fantasy football championship

The Hard Bargain: Endings & New Beginnings

We did it! You did it!  Whatever your “win” is for the year, it is important to reflect on and celebrate what you’ve accomplished as we look back on an unpredictable year and fantasy season. 

Your win may be making your way into the championship game in your fantasy league. It may simply be completing a long season of setting lineups and weathering the storm of the waiver wire in one of the most bizarre and frustrating fantasy seasons in recent memory. 

Perhaps your win lies outside the fantasy football realm, such as participating amicably in holiday celebrations with your family or making an effort to focus on your own mental health throughout a tumultuous year in 2021. Whatever your “win” is, take time to celebrate and enjoy it!

Reaching the Finish Line

There is such a feeling of relief and accomplishment associated with completing something, even if that feeling has a bittersweet element when something you love comes to completion. Football season is a good example.

Personally, I spend the whole year anticipating football season and when it comes, I try to savor every moment. Still, there is a sense of satisfaction when I see a fantasy season come to a close or watch the Super Bowl put a bow on another NFL campaign. Ultimately, the finality of tying up the loose ends of the season is satisfying to me.

Whenever I finish something, I make a point to think about some lessons I have learned. There is an old maxim that states, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

In life, the reality is that we will not be good at many things from the start. Life presents struggles and challenges, but if we persevere, we will be better for it. Even if we are shaky at the start, by the end we will find our stability. 

Growing up, my dad held this philosophy when he was my soccer coach. That is why he had us running laps at every practice until we nearly vomited. Sometimes more than nearly. He wanted us to have extra “gas in the tank” in those second halves, so we could finish strong. Having the stamina to run late in those games proved a decisive factor several occasions. My dad taught me something about finishing. 

New Beginnings for a New Year

Whenever I contemplate endings, I also naturally consider new beginnings. I appreciate the chance for a fresh start.

I am not the sort of person who makes New Year’s resolutions. I find they are hard to keep because people tend to try to make drastic, often unrealistic changes. One thing I believe in is a constant effort towards self-improvement. That is basically what this column is about; handling tough questions and striving to be better.

One particular area I want to improve in during the coming year is strengthening my personal relationships. One of the best lessons I have learned about friendship is to be the kind of friend you would want to have.

As such, I recognize the need to apologize when I have wronged someone, but this year, I intend to follow my apologies by asking, “how can I make it up to you?” This will be my effort to truly resolve conflicts and make amends. As you ring in the new year, I encourage you not to make yourself promises you know you will not keep, but to identify ways you might be able to improve your harmony with those around you.

Finishing Strong in Fantasy

For many of us, this year’s fantasy season may already be a thing of the past. However, if you are still playing this week, chances are you are in your league’s championship matchup.

You probably are not looking for one, but you know there is no hero walking through that door to save your season and win you the week. Your team is the one that got you here. Now, no matter how many players are injured or out due to COVID-19, you probably know who will be in your starting lineup.

If your championship-winning lineup is not already set in stone, I am assuming you might actually be looking for that hero. You are likely an underdog swinging for the fences. Here are some home-0run possibilities for your 16+ team leagues.

Mac Jones (QB, New England Patriots)

Quarterbacking a team battling for a division title, it is safe to say that Mac Jones has had a successful rookie season. However, his fantasy numbers have been inconsistent. On Sunday, Jones faces a Jacksonville Jaguars team allowing the sixth-most points to opposing quarterbacks over the last 4 weeks.

The Patriots had relied on their running game to power the offense throughout much of the year, but the Jaguars are more susceptible to being attacked through the air. Jones should be expected to put the ball in the air a little more than usual this week.

Boston Scott (RB, Philadelphia Eagles)

Miles Sanders has been ruled out for Week 17. Jordan Howard missed practice on Wednesday and is questionable for the weekend. Boston Scott should be in line for a heavy workload against the Washington Football Team.  With a 6.8 percent touchdown rate this year, Scott has a decent chance to find the end zone. He has scored in each game this season with 12 or more carries. Should Howard miss the game, 12 carries are more than just a realistic possibility for Scott.

K.J. Osborn (WR, Minnesota Vikings)

This week it was announced Adam Thielen was placed on Injured Seserve (IR) as the Vikings prepare to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. As a result, K.J. Osborn finds himself likely to see increased targets starting opposite Justin Jefferson. At 13.1 Yards Per Reception (YPR) on the season, Osborn has big-play potential.

Considering the Packers are likely to be leading for much of the game, Kirk Cousins may also be looking to unload some downfield shots.  Over his last four games, Osborn has also scored three touchdowns and has multiple touchdown upside in this matchup.

Foster Moreau (TE, Las Vegas Raiders)

Darren Waller officially went on IR this week. In the last four games, playing without Waller, Foster Moreau has seen 22 targets and has over 60 yards receiving in each of his last two. The Indianapolis Colts are allowing the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this year. Moreau should look to take advantage of this friendly matchup and find himself on the receiving end of a touchdown pass.

For those still alive in their fantasy leagues, I wish you the best of luck. If you have already been eliminated from your fantasy league and you read this whole column anyway, I appreciate you!  As we prepare to close the door on the old year and move into another new year, I hope that our 2022 will bring us each more hope, comfort and revelry than the year that preceded it. 

Life is hard, but it gets a little easier when we learn to lean on each other. Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content.