Where did you draft Arian Foster this year? How about Peyton Hillis? If you did ...
Bears QB Jay Cutler can be amazingly frustrating to watch, let alone to have on your fantasy squad. The Bears are winning with him, but sometimes in spite of him. His performance in a key game against the Eagles showcased all the things he can do and why many think he's the next Brett Favre. He has great arm strength, good vision, solid durability and a tendency to make throws that leave a coach or fan tearing their hair out. Cutler's day against Philly not only got earmed a win but had him plus-16 over his projections. What's interesting to note here is that both Cutler and Favre have always seemed to take away from their RBs, even at the star level. Against a top-rated pass defense, Cutler was downright surgical in finding and exploiting the weaknesses. Cutler's detractors will point to the missing Asante Samuel, but this performance is going to work against anyone. As the Bears fight for home-field advantage, they'll need Cutler to keep this mojo going in upcoming matchups with the Pats and Vikings during the fantasy playoff weeks. Another huge breakout came from Seahawks WR Ben Obamanu (+22) on Sunday.
I'm not going to fault anyone for drafting Chris Johnson first overall, as many did, but this week's performance shows why there's no such thing as a sure thing in fantasy football. Johnson was shut down and came up -22 on his projection. Nik Bonaddio from
Other busts this week include Mark Sanchez (-7), Keiland Williams (-13) and Mike Wallace (-15.)
There seemed to be a lot of smaller injuries Sunday -- sprained ankles, bruised quads -- but there were some significant fantasy injuries. Adrian Peterson left the Vikings game in the first half with an ankle sprain, but did not return despite telling the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora that it was not too serious. Maurice Jones-Drew seemed bothered a bit more by his abdominal strain, giving up some touches and a TD to Rashard Jennings. Chad Henne was able to play reasonably well at QB despite a pretty large brace on his knee for stability. Michael Oher got rolled up during a play with what looked like a serious knee injury. He was headed for an MRI at deadline, so we have to hope that it's just a mild sprain. In the surprise of the day, Antonio Gates was active for the Sunday night game, despite severe pain after activity. I'm sure I'll have updates by time for this Thursday's Injury Report.
While some of us are fighting for the fantasy playoffs, some people don't mind playing spoiler. This week's Fantasy Lesson comes from
I don't recommend trying this at home, but if you are down on the year, playing spoiler can be some small consolation. If you're in a keeper league, this is also a chance to take some gambles, finding players that might be useful next year as situations change. You have to dig in and check contracts -- harder this year with the stoppage looming -- but someone like Kevin Kolb might be an interesting gamble in deeper leagues.
I'm pretty sure it was Solomon Wilcots who said the death of the single "feature" back was a positive for offenses. (I'm not sure because I watch most Sunday games using the amazing NFL RedZone.) Whoever said it, they're wrong. Ignoring the fact that most NFL timeshares are created out of necessity than plan, only one out of the
The NFL finally took a look at the overtime rules, changing them for the playoffs. I'm not sure how that will work out, but having watched Bills-Steelers and several other overtime games this season, I think a simple tweak might help, one I call the "Killer TD." Instead of forcing a possession for each team, I believe that if the first team to have possession (the team that wins the coin toss) would only win the game with a touchdown. Put it in the end-zone and as with sudden death, it's ballgame, drive home safely. A field goal would give the other team a chance to tie with a field goal or to win with a touchdown. It would add a major element of strategy to that first possession. I wonder if it's enough to cause a team to defer the kickoff, figuring they might have the chance to win. I like anything that both simplifies the rules and causes strategic shifts and this does both.