Like/Dislike: How do you choose an MVP?


What we are talking about:

  • Johnny Manziel

    ICYMI: He will start this week!

  • Johnny Manziel

    He rode a swan in a pool once

  • Johnny Manziel

    Everybody at NFL Media has to

Choosing the 2014 NFL MVP is a tough decision. Adam Rank thinks it comes down to Aaron Rodgers or J.J. Watt but in a way, it's a win-win situation. Sort of like choosing between pop superstars Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

I kind of liked how the Packers fans started the MVP chants during the final moments of the Monday Night Football game. I mean, Rodgers might be my personal MVP right now, and he's not even on my fantasy football team. (You'll need to check out the Monday Nightmare for more on that.)

The real debate for football fans in the coming week is if Rodgers will indeed be the MVP. Or will it be J.J. Watt? There are really no wrong answers here. I mean, it's not as clear-cut as the choice of Mike Trout in the American League. That was an easy call. This one is much more difficult. To me, it's almost akin to trying to choose between CM Punk or Stone Cold Steve Austin. Episode VI or Episode V? Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. You really can't go wrong.

(And if you will make me choose, I will say that while CM Punk has been one of my favorites for a long time, you always tend to go with the guys you grew up with so I go with Stone Cold as the slight lean here. "Empire Strikes Back" is dominant. And well, you can't go wrong with Perry who dazzled us on the set of "College Game Day" earlier this year, plus she will be the official halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX. Wait, that was announced, right? I mean, we've known about that for a while but I was admonished not to spill the beans. So hopefully I didn't need to throw a spoiler alert up there.)

Let's get back to the gridiron and the MVP in question. I'm tempted to just say Rodgers because I don't want to appear to have a Chicago Bears bias (could you imagine if I was really like this?). But is Rodgers really the MVP? I mean, is he even the most valuable quarterback? Ardent supporters of Andrew Luck and Tom Brady could easily have a case here.

So I'm going to say Watt in this instance. We can all agree that he's the single greatest defensive player on the planet right now. To that, there is no dispute. He's also become a huge influence on the Texans' offense, too. Some might consider it a gimmick that he does line up at tight end, but he's such a great athlete it would be a shame not to do it. Plus, they also design plays for him. He doesn't just line up next to the tackle and run a simple out. He goes in motion, he makes adjustments on catches. He's amazing.

Plus, have you seen any starting quarterback in the league line up and play defense? I won't expect them to go out and register a sack as a defensive end like Watt. But at least play some defensive secondary or something.

The biggest knock on Watt is the Texans don't win a lot of games. There is that. But if Rodgers had the exact same statistics and played on a team that was .500 because of a lousy defense, would you hold that against him? Well then it's not right to blame Watt because he plays on a team without a true No. 1 quarterback and a running back who has been banged up all year.

The MVP should be the top player in the game. The guy who means the most. I'm going with Watt on this one.

You know who won't win? Brian Hoyer. He's been replaced by Johnny Manziel, which is something I advocated a few weeks back. Wait, it was last week. Back when I said the Browns hate fun. Well, I guess they like fun a little bit more now. Actually, let's start the Johnny Football for MVP campaign. I want to be the first.

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. Well, maybe. He's a very busy man.

Also, if you want to skim, the likes and dislikes are in bold so if you just want to breeze through to see the person, place or thing we have discussed here. Got all of that?

And without further ado ...

That's right; the most exciting news in football in quite some time is the arrival of Johnny Football. I'm not going to try to talk you out of starting him. This is fantasy and it is supposed to be fun, so do what makes your heart happy. But all of the names you see below Johnny Manziel right here are guys I would bench in favor of the Cleveland Browns rookie. And I will do my best to give you some justification, just so you're prepared if your friends make fun.

Why is Johnny Football still getting questions about his height? These are the kind of idiotic questions typically reserved for Super Bowl Media Day. And a word of the wise, editors on this story: Be careful with your headlines.

You can pretty much release Colin Kaepernick right now. There is no reason to even keep him on your roster. He should be the guy you drop for Manziel. How many times can this guy have a favorable matchup and fail to deliver? I don't believe it's his fault, either. I mean, when Mark Davis calls you out for being a dumpster fire, well, there aren't a lot of things going in your favor. So save yourself the frustration and let him go.

Colin Kaepernick has posted significantly worse numbers against the Seahawks than he has in games against other teams. His passer rating is 45.1 points lower when facing the Seahawks (50.6) than when he faced other teams (95.7). Too bad he plays them like eight times a year.

Ryan Tannehill scored just 11.80 fantasy points in his last game against the Patriots. And he's had more than 17 points only once in his last five games. Watch, he'll rule this week.

I can understand why I played Ryan Tannehill a few weeks ago. The matchup was good and sometimes you need to be reminded not to overthink things. But last week against the Ravens was too inexcusable. I'll never trust Tannehill again. Never. Ever! AGAIN!

The Washington Redskins have two touchdowns or less in 15 consecutive starts against the New York Giants. And no QB has thrown for more than 300 yards in the last 15 road games. The last Washington QB to do that was the great John Friesz.

Houston Texans quarterbacks have thrown for more two or more touchdown passes only once in the last nine games against the Colts. So even though Ryan Fitzpatrick has played well recently, there is no real temptation for me to start him at all.

Andy Dalton has scored more than 19 points only once on the road this season. But if I can go out on a limb, I will say this. Red Dalton will have positive points this week. That's right, Dalton will have positive points! (He had negative points the last time.)

Actually, the Browns have had Andy Dalton's number in recent starts. Dalton has thrown for less than 100 yards in consecutive starts against the Browns. That's less than 100 YARDS in back-to-back starts against the Browns. That doesn't seem possible.

Alex Smith has topped more than 20 fantasy points only once this season. He's passed for fewer than 290 yards in each of his five career games against the Oakland Raiders. What's weird is the Raiders and the Chiefs have trended in different directions. I almost want to pick the Raiders to win this game. But I just can't. But it will be closer than you think.

I would still leave Derek Carr on the bench, though. He's been the best rookie QB so far this season, no doubt. But Arrowhead can be very tough and loud, he could be eaten alive.

ImageWait, did you guys watch that "Eaten Alive" special on Discovery? What a huge letdown. That wasn't even like a little violent at all. He got some arm discomfort and called it a day? Not that I wanted him to get hurt, but he's the one who wanted to get into the belly of the beast, literally. BTW, the guy going into the snake looked way too much like Seth Rollins. Tripped me out.

The Patriots look like a much different team than they were in Week 1. So I'd keep Lamar Miller on the bench this week, even though he was decent enough against them in the opener.

I have a bit of a feeling about Ryan Mathews, but I don't have the stomach to pull the trigger on him this week. Besides the Chargers have scored just two rush touchdowns against the Broncos in their last six against them. I expect Rivers to have to throw the ball an awful lot here this week.

Frank Gore has scored double-digit fantasy points only once in his last eight games. Oh, I'm sure a game against the Seahawks in Seattle should change all of that. He wrote facetiously. This one is going to get Madden-blowout-against-a-four-year-old ugly.

And please don't ask me how I know what Madden blowouts against four-year olds look like. Let's just say that sometimes it's an uncle's duty to give some life lessons to his nephew.

Can we just fast forward to the part of the program where Carlos Hyde is the top running back in San Francisco? He's already topped my list for top sleepers headed into the 2015 season.

Andre Williams has scored four rushing touchdowns in his last six games. But I don't want to get sucked in by a great performance against the Titans because everybody has scored on them.

I've tried to figure out who has the worst defense, the Tennessee Titans or my Titans of Cal State Fullerton. I finally got to see my squad up close and personal, and yeah, not what I had expected. Time once again to live vicariously through my wife's schools, UNLV and Gonzaga.

The Patriots have had four different guys lead the team in rushing this season. You might want to check my math, but I believe it's like 86 guys have had rushing touchdowns. Or it just seems that way. I don't want to officially endorse a Patriots running back, but if there is one guy you need to start this week, I would go with LeGarrette Blount.

I don't know if you guys caught Terrance West the other day, either. He looked good in spurts. He seems like he could easily be somebody's top back. I don't know what he could fetch in the trade market, but he's somebody I would like to see get a chance next season. Yep, I clearly won't drop this, either.

ImageAnd for the record: If you're going to spend your entire summer trolling me, especially when you insinuated I had been negligent to endorse West and Crowell over Ben Tate, at least have the decency to come forward and admit you were wrong. Come back to Twitter, Ben Tate Troll.

ImageHas Sting been on RAW yet? I haven't even bothered to watch. It's become that bad. Even the Slammy Awards can't get me fired up, either. If somebody can tell me how Brock Lesner didn't win superstar of the year, I would love to hear it. The guy ended The Undertaker's streak and destroyed John Cena. That should win it right there.

ImageThere is even a PPV this week and I'm not even excited for it. The whole Lesnar thing might actually be a detriment. But it doesn't matter because the WWE already has my money because I purchased the network and it does have some awesome programming on it.

DeAndre Hopkins has averaged 7.5 fantasy points on the road this season. But he's the man now. Let's see if he can handle being the No. 1 guy without Andre Johnson as his bodyguard.

Mike Wallace has not scored a touchdown in three of his last four games. You see top receivers against the Patriots and you can pretty much leave those guys on the bench. Same deal goes for Jarvis Landry. If a Dolphins player catches a touchdown, it will probably be a tight end.

What happened to Pierre Garcon? Fewer than 10 fantasy points in six consecutive games. He had just two receptions for 28 yards the last time he played the Giants. Why is he even on your roster?

ImageThe greatest thing to happen last week was the way Jeff Fisher trolled Washington when he sent out the players who were acquired in the RG3 trade to be captains. Even the Washington staffers hadn't clued in and sent it out on Vine. I'm a heel, but I want more stuff like this in football. Harmless fun.

ImageThe most under-reported story of the year, to me, is the fact no Chiefs receivers have scored a touchdown this year. In fact, we just passed the anniversary of the last time a Chiefs receiver scored a touchdown. (I think it was Dante Hall.) But seriously, this is like something out of the 1940s. The NFL has basically become Madden football to benefit guys like Peyton Manning so for me, this is the most amazing record of the season. Truly mind bending.

We need to find a way to play a fantasy game where you try to fade big-name guys who wouldn't perform well. Because my pick would be Michael Crabtree this week. Here's the thing. Crabtree scored one point in his last game against the Seahawks. I would have taken the under on that one. Maybe even negative points.

Jeremy Maclin has averaged less than five fantasy points in his last four home games. Of course, one game against the Seahawks will do that to you. But he was fine against the Cowboys last time, but not great. I'm concerned about him with week. I'd rather go with Jordan Matthews.

Steve Smith Sr. was able to get on the board last week, after he had disappeared for a while. It's almost too much to ask for him to do it again. Again, I'm going to call a Ravens letdown.

Marquess Wilson has a lot of upside, and he would be a nice sleeper for me. The only way I would play him, though, would be in one of those daily fantasy leagues. I'd move him ahead of Aiken if Torrey Smith were available to play this week.

ImageThe college football committee got it right. The four best teams will play for the national championship. It was kind of funny how championship weekend was kind of a letdown. I mean, we expected a ton of upsets or something crazy and got none of it. Unless you count Ohio State's huge win as an upset. It was kind of like waiting for the finale of your favorite show and then getting nothing. I'm looking at you "Dexter".

ImageSPOILER for "Sons of Anarchy" the person I feel the worst about in the whole finale was August Marks. Dude, he told you not to mess with him. He told you not to mess with the Chinese. The look on his face as he sat there, bullet riddled was all, "What the [expletive] is wrong with you? I just wanted to make some money with some real estate holdings in Oakland and I would have protected your butt and this is what you do to me?" He should have been Fortinbras. And one small complaint, I mean even Alvarez uses the phrase "blowback?" These guys hung out way too much.

Why won't the NCAA let 10-team divisions have a championship round? The Big XII should added BYU and Cincinnati. I'm sure Boise State will be considered. But I selfishly want the Broncos to remain in the Mountain West. Although, if the Big XII wants to make a huge push, why not add San Diego State and UNLV? That would be a huge boon for the conference basketball wise. And then you have two more cupcakes for your football teams to pad its record against. At least until Tony Sanchez has UNLV as a powerhouse!

Am I wrong to want six games to win the NFC South? It truly would be best for football. With everything that has gone on this season, a six-team division winner would be the best. Plus with all of the self-important experts condemning such things would make it even better for me.

Just for poops and giggles, I went to see if Vernon Davis is still held in any of my fantasy leagues. And he's available in 96 percent of fantasy leagues. I'm kidding. He should be but he's actually held in close to 80 percent of leagues. What the front door is this? Davis hasn't scored more than 2.6 fantasy points since he had 3.0 in Week 6. That was his third-highest total of the season. He had like 17 points in the first week, and then he went 3.6 in Week 2. And then this whole season happened. But close to 80 percent of you have continued to hold him. For what? He's got Seattle this week. This is a no-go.

I'm going to allow Coby Fleener to go back to curtain-jerker status now that Allen is back healty and ready to go. Fleener had 56 receiving yards last week and the slide should continue down. He will now exist only to vulture points from our guy, Allen.

ImageCongratulations to Wisconsin on becoming a stepping-stone program. You lose a coach to the SEC, well, that is kind of understandable. (Though I thought Wisconsin was a better gig than Arkansas.) But you just lost a dude to Oregon State. I like Corvallis, Oregon, but this was kind of a shocker.

ImageThe Hot Stove League is so much fun. This is the time of year I miss covering baseball. (Not during the actual season mind you.) The best joke I saw Thursday night (sorry, I lost the tweet) was the Dodgers are going to be super bummed when they make all of these trades an inadvertently end up with the exact same roster. One guy they will have, however, is Howie Kendrick. A favorite of Reader Matt P. I hope this one works out because it sucks to lose a fan favorite we grew on the farm. Bummer.

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.