As if fantasy football wasn’t hard enough.
You used to only have to worry about injuries and stupid coaching decisions. Now, off-the-field incidents will end your favorite player’s season, if not his career. The long knives of the sports media are out, and it’s one big contest to see who can fake the most public outrage. There’s nothing like tuning in to a football game and being subjected to several grown men wringing their hands so hard their fingernails fly off. What a pleasure.
Adrian Peterson, we hardly knew ‘ye. For those owners that think they’re going to see Peterson playing again soon, it’s time to face reality. His timing could not have been worse. He’s out a minimum of six games, likely more because a child was involved. In fact, don’t be shocked if his season is over.
Ravens 26, Steelers 6: Having to sit through one of these snore-fests between these two washed-up teams is cruel and unusual punishment. In what may have been lowest point in the proud history of the Steelers defense, Ravens RB Bernard Pierce gained 96 yards on the ground. Evidently the Ravens determined that riding the bumbling, talentless Pierce was a better option than using their $100 million dollar quarterback. It appears they were right, at least for this game. The Steelers seemed completely uninterested and played like they had been in their rooms all day smoking reefer.
Cowboys 26, Titans 10: Yawn. The Titans ruin yet another game with their sleepy mediocrity. Jake Locker decided to get Delanie Walker the rock and ignore the running game (hard to blame him). However, only ten lousy points against the Cowboys hideous defense? Dallas, in an effort to get Demarco Murray hurt even sooner than usual, gave him 29 carries. Just be glad you didn’t have to sit through this mess.
Redskins 41, Jaguars 10: RG3 may have just done the fans and coaching staff a huge favor by attempting to detach his ankle from his leg. Gruden wanted to play Cousins from the get-go, but knew he couldn’t just come in and bench Washington’s favorite son. Their offense exploded after the change, and part of me wonders if Griffin has started his last game for the Redskins. Legendary TE Niles Paul becomes the ‘Skins leading receiver for the second straight week.
As for Jacksonville, they seem perfectly content embarrassing themselves. I know they think that starting Blake Bortles will ruin his confidence, but how much longer can you give a big middle finger to your fans by sitting him? At least Allen Hurns continued his tear with 13 yards and a huge drop. Aren’t you glad you picked him up?
Cardinals 25, Giants 14: Gotta love this Giants offense. After two blatant drops in Week 1, Victor Cruz has the gall to complain about not getting enough looks. So in an attempt to top himself, he manages to pull off an impressive three drops in this one. Eli Manning continues his assault on every NFL interception record. Just go ahead and drop all your Giants now and save yourself an entire season of headaches and cursing. Giants, when Drew Stanton comes into your house and walks out with a win, it may not be your season.
Patriots 30, Vikings 7: With Minnesota turning it over every five minutes, the Pats didn’t have to do much in this one, with Tom Brady only attempting 22 passes. Losing a threat like Adrian Peterson turned Matt Cassel into a pick machine, and the Vikings coaches couldn’t be bothered to get Cordarrelle Patterson more involved. The Patriots have about 10 receivers, but Julian Edelman is the only one worth having.
Browns 26, Saints 24: Gotta give the hapless Browns credit for playing their guts out ever since that awful first half to start the season, although they aren’t putting up many fantasy numbers. The big numbers are supposed to lie with Drew Brees and the Saints, who have been letting a lot of impatient owners down. Jimmy Graham finally broke out with a couple of scores, but Brees has been rather pedestrian so far. Marques Colston, who wasn’t even targeted, and Brandin Cooks (31 yards) were invisible. Brees is a terrific buy-low candidate if you can find a panicky owner to take advantage of.
By the way, if Johnny Manziel isn’t owned in your league, snatch him up. Hoyer has been incredibly average, and Manziel will be an immediate fantasy factor when he’s brought in due to all his scrambling abilities. With Josh Gordon returning after Week 10, Johnny Football could be a force down the stretch….assuming he can lay off the blow.
Bengals 24, Falcons 10: That sound you hear is Matt Ryan owners crashing back down to Earth. After a career-high passing day last week, he was harassed into three interceptions by the Bengals stifling defense. Giovani Bernard is turning into a real force, with 32 touches. Hell, even A.J. Green leaving early with a foot injury didn’t seem to bother the Bengals at all.
Panthers 24, Lions 7: Matt Stafford ran into the same buzzsaw that Matt Ryan did. Evidently Calvin Johnson isn’t going to dominate every single week, especially when he drops passes in the end zone. Cam Newton gutted out a decent game, but it’s obvious he wasn’t at 100%.
Bills 29, Dolphins 10: Well Knowshon Moreno owners, I tried to warn you. At least you got a decent game out of him before he slunk off with an owie. After such a great start in whipping the Pats, reality came roaring back for Miami. This game was a snoozer (as this clash normally is), and it was C.J. Spiller’s 102 yard kick return that really made a difference. It’s amazing that a team with great playmakers like Spiller and Sammy Watkins can be such a royal bore.
Chargers 30, Seahawks 21: Like so many of today’s head coaches, I totally outsmarted myself on draft day when I took Ladarius Green over Antonio Gates, a classic case of listening to the “experts” explain that the oft-injured, aging Gates was finished. Watching Gates score three touchdowns against the best secondary in football today gave me unpleasant feeling that not even Pepto could sort out. I deserve that feeling. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
And Ryan Mathews hurts his knee going after his own fumble? Wanna see my shocked face?
Rams 19, Bucs 17: I got lucky when I drafted Bobby Rainey. There’s been a lot of rumblings that Lovie Smith and the staff have never cared much Doug Martin, who missed the game with a knee injury. Rainey, who was a Browns castoff from last season, looked like LeSean McCoy with 144 rushing yards on a tough Rams run defense. It’s certainly a kick to the gut of Martin owners, as Rainey isn’t going to be so easily shuffled back to the bench.
Broncos 24, Chiefs 17: Yup, this is the week Jamaal Charles gets back on track! Oh wait. Twelve whole yards before he hurts his wittle ankle, and off to the locker room he goes, a pacifier firmly planted in his mouth. In the meantime, Knile Davis lights it up, flashing what could have been. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long, long year with Jamaal Charles, who it appears has returned to his pre-2013 injury prone-ness. I’m also starting to wonder if the Chiefs will win more than 4 games.
As for Denver, I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that Manning isn’t even going to approach his 55 TD season of 2013 – 35 to 38 is a lot more likely. They seem to be playing a bit more conservatively, although losing Decker and not having Wes Welker may have something to do with that.
Texans 30, Raiders 14: Derek Carr has been thrown to the wolves, and may end up eventually being a fantasy option as a result – he also led the Raiders in rushing today. Remember when Darren McFadden looked talented? He can’t even get out of his own way anymore.
The Texans did what they needed to do to win, run the ball with Arian Foster and pass as little as possible.
Packers 31, Jets 24: After facing Seattle’s secondary in the opener, going up against the Jets was like giving a man lost in the desert a glass of water. So refreshing. Jordy Nelson remained a man among boys with 209 yards, while Randall Cobb sneaked beneath him and vultured touchdowns. Consensus first-round pick Eddie Lacy has been the invisible man through two weeks, but don’t panic on him. He’ll be fine.
Overall, it was a major bloodbath of a Sunday, with significant injuries to Robert Griffin III, Knowshon Moreno, A.J. Green, Ryan Mathews, and Jamaal Charles. Don’t you just love this game?
See you next week.
Aaron Bland is the founder of the Florida Gators Message Board GatorChatter.com. His Deep Drivel appears every Monday on RotoAdvice and you can reach him on Twitter @AaronBlandRoto
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