In a lost season, Horsemen look to the future with one year rebuild complete
It was what many would consider a magical run. Eight years into the Cosmopolitan Outlaw League, the Horsemen had not fallen below 6 wins once. In the last 6 years, they reached the finals 5 times. They had collected a ridiculous 4 championship rings. On the backs of Horsemen legends Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell they would become the most despised dynasty in league history – but what goes up must come down.
In an offseason (and season) plagued by the uncertainties of COVID-19, the team would struggle. They would enter the year shorthanded with only 5 keepers after releasing the legendary Antonio Brown in the offseason. The 5 would quickly turn into 4, with Le’Veon Bell hitting the IR after week one with a hamstring injury. The 4 would turn to 3, as Michael Thomas got his ankle rolled by jealous teammate, Alvin Kamara – leaving him inactive until week 9. The 3 would turn to 2, as Courtland Sutton would suffer a season ending knee injury in week 2. The 2 would turn into 1, as Julio Jones strained a hamstring in week 2, leaving him out or a decoy until week 6 – and after a few weeks of prime-time Julio performances the same injury would reemerge in week 11.
Todd Gurley signed Rams jersey giveaway? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/qjrnVqP1aM
— Digital Champion (@ChampionTwitch) May 4, 2020
Todd Gurley was the single healthy keeper for the Horsemen in 2020. Acquired in the offseason preceding the 2017 season after a dismal 2nd year and with the hope of a new head coach in Los Angeles for… Mark Ingram, he became a factor immediately. He would score 41 (second most points by a RB in team history) in the final non-PPR championship in 2017 against Strictly Southern – icing the Electric Horsemen three-peat. When it was all said and done, 11 of the top 15 running back performances in Horseman history belong to Todd Gurley – seven 30+ point showings, 2 championship rings in 2 championship appearances. A true hall of famer by any account.
With the season lost, Todd Gurley would be traded to Legs With Holes for a 2021 first rounder. And the one would turn to zero.
2020 has been rough on the Horsemen. Through 11 weeks they have suffered the 4th most adjusted points against of any team in league history and fell below league average points for the first time ever. A points deficit is rare for this team, although their previous worst mark was -2.8 in the 2019 championship run, and they currently sit at a franchise worst -19.5.
But there is hope on the horizon.
While the 2020 draft didn’t yield immediate results, with the season’s sunset the promise began to appear imminent. D’Andre Swift, drafted with the 1.03 acquired from the Nosebleeds, would take over the starting role and majority touch role from Adrian Peterson late in the season and catapult himself into the top 5 in many dynasty rankings. Will Fuller, drafted with the 1.12, would emerge as a WR1 as he replaced DeAndre Hopkins in the Texans offense. Tyler Boyd, drafted with the 2.01 acquired from the Nosebleeds for Zach Ertz and Dak Prescott, would become Joe Burrow’s most reliable target.
And then there was Antonio Gibson. He was drafted with the 2.05 that the Horsemen received from the Drunken Aces in return for Adrian Peterson. It was supposed to be a 2019 2nd round pick but the Aces forgot they already gave away their 2019 2nd round pick. Antonio Gibson would ironically surpass Adrian Peterson in the offseason and Peterson would be released to make way. In week 12, shortly before the writing of this article, Antonio Gibson finished his 5th straight double digit game. He would score 34.1 points – good for the 6th best RB game in Horsemen history. And also good enough to move him into the top 5 running backs on the season for the time being.
The season must go on. And while the Horsemen set their sights on anything but the Asshammer, the rest of the league battles on. See you next year, pals.
Antonio Gibson is the new Cowboy Killa 👑 pic.twitter.com/O6nwscNzRy
— Chris Bryant (@HogfarmerChris) November 27, 2020
Picks were suspended due to the elimination of the Horsemen, but now resume.
- Straight Laced @ 3rd and Unpredictable – If the Laces don’t win this one, they may have to pull Taysom Hill out of their TE position in order to roster a full team next week. The literal cheat code is the only thing keeping them afloat, and that 2nd round pick they paid may give them a path to the playoffs… alas, Unpredictable is far too dominant.
- Bumpy’s Berries @ Dangerous Angels – The Berries look to cancel the Angels like the Laces canceled them last week. A loss here could also send them into bar tab territory – but would put them in a much better draft pick situation with their head to head loss against the Horsemen coming into play. Angels don’t belong in the playoffs anyway.
- Legs With Holes @ Pork Shanks – Shanks are sitting pretty with miraculous head to head wins over Straight Laced, Strictly Southern and the Dangerous Angels. They are somehow 6-1 over their last seven games with a scoring average of only 102. They don’t care if they win or lose, they’re just here to give the Drunken Aces of Closet Hillbilly a bye week in the playoffs if they don’t earn one on their own accord. Legs remain a personal favorite to play dark horse in the playoffs.
- Closet Hillbilly @ Drunken Aces – Two of the heads in what’s likely a three headed collusion team battle it off this week in another meaningless matchup. Hillbilly should have added Brian Hill instead of announcing to the whole league that they should add Brian Hill. Aces win.
- Nosebleeds @ Strictly Southern – It would put a sad exclamation mark on Strictly Southern’s season to battle back into contention only to fall to a Nosebleeds team in the midst of a 16 game losing streak that hasn’t lost by single digits since 2019.