Jamaal Charles had not yet tested the Raiders' defense, and for Matt Renwick — 550 miles removed from his Daly City home that lay just across the water from where Charles was playing that day — that was a good thing.
Gazing up at the DraftStreet Fantasy Football Championship leaderboard two Sunday mornings ago in Las Vegas, Renwick's team sat in 32nd place — eight slots from last.
“I really didn't have any expectations,” said Renwick, who reached the 40-man, single-day championship via a $22 buy-in tourney qualifier on DraftStreet's website. “Since I considered myself extremely lucky to just be there and knowing that even last place won $7,000, I just wanted to enjoy the experience.”
Then Charles, Renwick's premier running back, took the field at O.co Coliseum. He had one of the best games of his football — and likewise fantasy — career.
“It was one of the best fantasy outputs of all time,” Renwick said of the 55.5 fantasy points the Kansas City Chiefs running back earned in scoring five total touchdowns against Oakland. “The tournament really came down to guys who had Charles had a chance to win, and guys who didn't have him were mostly out of luck.”
And in luck, Renwick — a 33-year-old tax consultant in San Francisco who took a mere single day off work for the Vegas tourney — went from being near the bottom of the board to a third-place finish by Sunday's end, and he turned his initial $22 investment into a $100,000 payday.
Not bad for fantasy.
“I was extremely happy,” said Renwick, whose biggest fantasy payday prior to the championship was a whopping $50. “Being able to climb into the top three was more than I could have hoped for.”
A fantasy veteran of yearlong leagues with friends and co-workers for more than 15 years, Renwick, though a rookie to the daily leagues, came just five points shy of a second-place finish — and an extra $150,000.
Another 42 points, and Renwick could've taken home $1 million. But he opts not to stress about that, focusing instead on the estimated $65,000 — post-taxes — he now has.
“It's not a life-changing payday, but it definitely helps,” he said. “I haven't thought a lot about what I'm going to do with it. It will make the holidays a little more fun for my nieces and nephews though.”
And for that, he can thank Charles, mostly.
“For as great a day as he had, the difference for me came with my long-shot plays,” he said, noting running backs DeAngelo Williams, Darren Sproles and receiver Kendall Wright.
“Of course, if I didn't have Charles as well, I wouldn't have been anywhere near the top,” he said.