What we are talking about:
Born to run.
What a joke
Because he's awesome
Moments after the Colts beat the Broncos last week on Sunday night football, I had a huge dilemma. Well, not who to play on Monday night. I had already sealed my victory against Dave Dameshek with solid performances from Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno.
Rather, I had to decide if I wanted to watch "Homeland" once again.
The show had been so disappointing. The Dana storyline is as annoying as it is unnecessary. Didn't Howard Gordon learn his lesson from "24" when every story revolving around a kid was terrible? And we don't even need to start in about the "Tower of David" episode.
Nobody would have questioned me had I decided to move on from the series after it went from greatness to near-nothingness. And does this remind you of anybody in fantasy football?
No, not Trent Richardson. I'm talking about Tom Brady. He's been my quarterback in my League of Record (the league I care about the most in fantasy football) this season and I nearly replaced him this week. But just as I went back to "Homeland" last Sunday, I hope I'm as handsomely rewarded as I stick with Brady again this week. Not to give away any spoilers (as I might have on Monday's episode of NFL Fantasy Live), but "Game On" was masterful and even I didn't see the plot twist coming. And I live for that stuff.
So I'm going to give Brady one more chance, just like I did with "Homeland" this past week.
And really, it's not a bad move. The Patriots have scored at least 27 points and amassed more than 400 yards in four consecutive home meetings with the Dolphins. Brady himself has scored 13 total touchdowns and turned the ball over just four times in his last six home meetings. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last three home games against the Fins.
The biggest thing is the players. The Patriots lead the league in drops this year, with 23. With Rob Gronkowski back now, and hopefully the return of Danny Amendola, maybe some of his receivers can hang on to the ball.
So I'm going Tom Brady. Who else do I like and dislike this week? Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. Or something like that.
And without further ado ...
Rodgers has 11 touchdowns and only one turnover in the last three road games at Minnesota. He's had at least 300 passing yards in four consecutive games on the road against the Vikings.
The Packers have struggled to run the ball against the Vikings in the past, with no rushing touchdowns in the last four road meetings, and only one touchdown in the last eight roadies to Minnesota. Eddie Lacy will put that to an end. He's had at least 22 touches in three straight.
Jordy Nelson has had fewer than 90 receiving yards in nine career games against the Vikings, but he's had three touchdowns in the last three. Dude also beat Joe Haden for a touchdown last week. This is why you can't bench this guy.
Seriously, Jordy Nelson and Eric Decker have saved my bacon in the Experts' League. I've been able to count on those guys as Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White have battled injuries this season. I will play Nelson, Decker and Fitzgerald (flex) this week.
If you need a kicker this week, see if Mason Crosby is available. He's been nearly perfect (13-of-14) at the Metrodome.
Adrian Peterson has gone for 175 yards and (at least) a touchdown in back-to-back home games against the Packers. He's had 12 runs of at least 10 yards in the last two, and a touchdown in four of the last five in the dome.
Eli Manning has thrown at least two passing touchdowns in three consecutive road meetings against the Eagles. He's on the outskirts of the QB1 position. But not a terrible spot-start quarterback. Well he is terrible, but he's not a bad option is what I should say.
Rueben Randle has become my guy in New York. He's had a touchdown reception in three consecutive games, and at least 13 points in two of his last three. The Eagles have allowed the second-most yards per game this season.
LeSean McCoy has scored only one touchdown in his last four meetings against the Giants, but he's had at least 90 scrimmage yards in the last five. The Eagles rush offense has notched more than 145 rushing yards in four consecutive home meetings, and more than 100 rushing yards in the last nine home games against the Giants.
DeSean Jackson has recorded at least 85 receiving yards in three consecutive meetings against the Eagles. He's had a receiving touchdown in back-to-back games. He's been targeted 29 times in the least three games against the Giants.
The Steelers have put up 31 points on the Raiders in back-to-back meetings. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for at least 275 yards in four career games. He's had eight total touchdowns and no interceptions in the last two against the Raiders.
Darren McFadden had 113 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 3 of 2012 against the Steelers. Even Ryan Clark admitted on the Dave Dameshek Football Program this week the Steelers might not be super pumped to play the Raiders.
Russell Wilson didn't have his best game as a pro at St. Louis last year. Not that you could blame somebody for not being happy to be in St. Louis, but I like him a lot more this year.
Marshawn Lunch has at least 100 rushing yards in three consecutive meetings with St. Louis, and a rush touchdown in three of his last four against the football club from the Gateway city.
I'm excited for Percy Harvin to return and he should be on your team. But unless you have a great backup plan just in case he's inactive, it's going to be tough to play him. If you wanted to have Tavon Austin at the ready, he might be a nice little sleeper.
Yes, Tavon Austin has disappointed this year and this matchup is terrible -- for larger receivers like Larry Fitzgerald. But smaller guys like Austin have been able to cause problems for the Seahawks. Just look at what T.Y. Hilton did against the Legion of Boom a few weeks ago.
Robert Griffin III had a season-high 84 rush yards against the Bears in Week 7. He's had 155 rush yards over the last two weeks. He's back, everybody. The Broncos have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. You saw last week what a mobile quarterback like Andrew Luck can do to the Broncos defense.
Roy Helu has at least seven fantasy points in three consecutive games. The Broncos have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs at home this year. The Broncos have allowed a rush touchdown in each game this year. This also works for Alfred Morris, too.
When you look for running backs, you want opportunity. Chris Ivory got the ball a ton against the Patriots last week and should continue to get the ball, even though he has a tough matchup against the Bengals.
Terrance Williams has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games. He ranks sixth among receivers over the past two weeks. The Lions have allowed the sixth-most point to fantasy receivers this year.
Don't look now, but Colin Kaepernick has scored at least 15 points in back-to-back games. This week, it's the Jacksonville Jaguars in London! The Jags have allowed 15 touchdown passes this year, tied for the most of any team in the NFL in 2013. You would be out of your crust to not start him.
I really like how Kaepernick has started to run more, as his rush totals have increased for three consecutive weeks. I mean, I can understand why they didn't want the 6-foot-4, 230 pound monster to get out there and run. I mean, why would the 49ers try to win or something?
ImageI really like the International Series and it seems like London is ready for an NFL team. I know it's going to be rough for a city to lose a franchise. Trust me, I know what that's like. And in a surprise, I don't think Jaguars should be the team. I mean, give Jacksonville a chance with some non-Gabbert teams. Want to know which team it should be? Well, if you're a fan of the Dave Dameshek Football Program you know who Handsome Hank's favorite team is. Hank's team should move to London.
ImageAnd before you ask, no, I'm not from Jacksonville. I just love the city, and you should, too. Jacksonville has given us Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jack Youngblood. That's way more than enough for us to overlook Limp Bizkit, too. So give Jacksonville some respect.
ImageDid you know that Sable was also from Jacksonville? I guess this might be the best time to give my prediction for "Hell in a Cell" right? CM Punk finally ends this feud with Paul Heyman, because Punk has to get into the championship mix again. This guy suggested a Goldust turn. I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you think something big is going to happen in a PPV. So no HBK turn, either. You'll get all of that stuff on RAW.
Le'Veon Bell is going to start for me this week in my League of Record against my chums in Corona, Calif. Bell had a career-high 93 rush yards against the Ravens last week and he's scored at least nine fantasy points in two of the three games he's played this year.
Hope you caught the fantasy bartender this week. Fred Jackson was featured in the segment. Jackson has scored fewer than 10 fantasy points just once this year. He's Mr. Consistent. And he's the one from Buffalo you want to chase.
ImageSpeaking of Chase, check out this clip from the great Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show". He is going after Chase Morgan and CNBC. At some point I have to imagine Craig Kilborn sits in his house at night quietly weeping to himself as "The Daily Show" has risen to new heights.
Speaking of consistent, remember when everybody freaked the (expletive) out when Eric Decker didn't have a touchdown in Week 1 against the Ravens? Those days seem so long ago. Decker leads the team with 63 targets this season. He's had three touchdown receptions in his last five games. And oh yeah, he's going against the Redskins.
Julius Thomas has eight touchdown receptions this year. He's been held without a touchdown just once this season.
The Chiefs D might be the mid-season MVP. We talked about them extensively in the preseason and I'll never forgive myself for dropping the team in the Expert's League. Though, that league would be unfair if I still had the Chiefs D.
See if anybody dropped the Baltimore Ravens during their bye week. You might be able to get the team going up against the Browns next week if you can stash them on your bench. Some other defensives to shuffle this week, look at the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints.
ImageGiovani Bernard ranks 12th among fantasy running backs this year. He's also scored four touchdowns in his last six games. Plus, it gives me a chance to use the name Ronnie James Gio when I talk about him. History lesson, kids. Go check out Ronnie James Dio, the guy who took over Black Sabbath when Ozzy went solo.
Denarius Moore has scored more than 14 fantasy points in two of his last three games. He leads the Raiders with four touchdown receptions. But we often overlook him because Raiders. Let's stop doing that.
Matthew Stafford has quietly put together a solid fantasy season with 15 touchdown passes, tied for second in the NFL. He's had at least two touchdown passes in six of his last eight games. The Cowboys have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. And don't forget Megatron.
Tony Romo is tied with Stafford with 15 touchdown passes. He's been down a little bit over the past two weeks, as he's scored just over 20 points in two games combined. But the Lions have allowed the fourth-most points to fantasy quarterbacks. Romo has shown enough over his career that I won't jerk around with him in my lineup.
Normally you'd see Zac Stacy's matchup and run screaming. But the Seahawks have allowed at least 100 rushing yards in six of their last seven road games. You don't have to like it, but you're playing a guy based on opportunity here.
Seems weird to not at least mention Knowshon Moreno, not that you guys need a reminder of how great he is. Moreno has eight rushing touchdowns this season, most in the NFL. Plus the Redskins have allowed the second-most points to fantasy running backs this season.
The fantasy points have started to dwindle for Josh Gordon, who has had less than 90 receiving yards three of his last four games. This is a brutal matchup against the Chiefs who have allowed just six touchdown receptions this year. But it's really hard to bench Gordon with all the receivers on a bye.
How bad is my NFL AM team when I'm delighted by the 6.4 fantasy points Mike James gave to me? But he looked all right against the tough Panthers' run D, so I'm encouraged. And I'm glad I started him over Lamar Miller this week.
ImageThe only Miller you should be interested in is the movie "We're the Miller" which was hilarious. Jason Sudeikis might be the most talented male SNL alum in recent years (because Tina Fey trumps all). We've had a lot of good ones like Bill Hader, Andy Samberg and my fraternity brother Will Forte. But Sudeikis has been funny.
ImageAlso, is Sudeikis a huge Batman fan? He played Batman in "Movie 43" and dropped a spot-on Bane impersonation in "Millers" recently. If they ever do the Justice League movie (I'm not super confident) why not give Sudeikis a chance as Jason Todd? (I'm going to be ripped for this one.)
Sure, he did look good for about a half against the Giants in Week 5 before he went down with an injury. However, he wasn't able to play the rest of the game and I'm not convinced he's healthy enough now. There's nothing worse than starting a guy and seeing him go off with an injury. Trust me, I had Jay Cutler last week. So I know of what I speak.
When I did the quarterback rankings this week, I saw so many other guys who would be better starts this week. Even Eli would be a nicer option than Vick.
The NFL is a quarterback league, but once a starter is down, why is the first call always to Brett Favre? High school kids now run sophisticated offenses (not me, as we ran the Wing T at Corona Senior High) and they go to passing camps at the age of seven. Yet, we can't find more than 32 guys who can play NFL football?
Hate to admit this, but it would have been kind of fun to see Brett Favre get back out there for the St. Louis Football Club. I mean, they might have well have a little fun during the final seasons in St. Louis. But this (expletive) needs to stop once the Los Angeles Rams are rebooted.
Favre said he was flattered to be asked to return by St. Louis (attention seeker), but ultimately declined. Good thing, too. The St. Louis offense has thrown a touchdown pass or less in 12 of the last 13 meetings, with less than 290 pass yards in those games. St. Louis quarterbacks have thrown an interception in seven consecutive games.
Oh wait, turns out the thing was just a huge joke. Kind of like Favre's season with the New York Jets. Yes, but I certainly believe Favre and St. Louis when they said it was all one big joke. Why would the guy who had a history of sticking around the limelight way too long and a team desperate for attention not make a joke about it. No, I'm serious. I totally believe them.
They should find a way to get this Brett Favre stuff into "Bad Grandpa" this week. Wait, I know this is in the "dislike" ledger, but I'm really looking forward to this movie. I mean that sincerely. I know I'm typically facetious about this stuff, but I'm really looking forward to it. Stop laughing, I'm serious.
ImageDon't worry St. Louis, you still have the Cardinals. I really started to fear for you late in Game 2, but you delivered a rather big stomach punch to the Red Sox with the rally for a win. I'm pulling for you St. Louis. Well, not as hard as I supported you during the NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
ImageJon Lester was accused of cheating, as a Cardinals minor leaguer suggested he had a foreign substance on his glove. That's pretty bold to make that accusation. There is no way a professional athlete would battle back from cancer and then start cheating.
ImageThat reminds me, has Lance Armstrong's scene in "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" become one of the funniest scenes ever, but not in the way it was originally intended? I mean seriously, how do you film that scene knowing what he knew? Oh right, he endorsed all of those "Live Strong" bracelets. And he drank Michelob Ultra.
ImageBTW, can you really get away with doctoring a baseball now anyway? I swear to goodness, you can't throw a pitch in the dirt without getting a new ball. And to think, my high school baseball coach would freak out if a "pearl" snuck into the rotation of practice balls.
And as tough as it will be to stomach another World Series for the Boston Red Sox, they do have some recent success to soften the blow. It really would have been a kick in the stomach for the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. Nobody would have wanted that. It would have robbed us of the awkward Don Mattingly press conference. Donny Baseball was in near George Costanza-like levels of insubordination. It would have been more fitting for him to be out there with a giant shrimp cocktail and boasting about inappropriate relationships.
Russell Wilson is just out of the first-tier of quarterbacks this week. The Seattle pass attack has just one total touchdown pass in the last five road games in St. Louis. Seattle quarterbacks have fewer than 230 pass yards in five consecutive road meetings.
Wilson had one of the worst games of his pro career at St. Louis last year when he threw for just 160 yards with three interceptions. Golden Tate has no touchdowns in six career meetings against St. Louis. Sidney Rice has one in four meetings. Zach Miller has not scored a touchdown against St. Louis in five career meetings and hasn't even topped 35 receiving yards.
Obviously the Seattle Seahawks defense is a pretty good play. The Seahawks have at least one takeaway in each of the 14 all-time road meetings against St. Louis. The Seahawks have recorded 15 sacks in the last four road meetings, and they have allowed 20 points or less in six straight.
Peyton Hillis looked like he was running on the beach. In ice skates. Uphill. Let's just say he wasn't fleet of foot. I would avoid him as the Giants haven't scored a rushing touchdown against the Eagles in their last three road games.
The best thing for Nicks right now would be a new team. And a trade to the Indianapolis Colts would be just what the doctor ordered. Nicks would be a great fit for the team which already has some burners. They need the gritty guy to get the tough yards. Though, he hasn't been able to do so this season.
The Dolphins have scored 24 points or less in four consecutive games at New England.
The Dolphins offense has thrown more than two touchdown passes in a game only once in the last 13 games at new England, with less than 285 pass yards in the last 11. Tannehill passed for 210 yards, no touchdowns and an interception last season against New England.
The Patriots have allowed the seventh-fewest points to receivers at home this season. In fact, the Patriots haven't allowed a receiving touchdown in back-to-back meetings with the Dolphins. Going back to Mike Wallace, he hasn't scored a receiving touchdown in four consecutive games and he's had fewer than 80 receiving yards in three of those contests.
Lamar Miller continues to be a huge disappointment for fantasy enthusiasts. It gets tougher against New England. Dolphins running backs have not scored a rush touchdown in the last three in New England, and only two in the last seven overall meetings.
Christian Ponder said he's excited for the opportunity to go against the Packers this week. I mean, after he watched what Josh Freeman did against the New York Giants on "Monday Night Football", you have to feel pretty good right? It's like being on the first tee and watching the first guy snap-hook one into the houses. It kind of takes the pressure off, right?
And speaking of Notre Dame, I do like how they went with the blue uniforms to beat USC last week. And seriously, guys. Let's stick to those from here on out. There is no need for you to get into the mix that a lot of these schools need to resort to. Last year having you and Alabama in traditional uniforms in the BCS title games was a nice change of pace.
ImageOh yeah, I forgot about John Cena. He wins the world heavyweight title. And then here comes Damien Sandow to cash in, only to have Cena defeat him too because John Cena. Seriously, Cena isn't going to be the only guy to fail to cash in a "Money in the Bank" briefcase, so Sandow will continue to be pushed to the bottom of the card because the WWE feels that's what's best for business. I won't purchase this PPV because I don't want to buy into the WWE's belief Cena has to be on the card for me to order it.
Rashard Mendenhall had the touchdown we all predicted would go to Andre Ellington last week. Mendenhall has a rush touchdown in two of the last three games, but he hasn't topped 45 rushing yards in five consecutive games. It's really hard to keep him in the lineup because he can't continue to be ineffective.
And you can't really start Andre Ellington with confidence, either. Ellington has had fewer than eight rushing attempts in each games this season and fewer than 60 rushing yards in every game. Ellington has not scored a rushing touchdown in three home games and the Falcons have been especially stingy against the run, with just two rush touchdowns allowed this year. The only reason to start Ellington is if Mendenhall doesn't play.
We are getting conflicting reports from C.J. Spiller (who said he feels great) and his coach Doug Marrone (who said he is still hurting). You know, Marrone was the guy who said he was going to run Spiller until he puked. So if Marrone said Spiller is hurting, well then the running back has likely never felt better in his entire life.
Spiller has scored fewer than 13 fantasy points in every game this season. And only one touchdown in 104 offensive touches. He was fantastic running the ball last year, when he averaged six-yards-per-carry. He's down to just four this year. His 56.9 scrimmage yards per game is 74th among running backs. You would never consider starting him if he hadn't wasted a first-round pick on him.
Boy, even in a week with so many byes, it would be hard to endorse Willis McGahee. Not with this matchup against the Chiefs, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points at home to running backs. The Chiefs haven't allowed a rushing touchdown in four home games this season, and fewer than five fantasy points in four of their last five. The Chiefs have allowed less than 18 points in seven consecutive games.
Maurice Jones-Drew has had fewer than 75 rushing yards in 10 consecutive games, and he hasn't notched double-digits in touchdowns in 16 straight. The 49ers have allowed the ninth-fewest points to running backs over the last month, and have allowed only one rushing touchdown over that time period.
The Bilal Powell experiment is likely over as he's scored fewer than six fantasy points in three consecutive games. His targets are on the decline, down in four straight weeks. He hasn't scored a touchdown in five games and the Bengals have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points at home to running backs this season.
Has it come to this Cleveland? We might have an argument for Brian Hoyer to be one of the most valuable players in fantasy football right now. Because the Cleveland offense just looks awful without him. Seriously, Jason Campbell. The only thing I ask of you, young man, is that you don't ruin things for Cameron and Gordon. Cameron was able to catch a garbage-timeish touchdown last week, which was huge. But there is a lot of sweating going on.
I do like how Cleveland Browns fans had to resort to Craig's List for quarterback help. Hey, they turned down Jeff Garcia, though you can't blame the Browns for remembering how that didn't work out the first time.
Matt Ryan has scored at least 18 fantasy points in five of his last six games. He's struggled against the Cardinals in the past. Ryan threw five interceptions in his last game against the Cardinals, which was a career-high. You have to be careful with him this week. He was good without Julio Jones for one week, but it's going to be a lot to ask for him to do it week-in, week-out unless Roddy White can start to pull it together.
ImageMovie breakdown time! And this is the beloved "Swingers" that so many of you seem to love. Surprisingly, it holds up rather well over the years. The NHL 94 scene is still as great as ever. Though the scene when Sue pulls out the gun still continues to be unbelievable to this day. But that's not what ruins this movie for me. It's the whole Las Vegas thing in this movie. Now, I like to wear a nice suit when I'm in Las Vegas. And people will ask me, "Hey you're wearing a suit like the guys in 'Swingers' right?" Wrong. There was a time when it was the rule to wear a suit in Vegas. Back when Frank, Dean and Sammy ruled the strip. To have the kids from "Swingers" even compared to that just turns my stomach and has now made me hate that movie. Well that and the swing dancing. And that Vince Vaughn has played "Trent" in every movie since. It's a good thing "Swingers" came before "Rudy" or who knows how he would have played Jamie O'Hara.
As Amendola and Gronk return to the lineup, it's going to be tougher to keep Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins in your lineup, outside of some deeper leagues. So they are, in a way, being written out of the show. Much like they should do with Dana. Dang, I sure hope her new love interest leads to the conclusion we all seek for that character!
ImageAnd finally, don't think I didn't notice who is coming home to Denver this week. That's right, Mike Shanahan returns to the birthplace of "Shanahanigans" this week. Or as Hank Hill from "King of the Hill" might say, 'we're on the verge of an outbreak and you're driving the monkey to the airport.'
As much as Shanahan pulled the "Shanahanigans" last week with Roy Helu, let's not underestimate how much John Fox adheres to the system. I mean, why was Ronnie Hillman even in the game last week? So I look for Montee Ball to get a touchdown this week. Hillman will be deactivated. And C.J. Anderson is expected to be active.
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. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! 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."