To be honest, I really don’t care much for Thanksgiving. After so many years it has become more of a chore than joy. Who gives a sh*t about the food? I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want anyway. Cramming twenty or so people into an average-sized house is not my definition of fun. Other people’s kids annoy me. Especially when they threaten to impede best part of the day. Football. Cries of I WANNA watch [insert bullsh*t kids show]” by a whiney brat annoy me about as much as when someone somewhat related to me that I could really care less about sits down next to me and tries to tell me about what’s gone on in his life since last year when he tried the same thing. But I digress.

Other than a last name that gave me a fitting title, Chris Givens has no business being mentioned in this post. But since he’s unknowingly done me a solid, I’ll give him his 30 seconds of “fame”. After three games with St. Louis where he had 1 reception for 7 yards, Givens was traded to the Ravens. Since moving to Baltimore he’s had 12 catches on 24 targets (50%) for 168 yards and a touchdown. I think Antonio Brown topped those number last week alone. Have no “misgivens” about it, if you own this guy, you’re bad at fantasy football.

This week I’m giving The Stats Machine a well deserved opportunity to rest its bits and bytes. It takes a lot of 1’s and 0’s to fuel its core and with the playoff push in the near horizon, I thought it was the right time to recharge its light cycles. So instead of analyzing last week’s performances, I am going to use this space to highlight some stats leaders…

Red Zone Targets – Rob Gronkowski (17)
Red Zone Receiving Touchdowns – Tyler Eifert (11)
Goal Line Carries – Chris Ivory (13)
Red Zone Rushing Touchdowns – Chris Ivory, DeAngelo Williams, Jeremy Hill and Cam Newton (5)

It seems that tight ends are a quarterbacks best friend inside the red zone. With Edelman out I don’t expect Gronk’s looks inside the 20 to slow down any time soon. I’m not sure why opposing defenses don’t double team Eifert when he gets anywhere near the end zone. All 11 of his touchdowns have come on red zone passes. Chris Ivory is 8th in the league in rushing with 679 yards. That’s exactly 327 yards less than Adrian Peterson. But once they get near the goal line, Ivory (13) has three more rushing attempts than Peterson (10). Peterson has only managed to find pay dirt once in those 10 opportunities.

Targets – DeAndre Hopkins (136)
Receptions – Julio Jones (89)
Receiving Yards – Julio Jones (1189)
Receiving Touchdowns – Tyler Eifert (11)
Longest Reception – Martavis Bryant (88 yards)
First Down Receptions – DeAndre Hopkins (62)
Yards After Catch – Danny Woodhead (539)
Yards Per Reception – Torrey Smith (21.2)
Receptions Greater Than 20 Yards: Allen Robinson (20)
Drops – Leonard Hankerson, Amari Cooper and Julian Edelman (8)

I can’t believe I spend more on Brandin Cooks than the DeAndre Hopkins spent on Hopkins. Nearly one of every 3 passes thrown by a Texans quarterback is thrown in the direction of Hopkins. In PPR leagues that is worth its weight in gold. Here’s what I gather from these stats. If you want a first down, throw it to Hopkins. If you want a touchdown, throw it to Eifert. Danny Woodhead is hard to tackle after he catches the ball. And if you need 20 yards, throw it to Allen Robinson.

Passing Attempts – Philip Rivers (420)
Completions – Philip Rivers (288)
Completion Rate – Drew Brees (66.8)
Yards Per Completion – Carson Palmer (14)
Touchdowns – Carson Palmer (27)
First Down Completions – Tom Brady (159)
Completions Greater Than 20 Yards – Carson Palmer (46)
Completions Greater Than 40 Yards – Ben Roethlisberger (10)
Completions Per Touchdown – Carson Palmer (8.03)
Interceptions – Peyton Manning (17)
Sacks – Russell Wilson (35)
Rushing Yards (QB) – Russell Wilson (385)

I sure do see a lot of Carson Palmer in this list. Numerous sources have Tom Brady as the current front runner for MVP. First down completions go a long way. For every sack Russell Wilson endures, he rushes for 11 yards. If you throw it, they will catch it. That’s Philip Rivers mantra. And just in case you were afraid Peyton Manning wouldn’t find his way onto this list, he finds himself atop the one category no quarterback wants to be.

Rushing Attempts – Adrian Peterson (208)
Rushing Yards – Adrian Peterson (1006)
Yards Per Carry (min 100 carries) – Thomas Rawls (5.98)
Rushing Touchdowns – Devonta Freeman (9)
Longest Rush – Lamar Miller (85 yards)
Carries Greater Than 20 Yards – Doug Martin (10)
Fumbles – Adrian Peterson (5)
First Down Carries – Devonta Freeman (49)

Adrian Peterson has 6 rushing touchdowns. He also has nearly as many fumbles with five. While he might lead the league in rushing, he also leads in carries. His yards per carry (4.84) doesn’t even get him inside the top ten. He’s 8th if we only include running backs with at least 100 carries. I would love to know what Thomas Rawls’ stats would look like had he been the starter in Seattle all season.

Average Punt – Pat McAfee (48.9)
Longest Punt – Jordan Berry (79)
Most Punts – Shane Lechler (63)
Longest Field Goal – Greg Zuerlein (61)
Field Goals Greater Than 50 Yards – Brandon McManus (5)

Good luck this weekend, and thanks Chris Givens…



  1. Mrbojanes says:

    Are we just going to bench dez bryant rest of the year? He got absolutely shut down, Matt cassel is leading the charge, and dez will not be playing hard anymore. It’s a fact.. Guy has no pride unless he’s winning. Josh normon absolutely owned him yesterday and killed him with his pressor as well. Rip dez. We will see you next year.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Mrbojanes: Eff Dez. The guy’s a douche. He’ll never be on my team. Can’t drop him and can’t start him…

      • mrbojangles says:

        @malamoney: yea this ismy first year ever owning him… what a year thats been. he is a d-bag i agree (not just because hes having a weird year, just a genuinely bad person).. i’m actually thinking about dumping him to the wire. make a statement piece.

        they get washington next week tho. might have to start him 1 more time. but in the playoffs he gets nyj, buffalo, and anoother good defense. prob will play sammy “i get 3 targets a game” watkins instead

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:

          @mrbojangles: A statement piece helps no one. Believe me though, I’m right there with you…

  2. Rick Dempsey says:

    I’m in a bad RB spot, I’m in a 2QB league and can offer cam Newton, Matt Ryan, or Alex Smith to a team that needs one. Their RB’s are Char West, Spencer Ware, DeAngelo Williams, Chris Ivory, and Todd Gurley. I think I need to make a move now before we get too close to playoffs. Could you give me some ideas so I can maximize value? Thanks!

  3. malamoney

    malamoney says:

    I would give up any of those QBs for any of those running backs except for Ware and West. Before West got hurt I would have included him, but now there is a degree of uncertainty that clouds the situation in KC. I rank the QBs Cam, Ryan then Smith. So I’d start with Smith and see what you can get for him and work up if you don’t like the offer. I doubt you get Gurley for any of them. Who are you current RBs?

  4. Scott says:

    does being innovative mean doing everything the opposite of the smart way?

    • Mordacious Levator says:

      @Scott: it could, but it most has to do with who’s defining “innovative” or “smart”

  5. Bobby says:

    In a PPR keeper league would you trade Megatron for Lacy?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Bobby: I’d rather have Megatron…

  6. needhelp says:

    i was 8-0 and walking into a first round bye before all hell broke loose (luck, romo, devanta, forsett, and basically dez all went down)

    im 8-3 now and need 1 more win to get a bye (i think, possibily 2 more wins)

    couple of questions for you. i’m down 45-2 after thanksgiving thanks to calvin johnson. he has the following left:
    palmer, blue, broncos and jeremy maclin (not that his lineup really matters that much)
    i’ve got: bortles, tevin coleman, lamar miller, antonio brown, undecided flex, vernon davis and stl d/st

    flex option basically between ahmad bradshaw (if gore sits), sammy watkins, or martavis bryant. leaning martavis big right now but thought i’d leave it open until sunday (i work all day saturday so wont be able to give it much more thought until sunday morning)

    couple questions for you
    1) would you stick with stl d/st against cincy. i’m torn because the unit is pretty banged up and their offense is so bad they dont really help their D out.. and cincinatti looks good

    the other caveat is teams in my league are starting to hoard d/st for the playoffs (start week 14). cincy, kc, houston, tampa bay, nyj all just got picked up over the last 2 weeks as playoff teams are keeping 2 and sometimes 3 d/st per roster right now. i’m starting to wonder if i should get on board
    . here are the defenses that are left: (including their game THIS week)

    steelers (sea, indy, cincy, den, baltimore)– i feel like thats a ‘no’
    vikings (atl, sea, ari, chi, nyg) feel like thats a heLL no
    bills (@kc, hou, @philly, @wsh, Dal) — im kind of intrigued
    tampa (@indy, atl, no, @stl, chi)
    lions (gb, @stl, @NO, SF, )— cant pick these guys up until tuesday.
    STL (@cincy, arizona, detroit, tampa bay, @seattle)

    i’m torn because i usually streatm d/st but grabbed stl after their bye week and figured i could play the season out with them.. but teams i thought were bad are starting to come on (detroit and tampa)
    as you can see the waiver wire is getting extremely thin. i left out other d/sts that are just a terrible option

    back to question 1, im not sure if i should keep stl against dalton this week or grab the bills before someone else does (philly looked god awful, washington is what they are, and dallas will have mailed it in by week 16).. even if i lose this week and miss my bye im wondering how much the rams vs cincy compared to bills vs kansas city will impact that.

    question 2) im really sorry for the long post. would you start martavis, ahmad bradshaw, or sammy sunday

    i’ll check back in sunday to see if things have changed, maybe frank gore sits or something idk, but got to work all day tomorrow so had to ask all of these when i could. thank you for your help. sorry for making you read all of t hat

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @needhelp: I wouldn’t drop STL, but if you can stash Buffalo that would be a good move for weeks to come.

      I’d go with Martavis. Unless Gore is out. Then I’d go with Bradshaw…

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @needhelp: Given your options, I’d be start STL this week…

      • needhelp says:

        @malamoney: thank you. sorry for the long post but thought id get all the info out there. i dislike kickers and d/st as part of fantasy. been trying to get my commish to give us two IDP players instead but people dont like the idea.

        yea just crossing my fingers buffalo doesnt get scooped up today or tomorrow on waivers.

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