What we are talking about:
Poised for a huge game
Robert Griffin III
Super savvy in social media
The spirit of the show lives on
He's back and you can't wait to start him. Not that anybody would blame you, either. You patiently stood by him for months. You defended him. You protected him on your roster. You refused to part ways with him and even went without a defense one week even though injuries ravaged your roster. Because it is Josh Gordon and he's worth it.
The excitement of this, too, is unbelievable. I can't remember this type of excitement for a return since "Star Wars: Episode I." Oh wait, bad example. This is a happy time. We're not going to think about any of that nonsense. No need to let bad thoughts rush in. Josh Gordon is back everybody!
Whew, back to our happy place.
Well as happy as you can be when Brian Hoyer is your quarterback. I kid, I kid. I know Hoyer isn't the prototypical quarterback, but Gordon has played well with other quarterbacks. Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell helped propel Gordon to great success last year. So there is that. And you know offensive coordinator Norv Turner can't wait to have Gordon back for sure. He's going to dial up a bunch of plays for Gordon and I'm sure he's just as excited as the rest of us.
Oh wait, Turner is in Minnesota now. Who is the offensive coordinator in Cleveland now? Give me a moment to check that out.
Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator in Cleveland. (Expletive)
Hang on, hang on. There is no need to be too concerned about this. I mean, he's not like his dad, right? He would never think of tinkering and over-thinking his roster, right? Just look at his running back distribution. Oh wait, don't look at any of that. (Expletive)
Son of a gun. Well, this is actually a good thing. No, no stick with me. Stick with me. The name #Shanahanigans has a bad connotation in the world of fantasy football. There is no denying that. But this is a chance for Kyle to make it a good thing. The next generation of fantasy footballers could one day look back at #Shanahanigans as if it's the best thing ever. Like the "Clone Wars". Everybody loved the "Clone Wars," right? So here is the bullet-proof plan to make #Shanahanigans something awesome.
Throw. It. To. Josh. Gordon.
And that's it!
You open the game with three consecutive passes Gordon. Well, if you need that many. Then the next series, you throw the ball to Josh Gordon some more. I don't care if the Falcons double-cover him. I don't care if the Falcons triple-cover him. I don't care if the Falcons move Stone Mountain in front of Gordon, you force it to him.
I don't even want to think about a world where we've stuck by Gordon this long and the Browns don't immediately go after him. And yeah, don't give me the (expletive) about the Browns competing for a playoff spot. That's a cute story and all, but here's the news: You aren't going to the Super Bowl. My fantasy team could win a Super Bowl. So let's do the right thing here, Shanahan. Throw the ball to Gordon. We deserve this.
None of this is going to happen, right? Gordon is going to become a decoy like Megatron and we're all going to sit here like a bunch of suckers. But here's my final thought on this. If you've waited this long on Josh, you might as well start him this week. I fear the Browns will make a play for him deep and misconnect which will set a bad tone. But damn, I'd hate to have him on the bench if he has another one of his 200-yard performances. That'd be the worst.
And without further ado ...
How do I not know better when it comes to Jay Cutler? This is the kind of matchup where we all kind of agree Cutler is a great and should do well. But what have expectations done for Cutler this season? This is the kind of matchup where I could see Cutler rising to the moment and playing well. And yet, if I'm sitting here with negative points on Sunday afternoon, that wouldn't surprise me either. In other words, I'm not helping at all.
Josh McCown is going to be great, too. This is big for him, but also huge for Lovie. So expect the effort of the year against the Bears. McCown has made the most out of Mike Evans, too. That's all McCown needs to do; throw it to his big and talented receivers. I mean, have you ever played Madden? Just drop back 30 yards and let it fly.
Dr. Jerry Jones has proclaimed the bye week has been great for Tony Romo. How can we not be encouraged by this? At least Romo has history on his side here. Romo has won seven of eight against the Giants with a passer rating of 114.6. That's 17 TDs and just three picks. Romo also has a pretty rad playoff schedule, too.
I'd go Mark Sanchez over Stafford this week. I knew not to push my luck on Sanchez last week. The combination of Dom Capers and Lambeau Field pretty much doomed him. Well, the good news is that hacky-Twitter joke crafters had a familiar target to lean on. And the good news for the rest of us is Sanchez has a nice matchup and should rebound nicely.
Image"Sons of Anarchy" SPOILER. "After all she did, the lies, the death, and the wreckage, I still love her, you know. she's my mom." What an amazing episode. With all the body counts and joy rides, credit to Kurt Sutter for allowing his cast to really begin to put the final exclamation point on this series. The writing was really good but cheers to (in no particular order) Charlie Hunnam, Theo Rossi, Katey Sagal and Jimmy Smits. The room did get a little dusty when Nero found out the truth. (Expletive!) His scene with the phone was a perfect combination of breath taking and heart breaking. If this show doesn't win any Emmys this year, they should drop the awards.
Image"Homeland" SPOILER Well if you want to talk about people acting their (donkey) off, I suppose we should mention Mandy Patinkin. Holy smokes, when he decided to give it all up near the fountain, again the room was very dusty (maybe I should clean). And then when he cursed Carrie as he was being taken away, holy (expletive), you could really feel the disdain. Maybe it's because I've disappointed my own father so much, but I could feel that.
About the only thing not going wrong in Washington right now is Alfred Morris. He has averaged 87 yards and scored three touchdowns in his last three. If you want to make your quarterback better, lean on Freddy. He's why Washington made it to the playoffs his rookie year.
Isaiah Crowell out snapped his running mates by a 5-1 margin. I expect him to be the one who continues to see the majority of the work. Plus he was the preferred goal-line back, which was nice. His five touchdowns are tied for the most among rookies.
I'm not going to play Jonas Gray this week, but I'm stoked to find out he did standup comedy. I smell an offseason Fan Pass idea for me. I think the two of us hitting the stage at Flappers in Burbank, Calif. needs to happen. Who else would be in for that?
C.J. Anderson is now the top running back in Denver with the other two guys injured. So that could only mean a heavy-dose of Juwan Thompson. I'm only partially kidding. But I have a good feeling about Anderson, somebody we've talked about extensively and really looked like the best fit for that offense.
Justin Forsett leads all running backs with 5.4 yards per rush. He's going to be that guy who is on a large percentage of fantasy championship teams. And seriously, Cal running backs!
ImageI do like the four-team college playoff looming on the horizon. But we need to figure out which 64 teams are going to play for the title and move them into four 16-team conferences. Each conference has a championship game and those four winners makeup the playoff. Then you don't need polls or committees; you let everything get decided on the field.
ImageFor the record, as much as everybody lauds the SEC West, the PAC-12 South currently has more ranked teams. And if Oregon State didn't exist only to ruin the competitors of its own division, we might have two PAC-12 schools in the top four.
ImageI don't like, I love the college hoops marathon. I get that it has to be done during the week because it can't compete with college football. But how great would it be to do that during a weekend in February when you're begging for sports? That said, I think I'm ditching on that day next year. Wait, I probably shouldn't have spilled that. My bad.
Oh man, I was a little concerned about Mike Evans earlier in the season. But dude has been much better as of late. McCown deserves a lot of credit because he's targeted Evans a ton since he's returned as the starter. Seriously dude, just do the Madden thing where you drop back 20 yards and just fling it to the guy, he's pretty special. Although, I was kind of concerned he said he'd rather have Randy Moss' career instead of Anquan Boldin's. But minor details.
I know there is a lot of snow in Buffalo. I mean a lot of snow. But I still like Sammy Watkins this week. Don't worry; offenses continue to put up huge points in the snow. It actually gives receivers an advantage because at least they know where they are going.
Image"Survivor Series" is this weekend. One of my favorite PPVs of the year. I mean, it's in my Top 12 for sure. Of course I can't do justice to my man Brandon Stroud who laid out the greatest fantasy booking of all time in his Best and Worst of RAW column. If you're a fan of the WWE and not an avid reader of this column, we can't be friends. BTW, Luke Harper is threatening to be my favorite wrestler on the show. Well, in a world where Damien Sandow doesn't exist, mind you.
ImageSpeaking of scripted sports, ESPN will do a "30-for-30" on "I hate Christian Laettner" in March. You know who didn't hate Laettner? The NCAA, which gave Duke a gift against UNLV when it had the referees call a phantom charging call on Greg Anthony. That Running Rebels team was the best in college basketball history, and it's a travesty the NCAA wanted to run Jerry Tarkanian out of college basketball to let all of the other shysters get way with the (expletive) they do now.
Larry Donnell is back on the radar as Eli targeted him a ton last week. Well, not as much as Eli targeted opposing defenders. But the increase was significant enough for me to take notice of him.
ImageOur homepage editor Patrick Crawley has been invited to partake in the festivities, take it away Patrick: The camaraderie in Buffalo. Mario Williams snowplowing Jim Kelly's yard. Doug Marrone helping stuck motorists. The snow is bringing out the best in everyone. We should all have such good neighbors.
You have to admit, Buffalo has one of the best communities going. People helping people, you have to love it.
ImageIf you're a fan of "Happy Endings" you'll be thrilled to know Casey Wilson continues to kill it in "Marry Me". But the best surprise was finding Eliza Coupe in "Benched" on USA. She's the best. Actually, she's returned to our TV like Josh Gordon will this week. If Gordon is half as good as Eliza in her new show, then we have nothing to worry about.
The main takeaway I have from the Robert Griffin III saga in our nation's capital is this; RGIII still uses Facebook! Dude, you're the first (expletive) millennial to play quarterback in the NFL, have some pride man. You only need Facebook to keep in touch with your parents and their friends. Imagine the headlines this week when RGIII takes to MySpace or Friendster to demand a trade! Although, it's not like he's using Google+, that would just be weird.
I thought we as a society had moved past the phrase "throw under the bus." But since RGIII loves Facebook so much, I guess we shouldn't be surprised. BTW RGIII loves comic books (that's kind of cool). His super power should be the ability to summon buses to throw at his foes, similarly to the way Aquaman can summon sea life. (Nope, I won't highlight Aquaman because he's cool and I do like him.)
Ryan Tannehill has been on fire in recent weeks, as he's thrown 13 touchdowns and just five picks in his last seven. And the Dolphins have won of four of their last five. But I can't trust him in Denver this week. The Broncos should rebound after the disaster in Missouri. They aren't that bad and they will really put it to the Dolphins.
Do you think Cooper Manning secretly enjoyed it when Eli Manning and his brother combined for seven picks on Sunday? A little bit, right? I'm not too bummed on Eli this week. He does have nine touchdowns and three picks in his last three against the Cowboys. He's just outside the QB1 conversation for me.
Brian Hoyer has a nice matchup, but I just can't do it. Even with Gordon back on the team, I still don't see him being a dynamic quarterback. In fact, I could see Hoyer being so hyper to get Gordon into the mix, he kills some drives from a lack of chemistry with his new BFF or worse, he makes a couple of mistakes trying to force the issue.
Andy Dalton went from complete dog (expletive) to best quarterback in the universe all in the span of just 10 days. But you never know when we're going to get Bad Andy. He's always lurking like a buffering commercial on a YouTube video. You think you're cool and then boom! A 30-second Cialis commercial.
Ryan Mallett made a huge impression during his first start, but let's see what happens when there is a little bit of tape on this guy. As Jay Novacek once told me, "Adam, never name drop. And second, young quarterbacks like this can have good games like this since nobody has seen them before." We just need to remember Austin Davis to see how this will probably end.
Did you see this jerk move from a Saints fan? What the French Quarter was that all about? I understand being upset with opposing fans. But save the vitriol for the Cowboys fan. Now you're just the bag who takes a penny and never leaves one. You're the guy who posts spoilers on Twitter. Your the guy who doesn't let kids get their ball after it goes over your fence. Literally.
Image"Sons of Anarchy" SPOILER "Don't say you're sorry, don't say anything." How much money do you suppose Jax invests in white T-shirts. They are so white, I have to assume he wears one shirt and then dispossess of it. And nice abs, too. I'm glad between all of extortion and murder, he still has time to get in his P90x. Although, Sutter does pay attention to the small details because Red Woody does have an incline bench press, so it is conceivable Jax knocks out some reps between revenge plots. (I had this same problem with the fat guy not losing weight on "Lost" too.)
ImageI caught a couple of early episodes of "Friends" after "Sons of Anarchy" to bring me down. Early "Friends" is good. It seems tame now, but it was more risqué than an 8 p.m. show was back in the 90s. But you also forget Chandler was actually sports savvy in the early years (even carrying a basketball and wearing an And 1 shirt), but was completely neutered by the end of the series as a person who knew nothing about sports. How hard is it to maintain a character's motivation and lineage?
Trent Richardson is the new No. 1 in Indianapolis. Forgive me if I don't seem too excited. Even the PR guy who sends out "happy news" previews really had to strain to find something positive about Richardson. I'd rather have Boom Herron.
Same deal with Giovani Bernard. He's a nice complementary piece, but I like Hill so much better in this offense. I won't start Gio when he returns.
There is no bigger fan of Terrance West than me. But I need to see him increase his snap count. There is no guarantee he's going to see an increase in workload this week.
Look, if you need a deep waiver-wire stash, then you make a move for Juwan Thompson. He will likely take some carries from C.J. Not enough to try to start him though. You just can't do it.
ImageI have a feeling the NCAA playoff committee is working us. The whole thing is at work. The only reason we have Alabama at No. 1 and Mississippi State at No. 4 is to keep people off their case. I mean, if you had just one SEC team in the top four, the Southern fans would lose their (expletive). This way, you keep those fans happy before you finally spring the December surprise on them in a couple of weeks. The whole thing is genius actually. Because an SEC fan would never admit its teams aren't the best. But anybody who watched Mississippi State objectively knows that team isn't top 10 material.
ImageAnd for the record, Alabama could have beat that team by 80 but Nick Saban called off the dogs from the beginning to do a solid for the conference. That stuff goes away if you do my 16-team mega conference things idea.
Vincent Jackson seems to have taken a backseat to Evans. He hasn't scored since Week 4, and if it wasn't for a favorable matchup against Chicago, well, he wouldn't even be on the map this week. The Bucs really should have traded him when they had the chance. Though having him opposite Evans helps the Bucs, just not your fantasy club.
Michael Crabtree still exists! But yeah, I'm sure not many of you had him in your starting lineup. He probably started only for those dead teams in your league which drafted a team but hasn't been back since.
Every Kenny Britt touchdown this season will be of the "That Helps No One" variety because I can't get mixed up in this nonsense. It's a one-hit wonder up there with the likes of Harvey Danger. I know it's paranoia and not everybody is out to get my team, but still.
Ah man, I don't like Larry Fitzgerald's history against the Seattle Seahawks. They play really well against the bigger receivers. It's the smaller, more elusive guys who tend to give them the most, uh, fits. Yeah, I already hate myself for writing that. Not enough to go back and change it, mind you. Because that would be easy. So really, by leaving it in there, I don't hate it that much.
ImageMy man Brandon laid out the worst Survivor Series teams of all-time. I was prepared to be upset because I just figured Team Alliance wouldn't be included because it had a team of all-stars which included Kurt Angle and Stone Cold Steve Austin. But he had it in there. I would have given it the worst. Angle was a WWF guy all the way. Austin was fired by WCW. So it never made sense. Plus, the WCW-invasion angle was never going to work because Vince would never put WCW in the same class as the Federation which pretty much nuked everything before you start. So if that's your mindset headed in, why not have the WWF bury Tommy Dreamer, Tazz, DDP and Booker T to prove once and for all show that the Federation was the best ever?
ImageThe reason the nWo angle worked so well was because most of us were WWF fans and we thought our product was better than WCW to begin with. The idea of two WWF superstars going down to WCW to own everybody seemed realistic. That's why a WCW-invasion would never work. We never believed in their stars fully. Especially if there was no Sting. It could never work.
ImageI know it's a minor thing for me, but I'm not sure how I feel about Cesaro as a full-on bald dude. I kind of liked him with the receding hair line. It almost inspired me to grow my hair out to a similar length, but now I'm going to keep the chrome dome. BTW, I wear my Wyatt Family T-shirt in homage to Luke Harper now.
This all feels weird not to have Jason Witten lurking here in the dislike ledger. But the matchup is just way too good for him this week. So enjoy your vacation, Witten.
ImagePatrick's Corner: Parking lot standoffs. I want the spot. You want the spot. It's a zero-sum game and somehow nothing is off limits. Is there an uglier face than "you just stole my parking spot, I'm going to rip your face off" face?
ImageThe worst are the people who lot-hawk at the gym. I mean, I'm sorry you're going to have to do more exercise to get to the gym but maybe the few extra steps should just be seen as extra credit and you can about your business. I just don't get people some times.
ImageI can't tell you how thrilled I am Dwight Howard has started to get exposed as the fraud he is. I mean, Kevin Durant even called out Howard and his popcorn muscles recently. When the lanky and quiet Durant calls you out, you've got problems. I've long hoped the Lakers tank enough games to keep a top-five pick. But as long as we beat the Houston Rockets, every time we play them, well, we're good.
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.