Thanksgiving Day Observations
Before I get into the NFL action, I want to say I otherwise had an enjoyable Thanksgiving, one of the better ones in recent memory. We went to a friend of a friend’s house, ate outdoors on a sunny, beautiful fall day and had really good food. They had three different styles of turkey, and our friends smoked a pork shoulder and brought that, along with the mashed potatoes, stuffing and everything else. The desserts were great too.
There was even a basketball hoop where I played some one-on-one with Sasha (She’s getting to the point where I just try at 80 percent to beat her, rather than let her have easy layups like I used to.) Needless to say, I racked up my fair share of blocks, though she did make some buckets when I lazily let her go by and tried to catch up, but she was faster than I thought.
Unfortunately, when I got home, I turned on the end of the Lions-Packers and was aghast to see my Lions -7.5 was dead, and my last-second switch from the Saints to Lions defense (zero points) in the Primetime was a disaster.
Why did I make a last-second move yet again, disrespecting my former self, after vowing not to do that?
The answer is I have a process (like I imagine most people have) which is to set my lineups on Wednesday ahead of the FAAB run to get clear on what I need. It’s not a finalized lineup, but just a quick-look plausible one to identify where I might need help from the waiver wire.
Often that’s the lineup at which I’m looking on Sunday morning when contemplating a switch. On the one hand, that seems like a reason to be open to switching, since I didn’t put much thought into it, but on the other, that quick, snap-judgement on the plausible lineup is often the truest reflection of what you think before you get nervous about making an error. You’re saying, “I can switch this later, so I’m not worried about it, but, top-of-the-head, here’s what I think.” And that’s what you really think.
But it’s an odd psychological trick, which by identifying and writing about it, I’m now ruining. Because the lineup isn’t final, you have no fears in setting it, so it’s your truest lineup. But now that I’ve said that, next time I do it, I’ll be aware that it’s the final lineup and put more thought into it, making it as worthless as my last-second switches. You have to not care, and you can only not care if it’s not binding. In other words, the only lineup you should adhere to without deviation is the one that’s not binding. It’s a paradox like almost every other important truth in life.
So I had the Saints, but then I got to thinking: “The Lions are much bigger favorites than the Saints, and Justin Fields takes a lot of sacks.” That kind of midwittery is the failure recipe.
I almost got so annoyed I switched out Dak Prescott for Brock Purdy, but thankfully I did not. Prescott and CeeDee Lamb did their parts, Kittle didn’t, and now I just need to pray for the Saints to have a modest game so I don’t defenestrate Sunday. If they put up 20, I have a feeling it’ll be the difference between making and missing the postseason.
I went 0-3 ATS. Just the wrong side of every game, and there was a clear right side in each. (I used only one — the Lions — in the offshore super contest though.)
I benched Jared Goff for Kyler Murray in the Steak League, and that at least seemed like a silver lining, but the Lions drove for a meaningless TD late that padded Goff’s stats pretty nicely. JG still stands for “Just a Guy” though.
Amon Ra St. Brown also looked like he was having a dud, but a few catches on the final drive corrected his week. He has yet to have a bad fantasy game all year.
Christian Watson finally did something. He was second on the team with seven targets, and I think we can trust him as a useful low-end starter going forward.
I don’t know what to make of Jordan Love. My sense is he’s got a future as a high-end backup, but obviously the verdict isn’t yet in.
Dak Prescott feasts on bad defenses, and the Cowboys are pass heavy. He would have had an even bigger day had he not overthrown CeeDee Lamb who was wide open on a deep route on the game’s first series.
Anyone else notice Dak says “Here we go!” every snap?
Tony Pollard is waking up the last couple weeks. Thirteen carries and six targets is sufficient.
Sam Howell got another 300 passing yards. Only C.J. Stroud and Goff are on pace for more passing yards. (There should be trifeca futures props available for league leaders.)
Why was Tony Romo praising the Football Team in the first quarter as if it were a contender? Dude, they got swept by the Giants!
When did the NFL (and TV generally) start permitting ads for hard booze (Crown Royal) Not that I have a problem with it, but I just thought it was beer only.
The Seahawks had no chance at any point. Their only TD was a fluky tipped-ball pick six, and one field goal was set up by a long kick return.
Cris Collinsworth praised Christian McCaffrey saying, “he’s not the fastest, he’s not the biggest, he’s not the strongest, he’s not the anything-ist, but he’s the best.” And I thought, “He is the whitest.” McCaffrey does make it look easy, though.
Jaxon-Smith Njigba made a nice one-handed catch. DK Metcalf gets most of the targets, but he doesn’t have the feel of a great receiver near the sidelines. No one did much on the Seattle offense anyway though.
So it was a nice Thanksgiving, but football-wise for me, it was shit.