The Heat - Surprise Hot PlayersAs Sunday began, we were greeted by an awful natural disaster.   The NFL acted quickly and smartly to postpone a portion of the Ravens-Bears contest.  When it restarted, it was actually sunny and the Home team prevailed like it did for the most part around the NFL in Week 11. Only two of the worst teams in the NFL lost at home (Texans and Jaguars). Too predictable.  Not so with the players in those games.

As many of you know, each Saturday Night, we watch at least one movie. This week we watched a movie that was a ridiculous mess and fits perfect for Fantasy Football this week.  The Heat is the hilarious buddy movie starring superstar Sandra Bullock and comedic genius Melissa McCarthy.  Sandra Bullock plays Ashburn, a completely by the book FBI agent who thinks she knows it all.  She looks the part and never deviates from the book.  McCarthy plays Mullins, a tough as nails Boston cop who is so tough she sent her brother (Michael Rappaport) up the river.  She is a mess, throws F bombs like mad, but gets the job done. 

So, what we will do with this hysterical mess of a movie is outline the top performances at each position and describe them as Bullock or McCarthy.  We won’t talk about Calvin Johnson and players like that since if you don’t know why you should have started guys like him, I don’t want you reading my column.  So the two characters are:

  1. McCarthy: an out of the blue, in your face, tough, gritty player that got it done, but will not help you the rest of the year. 
  2. Bullock: a player who we should have had the book on we should have known was going to show up. He will help you the rest of the year.

Like Mullins says of Ashburn: “My fear is that I'm gonna put you in a bikini and you'll still look like a #^^%$&^ bank teller.”

Quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger v DET (367 Yds – 4 TDs plus 6-12 rushing yards) - McCarthy

Ben has had a couple of stellar games this year, but we could not see this one coming.  Detroit was playing to remain on top of the NFC North.  The Steelers were wearing those ridiculous bee outfits as uniforms.  Well, I will tell you Ben was the Queen today and directed the Workers to victory.  Too inconsistent to count on and performs great in matchups that are not made for QBs like this week.  Hope you have a better option than this going forward.

Carson Palmer at JAX (419 Yds – 2 TDs) - Bullock

You must have seen this coming, no? We predicted this.  Always worry about consistency with QBs like Palmer, but his defense is playing much better and he has multiple TDs in four of the last five games.  Jacksonville is a Top 5 play so we knew to pick him up to replace Romo on BYE so everyone should have known.  Like Big Ben, we hope you have a better option, but at least he isn’t a box a chocolates.  You know what you will get: 250 yards and 2 TDs.

Matt McGloin at HOU (197 Yds – 3 TDs) - McCarthy

Double M was in the Top 10 and a big surprise to be there, but I really think this is a case of hype.  He played well against one of the worst teams right now.  The Texans are playing awful.  His schedule is tough.  He has a QB controversy to deal with.  You must have better choices.

Does it surprise you that this week’s performance was EJ’s best game of the season?  Pass, because he doesn’t.

Running Backs

Bobby Rainey v ATL (30-163Yds-2 TDs plus 1 Rec-4yds-1TD) - Bullock

After last week, there may have been dissenters, but Rainey proved that he was good enough.  He looks tiny at 5’8” and 205 lbs, but that is the same size as Ray Rice.  He is tough with moves and I watched a lot of that game today and am a believer that he could help you down the stretch.  The schedule is not perfect, but good enough with @ DET, @ CAR, BUF, SF and @STL to close out the fantasy football season.

Joique Bell at PIT (9-49 Yds – 1 TDs plus 3 Rec – 48yds) - McCarthy

Every pundit will disagree with me this week.  Everyone worries about when a RB has multiple fumbles in the same game like Bush did (one was not correctly called).  Everyone will say, make sure you get the backup.  The problem is with Bush not hurt, how will you decide to play Bell?  He needs to be rostered in all leagues as protection for Bush or to block the Handcuff, but he cannot be started until there is news that says that Bush will not start.  Tough one, but I play this one as the bitchy Boston cop and not the FBI agent.

Antone Smith at TAM (2-88 Yds – TD plus 1 Rec – 4 Yds) - McCarthy

You know better, right?  28 year old career backup gets two good plays in garbage time.  Pass.

Wide Receivers

Jarius Wright at SEA (3 Rec – 69 Yds – 2TD) - McCarthy

He will be great, but not this year.  With Jennings inactive and Simpson being disciplined, Wright saw some good playing time and was wide open twice for TDs from two different QBs.  Did you catch that?  Two different QBs.  Can’t be good for any young player.  Pass.

Marquise Goodwin v NYJ (6 Rec – 81 Yds – TD) - Bullock

Been watching film on this young player for the last couple of weeks and I am a believer that he is starting to play the way Stevie Johnson plays.  I know Graham was in that spot today, but I like Goodwin to provide some numbers as your last WR spot.  For instance, we were choosing between Roberts, Royal and Hankerson.  Wish I thought to grab Goodwin knowing that Robert Woods and Stevie Johnson were sidelined.  He will play well down the stretch where Buffalo schedule is BYE, ATL, @TB, @JAX and MIA.  Gold mine.

Rod Streater at HOU (6 Rec – 81 Yds – TD) - Bullock

Streater has come on as the deep threat for the Raiders.  He is averaging 14.6 yards per catch.  He only has two TDs as they like to go to the more sure handed Denarius Moore in the red zone, but he is capable of much more.  The schedule is not great in the playoffs, but for those who need to get in, he could help.

Tight Ends

Tight ends have been cycling all season and you need to be on top of it.  The three top tight ends this week were pickups of mine in one league or another where I needed insurance (played Vernon Davis anyway) or had Witten on BYE. 

Garrett Graham v OAK (7 Rec – 136 Yds – TD) - Bullock

Graham has been increasingly used in the passing game with Keenum.  In the third quarter to increase the game tempo, the Texans went to Schaub.  I don’t understand it at all.  You need to let the young guys struggle and then succeed at the end of the games to gain confidence.  He could have won this game with Andre Johnson.  If Keenum starts, Graham is much more relevant.  If not, look for other options even with the tasty matchup (JAX) next week.

Charles Clay v SDG (6 Rec – 90 Yds - TD) - Bullock

Clay is likely owned in your league, but I put him here in case he isn’t.  He is for real.  Runs like a FB, so he gets those check down screens and is great after the catch. Miami has a great schedule on the way out with @PIT, NE and @BUF.  Needs to be owned.

Heath Miller v DET (8 Rec – 67 Yds) - McCarthy

He has days when he is Big Ben’s favorite target, but today is a case of Sanders being out of the game early on.   Tough to figure out and the schedule is not pretty.  Stay away.

Mychal Rivera at HOU (5 Rec – 54 Yds - TD) - McCarthy

This is a function of the QB and the opposing defense’s game plan.  He will go back to being irrelevant.

Just Win Baby

Now is NOT the time to get fancy.  Now is the time to get wins any way you can.  It is time to make sure you look and try to make sure that you maximize every roster spot.  Add players to play defense.  Add players others could use.  Start players with the best matchups in your last roster spot even if you have to drop a decent player to do that.  Examine the Playoffs’ schedule and make sure that you go get the best Kicker/DT NOW!  No reason to wait until the week before.  This week I grabbed Buffalo and STL in most leagues.  Love how they are playing and love the schedule.  In my other leagues, I have CIN, KC and SEA.  Locked and loaded.  If you choose not to heed this advice, it could get ugly.  Like McCarthy says to the FBI agent to protect Bullock:

“You’re giving her beauty advice? Do you even own a !^%$!# mirror?”




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About Rick Wolf

Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James, Ron Shandler, Glenn Colton and Matthew Berry. Wolf is the Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman every week on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio.  With college friend, Glenn Colton, he has won three LABR Expert baseball titles and four FSTA Expert football titles. Twitter: @RickWolf1

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