Cause for concern with Peyton Manning this week

What we are talking about:

  • Cam Newton

A pretty good start

  • Andrew Luck

Numbers not good

  • Road House

Come on, Hollywood

Jessica Simpson-131129-TOS.jpg

The world was much different in 2003. Bryan Cranston was the bumbling, but loveable dad on "Malcolm in the Middle". Limp Bizkit was still playing on our radios (not in an ironic way). And Jessica Simpson delighted us with her realization that tuna actually lived in the ocean. (And there could be a Tony Romo joke here, too, but I'm above all of that. Consider it a Thanksgiving treat.)

It was also the last time the Lions won a football game on Thanksgiving. And do you want to know who the coach was back then? Steve Mariucci.

And to take it one step further, Black Friday was actually on Friday back in 2003. When did it become cool for department stores to open up at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving? Those of you who went to those stores last night should be ashamed. Forget that you neglected your family and the glow of a post-Thanksgiving meal. You're also making those poor workers leave their families so you can get an extra 20 percent off at Kohl's.

And here's the news flash, there will still be (expletive) for you to buy throughout the holiday season. Or better yet, you should go to NFLShop.com and get your loved ones some gear from their favorite football team. In fact, I just got my bride, Rosie McGee, some cool NFL gear and nobody had to leave the dinner table to fulfill my order. So come on folks, have a heart on this holiday weekend.

Oh, and I think I had a point here, too. Well it's this. The Lions are back. That was good. The Packers aren't as bad as you think. Seriously, were Joe and Troy really debating if the Packers would be better off with Rodgers as opposed to having a quarterback who was cut by the Raiders and Bills this season? Was this seriously a topic? I'm not saying the Packers would have won the game if Rodgers was available. But I think they do better than the 13 yards the team gained Thursday. (Or whatever the total was, I had already switched over to the Cal State Fullerton hoops game.)

Tony Romo looked great in Dallas, though he needs to be a little more selfish near the goal-line. Just one touchdown during this game? How dare you!

John Harbaugh got off the line of the night when he asked if Mike Tomlin was going to be credited with a tackle.

But I think I've said too much here. So in honor of the Lions first win since 2003, I'm going to immerse myself in a "Charmed" marathon and put on a red Yankees cap.

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 ...

Peyton Manning has averaged 379 passing yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions in his last two trips to Arrowhead Stadium.

You won't sit Peyton, and I would never try to convince you otherwise. But Manning has averaged 265.9 passing yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in his last 11 games after going up against Tom Brady.

And not to scare you further, but it looks like it will again be freezing in Kansas City on Sunday night. Manning is 3-7 with 11 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 73.0 when the weather is freezing.

Knowshon Moreno has only one touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the last five meetings, and 100 scrimmage yards only once in his last four. He looks hobbled and might be rested for the playoff run. But if he's playing for the Broncos, he's playing for me. I'm going to grab C.J. Anderson to be safe.

My only hope is the Broncos have to play some more meaningful games in the coming weeks. And after what they saw of Peyton Manning last week, they realize they need to run the ball a lot when the weather is cold.

If the Broncos hadn't been so stubborn, I bet they could have run the ball exclusively in the second half and still won the game. And when you think about how bad Peyton played, imagine if he had faced a defense that wasn't banged up.

Demaryius Thomas has scored a receiving touchdown in two of his last three meetings, and has gone over 120 receiving yards in back-to-back games. He's been targeted at least seven times in four consecutive games.

Jamaal Charles has no touchdowns in his last four against the Broncos, but he's had at least 100 scrimmage yards against them in the last two at Arrowhead.

Julian Edelman, or Edeltron according to our Around the League boys, leads the Patriots in receptions (61) and yards (610) this season. His receiving yards have increased in three consecutive games.

Vincent Jackson has at least 10 targets in three consecutive games against the Panthers, and more than 75 in back-to-back games. He's one of the few Bucs to play this week.

Cam Newton has 13 career touchdowns (five rushing) in five career meetings against the Buccaneers. He's had at least 40 rushing yards in four of those five games.

Sleeper alert: Jonathan Stewart has six rushing touchdowns in his last seven meetings with the Buccaneers. Mike Tolbert would be a nice play, too.

Greg Olsen has scored more than nine fantasy points in three of his last four games. He's had a receiving touchdown in four of his last five.

Brandon Marshall has a receiving touchdown in back-to-back games with the Vikings. He's had at least 70 receiving yards in five career meetings.

Matt Forte has not scored a touchdown in his last eight against the Vikings. But he has at least 115 scrimmage yards in back-to-back games. So no TDs, but would 11.5 points be good for you? I know, that's what it has come down to with running backs. Just please score double-digits.

Martellus Bennett had seven receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings in Week 2. I don't know if that's a good trend as history will repeat. Or if it scares me because he got it all out of his system.

If I had a lot of guts, I would play Toby Gerhart this week against the banged-up Bears defense. It would be one of those genius plays everybody likes to talk about.

Cordarrelle Patterson has 20 targets in the last two game, good for most on the team. The Bears have allowed the ninth-most points to fantasy receivers this year.

The Titans haven't scored a rushing touchdown in their last five trips to Indianapolis. The Colts, however, have given up a lot of points to running backs over the last couple of weeks.

Donald Brown has scored four touchdowns in his last four against the Titans. He struggled at Arizona, but the Titans have allowed the fifth-most points to fantasy running backs this year.

Coby Fleener had eight receptions for 107 yards against the Titans in Week 11, and he's another great start this week.

Adam Vinatieri is a perfect 11-for-11 at home against the Titans.

Delanie Walker has had eight targets in three consecutive games. He's even better at home with at least 11 fantasy points in Tennessee.

Chris Johnson had 86 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns the last time he played the Colts. What's amazing is Johnson has four rushing touchdowns. Which means he's tied with Andy Luck in that category.

Kendall Wright is a nice sleeper this week. He had 12 targets, nine receptions and 80 yards against the Colts in Week 11.

You might fear Mike Wallace being a one-week wonder, and I get that. But he did have 74 receiving yards and a touchdown in the last meeting.

And before you're all, "but Rank, you said you don't like Tannehill ..." Yes, but if Tannehill throws on TD to a WR and it happens to be Wallace, well, RT17 can struggle while Wallace does not.

Frank Gore has a rushing touchdown against St. Louis in three consecutive meetings, and 14 overall in 13 career games. He's had at least 100 scrimmage yards in three of his last four home meetings.

Anquan Boldin has had at least five receptions and at least 60 receiving yards in six consecutive meetings against St. Louis.

Andre Brown is a great start this week. The Giants have rushed for 11 touchdowns in the last seven games in our nation's capital. And by our nation's capital, I mean Maryland.

The Giants defense might be a good play, too. They've had at least one takeaway in nine straight meetings. The Giants had a streak of 26 consecutive games with a sack against the Redskins snapped the last time they played. But now the Redskins don't seem particularly fond of protecting their QB.

Victor Cruz has recorded 100 receiving yards in back-to-back games against the Redskins. He's been targeted at least eight times in the last three.

Alfred Morris has rushed for at least 120 yards in his two games against the Giants. I get it, Shanahanigans is at work here. But he's a true beast between the 20s. Maybe he gets into the end zone. I know, dare to dream.

Things have not looked good for Matt Ryan in recent weeks, but this seems like a big coming out party for him this week. Which is troubling because the Falcons could challenge for the first pick in the draft.

Nick Foles leads the NFL with a 128.0 passer rating, which puts him on pace to break Aaron Rodgers' all-time single season record. Foles has topped 22 fantasy points in four of five.

Foles has yet to throw an interception this season in 162 attempts. The Birds defense has recorded seven interceptions in the last 185 passes thrown. The Cardinals rank third in passes intercepted. Something has to give!

Carson Palmer has gone back-to-back games without an interception, after he had thrown a pick in nine consecutive games.

Larry Fitzgerald has scored 12 fantasy points in back-to-back games. He's had four touchdowns in his last four games.

Michael Floyd has increased his fantasy points in three consecutive games. Floyd has had a receiving touchdown in his last two roadies.

Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington are decent enough sleeper picks if you need a running back this week.

Tavon Austin is the fourth player since 1960 with a rushing, receiving and punt return TD of at least 60 yards in the same season. DeSean Jackson is one of those four. And you'd better believe I will start Jackson this week.

The Bengals have allowed the ninth-most points to fantasy receivers over the last month. In fact, they've allowed at least two touchdown receptions in five of six road games. Go Keenan Allen!

Ryan Mathews has scored at least 12 fantasy points in three consecutive games and the Bengals have allowed more than five yards-per-rush in two of the last three.

Giovani Bernard has surpassed at least 85 scrimmage yards in three consecutive games. He's also had three touchdowns in his last three games.

Maurice Jones-Drew has a pretty tough matchup against the Browns this week, but his numbers keep trending up and he's playing for a new contract. I just keep riding this guy.

Josh Gordon has scored at least 12 fantasy points in three of his last four games. The Jaguars have allowed 12 receiving touchdowns in their last five road games. That's good news for Jordan Cameron, too, who has struggled recently.

The Dolphins defense is a nice play this week. The Jets have allowed the second-most fantasy points to defenses this year.

Jimmy Graham has six 100-yard games this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL with A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson. Graham will break the NFL record for 100-yard games by a tight end with his next.

Russell Wilson needs only one win to match Big Ben for the most wins (22) by a quarterback in his first two seasons. Wilson has never lost in 13 home games during his NFL career.

I'm calling a Kenny Stills game here. The Seahawks have done well against big, physical receivers. At six-feet, Stills should be able to get past the Seahawks D.

Pierre Thomas has scored at least eight fantasy points in five consecutive games. He's had at least 80 scrimmage yards in his last seven.

Goodbye to long-time editor Justin Hathaway, who sails off this week for NESN. He's has been a huge help to me professionally on NFL.com and he will be missed both in the newsroom and in Section 221 at Angel Stadium (though I hope he gets a chance to visit). ZAX, Justin.

Eli Manning has thrown a touchdown pass or less in 16 of his last 17 career meetings against the Washington Redskins. He's topped 300 passing yards just twice in those 17 games. He has been terrible against the Redskins.

For his career, Manning has thrown 14 touchdown passes with 15 interceptions. And yes, the Redskins have been terrible on defense this year, but you can't take the risk.

However, I would like to point out Eli did outscore Peyton last week. As I predicted on NFL Fantasy Live!

I'm going to have a hard time trusting Robert Griffin III. I have to give it up to a kid on Twitter (sorry, I couldn't find the tweet) who said there is no "I" in team but there is three in RGIII.

If you're a fan of the Dave Dameshek Football Program, thank you! An interesting point made by Dave this week, watch the linemen after RG3 gets dumped on the ground. Nobody rushes to help him up. Which is very unusual.

It's almost like that scene in "The Longest Yard" when the linemen give up on Paul Crewe and let him get clobbered time and time again. Plus RG3 always hits the ground so bloody hard. I hope the next coach of the Redskins can fix this.

ImageBTW, have you ever noticed in "Red Dawn" that the kids are huddled in that safe house and the old man says, 'hey, people are proud of you! There is even talks of dropping in some special forces in the spring!" And then Patrick Swayze and the kids get all excited about it. One even yells, "The Green Berets." And yet, not one of them stops to say, "What the (expletive)? The Special Forces can't get here until the spring? We have an occupied America and the Special Forces MIGHT arrive in the spring? Are you (expletive) kidding me?" Could you imagine the outrage if our country was invaded and we refused to respond because the weather was too cold? Was Peyton Manning running the military at this point of the movie?

ImageAnd speaking of Patrick Swayze movies, just no to a "Road House" remake. I understand "Road House" came out before a lot of you were able to see rated R movies. But let me ask you, has is it ever stopped you from watching "Star Wars" or "Empire" or any other classics? Because they basically tried to recapture the magic with Episode I and how did that (expletive) work out? Yes, the clothes are dated, but it's a period piece. Deal with it. If you want to make a movie about a cooler, then just make one. But don't call it "Road House" you (expletives).

ImageYou want a perfect example of how this can be done? You've all seen the Austin Powers movies, right? Go check out the Matt Helm series starring Dean Martin from the 1970s. Michael Myers practically aped Dino there, but all of us kids were none the wiser. It's not that difficult, people.

Pierre Garcon had eight receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown in the last meeting against the Giants. But the Giants D has played better and Washington is starting to fall apart.

Hakeem Nicks has never scored a touchdown against the Redskins. He has been targeted a bunch, but he's topped 75 receiving yards only once.

Mike Glennon has been one of my favorite players this year, but he's got a tough matchup with the Panthers. The Bucs have fewer than 300 passing yards in seven consecutive games.

Tiquan Underwood had become a nice little matchup-based receiver over the past couple of weeks. This isn't one of those matchups.

The Panthers have allowed the fourth-fewest points to running backs this season. So I have to take a pass on Bobby Rainey.

Steve Smith is still a mensch. He joined the Dave Dameshek Football Program this week, and while he's one of my favorite people in the NFL, he hasn't scored a touchdown in his last six against Tampa.

Don't be surprised if the Bears and Vikings is a low-scoring affair. The Bears offense has scored 19 points or fewer in seven of the last eight at Minnesota.

That makes Josh McCown a sleeper this week because the Vikings defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. So go with McCown if your starter is injured (or is RGIII), you can start McCown. But don't start him over an established stud.

If you do have to start McCown, let me at least give you some good news. The Vikings have allowed the most fantasy points at home to quarterbacks this season. He's also scored at least 15 points in his last three roadies. That would be better than what Tony Romo did for me on Thursday.

The Vikings offense has had a touchdown pass or less in seven straight meetings. The Bears defense is pretty bad. My prediction is Christian Ponder has more rushing touchdowns than passing. That's the thing, Ponder has four rushing touchdowns this year, he should never do that.

T.Y. Hilton has notched 50 yards or less in three career meetings against the Titans. He had 44 receiving yards in his first game as "the man" against the Titans in Week 11.

Andrew Luck is just on the border of being a QB1 for me. He has a touchdown pass or less in three career meetings with the Titans. Tennessee is so tough on quarterbacks. Man, it will be tough to play him.

Eric Decker has fewer than 80 receiving yards in seven career meetings against the Chiefs. Though, he has recorded at least 60 receiving yards in three straight.

Wes Welker has no touchdowns in five career games against the Chiefs and fewer than 75 receiving yards in each meeting.

The Chiefs offense has scored 13 points or less in four consecutive home meetings with the Broncos. The Chiefs quarterbacks have a touchdown or less in their last seven. Not looking good for Alex Smith.

Dwayne Bowe has no touchdowns in five career home games against the Broncos. I know, that's a huge shocker. Try to contain yourselves.

You might be able to drop the Chiefs defense now, too. The Chiefs D has surrendered 462.7 yards per game in the month of November.

The New York Jets defense is banged up but I don't think I could roll with Ryan Tannehill as anything more than a sleeper QB option if you played in deep leagues or if your quarterback is injured. Or is RGIII.

Dolphins quarterbacks have thrown for a touchdown or less in four consecutive games and in seven of their last eight meetings on the road against the Jets.

I want to get Lamar Miller into the mix before the season is over. But it won't be this week against the rugged Jets defense.

While I would trust Zac Stacy if he plays, I would not look at Benny Cunningham as anything more than a flex option against the 49ers. St. Louis FC running backs have had two rushing touchdowns in the last eight against San Francisco.

Kellen Clemens is a, ah, who the heck am I fooling? But it's important to note St. Louis FC QBs have just six touchdowns in the last seven against the 49ers.

Don't be one of those folks who saw that great game by Colin Kaepernick (against the Washington Redskins no less) and rushes him back into the lineup. We have a nice sample size of him against St. Louis to judge.

Kaepernick has three touchdowns and two turnovers in four career meetings against St. Louis. In fact, he hasn't had a touchdown pass in three of his last four against them, and few than 210 passing yards in each meeting.

Vernon Davis has had less than 30 receiving yards in three consecutive meetings against St. Louis. He's had only one touchdown in his last seven against them. It's hard to fathom who you start over Davis, but I'm just here to warn you.

Michael Crabtree isn't going to have much impact upon his return. The Achilles injury is not one you will rebound from quickly. I remember when Skip Garrido was hobbled with an Achilles tear during Cal State Fullerton's run to the national championship in 1995.

You can pretty much drop Stevan Ridley at this point. He's lost a fumble in three consecutive games. He's had fewer than nine fantasy points in back-to-back games. In his defense, it's hard to score fantasy points when you're on the bench.

The Bengals have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last month. Philip Rivers is on the border of a QB1. But, he's had more than 20 fantasy points just once in his last seven.

The Tennessee Titans have allowed a lot of rushing yards this season, but that doesn't mean Trent Richardson is a great start. I mean, if you're desperate. But Richardson has 60 rushing yards or less in 14 consecutive games.

Richardson has scored fewer than six points in seven consecutive games. He is averaging 2.9 yards-per-carry this season, which is good for 48th in the NFL. Darren McFadden is better than that this season.

I really like in-season NFL trades. But I'm really worried this Richardson deal is going to cause teams to pause more than they already do with trades.

At some point do we start to label the Alabama running backs as busts? Richardson and Mark Ingram have yet to set the NFL on fire. They've only burned our fantasy teams.

ImageBTW, if John Cena is ever going to turn heel, it's going to start on "Total Divas". I mean, with all of this talk about "face of the company" it's hard to argue that it's not Cena. And to be honest, we've discussed this here previously. But the way Cena is portrayed in "Total Divas" it would fit to be the corporate heel.

And don't worry Mike Tomlin, I know that goof you had on the sidelines will continue to be played over and over again. But at least you're not Jason Kidd.

I'm not kidding, Jason Kidd could challenge to be one of the worst coaches in sports history. I mean, even Isiah Thomas believes this guy is doing a poor job. What is going on with Brooklyn?

Time for my Curtis Axel All-Stars (the worst Perfect Challenge team with big-name players): Andrew Luck, Ray Rice, Lamar Miller, Eric Decker, Jordy Nelson, Vernon Davis, Kansas City Chiefs, and Blair Walsh.

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."

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