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Fantasy

Week 5 Flex Rankings: Shows To Replace Breaking Bad, And Their Fantasy Football Counterparts


Breaking Bad Football

One word review of the Breaking Bad finale: Fitting.

Unlike most shows, Breaking Bad didn’t use its final season as a hype-train for its final episode. They were too busy robbing it. Instead of building towards a big reveal to blow us away, Vince Gilligan and friends decided to treat the end of the Walter White saga like the chemistry experiment that was at the core of the entire series: Formulaic. And that’s not a bad thing

In a season wrought with failed hypotheses, eventually, through extreme trial and error, Walt was able to find the perfect mixture of elements to produce the outcome he was seeking. It was the anti-Sopranos ending. No ambiguity. No questions left to ask. We witnessed what happened, and that’s that.

Devotees will remember, I mentioned once the series came to its conclusion, that inevitably, the nitpicking would begin, and it has. Some have pontificated that it was a let down because it was just too easy for Walt. After five and fifteen-sixteenths seasons of breaking bad, things finally broke his way. It was a neatly packaged, nuts and bolts, satisfying conclusion. Anyone expecting new desert to be dug up with an hour remaining just didn’t want the story to come to an end. Because the entire run of the series was like Heisenburg’s trademark Blue, as close to pure as you can get, on something produced synthetically. No step was skipped along the way; every scene mattered. If each part of the process wasn’t treated with the proper precision, the end result simply wouldn’t have been to the highest standard. In many ways, Breaking Bad is the same as Fantasy baseball: No section is worth more or less than another; they’re all equally important pieces of the final result.

The meticulous attention paid towards the quality of the show throughout created a general sense of malaise during the finale. If you wanted to, just think of the penultimate episode as the real series finisher, and the last hour (and 15 minutes) as an almost “best of” covering all the fun Breaking Bad provided over its run: the tension,actionSCIENCEbadassery and, probably most important, dark humor was all there. Plus, it provided the resolution we were clamoring.

But now it’s in the past. And it’s time to surge into the future. There are new shows to watch. Where to start though?

Well, that’s a real conundrum. Breaking Bad reached a level of uniform reverence that just isn’t prevalent with TV shows.

Everyone’s taste is different. The subjective nature of fiction leads to an incredible amount of wavering opinions, but really, it’s not unlike the evaluation of a player’s Fantasy value. We all pick and choose the things we believe about someone’s skill set and what we consider irrelevant. Some defer to players inside a great offense. But maybe you’re a matchups man, a skills guy or one of those that believe apostrophes in first names translates into Fantasy glory. The unpredictably of football makes these modes of evaluation entirely possible, except that last one. That’s insane… and hilarious.

But everyone needs a launching point.

Lists are great. And while I’m no Liam Nesson, almighty dictator of lists, or his second in command, Bleacher Report, I do enjoy a good descending (or ascending. Or just a non-power ranked copulation, for that matter) collection of similar topic as much as any one else. In fact, I probably have a greater attachment to them. Hell, the rankings at the bottom of the page are basically the only reason people click on this column every week. So thank you lists.

So here’s a series of series to ponder for your next watch. Some are ripe with bingeability others are a slow burn, but all are like someone on your Fantasy squad. And if you have Netflix or aren’t useless at the Internet… BOOM!!! You can bang these out quicker than the Giants fell out of contention.

Adrian Peterson is Modern Family

Is Adrian Peterson really the best player in Fantasy? Probably not. But, year-after-year he is consistently amount the best. Usually, there’s not much separation between the top running back and the fifth highest scorer, but you can always count on AP to be one of those five guys. No one else is really in that conversation. That’s why he was the unanimous first pick – He always delivers, making Peterson an easy pick.

Modern Family is not the funniest show on TV, despite what the Emmys say, but it is easy entertainment. Basically, it’s Arrested Development without the continuous, complex running jokes or dark subject matter. You turn it on, have your laughs, enjoy the half hour, and then completely forget everything that happened. It’s a show that doesn’t require hyper-focus: you can answer e-mails while it’s going on or chop some broccoli and not really miss anything important. Just plug AP into your lineup and keep him there until he goes on bye, no need to ever really think about it.

Brandon Marshall is Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is intriguing, terrific and just plain weird. Like when people watch me run sprints on a treadmill for half an hour only to see me pull my pack of cigs out of the cup holder, walk out the door and hack a dart as my cool down. Beats a 5-minute walk. They honestly have no idea what’s going on. Outside of me having serious issues, of course. That’s basically Brandon Marshall. He’s flighty, and perpetually plagued by spurts of wacky behavior. Frankly, I wouldn’t be stunned if that weird shadow floating on the curtain in the “Red Room” was actually just B-Marsh. I feel like he’d fit right in with Coop, the Man from Another Place and Laura Palmer’s doppelganger, as long as he enjoyed a crisp cup of black coffee, one blacker than a moonless night. Which I’m sure he does, because really, who doesn’t? Or maybe he was simply the soul occupying the Log Lady’s faithful piece of petrified wood.

Another shared trait? Quality. Even at its worst – like Marshall’s Miami adventure – Twin Peaks was still pretty great. And when it hit, it went off. And don’t underplay the similarities between the enigmatic puppet masters sitting at the helm: David Lynch and Jay Cutler are both distant, capricious and love cigs!

Dwayne Bowe is Entourage

It was once good, briefly, and everyone stuck with it just waiting for the turnaround that never materialized.

Tom Brady is The Wire
Peyton Manning is The Sopranos
Aaron Rodgers is Mad Men

When we’re talking high-end, prestige, only the best will do. Debuting in the late-90s, The Sopranos stormed onto our screens and revolutionized television. It gained instant notoriety, accolades and became ubiquitous in culture. Well, maybe not as much as Peyton Manning. Every Sunday, there’s a 66.2-percent chance that Peyton is concurrently appearing in at least two different commercials at any given moment between all the games. He’s everywhere. And he too generated similar hype upon entering the league, claiming awards shortly thereafter.

Tom Brady followed The Wire model, beginning as complete unknown, only to immediately vault himself into the elite over the course of one season. Some thought Brady was a fluke. No way he could replicate that type of performance again. When the Patriots failed to make the playoffs the following year questions were raised about Brady’s ceiling, mirroring The Wire’s sophomore excursion form the projects to the docks. Both underrated seasons in retrospect. Then Brady won back-to-back Super Bowls and The Wire executed two of greatest seasons in the history of the medium. A stretch guaranteeing both a spot in the Hall of Fame.

When it looked like another show would never come along to join the Sopranos/Wire class, here comes Mad Menand its perpetually passed over star, residing on the “small market” of cable, AMC. Being hidden away on a channel in the 400s actually worked in its favor. There wasn’t immediate pressure, but once people got a glimpse, they were in. And, it’s one of the few programs ever that has basically been as good or better as it’s gone on. It’s clearAaron Rodgers is the heir apparent to Brady and Manning at his position, and at different points of their careers, they’ve all been considered “the best quarterback in the game” – both in real life and in Fantasy.

Peyton had the title for a bit, then Brady wrestled it loose and eventually Rodgers came and knocked them both out. But just how The Sopranos has gained momentum again as the “greatest show ever”, the resurgent Manning has currently been playing that way himself. It won’t last though; by season’s end it’s Rodgers you’ll want. He’ll ultimately be better. The way the Broncos are rolling at the moment, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Peyton take a two-week vacation when you need him. Delivering a Sopranos-esque blow to your championship hopes.

Rashad Jennings is The Blacklist

I hadn’t really heard much about either until this week. But there certainly seems like a lot hype behind it right now. My expectations for The Blacklist may actually be lower than the floor of the Mariana Trench, mainly because it’s on NBC. It’s equivalent to how no one thinks Rashad Jennings can’t be useful because he’s on the awful Raiders. But Terrelle Pryor could be a tremendous asset to Jennings’ productivity – he possess something I like to call “Spader upside”. James Spader is terrific. Not always given “Grade-A” material to work with, but he always puts a unique spin on all of it and, for the most part, enhances everyone around him.

While Oakland doesn’t win games, Pryor’s ability to remain upright behind that sieve of an offensive line – serious, I’ve never seen such big people take up so little space – does give the rest of The Raiders’ skill players an opportunity to post points. Darren McFadden wasn’t necessarily having a good year before the injury, but his Fantasy numbers were incredibly stable. Jennings is going to get the ball, I’m not overly concerned with a banged up Marcel Reece shouldering too much of the load, so he’s worth a shot. And who knows, Spader may actually make The Blacklist a watchable affair, but both only get one shot to make me believe.

Doug Martin is Homeland

Remember Doug Martin’s rookie season? Off the charts awesome. Causing some to, moronically, draft him over Peterson as the first player taken in Fantasy drafts. People bought into Homeland the same way. The first season was shockingly good. Or so we thought. On closer inspection, while being fairly consistent, it really just had a few “Holy Shit” moments everyone remembers. Martin was its clone, scoring over 40-percent of his yearly point in three games.

It’s not all entirely his fault however, as Homeland’s creators are completely to blame for its downturn. Showtime stepped in and changed the course of the plot so the star could still be prominently featured. But it wasn’t the same. He had no purpose and was eventually told to go away. His character was actively hurting the show.

Josh Freeman has been on a precipitous decline since last November. Starting with a 27-21 overtime win against the Panthers; the victory masked his poor play. Starting with that game, Freeman’s posted a QB-Rating above 80 just once, and he didn’t even toss a TD in that loss to The Falcons. Now Freeman too as been placed on the sidelines like Brody, giving both Martin and Homeland an opening to actually live up to their initial press. Week one didn’t go well for either, and if they remain at this quality for another two weeks, I’ll officially give up hope.

Mark Ingram is Sons of Anarchy

Because they both suck.

Riley Cooper is All in the Family

Because I like easy jokes.

Jerome Simpson is the Untitled Pat Mayo Project

Because I’m the only person who is intrigued by either.

C.J. Spiller is Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under is rollercoaster of emotions. Some weeks it’s a literal crack high other weeks it will send out into a deep state of depression. But you let its sinus curve of watchability dissuade you from watching, because it hits its highest peak at the very last moment. But be warned, it’s certainly not for everyone. You want to be riding the momentum of watching back-to-back great series coming before watching, you’ll need to have built up patience. Ditto for C.J. Spiller. He’s going to be frustrating working through his injuries and the new offense that just doesn’t seem to fit him… yet. Of course, he’s no lock to turn it around, so if your team’s stumbled out of the gates early, probably best to avoid. But, if you currently sit 4-0 or 3-1, Spiller’s the type of upside risk that can give your season the best ending possible.

Darren Sproles is the X-Files

Darren Sproles contributes in weird ways: running, receiving and returning. And, he’s established himself, along with Danny Woodhead, as premier genre players – they are far more credible within the PPR game. Just like X-Filesdid with Sci-Fi. It was an above average series, but against its own genre it was one a level of it’s own, mainly due to its proclivity of churning out sensational stand-alone episodes multiple times a year. But overall, it was consistent procedural, not unlike Law & Order: SVU, that played up to its odd theme, always outperforming its perception.

It had help, though. Where Sproles has Drew Brees & Sean Payton activity working to put him in the right spots to excel. X-Files had Mr. Breaking Bad himself, Vince Gilligan thinking up storylines. Homeland creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon were staffers too. Not to mention the crazy schemes the likely-deranged, and darkly hysterical Darin Morgan would jot down in his scripts. But it didn’t matter who was propping it up after David Duchovny, when the talent bolts, it’s an abyss from which nothing can escape. Once Sproles loses even a modicum of lateral quickness, he’s finished. Don’t think it happens this year, but like Mulder’s abrupt exit, those skills can demilitarize at any moment.

Khiry Robinson is Beavis and Butthead

They both share the key to Scott Engel’s heart.

Shane Vereen is Life And Times of Tim

The insane antics hard-luck Tim and his crazy crew of cartoon counterparts are the perfect stash. There’s only three seasons and each episode is just two, 11-minute shorts. You can bang out the entire thing in short order – it’s a quick hitter. Shane Vereen can provide the same short-term appeal. You’ll only get him for a brief period, but that’s all you’ll need to be satisfied. Only difference, now is the time to check out Vereen, where as any time is the right time for some Tim. We’re far enough away from his breakout Week 1, and equally distant from his return that his value will probably be as low as it ever gets. And… I’ve heard he may be the lost member of “Scaternology”, and when people find that out there’s not shot you’ll be able to pry him away.

Julio Jones is Shaq Vs
Roddy White is Pros vs Joes

Shaq Vs featured Shaq taking on a string of athletes at the peaks of their powers. Like when he beat Michael Phelps in the pool! It was stylish, smooth and significantly better than its look-a-like. That’s Julio Jones.

Pros vs Joes was clearly working on a sizably smaller budget, thus they could only attract washed up athletes, clearly past their prime. Every now and then they’ll score a big, napping giant current names – like the episode with Antonio Gates, Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb. But that rarely happens. Overall, it’s significantly worse. That would be Roddy White.

David Wilson is The Office (UK) & (USA)

Whether it’s Jim and Pam or Tim and Dawn, David Wilson has the same “will-they, won’t they” potential in him. But mostly, whenever you start him, you just sit there and cringe watching the awfulness unfolding slowly in front of you. You see it unfolding, but there’s nothing that can stop it. Like when Michael Scott invites his co-workersover for a dinner party or David Brent decides to rug a cut for charity. That’s what happens when you fuseFlashdance with MC Hammer

Sidebar: I figured out the perfect value of player I’d be willing to give up to gamble on Wilson: Stevie Johnson. A low end WR2, that is ultimately replaceable. That would be all I’d be willing to give.

SUPERLOCK OF THE WEEK

DET/GB ( o55)

STREAM DEFENSE OF THE WEEK

1. ATL D/ST vs NYJ
2. CLE D/ST vs BUF
3. STL D/ST vs JAX
4. CAR D/ST at ARZ

OUT OF OPTIONS STREAM DEFENSE OF THE WEEK

TEN D/ST vs KC

WEEK 5 QB RANKS

SUICIDE LAY UP LOCK

ATL over NYJ

EARLY GAME WATCHABILITY INDEX

1. NO/CHI
2. DET/GB
3. NE/CIN
4. PHI/NYG
5. BAL/MIA
6. SEA/IND
7. KC/TEN
8. JAC/STL

#THROWBACKTRACK

The new iPhone software update, iOS 7, has been having some problems. Like when it deleted my entire music library… except “Return of the Mack”.

Fun Fact: In my grade-six fashion show, “The History of Dance”, this song played at the ending when everyone came onto stage, in full costume from their era, to perform the one dance we learned. Logically, I was an 80s break dancer. Decked out in complete Run DMC gear: Chain, wide brimmed fedora, track jacket, dark jeans, fresh Adidas kicks.

I looked fly.

Unfortunately, 11-year-old me lacked the proper co-ordination to pull off any actual break dancing moves. I finished with an “SD”, significant difficulties, in rhythm class that year. So they made up a move for me called the “cabbage roll”. I now know it was a fabrication after a Google search couldn’t provide any answers, which reminded me of that ancient Chinese proverb: “If Google’s never heard of it, does it actually exist?” Basically, I sat in a butterfly groin stretch position and slowly rotated 360-degrees. One of the other guys could do a backspin. I’m convinced that’s why his construction paper box was always overrun with Valentine’s Day cards every February.

So anyway, I’m dominating the dance floor during this Mark Morrison jam and I unknowingly veered a bit too close to the edge of the stage… and “Cabbage Rolled” off. Next thing I remember? Plummeting to my death. (Spoiler alert): This column is not a string of posthumous predictions.

I was snagged mid-freefall by the teacher running the event. It was quite a grab. And, it created a lasing memory for all involved. So much so, I still break it out every Christmas when I’m home… it remains underwhelming.

In conclusion, give “Return of the Mack” a listen, it’s a legit track!

QUICK READS

Miami doesn’t cover TEs and I’m pretty sure Dallas Clark is universally available.

Philly has allowed team’s WR2s to explode thus far. Expect Hakeem Nicks to finally it get it together, at least for one week.

Don’t sleep on Donnie Avery‘s targets. After leading the team against the Eagles, he did it against last week, but it only translated into 2 receptions, so no one noticed. Monitor his looks because he could soon be more valuable than Dwayne Bowe.

Torrey Smith will be grinding against the Dolphins. Miami’s yet to allow a WR to find the end zone against them.

Zac Stacy could finally get some run this week.

The Rams have given up at least 25 Fantasy points to an opposing running back three straight weeks. This is the matchup to trust Maurice Jones-Drew. It he blows it, I’m completely over him.

Kellen Wilson was the one who benefited from the loss of Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill in Week 4, notJeremy Kerely or Clyde Gates. Don’t see any change happening in Week 5.

I know Eddie Lacy’s back, but never forget, the Packers hate running. Plus, I have a gut-feeling this anotherJohnathan Franklin big game in the passing game.

Julian Edelman is still a good play, even with Danny Amendola active. If he has a bad game, buy low.

Chris Johnson stinks. The Chiefs run D does not. Bench CJ2K if you can. Then walk up to him and say, “Chris, you’re sittin this week. Go get those ridiculous dreads shaved off and then go find that thing you use to have, you know, talent”

WEEK 5 RANKS

(Rankings & injuries spin updated Saturday & Pregame Sunday morning)

Points per reception (PPR) scoring must be treated differently than standard leagues. Receivers and scat backs like Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead and Roy Helu have inflated value in PPR scoring. As do possession receivers – Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and others in their mold are safer options. Catches tend to be more consistent and predictive. Obviously, touchdowns and yards are still important, but when considering FLEX options exploit any advantage you can. For standard scoring, running backs with hands of stone like Alfred Morris, BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley all see their stocks rise without catches in the mix.

Not Ranked because of injury: Darren McFadden, Ahmad Bradshaw, Rob Gronkowski, Miles Austin, Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Lance Moore
Bye, Bye, Byes: Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Washington

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. LeSean McCoy
  3. Matt Forte
  4. Jimmy Graham
  5. Julio Jones
  6. Dez Bryant
  7. A.J. Green
  8. Reggie Bush
  9. DeMarco Murray
  10. Demaryius Thomas
  11. Marshawn Lynch
  12. Jamaal Charles
  13. Randall Cobb
  14. DeSean Jackson
  15. Wes Welker
  16. Brandon Marshall
  17. Victor Cruz
  18. Darren Sproles
  19. Ray Rice
  20. Frank Gore
  21. Arian Foster
  22. Hakeem Nicks
  23. Andre Johnson
  24. Eric Decker
  25. Jordy Nelson
  26. Maurice Jones-Drew
  27. Bilal Powell
  28. Cecil Shorts
  29. Josh Gordon
  30. Jordon Cameron
  31. Marques Colston
  32. Steve Smith
  33. Larry Fitzgerald
  34. Danny Woodhead
  35. Reggie Wayne
  36. Julius Thomas
  37. Antonio Gates
  38. Tony Gonzalez
  39. Danny Amendola
  40. DeAngelo Williams
  41. Giovani Bernard
  42. Kenbrell Thomkins
  43. Julian Edelman
  44. Anquan Boldin
  45. Martellus Bennett
  46. Jason Witten
  47. Knowshon Moreno
  48. Rashad Jennings
  49. David Wilson
  50. Trent Richardson
  51. James Jones
  52. Dwayne Bowe
  53. Brian Hartline
  54. Joique Bell
  55. Mike Wallace
  56. Stevie Johnson
  57. Jacquizz Rodgers
  58. Pierre Thomas
  59. C.J. Spiller
  60. Lamar Miller
  61. Chris Johnson
  62. Torrey Smith
  63. Greg Olsen
  64. Vernon Davis
  65. Kellen Winslow
  66. Austin Pettis
  67. DeAndre Hopkins
  68. Stevan Ridley
  69. Ryan Mathews
  70. T.Y. Hilton
  71. Nate Washington
  72. Robert Woods
  73. Dallas Clark
  74. Denarius Moore
  75. Eddie Royal
  76. Eddie Lacy
  77. Fred Jackson
  78. Jason Snelling
  79. Tavon Austin
  80. Jeremy Kerely
  81. Brandon Gibson
  82. Alshon Jeffery
  83. Justin BlackMON
  84. Terrance Williams
  85. Coby Fleener
  86. Charles “Dice” Clay
  87. Owen Daniels
  88. Jermichael Finley
  89. Brandon LaFell SEXUAL
  90. Chris Givens
  91. Michael Floyd
  92. Golden Tate
  93. Davone Bess
  94. Donnie Avery
  95. Brandon Myers
  96. Kyle Rudolph
  97. Jared Cook
  98. Chris Ogbonnaya
  99. Harry Douglas
  100. Aaron Dobson
  101. Roddy White
  102. Johnathan Frankin
  103. Riley Cooper
  104. Mohamed Sanu
  105. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  106. Andre Ellington
  107. Willis McGahee
  108. Sidney Rice
  109. Ryan Broyles
  110. Daryl Richardson
  111. Bryce Brown
  112. Marlon Brown
  113. Darrius Heyward-Bey
  114. Bernard Pierce
  115. Rashard Mendenhall
  116. Michael Bush
  117. Andre Roberts
  118. Kenny Stills
  119. Doug Baldwin
  120. Rod Streater
  121. Ben Tate
  122. Kendall Hunter
  123. Tandon Doss
  124. Reuben Randle
  125. Jason Avant
  126. Brandon Pettigrew
  127. Tyler Eifert
  128. Delanie Walker
  129. Zac Stacy
  130. Donald Brown
  131. Daniel Thomas
  132. Kendall Wright
  133. Robert Meachem
  134. Brandon Bolden
  135. Ronnie Hillman
  136. Ronnie Brown
  137. Vincent Brown
  138. Keenan Allen
  139. Mike Tolbert
  140. LeGarrette Blount
  141. Jordan Todman
  142. Scott Chandler
  143. Jordon Reed
  144. Benny Cunningham
  145. Robert Turbin
  146. Brent Celek
  147. Jermaine Gresham
  148. Rob Housler
  149. Brandon Jacobs
  150. Greg Little

WORST PLACE: Mark Ingram
Second Worst Place: Montee Ball

How’d you miss…

Week 5 QB Ranks & Values
Mayo’s Week 4 Injury Report
Pat Mayo Hour – Week 4 Monday Rewind
Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups
Week 5 RB Ranks & Values

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