OK, you guys have to help me out with something because I just don't get it. Why do I keep hearing about Lindsay Lohan? Now, correct me if I'm wrong but she hasn't done a thing of any real substance in close to 15 years, right? I mean, that's the truth, I'm not making it up.
Here is my problem: She isn't a star anymore. Doing nothing for 15 years besides drinking and getting arrested does not mean you get to be called a star. Do you know what that's called? Me when I was 22. You see my point? No one cares what happens to the kid who played Rodney Dangerfield's son in Back to School. You know why? Because besides being arguably the single worst actor of all-time, the guy isn't a star anymore. He made Back to School then he went away.
So tell me what the difference is between him and Lindsay Lohan? Let's look at the facts. Neither person can act. Neither has made a real movie in 15 years. Neither has any talent. So why do I see on Yahoo! every other day that Lohan is going back to jail and then she's getting released from jail? Who cares? She's a nobody.
Couldn't I argue that I'm more famous than her? Seriously, at least I've done something in this decade that doesn't involve drinking and acting like an idiot. Don't get me wrong, I've done that, too, but it's not all I've done.
Like I said, I don't get it. The girl isn't a star, she's a basket case. Can anyone tell me why I still hear about her? I really want to know.
I think the world is coming to an end. Maybe those 2012 doomsday nuts are on to something. Not only is a worthless loser all over the news for doing nothing more than what my biker neighbor does every Saturday night, which is getting hammered and arrested, but I now have close to 300 people following me on Twitter.
I always said if I could get 300 people to care about what I have to say and follow my every move, it would serve as surefire proof that the world is ending. Well, reserve your spot in one of those ridiculous Doomsday bunkers because the end is near. Way too many people care about worthless nobodies like Lindsay Lohan and Tom Casale. If that's not a sign the apocalypse is coming, I don't know what is.
You know, up until this year the proudest call of my career was saying Priest Holmes would be the NFL's total yardage leader in his first year with the Chiefs. That's really the prediction that first got me noticed. Now I think I'm even prouder of my Austin Collie call this summer.
When a lot of people were worried about there being too many receivers in Indianapolis, I predicted Collie would catch 80 balls and possibly be a better fantasy option than Pierre Garcon. After three games Collie isn't only a better fantasy option than Garcon, he's been a better fantasy option than Reggie Wayne, as well.
I was sure that Collie and Peyton Manning built a special chemistry toward the end of last year. When I drafted Collie in Round 8, I was laughed at by some people but I just had this strong feeling he was going to be a fantasy stud. I'm not always right but I've had some monster calls over the years that have helped a lot of people win fantasy titles. I have to say Collie now tops the list.
Just so you know, I can be found all over the place now. In case you haven't heard, the Sports Grumblings Live radio show is now on Sirius/XM every Saturday night from 8-11PM ET. I'm featured in the first and third hour. You can catch the show on Sirius channel 211 and XM channel 147. Check it out.
You can catch my comical musings on Twitter. If you want to follow my opinions daily during the season, this is a great place to get solid fantasy advice, not to mention a chance to get inside the cockeyed mind of Thomas Casale.
If you need "The Bottom Line" a little more in-depth and want to argue sports and life with me, then Facebook is a good option.
Now, on with the Fire Sale ...
Mike Wallace, WR Steelers -- Last week I posted on Facebook that with Big Ben coming back soon, it would be a great time to trade for Wallace. Well, if you took my advice, it paid off sooner than expected. If you didn't, it will be much more difficult to acquire Wallace now.
I loved Wallace coming into the year and actually drafted him. However, I dealt him in a package deal before the season. I wasn't happy about losing Wallace then and I'm even less happy about it now. I think when Roethlisberger comes back Wallace will be a borderline No. 1 fantasy receiver.
Hines Ward is still a serviceable player but his best days are behind him. Wallace is the reason Pittsburgh got rid of Santonio Holmes. Make no mistake about it, he's the Steelers No. 1 guy and Wallace's numbers are going to blow up when he has a real NFL quarterback throwing him the ball and not some old man signed off the street. Well, you saw what Wallace can do with the old man, so imagine what his numbers will be like with a Pro Bowl quarterback.
Like I said, last week was really the time to go after Wallace. However, if he has a poor game this Sunday against the Ravens, some owners may think Wallace's big game was an aberration. It wasn't. The bottom line is if you can still get him, do it.
Dez Bryant, WR Cowboys -- There aren't many times Jerry Jones and I see eye to eye. When the Cowboys traded up to get Bryant, it was one of those few times.
I actually thought when Bryant and Michael Crabtree were both in the Big 12 that Bryant was the better receiver. That's saying quite a bit because I love Crabtree. I remember when I first saw Bryant as a freshman at Oklahoma State I said to myself, "Who in the heck is this guy? He looks like Terrell Owens and he's 18 years old."
Last week I wrote that in Demaryius Thomas sometimes you just see a guy and know he's a stud. I've seen all I need to see out of Bryant. This kid is the 2010 version of Hakeem Nicks in my opinion. What I mean by that is Bryant will provide a lot of big plays as a rookie and next season, assuming there is one, Bryant will be a borderline No. 1 fantasy receiver.
I know a lot of people drafted Bryant a little high. You were right to do so. He missed most of training camp with an injury, so you can expect as the season goes on for Bryant to become even more involved in Dallas' offense. That is, unless Jason Garrett screws it up, which is a distinct possibility.
Brandon Lloyd, WR Broncos -- Lloyd is an interesting guy. Over his career Lloyd has made some of the most amazing one-handed catches I've ever seen but he always had trouble with consistency. He seems to have kicked that habit in Denver. Lloyd has been pretty solid all year and he's coming off a huge performance on Sunday, catching six passes for 169 yards and a score.
The Broncos can't run the football right now, and I know Josh McDaniels from my time in New England. When he can't run the football, he isn't going to waste his time trying. Instead, McDaniels will use a lot of short passes to replace the run. This means you can expect Denver receivers to all put up solid numbers most weeks in PPR leagues.
Lloyd is still available in a majority of leagues. He may not be a stud every single week but Lloyd is a guy that certainly deserves to be on a fantasy roster if you need help at receiver.
Peyton Hillis, RB Browns -- The date was Aug. 28 when I tweeted (Is that the proper way to say it?) that Hillis would be a big part of the Browns offense this year. I was watching Cleveland's preseason game with Detroit and I noticed how many times Jake Delhomme checked down to Hillis in the passing game. I also saw Hillis getting the goal-line carries.
Now, that was a pretty good observation. However, if you had told me a month later Hillis would go for 144 yards and a score against Baltimore, I would have laughed in your face, just like everyone else. Well, it's those who own Hillis that are laughing now.
Not only is Hillis a big part of the Browns offense as I suspected, he's Cleveland's main back and it's really not even close. Hillis catches passes, he's getting a nice amount of carries every week and he's clearly the man at the goal line. That sounds like a pretty good flex player to me.
I'm sure Hillis is still available in some leagues and that means he will be the hot waiver wire pickup this week. If you already own Hillis, don't be afraid to use him, especially in PPR leagues. Think of it this way; who would you rather start? Hillis or Marion Barber? I think the choice is pretty obvious.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB Patriots -- I think Bill Belichick would be the first to admit that he needs to upgrade his running back position this offseason. And in case you forgot, New England owns the Raiders first-round pick. Hello, Mark Ingram? Wow, that would be scary.
Laurence Maroney was a disaster and Kevin Faulk is out for the season. That leaves Green-Ellis, Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris. It's like I used to say about Maroney: If you can't beat out the likes of Taylor and Morris at this point in their careers, you are pretty much worthless. To Green-Ellis' credit, he's proving not to be worthless.
I was still working for the Pats during Green-Ellis' first training camp. We weren't quite sure what he would become but it looked as if Green-Ellis had a little something to offer. He may not be a superstar, and let's be honest -- the Patriots are primarily a passing team. However, Green-Ellis looks to be the most complete running back in New England right now and a guy Belichick is starting to trust more and more.
If you need running back help, you can do a lot worse than Green-Ellis. At the very least, he has a good chance of equaling Maroney's fantasy numbers from 2009.
David Carr, QB 49ers -- I said Carr would be the 49ers quarterback by October. The clock is ticking on Alex Smith. It's not all his fault but he does stink. Look for a quarterback change in San Fran soon.
Lance Moore, WR Saints/Roy Williams, WR Cowboys -- How could two guys who combined for 11 catches, 266 yards and four touchdowns last week both be going down? It's because I seriously doubt that either player will equal Sunday's performance again this year. If you started Moore or Williams, then great; if not then you missed out on the best they have to offer.
Let's take Moore first. I'm not saying you shouldn't own Moore or even start him every now and then. But this is the Saints were talking about. Trying to figure out which Saints receiver will have a big week is like trying to understand why Jack Del Rio is still a head coach in the NFL. It will drive you crazy.
Moore is a good spot starter, as is every Saints receiver outside of Marques Colston. I just don't see him putting up these kinds of numbers every week. This Sunday it could be Robert Meachem. A week later it could be Devery Henderson, and so on and so on. Just don't get delusional about Moore.
Now let's talk about Williams. I'm a Dallas fan and that's as good as it will ever get for Williams. Hey, who was that Texan who couldn't catch Williams? I have Tony Romo and I didn't think there was any way Williams was going to score on that play. I think I see why the Texans have problems in the secondary. Their players are slower than I am.
Williams is the Cowboys' fourth option in the passing game most weeks. Remember, Miles Austin had an uncharacteristically poor game on Sunday. You have Austin, who I think is one of the Top 3 receivers in the NFL. You have Bryant, who as I stated above is a flat-out stud. Then you have Jason Witten, who is Romo's favorite target. Add all that up and you are most likely looking at Williams' best fantasy day of the season.
Moore and Williams are worthy of being owned in most leagues but even after their big weeks, I don't see either player being anything more than fill-in starters for you the rest of the way.
Michael Crabtree, WR 49ers -- The 49ers have been arguably the biggest disappointment in the NFL after three weeks. In the world of fantasy football, that label might apply to Crabtree.
A lot of people thought Crabtree was going to be a strong WR2 this year after his promising rookie season but it just hasn't happened. The entire 49ers offense has struggled but even with Alex Smith being turnover-prone, he has thrown for some yards. Still, Crabtree has been on the receiving end of very few of those passes. It's not a good sign when you are the second best fantasy receiver on your own team behind Josh Morgan.
Like I said, a quarterback change looks imminent in San Francisco. If that's the case, perhaps it will ignite Crabtree. It's pretty obvious that he doesn't have a lot of chemistry right now with Smith.
Until things change, Crabtree isn't much more than a marginal fantasy starter at this point. Then again, besides Frank Gore, who on the 49ers offense is a reliable fantasy starter right now?
Steve Smith, WR Panthers -- Boy, you kind of have to feel bad for Smith, don't you? This Panthers offense is just atrocious.
Jimmy Clausen may be a player down the line but right now he's just a rookie trying to adjust to the NFL. That's not really going to help Smith owners very much. Actually, looking at this Carolina squad, there isn't anything that's going to help Smith owners in the near future.
It's a shame because I still think Smith is one of the best receivers in the NFL. He's basically Miles Austin without a quarterback. Can you imagine the kind of numbers Smith would put up if he played in New England or Indianapolis? It would be scary.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that if you own Larry Fitzgerald, you are pretty much stuck with him. Well, the same holds true for Smith. You really won't get anything in a trade, so that's basically futile.
If you have better options, I would advise probably leaving Smith on your bench against better defenses. I know that's tough to do but until the Panthers offense shows signs of life, Smith simply can't be counted on to be a consistent fantasy performer.
Mike Sims-Walker, WR Jaguars -- I just don't know how much longer the owner in Jacksonville is going to keep Del Rio as his coach and David Garrard as his quarterback. I understand no one cares about football in Jacksonville and there shouldn't even be an NFL team there, but as long as there is, at least try to win.
Can you remember a coach/quarterback combo this bad lasting so long together? I was trying to come up with one and I can't. I thought Del Rio was going to get fired two years ago. And how long do you need to watch Garrard stumbling and fumbling around before you realize he's not a starting quarterback in the NFL? It's absolutely mind-boggling.
Sims-Walker is a talented guy, but until the Jaguars decide they want a franchise NFL quarterback, and not someone that would fight for a starting job in the UFL, Sims-Walker is going to put up a lot of poor fantasy weeks. Let's put it this way: when Danny Woodhead scores more fantasy points than Sims-Walker has in two of three games, that's a concern.
Get ready for another year of a couple 20-point weeks from Sims-Walker but even more four point weeks. That's just the way it's going to be until Jacksonville gets serious about trying to field a winning team.
Brandon Jackson, RB Packers -- How about all those fantasy "experts" who told you to spend all of your free agent money and do anything you could to get Jackson? How do you like those guys now?
I was reading a couple of columns in which writers said they were right to tell you to spend all of your money on Jackson but also suggested to trade for him if you didn't get him off the waiver wire. Don't you love these egomaniacs? Instead of trying to help people and admitting they made a mistake, they stick to their guns and go down with the ship. That's really helpful. I find it embarrassing, to be honest.
Say what you want about me but the second I think I'm wrong about a call, I go on Twitter and everyplace else to tell you I made a mistake and help you rectify the situation. The day Ryan Grant went down I cautioned to be careful about Jackson. I said to get him but don't go nuts because Jackson is the epitome of average.
You see, what all these so-called experts forgot to tell you is that Jackson was an underachiever in college. Then he was vastly over-drafted by the Packers, who made every attempt to get him involved in the offense. First, they tried Jackson as the change-of-pace back and he failed miserably. Next, Green Bay tried Jackson out as a short-yardage back and once again he failed miserably. Finally, they realized Jackson's only strength was as a receiver, so they let him catch a few passes every year to justify drafting him in the second round.
I feel sorry for you that took the advice of these misinformed "experts". Hell, Jackson's own coach came out and said the guy couldn't handle more than 15 touches a game. That's pretty cut and dry.
If you start Jackson, expect average results. Then again, if you expected anything else, you obviously never saw the guy play. The bottom line is Jackson is who we thought he was; which is nothing more than a career backup.
People telling you Brandon Jackson will be a fantasy stud. That's like some blowhard saying Kevin Kolb will be a Top 7 fantasy quarterback. What kind of moron would do a thing like that?
Bruce Gradkowski, QB Raiders -- When Gradkowski was coming out of college I watched tape on him for Patriots.com and I liked him. He didn't do anything spectacular but Gradkowski plays with a kind of grit that I thought could make him a decent backup in the NFL. Gradkowski showed that moxie again last week in what should have been an Oakland win but the Raiders once again found a way to lose. This week Gradkowski gets the Texans and a secondary that's been lit up by every quarterback it's gone up against so far this year. Gradkowski could be good for 250 yards and a couple of scores on Sunday.
Chad Henne, QB Dolphins -- Have you gotten a look at that Patriots defense this year? It's dreadful. The Bills looked like the '99 Rams last week. Henne normally isn't a great starting option but he played well against the Jets and Miami knows they will need to score some points to keep up with the Pats. And with the way New England's pass defense is playing right now, Henne should have one of his best fantasy days of the season on Sunday.
Danny Amendola, WR Rams -- Amendola has 16 catches through three games, and, as I'm sure every announcer has pointed out by now, is "the Rams' version of Wes Welker." I've never seen receivers so wide open in the middle of a defense like I do when watching the Seahawks. Both the Broncos and Chargers had guys running wide open in the middle of Seattle's defense all game long. Amendola should have a field day out of the slot. He has six receptions in two of three games this year and Amendola caught seven balls the one time he faced Seattle. I expect similar results on Sunday.
James Jones, WR Packers -- Aaron Rodgers is going up against the Lions secondary. I really don't think I need to say anything more. Jones could go over 100 yards this week.
Bills defense -- My streak of strong Sneaky Start defenses to begin the season ended last week when Tampa Bay got routed by the Steelers. I guess I should have known the Bucs would get lit up by an old fourth-string quarterback signed off the street. This week I'm going out on a limb. I know Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense has looked good the past couple of weeks but I still see that group being inconsistent. The Bills defense played well in its one home game and I see them putting up another good performance this Sunday against the Jets. I think this will be a tight, low-scoring game with the Bills defense benefiting from a couple of turnovers.
Tom "The Bottom Line" Casale is a featured NFL writer at Sports Grumblings and a featured guest on the "Sports Grumblings Live!" radio show on Sirius Ch. 211 | XM Ch. 147 every Saturday night from 8-11PM ET. You can reach Tom with your questions, comments and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.