The Bad News Bears. Charlie Brown. George McFly.
Lovable losers, all. We laugh at their ineptitude and sympathize with their plight (good-ol Chuck just never gets to kick that football).
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The Buffalo Bills. Carolina Panthers. Detroit Lions.
Losers, period. We laugh at the poor play and sympathize with their despondent fans.
Still, while those three teams are a combined 2-16, it doesn't mean they can't help your fantasy football team.
And, somewhat shockingly, this is especially the case when it comes to the Bills.
Quick, who is averaging the most fantasy points among quarterbacks since Week 4? Drew Brees? Philip Rivers? Peyton Manning?
Nope. It's Ryan Fitzpatrick. And it's not even close. I watched some of the Bills-Ravens game and was thoroughly impressed with how Fitzpatrick didn't stare down his primary receiver, stood in the pocket and hit his receivers with stunning accuracy.
All this against a supposedly iron-clad Ravens defense.
It's no wonder Steve Johnson has suddenly become a household name. The third-year pro out of Kentucky has 5 TDs in the last four games and is coming off a 158-yard, 2-TD performance.
While I'm hesitant to fully endorse Lee Evans (he killed me last year), it's difficult to ignore that he's been targeted 32 times the last four games and is averaging 63 receiving yards per game (and that includeds a 6-yard stinker).
Finally, let's not forget the running game. Fred Jackson isn't on the radar yet, but if the passing game keeps clicking, he will be as defenses pay it too much attention. Jackson (73 yards in two straight games) is actually in one of my lineups this week, taking the place of the brutal Ryan Mathews.
The question is, will this continue? After watching the Ravens' game, I say yes, especially with a schedule in which the only tough defenses left are the Bears in Week 9, the Steelers in Week 12 and the Dolphins in Week 15.
My teams: My unit-league team (5-2) romped to a 70-37 victory thanks to Roddy White (24 points), but losing Tony Romo really stinks. Hopefully, Eli Manning is up to the task. My regular team (4-3) beat the league's undefeated team 121-99, and that was with Darren McFadden on the bench, so things are looking up.
• Cowboys QB Jon Kitna vs. Jacksonville. Tony Romo owners who nabbed Kitna can take solace at least for one week that Kitna figures to post Romo-like numbers against a pitiful pass defense.
• Dolphins QB Chad Henne at Cincinnati. The Bengals defense, now without DE Antwan Odom, saw Matt Ryan throw 3 TD passes and get 299 yards as the Falcons piled up 39 points. Henne could be a top-5 play this week.
• Colts WR Pierre Garcon vs. Houston. With a decimated receiving corps, Peyton Manning will be looking to Garcon.
• Chiefs RBs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones vs. Buffalo. These two combined for 196 yards and 2 TDs last week, and now they face the league's worst run defense. Enjoy.
• Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount vs. Arizona. Bit of a flier pick here , but the rookie did pile up 72 yards on 11 carries vs. the Rams and gets another weak run 'D' on Sunday. Watch for 12-16 carries and about the same yardage number.
• Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart at St. Louis. This is only if DeAngelo Williams (foot) is inactive. If that happens, I say Stewart runs like a man possessed.
• Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Minnesota. Four straight games with a TD? Sign me up.
• Cardinals RB Beanie Wells vs. Tampa Bay. Welcome to the good bets, Beanie. You can stay here with a resounding performance that relegates Tim Hightower to third-down duty. Finally.
• Panthers WR David Gettis at St. Louis. Was last week a fluke for Gettis (8-125-2)? I don't think so. He's averaged 6.2 targets since Week 2, and at 6-feet-3, 216 pounds, he's tough for QB Matt Moore to miss. Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer noted that the Panthers hope the sixth-round pick "will turn into their version of Marques Colston." Something to think about.
• Titans QB Vince Young or Kerry Collins at San Diego. Whichever player gets the nod, don't expect much against the league's top pass defense.
• Saints RB Chris Ivory and WR Robert Meachem vs. Pittsburgh. Tough spot this week against a nasty defense. I'd find other options if you can.
• Packers RB Brandon Jackson at New York Jets. No team allows fewer fantasy points to running backs than the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.
• Bengals RB Cedric Benson at Miami. He's not a terrible bet, but Miami held Rashard Mendenhall to 37 yards. And, the last four teams' feature backs are averaging 77 rushing yards per game with 2 TDs.
• Redskins QB Donovan McNabb at Detroit. A must start for McNabb! Not really. First, the Lions aren't as bad as you think (giving up just 194 yards passing per game since allowing 372 to Jay Cutler in the opener). And McNabb has yet to throw more than 1 TD pass in a game this year.
• Broncos WR Eddie Royal vs. San Francisco. Nursing a groin injury, Royal has just 9 catches the last three games.
• Cowboys WR Dez Bryant vs. Jacksonville. Those 3 TDs on MNF were nice, but keep this in mind: Bryant is averaging just 44 receiving yards per game with a high of 56. Play him if you must, but I wouldn't use him over, say, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Steve Johnson, Lee Evans, Davone Bess, Michael Crabtree or either of the Mike Williams'.