You’ll have to excuse the tardiness of this post as I opted to spend my morning taking a nice leisurely stroll on the beach with my dogs before sitting down to write today’s piece. Why, you may ask? Because when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining a little brighter, the birds were chirping a little louder and a warm feeling of contentment overtook my entire being. Could it have been because the holidays are coming and I’m filled with all sorts of Christmas spirit? Could it be that I have a birthday that’s just around the corner? Or maybe it’s because I got some last night?

Well, I hate the holidays – that’s what happens when you take the only Jewish kid in school and have him play Scrooge every year for the Christmas play. My birthday sucks because, not only am I a year closer to death, but it’s the day after Christmas which puts you all with your families and the fat, bearded guy in red rather than at the bar with this fat, bearded guy in flannel. And as far as me getting some…well, obviously I’m lying. I’m married which means that waits until my birthday too.

No, my day started off with rainbows and sunshine because when I woke up, not only was I one step closer to the championship in my primary league, but I noticed a few crappy things that happened to others in my various leagues and since I laugh in the face of karma, I’d like to share the laughs with you at everyone else’s expense.

Jamaal Charles Has Huge 5 TD Day

Sure enough, Charles handed numerous fantasy owners an early holiday gift (unless you’re Jewish, then it would be a little late) with his ridiculously colossal day. With 20 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 195 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns, he posted roughly 51 points (depending on your league’s scoring system) and vaulted most owners to a win. But the giddiness I feel here is found in the knowledge that my fantasy nemesis in my primary league had Charles on his team, but lost his playoff match-up the week before. The best part is that with the way the seeding in the league works, I would have had to face him. Instead, I match-up with the tomato can who barely squeaked into the playoffs after losing Aaron Rodgers. Nothing makes me smile more than seeing my competition force themselves to watch Love Actually with their girlfriend because it hurts too much to watch the Sunday night game.

Larry Fitzgerald, Victor Cruz Concussed

OK, so I never like to wish injury upon anyone, but when the fantasy gods hand you a beautiful gift, do you graciously accept or do you spit in their faces? My upcoming opponent in the semifinals of one league has both of them. Yup. Both of them. Not that Cruz has been any sort of wonderboy lately thanks to Eli Manning sucking eggs, but to lose both of your higher-end wideouts right before your semifinal match-up stings. It stings hard. Both men will have to undergo the NFL’s mandated concussion protocol and it’s very likely that neither of them plays. I don’t know what the waiver wire looks like in your 14-team league, but ours is pretty barren. There’s no way you’re finding an equivalent replacement value. Now some people will say, “Well you don’t want to win like that, do you?” and to that I say, hell yeah I do. Who cares how you win your game, just so long as you do. One point, 20 points, who cares? A win is a win. I’m not saying cheat to get there, but in the end, no one cares how you did it, just so long as you did.

Ryan Tannehill Comes Up Big

So in one league where late-season injuries ravaged my playoff-bound team, I got the double-whammy when the Bears opted to go back to Jay Cutler. Josh McCown was coming up big for me in a league I lost Rodgers in already, but I had to make a move. Enter Ryan Tannnehill. The match-up wasn’t even close to ideal but he was all that was left. I set my lineup, crossed my fingers, hoped for the best and BAM! He threw for 312 yards with three touchdowns in a league where passing touchdowns are six points apiece. I eked out a win and while I fully expect this team to sh*t the bed next week, I already locked myself into the prize pool with the win. Of course, Tannehill plays Buffalo next week, so perhaps I won’t need to change the sheets right away…

Michael Crabtree Catches First TD

As I sat there I Week 7, trying to figure out which receiver made for a better stash, I put FAAB bids in on both Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin. I’m never really a big fan of this move unless you have a bench spot to spare and since I did, I opted to forgo a second tight end for a couple of weeks to see how things played out should I get both. Well, my Harvin bid got blown out of the water, but my Crabtree bid scraped by. I endured a very thought-provoking email from the guy who out-bid me on Harvin which listed all the reasons that the Seattle receiver was the better stash and somehow still made it through my day without killing myself for being “so stupid.” Well, fast forward to now and I’m putting Crabtree in my lineup for the championship next week when he plays Atlanta and the guy who has Harvin, well, he just asked me when our keepers are due for baseball.

So for all of you who are still in contention for your league title, it’s never over til it’s over. As long as you have a lineup to set for next week, you’re in great shape no matter what your roster looks like or what the match-ups are that lie ahead. For those who are done, enjoy sipping on your egg nog, lamenting the wrong choices you made and all the smack-talk you never should have been talking.  Your holiday bitterness is duly noted.  




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About Howard Bender

Howard Bender is a Managing Editor at Fantasy Alarm, Co-Host of the Fantasy Alarm podcast and Co-Host of Fantasy Sports Tonight on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy and on the RotobuzzGuy Facebook page. You can also email him directly at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com.

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@SteveAGardner Saw them in '88. My date cried the whole time b/c every song reminded her of her ex-boyfriend. Good times.

@Dodger_swag40 If no need for saves late 2nd half then Giles for sure