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Like/Dislike: Avoid Ben Roethlisberger ... even at home

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What we are talking about:

  • Jordan Howard

    He'll be better with Trubisky

  • Ben Roethlisberger

    Throw away those home/road splits

  • MLB Playoffs

    Who to root for in the AL?

So I had Andy Dalton in a league ([deity] damn it, Rank ... stop talking about your fantasy teams!) and started 3-0. That's right. Even with two miserable starts, I was able to jump out to a nice 3-0 start. And I didn't want to bench him because, well, that would have been a blow to team chemistry. If there's one statistic I care about most in fantasy football, it's guile. And heart. And when my team is moving along well because the team seems to get along, I don't want to rock the boat.

So I started Dalton last week. Because obviously. It was a great matchup. Funny story, I had my Andy Dalton will throw four TDs 'Don't @ me' dropped from my "Good Morning Football Weekend" segment last week. But if you ask me, I'd rather have Dalton throw four touchdowns and have my fantasy team win, than just getting a prediction on air and having it blow up in my face.

Another funny story, I kept starting Dalton, he threw four touchdowns and I didn't win. That's right, I somehow found a way to blow it.

All right. The Stronghold had a lot of back reading to do this week. This week kind of sucked, so let's jump into it.

And without further ado ...

Ben Roethlisberger at home. You play him! But the Jaguars have allowed the fewest fantasy points to receivers. And I see Big Ben trying to force the ball to Antonio Brown this week and having it end poorly on a few of those throws.

So are you benching AB? I am not. But damn, dudes (and ladies). I know I'm going to be looking at that 4.6 from Brown and tilting on Sunday afternoon. If you honestly believe that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" and Brown is going to end up with a ton of targets, well, that's nice. But I'm not about that life.

But yeah, if you want to hang your hat on Ben's home splits, that's all you. I can't see this ending well for him. Maybe he peppers JuJu and Jesse James with targets. I feel like this is a big Lev Bell game.

I was going to bench Cam Newton before the S-storm hit with his inappropriate comments. But I never get the, "did you ever play the game argument." Some player tried that with me one time. And I was like. What was worst movie he ever saw? He said, "Episode I." I then asked, how many movies he starred in that allowed him to make such a critical statement? We had a fine relationship after that. But here's the thing. Don't be a (expletive).

Newton was great against the Patriots. Still struggled again with the deep ball. He was two-for-four with an interception on passes of more than 21 air yards against the Patriots. He's 4-of-11 with two picks and a 40.2 passer rating over the season.

Matthew Stafford has done a better job taking care of the ball this year. He's thrown seven touchdowns and only one interception this year. Four of those TDs came in Week 1. I love you Staff, but you're so tough to trust week-to-week.

Stafford does have that Cutler-like ability to disappoint you in the best of matchups, but go off when he's on your bench.

I do see a lot of questions about Andrew Luck this week. He's a big name, probably on your wire but I don't see the value in having him on your roster. When do you expect him to play? Like Week 8 at best? How effective do you think he's going to be? Cam Newton has struggled with an arm injury, and how long has it taken him to get right? And he's been at it for a while. Luck just came back to practice.

And forget about trying to trade him. I always love when people draft two quarterbacks because they are going to try to deal one later. Has that ever worked for anybody? EVER? Who trades quarterbacks? I don't think I've ever witnessed it. Now, I've received tons of offers that have included quarterbacks which I've happily rejected. But goodness.

Speaking of trading quarterbacks, I really wish the NFL was more like the MLB with deadline deals. Because would there be a better deal in the NFL right now than sending Philip Rivers to Jacksonville? The Jaguars would be the legit favorites to win the AFC right now.

Image Hey Smackdown. You're supposed to be the better brand. Well, at least you have wrestlers I enjoy more. Or should enjoy. I get that it's Jinder Mahal, so it's not like we are going to expect Nigel McGuiness vs. Bryan Danielson or something. But good lord, this buildup to Hell in a Cell leaves much to be desired. I'm not even sure if I can muster the energy to put this on my tablet this week while I'm watching the night game.

Christian McCaffrey is the league leader in production from the slot among running backs, catching four of his seven targets for 61 yards so far. The Lions, however, are at their best against dudes in the slot. I see CMC being used a lot as a decoy once again.

Hey, Melvin Gordon could be usurped. I know I post him here as a gag. But dang, Austin Ekeler looked like a stud last week. He's going to take that Danny Woodhead-like role with the team. Gordon is going to be the modern-day Ryan Mathews.

Amari Cooper needs to remain on your bench, provided you have some depth working. I don't believe EJ Manuel is as bad as most people think that he is. And it's not like the matchup is that bad. But the Raiders might be more conservative. Again, don't despair. He's going to drop 20 from your bench one week.

Lamar Miller is about to lose his gig to D'Onta Foreman. Miller is John Cena and Foreman is, well, I won't say Roman Reigns. Mostly because people actually like Foreman. But you get the point. Maybe Foreman is more like CM Punk prior to the Chicago Money in the Bank.

Image Congratulations to the Minnesota Twins. You eliminated the Angels, only to go out and choke a three-run lead to the Yankees. Nice work. I really do appreciate that. Although, I think having the Angels getting run by that team in that stadium might have been the worst. I'm still not over 2009.

Image But seriously, who am I supposed to be rooting for the American League? Seems to me like four irredeemable franchises. I mean, I would have had a soft spot for the Astros because of everything and Cameron Maybin, but ... Verlander. Can't do it.

Image Hilarious story about Jerry Rice crashing weddings. Now, I want to think that this is a cool thing. It's got to be a thrill for the couple. But, is the dude just gracing them with his presence? Is he handing out gift cards? Slipping a $100 during the $1 dance. Is he taking advantage of the open bar? Maybe Jerry Rice is just a free-loader who is using his celebrity for a free meal. I don't know. But as somebody who grew up as not a fan, I'm going to let my mind wander.

Hey, you're 4-0 good for you. Don't get cocky, kid. The Falcons thought they had it in the bag in last year's Super Bowl. Jordan Spieth thought he had the 2016 Masters locked up. Grand Moff Tarkin refused to evacuate the Death Star because, as he put it, "Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances." Well, don't overestimate your chances. Don't let your fantasy team get destroyed by some farm boy who grew up blasting womp rats. Stay engaged. Stay aggressive on the waiver wire. Improve your team and don't let down your guard. May the flex be with you.


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