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2014 NFL Mock Draft – Version 2.0


By: — April 14, 2014 @ 10:29 am
Filed under: NFL Draft

NFL DraftWith draft day less than a month away, it’s time for an update. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @thepigskinguy.

Versoin 1.0

1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida – Unless the Texans simply don’t like any of the top quarterbacks, this pick will be used to take one. I originally went with Teddy Bridgewater and while I think he is still a strong possibility, Bortles’ combination of talent, arm-strength and upside gives him a slight edge.

Previous Pick: QB Teddy Bridgewater

2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn – The Rams would probably like to trade out of this spot but if they stay, Robinson is a logical selection. If the Rams go offensive tackle here it will come down to which player they like more between Robinson and Jake Matthews.

Previous Pick: OT Greg Robinson

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina – Gus Bradley is a defensive minded coach and unless the Jaguars absolutely love one of the quarterbacks in this draft, it will be hard for them to pass up on a prospect like Clowney if he’s still on the board at three.

Previous Pick: DE Jadeveon Clowney

4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M – Everyone on the planet appears to love Brian Hoyer but an organization needs more than just him at quarterback if they want to end decades of losing. The franchise needs a quarterback and a player to excite its fanbase. The drafting of Manziel will take care of both of those problems.

Previous Pick: QB Blake Bortles

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson – I actually have Watkins as the top overall player in this draft. I think he is the one can’t-miss prospect given all the physical attributes Watkins brings to the receiver position. That theory will be tested if he goes to Oakland but Watkins certainly fills a need for the Raiders. Oakland has some decent receivers but no one close to being in Watkins’ class. He will be a game-changer from Day 1.

Previous Pick: WR Sammy Watkins

6. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, DE Buffalo – Mack dominated in college and while some will point to the fact that he played in the MAC, he had some of his biggest games against top-level competition. I saw Mack play a couple of times against bigger schools and he was a terror coming off the edge. He will instantly help a dormant Falcons’ pass rush.

Previous Pick: DE Khalil Mack

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M – The Bucs parted ways with Mike Williams and they really have few options beyond Vincent Jackson. After signing Josh McCown, it would be nice to give him a 6’5 receiver like Evans to throw the ball to in the red zone. Depending on how the draft shakes out early, Evans could very well end up in Tampa Bay.

Previous Pick: OT Jake Matthews

8. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville – The Vikings re-signed Matt Cassel but will also add a young quarterback in the draft. Minnesota is reportedly high on Zach Mettenberger and so am I, so he is a possible target in Round 2 if they don’t select a quarterback here. However, I have a hunch Minnesota is also very high on Bridgewater and if he slips to them at eight, I don’t see the Vikings passing on him.

Previous Pick: QB Johnny Manziel

9. Buffalo Bills: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M – Matthews would be tough for Buffalo to pass up here, especially since the Bills are weak at right tackle. Matthews is a devastating run blocker and he has quick feet for a guy his size. Some NFL scouts think Matthews is the best OT in the draft, so this would be a great pick for the Bills at No. 9.

Previous Pick: WR Mike Evans

10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State – A lot of people like Justin Gilbert as the top corner because of his speed but I don’t think it’s close. Dennard was the best cover corner in college football last year. Denard is tough, smart and he would make a great addition to Detroit’s secondary.

Previous Pick: CB Darqueze Dennard

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, LB UCLA – Barr could easily be a Top 10 selection given his ability and production in college. However, if Barr slips to 11, the Titans will have to strongly consider him. Tennessee can go in a lot of different directions but the Titans are in need of an explosive pass rusher and Barr fits the bill.

Previous Pick: LB Anthony Barr

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan – The Giants had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season and protecting Eli Manning is the team’s top priority. Lewan was one of the few bright spots on the worst coached team in college football last year once Lane Kiffin was fired.

Previous Pick: OT Taylor Lewan

13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S Alabama – When your name is “Ha Ha” you should be drafted in the Top 15 by law. Dix is all over the field. I actually think he is one of the 10 best players in the draft at any position. The Rams safeties are dreadful. Dix would come in and be a huge upgrade to a defense that already has a nasty front seven.

Previous Pick: S Ha Ha Clinton Dix

14. Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh – How bad was the Bears’ rush defense last year? Ray Rice gained 131 yards on them. Chicago is one of the easiest teams to project. They badly need a defensive tackle or safety. If the talented Donald is on the board, he will be a strong possibility for the Bears. They need more than just Lamarr Houston.

Previous Pick: DT Timmy Jernigan

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State – Pittsburgh is a tough team to peg because they can go in many different directions like CB, TE, WR, OT or DL. I’m going with Gilbert here if he’s still on the board. Others are higher on Gilbert than I am but he has great speed and playmaking ability. I think Eric Ebron is another strong possibility for the Steelers.

Previous Pick: DT Aaron Donald

16. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville – The Cowboys signed Henry Melton but they still need a lot of help along their defensive front. However, safety has been a major weakness in Dallas’ defense for too long and a player with Pryor’s skill-set can finally put an end to that. If the Cowboys want to play the Tampa-2 scheme, they need better production out of the safety position. Pryor would be an excellent addition to their defense.

Previous Pick: DT Louis Nix

17. Baltimore Ravens: Odell Beckham, WR LSU – The Ravens added Steve Smith but I don’t believe they are done adding weapons for Joe Flacco. Beckham is a tough receiver that can go inside similar to Anquan Boldin, only with more speed. Beckham is one of the most underrated players in the draft. He has all the skills to be a star NFL receiver.

Previous Pick: WR Odell Beckham

18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina – Geno Smith took a lot of criticism in his first season and much of it was deserved. Still, the Jets had the worst group of receivers and tight ends in the NFL. New York added Eric Decker in free agency but the Jets still have to upgrade at tight end. Ebron is the top tight end prospect available and would represent great value if he were still on the board at 18. Just a word of warning: Tight ends always get mocked too high. Ebron could certainly go in the Top 15 but I doubt he gets selected in the Top 10. Teams simply value other positions more than they do tight end.

Previous Pick: TE Eric Ebron

19. Miami Dolphins: Zach Martin, OT Notre Dame – Martin was excellent during his career at Notre Dame. He dominated as a left tackle and Martin has the versatility to play multiple positions on the line early in his career. Given all the problems the Dolphins have with their offensive line right now, Martin would be an excellent selection for them.

Previous Pick: OT Zach Martin

20. Arizona Cardinals: C.J. Mosley, LB Alabama – We are getting to the point in the draft where value matters and while Arizona does need an outside linebacker, Mosley is too good to pass up here even if the position may not be the team’s most pressing need. Mosley would fit in nicely with one of the emerging defensive units in the NFL. My guess is he goes higher than 20 though, maybe even No. 9 to Buffalo.

Previous Pick: LB C.J. Mosley

21. Green Bay Packers: Timmy Jernigan, DT Florida State – The Packers need help along their defensive line and Jernigan is an explosive defensive lineman with plenty of upside. One of the things that really hurt Green Bay last year was a lack of depth along its defensive front. Jernigan can come in as a rookie and help make an impact in a rotational role.

Previous Pick: S Calvin Pryor

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Donte Moncrief, WR Ole Miss – I thought Moncrief was one of the top receivers in college football last season but he didn’t play with an elite quarterback. I also believe NFL people think much more highly of him than draftniks on the Internet. Finally, I believe Chip Kelly knows an offensive stud when he sees one. The Eagles are looking for a big receiver to make plays on the outside. Moncrief could be that guy but either way I predict he will be drafted in Round 1.

Previous Pick: CB Justin Gilbert

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR USC – The Chiefs need more gamebreakers on offense and Lee would be a bargain this low for Kansas City. Lee is slipping in some circles but you have to look at his college situation. When a guy still puts up good numbers despite playing for the worst coach on the planet, it says a lot. Lee would be a nice fir in Andy Reid’s offense.

Previous Pick: WR Marqise Lee

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE Missouri – The Bengals lost Michael Johnson to free agency, so Ealy will help Cincinnati upgrade at a vital position. Ealy is a quick edge rusher who is also strong against the run. He can step in and rotate with Carlos Dunlap and Margus Hunt as a rookie.

Previous Pick: DE Kony Ealy

25. San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix, DT Notre Dame – Nix is the top pure nose tackle in this draft and he would be a great fit in San Diego’s 3-4 defense. Nose tackle aren’t easy to find, so getting a dominant run stuffer like Nix at this point would be a steal for the Chargers.

Previous Pick: G David Yankey

26. Cleveland Browns: Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State – The Browns are picking here because the Colts thought they said “sixth round” pick instead of “first round” pick for Trent Richardson. Cleveland has many needs but Josh Gordon is really the only threat the Browns have at receiver. The explosive Cooks would change that, along with giving Cleveland a dangerous return man.

Previous Pick: WR Brandin Cooks

27. New Orleans Saints: Dee Ford, DE Auburn – Ford dominated last year in the SEC and if he goes to the right team like the Saints, he has a chance to be a stud in the NFL. I won’t be surprised if someone like the Steelers grab him higher in the draft but if Ford lasts this long, Rob Ryan will love him.

Previous Pick: DE Dee Ford

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State – If a top receiver is on the board at 28, I have to think the Panthers will pull the trigger. Right now I think I’m projected to be Carolina’s fourth receiver. The 6’5 Benjamin would give Cam Newton a huge target, especially in the red zone. Benjamin is slipping because of some off-the-field concerns but his physical skills still make him a possibility for the Panthers at 28.

Previous Pick: WR Kelvin Benjamin

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE Texas Tech – This is the popular pick for the Patriots. I originally had Kyle Fuller going to New England and I still think he’s the kind of player the Patriots could target but after signing Darrelle Revis, I’m going with Amaro. Rob Gronkowski is coming back from his second major injury and there is little behind him at tight end. Amaro would give Tom Brady another dangerous weapon in the passing game.

Previous Pick: CB Kyle Fuller

30. San Francisco 49ers: Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech – The 49ers don’t have many weaknesses but one area where they could stand to upgrade is at cornerback, especially after losing Carlos Rogers. Fuller is a smart, tough, versatile corner that will fit in perfectly with what the 49ers like to do on defense.

Previous Pick: CB Bradley Roby

31. Denver Broncos: Ra’Shede Hageman, DL Minnesota – The Broncos could grab an OT here to protect Peyton Manning but with Robert Ayers and Shaun Phillips both gone, defensive line is an area of need as well. Besides, if Hageman lasts this long, the versatile lineman will be one of the top players left on the board.

Previous Pick: DL Ra’Shede Hageman

32. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Shazier, LB Ohio State – Seattle usually takes the best player available. I wanted to mention Shazier because in my opinion, he’s going to be a difference-maker in the NFL. A couple of years ago I really liked Lavonte David coming out of Nebraska and Shazier reminds me a lot of him. He’s always around the ball making plays. Whichever team selects Shazier is going to get a future stud. Don’t be surprised if he goes in Round 1. If Shazier is still on the board here, Seattle will likely give him a long look.

Previous Pick: TE Jace Amaro



2014 NFL Mock Draft – Version 1.0


By: — March 11, 2014 @ 9:03 am
Filed under: NFL Draft

NFL DraftAs free agency kicks off, here is my first shot at a mock draft. I always tell people that no one knows anything this time of year, myself included. Even reporters close to teams who get information are likely being fed smokescreens. However, mock drafts are fun and people enjoy them, so here is my best educated guess as of March 11. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @thepigskinguy.

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville – Unless the Texans simply don’t like any of the top quarterbacks, this pick will be used to take one. Bridgewater is criticized a lot because he has been pegged as one of the top two picks in this draft for two years. However, there is also a lot to like about him. I have followed Bill O’Brien for a while and Bridgewater has everything he looks for in a quarterback. History suggests teams with the first pick that need a quarterback usually go with the safe choice over upside, so I think when the smoke settles, Houston will opt for Bridgewater over Blake Bortles.

2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn – The Rams would probably like to trade out of this spot but if they stay, Robinson is a logical selection. He fills a need for St. Louis and Robinson is now the top offensive tackle on many draft boards following his impressive combine.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina – Gus Bradley is a defensive minded coach and unless the Jaguars absolutely love one of the quarterbacks in this draft, it will be hard for them to pass up on a prospect like Clowney if he’s still on the board at three.

4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida – Everyone on the planet appears to love Brian Hoyer but an organization needs more than him at quarterback if they want to end decades of losing. Bortles still needs some work but he is smart with a big arm. I describe Bortles as a poor man’s Andrew Luck coming out of college and I say that as a compliment considering I expect Luck to be a Top 3 NFL quarterback very soon.

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson – I actually have Watkins as the top overall prospect in this draft. I think he is the one can’t-miss prospect given all the physical attributes Watkins brings to the receiver position. That theory will be tested if he goes to Oakland but Watkins certainly fills a need for the Raiders. Oakland has some decent receivers but no one close to being in Watkins’ class. He will be a game-changer from Day 1.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, DE Buffalo – Mack dominated in college and while some will point to the fact that he played in the MAC, he had some of his biggest games against top-level competition. I saw Mack play a couple of times against bigger schools and he was a terror coming off the edge. He will instantly help a dormant Falcons’ pass rush.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M – The Bucs could go in many different directions but Matthews would be tough to pass up here. Matthews is a devastating run blocker and he has quick feet for a guy his size. The Bucs want to run the football and Matthews will help them solidify their line.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M – The Vikings re-signed Matt Cassel but they want to add a young quarterback in the draft and Manziel makes sense for Minnesota. A polarizing figure, Manziel will be an easy sell to a fan base that idolizes the quarterback he is often compared to: Fran Tarkenton. While Manziel does run a lot, when he threw from pocket last season he did a much better job of going through his progressions than the year before. Also, like him or not, Manziel ripped Nick Saban’s defense twice and that doesn’t happen often.

9. Buffalo Bills: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M – The Bills are set on building around EJ Manuel and giving the young quarterback a 6’5 receiver is a great way to help him. Stevie Johnson is slowing down and there aren’t many receivers that can make plays with corners draped all over him like Evans can. Evans, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin would make an intriguing young trio of receivers in Buffalo.

10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State – A lot of people like Justin Gilbert as the top corner because of his speed but I don’t think it’s close. Dennard was the best cover corner in college football last year. Denard is tough, smart and he would make a great addition to Detroit’s secondary.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, LB UCLA – Barr could easily be a Top 10 selection given his ability and production in college. However, if Barr slips to 11, the Titans will have to strongly consider him. Tennessee can go in a lot of different directions but the Titans are in need of an explosive pass rusher and Barr fits the bill.

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan – Linebacker is a popular pick for the Giants and they certainly need to upgrade at that position. However, the Giants had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season and protecting Eli Manning is the team’s top priority. Lewan was one of the few bright spots on the worst coached team in college football last year once Lane Kiffin was fired.

13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S Alabama – When your name is “Ha Ha” you should be drafted in the Top 15 by law. Dix is all over the field. I actually think he is one of the 10 best players in the draft at any position. The Rams safeties are dreadful. Dix would come in and be a huge upgrade to a defense that already has a nasty front seven.

14. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT Florida State – How bad was the Bears’ rush defense last year? Ray Rice gained 131 yards on them. Chicago is one of the easiest teams to project. They badly need a defensive tackle or safety. If the talented Jernigan is on the board, he will be a strong possibility for the Bears.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh – Like Chicago, the Steelers could go safety or defensive tackle here. Receiver is also a possibility but Donald is flying up draft boards. He also represents both value and fills a need for Pittsburgh. The Steelers often take the best player available and at 15, Donald would be that guy on a lot of boards.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Louis Nix, DT Notre Dame – The run on defensive tackles continues. The Cowboys’ defensive line is likely to take another hit when they lose DE Jason Hatcher to free agency, as Jerry Jones’ mismanagement of the salary cap continues to put the team in a bind. Dallas desperately needs a nose tackle and Nix is one of the top ones in this draft. He would be an excellent pick for the Cowboys, which means you can cross him off the list.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Odell Beckham, WR LSU – The Ravens badly need another receiver to complement Torrey Smith and help Joe Flacco. Beckham is a tough receiver that can go inside similar to Anquan Boldin, only with more speed. Beckham is one of the most underrated players in the draft. He has all the skills to be a star NFL receiver.

18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina – Geno Smith took a lot of criticism in his first season and much of it was deserved. Still, the Jets had the worst group of receivers and tight ends in the NFL. New York has to go offense with this pick to help its young quarterback. They could take a receiver but Ebron is the top tight end prospect available and would represent great value if he is still on the board at 18.

19. Miami Dolphins: Zach Martin, OT Notre Dame – Martin was excellent during his career at Notre Dame. He dominated as a left tackle and Martin has the versatility to play multiple positions on the line early in his career. Given all the problems the Dolphins have with their offensive line right now, Martin would be an excellent selection for them.

20. Arizona Cardinals: C.J. Mosley, LB Alabama – We are getting to the point in the draft where value matters and while Arizona does need an outside linebacker, Mosley is too good to pass up here even if the position may not be the team’s most pressing need. Mosley would fit in nicely with one of the emerging defensive units in the NFL.

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville – The Packers had some of the worst safety play in the NFL last year. If either Pryor or Clinton Dix are on the board at 21, Green Bay will have to strongly consider them to address a major weakness.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State – Gilbert probably won’t last this long but I’m not as high on him as some people. When it comes to corners I think it’s Dennard and everyone else. The Eagles’ secondary was awful last season. They could address it in free agency but either way, corner and safety are both options for Philadelphia at 22.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR USC – The Chiefs need more gamebreakers on offense and Lee would be a steal this low. Lee is slipping among draftniks but they need to look at his college situation. When you still put up numbers despite playing for the worst coach on the planet, it says a lot. I think Lee is one of the top offensive threats in the draft.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE Missouri – The Bengals will likely lose Michael Johnson, so Ealy will help Cincinnati upgrade at a vital position. Ealy is a quick edge rusher who is also strong against the run. He can step in and rotate with Carlos Dunlap and Margus Hunt as a rookie.

25. San Diego Chargers: David Yankey, G Stanford – The Chargers showed at the end of last season their offense is at its best when they can run the ball effectively. Yankey is a piledriving run blocker who will instantly upgrade San Diego’s line at a position of need.

26. Cleveland Browns: Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State – The Browns are picking here because the Colts thought they said “sixth round” pick instead of “first round” pick for Trent Richardson. Cleveland obviously has many needs but Josh Gordon is really the only threat the Browns have at receiver. The explosive Cooks would change that, along with giving Cleveland a dangerous return man.

27. New Orleans Saints: Dee Ford, DE Auburn – I have Ford as a Top 15 player in this draft and will probably move him up as we go along. However, right now this is the area he is projected to go in. Ford dominated last year in the SEC and if he goes to the right team like the Saints, I think he will be a stud in the NFL. I won’t be surprised if someone like the Steelers grab him higher in the draft but if Ford lasts this long, Rob Ryan will love him.

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State – If a top receiver is on the board at 28, I have to think the Panthers will pull the trigger. Carolina has the pieces in place to make another Super Bowl run, they just need more weapons in the passing game and help at offensive tackle. The 6’5 Benjamin would give Cam Newton a huge target, especially in the red zone.

29. New England Patriots: Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech – If New England loses Aqib Talib, I like this pick for the Patriots. Fuller is the kind of smart, versatile corner Bill Belichick likes. Watching him in college, I could see Fuller playing for New England, so I’m projecting him to go there over the more popular Jace Amaro pick.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State – The 49ers don’t have many weaknesses but one area where they could stand to upgrade is at cornerback, especially after releasing Carlos Rogers. Roby was inconsistent last season but he still possesses a ton of physical ability. Under the right coaching staff, Roby has the tools to be a top-tier NFL corner.

31. Denver Broncos: Ra’Shede Hageman, DL Minnesota – The Broncos could grab an OT here to protect Peyton Manning but with Robert Ayers and Shaun Phillips’ futures both in doubt, defensive line is an area of need as well. Besides, if Hageman lasts this long, the versatile lineman will be one of the top players left on the board.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Jace Amaro, TE Texas Tech – Seattle likes Luke Wilson but Amaro would add another dimension to the Seahawks’ offense. Amaro creates a lot of mismatches with opposing defenses and would give Russell Wilson a legitimate threat at the tight end position. Amaro is coming off a season where he caught 106 passes at Texas Tech.



Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 17, 2013


By: — December 31, 2013 @ 8:40 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.

Browns – Steelers
The Browns ended a tough season by firing Rob Chudzinski after only one year. I’ve always been a fan of Chudzinski and was surprised he got just one year; but on the other hand, if ownership isn’t happy with a coach, I don’t see waiting to make a move. That’s one of the biggest mistakes in sports. Why wait a year to fire a guy you don’t want to be your coach? Keep an eye on where Chudzinski lands next year as an offensive coordinator. Despite his 4-12 season as a head coach in Cleveland, the guy knows offense and will be a benefit to fantasy owners if he lands with a team that has a decent quarterback.

Chris Johnson

CJ2K’s future with the Titans is uncertain.

Texans – Titans
Chris Johnson ended the year on a high note, rushing for 127 yards and a score. I like to bust Johnson’s chops because he complains about everything. He makes excuses for his poor play, he throws teammates under the bus and he blames fantasy owners when he has a bad game. However, while Johnson may no longer be in Adrian Peterson’s class, he still has some productive years left in him if he stays motivated. It will be interesting to see where he ends up in 2014. Hopefully it will be with a team that gets him out in space more and utilizes his strengths better than the Titans did the last couple of years.

Redskins – Giants
This game was so dreadful no one even showed up to watch it. There are only a couple of things I can say about this game. I feel sorry for the team that hires Mike Shanahan. I mean, seriously, look at his record since 2006. I say it all the time: football changes, and just because a coach used to be considered good doesn’t mean that’s still the case. Just ask Monte Kiffin. Next year will be huge for Eli Manning. He’s coming off one of the worst seasons a big-time quarterback in his prime has had in my lifetime. One guy Manning may want to throw to more next year is Jerrel Jernigan. He played really well over the final three games. It was weird watching a Giants receiver that actually wanted to be on the field.

Jets – Dolphins
People spend so much time making fun of the Jets it should be recognized what a good job Rex Ryan did this season. The Jets had one of the worst groups of offensive skill position players I can remember, started a rookie quarterback, lost Darrelle Revis and still went 8-8. The Jets have to get more talent on the offensive side of the ball though. They need to draft a Julio Jones/A.J. Green kind of young receiver that can make big plays in the passing game. If New York drafts defense again in the first round, its fans should revolt. Ryan Tannehill has become the latest person to declare his dislike for Mike Sherman. Sherman better be careful. Soon he’ll be hated by more players than Todd Haley.

Lions – Vikings
This was the loser bowl featuring two pathetic coaches waiting to get fired. I would be jumping to get one of these jobs if I were a coach on the market. It’s obvious that Detroit has talent and Jim Schwartz just can’t coach his way out of a paper bag, but don’t sell Leslie Frazier short. He can’t coach worth a darn either. This is the guy who didn’t start using Cordarrelle Patterson until Week 11. The Vikings have talent too, they just need a quarterback. If Minnesota can bring in the right coach and quarterback like the Chiefs did last offseason, I can see them making a big leap in 2014.

Jaguars – Colts
It took offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton some time but it appears he finally realizes that he’s not at Stanford anymore. Hamilton spent much of the year trying to feature a non-existent power running game instead of letting his stud quarterback lead the offense. In college you can do that stuff because Stanford is playing Washington State and Colorado, but in the NFL if you have an elite quarterback the offense has to run through him. After 14 weeks the guy making a lot of money to run an NFL offense finally figured out what the rest of us knew in Week 2. Andrew Luck is now distributing the ball to all his receivers and Indianapolis is using the running game to complement him, not the other way around. If the Jaguars don’t draft a quarterback in Round 1 they should get kicked out of the league.

Ravens – Bengals
It’s funny because the Ravens are one year removed from winning the Super Bowl but I feel they have a lot of work to do this offseason. Marlon Brown was a nice surprise this year but Baltimore has to find more playmakers on offense to help Joe Flacco. Dennis Pitta will be healthy next season but I don’t care what Ray Rice says, he’s two years away from retiring. The Ravens need to accept that Rice is close to done and do something about their running game. I know the line didn’t block anyone but Rice also couldn’t find holes when they were there. Baltimore’s offense is going into an offseason of transition. The Bengals head to the playoffs, and while Marvin Jones stepped up a little this year, I feel like they are one slot receiver away from having a scary offense. If Cincinnati can find one of those quick slot receivers in the draft, its offense will be even better in 2014.

Falcons – Panthers
The last two weeks were the epitome of the Falcons’ miserable season. Atlanta had a chance to beat both playoff-bound San Francisco and Carolina but came up short each time. Tony Gonzalez is gone, but every time I see him I feel like I should be a Vegan. The guy looks 22. Still, the Falcons offense will be much improved in 2014. You saw how much better it looked with just Roddy White healthy. With Julio Jones and White both back next year Matt Ryan will have a big bounceback season. Carolina finished 26th in total offense under Mike Shula, just like I predicted. Thank God for Cam Newton and their defense.

49ers – Cardinals
The Cardinals came up short on Sunday against the hottest team in the league and just missed out on the playoffs, but Year 1 in Arizona under Bruce Arians was a success. The Cardinals have one of the best defenses in the NFL. Now they just have to figure out a way to defend the tight end. Arizona has a strong group of receivers and found a playmaker in the backfield with Andre Ellington. I don’t think the Cardinals can take the next step with Carson Palmer at quarterback but I’m guessing he’ll be the starter again in 2014. However, I also expect them to select a quarterback pretty high in the draft.

Chiefs – Chargers
The Chargers almost inexplicably blew a golden opportunity to get into the playoffs by barely beating the Chiefs’ B-team in overtime. I admit that I thought San Diego would win only three games this year, so I have to tip my hat to Mike McCoy. He did an excellent job in his first season getting a team I still don’t believe has a ton of talent into the playoffs. Knile Davis was a guy I had as a sleeper coming into the draft and then the Chiefs selected him higher than most thought he would go. Davis was once considered a potential second-round pick before injuries and fumbling problems hurt his draft stock in college. However, you saw some of his physical ability on Sunday. If Jamaal Charles were to ever go down in the future, Davis would be a strong fantasy option, assuming he can hang onto the football.

Rams – Seahawks
I bet $100 on Seattle to win the Super Bowl back in May. I’ll win $1,000 if the Seahawks win it all, and while I’m obviously happy they have home field advantage, I don’t think Seattle will get there. My main concern is that Russell Wilson has lost his confidence. If you watch Wilson closely, he’s leaving the pocket when there’s no rush now, he has nervous feet and he isn’t going through his reads like he used to. Seattle has had injuries on the offensive line and Percy Harvin never really played this year. It looks to me like Wilson is regressing a little bit. Watch for this in the playoffs because if Wilson struggles, I would be concerned that it could linger into next season.

Packers – Bears
I no longer have a doubt in my mind that Jay Cutler has a sexual crush on Brandon Marshall. If you could throw a Hail Mary up to any receiver in the NFL, who would it be? The right answer is Megatron but the second receiver is Alshon Jeffery. Very few receivers can go up and get the ball at its highest point like Jeffery. So what does Cutler do on the last play of the game with the Bears’ season on the line? He throws one up to Marshall. As good as Marshall is, Jeffery has a much better chance of going up and making that play. You have to hand it to the Packers. They stayed in it because they have a better coach than the Lions and Bears, got Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb back for the last game and those two made the play that sent Green Bay to the playoffs. A lot of people like the Packers to make a run in the playoffs. I’m not one of them. The 49ers are an awful matchup for Green Bay. It was a great job to get into the postseason but it will be one-and-done when San Fran comes calling next week.

Buccaneers – Saints
I’m always pleased when a jerk gets fired. The first time I saw the Buccaneers attack the line on the victory formation and Greg Schiano said, “We play until the final whistle,” I waited for the day to see him get fired. Go coach high school football, you jerk. I’ve worked in the NFL. Those guys will buy into that crap for about 10 minutes until they get bored with it. That’s the kind of nonsense that may work at Rutgers but it’s not going to work with guys making millions. Trust me, if we think it’s stupid, players think it’s stupid too. I thought Mike Glennon played well for a rookie getting thrown into the fire. Like Minnesota, I don’t believe the Tampa Bay job is a terrible job to get. If Glennon pans out, they have more talent than is reflected by their record.

Bills – Patriots
Man, your rush defense is bad when LeGarrette Blount is running for 189 yards and two scores. The Bills were competitive in Doug Marrone’s first year. Buffalo still needs some more pieces, but I thought Marrone got the most out of his talent. I will be interested to see if the team progresses in his second season. If you draft C.J. Spiller next year, you get what you deserve. Don’t come crying to me when he’s in and out of 10 games with multiple injuries, along with being a game-time decision every week. That soft SOB won’t even be on my draft board.

Broncos – Raiders
Peyton Manning broke every regular-season record but it’s not going to mean anything unless he plays well in the postseason. No player in recent memory has more pressure on him in the playoffs than Manning does this year. Even if the Broncos don’t win it all, he has to play well or the scrutiny on him will be relentless and, to be honest, well-deserved. I know Dennis Allen doesn’t coach for the best organization but he looks to be in way over his head. I don’t think he has any business being an NFL head coach. The guy constantly mismanages the clock, his personnel and game situations. You can’t blame Al Davis for that too.

Eagles – Cowboys
New year, different quarterback, same result for the Cowboys. Boy, I wonder what is the one thing that has been the same over the last 16 years? The players have changed. The coaches have changed. Yet, Dallas only has one playoff win in 16 years. I wonder what could be the real problem there. It’s a mystery. While Jerry Jones continues to count his money and pretend he cares about winning, the Eagles’ investment in Chip Kelly paid off. Kelly utilized all of his offensive weapons and the defense improved just enough to send the Eagles to the playoffs. Meanwhile in Dallas, 2012 Top 10 pick Morris Claiborne is now a nickel corner and last year’s second-round pick, tight end Gavin Escobar, finished the year with nine receptions. Keep up the great work, Jerry. In 20 more years I feel a Super Bowl coming.


Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 16, 2013


By: — December 24, 2013 @ 9:17 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.

Dolphins – Bills
The Dolphins rewarded fantasy owners playing in their championship games with squat. Miami got shut out and only put up 103 total yards. Fred Jackson had a big game for those who started him. Jackson rushed for 111 yards and a score. C.J. Spiller got one more carry than Jackson but as usual did far less, rushing for just 77 yards. Then again, if you’re still starting Spiller you probably stopped playing after Week 2 and aren’t reading this column, so who cares?

Drew Bress

Brees posted a clunker as did many other QBs during Week 16.

Saints – Panthers
Drew Brees really put the screws to fantasy owners last week. After having a subpar game against the Rams, Brees put up a real stinker in Carolina, throwing for just 281 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. I’m not the kind of guy who would have benched Brees in the finals, but if you did, hopefully you replaced him with a better option. Cam Newton didn’t do much either. Newton threw for 181 yards, a touchdown and an interception. For a game that featured two elite fantasy QBs, this one didn’t deliver when its owners needed them the most.

Cowboys – Redskins
Kirk Cousins was a popular start last week but he ended up turning in an average performance. I even thought about playing him over Tom Brady. In the end they each finished with the same amount of points, which wasn’t good for me, so it didn’t matter. The one thing you can hang your hat on with the Dallas defense is that an opposing team’s top receiver will be wide open all game long. Pierre Garcon was targeted 18 times on Sunday, catching 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. DeMarco Murray rewarded his owners by going over 100 total yards and scoring twice.

Buccaneers – Rams
This game wasn’t expected to feature many fantasy studs and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Zac Stacy rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown, as he continues to eat up carries regardless of the opponent. The only other player who made a fantasy splash was Vincent Jackson. Jackson just missed a 100-yard game, catching five passes for 98 yards. Stedman Bailey was one of my top receivers coming out of this year’s draft. I have no idea why it took the Rams’ coaching staff so long to get him on to the field, but Bailey should be on your radar for 2014.

Browns – Jets
Speaking of games that weren’t expected to produce many fantasy stars, this is the epitome of one. With Jordan Cameron out for the Browns, Josh Gordon was probably the only player in this game started in most leagues. Gordon had a solid day, catching six balls for 97 yards. Some owners may have started Chris Ivory, who went over 100 yards on 20 carries but failed to score. The Jets have some of the worst skill position players in recent memory. They can fire their coach and get another quarterback, but if that team doesn’t get new receivers and tight ends, it won’t matter.

Colts – Chiefs
The Chiefs had been living off of their defense and Jamaal Charles, but only one of them showed up on Sunday. Charles racked up 144 total yards and a touchdown. Those numbers are modest after Charles exploded for five touchdowns two weeks ago but it’s still a strong outing overall. However, the Chiefs’ defense was ripped for 23 points and 367 yards and only recorded one sack despite the Colts missing two starting offensive linemen. Donald Brown closed with a big game, proving he should have gotten more touches all along, while Griff Whalen had his second strong fantasy outing in a row.

Vikings – Bengals
The Vikings’ pass defense is atrocious and Andy Dalton took full advantage, throwing for 366 yards and four touchdowns. Dalton has now maxed out his quota for big games in a season, so the Bengals can sit him next week. Adrian Peterson started but only rushed 11 times for 45 yards. Owners who were hoping for a big game out of Peterson in the finals probably wish he had been inactive for the second straight week instead. Cordarrelle Patterson continues to make plays. On Monday when Leslie Frazier gets fired it will be because it took him eight weeks to get Percy Harvin involved in the offense two years ago and 12 weeks to get Patterson involved this year. That’s great coaching.

Broncos – Texans
If you survived the Broncos’ poor offensive output two weeks ago, they made up for it on Sunday. Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, while Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas all had big games. I want to thank Demaryius Thomas for showing up on my fantasy team for the Super Bowl. At least someone did. The Texans are a trainwreck. When Andre Johnson starts dropping sure touchdowns, you know the end of a miserable season can’t get here soon enough.

Titans – Jaguars
It was a tough end to the season for Chris Johnson owners. Johnson ran for 90 yards on 20 carries but owners had to watch Shonn Greene ramble for 91 yards and a score on 19 carries as well. The Jaguars give up a ton of points to tight ends. I put an end to that. After losing Rob Gronkowski I started Delanie Walker last week and he did nothing other than drop passes and get overthrown in the end zone. Speaking of doing nothing, Maurice Jones-Drew had to come back just so he could kill the fantasy value of Jordan Todman. MJD was slow and ran nowhere but now he can go on the radio and joke about how he started himself. That was funny five years ago.

Cardinals – Seahawks
If you started anyone in this game other than the Seahawks or Cardinals defenses, you were obviously disappointed. Each team scored only one touchdown and Seattle was held to less than 200 yards of offense. If you were counting on Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch or Larry Fitzgerald in your fantasy championship, hopefully the rest of your team picked up the slack.

Giants – Lions
Reggie Bush owners got a kick in the stones after he was benched for fumbling. Joique Bell was the beneficiary, gaining 154 total yards, catching 10 passes and scoring a touchdown. If you rolled the dice and started Bell as a flex play, it paid off big. Calvin Johnson was another disappointment on Sunday. Megatron was dealing with multiple injuries and finished with just three catches for 43 yards on the day. If you’re sick of watching Jim Schwartz trying to coach, you’re in luck. He could be fired by the time you read this sentence.

Patriots – Ravens
Tom Brady and Shane Vereen helped put the fork in my fantasy season. I knew Brady was going to have a poor game but he was my best option. Vereen screwed owners for the second straight week. He’s one of those guys who can’t be trusted. Take him right off your draft board for next season. He’ll just end up getting injured again. People say you can’t predict injuries. I can. I predicted Beanie Wells would get hurt every year. I predict Darren McFadden will get hurt every year. Vereen will get hurt next season after a couple of games. He’s that guy. Mark it down.

Steelers – Packers
If you started a Pittsburgh receiver other than Antonio Brown, you probably thought he wasn’t playing. Out of Ben Roethlisberger’s 28 pass attempts, Brown saw 13 targets, catching six passes for 105 yards. Emmanuel Sanders did make the most of his two receptions, catching one for a score, but as it has been all season, Brown was a target monster on Sunday. Eddie Lacy might have nailed down Rookie of the Year honors by rushing for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Just think of where the Packers would be right now without Lacy.

Raiders – Chargers
If Lacy doesn’t win Rookie of the Year it will be Keenan Allen. Allen didn’t have one of his best games on Sunday but at least one of his three receptions went for a score. Allen’s poor game wasn’t entirely his fault. Philip Rivers was all over the place with his throws. He badly missed a wide-open Allen coming across the middle for what would have been another touchdown. Ryan Mathews continued his late-season surge by gaining 99 yards and scoring a touchdown. Meanwhile, Rashad Jennings was held in check and stood on the sidelines while that waste of space, Darren McFadden, vultured a touchdown. It was just nice to see McFadden take a hand-off without pulling something. That guy is a real trooper.

Bears – Eagles
The Bears’ run defense is so bad I’m starting to think my fat cousin could gain 100 yards on them. LeSean McCoy ran for 133 yards and two scores but that’s only because he got 18 carries. McCoy could have run for over 300 yards if the Eagles had needed him to. Heck, his backup, Bryce Brown, ran for 115 yards and a touchdown. While McCoy helped owners win a fantasy title, Matt Forte did just the opposite. The Bears got behind early and Forte was a non-factor. He only rushed for 29 yards and did nothing as a receiver. Maybe it’s just me, but I remember Chicago’s offense being a lot better when Jay Cutler was hurt.

Falcons – 49ers
The final game of Fantasy Super Bowl week had some strong performances. Matt Ryan threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns. Colin Kaepernick had 248 total yards and scored twice. Roddy White rewarded the few owners still starting him by having his best game of the season. White caught 12 balls for 141 yards and a score. Michael Crabtree went over 100 yards, Frank Gore gained 97 yards and scored, Anquan Boldin caught six passes and found the end zone and Tony Gonzalez hauled in eight balls and scored a touchdown. Heck, everyone not named Vernon Davis produced for fantasy owners in this game. It was a great way to end the fantasy season. That is unless you’re in one of the 20 leagues that play into Week 17. If so, see you next Tuesday.


Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 15, 2013


By: — December 17, 2013 @ 12:57 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.

Chargers – Broncos
Peyton Manning and Co. picked a terrible time to have one of their worst offensive outings of the season. Manning threw for 289 yards and two scores with an interception. Both of his scores went to Andre Caldwell, which was an absolute waste. Demaryius Thomas did nothing. Julius Thomas did nothing. Eric Decker did nothing. Knowshon Moreno did nothing. Montee Ball did nothing. The Broncos carried so many fantasy owners all season long and the irony is that those same players are the season why some owners aren’t advancing. For the Chargers, Ryan Mathews ran for 127 yards and a score, while rookie sensation Keen Allen only caught two passes, but they both went for touchdowns.

Patriots – Dolphins
Boy, Shane Vereen picked a great week to put up a stinker. Vereen had been on a tear since coming back from a broken wrist but barely made the stat line on Sunday, costing some owners a win. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola both had huge games, combing for 23 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown on 33 targets. I’ve played against Mike Wallace three times this year and he’s gone over 100 yards every time. In case you were wondering, Wallace has only four 100-yard games all year.

Bills – Jaguars
I went with my gut and started Jordan Todman this week over Frank Gore and Harry Douglas as my flex play. My gut was finally right, as Todman racked up 153 total yards and four receptions. He may have scored, too, if the Jaguars hadn’t wasted a handoff on Denard Robinson just to watch him fumble. Fred Jackson ran for 80 yards and C.J. Spiller ran for 67 yards. However, owners were expecting more against this poor Jacksonville rush defense, especially from Spiller. Spiller was a first-round pick in most leagues and a major disappointment this season. He had a chance to repay owners with a big game in the playoffs against a bad defense and didn’t do it. You couldn’t pay me to draft that soft SOB next year.

Texans – Colts
This game was a whole lot of fantasy nothing. It had some decent performances like Ben Tate’s 72 yards rushing and T.Y. Hilton‘s eight catches for 78 yards, but the two offensive touchdowns were scored by Griff Whalen and Trent Richardson. You remember Richardson, don’t you? People used to start him on their fantasy teams before they cut him. The big fantasy news from this game was Andre Johnson being held to four receptions for 18 yards.

Eagles – Vikings
Thank God people like me went out and spent the rest of their free agent money on Toby Gerhart last week. Gerhart sat next to Adrian Peterson on the sidelines and watched Matt Asiata score three touchdowns. Of course short scores are about all Asiata is good for, considering he ran for 51 yards on 30 carries (1.7 YPC). Nick Foles rewarded those owners who picked him up this year by totaling 469 yards and three touchdowns. It was a disappointing day for LeSean McCoy owners though. Shady saw only eight carries because the Eagles fell behind early, but he did contribute as a receiver, catching five passes for 68 yards.

Seahawks – Giants
If you didn’t start Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin, Steven Hauschka or Seattle’s defense, this game was useless from a fantasy perspective. You notice I didn’t mention any Giants? Lynch caught six passes, racked up 120 total yards and scored. Baldwin caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Hauschka kicked three field goals and the Seattle defense pitched a shutout. To put the Giants’ day in perspective, their biggest offensive star was Jerrel Jernigan. Eli Manning threw five more interceptions. He’s having one of the worst seasons of any quarterback that I can remember.

49ers – Buccaneers
This game didn’t have a ton of offense but the good news for fantasy owners is that the guys who made the most noise where players likely to be in their starting lineups. Colin Kaepernick had a good game, while Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Vincent Jackson all scored. Even Phil Dawson kicked four field goals for owners like me who started him. Some games don’t have a lot of offensive numbers but the right players put up the stats for fantasy purposes. This was one of those games.

Bears – Browns
Jay Cutler returned as the Bears’ starting quarterback and threw for 265 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. It took Cutler a while to get going but the Bears’ offense didn’t really miss a beat. Matt Forte rushed for 127 yards, while Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery each scored and combined for 11 receptions. The Browns know they really don’t have a running game when they can’t run the ball on the Bears. Chicago’s rush defense is so bad the Bears allow 20 yards per game more than any other team in the NFL. Josh Gordon was finally held to less than 100 yards but still scored, so it wasn’t a total disaster for fantasy owners.

Redskins – Falcons
If you had a hunch and started Kirk Cousins last week, it paid off big. Cousins threw for 381 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. I know it was against Atlanta, but Washington’s passing game sure looked a lot better with Cousins under center than Robert Griffin. Steven Jackson scored twice, so if you suffered with him all year, at least he delivered late. Then again you probably aren’t starting him anymore, so it doesn’t matter.

Packers – Cowboys
Do you think Monte Kiffin will win the award for top assistant coach this year? I mean when you’re embarrassing the Kiffin family more than Lane, that’s really saying something. Dallas’ joke defense allowed Matt Flynn to throw for just under 300 yards and four touchdowns. Eddie Lacy, at less than 100 percent, ran over the Cowboys for 141 yards and a score. It was nice to see Tony Romo finally throw the ball to Dez Bryant when he wasn’t throwing it to the other team. I’ve argued that Bryant can make catches even when he’s covered and he showed that on his touchdown reception. Bryant finished with 153 yards and the score on 11 receptions.

Jets – Panthers
You probably aren’t starting any Jets on your fantasy team at this point and that’s a good thing considering they are using a defensive lineman to rush for a touchdown. Deangelo Williams had his best fantasy day of the year, racking up 168 total yards and scoring a touchdown. Greg Olsen had a nice outing and Mike Tolbert scored, but other than that this game didn’t have much fantasy appeal, as was predicted.

Jamaal Charles

Does Jamaal have anything left for Week 16?

Chiefs – Raiders
This game was all about Jamaal Charles. Charles caught eight passes for 195 yards and five touchdowns while adding 20 yards and a score on the ground. Owners who played against Charles last week just drew the short straw. I play against him next week for my fantasy title and I’m hoping he blew his wad. Rashad Jennings didn’t put up the same numbers as Charles but he continues to be a revelation for both the Raiders and fantasy owners. Jennings finished with 91 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Cardinals – Titans
Kendall Wright is always one of those receivers owners wonder if they should start or not. Hopefully last week you put Wright in your lineup because he blew up by catching 12 balls for 150 yards on 20 targets. You know any team playing the Cardinals is going to have a tight end that has a good fantasy day. This time it was Delanie Walker, who caught eight passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. You’d think by this point in the season Arizona would cover tight ends down by the goal line. Andre Ellington had a big game for the Cardinals, finishing with 158 total yards.

Saints – Rams
Drew Brees ended up throwing for 393 yards, but just like with Peyton Manning, this wasn’t the game owners were expecting out of him. Brees threw for one touchdown and rushed for another but also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. It wasn’t an awful game but it also wasn’t one of his 300-yard, five-touchdown performances either. Jimmy Graham went MIA at the worst possible time for fantasy owners. After dominating all year, Graham was held by the Rams to just 25 yards on two receptions. Zac Stacy has had a great rookie year and he helped fantasy owners who didn’t bail on him. Stacy ran for 133 yards and a touchdown after getting shut down in Week 14 by Arizona.

Bengals – Steelers
Le’Veon Bell started the year injured but paid off for fantasy owners in the playoffs with 107 total yards, five receptions and a touchdown. Antonio Brown has been putting up huge numbers all year and while this wasn’t one of his monster games he still caught five balls for 66 yards and a touchdown. He also scored on a punt return. A.J. Green caught nine passes for 91 yards but didn’t find the end zone. Giovani Bernard scored but did little else. Bernard is a great player, but one of the tougher things I’ve ever had to do in fantasy football is try to decide when to start that guy. I think I guessed right twice.

Ravens – Lions
Let’s go back to August. Who thought during the fantasy playoffs in a game that featured Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Ray Rice that the star would be Justin Tucker? Tucker kicked six field goals, including a 61-yarder. Meanwhile, Stafford had an awful game, throwing for 235 yards, one score and three interceptions. Megatron caught six passes for 98 yards but it wasn’t one of his best performances. Johnson saw 14 targets but dropped more passes than were used to seeing. He could have had a much bigger night if it weren’t for the drops. Rice only had 56 yards but if he’s still in your starting lineup, you’re obviously not trying very hard to win a title.


Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 14, 2013


By: — December 10, 2013 @ 7:54 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.

Texans – Jaguars
The Texans’ 11th straight loss ended up getting Gary Kubiak fired. The good news is that Houston is now in the capable hands of Wade Phillips. Wow, a team that has lost 11 games in a row and has quit on the season being led by Wade Phillips. I set the over/under for players being at practice at 20. Houston may be struggling but Andre Johnson is still a force. He caught 13 passes for 154 yards on an absurd 21 targets. It came at a perfect time for owners that needed Johnson in the first round of fantasy playoffs. Maurice Jones-Drew left with a hamstring injury late but not before he went for over 100 yards on just 14 carries. Jacksonville has struggled covering the tight end all year and Garrett Graham took advantage by seeing 14 targets. Graham finished with eight catches for 73 yards and a score. He has now seen 47 targets through his last four games.

Raiders – Jets
Marcel Reece got the last-minute call to start when Rashad Jennings wasn’t cleared to play because of a concussion. Reece rewarded owners like me who inserted him in their lineups by racking up 161 total yards and scoring on a 63-yard run. Rod Streater also had a big game for Oakland, catching seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Streater has emerged as the Raiders’ most consistent fantasy receiver this season. The Jets scored 37 points, which are more than they’ve combined for in about a month. Things went so well for the Jets on Sunday that even Ed Reed had an interception.

Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton’s big day came at just the right time.

Colts – Bengals
Andy Dalton had one of his five big fantasy days of the season, throwing for 275 yards and accounting for four touchdowns. And it came just in time for owners who started him in the first round of the playoffs. Giovanni Bernard just missed a 100-yard rushing day, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored twice. One week after realizing that Trent Richardson can’t play, the Colts did the same with Darrius Heyward-Bey. Although, to be fair, Richardson is Adrian Peterson compared to Heyward-Bey. Andrew Luck found chemistry with two young receivers on Sunday. Da’Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill combined for 160 yards and four touchdowns on nine receptions. I would recommend picking both guys up, but who knows what that idiot Pep Hamilton is going to do next week. He’ll probably want to run the fullback more.

Lions – Eagles
In what was the best of many snow games, the Lions and Eagles proved they could put up points in any conditions by combining for 54 in a blizzard. LeSean McCoy ran over the Lions’ defense for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately for Reggie Bush owners, he didn’t run over anyone. Bush was dealing with a calf injury all week and then slipped in pre-game warmups. He never played a down and no doubt cost many owners a win. Joique Bell filled in for Bush and put up 127 total yards and a touchdown, although he did lose two fumbles in the snowy conditions. Brent Celek cost Nick Foles another touchdown because he slid down with less than 2:00 to go and the Eagles up by 14. Next time just score and do a snow angel.

Dolphins – Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger continues to have a strong fantasy season. He threw for 349 yards and three touchdowns, rewarding owners who started him in the playoffs. Lamar Miller left the game early with a concussion and Daniel Thomas took advantage by rushing for 105 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Antonio Brown had another huge game. He saw only five targets but caught all of them for 137 yards and a score. Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery also had touchdown receptions. It was Cotchery’s ninth of the season. Brown would have had another score on one of the craziest plays in NFL history but stepped out of bounds by two inches on the final play of the game.

Browns – Patriots
It’s really amazing how many bad teams choke against the Patriots. Don’t get me wrong, Tom Brady and New England deserve a lot of credit for coming back, but this was a game the Browns had to win. They dominated for much of the way and still lost. Then again, it’s hard when you’re playing against the officials too. What would happen if the Patriots played Notre Dame in Notre Dame? Would the refs just never throw a flag? Jason Campbell threw for 391 yards and three scores, Josh Gordon went for over 100 yards in the fourth straight game and Jordan Cameron caught nine passes for 121 yards and a score, yet the Browns still came up short. That’s because of Tom Brady and Shane Vereen. Brady threw for 418 yards and two touchdowns, while Vereen caught 12 passes for 153 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. Owners who dropped Vereen earlier this season must really be kicking themselves. The other big story from the game is the injury to Rob Gronkowski, who is out for the season with a knee injury. In my league where I had a bye, I’ve now lost Gronk, Reggie Wayne, Julio Jones and Justin Blackmon. It’s amazing I had a bye.

Chiefs – Redskins
I can’t fathom why teams still want to hire Mike Shanahan as their coach. Is he going to bring John Elway with him? Do you realize that since 2006 Shanahan has a record of 48-61? Even last year he needed a miracle run to avoid another losing season. Reports surfaced last week that Shanahan cleaned out his desk at the end of last season. Well, after Sunday’s 45-10 demolition, I have a feeling he’s going to be cleaning out his desk again. Don’t worry though because another team will be dying to hire him so they can go 7-9. The guy is the biggest fraud in the NFL. For most of the year it’s been good to own Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs’ defense. That was the case again on Sunday. Charles ran for 151 yards and scored twice, while Kansas City’s defense/special teams recorded six sacks, caused two turnovers and scored two touchdowns of their own.

Vikings – Ravens
In a game that featured one of the wildest final two minutes ever, the Vikings and Ravens scored four touchdowns over that span. The big story from this game besides the amazing finish was the injury to Adrian Peterson. Peterson left early with a foot injury, no doubt killing the chances of many fantasy owners. For those who survived, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that Toby Gerhart should be owned in all leagues by Peterson owners as insurance for the playoffs. However, now he has a “tweaked” hamstring, so his status for next week is up in the air as well. Cordarrelle Paterson has really been coming on and he torched the Ravens for 141 yards and a score. Dennis Pitta made an impact in his first game back, catching six passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. If you lost Rob Gronkowski, Pitta is a guy you should be targeting this week as a replacement. He looked pretty good, especially considering the conditions he played in.

Falcons – Packers
I was trying to think about what to write about this game but I realized I just don’t care anything about it. Can you believe that? This is a game that was supposed to feature two Super Bowl contenders but instead it ended up being a matchup only gamblers and fantasy football owners cared about. To make matters worse, owners of Aaron Rodgers didn’t even care about it. Even the guys who scored—Drew Davis and Andrew Quarless, for instance—were meaningless. Eddie Lacy ran for 65 yards and a score. Roddy White seems to be back. He had his second good game in a row with eight receptions for 74 yards. That’s about it though. Then after thinking this game was meaningless, I realized the NFC North is so bad that if Rodgers comes back next week the Packers will probably win the division. That Jim Schwartz is doing one hell of a job in Detroit.

Bills – Buccaneers
I guess the Bills are hoping the offseason gets here a little faster than the Bucs, because for a team that’s been pretty competitive this year, they didn’t have a lot in the tank against Tampa Bay. Last week I joked that Bobby Rainey’s big day was because he was playing against Atlanta’s awful rush defense. After I sent in the column I thought to myself, “Damn, he plays the Bills next week.” Well, Rainey did run over the soft Bills’ rush defense for 127 yards and a touchdown. The Bucs don’t have a soft rush defense, as C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson found out. The two combined for just 34 yards on 16 carries. EJ Manuel and Mike Glennon have had some good games this year but this wasn’t one of them. The two looked like rookies on Sunday, combining for six interceptions.

Titans – Broncos
It looked for a while like the Broncos might be in trouble, but then Peyton Manning and the offense got cranking and hung 51 points on Tennessee. Manning threw for another 397 yards and four scores, as he’s almost single-handily helping some owners to a fantasy title this year. Montee Ball had another good game, running for 77 yards and a score. Ball had 15 carries and Knowshon Moreno had 14. It stinks for Moreno owners because it’s coming at the worst time for them, but we officially have a committee in the Broncos’ backfield as Denver tries to keep Moreno fresh for the postseason. Matt Prater capped off a wild Sunday by kicking an NFL record 64-yard field goal.

Rams – Cardinals
Well, it’s not your week when you play against Larry Fitzgerald in the playoffs and he catches 12 of 12 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown. Not one ball thrown in the dirt? To make matters worse I also went against the Arizona defense, which racked up four sacks, caused two turnovers, got a safety and scored a touchdown. Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall both scored. Zac Stacy found the end zone as well but was held to just 25 yards on 14 carries by the stout Cardinals’ rush defense. Stacy should have a much better outing next week versus New Orleans, if you’re still alive in your league.

Giants – Chargers
For all the crap Geno Smith is taking in New York, Eli Manning has thrown just as many interceptions. I guess the difference is that Eli has won two Super Bowls. While Giants fans will tell you none of Manning’s interceptions are his fault, the bottom line is that he’s played terrible this year. Sunday was more of the same, as his passes sailed and he threw two more interceptions. He would have thrown a third but it got called back. Philip Rivers is on the other end of the spectrum. He’s had a bounceback season. Rivers threw three more touchdowns on Sunday, two to sensational rookie Keenan Allen. Allen has been a savior for both the Chargers and my fantasy team.

Seahawks – 49ers
You know, I love Russell Wilson, but doesn’t he need to have a good game against San Francisco once in his career before we put him in the Hall of Fame? For all the talk about him being a borderline MVP candidate, you have to play your best against the best defenses before you get put in that category. There weren’t many fantasy studs from this game. Frank Gore went over 100 yards but didn’t score. Marshawn Lynch was held below 100 yards but did score. I mean, when Luke Wilson is the big fantasy performer from the game, that’s all you need to know.

Panthers – Saints
The Panthers came in with the league’s best defense but it got sliced and diced by Drew Brees Sunday night. Brees threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns, two each to Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston. Cam Newton was bottled up all game long until a late touchdown pass to Steve Smith. One of the things I was noticing watching the Panthers is they run the ball well but they don’t have a running back. Their best rusher is Newton. Jonathan Stewart is always hurt, DeAngelo Williams is average and Mike Tolbert is more of a specialty back. So the Panthers have three running backs but they need to draft a running back. Carolina gets a chance for revenge in two weeks but they’ll need to play a lot better than they did on Sunday if they want to even the score at home.

Cowboys – Bears
Monte Kiffin did it again. There have been three games this year when a team hasn’t punted and two have been against Dallas, including Monday night’s game. Kiffin is the worst coach on the planet. You can insert whichever first name you want, either Lane or Monte, but the worst coach in the world’s last name is definitely Kiffin. If you started Josh McCown he rewarded you with 348 yards and five total touchdowns. Matt Forte went over 100 yards and Alshon Jeffery continues to be a monster. Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes but only 104 yards. DeMarco Murray ran for 146 yards against the worst rush defense in the NFL.


Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 13, 2013


By: — December 3, 2013 @ 1:03 am
Filed under: Player Analysis

It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.

Packers – Lions
It’s probably time to close the book on Matt Flynn. The only thing that stunk more than Flynn on Thanksgiving was my wife’s attempt at baking a pie. Flynn took down every single Packer with him too as only James Jones (3 catches 79 yards) had a decent fantasy day for Green Bay. The Lions had no trouble producing fantasy studs. Does Aaron Rodgers have anything to do with Green Bay’s rush defense? For the second straight week the Packers got run over by both a starter and his backup. Reggie Bush ran 20 times for 117 yards and a score, while Joique Bell racked up 94 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. With the awful run defenses of the Packers, Bears and Vikings all in the NFC North, it’s surprising Bush isn’t threatening to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record.

Raiders – Cowboys
In one of the weirder fantasy situations you’ll see, both Rashad Jennings and DeMarco Murray had strong fantasy days without doing much on the ground thanks to combining for five touchdowns between them. Jennings ran the ball 17 times for 35 yards and two touchdowns, while Murray rushed 17 times for 63 yards and three scores. The most productive runner on the day was actually Dallas’ Lance Dunbar with 82 yards on 12 carries but he didn’t score. Just to show that any receiver can get open on Monte Kiffin’s defense, former Dallas practice squader Andre Holmes caught seven passes for 136 yards on 11 targets. Holmes came into the game with five receptions for 76 yards and 13 targets in his career. My guess is Holmes’ performance has more to do with Dallas’ defense than him. A lot of guys are having career games against Kiffin’s defense this season.

Steelers – Ravens
This was a classic Ravens/Steelers game. Justin Tucker kicked five field goals for the Ravens, while Le’Veon Bell was Pittsburgh’s main source of offense. Bell racked up 136 total yards, seven receptions and a touchdown. He would have had another touchdown too had his helmet not popped off just before he crossed the goal line. Torrey Smith had a big fantasy night, catching six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown finally had a down game, which means the Dolphins are in trouble next week. Ray Rice had his usual 12 carries for 32 yards. I read somewhere that Rice will be a RB2 next week versus Minnesota. Listen, I know the Vikings’ rush defense stinks but on no planet is Rice a RB2. If someone is selling you that nonsense, you’re getting bad advice.

Titans – Colts
The Colts benched Trent Richardson. I don’t understand, how can you bench a guy who gets almost a full yard every time he touches the ball? Donald Brown got the start and rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown. Brown may not be a stud but at least there’s a chance he can get positive yards every time he touches the ball, unlike Richardson. I’ve criticized Colts’ offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton in the past and word is his job may be in jeopardy. Hamilton has the imagination of a wet mop. Hopefully for Andrew Luck dynasty league owners, Hamilton will be shown the door. Does anyone know why Darrius Heyward-Bey is still in the NFL? I don’t but I was hoping someone else did.

Josh Gordon

Josh Gordon: Unstoppable.

Jaguars – Browns
The Jaguars finally found a quarterback. Maurice Jones-Drew finished with a quarterback rating of 139.6. That’s good news because Marcus Mariota is going to be one of the biggest busts in draft history if Jacksonville was thinking about selecting him. No one throws to a wide open receiver like Mariota. That guy is awesome when Oregon is up by 30 against Colorado. Speaking of busts, Brandon Weeden started and while he threw for 370 yards, three Weeden turnovers in the final 2:00 of the first half really cost Cleveland. The guy is abysmal. Josh Gordon can’t be stopped. Gordon caught 10 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. In his last two games Gordon has 24 receptions, 498 yards and three scores. Can you imagine what he would do with a real quarterback?

Bears – Vikings
If you own both Gordon and Alshon Jeffery and lost last week, you must have the worst fantasy team of all-time. Jeffery torched the Vikings for 12 receptions, 249 yards and two touchdowns. Josh McCown made a strong plug and play for owners who used him. McCown threw for 355 yards and two scores. The problem with Chicago is they have an offensive coordinator posing as a head coach. If Marc Trestman wants to hang around for a while, he has to do a better job with the defense. Even with the injuries, Chicago’s defense shouldn’t decline to the point where it’s the worst unit in the NFL. Adrian Peterson ran for 211 yards and Matt Cassel threw for 243 yards in a half. That’s simply inexcusable.

Buccaneers – Panthers
Mike Glennon and the Bucs have been playing well but Carolina’s defense was just too much for them on Sunday. That’s going to happen with a young quarterback. Cam Newton celebrated Auburn’s Iron Bowl win by racking up 331 total yards and three touchdowns. Cam did throw two interceptions but overall it was a big fantasy day for Newton. It looks like the shine has worn off Bobby Rainey. It turns out his huge day was because Rainey was playing against the Falcons.

Patriots – Texans
It’s pretty apparent that the Patriots can’t stop the run. One week after the Broncos rushed for 280 yards against them, Ben Tate ran for 102 yards and three scores. Tom Brady saved New England for the second straight week, throwing for 371 yards and two touchdowns. With Steven Ridley inactive, LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen shared the backfield duties. Neither did much on the ground but Blount scored and Vereen caught five passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. Vereen is clearly the best New England fantasy back to own for the playoffs because of the numbers he puts up as a receiver. Which back gets touches other than Vereen on a weekly basis is anyone’s guess. I have no idea.

Cardinals – Eagles
Michael Floyd just missed out on his third straight 100-yard game by a yard. He did catch five passes and score though, so it’s three big fantasy games in a row for Floyd. Nick Foles continues to be a fantasy machine. Foles threw for 237 and three more touchdowns. Foles still hasn’t thrown an interception this season, which is an amazing statistic. Zach Ertz is a tight end I like for next year. With Arizona’s corners locking down the Eagle receivers, Chip Kelly did a good job of using Ertz. The rookie tight end caught five passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Ertz’s performance was most likely gameplan specific but he’s a guy to watch for 2014.

Dolphins – Jets
Well, we can stick a fork in the Jets. After Geno Smith went 4-of-10 for 29 yards and an interception he was replaced by Matt Simms. He was much better completing 9-of-18 passes for 79 yards, an interception and a fumble. Hey, thank God the Jets signed Ed Reed, huh? Ask him if he can play quarterback, receiver or tight end. Then again he can’t even play safety anymore, so forget it. The big news in this game is Miami ran the ball 36 times. That’s more than they run the ball in a month. The Dolphins also had no problem moving the ball through the air. Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace and Charles Clay combined for 23 receptions, 189 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no need to fear the Jets’ defense anymore. It’s gotten worn down from being on the field so much this season.

Falcons – Bills
You have to think when the Falcons’ coaches thought of their offense this year; this was a little bit of what they envisioned. Steven Jackson rushed for 84 yards and two scores, Roddy White caught 10 passes for 143 yards and Tony Gonzalez hauled in four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. In what has been just a miserable year in Atlanta, Sunday the Falcons showed they still have a lot of weapons when their offense is firing on all cylinders. The same can be said about Buffalo’s backfield. This is kind of what the Bills envisioned had C.J. Spiller been healthy. Spiller ran for 149 yards and a score on 15 carries, while Fred Jackson racked up 78 total yards and scored twice on 15 touches. I guess at the end of the day this was the best of both offenses playing two bad defenses. Hey, it made for an entertaining game and produced a lot of big fantasy numbers.

Rams – 49ers
Zac Stacy was cleared to play after suffering a concussion and while his 72 yards on 19 carries wasn’t a huge game, it showed two things. First, Stacy is still going to get almost all the carries going forward, so owners don’t need to worry about Benny Cunningham. Second, even though Stacy didn’t blow up the stat line, he had a lot of tough runs against a defense focused on stopping him. Stacy should be rated very high heading into next season. Stedman Bailey is a player I liked coming out of West Virginia but he’s done virtually nothing until making his second career catch last week. Against San Francisco Bailey caught three passes for 46 yards. I still like Bailey if you play in a dynasty league as a receiver down the line. Frank Gore really only has fantasy value if he scores now. He scored on Sunday, so he had some value.

Broncos – Chiefs
In a game that featured almost 1,000 yards of offense, it was a bad week to be playing against Peyton Manning. I had the luxury of playing against someone who had both Manning and Adrian Peterson. Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns. Four of those scores went to Eric Decker, who ended up with 174 yards on eight receptions. Decker torched rookie Marcus Cooper all day long. While Jamaal Charles had a strong game, Alex Smith also threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns. It was obvious Knowshon Moreno ended up playing but was a non-factor on the ground. Montee Ball saw 13 carries and recorded his first 100-yard game of his career. Despite his fumbling problems, Ball should be owned in all leagues for fantasy playoffs.

Bengals – Chargers
The Chargers are the most perplexing team in the NFL for me to figure out. I thought they were going to have a miserable season back in the summer. Then San Diego’s offense surprised me and played much better than I thought it would. Still though, some weeks the Chargers look like they can’t be stopped and other weeks they struggle to score 14 points. This was one of their bad games. Whether the Chargers are hot or cold, Keenan Allen has been productive. Allen had another 100-yard game; catching eight passes for 106 yards. Ladarius Green scored for the second straight week. Fantasy writers will be drooling over him next summer. Just as I was swearing A.J. Green up and down and declared that he was going to keep me out of the playoffs, he caught a touchdown pass. I then did the same thing to Wes Welker. It didn’t work with Welker who I’m considering benching for Jerricho Cotchery next week.

Giants – Redskins
Andre Brown had a Rashad Jennings like game where he didn’t gain many yards but his two touchdowns saved his fantasy day. Hakeem Nicks had his usual 34 yards receiving. Hey, it was just nice to see that Nicks’ agent allowed him to suit up this week. Brandon Myers has now scored in back-to-back weeks. That’s kind of amazing because I don’t think that guy can beat me in a foot race. To be honest, the Giants offense is trash. They struggled last week against Dallas and were held under 300 yards by a terrible Washington defense. Eli Manning is playing like garbage, the line is garbage and Nicks doesn’t want to be there. Speaking of garbage, you can close the book on the Redskins. I hope Mike Shanahan sends John Elway a Christmas card every year. For a genius, he hasn’t done a whole heck of a lot without one of the greatest quarterbacks ever running his offense.

Saints – Seahawks
In what was supposed to be a heavyweight fight in the NFC, the Seahawks scored a first round knockout. Drew Brees’ 43 consecutive game streak of throwing for over 200 yards came to an end as the Seattle defense smothered the Saints. Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards and three scores. He also added 47 yards rushing. The only negative from a fantasy perspective on the Seattle side was Marshawn Lynch was held to 45 yards on 16 carries. Jimmy Graham scored but had a terrible game overall. Graham caught just three of nine targets and looked like he wanted nothing to do with the Seahawks’ physical defense. Then again, neither did any of his teammates. The bottom line is Seattle was just way too physical for the Saints from the opening kickoff and the score actually didn’t do the Seahawks dominance in the game justice.


Tuesday Morning Buzz – Week 12, 2013


By: — November 25, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

It was another wild week both in the NFL and for fantasy owners. Here’s a recap of every game in the Tuesday Morning Buzz.

Saints – Falcons
I’ve been talking about Darius Johnson since last year and I’ve mentioned him a couple of times in this column as well. Despite a costly fumble, Johnson caught six passes for 67 yards. He has gone from an afterthought on draft day and a nobody in training camp to a guy making some plays in the NFL. I’ve always thought Johnson could play and, like I’ve been saying since April, he’s a guy to keep an eye on. I swear, Jimmy Graham and Megatron must have a combined 300 fantasy points against me this year. Graham got me again for 100 yards and a score on five receptions. Pierre Thomas has been one of the most underrated players in the NFL for a couple of years. He had another one of his games where he racked up 130 total yards on just 15 touches. Steven Jackson had his best game of the year. The fact that he had 79 total yards and a score tells you what kind of season it’s been for him.

Panthers – Dolphins
I saw I was playing against Mike Wallace this week and figured he would finally have a big game. Wallace proved me right by catching five passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Not counting Cam Newton, the Panthers ran the ball 21 times for 85 yards. It would take the Miami running backs a month to get to that number. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas combined for 16 yards on 13 carries. The Dolphins are on their way to being one of the all-time worst rushing teams. I guess that’s why Mike Sherman was so popular at Texas A&M.

Buccaneers – Lions
Mike Glennon continues to play well and deliver for fantasy owners. He threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, both going to Tiquan Underwood, who had 108 yards receiving. Glennon is showing a lot of promise for both the rest of the season and 2014. Bobby Rainey had only 35 yards on 18 carries after his huge performance last week. It should be noted that the Lions are tough against the run, but things won’t get much easier next week versus Carolina. Nate Burleson made a big impact in his return from an injured forearm. He saw 10 targets and caught seven passes for 77 yards a score.

Bears – Rams
I had a tough fantasy week. I own Zac Stacy in two leagues and after he racked up 87 yards and a score in the first half, he went out with a concussion. Then his backup Benny Cunningham ripped off 109 yards and a score on 13 carries. Now we know how Ray Rice had a big game last week. The Bears have the worst rush defense in the NFL. I’m so sick and tired of seeing that miserable hump Michael Bush in the game. When a team gets in the red zone it should have its best players on the field, not a declining, slow backup. Did you see that touchdown run Matt Forte had called back because of a penalty? Do you think Bush can make a run like that? These coaches overthink too much. It must be because they’re all geniuses. It takes a real genius to keep one of his best two players on the bench inside the red zone. It’s inexcusable and awful coaching.

Jets – Ravens
The Jets’ streak of playing well one week and poorly the next came to a crashing halt Sunday at Baltimore. After feasting on the Bears’ joke of a rush defense last week, Rice went back to his usual 16 carries for 30 yards against the Jets. All is right with the world again. The Jets’ defense got burnt by Joe Flacco, however. Flacco threw for 273 yards and a score, while Jacoby Jones had a 100-yard day and a touchdown. Geno Smith had a miserable game but it’s hard to blame all of the Jets’ offensive failures on him alone. New York’s receivers are so pitiful that their leading pass catcher on the day was Greg Salas. It’s easy to make fun of Geno all the time, but if the Jets want to evaluate a young quarterback, they should try doing so without the worst group of receivers and tight ends in the NFL.

Jaguars – Texans
I can pretty much sum this up by saying the Texans have given up on the season. This was a pitiful effort by Houston all across the board. The lone bright spot was Dennis Johnson running for 74 yards on 13 carries. However, he should already be owned in most leagues as insurance for Ben Tate by now. Maurice Jones-Drew continues to have a strong second half of the season. He finished with 144 total yards and a score. To show how lifeless Houston was on Sunday, Chad Henne had a passer rating of 93.1.

Aaron Rodgers

The Packers need this guy back… and soon.

Vikings – Packers
In probably the weirdest game of the day, the Packers went to their fourth option at quarterback in Matt Flynn and ended up with a tie against Minnesota. Flynn completed 21 of 36 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it was against Minnesota’s Swiss cheese defense. Hopefully for the Packers and fantasy owners like me, Aaron Rodgers will be back soon. Adrian Peterson ran over Green Bay’s defense for 146 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. The Packers rush defense was so bad on Sunday that Toby Gerhart chipped in with 91 yards on eight carries. With Peterson’s bad hamstring, it would be wise for his owners to grab Gerhart as insurance.

Steelers – Browns
Some were worried about Antonio Brown going up against Joe Haden, but Brown still caught six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Brown simply sees too many targets every week, regardless of who is covering him. The guy is a beast. The Browns’ fantasy value took a hit when Brandon Weeden came into the game, but it didn’t bother Josh Gordon. Gordon torched the Steelers for 237 yards and a touchdown on 14 receptions. He caught 14 of his 17 targets. On the other hand, Jordan Cameron saw 10 targets but had only three receptions. That’s what happens when a team has bad quarterback play.

Chargers – Chiefs
In the most entertaining game of the afternoon, San Diego scored late to beat the Chiefs, 41–38. Kansas City has been leaning on its defense this season, but after losing Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, the Chiefs couldn’t stop Philip Rivers and company. Rivers threw for 392 yards and three scores, while Keenan Allen caught nine balls for 124 yards. Jamaal Charles had his usual huge game and the Chargers showed how much they’re struggling on defense by letting Alex Smith throw for 294 yards and three scores. The Chiefs’ defense is reeling and they have the Broncos on deck. I have them in two leagues, and even though they’ve been great, it’s time to start playing matchups.

Cowboys – Giants
The weather and some awful officiating kept the offensive numbers in check for both teams. Tony Romo and Eli Manning did manage to throw two touchdown passes each despite the windy conditions. Dez Bryant saw 16 targets after Dallas spent the bye week trying to get him the ball more. You would think the coaching staff wouldn’t need a bye week to figure out how to get its No. 1 receiver the football. Bryant responded by catching nine passes for 91 yards. Andre Brown ran over the Cowboys for 127 yards on 21 carries, but owners have to hold their breath every time he gets up in hopes that he isn’t injured. The guy is a tremendous player but whenever Brown gets tackled, it looks like he’s out for the year. And given his past injury history, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Titans – Raiders
It’s hard to believe, but the Titans are actually the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs right now. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards and two scores against the pitiful Raiders pass defense. Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright each went over 100 yards, while Delanie Walker had another solid game, catching five balls for 46 yards on nine targets. Matt McGloin played pretty well in only his second start. It’s clear after two games that McGloin likes throwing to Rod Streater. In McGloin’s two starts, Streater has 11 receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown.

Colts – Cardinals
The Cardinals remained red hot by slamming the Colts. Carson Palmer threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns and for the second week in a row Michael Floyd was his favorite receiver. Floyd is on his way to becoming a stud in 2014. The Colts’ high point may end up being their win over Denver. Andrew Luck’s poor pass a few weeks ago, which forced Reggie Wayne to turn awkwardly even though he was wide open, has led to the biggest injury in the NFL. The Indianapolis offense just hasn’t been the same since Wayne got hurt. At the time, after wins over Seattle, San Francisco and Denver, it could have been argued that the Colts were the Super Bowl favorites. Now without Wayne or a running game and with problems on the offensive line, this is a completely different offense. The Colts have been a fantasy disaster in two of their last three games.

Broncos – Patriots
In what will likely be the wildest game of the season, Denver jumped out to a 24-0 lead, only to lose in overtime, 34–31. I can’t see how Stevan Ridley gets another chance to be the lead back in New England. I’m all for second chances, but he’s fumbling so much it’s hurting the Patriots’ ability to win games. Shane Vereen is going to be huge for owners during the playoffs. Dropping Vereen was the biggest mistake some owners made this fantasy season. I was told Danny Amendola and Wes Welker are the same player. I guess those people were right. Neither guy did anything Sunday night. Welker caught four passes for 31 yards and Amendola caught three for 17. Overall, Amendola’s first season in New England has been a miserable failure.

49ers – Redskins
The 49ers needed to get their offense on track and they found the right tonic in the Redskins’ defense. Colin Kaepernick passed for 235 yards and three scores. He had three touchdown passes in his previous four games, so that tells you all you need to know about Washington’s defense. Anquan Boldin caught five passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Boldin has now had two good games in a row. Robert Griffin couldn’t get anything going for the Redskins. RG3 only threw for 127 yards, Alfred Morris rushed for 52 yards and Pierre Garcon caught eight balls but was held to just 48 yards. Overall it was a dreadful performance by a Redskins team that’s sinking fast.



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