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The Times
  • Fantasy football: Return of quarterback dominance

  • Isn’t it interesting how the return of the “real” NFL refs correlates with the return of some dominant passers getting their groove back?

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  • Isn’t it interesting how the return of the “real” NFL refs correlates with the return of some dominant passers getting their groove back?
    Think about it. Drew Brees (NO), Aaron Rodgers (GB), Tom Brady (NE), heck even Peyton Manning (DEN) all returned to form this week. Not that they were at all terrible — Rodgers was the only one who back-to-back weak performances — but when all four had their best fantasy performances of the season so far, it makes you wonder.
    Oh and let’s not forget Cam Newton (CAR) who bounced back big time and justified his high draft choice in probably every fantasy league you’ve been apart of.
    Seven of the top 10 fantasy scorers — this doesn’t include D/STs — were quarterbacks last week, which is the most so far in 2012 in standard leagues. Two (Newton and Brady) reached 30 or more points, which is also the most we’ve seen so far this year.
    It probably didn’t hurt that Reggie Bush (MIA) and CJ Spiller (BUF) were stuck in a timeshare, hurt or in Spiller’s case both.
    Teams, for better or worse, are becoming more and more pass-happy and with the normal refs back in attendance, I’d be willing to bet teams will continue to air it out.
    Bargains four weeks in
    One player that’s been consistent throughout the year is Robert Griffin III (WAS), who just hit the century mark in terms of fantasy points in standard leagues.
    And as long as RG III can stay healthy and his coach Mike Shanahan continue to use his skills and put him in position to produce, I don’t see RG III getting worse any time soon.
    He and a few others have been steals so far this year.
    How about Matt Ryan (ATL)? He’s playing at not just an NFL MVP level, he’s playing like a fantasy MVP candidate. Ryan is an example of why it can sometimes be better to wait on a QB even in a passing league.
    You just have to land the right one.
    Other bargains include Joe Flacco (BAL), Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF), Spiller (BUF), Alfred Morris (WAS) and Andy Dalton (CIN).
    Can’t Wait! Waiver Wire Pickups
    Can Brian Hartline (MIA) keep up the pace, following his 253-yard, one-touchdown performance.
    Who cares?
    Pick him up already!
    In all seriousness, he’s looking like the perfect flex or No. 3 receiver option this season, as Ryan Tannehill (MIA) doesn’t have a ton of options. Hartline is among the top receivers in terms of targets and he’s worth getting.
    What are you waiting for?
    Page 2 of 2 - QB: Matt Hasselbeck (TEN), Kevin Kolb (ARI)
    RB: Brandon Bolden (NE), Jackie Battle (SD)
    WR: Hartline (MIA), James Jones (GB)
    Breakin’ Bread List
    I should have thought twice about featuring the top scorers from these Thursday night games. Oh well. Can’t change it now.
    At least there’s one marquee receiver in the bunch, right?
    QB: Robert Griffin III (WAS) vs. Atlanta, Kevin Kolb (ARI) at St. Louis (I guess)
    RB: Frank Gore (SF) vs. Buffalo, Steven Jackson (STL) vs. Arizona
    WR: AJ Green (CIN) vs. Miami, Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) at St. Louis
    The Purple Drank list — presented by Tony Romo (DAL) and Dez Bryant (DAL)
    Goodness Tony Romo, what exactly was that? And Dez Bryant may have scored a decent amount of fantasy points, but that fooled no one.
    Talk about overrated. Both looked as though they were on the purple drank on some of the passes thrown and route run out there against the Chicago Bears. Yeesh!
    QB: Russell Wilson (SEA) at Carolina, Blaine Gabbert (JAC) vs. Chicago
    RB: Chris Johnson (TEN) at Minnesota (it’s one game, folks), Donald Brown (IND) vs. Green Bay
    WR: Jeremy Maclin (PHI) at Pittsburgh, Greg Jennings (GB) at Indianapolis (if he even plays)
    Don’t sleep on my sleepers
    QB: Jay Cutler (CHI) at Jacksonville, Alex Smith (SF) vs. Buffalo
    RB: Jonathan Stewart (CAR) vs. Seattle, Andre Brown (NYG) vs. Cleveland
    WR: Michael Crabtree (SF) vs. Buffalo, Alshon Jeffery (CHI) at Jacksonville.
    Joey Baskerville (@jmark79) writes his column every Wednesday during the NFL season. Reach him at jbaskerville@journalstandard.com.
     
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