Like/dislike: Eli Manning, fantasy dream crusher

What we are talking about:

  • Colin Kaepernick

Glad he's starting again

  • "Rogue One" trailer

Reaction and a Marc Sessler cameo

  • Eli Manning

Stop ruining OBJ and my fantasy teams

like-dislike-161013-TOS

Am I the only person who is excited for Colin Kaepernick to start for the 49ers? Sometimes it feels like I was the only person who remembers the heady days when Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Back when the dude dominated. Back when he made the Packers look like the fools that they are. Is that forgotten? Because somehow the narrative shifted to Kaepernick not being able to play quarterback.

And speaking of narratives, let me throw this out for a narrative. I always hated the narrative that playoff numbers didn't matter for Peyton Manning. Mostly because it's not a narrative if it's a fact. I'm not adjusting the numbers; I've just reported them. But a lot of football heads like to say it's a team game, and it's not fair to put all of the emphasis on the quarterback in a team. Even though the majority of the salary cap numbers would indicate otherwise. But hey, we'll go with your narrative.

So I get it for football. But baseball is a different animal. Because baseball's version of Peyton Manning is Clayton Kershaw. (Or Peyton Kershaw. Or Clayton Manning. Whichever version you prefer.) He's 3-6 in the playoffs all-time. He's 1-0 in the 2016 postseason. Though he has an ERA of 6.17.

What narrative? His postseason ERA is 4.83. His ERA this year is 6.17. This isn't some interpretation of the numbers. These are the numbers. And aren't baseball guys all about the numbers? I thought that was the whole reason they even existed was to spit out statistics about the sport. How is this a narrative at all? A narrative would be to suggest that Kershaw benefitted from the early start time at Dodger Stadium and was able to use the shadows to notch 11 strikeouts. That's a narrative.

Matt Moore should have stayed in for the ninth inning, and if he had, the Giants would be on to the NLCS (most likely). That is a narrative. Actually, the Moore thing is kind of a fact. But it's not a narrative. People throw "narrative" around way too much when the numbers go against a favored son.

But when Kaepernick struggled without Jim Harbaugh, that was just proof that he was a fraud all along.

Whatever.

This is why I'm glad Colin is going to get his chance with Chip Kelly. This is like one of those dream matchups we've wanted to a long time. I mean, this just seems perfect, right? An athletic quarterback with an absolute hose is going to get a chance to run Kelly's offense. This is like Axl Rose with AC/DC. It's like something I've always wanted, though I might not have realized it until this week.

I personally can't wait. Because either Kaepernick is going to crush this opportunity and deliver. Or else, the Chip Kelly experiment is going to be over in the NFL. And as somebody who likes train wrecks, this also appeals to me as well. So it's sort of a win-win.

*Addendum*

Congratulations Dodgers fans. Apparently I inspired Kershaw in his two-out save on Thursday night when he struck out one of the biggest stars in baseball, Wilmer Difo (career average .261). And as predictable as the sunrise, we got some tweets.

Oh boy. This is what makes me mad as a sports fan. I loved Kenley Jansen going for the three-inning save. I loved that the staff ace had to come out of the bullpen for the save. But good lord, stop doing this. It really doesn't change anything. The legacy of Kershaw will not change until he gets the Dodgers to the World Series. If he smokes the Cubs, then we can have a conversation. But seriously, you should have a better filter.

Oh wait, narrative alert! Peyton Manning got his one Super Bowl title with the Colts by beating a Chicago team. All right, sorry for the sidetrack. Let's get down to fantasy football.

And without further ado ...

Tom Brady is 14-1 in his career in his first home game of the season. Brady is 60-5 overall in New England since 2007. There are six teams in the NFL that don't have 60 wins in that span.

Dak Prescott has not thrown an interception in his first 155 pass attempts, an NFL rookie record. He needs eight more pass attempts without an interception to break Tom Brady's NFL record for most attempts to being a career without a pick.

Andy Reid is 15-2 in his career after the bye week. He's amazing. Alex Smith hasn't necessarily torn up the league in the three games he's played under Reid coming off the bye (with an average of 200-plus yards and a touchdown). But I like his matchup as a streamer.

Drew Brees is 4-0 with 17 touchdown passes and two picks in his last four home games coming off a bye week. I'm sorry, do I need to put more words?

Ben Roethlisberger has four-plus touchdowns and no picks in each of his last two games. Twelve players in the Super Bowl era have met those criteria in consecutive games (including Ben and Tom Brady twice). Nobody has done it three times. So sit him because he's on the road?

The Raiders offensive line has been dominant this season, allowing the fewest sacks (five) and QB hits (11) in the NFL. That has helped Derek Carr excel this season. Just wish it spilled over to the running backs.

Cam Newton torched the Saints in two games last year. I know a lot changes year to year, but I wouldn't hesitate to get him back in there if he starts.

Image It's time for the gratuitous mention of the "Rogue One" trailer. I wish I would have been the one who thought of this, but some reporter (sorry, I can't find the link) equated this film to "Ocean's 11" in the Star Wars universe. Which pretty much combines my two favorite film franchises. Everything about this film looks excellent. And at some point, the prequels are going to be remembered much in the same way we talk about the "Star Wars Holiday Special" from years ago.

Image I talked about the trailer at great length with another "Star Wars" fanboy, Marc Sessler, and he noted how slick Darth Vader looked as he glided across the screen. It's obvious George Lucas didn't quite know what he was dealing with in Episode IV. And that's cool. From a continuity standpoint, Darth Vader has been Darth for quite a while when "A New Hope" starts. So even though he looks sloppy in "A New Hope" we now get to see the badass we've all come to love in "Star Wars Rebels" finally hit the big screen.

Ezekiel Elliott leads the league with 546 rushing yards, fourth-most by a rookie through the first five career games in the Super Bowl era. But he never played a down in the NFL, right?

Sorry, if you don't get what I've referred to above. Allow me to explain. I said during our NFL Fantasy Live Top 50 shows that Easy E would be the top runner in fantasy. A lot of folks thought that was stupid because he hadn't played in the NFL before. Apparently, I was wrong. And I know I did get some stuff wrong (hello, Stephen Gostkowski), but that was pretty good. If only because the argument against was so Ludacris. (Sorry for the auto-correct there. I'm letting it stand.)

Christine Michael is a legit starter every week. The Falcons are right in the middle in rush defense (17th actually). But I'm firing in on Michael all over the place.

DeMarco Murray has been great, but we said it in the preseason. He wasn't as bad as you thought last year. And he's just two years removed from being the top back in the league.

Game script is probably going to make this a Giovani Bernard game. He got a surprise start last week and actually did pretty well. I know, I meant actually as in I was surprised.

Ryan Mathews is a great start against Washington, as running backs have feasted this year. I know, you're always concerned about the looming injury. But I'm living in the now.

Spencer Ware is a still a reasonable play in the coming weeks because he's going to be the goal-line back. The matchup against the Raiders is pretty great.

The Lions haven't allowed a rushing touchdown this year, but a ton of yards. Todd Gurley is like the exact opposite of that, so it will be interesting to see which way this goes. This will be the Gurley breakout everybody has waited for.

Speaking of bust running backs (though that's harsh for Gurley), but hey Lamar Miller! You haven't been great, but the Colts D has been for amazing for running backs.

Image "No Mercy" was really in a tough spot this week with the debate and a fantasy-fueled Sunday night game. I wouldn't have blamed the WWE if they had broadcast the show at 1 a.m. in the United States. I would have stayed up for it. So there is that. I'm really excited for Heath Slater who once again retains his title. "SmackDown Live" has been great for Heath. Nobody has benefited more than him. I understand you could say The Miz and Dolph Ziggler. But the Miz once main-evented WrestleMania.

Image I like that Ziggler didn't immediately return his pin to the Miz on "SmackDown Live" on Tuesday night. Actually, I'm really starting to enjoy the Spirit Squad return. Hey if Goldberg is back, why not the Spirit Squad. BTW, I'm going to wait until next week to give my full verdict of Goldberg. BTW, James Ellsworth. A.J Styles can make just about anybody entertaining. It's crazy.

The Bears biggest weakness is with the deep ball. That's where Allen Robinson excels, so don't hesitate to get him back in your lineup.

The Ravens defense ranks fifth against the pass this season. But Odell Beckham Jr.'s miracle fantasy cover last week shows you why you can never keep him on the bench.

Brandin Cooks has scored a touchdown in seven of his last eight home games. He's been a disappointment, but I'm going to look for him and Michael Thomas to get loose this week.

Jeremy Maclin really excels when Jamaal Charles isn't on the field. But I like the matchup against the Raiders this week. The Raiders have allowed some big-name receivers to get loose.

T.Y. Hilton has to start on your team each and every week. He's probably the most valuable receiver to have outside of Antonio Brown and, yeah. He's the most important outside of A.B.

Will Fuller is a good start this week, too. The Colts allow a lot of points to fantasy receivers. But they don't allow the true monster games that you see week-in, week-out. Fuller is a good flex.

Image Oh shoot, one more wrestling item. Our man, Eric Young made his NXT debut this week as part of the Insanity. We kind of knew it was coming. But it was pretty great. This is such a good move for him. Also, Eric was on "Fantasy and Friends" last week. Once again, "Fantasy and Friends" always seems to be a week ahead of the competition. But oh yeah, I wanted to mention Roman Reigns' spear on RAW. Holy smokes! That was fire.

The Doyle Rules play for this week is Lance Kendricks. Of course, the Eagles ruined the narrative last week. But the Rams don't have a lot of pass options, so I'm going with Kendricks in spots where I have to stream tight ends.

Don't worry about Rob Gronkowski too much. If you get more than 100 receiving yards every week from him, you should be pleased with those 12 points. And realize Martellus Bennett is probably not going to score three touchdowns every week. Spoiler alert.

Image I think we have our winner for the best color rush jerseys. The Chargers uniforms are straight fire. I know everybody raves about the powder blue jerseys. Those aren't great. It's the all-white with powder blue that truly sings. But the Chargers hue on Thursday night was the truth. I will not debate this issue. And I hate to say it, but the Broncos looked great, too.

Matt Ryan can match Dan Fouts for the most consecutive 200-yard games in the Super Bowl era (45). The last time Ryan failed to throw for 200 yards in a game? His last one against the Seahawks in 2013.

Eli Manning had a 128.2 passer rating when targeting OBJ from 2014-15. He has a 73.9 passer rating when targeting him this season. Eli is ruining OBJ's career and more importantly my fantasy team. Two of them, in fact.

Eli Manning is going to throw for 500 yards, isn't he? Like this is exactly Eli's MO. Once everybody has finally written him off for good, he rallies to have the game of the century to get everybody to buy in again. The good news is you don't need to buy in on him again. You just need him to be less (expletive) for OBJ.

Tyrod Taylor is 4-1 with Sammy Watkins in his life, which is great. But he's averaged 174.4 passing yards and he's thrown just five touchdowns in those games. He's got the running threat, though so there is that. The 49ers haven't stopped anybody on the ground since Todd Gurley as they rank 31st against the run.

Kirk Cousins is 7-2 in his last nine starts with 19 touchdowns and six picks. But the Eagles rank second in pass defense. And despite a few catch and runs by Theo Riddick, they did a great job against the Eagles last week.

Carson Wentz will face the Redskins 21st-ranked pass defense. But Washington has been really strong against fantasy quarterbacks this season.

The Patriots have yet to allow a quarterback to crack the top 10 in fantasy points this season. Andy Dalton might grab some points in Gabbert time (yep, that's what I wrote), but not enough for me to start him.

I see Ryan Tannehill available on my waiver wire every time I'm looking to stream a quarterback. I wouldn't even grab him in my 16-team, 2QB league. (Kidding.)

Brock Osweiler is the worst. The Texans should have just saved their money (or drafted Carr instead a few years ago). Although I believe most people saw that coming.

Marcus Mariota is great on the road. He's got 15 touchdowns and just three picks on the road. But damn, he's been awful at home. I could just see this as a three-touchdown game for DeMarco. Mariota has thrown for fewer than 275 yards in 11 consecutive games.

Brian Hoyer leads the NFL with 1,016 passing yards over the last three weeks. He's averaged 300 passing yards and two touchdowns in each of his starts this season. And that's great. But he's got a really tough matchup this week against the Jags. That's right, my friends down in Duval County Florida have shut down some of the big-name quarterbacks in the NFL. Rodgers, Rivers, Luck and Joe Flacco. All right, the last one might not be a superstar. But he's superstar adjacent.

Image Credit the Bears for being able to handle their quarterback (expletive) better than the Cowboys. John Fox has been rather vague and you get the feeling Hoyer is going to be the starter once Cutler is completely healthy. And that's the way it should be. You don't sit a hot quarterback. But the Cowboys seem to want to rush Tony Romo back onto the field. Like, you've waited years to be a thing again and now you want to blow it? It's hard to believe this general manager once fired Jimmy Johnson. Which is crazy to think about. How can a GM fire Jimmy Johnson and still have a job? What does he own the team or something?

The Titans defense is pretty legit, which makes me sad because this team could be really something if it had a more imaginative offense. But that defense makes Isaiah Crowell a no-go for me in most type of leagues. (I mean, it's running backs. So it's hard to really say to sit somebody without seeing a roster. I have teams where I would love to have Crow.)

Matt Jones has started to become Matt Jones. And Rob Kelley has started to inch up the depth chart. Pick up Kelley if you are in deeper leagues. He's eventually going to start.

Theo Riddick looked pretty great against the Eagles last week. So excited I didn't start him because of the matchup. This week looks like a good opportunity, too. But the Rams don't allow a lot of passing yards to the running back. LeSean McCoy was successful against the Rams because Tyrod Taylor was able to set up the run with the reads. Something I'm not sure Matthew Stafford is going to be able to pull off. So Jim Bob Cooter is going to need to dial up something a little more exotic this week. But I'd probably rather flex a receiver instead of Theo.

Image Who do you think is the NFL equivalent of Bray Wyatt? I don't want to you answer that now. I really want you to sit and think about it. Actually, I'm going to give you my call right now. It's Philip Rivers. He should be a bigger star in this league, but he's being wasted in San Diego. In fact, I wish the NFL made more blockbuster trades. Because I wish the Chargers would send Rivers to the Cardinals. Could you imagine that? MJD pointed out that it would have made more sense for Rivers to go to the Vikings when Teddy Bridgewater went down. But a mid-season trade of Rivers to Arizona makes more sense than Jay Cutler, who I talked about last week. But he's the Bray Wyatt.

Image But seriously, I'm so disappointed the way the WWE has used Wyatt over the course of his career. This all could have been different if Wyatt had just gone over Cena at WrestleMania XXX. Nothing would have changed about Cena at all if he would have taken a pin that day. He'd still be acting like the controlling (expletive) boyfriend that you see in a typical romcom on "Total Bellas." But Wyatt could be an actual title contender. Instead he's locked in this lame feud with Randy Orton. If the WWE had any sense (and it does), just have Wyatt put Orton on the shelf and go after A.J. Styles. A Styles-Wyatt program would be so great. And I would get the WWE's reluctance to do heel vs. heel. But this should totally happen.

I really wish Alshon Jeffery was in the news campaigning for more targets. But he seems content with getting nothing. But the Jags defense is no joke. And word on the street is Jalen Ramsey is going to be locked-up on Jeffery. I'm not sure that's enough to make me start Cameron Meredith, either. But I'm shying away from Jeffery.

Michael Crabtree will likely draw Marcus Peters this week against the Chiefs, so you might want to have him ride the pine.

Has anybody noticed how well the Cowboys have played this season on defense? They have allowed 18.2 fantasy points per game this year. Nobody is really having huge games against them. OJB, Jeffery and A.J. Green struggled against the Cowboys. Although, Green was on the bench when the Bengals got into Gabbert time. All that said, I won't bench Jordy Nelson. But I'm clearly not going with him in DFS.

I really whiffed on DeSean Jackson this year. He's had three or fewer receptions in three of his five games this season. Although you could hope for the 'revenge game' angle. But it's just not happening.

It's time to move on from Michael Floyd. His snap count continues to dwindle. He's really not offering much in production and has actually moved aside now that Smokey Brown is more involved.

When is Donte Moncrief coming back? Phillip Dorsett has managed to be worse in his absence. Which isn't a true surprise. He's the same player as T.Y. Hilton, but a lesser version. Like the Taco Bell to T.Y.'s Del Taco. I know that analogy might not play outside of California and Arizona, but it's apt. APT!

Image BTW, what is Jeff Fisher trying to do running a fake punt deep in his own territory? That might have been the most brutal call I've seen in quite some time. Let me break this down for you. The Rams settled for a field goal with time running out late in the fourth quarter. Somehow managed to get the ball back. But in pure Rams fashion, had to punt again. Only Fisher suddenly becomes Riverboat Fisher at the worst possible time. It was ugly. But hey, they'll sweep the Seahawks so what do I know? Oh, and you jerks wore the wrong uniforms. Awful.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to NFL.com/fantasyandfriends. Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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