Archive for November, 2011

Bet On It

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 7-7, losing my best. I’m 77-78-5 so far this year. Best bet is 3-7-1. Onto the Week 12 picks:

Packers -6 at LIONS

DOLPHINS +7 at Cowboys

49ers +3.5 at RAVENS

VIKINGS +9.5 at Falcons

TEXANS -3.5 at Jaguars

Buccaneers +3 at TITANS (Best Bet)

Cardinals +3 at RAMS

Browns +8 at BENGALS

Bills +9 at JETS

PANTHERS -3.5 at Colts

REDSKINS +3.5 at Seahawks

BEARS +4 at Raiders

Patriots -3 at EAGLES

BRONCOS +7 at Chargers

STEELERS -10.5 at Chiefs

GIANTS +7 at Saints

Comments: I had a hard time choosing between Houston and Tennessee as my best bet, but with the way I’ve performed with those this season, that just means you should be hammering Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. My teaser of the week is the Falcons and Jets.

The Scoop

Monday, November 21st, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

There’s no doubt the first 55 minutes of Thursday night’s game was brutal, but the ultimate payoff (and this coming from someone who picked the Jets ATS) made it worth it. Seriously how can an offense look so bad – they had five possessions that started in New York’s territory and produced three points – for the whole game and then produce a 95-yard drive like that at the end? Whatever you think of Tim Tebow, the guy clearly has a flair for the dramatic (check out NFL.com’s power rankings)…Denver’s defense obviously deserves a ton of credit for the team’s three-game winning streak. Forget Rookie of the Year, there’s a strong case to be made Von Miller has been the NFL’s defensive player of the year, period. He’s been fantastic against the run and also leads the league with 16 QB hits…For some reason, Tebow called a timeout with three seconds left in the third quarter (and the play clock wasn’t running out)…Mark Sanchez already has three “pick-sixes” this season…”If you get sacked in the end zone, it’s a safety.” Thank you Brad Nessler! I actually don’t have a problem with Nessler and Mike Mayock, who is obviously a big upgrade over Matt Millen, but both of them mispronounced Plaxico Burress’ name all night long…It certainly appeared like Shonn Greene’s injury was a blessing in disguise for the Jets, as Joe McKnight was an upgrade. Not only does the playbook expand greatly with him in, but he’s also more explosive as a runner (not sure he could handle 300 touches though). McKnight totaled 121 total yards, which Greene has bettered in just one of his 39 career games played. McKnight will likely go back to being a complementary player with Greene returning, but especially with his receiving ability, he’d become an extremely intriguing fantasy option should he ever become the feature back.

The footage of this lady thwarting an invasion from her home video is capturing enough, but frankly, the humor involves her TERRIBLE ability to describe what’s happening. I mean there were clearly two culprits right away, and how in the world should that outfit be described as a white shirt? You know, the one covered 90 percent by a black sweatshirt. And I’m guessing they used the tire iron to get in, not through the doggy door.

Oakland’s 24-7 halftime lead really hurt Carson Palmer’s fantasy day, although a TD run salvaged it. He should be considered a weekly QB1 moving forward…I have no idea what to make of the Raiders’ receiving situation, as Darrius Heyward-Bey was seeing a lot more action than Denarius Moore before leaving with an injury. Fantasy owners need to take a wait-and-see approach, as it’s tough to predict who’ll get the targets on a weekly basis…The jury’s still out on Christian Ponder the passer, but he’s certainly shown he’s quite athletic…Tough break for Adrian Peterson owners. Hopefully his absence won’t be lengthy…At 4-1, the Raiders have the AFC’s best road record this season…With 65 touches over the past two games, Michael Bush is an absolute horse. If you own both, Bush owners shouldn’t exactly be hoping for a Darren McFadden return at this point. The latter has more talent and is more explosive, but Bush is an every down back who gets all the goal-line work and is plenty capable in his own right. Oakland should easily be considered the favorites to win the AFC West right now.

Roger Craig (not the former SF RB) makes a mockery out of Jeopardy.

Matt Moore has got 8.5 YPA with a 6:1 TD:INT ratio over his past three games, completing 70.8 percent of his passes. Moreover, he’s also taken just three sacks over that span, and remember, before last year when he played for a dreadful Carolina team that gave him a quick hook, Moore got 7.9 YPA with an 8:1 TD:INT ratio over five starts in 2009. He’s 27 years old and already looks like an upgrade over Chad Henne. I hope Miami fans didn’t have their hearts set on Andrew Luck…Stevie Johnson hasn’t scored since Week 6 and doesn’t have a single 100-yard receiving game all season. He also gets to face Darrelle Revis on Sunday…The Dolphins haven’t allowed a touchdown over their past 12 quarters.

Pretty funny SNL skit.

Andy Dalton was picked off three times Sunday, but he also threw for 373 yards (totaling 405 yards) in Baltimore, getting 8.3 YPA while taking just two sacks without having A.J. Green at his disposal. I certainly can’t say I expected it, but he sure looks like a keeper. Another reminder just how little we should pay attention to the preseason…I found it funny the person who tackled Torrey Smith by his hair (looked painful) was Pacman Jones…As long as Green is out, it appears Jerome Simpson will be a fantasy option…Referee Ron Winter “all but disappears” in this pileup.

The song is actually catchy, but it’s the photos of people at Walmart that make it worth watching.

One week after Phil Dawson missed a 22-yard field goal (albeit the snap was bad) that cost Cleveland the game, his 38-yard miss Sunday nearly did the same. It was close and worth taking a second look, but apparently kicks that go over the goal post aren’t reviewable…This pass by Blaine Gabbert defies explanation. One of the worst I’ve ever seen…With eight seconds left on second down from the 1-yard line and no timeouts, the announcer said “I think you have to throw it here.” Really? Do you think so? The same wasn’t true on the following play with just three seconds left, however (they chose to pass), since it would be the last one regardless. Ultimately, the Jags cost themselves a play by not calling their final timeout after gaining a first down with 41 seconds left. There was just 18 seconds left when they ran their next play, and the final one of the game came on a third down.

Man wearing “I’m a drunk” shirt arrested for DWI.

In the first halves of games this season, Dez Bryant has 24 catches for 413 yards and five touchdowns, while after halftime, he has just 11 receptions for 172 yards and one TD. In fact, he has more receiving yards total in first quarters alone (269) than he does during the second half of games, with four of his six touchdowns coming in the opening 15 minutes. I have no idea what to make of this. But I do know no one in the NFL has more receiving yards with fewer dropped passes (one) than Bryant…Pretty crazy the Cowboys came so close to losing with Tony Romo playing such a fantastic game. His ability to extend plays and escape the pocket is highly impressive…I’m beginning to think Mike Shanahan is unpredictable when it comes to his usage with running backs…While holding for a potential game-winning field goal in overtime, Romo tried to call a timeout, only Dallas didn’t have any left (he later admitted he thought you were given three in OT), but Shanahan called one a split second earlier, preventing the delay of game penalty. Dan Bailey’s kick would have easily missed from five more yards out, which is just another example of how stupid “icing” a kicker is.

Blonde on an escalator.

Jordy Nelson has got 8.5 yards-after-catch per reception this season, which easily leads all wide receivers (minimum 30 catches). It obviously helps having Aaron Rodgers as his QB, but Nelson is absolutely legit…Kellen Winslow had a big game, but his drop while wide open in the fourth quarter on a two-point conversation attempt that would have tied the game was brutal…LeGarrette Blount is a grown ass man. What an incredible TD run…Nice to see Mike Williams has a pulse still…Late in the second quarter, Tampa Bay attempted a surprise onside kick that went just seven yards before coming to a stop, when a Green Bay player dove in and touched it. Luckily for the Packers, the only dumber player on the field was the Bucs one who illegally touched it right before, negating the recovery with absolutely nothing to gain by grabbing it in the first place.

After kneeing cop in groin, drunk driver poses for an epic mugshot.

Usually I use this space to bitch and complain, a therapeutic session in which I don’t have to pay a shrink. But I must say, as a Matthew Stafford owner who was facing someone who had Calvin Johnson in my home league, I was rather fortunate to get five passing touchdowns with none to Johnson. Pretty lucky…The Lions are the first team in NFL history to win three games in a season in which they trailed by at least 17 points (h/t Adam Shefter)…Cam Newton already has more rushing touchdowns (by two) than any rookie quarterback ever. He’s going to be a fantasy monster for years to come…Kevin Smith’s performance had to be one of the most out-of-nowhere in recent memory, but with such weak alternatives, there’s no way it should be written off as a fluke. It needs to be taken in context against such a poor Carolina defense that has allowed an NFL-high 14 rushing TDs this season, but Smith looked good and most importantly, he can be a real threat as a receiver. Smith is an injury risk and was out of the league up until three weeks ago, but he’s now seemingly fully recovered from his knee surgery and worked hard while unemployed, and the former third round pick totaled 1,262 yards with eight touchdowns as a rookie. With Jahvid Best’s status so uncertain and in such an explosive offense, not only is Smith the obvious No. 1 waiver wire pick this week, especially so late in the year, if I had all $100 (or $1000) of my FAAB remaining, I’d spend it all on him.

Accused Florida butt injector appears to have tried her own product.

To call John Skelton inaccurate Sunday would be a massive understatement. I guess Kevin Kolb’s job will be his when ready after all…The 49ers held the ball 44:16 in Week 11, which is the most by any team in a game this season…David Akers attempted a whopping four field goals in the first quarter and five in the game’s first 20 minutes Sunday (and six in the first half)…Beanie Wells’ lost fumble was Arizona’s first by a running back this season…Remarkably, Alex Smith’s interception Sunday was just his second in the red zone in his entire career…The 49ers are 10-0 against the spread this season.

Manny Pacquiao apparently suffered foot cramps during his fight with Marquez (for the second fight in a row and on the bottom, which means it’s unrelated to this), but who wants to see them fight for a fourth time over a matchup with Floyd Mayweather? I like Freddy Roach, but the answer is no one. It’s humorous that Pacquiao is now clearly the one ducking Mayweather (although I can’t blame him), but anyway, I guess it’s good news in that I won’t spend my bank account flying to Vegas it.

Marshawn Lynch has now scored in six straight games and has somehow had plenty of fantasy value despite getting 3.4 YPC (and often much lower) in six of nine games this year…Sam Bradford looks like a real problem, especially with that contract. He’s taken 31 sacks over eight games this season and hasn’t thrown multiple touchdowns in a game since Week 12 of last year. Matthew Stafford threw as many touchdowns Sunday as Bradford has all of 2011…I’ve had a somewhat disappointing but not terrible year ATS (around .500) and been moderately successful betting on teasers, but each week I pick a “best bet,” and it’s been a total disaster, with my latest being the Rams. I’ve lost three in a row and am an ugly 3-7-1 on the year. Embarrassing. You should be fading me.

This goal is “absolutely brilliant.” I can’t disagree.

Ryan Mathews had two more fumbles Sunday, as he continues to struggle with ball security and injuries. Quite the enigma, that Mathews…Norv Turner burned two timeouts during a failed challenge. Why even wait until the offseason to fire him? I get in-season coaching changes rarely work in the NFL, but at this point, what is there to lose? San Diego hasn’t won a game since Week 5…Hate to see Jay Cutler out with a broken thumb (and no, not just because we look alike), as it really hurts a team that probably was the Packers’ biggest threat in the postseason (and this coming from a 49ers fan). Cutler had really been playing well of late too, so let’s hope he can return before the season ends. I’m sure the breaks are different, and I’m in no way questioning Cutler’s toughness, but it’s funny Ben Roethlisberger is playing through a similar injury, but then again, he has the makeup of those who were around when the opposable thumb became evolved. And let’s not worry too much about Cutler, who just last weekend reportedly once again got engaged to Kristin Cavallari.

Possible U.S. governor ends up homeless in Ukraine after searching for would-be bride who was fake.

Enough with the excuses, Chris Johnson has been a disaster this season, and his big Week 10 now looks worse after Kevin Smith came off the bench (and his couch) to rack up more than 200 yards against the same Panthers team. Johnson somehow managed just 13 rushing yards on 12 carries Sunday and after scoring 23 touchdowns over his previous 24 games, he’s hit pay dirt just twice over his past 12 contests. Johnson’s 1.9 YPC after contact this season ranks 59th among 63 qualified running backs…It came against a prevent defense, but Jake Locker impressed when he replaced an injured Matt Hasselbeck, showing good athleticism and arm strength. Nate Washington owners maybe shouldn’t be rooting for a speedy recovery by Hasselbeck…After taking 13 sacks over the first three games this season, Matt Ryan has been taken down just seven times over his past seven contests. Atlanta has been disappointing, even if regression wasn’t unexpected, but 10 wins still aren’t out of the question.

Teacher admits to selling grades to pay off debt.

Vince Young looked legitimately nervous early on, but he certainly settled down, culminating in an impressive eight-minute game-winning drive. He wasn’t a bust or anything, but his six carry, five rushing yard performance really capped his fantasy performance…Brandon Jacobs is slow and is frankly, pretty terrible right now. Then again, the Giants’ blocking this season has been absolutely atrocious…Since he became relevant in Week 3, Victor Cruz has produced a pace to finish a 16-game season with 88 catches, 1,566 yards and 10 touchdowns – and that’s with him getting just two catches for 12 yards without a score in one game. Cruz is tied for fifth (with Michael Crabtree) among wide receivers with nine broken tackles, and to put that in perspective, Calvin Johnson leads the league in the category with 11, and he’s played 656 snaps this year. Cruz has played 386 (Crabtree has just 387). Cruz should be treated as a top-20 fantasy WR…I’m so confused about DeSean Jackson’s taunting penalty AFTER THE PLAY negating his 50-yard gain, because it was offsetting. Apparently, the Giants committed the best penalty ever on the play, because if they hadn’t, the Eagles would have netted 40 yards as opposed to zero. That makes sense. And by that I mean zero.

I personally wouldn’t have voted for Justin Verlander for MVP, but it has nothing to do with him being a pitcher. I don’t get the thought process behind lessening his impact by saying he plays only once every five days. Yes he doesn’t play defense, but he factored into 969 plate appearances, which is obviously more than any hitter, and if you don’t want to listen to me, just look at how Vegas’ odds change daily based on starting pitching. In comparison, the needle would barely move at all if even Albert Pujols were to sit out one game.

After averaging 148.0 yards over his first five games this season, Wes Welker has averaged 57.6 yards in five games since. While regression was a certainty, I’m also convinced he’s playing more hurt than the Patriots are letting on…Tyler Palko is a disgrace to Shane Falco…Not one tight end has ever scored more than 10 touchdowns three times in their career and only Antonio Gates has done so in back-to-back seasons (h/t Bill Barnwell). Meanwhile, Rob Gronkowski has 10 touchdowns over his first 10 games this season after scoring as many during his rookie season. We are looking at a special player (with a special QB throwing to him), so records are going to be shattered. Gronkowski is on pace to finish the year with 90 receptions, 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns. From the tight end position, that makes him easily a top-10 fantasy commodity…During a pregame segment before Monday Night football, ESPN interviewed a bunch of random people named Tom Brady in the Boston area. When the real quarterback was later brought on, Rick Reilly told him they also came across 47 Gisele Bundchens as well, to which Brady responded “really??” dead serious. I love the thought of living in a world in which Tom Brady is apparently extremely gullible. Apparently, if Brady were a part of your group of friends, he’d be the one picked on incessantly.

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Bet On It

Friday, November 18th, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 8-8, losing my best. It’s past time to start fading my best bets this year. I’m 70-71-5 so far this year. Best bet is 3-6-1. Onto the Week 11 picks:

JETS -6 at Broncos

Panthers +7 at LIONS

Buccaneers +15 at PACKERS

Cowboys -8.5 at REDSKINS

Bills +1 at DOLPHINS

Jaguars – 0.5 at BROWNS

Raiders -0.5 at VIKINGS

BENGALS +7.5 at Ravens

Seahawks +1 at RAMS (Best Bet)

CARDINALS +9.5 at 49ers

CHARGERS +3.5 at Bears

TITANS +6 at Falcons

Eagles +3 at GIANTS

Chiefs +15 at PATRIOTS

Comments: This was without question the toughest slate for me so far this season.

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

As someone who had been relying on Darrius Heyward-Bey, then subsequently spent FAAB on Jacoby Ford only to see the latter leave with a serious injury after his first catch Thursday, I wasn’t too pleased. And after replacing Ford, DHB saw plenty of snaps yet not one single target. It’s clear Carson Palmer has yet to develop any kind of rapport with him. Denarius Moore, meanwhile, looks like he could be a WR2 for fantasy purposes from here on out…Sebastian Janikowski is clearly limited by his injury still…Vincent Brown impressed, and with Malcom Floyd proving to be one of the most brittle players in the league, he needs to be added in all fantasy leagues…What was Vincent Jackson thinking on that interception? He was out to lunch…Philip Rivers once again didn’t play all that well, but it was an absolute jailbreak after Marcus McNeill left injured…Michael Bush played very well and would be an upgrade for about half of the league’s backfields, but Darren McFadden would have taken two of his long carries all the way to the house and probably surpassed 300 yards from scrimmage had he been on the field instead…Rumors of Carson Palmer’s demise may have been exaggerated. He looked terrific and could easily be a top-12 fantasy QB down the stretch.

Calls released (which are hilarious) from a man who was arrested for phoning police about his iPhone not working.

Blaine Gabbert has averaged 104.3 passing yards over his past four games. That’s not ideal. However, Jacksonville is somehow 2-2 over that span…After an impressive two-game stretch when Curtis Painter took over, I fully expected Pierre Garcon to be a major fantasy factor over the rest of the year. I was flat out wrong…Painter has a 0:7 TD:turnover ratio over his past four games…The top-three (non-RB) receivers for the Jaguars on Sunday were Chastin West, Jarrett Dillard and Zach Potter.

“Popeyes” runs out of chicken. Chaos ensues.

Last week I said I preferred Julio Jones to Roddy White over the rest of the season, but after Jones suffered yet another hamstring injury, it’s safe to have a big concern about his health, at least in 2011. As a result, Harry Douglas saw 14 targets one week after seeing none, so he’s definitely on the fantasy radar should Jones miss time…Mark Ingram is now averaging 3.64 yards-per-TOUCH this season. His 2.1 YPC after contact ranks 51st among running backs…Jimmy Graham had another big game Sunday, but he also left at least 30-40 yards on the field thanks to a couple of drops…Fun fact: the Saints are now 0-11 on coin tosses this year (h/t Jeff Duncan)… The big debate this week had to do with Mike Smith going for it on fourth down at the Falcons’ own 29-yard line in overtime, and while I’m personally a bit on the fence (and certainly would have preferred to see a QB sneak there), I find it hard to argue with the numbers. I can totally understand both sides, but let me ask you this, if you had bet your bank account on the Saints, would you have wanted Atlanta to punt or go for it there? I certainly would have chosen the former.

This is apparently the biggest wave ever surfed.

I like how Houston’s rushing attack has become so dominant, even their backup RB is getting pilfered (Derrick Ward had 11 carries and a touchdown Sunday). Since returning from a hamstring injury and finally healthy over the past seven games, Arian Foster has recorded 438 receiving yards – a season’s long pace of more than 1,000 yards. That’s been accompanied by a season’s long pace for 1,616 rushing yards. And to think Ben Tate has managed to be a plenty useful flex play over that period as well. Speaking of Tate, Tampa Bay’s tackling “effort” was as bad as you’ll ever see in a professional game during his touchdown run Sunday…The Bucs started the season 4-2, but it’s not a stretch to call them one of the league’s doormats. They have allowed an NFL-high 8.5 YPA along with 4.7 YPC and the fourth-most rushing TDs in the league (11). Josh Freeman has thrown more interceptions over his past three games than he did all of last year and has the second-most picks in the NFL. They are also the third-most penalized team in the league. A tougher schedule has had something to do with it, but as a young unit, this team hasn’t grown this season but regressed instead…What a tough blow losing Matt Schaub for the season. With a ridiculously easy upcoming schedule (they should only be underdogs in one of their final six games, and it won’t be by much in Cincinnati, even without Schaub), a legit defense and the NFL’s best rushing attack (not to mention Andre Johnson returning), we might be looking at Matt Leinart as the starting quarterback for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. The loss of Schaub hurts the fantasy value of Foster and Tate (in theory Houston may go even more ground heavy, but the Texans already have 67 more rushing attempts than any other team in the league, and while in fairness they haven’t had a bye yet, volume certainly hasn’t been an issue), since the offense will suffer a downgrade, but hopefully it won’t be a killer. It’s possible Leinart got an unfair rep in the past, and he’s been in Houston’s system two years now and has a bye week to prepare with the ones, but few should be rushing to grab him in fantasy leagues considering his circumstances.

Mike Francesca explains “fungibility.” Needs to buy a dictionary.

Not only did Ben Roethlisberger fracture the thumb on his throwing hand and (obviously) plans on playing through it, my favorite part is he doesn’t remember how or when the injury occurred. Save for decapitation, I can’t fathom an injury that would prevent him from playing…For the sake of the league, I hope A.J. Green’s injury isn’t serious. Troy Polamalu’s effort was almost as bad as Vincent Jackson’s on Green’s TD catch, for what it’s worth. I guess let’s just chalk them both up to losing the ball in the sun/lights. Green actually received a carry after the injury, so he’ll hopefully be back in action in Week 11…Despite allowing an NFL-low 5.8 YPA, Pittsburgh’s two interceptions Sunday doubled their season total.

The world’s most expensive dessert is a measly $35,000. I’d rather go to The French Laundry instead.

Cam Newton has been great during his rookie season, Sunday’s game notwithstanding, but this is a really bad Carolina defense, which makes it all the more frustrating they allocated so many resources into re-signing DeAngelo Williams. Their 8.3 YPA allowed is the second-highest in football, and their 12 rushing scores ceded is tied for the most…Chris Johnson continues to get back on track, and encouragingly, his Week 14 and 15 opponents are the Saints and Colts – the former has yielded a league-high 5.2 YPC while the latter has given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

Portland nudist broke no laws by killing, gutting horse, then posing naked inside carcass. If you choose to click the link accompanying this article, you’ll see some next level shit.

Contracts be damned, if I’m a Larry Fitzgerald fantasy owner, I’d prefer John Skelton to Kevin Kolb without question at this point. Fitzgerald was one yard away from scoring three times Sunday (although it should be noted he’s absolutely owned the Eagles throughout his career)…Not only did Philly lose at home as 14-point favorites while coming off a loss in primetime during a must-win contest, they did so while scoring a defensive touchdown and with Arizona missing two field goals. No fluke lost fumbles were involved either. Michael Vick’s ribs BETTER have been broken, as there’s really no other reasonable explanation, even without DeSean Jackson and a hobbled Jeremy Maclin. Vick missed a wide open Brent Celek (who’s now a top-12 fantasy TE) for a long touchdown. If Vick misses time, it’s not crazy to consider Vince Young a QB1 for fantasy purposes.

This guy has undergone numerous surgeries in an effort to look like Superman.

It’s been beaten to death, so bear with me, but did Tim Tebow really go 2-for-8? And finish with a QB rating over 100? And dating back to his last game, Tebow went more than a full four quarters without completing a single pass! Both victories! Not that Willis McGahee or (especially) Knowshon Moreno are special backs, but it’s also crazy the team had to immediately turn to their RB3 in a game plan that featured 55 rushing attempts Sunday. The Broncos had zero completions at halftime. And had a 10-point lead in Arrowhead. Pretty incredible…Lance Ball needs to be added in deep fantasy leagues with McGahee no sure thing to return during a short week. Speaking of which, Denver’s offense will likely eventually be solved, but New York is up against it coming off a Sunday night game and having to travel across the country to play Thursday. They will have two practices to prepare for such a unique offensive scheme. That said, what is the over/under for Tebow’s passing yards/attempts this week?…Tyler Palko = Shane Falco, only without the happy ending.

Sticking with the Chiefs game, this Jonathan Baldwin catch (negated by a penalty) would otherwise go down as probably the best of the season.

Tony Romo opened Sunday’s game 13-for-13 for 195 yards (15.0 YPA) with two touchdowns. He slowed down a bit after that, completing 18-of-19 passes for 237 yards and three scores before Dallas turned to a conservative offense in a blowout. Other than Aaron Rodgers, there probably hasn’t been a more impressive performance this season. Maybe he’s finally fully recovered from his rib injury…Laurent (the “T” is silent) Robinson should be at minimum a flex play as long as Miles Austin is out, and Dez Bryant continues to have a bunch of upside, revealed by his incredible touchdown catch…C.J. Spiller’s drop wide open deep downfield was indefensible. What a huge bust…I’d now say you are being conservative if you call DeMarco Murray a top-10 fantasy back.

Notorious B.I.G. calms down crying baby.

One week after the Rams had a potential game-winning field goal blocked at the end of regulation, they faced a Browns team that shanked a 22-yard FG that would have put them up with just two minutes left (mostly the snapper’s fault). St. Louis has scored just one touchdown over its past two games…Hard to remember (or fathom) this Cleveland team started the season 2-1. At least Joe Thomas continues to play at an elite level, but there’s not a franchise in greater need of improvement at the skill positions…According to Adam Schefter, Sunday marked the first time in NFL history since realignment that all four NFC West teams won in the same week.

Festive guy on bath salts breaks into home, puts up Christmas decorations.

At this point, what else is to be said about Mike Shanahan? Who exactly is he trying to fool? His own players? Well done, sir, as your antics are clearly working. He needs to be fired yesterday, and this isn’t just coming from a fantasy perspective. Quit making it about you, dude. It’s clear all that time at the tanning salon has officially fried his brain…Over the last four games, Reggie Bush has averaged 89.8 yards from scrimmage with three touchdowns, with an impressive 5.5 YPC mark as well. I must say, I really didn’t see this coming.

I understand the argument against Baltimore calling for Joe Flacco attempting 52 passes versus just five rushing attempts for Ray Rice, but Seattle has allowed just 3.6 YPC this season (fourth-best in the NFL), and they did get Rice eight more touches as a receiver. And actually one more a passer, when he tossed a one-yard touchdown. Still, Flacco remains so inconsistent. And while it’s probably not predictive, owners should realize he’s posted a 4:9 TD:INT ratio against the Bengals during his career, so he’s not the best start in Week 11…Marshawn Lynch saw a whopping 37 touches Sunday and now leads the NFL in the category over the past two weeks. Despite totaling just 24 yards in one of them, he’s somehow averaged 116.3 total yards over his past four games, scoring in each of his past five contests as well. I’m shocked…Speaking of unexpected, after Baltimore scored a touchdown with 5:52 left to make it a one possession game, they would never see the ball again, as the Seahawks ran out the rest of the clock. Pretty crazy.

I was disappointed the UFC fight lasted just 63 seconds during its first spot in primetime on Fox on Saturday night, but it was certainly one hell of a knockout. They admittedly should have had another undercard instead of 40 minutes of buildup (or both), but boxing can’t match that heavyweight card, even if it ended so prematurely with a KO by the underdog.

As a 49ers fan whose family has season tickets, I went to my first day game Sunday for the first time in years, since I’m more obsessed with my fantasy teams and also in no small part because I want to watch all the games to write this article. But I must say, getting caught up Monday and Tuesday with the help of “short cuts” on DIRECTV has been quite thorough. What an awesome option. And I rewatched the SF/NYG matchup I was at as well, which either speaks for how good of a game it was or how inebriated I got while starting to tailgate at 9 a.m. Probably both…I continue to love Jim Harbaugh more and more, from him randomly going pass heavy Sunday to his onside kick. And speaking of the latter, between David Akers, Andy Lee and Ted Ginn, it’s tough to match a better special teams than San Francisco’s right now…Navorro Bowman is on pace to finish with 164 tackles, and Carlos Rogers is tied for the NFL lead with five picks this season with opposing passers accumulating just a 50.0 QB rating when throwing into his coverage…Eli Manning once again played like a star, with both of his two touchdown passes highly impressive throws, and a Victor Cruz drop cost him another huge gainer, but Alex Smith matched him Sunday, with his lone interception coming off a Ted Ginn drop (and he even got more YPA (8.1 v. 7.8) and was essentially without Frank Gore). A healthy Gore is probably one of the half dozen best backs in the NFL, but without question, the 49ers would suffer a much greater loss if Smith went down instead, which speaks volumes of the difference of importance of the positions.

Jon Stewart goes off on Jerry Sandusky.

While acknowledging Chicago scored three touchdowns Sunday thanks to special teams and defense, they are absolutely contenders and are certainly bigger threats to go into Green Bay in a potential NFC Championship and win than the Lions. Chicago, after all, has allowed a season-low 111.4 QB rating to Aaron Rodgers…Hey, I love the Detroit story line and look forward to their home game against the Packers on Thanksgiving, but Matthew Stafford has got 6.1 YPA over his past four games, and they really struggle to run the ball (if you take away Jahvid Best’s 88-yard run, as a team they have averaged 3.7 YPC. That run counts, but Best isn’t coming back this season, let’s just face it. And this is coming from someone who owns him in multiple leagues). The ability to run the ball is overrated in the media, but it’s also become so overrated in the stat community it might be underrated. You at least need the threat. Ironically, Detroit’s best asset has been their ability to defend the pass this season…Calvin Johnson saw a modest 19 targets Sunday.

How to score a one-point safety in football.

I don’t really get why people seem to be overlooking the Patriots. This isn’t me being Captain Hindsight after Sunday night’s game, as for those who follow my picks ATS, which have been entirely mediocre at best so far this year, I seemingly always back New England, as I simply can’t stop believing in them. I get their defense is suspect, but despite the increase in interceptions by Tom Brady (he was largely lucky there last year and has been probably somewhat unlucky there this season so far), he’s on pace to finish with 41 touchdown passes, which is five more than last season’s MVP-winning campaign (the first ever unanimous choice), and his YPA has also improved from 7.9 to 8.4. In fact, that 8.4 number is even better than his historic 50-touchdown season in 2007. This passing offense, while a bit unconventional thanks to the heavy tight end usage, is extremely effective and is second only to the Packers. The only game the Patriots won’t be at least touchdown favorites over the rest of the season will be in Philadelphia, so they look like the clear favorites to be the AFC’s No. 1 seed, especially with Matt Schaub done for the year. Only the Packers should have better Super Bowl odds…Mark Sanchez called an inexplicable timeout with 1:24 left in the first half right before he rushed for a touchdown (it was either that or a FG), giving the Patriots an extra 17 seconds on the ensuing drive, which unsurprisingly resulted in a touchdown with nine seconds left in the half. Rex Ryan called it “the stupidest thing in football history.”

As a Floyd Mayweather fan, I actually thought Manny Pacquiao won Saturday’s fight, although it was obviously close. And it was a shame and could have been quite different had Marquez’s corner not told him he was easily winning the cards with two rounds to go, imploring him to play it safe and not get knocked out, resulting in him losing the final round to all three judges in a tentative performance. Nevertheless, come on, Mayweather would now be the heavy favorite if the super fight ever happens, but word is, Pacquiao is now much more interested in a fourth fight with Marquez than he is with getting into the ring with Mayweather. I can’t say I blame him.

Ryan Grant looks like he’s running in sand. James Starks has separated himself a decent amount, but he should be getting more touches, especially playing for a team often up double-digits. Of course, there’s not much to complain about passing a lot when it comes to a team that has won 15 straight games…Again, why does Percy Harvin play limited snaps?…Jordy Nelson is on pace to finish with 1,125 receiving yards and 12.5 touchdowns…Aaron Rodgers has produced 30 touchdowns with just three turnovers this season. His 72.9 completion percentage would easily set an NFL-record. He’s also on pace to break the record for most touchdowns by a quarterback. The only reason he might not also break the yardage record is because he’s too good. And I’m being serious with that comment (all of Drew Brees’ interceptions necessitate more pass attempts. Rodgers left Monday’s game with 11 minutes left).

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Bet On It

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 6-8, also losing my best. I’m 62-63-5 so far this year. Best bet is 3-5-1. Onto the Week 10 picks:

RAIDERS +7 at Chargers (check the comments here)

JAGUARS -3 at Colts

Broncos +3 at CHIEFS

STEELERS -3 at Bengals

BILLS +5.5 at Cowboys

Saints pick ’em at FALCONS

Rams +2.5 at BROWNS

REDSKINS +4 at Dolphins

TEXANS -3 at Buccaneers

Titans +3 at PANTHERS

CARDINALS +14 at Eagles

Ravens -7 at SEAHAWKS

Lions +2.5 at BEARS

GIANTS (Best Bet) +3.5 at 49ers

PATRIOTS +1 at Jets

VIKINGS +13.5 at Packers

Comments: A whopping 11 games have a spread of four points or fewer this week. Tough slate…I’ll be at the 49ers game Sunday and rooting for them, but I bet against them this week (didn’t like any teasers) and actually got four points. I expect it to be close.

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

If Felix Jones remains in the mix after returning from injury it would hardly be the first time a coach plays a less deserving veteran over a superior younger player, so a timeshare can’t be ruled out, but I’d have a hard time not treating DeMarco Murray as a top-10 fantasy back right now, especially if his involvement as a receiver Sunday is a sign of things to come. Dude looks like an absolute stud, and while Dallas’ offense has been hugely disappointing, it should improve moving forward. Jones has reached 5.0 YPC in two of his past 16 games played. Murray has got 6.3 or better in each of his past three, including against the team that entered with the NFL’s top run defense last week. Murray’s 3.9 YPC after contact leads the NFL (minimum 75 rushing attempts). Having him on zero of my fantasy teams is killing me…I have no idea where that came from, Marshawn Lynch…Is it good or bad news that it’s Miles Austin’s other hamstring now pulled?…My love for Dez Bryant hasn’t been lost, but it’s certainly been tested.

Police car crashes into plane during drug bust.

Like A.J. Green, Julio Jones is already a star and a future superstar. What a ridiculous catch on that 50-yard touchdown Sunday while triple-teamed. And while the Colts’ secondary is a joke and took terrible angles trying to make a tackle, his 80-yarder wasn’t too unimpressive either. It’s not a no-brainer or anything, but I’d prefer Jones over Roddy White in fantasy leagues moving forward. I bet my friend $100 before the season who has the better career, Jones or Green. If both make the Hall of Fame, we’ll call it a wash…After posting a 4:0 TD:INT ratio while getting 9.8 YPA over weeks 3 and 4, Curtis Painter has a 1:5 TD:INT ratio with a 4.7 YPA over his past four games. Also, pretty sobering news about Peyton Manning this past week, as it now appears there’s about a 25 percent chance he never plays again, which would be a shame. Although it’s hard to feel bad for a franchise that might transition from Manning to Andrew Luck…Indy’s secondary has allowed a 112.1 QB rating to opposing passers, which would go down as the worst in NFL history.

Awesome homage to one of the best scenes in the history of cinema by Tony Reali and Around The Horn.

The Bills simply don’t match up well with the Jets. It might be the difference between them making the playoffs and not…Good to see Fred Jackson’s injury wasn’t serious. It’s hard not to root for his story…Plaxico Burress came within inches from scoring Sunday, and it was pretty impressive, as he drove/carried multiple defenders a few yards just to come up a bit shy of the end zone…I still don’t understand why New York doesn’t involve Santonio Holmes more (he’s the only receiver in football to play at least 450 snaps and not drop a single pass this season)…Mark Sanchez is not the best blocker.

Bride answers text message during marriage.

Ben Tate doesn’t have a catch since Week 3 and has had a fumbling problem this season, but he’s obviously quite talented and plays in the NFL’s best rushing system. Without question he’d be a top-five fantasy back if Arian Foster were to go down, but even as is, he’s averaged 75.5 rushing yards over his past four games – all while acting as a backup. He’s a decent flex play even with Foster healthy…Greg Little gets the targets, but he’s raw, and the team’s offense makes him nothing more than a desperation fantasy play at the moment. It’s too bad, since he’s actually tied (with Dwayne Bowe) for the league-lead among WRs with 10 broken tackles. I was wrong about Colt McCoy possibly developing into a useful quarterback this season. He’s not even close to the answer as Cleveland’s future franchise QB…Chris Ogbonnaya was brutal Sunday, but he’s not the worst flex option in deep leagues in Week 10 against a Rams team that struggles against the run. The volume should be there at least…The Texans have allowed a 66.9 QB rating to opposing passers this season, which is the lowest in the NFL.

Burly rugby player has a stroke after freak gym accident, wakes up gay and becomes a hairdresser.

It’s rare to have a quarterback for a 7-1 team throw for more than 201 yards just once all season, but so is the case with Alex Smith and the 49ers. I still can’t believe it looks like I’m going to be able to go to a home playoff game this year. And it might even come after a bye. Unreal…Roy Helu with 14 catches on 17 targets, wow. Washington’s offense is definitely worse with John Beck starting over Rex Grossman, but Helu looks like an RB3 at minimum for fantasy purposes moving forward. Good thing I blew a bunch of FAAB on Ryan Torain earlier this year…When Graham Gano made a 59-yard field goal at the end of the first half Sunday, it marked his first ever from beyond 50 yards in his career and also the team’s first points over its last six quarters…San Francisco hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in its past 30 games.

Come for the record-setting jump roping but stay for her facial expression.

Mike Williams has averaged 9.8 yards-per-catch this year, good for 98th among all wide receivers…Make no mistake, Darren Sproles has been one of the most valuable skill position players in the NFL this season…Drew Brees has bounced back with a 7.9 YPA mark this season and currently has the second-highest QB rating in football, and while interceptions have remained a problem, it’s also worth noting he’s the only quarterback in the NFL yet to fumble in 2011…It’s too bad Gerald McCoy can’t stay healthy. He’s a really good player when on the field.

Mike Tyson quotes: The Song.

I’m all about following the Andrew Luck situation, but to say teams are tanking for him is laughable. The Dolphins had lost by three points or fewer in three of their previous five games, so while Sunday’s 31-3 outcome in Kansas City was certainly a surprise in how it played out, the win itself wasn’t overly shocking. Although I certainly can’t say I saw Reggie Bush’s last two games coming. He’s totaled 262 yards, averaging 7.5 yards-per-touch…Anthony Fasano has more touchdowns on his last three catches as Brandon Marshall has total this season (of course, that’s a silly stat, and I remain a big Marshall believer moving forward. Week 9 was obviously a good start)…After I called Jonathan Baldwin’s impressive Week 8 performance a killer for Steve Breaston’s fantasy value, naturally, the latter led KC with seven catches and 115 yards in Week 9.

Pretty cool Halloween costume.

Nice to see Chris Johnson still has a pulse, but it’s pretty crazy we are now in Week 10, and he’s received 15 carries just twice this season. And can someone explain to me the logistics about the rumors of him possibly being released at the end of the year. I mean, the $30 million he was guaranteed, is well, guaranteed, right?…I must say, I loved the Bengals under six wins before the season started, and the only reason I didn’t bet it was because Vegas apparently agreed, accompanying it with an extreme vig. I couldn’t have been more wrong. A relatively easy schedule has helped, but that’s a legit defense, and A.J. Green is a playmaker. Andy Dalton has been way better than he looked in the preseason and is doing my name proud. Cincy isn’t a fluke at all, but unfortunately they have to deal with Baltimore and Pittsburgh in its own division.

This deer might like tacos as much as I do.

I like Hue Jackson’s willingness to be aggressive when it comes to tactical decisions, but his benching of Darrius Heyward-Bey will never be forgiven nor forgotten as long as I live. Of course, this is coming from someone who started DHB in multiple fantasy leagues (and it literally cost me my game in my home league), but even in real football, “wha happened?” Heyward-Bey averaged 96.3 receiving yards over his previous four games entering Week 9, so while I can respect a benching for an unreported off field issue such as him imbibing in purple drank, don’t tell me it had to do with packages and offensive sets. Really, T.J. Houshmandzadeh saw more snaps. Give me a break Jackson…Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore certainly become interesting as a result. And despite Carson Palmer being on pace to throw 64 interceptions over a full season, he exhibited enough arm strength Sunday to ease concerns there and got 9.5 YPA…The whole “anything” > Tebow meme was pretty funny this past week, but apparently the latter had the last laugh. His leash just got a lot longer. Tebow has averaged 73.2 rushing yards as a starter during his brief career. Michael Vick has averaged 54.0 in his…Good thing I benched Willis McGahee in one of my leagues. I have actually been high on him in 2011 but had no clue he had that breakaway speed on his 60-yard TD run. The presence of Tebow (as a running threat at the QB position) could really be a boon to McGahee’s fantasy value down the stretch.

Of course this “fake girlfriend” idea would never be needed by any of my readers, but it’s still pretty funny regardless.

The Giants/Patriots game had the highest over/under of Week 9, so naturally, it was the first 0-0 game at halftime in the NFL this season. Of course, the fireworks started shortly thereafter, in what turned into a terrific game. It’s a bit anecdotal, but Eli Manning does actually appear to be “clutch.”…Sunday’s loss was Tom Brady’s first at home over his past 32 regular season starts…What a horrible fumble on a fair catch by Aaron Ross…At first, Wes Welker’s injury looked severe. Good to see him bounce back. He’s still on pace to finish with 132 receptions and 1,920 yards, which would rank second and first in NFL history, respectively…As long as Ahmad Bradshaw is out, Brandon Jacobs remains a must-start. And Jake Ballard has become a TE1 for fantasy purposes as well.

There’s nothing to be ashamed about with this dancing ability. And to be fair, it’s tough not to when listening to “Smooth Criminal.”

While it was nice to see Beanie Wells catch his first pass Sunday since Week 1, he’s clearly hobbled by his knee injury, and it was discouraging to see him gain 20 rushing yards on 10 carries versus one of the league’s weakest run defenses. He’s now got 3.2 YPC over his past four games. I have Wells on a few teams, and I’d trade him (and another part) for DeMarco Murray in a second…Just when Greg Salas looked like he might emerge as a true PPR asset, he’s now out for the year with a broken leg…The Rams became the first team in the history of the NFL on Sunday to score four points in a quarter. Speaking of safeties, shouldn’t they be worth more than two points in fantasy leagues? I mean, not only are they rare, but the accompanying field position gain in real football isn’t reflected in the scoring in fantasy terms. I say they should be worth at least four points…First off, Patrick Peterson absolutely shouldn’t have tried to return that OT punt from the 1-yard line. Secondly, it tied for the longest touchdown in overtime in NFL history.

I can’t decide if this is the most disturbing or best music video of all-time. Probably both.

In case you have $27,500 burning a hole in your pocket, here’s a giraffe for sale.

I keep waiting for the Packers to have a letdown game (and even bet on San Diego’s ML last week), but even with a suspect defense, this team is quite clearly the best in football and their ability to stay focused week-to-week (especially after winning the Super Bowl) has been highly impressive. Aaron Rodgers is making a mockery of the NFL right now. He’s got 10.5 YPA with a 16:2 TD:INT ratio over his past five games. I understand the reluctance to overrate the “now” sports culture, but it’s not a stretch to give him a 25 percent chance of going down as the best player in NFL history. He’s certainly the most valuable commodity in professional sports right now…Philip Rivers (and the Chargers) remains confounding. Halfway through the season, he already has more interceptions than he did all of last year and is just one away from tying his career-high. And two Sunday were returned for touchdowns. Yet he also tossed four touchdowns and got 8.4 YPA while making a valiant comeback attempt (making Vincent Jackson owners happy as well). While Rivers may not lead the NFL in YPA for a fourth straight season, his 8.1 mark is still elite, so I’ll take his not being injured stance at face value. Interceptions have a lot to do with random variance anyway…What was Charlie Peprah thinking trying to return that interception at the end of the game? Unbelievable.

The man who pressed his luck…and won. This was truly insane.

Vancouver restaurant bans men from peeing standing up.

With Pittsburgh entering 4-0 at home and Baltimore just 1-2 on the road, and the Steelers seemingly motivated after being embarrassed during their first matchup in which they committed seven turnovers, I fully expected them to win Sunday night in primetime. After all, this was a Ravens team that had to come back from being down 24-3 to a bad Cardinals team the week before. Obviously, I was wrong. Great final drive by Joe Flacco, who also had to deal with a terrible drop by (later hero) Torrey Smith and a Ray Rice 78-yard TD run on the game’s first play that was negated by a highly questionable holding penalty…Antonio Brown is legit and was robbed of a touchdown by a pass that was clearly intended for him that Mike Wallace stole in the fourth quarter. Of course, Ben Roethlisberger owners won’t complain either way.

I typically keep this column light-hearted, with ridiculous links and whatnot. The only time I get real serious is when a coach punts at an inopportune time, or something to that effect, but I’d be remiss not to mention the Penn State issue, which has rocked the sports world this week. I actually don’t have much to add, other than it’s sickening and horrible beyond belief. I will say this – the saddest part is that it took more than 13 years to come to light. What a disgrace. It’s not a stretch to call this the most reprehensible and lowest moment I’ve ever experienced as a sports fan.

While the first 28 minutes resulted in just 10 points total, Monday night’s matchup turned out to be an entertaining game. Fumbles had a lot to do with it, and the consequent benching (albeit fairly brief) of Matt Forte seemed a bit ridiculous. For two teams that struggle with pass protection and/or quarterbacks who like to hold onto the ball, it’s safe to say it was shocking that they totaled just one sack…The fake punt called by the Eagles was brilliant, but the pass was beyond pathetic. I get it’s a pressured situation on MNF, but come on, Chas Henry simply has to make that throw…The Eagles have been outscored by 36 points in the fourth quarter this season, which is the worst point differential in the NFL…Brent Celek is officially back on the fantasy radar. The same could be said about Earl Bennett…Jay Cutler’s 6.5 YPA doesn’t tell the story. He suffered from numerous drops, as he was slinging it all over the field Monday night, showing the type of upside when he’s on his “A” game. There’s now no question Matt Forte is a star running back, but the Bears have a bottom-three WR corps. Cutler is turnover-prone, but as Monday showed, he also possesses quite a bit of upside.

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Bet On It

Friday, November 4th, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 4-8-1, also losing my best bet thanks in part to a missed 31-yard field at the buzzer. I’m 56-55-5 so far this year. Best bet is 3-4-1. Onto the Week 9 picks:

DOLPHINS +4 at Chiefs

Buccaneers +9 at SAINTS

Falcons -7 at COLTS

BROWNS +11 at Texans

JETS +1 at Bills

49ers -3.5 at REDSKINS

Seahawks +11.5 at COWBOYS

Bengals +2 at TITANS

BRONCOS +8.5 at Raiders

GIANTS +9 at Patriots

RAMS +3.5* at Cardinals

Packers -5.5 at CHARGERS (Best Bet)

Ravens +3 at STEELERS

BEARS +8.5 at Eagles

Comments: The Chargers are coming off a short week, whereas the Packers are coming off a bye, but that’s a pretty massive line. I wouldn’t be surprised if San Diego wins outright. That said, I’m now less enthused about this proclamation having seen this prediction become quite the trend this week…The Rams/Cardinals line has since changed, but as always, I post the lines here that we use when the staff picks column for RW is due on Wednesday. Sometimes movement helps, other times it hurts. And while favorable movement in no way guarantees a win, this one was extreme enough to at least mention…My bets placed for this week: Teaser with Saints and Cowboys. Also, a moneyline parlay with the Cowboys, Eagles, Texans and Chargers. Go San Diego. That’s just asking for trouble.

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

By Dalton Del Don

Eli Manning completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 349 yards with a 2:0 TD:INT ratio Sunday, and while it came against a suspect secondary that was dealing with injuries, the numbers could have been much bigger had the Giants not suffered numerous drops on perfectly thrown passes (Hakeem Nicks and Jake Ballard were the two biggest culprits). Manning has thrown 58 touchdowns over the past two years and is currently getting 8.8 YPA, which ranks second only to Aaron Rodgers this season all while playing outdoors. He’s been highly impressive…Reggie Bush eclipsed 100 yards rushing for just the second time in his entire career (and his first since his rookie season)…The Dolphins have now lost 10 straight games. You know something is wrong when Steve Slaton is being used as your primary goal-line back…If Hakeem Nicks is forced to miss time with his hamstring injury, both Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz would be must-starts, with each possessing top-15 WR type fantasy upside.

This “Walker Texas Ranger” clip left me speechless.

Arian Foster had to fight hard for his yards against a solid Jags defense, but make no mistake, he’s back to who he was last year and is no one-hit wonder. It’s a terrific system in Houston (Ben Tate would be a top-7ish fantasy back if Foster were to go down, although his fumbling has become a real problem), but Foster is truly talented in his own right. Unless you’re Barry Sanders or Adrian Peterson, it’s comical to take a RB in the first few rounds in the NFL Draft…After scoring 10 touchdowns last season, Marcedes Lewis has zero through seven games this year…After recovering a fumble in the second quarter, not one but two laterals were executed by Jacksonville offensive linemen. “Pot Roast!” Rich Gannon proceeded to say they practice that scenario. I call bullshit.

I know they recently made a horrible comedy loosely based on this, but it’s so much better than that, as this is easily one of the craziest crime stories I’ve ever read.

I can’t say I expected the Ravens to be down so big so early at home against a league doormat after getting embarrassed in primetime the previous week. If you backed St. Louis and Arizona against the spread, you were up a combined 62 points at halftime…Pretty impressed by Beanie Wells carrying the ball 22 times for 83 yards and a touchdown while dealing with a knee injury against such a tough defense that had allowed the second fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs entering Sunday but also discouraged he later admitted it’s a problem that will be season long. The injury clearly limited his explosion…After scoring just one touchdown since Week 2, Ray Rice owners had to be happy with his three scores from the goal-line Sunday, making up for an otherwise disappointing effort in such a plus matchup…In a tie game with 48 seconds left and with Baltimore having the ball at Arizona’s 5-yard line, how do the Cardinals not let the Ravens score when they actually attempted to do so by handing off to Rice? Of course, they started kneeling right afterward.

Man claims prostitute turned into donkey. If only I had a nickel for every time that happened to me.

The Saints/Rams game was a good recent example of how open-minded we must all be when examining the NFL. The spread was insane – essentially it meant New Orleans would have been nearly three touchdown favorites at home…Where did that come from, Steven Jackson?…It doesn’t matter who lines up, the Saints simply struggle to run the ball. There’s little to no correlation with a strong passing attack and run blocking…Drew Brees has now thrown 32 interceptions over his past 22 games.

Saw Louis C.K. live last week, which was predictably awesome. He was fantastic. I couldn’t recommend seeing him in person enough. However, the show just so happened to land on the same night as Game 6 of the World Series, so I missed a lot of what turned out to be essentially the craziest sporting event of all time. Great postseason in general. Great World Series too. And this wager wasn’t too bad either.

Adrian Peterson’s touchdown run was one of the most impressive of the season so far. What a true difference maker from a position that usually doesn’t matter. And after looking like Michael Turner as a receiver throughout 2011, his fantasy owners have to be most excited about his five catches for 76 yards (and a TD). AP had three receiving yards combined over his past four contests, and this didn’t come out of nowhere, as the coach speak of getting him more involved in the passing game this past week was apparently no joke…While I will give the caveat I don’t watch a ton of college football (although how good was Saturday night’s game between Stanford and USC?! Down seven points with less than a minute left, pretty crazy the Cardinal ended up covering a 7.5-point spread), I fully expected Cam Newton to be a bust at the NFL level, so I want to issue a formal apology. Guy is beyond legit…I picked Carolina as my “best bet” this week, so I can’t say I was happy to see Olindo Mare miss a 31-yard field goal at the buzzer (the first miss by a Minnesota opponent all year). Shankapotomus.

The best statistics question ever.

After yet another hugely disappointing performance at home against an Indy defense that entered having allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, Chris Johnson’s value is at an all-time low. Javon Ringer took over backfield duties in the fourth quarter. I really can’t remember something like this happening to such an established player in his prime and healthy at the running back position. Selling low may be more advisable than buying low at this point…Curtis Painter had as many rushing yards (79) as the rest of the Colts combined Sunday…Most argued the Colts wouldn’t skip a beat without Peyton Manning, but I stand by my original position that it would hurt them greatly…Down 20 points midway through the third quarter, Jim Caldwell actually attempted a field goal from Tennessee’s 5-yard line. Truly hilarious.

This article about capturing Bin Laden is a bit old and lengthy but also well worth your time to read.

Matty “icepack” Stafford shook off his injuries and was impressive in Week 8, getting 8.9 YPA with a 3:0 TD:INT ratio. Maurice Morris actually scored from the 1-yard line, but that was more exception than rule, and the team’s glaring lack of rushing ability, especially from inside the 10, really is a boon to Stafford’s fantasy value…I overrated Demaryius Thomas’ targets last week. No Broncos receiver is likely to be even close to a consistent fantasy option moving forward with Tim Tebow at QB…I wouldn’t give up on Tebow in fantasy terms, but wow has he been terrible. During the Sunday night pregame show on NBC, Rodney Harrison defended him by saying how Denver’s offensive line allowed so many sacks, which was laughable and revealed a shockingly (well, more like mildly surprising) low football IQ for a former player. This is the same O-line that allowed four sacks over Kyle Orton’s last four games, after all. Tebow has taken 13 over his two starts. To not give him responsibility is a joke…Calvin Johnson has the most receiving touchdowns through eight games than any player since the merger.

I guess I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass along this video about how we are supposedly going to be living in the future.

Fred Jackson will battle Cam Newton as this year’s best fantasy pick, as the former continues to impress. As someone who will be approaching 32 years old entering next season, he’ll be one of the most interesting players to rank…John Beck has appeared in eight games during his career and has thrown for two touchdowns while committing 12 turnovers (although in fairness, he has ran in three scores)…I’d love to call Ryan Torain a buy-low candidate, but two of his next three opponents (SF and DAL) rank as top-five defenses when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing running backs this season…The Bills entered Sunday with an NFL-low four sacks on the season. They recorded nine against a Redskins offense that increasingly looks like one of the worst in football.

This is actually really intense.

I get that USC was a sinking ship and he knew it, at least lawfully, but long-term, it’s pretty clear Pete Carroll made a poor decision to leave for Seattle (although no one can blame him financially)…Pacman Jones’ first play of the 2011 season resulted in a 63-yard punt return. Naturally, he was injured on the play and never returned…Can someone explain to me why if Tarvaris Jackson was capable of playing, why he didn’t start over Charlie Whitehurst?…Before calling a run play on 4th-and-2 from the 3-yard line (that picked up a first down yet didn’t score) with 14 seconds left in the first half, the Seahawks called their final timeout. You can’t make this stuff up. Then again, this is the same team that punted on 4th-and-4 from the Bengals’ 36, netting 16 yards in the process…The Bengals have scored a defensive touchdown with less than 2:30 minutes left in each of their past three games. And if you factor in Sunday’s punt return, their fantasy defense has scored a total of four TDs with less than 3:30 left in each of their past three contests.

Florida trooper pulls over Miami officer for going 120 mph.

While I’ve killed the recent running back contracts of DeAngelo Williams and Chris Johnson, it’s at least worth pointing out it’s worked out for the 49ers, who somehow find themselves contenders thanks to a strong defense and special teams, with Frank Gore being the centerpiece of an otherwise ordinary offense. Gore isn’t the biggest, strongest, quickest or fastest back in the league, but his patience and vision make him one of the NFL’s elite at the position, although his shelf life is on an egg timer…Cleveland has scored a total of three points in the first quarter this season…San Francisco completed a pass to both an offensive and defensive tackle Sunday…The Browns punted down 14 points on 4-and-2 from the 49ers’ 39-yard line…Rookie Aldon Smith’s seven sacks are tied for the sixth-most in the NFL, and he’s done so while only playing 232 snaps. For perspective, DeMarcus Ware has played 438 snaps this year.

This plane carrying 230 passengers had to land without any wheels.

I’m beginning to think Chad Ochocinco isn’t going to make an impact in New England…I wasn’t aware Kevin Faulk was alive, let alone still in the league. Dude is 35 and averaged 5.3 YPC against a defense that otherwise dominated in his first game since Week 2 in 2010…Patrick Chung is going to be an IDP stud…I like Antonio Brown, and it was great to see him get 15 looks, but his 4.5 yards-per-target mark left a whole lot to be desired. Still, he actually has six more targets than Mike Wallace this season…Rashard Mendenhall isn’t Chris Johnson status, but he’s not that far off when it comes to healthy busts this season.

Huge silicone breast saves woman from knife attack.

So that’s what the Eagles are capable of. I must say, I didn’t see that total annihilation coming…How does Laurent Robinson finish with more yards than Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten combined?…Don’t let the game situation fool you, DeMarco Murray impressed again. He really should be given the opportunity to act as the team’s lead back even after Felix Jones returns…The injury to Sean Lee could prove significant for the Cowboys…Especially for someone who doesn’t dominate goal-line carries, pretty remarkable LeSean McCoy has scored in every game this season. He’s on pace to finish with 23 touchdowns.

This guy was unhappy with how his toe to hand transplant surgery went.

This guy drove his Honda Accord one million miles.

Only the Chargers could lose a game in such a way. Maybe Philip Rivers had money on San Diego, because his fumbled snap was the best (only?) way they could cover the spread at that point…First, Kansas City made the mistake of not using its timeouts before the two minute warning when the Chargers were just running out the clock in the fourth quarter, then San Diego returned the favor by calling one when the Chiefs appeared content to just go into overtime, nearly giving KC the chance at a last second FG. A comedy of errors…Marcus McNeill committed six penalties and allowed a sack Monday – not his best game…Jonathan Baldwin looked pretty good, as he’s going to be a weapon with his size. Steve Breaston no longer looks usable in fantasy leagues…Ryan Mathews is not only in a terrific situation, but I maintain he’s a very good back in his own right. Having said that, he’s officially one of the more brittle players in football. I’m pretty discouraged at this point.

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