Last Week's Projections
(8-6) Straight Up - 57.1%
(9-5) Against The Spread - 64.3%
For The Season
(69-47) Straight Up - 59.5%
(66-48-2) Against The Spread - 56.8%
Arizona (+3) at Miami, 1:00
I don't real know what the line's people were thinking when
they made Miami a three point favorite. They got torched Monday
night but Pennington and the running game of the Jets. They showed
zero heart and zero effort from a once highly touted defense. It
looks as though they have given up the dream again with emotional
leader Junior Seau out for the year. I have to say that I called
it last week that the Jets would put up some points against this
team. The Dolphins defense fell to 29th in the league (148.6 YPG)
after giving up an incredible 275 rushing yards to the Jets. These
guys are simply small up front and fall victim to a downhill running
game. The passing offense looked better as Randy McMichael continues
to be the man with 87 yards and a score. He is 2nd in the league
behind Antonio Gates with 535 yards receiving. He is really the
only player worth starting on this team and I think they will get
run over by the improving and big offensive line of the Cardinals.
Arizona was disappointing last week against a streaking Buffalo
Bills team. The Cardinals have some young talent but raw right now.
They play much better at home it seems but I think they will find
the Dolphins to be much more giving than the Bills. The old man
Emmitt Smith keeps putting up respectable numbers and may end up
with close to 1000 yards this year. Boldin is back however it will
take him a little bit of time to get going again. I think they should
play well in this game against a defense that can't stop the run.
That will open up some things downfield for McCown. All and all
this will not be a game to Tivo.
Final Score: Cardinals 17,
Dallas (-1 ˝) at Cincinnati,
Well how bout that?? The Cowboys do have a running game.
Pound the ball. Pound the ball. If Parcells will just 86 this run
and shoot crap he has asked his 75 year old QB to do. And the dreaded
running back by committee that everyone hates and never works that
might win some games. They really came through against a pretty
good Lions team when the chips were down at one point. Eddie didn't
have a sweet average but he did his thing..beating people up. Jason
Witten is another guy that keeps improving. He had 84 yards and
a score. The concerns are still there though. Especially on defense
where they continue to give up passing yards and the offense continues
to give up the ball. These things will haunt them if not corrected.
But I think they have plenty to handle Cincinnati.
After their inspired performance last week the Bengals went back
to what made them 1-4 to begin the season. Ineffective running game,
turnovers, and letting people run up and down the field on them.
Two things you have to do in NFL, run the ball and stop the run
and the Bengals can do neither. There comes a time when you have
to ask the question about Palmer as a leader. This team simply is
not responding to him the way they did Kitna last year. Can't tell
you why it is just plain to see when you watch them. Chad Johnson
has been a non-factor this season and some folks spent a high draft
pick for this bum. There are about four TE that have more receiving
yards. I think they will fold again because Dallas is solid enough
on defense to hold them down and a changed philosophy on offense
will keep the chains moving.
Final Score: Cowboys 24, Bungals
Kansas City (-3) at Tampa
Bay, 1:00 p.m.
I know it is the Bucs D and all of that but Holmes is out of his
mind right now. Seven TDS in two games. He has established himself
again as the best back in football playing behind the best line
in football. You know what pisses me off? Was it not four weeks
ago we were hearing of how Thomas Jones was the new Holmes?? I
get tired of sports writers getting their jeans steaming over
some flash in the pan guy how happens to start off fast. Goes
to show you that you stick with the horses and ride them to they
are dead. If there is one thing I leaned playing FF is that wholesale
changes usually equal wholesale losses. Stick with your draft
for the most part. Trade because of injury not because you had
a bad week. Holmes is #1 in yards, #1 in TDS again and Green has
been on fire as of late. He had 389 yards and 3 scores dishing
assists to Gonzalez all day. Gonzalez had his first monster game
of the year with 125 yards and 2 scores. Tampa has the best overall
defense in the league by yards but they can be run on. They give
up 117 ypg. That is why I think the Chiefs are on a roll and will
Tampa was on a bye last week but I don't think anyone noticed.
Well let's see. Where to start? They are 23rd in total offense,
19th in passing, 27th in rushing. Although the offense has looked
better with Griese and Pittman in the line-up. Not that much better,
but better. I don't think even with their kill-them-all defense
they have a prayer against the Chiefs. They are just too hot right
now. It comes down to the offense lines, as usual, and the Chiefs
are better. Although don't think it will be a blowout. Playing
at home and with that defense will certainly keep them in it.
Final Score: Chiefs 23, Bucs
N.Y. Jets (-3) at Buffalo,
Although Buffalo proved they could surprise everyone with beating
the Cardinals last week don't expect a repeat performance. The
Bills have found their power running game with the man McGahee.
If you own Travis Henry you can go ahead and mark him up. Barring
injury to Willis Henry will not see anything but the bench. He
will probably sign with another team in the off-season, as this
is McGahee's team now. Bledsoe was horrible again but that had
to do with the weather in Buffalo more than his overall performance.
Don't expect much from Moulds in this either, as the weather will
only get worse. Look for a decent game from McGahee
There were a few non-believers when I said the Jets would put
up over 21 on the Fins last week. Believe in The Show because
I again went 6 for 7 against the spread last week. The Jets are
back running on all cylinders. They went off for over 250 yards
against the Fins and will probably do the same against the Bills.
With the weather and killer winds in Buffalo I would not expect
a huge game from Pennington. Maybe a lot like last week 180 yards
and couple of TD passes. Martin should have a good game against
a Buffalo D that is not that bad. They are 2nd in the league in
yards against. But Martin is too hot to sit. This will be close
do to weather.
Final Score: Jets 17, Bills
Oakland (+7) at Carolina,
I'm pretty sure Al Davis and the Raiders are a cursed organization
since January 1984, the last time they won a Super Bowl. While
the Raider curse may have a lot to do with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
- the NFL attorney who dealt with all the lawsuits Davis filed
during the Rozelle era - it's the injury curse that has befallen
the Panthers, who have compiled more trips to the doctor than
the National Hypochondriacs Association.
The Raiders, as I've said before, are a team without an identity.
They should establish their identity as the team that never gave
up on Tyrone Wheatley, but with the Michigan alumnus approaching
the last few years of his career, his time's running out. I don't
like Kerry Collins, Amos Zereoue, Jerry Porter, Doug Gabriel or
even Ronald Curry, but I like Wheatley. Play him, TE Doug Jolley
and these defensive players: LB Danny Clark, DL Tyler Brayton
and DB Ray Buchanan.
The Panthers will start winning games as soon as they have Stephen
Davis healthy - it's just that simple. With Charles Woodson doubtful
for Oakland, Jake Delhomme will definitely be looking for Keary
Colbert and Muhsin Muhammed, and all three guys are good plays.
If Davis is healthy, I would (and will) play him too. But if he
can't go, I'd stay away from Brad Hoover and/or Joey Harris. TE
Kris Mangum may also be an option. On defense, Dan Morgan is concussed,
leaving more pressure on the performance of DL Julius Peppers
the bulk of tackles for the likes of LB Will Witherspoon and DB
Final Score: Panthers 23, Raiders
Philadelphia (-1) at
Pittsburgh, 1:00 p.m.
How about a round of applause for our man Cliff? He called the
Pats-Steelers game last week and my hat goes off to him. As much
as I'd like to see the Steelers embarrass the Eagles and Terrell
Owens in this Pennsylvania battle, they will definitely have their
The Eagles are 7-0 and have won a few of them by the skin of their
cheese steaks. Even against a tough Pittsburgh defense, both QB
Donovan McNabb and Owens are good plays, but not anybody else
except K David Akers (and who cares about kickers?). On defense,
I'm expecting big games from DL Jevon Kearse, LB Mark Simoneau,
DB Brian Dawkins and DB Michael Lewis.
The Steelers won't get great numbers from Ben Roethlisberger,
but Big Ben looked more like Tom Brady than Brady himself last
week. Ben doesn't ever really disappoint, however, so play him
if you have no other viable options in the top 10. I think Duce
Staley will have a good game versus his old team, but would sit
Bettis this week. At WR, Plaxico Burress is surpassing Hines Ward
as the go-to guy near the end zone, but they are both solid plays
every week from here on out. On defense, Joey Porter finally appeared
and you should ride him while he's hot. Obviously, DBs Troy Polamalu
and Deshea Townsend have been the most consistent performers.
Final Score: Eagles 24, Steelers
Washington (+3.5) at
Detroit, 1:00 pm
These teams are headed in opposite directions, although without
WR Roy Williams, the Detroit offense resembles something out of
a George Romero film.
The Redskins seem to have one (maybe two) solid fantasy performer(s)
each week. Last week, it was WR "Roid" (as in hemorrhoid) Gardner,
while it is usually Clinton Portis. WR Laveranues Coles has yet
to find the end zone, and he's had three serviceable games out
of seven. I have a feeling he'll make it four out of eight. Don't
play Brunell, but Portis, Gardner and Coles should be okay. Defensively,
you'd be hard pressed to find two better fill-in linebackers than
Antonio Pierce and Marcus Washington. DBs Shawn Springs and Fred
Smoot have also had some good games.
The Lions will have trouble getting their offense going against
the Redskins, who are almost strictly classified as a "defensive
team" these days. If Roy Williams is healthy, he's a good play,
but other than him and possibly Az-Zahir Hakim, there's not a
lot to go with. The Redskins have the #1 run defense in football,
so RB Kevin Jones might struggle. On defense, I like DL James
Hall, LB Earl Holmes and DB Dre Bly.
Final Score: Lions 13, Redskins
Chicago (+9) at N.Y.
Giants, 4:05 p.m.
Are the Giants really 5-2? Could this be considered a trap game?
Is Craig Krenzel related to Santa Claus? The answers to those
questions and more this week on "60 minutes of diuretic old people
who can't stop wetting themselves and complaining."
The Bears have no real offensive weapons other than Thomas Jones
and Anthony Thomas. I know that David Terrell has potential, but
peep this. In 44 career games, Terrell has 1-3 catches in 33 of
them. The other 11? 5-0-9-0 (2004), 7-0-4-5-7-5 (2003), and 7
(2001). So 75 percent of the time, he catches one, two or three
balls. Since the start of 2003, he's got one touchdown reception,
and none this year. If you are in a five deep receiver league,
he might be a mediocre backup. So my advice is to watch the injury
report, and play Jones or Thomas, whomever is the starter. Other
than that, there's not too much to talk about on offense. IDP
options include LB Brian Urlacher, LB Lance Briggs, DB Mike Green
and DL Alex Brown.
The Giants have an MVP candidate in Tiki Barber, who has carried
the football like it's a Fabergé egg this season. He fumbled just
one time and the Giants recovered it. This week, you'll have success
with Kurt Warner, Barber and Jeremy Shockey. Stay away Ike Hilliard,
who's been almost nonexistent this season, and Amani Toomer until
he's 100 percent. On defense, the main guys are DL Michael Strahan,
LB Kevin Lewis and rookie DB Gibril Wilson. DBs Will #1 and Will
#2 might also get some picks against Cris Kringle.
Final Score: Giants 20, Bears
New Orleans (+6.5) at
San Diego, 4:05 p.m.
With New Orleans getting all those points, they are very tempting.
But so were the Sirens.
The Saints are perhaps the most underachieving team in the league,
but they still have a good shot at the playoffs if they can string
together some wins and beat Atlanta. I really like Aaron Brooks,
Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn and Boo Williams (if he plays) this
week. The Chargers defense is porous at best and these teams will
probably have a shoot-out. IDP options include DL Charles Grant,
LB Orlando Ruff and DB Jay Bellamy.
The Chargers are 5-3 and looking strong, but with RB LaDainian
Tomlinson nursing injuries, he's not the stud he once was. Still,
I like QB Drew Brees, LT, WRs Eric Parker and Keenan McCardell
against a weak, debilitated Saints secondary. Defensively, the
best performers have been LBs Donnie Edwards and Steve Foley and
DB Terrence Kiel.
Final Score: Saints 31, Chargers
(-7) at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.
Other than watching injuries, preparing for this one will be pretty
straight forward for fantasy owners. Sure, anything can happen
on gameday, but the numbers usually don't lie in matchups like
The Seahawks have two sure thing starts this week in QB Matt Hasselbeck
and RB Shaun Alexander. What did I say last week about Alexander?
"The Seahawks can expect a huge day from Shaun Alexander, who
might get 200 yards and three touchdowns this week. I just think
a huge day from him is long overdue." Oh, okay. How about 195
rushing 13 receiving and two scores? This week, I'd play Koren
Robinson (unless he's suspended) and go with Jerry Rice against
his old team. I know Rice laid an egg last week and was pork-fried
into submission against the Panthers, but the 49ers have almost
no starters left in the secondary and little chance of stopping
a legend. Try again with TE Jerramy Stevens, and on defense, go
with DL Chike Okeafor, finally healthy LB Anthony Simmons and
DB Ken Lucas.
The 49ers don't have much going for them anymore, with Tim Rattay
and Brandon Lloyd hurt and inconsistency from almost all offensive
positions. TE Eric Johnson is probably the best play this week,
with Kevan Barlow a remote possibility along with WRs Curtis Conway
and Cedrick Wilson, who might get some garbage yards when the
Niners fall behind. On defense, I'd play DL Bryant Young, LBs
Derek Smith and Jamie Winborn and DB Tony Parrish.
Final Score: Seahawks 30, Niners
(+6) at Denver, 4:15 p.m
It is weird to see the hot Houston Texans this much of a dog against
a team that is in a big-time slump. But this is football. This
is the NFL. Maybe it is me? I hate to say this because the Bronco
fans seem to read this column religiously but is Shanahan a little
overrated as a coach? I see so many shows that just worship the
ground the guy walks on. His has two rings don't get me wrong
but his post-Elway years have been ok but with being a superior
coach as everyone makes him out to be you would think his record
would be better. Just a thought I could be wrong but more than
likely not. What about the great Droughns?? I saw this guy on
every talk show in America last week. He should have been getting
ready for the next game before the clock turns midnight on this
guy and he turns back into the pumpkin. He had 49 yards being
that he finally went up against a quality run defensive unit.
But I think that hat more to do with them being so far behind.
He will still do well in that system until everyone figures him
out. Plummer 400 yards, 4TDS, 3 picks and those picks were costly.
Typical Plummer game. Just for the record that block last week
against the Bengals was not illegal but cheap as hell and should
be illegal. They can cry all they want about other teams but there
is no other team that puts lineman out of commission like the
Houston has been laying the hammer down in a big way. That win
vs. the Jags may be the biggest in their short history. A good
win against a quality opponent. David Carr is growing into a great
QB. He is looking more comfortable and making fewer mistakes.
He had 276 yards passing and a TD against the Jags. For them to
be successful on the road they must establish a better-run game.
Davis has got to show more than his 56 he put up last week. The
Broncos defense was embarrassed against the Falcons and is looking
to re-establish themselves. IT will be a tough test. I would go
with Carr and Johnson. Davis is risky in this one.
Final Score: Broncos 22, Texans
New England at St. Louis
(+2 ˝), 4:15 p.m
Anyone want to get off the Patriot bandwagon now before it is
too late? Injuries just are ravishing them and even the mighty
Patriots may not be able to overcome them. I called the loss to
the Steelers last week. I just thought the Steelers were on a
roll and the Patriots just looked like there was loss coming.
I didn't however se that the Steelers would dominate from start
to finish. The Pats were never in this one. They gave up an incredible
210 yards rushing. They gave up three offense TDS and one defensive,
as they were not playing Patriot ball with two fumbles and two
interceptions. Big issue was no Corey Dillon. As of press time
we are not sure of Dillon's status for this game but they will
be needed. It also looks as though Ty Law will be out for 4-6
weeks, which severely hampers the defense. The coaching staff
is good but it would take a miracle to stop the Rams with this
The Rams were on a much-needed bye last week and have had time
to heel and prepare for the Pats. The Rams are still smarting
for their humiliating defeat to the Fins before the break in week
7. They will be looking to get that offense on track in the dome
where they are 22 out of their last 27 and 10 out their last 11.
They simply play better under the bright lights of the Edward
George dome. They are 6th in the league in total offense however
the defense is ranked 28th in the league and allows a big-time
360 total yards per game. So Brady should have a pretty good day
but I think this will be a track meet and when it turns to that
the Rams normally come out on top.
Final Score: Rams 35, Patriots
at Baltimore (-6), 8:30 p.m
This will be a snoozer but an important game for both teams. As
expected the Ravens got beat by the Eagles but they really stayed
with them fro most of the game. I am sure Lewis did not like the
impersonation by T.O. in the end zone. But as Deion says, if you
don't like it then don't let him score. The Ravens will be fired
up and ready to go, as they need this win to keep pace with the
Steelers for control of the division. Jamal Lewis coming back
and should have a good game in store for us. The Ravens should
go back to their standard control game and should really control
the Browns offense.
Cleveland was on a bye and looking to win one as they are only
3-4 and starting to fall back in the playoff race. They are middle
of the road on defense and have a tendency to let teams throw
on them a little but probably not this week. They will have stop
Jamal Lewis to survive. The problem is that the Ravens are one
of best bounce back teams there are. Especially since they got
their manhood questioned by the Eagles last week. I think at home
with crowd going wild and the revenge factor makes this a Raven
Final Score: Ravens 20, Browns
Minnesota (+6) at Indianapolis,
Yikes, we might see a repeat of last week's KC-Indy festival with
Minnesota heading into town.
The Vikings should get good numbers from Daunte Culpepper, who
had his worst game of the season against the Giants last week.
With Randy Moss injured, his numbers have dropped off. If Moss
can play for more than a play or two with that hammy problem,
he's a threat, but he's difficult to rely on with the past two
weeks as an indicator and Marcus Robinson and Nate Burleson playing
well in his stead. The running back situation is even more confusing,
with four running backs trying to split carries. Given his injury,
Mewelde Moore might get some needed rest, although you never know
in this league. I think the best bet this week is Onterrio Smith,
who is healthy and racked up yardage both rushing and receiving
before serving his four-game suspension. The wild cards are Michael
Bennett and Moe Wiliams, who might also get goal line carries
and share the rushing load. I think Culpepper, Smith, Burleson
and TE Jermaine Wiggins are the best plays this week, especially
since both Moss and Robinson are hurt. On defense, look to the
secondary, where Antoine Winfield, Corey Chavous, Brian Russell
and Brian Williams should see lots of action.
The Colts are the best offensive team in football, with every
skill position starter a contributor. With that said, do not hesitate
to play Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie
Wayne, Brandon Stokely and the TE of your choice (Marcus Pollard
or Dallas Clark). IDP options include DL Dwight Freeney, LB David
Thornton and LB Cato June. Normally, I'd have a slew of DBs here,
but since the entire starting secondary is on the injury report
as either doubtful or questionable, the situation doesn't look
good. DBs Mike Doss and Idrees Bashir are the two best, but watch
the report as it develops to see their availability.
Final Score: Colts 34, Vikes