Some people think the end of the world is next month. For Steeler fans, including myself, the end of the world already happened. We’re just now in some purgatory-like place.
Turning the ball over eight times to the Cleveland Browns is nothing short of embarrassing. Sure, the Browns defense has been playing much better over the last few weeks. And yes, Charlie Batch was under center for Pittsburgh. But eight times? The Steelers had one less turnover than the Chiefs had points this week!
But while this Monday is a gloomy one for Pittsburgh fans, some are still able to hold their head up high. And by “some”, I mean “me”. While my number one reason for football watching is to see my team – my city – win, I clearly still have a large investment in fantasy football. When that investment is favorable, like when Aaron Rodgers has a middle-of-the-road fantasy day, I still am able to have a half, pretend smile on my face.
Aaron Rodgers still isn’t first round worthy.
You know who had a better fantasy Week 12 than Aaron Rodgers? Mark Sanchez: The guy that did this. I’ve said this many, many times, but quarterbacks are simply replaceable. While you may feel confident that Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees will finish as the best fantasy quarterbacks at seasons end, you fail to realize that other quarterbacks are consistently outperforming them each week. And when those quarterbacks don’t, they’re still putting up numbers that are quite similar.
Draft your quarterbacks late.
I think Mike Tomlin just fumbled.
As I mentioned above, watching the Steelers was a painful experience for me yesterday. But aside from the turnovers, there are some things I need to point out that the casual box score watcher won’t see.
I’ve been saying this for over a year now, but Mike Wallace needs to get his act together. While he’s clearly not all that fantasy worthy without Roethlisberger, we need to realize what he’s doing on the field without Big Ben. He consistently doesn’t fight for balls, he gives up on plays and he no longer likes going through the middle of the field. We can blame it on play calling, sure, but watch Mike Wallace snaps from yesterday’s game. You’ll see what I’m talking about.
Another takeaway was that the Steelers running back situation probably the biggest question mark in the NFL from a fantasy perspective. Todd Haley is not afraid to bench a back, especially after a fumble. If there’s one that I’d maybe start (if we’re going deep here), it’d be Mendenhall. In yesterday’s game, he was the one back who was able to come back into the game consistently after his fumble.
With that said, lastly, and most importantly, no Steelers offensive player is worth a start until Roethlisberger returns healthy. The offense is a complete mess, and isn’t even one-dimensional anymore. It’s zero-dimensional.
Eli returns to Manning form.
I had Eli as a really neat player this week, and the reason for that was essentially probability. I couldn’t see another bad outing from the Super Bowl MVP, especially coming off a bye. The Giants looked like they were back, and the roller coaster NFL season continued on its sporadic track.
We have to always keep in mind that the NFL is a weekly league. Just two weeks ago, the Giants were dead. People were completely writing them off. With a win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, the Giants are all of a sudden NFC contenders again.
Get used to it. People love to overanalyze and exaggerate each NFL Sunday. It’s the way it is.
Matt Forte hurts his ankle…again.
Before last year’s season-ending injury, Matt Forte had never missed an NFL game. Now, after yet another injury to his ankle, there’s a chance he could miss more time for Chicago. It’s a painful thing to watch for those of us with Forte on our fantasy teams, especially considering the fantasy playoffs are coming up. And, of course, we never like seeing a player get hurt.
Michael Bush should be a top target on the waiver wire this week.
Andy Dalton throws three more touchdown passes.
Five on Andy Dalton’s eleven games this season have resulted in a 3 or more touchdown pass performance. That’s just as many as Aaron Rodgers. His yardage numbers don’t rank extremely high, but at the end of the day, that stat alone should be eye-opening.
It’s not as though he’s thrown short 2- or 3-yard touchdowns, either. He’s got 24 passing scores this year, and 15 of them have been over 10 yards. In addition, 8 of his touchdowns have been 30 or more yards. We can credit AJ Green, sure, but Dalton is slowly becoming the quarterback the Bengals have needed for years.
Another thing to point out is that receiver Mohamed Sanu now has four touchdowns over his last three games. Typically, wide receivers take time to get acclimated to the NFL. Once we see a wideout get more targets and become a part of an offense, he becomes more reliable as a fantasy play. So what’s that mean for Sanu? I’d roster him now for sure, but his reliance on touchdowns is still worrisome. He could be a decent keeper in multiple keeper leagues.
What happened to that 100-point Bills vs. Colts game?
I, like many other fake footballers, thought the Colts and Bills game would be completely offensive driven. Man, were we wrong. The Colts were more balanced at home than we’d imagined, and the Bills just couldn’t get anything going at all.
Why won’t Chan Gailey feed CJ Spiller more? Is it really that difficult to comprehend that he’s one of the most explosive backs in the entire NFL?
So much for Ronnie Hillman.
In one of my leagues, I switched out Ronnie Hillman for Reggie Bush at the very last minute. Phew, dodged a bullet there.
It looks like Knowshon is the guy to own in Denver with McGahee out. However, I still wouldn’t trust him. The main reason he is getting playing time is because of his pass protection skills, but I still think he’s a fumble or two away from being benched. We’ve seen a lot of mediocrity from Knowshon, and there’s little reason to get overly excited about his 85-yard performance against the Chiefs.
Is Reggie Bush back?
Bush had his highest rushing attempts total since Week 8 with 14, and he did the most with it, rushing for 87 yards and a touchdown. Many would believe he’s “back”, but my response is “From what? 2011?”
Bush hasn’t exactly been fantasy gold this season, with Week 12 being just the fifth time he’s reached double digits. And his average is completely skewed by his monster Week 2 performance against Oakland. Realistically, Bush has been nothing more than a flex play for the majority of the season, with Daniel Thomas slowly stealing more carries.
The one positive about Bush is that the Dolphins were competitive and won with him being the featured back. You’d think he will continue to be part of the game plan as long as Miami is in the playoff hunt. I still, however, wouldn’t place him in that low-end RB1 spot that he’s been at in certain times of his career.
Michael Turner is the best bad fantasy football player ever.
Over the last three weeks, Michael Turner has 41 carries for 78 yards on the ground. For those of you who hate math, that’s a 1.9 yards per carry average. The only thing keeping Turner relevant is the fact that he’s gotten into the end zone 6 times this year, and he’s on an team that scores a lot of points.
If you’re moving into the playoffs with him as anything more than a flex, I worry for you. Try to get a new option fast.
Cecil Shorts continues his rampage.
Shorts now has 40 or more yards in all but two games this season, including three 100-plus yard games. He may not be as effective in PPR leagues, but his big play ability has made him a solid fantasy WR2 this season. Look for him to continue to get looks as the Jaguars remain, typically, behind in games.
Flacco gets lucky again.
As you know, I’m a Steeler fan. Of course I’m not a Flacco person. But come on! If you sincerely think the guy is a top-level quarterback, you clearly aren’t looking at him very closely. Especially on the road.
Yesterday’s game marked Joe Flacco’s sixth road game of the season. And in those games, he’s thrown for a total of four touchdowns. While his yardage total was up in the overtime game versus San Diego, we have to remember that he played nearly an entire fifth quarter. I am not trusting Joe Flacco on the road (I warned you of this last week), and barely giving him a starting nod for the remainder of the season.
Kaepernick is the real deal.
Sure, I may be jumping the gun, but Colin Kaepernick showed me a lot against New Orleans this weekend. While the Saints defense is nothing to get excited about, Kaepernick went into a hostile environment against one of the hottest teams in the NFL. He’s shown, two weeks in a row, that the pressure doesn’t necessarily get to him. If you’re in need of a quarterback, and he’s on the wire (for whatever reason), snag him up for the playoffs.
Beanie is back from the de…IR.
I admittedly started Beanie in a league this weekend. On Saturday, I hated it. Today, I love it. The Cardinals made it known that Wells will be their go-to back, getting 17 carries against the Rams. It was quite the Beanie performance, as he gained just 48 yards on the ground…with two scores.
My thoughts moving forward? Well, he’s got the Jets next week, followed by the Seahawks in Seattle. He follows that up against a moderate Detroit rush defense, Chicago and then San Francisco. It’s not the most favorable line of matchups coming up, making him probably more of a flex play in most league formats for the remainder of the season.