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At 44 years old, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is retired from professional boxing and Vince Carter is retired from professional basketball. Also 44 years old, John Cena and Brock Lesnar are no longer full-time professional wrestlers, making part time appearances. On the football field in this week’s Thursday Night Football game, we saw Tom Brady at 44 years old dueling it out with a quarterback who was born when Brady was in college. Brady won the battle against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles and is still out there performing at an elite level in the NFL. Arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady went out there on the national stage and methodically let the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their 5th win of the season.

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There were some epic battles between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier back in the 1970s including the “Thrilla in Manilla” and “The Fight of the Century”. We had the Ali vs George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” and the Foreman vs Mike Tyson “Ear Biting” match. Iconic slugfests that will forever be remembered in boxing history. Well, football fans all over the world were treated to a different kind of heavyweight slugfest in last night’s kickoff to the 2021 NFL season.

The NFL schedule makers gave us all a treat by scheduling two of the most high-powered offenses in football in the Thursday Night Football season opener. The Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers got to kick us off by playing host to the Dallas Cowboys in a game that brought us all the jabs, crosses and uppercuts that we remember from those iconic heavyweight boxing matches. Coming into the game, we had a superstar showdown of 44 year old Tom Brady facing off against Dak Prescott who was 11 months removed from being carted off the field with a sideways ankle. The star power was abundant on both sides, and neither side disappointed in a game that hit 60 points and made a lot of fantasy football managers happy.

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March 15th, 2021—a day that will live in infamy—the United States National Football League was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of New England. The NFL was at peace with that franchise after the Patriots brought in the ghost of Cam Newton to lead the team into the 2020 gutter with a record of 7-9. Bill Belichick and his prized pooch weren’t messing around as free agency kicked off on Monday. As of this writing, the evil empire has signed four defensive players, two tight ends and two wide receivers in a weak whimper of a response to Tom Brady’s first non-Patriot Super Bowl ring. Jonnu Smith was the first signing of fantasy interest to be reported, but the excitement didn’t last long as less than 24-hours later New England inked a second free agent tight end in Hunter Henry. Will the Henry/Smith tandem be the new Gronk/Hernandez? I’ve heard rumors that Jonnu likes to party and Henry hangs around in some sketchy circles, so maybe that’s the comp. But for fantasy purposes my excitement level couldn’t get much lower. I take that back: Belichick just signed Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor. Yuck. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this past week for 2021 fantasy football:

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If you’re in your fantasy championship and your opponent doesn’t own Alvin Kamara then consider it a very Harry Mistress. I mean Merry Christmas. If you are going up against Kamara then take that lump of coal out of your butt and get back to work, there’s still a glimmer of hope for a Christmas miracle. And if you’re in the championship and you own Kamara, then you won’t be getting any more holiday gifts for the next three years after unwrapping 22 carries for 155 yards with 3 catches for 17 yards and 6 touchdowns! SIX TOUCHDOWNS! Kamara now has 21 touchdowns on the season, not too shabby. Anyway, in this post I’ll go over Saturday’s questionable players to watch closely as well as some sneaky starts for this week, who just might be available in your free agent pool depending on how many players are rostered in your league. Plus, find my freshly updated week 16 rankings below!

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There’s a common occurrence in golf which all avid golfers are familiar with. Here’s how it goes down: a golfer plays a horrific round of golf that they’d like to burn out of their memory like that time you caught your parents in a threesome with your neighbor Randy. Then, on the 18th hole, the golfer hits one of the purest, most beautiful shots of their life. The golf gods always keep you coming back for more. Monday night’s Steelers vs. Bengals game was the complete opposite of this golf phenomenon for many fantasy football owners who played a great season only to fall flat on their face on the next to last hole as Ben Roethlisberger forgot how to play football going 20/38 for 170 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Big Barf tried to drag the rest of the Steelers’ fantasy weapons down with him, but Diontae Johnson (8 catches for 59 yards and his 6th touchdown) and Benny Snell (18 carries for 84 yards, 3 catches for 23 yards and his 4th touchdown) were impervious as they mopped up the barf. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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It was only two hours before the show when Tony Pollard got the call. Ezekiel Elliott was indisposed. Zeke ate some questionable Mexican food on Saturday night and wouldn’t be able to venture too far from the toilet. Pollard came in, cool as Zeke’s baby wipes, handling 12 carries for 69 yards while snatching 6 catches for 63 yards and his 4th and 5th touchdowns. If Elliott’s still chained to the porcelain throne next week (it’s actually his calf and I expect he’s back) then Pollard would be a solid RB2 against the Eagles. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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So with MB’s Zoom retirement party happening tonight, DT asked me to step in and do the write-up for Saturday Night Football. I said to DT, “But, Zoom allows like 50 people to join in on a call!” And DT replied, “Yeah, it’s me, MB, and all 48 members of the Japanese pop idol group AKB48. Sorry, we’re full up!” So, sayonara my dear MB. I hope you have fun playing Apples to Apples with your new crowd. 

In the mean time, I’ve got your fantasy roundup for Saturday games: Buffalo vs. Denver, and Carolina vs. Green Bay. 

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If you aren’t familiar with the history between Justin Herbert and Marcus Mariota, I’ll clue you in on the story. Back in middle school the two NFL quarterbacks actually played on the same youth hockey team. It was a rag tag bunch of kids, coached by a down on his luck attorney with a drinking problem. That’s the plot to Mighty Ducks, Hebert and Mariota played college football for the Oregon Ducks, and not even at the same time. Alright, fine random italicized voice, you win. You always win. The point is, they’re both ducks! And one of these ducks quacked just a little louder on Thursday night: rookie Justin Herbert. The kid went off in primetime going 22/32 for 314 yards, 4 carries for 14 yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown–he now has 27 passing touchdowns on the year, tying the all-time rookie record. Unfortunately, the quarterback he’s just tied isn’t a legend like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, it’s Baker Mayfield. Wah, wah. It’s an impressive feat regardless, and Herbert still has two full games remaining. He’s going to be good for a long time. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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Whew! Someone towel me off. That was intense! Hold on a minute, I need to take a few more laps around the couch after that epic finish. I know what you’re all wondering: did Donkey win his Wizard Phallus playoff matchup and did he manage to advance to the RazzBowl championship bracket? Yes and yes–everything went great, thanks for asking! But enough about me, let’s talk about the most exciting football game of this crazy 2020 season. Lamar Jackson unleashed Thriller 2.0 by going 11/17 for 163 yards, 9 carries for 124 yards, 1 passing touchdown and 2 rushing touchdowns–he now has 18 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing touchdowns on the year and I told you he was a screaming buy for his great playoff schedule. But LJax also had some backup dancers who pitched in on the filming of the music video as J.K. Dobbins Macarena’d his way to 13 carries for 53 yards and his 5th touchdown and Gus Edwards Dougie’d his way to 7 carries for 49 yards, 1 catch for 4 yards and his 5th and 6th touchdowns. As a Dobbins fanboy, I don’t get Harbaugh’s obsession with Gus the Bus but I suppose if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I haven’t dug in on all the week 15 matchups yet, but I anticipate ranking Dobbins as a solid RB2, Gus as a low end flex play and LJax as an elite QB1 against a soft Jaguars defense. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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It’s been awhile since T.Y. Hilton had Luck on his side. 23 months to be exact. Andrew Luck played his final NFL game on January 27th, 2019. Since that day, Hilton has played a total of 22 games. In that stretch he’s posted only one game of 100+ receiving yards (last week) and four games of 80+ receiving yards. Over the past three weeks he’s gone off for 81, 110 and 86 receiving yards–that’s right, three his four 80+ receiving yardage games from the past two seasons have come in the last three games. The hot streak culminated this Sunday as Hilton snagged 5 catches for 86 yards and his 3rd and 4th touchdowns. You guessed it, all four of those touchdowns have come in the past three weeks. The tide has finally started to turn T.Y.’s way, just in time for him to bring you home that coveted Wizard Phallus Championship Trophy. Wait, your league doesn’t have a Wizard Phallus Championship Trophy? How bout phallic pins for each championship you’ve won, which are pinned to your champions jacket in the prestigious pre-draft pinning ceremony? No? Well, I’m sure your championship will still be satisfying–almost as satisfying as my second penis pin. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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It was the best of Cams, it was the worst of Cams, it was the age of Akers wisdom, it was the age of Newton foolishness, it was the epoch of Akers belief, it was the epoch of Newton incredulity, it was the season of Akers Light, it was the season of Newton Darkness, it was the spring of Akers hope, it was the winter of Newton despair. It was certainly the spring of hope for Cam Akers’ owners Thursday night as the rook toted 29 carries for 171 yards and hauled in 2 catches for 23 yards. We speculated last week that Akers was taking the Rams’ backfield by the horns but even I didn’t expect the kid to out touch Darrell Henderson (2 carries for 5 yards) 31-2. Neither did the brilliant Pigskinonator, who was extra bullish on Akers this week ranking him #14 among RBs compared to the expert consensus of #25, but only projected him for 15 touches. The L.A. runner just might be a league winning RB1 down the stretch, at the very least he looks like a rock solid RB2.

Unfortunately, it was the winter of despair for Cam Newton owners as the “quarterback” went 9/16 for 119 yards, 7 carries for 16 yards and 1 interception before being bench for Jarett Stidham (5/7 for 27 yards). This game scared the Dickens out of anyone who happened to make the unwise decision to start Newton in their playoff matchup. Odds are this is Stidham’s team for the final three weeks. Add him up in superflex league and ignore him everywhere else. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

Please, blog, may I have some more?