From 2008-11, opposing teams looked forward to entering Gillette Stadium about as much as a man looks forward to a vasectomy. No matter what you told yourself, deep down you knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant. During that span, the New England Patriots reeled off 30 consecutive victories at home. Not much hope walking into a situation like that, just grin and bear it.
This week I’m entering my “Gillette”...a holiday at the in-laws. When I’m at home, I have my routine. I’m in my comfort zone. I know where I’ll be from wake-up to kickoff, what I’ll eat, where I’ll sit. The remote is close by, my laptop is in position, and I have a clear path to refreshments and the john. Now, all that has been stripped away. I’m at the mercy of other peoples’ plans and traditions. It’s not like they’ve painted the guest room pink or anything to get in my head, but it’s enough to throw me off my game.
So we’re not eating at the house? No problem, as long as there’s...What’s that? No TV?! Why are we celebrating Thanksgiving in a dungeon? No dear, I know that wasn’t funny. Well, can I bring my…no laptop? Not even a tablet?! Yes, I know we’re here to be with family dear, but…Yes, I know family is more important than football (
theoretically). Thank goodness for phones with internet access. Guess I’ll be spending a lot of time in the bathroom looking up scores and stats (no need to poke the she-bear). I spend enough time in there anyway, she might buy it. Just gotta blame the “different” foods.
Forget the Patriots; I’m switching into San Francisco 49ers mode. Between 1988-90, they won 18 straight road games. If they can do it, so can I. No excuses, just win!
Here’s some plays this week that could impact your matchups: some good, some bad, and a little bit of everything else for Week 12.
Matchups I like this week
QB Andy Dalton vs. Oakland.Dalton wasn’t seeing a ton of action in fantasy lineups until recently. Considered a strong backup or QB2, Dalton all of a sudden became a hot commodity with the recent slew of quarterback injuries. To his credit, Dalton has rewarded owners that snatched him up. In his last two games, Red has scored 31 and 28 points, respectively. I don’t care who he’s replacing, those are strong numbers. Now he gets a matchup at home versus Oakland. His sights are set on big numbers this weekend.
RB Chris Johnson at Jacksonville.Johnson deserves some love after all the heaping piles that were dumped on him at the beginning of the season, even by yours truly. Guess I was a bit disgruntled after spending an early pick on him in one of my leagues. Happens to the best of us, and I don’t mind admitting that I am the best. Hey, if I don’t think that way, who will? Since Johnson’s first three games, where he totaled eight points combined, he has reached double-digit fantasy points in every week but one. Congratulations to you if you were able to 'buy low' on him from another of his disgruntled owners. Now Johnson and the Titans get to travel to Jacksonville to face-off against the Jaguars. The Jaguars have done a decent job the past two weeks, holding Vick Ballard to five points and Arian Foster to just six points, but they still rank second-to-last overall in the category, ahead of only the Buffalo Bills. I’m thinking a Titans team fresh off of a bye will be ready to let Johnson roam through the Jacksonville secondary.
WR Miles Austin and Dez Bryant vs. Washington. (Editor's note: This article was submitted prior to Thursday's games)
It’s Thanksgiving; why not go back for a second helping? Austin started off the season as a double-digit machine. The last couple of weeks however have been a different story as Bryant has taken away the lion’s share. On a big day with a big game against a division rival with a pitiful secondary, I’m betting that both receivers get their fill. Besides, it’s not like Dallas has a plethora of healthy running backs at the moment, so I’m guessing they Cowboys agoing to air it out.