Josh McCown Browns
Gail Burton/AP

Browns quarterback Josh McCown is being incredibly rude by playing well because there was no way to predict this—and other Week 5 fantasy happenings.

By Albro Lundy
October 13, 2015

Boy, Mike Tomlin is bold. It’s one thing to be the sole NFL team going for two-point conversions, but it’s something else entirely to call a shotgun wildcat with 5 seconds left down three. My GOD. Imagine playing poker with that man: he’d either clean you out, or, you know, lose his house. There’s no middle-ground scenario with Mike Tomlin. Mike Tomlin rocks. More coaches like Mike Tomlin, please.

Of course, had the play NOT worked, this week Tomlin would be a very plump, very figurative rotisserie chicken, slowly roasting to perfection over some scalding hot takes. But it’s like Harvey Dent said in that one Batman movie: you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a figurative rotisserie chicken.



Oh f--- you, Josh McCown. You can’t just DO that. You’re owned by 4% of ESPN fantasy owners. Throwing for 450 yards was a conscious decision you made, and you KNEW it would make us feel bad, and you did it anyway. You’re horrible. Real talk, though: Josh McCown has thrown for 340-plus yards and two TDs in three consecutive games, which is enough to make everyone THINK about picking him up, but not actually do it. One more week of this and everyone with Big Ben, Tony Romo, or Peyton Manning’s husk will slyly move to pick Josh McCown up, only to find that someone else did it first. Yay, fantasy football!

I’m putting some people in danger by saying this, but I’ll go on the record here: Andy Dalton is very good at football. In fact, he might even be ... elite. Eurgh. I now feel nauseous.

Fantasy Week 6 waiver wire: Options to help with loss of Jamaal Charles

BUT WHOA, HEY, SOMEONE SAID THE WORD “ELITE,” BETTER TALK ABOUT JOE FLACCO. How fun are the Ravens right now? Joe Flacco keeps trundling along, which, good for him, but the TEAM is 1-4 with all four losses coming by a combined 15 points. They’re not just bad; they’re agonizingly almost good. Every week! It’s perfect. I simultaneously love them and hope they go 1-15.

Speaking of agonizing, Carson Palmer has the second-most TDs and the fourth-most passing yards of any quarterback this season. He’s been a stud, which puts his impending injury somewhere around mid-November against either the Bengals or the Seahawks. If they win a few more games and get up to 7-1 or 7-2, that division is garbage enough that they should honestly bench Palmer until the playoffs. “Whoa,” you say, “that sounds hyperbolic at first, but when you then consider his history of injuries, it actually seems like a decent and well-informed idea!” I know. I’ve already emailed their front office. They can pay me in tacos.

Running back

JAMAAL CHARLES NOOOOOOO. You were so consistent! In a season where half the top running backs apparently died, you alone had to courage to show up adequately! RIP Jamaal Charles, a glorious intersection of positive preseason speculation and tangible fantasy output. Word on the street is that Charles tore his ACL, which tosses another consensus top-10 pick on the burning funeral pyre that is the 2015 fantasy season. Charles joins Andrew Luck, Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch, and Dez Bryant as Guys Who Effectively Ruined Everything. It’s been a rough season.

Devonta Freeman let everybody down this week, only running for one touchdown instead of three, finishing second in points among RBs for the week instead of first. Way to blow it, Devonta Freeman. If I seem unreasonably bitter about this guy’s incredible season, it’s because it means someone is having an amazing year riding his unexpected numbers, and that person isn’t me. Go away, Devonta Freeman.

Who finished ahead of Freeman, you ask? DOUG MARTIN! Who’s Doug Martin, you ask? According to stuff, he’s Tampa Bay’s running back. Also according to stuff, he probably won’t score three touchdowns in a game again this year. But stuff has been known to be wrong this year, which means Doug Martin could be anyone’s running back, or score any number of touchdowns. Trust no one.

Also Le’Veon Bell is back, I guess. People who drafted his suspended butt at the beginning of the season can finally breathe a sigh of relief, along with Chargers fans, who thought for a second that they might have a season filled with something other than the usual disappointment. Assured mediocrity is probably less stressful for them at this point. Final note on that game, I promise, but did you see how many Steelers fans were there last night? No wonder the Chargers want to move to LA. Way easier to overcharge Steelers fans there, presumably.

Wide receiver

Andre Johnson’s stats through four weeks: 7 receptions, 51 yards, 0 TDs.

Andre Johnson’s stats this week: 6 receptions, 77 yards, 2 TDs.

Turns out, the key was replacing superstar QB Andrew Luck with Matt Hasselbeck. Simple stuff, really, any knowledgeable fan should have known that. Ugh. Ban football.

Calvin Johnson plays for a team without a win and without a quarterback, so, you know, insert picture of Megatron rusty and broken here, or something. Larry Fitzgerald is making us all feel dumb for writing him off, as is Anquan Boldin, which is a fun flashback to when they once comprised the leagues’ most feared receiving duo.

Fact or Fiction: Assessing Mike Evans and Calvin Johnson’s slow starts

Ty Montgomery was great at Stanford, but I can’t tell if he’s really that good now or Aaron Rodgers is just that awesome. Aaron Rodgers probably could go to any team in the league right now and drag them to the playoffs. In fact, I think worries about the league’s lack of decent QBs might just be a symptom of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers sharing the same league for a while. They’d make ANYBODY look bad!

The Eagles wide receivers are still a fantasy black hole, by the way. I’m genuinely considering suing. JOSH HUFF had the most points of any receiver on the squad last night, and I’m pretty sure he’s less well-known that Doug Martin (who, you may recall, I riffed on earlier!). The Eagles are horrible. Their entire offense consists of:

1. Throwing to running backs out of the backfield.

2. Ticking me off.

I know I sound grumpy, but honestly I’m past caring at this point. Chip Kelly to Oregon.

Tight end

Tyler Eifert is apparently awesome. Bengals fans should enjoy the excitement surrounding this team, I think, because there’s just no way they’re winning the Super Bowl. Too orange. Orange teams have been having a rough time of it in the Super Bowl lately. That’s science.

This week's player who used to be good

Marques Colston. Remember when he lit the world on fire a few years ago? That fire is gone, replaced by the surety that if he stays healthy, he’ll make millions of dollars. Tough call, really. Good for you, Colston.

This week's player who is still good

What the HELL, Antonio Gates. You’re still ALIVE? Get out of there, dude. You’re ancient and scoring way too many touchdowns. You're quite an athlete. Did you ever play basketball or anything?

Person to whom you should creepily tweet a thank-you

The San Diego Chargers, for not only providing us with that marvelous choke job down the stretch, but for also providing us with this blessing of a tweet:

Mmmmm. Have a great week, everybody.

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)