Johnny Manziel is a punk.  Yeah, I like my sports to be entertaining, but I applaud the Browns for benching Manziel. What’s the big deal, you say?  Well, not only did he lie to the team, but he just left a rehab center and he’s out partying.  He’s a grown-ass man, but he’s also being paid as an investment.  Sorry, if my investment is acting like a clown when it’s clear he’s had issues in the past, I’m making the same moves that the Browns did. See you on TV in a few years, Johnny. Let’s get to the streamers.

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To be honest, I really don’t care much for Thanksgiving. After so many years it has become more of a chore than joy. Who gives a sh*t about the food? I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want anyway. Cramming twenty or so people into an average-sized house is not my definition of fun. Other people’s kids annoy me. Especially when they threaten to impede best part of the day. Football. Cries of I WANNA watch [insert bullsh*t kids show]” by a whiney brat annoy me about as much as when someone somewhat related to me that I could really care less about sits down next to me and tries to tell me about what’s gone on in his life since last year when he tried the same thing. But I digress.

Other than a last name that gave me a fitting title, Chris Givens has no business being mentioned in this post. But since he’s unknowingly done me a solid, I’ll give him his 30 seconds of “fame”. After three games with St. Louis where he had 1 reception for 7 yards, Givens was traded to the Ravens. Since moving to Baltimore he’s had 12 catches on 24 targets (50%) for 168 yards and a touchdown. I think Antonio Brown topped those number last week alone. Have no “misgivens” about it, if you own this guy, you’re bad at fantasy football.

This week I’m giving The Stats Machine a well deserved opportunity to rest its bits and bytes. It takes a lot of 1’s and 0’s to fuel its core and with the playoff push in the near horizon, I thought it was the right time to recharge its light cycles. So instead of analyzing last week’s performances, I am going to use this space to highlight some stats leaders…

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Anyone experienced in playing fantasy football knows that NFL player performance is difficult to predict on a year to year basis.  That’s in large part because of injuries.  The other components making it difficult are teams divulging very little information and teams simply not putting their best players on the field.  Sometimes teams do things that are flat out stupid.  Exhibit A for the last two points: Stefon Diggs, who started the year as an inactive for the Vikings’ first three games.  Nobody knows precisely why the Vikings had their best wide receiver inactive for the first three games but it obviously had something to do with them not knowing exactly what they had in the rookie. So as the folks that play fantasy football, we have attempt to know what even the teams themselves don’t know.  I bring up Stefon Diggs because I nearly wrote a paragraph on him and Adam Thielen in my Week 4 Injury Report.  We knew their roles were increasing that week due to injures to wide receivers Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright.  I ultimately scrapped it as unnecessary due to the fact that the Vikings bye was the following week and it seemed like it would be difficult to hold Stefon Diggs through the bye what with him being a player the Vikings didn’t truly believe in yet.

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If the Seahawks-Niners game had been on Monday night, the title to this post might have been “Monday Night Rawl“. There was no way I was going to deny Thomas Rawls of his duly earned honors and bury the lede on this one. I had every intention of taking a page out of my own book and replaying what I said back in week 6 when I was fired up about Rawls. Unfortunately it seems that fellow writer Doug had the same idea when he titled his Through The Wire post. Allow myself to plagiarize myself. I guess it’s not really plagiarism if I am repurposing my own words. Here is what I said back in week 6. “The fact that he is only 47% owned is a little baffling. With Lynch out for the second straight week, Rawls should have been picked up everywhere. Especially by Lynch owners. Those that picked him up (like me) and started him (like me) were rewarded with 169 yards rushing and a score. He now has two 100+ yard rushing games. Lynch has none. Keep rawlin, rawlin, rawlin, rawlin…” And that’s me quoting me. I’m going to give Doug the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn’t read that post. Besides, we’re one big happy family here at Razzball.

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There is a lot to keep track of this week. A short work week, travel, seeing your family, eating copious amounts of food, not killing your family, and responsibly partaking in the beverage of your choice. But amidst all that chaos, don’t forget about your fantasy team, because Week 12 can be one of the more influential weeks of the season. We’re done with byes, so all 32 teams have games this week, and you can drop “bye week fillers” for the best player available. Games also start early on Thursday, so setting your lineup and handling potentially injured players can be tricky. And finally, given where we are in the season, this is a must win game for any team that is not eliminated. So enjoy yourself this week, but not at the expense of a playoff spot or a potential bye.

Here’s what I’m thankful for heading into Week 12:

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Period Accuracy Rank High Low Percentile
Week 11 54.8% 46 out of 128 63.7% 39.0% Top 40%
Week 10 56.0% 85 out of 128 65.5% 48.7% Top 70%
Week 9 61.2% 34 out of 130 67.9% 48.1% Top 30%
Week 8 56.7% 30 out of 128 66.5% 42.9% Top 25%
Week 7 57.8% 37 out of 129 66.8% 43.1% Top 30%
Week 6 54.0% 84 out of 131 65.2% 45.7% Top 65%
Week 5 54.4% 37 out of 130 59.7% 41.9% Top 30%
Week 4 56.4% 12 out of 135 59.9% 41.1% Top 10%
Week 3 59.1% 18 out of 134 65.0% 42.1% Top 15%
Week 2 53.4% 85 out of 135 65.2% 46.2% Top 65%
Week 1 56.8% 54 out of 137 62.8% 46.3% Top 40%
2015 56.7% 34 out of 124 60.1% 51.1% Top 30%
2014 58.1% 31 out of 125 60.7% 50.6% Top 25%

Here are your Week 12 Rankings and FanDuel Week 12 Cheatsheet… (The Rest of Season Rankings have been updated and can be found here.)

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Overall, it was a disastrous week in Fantasy Football, let’s face it. We saw injuries galore, some upsets, and some uninspiring performances from fantasy stars. We saw some major injuries, potentially major injuries, and that is what will be dissected in this post, to make sure you guys are making all the right moves as we move that more closely to Fantasy Football playoffs. If you’ve been following and reading my Benchwarmer’s series, you probably are first in your league anyway, but for those just joining us for this special Waiver Wire edition, let’s get to it!

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Well we’re movin on up, to the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky. Movin on up to the east side. We finally got a piece of the pie. Fish don’t fry in the kitchen; Beans don’t burn on the grill. Took a whole lotta tryin’ just to get up that hill. Now we’re in the big leagues. Gettin’ our turn at bat. 

The player in this week’s Bear or Bull was stuck in the Pacific Northwest his first three years in the league. Stuck behind an All-Pro, he didn’t get a piece of the pie. Things got worse when he was cut then claimed by the Cleveland Browns, but now he’s moved east and finds himself in a great situation and may get his turn at bat. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Robert Turbin. While doing research on Turbin, I really gained an admiration for him. The Jefferson’s theme song really resonated with me when learning about Turbin’s past and personality. Here’s a brief synopsis:

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If you tuned into last night’s Monday Night Football like I did, I’m sure there were some things that crossed your mind. First one: I’m fairly certain that drafting Sammy Watkins might have been in error. I mean, why trade multiple picks (1st, and two 4th’s) for a receiver that spends more time on the back of a 60’s milk carton? Second, I’m sure many wondered if a 0-0 score would be an insurmountable lead for the Bills… I thought it was a fairly close call, but the Bills did scrounge 13 points in a resoundingly ugly fashion. In what is turning into a theme, the weekday games (both Monday and Thursday) have offered nothing this year in terms of football. Football-like? Quite possibly, but we’re not getting 100% organic entertainment here. Something-something-Eddie Lacy is fat. Rex Ryan always seems to have a penchant for driving the Patriots nuts and did so again last night, but never quite gets over the hump, just like last night. Also, his hump is named Rob Ryan. Regardless, it was an essentially boring game up until the third quarter’s upgrade to semi-interesting, then quickly downgraded to “where’s my effing bourbon”. Such is the ways of Monday Night…

Because of the Thanksgiving Holiday, Rankings (both this week and rest of season) will be released Wednesday morning.

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Not sure which one is winning the staring contest...

Not sure which one is winning the staring contest…

As we are just days away from Thanksgiving, the NFL Playoff picture is taking shape. (Just as your fantasy leagues move into the playoff portion of their respective schedules.) No team looks particularly dominant, even with two undeafted teams (the Panthers and Patriots) as near-locks to play in January. Each team has a particular set of weaknesses, weaknesses that they have acquired in the first 11 weeks, weaknesses that make it nightmare for all of us. Case in point, the Bengals losing to the Cardinals during Sunday Night Football… Cincinnati is the Enron of football; Promising start, get everyone invested early… and when they fold they leave a lot of people wondering what the f*ck just happened. The Falcons are part of the NFC South, relegating them to disappoint whenever possible, and the Vikings have had their issues (mainly everything on the offense that hasn’t abused a child) and the Giants and Bills will find a way to lose their next five games. I’m sure. The Broncos and Colts have quarterback issues, and the Packers and Steelers have interesting ways of defining “defense” and “play-calling”. That essentially leaves the Panthers (who calmly brushed Washington aside yesterday) as the most-likely strongest team going into the last few months of the season. An NFC South team making possibly going deep into the playoffs? What I time we live in folks. What. A. Time.

Here’s what else I saw during Week 11’s Sunday games…

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