What we are talking about:
Somebody please stop me
Nobody likes a rat
Please don't let us down
One of the things I'm readying in anticipation of the Super Bowl is a look at the six greatest players in the history of the remaining franchises. But such an exercise gets tough when you consider teams like the Ravens and Texans. Would players from, say, the Baltimore Colts or Houston Oilers count?
And in the case of the Ravens, do we use Stacy Keibler? That's right, George Clooney's main squeeze started out as a Ravens cheerleader. She was then discovered by WCW, moved on to the WWE, "Dancing with the Stars" and now beyond.
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. My first "like" is my stat man, Bill "Sudsy" Sudell.
Too many disclaimers? You can always check the rankings, but that is a terrible way to waste the final hours of your work week.
There is nothing you can say to get me off Eli Manning at this point. Seriously, I've come this far, and there is no way I am going lose the double points I will be earning from him this week, or the triple points I'll get from the NFC Championship Game. â¦
But go ahead and start Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Both of them are great plays. Just realize everybody else is also starting them (well, not everyone; maybe mix in a few Tom Brady starts, too). But sometimes, in these games, you have to go big. â¦
And since I'm already pot-committed to the Giants, then Ahmad Bradshaw seems like an obvious choice too, right? If you were playing just straight-up fantasy, you would pick the Giants players because of the Packers' defense. â¦
Of course, you can't go wrong with Ray Rice, Darren Sproles and Arian Foster. Those guys are the favorites, but don't be surprised if one or all are eliminated from the playoffs this weekend. Except, as the reader's point out, the Ravens play the Texans so one of those guys advances. â¦
If you were stung by Victory Cruz last week, why not have another go with him this weekend? You get double points this week, although his point total against the Falcons (two) was next to nothing. Meaning people who held out for Jordy Nelson only lost two points. No matter; I like Cruz more than Nelson this week. â¦
Are there really any discussions needed for tight ends? I didn't think so. â¦
ImageIf I'm Jim Harbaugh, I'm spending all this week at Candlestick Park watering down the field. I would be disappointed if the grass has been mowed in a month. I love when teams cater the field to their strength. To me, it's less devious than adding Josh McDaniels to the Pats' staff. â¦
I mean, I like gamesmanship. Back in October 1994, our fraternity was having a formal at the Irvine Marriott -- the same hotel where the Giants were staying before playing the Rams the next day. We pulled a fire alarm and ran through the halls, banging on doors and keeping the Giants up. The Rams won 17-10 the next day, a rare triumph for us in that dark year. â¦
That said, I like San Francisco to win this game. The 49ers' defense allowed just three rushing touchdowns in the regular season. And if I'm not mistaken, the last guy to rush for more than 100 yards against the 49ers was Cleveland Gary. â¦
Give me the Giants, too. The defense is playing a lot better than it has in recent weeks, and Aaron Rodgers hasn't thrown a meaningful pass since Week 16. The Giants have the firepower to match the Packers, too. â¦
ImageSpeaking of firepower, what's Kane's deal on RAW? I guess they need some storyline for John Cena to fill up the months until Wrestlemania. But unless this leads to Cena turning full-fledged heel, I'm not really into it. The upshot is he's staying out of CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler's way as they duke it out for the world title. â¦
ImageCongratulations to Edge and the Four Horsemen for being elected to the WWE Hall of Fame. It's interesting that the Four Horsemen they are going with includes Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham. J.J. Dillon I figure is in, too. But this seems like a slap in the face of Paul Roma, who was probably my favorite Horseman of all-time. â¦
The infamous "Tuck Rule" game happened 10 years ago this weekend during the divisional round. Was there a better moment in NFL history? It's hard to imagine. â¦
The "Hail Mary" also happened in the divisional round in 1975. To me, there is only one "Hail Mary" play. The rest are just desperation throws. You can't have any more true Hail Mary plays than you can have "Immaculate Receptions". â¦
One of my old NFL jobs was putting together the Super Bowl program, specifically the AFC rosters, bios and team pages. I watched the "Tuck Rule" game with a couple of Pats fans who were friends of a friend. They had no idea who I was, and were amazed I knew every Pats player. I'll never forget the moment when one of them turned to me and, in a perfect Southie voice, asked "Who the (expletive) are you?" when I said the play was going to be overturned because of the "Tuck Rule." â¦
Needless to say, when it turned out I was right, I didn't buy another drink that night. â¦
Where do I make out my check for my Los Angeles Rams PCL? The move is almost inevitable now, if Jeff Fisher chooses Miami because he doesn't want to go through another franchise relocation. Can we just cut to the chase and return the team to its rightful owner? (And don't say Cleveland.) â¦
Some have asked if I would embrace the return of the Los Angeles Rams. And I would, because the team has a new owner, which, to me, makes the franchise like the DC Comics New 52. I would say, however, that we should not hang a Super Bowl XXXIV banner at the new stadium in downtown L.A. or Grand Grossing. I will also be the one to explain to Marshall, Torry and Kurt that they aren't welcome. Isaac Bruce is. â¦
If you didn't get a chance to check out the cast for "Tebow: The Movie" make sure you do that now. I'm still standing with my choice of Chris Pine as Tebow, though there have been some good alternate suggestions. We just need to find a way to get Tim Olyphant into the mix. â¦
Image"American Horror Story" is the only FX show nominated for a Golden Globe? WTS? Melissa McCarthy isn't nominated for "Bridesmaids?" Unbelievable. I'm sure "Homeland" sweeps everything it's going for, and Claire Danes deserves it. But I would really like Matt LeBlanc to win for his role in "Episodes." Catch up on the first season of this great show if you can and get ready for the second. â¦
ImageAnd please, Ricky Gervais, don't hold back. In fact, be meaner after last year's handwringing from the Hollywood elite. Seriously, Robert Downey Jr.? If anybody should have a sense of humor, it's you. Bro, you were in "Due Date." Please Ricky, go get them. Unlike most of our favorite football teams, Ricky often delivers, though I have a feeling he'll tone it down this year. â¦
ImageCongratulations to Barry Larkin on being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. I never liked the notion of debating the comparative worth of first-ballot entrants. To me, you're either a Hall of Famer, or you're not. I do, however, love the relative exclusivity of baseball's HOF, especially compared to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which automatically inducts four players per year. â¦
ImageCongratulations to Luke S. Because his buddy, Peter M., got a picture of his "Rank Tank" goatee on the pages of NFL.com (check it out right here), he now has to pick a no-hope, mid-card jobber on his fantasy roster next season. These gags make fantasy leagues fun. â¦
I wonder, is anybody playing Joe Flacco in this challenge? For a guy playing on a team with a reasonable chance to go to the Super Bowl, he's probably the guy I would have the least faith in. He almost makes Trent Dilfer seem like a credible quarterback. â¦
Although that doesn't seem fair to Dilfer, who unfortunately gets lumped into the discussion of worst quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl. He wasn't great, but he did what was asked of him and handled his role rather well. Compare Dilfer to Flacco, who continues to beg for credit. Seriously, Joe, you seem a little needy. â¦
That said, I would imagine Flacco's parents don't even play him, and have to minimize the Playoff Challenge page whenever he walks into the room. I can see it now: "What? No â¦ I'm not playing Rodgers, don't be silly. I'm playing you, son." â¦
Those of you who started Tim Tebow last week have to feel pretty good about yourself. But come on, dude completed just 10 passes. As puny as that total is, it must have seemed much bigger to any Steelers fans who were watching. â¦
The Packers and Patriots are rather annoying. Fantasy-wise, I mean. For high-powered offenses, there really isn't a running back you can feel comfortable with right now, be it Ryan Grant, James Starks or anybody the Patriots put out there. â¦
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the obvious play when it comes to New England backs. But "obvious" never really works with the Patriots. The one wild card is Stevan Ridley; he's always lurking in the mix, and is a guy I look at for next season. â¦
The Giants spent a good deal of time establishing Mario Manningham on Sunday, because his confidence was at an all-time low. But I wouldn't go adding him to your lineup just yet. I would still rather go with either of the Packers' receivers, though I would take Manningham over guys like Deion Branch or Devery Henderson. â¦
I wouldn't touch any tight end outside of the 'big three.' It seems like we are underrating Jermichael Finley a bit, but he's really underperformed so far -- at least for somebody with his gifts. To be fair, though, Finley isn't the focal point of the Packers' offense and has to yield to talented contributors such as Jennings and Nelson. Gronk, Hernandez and Graham, meanwhile, are among the top options in their respective offenses. â¦
ImageCan somebody explain to me how the Patriots are allowed to add Josh McDaniels to their coaching staff? I mean, you have a playoff roster, shouldn't your coaching staff be locked, too? What's to stop Bill Belichick from adding Urban Meyer as a consultant? Or Eric Mangini as a video coordinator? Oh, right. â¦
I'm not sold on the Patriots. Those expecting an easy victory based on the team's recent win in Denver should remember the 2010 season, when New England beat the Jets down the stretch before losing to them in the playoffs just weeks later.â¦
I'll still take them, of course, and give me the Ravens, too. But before you dismiss Yates as a guy who can't take his team deep in the playoffs, realize that Mark Sanchez has been in consecutive AFC Championship Games. â¦
ImageThe jackals have really surrounded Sanchez, tearing him apart in the New York tabloids. There is nothing I hate worse than guys hiding behind anonymity to rip someone. If you feel strongly about something, attach your name to it. Otherwise, I look at you as something between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty. â¦
The anonymous players are also begging for Peyton Manning to join the Jets. Way to roll out the red carpet by ripping the current quarterback -- anonymously. I'm sure Manning is clamoring to join a team of misfits and malcontents, because he really seems like the kind of guy who would enjoy mid-carders sneaking behind his back to talk to the tabloids. â¦
If I'm Rex Ryan, I find out who talked to the paper and release him immediately. There is no need for this kind of discord. The stories of the Jets locker room don't paint a pretty picture. And I can guarantee you Peyton Manning doesn't join the Jets' circus. By anonymously ripping their quarterback, the Jets players probably ensured they won't be getting Manning. Congratulations to them. â¦
I'd still take Ryan over Norv Turner, but Rex should look to his crosstown, cross-stadium rival to see how to handle a team. Even during Eli's 'bad spells,' the Giants aren't taking shots at him like the Jets have at Sanchez. â¦
ImageIt hit me the other night, Rex Ryan is a lot like Dave Hester from "Storage Wars." Both are needlessly cocky. Actually, "Storage Wars" might be a good second career for Ryan. He could boast about each storage locker being the Super Bowl of lockers, only to have it end up being full of junk. Like his predictions. â¦
Raiders owner Mark Davis intimated Los Angeles could be a destination for the team if it can't get a stadium deal done up north. On behalf of all Southern Californians, let me say, "Nooooooooooooo!" Don't do it. I'd rather not have football at all. â¦
BTW, does Davis go to the same barber as Lloyd Christmas? It looks like he lost a bet or something. For the last 30 years. It appears that the Al Davis track suit has given way to the Mark Davis bowl cut. â¦
The thing about the Raiders is, you can never disregard what Al Davis did for the game. But his judgment in the last few years was questionable. Put a real GM there, though, and itâs one of the premiere coaching jobs in the NFL. The history, the loyal (bordering on delusional) fan base and the Bay Area make for a great combination. The Raiders should have no shortage of suitors and shouldnât have to deal with any more Tom Cables or Lane Kiffins. â¦
But seriously, stay away from L.A. ...
Congratulations to the Jaguars on hiring Mike Mularkey. When you get a chance to hire a coordinator whose offense scored no points in a playoff game, you have to make the move. Otherwise, his 14-18 record as coach of the Bills speaks for itself. â¦
Add to Mularkey's sterling resume the rapid development of Matt Ryan. I'd give Ryan another chance because he's going to have a new offensive coordinator. But dang, if this guy was playing for a New York team, he would definitely be anonymously ripped. â¦
Hey check it out, Guy Pearce was nominated for a Golden Globe. Now, if I was casting a Matt Ryan movie, Pearce would be my guy, not just because of the looks, but also because their respective careers have been on similar downward paths. â¦
Although, I would feel comfortable calling Pearce "Ice" because he was money in "L.A. Confidential." Where's your "L.A. Confidential," Ryan? All I see is a bunch of "Time Machine" performances. Especially in the playoffs. Actually, that isn't fair to the movie "Time Machine." It's not like Mularkey was directing it. â¦
There seem to be many people questioning the Falcons' trade for Julio Jones. Wait, what? The problem wasn't the receiver. The problem was paying way too much for a defensive end -- Ray Edwards -- who everybody knew was the beneficiary of playing opposite of Jared Allen. And really, the problem is the quarterback throwing the ball, not the receiver.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 37,000 followers, and Fabiano has 40,000. Me? Just 13. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."