Like/dislike: Peyton Manning is a fantasy superstar


What we are talking about:

  • Tom Brady

    MVP! MVP! MVP!

  • Chris Johnson

    Time to move on

  • "Showgirls"

    What really went wrong

Moments after Hulk Hogan turned on Randy "Macho Man" Savage during Bash at the Beach in 1996 to form the New World Order, a gleeful Bobby "The Brain" Heenan shouted "What have I been saying all these years? What have I been saying all these years? All you humanoids can ..."

For years, Heenan had constantly pointed out Hogan's rule-breaking ways (I mean, he used a closed fist all the time which is against the rules of professional wrestling) and pointed out Hogan wasn't the good guy we all thought he was.

So the moment Heenan was finally proven correct, well, he couldn't help himself.

And that is pretty much how I felt this week when Jim Irsay came out and reiterated what I've said all these years. Peyton Manning has been one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, but he just doesn't seem to play his best when it matters most. In other words, Peyton Manning is kind of the NFL version of dating Taylor Swift. Seems great at first, but it usually ends in disastrous fashion.

Although, nobody writes songs about Manning's playoff failures. In fact, we tend to ignore Manning's playoff failures like it's a giant secret nobody is allowed to talk about. Kind of like the way nobody in Springfield talks about the name Armin Tamzarian. None of the football humanoids are allowed to point out Manning's playoff passer rating of 88.4 is way lower than his career mark of 96.7. If you point this out, you're a hater. But I won't allow Mr. Irsay to be referred to in this manner.

I have your back, Mr. Irsay. There is no need to explain yourself. Why should he? Irsay basically said he's no longer content with fantasy-like numbers; he wants more Super Bowl titles. While it's awesome for your fantasy team when Peyton Manning throws seven touchdown passes in Week 1 against the Ravens, it still doesn't erase the fact he threw the game-crippling interception to help propel Baltimore into the Super Bowl the previous January.

Why can't he say that? And why is John Fox so hurt over it? Wasn't Fox on the sidelines when Manning threw that pick against the Ravens? I mean, Fox can get upset. It still doesn't erase the fact Tim Tebow has more playoff wins for the Broncos than Peyton Manning.

The big question: How does Peyton Manning respond this week? Does he go out and break the NFL single-game record he nearly broke in Week 1? Or does this game have a playoff-like feel and, well, you know how playoffs in Indianapolis (or anywhere) typically end for Manning. It's not too sweet.

And without further ado ...

Colin Kaepernick has scored fewer than 16 fantasy points in six consecutive games. Even though he had two sweet touchdown bombs to Davis. Here's the rub with him. As long as the 49ers continue to win with a conservative game plan, they're going to keep him under wraps. I imagine we're going to see the running Kaepernick once the playoffs start.

Seriously, Kaepernick is like a bottle of Scotch you need to hide when you're having a party. Yes, everybody can get loaded on the Coors Light or other such hooch while the party is going on. You don't break out the good stuff until it's just you and your eight buddies at the end of the night by the fire. And that's what Jim Harbaugh has done with the 49ers this year.

Either that or they spent way too much time with commercials. Seriously, I see more 49ers commercials than touchdowns. And is it just me or is the Larry Bird payoff at the end of the McDonald's chicken wings commercial just the worst ever? That's what you folks come up with?

But seriously, do you want to know how upset I'm going to be when Kaepernick has like six rushing touchdowns in the playoffs? The word you will be looking for is livid.

If you want more numbers, the Titans have allowed the fourth-fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks this season with less than 16 fantasy points from quarterbacks in six consecutive games. In fact, they've allowed more than 300 pass yards only once in the last 16 games.

CJ "No Fantasy Points" K is not somebody to start this week. (I'm talking Chris Johnson if you're a touch confused.) The 49ers allow the ninth-most fantasy points to rushers, but I don't care. Johnson has scored less than 10 fantasy points in five of his last six games. And the 49ers have allowed less than 100 rushing yards in six of their last eight road games.

But this just seems like a game where Johnson comes out and ruins us by going big, right? I won't advise against people playing crazy hunches. But he won't be in my lineup. Mainly because I didn't draft him. Not trying to pile on, but how did you not see this coming? I get blinded by guys, too. I'm the dude who took Steven Jackson because I thought he would be the fantasy MVP this year. So I obviously can't cast stones. But I do like to point out Chris Johnson because it does make me feel better about my Jackson pick.

I'm giving Matt Ryan this week against the Buccaneers because as Warren Sapp asked me on Sunday, "Who told you the Bucs could play defense?" Actually, nobody did. He's right. So Ryan is still the last of my QB1 guys, but he's going to be on a very short leash without Julio Jones.

Great Caesar's Ghost, outside of Forte, there doesn't seem to be a second-round fantasy running back that has done really well.

Maurice Jones-Drew is going up against the Chargers defense which has allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs on the road this season. The Chargers have allowed just two rushing touchdowns on the year. So you don't have to like this matchup.

If I had to do it all over again, I would start Stevan Ridley last week. Why? Because I'd have access to the (expletive) future. I whiffed on that one. Ridley was the goods against the Saints. I don't like the matchup against the Jets this week, as they've allowed the third-fewest rushing yards to RBs this year.

The New York Jets have not allowed a rushing touchdown in three of the last four home games to the Patriots. And the Jets have allowed one total rushing touchdown in their last five home games.

David Wilson and Rueben Randle in a Twitter war over who is the worst guy on the Giants? That's hilarious. Sure it got heated and way too personal, but this is exactly what Twitter is for anyway. For us to laugh at others. Read up, it gets really good.

I was going to start Randle on my fantasy team, and I thought better of it after reading all of those things. Did you know most of Eli Manning's interceptions have come when he's looking for Randle? I was going to start him over Larry Fitzgerald. I've penned this section before the game, so I'm not sure if it worked out for me or not. Who knows, I might have changed my mind and put him in. But it was tough watching Fitzgerald score all of those points last week on the bench (though, I had Allen in for him).

I've already changed my mind. On mid-Thursday morning, I went back to Randle. It's in the NFL AM League where I've kind of mailed it in anyway, so I just went with the crazy play. It's like going to a casino night and playing with fake money, so it's all good. Not going to lose too much sleep over it.

ImageUPDATE: I'm rather pleased I went with Randle. Well, I feel good about it right now. Those Thursday night games can be a bummer, unless you went with Russell Wilson. Time to put him in a permanent starting role for the coming future.

At what point will we see Drew Stanton in Arizona? Bruce Arians was pretty pleased with the acquisition even before they traded for Carson Palmer. But Palmer has struggled for most of the season. Even in the wins, the Cardinals have looked rather pedestrian on offense. And seriously, I can't believe I'm advocating Stanton here.

However, Larry Fitzgerald meets Richard Sherman FTW. (Watch the video.)

Remember when LeGarrette Blount was a thing? I really hate to let him go because you just know Bill Belichick is going to go back to him at some point. He's just that crafty.

Speaking of former Bucs, Josh Freeman isn't in my top ten, but I'd certainly play him ahead of guys like Eli Manning, Joe Flacco or even Ben Roethlisberger. Freeman isn't that far away from being a spot-starter. And really, if you've been stung at your quarterback position, Freeman is worth considering.

The one thing about Freeman is he will have the chip on his shoulder. He knows if he can play well enough, he could get Greg Schiano fired. Hate is a powerful motivating tool. Talk to me on Sunday and I will probably have Freeman as one of my starters. In fact, I might go look at my rosters right now.

Don't feel too badly for Schiano. San Diego State will certainly welcome him next year when he becomes available. Or maybe even Boise State if Chris Petersen ever takes the money and moves on to USC.

Brandon Weeden is an interesting option because his matchup against the Packers is so favorable. But he throws way too many interceptions for it to be worthwhile. That makes the Packers defense a rather interesting pickup.

This bums me out. We might not be able to start Jordy Nelson this week. On one hand, you drafted him to be your No. 3 receiver. Maybe your No. 2 in some very deep leagues. But he's going to likely be locked up with Joe Haden. This isn't a matchup I would prefer. I would still start him over guys like Hakeem Nicks, Anquan Boldin and say, Greg Jennings.

I just jinxed Jordy Nelson, didn't I? Like all three guys are going to end up scoring more points than Jordy, right? I'll say this. I have Nelson in my experts' league. I have Decker and Allen ahead of him. But he's still ahead of Roddy White and Larry Fitzgerald.

Dwayne Bowe is still on your roster? May I ask why? I can ask? So, uh, why is he still on your roster? Bowe has now had fewer than 80 receiving yards in 15 consecutive games. He's made up for it with just two touchdowns over the stretch. If you have a chance to pick up somebody better, go ahead and do it.

Steve Smith has been the incumbent for too long in Carolina. But now I believe it's time to enact term limits to your fantasy starters. It's easy to rely on the familiar names, but sometimes you need to break the mold.

Smith continued to be a fantasy disappointment. He has scored fewer than nine fantasy points in four consecutive games. He's had fewer than 75 receiving yards in eight consecutive games. The explosion just hasn't been there. He's had no receptions of more than 25 yards in eight of his last nine.

Tavon Austin scored four last week. Oh wait, he was in on just four plays. I resisted the Austin-hype for most of the offseason. I got caught up in a few matchups earlier this year, but this is clearly a situation to avoid. And yet, Brian Schottenheimer has a job. I guess this is a testament to how beloved Marty must still be. Speaking of which, Marty would have the Bucs winning right now. There is no doubt in my mind he could do it.

The Panthers have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to receivers this year. Austin himself has scored less than five points in five of the last six games, and hasn't scored a touchdown in four. I was just about ready to come around on him, but forget it.

Another Austin I would be happy to do without is Miles Austin. He was passed up by Terrance Williams last week (no wait, I like Williams). But if you want to play Austin this week, fine. Do what you have to do. But don't come running to me when he blows his hamstring again. Oops, should have given up a spoiler alert.

ImageSpeaking of spoiler alerts; be sure to catch "The Soup Investigates." I talked about that over in the likes. But here's the thing, I might have spoiled "Homeland" for some staffers around here. Yeah, we're in the third season. Speaking of the third season, I'm going to give this one more episode. This last one was interesting, but it seems like the show has kind of lost its way. Maybe the show runners should have done something similar to what they did with "The Wire" and every season was kind of different. Because they are trying way too hard to mine this Carrie/Brody storyline through three seasons.

The good news for the third episode, no Dana! That was pretty cool. And I was fascinated by the idea of squatters in some of these abandoned buildings, but that's where it ends. "Homeland" pushed its luck with some of the storylines last year (pacemaker?), so they don't have a lot of room to operate here. There are many demands for my viewing time. But the small win of no Dana keeps me around.

The Panthers defense is no joke. (That's right, I just jumped right back in.) The Panthers allow the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. With just four touchdown passes, that's tied for the fewest in the league. If you have ridden Sam Bradford in recent weeks, this is a good time to put him on the bench.

I'm super bummed about Le'Veon Bell. I didn't start him when he torched the Minnesota Vikings. Then he goes on a bye. I couldn't wait to start him last week and he failed me. Now I don't want to chase good points after bad, so he's on my bench this week.

Titans coach Mike Munchak said he's proud of Kenny Britt. What's he proud of? Keeping him off the field for so long?

Thank you to all of you who have put in a submission for the movie dislike of the week. I really do appreciate it. And seriously, IMDB, you should consider a sponsorship. This week, I really do aim to take down "Showgirls". Because there is one thing that bugs me about "Showgirls".

ImageAll right, Nomi Malone gets a gig as a dancing girl at the Stardust. And then she must meet with HR to fill out some paperwork. Cue the overacting, because apparently Nomi has a past she doesn't want anybody to know about. So when she meets with the HR rep, she says she doesn't remember her social security number or have a copy of it. And the HR rep says no big deal. In what world is this no big deal? No big-time corporation is going to let a person work without proper documentation. Just to be sure, I called Boyd Gaming (who owned the Stardust) to see if they would let somebody work (even in entertainment) without a social security card. I was told, and I quote, "no chance." This isn't possible. Sorry "Showgirls", this movie is now ruined for me forever.

Another guy I steered clear of during drafts this year was Andre Johnson. The Chiefs have allowed just five touchdowns this season (third-fewest in the NFL). Johnson has had fewer than 15 fantasy points in each game this year. Johnson hasn't scored a touchdown in eight consecutive games, or 11 of his last 12. Don't be the guy at the roulette wheel who keeps betting red because you think it's bound to come up soon.

DeAndre Hopkins is another guy who suffers here with Case Keenum at quarterback. Hopkins is still worth a roster spot, though. I understand he might not be a good start this week going up against Kansas City and all. However, this is a good football move for the Texans. Kennum will probably continue to start for the rest of the season and he could start to see some success like Glennon and Foles have.

You know what, this all is working up to Keenum knocking off the Chiefs, right? I mean everybody has bought into Kansas City and rightfully so. If you were going to write this one up as a drama, Keenum gets the win over the Chiefs.

I'm going to be very sad for those who added Joseph Fauria this week after he scored three touchdowns. Like the dude's dance moves. He's creative. I mean, after this third one, he had no idea what to do with himself. But he did this at UCLA, where he just scored touchdowns and nothing else.

DeMarco Murray wants to prepare like he's going to play against the Eagles. But he's not going to.

Well, I'm happy to have Gronk back in the fold. The excitement for Gronk is only matched by the excitement I once held for Star Wars Episode I. Or as I like to call it, (expletive) Star Wars Episode I. Oh man, I hope we aren't let down by Gronk like we were when that hot garbage was released. But I will continue to remain positive about Gronk. The Patriots are starting to get hot right at the right time. They seem to play better when the weather is cooler.

ImageAnd then the weather will have cooled down in Denver, too. It's cool to do well early in the season. Especially for us fantasy enthusiasts. But watch, as the season rolls on, you will see Jim Irsay has a point.

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."