The American philosopher George Santayana once said, â€œThose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.â€ Truer words have never been spoken, without question. But since I want all of you to visit each week for historical prowess of gems or futility, I am torn by Mr. Santayanaâ€™s words of wisdom. Sometimes players have their opponentâ€™s number and sometimes they donâ€™t. If you forget the good performances, and they are repeated, thatâ€™s a good thing I guess. But if you forget the bad ones, and they are repeated, thatâ€™s not a good thing unless you left the numbs-skull on your bench. But if you forgot, you might have missed it and been left with this confused, exhausted look on your face if youâ€™re your star receiver caught one pass for 12 yards! Now, had you remembered what he did in 2009â€¦
Think about it. If you forgot that you needed to nail down the floor boards in your first house and you fell through the floor, only to again forget and fall through the floor in your second houseâ€¦..
How about we not fall through the floor this week, ok? Thank God youâ€™re here because itâ€™s a long way down.
Going back a ways to 2008, Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan put together a solid performance against the Oakland Raiders, throwing for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Not a mind-blowing effort, but a super solid one heâ€™ll likely improve on this weekend. In the two meetings between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, quite an aerial display was put on. Giants QB Eli Manning threw for an average of 313 yards and tossed four total touchdowns. His counterpart, Niners QB Alex Smith threw for an average of 220 yards and added three more touchdowns.
The last time Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning faced the San Diego Chargers was as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. This was a bitter sweet game from a fantasy perspective as Manning delighted with 285 yards passing and two touchdowns, but tossed a wet blanket on the performance with four interceptions.
The matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions should be quite an affair if the past is any indication. The game in 2010 featured over 850 yards of total offense and plenty of fireworks. Running back LeSean McCoy more than played his part in the action, with 16 carries for 120 yards and THREE touchdowns. QB Michael Vick completed 21 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns, and the benefactor of his solid day was WR DeSean Jackson, who reeled in 4 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown. Lions WR Calvin Johnson and TE Brandon Pettigrew combined for 158 yards receiving and a touchdown and overall the ground game was humming as well. If history tells us anything, it tells us to start Lions and Eagles, pretty emphatically.
Looking at the numbers over the past few seasons, this classic AFC West matchup has smiled on San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews. In 2010, he carried the ball 26 times for 120 yards and scored three touchdowns. This past season, he didnâ€™t find the end zone but he kept the chains moving with 24 carries for 125 yards and 22 carried for 137 yards respectively against the Broncos. He is getting himself healthier with each passing week and should be ready to make some more noise in this great rivalry.
The history is brief, but more than worth mentioning. Rookie RB Trent Richardson made impact and an impression on not only the Cleveland faithful, but on the Cincinnati Bengals in this interstate rivalry. He carried the ball 19 times for 109 yards and a score, and also grabbed four passes for 36 yards and another touchdown. Nice start indeed!
I was looking over some subpar wide receiver performances and a few stood out for different reasons. Firstly is Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss. His recent history against the Minnesota Vikings did not exactly have the home crowd leaping to their feet. In 2010 he managed five receptions for 40 yards and pulled a similar performance in 2011 with four receptions for 46 yards. Touchdowns would have eased the pain of most fantasy owners, but none were forthcoming. As a low second tier option, a simple touchdown would have made all the difference here. That said, sometimes a touchdown doesnâ€™t make that much of a difference. It depends on the caliber of player and overall status in fantasy lineups. Safe to say that New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks is held to a higher standard in fantasy lineups and in his last few games against the San Francisco 49ers, he has fallen below expectations. Â In his last two games, he did score a touchdown but is averaging less than 50 yards receiving. Maybe I am wrong, but I will go out on a limb and say fantasy owners are expecting more from a player of his magnitude.
Iâ€™ll close things with a few solid performances from the tight end position. Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is really starting to come into his own and should build on his last game against the Redskins. Last season, Rudolph grabbed only 2 passes for 23 yards, but made one count for a touchdown. He is more of a focal point of the offensive attack in 2012 so I would look for an even better afternoon from the Notre Dame alum.
Itâ€™s been a while since Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten faced the Baltimore Ravens, but heâ€™s healthy and a necessary option in the overall success of the team. In 2008, Witten grabbed five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Look for Witten to be heavily involved this weekend, without question.
Finally, former Colts now Denver Broncos TE Jacob Tamme has fallen out of fantasy favor recently, but I have a strange suspicion he turns a frown or two upside down this weekend against the Chargers. The last time he faced them was as a Colt in 2010 and he hauled in seven passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. The jersey is different, but the guy throwing him the ball is the same â€“ the end result could follow suit!
See you next week!
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