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The Weekly Barometer – Week 14

Shame on Jeff Triplette for the way the Redskins-Giants game ended, and props to Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth for taking the officials to task for their mistake. There’s a way to stay professional and respectful of the NFL while still maintaining honesty and objectivity, and I think they nailed it. Just imagining the comparatively acquiescent response that a Nantz-Simms booth would have had in the same situation annoys me.

Something I noticed during the broadcast was Washington coach Mike Shanahan smiling on the sidelines in response to the call. It was a smile of total disbelief that comes when someone is hit with bad news that is so inexplicable, normal facial reactions don’t apply. Obviously Shanahan wasn’t actually happy about this, but it got me thinking: When coaches get screwed over, is there a part of them that’s glad about it when they look back?

Even without the incident, the Redskins still had under 90 seconds and no timeouts to drive over 50 yards for a touchdown and then prevail in overtime to get the win. Odds are a loss was in the cards anyway, but Shanahan will always have this moment to say “Hey, I could have won. You don’t know what would have happened,” and lots of blame for the loss will deflect onto Triplette. All I’m saying is although I’m sure Shanahan would have rather had the refs handle the downs properly, having a ready-made Steve Bartman-type figure to absorb blame for failure ain’t a shabby consolation prize.

My fantasy teams are the same way. Winning is better, but serving up a batch of excuses for running my teams into the ground when they lose makes me feel nice, too. But right now, both of my teams are in the top-4 of their respective leagues and are therefore very much alive, and I hope yours are too. You’re either in your last week of the regular season or starting the playoffs right now, so it’s time to start thinking like there’s no tomorrow, so I will be posing one simple question: “Will he get you the win?” and answer with a simple yes or no.

Quarterbacks


Matt Ryan

(Week 13 at Buffalo: 311 yards, 1 TD, 17 yards rushing, 1 lost fumble)

For the first time in I can’t remember how long, he Falcons put forth a quality offensive performance. Ryan,
Roddy White

, and Steven Jackson were all effective. For that reason, it’s moderately disappointing that only one of Atlanta’s four offensive touchdowns came from the arm of Ryan, but with a seemingly rejuvenated White and Jackson and a below average Green Bay pass defense on tap, I’m cool with Ryan as a low-end, top-12 play.

Will he get you the win? Yes

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Mike Glennon

(Week 13 at Carolina: 180 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 3 yards rushing, 1 lost fumble)

You ain’t in Detroit anymore, young man. Glennon predictably struggled against the best defense in the league, ending an impressive streak of eight straight games with a touchdown. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new streak begin this week at home against Buffalo, but I can name more than 12 quarterbacks I would rather start this week, and that means it’s time to take a seat.

Will he get you the win? No

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Philip Rivers

(Week 13 vs. Cincinnati: 252 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 4 yards rushing)

Contrary to popular belief, the production level of Philip Rivers hasn’t fallen off as much as you might think over recent weeks. In his first ten games he put up 1.7 touchdowns a week, and he’s managed 1.5 over the last four. Even with somewhat diminished production, he’s still had at least one touchdown in every game, he’s scored in the double-digits each and every week, and he’s still the fifth ranked quarterback in standard scoring. At home against the Giants, he has a 400-yard, 4-TD ceiling, and at worst he’ll at least get you 12 points. He’s no
Peyton Manning
,
but he remains a solid low-risk, high-reward play.

Will he get you the win? Yes

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Running Backs


Ben Tate

(Week 13 vs. New England: 104 yards, 3 TD)

This guy absolutely killed me twofold last week. He destroyed me in my money league, and he made me look like an idiot for doubting him in last week’s column to boot. He’s hot, he’s getting all of the backfield touches, and he’s at home against a terrible Jacksonville defense playing on short rest. Assuming he’s healthy enough to play, he’ll have a decent shot at repeating as the week’s top scoring RB.

Will he get you the win? Yes

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Steven Jackson

(Week 13 at Buffalo: 84 yards, 2 TD, 1 reception for 0 yards)

If anyone who used a top-15 pick on him still in serious contention? They would probably really appreciate what S-Jax has done over the last two weeks. I’m still not overly enamored with him, seeing as how he failed to top 4.0 yards per carry in either of his last two, allegedly, good games. But he’s healthy, he’s getting the ball often, and his offense is suddenly capable of actually getting into the red zone. There’s enough fantasy appeal here to warrant a start in a decent matchup at Green Bay.

Will he get you the win? Yes

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Joique Bell

(Week 13 vs. Green Bay: 94 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions for 34 yards)

He is very hard to trust as a starter any given week on account of the inconsistent usage that comes with being the second back on an extremely pass-heavy offense. He’s 16th in standard league points among RBs despite scoring five points or less in six out of 12 contests. When he’s on he’s huge, but he’s borderline useless when he isn’t. I’m guessing that this upcoming battle with the Eagles is more likely to be an ‘on’ day for him. This game should be a touchdown frenzy, and I would be hard pressed to keep any significant player from that contest on my bench.

Will he get you the win? Yes

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C.J. Spiller/
Fred Jackson

(Week 13 vs. Atlanta: 149 yards, 1 TD/8 yards from scrimmage, 2 TD)

This duo faces the surprisingly stout run defense of Tampa Bay this week. Of the two, Jackson is the one that I would be more inclined to trust with a start. Spiller is the more explosive player, but his ankle continues to be an issue, while Jackson has been the healthier and more reliable scorer throughout. Either player is probably deserving of a start in most leagues when you consider what the running back position looks like, but using either of them is not something that excites me.

Will they get you the win? No

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