Monday - Jan 21, 2019

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Buy, Sell, Hold – Week 4

Alright, so what’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard?

I know, I know, you’re all trying to think back about something I wrote last week (possibly the week before), but branch out a little. One of my favorites involves a bald monkey and a dairy product. I’ll save my editors the time and let your imagination fill in the blanks.

But, depending upon which side of the pond you live, there are two jokes that are credited with being the funniest ever.

Here they are:

  1. Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other man pulls out his cell phone and calls emergency services. He gasps to the operator, “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator in a calm, soothing voice replies, “Take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard.

Back on the phone, the hunter says, “OK, now what?”

Or …

  1. A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: “That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen. Ugh!” The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!” The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

I really don’t get either one. If they don’t say “poop” or “fart,” how do I know when am I supposed to laugh? On the flip side, the saddest joke ever? The replacement officials (yes I’m piling on). Seriously. That was awful. What is funny is how talks suddenly heated up again after that call. Several different calls would have been acceptable. The one call that wasn’t? Touchdown. Sorry to all of you Seattle Seahawks’ fans, or those of you that still live in holes and have no idea what I’m talking about.

There were also several other things this week that just seemed sad: Tony Romo pulling up lame (once again) against a weak pass defense, C.J. Spiller popping his shoulder, Reggie Bush; Matthew Stafford, Darrelle Revis…the list goes on and on, but the worst by far was the call on the final play of Monday Night Football.

But you know me, I’m a glass is half full (of beer) kind of guy. So performances like Jamaal Charles getting back to form against New Orleans and Torrey Smith battling through against New England makes my fuzzies feel all warm and…well, fuzzy.

Ok, enough of that. Heading into Week 4, here’s what looks good, not so good, and gosh awful.

Week 4

Drew Brees may have to throw for more yards than he did last year and more yards than Dan Marino in 1984 combined in order for the New Orleans Saints to finish with a winning record this season. The three teams that have beaten the Saints have lost to everyone else they’ve played. So, either those teams are saving up all their best plays just for the Saints (doubtful) or the Saints are just playing that bad (likely). The one good thing – when your team is down late it’s time to air it out. Hello garbage time stats.

The LeSean McCoy comeback story will be reaching shelves soon. If you drafted him, you did so early, and you’re waiting for that early edition to show up on your front door. I am too. There’s a reason he was taken in the Top 4 picks of every draft, the guy is good. There’s plenty in Philadelphia right now that isn’t firing on all cylinders, but the good news is he’s not one of them. Actually the really good news is, he’s the guy that can help get them all in tune…if they give him the ball more.

Jordy Nelson. I know what you’re thinking, with a name like Jordy he should be in a boy band instead of on an NFL roster. Valid point. But somehow he got security clearance, makes it onto the field every week, and Aaron Rodgers likes to throw him the ball. That’s good enough for me. About the only thing I have in common with Nelson is that both of our names begin with the same letter. That letter is “J” for those of you still wondering. But if I was on the field and Rodgers wanted to get me the ball, I’m pretty sure it would happen. Throw in a possible shootout with the New Orleans Saints this week? 

Matchups I like this week:

  • QB: Philip Rivers vs. Kansas City. Rivers lit up the Atlanta secondary last week for…wait, this can’t be right? He only scored two points last week? Wow! Hmm. Guess I’m hoping this is a bounceback week then. Rivers is currently ranked 26th at the quarterback position in standard scoring formats. Not good. What is good? His matchup. The Chiefs give up the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks. Advantage, Rivers.
  • RB: Cedric Benson vs. New Orleans. Benson isn’t going to break a lot of ankles, unless he goes all Kathy Bates in
    Misery. Just answer me this, “Did you see what Jamaal Charles did against the Saints defense last week?” Yes, it is difficult to confuse the two backs, but the Saints are still giving up the most points to running backs in fantasy land, and I’m guessing Green Bay will be out for blood after the Monday Night Fiasco.
  • WR: Vincent Jackson vs. Washington. Jackson is as boom-or-bust as it gets. If you’ve owned him before this season, you are well aware. This week I think he breaks the sound barrier running past the Washington secondary. If they were all down weeks, nobody would bother drafting him and Tampa Bay wouldn’t have shoveled all that cash his way. He has big play ability, and the Redskins give up more points to wideouts than anybody. Boom goes the dynamite!

Week 4

Ben Roethlisberger will finish in the Top 10 in scoring for quarterbacks. Not saying he won’t, but let’s say there’s a swift kick in the zipper if you guess wrong. Which side do you take? He’s No. 3 overall right now, so there’s a strong case for it happening. But if you’re using that as your
only argument, then guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer and Andrew Luck are heading for Top 10 finishes as well. This much is for sure – if you pulled the trigger and drafted him around pick number 85 (his average draft position), you got a bargain.

I’m holding on both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller being ready for an early return to action. Look, if the doctor ever asks you if you feel good enough to leave the hospital, the answer is always yes. Man, I have been asked that question too many times. Let’s just say if I was playing Million Dollar Pyramid and the clue was “car,” “accident” would be the only word that would come to mind. But I digress, in the middle of a digression. But Jackson and Spiller both can see what’s ahead of them. The first one back gets to be Batman, the other…“Sorry Son, that role has been filled. Try on this yellow cape instead.” They both have proven they can be successful in that role. So when they face the question if they’re good enough to go, I can practically hear the one syllable racing out of their mouths. The question is, are they really?

Lance Moore is the No. 1 wide receiver in New Orleans. Notice I didn’t say “target” in New Orleans. Jimmy Graham (31) is Drew Brees’ favorite target, followed by Darren Sproles (25). But as far as the wideouts go, Moore has more targets (22) and yards (220) than Marques Colston with 19 and 160. So does that mean Moore is the Saints’ No. 1 wide receiver? The roster still lists Colston as the No. 1 receiver; doesn’t that answer the question? No and…no. For those of you who are first timers owning a New Orleans wide receiver, welcome. We’ve all been there. Brees is a great quarterback at taking what the defense gives him. So far they’ve given him a little more Moore. Wait until next week; I’m sure we could have the same debate.

Tough Matchups for studs this week:

  • QB: Tony Romo vs. Chicago. Really? Really? I point you out for having a nice matchup last week, and what do you do? You put up five whole points. You’re on your own this week…against a Bears defense that is ranked No. 1 for fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. In a Monday night game, owners will likely be relying on Romo to clinch their week. Not me. Not again.
  • RB: DeMarco Murray vs. Chicago. Did I just double-down against the Dallas Cowboys this week. You bet your sweet arse I did. Not only do the Bears boast the top defense against quarterbacks, they also own a Top 5 defense against running backs as well. Look, the Cowboys can swing for the fences on offense and can burn you big on any one play. But, can they grind out some points against a top tier defense? We’ll see.
  • WR: Brandon Marshall vs. Dallas. Ahhh … See what I did there? Here’s where the Cowboys punch back. DeMarcus Ware is going to be chasing Jay Cutler around the field all night behind a suspect offensive line. Want to know how suspect they are? Just ask Cutler, he’ll tell you himself (then bump you as he walks by). Add to that a much-improved secondary for the Cowboys, and it’s going to be a frustrating night for Marshall.

Week 4

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady will both finish outside of the Top 10 at the quarterback position. These guys were the Top 2 signal callers atop just about everyone’s draft board and only made it out of the first round if the other guys in your league were pregaming it a little too hard. Neither has lived up to the billing so far, putting up QB2 numbers instead of that weekly advantage you were reaching for. Take your finger off the panic button. No, I don’t care where you put it after that, but just relax. Rodgers and Brady are still too good, surrounded by too many weapons to stay down for long.

Chris. Johnson. This guy was going in the middle of the first round of drafts this summer. He has 45 rushing yards on the season. Again, I will save my editors the time and not list every “player” (as in not just running backs, there are quarterbacks and wide receivers that have more rushing yards on the season…probably tight ends and punters too). Can he turn it around? Yes. Will he? I’m sorry, can you repeat the question. Oops, sorry we’re out of time.

Mohamed Sanu is the best quarterback in Ohio. Well, who’s his competition? Andy Dalton and Brandon Weeden. Easy. Sanu has a 100 percent completion rate. I don’t know what that translates to in quarterback rating, but it’s got to be at least five. His first pass ever in the pros went for a 73-yard touchdown to A.J. Green. His last throw was even prettier, a 73-yard touchdown to Green. Wait, what? Same through, huh? Oh well, it was still awesome. Dalton wasn’t even the best quarterback on his team that day, and Weeden…I never trust a guy whose first and last names end with the same letter. Weird? Maybe, but trust me on this one. So Sanu it is. How many other names did you look at in this article to see if their first and last name ended in the same letter? How many names will you look at the rest of the day? 

Matchups to avoid this week:

  • QB: Ryan Tannehill vs. Arizona. Some of the best defenses in the league right now belong in the NFC West (except my beloved St. Louis Rams). The San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks, and yes, the Arizona Cardinals have stellar defenses. The Cardinals are in the Top 5 in holding down opposing quarterbacks. Will Tannehill be the answer at quarterback that Miami has been looking for since Dan Marino hung up his cleats? Maybe. Will he be it for them this week? Don’t think so.
  • RB: Shonn Greene vs. San Francisco. Easy call, right? Looking beyond the 49ers’ suffocating defense, Greene is also starting to lose the confidence of the front office of the Jets (something he should’ve lost with fantasy owners well before this point). It looks as if Bilal Powell is going to start eating into more of Greene’s touches moving forward. I wouldn’t go near this situation with a Hazmat suit.
  • WR: the St. Louis wide receivers vs. Seattle. Seriously. The Seahawks held the Green Bay Packers in check last week. Do you honestly think they’re going to struggle against the Rams? Unless Seattle’s secondary falls asleep on the field, I don’t see them yielding much to the Rams wideouts. And I don’t see that being a problem since Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks.

Until the next go-round.

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