Sunday - Apr 18, 2021

Home / Commentary / THE FIRE SALE: Week 7


It was a sad day Monday. Tampa Bay fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith. First Jeff Fisher, then John Fox, now Smith. Soon I won’t have any reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Don’t worry about Smith. I’m sure someone he knows will hire him to a position he’s not qualified to do by the time you read this article. Luckily for me, there are still way too many bad coaches in the NFL I can criticize. With Smith getting canned, it got me thinking. Who is the worst coach in the NFL?

There are plenty of strong candidates. I can’t argue if you pick Vance Joseph, Jason Garrett, Bill O’Brien, Todd Bowles or Dirk Koetter. However, the worst coach in the NFL still has to be Hue Jackson. Did you see that team on Sunday? They looked completely unprepared and got dominated.

I just don’t understand why a team with a rookie quarterback continues to employ that guy. We all know Jackson will get fired at the end of the season and Cleveland will need to start over … again. You know, I heard someone say Cleveland sticking with Jackson shows stability. What? Sticking with one of the worst coaches in NFL history shows stability?

You know what shows stability? Winning and making the right decisions over time. Keeping a buffoon on the sidelines who no one respects just so you can claim stability doesn’t work.

I hope I’m wrong. I don’t want to see Jackson get fired. It gives me less material for my column. Hopefully we can either get one more year out of him or Cleveland hires Rex Ryan to make up for it.

If you like fantasy football, gambling or Chicago sports, follow me on Twitter @ThePigskinGuy. Besides writing the “Fire Sale,” I’m an editor @BetChicago1. I respond to all questions/comments because I’m a remarkable human being.

Now, on with the “Fire Sale”…

Going Up

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay

Much to no one’s surprise, Winston hurt his team’s chances of winning a football game with two red zone interceptions but he put up good fantasy numbers, so people think he’s a great quarterback. He’s not, although for fantasy purposes, he gets the job done.

The stat line was typical Winston. He threw for 395 yards, four touchdowns and two red zone interceptions. While Winston’s two red zone turnovers killed Tampa Bay, he once again delivered for fantasy owners. Winston will always be a better fantasy quarterback than a real world one. He’s still available in almost half of leagues right now.

With Tampa Bay’s awful defense, Winston is a QB1 for the rest of the year.

Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta

Smith is really starting to annoy me. He’s now scored a touchdown in three straight games. I’m so mad you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to pick up Smith off the waiver wire. That should cool his ass down.

Smith can no longer be ignored. With Devonta Freeman’s long-term health in question and Smith living in the end zone, the rookie is one of the better pickups in points per reception (PPR) leagues this week. On Sunday, Smith saw a career-high 13 touches. He isn’t an every-week starter just yet, but his arrow is trending up.

Smith has the same number of rushing touchdowns as Alvin Kamara in the last three games. He could have a major fantasy impact over the final month of the season.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia

On Thursday night in the first game without Jay Ajayi, both Philadelphia backs saw a lot of action. Corey Clement racked up 69 yards and a touchdown on 14 touches, while Smallwood gained 51 yards on 19 touches.

The thing about Smallwood is I don’t really like him but my opinion is irrelevant. Coach Doug Pederson’s opinion matters. If Philadelphia trades for a veteran running back, Smallwood won’t have much fantasy value. However, if Philadelphia stands pat at running back, Smallwood will have a significant role the rest of the season.

Clement is the better player. Smallwood is the epitome of average. Still, both backs will see plenty of touches. Don’t be afraid to play Smallwood when the matchup is right.

About Thomas Casale

Thomas began playing fantasy football back when owners had to mail in their starting lineups and work out trades over the phone. He started writing The Fire Sale in 1998. Since then his articles have appeared on numerous web sites sites including Fantasy Sharks, USA Today and