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THE FIRE SALE: Week 4 Going Up and Coming Down

I was watching football on Sunday and something made me think.

I was lucky enough to cover a game in Lambeau Field back in 2006 between the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. After the game, I was going into the Packers locker room. I was looking forward to it because it would be my only chance to interview Brett Favre.

As luck would have it, Favre got injured during the game and a young quarterback came in for him. His name? Aaron Rodgers. Well, the Patriots won the game 35-0 and Rodgers broke his left foot. You think he has bad luck? I went to Green Bay and didn’t get to interview Favre or Rodgers. You have a better chance of getting hit by lightning.

Many years later now do you know how many times we’ve seen Rodgers and Tom Brady play against each other besides that day in 2006? Once. One time. They met in 2014 with the Packers winning 26-21. Remember, Matt Flynn started back in 2010 because Rodgers missed the game with a concussion. We’ve seen the two together on the field twice in our lives. Back in 2006 when Rodgers filled in for an injured Favre and for real in 2014.

Watching Brady and Rodgers lead comebacks Sunday got me thinking that waiting for a Brady vs. Rodgers Super Bowl is like waiting for a big fight that’s never going to happen. I blame Mike McCarthy. His coaching performance against the Seahawks in the 2014 NFC Championship game is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Hey, give the ball to John Kuhn again.

The poor backup tight end gets the blame for the onside kick he muffed but it should have never come to that. McCarthy lost that game long before with his awful coaching decisions and robbed us of Rodgers vs. Brady. In other news, I’ve never seen Mike McCarthy out-coach anyone. Sorry, John Fox doesn’t count.

You can follow my crazy ramblings and fantasy observations on Twitter @ThePigskinGuy. I never sleep and I respond to every tweet. Hit me up with fantasy questions or just to tell me I’m a remarkable human being.

Now, on with The Fire Sale

Going Up

Jared Goff, QB Rams

Wow, what a difference a year makes. Let’s see, what’s different? I feel like something is missing from last year. If anyone ever argues with you that coaching doesn’t matter (Tony Gonzalez), tell them Luke Fickell and Urban Meyer. If they don’t buy that argument, give them Brady Joke and Jim Harbaugh. Still won’t listen? Tell them you have one more for them, Jeff Fisher and Sean McVay.

Now if they still aren’t buying it, do what I did with a kid back in high school when he said Steve Walsh should start over Troy Aikman because Walsh led Dallas to its one win in their 1-15 season. I said to him, “You can no longer speak to me about sports. You’re not smart enough. Now go away.” That person is now on Facebook annoying everyone with his dumb sports takes. Don’t ever be that person. People hate him.

Chris Thompson, RB Redskins

Remember what I said about Thompson last week? Let me refresh your memory:

Why is this guy not getting more touches? I get on coaches a lot but let’s be honest, coaching in the NFL is extremely hard. There are only a few guys in the world who are talented enough to do it. On the other hand, sometimes football is simple. Give Thompson the football more. Good things happen when he touches the football. Simple. Stop making life so hard.

See what happens when you make life easy? Against the Raiders, Thompson got 14 touches. He racked up 188 total yards and scored twice. He now has three touchdowns in his last 20 touches. He’s averaging 13 yards per touch. That’s Kareem Hunt-like. This guy is special.

I’m going to throw out an old theory of mine that no one took seriously. The most amazing athlete I ever saw was Randy Moss. I got the privilege to cover him for a year in New England. I used to ask the question. Why not throw a bomb to Moss once every three plays? How do you stop it? He’s either going to catch it or draw a pass interference.

I once saw a game in Miami where Tom Brady was moving around in the pocket. He unloaded a bomb to Moss 50 yards into the end zone. There were four defenders around him. Moss jumped up and came down with the ball. Unstoppable.

I’m glad the Redskins gave the ball to Thompson more last week but I don’t get the “We want to be careful not to overuse him” theory. No one is saying you have to pound him between the tackles 20 times a game. Ever hear of Danny Woodhead? Be creative. Get Thompson involved in the offense because I have a newsflash for the Redskins coaching staff: He’s your best player.

Again, don’t make life so hard. Why is everyone making life so hard? Dang.

Corey Clement, RB Eagles

It was a tough Monday at the old Casale home when it was announced my son’s favorite player, Darren Sproles, is not only out for the season but may have played his last game. If so, Sproles is a player who got the most out of his talent. Good for him because we see a lot of players who fail to ever reach their potential for a variety of reasons.

I’m going to take a stab here and recommend Clement in deeper, more competitive leagues. When you look at the Eagles backfield, LeGarrette Blount can’t catch an underhanded throw from me. Wendell Smallwood has some receiving skills but he’s more comparable to Blount in the Eagles offense than he is Sproles. The back that’s the best fit to take over Sproles’ role is Clement. He looked good as both a receiver and runner in the preseason. Let’s be honest, it’s not like he’s battling Le’Veon Bell for playing time either.

Smallwood is going to be the hot pickup this week and he should be. He’s first in line for touches. However, when a player gets injured, I look to see who’s the best fit to replace him. In Philadelphia, I see the best long-term replacement for Sproles being Clement.

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