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Like/Dislike: Trusting Kirk Cousins, doubting Big Ben

What we are talking about:

  • Kirk Cousins

He's an every-week starter

  • Worried about Ben

And not because he's on the road

  • "Irish Hello" update

How I pulled it off


It's playoff time. Well not for everybody. Take a look.

We did a four-team playoff for the first time ever in our NFL Fantasy League and my season ended by .14. Normally I would be pretty upset about this kind of thing. But my team scored 80 points. I didn't deserve to move on. Although, losing to Akbar is kind of tough. That would be like the University of Alabama missing out on the playoffs because it lost to a bottle of Cholula.

(I know there will be many of you who will stump for Tapatio. Which really is a great hot sauce. You will not get a bad word out of me. And if you really want to get into it, the best might be Gringo Bandito. Which is from the kitchen of Dexter Holland. I'm sure some of you would not want to try a food product from a punk rocker. Like, hey enjoy Mark Hoppus bran muffins! But we have been using Newman's Own salad dressing and spoiler alert, Paul Newman was an actor. That's right, he was in a ton of movies back in the day. Probably none that you've seen. No, not "The Natural" you fools. That's Robert Redford. But both of those guys were in the same movie, "The Sting." I know you probably never will, but you should check it out. It's really a good movie.)

The funny part of this whole thing is I benched Michael Crabtree on Thursday night. And I thought I was a genius. But had I started Crabtree on Thursday, I would have advanced to the playoffs. Because I started Donte Moncrief ahead of him. Which is really a stupid decision on my part. I even mentioned in this space last week Moncrief was a risk because of his touchdown-dependency and yet I did it anyway.

So let's get to it ... what? You think I went into this a little quickly? Well, I don't want to belabor the point. And really, "Rogue One" is coming out tonight and the hard-working staff here wants to get out and see it tonight (Thursday). I thought about watching it over the weekend, but realized that was foolish. I mean, it's not like I would wait two days to watch the Super Bowl, so I'm headed out to see it immediately. I mean, after the Seahawks and Rams game, of course. I would not skip that game to go see a movie.

And without further ado ...

Tom Brady has a 6-9 record against the Broncos, including the playoffs. They are the only team that actually has a winning record against Brady. But remember, a special-teams blunder cost the Patriots last year. And he went for 280 and three touchdowns in Denver last year.

Derek Carr has had enough time to rest and get healthy. And the Raiders will pretty much have a home game in San Diego this week. I'd expect the crowd to be 80 percent Raiders fans.

I'm not sure what happened last week, but I got a bunch of questions about starting Aaron Rodgers in the cold. You know he plays for Green Bay, right? Don't listen to anybody who suggests otherwise. But watch out for Weather Twitter.

Joe Flacco has completed 70 percent of his passes in his last six games with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions over that stretch.

Kirk Cousins has 90.36 fantasy points in the last four weeks, the most among quarterbacks. He has 10 touchdown passes in his last four home games.

Marcus Mariota has a 112.2 passer rating since Week 5, the second-best rating in the league over that span, just behind Tom Brady. His 23 total touchdowns are second in the NFL since Week 5, trailing only Rodgers.

The Falcons are the only team in the NFL to average more than 30 points per game and 400 yards per game this season. The 49ers are the only team to allow over 30 points per game and 400 yards per game. So you are starting Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman.

If you stream quarterbacks, you might as well see if somebody dropped Carson Palmer in your league. He's had at least 300 yards in three consecutive home games. I know, I know.

Image You're in luck, because I penned this before I saw "Rogue One" so there is no chance for a spoiler. But if you want to get in your Star Wars fix, check this out from my man Robbie Crauder. I did have some influence on a few of these. I mean, only the ones that you absolutely liked. I'm kidding, Robbie did all of the heavy-duty lifting here. Enjoy "Rogue One" though, it looks pretty epic.

Tevin Coleman had a huge game last week. He has nine scrimmage touchdowns in 10 games this season. The 49ers are the worst. They are just the worst. But the run defense especially.

Latavius Murray has 12 rushing touchdowns this year, the most by a Raider since Marcus Allen in 1990.

DeMarco Murray has at least 12 fantasy points in 12 games this season, the most among running backs. The Chiefs have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to RBs over the last two weeks.

Bilal Powell is a good option if he's the solo back this week. The Dolphins rank 30th against the run in the NFL.

Le'Veon Bell has 620 rushing yards since Week 11, including 236 last week. Which was great when I was on a bye in the playoffs. So I'm going to need you to do that again.

Ezekiel Elliott needs 108 more rushing yards to become the seventh rookie in NFL history with 1,500 rushing yards. Freddy Morris was the last guy to do that.

Jordan Howard has at least 99 scrimmage yards in six consecutive games. He's averaged 125.8 scrimmage yards per game since Week 8.

LeGarrette Blount leads the league with 14 rushing touchdowns this year. The Broncos are 29th against the run this year.

I know a lot of people want to play Tyrod Taylor this week. I get it. But the player I would want to have the most is LeSean McCoy who has at least 100 scrimmage yards in eight of his last 10.

Jordy Nelson has 12 receiving touchdowns this year, tied for the most in the NFL. Somebody I know thought Jordy in the second-round was a terrible option. (You can guess but I won't tell you publicly.)

Odell Beckham Junior leads the NFL in receiving yards (750) and receiving touchdowns (eight) since Week 6. So nobody cares about his sideline antics anymore, right?

I don't feel great about playing Dez Bryant this week. But I'm doing it.

Tyreek Hill leads all rookies in targets, receptions and receiving yards since Week 10. The Titans rank 31st against the pass.

T.Y. Hilton is second in the NFL with 1,203 receiving yards, and he's coming off back-to-back games with 100 yards. The Colts need to get him involved, they are 6-1 when he has at least 80 yards.

Stefon Diggs is tied with Hiton for seventh in the NFL with 78 receptions. This is a great matchup for Diggs, and Adam Thielen is a sleeper.

One thing to take note of when backup quarterbacks are elevated, the dudes they practice with get a rub. That's part of the reason why Robby Anderson is doing so well these past few weeks.

Image I don't know if you caught this video from the WWE this week. It's from the Tribute to the Troops. I don't want to spoil it. And I know a lot of you are just going to skip over it and that's cool. However, you should really watch this if you're a fan of the WWE. Trust me. I wish this was canon in the WWE universe because it would be really, really cool. All right just go watch this thing. And for the record, The New Day was so amazing on Monday. Loved how well they looked. My man Brandon Stroud put it the best: if New Day looked like this during its entire run, they would be the best ever.

Cameron Brate killed me last week. But he's got a good matchup against the Cowboys. For whatever that is worth.

Travis Kelce has four consecutive 100-yard games, tied for the most by a tight end since 1970.

Justin Tucker is nine for nine on field goals over 50 yards. I think I know who I'm taking in the fifth-round next season.

Image I'm going to miss Alan Thicke. I will confess I know him more from HIMYM than "Growing Pains" and I even solemnly sang "Two Beavers Are Better Than One" after hearing the news this week. It got me thinking of best TV dads. This is more of a thrown together list instead of a huge, thoughtful list. Actually, I'm going to switch it up because we are going to rehash the same tired list you'd see on "Buzzfeed" or something. So I'm going for the most underrated TV dad of all-time is John Ritter as Sam Dorian in "Scrubs." Because to this day, I actually believe he's truly Zach Braff's dad. Seriously, some of the best casting ever.

The Giants have scored 20 points or fewer in seven games this season. The Lions have done so six times. There is a good chance Eli Manning and Matthew Stafford don't put a lot of points on the board.

But you will want to watch this game because the Lions and Giants have the most games decided by seven points-or-fewer this season.

The Lions are tied with the Ravens for the NFL's best scoring defense (16.3) since Week 8.

The Bucs have allowed just 12.8 points per game and an opposing passer rating of 62.5 since Week 10, best in that span. The Cowboys have averaged just 12 points during the last two games. It's going to be tough to give Dak Prescott the nod this week.

Carson Wentz does not have history on his side in Baltimore this Sunday. The Ravens are 7-0 in Baltimore against rookie quarterbacks under John Harbaugh.

I would bench Ben Roethlisberger because he's really been nothing more than a streamable quarterback. I know what the road splits are. And I don't care. I'm going against him because of the matchup, and mostly because this is basically the BengalsSuper Bowl. This is a chance to get some revenge from last year's playoffs. This is why I'm scared to play some of the other Steelers greats. I'm doing it, but not comfortable with it.

Image This is going to be Vontaze Burfict's first game against the Steelers since the infamous 2015 AFC Wild Card Game. I wonder what he has in store. Burfict has played really well this season, which says a lot because I loathe to give him any credit. Not because I have any feelings about the Bengals. But because he went to Centennial High School, and I went to Corona. This isn't much of a rivalry, because Centennial is the Alabama of the Inland Empire now. But I'll tell you we never lost to those fools when I was in school, though. (And we beat Toby Gerhart at Norco High School, too. Yes, this is for an audience of like six people.)

I hate myself for putting this out there, but you can throw this stat around at the bar. Roethlisberger has no touchdown passes and six picks in his last four December road starts.

Drew Brees has been so bad in recent weeks. And you can't use the home/road crutch. He's been bad in both places. Now he's got the second-ranked Cards passing D this week? I wouldn't touch that.

The Dolphins have struggled in cold weather over the last decade. They are 4-12 in games with a kickoff temperature of 45 degrees-or-lower. It's supposed to be 40 at kickoff on Saturday.

Jay Ajayi has scored only one touchdown in his last five games, after he had scored five in the previous four-game stretch. The Jets are tougher on running backs, but not what they once were earlier this season.

Lamar Miller has no touchdowns in four career games against the Jaguars. He's one of those guys, not quite bad enough to be a bust. But didn't do enough to justify going in the second round.

Of course the Titans are third against the run. Just the week when I need Spencer Ware the most. I should have put more thought into this.

Image My phone number is just one off from a lady, Chloe, who does eyebrows. And I get a lot of random callers from Westminster and Garden Grove looking for appointments. I got a new one on Thursday asking for an appointment later that day. Now, I should have texted back and said, "Yes, please come down." But I didn't. Did I make a mistake?

Image You want to know what wasn't a mistake? The "Irish Hello" from last week. It's a fake out of telling everybody you're going to be attending a party, texting and saying that you're on the way, but never actually showing up. I added some layers to it by using Instagram to say I was there. Notice I don't give away my location. I'm actually at Tsunami Sushi in Huntington Beach. But tagged it with our Holiday Party location. I texted one of my co-workers and told her I was on my way, but my phone was going to die if I didn't find a charger. So that gave me an excuse to not respond the rest of the night. I'm telling you, the "Irish Hello" is now a thing.

The Bears and Packers rivalry dates back to 1921 with 193 meetings, the most of any rivalry. So it's truly the NFL's best. Well, sort of. The Bears lead 94-93-6, including 1-1 in the playoffs. The Packers have won 10 of the last 12 regular season meetings, including the last six in Soldier Field. This is awful.

Alshon Jeffery is expected to return from a four-game suspension. I want to see him at least once. I'm not even sure he's going to have chemistry with Matt Barkley.

I miss Allen Robinson as a fantasy thing. I hope the new coach next season can do something to fix this (expletive). Jim Bob Cooter as head coach might be a nice option. Matthew Stafford has been amazing since the Lions made that switch.

If you walked out of your draft with Robinson and DeAndre Hopkins, you had to feel pretty good about it, right? You probably aren't in the playoffs if these were your guys, though. I said probably so don't feel like you have me a screen grab if you had ARob and DHop. Actually, you deserve some love. Fire away.

Image Oh man, so if Lane Kiffin had waited a little bit he would he have been in line for the Los Angeles Rams gig? That would have been nice. But I actually think Florida Atlantic could be a great spot for him. If he's committed to building this program and not looking at this as a stepping stone (and look if he bails after he takes them to a BCS bowl, fine), he could do some work here. I know De'Andre Johnson kind of raised eyebrows, but both guys will be able to make the most of their second chance. Or in Kiffin's case, his fifth.

Image The San Diego Chargers are going to wear the powder blues this week. I have a Seau powder blue and thought about wearing it down there to represent. But I think the Chargers are mad at me. And that stadium is going to be about 80 percent Raiders fans. Which is going to end up being the norm if this team moves to Los Angeles.

Image At what point do millennial hipsters eschew birthdays in favor of "Conception Day" to celebrate when life really began. I'm surprised some enterprising executive at Hallmark hasn't tried to push this forward already with a line of cards. "We are so happy to say, we're glad daddy's condom broke on conception day!" Conception Day, it's a thing! And before you are too critical, I hope you realize you'll be able to get into the bars 10 months sooner.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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