What we are talking about:
He might be good at football
Injuries, inconsistencies, yikes
A double-turn for the ages
Ben Roethlisberger strikes me as the kind of guy who hits "maybe" on his Evite invitation. Because you know he just wants everybody to beg him to go to the event, because it just won't be the same without you, Ben! And that kind of stunt works fine when you're in your 20s. But once you get on the other side of 30, you start to have less time for that nonsense and you don't care.
Just recently, we planned a pub crawl for my friend's birthday (just because we are on the wrong side of 30 doesn't mean we're not too stupid to do such things). One couple was all, "hey we have plans and we won't be able to make it." Which was clearly the, "Please, convince us to go."
Nobody said anything. We were all like, "cool, have fun. Catch you on the flip, suckas." (And really, nobody talks enough about how great Skeletor is at trash talk. Look it up on the YouTube. He's great.)
But sure as (expletive), they reached on Wednesday and were all, "Well, plans changed. When are we meeting up?" Because you knew that was going to happen.
I feel like Ben is in a similar vein. He wants everybody to fawn all over him. He's fake retired. He's complained about his injuries. Even this week he said that he might have lost it (and then got mad at everybody for repeating his words). It's so reminiscent of HBK saying that he lost his smile. And I don't know if this means Psycho Sid becomes the next quarterback of the Steelers or not (I know Bret Hart held the title for a night, don't @ me). I can't tell you that.
But Ben is needy. And I think he got enough positive reinforcement this week to go out and have a pretty good game. Because this is classic Ben. He's on the road. He's got a tough-ish matchup. This is the circle-the-wagons type of game where Big Ben will thrive. I mean, he's going to throw some picks. He's going to play the classics. I mean, Blink 182 is going to play the hits. "Damn it" and "All the Small Things" and "Josie" and, wait, they don't play "Josie" anymore. But Ben will throw some picks as well as some bombs to Antonio Brown and all will be right with the world. You just need to deal with his passive aggressiveness. Again, I'm not saying you start him in anything more than a 14-teamer or something. But I do think he bounces back this week and isn't truly awful. Which, I know is setting the bar very, very low.
But this is where we are at with him. We just want him to not be awful.
And without further ado ...
Josh McCown has a passer rating over 100 in three of his last four games. He's got a great matchup against a struggling Patriots defense. The Pats D will turn it around (usually after they do something crazy like trading Malcolm Butler) and be solid. Not sure it's this week. For the Pats, that is. McCown is a good streaming option.
Alex Smith had one of his worst games against the Texans in Week 2 of 2016. I don't want to harp on it too much, because a lot has changed on the Chiefs side (like that dude Kareem Hunt). He's actually done some of his best work this year when under pressure, a stark contrast from earlier in his career.
Image Again, Brandon Stroud finds a way to sum this up better than anybody. But his breakdown of the Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens double-turn is absolutely gold. Read it. Enjoy it. It's one of those things (as Brandon explained) where the Smackdown Live team did a pretty great job of laying out essentially a long con. That when Sami had to finally explain what he did, it made perfect sense. The best turns always happen this way. Even Seth Rollins turning on The Shield back in the day made a little bit of sense. But not quite on this scale.
Image And The Shield reunion. I love it. I'm going to buy all of the merch because I didn't the first time because I thought it would be there forever. And it's crazy how over Roman Reigns is now. And I really hope RAW is as careful with his inevitable heel turn as they were with Zayn/Owens. Because Reigns has the chance to be the biggest heel in the industry when he turns and we'll probably get a "Die, Rocky Die" type of segment. Well, if he can pull it off. But I love seeing The Shield again.
Image BTW, God love Enzo Amore for making me dig this up. But his match was pretty great. As Brandon pointed out this week, RAW has become the go-to show for setting up stories and paying them off. It's been a while since I've felt RAW was the better show, but it's really damn good right now.
Tevin Coleman has scored close to 10 fantasy points per game this season. He's probably in consideration for your flex spot, and I play him because of his great offense.
Jerrick McKinnon played 66 percent of the snaps last week. The game against the Bears wasn't a fluke. He finished strong last year.
Image "Gotham" has been amazing so far this season. It was cool the first couple of seasons when they had these characters they had created just for the show. And the wife would always be like, "Is this guy from the comics?" And I'd have to be all, yes, "Alfred is from the comics." But now we are starting to see some the legendary characters arrive. It feels weird trying to avoid spoilers because you know who these people are, but damn, the biggies are starting to roll in.
T.Y. Hilton has become a solid receiver with Brissett because the signal caller isn't afraid to throw in tight coverage. Sixty percent of his throws to Hilton were in tight coverage over the last two weeks.
Will Fuller has four touchdowns on six receptions this season. If he ends up with 100 receptions this season, he'll surely break the record for touchdowns in a season. That's how trends work, right?
I don't feel like Tyreek Hill has been a monster every week. But still consistent enough to keep in your lineup weekly.
Evan Engram isn't really a tight end, but has the TE designation on your fantasy roster. I would imagine he becomes the most-targeted pass catcher on this club.
I'm really of the mind that Eli Manning will manage to have negative fantasy points this week. If your options are Eli or taking a zero, I might just leave the roster spot empty. Why risk it?
Matthew Stafford really concerns me. The injury isn't great. His touchdowns come in cluster games. The Saints defense isn't as bad as you imagine it. The Saints shutout the Dolphins in London. I know. Jay Cutler, LOLz. But the Saints have allowed the fewest points since Week 3 and fewest yards per game. And the Panthers (on the road) were one of those games.
Feeling really bummed for Sam Bradford. Looked so promising to start the season. He had been rather healthy the two previous years. But this looks bad. He wasn't himself on Monday night and it showed.
I love the way Jared Goff looked last week. In fact, you can read more about that here. As great as he's looked, I can't start him this week against the Jags. Not that defense. The Jags allow a lot of yards on the ground, but are tough on the pass. I could see this game lasting an hour because both teams will run the ball so much.
Jay Cutler. What the hell, man? I love you. But I feel like the guy who has to defend the person who everybody in the football world seems to hate. Don't do this to me. Maybe bare your bum, look out at the sea and drift off into the sunset. I'm not linking to that picture, though.
Brian Hoyer has scored at least 22 points in two of his last three. But (and I get confused who this is a revenge game for) I just can't do it this week. It just doesn't seem natural.
Image So, Jinder needs help against everybody on the WWE roster, but somehow is able to pin Nakamura clean. Oh boy. I've already fantasy booked Nakamura to face A.J. Styles in the Main Event of WrestleMania (I can dream) and this really isn't helping. Maybe it is, actually. The E loves to do things like where they have champions job all of the time before they go on an epic run. But damn, this doesn't feel right at all.
Image BTW, the WWE slapped a cease-and-desist letter against the Young Bucks for doing the "Too Sweet" hand gesture. And it also fired a backstage producer for appearing in a photo with the group during their "Invasion" back a few weeks ago. Can you be pettier? I would like to imagine the Young Bucks in NXT in the not-so-near future. I would love to believe this is an elaborate work that leads to the group showing up at War Games. I can dream!
Melvin Gordon keeps making me look the fool. Sunday was the first time I watched Gordon and thought he looked really great as a running back. He's still better as a receiver, because he's less inclined to run up his lineman's back. But keep doing what you do. I'll keep adding you here as motivation.
Amari Cooper has caught 13 of 33 targets this season, and his 39.4 percent reception percentage ranks last among 50 NFL players with at least 30 targets. Cooper also ranks last among that group in drop percentage (27.8 percent), receiving yards per target (3.6) and passer rating when targeted (34.7).
I do like that one of my friends from the UK tried to package Cooper to me. I'm now starting to think I need to do something like that to get back. That's right, I've had my worst luck in one league and nothing I do gets me out of the dumpster. So maybe I need to go grab Cooper.
ImageThis inevitable Yankees and Dodgers World Series is going to kill me. The Red Sox and Cardinals series were bad back in the day (as was the Cardinals/Rangers stuff) but this is going to be an all-timer.
I loved what I saw last week with Mitch Trubisky. It really does give me all of the feels for what is going to be a bright future. I really do believe that (even though I tilted like hell on draft night, so much so that I missed the Corey Davis pick). So I'm stoked. I don't think he's going to be a fantasy option this week. I would expect to see some heavy doses of Jordan Howard.
BTW, I really hate the fake-punt touchdown was wasted. I mean, it's not like many folks started Benny Cunningham. But I don't know why that touchdown doesn't count for the D/ST. It's clearly a special-teams play. I'm not sure if I have the answer, but I know people would have lost their stuffing had this been like the Jaguars defense or something that had a huge play like that not count for them.