Fantasy Clicks: The Believers of Calvinism

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Recent Fantasy Clicks 12-02-09: The Believers Of Calvinism 11-30-09: Week 12 Revelations 11-27-09: Turkey Day Revelations 11-25-09: All Hail The Perfect Showdown 11-23-09: Week 11 Revelations 11-20-09: Thursday Night Revelations, Week 11 11-18-09: Trade Deadline Rules To Live By 11-16-09: Week 10 Revelations 11-13-09: Thursday Night Revelations, Week 10 11-11-09: The Ballad Of Alex Smith 11-09-09: Week 9 Revelations 11-06-09: The Daffy Dichotomy Of DeAngelo 11-04-09: A Pre-Flight Trade Checklist 11-02-09: Week 8 Revelations 10-30-09: Meet The Avoidables 10-28-09: Rodgers vs. Favre -- A Lambeau Reunion 10-26-09: Week 7 Revelations 10-23-09: Fright ... For Old D.C. 10-21-09: Shoot For The Moon With Brady 10-18-09: Week 6 Revelations 10-16-09: The Pittsburgh Shell Game 10-14-09: The Tailback Honeymoon's Over 9-28-09: Week 3 Revelations 9-25-09: LT -- An Age-Old Question 9-23-09: Don't Sweat The 0-2 Blues 9-21-09: Week 2 Revelations 9-18-09: Post-Week 1 Rules To Live By 9-16-09: Now What? Injury-Related Roster Changes 9-14-09: NFL Week 1 Revelations 9-11-09: Week 1 Revelations, Thursday Edition 9-09-09: Passing Fancy -- Week 1 QB Track Records 9-03-09: Fantasy Clicks -- Greatest Hits, Vol. I 9-02-09: Another Draft Log For Your Fantasy Fire 8-31-09: Cutler's Mile High Homecoming Revelations 8-28-09: What To Do With Michael Vick? 8-24-09: Meet Seattle 's New/Old Mr. Wonderful 8-21-09: The PPR Spectacular To End PPR Spectaculars 8-19-09: The Obligatory Favre-Unretirement Breakdown 8-17-09: How To Dominate Your Draft 8-14-09: Tom Terrfic, Thin 'Skins & A Vick Flick 8-12-09: 'Royal Pains' Has Moved To Tuesdays 8-10-09: Meet The Avoidables/HOF Revelations 8-07-09: Defending The (Seemingly) Indefensible 8-05-09: Welcome To The Hotel California 8-03-09: Houston , We Shouldn't Have A Problem 7-31-09: Meet The New Fantasy Four Horsemen 7-29-09: The Obligatory All-Favre Revelations 7-27-09: The Great American RB Race For No. 1 7-24-09: Buehrle's Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection 7-22-09: It's All About The Slot -- #9 7-20-09: Ian's Opening Salvo/Parting Shot 7-17-09: It's All About The Slot -- #6 7-15-09: MLB All-Star Game Revelations 7-13-09: Another Twin-Killing Under The Dome 7-10-09: The Giant Beast Walks Among Us 7-08-09: It's All About The Draft Slot: #1 7-06-09: Just Another Day At The Bronx Zoo 7-03-09: Meet Your Fantasyland All-Stars 7-01-09: Fitz & His Merry Men Of Angry Rushers

The Believers Of Calvinism

Calvin Johnson: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If you're ambivalent about starting Lions WR Calvin Johnson (41 catches, 607 yards, 3 TDs) down the stretch -- including this week's difficult matchup with the Bengals -- perhaps you should skip right ahead to the second mini-section ... while ignoring The Top 7 Reasons Why You Have No Choice But To Start Calvin In 12- or 14-Team Leagues:

1. Only Wes Welker boasts more per-game receiving targets (11.75) than Calvin (11.25) since Week 8. And yes, that includes bankable studs like Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Marshall and Miles Austin.

2. Even though Calvin is simultaneously battling ankle and knee injuries ... he has only failed to finish one game he started (Week 5 vs. Pittsburgh).

3. In the scope of alley-oop fade patterns, only Fitzgerald and Moss serve as better locks for short-range TDs through jump-ball passes.

4. Detroit QB Matthew Stafford has the potential for 3-4 touchdowns every game. Of course, he also possesses a similar capacity for throwing five picks at any time.

5. Calvin is averaging approximately 71 receiving yards per game. At the very least, he's a reasonable lock for seven points.

6. There's a reason WHY you devoted a high pick in Round 2 on Calvin ... wayyyyyy back in August. And can we all agree that he has a better quarterback this year (Stafford) than last (Daunte Culpepper/Dan Orlovsky/Drew Henson)?

7. The Lions other receivers (in no particular order) are: Bryant Johnson, Dennis Northcutt, John Standeford, Eric Fowler, Adam Jennings and Derrick Williams. Yikes!

QB Locks For 275 Yards and/or 3 TDs

1. Donovan McNabb @ Atlanta
2. Philip Rivers @ Cleveland
3. Matt Cassel vs. Denver
4. Matt Schaub @ Jacksonville
5. Carson Palmer vs. Detroit
6. Jay Cutler vs. St. Louis
7. Peyton Manning vs. Tennessee
8. Brett Favre @ Arizona
9. Tom Brady @ Miami

In Case You Care ...

For what it's worth ... Matt Leinart's greatest fantasy day as a pro occurred on Nov. 26, 2006 -- against Minnesota: 405 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs. As for the receivers, Larry Fitzgerald pulled down 11 catches for 172 yards and Anquan Boldin racked up nine catches for 140 yards and one TD.

Target Practice

A receiver is only as good as his quarterback ... and the number of opportunities he gets to make a catch (known as Targets -- an absolutely critical stat for PPR leagues). This underrated category is the best way to safeguard against one-hit wonders during a looooong fantasy season. To wit, presents a list of the 26 wideouts with at least 36 Targets since Week 8:

1. Reggie Wayne, Colts -- 57 Targets
2. Roddy White, Falcons -- 54 Targets
3. Brandon Marshall, Broncos -- 51 Targets
4. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals -- 50 Targets
5. Derrick Mason, Ravens -- 50
6. Wes Welker, Patriots -- 47
7. Devin Hester, Bears -- 45
8. Calvin Johnson, Lions -- 45
9. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks -- 44
10. Randy Moss, Patriots -- 44
11. Andre Johnson, Texans -- 43
12. Donald Driver, Packers -- 42
13. Pierre Garcon, Colts -- 42
14. Steve Smith, Giants -- 42
15. Greg Jennings, Packers -- 41
16. Steve Smith, Panthers -- 41
17. Santonio Holmes, Steelers -- 40
18. Nate Burleson, Seahawks -- 39
19. Hines Ward, Steelers -- 39
20. Miles Austin, Cowboys -- 38
21. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 38
22. Davone Bess, Dolphins -- 37
23. DeSean Jackson, Eagles -- 37
24. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles -- 37
25. Michael Jenkins, Falcons -- 36
26. Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars -- 36

It's Leftovers Wednesday!

Here are the 20 best available free agents for 12-team, standard-scoring leagues:

1. WR Kenny Britt, Titans
2. QB Vince Young, Titans
3. WR Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers
4. TE Dustin Keller, Jets
5. WR Pierre Garcon, Colts
6. RB Jerious Norwood, Falcons
7. QB Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
8. WR Kevin Walter, Texans
9. RB Michael Bush, Raiders
10. QB Alex Smith, 49ers
11. RB Derrick Ward, Buccaneers
12. D/ST San Diego Chargers
13. QB David Garrard, Jaguars
14. WR Robert Meachem, Saints
15. WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
16. WR Mike Thomas, Jaguars
17. RB Chris Jennings, Browns
18. QB Chad Henne, Dolphins
19. PK Matt Bryant, Falcons (so long, Jason Elam)
20. RB Maurice Morris, Lions

Always Back Up Your Work

For what it's worth ... here are the top 20 backup running backs in fantasyland right now. Obviously, Brian Westbrook and Clinton Portis would be fixtures on this list if reasonably healthy ... but we're not optimistic that either one will return to action in the next three weeks:

1. Beanie Wells, Cardinals
2. Bernard Scott/Larry Johnson, Bengals
3. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
4. Reggie Bush/Mike Bell, Saints
5. Chester Taylor, Vikings
6. Justin Fargas/Michael Bush, Raiders
7. Chad Simpson/Donald Brown, Colts
8. Felix Jones/Tashard Choice, Cowboys
9. Shonn Greene, Jets
10. Jerious Norwood/Jason Snelling, Falcons
11. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
12. Ryan Moats/Chris Brown, Texans
13. Darren Sproles, Chargers
14. Willie Parker, Steelers
15. Glen Coffee, 49ers
16. Lex Hilliard, Dolphins
17. Maurice Morris/Aaron Brown, Lions
18. Correll Buckhalter, Broncos
19. Willis McGahee/Le'Ron McClain, Ravens
20. Brandon Jackson, Packers

Welcome Back, Accuscore!

We channeled the lovable eggheads at AccuScore to solve a mini-crisis around the office these days: Who are the best five fantasy QBs down the stretch? ... prompting these computer findings (as simulated one billion times -- or something like that):

Passing Yards
1. Peyton Manning (1,444)
2. Matt Schaub (1,408)
3. Drew Brees (1,375)
4. Tom Brady (1,323)
5. Aaron Rodgers (1,297)

1. Drew Brees (10.65)
2. Brett Favre (10.12)
3. Peyton Manning (10.06)
4. Kurt Warner (9.62)
5. Philip Rivers (9.56)

Rushing Yards
1. Vince Young (124)
2. David Garrard (121)
3. Aaron Rodgers (106)
4. Josh Freeman (95)
5. Ryan Fitzpatrick (93)

For more amazing NFL-related information from Accuscore, simply click here or access the home page @ AccuScore for every other sport that doesn't involve zebras as officials, pigskin for balls or proverbial blind squirrels, like the Washington Redskins, who'll find one phantabulous nut from this wretched season on Sunday afternoon -- in the form of knocking off the 11-0 Saints. Ka-boom!

RB Locks -- 120 Total Yards and/or 2 TDs

1. Thomas Jones @ Buffalo (Toronto)
2. Frank Gore @ Seattle
3. Adrian Peterson @ Arizona
4. DeAngelo Williams vs. Tampa Bay
5. Justin Forsett vs. San Francisco
6. Cedric Benson vs. Detroit
7. Matt Forte vs. St. Louis
8. Rashard Mendenhall vs. Oakland
9. Chris Johnson @ Indianapolis
10. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Houston
11. Ray Rice @ Green Bay
12. Jamaal Charles vs. Denver
13. Fred Jackson vs. N.Y. Jets (Toronto)

Target Practice, Part II

One good turn deserves another. Here are the 22 RBs with 14 or more Targets since Week 8:
1. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 35
2. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 31
3. Justin Forsett, Seahawks -- 29
4. Matt Forte, Bears -- 29
5. Kevin Smith, Lions -- 26
6. Steven Jackson, Rams -- 25
7. Tim Hightower, Cardinals -- 24
8. Kevin Faulk, Patriots -- 22
9. Chris Johnson, Titans -- 21
10. Steve Slaton, Texans -- 21
11. Joseph Addai, Colts -- 20
12. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars -- 20
13. LeSean McCoy, Eagles -- 19
14. Darren Sproles, Chargers -- 18
15. Pierre Thomas, Saints -- 18
16. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs -- 17
17. Fred Jackson, Bills -- 15
18. Correll Buckhalter, Broncos -- 14
19. Reggie Bush, Saints -- 14
20. Rock Cartwright, Redskins -- 14
21. Adrian Peterson, Vikings -- 14
22. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers -- 14

I Tweet, Therefore I Am

Vincent Jackson: Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

@JankePolitics asks: Do I stick with slumping Vincent Jackson or start Steve Smith (NYG) or Michael Crabtree? I've got Terrell Owens as my No. 1 wide receiver right now.

Answer: Janke, before I answer this query, what's with the Twitter code name? Are you a maaaaaaaayor (like Goldie Wilson of Back To The Future fame)? Or just a guy who loves the shaking-hands and kissing-babies world of politics? Anyway ... V-Jax has certainly hit a minor rough patch of late (only 6.4 targets per game since Week 8), but it's certainly nothing that should impede him from dominating in the very-near future -- perhaps against Cleveland for Week 13. So, even though I like Smith in a PPR league and Crabtree as a potential 140-yard guy at any point this season, the prudent move is T.O./Jackson for a crucial pre-playoff week..

@MJShupe78 wonders: I need to pick three running backs in a PPR league -- Matt Forte, Justin Forsett, Jamaal Charles, Pierre Thomas ... or do I just take two and use WR Miles Austin as the flex starter? And what about quarterback -- do I go with Carson Palmer or Alex Smith?

Answer: Wow! You have four solid choices at running back, so strong that I would seriously consider benching Austin against a top-rated pass defense like the Giants. In fact, as I really, really ponder this query, I'm inclined to say Charles (vs. Denver), Forsett (vs. San Francisco) and Forte (vs. St. Louis) are all safe bets for 110 yards and/or 1-2 TDs at home in Week 13. Yes, I realize that I'm playing with house money here -- since you're the one who has to live/die by the starting choices -- but I'm going with three stud running backs and not looking back. Perhaps I would be feeling different about Austin if he hadn't just come out of a three-week tailspin. And maybe I should be more keen on Thomas against the Redskins. But I'm sticking to my guns here ... the question is, Will you? Please write back and tell me how it ends. Oh, one more thing, let's go with Palmer over Alex Smith. Thanks!

@airT08 wants to know: Should I start Lee Evans at home against the Jets or Kevin Walter against the Jaguars? Plus, do I go with the Jets or Seahawks on defense?

Answer: Air, as a regular Twitter follower, I am surprised by your defense/special teams question. However, I will give you major props for squeezing it in at the end of a legitimate query. So, no worries! OK, a little part of me wants to go with Lee Evans -- since Darrelle Revis will most likely guard T.O.. However, it's hard to ignore Walter's accomplishments (16 catches for 186 yards in his last three games) with the Texans since Owen Daniels was lost for the season, due to injury. With that said, I choose to ride Evans in Toronto for Week 13. As for the defense ... let's go with Seattle against San Francisco.

@rssp55 poses this question: So Jay, who are the best waiver-wire pickups this week?

Answer: In 10- or 12-team leagues, I don't see anyone who is an absolute lock for a starter this week. But I am particularly tracking Antonio Bryant, Kenny Britt, Antonio Bryant at wide receiver, Jerious Norwood at running back and Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman or Matt Leinart at quarterback -- just in case Kurt Warner's injury woes force him to miss the Cardinals' cake playoff sked (San Francisco, Detroit, St. Louis). But to be honest, the line of prioritization is kind of blurry.

America's Top 10

It's foolish to guarantee 100 yards and/or one touchdown with tight ends -- since their stats, stars included, tend to fluctuate wildly from week to week. Instead, here's our top 10 most productive tight ends for Week 13:

1. Tony Gonzalez vs. Philadelphia
2. Dallas Clark vs. Tennessee
3. Greg Olsen vs. St. Louis
4. Vernon Davis @ Seattle
5. Antonio Gates @ Cleveland
6. Kevin Boss vs. Dallas
7. Dustin Keller @ Buffalo (Toronto)
8. Visanthe Shiancoe @ Arizona
9. John Carlson vs. San Francisco
10. Brent Celek @ Atlanta

Digital Underground

Mainstream fantasy sites, like, are obviously a hit with fantasygoers. But there's always room for alternative media in the marketplace, especially when the authors are hilariously shouting from the rooftops about why Darren McFadden should never run more fly patterns than Darrius Heyward-Bey from the 'X' wide receiver slot ... OR how Jaguars QB David Garrard cannot find the end zone at least once on a 307-yard passing day?

The first must-see blog is; and the site's signature page involves Snake's Takes (running every Tuesday) -- comprising a collection of unfiltered thoughts so random, so emotional, so bitter, so twisted ... you'll wonder how the man even survives an NFL Sunday, let alone write about it come Monday.

Next up ... Fantasy Football Toolbox. If you're looking for updated depth charts, weekly cheat sheets, injury reports and even -- sacre bleu! -- an updated listing of the NFL's Top 10 punters (insert joke here) ... then welcome home!

There's even a weekly podcast during the season -- although the Clemons/Ritter podcast offers more hard-hitting fantasy analysis and abject mocking of one another's lineup decisions.

WR Locks -- 110 Total Yards and/or 1 TD

1. Randy Moss @ Miami
2. Vincent Jackson @ Cleveland
3. Anquan Boldin vs. Minnesota
4. Sidney Rice @ Arizona
5. Chad Ochocinco vs. Detroit
6. Larry Fitzgerald vs. Minnesota
7. Andre Johnson @ Jacksonville
8. Mike Sims-Walker vs. Houston
9. Chris Chambers vs. Denver
10. Mario Manningham vs. Dallas
11. Jeremy Maclin @ Atlanta
12. Reggie Wayne vs. Tennessee

The Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection

In case you're scoring at home, here's my perfect lineup for Week 13:
QB Donovan McNabb
RB DeAngelo Williams
RB Chris Johnson
WR Sidney Rice
WR Randy Moss
RB/WR Maurice Jones-Drew
TE Tony Gonzalez
PK Rob Bironas
D/ST San Diego Chargers (simply follow the strench-trail that is the Lions, Rams, Bucs or -- in this case -- Browns)

Decade Of Decadence: Quarterbacks

Can you believe how fast this decade has come and gone? Geez, it seems like yesterday that I was sitting in an East Lansing, Mich. bar (home of Michigan State University) celebrating the last night of the 20th Century -- Dec. 31, 1999 -- with hundreds of people wearing T-shirts like I Believe In Y2K, This Internet Thing's Just A Fad ... or the MSU-specific, Who Needs Nick Saban? We Have Bobby Williams! (deep sigh)

In terms of fantasy football, though, we couldn't have asked for a better 10-year run with quarterbacks -- from Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning to Tom Brady and Drew Brees. In fact, perhaps now would be the perfect time to put the current decade in better perspective ... while listing the "Best Single Seasons of Fantasy QBs from 2000-2009":

1. Tom Brady -- 4,806 passing yards, 50 TDs, 8 INTs (2007)
2. Peyton Manning -- 4,557 passing yards, 49 TDs, 10 INTs (2004)
3. Daunte Culpepper -- 4,717 passing yards, 39 TDs, 11 INTs (2004)
4. Drew Brees -- 5,069 passing yards, 34 TDs, 17 INTs (2008)
5. Peyton Manning -- 4,413 passing yards, 33 TDs, 15 INTs (2000)
6. Philip Rivers -- 4,099 passing yards, 34 TDs, 11 INTs (2008)
7. Kurt Warner -- 4,830 passing yards, 36 TDs, 22 INTs (2001)
8. Daunte Culpepper -- 3,937 passing yards, 33 TDs, 16 INTs (2000)
9. Rich Gannon -- 4,689 yards, 26 TDs, 10 INTs (2002)
10. Peyton Manning -- 4,397 passing yards, 31 TDs, 9 INTs (2006)
11. Kurt Warner -- 4,583 passing yards, 30 TDs, 14 INTs (2008)
12. Trent Green -- 4,591 passing yards, 27 TDs, 17 INTs (2004)
13. Peyton Manning -- 4,267 passing yards, 29 TDs, 10 INTs (2003)
14. Brett Favre -- 4,088 passing yards, 30 TDs, 17 INTs (2004)
15. Donovan McNabb -- 3,875 passing yards, 31 TDs, 8 INTs (2004)
16. Drew Brees -- 4,423 passing yards, 28 TDs, 18 INTs (2007)
17. Aaron Rodgers -- 4,038 passing yards, 28 TDs, 13 INTs (2008)
18. Carson Palmer -- 3,836 passing yards, 32 TDs, 12 INTs (2005)
19. Drew Brees -- 4,418 passing yards, 26 TDs, 11 INTs (2006)
20. Marc Bulger -- 4,301 passing yards, 24 TDs, 8 INTs (2006)

In Case You Care, Part II

Normally in this spot for Wednesday's Clicks, I give a sterling review of the previous week's episode of The League -- perhaps the greatest new show on TV (after Modern Family) -- and easily the greatest new show singularly devoted to fantasy football ... and the men/women whose lives are ruined by it (but in a good way). In its stead, here's an update of the fabled & Friends fantasy football league (16 teams) ... as we enter the final week of the regular season (playoffs -- three total weeks, eight teams qualify):

Divsion Leaders
1. Suburban Homeboys (8-4) -- Brandon Marcus
2. Cougar Bait (7-5) -- Jeff Ritter
3. Run MJD (6-4-2) -- David Komer
4. Birds Of War (6-5-1) -- Bobby Kight

If The Playoffs Started Today ...
1 Suburban Homeboys
8 Vicious Vigorish (George Sipple -- last year's champion ... also from the 8 spot)

4 Birds Of War
5 Ray Ray & Them (Charlie Kight)

3 Run MJD
6 Lamborghini Living (Jon Machota)

2 Cougar Bait
7 Grogan's Heroes (Lonny Kransow)

You may have noticed that my team, Count Chocula's Henchmen, is nowhere to be found on the above playoff listing. However, even at 6-6, I have the extreme fortune of facing Kight's Birds of War (6-5-1) in Week 13 ... which means we have a winner-takes-all scenario amongst the Norris Division leaders (old hockey reference wasted on young viewers). Komer's Run MJD could easily blow his division lead, as well, since he's in a virtual tie with Ray Ray & Them (Charlie Kight) and has a one-game lead over Lonny Krasnow's Grogan's Heroes.

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