“The Hard Bargain” is a year-round column by Dave Stewart offering parenting advice and weekly fantasy football advice for deeper (16+ team) leagues. Dave brings over a year of experience writing this column to NFL Week 12 and will be here to help provide lineup recommendations throughout the fantasy football season.
Unexpected Outcomes in NFL Week 11
The afternoon brought increasing interest as the Cowboys routed the Vikings, ultimately culminating in a “Sunday Night Football” classic between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers. Still, for fantasy football enthusiasts, the outcomes were largely not what was expected.
Like a week of fantasy football kicking off, becoming a parent will come with certain expectations. In both cases, it is unlikely to turn out the way you had planned. Adjusting and adapting is crucial in both areas.
One frequent expectation parents often have is to expect their children to be like them. It comes with the territory. How many times did our exasperated parents threaten that we would have a child just like us? Difficult, I presume they meant.
If you want to know how annoying you really are, have a small version of yourself and argue with it daily. You may have heard some version of this phrase as a description of parenting, which isn’t entirely untrue: “Children are like sponges absorbing everything in their surroundings.”
Then they have a way of just shooting it right back out at you. You will undoubtedly cringe when you realize your son or daughter is dropping your own reaction on you.
Not Just a Photocopy
The tricky part is that you did not simply make a photocopy of yourself. Even if that kid looks just like you, they are not you. Parents often expect their children to be just like them. It is the same DNA, after all, right? But parenting a child that is not like you can be challenging.
I have two daughters. They are seven-year-old twins. You may know them. We call them “the Sneaky Girls” and put them on YouTube.
My girls are very different from one another. One of them is a bit like me, and the other reminds me more of their mother. Still, neither is a carbon copy of their mother or me. Learning what motivates each of them and how to tailor my parenting style to match each is one of my biggest challenges as a father.
A Different Perspective
It is not always easy to see things from your child’s point of view. It can be downright draining when they don’t think of things the way you do or place the same amount of importance on issues.
I can promise that learning to accept your child and sincerely trying to understand them will enrich your relationship in many ways. It becomes easier to communicate with your child when you understand their motivation and what they want to get out of situations.
Sometimes there is a feeling of regret upon realizing your child does not have the goals you hoped they would or the interests you wanted them to. Yet, understanding what fascinates them and trying to see the world through their eyes will open up yours. It is rewarding to be able to help them live the life they want, even when it is different than what you expected. I cannot help picturing James Van Der Beek in “Varsity Blues” right now.
Going with What You’ve Got
When you recognize your child for who they are, you validate their existence. It allows you to help them be the best that they can be. You will be better for it.
The same is true about your fantasy squad. The season is winding down, and playoff spots are being clinched. Your fantasy team might not be who you thought they would be or who you wanted them to be. As long as you manage the fantasy team you have as opposed to the team you wanted, you may still be able to achieve your goal of making the playoffs.
My deep starts of the week may help there.
NFL Week 11 Recommendations Recap
Before we move on, let’s review how I did last week. Kenny Pickett was my quarterback choice, and he delivered mildly. He was less active on his feet than he had been for four weeks, but he had his second-highest passing total to date and fired a touchdown pass. Elijah Mitchell rushed for 59 yards on nine carries but did not reach the end zone. My wide receiver was Christian Watson, who was my biggest hit of the week. He caught four passes for 48 yards and two more touchdowns. That’s five in two weeks now. Hayden Hurst was underwhelmed with just three catches for 28 yards. Tight ends are tough.
How about I try again this week?
NFL Week 12 Deep-League Fantasy Starts
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, San Francisco 49ers)
Jimmy Garoppolo has been pretty consistent this season. He is coming off an impressive outing in Mexico City, where he tied his career-high with four touchdown passes. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in five out of his last six games. New addition, Christian McCaffrey, gives him another excellent option in the passing game. Garoppolo has also been careful with the ball, throwing just four interceptions this campaign.
The 49ers square off with the Saints in NFL Week 12. Top corner, Marshon Lattimore, missed Week 11 with an abdominal injury. Should he miss again, Garoppolo would be even more tempting. Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdowns against the Saints on Sunday. With all his weapons at his disposal, expect Garoppolo to score multiple touchdowns again this week.
Latavius Murray (RB, Denver Broncos)
In a very plug-your-nose-and-pick fashion, I am going with Latavius Murray this week. On Monday, the Broncos released Melvin Gordon, who had struggled with fumbling issues this season. Shortly after, they reported that Chase Edmonds sustained a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss a few weeks. Murray wins a battle of attrition and becomes the last man standing. The Broncos do have Marlon Mack on the active roster, but he has yet to see any action.
Though Murray was not spectacular in Week 11, he did have 21 touches, 72 total yards and a touchdown. He now appears to be in line for the majority of the work in the Denver backfield. To sweeten the pot a little, the Carolina Panthers are allowing the eight most points to running backs this year. With a favorable matchup in NFL Week 12 and a decrease in competition for carries, Murray feels like a solid play this week.
Parris Campbell (WR, Indianapolis Colts)
Matt Ryan’s return to the starting lineup has been positive for at least one person involved. Parris Campbell mostly disappeared during Sam Ehlinger’s two weeks as the starting quarterback, catching just four passes for 58 yards. Things have been entirely different with Ryan at the helm.
In his last four starts with Ryan at quarterback, Campbell has been targeted an impressive 42 times. Ryan wants to get the ball in his hands. Campbell has recorded 29 catches for 270 yards and three touchdowns over that span. Start Campbell with confidence against a woeful Steelers’ secondary that ranks first in points allowed to wide receivers.
Juwan Johnson (TE, New Orleans Saints)
Juwan Johnson has been a veritable oasis in the hellish landscape that is fantasy tight end this season. He has a touchdown in his last three contests and five touchdowns over his last five. Andy Dalton looks his way. Johnson has seen four or more targets in eight of his 11 starts.
The least tempting factor in his Week 12 matchup is certainly the opponent. The 49ers are not friendly to opposing tight ends. They have allowed only one touchdown this year. Still, with Johnson tied for second in touchdowns amongst tight ends, the 49ers may give up their second touchdown of the season in NFL Week 12.
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 for NFL Week 12 and beyond.