So many tears. Matthew Stafford lives off the nourishment of your tears. They are his oxygen, and his reason for existence.

If you deprive the demon of its essential life source, it will wither and die. It’s too late now, though. Far too late.

Matthew Stafford is your late-game dream crusher

Where art thou, Matthew Stafford? The list of fantasy-season murdering performances from studs or former studs today is a lengthy one, and it began earlier this afternoon with Eli Manning. Now Stafford was really, really excited to join that list of really good yet really awful quarterbacks.

You’ll recall Stafford as the guy who passed for over 5,000 yards last year while also chucking 41 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions, an impressive ratio. You also know him as the quarterback who’s now thrown only 17 touchdowns this year through 14 games, none of which came today during the Lions’ loss to Arizona. And most importantly, you know him as the guy you wasted a second-round pick on, and he now cost you a trip to your fantasy championship.

Say, it’s not obvious that I’m a Stafford owner, right? Sigh.

Stafford threw three picks today. The one thing we’ve been able to say about Stafford this year during his season of consistent pick throwing is that at least they haven’t come in bunches, as prior to today he had logged only two multiple-pick games. Welp, that ended with a resounding thud.

What makes today’s outcome worse is that often Stafford can compensate for his INTs with his high volume of throwing that in turn leads to significant chunk yardage. That was simply absent tonight, as he finished with only 246 yards, his lowest total since Week 2, and it was a steep departure from his 308.2-yard per game average. The end result was three fantasy points, 15 points lower than his weekly average.

Starting with Robert Griffin III’s injury, we’ll remember this as the week the quarterbacks conspired against us. Never forget, guys. Never forget.

Russell Wilson showed Buffalo what a young, promising quarterback looks like

I know I refer to the ownership levels in ESPN leagues often. We can debate the level of skill and knowledge among the average ESPN fantasy player if you’d like, but here’s an undeniable fact: a shit ton of people go to ESPN for their fantasy football needs, which is why I use it often as a gauge for the current trends and the thinking of the average manager.

So having said that, here’s a frightening observation. Russell Wilson is unowned in 73.6 percent of ESPN leagues. Not a typo.

Seriously, that’s real, and surely during championship week Wilson’s ownership will climb dramatically once waiver claims are processed early Wednesday morning. We can only hope, because who the hell wouldn’t want a quarterback who’s thrown 11 touchdown passes and just one interception over his last six games?

Wilson scrambled nine times today, and three of them resulted in touchdowns. Overall he had a season high 92 rushing yards, showcasing another valuable dimension that contributed to his 39 fantasy points today. It’s the fourth time this year he’s eclipsed the 20-point mark.

While his ownership should still rise universally (he’s also owned in only 35 percent of Yahoo leagues) since at the very least he’s an option that should be stashed on benches for consideration, his matchup next week couldn’t get much worse. Them Niners gonna hurt you, kid.

Where you at, Danario Alexander?

We should have known.

We should have known that eventually the stench of the Chargers would catch up to Danario Alexander, but we were all quite understandably blinded by his shining light that brightened the dark hell of the San Diego offense. We saw the riches of his frequent targets (21 over the last two weeks), and lo, we were amazed.

But we neglected to remember that he does indeed play for the Chargers, and their inept offense in every way imaginable. Eventually we would be reminded of that, which happened today during a game in which Philip Rivers was absolutely swarmed by the Panthers’ front seven. The result was zero catches, zero yards, and zero fantasy points. He was targeted only three times, a number that has been in the double digits three times over the past four weeks.

It won’t get much better next week either, as Alexander will be faced with Antonio Cromartie and the Jets’ secondary. He’ll fall to flex fodder.

Let’s take a shot for our fallen homie, and remember the good times.

Also among the missing: Jamaal Charles

Concluding our journey through elite disappointments during a week when losing meant returning to the realities of life in mid-December (“honey, you bought surfer barbie, and little Jane wanted pretentious medical professional barbie! I HATE YOU”) is Jamaal Charles.

Or maybe we should put Romeo Crennel here instead. Yes, that seems much more fair, because there’s no logical explanation for why the Chiefs’ best and only offensive playmaker only touched the ball 12 times during a 9-0 game at halftime, and a game that didn’t feature a single touchdown. Yep, Team Janikowski won this one 5-0 (really 15-0, but yeah).

But even with Crennel’s incomprehensible stupidity, Charles was still the suckiest of all the sucky sucks. He had only 10 rushing yards on nine carries. That’s depressing enough before we consider that one of those carries went for five yards, meaning his net gain on the other nine carries was four yards. The worst.

Comments (9)

  1. Don’t forget Doug Martin and Demaryius Thomas, who rounded out Alexander and Charles on my ridiculously disappointing fantasy team. 7.6 points between the four of them.

    • Ohhh I didn’t. Well, I didn’t for now at least.

      It feels like there were far more disappointments of the crushing variety today, and obviously at the worst possible time. As the dust settles tomorrow morning I’m going to do another post rounding up all the fantasy jerks that ended our seasons.

      Quick aside: I have three teams, two of which made the semi finals. The quarterbacks for those teams? Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning. Yep.

  2. Matthew Stafford has 17 td this year not 12….the only reason why i know that is cause i too unfortunately have him too…nothing but a disapointment.

    • Yep, you’re right, and I’ve corrected it. Seems sleep won this battle during late-night writing. Still very disappointing for those who drafted him early (*points at self*).

  3. while stafford has been disappointing this year i do think he bounces back nicely next year (not that it’ll do anyone any good now). lions look like they mite finish last in the division which would set them up with a cushy schedule next year. broyles certainly looks like he can play once he recovers from his blown knee. if young grows up a bit in the off season he could easily take a big step and theres always that calvin johnson guy. next year take the discount and re invest.
    also the madden curse couldnt affect johnson because hes a decepticon and not human. so it attacked the rest of the lions offence.

  4. So, do you guys recommend that I bench Stafford for Matt Schaub in week 16? I am one win away from the fantasy superbowl. Thank god I had a bye this week, or I would have been toast.

    • Tough call, but I’d take your chances and stick with Stafford, even though he can be maddening. The Lions are a far more pass-oriented offense, as Stafford is averaging 44.9 pass attempts per game, so it’s likely that you’ll get more opportunities for production from him. Schaub, meanwhile, is averaging 34 attempts per game.

  5. I scored the lowest I have ever scored in my fantasy league…during the playoffs too. You guessed it too? I thought Stafford was a no brainer against the Cardinals, but apparently he can’t fail at making the impossible happen, toss you a measly 4 fantasy points. Then the butterfinger effect came out from Demariyus Thomas and Reggie Wayne.

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