NFL Real Talk: Week Nine

Photo Credit: Ibagli

With the way last week’s “NFL Real Talk” sparked a furious debate in the comments section, it’s obvious that we need more controversy to drive up traffic. I tried to come up with another fantasy football opinion that would elicit a rabid response. Alas, one could not be found, so instead we have that pleasant picture you see above. Creative, right? If that isn’t enough to send you into a frenzy, below are a list of words and phrases intended to stir the pot:

Sex trafficking
Tea Party
The Montreal Screw Job
Aaron Rodgers is okay… I guess
George Bush doesn’t care about black people
T.J. Houshmandzadeh doesn’t care about white people
Pro-life vs. Pro-choice
God is a woman… and her tits are glorious
Dog fighting is okay as long as the dogs don’t have owners
“Lost” sucks
Calvin Johnson is super overrated
Breaking Bad really isn’t THAT great
Fraternities: If you can’t make friends, pay for them
Only prejudiced people don’t like “The Wire”
Abstinence doesn’t work
There’s nothing intelligent about intelligent design

More “Real Talk” after the jump:

Early “Drop A” Doucet doesn’t have a lot of upside, but he’s seeing a fair amount of targets thrown his way and should be owned in more than 29-percent of Yahoo! leagues. Sure he doesn’t have game changing speed, but he’s doing a solid job in single coverage with Larry Fitzgerald drawing most of the attention and is able to gain yards after contact thanks to his size. The Cardinals passing game should improve as the season goes on with Kevin Kolb making adjustments to his offensive line by making quicker reads and releasing the ball sooner. Couple that with Beanie Wells’ nagging knee injury and the fact that the Cardinals defense will put the team in passing situations, and there should be ample opportunities for Doucet to do work. Take a look at the bottom part of your roster. There’s a good chance one or two of the bums sitting there have less fantasy appeal than Doucet.

Apparently, the Colts aren’t willing to concede that this is a lost season, which is dumb because they really should be giving Delone Carter more of an opportunity. He’s clearly been the team’s best RB, displaying the willingness to ground out tough yards and looking like the team’s most competent back since Joseph Addai’s early years. Indy went into hurry-up mode last week and effectively phased Carter out of their offense, opting to roll with Donald Brown instead. Perhaps it’s because Brown knows the offense better and they trust him more in pass protection. Whatever the reason, fantasy owners should still hold onto Carter. Addai is banged up and Donald Brown is still Donald Brown. There will be some quirky circumstances that may prevent Carter from getting a ton of touches every week, but he should still produce like a flex option going forward.

In Week Seven, Demaryius Thomas was the Broncos WR getting the most attention from Tim “The People’s” Tebow. Last week, Eric Decker was the main dude. Unfortunately, having Tebow at QB means that it will be hard to find any consistency among Denver’s receiving corps. I wouldn’t fuck with Decker or anyone else on my starting lineup for the time being.

While Denver receivers are in for a bumpy ride, Knowshon Moreno is looking pretty solid. He rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries and would’ve had more touches if the Broncos weren’t getting slaughtered by the Lions. I talked about Moreno last week and said that he’s no worse than a flex player as long as he’s the starter. His stock has actually gone up a touch after his performance in Week Eight and do not be surprised if Willis McGahee is forced to split carries with Moreno when he returns.

Antonio Brown was another player who graced the Week Eight edition of “NFL Real Talk,” but after I minimized his value, Brown proceeded to catch nine passes for 67 yards and a score. Use this as an opportunity to sell-high. Everyone is back on the Steelers bandwagon, conveniently forgetting that the two monster offensive efforts came against the Cardinals and Patriots, two of the worst pass offenses in football. Before those games, Ben Roethlisberger had registered exactly one multi-TD effort behind a shaky offensive line. While injuries to Hines Ward and Emmanuel Sanders have certainly opened up an opportunity for Brown in the short-term, Pittsburgh’s schedule gets tough in the second half and this offense as a whole will struggle to put up points. Brown is certainly a very talented player and with Mike Wallace drawing attention, Brown has seen plenty of passes thrown his way (10th in league in targets with 63). Unfortunately, the prospects of Pittsburgh’s pass offense aren’t very promising and with Brown making headlines in the fantasy universe, now is the ideal time to try to move him.

Seriously, why do 31-percent of Yahoo! fantasy owners roster Alex Smith? That many people want in on a QB who is averaging 181 passing yards per week? If you own him, holler at me. I got a hookup with this Nigerian prince who just needs your bank account information to wire you millions of dollars.

Vernon Davis has put up back-to-back weak fantasy days. The reason? With San Francisco going so run-heavy lately, they’ve been holding Davis back to assist with blocking. It’s a damn shame and it doesn’t look like things will be changing in the near future. Frank Gore is healthy and leading this team to wins, so there’s no reason for the 49ers to turn Davis loose. Davis is still one of the premiere talents at TE in fantasy, but without many opportunities in the passing game, there is a very good chance he ends up being an upside-stuffed TE2 the rest of the way.

Jesse Potes recommended Brent Celek as a deep sleeper add in this week’s “Don’t Sleep” and I second that notion. Celek has recorded nine targets and a TD in back-to-back weeks. Though Michael Vick’s pronouncement during the preseason that he would get Celek more involved fell on deaf ears, it’s plausible that he’s now trying hard to get his TE in on the action. Celek could very well fall on his face, but he’s talented enough to perform like a TE1 if the targets are there so he’s well worth a speculative add at the very least.

People keep asking me if it makes sense to pick up Tashard Choice. The answer is yes, but there’s a rub. While it’s easy to envision a world where Choice ends up being a starter in Mike Shanahan’s fickle backfield, it’s also just as simple to see Choice kill it one game, fumble on the opening drive in the next week, and proceed to spend time in the doghouse. Life with Shanahan RBs isn’t a fun one, and while Choice warrants the add because of the circumstances in Washington, those same circumstances could end up being the reason you cut him.

Feel ripped off by a shorter-than-normal edition of “NFL Real Talk?” Well, get used to it. This is the time of the year where NFL lineups and roles are fairly stable and, thus, there’s less to report. Sure there will be some random sleepers that creep out of nowhere to produce in a handful of games and injuries will require some analysis of team depth charts, but for the most part, what you see is what you get. Don’t worry, “NFL Real Talk” isn’t going away for the season and all your questions will still be answered via Twitter and e-mail (and, of course, Starbonell Station is still blasting that funk to your ear drums every Wednesday evening). Besides, a lot of you scrub-ass owners are yielding some scrub-ass teams. Let’s face it, all the fantasy sports articles in the world aren’t turning your squad of no-good-nicks into winners, so perhaps starting to wean off the advice columns will help you get read for fantasy baseball. Only four months left!


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.