And really, one of the most underrated sports stories of the last decade is that the Arizona Cardinals were not only in the Super Bowl, but moments away from a win. I mean, the Cardinals being in the Super Bowl is akin to a normal NFL franchise winning back-to-back Super Bowls. Well, maybe not you, Detroit. But most franchises.
The esteemed Dan Hanzus is the only person who I know personally who has pulled off the Jets/Yankees combo. A rather rare species of sports fan up there with the life-long Cleveland fan who still pulls for the Baltimore Ravens. (I do know one person like that, but I have never, in my life, ever met somebody from Baltimore who supports the Indianapolis Colts. I commend Baltimore sports fans for that. I mean, we still have folks in Los Angeles who cheer on the St. Louis Football Club, which just doesn't make much sense to me. But I digress.)
The Eagles courtship of Sanchez really stood out to me this summer (and Hanzus and Chris Wessling, too). Eagles coach Chip Kelly has roots that date back to the Pac 10 when Sanchez played for USC. So Kelly obviously saw something in Sanchez he liked (Kelly wasn't at Oregon at the time when Sanchez would have been recruited, but still he had to be familiar). So if Kelly saw something he liked in Sanchez, this was something that instantly jumped on my radar.
The preseason cemented this as Sanchez went out and out-performed Nick Foles. Had this been an open competition between the two, there is no doubt the nod would have went to Sanchez. But there was no way to bench a quarterback who threw just two interceptions the previous year, so Foles got the start. Duh. But I kind of liked Sanchez as a guy who would come out and win games for the Eagles.
Sanchez did that against the Texans on Sunday. He played pretty well, and I know some will knock him because of the picks, but one of those clearly wasn't his fault. This week he has the Carolina Panthers. Plus he will have a full week of preparation, too. Sanchez was thrown into the mix against the Texans and looked great. Go look at his toss to Jordan Matthews, which was spot on. So I like Sanchez a lot this week. And not in a wishy-washy, "he's got a great matchup" way, either. I have a lot of faith in Sanchez this week.
I have a weird suspicion Kelly wasn't too bummed when he had to turn to Sanchez. He seems like the quarterback he would have wanted on the field all along. Remember, Kelly inherited Foles and the other guy last year. Sanchez was somebody he sought. Sure, the market was kind of thin. But the Eagles didn't make a move for a quarterback in the NFL draft. And before you want to just claim it's the system that makes the quarterback, may I present to you Matt Barkley.
All right, it's time for the rest of the sleepers.
Terrance West, RB, Cleveland Browns
There was a kid on Twitter who wanted me fired this year because I suggested West would be a better option than Tate. He disappeared when Tate was injured, only to reappear when Tate returned and ran pretty well. No doubt about it, dude's in the wind right now. West looks like he's going to get his chance against the Bengals on Thursday night. It will be dicey. Road team on a Thursday night. My hope is the Browns will lean heavily on the run game. Honestly, if this wasn't a week when six teams are on a bye, I might have other ideas. But I'm going to go with my man West here. Because I'm that type of person.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
If you don't have the stomach to go with Sanchez (get over it, already), Tanny is somebody to certainly keep an eye on. The matchup isn't great against the Lions. But shoot, didn't Ben Roethlisberger just smoke two bad matchups? You need to have some trust when a quarterback has played well.
Bobby Rainey, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I don't entirely trust the play-calling for the Bucs, but Rainey has clearly been the better runner this season. Can we just get everybody to agree the Doug Martin thing should be over? We all good? The matchup against the Falcons should be pretty good. And yes, Chuck Sims lurks in the distance. But guess what? Sims hasn't played this year and I'm not sure he's going to just tear the roof off the building, either.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I know it seems weird to say, hey, remember the guy who was really good last week? Start him again this week. I just have to make sure you were paying attention. I mean, not a lot of people watched the Bucs. So save the (expletive) tweets about it. This is a full-service shop here. The key was the number of targets he received.
Owen Daniels, TE, Baltimore Ravens
You need a tight end. He's targeted a ton. The Titans are a decent enough matchup. I like the Ravens to rebound this week. Daniels is a big part of this offense, so he's a pretty good option for those of us who used Antonio Gates. Seriously, the Chargers bye week has come at the right time.
Baltimore Ravens D/ST
I know a lot of folks might drop them this week, so you can swoop in. The Ravens still have a good defense even though things got sideways on Sunday night. The Titans are a pretty nice option this week. I mean, it's a nice option to start the Ravens D/ST, not the Titans. That was clear, right?
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
I just looked over my League of Record. Looks like I'm going to need to burn some priority on a running back, which means I could be burned on the backside (literally and figuratively) for a quarterback. If I had to roll with Flacco who will be at home against the Titans, well, it wouldn't be the worst possible news.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags have played much better at home and ... what? This is technically a home game for the Jags, even though it's in London. (And save your dump Jaguars relocation jokes. The Jags are staying in Jacksonville, so you will just have to deal with that.) Bortles doesn't have a great matchup, but the Cowboys were dinged up on defense this week. And the Cowboys losing to the Jags is going to happen.
Allen, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
That's right, if Allen doesn't do it this week ... yeah. I'm reaching here. I know either Allen Hurns or Allen Robinson is going to have a day this week against the Cowboys. Dallas has way too many injuries and the Jaguars will have somebody move the ball. I'm going with Allen Robinson, here. He's still targeted a ton. Plus, he's had a bunch of great grades in a row, even if it doesn't always result in touchdowns. This is the Danger Zone.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 270K followers, and Fabiano has 165K. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'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.