Good morning ya’ll. I will not be leaving the confines of my house unless it is on fire and even then I’ll probably stick around for a while. It is going to be miserable in Chicago and that’s where I am currently located. If you are going to the game this afternoon I can understand not wanting to waste all that money, but really, just think of how nice it would be to sit on your couch with a cold beer and some warm pizza and watch all those idiots freezing their asses off. God’s speed sirs and ma’ams.
Besides the blizzard we have a ton of games that will be played in wet weather and one that is postponed due to Metrodome snow build up and/or Brett Favre’s command. If you have a toss up between a guy who is in a dome or California (same thing) and a guy who is playing in the rain, go with the nice and easy, that’s what Tina Turner would do for a little while at least, just don’t tell Mike Turner.
But do make sure you join our FanDuel leagues. They are a fun way to play fantasy even if you scored the most overall points in your league, but still didn’t make the friggin playoffs! We need 4 in one and 2 in the other — League 2, League 3.
Also get your picks in for our weekly QB/RB/WR game.
This Chuck Klosterman article on the NFL is a masterpiece. A must read.
Here is your weekly dose of Carl and his Stone Cold Lock of the Century: Of The Week.
After you get in our FanDuel leagues you can go for the big money and take on the guys at The National Football League Post.
Here are my thoughts on today’s and now the two games tomorrow. I’m sleepy, don’t mind the typos.
Peyton Hillis is of course a must start x must start and the weather shouldn’t be much of a problem for him as long as he can hold onto the ball. The fantasy running back on the other side here is fast Fred Jackson. He’s been going off quite studlikely recently with a speed bump in Minnesota. The Bills offensive line is not going to power through the Browns, but FJax could do some damage in the passing game. The weather might dampen the passing game, but the lack of talent might dampen it even more. I still like Stevie J since he has a good shot at being the main mid range target for Fitzpatrick. The last possible fantasy guy is Ben Watson. After a big game last week and Delhomme still at the helm we could see him get another chunk of targets and the Bills aren’t the best at stopping tight ends. This game has low scoring affair written all over it, with Hillis being the only guy I’d put my fantasy hopes and dreams into.
The Panthers aren’t good and the really aren’t good at stopping the run as of late and early as well. Mike Turner should be able to beat them down with ease while Matt Ryan picks his spots and the absence of Jason Snelling doesn’t hurt. The one thing the Panthers are decent at is defending wide receivers, but I still think Ryan and Roddy White will connect enough to be useful, but Roddy more so. Tony Gonzo Gonzalez has a nice matchup with the team who has given the most points up to tight ends for the last 5 weeks.
The Falcons have been tough against the run this season, but were punched in the gut by LaGarrette Blount which made them cough up 151 yards and a TD. Don’t be afraid to start Jon Stewart. He may have some trouble getting into the red zone, but he should get you some yardage and a shot at a TD. I’d like to say this is the week Steve Smith South busts out, but until Jimmy Clausen becomes someone good at throwing the ball, it’s not going to happen, even against a weak Falcons secondary.
With all of the rain and wind and snow games out there this weekend it’s nice to have a good offense playing in a dome. You don’t have to worry about Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings. They are on a tear right now and I don’t think the Lions are going to get in their way too often. But who will rise to the top out of Donald Driver and James Jones this week? I have to go with JJ instead of DD, but they do help cancel each other out. The running back sitch is a bitch, but James Starks is the guy whose star is pointing north, wait, is he baby Jesus? Close, but he’s probably losing carries to Kuhn, Nance and BJax. That’s a lot of people! I still think he is the main guy this week and has a shot to come up big on a lot of fantasy playoff teams.
The Lions surprised the world (or a few people at least) by trotting out their 3rd string quarterback and having him not suck (at football at least, did you see that dance?). The Packers defense is good, but there is no way they will be up for this game with a trip to New England and two home games against the Giants and Bears on the horizon. This game has a chance at being high scoring and I wouldn’t balk at starting Megatron or Brandon Pettigrew. In PPR leagues I could see even dusting off Jahvid Best, especially on the home dome turf.
The good thing about the possible bad weather in this game is that there aren’t any must start options in either passing attack. Can David Garrard go off at anytime? Sadly yes. What? I said yes! But he is riskier than playing just about any QB in the league. I wouldn’t start him as far as I can throw him. At the helm on the other side is Jason Campbell who has a little of the Garrard in him. These two make it hard to start anybody in the receiving game. Marcedes Lewis might be the one exception, but he’s also no lock. His touchdown production keeps him in the conversation.
Of course the running game is the real star of this matchup. Maurice Jones-Drew has been on stud patrol lately and is unbenchable. Darren McFadden finally unsucked and looked like his pre-injury self. The Jags have been better against the run as of late, but I like Run DMC quite a bit. Tom Cable is not a big fan of 50/50 backfields so even though Michael Bush got more work last time I don’t see it being a big problem for McFad.
The Bengals should have given up by now, but they did play the Saints as if they still were trying and the Steelers are a divisional rival, so I guess they won’t just lay down. The weather favors the Steelers who should be able to run the ball on the Bengals whereas the Bengals won’t be able to reciprocate. I’m a little lukewarm on Big Ben since they may try to limit him scrambling around and ground and pound with Mendenhall who I think is a great start, but you were going to start him anyway. Hines Ward has really dropped off the map and Emmanuel Sanders is taking some of his work so I’m avoiding both, but Mike Wallace is now a must start. Even if Ben has an average game Wallace should get his.
Last time the Bengals faced the Steelers I was at that game! But also T.O. had a big game and he should be able to get into the endzone again this week. He is the only one I feel good about starting. Ocho has been u and down this season and the Steelers shut him down last time and many times before.
The Redskins are paying dearly for building their stadium on an ancient Native American burial ground and for spending tons of money on jerks and ne’re-do-wells. But thankfully they have a craptastic defense that allows us to start players against it. I am very high on LaGarrette Blount this week and he’ll probably be on all my FanDuel teams. After gashing a good Falcons run defense for 151 yards and a touchdown, I doubt he’ll be deterred too much by the Fat Albert-less skins. Josh Freeman has a good matchup as well, but I see them running quite a bit and him targeting Mike Williams and Kellen Winslow on play action, but unless it turns into a shootout they won’t need to throw too often.
The Redskins have three running backs who could see work and not knowing how much Shanny likes James Davis makes it hard to start any of them. I could see throwing Torain or even Davis in there if you are hurting, but I’d rather wait to see how things shake down. Really the only Redskin I feel ok about is Chris Cooley. He is getting a bunch of receptions and not many touchdowns, but that’s better than a lot of the options out there. With no Aqib Talib, Santana Moss and Anthony Armstrong should have a little easier time, but both are risky. I’d rather go with the upside of Stretch the Field Armstrong than Moss.
4 pm games
Tom Brady can shred the Steelers and Jets defense at will, but can he shred some nice powder? I say no. If the forecast holds up, which it is looking good to, I don’t see how Brady can have a Bradyesque game with sustained winds of 30-40 mph and gusts up to 55 mph. And those winds won’t just be blowing wind around, they’ll be driving snow directly into the eyes, skin, and nether regions of everybody out there. This doesn’t mean that Tom Terrific can’t win the game or even have a decent dink and dunk approach that gets him into respectable fantasy range, but I’m not going to bet my fantasy playoffs on it. Insert Jay Cutler’s and every receiver’s name into the above slot where Tom Brady’s name is.
The running game has a better chance to be productive of course, but scoring may be difficult. The sheer amount of carries for The Firm, Woodhead and Forte should give them a shot at respectable yardage and a TD. I don’t believe this means they will go off by any stretch, but they will be safer than the receivers and QBs.
The Rams were passable in pass defense early in the season, but have been getting torched recently. So let’s pass the torch to Drew Brees and company. Brees should have no trouble putting up numbers and after going scoreless in his first 6 games Marques Colston is still his main guy and has 5 touchdowns in his last 6 games. But of course figuring out who gets the other touchdowns is a crapshoot and shooting crap doesn’t sound pleasant. I would love to recommend Robert Meachem, but he hasn’t topped 4 targets in 4 weeks even though he has 3 touchdowns in that span. He is as boom or bust as you can get. The Saints running game is getting a little overcrowded with Pierre Thomas back, but I think we are safe throwing Chris Ivory out there at least another week. Thomas has been out for a long while and I doubt he’ll be handling many carries. Ivory has a good shot at another good game.
The soon to be Rookie of the Year just isn’t consistent enough to start on fantasy teams and the lack of a go to receiver makes it tough to start any of the Bradford Bunch. Steven Jackson is really the only guy you can safely start from the Rams.
The nice weather, home field and a horrid Seahawks secondary makes for a nice passing matchup for the duo of Crabtree and Davis. Alex Smith had thrown a touchdown to Davis 4 weeks in a row before he was hurt and Crabtree has caught 4 of his 5 touchdowns at home. The Seahawks rush defense has been awful as of late, but we should again see Anthony Dixon and Brian Westbrook split carries. With Smith back Westbrook should see more targets out of the backfield, but Dixon will still get goal line work. I’m not overly excited about either, but if you need them I’d roll with Westy in PPR and Dixon in non.
The Seahawks are about as rancid a fantasy pool as there is. Somehow Marshawn Lynch went off last week, but I wouldn’t bet my uncle’s money that he’d do it again. Both Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu are game time decisions and I’d steer clear. I could see taking a risk on Deon Butler if you are hurting, but only if you are on your death bed.
The coaching change, rookie quarterback and fantasy implications make this game at least interesting. I am really liking most the fantasy players the Broncos are throwing out there on Sunday. The Cardinals have nothing to play for and thankfully the Broncos have the boost of a new coach. I feel good about starting Kyle Orton, great about starting Brandon Lloyd and ecstatic about starting Knowshon Moreno. And with John Skelton out there I even feel good about starting the Broncos poor defense. But much too my chagrin Matt Prater will not be playing and Steven Hauschka will be. I have been starting anyone and their dog against the Cardinals in the kicking game and it’s been working, but I may have to pass on Hauschka.
It’s not easy to start a receiver on a team with a rookie QB making his first pro start, but then add Champ Bailey to the mix and Larry Fitzgerald is an iffy start. He will get plenty of targets (which is one of the reasons I like Denver’s D) so it’s hard to sit him for a scrub, but if you have a WR3 with a nice matchup I could see it. This is the week all of us Beanie holder ons were waiting for, but he just can’t gain the trust of The Whiz. Now that the Cards are out of it I think they should just get Beanie in there and let him make mistakes, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. That makes Timmy Hightower a worthwhile start this week. The Broncos run defense is poor and even if the Cards get behind, Hightower will be in on passing downs and could be Skelton’s safety valve.
It’s looking like we could have some heavy rain in New Jersey. After a humiliating defeat I’m looking for a bounce back game from the Jets, but it will be hard to be sharp if Noah is loading his boat outside the stadium. The only receiver in this game I’d call a must start is Santonio Holmes. Sanchez is targeting him early and often. Shonn Greene is finally looking better than LT in the run game and he can be a flex play on the right team in non-PPR. And the same is true for LT, but in PPR.
Brandon Marshall should be back to face Revis and a ready for redemption defense. I don’t feel super happy fun time about any Dolphin this week. If Ricky or Ronnie were the main backs I could see starting one, but as it is they need a poor rush D to have any value.
There’s no way you don’t start Philip Rivers, especially in San Diego where there has never been a bad weather game. The problem is trying to figure out who he will be throwing to that is still holding onto all their body parts. Vincent Jackson has been practicing, but we saw what happened the last time he tried to play. He has a lot of upside so I’m not saying don’t play him, but if I have someone with a little upside who is also healthy, I’m playing that guy instead. I like Malcolm Floyd quite a bit this week, but if VJax plays it does hurt Floyd’s upside. My man The Seyi Kid loses all his value if VJax plays. It makes me sad.
We are hearing that Ryan Mathews may get more work this week, but I’d still play Mike Tolbert over him. It’s not the best situation I’ve ever come across, but I’d be very afeared at starting Mathews even in a 30 team league.
The Chiefs have Brodie Croyle at the steering wheel this week and it will be tough for him to keep the team out of the ditch. Thankfully they have a studsville running game and what is now a studsville receiver. Bowe probably won’t catch 3 touchdowns, but I don’t see him getting less than 10 targets. You have to start him. The Chargers rush defense was gouged by the Raiders last week and it could happen again with Tom Jones and JC Superstar. And really it has been the Superstar’s show as of late. Jones could get into the endzone, but Haley could fly Cassel in from KC for a goal line look and I wouldn’t be surprised. JC is a must start at all times.
8 pm game
This should be the highest scoring game of the weekend. Vick is the #1 fantasy quarterback until further notice and he has to throw to someone, those someones ate DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek. I like all of them and in that order. LeSean McCoy is a must start every week and that’s just the way it is. Feel good if you are stacked with Eagle players.
The Cowboys are better now without that bum Phillips and Jon Kitna has a good shot to put up good numbers against a pass defense that has been giving up some nice fantasy games to QBs this season. I’d play Kitna over Brady and Cutler in the blizzard. Miles Austin gets a pretty nice boost with Dez Bryant going on IR and he should scoot back up into WR1 status. Jason Witten continues to play well and Kitna continues to target him. He’s another must start. Roy Williams also should see a little boost, but I’m not going to pin my playoff hopes on him until I see how he is targets with Dez gone. The running game is a little trickier. Tashard Choice gave the Boys plenty of reasons to play him, but Felix Jones isn’t going anywhere. Both have upside in what should be a high scoring game, but I’d like to see Choice get steady looks before I go all in.
As I type this the Giants are stuck in Kansas City and it looks like the game will be moved to Monday night. That is good for all fantasy interests. Percy Harvin is doubtful because of migraines and both Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks have been practicing and might possibly play. I like Nicks more than Smith because I like Nicks more than Smith. Even if Nicks is on a snap count he gets a poor pass defense and a nice comfy dome and now he gets an extra day to rest. I like his chances for a TD, which means I like Eli Manning’s chances for an extra TD. I also like Eli’s chances for a good game. The Minnesota rush defense has improved as of late, but their pass defense has done the opposite. Harvin’s absence helps our man Sid Rice once again. He should get plenty of looks and has the ability to beat safety help. But keep an eye on Harvin. This extra day might make him available, but without practicing I’d assume he’d see less snaps. Shiancoe is el stanko.
You probably should start Adrian Peterson. He’s finally looking like a viable fantasy option. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs can both have fantasy days of mention against the right teams, but the Vikings will probably keep them from doing anything near what they did to the Redskins, so I am eeny meeny miny moeing to Bradshaw is now it. AhmBrad has more lateral ability than Jacobs and is better in the passing game. The Vikings should be able to slow down most of the between the tackles work Jacobs gets.
Jobert Flacco should have a much easier time of things than he did last week against Pittsburgh. The Texans are still horrid at defensing the pass and Flacco and Boldin shouldn’t have much trouble connecting. The same is true for Ray Rice who will get plenty of work in the passing game as well. Feel confident in starting all those guys I just typed. Derrick Mason isn’t as easy a start, but in the right situation he could go and Ed Dickson is the wildcard. Todd Heap is out and Ed should have plenty of room to roam, but we already saw him drop a critical pass against Pittsburgh; he’s risky.
Arian Foster is the real deal and I don;t care if he’s playing a team of Greek Gods, you start him. The Ravens are better at defending the pass than the run, which isn’t great news for Matt Schaub. It’s hard to see the leading yardage gainer last season have such a poor year, but it’s happening. You can’t sit Andre Johnson, but you can sit every other Texan who catches the ball for a living.