NFL Real Talk: Week 12

There there, Real Talk will be back soon…
Photo Credit: Ali Brohi

We’ve come to the point in the “NFL Real Talk” season where we literally just run out of shit to talk about. Sure we could wax poetic on the merits of Kevin Smith and Toby Gerhart, but those guys are obvious waiver wire additions in competitive league. If you are still reading fantasy football articles at this point in the season, you already know who to pick up and with the trade deadline passed in most formats, you are stuck with what you got. We have a couple of items to hold you over for the week, but this is probably the season finale of “NFL Real Talk.” You laughed (at all my jokes), you cried (from laughter at all my jokes) but all good things come to an end (pause). While the desire to slit one’s wrists is a common effect of “Real Talk” withdrawal, just remember that in your darkest moments, the wind will pick up and on it you will hear the whisper of my name… Starbonell.

Mo’ “Real Talk” after the jump:

The Jets’ rushing attack has been terrible this year, so it’s easy to understand why people are not excited about Joe McKnight. Shonn Greene is the bell cow and McKnight is averaging a scant 3.2 YPC. Still, McKnight is worth a speculative pick. Greene admitted that after leaving last Thursday night’s game with a rib injury, the “coaches wanted to keep going with Joe because he was doing well.” While McKnight only gained 59 yards on 16 carries, the fact that the Jets coaching staff saw enough in McKnight to keep him in a featured role in an important, close game is a good sign for his fantasy value going forward. The odds of McKnight being much of a factor on the ground are slim, but his real value comes in the passing game. McKnight hauled in six of the seven passes thrown his way, totaling 62 yards through the air. With LaDainian Tomlinson a non-factor thanks to his sprained MCL and depleting skills, the Jets are in desperate need of a pass-catching back to bail out the erratic Mark Sanchez. While McKnight isn’t worth starting this week unless Greene is out or very limited (it sounds like he’ll be a full go), “McKnight Rider” is a solid pickup to stash and monitor in case he earns a bigger role going forward.

Yes, Jerome Simpson is a legitimate fantasy starter if A.J. Green continues to miss time. While Andy Dalton does spread the ball around, Simpson clearly becomes the top dog in the receiving corps with Green on the sideline. In Week 11, he grabbed eight passes for 152 yards. While it’s foolish to expect him to replicate Green’s production every week, he should undoubtedly be chilling in your starting lineup while the star rookie is out.

Your boy Dudley Do Work thought LaGarrette Blount was overrated from the jump, but if you own him, you have to start him every week. Unless you are loaded at RB, you cannot afford to sit a player who is getting virtually all of the team’s carries. Sure Blount offers nothing in the passing game and will be used less often when his team is playing from behind, but with a guaranteed 10-15 touches per week, you can’t shy away from deploying him.

Here’s the argument for dropping Stevie Johnson: Ryan Fitzpatrick sucks and between now and the the conclusion of the fantasy playoffs, Johnson will draw Darrelle Revis, Champ Bailey, Cortland Finnegan, and Vontae Davis (who just shut him down in a game where Buffalo was playing from behind and passing often). You really can’t start Johnson again this season, so if it’s dead weight you are looking to cut, look no further than Stevie J.

So what are we ending the “Stream Pies” season with? How about dem 49ers? Vernon Davis has scored TDs in back-to-back games and Michael Crabtree is coming off a seven-catch, 120 yard effort. So, shit is really swell heading into Week 12, no? No. Davis recorded only his second 60-plus yard performance last week and is spending too much time blocking to be considered an elite fantasy TE. He’s a tremendous talent, but San Francisco simply doesn’t use him enough. Davis is still better than most TEs. You just have to be prepared for the bumps in the road that will come. Speaking of coming, Crabtree owners may have ruined a perfectly good pair of slacks after his “arrival” last week, but they should keep the enthusiasm in check. While Crabtree is averaging over seven targets a game, Alex Smith’s checkdown-littered style of play leads to many low-yardage games. He’s barely played like a WR3 in most leagues and it’s hard to imagine him being part of many championship-winning teams this season.



About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.