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Desperate times for veteran receivers and starlets

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Dan Steinberg/Associated Press
Is Terrell Owens the Lindsay Lohan of the NFL or vice versa?


Lindsay Lohan is going to grace the pages of Playboy -- allow me to echo the sentiments of people everywhere who believe this happened five years too late. Kind of like Chad Ochocinco joining the Patriots, Norv Turner finally being on the hot seat or JaMarcus Russell being out of football.

Although, Russell had a pretty good excuse for not making it with the Raiders.

BTW, what is the NFL player equivalent of posing for Playboy? I would say playing for the Raiders. Or working out for NFL teams with your shirt off like Terrell Owens did this week. Seriously, T.O., where was the dignity? Topless photos, being the main story on TMZ right now, somebody tell me what's the difference between T.O. and LiLo right now? Well, other than it's likely neither will work again.

With that out of the way, I am offering you my likes and dislikes for the coming fantasy week and more. That's right, Facebook won't give you a dislike button, but I certainly will. And this all will be presented to you in a random, meandering style, which has been glowingly referred to as "teenager on crack chic." Bolded names are my likes, and dislikes.

Too many disclaimers? You can always check the rankings, but that is a terrible way to waste the final hours of your work week.

And without further ado ...

Tony Romo either will be brilliant (the exact words used by stats guru Bill "Sudsy" Sudell) or he'll (expletive) the bed. Romo has faced the Eagles seven times. In four wins, he has nine TD passes and four picks, averaging 314 yards. But wait, what about the losses? Well, just take a look across the column. ...

Three quarterbacks I would put ahead of Romo at this point: Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Schaub. ...

Schaub has averaged 273 passing yards per game, with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions in six career games against the Jaguars. But let's look past the stats this week. Jacksonville won an emotional home game Monday night. Do you think this team has the talent to put up consecutive big games? I'd expect the Texans to keep the momentum from their big win over the Titans more than the Jaguars. ...

Did you know Manning is heading for his best fantasy season, just as I predicted at the beginning of the year? A few times, I grew frustrated and was ready to cut bait with Manning. And there will be more. But Manning is a good play this week. ...

Roethlisberger has at least 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots, who are giving up the most fantasy points to receivers this year. I'm telling all of you right now: This horrid pass defense will cost New England in the playoffs, like it has every year. At what point do we stop referring to Bill Belichick as a defensive genius? ...

I've gone back and forth on Philip Rivers over Romo. Here's the final nail on Romo to me: The Eagles are so good coming off the bye week (but the new CBA rule limiting bye week practices might change that), and they will pound Dallas. Oh, so what does this have to do with Rivers? It's a coin-flip between the two for me. I like Rivers because he is on Monday night, so at least you'd have hope. ...

Fred "Action" Jackson is a great guy to start this week -- he's my No. 5 running back this week against the Redskins. I also like Jackson as a person, after I interviewed him for " The Adam Rank Gridiron Podcast for Kids" this week. I kiddingly asked him if he ever saw the movie "Action Jackson," figuring he was way too young. I think I almost secretly hoped that he'd say he hadn't seen it just so I could give him grief, but he not only played along, he was able to call out a scene from the movie on cue, which probably was more impressive than any run I've seen this week. ...

A couple more quick notes about my time with Jackson. He loves the Bills' new uniforms. I wondered if the players cared about such things, and it made my heart happy that he and his teammates loved the change. Look good, feel good, play good. ...

Jackson also was correct in saying Clubber Lang would win a tournament of Rocky opponents. Lang had a style that was tough to stop. My biggest question is, why wasn't Lang offered a rematch for his title? To me, it's like how CM Punk had to go months before finally getting a shot to face Alberto Del Rio again. Lang just kind of disappeared. If I was a fictional fight promoter in the Rocky universe, I'd love to set up a Lang vs. Drago fight. That easily would sell out and be great on pay-per-view. ...

If Rocky had come out in 2011, would it be a movie about boxing or MMA? ...

When a coach forgets a player, it's a good bet the player will be featured prominently the following week. That means good news for Ray Rice, who should get plenty of opportunities to go against the Cardinals this week. …

Play Jabar Gaffney this week. He had 12 targets in the previous five quarters playing with John Beck. Gaffney's eight targets led the Redskins against the Panthers. Look at what Curtis Painter had with Pierre Garcon, and you notice some young or inexperienced quarterbacks can get tunnel vision with some receivers. Beck and Gaffney seem to have that relationship. ...

That's also why you have to like Mike Jenkins, who appears to be Christian Ponder's main man so far. Jenkins had eight targets against the Packers in Week 7. I'm not ready to push all of my chips on to the table, but I do want to see how many targets Jenkins gets. ...

I can't watch a Vikings game anymore because every time Ponder is on the field, I start singing "Sister Christian." Seriously, it's becoming rather embarrassing. The most disturbing thing is nobody remembers that Night Ranger sings that song. The kids remember it from "Boogie Nights." ...

I'm not lying, but "Sister Christian" just cued up on Pandora Radio. Isn't it strange how that works? ...

And since we're on music, why would the 49ers choose MC Hammer to speak to the team when they could have asked San Francisco-born Night Ranger? I'm sure their schedule was open. But that's just a guess. ...

I like Danny Thomas against the Giants this week. New York has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs this season. And let's be honest: What else are the Dolphins going to do? ...

Jackie Battle is another guy I like this week, going against the Chargers, who made Shonn Greene look pretty good last week. The Chargers are a desperate team, though, so I expect a big game from them. Still, Battle will be Kansas City's top running back option going forward. ...

I have Thomas as a slightly better start than Battle right now, but hit me up on Twitter for the final word Sunday. ...

If you are worried about Mike Tolbert as a flex play this week, don’t be. Tolbert is getting enough short-yardage looks to still be a viable option on Monday night. And besides, having a guy going on Monday is fun. …

Don't feel too bad if you have to start any one of the Giants' three receivers: Hakeem Nicks, Victory Cruz and Mario Manningham. All of them are good starts. ...

Hey, if LeGarrette Blount has been released in your league, immediately add him. With Earnest Graham out, Blount should see action on all three downs for the Buccaneers. ...

Maurice Jones-Drew wasn't terrible against the Ravens. I mean, you can't expect more than he gave you. And let's realize you need to start him against the Texans this week. Don't over-think it. MJD is solid, and is a weekly starter. …

Here's this week's #talkaboutit Friday topic from Twitter: Best thing to come out of Jacksonville: Lynyrd Skynyrd or Jack Youngblood? …

And here is our interview with Youngblood from the " Dave Dameshek Football Program." I will be honest, I barely slept the night before the interview, because I was like a little kid waiting for Christmas. ...

I officially like Aaron Hernandez more than Rob Gronkowski right now. And this has nothing to do with the photos of Gronkowski with a famed adult film star. To me, I see nothing wrong with two consenting adults hanging out. What's funny to me is that Tom Brady had anything to say about it. "Coach talks to us every time we head out for an extended vacation about our decision-making and so forth," Brady said. "So, I'm sure he'll have something to say to Rob." Hey, wasn't Brady the guy who left his pregnant girlfriend to be with Gisele? Just saying. Oh, I like Brady to start this week. ...

If Chris Johnson doesn't get it going against the Colts, I don't know what to tell you. ...

If you're caught in a bind for a receiver, you could do worse than Antonio Brown. And I love that phrase, "you could do worse," because it's so funny to me. Of course you could do worse. Well, unless you're married to Khloe Kardashian. Then you pretty much have hit the bottom rung of the Kardashian barrel. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, give Brown a look this week. I like him more than Emmanuel Sanders right now. And once the Steelers realize they're better off with the younglings, the better.

The Vikings want to get Adrian Peterson more involved in the passing game. What's not to like? …

Jason Garrett said DeMarco Murray earned the chance to get the ball a lot. You don't want to elevate this guy to the starting position? I guess 250 yards doesn't impress you, Garrett, although I like the idea of keeping Cowboys stars humble. Remember what happened the last time they pumped up a guy too early? Romo. ...

The Cowboys and Eagles should be the game of the week, and fitting of the primetime game on NBC, unlike last week's debacle that was terrible but did afford me the chance to watch "Dexter" and "Homeland" on the East Coast feed. …

Speaking of great games, I have made my living covering the NFL since 1995, but I am hard pressed to come up with a more memorable game than Thursday night's Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Only Game 6 of the 2002 World Series was better. I won't be able to do it justice here, but check out Jonah Keri's excellent review of the game. …

And what a great crowd in Busch Stadium on Thursday night. St. Louis truly is a great baseball city. A great baseball city, for sure. St. Louis just loves baseball, you can tell. Baseball and St. Louis goes hand-in-hand. …

In three losses to the Eagles, Tony Romo has one touchdown and six interceptions, with an average of 179 passing yards. His passer rating in the wins is 113.7. It's 41.3 in the games he has lost. That's playoff-loss bad from Romo. So what will we get this week? I like the Eagles to beat the Cowboys, so that means bad Romo. But considering the bye weeks and such, Romo still is my No. 9 quarterback this week. And I'd start him over the next guy. ...

Expect the Cowboys to be more conservative with the game-plan, so not only does that hurt Romo, but Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are risks as well. Not like you would sit either player, just giving you a warning. …

I'm taking a bye on Tim Tebow this week, which must be startling considering the amount of hype the QB garnered last week. And going against Tebow seems akin to rooting against John Cena in the WWE. The two guys are a pretty good comparison, considering we should be rooting for both, yet most discerning adults boo the (expletive) out of them. But no matter how down and out Cena appears in any match (I'm talking about hitting this guy with a chair, metal-ring post or running him over with a 747), he still gets up like nothing happened to win the match. Same deal with Tebow. Just when it looks like Tebow will finish with five fantasy points, he ends up with a couple of touchdown passes and a two-point conversion. I almost expected him to kick the winning field goal last week in Miami. Tebow might want to learn the "You can't see me" move and "attitude adjustment." ...

At some point, I'm waiting for rival "Let's go Tebow" followed by a "Tebow sucks" chant Cena gets in arenas around the world. …

I also trust Romo more than Matthew Hasselbeck and Joe Flacco. I know I probably shouldn't talk about stuff I discuss backstage, as it were. But here's a blind item to interest you. A quarterback who played collegiately at Notre Dame and professionally for the Washington Redskins and whose name rhymes with an important trophy told me the quarterback who started his college career at Pitt and then transferred to Delaware scares him. But again, I don't want to betray anybody's confidence by saying who our analyst is or identifying the Ravens quarterback in question. ...

Mike Shanahan. ...

The Bills have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, and there's no way I'm starting Ryan Torain this week. Sure, Shanahan loves Torain like a son, but I refuse to get caught up in the Shanahanigans. Although the team has only two running backs listed on its official roster right now. Watch, one of the offensive linemen starts getting all of the attempts or something....

Don't expect a huge game out of Knowshon Moreno just because he has been elevated as the de facto starter in Willis McGahee's absence. The Lions have allowed the fifth-fewest points to fantasy running backs this season, and I wouldn't be stunned if Lance Ball has more touches this week. Remember that. ...

Sam Bradford is out this week, sparing you a tough decision. I remember when people were telling me Bradford would be a No. 1 quarterback this season. Well, the season isn't over. And the schedule eventually will be easier. But there's no fantasy value there right now. ...

While we're talking about St. Louis FC, it amazes me (well, not really) the franchise does nothing to reach out to its former L.A. players. Jack Youngblood joined us on " The Dave Dameshek Football Program" this week and said so. Deacon Jones even remarked to Jack that he felt odd when the team invited him out to retire his number, and he was standing next to his rival, former Cardinals OT Dan Dierdorf. That's not weird; that's a joke. Right this wrong already. ...

Beanie Wells wants to play this week. That's admirable. Even if he does, don't start him against the Ravens. Wells is a game-time decision. But I am making the decision for you right now. But him on your bench. …

The Redskins have announced a starter for this week! Oh wait, it's just London Fletcher at linebacker. Thanks for the news blast, Redskins. …

I keep putting Reggie Wayne in the lineup for my most important team against my old chums from Corona. I don't know why I do this to myself. One of these days, I'll learn. But Wayne could find himself on the waiver wire after byes are done. ...

Well, if you don't believe in the Madden Curse now, when will you? Peyton Hillis missed some practice time this week, and even if he does play against the 49ers, keep him out of your starting lineup. Hillis hasn't scored a touchdown in eight of his past night games, topped 100 rushing yards only once in his last seven games and has scored less than nine fantasy points in three of his past four games. This reminds me of that line from "The Usual Suspects," where Verbal goes, "Keaton always said, 'I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.' Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze." ...

I know this is the dislike section, but for me, it doesn't get better than Kevin Spacey in "Swimming with Sharks." He's amazing in that movie. ...

It's just one week. I would rather see Dre Johnson wait until he is finally healthy before he tries to give it a go. Listen Dre, we love you. No need to rush back on our account. I am getting used to starting guys like Jason Avant as we await your return. Wait, what am I saying? … Hines Ward is hurt, and the Steelers would be better off without him. So would your fantasy team. ...

Ryan Fitzpatrick will have a tough time this week against the Redskins, who have allowed just five touchdown passes this season. ...

You are forced to play Ahmad Bradshaw because, let's be honest, there isn't much else out there. But that three-touchdown performance blurs things a touch. Those Giants receivers get in the zone, and we are looking at a rather unimpressive week from Bradshaw. And now Brandon Jacobs returns, though he seems to be pouting so I'm not sure how good he will be. …

My quarterbacks No. 11 through No. 16: Hasselbeck, Tebow, Flacco, Fitzgerald, John Beck, Bradford and Colt McCoy. ...

It took me a second to realize Kevin Kolb no longer is on the fantasy radar. How the unmighty have fallen. What convinced the Cardinals that Kolb was the long-term answer? Were they swayed by all the pro-Kolb coverage during the lockout? Because Kolb speculation was about the only thing we had to discuss for months. ...

Who scores more points this week, Aaron Rodgers on a bye or Kolb? Don't laugh, this will be closer than you think. …

Remember when Eric Decker was the hottest name on the waiver wire not too long ago? Me, neither. ...

I have received this question a bunch: Do I drop Ben Tate? No. Tate had 100 rushing yards last week. So there are times when he will be a good flex play. That said, I have him at No. 30 this week against the Jaguars have allowed the sixth fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. …

I find this a strange world to be living in when we are avoiding Sidney Rice this week because he is playing the Bengals. Incredible. But good for the fine people of Cincinnati. …

Upset special: Seahawks over the Bengals in a low-scoring, ugly game.

Welcome to the Richard Grieco All-Stars, Percy Harvin. What is going on with this guy? I was all excited for him last week. Still, you need to keep an eye on the targets. I still expect Jenkins to get the majority of looks, but dang, with the talent that Harvin has how can he not put it all together? I have Harvin as my No. 39 receiver. … When you look at the list of fantasy receivers out there, sometimes it's hard to believe Terrell Owens couldn't make a roster. Even with his attitude. ...

If you would have told me Charlie Sheen would have another sitcom before Owens signed a contract, I'm not sure I would have believed you. ...

The good news for those with DirecTV is the new Sheen show, "Anger Management," will be on FX - in other words, you will not be able to see it. And what's the deal? I don't want to tell DirecTV and FX how to do their business, but I fail to see how anybody wins in this situation. So all of those subscribers didn't get to see "Sons of Anarchy" this week? (And I was wrong about Juicy Boy, but you the reader were correct.) I don't subscribe to HBO, but I have watched "Entourage" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on DVD for years. And to be honest, I haven't missed a thing. I would cancel my cable subscription and watch online, via Hulu or DVD if it wasn't for sports. …

And a quick aside to FOX, good work cobbling those great Game 6 montages during the World Series on Thursday night. But how did you forget the Angels classic comeback in Game 6, 2002? Easily the greatest Game 6 in baseball history and rivals Magic Johnson in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals as the greatest ever. People talk about the Bill Buckner play, but that was celebrating an error. The Angels rally from a five-run deficit was about a team refusing to lose. And a Rally Monkey. You know, this slight could lead some to believe that FOX hates the Angels, and by extension, America. …


For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL.com Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL.com Fantasy has 35,000 followers, Fabiano has 40,000, me, I only have 13. So your odds are better that I will answer a question, just based on the raw numbers. So hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.

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