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THE LOWDOWN: Week 14

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 14. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Boys Will be Boys

Things got a bit chippy last week in the NFL. Now, I like hard hits– but not cheap shots; unfortunately, I saw more of the latter than the former last week.

Let’s start with the easy one: Rob Gronkowski dropped a Macho Man elbow to the back of Tre’Davious White‘s head after White had picked off a Tom Brady pass and had been tackled. Gronkowski’s cheap shot put White into the concussion protocol, and the big TE received a one-game suspension.

Of course, the doozy of hard-hitting games was the Steelers-Bengals on MNF. These games seem to always feature extreme hits and violence– and this game was no exception. First, Ryan Shazier was seriously injured attempting to make a tackle– no dirty play, just an unfortunate tragedy. Unfortunately, the rest of the game brought actual cheap shots: Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster nearly decapitated Vontaze Burfict on a peel-back block, while Bengals safety  George Iloka was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Antonio Brown. What’s interesting is that Smith-Schuster received a one-game suspension, while Iloka was just fined.

Look. I love anything and anyone that strives to entertain me: big hits, dancing idiots in the end zone, gorgeous cheerleaders. I even stump for the legalization of steroids in sports; but no way Gronkowski should get the same suspension as Smith-Schuster. If Smith deserves one game, Gronkowski should get three.

Thankfully, there’s one silver lining in this Gronkowski saga: he’s on the team of my opponent as we battle it out in Round One of our league playoffs. So there’s that.

Interesting Players for This Week

Straight from the flawless algorithms of Mighty Max come the top match-ups at every offensive position for this weekend’s games…

Quarterbacks

  1. Russell Wilson – SEA (vs. JAC) : 100.00
  2. Alex Smith – KCC (vs. OAK) : 97.70
  3. Carson Wentz – PHI (vs. LAR) : 94.57
  4. Kirk Cousins – WAS (vs. LAC) : 88.42
  5. Dak Prescott – DAL (vs. NYG) : 84.73
  6. Cam Newton – CAR (vs. MIN) : 83.88
  7. Josh McCown – NYJ (vs. DEN) : 83.41
  8. Philip Rivers – LAC (vs. WAS) : 81.55
  9. Jared Goff – LAR (vs. PHI) : 81.05
  10. Marcus Mariota – TEN (vs. ARI) : 76.10
  11. Blaine Gabbert – ARI (vs. TEN) : 74.71
  12. Derek Carr – OAK (vs. KCC) : 74.07
  13. Case Keenum – MIN (vs. CAR) : 72.48
  14. Tom Brady – NEP (vs. MIA) : 72.07
  15. Ben Roethlisberger – PIT (vs. BAL) : 71.89

Despite going against one of the toughest defenses in the league, Russell Wilson has been outstanding lately; his uncanny ability to escape pressure and make the big throws is fun to watch… if you’re a fan of my work (or at least tolerant of it), then I don’t have to tell you about letting the numbers dictate who you start– which means you should have no problem starting Josh McCown over Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger this week, right?

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 23-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to his weekly, non-sports NSFW opinions at The Riot.