Fantasy  

 

Liking Tebow too much has become a problem for some

Associated Press
The most popular soccer player in America? Of course, it's Hope Solo.


The NFL plays its annual deal in England in Week 7, and the Bears-Buccaneers tilt in Wembley Stadium sparked a conversation about the most famous soccer players in America. So who is it? Landon Donovan? Beckham?

Come on, it's Hope Solo. In fact, I would contend that Alex Morgan is just a notch below her in popularity putting Morgan at second. But Solo is in the spotlight right now performing in Dancing with the Stars and appearing in ESPN the Magazine's body issue (which has surpassed the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for prudish handwringing).

Unfortunately, being the most famous soccer player in America means that you are below hotel heiresses, reality TV stars and people who got famous for being in the stands of a college football game in terms of Q rating. But forgive me for putting an emphasis on somebody who has actually accomplished something in her life, like Solo.

With that all of the way, I am offering you my likes and dislikes for the coming fantasy week and beyond. That's right, Facebook won't give you a dislike button, but I certainly will. Bolded names are my likes, and dislikes.

Too many disclaimers? You can always check the rankings, but that is a terrible way to waste the final hours of your work week.

And without further ado ...

Matt Schaub has a tough matchup but still should be in your lineup. Schaub has 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last eight games against the Titans and at least 300 passing yards in three of the last four. Schaub also has thrown more touchdown passes against the Titans than he has against any other team. …

Chris Johnson has averaged 104 rushing yards per game with four total touchdowns in six career meetings against the Texans, including at least 100 yards in three of the last four meetings. Two of his top five career rushing games have come against the Texans. As our resident scout, Bucky Brooks, said Thursday on "NFL Fantasy Live," Johnson is ready to break out. …

The Raiders are going to rely heavily on Darren McFadden, who has averaged 83 scrimmage yards per game in five career meetings with the Chiefs. …

Remember when Axl Rose used to wear Raiders jerseys during concerts? Given his current photos out there, maybe he should don the jersey of Sebastian Janikowski (yes, this is the pot calling the kettle black). While he's currently battling a hamstring injury and the Raiders' bye week is looming, Seabass is the only kicker I would hold on to because of injury or bye week. The rest are expendable. …

Metallica is a huge Raiders fan, too. I would imagine that the Raiders boast the most hard rock bands among their fans. In fact, there should be a definitive list of hard rock bands and their favorite football teams. …

Greg Jennings had 152 receiving yards and three touchdowns the last time that these two teams hooked up. Jennings has six touchdowns in 10 career games against the Vikings. But it's not like you were benching the guy. Just wanted to make you feel a little better about starting him. Jordy Nelson has at least 13 fantasy points in four of six games this year. Just be prepared for when he has a bummer game. But he's a must start during the bye weeks. …

I like the elevation of Christian Ponder in Minnesota. I'm not starting Ponder, mind you. But I do like that the Vikings' QB no longer will be throwing bounce passes to my guy, Percy Harvin. I had turned on Harvin but I like this matchup because the Packers have given up a lot of points to fantasy receivers this year. Harvin will get it going in the screen game, will be given some chances as a runner and should have a good game against the Packers. …

DeMarco Murray is the Cowboys running back to play. All of the touches against the Patriots showed that Murray is the guy the coaches want to see in there. He is a good replacement during the bye weeks. …

Losing out on Jahvid Best is a bummer. You want to have all of the Lions' offensive studs. But Maurice Morris did enough as a replacement last year to at least give him a chance against the Falcons. The matchup isn't especially tasty, but you would rather have the Lions' top guy over DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Grant or Delone Carter. …

Do I like Carson Palmer as a person? I do. I love him. Would I like to kick it at a USC tailgate, throwing back Tecates with him while playing cornhole? No doubt. Is it annoying when people self-interview themselves by answering their own questions? Of course. That said, I am just not playing Palmer yet. T.J. Houshmandzadeh joined us on "The Dave Dameshek Football Program" this week to talk about Palmer. Housh said Palmer has reclaimed his zip and looked good. But he said it would be unfair to expect Palmer to come in and perform at a high level after being out all this time. …

Edited to add: The Raiders agree with Housh because Steve Wyche is reporting that Kyle Boller will make the start for the Raiders. …

Enough is enough, and it's time we start talking about a guy who has been ignored way too long: Marshawn Lynch. The guy had 131 scrimmage yards in Week 5, along with a touchdown. His fantasy points have increased in each of the last three games. The Browns are right around the middle in fantasy points allowed to running backs. That said, I'm starting Lynch over Mark Ingram, Jackie Battle and Daniel Thomas. I like all of them, but Lynch has been too good lately. …

I'm not telling you to play Joe McKnight. I'm not even telling you to put him on your team right now. Here is what I'm saying: Keep an eye out for him. The guy has worked his tail off on special teams and is moving up the Jets' ladder the right way. …

Browns receiver Greg Little has scored fewer than eight fantasy points in each game this season, but Colt McCoy is feeding him the ball, with 12 targets in Week 6 and 20 in the last two games. …

You need to start taking Devin Hester seriously, too, as he has 14 targets and 10 receptions in the last two games. …

Love the comments from Rex Ryan. I understand people are tired of Ryan's antics. But he just gave an honest reaction to the question and, like the rest of us, is trying to figure out how the Chargers haven't won a title in the last couple of years. Or at least make a Super Bowl appearance. Rock on, Rex. …

That reminds me, one of Def Leppard's most underrated songs: "Animal." …

I like the move St. Louis FC did to get Brandon Lloyd, who was mismatched in John Fox's offense. …

Talk about trades that help both teams: Moving Lloyd means Eric Decker becomes the top guy for the Broncos. That works. …

Miles Austin is an excellent play, racking up 34 targets, 307 yards and four touchdowns in three games. St. Louis allows the most fantasy points to receivers this season, so be sure to start Dez Bryant, too. …

There's hope on the horizon for Josh Freeman, who has scored at least 20 points in two of his last three games. Freeman has been disappointing, but he still has more fantasy points than Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo and Matt Hasselbeck. Add in the fact the Bears have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, and you have a good spot start. …

Long-term sleeper is Arrelious Benn. Those in the know said Benn was the most talented guy in Tampa Bay. With Mike Williams South pulling a Michael Clayton, look for Benn to end up being the Bucs receiver with the most fantasy points at the end of the year. Williams is nothing more than a scrub at this point. …

And speaking of " Scrubs," here are some quick TV likes if you will indulge me. …

" Scrubs" will go down as one of the most underrated comedies of all time. The Janitor probably was the best character. Nah, make it the best character. So while " Modern Family" is awesome and you should never miss it, you're really doing yourself a disservice if you are missing " The Middle." Great role for Neil Flynn. …

A quick " Sons of Anarchy" SPOILER is upon you, so skip if you have to, but so long Juice. Or so it appears. Glad to see they gave him a great role to work with, but a bummer that this looks like we have seen the last of him. I haven't been this bummed to see a character go since Lem was killed by Shane on " The Shield." …

With Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas (to an extent) able to get loose against the Jets, I expect a lot out of Ryan Mathews. …

There have been a lot of flex questions about Mark Ingram, who I have in the top 16 ( Darren Sproles is 12). I see a big lead for the Saints, and a heavy dose of Ingram in the second half. …

Still start Drew Brees , who will put up enough points in the first half to make him worthwhile, even if the Saints are nursing a lead. …

Speaking of great passers, if you missed the highlights from the Los Angeles Kings' 5-0 home-opener win over the Blues on Tuesday night, you have to check out the assist from Anze Kopitar -- one of the coolest plays I have seen in a while. BTW, I also dig that the Kings wore white at home. The NHL needs to go back to that. It reminds me of why the Cowboys first started wearing white at home, it was so the hometown fans could get to see the colors of the opposing teams. …

You can run on the Steelers, so don't be afraid to start Beanie Wells, who is a top-10 running back. …

Seahawks Doug Baldwin would be the guy to start if Charlie Whitehurst does, because he's the guy Whitehurst will target. Make sure you're nimble Sunday morning. Well, at least near a computer to make a move if you have to. …

Antonio Gates, he starts on my team. Of course, unless you have Jimmy Graham and Gates, then he rides the pine. Never send a social media message asking if you should start Graham any more. He is the top fantasy tight end. …

I like Tim Tebow this week. But jump straight over, because there is something to address. ...

Mike Shanahan. …

We need to put an end to Shanahanigans. But let's be clear about a couple of things. Tim Hightower is not going to play until he is completely healthy, Shanahan said so in the postgame press conference after Week 6. (Yeah, I know, we shouldn't trust Shanahan, but still.) If you want to look at a guy who has the best long-term value, that guy is Hightower. But Ryan Torain will be who gets the majority of the carries. And his matchup this week is rather favorable against the Panthers, who rank 31st in rushing defense. The Eagles were a great matchup last week, too. So I avoid Hightower and Torain if you can. I would start Torain over guys like Pierre Thomas, Donald Brown, Tashard Choice or some of the other dregs you are scrambling to put into your lineup because of bye weeks and injuries. I understand it's not very pretty out there. …

Matt Cassel struggled in five career meetings against the Raiders, with a career high of just 241 passing yards. Cassel has gone without a touchdown in two of his last three games against the Raiders -- tossing an interception in each one. The Raiders' defense has been shaky this year, but I tend to lean more toward recent history when it comes to divisional games. …

Seriously, we're starting to go overboard with praise for Cassel. We all should remember he beat the NFL's version of Division II football in the Vikings and Colts. Trust me, there are better options. …

Arian Foster actually could have a tough outing against the Titans. Foster hasn't scored a touchdown against the Titans in their last three meetings, and had just 15 yards against them in December. That said, there's no way you bench this guy. Just giving you a warning. …

Here's a question: Should you start John Beck this week? No. …

I am surprised that it took Rex Grossman this long to turn back into being, well, Rex Grossman. He started off with three good games to open the season, showed some signs of returning back to Grossman against St. Louis in Week 4, but he really took the time in the bye week to rededicated himself to being truly mediocre and actually exceeded himself by throwing four interceptions before mercifully being pulled against the Eagles. ...

Since the Redskins are dominating the early portion of the dislikes this week, I might as well pick them to lose to the Panthers this week. …

Choosing dislikes becomes tougher in the bye weeks because some guys, you just have to play. For instance, I have Richard Grieco All-Star Shonn Greene ranked as my No. 24 running back. Which makes him a low-end RB2 in 12-team leagues. That doesn't mean I have to like him. He has topped 100 scrimmage yards just once in the last 17 games. As I said before, Joe McKnight is coming. …

Whether you believe in the Madden Curse or not is a moot point. But Peyton Hillis has been awful this season. Hillis has less than nine fantasy points in three of the four games he has played. …

London is going to have a professional football team before Los Angeles. I can just feel it. I mean, does L.A. get a special game? Why don't the Raiders and St. Louis FC play a game in L.A. every year, which might be better than actually having a team here? I'm telling you, the London Buccaneers will exist before the Los Angeles Raiders or Los Angeles Rams. …

Dig this about Mark Sanchez -- he is 10th among fantasy quarterbacks this season and has scored at least 14 points in five of his last six games. But I still would leave him on the bench. Sanchez rarely delivers the big game. He has thrown two or fewer touchdown passes in the last 12 games and just twice did he top 300 passing yards over that stretch. You have more consistent options. Like all of them. …

Speaking of people circling the drain, Kevin Kolb has seen his fantasy points decrease in each of the last four games. He has only one touchdown and five interceptions in the last three games. Kolb ranks 27th among fantasy quarterbacks. …

There are desperation quarterback plays, and then there is bottom of the barrel plays like Blaine Gabbert. I will not call out the person who asked me the question on one of the social medium platforms, but I would almost be willing to take the donut over Gabbert just to avoid having negative points. …

I will defer to our resident Uniform Monitor Dave Dameshek, but the Jaguars really need to ditch black pants. Those all-white uniforms that they have used during the season are rather striking. …

I have no faith in Plaxico Burress. People have this notion that Burress was getting rocked up in the joint, like Sarah Conner in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Well guess what, prisons don't have the best workout facilities. Even then, the nutrition also is lacking. We expected too much from Plaxico, and it appears he is already slowing down. …

The Cardinals have given up a ton of fantasy points this year, but I still would stay away from Hines Ward, who remains far too streaky -- though Ward has gone without a touchdown in 12 of his last 14 games. …

If you would have told me before the season that we'd be in the middle of bye weeks and Matt Ryan wasn't in top 12, I wouldn't have believed you. …

Has Donovan McNabb become this era's Chris Chandler or Steve DeBerg? You know, the quarterback who was the veteran guy filling in before the quarterback of the future took over? It happened to him in Philly, to some extent in Washington and now in Minnesota. I anticipate answering fantasy questions next season asking, "Does McNabb have value in Miami before (insert rookie quarterback the Dolphins end up with) takes over?" Let me answer this question for you in advance: No. ...

Chad Ochocinco will be on a bye this week, yet strangely, his fantasy production will remain the same. ...

Titans TE Jared Cook burned me at the beginning of the season, and he has done nothing to show me he is worth playing, even during bye-week season. …

If LaDainian Tomlinson is saying the matchup against his former team is a "big game," does that mean he will spend most of his time on the sideline riding a stationary bike like he did in many of the Chargers' big games toward the end of his time in San Diego? …

Pass on Jay Cutler, who has topped 12 points in five of six games this season. The Bucs are a middling matchup, not favorable or avoidable, and that's kind of how I feel about Cutler -- he just straddles the line. There are some much better options. I would rather start Matt Hasselbeck. …

Jonathan Stewart is your Panthers player to start this week (over DeAngelo Williams), but the Redskins defense ranks 11th against the run. …

Santana Moss has been given the double whammy of tough fantasy matchup against the Panthers (fifth-fewest fantasy points allowed to receivers) and Beck as his starting quarterback. …

Other receivers to avoid if possible: Lance Moore (third option at best but probably behind Sproles), Bobby Meachem, Malcom Floyd and Johnny Knox. Floyd has to be considered one of the biggest disappointments here. He has the size and ability, but never seems to put it together. …

College basketball is starting soon, but I dislike people who hate on Duke for seemingly no reason. Thankfully, I have an awesome reason. …

There are rumors that part of the compensation for Theo Epstein to go from the Red Sox to the Cubs was that Chicago had to take John Lackey. Please let this rumor be true for a couple of reasons. One, because it's hilarious. And two, because it would mean Lackey would have to bat a lot, which means he might have to pay for the way he acts. Bud Selig should do this for the good of the game. …

I have decided I don't want the Rangers to win. But I implore all baseball fans to tune in for a World Series that doesn't feature the Red Sox or Yankees. We can't occupy MLB, but this would be a good way to show that we're sick of seeing those teams. If you don't watch, you prove them right. …

This must be said, I like Tim Tebow. I like him a lot. So I don't want this to be misconstrued. However, I don't like getting tweets that ask this question, "Should I start Tebow or Aaron Rodgers." This really happened (and you know who you are). But I don't blame you, the reader. I feel that we have failed you as fantasy enthusiasts because we spend so much time talking about Tebow, we often ignore the obvious like talking about Rodgers. We often assume that you all know that you should play Rodgers. But it's up to us to remind you. So here goes: Rodgers is the best fantasy quarterback and is the guy I'd want over anybody. I would take Rodgers over Brees, Tom Brady, Michael Vick and everybody. Tebow is a top 10 fantasy QB for sure -- because he is the defacto goal-line for the Broncos -- but you don't ever consider putting him in over Rodgers. Got it? ...


For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL.com Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL.com Fantasy has 28,000 followers, Fabiano has 35,000, me, I only have 2,500. So your odds are better that I will answer a question, just based on the numbers. So hit me up on both via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15