Josh McCown a modern-day Shane Falco?


What we are talking about:

  • Red Dalton

    A pretty good start

  • Philip Rivers

    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?

I honestly believe Drew Brees could have tailgated before the Cowboys game last week, got there at halftime and still gone out and whipped the Cowboys.

Speaking of the Cowboys, I have Tony Romo in a few leagues. And as I'm prone to do, I didn't plan ahead. So I hit the waiver wire and ended up with McCown on more than a few teams.

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.

A big hand to stats mavens Bill "Sudsy" Sudell and Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

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.

John Harbaugh said this week he felt Ray Rice has battled through injuries that have diminished his 2013 season. And it's probably a little true. But the issues with Rice go far beyond physical.

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?

Colin Kaepernick has fewer than 200 passing yards in seven of his last eight games. The 49ers have had one touchdown pass or less in seven consecutive meetings against the Saints.

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.

Tony Gonzalez has no touchdowns in his last four meetings against the Buccaneers, and only one in his last 10. He's had fewer than 85 receiving yards in his last 10 against the Bucs.

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.

The Buccaneers defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in the last two home meetings against the Falcons. And that was back when Atlanta was good.

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.

Avoid the Raiders quarterbacks this week. Terrelle Pryor (if he even plays) has no passing touchdowns in three consecutive games.

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.

Don't ever start Geno Smith or any other Jets QB on the road in Buffalo. The Jets have fewer than 295 passing yards in 26 consecutive road meetings upstate.

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.

C.J. Spiller has just two touchdowns in seven career meetings against the Bills. He had 11 touches for 10 yards against the Jets in Week 3.

Fred Jackson had one touchdown in career meetings against the Jets. None in his last seven. He did have a pretty nice game yardage-wise against them in Week 3. Not enough to make me start him.

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.

I almost dropped Lamar Miller this week. He looked awful against the Buccaneers. And I can't imagine it's going to get much better missing two pieces of the offensive line. But I held off.

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."