What we are talking about:
He is going to win your week
No chance he starts for me
There were a lot of disappointing running backs in Week 1 (to say the least). One who really sticks out to me is David Wilson. We were all about Wilson once Andre Brown went down with an injury, and he even moved into the second round of most drafts. Heck, our own Elliot Harrison grabbed him in the second round of our Experts League just after I grabbed Steven Jackson.
And believe me, if Jackson had been gone, I would have seriously thought about going with Wilson. And then Sunday night happened. I don't know why I took it so personally, but I don't think I had been duped this bad since I thought "Mean Girls" was going to be the revival of Lindsay Lohan's career.
The biggest question I keep getting on Twitter is what to do about him. Do you bench him? Do you pick up Brandon Jacobs? Should Tom Coughlin make like Jimmy Caan in "The Program" and make Wilson run around the Giants' facility with the ball tucked under his arm?
In short, yes he should. There would be nothing sweeter than to see some mid-card Giants player trying to knock the ball out of Wilson's hand as he was rolling through the commissary. So yes on that.
Don't pick up Brandon Jacobs. He was added because of familiarity. But dude isn't going to walk through that door and start breaking off huge runs. So you play Wilson. The Giants don't have any other choice. Caan, I mean Coughlin, has spent so much time talking about Wilson because there isn't another alternative. Wilson would have been buried on the bench by now if Andre Brown was still healthy. But Brown isn't, so Wilson has to be on the field. Don't worry, you will be rewarded for it.
And is it weird I'm still a Lindsay Lohan fan? I'm not proud of it. But seriously, "Mean Girls" was good. I don't care what anybody says.
Let's move on in this column voted "Best Use of a Soap Box" by our homepage editor, Patrick Crawley.
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 ...
There is no real downside to this gig, but if there is one, it's my pals in my League of Record always work against me. Because when I talk up LeSean McCoy and other players, my long-time (and I mean going back to first grade) friends will focus in on those guys and snake them from me.
It got me this week with Matt Schaub. I was really scared of Tom Brady this week (and this statement could be laughable when you read this Friday or Saturday) and I wanted to grab Schaub off the wire and start him. But my old pal Scotty J snared him and I was forced to go with Brady this week. (Again, this might look foolish.)
Schaub has torched the Titans in the past with 17 touchdowns and just two turnovers in eight career games. He's thrown for at least two touchdowns in seven consecutive games against Tennessee, so if you need a quarterback right now, throw Schaub into the mix. Are you listening Showtime Eric Young?
Here's what is weird, though. You see those numbers for Schaub, but it's not like you're blown away by Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson. Daniels has scored just two touchdowns in the last 10 meetings. Dre Day has fewer than 80 receiving yards in six consecutive meetings. Though Dre has nine career touchdowns against the Titans, he's had none in the last three meetings.
All of that said, there is no way you can keep me from starting Daniels or Andre. Well, if you have Vernon Davis and Jimmy Graham at tight end, then Daniels isn't starting. But I do like Daniels as a possible flex play in some instances if you are hurting at receiver.
And before you tweet, no, you don't start him over Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford. Remember, this is for people who might be desperate. People have asked me about Peyton this week and it thrills me no end. Because those folks are going to be blocked.
Tony Romo is the most interesting prospect of the week. He wasn't outstanding against the Giants last week. And the Chiefs gave up a lot of fantasy points to quarterbacks. Yes, last year. The Chiefs' defense didn't allow any points to the Jaguars in Week 1 but ... Jaguars. Romo is still going over Schaub in our Experts League, but it's close.
Miles Austin had 12 targets to go along with 10 receptions and 72 yards against the Giants. He's a great option with Dez Bryant a bit banged up. Austin could become a nice little value for those who got him rather late. And don't forget, Brandon Flowers will be on Dez, too.
Wow, Michael Irvin wore the best tie on NFL Network Thursday night. I really should have a screen grab for you right now, but I'm not so technologically savvy. Trust me, though. It was cool.
Going back to Manning, folks are pumped for Julius Thomas and congratulations to those of you who grabbed him off the waiver wire. That's good news. But realize, he's not going to score two touchdowns every single week. Trust me, he's a TE1 in most formats and should be in your lineup. Make sure you temper expectations.
Eric Decker was targeted seven times last week and would have had a touchdown, you know, if he didn't drop one. He's scored five touchdowns in his last seven road games and the Giants have allowed seven passing touchdowns in their last six games against the AFC. (Drop those into conversation, just give credit to Sudsy Sudell.) Now, I'm not saying you put him in your lineup this week. However, he's not the fantasy pariah many have made him out to be. Just realize he's going to be wildly inconsistent.
The Broncos are a lot like the Saints in many respects. Big-time tight end, plenty of targets with just a few you can count on. But at the end of the day, you go with them in a pinch because they have big-time quarterbacks throwing the ball. Quarterbacks who hate the run, it seems like, too.
Ray Rice has had at least 90 scrimmage yards in seven consecutive meetings with the Browns. He's scored at least three total touchdowns in his last four meetings with the Browns. But you knew you were going to start him, no? I should start talking about the guys you want to hear about.
Torrey Smith scored a touchdown in each meeting with the Browns in 2012 and he had 19 total targets. And to be honest, I was cool with his game against the Broncos. It's unrealistic to expect receivers to score a touchdown in every game (that would be 16 on the season). But if you get me 90 receiving yards in the games you don't score in? We're cool.
Andrew Luck needs to attempt more passes this week. He got into a rhythm against the Raiders in the fourth quarter. Seriously, let's step it up here. Reggie Wayne continues to be one of the most underappreciated guys going. He had eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. The Dolphins defense will be a bit tougher this week, but Wayne should still be in your lineups.
Matt Forte has struggled against the Minnesota Vikings in the past. So why is he in the "like" ledger? Well, I'm glad I asked that rhetorically as we play one of our newest games! (Trust me, this will be fun.)
Misleading Stat of the Week: Matt Forte has no career 100-yard rushing games (I know, I just said that) against the Vikings. But before you put Curtain-Jerker McGee in your lineup, realize that he has had at least 100 scrimmage yards in the last four meetings!
Misleading Stat of the Week II: Matt Forte has no touchdowns in seven consecutive meetings against the Vikings. This is where we all hold our breath and see if Mid-Card Jobber Jurkowitz is still available! But not so fast. Remember, Marc Trestman is a coaching mench who will keep Forte in near the goal line. And touchdowns have never been Forte's game anyway, so don't you fret about it! We're good with Forte.
ImageBTW, in case you missed my Fan Free Agency on the "Dave Dameshek Football Program", I have chosen to support the Chicago Bears for family reasons. Namely, my nephew Peter Stoneking has gone into the Army and implored me to get behind the family team. But it was a lot of fun in Week 1 having a team to root for. To walk by people and scream "Go Bears" for no apparent reason. I suddenly want to watch Vince Vaughn and Jim Belushi movies. Chris Jacobs now follows me on Twitter. This is good (expletive). I can't wait to break out my dad's Bears Starter jacket from the 1980s. This is going to be cool!
One team I almost picked was the New Orleans Saints, who I really like this week against the Bucs. Sure, you know to start Drew Brees and guys like that. But even the periphery guys are good to go, too. The Saints scored 76 points in two meetings last season. The Saints have scored at least 31 points in three of the last four visits to Tampa Bay.
Sleeper alert: Pierre Thomas has scored a rushing touchdown in two of the last three meetings, and three of the last five against the Buccaneers. And don't forget about Kenny Stills. This guy just flies up the field and catches bombs. You know the Saints are going to take a couple of shots to him during this game.
There is a lot of hand-wringing about Robert Griffin III right now. Please stop all of that. Even though he "struggled" against the Eagles, dude still put up close to 20 fantasy points. Now the key will be how the Packers attack him. The Packers didn't rush up field because they didn't want Colin Kaepernick to beat them with the run. The Packers will likely try to go after RG3 this week in hopes he doesn't run. That's what we want.
RG3 is just starting to get his legs underneath himself. Pun intended. He's had no training camp and no real practice until just recently. He will trust his legs more and more as the season goes on.
DeSean Jackson looked amazing in Week 1, just as predicted here in the Like/Dislike. And guess what, he's an even better start this week. The Chargers have allowed 11 touchdown passes in their last four road games against the NFC. And the Chargers played the late Monday night game and have to play early this week. Trust me, I have some thoughts on this over in the "dislike" ledger.
LeSean McCoy is another guy to like. The Eagles ran the ball 49 times in Week 1, the highest total by the team since before the Andy Reid era. The Chargers allowed the fifth-most points in Week 1. This is a fantastic matchup. Bryce Brown is going to be a nice flex option at some point, too. Maybe even this week. There is no way McCoy can have more than 30 attempts each week.
Even Brent Celek is a great play. Yes, he had just two receptions last week, but one of them was a touchdown. The Chargers allowed 27.40 fantasy points to tight ends last week, including three touchdowns. Not saying you can expect Celek to reach those numbers, but he's a good play.
On the flip side, you can count on great production from the Chargers offense because they will get the opportunity. Eddie Royal had a nice stat line against the Chargers with two touchdown receptions. The Eagles defense has allowed two receiving touchdowns in 10 of its last 11 games.
Ryan Mathews is a solid flex option, too. But people make too much of the third-down back nonsense. Mathews was the eighth-ranked running back in 2011. He ran the ball nine times on third down the whole time. Nine times! Don't worry about any of the other Chargers RBs taking anything away from him.
The only thing more explosive than the Eagles offense was the season premiere of "Sons of Anarchy" this week. And for those of you who asked, I did poop confetti. Which is better than the fate of poor Otto (Kurt Sutter) on the show.
ImageSome watchdog groups took exception to the explosive premiere. But unlike some dramas that rip from the headlines for sensationalism, "Sons" did a great job of taking a pretty shocking development, but having it tie into the morality of the show. It was a brilliant piece of writing. And those who take it out of context end up discrediting themselves by their ignorance. This was not glorified violence but a horrific consequence to the protagonists' actions. In short, it was brilliant. And if you don't get it, don't ruin it for the rest of us. Bravo, Kurt Sutter.
There is no need to panic about Russell Wilson. You can still pass on the 49ers, who allowed three touchdown passes to Aaron Rodgers last week. And while you say, 'hey, that's Rodgers!' remember Russell threw four touchdown passes against the 49ers in Week 16 last year.
Marshawn Lynch should be in your lineup, too. He's had 100 rushing yards in three consecutive meetings against the 49ers. In fact, he's scored a touchdown in two of those last three games. Don't panic on your studs.
Another guy from the 49ers and Seahawks game who has earned matchup-proof status is Anquan Boldin. You can't bench the guy anymore. And with the way Jim Harbaugh made Mike McCarthy (or Dom Capers) look foolish, he's got Pete Carroll's number.
Who has it better than us? The 49ers and Seahawks game is one that I've been waiting for all offseason to watch. I can't wait for these guys to get together. Can we play this one right now? I don't know how I can wait for Sunday night. Other than, you know, just waiting.
You can panic on Lamar Miller. But I will give him one more week. The Colts defense allowed the fifth-most points to fantasy running backs last year and gave up 171 rushing yards to the Raiders. Most was the quarterback, sure, but it was because the defense struggled.
Reggie Bush is the real deal. He fits into the offense perfectly and he scored the second-highest total among running backs in Week 1. Keep it up, Reggie.
I drafted Darren McFadden as a flex guy in our Experts League. So far, so good! He scored 12.60 fantasy points last week. Just keep that up, Darren, and we'll be solid.
Jared Cook has been untrustworthy in the past for me, but St. Louis still found a way to make him work in Week 1. Dude should have had three touchdowns, and he told us on Fantasy Live he's been hearing about it all week. So he's a solid TE1. I still like Jordan Cameron a bit more, because Flash Gordon hasn't returned to the Browns yet, but Cook is a solid option, too, for those of you who grabbed him.
Your defensive roulette wheel stops on the Oakland Raiders this week as they go up against the Jacksonville Jaguars. I picked up the Kansas City Chiefs last week and I'm going to stick with them just because.
Coach Gary Kubiak said this week he wants the split between Arian Foster and Ben Tate to be "a little more closer to even." And that sound you heard was fantasy enthusiasts with Foster in their lineups banging their keyboards. This is why I avoided Foster in the first round of my fantasy drafts. I know I let him slide by a number of times. Not to gloat, I ended up with C.J. Spiller instead. So yeah, yippie! (He said facetiously.)
The optimist will tell you Coach K (hey, look another Coach K to dislike) attempted to light a fire under Foster with those comments and the running back will end up with 350 carries this season. But you must remember Kubiak majored in Shanahanigans while he studied at Denver. So I'm not completely convinced of this.
Plus, the Texans are looking to reach the Super Bowl. There is no point to have Foster go out and have 40 attempts against the Titans in Week 2. It's troubling. I mean, it would just be better if Foster wasn't playing because at least you wouldn't expect him to have a huge stat line. But you're pretty much stuck playing him because there is no alternative.
The good news is, there are very few running backs that are going to kill it nowadays. So Foster's dip in production won't really take him out of the Top 10. And for sure not out of the Top 20. But the days when you could count on 18 points from him each week, probably not going to happen. He's going to have some great games, and then games like Monday night. Just be ready for it.
Foster has not scored a touchdown in three of his last four games. Sorry, I don't mean to pile on here. Well, maybe a little. Fine, I will give you something to go on. Foster has scored five total touchdowns in the last three meetings against the Titans.
Speaking of running backs you have to start, but not feel so good about it, how about Frank Gore? He's had just one rushing touchdown in the last six meetings against the Seahawks. He's had fewer than 85 rushing yards in six straight visits to Seattle. Again, there aren't a lot of running backs out there so you kind of have to start him. But dang, you don't feel very good about it.
The Chargers lost a heartbreaker on Monday night. Surprise! I mean, you can take Norv out of San Diego, but you can't take the Norv out of the Chargers. That was one of those "even though they are up by 21 points, I still don't see this one ending well" games. In fact, Rosie McGee went to bed at halftime because she said that way, she can sleep soundly knowing the Chargers were going to blow it. And judging from the loud "thud" coming from the bedroom upstairs after Brian Cushing's interception, me thinks she wasn't sleeping at all.
ImageThis week's "What the what?" Why the hell are the Chargers playing the 10 a.m. game at Philadelphia? West Coast teams should not be made to play those 10 a.m. games at all for the fans (as a Rams fan as a kid, I hated getting up early for those games). And when you play the super-late Monday night game and then have to travel to play on the East Coast the next week?
Terrelle Pryor is a nice sleeper this week, but I had to put him on this side of the ledger to get your attention. Pryor might have a nice game this week, though Jacksonville isn't the pushover everybody assumes. But I really wonder about his long-term prognosis as a starter.
And I see this a lot on Twitter, too. People want to add Pryor and hope to peddle him later. Look, it doesn't work that way anymore. There are so many great quarterbacks available on the waiver wire, it's really difficult to get return value. I have Brady and Luck on a team, and nobody would take the Patriots quarterback before the season started. And there are teams in desperate need for a quarterback. It's ridiculous. Get your starter, find a viable option for his bye week and that's that.
ImageAnd seriously, sometimes playing a hunch like Pryor is like listening to Pandora and getting excited when the chords on "Behind Blue Eyes" start up. And when Pryor flames out, you become disappointed. Almost as disappointed as you feel when it's Fred Durst signing the song. Seriously, I'm not a big fan of The Who but Limp Bizkit might have performed the worst cover song ever. Pandora, you should know me better than this!
ImageKaren on Twitter suggested we do a bracket to determine the worst cover song of all-time. I kind of like this idea. So if you have any suggestions, why don't you hit me up on Twitter with this #worstcoverever and we can see if it's possible to determine the winner. Or loser in this case.
Ben Roethlisberger scored less than 10 fantasy points in Week 1. And this was in a week when nearly everybody had scored more than 10 fantasy points from the QB position. Geno Smith scored more than 10 points. Ryan Tannehill outscored him. Seriously, Roethlisberger was in Brandon Weeden territory. Roethlisberger ranked 28th among quarterbacks. That's no misprint.
There are a number of reasons to dislike Roethlisberger this week. He's had a touchdown or less in eight of the last nine meeting against the Bengals. He's been held under 280 passing yards in 15 consecutive meetings against the Bengals. And to be honest, this is a must-win for Cincinnati.
The Steelers offense is just brutal. The team has thrown for less than 300 passing yards in 11 of their last 12 games. They've had fewer than 100 rushing yards in their last seven games. But the team has rushed pretty well in Cincinnati. But it's not going to happen with this banged-up offensive line. Nobody is worth starting from the Steelers and I'm now starting to wane on Le'Veon Bell even when he does return. How can you really trust him when a big part of that offensive line is gone? This Steelers situation could turn dire.
BTW, if the AFC North struggles this year and the leader ends up near the .500 mark, I'd better hear folks crowing about revamping the playoff seeding. Everybody wants to redo the playoff seeding when it works out for the West Coast teams like Arizona and Seattle. But nobody said (expletive) when the Seahawks had to go to Washington last year, despite Seattle having the better record. I might as well resign myself to the fact nobody will say a thing when the 8-8 Bengals host the Chiefs in the first-round.
Going back to Weeden, he has a terrible matchup against the Ravens this week. The Browns have scored 17 points or less in 12 of 14 all-time meetings in Baltimore with at least two turnovers in 11 of those 14 games. In fact, they've had 29 giveaways in the last 13 visits to Baltimore.
Browns quarterbacks have had two touchdowns or less in 53 consecutive games. And a touchdown pass or less in eight consecutive meetings against the Ravens. Weeden has averaged 248 passing yards with three interceptions in his two starts against Baltimore.
And to take matters worse for Weeden, the NCAA is starting to circle in on the Oklahoma State program. I mean, I don't know why anybody is surprised by these Sports Illustrated reports? Hasn't anybody seen "He Got Game"?
The big thing for me is, if Oklahoma State gets nuked for this, Les Miles deserves to receive some heat, too. I hate when coaches rack up the violations at a school and simply move on without having to face the consequences. That changed with Jim Tressel, so hopefully Miles will feel the sting for this, too. It's only fair.
Marlon Brown is a pretty nice stash guy for the Ravens right now, but I'm not putting him on the field just yet. He had 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason. So we shouldn't have been so surprised to see him score against the Jets. But still, I can't trust him just yet. I did drop Shane Vereen in most of my leagues and added guys like Brown. I'm just not starting them.
ImageSpeaking of the champs, I'll use this as a lazy lead-in to my WWE preview of "Night of Champions." We typically get all of the PPVs at Casa de Rank, but I'm pretty close to giving this one a pass. I like Daniel Bryan, but I think the WWE isn't done with this story just yet, so there is no way Bryan wins the belt. That's not going to happen for quite some time, probably WrestleMania. The chase is always the most intriguing thing. Think back to Sting and his chase of the title back in the late 1990s in WCW. Once he won, the storyline was gone. The WWE needs this to carry through the John Cena injury.
ImageMy math might be off on this but Bryan could win the title at the Royal Rumble. Which would be great. Yes, great until John Cena is a surprise entrant into the Rumble and wins it for a second consecutive year. Which would lead to the inevitable end nobody would like to see.
ImageDoes Cena get a face pop when he returns? Because no matter how they feel about you when you leave, any superstar who comes back gets cheered. And with Cena being the biggest heel in history, this could get interesting.
I don't like to put Roddy White in this side of the ledger. One, because Roddy White is awesome, even though he talked a lot of (expletive) when he beat me in Madden as you can see right here. And b.) he tweeted out this week to fantasy enthusiasts that he shouldn't be in your lineup if he doesn't practice during the week. And he's not practicing. So you will have better options in your lineup.
I was starting to think, maybe Alex Smith would be a good start this week against the Cowboys because of Andy Reid's history with Dallas. But Eagles quarterbacks under Reid had two touchdowns or less in 17 consecutive meetings, and less than 300 passing yards in 13 consecutive meetings. That makes me less confident in Smith, even after Eli Manning torched the Cowboys' D last week.
Christian Ponder has thrown a touchdown and had four turnovers in three starts against my Bears. His receiver Greg Jennings has had one total touchdown in five meetings against the Bears. And just once has he topped 60 receiving yards in six career games in Chicago.
One of the most added guys in Week 1 was Joique Bell. And why not? He had 21.20 fantasy points against the Vikings. But he was very fortunate with those two touchdowns. He's another stash guy who is nice to have on your roster. But don't go chasing fantasy points from last week.
I'm down with just about anybody on the Eagles roster. But that doesn't include Riley Cooper. And not for the reasons you might immediately think. He really needs to step up. He didn't in Week 1, and to be honest, he has yet to in his entire Eagles career.
Be sure to check your lineups to make sure you still don't have the Buccaneers defense after last week. They were the money play going up against the Jets in Week 1. It wasn't so awesome. But if you accidentally leave them in against the Saints, you could have a real problem.
I'm waiting for the Bucs to just kind of implode. The whole deal with Josh Freeman and losing to the Jets doesn't seem to be working at all. And I like Greg Schiano. He was a guest of our podcast, the Dave Dameshek Football Program, this offseason and coach was an affable fellow. Even though he scared the (expletive) out of me.
Schiano seems like a good fit for a mid-card college football team. Maybe he could find a home with UNLV or San Diego State if this thing goes into the pooper in Tampa Bay. In fact, he should start looking in that direction regardless. I'd love to see him at either Mountain West program.
Of course, he could end up at Alabama. Nick Saban is going to end up in the NFL again in the very near future, especially if the Tide gets in trouble. Tampa Bay could be an option. Oh wait, what am I saying? He's going to end up with the Dallas Cowboys isn't he? That's my pick! Nick Saban will be the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Let's bring this home with Tom Brady. I was worried about this in the preseason, yet I still ended up with him in two leagues. As I mentioned above, I was able to bench him in my keeper league because I have Andy Luck, but I took just 13 points in my League of Record. I won't completely panic because the Patriots have Tampa Bay next week and Rob Gronkowski will return at some point. But I could end up playing quarterback roulette at some point, the same way I do with my defenses. Yes, that's probably a bit of an overreaction, but still. I'm kind of emotional and upset.
The good news is Michael Fabiano started Tom Brady against me in the Experts League, so there is that. Makes me think I should roll the dice with Schaub in that spot. I'll have to check my roster one more time.
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 100,000 followers, and Fabiano has 100,000. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."