What we are talking about:
A pretty good start
Numbers not good
City of Atlanta
Seriously, a new field?
I mean, that would be akin to Gal Gadot rejecting the offer to play Wonder Woman in the Batman vs. Superman movie because she was really hoping to play Talia al Ghul. And for the record, I really like this casting for Diana. I'm not really familiar with Gal's work, but the limited exposure I've had to her has been rather good.
Oh yeah, she hasn't played any other superheroes in movies, either. That's really my big thing. I mean, I like Ben Afleck and I don't doubt he can play a pretty good Batman. But he's already Daredevil. I'm sorry the studio butchered the film for you Ben, because that character could be really cool. However, you're the one who signed on the dotted line. It's not like you were drafted to play the part.
Which brings me back to Eli. I know a lot of you will say that these poor college kids should have more of a choice of where to play, but I don't believe that. The way the NFL works now, it's like the league is one big corporation with 32 different branches. And a lot of us who work for major corporations know we could be moved at a moment's notice. It's not fair, but the alternative is to not work for that company. Similarly, if you want to work for the NFL corporation, you need to start where it sends you when you're immediately out of college.
Honestly, if Eli's dad hadn't played in the NFL, he would have played for the Chargers and had a wildly mediocre career there. But I guess that all doesn't really matter to fantasy. I was at that Giants vs. Chargers game in 2005. Eli and the Giants were brutalized by the Chargers but Eli had a pretty good game.
In fact, Eli is 0-2 against the Chargers during his NFL career, but his passer rating is 107.2, his second-highest among all opponents. He has thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions against San Diego. He's a nice little sleeper option, but I've played Eli as a sleeper in favorable matchups in the past and have been burned. Similarly to the way the Chargers were burned by him in 2004.
Incidentally, I wrote a Monday column for NFL.com back in 2003 during Eli's senior season, and I at first felt the Chargers would be better off with Eli. But then when I really put my mind to it (and watched Pitt's season), I felt like Larry Fitzgerald would have been a much better option. As I wrote after Week 17 of that year, "The Chargers would have a pretty formidable offense if they gave [Drew] Brees a guy like Fitzgerald to go with LaDainian Tomlinson."
I don't get paid to make those decisions, however. And I was once the guy who thought John Dutton was going to make a credible NFL quarterback. Though in my defense, he was a good pro quarterback.
And without further ado ...
Lynch has scored at least 22 points in two of his last three games. The 49ers have allowed at least 100 rushing yards in five consecutive home games. So he's the musty starty of must starts.
Wilson is 2-1 against the 49ers with five touchdowns and three interceptions. He has struggled with a 79.8 passer rating during those games.
Newton has also scored eight total touchdowns in the last three games, so it's hard to bench a guy who has played so well recently. Sometimes your studs have tough matchups.
ImageSuperman III has been on the movie channels lately. I like it a lot. Richard Pryor is magical. But why is one of Superman's evil things straightening out the Leaning Tower of Pisa? One more note: My favorite part is when Robert Vaughn, in explaining how rich he is, says he's never worn the same pair of socks twice. That's a baller.
ImageHere's a great read on why Wonder Woman should not be a sidekick. And it's true. If you read any of her titles in the New 52 from DC Comics, you would know she is one of the most compelling characters in her own right, and really isn't just an afterthought in the DC universe.
Alshon Jeffery has turned himself into a must-start guy in all fantasy formats. I'm still smarting I didn't get him off the waiver wire after Jason Smith dropped him in our "experts" league.
Robbie Gould might be my new kicker of choice because I didn't realize he was bald, too. That's my rule for kickers, you have to be bald to kick for me.
Julian Edelman has had 23 targets and at least 100 receiving yards in back-to-back games. He has been the team's leading receiver in the last two games.
Boasting about being Matty McGloin's favorite receiver would be akin to boasting about being Chumbawamba's chief song writer. But Rod Streater has been targeted 21 times in the past three weeks, and has had at least 80 receiving yards in two of those games.
For all of the Patriots receivers making Brady's life miserable this year, Gronkowski has not dropped a pass (61 targets). He has a receiving touchdown in four consecutive games, with at least 11 points.
Robert Griffin III has been a lightning rod of controversy over the past month. But you know what? He's had at least 21 fantasy points in three of his last four.
Joique Bell has scored two rushing touchdowns in his last three games. He's had at least 95 scrimmage yards in two of his last three, with at least 15 points in those games.
Kendall Wright has scored at least six fantasy points in eight consecutive games. He's had 39 targets in his last four games.
ImageSome might have questioned Kurt Sutter for all of his extended "Sons of Anarchy" shows this year, each at over 90 minutes. But it's been nothing short of fantastic. I never saw an episode once this year, and felt, "this went too long." I wanted more and this week, its two hours!
Image"Homeland" had some rough patches (kind of like Foles) but is probably better than it ever has been. As Rich Eisen put it, the show has been gripping and Dana Brody-free. Though, didn't she change her name?
Calvin Johnson has 962 receiving yards in his past six games, which is the most in NFL history for a six-game, in-season span. For the entire season, just 12 players (excluding Johnson) have more than 962 receiving yards.
Michael Floyd has at least 95 yards in three consecutive games. He leads the team with 18 receptions in his last three games.
Giovani Bernard has at least 85 scrimmage yards in three of his last four games, and has also scored three touchdowns in those games.
Kaepernick has the second-worst fourth-quarter passer rating in the NFL this season among players with at least 50 attempts, behind only Ponder. Wow, if you're looking up at Geno in any category, that's saying something.
ImageBTW 49ers, what's the deal with your letter to the fans imploring them to wear red and be loud? Way to call out your fan base for being really horrible. It's basically a letter that says, "Hey, you don't know how to dress and you don't understand football."
BTW, since Tony Romo once went out with Carrie Underwood, he must shoulder the blame for "The Sound of Music" remake. I really wish I hadn't been about six belts in after the Jags game because that looked truly awful.
Romo has also had less than 240 passing yards in three consecutive games and he's had few than 16 fantasy points during the stretch.
And then there's Andrew Luck. (Yeah, I know it's weird to have Luck not in a row with the other two big names, but it's like a comedy lineup where you sandwich in a lesser guy between the big guns. I should know, because I'm typically that lesser guy.)
Anyway, Luck has scored more than 14 fantasy points only once in his last four games. He's topped 275 passing yards only once in his last 10 games. Over his past four, two touchdown passes and five picks.
Philip Rivers has scored more than 15 fantasy points only once in his last four games. While he has done well against the NFC traditionally, this is going to be a tough matchup for him.
The big one I'm worried about is against the Broncos next week. It's going to be below freezing next week in Denver and I'm worried about Rivers and Manning in that one. Load up on your running backs.
The Titans have allowed the fewest points to fantasy receivers over the last month. While they have allowed a ton to running backs. I just have a hard time believing Decker has another great week. On the plus side, me putting Decker over here might motivate him once again. We were that tight.
Carson Palmer did reasonably well against the St. Louis FC, who have allowed at least 300 passing yards in two games against the Birds. Palmer has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five consecutive games.
But like a lot of quarterbacks, Palmer is tough to recommend. He was fine against the Eagles last week, but nothing Earth-shattering. I don't think this is what the Birds had in mind when they traded for him.
ImageSpeaking of trades, memo to the Lakers. Please don't trade for Carmelo Anthony. I don't even like the idea of signing Melo once the season ends, either. The one redeeming thing about the Lakers this season is the players play hard. We don't need Melo to come in and ruin all of that.
ImageI'm not sure how Carmelo would deal with Kobe Bryant, either. Bryant doesn't care for guys who don't seem to try hard. Which is why Dwight Howard is being mediocre in Houston right now and not playing with the Lakers. You need to be a little bit better.
ImageAnd before I let this Palmer topic go, what's going on with the USC fans? Steve Sarkisian is a pretty nice hire. The Washington Huskies ranked eighth in total offense in the NCAA and you know USC will get better players. This is a nice move. Much better than getting Jack Del Rio.
ImageOhio State sure is sweating out its BCS berth right now. And I kind of like that. Ohio State does deserve to be in the title game. But now you know how it felt for Boise State to be left out in the cold all of those years.
ImageHonestly, Boise State's latest slide could be tied to the BCS not allowing the Broncos to make it to the title game when they clearly deserved a chance. Sure, Boise State got a lone Fiesta Bowl invitation. But come on, the team lost a bundle not being able to play for a championship.
ImageFor the record, I don't really blame Chris Petersen for leaving. I mean, after all of the success Dan Hawkins and Dirk Koetter had post-Boise St., he'd be crazy not to.
After a hot start to the season, Andy Dalton has cooled considerably. Dalton had a passer rating of 99 in Weeks 1-8, but it's dropped 40 points to 59.8 during Weeks 9-13.
Dalton opened the season by throwing 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions through Week 8. He has thrown six touchdowns with nine picks since.
Ben Roethlisberger is on pace to be sacked 48 times, which would be the second-most of his career. But he hasn't been sacked in his last two games. This is the first time in his career where he has gone consecutive games without being sacked.
BTW, that last stat just illustrates how much the Steelers offensive line has struggled over Roethlisberger's career.
There are some teams which are going to have to make decision on a quarterback. The Bengals, Texans and Cardinals will be in the mix. The Browns will be, too. And the Browns have a pair of first-round picks to shop around. The Texans will be near the top of the draft. But the Bengals are going to be one of those teams very close.
I'm just waiting for C.J. Spiller to ruin my fantasy season. I was so excited to get him late in the first-round this year. And it has been a huge disappointment.
Spiller, as we said last week, had a monster game against the Falcons. Now everybody is hyped on him. But the Bucs have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs over the last month. I just don't like it.
Time for some more real talk. You probably can't afford to sit Spiller or Johnson. Which is too bad. It would be a gutsy call if you had options. But with the running back position so thin, you're often forced to play guys you dislike.
But just to reiterate, we can't really afford to sit Spiller or Johnson, and maybe even Gore. We can't start any Raiders running backs.
Honestly, RAW had a bunch of killer matches this week. I love The Shield and the Wyatt Family stuff. Goldust is somehow getting better as he gets older. Would it kill you to end the show with good wrestling instead of a contract signing? That was your main event. That would be akin to the NFL holding the Pro Bowl draft at the start of the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
Here is your weekly plea to go read Brandon Stroud at With Leather for his Best and Worst of RAW. He's got more room to explain this stuff, but every time I read it, I can't help but agree. It's like I'm nodding and saying "Word" after every paragraph.
Remember my buddy Timmy Wright? Yeah, he's scored more than two fantasy points once in his last four games. Obviously didn't have a touchdown in any of those games. Maybe this week against the Bills, but why risk it?
Trivia time. Guess who holds the Chargers record for most receptions as a rookie? If you don't want to look it up, hit me up on Twitter and I'll give you the answer.
But this seems like the kind of game Smith will "ice up" on, and will come out with a huge play. And it will be wasted on my bench. Ah, who am I kidding? I wouldn't have drafted the guy.
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."