What we are talking about:
This week's QB of the year
Robert Griffin III
Dude, what happened to you?
He was awesome, just want more
In addition to time with family, there were a lot of fantasy relevant players going on Thursday. I mean, you always get a large number of players going with three games. But at least in the past couple of years we've had the Raiders or some team going that gave us a bit of a break. Instead we had six fantasy-relevant quarterbacks on the docket.
With that in mind, here are some random thoughts I had in my mind as I watched "Maleficent" with the kids late into the evening.
- The Chicago Bears looked like they had a great game plan. For one drive. And then they seemingly made few adjustments. Matt Forte struggled a bit, but that was only because the Bears decided to not even try to run the ball against the Lions. Brandon Marshall had another poor game, but I wouldn't give up on him yet. He's still a WR2 with home run potential. Martellus Bennett made a huge impact for the first time in weeks, it seemed like. So that was a pleasant surprise.
- Twitter sure was quiet after Mark Sanchez smoked the Cowboys. Actually, I have no idea if it was or not. My sister-in-law gives me the evil eye if I go for the phone during the afternoon. And the Baby Jordy Nelson actually started to play games on my phone during this game, which was actually a nice respite. I will only imagine the web was very complimentary of Sanchez and the game-plan employed by Chip Kelly. I said it on Fantasy Live earlier in the day, the short week would favor the Eagles offense.
- I'm with you, Richard Sherman. As a youngster who grew up just a bike-ride away from Anaheim Stadium (home of your Los Angeles Rams and California Angels), you would think I would have a big grudge against the Raiders. And actually, yeah, I do. Those carpetbaggers moved to Southern California in the early 1980s and won a Super Bowl which is something the Rams never did, so there was that. But I had the most disdain for the San Francisco 49ers. By the time I was old enough to realize what was going on, the 49ers had four Super Bowl titles. And their fans in Anaheim certainly weren't gracious.
- I will admit I missed the whole postgame deal in Santa Clara, but that was kind of funny. I understand Sherman can be very derisive, but I like the guy. But then again, I've long rooted for the heels in professional wrestling. Which is kind of strange since I support some of the most beloved sports teams in the world, starting with the Los Angeles Lakers who nobody hates.
And without further ado ...
Wow, like I said, we had a bunch of fantasy relevant guys go on Thanksgiving, so there shouldn't be too many questions headed into Week 13. I mean, from my count, we had six guys who could have started in your fantasy league go on Turkey Day. And then when you factor in the gang of usual suspects at the top of the rankings like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck combined with the lack of bye weeks, you shouldn't have too many questions about your quarterbacks. So I'm going to plow through most of the fantasy relevant guys and hopefully jump to the wrestling soon.
Ryan Tannehill is going to be this week's "dude we're all onboard with who ends up (expletive) our season" quarterback of the week. But he's been pretty special over the last couple of weeks. And the matchup against the New York Jets is so good; it is really starting to scare me. Because the Jets can't be this bad forever, right? Might as well just start scouting for next year.
Ben Roethlisberger isn't the six-touchdowns-a-game guy. He's the guy who allowed his running back to go get 200 rushing yards. Which is awesome in real life. But we need some fantasy magic here in Week 13. Thankfully, he has the Saints who have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Plus the Saints create absolutely zero interceptions.
ImageHow many of you cursed when Brees threw the last-second touchdown to Jimmy Graham on Monday night? Were you as creative as Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow who staged a curse-off on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"? That was pretty impressive right there. I know you would expect Kudrow to have a bit of a dirty mouth, but I can imagine Aniston cursing like a sailor, too.
ImageI'm still reeling over the final moments of "Homeland" this week. I just about punted the show (and I sat through the disaster of Season 3), but I'm glad I stayed the course. If I was judging it like a college football playoff, I might have nudged it ahead of "Sons of Anarchy" this week. And you know how much I loved "Sons" last week. Considering these are the only two shows I keep up with on the reg and don't binge, I don't think I've seen a better week of scripted TV. If you bailed on "Homeland" use this two-week break to catchup immediately. Do it on Black Friday.
C.J. Anderson is going to be a huge question mark to me. The Chiefs have been great against the run this year, the letdown against Latavius Murray and the Raiders notwithstanding. I'm going to start Anderson over a guy with a good matchup like Tre Mason because I just trust a Broncos running back. I just wouldn't be able to live with myself if Anderson had another great game.
I really hope Alfred Blue gets another chance to redeem himself. I endorsed Blue a ton over the past week and, well, it didn't bode well. But just so you know, I started him in my leagues, too. I don't advocate guys I wouldn't be willing to play myself. (Not an indictment on anybody.)
Justin Forsett has been the goods. And while it would be ridiculous to expect another 30-point performance, you will need to roll with him again this week. He's had at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games. Great production from a top-draft pick, much less a dude you plucked off the waiver wire.
Jeremy Hill has been a monster over the last couple of weeks. I'm glad the Bengals did the smart thing and continued to feed the monster even though the incumbent returned from injury. This is a pretty decent matchup because the Bucs could have an emotional letdown after being fired up to play Lovie Smith's former team.
Rashad Jennings is going to be extremely valuable in PPR leagues because he gets a number of opportunities with the ball. His targets are pretty good and he should get some more carries.
Denard Robinson is still a good option. I know a lot of you want to write him off and have just been waiting. But don't be dissuaded by one bad week. He will be good for you this week.
Alfred Morris got a few goal-line looks last week. That was pretty amazing. Nothing makes fantasy enthusiasts yell more during your average Sunday than a running back about to get the Bud Kilmer treatment (credit my man James Koh for making that analogy on Twitter on Sunday).
ImageSting! It feels good to mark out again. I remember when federation defections were the norm (the nWo was my favorite time in wrestling), so it was refreshing to feel that way again. Thankfully, I didn't read the dirt sheets so I was able to squeal with delight when it happened (which scared the wife, Rosie McGeee). I was never a huge Sting guy because of my proclivity to cheer the heels. But this was a moment in history and thankfully I saw it happen live. The WWE has done a pretty good job this year with "mark out" moments. Brock Lesnar's win in WrestleMania XXX, Brock's (donkey) kicking of Cena in SummerSlam and now this. Well done.
Belated congratulations to T.Y. Hilton. His postgame interview also hit home with me, too, so I'm very happy for him. That's the kind of stuff that would make me start him week after week, too. Thankfully he's very good at football so I won't do anything foolish.
I have to believe McCown spent his time on the bench with an eye on Mike Evans and he vowed to himself if he was ever to regain the starting gig he would throw it to the rookie over and over again. Evans has been on a tear lately, and I don't see it calming down any time soon.
Kelvin Benjamin can go ahead and score some points in the early part of the game if he wants to. Not that I mind the garbage-time points, because it is kind of fun. The matchup against the Vikings will probably lend itself to some early points, too. On a personal note, I have to bench KB even though I like him because I have C.J., Forsett and Crowell as my RBs and I had to flex one of those guys. I know, I know, first-world fantasy problems.
Josh Gordon has scored at least 12 fantasy points in every game he's started this season! My only complaints about him are that he gave up on a couple of routes which cost his quarterback a few picks. Other than that, he's fantastic and I have few complaints.
Demaryius Thomas has scored the most points among fantasy receivers this year and he's had at least 10 fantasy points in eight consecutive games. The even better news here is he's had a history of torching the Chiefs. I know, I know you're starting him in standard leagues. But think of him in your daily leagues, too.
ImageTime for Patrick's Corner. Our homepage editor **Patrick Crawley** (please follow him) has been given the chance to offer his Like/dislike for the week. Take it away, Patrick: The "Jurassic World" trailer. Chris Pratt. Riding a motorcycle. Surrounded by velociraptors. Unreal. Pratt could save any franchise at this point. Even the Jets.
ImageI was curious if the new Jurassic franchise would translate to younger kids and it looks so. Not only millennials like Patrick who likely watched the movies in his youth, but even the nieces and nephews are on board with this, too. But seriously, haven't we learned our lesson already about trying to genetically engineer dinosaurs? This isn't going to end well for us. Oh, and Judy Greer FTW.
ImageBefore you even ask, there is no chance I will purchase a ticket to see the trailer for Star Wars Episode VII. I believe I had to buy a ticket for "Wing Commander" to see it and we know how that turned out. Interesting side note, Freddie Prinze, Jr. was the star of "Wing Commander". He's currently the voice of Kanan Jarrus on "Star Wars Rebels".
Antonio Gates should be a solid play this week, too. The Ravens have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Rivers does have a nice matchup in this one, too. So there is hope Gates could get loose on this team. Hey, team coming off a big win on Monday night could be poised for a letdown.
ImageFriday college football is my favorite thing in the world. I love all of the rivalry games from the Duel in the Desert to the Egg Bowl. There is lots of cool (expletive) going on. You should take some time to enjoy it (after NFL Fantasy Live, of course).
ImageBTW Texas Christian, you're good. You will be in the Final Four. Can't you see the committee has played a long-con on the SEC? There is no way we get two SEC teams into this deal. You'd nuke the credibility in Year 1. So don't fret, you're good.
ImageStuffing should be a part of your weekly dinner rotation. Far too delicious to just be served once, or maybe twice a year. However the post-Thanksgiving holiday does lend itself to numerous sales which are pretty great for those who like to stock up and then enjoy for months on end.
I'm glad Aaron Rodgers set the record straight and called out those "idiot trolls" who thought he mocked the Minnesota Vikings with a postgame Grape Crush soda. I mean, we've all seen plenty of photos of Rodgers with a bottle of Grape Crush, right? (None exist on the internet, but sure, we'll roll with that.) Rodgers even went on to say he would never stoop to such things, even though his idiotic TD celebration is him hoisting an imaginary championship belt around his waist. A move so popular, it became an ad for State Farm. So yes, you're all idiots for thinking he was trolling people.
I'm scared of the Jets, but then I realize Geno Smith or Michael Vick will be the quarterback of this team this week against a pretty good Dolphins' defense. I know Rex Ryan will get fired, but is this really his fault? Would Bill Belichick be able to win with this lineup? I hardly think so. I can't wait to get Rex into a competent organization. Maybe the Los Angeles Rams next year?
Philip Rivers has a great matchup against the Ravens who have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last month. But I just can't trust Rivers this week. He's struggled in recent weeks, but it's not all his fault. The Chargers will use their fourth center of the season. Fourth! You would be hard-pressed to find many quarterbacks who could thrive with that.
You haven't paid attention if you believe I'm going to advocate Eli Manning against my friends down in Duval County, Florida. (I won't even put in the name for fear it highlights and you think I don't like them.) But Sacksonville has been pretty tough on quarterbacks this season and really got after Andy Luck last week. The Bridge Brigade is tough at home, so if you know what's good for you, bench Eli.
If you're brazen enough to go with Andy Dalton this week, I'm all for it. Of the quarterbacks mentioned above, he would be the one I would have the most confidence in. The numbers might lead you to believe the matchup isn't as great as you would think. But consider that the Bears just didn't throw last week in the second half because the defense(!) created a bunch of turnovers which led to short fields, so this probably is a good matchup.
We can't really advocate LeGarrette Blount this week. I mean, we've kind of cracked the running back code for the Patriots. At least we can take a stab at the game plan. But the Packers have been stunningly good against running backs this year, which kind of surprises me. But it's in Lambeau Field where the Packers D just plays better so I'd give the Pats RBs a pass.
Latavius Murray was a revelation and one of our preseason Rank's 11 guys. We knew it was just a matter of time before he got his opportunity. I expect St. Louis to be much tougher for him this week. Especially at home, too. St. Louis is going to be able to game plan for Murray and I'm afraid they will answer him. Murray will be this week's version of Jonas Gray.
Trent Richardson just had to take that touchdown opportunity, right? How bad has it become when Richardson is viewed as the touchdown vulture for a guy who was way down the list on the team's depth chart to start the season? It's rather stunning when you stop to think about it.
Arian Foster has a great matchup this week. Oh, I would play him. But I hold Blue in all of my leagues because I wouldn't touch Foster headed into the season. So I selfishly want Foster to kick back and take the rest of the year off. No need to rush back or anything, Arian. Take it easy.
Ryan Mathews is going to be tough to trust this week. He did really well against a tough matchup last week with St. Louis. But the revolving door at center not only hurts Rivers at quarterback, it could have a big impact in the running game, too. Plus, the Chargers held him out at times last week against the FC, so I really just get uneasy when I watch the Chargers' O.
Giovani Bernard returned to the Bengals last week, but it's clear Hill has passed him by. Bernard would be good as a complimentary back and the distribution should lean towards Hill each and every week. But that's only if the Bengals want to win. And before you assume that, you might want to reconsider when you think about the amount of money they threw at Red Dalton.
Wouldn't it be cool if Andre Williams was like, "Nah, coach. Let Rashad have this goal-line look because I have him on my fantasy team?" Oh well, I guess I can keep dreaming about that.
ImageWhere was Sting on RAW? Why were we left hanging? That might have been the ultimate bait-and-switch moment of the evening. And seeing Daniel Bryan now just gives me the sads. But that might have been one of the worst follow-ups to a shocking moment in wrestling history. Every time I want to give credit to the WWE for doing something great (and this was great), it finds a way to retreat like a glacier. Even the Anonymous Raw General Manager was fun for a moment, but then it just made me sad once again because they blew off the angle years ago with a Hornswaggle reveal. This doesn't leave me with confidence in Dolph Ziggler's impending push.
ImageAnd why did John Cena have to come out and hug Ziggler at the end of the match? Oh yeah, it's John Cena so what else would he be doing? Maybe we could have Face Ziggler going up against Heel Cena in the Main Event of WM31. I mean, he's the only one who can bring back Trips.
Vincent Jackson is also another veteran I can't trust, this time being cast aside by a huge rookie. If this was wrestling, Jackson would eventually just turn and waffle Evans with a metal folding chair to start his run as a heel before they eventually teamed back up again down the road.
ImageSorry to go back to the wrestling (not really), but what can Cesaro do to get to the top of the card? I was there at WrestleMania XXX and he might have been the most-over guy not named Daniel Bryan (although he's actually named Brian Danielson, but details). Cesaro is just too good. He's like the receiver who never gets thrown to, but you start him anyway because he's just too damn good.
Dwayne Bowe has fewer than 10 fantasy points in every game this season. Don't act like you're surprised to read that. He's also had no touchdowns in 11 of the 13 career games he's played against the Broncos. If you care about that sort of thing. I only do when it proves the point I'm trying to make. At least I'm honest about it.
ImageTime for Patrick's Corner. Our homepage editor Patrick Crawley (please follow him) has been given the chance to offer his Like/dislike for the week. Take it away, Patrick: Earl Thomas' anti-sunflower seed stance. How dare you defame the salty snack of our childhoods? I know your anger is your power, Earl, but what did sunflower seeds ever do to you?
ImageI'm going to have to agree, what's the beef with seeds? I have to imagine if you asked Russell Wilson, he would prefer coach Pete Carroll chew sunflower seeds all day instead of chomping on gum into his headset for three hours on Sunday. Seriously, how much gum do you think Carroll goes through in a day? It's got to be a pretty epic rate.
ImageI noticed when I looked up the trailer for Wing Commander that along with Freddie, the movie also starred Matthew Lillard, too. Were they trying to make Prinze Jr. and Lillard a thing back in the late 1990s? They did "She's All That" and "Scooby Doo" and "Summer Catch" together, so it had to be, right? Maybe if Freddie was in the original "Scream" they could have been a team like Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn.
Kyle Rudolph has been kind of a disappointment since his return. Kind of hard to trust him to get back into your lineup right now.
ImageBTW, I know a lot of people have been irked because the SEC plays some easy opponents during the middle of November. But what about USC this week playing some weak-ass independent team after Thanksgiving?
ImageI don't know if you saw the news but top football recruit Cordell Broadus, the son of rapper Snoop Dogg, isn't so high on USC after the loss to UCLA. Oh man. Broadus plays at the renowned Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. And hey, why can't you go to UNLV? Stay home and represent, young man!
ImageI don't want to cramp your Black Friday shopping. But if you're one of those folks who goes out and shops at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, you should shake yourself. At least think of the poor retail worker who has to cut their holiday short because you had to hit up the door busters. And if that doesn't do it, this will.
For the record, I stopped following Star Wars on Twitter because I didn't want any spoilers. I caved in like for seconds and watched the trailer on YouTube. Well, I figured I'd do it after I had a couple of belts one night, so might as well do it now.
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.