Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Every year, the Week 12 Confidence Plays intro becomes a list of people I’m thankful for. People who continually help make Club Fantasy what it is and people continually there for me in my everyday life.
So before I get to all my picks for this week, I want to shout out some people that I’m eternally grateful for:
- First, I’m thankful for my co-host and friend, Ryan Weisse. Ever since he’s joined up with us at Club Fantasy, he’s been as all in to build this site and make it a place people want to contribute to and a place people want to come for entertainment and fantasy football advice. I finally got to meet him in person in August while attending the Fantasy Football Expo in Canton, OH, and he was the same dude, which is always refreshing. Ryan, I love you like a brother, and quite honestly, I don’t know where I or this site would be without your help and guidance.
- I’m thankful for my other co-host and friend, Joe Zollo. We’re going on four years of doing No Punt Intended together, and how we’ve built Club Fantasy from literally just the two of us has been something to behold. What you do with graphics and video work– I’ve learned so much from you. And your personality behind the mic is a stark contrast to mine, which makes for great entertainment. I’m proud of the work you’re doing not just here with Club Fantasy but at your day job with the Larks. I love you, dude.
- I’m thankful for my friend and the co-host of our Women of Fantasy Football event, Faith Enes. It’s funny. When I joined that Facebook group several years ago, I didn’t think I’d meet someone that would help change my life in so many ways. You’ve helped me be more communicative and more open about a lot of things in my life. But aside from the personal growth, you’ve helped me and Club Fantasy build WOFF into a respected movement in this space. I literally don’t know where I’d be today if I hadn’t met you. I love you to the moon and back, Faith.
- All of the graphics you see throughout the pages and articles of Club Fantasy, Maggie Byrd is who you should thank. Between you and Joe, you absolutely blow me away with how creative you are and what you’re able to cook up. I’m literally in awe every time I see new designs. But more to the point, I love being able to talk with you about film and especially Marvel. I wish you and Joe lived closer so we could talk more, haha. You are family, and I love you as such.
- I’m incredibly thankful for Lauren Carpenter (or, as many of you know her, Stepmom Lauren). I’ve gone to a hockey game with you and visited your house to watch football with you, your husband, and your friends. That’s some dream-world shit when you consider we met through a simple tweet. You’re an incredible person and easily the hardest working person I’ve ever met. You’re the next big thing, and I’m so happy to call you a friend and I’m incredibly honored you carve out time every year to co-host WOFF with Faith.
I’m grateful for all the writers and podcasters that believe in what we’re doing at Club Fantasy:
- I met Chris Molina and Drew Metcalfe in the same Facebook group as Faith. Watching them migrate over to Twitter and build their own respective brands has been awesome. I’m so happy they listened to me when I said they should start writing about fantasy football because both do amazing work. I’m lucky to call them both friends.
- I’m thankful I had the courage to shoot Kyra Wiaterowski a DM to ask if she had ever considered writing. More to the point, I’m glad I didn’t come across as a creep, haha. What we’ve been able to build with her on the DFS side of Club Fantasy has been so fun. She’s become like a little sister to me, and I know I’ve made a friend for life. I can’t wait to see her continued growth in this space.
- I’m thankful for Zach Smith wanting to join us and build the Dynasty side of Club Fantasy. It’s always nice to have another Eagles fan in my corner.
- I’m thankful I said yes when Zach Berger reached out to me when he was looking for writing opportunities. Not only is he a solid writer, but he’s also a genuine human being. No team is complete without a hype man. Zach is definitely our hype man.
- I’m thankful I was able to connect with Cody Snow. I know he has a great mind for scouting and content creation, but sometimes life happens. I’m grateful he’s handling his business, and he knows that when he has the time to jump back into the game, he has a home waiting to blast his work to the masses. Good luck in fatherhood, bro!
- I’m thankful that I was able to meet Joel Wirth in Canton at the FF Expo. He was impressed with what we were doing with WOFF, and even though it was a brief conversation, I was grateful for the interaction. Adding him to the team and writing the Blurred Lines column has been a welcome addition. It’s one of my favorite columns to read on our site, and I can’t wait to see what we can do with it next year.
- And lastly, I’m thankful for my homie, Doug. The Oklahomie himself is hands down one of the funniest people I’ve ever interacted with. Recording Oh Captain, My Captain with him every week is easily one of my favorite times of the week. This offseason will be a blast to see what we can cook up for 2022.
I’m thankful for the content creators I interact with regularly on Twitter (or outside of Twitter):
- I’m thankful for Hutchinson Brown. When Ryan first introduced me to Hutch, I was blown away that someone that young was doing what we were doing. The more we talked and got to know each other, it became evident to me he had the drive to be great. Inviting him to guest host our episodes when Joe got tied up with work was easily the smartest thing we could do. And getting to chat with him at the Expo was just the cherry on top. I co-hosted my first radio show at 18. At 14, Hutch said, “hold my (root) beer.” Hutch, you have a fan for life. I appreciate you, my dude.
- I’m thankful for my man Marvin Elequin. I definitely didn’t think that inviting you on to our Dynasty show last year was going to turn into a constant string of text messages about Marvel movies and comics, but I’m glad it did! You do brilliant fantasy work, but it’s your friendship I cherish most. I’m glad Ryan introduced us.
- I’m thankful for Jake Trowbridge. I seriously want to sit down and write a sitcom with you, dude. I’m fairly certain there would be bidding wars on it because you are comedy gold.
- I’m thankful for Cooter Doodle. Not only are you hilarious and one of the most creative people I’ve ever met, but you’re also one of the sweetest. Your help during our WOFF event with our jersey raffles was much appreciated. Your content was easily the highlight of the pandemic.
- I’m thankful for Linda. I’m happy you took a chance with us hosting The Speakeasy. It definitely didn’t work out the way either of us hoped, but it’s definitely helped me as a creator. You’re so fun to talk with, and I love any chance I get to podcast with you. I can’t wait to watch your content take off.
- I’m thankful I had a chance to chat with the folks at The Fantasy Whisperers, Fantasy in Frames, Dynasty Vipers, and In-Between Media. Johnny, Travy, Jorge, Matt, and Seth have been fun to get to know. Watching their teams put out content serves as inspiration for me and how I continue to build Club Fantasy going forward.
- I’m thankful for Troy King. Watching your rise has been amazing. But more to the point, getting to meet you in Canton showed me what I already suspected — you’re just a genuinely good person. It’s not hard to root for people like you. It’s a reminder to myself that I don’t have to be someone I’m not to make it in this world.
- I’m thankful for all of the podcast guests we’ve had come on our shows. Quite honestly, every single one of you makes what I do with Club Fantasy fun. I will forever be grateful to you.
- And I’m thankful for Stoner. It was great to officially meet you at the Expo in Canton. I know there are many people that see you differently, but just know you’re a real one. I’m grateful for your friendship. I’m grateful that you continued to check on me when my grandmother passed away. That’s something that I’ll never forget.
- And I want to give a special shout-out to Nicole Bauer. If you watched our WOFF event this year, you probably saw the badass video intro that led into the show. That was all, Nicole. It was so great working with you throughout that process! But, more importantly, it was so great getting to know you as well. I’m so incredibly thankful for your time during the summer, and I’m always around for your crazy dating stories.
- And finally, to my main man, Jemo. It’s been so great chatting with you over the last year. It’s even greater that you offer everyone fun-loving distractions for the craziness that is real life. One of these days, we’ll get that show idea off the ground and make some magic happen. But until then, keep bringing laughter and smiles to the masses. And when in doubt — you’re welcome.
That’s just a few of the people I’m thankful for in this space, And I’m sure I left some people out. Trust me; it wasn’t on purpose. But as thankful as I am for every one of them, the people I’m most thankful for are you, the readers, and the fans. Just by reading this column or any column we put out with Club Fantasy or watching any of our videos and podcasts, you tell me that what we’re doing is worth it. That it matters. And that means more to me than anything.
I hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. And I hope that I or anyone on the Club Fantasy team has helped you win games and championships. But, more importantly, I hope we made you smile and laugh because that’s just what we do.
And with that, a quick recap of last week. It was better than Week 10, that’s for sure. But there were definitely some misses in Week 11. I finished .500 on my Plays (8-8), while I hit on 10 of 16 of my Fades. The good news? Last week pushed me above .500 on the year! (172-168-13) Thursday has already served as a mixed bag to start the week, so let’s hope things are chalky in Week 12.
A quick reminder of what Play and Fade mean: Play simply means players that I love based on matchups and my expectation that they’ll finish with more points than projected. Fade indicates players that I think will underperform their projections/consensus weekly rankings. It doesn’t mean I’m outright benching them, but I’m likely not rushing to put them in any DFS lineups either. Onto the rest of Week 12!
QB Russell Wilson (SEA) at WAS – I don’t think it’s much of a secret — Russell Wilson hasn’t cooked shit since his return from IR. He’s the QB25 over the last two weeks. His ball has no zip, and it’s clear his finger injury is still bothering him. But if there’s anything that can serve as a “get right” game for a QB, it’s a date with Washington. They continue to be eviscerated by QBs — they gave up three TDs to Cam Newton in his first start back last week — and continue to allow the most fantasy points to QBs. It’s also a Monday night game, a day and time when Wilson plays well. He’s 10-2 on Monday nights, with 20 TDs in his career. I like his odds for a bounce-back this week.
Other QBs with good matchups: Cam Newton (CAR) at MIA and Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) vs. MIN
RB Antonio Gibson (WAS) vs. SEA – The lack of receiving work Antonio Gibson has been given is just annoying, to say the least. Seriously, he has less than half the targets that backfield-mate J.D. McKissic has. Unacceptable. But my love for Gibson this week has less to do with receiving potential and more to do with the matchup. Seattle allows over 100 rushing yards a game to RBs and eight rushing TDs on the year. Despite an abysmal yards per carry, Gibson was able to punch it in the end zone twice against the vaunted Bucs run defense (2.7). His 3.9 YPC this year is pretty gross, and his fantasy season would look better with a few more TDs (only five through 10 games). Nevertheless, he should be good for at least one this week, providing a solid RB2 floor.
Other RBs with good matchups: Melvin Gordon (DEN) vs. LAC, Miles Sanders (PHI) at NYG, and David Johnson (HOU) vs. NYJ
WR Brandon Aiyuk (SF) vs. MIN – All the attention has been on Deebo Samuel this season, and rightfully so. Brandon Aiyuk has been one of the biggest swings and misses among fantasy pundits, so if you’re off the Aiyuk train, sorry about your luck! Don’t look now, but since Week 8, Aiyuk is WR13 in fantasy. Yeah, he’s coming! Aiyuk has two top 8 finishes in his last three weeks. The best part? He’s not leaving the field. He leads SF in snap share among WRs the previous four weeks. Increased opportunity. MIN is hot garbage versus opposing WRs, allowing the third-most fantasy points to the position. They’ve allowed eight 100-yard receiving games and five since Week 8. They gave up two just last week to the Packers. So while Deebo Samuel is lined up at RB for the 49ers, guess who’s flanked out wide? Yep, Aiyuk. Good things are coming this week!
Other WRs with good matchups: D.J. Moore (CAR) at MIA, Russell Gage (ATL) at JAX, and Elijah Moore (NYJ) at HOU
TE David Njoku (CLE) at BAL – I always thought it was funny when the Browns shelled out $11 million a year for Austin Hooper when they had a better receiving TE already on the team. Through 11 games this season, the forgotten TE, David Njoku, leads the Browns in receiving yards. He’s also third on the team in targets. I know that’s not saying much, as the Browns don’t throw as much as most teams, but it plays right into this matchup. The Ravens struggle against faster TEs who can stretch the field. To begin the year, they gave up over 100 receiving yards to Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. Later in the year, they followed that up by surrendering six catches and a TD to Noah Fant, then 91 yards and two TDs to C.J. Uzomah. With no real WR1 on this team, the Browns should be looking to stretch the field with Njoku, who is averaging a spectacular 15.5 yards per reception this year.
Other TE with a good matchup: Ryan Griffin (NYJ) at HOU
QB Ryan Tannehill (TEN) at NE – Will the real Ryan Tannehill, please stand up? Wait, he did? Last week? Oh, right. It’s no secret Tannehill hasn’t exactly played well this year. New OC, new WRs, and now without his star RB backing him up. He’s coming off a four-INT game against the Texans. Allow me to repeat that: four interceptions against the Texans! And we think he’s bouncing back against the Patriots, arguably the hottest team in the AFC at the moment? Fool me once; shame on me. Tannehill has a long history against the Patriots, dating back to his time as QB of the Miami Dolphins, and things didn’t go great then either. He’s averaged one INT per game in his career against NE, and in his lone meeting against them as the QB of the Titans — a 2019 playoff game — he threw for only 72 yards and an INT. TEN seemingly plays to their competition, good or bad, but Tannehill hasn’t always been great in those games. He has only three top 12 finishes over his last eight games. Easy fade this week.
Other QBs with bad matchups: Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) vs. CAR and Teddy Bridgewater (DEN) vs. LAC
RB Myles Gaskin (MIA) vs. CAR – Last week was a good week for Myles Gaskin. So that means this one is bad, right? The numbers don’t lie. But given the Panthers have bottled up RBs this year, it’s even more reason to fade Gaskin. This year, the Miami run game has been awful, ranking 31st in rushing yards per game as a team, which is also indicative of Gaskin’s production. Fun fact: 64.5% of Gaskin’s fantasy production has come from his receiving work. He averages less than 40 rushing yards per game. So. Gross. If that’s not reason enough to fade Gaskin, I’ll leave you with this: The Panthers are tied with the Lions for the fewest receptions allowed to RBs this season. The receiving work won’t be there for Gaskin this week. When there’s no receiving work, Gaskin is bench fodder.
Other RBs with bad matchups: Leonard Fournette (TB) at IND, Elijah Mitchell/Jeff Wilson Jr. (SF) vs. MIN, and Alex Collins (SEA) at WAS
WR Courtland Sutton (DEN) vs. LAC – Man, Teddy Bridgewater is singlehandedly killing my Courtland Sutton love. And it’s all because of the return of Jerry Jeudy. From Weeks 2-7, when Jeudy was on IR, Courtland Sutton led the NFL in air yards, and Bridgewater averaged five deep pass attempts per game. In the four games, Jeudy has played this season, Bridgewater averaged 2.75 deep attempts a game. More to the point, Sutton averages only 41.75 air yards a game when he plays with Jeudy this year. Jeudy in those same games? 63.25. So, like, Bridgewater just said, “the hell with throwing deep.” Until Bridgewater puts on his big boy pants and starts challenging defenses, we have to fade Sutton. The Chargers’ pass D is masked by how atrocious their run defense is, so we’ll likely see a heavy dose of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams as a result. That only makes Sutton less appealing.
Other WRs with bad matchups: A.J. Brown (TEN) at NE, Kenny Golladay (NYG) vs. PHI, and Adam Thielen (MIN) at SF
TE Tyler Conklin (MIN) at SF – Tyler Conklin has been a nice surprise for the Vikings this year. He was pretty much left for dead after the Vikings dealt a 4th rounder for the ghost of Chris Herndon. But here we are heading into Week 12, and Conklin has 52 targets on the year and is TE13. But Week 12 against the 49ers isn’t a time when Conklin should be utilized. SF has allowed the 7th fewest fantasy points to TEs and held a TE under 40 receiving yards in nine of 10 games this year. Conklin also has under 10 fantasy points in two of his last three games. With how this offense has looked of late, I’d put more money on the studs, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, having the big days.
Other TE with a bad matchup: Jared Cook (LAC) at DEN