Last Week's Projections
(7-7) Straight Up - 50.0%
(7-7) Against The Spread - 50.0%
Atlanta (-2) at Miami 1:00
The Falcons were on a bye last week and it came at a good
time. They need to find a way to get more of a passing game to go
along with their awesome running game. Vick is just not a fantasy
QB that you can depend on right now but winning is what we are talking
about. Dunn is again underrated and should be starting in all leagues.
With Duckett out he will be get a majority of the carries but might
have some trouble against a good Dolphins defense.
The Dolphins are getting better. They got Ricky involved with Brown
and they are making a great one-two punch. Kind of a thunder and
lightning situation. I would think they would try and utilize this,
as the Falcons have been weak on their run defense. But they will
probably put several folks in the box, as they know the Falcons
refuse to throw on a regular basis. I wouldn’t consider anyone
in the Dolphins pass game this week.
Final Score: Falcons 20, Dolphins
Carolina (-1.5) at Tampa
Bay 1:00 p.m.
The Panthers are one of hottest teams in football and the
combo of Delhomme and Smith seems unstoppable. The defense is a
still a little bit of a concern but they are getting better. They
are again looking like the team to beat in the West. They are still
going to have some trouble, as this defense they are facing is a
good one. Other than those two guys I would only start any one else
if I had no choice.
The bucs looked lost with Simms under center. Quite frankly he sucked
as a college player and he sucks as a pro. He just doesn’t
read defenses well and make poor decisions or no decisions. Either
way he sucks. This offense will suffer without a true leader behind
center. I would be careful starting any of things guys besides Cadillac.
Final Score: Panthers 24, Bucs
Cincinnati at Baltimore
(+3) 1:00 p.m.
Believe it or not I am going with the Ravens this week. I think
they showed a little courage going into Pittsburgh and giving
the Steelers all they could handle even without the two Defensive
Players of the Year. Wright looked decent and the run game was
a little better. Still not up to Jamal’s standards. At the
end of the day I think they will have enough in the tank to take
this one straight up.
The Bengals looked average last week on offense but TJ is back
and they should be ok. However I see some chinks in the armor
and really think they are primed for a letdown week. This defense
is good but still not a Super Bowl caliber defense. I think they
have some tough sledding with their schedule on the way out but
this one will slip by them. I would play Palmer, Johnson, and
Final Score: Ravens 24, Bengals
Detroit at Minnesota
(+1.5) 1:00 p.m.
Could it get any worse for the Vikings? Lose the game and the
QB. Culpepper they say may never be the same with tearing every
ligament within his knee. They were not doing that great anyway
and it seems like it is time to pack it in. However that is why
they will win this one. I think B Johnson is certainly a capable
QB and he might get them to rally a little. They can move the
ball on the defense.
The Lions are getting healthy but not healthy enough. Garcia
will do well in this game but might throw a pick or two. I guess
my problem with the Lions is lack of urgency and I think that
is a direct reflection on the coach. Coach M is a player’s
coach and most of the time that doesn’t equate to wins…ask
Tice. Play most offensive stars on this team, as this may be shoot-out.
Final Score: Vikings 28, Lions
Houston (+13.5) at Jacksonville
If the Rams could shut down the Jaguars in the second half last
week, can’t the Texans do the same thing? Sure, but they’ll
probably be down 27-10 at the half with the game already out of
The Texans have just one bankable fantasy option this week —
Domanick Davis. But at least one Texans WR should catch a TD —
it’s just a bitch figuring out who it will be. You’ll
have better luck guessing the age of a Cuban national with a 95-MPH
fastball. The Jaguars should storm the Texans early and often
with a variety of offensive weapons. Look for Leftwich, Taylor,
Jimmy Smith and even TE George Wrightster to put up good numbers
this week at home.
Final Score: Jags 34, Texans
Oakland (+4.5) at Kansas
City 1:00 p.m.
These teams have been putting up big points against each other
for years, and the old AFL rivalry hasn’t lost much of its
juice since the days of Al Davis and Hank Stram. The Raiders will
get good performances from Collins, Jordan, Moss, and Jerry Porter,
the oft-maligned #2 man that came up huge last week, and the team
has shown signs of improvement. Looks like the Men in Black are
starting to get it back.
The Chiefs offense shouldn’t be slowed even if Priest Holmes
can’t go after the mild head trauma he suffered last week.
Larry Johnson has been waiting for an opportunity, and if Holmes
isn’t 100 percent, LJ is obviously a capable backup. He
should probably be in your fantasy lineup even if Priest gets
the nod at gametime. Green, Kennison and Gonzalez are also must-plays.
Final Score: Chiefs 31, Raiders
San Diego (-6.5) at N.Y.
Jets 1:00 p.m.
This is a pretty simple game from a fantasy perspective, with
the Chargers dominating the game from start to finish. The Chargers
have three excellent options in Brees, Tomlinson and Gates, and
a possibly decent play in McCardell, but the Bolts will do most
of their damage with LT. The Jets haven’t yet determined
how to effectively use their 41-year-old QB outside of an overpaid
tackling dummy. But San Diego’s potent offense should build
enough of a lead to give Testaverde and company some opportunities
for garbage points. Play Vinny, Lavernues Coles and Justin McCareins,
but watch out for Curtis Martin, who won’t get a lot of
carries with the Jets trailing early against the Bolts’
solid run defense.
Final Score: Chargers 37, Jets
Tennessee (+3) at Cleveland
This matchup features two bad teams with little to no chance of
making the playoffs. If it wasn’t for fantasy football,
we wouldn’t be paying attention, so thank your lucky stars
for the dorks like us that invented it in the early to mid 1970s
and have at it. The Titans are capable of putting up some points,
but the most important thing for you to do as a Steve McNair owner
is to listen intently to Chris Mortensen this Sunday morning for
his status. Volek is a capable backup, although his favorite target,
Drew Bennett, is out and WR options are slim. Chris Brown surprised
last week with a good performance, but keep an eye on his status
since he’s very capable of getting injured in pre-game warm-ups.
Somebody’s going to score a couple TDs against this weak
Browns team, and it may even be — albeit by default —
rookie WR Courtney Roby, the proverbial last man standing. The
Browns are the most pathetic team in the league from a fantasy
perspective, with the possible exception of the Ravens, who’s
defense sometimes cores more than most of their offensive players.
Reuben Droughns and Braylon Edwards stick out as the only options
you should even consider.
Final Score: Titans 27, Browns
Chicago (-3) at New Orleans
Given the bad karma the Saints have been getting this year, I’d
like to say they’re a lock at home, but the only problem
is that they’re never really the home team. Even in Baton
Rouge, owner Tom Benson was scuffling in the parking lot with
an enraged fan like Mike Tyson tussling with Mitch “Blood”
Green. The Bears, however, seem to be a team of overachievers.
Kyle Orton is doing his best late 90’s era Trent Dilfer
impression, and Thomas Jones, when healthy, is playing consistently.
The bruised ribs are a concern, so watch the injury report. If
Jones can’t go on Sunday, look for Cedric Benson, who showed
last week he can pick up where TJ leaves off. WR Muhsin Muhammed
is another solid play, but be careful jumping the gun and inserting
Justin Gage into your lineup to replace Mark Bradley, who is done
for the season. The Saints will have trouble running the ball
against the Bears, but should get mediocre to okay performances
from Brooks, Horn and Stallworth. Unfortunately, things are just
not right in the state of Louisiana just yet, and it’s having
an effect on the football played there.
Final Score: Bears 23, Saints
Giants (-10) at San Francisco 4:05 p.m.
What follows an opening season win, five straight losses and then
another win. You guessed it, another five straight losses! The
Giants, however, are not talking trash about San Francisco this
week, but instead killing them with respect. On Sunday, they’ll
kill them with Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress. Eli Manning, Shockey
and probably even Toomer will also get into the mix, posting solid
number against a team that gave up 52 to the Redskins, who the
Giants shut out 36-0 last week.
The 49ers have their work cut out for them, since they’re
playing against a potent offense that’s only improving.
Offensively, they might grab a few garbage points late, but the
Redskins didn’t and Tom Coughlin isn’t really the
charitable sort. Barlow has been okay at home, but the Giants
should focus on him and shut down this entire offense. I’ll
give them 1-2 TDs and a couple field goals, maximum.
Final Score: Giants 34, 49ers
(-4) at Arizona 4:05 p.m
I have been going with some dogs this week but I don’t feel
good about this one. The Cards are going back to Warner but what
good will that do? He is a turnover machine and I just don’t
think we will do much behind the offensive line that leaks more
than my grandmother’s faucet. He will be blasted about 10
times in this game and will be looking like he should be in a
retirement home. It just won’t work out and don’t
forget Boldin will be out in this one. Bryant Johnson would be
a good pick-up
The Seahawks are coming off their bye and must be feeling good
after narrowly escaping with a victory against the Pokes. I would
have went and got a lottery ticket after that gift. But this one
should no be that hard. They have too much offense and a surprisingly
decent defense. They will be too much for the Cards to handle
and will punish them accordingly.
Final Score: Hawks 32, Cards
Pittsburgh at Green
Bay 4:15 p.m. No line
This one was a no-liner at mid-week. I really don’t care
about the line. The Packers just can’t get anything going
on offense and Brett Favre is forcing things be throwing a billion
picks. They have Tony Fisher in there and that can’t be
good. However playing Driver would be good as he is the only threat
they have. The defense will get cleat marks on their backs as
the Steelers will be running like they stole something.
Here we go…Steelers are better than they were last week.
They should have easily handled the Ravens and let them stick
around too long. They are too good for that. You have to put people
away when they are on the ropes. Understand this though..Big Ben
has got to eventually control games when the running game is not
going as planned. A good defensive coach will test him. He has
the weapons and needs to test defenses. They will kill the Packers
Final Score: Steelers 30, Packers
at Washington 8:30 p.m. No Line
Philly is having some problems. Looks like Owens will miss this
one and McNabb is hurting. They got smothered by Denver in the
first quarter and had no answers for their running game after
doing such a good job against LT. Without Owens this will be tough.
Actually it will be tough with him. However the Skins did not
play well either last week. Play McNabb as he will get his numbers
and Owens if he is in there. Westbrook may be the most valuable
as the Eagles are sure to run more.
The Skins looked horrible as the Giants just manhandled them
on both sides of the ball. As I mentioned before on this column
that Brunell would come down to earth. I think the clock may have
struck 12 on the QB and he might have trouble recovering. I here
that Portis will be ok but his stat line could have been much
better as he only managed 9 yards rushing. I think they get beat
in this one with or without Owens.
Final Score: Eagles 23, Skins
Indianapolis (-3) at
New England 9:00 p.m. Monday
A difficult game to handicap from a fantasy perspective, anything
could happen this Monday night in Foxboro, given the Pats historical
domination of Indy but recent trouble stopping the run. The Colts
will favor heavy doses of Edgerrin James and mix in Dominic Rhodes
to keep Edge fresh, but don’t look for silly passes into
coverage from Peyton Manning. He has learned his lesson and will
forego the numbers to get the win. Still, Manning, Harrison and
Reggie Wayne are acceptable plays against a defense that’s
been unpredictable at times this season. The Patriots hold the
keys to the kingdom, but the Colts are galloping toward the castle.
Look for Tom Brady to air it out and try to get staked to an early
lead by hitting Deion Branch. Corey Dillon seems to be okay and
should produce decent numbers, but beware playing the other receivers,
including Givens and both tight ends, Graham and Watson. Vinatieri
might kick six field goals this game, including the game-winner
at the buzzer.
Final Score: Patriots 25, Colts