So in this glorious world we live in, almost everyone has bosses. And unlike the disappearance of America’s middle-class, there are few bosses always hated (Horrible Bosses neurotic and harassment style) and even fewer always liked; almost everybody that is in a job they at least somewhat enjoy has a boss in the middle ground.
First to clarify – I’m not talking about the awesome guys here at Razzball, I’m talking about the bosses I’ve seen in my day jobs. Maybe I’ve worked too long in the media industry, but I’ve always had bosses that are usually cool and real, but then all the sudden go Mount Vesuvius on you. That kind of Yo-Yo Ma-ing can get incredibly tiresome. But it also makes it all too easy to forget what bosses can bring to the table – they will hear out the complaints you have for your co-workers, they pay your bills, and keep your lifestyle going.
Even so, they are the face of being politic in the workplace, something I detest that occurs from the smallest of businesses to the echelon of American professional sports. As much as I’d like to just get my work done and leave it at that, NFL players also just want to leave it on the field, but have to play the political game to make their mark. Saying the right things to coaches and media, bringing it as hard as possible to practices (no Grey Goosing Maurice Clarett!) and avoiding off-the-field issues all are equally paramount to getting your shot.
What I’m getting at is that no matter how much apathy you have due to your management, you still have to take the opportunities when they present themselves, just like Denarius Moore is doing with the change in management post-Al Davis in Oakland. He’s turning into a legit flex play after being completely left for dead after his breakout in week 2. He’s making the most of the shot he’s been given, which we all need to do.
Looking at last week’s picks, it was one of the season’s stronger efforts with Michael Bush having a big day (albeit one a lot of people saw coming – and this was for last Sunday’s game not Thursday Night’s), Tim Tebow indeed scored over 20 points in conservative, standard-ESPN scoring, and James Jones had one catch, but it was a 21-yard TD. For the other guys I liked, Chris Ogbonnaya is now Chris Ogbonnifacio (trademarked) to me and Arrelious Benn didn’t get the expanded role Raheem Morris promised me. I’m going to take your radio, Raheem.
For the guys I was down on, Anquan Boldin had an OK game with 88 yards and is too consistent these days to bet against anymore, Big Ben got his only TD with 4 minutes to go and was also just OK (and was correctly predicted to be outscored by Tebow), Jackie Battle and Nate Washington were both atrocious, and Beanie Wells got completely beanied (and Random Collementer got completely Collmented – 3-1 son!). Pretty solid outing.
Here are some guys that I like this week that aren’t getting started enough and guys I think you should bench (along with their starting percentages in ESPN and Yahoo respectively):
Jake Ballard (19.2%, 26%) With San Francisco’s strong run defense and usual strong pass defense around the perimeter, I love Ballard this week to stay hot with Eli Manning after their Patriots’ killing drive last Sunday. I have no idea why more people aren’t talking about Ballard, as he’s had at least 80 yards or a score in four of the past five weeks. He’s a strong start for me and should see at least a few red zone targets on Sunday.
Torrey Smith (21.1%, 27%) Another guy I like coming off a game winner is Torrey Smith, who is looking more and more legit as the season carries on. Seattle has given up a litany of big plays to rookie or young receivers (Cruz, A.J. Green, Julio Jones) and I expect that trend to continue. I could easily see another 50-60 yard game with a score.
Laurent Robinson (4.4%, 24%) Filling in for Austin’s hammy, Robinson is primed for a big week against the porous Buffalo secondary. I expect this game to be a wild west shootout eschewing the Aikman-Kelly days, with numerous big plays. Let’s just hope Romo spreads the ball around and gives Robinson, Bryant, and Witten some nice fantasy stat lines.
Josh Cribbs (3.8%, 17%) Now that everyone knows how Ogbonnifacio the Browns rushing attack is without Hardesty and Hillis, Josh Cribbs is reportedly going to get some touches out of the backfield. He’s averaged 5.9 yards per carry on rushing plays through his career, and while you’d expect that from a big-play wide receiver, we all know how talented Cribbs is and how shaky the Rams defense has been all year. He’s coming off two straight games with receiving scores, and with additional touches, even if only 5 or 6, in the running game, Cribbs is a nice deeper flex play or an injury fill-in.
Daniel Thomas (11.5%, 13%) Reggie Bush is about as a hot a topic as there can be in fantasy right now, and when was the last time he delivered (that wasn’t supposed to be a pizza pun, but oh well) some game-to-game consistency? Anyone? Reports from Miami are saying Thomas is looking healthy and I think he gets right back into the mix. Washington’s run D isn’t anything special, but most of the time Reggie Bush isn’t either, so Thomas could have some nice sneaky value if you roll the dice with him this week.
Son of a Bench
Brandon Jacobs (24.2%, 33%) Even with Bradshaw ruled out again this week, Jacobs is a no-go in almost all situations against that stout 49ers run D. I expect the Giants to completely abandon the run early to try and keep some drives alive that are otherwise going to be stymied if they try to run with Jacobs. Even though he’s the guy, I don’t see a big workload or big production.
Marques Colston (77.7%, 83%) Last year in his two games against the Falcons, Colston amassed all of 6 catches for 46 yards. Ugh. He’s been slowly fading after a mighty return from his collarbone break and I expect the downward trend to continue this week. I think this game is going to be a grinder, and as much as us fantasy players are hoping for fireworks from these offenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see it. I think there are many safer plays out there right now, and even benching Colston for some sleepers could pay off huge.
LeGarrette Blount (68.4%, 62%) Blount started out very hot last week against the Saints, but really slowed down as the game wore on. How much of that can be attributed to bouncing back from injury we don’t know, but I think he has another slow game this week. Houston’s run D is legit and even without Andre Johnson, I see the Texans going up early. Then again I picked the Bucs to win, but if they do, I think it will be on Josh Freeman and Tampa’s passing offense.
Brandon Lloyd (65.2%, 76%) The Browns are giving up the least fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, and I think Lloyd can expect to see a lot of my boy Joe Haden in this game. Add into the mix Mark Clayton will be back on the field, and while I don’t think Clayton will be a big factor, he will definitely get a few targets that would otherwise be Lloyd’s. He’s been very consistent, especially since becoming a Ram, but I think this is his slowest game since joining St. Louis.
Vernon Davis (63.2%, 65%) Where has Vernon Davis gone? Well, the 49ers offense is just as Gore-centric as it ever was, just this year they’ve actually been winning and don’t need their passing game. The Giants are giving up the 6th least points to opposing tight ends and I can’t see any reason why you’d stick with him again this week. Would I start Ballard instead? Absolutely.
If you have any last second decisions, shoot me some comments, or tweet me@jbgilpin. Good luck to everyone in week 10!