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Running Diary: Week 12 (2021 Fantasy Football)

Nov 29, 2021
Baker Mayfield

The final game of a long Sunday ended with the ball in Baker Mayfield’s hands.

(The Fantasy Football Running Diary is an ongoing series by Tim Metzler, in which Tim records and shares what is happening in the NFL every Sunday. It may also include updates on his personal life.)

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Paying attention to everything that’s happening in the NFL is a challenge. You’re busy. Don’t sweat it. You keep doing you and let me do the work for you. This Running Diary will recap as many events as I can keep track of on Sunday, November 28th. Let’s give thanks and do this!

12:05PM (CST) – Happy Thanksgiving weekend! This is the best and most stressful time of the year, so remember to be kind to those you dislike and give more love than you should. There’s plenty of time all year for smack talk, so none of that nonsense this weekend. Alright, let’s party!

12:10 – Nothing yet in the noon games, except a couple field goals. The Turkey Day games were excellent, so my expectations are high for this Sunday. In the meanwhile, I’m making grilled cheeses and tomato soup for my family. 

12:11 – What is the secret to a good grilled cheese? I know it’s been debated by scholars for years, but I’m inclined to say that it comes down to the cheese. Even awful bread or pathetic crispiness can be covered by good cheese. It should be a yellow block of cheddar, sharp, aged and thinly sliced. French bread is the best, since its shape is tailored for a good dunk in a bowl of soup. The bread must be buttered (no mayo) and seasoned with garlic salt, paprika and black pepper. Then, it must be fried brown; flipped before smoke rises. What about you? What’s YOUR perfect grilled cheese?

12:15Joe Burrow is ON today. He’s been a weak play in recent weeks, but he looks spry today. Rushing TD is in the books.

12:20 – The Patriots continue to dominate. They’re up 7-0 with a Kendrick Bourne TD grab. Will Kyle Shanahan ever admit he should have pushed for Mac Jones instead of Trey Lance?

12:53 – Wow! Time is flying and so are these scores. Brandin Cooks is back from fantasy purgatory (multiple TD-less weeks) with a 40 yard TD from Tyrod Taylor. Serious question: is Tyrod Taylor worth nabbing for the fantasy playoffs? He has rushing upside and pretty much starts each game in garbage time. Just a thought.

12:55 – The Dolphins lead the Panthers by a score and Tua Tagovailoa is playing near-perfect ball.

1:04 – Making lunch for 7 people is time and attention consuming, but tuning in at the exact moment that Tom Brady throws an interception is magical. The Colts lead the Buccaneers 7-10 and will try to feed Jonathan Taylor before the half.

1:09 – The Dolphins are making the Panthers look silly. Why can’t the Dolphins be good consistently? I like Brian Flores but they need to seal the deal sooner or later. A revitalized Bill Belichick and an ever-ascending Josh Allen make life impossible for Miami. Real talk: the Patriots may have already ended the open window for control of the division. Dolphins up 21-7.

1:10 – Checking in on the divisional battle of the Steelers vs. the Bengals. The Browns and the Ravens play tonight, so this game has implications. The Bengals are up 24-3. Burrow has a passing TD and a rushing TD. Joe Mixon keeps his TD luck alive after punching one in today.

1:11Cordarelle Patterson is having another one of his BOOM days. Two rushing TDs against the Jaguars and he apparently still has an ankle injury. Crazy that this guy has been in the league as long as he has and has never been utilized correctly. Shame on you, NFL.

1:14 – Tom Against Time needs halftime soon. The Colts just put up another 7 on the defending champs. 17-7. The Colts are 6-5 and it’s difficult to guess who could have beaten them. They look tough, well-rounded and inspired.

1:19 – I SEE YOU, JETS! The New York Dumpster Fires are coming back. 11-14 with the Texans on top. This is a battle for last place (not including the Lions). You gotta wonder why we even play these games.

1:21 – We’re approaching halftime and the best player of the week is probably… Nick Folk. The man’s kicking up a storm. Give him his own Marvel movie, YOU COWARDS!

1:24 – Burrow threw an INT and the Bengals defense got revenge instantaneously with a pick-6 off Ben Roethlisberger. Ironically, the interceptor was Mike Hilton, who played for the Steelers last year. Revenge is a dish best served on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

1:28Dontrell Hilliard, freshly pulled out of thin air, runs for 68 yards and a TD. The Titans bring the game within 3. Life without Derrick Henry continues to suck. Long live the King.

1:32 – I missed it when it happened but this halftime replay just showed Zach Wilson toss a shuttle pass off of Ty Johnson‘s back. The result? Obvious. Interception. So Jets. Zach Wilson looked great in the preseason, but the game needs to slow down for him to succeed. He’s two years away from being even decent and the Jets are 100 years away from paying off whatever demonic entity stole all their good luck.

1:38 – COLTS! Ty Hilton is in the end zone for 6! The Colts are fighting off the Buccaneers. Carson Wentz is low-key legitimizing this offense. Indy feels dangerous. At least…more dangerous than they were last year with Rivers.

1:39 – Bummer alert! The Giants and Eagles are locked at 3-0. Who’s leading? I don’t care. Doesn’t matter. These teams are giving credence to the moniker “NFC LEAST.” Cowboys will take the division and these two teams will continue to flounder. Ugh.

1:41 – I’m getting ready to leave the parents. My wife and I have a long drive ahead but we’re thankful for time together. We got to meet my brother’s fiancé and hang out with my younger brother as well. They’re also fantasy football maniacs and I’m very thankful I’ll be destroying them for years to come. You never know when memories are all you’ll have, so enjoy the important moments while you can. I may take a while to get back to this diary. In the meanwhile, good luck! I’ll be driving across all of Wisconsin.

3:35 – Stopping our drive for some coffee. Just catching up! Looks like the early games went about as expected. New England crushed the Titans. Dontrell Hilliard is worth adding off of waivers. The Jets beat the Texans. I feel bad for both teams. The Giants topped the Eagles and, of course, the Buccaneers came back and beat the Colts. Classic Brady? No. Classic Leonard Fournette. Playoff Lenny is back and had 4 TDs today. Congrats to all whose drafted him in the 12th round this year.

4:48 – We stopped in Madison for a fill-up. We bought good cheese is what I’m saying. When in Wisconsin, you buy cheese. No execeptions. Anyway, the Packers are beating the Rams. Stafford has been playing through chronic back and arm pain, per recent reports. Funny how the Lions are 0-10-1 but somehow won the Stafford trade.

6:45 – We’re stopping one last time for gas and then to push our way home. Be careful out there. A quick check-in. The Packers are up on the Rams, which indicates a couple things: The Packers are legit and the Rams are much weaker without Robert Woods. Despite selling out to win it all, the Rams are clearly a few nuts short of a flawless machine. The Vikings are trying to come back against the 49ers. These two teams startle me with how well they are at losing close games. Oh yeah, and Dalvin Cook is out for the game (possibly longer). That means… uh… nobody from the average top-5 picks this year is both starting and ending this week healthy. Christian McCaffrey ended his game in a walking boot. Sigh. Also, the Broncos are leading the Chargers 7-28. Come on now, Chargers, you’re better than that. Back to driving.

7:30 – Time for our first HOA meeting. May the fantasy gods have mercy on us all.

9:25 – I’m trying to watch this Browns-Ravens game with my peripheral vision, but we’re still debating budget. Who would have thought that being an adult was so hard? Go faster, HOA… Anyway, Mark Andrews just caught a TD! YAY!

9:44 – Welp. There goes a full day. HOA meeting over. My wife and I traversed a full state, bought coffee and cheese and helped determine how to deal with infestations in the future. So… yeah, we made it. Also, I made the joyous mistake of not playing Cordarelle Patterson in the majority of my leagues. Good gracious, now that’s a regret.

9:53 – Browns are down 10-13 to the Ravens, but they just scored and Lamar Jackson already has 3 INTs for the day. Could the Browns defense deliver Cleveland in this most desperate hour?

10:02 – MY GOODNESS! 4 INTs for Cleveland. Lamar Jackson is looking rough just one week after being too sick to play. I’m sick for all the fantasy teams that are shriveling right now.

10:15 – Still locked at 13-10, Ravens on top. Exciting though. These two teams have the right defensive squads for a serious playoff push.

10:21 – It LITERALLY is killing me to write this, but the fate of the Browns is in Baker Mayfield‘s hands. He’s connecting on roughly 50% of his passes and the running game is falling short tonight. He needs to step up and deliver. That’s the only way Cleveland takes this game and, likewise, this division. Note to self: never draft Baker Mayfield for fantasy purposes.

10:30 – 60 seconds for Baker to make it happen. The Ravens lead 16-10. Is there any Mayfield Magic to be had this Sunday evening??

10:34 – No. That was pathetic. Game is over and the Ravens stay on top of the division. The Browns still stink.

10:35 – Well, that’s it! Another week goes by and I’m reminded that life is a wonderful thing. Let’s agree, no matter the wins or losses, to take each day in like a breath of fresh air. Let us savor good times like fine wine. Let us build one another up. At least, let’s do that this week. Next Sunday? The push for the fantasy playoffs begins.

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Timothy Metzler is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Timothy, check out his archive or follow him @timmy_the_metz.

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