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Nothing matters anymore. In throwing out 100+ years of expectations, tradition, and precedence to exclude an undefeated Power Five champion, Florida St, from the college football playoff, the college football selection committee has given us the green light to do whatever we want.
So, let's burn the whole thing to the ground.
Jeff's Things To Trash (2023 Version)
Trade Deadlines - They are silly. If you are worried about someone ruining the league's integrity, kick them out of your league. In redraft leagues, lock a manager's ability to trade when mathematically eliminated. In dynasty leagues, this is a no-brainer. Every dynasty trade includes some level of current or future value. The boogeyman fears people will buy championships, which are rarely accurate. (Many hold draft picks tighter than Gollum holds the One Ring now). And if they do buy a title, good for them.
Complaining About Tanking - Mitigate it via potential points. This setting is readily available on sites like Sleeper and MFL. It eliminates setting bogus lineups and creates a fun level of strategy. But if you insist on using standings for draft order, allow teams to tank. The Philadelphia 76ers famously tanked. It is in the sport, so allow it to happen.
Trade Vetos - Come on, man. First, trades should be processed instantly. If the New Orleans Pelicans want to trade Chris Paul to the Lakers, that is processed instantly. Wait—lousy example. But the point stands. If the Chiefs wanted to trade Patrick Mahomes II to the New Orleans Saints, the owners of the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Atlanta Falcons could not band together to get half the league to say it is unfair over a 48-hour window. At the same time, you sit and sweat out the processing.
Thursday Night Football without a bye the week before - The Cowboys and Seahawks played the best Thursday Night game of the year. Why? Well, they are both good. But also, the teams had the benefit of a whole rest week. Weeks 2-4 may not happen, or Weeks 15-18. But if AI can instantly tell me how great a season Bijan Robinson will have on the 2023 Texas Longhorns, it can figure out a schedule that gives a bye or doubles up Thursday appearances to eliminate the short week turnarounds.
Holiday Creep - I have kids. I do not read every note timely. Sometimes, emergency night before school trips have to happen. Not a soul is asking for Halloween stock to be pulled from shelves on October 25th and replaced by Christmas.
Horror Movie Commercials During Noon Football Games - First, I commend the movie trailer industry for making terrifying commercials in 30-45-second clips. Indeed, great job. Why these are aired at noon while I attempt to ignore Nebraska playing Iowa and my children are playing in the same room is beyond me. Be better.
8:15 EST Primetime Kickoffs - Spare me with the "Best Coast." I have no doubt the ability to unplug from football at 7 or 8 pm is pretty lovely, and the European games have given a great window into breakfast football. I get it. But 47% of the US population lives in the EST zone, while just 16% lives in PST. What are we doing here? Forcing 47% of the population to live bleary-eyed so people on the West Coast do not miss kickoff? What are we doing here?
People Calling To Buy My House - When did this become a thing? Why am I subjected to 17 calls daily from someone who wants to discuss an all-cash offer to buy my property? How do people have the time to make these calls? Surely, whatever shadow enterprise behind this could use this workforce more beneficially.
Microtransactions - Another thing. When I was a kid, I bought a video game, and it was the end of the transaction. You get my money, I play my game, and we all understand the feeling in the "If I could buy the world a Coke" commercial. Then expansion sets. I get it. I can add more to a game I enjoy; you get more money. Cool. But there is an explosion of nickel and diming over everything now. Stop.
The College Football Playoff Committee - Never trust anything done in a room behind closed doors.
It is time for the Roundup.
MVP candidates were on display in primetime and big moments. Who stepped up, and who came up short? Can you place this production?
Deep Dynasty Watch List
Identifying players rostered in less than 50% of Sleeper Dynasty leagues (give or take).
- WR Xavier Gipson, New York Jets (12% Sleeper rostered) - Gipson's role in the offense has steadily increased, and Sunday was the first time it turned into meaningful production. His 77 yards led the team, and he was the first player outside of Garrett Wilson to top 70 receiving yards on the season. He is a small school prospect from Stephen F. Austin who made the roster with his return acumen. That has transitioned to offense, where he has lined up inside and outside. He has the speed to stretch the field, and his return ability works well in schemed opportunities. The Jets have a low ceiling on their passing game, but if Aaron Rodgers can return and move into 2024, Gipson is a player to watch.
- TE Brevin Jordan, Houston (37% Sleeper rostered) - Jordan was a buzzy player in the 2021 rookie cycle, but injuries have held him back. An injury to Dalton Schultz gave him his first significant opportunity with the new coaching staff, and he responded with a career-high 64-yard day. Jordan has decent speed for the position and profiles as a classic move tight end. Schultz has been a key contributor, but he signed a one-year deal and could see more market demand after proving himself away from Dallas. Jordan is a decent short-term play. If Schultz remains out, they could turn into an attractive long-term option.
- RB Tyler Goodson, Indianapolis (2% Sleeper rostered) - Jonathan Taylor's return timeline is still up in the air, and Zack Moss has a bell-cow workload in his absence. But in deep leagues, always look to continue to backfill the position. Trey Sermon has seemed the apparent move there, but Goodson out-snapped him in Week 13. If Taylor and Moss are both out, the most likely outcome is a split between Sermon and Goodson, with Goodson possessing the better-receiving work profile. Goodson had generated positive buzz in Green Bay in his rookie season in 2022, and the hope was he could step into the third-back role. A shoulder injury took him out during the 2023 preseason, and he became a roster casualty.
- WR Demarcus Robinson, Los Angeles Rams (5% Sleeper rostered) - Robinson has edged ahead of Tutu Atwell as the Rams' third wide receiver over the last couple of weeks. Robinson has a more physical presence, which allows him to rotate in formation with Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua more naturally than Atwell. It also gives him a better opportunity to work as an edge blocker in a scheme that requires blocking from the receivers. Nacua picked up an injury but was able to return, and Kupp has been struggling all season with leg issues. If either missed time, Robinson likely has positioned himself best for a value bump.
- QB Marcus Mariota, Philadelphia (19% Sleeper rostered) - In a year defined by backup quarterbacks, no one is likely in a better position to realize fantasy value if the opportunity arises. The Eagles revealed after Week 12 that Jalen Hurts has been playing through injury since Week 6, and Hurts was evaluated for a concussion against the 49ers on Sunday. Given his profile, Mariota is a deep speculative add only in Superflex formats, where he may be rostered already. If the Eagles beat Dallas in Week 14, they will go a long way toward rendering stretches of their upcoming schedule pointless with locked-in seeding. Mariota could emerge as a surprise fantasy contributor if the team gives Hurts a rest window.
- RB Jamycal Hasty, New England (7% Sleeper rostered) - Hasty was surprisingly and quietly let go by Jacksonville in mid-November, where the Patriots claimed him with a high waiver priority. In 2022, he served as a change of pace to Travis Etienne to mild success. The big story here is Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson left early against the Chargers, unable to put weight on his leg. Given the competitive nature of the Patriots, it is fair to question if we just saw his season end. Ezekiel Elliott is the primary beneficiary, but serving as a bellcow back at this career stage would be a significant surprise. That opens a window for Hasty. Hasty can serve as a homeless man's version of Tony Pollard in a complementary role to Elliott. Given the high pass volume afforded to New England running backs, there is a chance for PPR utility.
- QB Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh (17% Sleeper rostered) - Kenny Pickett is having ankle surgery following an injury in Week 13 to an ankle he had already been struggling with. The team said they would not place him on IR and hope for a fast recovery. In the meantime. Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky is not sneaking up on anyone, but in a league where Jake Browning is starting and the Jets are doing whatever they are, starting quarterbacks in deep Superflex formats must be added.
Stats Of The Week
- WR Mike Evans, Tampa - 1,000 yards - Death, taxes, Mike Evans 1,000 yards. Mike Evans extended his record by topping 1,000 yards in his first ten seasons. Jerry Rice holds the NFL record with 11 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and Evans will take a shot at breaking it next year.
- WR DK Metcalf, Seattle - 134 yards, three touchdowns - Metcalf had his second career three-touchdown game and his first 100-yard game since Week 3. This game was the third 130+ yard and three touchdown game in 2023, joining Ja'Marr Chase and D.J. Moore. Tyler Lockett (2020), Doug Baldwin (2015), and Steve Largent (1987 and 1983) are the other Seahawks to hit 130+ yards and three touchdowns.
- TE Sam Laporta, Detroit - nine receptions, 140 yards, one touchdown - LaPorta is the 40th tight end game to hit these three thresholds in NFL history and the first in Lions team history. The players at LaPorta's age to accomplish this trifecta are Mike Ditka and Kellen Winslow. Strong company.
- WR Tyreek Hill, Miami - 157 receiving yards, two touchdowns - Hill had his highest yardage total since Week 6 in a game Miami rolled. The only question is how much higher this could have been had the Commanders pushed the Dolphins. Hill is above pace to hit the 2,000-yard threshold; at 1,481 yards through 12 games, he is pacing at 2,098.
- WR Nico Collins, Houston - 191 receiving yards - Collins tied CeeDee Lamb for the fifth-highest single-game total of 2023. Collins sits at 991 yards on the season, nine away from becoming the first University of Michigan alumnus to crack 1,000 yards since Steve Breaston in 2008.
- WR Deebo Samuel, San Francisco - 116 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns, one rushing touchdown - Samuel recorded the 25th game in NFL history with 110+ receiving yards, two or more receiving touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. He was the first player since Chase Claypool in 2020 to achieve this, and they are the only two players in the last ten years to hit these marks.
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