Adam Rank | Tags: Philip Rivers, Andy Reid, Calvin Johnson, Chris Johnson, Dez Bryant, Doug Martin, Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Stewart, LeGarrette Blount, LeSean McCoy, Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, Roddy White, Steven Jackson, Titus Young, Tony Romo, Trent Richardson
Start Philip Rivers and all of your Chargers with confidence this week. This is a Norv Turner game where this team rallies for a somewhat meaningless win in October. These were all my rally cries prior to the Chargers game in Cleveland.
So much for that.
Rivers had another disappointing game for the Chargers and it’s a wonder if he is even worth a roster spot at this point. He is a matchup-based quarterback at best currently, and this will be put to the test this week against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
You’re going to need nerves of steel to consider Rivers for this game. It’s one thing to have Rivers ruin your fantasy week on a Sunday. You’re typically bunkered down on Sunday and have some time to reflect. To have a guy ruin you on Friday means you have to face the fantasy torment at work on Friday without the benefit of some other guys on your squad backing you up.
This will be an interesting week with Rivers, and we will no doubt rehash this over and over again.
Player of the Week
Buccaneers running back Doug Martin takes the honors this week. There was a lot of anxiety about whether to play Martin or not, for the aforementioned Thursday night dilemma. Martin more than delivered. Martin scored 33.40 with a huge night against the Vikings.
This night should also end the fantasy production of LeGarrette Blount, who will likely only get production at the end of games and not figure into the offensive game plan. So hang on to Martin. Ignore all of those trade offers which will no doubt trickle in as some of the fantasy sharks circle around you. Martin is the real deal.
Same goes for Trent Richardson who had a nice game against the Chargers, and their tough run defense. Richardson had over 100 yards and a touchdown. His benching against the Colts seems like a distant memory. Richardson and Martin are two running backs to be trusted going down the stretch. Though, they will have their days when they don’t quite hit expectations.
And He Shall Be LeSean
Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid might be on the hot seat after he lost in embarrassing fashion to the Atlanta Falcons, but at least we got some nice fantasy action out of LeSean McCoy. I mean, it took a while to get McCoy going but he did finish with a huge stat line.
The one thing that frightens me is the possible quarterback change Michael Vick alluded to after the game. (And did anybody stop to ask why the quarterback broke this news?) On one hand, defenses have to respect Vick when he’s at quarterback. Teams will stack the box on a rookie. But at the same time, maybe Reid will lean on McCoy with a rookie quarterback.
Oh wait, this is Andy Reid. He’s just going to continue to ignore McCoy week in and week out.
Madden Curse Update
I don’t want to blame Calvin Johnson‘s troubles on the Madden curse, but seriously, the Madden curse. Johnson had three receptions for 46 yards, and no touchdowns. Instead it was Titus Young who had 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
A number of folks on Twitter told me they were going to bench Megatron this week. To me, that’s gutsy and not something I could ever stomach. I mean, it’s easy to take a loss when your guy lets you down. It’s a whole other thing when your stud goes nuts on your bench. But those riverboat gamblers were rewarded this week.
Oh yeah, pick up Titus Young.
And a nice game for Matthew Stafford, too. Stafford led the way on my “dislike” board this week, and he turned it on me. Let’s hope this is Stafford on the way to a rebound.
Here’s a question, though. What’s stronger, the Madden curse or Roddy White on the road? White came into Week 8 with 22 receptions for 343 yards and four touchdowns at home. Conversely, he had 15 receptions for 210 yards and no touchdowns on the road.
White had three receptions for 38 yards in the win over the Eagles. Again, you would have to have some severe nerve to be able to sit White. Credit to you if you can make that move. But trust me, it’s going to come back to bite you. It’s like the guy who goes all in on 2-9 and ends up hitting it.
The Falcons are in New Orleans in Week 10, you had better believe White will be in my lineup.
Andy Luck was on his way to having a miserable fantasy stat line (thanks Reggie Wayne for breaking the wrong way on the route) but he rallied for a decent day with an overtime touchdown. A couple of quick takeaways from this one.
It’s going to be tough to completely trust Luck on the road. He had a great matchup but didn’t torch the Titans, as you would expect. But he did salvage it for a nice game.
And you’ve got to like his confidence and growth, too. RG3 has been the talk of the first-half of the season. But Luck can make plays with his legs and he can throw the ball, too. He’s going to be a QB1 at the end of the year.
Who is running this team?
Jamaal Charles had just five carries in an embarrassing loss to the Raiders. When coach Romeo Crennel was asked afterwards what happened, he said, “Now, that I’m not exactly sure either.”
Well, maybe we should ask the head coach. Oh wait, Crennel is the head coach. How is this even possible? Was he not watching the game?
There are going to be a lot of tough choices this week with Charles, when you consider he plays on Thursday night. My initial thought is to not panic. And speaking of that, lets talk about that.
Panic or Don’t Panic
Chris Johnson had more than 11 fantasy points, but some want to call it a disappointment. Uh, okay. If Johnson can struggle with double-digit fantasy points, I’ll take it. Don’t panic.
Jonathan Stewart had eight fantasy points after being given the No. 1 spot with the Panthers. Stewart could be a nice option if the team ever decides to dump DeAngelo Williams. Don’t panic.
Steven Jackson was swallowed up by the Patriots on Sunday. You shouldn’t play him. Daryl Richardson is the best option in St. Louis. The sooner this team recognizes this, the better. Panic. But do remember he could end up getting dealt some time this week.
Dwayne Bowe is also another player who could be moved. Again, this isn’t baseball, so deadline deals don’t happen too often. Still, for a team looking for a receiver (hey look, it’s the 49ers), he could be a good option. Don’t panic.
“Tony Romo is a bum who throws too many interceptions” – everybody on Twitter. Well, Romo finished in the top 10 of fantasy quarterbacks. You don’t get style points here. Don’t panic.
Cam Netwon had a lot of passing yards, but not a lot of touchdowns. Although, he does have a pretty fair matchup against the Redskins this week. But it’s a trick question because I gave up on him weeks ago.
And finally …
A lot of you are upset Dez Bryant got dinged for a fumble on a punt return, yet we won’t get the credit when he scores a touchdown. I’m with all of you. You’re preaching to the choir. Your league manager needs to be more diligent with your rules set up. This has obviously become more high-profile as people are really into fantasy sports. But take some time next year when you set up your league to really examine the leagues.
Now if there was only a way to ban those dreaded stats corrections.
BTW, how many of you had your weeks won and or lost because the last touchdown to Dez Bryant was overturned? I know the Monday Nightmare is our big fantasy therapy group, but feel free to sit on this couch to let your feelings out. You’ll feel better when you share.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 40,000 followers, and Fabiano has 50,000. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better that I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Also be sure to catch the latest “Dave Dameshek Football Program.”