I love American Thanksgiving. Despite not getting the day off work as we do with its northern cousin, I would easily rank it among my top three thanksgivings of the year. Three football games this Thursday and finally they actually look like they should be fantastic games and great gambling opportunities. We have the Detroit Lions taking on the Packers, in a game which just feels like the blemish on the Packers record. We have the recently hot Miami Dolphins taking on the tied for first place in the NFC East Dallas Cowboys who are always ready to blow an important game which they should win. Finally we have the Harbough Bowl as a night game!
This seems like a perfect time to give a small homage to a place which we are all thankful for, but are going to have to move on from after this week, The Compound. Now some say The Compound is dilapidated, inhabited by deadbeats, a place where you should never bring a female and never expect to meet one, a place better suited to rats than humans, and a place surrounded by mostly meth labs. These are all valid claims. But it is based on these unpolished conditions that we were able to fully realize our degenerate potential. It’s been home to Sunday Night Football, countless Canucks games, life-threatening benders, Canada Day and various other parties, and the best and blurst of times. It will be missed. At least until we get a newer better one.
Juice (3-8) vs. Captain Insano (4-7)
This match of course is two weeks too late, but it will have to do as a substitute for the fight that never was. Neither of these teams is going to pack the stands but this match is not entirely fantasy irrelevant. The chat feud between these two can only be fuelled by this match which should provide at least something of interest here.
After being buried by Rob Gronkowski on Monday night Juice became the first Western team to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Give him credit though, he’s still making moves and I believe is dependable to continue competing. Last year, Juice managed to beat The Wops!! in the Sacko bowl, narrowly avoiding the dubious last place award. He’ll be back in the consolation bracket again, probably with a worse team, and could easily find himself back in the Sacko Bowl.
Stev is still hanging on. Although he is one loss from punching his return ticket to the consolation bracket, he still has an outside shot if he can win out and score a ton of points.
QB: Matt Ryan’s the most consistent guy here, but Freeman or Bradford are definitely capable of matching his production.
WR: Andre the Giant finally returns, and for Stev to put up points he will have to do so in Crosby-esque fashion. Of course this is difficult to depend on with Matt Leinart at the helm for Houston.
A quick aside: This is Matt Leinart’s last chance. He is getting handed a team with one of the best running games in the league, a very solid defence, and a two game lead in one of the weakest divisions in football. Not much more you could ask for, he needs to find his inner Alex Smith right now and game manage his way to at least a playoff win.
Juice acquired Santonio Holmes, who is talented, and would put up low end WR1 numbers with semi-competent quarterbacking. Julio Jones may not quite be ready yet, in which case he’ll probably play one of two upsidey rookies in Titus Young or Greg Little.
RB: Juice will be starting two ex-Gridiron GIANTS with the consistent MJD and the recently decent Silent G. Both face tougher run defences (Hou & Cin) than Stev’s backs SJax and Beast Mode who go up against the Cards and Redskins.
The Rest: Vernon Davis is an excellent TE in a tough match with the Ravens. He’ll need to be good for Insano and the 49ers to win. Prediction time: The Bears defence gets jacked up to Ray Lewis level after the crushing loss of Cutler, and forces the Palmer implosion at long last.
Prediction: Stev manages to eek out a close win giving him a shred of hope heading into a week 13 match with Dockers.
Suck It Trebek (2-9) vs. The Brink (7-4)
I finally get to give SIT some praise! After the Chiefs decided to double Welker every play, and Gronk made it abundantly clear that who Brady’s number one is The Commish choked on a Monday night and lost to the worst team in the Leage. Wait, was that praise? Ok I’ll try again with a fun fact for new people in the League: Prabs made the playoffs last season with back to back wins in weeks 12 and 13 over Peaty and Garc (knocking Peaty out of the playoffs in the process).
The Brink finally lost (of course after I pick him for the first time all year) last week after putting up four straight wins and securing a playoff spot. Now he needs to win out if he wants any shot at winning the Eastern Division Title, since he trails Lep by a game and 140 points.
QB: Tony Romo versus whoever SIT picks up as a fill in for Cutler. If anyone can find a way to screw this up its Romo.
WR: Nate Washington suddenly woke up last week when Jake Locker came in for an injured Matt Hasselbeck. Brandon Lloyd should have some room against the Cards secondary. Oh and Megatron and Dez play for these teams as well.
RB: Mendenhall will take on a Chiefs run defence which looked pretty stout against BJGE. Tolbert will goes up against a recently beastly Broncos D centered around Count Von Miller and Elvis “The King” DOOMville. (Most fearsome two names on a single defence?) Reggie Bush and the rest of the Dolphins have looked shockingly decent lately, but have a tough match up with the Cowboys. With the injury to Shonn Greene, The Brink will be forced to sub in the entirely washed-up Brandon Jacobs.
The Rest: Gates is getting back to form, but Jimmy Graham is back off byes. SIT does have a gaping hole at flex, while Laurent Robinson looks like a good option as long as Austin is out. I actually like the Dallas defence more than Bmore this week, basically because I think Harbough will play it extremely safe offensively against the Ravens.
Prediction: Seriously The Brink’s running backs are Reggie Bush, Shonn Greene, and Brandon Jacobs. How is he here? I’m taking SIT for back to back upsets.
Cool Hand Luke (7-4) vs. Dockers United FC (8-3)
Here’s the slogans of these two teams: “i’m gonna fukk you up” and “It’s only gay if you like it…”. I think that’s basically a solid preview of what we can expect from this match and a window into the management ‘behind’ these teams.
But I guess since these are both pretty solid teams they deserve a little more analysis. Despite losing to SIT last week, the Commish is one game and 40 points back of the Eastern Division Title. A decisive win here would be a major step towards it.
Dockers just keeps rolling, winning the highest points total last week. They are 16 points out of first place in the West and have a great shot at the Western Division Title.
QB: Both intriguing and scary matches but for opposite reasons. First of all we have Rivers taking on the aforementioned villains who make up the Broncos revamped defence. The Chargers may not be able to protect him, which could lead to Champ Bailey pulling a few passes away from a gawking VJax. On the other hand we have Cam Newton taking the third worst run defence in the League in the Colts. Look for him to be unstoppable.
WR: Wes Welker can look forward to a heavy dose of Awesomewah this weekend. A tough match, after the Chiefs proved successful in eliminating him as a factor. Earl Bennet has looked promising, but now will be depending on Caleb Hanie to get him the ball. Whether or not he can do that remains to be seen. I expect Mike Wallace and Mike Wallace White (Jordy Nelson) to outscore these two handily.
RB: The Pats depend on blitzes to offset their horrible secondary. Shady is going to have a field day off draws and delays, getting through to the linebackers and safeties on a regular basis. He’ll easily make up for CJ2ypc’s stinker of the week. Benson has nice match with the Browns, and BJGE looked unimpressive on Monday. Don’t be surprised to see rookie Vereen get some more work in his place.
The Rest: Gronk > Hern. Starks is banged up. I do like the Jags defense against Leinart.
Prediction: As much as I like Shady, I don’t think CHL has enough to go up against Cam Newton, Wallace & Nelson, and Gronk. Dockers.
The Wops (3-8) vs. CHRIST PUNCHERS (4-7)
And the last team to already receive a ticket to the consolation bracket is The Wops!! He actually finished in last place last season after losing the Sacko Bowl to Billy. This year he might fare better, as Karl is no longer around to help Billy in the consolation rounds.
CHRIST PUNCHERS has drawn a lot of buzz as of late, and rightfully so. After starting the season 0-6 due to injuries and boating trips, he has won four of five and probably has the best shot of all the 4-7 teams to sneak into the show. His final game is against yours truly, and if he is able to pull out a win against an underperforming Wops team, and I fail to upset the beastly Ditka this week, could set up a cataclysmic showdown in Week 13.
QB: The real Tom Brady. I’ve made my views on the Bears Defence and Palmer quite clear.
WR: Whether or not Julio comes back, Roddy White is a great target for Matt Ryan. Hakeem Nicks is a beast, and the Giants need to get him the ball more. Victor Cruz is reaping the benfits of Nicks drawing double teams, and should see a lot of balls as the G-Men try to keep pace with the Saints. Steve Smith will have all kinds of space against the second worst pass defence in the League (surprise it’s the Colts!) especially when they have cheat up to help out with Newton.
RB: Not looking pretty for the Wops. Frank Gore goes up against Baltimore. Maurice Morris lost his job. DJ Ware is concussed. He might be best to turn to LT since Shonn Greene is out. On the other hand, CP RB’s are set to feast on weak defences. With Schaub gone, the Texans will lean on Foster even more. And JStew goes up against those Colts.
The Rest: Ugh fuck it, you can all see what’s coming here…
Prediction: CP continues his charge towards a showdown.
LIONel Hutz (4-7) vs. Rapethlisberger (6-5)
Lionel Hutz’s implosion has been so bad, and so perfectly correlated with CHRISTPUNCHERS blowing up, I would be suspecting Dan of purchasing some sort of body snatching device on the internet if I were Hutz. He’s now lost five in a row. Last week victory was ripped from his claws after a holding penalty nullified a 40yd Harvin TD, a taunting penalty nullified a 50yd DJax reception (who even knew that the play could be nullified in that situation?), and a DJax punt return TD was taken away after he supposedly stepped out of bounds (although replay seemed to suggest he did not, and for some reason the officials did not review it). Greater powers are at play here. Ok and now the bright side: If he beats Rape here, he need only beat Juice next week to have a decent shot.
Rapethlisberger won a HUGE game against Stev last weekend to provide him a two game cushion above the 4-7 teams who have all outscored him. He needs only one win to lock up his spot and avoid that common pitfall of championship teams missing the playoffs.
QB: An Eagles QB will play against the atrocious Pats secondary, and whoever that is I’m betting he’ll be starting for Rape. I’m also betting he’ll outscore Skaubez.
WR: DJax has a great match up with the Pats, although he’ll be less of a factor because Rape will be throwing to him. And because he’ll find a way to fuck it up. Bowe has a tough match with the Steelers. Boldin has a tough match with the 49ers. AJ Green goes up against a Browns defence which has given up the least fantasy points to opposing receivers. I was surprised when fantasy sites were saying this was a bad matchup for him, and after looking into it I don’t think it is. Here are the QB’s the Browns secondary has faced so far: Dalton (AJ scored), Painter, Moore, Hasselbeck, Campbell, Tavaris, Alex Smith, Schaub, Bradford, Gabbert. Colour me not impressed.
RB: Ray Rice continues to impress, but it’s Micheal Bush who has really surprised. The guy is playing like a top 5 fantasy back, and will be as long as RunDMC is out. Both have tough match ups this week (49ers, Bears). Willis McGahee should be back against the Chargers and is a better option than Helu who apparently has not yet earned the trust of Shanny.
The Rest: Olsen and Daniels are the same guy in similarly promising match-ups. Harvin will be a difference maker with AP out.
Prediction: It seems only fitting Hutz finds himself in a life or death match with his arch nemesis from last season. I think he’s due for a win, and he manages to live for another week.
Peaty Whisky (7-4) vs. Leprechauns (8-3)
It’s questionable whether or not Peaty is back on track. He managed to beat a weak Wops team, but on the whole he appears inconsistent in his points production. A win here would tie him up atop the East with Lep and give him a decent shot at an Eastern Division Title. A loss would make him fairly vulnerable to being caught by a hungry GIG squad.
Leprechauns can basically lock up the Eastern Division Title with a high scoring win. It seems right that these two should play the same weekend the Packers take on the Lions on Thanksgiving morning. We should have a pretty good guess who’s going to take this one before the weekend even arrives.
QB: Rodgers and Stafford in an Eastern Div shootout. Love it.
WR: I think Jennings will outperform VJax based on the Chargers inability to deal with the Broncos pass rush. Torrey Smith and Denarious Moore are both homerun hitters in difficult match-ups.
RB: The Bears are going to lean on Forte without Cutler, even more so than usual. I think Ryan Matthews gets it going a bit with some screens to throw off Denver. Wells seems like he’s always banged up and I don’t trust him. Turner has been performing but I wouldn’t be surprised if he slowed down as we get later into the season.
The Rest: By all rights Finley should be having a Gronk type of season, but Rodgers seems to prefer other targets. Ben Tate should get a healthy workload against the Jags, which means production. DWilly plays the Colts, but it seems like JStew is the better option there. I like the 49ers Defence in this one.
Prediction: The Lions upset the Packers and the Peaty upsets the Leprechaun.
Gridiron GIANT (6-5) vs. HURRICANE DITKA (8-3)
Well I managed a close win over my brother which means I control my own destiny. One win and I’m in. Two and I have a solid shot at moving up the standings a bit. None and there’s a good chance I get eliminated. Yikes.
Ditka sits in prime position to claim the Western Division Title as long as he can outperform Dockers over the next two weeks.
QB: Tim Tebow has exceeded my expectations as a fantasy quarterback. I have a legit QB controversy heading down the stretch. I think this is what Marlow calls a good kinda problem. Oh and Ditka’s starting Drew Breese, who will be murdered by Pierre-Paul, Kiwanuka, and Tuck.
WR: Larry Fitz has a nice match up with the Rams, and I’m pretty sure I can count on Skelton to throw him the ball 15 times regardless of triple coverage. Downtown Antonio is back off bye’s and takes over the WR2 spot from the ousted underachiever Santonio Holmes (Sanchez and Shonn Greene’s fault). Colston always scares me, hoping for a big Meachem/Graham day. Maclin is dangerous if he plays.
RB: AP’s injury scares me. I’ve been told that recovery time from high ankle sprains are difficult to predict, and I need him back soon. But Kevin Smith stepped up for me and will hopefully continue to be a factor. I also welcome Blount to the squad, after watching him score a ridiculous touchdown against the Packers last week (For those who haven’t witnessed check it outà http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMJkZpid8AE). On Ditka’s side FJax is banged up, and I think it’s only fair he sits out along with AP. Sproles and Demarco Murray remain as dangerous options.
The Rest: Wittens better than Winslow, but Winslow stepped up huge for me last week with 130 yards receiving. Hoping to see that continue. I need Tebow to keep throwing it away from everyone to keep Ditka’s Chargers defence at bay.
Prediction: I’m ready to punch my ticket to the show baby!
Record to date: 39-34