Family, Football & Thank You
“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” – Frank A. Clark
My journey in the fantasy football and content-creation space has been unexpected. As I’ve written before, I am here now because I took a chance, something out of the ordinary for me in my past life, and reached out to our founder, Seth Woolcock in the summer of 2020.
The fact that he even responded in the first place was a great shock. What has come since has been nothing short of a dream.
I was never someone who wrote much outside of shopping lists and notes to my wife, Jen. I can’t remember how to diagram a sentence and punctuation is something that has always escaped me. The idea that a year and a half later, I would consider myself a writer wasn’t on my radar. Even further from consideration was the thought of me being on camera, live, for the whole world to see. I was generally far too introverted and self-conscious to even consider these things a possibility. Yet, here I am.
To say I am thankful to be here, analyzing football and sharing my life with all of you, would be an understatement. I have made lifelong friends who I consider family, am more confident in myself than I have ever been and found a passion that I needed. This journey has made me more calm and patient with those around me, turning me into a better husband and a better father,
I am thankful for those who have supported me, especially my wife, Jen. Without her support, and ultimate decision to join me in this space, I certainly would not have made it this far. Her family has been endlessly supportive, as well, which cannot be easy. To most, this must seem like nothing more than a hobby and something to not be taken seriously. Without all of them, and you, my readers, I wouldn’t be me. Thank you to anyone who reads my columns, watches my shows or, in general, lifts up myself and others. It has not gone unnoticed.
What else am I thankful for? Fantasy football. Yes, this has been a wild season. Yes, it’s been one of the most difficult to navigate as a fantasy manager than I can remember, but as the old saying goes, “nothing worth doing is easy.”
There is something I think is being overlooked in all this madness; with all the challenges and uncertainty in fantasy football this year, we are becoming better managers for it. We have learned to pivot and adapt in ways we’ve never had to. We are getting better at navigating waiver wires and using our Free Agent Acquisitions Budget (FAAB) and waiver priorities more efficiently because we have to be competitive. We are making do and are better for it.
This week is no different than the last few. It’s sure to be a crazy ride, yet again, leaving us all with our jaws on the floor by Sunday afternoon, if not sooner. Waiver wires are bare as are some of our rosters. This week I have some dart throw candidates and one player you’d have to be insane to make a waiver claim on.
There’s no time like the present, so let’s get to it in this week’s “Hot, Medium & Mild!”
Hot, Medium & Mild: Week 12
HOT — Prairie Fire
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR, Green Bay Packers)
This one isn’t going to make my Editor-In-Chief or Jen, who I told her not to start him last week happy, but you can’t win ’em all, right? Marquez Valdes-Scantling has admittedly been fantasy irrelevant for most of the season. He has missed five games due to injury and averaged a meager 8.48 Points Per Reception (PPR) fantasy points per game in the six games he suited up. To be fair, Valdes-Scantling is essentially the WR3 or WR4, and the fifth-best receiving option in Green Bay, so those numbers aren’t altogether surprising.
This past week, however, in the absence of Allen Lazard and Aaron Jones, he put together one of the best fantasy performances of his career. He had four catches for 123 yards and a touchdown, giving him 22.3 PPR points. Heading into Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams, Lazard will again be sidelined. Valdes-Scantling should see a similar amount of targets (10) to what he saw in Week 11. This could theoretically allow him to see a more expanded role the rest of the season.
No waiver wire acquisition this late in the season is a sure thing. You are chasing potential upside in hopes of getting something rather than nothing. That’s exactly what this is. If you are wide receiver needy, this is about as solid as a waiver wire add as you’re going to find this week. Valdes-Scantling is only rostered in 3.2 percent of ESPN leagues, so he’s attainable. Take a look at the rest of your league and see who else needs a wide receiver. You may be able to get him for free when waivers clear, or you may have to spend up. Assess the situation and act accordingly.
MEDIUM — Serrano
Cedrick Wilson (WR, Dallas Cowboys)
Cedrick Wilson is the definition of a dart throw this week. With Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb both likely out again for Dallas’ Thanksgiving match-up against the Las Vegas Raiders, Wilson figures to be a top option alongside Michael Gallup. Last week in the same role, he tied his season-high for targets (seven) and catches (four) in a 7.6 PPR point effort. While there is no guarantee he sees similar production on Turkey Day, it does seem likely.
Dallas is reeling, having lost two of their last three games. Dak Prescott hasn’t looked like himself and it seems that offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, is trying to shake things up a bit. Part of that plan could be Wilson. The key here is him getting a red zone look or two and converting it into a touchdown. That’s not out of the question as he has had three so far this season.
Wilson is rostered only in 1.7 percent of ESPN leagues. Chances are, none of your fellow league managers even have Wilson on their radar. This is good news. If you think someone may be on to him, by all means, put in a waiver claim, just don’t break the bank with your FAAB. A few dollars should suffice. Otherwise, let waivers clear tomorrow and grab him for free.
MILD — Celery?
Matt Breida (RB, Buffalo Bills)
This might be the mildest I’ve ever been on a player in this column. Yes, Matt Breida has 25.7 fantasy points in the last two weeks (18 and seven points, respectively). It should be noted that the majority of those points came through the air (four catches on five targets for 38 yards and a touchdown).
What has he done the rest of the season? When he has seen the field, which is in only two other contests through 11 weeks, he has seen a grand total of four touches for four yards and .4 PPR points.
The fact is, Buffalo simply doesn’t use any of their running backs enough to make them very viable for fantasy. They are throwing the ball on 61.6 percent of their offensive snaps 11th most in the league. Of quarterback Josh Allen‘s 382 passing attempts, only 66 (17 percent) have been to a running back or fullback. The idea that Breida has any value in any format for fantasy football the rest of this season is a pipe dream at best.
These last two weeks have been a fluke. He has not passed running backs Zack Moss or Devin Singletary on the depth chart. He is simply fool’s gold. Don’t spend a dime of FAAB or use any level of waiver wire priority to get Breida. Don’t pick him up after waivers clear tomorrow. Leave him where he belongs; in the free-agent pool.
And there you have it, folks. Take it or leave it and good luck in Week 12!
What would a Thanksgiving-week column be without a holiday-themed #dadjoke? Lame, that’s what. So here we go!
What would you get if you crossed a turkey with a ghost?
As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @JeNateJackFF.