What we are talking about:
Time to panic?
The "Doyle" Rule
Start Zach Miller
Oh man, it feels so good to get Bell into the lineup. Some might even say it's (wait for it) glorious! And to take that one step further, it would be pretty awesome if Bell mimicked Bobby Roode's entrance from NXT Takeover: Brooklynn II.
DeAngelo Williams is a huge wrestling fan; I hope he can make that happen on Sunday night. It would be much better than the song NBC uses now. That's a prime example of trying to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed. The "Sunday Night Football" song was fine. You didn't need to tweak it. But that's what the NFL does, takes things that you already like and changes them. Don't believe me, then just look at the catch rule. Boom. Roasted.
But we've veered off point.
This is the week that many of us have waited for. It feels similar to the way you would pine for Spring Break in college. Only this time, you don't have to pile up with nine of your friends in a divey hotel room on the banks of the Colorado river that smelled like a bad combination of Copenhagen, Miller High Life and Axe body spray (while you wondered why you just didn't go out to Las Vegas like a real person).
I do remember how tough it has been to hold a spot for Bell these past three weeks. Especially since most of my leagues don't have the roster exemption spot. But it seems worth it now. Especially in those leagues where I have gotten off to a slow start. It's like crap, I'm already 1-2, how much worse could I have been with Bell on my roster? It's like, I'm so glad I burned a roster spot for Lamar Miller. That's working out great.
Though in fairness to me, the only league where we have an exempt spot is the NFL Fantasy League. I would have considered Bell if he had fallen to me in the second round. MJD took him. Smart pick by him. But that league is garbage to me unless Dwayne Washington is as great as I hope he is. I feel like President Whitmore in "Independence Day" (that's right, I like old movies, sue me) where he tells David that the world hopes he's as smart as everybody thinks he is. (But I have confidence in Washington and the Lions. Jim Bob Cooter is the best!)
So he's back and I'm looking forward to what the future has in store, instead of playing for next year. Like the Los Angeles Angels. Speaking of which. I have a friend who has season tickets who still to this day offers to sell me tickets. SELL ME TICKETS. The year is over, brah. You can just let those go for free. You're not getting that money back.
And without further ado ...
The Falcons offense looks great and leads the NFL in scoring (34.7 PPG) and total offense (448.0 YPG). Matt Ryan's 119.0 passer rating is the highest in the NFL. I can't wait for Kyle Shanahan to be the coach of the Chicago Bears next year.
Trevor Siemian has a passer rating of 79.3 in the first three quarters. He has a passer rating of 146.9 (best in the NFL) in the fourth. So he's like the exact opposite of Peyton Manning.
Joe Flacco has scored at least 20 fantasy points in six of his last nine games. He's just as good after his wife gives birth. And it's his fourth kid, he's got this no doubt.
Andrew Luck has crushed the AFC South during his career. He's 14-0 with a 28-to-eight TD-to-INT ratio in those games. I can't wait to get up early on Sunday to watch this game. You East Coast people will get a nice glimpse of what we get out here on the football weekends. It's the best. I don't know how you wait around for games on Saturday and Sunday.
Marcus Mariota has performed much better on the roadies during his NFL career. He has 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions on the road. Houston might not be a bad matchup for him.
One thing you really have to like about Kirk Cousins, or maybe hate about him, is that he squashes the jobbers of the NFL.
Image Anybody watching "The Good Place" on NBC? I'll be honest, I love Ted Danson. I watched "CSI Cyber" for (expletive) sake. This show is pretty clever and is kind of fun to watch. I always need to find one of those half hour shows to watch with my wife because the baby doesn't always allow you to devote a full 44 minutes to TV. And sometimes you can only watch so many reruns of "Impractical Jokers" right? Although, I love the "Inside Jokes" episodes and would watch a full show of what happens when they try to get the release forms signed by people who appear on the show.
Isaiah Crowell is tied for second in the NFL with 274 rushing yards. He's tied with Ezekiel Elliott. I'm sure both of them were drafted around the same time in your leagues.
Kudos to our own Matt Harmon for pointing this out; But this might be the first o-line "Revenge Game" in history. Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele is still hurt about the Ravens, so start Latavius Murray?
The Bucs held Todd Gurley in check, sort of. They do have that funnel defense. But if Siemian can stretch the field enough this week with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, that could open things up for C.J. Anderson.
LeGarrette Blount is in store for a huge game against the Bills. The game script will no doubt feature a heavy rushing attack. But once he crushes the Bills, it's time to flip him.
Even with Jamaal Charles on the cusp of a return, Spencer Ware is still my dude. He's the goal-line back, no doubt. But he's been too good to get off the field. Even for Andy Reid.
Jordan Howard and Dwayne Washington are both great starts this week in that Bears vs. Lions game. I just realized I'm starting a minimum of three Lions on the majority of my teams.
The Broncos D has crushed quarterbacks. The defense is 23rd against the run. So you can start Charles Sims. He also has a safe floor with dump-off receptions. The key is volume. Which is why you start him and Jordan Howard of the Bears.
Image I know I will repeat myself here, but make sure you catch "Talking Smack" on the WWE Network. Wrestling promos are better when there is believability behind them. This is why CM Punk's pipe bomb worked. John Cena being a condescending (expletive) to Dean Ambrose makes Cena a better character than TV-G Cena you get on regular "SmackDown Live." It's the difference between watching "Wedding Crashers" on HBO or TNT. And this John Cena is almost the kind of Cena I can get behind. Almost.
Antonio Brown has 25 receiving touchdowns since 2014. The Chiefs wide receivers have combined for 14 over the same time span. But seriously AB, we need to pick up the pace for #AB20.
Odell Beckham Jr. lost the battle of public perception after he scrapped with a kicker's net. He's still the most targeted Giants receiver, and also the yardage leader. He'll get in the end zone.
Stefon Diggs has less targets than OBJ, but he's hauled in more receptions and more receiving yards this season. He's also scored a touchdown. Which is something OBJ needs to do.
DeAndre Hopkins has fewer than 60 receiving yards in two of three games this year, but don't trip about that. In fact, use this time to try to pry him from one of your fellow enthusiasts.
Cam Newton has a passer rating of 109.7 when he targets Kelvin Benjamin. It's 68.5 when he doesn't. So how about more of going after KB this week? That would be cool.
Larry Fitzgerald has 153 receptions and 16 touchdowns in 24 career games against the Rams. I'm not sure that means much more than impressing your friends on Sunday, but there you go.
Terrelle Pryor was the hot add this week from the Browns. And bless his heart for still believing his Browns can run the table. I don't want anybody to take this away from him. Not even you, DeAngelo Williams. (We still like DeAngelo this week, too.)
I feel like I'm in the minority in liking Tyrell Williams as much, if not more, than Travis Benjamin. Williams out-snapped Benjamin and he's Rivers' go-to guy in the red zone.
Marvin Jones leads the NFL with 408 receiving yards. He's got the Bears this week. I know some fear a blowout and lack of passing options for the Lions. But he's still the team's target leader.
Image The Ryder Cup might be my favorite sporting event, outside of football of course. And March Madness. And MLB's Opening Day. But it's solidly in the top five. I would actually schedule a March Madness-like weekend in Las Vegas with my friends if it wasn't football season and I had to work. As it were, we've got a sitter for the baby and we're going to go out and watch all day on Saturday (along with college football). I feel like this should be on my bucket-list of things to attend.
There are a lot of Dennis Pitta or Kyle Rudolph questions this week. Obviously both are great. I like Pitta because he's the only consistent receiving threat for the Ravens. And the Raiders give up an average of 10 points to tight ends.
The Lions have allowed the most points to tight ends this season. We call this the Doyle rules. We were right about the Packers tight ends last week, just wrong about the actual tight end. So start Zach Miller. The Bears might lead the league in number of viable players available for an 0-3 team.
Image I missed out on Stephen Gostkowski in one of my leagues this year. It was a sad moment. Then I picked him up on the waiver wire this week. Glorious. It's been a big week for me.
Carson Palmer had four interceptions against the Bills after he did not have a giveaway in either of the first two games of the season. He had six turnovers in the NFC Championship Game.
All of Palmer's four interceptions came on throws of more than 10 yards downfield. A stark contrast from the way he handled the rock last year. I'm willing to give Palmer another week (maybe) but the warning signs are there. My hope is he has a great game. Perhaps I can flip him for another quarterback. My gut says he ends up being waiver wire fodder this week.
Jameis Winston had a little bit of a brain cramp during the final drive against your Los Angeles Rams. I really thought he would pull it out. But he's got the Broncos this week who have owned some of the greats dating back to last year. I'm going to go ahead and pass and get the other quarterback in this matchup.
The Vikings defense is the truth. You don't want to start quarterbacks against them, as Cam Newton showed last week. Eli Manning has been sub-15 points in his last two games.
Dak Prescott has been really impressive, and has yet to throw an interception. But going on the road, possibly without Dez Bryant, will mean a bigger concentration on the running game.
My hope is Ryan Fitzpatrick will target his own guys as much as the opposing team this week. But he's got the Seahawks, so I'm not sure it's likely.
Blake Bortles has yet to hit the stride where he's racking up the fantasy points in come-from-behind games. Good matchup against the Colts this week, but I fear the interceptions will make his point totals more middling than anything else.
Image I really enjoyed "Clash of Champions" on the WWE Network. The WWE has shown it can make a compelling PPV with thin rosters. But it's starting to get a little bare in the weekly shows. And I really hate the way they make champions look. Why is Kevin Owens taking loses? He's a competent wrestler. He doesn't need to have Chris Jericho at his side to make sure he gets the win. Owens would be the biggest heel of the decade if he was a (expletive) talker but was also really, really good at wrestling. But I will say, him calling out Seth Rollins for crushing John Cena, Sting and Finn Balor was pretty great. He's still my dude.
I really wanted Duke Johnson to be a thing this year. He showed some signs of life against the Dolphins, but has yet to have his breakout game. Bench, but don't cut him.
The Ravens backfield is such a mess right now; nobody has been able to take the ball. That's why the Kenneth Dixon hype train started to pick up steam this week. I'm going to pencil him in for Week 5. Add him right now.
I can't break the streak for Melvin Gordon holders. Three times in this ledger, three great weeks. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season.
The Titans have been pretty good against the run this season. Lamar Miller has been a huge disappointment. I'm by no means benching him. But it just sucks seeing his name in the lineup every week. I swear, picking him in the NFL Fantasy League was the worst decision I made and it's going to cost me this year.
The Vikings running backs have split time, and they haven't done much with it when they do get the chance. I wouldn't want to start either guy.
Ryan Mathews is somebody you might want to look to move, if you can. Wendell Smallwood is behind him. I have to believe he becomes the go-to guy at some point this season. Probably of Mathews' own doing.
The Bears are 0-3 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997 and 1998. They are 1-8 at home under John Fox, and in danger of losing their seventh-consecutive game to the Lions. Detroit has never defeated the Bears in seven-straight games dating back to the beginning of their rivalry in the 1930s.
I joked about Kyle Shanahan earlier, but I really wasn't joking. This has to be it for Fox. Dump Cutler and his salary. He's owed a $2.5 million roster bonus next year. That has to go. The new NFL model is going to be cheap quarterbacks with money spread around. Rookie quarterbacks are 6-2 this year. It's not going to happen every year. And it will get worse when the Rams start their rookie. But it's the way it works now.
Oh my God, I just had a crazy thought. What if Palmer continued to struggle for the Birds? Could we see a mid-season trade where the Bears dealt Cutler to Arizona for the stretch run? I have no idea if that could even work with the salary cap. But the NFL needs this kind of crazy trade. Maybe it's Bruce Arians who could finally get the most out of Cutler. These are the kind of fantasies Bears fans have started to entertain.
I see Golden Tate has been dropped by a lot of folks. But I thought he played so well when Calvin Johnson was out of the lineup the last two year? Sorry to see the last of the truthers fold.
Be careful if you picked up Quincy Enunwa in recent weeks. He's been heavily involved in the passing game. But the team did add Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Let's see how this impacts the offense. Of course, if Eric Decker is out, then this point might be moot.
I was really sad to see the Los Angeles Rams went with the St. Louis blue uniforms in Tampa Bay. I guess it's not as egregious to do it on the road. And I hate to be the guy who still harps on this (but not enough to keep me from actually harping on this), but you can't do that at home. Wear your Color Rush uniforms when you have to. (Didn't care for the Dolphins uniforms this week.) Don't wear St. Louis colors in the Coliseum. It's bad form and disrespectful to the Rams fans in Los Angeles.
I would like to echo the sentiments of my esteemed colleague Matt "The Franchise" Franciscovich who made a compelling argument about trading Todd Gurley right now while his value is high. I like that. The Rams benefited from a blown coverage and a few missed-tackles to open up the offense. If the Bucs play even average defense, we're looking at another single-digit performance from Gurley. Now you can easily go, 'points are points,' shrug emoji, and go along with your day. But don't say we didn't warn you.
Rex Ryan called into Julian Edelman's press conference to ask if he was going to play quarterback. That's hilarious. Rex is the kind of guy you root for to win. Kind of like the way I would root for him if he was on "Jeopardy!" I feel he's equally out-matched this week, too.
Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to NFL.com/fantasyandfriends. Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.