Like/Dislike: Drive Derek Carr into the fantasy playoffs

What we are talking about:

  • Cam Newton

Dreadful matchup vs. the Vikings

  • Goff v. Wentz

Top picks collide!

  • The future of the Bears

Trubisky/Howard the next Goff/Gurley?

carr-cousins-171207-ToS

I know, I know. Nobody wants to hear about my fantasy team. Although, that is usually the refrain of those who have suffered humiliating public defeats and don't want to talk about it. But I'm going to bring up the subject because I hope it can lend some assistance to those who might be in a similar situation.

A little backstory (which is always the best when talking fantasy); I was cruising, CRUISING, to a second-consecutive title in my Second City fantasy league last year. I had a tough call of going with either Marcus Mariota against the Jags, or Dak Prescott against the Giants when it was threatened that he was going to play half the game.

I started Mariota. He broke his leg. I ended up losing that league title by less than five points. Which Dak no doubt covered. I feel like I'm in the same situation this year. I have Derek Carr (who I rage dropped and added again) and Jared Goff this week.

I did crowd-source it. Because it feels good to have people back the move that you want to do. I wanted to play Dak last year, but couldn't pull the trigger because it just seemed smarter to go with the guy who was supposed to play the full game. (Dak played the full game, and I'm going to cheer when the Cowboys don't make the playoffs. I'd never @ a player, because he's doing his gig. But Jason Garrett. Dead to me.)

But there are legit reasons for playing Carr this week. His past performance against the Chiefs. Kansas City suspended Marcus Peters. Michael Crabtree is coming back. This has all the makings of me starting Carr; him getting eight points and me being stung again in this league. So this all sounds like a lot of fun.

But here's the thing you need to know. I'm starting Carr. So if you'd like fade what I've got going on, here's your chance.

And without further ado ...

Case Keenum has a passer rating of more than 100 and a completion percentage above 70 in each of his last four games. The only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with a longer streak within a season are Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Russell Wilson and Alex Smith.

Only Tom Brady has a higher passer rating than Keenum after Week 10. I totally called that at the beginning of the year. (I did no such thing.)

Russell Wilson has the most combined yards (3,688 passing and rushing) and touchdowns (29) this season. The Jaguars have allowed the fewest. But I'm counting on enough from Wilson to start him this week. He's the entire offense.

I understand people not wanting to start Josh McCown because, Josh McCown. But the Broncos have allowed the most passing touchdowns per game (2.5) since Week 8.

Alex Smith has scored more than four points over his career average against the Raiders. But I have to admit, I'm so excited I don't have any shares of him. Not that he's not great. He just makes me nervous. I know, he had 342 last time. Still nervous.

Philip Rivers has eight touchdowns in his last four games. He's been awesome. I don't know how James Koh and I didn't make the playoffs in the League of Leagues.

Jimmy Garoppolo is a fine sleeper option this week. The 49ers lead the NFL in pass attempts, and I expect that to continue this week.

I would like to tell you Blake Bortles is fifth among quarterbacks the last two weeks. And that the Seattle Seahawks are a great matchup. But I can already hear year saying, "but Blake Bortles, LAWLZZZ" and being dismissive.

Image The Danger Zone took in RAW this week at Staples Center. Great show. A lot of wrestling, including the cruiser weights stealing the whole thing. Well, outside of Samoa Joe. Dude was amazing. I guess you could consider it a homecoming because he went to Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach (so I would say the Honda Center in Anaheim is his true hometown show). But Joe crushed both Jason Jordan and Roman Reigns on the mic. The only problem was that segment didn't make it to the RAW broadcast. Which is too bad. But it looks like the E wants to keep Somoa Joe down, even though the fans love him.

Frank Gore in the playoffs? The Bills have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs since Week 10.

Latavius Murray has been good. I wonder what Dalvin Cook would be doing with this offense? In any event the Panthers have allowed 179.5 scrimmage yards to running backs since Week 11.

Free Derrick Henry. Arizona has allowed 31 offensive touchdowns this year. Fourth-most in the league.

Jamaal Williams has scored 21.90 fantasy points in the last two weeks. The Browns started off tough against running backs, but have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs since Week 8.

Keenan Allen is the first player in NFL history with at least 10 receptions, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in three consecutive games. He has 33 receptions for 436 yards since Week 11.

I automatically add Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen to my lineups every week, I never really thought of benching them. They are just too good. #analysis.

The Giants have a great matchup against the Cowboys. Not sure who the Giants No. 1 will be this week. But if Sterling Shepard plays, I'm all-in.

Seth Roberts would be a sneaky play against the Chiefs. But don't tell anybody. Otherwise it wouldn't be sneaky. Shoot. I shouldn't even be telling you, so be cool.

Hey, I was wrong about Josh Gordon. Take your victory laps.

Cooper Kupp has at least five receptions in four consecutive games. Damn it, this is going to end up being a shootout, right? Every time two great offenses come in contact with each other, it ends up being a shootout. No matter how great the defenses have been.

Marvin Jones Junior has been great. He's averaged 14.24 fantasy points per game since Week 6. That's second among receivers.

Dede Westbrook is good this week. He's also got a nice couple of games lined up with the Texans and 49ers in the future. I'm telling you, Jaguars run the table to finish 12-4.

Trent Taylor is another receiver with a fine schedule. But I really do like Marquise Goodwin a bit more.

Tyreek Hill has three touchdowns in his last four games. Start.

Image I've loved "The Challenge" this season. Here is an interview with THE GOAT Johnny Bananas. I sat next to him one time at an Angels vs. Red Sox playoff game (we won). And now I have to believe that we are best friends.

Jason Witten is an automatic start this week against the Giants. I have to believe that the chalk board in the Giants facility doesn't have a TE on it. Because they never cover that dude.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins has a great matchup against the Broncos who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends.

Jack Doyle is another tight end you can trust this week. The Bills are very generous to tight ends. Like that wings place that gives you free fries with your order or wings. Just as the lord wanted it.

Jared Cook doesn't have a great matchup. But I like him better if Amari Cooper can't go.

Hunter Henry is one of my dudes this week. Washington has allowed a lot of fantasy points to tight ends. Rivers has been rolling. Let's do this.

Love seeing professional football at Angel Stadium again. Good luck to the Eagles.

Cam Newton is 1-4 against top 15 defenses this season, with three passing touchdowns, eight picks and a 60.8 passer rating. The Vikings have the No. 2 total defense in the league, behind the Jaguars.

Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were selected first and second respectively in the 2016 NFL Draft. How is that working out for you, Cleveland? But hey, you have Hue Jackson for another year!

But quarterbacks who went first in the draft are 5-2 against the No. 2 quarterback of the same draft. Rick Mirer and Marcus Mariota are the No. 2s who have won.

Wow, one of those names on the "Like" side sure seems like it doesn't belong, right? I can't believe Smith is in there. Hahaha. You all thought it was an obvious Peyton joke, didn't you? You know me well.

I know it's tough. But I'm going Carr (as mentioned above). He's a quarterback I would start over Wentz or Goff. I know it's tough to bench them with how hot they've been. But I'm worried about these matchups.

Kirk Cousins has a tough matchup this week as well. The Chargers have allowed the fourth-fewest points to quarterbacks this season. I just can't do it.

Dak Prescott has struggled historically against the Giants. More than six points below his average. I can't trust him this week.

Tom Brady has lost eight games in Miami (7-8 record), his most losses in any city outside of New England. Miami and Denver are the only cities where he's below .500 with a minimum of five starts.

But I'm not playing Tom Brady this week. Mostly because I have a bye with every team that has Brady. True story. I have him in three leagues. A bye in all of them. That's fun, no? But you should totally play him. Sorry for any confusion.

I feel better about Ben Roethlisberger this week because Jimmy Smith is out. But the Ravens have allowed only one top 15 quarterback this season.

Image Alabama being added to the college football playoff was the most obvious thing ever. I mean, it was pro-wrestling obvious. Like when J.J. Dillon was trying to convince Barry Windham to join the Four Horsemen. Still though, it's completely stupid. USC had more Top 40 wins than Alabama and Ohio State. And, oh yeah, IT WON ITS CONFERENCE. But I guess conference titles don't matter. Part of me feels like they did this on purpose to push the college playoff to eight. But for real, you could just make Clemson vs. Georgia and I would be just as happy with the playoff as I am right now. Because can you even remember who played in the semi-finals last year? I know Washington was outmanned. I don't even recall how Clemson played.

Image But if you really want to do this right. And I mentioned this to Joe Thomas on Twitter (SICK NAME DROP), but break up the Big XII. Not to exclude them or anything. But make four mega conferences with 16 to 20 teams. The conference title games become the quarterfinals. The conference winners play in the semi-finals. And then you have your championship game. But what if there are two great teams in one division? Tough (expletive). I don't want to go Highlander on all of you, but there can be only one.

Doug Martin returned in practice just in time to ruin our fun with Peyton Barber. Like that kid who let you use his skateboard but since he's seen you have such a great time, he's now got to ask for it back. I hate that.

Christian McCaffrey shouldn't start in standard leagues. The Vikings have allowed the fewest points per games to running backs.

You're all going to start Melvin Gordon this week because the Redskins have allowed the third-most points to running backs since Week 11. But Melvin Gordon, people. At least start Austin Ekeler. But don't listen to me, do what you want with Gordon.

Image Shane McMahon is literally the worst. Dude, you punished Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn enough. Let it go. But I hope this is all leading to Daniel Bryan heading a heel faction that includes KO and Zayn. Maybe Nakamura goes full heel as well. Maybe a stable of independent darlings. Though Nakamura is far from an indie wrestler. But I'm into that. Although, I do prefer the return of Bryan Danielson going back to face Cody Rhodes.

I'm out on Doug Baldwin this week. I mean, in case you were wondering. The Jaguars have allowed the fewest points to wide receivers this year.

I know A.J. Green scored two (should of have been three) touchdowns against the Steelers. I'm not trusting any of the Ravens receivers. I know, Mike Wallace revenge game, blah, blah, blah.

Oh man, I really wanted to be happy for Robbie Gould last week. I really did. But I wasn't.

Image I'm curious as to what the Chicago Bears are going to do next season. Seems obvious there is going to be a coaching change. I'm of the mind Mitch Trubisky and Jordan Howard could be the Jared Goff and Todd Gurley of 2018. But it has to be the right hire. I have a bad feeling the Sean McVay/Kyle Shanahan model is going to make more teams hire super young coaches, without thinking that McVay and Shanahan grew up coaching, basically.

Image I would love to see Josh McDaniels be given another shot. But would the Bears be willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to make that move? Who is the next big coaching prospect out there? I mean, I don't want this to turn into the Tennessee coaching search.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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