I’m not sure where to even begin in regards to last Thursday’s NFL game. I was all excited about coming home from work last Thursday and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers visit division rival Cleveland for a primetime matchup. As the game went on, it was evident for Steeler fans like myself that the outcome wasn’t going to be the one we were looking for.
Cleveland had defeated a good Buffalo team the week before and had some momentum.
And Mason Rudolph was about as accurate as a dart without feathers, consistently missing receivers and throwing four INTs in the contest.
Like I’ve said before, it’s not like Pittsburgh was going to win the Super Bowl so I wasn’t upset over the game.
In fact, I’ll admit I was dozing off towards the very end as Cleveland had a 21-7 lead in the final seconds. Then I woke up to what looked like something from the old video game NFL Blitz and had to do a double take.
By now you all know the details — Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Rudolph got into it and then Garrett proceeded to rip off Rudolph’s helmet and then hit him in the head with said helmet. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey then went nuts and started punching and kicking Garrett while he was on the ground.
It only took until lunch time the next day to hand down suspensions from the league — with Garrett suspended indefinitely, Pouncey three games and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi getting one after giving Rudolph a cheap shot from behind once he got hit in the head.
Here’s the deal: this is obviously uncalled for — and that includes Rudolph. The Steelers QB is expected to be fined (he hasn’t yet at the time this has been written) and video shows he was jawing back at Garrett and ripping his helmet to start.
If anything, Rudolph also deserves a suspension for escalating the matter, as he charged Garrett after the helmet got ripped off.
But I saw some internet hot takes stating that Rudolph deserved getting hit like that. To be quite frank, that’s an idiotic, uneducated take.
Can you please explain to me why, regardless of what someone did or said, it would be perfectly acceptable to club someone in the head with a helmet?
It wouldn’t. Plain and simple. That’d be like saying it’s ok for you to take a baseball bat to the windshield of someone that’s been bullying you. Is the bully wrong? Definitely. But you’ll likely get arrested for that in the real world. As much as the person antagonizing you can be in the wrong, you just can’t retaliate like a mad man.
These guys are getting paid millions to go head to head for 60 minutes each week. But when it comes down to it, it’s a game and there’s no place for something like that to take place. Hopefully it never happens ever again.
After I got back to .500 last week with a 45-45 overall record, I promptly threw that away and went 4-6 this week to dip to 49-51 on the season.
This is literally why I cannot have nice things. Anyways, onto this week’s picks ...
Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets. After Darnold hit rock bottom against the Patriots last month in “seeing ghosts,” the former USC product has been a serviceable fantasy QB over the past few weeks, as his last two performances have been for 21 and 25 points, respectively. Look for that trend to continue against a surprisingly good Raiders team this week.
James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers. Washington has been the Steelers third wideout all season but there’s potential that JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson will be out against the Bengals this Sunday. If you’re desperate for a bye week WR, he’s at least going to get plenty of targets.
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets. I’ll double down on the Darnold prediction and say that if the QB is going to have a big day, then one of his receivers will as well.
That should be Crowder — who has put up 18, 16.5 and 15.5 points, respectively, over the past three weeks. That also includes touchdowns in each game.
Bo Scarbrough, RB, Detroit Lions. It’s taken the former Alabama running back almost two years to see game action but once he was signed off of Detroit’s practice squad Saturday, he scored his first NFL TD within about three minutes against Dallas. A physical runner, Scarbrough wasn’t featured as the stud back in college because in his three years with the Crimson Tide, here is a list of his backfield mates — Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs. Detroit takes on Washington this week so expect another 10-15 carries that could result in a TD.
Jacob Hollister, TE, Seattle Seahawks. He’s had four weeks as the featured TE since Will Dissly went down with season-ending injury. But in the last two, Hollister has combined for 33 fantasy points — including three touchdowns.
It’s a bad matchup against Philly but Wilson threw his way 10 times last week. With that amount of targets, coupled with the lack of solid fantasy TEs across the board, Hollister makes for a decent play.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots. After the 42-year-old ageless one started out the year red hot in the fantasy football world, production has cooled off over the last few weeks, culminating in a 17-10 victory over the Eagles Sunday that saw New England struggle to get first downs and Brady didn’t throw a single TD pass. They’ll play a Dallas team this week that’s held QBs in check for the most part.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams. Since Kupp eviscerated the Bengals a few weeks ago for 220 yards and a score, he followed that up with a catchless game against Pittsburgh and three receptions for 53 yards last week against Chicago. This is more about Jared Goff’s struggles than Kupp, as they’ll take on a red hot Ravens team this week.
It’s another case of you’re definitely not benching Kupp, but don’t be surprised if he struggles yet again.
Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys. As I mentioned before, Cooper and the Cowboys will take on the Patriots this week — a Patriots team that has given up the least amount of fantasy WR points this year.
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants. The super human Penn State product missed three whole games from his high ankle injury that would make mere mortals miss 6-8 weeks.
But it’s clear he isn’t to his usual self just yet — as Saquon had 13 carries last week for one measly yard.
It’ll get better obviously but this week he still has a less than desirable matchup against the Bears.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have struggled mightily in the pass game the last couple of weeks with Kyle Allen leading the way, as last week they were defeated 29-3 by Atlanta. They’ll play a solid New Orleans Saints team Sunday so don’t expect things to get any better.