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“Off the Matt”: In Question, Week 12 (Key Injury Advice)



I’ll tell you what I love about he NFL.  EVERYTHING…that isn’t Roger Goodell and the $44 million dollars he made last year.  As mind-blowing as that number is, try to wrap your head around the fact that the $44 million deposited into his bank account is TWICE as much as the highest paid NFL player.  I always enjoy the NFL draft, but the 2015 draft being hosted in Chicago is going to be extra special.  In the WWE universe, Chicago is particularly known for having the hottest crowds.

If the right kind of crowd makes it into Auditorium Theatre there could be some epic chants and major heat put on Goodell.  How sweet would it be if a “Goodell Sucks” chant breaks out during his opening remarks / pandering session?

I wanted to switch gears and get into some positive thoughts, but first I must review last week’s disastrous recommendations.

Week 11 Recap

Penthouse Picks

The penthouse is vacant this week.  A case could be made for Mark Sanchez who posted a 348 / 2 / 2  stat line, but being responsible for four turnovers keeps him out of the penthouse.

Is that you Terrance?

Is that you Terrance?

Poorhouse Picks

Terrance West – 1.2

Jonathan Stewart – 3.9

Anquan Boldin – 5.3

Mychal Rivera – 4.0

These picks were not even house worthy – – it was a cardboard box kind of week.

Thank you Andre Ellington and his four catches or else I might be in a box as well.

Week 12: “In Question”


No concerns on the injury front for quarterbacks in week 12.  Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger are on bye.



Plan B: I came away from the MNF game being very impressed with Zach Mettenberger.  The game could not have started out any worse for him tossing a pick-six on his first pass attempt.  After that, he played very well and stretched the field averaged 17.5 yards per completion.  The match-up against Philly is a sweet one.  The Eagles have allowed 300+ pass yards in three of their last four.  The stat that has me locked on Mettenberger is that Philly has allowed 2+ touchdown passes in 9 out of 10 games.  Add to the recipe that the Titans are more than likely to be playing from behind and this is cooking up to be a potential top 10 quarterback play.


Matt Asiata (Out), Montee Ball (Out), Fred Jackson (Questionable), Charles Sims (Questionable), Doug Martin (Questionable), Arian Foster (Questionable), Reggie Bush (Questionable), Lamar Miller (Questionable)

From this list the two that are closer to probable than questionable are Charles Sims and Lamar Miller.  Both were practicing at the end of the week and owners should expect to have them at their disposal today.  Sims is still the back to own in Tampa Bay based on upside, but with Doug Martin possibly returning this week I would hold off on using him until we have a better idea of what the split is going to look like.  The Bills and Fred Jackson have been moved to Monday night.  Jackson was limited in practice but reports indicate that he is expected to play.  With it being a tough match-up and a questionable tag on Monday night I would be looking elsewhere if I were a Jackson owner.  Arian Foster and Reggie Bush are looking like an iffy questionable at this point.  Foster missed both the Thursday and Friday practice. Foster owners should feel confident plugging Alfred Blue in their line-up coming off a 36 carry outing.



Plan B: The San Diego Chargers didn’t waste anytime easing Ryan Mathews back into the offense.  They put the rock in his hands 17 times and he churned out 75 yards, which outperformed Branden Oliver’s 14 touches for 39 yards.  No one was exactly sure what the split would look like in San Diego, but in Mathews return he took the bulk of the work and looked better doing it.  With reports coming out of San Diego that Philip Rivers has been playing with a “very severe rib injury,” one would expect them to lean on the running game.  The match-up against the Rams is not a great one as they have allowed only five rushing touchdowns all year – – three of the five came in one game.  While the Ram’s rush defense has been pretty stout they have struggled a bit with high volume rushing attacks allowing 100+ yards 4 out of the 5 times they have faced 25+ rushes.  The Chargers have shown in the past that they are not afraid to work Mathews who received 29, 29, 25, and 24 carries to round out the final four games of the 2013 regular season.

With Matt Asiata out and Ben Tate being with the team for less than a week Jerick McKinnon should not be short on opportunity to put up numbers against the 29th ranked Green Bay rush defense.  McKinnon’s numbers have been on a three-week slide bottoming out last week with 5.8 fantasy points.  20 touches this week will not be out of the question and with the TD vulture sidelined, this might be the week that McKinnon busts into the scoring column.


Greg Jennings (Questionable), Larry Fitzgerald (Questionable), Justin Hunter (Questionable)

Depending on how deep your league is, chances are you won’t be depending on any of these names to make or break your fantasy line-up.  Larry Fitzgerald probably still finds his way into some line-ups, but with him being a game time decision in a [4:00] kick off owners would be best served to look for another option.



Plan B:  I think it is safe to say that the torch has officially been passed in Tampa Bay at the receiver position.  Rookie Mike Evans is now the teams best option through the air.  Much like fantasy owners, opposing defenses are also noticing the rookie who has racked up 21 catches / 458 yards / 5 touchdowns in his last three games.  While Evans is the shiny new toy in this offense, let us not forget the receiver lining up on the other side of the field is no stiff and has churned out 1,000 yard receiving seasons in five of the past six years.  Vincent Jackson needs to average 73 yards per game over his final six contests to make the streak six out of seven years.  He should get a good start on achieving that today.  As Bryan Robinson mentioned he looks for the Bucs to play an inspired game for their leader Lovie Smith in his return to Soldier Field.  I also expect the Bucs to play well and for Jackson to be a big part of the offense cashing in on the one on one coverage he is bound to see.

Putting your name behind a guy who has only eclipsed 50 yards five times all season is not a very appealing option.  However, when he has gone over 50 in four straight games and is coming off his season high in yards it begins to sound better.  Kendall Wright is coming off of a 70 yard outing and one can see the chemistry building between he and Mettenberger.  Wright has averaged just under seven targets per game with Mettenberger at the helm.  I look for him to receive at least seven targets and also set a new season high in yardage today.


Dwayne Allen (Out), Jordan Reed (Out), Charles Clay (Doubtful), Jared Cook (Questionable), Julius Thomas (Questionable)

Two of the top 8 tight ends are likely to be out of action for week 12.  Dwayne Allen has already been ruled out, and with Julius Thomas not participating in practice all week he is likely to be sidelined as well.  Fortunately, for fantasy owners Coby Fleener and Jacob Tamme are the direct replacements for the ailing star.  Fleener is probably already owned in your league, but don’t worry if you are in a pinch I have someone who is available in 9/10 leagues.



Plan B: Jordan Reed is out this week opening the door back up for Niles Paul.  Paul did an outstanding job filling in earlier this year when Reed got hurt early in week 1 and missed the next four games.  Over that span Paul had 6+ fantasy points in four out of five games including an 8 catch 99 yard 1 touchdown effort in week 2.  Today, Paul matches up with the 49er’s who have allowed 3 touchdowns to tight ends over their last two games, as well as double-digit fantasy points to the position in 4 of their last 6.  With all the question marks at tight end slot Paul into your line-up now and avoid the headache later.

Thanks for reading and good luck today.

I am finally on Twitter and have a massive following of 8.  I would love to hit double digits – – check me out @barkballin


(Click Link below to listen live)

Major League Fantasy Sports Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on November 23rd, 2014 at 11am-12pm EST for this weeks episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by theSports Palooza Radio Network. We will be taking live callers at 646.915.8596

This week’s guests include Bryan Robinson and Jeff Nelson. Bryan is a writer for MLFS and his articles publish every Thursday. Bryan discusses the WR/RB position and advises you on your Flex position plays.

Jeff Nelson is the DB coach for White Hall H.S. in PA and is a two-time Major League Fantasy Football Champion.


A/S/ the old school AOL instant messenger days... 31/M/PA Elementary Physical Education by day, chasing around my 1 and 2 year old boys by night. I started playing fantasy football when I was 9 years old (94'). My older brother let me be a co-owner on his team. We had one of those giant C-Band satellite dishes and had heard that there was a way to get every football game through a new package called "Sunday Ticket." My first memory was watching Terry Allen run around for the Vikings and I have been hooked ever since. I don't know what the world record is for most consecutive Sundays watching a minimum of seven hours of football, but I have to be on my way to achieving it.

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