Like/Dislike: Waiting for Johnny Football


What we are talking about:

  • Mark Sanchez

    Chill, people. He'll be fine.

  • Robert Griffin III

    Dude, what happened to you?

  • Suicide Squad

    Greatest. Movie. Cast. Ever. EVER!

Margot Robbie will play Harley Quinn in the upcoming "Suicide Squad" film. Adam Rank's discusses the casting news and his latest fantasy football insights here.

Well, it's official. The Cleveland Browns hate fun.

That's the only way to react to the decision the Browns made in regards to their starting quarterback position. Sure, Brian Hoyer might have earned the starter's gig after leading the team to seven wins this season. A high-water mark the team has reached just three times since the Browns were reborn in 1999. (And inexplicably, do you all remember the year when Romeo Crennel won 10 games in 2007? One of the most baffling accomplishments ever. I mean, if you had told me that Crennel won 10 games during his entire coaching tenure with the Browns, I wouldn't have doubted you.)

So yes, sticking with Hoyer might be the best football decision. It's just not the most fun decision. It's the football version of going out to eat at Red Robin and getting the side broccoli instead of the endless supply of fries. Sure it might be the right decision, but is it the most fun? I mean, if you've entered Red Robin, you've pretty much cast aside any notion that you're going to eat healthy for that meal. You could have the chicken salad, but you know you're going with the bacon guacamole burger. You might as well double-down on some fries. It will cost you like an extra 20 minutes on the stair master (or an hour on the elliptical). Do what is fun.

So in other words Browns, choose your quarterback like you choose your side dishes.

Johnny Football is fun. The NFL Network newsroom went bananas (not a great side dish) when JFF scored his first NFL touchdown. The typical celebration we only see around these parts when a good car chase is on television. Even my sister who probably doesn't know the nickname of the team in Cleveland texted me to let me know Johnny had scored a touchdown and flashed the money sign. (Bless her heart for letting me know. Although I wonder what she thought I was doing on Sunday.)

But it was fun. The NFL could use a little fun. Only the curmudgeons want Hoyer to start. They like to gather around and spout off things like, "Hoyer gives this team the best chance to win right now."

Well, I have some news for you. Like who gives a (expletive)? The Browns aren't going to win the Super Bowl this year. The playoffs would be a rather tall order. Football Outsiders estimated the Browns playoff chances at around 10 percent. I have a better chance of being on @Midnight. (If it does a show from the Super Bowl, though, I will crash the set.)

The thing that baffles me the most is Johnny Football seems like the only rookie this season who hasn't had a chance to shine. Derek Carr. Starting. Teddy Bridgewater. Starting. Even Zach Mettenberger has started games this season. Manziel has been treated the way Tom Savage has been treated in Houston. Is this the way to treat the most popular player to enter the league in the last decade? I'm not saying you should crowd source your starting quarterback. But there was a reason why you drafted this guy, right?

Oh well, maybe it's for the best for the majority of you. I scroll through my Twitter timeline (I'm trying to get to as many as possible, but I'm kept rather busy here) and see some of the desperation plays a lot of you have debated about. So you would probably throw him in your lineup and lose. Or maybe not. I guess fantasy football is supposed to be about fun, right? I just wish the real thing would realize that, too.

A big hand to stats mavens Careen Falcone, Matty Fredrick and The Mick for dropping the knowledge. Oh, and our man Patrick Crawley continues "Patrick's Corner" this week.

And without further ado ...

If you think a rookie quarterback has a good matchup, I would think again. Those are the kind of guys who can end up ending your fantasy season. Go with a veteran who has been there.

Andy Dalton could have all of the positive statistics in the world going in his favor. But he never seems to play well when the Bengals (and fantasy enthusiasts more importantly) need him the most.

Dalton had a perceived "nice" matchup against the Bucs in Week 13. But it turned rather quickly. Lovie Smith is no joke and this team has responded defensively. For that reason, I'm rather wary of going with Matthew Stafford this week.

Joe Flacco has been a much better quarterback at home than on the road. And you can't trust the numbers of the Dolphins against quarterbacks because Rex Ryan just refused to let Geno throw the ball. Still, I'd shy away from Flacco. The Ravens will watch the film and see how the Jets were able to move on the ground so they will turn here to their strong running game.

Let's talk Rex Ryan for a moment. I love him. As Dan Hanzus surmised, it looked like Ryan went into full passive aggressive mode with Geno Smith on Monday night. He wouldn't let his young quarterback throw. It's almost like George Costanza when he tried to get fired. And it's kind of funny. No, it's pretty damn funny. But then again, I'm a huge fan of dumpster fires.

ImageRyan needs to take it to the next level this week. Don't run the ball at all. At all. Have Geno drop back to attempt like 70 passes. Every play. Just have Geno drop back and fling it. I would try to not have my team punt, but you'd get your defense too exposed. But pass on every play.

Eli Manning is a pretty interesting option this week. Some of you might chase the fantasy points with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but why not pick on the team that allowed the six touchdown passes? This is a great matchup for the Giants. The only problem is, I covered the Chargers for years and even had season tickets. So I will not trust my fantasy team to Eli. Can't do it.

I really hope the next offensive coordinator of the 49ers knows what to do with Colin Kaepernick. What we've seen from him and that offense is truly stunning. I feel like he could still be a great quarterback in this league. But it's not happening this year. Or even this week. I don't have the stomach to ride with Kaepernick even with a great matchup against the Raiders.

ImageSo we all just assume Jim Harbaugh is going to coach the Raiders next season, right? He's going to be traded, that much is obvious. Maybe the Cowboys if the team misses the playoffs this year. But would the Raiders do a trade of Derek Carr for Harbaugh and Kaepernick? That would at least be interesting. Then the Raiders could over-spend on Marshawn Lynch and now we would have a pretty interesting team. I'm not sure they would be any good, but it would certainly be interesting. This time in a positive way.

Cam Newton is another quarterback I don't particularly care for this week. Thankfully my opponent in my League of Record has to choose between Stafford and Newton this week. Whew.

Matt Ryan was great last week, but he's still got a ton of issues on the offensive line. Now he's got to walk into Lambeau Field on Monday night. In the cold. I love to fade dome teams out in the cold. I really love it when they play at night in a tough game. The Packers D is great at home.

So is Trent Richardson upset right now that yet another running back has usurped him in Indianapolis? Or is he just happy that he's not in Cleveland and on a team that will end up as the champions of the AFC South? Or maybe both?

Tre Mason was the fourth player in NFL history to have a rushing touchdown of more than 85 yards and a receiving touchdown of at least 35 yards in one game. It's hard to bench him after last week. But Washington is pretty good against the run, especially at home.

But don't freak out about Tre. I benched him for The Crow in my League of Record (barring injury). I will start him against Molly in our Fantasy Live League in the flex position. I just don't want people to believe he's an automatic must-start after a huge game against the Raiders. I really do like him as a runner. But he's somebody you need to look at in a case-by-case situation.

I will go with Mason over Joique Bell (against the Bucs). I like to look at the advance ratings over at Football Outsiders to get a true glimpse of these teams when I evaluate players. I also read some of the Pro Football Focus advanced stats, too. Look, don't take them as gospel but it's good to take a look at some other perspectives, too. This Bucs defense has played well recently.

I also went with Mason over Fred Jackson (against the Broncos). The Broncos have been very tough against fantasy running backs over the last month. Plus only the Detroit Lions have been more efficient against the run than the Broncos according to the fine folks over at Football Outsiders.

What was that noise with Doug Martin last week? He's been near fantasy death for the better part of the season and now he decides to rise up and score a rushing touchdown. The Bucs first since Warrick Dunn, I believe. Though you might want to check my numbers on that one.

Jeremy Hill doesn't have a particularly great matchup against the Steelers this week. It's just right there in the middle of fantasy points allowed. I just don't see a lot of offensive production looming for the Bengals. I would hang on to him for some more favorable situations.

Whatever happened to Bishop Sankey? I remember some people thought he would be the best rookie running back in fantasy football this year. But the dude has been a complete ghost.

ImageSPOILERS for "Sons of Anarchy". You've been warned. For (expletive) sake, people. Quit with the "who is the homeless lady" stuff. It's been established she is the ghost of the woman who was killed in JT's accident. This is why she showed up to give the stink-eye to Gemma during her last moments on Earth. And she will show up just moments before Jax gets on his dad's bike to meet his maker. And yes, Gemma's dad could have a trust that would keep the house in tiptop shape replete with a well-groomed garden. Don't make me go Stephen Colbert on all of you regarding this. Have you not learned to trust Sutter yet? These last two episodes have been amazing.

Mike Evans had 554 receiving yards in November, the most in a month by any player in club history. The second-most in the NFL in November. He has been a true find for this team. The matchup is super tough. But he needs just one strike to be truly effective. So I'm really torn on him. My guess is that you didn't draft him as one of your top two receivers and have used him as a WR3 or flex. I like him better in those spots. But I have to believe you have some just as good options you could plug-in and roll with.

This talk about the Lions made me think of Brady Hoke. Not a surprise Michigan let him go. It's one thing to have Ohio State dominate you. But Michigan State has now surpassed Michigan in basketball and football. A move had to be made. Don't worry about Brady, though. I'm sure he'll have a nice time in Hawaii. As for Jim Harbaugh, I have a hard time seeing it. One of the more well-reasoned arguments you will hear against it, from the halls of the NFL Network, is the over-competitive Jim wants a Super Bowl ring to match John. I buy that. It might also make sense that Jim would rather have a potential gig with the Bears over the Raiders.

DeAndre Hopkins has scored more than 10 fantasy points just once on the road this season. My boys in Jacksonville will shut him down in Duval County, Florida. So I expect the market correction to rear its head this week and guess that he has less than double-digit points. Andre Johnson also has a suspect history against the Ville, too. He's had only one receiving touchdown in his last five against the Jags.

Are we really going to go an entire season without a touchdown from a Kansas City Chiefs receiver? I'm kind of rooting for it. I believe it's the most fantastic stat going. I don't really feel it's a knock on Alex Smith. But a lack of talent at receiver. And why can't Andy Reid ever have a team loaded with talent? He had it once when Terrell Owens was a receiver with the Eagles. Not surprisingly, he reached the Super Bowl (with a meh quarterback). He's like the modern day Marty Schotteheimer. He makes below-average talent teams into playoff contenders, even when they shouldn't be.

I like Wilson this week, as you know. I just wish there was a Seahawks receiver I could count on. I mean, Robert Turbin has just as good of a chance as anyone to catch a touchdown pass for Seattle this week.

ImageSpeaking of Seattle, great Nelson Cruz signing, Mariners. I mean, everybody knows it's a great idea to throw a ton of loot after a guy who just completed a career year. How do baseball people not see this? Or is he expected to take the same supplements now that he has guaranteed money? At least this makes me feel better about the money the Angels had thrown around in recent years. We don't have the worst contracts in the business!

Huge money doesn't always guarantee success. You just need to watch "Star Wars Episode I" to see that. Speaking of which, the George Lucas spoof of "Star Wars Episode VII" is about the best thing you'll see all day. Take a >look.

I really want to make a movement to rid ourselves of the tight end position from fantasy football. We should just take a book from James Graham and go for "pass-catchers" and runners. Actually, I have a laundry list of agenda items I would like to make happen in fantasy football in the next few years.

I like Coby Fleener a ton. But what the (expletive) was this? Thankfully for Fleener, our man Calvin Pace made a worse effort on this ball. He's our leader in the clubhouse for stone hands of the year. Although it was cool because I was up against Fleener, so thank you.

When can we flex Monday night games? Or at least get rid of it all together? (I know, not happening because ESPN pays us way too much money.) But Monday's game was brutal. Even the guys at Buffalo Wild Wings didn't want that game to go into overtime.

I don't know if you saw it, but late in the Monday game Geno Smith was thrown into one of his lineman's butt. The upshot here is he didn't fumble the ball. So that was progress Jets fans. (And it still irks me because Sanchez had begun a slide when he hit his lineman's backside, so really the ball should have been blown dead.)

ImageI did like Vince McMahon and his appearance on the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast. I couldn't disagree more with his assessment of Cesaro. What a joke. He was the most overrated guy at WrestleMania XXX and should have been pushed to the moon. Bray Wyatt could have been the next Undertaker but you had him lose to John Cena. To me, the WWE has dropped the ball on these guys. The audience was there for them.

ImageOur homepage editor Patrick Crawley has been invited to offer his own opinion on stuff. Take it away Patrick. Street parkers who go halfway. You have no idea how much you ruin things. Either pull all the way up to the edge of the curb or all the way back to the car behind you. It's not too much to ask.

So I disliked his opinion of Duke, but I do like his take on street parkers here. But what about people who pull all the way up to the car in front of you, but then things are reset when the SUV in front of you moves and then its replaced by a Mini Cooper. Then you just look like an (expletive).

ImageI'm bummed to see Alabama-Birmingham drop its football program. I get the cost involved, but when you shut down football programs you shut down some folk's opportunities to attend college. So I'm disappointed. I miss the Cal State Fullerton football program, so I can empathize here.

ImageJeff Fisher, if he had to do it all over again, would still do the RG3 trade. Right. Uh, I don't think he understood the question. Seriously, don't bring Fisher with you to Los Angeles.

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 300K followers. Me? Just 14. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (if you're RG3). And if you follow me on Sundays, I'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." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight. I've started to mute people who ask me questions at that time.