One of the fun things about The Shop is that people are more than willing to dispense advice or opinions. At times, I’ve had to make sure all scissors are accounted for because things can get a little salty. But, along the way, you learn how to retain information from the great things the fellas say about a player or how they wish him death for ruining their teams.
Every owner in our league has his nugget of wisdom. I had to fact-check some of them, because, as much as I hate to admit it, a lot of my boys tend to run fast and loose with the facts.
As we hit the stretch run for the playoffs, here is a little tidbit of info-tainment that you should take to heart as you’re looking to lock down a division championship or a playoff spot. The numbers don’t lie. Here are the little insights into all 32 teams and the potential fantasy implications they may carry with them.
Arizona – For all his talent, Andre Ellington hasn’t hit 100 yards rushing all year.
Atlanta – Starting RB Steven Jackson has 60 or less yards rushing in nine of 10 games.
Baltimore – In his last four games, Steve Smith has 14 catches for 155 yards and no touchdowns.
Buffalo – For all his headlines and big days, in 10 games, Sammy Watkins has had 32 or fewer receiving yards in six of them.
Carolina – Cam Newton has accounted for one TD or less in six of 11 games.
Chicago – After scoring four TDs in his first three games, Martellus Bennett has just one in his last seven.
Cincinnati – In six home games, Andy Dalton has thrown just six TD passes.
Cleveland – Brian Hoyer has one TD pass or less in eight of 10 games.
Dallas – Dez Bryant has caught a touchdown pass in seven of 10 games.
Denver – In his first five games, Emmanuel Sanders had no touchdowns. In his last five games, he has scored seven times.
Detroit – Easily bruised Reggie Bush has 14 carries for 43 yards and eight receptions for 57 yards in the six games the Lions have played since September.
Green Bay – Randall Cobb has a touchdown, 100 receiving yards or both in nine of 10 games played this season.
Houston – In the eight games he has played, Arian Foster has topped 100 rushing yards in six of them.
Indianapolis – Trent Richardson has less the 50 yards rushing in seven of 10 games.
Jacksonville – In four games as a starter, Denard Robinson has 72 carries for 389 yards and four TDs.
Kansas City – Knile Davis has more 100-yard rush games (2) than Jamaal Charles (1).
Miami – Ryan Tannehill has at least on TD pass in every game and has two or more TD passes in five of the last seven.
Minnesota – Cordarrelle Patterson has less than 40 receiving yards in six of his last seven games.
New England – In his first four games, Tom Brady had four TD passes. In his last six games, he has thrown 20 TDs.
New Orleans – Drew Brees has more than two TD passes in just two games this year.
New York Giants – In his first three games, Odell Beckham caught 10 passes for 106 yards and three TDs. He hasn’t scored in the last three games, but has caught 21 passes for 359 yards.
New York Jets – Chris Johnson has had less than 35 yards rushing in six of his last nine games.
Oakland – Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have combined to score two touchdowns.
Philadelphia – Jeremy Maclin has at least one touchdown in seven of 10 games.
Pittsburgh – Antonio Brown has 90 or more yards in nine of 11 games – and 84 and 74 yards in the two that he didn’t.
San Diego – Philip Rivers has three TD passes in five of 10 games.
San Francisco – Colin Kaepernick has thrown at least one TD in every game, but has just one TD pass in seven of them and has no rushing TDs.
Seattle – Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch both has three 100-yard rushing games.
St. Louis – No Rams receiver has more than 25 receptions.
Tampa Bay – In his last three games, Mike Evans has caught 21 passes for 458 yards and five touchdowns.
Tennessee – Since Week 2, no Titans running back has rushed for more than 61 yards in a game.
Washington – DeSean Jackson is all or nothing. In his last nine games, he has 115 or more receiving yards in five of them. In the other four combined, he has 112 yards.
- Who knew J.J. Watt could be a fantasy stud. Against the Browns Sunday, he scored his fourth touchdown of the season – two on offense and two on defense.
- Once again we saw a change at the top of the AFC North. Cleveland had the lead for one week, which appears to be the limit in that crazy division.
- Since starting the season 1-2, the Packers have scored 38 or more points in five of their last seven games, including 108 points in their last two.
- Jonas Gray? Really?
- Why does everyone in the AFC North have a winning record? They’re 8-1-1 against the ratty NFC South.
THE RAZOR’S EDGE
10. Just Win, Eventually – Monday marked the one-year anniversary since the last time the Oakland Raiders won a game, winning 28-23 at Houston Nov. 17, 2013, beating up a hapless Texans team in the middle of a 14-game losing streak to end the season.
9. Change Your Name Out of Embarrassment – The Redskins had high hopes coming into the season, but, with the exception of a road win over Dallas, the only teams Washington had beaten this year were Jacksonville and Tennessee. Needing a win to remain relevant, not only did the Redskins lose, they got dominated by sketchy Tampa Bay by 20 points at home and RG3 was accused of throwing teammates under the bus. Get your scouts ready, Danny Boy. You’re going to have a high draft pick now that you’ve finally paid off the RG3 draft debacle.
8. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Indianapolis was holding out the best realistic hope to keep the Patriots from all but locking up home field advantage through the AFC playoffs, but, after being humbled by the Patriots, who ran the ball at will on them, not only have the Colts been exposed, but it gave New England a win in hand against all three of the division leaders. This could have been a statement came for the Colts. It was, but not the statement they wanted to make.
7. It Smells Like Thanksgiving – The Lions looked to have a horseshoe in their pocket the last three weeks, coming from behind to beat New Orleand and Atlanta by one point and Miami by three. With their history of collapsing late in the season, Sunday was a chance for Detroit to send a message that this is a different Lions team. Instead, they managed just six points and are now two games behind Arizona with a head to head loss in hand are tied with the hard-charging Packers. Seems like old times.
6. Return to Sender – The 49ers did everything to ruin their season with a road loss to the Giants. San Fran scored just one touchdown, but, thanks to a whopping five interceptions from a confused-looking Eli Manning – it’s becoming his signature look – the G-Men are dead in the water and Tom Couglin comes in from the cold tl sit on the hot seat.
5. Just Say Ga-No! – In the hideous NFC South, Carolina had a chance to keep itself in the thick of the race. Instead, kicker Graham Gano missed a 46-yard field goal with 1:30 to play. He got another chance to be the hero with a long bomb, but the kick was blocked and yet another NFC South team has shown not only doesn’t it want to win, a nine- or 10-loss team could win it all.
4. Endangered Species – The Eagles were ready to go into Green Bay and make a statement that they are the best team this side of Arizona in the NFC. With their blowout 53-20 loss to Green Bay, not only did the Eagles fall back into a tie with Dallas, but if they end up tied with Green Bay – whether as division champs or wild card – they will lose the tie-breaker. Why is that significant? It could be the difference between getting a first-round bye if they’re division champs or the one that doesn’t get the NFC South winner if they’re wild card.
3. Space Needle Pointing Downward – On a day when Alex Smith threw for kist 106 yards, Jamaal Charles throttled the Seahawks for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and Knile Davis ran in the game-winner, dropping the defending champs to 6-4 and all but assuring that the playoffs won’t go through the 12th Man – if Seattle makes the playoffs at all.
2. Who Dat (Rat Bastard in the Stands) – Prior to Sunday, nobody knew who Tony Williams was. After his shameful display at the Superdome in New Orleans, about the only thing uglier than the Saints defense was Williams’ behavior. If you haven’t seen it, when Jermaine Gresham scored a touchdown against the Saints, he spotted a young blonde in the stands with a Bengals jersey on. He attempted to flip her the ball, but Williams elbowed her out of the way and refused to give her the ball, even though it was clearly intended for her. Mutts like him should have their tickets revoked. It’s a good thing nobody from The Shop was sitting in the vicinity, because the girl would have got that ball and Williams’ nickname may have been Toothless Tony when all was said and done. You’re a real tough guy, playah.
1. Edward Jones Isn’t Peyton’s Place – A funny thing happened on the way to Denver running down the Patriots in the AFC. They ran into the Rams. The Broncos had crushed San Francisco and Arizona (the Cardinals’ only loss of the year) and forced overtime with Seattle before losing without touching the ball on offense. Yet the lowly Rams not only smacked Peyton Manning around, they hobbled Orange Julius and knocked out Manny Sanders. They gave everyone else in the league the blueprint who to beat up Denver and put a huge road block in front of them, essentially giving New England a two-game lead in the race for the top seed and instead of trying to run down the Patriots, now the Broncos are looking over their shoulder at the Chiefs.