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Like/Dislike: Trust Matthew Stafford vs. the Vikings

What we are talking about:

  • Jameis Winston

Tough draw for a bounce back

  • Matthew Stafford

He can beat the Vikings D/ST

  • "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

It's back and I have thoughts


Should this be considered a Drew Brees revenge game? I know the conventional wisdom would be Brees would want revenge against the Chargers. Not that I could blame him. I was a Chargers season ticket holder during his time in San Diego (yes kids, there was a time when the Chargers played in San Diego). He was pretty good. Things kind of fell apart in the 2003 season, but you felt pretty good about where the team could go because they had him and LaDainian Tomlinson.

The Chargers were linked to Eli Manning, which was weird. Because I always felt Larry Fitzgerald would have been a pretty good option. But I know, I'm just a fantasy guy. What do I know. There is no telling how great a team of Brees, LT and Fitzgerald could have been. And we all know what happened. They drafted Eli, traded him for Rivers (and a bunch of dudes which included Shawne Merriman) and still had Brees start in front of him for a few years.

So you can understand why Brees would be anti-San Diego. What you might have forgotten is that when Brees was a free agent in 2006, he nearly signed with the Miami Dolphins. But Nick Saban was like, nah, let's trade for Daunte Culpepper who was coming off a torn ACL, PCL & MCL he suffered in the 2005 season. Culpepper started four games in 2006 (1-3 record) before being placed on the injured reserve. Culpepper was released after the 2006 season.

The Dolphins have had 21 different starting quarterbacks since the 2006 season. Brees has missed two games since that time. He's also had five 5,000-yard seasons, nine Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl win. And who knows, maybe he wouldn't have gotten along with Saban and things could have gone poorly. We'll never know.

We do know the Dolphins have allowed a lot of passing yards in the first couple of weeks in the season. The Dolphins rank 28th against the pass. They are 30th in sacks and force absolutely no turnovers. And the Dolphins had their first game postponed, went to the West Coast to play the Chargers, back to the East Coast to play the Jets and are now in London to play the Saints. That's some frequent flier miles.

The Saints defense played great against the ailing Panthers, but have been prone to big plays against good quarterbacks. So they are in luck because they play Jay Cutler. Oh, I kid. But I do want to thank all of you who jumped on the Cutler bandwagon last week and completely nuked him. Jay doesn't do well with expectations. He's like New Year's Eve. You think it's going to be the best ever, but it never delivers and you're just left with a splitting headache the next day. It's bad. So congratulations for Brees. I'm playing him in like every league somehow. This should end well for me.

And without further ado ...

Derek Carr has a tough matchup against the Broncos. But he was 4-0 with eight touchdown passes and only one pick in his four games against top-10 defenses last year. He finds a way this week.

Tom Brady is 6-0 in his career at home against No. 1 defenses. Oh, by coincidence, the Panthers have the No. 1 defense this season. I'll be disappointed if he doesn't throw at least four touchdowns. Which I know makes me insane.

Marcus Mariota has yet to have a real breakout game this season. He hasn't been horrible. I've just wanted more. Like what I'm expecting out of the "Justice League" this winter.

Dak Prescott has one of the best games on outside the tackle box attempts (149.3 passer rating). The Rams defense was one of the 10 worst defending those types of passes last year.

I'm going to start Philip Rivers. But goodness, I've never seen a dude go on tilt like one of your buddies who got busted on pocket queens at your neighborhood poker game like Philip.

Matthew Stafford is 7-7 against the Vikings (won the last two) with 21 touchdowns and eight picks for an 89.8 passer rating. Two of Stafford's eight fourth-quarter comeback wins last year came against the Vikings.

I'm starting to get on board with Carson Wentz and the Hype Train, too. Mostly because he offered his game check to Jake Elliott if he made the 61-yard winning field goal. Elliott declined it because he's awesome. Wentz is an everyman who is friends with Mike Trout and it makes me like him the most.

Image Huge WWE events this weekend. Funny, No Mercy was kind of at the bottom of the list. First you had the Bullet Club gather in Ontario and attempt to march on RAW. Cody Rhodes delivered the President Whitmore speech from Independence Day and I nearly lost it. Adam Cole (Bay Bay) wrestled fantasy favorite Eric Young on NXT. (EY had a pretty sick spot in that, too.) And Smackdown was pretty great as well. Oh yeah, and there was a PPV at Staples Center. I didn't make either of the live events here in the greater Los Angeles area, of course, because football.

Le'Veon Bell has averaged 108.1 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns in his career against the Ravens. .

Chris Thompson leads the Redskins in rushing yards and receiving yards. The last player to do such a thing was Jamaal Charles for the Chiefs in 2013. That's nice company. Kirk Cousins will have trouble going against the Chiefs.

Kareem Hunt needs 30.51 fantasy points this weekend for the most by a non-QB in his first four games of the season. Sorry Franchise, this wasn't a reach to pick him.

Carlos Hyde is good to start every week. But I'm telling you, after last week's scare, you do need to pick up Matt Brieda as your handcuff. And I normally don't like handcuffs. At least not while the sun is shining.

Before you even ask the question, yes, play Chris Carson this week.

And Dalvin Cook? How are some of you so unimpressed? The matchup against the Lions is good, though. The Lions have gone 55 games since they had a 100-yard rusher. That was Reggie Bush back in 2013. Cook will show them what they passed up in the draft and go for over a hundred against them.

You probably won't hear this at all this week, but Jay Ajayi is from London. I know, right? Love his matchup against the Saints.

Todd Gurley has six touchdowns this season. He's looked great. I'm worried if the pressure on Jared Goff could end up shutting down the run. Regardless, you have to play Gurley.

I was floored that somebody has run the ball more than Leonard Fournette this season, who is third in the NFL with 57 carries. (Gurley and Cook have more.) Start, start, start.

Reports of the demise of DeMarco Murray were completely unfounded. How many of you left Murray and Jordan Howard on the bench in Week 3? And how many at the behest of me? (That's on me.)

Image "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is back this week. What the hell? I've had enough with the revival of old television shows. Haven't we learned from the reboot of "Full House" and the ilk? How are there no new ideas? All right, I jest. I feel like Curb is the right show for us right now.

Image I'm not sure where I have Curb on my all-time list of sitcoms. Leaving out cartoons like "The Simpsons" and "South Park" I have a very short list of top sitcoms, with "Scrubs" and "How I Met Your Mother" fighting it out at the top. I would lean "Scrubs" because John C. McGinley was here not too long ago and I marked out like no other. Even more than I did with the Miz. I don't normally take photos with the folks that walk through here. Hell, Mike Singletary walked through and I didn't take a photo (mistake). But for Dr. Cox? You bet your sweet (behind) I did.

The Patriots have the NFL's top offense, but also the worst total defense. Which is great for all of your Pats so start Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan and the like.

Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs rank second and third in the NFL in receiving yards, behind only Antonio Brown. Break up the Vikings!

Diggs had a hot start last year and struggled. But that was because of an injury. You start him every week he's healthy.

I'm going to be best friends with Bill Lazor if he can continue to coax great games out of A.J. Green like he did last week.

Dez Bryant was targeted just twice against the Cardinals. But the dude knows how to get into the end zone. He'll never be a volume monster.

My favorite stat of the week: Jared Goff has a perfect passer rating when he targets Sammy Watkins.

Rishard Matthews has the best chemistry with Mariota this year and he continues to be a great play in PPR leagues.

Curtis Samuel would be a sneaky add this week, with the Panthers beset by injuries.

I don't anticipate Xavier Rhodes covering Golden Tate this week. So don't freak out and sit him.

I was convinced last week Larry Fitzgerald was due a breakout. He's currently third in targets (34) and second in receptions (22). Continue to feel safe starting him.

If you need to add a TE this week, I'd seriously go with the Road Dogg Jesse James.

Zach Ertz has been so great this season. I look at all of the teams where I stupidly took Tyler Eifert and I'm literally (not figuratively) kicking myself. LITTERALLY. Seriously, I'll post a photo of my shin.

Image Justin Timberlake for the Super Bowl will be pretty strong. I feel like Blink 182 should get a shot at some point.

Ben Roethlisberger has been brutal on the road since the 2015 season. I don't want to believe in such things. But this is why I didn't draft him. And I wouldn't even roster him.

I'd also stay away from Martavis Bryant this week. His road splits mirror his quarterback.

Jared Goff's 118.2 passer rating through three games is the highest for any Los Angeles Rams quarterback in the Super Bowl era. But I'm scared of the pressure the Cowboys can put on a quarterback (poor Carson Palmer) and Goff is much different under duress.

Matt Ryan broke a streak of nine games without an interception. At least he did it in a big way with three picks. Go out with gusto. I don't love this matchup against the Bills who are pretty strong and first in scoring defense.

A lot of you have dropped Cam Newton. I get it. I rarely have Newton on any of my teams because most reward touchdown passes with six points. As the lord intended.

Newton ranks 28th in passing yards per game. His two touchdowns to four picks ranks 30th. His 69.7 passer rating is 29th. He also really struggled with passes of more than 20 yards, going two for six with an interception and a 33.3 passer rating.

The even better news here is Newton has a passer rating of 59.0 with Greg Olsen off the field. Yeah, I don't blame you for dropping him.

Kirk Cousins completed both attempts over 20 air yards for 70 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs have allowed a passer rating of 50.2 on passes of more than 20 air yards. Something's got to give!

Jacoby Brissett was a straight-up G last week and made me look like a genius in the Danger Zone when he was one of my picks to click. (Actually, the Danger Zone hit for the cycle, a perfect three-for-three.) Oh yeah, I'm not starting him this week.

Jameis Winston is a tough start this week. As highlighted last week, he has struggled against top-10 defenses. He is 2-5 with eight touchdowns and 15 giveaways against top defenses.

There is some young person (or even old) in Great Britain who saw his first NFL game last weekend. He (or she) now believes Blake Bortles is the best quarterback in the league.

Image If the WWE is that upset with Baron Corbin (or whatever) then why is he getting wins over Tye Dillinger to set up a feud with A.J. Styles that everybody knows he's not going to win? I get that perhaps they want to save something for the future. Styles vs. Bobby Roode would even be great, though you have to believe Vince kills anything that's too TNA. And why can't Rusev be a thing we can all enjoy and love? Randy Orton should be putting him over because he could be the monster heel on this show. But we've already seen him turn into liquid the moment Orton looks in his eyes. It's disheartening. LET US LOVE RUSEV.

Image The Jinder Mahal stuff really needs to be so much better. How is it he comes out and does the same promo every week? Compare it to the character work The Miz puts in over on RAW. The Miz finds a way to make every promo seem dynamic and interesting. He puts some passion in it; and while he's hitting a lot of the same themes weekly, everything seems fresh. Jinder is doing the opposite of that. I feel like it's the same weekly complaint, but how about a heel who you hate just because he's good. It's why the Patriots work so well as villains.

Marshawn Lynch could have a tough matchup this week. The Broncos have held Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy to a combined 83 yards.

Speaking of Melvin Gordon. I'm here to talk bad about him again. People ask me if I am chagrined that I dog Melvin but then he puts it on my every week. I'm not. It's our system. It's working for all of you. I even go the extra mile to make sure.

Wendell Smallwood was the new hotness this week in the wake of Darren Sproles brutal injury. I'm going to miss Sproles. He was a member of the Chargers when I had season tickets. It's awful to see him go out that way. But in regards to Smallwood, I'm not going to start him or LeGarrette Blount this week. Don't want.

Lamar Miller is about to lose his gig to D'Onta Foreman. Miller is John Cena and Foreman is, well, I won't say Roman Reigns. Mostly because people actually like Foreman. But you get the point. Maybe Foreman is more like CM Punk prior to the Chicago Money in the Bank.

Did the Giants really need to have a private conversation with Odell Beckham Junior about his celebrations? It wasn't necessarily the end zone dance I would have done. But after he carried that team in the second half, I would have been a little more willing to let that go. And really, if you're that turned off by it, send him to the Bears. We'll take him. Sorry, didn't mean to speak for you Bears organization.

I contemplated putting targets monster Pierre Garcon into a few of my flex spots this week. I love the volume. I'm not sure he gets the best of Patrick Peterson, who has been beat this year. I see this as such a pride-game for Birds. I'm going to leave him on the bench.

I haven't given up hope for Terrelle Pryor this season. I want to. But I'm committed at this point. I don't like the matchup this week. So bench, not drop. At least not yet.

T.Y. Hilton is the kind of receiver who gives the Seahawks fits. And they haven't played well this year. But I'm not going with Hilton in this matchup because of his inexperienced quarterback. I would start him with Andrew Luck. Not in this spot.

I'm not saying you drop Amari Cooper. But damn, you can't play the guy. Especially not this week against the Broncos.

I'm starting to get worried as to if we will ever see Luck this season. I'm a huge fan. Beyond the fantasy stuff. I hope he can get onto the field this season. I feel you Colts. As an Angels fan, I know what it's like to deal with these injuries all of the time.

ImageYou're 0-3. Don't give up. Did Rodgers give up when he wasn't recruited and went to a JC? Did Brady give up when he was a sixth-round draft pick? Or what about Jon Favreau? Did he give up when he was the funny fat guy in Rudy? No. Know what he did next? He was the funny fat guy in PCU. But then he got skinny. Wrote Swingers that had an inexplicable final scene where ends up with Heather Graham. So write your own Hollywood ending and keep trying.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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