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I get it.  It’s week 12 and you’re on the cusp in most of your leagues.  You want to believe in something, anything that will get you through to the end.  That one player that will push you over the edge so you can have your A Winner Is You moment and in many ways, Bryce Brown could and should be that guy.  Despite the two fumbles on the night, Brown finished with almost 190 yards on 23 touches to go with two scores.  That’s typically not a guy you throw back into the FA pool, regardless of how cake the matchup was.  Yes, Carolina gives up the 10th most points to opposing fantasy running backs but the ‘real numbers’ say they’re more middle of the road in terms of opposing ‘real’ RB stats than anything else.  With that all said, there are factors at play here.  Namely, one factor and his name is LeSean McCoy.  You know, the first round fantasy pick that wasn’t playing tonight who gave Bryce his time to shine and who’s signed to a reasonable contract through 2018.  To further squelch things, let’s remember that last year Arian Foster was on and off the field with injury issues which led to Ben Tate being a fairly high handcuff pick for this year’s draft.  Sure, injuries hampered Tate’s worth this year but the reality is Foster’s health was the bigger death knell for that story and the same is true for Brown.  Look, Fantasy Football in many ways is no better than Plinko.  You grab your chips at the beginning of the season and head to the top and drop them down in what looks like the surest route to the best result at the bottom. Yet someone who drafted McCoy might’ve lost to someone who got to pick up Brown from the FA pool and now won’t make the playoffs and we don’t even know if Brown will make another start in 2013.  What I’m trying to say is I lost my playoff shot tonight to a team that got Brown when I had McCoy.  What I’m also trying to say is next week, McCoy could be back and Brown may become an afterthought.  Don’t hold to him too closely if someone else is out there who’ll help you win week 13.  In other fantasy football news…

Cam Newton – I almost lead with Superman but thought ‘nah, I have this title in the bag I don’t care how many TDs he scores!’.  So of course he scores all of the Panthers’ touchdowns on the night finishing with a rare UPS ground/air double shipment to go with 306 yards passing and 52 yards on a pretty big 14 carries.  He’s working hard during the holiday season, obviously.  Someone must’ve let 2011 Newton make a Cam-eo tonight because that’s what it looked like during most of the game.  Newton was back to his raw athlete tricks and it worked.  He might be one of those raw athletes who stays raw.  Nothing wrong with them, just a reality check for Panthers ownership that they didn’t draft Brady or Brees and they shouldn’t treat him like he is.

Brandon LaFell - Lost season for LaFell despite the great night: 80 total yards on 4 touches with 43 of it coming on a touchdown.  Really should and could be used more in a hybrid role like a Cobb or Harvin but instead it’s long bomb or bust like most Panther WR is stuck with.  Either he’s not a right fit for this offense or they don’t know how to use him properly.  Given the Carolina record, I’ll lean toward the latter.

Nick Foles - I’m gonna go back to the well for this one but it’s just appropriate: Foles is not a fine Philly but if I had to guess his breed, it would be Sarah Jessica Parker.  He finished the night 16 for 21 for 119 yards, with no touchdowns and an opportunity to be picked off a couple of times.  For the most part, he just looks like a guy the game is moving too fast for.  Either it’s a rookie thing or it’s a career thing but I don’t care.  All you Foles better recognize Nick isn’t even that useful in 2QB leagues right now.

Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams - Combined for under 50 rushing yards and no touchdowns.  Well I guess you already knew they didn’t score from reading the Newton blurb but the key here was Stewie left with an ankle injury.  No word as of this typing of the severity leaving DeAngelo owners anxiously asking ‘How Does It Feel?’.  That last link was for the lady Razzball readers.

Jeremy Maclin - Returned from a goose egg box score from a week ago to be the leading receiver for the Eagles.  Since we already know Foles only threw for 119, keeping your emotions in check about the stat line was the prudent thing to do: 5 catches for 55 yards.  And this all came with DeSean Jackson leaving early with a rib injury and not returning.  He’s now on pace for 58 receptions and 718 yards to go with 6 touchdowns.  So this was the sleeper everyone talked about over the off-season that I didn’t give a rip about.

Louis Murphy/Steve Smith - I almost posted about all three Carolina receivers in the same blurb but felt like kvetching about LaFell’s abuse in it’s own right.  It seems as though Carolina sees their WRs are nothing more than HR hitters.  Both Smith and Murray had 1 catch apiece that was 50% or more of their receiving yard totals on the night as Louis had 65 on 2 catches and Smith 60 on 4.  Perhaps that’s their talent but as a football fan I have to wonder…didn’t they know they had three of the same receiver coming into this season?  Where’s their under route guy?  Where’s their respective Welker type?  Important questions that management and the coaching staff need to answer in the off-season.  Nothing a fantasy guy could help them understand.  No way.

Greg Olsen - Finished the night with 50 yards on 4 receptions.  Not the most fantasy relevant night for a Tight End but hey, we can’t call be Gary Barnbridge.  Plus talking about Olsen gives me a chance to re-post this.  I never tire of abusing your eyes/ears when given the opportunity.  He-Man has the sweetest rave parties.

  1. wakeNbake says:
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    2qb dynasty league trade… Kaepernick/Daryl Richardson for CJ Spiller/Danario Alexander. Who wins? Thnx.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Spiller has proven more than Kaepernick. Would want the C.J. Side

      • Murph says:
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        @Sky,

        Agreed….
        Even with the small sample of Kapernick it’s not overly exciting in terms of fantasy points his production has been surprisingly similar to Alex Smith’s and Sam Bradford’s this year he’s just a lot more exciting to watch. Easy to be fooled by the hype but I would steer clear rest of season and in early rounds of next years draft. My personal opinion

    • Steve Stevenson says:
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      @wakeNbake, My two cents – the Spiller side wins by a lot. I like Richardson a ton (own him in my dynasty league), and Kaepernick’s a good get in a 2QB league, but unless a team’s QB situation is truly dire, it’s tough to justify giving up someone like Spiller, who I’d consider easily a top 20 overall asset in a dynasty league.

  2. mH says:
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    So basically if Cam Newton doesn’t do it all, Panthers don’t score. The excitement over hearing Stewart being named the starting RB is merely just a painful memory now…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      For you and me both

  3. Schizer says:
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    Great write up, as usual, Sky.

    So, 12 team PPR, I need to pick 2 of these WRs to start: Amendola, Garçon, Shorts, Boldin. I’m leaning Amendola (if healthy) & Shorts. What do you think?

    Also, should I throw Rudolph in over Gates?

    Whoever wins my game this week gets the last playoff spot.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Schizer, Thanks!

      I haven’t looked at weekly rankings yet but both calls make sense to me on the surface if Rudolph is healthy enough to go this week.

  4. Wilsonian says:
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    I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, but what would you do in this upcoming Week 13? I’m in a battle for 3rd with two weeks before playoff time. It’s a 0.5 PPR with 3 point bonuses at 100 yards rushing or 85 yards receiving; 6 point bonuses at 150 yards rushing or 135 yards receiving.

    QB: Ryan vs. NO
    WR: Dez vs. PHI
    WR: Welker @ MIA
    WR: Cobb vs. MIN
    RB: Morris vs. NYG
    RB: M.Bush vs. SEA
    TE: Jimmy “Where the hell did I go yesterday?” Graham @ ATL
    W/R: Nicks @ WAS
    W/R/T: LeShoure vs. IND
    K: Gostkowski @ MIA
    DEF: Baltimore vs. PIT
    BN: Blackmon @ BUF
    BN: Garcon vs. NYG
    BN: Witten vs. PHI
    BN: Bryce Brown @ DAL
    BN: Beanie @ NYJ
    BN: Forte vs. SEA

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Wilsonian, If LeSean is held out again, you could go with Brown over Bush. Not the best matchup playing the Seahawks defense. You have a lot of good matchups, honestly, and you’re probably going to leave good points on your bench no matter what you do (Beanie vs that Jets run defense has a chance to go off, too).

      • Wilsonian says:
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        @Sky, thanks. What do you think of playing Brown over Bush and either Witten or Blackmon over LeShoure? I like his matchup but I just don’t trust LeShoure. Although he seems to find the end zone frequently.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Wilsonian, I kinda already said Brown over Bush would make sense if McCoy’s out.

          Not really hip with Witten over an RB. More touches, more opportunity for RBs. I’m with you RE: LeShoure and lack of trust but the fact is he’ll get 15-20 touches. I’ll go with him over Blackmon as well for that reason.

  5. Plainview says:
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    Every week I pick the wrong D/ST to stream – dropped the Rams for the Panthers last week. This week, keep the Panthers or:

    Cowboys
    Ravens
    Bengals
    Giants
    Cards
    Packers
    Jets

    I’ll let you pick and then it’s on you man.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Plainview, I’d have to say Baltimore has the best matchup out of those guys. Dallas second if Foles is still at QB over Vick for week 13. Arizona seems like a trap, I wouldn’t go there personally.

    • Wilsonian says:
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      @Plainview, if Big Ben is a no-go, then the Ravens have a sweet matchup. The Browns made the Stillers look like a Pee-Wee team last week, so I’m fairly certain that the Ravens could do the same. I agree with Sky that Dallas is probably second on that list. If Vick is out, they could be a good play.

  6. Jacquizzical says:
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    I need to bolster my bench this week with a guy that can fill in at W/T. What order would you go after these available WR? (PPR dynasty league)

    Bess, Beasley, Broyles, Sanu

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Jacquizzical, Broyles/Beasley/Sanu/Bess

  7. MattW says:
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    ROS, please rank in a Non-PPR league:

    LaFell
    Daniel Thomas
    Knowshawn
    Hartline
    Michael Bush
    Antonio Brown

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @MattW, Knowshon/Thomas/Bush/Hartline/LaFell/………………………………………………………………………………………Brown

  8. CL says:
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    Is it me, or does Nick Foles remind you of Napoleon Dynamite?!

    effin’ Iggles.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @CL, Well he’s no Liger, that’s for sure. Can’t believe Carolina didn’t just stack the box with how poorly he played. Bryce should’ve never gotten that many rips on them.

  9. Ryan says:
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    please rank these as waiver pickups..all these were dropped in the last week
    Mcfadden,Reggie Bush,Michael Bush,Knowshon Moreno,J rogers
    I might need to play one in flex this week
    will try to pick up 2 for my bench
    standard league
    Thanks!!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Ryan, Knowshon/R. Bush/M. Bush/J. Rodgers/DMC

      Wouldn’t call any of them safe, of course.

  10. Steve Stevenson says:
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    If the Seahawks’ CBs end up suspended for the fantasy playoffs, how would you rank the following DSTs (wk 14-16 matchups in parentheses)?

    SEA (ARI, @BUF, SF)
    TB (PHI, @NO, STL)
    NYJ (@JAX, @TEN, SD)
    WAS (BAL, @CLE, @PHI)

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Steve Stevenson, Ugh…that’s how I rank them, just Ugh. I guess it would have to be still SEA then TB/NYJ/WAS

  11. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Looking to clean my WR house for the playoffs. I’ve already started by plugging Hilton and Blackmon into my lineup this past week.

    Meow, how would you rank the following WR pickups in a .5 PPR? Antonio Brown, A. Roberts, Broyles, Givens, Bess.

    And which disappointing bigger names would you be comfortable dropping for the above? Lloyd, DHB, Maclin.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Steve Stevenson, Broyles/Roberts/Givens/Bess/Brown

      Lloyd can go as can Maclin in my book. DHB could be jettisoned for Givens but he worries me in a Titus Young sort of way. Already been sat due to a ‘conduct detrimental’ this year.

      • Murph says:
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        @Sky,

        Givens is also very similar to Gordon 2-3 receptions with boom or bust potential his big production is also directly correlated with Amendola being sidelined or limited by injuries

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Murph, Very true about that. And the fact he doesn’t have the most trustworthy QB throwing to him…that’s important as well.

  12. Murph says:
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    Higher ceiling this week non PPR Palmer’s play recently makes me reduce my expectations for Myers.

    Cook or Myers?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      So hard to trust Cook but he actually has the better matchup in terms of fantasy points against for TEs. Higher ceiling but definitely a boom or bust call there if you go with Cook.

  13. Murph says:
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    Can you help me break down this miserable matchup I have need to know if any of these stars can sit the bench. I have heard that Seattle’s corners all tested positive for PEDs but not sure how true that is or what kind of punitive measures are being taken. As always great writing and thanks for your input

    Marshall (Fitz, Austin)
    Lynch (Moreno, Murray, Stewart)
    Seattle DST (Dallas on waivers)

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’d probably want Dallas either way. For some reason, the Seahawks struggle on the road as a team.

      I’d start Marshall and Lynch…is that the question? Sorry if I’m misreading that.

      • Murph says:
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        @Sky,

        That’s it I’m always about starting the stars but in a game that could end without an offensive TD being scored worries me. Thanks

    • Wilsonian says:
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      @Murph, you have to play Marshall there. I’d probably flip a coin between Lynch and Moreno. I’d assume they end up with similar stat lines. And if the corners are out for Sea (although it looks like they’ll play) then you could roll with Dallas, especially if Vick is out.

      • Murph says:
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        @Wilsonian,

        Marshall is no guarentee this week Seattle shuts possession wideout WRs down (Bryant, Lloyd, Hartline,Calvin Johnson) but has a hard time covering smaller slot receivers (Austin, Welker, Young, Bess, Amendola all scored ) but agree hard to sit him.

        Agree on lynch and Dallas thanks

        • Wilsonian says:
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          @Murph, true. I guess I’m used to leagues with either 0.5 or 1.0 PPR where Marshall will still hold his own aside from finding the endzone. I also don’t trust Fitz at all with Lindley or Skelton throwing to him. He’s borderline worthess. And Austin is no guarantee to play. If he was 100% I could see starting him over Marshall. I’m starting to lean Sky’s way on just rolling with BIG D over Seattle this week.

          • Murph says:
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            @Wilsonian,

            Yeah standard scoring is terrible

            Looking to scoop Broyles or Garçon off waivers

            • Wilsonian says:
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              @Murph, I like both of those pickups. Garcon could be huge down the stretch. The only issue I have with him is that he is a homerun hitter. He seems to be all or nothing, if he doesn’t get that 50+ yarder tossed in there.

  14. Captain Kirk says:
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    @sky

    WR question

    I have Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Denarious Moore.

    Fitz has been killing me.

    Would you roll with those 3 or take a chance and pick up Ryan Broyles & start both Broyles & Johnson?

    • Captain Kirk says:
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      0.5 PPR

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Pretty sweet matchup for Broyles & Johnson vs the Colts secondary. I’d have no problem sitting Fitz for Broyles.

  15. Wilsonian says:
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    So back to my question in post # 4. Again, it is 0.5 PPR, 3 bonus points at 85 yards receiving and 100 yards rushing; 6 bonus points at 135 yards receiving and 150 yards rushing. One thing I forgot to mention is that it is a 35 return yards per point league.

    I’m debating on shuffling it up, aside from playing Brown over Bush if Shady is out again. My thought is to bench Cobb and LeShoure and slot in Blackmon, Witten, or Beanie. My thinking is that if Cobb doesn’t find the endzone, he doesn’t get the points; Blackmon seems to be coming around and looking a little more consistent; then Witten is always a PPR machine and Philly is terrible; and then you have the possibility of Beanie blowing up. I know I should probably leave the status quo set, but these guys on my bench are tempting.

    What do you think?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Wilsonian, You’re gonna kill yourself my man :). You have good matchups throughout your lineup. Other than Brown over Bush if McCoy is out, I think you should set it and forget it.

      • Wilsonian says:
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        @Sky, hahaha. Yeah I have issues. Especially since I scored 189 points and lost last week. If I won I’d secure a playoff spot. But as it stands I have to win this week and possibly next to make it in. Plus if I started Brown over Forte I would have won.

        Looks like Ron Popeil it is! LeShoure better not f this up!! (C’mon, do it for a fellow Illini!)

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          I’m with you on the LeShoure fear but he makes the most sense. Good luck this week and don’t lose all your hair before it’s done…you need to save some for the playoffs!

          • Wilsonian says:
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            @Sky, haha. That’s no kidding. I’ve had a messed up season. I’m surprised I have any hair. After picking Jennings over AP in the draft! And now I’ve lost 6 weeks. 4 of which to a team who scored their most all season. I’d be in better health if it wasn’t for fantasy sports!!

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Ah man, I’m with you. I’m battling in a few and out in most. The good teams I’ve had either have had really bad luck bad injuries or both. One team I have is now 5-7. My team has scored the second most points in the league. I’ve had the most points scored against it as well. I just lost to the guy who had Bryce Brown for the week and I had LeSean McCoy (not to mention MJD) on my bench with dings. Can’t fight the fantasy gods. Sometimes they just hate you for no good reason.

        • Prezii says:
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          @Wilsonian, good luck wilayyy! Im flexin leshoure too so im with ya on the illi!!

          • Wilsonian says:
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            @Prezii, haha. Thanks brother! I’m more from the Kurt Kittner era of Illini football, but I gotta represent where I can! C’mon LeShoure…do it for your fans!!

  16. Murph says:
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    Better add Broyles or Garçon?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Murph, Garcon looks like RGIII’s favorite target when he’s healthy. I’d want him over Broyles for that reason.

      • Murph says:
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        @Sky,

        Thanks sky and its Garçon not Garcon step your typing skills up!!!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          When he plays more than 3 games in a row, I’ll learn how to type the squirrel tail!

          • Wilsonian says:
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            @Sky, iPhone or iPad. Only way I can get the secret squirrel in Garçon to show up.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Haha, yeah I’ve been autocorrected with it when commenting on either and I roll with it. I’m not wasting my time until I really have to, though, in learning it!

  17. Adam says:
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    If you only had 1 bench spot open in a deep league (0.5 PPR), which 1 of these crappy RBs do you think has the best chance of becoming FLEX worthy during the playoffs: David Wilson, Bilal Powell, or Pierre Thomas? I find myself leaning Wilson on the off chance that Bradshaw hurts his foot as he often seems to do..

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Adam, Hey Adam, sorry I missed this one

      Bilal all the way for me. You can read more about him tomorrow in the morning ‘Thinking Forward’ piece. Spoilers!

  18. Prezii says:
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    When i read the title i instantly thought… Negative Nancy! Hahahaha i coulda won in both money leagues if i playd brown… Instead i went hillman.. and friggin parmele in the other!! And lost… Shoot me in the face!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Ha, totally Negative Nancy! Unless the Eagles lose their minds, Bryce probably only has one more game this year. Man, sorry to hear about Hillman. To be fair, Moreno wasn’t named the starter until right before the game and even then..well, I didn’t know he’d do that. Parmele was just bad luck. That Jennings TD is his if he’s not in the lockerroom getting tended to! I don’t believe in assisted suicide unless the other person has an incurable disease, though. You’ll have to ask someone else for the shooting. I just don’t have the heart to do it.

      • Prezii says:
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        @Sky, dont worry, i wouldnt do anything i dont agree on. I trust you 100% but i cant do everything you say! Cuz ur negative nancy and i negative nancy misses oppurtunities occasionally! ;) It was my fault, i woke up at 8, thought i could sneak in another hour or so of sleep before gametime… Yeah, i woke up at 11 to rotoworlds headlines “moreno to start” and “parmale down after first carry”… I need to go to bed early these next crucial saturdays nights! Haha

        And btw, i disagree on ur mccoy assessment… Wouldnt it be losing their minds to PLAY mccoy in this horrificly lost season? What does mccoy being out there give them? A chance for him to get crushed again(when he shouldnt have been out there in the first place)? I say (hope) they rest mccoy and let bryce breezy run a muck for a couple weeks.. Wishful thinking, eh?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Ah ok, was about to say…plenty of warning for guys who are on the ball!

          Two ways to look at it and I do see your side. Thing is, they’re not tanking to get a particular player. The other factor is they’ve got to work towards something for next year. If Bryce isn’t part of the big plan for 2013, they’re going to do a disservice to themselves by not working on stuff to end the year. I don’t think they want to look back and say they lost the last 12 games of the season because they just sat all of their starters. They need to build something to establish how 2013 is going to go and you can’t do that in off-season workouts/pre-season.

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