Okay, I’ll say it: That was an entertaining football game with a lot of great plays and it didn’t suck at all, something I’d never expect from Monday Night Football. (Or Thursday Night Football. Or even Sunday Night Football, depending how drunk I was.) And then the first quarter ended. The rest of the game consisted of Arizona desperately trying to lose with the Ravens desperately trying not to win. You might call it the same thing, but if you did, you sure as heck didn’t watch this game. Combine that with Jon Gruden trying to give me a seizure, well, you can imagine how I felt afterwards. Actually, you don’t have to imagine since I’m here writing about it. And trust me, I’ll have plenty of Grudenisms after the jump to try and find catharsis from what I witnessed. Anyhow, a blocked punt and quick touchdown moved the Ravens within a one possession score with four minutes to go in the game, annnnnnnd then they just let the Cardinals offense do whatever they wanted until about a minute was left, which left just enough time for Joe Flacco to do Joe Flacco like things (shown above). A theme of the night if there ever was one. But the real question is, was it an elite theme? MAYBE.
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For a sixth straight season, Razzball will be interviewing NFL-team blogs and site contributors for some actual in-depth football knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy football knowledge. Keep your eye out for an interview for every NFL team for our Team Preview Series through the summer.This installment comes courteous of Brian Malan from the leading Baltimore Ravens blog: Baltimore Beatdown.
Although there are plenty of players capable of rising above a bad matchup, terms like “Revis Island” would not exist if it wasn’t at least somewhat true. Take T.Y. Hilton, for instance. After the loss of Reggie Wayne, Hilton has been an incredible asset for fantasy owners, but put him up against the Titans’ defense and suddenly he’s scoring less than 5 fantasy points. He should have a slightly easier time against Arizona this weekend, but I mean it when I say slightly. Cecil Shorts is a talented guy and he only managed 22 yards against Arizona last Sunday so start Hilton if you need him, but don’t expect WR1 production.
Speaking of Tennessee’s defense, they travel to Oakland this week and that makes the Raiders’ WRs unplayable. Rod Streater had a great outing this past weekend and Denarius Moore has been pretty consistent this weekend, but there are much better options this week.
Another consistent WR this year has been Antonio Brown, but this is definitely the week to sell high on him. Brown is still worth starting in many leagues. He hasn’t scored below six fantasy points in standard scoring leagues yet this season. However, Joe Haden is a special talent. If you were to rattle off a few receivers more talented than Antonio Brown, A.J. Green might be one of the people you list and Green was held to two catches for seven yards with Haden as his shadow. You never want to bench your best guys, but depending on your available options, you will want to consider it with Brown this week.
I’m looking across my lineups this week, and I’m feeling like my teams’ narratives are like The Other Guys. My Samuel L. and the Rock who were guns blazin’ and taking care of business have gone down to ridiculous injuries, and I’ve got to go with the wild card play of the cop who shot Derek Jeter, then the lanky cop with the crazy Gator past (no not Aaron Hernandez!) to try and fill in. Marlon Brown last week got me my first desk pop! Those TDs were nice. So I’m hoping to be your Michael Keaton and get the police unit to work together, while also trying to keep my Bed Bath & Beyond profitable and my employees from chasing waterfalls.
Going back to last week’s picks, Marlon Brown actually won me a league last week! I liked that one. Terrelle Pryor and Josh McCown gave you solid games as deep QB plays, and Le’Veon Bell also was very solid. My very deep Myles White call was more for James Jones behind hypothetically out, then the Aaron Rodgers injury made things worse, but a loss nonetheless. For my benchers, Matt Ryan was awful and I indeed got the Vincent Jackson bench right! I feel like I’ve missed on VJax 4-5 times over the past 2 years. Fred Jackson was a wash, but Tom Brady and Danny Amendola had huge games. My bad on that one, I knew the Steelers D was bad, but didn’t think the Pats O would get it together. Here’s who I like in week 10 and their % started in ESPN and Yahoo, respectively (NOTE – these are not always recommendations for 1-for-1 swaps, just guys I like who are understarted and guys I hate overstarted):
In the words of one of the more quotable presidents in recent memory, ‘ya fool me can’t get fooled again’. Read that with a Texans accent and you’ll get a better feel for who we’re going with here. Still no? Eh, ok, I’m not here to give you a recent presidential history lesson so I’m dropping the subject and moving on to the real story. Namely Nick Foles. Yes, the Nick Foles that put up a terrible line against a terrible defensive secondary in the Dallas Cowboys just two weeks ago which started the tailspin conversation of Chip Kelly’s offense ‘not working’ and being overrated. I get the negativity. Coming into today’s game, the Eagles hadn’t scored an offensive touchdown in 10 quarters. Yes, Tampa Bay scored an offensive touchdown or two in that same span. Yes, so did the Jaguars. Heck, a guy who only played on 19 snaps for his own team in week 8 – Marvin Jones – scored 4 touchdowns. What the heck was going on here? Oh NFL and your wily ways. When will we ever understand that this game ebbs and flows and just when it seems a team is the worst in the league that just a few adjustments could turn it around? Foles had a terrible day in Dallas, make no mistake. But then he got concussed and Vick stepped in for week 8 and it was clear he wasn’t healthy enough to be playing and in stepped 3rd stringer Matt Barkley. Well, I don’t know about you but it’s not very often I expect my third string QB to step in and lead a scoring drive. I am bringing all of this up to say don’t be worried about being Fole’d again. The kid and this offense can function at a high level. No, his channeling of the ghost of Peyton Manning – he’s dead to those who have him on bye this week – isn’t going to happen week in and week out. But I am saying the kid is good and can be good and will be good as he threw TD passes to 4 different receivers and finished 23/29 for 409 yards on the dot, 7 TDs and zero INT. Two QB leagues…well, he should already be owned. But if I have some iffy QB like Matt Ryan at this point, I’d jump at the chance at upside here and go with Nick. If you don’t put a waiver or some monies down on him this week, well…you don’t get Foles again. NO NO! In other news from the fine Sunday that was week 9 of the 2013 Fantasy Football season…
Luckily my one really bad team was the only one hit with terrible byes last week, but this week… Man… Lots of tough cookies. Guru is already talking smack because my 8-0 boys have James Starks at RB Eddie Royal in there in my flex. Spoiler alert! Neither are recommendations below. Slim Pickens on the wire. Plus ally of the JB world Justin Blackmon went on a Jessie Pinkman bender. It’s all coming to an end. But I must maintain the faith, visualize a redonkulous upset, and hope my path to perfection stays true.
Point is – don’t worry about tough week ones and keep playing your studs. Barring a late scratch I’m still playing Roddy White, who despite the bum ankle and only out there as a “decoy,” still got a red zone catch and I think gets more involved. I’m not benching him for some scrub, but he does obviously move down a few spots.
Seriously, who? It wasn’t me, though I do think they’re quite tasty. This season has started out with a bang for sure but of all the bangs I expected, this wasn’t it. Julius Thomas led the offensive charge for the Denver Broncos on the opening night of the season for the Denver Broncos, scoring 2 touchdowns on passes of 23 and 24 yards and finished his fantastic night with 5 catches for 110 yards on 7 targets. Was it a great night? You bet! Was it something you should become accustomed to? As a real Bronco would say ‘neigh’. Games are always and will always be situational. The Ravens weren’t allowing any yardage down field to start the game and were very keyed in on Decker and DT most of the night, which led to a major fantasy scoring discrepancy for Bronco player owners tonight. Don’t get me wrong, Julius is for real but in terms of targets on the night, he was tied with Decker at 7 for third on that chart and one of Decker’s targets was in the redzone. He’s not going to have nights like THIS all that often but he will have some good nights moving forward. I’ll put him down as a top 15 TE for the rest of the year for the plain and simple fact he looks to be a redzone target but keep in mind those 7 targets all happened in the first half. Just don’t expect the 110 yards a game from here on out and you’ll be in a good place. And now for what else I saw for the first night of 2013 Fantasy Football…Oh, and yeah this is a Fantasy Football blog but, uh, like we’re brothers around here and the Fantasy Baseball side is doing a final Draftkings run this season so I’d feel remiss if I didn’t let you know about it in case you’re into daily fantasy baseball. You’re not? Well that’s why this is all I have to say about it! Click here if you’re interested and if you’re not, just let your eyes keep scrolling downward…