What we are talking about:
He's the one
Hot-name free agent for 2013
Another surprise Angels fans
Megan Fox said last week she is no longer going to take "sexy" roles. And my immediate thought was, who cares because she's still Megan Fox (and this must have come after "This is 40" because that's the only thing she does in the film).
And that's the philosophy I will take with RG3 this weekend. Yes, even if he's limited with a leg brace and not the sexy play he was all year, he's still (expletive) Robert Griffin III. And he's pretty dad-gum good.
Yes, RG3 can make things happen with his legs, but he's pretty good as a passer, too. I will take my chances. If RG3 doesn't play well and it costs me a title, I will shake his hand, wish him well and move on. You win or lose the game on the field.
Don't be that guy (or girl).
Let's watch the injury report, but know full well, if RG3 is active on Sunday morning, he's in my lineup.
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 ...
The best thing you can do during these trying times is to start your studs. And if you've suffered with Drew Brees in recent weeks, well rejoice, he's your No. 1 quarterback this week.
Does Brees get the No. 1 nod over Cam Newton because the other fantasy experts chose him for No. 1, too? You'll never truly know the answer to that question.
Cam Newton has scored more than 29 points in three consecutive games. The biggest thing is that he's had 10 total touchdowns and no turnovers. So he's my No. 2 guy because, well, I'm not a follower. But check back to my Curt Hennig All-Stars down below for the real scoop.
Newton is the first player in NFL history with at least 30 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdown in his first two seasons. Newton has 37 career pass touchdowns and 21 career rush touchdowns.
And yes, I will face him in the NFL AM league. Yeah, I really should have held on to him, right? As I said earlier this week, I'm not opposed to keeping two quality quarterbacks going forward.
I received a tweet from Dylan, who runs Man, I Love Films and said he was going to start Carson Palmer over Aaron Rodgers this week. You know how I feel about starting my studs (I start them), but I completely understand the sentiment. I would still start Rodgers, but I would never want to talk somebody out of their gut feeling.
The debate is actually closer than you would believe. Aaron Rodgers has scored fewer than 16 points in four consecutive games. He had a season-low 10.16 fantasy points against the Bears in Week 2. Rodgers has had some tough games against the Bears, but you still start him.
ImageHey Packers fans, hopefully you had a chance to listen to the A.J. Hawk interview in episode 113 of the Dave Dameshek Football Program (available on iTunes). Hawk talked primetime football, the Lions players running around with their shirts off and "Homeland." Oh, and the desire to be called simply "Hawk" around the house.
ImageHawk and I both gave our theories for the finale of "Homeland" this week. Make sure you skip this if you haven't seen the episode. SPOILER. And here it is: Brody becomes the new Abu Nazir after the CIA takes out his family. And the next season is Carrie being torn between the manhunt and the man. Sorry, that was cheesy. But Saul is the rogue CIA agent this time.
ImageAnd like everybody with taste, we both agree the kids on this show nearly ruin the whole thing. The only way this buildup works at all is if Brody's family gets taken out. It would make up for all the moments where Dana threatens to take down the whole thing.
Josh Freeman has a great matchup against the Saints, who have allowed the most points to fantasy quarterbacks this year. He's just above Matt Ryan for me this week. Ryan struggled last year against the Giants, but that was the playoffs. Ryan should be much better at home in the dome.
Eli Manning has thrown eight touchdown passes in his last three games. He had just one touchdown pass against the Redskins, a team he's traditionally struggled against. The Falcons have allowed the seventh-most points to quarterbacks.
Matthew Stafford has a great matchup against the Cardinals. The only thing you fear is the same thing that happened to Russell Wilson, with the Lions possibly ahead early enough to bleed the clock. But now you're just over-thinking things.
Mikel LeShoure and Joique Bell are both good options at running back this week, too. Bell has scored more points, but Schwartz was upset he got flagged for 15 yards in an excessive celebration penalty after Tony Scheffler scored. And the tight end is an excellent play this week, too.
Matt Ryan has scored fewer than 15 fantasy points in four consecutive home games. But I give him the benefit of the doubt because the Giants are in the middle of the road when it comes to quarterbacks.
Andy Luck will be able to throw the ball against the Texans, who have allowed 300 passing yards in three consecutive games. What keeps him from being higher on the list is the propensity for turnovers. He will turn the ball over against the Texans, and I might have to rethink him at No. 11 this week. Make sure you always check back.
The Houston Texans defense is going to be a strong rebound play this week, too. They will create turnovers, so if somebody has allowed this team to slip into the waiver wire, or you had them on your bench, feel free to play them.
The Texans defense has 18 sacks in six home games this season. The Colts have had 22 giveaways in six road games this season, and have a season-high 18 interceptions this year - highest total in the NFL.
David Wilson is a nice play if he gets the start. And if he's going to share time, he's still a nice flex option because of the matchup.
Mikel LeShoure is a nice start this week against the Cardinals, who give up the 12th-most points to fantasy running backs. And if the Lions jump out to a big lead, this could be big-time points for LeShoure.
Knowshon Moreno has had at least 20 carries in three consecutive games. The Ravens were a pretty good run-based matchup for most of the season, but have stiffened recently. The Ravens have allowed less than 100 rushing yards in three of their last four home games. But I still go with Moreno.
ImageI hope you had the chance to read the Gridiron Breakdown this week, where Adrian Peterson was crowned as the new Superman. BTW, have you seen the new trailer for Man of Steel? It looks awesome. Here is a breakdown from the Huffington Post.
Demaryius Thomas had four receiving TD in his last four games. Six of his eight receiving TDs this season have come in the second halves of games.
Dez Bryant will at least have an excuse when he kills the Cowboys with a dropped pass this week. I'm not sure, but is Dez's broken finger the same one that was out-of-bounds in that critical play at the end of the Giants' game weeks ago? That would be some cruel irony. Or would it be a coincidence? Irony is the most misunderstood word in the English language, ironically.
ImageInjuries just can't keep some people down. Though, I'm bummed CM Punk won't be available for this week's Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV. This is easily the most cringe-worthy PPV going. But seeing as Cody Rhodes wants to turn into the next Rick Rude, I'm all for it. Take the next step, Cody. Paint your face on your trunks.
ImageIn case you missed it last week, I said there is no doubt John Cena will beat Dolph Ziggler for his shot at the world heavyweight title. And then him and The Rock will fight for the unification at Wrestlemania.
ImageThe best idea would be to have Punk beat The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Many people will expect it. And then have Punk unify the belts at Wrestlemania. Even if you need Dean Ambrose's crew to get into the mix. But again, my fantasy booking always trumps the WWE.
Brandon Marshall has recorded at least 160 receiving yards in back-to-back games. He also has 94 targets in seven home games this season.
Things are not good in San Diego, but Danario Alexander has been one bright spot. Alexander has scored at least 10 points in four of his last five games. He's had 40 targets in his last four games.
Ryan Mathews is a good play for San Diego this week, too. December is when the Chargers shine. The Chargers gave the ball to Mathews a ton last week, so expect them to do the same against one of the worst run defenses in the league. The Panthers have allowed seven rushing touchdowns in their last seven games.
Marques Colston has fewer than 10 fantasy points in five consecutive games. He's had no touchdowns in five career home games against the Buccaneers. But the matchup is just too good. The Bucs have allowed the most fantasy points to receivers this year.
Josh Gordon had a season-high 12 targets last week, and now he faces the Redskins, who have allowed the second-most points to receivers. The Skins have allowed 14 touchdown passes in six road games this year.
Randall Cobb joined NFL Fantasy Live on Friday and one of the things we talked about was the elimination of kickoffs. Now, when I play Madden, I sim the kickoffs (and extra points). But kickoffs aren't useless. It affords guys like Cobb a chance to get into the league with their kick return skills, and then eventually they get the chance to show what they can do on the field in other positions.
Mike Wallace had a nice game in garbage time against the Chargers. I don't fear him going up against the Cowboys. Elite receivers have dinged the Cowboys this year, so don't let the Cowboys honks in your life scare you away.
Martellus Bennett has a touchdown in back-to-back road games. Greg Olsen has at least 10 fantasy points in consecutive games. Either one of these guys are better options than the big-name guy you wasted a draft pick on this year.
I almost wish we could work in punters into fantasy football, just so I could start Chris Kluwe on my roster. We have a lot of similar feelings when it comes to politics, and we share an admiration for Ray Guy and believe he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Philip Rivers had a nice outing against the Steelers last week, but you can't trust him as your fantasy quarterback. The Panthers have been tough on fantasy quarterbacks this season, so it's not a perfect matchup.
Our Matt "Money" Smith grabbed Rivers in our NFL AM League because he felt like he was the best option for those of you who missed out on Griffin. I just don't see it. This isn't a normal December for the Chargers. I mean, I guess you would have to start him in a worst-case scenario. Not me, though.
You know, if I waited for RG3 and he didn't play and my only other choice was Ryan Lindley, I might take the bagel from my quarterback in fear of the Cardinals' signal caller giving me negative points. You laugh, but it's the truth.
But really, two of those touchdowns went to Anquan Boldin? Really? Really? Really? Sorry to go all Miz on you. BTW, is anybody into the Miz as a face? His talk show (I won't even condescend to look up the name of it) is one of the worst segments in WWE history. Thankfully Hornswoggle as the anonymous RAW GM will keep Miz TV (I'm guessing that's the name) from being the worst thing on RAW this year.
Going back to the Ravens, I don't believe the elevation of Jim Caldwell is going to help Flacco that much. It should help Ray Rice as he should become the focal point of the offense. But as our Daniel Jeremiah said on the DDFP this week, Flacco has terrible pocket awareness and no change in coordinator will help that.
Still stand by a previous statement that Norv Turner should be the big free-agent signing of the offseason for the Ravens. He would give the Ravens something similar to Cam Cameron, but a better play caller. Daniel Jeremiah said Turner could be in a package deal with QB Alex Smith during the offseason. Smith had his best non-Jim Harbaugh season with Turner as the 49ers' offensive coordinator.
ImageEnjoy Arizona, you guys! I can see the Cardinals firing Ken Whisenhunt (mistake), but giving the gig to Ray Horton. Turner comes in as OC with Smith, that's not a bad revamp. You can then try to develop a quarterback behind Smith (which he would just love).
ImageSpeaking of free agents, my Angels made a big move with Josh Hamilton here. Not sure how I feel about this. Ever since the current Lakers experience with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, I'll cool my thoughts on any potential "dream team." Shame, too, because Anibal Sanchez might have been a better fit.
ImageAt least the Los Angeles area teams have spent money. Everybody says the Angels and Dodgers are trying to be the Yankees. But the team we all need to catch is up the coast in San Francisco.
ImageAt least the Angels let Torii Hunter go. It's not like they are going to need Hunter's calming clubhouse presence. No, not at all. The Angels are loaded with team leaders like, uh, oh right. I thought the money the Tigers gave Hunter was crazy, but now he's going to have some added motivation.
ImageThe true upside of all of this is Texas will probably have to respond to this move with the acquisition of Nick Swisher or something. Which would be pretty funny. But it's like the 1980s for the Angels again when they brought in scores of free agents, and that worked out perfect.
Ben did make me laugh this week when he referred to the Steelers as the "World's Team." Cute. Everybody with taste doesn't care for the Cowboys' label of "America's Team." But the Steelers are the "World's Team?" If anything, the most beloved sports team in the world is the Los Angeles Lakers. To my knowledge, outside of the rust belt, people are rather ambivalent to the Steelers. And if you don't like the Steelers, odds are it's because of Roethlisberger.
ImageRoger Goodell has said he wants to add more teams to the playoffs. No he doesn't. The New York Jets still alive in the playoff hunt is the biggest indictment against Goodell's desire to increase the number of playoff participants. Yes, let's keep the Jets and Chargers alive for a few more weeks. This is a bad idea. The NFL regular season still means something; let's not water it down like the NBA or NHL.
Does anybody else still remember the NHL?
ImageI'm serious, do you know how long I've waited to see the Los Angeles Kings banner in the Fabulous Forum/Staples Center? And this is the year we have another lockout. The Kings (and the Galaxy) are the only local team we can truly be proud of and they're the one not playing. Wonderful.
Colin Kaepernick still gives the 49ers the best chance to win a Super Bowl. And he's scored at least 14 fantasy points in five consecutive games. But he hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in back-to-back games. His pass yards have decreased over the last three. And the Patriots have allowed only one touchdown pass in the last three games.
If you want some good news for Kaepernick, the Patriots have allowed three rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks this year, good for second in the league.
I have the Patriots over the 49ers in our weekly Pick'em contest for NFL.com. The Patriots just don't lose in December. Or January. They only lose to the Giants in February. But we did cheat on a few of these as Dave Dameshek and I jumped into the DeLorean for Shek to the Future.
Frank Gore does not have a 100-yard rushing game since Week 7 (131 yards against Seattle). The strength of New England's defense is the front seven. This could be a rough game for Gore.
Russell Wilson has scored at least 20 fantasy points in back-to-back weeks. He has 10 touchdowns and just two turnovers in his last five games. But this seems like a trap game to me. The Bills defense has played well in recent weeks, with only one touchdown pass in four straight games. The Bills have also allowed 240 passing yards or less in five consecutive games.
I'd feel better about Joique Bell if he hadn't jumped into the end zone celebration with Scheffler last week and drew a 15-yard penalty. Bell was poised to become the best of the Lions back, but really hurt himself with his inability to keep his ish together on the field. Which, of course, seems so strange for the Lions.
How is this possible, nobody wants to play Romo against the Steelers after Rivers torched them last week. But nobody seems to have a problem with DeMarco Murray going against the Steelers, even though they've allowed the fourth-fewest points to running backs this year. What am I missing? Murray is a low-end No. 2 for me, a flex at best.
If you have a choice between Murray and Stevan Ridley, I like the Patriots running back because he has the history. Murray always raises my anxiety because he can't seem to stay on the field. But I wouldn't be surprised if this was a Danny Woodhead-type of game for the Patriots, and Ridley isn't featured as much.
ImageThis would be the time of year when Bill Belichick would "punk" us. Or maybe it's a new episode of "Impractical Jokers." I don't know if you've caught the commercials on NFL Network. I can't tell if it's a bad "Punk'd" knockoff or if it's actually good. It's on TruTV and they didn't steer me wrong with "Rehab: Party from the Hard Rock Hotel."
Matt Forte hasn't scored a touchdown in his last six games against the Packers, and he's totaled 100 scrimmage yards only once in his last six games against them. The Packers have allowed less than 80 rushing yards in four straight road games against the Bears.
Michael Turner has a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games. Can you imagine a scenario where you wake up on Monday morning to find he has a touchdown in five consecutive games? Well, don't make your decisions based on that. It's like coin flips, past results don't matter to the current one.
I have Turner as a flex at best this week because the Giants have allowed just five rushing touchdowns this season, sixth-fewest in the NFL.
Even DeAngelo Williams has scored fantasy points last week. It was the first time he topped 10 fantasy points in nine games. Williams has had fewer than 70 rushing yards in 16 consecutive games. The Chargers have allowed only one rushing touchdown in their last five.
Montell Owens had a great game in Week 14, but don't chase the fantasy points here. The Dolphins are pretty tough against fantasy running backs, and he's not somebody I want to risk it with this week.
You know the Jets are serious about a playoff run when they bring in talent like Braylon Edwards. Do you think Terrell Owens ran out to his driveway to do about 1,000 crunches when he heard the news?
I've been on Eric Decker all year, but if you have two really good options, there's no chance I can play him. Adam's Boutique in the NFL AM league has Welker, Cobb and Colston all ahead of him. I can't play him.
Decker has only one 100-yard receiving game this season (Week 3 vs HOU, 136 yards) and he's not getting into the end zone on the reg any more, either.
Miles Austin has topped eight fantasy points once in his last seven games (and only one touchdown during that stretch). He's had fewer than 60 receiving yards in five consecutive games. The Steelers have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to receivers in 2012 and less than 190 passing yards in four consecutive road games.
Donnie Avery has had some spotty production at times, but he hasn't been able to be consistent. He's third (at best) in the pecking order with the Colts. And the way Wayne plays against the Texans, he's too much of a risk.
I warned you guys about Malcom Floyd during the offseason. He's never been able to take advantage of his opportunities when he's given the chance.
Speaking of guys who couldn't take advantage of his situation, Justin Blackmon continues to be a huge disappointment. It's like the receiver version of Heath Shuler and Gus Frerotte.
Jermichael Finley has played well against the Bears in the past, with four touchdowns in his last three games against Chicago. But Finley has only one touchdown in his last 12 games, and more than seven points once during that stretch.
ImageEvery tight end should go into the dislike column. None of them have been able to do anything. I often don't draft a kicker and defense in my drafts, because you can typically scoop them up off the wire. I might do the same thing with tight ends next season.
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."