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Like/dislike: Struggling with fantasy regrets

What we are talking about:

  • Mike Vick

    He is going to win your week

  • Colin Kaepernick

    Don't jump off just yet

  • Cowboys fans

    Seriously?

There aren't many regrets in my life. I mean, I wish I had tried to walk-on as a scout-team quarterback at Cal State Fullerton. I wish I had flown to New York for the Angels' divisional round matchup against the Yankees in 2002 (though I didn't miss a single home game during that playoff run). And I kind of wish I had tried to chat up Tiffani Amber Thiessen when she laughed at one of my jokes at a Kings game back in the early 2000s.

This is a true story. I said something hilarious (don't make that face, it happens), she turned around, smiled and laughed. And then I did nothing. But come to think of that, what would I have done had I been able to capitalize on the laugh and look back Tiffani gave me? Seriously, would I have been able to date her?

What was I going to do, pull up in my beat-up Honda Civic wearing the ill-fitting clothes I bought at TJ Maxx as we headed out for a nice dinner at CPK? She was one of the biggest stars of our childhood! What would the end game have been? At least now I can pretend I would have been smooth enough to pull that off (which I wasn't). The same way I can pretend I would have won the CSF starter's job and ended up as the backup to Tom Brady during the 2000s.

The point is; I don't have too many regrets. At least not real ones. Or should I say realistic ones. But I'm starting to regret not going after Drew Brees or Peyton Manning in all of my leagues in the second round. We preached all year to wait on a quarterback and it might have worked out pretty well for you. Well, if you grabbed Michael Vick. Or picked up Philip Rivers on the waiver wire. (And headed into this week, 50 percent of us had not done that.)

If you check out the average draft position at NFL.com, here are some of the names of guys drafted ahead of Manning this year: Chris Johnson, A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas. I'll forgive names like C.J. Spiller, Ray Rice and some of the other running backs because they were first-rounders. And in fairness, I was bigger into Brees anyway.

But I pulled out my roster in the experts' league and this is what I'm likely to roll with on Sunday.

Tony Romo
Jamaal Charles
Knowshon Moreno
Eric Decker
Jordy Nelson
Jordan Cameron
Larry Fitzgerald (or Lamar Miller)
Seabass
Titans D

Not a bad team at all. Steven Jackson and Roddy White are out for me. I obviously would have stayed with Charles. But can you see how much better my team would have been if I had gone with Brees or Manning in this instance? It's a lot more impressive, right? Because even though I like Tony Romo this week, I'd feel a lot better with Manning headed into this week against Akbar.

Here's my roster from my League of Record (where again, I waited on a quarterback)
Tom Brady
Trent Richardson
Knowshon Moreno
Randall Cobb
Josh Gordon
Jimmy Graham
Danny Amendola (Le'Veon Bell is on a bye)

This team kind of stinks. How much better does that roster get with Brees and Manning? Or even Aaron Rodgers who I've completely omitted because I had him third. But again, I was victimized by Steven Jackson here. Of course, had I been able to take Matt Forte in either draft (Matt "Money" Smith took him in the first-round of our experts' league, and Frank H. grabbed him just in front of me in my League of Record), things would be different.

But the lesson here is the elite quarterbacks need to go in the second round. A lot of you already do that, but I feel it should be reiterated. Now if somebody could just send me a good quarterback.

Let's move on in this column voted "Best Use of a Soap Box" by our esteemed 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 ...

I don't want to turn the lights out on the Colin Kaepernick bandwagon. I still like him very much. I will take a quarterback who does well in real life and doesn't have it transition to fantasy. Because that will change very soon.

I have Kaepernick as my No. 12 quarterback this week, and that just speaks to the depth at the position. There are guys who I just like a little bit better. He's just ahead Andrew Luck right now, who is currently my No. 13. So these guys are just on the outside of 10-team leagues. You might start both guys in 12-team leagues but you need to be careful of the matchups.

Kaepernick is poised for a breakout soon, though. The 49ers have handed off the ball an average of 32 times in two wins this year. That number drops significantly into the teens in the 49ers' losses. So the team will run the ball more and when the team does that efficiently, that will make Kaepernick much more efficient. Of course, he was solid against St. Louis, but it just didn't translate into fantasy points. I fear something similar this week against Houston, which is why he's No. 12.

Anquan Boldin has been a solid flex option for most of you, but there are going to be some matchups where he just doesn't work as well. The Texans have allowed the fewest receptions to receivers this year.

Andrew Luck can run. He's had seven rushing touchdowns since 2012, which is tops for quarterbacks in the AFC. It's a tough matchup against the Seahawks this week. I benched him in favor of Brady in one league. But he's my No. 13 quarterback.

Love you, Reggie Wayne. There is no way I can trust you with a matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, who have allowed the fewest points to fantasy receivers in 2013.

Terrelle Pryor is a nice sleeper this week, too. The Chargers have still allowed the most points to fantasy quarterbacks this year. And really, what choice do the Raiders have but to keep Pryor running all over the field? However, he's currently my No. 14 quarterback. Again, depth.

You guys know me, I'm an Alex Smith guy. However, I don't like this matchup against the Titans who are very good at home. I look for the Chiefs to eke out a win in Nashville, but it's going to be very tough.

I'm not down with Dwayne Bowe. He has ranked 46th among fantasy receivers this season. He has had fewer than 12 fantasy points in each game this season. He's had less than 80 receiving yards in 13 consecutive games. He has only scored two touchdowns in his last 13 games.

If that wasn't enough to keep you off Dwayne Bowe, understand how good the Titans defense is. The Titans have allowed the sixth-fewest points to fantasy receivers. But what's more important here is the matchup. The Titans are tied for third in the league with 14 sacks this year. That means the Titans are getting to the quarterback. Which means more dump-offs for Smith, which means less chances down the field. And stay with me here, it's less chances for Bowe.

The Chiefs defense is very legit. That's why I caution you on Chris Johnson. He hasn't played well at all. He ranks 26th as a running back. And when you look at the matchup against the Chiefs, I would pass where possible.

BTW, a lot of you kids continue to call him CJ2K on Twitter. Let's stop with that. He's ceased to be 2K in quite some time. He's a nice kid, but his 2,000 rushing yards seems like such a long time ago. In fact, he's had more than 100 rushing yards just once in his last 10 games. He's also had fewer than 10 fantasy points in each game this season.

Johnson said this week he doesn't mind not being the team's top goal-line back. Well guess what? I certainly mind.

Here's his quote: "It's a situation where I know I am not going to have those two- or three-yard touchdowns. I have to score my touchdowns from far out because when (we) get close to the end zone they take me out of the game. Of course I want to be in there. But when you are winning you can't go in there and complain."

First of all, you certainly can go in there and complain. It's part of being a star player in the NFL. Your record doesn't matter. It's all about your touches. Or more to the point, touchdowns. Start chirping, CJ. It totally works. Just ask some of the other guys around the league.

Eli Manning has such an attractive matchup against the Eagles. But again, depth at quarterback is really good. Manning has been inconsistent and I can just never forgive myself if he ends up having a lousy game. I just can't do it.

I would start Eli Manning over Sam Bradford, though. Bradford has a fantastic matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Bradford is one of those guys who will end up murdering your team when you need him to destroy a good matchup. The game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 3 immediately comes to mind. Bradford had a real attractive matchup and ended up floundering. The Jags defense can rise up.

ImageAnd please people, don't think this St. Louis/Jacksonville matchup is a battle for Los Angeles. Because it ain't. As the world's most vocal Los Angeles area sports fan, we don't want the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mainly because we have too much respect for the city of Jacksonville which has given us Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jack Youngblood. And there are good fans in Jacksonville, and those folks deserve a better football team. But at least next year's quarterback draft class appears rather deep.

Although, the Jags could draft a new quarterback and still go with Blaine Gabbert. Seriously, as one nice kid said to me on Twitter, how come the Jaguars coaches are the only ones who think Gabbert can be a good quarterback? Chad Henne might not be the second coming of Joe Montana, but he's better than Gabbert.

ImageSpeaking of teams that could head back to Los Angeles, the Oakland Raiders have been in the news. First, the "Coliseum City" is being discussed again, which is great news. Anything to keep the Raiders in Oakland is a great thing.

Second, the Raiders and Chargers will play late on Sunday night thanks to the Oakland A's. Now, in another life, I would have loved a late Sunday night game. But since I'm up early to do "NFL Fantasy Live" the appeal of staying up until midnight loses some luster. I'll still do it. I just have to find a way to wedge "Homeland" between the 49ers/Texans and the Chargers/Raiders game.

But seriously, a football game in Oakland which starts at 8:30 p.m.? I can't imagine what the tailgating scene is going to look like. I'll just leave it at that.

ImageYou know, I've given the Raiders fans grief over the years, but the Dallas Cowboys fans might have hit a new low in San Diego last week. The Cowboys fans engaged in a bottle fight in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium. Really classy by fans of America's Team. I understand the Chargers fans also engaged in the activity. But I've never gotten the zeal and pride fans get in "taking over" an opposing team's stadium. As my man Steve Fryer wrote here, it is a problem that's huge on the West Coast. If you ever wonder why stadium attendance can be an issue, especially out here, there you go. Nobody wants to spend a lot of money to sit around hooligan fans. I just wonder when they are going to start separating fans like a college football game. It might not be the worst idea.

BTW, look at this guy's tattoo right here. If that's Romo in that photo, well, that's regrettable. At least go with Troy Aikman who won three Super Bowls.

Reader Jeff T. points out it's likely Aikman because the girl who took the photo has an Emmitt Smith jersey on.

Jay Cutler had a somewhat rotten game against the Lions in Week 4. I guess there are just a few quarterbacks who can go out and win on the road. You know the usual suspects who can do it. But it's a rather small group who can make it happen.

There are still some matchups for Cutler which will be good in the future. Week 7 against the Redskins is a particularly nice matchup for Cutler and I would have the faith to go with him there if you have started Brees this season. In fact, if you have space to pick him up right now, you might want to make the add.

I always wonder if my own fantasy team is due for an implosion because I carry both Cutler and Seabass. Am I risking too much in the clubhouse? But I will continue to stick with my guys.

A lot of my fellow Bears fans told me this is what I should come to expect with Cutler as our starting quarterback. But it was one bad game and a few bad decisions. This is where Marc Trestman is going to prove his worth. If he can sit down with Jay and point out where he went wrong and what he should do instead, then this partnership is going to be a good one. The key is if Cutler can now learn from what he did wrong. I will take one "learning experience" game.

When you make moves on the waiver wire, don't sort by points. You never want to chase the points they've already scored. If Nate Washington or Alshon Jeffery were going to give you double-digit fantasy points each and every week, they would have done it already.

Our Matt "Money" Smith was at the Bears game on Sunday, and he pointed out Jeffery's explosion came late in the game. Cutler didn't even look for Jeffery until his fourth read. With so many other options, you'd be better off to leave Jeffery on the bench.

Washington looks like an attractive add, too. He's had some nice seasons in the past, but you don't want to buy into the hype. Especially with the matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. And Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.

Seems like Ryan Fitzpatrick knew what he was doing when he picked the Titans as his team during the offseason. He knew he was going to get his chances to get into a game.

Pierre Thomas had 146 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in his last game against the Bears. But he hasn't shown that he's consistent enough to warrant a start. If you're in a really deep league and you need a spot-start at RB, then sure. You can do better.

What a Joique. Lions RB Joique Bell surely disappointed against the Bears. The matchup wasn't great and he would be an outside flex start. But his main value is as a handcuff to Bush right now.

ImageThis week's movie rant: I just got all of the movie channels and I'm loving it. I'm a movie junkie so I watch at least a movie a night now. I watched "Deep Impact" recently. Here's the thing (of many) about this movie, why were they flying the rocket ship back home after the initial try didn't work out? Shouldn't a suicide mission with the remaining nukes have been the Plan B. all along? Like Fisher needed to remind these guys? And poor Mary McCormick. She's a talented pilot, but she has to go along with this final run because those (expletives) couldn't do their job? I felt bad for her. I have more thoughts on this. Maybe I should start doing a movie podcast. Let me know if any of you would listen to this. I think we could pick a movie a week and just complain about it.

Playing running back for the Arizona Red Birds isn't a much better proposition. Rashard Mendenhall is on the verge of losing his job. Coach Bruce Arians gave him a vote of no confidence this week, and it doesn't seem like he's long for the starters gig. Mendenhall has rushed for less than 70 yards in 11 consecutive games.

What totally stinks about this is Mendenhall was going to be one of the rare bell-cow running backs. Arians was content to let him run the show, and Mendenhall hasn't taken advantage of it all. I wonder how Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips would describe this. (ICYMI: Philips said he and his Reds teammates choked against the Pirates in the one-game wild card.)

ImageA Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Boston Red Sox World Series is inevitable, right? The world might be rooting for the Bucs and Rays to make it, but we're not that lucky as sports fans. I will concede many of you likely root for the Oakland A's. Or at least the periphery sports fans who watched "Moneyball" will likely pull for the A's. I don't care for them as an Angels fan, but there you go.

I understand there is some disdain for the St. Louis Cardinals, too. I can understand that. I don't want to be too biased because I might be a little miffed at St. Louis for having a football team with the same nickname of the team that moved from here when I was a kid. So I didn't want that clouding my view too much.

Although, I don't mind St. Louis as much now that the Los Angeles Kings owned them in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. So yeah, I don't mind St. Louis as much.

But going back to the running back conundrum, St. Louis has become an awful situation. It looked like Daryl Richardson could have been an option this season. Now you can't even play him against Jacksonville. Hell, you can't play any St. Louis running back against Jacksonville, which is just so wrong on so many levels. Actually, just one level. That level is fantasy football.

The Jaguars have allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL this season. Come on St. Louis FC, get your (expletive) together.

Why is Jeff Fisher always in the conversation of great coaches? He hasn't had a winning season since 2008.

Mike Wallace has fewer than three fantasy points in three games this season. He ranks fourth on his own team with 15 receptions. David Boston is getting nervous about his "biggest free-agent receiver bust of the 2000s award."

Thursday night roundup: Really bummed about Brian Hoyer. Seemed like he was really on to something special. Not sure where the Browns can find a quarterback now. Don't expect it to be Josh Freeman, either. Matt Flynn maybe? Kyle Orton? There needs to be a trade because the Browns could legitimately get in the playoffs.

My dream scenario, Freeman goes to Arizona. Why not? Freeman is often compared to Ben Roethlisberger. He and Bruce Arians could be an excellent fit. Then the Birds could deal Palmer to the Browns. Or Drew Stanton. Or you can ride it out with Brandon Weeden.


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."

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