Smoke ‘Em, Pass ‘Em – Week 16

Smoke ‘Em, Pass ‘Em – Week 16

Editor’s Note: You’re about to unwrap the gift of uncensored content. It will help get you in the holiday spirit, but think Bad Santa, not Miracle on 34th Street. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.

We have reached the end, my friends. As the Sheriff in O Brother, Where Art Thou? said, “End of the road, boys. It’s had its twists and turns, now it deposits you here.”

If you’re reading this, congratulations on the championship game. There’s a few things you should know heading into this last week. First, be resolute in your belief that you will win. This is your week. Your team is superior in every way to your opponent. And you, yourself, are superior in both intellect and creativity.

Second, with these truths firmly secure in your psyche, reach out to your opponent and let them know they have no chance against you. You should remind them constantly. When they look at their phone and see your name, they should cringe.

Third, prepare for the eventual text or message board post which will announce you as The Champion of your league. It will be the first of many steps in your systematic plan to constantly and creatively remind league mates of your success. This is very important and something I’ve reminded the fantasy community about many times.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember that this is one of many more times you will win, both in fantasy and in life. Remember how fortunate you are to be able to play this very silly game within a game. Use this win as a springboard to help others and continue to flourish. But also use it to boast to whomever will stand still to listen.



Darnold looked fantastic against Houston last weekend.  He pressed on them, but Deshaun and Nuk were too much resistance. This week, Darnold hosts a team that was melting like a poorly constructed snowman before their trip to Chicago and is now a mud puddle. Green Bay’s season is over. They are down their nose tackle, Kenny Clark, who went on injured reserve, and their starting running back, Aaron Jones. Darnold’s play elevated a once dormant running game, making Elijah McGuire a viable option at running back, too. It appears Santa is manning the controls of the Jets. Let’s hope he doesn’t pull a Major T.J. “King” Kong on us.


Fourteen years. That’s how long Sproles has been giving gifts in the NFL. This is a desperation play. McGuire, Jamaal Williams, hell, maybe even Kenneth Dixon, are all better options. Better, in this sense, means better than your uncle if he were to suit up and play running back in the NFL on the same day he was playing Santa, drunk as shit on Canadian Club before falling into the Christmas tree. But Sproles has six catches over the last two weeks. And if Philly’s going to move the ball against this feisty front seven, they’ll need to execute high percentage throws. Damn, that sentence makes me sound like I know what the fuck I’m talking about. I will tell you this, if Sproles plays well for you, Santa ain’t bringing you shit next year.


You think Sproles was crazy? Pittsburgh is the sixth-best rushing defense in the NFL, holding opponents to under 100 yards per game. That’s the bad news. But shove this yuletide log in your eye: in their last three road games the Steelers have given up 358 yards on the ground. The Jags dropped 179 on them. Ingram will only see about 10-15 touches. That means one of them has to count, either a long run or a goal-line carry for a touchdown. The over/under is at 54. It has a chance to be high energy, which usually means the defense might get caught cheating. Maybe that gives Ingram the hole he needs.

Ingram and Sproles are the ghosts of Christmas past. And there are great memories back there. You just have to find them. And then you grip them as tight as you can. Do you hear me? Live everyday like it’s Christmas morning and you’re eight years old again, opening that Lionel train set. But not when you were 13, had acne, and understood you had a mediocre-sized dick. That’s the kind of negativity you’ll want to avoid this holiday season.


Now we’re just having fucking fun. Foster’s posted 13-11-212-1 in his last two games. Fostering in a New Golden Age, as the Ghost of Christmas future will show you. He’s averaging 24.6 yards per catch. That’s higher than me right now. It’s ballsy to start the “No. 1” Buffalo wide receiver, who’s a rookie, with a rookie quarterback throwing to him. But if you need upside, here it is. New England is 23rd in passing defense, and, perhaps more importantly, they’re not much better against the run at 17th. All-in Allen will be running around like a horse after getting into Lawrence Taylor’s coke garage. If this game were in Buffalo, I’d think they’d have a chance at the upset. Regardless of my pointless and likely wrong predictions, Josh Allen will have to throw to stay in this. Foster will get his chances. I wish his first name was Arian. That’s the Ghost of Christmas Past we all need right now.


Stack ’em to the ceiling then smoke ’em till morning. That’s what I used to say in college… I never said that in college or, actually, I may have because I don’t remember much of that time. Grass. Shakespeare. Vodka. But let us focus on the present. Anderson has 18-11-172-2 in his last two. Hard to ignore, like the similarities between the Christian holiday of Christmas and the traditions of the Roman religion of Mithraism. Smoke ’em got that Christmas history lesson you’ve always wanted.


We tried to make this a thing once before. But it went terribly. Oakland is one of the league’s worst against tight ends, yielding 17 ppg. This, coupled with a very young corps of wideouts, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and Tim Patrick, gives reason for optimism. And it’s the holidays, so why shouldn’t you be optimistic? Fuck it. Roll it over into the new year. Also, luck is the residue of design. Branch Rickey said that. Also, at a position that looks like Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, you could do worse.

Miami Defense vs. JAC

Goodness gracious, this Jacksonville team is the football version of It’s a Wonderful Life if the movie ended right after George Bailey flung himself off the bridge and, in the background, Bedford Falls burned to the ground after a Nazi invasion. What the fuck happened? Does anyone know? Probably Blake Bortles’ fault, right? The best part is Bortles looks like Dan Aykroyd from Trading Places when he dresses up as Santa.



Santa was kind enough to give you some early candy canes. Jackson has averaged a little north of 30 points per game (my league’s scoring) in his last five. But when Santa comes early, you better know Mrs. Claus is disappointed. Also, he’s old, so he’s not coming again. You want to hand the keys to a run-first rookie quarterback traveling to the opposite coast against a top-10 rushing defense, a defense that just went into Patrick Mahomes’ home, held him to his lowest yardage total of the year, and won? You do you, baby. Also, as a side note, my friend and leaguemate, Adam, is starting Jackson against me. Hello, Adam. Merry Christmas, you’re gonna lose. And your wife’s gonna leave you.


The Jets have been bad against the run. And if you lost Aaron Jones or Lamar Miller, then you got no choice. And Williams is a better option than both Ingram and Sproles. But if you’re thinking of bumping someone out with a solid floor, I’d hesitate. In other words, if there’s a better option, take it. Williams plods, and this offensive line is worse than Love Actually. I wish they’d make a Love Actually 2 where Liam Neeson just kills everyone.


You remember when Ralphie stepped on his glasses and couldn’t see? Unless you’re squinting through those specs, it’s hard to make this play look good. Fournette’s been on a pitch count even though the swine didn’t bother to tell anyone. I guess they don’t want any defenses stealing their secrets. It must be working because they haven’t scored a fucking offensive touchdown in three weeks and haven’t topped 13 points in the same span. Reminds me of the final scene of the sequel to Christmas Story I’ve been writing:


Interior. Darkened living room, stained teal carpet, full ashtrays on the side table, empty bottles of Mickey’s – RALPHIE stares down at his Red Rider BB gun while the television plays Jacksonville versus Miami. We see the reflection of the game in RALPHIE’S thick glasses. He smiles and rubs his hands on the barrel of the gun.


“I had no idea Black Bart was Blake’s father.
If only it weren’t too late to stop him. If only
I were the man for that job. But I am a blind failure.”

RALPHIE grabs a bar of soap. And takes a bite.



Numbers to pay attention to: 18-12-150-1. But not in the fantasy football final. Both of these teams are bad. If Case Keenum were a Christmas movie, he’d be something starring Tim Allen. And just like Tim Allen movies, I have no interest in watching this.


I’d fade this whole offense. Pettis is the only consideration. This defense has been bad on the road. Against Detroit and New York, the Bears surrendered over 300 yards passing and over 100 yards rushing. But do you want to bet against them? Would you bet against John McClane?


What a strange season for Burton. He went for 7-4-36-1 last weekend. And you mightn’t have a better option in Week 16. The tight end position has been cruel and naughty all year. The good news is almost everybody loves a naughty tight end. I hope everyone gets the naughty tight end they deserve this season. Happy Everything. Love those closest to you. And believe in miracles. Now go win that fucking championship.

Kenneth Griggs

Kenneth Griggs has been playing fantasy football since 1997. He is a writer and chicken farmer and, in his previous life, a bartender. He lives on his farm with his wife, Emily, son, AJ, and snaggle-tooth dog, Hazel.

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