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Ah yes, the dreaded Monday Night Football opener, showcasing four teams that you sorta-kinda are interested in, but not really and would probably just put on as background noise if this was Week 10. So basically any other Monday Night Football game not including the opener. While the concept is of a doubleheader on Monday is pretty cool, the execution of it isn’t, much like a queef. Why? Well, even though we still have a year of Chris Berman left, we still have to actually sit through a year of having Chris Berman. That’s check number one. Number two, this is the production team that gave you the Chip Kelly “Fast Tempo” clock when the Eagles played, marveling Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico by giving him a clock that basically counted up instead of down. Jesus. And this is also the same production crew that brought you a couple years of Ray Lewis’… whatever you call it. You say words, I say ear stabbings. He’s stabby. Not much you can do about that. True, they replaced him with Randy Moss, but really, if I still have to listen to Steve Young’s hot takes, I’m not sure where improvement will come from. At the very least, they actually do show football, the one redeeming feature of ESPN’s Monday presentation, and tonight we’re in for a special treat, a team with an alleged rapist quarterback, a team with a racist name, a team that strives for mediocrity on a yearly basis (Los Angeles will love that, I’m sure) and a team that’s just plain bad. Monday Night Football!

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The word coming out of Pittsburgh is that the Steelers aren’t about to panic, but it should be noted this is what people usually say when they are panicking. In an epic battle between two 3-3 teams (funny story, did you know Seattle is also 3-3?), the Steelers look to rebound from what has been an inconsistent season so far. In this case, whatever Ben Roethlisberger has wanted, did, in actuality, not happen. Maybe the story would be different if their games were played in the bathroom stall? But the next best thing for them is they are on a three-game set at home, starting with the equally inconsistent J.J. Watts, who some people call the Texans. Watt leads the NFL with 20 hits on quarterbacks (please hit Ben a lot tonight), and has 40% of the team’s sacks. What would help is Ryan Fitzpatrick showing more of that Fitzmagic. Err, wait, that magic has actually led to a 58.9 passer rating, so maybe less magic here bro. But keep the beard. Trying to figure out if you’re a confederate general from the Civil War, or the lead singer of the Spin Doctors is the only thing that entertains me when you’re trying to drive the football. It’s Monday Night Football, so it’ll be interesting to see if my television can survive the Chris Berman onslaught combined with Steve Young’s hot takes. Trying to figure out what Wes Welker snuck into Jon Grudan’s water is also high on my priority list.

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Tonight’s game features two teams going in different directions. The 49ers have won two straight, even with reports coming out that Jim Harbaugh has lost the player’s trust. I find this curious, as while his act is tiring, obtrusive, and just unnecessary (like your mother), his 41-14-1 record over the past three years seems like something he could just write on piece of paper with a sharpie and tape it on the player’s heads. Probably a reason why I’m not an NFL coach. Or a parent. Or any kind of authority figure. Colin Kaepernick is doing what he does best, and that’s be inconsistency marginal, but still providing value with his legs. And Frank Gore seems to not be getting old yet, which gives someone like me, who is one year older, hope that the best days are yet to come. (Only with the help of the magical life-garnish known as alcohol.) The Rams have lost two straight, and while Austin Davis is no Sam Bradford, we should probably realize that’s a good thing. Brian Quick has quickly become a quick target for Davis. Quickly. And Zac Stacy has not rushed for more than 71 yards in a game this season. So thanks for that. (I’m not really thankful.)

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Well here was the Monday Night Football game everyone no doubt had circled on their calendars this season. Truly one of the few games where Gruden’s ‘this guy/that guy’ analysis fits perfectly since we don’t really know who this or that guy is any better than he does. I had a better joke to lead this paragraph off with but felt starting and ending a paragraph with ‘The Jets’ would leave many wanting. But outside my sarcastic comments, there was still fantasy relevance to be had…well, there was very little to be had but we write about fantasy football so we feel obliged to dig and find some and what we came up with was Jake Locker. As I was doing rankings for QBs, I left him out of my top 20 QBs for 2012 but did decide to blurb on him as he was on everyone’s radar in 2011 and was being tabbed as a sleeper in 2012, especially for 2 QB leagues. Jake was the big armed, big bodied QB of the future for Tennessee and 2012 was going to be his year to showcase his skills. Well, a shoulder issue derailed him week 4 and he didn’t return until week 10 and then it took a couple of weeks to shake the rust off. Peering under the hood that is the Monday night spotlight game, what I saw was a very raw athlete and someone who doesn’t deserve a grade for his 2012 season, whether in his favor or punitive. Against a tough Jets secondary, Locker finished the night with a respectable line, completing 13/22 pass attempts for 149 yards without any touchdowns but, more importantly, no interceptions. Of course, this is not what made people interested in Jake coming into the year. Jake also finished the night with 43 rushing yards on 7 attempts with the game winning touchdown. As we all know, quarterbacks with great legs get fantasy owners hot and bothered. If you don’t believe me, just ask yourself how many times we’ve talked about Tim Tebow this year…you know, the guy with only 126 total yards on the season coming into the game. Legs change leagues like Tebow and Cam Newton did last year and Robert Griffin, III is doing this year. So the fever about Locker for that reason is understandable but some reality needs to get tossed into your fantasy, folks. Unless Locker can figure out how to cure inaccuracy issues and how to – good GAWD man – slide rather than hurdle himself into a defensive player head first, Locker’s chance at success ROS and beyond is going to be extremely hampered by inconsistency and leaving himself open to pointless injury and incessant ‘Hurt Locker’ puns. In other Monday Night Football news for 2012 fantasy football…

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Hey everyone, I’ve got a 2012 sleeper for ya.  He’s now on the Patriots where one of his former offensive coordinators in Josh McDaniels resides.  The last time this sleeper was matched up with McDaniels for a full season for the Broncos, he had a career year: 77 receptions, 1,448 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.  […]

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It was looking like a lost season for Pierre Garçon and his owners just a few weeks ago.  After starting the season with a 4 catch 109 yard performance with a touchdown in the first quarter against New Orleans, plenty of fantasy owners who jumped on him late as a WR3 had to become completely […]

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I don’t normally lead with talking about the referees but I seriously have to wonder if this is what it’s like to watch an Oakland Raiders practice.  F(lag) this and F(lag) that from beginning to end.  Did the refs sign up with the Buffalo Wild Wings guys?  I’m sure they know the real ones are […]

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