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The Lowdown – Week 4

Fighting physics, an unalterable path, mutually beneficial agreements and the Interesting Players of the Week, in this edition of the Lowdown.

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Fantasy Football - Justin Tucker

Welcome to this edition of the Lowdown. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

You Can’t Fight Physics
If you paid any attention at all during high school physics class (as I’m sure all good NERDS did), then you’ve heard of Newton’s First Law of Motion… right? On the off chance that you’ve never heard of this law (shame on you!) it states: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. There is perhaps no better example of this principle than the Detroit Lions. You see, the Lions’ motion is one of loserdom, i.e., the constant motion of the franchise towards being a loser. The proof of my statement is the final 1:04 of last week’s game against the Ravens. Up 17-16, there was apparently no force in the universe that could prevent Detroit’s inertia towards loserdom as it sped towards a divinely pre-determined 19-17 loss. How do I know this? I know this because I witnessed a run-heavy offense with no timeouts get sacked twice, then complete a 36 yard pass to the DET 48 on 4th-and-19 (inbounds), followed by evading what appeared to be an obvious delay of game penalty, followed by an NFL record-setting 66 yard walk-off field goal (which hit the crossbar before going through) by Justin Tucker. It was the type of game that portends good things for the Ravens and continued loserdom for the Lions.

Now I know many of you will take issue with what I’m saying, but you have to understand something: I’m a scientist. I make observations, collect data, form hypotheses, test those hypotheses, then draw conclusions. So trust me when I say that there’s just one conclusion that all my observations, data and hypotheses allow me to draw: the Lions are in constant motion towards loserdom. The force that would allow them to veer off that course has not yet been discovered. It’s not a negative attitude on my part; it’s positively Newtonian.

Good Will
Generally speaking, I tend to take no position on contract disputes; I can honestly see both the owners’ and players’ positions. The one thing I do find irksome, however, is that both parties take adversarial positions, often to their own detriment. Look no further than the Texans and Deshaun Watson: Watson doesn’t want to play for the Texans, and the Texans don’t want Watson to play for them. Yet here we are in Week 4, and the Texans are paying Watson to take up a roster spot– but to never suit up. And yet, Watson isn’t being released or traded. Need we review the Aaron Rodgers saga? It’s madness.

That’s why the Marlon Mack situation this week was a rare feel-good story of player-team relations. Mack felt that his career was being wasted with the Colts, where he fell behind Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines on the depth chart. Rather than force him to stay with the team as an insurance policy, the Colts agreed to seek a trade for Hines. That’s it, there’s nothing more to this story; it’s merely the concept of both team and player being reasonable that’s so mind-blowing.

Let’s hope this is the start of a new trend.

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Nerd John is a 25+year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions.

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