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Points! Nothing but points!
Your 2014 Fantasy MVP
Prepare yourself; he's winning
We are going to ride or die, Cordarrelle Patterson.
It seems that no matter how many leagues you do, there is always one player who will remain a constant among all of your rosters. My guy is Cordarrelle Patterson.
I don't have one single, solitary dupe in my quarterback ranks. I've got everybody from Peyton Manning to Aaron Rodgers to Philip Rivers to Tom Brady to Nick Foles on down. But my one guy on each and every team is Patterson.
Even when it wasn't prudent to take Patterson, I still did it anyway. For instance, I drafted Patterson in the League of Record, even though I already had Adrian Peterson on the roster and I don't really fancy the idea of doubling-down on a team. Especially a team quarterbacked by Matt Cassel.
Funny story about that, however. We conducted the draft for the LoR on Wednesday night before the season started. Just about the last possible moment, which was good news when you consider players are being suspended right up to this very moment. Well, not this one, but you get the gist. I had the fourth pick in the draft and I ended up with Peterson, which might be a surprise to some of you.
I mean, that would be like being in a draft for the gals of NBC and figuring you were going to land Gillian Jacobs with the fourth-pick, except Alison Brie landed there any way. I mean, most people would be excited for you and can't believe the luck that you landed Brie, even though you kind of favored the underrated Jacobs anyway. (She was the bomb in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" right?
So that was my deal, I ended up with Peterson and I guess I'm kind of happy. Norv Turner has overseen some of the best rushing seasons of prolific NFL running backs, so why not? But the point is that even though I could have done something different with my fifth pick, I went with Patterson. Again. I had my sights set on Rob Gronkowski, but my man Frank nabbed him two picks in front of me. Roddy White went just before me to Mark D. I looked at Michael Floyd, but said no, I'm going to put my chips on the table like Jim Fassel and go all-in on Patterson.
If you're curious, my league of record team looks as follows:
QB Nick Foles
RB Peterson, Toby Gerhart (a huge roar happened when he was picked because Toby played for our rival high school.)
WR Jordy Nelson, Alshon Jeffery
TE Martellus Bennett (look at his early-season numbers)
K Stephen Gostkowski (yes, Seabass goes off the board early)
DST Detroit Lions (I shuffle defenses. I missed on Houston, so I took the Lions)
Notable bench guys: Joique Bell, Terrance Williams, Knowshon Moreno
My draft grade was a B, but I have to believe the computer isn't as big of a fan of Patterson as I am. He's the glue. And there's a strong possibility I could end up with Dez Bryant. Though those chances have dwindled because I had hoped to take advantage of a guy who was throwing back some Coronas. Which, incidentally, sponsors the TV version of Like/dislike.
So before we get started here, leave me a note in the comments or on Twitter who your "ride-or-die" player is for this season.
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 ...
The Saints were tougher on quarterbacks last year than you would probably imagine. But this one just has old-fashioned shootout written all over it.
Russell Wilson should be a quarterback you're bullish on. Nobody is smarter when it comes to knowing when to run, extend the play, get down and avoid the hit. Have you ever seen him take a direct hit?
Don't be afraid to go with Tony Romo against the 49ers this week. San Francisco's D has been decimated with injuries and suspensions so this is actually a good matchup. The 49ers were very tough on quarterbacks last season, but now it looks like this could be a favorable matchup this year.
I'm all for starting your studs, and this would certainly apply for Andrew Luck who goes to Denver. But I'm afraid he's walking into a buzzsaw. Still, you can't sit the dude.
Carson Palmer looks to have the better matchup on the late "Monday Night Football" matchup. The Chargers allowed the ninth-most points to quarterbacks last year. And Arizona could be one of those teams to make a statement on Monday night.
Can you trust Mark Ingram? Can you trust your eyes? Don't lecture me about the history. I've been burned by this dude previously. But he looked way too good to ignore in Week 1.
Pierre Thomas is a sneaky play, too. He had a fantastic season last year. But he still had 77 receptions with Darren Sproles in the lineup. Sproles had 71 receptions last year. Those receptions have to go someplace. Ingram gets some, but look out for Brandin Cooks.
I've never seen so much hand-wringing over a No. 1 running back than Andre Ellington. Why must you always find a reason to avoid a No. 1 running back that has nobody nipping at his heels?
Giovani Bernard is another person people seem to freak the (expletive) out over. But realize the Law Firm had 200 touches last year. So if Jeremy Hill gets that many touches, we're good, people. Chill the (expletive) out.
Chris Johnson is going to be a lot better than people think. He's got some company in the backfield for sure, but CJ will be all over the field in a variety of different roles. He will surprise people, as will the Jets.
My top running back of the year? Matt Forte. He had 94 targets in 2013 and 363 touches (both second in the league). He also had at least 100 scrimmage yards in 12 of his last 15 games. Not sure why people think it's crazy to take him first overall. He's been a great, undervalued running back.
ImageAs excited as I am about the start of the football season, I have to admit, I marked like no other when I saw the promos for "Sons of Anarchy" this week. The season starts on Tuesday, and I couldn't be happier. Yet, I'm somewhat sad because this is the last season of the show. But I'm going to just sit back and enjoy it.
ImageWhen you think about how great this final season of "Sons of Anarchy" will be, "The Shield" was the series that probably had the best final season in the history of television. I can't say it definitively because, well, I haven't seen every final season in history, but still. That would stop me from making broad, sweeping generalizations.
ImageIf we're picking a fantasy league of "SOA" characters likely to survive this season my top three: Chibs, Bobby and Unser. Because of course the guy with cancer survives the series. Oh, and the Teller kids because one of them eventually has to find Jax's journal to start the cycle again. Boom! There's your sequel.
Keenan Allen had five receiving touchdowns in his last four games of 2013. Remember the whooping he put on the Broncos? Tough matchup against the Birds, but I still start him. Week 1 is not the week you start sitting your studs. Not that there's ever a time for it. But not Week 1.
Anquan Boldin is like the best dude when it comes to Week 1. Or at least it seems that way. Boldin has scored a touchdown in his last three Week 1 games. And seven in his 11 all-time Week 1 games. (He didn't play until Week 7 during his second-season.)
Eric Decker is going to have a great game against the Raiders. Again, this is another guy who people have found ways to talk themselves out of. But he's going to have double-digit TDs. Not this week, that would be madness.
All right, what do we do in Denver? Emmanuel Sanders was already taken in your league. So Andre Caldwell in relief? Well, not so fast. Caldwell was fine in relief of Welker last year. That's true. But Cody Latimer is there and was already in the mix of red zone packages because of his size. There is a feeling Latimer could be used on the outside with Sanders moving to the slot. The key here is upside.
And with Latimer being relevant in the world, it gives us a chance to quote the movie "The Program" and say (expletive) like Latimer! Place at the table!
ImageI'm really bummed we didn't get a chance to do the football movies thing again. We'll have to do a reboot because "Draft Day" is in the mix. But "The Program" is still one of my all-time favorites. I grew up wanting to play football at ECU for the great Jimmy Caan. And yes, maybe someday I can reveal my fan fiction for "The Program." But things don't go well for that Latimer.
ImageSpeaking of cool movies I watched as a kid, I loved the Mark Harmon vehicle "Summer School" from the 1980s. Uproxx kills it here with life lessons we learned from Mr. Shoop. Whenever I'm late I always use the line, "my zipper got stuck." Oh yeah, common denominator for "The Program" and "Summer School" is Duane Davis. #Boom.
And for those of you in the camp of "This (expletive) shouldn't be in a football column," well, you're wrong. And Mark Harmon played football at UCLA. #Burn
I'm still a huge believer in the Texans D/ST. Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt will bring the heat. Plus, I like the matchup against the Redskins. Other great options include the Lions (vs. Giants) and Steelers (vs. Browns).
ImageThe Rock as Black Adam from the DC Universe is one of the worst-kept secrets, ever. But I'm glad it went with that decision. I have confidence in the DC movies. The Batman stuff was well-received. The last Superman wasn't as bad as you make it out to be. And look at the DC TV shows. "Arrow" is money while "The Flash" and "Gotham" will be good, too.
Cam Newton will wear a thick flak jacket. He's had a history of success against the Bucs. But coming off the injuries and the lack of weapons have made me skeptical of his success.
The Panthers have had a passer throw for more than 300 yards only once in 27 all-time meetings with the Bucs. But watch Newton burn me on this.
I'm not sure Jay Gruden will be able to salvage RG3 so quickly. He's getting a lot of credit for Andy Dalton's success, but if you remember Gruden favored Dalton to Kaepernick because Red fit his system better.
Do you ever get the feeling Dan Snyder thought he was interviewing Jon Gruden, but was total thrown off when Jay Gruden walked in the door?
I'm not sure Tony Romo will be able to stand up for 600 pass attempt this season. The offensive line is better, but I worry about his long-term health. Think of all the big-time athletes who have had their careers ruined by back problems; Larry Bird, Mario Lemiuex, Shawn Michaels.
What? Shawn Michaels was a big-time athlete, though he did return to have a pretty good run after his initial hiatus. Although his 2006-07 DX run was kind of forgettable. Seriously.
But if this was a week when, in a vacuum, you could convince yourself to sit Luck, this would be the week. The Broncos defense could be trouble for people this year.
But can you imagine sitting there with egg on your face when Palmer throws three interceptions during the late Monday Night game, and you're sitting there like a sucker because you decided to roll with him? Can we talk about it Monday?
You hear a lot of people say don't draft on last year's stats. But I guess that's only when a player has a career year, right? Why wouldn't the same principle apply for a guy poised for a breakout. This is why I don't quite get the disdain for Ingram right now. No matter, it's good for us.
And yet, you were all but way too happy to draft Marshawn Lynch this year, even though he reached the dreaded 400 touch mark last year. Yes, that was the guy you had no problem with this year.
The good news for Pierce is the Falcons are on the schedule in Week 2. So if you can roster Pierce for a week, he'll pay off then.
BTW, a ton of you freaked me out when BenJarvus Green-Ellis was relieved. I mean, was this something you didn't expect to happen after the team selected Hill so high up in drafts? This was going to happen.
The problem with the Patriots is no matter how great you believe Vereen could do this season, we're talking about Bill Belichick. And Stevan Ridley is still the most talented dude on the roster so there's that.
Andre Williams looked pretty good in preseason and he conjures images of Brandon Jacobs. But it's going to take time for him to get into the mix.
Rushing for 2,000 yards was the worst thing to happen to CJ's career because it spawned the idiotic CJ2K nickname. A moniker he's never going to be able to live up to and then we all believe he's a failure.
I'm most concerned about Arian Foster this season. The Texans' offense has really become a bother. When you think Ryan Mallett is an upgrade, well, that's pretty much all I need to know. Bummer for Foster. He seems like a cool guy and he's somewhat unintentionally hilarious on Twitter. But that won't cut it for my fantasy team. For my Twitter feed? Yes. Fantasy team? No.
ImageYou know what doesn't have me excited? More of those Bud Light Lime-a-Ritas ads. I love the actor and everything. But I've found myself walking around the office, and pretty much everywhere, singing Lionel Richie's "All Night Long." Is there any way to make it end?
ImageWhy does the WWE get us all excited with the best SummerSlam in recent history, and then follow it up with the worst RAWs anybody can remember. The Brock Lesnar win has turned John Cena into some sort of super Superman (because he was always Superman) who has neutered the Wyatt Family, Seth Rollins and just about everybody right now. Its' awful.
ImageUnless the long-play here is Cena looked super-strong and undeniable only to get his head handed to him at Night of Champions, then you've essentially made The Undertaker loose his streak to a fireman's carry because JOHN CENA. That can't be it right? Best scenario: Lesnar kills him. Not best: Cena wins. Not great but I'll take it: Rollins cashes in MITB and wins the title.
Tavon Austin is the best bet for the St. Louis FC. And the matchup is favorable as the Vikings gave up the second-most points to WRs last year. But would you be willing to play him this week? Me neither.
Each week, I'm going to select some #DangerZone guys you have no business starting but do have the matchup everybody will be talking about. I can just see Carlos Hyde doing something amazing this week against the Cowboys. Because Cowboys D.
When I was drafting, I'd see Andre Johnson on the board and I would dread having to draft him for value. But then I would have the ultimate fantasygasm when somebody else took him.
Are we ever going to talk about Brett Favre for Copper Fit? Have you seen those commercials yet? There are so many jokes I have for this, but most of them are blue, so you're just going to have to hit me up on Twitter.
A lot of people want to get into the hand-wringing of, "What does this all mean for Peyton Manning?" Well, stop. This is the guy who was able to make Blair White and Austin Collie household names around fantasy circles. And because I spend a lot of time lecturing the wife and dog about fantasy football at the dinner table. And by dinner table, I mean on the couch in front of the TV during dinner.
There's been a lot of buzz about T.Y. Hilton recently, but I just don't get it. He didn't score a touchdown in 14 of his 16 games in 2013. Folks seem to remember the game when he smoked the Seahawks, but seriously that was just one game. Of the two he scored in.
Hilton didn't have a lot of success against the Broncos at home last year, either. He had 11 targets which he turned into two receptions for 27 yards. Do I even need to mention he didn't score a touchdown?
It's time to take Wes Welker down to Front Street. Because what are we going to do with the guy? He had limited value to me headed into the season because of the injury concerns and other guys in the offense would assume bigger roles. Now he's going to be gone a month. The Broncos have a bye in Week 4, so the soonest you'll see him is Week 6. It might be time to part ways. You can pick him up later if you're desperate back then, but it's time to let it go.
ImageI don't know why Welker makes me think of this, but I'm not a huge fan of "The Wire." Please tell me the series gets better, because I'm close to not watching any more episodes. I feel like a bunch of people get together and feel like the "smart" thing to say is "The Wire" is so amazing, and people just kind of go along with it. And now as somebody who has seen both "The Shield" and "The Wire" I'm one of the few who can say which is better. "The Shield" is like the Super Bowl 48 Seahawks, and "The Wire" is Norco High School. I'm sorry to all of you I have offended.
My biggest fear in fantasy football right now is the Giants are going to roll out and be some sort of dominant offense. Like the whole preseason was a mirage or something. You can just see them turning it on. That'd be the biggest heel turn ever.
ImageStrike that. My biggest fear is that there is a freaking albino cobra roaming the streets of Los Angeles right now. A cobra! How are you people calm? I'm calm? I'm at DEFCON 5! Wait, or is it DEFCON 1? Whatever the worst one is, I'm at that!
Seriously, a cobra is on the loose in Los Angeles. I'm not sure how I'm going to enjoy the games.
ImageI have the full season of "Hard Knocks" sitting in my DVR right now, and I don't have the interest to watch it. Has the "Hard Knocks" franchise lost me? I was going to binge watch during a rare Angels off-night on Monday, but instead watched the best of WCW Nitro. The NFL needs to dictate who is on the show. How can you even turn that down? But I have a feeling I'm going to delete "Hard Knocks" before I even watch it.
ImageBTW, Jerry Jones keeps talking about passing on Johnny Manziel in the draft. Uh, I'm sure that makes Romo feel great. But again, shouldn't the ultimate blame go to the commissioner? Like when Roger Goodell was up there, he should have been all, "the Dallas Cowboys select Zaaaaac, I mean Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M". I mean, he's ultimately the boss, can't he do what's best for business?
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 120,000 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." But make sure not to bother him after midnight ET because he likes to play #HashtagWars with the show @Midnight.