fantasy football week 11 starts

The Hard Bargain: Make a Difference

My theme of mental health this month continues. In my latest column, I wrote about self-care and tending to your own mental health needs. This week, I would like to add to the conversation around to those in your sphere.

How can you help others that you care about with their mental health concerns? It is a lot easier than you think to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Using Maslow to Make a Difference

Understanding human needs is an important first step in helping anyone. Dr. Abraham Maslow is known for his theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs, culminating in self-actualization. This theory is commonly known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self-actualization, according to Maslow, is the “need to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

In other words, self-actualization is living your life to the fullest. To achieve it, you must first meet a series of human needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy: Level One

At the bottom of the pyramid are the most basic of human needs. The basic physiological human needs are food, water, sleep, sex, homeostasis and excretion. If someone you care about is struggling to meet these basic needs, that should be a big red flag to you that something might be off with that person. Someone who is not eating or sleeping sufficiently, or is unable to care for their basic hygiene or health, is not in a safe and stable state of mind. Those needs must be met before your loved one can move up the hierarchy.

Maslow’s Hierarchy: Level Two

The next step on the pyramid involves safety needs. These include emotional, physical and financial security, law and order, freedom from fear, and social stability. Unmet safety needs can cause immense concern and stress. If you are aware of someone struggling financially, living in a dangerous situation or having emotional difficulty, these are signs that their safety needs are not met and could be an area you can help with.

Maslow’s Hierarchy: Level Three

The third level centers around love and belongingness needs. We all have needs to be a part of a group, to belong to something. We also have a universal need for friendship, love and intimacy. Simply extending the hand of friendship or inviting a friend or loved one to join you in activities or events can directly help meet these needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy: Level Four

The fourth level of the pyramid focuses on esteem needs. Maslow breaks these needs down into two categories: esteem for one’s self and the desire for reputation or respect from others. We all want to be able to like and respect ourselves, as well as to be appreciated by others. This is how humans characterize their worth. If those in your circle are focused on this level, they are not likely on the verge of crisis-level mental health concerns.

Make a Difference Through Paying Attention & Reaching Out

As I previously stated, helping somebody with their mental well-being may not be as difficult as you would imagine. The first step is asking and then listening. If someone you care about is not acting like themselves, start the conversation. Simply ask if they are feeling alright.

You know the people in your life well enough to tell if their behavior or demeanor has changed. Reaching out is critical because many people have trouble vocalizing when they are struggling with their mental health. Listen carefully and assess what level of needs on the pyramid they are struggling with most.

If someone you know is not meeting their basic needs, you could bring them a meal or help them clean up; perhaps you could take them to the doctor if they have physical health concerns. Safety needs can be met by providing financial or emotional support when you are able to. If you know someone in physical danger, you might be able to help them find a new place to stay. Beyond financial and housing needs, the best thing you can do for a loved one struggling with their mental health is simply to be there. Letting someone know that they are loved and cared for goes a long way.

Making a Difference for your Fantasy Lineups

While you are busy lifting up your friends and family, you may notice your fantasy football team letting you down. As the injuries continue to mount in this unusual season and bye weeks roll on, it might feel hard to find a replacement, especially if you’re looking down the bench in a 16+ team league. If that is you, allow me to make a few suggestions.

Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Miami Dolphins)

If you are scrambling at quarterback this week, Tua Tagovailoa has a favorable matchup against the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed at least two passing touchdowns per game for the last five weeks. While Tagovailoa is still dealing with the finger injury that prevented him from starting last week, he appeared comfortable after being forced into action.

Against the Ravens in Week 10, he completed eight passes for 158 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. Though Tagovailoa has been less than reliable this season, he has cashed in against weak defenses, scoring multiple touchdowns against the Jaguars and the Falcons. I am optimistic about his chances to have another big outing against the Jets this week.

Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB, San Francisco 49ers)

Jeff Wilson, Jr. saw his first game action of the season last week when he carried the ball 10 times against the Los Angeles Rams. Though he only totaled 28 yards, it was encouraging to see him get right back in the action.

This week, he may see a bigger workload if Elijah Mitchell misses time with his finger injury. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense ranks middle of the pack when it comes to points allowed to running backs, but they certainly are not a brick wall, allowing the fourth-most rushing touchdowns this year. Should Mitchell play, Wilson is still likely to have a roll. If he receives double-digit caries again, he could be worth a flex play.

Elijah Moore (WR, New York Jets)

I cringe a little as I type this. Recommending a wide receiver that will be (hopefully) catching passes from Joe Flacco feels more than a little risky. Still, I love what I have been seeing from rookie Elijah Moore lately.

In the last three weeks, he has caught 16 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns. He has not been doing it with starting quarterback, Zach Wilson, either. He has been catching passes thrown by Mike White and Josh Johnson. Can Flacco really be worse than those two? Is Moore quarterback-proof? I may be getting carried away, but the Miami Dolphins allow the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year. I like Moore to continue his hot streak.

Adam Trautman (TE, New Orleans Saints)

Adam Trautman is another player who has seen increased involvement lately. He has also been doing so mostly with a backup quarterback. Trautman has seen at least six targets in each of his last three games, including the last two started by quarterback Trevor Siemian.

During the last three games, Trautman is sixth in the NFL in routes run among tight ends. Now, he is rewarded with an excellent matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles allow the most fantasy points to tight ends on the season. It would not surprise me to see Trautman score his first touchdown of the year here in Week 11. 

Making a Difference Through Getting Help

My wish is to bring a little stability to your fantasy roster, as well as to help you bring a little stability to those in your life who may be facing a crisis with their mental health. If you or anyone you know needs someone to talk to about their mental state of mind, please call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).


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.