There was a time in my life when I didn't care for sushi. It seems like such a long time ago when you consider I spent every Tuesday night at Tsunami Sushi in Huntington Beach, Calif. to take advantage of its Tightwad Tuesday promotion. I mean, its half-off rolls. How could you not?
But there was a time in my life when it would have been inconceivable that I would not only enjoy sushi, but would actually look forward to it. (So much so, I might even hit up the NFL Media commissary on Wednesday afternoon for another round of sushi. I mean, if you can get sushi prepared by the same guy who told me the place was all out of green onions, but said he could sub in scallions instead, how can you pass that up?)
The point is, at some point you need to change your perceptions of things. And there came a time when I need to change my perception on sushi. Though, I will say the motivation to change my thinking probably had something to do with somebody I was courting at the time. (All right, change that to 100 percent. Love, or infatuation, will cause you to do many different things.)
So the same must be applied to the quarterback position in fantasy football. Though not motivated by lust, I mean enchantment, I've had to change the way I think of fantasy football quarterbacks because of injuries to some of the bigger names. And it's made me do something I thought I would never do in my fantasy life.
But you can't argue with the matchup. The Bears have allowed more than 20 fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this season. That's the seventh-most in fantasy. Though the eight touchdown passes they have allowed are the second-most. Plus Carr has averaged 333 passing yards with five touchdown passes over the past two games.
I still see the Raiders throwing the ball a ton in this one, even if it gets out of hand early. But damn it, I don't see myself doing this. Who else do I have in Rank's 11?
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens It's tough to go with a road quarterback on Thursday night but the Steelers have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. Flacco has thrown for 746 yards in his last two games, which is second in the league behind Tom Brady. Plus Flacco has a pretty good history against the Steelers. He's thrown 11 touchdown passes with just two picks in his last eight against the Steelers. That's good, right?
Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills Looks like LeSean McCoy is going to be on the shelf for this game, so make sure Williams is in your lineup. The Giants have allowed a lot of fantasy points to running backs this year. But Karl has looked like a beast when he's had his opportunity with the Bills. BTW, how much fun is this Bills team? Don't fret about not beating the Patriots. You're still better than most AFC teams.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Duuuuuuuuval! The Colts aren't good against the run. They have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this year. They have allowed four rushing touchdowns this year, third-highest total in the league. Yeldon hasn't been great so far. But he's had a nice work-rate. If you want a running back who is going to get the ball a lot against a (stuffy) defense, I'm going to go with my guy from Duval County, Florida. (That's Jacksonville to the uninitiated.)
Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals I know, I'm a week late on this one. Probably. But this is a fantastic matchup for Jones as the Chiefs have allowed the most-points to fantasy receivers this year. I know, most of that came courtesy of Aaron Rodgers. But ol' Manning found a weakness in the defense last Thursday and it is on. Andrew Dalton isn't Rodgers, but he's better than Manning at this point of their careers, so I'll take some production in the middle of those two. Which means better games for Jones and A.J. Green. But you're already starting Green. Only a moron would sit Green.
(I sat Green in favor of DeAndre Hopkins last year. If you no longer want to trust my judgment, make sure to follow Matt Harmon. He doesn't care much for me, but I do enjoy his advice.)
Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears Dude, the Raiders don't stop any tight ends. Gary Barnidge got over on them. And I love Gary. He hooked me up with an excellent seat for WrestleMania XXX. Which was amazing. But even I was taken back by how well he played against the Raiders. So Bennett is a great play. But that could be the kiss of death for him.
Marcus Mariota has been a revelation for the Titans this year. Damn, the Bears wanted to trade up to get him, too. It would be amazing to think about what he could be doing in Chicago right now. Other than eating at Portillo's. But still. In any event, he's started to make some other members of the Titans offense fantasy relevant again.
The Titans are on a bye week. Check and see if Mariota is dropped in your league. But also take a run at these guys.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Tennessee Titans He's available in about half of NFL.com fantasy leagues. He's had a touchdown in his last two games. He looks like the long-term answer for your receiving woes. Pick him up if he's available. And again, check to see if he's been jettisoned by some impetuous manager.
Antonio Andrews, RB, Tennessee Titans You know I loved some David Cobb headed into the season. But it now looks like Andrews is going to be the young RB to have in Tennessee. Bishop Sankey is not a good running back compared to other NFL-caliber players. So I would expect the Titans to spend the bye week getting Andrews into the mix. He's likely to lose some work to Dexter McCluster. But he's going to get the work rate for the Titans.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons I don't know if you've heard the news but Julio Jones is pretty good. BTW, great trade Cleveland. But Julio is pretty great. And at some point, I would imagine some opposing defensive coordinator is going to say, hey I've got an idea, maybe we should try to shut down Julio. MAYBE. And if that happens, and let's say they roll some extra coverage towards Julio; that would leave Hankerson in some favorable matchups. He's already the second-most targeted guy on the team. Look. I don't need you to go out there and beast for 180 yards and a touch. I mean, don't not do that. But 56 yards and a touchdown would be cool.
Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns If you feel like you are in RB hell and there is no way to escape, you need to turn to the Duke. The Duke? The Duke of Cleveland, A-Number-1, the Big Man, that's who! In that case call me Plissken as I tell you the Chargers have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. So while nobody has seized that RB Number 1 spot for the Browns, this is the best chance for the Duke to break out.