Fantasy  

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Like/dislike: Practicing better judgment

What we are talking about:

  • Cam Newton

    A pretty good start

  • Andrew Luck

    Numbers not good

  • Road House

    Come on, Hollywood

The world was much different in 2003. Bryan Cranston was the bumbling, but loveable dad on "Malcolm in the Middle". Limp Bizkit was still playing on our radios (not in an ironic way). And Jessica Simpson delighted us with her realization that tuna actually lived in the ocean. (And there could be a Tony Romo joke here, too, but I'm above all of that. Consider it a Thanksgiving treat.)

It was also the last time the Lions won a football game on Thanksgiving. And do you want to know who the coach was back then? Steve Mariucci.

And to take it one step further, Black Friday was actually on Friday back in 2003. When did it become cool for department stores to open up at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving? Those of you who went to those stores last night should be ashamed. Forget that you neglected your family and the glow of a post-Thanksgiving meal. You're also making those poor workers leave their families so you can get an extra 20 percent off at Kohl's.

And here's the news flash, there will still be (expletive) for you to buy throughout the holiday season. Or better yet, you should go to NFLShop.com and get your loved ones some gear from their favorite football team. In fact, I just got my bride, Rosie McGee, some cool NFL gear and nobody had to leave the dinner table to fulfill my order. So come on folks, have a heart on this holiday weekend.

Oh, and I think I had a point here, too. Well it's this. The Lions are back. That was good. The Packers aren't as bad as you think. Seriously, were Joe and Troy really debating if the Packers would be better off with Rodgers as opposed to having a quarterback who was cut by the Raiders and Bills this season? Was this seriously a topic? I'm not saying the Packers would have won the game if Rodgers was available. But I think they do better than the 13 yards the team gained Thursday. (Or whatever the total was, I had already switched over to the Cal State Fullerton hoops game.)

Tony Romo looked great in Dallas, though he needs to be a little more selfish near the goal-line. Just one touchdown during this game? How dare you!

John Harbaugh got off the line of the night when he asked if Mike Tomlin was going to be credited with a tackle.

But I think I've said too much here. So in honor of the Lions first win since 2003, I'm going to immerse myself in a "Charmed" marathon and put on a red Yankees cap.

Who else do I like and dislike this week? Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. Or something like that.

A big hand to stats mavens Bill "Sudsy" Sudell and Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

If I could Dr. Frankenstein the perfect quarterback, it would be Peyton during the regular season and Eli Manning during the postseason. Archie's probably thought a lot about this.

Eli Manning had a touchdown pass or less in 13 of 16 games in 2013, and more TDs than interceptions in a game just three times. His touchdown passes declined for the third consecutive year.

By the same token, nobody was going to even think about taking Eli Manning or a guy like Joe Flacco but sometimes I feel like I have to say these things.

Cam Newton worries me, though. I have confidence in a guy like Brady to overcome an obstacle like not having any (expletive) receivers. I'm not so convinced Cam can do it. And I like Cam a lot. I felt bad for him not winning the Madden cover vote. He's a legit gamer.

I like Russell, but I would not have given him the same rating as Brady in Madden. He does a lot of nice things. There isn't anybody who has a better feel for when to extend the pocket and when to tuck it and just book it for the first-down marker.

Wilson has also had to do it with a lot of receivers who have remained anonymous until Super Bowl 48. And he still finished eighth in fantasy points last year.

Wilson will also have (hopefully) a full season with Harvin this year. All right, I might have to reconsider his fantasy rating, but not his Madden one.

One more Wilson note, has passed for more than 300 yards just twice in 32 career starts. I don't think Brees has thrown for less than 300 yards in a game, like ever. All right, maybe a slight exaggeration.

Robert Griffin III had six rushing touchdowns in his first six NFL games. He has only one in his next 22 games, including none last year. I'm a little more worried.

I'm truly hopeful RG3 can rebound from the disaster of Mike Shanahan, enemy of the fantasy enthusiasts. But RG3 should always be viewed as more of a plan B in your drafts.

ImageAs Triple H has always said, there's always a Plan B. Let's just hope RG3 can be as good as Seth Rollins, though he did suffer what might or might not have been a legit knee injury recently. I mean, the lack of a match against Dean Ambrose leads me to believe perhaps Rollins was hurt for reals. Which is hope not, because I've been a fan back to his Tyler Black days.

ImageAnd then there's plan C, Brock Lesnar. Oh man, wrestling marks are the best. There is no way Lesnar is going to beat John Cena at Summer Slam. It just can't happen. When the company gets all panicky, they put the belt on Cena so he can continue to sell shoes at K-Mart. And if you're an adult who wears a pair of these, shame on you. But forget the fantasy booking; Cena is winning this thing again. It's inevitable.

I know I'm just jumping around now but the Panthers were the only playoff team without a 1,000-yard runner or receiver. I love my guy DeAngelo Williams. I mean, I sat in the fifth-row at WrestleMania XXX because of him and Gary Barnidge, but dang Carolina.

I wish the Panthers would just establish DeAngelo Williams as the top running back or at least allow him to run the ball near the end zone. I mean, is Ron Rivera Bud Kilmer to DeAngelo's Wendell Brown?

For the record, I do like McCoy in the coming season. I don't like that he dogged me and didn't pick me to be on his Call of Duty team during a Microsoft even during the offseason. Even though he was totally justified because I'm terrible at Call of Duty, it was a little bit hurtful.

Pierre Thomas led the Saints with 549 rushing yards last year. No Saints player has rushed for at least 800 yards since Deuce McAllister in 2006.

Pour one out for Tim Cornett who was cut by the Arizona Cardinals very early.

Mathews always get harangued for being an injury-prone running back. And yet, people are all too happy to run out and draft Arian Foster in the first-round. I love his Twitter feed. He's hilarious if not insightful. But again, you're taking a huge risk with this dude.

Marshawn Lynch had more than 400 touches during the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl. Look what that kind of abuse ended up doing to Ray Rice last season. Lynch is no longer a first-round running back for me anymore.

And now it looks like Lynch could be a training camp holdout. Hey remember that one time when a running back held out of camp and he went on to have an amazing season? Oh yeah, that never (expletive) happens. Remember this when you draft Seahawks. This is why nobody repeats any more. Mother of pearl.

He's all about that inaction, boss! Yeah, sorry about that.

I would look towards a wide receiver at the end of the first-round if all of the big guns (the big four as it were) were still available. There are all sorts of risk with guys like Lynch to be sure

.

ImageRice had more than 75 rushing yards only once last year. He topped 75 rushing yards 25 times in 48 games from 2010-12. Just if you're looking for justification to not draft Rice this year. I mean, not to get on my pulpit (in my pulpit?), but I do have some sort of moral clause on my team. If you're busted for weed, you've still got a spot. But what Rice did, no.

The question of the summer on Twitter (follow me, please? I'm not too good to beg) was why is Andy Dalton rated so low after he finished fifth in fantasy points last year.

Well, the Bengals are expected to run the ball a ton. Hue Jackson wants to take the heat of Dalton this season. Seems reasonable.

Remember when I said Steven Jackson would be a fantasy MVP last year and he made me look like a donkey? Damn, I was adamant. However, in my defense, SJax was money in Week 15 which probably saved a bunch of us. I know it saved me in the expert's league.

But yeah, we're pretty much done with Steven Jackson here. He has the name recognition you like and people feel comfortable with him. But why do this to yourself? It's like going to see a Johnny Depp movie because you know his name and you liked him in the past. But then you mention "The Lone Ranger" and you're like, oh yeah, he's not so good any more.

But yeah, that "21 Jump Street" movie was awesome, though. I know he had just a minor part, but he was good.

Man, people are way too hyper on Ben Tate. Even if you don't thing West is worth anything, or you're scared because you never saw him play in college, don't be. Why waste a third-round pick on a guy who is going to be in the most hotly-contested running back battle of the summer? It's an act of lunacy.

Plus there have been a number of former NFL executives and NFL scouts who straight-up laughed when I asked about Tate. This isn't me, the NFL Noob, just throwing around bull feces. There are legitimate concerns by dudes who did actual drafting and stuff.

To me, West, Hill, Freeman and some of the other names you see on the left have as much of a chance as Tate to being a top running back. I just don't want you guys to draft Tate and be all bummed when he's not good.

Trent Richardson averaged less than three-yards per carry in 12 games with the Colts last year. If you've entertained the thought of going after him in your draft, you might as well use a pick on Batman because he's just as likely to be a great running back. And yes, Richardson is on my "never draft list" after last season. Its' way too soon for that.

ImageIf the St. Louis FC relocates to Los Angeles next year, it really needs to do something about Sam Bradford. I mean really, he's got future career backup written all over him.

The tough part for Los Angeles, I mean St. Louis, is it will be just decent enough to fall in the middle of the draft next season. Which will keep them out of the running for some of the top quarterbacks who will go at the top of the draft. Though it might have to pull an RG3-like deal next year.

The Birds are going to take that division. Wait, there are two birds in that division. Hmm, maybe I'll take the easy way out and just say Birds and you can read into what you will.

Just kidding, I'm talking about the Cardinals. They will win. And the Cards should be the defense you target this year. The Cards D will be this year's Chiefs. Just don't drop them in Week 3 like I did last year.

Julio Jones broke a screw in his foot. It's been repaired and he's slowly come along in practice. But I'm not going to reach for him in drafts. Way too many comparable choices.

Reggie Wayne is one of those names that people value and a guy that your friend who doesn't follow football all that much will draft.

Hakeem Nicks had 27 TDs in 51 games from 2009 to 2012. He hasn't scored a touchdown in the 18 games since. I feel like there should be an Eli Manning joke here.

The Colts are on the verge of being a Saints-like team that scores a ton of points, but you can only trust the QB. Which kills me!

I'm going to pass on Wes Welker this season. He's had some injury concerns and Peyton is going to spread the ball around way too much this season. DT and JT seem poised to be some of the top at their respective positions. Somebody in your draft is going to over-value Welker because of his name. Don't be that guy.

Mike Wallace sort of falls into that category as well as a name you can't trust. Plus there seems to be something wrong with the Dolphins so I'm out. I feel like the Bills and Jets will be better this season.

And there's not a Dolphins RB I like this year. Not even you, Knowshon Moreno.

Sammy Watkins continues to make circus-like catches in Bills camp. But don't get caught up into the hype too much. This is where too much coverage can be a detriment.

Andre Johnson has no touchdowns in 16 of his last 18 games. His 181 targets were second in the NFL. But dude's not getting into the end zone. Hell, he's barely interested in playing in Houston.


For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 120,000 followers, and Fabiano has 150,000. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to."

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