Like/Dislike: Don't trust Larry Donnell's advice

What we are talking about:

  • Philip Rivers

Fear the bolo. Fear it!

  • Kirk Cousins

Yeah, sit this one out please

  • Life hacks

You'll thank me later


And this goes beyond the fact he plays fantasy football. That's cool. But it's not 1998 anymore. Most younger dudes in the league grew up playing fantasy football as kids and it's as much ingrained in our culture as frapping. So let's get over ourselves a little bit and geek out every time an NFL player mentions fantasy football.

So you can imagine my admiration goes beyond the fact that he benched himself and lost because he started Vernon Davis instead. And yes, that started a bunch of hacky jokes from people, "Hey look, NFL stars are just like us." Or maybe, "How can we be blamed for benching Donnell when he benched himself?"

Please stop. JUST. STOP.

I found it refreshing that he benched himself. As somebody who has interviewed plenty of NFL players over the years, I tire of the bluster of these guys who think they're better than everybody in the league. Like seriously, you could ask the most mundane player in the league who the best person at his positon is, he would likely say, "Uh, myself."

Seriously, Eli Manning probably believes in his heart he's the best quarterback in his family. Well, he does have two Super Bowl rings, so he might have a point. Fine. Go ask Kyle Orton if he's the best quarterback in this league. See what he says. Ask him if he's starting himself in fantasy football this week. I would imagine he is. (And if he's reading this, dude, I'm in a super-deep league. Can you throw some to Robert Woods? Appreciate it.)

But enough with this. It's cool to sometimes admit somebody is better than you. There's nothing wrong with it. You can push your ego aside.

For instance, let's say there was a comedian fantasy league. And if I was playing in it, I would certainly draft myself. However, if I had just one spot open for a cynical, bald comic I would surely start Bill Burr at that spot. You know why? Because I'm (expletive) realistic. There might be a chance (not really) I would end up beating Burr in points, but it wouldn't matter because I would be on the bench. It's Bill mother bleeping Burr for crying out loud.

There's no shame in that. It's not that I don't believe in myself (well, I don't), but I can recognize there might be somebody in my profession who is a little bit better than I am. So why can't more football players do this? (I mean, it's the exact opposite of Hollywood starlets who never believe they're pretty. Like Zoe Saldana sits there in interviews and talks about how she was awkward when she was young, she never got dates and she's so unattractive. Which isn't true. Congratulations on the twins, by the way.)

NFL players don't do this. They all think they're the best at everything. It's annoying. Thankfully, Larry doesn't do this. He sees a guy like Vernon (expletive) Davis on his roster and he starts him. Which is a reasonable thing to do. So I'm not here to make fun of Donnell, I'm here to give him credit for realizing there are other guys out there who are pretty good at the position they play.

But seriously, Larry. You (expletive) up. You totally should have started yourself. The matchup was good, you get a ton of targets, but I have nothing but like for you, though.

Let's proceed in what our homepage editor Patrick Crawley called the best use of a soap box in world history. If you ever saw Patrick's name in this space and wondered who he acts like in the real world, he's a lot like the dude from "Undatable". No, not the cool guy; the other guy. Not in a bad way.

A big hand to stats mavens Bill "Sudsy" Sudell and Careen Falcone for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

Philip Rivers is the best quarterback in the league right now, and he's facing the Jets who have allowed the second-most points to QBs this year. Make up your own bolo tie joke here.

Russell Wilson is 3-0 on "Monday Night Football" with seven touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 121.6.

Colin Kaepernick has won 11 of 14 starts at home, and five of his last six against the AFC. I like him taking on the Chiefs who come off a huge win over the Patriots on Monday night.

Let's be honest. Eli Manning didn't look great in the preseason, or during the first two weeks of the season. Now he's been lights-out over the past few weeks. The Falcons allow a lot of fantasy points and haven't looked great on the road.

Ben Roethlisberger has passed for 651 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception in his last three against the Jags. This (expletive) is kind of meaningless. But he's playing at a high level right now.

Jay Cutler made a couple of mistakes against the Packers because he tried to force the ball too much. And watching Aaron Rodgers throw against the Bears D can inspire you that way. My guess is he's more restrained this week and picks apart the Panthers defense.

Although I do understand if you don't want to ride with Jay. Sorry, I have a soft spot for him.

Matthew Stafford showed that he didn't necessarily need Calvin Johnson to be effective (just on the field) to have a productive fantasy day.

I've worried about Tony Romo's back, but he's been very efficient and is a good start this week. My only fear is they have so much success on the ground; Romo's stats might be limited.

Joe Flacco is a fine start if you need a guy in a 12-team league. I have nothing bad to say.

Fantasy football life hack: If you have an elite quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, you don't need a guy like Russell Wilson on your bench. (Yes, your tweet made me write this.)

Image"Sons of Anarchy" SPOILER Holy shoot, what an intense episode on Tuesday night. Now it's obvious their member, Jury, ratted out SAMCRO to the Chinese. Which is why you never explain, in great detail, your plans to screw over somebody while you are actually screwing that person over, too.

ImageSTILL SPOILING The Sons are the dumbest smart guys on television. Very capable of hatching intricate schemes to kill federal agents and start gang wars. Yet, when some dude lobs a grenade into the ice cream shop, nobody says to themselves, maybe we should head over to Diosa to kind of make sure things were cool?

What do you do with LeSean McCoy? Trade him. To me. No, you play him. I understand things have looked bleak in recent weeks, but trust me, he'll be fine.

Zac Stacy was giving up more and more touches to the running backs behind him. But he still remains the go-to guy and the bruiser who gets the ball near the goal line.

Unless the Birds are going to my buddy, Marion Grice, our guy Andre Ellington should shoulder most of the work for Arizona. Even though the Broncos D is improved, I like him a lot.

Chris Ivory is the best running back for the Jets. Well, at least to those who have eyes. And him catching passes is a huge tipoff.

Dang it, Cleveland. If you really want us to like you, please play Isaiah Crowell. He's even looked better than my buddy Terrance West. And you know I love West!

Jamaal Charles was amazing on Monday night. I'm still skeptical of that line, and I'm really not sure what we're seeing from the Patriots right now. Let's see what he can do against the 49ers this week, who have allowed the second-fewest points to fantasy runners.

So now you're scratching your head, being all, so do I start Charles? Yes. You start him regardless of the matchup. Don't laugh, I had that question on Twitter.

You can't stop Frank Gore. If anybody is truly a Decepticon in the NFL, it just might be Gore. Every time we want to write him off, we can't do it. Still, keep Los Hyde on your bench.

Picking the right understudy is tricky, but I really believe in Jeremy Hill. He's just absorbed the Law Firm's 200 touches, and won't hurt Giovani Bernard.

Marshawn Lynch has been fine this year. But realize he did miss a half in one of the three games he's played this year. He is the perfect sell-high running back right now.

Ahmad Bradshaw has been the truth for the Colts. I'm not sure if you noticed this but when the Colts had put the game away, Bradshaw was removed from garbage time and the guy they traded a first-round pick for was on the field (and why his stat line looked decent.)

Welcome to the #DangerZone LeGarrette Blount. I know it's a huge risk to play a secondary running back because he might get some garbage-time points. But that's where we are.

Bishop Sankey is going to get more attempts this week. The matchup is good, too. Curious to see what he can do when it's not garbage time.

The Bills aren't a great matchup for running backs, but I would start Reggie Bush this week. Even if Joique Bell is able to go, I figure he would be limited.

ImageLife hack: If you're ever at a party where you don't want to hold a newborn baby, just dab a little habanero on your nose to get it running. The worried parent will think you're sick and avoid you at all cost.

The Ravens did put Jimmy Smith on Kelvin Benjamin on Sunday and it didn't matter. I've made him my flex starter in every league that I have him. He's like this year's Keenan Allen.

So if Allen's name is lit up here does that mean he's good to go? Yes, it certainly does. But what about Eddie Royal? I know he has a history of post-September failure. But when I watch the team right now, you can see Royal is wide open. More importantly, Rivers sees it too. To bench him because the numbers say he's going to decline is somewhat foolish.

If Percy Harvin doesn't do it this week against Washington, I don't know what to tell you. Other than I hope you didn't trade DeMarco Murray for him!

I'm not sure how many times we'll see Victor Cruz salsa, but he's still targeted a ton. The problem is the red-zone looks will go to Larry Donnell.

DeAndre Hopkins is the best receiver on the Texans. He's your must-start every week.

Emmanuel Sanders played better during the preseason when the Broncos had their full complement of receivers.

Vincent Jackson is a much better receiver with Glennon out there. I get Lovie Smith wanted to do his own thing with his own QB, but Glennon is much better for the fantasy value of the guys around him.

Brandin Cooks is due for a good game against the Bucs. Really like the matchup.

Steve Smith Sr. is the goods. I know we all waited for this game against the Panthers to play him and a lot of you want to sell high. But if you feel like his grudge-match was a one-week think, you need to look at Triple S's pedigree.

If Travis Kelce isn't claimed in your fantasy league by now, we can never be friends. I'm talking ever.

ImageKelce reminds me a lot of Dean Ambrose. He was the guy I felt was going to be the breakout star of The Shield. And he's proven that so far. I feel like we're going to find out that Roddy Piper is his grandfather and Brian Pillman is his dad. Ambrose is electric both inside and outside the ring. Likewise, Kelce has proven to be that guy we thought he was. At least so far.

ImageThe Chicago wrestling crowd worried me a little bit, because you would have thought it learned its lesson with the CM Punk chants. But "Thank you, Rollins" was a nice touch after he curb-stomped John Cena.

Rob Gronkowski's value would increase if the team went with Jimmy Garoppolo. I'm kidding, but just barely.

Antonio Gates is having some trouble with consistency because Rivers spreads the ball around. But I do have him one spot ahead of Jordan Cameron.

Heath Miller will be the No. 2 option for the Steelers this week, behind Antonio Brown.

ImageFor the record, Cameron admitted to me he's a fan of Kristen Stewart. It's true, go back to check the old DDFP stuff. Did you know Stewart was the androgynous kid from "Panic Room"? Learned that after James Koh penned his column which isn't published yet! I will give credit to Stewart for "Adventureland" which is one of my favorite movies. I mean, any movie to prominently feature the music of Lou Reed can't be bad. Plus her character Em was perfect for her (expletive) personality.

This is a huge week because Seabass is off and there is some trouble brewing with a favorite. So I'm looking at Robbie Gould as my guy this week.

ImageThanks for those of you who weighed into suggest some names for the column this week. I hope I covered most, if not all of them. One suggestion was "Ray Donovan". I can't comment because I've never seen it. Looks awesome. But with "Homeland" starting this week, I don't think it's going to happen. At least not in the short-term.

ImageWow, what a start to the baseball playoffs so far. As a team that has benefited from the wild card in the past, I'm now of the mind for the two teams with the best records to play in the World Series just like the old days. But it's cool. The playoffs should be fun. Oh, and go Angels! How much fun is it going to be to have Mike Trout in the playoffs!

Be good this weekend. And if you celebrate like Madison Bumgarner, please designate a driver.

And start Fred Jackson.

I'm happy our collective outrage is aimed at those who yell profanities at the crowd. In other words, the really (expletive) important stuff. Good news for Geno Smith!

Normally I would advise fantasy holders with Kirk Cousins to swig some hair of the dog after last week. But now you have the Seahawks coming off a bye. So, yeah.

Alex Smith was dang-near legendary against the Patriots on Monday night. That could have been Super Bowl XLVII, if Kyle Williams had been able to hold on to the ball.

I don't know if you caught this, but the Falcons started a tight end at tackle during their loss to the Vikings. At tackle. I'd like Matt Ryan a lot more if this was at home in Atlanta. But if you have another QB on your bench, I would go with him.

The game plan for Blake Bortles was just to the right of Sean Hanity in Week 4 against the Chargers. Expect the Jags to take the wraps off their prized rookie this week. I don't like him as a QB1 just yet, but he's a nice stash.

I will not answer your questions about Tom Brady. Because you really need to drop him from your fantasy team right now. The only reason you keep him and contemplate playing him is because of the name on his jersey. You need to stop that. It's not getting better.

I'd feel bad for Brady if it wasn't for the millions he's earned, the Super Bowl titles and Gisele.

Andy Dalton is one of those guys I'm not outwardly against. I like him as a starting quarterback in the league. I just see a lot of running happening from the Bengals this week.

Hey guys, I'm getting closer to playing Mike Glennon in some leagues. Remember our deal?

I'm not sure if Tim Tebow has ever cursed in his life. But you just know football's version of Ned Flanders came rootin' tootin' close after the news in Buffalo this week.

Is this thing with Kyle Orton really happening? I honestly can't believe it. I mean, is this going to make the Bills' shaky offensive line better? Probably not.

Kyle Orton looks like the guy who sat at the back of your math class, wearing a jean jacket with a white wool collar. And the only thing he would ever say while he was at the back of class was, "I will never need to know this (expletive)." Which is true because he will end up using the metric system almost exclusively.

ImageBig ups to one of my guys on Twitter (sorry dude, I lost the tweet) pointed out Orton looks just like Chibs from "Sons of Anarchy. Well played, young man. It was killing me because I knew he looked like somebody but couldn't think of it. I thought Johnny Depp and some others, but dang, it's Chibs. Especially with the hair style. It was driving me crazy.

I'm not terribly opposed to Darren Sproles this week. But where McCoy has earned our trust over the years, I'd practice a bit more caution with Sproles unless it's a PPR.

Benny Cunningham saw more action against the Cowboys in Week 3. It's really time to roster him. I wasn't impressed with his running, but he was getting opportunities.

One understudy I would really like, but can't is Antone Smith. He's too limited when it comes to standard leagues, but could be on your PPR radar.

C.J. Anderson must not practice well, because when I watch the Broncos I don't see a true RB1 in Montee Ball. This will not get easier for Ball this week against the Birds.

The moment, and I mean the (expletive moment) we drop Chris Johnson to the bench he has a great stat line. Don't believe it. Numbers lie.

Donald Brown has been crushing our fantasy teams. If this makes you feel any better, when I'm extremely bullish on a guy, realize I'm playing him in my important leagues. And I lost last week because Brown hasn't been able to get it going. I hate the matchup this week.

But isn't this the game where Brown will break out of his shell and just smoke the Jets? You look at the turmoil the Jets have faced, plus a trip to the West Coast.

I look at Stevan Ridley on my roster and think of the talent he has, but this team hasn't looked good at all. I'm not to the point where I drop Ridley, but I can't play him.

Whenever I watch Arian Foster, he always strikes me as a bright guy who is going to end up retiring early like Robert Smith did with the Vikings and go into TV.

If you have Lynch on your bench, I can't implore you enough to grab Robert Turbin on your roster. Lynch has already missed time with an injury and he's already had his bye.

ImageFantasy Football Life hack: It always seems fun to grab somebody's backup just to screw with them. But don't risk your roster's depth to do it. Then you're going to end up like Jax in "Sons of Anarchy."

The Lions have been tough on fantasy running backs, though a lot of that stems from Eddie Lacy not playing well against them. So I have C.J. Spiller a little lower than usual.

Speaking of busts from Alabama like Trent Richardson, what's up with Eddie Lacy? He finished with a fine fantasy stat line. But I watched every snap of that game and Lacy didn't look good. This would be the perfect time to try to deal him to somebody in your league.

The Browns need to take the Bernard Pierce approach with Ben Tate. Let the guys who are better at running the football, well, Run. The. Football. You'll thank me later.

What to do with Alfred Morris? I'd love to have him on most of my teams because I'm in deep (expletive). But if I had Arian Foster, for instance, I'd bench Morris for sure.

So Shonn Greene is now that dude who came over for your party, but won't leave now that you've cleaned up and want to go to bed.

Benjamin has replaced Cordarrelle Patterson on most of my teams. Sources told me Patterson doesn't know the playbook and they really can't give him the ball as much as they would like

Don't be so quick to dismiss Jarius Wright. He worked extensively with Teddy Bridgewater on the second team. More importantly Wright was getting open whereas CP was not.

I get it; Megatron was dookie last week. But to borrow a phrase from Aaron Rodgers, "chill the (expletive) out." Well, maybe that's not what he said. Give Mega another week before you come at me with the trade offers and stuff like that. I know it's been frustrating but he's been there for us. We owe him that much

Andre Johnson seems like his best football is behind him. It was easy for him to flourish with bad quarterbacks when he was a strapping young man (in football terms). Not now. And especially with somebody better than him on the other side.

I'm still not feeling Marques Colston or Kenny Stills. I can never start those guys.

I'm tired of the "X receiver doesn't need a good quarterback, look at Josh Gordon last year." It's just lazy and doesn't have much merit. Just look at Larry Fitzgerald during the Max Hall years.

Speaking of which, we could be headed that way once again as the prognosis for Carson Palmer isn't encouraging. So we could see some more Drew Stanton.

And Wes Welker has one of the best possible quarterback options, and I'm not in a place to fully commit to him. I need to see more.

Mohamed Sanu is one of my favorite dudes. He's that dude whose great at everything. He's probably a hoss at Beirut, too. But he could be taking a lesser role this week.

Pierre Garcon is one of my favorites, and Kirk Cousins seems to like him. But he's on my bench against Seattle.

Markus Wheaton was one of my sleepers headed into the season, but he hasn't done much with it. Great matchup this week, but he hasn't earned our trust. (Watch, this will be the week.)

ImageI did notice I spent most of Monday Night Raw fast forwarding through it. I stopped for Ambrose. I did watch the Intercontinental championship match, which was grand. But I ended up just going over to read the recaps and see if there's anything I need to really watch.

We saw some signs of life from Jason Witten. Which was great. But not enough. Great enough matchup last week, but this looks like a job for Williams now near the goal line.

Jordan Reed is getting close to returning soon. But really, I can't trust him once he returns.

Jared Cook has been a bust. Thankfully for St. Louis, Jeff Fisher doesn't have a link to Justin Hunter or else he would probably trade for him.

A lot of people believe the Patriots can win this week. Seriously? I get it; they have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick so things are great! Yeah, that's what everybody said when the Cowboys dynasty was in its final throes. The Cowboys still had Aikman, and Emmitt and Irvin! Nothing could go wrong. But it did. When you lose depth, you lose what makes you great.

Can you trust Stephen Gostkowski going forward? If this offense is going to continue to be as bad as it looked, I'm not sure we can trust him anymore. Which is troubling because he was probably auto-picked for your team.

ImageI know I mention this every year, but we can all agree college overtime is the absolute best. Plus, it would give all of the Peyton Manning defenders off our backs, because he wouldn't ever lose to a coin toss. That being said, could you imagine the fantasy football ramifications if a game went into three or four overtimes? It would be so rad. We need the college overtime for that reason alone.

ImageThank you again for all of the names you submitted. We didn't get a chance to mention Cam Newton previously. And he's a guy who I'm going to avoid until he's completely healthy. Speaking of which, how thankful is he this game isn't being played on the shoddy turf at Soldier Field?

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 270K followers, and Fabiano has 165K. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. And if you follow him on Sundays, he'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight.

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