing things out in the middle. If you're in that top quarter, nice job, keep it up! And if you're on the unfortunate end of the chart, then the time to step things up is now. You still have plenty of time to change your fortunes, but that can't wait too much longer.
Now then, let's take a look at what we have on the divisional matchup front this week:
We start off in the AFC East where Vlad M and Ethan C are coming off an unprecedented season last year. 2016 saw these two do something that has never been done before -- both of their head-to-head matchups ended in ties! In their six previous seasons together Ethan C holds the slight advantage, having gone 7-5 over Vlad M. For his part, Vlad M is in a pretty good spot, having lost his first match by an extremely narrow tiebreaker after a very good pick performance, and then following that up with a Player of the Week performance last week.
In the AFC West, Mary L and Lyle Alzado both started off with a nice win to start the season, but then each fell short last week. While Mary L had a stellar rookie season in 2015, her biggest roadblock was Lyle Alzado, who got the season sweep over her. She then lost in their initial meeting last year, before finally picking up her first win over Lyle Alzado in last season's final match. Now we have a situation where the winner here could take over the early division lead (if current division leader Secretly Victorious were to slip up this week).
The NFC East was off to a much different start last season. After five weeks, Hyena was undefeated and riding high atop the league. A long midseason losing streak pushed him down, however, ultimately causing him to miss the playoffs altogether. Can Hyena have an opposite season this year? After back-to-back losses to get this season under way, he's getting into "must win now" territory. In his way here is last year's NFC #1 seed Turf Toe, who absolutely steamrolled the division in 2016, going a perfect 6-0 over the rest of the NFC East. Turf Toe won't have a repeat of that performance this year, having already lost a divisional match in the season opener, but he'll certainly make the fight to go 5-1.
Another 2016 perfect divisional performance was put on in the NFC South by Boardwalkers, while Alabama Slammers finished at the bottom of the division. So far, Alabama Slammers has been showing no signs of that kind of performance, going unbeaten to start the year and putting up Top-5 numbers in the Power Rankings. Boardwalkers may have slipped up in Week 1, but there's a lot of picking do be done yet.
We wrap this up in the NFC West where Evil Squad of Evil is looking to drastically improve on his dismal 1-5 divisional record last year. He can put up some optimism by remembering that his one divisional victory was over his opponent this week, Heisendad (formerly known as Eighteen). In an interesting twist, Heisendad only went 1-5 in the division last year as well, and as fate would have it, his sole win was over Evil Squad Of Evil! It looks like the name change was a good idea, because with the new name has come an entirely new level of success. Heisendad finished the year dead last in the entire league -- but has rebounded as well as one possibly could, owning the #1 spot in the league so far this season.
All right, that'll about do it for this week's preview. We've got a lot of good games on tap here, so head over to the pick submission page and get your choices in. Remember, your pick for Thursday Night Football is due in by noon on Thursday -- don't miss the deadline!