by Pat Barker

“Hey, what happened to the Roast Battle Fantasy League? Is
that still a thing?”

Yes, you nosy son of a bitch. It is. Unfortunately, I
decided to take three-round battles with four absolute monsters in the first
three months of 2017 (Connor McSpadden, Doug Fager, Jay Light, and a Christi
Chiello New York battle thrown in for good measure) and I haven’t had time to
pursue as much freelance VerbalViolence.TV writing. But with those battles in
the rearview mirror and nothing on my fight card for a good six months, I
figured it would be time to look at the first ever RB fantasy season as it
reaches the halfway mark. With three months down and three months to go, here’s
where we stand.

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At the time of the draft, seven battlers got together and
made a total of 70 picks. The selections were shrewd and calculated. A lot of
thought went into them. And yet here we stand, on April 3, and the leader in
the clubhouse is the guy who was forced to autodraft his squad. Team Keith (131
points) benefitted from landing three comics who don’t compete regularly on
Tuesdays anymore but put up big numbers on the television show. While the team
is led by those big numbers from Joe Dosch, Olivia Grace, and Alex Hooper (ranked
third, seventh, and tenth overall, respectively), Keith has also done a nice
job of making a few post-draft moves to balance out the bottom of his lineup.
Despite a first-round pick that hasn’t panned out, Keith’s lineup has been
pretty productive all the way through.

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Tony Bartolone’s had a shaky year in the ring so far, but at
least his fantasy owner game is on point. His first round draft pick of Pat
Barker has yielded an incredible 50 points (you’re welcome, Tony) to pace the
team, but he’s also hit big with Dan Nolan in the second round and Alex Duong
in the fourth. Any time you can grab a top ten scorer in the fourth round, you’re
doing something right. His fifth round pick of Rena Hundert has yet to pan out,
but grabbing Rachel Mac in the seventh has paid off. Tony currently stands
seven points behind Keith for first, trailing 131-124.

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Anna Valenzuela holds strong in third place with 105 points,
the result of a draft that was very top heavy. All of her first five picks have
scored in double figures, while the bottom half of the draft has yet to hit big
(minus Joe Eurell, who has proven to be the best seventh round pick in the
draft). Team Anna had to think they were getting a first-round steal when Keith
Carey dropped to the third overall pick, but his 15 points haven’t compared to
most of the other first-round selections. Still, you can always expect the
two-time Battler of the Year to pick up the pace, and once he gets going this
team could be truly dangerous.

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Well, I liked my team when I drafted it. And I’m in fourth
place, with 100 points, which isn’t bad. But 63 of those points came from The
Champ, Frank Castillo, and another 17 from Toby Muresianu. When two of your
guys are doing 80% of the work, that means that your draft probably wasn’t so
good. I’ve gotten some middling returns from my round 3-6 picks, but the risky
picks of Mike Lawrence and Robin Tran have not paid off at all. Note to self:
don’t draft people that are too busy writing for television and recording hour
specials to Roast Battle. Live and learn. I think it might be time for me to
hit the free agent list and make some moves.

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Doug Fager (99 points) comes in at fifth, but is only six
points from third place. Doug was the only person at the draft ballsy enough to
pick himself, and it has absolutely paid off to the tune of 36 points. Doug’s
first round pick of Jay Light has also worked out nicely, but it’s the consistency
throughout the lineup that has carried him. Doug’s gotten at least some level
of production from eight of his ten picks, and that’s a big part of this thing.
You can’t win with guys that aren’t battling. With the exceptions of Jeanne
Whitney and Ali Macofsky, everyone else on Doug’s roster has stepped into the
ring and chipped in with some points.

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With 85 points Jay Light is still within striking distance
of the championship, but needs a lot of help, and fast. Anna Valenzuela and Omid
Singh have delivered at the top of Jay’s lineup, and rookies Lonnie Johnson and
Jacob Trimmer have gone for double digits in the middle, but the bottom of the
roster includes three comics who haven’t done a battle yet this year. The
ninth-round pick of Canadian battle rapper Corey Charron was risky and appears
that it won’t pay off. It’s probably time for Jay to cut bait on that one and
check out the available free agents to strengthen the end of his bench.

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Lou Vahram has 47 points on the season, which is bad. But
when you factor in that a whopping 74% of them have come from Connor McSpadden,
you truly get an idea of how bad the rest of Team Lou has been. Using the first
overall pick on Connor has proven to be smart, but the other nine battlers have
combined for an almost impossible 12 points over the course of three months. An
incredible seven of Lou’s ten battlers haven’t even battled. Now for the good
news – some of these guys have battles coming up, so Lou doesn’t need to
completely burn his roster down and start over. The bad news? Even with those
few extra battles he’s in a lot of trouble. Maybe it’s best to just tank and
hope for the first draft pick next season. Trust The Process.

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And finally, we end up with the dumpster fire that is Team
Alex Duong (34 points). When Alex used the second overall pick on Robbie
Goodwin (a fine battler, but someone who doesn’t do it that often and has never
been in a main event), he got laughed at mercilessly. We were all right to do
it. His first-round pick has four points. His second lives in Indiana. His
seventh lives in New York. His only person in double figures was his
ninth-round pick, Jonathan Rowell. Congrats Alex, you nailed the ninth round.
Completely whiffed on the other nine, though.

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A lot of these teams need a lot of help, but luckily that
help is available. Everyone in the graphic above has delivered results that
could make a difference for a team in need, and they should all land on a
roster soon. Katrina Davis has delivered a solid 14 points over the course of
two battles, with the suddenly-good Caesar Lizardo has put 12 on the board.
Brett Erickson, Eric Abbenante, and Casey Ley round out the top five. All the
names on this list have had great seasons, but will they be the final pieces
that win somebody a championship? We’ll find out over the course of the next
three months.

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