Smoke 'em, Pass 'em week 15
Every year at about this time I consider quitting fantasy forever. I participated in my first league in 1997. At my peak (at my worst), I was in nine leagues. That was about six years ago. Then I started scaling back. There was no off button. I've denied myself access to dynasty leagues because I'm afraid of meeting Alice on the way down. I've narrowed my focus to just three leagues. And even that, at times, becomes too much.
I look around at the news: a genocide in Myanmar; Syria burning; Russia sending nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela; and America just being America. It's all a little overwhelming and makes fantasy seem even less important. Of course I know that the world's problems cannot be my personal problems. Making them so helps no one. But being informed is very different than ignoring them completely. It keeps at bay the apathy which can creep in if I let it.
Next month I begin volunteering at a homeless shelter. It is 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m one Tuesday a month. I'll help serve dinner. Talk to the people there. Feed my civic pride. I guess it's the least I can do since I have the time and resources to offer. And it's a way to quell the guilt and powerlessness when reading about Myanmar or Syria or the clowns in D.C.
Fantasy football feels like another distraction in a mountain of distractions when I zoom out. Perhaps it's needed. I don't know. I've spoken about how completely pointless fantasy truly is, but as the season draws to close, the pointlessness of it truly comes into focus. I really want to win, of course. But my desire to win is only matched by my aloofness toward a loss. In the real world there is a great many things considerably more important.
I fool no one in my idle threats to quit, of course. Fantasy is a link to many friendships. Friendships that are very important to me. But reminding myself of the true nonsense in all of this is an important part of the process. How else can you come to grips with Derrick Henry rushing for 200+ and four TDs?
You've rolled your way into the semis. Congratulations. Now go win and then do something for humanity.
Josh Allen v DET- Sweet Ramblin' Rootin' Tootin' Wyomin' Cowboy. Get on your fuckin horse and load your six-shooter and Spencer. He's got 236 yards rushing in two games. He's got Detroit at home. Things are about to get very real. Allen is drawing plays on his hand and looks wilder than a white bronco with Al Cowlings behind the wheel. Just know what you're getting yourself into here. This could end worse than a Scott Norwood field goal, but it feels ripe. You'd have to be slightly off to pull the trigger. Question is, do you feel lucky? Well, do you?
Aaron Jones @ CHI- "Faith begins precisely where thinking leaves off." Kierkegaard argued that each individual has to find their own relationship with God. This is the only path to total faith. I have decided to have faith in Jones. I have been here through the weed suspension. Through McCarthyism. And I'll be damned if I'll abandon thee now. You should know that Kierkegaard was shit at fantasy. He took too many leaps of faith.
Elijah McGuire v HOU- Elijah was a prophet and miracle worker in the Bible. This has the makings of a Biblical flood of sadness. Houston is top-five in the NFL in rushing defense and have surrendered just seven TDs on the ground. McGuire should see an increased role with Brother Isaiah out. "Behold, I will send you Elijah the Running Back before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall be worthy of starting in PPR leagues. And you shall advance on his back to higher ground when the floods wash over the land."
Alshon Jeffrey @ LAR- Suddenly back with 9-6-50-1 after an inexplicable absence. Carson Wentz might've turned a corner recently. He's got five TDs in his last three and he'll be forced to throw. Fresh off an ass-whooping you gotta think the Rams are ready to smash shit. The only hope here is volume. Also, you'll need a miracle.
Curtis Samuel @ NO- Cameron Newton's arm looks more erratic than a blindfolded Colt McCoy. There's most definitely something wrong with his shoulder. But he was firing against Cleveland nonetheless. Samuel saw eight targets, was missed on a long TD and a RZ target. If he catches two more of those he likely clears 100. In a game which could get loose, gotta think there's a solid floor here. He's also had 19 targets in last two. To quote Samuel from my Bible: "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes."
Jaylen Samuels v NE- Fire up all the Samuels. Oh, he's not TE eligible in your league? What a fucking shame because he is in mine. With the Fat Therapist's ribs on ice, Conner still out, and Stevan Ridley being Stevan Ridley, sign me up for this. 7-64 through the air and added 11 carries. If he can get in the end zone this is a monster play at a position thinner than Tony Dungy's dick.
Aaron Rodgers @ CHI- The hell, you say. The hell, I say. Chicago just shut down one of the top offenses in the league. Now they get an offense that's been shaky at times and only has one viable WR. Rodgers has classically disappeared in the fantasy playoffs. Aside from a 2016 game against Minnesota, in weeks 14-16 of the season he's been mediocre at best over the last three seasons. The great debate rages about his greatness, but the fact is he has thrown for less than 200 yards in three of the last five. It's over for this team. And, frankly, there's an argument it's over for Rodgers as Fantasy God.
Spencer Ware v LAC- Remember when he was going to carry you to fantasy glory? He fumbled it. If he even plays, as he is dealing with a shoulder and hamstring issue, this seems like a guy to avoid. Thursday games are the worst thing to happen to football since Mark Sanchez.
Sony Michel @ PIT- This backfield is in complete turmoil. James White has fallen off the table. And no one has bothered to clean up the mess. They've stuck with Michel, who has 68 carries over the last three, but has only broken 100 once in the last four. And that was against the woeful New York Biplanes. There's gotta be better options in a must-win fantasy game.
Chris Godwin @ BAL- He had 10 targets and caught just one of them. Lord have mercy. Change his name to Satanloss. Complete shit jokes aside, this is a situation to avoid. Baltimore slowed Mahomes in his house and I want no part of Tampa on the road in December. Honestly I don't want any part of Tampa in any month ending in -er.
Tyler Boyd v OAK- The floor is solid and the targets are there, but he hasn't been in the end zone in five weeks. And just six targets last week. I feel bad for putting him on here again, as I did last week. But since he was a waiver add there's a solid chance you have better options. Use them. And pray for that miracle.
Vernon Davis @ JAC- I get it. This position is sadder than the last ten years of Jeff Fisher's coaching career. But Davis has Josh Johnson throwing to him. They're on the road against a defense that, despite its hiccups, should be able to contain this sad sack group. Davis has been in the league for 13 years. That's eight years less than I've been playing this nonsense. I need a drink.