Last week I wrote about my travels to South Korea and about all of the people who helped to allow that trip to happen. Though I thanked a lot of family and friends, I forgot one other important person. My main cohort at FFLockerRoom, Chris Ziza. You may remember Chris from his days with the Bruno Boys
, but he is now our Executive Director. And being the Executive, he is basically in charge of the show doing all of the mundane things none of us other owners really want to. I could and do tell him thanks a lot, but he picked up the slack on my work while I was away and he deserves a big pat-on-the-back!
But, as I thought about this, I couldn’t help but think about the individuals in the NFL that should be thanking certain teammates. The superstars that are able to do what they do because of some of the lesser heralded guys that make their job easier.
For example: Peyton Manning
, while amazing and possibly the best QB in the history of the NFL, really needs to thank Knowshon Moreno
. All season it has been Moreno that has offered a steadying presence in the backfield and a veteran eye against oncoming rushers. With that devastated offensive line at the beginning of the year, Knowshon was there as the veteran presence to help protect the most important player in football. And while youngsters, Montee Ball
and Ronnie Hilman, have struggled with ball control, Moreno has not.
I often think of Tom Brady
and Bill Belichick as one cohesive item but the more I watch Brady the more impressed I get. Bill should really go thank Tom, I mean really thank him. Without him, this team would be under .500 and not in the playoff picture. Tom has been absolutely brilliant in a year that has seen his entire receiving corps flipped upside down. If the MVP award wasn’t weighed so heavily on stats, I would consider Brady as a top-tier candidate.
Everyone that has anything to do with the New Orleans Saints should go shake the hand of head coach Sean Payton
. Knowing full well what happened last season without him, he has brought the Saints right back to the forefront and has them contending for the Super Bowl again.
, whom I have previously loathed, needs to buy Darren McFadden
a going away present. Maybe it’s a bit too early to say DMC is done but Jennings has put together a seriously impressive last three games. Better than I can ever remember McFadden doing over three straight. I would go check the stats, but I’m almost certain he’s never put up more than 431 total yards over a three-game span. Has he ever even finished 3 concurrent games? Rashad has totaled 53 standard fantasy points and is probably giving a big boost to teams trying to make the fantasy playoffs.
I could keep going but it’s time to get to the…
• As much as it pains me to write this, Ben Roethlisberger
was magnificent against my Detroit Lions. He had his best fantasy game of the season throwing for 4 TDs and having no turnovers. He finished the week as the only QB with more than 30 (31) points.
• Whoa, Bobby Rainey
! Are you serious? This is the same offensive line that Doug Martin
had trouble running with, right? Is this an endorsement for Bobby’s talent (3 total TDs and 163 rushing yards) or an indictment of Doug Martin’s lack of talent. After Martin got injured, we have seen Mike James
and now Bobby Rainey turn in some astounding numbers. If I’m a Doug Martin owner in keeper leagues, I’m having some serious second thoughts on keeping him.
• Carson Palmer
just had his first game without a turnover this season! I know it was against the Jaguars but he really had a great game with 419 yards and two scores. Golf clap everyone.
• After out playing Trent Richardson
seemingly every game, Donald Brown
finally got his chance to work as the RB1. He carried it 14 times for 80 yards and two scores and was the more trusted runner in the fourth when things mattered. He, again, outplayed Trent but will likely still be just a flex option getting half the snaps.
• I guess it’s time to start, gulp, trusting Ryan Mathews
? I don’t like it just as much as you do but he ran for 127 yards and now has 4 double-digit fantasy games out of his past 5. And that goal line TD against the Broncos in week 10 was what his owners had been waiting for. I still wouldn’t like it, but I don’t know if you can sit him now.
• In his first game since week 1, Shane Vereen
played well if you took a chance on him in your PPR league. He had no business getting started in standard leagues but his 8 receptions for 65 yards were helpful.
• Welcome back Victor Cruz
who had his first double-digit game since week 4.
• Harry Douglas
now has three 100+ yard games over his past 5 and over 80 in one other. Its kind of amazing that he’s been doing this without Roddy White
for most of them and with White now back, Douglas should be considered a low-end WR2 or high-end WR3. The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and their offense should have to keep playing catch-up.
• Antonio Brown
continues to impress, again catching more than 5 balls (7), something he’s done every week this season. He paired those seven receptions with two TDs and 147 yards.
• Perhaps no player has been as dominant at his position like Calvin Johnson
has. He scored 29 fantasy points and now has over 20 points four weeks in a row.
• Titan’s TE Delanie Walker
is starting to become a force. He caught all ten targets for 91 yards and score. He now has three double-digit performances out of the past four weeks. It could be time to start believing.
• Kudos to you if you had the Bengal’s defense on your team. They scored two touchdowns and totaled 26 fantasy points in standard leagues. A huge game for Cincinnati and their second 2-TD game in the past four.
• I’m not sure what the 49ers were thinking but Frank Gore
only carried the ball 13 times against the Saints. I would understand this better if the Saints were up big but they were not. The last time Gore received less carries was at home against the Colts. When they lost to the Colts.
• After two big games back-to-back, TY Hilton came back to Earth with just 44 yards on 5 receptions. He’ll be fine but still a bad game.
• As if things weren’t already bad for the Washington Redskins and their offense, they lost up and coming star Jordan Reed
to a concussion on Sunday. Reed had been one of the hottest TEs coming in will be sorely missed if he is unable to make it back in time for week 12’s Monday Night Football.
• It’s now obvious that the Browns aren’t going to feature Jordan Cameron
like they perviously did. He now has 8, 0 and 2 points over his past three games. Hard to trust him going forward and at the same time, hard to bench him.
• Oh Jim Schwartz… I like you. I really do but after that bone-headed call to not take the field goal and go up a full TD and instead, ask your punter to try and convert a long 4th down run, I just throw my hands up. How can you do that? On the road against the Steelers, against Ben Roethlisberger who was having a good game already, how do you do that? Ugh, so is the life of a Detroit Lions fan. And the curse of Bobby Layne
• Do not play Lamar Miller
. I don’t think it’s his fault but you can’t take a chance on him anymore. You have no idea what kind of usage he’s going to get and Daniel Thomas
has been relatively effective. It’s time to move on.
• Look, I know that winning is important in football and the Bengals went up big and didn’t need AJ Green to do what Green does but zero points? Only five targets with just 2 receptions for 7 yards wasn’t what his owners were hoping for. Even against the talented DB Joe Haden
, there is no way you expected a performance this bad.
• The Falcons D is truly abysmal right now. They had their second negative outing in a row and are now -9 points over the past two weeks. And yet, are still owned in 8.4% of fantasy leagues on ESPN. In no situation should they be owned. I don’t care if it’s a 32 team league. I would rather start the Los Angeles Rams.
That’s it for this week, as always, please chime in with your own recommendation down below. More often than not, I miss a performance that should have been included!