I get it. It’s week 12 and you’re on the cusp in most of your leagues. You want to believe in something, anything that will get you through to the end. That one player that will push you over the edge so you can have your A Winner Is You moment and in many ways, Bryce Brown could and should be that guy. Despite the two fumbles on the night, Brown finished with almost 190 yards on 23 touches to go with two scores. That’s typically not a guy you throw back into the FA pool, regardless of how cake the matchup was. Yes, Carolina gives up the 10th most points to opposing fantasy running backs but the ‘real numbers’ say they’re more middle of the road in terms of opposing ‘real’ RB stats than anything else. With that all said, there are factors at play here. Namely, one factor and his name is LeSean McCoy. You know, the first round fantasy pick that wasn’t playing tonight who gave Bryce his time to shine and who’s signed to a reasonable contract through 2018. To further squelch things, let’s remember that last year Arian Foster was on and off the field with injury issues which led to Ben Tate being a fairly high handcuff pick for this year’s draft. Sure, injuries hampered Tate’s worth this year but the reality is Foster’s health was the bigger death knell for that story and the same is true for Brown. Look, Fantasy Football in many ways is no better than Plinko. You grab your chips at the beginning of the season and head to the top and drop them down in what looks like the surest route to the best result at the bottom. Yet someone who drafted McCoy might’ve lost to someone who got to pick up Brown from the FA pool and now won’t make the playoffs and we don’t even know if Brown will make another start in 2013. What I’m trying to say is I lost my playoff shot tonight to a team that got Brown when I had McCoy. What I’m also trying to say is next week, McCoy could be back and Brown may become an afterthought. Don’t hold to him too closely if someone else is out there who’ll help you win week 13. In other fantasy football news…
Cam Newton – I almost lead with Superman but thought ‘nah, I have this title in the bag I don’t care how many TDs he scores!’. So of course he scores all of the Panthers’ touchdowns on the night finishing with a rare UPS ground/air double shipment to go with 306 yards passing and 52 yards on a pretty big 14 carries. He’s working hard during the holiday season, obviously. Someone must’ve let 2011 Newton make a Cam-eo tonight because that’s what it looked like during most of the game. Newton was back to his raw athlete tricks and it worked. He might be one of those raw athletes who stays raw. Nothing wrong with them, just a reality check for Panthers ownership that they didn’t draft Brady or Brees and they shouldn’t treat him like he is.
Brandon LaFell - Lost season for LaFell despite the great night: 80 total yards on 4 touches with 43 of it coming on a touchdown. Really should and could be used more in a hybrid role like a Cobb or Harvin but instead it’s long bomb or bust like most Panther WR is stuck with. Either he’s not a right fit for this offense or they don’t know how to use him properly. Given the Carolina record, I’ll lean toward the latter.
Nick Foles - I’m gonna go back to the well for this one but it’s just appropriate: Foles is not a fine Philly but if I had to guess his breed, it would be Sarah Jessica Parker. He finished the night 16 for 21 for 119 yards, with no touchdowns and an opportunity to be picked off a couple of times. For the most part, he just looks like a guy the game is moving too fast for. Either it’s a rookie thing or it’s a career thing but I don’t care. All you Foles better recognize Nick isn’t even that useful in 2QB leagues right now.
Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams - Combined for under 50 rushing yards and no touchdowns. Well I guess you already knew they didn’t score from reading the Newton blurb but the key here was Stewie left with an ankle injury. No word as of this typing of the severity leaving DeAngelo owners anxiously asking ‘How Does It Feel?’. That last link was for the lady Razzball readers.
Jeremy Maclin - Returned from a goose egg box score from a week ago to be the leading receiver for the Eagles. Since we already know Foles only threw for 119, keeping your emotions in check about the stat line was the prudent thing to do: 5 catches for 55 yards. And this all came with DeSean Jackson leaving early with a rib injury and not returning. He’s now on pace for 58 receptions and 718 yards to go with 6 touchdowns. So this was the sleeper everyone talked about over the off-season that I didn’t give a rip about.
Louis Murphy/Steve Smith - I almost posted about all three Carolina receivers in the same blurb but felt like kvetching about LaFell’s abuse in it’s own right. It seems as though Carolina sees their WRs are nothing more than HR hitters. Both Smith and Murray had 1 catch apiece that was 50% or more of their receiving yard totals on the night as Louis had 65 on 2 catches and Smith 60 on 4. Perhaps that’s their talent but as a football fan I have to wonder…didn’t they know they had three of the same receiver coming into this season? Where’s their under route guy? Where’s their respective Welker type? Important questions that management and the coaching staff need to answer in the off-season. Nothing a fantasy guy could help them understand. No way.
Greg Olsen - Finished the night with 50 yards on 4 receptions. Not the most fantasy relevant night for a Tight End but hey, we can’t call be Gary Barnbridge. Plus talking about Olsen gives me a chance to re-post this. I never tire of abusing your eyes/ears when given the opportunity. He-Man has the sweetest rave parties.