Fantasy football playoffs in many leagues will begin in 4 weeks — where do you stand? What do you need to make your last playoff push? Trade deadline should be approaching even sooner — time to take stock of of what your team is and isn’t good at — and perhaps even more importantly — what do your league mates need that you have an abundance of? The best owners have been tracking who their future playoff competitors have been suffering through and how they can take advantage.

Four teams on a bye week in week 11: Panthers, Colts, Jets, 49ers. Not a lot of fantasy points lost by those four teams not playing, but three of my favorite punching bags are now not targets for waiver adds. 

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November 1, 2017 @ 1:30 PM: Me: have Dak Prescott and Deshaun Watson on my team. Decide to shop Prescott to a rival league member who was struggling with Jameis Winston and Philip Rivers as his QBs.

November 1, 2017 @ 1:52 PM: Trade is accepted to send Prescott to other team member.

November 1, 2017 @ 2:04 PM: Text exchange with another league member:

November 2, 2017 @ 4:12 PM: Reports: Watson was limited in practice due to a sore knee. “lol”

November 2, 2017 @ 4:53 PM: Early reports: Watson might have torn his ACL, season possibly over. “lol”

November 2, 2017 @ 5:27 PM: Reports confirmed. Watson has torn his ACL and is done for the season. “lol”

November 3, 2017 @ 3:00 PM: Trade is processed. “lol…”

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Happy Halloween fantasy football team owners! Hopefully this week’s bye week teams won’t haunt you for the rest of the season. The league’s third-highest scoring QB (Tom Brady), best WR (Antonio Brown), two of the league’s best RBs (Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon) and the league’s 2nd best TE (Rob Gronkowski) are all out this week so you’ll need to make smart adds to stay floating down here!

Speaking of Tom Brady — I need your help to solve an argument. I was discussing with some of my friends about who is the best player of all time in each of the four major sports. Hockey is obviously Wayne Gretzky, basketball is Michael Jordan (for now), baseball could be Barry Bonds, but who is the best NFL player of all time? I’m leaning towards Brady, but was told to “chill” on that assessment. What do you all think?

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I have to say, during yesterday’s “Dress Like an Empty Seat Day” game in San Francisco, it dawned on me that if you were to do it all over again, I’m pretty sure David Johnson would be your number one overall pick. I’D DRAFT HIM AT BIRTH SON. Obviously, that was literal, but even if you take it figuratively, and probably you’d still go Antonio Brown, but who else is there? And to be fair, I think there were probably more question marks with Johnson than that of Todd Gurley entering the season, but what we’ve seen here is a perfect storm of Bruce Arian’s random play-calling, a passing attack that thinks consistency is a dirty word, and an unwillingness by the other team to do something as fundamental to football as tackling. And all of these things were on full display last night, starting with a first quarter that convinced me the game would end in a 0-0 tie. Granted, I think it became a watchable game after three hours of CBS promotions, but even by Thursday Night Football standards, it was pretty terrible. Are you ready to whine and moan about the quality of the game and everything associated with it it but still watch it every week? These are the tough questions folks. That being said, Jeremy Kerley became a thing. So I guess it’s 2012 again.

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So, that was an interesting game. If you don’t like touchdowns that is. To be fair, we weren’t promised anything, and with Thursday Night Football hosting at least 485 blow-outs thus far, I guess last night’s game could be considered a welcome change of pace. Sort of like going from watching a giant monster truck crash into a mobile home to watching paint dry. Yeah, a lot like that. But hey, it’s not the Cardinals or Rams fault. They actaully seem to be quite similar; good defenses, less-than-stellar offenses, and, of course, there’s the injury bug. Sam Bradford is old news at this point, and Carson Palmer is, just, well, old I guess. Andre Ellington is a recent casualty. And, of course, Drew Stanton had his ankle implode in the third quarter, ushering in the age of Lindley. Ryan Lindley. Just think of it this way: we are living in a world where Lindley might possibly end up leading the number one seeded team through the playoffs. Yeah, note to Cardinals players… you can go ahead and schedule all those free weekends in January now…

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Last night, Odell Beckham had 10 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Oh, yeah, he also did this…

obeck

That was the best one-hander since I lost my virginity.

I’d love to write more, but that would probably only take away from what you see before you. So when you’re finished watching this glorious depiction of a football player doing a legendary thing, join me below for the round-up. Don’t worry, it took me about two hours and an ophthalmologist to get me to move on…

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Man, I didn’t have my best week last week.  I guess it kind of evened things out from a few weeks ago when I seemingly couldn’t miss.  Oh well, even LeBron James has his off nights, right?  You know, like the game in Portland where I bought tickets as soon as possible to see the “King” play.  I’m not bitter or anything, promise.  Anyway, sorry if the advice didn’t work out last week, but remember as always, I’m not the one who hits submit on your lineup.

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I must admit on some occasions I went out like a punk
and a chump or a sucka or something to that effect

The Pharcyde, Runnin’ circa 1995

I got punked (World Star is NSFW) by Drew Stanton last week as he pushed aside my doubts and gave Michael Floyd and John Brown the gift of points while Aaron Rodgers is making Davante Adams owners double heckle him for his malfeasance. Marques Colston still sucks going 4 for 56 on 8 targets, and backing up my drop him for someone with upside or handcuff capabilities. OK, enough about last week. It hurts too much. I lost to Sky in our writers league by a count of 137 to 141.34. With that score, I would of beat any other team but his. On a good note, I wouldn’t want to lose to any one else, and yes, that’s me crushing on that hairy beast from the PNW.

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Robert Selden Duvall has had a role in countless films that have helped me enjoyingly pass the time over the last 30-something years. Most will remember him for his role as Tom Hagen in The Godfather and The Godfather II, but few will know that he actually won the Oscar for Best Actor playing country western singer Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies in 1983. Heck, I’ve never even heard of that movie. When it comes to good old Bobby Duvall, I am more of a Days of Thunder kind of guy. “You can drive through it Cole!” Damn, that’s a great flick. It’s like Top Gun with race cars. But it’s not the movie I’d like to mention today. In 1988, Duvall and Sean Penn teamed up to play cops in the C.R.A.S.H unit that patrols East L.A.. Duvall, as Bob “Uncle Bob” Hudges, a 19-year LAPD veteran, is partnered with rookie Danny “Pacman” McGavin as the two work to keep the peace in East L.A. by trying to keep the street gangs in line. The film tells us the tale of these two police officers and their approach to dealing the Bloods and the Crips.

Colors was an outstanding movie, but it is not the reason this post is entitled “Colors”. That reason would be thanks to Jonas “Gray” and Alfred “Blue”, whose colorful names lead a cast of relatively unknowns, or I should say “unowneds”, to come together as a team that combined for 191.04 points and would have easily beaten any other lineup in Yahoo! half point head-to-head leagues.

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If you didn’t know the name Jonas Gray before 8pm Eastern Sunday night, nobody would blame you. If you forget his name when you’re putting in your waiver claims for the week, you’ll never forget it. Gray went off in huge fashion this past week with 199 yards and four rushing touchdowns against the Colts. It took him from fantasy afterthought to fantasy pick-up of the week status, and he certainly is that for us. Gray has managed to supplant Shane Vereen as the top man in the New England backfield and should be getting the majority of the work going forward.

You’ll have to put up with a tough week this week, as Gray and the Patriots take on a stiff Detroit defense. The defense held Arizona running back Andre Ellington to less than 50 rushing yards last week. After Week 12, Gray’s schedule turns much easier with games at Green Bay, at San Diego, Miami, at the Jets, and Buffalo to close out the season. (Keep in mind we put the full 17-game schedule out there when we talk about remaining games, since some leagues go the full distance.) Excluding the Dolphins, you’re looking at four of the top-12 rush defenses in the NFL for Gray. The match-ups are going to be tough, so you could pick him up now, let him go off against Green Bay, and try for a late sell-high deal depending on your league’s trade deadline. (Yes, most deadlines will pass in the near future but it’s still worth mentioning.) These games should be winnable for New England so Gray should get carries to keep the clock and the chains moving. Eventually, he will find the end zone, but don’t expect anything close to his output against Indianapolis.

This is also the final week of byes with Carolina and Pittsburgh sitting out this week. This is key for one reason. It’s time to get rid of the guys on your team who are non-producers and/or have poor match-ups the rest of the way. This is the time of year when you want your decisions on who to start to be incredibly tough since you have to pick from talent, talent or talent.

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