Saturday - Oct 24, 2020

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Couch Tomatoes – Week 6

Oh, what a raucous weekend it was on the couch. The Chicago Bears won again and are actually giving fans some hope. The Chicago Cubs did well in foreign territory — beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs. And the best part was that my fantasy teams showed some life. Other than the couple of games that Le’Veon Bell killed me in on Monday night, I fared pretty well fantasy-wise too.

Bonnie won her two games, too. Yes indeed, our neighbors probably thought those two old farts in Apartment 103 had lost their minds. All it took was a change in the game-time snacks. We discovered that simple works just fine. It was a ribs and fries kind of day Sunday and we just might repeat that again this time.

In the VIP Weekly Report I write a weekly article called “Flex Appeal.” I select different grades of players who are particularly appropriate to fill the flex positions in members’ lineups. It is written in a whimsical way referring to various marriage terms. My Adrian Balboa players did particularly well”

What is an Adrian Balboa player?

To Rocky, she was the greatest, prettiest woman in the world. To the rest of us with discerning tastes perhaps not so much. In fantasy football there are players like that available all the time. While others are running away from a player and completely overlooking them, that is the time for you to swoop in and snap them up.

Last week, I introduced three Adrian Balboa wide receivers: Dwayne Harris, Jamison Crowder and Kamar Aiken to our readers. All three had good games. Others mentioned in various categories in the report were wide receiver Willie Snead, running backs Doug Martin and Duke Johnson and tight end Gary Barnidge. It is pretty cool to see names of players you single out for a big week exploding across the bottom of the screen all day as the games progress.

Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot. It was as though the prodigal son returned. Years ago, I had a pet rabbit named Toby. We used to sit and talk about football all the time. One morning I woke up and he had disappeared. That was the last time I saw him.

Then Sunday morning there he was, sitting on our patio wearing a little Justin Bieber back pack. “Hey Mikey,” he said. “Open up, it’s cold out here and the skunk is giving me the stink eye.”

I could not believe it. I was sure he had been roadkill many years ago. I welcomed the little guy in and Bonnie made him a cup of cocoa and quickly knitted him a little Chicago Bears cap, complete with ear holes. He hopped right up on the couch.

“Sorry Mikey, if I had hands instead of paws, I would have brought some cold drinks.” It was the same old Toby, cheap as they come and with the appetite of a horse. But you know; Bonnie and I were glad to see him. I shushed him and we sat back to watch some football.

Right off the bat the scores were all screwed up. Bad teams were winning and good teams were falling. With three games going to overtime and so many last-minute finishes it was about as exciting a week as you could want.

Yes Toby, you are absolutely right. I do owe Josh McCown a big apology for saying he is the less exciting option at quarterback for Cleveland.

Remember what I said a couple weeks ago about Julio Jones and his fast starts. He has hurt himself already and is off to a couple weeks of likely mediocrity.

The Detroit Lions are on their way to another 0-16 season like they had in 2008. Is Matt Millen available to rebuild them again? The current regime sure hasn’t done it. I say give him a mulligan.

I noticed last week that there is another wide receiver as bad as Torrey Smith:

Torrey Smith               11 catches, 227 yards, TD
Terrance Williams     14 catches, 223 yards, 2 TD

In Denver, they are asking once again, what we have been wondering about for years. Is Peyton Manning done? His 77.3 quarterback rating is the lowest it has been since his 1998 rookie season. His 6-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio is pathetic. He is the No. 32 scoring quarterback after five games. The only thing saving him now is reputation and a 5-0 record.

The RB situation in Denver is not much better:

  1. C.J. Anderson     59 rushes, 139 yards; 9 catches, 75 yards
    Ronnie Hillman 46 rushes, 212 yards, 2 TD; 3 catches, 13 yards

Who would believe that two of the quarterbacks fans like the least, Eli Manning and Jay Cutler, would lead their teams to last-minute wins? And as if that was not enough, Michael Vick did it too. Did something weird happen with astrology?

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin is being wasted in the San Francisco offense. Why can’t he get an 8-catch, 107-yard, touchdown stat line every week? How can Colin Kaepernick not connect with him at all some games?

When we look at the top 5 quarterbacks this week our jaws drop in amazement — Tom Brady, Andy Dalton, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Josh McCown.

The top 5 for the running back position also has a mix of expected and unexpected members — Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, Dion Lewis, Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte. I did not include Jamaal Charles as he is done for the season.

The wide receiver top 5 is the least surprising — Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall and Antonio Brown.

When we look at the young 2014-15 crop of starting quarterbacks, they are certainly perceived fantasy-wise differently than in reality. Here they are along with their rankings:

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (#10)
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (#12)
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (#22)
Derek Carr, Oakland (#26)
Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota (#34)

If you have access (All MFL.Com users do have access) to fantasy points given up statistics, be sure to check them out. You can see how teams are fantasy-wise in regards to giving up fantasy points on both a position and overall basis. The stingiest teams are the New York Jets, Green Bay and Tennessee, while the teams yielding the most fantasy points per game are San Francisco, Kansas City and Baltimore.

There are three undefeated teams with 5-0 records — Cincinnati, Denver and Green Bay, followed closely by the New England Patriots at 4-0. The only winless team at the moment is Detroit at 0-5.

When we play fantasy football, we are so busy with our teams that we forget about the football game as a whole. Be sure to remember that the answers to our fantasy football questions can usually be found within the numbers. And if all else fails ask me or Toby. You can reach us at All fantasy football questions are welcome.

About Mike Nease

Mike Nease is a member of the FSWA and has been playing the game since 1985, while also writing about it since 2001. Over the years he has sampled about all the playing scenarios that fantasy football offers, including re-drafter, keeper, dynasty, auction, IDP and salary cap leagues. He and his wife Bonnie reside in West Chicago, IL You can contact Mike at anytime and during the football season follow him @mikeinsights.