Guess who’s back,back, back again? El Will’s back so retweet this link to all your friends.
Seriously though, I am back. Now the easy thing to do here is to assume all my readers missed me, but I am not that naïve. After my one week hiatus there is now two ways you view my advice.
Scenario one: You had been reading my fantasy column every week and your fantasy teams playoff lives were on the line over the Thanksgiving weekend, and where was my advice to help catapult your squad into the playoffs? M.I.A, gone, absent, but fret not because you still had the wit to set your lineup all on your own, and have now secured a spot in the postseason. In which case, you feel that you do not need my advice anymore. Sad.
Scenario two. You were a loyal reader, and when you needed my advice the most I failed to be there for you and now your team has missed the playoffs. In which case you now either resent me or have bought in to my fantasy advice 100%. I am hoping for the latter.
Regardless of what a week without the fantasy advice of El Will meant to you, I hope all of my readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend both in fantasy and reality.
Now for the segment I’ve grown to love writing.
El Will’s initial reactions and satisfactions.
Packers vs. Lions
Initial reaction: I think it is safe to assume all of the readers I have know I am from Minnesota. I also I want to preface my comments by saying I started Matt Flynn this week in one of my leagues. With all of that being said, it was enjoyable watching former USC legend Reggie Bush dominate. It was enjoyable watching the Packers struggle, and it was enjoyable to see the Packers lose control of their own playoff destiny. Despite all of this, I really want Aaron Rodgers to return to the field. The world needs Rodgers back. The game of football is simply more enjoyable with him on the field. So A-Rod, if you are reading. Please come back. Football needs you.
Satisfaction: There is a lot to take away from this game, and I want to begin with the Packers struggling offense. Green Bay recorded only 126 total yards of offense, and, their lone score came via their defense. As leagues near or are beginning the playoffs, I think the Packers offense without Rodgers has become difficult to believe in. Jordy Nelson is now a WR 2. If you have WR’s with better matchups then bench him. If Nelson is no longer a must start then the outlook for Jarrett Boykin and James Jones is now murky as well. I would not trust either player in this upcoming week. Finally, with how weak the RB position Eddie Lacy still remains a must start.
The Lions as a team almost looked as good as Selena Gomez did at halftime of this game. Reggie Bush continued his quest to show the world Kanye West doesn’t have anything on him. Nate Burleson though, man he was more disappointing then I was when the Bieber didn’t make a surprise appearance with Gomez at half. For the Lions, play Bush, Mathew Stafford, and Megatron. That is about it.
Cowboys vs. Raiders
Initial reaction: Demarco Murray rushes for three touchdowns, and on the night of Thanksgiving, therefore El Will had no worries!
This was one of the most fun games of football I have watched in a long time. While watching Murray glide into the end zone three times I can promise the world I was more excited then any War Eagle was this past Saturday. There are very few feelings better then watching one of your favorite players dominate on Thanksgiving. I hope he was started in 100% of leagues, and to all of the Demarco haters out there. You better believe now, because he is a top NFL talent!
Satisfaction: Outside of Murray’s game, I thought it was good to see Lance Dunbar have a solid game on the ground. He rushed for 82 yards on 12 carries. He has no fantasy value right now, but in a few years I could see Dunbar being a productive player in the NFL. On the other side of the ball, actually no one is starting Raiders anymore now due to the fact Rashad Jennings suffered a concussion. Darren Mcfadden is due back soon. Stay away from all Raiders!
Ravens vs. Steelers
Initial reaction: “of course I am facing Justin Tucker.” Those were the words coming out of my mouth Thanksgiving night as I watched Tucker pour 20 fantasy points all over my squad, but hey Murray scored three times so I didn’t have no worries.
Satisfaction: Torrey Smith, I am happy to see you have returned. Smith has topped 70 yards the past two weeks and has scored in three of his last four games, and I can’t imagine a situation where his opponent this week finds a way to slow him down.
Jaguars vs. Browns
Initial reaction: Josh Gordon is the man. He is bigger then Lebron was in Cleveland and I need to be the owner of his jersey soon! This guy is a freak of nature. He was the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back 200-yard games. Unbelievable. I am blessed to own in him in two of the three leagues I am in. Shout out Kraemer for making my ownership of him possible.
Satisfaction: The word satisfaction here is an understatement. There is not a word in either the English or urban dictionaries that can describe what owning Josh Gordon is like. If his streak of 200-yard performances ends next week then I would just like to say it has been a pleasure. Don’t buy into any other offensive player from this game, because both the teams stink.
Cardinals vs. Eagles
Initial reaction: Michael Floyd of Cretin Durham Hall High School (Minn.) you are a baaaaaaddd man. I want to take this time to say Floyd’s high school known has CDH shares an athletic conference with my former high school. Shout out HTown. This means I have seen Floyd play and I have friends who have competed against him. Shout out Mr. Hill for getting stripped at half-court by Floyd. Floyd’s steal led to one of the greatest high school dunks I’ve ever seen. He took off from a couple steps inside the free throw line and soared through the air for a one handed jam right before time in the first half expired. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on a high school basketball court.
Satisfaction: Floyd has had an impressive year, and in standard ESPN scoring he has only scored ten less points then teammate and fellow Minnesotan, Larry Fitzgerald. I always write about the Eagles so I am only going to say a few things. Do not worry about Desean Jackson. He will have a big game this week, and Nick Foles needs to be started in every league unless you own Drew Bress, or Peyton Manning.
Saints vs. Seahawks
Initial reaction: I was beyond excited for this game. The then 9-2 Saints were going head to head with the then 10-1 Seahawks. Jimmy Graham versus the Saints D. This was going to be fun I thought. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I wanted to turn the game off at halftime, but I am well aware of the fact turning off Monday Night Football is a sin.
Satisfaction: Russell Wilson was pretty impressive as he completed 22 of his 30 pass attempts and threw for three scores, but I am not buying it for a few reasons. Firstly, Wilson will face the 49ers next week, which is a tough task for any QB. Secondly, the Seahawks are just a different team at home then they are on the road. Their offense and their defense seem to play at unmatchable levels at home. Wilson will be away from the 12th man for the next two weeks. Don’t expect a repeat performance from Monday night any time soon from him.
QB I BELIEVE in this week: Alex Smith
Smith is the guy everybody loves to not talk about. He is quietly having a very solid season. He has thrown for 7 touchdowns in his last 3 games and has also thrown for 230, 294, and 293 yards in those games as well. Kansas City is starting to open up their offense as their opponents main focus is to shutdown Jamaal Charles. Smith tends to score fantasy points with his feet also. He has topped 45 yards of rushing this year three times and two of those games came from the previous three weeks. If your team is still missing Aaron Rodgers or you’re looking for an upside play over a guy like Phillip Rivers or Russell Wilson then Smith is your man.
RB I BELIEVE in this week: Frank Gore
You all probably think Eezus has gone crazy. Gore plays the Seahawks this week, and there no way he is going to have a good game, but that thought process is not true. The Seahawks have allowed more than 90 yards of rushing six different times this year, and four different times they allowed a rushing total of more than 140 yards. This team can be beat between the tackles and I believe the 49’ers are going to challenge this theory here. Don’t let Gore’s resent slump fool you. This is going to be a solid outing for the former Hurricane.
WR I BELIEVE in this week: Torrey Smith
I mentioned Smith earlier in my column. I believe my quote was “I can’t imagine a situation where his opponent this week finds a way to slow him down.” His opponent this week is the Vikings. More importantly Smith will be facing the terrible secondary of the Minnesota defense. Alshon Jeffery broke his own franchise record for receiving yards in his game versus Minnesota last week. Smith is going to have himself a day.
That is all I wrote. This is the second to last fantasy football column I will be writing this year. It truly is sad for me. This past week I wrote a “year in review” wrap up for one of my leagues and it was crazy to think how the regular season was over. It feels like just last month I was putting in long hours in draft preparation books in an attempt to discover at which points in the draft my must-draft players would be going. I guess it is finally sinking in for me. The regular season is over. Not every owner in America will be playing a competitive matchup this week. It’s all just hard to believe. Alright I’ll stop being all confessional, just know that I love writing this column and next week will be my last column. Big news is brewing. Stay tune.
Best wishes to any and all playoff teams.