Last Week's Projections
(10-4) Straight Up - 71.4%
(7-7) Against The Spread - 50.0%
Detroit at Cleveland (+2.5)
Detroit is a team in serious decline. They are arguing with
each other constantly, they are ready to hang Harrington, and pull
a mutiny on the coach. Until Garcia comes back he really has no
choice but to hang in there. At the end of the day the receivers
are fragile and non-existent with Kevin Johnson with the most catches
on the team. That is pathetic. In any event, Jones is still a play
but not much of one until they can beat teams passing the ball.
I wouldn't go near this team until Garcia returns.
The Browns are talking about starting some guy named Frye next week
so this could change at some point. But if they keep Trent in the
starting lineup I think they have a chance to take this one home
this week. They are at least playing together and have some sense
of team. They really came back to earth on offense last week after
starting off the year in fairly good fashion. They will need to
muster some points this week.
Final Score: Browns 20, Lions
Green Bay (-1.5) at Minnesota
The Packers comeback from a bye week feeling pretty good
about themselves. They totally thrashed the Saints last week and
the rumors of Favre's demise were greatly exaggerated. They come
into Minnesota looking to avenge past demons as the dome has not
been very kind to the Pack. However part of those beatings was a
big, tall, freak named Randy Moss who would frequently do some end
zone dancing on a regular basis. They don't have to worry about
that or any other offensive threat.
Could it get any worse for these guys? The coach has totally lost
this team and they are going on a one-way track to Losersville.
Or one-way boat? (wink, wink) Well anyway Culpepper has been more
of a disappointment than the entire team. They have a little running
game. If I was going to start someone it would be Moore. But I would
not bet the house on him having a great game. They just seem disoriented
and confused on offense. Daunte looks like he is scared to throw.
Not a good thing. But this defense will give up some yards so I
might give some other guys a whirl.
Final Score: Packers 27, Vikings
Indianapolis (-15.5) at
Houston 1:00 p.m
The Colts looked a little sluggish to start the game with the
Rams. They were down 17-0 before you could get the queso out.
But they came back with a vengeance and decided to knock out Bulger
in the process. They racked up 160 yards rushing and finally Manning
hit Harrison with the record. I think at the end of the day Manning
may just not have a good year. They really are using a "dime"
set with them and keeping 5-6 folks in coverage at all times.
They will keep running it until that changes. I would still play
Manning, Edge, Harrison, and Wayne.
Oh boy the Texans. Man what a wreck this team is. They got throttled
by the Seahawks as predicted. Carr looked horrible and only threw
for 170 yards in a game they had to throw alot to try and get
back in it. Davis has been a major disappointment as he was picked
in the first round of many drafts. He just has not been the #1
guy that most teams where looking for. They have 0 chance in this
game and will get thumped and could possibly score no more than
a field goal.
Final Score: Colts 28, Texans
Kansas City (+1.5) at
Miami 1:00 p.m.
KC beat a good Redskins team that was on a roll and can play some
defense. They won by giving the rock to Holmes all day long and
taking advantage of turnovers as the skins fumbled the ball three
times. The Chiefs offense is still not running on all cylinders
and Gonzo has done nothing this year. If you chose some of these
guys high in your draft you have to be kicking yourself right
now. I just don't know if it is going to get any better. It won't
Now we come to the Dolphins. They look to be fading when they
started of pretty hot. They brought back the dreaded one in Ricky
Williams but he did nothing against a good Bucs D. This defense
is not as good as the Bucs but I just don't like the Dolphins
offensive line. Frerotte has been tossing the ball for alot of
yards but just has to throw it 90 times to get there. They will
have a tough time in this one. I just think they Chiefs are better.
Final Score: Chiefs 27, Dolphins
New Orleans (+3) at St.
Louis 1:00 p.m.
Both teams endured tough losses last week and look to rebound
this week. The Saints offense looked a lot better against the
Falcons, and Aaron Brooks is an okay option at QB, especially
if Stallworth and Horn are healthy. Both Aaron Stecker and Antowain
Smith could be effective this week splitting carries, with Smith
getting the goalline carries and Stecker — who tore up the
Rams last year — getting most of the field to work with
and reception opportunities out of the backfield. Watch the WR
situation this week, and play Az-Zahir Hakim if either Horn of
Stallworth don’t suit up.
The Rams most consistent fantasy performers will be Torry Holt,
Steven Jackson and kicker Jeff Wilkins, Bulger is not expected
to play so temper your enthusiasm for WR Kevin Curtis and keep
your eye on injury reports regarding Isaac Bruce.
Final Score: Rams 30, Saints
Pittsburgh (Pick) at
Cincinnati 1:00 p.m.
With Big Ben back this week versus Cincinnati, the
Steelers should have a much better chance at coming
out with a win, but the Bengals are playing good
football and this could be their moment to shine.
The Steelers will get a mediocre game at best from
Roethlisberger and most of their offensive starters,
many of whom are hurting from both injuries and
bruised egos. Willie Parker is probably the best
offensive play, as he’ll get the most carries, and
Hines Ward (watch the injury report) and TE Heath
Miller are the best receiving options.
The Bengals face their toughest opponent with an
offense that has steadily improved since last season.
Carson Palmer probably won’t throw for 350 and 3 TDs,
but 250 and 2 TDs are within his grasp. RBs Rudi
Johnson and Chris Perry have been RBBCing their way to
the delight of fantasy owners nowhere, but WR Chad
Johnson is more studly than ever.
Final Score: Bengals 20, Steelers
San Diego (+3.5) at Philadelphia
Looking for a high-powered offensive battle stressing
numbers and scoring versus fumbles and snoring? Look
no further. Judging by the previous performances of
both these teams, Sunday’s matchup should feature more
action than the California Penal System’s weight rooms
after Victor Conte gets incarcerated.
The Chargers have a slew of solid fantasy plays this
week, including Brees, L.T., Gates and Keenan
The Eagles should also pile up lot of fantasy points
this week with McNabb, Westbrook, T.O. and even WR
Greg Lewis and TE L.J. Smith.
Final Score: Eagles 37, Chargers
San Francisco (+13) at
Washington 1:00 p.m.
From a fantasy perspective, it doesn’t get much
simpler than this one. The 49ers have only one player with a big
upside to play this week — WR Brandon Lloyd. If you
are really, really desperate, you might think about
starting Barlow, but that’s even pushing it.
The Redskins are facing a bad defense and should see
solid performances from Brunell, Portis, Santana Moss
and even David Patten and TE Chris Cooley.
Final Score: Redskins 31, 49ers
Dallas (+3.5) at Seattle
As usual, the Cowboys shut down their opponents (the
Giants) last week for about three and a half quarters,
then allowed them to march right down the field and
score. This week, they can’t afford to let the
Seahawks get the ground game going early, and they
need to cut down on their turnovers.
The Cowboys fantasy starters should include Bledsoe,
Keyshawn, Glenn, and Witten, but pay close attention
to the RB situation right up until gametime to find
out the status of Julius Jones, since his replacements
didn’t do much last week.
The Seahawks best options are Hasselbeck and Shaun
Alexander, but WR Joe Jurevicius is the only healthy
WR that might grab a late score.
Final Score: Cowboys 24, Seahawks
(Pick) at Chicago 4:15 p.m.
As much as I would like to see these teams light up
the scoreboard, there’s a better chance of Bill
Romanowski being given a Nobel Prize than the Ravens
or Bears combining for more than four touchdowns.
The Ravens running game has been about as effective as
a Band-Aid on a shark bite, and nothing has gone right
for the passing game lately, either. Play any Ravens
offensive starter, including Jamal Lewis and Derrick
Mason, with caution. Todd Heap is probably the safest
option right now, and even he stinks.
The Bears came up big at home last week versus
Minnesota, and one well-informed fftoday.com reader
even e-mailed me before the fact to let me know I
wrong I was taking the Vikes in Chi-town. Good call,
Brian, but don’t let it get to your head, and to the
rest of you folks out there, don’t get any ideas.
Start Thomas Jones if you have to, but be careful of
the Ravens defense shutting down the Bears running game.
Final Score: Ravens 17, Bears
(+3) at Oakland 4:15 p.m.
The Bills have been a roll. As a mentioned in an earlier column
all they needed to do was to give the pigskin to Holcolmb. Since,
they are 2-0 and Willis is starting to look like the RB that everyone
hoped for. The defense is not looking as good as advertised. They
have allowed a ridiculous amount of rushing yards. Evidence to
the 148 yards they gave up to Martin last week. They better watch
for that this week as they will see alot of Jordan.
The Raiders are in real trouble. Moss goes down with an injury
and probably will not play. They have abandoned the run which
worked so well two weeks ago and got slapped around by the Chargers.
They have to go back to running the ball as they will go down
in a big way if they try to throw their way to a victory. I have
a feeling that you will see Turner ball this week and they should
have a chance. But I see disaster and maybe an end to the Turner
era at the end of this thing.
Final Score: Bills 27, Raiders
Denver (+1.5) at N.Y.
Giants 4:15 p.m
Weird line. I think the Broncos maybe playing some of the best
ball in the league right now. It pains me to say that simply because
I hate Plummer so much but you have to give their due. That defense
got a little leaky at the end of the game with the Patriots and
almost let them back in it. But they won at the end and that is
what matters. I think you have some options in this game as the
Giants D is bad against the pass. Go with Plummer, Bell, and Smith.
You have to give the G-Men credit, they came back when it looked
pretty bleak last week. But moral victories mean nothing and I
had saw some reverting back to old habits with Manning. He will
not get any favors this week as the Broncs D may be better than
the Cowboys. They will need to look for Shockey often and Barber
in the passing game. I think at then end it will be pretty high
scoring but defense will always prevail and it is easy to see
who has more of that.
Final Score: Broncos 30, Giants
at Arizona (-3) 4:15 p.m
Tennessee hung in there against the Bengals but at the end I thought
the Bengals offense would take control. I was right. The Titans
are a physical bunch and try to impose their will on opponents.
But they are going to run into a hot Cardinals team. Brandon Jones
looks to be the main man in Tenn now especially with Bennett being
injured. I think if he doesn't play they are going to have some
The Cards were on a bye last week but that just gives McCown
more rep time at practice. I just don't see how Denny could go
back to Warner at this point. After being close to knocking off
a good Panthers team I think they are primed to take the next
step. They have to find a way to run the ball which means they
need to get Arrington some playing time. You have to play Boldin
and Fitz in this one as they have been great.
Final Score: Cardinals 35,
N.Y. Jets (+7) at Atlanta
While the Jets can’t quite be described as hapless, they
certainly aren’t as potent as they would have been with
Chad Pennington at the helm. Still, they’ll have a tough
time this week against an Atlanta team that will capitalize on
their mistakes by getting to Vinny Testaverde, forcing turnovers
and pounding the ball through the red zone. The Jets will score
a few points, however, so start Curtis Martin, Lavernues Coles
and Justin McCareins, since Vinny seems to like him.
The Falcons are still waiting for Vick to be healthy, which probably
won’t be the case all year. He’s still an option,
but the best plays are Dunn and Crumpler, Vick’s favorite
target. Duckett should probably be avoided, along with Brian Finneran
and Michael Jenkins, although Jenkins is due for a breakout game
sooner or later.
Final Score: Falcons 23, Jets