Normally a big game from someone comes early in the day and I circle it, pin it on my 100 %recycled cork board and dictate the rest of my post in pieces here and there throughout but I’m not gonna lie: the Broncos vs Pats game I had circled. I just knew the name would come out of this game. I mean, we had all those stars and great storylines. Wes Welker returning to face his former team. Amendola living up to the hype of trying to replace Wes in New England. Peyton Manning doing his best nihilist impersonation. Gisele rushing onto the field and Tonya Harding’ing Welker also came to mind. But instead, out of all the storylines this game brought to life, it was really center stage for a guy who’s been under-appreciated for what he has meant to his team, been called out on twitter and in general gets no respect. I’m of course talking about Knowshon Moreno, the much maligned starting RB for the Broncos whose emergence started last year when Willis went down with an injury and rolled into this year while all the pundits said Montee Ball would be the star in Denver. And yet, through it all Moreno has put up some very solid fantasy numbers on the year. But I’m taking this second to point out a different part that’s just as important; what he means to his team. Moreno ‘gets it’ and Peyton knows it. He trusts him. When Moreno is out there, Manning knows he’s got a guy who knows the play and will be ready to block if the play changes and where he needs to be to make the team successful. Of course, twitter has been cruel to him but it’s also shed some light here and there as well. And despite the massive fantasy day, tallying 224 rushing yards on 37 carries to go with a TD, Moreno left the stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. I’m pointing all of this out to say it’s not just Moreno owners who should be worried about this injury as it could affect the offense as a whole if he misses significant time. You think I’m being melodramatic up in here? Think back on all those fumbles by Peyton on huge sacks. Guess who was in to pass block? Mmm-hmmm. He’s real football important and because of that his fake football persona is relevant. Montee Ball started the collapse for the Broncos in the second half with a fumble and has had pass pro issues. Ronnie Hillman has been in the inactive dog house since his fumble fiasco at the goal line in the Colts loss. CJ Anderson? Odd if they wanted him involved why they haven’t given him many reps since the Hill demotion. All this to say, Broncos thought it was cold Sunday Night. We might be finding out how warm it is when he’s away. I know, I know, I know, I know, I know…in other news from week 12 of the 2013 Fantasy Football season…
Jamaal Charles – Odd to say it Sundays 2 TD explosion from Charles was his first game with a TD in 4 weeks. Of course, plenty of yardage from game to game has hidden that fact well like when you wouldn’t stop playing your gameboy in the back seat and mom grab it and shoved it between her tatas because you weren’t listening. Not that I have any experience with that…I almost beat Belmont’s Revenge ma! Gaw! Anywho, should be the top scoring RB in standard and PPR so far this year after the game. Not to say I toldja so but I put him top 3 for RBs to start the year in a tier that included the top 3 RBs for the year. Yes, ahead of CJ Spiller. Yes, ahead of Arian Foster. Hey, if I’m gonna get rung up for putting Doug Martin #1 in that tier, I’m gonna take credit where I can find it.
Josh Gordon – Well, if Pierre Garcon outscores Gordon for the week, I think we’re good, right James R? Sorry, sidebar. There was concern Gordon wouldn’t produce enough this week. Even with a hodge-podge of Weeden and Campbell, Gordon went for 14/237/1. He’s gonna be in the ‘if only he had a good QB throwing to him’ debate for seemingly years.
Philip Rivers – Mayday, mayday, the KC defense is going up in flames. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston both left the game fairly early and the Chargers and co. feasted, especially Philip: 27/39 for 3 TDs, 1 INT and 397 total passing yards. The Chargers just scored 41 points on KC…IN KC. I’m working on a thinking forward piece about defenses for the playoffs and I’m officially freaking the eff out for half my playoff bound teams because yes, they have the Chiefs. And while we’re at it, consider this a Keenan Allen blurb: 8/124 on 12 targets. He’s hard to sit but I wouldn’t have blamed you if you had today. You wouldn’t have been the only one. Oh and Ladarius Green: 3/80/1. You’re gonna say I’m lying but I almost put him in the crazy deep pickup call for the week last week. If Gates goes down, there is no Lazarus, only Ladarius.
Eddie Lacy – Y’all were worried about Eddie when Rodgers went down, huh. Don’t lie, I heard you. But after another 100+ yard effort (110 on the ground with 6 for 48 through the air and a TD), I think we can safely say he’s fine. BTW, anyone out there lose a bet on Lacy at this point? And was the bet you had to wear something lacy if that’s true? Tell me in the comments. No pics, though, please. Unless you’re hot. Yes, even if you’re a guy. I’ll consider it a gift to the female readers who suffer through reading my drivel.
Maurice Jones-Drew – Went for 84 rushing yards, 6 for 60 through the air and threw in a TD while he was at it. Can we stop talking about the Houston Texans defense as a stream-worthy option yet? Oh we can? Good!
Tiquan Underwood – I thought I had him higher than WR35 this week. Finished with 3 for 108 and 2 TDs on a day that Megatron couldn’t score and Nate Burleson delivered a pizza in the end zone. I’m calling this opposite day. Oh well, I put him in range for you to say ‘Hey, who is Sky talking about? He’s nuts, I’m playing David Nelson’ so that I can respond with a Nelson from Simpsons ‘HA HA’. Ok, not really. Started him nowhere, own Megatron in a few leagues. Let’s weep together.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Went for 320 passing yards and 2 passing TDs as well as 26 yards rushing. I know what you’re thinking. You think you should pick him up. I kinda want to as well. But what happens when I say the word…BUFFALO. He’s still the same guy. Better offensive plan around him but yeah, as they say: never forget.
Justin Hunter – Went for 6/109/1. I really wanna tell you to pick him up. Kid’s good. Probably will tell you to pick him up on the off-chance that Fitz has somehow turned the corner. But I’m not even putting monopoly money on that. Still, you want upside at your WR, I ranked Justin in the top 40 for WRs last week because I thought this would happen. Apparently I ranked from the future. Oh and you probably don’t remember but Kendall Wright: 6/103/1. That’s the guy I said to BUY because he was boring. Are you still bored? Well, you shouldn’t be this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers DST – Their end line I was expecting from the Browns. I’m simply pointing out that Campbell is playing scared with his rib issues and was pulled for Brandon Weeden. I’m offering my mea culpa for calling the Cleveland defense in only stating certain things cannot be predicted. Like when a team in the bottom ten in giveaway/takeaway causes 4 TOs and returns one of them for a TD. Now pardon me while I walk into heavy traffic late at night.
Carson Palmer – Finished 26/37 for 314 and 2 TDs and zero turnovers. I think this game proved something: the NFC west is pretty damn good. Luck and company have now lost the the Cardinals and the Rams by a combined 78 to 19. The Rams game was at home, FWIW. Yeah, sorry Indy fans. This team is going nowhere even if it makes the playoffs.
Dennis Johnson – Went for 87 total yards as the Tate note starts like this on ESPN ‘Tate(ribs/ankle/toe)’. Coincidence? I think not. Play that record, DJ. I know you’re not a DJ. That’s a cute way of me saying you should add him.
Zac Stacy – So, true story: I started Stacy in a couple of daily leagues. How could I not? Kid is a beast going against a team that just gave up a ton of points to a seemingly dead Ray Rice. So of course he gets hurt halfway through the game….of course. Stacy still beasted while he was in there (12/87/1 and 1/10 through the air) but left the remaining goods to Benny Cunningham (13/109/1). If you’re scoring at home, yes Cunningham just outscored your boy. Yes, it’s ok to cry. Clearly, Cunningham is the player to own if Zac misses any significant amount of time.
Mike Wallace – Went for 5/127/1, outscoring his own point output in the last 4 weeks in standard against a Panthers defense that was rolling coming into today. I know he did this on your bench. No, you’re not starting him next week. I haven’t even looked at matchups. I don’t even have to.
Jacoby Jones – I see that +30 on the weekly rankings on my Jacoby Jones at 38 call and I smile. Too bad I can’t smile about the Flacco one. I guess I thought he’d kick the FGs for Baltimore while he was at it.
Antonio Brown – Heading into SNF/MNF games, Antonio Brown was the 10th best receiver in standard. I put him 13th and everyone wanted to sit him for *insert random WR2 here* and he went for 6/94/1 with a -8 rush. Not taking anything from Haden, but I think this is just a good sign that Andy Dalton isn’t very good after AJ Green was on a Milk Carton in week 11. Taking pot shots at gingers on bye is what I do best.
Scott Tolzien – Went 7/17 for less than 100 yards and was pulled by Matt Flynn in a game that ended in a tie. That’s what they call a career lowlight. Probably just lost the job to a guy that has been dropped by 2 teams already this year. Don’t feel too bad, though, Scott, you’re still better than Seneca Wallace.
Case Keenum – Yeah, the thrill is gone and he didn’t even get pulled this week. You just can’t put up that end line playing against the Jaguars: 18/34 for 169 and an INT. That’s Jaguars practice squad numbers. Makes me ponder the philosophical question: if a UDFA hits the FA pool in fantasy, does anybody care? In seriousness, I’d hold in 2QB leagues but I wouldn’t be starting him any time soon.
Tavon Austin – Yeah, still not buying it. Don’t get me wrong, the kid is explosive but he’s not a huge part of the offense at this point. Two catches, 5 targets and one big ole’ reversed endaround for 65 yards and a TD. Let me put it to you this way: would you starting Devin Hester back in his punt return heydays? Exactly. At the very least, I will say his stock for next year has risen but I’m gonna need to see some small play ability to go with the big ones before I’m buying.
Cordarrelle Patterson – Went for 8/54 on 11 targets. See 1/4 inch above for the exact opposite reaction to how I feel about Patterson down the stretch. Looks like he’ll get plenty of targets which leads to opportunities. I can’t promise he’ll be as explosive but especially in PPR leagues, the emergency Cordarrelle might’ve been pulled by the Vikings.
Toby Gerhart – Rushed for 8/91 as the game stretched into overtime and a gimpy AP couldn’t do it all by himself, though he nearly did (32/146/1). If there’s any rumors to injury issues, I think today quelled it but today proved if one were to happen, Toby could go from your FA pool straight to your Ger-heart if he starts.
Danny Woodhead – Had 70 total yards, 2 TDs and did it on 10 total touches (4 as receptions). Efficiency at its finest. Can’t promise you would’ve been as happy with him had Ryan Mathews not gone down with a head injury midway through the game as he also played well (65 total yards and a TD).
Rashad Jennings – Touchdowns make the man in this game. Roughshod had himself a good game overall with 16/73 on the ground and 4/49 through the air. But guys like Steven Jackson are gonna outscore him this week. If I sound bitter, I am but that’s just a general way of life in the world of fantasy football. It hardens the soul as much as the food you eat watching it hardens the arteries.
Stevan Ridley – It was really cold out there tonight. Don’t be embarrassed, Stevan, we all suffer from shrinkage in cold weather. We just don’t normally suffer it with our hands. Brady’s fumble? Hard hit, surprise hit. Blount fumble? Hard hit, possible concussion type smackdown hit. Ridley’s? Yeah, not so much. It’s very possible we’re gonna see a lot less Ridley in the coming weeks after this being fumble #2 in two weeks and with more weapons at Hoodie Bill’s disposal.
Rob Gronkowski – Went for 7/90/1 on 10 targets and was a couple inches short of Gronk spike 2 earlier in the game. That TD went to Bolden. Because…well, see 1/4 inch above.
Julian Edelman – So this is the WR to own now that everyone is back and healthy for the Pats (9/110/2). Isn’t this the guy everyone dropped week 6? *Checks Yahoo*. Yup, 38% owned as of Sunday night. I wouldn’t read much into this other than if you don’t own Gronk or Vereen, you don’t know which WR for the Pats is gonna be useful on a weekly basis.
Peyton Manning – I’m gonna rattle off some names to you here. Kellen Clemens. Matt Ryan. Scott Tolzien. Matt Flynn. Matt McGloin. These are just some of the more colorful names that outscored Peyton at the QB position this week. No, you’re not reading that wrong. I’m not saying Flynn/Tolzien combined. They EACH scored more than Manning on their own. Heck, even Eli outscored big brother today. Pretty sure we’re gonna see a big week from Peyton week 13. Or he’s gonna cut of your johnson. Either way.