First off, there are quite a few guys I could talk up from this game and they’d all warrant the attention. It was also a game that looked dire for the Patriots as they started off in a 21-7 hole with key guys turning the ball over early on. In the end, the game played out like many thought it would and how people assumed the Pats offense would perform. When the dust settled, Tom Brady re-established himself as the top tier Quarterback people drafted him to be and Rob Gronkowski (5 rec for 104 and a 1 TD) as well as Wes Welker (9 rec for 129) redeemed their early fumbles with typical Gronk & Welk play. Even Brandon Lloyd – a guy I called a buy low just this last week – finally found paydirt as he nabbed 3 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Ryan Fitzpatrick showed why he’s a great QB2 – 350 and 4 TDs – while also reminding you why he should stay your QB2 with his 4 interceptions. Overall, the was a cornucopia of fantasy goodness for pretty much every fantasy owner out there. Heck, even Danny Woodhead got in on the touchdown action. Of course, that was not the interesting part of the game. Well, at least not to me anyway. What I found intriguing was both the continued use of Stevan Ridley and the increased role we saw from Brandon Bolden as they combined for 38 carries, 243 yards and 3 touchdowns with Bolden chipping in 1 reception for 11 yards for good measure. Granted, the game turned into a laugher and surely led to a heavier amount of rushing than most Patriot games are going to feature but it’s worth noting the split in touches between the two. While Ridley got two of the three touchdowns on 22 carries, Bolden was the guy who got it to the one before Stevan’s second plunge of the day while racking up 17 total touches. Anyone coming into the season with any faith in ‘The Hoodie’ knows he’s just as trustworthy as Mike Shannahan. I still think Ridley is a strong RB2 most weeks depending on the matchup but Brandon just might be making a name for himself in Boston. If you’re a concerned Ridley owner, realize many thought Gronk & Aaron Hernandez couldn’t co-exist and yet it works as well as Ebony & Ivory. This could very well be the same situation and may be creating an interesting flex pick-up for deeper leagues in Bolden. In other Fantasy Football news…
Stevie Johnson – How? How does Buffalo score 28 points all on passing touchdowns and Johnson catches 2 for 23 with no scores? Very Superstitious…28% owned Scott Chandler just called to say he loves you, Stevie owners. Oh and how did I get away with sneaking three Stevie Wonder references into one post?
Julio Jones – In other disappointing WR news…Now I know I’m too young, My love has just begun, oh Ju-Ju-Julio. Hopefully that soothing Phil Collins voice helped you Jones owners out there. Overall, Julio is still performing as a high end wide receiver option but he’s looking more and more like Vincent Jackson than he is an elite WR1. It’s one thing to not score a touchdown, it’s quite another to not catch a pass until the second half. In his defense, he did have another near catch on the sidelines where his second foot down was just a hair out of bounds but it’s the second flat game we’ve received from this high end pick. Now I’m not saying he’s worthless but if someone out there wants to pay you like he’s a WR1, take it and run. Of course, Julio’s loss was Roddy White owner’s gain as he went for two scored and over 150 yards receiving. He’s looking to be much more reliable. I shall forever call him Sturdy White.
Cam Newton – Another buy low call I made last week had a great bounce back game against a fairly decent defensive team. He did have a case of the fumblies – which is nowhere near as nice as having the jumblies – but didn’t happen to lose either that hit the ground. Hope someone out there listened to me and bought in; I’d hate to be right and for it not to be anything more than a reason to have a smug face.
Michael Turner – Well thanks Turner for helping me avoid that Smug Face! You’re such a giver! I don’t know who this Turner is. It’s like he’s drunk-driving mad about my sell call on him. He ran the ball great (13 carries for 103) and even got a touchdown on a 3 receptions for 68 yards. That TD reception was his first receiving touchdown in over 9 years. Yeah, I’m still trying to justify my call. The fact he’s only getting about 15 touches a game will keep him fresh all season to further prove me wrong. I’m getting burned by The Burner.
Ryan Mathews – Combined with Jackie Battle for 100 yards rushing and a touchdown. Only the touchdown went to Battle as did 39 of those rushing yards. They mentioned earlier in the week they were worried about Ryan’s fumbling issues and then he didn’t play much during the first drive when Battle scored the TD. Later the coaches said they leaned on him a little too much after coming back from injury last week, hence the reduced touches and I actually believe them, but that still doesn’t bode well for his owners. Fun fact, Ryan’s nickname Peanut. Wanna know why? Cuz Peanut’s Brittle.
Chris Johnson – Dear CJ owners, I have an acronym for you: SOL. That’s not the acronym you’re use to, though. This one stands for ‘Signs Of Life’. Let’s see the myriad of reasons that you didn’t get to experience his 141 yard rushing day to go with 2 receptions for 16. Good defense? Check. Bad first three games? Check. You thought Leonard Hankerson was a better choice at flex this week? Check. It’s too early for me to say my buy low suggestion on him is on target but I’ll say it’s much closer now than it was when I made it. CJ2K is dead but CJ1K is still a possibility.
Jake Locker – Went down with a bum left shoulder which was in a sling by the time the game was over. Matt Hasselbeck stepped in to do his best Jake impersonation by bringing the pleasure and the pain with a pair of TDs and INTs. Not gonna make a Hurt Locker reference here, as tempted as I might be to overuse it with everyone else. We’ll just say both QBs have issues and Tennessee is terrible. I don’t think having either in hurts or helps the value of the other Titans players. Of course, if you own Locker in a 12 team, 2QB league today hurt you but don’t worry, I’m sure Blaine Gabbert is available.
Detroit Lions – I yield. This team is a hot mess with a lot of high end fantasy picks firmly cemented on your team. Questions abound. Is the Madden Curse having an affect on Calvin Johnson? Will their special teams ever cover a return well? How does a team with this type of receiving talent lead the league in drops? Will Matthew Stafford ever look a day over 12? The defense should be better than this and so should the offense. The only thing Mikel LeShoure had going for him going into this week was clear touches. Well he followed up his useful – yet not impressive – 26 carry, 100 yard day with 13 for 26. Can you say LeGarrette Blount? I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not. Of course, Kevin Smith is still MIA in DET which is FUBAR, IMHO. I’m officially giving up on this team as a whole with of course Calvin being the lone guy I wouldn’t be rushing to move. Mo-Town’s looking like it has no soul.
Brian Hartline – That vaunted Arizona defense just had a Hart Attack as Brian dropped 253 on 12 receptions in AZ. Throw in Davone Bess and his 7 for 123 and clearly they didn’t realize Killer Whales are a part of the Dolphin family. It’s ok, I didn’t either until I googled it. Kudos to all who said ‘eh, sure why not throw Hartline and Bess in as my WR3 and flex this week’. You knew it was a brilliant call even then, I’m sure.
Andre Roberts – Do you remember that 90’s movie Andre? Do you remember how forgettable it was? Does ‘remember how forgettable it was’ seem like an oxymoron to you too? Nevertheless, I think that movie and Roberts’ day have a lot in common. Come week 15, you’re going to have a hard time remembering what Andre did today.
Aaron Rodgers – Has anyone ever noticed how much Rodgers looks like Vigo Mortensen? Probably not, namely because he doesn’t but I for one welcome The Return Of The King. If you were trying to buy low and didn’t get in on it, chance missed. Same goes for Jordy Nelson. Even Cedric Benson had a useful flex day. Only Packer who’s looking a tad worrisome is Greg Jennings as he left the game with the groin injury that’s been bothering him most of the season, although he did it after giving his owners a reception for a touchdown. To quote ‘A Christmas Story’, I shall say ‘Oh Fuuuuudge’ about this Packer. Only I didn’t say ‘Fudge’. Oh and don’t ask me about James Jones. The moment I try and present him as a viable option, he’ll pull a Frog In The Box trick on me.
Marques Colston – I never called him a buy low but I did like him as a low end WR1 coming into this season and he finally delivered on that notion, going for 153 and a touchdown on 9 receptions. He played like a nobleman for New Orleans today. Marques(s) De Saints.
SF DEF – If the Jets vs the 49ers were a Mortal Kombat matchup, I think it’s safe to say San Fran had a Flawless Victory. Had them as the #1 defense this week like everyone else. Easy call, Jets are no bueno. The Tebow-O-Meter is surely on amber alert by now. How far away does week 1 feel right now, Mark Sanchez owners?
HOU DEF – Now I’m not saying they are gold diggers, but they were the second highest scoring defense behind the 49ers. Hrm, that wasn’t even good for an off-rhyme. Both defenses outscored nearly half the QBs who played on Sunday. Sorry, Philip Rivers owners.
Robert Griffin, III – The week I finally start him in The Razzball Writers league over Eli Manning, he is of course still amazing and I still lose by 20+. Oh and I have Julio in that league too. I just took off my hat, threw up in it and then put it back on my head. I won’t remove it until I win another matchup in that league.
Victor Cruz – Signature Salsa Dance was on full display as Victor went for 109 on 9 receptions and a TD. Lotta people said he was going to fall from grace coming into this season. He’s currently on pace for over 1500 yards on over 125 receptions and 8 touchdowns. I’m not saying I saw that pace coming but I did have him in my top 5 overall for receivers. Last season was indeed magical, don’t mean this season has to be tragical. Filling in for Hakeem’s spot, Domenik Hixon went for 6 receptions on 114. I really thought I’d be typing Ramses Barden in that spot and even had to start him on two teams. I’m a man who stands by his convictions. I’m also a man who cries heavily when he turns out the lights on Sunday nights sometimes.
DeSean Jackson – Finally found the endzone going for 99 yards on 6 catches and a TD. Liked him coming into the season as a solid WR2 and he’s now on pace for 88 receptions and 1332. No, I don’t think he keeps that pace but yes I do think he’s better than people were saying he was going to be this year. The proof is in the pudding, which is another way of saying his stats. Mmm, chocolate-vanilla swirl!
LeSean McCoy – Didn’t give his owners the score but still handed them a nice night with 140 total yards on 26 touches and was one yard away from taking the plunge on a large run in the 3rd. He now only has 1 touchdown after a season in which he scored 20. Drafting him, you knew that wouldn’t happen again but I’m sure you were hoping for more than a 4 TD pace. What’s that sound I hear? Is that the whine of an impatient fantasy owner? Go soothe them with Frank Gore and a a pair of handerpants and tell them it’s going to be alright, you buy low type owners.