Dutchess Dawgs bark up fantasy title

Bear with me, dear reader. A little self promotion here. The SportsLifer needs to gloat about his fantasy football team, the Dutchess Dawgs, 2013 Nightcap Football League (NFL) champions.

Always a bridesmaid until this year, the Dawgs began play in 2007, compiling the best record in the league but losing in the finals. In the seasons following, the Dawgs finished second twice and third twice (in the money), but failed to capture the big one.

That all changed in 2013, when the 9-4 Dawgs took the wild card route and won three straight playoff games for the coveted title, knocking off the top-seeded Canucks in the championship game.

After losing their opener, the Dawgs won four straight before losing three of the next four. But after a disappointing loss to the last place Brawlers, the Dawgs ran the table with seven straight victories.

The Pups were led by top-ranked receiver Josh Gordon, second-ranked quarterback Drew Brees and kicker Matt Prater, and the fourth-ranked Cincinnati Bengals defense.

Brees and Gordon carried the team. Brees had six games of 38 or more points, including four of 40 plus. Gordon, who was suspended for the first two games of the year, set a record for receiving yards in successive games with 498.

Besides Gordon, the Dawgs featured two other top 15 receivers — Antonio Brown (#6) and Anquan Boldin (#15).

The team had to overcome season-ending injuries to #1 pick (third overall) running back Arian Foster, and tight end Jermichael Finley. Despite some underachieving early picks — Foster, third pick Victor Cruz and fourth pick Lamar Miller — the Dawgs went all the way.  Free agent find Zac Stacy helped plug the gap as #1 running back.

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