I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. Family, food, and football, it’s really hard to beat that trio for me. I head over to mom’s house, trying to time it so I can get there before the first game starts (this is extremely difficult with a wife and two kids). On the way to mom’s, I receive a text that in my home league (I’m the commissioner) a trade that went down just before the deadline the night before is in dispute, as one side is saying they should have gotten something that the other side believes they should get. This is not what I want to deal with on Thanksgiving, so I pretty much push that aside and decide to deal with it later.
Aside from my home league, I play in another league that involves a nice monetary prize for first place. I realize while watching the Lions’ game that the owner I’m playing that week is a big Detroit fan, and there is a good chance that he is starting Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, or both. I know not to look at his roster, it will just make me sick before my turkey dinner. Great, he has both, I’ll end up being down 80 points before the night is out.
Remember that trade issue that I decided not to deal with because I wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving? Well, one of the players involved was Tony Romo. Wonderful, no one is going to be happy now no matter what decision I make, and did I mention that I’m a Cowboys fan? Yeah, this is just not working out so well.
My family also likes to play poker after dinner/dessert. We play two games of Texas Hold-Em. Not only did I lose both tournaments, I also did not win a hand. Not one. This is difficult to do on purpose. Who wins? My brother’s new girlfriend’s daughter cleans house, winning both rounds. She is all of 15 and has barely played, or so she states anyway.
Finally, it’s time to leave. My wife and I are looking forward to getting home. Our daughters are staying with my mom for a couple of days, and my niece (she lives with us, longer story) told us she would be staying at a friend’s house for the night. We would have the house to ourselves; this just doesn’t happen. When we get home, not only is my niece there (plans changed) but so is her sister. So much for alone time for the wife and I.
I still love Thanksgiving. Hopefully, yours was better than mine. Now onto Week 12.
As I mentioned earlier about the Lions, Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson went berserk. Sure, it came against an Eagles team that may be mailing it in or even quitting on their head coach, but still, this will have to make you think about whether or not you’re going to start Stafford again. Even the running game looked alive. Was it just Philadelphia or is there something bigger brewing here?
Well, so much for the joy of the return of Tony Romo. He’s out for the season after re-breaking his collarbone. This is always the risk with this type of injury. He didn’t come back too soon; he was cleared to play by the medical staff but you can’t convince me one break had nothing to do with the other. The much bigger question is what will this mean for Dez Bryant and the rest of the offense? Dez is also still not 100-percent healthy and he could be shut down for the season as well. The Cowboys say no, but he will likely be a low end WR2 for the ROS as Matt Cassel is far from the answer.
We seem to ask this question every week; what is wrong with the Green Bay offense? Even Aaron Rodgers came out and stated after the game that he is not sure what the problem is, but he and his receivers just don’t seem to be on the same page. I’m still starting Rodgers week in and week out, but that’s it, the receivers I’ll take on a one by one basis. Randall Cobb, probably. James Jones, too inconsistent, not until he shows me something again. Davante Adams, nope; I’m sure he will still have a big game every now and again, but he also has hands of stone.
I guess Rex Ryan wasn’t kidding when he said that Tyrod Taylor needed to get Sammy Watkins involved in the game more. Watkins had a monster game Sunday with six receptions, 158 yards, and two TDs. He was also targeted 10 times, all good things to see. I wonder how many Fantasy owners actually started him this week, though, and now I’ll wonder how many Fantasy owners will be disappointed next week if and when Watkins disappoints once again.
It would be hard for Fantasy owners to complain about Mike Evans, but man oh man; it would be nice if he would stop dropping passes. Sunday he dropped what should’ve been an easy 36-yard TD. Now, Evans is not going to be forgotten, but the return of Vincent Jackson, combined with all the drops, could cause Jameis Winston to lose a little confidence in Evans, and therefore have some passes directed elsewhere.
The entire NFC East should be blown up. I mean, really; how can the Washington Redskins be in first place? How can the Dallas Cowboys still have a chance to win? Eli Manning lays a complete egg (while the game mattered) against a Washington team that’s been shredded through the air on a weekly basis. My apologies to all the owners I recommended him to.
Have the Saints cashed in on the season or are the Texans for real again on defense? Entering the season, most pundits thought the Texans DST would be among the Top 10. Perhaps they are just hitting their stride now along with the rest of the team, but they won’t get to play a New Orleans team every week; then again, they do play in the AFC South, which is not much of a difference.
What is going on with Matt Ryan and his turnovers in the red zone? The Falcons are in a free fall and a playoff spot that once seemed all but guaranteed is slowly slipping away. Actually, maybe not so slowly. Ryan can no longer be considered a Top 10 QB. He is even having issues in home games, as this is back to back games in that dome that he has made rookie mistakes. Not that there was anything wrong with Tevin Coleman but Devonta Freeman is expected to return next week from his concussion.
The Bengals won Sunday but it came at a price. They lost Tyler Eifert to a stinger and Jeremy Hill to an ankle injury. Eifert expects to be able to play next week and Fantasy owners certainly hope so, as he has been this year’s breakout performer at tight end. Hill will be more on the questionable side. He turned his ankle, equating to something you might do playing basketball; how much it swells up will go a long way towards determining whether or not he can practice this week and what his availability will be for Week 13.
The good news for the Jags is that even though Allen Hurns was carried off the field on a stretcher after suffering a concussion, he has already been released from the hospital and could play Sunday. The bad news is that this team lost to a San Diego squad that hadn’t won in six weeks. In fact, I was wondering whether they were getting ready to mail it in for the rest of the season. I guess not.
Ryan Tannehill is this week’s winner of the garbage time award. He threw for 351 yards and three scores but it would seem that all of that came in the fourth quarter when the team was trailing by about 100 points. Still, Fantasy owners don’t care and this may not be the last time this happens this season. Lamar Miller was a bust, though, as was the rest of the running game, as they only tallied 12 yards on nine carries. Well, if you’re an optimist, we finally had a DeVante Parker sighting, as he had four receptions for 80 yards and a score. Perhaps his time has come.
The best game of the day was the last one on the late afternoon slate. Unfortunately, injuries will dominate the talk about this game. Jimmy Graham had to be carted off the field with an air cast around his right leg. This is generally a sign that the injury is very serious (patellar tendon). Graham has been a huge bust this season but no one wanted to see his campaign come to an end like this. Ben Roethlisberger also had to leave the game and is currently in the concussion protocol. Ben has been injured quite often this season and the reason seems pretty obvious to me. He has always been the type of QB that likes to buy as much time in the pocket as possible in order to make the big play. He could afford to do this because of his size and his ability to take a big hit. That was fine in his younger days, but perhaps father time is catching up with him. He may want to avoid some, if not most of those hits as he gets up there in age.
All week I had been warning people against sitting Tom Brady. It wasn’t because I thought he would have a big game in Denver, it was because I was worried what owners would do if whomever they started over Brady bombed and Brady did go off. Could they live with that decision? Brian Hoyer was the popular choice to start over Brady because of his matchup versus New Orleans. Hoyer ended up having a solid game, 205 yards and two touchdowns, but not the game Fantasy owners were hoping for. Brady ended up with 280 yards and three touchdowns. So much for good intentions.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you, @georgekurtz.