Like/Dislike: Fantasy has no fury like a QB scorned


What we are talking about:

  • Colin Kaepernick

    He's the one

  • Darren McFadden

    Don't hurry back, bro

  • Joe Gordon-Levitt

    Is he the new Batman?

Well, this is just awkward. I believe you all know how I've felt about Cam Newton this season. Yeah, not much of a fan. I was finally able to dump him prior to the trade deadline a few weeks ago to somebody who lost Ben Roethlisberger, and I was over the moon.

I mean, Wes Welker and I have been very happy together, but then something weird happened. I'm currently at 7-5 in my league of record (tied for third). The current setup is simple: Win and I'm in the playoffs. A loss, and I could end up needing some help.

My opponent this week is the guy who I dealt Newton to. And Newton is going up against the Kansas City Chiefs. Yeah, I probably should have thought this one through a little bit more.

I know it's crazy to think about, but I imagine Newton being some sort of vengeful fantasy quarterback like Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill" or something. Those fantasy gods sure do have a funny sense of humor.

So because of this, Newton is your No. 1 quarterback of the week.

All right, let's get to the fantasy football.

Likes and dislikes are in bold, for those of you who don't want to take the 88 minutes required to read this column. (But it's Friday: What better way to cruise through it than by checking out my thoughts on fantasy football, comic books, wrestling, TV and music?) Facebook doesn't give you the option to dislike stuff, but I certainly do.

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

And without further ado ...

Many of you took offense when Eli Manning was in the dislike column last time he faced the Redskins. The numbers showed the pattern. Eli had a last-minute touchdown to Victor Cruz late in the game to move his game from disastrous to mediocre. But it wasn't a good game.

Eli has fewer than 12 fantasy points in three consecutive road games. He's had just one total touchdown pass in his last three road games.

Eli has had one touchdown or less in 15 of 16 career games against the Redskins. He's topped 270 yards only once in eight career road games against the Redskins. The Redskins defense has allowed fewer than 205 passing yards in back-to-back home games.

Joe Flacco has been good at home this year. But realize the Steelers have allowed the second-fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this year. In fact, the Steelers have allowed one total touchdown pass in the last four games. And if you need even more, the Steelers have allowed fewer than 180 passing yards in six consecutive games.

And what the (expletive) did the San Diego Chargers do on that fourth-and-29? For starters, I'm so glad we have the real referees back because they totally nailed the spot (not really). I know you can't directly blame that on Norv Turner, but tell me, did it surprise you it happened to a Norv-coached team? Would you expect it to happen to the 49ers, Patriots or Texans? No, it happened to the Chargers.

ImageI'm kind of glad the Chargers haven't fired Norv Turner. What would be worse would be an interim coach who goes 3-1 down the stretch and you get stuck with him, like the Chiefs with Romeo Crennell.

If you thought it was brutal play, did you see what Wyoming did to San Diego State at the end of their first half in Laramie last week? BTW, nice try Mountain West to try to wreck SDSU's season with this brutal schedule. The Aztecs still took the conference.

Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a 7-year, $62.2 million contract prior to Week 8 last season. He had 12 touchdowns and six interceptions when he inked the deal. He has 30 touchdowns and 28 picks since he signed the contract. His completion percentage and yards per game have also dropped. The biggest dip was in his passer rating which went from 95.3 to 77.4. Money well spent, Bills.

Christian Ponder has struggled with the deep ball this season. Ponder has 13 TD passes this season, none of which have been longer than 20 yards. And his passer rating is the worst on throws of at least 21 yards.

Ryan Tannehill has just seven touchdown passes this season -- worst number among quarterbacks who have started every game. RT1 has passed Dan Marino for most passing yards by a Dolphins rookie quarterback, which kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

Marino had 20 touchdown passes and just six interceptions his rookie season, but he started just nine games. Can you identify the other two quarterbacks who started games or the Dolphins that season? Tweet it to me for your chance to win nothing but my approval.

Chad Henne is a nice sleeper this week, as he's scored more than 16 fantasy points in back-to-back games. But he's a sleeper. He's not somebody you start over one of your studs.

Russell Wilson has also been a much different player on the road. Wilson is the only QB to start all his team's games this season and not throw an interception at home. But Wilson is 1-5 on the road, and he's thrown six touchdown passes with eight interceptions. His home passer rating is 122.0 compard to 75.5 on the road.

Sudsy's Fun Nugget of the Week: The Seahawks are 6-16 on the road under Pete Carroll. However, two of those wins have come at Chicago in the past two seasons (23-10 in Week 6, 2010; 38-14 in Week 15, 2011).

Mark Sanchez has completed over 70 percent of his passes in back-to-back games. Oh, and he also did this.

Reggie Bush rushed for 87 yards last week against Seattle (of all teams), the first time he has had more than 60 rushing yards since Week 4 at Arizona (67 yards). But credit to the 80 percent of you who aren't paying attention to your leagues and kept him in there.

The Patriots have been relatively good against the run, so it's going to keep me from going all-in on Bush this week. I had him and Darren Sproles in my League of Record. How'd that work out for me? No, seriously. I'm asking because I turn this in right at kickoff of the Thursday night game. How do you not get this already?

Coach Belichick was very complimentary this week about Bush, so it leads me to believe the Patriots are going to gear up to shut him down. Bush did play well against the Patriots last year when he was on a tear. But it's Bush, and I've been burned by him before. I might have to play him at the flex spot if Percy Harvin isn't ready to go.

I think it goes without saying I will be out of the Reggie Bush business next year. I can't do this to myself again.

It's hard to find a true No. 1 running back, especially this late in the season. But forgive me if I don't rush out and pick up Rashad Jennings. You can still see the singe marks on my roster from the last time he burned me. I learn from my mistakes. It's not like I'm A.J. Smith or something.

The Jaguars have three rush TDs this season (T-29th). Twenty-six NFL players have more than three rushing TDs this season.

Boy, if you've held on to Jonathan Stewart all this time with this matchup with the Chiefs in mind, you must be really upset right now.

I really wanted to sneak Michael Bush into one of my lineups this week. Who knows, I still might. Bush would have been a decent play this week, despite a tough matchup. Now, I can't risk the playoffs on a guy who still might split carries. I've long gotten the sense Matt Forte doesn't care for his time share.

Forte was a little defensive about it when he joined the Dave Dameshek Football Program (available on iTunes) earlier this season. My guess is Forte really pushes himself this week and is ready to go for Sunday.

Jonathan Dwyer was selected as the starter for the Steelers. But does it matter? The Steelers have two rushing touchdowns in their last nine games in Baltimore. Dwyer has no touchdowns in 109 offensive touches this season.

The Steelers have topped 100 rushing yards only once in their last nine games at Baltimore. The Ravens have allowed just one rushing touchdown in the last four games.

And as always, take the Steelers starting gig with a grain of salt. I mean, Mike Wallace is a co-starter for crying out loud. But you know once Jonathan Dwyer fumbles, he'll be benched for Isaac Redman until he fumbles, followed by Rashard Mendenhall. Mike Tomlin is getting into Mike Shanahan territory.

I do like the Ravens and Steelers rivalry. But the whole "egging the bus" incident in Atlanta seemed a little forced to me. Like are we supposed to believe these two fan bases really hate each other? I would imagine most football fans in Atlanta care more about Georgia vs. Alabama in the SEC title game.

ImageIf this was a sincere act by some workers at Atlanta's airport, it's kind of cool that they would care this much to go through with it. There is something flattering about it. I like fan outrage. When the Boston fans chanted "Beat L.A." in the final moments of a Game 4 sweep to the hated 76ers at the Boston Garden in 1983, it gave me goose pimples. And when you think of some of the unruly fan violence that goes on in stadiums across the world, egging a bus is kind of low on the outrage scale.

BTW, this all reads like a pro wrestling angle. Like I expect the security footage of the egg tossers to show a 5-foot-10 guy with a striking birthmark on his face and a beautiful throwing motion being the main culprit.

ImageSpeaking of rivalries, I dread the moment John Cena realizes how popular Dean Ambrose is on the internet. Because when that happens, Cena is going to defeat Ambrose and The Shield in a three-on-one match in about 14 seconds on RAW and kill any momentum these guys have. So maybe we should suppress our feelings for Ambrose.

ImageAnd seriously, The Shield? Well, if you switch the Prime Time Players to The Money Train, you have a natural rivalry. I will be really impressed by those who were able to follow along with that one. But seriously, The Shield? Like the concept (yeah, it makes sense in wrestling logic), but I can't get behind the name.

Beanie Wells had a great game in his return last week, and he's got a nice matchup against the New York Jets this week, too. But come on, it's Beanie Wells. Ryan Lindley is still the team's quarterback. The Jets can't be this historically bad, and they will rise up to win. Wells will suffer.

And what kind of crazy world do I live in when Wells is considered a safe start, and everybody wants to bench Fitzgerald. I feel like Jacobim Mugatu and I'm on crazy pills. What, I can't quote "Zoolander" all of a sudden?

I would rather have Shonn Greene over Wells. Neither guy really thrills me this week. But sometimes you need to dismiss the matchups (not totally) and look at it this way, which team is going to win and how? The Jets will win because their running game is better.

But holy heck, we're going to have Mark Sanchez vs. Ryan Lindley this week. Maybe this isn't a quarterback league after all. Can we please get a spring-time developmental league? Even if it's just a passing league or spring ball.

The fantasy world nearly tumbled off its axis when Knowshon Moreno was inserted into the Broncos' lineup last week. But realize the Buccaneers have allowed the fewest rushing yards to running backs this year. And with a pass defense so bad, how can Manning resist throwing the ball a ton?

Don't drop Marcel Reece from your roster, though. He might be a flex option because, let's be honest here, how much playing does Darren McFadden get? How healthy do you think he's going to be? Reece could be a starter for you as soon as next week.

And really, I want to see how this whole deal works out with the Raiders. McFadden has done nothing this year, save a few flashes here and there. Reece has been a solid workhorse. Why would you want to disrupt that? Oh wait, it's the Raiders. That answered my own question.

Honestly, if Jim Harbaugh can make a gutsy call to switch quarterbacks during a Super Bowl bid, the Raiders can't keep Reece in the mix? I'd use McFadden as a change-of-pace guy.

I'm going to wait at least a week to see if Greg Jennings is completely back. Why jump back into this thing with him? The only Packers receiver, to me, this really hurts is James Jones, who is third in the NFL with eight touchdown receptions. Jones had no targets last week against the Giants. None. And if his slide had already begun, then it would be time to move on.

Of course, watch this be the week Jones has a pair of touchdowns just because it's so hard to keep up with the Packers receiver of the moment. But still, I wouldn't want to play hunches with the playoffs on the line.

While I like Charles, I'm kind of over Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs haven't scored a touchdown in their last 11 quarters. And it used to be Bowe was good for some garbage time points at the end of games, but even that hasn't worked. Bowe hasn't had 100 receiving yards since Week 4.

The Chiefs have lost eight consecutive games, longest current streak in the league. What's worse, the Chiefs are 0-6 at home and have been outscored 157-81 in those games. But The Chiefs play three 3-8 teams, the Panthers, Browns and Raiders. So clearly, the Chiefs control their own destiny for the No. 1 pick in the draft.

After the decent showing from Ryan Mathews last week, I can't, in good conscious, ever recommend him to start again. He might have a great game this week, but he'll do it from my bench. Philip Rivers, too. I don't believe I need to go into great detail about this.

The Chargers four wins this season came against the Raiders, Titans and Chiefs (twice). Their combined record? 9-35.

Vincent Jackson's history against the Broncos is pretty poor. If you want to go off straight numbers, then you might want to sit Jackson. He's had just one touchdown in eight consecutive games. His last three games were especially brutal. This might be a chance for Mike Williams to get some opportunities. I would rather player the latter if I had to choose one.

Of course, if you want to go down with your studs, it's understandable. Jackson has carried you a lot this season. But this time it might be too much. Especially if you only start two receivers. It's case-by-case for me.

Mohammed Sanu has scored four touchdowns in the past three games. He's become a big part of the lineup in recent weeks, and part of it is he can be put into different spots on the field. But he does his best work near the red zone. The majority of his targets come inside the 15-yard line.

But don't forget, Sanu is still Robin in the Bengals lineup. So he's a nice option if you're really hurting for a receiver. He's even one of Rank's 11. But don't get crazy. He's not like Cobb (as mentioned earlier).

ImageI haven't seen any of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies. But the ending (from what I've pieced together) sounds stupid. Bruce Wayne just goes off to France? WTS? And Gordon-Levitt's character is not named Dick Grayson? Why do they have to dumb it down so much? This makes me not want to see the movies. I hate to be this guy, but seriously. Have a little respect for the books.

ImageAnd please find somebody new to play the Green Lantern. Just like they did with the Hulk movies, they really should try to reboot this franchise. Check out Green Lantern's secret origins and there's your first movie.

Brian Hartline is a good option for PPR leagues, but even then, the Dolphins really need to run the ball against the Patriots. There's no way Miami can engage in a shootout. Which means, of course, the Dolphins will attempt 60 passes on Sunday.

Here is how I handle the Kyle Rudolph situation. If Harvin plays, then I bench Rudolph. But I would certainly start him if Harvin is held out for another week. Rudolph has had 12 receptions and a pair of touchdowns in the two games Harvin has missed. He didn't have a touchdown in the three previous weeks.

I don't get why people still ask me about Brandon Pettigrew. He's scored at least eight points in only one game this season. He's had only one touchdown in nine games this year. The Colts have allowed the second-fewest points to tight ends this year.

Seattle's Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman have reportedly been suspended four games each for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Both players are expected to be available this Sunday as they await their appeal. Still, I'm concerned enough about Seattle's D to leave it on the bench for Cleveland in my league of record.

ImageWe need to cut the (expletive) with stat corrections. Yes, games should be accurate and all points should be accounted for. I get that. Believe me, I really, really do. Stat corrections should be added to the point total (especially since some tie breakers come down to total points). But do you know how terrible it is to win a fantasy game by less than a point and not be able to celebrate for a week because a stat correction could ruin anything? When the games are over Tuesday, they should be done.

ImageI mention this because I'm still sweating out a win in my league of record, where I held on by less than a point because Jeremy Maclin couldn't get it done on Sunday night. Also because Rodgers was benched mercifully against the Giants. I've had to make sure not to talk (expletive) because a stat correction could appear. But I should be able to because the guy's team name is "Shek to the Future is lame."

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 four. 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."