Like/Dislike: Who said Aaron Rodgers was a bad QB?


What we are talking about:

  • Jameis Winston

    Quietly delivering in fantasy

  • Blake Bortles vs. DEN

    Sorry about your luck.

  • Dickerson v. Fisher

    Who's right? What's next?

They say sometimes the best trades are the ones you never make. And yes, I'm about to jump in with a "I'm so glad I didn't trade for Rob Gronkowski story" just moments after the news of his back surgery broke. I don't feel great about it. Gronk is certainly one of my favorite guys in the NFL. He's truly an awesome guy. I love him, wish nothing for the best for him, and hope he can recover from this and move on.

But I would be lying if I didn't soon think about how this was going to impact my various fantasy lineups. Look, I think human beings are designed this way. Like any time you are driving in traffic and you happen upon an accident, you think, "Oh man, I hope everybody is OK" before you immediately peel out and start driving 90 mph again because there's no more traffic. This isn't a proud moment, mind you. Just part of the human experience.

Get off your high horse. It's funny, people always say things like, "Hey, I hope Andrew Luck can play this week, I don't want to win this way." And then during the very first snap, you yell for your defense to sack the guy.

I'm certainly not celebrating Gronk's injury. It depresses me greatly and I wish him the best. Yet, there is this weird line we have to walk here as we have to start looking for other options at tight end. I'm thinking Vance McDonald and Josh Hill.

Oh yeah, I was in the middle of a story. I congregated with a bunch of my friends in my Second City League who were in town for the holiday and the birthday of one of my good friends, Madden (not that one). It was this place in Costa Mesa, Calif. called the Tiki Bar. A very cool concert venue. I'm pretty confident I saw Blink 182 open for Common Sense back in the 1990s. Or maybe it was No Doubt. But whatever. We were hanging out at this bar and, well, let's just say it's interesting. Not the kind of place I would take the family, but they had TVs and the Sunday Ticket package, so you do what you do.

And my guy Rob lamented about the fact he never pulled the trigger on the trade for Gronk I had offered him. Although, he was going through a bit of revisionist history because he called me a 'stupid idiot' for offering such a deal at the time. (He wasn't trying to be truly insulting, he was quoting Chris Jericho. I'll have more on him down below.)

In fairness to me, it was a pretty fair offer. I don't quite recall it off hand, but it did include T.Y. Hilton and I think Latavius Murray. Let's just say, it would have helped him out and he didn't do it. And now come to think of it, I really don't know why I'm sharing this. It doesn't add anything. But I guess I just want to be timely. And the whole opening I had planned about Philip Rivers being the best quarterback in the 2004 NFL Draft just wasn't doing it for me. That would be akin to saying, hey everybody, pizza is great. We all know this. I'm not breaking any ground with saying Rivers was the best. I would imagine even the most ardent Steelers fan would agree that Rivers probably would have four Super Bowls right now if he was the quarterback in Pittsburgh.

What, you don't agree with that? Well, I can't help you out. I safely avoided all political discussions during Thanksgiving last week. That's right, I went to two separate dinners and each time, once the political discussions started, I was able to scoop the wife and child as we cleared the domicile.

Oh, and if you're some chef who needs to put their own "spin" on Thanksgiving -- you're the worst. Stuffing should not have grapefruit in it. This isn't a hipster IPA. This is stuffing.

Let's get to the fantasy.

And without further ado ...

I am tired of the "see, Rodgers is still the GOAT" camp. You're building a strawman argument. Nobody said Rodgers wasn't a fine quarterback. I don't know who started that narrative, but nobody said it. But if you don't think he had a hand in the Packers' recent struggles, then you're not paying attention.

Blake Bortles will face the NFL's top pass defense. Among all quarterbacks with 1,000 attempts in the last three seasons, Bortles has the NFL's worst passer rating (80.2). In that same span, the Broncos defense has held opposing passers to a rating of 78.6.

Brock Osweiler has averaged 181 passing yards since Week 7. Even a great matchup against the Packers isn't going to save him here. He might get 300 passing yards, but he will still turn the ball over.

Alex Smith has 10 touchdown passes this season, fewest of any quarterback to start 10 games this year. I only start him as a streaming option. But he's going to have like 282 yards and one touchdown.

Cam Newton and I are better off as friends than we are in our current fantasy manager-player relationship. I had to move away from him and missed last week. This game will be tougher for the Panthers.

The Panthers already have the most losses (seven) in NFL history by any team that won 15-plus games in the previous season (seven times).

Dude, what's up with the schedule and all of those two-week West/East coast trips? Have times become so tough in the NFL it has to mimic the travel schedule of the old AFL?

Tyrod Taylor has more rushing touchdowns (four) than passing touchdowns (three) in his last five games. Hard to trust even with a great matchup.

I was pretty excited about Jared Goff last week. He can throw! Which should be great for Todd Gurley. In the future, of course. Because this week is going to be a little tough.

Rookie quarterbacks are 0-7 with four touchdown passes, 14 interceptions and a 51.7 passer rating against the Patriots in Foxboro under Bill Belichick.

Image Eric Dickerson said he would not return to Los Angeles Rams games as long as Jeff Fisher is still the coach. So, see you in two weeks?

Image I kid, I kid. Let's be honest. Jeff Fisher is probably going to be coaching the Rams next season. And that's fine. The next three years for the Rams seem like nothing more than a dress rehearsal for when the team moves to Inglewood. But here's the thing. I really want to embrace the Rams. They were my squad as a kid. Some of the moves have been questionable. The uniform thing is always going to be something I will harp on. The Fisher thing makes sense, but come on. And now the beef with Eric Dickerson. And look, Dickerson is not innocent here. He's obviously drumming up publicity for his radio show. But you have to understand how bad this looks and quite frankly, it's embarrassing. I'm mad at both sides here.

Image If you really want to make the Rams relevant again there is really only one thing this team can do. Bring in Lane Kiffin as the team's offensive coordinator. Kiffin back on the sidelines of the Coliseum calling plays? The NFL should insist that this happen. I want this more than anything.

Image My real short list of things to help the Rams make it in Los Angeles. No. 1, the uniform. Duh. No. 2, you can keep Fisher, but invest in the coordinators. I'm really not lying about this, but I would take Lane Kiffin. No. 3, sign Alshon Jeffery in the offseason. It's risky, but you need some splash plays. This is the NFL, not the MLB, so you can afford to do this because you aren't tied to these guys forever; like Albert Pujols. And finally (No. 4), please retire Kenny Washington's number.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman rank fifth in the NFL in scrimmage yards among backfield duos, but the Chiefs rank first in scoring defense and don't allow a lot of yards.

Thomas Rawls has yet to rush for more than 60 yards in a game this season. He still looks like he's trying to get back into a rhythm. The Panthers rank second in rush defense.

Jay Ajayi leads the NFL in rushing since Week 6 despite the bye week, and his disappointing performance last week. Ajayi would at least be in the conversation to start if the Dolphins get all of their pieces back on offense. But it's a tough call against the Ravens defense, which has allowed fewer than 65 rushing yards in seven of the last nine games.

Sure Melvin Gordon has the most rushing yards in the NFL since Week 8. I've promised you I would always "dislike" Gordon and I'm going to keep the magic going.

Please don't be the person who falls for the Rex Burkhead stuff. Just don't be that guy. Or girl.

Did you know Kaepernick has more rushing yards than Carlos Hyde since he took over in Week 6? If Kap could just figure out a way to catch the ball, too, the 49ers would be all set.

Image I like Chip Kelly. No disrespect here. It's commendable that he came out and said his team wouldn't accept any "atta boys" for a job well done. There will be no moral victories in San Francisco which is great. I'm happy for him. But come on, dude. That Oregon job is right there for the taking. Nobody would bat an eye if you returned to Eugene to restore the Ducks back to their rightful position at the top of college football. Selfishly, I would just love to see Kelly's Ducks go up against Chris Petersen's Huskies for years to come.

Outside of throwing up your hands and saying, "he's due!" there is no statistical reason to believe Brandin Cooks is going to have a big game. So of course he will.

Kenny Britt has scored at least 10 points in three of his last four games. Or something like that. Hold on, I'll check. Yeah, I was right. But not going to do it against the Patriots.

Amari Cooper is sixth in the NFL with 922 receiving yards this season. However, he's had fewer than 60 receiving yards in three consecutive games. The Bills are eighth in the league against the pass.

Image Congratulations to the AFC Champion Oakland Raiders. Well, it might be hasty to say the Raiders are going to win the AFC. The Patriots really have some work to do. And really, I say this selfishly, but I really want Tom Brady to win another Super Bowl. The Manning Truthers are a little too energized by Super Bowl 50. A fifth ring for Brady would have pretty much shut the door on that argument. All of that being said. If Brady could win a Super Bowl, without Gronk, then there really isn't any sort of argument. It would officially be over.

Image I'm seeing a lot of pessimism from the San Diego football media (shocker) about the Chargers remaining in San Diego. I hope this is not the case. The Chargers fans are amongst the best in football and truly deserve better. I can understand why the stadium referendum didn't pass. This is California. But if you can't afford to build your own stadium (like Stan is doing, like Robert did and Jerry did), then maybe owning an NFL team isn't for you. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I mean, I don't have the money to own an NFL team, either. So I'm with you fans, of San Diego. I hope you get to keep your team.

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 Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.