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Like/Dislike: Eli Manning, Giants will produce vs. Chiefs

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What we are talking about:

  • John Fox

    He's going to stick around in Chicago

  • Rex Burkhead

    Bringing "Justice" to lineups

  • Sterling Shepard

    He's a MUST-START this week

It's incredible watching the New Orleans Saints morph in front of our eyes. The team has gone from a pass-happy attack that had about as much interest in playing defense as James Harden to this run-first, defensive team that would have fit in well with the NFC Central of the 1980s. And yes, I mean NFC Central.

The transformation has been as jarring as a pop sensation that suddenly has an edge to it and new attitude. And is it sad that the example of such a pop sensation at the top of my mind is Robin Sparkles? I might have a problem.

We get these stat packs from our crack NFL Research department and check this out: Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are on pace to be the second running back duo in NFL history to each have 1,400 scrimmage yards. The only other team to do it? The 1985 Cleveland Browns with Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack.

And while I give you a moment to take in the knowledge the Browns once had a credible offense, consider this. Ingram has three 100-yard rushing games and seven rushing touchdowns in his last five. He had three and seven in his previous 25 games combined. He currently ranks sixth in the NFL with 672 rushing yards. He would be the first Saints player to rank in the top 10 in individual rush yards in the Drew Brees era (since 2006).

That's the thing. While Ingram and Kamara have become big-time studs, Brees is a complementary piece. It's not like the dude can't play anymore, he's just doing what he can to help his team win. It's gotten to the point where you really have to wonder whether to start Brees or not. This is a good week for it. Because the Redskins are 20th in total defense, and more vulnerable against the pass. But I'm not sure this is going to be one of those vintage Brees games. I mean, I would hate to be that guy who has to tell you to start Brees, because it seems automatic. But I kind of do. Which is such a strange world to be living in. (Also my friend is starting him against me in my league of record and I really hope this jinxes the hell out of him.)

But hey, let's rock.

And without further ado ...

Did you know Matt Ryan has scored fewer than 19 fantasy points in every game this season? You should because it's like the only thing I ever talk about.

ImageThe problem with Ryan is that you just kind of expected a little more. Kind of like the way I expected more out of the Ric Flair 30 for 30. This isn't a knock on the Nature Boy whom I love dearly. And his teary reunion with Charlotte on Tuesday night gave me the feels. But I felt the doc was kind of disjointed. It could have used more time, or more of a focus. I guess to non-wrestling fans it was great to get the Cliffs. I just wanted more.

ImageYes, I'm already off the rails, but that's how important this was for me to speak.

The Bears might not be able to beat Brett Hundley, but we've done a great job against the Lions and Matthew Stafford.

Stafford had one touchdown pass and four picks in his last two games against the Bears.

I'm kind of shocked the Vikings didn't nuke their run to the playoffs by putting Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. No, I'm like legit surprised. NFL teams do puzzling things.

I'm in a league where I had to put in a FAAB bid on Joe Flacco this week. And I didn't get him. I would have had no starting quarterback, but I was at my desk when Nathan Peterman was elevated to starting quarterback.

ImagePrince Devitt and Samoa Joe tagged on RAW Monday night. Shoot, sorry Finn Balor. They tagged on Monday night and the Dusty Rhodes invitational was never mentioned. It's not like they were the New Japan tag champs or anything. NXT is one of your products. Sometimes they do a great job in acknowledging this. Often times they are kind of awful at it. Come on guys.

Melvin Gordon was so bad for fantasy managers last week; I have to wonder if I forgot to put him in this space. But I won't go full Bobby Heenan here. Though I'm legitimately concerned about him. Austin Ekeler looked pretty good.

Lamar Miller has 75 rushing yards or less in each game this season. Arizona is tough on running backs.

Alfred Morris just didn't step in and assume Ezekiel Elliott's production? Look, a lot of this is more on game script and injuries on the offensive line.

True story. Somebody on Twitter this week asked me if I would play Rex Burkhead or the rookie running back from the Bengals. I'm still crying tears of laughter.

ImageExcited for "Deadpool" to get a sequel. And Morena Baccarin is the only person in cinematic history I'm going to allow to ping-pong between the Marvel and DC. But I like the tone in Deadpool. I'm so glad Marvel didn't get a chance to wreck this and make it like all of their movies. Marvel gets a little too cute with the tie-ins. Like enough, we get it. But love that we will get "Deadpool 2."

ImageHowever, every time I see Ryan Reynolds crush it in Deadpool I can't help but be reminded how dreadful The Green Lantern was. OMG. The more time we get away from it, the worse it looks. And to see Reynolds do so well is akin to trading away a player who struggled (and you knew was going to be good) and then crush it for another team. So in other words, what it must akin to being a Bills fan and watching all of their former players crush it for the Patriots.

Oh my god, Tyrod Taylor is going to end up being the heir apparent for Tom Brady, isn't he?

Jordy Nelson should not be dropped. I can understand how frustrated you might be at the moment. But seriously, who would you be picking him up for?

Man, I love Robert Woods. He's my dude. I can't play him this week. The Vikings. The cross-country trip to play in the 10 a.m. game (WHICH I HATE). It's too much.

Cooper Kupp can also take a seat on the bench.

T.Y. Hilton is off this week. And I know it's nearly impossible to trade him. But if you're making moves, try to include him.

Brandon LaFell has been great lately. The Broncos have given up 90 points in two games. But I'm just not ready to make that move.

I'm putting DeAndre Hopkins on the bench this week. I mean, I'm starting Green, Crabtree and Tyreek Hill over him. But he's on my bench. So that means he likely scores 40.

Eric Ebron scored a touchdown last week and now he can continue on his trajectory to disappoint your fantasy team for the rest of the season.

ImageSo you want John Fox fired, eh? It's not going to be that easy. The Bears don't fire people during this season. And you have to wonder if GM Ryan Pace goes as well. There's also another troubling prospect, too. Who are the next great coaches on the horizon? Last year had some slam-dunks with Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan. There is nobody out there even close to them. Maybe Jim Bob Cooter. But yeah, it's Jim Bob Cooter.

Image Now if I was fantasy-booking this thing, I would let Fox go this season. It's cruel. And I don't believe the Bears have over-achieved. They have under-achieved according to my modest appraisal. Call me an optimistic Bears fan, but they should have been .500 at the bye week. Should have beaten the Packers last week. So 5-4 was a modest goal. Not coming out of the break sharp is a huge indicator of your coach. Just watch how the Chiefs do this week. I don't know who the right coach of the team would be. I'd prefer to hire a young hot-shot like Todd Walsh and hope Hue Jackson gets fired and install him as the O.C. But I don't know why I'm kidding myself. Fox isn't going anywhere.

Blake Bortles' advice for DeShone Kizer: "Try to throw it to your team as much as possible." Love this. It's like me telling people to eat clean as I throw down another Al Pastor burrito. Do as I say, kids, not as I do.


Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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