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If you've spent any time with me this football season (or just about any time), you know how I feel about the NFL schedule maker. Not a fan. Like if Jar-Jar Binks and Dana from "Homeland" had a baby; that kid would grow up to make the NFL schedule.
But what's the schedule maker's beef with the San Diego Chargers? No, this has nothing to do with the Chargers having to play their second 10 a.m. start of the season for absolutely no reason. (And really, West Coast teams shouldn't have to play those 10 a.m. games. I mean, why is that even appropriate? Kick those games to 1 p.m. on the West Coast. This would be probably the easiest fix in a long list of easy fixes for the NFL schedule. But I guess nothing is allowed to go up against the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos.)
And this also has nothing to do with the Chargers having to play at Denver on Thursday night like they did for the second consecutive season. I mean, why not give Peyton Manning another advantage by having him and the Broncos play host to the Chargers on Thursday night for the second consecutive year? Because a.) Could you imagine the outrage if this situation was reversed? B.) See the first point. And 4.) If you have to change the point of emphasis in the league for one player, why not double down by having the team's biggest divisional rival travel to them on a short week? I guess that all makes sense.
But this has nothing to do with any of that. My real beef is why in the name of Great Caesar's Ghost do the Chargers not play a home game on the Sunday before Halloween? This is like the 80th consecutive year the Chargers have not been home on Halloween weekend. (Although you might want to check my math on that.)
And it's an outrage.
My absolute favorite tradition as a San Diego Chargers season ticket holder (other than having a couple of belts at Tivoli and then taking the Red Line to Mission Valley) was the Chargers Girls wearing Halloween costumes on the weekend before Halloween. Now it seems like the NFL schedule maker is purposely trolling me by putting the Chargers on the road in back-to-back weeks headed into Halloween just out of spite. I mean (expletive), the NFL should just declare the Chargers must play host on the weekend of Halloween as tradition much like the Cowboys and Lions are mandated to play host on Thanksgiving.
This is an absolute joke.
I understand some other cheerleading squads have admirably filled the void. And I must give a special shout out to Duval County, Florida because the Jaguars' cheerleaders killed it with the sheer number of superhero costumes the ladies adorned. There was even a "Top Gun" cheerleader, too. This is the kind of thing 13-year old Adam would have absolutely loved.
Because I grew up in the last generation before it became socially acceptable to like comic books, superheroes and football. There was a fork in the road when I was a kid where I had to decide between my Mace Windu action figure (not dolls, jerks) and playing football. And I had to make the choice. I mean, had I not blown up my Millennium Falcon with an M-80 (yes, I was raised in the Inland Empire of California), I could have been the next Nerdist. Not that I regret my decision. I just wish I could have worn a blue-and-gold Batman T-shirt back in the day to games and not got (expletive) for it. Because if you would have shown up to the playground wearing a Superman T-shirt for a game of Smear the... uh, nevermind what that game was called. But if you wore a superhero T-shirt for that game, you were going to get the ball thrown at you and tackled a ton. And girls would never look at you. Now the ladies wear Hogwarts uniforms.
And, I'm sorry, I forgot what my point was.
And without further ado ...
Yeah buddy, it's Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. So this is the week America gathers round and roots for Brady, right? I mean even the most impartial football fan has to root for the good guy in this matchup, right? Nope, that's right. Everybody sides with Manning. Even last week when I pointed out Manning bullied that poor scoreboard operator, I was the *bad guy *for even bringing it up. I hope Brady puts it on him. Again.
Actually, if we could just have a replay of last year's regular-season game, I'd be pretty cool with that.
Prey on the person in your league who wants to peddle Russell Wilson. Especially in your league that awards just four points for TD passes. There is virtually no difference between Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers in those leagues. But guys like Wilson who can run are a rare commodity.
Russell Wilson is 5-0 at home against the AFC with a 117.6 rating (11 touchdowns and just two picks). He's 19-2 at home including playoffs. He'll run enough to keep it interesting even in a blowout.
Philip Rivers is going to have a tough matchup against the Dolphins, on the road, and a game that starts at 10 a.m. on the West Coast. But he's had at least two touchdown passes in seven consecutive games. One of those was a 10 a.m. game against the Bills. Don't sweat this guy.
I don't feel comfortable with Nick Foles as my quarterback. I (expletive) knew it, too, on draft day. But I'm pot-committed at this point and I'm going to go with him, mostly because I don't trust many other players. This would be a nice time to try to trade him away, if possible.
Colin Kaepernick has won his past three starts against St. Louis with a passer rating of 117.6. He's had six touchdowns with no interceptions over that stretch. He smoked St. Louis earlier this year.
I was about ready to lose my (expletive) when Carson Palmer launched that deep ball to John Brown which proved to be the winner against the Eagles. Palmer has been so careful with the football and it's made him one of the most consistent fantasy players going.
I see a lot of questions about both Ben Roethlisberger and his counterpart on Sunday. I'm leaning towards Ben, but I fear it's me chasing the fantasy points. But dude, Ben blew up Heinz Field like the CGI in "The Dark Knight Rises" amirite (sic)? All right, that was pretty bad. Sorry.
ImageFinally was able to catch up with "Guardians of the Galaxy" and no, I didn't see Peyton Manning there. Wow, easily one of the best Marvel movies I've seen outside of the first Captain America and I actually liked it more than the "Avengers" too. I sincerely hope DC Comics takes a similar approach when the Suicide Squad gets its own movie in the coming years.
ImageFor the record, my man Ahman Green is going to be in "Batman vs. Superman" as one of the thugs. Which is awesome. I've long said the former Green Bay Packers running back would make a pretty good John Stewart if you wanted to extend the Green Lantern Corps past Hal Jordan). And I'm pretty sure he's going to get a reboot, too.
I'm going to be pretty honest with you. There aren't a lot of running backs I don't like with so many teams in a bye this week. So even if you're down on Marshawn Lynch, for instance, there is no way you can keep him on the bench.
I know some of you are pretty bummed on LeSean McCoy right now. Even though positive NFL Media emails we receive each week find it hard to say nice things about McCoy. At least the matchup is good, right?
If you need to play a Tampa Bay running back this week, Bobby Rainey seems like a pretty decent option. He's somebody I would look at in those weekly leagues too if his price is low.
Ronnie Hillman should be able to get you a nice stat line against the Patriots. He's really taken that job and run with it. Pun intended. Remember, he topped the depth chart heading into 2013.
ImageIt's a tough deal to figure out how the Patriots are going to deploy their running backs. Mostly because Bill Belichick is a Decepticon. But if the Pats are going to try to shorten the game by running, that would mean more Jonas Gray, who has emerged as the big back guy. If the team has to throw it a ton, I would expect Shane Vereen to be in there because he's the pass catcher. What you have to ask yourself is, how do you see this game playing out? I believe it will be close enough for both backs to figure prominently.
The New York Jets have done a pretty good job of getting a bunch of talented guys in the mix. But the team should continue to lean on Chris Ivory who has done the work over the past two weeks.
Jerick McKinnon has 193 rushing yards in his past two games and is the top rookie rusher of 2014. Washington has been tough on running backs this year, but I still stick with him this week.
Branden Oliver wasn't great against the Broncos, on short notice of course. The Chargers sure do trust him an awful lot, and give him a nice workload. Plus the Dolphins just gave up a ton of yards to Denard Robinson (another guy who I would continue to play).
Giovani Bernard has started to get dinged up; but I don't think the Bengals will be able to pass on the Jags. So it's going to be up to Gio and Jeremy Hill to get the job done against my boys from Duval County.
ImageThere are about as many available receivers as there are members of SAMCRO left. SPOILER. My long belief (like talking years) is "Sons of Anarchy" ends with one of Jax's boys reading his deceased dad's diary as he sits at the table for SAMCRO. His brother is dead. And now the surviving Teller heir is trying to figure out a way to save his club. And there is no reason to believe otherwise after this week's episode.
ImageSPOILER As eluded to by Jury, Jax will end up taking a hero's way out. Probably sacrificing himself to Marks to save the club. Abel will probably survive, it will be Thomas who goes. I thought Bobby having just one eye would have been a nice homage to Otto. But now he doesn't have a hand. Oh man, Juice becomes the new Otto, though. Rat is president. His quick-thinking this week laid the groundwork that he's really the smart one of the current group.
Mike Wallace has been killing it lately, with a touchdown pass in six of his last eight games. The Chargers have given up a lot of points to RBs lately, too. So Lamar Miller is a nice play, too.
Keenan Allen is starting to heat up a lot, too. He had a nice game against the Broncos once again. It was just a matter of time before he was back into the mix.
Speaking of that game Emmanuel Sanders had a season's worth of production in one night. So you can't bench him. But you know the overcorrection is coming for Wes Welker, right? Especially when you factor in Welker going up against his former team, too.
Brandon LaFell has become a go-to guy for Tom Brady to stretch the field with. The Broncos have been very vulnerable to receivers over the past couple of games. LaFell would be my first Patriots WR to start.
A.J. Green is getting closer to playing. And while the Jaguars have been pretty tough on quarterbacks, receivers have been able to do well. Mohamed Sanu has also won a spot on your roster with his play recently. Green on the field should actually open up opportunities for him.
I hope you've been keeping up with DeAndre Hopkins and his march towards 1,100 receiving yards. Because if he doesn't get there, our James Koh will wear high heels on NFL Fantasy Live. Wait, so why am I pulling for Hopkins?
You have to like the way Washington has used DeSean Jackson, as the team has found ways to get him the ball. I'm excited to see what he and RG3 could cook up. Pierre Garcon should be better this week, too.
Danger Zone:John Brown smacks of a chase-the-points situation. But he's been targeted so much by Carson Palmer, it really is hard to ignore him in deeper leagues.
Martavis Bryant is the Steelers B-side receiver you want to hold in your leagues. And go Google "B-side" kids. That's an apt reference. Apt! But holy smokes, how good were the Clemson receivers with him, Sammy Watkins and Dwayne Allen? Yikes.
Steve Smith Sr. should be poised for a big game against the Steelers. He just seems to find a way to rise in prime time. But what would you expect from a guy known as Triple S?
ImageHell in a Cell was a pretty good pay-per-view. You are probably waiting for me to hate on it, but that is not going to happen here. You have to understand, with the WWE Network, the PPVs are really just monthly specials and we can't expect any real resolution. Not until WrestleMania at least. So I really enjoyed the show because Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are just so good.
ImageTo be honest, I do wish Ambrose would have gotten the clean win over Rollins and then had Bray Wyatt appear as a hologram. But it didn't totally kill my evening, either, because I was kind of like, "Oh (expletive) what is going on?" It was a cool moment. Wrestling needs more cool moments, so I was all about it.
ImageThe Bella Twins put on a great match. Honestly. They each kicked out of each other's finishers which is fine, but save that (expletive) for WrestleMania (I blame Cena). Damien Sandow is also the best thing on the show right now. Sometimes you have to just bide your time on a show before your greatness is realized and you're bumped up to the main event.
We mentioned Dwayne Allen just a few moments ago. But he has certainly emerged as a must-start tight end. I would even play him over a guy like Vernon Davis.
At some point can Andy Reid just make Travis Kelce fully operational and ready to go? The guy has all the talent in the world, but just isn't given enough plays to be completely functional.
Jordan Reed has all of the skills. If you've held on to him this long, make sure he's in your lineup.
ImageCongratulations to the Chicago Cubs for getting their man, Joe Maddon. If you can't win with Theo Epstein and Maddon, then baseball might not be for you, Chicago. (And was anybody else morose over the photos of the bleachers being torn down?) But seriously, I'm super happy for Chicago. You deserve a manger like this.
ImageWhat a wrap-up to the World Series, too. Exciting Game 7. And I think we can forever rest this debate because Madison Bumgarner> Clayton Kershaw. And honestly, it's not even a close contest. I get it, Kershaw is dominant during the regular season, but Bumgarner. To come in and pitch like that on three day's rest, after pitching a complete game shutout. Come on, people.
ImageLife Hacks: Halloween candy power rankings: 5. 100 Grand 4. Flavored Tootsie Rolls 3. Snickers 2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 1. Almond Joy.
Tony Romo is questionable this week, and he should consider taking the day off. Romo was sacked five times when he faced the blitz on Monday night. (But it seemed like 50.) The Cardinals have 137 blitzes this season, most in the NFL. The Birds' opponents have a passer rating of just 74.5 when up against the team's blitz (third-lowest in the NFL). I would really look for other options this week, both in fantasy and reality.
Derek Carr had a career-high 328 passing yards against the Cleveland Browns. And while he didn't have a lot of touchdowns, it was a pretty impressive performance. I'm not stating him this week against the Seahawks because Seahawks. I have a feeling he will win a game for you this year.
The Raiders are in a pretty good spot this year. Sure, they are losing every game. But if they grab the first-pick in the draft, they can command a ton in return for the chance to draft Marcus Mariota.
I know you guys feel like I'm way too easy on the Jacksonville Jaguars. But that is a pretty legit defense they have going down there. I know some folks (I mean me) wanted to play Brian Hoyer against them a few weeks ago and it backfired. Same deal with Ryan Tannehill last week.
And this is why I wouldn't look for Andy Dalton to be extremely productive this week. A lot of you just see the Jags and think great matchup. But did you know the Jags have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last month? The Jags D is pretty legit.
The Jags just need Blake Bortles to make some better throws. Maybe we expect a little too much from rookie QBs, but he was wildly inaccurate at times which is more disturbing than rookie mistakes.
I know I shouldn't chase the points with Big Ben, but Joe Flacco is a guy I just don't like as much. The thing that kills me; Flacco threw for like 67 touchdowns in one half against the Bucs (check that math) but didn't throw for more than 500 yards like Big Ben did last week against the Colts.
And I will admit I got a bit nervous as Ben started to get close to Norm Van Brocklin's single-game passing record he set back in the 1950s. It's one of the few records remaining for the Los Angeles Rams. Well, until the team starts back up again at the Pasadena Rose Bowl next year.
ImageMy idea for the next LA Stadium would be to have a 40,000 seat stadium with the ability to add on about 50,000 seats for Super Bowls. There is no need to have more seating than that. Most of the revenue comes from luxury boxes and TV. Not tickets. So why build so many individual seats? I remember when Staples Center was controversial because it had three stories of suites.
ImageSpeaking of residents of the Staples Center, I'm pretty bummed for the Los Angeles Lakers. I really thought Julius Randle was going to be the truth, too. But I remember when Blake Griffin had a few injuries to start his career. That's right, as a Lakers fan I never thought I would look to the Clippers for inspiration. But here we are just one game into the 2014 and there you go.
Darren McFadden has been in fantasy conversations lately. Thankfully not this week because he plays the Seahawks. There would be some serious cause for concern if McFadden goes off against the defending champions. Serious.
I know a lot of you went to add Charles Sims and he might be a nice sleeper for you this week. Doug Martin is pretty much toast at this point. He might be one of those guys who ends up as a reclamation project someplace else.
Like I could see Martin land some place like San Diego next year to replace Ryan Mathews and become a nice little complimentary running back. I just don't trust the play calling in Tampa.
I might not ever play fantasy football again if Montee Ball returned and took back the Broncos starting gig. But as much as I don't want it to happen, there is no way to stop the inevitable, am I right?
ImageDid we get a chance to talk about how miserable it was last week when Hillman lost those touchdowns? Hillman still had a great game. And any time you can head into the weekend with double-digit points from your RB2 or flex, you have to feel great. But I fell short in all the leagues I had Hillman. And then I remember how much John Fox let me down in the Super Bowl when I had picked the Panthers to win it all in the beginning of the year and now I've come to the realization Fox is now my top nemesis in the league.
The New York Jets have a ton of fast guys, but do you see one of them you could really trust this week? The only way I would pick Chris Johnson would be if we were handicapping a team foot race. And even then.
How is it fair Washington played on the road in Dallas on Monday night and has to follow it up with a second road game in as many weeks? Who made this schedule, the New York Giants?
And if you didn't check out the lead-in (which I don't blame you, it's 1K words of pure nothingness) you already know how I feel about the Chargers schedule, too. Seriously, please give me the NFL schedule maker job already.
Have we even talked about how miserable the St. Louis running back situation is? Brian Schottenheimer has no idea how to handle those running backs. Not at all.
ImageSONS OF ANARCHY SPOILERS We all know Gemma is going to end up surviving, right? This is one TV death we would long to see. But there is going to be something where she will have outlived her son, and that would be a fate worse than death. Unless Jax takes her out when he takes his own life. Nah, Gemma has to live to see that her actions not only killed her daughter-in-law (literally) but her boy, too. It's the only way.
ImageSPOILER Although Unser should finally be able to figure out Gemma killed Tera. Juice probably killed Roosevelt and put it all together. I mean, he was a cop at some point on this show, right? And really, none of this bloodshed ever draws media attention? You would figure Charming, Calif. would really make an excellent episode of "Gangland" that you see on MSNBC or one of those stations. That should actually be the epilogue.
Jarvis Landry is a receiver I really do like, but I can't quite move him to the other side of the ledger just yet. But he is certainly somebody to keep an eye on going forward.
Just when you think you have the Chargers receivers figured out, the rug gets pulled out from under you. Malcom Floyd looked like the guy, but he's not somebody I would trust.
Like, watch Andre Caldwell get two touchdown receptions. Nope! I have it. Cody Latimer will end up with a pair of scores. That would be the most Peyton-thing ever, right?
I really am tempted to put Cordarrelle Patterson into my lineup as a flex guy this week. I mean, we're leading up to this, right? He had a touchdown a few weeks ago. He had some nice receiving yards last week. This could be the week he puts it all together, right? Or could it be that because a number of us are forced to go with him as a desperation play, he's going to end up doing absolutely nothing. That almost makes the most sense.
Vincent Jackson was dropped in our NFL Fantasy LIVE League. (Formerly known as the "experts" league until I dominated it and a name change was requested.) Now if I had drafted him, I could see myself being upset enough to drop him. But if I see him available on the wire? You bet your butt I'm going to make a claim for him. Probably won't get him, though. This never works out for me.
Andre Johnson is another guy I would be tempted to drop if I had drafted him. But if I saw him available on the wire? I'd certainly grab him. Although, I probably wouldn't have drafted him.
Why does Michael Floyd hate us? Great matchup and then nothing. Hard not to take personally. But then again, I take everything in fantasy football personally.
Oh man, I remember the days when Markus Wheaton was the Steelers "B-side" receiver we all wanted to do well. So I guess right now Clemson > Oregon State as the wide receiver factory.
ImageThe WWE has led us to a point where anything other than Dean Ambrose beating Seth Rollins at WrestleMania XXXI will be viewed as a disappointment. But this being the WWE leads me to believe we will see John Cena winning at Mania again. Especially with the promo Triple H had on Monday night. That all but told me Cena was going to end up as the champion again.
ImageI love Dolph Ziggler and Cesaro. They are the best. But how could a "Best of Three Falls" match not take at least an hour of the show? If you look at all the filler and commercials, we could have easily found more time for them. Shoot, you could have chopped about 15 minutes of the Cena/Orton match and there you go.
Was Larry Donnell really just a passing fancy? He's at the end of the TE1 list for me. I'd have to see a case-by-case basis.
We were just talking about guys we find on the waiver wire who we'd hate if we drafted; well what about Vernon Davis? Our state manager Johnny needed a TE and when I saw Davis on the wire, I figured he had to be picked up. I know, it completely makes no sense.
ImageCan we stop freaking out about the NCAA playoff ratings? I mean, it's the middle of the season right now. When Georgia and UCLA area playing for the NCAA title, can we just agree it's too early to start fighting over such things? But my biggest beef is that it's not eight SEC teams ranked up there. In fact, let's just make the SEC the only conference in college football that matters and put them in their own super group.
ImageActually, as much as I dislike the NFLSM (NFL schedule maker), I could make college football super easy: Four conferences of 16 teams. Conference winners make the playoffs. You're welcome.
ImageLife Hack: Worst Halloween treats to give out: 5. Pennies 4. Fruit. 3. Fruit Tootsie Rolls (because some parent is going to freak out because somebody once slipped a full-sized Bic razor into a Tootsie Roll because it is so easy to unwrap 2. Mounds 1. Leaving an empty box on the door step with a sign that says "Take One" when you know (deity) damn well there was never any (expletive) candy in there.
ImageHey look, it's every death in "Star Wars" right here. Wait, why is this in the "dislike" ledger? Well, you can clearly see they used the Greedo shot first scene. And not the (expletive) correct version where Han shot first.
Be good to one another. If you're going to celebrate like Madison Bumgarner, make sure to designate a driver.
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 270K followers, and Fabiano has 165K. 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." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight.