Nick Shook on fantasy football: Weird week leaves little in the way of suggested moves

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

What an odd week it was in the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles, left for dead by everyone including me, stunned us all by earning their first win of the season against a New York Jets team that looked surprisingly strong after two weeks.

Ryan Mathews, starting in place of injured and beleaguered DeMarco Murray, rushed for 108 yards and caught a touchdown pass. Sam Bradford was pedestrian but didn’t hurt the Eagles’ chances like in weeks prior. It was a weird win for the Eagles, epitomized by Brandon Marshall’s inexplicable attempt to lateral the ball after catching a pass with the Jets trailing 17-0.

That play alone explained Week 3. Continue reading

Nick Shook on fantasy football: Forget about Washington running game and look ahead to better days

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

I loved the way the Washington Redskins were running the ball the first two weeks.

Then Thursday night happened.

The Redskins were an atrocity to professional football, epitomized by Matt Jones’ fumble as he soared toward the end zone, resulting in a touchback. It was depressing for someone who had bought a considerable amount of stock in the hype surrounding Jones.

And Alfred Morris scored one point for my team.

Let’s all take a moment to let our frustrations out before we look closer at our lineups before Sunday’s kickoff.

Feel better? Good. Time to salvage your week. Continue reading

Dez Bryant leads explosive Cowboys to blowout win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Sunday of Week 17 offered us an appetizing slate of extremely important matchups for more than a few road squads. Some prospered, and some faltered.

Carolina’s defense played the game of its collective life, terrorizing Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons‘ offense and the tri-county area of Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett on Sunday. If I could give the award to the Panthers‘ defense I would, but I have to pick names, and it’s hard to decide between Roman Harper‘s 31-yard pick six, Tre Boston‘s 84-yard pick six and Thomas Davis‘ 33-yard fumble return.

San Diego, on the other hand, choked away the simplest of paths to a playoff berth, falling to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium when all they needed to do was win, and they were in.

And then, of course, there’s the career performance put on by Geno Smith in Rex Ryan‘s final stand, a statistical masterpiece in Ryan’s swan song.

I can tell you can’t wait to scroll down. Let’s get to the stars of Sunday, the best away from home. Continue reading

Aaron Rodgers’ two-minute drill keys Packers’ late win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Did the league send a memo to road teams this week?

After an abysmal performance by visiting squads in Week 5, the group collectively shoved it in the face of doubters (they’re out there somewhere), going 8-4-1 against home teams on Sunday. Big road victories included Dallas’ emphatic win at the home of the 12s in Seattle; New England’s prove-it triumph against division foe Buffalo; and Baltimore’s dominating performance against the lowly Buccaneers.

There were plenty of stars to choose from this week, but alas, we have a limit of three. Here are the very best visitors of Week 6.

Greatest on the Road …

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Before you take up arms and attempt to hunt me down, allow me to clarify: Joe Flacco had a fantastic game (21 of 29, 306 yards, five touchdowns), most of which he accomplished in the first half, but it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s a reason they’re 1-5 and have been carved up by more than one quarterback (see: Thursday Night Football, Week 3).

Meanwhile, in Southern Florida, the Packers found themselves in quite the barn burner. Green Bay had a lead, then lost it, then regained it, then lost it again. But with the Packers trailing by four with 2:04 left to play and Cheeseheads across America wondering, possibly panicking — are we really about to lose to the Dolphins? — it was Rodgers to the rescue.

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Wells Report reveals cowards inside Miami Dolphins locker room

Tackle Jonathan Martin, right, in his stance before ball is snapped during Miami Dolphins practice at the Dolphins training facility at NSU in Davie, Florida, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr. of the Miami Herald. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Tackle Jonathan Martin, right, in his stance before ball is snapped during Miami Dolphins practice at the Dolphins training facility at NSU in Davie, Florida, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr. of the Miami Herald. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.

Jonathan Martin did the right thing.

When the Miami Dolphins’ starting left tackle slammed his food tray down in frustration and abruptly left the facility’s cafeteria, and ultimately, the organization, he was doing the right thing.

When Martin drove to the gas station, bought a bottle of vodka that he did not drink, saw a movie, bought a sandwich and later checked himself into a hospital because he felt he was acting irrationally, he was doing the right thing.

The ensuing forest fire of debate and national scrutiny surrounding the Dolphins’ sudden bullying scandal was not Martin’s fault. He didn’t wish for any of that to occur. He had simply had enough, and finally decided to do something about it.

After reading snippets from the Wells Report, released last week after a months-long investigation into the Dolphins’ locker room, I was disturbed, but not entirely shocked. Because I knew, on a much lesser scale and for a much shorter amount of time, how it felt to be Jonathan Martin.

Continue reading