Rick Olson
On Second Thought...Week 14

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As I watched the games and some of the amazing performances this week, I couldn’t help but think of two famous 1990’s sports introductions. Adrian Peterson sparked my first memory as he reeled off 211 yards; I was suddenly reminded of the old Chicago Bulls team introduction.  

The lights would go out, you would hear the base rumble and then the three key rise and fall of the synthesizer would start up, da da da, du du du. The announcer would flair up, “Annnnd now! The starting lineup for your Chicago Bulls!!” The crowd would be going crazy as he introduced all of the starting players culminating in, “At guard, from North Carolina, 6-foot-6, Miiiiichael Jorrrrdan!!”

It was cool, it was electrifying and it was what you came to expect from champions that had been there before. Besides Adrian Peterson, other players this week that brought that intro to mind were Peyton Manning and Rob Gronkowski. All three put in great weeks and all three have done it many times before.

There were also nice surprises such as Josh Gordon, Alshon Jeffery and Eric Decker who had amazing weeks and have done it before but not as consistently as those other three, so they didn’t quite spark the domination music intro.

Then there were players like the ones listed in this week’s article who reminded me of every Monster Truck Rally introduction on the radio in the 1990s, “Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! One night! One night! One night only!!”  

No offense to these players, but if you are considering grabbing them for your playoff run you should probably pump the brakes on your nitro-burning, fire-breathing, car-crushing fantasy team because as the intro states loudly and clearly it will be for one night only.

Now, as I always mention, if you have room on your bench or are stashing for next year then these players may be good pickups, but if you are looking for help in the playoffs, then proceed with caution.

Quarterback Josh McCown has been incredible. What more you could ask from a fill-in QB you grabbed off the waiver wire in Week 7? Last week, McCown did it for you once again putting up 355 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers.

This was his second week in a row of passing for more that 350 yards and he most likely helped to seal quite a few playoffs births for fantasy teams over Weeks 12 and 13.

All good things come to an end, and now it is McCown’s turn to take the curtain call. Jay Cutler has yet to be cleared to practice but he has already stated that he wants to play in Monday night’s game against the Cowboys.

If Cutler does not go on Monday, enjoy the last great game for McCown as he faces a Cowboys defense which ranks dead last in the NFL against opposing QBs. If you have McCown and Cutler is available in your league, you need to go pick him up now as he will definitely be back in by week 15.

Carson Palmer has rattled off three weeks in a row of 20 or more fantasy points causing many owners to scramble to the waiver wires for him.

If you want to do well in the playoffs, you will think twice before making this move. Palmer’s last three games were great, but they were against the Eagles who rank 23rd against opposing QBs, the Colts who rank 17th and the Jaguars who are a paltry 27th.   

The next three weeks just get progressively worse for the Cardinals QB.  Week 14 has him matched up against division rival St. Louis who is a respectable 13th against opposing quarterbacks then they travel to Tennessee to play the Titans third ranked D.  

If that isn’t enough, Palmer gets to go to Seattle to play in the decibel dome against the 2nd ranked Seahawks defense. If you witnessed what they did to Drew Brees Monday night you have to ask yourself, just how will Palmer fair against them?

There are bad matchups and then there is the ugliness that Palmer is facing. I would stay far away from him if possible.

At running back, C.J. Spiller and Steven Jackson are virtually the same person. First of all, many of you probably do not have them available in your league. For those of you in leagues where they may have been dropped and are available or for those of you who may own them and are wondering whether you should start them, I tell you, to find other alternatives.

The good news is most of you have already found other alternatives due to Spiller and Jackson’s poor seasons thus far.

You may notice a fairly OK schedule for both on the surface. Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Washington, Miami and San Francisco but look a little closer and you will see that each team has two of the three on the road. Spiller has one of those road games against the 10th ranked Buccaneers and Jackson plays in the fantasy Super Bowl week on the road against the 49rs. That is not optimal.

Couple that with the fact that these two backs have only been good in name value all year as they have struggled to get anything going in their respective backfields and I think playing them in your playoffs will only result in heartache.



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