11:23pmET: Week 14 Projections Update. Next one Sunday noon-ish
-- Basically the Packers are going to cover Josh Gordon (and Corey Coleman) with 3rd and 4th string CBs due to various injuries all season -- now CB Davon House out (Kevin King on IR this week too). Josh Gordon has to have at least one big play this week.
-- QB hurts news:: I think Stafford plays and Tyrod does not.
-- RB hurt news: Ameer likely to be back, AP out, DMartin starting and kills of Barber, Mixon 25% hope he plays.
-- If Sterling Shepard is truly OK, he's a WR1.5 in PPR. Looks like he is mostly fine. helps Evan Engram out too.
-- If Washington OL Trent Williams is out Sunday -- the Chargers will be the #1 DST projected for the week. I think it's going to happen, thus we've been creeping up the LAC projections. This isn't good for Kirk Cousins or Josh Doctson...Doctson is a go-deep guy and Cousins isn't going to have a lot of time to wait for that route/pattern to develop.
-- If Jason Pierre-Paul is out for NYG...combined with all the other defensive injuries...you have to have some renewed Dak Prescott confidence.
-- Braxton Miller out. Bruce Ellington already out. If Will Fuller is not back...Stephen Anderson has to see at least 8 targets this week. Andre Ellington could see 8+ targets as well.
-- Ryan Shazier out for the season. The Steelers DST, minus Shazier and Haden, are shaky/OK Week 14 v. BAL. They are all but dead Week 15 v. NE. They would solid Week 16 v. HOU. Week 17 is good v. CLE, if that game even matters (and it won't if they lose to NE Week 15).
If Tyler Matakevich can return...he's a real IDP sleeper. He's a 10+ tackle a game guy in Shazier's place, but no one can fully replace Shazier for NFL purposes.
-- New NYG head coach this week. We're all caught up with'Eli'. Steve Spagnulo is going to try to win...especially to beat Dallas and kill their playoff chances. Who says he wants Orleans Darkwa as his lead RB? Could the veteran Shane Vereen be the deep-deep sleeper RB of the week on increased work? Maybe, he's a Wayne Gallman guy?
-- I was watching 'Sal Pal' interview Malcolm Jenkins this week, veteran safety of the Eagles. They were discussing the upcoming Rams-Eagles game. It was an on the practice field, casual interview. Jenkins essentially said -- Well, we have to stop Todd Gurley first. They're whole offense is the run game with Gurley. When Gurley gets going he can make Jared Goff look like some kind of Pro Bowler or something.
That was a veteran, team leader, key defensive player's take after I'm sure he was briefed on the opponent by coaches, and I assumed he was watching tape this week...because from what I understand of the NFL -- during the NFL week, the good players arrive to work at 3:30am to see who's the first in the building and then they never leave, they just sleep on the floor because they practice for a couple hours, workout for hours, and then watch tape of the opponent for another 15 hours.
They then leave to go home at 3am, but turnaround, once off the premises, and come right back to the facility so they can be 'first in' the building again. All I know about scouting is -- if you're the first in the building and the last to leave, you are the greatest player in history.
So, with a few days of all-day meetings with the coaches all week and his own studies, Malcolm Jenkins has deduced that the Rams run game is everything and Goff is junk, just propped up by Gurley.
Are you serious?
NFL scouts and coaches (and analysts) make up their mind about something (and it's 99% they all sign on to the same narrative about every player/team/coach) and then they view everything through that prism. I've watched the Rams in detail for three years, I've specifically studied Gurley in detail the past year (looking back at all his game, and back into college) to see why he 'sucked' so much statistically. I watch all the Rams games with a good attention span. I have never walked away thinking Gurley is the must-stop player. I would walk away thinking we have a Jared Goff problem...that he's the fuel making this rocket go. Not Jenkins. He doesn't think that.
Not his coaches either. They all think it's all about Gurley.
They all think Goff is a goof...the new Andy Dalton. They all fear Todd Gurley...and he's good but nothing ultra-special. The Eagles faced a more elusive runner with Mike Davis last week. I'm sure none of they knew who Mike Davis was. They probably spent the week studying to stop Eddie Lacy.
You wonder why the NFL is so stupid, from its commissioner's salary and his inability to discipline cheap shot players, to what the Cleveland Browns do, and how Ben McAdoo acts, and why THEY all agree on every player in the NFL Draft...but then most of them fail -- well, the answer is simple. The most obvious of answers. Why do you look at this business, called the NFL, and are constantly mystified by their stupidity? It's simple. They are pretty stupid and most of them are not good at what they do. They're not the best and brightest.
All these meetings and 25 hour work days...just for show so you will think they work harder then you, and that you could never enter their profession. It's a con by con artists who most have lived a life we couldn't imagine. I don't know what it is like to be the greatest athlete in my city, grade school, high school, college. My life does not allow that 4+ hours a day are dedicated to working out. I have to make my own travel accommodations and select my own modes. NFL players and all the grinder coaches and ex-player coaches and analysts are not bad people at all. However, they are like the politician who's never worked a real day in their life...out of touch with basic realities of everyday people and situations. I know working out is a grind. They're great at what they do on the field, but it doesn't mean they know how to scout talent, breakdown tape...or take the time to look under every rock.
If you're a multi-millionaire from playing the game, and then you go on to steal money from the network to show up and talk about football for 2-3 hours once a week with little prep...why wouldn't you. It fits their lifestyle...big money, humans worshiping them...so why work 'that hard' at scouting. They have no formal training or background in it anyway.
I'm not jealous of their football skills or life, I'm just trying to establish for all of us who love the game as a fan -- we know more about football than most of them do. They know more inside-baseball details on some drama stuff, but they don't study the league like we do...and when they do it doesn't mean they're any better at it than us. There is no reason for us to defer to them by default. Don't start an email to me with 'Well everyone else is saying...' I don't care. When every single football person swears Sam Darnold is the best QB of this draft class...my instant thought is..."Yeah, like you all thought Jameis Winston was."
Sorry, about this diversion. It's Malcolm Jenkins' fault. He was so matter-of-fact at how the Rams are all about Gurley, and Gurley is so good that even (a terrible, awful) QB like Jared Goff could look good...it pisses me off. Why? Because I know -- THEY ALL think that. And THEY control football. and Goff is playing breilliantly and NOEN of them can really see it.
Actually, I'm happy. I've won a lot of money on the Rams this year, you have too, because Vegas reflects the football establishment who sway the ESPN-loving masses. Keep talking Malcolm Jenkins!!!
-- First game recap around noon-1pm ET. I stayed up way too late last night after the football game, not working and watching a movie with my son. I'm already behind for the day.
-- Week 14 projection update between 10pm-1am as we digest the injury reports.