When it was suggested after four games that Tom Brady’s skills were diminishing, the New England quarterback responded with two strong football games that led to convincing victories, six touchdown passes, no interceptions, 653 yards passing and 62 fantasy football points.
While Brady should excel in the Thursday Night Football (TNF) game, Geno Smith of the New York Jets has slipped to the bottom of the starting quarterback fantasy football ladder. In the last four games, Smith has thrown four touchdown passes and five interceptions, lost one fumble and scored 43 fantasy points.
While New England (4-2) has rebounded to take the lead in the AFC North under Brady’s leadership, the New York Jets (1-5) have faltered just like their quarterback. Chris Ivory is ranked No. 25 among all running backs in the fantasy football rankings with 53 points. The Jets do not have a top 25 wide receiver and their defense is ranked No. 23 with just 37 points.
This year’s fantasy football advice is being combined with references to top-rated television shows from the past and the present. Week #7 of the season is being dedicated to the best TV shows in the 1980’s. There were several significant comedy shows, but Cheers won the most Emmy Awards between 1980 and 1989.
Sam “Mayday” Malone’s Starters
Cheers is set in a Boston bar run by former major league baseball pitcher Sam Malone (played by Ted Danson). Malone played for the Boston Red Sox and was nicknamed “Mayday”, because he was the reliever called on to secure a win in difficult situations. His knowledge of sports makes him qualified to identify the following players as starters in today’s TNF game:
- Tom Brady, quarterback, New England Patriots – Brady and New England’s resurgence on offense plus playing the Jets at home should add up to at least 24 fantasy football points from the Patriots starting quarterback.
- Julian Edelman, wide receiver, New England Patriots – Edelman has emerged as the leading wide receiver on the Patriots. He is capable of scoring 15-17 points against the Jets.
- Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots – Gronk is considered one of the elite tight ends in the NFL. Expectation – 14 fantasy football points.
Norm’s “Bar Stool” Sleepers
Norm Peterson (played by George Wendt) is Cheers’ favorite customer. He is an accountant that shows up at the bar every afternoon to a consistent “Norm!” greeting. Norm is always armed with a funny quip – “It’s a dog-eat-dog world and I’m wearing Milkbone underwear” – and is probably the character that is best aligned with pro football “Sleepers”. Here are Norm’s picks for week #7:
- Shane Vereen, running back, New England Patriots – Vereen lurks outside of the typical top 25 radar for running backs in fantasy football, but he is a valuable asset when it comes to having a running back who can run the ball and be the check-down pass receiver. Look for 14 points from Vereen.
- Eric Decker, wide receiver, New York Jets – Decker started slowly this season due to injuries, but has picked up his performance in the last two games. Expectation – 14 points.
Cliff Clavin’s “Know-It-All” Bench
You probably know people like Cliff Clavin (played by John Ratzenberger). Cliff is a U.S. postal worker who is wellspring of trivial knowledge. Cliff would probably recommend the following players that actually should be parked on the bench tonight:
- Geno Smith, quarterback, New York Jets – Smith faces the No. 5 defense in fantasy football and given the Jets offensive problems this year, a productive night is unlikely. Expect less than 14 points from the Jets starting QB.
- New York Jets defense/special teams – In previous years, the Jets defense under the guidance of head coach Rex Ryan was one of the best in the NFL. That Yankee clipper has sailed away.. Expectation – 5 points.