It’s that time of year to give thanks. These are some players I’m thankful for.
It’s the end of the fantasy year. At this point, you’re either a winner or a loser. All the time you’ve spent meticulously setting your lineup, tinkering with roster and IR spots, and pivoting last second have come down to this moment. What’s the thing that helped you get there?
Well, it’s probably the players you drafted late or maybe not even at all.
It’s a well-known fact that you do not win your league at the draft. Sure it helps, grabbing guys like CMC and D-Hop, but they’re not the diamond in the rough. Waiver wire sniping and pre-boom trades are the smooth sails on the ship you’re guiding towards the playoffs, and you haven’t even seen land yet.
I’m going to run through a dinner-table full of players I’m thankful for this year. These are the guys that you may (or may not) have expected. Some were there for a little bit while others have stuck around well after dessert, but they’re all welcome at this table.
The mountain man himself, the Fantasy Footballers’ crowned “Big Montana” is a man who just can’t catch a break. We love him for his consistency and domination on the field…oh, if only he could stay healthy.
While he went down with a non-contact Achilles injury during a Week 6 matchup, he finished his season with 4 touchdowns. For the first five weeks of the fantasy season, Dissly was a number one tight end.
He was consistent in his short tenure (4 touchdowns in 6 games) and kept fantasy owners happy they picked him up. He’s the cousin we all love who leaves the family Thanksgiving just a little too early, but I’m thankful for the time he was here.
Grandma’s new recipe
Every year, we grow accustomed to the flavors and familiarity of family-style home cooking. Then one year, Grandma throws you for a loop. She says “Here, try this. It’s something new I’m working on”.
The shocking realization that this may not be as good as you thought it was may have even brought you some discomfort, especially when your parents said how much they liked it. Sure, maybe she dropped the ball the first couple of times she cooked it, but I think she’s finally got it figured out, because it is oh so delicious. That’s Chris Carson.
I have to admit, even as an off-season Carson-truther, I was hesitant through those first couple of weeks. Multiple fumbles and even a benching had me scared that Grandma had finally lost it, but Week 4’s domination in the Arizona desert had me begging for seconds. The RB No. 10 on the season in PPR is a welcome addition to the fantasy table.
Your shy girlfriend
Anyone who has ever brought a current boyfriend or girlfriend to a family gathering (which is to say….everyone) knows the awkwardness that can come out of it. The first time you saw her, she was quiet and meager, not really up too much. She was probably just there because she was along for the ride.
A year later?
She’s running the kitchen with your grandma. In fact, she IS the reason why you’re eating. She probably helped cook everything in there, and you’re glad she came out of that shell. D.J. Chark is that shy girl that said “you know what, I want everyone to see why he picked me”. That 2018 2nd-round pick is no stranger to your family, and everyone loves her.
Perhaps the waiver wire pickup of 2019, Chark has exploded onto the WR1 scene. Currently sitting as the No. 5 receiver in PPR, Chark has the 2nd-most touchdowns in the league (8). You’re glad she decided to stick around, because there’s no way you’re ever going to let her go.
Your uncle that became cool
Bringing a girlfriend or boyfriend over is one thing, but a whole new sacred union is completely different. When your uncle announced that he had remarried (and no one was invited to the Las Vegas wedding), you didn’t know what to expect from him or his new side piece. Turns out, he became pretty cool.
Hey kids, say hi to your new aunt Dirk Koetter and your uncle, the revitalized Austin Hooper.
The marriage of Koetter to the Offensive Coordinator position after his firing from Tampa Bay took Hooper’s role into a completely different territory. Maybe you drafted Hooper during the preseason. You probably weren’t happy with it initially. You wanted one of your other family members to sit next to you, like maybe your cousin Kittle or your Grandpa Kelce.
After 12 weeks, even with Hooper missing the last two games, you’ve been beside yourself with joy. Hooper’s real-life chances of playing Week 14 look promising, and you’re begging him to come back and visit for Christmas.
Green Bean Casserole
It’s definitely not the prettiest dish. The Thanksgiving staple has always been there, but it’s never quite stood out. However, you really can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it.
Parker’s success has finally come with Stills being shipped out of town and Fitzpatrick’s continuing presence in the pocket. You know what to expect from it, yet you’re continually impressed it’s been this good for this long. Parker is the de facto No. 1 option on his team, and really the only consistent option that Miami has to offer. The flavor has always been there for you, and it has yet to really let you down.
You know what it is, you can recognize it from across the table, so why didn’t you take a bigger spoonful earlier in the season? Shame on you. Eat your greens. Enjoy the playoffs.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Coming into Thanksgiving, you think you knew what to expect. The Turkey is there, the mashed potatoes, the green bean casserole, the pumpkin pie, and of course the cranberry sauce. You can’t ever forget the cranberry sauce.
Well, this year’s cranberry sauce was homemade. I know what you’re thinking.
“Oh, okay. It should be good, but I know what I’ve had in the past.”
Seriously? This is the best damn cranberry sauce you’ve ever had in your entire life.
The sleeper pick of this year’s draft has been unbelievable. I remember getting so much flak from people when I spread it all over my plate. People said “it doesn’t have the build to sustain itself if it takes a hit” and “the candied yams are so much better, they were the best last year”. Doesn’t matter to me.
After that dismantling of last year’s NFC Champs, Jackson 5 and crew are on a role. The Ravens get to take on the 49ers this week, and man oh man is it going to to be a great game. The QB1 on the season has MVP written all over him; can you please pass me some more?
Zach Hargis is a writer for Dynasty Football Digest. He enjoys playing the drums, doing voice impressions, and quoting The Office. If any of those things interest you, he welcomes you to follow him on Twitter @ZachFFDrummer and to check out his personal interests on Instagram @zakktastic.