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Like/Dislike: Time for the fantasy whisperer

What we are talking about:

  • Jay Cutler

Smoking hot QB play of the week

  • Freddy Morris

He scored a TD! He scored two!

  • L.A. Angels

Your 2014 AL West champions!


Nobody likes to watch those procedural dramas with me anymore. I don't necessarily try to figure it out. But I have a knack of looking past the red herrings and figure out who the culprit is within the first few blocks of the show. I mean, most of them are rather formulaic in approach. For years, I believe it was "CSI" or "Criminal Minds" or something, where you just knew the first person they let off the hook was going to actually end up being the criminal. Shoot, maybe that was "Bones" now that I think about it.

(And on a completely unrelated note, Jennifer Love Hewitt is going to join the cast of "Criminal Minds" this season, which has me way too excited. Unless that means "The Client List" is going to be off the air, which will bring me back to earth. But I digress. Wait, is the drama I was thinking of the "Ghost Whisperer" perhaps? And did you know Jay Mohr and Aishia Tyler were semi-regulars on that show, which had 100 episodes. How is any of that possible? Again, I digress.)

But the key to me was looking forward. And it seems way too much in fantasy football, people fall for these red herrings all the time. Chris Johnson has now been written out of fantasy circles because he had a bad game in Green Bay. See, we knew this guy was going to be a bust! And at the same time, Stevan Ridley has found the magic elixir and he's going to bring you fantasy gold now!

Oh boy.

There seems to be nothing more reactionary than fantasy enthusiasts who chase the points, and those who are ready to turn the page on players way too quickly. We really need to stop doing that. I want to take some time to see if Ridley really is going to get a significant number of touches in the coming weeks for the Patriots. Nobody in football seems to rotate their running backs more than Bill Belichick, who has made Mike Shanahan look like the second-coming of Bud Grant.

Likewise, I'm not ready to bail on Johnson who has a pretty good matchup against the Bears on Monday night. Now, I'm torn about playing a guy who is going against my Bears, but that's a discussion for another day. But the Bears give up close to 20 points per game to running backs. Do you want to be sitting there on Monday night kicking yourself because CJ has put up 16 points, while the curtain-jerker you benched him for ended up with six points?

Zac Stacy was another one, not sure he quite fits in this example. But people were ready to write him off for the sheer fact, "welp, he just can't do it again." Because science.

My only suggestion here for you is to look forward at your fantasy roster. How does your roster look this week? Don't try to chase the points you left on the bench last week. And don't continue to smart when one of your top guys has a bad performance. That happens to everybody. So let's chill out and stick with our starters.

Well except for Vincent Jackson. Yikes, the passing offense has been terrible in Tampa Bay. Turns out Marc Trestman is really good at instructing quarterbacks. You see, there is a reason why the Bears threw all that money at Jay Cutler and let Josh McCown walk.

Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. Or something like that.

A big hand to stats mavens Bill "Sudsy" Sudell and Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

I'd still start Peyton Manning this week against the Seahawks. The Broncos have pulled off the gas and coasted a little too much in the first two weeks because they didn't want to show their cards too early.

Andrew Luck has scored at least three touchdowns in every game this season! I know; it seems less impressive when you point out the fact he's played just two games this season. But dude, trend!

Oh man, I really want to play Jay Cutler this week, but can you guarantee me that a member of the Jets is going to spear Cutler and really inspire him to throw the rock like he did in SF?

Cutler was near-perfect after the illegal hit late in the first-half. I think he was something like 80-for-80 with 65 touchdowns after that. Or so it seemed. I know a lot of you knock Cutler, but how can you hate this guy?

As my friend Alex said, "He might be an (expletive), but he's our (expletive)!" Totally agree.

Philip Rivers was started in just 5.6 percent of fantasy leagues on last week. I feel like I had something to do with it. But I'm riding him for the rest of the year. He's had 13 touchdowns and just five turnovers in the last six games.

Nick Foles has struggled in the early going of both games this season (trend!), but I just looked up some obscure rules of fantasy football and it turns out fourth quarter fantasy points count just as much as those in the first quarter. I know, I'm shocked, too.

Russell Wilson was really consistent once again against the Chargers. But dude, can you wait to flip the ball to Percy Harvin when he's ahead of you? I would really appreciate that. It's the little things, Russell, that would go a long way.

The Seahawks are going to need a lot more from Wilson this time around, as compared to the Super Bowl.

Cam Newton was excellent against the Lions. He looked really comfortable in the pocket. And dang, I don't know if it was just me, but his arm looked like it was really lively. Like a pitcher when they reach around May. Safe to start again.

ImageSpeaking of baseball, I feel a little weird complaining about having the best team in baseball, but dang, can my Angels catch a little bit of a break when it comes to the injuries. Matt Shoemaker was one of the great stories of baseball this year, and if his oblique injury is serious, well, it might not be a long postseason for us.

What a great scene at Angel Stadium on Wednesday night. Thousands of fans after the Angels win to watch the Rangers rally to beat the A's, and then the team came out to celebrate. Hey look, team sports can be fun.

Jonathan Stewart has a nice matchup against the Steelers and is a great matchup if De Williams can't go.

ImageSpeaking of Jon Stewart, one of my favorite alums is without a doubt Jon Oliver. "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" is by far one of the best shows going. If you missed last week's, go watch it now.

Le'Veon Bell, tough matchup. But he had a tough matchup against the Browns in Week 1 and ended up with 27 touches. So I'm not going to run from him.

There was a kid who appeared on NFL Fantasy Live this August and made DeMarco Murray the first pick in his fantasy draft. Nobody is clowning him anymore.

Chill out on LeSean McCoy, having Darren Sproles there will make him better in the long run.

Knile Davis has six touchdowns in 93 career touches. Gil Brandt said this guy was going to be awesome this year.

If Alfred Morris getting the football in the red zone was a band, I would buy it on vinyl. Treasure it. Forever.

Everybody is clearly off the Chris Johnson bandwagon, but we start Stevan Ridley without a worry?

Giovani Bernard has averaged close to 110 scrimmage yards in his last five home games. The Bengals will run extensively. I'd flex Jeremy Hill, too.

Terrance West leads all rookies with 168 rushing yards. A great game against the Ravens will pretty much cement him as the No. 1 back in Cleveland.

Joique Bell had 128 scrimmage yards with a rushing TD the last time he played the Packers. He's become the go-to guy for the Lions.

Ahmad Bradshaw just looked like the better running back for the Colts. The coaches have to see that, too.

All we've ever wanted for Khiry Robinson was to have a chance. He's going to get it this week.

Same thing for Donald Brown. He was the best back for the Colts last year, he'll be fine.

Zac Stacy has rushed for 628 yards and five touchdowns in his last six games at home. He's topped 100 rushing yards in four of those games. St. Louis needs to be patient.

ImageI remember as a youngster how awesome it was for Cowboys vs. Rams week. But since the Rams haven't existed since 1994, the Cowboys vs. the St. Louis Football Club just isn't the same. With everything that's going on in the NFL right now, I wonder how much St. Louis is going to fight to keep the team from moving back. Although, I now question my desire for how much I really want the team to return to Los Angeles.

Brandon Marshall is way too amazing for words. I understand a lot of you had to go with other options last week, but Marshall is one of those guys worth waiting for.

Jordy Nelson almost erased my sins of leaving Rivers on the bench last week. Yeah, almost.

Pierre Garcon received just four targets against the Jags, but I want to see a full game-plan from Cousins to see if he looks his way.

I know I probably shouldn't, but I would play DeSean Jackson against the Eagles on principle.

Everybody expected Steve Smith Sr. to be this veteran presence for the Ravens. Joe Flacco had other ideas. I guess he likes to throw the ball to guys who run proper routes. Strange.

Welcome back to fantasy relevance Mike Wallace. Great matchup this week against the Chiefs, too, who have allowed five receiving touchdowns this year. Most in the league.

Cordarrelle Patterson, as many of you know, is my ride-or-die guy this season. I'm still riding with him!

The Saints have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to receivers this year, and the most passing yards, too. And are prone to huge plays. So I feel real safe with Patterson.

Receivers with hamstring problems are pretty bad. Those injuries always seem to linger for some reason. But I'm going to ride with Alshon Jeffery.

ImageWe do get a Super Bowl rematch this week, which is pretty cool. I don't really care for the championship rematch between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. I've preached about fantasy owners to not be reactionary, yet I'm still convinced Cena undoes months of buildup for Lesnar and ends up taking back the strap. Even though there is a little bit of common sense that says there is no way that can happen.

The big beneficiary in the Super Bowl rematch, to me, is Julius Thomas. We are starting to see high-value tight ends really do work in the middle because defenders can't touch them. Mike McCoy said this last week and he used it to great effect.

Larry Donnell has been the most-targeted receiver for the Giants this season. You have to start him.

Antonio Gates is still the truth. Two weeks, and Rivers won't take his eyes off of him. You can't deny it.

I'm going back to Dwayne Allen. I understand if you can't make this journey with me. But dude's so talented. The Colts' coaches have to realize that, right?

ImageI sat in Starbucks on Wednesday as I penned this column. And there was some dude who explained to some millennial who Rob Lowe is. Super Colts fan, Rob Lowe, And I'm all, hasn't this kid even seen "Wayne's World"? Which I realize is 20 years old. Then I figured probably not. But "Parks and Rec." is still on the air. Thank you, dear readers, who convinced me not to bail after the first season. Aziz Ansari is the truth.

ImageState Farm has done a nice job as it reached back in the past to dust off some old Saturday Night Live gags. Some might argue that it's dated, but State Farm clearly is going more for nostalgia instead of being all, "Hey this is some cool, hip new SNL gag!" Plus, it probably speaks more to the demographic they are trying to reach.

Image"Sons of Anarchy" has been fantastic. Jax continues to be the dumbest smart guy going. I'm going to leave it at that, as to avoid the spoilers (which you can find in the dislike side of things). Some of you have told me that you jumped ship already, and it's cool. But I'm loving every second of it. And now I'm behind on "The League" because I need a cleanser show before I go to bed. Plus "Top Gun" was on Tuesday night, too. But I caught it right at the point where Goose dies. Oops, spoiler alert.

Bill O'Brien said he wants to use J.J. Watt more as a tight end. That's not helping anybody unless he finally switches his position, for (expletive) sake.

If you sit Manning this week and he goes off to torch the Seahawks like Rivers did, you will never forgive yourself. TRUST. ME. I know exactly what that's like. EXACTLY. Thanks for nothing Jake Locker.

Joe Flacco has 250 passing yards or less in six career games in Cleveland and just three total touchdowns in the last three games in the home of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. So again, trend!

But how is it possible Flacco has played six games in Cleveland during his career? I know he's a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but it doesn't seem like he's been in the league that long.

The Cowboys, at some point, have to realize Murray is their best offensive player and let him do the heavy lifting (as scary as that sounds for somebody who has a history of injury). But Tony Romo can't drop back 600 times.

The last time Romo was in a situation like this, he played just six games way back in 2010.

Kirk Cousins is one of my sleepers for this week. If you're really hurting for a quarterback this year. But only one Washington QB has thrown for more than 300 yards in Philly since 1983. Do you know who it was? Don't look it up; Brad Johnson.

I'm not about to push the panic button too soon on Colin Kaepernick. I mean, a lot of credit should go to Kyle Fuller who was out there dealing like a hoss on Sunday night. But still, I don't go with Kaepernick.

Tom Brady had a bad stat line in Week 2 against the Vikings, but let's chill the (expletive) out people. The reason he put up such pedestrian numbers was because he didn't need to put up big numbers because the Patriots smoked the Vikings.

But he is playing Oakland this week, so I can see the Patriots winning huge, Brady not having a big game.

Once again, I feel like I need to be Andy Dalton's biggest defender. And I like him a lot. But A.J. Green injured his toe, which means the Bengals are going to run the ball a lot. I mean a lot. I see Dalton with like 164 and 1 TD.

ImageIt's a shame Matt Shoemaker won't be considered as the American League ROY. I remember when Mike Trout wasn't the MVP his rookie year because the Angels didn't make the playoffs (but had a better record than the Tigers). Shouldn't Shoemaker be given a similar deal here because the Angels are in the postseason, while Jose Abreu isn't?

ImageDon't bother tweeting me, either. I know Shoemaker has no chance in H-E-Double hockey sticks of winning, but give me my chance to vent, you know? That's all I ask.

How strange is it to live in a world where playing the Pittsburgh Steelers is a must-start for RBs?

ImageAlmost as strange as being in a world where U2 offers up a free record on iTunes. And K-Mart says we're going to raise the bar, but by giving you an album by Maroon 5. I'm not making this up.

Darren McFadden came off the mat to have a solid game last week! It was amazing. I'm pushing my luck against the Patriots, though.

Marshawn Lynch had limited touches against the Chargers. This is why I was concerned about him headed into the season. He had a lot of touches last year.

But I would continue to play Lynch cautiously as he continues to fight through this.

I would start Davis, no matter what. But how long do we go before Andy Reid starts to ignore him like Jamaal Charles?

If Shane Vereen getting virtually no touches against the Vikings was an album, it'd be Whitesnake's self titled album from way back in the day.

So you're going to bench Johnson this week even with the great matchup and he's going to run wild.

With so many running backs on the wire, I had to make a tough decision this week, and I straight-up released Bishop Sankey. I hope I don't regret it.

The problem with Sankey is, he doesn't look good when you compare him to other NFL RBs. Plus, waiting for him is a luxury to some of us who need backs now.

I haven't fallen off the Reggie Bush bandwagon quite as hard as most, though he's looked like the No. 2 back for the Lions.

Trent Richardson had a ton of scrimmage yards against the Eagles. But those two fumbles are going to cost him.

I know Richardson lost only one of those fumbles, but the coaches certainly don't see it that way.

The Browns defense is no joke. I just don't see a great game coming from Bernard Pierce.

I've hung on to Benny Cunningham as a pure backup for Stacy in St. Louis. But he sure hasn't shown me enough this year. Again, if you need room, cut him. Because he didn't look good last week.

ImageIf the Los Angeles Rams return, first thing, ditch the all-blue uniform. Certainly not a great look for a football team. I'd even kick around the idea of going with the Deacon Jones blue/white look. Second, the first game needs to be against the Dallas Cowboys. Those games were fun. Although, given the current climate, maybe the L.A. Rams should play Chicago and the winner gets my full support in the future.

ImageThis goes without saying, too, but I'll put it out there on Front Street. Don't bring back the Super Bowl trophy with you. Keep it in St. Louis. Your fans won that, and we don't need it here in L.A. Put it on display at Busch Stadium or something. Wait, the Cardinals have plenty of World Series trophies. Maybe you can lend it to the St. Louis Blues so that franchise can have a championship trophy to display. Hang the Super Bowl banner and Dan Dierdorf's number up in the rafters, too. We don't want it.

Sammy Watkins had 11 targets in Week 2. No other Bills' receiver had more than four. But remember, we are being way too reactionary to rookie receivers.

Brian Quick has nine targets in consecutive weeks. Roster him, but don't start him yet.

Vincent Jackson has scored less than six fantasy points in each game this year. He has no TDs in 10 of his last 11 roadies.

It all goes back to Josh McCown who is nothing but a journeyman quarterback in his career.

My hope is Torrey Smith eventually does benefit from Triple S being on the other side of him. Because all he does right now is run nine routes with little to no success.

Danny Amendola had one target against the Vikings. I know the Patriots were bleeding the clock, but yeah, we're through. The next Wes Welker (expletive) didn't happen for him.

People always wanted to compare Amendola to Welker for one obvious reason. Both played at Texas Tech.

People made a lot of noise about Hakeem Nicks being shut out of the end zone last year. But what about Victor Cruz? He's had no TDs in 12 consecutive games, and topped 90 yards once.

T.Y. Hilton ranks fifth in the NFL with 22 targets. But isn't on the first-page of top WR leaders in fantasy. Dude's living off two games. I blame Richard Sherman.

I'm probably not going to be playing Emmanuel Sanders this week. Legion of Boom, FTW.

A lot of folks feel there isn't any such thing as a "revenge" game during the regular season. But I present to you the Broncos vs. the Ravens from Week 1 in 2013. Remember when Peyton threw away the playoffs with a costly interception against Baltimore? Yeah, how did that end up? Seven touchdown passes for Manning, I can't really predict that many touchdowns this time around, but this game will be more high-scoring.

Tight ends are becoming so valuable, though, that we're almost to the point where we are going to see tight ends by committee. Which we've seen in a way. No need to remind those who started Dennis Pitta last week. Thanks, Owen Daniels.

The only reason you continue to play Jason Witten each week is because of name value. That's it. I'd start Gates, Donnell, and Paul over him this week. I'm not joking.

ImageI was enjoying this list of Adam Sandler's greatest hits on Saturday Night Live and then I realized there was no "Schmitt's Gay." Easily one of the best fake commercials ever crafted by the SNL. Not just as a Sandler gag, but all-time best. I don't want to link to it here, but you must go out and find it. I also liked when Sandler did one of his bits on "Weekend Update" where he talked about all of the cheap Halloween gimmicks for poor people. "I'm crazy pickle arm man. My arm is a pickle! Give me some candy!" Wait a minute, why is this on the dislike side? Oh that's right, I wasn't fond of the list. But love Sandler.

Image"Sons of Anarchy" spoiler. I mean SPOILER. Sometimes I think Jax is the dumbest smart guy I know. But maybe he's really playing a long con here. Maybe he understands Gemma was the one who killed Tera. But he just doesn't care. He's just trying to light a powder keg that ends the Sons forever so his kids don't have to suffer with the life he was led into. I could see him igniting this street war, but at the very end going to his mother and saying, "I know it was you," before ending her.

ImageOr maybe it will be Abel writing in his journal about his dead brother Thomas and how his dad once wanted to take the club legit, but couldn't. Which has been my conjecture since the series began.

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 200K followers, and Fabiano has 165K. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight.

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