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Bears should have stuck with McCown in fantasy/reality

What we are talking about:

  • Jay Cutler

    A good idea right now

  • Andy Luck

    A pretty good start

  • Bolo ties

    Not my thing, but sure

When Marc Trestman tabbed Jay Cutler to be the starting quarterback for our Chicago Bears, it affected me in two different ways, as fan and a fantasy enthusiast.

The fan in me wants to see Josh McCown ride this string out. McCown has played so well in the past few weeks; he deserves a chance to see if he can lead his team to the playoffs. You could even reason the Bears would have beaten the Lions at home with McCown in for the entire game instead of an injured Cutler going up against one of the strongest defensive lines in the league.

I've never been one of those people who believe "you can't lose your job to injury." Why not? It's worked out for Tom Brady, wouldn't you say? Kurt Warner had a pretty nice career in the NFL after he replaced somebody because of an injury. You know the St. Louis FC wasn't going to install Trent Green as the quarterback again when he returned the following year. (Though it helps that St. Louis won the Super Bowl.) Or to take it one further, what about when Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaced Megan Fox in the "Transformers" movies?

I mean, Megan Fox (like Cutler) might seem like a good idea at first, but too often it's not worth headache. Ah, that might be too harsh. Cutler has played very well this season. And I wouldn't even be opposed to him returning to the team. But McCown has played well enough as the Bears quarterback to keep the job. Certainly, he doesn't have the upside Jay Cutler has. But his floor isn't as low, either. Which is good.

And I guess my fantasy perception might warp my real perception of the quarterbacks. I mean, I would have no problem playing McCown this week against the Browns. The matchup would be very favorable for McCown. But I'm just not sure I could rationalize playing Cutler just coming off an injury. There are just too many variables. Will he be rusty? Will he reinjure himself? I just can't take the risk. I would rather go with the sure-shot in this instance.

Trestman has been fantastic for the Bears this season. He and Chip Kelly are the front-runners for the coach-of-the-year honors. I just hope he's making the right decision here.

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 ...

Tony Romo was supposed to lead my team to fantasy glory, but he's going to end my season. The Packers have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last month.

The Packers give up way too many yards on the ground. Kind of the way Chicago does, too. The Cowboys should be able to run and Romo will have a similar stat-line to last week, minus the touchdowns.

Alex Smith was fair to middling as a fantasy starter last week. But some might come out and say he was basically (expletive) and I don't dare disagree.

This is a tough matchup for Smith, too. Chiefs' quarterbacks have thrown a touchdown pass or less in six consecutive meetings. And one or less in 16 of the last 17.

Chiefs' quarterbacks have thrown eight total touchdown passes in the last 17 meetings. And they've topped 245 passing yards only once during that stretch.

Alex Smith has thrown for fewer than 200 passing yards in three career meetings against the Oakland Raiders.

ImageCongratulations to the Oakland Raiders who have notched their 11th consecutive losing season. In fact, the Raiders haven't had a winning season since Super Bowl XXXVII. One of the greatest days in world history.

Have you ever thought about how hard it is to be this bad for more than a decade? The NFL rules are pretty much dedicated to you getting to the playoffs at least once every 10 years.

Dwayne Bowe has had fewer than 95 receiving yards in each of his 12 career meetings against the Raiders. He's had only one touchdown in his last five against them.

Andy Dalton has thrown a touchdown pass or less in four consecutive meetings against the Steelers.

Bengals' quarterbacks also have had less than 300 passing yards in 23 straight against their rivals from the AFC North.

The thing is Dalton has played well in stretches, but he was a guy a lot of fantasy enthusiasts relied on last year to really come through during the playoffs. And he was instead a huge disappointment. Like "Happy Fun Night" on ABC.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis hasn't scored a touchdown in five visits to Pittsburgh. He's had more than 90 yards only once in his last seven meetings. But I hear he really like Primanti's.

The Steelers passing offense has also struggled against the Bengals. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 280 yards or less in 15 consecutive meetings.

Roethlisberger has thrown a touchdown pass or less in nine of his last 10 against the Bengals. He's had two touchdowns or less in 15 consecutive games and 18 of his last 19.

Antonio Brown has one touchdown in six career meetings, and fewer than 100 yards in each of his six career meetings.

The Colts haven't recorded an interception in seven meetings with the Texans. I mean, Matt Schaub was the quarterback, so what's the story here?

We liked Joe Flacco last week, but he's on pace to have the least efficient season of his career. His 17 interceptions are already five more than he has thrown in any season, and his 77 passer rating would be the worst of his career.

Flacco struggled with the deep ball as he's thrown one touchdown and four picks on throws that have traveled at least 21 yards in the air. He has a passer rating of 53.3 to rank 38th on such throws. But dude was money when he needed to be last week.

Seriously, Flacco is a Super Bowl champion and he doesn't get enough love for his rally against the Vikings. In the snow. Dude is clutch.

ImageDid you know Stafford is 1-22 in his career against teams that finished the season with winning records? Of the Lions' remaining opponents, only the 7-6 Ravens have a winning record. I still play Stafford, but I don't like the Lions to win this game.

The Bears would like Jason Campbell to replicate his one start for Chicago last season, where he threw for 107 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Yes, we'd like to see that Campbell.

Eli Manning has thrown 20 interceptions this season, tied for the most in the NFL. But most by a guy who is supposed to be an elite quarterback.

Eli is tied with Geno Smith for the most interceptions thrown this season, putting him on pace to lead the NFL in interceptions thrown for the third time.

Good news for Eli, he's got the Seahawks this week who have 17 interceptions on the year. That's only the third-highest total. You can do it, Eli!

Tom Brady is a borderline QB1 for me this week. Brady has thrown more interceptions in his career vs. Miami (19) than any other team. Twelve of those interceptions have been thrown in Miami where Brady is 6-5 as a starter.

The one thing going for Brady is he's scored 20 fantasy points in three consecutive games. Sure, Gronk is out, but Brady did a ton of damage last week with the tight end already out of the game.

Wasn't Danny Amendola supposed to step-up for the Patriots? He's had more than 50 receiving yards in three of his last four roadies, but I have a hard time trusting him against the Dolphins. I'd go Edeltron.

The Patriots have allowed more than 100 rushing yards in nine consecutive games. But it's hard to really recommend Lamar Miller or Danny Thomas.

ImageThe Packers have lost six consecutive games in Dallas. Brett Favre was the Packers quarterback in all six losses. Green Bay's last win in Dallas was Week 16, 1989 when Dan Majkowski out-dueled Troy Aikman. I bet Packers fans were all, "I'm so glad we didn't get the first pick in the draft. Tony Mandrich is going to lead us to Super Bowl wins! Oh, and we're glad we didn't get Barry Sanders, either."

All right, no Packers fan said that. Well maybe one or two, but that's about it.

The Cowboys defense has been very brutal over the last couple of weeks. But you would have to have some guts to play Matt Flynn this week.

Colin Kaepernick has a passer rating of 41.7 against the Seahawks this season and a passer rating of 96.4 against all other teams. And all of his TD passes have gone to two guys.

How should we view Kapernick's stats? He has the second-fewest passing yards per game in the NFL (191.3), behind only Geno Smith, and the second-worst passer rating in the NFL for players with at least 50 attempts.

What's weird about Kaepernick is he has the third-highest passer rating on third down, as he trails just Brees and Peyton. That's pretty good company.

My conjecture is Kaepernick once again rises to the challenge in the playoffs this season. My only fear is the 49ers can't win in Seattle. Oh wait, I don't fear it at all because I grew up hating the 49ers. I can still hate them as a Bears fan, right?

Michael Crabtree has been second on the team with 108 receiving yards over the last two weeks. Don't consider this a good thing.

The 49ers are going to be one of those teams that does really well on the field, but it's going to be hard to translate that over to fantasy football points. And I don't like that at all. The Seahawks are close, but Marshawn Lynch makes it passable.

Pierre Thomas is second on the team with 64 receptions, but he has only one rushing touchdown this season on 128 attempts.

I've liked Andre Brown in the past, but the Seahawks have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season and no rushing touchdowns in six straight.

I just find it hard to trust Mike Wallace week-in, week-out. The Patriots can't stop the run, but haven't allowed a touchdown reception in two of their last three against the Dolphins.

I'm going to say no to Jared Cook this week. The Saints allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. Cook has scored more than five fantasy points just once in his last four games.

ImageThe only thing more inevitable than a Jared Cook-led meltdown is HHH winning both straps this week on Tables, Ladders and Chairs. And at this point, why not? Seems like most of the Internet Wrestling Community has already resigned itself to this being the total outcome. Kind of like the way Cowboys fans have figured their team will never win a meaningful game in December or January.

ImageThe most likely outcome is John Cena being the corporate heel champion. Though, he doesn't really have to be a corporate heel. With Cena as the champion and Daniel Bryan winning the Royal Rumble, you have the perfect set-up for WrestleMania. This has been a multi-prong approach with Cena being kind of a heel on Total Divas. And really, he doesn't have to do too many "you people" promos, instead he can just be himself and still draw boos. Plus, the crowds already cheer Bryan anyway. There isn't a lot of work that needs to be done here.

The St. Louis FC currently holds Washington's first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft as the final compensation for Robert Griffin III. The pick is currently the No. 2 pick in the draft. St. Louis' current pick is No. 12. That's going to be great news for the future Los Angeles Rams.

BTW, make sure to make your voice heard for the Pro Football Hall of Fame right here. But as you're voting make sure you vote for everybody outside of Paul Tagliabue. He's the man responsible for the NFL void in Los Angeles and it should keep him out of the Hall. He doesn't deserve to wear the gold jacket. Ever.

I'm not sure I buy John Madden saying RGIII's benching ruins the integrity of the game. It's not like Cousins isn't a viable option at quarterback. Actually, it's kind of insulting to Cousins to say he's not capable of being a starter. Sure, I believe there are some deeper motivations for Mike Shanahan. For instance, maybe he's showcasing Cousins to the Texans brass who might bring both to Houston next year. But Shanny has ruined many fantasy enthusiasts' teams with his running back rotation. Why shouldn't he be allowed to do it with their QB, too? And really, do you think Cousins makes the team worse?

However, how long is Shanahan going to be lauded for his two Super Bowl wins without John Elway? He's had some success with Jake Plummer, but his pre- and post-Elway body of work isn't as impressive. I wouldn't want him if I was the Texans. You basically had the same guy with Gary Kubiak.

And since we're on the subject of the Broncos, thanks a lot for all of the Montee Ball (expletive). You really nuked my fantasy chances with that one. Just when we needed Moreno the most, this happened. You know what, I'm glad the Broncos lost.

No, it has nothing to do with Peyton Manning. Honestly, I don't enjoy it when Manning throws a crippling interception late in games. I've just come to expect it, that's all.

Again though, Manning wanted those who "wrote the narrative" to stick it "where the sun doesn't shine." But it's Manning who has written his own narrative.

ImageWanted to get this in, too. I've really enjoyed Yankees fans embracing a turncoat like Jacoby Ellsbury into the fold, while bashing Robinson Cano for selling out. Because only the New York Yankees are allowed to overpay for players, damn it! This is awesome.

Time for the Curtis Axel All-Stars: Andy Dalton, Knowshon Moreno (I cheated), Andre Brown, Demaryius Thomas (still cheating), Eric Decker (yep), Julius Thomas (I'm mailing it in now), Phil Dawson, Chicago Bears D.


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 200,000 followers, and Fabiano has 150,000. 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."

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