Adam Rank | Tags: Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, Aaron Hernandez, Andy Reid, Ben Watson, DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant, Fantasy Fraidy Cat, Jeremy Maclin, Justin Blackmon, Kurt Warner, Lance Moore, LeSean McCoy, Marcel Reece, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Rob Gronkowski, Robert Griffin III, T.Y. Hilton, Tony Romo
There is a segment we run every Monday called #thathelpsnoone where we celebrate the curtain jerkers who rob precious fantasy points from the guys we actually started. And if we wanted to, we could have filled the entire hour on Monday with #thathelpsnoone and we’re not even talking about the San Diego Chargers.
But one fantasy stalwart who did help fantasy enthusiasts on Sunday was the long forgotten Dre Johnson. Here is what I said about him in my Like/dislike column over the weekend:
We know we can’t sit Dre Johnson, right? Let me just give you the stats. Dre has no touchdowns in his last six games and only one touchdown in his last eight home games.
Dre Day went out to have a career day for the Texans in what was actually one of the most entertaining contests of the day. (Here’ a little tip; when divisional opponents meet for the second time after a blowout earlier in the year, the second game is going to be much closer. It happened with the Patriots and Bills recently, and same goes here.)
The point is, when we look back at Johnson’s season, it’s going to be rather favorable. We’ll look at the stats and it will seem he had a great year. But when you look at the game-by-game, it won’t be as glowing. Don’t let that take away from this great performance, though.
Player of the Week
For as much as we make of Robert Griffin III‘s ability as a running quarterback, he’s a pretty good passer. RG3 tossed four touchdowns in the Redskins’ laugher over the Philadelphia Eagles. But don’t worry, RG3 gave us a ton a rushing yards, too, with 84. Those 84 rushing yards would put him ahead of a host of running backs on Sunday. He’s a great start against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Even Fantasy Fraidy Cat would have to endorse this move.
He’s my guy in my NFL AM league and I’m pretty confident with him for the rest of the season. I don’t care what his schedule is; he’s my guy in that league.
What was that?
What the (expletive) happened to Matt Ryan? Well, not that I care too much, I went against him in our NFL AM league. So to be honest, it was kind of sweet. But Ryan was absolutely brutal.
Is there a more charmed player in the NFL right now?
Ryan underachieves in the playoffs so much, even Peyton Manning finds it egregious. And yet, you never hear him criticized at all. Maybe it’s because the media down in Atlanta is too worked up over the SEC to really care about the NFL (and if I still lived down there, who knows, I might feel the same way). But Ryan is constantly given a free pass.
But not here, mister. You will have to own up for your dismal performance. Although in truth, I have no idea what any of that means. I can’t really hold him accountable other than to say, “you stunk today, Ryan!”
BTW, is there any greater indignity than your fantasy quarterback saddled with a very poor performance and his team still wins the game? Seriously, how many of you rooted for the Falcons to lose to the birds there after Ryan likely sank your fantasy week?
What was that? Part 2
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin combined for a half fantasy point on Sunday. That’s right, Jackson had just five receiving yards. But it’s still five more yards than Maclin had.
I would like to grumble about LeSean McCoy‘s role in the offense again, but clearly Andy Reid has done everything in his power to be removed from his job, save an appearance in the flesh-colored body suit.
McCoy did leave the game with an injury and we will continue to monitor his status.
Well, he knows quarterbacks
Our Kurt Warner famously jumped into the fantasy craze this season and it seems like he’s getting into it. He’s already threatened to give up twice this year, which is a sure-sign of being a full-fledged fantasy addict. Watch, he will buck for a PPR league next season.
Warner was in the makeup room after our respective shows on Sunday and he told Michael Fabiano he was going to start Matt Schaub over Tony Romo. Fabs was giving him the business, as he contended Romo was a better start. I nearly jumped into the fray, but sometimes discretion if the better part of valor, and it was clear this was Schaub’s day.
Kurt Warner is your new fantasy expert. Oh no, he still lost to Brenda Warner.
There were a number of huge performances by receivers this week. We talked about Dre Johnson earlier. Justin Blackmon had a monster game, as did T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant and Lance Moore, to name just a few.
A.J. Green had 91 receiving yards and a touchdown. And yet it seems like a letdown. Green has become so good, so dependable; a 15-point day barely moves the needle. He’s amazing, and I’m ashamed to take his great performances for granted.
Looking forward, I guess Blackmon is worth a roster spot in most leagues. But it’s going to be hard to trust him. Don’t forget, Cecil Shorts still had a nice day, so he is still the No. 1 option until further notice.
Dez is somebody who could be a monster down the stretch. To me, he’s always suffered from the Mason Ryan syndrome. He looks like he should be awesome and you want him to do well, but he just can’t put it together. Dez’s 145 receiving yards are a career high. And if you ask me, it seems a little bit low.
You just made the list, buddy
It’s not like you had a lot of confidence in Philip Rivers previously, but there is clearly no way you can trust him in your fantasy leagues any more. Well, unless the Chargers play the Chiefs again. They don’t play the Chiefs again, do they?
Nope, the Chargers don’t play the Chiefs again.
The problem with the Chargers is the talent around them. Or lack of it. Rivers had shown he can play without Vincent Jackson previously. But the offensive line is terrible. Ryan Mathews hasn’t played well at all. It seems like every time Rivers drops back to pass, he’s clearly under duress.
We in Southern California have called for the removal of Norv Turner (enjoy Dallas next year), but general manager A.J. Smith certainly hasn’t restocked the shelf. And you could say his prickly reputation keeps free agents away, too.
The Bagel Boys
Headed into play on Sunday, tight ends were at an epic scoring pace. Which seemed weird because tight ends have likely killed your fantasy team on more than one occasion this year. But let’s take a look at some of the tight ends who scored in double digits in Week 11; well other than Rob Gronkowski. You expected that.
Here’s the list: Garrett Graham, Benjamin Watson, Marcedes Lewis, Jermichael Finley, Dallas Clark and Brandon Myers. How many of these guys were you starting? Outside of Myers, probably not many of them.
BTW, don’t think it goes unnoticed Finley turned in a fine performance long after people had written him off.
The most disgusting thing, I had to scramble for a tight end on Sunday in one of my leagues. Now, I’ve backed up Aaron Hernandez with Myers in most of my leagues. It’s the smart thing to do. But in this particular league, I was really thin on tight ends and there were nearly none available. So for poops and giggles, I took a shot with Tom Crabtree.
And you mean to tell me with all of the (expletive) tight ends scoring points this week, Crabtree couldn’t get anything against the Lions. Son of a gun.
More complaints about rules
Last week I floated the idea of “caroms” as a statistical rule, to penalize the receiver who has a ball bounce off his hands into those of a defender. Which seems like an epic idea, right? Well, if you counted a fantasy carom on Sunday, Carson Palmer has a much better game. Just saying, is all.
Running on empty
Here are your top three fantasy running backs (prior to Sunday nights’ game): Marcel Reece, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Bilal Powell. Just like you drew it up, right?
Seriously, if your fantasy team included QB Chad Henne, Reece, Stephens-Howling, Justin Blackmon, T.Y. Hilton and Garrett Graham, you probably won your week. Wait, I think that was my Perfect Challenge team?
That said, thank you Reece for your huge day. I get tons of tweets before the games on Sunday and we all went in huge on Reece.
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 85,000 followers, and Fabiano has nearly 100k. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (oh wait, I told you to stop going to Facebook). Go instead to Google+. Also be sure to catch the latest “Dave Dameshek Football Program.”