Before get start with the lead, can someone please explain to me what was up with the Tight End explosion this week? Garrett Graham, Benjamin Watson, and Marcedes Lewis all scored not one but two touchdowns apiece and unless you’re playing in a 20 team league with 10 flex positions, no one got in on any of that. Needless to say, the Fantasy Gods had a cruel sense of humor for most fantasy owners today which leads us to our main man, Justin Blackmon. Coming into the day, Blackmon had 250 yards on 26 receptions and at least 20 nonchalant attempts at the 59 targets he’d garnered through 9 games this season. For a wide receiver that was drafted in 5th overall, that stat line is not just bad but screams ‘bust’. Not at one point this year has Blackmon looked good. He’s looked lackadaisical, timid and many times unwilling to play over the middle. To tie things back in with the title, Justin has looked like Keith Richards out on the field: the only signs that he’s been actually alive is that he keeps coming out on stage but everything else questions whether an actual pulse can be found. Well something happened today. Something that the 22% who own him in yahoo leagues and 45% who own him in ESPN leagues did not see coming against a Houston Texans defense that has stifled many a fantasy owner in the past. In one game, Just managed to almost match his season total in terms of yardage with 236 on 7 receptions to go with a touchdown. Moving forward, I can honestly say I don’t know if I believe yet. If he was capable of this week 11, it means he was capable of this for the other 9 weeks and didn’t do it and I am not capable of finding any excuses to make up for that. Shorts managed to be fantasy relevant with Blaine Gabbert around as has Laurent Robinson since coming back from injury (ok, not this week…I don’t know where he went; maybe Blackmon went Highlander on him and stole his powers). What I’m trying to say is if it’s an effort thing, I don’t trust him and that’s what I think it is. You don’t work hard, you don’t play hard and that makes him a hard guy to get behind going forward. In other fantasy football news…
Andre Johnson - Now THAT’S the Andre people drafted. Where has he been, anyways? Andre went for 273 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions, most likely leading all his owners to a win this week in PPR leagues. At least I know he did that to me as a non-owner this week. Same league I started Laurent in. Search parties still have not found even a cleat.
Matt Schaub - Unless something crazy happens in the late games, let’s just say Matt will be the top fantasy QB for the week: 527 passing yards, 5 passing touchdowns and 2 INT. Circumstances that no one could’ve foreseen – namely the Jaguars having a lead ever – led to Schaub lobs. We now return you to your regularly scheduled bench QB for week 12.
Chad Henne – Can’t talk about Schaub’s odd day without mentioning Chad’s. After coming in for Gabbert, Chad managed 354 yards and 4 touchdowns and 0 turnovers. Unlike Blackmon, I’m gonna say to get behind this one in 12 team 2QB leagues. No, it’s not a ringing endorsement but I’ve seen enough Henne to know where this is going. If Blackmon has another strong game in week 12, his official nickname will be Tentacles in my mind. Oh and there should be no reason Gabbert plays again this year unless Chad gets hurt.
Cecil Shorts - Prior to today’s game, Cecil has been a WR1 over the last 4 weeks in yahoo PPR leagues. After an 81 yard, 3 reception, 1 TD effort on Sunday, I’m pretty sure he’ll stay a top 20 WR the rest of the way and yet coming into the week he was only 42% owned in yahoo leagues. Owners, explain yourself. Especially you 83% Antonio Brown owners. *Taps fingers on desk waiting for response*.
Robert Griffin, III - High touchdown, low yardage day for Griffin as he tossed for 4 TDs on only 200 yards on a mere 15 pass attempts, mostly because of Eagles turnovers. Nick Foles was not a fine looking Philly. Oh and Griffin tossed in 84 rushing yards as well. To keep with the horse jokes, Griffin is a thoroughbred and Nick is Sarah Jessica Parker.
Vincent Jackson/Josh Freeman - Can I just say I was right for about 59 minutes and 48 seconds? I looked in at the half to see Freeman with 1 TD, 1 pick-six INT and V-Jax only having 27 yards on 2 receptions. So of course, Carolina never pulled away and the Buccs forced an OT on a 24 yard touchdown and then a 2 point conversion from Vincent. Josh took it from there for a touchdown in OT to finish the day with 248 yards and 3 TDs. I got Buffalo Wildwings’ed.
LaRod Stephens-Howling - There are a lot of people talking about Beanie Wells coming back from injury. As both an owner and someone who has seen LSH blossom with the larger role, I have to question the Beanie love especially considering today: 127 rushing yards and a touchdown to go with 2 receptions for 6 yards. Sure, give Beanie a few inside hand-offs but lay off my LaRod, people. That’s his second 100 yard rushing game this season.
Trent Richardson - It wasn’t an impressive performance from a fantasy perspective. It was mostly volume that got him the 144 total yards. The impressive thing is it didn’t take a touchdown for him to be productive and he did it against a solid defense and through a nagging rib injury. If girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, then RB1s are made of gut and grit and are an always start, never sit. That’s what you have in T-Rich, cherish it.
LeSean McCoy - Had a mildly productive fantasy day – 112 total yards to go with 5 receptions and a fumble – but was carted off the field in the fourth after taking a hard hit to the back of the helmet. Clearly a concussion issue. Considering it’s been a lost season for the Eagles, I’d put a pretty large question mark on whether he trots out there next week. Bryce Brown should be out there and available in most leagues and might be worth a one week ride depending on the reports.
Felix Jones/Jonathan Stewart - Near identical days. If neither get a touchdown – only about 125 total yards combined – they give their owners nothing much to talk about. The cool thing to see was Stewart getting a goal line carry for his. Yes, you read that right: Superman did not try to do it all by himself. Maybe Cam will change his nickname to Batman and Stewart can be Robin now. Hopefully neither don the spandex to prove it, though.
Randall Cobb - Did you know Randy is short for Randall? Did you know that Randy is a Scottish for lustful? Well I didn’t know it was Scottish before today but that’s because Austin Powers introduced me to the term. Always assumed it to be a Brit thing. Well, none of that really matters. What does matter is Randy Cobb made his owners a little warm in the loin region doing his best Percy Harvin impersonation with 19 rushing yards to go with 74 yards receiving on 9 catches and a touchdown. I still think he’s going to hurt some owners when the playoffs come and Greg Jennings is back but not as much as James Jones owners will. Oh and Jermichael Finley is a jerk. Just wanted to make that clear.
Calvin Johnson - Had 143 yards and a touchdown on 5 catches. That’s Megatron doing Megatron things. Meanwhile, Mikel LeShoure chipped in 84 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Now before you think Mikel is worth talking about, let’s put his last 6 weeks together: 376 yards on 85 carries for a 4.4 YPC average and 4 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Shonn Greene has 414 yards on 96 carries for a 4.3 YPC average and 4 touchdowns. Greene got those numbers in 1 less game. Yeah, I didn’t think I was an artist either but I just showed you perspective.
Matt Ryan - Had a rough fantasy day with 5 INT, 3 of them coming in the first quarter alone. Didn’t help not having Julio Jones for a full game but it’s further proof the Cardinals would be a playoff team if they had any offense to speak of. John Skelton and his replacement for sucking in Ryan Lindley combined to go 11/27. Skelton missed an ‘I can’t believe he’s that wide open’ Larry Fitzgerald in the endzone by at least 5 yards before being benched. Yes, Cards fans, Kevin Kolb is your best QB and you want him back. Deal with it. But back to Ryan, like a Thunder From Down Under Performance there were a lot of balls that were tipped and not all of the INTs fall on his shoulders. Just a bad day, nothing to read into here. Take your lumps and move on. And be a man about it, will ya?
Dwayne Bowe - Two targets, 0 receptions, 0 yards. Highest target total on the day went to Tony Moeaki - whose not that bad…really, don’t laugh – with 6 so don’t feel bad. Feel terrible. Matt Cassel is the guy throwing to Bowe. He’s terrible and he makes your guy terrible in return. That’s terrible and I feel terrible for you about it.
Jamaal Charles - Had 87 yards rushing and 31 yards receiving on 4 receptions. Remember when I said ya gotta catch Jamaal all pithy like two weeks ago? If you did, congrats! If not, I hope you like Mudkips.
Danny Amendola - Had a good PPR day going, got hurt, then came back in to finish with 41 yards on 7 receptions. I think it’s safe to say with the last two seasons we’ve seen from Danny that he has WR2 to WR1 ability in PPR leagues but is going to have a hard time staying healthy enough to do it. Keep that in mind when he goes pretty high in the drafts next year or you might suffer from Amendoldrums.
Willis McGehee - Did you know McGehee is old? Well, if you didn’t shame on you. He left the game with a knee injury, though his day had been solid up to that point with 55 rushing yards to go with 18 receiving on 1 rec. Ronnie Hillman got more touches than Lance Ball and could be in for a strong game against the Chiefs next week if Old Man Willie misses any time.
Lance Moore - Decidedly not the Moore I thought would go off in this game. Something has changed with this Saints team since Joe Vitt has come back and it seems to be effecting both sides of the ball for the better. I’m not gonna go crazy and say to pick them up, but the Saints defense is not the doormat it once was. But more on Moore and not the Moore you were looking for as he had one of those Chris Carter ‘all he does is catch touchdowns’ games: 2 receptions, 2 touchdowns to go with 53 receiving yards.
Julian Edelman - To keep with the theme of WRs that no one saw coming, Julian – or as I like to think of him, Danny Woodhead with a girl name – had 58 yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown to go with a rush for 47 yards and a 68 yard punt return for another score. When asked after the game how great it felt to have such a solid performance, he reportedly said ‘shut up’ but only because they called him Wes Welker. They still all look the same to me.
Rob Gronkowski - Just barely topped Graham for top TE honors on the week with his 137 yards and 2 touchdowns but it was Garrett he topped, not Jimmy. I’ll take ‘signs it was a weird fantasy week’ for $100, Alex. Then with 3:59 left in a game that was already decided, he broke his forearm during the extra point. He’s now estimated at missing anywhere from 4-6 weeks. I’ll take fantasy heartache for $1000, Alex…it’s the daily double! In all seriousness, if that timeline is anything close to true, it’s going to be hard for Gronk owners to hold onto him through the playoffs considering his status could conceivably keep him out for the rest of the fantasy year.
Marcel Reece -Reece’s value comes in pieces. It’s part run game – 103 yards on 19 carries – and part receiving game where he caught 4 for 90 yards. The only piece missing was a touchdown but I’m sure his owners didn’t mind. This Reece’s pieces were a tasty Marcel of fantasy confection…ok, I’m done punning his name.
T.Y. Hilton - Had 6 receptions for 100 yards and two touchdowns. His name also sounds like a text message that was sent to Paris after filming her foreign box office masterpiece One Night In Paris. A large part of his involvement happened when Donnie Avery went down with a concussion in the first half. Fun fact #1: Andrew Luck treats Donnie like a WR2 when he’s healthy. Fun fact #2: Donnie has had a long career of having problems with his health. Fun fact #3: The last time Donnie went down with an injury partway through a game was the last time Hilton topped 100 yards and he’s only 22% owned in yahoo and under 4% owned over at ESPN and plays the Bills next week. Grab where needed but if you grab there, I strongly suggest you at least ask first.
Mark Ingram - So I’m only going to take half credit here. Did I call him a buy last week? Yes, yes I did. But didn’t I say it was because he was going to get the lion’s share of carries moving forward? Yes, yes I did part deux. Well, I don’t know if I can call 12 to 8 to 5 in terms of touches are concerned a success but I’ll take the 67 yards and the TD to further my point. Like the straw in my mango smoothie, he looks mighty flexible most weeks most weeks moving forward.
Danario Alexander – It’s never been a question of talent with Danario, simply a question of whether or not he can stay healthy enough to perform. He was healthy today and dropped 96 yards and 2 scores on 7 receptions on one of the tougher secondaries in the league right now in the Broncos. Next week, he’ll pull a hammy and be out for the year. I wish I was joking but I mean, you tell me what skill position player in San Diego you’d trust the health of? Yeah, I thought so. For serious, he’s a great player to have just pray he doesn’t warm up with Antonio Gates or Ryan Mathews too much.
Andrew Luck - Threw 4 touchdown passes. Unfortch, only two of them counted for the Colts cuz the other two were pick-six’ed. Though he finished the day with 334 passing yards, he also tossed 3 INT. His TD to INT ratio is now 12:12 for the season and it’s the main reason for my sell call. The yardage and the 5 rushing touchdowns has kept him afloat but he’s only on pace to throw 17 TDs and now 17 INT. He’s also on pace to scare nearly every fantasy owner with my before mentioned crazy eye.
And with that, I’ll let the Sunday night game go back into the the rough, manly hands of Jay Wrong. He’s been knocked out by Hurricane Sandy and Mai Thais over the last few weeks but will be back at 10 am PST to fight the good fight for Razzball. Wish him a warm welcome back like you would any good friend suffering the elements.