What we are talking about:
Let it fly
I can't be helped
He will never lose, ever
Congratulations to the city of Boston. I'm happy the Red Sox won the World Series. No, I'm totally serious. I'm happy about this. Because only Red Sox fans could win a pair of World Series titles in the past decade and still feel like the most bedeviled team in the world.
Seriously, all you heard from these poor fans was they hadn't won a World Series at home in 100 years. Are. You. (Expletive). Kidding. Me?
So congratulations, Boston. After all of those years of misery watching the Celtics win 17 titles and the Patriots winning three Super Bowls in four years, you finally got your sough-after title. I don't know how you were able to survive all of these years.
I know Cleveland is often viewed as the most "snake-bit" sports town. They have John Elway, the Tribe's failures and not to mention LeBron James.
Seattle has the Seahawks' lone Super Bowl appearance marred by what the 12th Man perceives as some questionable calls. The Mariners have never been to a World Series. And of course, Kevin Durant and the Sonics became the Johnny Thunders (or something). Plus, the Sacramento Kings were dangled in front of them.
Great contenders, but you have nothing on San Diego.
The Chargers were blown out in the one Super Bowl they played in. The Padres have been to two World Series and have faced juggernauts. Plus you have marauding Raiders and Cowboys fans filling Qualcomm during Sundays, plus all of the East Coast (and Dodgers) fans at PetCo. It's a nightmare.
The Browns have struggled in recent NFL history, but they won about 65 NFL titles during the Paul Brown era. Yes, the Sonics sting, but most San Diego fans have to watch the Clippers play in Los Angeles now. Plus, Seattle fans have the University of Washington. I can't remember the last time San Diego State won a national title in any sport. I'm sure it has, but I can't recall.
And to make matters worse for San Diego, for some reason the NFL hasn't given the Chargers a Halloween game in three years. If there was one tradition in San Diego which was good, it was Chargers Girls in Halloween costumes. Oh well, I guess there must be some penance for living in San Diego.
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 ...
Drew Brees has been harangued by the Jets, with just a touchdown pass or less in four career meetings against New York. In fact, he's had just three career touchdown passes against the Jets, the lowest of any team. This tells me he's going to have a monster game against them.
I had Drew Brees as my top quarterback of the week, but it looks like I'm going to switch to Aaron Rodgers to be the top guy. Just because I'm a touch scared off by the Jets defense, which is much tougher at home.
The Panthers' rushing attack has rushed for at least 100 rush yards in 10 consecutive meetings, and they've had six rush touchdowns in the last four meetings. Four of them have been from Newton. DeAngelo Williams has scored a touchdown in three consecutive meetings (including one reception).
Don't sleep on Mike Tolbert, either. If you are in a huge bind for a running back, you can add him to your roster. I would have added him to the Experts League, too, if Matt "Money" Smith hadn't beat me to it.
Wait, Money didn't get him! But Jon Stewart will return this week. This is going to be a game-time decision for me.
Steve Smith has no touchdowns in the last five games against the Falcons, and in seven of the last eight. But he's had at least 100 receiving yards in back-to-back home games against the Falcons. I just feel like he's due.
Ray Rice has had 90 scrimmage yards in each of his five career games in Cleveland. He's had a rush touchdown in back-to-back games in the home of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. The Ravens rush game has rushed for at least 100 yards in 13 of the last 14 meetings.
Torrey Smith has a receiving touchdown in two of his last three meetings, and was targeted 32 times during those three games.
Jordan Cameron leads NFL tight ends in receptions (49) and ranks second among tight ends in receiving yards (596). He continues to put up great numbers despite the matchup.
Great move by the Browns to not trade Josh Gordon. It made no sense for the Browns to move him. But what stopped a receiver-hungry team from offering a first-round pick for him? Like the 49ers or Patriots couldn't have sparred multiple picks to get a guy like Gordon?
Stevan Ridley has at least one rushing touchdown in three consecutive games. He has also scored more than 11 fantasy points in those three games and the Steelers are bad against the run in 2013, as they have allowed eight rushing touchdowns.
Tom Brady has thrown nine touchdowns and no interceptions against the Steelers in his last three meetings. He's had at least 350 pass yards in three of his last four against the Steelers, and has thrown at least 35 times in each of their six meetings.
Seriously, it's like Christian asking for "one more match" when it comes to Tom Brady. I was about to drop him and replace him with Terrelle Pryor this week. And I totally should, but in my League of Record with Brady, passing touchdowns are worth six points so I'm rolling with him one more time.
ImageSpeaking of the WWE, I'm not ready for The Shield to split just yet. But I'm going to be cool with it if this means the Wyatt Family is going to feud with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series. The WWE might be content with letting the top of the card be miserable, but I love the idea of this potential beef they set up on RAW. Well done, it almost makes me forgive you know what. (Don't worry, you just have to look at the other side to see what I'm referring to.)
Rob Gronkowski has 12 receptions for 166 yards and three touchdowns in two career games against the Steelers. Again, as stated above, I'm stupidly invested in this Patriots mess and I can't see it being this bad (fantasy wise) forever.
Le'Veon Bell has scored at least nine points in three of his four games he's played this season and he's off to New England this week. The Patriots have allowed the fourth-most points to fantasy running backs at home this year.
More on Pryor, however. The Eagles have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks on the road this year. Hmm, I might roll with him. This is going to be a tough call. I'd start Pryor in standard leagues.
Jordy Nelson hasn't scored a touchdown in eight of his nine career meetings against the Bears. Here's a photo of me not giving a (expletive). Nelson had a bad history against the Vikings before last week, too.
If you do want some good Jordy news, during his career against Peanut Tillman, he's been targeted seven times with six receptions for 75 yards. No touchdowns, but not bad numbers.
Eddie Lacy will be the top running back in fantasy in Week 9. He's been given a ton of opportunities and now he's up against the Bears who are banged up on defense, yet still refused to make a deal at the deadline.
Glad to see the flap between Dez Bryant and Tony Romo was exaggerated, only because of Dez's history. I'm glad to see a guy who cares this much. Romo has a great matchup against the Vikings this week, and a pretty good playoff schedule headed forward, too.
Andy Dalton (second-round in 2011) and A.J. Green (fourth-overall in 2011) have combined 204 times for 3,013 yards and 21 touchdowns since entering the NFL. How amazing to connect on such a great combination in one draft.
Andrew Luck had four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Texans in 2012. I don't like the mood of the Texans right now, either. So I don't fear the matchup with Luck. But look out, Luck has the toughest fantasy schedule (based on FPA) going forward.
T.Y. Hilton is a great play, and he should be started in all formats. The deep-sleeper name you need to remember going forward is Lavon Brazill.
ImageGoing back to what I said about San Diego at the top, SDSU should play its home games at PetCo Park. I love The Murph and everything, but it's jarring to watch a game there, even when a team like Fresno State travels in with all of its fans. But a football game at PetCo, right there in one of the best downtowns in the country in the Gas Lamp District, would make it an event each and every week. Plus there is enough public transportation to make it work. This needs to happen.
Hit me up on Twitter with this one, too. Who is the bigger SDSU legend, Marshall Faulk or Tony Gwynn? To be honest, this one isn't as close as you think and probably not the guy you would pick, either.
The Chargers and Redskins would have a rather delightful uniform matchup if the Chargers would just go with the powder blues. Though, I long to see the Chargers break out these old-school uniforms. That's classy, San Diego.
ImageI'm so excited for "Anchorman 2" which comes out this Christmas. This movie will likely escape the sequel doldrums because so much time has passed since the original first premiered. They likely put a lot of thought into this one and it will likely dominate just like the original did.
ImageGoing back to uniforms, did anybody catch what the Los Angeles Kings wore at home last Sunday? Wow, you talk about your all-time great uniforms, this might be the best of all-time. Our stats-maven Bill Sudell said those uniforms would be great if they had a white version. Dare to dream. But the Kings throwbacks are the best throwbacks of all-time. Sorry Chargers' powder blues.
Russell Wilson throws the "sexy deep ball" and he's got a great matchup against the Tampa Bay Bucs who don't like to play defense. That's what Warren Sapp told me. The Bucs have allowed the most points to quarterbacks over the last month. Wasn't Darrelle Revis supposed to fix that?
Golden Tate is a nice sleeper, especially now Percy Harvin won't go.
Don't be afraid to work in a little Marshawn Lynch, too. The dude was downright disappointing against the St. Louis FC this past week.
ImageDare to dream what a Monday Night Football game would have looked like for the Los Angeles Rams instead of St. Louis last week. The only thing that might have derailed the momentum would have been the Los Angeles Lakers season opener, but that was the next night. Oh well, maybe next year when Derrick Favors and Andrew Wiggins join the club.
ImageAnd as weird as this might sound, I'm really looking forward to this Los Angeles Lakers season. When I was a youngster, I was offended by my schoolmates who rooted for the Lakers and rode the band wagon with other teams. I always insisted they support one of our crappy local teams like the Angels, Kings or Rams. Well, now the Lakers are our crappy team, but this should still be a lot of fun. And the opener was great. Go ahead and cover our banners, Clippers.
Jake Locker could be a nice sleeper for a team in a pinch for a quarterback in Week 9. Locker has scored at least 19 points in three consecutive games. He's also had only one interception in 152 attempts.
Kendal Wright has had eight targets in four consecutive games and now he's at St. Louis, which has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points at home to wide receivers. I mean, Golden Tate torched them.
Zac Stacy has at least 75 scrimmage yards in four consecutive games, and has at least nine fantasy points in three of the last four weeks. The Titans have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs over the last month.
Antonio Brown has the most receptions in the NFL since Week 3 (45). But has he ever done something to win you a fantasy week? No, he hasn't. He's had at least 80 receiving yards in four of his last five games.
Jordan Reed has scored the most points among fantasy tight ends over the past two weeks. He's had at least 50 receiving yards in four consecutive games and is clearly the top receiving option for Washington.
I welcomed Robert Griffin III back to fantasy relevance last week, but he was a huge disappointment. Even before he was injured. And if he has lost any sort of confidence, this is going to be a problem going forward.
One thing in RGIII's favor, the Chargers have allowed the most-fantasy points this season. But, the Chargers have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last month. Started terrible, but the Chargers' D is playing well right now.
Ben Roethlisberger has done pretty well against the Patriots in his last two meetings. He's thrown for at least 365 yards in back-to-back games. He's had seven touchdowns and three interceptions in his last three against them. But he's just on the outside of No. 1 quarterbacks for me. The Patriots have been especially tough on quarterbacks in recent weeks.
Though, I have a feeling this Steelers vs. Patriots game is going to be a shoot-out, so Roethlisberger isn't the worst option in the world. But the game plan, according to the scouts here, is to run the ball to beat the Patriots. That's where they are the most vulnerable.
Funny story, with Colin Kaepernick on a bye, I put in a waiver claim for Red Dalton. I felt pretty good about that. But I spaced on making the change. Hahaha, well that sure worked out, right? Well, not so much. Since everybody did such a bang-up job reading Rank's 11, I had to add Roethlisberger to my team. Wait, why was this funny again?
So you're likely asking what's the problem with Ryan this week, right? I feel you. Realize this Panthers' D is completely different this year. The Panthers have been tougher than even the Chargers over the last month. If you saw Ryan against the Cardinals, he was just miserable.
Also consider the Panthers will have three extra days to prepare for this game. This is a point where the Falcons are going to need to make a statement to get back in the NFC South race. But this is also a huge opportunity for Carolina. I give the final verdict to the ATL boys who stuck a fork in the Falcons this week. Good enough for me.
I'm kind of bummed the Chiefs didn't get one last ride from Tony Gonzalez. It would have been fun to have Gonzo get a chance to run in the playoffs with his original team. The NFL needs more trades. This is ridiculous. Some real trade-deadline deals would have been fantastic. This is probably the only place where the NFL fails to meet the competition, and it's the trades.
Speaking of the Chiefs, I like Alex Smith a lot. The Bills have allowed a league-high 20 touchdown passes this year. But I've liked Smith before in the past and he's let me down tremendously. I'm hesitant to endorse him. Especially after he came off a huge week. I'm hoping he plays well and hands the ball off to Chuck a lot.
Going back to Gonzalez, he's had no touchdowns in his last four meetings. He's had fewer than 85 receiving yards in 10 consecutive games against the Panthers.
Have you ever gone home from work on a Friday content to kick it on the couch and watch a movie? And then you have some friends convince you to go out, you do and you end up having a miserable time and you wish you would have followed your original instincts? That's Tony Gonzalez right now. Gonzalez was going to live the good life in Huntington Beach, Calif. where he would be a local celebrity for years. I mean, the dude helped save somebody's life in one of our downtown restaurants. But he wanted "One More Match!"
ImageWell, I did it. I called John Cena beating Damien Sandow so he couldn't be the only one who failed to cash in "Money in the Bank." I could spend much time here explaining to you why this is wrong on so many levels. But my man Brandon Stroud does it much better for you here, at With Leather. My only request, Brandon, printable versions so I can read this on the can.
For the record, I did lie to you, I ended up getting the PPV. I was overruled by the wife and a couple of the neighbors. But in my defense, I was next door watching the Sunday night game because I had some fantasy action working. But when I got home, the wife told me to not watch the thing, which told me everything I needed to know. (I still did it. You know, because I'm the same guy who still plays Tom Brady.)
Steven Jackson returned last week and the Falcons went to him immediately for 14 touches. So that is awesome. His 13 yards were not. And the matchup doesn't get better for the Panthers who have allowed the 11th fewest points to running backs.
I almost feel like Jackson needs to go back into a time machine to find his fountain of youth. And speaking of going back into time, this might be a chance for the movie rant of the week, and right now I'm going to take aim at "Hot Tub Time Machine" and not for getting "The Drive" game wrong in the movie, either. Just an homage to it (without real NFL footage) is good enough.
ImageI'm not going to give you a spoiler tag here because if you missed the genius of "Hot Tub Time Machine" I'm not going to indulge you. But in the movie, Lou stays behind and alters the future. And the rest of the gang returns home to different fortunes. For most of these guys, life turned out pretty well. Except for the part where they missed twenty (expletive) years of their lives. Yes, it must be good to run a record company. But it would have been better to live it. I'm sure it's something about a new start which is refreshing, but for the love of Zeus, you missed out on your best years. Adam is married to somebody now, and he's missed out on that, even though there are photographs. But those photos mean nothing if you don't have the memories. It's the only thing that bugs me about this great, great film.
Harry Douglas has not scored a touchdown against the Panthers, ever. But sometimes you have to throw out those numbers because he had to defer to Julio Jones and Roddy White. So you have to take those numbers with a grain of salt.
BTW, I finally had to dump Roddy White from my Experts League team because I needed the room for McCluster this week. As it turns out, Roddy was never going to pan out for me this year. Boy, I really missed the mark from picks two-through-four this year. Though Fitzy is starting to play well.
Remember the buzz when Trent Richardson was traded to the Colts? And Richardson isn't even good at NFL football. Seriously, the Colts were applauded and the Browns were panned for that deal. Have you apologized to Mike Lombardi yet?
I got a question on Twitter about the Josh McCown situation. The kid reasoned McCown combined with Marc Trestman against the Packers defense (11th-most points to fantasy quarterbacks this year). And that's a nice thought, but consider this next nugget.
Bill Sudell's Nugget of the Week: In 88 all-time road games vs Green Bay, Chicago has had ONE 300-yard passer (Erik Kramer in 1995) and one touchdown pass or less in five consecutive games and nine of the last 10 meetings.
I kind of miss the days when the Packers would play some games at County Stadium in Milwaukee. I know the stadium was razed to make way for Miller Park, but do you think we could play at least one game in Milwaukee? Is that too much to ask?
There is no way you bench Matt Forte. You just can't do it. But he hasn't scored a rushing touchdown in his last seven overall games against the Packers. He has no touchdowns in the four roadies. Again, you can't afford to bench the guy. I mean, I'm playing Mike Tolbert in a league for (expletive) sake. Just wanted to warn you.
Same goes for Brandon Marshall. You can't bench the guy. He's still an elite receiver, even with McCown in there. The guy I wouldn't be so hot to start is Alshon Jeffery. He's had one reception for seven yards in two career games against the Packers.
This Monday Night game has really set itself up for a low-scoring affair, right? Like I can almost imagine many of you needed huge games from the elite players from this game (I'm one of them) and it not happening. Ugh.
The Ravens have scored 25 points or less in eight consecutive meetings against the Browns. It's hard to imagine what is going on with the offense. Oh that's right, Joe Flacco keeps calling his own number.
Flacco has thrown for fewer than 160 passing yards in four consecutive road meetings against the Browns. He's had 17 completions or less in five career road meetings.
Very encouraged Jason Campbell was able to get the ball to our two major receiving threats for the Cleveland Browns. Which was huge. Even though Fozzy Whittaker got into the "That Helps No One" segment of the Monday fantasy show.
Browns quarterbacks have thrown no touchdown passes in the last three meetings with the Ravens. They have thrown one touchdown pass or less in nine consecutive games. And I have both of those Browns receiving studs. Don't make me choose, Jason Campbell.
Don't look for Willis McGahee, either. The Browns have had no touchdowns in the last five home meetings. The Browns have four total rush touchdowns in 14 all-time home meetings. They've had 100 rush yards just twice in 14 all-time home meetings.
Be careful with Kenny Stills this week, too. He was fantastic as a member of Rank's 11 in Week 8. But that was because of a very good matchup against the Bills. The Jets have allowed 15 touchdown passes this year, but just three of those have come at home.
This is why you need to be careful on the waiver wire. Too many times, fantasy enthusiasts like to chase the points with guys who had a big week. So Stills shouldn't be your top priority this week, unless you're truly stung with byes and injuries.
Vincent Brown can be a nice sleeper for you, because the Redskins have allowed the fifth-most points to receivers this year. But he's still the second -- and sometimes third -- option in the Chargers' pass attack. Need more out of him.
I'm going to jump off the Rueben Randle bandwagon. I've even had to release him in a couple of leagues. His fantasy points have decreased in two weeks. And his targets have declined in three consecutive games. So if you need to make room for a guy, you can feel free to drop Randle.
I'm also rather confident Randle will still be available next week if you're in need for a receiver. He's a guy you can stash on the waiver wire. And if somebody picks him up, then you're fine with it, too.
Greg Jennings has more than five fantasy points just once in his last five games. He has no touchdown receptions in six of his last seven games. And here comes the even better news, Josh Freeman isn't starting everybody!
Even with a great matchup against the Cowboys, it's not happening. Let this be a lesson to those receivers who want to leave an elite quarterback to make a money grab. Wait, why is Mike Wallace not making eye contact with me?
Weird fact of the day, as we go beyond the Darrelle Revis vs. Richards Sherman storyline in the Bucs and Seahawks game is the battle of former N.C. State teammates, Wilson and Mike Glennon. The two were teammates at North Carolina State from 2008-2010. Wilson, of course, left to go play minor league baseball before he returned to finish his college football career at Wisconsin.
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."