2020. Week 6. Sunday evening.
Fireworks explode. Los Angeles is celebrating the Lakers. The bursts reminded me that Independence Day stretched from May to August in my neighborhood. This evening's display lacked the duration but not the intensity.
Steelers receiver Chase Claypool lit up the Eagles defense through the air with his four-touchdown performance. There will be weeks when he explodes spectacularly. There will be weeks when he fizzles disappointingly. But if Diontae Johnson is forced to miss time, Claypool is in prime position to ignite fantasy lineups.
I check on the boy child. Sound asleep despite the pyrotechnics outside. Equally unbothered was Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, stepping in admirably in Dalvin Cook's stead. If the incumbent is unable to fulfill his duties next week against a wretched Falcons defense, Mattison is more than capable of a quality performance.
The Cowboys will ask Andy Dalton to mimic some version of the performance they were getting from Dak Prescott. While the results might not be identical, they could be comparable. Most importantly, it should offer confidence to anyone with any Dallas receivers on the roster. Confidence is a fragile thing.
Cardinals running back Chase Edmonds should be gaining the trust of his coaches. Edmonds has outplayed Kenyan Drake for much of the season and could be earning a bigger role just in time to see a Dallas defense that has been tragic all-season.
I grab a last spoonful of fried rice before the leftover Thai food goes back into the refrigerator.
The seven months of pandemic have been a story of lives once lived, possibly to be lived again. As I reach into the fridge for the last of the Pad Kee Mao, I glimpse the sourdough starter that's been pushed to the back. That part of my pandemic life could have been three weeks ago. Or three years ago.
Time is bending and fleeting. Injuries to Eagles wide receivers are forever. While Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Jalen Reagor plot their returns to the field, Travis Fulgham is thriving. Touchdowns in back-to-back games against the 49ers and Steelers from the second-year receiver could have them plotting faster.
While Fulgham aims to usurp someone's spot on the depth chart, Bengals receiver Tee Higgins may have just finished the act. A.J. Green's dreary outing against the Ravens, combined with Higgins' respectable day may have written one of the final chapters in the veteran's Cincinnati fantasy career. Regretfully, more than 75 percent of NFL.com leagues haven't gotten that far in the book.
I sit down with my lunch, eating with one hand, emptying an email folder with the other. Purging the recent past to make room for the near future. It's a reminder that the bye weeks are beginning in earnest. Laviska Shenault Jr. could be that near future in almost 69 percent of NFL.com circuits. Jacksonville's jack-of-all-trades (Jacksonville-of-all-trades?) has outpaced the likes of Marquise Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Michael Gallup, and Jarvis Landry in fantasy points.
I wish I had some chocolate.
Work beckons. All I'd rather do is fall asleep on the couch watching television. Procrastination prevails. While ads roll, I go on an adds scroll.
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I should probably just go to bed and worry about this in the morning.
Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who wonders why they don't include more soy sauce packets. Send him your takeout dilemmas or fantasy football questions on Twitter @MarcasG or Instagram at MarcasG.