I was originally going to lead off with talking about Stafford and his breakout performance for the year as he’s been letting many of the people who drafted him down so far. He did indeed look like the Stafford of old today, which means he still can’t run faster than Peyton Manning and he still will make silly mistakes like his double coverage chuck to Calvin for a pointless INT. However, I don’t think we’d be talking about him if we weren’t talking about the real breakout star of the game on Sunday: Titus Young, Sr. First off, ‘Young, Senior’? Really Titus? Fine, my name is Sky Dark, Light. Well, I guess it’s a better reason to change your jersey name than Ochocinco. But I digress, secondly we – the royal we who drafted Titus with visions of WR value – were expecting this type of game earlier than week 8. Unfortch, coming into last week he had been losing playing time to the reliable Nate Burleson. Hint, ‘reliable’ in the context of what we’re talking about means ‘old and boring’. Well, fantasy football is all about injuries and Nate broke his leg, effectively ending his season and putting the WR2 slot in Detroit’s lineup back up in the air. Truthfully, the breakout came last week when Nate went down. Remember? I told you he was the one to pick up and not Ryan Broyles. Yes, I know Broyles got a touchdown. I also know he was fifth in targets on the team and only ended with 3 receptions and 37 yards. Would you even care about him if he didn’t have a touchdown with that line? Yeah, didn’t think so. Now back to the one that I want. Titus finished as the target leader for Detroit and ended his beautiful fantasy day with 100 yards on 9 receptions to go with two touchdowns, essentially picking up where the 4th quarter left off last week. This Titus looks like he wants to be here and if you grabbed him, you hope he stays around. Talent abounds with this kid but like seemingly every young Lions player, he’s got emotional pockmarks that would make Edward James Olmos’ face look like a porcelain doll . If he’s truly ready to contribute and keep his head in the game and you nabbed him, congrats! You may have nabbed yourself a WR2 rest of season, especially in PPR formats…as long as you don’t get bogged down in last name/suffix paradoxes. In other fantasy football news…
Matthew Stafford - Yeah, I had to bold him. He had a great day with 4 total touchdowns, one coming on the ground. He may not be 2011 Stafford but his numbers suggested he wasn’t what 2012 had been either. Only thing missing had been the touchdowns from nearing the pace of last year and now we’re back on track. I wonder how hard Nick is kicking himself in the nether region for trading away Stafford for Greg Jennings pre-surgery news in the Razzball Writers League? I’m sure he can’t roshambo himself enough. You might even note a full octave change on the next Podcast!
Chris Givens - Was the only Ram to make the trip to England to play the Patriots. *Looks at box score*. Oh, looks like other guys did play, he’s just the only one who did anything while he was there. Not meaning to mix sports metaphors but it’s looking like Givens has become THE guy in St Louis for the HR play. Maybe the Cardinals should’ve signed him? No, the baseball Cardinals. Yeah, that’s what I get for mixing the metaphors. In any case, it will be interesting to see what role Givens will have when Danny Amendola is back in the lineup seeing as he now has 5 straight games with a reception for at or over 50 yards. That’s how you Ram it.
Julio Jones – Had 123 receiving yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown and even chucked in 9 rushing yards to boot. Yeah, we all know he’s good but here’s the NBC ‘The More You Know’ moment care of frequent commenter Murph: there are some crazy splits going on between him and Roddy White this year when it comes to home and away stats. Coming into today, in 3 home games Julio has averaged 35.7 ypg on 9 total receptions. Away games? He has 21 receptions, averages nearly 90 ypg and has 4 total touchdowns in 3 games. Wanna know Roddy’s numbers? Well, I’ll let you go look them up so you believe Murph because I sure didn’t coming into today. But now? Well I’m not saying Aliens but…
Trent Richardson - The heavens opened today and said unto Brandon Weeden and Philip Rivers ‘You Shall Not Pass!‘ The weather in Cleveland was bad. So bad, the Cleveland Browns literally were the ‘Browns’ today after playing in the mud for so long…at least I hope it was mud. It made for a perfect day for T-Rich to pay back the fantasy owners he let down last week as he dropped 122 yards and touchdown on the disintegrating Chargers. From this game, we reestablished two important things: Richardson is an RB1 and Ryan Mathews can’t hold onto the ball. Hopefully that doesn’t put a bee in Norv Turner’s bonnet for next week. I saw enough of Jackie Battle when he played for the Chiefs. Granted, it was only one quarter I saw and I was half asleep but still, that’s enough to know he shouldn’t get that many carries, right?
Rob Gronkowski – I heard the first touchdown dance he did was imitating a Buckingham Palace Soldier. I would’ve said he was impersonating a toy robot wound a little too tight but I’ll let you be the judge. The second one…well, you’re just going to have to google it because I typed ‘Rob Gronkowski hip gyration thrust’ and was unhappy with the results and what it did to my mind. To keep with the UK theme, I’m simply going to call that dance the ‘Bangers & Mash’…God save the Queen, indeed. Oh and Gronk had a good day, netting 146 receiving yards on 8 receptions to go with the aforementioned TDs that went with the dance routines.
Stevan Ridley – Though Shane Vereen poached a goal line touchdown, Ridley proved once again he’s the man in New England, going for 127 yards on 15 carries to go with a touchdown. Seriously, I keep write about all the good Patriot days – Brandon Lloyd and his 2 touchdown performance not to mention the obvious Tom Brady precision – but I think I’ll wrap it up in these two blurbs. They’re a good offense and they showed the UK what one half of a good football game can be.
Jay Cutler – So what does Cutler do against one of the worst passing defenses in the league? Throws for 186 yards and a touchdown to go with one interception and two fumbles. If you’re sitting on him as a matchup play as your back up QB, jump ship. I don’t think he deserves a mention in the buy and sell area namely because he’s neither a buy nor a sell. He’s a drop. If you need a better visual: you are the hot Cheerleader who reads the works of Emmanuel Kant and quotes Shakespeare and Cutler is your drunk frat boyfriend who listens to Nickelback and who wants to belch his vows when you both get married in Vegas by a certified Alien Elvis priest. In other words, you can do better. Oh, and you have nice pom-poms.
Vick Ballard - Developing situation here in my mind concerning Donald Brown owners. Now I can’t say for sure but I get the feeling the Colts liked what they got from their dual RB set up this week. Both players performed well when they were called upon as Donald had 80 yards on just 14 carries and Ballard had a total of 71 yards on 13 touches, one of them being the incredible ending touchdown Kamikaze move. Seriously, if the Colts don’t go with RBBC, Vick should call The Flying Wallendas and see if they need fresh blood. That play was ridiculous. Do you think playing Star Fox taught him that move? If you don’t get that reference, google ‘Do A Barrel Roll’. Heck, even if you do, google it. Trust me, it’s worth it. But more to the fantasy point, Colts running backs are flex plays when they’re full time players but when they’re part time? Might be good to throw in either as a sweetener and move on.
Jonathan Dwyer – Keeps insulting me: Two near touchdowns but ended the day with a healthy flex line of 107 yards on 17 carries to go with an 8 yard reception. I showed you the door about 4 weeks ago, Dwyer, because you did nothing and now you show me what you can do. Now you’re just somebody that I used to own…but enough about me, let’s talk about Jonathan. Performances like this either make it easier to rest the other two backs and give him carries or it further muddies what was already quite the swamp for a backfield. Only time will tell but like the Colts situation, fair warning, this is starting to look like Pringles: betcha can’t play just one.
LeSean McCoy- He finally had a two touchdown day – he had 6 multi-touchdown games last year – but he only had 67 total yards on 19 touches. That makes me turn my head to the side, furrow my brow and purse my lips to form a duckface because I have to say that was a very good bad day.
Heath Miller - Another Sunday, another touchdown. On the season, he has 35 receptions and 6 touchdowns to go with a 48 ypg average. I told you after week one to buy into it and pick him up. Yes, back at the beginning of the year when you had high hopes for Greg Olsen and just couldn’t give up on He-Man. She-Ra tried to warn you and the signs were evident. I mean, pink short-sleeved shirts and wandering around in nothing but red fur thongs? Hello, how could you not see it? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Heath is now nearly universally owned and He-Man is off doing bad covers of 90s songs. I’m gonna save you the trouble. Don’t click on that link.
Robert Griffin, III- Looked human today. Yes, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say RGIII was beamed down onto this here Earth for us mortals to witness the awe of a QB1 & RB1 all in one. They even tried throwing a pass his way today and after the shot he took on the incomplete, I’m sure his owners pray it never happens again. Pittsburgh did a good job controlling the ball for long drives, keeping him off the field which is pretty much the only way to contain him. If he doesn’t stay top 5 QB rest of season it means he got hurt. Not that I need to tell you but we’re witnessing something special, folks.
Randall Cobb - Had 28 yards receiving and a touchdown. Not the day his owners were expecting. Of course, his owners were expecting a 4 touchdown, 200 yard performance with 50 yards rushing and for his final touchdown to have him fly a Unicorn into the end zone. Lets just say it’s hard to please everybody. He may or may not be in the buy/sell this week but I’ll give you a precursor if he is: check in with the owner and see if they were disappointed the Unicorn didn’t have wings.
Darren McFadden – McFadden owners and recent purchasers of the underperforming running back had to be pleased with his Sunday performance as he rushed for 114 yards on 29 carries to go with 23 yards on 4 receptions. Granted, there was no raiding of the end zone for DMC but if you bought low like I told you to last week, you’ve already done enough plundering for now. The side note to the good is that most of his yardage came in junk time when they were running out the clock so we’re still not out of the woods. As we all know, Oakland isn’t going to be salting away many wins this year.
Denarius Moore/Darrius Heyward-Bey - I’m putting them together because I know DMoore is getting the pub and for good reason after today – 5 receptions for 96 yards and a score – but DHB is getting glossed over a little too much. Though he only had 1 reception for 32 yards for a touchdown, he had 85 yards last week and is a part of an offense that will look to throw the ball a lot over the course of the year. Carson Palmer was only 14/28 so don’t read too much into his line for today, just add him while no one’s looking.
Felix Jones - 19 yards on 13 carries and a fumble with his lone saving grace being a touchdown. Meanwhile, Phillip Tanner only touched the ball 3 times. Not that I’m saying Tanner is amazing but he’s not Felix. Isn’t that enough?
Jamaal Charles - Only 4 yards on 5 carries to go with 6 yards on 3 catches. That’s it, 7 touches for one of most exciting lead backs in the NFL. Before you ask, no he wasn’t hurt. Excluding QB scrambles, the Chiefs only ran the ball 13 times. The math tells me he’s still the lead back but the numbers tell me many Charles owners would like to sucker punch Crennel in that big, loveable gut. If you own him, I wouldn’t be overly concerned unless you plan on trading him to me. Then be afraid…be very afraid.
Tony Romo - I don’t know when Romo switched bodies with Brett Favre but that would explain why he’s always not wearing his wranglers when he texts me now. Had his second big turnover night of the year as he chucked 4 INT, though he was able to salvage the day with some yardage and his UPS ground/air delivery for two touchdowns. In the end, I’m thoroughly perplexed by him. He looks fine, doesn’t seem to be short-arming the ball like Rivers has of late. Maybe it’s a case of bad luck coupled with some bad play but he’s now on pace for 30 Romoceptions. Yuk sticker with an ‘egads!’ thrown in for good measure.
Jason Witten - Had a dream PPR game, gaining 167 yards on 18 catches. Yes, 18. In total, three players for Dallas ended the day with 100 yards receiving. They all had good days even without a touchdown reception. So Romo found a way to pretty much please everyone except Romo owners. That’s so amazing as to be diabolical.
Tony Moeaki - Now this is a deep league shout out. Like throwing a hotdog down a hallway deep…wait, I don’t think I used the right analogy there. Nevertheless, 4 receptions good for 57 yards. Don’t scoff, that outdid Tony Gonzalez this week. This was a talented tight end who was a sleeper coming into the 2011 draft who sustained a major injury in the preseason. This could be signs of life. If you’re in a league where you might take a flier on a guy like Logan Paulsen - and before you ask, yes I’d take him over Moeaki – Tony makes sense. Yeah, I probably just wasted my time talking to like one reader but hey, it’s the Chiefs so what else was I supposed to talk about? Now pardon me as I go buy a pack of Oscar Meyers so I can measure how long my hallway is.
Peyton Manning - Scary to think the year of the quarterback in 2011 didn’t have this guy as part of the stats. Just think what he would’ve done. Instead, we’re stuck with merely witnessing this 2012 season in which he’s on pace for 4800 yards and 39 touchdown against only 9 interceptions. In one word: ridicudonkulous. I was concerned about Manning’s health coming into the season. My doubt has been removed and my punishment for not believing in him is not having him on any of my teams. The scary thing? His schedule the rest of the season is cake with cream cheese frosting. You’re gonna have diabeetus if you don’t trade him to me right now!
Demaryius Thomas/Eric Decker - Combined for 11 receptions, 180 yards and all three of Peyton’s TDs. I love when a WR call comes together. I’d also love it if you ignored everything after the sentence with Peyton Manning in it. Thanks! I also had Willis McGehee in my top 10 for running backs and he didn’t disappoint either. Honestly, the Saints can’t stop anyone. Even Ronnie Hillman dropped over 80 yards on them as the back up RB. Just circle their games each week when looking for diamond in the rough flex plays.
Denver D/ST - No, they didn’t score a junk-ton of points like they did vs the Chargers. What they did was hold the high-octane Saints offense to one real touchdown and one junk time touchdown to Jimmy Graham. This defense is for real and as I mentioned in the Peyton blurb, the matchups are just going to get better. This defense tonight shut down a hot Marques Colston and made Drew Brees look like his team hadn’t practiced together in weeks. Look at it this way, when was the last week where the Saints weren’t a main feature on a fantasy site? If you’ve been waiting for your defense to come around – yes, I’m speaking to PIT/BAL owners – it’s time you take a look at this unit. Hehe, unit.