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Scouting Notebook: Rainey check

In our game, a breakout rushing performance is always the top story. And Bobby Rainey ran wild for Tampa Bay (163 rushing yards and three scores). If we once loved Doug Martin, why should we not at least really like Rainey? And 5-foot-8, 212 pounds is not small. It’s short. Next up is the Lions, Panthers and Bills over the next three weeks for Rainey. That’s not good. Looking beyond three weeks with guys like this is not smart. Baby steps.

 

LeSean McCoy still gets a lot of volume and he’s not a small body mass guy at all. So I think he’ll hold up. But the explosive running plays are not going to be there without the threat of Michael Vick running on those read option plays. And defenses really have to watch out for boot action on every handoff, which keeps the ends from crashing on the ball carrier, creating natural running lanes.

 

And, yes, I understand that Nick Foles is making some plays with his legs and technically still running read option at times with McCoy. But no defense fears Foles’ running. If Vick regains his job when his hamstring heals, it will be the joke of all time. Chip Kelly cannot be serious with this. And you can lose your job to injury. He’s not even losing it to injury. Foles has been better than Vick this year by a country mile. What else matters? Foles is setting records, for cryin’ out loud. His 16 TDs without a pick is only four off from the single-season record (Peyton Manning, this year). He also leads the league in yards per pass attempt, the gold-standard statistic (teams that win YPA win 74.1% of games since 1970 irrespective of any other statistic).

 

Jamaal Charles seems to have lost a step or two. The big plays are way down and he should have scored from way out tonight but was about to get caught and inexplicably just ran out of bounds.

 

Mike Wallace is showing us again that you just can’t pay anywhere near retail on these free agent wideouts, especially when they go from Hall of Fame quarterbacks to "who knows?" types.

 

Charles Clay is a top 12 TE, though, and more Tannehill’s speed. I’m sick of talking about Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Neither of those guys are players you can win with.

 

I think Danny Woodhead can go back to your bench. He typifies the gritty overachievers that I recently said annoy me. One of my favorite quotes about professional sports is: “Show me a player with a lot of heart and I’ll show you a guy getting his butt kicked.”

 

Chris Ivory made hay in garbage time, but the Jets offense and Geno Smith are a joke right now. Yet, this is when they rally, typically. New York is the first team EVER to alternate wins and losses through 10 games.

 

We don’t do injuries here because it’s too soon and the speculation gets me in trouble (cough, Calvin Johnson, cough). But losing Keenan Allen for an extended period is not only devastating to Allen owners but also could knock Philip Rivers out of standard-league relevance.

 

Andre Johnson clearly prefers Case Keenum as his quarterback. He fought with Matt Schaub on the sidelines. Those two have poor chemistry now, it seems, on and off the field. I don’t get Keenum’s benching, but clearly Gary Kubiak is coaching for his job and wants a win. But how does Schaub, with all that’s happened this year, increase win probability over Keenum, who may be very good?

 

Scott Tolzien is showing something if the byes catch you next week a little unprepared. Many non-expert leagues draft and hold multiple quarterbacks per team, I know.

 

I’m a Josh Gordon fan. But he had about as bad a 5-for-125 and a TD game as you can have. He left plays on the field and didn’t show a professional effort at times. He’s an enigma, though potentially an elite talent if he had any of the grittiness, heart, want-it, whatever you want to call it, that I sometimes mock because it implies dedication is the exception in professional sports where it’s really the rule.

 

If Emmanuel Sanders’s foot injury is serious, Jerricho Cotchery may get the snaps that could help him sustain this flukey TD run.

 

Le’Veon Bell couldn’t convert on first-and-goal from the one and did nothing but did get volume. You all have been playing long enough to know that you have to find a place on your team for backs who get volume.

 

Michael Floyd is, drum roll, big and fast and highly drafted. That’s jackpot on my fantasy slot machine. Upcoming Cardinals schedule: Colts, Eagles, Rams - not a bad slate. Then, Titans and Seahawks are not so good. Colts and Rams are at home. I said to get him back in August so you know I’m going to advocate it now. And prior to this week, Floyd was a big (but cheap) disappointment.

 

Why is Owen Daniels coming back? Get Garrett Graham. The Texans were a sleeper tight end team for me this year because, like Carolina, they targeted their tight ends heavily last year. This has not changed.

 

Matthew Stafford had a really weird game -- penthouse first half, outhouse second half. But I’ve turned the corner on him. He gets rid of the ball on time well (65.5% of passes thrown in 2.5 seconds or less through Week 10, best rate in league) and, of course, he can ride the Megatron wave.

 

Vincent Jackson owners have to love his percentage of Mike Glennon passing yards (165 of 231, 71.4 percent). I don’t know what the record is but I’ll look into it this week. Maybe Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler did something like this last year.

 

You have to just move on from this A.J. Green two-catch, seven-yard game. It happens at times to most receivers. It should never happen to Green, of course, but the Browns-Bengals game was one of the strangest ones you’ll see with all the defensive touchdowns and the 31 quick points by Cincy.

 

They spend a lot of time measuring QBs hands (spiral-throwing ability, fumble prevention). I’ve never heard them measuring arm length for passers. Looking at Colin Kaepernick, his long arms seem to make it take very long for him to release the ball. There seems to be some obvious correlation here. Perhaps that’s why you want your quarterbacks over 6-foot-3, but guys over 6-foot-5 hardly ever make it.

 

I think we can put Marques Colston back in the circle of trust. I love Jimmy Graham but he really alligator armed a long pass from Brees and no one said anything. If that was Terrell Owens back in the day, we never would have heard the end of it. And I understand it’s crazy out there and that, sometimes, self-preservation understandably takes over. It’s probably in the best long-term interests of his team, too. I’m just noting the selective criticism.
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