What we are talking about:
ICYMI: He will start this week!
He rode a swan in a pool once
Everybody at NFL Media has to
The real debate for football fans in the coming week is if Rodgers will indeed be the MVP. Or will it be J.J. Watt? There are really no wrong answers here. I mean, it's not as clear-cut as the choice of Mike Trout in the American League. That was an easy call. This one is much more difficult. To me, it's almost akin to trying to choose between CM Punk or Stone Cold Steve Austin. Episode VI or Episode V? Taylor Swift or Katy Perry. You really can't go wrong.
(And if you will make me choose, I will say that while CM Punk has been one of my favorites for a long time, you always tend to go with the guys you grew up with so I go with Stone Cold as the slight lean here. "Empire Strikes Back" is dominant. And well, you can't go wrong with Perry who dazzled us on the set of "College Game Day" earlier this year, plus she will be the official halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX. Wait, that was announced, right? I mean, we've known about that for a while but I was admonished not to spill the beans. So hopefully I didn't need to throw a spoiler alert up there.)
Let's get back to the gridiron and the MVP in question. I'm tempted to just say Rodgers because I don't want to appear to have a Chicago Bears bias (could you imagine if I was really like this?). But is Rodgers really the MVP? I mean, is he even the most valuable quarterback? Ardent supporters of Andrew Luck and Tom Brady could easily have a case here.
So I'm going to say Watt in this instance. We can all agree that he's the single greatest defensive player on the planet right now. To that, there is no dispute. He's also become a huge influence on the Texans' offense, too. Some might consider it a gimmick that he does line up at tight end, but he's such a great athlete it would be a shame not to do it. Plus, they also design plays for him. He doesn't just line up next to the tackle and run a simple out. He goes in motion, he makes adjustments on catches. He's amazing.
Plus, have you seen any starting quarterback in the league line up and play defense? I won't expect them to go out and register a sack as a defensive end like Watt. But at least play some defensive secondary or something.
The biggest knock on Watt is the Texans don't win a lot of games. There is that. But if Rodgers had the exact same statistics and played on a team that was .500 because of a lousy defense, would you hold that against him? Well then it's not right to blame Watt because he plays on a team without a true No. 1 quarterback and a running back who has been banged up all year.
The MVP should be the top player in the game. The guy who means the most. I'm going with Watt on this one.
You know who won't win? Brian Hoyer. He's been replaced by Johnny Manziel, which is something I advocated a few weeks back. Wait, it was last week. Back when I said the Browns hate fun. Well, I guess they like fun a little bit more now. Actually, let's start the Johnny Football for MVP campaign. I want to be the first.
Also, if you want to skim, the likes and dislikes are in bold so if you just want to breeze through to see the person, place or thing we have discussed here. Got all of that?
And without further ado ...
I will save you the Johnny Starter jokes when it comes to Johnny Manziel. He does have some upside here as a fantasy starter this week. He does have an advantage as a rookie because there isn't a lot of tape available on him. If there was ever a time to get him into your lineup, it's this week. But once they start to see some tape on him and game plan against him, it could get dodgy. So right here, I'm going to give you the list of guys who I would start over Manziel.
And before you ask, "Hey is everybody required to talk about Johnny Manziel?" the answer to that question is, "yes." Mostly because my bride Rosie McGeee has grown accustomed to having food on the table and a roof over her head.
Do I feel like a (expletive) about Matt Ryan. I had him projected for like four points on Monday night. Though I quipped on the show he'd probably end up with 30. And he really showed me something. I avoided him because he was a domed quarterback out in the cold. But he was sharp out in the cold of Lambeau Field, under the bright lights. There is no reason to have concern about him anymore. Well, other than Mike Smith being his coach. But no other reason.
I'm so excited for Ben Roethlisberger this week. The game is inside. There should be a (expletive) ton of points. And he's had the second-most fantasy points among QBs over the last two weeks.
I would start Peyton Manning over Manziel this week, too. I somewhat jest, but after last week's performance, I wouldn't blame you if you were concerned. Manning has thrown at least two touchdowns in eight consecutive games against the Chargers. San Diego has a good record against Manning's teams, but he should still get his points. So don't fret.
Russell Wilson is still one of the most complete fantasy quarterbacks. He's had at least 19 fantasy points in four of his last five, with seven TDs and no turnovers in his last four.
Joique Bell has scored the third-most fantasy points among running backs in the last two weeks. Two weeks he was on my bench.
Justin Forsett has scored eight rushing touchdowns this season. He's had an incredible 5.6 yards per carry. He might be the top candidate for fantasy MVP this season. He's been amazing.
Isaiah Crowell has scored at least 11 fantasy points in two of his last three games, with three rush touchdowns in those games. The Bengals have been kind of awful against the run and Vontaze Burfict is officially on IR. I know Johnny Football will want to sling the ball around, but please hand it to the Crow.
Jonathan Stewart had a season-saving performance for a lot of you. Included in that group is my good friend Frank Hetland who picked him up and started him against me. Stewart has another good-enough matchup for you this week, too. Yes, you too, Frank.
ImageCM Punk to the UFC is a brilliant move. I know, it's a guy who was basically an actor trying to have a go in "real fighting" but I like it. At least it's not a sham like celebrity boxing or Mickey Rourke boxing, you know? I really can't wait for him to cut promos, though.
ImageI was a little caught off guard by the UFC. Why would they want him? This would be akin to if the Texas Rangers signed Kevin Costner after "Field of Dreams." If Sylvester Stallone fought Mike Tyson after boxing. If the Jets signed Keanu Reeves after "The Replacements." Actually, I shouldn't give the Jets any ideas. Then I realized how brilliant it is for the UFC. ESPN had CM Punk and the UFC in its headline stack on Saturday night. Plus I'm willing to just hand over my money to Dana White right now to see this, just as I'm sure many WWE fans will. My buddy Reader Matt P. and me are already making plans for fight night. If he does fight.
Alshon Jeffery has five touchdown receptions in his last four weeks (most in the NFL) and the fifth-most targets in the last five. Dude, it's up to you now. This is your show. Go out and kill it.
T.Y. Hilton has scored the sixth-most fantasy points over the last two weeks. And has scored double-digits in seven of his last eight. And to think, I was worried he didn't score enough TDs.
I feel weird having to devote a lot of time to talk about Demaryius Thomas. But he nuked a lot of teams last week. I feel like the overcorrection will return this week for DT. Peyton has historically lost to the Chargers, but he finds a way to put up some points. The secondary is depleted, so this is going to be a great week for Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to get back.
I look at Charles Johnson and I want to play him. He's the guy we wanted CP to be. The matchup isn't as tough as you would believe. The Lions are about in the middle when it comes to fantasy points allowed to receivers over the last month. The rookie just needs to get him the ball only once. (And maybe Chuck can hold on to it near the goal-line.)
ImageSPOILERS for "Sons of Anarchy" and I have to say, an absolutely great finale. Very few surprises (much like championship weekend in the NCAA), but still enough to keep you entertained. I believe we all knew what the "Final Ride" would be. There was no escape. It was beautifully written. Had some subtle humor: "Who are you?" And homage to those who had already fallen: "I've got this." I hope you loved it as much as I did. I really didn't believe they could top the penultimate episode. But Kurt Sutter sure found a way to do it.
ImageSPOILERS for "Sons of Anarchy" right here. I do feel I wasn't too far off in my prediction. Even though the journals were burnt, Abel still has his father's ring. Which will make him curious about the club in the future. Plus, the kid can't help but to have a few issues. He's going to want the truth about his father. In addition to all of that, he's going to grow up in Norco, California which is just about the worst possible place you can live. I only wish that on my worst enemies, who just happen to currently reside in Norco, so that's all good.
ImageI'm pretty much down with whatever Kurt Sutter wants to do with my Tuesday nights for the next seven years. I will appreciate a prequel to the Original Nine, which can't help but be awesome. In the meantime, I will prepare myself for the final season of "Justified" and be ready to finally catch up with "The Flash" which is burning a hole in my DVR.
The biggest beneficiary in Chicago will be Martellus Bennett who has been targeted a ton over the past couple of weeks. Those targets should continue again this week and be sure to keep him in your lineup.
Travis Kelce has frustrated fantasy managers all year. He's bad, he's good. He's bad, he's good. It's akin to The Big Show. You go from heel to face so many times, you tend to lose interest. Well, get interested in him again. He's due for a solid week.
Jimmy Graham has been awful over the past two weeks. If you have Graham and you've still managed to make it this far (and that's amazing), well, put him in your lineup one more time. I mean, he can't do this for three consecutive weeks, right?
Dwayne Allen sauntered back into our fantasy lives last week. And (stop me if you've heard this one before) if you're still playing after he ruined you last week; this is the week you can trust him.
ImageGood luck to the Chicago Cubs. I look forward to the day when baseball fans around the world grow to despise them much in the same way we have disdain for the Yankees and Red Sox. The Cubs have the front office and on-field manager to have a sustained run in the near future. And then we will sit around and say stuff like, "remember when we wanted the Cubs to win?"
ImageCongratulations to UNLV and new coach Tony Sanchez. I know it is a risk to go with a high school coach. But those out in the Valley really like this move and the Rebels needed this shot in the arm and I have a great feeling this is going to work out pretty well.
That's right; the most exciting news in football in quite some time is the arrival of Johnny Football. I'm not going to try to talk you out of starting him. This is fantasy and it is supposed to be fun, so do what makes your heart happy. But all of the names you see below Johnny Manziel right here are guys I would bench in favor of the Cleveland Browns rookie. And I will do my best to give you some justification, just so you're prepared if your friends make fun.
Why is Johnny Football still getting questions about his height? These are the kind of idiotic questions typically reserved for Super Bowl Media Day. And a word of the wise, editors on this story: Be careful with your headlines.
You can pretty much release Colin Kaepernick right now. There is no reason to even keep him on your roster. He should be the guy you drop for Manziel. How many times can this guy have a favorable matchup and fail to deliver? I don't believe it's his fault, either. I mean, when Mark Davis calls you out for being a dumpster fire, well, there aren't a lot of things going in your favor. So save yourself the frustration and let him go.
Andy Dalton has scored more than 19 points only once on the road this season. But if I can go out on a limb, I will say this. Red Dalton will have positive points this week. That's right, Dalton will have positive points! (He had negative points the last time.)
Alex Smith has topped more than 20 fantasy points only once this season. He's passed for fewer than 290 yards in each of his five career games against the Oakland Raiders. What's weird is the Raiders and the Chiefs have trended in different directions. I almost want to pick the Raiders to win this game. But I just can't. But it will be closer than you think.
I would still leave Derek Carr on the bench, though. He's been the best rookie QB so far this season, no doubt. But Arrowhead can be very tough and loud, he could be eaten alive.
ImageWait, did you guys watch that "Eaten Alive" special on Discovery? What a huge letdown. That wasn't even like a little violent at all. He got some arm discomfort and called it a day? Not that I wanted him to get hurt, but he's the one who wanted to get into the belly of the beast, literally. BTW, the guy going into the snake looked way too much like Seth Rollins. Tripped me out.
And please don't ask me how I know what Madden blowouts against four-year olds look like. Let's just say that sometimes it's an uncle's duty to give some life lessons to his nephew.
Can we just fast forward to the part of the program where Carlos Hyde is the top running back in San Francisco? He's already topped my list for top sleepers headed into the 2015 season.
The Patriots have had four different guys lead the team in rushing this season. You might want to check my math, but I believe it's like 86 guys have had rushing touchdowns. Or it just seems that way. I don't want to officially endorse a Patriots running back, but if there is one guy you need to start this week, I would go with LeGarrette Blount.
I don't know if you guys caught Terrance West the other day, either. He looked good in spurts. He seems like he could easily be somebody's top back. I don't know what he could fetch in the trade market, but he's somebody I would like to see get a chance next season. Yep, I clearly won't drop this, either.
ImageHas Sting been on RAW yet? I haven't even bothered to watch. It's become that bad. Even the Slammy Awards can't get me fired up, either. If somebody can tell me how Brock Lesner didn't win superstar of the year, I would love to hear it. The guy ended The Undertaker's streak and destroyed John Cena. That should win it right there.
ImageThere is even a PPV this week and I'm not even excited for it. The whole Lesnar thing might actually be a detriment. But it doesn't matter because the WWE already has my money because I purchased the network and it does have some awesome programming on it.
ImageThe greatest thing to happen last week was the way Jeff Fisher trolled Washington when he sent out the players who were acquired in the RG3 trade to be captains. Even the Washington staffers hadn't clued in and sent it out on Vine. I'm a heel, but I want more stuff like this in football. Harmless fun.
ImageThe most under-reported story of the year, to me, is the fact no Chiefs receivers have scored a touchdown this year. In fact, we just passed the anniversary of the last time a Chiefs receiver scored a touchdown. (I think it was Dante Hall.) But seriously, this is like something out of the 1940s. The NFL has basically become Madden football to benefit guys like Peyton Manning so for me, this is the most amazing record of the season. Truly mind bending.
We need to find a way to play a fantasy game where you try to fade big-name guys who wouldn't perform well. Because my pick would be Michael Crabtree this week. Here's the thing. Crabtree scored one point in his last game against the Seahawks. I would have taken the under on that one. Maybe even negative points.
ImageThe college football committee got it right. The four best teams will play for the national championship. It was kind of funny how championship weekend was kind of a letdown. I mean, we expected a ton of upsets or something crazy and got none of it. Unless you count Ohio State's huge win as an upset. It was kind of like waiting for the finale of your favorite show and then getting nothing. I'm looking at you "Dexter".
ImageSPOILER for "Sons of Anarchy" the person I feel the worst about in the whole finale was August Marks. Dude, he told you not to mess with him. He told you not to mess with the Chinese. The look on his face as he sat there, bullet riddled was all, "What the [expletive] is wrong with you? I just wanted to make some money with some real estate holdings in Oakland and I would have protected your butt and this is what you do to me?" He should have been Fortinbras. And one small complaint, I mean even Alvarez uses the phrase "blowback?" These guys hung out way too much.
Why won't the NCAA let 10-team divisions have a championship round? The Big XII should added BYU and Cincinnati. I'm sure Boise State will be considered. But I selfishly want the Broncos to remain in the Mountain West. Although, if the Big XII wants to make a huge push, why not add San Diego State and UNLV? That would be a huge boon for the conference basketball wise. And then you have two more cupcakes for your football teams to pad its record against. At least until Tony Sanchez has UNLV as a powerhouse!
Am I wrong to want six games to win the NFC South? It truly would be best for football. With everything that has gone on this season, a six-team division winner would be the best. Plus with all of the self-important experts condemning such things would make it even better for me.
Just for poops and giggles, I went to see if Vernon Davis is still held in any of my fantasy leagues. And he's available in 96 percent of fantasy leagues. I'm kidding. He should be but he's actually held in close to 80 percent of leagues. What the front door is this? Davis hasn't scored more than 2.6 fantasy points since he had 3.0 in Week 6. That was his third-highest total of the season. He had like 17 points in the first week, and then he went 3.6 in Week 2. And then this whole season happened. But close to 80 percent of you have continued to hold him. For what? He's got Seattle this week. This is a no-go.
I'm going to allow Coby Fleener to go back to curtain-jerker status now that Allen is back healty and ready to go. Fleener had 56 receiving yards last week and the slide should continue down. He will now exist only to vulture points from our guy, Allen.
ImageCongratulations to Wisconsin on becoming a stepping-stone program. You lose a coach to the SEC, well, that is kind of understandable. (Though I thought Wisconsin was a better gig than Arkansas.) But you just lost a dude to Oregon State. I like Corvallis, Oregon, but this was kind of a shocker.
ImageThe Hot Stove League is so much fun. This is the time of year I miss covering baseball. (Not during the actual season mind you.) The best joke I saw Thursday night (sorry, I lost the tweet) was the Dodgers are going to be super bummed when they make all of these trades an inadvertently end up with the exact same roster. One guy they will have, however, is Howie Kendrick. A favorite of Reader Matt P. I hope this one works out because it sucks to lose a fan favorite we grew on the farm. Bummer.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 300K followers. Me? Just 14. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (if you're RG3). And if you follow me on Sundays, I'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. I've started to mute people who ask me questions at that time.