What we are talking about:
Glad he's starting again
"Rogue One" trailer
Reaction and a Marc Sessler cameo
Stop ruining OBJ and my fantasy teams
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.
But when Kaepernick struggled without Jim Harbaugh, that was just proof that he was a fraud all along.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.