What we are talking about:
Great Week 1, expect more
This guy is the truth
Sons of Anarchy
What did I just see this week?
Congratulations to the city of Buffalo, the Buffalo Bills and the Bills Mafia on new owner Terry Pegula. Things are looking up for the Bills organization and its great fans. Jim Kelly is cancer free! The Bills knocked off the Bears in Week 1. And now the team is going to be in Buffalo forever. The only way things could be any better would be if Scarlett Johansson announced that she was leaving Paris and moving to Buffalo to join the Bills Mafia.
And with the way things are going in western New York, I wouldn't count it out.
I really like the Bills' fans and couldn't be happier for them. I had season tickets for the Chargers during the middle part of the 2000s, and the Bills came to town in 2005. The Bills Mafia took over my section of the Jack Murphy Stadium parking lot. I was amazed, too, because the Bills were in the midst of a 5-11 season. But the fans were out there in full force. Of course, I couldn't help myself and wandered into the mix. The fans couldn't have been more gracious and welcoming to me and my new bride, Rosie McGee. Food, beverages, games of Beirut were all offered up. A dude let me wear his Fred Flintstone Water Buffalo Lodge hat (which is kind of gross in hindsight, but whatever). Even this year at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the fans were amazing as evidenced by this video from Fan Pass. So I've always had a huge affinity for the Bills Mafia. They are great fans.
And as a child of football divorce who lost the Los Angeles Rams during the 1990s, I know how much it sucks to lose a team. I'm still not over it, though you might not have noticed that I lovingly refer to the football franchise in the midwest as the St. Louis Football Club. So I was really rooting for Pegula to get the franchise to keep it in Buffalo where it belongs. This is absolutely great news.
A quick footnote, I feel bad for the kid on Twitter who asked me last night if he should start Spiller or CJ2K. I told him CJ, without thinking the initials could mean either person. So if you're reading this right now, let me tell you when I wrote CJ I truly meant, oh look I really need to begin this column. We have so much to get to and I already spent a huge chunk of your time talking about the Bills.
Speaking of the Bills, in honor of Jon Bon Jovi's failed bid to buy the team, you guys should adopt one of his songs as an anthem just to thumb your noses at him. It really doesn't matter which one because they all sound the same. Let me know what you guys choose, because you really need to do that. I also hope to get out to Buffalo some time to celebrate with you. I owe a few of you a Molson or six.
Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. Or something like that.
And without further ado ...
Ryan set a club-record with 448 yards and three touchdowns last week. Some of you have wondered if he could do it again. My simple answer is yes. My not-so-simple answer is (expletive) yes and if you don't want him trade him to me.
I'm cool with Jake Locker as a one-week substitute. He's played really well in his last seven games he's played. And he's especially good at home with eight touchdowns and just three turnovers in his last six home games.
That said, I do have a bit of a hard time with Locker because he spurned the Angels to play in the NFL. Think of what you could have had, Jake! You, Mike Trout (aka the best baseball player on the planet) and Kole Calhoun roaming the outfield for the best team in baseball this season! What could have been? We might not have signed Josh Hamilton if you had come aboard all those many years ago. So really, you kind of owe me playoff tickets, Jake. It's only right.
ImageThis has been one of the most enjoyable Angels seasons for me in like, ever. I had expected the Angels to be good (I always do) but best team in baseball? I wasn't ready for that. Especially after losing Boz Skaggs and Garret Richards. That's an NFL equivalent of losing your starting QB and a top rookie prospect and still going 15-1 during the regular season.
Russell Wilson was rather impressive in Week 1. I know you want to pretend he's not a good fantasy option, but he consistently puts up points.
Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes in Week 1. I felt like he pulled back a little bit. But he's on pace for 48 touchdown passes this season. I see him getting at least 50.
Tom Brady has been brilliant against the NFC, especially on the road. But I'm just going to put it out there, I have a long-time crush on Brady. So I'm a bit biased.
ImageThere are some benefits to loyalty. The same loyalty I have for Brady is spilled over to "Sons of Anarchy" which debuted its final season on Tuesday night. Some of you bailed after a slow start to Season 3 (though, when you watch it back, it's quite brilliant). But I've stayed the course and this show is going out at the top of its game. I won't post any spoilers, but the first episode was amazing. A minor upset (and I guess SPOILER) but no major character died in EP1.
ImageBTW, I was super-stoked to welcome Theo Huxtable back into my life. And while this is no spoiler, I have to say Gemma is one of the most loathsome characters in TV history. Maybe at some point the Academy can recognize Katy Sagal. But I might be overly optimistic.
If you're looking for long-draw players in deeper leagues, keep an eye on C.J. Anderson. He just looked like the better running back in that Sunday night contest. I went back and watched some of the runs and it was Anderson who looked like he had a pretty good burst. I wouldn't start him over Montee Ball. But I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up Knowshon Moreno-ing him.
Hey, that should be the term we use when a guy loses his job to another dude for something other than injury. Be all, yeah, he Knowshon Moreno'd that dude. BTW, you start Knowshon.
There is a movement afoot to get Jeremy Hill more touches. I mean, finally. We've waited a full week to see what Hill can do with the football. Finally they have listened to our cries! Yes, I'm being facetious. But Hills is a sneaky flex play.
But don't worry about the impact on Giovani Bernard, he's still good. Actually, he's better when there's somebody to shoulder the load like the Law Firm did last year with his 200 touches.
Shane Vereen getting goal-line looks is a huge game-changer. And is probably the reason many of you Vereen holders were getting trade offers for him this week.
Of course Andre Ellington had 80 scrimmage yards last week. Just five better than the 3.3 I had predicted from him. But did you draft Dre for eight points a game? Me neither.
You can take Mike Shanahan out of Washington, but the whole team still reeks of Shanahanigans after what went down last week. I'm still with Alfred Morris, though. At least for this week.
Marshawn Lynch still looked as strong as ever. Can he keep it up for the whole season? Who gives a (expletive). He's at least good for one more week so you continue to ride him.
Ryan Mathews is another one of those guys who we all pretend isn't a good fantasy option, but then ends up killing it for you. The matchup is awful, but I'm still going with him.
We are entering the Carlos Hyde era in San Francisco! You can't stop LOS HYDE! You can only wish to contain him. I'm not lying, add him if you have the room right now. NOW.
Matt Forte was the first Bears running back since the incomparable James Allen in 2000 to have at least 80 rushing and 80 receiving yards. This is why I liked Forte so much during the preseason. I don't even sweat when he's pulled out for a breather because I know he's going to be in the mix. And there is no Darren Sproles there to steal any of the attention, either. So I'm a huge fan of that. But hey Cutler, don't be afraid to cut down on the turnovers a bit, savvy?
ImageCongratulations to the 49ers on the opening of their new stadium. The thing looks really cool. I'm really excited the Los Angeles Kings are going to be able to play in an outdoor stadium in this coming Winter Classic. The Kings have won the Stanley Cup in every season they have participated in a Winter Classic, so thanks a lot Levi Stadium and the NHL. Honestly, with the Kings and Angels, I'm almost to the point where I don't care if the NFL returns to Los Angeles.
Jordy Nelson has five touchdown receptions in his last five games against the AFC. Thank God I'm here, because I'm sure all of you were planning to bench Nelson this week!
Vincent Jackson had 12 catches for 206 yards in his last two games against the St. Louis Football Club. Teams change and stuff like that, but VJax is still a great option.
I'd go with Pierre Garcon over Allen this week, too. Garcon had 10 catches last week, and has notched at least five receptions in 17 consecutive games.
I called a John Brown touchdown reception in the preseason and I just knew everybody was going to get all goofy for him.
Larry Fitzgerald is the classiest of all-time classy players in the NFL. He just looked genuinely happy to win a game on Monday night. You have to love this guy. The classic over-correction will come this week. He'll get targeted a ton which will lead Palmer to more INTs as he tries to force the ball into him. It's going to happen.
Watch it be Jaron Brown who ends up with the crazy touchdown reception this week and internet burns to the ground.
Michael Floyd is again going to be a nice option. Seems like the torch is being passed to Floyd. Kind of like when Wayne took the torch from Marvin Harrison all of those many years ago.
Julian Edelman has had at least three receptions in his last his last five against the NFC. Edelman also has 35 receptions for 412 yards in his last four road games.
Oh my God, is Kelvin Benjamin legit or what? Oh man, he looks so freaking dominant. (Expletive) I'd start him over Allen this week. Why not? This guy is the truth.
Mike Wallace had seven receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown last week. And here's a little nugget for you, he has a touchdown in four of his last five against the AFC East.
ImageI've had this trusty Angels cap for quite some time, but I stumbled across this great New Era cap at the outlet malls here in Orange, Calif. I nearly got it, but I can't right? I mean, I don't want to mix things up when the Angels are on such an impressive streak, right? Which reminds me, I need to get my new Los Angeles Kings hat for this season, too. But seriously, help me figure out this Angels hat conundrum. I'd hate to be the one who ruins it for the squad.
Ryan Tannehill would be a sneaky start this week. He's been pretty good against the AFC East with at least two touchdown passes in six of his last nine. I just don't have the guts to start him.
I sometimes feel like I'm Andy Dalton's biggest defender, pretty much anywhere. He's been dynamite against the NFC, with nine touchdowns and one pick in his last three. But he's just outside the top 10 for me. Barely.
Sometimes I wish I could just be a fantasy robot who could coldly type in the numbers and not look at the names, or the rounds I drafted my players. Seems like it would be a pretty good social experiment to conduct some year. Not this week.
Eli Manning doesn't even crack my list of top 24 quarterbacks this week. I'm not even sure he'd top the list of 32 quarterbacks.
The Week 1 game was a clear indication of why you shouldn't put any credence into the Romo lovers' assertion that he's clutch because of his fourth-quarter passer rating. Romo is great when other teams are playing prevent defenses. So of course he's going to have huge numbers. His fourth-quarter passer rating was nearly perfect against the 49ers. (And that was my point with this tweet, but the internet is still waging war on sarcasm, so some of you didn't get it.)
The good news for the Cowboys is you guys are the worst team in the NFL, at least according to this. If I was doing the old alternative rankings the Cowboys would be my selection for top pick in the draft right now. They have to be the leaders in the clubhouse. Enjoy Marcus Mariotta next year. Because even if they aren't the worst, other franchises lower have their QBs.
I'm on the fence about RG3 this week. No, not whether to start him or not. Rather, if you want to keep him on your roster or not. I wouldn't even touch him if he was on the wire.
EJ Manuel plays one of the smartest games from a quarterback I've seen. And it means absolutely nothing in fantasy. Quarterbacks should get bonus points for winning. #Idea
Oh wait, why am I complaining? I have Foles in my League of Record, against my chums in Corona, Calif. And I just made the tough decision to go Luck over Brady in my big-time 20-player keeper league.
Matt Cassel is one of the most maligned starting quarterbacks ever. He's started for three NFL teams. THREE! But he's never started for my fantasy team. Nor his alma mater USC.
ImageA show I should have given up on this season is "Big Brother". Well, maybe not. Christine is still the most loathsome for me, and I can't stand it if she gets a chance to win the whole thing. Frankie was my guy for so long, but he's going to be out-smarted by Victoria who just made the biggest game move of her BB career so late into the season. Victoria is akin to a player who hasn't done anything for 12 NFL seasons and then becomes MVP of the Super Bowl.
ImageAll right, prediction time: I have to believe Derrick is going to win the whole thing. The undercover cop has played the game so well. Victoria has done well as one of the best floaters of all-time, but when it comes down to judge, Derrick will get it for his overall game play.
ImageSorry, one more thing. But why in the name of Great Caesar's Ghost do you push the Pandora's Box deal? You know it's not going to end well. I want to go on Big Brother next season and be the one person in the entire history of the show to be all Pandora's Box? Nah, I'm good.
Hang on to Ben Tate if you have him. There's no reason to do anything rash. But there is a real good chance he gets "Drew Bledsoe'd" when he returns because West has looked impressive.
But seriously, every guy I love in preseason ends up getting drafted by my friends in my League of Record. Oh well, I might have to start floating some smoke screens along the way.
On that note, I was happy when my good-friend Frank H. took Jamaal Charles before I had to. You'll never bench Charles, but the Chiefs' offensive line is miserable and Andy Reid has a history of ignoring his players a lot like he did with Shady during his final season in Philly. Good news for Charles holders this week is Reid is good for a few over-corrections this year.
As predicted in this space, Khiry Robinson is going to frustrate fantasy enthusiasts to no end this year. His touchdown was the biggest "derp" for Ingram holders. Like of course Robinson scored first.
Stevan Ridley is the most-talented back in New England, but yeah, dude's buried deep in that dog house. He's on the verge of being cut from my team.
The Titans, however, are really pushing it with their backfield committee. If I'm not mistaken, 20 dudes carried the ball last week (probably).
Toby Gerhart had 109 rushing yards in his last meeting against Washington in 2011. But he's battled some injuries and he's behind Moreno, Ingram and even West right now for me.
I mean, I really feel like an (expletive) after I avoided Lynch at all cost this summer. I know it's just one game, but if he does that for 16, Skittles for the first 20 to tweet me right now.
Hey Danny Woodhead, yeah, I was just curious if you were going to join us this season. Actually, take another week off and we can reconvene next week.
You are not so lucky Doug Martin. We wanted to see a little more from you last week and yeah. The St. Louis defensive front is pretty stout, so why don't you take the week off.
Keep James Starks on your radar as the injury reports are released this week. Although, Starks was one of the top handcuffs vultured in most fantasy drafts this year. I would damn people for the practice, but I won a league with Larry Johnson years ago.
I wasn't so much a fan of Arian Foster on Twitter this week. I think his heart is often in the right place and he's often unintentionally hilarious. But he probably should take a few tweets off.
ImagePretty much look at any team that could use a running back right now. Or just look at the Colts. You didn't think it was a good idea to pick up LOS HYDE to push Trent Richardson? Wait, did the Colts pass on him? Wait, I just looked it up. SF traded up to get LOS HYDE, and jumped the Colts by two picks. (See most people would have fronted and not given you this stream of consciousness. Not Rank!) So let's just pretend the Colts were indeed going to take LOS HYDE!
But damn, the Colts are really in a jam because of Trent Richardson. If you watched the game last week, Ahmad Bradshaw was the guy who looked explosive out of the backfield and showed a lot of burst when he had the ball. The Colts really need to reach Richardson and get him to trust himself and just hit the hole. He shows way too much hesitation and no confidence. And you can't blame this on not knowing the playbook. He has been there long enough to get it.
Oh my God, I was never happier on Sunday than when Hakeem Nicks ended his touchdown drought. I can't tell you how much I mark'd out when Nicks was denied earlier in the game.
Anquan Boldin is Mr. Week 1. Now it's time to perhaps look at some other options because I'm looking for the Crabtree over-correction this week.
But a word to the wise, I do play in the #HashtagWars most nights at Midnight on the East Coast. Which means it's probably the worst time to ask fantasy questions.
I'm telling you, with the internet's "war on sarcasm" I can almost guarantee you at least one person will tweet, "your (sic) in (sic) idiot, I would never sit Nelson" and not ironically.
Oh man, I never thought it would come to this, but Keenan Allen is somebody I would leave on the bench in two receiver leagues. It's a tough call, but the matchup just stinks.
This will probably be meaningful to one of you, but I would play Harvin over Allen this week. There is no other Seahawks' receiver I would start over him, though.
Marqise Lee is going to have something to say before the year is over. But for right now, he's benched.
Congratulations to Larry Fitzgerald Sr. who acted like a soccer dad and called out the Cardinals' organization for not getting his son the football. Do you not remember the Max Hall era in Arizona? The Birds are building a winner in the desert and Larry Jr. is part of something special. Take the wins and don't worry about individual goals.
ImageOh (expletive). Do us fantasy enthusiasts sound this stupid when we complain about our guys not getting the ball enough? Well, maybe. I mean, I have no real vested interest in the Cowboys winning, but will be upset if my guy doesn't score. I guess this is akin to somebody being a Bears fan and being upset if the team wins and your fantasy guy doesn't score. Don't be that guy. Or girl.
I took a chance on Danny Amendola very late in drafts. Hey, why not? But if you need to clear some roster space, he looks pretty expendable at this point.
White has a tough matchup on paper. But is Matty Ice throwing him the ball? Is Julio on the other side of him? Then I start him. I mean, would you rather go with Mohamed Sanu here? (Expletive) no.
After Allen became so good during his rookie season, I felt the notion first-year receivers can't produce was put to bed. You can't expect them all to be good, but still.
With Tate and Floyd killing it, I'm sure former Notre Dame WR Tim Brown is mighty proud.
If you have Brian Hartline on your roster as one of those late-round fliers we're fond of taking, it's cool to move on to another option. He's nice, but not rosterable.
Sammy Watkins isn't going to make much of an personal impact with fantasy owners, but he will help Woods.
ImageHave you noticed outlet malls have become just as expensive as your typical shopping centers? There was a time when you would plant one of those malls in the remote desert and you had to travel all day to get there. Now there are outlets in major municipalities. The rub is, they are less discount shopping centers and more bait-and-switch clothing dealers. It ain't right. The sports places are the absolute worse. You might find a discounted Anaheim Ducks shirt, but who wants that? Although I did buy a Battle of SoCal T-shirt just to let the Ducks fans know about it.
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 220,000 followers, and Fabiano has 160,000. 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."