Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Creeper Report: Fantasy Football Week 13 - Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving, Creeper fans, Vultureheads and fools who just wandered in here from the World Wide Wasteland.

And because of Thanksgiving, this is going to be a more concise but more focussed version of my weekly fantasy football goofballery. I have a turkey to brine and a busier than usual work week ahead of me. I can usually park myself in the office and spend a couple wandering hours on this thing. Not this week. You get one hour. Boom.

Please take the time to investigate Kathe Frahm's "Seattle Seahawks and Old Women" series here at Eighty Six the Poet. No one, guaranteed, delivers a post-game wrap like she does. Way back when we actually wrote up restaurant checks with pencils, Kathe and I tended bar together. She was the salty veteran and I was the peachy youngster. To understate, I learned a lot. Now she lives with a wild collection of well experienced people who are not as prim and proper watching football as your grandma might be.

Just read them. I'm so happy to have her as a guest writer.

But we're here to prep our fantasy teams, right? It's Week 12, so you're in one of the three following situations:

1. Playoffs Clinched

Congratulations. Your season is successful. Maybe you make some money, too, but getting this far is a win. Victory in the playoffs is somewhat random, so bask in a little glory now.

In Nate's league, I'm clinched. But he has a 3 week playoff with two teams on a bye, so I have no time to coast. A bye means one less chance to lose by bad luck, so I'm taking one if I can.

If you're in, look past the next two weeks. They mean nothing to you. Make no personnel moves based on your Week 13 and 14 match-ups unless you have a potential bye situation like me.

Look at the first week of the playoffs and plan for that. Especially look at defensive match-ups. Make your moves before your opponents do. Week 15 the Chiefs host the Raiders.

2. Fighting for a Spot

You've been fighting all year, so don't change much. No need to go crazy and hit home runs with high risk/high reward players. Continue to use the most reliable guys.

Yet don't be afraid to dump Montee Ball or Cordarrelle Patterson now. They ain't done nothing for you yet, so if you need to clear space to grab Dan Herron or Martavis Bryant, drop them.

And play your hunches. Not your crazy hunches. Just the regular ones. Don't sit all off-season regretting that you played it safe. Go down swinging. If you think Tim Wright catches another score or two in a shoot-out with Green Bay, play him.

3. You're Out

Never forget that you owe it to the rest of the league to try and win. Someone is fighting for a playoff spot against your opponent. Don't make it easy. Make roster moves and put up your best players.

Besides, soon enough you'll not be playing fantasy football for a while. Consider it a one week season. Go 1-0 this week. It's more fun than fizzling out.

Looking to Thanksgiving's Games

Bears at Lions

When they're done scrubbing "Bills" out of the end-zones, this will be a classic NFC North matchup. The 5-6 Bears still have a chance and the 7-4 Lions are dueling with the Packers for the division title. Expect a show-on-turf. Your big names will put up numbers: Cutler, Marshall, Jeffery, Forte, Bennett and Stafford, Megatron, Tate. Alshon in particular wants me to regret trading him and Denard Robinson for Antonio Brown. I'm sure that's all he's thinking of.

You're playing Calvin Johnson of course and you'll be happy to. He's frustrated after what the Patriots did to him and he'll go off.

I don't trust Reggie Bush. He's Questionable and could disappear at any time. I hope you have better options than Joique Bell. This is going to be an air show, but he'll pick up a few dozen yards running and catching.

I don't like either defense here.

Eagles at Cowboys

The Eagles are ranked #30 against the pass. That's the most telling stat. Philly has started slow but been a great second half team. This will be another air show. Dallas gets up early and Philadelphia plays catch-up. Mark Sanchez gets an equal number of touchdowns and turnovers on the way to a double-digit loss.

McCoy and Maclin are startable, but the rest are unreliable. Terrance Williams I'd play in deep leagues. Murray, Bryant, Witten and Romo, of course.

As for defense? The Eagles have scored a D/ST touchdown in almost every game this year. You almost have to. Sanchez should account for enough turnovers and sacks to warrant use of Dallas' D, but I'd rather have St. Louis versus Oakland, NYG versus Jacksonville, Miami versus NYJ, Cincinnati versus Tampa Bay or Indianapolis versus Washington.

I guess I just covered the defenses segment. Moving on.

Seattle at San Francisco

This is going to be the lowest scoring game of the day. No more than 40 combined. First team to 20 wins. Nasty, chippy, emotional divisional battle between two teams fighting for the same playoff spot. Cannot fudging wait.

But not high scoring for anyone. Both Lynch and Gore finish under 100 with a chance of touchdown. Wilson and Kaepernick run for 50 or so each and throw for about 200 with one or two scores each.

Receivers? Best bets are Boldin and Baldwin, although I wouldn't be surprised to see neither crack 10 points.

My crazy prediction? Cooper Helfet outscores Vernon Davis. Highway to Helfet.

To conclude: Seattle wins by 7 or less. In crunch time, Russell Wilson executes a game winning drive. Colin Kaepernick turns the ball over twice in the fourth quarter and fails to win the game when he has the chance.

Jim Harbaugh coaches the Raiders next year and is broadcasting in 2017.

Jonas Gray

I wrote nothing about Jonas Gray last week and I'm disappointed in myself. I never said pick him up and start him, although I tried to grab him.

I don't trust Belichick's running backs. Never have and do less this week. I just wish I'd have put it in print last week so I could look wise when he went from 200 and 4 to zero snaps while the ex-Steeler LaGarrette Blount walks off the street and gets 2 touchdowns.

Won't touch them. Not one of them.

Your Haiku

It's totally your turn. Right now, my wife wants me to go upstairs and crack some dungeness crab for her and the kids. I don't do that for just anyone. I must really like you if I'm cracking the crab for you to eat.

So write me a football haiku. Represent the 5-7-5. Most certainly getting shared next week. Did you ever dream of being read in The Creeper Report?

Me neither, but here I am.

Good luck and happy creepings.