Welp, that’s that.
I’ve been following the NFL for 40 years, playing Fantasy Football — that’s right, I capitalize it — since 1986, and been betting on and off pretty much the entire time.
And every year, when we get to the end of the regular season, I’m pretty much toast. I’m ready for it to end. (To be clear: Once the playoffs start, I’m 100% all-in. Fantasy, best ball, sports betting, DFS, everything. But I consider all this separate from the regular season.)
Anyway, every year, I’m done by the time it’s over. It’s weird, because I never really feel that way about the NBA or MLB, the two other sports I follow closely. I think the reason why is because of the daily grind of those sports. Each day is brand new. Plus, it’s easy to “call in” a few days, or to just skip it all together. It’s always going to be there, every day, for more than half the year.
But football? It’s 18 weeks, and each week is its own thing. I have a whole week to marinate my thoughts. The NBA and MLB are like running to McDonald’s for lunch; the NFL is like doing one of those underground Hawaiian pig roast things. It takes a lot more time and energy.
And as anyone who has ever spent 12 hours with a pig in an imu can tell you, by hour 10 or so you start getting a little weary.
So yes. I’m a little weary right now with football. But about two weeks after the Super Bowl … no longer weary. I start counting down the days until preseason. Well, first I start counting down the days to Memorial Day, because I love summer, but that’s really neither here nor there.
You know who else is neither here nor there? Antonio Brown. (That sound you just heard was me accepting the award for most awkward and painful transition in the history of the written word.)
But yeah — Brown peace’d out last week in what has to be one of the most shocking moments in the history of the NFL.
Of course, it didn’t stop there. Everyone was tweeting about how crazy Brown is, then everyone felt bad for tweeting about how crazy Brown is because he might actually be crazy, then Brown said he was fired, the Bucs said he quit, Brown said he was injured, the Bucs said c’mon, and on and on it went.
But maybe, just maybe … well, who among us hasn’t quit a job in anger? Maybe in the end that’s all this is. Sure, it’s a bit of a bigger stage than someone getting fed up at their gig at the Piggly Wiggly, but still: Take this job and shove it.
On to Week 18 …
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
All right. We’re 1-16 with this thing, but the one win keeps us in the black no matter what, as it was a near +2000 hit back in Week 7, or as it feels like to me, 532 A.D.
Would love to bring a winner home this week. Tough week, obviously, trying to pick one game right, never mind four or five.
So in the immortal words of Clark Griswold, this is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy …
Placed Thursday afternoon on DraftKings: the Texans +10.5 at home against the Titans, the Lions +3.5 at home against the Packers, the Bears +4.5 on the road in Minnesota, the Dolphins +6.5 at home against the Patriots, and the Chargers -3 on the road in Las Vegas. All told, it comes in at +2281.
Rationale? Well, golly. I really feel like the Texans, Lions, and Bears are going to play hard for various reasons, I think this is more or less the Dolphins’ Super Bowl, and the Chargers are simply a better team than the Raiders. But, yes, I’m rolling with the Texans, Lions, and Bears. What could go wrong?
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Lost again, down to 5-12. Fun. Teasing games this week is insane, but what the heck: Over at Caesars, gimme the Chargers +3, the Lions +9.5, and the Colts -9 at +160.
It's #NFLWeek18 and @jeffedelstein is exhausted from the grind.
But he's not a quitter. Here's the column and some thoughts on AB.
— Sports Handle (@sports_handle) January 7, 2022
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
No, and I finally snapped my four-week, 170-31 cash game run by posting a 20-40 record, and it wasn’t helped by pivoting to Chase Edmunds from Darrel Williams at the last second.
I also flopped in the finals of the Underdog Best Ball Mania II final, finishing 151st out of 160.
And my super sneaky stack which I hyped here last week — basically, the Seahawks and Amon-Ra St. Brown — came in at 18% combined ownership in the Milly and I played it in two out of my 50-odd lineups.
So yeah. All around, I’d say my DFS week was …
DraftKings DFS play(s) of the week
You know, I think I may go back to the well with Seattle this week in Arizona. Maybe not a full game stack, but Russ plus Lockett or Metcalf with a Kirk bring-back? That could work.
I also like D’Onta Foreman a lot at $5.2K, and Taysom Hill is looking tasty at $6.2K against the Falcons.
But since I’ve given out two awesome game stack ideas in the last two weeks (I had the Burrow-Higgins-Chase-Andrews two weeks ago), I might as well give out one more here in Week 18.
So how about Justin Fields + David Montgomery + Darrell Mooney with a Justin Jefferson bring-back? Something about this game makes me think it could go sideways. Matt Nagy in probably his last game as coach, possibly the same thing for Mike Zimmer … I dunno. It’s sticking out to me.
SELF-EDIT, LITERALLY FIVE MINUTES AFTER WRITING THAT PARAGRAPH: Fields has COVID. I don’t feel as frisky about this with Andy Dalton or Nick Foles or Cliff Stoudt or Steve DeBerg or whoever, but … I dunno. I still might pull the trigger.
Trap game of the week
Lost again last week, don’t want to talk about it. Let’s go with the gritty Lions getting 3.5 against the Packers. Have to think the Pack rests everyone, and if so, this line moves. Plus, the Lions players clearly love Dan Campbell. They’re going to play hard.
Player props I like
Let’s just say that 14-1 run I was on a few weeks back is over, m’kay?
I was 0-3 last week. Check back no later than Sunday morning for this week’s winners. Yes, winners. I’m calling my shot.
Sunday update: Ugh. Nothing really jumps out, so here’s a trio of touchdown props, all via DraftKings: Devonta Freeman at +140, Taysom Hill at +150, and D’Onta Foreman at -105.
My mortal lock five-star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Ugh, the Cowboys brought me down to 9-8. I want to finish at 10-8, very badly. Let’s take ‘er to the limit: the Los Angeles Chargers giving three to the Las Vegas Raiders. Boom.