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I'm dispatching with the usual week-in-review Fantasy Fix template this week for this very special announcement: It's time again for the Pope's Nose Awards.
To summarize, to the biggest turkeys of an almost-finished fantasy football season I award one player at each position the fattiest, least desirable, but most symbolically appropriate part of any Thanksgiving turkey - its ass.
This year, the job, which I know many of you must envy, was the most difficult in the many years I've given out the award. In part, I think that has something to do with how many star players have ended up with season-ending injuries. My policy is not to kick these guys while there down, though I don't always extend the same courtesy to players who have played badly through apparent nagging injuries, as I will now demonstrate.
QB: Peyton Manning, DEN.
Nine TDs against a league-leading 17 INTs says it all. The heavily promoted match-up this week against nemesis Tom Brady will not happen, as Manning has been replaced by Brock Osweiler. Supposedly, it's only because Manning has a foot injury, but there's no way to excuse the fact the future Hall of Famer has had his worst season. It may not prove to be his last season, although it is starting to look like it should be.
RB: Eddie Lacy, GB.
He is actually coming off perhaps his best game of the season, with 100 yards rushing in Week 11, but it's too little, too late. The guy who was the third overall pick in many fantasy leagues probably already destroyed the postseason hopes of many owners with too many sluggish efforts through the meat of the schedule, including three weeks of 10 or fewer rushing yards and three or fewer fantasy points.
WR: Jordan Matthews, PHI.
He has had only one game of more than 100 yards receiving since Week 1 and has only two TDs. A lot of the blame falls on the failure of Philly's vaunted fast-paced offense, which looks far removed from the 2014 version that made Matthews a star. What I hate most is that fantasy experts continue to project him for 11 or 12 points every week because as he showed with a Week 9 overtime TD against DAL, he just needs one big play to make your week But his Week 11 totals were more consistent with what we've seen all year - four catches for a measly 13 yards.
TE: Jimmy Graham, SEA.
A lot of people wondered how well Graham would fit in in Seattle, and it turns out he doesn't fit in all that well. He hasn't had a TD since Week 3, and has grumbled about his lack of use as much as his fantasy owners have grumbled about his lack of fantasy value. Other than a 140 yards output in Week 6, he has managed more than 51 yards on only two other occasions. This looks like a failed experiment.
Enjoy a Thanksgiving free from further fantasy analysis, and avoid the Pope's Nose at all costs.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.