by Pat Barker

Of all the endeavors we’ve embarked on at Verbal Violence,
the Fantasy League that we introduced last week probably stands alone as the
most ambitious. There were a bunch of hurdles blocking its conception – how do
you arrange a viable scoring system? Can you really give out points every time
The Wave rushes the stage? What about when Haiti goes rogue and runs out there
by himself, then realizes the joke didn’t really hit, so he just awkwardly
flexes and runs back to his seat? How can you get people together for a fantasy
draft? Is there a way to track all the data online? As it happens, all of these
perceived hurdles were pretty easy to clear. In the ten days since the fantasy
column went up, we’ve finalized a scoring system and officially started a
league that will launch on January 3 (complete with a fantasy draft that took
place at Norm’s after the battles on December 13). Before we get to the results
of the draft, here’s a look at how the scoring system works…

On a regular Tuesday night in the Belly Room, a battler
participating in an undercard earns 2 points. If they win that undercard, they
get bumped up to 4 points. Participating in a one-round main event (think Earl
Skakel vs. Benji Aflalo two weeks ago or Josh Waldron vs. Galina Rivina last
night) is worth 3 points, while a win will bump you up to 6. Finally,
participating in a three-round main event is worth 4 points, and a win is worth
8. Every time your joke triggers The Wave running out, you get an additional
point, but it’s important to note that sometimes they run out after a joke
bombs to make fun of the battler. You’ll lose a point for that. Finally, we
have a trusted independent arbiter to assign “Battle of the Night” and
“Performance of the Night” bonuses. In the Battle of the Night, both comics
will get 3 additional bonus points. The comic who gives the Performance of the
Night will earn 5. For special events the points go up a bit for performing (6
points) and winning (12), but the Wave activity and bonuses remain the same.
For the last two Tuesdays we’ve tabulated the points as a bit of a preseason,
and the following battlers earned notable marks for their fights.


Fantasy MVP: Galina Rivina (14 points). Galina won a one-round
main event (6) last night, made The Wave (Haiti) run out three times (3), and
won the Performance of the Night bonus (5), giving her a high score of 14
fantasy points.


Silver Medal: Heather Marulli (12 points). Heather delivered
an undercard win (4) last week, made The Wave run out three times (3), and was
given the Performance of the Night bonus (5), giving her last week’s best mark
with 12 fantasy points.


Bronze Medal: Earl Skakel (11 points). A one-round main
event win (6) last week against Benji Aflalo, two Wave run-outs (2), and Battle
of the Night (3) earn Skakel third place honors.


Other Strong Showings: Albert Escobedo (10 points). Winning
a three-round main event is worth 8, and The Wave ran out twice, but ten points
is slightly disappointing for a main event victor. 


Jacob Trimmer also scored 10
points, by virtue of an undercard win (4), three Wave run-outs (3), and a
3-point bonus for last night’s Battle of the Night with Alfred Konuwa.


Top Undrafted Battler: Benji Aflalo (8 points). As you’ll
see in the draft results below, Benji went undrafted. It makes sense
considering he hasn’t battled in three years. He delivered a one-round main
event loss (3), two Wave run-outs (2), and received a Battle of the Night


Better Luck Next Time: Tony Bartolone (1 point). Considering
you get 4 points just for showing up to a main event, leaving with one point is
borderline impossible. Tony made The Wave run out once in a positive way, but
four times in a negative fashion as his risky character didn’t pay off.

And now, the results of the first-ever Roast Battle Fantasy
Draft. Eight team captains sat down in the war room (Norm’s) and mulled their
picks over pancakes and chicken fingers. The results (with a little bit of
analysis) are below.

Team Lou Vahram

  • Connor McSpadden
  • Kim Congdon
  • Nick Petrillo
  • Tom Goss
  • Jamar Neighbors
  • Guam Felix
  • Wub Savell
  • Robbie Kirkhuff
  • Brendan Cooney
  • Madison Sinclair

Lou lucked out and drew the number one overall
pick (mainly due to his seating location) and went with Connor McSpadden. While
Keith Carey was projected to go number one in the Draft Guide, Connor’s a very
solid pick. Grabbing Tom Goss in the fourth round is a steal if he stays
active, and I also love taking Guam in the sixth. Jamar Neighbors and Madison
Sinclair are both worth taking a flyer on as they have high upside. Overall
Lou’s roster is very talented but lacks many true workhorses. He might want to
look at adding some battlers who step in the ring more frequently through free

Team Alex Duong

  • Robbie Goodwin
  • Albert Escobedo
  • Nicole Aimee Schreiber
  • Alfred Konuwa
  • Galina Rivina
  • Jared Goldstein
  • Anish Shah
  • Sameer Suri
  • Jonathan Rowell
  • Isak Allen

Alex employed an interesting strategy that got
him openly mocked at the table – he didn’t look at the rankings or people’s
perceptions of who the “best” battlers are. He drafted based on how often
people fight and how often they win. When he took Robbie Goodwin second
overall, everyone else at the table immediately destroyed him, but it’s hard to
argue with a roster where the first five picks are a combined 20-2-1. Recency
bias probably played a part when he grabbed Jared Goldstein (who had just
debuted hours before) in the sixth round, but he definitely closed the draft
strong by grabbing a few ultra-talented battlers with losing records (Sameer
Suri and Jonathan Rowell). What his roster lacks in star power it makes up for
in potential. One final note: Alex got screwed pretty badly with the season
starting January 3 instead of December 20. He had three battlers put up a very
impressive 31 points over the last two weeks, crushing everyone else. Tough
luck, buddy.

Team Anna Valenzuela

  • Keith Carey
  • Leah Kayajanian
  • Lindsey Jennings
  • Greg Roque
  • Nat Baimel
  • Kayla Rosenberg
  • Joe Eurell
  • Tony Alfano
  • Kyle Gridley
  • Stephen Furey

This right here is a really solid fantasy team.
Keith falling to her with the third pick was just luck, but grabbing a former
Roast Battle champion in the second round and one of the highest scoring 2016
players in the third were brilliant moves. In addition, taking Greg Roque right
before he’s set to battle Keith on January 3 means that Team Anna will probably
score a bunch in the first week of the season. The bottom half of her draft is
filled with a lot of potential. Joe Eurell in the seventh round and Stephen
Furey in the tenth are particularly shrewd picks.

Team Doug Fager

  • Jay Light
  • Doug Fager
  • Jeanne Whitney
  • Rich Slaton
  • Mark Stevens
  • Ali Macofsky
  • Steve Lee
  • Heather Marulli
  • Jasmin Leigh
  • Dave Neal

First off, props to Doug for being the only
person to draft himself. I’d call it egotistical, but he really was the best
player on the board at that point. Rich Slaton is a wild card as a fourth
rounder – he’s got first round potential if he starts battling a lot, but who
knows if that will happen. Picking a wild card that high is questionable, but
Doug followed it up with some safer picks in Mark Stevens (fifth round) and
preseason superstar Heather Marulli (eighth round). Ali Macofsky could be an
absolute steal in the sixth – something to keep an eye out for.

Team Jay Light

  • Anna Valenzuela
  • Omid Singh
  • Nicole Becannon
  • Brian Vokey
  • Lonnie Johnson
  • Jacob Trimmer
  • Leah Lamarr
  • Nate Craig
  • Corey Charron
  • Leah Knauer

I like this squad. A lot. Jay spent the first
two picks on top tier veterans, and then immediately went into the promising
and active newcomers, starting with Nicole Becannon and ending with his own
girlfriend, Leah Lamarr. Vokey, Johnson, and Trimmer have all been battling and
winning a lot lately. These are smart picks. He spent the last three rounds
taking flyers on high-upside battlers, including Denver Road to Roast Battle
participant Nate Craig, Canadian battle rapper Corey Charron, and the very
talented Leah Knauer. This is a very balanced roster. Fuck. Well done, Jay

Team Pat Barker

  • Toby Muresianu
  • Frank Castillo
  • Tony Bartolone
  • Richie Gaines
  • Sarah Keller
  • Logan Guntzelman
  • Mike Schmidt
  • Robin Tran
  • Mike Lawrence
  • Felicia Folkes

This roster’s also pretty good, if I do say so
myself. I look forward to peer pressuring all these people into battling more
often. Toby and Frank make for a very solid 1-2 combination, and even though
Tony’s preseason performance was a bit of a train wreck, I think his antics
could be worth huge points when they hit. I spent the middle rounds taking
battlers who are knocking on the main event door, and used some risky picks
towards the end. I was really happy to see Robin Tran fall to the eighth where
I could pick her, and my ninth-round pick of Mike Lawrence could be the most
brilliant selection in the history of fantasy drafts if Comedy Central decides
they want him to defend his title this year.

Team Tony Bartolone

  • Pat Barker
  • Dan Nolan
  • Matt LeGrande
  • Alex Duong
  • Rena Hundert
  • Lou Vahram
  • Rachel Mac
  • Danielle Perez
  • Tony Asar
  • Haiti

After a brilliant selection of me in the first
round (after I passed myself over to pick Toby), Team Bartolone made several
more smart picks as the night went on. Rena Hundert in the fourth could pay
dividends, and Lou Vahram doesn’t show any signs of slowing down his fight
card. Rachel Mac and Danielle Perez could easily be Roast Battle superstars by
the end of the year if they want to. The final round pick of Haiti seemed
insane to me until this past week where he was crowned the winner of a battle
he wasn’t even in. Now I’m kicking myself for not taking him when I had the

Team Keith Carey

  • Earl
  • Alex Hooper
  • Joe Dosch
  • Olivia Grace
  • Ramsey Badawi
  • David Deery
  • Hana Michels
  • Evan Cassidy
  • Tim Groeschel
  • Ken Garr

final team, and the only one that was mostly autodrafted. If there was one
thing I thought I could count on, it’s that Keith would be at a restaurant with
the rest of us. But when clock started ticking, he was nowhere to be found. His
first six rounds were autodrafted based on last year’s stats, and the results
were an insanely talented roster that will hardly ever step in the ring (except
for Hooper, who should compete pretty regularly). Keith jumped back in via text
for the last four selections and took a real sleeper pick with Hana Michels
(who had just debuted) in the seventh and closed with some smart selections of
Roast Battle veterans. Keith’s team has VERY high upside, but it’ll all come
down to how often they fight.

And that
my friends, is the official first ever Roast Battle Fantasy League draft. Want
to be part of the fun? Find some friends and start your own league! We will be
publishing a short weekly Wednesday column going forward with the previous
night’s point totals so everyone can play along at home. Happy holidays from the
entire Verbal Violence team. We look forward to publishing a whole buttload of
content in the new year. As always, Let’s Roast!

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