NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Sometimes, there is no longer wait than the wait from Sunday night until kickoff on Monday Night Football. Just ask Dinkpiece, down 1.9 points in the Millionaire Maker with someone left at Flex going tonight. Or ask the guy in front of him, who you know has done the math and figured out that he had only $3,100 to spend on that flex spot, which doesn’t leave a whole lot of guys in play. Marquess Wilson, perhaps? This thing isn’t a wrap just yet.

So whether you have a lead and are sweating out the guys your opponent has going tonight or the opposite, waiting on your guys to come up big on tonight and carry you to victory, whether you’re sweating out the millionaire maker, your yearly league playoff matchup, or a prive head-to-head contest with your buddy for a buck, it’s a long wait.

Week 15 was full of surprises, with a bunch of stars succumbing to injuries or bad matchups or just the luck of the odds, and giving you a lackluster performance at just the wrong time. Of course, it wasn’t all bad – Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jeremy Hill WERE both in the top ten for ownership percentage this weekend.

Johnny Manziel (11% owned) – I get it. He was cheap, he’s young and exciting, he seems like the kind of guy who would be able to produce with his legs, which is a huge boon to any fantasy quarterback, especially when you are playing with 4-point passing TDs.

20/20 Hindsight – Wait, really? The 26th most-owned player of the weekend? He had never. done. anything.

Going Forward – At least now that he has some film out there, no one will trust him again next weekend. More importantly, though, was this just him being terrible or Cincy playing like the D we all thought they had pre-season? I know some Manning owners out there who might be interested in that answer.

Jeremy Hill (15% owned) – Coach said he liked a one-back system, and coach was proven to not be lying. At least this week. Gio had a halfway-decent game here too, but don’t let that fool you – most of his production came late, with the game well in hand.

20/20 Hindsight – Enough of you trusted the coachspeak to get him into your lineups, and he came through in a big way. Every single one of the top ten in the Millionaire Maker (pre-MNF) had Hill in their lineup, which makes sense – there was not a lot of RB production to be had this week, so the fact that 15% of you nailed this choice means you deserved to be near the front of your daily contests.

Going Forward – Why would Marvin Lewis change now? 148 yards and 2 TDs on 25 carries is exactly what a stud featured running back’s line SHOULD look like. Cincy’s D is playing as well as they have all season, a postseason spot is on the line pretty much every time out, and the alternative is trusting Andy Dalton with your playoff hopes (and maybe your job). With the Broncos on tap for next week, all of a sudden you don’t fear their offense turning the Bengals one-dimensional quite as much as you would have a few weeks back, making Hill a potential stud for yet another key week in the fantasy football season.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Dez Bryant (< 9% owned) – He’s been hit or miss, and pedestrian games against Philly and Chicago the last two weeks didn’t exactly inspire confidence. It’s not like those two qualify as even “decent” pass defenses. The risk with Dez – who we know has the talent to be dominant – is simply that on any given Sunday the Cowboys might not need him. Their running game is just that good.

20/20 Hindsight – The Eagles defense is not good, and their offense is just good enough, even featuring Mark Sanchez, that the Cowboys would need solid performances from both their rushing and passing attacks to get the W here.

Going Forward – The Cowboys need to put it all on the line every week to ensure a playoff berth and get as many home games as possible, or maybe even secure a bye. This week, they’re at home against the Colts, who are also fighting for the best possible playoff seeding. The Colts aren’t a dominant run-stopping unit, but they CAN score and if Romo is throwing to keep up, you know Dez is involved. For a receiver consistently priced just below that top tier, an opportunity like that is enticing, no matter who the corner is lined up against him. Breaking News DeMarco Murray had surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand and may miss Week 16. While their backup running backs are talented, this could easily lead to even more productivity for Dez and the rest of the passing game. 

Latavius Murray (19% owned) – He had been great against the Chiefs the first time around, and the flashes of brilliance left you drooling over what he could do with a full workload against a crappy defense.

20/20 Hindsight – It’s the Raiders. Nothing is a sure thing except bitter disappointment.

Going Forward – Don’t make the same mistake twice. The Bills are up this weekend, and I don’t care how healthy and explosive this guy is, they are quickly turning into a defense you simply do not want to fool around with. 19% was always too high, and it’s going to come crashing back down to earth this weekend. But don’t worry, there will be other cheap options to consider – and maybe this time you’ll take the Week 16 version of Hill instead of the Week 16 version of this guy.

Good luck.