Oh Bill Belichick. I love the old Sith Lord, but he's starting to get predictable in his unpredictability. The vast majority of the world wasn't on Jonas Gray two weeks ago, and that was classic Belichick. He snuck in a guy who only a few of us played but under the most desperate of situations. And nobody expected the 40 points that came with it. That was just a bonus.
But nearly nobody in the world was caught off-guard when Belichick didn't give a single carry to Gray this week. Sorry Bill, we're on to you. That was way too easy to call.
I almost feel like Belichick will go full Alderaan here next week on our fantasy teams and pull out James White from the mothballs or something. But for one week, we were on top of this. The question now is what do we do for the coming weeks?
My conjecture is we see more of LeGarrette Blount in the coming weeks. He had double-digit attempts in four of his five December games with the Patriots last year and he could be in-store for similar production this year. He will likely default to the goal-line back and even if Gray gets into the mix, he would likely just take the Stevan Ridley carries this year.
Who else are we looking at for Week 13 and the final week of the regular season?
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Speaking of Dalton, he has a nice matchup this week, too. The Bucs have been somewhat generous to quarterbacks, though last week was kind of an aberration. The Bears chose to just run the ball when they had the short field in the second half. Plus, the Bucs played out of their (donkey) for their coach who went up against his former team. Totally believable.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Yeah, he still throws some bad picks. Not that there is such a thing as a good pick. Actually, if you threw a 70-yard interception on third-and-50, that could be considered a good pick. Especially if the intercepting team got a 15-yard penalty tacked on. Then you would think it was pretty good. But this is a decent matchup for Sanchez. The short week will make it a challenge, so I would lean on the two guys above, but still not a bad choice.
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
He's much better at home compared to on the road, so again, if you are truly desperate for a signal-caller who at least has a good matchup, then you can make a bid with Flacco. The Chargers had been tough on quarterbacks headed into last week, but they will be a West Coast team who will play in the 10 a.m. time slot out here (I'm in Los Angeles), so this might be fun.
For the record, I mentioned on NFL Fantasy LIVE on Monday that I would look at some guys to have in case you have Tom Brady because the Patriots could have the No. 1 seed locked up by Week 16. Just giving a quick gander to the Week 16 schedule, Tannehill, Sanchez and Kyle Orton have some nice matchups. Just keep that in mind.
Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis FC
Mason has a tough schedule during the fantasy playoffs, but he could be very good for you in the week to get you into the playoffs. Actually, I'd feel rather confident with Mason for the rest of the year. He's nearly bled into that mix of players who you start regardless of the matchup because of his bulk rate.
Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans
I'm down with the Blue, even though he had a bad week against the Bengals. The matchup against the Titans is pretty good, too. I wouldn't start him if Arian Foster is a go. This is the kind of thing where you could reason he's going to see some looks even if Foster is back. But you know it wouldn't work that way. If Foster returns, he probably runs it 40 times because that's the way things work most of the time. Though, nobody told Hue Jackson last week when he gave the ball to Jeremy Hill a ton.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles give up tons of points to, well, just about everybody. Williams has disappeared in recent weeks after a hot start, but he's one of those guys who can end up with a touchdown in this one and you will end up kicking yourself because you totally knew you should have played him. And if he doesn't, I will edit this out on Friday. (Hahaha, I'm kidding. Who would do that?)
Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Hey look who is back from a bye week! Bryant didn't do much the last time we saw him. But he was targeted twice in the red zone, which was cool of Ben Roethlisberger. They didn't connect, which led to a poor stat line. But I do like this matchup against the Saints. If you watched Monday night, you would have noticed teams have pretty good success through the air against the Saints. Plus it's an outdoor game, too. Which just seems to help the Steelers.
Charles Johnson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
And finally, let's step into the Danger Zone with Chuck Johnson. I know, I know we've by now seen the clip of Jerry O'Connell and Jimmy Koh who made this pick last week. So I feel like the guy who comes up and says, hey, have you guys heard of Carolina Liar while you and your buddy were just talking about the song "I'm Not Over." But I do like this matchup for Chuck. He's got a great matchup this week against the Panthers and if this doesn't get him over, nothing will.
Oh crap, you need a defense. Let me get on that.
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.