Like/Dislike: Avoid Ben Roethlisberger ... even at home

What we are talking about:

  • Jordan Howard

He'll be better with Trubisky

  • Ben Roethlisberger

Throw away those home/road splits

  • MLB Playoffs

Who to root for in the AL?

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So I had Andy Dalton in a league ([deity] damn it, Rank ... stop talking about your fantasy teams!) and started 3-0. That's right. Even with two miserable starts, I was able to jump out to a nice 3-0 start. And I didn't want to bench him because, well, that would have been a blow to team chemistry. If there's one statistic I care about most in fantasy football, it's guile. And heart. And when my team is moving along well because the team seems to get along, I don't want to rock the boat.

So I started Dalton last week. Because obviously. It was a great matchup. Funny story, I had my Andy Dalton will throw four TDs 'Don't @ me' dropped from my "Good Morning Football Weekend" segment last week. But if you ask me, I'd rather have Dalton throw four touchdowns and have my fantasy team win, than just getting a prediction on air and having it blow up in my face.

Another funny story, I kept starting Dalton, he threw four touchdowns and I didn't win. That's right, I somehow found a way to blow it.

All right. The Stronghold had a lot of back reading to do this week. This week kind of sucked, so let's jump into it.

And without further ado ...

There are 356 players in the NFL history with at least 500 career pass attempts. Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott are the only two with a passer rating above 100. I know you're not sitting either, but I thought it was cool. Sue me.

Carson Palmer has thrown for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games. He's second in the league in passing yards. I'm assuming this is partly to do with David Johnson being out.

The Cardinals have struggled to defend the deep ball this year. They've allowed a passer rating of 128.5 against the deep ball (70.8 is the NFL average). Carson Wentz has averaged 5.8 deep passes per game, compared to the NFL average of 4.3. Both of the QBs in this game are great.

I grabbed Deshaun Watson last week because I wasn't very confident in Derek Carr. Holy lord that paid off. I won't bench him again until the bye. Or if he's very bad for a while. Listen, I can't tell the future. Good matchup this week.

Start Josh McCown now, or forever hold your peace. The Browns have allowed the third-most points to quarterbacks over the last two weeks.

I have the strange feeling that Eli Manning and Philip Rivers are going to battle to a tie this week. I don't think this is what was envisioned for them when they were swapped for each other back in the day.

Alex Smith had one of his worst games against the Texans in Week 2 of 2016. I don't want to harp on it too much, because a lot has changed on the Chiefs side (like that dude Kareem Hunt). He's actually done some of his best work this year when under pressure, a stark contrast from earlier in his career.

Russell Wilson is a pretty safe play this week. The Rams haven't responded to Wade Phillips just yet.

Image I have to hand it to my NFL Fantasy Live co-star The Miz, I marked like no other when he, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas did "The Shield" entrance on "RAW" the other night. Loved it. I would never say this to the Miz's face -- but he's the MVP of RAW. He carries the show. Wait. Braun Stroman is the best. Loved that him and Seth Rollins started things off Monday. Is RAW becoming the better show?

You have to decide if you're the type of person who is going to buy-in on the Marshawn Lynch narrative. That this is the kind of situation Beats Mode returned from. When his team needs him the most, he rises to the occasion. I'm that type of person. The Ravens have allowed the fifth-most points to running backs this year.

Bilal Powell is somebody I wouldn't normally want to play. But he's like an all-night McDonald's that's the only thing open at 2 a.m. At some point in your life, you just have to suck it up, and choke it down.

Duke Johnson has been saving my behind this year. Check out this great piece James Koh wrote.

Jordan Howard with a new quarterback is going to be even better. Once Mitch Trubisky hits a few of those passes to Tarik Cohen, the Vikings will have to back off. And then it's Howard time.

I know I'm an obnoxiously optimistic Bears fan. What do you want from me?

Frank Gore revenge game! But not only a revenge game, he's about to pass Eric Dickerson on the all-time rushing list. I don't know if you saw this story, but a man traveled back from 2048 to warn about aliens. And to make sure we started Gore against the San Antonio Chargers.

Game script took DeMarco Murray out of the game last week. I venture that he gets more than seven touches against the Dolphins this weekend.

Hey man, if he's playing, I would make sure C.J. Prosise is playing for you. If for no other reason, I'm bound to be right on a Seahawks running back at some point.

Kareem Hunt has more than 100 fantasy points (PPR, fools) this season. He has more second-half rushing yards than everybody has rushing yards. Dude's unreal. And here's the point where I apologize to Franchise for mocking him in our mock. And then taking him in that same spot in our league.

Stefon Diggs was slayed last week. Pun intended. He still leads the NFL in fantasy points per game this year (15.73). Tough break having to go up against that Bears D, tho!

There is one smart ace in my mentions who loves to talk up how great of a year Jordy Nelson has had compared to Brandin Cooks. Nelson has averaged 12.65 PPG. Cooks 11.10 headed into Thursday night. SHOWED ME!

The Eagles have had problems with defending the passing game with 565 passing yards and four touchdowns in the last two weeks. Jaron Brown has become the team's go-to guy.

I'm loving the Pierre Garcon revenge game. Mostly because Garcon is a targets monster and the Colts have allowed the eighth-most points to fantasy receivers this year. And REVENGE! Actually, revenge games are no longer a thing. Too mainstream now.

The Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to receivers this year. Second-most, actually. So I feel pretty good about Devante Parker who is 37 percent of his team's receiving yards.

Charles Clay has scored at least nine fantasy points in six of his last eight games. I also think I'm rolling with Hunter Henry in a ton of leagues this week. The Giants have given up the most fantasy points to tight ends this year.

Image If you know me by now (if not, hello, my name is Adam), you know that I love the city of Las Vegas. I was nearly born there. I was engaged there. I honeymooned there. I spent most of my pre-child life there as much as any other city in the world. I love Las Vegas and I know it's going to be back stronger than ever.

Ben Roethlisberger at home. You play him! But the Jaguars have allowed the fewest fantasy points to receivers. And I see Big Ben trying to force the ball to Antonio Brown this week and having it end poorly on a few of those throws.

So are you benching AB? I am not. But damn, dudes (and ladies). I know I'm going to be looking at that 4.6 from Brown and tilting on Sunday afternoon. If you honestly believe that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" and Brown is going to end up with a ton of targets, well, that's nice. But I'm not about that life.

But yeah, if you want to hang your hat on Ben's home splits, that's all you. I can't see this ending well for him. Maybe he peppers JuJu and Jesse James with targets. I feel like this is a big Lev Bell game.

I was going to bench Cam Newton before the S-storm hit with his inappropriate comments. But I never get the, "did you ever play the game argument." Some player tried that with me one time. And I was like. What was worst movie he ever saw? He said, "Episode I." I then asked, how many movies he starred in that allowed him to make such a critical statement? We had a fine relationship after that. But here's the thing. Don't be a (expletive).

Newton was great against the Patriots. Still struggled again with the deep ball. He was two-for-four with an interception on passes of more than 21 air yards against the Patriots. He's 4-of-11 with two picks and a 40.2 passer rating over the season.

Matthew Stafford has done a better job taking care of the ball this year. He's thrown seven touchdowns and only one interception this year. Four of those TDs came in Week 1. I love you Staff, but you're so tough to trust week-to-week.

Stafford does have that Cutler-like ability to disappoint you in the best of matchups, but go off when he's on your bench.

I do see a lot of questions about Andrew Luck this week. He's a big name, probably on your wire but I don't see the value in having him on your roster. When do you expect him to play? Like Week 8 at best? How effective do you think he's going to be? Cam Newton has struggled with an arm injury, and how long has it taken him to get right? And he's been at it for a while. Luck just came back to practice.

And forget about trying to trade him. I always love when people draft two quarterbacks because they are going to try to deal one later. Has that ever worked for anybody? EVER? Who trades quarterbacks? I don't think I've ever witnessed it. Now, I've received tons of offers that have included quarterbacks which I've happily rejected. But goodness.

Speaking of trading quarterbacks, I really wish the NFL was more like the MLB with deadline deals. Because would there be a better deal in the NFL right now than sending Philip Rivers to Jacksonville? The Jaguars would be the legit favorites to win the AFC right now.

Image Hey Smackdown. You're supposed to be the better brand. Well, at least you have wrestlers I enjoy more. Or should enjoy. I get that it's Jinder Mahal, so it's not like we are going to expect Nigel McGuiness vs. Bryan Danielson or something. But good lord, this buildup to Hell in a Cell leaves much to be desired. I'm not even sure if I can muster the energy to put this on my tablet this week while I'm watching the night game.

Christian McCaffrey is the league leader in production from the slot among running backs, catching four of his seven targets for 61 yards so far. The Lions, however, are at their best against dudes in the slot. I see CMC being used a lot as a decoy once again.

Hey, Melvin Gordon could be usurped. I know I post him here as a gag. But dang, Austin Ekeler looked like a stud last week. He's going to take that Danny Woodhead-like role with the team. Gordon is going to be the modern-day Ryan Mathews.

Amari Cooper needs to remain on your bench, provided you have some depth working. I don't believe EJ Manuel is as bad as most people think that he is. And it's not like the matchup is that bad. But the Raiders might be more conservative. Again, don't despair. He's going to drop 20 from your bench one week.

Lamar Miller is about to lose his gig to D'Onta Foreman. Miller is John Cena and Foreman is, well, I won't say Roman Reigns. Mostly because people actually like Foreman. But you get the point. Maybe Foreman is more like CM Punk prior to the Chicago Money in the Bank.

Image Congratulations to the Minnesota Twins. You eliminated the Angels, only to go out and choke a three-run lead to the Yankees. Nice work. I really do appreciate that. Although, I think having the Angels getting run by that team in that stadium might have been the worst. I'm still not over 2009.

Image But seriously, who am I supposed to be rooting for the American League? Seems to me like four irredeemable franchises. I mean, I would have had a soft spot for the Astros because of everything and Cameron Maybin, but ... Verlander. Can't do it.

Image Hilarious story about Jerry Rice crashing weddings. Now, I want to think that this is a cool thing. It's got to be a thrill for the couple. But, is the dude just gracing them with his presence? Is he handing out gift cards? Slipping a $100 during the $1 dance. Is he taking advantage of the open bar? Maybe Jerry Rice is just a free-loader who is using his celebrity for a free meal. I don't know. But as somebody who grew up as not a fan, I'm going to let my mind wander.

Hey, you're 4-0 good for you. Don't get cocky, kid. The Falcons thought they had it in the bag in last year's Super Bowl. Jordan Spieth thought he had the 2016 Masters locked up. Grand Moff Tarkin refused to evacuate the Death Star because, as he put it, "Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances." Well, don't overestimate your chances. Don't let your fantasy team get destroyed by some farm boy who grew up blasting womp rats. Stay engaged. Stay aggressive on the waiver wire. Improve your team and don't let down your guard. May the flex be with you.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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