It's Thanksgiving, so let's get right to the five things I'm most thankful for when it comes to fantasy football:
1. Creative commissioners. Kudos to all of you who do so much more than run a league. From draft-day prizes to in-season commentary or smack-filled previews, commissioners who keep their members engaged and entertained are worth their weight in gold.
2. Three's not a crowd. I'm involved in three fantastic leagues, all with vastly different rules from how we draft to how scoring is done. Each one has its challenges and makes me think about fantasy football in different ways.
3. Matt Forte. The Bears' running back has been a Godsend in my auction league. Forte's solid week-to-week production is a big reason I think I could win a title.
4. Blind luck. It's amazing to think about how fortunate we are when we lose out on a "can't miss" player and that player implodes in epic fashion. On draft day, you curse your bad luck. Five, six or seven weeks later you're thinking, "Wow. Sure am glad I didn't end up with Arian Foster."
That's exactly what happened when I was outbid for Foster early on in our auction league. A little later I "settled" for Matt Forte and Alfred Morris. Needless to say, I wouldn't be 7-5 with the second-most points in the league had I "won" Foster on draft day.
5. The readers. Over 15 years and close to 300 columns, I've been able to reach out to thousands of you time and time again. Hopefully, you've enjoyed a laugh or chuckle along the way, and perhaps gained a better prespective on a player or a philsophy on how to play this crazy game. So thank you for reading, thank you for playing and thank you for trusting me enough to send me your thoughts and questions on a weekly basis.
So, what are you thankful for today? Shoot me an email or a tweet (@dietzonfootball) and share your thoughts about family, friends or fantasy football. I'd love to hear them and -- with permission -- print a few next week. Please include your name and where you live.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Enjoy it and say a little prayer for those who don't have enough, and need help from those of us fortunate enough to provide it.
My teams: The auction-league squad (7-5) stayed hot with a 71-49 vicotry behind Tony Romo, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and the Rams defense. The regular squad (4-8) has imploded thanks to Ben Tate, James Jones, Eric Decker and Tony Gonzalez pulling disappearing acts down the stretch. Only a monster week of 130-plus points would get me in the playoffs based on total points.
•Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at Indianapolis. With 6 TDs and no interceptions in Tennessee's last three games, Fitz has turned in to a reliable option. Now he faces the Colts, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to QBs since Week 7.
•Bears QB Josh McCown at Minnesota. Just a notch below Fitzpatrick, McCown should give owners another solid performance in the climate-controlled Metrodome.
•Cardinals QB Carson Palmer at Philadelphia. The Eagles allow 300 passing yards per game and now get the red-hot Palmer (four straight 2-TD games). Big day coming here.
•Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew at Cleveland. Crossing my fingers that MJD can make it five straight productive fantasy weeks.
•Texans RB Ben Tate vs. New England. Knowshon Moreno just bulldozed his way to 224 yards on 37 carries against the Patriots. Of course, Tate just gained exactly 1 yard on 7 carries against Jacksonville last week. I'm betting on Tate to figure it out.
•Lions WR Nate Burleson vs. Green Bay. Burleson (averaging 79 yards in four games) returned last week with a big game against the Bucs. He's a fantastic WR3 moving forward.
•Packers WR James Jones vs. Detroit. In Week 5 against the Lions, Jones caught 4 passes for 127 yards and a TD.
•Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe vs. Denver. Bowe (16-175-2 last two) should have a field day against the ravaged Broncos defense.
•Dolphins defense at the Jets. Since Week 6, no team has been more generous to fantasy defenses than the turnover-happy Jets.
•Chargers defense vs. Cincinnati. Andy Dalton has thrown 9 INTs in the Bengals' last four games.
•Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger at Baltimore. In his last three games against the Ravens, Big Ben has 3 TD passes and 4 INTs.
•Bucs QB Mike Glennon at Carolina. Not a bad plug-in-and-play option, Glennon (12 TDs since Week 6) is better left on the bench against perhaps the best defense in the league.
•Redskins RB Alfred Morris vs. New York Giants. OK, he's not an awful play, but coming off a short week and facing a resurgent Giants squad, I don't expect more than 9 fantasy points out of Morris.
•Chargers RB Ryan Mathews vs. Cincinnati. Since Week 5, only the Lions have allowed fewer fantasy points to running backs than every team except the Bengals.
•Saints RB Pierre Thomas at Seattle. Shocking fact: In the last eight weeks, Thomas has outscored Alfred Morris, DeMarco Murray, Reggie Bush, Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice. Even more shocking: He's barely behind Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy over that time frame. This is a bad spot, though, so tread lightly.
•Rams WR Tavon Austin at San Francisco. Austin's been amazing the past two weeks, but don't pin your playoff hopes on him against the Niners unless you are desperate.
•Seahawks WR Golden Tate vs. New Orleans. The wildly inconsistent Tate (yardage totals of 33-77-93-29-106-26 since Week 6) figures to struggle against the Saints.
•Seahawks and New Orleans defenses on Monday Night Football. Over the past six weeks, the toughest teams for your defenses to compile points against are … Seattle and New Orleans! Find a better option if you can.