With the fantasy playoffs just one week away, we hope and pray that none of our stars get hit the injury bug. Yet this is the time, now more than ever to make sure we are fully prepared with handcuffs stashed away, and backup receivers scouted to make sure that if the bad news comes our way… we improvise, adapt and overcome!

It’s Thanksgiving Week, which means we have officially survived the bye weeks as well. What a time to be truly thankful.

Let’s talk about some of the biggest names in the league who landed on the injury report this week.

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Off the top B_Don and Donkey Teeth discuss leaves, snow storms, RazzBowl Playoffs and dreams of a healthy Cam Newton on the Chicago Bears. Only Superman can save Da Bears now. Eventually the guys dig into their respective top 5 pickups for this week including Brian Hill, Derrius Guice, J.D. McKissic, DeVante Parker, Darius Slayton, Kalen Ballage and Peyton Barber.

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Jon Gruden has been my favorite thing to watch this entire season. He was unintentional comedic gold during the Raiders’ Hard Knocks run and then that turned into him ruining a bunch of my bets by making the Raiders competitive. And now I’ve been profitable riding the Raider train the last couple of weeks.

Gruden has been stellar so far this season with the X’s and O’s. The Raiders were missing a couple of offensive lineman and also Arden Key. The Raiders were also ripped to shreds with dumb penalties but somehow, some way they continue to get it done. I had written the Raiders off after Antonio Brown forced the Raiders to cut him, but here I am in week 10 really hoping that Oakland can find a way to grab the 5 seed and make the Saturday afternoon wild card game a fun one. Here is what else I saw in the final primetime game at Oakland Coliseum.

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So I was out of town this past weekend and I was flying back Sunday in the late morning. As much as airports suck and flying in general can be a real drag, I’ve always enjoyed watching football while waiting for a flight. If I’m by myself I can enjoy my overpriced beer served by an antipathetic server while I overhear the most ridiculous conversations of the nearby tables. When I’m with a friend, it’s just like being at a real bar, where shit talking reigns and wildly outrageous proclamations are never verified via cellphone. Watching football is one of the only saving graces of airports, and I for one, am thankful for it.

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I know the climb has been brutal for you, as it has for us all. This past Sunday my eyes froze over as I watched many of my teams drop under .500 for the first time. As I write this, I am enduring Jason Witten hand me a loss one excruciating 3 yard catch after another. This section of the season is the darkest grind when the post-draft excitement has long worn off but the playoffs are still far away. Injuries and bye massacres come for us all, but it’s how we respond that defines us.

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After the NFL Scouting Combine this past year, much was made of D.K. Metcalf’s rippling muscles. My boss was talking up the Ole Miss product’s biceps. My girlfriend was enamored with his bustling chest. Even Momma-Donk called to ask about D.K.’s glutes. But what nobody talked about were his bulging calves. That is until week 9, when the Buccaneers defense was hypnotized by Metcalf’s leg beef.

The entire Seahawks offense took full advantage of this calf-muscle-induced hypnosis with Russell Wilson going 29/43 for 378 yards and 5 touchdowns—he now has 22 passing touchdowns on the season—Tyler Lockett snagged 13 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns—he now has 6 touchdowns on the season—and the sexy calved beast himself, D.K. Metcalf, hauled in 6 catches for 153 yards and his 5th touchdown. The Buccaneer defense will attempt to snap out of the trance before gazing into Kyler Murray’s sparkling eyes next week. Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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I used to put my trusty Coleman tent to work every summer. A group of college friends and I would gather for a long weekend of debauchery and mosquito bites. Eventually, after enough blood loss, we outgrew the authentic camping experience and upgraded to cabin glamping. Also, our old campsite not-so-politely asked us to never come back. Regardless, my Coleman tent hasn’t seen any use in recent years. That is, until yesterday, when Tevin Coleman helped me pitch a tent as he obliterated the Panthers defense with 11 carries for 105 yards, 2 catches for 13 yards and 4 touchdowns! Who do I call if my tent has been erect for over 24 hours? Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football: 

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A clash between two AFC teams that enter week 8 with highest projected point total, thanks to the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes sidelined while he recovers from a knee injury.

Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Derek Carr has the 11th highest passer rating and NFL best completion percentage (74.1). On paper, this is an interesting matchup for Carr who is: facing a defense that has allowed the 4th most receiving yards per game, just placed DB Phillip Gaines on IR, are without DB Bradley Roby until after their bye week, have DB Tashaun Gibson questionable, and are 6.5 point road dogs. BUT Carr ranks 9th in fewest pass attempts per game, has the 8th fewest passes over 20 yards, lacks elite receiving weapons outside of his TE and has a head coach who is enamored with running the ball. Carr is best viewed as a 2-QB league starter and desperation spot fill in 1-qb leagues. Rudy projects Carr as QB21 in week 8.

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Of the notable rookie performances that I didn’t see coming in week 1, Terry McLaurin sits near or at the top of the list. Not somebody I was overly high on after reviewing his college film, but showed up for the Redskins who have limited options at the wide receiver position.

Still not sure where to take this column on a weekly basis. Maybe I’ll start looking ahead to 2020 rookies at some point, but for week 1, here are some thoughts on what we saw from the most notable performers.

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