Driven Stronger: Expect big rebound from Panthers

So, some of you may wonder why it's been quiet on the America's Team front for these past few days. After all, it's not only playoff time, it's the semifinals! What the hell is that Juhasz guy doing, anyway ... sitting on his couch and watching Home Alone instead of worrying about our lineup?

Hardly. I've been watching from a safe distance and plotting our strategy, which is what exactly? Well, first things first ...

Waiver claims. Some of you are well aware we lost Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season, so I took it upon myself to put in a bid for both Josh McCown and Dennis Pitta right away as soon as the waiver wire trading bell sounded. I didn't put up any kind of poll asking you whether I should, because I knew no one would have a problem with it if we grabbed either. Unfortunately, we're dead last in waiver priority and other teams with higher priorities got both. Sorry, nothing could be done about that. But our claim for Cordarelle Paterson was successful, though. In short, we wouldn't have enough time to wait around for voting results if we wanted to grab some of the top options, so I did the best I could.

Regarding a QB, did you really think I'd let us go to war pinning our hopes on Carson Palmer? Relax, we aren't. I didn't want to spend a roster spot on a QB just yet since Aaron Rodgers' status was up in the air. He's been close to returning for some time now. I really hoped he'd be back in time for this week so we could exploit a solid matchup against the defense-is-strictly-optional Cowboys. My plan was to wait as long as possible to see whether he'd play. It's looking unlikely as of today, so let's find a potential replacement. Here's the good news, though: the other three remaining playoff teams are pretty much set at QB, so America's Team will get the best pick of the bunch from the QB waiver wire. Why didn't I post this earlier? Because I didn't want one of our league mates to grab our preferred QB from the waiver wire and stash him on their bench, for the sole purpose of putting us in a bad position. And if you think they're above playing dirty, then you haven't played fantasy football long enough.

So, about our matchup. Matt "Money" Smith is talking trash. Check this out:

Ok, now I'm officially mad. And focused.

I could easily respond by posting Hulk Hogan's "I am a real American" video, but ... nah. Too predictable and far too wimpy. This is gut-check time, and we have to let the rest of the NFL Fantasy LIVE team know that we're in this to win it. You know, it's just too bad there isn't a song out there that talks about a group of Americans who look menacing, go from town to town, have a good time doing their thing and are ready to roll over you in the process.

Wait, there is!

Consider Rob Zombie's American Band to be Team America's official theme song for the rest of the playoffs. It's intimidating, it rocks and it fits. I think Money will be scared just from watching the video.

We're an American band.
We're an American band.
We're coming to your town, we'll help you party it down.
We're an American band.

Catchy, isn't it? So, we've got some decisions to make, and it's just the beginning for this week. Stay very tuned if you could, please.

Now, on to the guys who will begin the home stretch with some extra determination:


John Juhasz is a fantasy editor at NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnJuhasz

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