Well, folks, we are officially into the first round of the playoffs, in many leagues, and it’s time to separate the men from the boys and the women from the girls. This is where all of your research, hard work, and reading my column has undoubtedly paid off. The 2015 gridiron has been a veritable slaughterhouse of injuries, and many owners were left spinning the whole season. Have you clawed your way out of the abyss? Or were you smart enough to avoid falling into it in the first place? Here are a few goodies to put in your Week 14 holiday stocking, next to all the butter-laden treats full of high fructose corn syrup. I need to go hit the gym.
Cam Newton - 50.14 fantasy points - “Superman will continue to guard Gotham City.” Cam continued the QB reign of terror that has plagued the Saints all year.
Drew Brees - 31.48 fantasy points - “Was that a Brees I just felt?” Hardly a bad game for Drew, who turned this tilt into a shootout. Like I said, I love Drew Brees. I just didn’t figure he’d show up so strong against what has lately been a terror of a Defense.
Week 14 Pourcast
Jameis Winston (QB - TB)
Ranking: Ratio Beerworks New Wave Strawberry Berliner Weisse
The new kid’s in town. He’s not leaving any time soon.
Winston’s proven he can have a monster game (see: Week 11 @Phi), and he held his own at the Superdome against the beyond porous New Orleans Defense. Now he gets them at home with a complete offense that has been heating up in the past few weeks. It all adds up to a pretty good week for the kid. If you’re hurting at QB, see if you can snag Winston off the waiver wire. Expect decent numbers or better.
LeSean McCoy (RB - BUF)
Ranking: Brewery Ommegang Game Of Thrones Fire And Blood
I expect pillaging, fire, and blood.
Analysis: Shady = Pissed + Revenge Game + Rex Ryan (who also loves a revenge game. See: Week 10 @NYJ). McCoy has been more than vocal lately about his dissatisfaction over how his trade was handled by the Eagles front office. Even Chip Kelly has admitted it was done poorly (more fuel). Let the flames rise!
NaVorro Bowman (LB - SF)
Ranking: Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower
If I was on the other side of the ball from Bowman, that’s what I would picture… a giant lawnmower with razor sharp blades.
This is more of a shout out to a great player than anything else. Bowman suffered one of the most gruesome knee injuries I have ever seen in the 2014 NFC Champion game against the Seahawks. Bowman has come back strong, proving that he can recover from a major injury and missing a full season, to dominate and run the 49ers Defense once again. That’s saying a lot, considering just how badly the Niners suck. I mean, they are just atrocious. Even St. Louis beat them, featuring the only double-digit fantasy performance for Nick Foles in seven starts! Bowman has busted off 13 solo tackles in three games this year! NaVorro deserves all the credit in the world and should continue to be started with confidence every week, as a top IDP candidate.
Todd Gurley (RB - STL)
Ranking: Real Ale Brewing Lost Gold IPA
Do I really need to explain this?
I’m still a Gurley Man, but as long as Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams (see “Concussion” - opens Christmas Day) are allowed to operate with impunity, I’m afraid this massive young talent will fester and stifle in St. Louis, as have many talented ballers over the last few seasons. Run, Todd Gurley, run as fast as you can… away from the Rams!!
Richard Rodgers (TE - GB)
Ranking: Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers
If you asked three philosophers, they would all tell you the same thing… “don’t expect big numbers from Richard Rodgers every week.”
Rodgers to Rodgers on the Hail Mary… one of the best comeback finishes we have ever seen in football. That’s the problem, though. Richard has been the quintessential “touchdown dependent” fantasy Tight End, and this is where fantasy really tends to differ from reality. Also, the Cowboys have not been nice to Tight Ends this year. I just don’t see last weeks superstar performance as anything more than an outlier.
Jeff "The Guru" Gray owns Gray Area Fitness, has a BA in Biology from Whittier College, works with osteopathic and medical students at 2 universities, is an avid shooter, acts, writes, and spins fire. Animal lover, Burner, traveller, fantasy football analyst, he's just your typical Tourette's/A.D.D. kid from the suburbs. He currently looks after his codependent dog and neurotic cat. Passion and experience sums it up for The Guru, and new destinations, great shows, cars, and crazy animal adventures are always within his purvey.