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By Dan O'Shea
In the O'Shea household, we don't let a Thanksgiving pass without mention of "the Pope's Nose." That's what my dearly departed Italian mother and many mothers before her called the turkey's tail - though really, it's not a tail, just more of a butt-flap, if you'll accept that term for consideration.
Nothing would get my mother more excited on Thanksgiving than the Pope's Nose. During the hours-long cooking of the bird, she would eagerly inspect the turkey's anus to check the progress of this appendage. It was said to be the sweetest and juiciest meat on the bird, though I think present generations would just call it fat. I'm not she sure ever actually ate the Pope's Nose - I let her take that secret to the grave, and would like to think it was thrown to the dogs when the rest of us weren't looking.
In any case, now that I host Thanksgiving, I have no intention of ever eating the Pope's Nose, which seems to me the least desirable element on an otherwise tasty carcass.
And that's why I think the Pope's Nose makes such a perfect award for the worst fantasy football performances of this season.
I've chosen a player at every position who I think so far, through Week 11, has embodied the worst possible return on his original draft position:
QB: Jay Cutler. No surprise here, though I almost went with Tony Romo, who has been spotty all year. Cutler leads the NFL in INTs, so if those have any decent negative value on your league, he is probably killing you.
RB: Larry Johnson. He had already deflated into a fifth-round pick in many leagues, but his suspension and subsequent release by Kansas City capped a 0 TD season - and at a time when the KC passing offense was woeful and gave him plenty of chances. He's caught on in Cincinnati, but is unlikely to do much.
WR: Dwayne Bowe. There are many candidates, but Bowe, a definite third-rounder and top 10 WR coming into this season, is the biggest stinker. He took an already unproductive season (KC's offensive game plan was no help) and shelved it with a drug suspension. He'll be back for the final two weeks of the season, but was essentially a wasted pick. What is it with these Kansas City guys?
TE: Anthony Fasano. This was shaping up to be a weak position this year, but Fasano was viewed as a chic high pick during the pre-season. Instead, Miami's offense has immersed itself in wildcat trickery, and Fasano has only 1 TD and 113 measly receiving yards.
K: Nick Folk. Both long and accurate coming into this season, he has missed five field goals (and at least 15 fantasy points) when the Dallas offense has needed him most. He is 13th in the league in field goal percentage, and anyone who drafted him was probably counting on him being near the top.
Our Fantasy Fix Action Ratings, Fantasy Basketball Update and Expert Wires will return next week. In the meantime, don't forget to set your fantasy football rosters (and your oven timers) in time for the three Thanksgiving Day games. Enjoy your bird, including the Pope's Nose, if you must.
Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space every Wednesday. Comments welcome. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, which isn't about what it sounds like It's about.
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