12:48pm: Ertz is still possible to play, FYI 25-30%. Watch out on Trey Burton
12:23pmET: Week 14 Projections updated
11:49amET: Under the Radar Injury notes...
-- Colts Center Ryan Kelly out, still a killer for the Colts protection/helps Bills-DST
-- Bills 2 OLs out with Peterman starting...Colts
-- David Irving out is a small hit to DAL-DST
-- The Giants injury list for weeks and then today's inactives...this isn't even a football team. Eli Apple out. B.J. Goodson out. A lot of RB running for Dallas coming this week...not as much Dak running with his hand issue, you'd think.
-- David Amerson out...Tyreek Hill baybeeee.
-- Two key OLs out for KC...Hunt still shaky.
11:44pmET: bad news for Jimmy Garoppolo -- Trent Brown is in active, maybe his best blocker. This helps Trent Taylor being the short, quick option when Houston bum rushes JG.
11:41pmET: Ameer Abdullah out...the predictable Tion Green hysteria has started. I'm telling you...it's not going to be much/last long.
11:35amET: If I hear, one more time, on TV this morning that Mike Davis has a tough matchup...the Jags are #22 against the run (yards per game-115.4 yards). #28 in ypc allowed (4.5). And their best linebacker, one of the best in football is reportedly out.
11:16amET: Oh, for the love of all things holy...
Please someone tell me you were watching the ESPN Fantasy Now show, and you saw their cherry picked 'funniest' part of the weekly fantasy show last week...you know, the segment they do on Sunday to push, I guess, the weekly show. I, honest to God, have never watched 1 second of the weekly fantasy show on ESPN. Not even by accident. I might be interested if I hadn't watched these 'best of' clips on their Sunday show. That clip today of Matthew Berry hilariously going thru what 'hog wild' sounds like may have been the worst minute of television I've seen this year/decade.
TV is hard. I'd probably be a huge failure at it. But I know bad chemistry and charisma when I see it...I've seen pieces of many ESPN shows -- I don't think the ESPN execs understand charisma and chemistry at all. Their sinking ratings would seem to agree. There is a reason Fox Sports is starting to clean ESPN's clock...ESPN did this to themselves.
11:12amET: Sterling Shepard now playing? I'm moving away from him for more fear of cold, re-aggravation, etc., if I have decent options. I'm good with M Goodwin over SS.
9:39amET: No LB Telvin Smith today -- I go from loving Mike Davis to loving him even more today. That's a HUGE thing for Seattle's ability to run...including Russell Wilson's potential for running for 50+ yards today. The Telvin injury probably costs the Jags this game now.
7:38am: Let's talk some Jimmy Garoppolo...
So, you’re in the fantasy playoffs…right?
You’re looking at a QB dilemma. Maybe you have Dak, Mariota, Rivers, Goff, etc. and you’ve also picked up or could pick Jimmy Garoppolo…because of my beautiful JG poetry over the years/weeks. You don’t want to miss out on ‘the next big thing’, but you got excited about Mitchell Trubisky and Brett Hundley…and where’d that get you? The Jared Goff grab was SO long ago, you can only remember Trubisky hasn’t don’t FF-squat.
You eyeballed Garoppolo last week…0 TD/1 INT…who cares?
You see our rankings of Garoppolo and are intrigued but you’re afraid to pull that trigger.
Why are you a little afraid?
But for those of you considering Jimmy Franchise™, let me just lay out the case. I’m not just swinging at a fresh, hot thing just because I like shiny new toys.
First, the Houston pass defense… #22 via passing yards allowed per game, #25 in passer rating allowed. The Texans are not great against the pass overall, but it’s actually worse because they’ve been good as of late vs. Blaine Gabbert, Joe Flacco, and Marcus Mariota. When they’ve faced good+ QBs this season, here’s what has happened…
378 yards, 5 TDs/0 INT = v. Brady
342 yards, 3 TDs/ 0 INT = v. A. Smith
452 yards, 4 TDs/1 INT = v. R. Wilson
355 yards, 3 TDs/0 INT = v. Goff
Secondly, JG has started 3 NFL games in his career…he’s 3-0, completing 70.7% of his passes for 263.0 yards per game, and 3 TDs/1 INT. He’s not been ‘over his head’ when given NFL chances…throwing for a career-high 293 yards last week. His lone pick last week, a completed pass to his WR in Bears territory, but the DB stole the ball as they fell to the ground – if the WR holds on to that catch…JG’s potentially 300+ yards and that drive ends with a TD.
The 49ers were 10-for-18 in third downs last week, and they held possession 38:47 to 21:13 over the Bears…because Jimmy Garoppolo CHANGES the game.
Here’s where every one of Garoppolo’s drives ended last week:
CHI 15 (FG)
CHI 41 (stolen INT)
CHI 9 (FG)
SF 13 (punt)
CHI 17 (FG)
CHI 16 (FG)
CHI 45 (punt)
CHI 6 (FG…all they needed for the win…or they could have gone in for 6)
8 drives, 7 of them ended in Chicago territory, and 5 of them ended within the Bears red zone. ALL field goals!
FYI, the tape from this game was AWESOME...better than than even the numbers portend.
Garoppolo is borderline great already. He plays for a team that wants to push offense/is not trying to hide him. He faces a bad HOU pass defense on a team done for the playoffs/nothing really to play for. This game is indoors/good surface/climate for passing.
The worst that should happen today is Garoppolo is 250 +/- yards, 1 TD.
What could happen, the upside here…he pushes 300+ yards, 2 TDs…and one of them a long shot to Marquise Goodwin.
Tom Brady has 0 TD/1 INT last week. Things can happen with game situations, but a lot of things are pointing to positives with Garoppolo v. HOU this week.
If I just talked you into it – don’t cry about it Monday if he’s 250 and a TD, and you’re other option did whatever. I’m just making the case that this isn’t the wild swing at the piñata it feels like initially.
I usually don't get up and get rolling on Sunday mornings until closer to 8am, but I went to bed early to get up early for this huge Week 14. So, from 6am to 7am, I've had the NFL Network on in the background checking info this morning.
And here's what I've seen so far on 'the Network'...
- A 20-minute segment...that only seemed like 15 hours...of NFL Network no names playing pictionary.
- Someone picking games with Maurice Jones Drew using a long pole to point out things they wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. GET IT! IT'S A LONG POLE FOR THE SEGMENT!!! That show producer deserves the Emmy right now -- if not it's a travesty.
MJD looked very comfortable holding this pole for minutes at a time while the host rambled on.
Can I just add...as soon as MJD retired he was right onto NFL Network and into fantasy, etc., he was right to work -- it's been years, and he has never said one thing I've found remotely interesting. He has made zero progress and has been pushed from everywhere on the channel to holding a 10-foot pole at 6:30am...and the pole had the most charm and was the most interesting analyst on the segment.
- A one-minute segment where no name people took a Yoga break...HILARIOUS!! There's nothing more I want to see on a football channel than people stretching their legs. Great football TV.
Early morning Notes...
Weather Check: Temps in the 20s...IND at BUF (25 w/ light snow), GB at CLE (27 with 15+ MPH winds), CHI at CIN (29), BAL at PIT (28)
-- Nathan Peterman to start, as we thought all week. Three notes: (1) We're all expecting Peterman to go out and throw 5 picks on his first pass...you know this will be the most vanilla, safest passing game plan in the history of the NFL/this side of John Fox circa 2017. (2) I expect Joe Webb to play several snaps as a wildcat QB and potentially takeover at a certain point. (3) Peterman played at PIT and the cold weather shouldn't be anything new for him.
-- Matt Stafford reports seem to be 'all is well'. Versus the Bucs weak pass D, you have to trust in Stafford more than not.
-- Zach Ertz likely out today.