If you thought character meant anything in the NFL, Kenny Britt's performance on Sunday should be example No. 243,000 why it doesn't. Nobody cares about what you do off the field as long as you produce in between the lines.
Case in point: Britt, the Titans wide receiver who got into a bar brawl on Thursday night, then came back for 200 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. He probably would have been suspended, except Tennessee didn't have many other receiving options with Justin Gage out. So in walks Britt, and has one of the best performances of the season.
You can find any number of other cases, like Braylon Edwards, who got a DUI earlier in the year, then went on to catch a pair of touchdowns in the following game. How about Bengals RB Cedric Benson, who was arrested for assault over the summer but was suspended nary a game.
And don't get me started on Michael Vick, who seems to be doing just fine after his jail stint for dog fighting.
If you can play, you can stay. And if you can stay, we'll take you on our fantasy team - especially if you rack up 40 points in a week.
The search for the next Kenny Britt starts here, with the Pickups of the Week:
QB Michael Vick is inactive for the Eagles, meaning the game is Kevin Kolb's to win or lose. I had Kolb as a bye-week fill-in, but dropped him for Matt Cassel earlier this week. One of my fears was Kevin Kolb having a few bad series and Andy Reid getting trigger happy with Vick. That won't happen. I'm still riding the Cassel train (Jags are a terrible pass D), but Kolb is a great option if you need it.
Kerry Collins is starting at QB for the Titans. Vince Young is still nursing a knee and an ankle. Collins isn't a great play, but sometimes you're desperate with bye weeks.
Speaking of the Titans, Justin Gage is out with a hamstring. This would be a great week to play Kenny Britt (preysent), but homeboy had to go and get in a fight on Thursday night and isn't starting. Way to go, guy. Advantage Bo Scaife. And Damien Williams, if you want to get nuts.
Darren McFadden (hamstring) is a game-time decision but will most likely play for the Raiders. Expect Michael Bush to start. Unfortunately, it's a late game, so you kinda have to roll the dice on McFadden. He should get plenty of carries, although it wouldn't be a bad idea to play a better option, if possible.
In tight end news, Chris Cooley and Todd Heap are both active. Cooley should have a good game against the Bears. I'm a little more worried about Heap, who got jacked up last week and still has a stiff neck. In fact, I dropped Heap in favor of Heath Miller this week. Call it a hunch, but at least I know Miller's going to be on the field and going to get looks from Big Ben.
Steve Breaston is a game-time decision. Late game. Bad QB (Max Hall? Really?). No thanks.
Speaking of bad quarterbacks, Todd Bouman is expected to get the start under center for the Jags. Needless to say, don't play Bouman under any situation. But it also means you can downgrade any other Jags players you might have. Like Maurice Jones-Drew and ... um, Mike Thomas? Yeah, just avoid all of 'em.
Rotoworld is reporting the Colts have put tight end Dallas Clark on the injured reserve list, effectively ending his season with a wrist injury. This is bad news for Clark owners, who most likely took him as one of the top two TEs in their draft.
Some replacement options:
For this week, go get Todd Heap. The Bills are terrible at covering tight ends, and he's been a bigger part of the Baltimore offense as of late. For the long term, look at Heath Miller, who has a great relationship with recently reinstated QB Ben Roethlisberger. Also, if anyone dropped Minnesota's Visanthe Shiancoe after his zero-catch performance last week, I would recommend picking him up.
Other options: Benjamin Watson (Browns) has been solid in an otherwise anemic offense, and Marcedes Lewis (Jaguars) is a touchdown machine.
This is terrible news for the Colts, as it looks like WR Austin Collie will be out for at least a couple weeks with a hand injury. If Pierre Garcon - who has been inconsistent at best this year - is still available, he would definitely be worth a flier. And Anthony Gonzalez should get some more looks as well Reggie Wayne can't catch everything over there.
(Special thanks to fantasy insider Noni Kavuri for bringing this story to my attention)
For the first time this year, I was sweating out a Monday night game, trying to eke out 12 points from the Tennessee defense. I could see the writing on the wall as the Jaguars drove down the field in a meaningless 30-point game, desperately trying to put a garbage-time touchdown on the board and break my fantasy spirits.
Fortunately, a goal-line interception saved the day and I squeezed out a two-point win in a game literally nobody else in the world cared about. Ahhh, gotta love the fantasy football world.
We've all been there before, watching a boring Monday night game and rooting for meaningless plays to save our week. My question to you: Would you rather be the one trailing and rooting for your guys to score points, or would you rather be ahead, playing the role of hater against your fantasy opponent?
Personally, I'd rather be down, rooting my team on to score. I feel like it gives me some control over my team, even though we all know we have none, no matter the situation.
While you ponder the fantasy debate of the day, check out this week's top pickups:
Peyton Hillis (Browns RB) is active, and he's a safe start. Same with Lions WR Calvin Johnson, who has a shoulder problem.
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is active, but I would look for different options. With Roy Williams emerging as a threat in Dallas, there's just not enough balls to go around.
A word about Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. He's listed as active, but I don't trust that concussion at all. I could see him taking a hit and going out early, killing your fantasy team. If you have a better option, roll with it. I'm debating a Joe Flacco play instead, but not sure if I have the guts to pull the trigger.
Justin Forsett is listed as the starter against the Bears. Not a great play, though, especially with Marshawn Lynch there to steal a bunch of carries. Proceed with caution.
I'm in San Diego for the week, soaking in the sun, planning a wedding and thoroughly enjoying not being a Chargers fan. They blew another one this past weekend, against the Raiders, no less. Watching Norv Turner coach is like watching your fantasy opponent run up a huge score: You see it happening right before you, but there's nothing you can do about it.
Those who care about football hate this guy out here. Of course, 90 percent of the people are at the beach and haven't even heard of Norv Turner, so good for them.
The thin pool of running back relief gets even thinner this week, so hopefully you're not in dire need of a bye week replacement. On the plus side, there are receivers galore, but who knows which will pan out. That's why I'm here.
Another day, another trade that affects many fantasy rosters. This one is a whopper, as WR Randy Moss is dealt back to his original team, the Vikings, for a third-round pick.
The winners are obviously Moss owners. He was in a bad situation in New England. He had no catches and barely got a look in Monday night's game. Minnesota is desperate for receivers, and you can bet Brett Favre will be throwing to him off the bat.
Other winners are Pats receivers Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman, who should see more looks. But they're no Randy Moss, and should be treated thusly. Might want to let things shake out a bit before you drop everything and pick one of them up.
Big loser: Well, all the Vikings receivers sucked anyway. But Visanthe Shiancoe may lose out the most. He was getting a ton of looks from Favre. Maybe this will free the field up for him more, but I'm leaning toward him getting lost in the shuffle. I hope I'm wrong, since I own the guy and have been big on him all year.
One side note: Randy Moss owners get an extra week of him, since the Vikings already had a bye week. Of course, he did last week, too, even though the Patriots played in Miami ...
As expected, the Buffalo Bills traded running back Marshawn Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. While not significant, this will have an impact on a few peripheral fantasy players.
First, Bills rookie C.J. Spiller gets a vote of confidence as the RB of the future in Buffalo. He should become an every-week starter, especially as his confidence grows. I also think Fred Jackson gets a boost in value, at least until Spiller's putting up good enough numbers to take over the role of top back. But remember, this is one of the worst teams in the league, even if they did put up 30 points against New England two weeks ago. So temper any expectations for either running back.
In Seattle, Justin Forsett's stock should drop considerably. He has struggled in the featured back role, amassing just 215 yards in four games and failing to reach the end zone. You have to think Lynch will cut into his workload. Julius Jones, already barely on the fringe of the fantasy world, becomes all but obsolete barring injury.
Of course, it's not like Lynch was tearing up the league for the Bills. He only had 164 yards this season, and actually put up negative numbers in Week 4, running for just 8 yards and fumbling. But he did have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in his first two years with the Bills, so maybe some of that fantasy magic will be tapped in his new role.
There are some cardinal rules that a good fantasy football player always follows. You always get a top-tier running back in the first two rounds. You always handcuff that running back (make sure you draft their backup). You always wait until the last round or two to draft a kicker. And you always make sure your backup quarterback doesn't have the same bye week as your starter.
Well, I broke that final rule, drafting Tom Brady and Chad Henne - who both have Week 5 off. Way to go, Wood.
So, in case you're in the same boat as me - in desperate need of a serviceable QB, or any other position - here are some quality pickups for Week 5. Remember, do as I say, not as I do ...
MVP Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals
10 catches, 222 yards, 1 TD
The most impressive number is the 15 targets, meaning Carson Palmer - who has been struggling all year - is looking TO's way. I can see this as a wake-up call for the entire Cincy offense, and more big numbers coming soon.
All-Stars Arian Foster, RB, Texans
He's gotta be the early favorite for fantasy MVP this season. His 187 total yards and two TDs (one rushing, one receiving) were stellar.
David Garrard, QB, Jaguars
Raise your hand if you thought he would be the top scoring quarterback this week. That's what I thought. Big win over the Colts, and a big day for Garrard, who completed 17 of 22 passes for 163 and two scores, and also ran one in. Solid.
Not sure if you heard, but Jay Cutler got sacked a lot on Sunday night. Is it time to start playing any D against the Bears? Let's not go that far, but it's probably not a bad idea.
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets
Many people wrote him off after a sub-par year in San Diego. Big mistake. He's inching closer and closer to becoming the featured back for the Jets; 133 yards and two scores will only help his cause.
No Stars Louis Murphy and Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders
I liked both of them as sleepers this week against Houston. Boy, was I wrong. Seven friggin' yards between them. Thanks fellas.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants
He had 195 passing yards, which isn't horrible. But those two fumbles are killers.
Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
We knew he was banged up coming in. After just 20 yards on the ground, he would've been better off not playing at all.
Some things to take into consideration heading into Week 4 fantasy action. We'll start with the worst news and head down to better situations.
Pierre Thomas' status is in doubt after hurting his ankle. The Saints RB was limited in practice all week, and the signing of DeShawn Wynn is not a good sign. He is listed as the dreaded game-time decision.
Rams RB Steven Jackson is in the same boat with his groin injury. He practiced on Friday, but was limited. I'm not sure what to tell you with either, other than to check on Sunday for their status.
If either is playing, no matter how limited, you have to think of them as a must-start option unless you have serious RB depth.