Week Twelve Preview

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you eat a lot of turkey? Did you spend time with the ones you love? Did you spend a whole day watching football game after football game?

I only did one of those things, but it was the most important one.

No, not football.

I have an app for that.

So here we are, with Week Twelve already begun. Half my players have gone already, and two of my opponent’s have too. So basically the week’s half over, and we’re just getting around to the preview.

Sorry about that. It’s a weird pace to the week.

But here we go. Let’s start by checking out how things stood before the games began, starting with the lines for the week.

w12-lines-shot

Remember, we have to pay more attention to this now. We have to scoreboard-watch because we’re trying to make the playoffs, and the only way I fall out is if the right people win by the right margin. And even if I do make it – let’s be real, I’ve made it by now, but I’m reluctant to say so because I’m superstitious – who I will play in the playoffs is very much up in the air. So my game is not the only one that matters to us this week.

But, my game is the most important, of course. And you’ll notice that it’s set up quite well for me.

w12-preview-shot

I do like quite a few of his players. Doug Martin has been very good in the past couple of weeks since he’s come back from injury; Terrance West ranges from capable to breakout; the Seahawks defense is, as much as it hurts me to admit it, very stout. I don’t like Cam Newton personally, but as a fantasy player, he’s excellent. So ignore the fact that I’m so heavily favored. Remember instead that the last time I played Team GooDfoRyoU, I only barely beat him on the last plays of the Sunday night game, where I narrowly edged him out for a 93-90 victory. Something like that could absolutely happen again.

All that being said, this is the highest projected score I’ve had in several weeks. Everyone has very favorable matchups. New England should dominate the Jets, San Diego at Houston is likely to be high-scoring, I should be in excellent shape.

In particular, I was looking forward to the Indianapolis game on Thursday. Andrew Luck wasn’t playing due to concussion issues, so it made sense to me that Indy would rely on their running game – i.e. Frank Gore – and not get much action out of their passing game – i.e. T.Y. Hilton, who Team GooDfoRyoU had as one of his wide receivers. One look at this situation had me salivating for the outcome.

So…

It turns out that the professional football players and coaches of the Pittsburg Steelers have at least as good an understanding of football strategy as I do.

Frank Gore got nothing going. He was incredibly well defended and managed only 28 yards for 2 points. And T.Y. Hilton had 54 yards for 5 points which, yes, is on the low end of his performances, but is more than I had hoped for.

Here’s how things stand after the first three games of the week, including that unfortunate Indianapolis performance.

w12-after-thursday-shot

I did get a nice game out of Ezekiel Elliott. What else is new, right? That helps to balance the underperformance by Gore. Rudolph, Crowder, and Kai did exactly what I needed them to do too, so I’m pretty well on target still, even when you factor in that Anquan Boldin stepped way up for my opponent. Plus I still have Brady to go for me, right?

So…

About that.

Brady has missed practice twice this week. He has a sore knee that’s held him out. Will he play? Probably, but it’s not certain at this point. Will he play as well as he normally does? Probably, but it’s not certain at this point.

So I have to have anxiety here, because not only am I relying on Brady to be his usual fabulous self, but I’m relying on his number one target, Julian Edelman, to be a solid wide receiver. I can replace Brady in a pinch – Mariota is ready and waiting on my bench, with a matchup in his favor – but I can’t do much to replace Edelman, not with A.J. Green still out. My other three wide receivers are: Jamison Crowder, who I have already used in my other WR slot; Adam Thielen, this week’s new add, whose Minnesota Vikings already played on Thursday; and Randall Cobb, who plays Monday night. I could throw in Cobb, but I don’t know that I trust his offense anymore. If Edelman is catching passes from a backup QB, his value goes down, and I’d probably still be forced to use him.

Other than them, I still have Melvin Gordon left to play – put him down for greatness – and the Titans defense – put them down for a decent performance by a streaming defense. (They get to play Chicago with their backup QB, so the potential for greatness is there, although if they just stick with decency then I’ll be happy.)

And I’m starting in a good spot, with 46 points in the bank and a projected score that’s still 13 points above my opponent’s.

As for the rest of my league:

  • In first place, Team rosellini is currently way out ahead of her competition, Simi Valley 12’s, but the projection is tracking at 96 to 95. This might get close. And I’d love to see rosellini lose this one. I’d love to go into next week tied with her and playing her for the number one seed outright.
  • In third place, KING OF TRADES hasn’t had any players go yet, so it looks like he’s way behind his opponent, Batman Foo, but he’s still projected with a healthy win. I’d love to see KING OF TRADES lose personally, but unless I lose and fall back into a tie with him his seeding doesn’t affect me much.
  • In fourth place, the matchups for Team RAIDER NATION and There’s always next year are going in very different directions. There’s always next year has a huge lead on his opponent, Team FREEDOM, and he doesn’t look likely to give it up, while RAIDER NATION is locked in a dead heat. If just one of them loses, I’m locked into the playoffs. This could be an interesting one to watch going into next week too, as it could determine who I play in the first round of the playoffs.

So I’m in good shape, for now. I’ll need to get up early and make sure I don’t have to make a last minute quarterback change, but assuming that I won’t, I should have another solid weekend. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to spending time with the ones I love on this Thanksgiving weekend. Hopefully you’re doing the same!

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