What’s up champions?  Here we are, the moment we’ve all been waiting for.  The culmination of hundreds of senseless mock drafts, real drafts, hours in the dog house for ignoring family commitments just to stay home and make sure our lineups are set…don’t judge me; you’re not better than that.  I’m in the running for two titles myself and was less than two points away from going three for four but the Niners D was just too dominant.  The fact that I’m not angry at all makes me a bit relieved that I still care about my real team more than my fake team so at least I can hang my hat on that.  Anyway let’s get to it; I’m sure you have a lot of holiday happiness to spread, cookies to bake, and elves on shelves to relocate.

Final Fantasy 

Julio Jones-Jones put up solid numbers against the Jags last Thursday, catching five of his six targets for 85 yards and a score.  His performance, however, was eclipsed by perennial target stud Roddy White, who accumulated 135 yards and two touchdowns on a game high ten catches.  Perhaps the most telling statistic, and the one I see repeating itself this weekend, is that Roddy White seriously outmanned his young protégé in the target department, garnering ten more than Jones for a total of 16.  For whatever reason, Gonzalez didn’t get too involved in the offense which gave Jones additional looks as well.  Though I see Jones as the clear number two, there should be enough targets to go around on Monday night against a Saints defense that gives up the 5th most passing yards per game and the 8th most fantasy points to WRs.  He’s a solid flex start in the finals.

Miles Austin/Laurent Robinson-Austin is looking healthy and he is back on top of Romo’s target list.  Finishing the game with a team high eight targets, Austin led the Cowboys’ receivers with five catches for 53 yards and a score.  Robinson also got into the endzone, but he was targeted less than half the number of times Austin was and he only managed three catches for 39 yards.  I have spent a lot of time writing about how Robinson still has value even with Austin on the field and I will stick to that, though I see Robinson as more of a low end WR2/flex whereas I see Austin as a solid #2 this week.  However, the Eagles are giving up the 15th most fantasy points to WRs and Austin should get the big gun guarding him.  I feel confident starting Robinson as a flex play and I like him a bit more than Julio Jones this week though Jones has the better matchup.

Kahlil Bell-the cat’s out of the bag with Bell but those in PPR leagues should target him as a priority waiver claim.  Kahlil clearly was the bell cow of the sputtering Chicago offense Sunday, carrying the ball 15 times for 65 yards and running much more effectively than Barber who carried the ball eleven times for 33 yards.  Bell also led the Bears in receiving and targets, catching five of his six targets for 43 yards and a score.  Though I wouldn’t expect a banner day on the ground against the Packers, I would expect plenty of checkdowns against a Packers team that gives up the 2nd most receiving yards a game.

Tennessee Receiving Mess-I’ve spoken on behalf of D-Will and Washington over the last few weeks but I’m only going to give a mild endorsement of Washington against a Jaguar pass defense that gives up the 4th fewest receiving yards per game and the 7th fewest fantasy points to receivers.  That and Hasselbeck simply looks anemic.  He’s not healthy and Locker looks solid so it makes perfect sense to keep playing Hasselbeck when you’re still in playoff contention right?  That Titan offense looked unbelievably pathetic in general against the Colts and it wasn’t until Locker came in out of the bullpen for a garbage time romp that anything positive happened.  However, in his short tenure as quarterback on Sunday, Locker did make a few Titan receivers look halfway decent, namely Nate Washington who ended up with seven receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown on a team high 13 targets.  Jared Cook actually led the team in receiving and Lavelle Hawkins came out of the woodwork for one of his occasional mildly serviceable performances.  Conspicuously absent, however, was D-Will who only managed to catch two of his 5th best six targets for 15 yards.  D-Will is simply too risky to suggest with confidence and though Washington has been solid over the last two, I would give him only flex consideration.

Jabar Gaffney-Gaffney is no joke and he once again put up solid PPR numbers, catching six passes for 85 yards on a team high nine targets.  He’s actually a guy I would feel really comfortable starting this week against a Minnesota defense that gives up the 3rd most receiving yards and fantasy points per game to wide receivers, especially in PPR leagues.  I put him at about eight catches for 100 yards and a potential score this week, making him a very intriguing play.

DHB-a few weeks ago I swore off making any predictions regarding Raider receivers.  However, despite my apprehension I feel compelled to talk about DHB’s production on Sunday, even with Denarius Moore on the field.  His eight catch, 155 yard and one touchdown performance marks his third productive fantasy outing in as many weeks.  Over that span DHB has caught 16 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.  I still don’t love him but I see his upside, even against a K.C. defense that manhandled the league MVP last week, a defense that only allows the 4th fewest passing yards per game.

Demaryius Thomas-He had nine more targets than the next closest teammate and he caught seven of those 13 targets for 116 yards.  He’s clearly the guy you want to play in that Denver passing game and this week the Broncos face a mediocre Bills pass D.  I put him in the same category as Julio Jones and Laurent Robinson.

Torrey Smith-Smith yet again proved to be more exciting than his moniker this past Sunday, catching six of his team high seven targets for 77 yards and a score.  He once again outplayed Boldin who only managed to reel in two of his three targets for 51 yards.  Over the last two weeks, Smith has compiled 11 catches for 125 yards and two scores to Boldin’s 7, 108 and 0.  I like him at least as much if not more than Boldin, but it is fair to note that the Ravens face a Browns D that gives up the fewest fantasy points per game to WRs (14.9).

Brent Celek-Celek blew up for 156 yards and a touchdown last week against the Jets and he looked like an absolute monster.  He gashed a Jets D that gives up the 8th most fantasy points per game to TEs and he sees a Cowboys D that ranks number nine on that list this week.  I own him in my two leagues in which I’m in the finals as a replacement for Fred Davis, so I think he’s clearly a decent bet.  However, I wouldn’t do anything crazy like bench Witten for him.

Whoa Nelly-Big Gamers Last Sunday, Big Risks This Sunday

Greg Little-Little has been a big man in the target game but overall he has remained puny in production.  This week he shed his sheepish shell and exploded for five catches and 156 yards and a score.  His nine targets once again led the team and he now ranks 15th overall among NFL WRs in targets on the season.  Yet in terms of fantasy points scored per game, Little sits at #60, just ahead of Jason Hill.  Don’t get too cute by playing Little this week against a Ravens D that allows the 10th fewest fantasy points per game to WRs, not to mention McCoy will most likely sit out.

Burleson and Young-Stafford is lighting it up and the Lions have everything to play for, factors that undoubtedly influence the value of typical benchwarmers Nate Burleson and Titus Young.  Both had solid days last Sunday as Burleson went for seven receptions for 81 yards and a score and Young rang in with five catches for 21 yards and a score.  Both received their share of looks as Burleson commanded 11 targets to Young’s ten.   I like the chances that Detroit will pass it a lot against the Bolts but the Chargers are no slouch when it comes to defending the pass.  Of the two I like Burleson better  simply for the number of snaps he sees, the number of targets he commands, and on the year he has simply been better, but I wouldn’t feel great about playing either guy in the finals.  Neither is in the top 30 of fantasy points per game among WRs over the last five weeks.

Lance Moore-Moore has come up pretty big over the last five weeks, catching as many touchdowns and providing consistent fantasy play.  Moore had a solid day Sunday, catching five passes for 91 yards and two scores against that atrocious Viking pass D.  In standard scoring leagues, Moore actually ranks sixth in fantasy points per game among WRs over the last five weeks which is a pretty startling stat considering he is typically started in roughly a third of leagues, but I’m still not totally sold.  Despite those big numbers, Moore only has 11 receptions for 134 yards over the last three weeks.  In short, he has great upside due to his red zone targets and he plays a middle of the road Atlanta D, but he doesn’t receive very many total targets per game which means that if he doesn’t get in the endzone, his value significantly decreases (there’s my Madden-ism for the day).  He clearly provides upside and a decent chance to score so play him if you’ve got a shaky flex to fill, but I’m not starting him with confidence simply for the fact that if he doesn’t find the endzone, he will yield very few points.

No-Show

Percy Harvin-he managed only eight yards on three catches but did have a team high seven targets.  I didn’t watch the game so I don’t know exactly what happened but I do know that he is still the main man in Minnesota.  I still like him against the Redskins this week but I’m sure it’s going to take much more than a hunch for you to plug him in with confidence.

  1. Cbass says:
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    Championship on the line – start 2, R. Mendenhall, R. Matthews, M. Lynch

    Start 2: L. Moore, A. Brown, J. Jones, N. Washington

    Start Philly D or Arizona D? It is agonizing.

  2. Nick says:
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    In the fantasy championships this week and need some help (non-PPR). Of the following I need to pick 2 WR’s and 2 flex plays. How would you rank them?

    Julio Jones (always risky with Roddy getting the bulk of targets)
    Laurent Robinson (Asomugha will be on Austin I’d guess)
    Santonio Holmes (Scored in 4 straight weeks)
    Dwayne Bowe (Orton under center now)
    Malcom Floyd (Unpredictable but still high upside)
    Kevin Smith (Even healthy didn’t do much against a porous OAK D)
    Roy Helu (Too injured right now to be effective?)
    Kahlil Bell (Will he share time with Barber?)

  3. Nuke LaDouche says:
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    1 point PPR Pick 3:
    Laurent Robinson
    Steve Johnson
    Jordy Nelson
    Santana Moss
    Demaryius Thomas
    Kahlil Bell

    This is for $140 so I’m trying to get all the input I can. Thanks!

  4. Jughead says:
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    Who would you play this week, Robinson or Vjax? Vjax is the number one guy (although it doesn’t seem that way statistically) but I think Robinson could have a huge day if all the WR attention from the secondary is on Bryant and Austin. All the projections seem to say Vjax, but am I crazy to like Robinson this week?

  5. Nick F says:
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    Hey Jones, thanks for your advice all season, im in the championship for my 10 team league. I got some questions for ya…

    I have Helu, K Smith & F Jones starting at RB1/2 & flex and L Robinson, Calvin & A Brown starting at WR.1/2/3.

    My bench consists of Holmes, T Smith, Starks, D Thomas & Tate

    First off, im thinking of swapping K Smith for D Thomas…I also like Holmes matchup though, tough decisions…

    With D Brown, K Bell & Ball on waivers, do you pickup any of those RB (or a WR that broke out this week -DHB, Burleson, Alexander) to use this last week?

    Lastly with my Jets on Defense, would you stream a waiver D like Washington, Carolina, Dallas, KC, Denver?

  6. CL says:
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    Jones:

    10 team, 1pt PPR, return yards, pick 2:

    L.Robinson, Crabtree, or DHB?

    Thanks!

  7. Suck My Wieters says:
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    With Helu being somewhat hurt and Shanny hinting that he might be limited, would it be a smart play to start Kahlil Bell over him? I get half a point per reception.

  8. omnificent says:
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    Defense – Seattle or Tennessee? Seattle looked so so good last week but TN has the Jags…

  9. EK says:
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    Gaffney over Moss?

  10. EK says:
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    (non-PPR)

  11. Plainview says:
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    I need to start 1 WR and one Flex (RB/WR) from this group:

    Helu
    Lance Ball
    Santonio Holmes
    Demaryius Thomas

    What do you think?

  12. BMoreGreen says:
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    Non-ppr, need one WR and one flex from the following candidates:

    B.Marshall @ N.E.
    Harvin @ Was
    J.Nelson v Chi
    Boldin v Cle

    Blount @ Car
    Barber @ G.B.
    Tate @ Indi

    Thanks in advance for your informed input.

  13. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Nick-I like Robinson and Jones, then Bowe and Holmes. It’s a bit early to make judgements on Helu. If he’s healthy he should be in the flex. I like Bell over an injured Helu and a healthy KSmith but he will share time. He’s better suited in a PPR league or .5PPR league. I know I’m not exactly ranking them but those are my thoughts. Floyd has upside but I wouldn’t start him over any of those other four receivers which leaves him off the grid.

  14. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Nuke-I think Bell will get five to seven receptions so he should be on your list. I think you have to play Nelson with Jennings out and Rodgers pissed about the loss, and I like Thomas as I can’t even remember the last time he saw fewer than ten targets in a game.

  15. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Jughead-you’re not crazy to consider it. I would end up playing VJax for the simple fact that Rivers is hot in December and he has less competition for targets. I see them putting up similar numbers but VJax’s ceiling is so much higher.

  16. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @CL-I’d probably go with DHB and Robinson as I see them as more explosive playmakers and more viable redzone targets. They are also likely to see more targets in my opinion and I think their teams will put up more points than the Niners, giving them a better chance of scoring.

  17. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @SuckmyWeiters-It’s not crazy to play Bell over Helu. I would monitor the situation for a couple of more days. If Helu looks limited I would not hesitate to play Bell.

  18. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Omnificent-I own the Seattle D in a lot of leagues but I’m a Niners fan so I dropped them for other options, but leaving my bias out of it, I would guess that Seattle will hold the Niners to around 20 points but won’t force many turnovers. The Titans will most likely give up more points but may accumulate more in the turnover/sack department so it really depends on the value of your defensive scoring. I think both are solid plays however.

  19. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @EK-I think Moss is more of a threat to score but Gaffney will catch more balls. Since it’s non-PPR I would lean toward Moss as he’s more likely to give you bigger plays against that awful Viking secondary.

  20. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Plainview-If Helu is still struggling by the weekend I would play Holmes and Thomas. If Helu looks solid by the end of the week you have to play him. I would also be inclined to play Thomas over Holmes. I just wouldn’t feel too comfortable playing Ball as he has the most potential to be a complete bust.

  21. EK says:
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    Pls rank for this week (non PPR):
    L. Robinson
    S. Moss
    S. Holmes
    J. Gaffney

  22. Random Collmenter says:
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    Looks like roethlisberger is going to rest this week, so I prob won’t start Antonio brown. Do u like bowe or Santana moss over brown?

    Also worried about CJ’s ankle…. Would u start Blount over him?

    Thanks!

    Right now my team is:
    Cam
    Calvin
    Brandon Marshall
    McCoy
    CJ
    Finley
    Antonio Brown

    Bench:
    Blount
    Moss
    Bowe
    Kevin smith

  23. Gary says:
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    O.k… PPR Super Bowl this week with a lot of cash on the line—

    I am studded up but so is my 10-team league opponent– would you sub in anyone at the WR2 or Flex spot from the bench this week? If I take the trophy, drinks are on me– I am wavering at WR2 and flex– and will be watching the Helu situation closely obviously—

    QB- Brees
    RB1-Rice
    RB2-Helu
    WR1-Welker
    WR2-Maclin
    TE-Graham
    Flex- Spiller

    Bench-
    Santana Moss
    Antonio Brown
    Jordy Nelson
    Toby Gerhart

    Thanks in advance-

  24. Brad says:
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    1 point PPR:
    I Need 5. (2 rb 3wr OR 1rb 4wr)
    Welker,Green,Nicks,Stevie Johnson,Spiller,Sproles,Mendenhall

  25. Brad says:
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    Teabow Or Vick?

  26. Random Collmenter says:
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    .5 PPR btw. thanks man.

  27. Omnificent says:
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    One more… Devastating RB injuries have left me with the following to fill two slots at RB to win my championship:

    Donald Brown
    Kahlil Bell
    Lance Ball
    Mike Tolbert
    Toby Gerhardt
    Chris Ivory

    Any thoughts?

  28. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    espn football playoff tie breaker stinks,12 team,2 divisions,i finished 10-4 in 2nd in my div,played the 9-5 leader of other div in playoffs and we tied at 111 points,tie breaker awards top seed a win and a shot at the championship,what a dumb way to end 4 1/2 months of dedication,fractional point leagues almost always avoid this type of em
    nding,just venting about a dumb way to decide a league

  29. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @EK-I like all of those guys this week. I’d probably roll with Moss, Robinson, Holmes, and Gaffney non PPR

  30. John says:
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    Got a tough choice going into the championship game…

    Tim Tebow @ Bills or Tony Romo @ Eagles?

  31. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Random-I would still play CJ. I may also play Brown but if not I would go with Moss.

  32. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Gary-I think you’ve got to role with Spiller at flex. I think Nelson and Moss are safer plays over Maclin. Moss will surely give you some points but Nelson has the higher ceiling. That Vikings pass D is bad though. I’d probably feel most comfortable playing Moss in that I think you can safely assume you’ll get a good handful of points even if he doesn’t make the endzone.

  33. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Omni-ouch man. I would go with Bell and tolbert or brown

  34. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @al-amen brother

  35. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @John-I think you gotta go with Tebow

  36. John says:
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    One more question for the other championship matchup – would you go with tolbert or bell? losing forte hurt

  37. Chris says:
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    Fanduel, +.5 PPR

    Which WR duo do you think will be more productive?

    Marshall/Walter
    or
    Gaffney/Demaryius Thomas

  38. Zandercage says:
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    Okay, championship week for me, standard scoring –

    Pick ONE at RB to go with Arian Foster – Felix Jones, L. Blount, CJ Spiller, Ben Tate, or J. Stewart

    At FLEX – one of the RB’s not chosen above, Harvin, Antonio Brown or Celek?

    Thanks!!!

  39. Jake says:
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    With news that Helu may be limited this week, who would you play at FLEX this week? +1 PPR

    Helu, Felix, K Bell, Fitzgerald (benching him at WR)?

  40. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @John-tough call but I think I’d actually go with Bell. Tolbert gets the goalline work but not much else and he hasn’t been catching many passes of late.

  41. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Chris-Gaffney Thomas

  42. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Zandercage-I’d probably go with Jones and Spiller

  43. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Jake-I’d have a hard time not playing Fitz. I like Bell over a limited Helu if you are really trying to avoid Fitz.

  44. Nick says:
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    Hey Jones, my post got lost (go check out post #5 if you could care less why you missed it) b/c I had to get pre-approved to post (was on my work computer – I saw someone who stole my name above so I renamed myself….long story short, help me for week 16!)

  45. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @CBass-Mendy and Mathews, Jones and Brown, Arizona D. I feel pretty confident in those recommendations. Good luck.

  46. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @NickF-I agree with your logic and would put Thomas in there for Smith too. Holmes has a good matchup too but Thomas will receive more targets and have more opportunities. Honestly it’s a coinflip. For D, I think Denver is your best option. Washington D is probably projected for a lot of points but Minnesota can score so I’m not as high on them as the computer projections suggest. Also, if Helu looks like he’ll be limited in the game (check rotoworld.com) I like Khalil Bell in his place. Good luck.

  47. Nick F says:
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    Now im thinking get Brown out and have D Thomas as WR2 and K Smith at flex

  48. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @NickF-that’s fine. I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Smith but I can see his upside and why you’d want to play him. If Ben plays, Brown is a tough guy to sit and even with a hobbled Ben against a great Niners D, Brown’s stat line was respectable.

  49. Bozz says:
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    Jones:

    Lost the semi-final game no thanks to Percy Harvin’s 3-8 stat line and a rough day from Helu, and Peterson. Ironic how I said Spiller had no chance and he ended up being the best of my RBs but it would not have made a difference even if I had started him and Lynch.

    Anyways I’m in the 3rd place game this week which I can still win some good money on. My decision this week is on starting Deymarious Thomas over Percy Harvin or Larry Fitzgerald at WR (non-ppr). I think at RB i’m going with Peterson and Spiller over Lynch and Helu.

  50. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Bozz-sorry man; that was a perfect storm of awfulness. I would agree with your logic and I like Thomas as well. I would go with the two RBs you suggest too. Sorry man. It’s a crazy game; that was the worst game the Dolphins had against any one RB all year. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Good luck and happy holidays. I’ll be in Rochester Monday or so.

  51. Zandercage says:
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    One more – Wallace or Harvin? Standard scoring.

  52. Jones

    Jones says:
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    @Zandercage-I like Wallace

  53. Zandercage says:
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    My thinking as well. Even if Batch plays (I guess).

    Thanks for all your responses/advice throughout the year.

    Happy Holidays!

Comments are closed.