What we are talking about:
One more chance for you!
Time for some tough love
Actually a pretty good show
I'm really digging what the St. Louis Football Club is all about right now. Did you not see the way it totally duped the defending world champions in Week 7? That was the perfectly executed game plan against that team. The fake punt was a thing of beauty, too; a truly daring call. Plus the fake punt return that even fooled the cameraman. I mean a FAKE PUNT RETURN! When have you ever seen something like that? I mean, if Pete Carroll calls it cool, then you know it's rather awesome.
I was told this week the majority of teams have plays similar to the fake punt St. Louis pulled off. They even practice the thing, too. Few have the guts to really go and do such a thing. But St. Louis certainly had no problem with it.
And can you blame them? The team is likely moving to Los Angeles. (And you can save your ridiculous tweets. If you're going to be a person who wants to hold on to the opinion Los Angeles doesn't support its pro teams when you consider the Angels and Dodgers draw three million per season, the Los Angeles Kings and Ducks draw really well, the Lakers and Clippers both sellout on the reg and USC football has a waiting list for season tickets, then for expletive] sake, save it for the beer-soaked brains of the millennials you hang out with at the [South Broadway Athletic Club and not me. I have some fantasy questions to answer on Twitter and I cannot be bothered with your ignorance for the nuances of the Southern California sports market. And so help me if one more person says the Jaguars should move to L.A. First of all, their stadium has a pool. So they are awesome. And second, check the numbers; they draw better than the Steelers.)
Where was I? Oh yes.
So the team is likely moving. Jim Harbaugh has been my pick to coach the Los Angeles Rams since Jeff Fisher is going to be canned because, a) His teams continually underachieve, b) folks thought this team would be great and 3) Fisher hasn't had a winning season since like 1968. Though you might want to double-check my facts on the last one.
So this is the perfect time to start trying all of the crazy (expletive) you have wanted to try over the years but have never had the footballs to do because the league is way too conservative. I'm mean to the right of Sean Hannity conservative.
Fisher is suddenly like the dude who has started to do all the things he's ever wanted to do on the job like wearing sweatpants on a Monday because he just gave his two weeks' notice. He's like the brazen dude who just threw back a shot of Fireball Whisky and decided to go chat up Cristin Milioti at the local Chili's because it seemed like a great idea at the time. (And you thought she was better for Ted than Robin.) I like that guy. The NFL needs more of this stuff, and less of the, "I'm going to run the ball into the pile three times to try to kill the clock at the end of the half/game."
Though, Houston found out the hard way that sometimes it's not always a bad thing to avoid the hero's way out. Actually, forget all of that noise. I applaud Bill O'Brien for trying to score some additional points against the Steelers at the end of the first half. The loss was inevitable. I mean, it's not his fault Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't great when you compare him to other NFL quarterbacks and Arian Foster decided to fumble for the first time in like 2,500 carries (again, you might want to double-check that).
You want to go for it, people. Kind of like the risk you took reading this even though you knew it was like 30 minutes you would never get back and was going to have a haphazard reference to a Hollywood starlet that has no bearing on what we're trying to do here. And we haven't even gotten to the likes and dislikes yet. Just be glad I tabled the Star Wars dissertation. (I lied, it's below but abbreviated.)
Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. Patrick is a huge Bills fan and was stoked when I tabbed Sammy Watkins to have a big Week 7. Wait until he sees what I wrote this week!
And without further ado ...
Russell Wilson. Still amazing. He has now rushed for a touchdown in three consecutive games. Shoot, he's had more than 100 rushing yards twice this season. So it's little surprise he's had more than 22 fantasy points in three of his last four games.
Here's the thing with Wilson. Most drafted him as a QB2. If you're conflicted to start him or the stud you drafted ahead of him (Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, etc.), I'd look to swing a deal one way or the other right now. Whomever can bring you the most action.
I know this is one of those things where I should really pull the ripcord on Nick Foles, but I'm going to ride with him one more week. The Eagles played the Cardinals after the bye last seasonand Foles tossed three TD passes. And as long as the trend fits my argument, I will use it.
Danger Zone: I wouldn't be afraid to play Carson Palmer this week, either. The Eagles have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. So I'm kind of down with it.
Sorry about the whole, 'the Pats' dynasty is dead, yo' talk from a few weeks ago, Tom Brady. I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good looking. I'm not attractive.
Us cynics are waiting for the rug to be pulled out from underneath Romo, but that might not come until the playoffs (remind you of anybody?). So ride the hot-hand in fantasy for now.
ImageThe Cowboys and Washington together again on Monday Night Football just seems right, right? Emanating from the NFL's version of the "Death Star" AT&T Stadium in North Texas. And we had a pretty lengthy discussion in the newsroom this week about "Star Wars" and if some references were too obscure. But I have to believe even the novice fans of "Star Wars" know about Alderaan. But Ahsoka Tano might be a little too far out there. All of this led me to lead a huge dissertation on "Star Wars" which led me to believe the Death Star destruction could have been an inside job. But then I felt, you know, I'm sure somebody brilliant has already thought of that. And they did. So I present the best Death Star conspiracy video ever. And I mean ever.
ImageOf course, a big part of the discussion was Grand Moff Tarkin and his complete arrogance and refusal to vacate the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. I appreciate the valor because he wanted to go down with the ship, but dude, watch the battle from a Star Destroyer or something. Somebody should have insisted he leave. Am I wrong here?
Oh my God; we've waited weeks to play Jerick McKinnon. Oh yeah, people thought we were stupid for advocating McKinnon weeks ago but who is laughing now (and pretending they were on the bandwagon all along)? He's had 38 touches over the last two weeks and has a solid matchup against the Bucs this week.
I know Andre Ellington yielded a pair of touchdowns last week to the vulture from Stanford (or the Cal State Fullerton of the north if you will). But dude still got you 16 fantasy points. So knock off your whining. It reminds of people who hate Olivia Munn for no (expletive) reason.
Joique Bell continues to be one of the most underappreciated fantasy running backs going. He's scored two touchdowns in his last two games and I love his matchup against the Falcons.
ImageThis will be the dumbest segue way in this column's history (which is saying something) but do any of you watch "Impractical Jokers"? I just binged a bunch of them. It's the best show because the joke is always on the cast, and not mean spirited towards the innocent civilians which make it charming. If you've never watched, drop everything right now and do it.
ImageI like the early start for the London game, too. One of my favorite things is to get up super early for college football on Saturday morning. The early start will be tough for those of us trying to figure out what to do with Megatron, but I'm glad they are doing it. Crepuscular drinking is always the best. Hopefully the London Super Bowl starts this early!
Mark Ingram returned and was on the field for 26 plays, the highest total among Saints running backs who will be on the field this week. The matchup is fine, the volume is better.
Bryce Brown would be my pick from the Bills backfield. I would expect him to split time with Boobie Dixon, but Brown will have the best chance to make the most of those limited touches.
How fun has Justin Forsett been this season? He didn't get into the end zone against the Falcons. But he had close to 10 points. Now you are just being greedy if you're upset with him.
Shane Vereen is a great start this week because teams don't run on the Bears, who have yet to allow a running back to go over 100 yards. But you can throw on them and Vereen is the best receiving back for the Pats.
Lamar Miller has really made the most of his opportunity with the Fins. He didn't get 100 rushing yards against the mighty Chicago Bears, but he had 83 total yards and a touch. He starts every week for you. Don't even question it.
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I kind of like Darren McFadden this week after what Shoelace did to the Browns D last week.
I still don't have a lot of trust in Eddie Lacy, but he certainly has a great matchup against the Saints who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to running backs this year. Lacy still received negative grades for his performance last week, despite the great stat line.
But seriously, how rad has Ahmad Bradshaw been this year? He's been a lifesaver for some of my teams.
Giovani Bernard had kind of a rough weekend against the Colts. So I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little concerned about him. He's in the top 20 for me, but it wouldn't surprise me if he has another bad week. Sorry, I hate to be on the fence with you guys and leave you hanging.
ImageSPOILER "Sons of Anarchy". Speaking of leaving you hanging, thanks to all of you who were bummed I missed the SOA chat last week. This week was truly bananas. For starters, I can't believe we all knew Gemma wasn't going to be killed but I sweated it out. I thought for sure she was going to kill Rat Boy or Happy. That would have been terrible. But it was so tense. And my guess is Bobby couldn't reach his gun, right? Or else I would have taken as many of Marks' guys out with me as possible.
Brandon LaFell is a sneaky play this week because he's got a pretty good matchup against the Bears. You can't run on them, so Tom Brady must pass the ball.
Golden Tate will be fine when Megatron returns. Actually, he would thrive if Mega was there as a decoy. Tate has at least nine targets in each of his last four games.
Doug Baldwin set a career-high with 11 targets against St. Louis. He is clearly trending upward after the trade of Percy Harvin. (Don't sleep on Harvin going forward, either.)
Michael Floyd made the most of his three receptions against the Raiders. But he does have at least 10 fantasy points in four of his last six games. He's pretty much become the Birds' guy.
ImageThe overcorrection has to come for Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery this week, right? You just have to wonder who Darrelle Revis is going to shadow the most. Revis has owned Marshall in the past, so you would figure the Patriots coaching staff would have them pair off. But the Patriots could conceive Jeffery is the biggest threat and have Revis shadow him. We won't know until after kickoff so that's why you have to start both of them.
I've used Kelvin Benjamin as my flex guy this season. I want to bench him, but I could see him making some 10-point noise with a touchdown late in the game when stuff's been settled.
Terrance Williams kicked it on the waiver wire for our NFL Fantasy Live league. I don't know what it says about us. (Though in fairness, I've hoarded RBs the whole season. Still do.)
Mike Wallace has become one of the most consistent receivers in the game. He seemingly scores a touchdown every week. I wouldn't scoff at the Jags defense, but Wallace will do enough to make it interesting for you.
Vincent Jackson would be awesome if he was traded to another team. The Around the NFL dudes put together a rather impressive list of great landing spots this week.
Eric Decker has been pretty good this year. He gets better with Percy Harvin over there. The Jets have needed playmakers. Let's see what this offense can do with some actual weapons.
Don't forget to have Jeremy Maclin back in your lineup. I'm not sure if Patrick Peterson will matchup with him this week, but he's certainly worth putting out there.
Triple S, Steve Smith Sr. should be another solid play this week. The Bengals have been pretty tough on opposing receivers recently, but I would worry more about the other Smith.
ImageI'm actually looking forward to Hell in a Cell. Mostly because the main event is two guys who I not only want to see, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, but they should also get back to the basics and make this a memorable Hell in a Cell match. For the first time in a long time. And a huge shout out to Kansas City for making Damien Sandow so beloved this week on RAW. Though I'm already fearing how badly his face turn is going to be botched. I will still embrace these small victories.
Dwayne Allen has five touchdowns this season, good for fifth among tight ends. The Steelers have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
The Seahawks D is tough, but it has also allowed the third-most points to tight ends this year. So don't be scared off on Greg Olsen, even though I just talked a bunch of (expletive) on Cam.
Danger Zone: Dude, I should have told you all to pick up Lance Kendricks this week. Kansas City gives up a ton of points to tight ends. Kendricks has three touchdowns in his last four games. So he's an all-or-nothing type of guy. But everybody you'd want is already grabbed off the waiver wire.
ImageThe wife got me to watch "Marry Me" the other day. I gave it a go because I liked Casey Wilson a lot in "Happy Endings". The show was actually good. I say 'actually' because I was surprised. There was more inappropriate humor than I expected. Now, however, it just makes me upset that you people let "Happy Endings" get canceled.
Cam Newton hasn't been as bad as you think. He's had six touchdowns in his last three games and the Seahawks have allowed at least two touchdown passes in five consecutive games. I'm just feeling the Seahawks going all Seahawks to deliver a serious beatdown here in Carolina.
If you waited on a quarterback and ended up with Matt Ryan, you probably felt rather good after your draft. But he has lingered around 13 fantasy points in each of his last three games. Mostly because the offensive line is just miserable.
Ryan is like the biggest "Decepticon" quarterback right now. You always think of him as this stud who will end up putting up huge numbers for you. Yet, he always ends up kind of flat. I guess we know how Falcons fans feel right about now.
Ryan Tannehill is a nice sleeper option at quarterback this week. I wouldn't necessarily rush him out there, though. As folks who used Brian Hoyer against Jacksonville found out last week (me).
I'm doing this for your own good, Jay Cutler. But I'm here to proclaim your run in Chicago is over! (Now let this inspire you to go out and put up some monster numbers against the Patriots, much like I motivated Brady weeks ago.)
Raise your hand if you're ready to play Colt McCoy this week! None of you? I don't blame you. Even Kirk Cousins looked great for a half before, you know, all the unpleasantness started.
What a roller coaster for RG3. He was being moved out of Washington a few weeks ago (by me) and now he's the toast of the town and the savior of this franchise once again. At least add him.
Alex Smith is another sleeper option if you're in a league where you're desperate for a quarterback. I also like Derek Carr as an option, too. I just have to put them on this side so I don't get any should I play Carr over Brees tweets this week. Just so you know.
I had Joe Flacco slated for my team in my League of Record. Then a mass-hysteria broke out on the set of NFL Fantasy Live when there were reported high winds in Baltimore. Like a moran (sic), I benched Flacco and promptly lost my week (and probably my season). Sorry, just had to share that. But just so you know, I sometimes feel the same pain as a lot of you. This also goes to show that, at some point, you need to trust your gut.
ImageAnd I don't want to nitpick the Death Star conspiracy video (here) that I liked so much (not enough to keep me from doing it, mind you); but Grand Moff Tarkin was really the commander of the Death Star, not Darth Vader. I mean, it's just a small thing and maybe nobody but the most ardent of "Star Wars" fans would understand this, but it's clearly worth noting.
Don't you all have that friend who will be on the wrong end of a trend (like Matt Asiata) and then will be all about the other dude (McKinnon) when he realizes he's wrong? My old pal from junior high does that all the time. Same guy who tried to tell me "The Shield" sucked is now the biggest Ambrose fan in the world.
Stepfan Taylor was one of our deep, deep sleepers for 2014 (as was Tim Cornett, sorry) so it wasn't a surprise to see him snake two touchdowns last week. Not quite at the point where he's a viable option, however. He's like Rob Schneider. Fine as a backup, not a leading man.
Remember when Antone Smith was a thing? Yeah, he's scored on a handful of plays and doesn't get the ball enough to matter. Plus he's got the Lions this week which is a must-bench.
Shoot, I already did quarterbacks but I'd leave Matthew Stafford on the bench. The Lions should run the ball heavily against the Falcons suspect run defense. There isn't going to be much of a need for him to step back there and fling the rock. I can envision Stafford throwing like one touchdown pass but less than 300 passing yards because it's been that way for the Falcons.
Danger Zone:Travaris Cadet had 18 snaps in the loss and could end up being the beneficiary of Pierre Thomas' 26 snaps last week. I'm not confident in Khiry Robinson who had just three snaps compared to Ingram who had 26 in his return. So I'd have the Saints backfield ranked Ingram, Cadet and Robinson. Which means Sean Payton will find a way to screw us. Right?
So is Steven Jackson still a thing? You might want to take a look at Devonta Freeman as a stash at some point in the future when the Falcons wisely start to play for 2015.
If you just want to look at the Bills depth chart, you can go with Anthony Dixon. He's a cool dude, but he's never really made the most of his chances in the league. So I go with Brown.
Benny Cunningham has made some nice plays in spurts. He's not a bad PPR option. I don't see much value for him in standard leagues, however. Other than a vulture to the guy we actually want to start.
You know I like my friends down in Duval County, Florida. I like the pickup for Denard Robinson this week. I just don't want you to chase the fantasy points this week.
Danger Zone:Jonas Gray is somebody to have on your roster right now. Look we give a lot of obvious suggestions of guys probably already gone in your league during a Fantasy Live show. I'm giving you Gray right now.
Bishop Sankey did get the most snaps of the Titans running backs against Washington, but he failed to really do anything with it. The opportunity is there, but I would have a hard time trusting him this week even with a decent matchup.
I have Terrance West or Isaiah Crowell on numerous teams across my fantasy universe. And I can't bring myself to drop either one of them. Because you know the moment (and I mean moment) I do, Tate will do his typical Tate thing and I would have to fight to reclaim them on the waiver wire. That would be just my luck, right?
Danger Zone: Yes, I listed Darren McFadden as a like. But I have to balance this out because I don't want to jinx folks who will actually play him.
Serious question. When can I legitimately make a Lacy and Trent Richardson comparison? It's only fair, right? If you look at the current landscape of the NFL, Buffalo > Alabama. #JustSaying
I just don't see if happening for Alfred Morris this week. To think, I was trying to swing a deal with Akbar to get Morris and or Frank Gore (bye) but was repeatedly turned down. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don't make.
ImageAnother serious question: If you lived in the town of Charming, Calif. would you patronize Teller and Sons automotive? I probably would. I mean, there would be the threat of you being ripped off. But at the same time, I would have to believe they know their (expletive). Plus it's not like they have a beef with you. I feel they would try so hard to get in good with the town folk they would offer real competitive pricing.
ImageI'm so pot-committed to "Homeland" I just can't bring myself to stop watching. There would have been no shame to taking the hero's death after the second season and let it go. Now it's just needless. I might just take a desperate measure and cancel Showtime to keep me from watching it.
A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson are going to be so limited, you almost hope this is an instance where they are benched so you don't have to decide.
A.J. Green is one of my favorite guys in the league. When he and LeSean chose sides to play "Halo" this summer, Green threw me a bone. And I sucked. So I will always like him for that. But dude was downright morose when he was on NFL AM this week. He even admitted he will be in a lot of pain going forward, too. I'm afraid this situation isn't going away.
The tough thing about Calvin Johnson is that we're going to need to get up super early on Sunday to make this call. Or those of us on the West Coast need to stay up super late.
If you ever needed a reason to vilify Cordarrelle Patterson more this season, he nearly killed Akbar. My man said he would drink raw eggs on NFL Fantasy Live if CP didn't get at least 10 fantasy points last week. Well, I'm pretty sure you all saw this play out on the show. What you might not have seen was my man getting an IV because he was all sick and stuff.
Although you could reason all of the clean living Akbar does didn't have him prepared for what he did on the show. I mean, if you've thrown down a Taco Bell Mexican pizza after a bender, your stomach is trained for just about anything. When you have a personal chef cooking all of your meals, well, you just can't adjust like the rest of have to.
ImageI guess that's why I don't care for John Cena so much. He seems like such a cartoon character to me. I mean, who is that jacked and rides around in those expensive cars? He's not relatable. I expect his match with Randy Orton to be one of the worst things going. I guess that's why I can identify with guys such as Ambrose.
ImageAgain, my guy Brandon Stroud never steers me wrong. I liked Dean's interactions a little bit more than everybody else on Monday night. Brandon and I are typically sympatico, but I will pretty much eat up whatever Ambrose is putting out there. I don't know if that's a character flaw or not. Read more here.
Imagine a few years ago if you had a team with Green, Megatron and Larry Fitzgerald. You would think it would never lose, right?
Marques Colston and Kenny Stills are two of the riskiest plays this week. The game with Green Bay should be a shootout. And I can see Brees with multiple touchdowns. You just don't know who to pick in this case.
I feel like DeAndre Hopkins is making me try not to like him. The fumble was brutal on Monday night, man. And no touchdowns in three games is very Andre Johnson-like.
Roddy White led the NFL with 15 targets in Week 7. I really don't like the Lions front against the Falcons offensive line so that leads me to believe the numbers will be down across the board for Atlanta's wideouts. This might end up hurting Julio Jones more, though. If Roddy can get open in the middle he might be the better option. Man, this sucks.
DeSean Jackson has one touchdown in 10 career games against the Cowboys. Of course, he would have had one if he hadn't dropped it on the goal line. But again, I hate to use stats like that but what's scary is the Cowboys are better equipped to handle him this year.
This is the week to pick up Josh Gordon if he's still available in your league. I worry for you, though. To just assume he's going to come out and be 2013 Josh Gordon is a dangerous game.
Jordan Cameron has just two touchdown receptions in his last 13 games. Actually, I kept typing 14, so I guess the skid extends another game this week, too. Bummer, I like him as a person.
Washington has been brutally tough on tight ends this season. So this makes me feel so much better for the consecutive dislike for Jason Witten.
All this negativity around Kobe Bryant. I don't care for it. The key for this team was not going after Phil Jackson when they had the chance. Dwight Howard would be here. Paul George might, too, without a (expletive) broken leg. But stop blaming Kobe for (expletive) sake.
Breaking:Zach Mettenberger is going to start for the Tennessee Titans. About time, guys. I liked him an awful lot at LSU. Feel he could really be something in this league. I won't play him in the immediate future. But I truly believe the Titans have a good one here.
That's going to be it for me this week. Be good to one another. And if you're going to celebrate, make sure you dance like Alex Wright. And as always, designate a driver.
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 270K followers, and Fabiano has 165K. 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." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight.