Family, Football & The Holiday Hangover
“Family, Football & This Adventure We Call Life” is a year-round column by Nate Polvogt that shares a Colorado dad’s outlook on life and his weekly advice for fantasy football waiver wire and trade acquisitions. Nate enters the fantasy football championship weekend with some dynasty trade targets.
“Dear Santa, Please bring me a self-cleaning house for Christmas this year. Thank you.” – Unknown.
The idea of the “holiday hangover” isn’t a new one. We’ve all felt it. It’s inevitable after all of the pomp and circumstance regarding this time of year. We spend most of December running around like crazy people, ensuring everything is in order. Between scheduling events, shopping, cooking, cleaning and general preparedness for the ensuing insanity, it’s both draining and exciting.
The build-up for the Christmas holiday is usually spot-on and rarely disappoints. Maybe I’m lucky, but the day we work so hard from Thanksgiving on for is always a great joy. The work we put into making everything great for our families and house guests is always worth it. Whether or not the day goes as planned – it rarely does, as I’m sure you have also experienced – it doesn’t matter once the day comes.
When the Dust Settles
Christmas night is always an exhausting affair. We always find ourselves at home with Jen’s sister and her husband, and there is very little energy to be had between us. So we happily sit on the couch, watch the last Christmas movies we will enjoy until November of next year and almost always fall asleep on the couch.
After three days of having family and friends through our doors, the house is a mess. It’s even worse these days with a child. There are not only the standard dirty dishes piling up and floors that badly need the touch of a broom and mop, but now we have the added disaster of toys everywhere. Then, when we finally get to those settled moments in the evening, no one has the energy to do anything about the field of foot-killing trinkets strew about the main floor of our home.
Waking up the day after Christmas is usually a pleasant affair. We’re all happy, having been gifted and fed to excess over the past few days. We lounge in bed, in no rush to do much of anything. After all, we’ve killed ourselves over the last month to make the previous day wonderful, and we nailed it. So extended rest is in order.
We also lounge a little longer that morning because we know what’s waiting for us outside our bedroom walls: chaos.
The shine of the holidays wears off very quickly. The day is past, and it’s back to everyday life. We are left with a massive mess, and the impending excitement that keeps us going through all the tasks and projects is gone. I wouldn’t liken it to depression per se, but it’s a day of a massive letdown. Family is gone, presents are open and we can feel the effects of imbibing on our waistlines almost like magic.
The Week Before the End of the Year
The week between Christmas and New Years’ is one of the roughest for me every year. But, again, I’m not necessarily sad, just unmotivated. The big thing we were all looking forward to has passed, and it feels like there’s nothing to look forward to. It’s like after an incredible vacation; It was so much fun that nothing in sight feels like it could be even remotely close to as extraordinary. It’s hard to want to willingly go back to the chores and tasks of adult life when the last week was almost like being a kid again.
Managing the “Hangover”
I’ve tried for years to break out of this post-holiday hangover. In my 40th year of life, I’m finally throwing in the towel. Rather than fight it, I’m going to embrace it. My body and brain are telling me to take it easy, and sometimes that’s what we must do. Next week will still come, and we’ll have plenty of time to return to a routine. Let yourself recover and be rested and ready to go for 2023.
Much like the holidays, the fantasy football playoffs are a rush of excitement and joy. When they inevitably end, whether in the first round or with championship hardware, it can feel like there is a sudden void where our obsession with football once was.
However, this is far from the truth if you are a dynasty format manager. The offseason is when we build up our teams and get them ready for an attack the next season. So don’t let the fantasy football hangover get to you, my friend. With most championship teams set and not considering waiver wire options for Week 17, let’s get those dynasty rosters in shape as we truck toward 2023.
On to Football
Week 16 came and went like a hurricane. The fantasy football semi-finals were chock full of disappointing performances, unexpected booms and some clarification on team situations as we inch toward the end of the 2022 season.
Here’s what you need to know heading into Week 17 and the offseason.
• Gardner Minshew turned in an admirable performance in relief of the injured Jalen Hurts, completing 24 of his 40 pass attempts for two touchdowns and two interceptions for Philadelphia in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Look for Minshew to be a hot commodity amongst teams needing a starting quarterback this offseason.
• Rookie 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy notched his third 16-plus fantasy point performance in his third career start in a win over Washington on Sunday. Is Purdy the future of the San Francisco offense?
• Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered yet another concussion this past Sunday, apparently playing the entire second half with it, unbeknownst to anyone on the field.
• The Houston Texans shocked the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, defeating the AFC South leaders 19-14, putting them in a tie with Jacksonville. The Titans have lost their last five games and hardly look like the team they were for the first half of the season. Will they clean house this offseason and start rebuilding for the future?
As we glide into the fantasy offseason, it’s time to start tinkering and toiling without dynasty rosters. So let’s get to it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild: Dynasty Trade Target Dark Horses & Duds.”
Hot, Medium & Mild: 2023 Dynasty Trade Target Dark Horses & Duds
The fantasy football championships are upon us, and for those managers who didn’t make it to the penultimate matchup of the season, it’s time to take stock of our dynasty squads. The 2023 fantasy football season is much closer than you think, and getting ahead of the madness around free agency and the draft could give you a leg up in your leagues.
This week, I have two prospects that are undervalued heading into the offseason and one I would be trading away before everyone catches on.
(All player dynasty rankings courtesy of PlayerProfiler)
HOT — Naga Viper Pepper
Tyler Allgeier (RB, Atlanta Falcons) | RB 41
Heading into the 2022 season, I believed rookie running back Tyler Allgeier would quickly assume the lead-back role for the Atlanta Falcons. Early reports out of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) had him leading the team in most drills and seeing a large share of first-team reps during training camp.
With the fall off of incumbent ball carrier Cordarrelle Patterson to round out 2022, it made sense the youthful Allgeier was ushering in a new running back era in Atlanta. As it turned out, it was false hope that Allgeier would blow up this season. Instead, he’s spent most of this 2022 campaign splitting carries with fellow rookie Caleb Huntley and losing significant snaps when Patterson has been healthy. It hasn’t been the boom rookie season we were hoping for, but there is hope for him heading into 2023.
The last two weeks have seen Allgeier come on strong for the Falcons. With the team officially out of playoff contention, head coach Arthur Smith has benched veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of rookie Desmond Ridder, signaling a move to the future for the Atlanta franchise. That move forward has included a heavier workload for Allgeier in Weeks 15 and 16, where he saw seasons highs in carries in both contests. Week 15 saw him log 17 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown, good for 22.3 Points Per Reception (PPR) fantasy points. Last week, he saw a season-high five targets, which he converted to four catches for 43 yards.
What To Do
Smith is unlikely to change the Falcons’ offensive philosophy in 2023 if Ridder is behind center. The only team who kept the ball on the ground more this season has been the Chicago Bears, throwing on 42.4 percent of plays versus Atlanta’s 44.5 percent. While Patterson is under contract next season, he will likely be relegated to more of a spot role as he heads into his 11th NFL season. With Huntley suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon in Week 15, Allgeier has a clear path to being the RB1 in one of the most run-heavy schemes in the league.
You can acquire Allgeier in most dynasty leagues for a 2023 second-round pick or a combination of third-round rookie draft picks. Allgeier has season-long RB2 upside next year. It’s not a risky move, and it could pay huge dividends for your 2023 season.
MEDIUM — Serrano Pepper
Wan’Dale Robinson (WR, New York Giants) | WR50
What could have been for rookie pass catcher Wan’Dale Robinson in 2023. He started his season on Injured Reserve (IR) after suffering a knee injury in Week 1, missing the next four weeks. Upon his much-anticipated return to the New York Giants in Week 6, Robinson did not disappoint, catching three of his four targets for 37 yards and a touchdown. The next few weeks were rocky for him, failing to eclipse five fantasy points in two of the following three contests. However, the rookie exploded in Week 11 against Detroit, catching nine of his 13 targets for 100 yards. Sadly, in that Week 11 contest, Robinson suffered a torn ACL, requiring surgery and ending his season.
It was a disappointing end to a promising season for Robinson, who was coming on strong just when the Giants needed him. With Sterling Shepard also down for the year, Kadarius Toney traded to the Kansas City Chiefs and Kenny Golladay being his unreliable self, Robinson was in line for a significant workload on a team with playoff aspirations. His final contest saw him lead the team in targets, receptions and yards, ahead of Darius Slayton and wideout Richie James.
What To Do
Recency bias has dynasty managers far too low on the talented receiver. While he is likely starting the 2023 season on IR, once he is active and on the field, Robinson could have high upside most weeks. His WR50 dynasty ranking is a dream for anyone looking to bolster the future of the fantasy football squads. A mid-third-round 2023 rookie draft pick and an aging veteran along the lines of Patterson should get Robinson locked and loaded for your 2023 campaign.
MILD — Cherry Pepper
Michael Pittman Jr. (WR, Indianapolis Colts) | WR14
I haven’t been quiet the last two seasons regarding my love for Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. In most fantasy formats, his situation in Indianapolis seemed the perfect storm for a long-term WR1 option. However, between mediocre quarterback play and an organization in turmoil, he’s been a difficult player to trust. Despite being the primary passing target in Indianapolis, Pittman Jr. hasn’t finished higher than overall PPR WR17 in his three-year career. This season, through 16 weeks, he is the overall PPR WR21 and could fall farther down the rankings over the final two weeks.
One of the significant issues with Pittman Jr. has been the lack of red zone opportunities in the Colts’ offense. The team has had a hard time scoring all season long, and when they’re close to paydirt, the team has turned to a run-heavy approach. As a result, Pittman Jr. has only logged two scores this season. Given the direction of this team, it’s hard to imagine much changing heading into 2023.
What To Do
This is an exceptional opportunity to get out from underneath an underperforming wideout that still has a pumped-up value in dynasty formats. Unfortunately, while Pittman Jr. could rebound and live up to his ranking in 2023, the situation in Indianapolis could be more stable. The team’s quarterback for next season likely isn’t on the roster and given their track record of recent free-agent signings at the position, there isn’t much to be hopeful for. In addition, the team is playing with an interim head coach in Jeff Saturday, further muddying the situation for the Colts.
Pittman’s current ranking of WR14 could net you a late 2023 first-round rookie pick or Vikings’ tight end T.J. Hockenson. Whoever you decide to flip Pittman for, do it now while his value is still decent.
I hope you find my spicy and not-so-spicy dynasty takes useful. Until next time!
The holidays have passed, so it’s back to # DadJokes as usual. Here’s one to lift your spirits as we head toward 2023.
My boss told me to have a good day, so I went home!