Like/dislike: Last fantasy chance for start Todd Gurley


What we are talking about:

  • Todd Gurley

    Last chance starting saloon

  • "Batman vs. Superman"

    Stop hating, haters.

  • The "Irish Hello"

    Troll your friends this holiday season

There are some pretty underrated things in the world. Like when you're fast forwarding through your favorite show and you stop at just the right moment when that final commercial ends. That's like the best feeling, right? I mean, right when you see that couple settle into their respective tubs, you hit play and boom, the show starts right after that final side-effect warning is read and you see the TV-M box in the upper corner. Oh man, that is so sweet.

Well, maybe not as sweet as when Del Taco finally decided to put full tomato slices in their tacos. Not cubed tomatoes like a hooligan would use. But I'm talking about a proper tomato slice that takes up nearly the whole side of the taco shell. I mean, the tomato cubes just seem lazy. Because you just know you're being cheated.

And to take it one step further, let's say that Del Taco isn't sitting so easy in your stomach as you race back to work. And as you gallop to the restroom, the big stall is waiting for you and nobody else is in there? Oh man. That might be the best moment you can actually have at work.

Well. I mean, professionally, the best is when you completely back a player and he completely comes through for you. I've been riding high with a few guys. Marcus Mariota might be one of my favorites, along with Spencer Ware.

The same could also be said when you successfully avoid a person. Like there was a dude you just knew was going to be a bust and you said, "hell no." I can't really draw one from my own personal stash (I know I meekly avoided Jamaal Charles but that was nothing to brag about). But does anybody remember when our own Matt Harmon penned this story: "The case against Todd Gurley as a top-five fantasy pick"?

Holy lord, the internet went ham on Harmon. People questioned his credentials. Called him out. Dropped the mic and went about their merry way. How do you think those people feel right now?

I only bring this up for a few reasons. For starters, Harmon has never received enough credit for this. In fact, I implore you all to reach out to Harmon this weekend and let him know about it (he's on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB). Look, you like to Monday morning quarterback folks when they are wrong, how about a little credit when they absolutely smoke one like Mike Trout teeing up a fastball? So give him credit because that was awesome.

I'm happy to report I didn't draft Gurley in one league this season and I feel pretty great about it. I didn't have the gumption to write an article like Harmon. I mostly just declined politely and moved away. I viewed Gurley the same way I look at a birthday shot. Because once Ticket Bob goes to the bar and you see the bartender grab the vodka, you suddenly pull an Irish goodbye and walk next door to Rubio's to sober up for a bit before your Uber driver gets there. (Sorry if that seemed a little too specific.)

But Harmon nailed it, so you need to give him credit.

However, you also need to start Gurley this week. I didn't draft Gurley, but I did pick him up in our NFL Fantasy League. I only added him because he went first overall in our league (seriously) and I thought it would be funny to have on my roster. Plus, I knew he was going to have this amazing matchup against the Falcons in Week 14. And if you know something about fantasy busts, they always have that one redemption game in the fantasy playoffs that you can at least take solace in. Ameer Abdullah did this last year. He was an abject bust (and my fifth-round pick. And BT-dubs, Stephen Gostkowski was taken down by my fifth-round curse. I don't know what I'm going to do next year, but it's probably going to be a Packers player just to be safe. I've tried to talk people into letting me take David Johnson in the fifth-round just to really put it to the test, but let's just say not everybody in our league is fun.) but did play well in Week 15 (89 total yards and a touch) last year to end on a positive note. Seriously, just do me solid in one week and then we all go home happy.

Gurley is going to do the same. The Falcons are lousy on defense. They have the worst pass defense in the league. They have allowed an average of 27.9 fantasy points to running backs over the last four weeks. If Gurley is going to have one chance for redemption, it's here. Because it's not going to happen next week against the Seahawks. So get him back into your lineup this week. Or pick him up off the wire. But start him.

And without further ado ...

Tom Brady is 7-3 in his career against the Ravens, including playoff games. However, Brady has just 12 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in those 10 games and his 76.6 passer rating against Baltimore is his lowest against any opponent in his career. I really don't want to bench the GOAT, though. I'm just providing you the information.

Can I tell you an interesting point? No, you'd rather just read my thoughts on wrestling, the Gilmore Girls and the human condition? Ah, you're so sweet. But please let me tell you this. The Patriots went 6-2 with Rob Gronkowski in the lineup, scoring 26.1 points per game and averaging 372.3 total yards. In four games without Gronk, the Patriots are 4-0, averaging 27.5 PPG and 418 total yards per game. Amazing right? So it's been Gronk holding them back the whole time.

Since Week 5, the NFL's lowest-rated passer has not been Case Keenum (76.4) or Blake Bortles (75.6) or Brock Osweiler (73.9). it has been Carson Wentz whose rating in that time has been 73.2 (seven touchdowns, 11 picks). On passes at least 15-yards downfield since Week 5, Wentz has no touchdowns and seven interceptions. Bruh.

Hey, how would you feel if you were that dude who bought a Wentzylvania sweatshirt. Oh my God. Listen, you always want to be in front of a trend. Like the people who bought up all of these Hatchimals. But yeah, neither one of these looks like a great decision right about now.

BTW, I'm not saying Wentz is a bust. In fact, our own Daniel Jerimiah said recently that most personnel guys love him. But you can't blame Cleveland fans if they want to take a victory lap on this one right now. (Seriously, Browns fans deserve something nice, too.)

Trevor Siemian missed two games and the Broncos looked awful. Wow, is he really the key for the Broncos this season? I like him as a sleeper, not a top-12 quarterback.

Player A had 23 touchdown passes, 18 interceptions and a 79.2 passer rating in his first 19 career starts. Player B had 26 touchdown passes, 19 interceptions and a 78.5 passer rating in his first 19 NFL starts. Player A is Brock Osweiler. Player B is Andrew Luck. And that's one to grow on!

Andy Dalton doesn't have a game of three touchdown passes yet this season. Although he's 8-3 all-time against the Browns in his life, he's averaged just 210 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. In other words, they are probably going to run a ton.

Now, I've said for quite some time this could possibly be the game where the Cleveland Browns rise up to win. This has all of the makings for a Browns upset. However, let's cut the (crap) and say the Bengals are going to win. With that, the Bengals will reach five wins. And at this time, I will apologize to Bengals fans everywhere for saying this team was going 4-12 this year.

The Buccaneers have allowed an average of just 13.3 points per game over their last four. One reason? They are winning the turnover battle. Like most NFL teams, the Bucs are nearly unbeatable when they win the turnover battle.

I will say this. Everything says this is going to be a terrible game for Drew Brees. He's not as good outside. The Bucs have steamrolled teams. So we're looking at about 412 and four touchdowns from Drew, no? And I'm going to be sitting there with Jameis like a sucker. I can just feel it.

Image It looks like Lane Kiffin is going to Houston. Not the Texans, the university. Which bums me out greatly because I really thought Kiffin to the Los Angeles Rams as offensive coordinator was about to be a thing. Norv Turner would be a nice pick for the Rams. Look, he's not a great head coach. But a really good coordinator.

Melvin Gordon isn't cut out to be a top-flight NFL running back. Stop trying to make him happen people. (If you're reading this for the first time and confused, don't worry. Somebody will be along shortly to explain it.)

Image I'll be so bummed if the Chargers end up in Los Angeles. I truly believe something is going to be worked out in San Diego. I will just be so upset for not only the fans of the San Diego Chargers (who are awesome), but for San Diego State University, too. The school has become a rather exciting mid-major program. But it needs a stadium to play in. Maybe if the Chargers bail, SDSU can build a 30k-40k football stadium akin to the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Jay Ajayi leads the NFL in rushing since Week 6 (791). But he's averaged just 53 rushing yards the past two. Similar to Fat Rob in that respect. But I can't get behind Ajayi with this matchup against the Birds.

Stefon Diggs has fewer than 10 yards per reception in six of his last seven games. He's really fallen off over the last couple.

I ended up starting Michael Crabtree this week. I have no idea if I regret this now or not, because that's for Friday Adam to deal with. I just thought I'd throw that in here to give you a good chuckle. Or a chance to say kudos. My other option was Sammy Watkins.

Man, Rishard Matthews has been one of my most prized finds this year. I'm super bummed I can't play him against the Broncos. I feel like Mariota can make some magic happen. But I don't trust the receivers. I mean, MM could toss one to Delanie Walker and then dump off one to Derrick Henry for a score. I can't trust the WRs.

Image As mentioned above, I kind of consider myself the master of the Irish goodbye. The best thing you can do when you are at an event and want to leave early is play shuffleboard or pool so you can get some high visibility going. And then you bail. I'm going to try out an Irish hello at the holiday Christmas party this year. That's when you tell everybody you're going to the party, but you don't go. As an added twist, I will text some of my co-workers and say, "Hey, come to the bar" or "head out back" to try to meet up. And then the next day tell them that they must have blacked out a conversation that you had and be offended they can't remember seeing you. And if you are truly committed to this, go on Yelp, download a photo of the party venue and post that on your Instagram like you are really there. And then tag yourself at that location. We call that "The Manziel."

Greg Olsen has seemed out of synch with Cam Newton recently. He's had fewer than 60 receiving yards in each of his last six games. This is going to be a great indicator this week if you can trust the Panthers in the playoffs. Although, it might be too late if they kill you this week.

I will say, when I tweet out stuff like the "Baywatch" trailer, please don't respond to that tweet with a fantasy question. Allow me to have a little fun. Besides, you're probably better off sending me a message on my Facebook page instead.

Image This became a hot-button issue this week. I tweeted this out. You're out of the playoffs and you're still making waiver claims. Jerk move? Sixty-three percent of you said it 100 percent was a jerk move. Thirty-seven percent said absolutely a jerk move. However, there were some of you who defended the move. And I'll dismiss those who said you get weekly prize money, or the last place finisher has to get a tattoo or some (expletive). But if you're not in a league like that (and even if you are), it's not cool to be making waiver claims. It's petty. You should absolutely continue to field a competitive team. Pick up free agents on Friday. But you shouldn't be making waiver-wire moves to add players to your bench. One dude in our league had Tom Brady and picked up Kirk Cousins just to have on his bench. Are you kidding me? Who does that? Probably the guy who drafted Gurley first. Thankfully the FSWA President Andy Behrens ultimately weighed in to say it was "poor form" and I believe the case has been settled now.

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.