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Like/Dislike: Welcome back, Ben Roethlisberger

What we are talking about:

  • Ben Roethlisberger

He's baaaaacckkkk! What's not to like?

  • Mike Evans

He should be fine, even in a bad matchup.

  • The end of RAW

Did you see it? It was awesome!


Those words danced around my Twitter timeline on Wednesday night. It was like a beacon of hope, like the R2 unit I just purchased from the Jawas just started playing an image of a young princess who said, "Save me Big Ben, you're my only hope."

The funny thing is, I don't have Roethlisberger on any of my rosters. Well, not directly anyway. I went all-in on Antonio Brown this season and, well, it hasn't worked out very well.

The first couple of weeks were amazing. By my rough estimate, Brown averaged about 68 points per week in standard leagues the first few games of the season. The first few weeks of Mike Vick were pretty rough.

The actual numbers (if you want to be literal) were bad. With Roethlisberger, Brown averaged close to 10 receptions and 145 yards per game, and scored two touchdowns in three games. He averaged just four receptions for 59 yards in the four games without him. And that was with 124 receiving yards against the Chiefs.

So yes, it was rather awful.

And I had to wear it pretty well, too. Brown (and to some extent Julio Jones) was the guy I touted all summer long. In one league I had had the fourth overall pick and went with Brown over some notable running backs, which included Eddie Lacy and Jamaal Charles. (If memory serves, Le'Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson too ... and geeze, who went third overall? Must have been Marshawn Lynch. Actually, come to think of it, I believe Lynch went first overall.)

But I had been the poster boy for Antonio Brown and I know there were some people who followed suit with me, too. And to my surprise, most people have been rather cool about the whole situation. Normally you get some folks who want to cause trouble and that's understandable. But people have been pretty chill for the most part during Ben's injury. Mostly because they know what is about to happen.

I would expect Brown to jump right back into the top of the fantasy WR rankings. I really do expect him to be the elite receiver we all used a very high first-round draft pick on. And that's really all we want in this situation, right? We want a guy who is going to finish strong. Which is exactly what is to be expected.

But be careful if you want to start Roethlisberger. The Steelers are 2-4 in games when Roethlisberger returns from injury with eight touchdown passes and seven interceptions. But hey man, if one of those touchdowns goes to Brown, then we're all cool.

I mean, he kind of owes us that, right?

A big hand to stats maven Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

Jay Cutler has scored at least 17 fantasy points in three consecutive games. Some might say he's (wait for it) smoking!

Aaron Rodgers has averaged roughly 22 fantasy points this year. This is going to be a tough matchup, but what else are you going to do?

Cam Newton has a great matchup against the Colts who allow a lot of passing yards. In addition, Cam has a rushing TD in seven of his last nine.

Russell Wilson was awful last week. But he should rebound this week in a "save the season" game against the Cowboys. I like Jimmy Graham, too.

Drew Brees has scored more than 17 points just once in his past eight. He should go over that total against the Giants.

Philip Rivers is on pace for like 8,482 passing yards (or it seems like it), and his matchup against the Ravens is the best you can ask for.

Are you still scared about Andy Dalton? Don't be. He's averaging 22.95 fantasy points per game and is virtually matchup proof at this point.

Eli Manning has a nice matchup against the Saints who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

ImageWhenever there is a new series out, I will watch the pilot and see if I like it. If I do, it's a season pass and I'll get to it later. (Which is why I'm feverishly watching "Gotham" and have a lot to catch up on.) So I watched the new "Supergirl." It's got the same formula I harp on going back to "Smallville" through "The Flash" and "Arrow" but it ultimately works for me.

Image "Last Man on Earth" continues to be one of the most well-written shows going. We have no reason to even like Tandy, but I find myself rooting for him. Will Forte had better win an Emmy for this. This show has been amazing.

Todd Gurley is the truth. He should anchor your lineup every week. Unless you don't have any need for a guy who has averaged 20 PPG.

Charcandrick West had a breakout game against the Steelers. Can he do it again? The Lions have allowed the eighth most fantasy points to RBs.

For that reason, I'd also go with Jeremy Hill this week against the Steelers. I'm just about a true believer in the Bengals. I'm going to regret this, nah?

Chris Johnson is second in the NFL with 567 rushing yards, with three games of more than 100 yards. That's insane, right?

Doug Martin has been amaze-balls. But Charles Sims is a good start, too. The Falcons have given a ton of fantasy points to RBs this year.

Mark Ingram ceded a couple of touchdowns to Khiry Robinson (DZU) last week, but still had a good fantasy stat line. He's got another nice matchup this week.

Justin Forsett is going to have his best game of the year against the Chargers, who have allowed more than 100 rushing yards in the last six games.

ImageI'm not sure if you saw this, but the Golden State Warriors trolled Charles Barkley with this T-shirt. The best part of the whole thing is that Chuck actually put the shirt on. The NBA on TNT might be the best sports show ever.

ImageI still don't understand how Steph Curry wasn't the top pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Even the most ardent Clippers fan (if there is such a thing) would concur. James Harden is fine, but Curry though. Do NBA executives not watch the NCAA tournament?

ImageAll right, one more NBA link for you. This is pretty cool.

I actually thought DeAndre Hopkins was better before Arian Foster returned this year. So I'm stoked on him for the coming weeks.

Calvin Johnson is back. He's averaged 126 receiving yards the past two games, with a touchdown in each. He should be even better this week.

The air we live in will one day be Stefon Diggs'. Great matchup against the Bears this week, no matter how much it hurts to say that. But the Bears still win.

The Ravens have allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers this year. So in addition to Keenan Allen, I'd also take a shot on Steve Johnson.

Mike Evans has a terrible matchup on paper. But I'm not going to stay away from him because of that.

Alshon Jeffery is back, and he's got a great history against the Vikings, if you care about that kind of thing. I'm more into the fact Jay's dealing.

Todd Gurley is the best. Duh. But his impact on Tavon Austin is going to be huge. Especially with a great matchup against the 49ers this week.

What do you think it would take to get Steve Smith to do a Yelp review of this column?

Image Oh my god. The end of RAW was pretty rad, people. The combination of Roman Reigns countering Kevin Owens' pop-up power bomb into the Superman punch was pretty (dog) damn cool. I really liked RAW this week. My man Brandon Stroud explains it much better than I can right here.

Image Wade Barrett's reaction to winning a match on RAW was one of the best things ever. I know, it rarely happens, so he seemed genuinely thrilled. One day I'm going to get Barrett vs. Cesaro for the title and I will be in wrestling heaven. Until John Cena comes out and beats both of them at the same time. Wait, get out of the likes, John Cena. Actually, I can't hate on this.

I play in the NFL UK league and I accidentally kept Tyler Eifert in my lineup. He was still better than most guys I would have picked up.

Travis Kelce has been a disappointment. But he rebounds this week against the Lions.

Benjamin Watson might not be Jimmy Graham, but he's been a safe play in most fantasy formats.

The Chiefs are tough on tight ends, per se. But they've also given up 15 touchdown receptions this year. So I'm going with Eric Ebron.

Image Arizona State is doing something very cool with these Pat Tillman uniforms. Check it out.

Image Please stop me, but I want to believe in Kobe Bryant again. I mean, I want to be a realistic Lakers fan (not as if many of us exist). I understand the Lakers are in a rebuilding mode. But it would be awesome for one final great season from Kobe.

Image And before you ask, it's Angels, Kings, Lakers. I'm a Bears fan because (you might not have heard), but Los Angeles doesn't have a football team. I know, right?

Whenever a matchup looks good for Matt Ryan, that's when it seems like he disappoints the most. I see him with one bomb to Julio, but then a bunch of nothing. Maybe even a few picks.

Seriously, Ryan is that guy who will finish as a Top 10 quarterback, but he never has that stretch of games where he just carries your fantasy team.

The Packers defense is more legit than it's given credit for. But it's not like any of you have Peyton Manning on your roster anyway. Right. RIGHT???

Matthew Stafford should improve a little bit because of a new offensive coordinator. But I'm still going to wait to see a little bit more.

How bummed is Ryan Mallett going to be when he shows up (late) for the game on Sunday, only to find out he's been cut by the team?

Andrew Luck stayed at Stanford to avoid the Panthers. You can never convince me otherwise. Sorry, you just can't.

Somebody needs to tell Kirk Cousinshe won one game. But I guess a Washington QB becoming an overnight sensation and trying to cash in has never ended poorly before, so why not?

I can't bring myself to drop Arian Foster. I had to ask like eight people before I made the move. It just doesn't seem right to drop him. Kind of sad. BTW, does anybody find it odd that a bunch of broadcasters will say thoughts and prayers to Foster, even though he doesn't believe in God?

I'm interested to see just how grounded the Raiders become in this matchup with the Jets. Latavius Murray is the guy I would be the most concerned about.

I saw C.J. Anderson on the wire this week, and I just couldn't find a use for him. It's a pretty nice idea to pick up a first-round pick off the wire. But I just can't settle into it. I'd much rather take a risk on Ameer Abdullah because of the new offensive coordinator. Who knows, maybe Jim Bob Cooter will find a way to make Abdullah great.

Ronnie Hillman has gone over 100 yards in two of his last three, but I expect the Packers to find a way to stop him this week.

ImageThe World Series game was delayed on Tuesday night because the video went down and they wouldn't have been able to handle replay requests. If that isn't the sign to shut it all down, then I don't know what is. Well, that and Joe Buck. He was at his bucking best on Tuesday night.

I would leave Randall Cobb on the bench this week, too. Most of the scenarios people have given me on Twitter has led me to bench him. Plus, he hasn't been great. I know, it's weird how Cobb was so much better when Jordy Nelson was out there and drew coverage away from him.

T.Y. Hilton is another big name I would bench this week. Or at least avoid him in your daily fantasy leagues. This matchup is too much for him.

Amari Cooper has a tough matchup. He's going up against Darrelle Revis. So I play somebody a little safer. But I'd take him over the previous two guys I mentioned.

Does anybody find it funny that most 80s hair metal bands spend their days now opening grocery stores and playing free shows at county fairs? But the NFL's version of AC/DC (Amari Cooper and Derek Carr) will be playing some remote location known as Revis Island? All right, I'll show myself the door.

We need to stop blaming Brandin Cooks for being something that he's not. We wanted him to be a No. 1 receiver, but he's just not that guy. We can't fault him for that.

Image I'm just about ready to punt on the current WWE Divas division. If this is what was going to happen with all of these talented performers, why not just leave the women on NXT where they could put on killer matches? The fact they didn't have an NXT "invasion" angle is probably the biggest crime of all of it. They could have just aped the nWo to make a women's version and it would have been dope.

What's the story with Kyle Rudolph? He does absolutely nothing, but all of a sudden he has touchdowns in back-to-back games. That's just perfect.

Coby Fleener is another dude who I always think will be a great option, but then does absolutely nothing. But I don't like the Colts matchup this week.

Image It was heart breaking to watch fans in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland go through these town hall meetings with the league. Well, maybe not you, St. Louis. I found it kind of weird that all of these folks got up to speak, without irony, about how wrong it would be to lose their team. 20 years after St. Louis took the club from Anaheim, Calif. If you ask me, St. Louis has proven the least and is probably the one fan base that could do without an NFL team. You had a Super Bowl winner and you still don't support the club. You can talk about how the team has been down this year, but it's the same situation the Los Angeles Rams were in back in 1994.

Image I'm just happy they didn't have meetings like this in Orange County way back when. Who knows what I would have said. Actually, I have some idea of what I would have said and let's just say I probably wouldn't be working here today. (Bummer for some of you.)

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.

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