Howdy Howdy! I’m subbing in for Howard while he’s “Gone Phishin’” to admire Trey Anastasio’s guitar riffs from afar. So I’ve returned to the Hot Takes article to breathe self-deprecating life into this piece as I did so long ago for your Monday morning trips to the Loo. So let’s get to it!


Uhhhhh What Happened to the Quarterback Revolution???

In a year where there is a TON of offense and insane depth at quarterback, Week 9 saw some of the most disappointing quarterback performances. Nick Mullens and Derek Carr were night and day on Thursday. But even Mullens only attempted 22 pass attempts and luckily he hit for three touchdowns. Not to mention Carr failed to throw for 270 yards for his fourth straight game. You think I’m cherry picking QB’s to make my argument? Maybe I am!

But the Panthers scored 42 points on Sunday! Surely Cam Newton had to have a great game! Well it was modest at best really. He threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 33 yards. Newton’s counterpart on Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick , threw four touchdowns, but also had two picks and fumbled the ball as well. Fortunately for “FitzMAGIC” he pulled a rabbit out of his hat since his fumble was recovered by his own teammate. The Bears posted 41 points, but Trubisky threw the ball just 20 times. Need something to hang your hat on from that game? Nathan Peterman rushed for 46 yards and a rushing touchdown! Kirk Cousins had just 22 pass attempts, Matthew Stafford threw for just 199 yards, Ben Roethlisberger needed 47 pass attempts to get to even 270 yards, and Joe Flacco threw for just 209 yards. Philip Rivers also only threw the ball 26 times and until the Chargers start losing it’s hard to imagine his pass attempts increasing. He’s now thrown fewer than 30 pass attempts in four straight games. Surprisingly enough neither Tom Brady nor Aaron Rodgers managed to hit the 300-passing yard mark on Sunday night. It was a weird day for quarterbacks.


You Should Quit Fantasy Football If You Dropped Dalvin Cook

Under no circumstance should this have ever been an option for you. I monitor the Fantasy Alarm chat every so often and was always stunned when people asked if they should drop Dalvin Cook . The answer was a HARD no. As of Sunday night Dalvin Cook ’s ownership on ESPN is at 90.6%. So I’m calling the minority of fantasy owners out for dropping Cook. Who did you pick up? Josh Adams Jamaal Charles during his short stint with Jacksonville? Tim Tebow?! Tebow plays baseball now you fool! I’ll never hear a logical reason for dropping Dalvin Cook . I don’t care if you needed a defense, a streaming quarterback in your superflex league, or you wanted to own a third quarterback. Shame on anyone who dropped Dalvin Cook ! He showed on one play what he can do with limited snaps by breaking off a 70-yard run in the second quarter. Imagine what he can do when he’s completely healthy. If you dropped Cook take some time to yourself. Evaluate your life choices. And when you come back, just come back a better person…. And don’t forget your dunce cap.


I’m Proud of Howard’s Baby Birds Who DIDN’T Trade James Conner

Who says we have to agree with each other?! Sure, Mr. Bender supplements my income with this nifty opportunity at Fantasy Alarm and he wrote me a phenomenal recommendation letter for a job I was applying for a year ago, but I certainly don’t feel obligated to be a corporate “Yes Man” in regards to James Conner . Howard mentioned weeks ago on SiriusXM that the window to trade James Conner had passed you by. But so what? Are you crying over Conner’s ten touchdowns? Or his 900+ all-purpose yards through eight games? Certainly not! If you’re a Conner owner you’re probably sitting pretty coasting to the fantasy playoffs. And whenever Le’Veon Bell comes back he’ll likely be welcomed with open arms. But Conner has done nothing to warrant a significant decrease in his workload. He has four straight 100+ yard rushing performances and he’s caught at least four passes in all but one game this year. Not to mention, the Steelers are on a bit of a winning streak. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Le’Veon Bell could be welcomed back at some point with open arms. And he’ll likely be eased back into the offense and this will increase Conner’s chances of staying healthy. Conner hasn’t given Pittsburgh any reason to take the ball out of his hands for good so if you stood your ground on Conner I tip my cap to you sirs and madams!


Pump The Brakes on Tre’Quan Smith

I’m going to be completely transparent here. Yes, I’ve recommended TQ Smith to some folks who have asked me about him in start/sit questions over the past couple weeks (is it too late to say it was due to peer pressure?). But he has just one BIG game. And in total this year he has just 12 catches. However, Sunday morning I was asked “Should I start Tre’Quan Smith over JuJu Smith-Schuster ?” and I immediately thought JuJu had gotten a DUI, or was injured Saturday night, or was abducted by aliens. I just couldn’t believe people had gotten this high on TQ Smith after one big game where he had three catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns nearly a month ago on October 8th!  And sure, I fell victim to it because even today it seemed like he could get his share. And the TQ truthers got their fix with an early touchdown, but he finished with just just two catches on 23 yards. The touchdown certainly helps, especially in standard scoring formats. But he has just 20 total targets on the season. Lets take a breath and ease off the Tre’Quan Smith hype.


Less Is Moore

David Moore and D.J. Moore were hot waiver wire targets this past week. And they both screwed the pooch on Sunday. D.J. Moore was coming off a game where he saw a career high in snaps, routes run, and targets last Sunday. He was a somewhat prolific draft pick in 2018. And yet he finished with just one catch for 16 yards on two targets. He did add a 32-yard run, but I’m left scratching my head like an idiot on a day where the Panthers scored 42 points and I’m left asking “what went wrong?” The game script was there even late in the game when Tampa Bay came storming back into contention. I’m still quite fond of Moore over the rest of the season. But he definitely made me look like a dummy on Sunday.

David Moore fared no better on Sunday. In fact, he was probably worse. David at least saw seven targets, but he only caught two of them for 16 yards. Despite the targets Moore dropped some crucial touchdowns that either bounced off his chest or his hands or his head, it really didn’t matter. I made that last part up about his head. He came up well short on Sunday after a three-game stretch where he had nine catches, four of which were touchdowns. He’s a touchdown dependent player that hopefully is off everyone’s start/sit radar over the next few weeks as we navigate through the bye week blues.


Seattle Should’ve Traded Russell Wilson

I really hate to sound like a Monday morning quarterback, but Seattle is wasting Wilson’s best years. And this take is coming after the NFL’s trade deadline, but honestly where are the Seahawks going? They have no hope of winning the NFC West over the next two-to-three years. Have you seen how good the Rams are and will be in the near future? Seattle’s rebuilding the offensive line, the defense, and they need better pass catchers. Wilson’s an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season. He’ll likely get another big contract and why not? He’s earned it with a Super Bowl win, but he’s been the victim of a weak offensive line. Seattle could have gotten quite the haul for trading a Super Bowl winning quarterback still in his prime and yet they squandered the opportunity to amass draft capital and now they’ll probably waste two more years of Russell Wilson .


Hue Jackson Should Try to Get a Job (for the third time) with the Bengals

It seems like the Bengals and Hue Jackson are a match made in heaven. From 2004-2006 he was the wide receivers coach and from 2012-2015 he dabbled in coaching special teams, running backs, and was the offensive coordinator before being hired by the Browns. If we’ve learned anything from Marvin Lewis’ tenure in Cincinnati it’s that Bengals owner doesn’t care about wins and losses (which could be HUGE for Hue), especially in the postseason! Lewis is in his 16th season as Cincinnati’s head coach and he doesn’t have a single playoff win. In 16 years he’s made seven trips to the playoffs and hasn’t won a single game. You know who else hasn’t won a playoff game as a head coach. You and me. And Hue! So lets join Hue Jackson in updating our resumes, get your recommendation letters (Howard, I might need another one sir!), and submit them to:

            1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202

            Attn: Mike Brown

Might as well send some doughnuts while you’re at it. Seriously, that got me a job one time.


Quick(ish) Hits

It’s time to drop Javorius “Buck” Allen. Sure he had five catches on Sunday, but with the addition of Ty Montgomery (and the fact Baltimore’s lost four of their last five games) it might be time for fantasy owners to ditch Buck Allen and if it weren’t for his touchdown potential the last four weeks Alex Collins would be in the same boat.

Sticking with the Ravens, if they continue to lose then why not give Lamar Jackson some starts at quarterback? Now to be fair, I’m not a fan of Baltimore getting cute and bringing in Jackson for a few snaps at quarterback each game. You’re taking the ball out of Flacco’s hands, thus breaking offensive rhythm. But if the team keeps losing then why not see what Jackson can do with the reigns of the offense once the team’s playoff hopes are dashed?

The Texans are the luckiest team in the history of football. Houston started the season 0-3, but they have somehow won six straight games. And I am dumbfounded. Let turn the clock back to Week 4, shall we? It was overtime between the Colts and Texans with less than a minute to go. The Colts went for it on 4th & 4 from their own 43-yard line and failed to convert giving the Texans excellent field position to chew up a few yards and get a field goal. That kicked off the Texans current winning streak where the team has scored more than 21 points just twice over a six-game span. A lot of the success has to go to the defense, but again on Sunday they needed a pair of missed long field goals from Brandon McManus to come away with a win on the road in Denver. I know the late Bill Parcells would say “You are what your record says you are,” but I can’t help but feel the Texans have gotten considerably lucky over the past six weeks. I know these are supposed to be quick hit, but sue me for rambling!

The Chargers are the best team in the AFC West. I’m well aware the Chiefs have a 1.5-game lead on the AFC West division and they embarrassed the Chargers in Los Angeles to start the year. But the Chargers have won five straight games after starting the season 1-2. The Chiefs don’t have much of a defense and I firmly believe the Chargers are a more well-rounded team, especially if they can get Joey Bosa back and healthy because he’s one of the best edge rushers in the league. I know Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense are off to a historic start and the defense has been better. But Andy Reid has proven in the past to mismanage the clock in January and I don’t know if the defense and Mahomes are capable of running the table this year.

Could Cordarrelle Patterson really be this year’s Ty Montgomery ? Another wide receiver turned running back? I don’t see why not. They’re in similar situations anyway. In 2016 injuries to Eddie Lacy and James Starks forced Green Bay’s hand in moving Montgomery from wide receiver to running back. Fast forward to 2018 and Cordarrelle Patterson was in the same boat Sunday night. With injuries to Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead the Patriots were already thin at running back. James White left briefly in the first half with under four minutes to go and the Pats fed Patterson in four straight plays. What did he turn the opportunity into? Consecutive runs of 10, 17, 8, and a 5-yard touchdown. White did return to the game to record his second touchdown of the night so it’s not like Patterson will get a ton of opportunities to carry the ball, and he’s quite tall at 6’2” to be a running back. However, if injuries mount up in the New England backfield is it really that unrealistic to imagine 10-12 touches per game for him? Food for thought!