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Like/Dislike: Keeping the fantasy faith in Todd Gurley

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What we are talking about:

  • Jared Goff starting

    Does this change anything?

  • Eli Manning

    Continuing to crush dreams

  • AFC Championship

    Adam's dream matchup ...


There is a change in the air. At least in Los Angeles. Well, not the actual air. The weather did finally dip below 70 degrees this week (good thing I still have my jacket from Super Bowl 48). But that's not the change I am talking about. I'm talking about the biggie.


That's right! I am self-centered enough to embed my own tweet at the top of this column. But isn't that what Twitter is all about anyway? We all have this desire to have our voices heard, deal with it. It's the most basic instinct that we have. I mean, what do you think cave paintings are all about? No disrespect to David Lewis-Williams, but I'm pretty sure those cave paintings were mostly (expletive) jokes and other attempts at comedy to their peers. Don't be so naïve. It was also used as a pickup line, too. Kind of like, "'Sup, girl. I just clubbed a Brontosaurus, so you should come over to my cave to check out these paintings that I'm working on.") Don't try to make our ancestors more sophisticated than they really were. (Which is probably good advice for future generations about us when they look back. Especially given recent events. And by recent events, I mean the cancellation of "CSI: Cyber" by CBS. Why, what were you thinking about?)

So if I sit here and repost my own tweets, then I am just harkening back to our forefathers and mothers. Sue me.

Now, let's get back to Jared Goff finally starting for the Rams. The real issue here is what does this mean for the Rams most viable fantasy player: Kenny Britt?

That's right, Kenny Britt.

Britt has scored more points than Todd Gurley this season. All right, that's not true. But the fact that you believed that for a moment speaks volumes.

The Rams have wasted the talent of Gurley. There hasn't been a waste of talent in Hollywood this severe since Nicolas Cage in "Windtalkers."

But there is hope. The Dolphins have spent a week in Southern California after playing in San Diego, and that can be exhausting. From Disneyland to Universal Studios, there is an awful lot to take in. Plus, there's the fact that the Dolphins rank 30th against the run and have allowed 128 rushing yards per game. Which might be Gurley's season total. I kid, I kid.

But I'm starting Gurley this week with arms wide open in hopes he can take my lineup higher. Otherwise, what's this life for? All right, I'll see myself out. (But don't blame me if you recognized all of those Creed songs.)

And without further ado ...

Carson Palmer has really struggled with the deep ball this season. Palmer ranks tied for 24th in the league with just eight deep ball completions and has also thrown four interceptions. He owns a 28.3 passer rating on deep passes, which is the third-worst mark of any quarterback in the league.

If there is one thing I fear about Mariota, it's that now everybody has started to jump on the bandwagon. Can't you people go back to talking about the quarterbacks you did draft?

I know this seems like the week to play Eli Manning against the Bears. But he's just as unreliable as Jay Cutler, with the same penchant for letting you down.

The most obvious example was Week 7 when Eli was coming off that huge game against the Ravens. He had a matchup against the Rams, who were banged up and hurting after getting lit up by the Lions. And then Eli put up 7.64 points. He's the worst. I mean, after Cutler, of course. But the worst.

Joe Flacco has averaged 256 passing yards per game since the 2012 playoffs, with a 65-to-55 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Dalton is probably not super stoked to see the Bills this week. Buffalo leads the NFL with 30 sacks this season, and Dalton has been sacked 28 times, second-highest total.

Carson Wentz recorded a passer rating of at least 100 in three of his first four games. He's been below 100 in each of his past five games.

Derek Carr is one of the best on deep balls in the NFL with a 116.7 passer rating. However, the Texans have allowed just nine deep ball completions this season, fifth-fewest in the league.

The Texans (spoiler alert) passed on Carr twice in the 2014 NFL Draft. Mostly because of the David Carr experience. Which means this is the second-time David Carr screwed the Texans.

Image And stop with the letters (or tweets, like people write letters any more). I would say that to David's face. And I know he was put in a no-win situation. I did look through the 2002 NFL Draft to see what would have happened if the Texans had selected Julius Peppers, where could Carr have landed? Oh, probably No. 3 to Detroit. He still would have been screwed. Although, he would have played for Steve Mariucci so it might not have been miserable. Let's go one spot deeper (let's say the Lions still went with Joey Harrington). The next team to take a passer was Washington, who picked Patrick Ramsey. Damn, that was Steve Spurrier's team. That doesn't work, either. Damn it. Let's say the Chicago Bears drafted him. He would have been the quarterback in the Super Bowl, not Rex Grossman and the Bears would have won! I'm now super bummed the Bears didn't end up with David Carr. This has now ruined my day. Seriously, I'm going to need to watch Episode VII to get me right again.

Each of the Eagles last three wins have come against a team that was leading its division at the time, the Steelers (2-0), Vikings (5-0) and Falcons (6-3). Trends!

Melvin Gordon is on a bye week, but I'm going to continue to leave him in the dislike ledger. Just to keep the magic rolling.

The Ravens run defense is tops in the NFL. Which is something the 2000 Ravens can't even boast about. But is this going to influence your decision on Easy E -- Ezekiel Elliott -- in traditional leagues?

Ryan Mathews snapped an 18-game skid of games without 100 rushing yards last week against the Falcons. He gets to start a new one this week against the Seahawks.

If you were lazy this week and didn't get around to dropping Christine Michael, you're in luck! You should probably hang on to him now. But I wouldn't start him this week, even with a great matchup.

Image I wonder if John Cena watched Tony Romo's press conference this week and thought to himself, "What a stupid idiot." (You don't think Cena would snake Chris Jericho's catch phrase like that?) Because if Romo was anything like Cena, he would be there shaking Dak's hand after that huge win against the Steelers and then he'd drop a pallet full of chairs on top of him and end up taking back the starting gig. Because Cena always wins! (Which I guess is unlike Romo.)

Image This actually is tough to admit (not really, because I cop to just about everything), but I do watch "Total Divas" and "Total Bellas" on E!. And one of the things that struck me about Cena is that he has the same controlling personality as the bad guy in every college movie. Like Craig Kilborn's character in "Old School" or something. This is probably by design of the producers on that show, which is a weird choice. But the one thing that truly stands out is that he has the sense of humor of a 13-year old boy.

Johnathan Joseph has been one of the top corners this year. He has not allowed a touchdown pass dating back to Week 2 of the 2015 season. Joseph lines up on the left side of the defense 86.3 percent of the time. He will likely draw Michael Crabtree, who lines up wide right 50 percent of the time. Carr has hooked up with Crabtree on four deep balls this season (including two touchdowns) but could have a hard time making big plays on Monday night.

With Palmer's struggle with the deep ball, I'm going to have a hard time making a case for John Brown or J.J. Nelson.

I'm not sure if Jay Cutler is aware Cameron Meredith is on the team. I'd probably take Eddie Royal as the most viable wide receiver, but still behind Zach Miller in terms of targets.

I've said this many times before (and it's been repeated by others in the media) but Mike Tomlin is too risky, like a guy who hits on 19 in blackjack. Like the kid who never punts in Madden (which is pretty much everybody). I feel bad for all of those people who needed that Steelers and Cowboys game to go into overtime. Yep, that was my take away from that game. It was an amazing game, but sometimes these coaches get too carried away for their own good.

Image You are all lucky, the American League MVP vote was not released before I turned this in Thursday morning. But I'm already upset Mike Trout was not given his fifth-consecutive MVP award. This should at the very least be his third. I wish I could take credit for this thought but this sums up my feelings pretty well. If you don't think Trout should win because the Angels were lousy (they weren't, they were just stung by injuries), then don't vote for him at all. Jerks.

I understand the schedule makers have gone to great labor to make the schedule. But would anybody else be bummed if the NFL just came out and said the Patriots and Seahawks were going to compete in a best of seven series that will be played every Thursday night for the rest of the season? Because I know for a fact that's exactly what Mick Foley would do.

Image Oh yeah, Cris Collinsworth had the sickest takedown of Bill Simmons this week. Unfortunately, he quickly retracted it, too. Plus, Collinsworth ended up on Simmons' podcast this week in the aftermath. I'm not only disappointed Collinsworth took the tweet down (it lives on in screen grabs), but I like media feuds. I mean, it's like professional wrestlers with legit heat. I love that (expletive). The truth, however, is I worked with Collinsworth for about five years in a role here at NFL.com (before I started doing all of the fantasy/Madden stuff). He's a pretty great guy. So it doesn't surprise me that he took the high road here. Even if I'm bummed out about it.


Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to NFL.com/fantasyandfriends. Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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