Thursday, January 29, 2015

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Award Season

The end is here. It is Super Bowl 49! Sadly, we are seeing very familiar teams as the Seahawks return to defend their crown and the Patriots return for the 6th time under Belichick and Brady. However, these were the two best regular season teams, so it is nice to see that the regular season followed through into the post-season, though it wasn’t easy. The Packers had the Seahawks pinned to the mat with the final count on its way down before they decided to find every way imaginable to blow, what seemed like, an insurmountable lead in the last 5 minutes of the NFC Championship game. The Patriots cruised past Indy but found themselves embroiled in, yet another, controversy. Who really wanted to fill the two weeks between the championships and the Super Bowl with human interest stories, anyway? With the season coming to an end, let’s take a quick look at a positional summary.

QB Stud: Andrew Luck (sadly, 3 of his 4 worst games were in weeks 15-17)
QB Disappointment: Jay Cutler (good thing for Garbage time points)
QB Surprise: Russell Wilson (Wilson had more a few more points than Rodgers and was drafted 8 rounds later, on average)
QB To Watch: Teddy Bridgewater (monster first game vs Atlanta, regressed for a month, and then finished consistently strong the last 6 weeks)
QB Biggest Waste: Johnny Manziel (his first start vs Cincy said it all. He knew it was coming and still wasn’t prepared.)

​RB Stud: DeMarco Murray (DeMarco outscored Peyton this year. He was run into the ground, but 2014 owners didn’t care.)
RB Disappointment: Zac Stacy (THUD. Kudos to Rams brass who felt this could happen and drafted Tre Mason)
RB Surprise: Justin Forsett (Jeremy Hill and Matt Asiata could have qualified but Forsett had a more productive 16 weeks though he ran out of gas in the end)
RB To Watch: C.J. Anderson (Anderson put in a full year of stats in 8 games of work and made owner ecstatic. He looks like the real deal for the long run.)
RB Biggest Waste: Ben Tate (After getting out of Arian Foster’s shadow, he flopped so badly in the perfect situation that he ended up playing for 3 teams this season)

​WR Stud: Antonio Brown (Receivers dominated the landscape this year but Brown takes the crown. He only had 2 single-digit games and ruled PPR leagues)
WR Disappointment: Cordelle Patterson (No one saw this coming after his rookie season. He even started game 1 with 102 yards rushing. He would get 15 more the next 15 weeks and rarely saw the field after midseason)
WR Surprise: Odell Beckum Jr {Mike Evans had this wrapped up until Beckum’s hammy healed up enough and Victor Cruz went down. Fantasy playoff MONSTER this year.)
WR To Watch: Brandin Cooks (Loads to choose from but let’s go with Cooks since his season was cut short due to injury. Youth is a good thing in the Saints receiving corp.)
WR Biggest Waste: Josh Gordon (What a waste. He was given a break and let back into the league early this year, flopped and is now rumored to be facing a potential 2015 season-long suspension.)

​TE Stud: Gronk (Easily outpointed all other tight ends this year. Runaway winner.)
TE Disappointment: Jimmy Graham (With an ADP of 8, he was a flop with 900 yards and 10 TDs considering Greg Olsen picked up a few more points 6 rounds later.)
TE Surprise: Antonio Gates (Many of us were putting him out to pasture before the season and anointing Ladarius Green the new Go-To option. Gates has the 2nd highest TE fantasy output this year.)
TE To Watch: Mychal Rivera (The numbers were there on certain weeks but the Targets were there almost every week. That bodes well in 2015 with a more seasoned Derek Carr under center.)
TE Biggest Waste: (Injuries and poor QB play are more to blame than Cameron himself, but 2014 was a downer for one of 2014’s Breakout Candidates.)

NFL Super Bowl Picks

Super Bowl Sunday! Nothing compares to it in the volume of wagering that takes place. From the Squares Pools at Super Bowl parties, to the crazy prop bets that only come out for this game (Which will be higher on Sunday; Russell Wilson's passing yards or the average price of gas in cents?), to the straight-up action on the game, this Sunday's total action is greater than the GNP of most of the world's countries. We will close out a disappointing year with our take on this Sunday's action and hope it treats us as nicely as Championship weekend did.

Sunday
New England vs. Seattle - this is a very intriguing matchup. Seattle's defense has been dominant the past 3 months, but they did show a few cracks this season against good teams. Most recently, Green Bay had their way with them, aside from a few miscues, until they got into the Red Zone. However, the Packers do not have Gronk. Should Brady get the Patriots to the goal line, I don't expect to see Gostkowski lining up for a field goal to cap the drive. I think the difference in the game will be that Seattle will not be able to move the ball through the air. Their receivers don't even scare college defensive coordinators. When you have mediocre receivers matching up with Revis and Browner, consider them erased. That leaves 9 guys to handle the rest of the Seahawk offense. Now, Seattle will be able to move the ball on the ground. Lynch is too much to stop all day and Wilson is impossible to contain when he gets outside the tackles. So, I expect Seattle to use play-action to be able to get the ball out to TE Wilson and some underneath passes, but I don't see them being able to put a lot of points on the board so their defense and special teams will have to make a big play or two to win this game. I can't bet on that happening. I am playing the Patriots for 15 units in the first half at a Pick and for 15 units in the game at a Pick. I expect a game in the low 40s and the Patriots by single digits.

2-Team 7-point Teaser (-130 odds) for 6 units:
  • Pats  +7
  • Under 55
4-Team 13-point Teaser (-120 odds) Ties Lose for 15 units:
  • Pats  +13
  • SEA  +13
  • Under 61
  • Over 35

Prop Bets:
The coin flip will be Tails (1 unit) -103
The opening kickoff will be a touchback (2 units) -125
NE WR Danny Amendola will score the 1st TD of the game (1 unit) +2000 (1 unit pays 20!)
NE TE Tim Wright will score the 1st TD of the game (1 unit) +2000 (1 unit pays 20!)
NE TE Michael Hoomanawaniu will score the 1st TD of the game (1 unit) +5000 (1 unit pays 50!)
Russell Wilson will score Seattle's 1st TD of the game (1 unit) +600
Luke Wilson will score Seattle's 1st TD of the game (1 unit) +810
1st half Patriots over 12.5 points (4 units) -110
Total TD passes by Russell Wilson under 1.5 (3 units) -120                          
Tom Brady will throw more TD passes than Russell Wilson (5 units) -125
NE WR Julian Edelman will have over 6.5 receptions (2 units) +105
NE WR Danny Amendola will have over 2 receptions (7 units) -120                                 
SEA TE Luke Wilson will have over 2.5 receptions (4 units) -110                            
SEA TE Luke Wilson will have over 27.5 yards receiving (2 units) -130
NE WR Julian Edelman will have over 67.5 yards receiving (2 units) +105
NE TE Rob Gronkowski will have 1.5 more receptions than SEA WR Doug Baldwin (8 units) Even
Russell Wilson will rush for over 40.5 yards (6 units) -115
Tom Brady will have over 4.5 yards rushing (1 unit) +155
YES Tom Brady will score a TD (1 unit) +475
YES There will be a 2-point conversion attempt (1 unit) +210
The last score of the game will be a FG or Safety (1 unit) +160

Season record
  • Sides   51-54  (-116.7 units)
  • Overs   33-25 (+52.85 units)
  • Parlay   3-12  (-12.6 units)
  • Teaser   7-14 (+30.0 units)
  • Moneyline 4-8  (-3.4 units)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Changing Of The Guard

Once written, twice true? People are lining up to bid Peyton Manning adieu. Should they? Well, based on the past 6 weeks, it appears that Father Time has caught up with Manning. Personally, I do not think that he thinks it is time to expect him to walk away. Peyton has a lot of Pride and his performance versus Indy is not the way he will want to end his career. Paraphrasing the great Marcellus Wallace, “When thinking about your future, you may feel a slight sting. That’s pride f&&ing with you. F&&k pride. Pride never helps you. It only hurts you.”. I believe that he will come back for one more season and attempt to end it on a healthy note versus being hobbled. Strained quad? Torn quad? Hard to say, but he will be back.

Getting back to Sunday, it is apparent though that Andrew Luck is the new AFC gunslinger. It was obvious all season long but things do not change over-night. The coronation takes some time and culminates with an underdog triumph. That has now taken place and, fittingly, he now opposes King II of the Hill; Tom Brady. A true storybook would have Luck also beating Brady to take his newly earned spot on top, but it doesn’t happen like that in real-life sports. There is always more than one hurdle to the top and you cannot leap them all the first time once the wheels are in motion. You get to the last hurdle, get knocked back, re-group and then try again. So, Luck will run into the Brady wall this weekend and will come back next season for another attempt. There is no doubt that he will pass Brady, and pass him soon, but it is not this year. With Peyton on the way out, “The Game” in the AFC will now be New England vs. Indy until Brady rides off into the sunset. The way the Patriots have handled the Colts in the past few years, it may take another 2-3 years before Luck clears that last hurdle.
Aside for the demise of Manning, it was a busy weekend in sports.
  • Yes, Cowboys fans, it was an incompletion. Dez did not take 3 steps and make a football move as you have exaggeratedly argued. It was all one process and he did not complete it. Now, if that silly rule was not in place and it was a judgment call, then, Hell yeah, he caught it. But, the NFL is full of silly rules and they have to be followed consistently. I loved the Tweet by the Lions afterwards, btw.
  • I am an avid fisherman and a mediocre swimmer. This tale from former Dolphins fullback Rob Conrad guarantees that I will wear a life jacket when out fishing solo from now on. What a great story!
  • The writing was on the wall all season for Jim Harbaugh, regardless of how well his teams had done previously, but I did not see John Fox parting ways with the Broncos. This man can coach. I just hope my Bears can lure him in.
  • Shame on me. I was fooled the prior week by CBS in thinking that their pre-game show was about football and not advertising but I still went back this week and was caught in that trap again. I hope James Brown can get out of his contract cuz he has no business on that joke of a show. Strahan fits perfectly on it though. The bit they did with Katy Perry was embarrassing enough….maybe they should focus on her two true assets…but was the plug for the movie “American Sniper” really necessary? I thought they filled time between segments with commercials. I didn’t know that they ran commercials as segments? Also, Pepsi pushing the halftime show as “Hyped”?! Can you overstate the obvious any more? The best part of a Super Bowl party is being surrounded by food and drink so it is easy to pass on the commercial time and halftime with sustenance and actually enjoy the evening.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Last Dozen

The Wildcard Playoffs are in the bag and we look ahead to some great matchups/rematches this coming weekend. Before we do that, it truly looks like this will be the last season of 12 playoff teams and every winner getting a home game. Thanks to greed and injustice due to the overall incompetence of the NFC South, you can expect 2 more playoff teams next season and the overall playoff seeding to be based on record, not division winner. I agree with the latter. I see no need for more playoff teams...however, it will provide the NFL with more money for the owners to line their pockets with and throw away on bad contracts. It still won't stop bad teams from making the playoffs as division winners still have to get in.

Speaking of greed, did anyone stay tuned into the Sunday post-game show on CBS after Indianapolis beat Cincinnati? If so, were you as disgusted as me by CBS cowtowing to Subway and letting one of their pitchman losers shill new sandwiches in the studio? It harkens back to the on-air advertising of the 50s and 60s. I fully expected Terry Bradshaw to start showing the results from the Viagra that he took an hour before. It may have happened, much to Jared's elation, but I changed the channel as soon as I could. Maybe this is a regular segment and I have just missed it by turning in another game as soon as football ended on CBS. To make matters worse, I flipped over to the pre-game on Fox long enough to see Michael Strahan say one word and I turned the TV off until I knew the Dallas-Detroit game had safely started.

I generally spend my weekends in sports bars watching the games but laid low on Sunday after a long holiday celebration stretch; College Bowl Season absolutely rocks. Whenever I watch a pre or post game, it is always on ESPN. Speaking of which, every sports fans should have started their Sunday depressed. It saddened me greatly to see the report on Stuart Scott's passing when I first turned on ESPN. He was a pleasure to watch and will be missed. You really had to think about a Grand Plan when you heard the behind-the-scenes on his battles with cancer. When you "beat" something that has no cure TWICE, you should have a free pass until natural causes are the reason for your ultimate demise. Life is not fair, but, maybe that is the Grand Plan.

Recapping the games from this weekend:

  • The writing was on the wall in Carolina before the game started but you have to feel sorry for Arizona. If the above playoff changes were in effect the past two years, they would have made the playoffs in 2013 and they would have hosted a wildcard game this year. The football gods do not smile upon them. They won most of their games this season based on the strength of their defense and could have won this past weekend if their offense could have contributed some. Losing their top RB and top 2 QBs proved impossible to overcome. Carolina repeated Seattle's 2010 season first round result after it won the NFC West by getting, and winning, and home game. It is fitting that these two teams square off in the divisional round of the playoffs. 
     
  • Pittsburgh and Baltimore showed that, though their teams are more offense than defense nowadays, they can still dial up Old School defensive efforts when they square off against one another. No rivalry in this century compares to the intensity that these two teams take the field with when matching up. It was unfortunate that Le'Veon Bell had to miss the game cuz you want to see these two teams go against each other with all weapons at their disposal. I still think Joe Flacco gets too much credit for Baltimore winning in the playoffs but he does seem to elevate his game.
     
  • Though the Colts limped into the playoffs and could not beat a top team this season, Sunday was theirs. The Bengals were short-handed with A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham out so the Colts decided to try to make the game a fast-paced shootout and keep Cincy from running the ball and the Bengals fell for it. They couldn't stop the deep ball and decided to effectively bench their best weapon, Jeremy Hill, for the last three quarters. In this case, I think Andy Dalton is getting too much blame for Cincinnati losing in the first round each year, but I think questioning the coaching ability of Marvin Lewis is valid.
     
  • In the final game pitting Dallas and Detroit, you had plenty of reasons to root against both teams as non-fans. You have Ndamukong Suh and the thugs of the Detroit defense on one side and many Cowboys past and present along with Jerry Jones on the other side. It is difficult not to talk conspiracy when you dissect the pivotal play of the game. Overriding a called penalty? How many times have you see that this year? I can recall only a handful of times and they where for justifiable reasons. Not in this game. On top of it, you had two other calls on Dallas that were ignored, not missed, ignored; defensive holding and unsportsmanlike conduct. I tells you, Jerry Jones and the NFL have a side deal as plain as Jerry Jones and Chris Christie have a side deal. How the people of New Jersey have not impeached that clown is beyond me.....but I don't mix politics and sports.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week 17 Daily Fantasy Football League Player Rankings

Below are the player rankings for Week 17 Daily fantasy football leagues. There are a lot of question marks with injuries, but, more so with players being benched due to playoff seeds being locked in. You may want to wait until Saturday or Sunday morning before jumping in one of our open leagues to have the best knowledge of what to expect from the players involved.
 

QB: Ryan, Roethlisberger, Wilson, Rodgers, P. Manning, Brady, E. Manning, Rivers, Tannehill, Cutler, Brees, Romo, Luck, Stafford, Newton, A. Smith, Kaepernick, Flacco
RB: L. Bell, Foster, Lynch, Lacy, Charles, Forte, Hill, Morris, Murray, J. Bell, Ingram, McCoy, L. Miller, Anderson, Stewart, Ivory, Asiata, Bernard, Gore, Forsett, A. Williams, Mason, Sproles, Crowell
WR: D. Thomas, Brown, Bryant, Nelson, Evans, Megatron, Beckham, Sanders, J. Jones, Benjamin, D. Jackson, Maclin, Cobb, A.J. Green, Jeffery, T. Smith, Hopkins, G. Tate, S. Smith, Wallace, White, Floyd, Watkins, V. Jackson, LaFell, Colston
TE: Gates, Olsen, Walker, Graham, Gronkowski, Witten, Thomas, Kelce, Bennett, Miller, Rivera, Fleener, Allen, Donnell, Cook
D: Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, Minnesota, Arizona, San Francisco, Miami, New England, Denver, Philadelphia, Buffalo
 

QB: Ryan, Wilson, Roethlisberger, E. Manning, Rodgers, P. Manning, Brady, Rivers, Tannehill, Newton, Cutler, Brees, Romo, Luck, Stafford, A. Smith, Kaepernick, Flacco
RB: L. Bell, Foster, Lynch, Hill, Lacy, Charles, Forte, Morris, J. Bell, Murray, Ingram, Anderson, Stewart, McCoy, L. Miller, Forsett, Ivory, Asiata, Bernard, Gore, A. Williams, Mason, Sproles, Crowell
WR: D. Thomas, Beckham, Brown, Evans, Bryant, Sanders, Nelson, Benjamin, Megatron, T. Smith, J. Jones, D. Jackson, Maclin, Cobb, A.J. Green, Jeffery, Hopkins, Wallace, Floyd, Watkins, G. Tate, S. Smith, White, V. Jackson, LaFell, Colston
TE: Gates, Olsen, Gronkowski, Witten, Walker, Graham, Miller, Thomas, Kelce, Bennett, Rivera, Fleener, Allen, Donnell, Cook
D: Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, Minnesota, Miami, Arizona, San Francisco, New England, Denver, Philadelphia, Buffalo
 

QB: Bridgewater, Carr, R. G. III
RB: Gray, Todman, D. Martin, Green
WR: Amendola, Royal, Jennings, James Jones, Sanu, T. William
TE: Clay, Ford, Lewis, Willson
D: NY Giants, New Orleans, Tampa

No Luck In Dallas

I am not talking about the Cowboys, of course. Many a championship game was lost with Andrew Luck under center last weekend. In what was expected to turn into a shootout was a flat-out rout. There were not even garbage time points to pick up. For Andrew Luck owners, you can turn to Aaron Rodgers owners, who lost out the previous week on his no-show in Buffalo, and get some sympathy. His gopher on the day deflated owners by association who had started Dwayne Allen and Donte Moncrief in hopes of picking up the points that were normally directed at T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne. Drew Brees owners fared a bit better by barely reaching double digits but sure as hell didn't like the call on the Jimmy Graham goal line fumble and on the fumble on the last play of the game. It was a brutal way for some owners to complete their season.

Luck and Brees were not the only Duds on Sunday, but it is no fun to list them all out. It is part of the game and the reason you should always try to have a balanced lineup. You can reflect on your lineup and make excuses on why you should have started QB Ryan Tannehill over Andrew Luck, but, without a crystal ball or time machine, you would never make that decision, even with T.Y. Hilton out in advance of the game. Guys flame out at the wrong time, but, if you play this game enough, you will win games like this too.

Other Week 16 items of note:
  • I can't tout In-game changes enough after a week like this. Having the ability to change out players at half or at the end of a quarter would have given owners the opportunity to swap in a different player for Luck, Romo, Murray,.. at half or end of Q3 when the game was effectively over and you knew backups would finish the game out.
  • Week 17 has all games on Sunday, which is a first for the year, and would normally make the decision on which games to watch difficult, but with a lot of backups in line to play; Brandon Weeden, Matt Hasselbeck, Luke McCown,...you can draw a line through those games, even if you are in a 17-week fantasy league.
  • I knew Buffalo was going to be a bit risky on offense at Oakland since they are not too dynamic to begin with and have troubles on the road, especially three time zones away, but how their defense stifled Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers and got taken apart by Oakland befuddles me. I was really pulling for them to make the playoffs and they would have had a better opportunity this weekend with New England having wrapped up the top AFC seed.
  • Justin Forsett provided a reminder to also consider veterans who have assumed a more prominent role as a potential for burn out at the end of the season. We always consider rookies who started the season as the top back as a potential for hitting the Rookie Wall, but that wall should be extended to veterans too, as Forsett's last two games have proven.
  • The Saints have lost 5 straight at home and needed to win one of them to make the playoffs...and many of the games really weren't that close. So much for the mystique.
  • I wonder if NFL owners will finally stop throwing insane money at QBs. It was foolish for the Ravens to pay Joe Flacco like they did, but with Colin Kaepernick and Jay Cutler following in his underperforming footsteps, you would hope a reality check would kick in. Flacco was facing a bad Houston secondary and laid an egg. Until a late flurry of completions, he had fewer completions than fingers on his throwing hand when the team needed him the most.
If you are still playing in week 17 and need to replace hurt or benched players, look for any Minnesota Viking to start with; QB Teddy Bridgewater, RB Matt Asiata, WR Greg Jennings or Charles Johnson, or TE Chase Ford. If not available, look for any of the following.

QB: Brandon Weeden (DAL) - with the Cowboys all but locked into the 3rd seed, there is a good chance that Tony Romo sits on Sunday. If you own him, you want to grab Weeden. The Redskins defense is terrible so Weeden will have the opportunity to post good numbers, even if his targets are Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. You should make this move unless you can grab Eli and Teddy B in your league.

RB: Jonas Gray (NE) - with nothing to play for, I would expect Gray to get the bulk of the Patriots carries this weekend. They have ridden him for almost 40 carries previously so I would expect to see him carry the load this weekend against a mediocre Bills' run defense.

RB: Brandon Oliver (SD) - with Ryan Mathews out, Oliver is the man once again. He has done little since his first stint as SD's RB1, but the Chiefs' run defense is nothing to be feared and we can't be too choosy when filling out a line up this weekend.

WR: Eddie Royal (SD) - with Keenan Allen out, Royal re-assumed his early season role as a WR2 in week 16 and it paid off in a big way for his owners. With the Chargers vying for a playoff berth, he becomes a must-pick up player this week.

WR: Danny Amendola (NE) - Amendola was the second coming of Wes Welker when the Pats signed him two years ago from St Louis. Injuries and Julian Edelman have kept him from the playing field. With Edelman hurt and a meaningless game this weekend, it is the perfect time for Amendola to get involved in the gameplan.

TE: Charles Clay (MIA) - healthy again, Clay has been a big part of the Dolphins offense the past two weeks. The Fins have little to play for this week, but they want to end up with a winning record and have no interest in handing the Jets a cheap W.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NFL Week 15: A Good Week For Vultures

Week 15 was rough on many fantasy football teams playing in their playoffs. For those who rode Aaron Rodgers to the Promised Land, that trip most likely ended with a thud. Peyton Manning also had another soft week, though many of us didn't know he was illin' going in. If you started those guys, you may have been able to weather the storm with a second or third stud. However, many of those players also ended up watching a teammate rack up fantasy points that could have proven helpful.

This is where the TD Vultures made a big difference this week. They generated some nice points...for the waiver wire. LeSean McCoy did a lot of the heavy lifting versus Dallas only to watch Chris Polk punch the ticket twice. Sadly, Polk and Sproles netted 3 TDs off a meager 5 carries. Knile Davis took advantage of a banged up Jamal Charles and netted 2 TDs of his own. Drew Brees watched the Bears load up their spotty defense on Jimmy Graham and found Josh Hill for 2 TDs of his own as well. Those are the kind of days that will leave you pulling your hair out in this game.
Elsewhere in week 15:
  • A few games actually were won and lost by the extra yardage racked up by TE Delanie Walker on the last play of the game in Tennessee. Titans fans were upset with Walker when he ended the flea-flicker by running out of bounds with the ball but, in retrospect, those fantasy owners were damn happy that he didn't throw the ball up for grabs and get credited with a lost fumble. Pretty wild how those plays can affect the outcome of a game. 
  • The passing numbers were mediocre, but Kyle Orton seems to own the Green Bay Packers. He knocked them off when undefeated when he stepped in for the Chiefs a few years ago and knocked them back to the 6th playoff seed this year. Of course, all the credit this year goes to a phenomenal defensive effort put forth that stymied Aaron Rodgers a week after stifling Peyton Manning. HC Doug Marone and DC Jim Schwartz need to get more credit this year. I am pulling for them to work their way into the playoffs. They deserve it...unless they lose to Oakland this weekend.
  • The end of the first half in New York was crazy with RGIII losing the ball before crossing over the end zone pylon. Unfortunately, these are the rules that the game follows now; like it or not, and they were administered correctly. I can't imagine what Santana Moss was thinking by blowing up like he did and what sort of argument he put forth. He had one catch in the first half and was probably exhausted from making any contribution for a change and really just wanted the rest of the afternoon off.
  • Oh, Johnny Manziel. You made my day on Sunday. I really wanted to see an effort like that to shut people up. You may become a decent QB one day, but you have a long way to go and will need to work hard at it. Methinks LeBron should stick to basketball as he is not very good at assessing a football player's readiness. Props to Johnny for handling the press conference properly and showing some humility though.
  • Way to stick it to your former team, Chris Johnson! The Titans fans made be down in the dumps from having to watch the Jets and Titans battle of futility, but they were definitely happy to be reminded of why they let you go.
  • I did love all the comments this week by the media when showing RB Jeremy Hill getting stuffed by a Browns' fan when trying to leap into the stands! Not sure where he thought he was but he did know where the holes in the defense were all game.
  • It appears that the media in Chicago has its limits. After watching Jay Cutler disgrace the team, the fans and the game on Monday night, no one in the media could stomach listening to him talk after the game and let him walk out. The Lions couldn't be happier about their opponent this week. 
  • After Philly came out roaring on Sunday night after halftime, I wondered if they had lined the Cowboys locker room with calendars highlighting that they were playing in the month of December. Kudos to the Cowboys though after they got off the mat after a standing eight-count and rallied back for a key win. Undefeated on the road is an impressive accomplishment. They have one more minor test to pass in 2 weeks in Washington to close it out.
For the majority of head-to-head leagues, this is your Championship week. For the old-school guys like me, we want to play in week 17 so we still need to worry about player moves. With a new spate of injuries, there are some players that may be able to help you out this week and/or next.

QB: Robert Griffin III (WASH) - assuming that Coach Gruden follows Owner Daniel Synder's wishes and keeps RGIII as the starter this week, it is possible that you could ride him to victory if you need a QB. He looked a bit like his former self last week and put up serviceable numbers without really utilizing DeSean Jackson. He gets Philly at home this week so it is a good matchup. Philly's secondary is not good and it should be a high-scoring game.

RB: Toby Gerhart (JAX) - Gerhart is the poster-boy for Bust this season but he could pay off if you need to replace a RB this week. Denard Robinson is done for the year and Gerhart saw the bulk of the rushing workload last Sunday. He has fresh legs from minimal work this season and gets Tennessee at home Thursday night.

RB: Lance Dunbar and Joseph Rangle (DAL) - many a fantasy owner, and Cowboys fans, were misty-eyed on Monday morning when they learned of Murray's broken hand. That was news that no one expected. Unfortunately, Murray has not been ruled out and, if he is, Dunbar will split the workload with Joseph Randle. Dunbar is more of the scat-back and Randle is more of the traditional back. This is a tough situation to predict but you want at least one of the backs if you have Murray and no one to replace him if ruled Out this weekend.

WR: Malcom Floyd (SD) - Keenan Allen is done due to a broken collarbone. If you are looking for a replacement, Floyd is your man. If he is not available, you could also try Eddie Royal.

WR: Donte Moncrief (IND) - Moncrief was a hot pickup in prior weeks but let owners down last week with a goose egg (He did have a 46-yard TD called back). However, the Colts will be in a shootout in Dallas and both T.Y. Hilton and Reggie Wayne are banged up and uncertain if they will play and, if so, if they will be effective. If Moncrief is not available, Hakeem Nicks is your fallback.

TE: Charles Clay (MIA) - Clay has been battling injuries all season but is one of the few remaining pass-catching tight ends available right now. With the Dolphins' run game stagnating, Clay should see a good number of passes thrown his way on Sunday.