Week 3 Observations
The Monday night game is still important for a number of reasons, and I hope I don’t get rugged the way I did the last two weeks, but Week 3 was awfully good to me so far.
For starters, I had the Bengals in Survivor, and that was sweat-free. But more importantly I went 5-0 in the Circa Millions to put me at 10-5 on the year — I’m back on schedule.
Last year was the Team of Destiny, this year will be the ______________. Ideas include “Team of 70 Percent,” “Team of 70,” or “Equipe De Setenta” which means team of 70 in the language I’ve vowed to speak passably by year’s end. But maybe one of you can come up with something better.
The key is to trust myself without getting overconfident, a thin line to walk. I know nothing, I have no special information, I don’t give a shit what the number-crunching autists think. I watch, observe, process and let it sit. I think I actually had a handicap the last few years by hosting the SXM show. It’s not good to talk too much, to get exposed to too many opinions — it interferes with the process, lets in too much noise. This is how you create false narratives — you hear a persuasive or typically well-informed person say something, and you hold onto it.
It’s easy to say, “I don’t care what anyone else thinks,” but we’re all wired to care, to look to others for answers. It’s a habit, and the only way to break it is to avoid knowing what they think altogether. That’s not entirely practicable in 2022, but to the extent I can, I will. And, make no mistake, my leans are bullshit too. It’s just that because I have access to my own mind, I can let the bullshit go. Whatever’s left, those are my picks.
Perhaps the one thing more toxic than mistaking others’ beliefs for facts might be reducing your process to empty probability. “Maybe that 5-0 was just dumb luck, after all it’s just 1 in 32 a nutless monkey would get all of them right.” Never play that game with yourself. “It’s all coin flips and dice, atoms and molecules banging around meaninglessly until the heat death of the universe!” That kind of nihilism is forecasting (and intellectual and emotional) suicide.
. . .
Saquon Barkley is kind of important to me tonight. Here’s how I stand in the four of five NFFC leagues in which I have him:
BCL1: Down 0.25, have him against the Giants kicker.
BCL2: Down 0.35, have him, opponent is done.
BCL3: Down 19.6, have him, opponent is done.
Primetime: Up 17.95, have him, opponent has CeeDee Lamb and Sterling Shepard.
The Cowboys defense is pretty stout, but if he can crack 20, I’ve got a good shot to go 5-0.
. . .
The thing that’s killing me most in fantasy is not drafting Travis Etienne or Elijah Moore everywhere — though it’s not helping — but my QB play. I have Aaron Rodgers in two leagues, Russell Wilson in one and Matthew Stafford in another. The only good QB I have is Joe Burrow, and he looks like he’s about to get injured every game. I have no Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen.
. . .
The Panthers are 1-2, but could easily be 3-0. I have a 12:1 ticket on them to win the NFC South and am happy to see they’re only one game behind the Bucs.
Christian McCaffrey (25-108-0, 4-2-7-0) looks fine, but his usage is the exact opposite of what you’d prefer.
Michael Thomas left with a foot injury. I’ve seen reports it was his toe. Why is it so hard in the information age to find out whether it was the same foot that kept him out for two years? Every site and tweet just says “foot.” It should say, “He injured his left/right foot, the same/different one he hurt the last two years.” I get that the aggregating sites just post what was reported, but the on-the-scene beat reporters need to have some purpose in life.
I had a tough start/sit call between Antonio Gibson/Rashaad Penny and Allen Lazard a few minutes before kickoff. I had Gibson (11.00 points) in initially because FantasyPros had him highest, and I was lazy. Then I remembered it’s stupid relying a bunch of people’s opinions and put in Lazard (14.5) before wondering how healthy he really was and going with Penny (7.9). Process.
I asked about another one, between Damien Harris (12.6), Travis Etienne (10.5) or George Kittle (6.8). That one I got right, though I left Rhamondre Stevenson (20.10) on my bench. From what I could tell from watching that game, Rhamondre (12-73-1, 5-4-28-0) is indeed the team’s preferred third-down, pass-catching option.
Mac Jones (ankle) might be out a few weeks, so it’s hard to get excited about DeVante Parker’s breakout in the near term. I think the Pats offense (and even the passing game) might amount to something this year with a healthy Jones. One of the biggest keys to winning in fantasy is entertaining the improbable but plausible — that the run-first Josh Allen Bills of 2019 would become the carnival version of 2020-2022, for example.
I faded Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews (13-8-89-2) everywhere. Jackson’s making his 2019 (greatest fantasy season of all time for a QB) look quaint. I still have a Derrick Henry 2021 vibe — you regret not taking him everywhere until you don’t. But unlike Henry, if Jackson gave you eight games at this pace, you’d be ecstatic because you can always replace him with Trevor Lawrence or whoever.
David Montgomery got hurt, and Khalil Herbert (20-157-2, 2-2-12-0) went bananas. I take solace in the fact few started Herbert, and hopefully Montgomery comes back next week and has a good game on people’s benches.
Davante Adams (10-5-36-1) is no Mack Hollins (10-8-158-1).
Derrick Henry (20-85-1, 6-5-58-0) got McCaffrey’s workload, while McCaffrey got Henry’s.
I started CEH (7-0-1, 5-5-39-0), and he delivered a solid 14.9 PPR points despite rushing for zero yards. Real RB.
Matt Ryan is this year’s Carson Wentz, who was last year’s Philip Rivers. The Colts just love bringing in veteran QBs, irrespective of how washed up they are.
Josh Allen’s team scored 19 points, but he passed for 400 and two and rushed for 47 yards. That’s why he’s QB2 (QB1 slot not available.)
I was happy to see Tyreek Hill (4-2-33-0) come down to earth. There’s nothing more torturous than players you faded going off over multiple weeks.
The Lions plus six was a gift, but what on God’s green earth was Kneecaps thinking when he attempted a 54-yard field goal (with Austin Seibert!), up three on 4th-and-4 with 1:14 left? I would have been fine with a punt, pinning the Vikings back, likely forcing them to play for the tying FG (rather than the winning TD), or going for it — a first down is game over. But the FG? Best case, you’re up six and have to kick off, still vulnerable to losing if they score a TD, and worst (and most likely case) you give them the ball in great position for a tying FG with a chance to win with a TD which is what happened. I love Kneecaps, but that was madness. But then again, the Vikings had no problem asking Greg Joseph pretend to be Justin Tucker twice on 56-yard FGAs, both of which he missed. I know inflation is rampant, but FGA distance is like Zimbabwe or Argentina this year.
Justin Jefferson did nothing for the second straight game, and I’m here for it. I also rather enjoyed DeAndre Swift and The Sun God doing little too. What can I say, the zero-sum nature of fantasy football creates haters. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
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