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The Lowdown – Week 16

Welcome to
The Lowdown for Week 16. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe— feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Too Much Pressure

Ravens WR
Torrey Smith was on Twitter this week, apparently suffering from some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder. Was he beginning to crumble from the wear and tear of a tough NFL season spent defending the Ravens championship? Not quite.

Smith had finally reached his breaking point with… fantasy football players:

“I hate y’all fantasy folks who are tweeting me about your fake team…y’all make me sick…Ravens win that’s all that matters to me”

See, it seems that some fantasy players go a bit too far for Smith’s taste, as he further elaborated:

“Yeah, it’s terrible,” Smith said Thursday, via The Baltimore Sun. “I think fantasy football is awesome for the fans. It’s a way to interact and be like their own GM, in a sense. But it crosses the line when you wish players harm… people saying, ‘I hope you break your leg because if you score one point…’

While there are plenty of morons on Twitter (I’m one of them, BTW:

), Smith should really ignore the haters, for a couple of reasons:

  • Now that he’s acknowledged that their taunts are having an effect, it’ll get a lot worse;
  • He should really be focusing on his job, not the

I understand that Smith is upset, but he needs to understand that we fantasy football devotees (which I think is French for “obsessive geeks”) are one of the main reasons that Smith’s replica jersey might find a paying audience in Miami or Des Moines.

So chill a bit, Torrey—you’re living the dream of an NFL star with a Super Bowl ring on your finger. Delete your Twitter account and start over anonymously, if the haters are getting to you; just focus on beating opposing corners and we’ll all be getting along before you know it.

Karmic Balance

Two weeks ago I was whining about being the top scoring team in one of my leagues, yet somehow missing the playoffs entirely. Well, I must’ve done something right, because I was able to sneak into the playoffs two weeks ago with a losing record in the
FanEx Experts

league by winning my division (6-8, with by far the most points scored in the division). I was even able to ride
Jamaal Charles amazing performance last week to a playoff victory over
Paul Charchian’s powerful

Of course, now that the scales have evened out for me, I’ll probably go down in flames to
Phil Gentles’ powerhouse 12-2 team and keep my losing streak in FanEx going for a sixth consecutive year. Because when it comes to failure, there’s nothing like doing it in front of long-time colleagues in one of the industry’s longest running experts’ leagues. Yeah, there’s not a lot of smack talk going on there…

Interesting Players for Week 16

Not necessarily the players in line for the biggest games this week, but rather some players that caught my interest and upon whom I shall cast my gaze…

Andy Dalton, QB – Cincinnati
(vs. Minnesota) – The Bengals can really help themselves out with a win, as they try to nail down the division crown; if they win and the Ravens lose, they get the AFC South crown. Minnesota is 30th in the NFL against the pass, so I can see Dalton taking advantage of the situation to get the ball to
A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and
Mohamed Sanu. I’m really expecting Big Red to go for three TDs in this contest.

DeMarco Murray, RB – Dallas
(at Washington) – Call it child psychology, but after last week’s epic meltdown to the Packers– where
Tony Romo choked once again—I think the Cowboys will make every effort to establish the run. Oh sure, Romo will still fling the ball to
Dez Bryant and
Jason Witten; but the Cowboys inability to run out the clock against the Packers when Murray had been averaging 7.5 yards is an indicator to me that they’ll be overcompensating towards the run… think of it as practice for their playoff game next week against the Eagles. After all, it’s not like the Redskins defense can do anything about it…

Pierre Garcon, WR – Washington
(vs. Dallas) – Speaking of impotent defenses, you have to take a player that is going up against the horrendous Dallas defense. I’d like to call your attention to Garcon, who may be having the quietest outstanding season in recent memory. With the circus atmosphere in Washington this season, it’s been easy to miss the fact that Garcon has collected 96 catches for 1,146 yards and four TDs. With QB
Kirk Cousins under center for the first time last week, Garcon didn’t suffer any sort of dropoff, as he torched the Falcons for 7/129/1 on 10 targets. And the Cowboys defense is worse than the Falcons. By the transitive property of suckiness, Garcon should have a real good game this week.

Andre Caldwell, WR – Denver
(at Houston) – I know this is a trendy pick, but it needs to be put out there. With
Wes Welker being held out of this game, Caldwell will see action as the slot receiver once again. Although the Texans are statistically good against the pass (#2 in the NFL), they’re also a demoralized team; and let’s face it, they’ll have to account for all of
Peyton Manning’s other weapons (
Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, Knowshon Moreno) ahead of Caldwell. Caldwell should have plenty of open space to operate in, so I see him putting up decent flex numbers this week—although probably short of last week’s surprising output.

Andrew Quarless, TE – Green Bay
(vs. Pittsburgh) – When a new QB takes over under center, you always have to watch out for who he targets; many times, the top target is a former secondary receiver with whom he’s worked with on the second team during practice. Last week,
Matt Flynn managed to target his best receiver,
Jordy Nelson, nine times. Not bad. But he also managed to target Quarless six times, and the big guy caught all six balls for 66 yards and a TD. Ironically, it was the identical stat line he posted in Week 14 against the Falcons (6/66/1 on seven targets). I think you see where I’m going with this… Quarless should see 6-7 targets in this game, as well as an opportunity to score in his third consecutive game.

John T. Georgopoulos is an 18-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 eight occasions. You can also listen to his weekly non-sports opinions


or follow him on Twitter


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