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Week 11 Observations
To be honest I don’t feel like going over the games in the usual format. It was a pretty good week, all things considered — 5-0 ATS in two entries, 3-1 in the other with the Chiefs -2.5 pending tonight. And while one of my last two Survivor entries got bounced with the Football Team, I pivoted to the Jaguars in the other because I had a hunch that might happen, and the trade off was worth it, given how many people likely got knocked out.
Maybe it’s my going-nowhere fantasy teams. The Primetime was in fourth place coming in, with an outside chance for the playoffs, but I ignored a hunch to sub in Brock Purdy for Dak Prescott, and every 14 points count with only three more weeks to make up an 80-point gap. My heuristic was roll with the hot hand in Dak, but the Panthers ugly it up, and I kind of knew better.
In the end, all heuristics are bullshit except one: make your own calls, whether bold or chalk, and live with your own mistakes. Relying on any other heuristic is no better than relying on Fantasy Midwits or the local astrologer — it’s an attempt to avoid making the choice for yourself.
I watched some of the Giants game. Kayvon Thibodeaux is a beast. I know Sam Howell is a walking sack, but Thibodeaux was everywhere, even in on some run plays. This is obviously a lost year for the Giants, but the Thibodeaux-Dexter Lawrence-Andrew Thomas nucleus is strong.
Saquon Barkley had a great game. The Giants couldn’t run at all for most of the day, and then he broke two long runs, on top of his two TD catches, one of which was a spinning back-shoulder grab while taking a hit in the end zone. In a parallel universe, he’s in the pantheon at the position.
Tommy DeVito took nine sacks, which wipes the shine off that 9.5 YPA, but he didn’t turn it over, and that throw to Saquon was perfect. Brian Daboll coached his destroyed team up pretty well under the circumstances. It also shows the difference between DeVito off the practice squad a month ago and after playing and practicing with the first team. When people act like the QB is so important because of the cavernous drop-off from starter to no-name backup, that’s in large part because it takes a month of good coaching for the no-name to be even marginally competent. It’s not because the league-average QB is worth $35M a year in his own right.
I watched a bunch of the Bears-Lions too. I started Goff, against Alan Seslowsky’s recommendation, over Kyler Murray in the Steak League, which cost me five points. But that was despite the Lions running in the game-winning TD, and Goff playing his worst home game of the year, i.e., this was a wrong call I can live with.
I had the Bears +7.5 as one of my picks which was a no-doubter all day — until the last 30 seconds when Aidan Hutchinson knocked the ball out of Justin Fields’ hand, and it was rolling around the end zone before getting knocked out for a safety. Had the Lions pounced on it, it would have been an epic bad beat.
Fields looked pretty good to me. If the Bears get the first overall pick (from the Panthers), they’ll have an interesting decision to make with respect to trading down or trading Fields. If I’m the Bears I let the market for each guide me. If a team wants the pick badly enough, I’d be okay to roll with Fields behind an absolutely monstrous stack of talent.
I’m glad the Chargers lost. I hate that team. It was also nice to see Christian Watson finally catch a TD.
Not that much else was interesting to me. The De’Von Achane and Kenny Walker injuries soured me a bit, and having Garrett Wilson in two leagues wasn’t ideal, but someone (not me) started Aaron Jones, Cooper Kupp, Stefon Diggs and/or Najee Harris, so I take some solace in that.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it occurred to me again: Does no one else find it odd that a few months after 9/11, out of nowhere, a historically unparalleled NFL dynasty formed called the “Patriots?” just as congress was passing one of the most pernicious, invasive and consequential laws in US history entitled the “Patriot Act.” And like the dynasty which seemed set to expire a few times, it got renewed over and over. Certainly a strange coincidence, but probably too on the nose to be anything more.