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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12: Last-minute moves

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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12: Last-minute moves

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. Sunday

The big news this morning involves the running game, as a number of prominent backs are going to be back on the gridiron.

The ranks of the returning include the Giants’ Saquon Barkley, Jacksonville’s James Robinson, the 49ers’ Elijah Mitchell, Atlanta’s Cordarrelle Patterson, Seattle’s Alex Collins and two Patriots: Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.

Still questionable is Green Bay RB Aaron Jones, which is troublesome since that’s a late-afternoon game.

Players ruled out for Week 12 include Giants WR Kadarius Toney, Jets wideout Corey Davis. and Giants TE Kyle Rudolph.

Those cleared to play include Rams QB Matthew Stafford, Ravens WR Marquise Brown, Cleveland WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and New England tight end Hunter Henry.

UPDATE: 10:51 a.m. Saturday
They share a surname, and a talent for catching passes. And this week, both Tennessee’s A.J. Brown and Tampa Bay’s Antonio Brown will be on the sideline.

Those absences are not equal. The Titans’ Brown will be greatly missed as he is a vital part of that team’s offense, especially since the departure of Derrick Henry. Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill should be downgraded this week because of Brown’s absence, and many other reasons.

Tampa Bay’s Brown is a shadow of his former self and just one of many receiving options for Tom Brady. He was not a must-start like A.J.

Titans running back Jeremy McNichols has also been ruled out of tomorrow’s game at New England. For the struggling New York Giants, WR Sterling Shepard has been ruled out, and sidekick Kadarius Toney is considered very doubtful to play against Philadelphia.

One big name should be back this week. Cleveland RB Kareem Hunt should return to his No. 2 role behind Nick Chubb.

Notables listed as questionable this morning (besides Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh awaiting his annual Ohio State beatdown) include Giants RB Saquon Barkley, Green Bay RB Aaron Jones, 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell, Seattle RB Alex Collins, Jets wideout Corey Davis, Giants tight end Kyle Rudolph and Patriots TE Jonnu Smith.

ORIGINAL POST: 11:12 a.m. Wednesday
We all have a lot to give thanks for this year. This week’s availability of top fantasy football stars is not one of them.

Two of the top contenders for Super Bowl LVI, the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals, are on bye this week. So, stars ranging from Patrick Mahomes to Kyler Murray to Travis Kelce and DeAndre Hopkins will be spending time with their families while you spend time ignoring your families while scrounging for replacements on the waiver wire.

The three-game slate of Thanksgiving games is also a problem because it makes the return of injured standouts more untenable. Teams are unlikely to risk their fragile stars coming back on a short week, whether we’re talking about Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott or New Orleans star Alvin Karama.

Is there anything you can find on the fantasy buffet to replace your missing gridiron calories? Here’s a half dozen prospects likely still available in your league, and could be hot dishes in Week 12:

Devonta Freeman (Ravens RB) — The veteran has emerged from the mish-mash that is the Baltimore backfield to become the undisputed No. 1. His yardage totals aren’t much, but he has a TD in four of his past five games. He likely will make it 5 out of 6 against Cleveland.

Baltimore Ravens Devonta Freeman celebrates his touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Chicago. The Ravens won 16-13. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Rex Burkhead (Texans RB) — Houston suddenly decided to give the former Patriot a first-string workload last week. He rushed 18 times in the Texans’ upset of Tennessee and could be in line for his first touchdown of the season Sunday against the lowly Jets.

1638037688 682 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead (28) and Los Angeles Rams linebacker Troy Reeder (51) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex )

Elijah Moore (Jets WR) — Speaking of the Jets, this rookie has emerged as New York’s most reliable fantasy option. He has four TDs in his past three games and is coming off a 141-yard effort vs. Miami. He could do just as well against Houston.

1638037688 875 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
New York Jets’ Elijah Moore runs with the ball for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

Marvin Jones (Jaguars WR) — He’s one of the season’s biggest disappointments with only 42 catches and three touchdowns. But Jacksonville has played better lately, and the Atlanta defense has not. A good candidate for a late-season revival.

1638037688 902 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones (11) runs a route during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers QB) — The Vikings’ defense was mostly shredded in the second half by Aaron Rodgers last Sunday, and the San Fran attack has been perking up. Garappolo has accounted for two TDs in four straight games and will likely make it a fifth Sunday.

1638037688 214 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Trevor Siemian (Saints QB) — Hard to believe but the former Northwestern platoon QB has been one of the top fantasy QBs the past three weeks after replacing Jameis Winston. A lot of his stats have been padded in garbage time, and there will be more of that against the Bills.

1638037689 790 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (19) grabs his leg after being hurt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

SITTING STARS
The Indianapolis defense has been pretty stout lately, which means Tom Brady and Chris Godwin might be the only Buccaneers you should start this week. … OK, and Rob Gronkowski. … Carolina QB Cam Newton will see his two-game streak of both throwing and running for a touchdown end against Miami. … Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, but we think you should avoid starting him against the Ravens. … The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler will find tougher going in Denver, so don’t expect another four TDs from him. … And we’re not expecting much from either of the running attacks in Lambeau Field on Sunday, so you might pause slightly before starting Green Bay’s A.J. Dillon or the Rams’ Darrell Henderson.

1638037689 338 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates his first touchdown at Bank of America Stadium after returning to the team during an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

MATCHUP GAME
If Detroit is finally going to win a game, and it might, then RB D’Andre Swift will have to have a big Turkey Day. … Seattle QB Russell Wilson has been horrible since returning from injury but will regain some of his form vs. Washington. … Dallas QB Dak Prescott was spitting mad off after going touchdown-free in Kansas City, so he will bounce back against the sinking Raiders … Washington RB Antonio Gibson and wideout Terry McLaurin will have big games against Seattle … Same goes for Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews vs. Cleveland. … And speaking of tight ends, look for the 49ers’ George Kittle to look like his old self against what’s left of the Vikings’ defense.

1638037689 693 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) runs for a 57-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

INJURY WATCH
Chicago won’t have Justin Fields at quarterback on Thanksgiving in Detroit, so Andy Dalton will be back over center. As for the winless Lions, QB Jared Goff is said to be “trending” towards starting. … Also Thursday, Dallas is hoping to get WR CeeDee Lamb out of the concussion protocols in time to face the Raiders. … Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers will be inhibited by a toe injury and a depleted offensive line against the Rams, though you likely should start him anyway. … Players ruled out include Dallas WR Amari Cooper, Jacksonville wideout Jamal Agnew, Seattle RB Chris Carson and Philly RB Jordan Howard. … The ranks of the questionable include San Fran RB Elijah Mitchell, Atlanta RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Titans WR A.J. Brown, Baltimore WR Marquise Brown, Cleveland WR Jarvis Landry, Chicago WR Darnell Mooney and Washington tight end Logan Thomas.

1638037689 789 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) looks to pass the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

THE DEEPEST SLEEPERS
The New York Jets need to replace rookie running back Michael Carter for at least a couple of weeks because of a high ankle sprain. Who will it be? Either Tevin Coleman or Ty Johnson. One or both could become a fantasy factor, particularly with the lowly Houston Texans on the slate this week. Coleman, with only 118 yards on the season, is likely to get the most rushing attempts, while Johnson, with three touchdowns on the season, will be the primary pass catcher. With Zack Wilson returning to quarterback the J-E-T-S, we like Johnson best in this showdown of 2-8 juggernauts.

1638037689 114 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
New York Jets running back Ty Johnson (25) runs before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

THE THURSDAY PICKS
Bears at Lions (+3½):
Pick: Lions by 3
Raiders at Cowboys (-7½):
Pick: Cowboys by 8
Bills at Saints (+4½):
Pick: Bills by 7

1638037689 274 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 12 Two Browns out
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates after a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

BREAKING NEWS
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoff. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Dick Butkus trolls Aaron Rodgers (again) on Twitter as ex-Chicago Bears players celebrate the end of the Green Bay Packers’ season

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Dick Butkus trolls Aaron Rodgers (again) on Twitter as ex-Chicago Bears players celebrate the end of the Green Bay Packers’ season

Waking up Sunday morning in Chicago to five inches of snow and Dick Butkus trolling Aaron Rodgers was a beautiful thing.

“(F)unny the orange juice tastes a little bit sweeter this morning,” Butkus tweeted, referring to the Green Bay Packers’ 13-10 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

And in case that tweet was too cryptic, Butkus followed it up with “maybe it’s me but it almost seemed like @AaronRodgers12 was distracted last night like someone was in his head.”

The Chicago Bears great, naturally, was referring to himself.

Two days earlier Butkus, celebrated being verified on Twitter — a long-running saga in which Butkus poked fun at the social media company for not recognizing him as being blue checkmark-worthy. When Butkus finally was accepted, he sent out another punctuation-challenged tweet: “now that i have the blue mark i can kick people off the platfrom (cq) right you hear me @AaronRodgers”

Seeing the Hall of Fame linebacker trolling the future Hall of Fame quarterback may have been the highlight of the season for Bears fans, who’ve watched Rodgers beat their team year after year and then proclaim during a 2021 win at Soldier Field he “owns” them.

While Chairman George McCaskey and his wolf pack continue their exhaustive search process for a new general manager and coach — one that undoubtedly will leave no stone unturned — the stunning end to the Packers’ season on a snowy night at Lambeau Field was a small bit of cold comfort to weary Bears fans watching at home.

And the man who put the nail in the Packers’ coffin was none other than Robbie Gould, the one kicker over the years who seemed oblivious to playing winter football along the lakefront. It has been many years since the Bears decided Gould’s career was over, yet he keeps on ticking … and kicking. He was perfect again Saturday, and still has never missed a kick in the postseason.

Gould remains quite popular in Chicago, so his presence was one more reason for Bears fans to root for the 49ers. Ex-teammate Lance Briggs tweeted beforehand: “Just so we’re all on the same page, you’re all rooting for @49ers right?”

The response was near unanimous. After Gould made the game-winning kick, Briggs tweeted: “[email protected] did it for Chicago !!”

Schadenfreude was everywhere on social media after the Packers were bounced, particularly in Chicago. Former Bear Olin Kreutz tweeted a GIF of Tony Soprano smoking a cigar.

Enough said. Troll down, Chicago Bears.

Memes featuring a half-masked Rodgers getting sacked were widespread, and many social media users believed they were the first to joke that Rodgers had received “natural immunity” from playing in the Super Bowl.

It seemed like Bears fans and former players were all in on the Rodgers-bashing, perhaps with the exception of former linebacker Brian Urlacher, whose latest tweet was a promo about his new hair — which looks very natural and not at all fake.

And as happy as many were to see the Packers — and Rodgers — go down in flames, it seemed only fitting Gould would be the one to do it. NFL Network reporter Stacey Dales tweeted a video of Gould walking down the sidelines after the game-winning kick and being called an “(expletive) legend” by quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, who added: “(Expletive) the Packers.”

It was a great moment in Bears karma, ranking just a few notches under the 1985 NFC championship game at Soldier Field when it started snowing as Wilber Marshall scooped up Dieter Brock’s fumble and returned it for a touchdown on the way to the Super Bowl.

A reporter suggested afterward that the snow was heavenly sent by “Papa Bear,” the late owner George Halas. Coach Mike Ditka replied that Papa Bear sent “the sunshine, the snow, the touchdowns, everything.”

And besides being a fine kicker, Gould is just an all-around good guy.

He recently spoke to the Tribune about the life of ESPN reporter Jeff Dickerson, who died of cancer Dec. 30. The two remained friends after Gould left the organization, and the 49ers star spoke eloquently about what Dickerson meant to him and others.

“You’re going to see a lot of people come together and they’re going to laugh and shine some of that positive light on each other during a very difficult time,” Gould said.

And there Gould was on a cold, snowy night in Green Bay, sending Rodgers and the Packers packing on the legendary frozen tundra. That’s some positive light indeed.

It wasn’t the Super Bowl for Bears fans. But for now, it’ll have to do.

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A shark, bull, and sarcophagous adorn a Missouri home selling for $4.49M

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A shark, bull, and sarcophagous adorn a Missouri home selling for $4.49M

ST. LOUIS – An eclectic Missouri property with sarcophagus, a shark, and a bull has been a ‘multi-generation sanctuary’ is up for sale for $4.49M.

The property has even caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal and was featured as a ‘House of the Day for the World’ in 2021. The home’s all-season glass-enclosed pool was the focus of the article’s title, “A Missouri Home Where You Can Swim When It Snows”.

The home at 9801 Log Cabin Court is 19,891 square feet and sits on 3-acres and is at the end of a cul-de-sac in Ladue. The home has 6 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and a 4-level main house with a 2-story guest house. There is also a 7-car garage.

The listing shows some of the home’s unique decor and flair. The pool has a replica of a shark, stingray, and marlin fish among other nautical creatures hanging from the walls.

There is another room featuring ancient Egyptian art. There are two sarcophagiai and two busts.

The home also contains Maya Romanoff luxury wallpaper, designer lighting, and an illuminated floor containing semi-precious stones. And if you are worried about closet space, the primary suite has a huge walk-in closet with a commercial conveyor rack.

The listing also boasts resort-like amenities like a separate gym/clubhouse with a steam room, lighted sports court. There is also a vaulted game room.

You can contact Wayne Norwood and Ben Patton with Janet McAfee Inc for more information.

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Newton North boys dominate Div. 1 track relays

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Newton North boys dominate Div. 1 track relays

While Newton North’s Div. 1 record in the shot put relay came as a surprise Sunday at the MSTCA Div. 1 State Relays, but it didn’t come as a shock to the Tigers’ muscle men or their coaches.

Led by the great Max Klein, who got off his typical monster throw with a 63-feet, 10 1/2-inch effort, Newton North took down the long-standing record of 154-11 set by New Bedford way back in 1982. Alex Acuna had a personal-best toss of 47-11 3/4 and Tommy Lin was solid at 45-1/2 for a new 156-10-1/2 mark.

Newton North scored in nine of the 10 events to capture its sixth relay title in the last eight years with 50 points. Andover was second with 39 points, while Acton-Boxboro and Wachusett claimed the bronze medal with 26 points.

The Tigers had a big win in the 4×800 with a fast 9:53.15 and a historic day in the shot put cage. “I’m very pleased,” said legendary head coach Joe Tranchita. “We scored in all but one event and we got contributions from all the classes. Because of last year (covid), we have freshmen and sophomores who have never been to this meet. It’s the purest team event in the sport. I’m really thrilled at the way they competed.”

Newton North’s girls made plenty of noise in the same event as the boys as Skye Petrie-Cameron, Julia Tulimieri and Lily Siegelman broke the all-state mark with a 108-4. It bettered the 102-8 record set by Brockton in 1990.

“We came in wanting to get the divisional record,” said Tranchita. “They just needed to do what they’re capable of doing. That was the whole focus. They’ve been dominant all season and really didn’t have to do anything different.”

Sophomore Petrie-Cameron, who was competing in her first indoor relay meet, broke her personal best in the shot by nearly a foot with a toss of 38-5. She has thrown over 40 feet in practice and is focusing on hitting that mark in a meet in the coming weeks.

“This meet felt really positive,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing. I feel happy for the team.”

Acton-Boxboro boys’ got off to a quick start on the track and infield early in the competition and never let up as they clinched the team gold with a riveting win in the 4×400. The Colonials scored a whopping 80 points to bury Newton North’s 66 points and 34 points from Lexington. The 4×400 team that included Noah Stegmeier, Mark Magyar, Chris Osselmann-Chai and Alex Landry ripped a 3:29.97 for the win.

The Colonials lineup of Caleb Straayer, Ajay Raina, Andrew Richardson and Will Liu pulled away from a quality field in the 4×800 to win in 8:11.45, while Christoper Osselmann-Chai, Noah Stegmeier bolted to a 28.03 victory in the 4×50 hurdles with their 28.03. Acton-Boxboro also scored with a fifth-place finish in the 4×50 in 22.60.

“It was a good start,” said Acton-Boxboro head coach Brian Crossman early in the meet. “The surprise came in the shuttle hurdles where two of the boys started hurdling this week. They picked it up really fast and we threw them in the slowest heat hoping to get a fifth or sixth and they ended up winning it. That was huge. Newton North is in the driver’s seat so we have to hit on the last few events. An inch here or a second there. It’s probably going to come down to that.”

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