What we are talking about:
A pretty good start
Numbers not good
City of Atlanta
Seriously, a new field?
You want to know how well Josh McCown has played in recent weeks? Jay Cutler risked re-injury to get back on to the field. That might be the most flattering praise you can give to a quarterback. You play so well, the established starter wants to get back on the field.
Kind of like the way Eddie Martell wanted to get back on to the field after Shane Falco played so well in "The Replacements" way back when.
And for the record, how long was the halftime in those replacement games where Falco could be on his boat watching the game and yet, still get there in time and be in uniform for the second half? I mean, even if the boat was in the parking lot, wouldn't you miss all of halftime to get through the parking lot?
This leads to even more questions. I mean, does this also mean players really don't need that much time to warm up? That's pretty damning of the Dallas defense when a dude who was drinking beers on a boat could show up at halftime and still win a game.
Kind of like the current Cowboys, right?
The decision to start McCown over Romo is an easy one. He's on a bye, silly. But in one league I'm faced with the decision to start McCown over Tom Brady. We know Brady has a brutal matchup this week. And to be honest, McCown is my starter right now in my League of Record. The league I put above all else of the 413 I play in.
However, come Sunday morning, I'm rather confident Brady will be in my starting lineup. It's what I do.
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 ...
Peyton Manning has thrown for at least 295 passing yards in each game this season. He's had at least four touchdowns in five of his games. He has 33 touchdown passes, that's eight more than the No. 2 guy, Drew Brees.
Brees has thrown 15 touchdowns and four interceptions in six career meetings against the 49ers. He's had at least two touchdown passes in 21 consecutive home games.
Speaking of Manning, Nick Foles has 16 touchdown passes without an interception, which puts him just four behind Manning's record to start a season. Case Keenum has also thrown seven passes without a pick.
Keenum hasn't thrown an interception in 102 attempts this year. He has seven touchdowns and just two turnovers as a starter. And yet, Gary Kubiak wants to see more. He saw his previous quarterback, right? I just want to make sure.
Andre Johnson has scored five touchdowns in his last two, after not having a single one in his previous nine games. Keenum sure likes him with 31 targets in his last three games. The Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points to receivers in the past month.
DeAndre Hopkins is also a great play this week. Hopkins has notched at least 50 yards in three consecutive games. His targets have also increased recently.
ImageCongratulations to Miguel Cabrera for his second consecutive MVP award. I obviously don't agree, but Mike Trout won't get a fair shake until the Angels start to contend again. Well actually, the Angels had a better record than the Tigers in 2012 and it didn't seem to matter. Maybe one day the baseball writers will finally embrace statistics other than the antiquated "triple crown" numbers. Again, numbers which really don't matter much to a two-hole hitter.
Andy Dalton has thrown three interceptions in two consecutive games, so he looks shaky. But the Browns have given up a ton of points to quarterbacks in recent weeks. Plus Dalton has three touchdowns in two of his last three meetings against the Browns.
My best friend Jordan Cameron would certainly be better off. Actually, all three quarterbacks have looked for Cameron in the red zone, so that's huge. I won't push the panic button.
Cameron had 12 targets, 10 receptions and 91 yards with a touchdown in the team's previous meeting this year.
The Browns defense has had some leaks in the last month, having allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to receivers. Marvin Jones is a smart play, with Haden on Green. He has scored a team-high seven touchdowns.
Cam Newton has four rushing touchdowns this season. I looked at his game against the 49ers as a bad matchup, and you just move on. The Patriots have been tough on quarterbacks, but I have enough faith in Newton.
Russell Wilson has a great matchup against the Vikings this week, who can't seem to stop anybody. He's been one of the best quarterbacks in fantasy football recently. He ranks third among QBs over the last month.
Robert Griffin III has scored eight touchdowns with just three interceptions in his last three games against the Eagles, who have allowed the tenth-most points to QBs this year. Though, the Eagles have played better as of late.
LeSean McCoy has no touchdowns against the Redskins in three career home meetings. In fact, he has just three touchdowns in eight career meetings. One of those came in Week 1 against the Redskins when he ran for 184 yards.
Steven Jackson has a total of 47 rushing attempts this season, for just 151 yards. Seven times this season an individual has had more than 151 rushing yards, including LeSean McCoy, who has done it three times.
But the Falcons want to give the ball to Jackson more this season, and for some reason, I have bought into it.
Since Rob Gronkowski returned, the Patriots are averaging 36.3 points per game, which is 15.5 more points per game than before Gronk's injury. They are also gaining more than 36 extra yards per game now, too.
Nick Folk is 10-of-13 on field goals in Buffalo. I know, this is about all you're going to get out of me about kickers. But he's a nice option this week.
The Packers have allowed at least 100 rushing yards in three consecutive games, so this is a great start for Andre Brown. He's going to be like Knowshon Moreno and he will carry some teams to a title this year.
If Moreno's schedule scares you this week, relax. I like him to catch a lot of passes out of the backfield to combat the press coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs defense leads the league with 23 takeaways. They will do enough to make them a solid play this week. Don't be scared off by Peyton Manning and the Broncos. In fact, I predict a pick-six coming for the Chiefs D this week.
Mike Glennon won his first game last week. He now has six touchdowns and just one interception in his last four. Of course, his pick made for a nice meme on the interwebs, but it wasn't that bad.
Timothy Wright has had at least five targets in his last four games, and a receiving touchdown in two of his last three. The Falcons have allowed at least two touchdowns in eight of their last nine games.
You want to know who has scored the most fantasy points among tight ends in the last four weeks? It's Jordan Reed. He's been targeted the most, too, with 37 targets.
Condolences to the family of Todd Christensen, one of the most underrated tight ends in NFL history. Dude would have like 90 receptions in seasons back when 90 receptions were actually a thing. And look at this mullet right here. Glorious.
Eddie Lacy has at least 100 scrimmage yards in four of his last five games. He's also scored a touchdown in three of his last four.
Scotty Tolzien isn't somebody you start, but you shouldn't be too worried about Jordy Nelson. The reason? Tolzien didn't take first-team reps, but really knew the playbook, which means he's smart. The Giants defense isn't as bad as you would think, as they have allowed the second-fewest points to receivers over the past month, but I still go with Jordy.
Why? Well, let's say Tolzien throws for 186 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Or something like that. Well, if that one touchdown goes to Jordy, we're all good. It doesn't matter if Tolzien is good or not, just throw one to Jordy and we're square.
Le'Veon Bell has seen his points increase in four consecutive weeks. He's had at least 95 scrimmage yards in three of his last four games.
Danny Woodhead has scored at least eight fantasy points in six consecutive games. He's had at least 75 scrimmage yards in six of his last seven games. The Dolphins have allowed the second-most fantasy points at home to running backs this season.
ImageEven better for Woodhead, Anne Hathaway was photographed in his jersey this week. I have to believe there is no higher honor in the NFL, other than having a professional wrestler wear your T-shirt. If you ever watch the "Grammar Slam" with CM Punk, you will notice he wears a PMA shirt courtesy of C.J. Wilson of the California Angels. That's right, I'm going with "California" now. I liked that the best.
ImageSpeaking of RAW this week, I love the crowd in England. You guys are simply the best wrestling crowd. You're like a post-Mania RAW crowd. You cheered for 3MB and Fandango, which was simply the greatest. And the show was really good. I can stomach John Cena over the Real Americans if it means a main-event of CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield. And then the Wyatt Family does a run-in. I remember watching it thinking, Brandon Stroud is going to have a stroke if the Rhodes boys run in. And there they came. (For the record, Brandon did. Check out his recap. He explains this stuff so much better.)
ImageStill sitting on the fence about going to WrestleMania 30 this year. I really want to make that trip this year to New Orleans. And it's not so much going out for WM 30, but the post-Mania RAW would really be worth the trip. Heck, I might go down for the weekend, watch WM in a bar, and then get tickets for the RAW.
Speaking of New Orleans, we had a Marques Colston sighting last week. His targets have gone up in three consecutive games. He's hard to trust, but he could be a nice little play in deeper leagues.
Bobby Rainey looked like he had some Darren Sproles in him during that Monday night game. Of course, the Dolphins (as previously mentioned) looked really bad against the run. So that means Ryan Mathews might be an interesting play. I know the numbers say otherwise, but I really like the matchup against the Dolphins.
Back to Rainey, he might be a nice sneaky play. The Falcons have allowed more than 100 rushing yards in six consecutive games. The Falcons have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs in the last four games.
The Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points to receivers this year. So that makes Pierre Garcon a nice play. So you play him, he could end up with more points than Calvin Johnson. Not that I would start Garcon over him, mind you.
The Ravens have allowed the fifth-most points on the road to receivers this year, so I'm going with Alshon Jeffery again this week. The Ravens have allowed nine receiving touchdowns of more than 20 yards, the most in the NFL. I like him a lot. More than Larry Fitzgerald, even.
Brandon Marshall aims for his seventh consecutive game at home with a touchdown. He has eight touchdown receptions in his past six home games.
Since 2012, Martellus Bennett is one of five tight ends with 90 receptions and nine touchdowns, which is impressive.
ImageBTW, did you watch Fantasy Court this week? If not, be sure to catch up with it right here. What Jason Smith did wasn't the best thing in the world, but I guess he felt he needs to go all Eddie Guerrero to win, which I guess is cool.
Alex Smith is 0-2 in two starts against Manning. In those games, he has one touchdown, five interceptions and a 33.3 passer rating.
One thing, though. Andy Reid is absolute money after a bye week, as he's gone 13-1. Reid's teams have outscored opponents 337-196 after the bye week. That's just amazing.
One of the biggest differences was the change in philosophy with Juan Castillo, who is the team's running game coordinator. The team went from a smash-mouth brand of running the football, to more zone-blocking schemes. Combine injuries to the offensive line, and you just don't have the athletes to be effective with it.
So Rice has a great matchup this week. And he's likely worth a start in most formats. But this is going to be a long end of the year for Rice, and many of you are going to suffer with him, because you can't get rid of him.
BTW I'm done with Trent Richardson for the rest of the year. I have him and Donald Brown in my league of record, and there is no way to start Richardson. The only reason to even think about it is because you wasted a first-round pick on Richardson. And that's it.
Richardson will now be viewed as Donald Brown's touchdown vulture going forward. That's what it has become.
BTW, if you've ever been upset because I didn't get to your Tweet, maybe this will help you rejoice. I'm so busy with work, I forgot to put Brown into my lineup in my League of Record. So those 21 points were wasted on my bench. Now I'm in a world of hurt. Thank you, Trent!
Jason Campbell threw three touchdown passes in Week 9 to win AFC offensive player of the week honors. He's going to have a much tougher time against the Bengals who have been tough against fantasy quarterbacks this year.
The Giants, who are now just a game-and-a-half out of first place in the NFC East, are only the second team in NFL history to lose its first six games and win the next three (2009 Tennessee). The Titans finished that season 8-8, which wasn't good enough to catch the Colts. But that mark would be good enough to win the NFC East.
There is no reason to get into the Mark Ingram business. Yes, he was impressive against the Cowboys. But realize the Cowboys defense has been hit by numerous injuries, most importantly to Sean Lee. So they weren't going to stop anybody. Ingram will still be the third option in that offense. He doesn't hit the hole fast enough. He looks good in the open field, he just won't be able to get there against the good teams.
Nice hire by the Cowboys to bring in Monte Kiffin. Dude was fired by his own son. I understand how hard it is to realize your generation has passed you by. I mean, there's a whole crop of kids who haven't even seen "Saved by the Bell" and that includes the college years. But the Cowboys general manager needs to realize Kiffin is no longer an elite coaching option.
ImageI've made the prediction in this space previously, but just open up the bank vault for Nick Saban. Why not? You've rolled the dice on a college coach before, why not try to recapture the magic once again. What's the worst that can happen? Your team underachieves greatly and becomes the butt of jokes all over the world. Oh yeah, we'd hate for that to happen.
Philip Rivers has a 71.6 completion percentage this season. The Dolphins have been tough on quarterbacks this year, and have allowed just over six fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last two weeks. This will be a heavy run game for the Chargers. How could the Chargers watch tape of the Bucs blowing through the Dolphins' D and not like that?
Kaepernick is brutal, too, if Vernon Davis isn't on the field. Kaepernick has a passer rating of less than 40 in games without Davis. The 49ers have absolutely no weapons without Davis on the field. Unless you want to count Mario Manningham. And I don't.
The 49ers have just nine touchdown passes this season. Davis has seven of them. Anquan Boldin has the other two. The Saints have nine different players who have caught a touchdown pass this season. Which is both impressive and maddening to fantasy owners.
In case you're wondering, I'm off Kenny Stills this week. He's like a field roll of the dice. I was thinking of pressing his performance from last week, but I'm just going to take it down.
Kaepernick has passed for 186.1 yards per game this season, which is 24th in the NFL. Only Jake Locker has passed for fewer yards among qualifying quarterbacks. Kaepernick has had more than 280 passing yards just once in 16 career starts.
The Saints have allowed the third-fewest points to quarterbacks this season. Remember that next week when Matt Ryan comes to town. In fact, I'm just going to go ahead and drop Ryan right now from my NFL AM league.
Matt Ryan has three touchdowns and seven interceptions in his last three games. He's had six touchdowns and eight interceptions in five career road starts against the Bucs. Ryan will get it going at some point. And when he does, it will likely be from my bench.
At this point, Gonzalez has become Dante from "Clerks" right? I expect him to take the stand one time and just be all, "I wasn't even supposed to be here this season," or something along those lines. Although if this was a movie, this ending to his career wouldn't pass muster with the test audience and they would have to reshoot it. Or something like that.
Roddy White has no touchdowns against the Bucs in six consecutive games. He's had just two touchdowns in 16 career meetings. He's topped 75 yards just once in the last 15 meetings.
I've often joked that the Baltimore Orioles should start looking for a new ballpark because Camden Yards is getting so old. It's just a joke people, but the folks in Atlanta have taken it way too far. The Braves ready to bail on Turner Field already? How can anybody take this seriously?
ImageMaybe the Cowboys should start looking for a new stadium. The 49ers should already be planning their next stadium because Levi's Stadium is already a little bit long in the tooth. Great Caesar's Ghost this is unbelievable. I mean, I thought this was unbelievable the Falcons were looking for a new stadium, but the Braves really have some big brass Rawlings for even attempting this.
ImageAnd yes, I'm a little worried the Angels could be on the move in the near future because of this. However, I don't see any county in California being willing to throw around the kind of cash necessary to make the move.
Ryan Tannehill has fewer than 230 passing yards in four consecutive starts. He's been sacked a league-high 37 times this season.
Right behind him in sacks is Ben Roethlisberger who has been sacked 35 times. And to be honest, Ben is so big, he can often escape from pressure a lot of smaller quarterbacks can't.
Carson Palmer has thrown an interception in every game this season. He has two touchdowns or fewer in 16 consecutive games. He also has failed to make any "big-time" plays this year. I keep beating this drum, but how does this team stay in the race with Palmer? It's amazing.
Derek Carr for the Cardinals next year? I'll be sure to ask our Daniel Jeremiah about that.
Tom Brady is the only remaining Patriots player from Super Bowl XXXVIII when the team knocked off the Panthers. I had predicted the Panthers would win the Super Bowl back in Week 1 of the 2003 NFL season. Yes, I was doing columns all the way back then.
Brady has three games this season with less than 200 yards passing. In the previous two seasons combined (2011-12), he had a total of one game with less than 200 passing yards.
The Patriots have dropped the highest percentage of catchable balls in the NFL at 12.2 percent. Their total of 27 drops is second-most in the NFL. Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have seven drops apiece.
Eli Manning leads the NFL with 16 interceptions this season. The Packers have recorded just three interceptions this year, so Eli will really need to step up his game if he wants to maintain his record-breaking pace.
Jason Campbell has five touchdown passes and no interceptions this season. But there is not a chance I would put him in my starting lineup. I haven't even been asked a question about it on Twitter, either.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has no touchdowns in four career meetings against the Browns. He's going to be phased out just about completely in coming weeks. He just sticks around to frustrate fantasy owners.
Wait, can you say upstate since the Jets don't technically play in New York? Ah, we're just splitting hairs at this point. You got the gist.
Chris Ivory has at least 100 rushing yards in two of his last three games. But the Bills have allowed the eighth-fewest points to running backs over the last month. I would start him over the Bills backs, though.
Man, I had Keenan Allen in my starting lineup earlier this week. But the Dolphins have allowed the fourth-fewest points to receivers this year. The Dolphins haven't allowed a touchdown pass in their last three home games.
Miller hasn't had a rushing touchdown in 10 consecutive home games. He's had more than 90 yards just once in 22 career games. The matchup isn't bad this week, as the Chargers have allowed the ninth-most points to running backs. Let's see what happens, from the fantasy bench.
The Patriots are really tough on fantasy tight ends, as they have allowed the fifth-fewest points over the last month. So this is a tough time to start Greg Olsen, who has topped nine fantasy points just once in the last seven games.
I would love to play Stevan Ridley on a Monday night. But the Panthers have allowed the second-fewest points to running backs at home. The Panthers haven't allowed a rush touchdown in five consecutive home games.
Ridley has scored more than eight fantasy points on the road this season. He's had more than 100 rushing yards just once in the last 16 games. This will be a case-by-case situation, but most of the time I recommend to sit.
The Broncos have allowed the sixth-fewest points per game to receivers in the last four weeks. In fact, the Broncos have no touchdown receptions allowed in three consecutive games agains the Chiefs. So Dwayne Bowe is on the bench. He shouldn't even be on your roster.
I do like Jarrett Boykin in PPR leagues, but the Giants have allowed the second-fewest points to receivers over the last four weeks. The Giants have no receiving touchdowns allowed in three consecutive games.
Mike Wallace has a nice matchup against the Chargers, who have allowed the fourth-most points to fantasy receivers this season. But the Chargers haven't allowed a receiving touchdown in three of their last four. But the line is so bad for the Dolphins. I'm off him. I honestly don't hate Rishard Matthews. Even though he went to Nevada.
I might have to change the name of the Curtis Axel All-Stars if he continues to have great matches with guys like Dolph Ziggler. But here are the big-name guys who will break your heart this week: Matt Ryan, Trent Richardson, C.J. Spiller, Marques Colston, Keenan Allen, Jared Cook, Blair Walsh and the New York Giants defense.
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."