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Christmas Eve Observations
This will be a shorter one because I wasn’t able to watch much after the first half of the early games. I was forced to go to a Christmas Eve party at a friend’s house in London and trying to stream on the phone while eating a traditional meal of roasted goose and ham. I knew it was rude to be on my phone so much, but given the deep familial dysfunction around me, it seemed like my transgression went more or less unnoticed. Plus, they kept re-filling my wine glass and didn’t let me refuse a glass of expensive gin they had specifically bought for me because five years ago I drank a whole bottle of gin and apparently was the life of the party. (I vaguely recall exhorting everyone to buy bitcoin — it was 2017.)
I was in second place in the NFFC Primetime at the start of the night, and 133 points later, I’m in sixth, but with Christian Watson and the Buccaneers defense still to go. As it stands, I’ll almost certainly pass at least two of the teams ahead of me that are done, but there are other teams behind me with players going, so I won’t know the deal until Tuesday morning.
One thing I feel good about is my decision-making:
I don’t know about Watson yet, but he has a good matchup, and Kirk did very little. One thing I feel badly about is Nick Folk missing two PATs which cost him a chance at the game-winning field goal because the Pats would have been down two instead of four at the end and played for that. Folk scored zero, and that hurt, but he’s my only kicker.
Rhamondre Stevenson was great in Week 15, but terrible this week and lost a fumble inside the 10, to boot. Between that and the possibility of Damien Harris being back, I have to consider benching him next week despite a great matchup against the Dolphins, but for now I’m leaning toward keeping him in. Bill Belichick seems to love Stevenson, Stevenson said all the right things after the game and Harris could still be out. It’s just a vibe I have, but I think the Pats commit to getting him a huge workload and restoring his confidence. But I’ll revisit after I see what’s going on during the week.
I took Saquon Barkley over Stefon Diggs at pick 7, and while that seemed like a mistake for much of the year, the Diggs owners are hurting after a 4.6-point showing. You never really know until the playoffs are over. Same with George Kittle in the seventh round who didn’t do much until it counted most.
I went 2-3 ATS — still not sure how the Cowboys got that last field goal, and I’m not going to re-watch
I can’t recall seeing so many totals (over/unders) in the 30s and low-40s. Someone less lazy than I should figure out where Week 16 ranked in average total heading into the week. I’d bet it’s one of the lowest in the last 20 years.
I loved seeing the Bills get rushing TDs from Devin Singletary and James Cook. Fantasy football is a zero-sum game, and you want all the key players you don’t own like Diggs to do poorly.
I was ecstatic when Barkley scored the game-tying TD (pending the two-point conversion), but next time I checked my phone, the Vikings had gotten the game-winning FG, and it was over. I won’t re-watch that, either.
Daniel Jones played well in the first half — he scrambled well, made some tight-window throws and, most importantly for my peace of mind, put up a few more points than Trevor Lawrence. I saw he had a pick in the second half, but didn’t see the extent to which it was his fault.
Isaiah Hodgins (11-8-89-1) looks like a player to me. He made a great 29-yard catch for which he had to extend fully near the sideline too.
Justin Jefferson (16-12-133-1) never has a bad game. He now has 1,756 yards on the year, just 208 short of Calvin Johnson’s record. I’d expect the Vikings to force feed him as much as possible next week against the Packers because if the Eagles beat the Saints next week, the Vikings won’t have anything for which to play in Week 18. Plus it would be more legitimate if he broke the 16-game record in 16 games.
My Panthers at +1200 to win the NFC South just refuses to die. They might actually be the best team in that division too.
The Giants playoff chances improved despite the loss because the Lions, Team and Seahawks all lost. The Packers could still get back into it if they win at Miami, though.
Davante Adams is another top receiver who killed owners in the playoffs. I didn’t see the game, so I’m not sure how he’s been taken away so completely. Maybe it was just the frigid conditions.
I keep fading the Texans ATS, and they keep making me pay. The Jaguars are easily the best team in the AFC South and will probably win it now.