Everything’s Bigger from Texas
Last week, professional average quarterback Matthew Stafford signed an extension with the Detroit Lions that was worth a fair bit of money: $135 million over five years to be exact, with $92 million guaranteed. Was he worth it? Well that depends on how you want evaluate the Lions’ current situation and the state of the league as a whole. Obviously the guy isn’t the best QB in the league, not when the likes of Rodgers, Brees and Jesus are still playing, so in that sense it doesn’t seem quite right that he’s making more than all of them. However he’s also just 29 years old, has a cannon for an arm, thrown for over 4,000 yards in every full season of his career, and has led Detroit to a .500 career record as a full-time starter despite playing in a tough division and being saddled with a mostly mediocre supporting cast. And in 2017’s QB-dependent NFL, the Lions would absolutely be worse off letting their franchise player walk and trotting out the likes of Brock Osweiler or Blake Bortles. But you can get that sort of surface level analysis from our rivals over at ESPN! I know you come to the Bleacher Creature for deep-cutting fun facts, so here’s one for you: Stafford and MLB’s highest paid player, Clayton Kershaw, were both part of Highland Park High School’s graduating class of 2006. Somewhere, their valedictorian is kicking himself because he’s only making seven figures as a hedge fund consultant.
Is it Sunday Yet?
As is long-standing tradition in the Bleacher Creature’s lair (does one year count as tradition?) here is a barrage of unsolicited advice for the best internet-gaming time of the year: fantasy football season. If you’re considering taking David Johnson over Le’Veon Bell with the first pick, remember that he had a 4.2 YPC carry last year, has only one full season as a successful starter and plays on an aging team where every other offensive weapon could fall off a cliff at any moment. Brandin Cooks is a goddamn speed demon and one of the best deep route runners in the league. The last time Tom Brady had a deep threat this good, his name was Randy Moss and he had the greatest season a receiver has ever had. Ezekiel Elliott is appealing his Deflategate-like suspension and there is a non-zero chance he plays all 16 games. By rights he should be a top-three pick and if you can get him at even a slight discount, he’s probably worth the risk. A 32-year-old Brandon Marshall isn’t suddenly going to supplant Odell Beckham Jr. as Eli’s favorite target, but he could see enough single coverage to finish as a WR1 regardless. I understand that there is considerable hype for Leonard Fournette following his selection as fourth pick in the draft but please pump the brakes on trusting a rookie RB playing for the Jags. On the other hand, feel free to go pedal to the medal with fellow rookie Kareem Hunt, now without competition for carries in Andy Reid’s RB-star-making offense. Marcus Mariota has been the most efficient red zone QB in the NFL over the past two seasons and he just added one of the league’s most dangerous red zone playmakers in Eric Decker. He will finish top five at his position, maybe even top three. Cam Newton has lowkey been a shitty passer for a while now. If he can’t carry himself with his legs anymore, he’s not worth a spot on your roster. Please don’t be an amateur and pick a defense before the end of your draft, streaming them works so much better anyway. Unless you’re in my league of course, in which case I recommend locking up the Saints D/ST as soon as possible.