The Twitterverse is divided into two factions these days: Those who believe we simply must be more patient with Trent Richardson; and those that believe he should be treated like Joan of Arc or Napoleon or other French historical figures that let their countrymen down.[ref]Can’t really say I know if that statement is true so save your time and don’t bother pointing it out to me.[/ref]
For my own part, I am stuck with the guy in two leagues. I’ve taken to coming up with nicknames for him to ease my pain.
Lint Richardson: Because he bunches up in a pile and is altogether worthless.
Flint Richardson: Because only Michael Moore’s hometown is more of a disappointment.
But my favorite is this one:
Lent Richardson: Because only Catholicism could make you feel worse about your decisions.
The good news is the Indianapolis Colts have a bye this week so he can’t go out and fail for us. Let’s see who can, shall we?
Michael Vick v NYG- Because Matt Barkley isn’t even capable of holding a clipboard, the organization is rushing back a gimpy Vick to play this weekend. If I were Barkley I’d retire and move back to USC to pull a Van Wilder. Remember in 2010 when Vick was beasting for the eight of the last nine games? Those were some amazing days. I hesitate to believe this guy can recapture those freakish stats, but I do believe he’ll be a QB1 this weekend. And he has Detroit, Minnesota, and Dallas in the fantasy playoffs if he can stay healthy. I can’t believe there were people cutting this guy.[ref]My new writer over at Dexter’s Library, @brian_girdler, cut him in the league I’m in with him. I’m 7-0 and he’s 5-2. We play each other this weekend. Guess who I’m starting at QB this weekend?[/ref] This Giants team is so bad, Tom Coughlin’s mother no longer has respect for her son. “Tommy, is that you? No, absolutely not. Brandon Jacobs cannot stay on the couch. The last time he was here he ate all the Twinkies.”
Sleeper: Carson Palmer v ATL- I had to drink three fingers of whiskey and smoke half a joint to muster the courage to write his name here. Atlanta has given up 14 TDs through the air this year, good for second worst in the NFL. If Palmer can’t throw a TD against these guys it might be time for the Ryan Lindley Show, which, if it were an actual television talk show, would rank just below “The Magic Hour” and just above “The Tony Danza Show.”
Frank Gore @ JAC- If Jacksonville’s defense were a drug it would be Dulcolax because teams can’t help but have big runs against them. If you think that joke was bad, tune in and watch this defense try to stop Gore. They’ve given up the most rushing yards (1079) and the most rushing TDs (9) of any team in the NFL. It seems like Gore is hitting his stride, rushing for 100 yards in two of his last four and scoring TDs in three of his last four. I wonder if London would trade us the Spice Girls for this Jags team? Those old hags gotta be desperate by now, right? Bring them over and maybe I can have them star in my porn parody script of “The Patriot.” I wonder if we could get Heath Miller to play Heath Ledger’s role?
Sleeper: Lamar Miller @ NE- Daniel Thomas is averaging 3.36 yards per carry while Miller is averaging 4.31, even after the dismal opening week of 10 carries for 3 yards. I haven’t watched much of the Dolphins this year, but there must be something we don’t know happening behind the scenes here. Often it’s a pass protection issue. Whatever the case, it shouldn’t matter this weekend. The Dolphins will need to run the ball and the Pats have given up the second most rushing yards in the league, including 130-plus in each of the last three weeks. The irony here is that when the Roman Empire first started to fall it was from the armies on the ground. They simply couldn’t remain strong enough upfront to ward off barbarian invasions. Of course, there were a myriad of internal problems—the complete loss of civic virtue and leaders who were not much more than insane murderers—but it’s not as if those ideas apply to the Pats.
Pierre Garçon @ DEN- He’s averaging nearly 10 targets a game but he’s found the end zone only twice this season. Good news is Washington will be trying to keep pace with the Broncos this weekend. Like Atlanta, they’ve surrendered 14 TDs through the air. Still bullish on this Washington offense, because I’m fucking stupid like Nicky from “Casino.”
Sleeper: Jarrett Boykin @ MIN- James Jones is all but out again which should tell you all you need to know about Boykin. Last week he went bonkers, catching 8 balls for 103 yards and a TD. Anyone catching 8-balls is going to be quite wiry and amped up and probably have the sniffles. Joking aside, Boykin looked great after the catch and the Cleveland defense coming in had been decent against the pass. Boykin should get work against another poor secondary.
Joseph Fauria v DAL- Per Football Outsiders, the Cowboys are giving up over 75 yards a game to tight ends. This is the same team that got torched by Julius Thomas and Antonio Gates earlier in the year. He’s only had seven targets in two weeks, despite catching three TDs in that span. The Lions, however, gave a vote of confidence to the young man by cutting Tony Scheffler this week. With Jimmy Graham uncertain, you may need a flier. Fauria could get enough work to make it worthwhile.
New Orleans v BUF- New Orleans is coming off a bye and are at home against an offense that looks more lost than me after graduating from college. Rob Ryan’s blitzes should keep this team off-balance, no matter whether it’s Thad Lewis or Matt Flynn at QB. Why is Flynn still in the league? Rich people who waste their time are the worst. He’s really no better than Donald Trump at this point. NBC should option a show next fall that stars Flynn searching for interns to run his fantasy football teams. They could do all sorts of challenges, including whether the contestants could throw a ball better than Flynn. Somebody get Mark Burnett on the phone.
Matt Ryan @ ARI- I ignored the advice of many and did not start Harry Douglas on my Fan Duel teams last week. Yes, I’m an idiot. But this week the Falcons travel west and this Cards unit hasn’t given up more than 258 yards passing in four weeks. I think the lack of Djulio Jones and Roddy White is exposed this week. I just spent the last ten minutes curled up in the corner, for even typing the name Djulio makes my heart weep.
Andy Dalton v NYJ- Another guy who has had two monster performances, but remember that both of them—Buffalo and Detroit—were against teams in the lower fourth of the league against the pass. This Jets defense has been solid and is third in the league with 24 sacks. With Cutler hurt and on bye anyway and Phil Rivers on bye, you may need him in a pinch. But I’d go somewhere else if I could. It’s the same thing I’d do if there was only one seat left on the bus and it was next to this dope. Which is yet another reason why I never ride buses.
Zac Stacy v SEA- There is reason for optimism. He found the end zone last week and has totaled 210 rushing yards in three games. But now he has a muppet at quarterback and even worse he has to face a Seattle defense that has given up only 96 rushing yards in the last two weeks combined. Considering the amount of injuries and mediocrity, he might be forced into action for many, but this game is gonna get uglier than a Sam Bradford family photo.
Mike James v CAR- The classic example of a guy who will be worth owning simply because of volume. This isn’t the week to try out the new toy, however. This D has given up only one 100-yard rusher all year and just two rushing TDs. Besides, my grandmother always told me never to trust a guy with two first names.
Denarius Moore v PIT- Pittsburgh has given up the least amount of passing TDs in the league (5). The hope is Moore might make a big play and coming off a bye at home, you have to think they might compete in this game. But I hesitate to believe that a team which has yet to surrender more than 280-yards passing will give up too many big plays. In this case, Moore is less. And with that, I will be retiring from Bro Jackson.
Justin Blackmon v SF- This guy busted out but now the schedule gets rough down the stretch. The targets will be there to hopefully sustain the bleak matchups, but this week is not the week to rely on that. When this team drafts Teddy Bridgewater, I pray to everything holy that someone writes the headline “Bridge over jagged waters.”
Chuck Clay @ NE- Thanks again to Football Outsiders, we know that New England has the fourth best defense against tight ends. Clay has relied almost exclusively on TDs to maintain relevancy. I fear that may go away soon. But at least he was relevant which is more than we will soon say about Miami’s playoff chances.
Dallas @ DET- This Dallas defense might have found a way to stop the pass, having yielded 217 yards to Washington and only 194 yards to Philly in the last two weeks. Before that, however, they had given up 414 to Denver and 394 to San Diego. Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford seem to have found a rhythm last week and should keep it going here. Indeed Stafford has a healthy Johnson, which is great news for the ladies of Detroit. I’m gonna go wash my hands of this entire situation.