Bye Weeks: Chicago, Cincinnati,
Kansas City, Philadelphia
Last Week's Projections
(7-7) Straight Up - 50.0%
(8-5-1) Against The Spread - 61.5%
For The Season
(37-23) Straight Up - 61.6%
(34-25-1) Against The Spread - 57.6%
N.Y. Giants at Dallas (-3
˝), 1:00 pm
The Giants showed something last week as they knocked off
the Pack. They were a 7-point underdog and those of you who didn't
get in on that should be shot. The G-Men have been playing very
well of late and the Pack defense has weakened. They have not been
the same since that beating they gave Carolina in Week 1. Tiki Barber
laid the smack down on the Pack with a 182-yard effort on the ground.
Warner didn't look all too impressive with a TD and a pick. But
the Giants defense was surprisingly effective with only allowing
1 TD to a pretty good Pack offense. I think the offense will have
a tough time against this D. However Barber and Shockey should be
good starts. I think they will lose pretty soundly though.
The Cowboys coming off a bye week should be refreshed and ready
to go. It really seems as though the Tuna has decided to go with
more passing this year as Vinny is having 300 yards games with regularity.
I suppose he still has a little left in the tank. Make no mind that
he uses a cane to walk and Viagra to do other things. Who would
have thought this old bastard would be this good? Amazing. A collection
of oldies but goodies but they are doing the job. Vinny, Key, Glenn,
and the Cowboys D all good starts this week. Read an article about
Key in ESPN the Magazine. He is a jerk but I think Gruden is a bigger
jerk. Gruden probably wished he had that to do over again.
Final Score: Cowboys 20, Giants
Oakland (+ 9)at Indianapolis,
Oakland huh? What an egg they laid last week in Houston.
Pathetic. Just when you think this team is ready to turn the corner
they turn into the old Raiders. Mistakes and plenty of them. Two
picks and two fumbles for Collins. That is not going to get it done.
How can you let Jonathon Wells light you up for 100? Isn't he a
fullback? Hey I am the first to say the Texans are improved but
gosh they could have put on a better show than that. Zereoue was
pulled off the scrap heap and inserted in with a good result. 117
he burned the Texans for and a couple of scores. They need to find
more offense and stop getting gashed on defense. I think the Colts
have way too much firepower. Start Collins or Zereoue if you have
to. Wheatley probably just lost his starting spot.
The Colts pulled off another big time win on the road in Jacksonville
last week. So much for the highly touted Jaguars defense. They
were burned early and never really got back on track. However
they kept James and Harrison under 100 and Manning to "only"
two TDS. The Colts have to be concerned with their pass defense
though. They are the worst in the league giving up whopping 313
yards per game. They are second in the league with TD passes against
with 8. Not good numbers at all. It could be a result of how quickly
the offense scores but I don't think so. They just have a horrible
secondary and they don't put a lot of pressure on the QB with
only 7 sacks. In any event, I think they will overcome those obstacles
and beat the Raiders just not by 9.
Final Score: Colts 28, Raiders
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
(-3), 1:00 pm
Tampa let me down last week with another weak performance by Brad
Johnson. He only had 162 yards and managed a TD. Is completion
% is ok but his TD to INT ratio is 1/1. That is not good I this
offense which you have to avoid the mistake. They do not have
the game breakers that can get you out of a jam when you get behind.
This team was built to keep and close and let the defense do the
job. The defense did a good job against the Broncos but they need
more scoring. Hence Tampa's decision to go with Simms this week.
I think Simms has the bigger upside but will struggle in the beginning.
He is not Mr. Pressure and his first start will have plenty of
it. Look for the offense to struggle again and lost this game.
Start Pittman, as he seems to want to play for a contract. I love
those kind of guys.
The Saints are the "Sible" of football. I have never
seen a team that hates prosperity more than the guys from New
Orleans. After the embarrassing loss to a hapless Cardinals team
QB Brooks said that "major" changes needed to be made
for the Saints to reach the next level. One of those may be him
as he has never been a big game QB and probably never will. Great
talent but a consistent under-achiever. How does a team allow
a man that has gray hair for gosh sakes to rush for 127 yards??
They gave up over 200 yards to Smith and the castoff Hambrick.
That has got to change if this team wants to make the playoffs.
Getting smoked by 24 points when you are a four point fav ain't
going to get it done. However, I think that the Saints will be
motivated and certainly have more offensive talent than the Bucs.
They should end up winning this game by 5. Brooks, Horn, Stecker
(if need be) should be good starts.
Final Score: Saints 21, Bucs
Cleveland (+6) at Pittsburgh,
These teams are a combined 5-3 and have done it mostly with smoke
and mirrors. I think there's some fantasy points to be had, but
I wouldn't expect studly numbers from anybody except IDP in this
The Browns finally got to show off their prospective back of the
future in Lee Suggs, who turned in a solid performance last week.
My brother Dan took Suggs halfway through our draft and isn't
necessarily singing his praises just yet. But I think Suggs will
have serviceable numbers against the Steelers who are not as strong
against the run as they once were. Look for close to 100 and a
score, just don't count on anything too ridiculous. Garcia's probably
a good guy to stay away from this week if you have options in
the 200 yard, 2 TD range. As far as receivers, I really can't
handle the inconsistency of any of these guys, and the best piece
of advice I can give you is not to draft any of them with high
expectations. DB Robert Griffith is the best IDP option and will
continue to be as long as the front seven struggle. Without DL
Courtney Brown, there's nothing to slow these guys up for linebackers
Andra Davis and Kevin Bentley, the best other options. Former
Dallas bust Ebenezer Ekuban might be finding his groove, with
a couple sacks and decent tackle totals for a defensive end. I
think Kenard Lang will struggle to post more multi-sack games,
the only situations which give him lots of fantasy value, but
this is another opportunity since Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
has been sacked four times in two games and will probably go down
at at least twice on Sunday.
The Steelers are a confusing bunch, and even Jerome Bettis is
emerging as a great #3 running back despite limited use. Duce
Staley owners must be at the end of their ropes, watching him
come off the field near the goal line. Some unlucky owners may
even be having Stacey Mack flashbacks from a few years ago. Roethlisberger
is too much of a risk because of his inexperience, but I would
continue to play Hines Ward all the time and the sometimes great
Plaxico Burress in certain situations - just not Sunday. I hate
to say it, but Ward and kicker Jeff Reed are the most consistent
fantasy options on this team. Even the defense has been inconsistent,
with Joey Porter having just one decent IDP game. Safety Troy
Polamalu, a 2003 1st round pick has 30 tackles and two INTs in
four games, while 2002 4th round pick Larry Foote has 28 tackles
and a sack at linebacker in place of the oft-injured Kendrell
Bell. LB James Farrior, DB Deshea Townsend and DL Aaron Smith
represent the best other fantasy options (which are a lot different
than just a few years ago).
Final Score: Browns 16 Steelers
Detroit (+7) at Atlanta,
Atlanta spent the first three weeks beating three teams from the
NFC West (but not Seattle) and just last week polished off the
NFC Champion Carolina Panthers with more sterling defensive play.
Peter King, who looks an awful lot like George Wendt ("Norm" from
Cheers) stated the obvious in his column this week by saying Atlanta
is doing it with their front seven, especially their lineman -
Patrick Kerney, Brady Smith and Rod Coleman. These guys should
wreak havoc on Detroit QB Joey Harrington, who has been known
to throw a few picks when he's not taking 10-yard sacks.
Which reminds me that I haven't written a limerick in a while.
This should be posted on the Atlanta bulletin board.
Have you heard from that Harrington kid? The Atlanta front four
split his lid He got hit by Pat Kerney, ended up on a gurney -
while the Detroit offensive line hid.
The Falcons should get good games here from Mike Vick and Peerless
Price, who is definitely due. Saying Price has been relatively
quiet this year would be an understatement, and I think it's about
time he had some catches and a score. The guy just hasn't been
the same since he blew up in 2002 for Buffalo (94-1,252/9TDs).
If Warrick Dunn's hamstring is healthy come game time, he should
be played, and I actually like T.J. Duckett this week if Dunn
can't go. Alge Crumpler is always a must-play. As far as IDP goes,
there's the incomparable Kerney, safety Bryan Scott, and LB Keith
Brooking. Don't expect CB Kevin Mathis to keep up his current
pace with tackles - and remember that the INT for TD return skews
his IDP numbers. And Chris Draft will never be a consistent IDP
option because of his asthma.
The Lions, given the situation with the stalwart Atlanta defense,
have two decent offensive fantasy options - rookie WR Roy Williams
and kicker Jason Hanson. On defense, this is a good week to go
with LB Earl Holmes and safety Brock Marion. Stay away from everybody
else, because Vick might take matters into his on hands and run
wild this week, rendering the defensive line and outside linebackers
Final Score: Falcons 30, Lions
Miami (+13.5) at New
England, 1:00 pm
The New England Patriots are trying to break the NFL record for
consecutive wins, co-owned by the Miami Dolphins. Regardless of
the situation with the Artist Formerly Known As Dreadlocks, the
Miami organization has a lot of pride. I think the Fins defense
will show up to play, but unfortunately, they have no help on
the other side of the football. The Pats are too good and the
Miami offense won't get 200 yards of total offense. The Dolphins
will struggle to put points up and can't cover the spread.
The Patriots have the best pressure quarterback in football in
Tom Brady, who continues to fart on blitzes with his presence,
great reads and pinpoint accuracy. Play Brady, Corey Dillon (the
Pats should grab an early lead) and any Pats receiver you feel
like playing. I picked up David Patten and played him when it
was determined Branch was still hurt, and all he did was grab
5 for 113 and a score. Not too shabby. If Branch is back, he'll
limit Patten's numbers, but it seems that Brady distributes the
football like a pimply bus boy dishes out crab legs at a buffet
- everybody gets some. I'm also reminded of that scene in Full
Metal Jacket, when Matt Modine is sitting with the guy in the
copter, who's mowing down Viet Cong indiscriminately with a machine
gun. "Get some!" Get some!" Very scary. But so is Tom Brady. I'll
say it again - I drafted Daniel Graham with my SECOND-TO-LAST
pick in the draft, and he's got four touchdowns in three games.
Are you people in my league listening, or just making yearly contributions
to the Antonio D'Arcangelis weekend binge drinking fund? I sometimes
wonder. On defense, there's not a lot of rhyme or reason from
game to game. Belichick's defense is so solid it could be anybody
that stands out in IDP on any given Sunday. Last week was a good
game to play Richard Seymour, and he had a great game. Take another
shot at Seymour, and stick with safety Rodney Harrison, LB Mike
Vrabel, LB Tedy Bruschi and S Eugene Wilson, who shows no signs
of slowing down. LBs Rosy Colvin, Willie McGinest and Roman Phifer
are pretty good too, but you can't start the entire Patriots defense,
can you? Now that I think about it, the Patriots have the best
names for defensive players of any team in the history of football.
The Dolphins should pray. Start TE Randy McMichael and no one
else on offense. For IDP purposes, it's safe to play Zach Thomas,
Junior Seau and Sammy Knight, but I would stay away from Jason
Taylor this week since Brady can't be sacked.
Final Score: Patriots 24, Dolphins
Minnesota (-4.5) at Houston,
This is not a very difficult game to analyze, as most Vikings
games have been easy to predict this year from a fantasy production
perspective. Now that I say that, this game will most certainly
The Vikings aren't going to find it easy to run the ball, since
Michael Bennett is still hurt, Onterrio Smith is serving his four-game
suspension, and Moe Williams is still dinged up. That leaves Mewelde
Moore, who might get the start. I'd stay away from the entire
running back corps with all that confusion, because Minnesota
will undoubtedly stick to the passing game. Culpepper will be
a marked man, and should field lots of blitzes. But he's a stud,
and along with Moss is a must-start every week. If you're hurting
at WR, Nate Burleson is a decent option with the Vikes going heavy
on the passing this week. IDP options include DB Antoine Winfield,
LB Dontarrius Thomas and DB Corey Chavous. The Vikings have yet
to pick off a pass this year and they are due.
The Texans are now playing pretty good football and have the luxury
this week of concentrating on defending the pass. The only problem
is that even with an elevated Randy Ratio, it's still tough to
top, especially with Culpepper's ability to shed would-be tacklers
and run for 50+ and multiple TDs by himself. If they can get to
Culpepper and create some turnovers, Houston has a chance. QB
David Carr is due to throw a few picks, and with uncertainty in
the backfield, I'd stay away from the Texans RBs this week unless
you KNOW who's going to get the carries on Sunday. Wells is playing
well and would be my best bet. Play Andre Johnson this week -
since he's due for another score - and think carefully about Corey
Bradford, who missed the last game with a shoulder injury. I have
LB Jamie Sharper and it was nice to see him finally show up with
that HUGE play against Oakland. I called up Dan, who is a die-hard
Raiders fan, after it happened and he started babbling about the
tuck rule, as Raiders fans often do. Sharper's bound to get a
sack this week and register his fair share of tackles, although
LBs Jay Foreman and Kailee Wong have been good as well. DBs Marcus
Coleman and Aaron Glenn should also get some tackles this week
as the secondary will see lots of action and might get an INT
Final Score: Vikings 30, Texans
Arizona (+1) at San Francisco,
Emmitt Smith truly reminds me of Bernie Williams, but unlike Bernie
- who ought to be euthanized - Emmitt can still perform and has
silenced critics once again by turning back the clock and kicking
out a 100-yard game. He even threw a touchdown pass, for God's
sake, and has a perfect passer rating - 158.3 - for his career.
Emmitt has three touchdowns in four games, and he should get another
against San Francisco.
The Cardinals are a pesky bunch and have had some good fantasy
performers this year, but I've seen nothing to change my original
take on QB Josh McCown. A lot of sites will tell you to start
McCown this week because of the San Fran matchup, but you won't
find a recommendation like that from me. If anything, Denny Green
will get frustrated by early turnovers from McCown and pull him
in favor of Shaun King. A big yes to WR Larry Fitzgerald and TE
Freddie Jones, but sit everybody else. The best IDPs are D-backs
- CB David Macklin and stud safety Adrian Wilson. CB Duane Starks
is out with a shoulder injury.
The Niners have an opportunity to get a win here and should take
it seriously, running Kevan Barlow a lot and distributing the
ball wisely to WR Cedrick Wilson and TE Eric Johnson. WR Curtis
Conway looks good to some, but I think he'll get shut down by
the capable Cards D-backs, who will have a tougher time keeping
up with the younger, fresher Wilson, who is now healthy. If you
don't have a better option than QB Tim Rattay, I feel bad for
you. IDP options include safety Tony Parrish and LB Julian Peterson.
LB Derek Smith is doubtful (ankle injury) and has anybody seen
Jamie Winborn making tackles this year? He's only got 10 in four
games, but that should change with Smith most likely down for
Final Score: Niners 23, Cards
Carolina (+5.5) at Denver,
Denver's getting it done while Carolina is not, although it's
tough to say why. In this week's version of "The Two Jakes," we'll
see Plummer and Delhomme instead of Jack Nicholson running around
with Harvey Keitel trying to follow up on the masterful "Chinatown."
The Panthers are most definitely missing Steve Smith, who was
both a great possession receiver and big play threat, so that's
one reason. DeShaun Foster has been a more than capable handcuff
for Stephen Davis, and I would keep playing him unless you have
better options, since Davis is still questionable. Jake Delhomme
hasn't been bad, he's just got limited options in WR Muhsin Muhammed,
TE Kris Mangum and rookie Keary Colbert. Muhammed has done some
stuff but will be shut down by Champ Bailey this week. Stay away
from Delhomme and all the receivers. LB Dan Morgan, safety Mike
Minter and DL Julius Peppers have been the best so far in IDP,
so stick with them. Mike Rucker's probably good for a sack.
The Broncos have running back issues and will most likely try
to pass. But I think that spells some turnovers from both sides
and an otherwise broken fantasy game. QB Jake Plummer has been
good, but the Carolina pass rush might spell disaster with sacks
and INTs. Quentin Griffin has done next to nothing since his otherworldly
Week 1 performance and is nursing a sore ankle and bruised ego.
With Garrison Hearst's ankle also dinged, it might be the week
to take a chance and break out Tatum Bell, although that maneuver
is not for the faint of heart since Griffin will most likely play
and the Broncos have been running Reuben Droughns. looks like
more of the same this year from "Head Crotch" Mike Shanahan, too,
who muddles his messages and seems hell-bent on annoying fantasy
owners. IDP options include DBs Kenoy Kennedy and John Lynch and
LBs Al Wilson, D.J. Williams and Donnie Spragan, in that order.
DT Monsanto Pope has 13 solo tackles a sack in four games, but
Marco Coleman is still the better option on the Denver D-line.
Final Score: Broncos 17 Panthers
at N.Y. Jets (+6 ˝), 4:05 pm
Buffalo held their own against the Pats last week. Eric Moulds
decided he was going to play this week and caught 126 yards worth
of balls. That offensive line is terrible. Allowing an unbelievable
7 sacks on the lead-footed Bledsoe. What a waste of air this guy
is. As his former pupil Brady was throwing 40 yard bombs over
his head and Brady never hit the turf. Zero sacks for the Bills
defense. Bledsoe had to be jealous. Interceptions and fumbles
for TDS. That will kill a team. Henry had close to 100 and played
really well against a good (but not really good) run defense.
The Bills looked lost and couldn't stop anyone as their defense
got gashed as much as some vixen on the old 80's horror films.
Train Pennington and Martin is coming through this week.
The Jets have suddenly turned into a running team with C-Mart
turning in another beauty performance with a 110 yard effort against
a good Miami D. Pennington was not all that hot with only 143
yards and no TDS. I think Miami might be the worse team in the
league and has a real shot at not winning a game this year. I
would love to see it. The Jets D caused 4 Dolphins turnovers and
pretty much took over the game. Not much of a test for the J-E-T-S
Jets, Jets, Jets. This week will be tougher but Martin will roll.
Might be time to bench Santana Moss with one catch against the
Dolphins he hasn't smelled the 100 yard mark all year. No touchdowns
yet. Really disappointing.
Final Score: Jets 27, Bills
at San Diego (+3), 4:05 pm
Sometimes my reasoning has no logic. Just gut feeling. Jacksonville
although they did not play bad against Manning and the Colts they
did not define themselves. Something about this team tells me
they are due for a letdown. Leftwich had a good game with over
300 yards passing and Taylor had an ok game with 69 yards. Put
something is missing. I don't know maybe no real playmakers on
offense. It just seems they don't have the big play ability. Maybe
I am reaching but I watch that entire Colts game and I kept wondering
how this team was 3-0. To make a long story short I think they
I am going out on a limp for the Chargers at home. They looked
awesome last week as their defense is really coming alive. Trouncing
the Titans by 21 points. Nobody runs on this team as they have
stopped Chris Brown and Quentin Griffin in consecutive weeks.
Forced Volek to thrown the ball 58 freaking times. Brees was back
to his old efficient self with a 206 and 3 TD effort. Tomlinson
had a big-time 147-yard game with a tremendous 8.5 yard per carry
average. This team keeps getting better each week. Look to start
Tomlinson, Gates, and Caldwell.
Final Score: Chargers 20, Jags
St. Louis at Seattle
(-6 ˝), 4:15 pm
Ok. St. Louis beat the crap out of a bad Niners team last week.
Big deal. They were celebrating in St. Lunatic land as though
they had won the Super Bowl. The problem with this team is identity.
Martz seems to love to play with the media. Every time the media
give him a hard time about running the ball he seems to make it
a point to run Faulk more. He denies that is why he did it but
we know the truth. If he would follow that script every week they
would not be 2-2. It looks as though Isaac Bruce is the man in
charge this year with Torry Holt taking a back seat. They will
not have the same success against Seattle as they have the best
D in the land right now. No way they protect Bulger, as he will
get his head rattled more than once. I would be wary of Rams players
this week but it is hard to sit Faulk, Bulger, Bruce or Holt right
Seattle is coming off a bye week and is looking to get back at
the Rams for years of beatings they have put on them recently.
This Seattle team has now got a great D to go with the great O
as Rhodes has done a beautiful job with this team. Taylor was
a great addition. They will hold the Rams offense down and put
loads of pressure on Bulger forcing at least two turnovers. It
is a division game they must have to put some space between them
and the Rams. If Ratay had a 300-yard game against this wax paper
secondary then Hasslebeck should pass for 500. Do not hesitate
to start Hasslebeck, Alexander, Jackson, Robinson, Largent….sorry
he is retired. You get the picture.
Final Score: Seahawks 30, Rams
(pick) at Washington, 8:30 pm
Did I call the Ravens/Chiefs game or what? I just had that feeling.
Lewis complained all night about double teams but he was single
blocked all night. The Chiefs just have a damned good O-Line.
They got punished by Team Priest as he went off for 125 yards
and 2 scores. If it wasn't for the punt return for the TD this
wouldn't have been that close. One sack and no turnovers?? Doesn't
sound like a Raven night to me. Jamal Lewis had a weak night with
only 73 yards. But it wasn't the offense's fault the Chiefs had
the ball for 3 quarters. When the offense did get in they were
pretty effective. This Hymes kid looks good. Big kid with skills.
They just have to get him the ball more. Look for the Ravens to
bounce back this week.
The Redskins looked bad against Cleveland. Another game I called.
Portis seems to be slowing down a little since his breakout game
in Week 1. Three straight weeks without a 100-yard game. Look
to see what you can get for him in a trade. Might as well see
what is out there. Coles looked good with 100-yard game. Brunell
back to completing fewer than 50% of his passes. He is stoned-footed
as well. They just look like a team that is destined to lose close
games. Gibbs will make it respectable this year but he will not
be competitive until next year. Defense is shaky. This week they
will be lucky to score against a pissed-off Ravens defense and
they should find some room to run. This game will not be filled
Final Score: Ravens 14, Skins
Tennessee (+3) at Green
Bay, 9:00 pm
Disappointing 1-3 starts for both teams have been amplified by
injuries to both Brett Favre (P/concussion) and Steve McNair (Q/sternum),
neither of whom are strangers to the NFL injury report. This week
is crucial for both the Packers and the Titans and I don't want
to miss the drama on Monday Night Football. You just know these
guys are going to play and leave it all on the field.
The Titans should get at least a serviceable game from McNair,
who has been relatively useless this year, against a decimated
Packers defense that has shown a limited pass rush and poor coverage.
Go ahead and start RB Chris Brown, who should be good for 100
and a score. I love WR Derrick Mason, and he should continue to
post good numbers. Games like this are usually his best. WR Drew
Bennett might be another decent option with Tyrone Calico out
once again. The Titans have a great every-week fantasy LB in Keith
Bulluck and a good IDP option against Green Bay with safety Tank
Williams. CB Andre Woolfolk is worth a look this week, as Favre
has been known to toss a few in the air for grabs.
The Packers are down, but not out. This team is too good and has
way too much leadership to fold their way into a 6-10 season.
I think this is a good game for Favre and RB Ahman Green to get
their confidence back, and they remain good fantasy options when
they cut down on turnovers. Play them this week with your fingers
crossed. Definitely play WR Javon Walker and Bubba Franks. Donald
Driver deserves a look against a Titans defense that also has
some injuries. IDP options include LBs Nick Barnett, Na'il Diggs
and safety Mark Roman, who has 21 tackles and 2 sacks this year.
CB Michael Hawthorne has also been seeing lots of action, and
since he gets burnt a lot, they'll continue to throw his way.
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila has two sacks but has been relatively quiet
- this might be a big week for KGB.
Final Score: Titans 24 Packers