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Monday 23rd Oct 2017

Here’s hoping your Turkey Day was full of thanks and fun spent with family and friends.  Hopefully your spirit was not dampened by spending the majority of your FAAB budget on Kevin Smith to watch him sprain his ankle and perhaps end his season.  If you own Matt Stafford or especially Calvin Johnson, hopefully the tryptophan did not kick in before their garbage time touchdown hookup.

Before I jump into this week’s entry into the SiriusXM Fantasy Football Salary Cap Challenge, here are some observations from the Thanksgiving Day slate of games, with the note I was traveling and otherwise detained from catching much of the Cowboy-Dolphin tilt.

I know there are tons of mouths to feed in Green Bay and it is not like the Packers have had a difficult time scoring, but I do not understand why they do not use Jermichael Finley similarly to how New England uses Rob Gronkowski.  Finley certainly has the physical ability to mimic the role but the defending Super Bowl champs seem content to use their gifted tight end as a decoy and not game plan around his talent.

Speaking of Gronk, he reminds me of playing touch football in my youth, where two completes was a first down.  In order to get enough of the neighborhood kids to play, you had to throw them a pass or two, but when you needed it, you threw to Gronk for the first down.

Next year, I am going to petition for the NFL Network to carry one of the early games.  I swear, if I had not turned the sound down, I was going to barf if I heard “NFL Red Zone presents the top five plays from Sunday afternoon” one more time.  Think about it, after barfing, you could eat all over again!

Ndamukong Suh is an asstard.

Did you know Jim and John Harbaugh were brothers?

Imagine the numbers if Brandon Marshall had Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers tossing him the pigskin.

Good for Laurent Robinson for stepping up in Miles Austin’ absence and good for Tony Romo for recognizing how hard he has worked.  I do not know enough about the X’s and O’s of the game to say shame on Dez Bryant and Jason Witten for not stepping up, but at minimum, they have disappointed their owners from a fantasy standpoint.

Okay, let’s move onto the SiriusXM contest.  Last week was a bounceback of sorts, but still nowhere near the top 5 percent where I resided earlier.

QB: Drew Brees ($7700) – I came real close to breaking the streak of using Brees or Rodgers and switching to Cam Newton, but at the end of the day, I decided to go with the guy I trust a little more, playing at home against the Giants whose pass defense is not at the level of previous seasons.

RB: Matt Forte ($9300) – I love the player and love the matchup against the Raiders, even if it is on the road, but I don’t like how Marion Barber has been vulturing touchdowns.  However, Barber is brought in for only true goal-line situations and Forte is a threat to score from a few yards out so I will hope he manages to reach pay dirt and not get stopped at the one yard line, setting up the Barber plunge.

RB: Chris Johnson ($6000) – This is my swing for the fences play of the week as Johnson has the juiciest matchup on the board versus the Bucs and though it is cliché, if he cannot get it done this week, he may as well hang up his cleats.  At this point, in a competition like this, I am looking for that one big score as competing for the overall went out the window weeks ago and chances like Johnson are necessary.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald ($8200) – Every week, I choose my last player based on how much salary I have left and this week that player was Fitzgerald.  I am going to be honest, I have not seen the Cardinals play this season, so this selection was largely based on Fitzgerald’s placing near the top of most rankings lists this week.  I am hoping my fantasy football brethren know their shizzle.

WR: Victor Cruz ($5000) – If fantasy football were like baseball, we would probably be saying Cruz’ BABIP is lucky, it just seems like he is always in the right place at the right time, catching tips and deflections and taking it to the house.  That said, he has developed a rapport with Eli Manning and as suggested earlier, the Giants are going to have to match the Saints air attack so Cruz should get a bunch of looks.

WR: Greg Little ($4000) – I have had my eye on Little all season, anticipating a late season breakout and I think he is primed to come through for me this week.  He has been getting progressively more involved with the Browns offense and is poised to take off against interstate rival Bengals, though the game is in Cincinnati.  Still, as far as the bottom end salary choices go, I sense it is Little’s time.

TE: Rob Gronkowski ($8000) – Sorry, I had to do it.  I admit this pick is part homer as I am a Patriot fan, but come on, the guy is a flippin’ beast!  My theory is a guy should either be able to beat the other guy up or be fast enough to run away from him, Gronk can beat you up or catch you if you try to run away.

FLEX: Kevin Smith ($4000) – I am obviously not the only one cursing Smith’s plight from Thursday, especially since he picked up where he left off last week.  He was once again a major part of the passing game and was piling up the fantasy points.  Oh well, at least I did not burn a waiver pick or spend my remaining FAAB budget on him.

D/ST: St. Louis Rams ($4000) – The obvious play is to seek the bottom barrel salaried defense with the most favorable opponent and this week, the Rams fit the bill as they take on the Arizona Cardinals at home.

K: Dan Bailey ($3800) – Lather, rinse, repeat.

Good luck to you and your teams this Sunday.  Hopefully, you clinch or are one step closer to a playoff berth.

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