We’re 8 days into December, and you know how I know? There are 8 holes in my advent calendar. I think advent calendars might be my favorite Christmas tradition. Much like many Christmas traditions, I’m sure it has some religious history that’s been co-opted by Walmart. Nowadays, there’s definitely nothing religious about pieces of chocolate. *Thinks about ranting about Easter, but then thinks better of it*
Advent calendars are pretty much the best invention there is. “But Rhys, advent calendars are for kids,” you say. Oh really? Are kids the only ones who like puzzles? Intrigue? Surprises? Chocolate? Come on, even fucking hipsters like chocolate.
It’s not just the chocolate. Oh, I’ll get to the chocolate. But first, let’s discuss the fun of having to go on a scavenger hunt to find today’s date. It’s the 8th of the month, but there’s no rhyme or reason to these numbers. It’s like the advent calendar factory is run by a bunch of drunk 4 year olds. Where is today’s date!? I must find it! Gotcha. Right between the 15 and the 21. Sneeky sneeky.
Then, you have to try and open that perforated little door without tearing the entire calendar in half. It’s impossible. I guarantee there is no advent calendar on the planet that does not have one of those doors ripped off. They could hide bars of gold in advent calendars and no one would steal them.
Once you get that door open, you get to pull out the little chocolate and figure out what it is. Is it an angel? Is it a candle? Is it a Christmas Tree? They all look the same! The only one I know for sure is the wreath. That one’s easy to figure out. It’s a circle! Wreath. Boom. In the gullet.
And of course, the chocolate is the best part. I get a little piece of chocolate every morning for a month. It’s the ultimate payoff for all my hard work. Mmmmm, so sugary and delicious and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet!
That shit is so great, they should make them for adults. Why should little kids have all the fun. Look you and I know, Santa Claus is NOT coming to town. But it doesn’t mean I can’t have a little sliver of joy every day, opening doors and getting treats. Obviously, the way to grown-upify an advent calendar is to fill it with booze. 24 days until Christmas. 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think fucking not! So here’s what you do. You grab an old 24 pack, buy a random assortment of 24 delicious beers and put them in the empty 24-pack box. Then, number stickers 1 through 24, and stick them to the top of the bottles and cans randomly*. Be sure to clear out all the other shit in your fridge to make room for your beervent calendar. Alternatively, if you don’t want beer, you can also do this with a random assortment of nips instead**. Then, on the 25th day (Christmas), you drink 25 beers. Best December ever.
*If your Woody, by a 24 pack of Miller Lite, put the stickers on there and call it a day.
**Again, if your Woody, just 24 nips of Fireball.
But why stop at switching out the inside? Why not make finding the door a bit more difficult too. Let’s make each day a little riddle where the answer is the correct door to answer. Maybe use those rebus things on the back of Narragansett coasters. And why don’t we have advent calendars for other holidays? You know what? If there was a Valentines Day advent calendar filled with heart shaped chocolates, I might actually enjoy that day. Hahahaha! Just kidding. Fuck Valentines Day. But! Why not one for St. Patrick’s Day? You could fill it with beer and then each morning, open a door, and drink a beer. It’s great practice for the day itself.
Dog Shit of the Week
Bilal Powell. You think I’d put Marquess Wilson here, who put up a goose egg for Vegas, but no. When Vegas puts the fate of his playoff life in the hands of a New York Jet, and expects it to end well? Well, you deserve 1 carry for 3 yards and 0.30 points, and a loss.
Props Over Here
Before we jump into this week’s playoff matchups, let’s go through some prop bets for this weekend, courtesy of HewittBetting.lv (I may have added some here or there, as well):
- Check-ins will Micho post on Facebook this week: 11.5 Over (-250) / Under (+300)
- Gostkowski misses an extra point: No (-105) / Yes (+110)
- Joe Flacco throws that are called for Pass Interference: 1.5 Over (-250) / Under (+175)
- I smash my remote after a Joe Flacco pass called for P.I.: Yes (-105) / No (+110)
- “Dak Prestcot: MVP?” conversations on Sunday Morning NFL Pregame Shows: 3.5 Over (-300) / Under (+250)
- Bong rips for Timmy on Sunday: 2.5 Over (-105) / Under (+115)
- #Nick gets dragged Christmas shopping instead of watching football on Sunday: Yes (-150) / No (+200)
- Woody gets drunk during this week’s Pats game (Even)
- LaGarrett Blount >65 yards (-125)
- Playoff Teams to score under 100 points: 0.5 Over (+500) / Under (-350)
- Playoff Teams to score over 200 points: 0.5 Over (+300) / Under (-650)
#1 SexyRexy&RobTheSlob (11-2) vs. #8 Dr.MarkusWheatonBlvd (5-8)
With all those playoff scenarios available, Buckets snuck into the playoff in the least interesting way: everyone lost. Buckets has lost his last 3 match-ups, but managed to get into the playoffs since PWood, Vegas, and Brendo went a combined 3-9 down the stretch.
I’m the number one seed, am the second highest scoring team in the league, am riding a two game winning streak and haven’t lost to anyone who doesn’t have the last name DeSantis. But I’m not that confident; the number one seed has never won Toppa League and are only 3-2 in their first round games.
Previous Matchup: Drew Brees (40.70), Jordy Nelson (30.10) and LaGarrette Blount (32.50) combined for more than 100 points and helped me crush Buckets, 203.60 – 148.70, in Week 3. Buckets got a real let down game from Cam Newton (15.70) who scored 51.35 points the previous week. Instead he threw for 262 yards and 3 picks and never really recovered all season.
Key Players for SexyRexy&RobTheSlob: Drew Brees, who is number one in fantasy points this season, averaging more than 33 points per game. I will happily take 31 points, but my dude has gone for 40+ four times this season, and 50+ twice! David Johnson, who is the number one fantasy running back this year. He’s averaging 28.92 points per game in his last four games. This is why I finished the regular season in first.
Key Players for Dr.MarkusWheatonBlvd: Cam Newton, who has scored more than 20 points in only 2 of his last 6 games and is matched up against the “their team sucks, but their defense might not actually suck that much” San Diego Chargers; Lamar Miller, who is 15th in overall scoring amongst RBs, but has only scored in double digits once in his last 4 games, including a 1.80 point stinker last week. He’s matched up against Indy, who blow.
#2 ErectDecker (9-4) vs. #7 Wide Right (6-7)
JD being a favorite here feels a bit wrong. HewittBetting.lv has never been a fan of Micho, and this line probably reflects that. JD has limped into the playoffs, losing 4 of his last 6, including his last 2 match-ups. JD is also the lowest scoring team to make the playoffs, averaging only 131.21 points per week.
Micho was the top of the league for 4 weeks before he hit a rough patch, losing 3 of 4. He managed to get back on track, right in time for the playoffs, winning 4 of his last 5. Micho finished the season in third in points scored.
God, it would be so perfect for Micho to lose to a team with Scott Norwood as its avatar. I’m not saying I’m rooting for it, but I’m not saying I’m not rooting for it.
Previous Matchup: In Week 5, JD handed Micho his first loss of the season, 182.05 – 123.60. JD had a great game from Sammie Coates (35.90 points) but the real reason he won, was having only 4 of his 12 players score in single digits. Micho on the other hand, had an amazing game from Ezekiel Elliot (39.10) but no one else, as 10 of his 12 players couldn’t score in double digits, including 1.00 from Kenny Stills and 0.10 from John Brown.
Key Players for ErectDecker: Zeke, who’s averaging 97 yards and a touchdown in his last six games. He goes up against a tough New York Giants defense, who’s ranked 5th against the run, but it kinda doesn’t matter, because Elliot scored 15.50 points against a Minnesota D who’s 9th in fantasy against the run; Thomas Rawls, who Micho tried to trade to me, then got pissed at me when I declined. Rawls missed the first 10 games of the season, then scored 8.80 and 3.30 points in his first two games back from injury, then blew up for 33.80 points last week.
Key Players for Wide Right: Russell Wilson, who in the 8 weeks since the bye has had games of 34.10, 43.00, 30.00, and 21.25. He’s also had games of 13.20, 8.95, 11.75 and 11.55 in that amount of time, as well. He’s matched up against Green Bay this week, where he’s 3-1, lifetime, with 736 yards, 7 TDs and 5 picks* (that averages out to 184 yards, just under 2 TDs and a pick); DeAndre Hopkins, who scored double digit fantasy points last week for the first time in 7 weeks; Sammy Watkins, just because it’d be brutal for Micho to get burned by his own team’s guy, especially since he hasn’t played all season.
*4 of those interceptions were in the NFC Championship game that they won. I completely forgot this.
#3 Goodells A Man-gina (9-4) vs #7 #TomFuckinMaini (6-7)
A pick ’em!! I love it.
JBiggs should really be favored here. This season, he started off by winning 4 in a row, then lost 3 of 4, but then won his last 4 of the season.
#Nick’s had more of an up-and-down season, where he’s never won more than 2 in a row nor lost more than 2 in a row. #Nick only beat one playoff team (Woody), but didn’t lose to any non-playoff team except for Vegas in Week 8, and that was by less than 3 points.
An EVEN line does seem right however, these two teams are fifth and sixth in overall scoring this season, and have an average weekly score separated by only 0.33 points (Goodells A Man-gina: 141.86, #TomFuckinMaini: 141.53)
Previous Matchup: In Week 3, JBiggs beat #Nick by 10 points, 145.65 – 135.60. JBiggs got a rare (for this season, at least) classic A.A.Ron game, where he threw for 4 TDs and put 37.45 points. He also got 33.70 points from Emmanuel Sanders. #Nick did not have elite quarterback play from Joe Flacco, who put up only 12.90 points on 214 yards and 2 INTs.
Key Players for Goodells A Man-gina: A.A.Ron, who had a bit of a bad week last week (21.05 points), but has had a great 6 week stretch before that point. In Weeks 7 through 12, A.A.Ron had 39.00, 45.30, 36.15, 43.25, 46.85, and 31.25 points; Julian Edelman, Emmanuel Sanders, and Brandon Marshall. All three of JBiggs’s starting WRs are averaging below 10 points per game and only have 8 double digit fantasy games between the 3 of them.
Key Players for #TomFuckinMaini: Good god! That’s Alex Smith’s music!! #Nick’s putting his trust in a QB who hasn’t scored more than 27 points since Week 1 (43.65).
#4 Princess AmukaMARY (8-5) vs. #5 Michos a Gurley-Man (7-6)
Woody and JeffWho are the first and fourth highest scoring teams in the league. This one promises to be a barn burner. Woody had a tough beginning of the season, starting out 3-4, even though he scored 165, 164, and 158 points in three of his losses. He closed out the season winning 5 of his last 6.
JeffWho was a .500 club for the first half of the season, before changing his team name and ripping off three wins in a row, where he averaged 176 points per week. Since then, though, he’s lost 3 of his last 4, including his last 2.
Previous Matchup: Woody beat JeffWho, 166.40 – 153.30. Woody was able to weather a bad fantasy day from TFB (13.50) by getting a bunch of really solid games from the rest of his team. Stefon Diggs and DeMarco Murray combined for 60+ points, and 4 other players scored in double digits, including his kicker (14.00)! JeffWho still had Kelvin Benjamin back then, and he and Mike Evans only combined to score 12.00 points.
Key Players for PrincessAmukaMARY: TFB. Nothing else matters.
Key Players for Michos a Gurley-Man: Melvin Gordon, who has only scored less than 10 points once this season. Holy crap! This guy sucked last year. He didn’t score a single TD, now he’s got 10; Mike Evans didn’t show up for JeffWho last time, but he’s showed up in a lot of other games this season. He’s averaging 15 points a game and he’s facing the gawdawful Saints defense.
So here we go. Set your lineups. The Raiders play the Chiefs (-3) in Kansas City. The Chiefs are in Red Color Rush™ unis and the Raiders are in white. Bo. Ring. If Nike had any balls, the Chiefs would be in yellow with red numbering and the Raiders would be in all silver with black numbers. Come on Nike. Think outside the box.