John T. Georgopoulos
The Lowdown - Week 13

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Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 13. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe— feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

As is a beloved (or hated, if viewed from your perspective) tradition for my columns, I use the Thanksgiving holiday to take stock of all the things I'm grateful for, and the things I'm not. Perhaps I can inspire you to do the same...

Scandals

I'm not going to pretend that I'm some sort of high-minded journalist; I'm not. I'm pretty much a hack that's managed to fool people for the better part of 20 years into consuming what spills out of my head. So here's one of my dirty secrets: I love scandals. They make my job easier because I don't have to strain myself coming up with interesting topics every week.  Richie Incognito? What could be better? That story had everything! Also forced me to look at the offensive line play of the Dolphins ('cause let's be honest-- who does that in the middle of the season?). The Ben Roethlisberger-Todd Haley dynamic in the middle of a four-game losing streak? Nice!

So for all the scandals and negative news, I am truly grateful.


Fantasy "Experts"

For those of you that don't know, I'm pretty much a libertarian. I believe that people should be allowed to do their own thing, so long as they don't harm others. That's why I love the Internet; has there been a more liberating technology in the past 50 years? The Internet allows for easier communication, exposure to new thoughts and ideas, enables wonderful new businesses to form, and allows easy access to all sorts of knowledge.

But one of the biggest drawbacks of the Internet is that it empowers idiots. It may not be politically correct but it's true: there are several fantasy football "experts" that wouldn't be able to write for the free paper at your grocery store, but due to the magic of the Internet and self-promotion have become "experts."

Look, if I have to read or hear one more of these "experts" tell me that LeSean McCoy or Peyton Manning should be in your starting lineup or that "consistency" is defined as the number of 100-yard games a receiver has in a season, I may lose what's left of my mind. So while everyone has the right to express their opinions, remember my guiding principle: Do what you want as long as you do no harm to others. These fantasy "experts" are harmful hacks to humanity, and need to be stopped immediately.

So for all the "experts" out there, I am truly not grateful.


Fall of the Mighty

Is there anything better than a perceived favorite falling from the perch of high expectations? This NFL season has featured a stunning fall from grace for several teams that were almost universally thought to be contenders this past summer: the Texans, Giants, Falcons, Steelers, and 49ers. I can't remember another season when so many "good" teams all collapsed at the same time. And before you just write me off as a lout who enjoys the misery of others, the reason I'm grateful for all those unexpectedly dashed team dreams is because their stumble has forced writers and analysts to re-examine how we review teams and-- let's be honest-- inject some much-needed humility into all the "experts."

So for all the hugely disappointing teams this season, I am truly grateful.


Thursday Nights

I used to think that the highest state of contentment in this world would be to have professional football games played every day of the week. NFL football seven days a week! What could be better?

As with many of my other youthful beliefs and dreams-- a competent government and eating Mexican food at 3AM-- Thursday Night football has proven to be an unsustainable failure. Oh sure, the Thanksgiving games are always a treat, the perfect distraction from the annual carnage of unrestrained food consumption and the gathering of family members you purposely avoid the other 364 days of the year. But the weekly Thursday night games?
Ooooofaaaa!

Thursday night games stink if you're a fantasy writer. Injury news is shaky at best, team travel becomes a new factor to consider, you have to figure out all the different ways the Thursday game may effect your Sunday decisions... it's a mess. I don't know a single writer that likes this Thursday Night deal... not one. Not even Tom Casale, and that guy is like Ace Rothstein in Goodfellas (seriously, he just sits in a big swivel chair surrounded by five or six TVs and monitors and just stares at games and replays for 18 consecutive hours).

So for all the Thursday Night games (except for the Thanksgiving set), I am truly not grateful.


Good Friends

I've been involved in this world for close to 20 years, in many capacities: writer, editor, media "personality," business owner. I love the work and the interaction with my readers (all 17 of you).

But the truth is that the fantasy sports industry is pretty miserable. Most of the people you run across are self-important sycophants with delusions of grandeur. I've been involved with a few professions that are typically reviled-- investment banking, advertising-- and I can honestly tell you that the fantasy sports industry has more unsavory characters per capita than those two combined.

That's why the few people in this industry who are good and decent human beings are folks that I'm proud to know. Guys like Tony Holm, Greg Kellogg, Mike Hall, John Rakowski, Tom Casale, and William Del Pillar. Guys who stand by their word; guys who will actually pick up the phone or drop an e-mail to see how you're doing; guys that you don't mind referring to as friends.

So for all the people I am proud to call friends in this industry, I am truly grateful.


Of course, I'm grateful to have been able to spend this Thanksgiving with my wife, son and mother. Nothing is more important than family and friends. Here's hoping that you all enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) your Thanksgiving holiday.

Peace.



John T. Georgopoulos is an 18-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on eight occasions. You can also listen to his weekly non-sports opinions
here or follow him on Twitter @ThatRiotShow .