The Infinity Stones of Fantasy Football
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Fantasy Football have so much in common its almost frightening. They both have an incredibly expansive and enjoyable world to get lost in. As well as large story lines, heroes and most importantly, powerful weapons. In the MCU one man acquired the 6 most powerful weapons in the universe (Infinity Stones) and it made him essentially unbeatable. These stones were all acquired through such different and intriguing means that they all have earned their own origin story.
Similar to the MCU, Fantasy Football has these ‘weapons’ that were all acquired differently through the draft. Before this year started, we didn’t know who the Infinity Stones would be, or what their stories would become. But 4 weeks in, Fantasy players across the globe now know which players have earned the right of being one of the Stones!
In the beginning of Infinity War, Thanos was introduced to us in an incredibly epic fashion. With a shadow covered face, he dragged one of the most powerful Avenger’s (Thor) like a ragdoll while taunting a God (Loki) and wielding the stone.
Right off the bat this character made viewers fear and respect him. Sound familiar? The Power Stone is Austin Ekeler. Like the stone, Ekeler was acquired & revealed his power in the shadows. Not a literal shadow of course, but the shadow of Melvin Gordon’s holdout. Immediately everyone knew how valuable he was going to be until this holdout ended. Gordon has been a ‘God’ of Fantasy Football for several years now, yet Ekeler laughed in his face. In short order he made the Owners & the Chargers question the real value of this ‘God’. Yet, like Thor, Melvin Gordon will be back for revenge.
This stone was essentially gifted to Thanos in the beginning of Infinity War by Loki. The Tesseract has been a frequent voiceless star of many MCU movies over the years, so much so that we began to overlook it when it appeared. The more we were exposed to it, the more we began to underappreciate its incredible value. This was a mistake.
Clearly, Keenan Allen is the Space Stone. Like the stone, we have been so familiar with Allen as a player that we underestimated him during draft season. He was gifted to drafters in the 3rd round of many drafts as a backup plan for their WR1 slot and he more then delivered for you. Never forget the value of a familiar face!
This stone has infrequent appearances throughout the entirety of the MCU. People understand its power very well but rarely get to see it in action. But once shown, it absolutely shatters your entire perception on everything you know. This stone can turn something terrible like a bullet into something beautiful like a butterfly.
Similar to this stone, when this player shows up it completely changes your view on everything. Mike Evans is given the honor of being this stone. Every drafter knew the upside of a player like Evans has since he has shown it in prior years, though inconsistently. With the hope of a WR1, owners rolled out Evans week one only to be met with hardship. The emergence of Chris Godwin scared owners down to their core. Week two, similar concerns with Godwin, outperforming him again. At their absolute lowest, owners started Evans again. BOOM! Singlehandedly your entire perception of your team, matchup & future changed. Owners hopes are beginning to come to fruition with this all powerful player.
The requirements of acquiring this stone are much more stringent than then rest in the MCU. To acquire this Stone, you must sacrifice the life of someone you love. To viewers this was one of the more brutal scenes to watch as our beloved Gamora was tossed down a massive cliff by Thanos to certain death. He gave up the only person he loved in life to gain something more powerful.
Apparently life is a simulation because Melvin Gordon is clearly the Soul Stone. As the season began, owners quickly fell in love with their late round RB1 in Ekeler. He was their one true love. But as time passed and a Gordon return seemed more likely, owners had to make an unwilling sacrifice of their late round darling. Trades were made, regrets were had but one thing was certain. A return was inevitable of a Fantasy ‘God’.
This stone holds the power of time manipulation and many other wonders that are incomprehensible to the human mind. It can reverse time, change the outcome of any event and always ensure your victory. The Time Stone was gifted to Thanos as last ditch effort to save the universe with a very low chance of succeeding (1 out of 14,000,605).
Like this stone, this players true power thrives on disregarding time, probability or anything you ever thought possible. Tom Brady has entered the chat. This man does not give a damn how old he is or what you think he can do. He laughed in the face of Fantasy owners perception for his average draft position before this season began. This late round / waiver wire QB was the savior to those who drafted the many injured stalwarts at the position (Brees, Cam, Big Ben). No matter the odds, no matter his age, Tom Brady will be a QB1 and save your team
The final stone has one of the most gruesome acquisition stories in the entire MCU by Thanos. Just when we think the Avengers won, our hearts and stomachs dropped. Thanos altered time to rip a previously destroyed stone from the head of an injured Vision, all but securing his victory. As he put this final stone in his gauntlet viewers still had had hope, but all it took was one snap.
Saquon Barkley represents the last and final stone in the all powerful Fantasy Football Gauntlet. People who drafted him were distraught over his injury and traded him to compensate for their loss. But like the stone, Barkely doesn’t about time(lines) or the devastation he brings to his opponents. Initially people felt ok about moving off their 1st round pick, but they overlooked something. Once you get something so all powerful and mighty, you do not let go of it.