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Like/Dislike: Joe Girardi provides blueprint for Tony Romo

What we are talking about:

  • Andy Luck

    Good start this week?

  • Matt Stafford

    Why is he Fantasy Illuminati?

  • Stat corrections

    Again!

You really hate to give a Yankee credit, but manager Joe Girardi showed fantasy enthusiasts everywhere how you deal with your disappointing superstars -- you put their butts on the bench.

Girardi removed struggling Alex Rodriguez from Game 3 of the American League division series playoff game against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in favor of Raul Ibanez and not only did the move work out well, it likely saved the team's season.

Rodriguez has never been considered a clutch player, so it was probably the right thing to do in this situation. But how many times do you see managers stick with guys because they have a huge contract, a reputation as an all-star or because they are the No. 3 hitter? Girardi blew all of that out of the water.

So if your big-time stars ever give you trouble, you might want to follow Girardi's lead in this instance. Sure, it could have backfired. But it didn't and he should serve as an inspiration.

Oh, some of you might be asking why Torrie Wilson is featured above. Well, even though I'm giving the Yankees credit, I'm not going to picture one of them. So we'll show A-Rod's girlfriend, Wilson. Or we still believe she's Alex's main squeeze. If this was a movie, Ibanez would have stolen a kiss after hitting the winner on Wednesday. I'm sure nobody in the Yankees clubhouse (save Mark Teixeira) took A-Rod seriously, but how does he recover from this?

Likes and dislikes are in bold. You know, for those of you who don't want to take the 88 minutes required to read this column. But it's the weekend. What better way to cruise through it than by checking out my thoughts on fantasy football, comic books, wrestling, TV and music?

A big hand to stats maven Bill "Sudsy" Sudell for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

Matthew Stafford was granted membership into the Fantasy Illuminati after one solid season. We're so skeptical of players who have injury problems, yet Stafford was granted access without any thought to the Detroit Lions' history or even his own injury history. ...

Stafford hasn't been a complete washout, but he's clearly not lived up to his average draft position. Stafford has a tough matchup against the Eagles, who have allowed the fourth-fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks. Stafford has only a touchdown or less in four starts this year. ...

Michael Vick has lost five fumbles this season, most in the NFL. He's going up against Detroit, which has just three takeaways this season (tied for the fewest in the NFL). The Lions are also one of two teams without an interception (Raiders). Something has to give, but Vick just hasn't been the elite fantasy quarterback he was in 2010 and while many of us are nostalgic for his awesome run during that year, it's time to move on. ...

Mark Sanchez is still the starting quarterback for the Jets, no question about it according to Rex Ryan. I have a simple question, why? The season is lost for the Jets. You're not going to win with Sanchez. His passer rating is brutal. There are no weapons to speak of offensively. So why not just have Tim Tebow run around out there? ...

I get Alex Smith as a bye week replacement or emergency starter. But I would try to avoid becoming too cute with your lineup. I'm not down on Alex as a "real" quarterback as much anymore. I still need some time to get comfortable with him in my fantasy lineup. I mean, congratulations, you beat the Buffalo Bills. I'd take Smith over Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Freeman. But we're getting low on the quarterback ranks. ...

Palmer did throw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in his only career game in the Georgia Dome in 2010, but the Falcons have allowed more than 300 passing yards only once in the last 12 games. ...

BTW, Kyle Williams said he was ready for payback against the Giants this week. Hey Kyle, it's not like the Giants cheated against you. If you remember, it was you -- and you alone -- making two costly mistakes against the Giants which led to the 49ers downfall. There is no payback to deliver. You did it to yourself. The Packers, at some point, delivering some payback to the Seahawks? I get that. You? Not so much. ...

I bet you figured Cam Newton was going to escape the dislike ledger, being on a bye week and everything. But there's a problem when it comes to play-calling at the end of the Seahawks' loss. Newton is awesome at taking the snap and diving over the top. Why roll him out? I understand you don't want him taking big hits, but it's not like he's RG3 out there. Let him do what he does. Dang, I can't give this guy away. ...

Why is it every time I think about Tony Romo playing the Baltimore Ravens, I can only think of the final game in Texas Stadium? I'm still the guy making excuses for Romo, but it's hard to imagine him getting it together on the road in Baltimore. The Cowboys are 4-2 after the bye during Romo's career, but are currently on a two-game losing streak. Romo had 317 yards with a touchdown and interception in what would have been a great matchup against New England after the bye last year. ...

One thing in Romo's favor this week, he's faced the two defenses which have given up the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season (Seahawks and Bears). I might give Romo a little nudge up the board, but I'd still rather go in a different direction. ...

Romo's season resembles that of "Dexter." The first game/episode of the season seemed to justify our excitement initially. But now we are at the point where both of them are going to be removed from our fantasy/DVR rosters.

Here was Chris Johnson's quote earlier this week: "We need somebody in this locker room to make plays and give us a spark. I feel like I've made some plays, but the situation of a spark has got to come from somewhere and getting a spark that can be big for this team." Uh, how about the running back who held out for more money last year actually being the guy who steps up to make plays? I know it's kind of a radical idea, but one he should give a shot. ...

If you just skim these pages, I opined about how nice it would be if the NFL made trades like the other sports. One trade proposal heating up on the blogs is Johnson possibly going to the Cardinals. I don't really like that one at all. The Birds could use a running back, but not that one. ...

Doug Martin has been a fantasy disappointment this season, and it seems like he is going to start losing touches to LeGarrette Blount at some point this season. Martin is the latest in a line of rookie running backs we put way too much stock into going into the season. We get it, T-Rich has been awesome. But running back is no longer the plug-and-play position it once was. ...

Blount would be a risky start against the Chiefs, but it's a pretty good matchup against a team which has given up the tenth-most points to fantasy running backs. And I really can't make any more jokes about Blount punching a dude, considering I'm a huge CM Punk fan. ...

Jahvid Best is close to a return to the Lions, but he looks like he will only be a third-down back at best if it does happen. I don't like Mikel LeShoure this week against the tough Eagles defense. ...

Steven Jackson has been slowed by a groin injury, and now he's going up against the hot Dolphins' run defense. This is a terrible matchup, so avoid Jackson if possible. ...

Fred Jackson hasn't scored a touchdown in seven consecutive games. The Cardinals are very tough on fantasy running backs this season. Play him only in a pinch with injuries and bye weeks. ...

I'd start Ahmad Bradshaw over Jackson, despite going up against the tough San Francisco 49ers defense. I would rank the backs this way, C.J. Spiller over Ahmad Bradshaw over Fred Jackson. ...

Mike McCarthy has intimated he will ride the "hot hand" this week against the Texans. Which, to be honest, how hot can you expect the hand to get against the Houston Texans? But this means Alex Green, Jimmy Starks and even goal-line appearances from John Kuhn can be the norm. ...

Remember, when you see Cedric Benson is on the IR, it's not the end-of-the-year variety we've all come to know and dread. Benson could return this season, but there would seem to be little value to keep him on your fantasy bench (especially in 10-team leagues). Also look out for David DeCastro to possibly return to the Steelers after Thanksgiving. He obviously doesn't give you fantasy points, but he would mean a lot to the long-term value of the Steelers running game. ...

We will have to monitor Hakeem Nicks over the weekend. Seems like he's always on the verge of coming back, and then we'll get a note on Saturday saying he didn't travel with the team or won't play on Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers did a pretty good job on Nicks last year in the NFC Championship Game. ...

Reggie Wayne is back everybody! It's like your favorite old-school song jumping up on Pandora. Just the other day I was sitting there and U2's "Until the End of the World" came on. That song rocks. However, this could be a very tough week for Wayne. The New York Jets are really tough against No. 1 receivers. Look at what they did to Dre Johnson on Monday night. The Colts will throw the ball a lot. But will it go to Wayne? It's a tough call. I still like Wayne more than Dez Bryant, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Brian Hartline and Denarius Moore. ...

Boldin has just two touchdowns in his last nine home games. And before the Monday night debacle, the Cowboys were deadly against fantasy receivers. ...

Hartline is the No. 1 for the Dolphins and you should have him on your roster. But he's in for a long afternoon against the St. Louis FC defense, which is brutal on opposing receivers. ...

Crabtree did something he never does; he had 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. Not only that, he did it in the same game. The Giants have allowed a lot of fantasy points to receivers. So he might not be a horrible hunch if you have to go with him. Meanwhile, I will continue to stand here on the fantasy fence because I'm the world's biggest Fantasy Chicken. ...

Wes Welker made news this week when he said he was happy to 'stick it' to coach Bill Belichick after he scored a touchdown. Hey Wes, you're a good guy and I like jokes, too. But can you not (expletive) around with Belichick? I know Belichick has a good sense of humor (it's true), but at the drop of the hat he seems like Liam Neeson in "Taken." You can almost hear Belichick calling Welker right now, "Wes, I possess a certain set of skills which can keep you on the fantasy bench." ...

Some are concerned Hernandez will cut into the production of Welker if he returns in Week 6. But I don't doubt for a second Welker could be relegated back to a role similar to the one he held in Week 1 when had just five targets. Let's not push this. ...

ImageAnd let's not pursue the idea of "Taken 3" -- which is actually a real thing. And while Neeson likes to make money, even he has to eventually put his foot down. I mean how many times can we go to this well? My guess is if Neeson balks, they will get Bruce Jenner to take over the role with his step daughters. Though, movie audiences would then be rooting for the kidnappers. ...

ImageIf you really want to play crazy conspiracy theory, how about this? Brady was really looking to keep Welker down because of the drop against the Giants in the Super Bowl. I don't believe it, but it's something I'll have to ask Akbar the next time he's on the Dave Dameshek Football Program which is (available on iTunes). ...

Is it good or bad news Peyton felt compelled to give a vote of confidence to Demaryius Thomas and Willis McGahee this week. "I stick with them. ... We're going to need those guys all season," Manning said. "They're going to make more plays than they're going to miss, I assure you of that." ...

Manning hasn't been shy about pointing the finger at his teammates in the past (just ask his offensive linemen), so at least he's sticking up for them. But at the same time, I could see Manning seething underneath the surface. The thing about Thomas which has always concerned me is he will have games where's he brilliant but drops passes or fumbles without provocation. At some point, does Manning just zero in on Decker and his old-standby guys from his days in Indianapolis? ...

Jordy Nelson is an excellent No. 2 receiver in the Packers' offense, but we can't expect huge games from him until Greg Jennings returns. Nelson has one touchdown reception in his last nine road games. Don't look for that to turn around against the Texans, who have allowed the fewest points to fantasy receivers this year. ...

Of course this will be the week Nelson ruins us all. I do own him in one league and while I dislike him, I will start him over T.Y. Hilton and Danny Amendola. I also have Hakeem Nicks on my bench, and if Nicks is playing, he's starting and Nelson rides the pine. ...

DeSean Jackson has just two touchdowns in his last 12 home games, and has topped 100 receiving yards once in his last 16 games. Add the fact the Lions have allowed the seventh fewest points to receivers this season and I'm comfortable moving on from Jackson. But if you had to play one of the Eagles receives, I'd much rather have Jackson over Jeremy Maclin. ...

Maclin is a lot like Five Guys to me. Sure a lot of people tell me it's good, but I'll never know because I won't darken its doorstep since the franchise has ripped off In-n-Out's look. And not only am I hungry right now, I'm a little uncomfortable with comparing Jackson to In-n-Out, because the Southern California burger franchise is always reliable. ...

Maclin had 14 targets in Week 1. He's had 12 targets in his past three games combined. I will avoid him like I will avoid the movie "Argo." ...

ImageI will probably see "Argo" at some point. I like Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston. But the early reviews point out Canada actually doesn't get enough credit in the extraction of our hostages. In fact, the whole thing is known as the "Canadian Caper." So out of principle, I will not support this movie in the theaters and instead borrow the Academy Award reel. ...

Martellus Bennett is cooling off recently, with just seven targets in his last two games, after he opened up with 23 in his first three games. He can get back and be a good fantasy tight end for you. But if Hernandez comes back, he's going back on my bench. ...

Here's the thing, I'm the owner of the Overreaction Theater. But if you wanted to drop Jermichael Finley, please don't let me stand in your way. ...

ImageA word about stat corrections. They're hysterical when they happen to somebody in your league you don't quite care for -- like Brent B. in my league of record (my boys from my hometown of Corona, Calif.). But enough with this (expletive). I've said this before and it should be repeated again. Once the games have been settled on Tuesday, they are done. If you want to make stat corrections to increase points for important playoff tie breakers, I get it. But you can't change the records after Tuesday. I tell you, we're going to run off more fantasy enthusiasts than we bring in with this stuff. We have to make a stand. Too bad I don't work for the league or something.


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 70,000 followers, and Fabiano has 60,000. Me? Just 13. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (oh wait, I told you to stop going to Facebook). Go instead to Google+. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."

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