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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 8 Picks

Here are my selections for Week 8 in the NFL

Current Record:

ATS: 57-45-1
SU: 65-38

**Indicates Top Plays

Denver Broncos @ **Baltimore Ravens (-3) - The Ravens have the 9th best home defense, while the Broncos have the 3rd best road defense, clearly this game won't be in the 30s or 40s. Both teams are coming off bye weeks, and both teams are healthy. The Ravens need this game much more than the Broncos do, and the fact that they are at home is pivotal. Flacco is 8-3 in his career when he plays in Baltimore, and the 3 losses were by a total of 10 points. Clearly the Ravens play good football at home. If the Ravens lose this game it will be the 4th straight loss, and you can believe that Ray Lewis has this defense inspired to shutdown the Broncos running game and force them to be a passing offense, which the Broncos are not accustomed to doing. The Ravens are not great against the pass, but when they get beat they get beat deep, and the Broncos offense is more of a dink and dump styled passing game. The Broncos have a terrific defense, but this is the game where the defense won't be enough to get the win. I love Baltimore at home in a tough, physical matchup against Denver. Take the Ravens to win 17 - 13.

Cleveland Browns @ **Chicago Bears (-14) - The Bears are coming off a dismal performance in Cincinnati last week and they are happy the Browns are coming to town. You have to believe that the Bears will be alive and ready to get their train back on the tracks this week. I am expecting big things out of Matt Forte, Jay Cutler, Jay Cutler, Jay Cutler, and...YEP! JAY CUTLER. Cutler will redeem himself from his pathetic performance last week, and should have a big game against the NFL's worst ranked defense. Chicago over Cleveland 34 - 10.

Houston Texans (-3.5) @ Buffalo Bills - Everyone loves Buffalo this week except for me. The Texans know this is the type of game that they have to win in order to begin the escalation from mediocre team, to an above average team. Houston will be very prepared for the Bills offense, lack thereof, and they will be ready to stack the box and force backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to make decisions with the ball in his hands. Houston has been 5th against the run the past 4 weeks, and I expect them to prevent Mr. Lynch from having a big day. Houston will find success running the ball with Slaton, as well as hitting a deep pass or two against the Bills stingy pass defense. Houston over Buffalo 24 - 13.

San Francisco 49ers @ Indianapolis (-13) - Alex Smith gets the nod for the 49ers this week, and he gets to go against the Colts defense that is 6th against the pass, averages 2 turnovers a game, 2.5 sacks a game, and is only allowing 13 points per game. Smith better bring his A+ game to Indy because this looks like a tough game to play well in. I love the Colts, their offense is superb and they score effortlessly, and they always have a stud slot receiver (Collie and Garcon). The 49ers should be run heavy with Frank Gore, but if the Colts are able to shut him down and force the 49ers to throw the ball more than they would prefer, expect the Colts to run away with this one. Indy over San Fran 30 - 13.

Miami Dolphins @ **New York Jets (-3.5)
- The Dolphins left it all on the line last week against New Orleans, and they fell short in the end (losing the 4th quarter 22-0). The play calling was questionable, the wildcat only gained 47 yards on 14 plays, and the defense could hold on long enough against the explosive offense of New Orleans. The Jets have won 17 of the last 23 games in this matchup, and I expect the loss to the Saints really taking air out of the Dolphins this week. The Jets are coming off a big blowout win in Oakland, and Mark Sanchez is prepared to have a productive game against the Dolphins secondary. New York Jets over the Miami Dolphins 20 - 13.

St. Louis Rams (+3.5) @ Detroit Lions
- There's not much analysis to talk about for this game. If Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are able to go for the Lions, I give the edge to the home team. If they can't, the edge goes to S Jack and the Rams. That being said, I think the Lions will have Stafford and Johnson and they took advantage of the bye week and will take down the Rams. St. Louis doesn't have many pieces to their puzzle, I like the Lions to win at home 20 - 17.

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys (-10)
- Dallas looked great last week against Atlanta. I saw chemistry between Romo and Austin, I saw life out of Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, and I saw strength out of the Cowboys defensive line. The Cowboys have the talent to be a good team, they just never seem to play well in December. I like the Cowboys to play well again at home, and expect them to run the ball against the Seahawks defense that just lost 3-time Pro Bowl MLB Lofa Tatupu to a torn pectoral muscle. The Seahawks had the bye week to prepare for this game, but I don't see it happening. They will be one dimensional, the run game won't have success against the Cowboys front seven, and Hasselbeck will force a few balls into tight coverage. Take Romo and the Cowboys to knock off the Seahawks 27 - 13.

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles (+1) - Huge Sunday in Philly: Eagles vs Giants, Pearl Jam concert, and Yankees vs Phillies Game 4 of the World Series. Wow. The fans will be crazy on Sunday in Philly. Advantage: Philly. The Eagles are coming off an unimpressive win in Washington on Monday night, while the Giants are coming off two straight beat downs against the Saints in New Orleans, and then last Sunday night against the Cardinals in NEW YORK. Both teams exploited the Giants secondary, passing for 369 yards and 4 TDs by Drew Brees, and 231 yards and 2 TDs by Warner. Only 2 sacks by the Giants in those two games, compared to the 14 in the previous 5 games. The Eagles, seems like they will have Westbrook, have an explosive offense and McNabb likes to spread the wealth around to all of the receivers and backs on the field. I like McNabb at home on a big day in Philly. I think the Eagles defense steps up against Eli, and they create a turnover or two that changes the game. Philadelphia over the Giants 24 - 20.

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers (-17)
- The Raiders are not a good football team, nor do they show signs of being a consistently bad football team. They have played 7 games this season and their defense has played well in 4 of them. Last week, the Jets didn't need a quarterback, they ran it all over the Raiders defense. This week, the Chargers will run the ball with LT and Sproles in order to open up the play action pass game for Phillip Rivers. The Chargers defense showed new signs of life last week against the Chiefs, and I expect that to continue this week against the Raiders offense. The Chargers over the Raiders 30 - 6.

Jacksonville (+3) @ Tennessee Titans - The Jaguars and Titans are both coming off bye weeks. The Titans had some noise during their week off as Head coach Jeff Fisher wore a Peyton Manning jersey to a fundraising event, while the Jaguars only noise was Maurice Jones-Drew hyping his team up and explaining that he feels the Jaguars are for real. Well, they are playing an 0-6 team that they pounded in week 4 37 -17. David Garrard threw for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns in that game. The Titans are not the team I thought they would be this season, but they still have plenty of talent on their roster. Due to the 0-6 start, the Titans have decided to make the switch at quarterback and let Vince Young see some live game action. In 5 career games against the Jaguars he has a 50.5 QB rating, 8 interceptions : 3 touchdowns, and was sacked 10 times. Look for Young to have better than a 50.5 rating, but not by much. Jacksonville over the Titans 24 - 17.

**Minnesota Vikings (+3) @ Green Bay Packers
- Game of the week as Brett Farve heads back to Lambeau Field where he made his career as a Packers quarterback. Farve will be very prepared for this matchup as he was able to have plenty of success in Week 4 against Green Bay where he was 24-31 for 271 and 3 tds. Look for Farve to have pretty good numbers this week, but I expect Adrian Peterson to have the big game for the Vikings. Peterson was held to 55 yards on 25 carries when these two teams battled last, and I believe he is poised to have a much bigger impact in this game in Green Bay. Looking at it from the Packers perspective, Aaron Rodgers has been tremendous this season, but in order for the Packers to win this game their offensive line has to keep Rodgers from getting sacked. And with the Williams brothers lined up in the middle, and Jared Allen on the end, I am predicting at least 5 sacks for the Vikings. I love this matchup, and I think the Packers will play a tough game since they have the home field advantage, but I see Farve coming out on top. The Vikings hung with the Steelers in Pittsburgh last week, and if it weren't for the turnovers the Vikings win that game. I think the Vikings will protect this ball this week and take down the home team. Minnesota over Green Bay 27 - 24.

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals (-10.5) - The Cardinals are hot, the Panthers are cold, and with home field advantage you have to like the Cardinals in this matchup. The Panthers have a terrible quarterback and for them to win games they have to run the ball well. Well, the Cardinals are #1 against the run and looked very good against the pass last weekend in New York against Eli Manning. If the Cardinals can shut down Eli Manning in New York, what do you think they will do to Delhomme in Arizona. I agree with you... Cardinals over the Panthers 31 - 13.

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-10.5) - The Saints are coming off a huge win in Miami last week and if this were in Atlanta I would call it a trap game. However, it is in New Orleans and this bodes very well for the Saints as they play fired up football when they are at home. The Falcons are very bad against the pass, and they should only look worse this week as they go against the most efficient quarterback in the league this year, Drew Brees. Brees should be able to torch the Falcons secondary, and in the same time the Saints rushing attack should have success as well. The Falcons on the other hand are going against a very solid New Orleans defense that ranks 8th against the run and 14th against the pass. The Falcons have a good thing on offense, with Ryan, Turner, and Gonzalez, and if they want to win this game they will need a lot of offense to keep up with New Orleans. I think Ryan will struggle against the Saints secondary, leading the NFL with 13 interceptions, they just play better at home. I love the Saints to win big on Sunday, New Orleans over Atlanta 34 - 14.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 8 Start 'Em / Sit 'Em

Here are my hot and cold starts for Week 8 in the NFL


Hot Start:
-Kyle Orton (DEN) - Coming off a bye week the Ravens will be prepared to force the Broncos to become 1-dimensional by shutting down their run game. Orton will throw early and often in this one, and the Ravens are thin in the secondary and are allowing over 240 yards passing per game. Orton may throw a pick, but I expect this game to be in the 20's as both offenses can put up points, and I expect Orton to hook up with Brandon Marshall at least once for a touchdown. Orton should have something like 26-41 246 yards 2 TD INT.

-David Garrard (JAX) - Garrard has a career 77 QB Rating against the Titans, but this week he'll do much better. The Titans have the worst pass defense in the NFL, and if they focus on stopping the passing game of Jacksonville they will allow big chunks by Maurice Jones-Drew on the ground. Garrard will have a big day in the air against the Titans.

Cold Start:
-Matt Ryan (
ATL) - The Saints are coming off a gigantic victory in Miami last week where they came back from a 24-3 deficit to overcome the Dolphins. The Saints always play better at home, and this year the defense has been much better against the pass (only allowing 214 yards/game, leading the NFL in interceptions (13), and averaging 2.5 sacks per game).


Hot Start:
-Felix Jones (DAL) - Jones is an explosive back. He is averaging 8.6 yards per carry, and Seattle has the 30th ranked rushing defense when playing on the road. Look for Jones to get 8-12 touches in this game, one of them going for big yards and a score. I love Jones as a #3 RB option this week.

-Beanie Wells (ARI) - Wells had 17 touches last week the #1 ranked defense in the league (NYG) and he put up 77 total yards, 4.8 yards per carry, and his first career touchdown. Expect even better this week as Wells faces a Carolina run defense that allows 162 yards per game on the ground when they are playing on the road. The Cardinals always play well at home, expect a good effort out of Wells in Arizona. 15-20 touches, 85+ combined yards, 1-2 td's.

Cold Start:
-Willis McGahee (BAL) - McGahee has taken a seat on the bench due to the performance on the field by 2nd year back Ray Rice. Rice has been phenomenal all season, both rushing and catching passes out of the back field. Rice is now beginning to get rewarded for his good play by receiving the ball in goal-line situations, something McGahee had thought were his opportunities. Sit McGahee this week.


Hot Start:

-Hakeem Nicks (
NYG) - Nicks is a deep ball threat for Eli Manning. I am certain that Eli will take a shot or two against the Eagles secondary in the hopes for a big play, big penalty, and a shot at shutting down the Philly crowd for a bit. Nicks is emerging as a solid wide receiver and he is making the most of his opportunities. Look for 70-85 yards and a possible score for Nicks.

-Michael Crabtree (SF) - Week 1 for Crabtree was a success, this week against the Colts, will be an even bigger test. Expect Crabtree to rise to the occasion as the 49ers will be forced to catchup to the Colts and have to throw the ball with newly-named starter, Alex Smith. The Colts are tremendous against the pass, allowing under 200 yards per game, but the 49ers are going to be forced to pass the ball a lot more than they are used to, and Crabtree will reap the benefits. 60-70 yards and his first TD.

Cold Start:
-Anquan Boldin (ARI) - Boldin looked like he was beat up last week, still not fully recovered from his sprained ankle. The Panthers cover the pass well, but the Cardinals have so many options and now have, what appears to be, a running game, the potential for Boldin is not high here. Sit him, check his status throughout the week to see if he is even going to play. Breaston and Fitzgerald will get all the looks this week anyway.
Current Record:

ATS: 57-45-1
SU: 65-38

Power Rankings

Here are my Power Rankings after Week 7

1. New Orleans Saints (6-0) - Rallied after being down 24-3 to Miami, came back and won by 12. Drew Brees is playing with a passion that not many in the NFL ever show, he is the real deal and he is leading this team on the right path.

2. Indianapolis Colts (6-0) - Blow out against the Rams last week, now they head back home to face the 49ers and new starting quarterback Alex Smith.

3. Denver Broncos (6-0) - Had a bye last week, big matchup against Baltimore this week.

4. New England Patriots (5-2) - Tom is back ladies and gentlemen.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2) - Leading the AFC-North, the Bengals have the top rusher in the NFL in Cedric Benson, and Carson Palmer torched the Bears for 5 td's last week.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) - The bye week comes at a perfect time for Pittsburgh, big win against the Vikings and a few injured played need some time off, Lawrence Timmons most notably.

7. Minnesota Vikings (6-1) - The Vikings played well enough to get a win in Pittsburgh, turnovers killed them.

8. New York Giants (5-2) - Two straight losses for the G-Men, could Philly make it a 3rd this week?

9. Philadelphia (4-2) - An unimpressive win Monday night against Washington, can the Eagles take the NFC-East lead with a win over New York this weekend?

10. Arizona Cardinals (4-2) - This team looks to be taking form to who they were last season. The defense is playing tremendous football, and the offense is clicking.

11. Dallas Cowboys (4-2) - I was very impressed by Tony Romo and the Dallas defense against Atlanta. Miles Austin is having a Pro Bowl first half.

12. Atlanta Falcons (4-2) - Dallas had the bye week, Atlanta had the shortened week, Atlanta was outplayed and the punt return by Crayton was the icing on the cake.

13. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) - They will beat the Broncos this weekend.

14. Green Bay Packers (4-2) - Aaron Rodgers is putting up big numbers for the Packers offense.

15. New York Jets (4-3) - They did what they were supposed to do in Oakland this weekend, run the ball like crazy.

16. Houston Texans (4-3) - Matt Schaub has already set a new single-season touchdown passes record (16).

17. San Diego Chargers (3-3) - The soft defense finally looked like they were ready to play against KC last weekend.

18. San Francisco 49ers (3-3) - I prefer Shaun Hill over Alex Smith, I don't like this move.

19. Chicago Bears (3-3) - Anyone else thing Jay Cutler is going to have a monster game against Cleveland this weekend?

20. Miami Dolphins (2-4) - So close to a win against New Orleans. How bout the play calling in the 4th quarter? Pass,pass,pass, and punt? What happened to run right, run left, touchdown?

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) - Big game against Tennessee this weekend.

22. Buffalo Bills (3-4) - Every win in the NFL is a good win, but ew, the Bills win ugly.

23. Carolina Panthers (3-3) - Put in AJ Feeley!

24. Seattle Seahawks (2-4) - Had a bye last week, head to face Dallas this weekend...Ouch.

25. Washington Redskins (2-5) - Perfect time for the bye week.

26. Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) - Larry Johnson is tweeting about his coach...what does that tell ya?

27. Tennessee Titans (0-6) - Is it VY time yet? I believe so.

28. Detroit Lions (1-5) - Can the Lions get the win at home this weekend against St. Louis?

29. Cleveland Browns (1-6) - Blown out by the Packers, I expect them to get blown out by the Bears this week.

30. Oakland Raiders (2-5) - You beat the Eagles, then get blown out by the Jets, and head to San Diego this week. San Diego by 21.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) - Put in Josh Freeman, he is your future.

32. St. Louis Rams (0-7) - I think the Rams may kick the losing habit this weekend in Detroit.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 7 Sunday Recap

Let's take a quick look at the game that took place today:

-New England, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and New York Jets all dominated as I predicted they would.

-Pittsburgh's defense looked sharp scoring two touchdowns to give the Steelers the 10 point victory over the Vikings. Minnesota played well, kept themselves in the game, but turnovers killed them.

-San Diego looked like they are on their way back to old form. Phillip Rivers threw for 3 touchdowns, and the defense had 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

-Houston beat the 49ers by 3, the 49ers were led by Alex Smith after Shaun Hill got benched after a dismal first half. Smith connected on 3 touchdown passes to tight end Vernon Davis, but threw an interception late in the 4th that allowed the Texans to move to 4-3.

-Buffalo won in Carolina, an ugly win at best, but a win is a win and now the Bills are 3-4 and feeling good on the flight home to Buffalo. The Bills defense had 3 interceptions, 2 sacks, a fumble recovery, and were the main reason that the Bills won this game. Both teams looked bad all game.

-New Orleans scored 22 points in the 4th quarter and survived a scare in Miami. Miami had the Saints, but poor play calling in the 4th quarter cost them the game in my opinion. Chad Henne showed his rookie arm off late in this game as well.

-Dallas looked terrific at home today. Tony Romo out performed Matt Ryan, and the Cowboys defense came up with key 3rd down stops, one that led to a Patrick Crayton punt return. Atlanta has work to do this week in practice, that's a tough loss heading into a road game against New Orleans.

-Cincinnati dominated Chicago. Carson Palmer threw for 5 touchdowns and Cedric Benson ran 37 times for 189 yards and a touchdown. Chad Ochocinco had a great game with 10 catches for 118 yards and 2 TD's. The Bears were horrible from the opening whistle to the closing seconds in the 4th quarter. Cutler threw 3 interceptions, the Bears ran the ball 9 times with running backs, and the defense recorded no sacks, forced fumbles, or interceptions.

-Arizona looks like they are back to where they were last December and January. Very impressive win in the Meadowlands against the Giants. The Cardinals defense shutdown Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, as well as put a lot of pressure on Eli Manning forcing him to commit a late interception that ended the Giants chance to tie the game. Very impressed by the Cardinals, and hopefully the Giants have a short memory because they head to Philly for a tough divisional matchup.
6 - 0 straight up
5 - 1 ats
After the 1pm games

Big wins with Indy SD and NE

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 7 Selections

Here are my picks for this weeks games in the NFL, the analysis for each game will be posted later tonight.

*indicates my top 3 plays of the weekend

San Diego -5.5 @ Kansas City - The Chargers are coming off a terrible loss at home to the Broncos after they had two weeks to prepare for the game due to their bye week. Kansas City is coming off two straight great games against the Cowboys (loss in OT) and the Redskins (win by 8). The Chiefs defense is playing better, the offense is beginning to develop chemistry, and the culture of the team is becoming more competitive than it was the first three weeks of the season. For the Chargers, this is the make or break game of the season. They are 2-3, and a 2-4 record puts them in a deep hole with the 6-0 Broncos. With the Giants, Eagles, and Broncos all coming up in the next 4 weeks, the Chargers must win this game against the Chiefs to remain in the hunt for the wild-card, let alone the division. Phillip Rivers has played well this season, but he must step his game up to the next level in order to improve the Chargers offense. LT is not the LT of old, so the Chargers must use Sproles to spell him here and there. If the Chargers are going to make a move from this game on, their offense needs to turn it up another level, but their defense has to play better. Allowing almost 360 yards per game, and recording only 7 sacks in 5 games (2nd to last in the NFL) is not going to get it done in this league. The defensive intensity has to increase in order for the Chargers to progress. I think the defense steps up this week when they have to and the Chargers go to Kansas City and takes down the Chiefs. Chargers over the Chiefs 27 - 20.

Indianapolis -14 @ St. Louis - The Rams play Peyton Manning this week. Bob Sanders is supposed to be back for the Colts as well, so this has all the makings for a Colts blow out. That being said, they still need to execute on offense utilizing Addai and Brown out of the backfield, and working more with Collie out of the slot. The Colts are a terrific football team, and in order to become a great team throughout the rest of this season they will have to be sharp in every aspect of the game. Consider this game a tune up for next week against San Francisco. Oh yea, did I mention the Colts are coming off a bye week? Manning in his career is 7-3 after a bye week, with 7 of the games having a QB rating over 100, and of the 7 wins the Colts won on an average of 15 points each game. Give the points, Colts over the Rams 35 - 10.

Green Bay -9 @ Cleveland - With Cleveland allowing 408 yards per game, winning only 1 game in the last 12 outings, and haven't played well once this season, I do not understand why people like the Browns to cover 9 points. They have 12 players hit with the flu this week, Derek Anderson has a 41.7 QB rating on the season and has only completed 11 passes in the past two games, this does not sound like a sleeper pick to me. The Packers came out of their bye week last week and ate up the Lions only allowing the Lions to have the ball for 19 minutes, sack the quarterback 5 times, intercept 3 passes, and allow 0 points. I do not see a let down this week in Cleveland. Aaron Rodgers is too good of a quarterback to let the pathetic Browns defense contain the Packers explosive offense. The Packers will take it to the Browns 30 - 10.

Minnesota +5.5 @ Pittsburgh - This will be the fourth time in NFL history that an undefeated team with more than 5 wins plays the defending super bowl champion. In all 3 previous matchups, the undefeated team won. I see things going a bit differently this week. The Steelers will rise to the occasion in this game, head coach Mike Tomlin lives for games like these. If you look at the head to head battles in this game the edge clearly goes to the Steelers. Head coach edge goes to Tomlin, quarterback so far this season goes to Big Ben who leads the league in passing, running back goes to AP of Minnesota, wide receivers goes to Pitt, offensive line is Pitt, defensive line is more or less even but the edge to Minnesota, linebackers goes to Pittsburgh, and secondary goes to Pittsburgh. Home field advantage, cold weather, and hard-nose Steeler football on Sunday should allow Pittsburgh to take down the unbeaten Vikings. Pittsburgh over Minnesota 24 - 20.

New England +15.5 @ Tampa Bay (in London) - Tampa Bay is coming off a very tough home loss to the Panthers last week. The Panthers ran it down the Bucs throats and put a lot of pressure on QB Josh Johnson. Taking the trip to London must have been tough for both teams, but with veteran leadership and savvy players, the edge in travel goes to the Patriots. As a matter of fact, the edge in every aspect of this game goes to the Patriots. After scoring 59 points in the snow against the Titans, a much better team than Tampa, the Patriots are ready to keep the engine running in England this Sunday. Tom Brady looked like he was back to his 2007 form, as he tossed an NFL record 5 touchdowns in the second quarter of last week's game against the Titans. Laurence Maroney will get plenty of touches this week, as the Bucs allowed over 200 yards last week to the Panthers, and clearly are having problems stopping the run this season (allowing 172 yards per game). Not much of a game here, Patriots over the Buccaneers 38 - 14.

San Francisco @ Houston -3 - Michael Crabtree will be making his first career professional start for the 49ers and he gets a great opportunity to put up some numbers as the 49ers will be taking on the high-flying passing game of the Houston Texans. Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton, and Andre Johnson have been sensational this season hooking up for long touchdown passes and taking advantage of mismatches with Slaton lined up in the slot. The 49ers are making the trip east after having two weeks to prepare for this game. Houston is coming off a big win in Cincinnati last week. Houston needs this game, and playing at home gives them a big advantage. Frank Gore should be back for the 49ers, even though Houston has played the run much better the past 3 weeks, this is a favorable matchup for Gore. Houston must put pressure on Shaun Hill in order to take this game from the 49ers. Hill is shaky when he is hurried out of the pocket, but when he can drop back and have time to throw the ball he fairs much better. Overall, the edge goes to the home team. Schaub is having a very good season so far wit h14 touchdowns in 6 games. Look for the total to increase as the Texans will take down the 49ers 28 - 20.

New York Jets -7 @ Oakland - Don't jump on the Oakland band wagon yet. If Zach Miller would have been tackled for a 6 yard gain, instead of an 86 yard touchdown, the Raiders offense would have only gave 240 total yards, Russell would have only had 140 yards passing, and no one would be thinking about taking the Raiders this week. The Jets defense will limit the Raiders offense, even without nose tackle Kris Jenkins. The Jets will run, run, and run some more as the Raiders are 28th against the run. Mark Sanchez must make confident throws this week and progress forward from a dismal 5 interception game last week against Buffalo. The Jets offensive line should handle Oakland pass rush, and they will counted with screens to Leon Washington as well. New York will win this game, Thomas Jones should have a big game again, and Rex Ryan will get this team back together. New York Jets over the Raiders 20 - 9.

Buffalo @ Carolina -7 - The Panthers have the edge this weekend as they take on the Bills in Carolina. The Panthers have their two-headed running back train back on schedule as Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams combined for over 200 yards last week against Tampa Bay. This week should be more of the same as the Bills can stop the pass, but cannot stop the run as they are the NFL's worst at that. The Bills will be without starting QB Trent Edwards (concussion), so backup Ryan Fitzpatrick will be making the start. Fitzpatrick is a seasoned backup with plenty of experience, but a career 66.1 QB rating says enough about what to expect. Fitzpatrick is more mobile than Edwards and will take shots down the field, but overall his pocket presence is too shaky and Panthers franchised DE Julius Peppers will be all in Fitzpatrick's grill throughout the game. Stewart is a great start this week in fantasy football as both he and D Will should get 15-20 carries a piece. Panthers over the Bills 24 - 13.

**Chicago +1 @ Cincinnati - Jay Cutler and Matt Forte will be the key players in this game to get the Bears a victory. I love how Cutler has been playing all season, and with the receivers he has been doing with shows the type of quarterback he is. On the other side, the Bengals are battle tested and have beaten the Steelers and the Ravens, but explain a home loss to the Texans? Chicago must get Forte going in order to win this game, that includes screens and little dump offs where he can make guys miss in the open field. Cincinnati won't be prepared for the Bears this week, Chicago over Cincinnati 20 - 17.

New Orleans @ **Miami +7 - The game of the week. I love this matchup. New Orleans is the hottest team in football off to a 6-0 start. Their offense is explosive, and their defense has played tremendous all season. Miami is coming off a bye week, and the last time they played the took down the Jets in Miami. The Miami culture has changed, this team can win games. Tony Sparano has a great thing going here and I think he continues it this week. Miami has the offense that can slow down the pace of the game for the Saints. Running the wildcat, using Henne's arm, and even bringing in Pat White to scramble or throw the ball is a huge advantage for the Dolphins. The Dolphins will score with the Saints, but can the defense make plays and shut down Drew Brees. Joey Porter is pumped up for this game, and he will have his defense ready for this game. They have had two weeks to watch all the film they have on Brees, seeing what he does on specific coverages, what his checks are, and how quickly he likes to get rid of the ball. New Orleans is in for a battle, could they win this game by double digits? Without a doubt. But I see it going a different way. I think Miami will play them tough the entire 60 minutes of the game. I love Miami this week, playing hard and exciting football. Miami OVER New Orleans 27 - 24.

Atlanta +4 @ Dallas - Dallas is an average team. Wade Phillips is an average coach. The Falcons are an above average team with an above average coach and they will win this road game this week. Atlanta is playing very well this season, their only loss came at New England, and Matt Ryan's play has been excellent. Ryan has a 95.6 QB ratio and is completing 65% of his passes. If Michael Turner can pick up his play this team will be very prepared for the playoffs. The only downfall for this team is their defense. And this is where Dallas has an opportunity to keep it close. Atlanta's defense is ranked 23rd against the run and 21st against the pass, but they typically come up with key plays in games that allow their offense to come back on the field. With Marion Barber back this week, Dallas should try to get their run game going early, and then utilize Tony Romo's arm. Tony has been inconsistent all season, and if Atlanta brings pressure, look for Romo to struggle once again. I like Atlanta to pick apart the Dallas defense, and for Michael Turner to break out a few long runs. Atlanta over Dallas 30 - 27.

Arizona @ **New York Giants -7 - The Cardinals can stop the run, they rank 1st in the NFL in that category, but they rank dead last against the pass and that will be a problem when the Cardinals secondary tries to cover Smith, Nicks, Boss, and Manningham. Oh don't forget that Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw were contained by the Saints last week and they will be very eager to test the Cardinals run defense. The Cardinals are still a pass happy offense, so look for Warner to take shots deep in the secondary like Brees did last weekend. The Cardinals may be without star receiver Anquan Boldin who appears to be a game-time decision this week. The Cardinals are not a good East coast team, and in 6 career games against the Giants, Warner has 11 turnovers to 6 touchdowns. Let's not forget that the Giants are coming off a brutal loss in New Orleans last week, so as you could imagine, this Giants defense is salivating to get their hands on Warner's jersey and regain the reputation of the ferocious Giants defense that they had prior to last weeks game. The Giants have the quarterback, the running backs, improving receivers, the offensive and defensive lines, and the 2nd best home defense against the pass in the NFL. Give the points and expect a win by the Giants 30 - 17.

Philadelphia -7 @ Washington - Washington is in shambles. Zorn should have been fired already, Jason Campbell should be riding the bench, and this team should get beat this Monday night. The Eagles are coming off a pitiful loss to Oakland last week, so expect a completely different intensity from them this week as Andy Reid will have them fully prepared for the Redskins. Donovan McNabb has 25 career touchdown passes against the Redskins in 17 games, look for that number to increase on Monday night. Westbrook looked healthy against the Raiders, and DeSean Jackson is eager to make something happen for this offense after being shut down the past two games. Washington is not playing well enough to keep this game close. I think it will be under 38 points, but the Eagles with have the bulk of the points. Eagles over Washington 24 - 10.

Week 7 Start 'Em / Sit 'Em

Let's take a look at some hot/cold starts this week in the NFL:


Hot Start:
-Eli Manning NYG - The Cardinals are the number 1 ranked defense against the run, but they are 31st against the pass. Look for the Giants to try to establish the ground game, but Eli will have plenty of opportunities to put up very good numbers against a secondary that allows over 260 yards per game.

-Matt Cassel KC - Cassel only averages 180 passing yards a game, but his 7:2 touchdown to interception ratio shows that he is being smart with his decisions. The Chiefs are starting to move the ball better on offense, and going against a very soft San Diego defense this week should allow Cassel to put up some numbers. Add the fact that the Chiefs may be playing catch-up throughout this game, gives Cassel a lot of value this week if you need a fill-in qb.

-Tony Romo DAL - Romo is coming off the bye week amped up to make some noise on his home field and to get his team back on the right path. Romo hooked up with Miles Austin for 250 yards last game, so look for Austin to be a go-to target during this game against Atlanta. Atlanta allows 241 yards through the air per game, and they just gave up 300 last week to Jay Cutler and the receivers the Bears have (sorry, don't know their names). Williams, Austin, Crayton, and Witten should all chip in to give Romo a solid stat day.

Cold Start:
-Brett Farve MIN - Farve has been on fire this season and he is one of the main reasons that the Vikings are 6-0. However, Pittsburgh plays different when they are at home. They play the rush harder, and they play the pass better. Troy Polamalu will be playing again this week, and I believe that the Steelers will be putting a lot of pressure on Farve, as well as the Viking receivers at the line of scrimmage. Farve will put up his 200+ yards, but I do see him get sacked, hit, and hurried often during this game. If you have another option at qb this week, my advice is to use it.


Hot Start:
-Jonathan Stewart CAR - Jake Delhomme is having an awful first half to this season. The Panthers need this game against the Bills to put them back at 3-3 and in the hunt for the NFC-Wild Card. Stewart broke out last week against the Bucs, and this week he is going against the Bills that are dead last in the NFL in rush-defense allowing 182 yards per game. Williams and Stewart will get 15-25 carries a piece, Stewart will get in the end zone. Start him.

-Ryan Grant GB - Grant will find the endzone this week, and I also am anticipating a few long runs out of him as he is going against the NFL's 3rd worst run defense that allows 165 yards per game. The Packers will utilize the run game against the Browns in order to open up the play action pass plays. Packers will be all over the Browns in this game, start Grant.

-Tashard Choice DAL - Choice is expected to get more touches, so this looks like a favorable matchup for him to have a decent game. The Falcons are a good team, but they have a middle-of-the-pack defense. Look for Choice to have a solid game as a 3rd RB or Flex option for your fantasy team this week.

Cold Start:
-Tim Hightower ARI - The Cardinals will have to pass a lot in this game in order to catch up with the Giants offense. After getting broken apart by the Saints last week, I would anticipate a much better outing from the Giants defense.


Hot Start:
-Steve Smith/Hakeem Nicks/Mario Manningham NYG - Eli will have a big day against the Cardinals worst ranked passing defense, so start any of these guys if you own them. Smith has been the go-to all season, but Nicks appears to be emerging as a down field/touchdown threat, while Manningham sneaks in with 60 yards and a score each week. Love these guys this week.

-Mike Wallace PITT - Wallace is Big Ben's down field threat, and Big Ben is having a lot of success throwing the ball this season as he leads the NFL in passing yards. Wallace is averaging 17 yards per catch, and runs vertical routes numerous times during the game. With the Vikings being vulnerable against the pass, and Ward and Holmes being the main threats, look for Wallace to have a breakout game.

Cold Start:
-Steve Smith CAR - After announcing to the public that he does not feel like an asset to his team anymore, Smith should have another announcement after this week. The Bills cover the pass well, but are the worst in the NFL against the run. Jake Delhomme has 10 interceptions this season, while Stewart and Williams ran for over 200 yards combined last week. I don't see Delhomme throwing more than 20 passes this week. Smith will be a non-factor as the Bills will shut him down.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Power Rankings

Here are my power rankings entering Week 7 in the NFL:

1. New Orleans Saints (5-0) - Best team in the NFL, offense is tremendous 48 points per game against the NFC East, defense has been tremendous, and the quarterback has been flawless.

2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0) - Rams this week, make it 6-0.

3. Denver Broncos (6-0)
- I believe in the Broncos. Great play from the quarterback, the running backs are playing perfectly into the offensive game plan for the Broncos (only 8 negative rushes this entire season), the special teams played great against SD, and the defense is sensational. This team is legit.

4. Minnesota Vikings (6-0)
- Brett Farve, Minnesota loves you. This team is very talented. On the road, in Pittsburgh, this week will be a tough game, but a win will make this team so much better than they think they already are. Jared Allen is a beast coming off the end.

5. New York Giants (5-1) - Is Eli healthy? That is a concern in my eyes. This team is still very good, a small set back last week against the Saints.

6. New England Patriots (4-2) - Scary to think that Brady is back isn't it? Heading to London this week to face the lowly Bucs.

7. Atlanta Falcons (4-1) - This team has a lot to improve on to become elite, but if Michael Turner can get his running game going a bit, this team will be scary good.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) - Things don't get any easier this week when they take on the Bears.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) - Big Ben played great against the pathetic defense of the Browns, but is this Steelers team battle tested? 4 wins against teams with a combined record of 4-19. The Vikings have 6 wins alone...

10. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
- Crabtree, I am pumped.

11. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) - This is a good football team, still. Perfect time for the bye week.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) - I did not predict a loss to the Raiders, that's for sure. Eagles, in my opinion, are still a good football team, but the loss to the Raiders leads me to believe that we won't know a thing about this team until they play the Giants.

13. Chicago Bears (3-2) - The Bears have to use Forte more to open up the offense for Cutler. If they don't run the ball successfully they will not be a great football team.

14. Arizona Cardinals (3-2) - Huge test for Warner against one of his former teams, the Giants, I think he will play well.

15. Green Bay Packers (3-2) - Aaron Rodgers needs protection for this team to have a chance to make a run at the end of the year.

16. Dallas Cowboys (3-2) - Coming off the bye week, can the Cowboys win at home against a very good Atlanta football team?

17. New York Jets (3-3) - Sanchez has 10 INTs on the year, tied with Jake Delhomme for worst in the NFL.

18. Houston Texans (3-3) - As predicted, the Texans took it to the Bengals. Can they do the same to the 49ers coming off a bye?

19. Miami Dolphins (2-3) - Exciting matchup against the Saints in Miami this week.

20. San Diego Chargers (2-3) - The defense is soft, Merriman is soft, LT is soft, but Rivers is very good.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3) - Balanced offense attack, horrendous defense, bottom of the middle-pack.

22. Carolina Panthers (2-3) - Jonathan Stewart looked good last week, that's a positive for this offense.

23. Buffalo Bills (2-4) - 5 interceptions for the defense, that will help you win a game.

24. Seattle Seahawks (2-4) - The Seahawks offensive line is hurting, they need a bye MONTH.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (1-5) - I couldn't pick them straight up last week, but I knew they would cover. Solid win for the desperate Chiefs.

26. Oakland Raiders (2-4) - What a remarkable victory for Russell and Tom Cable. Without Asomugha too.

27. Washington Redskins (2-4)
- Monday night at home against the Eagles, who lost to the Raiders last week, Redskins will get toasted.

28. Tennessee Titans (0-6) - 59 -0

29. Detroit Lions (1-5) - Like I said last week, not a good chance to win against the Packers.

30. Cleveland Browns (1-5) - The Browns are not a good football team, but they have a favorable schedule shaping up.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6) - The Bucs have a serious chance of not winning a game the rest of the season.

32. St. Louis Rams (0-6)
- Competitive effort against the Jags.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kris Jenkin Season is over

-Kris Jenkins, the star nose tackle for the New York Jets (3-3), is done for the year. As reports, he suffered a season ending ACL tear to his left knee. This is a devastating hit to the Jets defense. The Jets have reported that they will sign veteran defensive tackle Howard Green to fill the giant void that Jenkins will leave in the center of the d-line.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 6 Vent

-Philadelphia Eagles- Are you kidding me? A loss in Oakland, are you kidding me? That reflects the coaching staffs poor job of preparation and Donovan McNabb, with a lot of pressure on him, looked very inconsistent throughout the game. That being said, excuses are like...we all know that one. What a brutal loss for the Eagles, lucky for them the NFL does not work like the BCS.

-New York Jets- Mark Sanchez showing his youth. Losing to the Bills at home is unacceptable. Rex Ryan, poor job of preparation. No excuses about the weather, you have to be better with the passing game.

-Kansas City- I was hesitant to take you guys straight up, and I apologize for that. The Redskins are pathetic and you exploited that. Congrats on the first win of the season Matt Cassel.

-New England- Thank you for covering...and then some.

-Tennessee- Good luck next season, have a safe flight home.

-New Orleans- I believe in you now. Superbowl favorites in my opinion.

-New York Giants- Wow! What else can I say? The Saints beat you down. Somewhere Jeremy Shockey is smiling right now.

-Arizona- Are you guys going to be good or bad this year? Could you just tell us already?

-Seattle- Clearly the NFC-West will be up for grabs this season.

-Maurice Jones-Drew- Not a convincing win for your squad, but job well done backing up your talk from this week.

-Cincinnati- If you were at Houston I would have picked Houston to win outright, instead I had them covering 5.5 points because I expected this.

-Houston- Keep it rolling, you have a very easy second half.

-Baltimore- So close, yet so far. Flacco is a stud, 3-3 is tough.

-Minnesota- Minnesota may create a Brett Farve day for the state after this season.

-Buffalo- What a terrible game, but solid win on the road against a divisional foe.

This week's power rankings are going to have major changes.

Week 6 Injury Report

-Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford are inactive for Sunday's game in Green Bay

-Willie Parker and Troy Polamalu are both active for the Steelers

-Jonathan Stewart is active for the Panthers

-Correll Buckhalter looks to be active for the Broncos...stay tuned

Friday, October 16, 2009

Week 6 Selections

Here are my picks for Week 6 in the NFL:

Current Record:
ATS - 43-33
SU - 48-28


Philadelphia Eagles (-14.5) @ Oakland Raiders - Clearly the Eagles are the better team. Over the last 4 games, the Raiders have been outscored 96-16 which makes me wonder why this spread isn't around 20-21. The Raiders have a head coach who is thinking about going to jail every night, a quarterback who has a completion percentage 42%, a QB rating of 47, and has been sacked 15 times in 5 games. Russell's turnover to touchdown ratio is a whopping 8:1. This does not bode well for a team that is facing the Eagles defense that has sack hungry linemen and ball-hawking corner backs. Donovan McNabb will have fun throwing the ball to Jeremy Maclin, Kevin Curtis, and Brent Celek. Brian Westbrook will have his breakout game, and I expect Michael Vick to get some more reps at the quarterback position in the 4th quarter. To make more of a case for the Eagles; Andy Reid is 7-3 ATS when he travels to the West Coast, and Oakland is 11-29 ATS in their last 40 at home. Eagles over the Raiders 34 - 6.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (-10) - The Jets defense has been licking their lips since Tuesday morning for this game. After allowing the Dolphins offense to tear apart their highly touted defense, the Jets will be all over Marshawn Lynch and Trent Edwards. The Jets defense will be hungry for turnovers, sacks, and touchdowns. Terrell Owens may be in his last game in the Buffalo uniform as I predict him to be traded by Tuesday's deadline. Mark Sanchez and Braylon Edwards will be ready to pick up where they left off in Miami. I expect the Jets run game to have a strong performance on Sunday, as the Bills will be without LB Kawika Mitchell (out for the season) and are allowing 155 yards per game on the ground. Take the Jets over the Bills this week as they will not play as poorly on defense as they did on the road last week in Miami. Jets over the Bills 27 - 10.

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-9.5)
- The Patriots are coming off a tough loss in Denver last week. Tom Brady is 1-6 in his career in Denver, and he will be happy to be playing at home this week against the AFC's worst pass defense (Tennessee allows 288 yards through the air). With the Titans struggling on defense, their team motivation becomes more depleted each week. Even though the Patriots are not stingy against the run (97 yards per game), I do not expect Chris Brown or LenDale White to have strong statistical days. The Patriots will be pass happy and Tom Brady will not miss out on opportunities with Moss and Welker like he did in Denver. The Patriots will lead early and the Titans will have to play catch up in the second half. This does not bode well for Kerry Collins. In 5 games this season, Collins ranks 26th in QB rating, is below 60% in completion percentage, and has a 5:7 td to int ratio. In 3 career games against New England, Collins has a 70.5 QB rating, completes 55% of his passes, and has a 1:1 td to int ratio. This does not point in the favor of the Titans. To make matters worse for Tennessee, Tom Brady is 19-7 ATS after a loss, and Bill Belichick is 12-4 ATS after losing as a favorite. Patriots blow out the Titans in Foxboro, 38 - 17.

St. Louis Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-10) - The Jaguars are fuming from last week's 41-0 loss at Seattle. Maurice Jones-Drew has openly voiced his opinion about the offensive struggles of the Jaguars and how the next 3 games are pivotal for the chemistry of the offense. David Garrard has played well for the Jaguars so far this season. In 5 games he has thrown for 5 touchdowns and only 1 interception, and has only been sacked 11 times compared to 13 sacks and 4 interceptions at this point last season. The Jaguars need this game. The Rams are pathetic on offense and defense ranking 32nd and 31st in both categories. The Rams have no one playing well for them on either side of the ball, and Stephen Jackson will face 7-8 men in the box every time he runs the ball this week. Look for Jacksonville to get off to a fast start, Maurice Jones-Drew will be eager to back up his negative remarks, and WR Mike Sims-Walker is back from his one game suspension (violating team rules). One thing to note for this game is that the Jaguars have a bye next week and in the past four seasons the Jaguars are 4-0 ATS when entering a bye week. Also, favorites of 6.5 points or more are 33-7 (in the past 40 games) ATS going into a bye week. Jacksonville will be all over the Rams. Jaguars beat the Rams 31 - 13.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-14)
- Troy Polamalu is back for the Steelers this week, as is Willie Parker wearing magic shoes, and it looks like Rashard Mendenhall will get the start even after missing practice this week due to an "illness". The key part in that sentence is that Troy Polamalu is back for the Steelers. The Bills held Derek Anderson to 2 completions on 13 attempts for a whopping 23 yards. Look for the same out of the Steelers this week. Their pass rush will be ferocious, and their secondary will be licking their chops for an Anderson interception. I am expecting to see new intensity from the Steelers with Polamalu back roaming the secondary. He brings confidence and intensity to his teammates that not many other players in the league can offer. Polamalu is back, the Browns are in town, and they don't stand a chance in Steelers nation. Pittsburgh is 17-1 in the last 18 games between these two teams, make that 18-1 after this game. Pittsburgh over Cleveland 27 - 6.

Rest of Week 6 games:

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-14) - Teams entering a bye week and playing on the road are 2-4 this season. Teams that are coming off a bye week are 4-0 so far this season. Given the fact that Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are most likely out for this game, the edge goes to the Packers without a doubt. Coming off a bye week, they will be fully rested and fully prepared to get off to a good start against the Lions. The Lions are a tough team to bet against as they are 11-3 ATS as a double digit under dog since 2006. I think the Lions will keep it close in the first half, but then run out of gas trying to cover Greg Jennings in the second half. Ryan Grant will run all over the NFL's worst scoring defense (allowing 32 points per game), and the Packers will take this game easily. Packers over the Lions 34 - 17.

Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-3) - The Seahawks are coming off a monster 41-0 victory against the Jaguars last week, while the Cardinals are lucky to have survived the Texans. Arizona opened up hot against the Texans, but Kurt Warner only completed 3 of 15 passes in the second half which allowed the Texans comeback. The Cardinals are first against the run and last against the pass in the NFL. The Seahawks will have no problem picking up from last week and having Hasselbeck hook up with Burleson and Houshmandzadeh. The Seahawks play too well at home to not like them in this divisional matchup. The home team has won 9 of the last 11 games in this matchup and Seattle is 10-2 ATS as a home favorite over the past 12 games as a favorite. Give the points and take Seattle in this game. Seattle of Arizona by a score of 30 - 20.

Houston Texans (+5.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals - This has all the makings of being an upset. Cincinnati is coming off two road wins, where they first beat the Browns in dramatic fashion, and then took down the mighty-Ravens in the final minute last week. Carson Palmer has being playing fantastic football and Cedric Benson leads the NFL in rushing yards. The Texans, with a poor run defense (141 yards per game), must contain Benson in order to keep this game in their control. I really like Houston's passing attack to go right after the Bengals d-backs. Cincinnati has been great all season getting pressure on the quarterback (14 sacks in 5 games), but they will have to be very stingy this week to keep Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub from hooking up for big time plays. The Texans, under Gary Kubiak, are 6-1 ATS on the road after a road loss. Home favorites coming off a road win of 1-3 points are 19-42 ATS since 2000. This does not point in favor of the Bengals. I do think the Bengals defense can shut down the Texans on third downs and will force the Texans to punt the ball effectively and make defensive plays. The Texans are not known for their defense, and they haven't stopped anyone but the Raiders this season. This will be a shootout that comes down to the end. Cincinnati will win at home over Houston 30 - 27.

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Panthers would like to see their ground game get back to form this week against the Buccaneers pathetic run defense that is allowing over 150 yards per game. I really think Jonathan Stewart will have a breakout game for the Panthers, and that Steve Smith should catch a deep ball or two as the Bucs secondary was exposed by rookie Jeremy Maclin of the Eagles last week. Josh Johnson is athletic and versatile to keep this game close if he can be smart with the football and make plays. I do not see Johnson being very successful when he has Julius Peppers chasing him down every pass play. Carolina over the Bucs 24 - 20.

Kansas City Chiefs (+6.5) @ Washington Redskins - This is a big time spot for both teams. The Redskins are not good, and they haven't beaten anyone worth talking about this season. With a 2-3 record coming into this games, the Skins have beaten St. Louis and Tampa Bay (both 0-5), and have lost to the Giants, Lions, and Panthers ( a combined record of 7-7). Clearly the Skins are not a good football team. Fortunately for them, neither are the Chiefs. With an 0-5 record coming into Sunday, the Chiefs made the long trip to Washington D.C. to take on the Redskins this week. The Chiefs have 6 sacks in 5 games, but have allowed their starting quarterback since Week 2, Matt Cassel, to be sacked 14 times. The Redskins defense is too formidable to lose this game, but the Chiefs have enough on the offensive side of the ball to think of upsetting the Skins. I see it as a close game due to the inability to score by the Redskins, and the effort that the Chiefs put in last week against Dallas. Washington over Kansas City 17 - 13.

New York Giants (+3) @ New Orleans Saints - The Saints are 0-5 the past 5 seasons coming off a bye week. The Giants offensive and defensive lines are the X-factors of this game. Whoever wins the battle in the trenches will win this game. Both teams will make a commitment to the running game in order to keep each other's offensives off the field. Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell will do their best to get bye Justin Tuck and the Giants vicious defensive line, while Jacobs and Bradshaw will spearhead the Giants ground game. The Giants are a premier team on the road as they are 24-6 ATS on the road since 2006. Eli Manning will have friends and family at this game, as it is close to Ole Miss where he went to college. Manning is having a tremendous season so far, second only to his brother in nearly every statistical category. Steve Smith has been the break out receiver for the Giants, and the reason he has been so great is because he is both a down field threat as well as a possession receiver. He is Eli's Marvin Harrison. The Saints are a great team. Their defense is only allowing 16.5 points per game which is down by 7 points from last season at this time. The Saints defense leads the NFL in interceptions with 10, and is 7th against the run (83 yards per game). I give the edge to the Giants due to the fact that they are great on the road, and I see them being the more physical team in this game. Eli will be patient and make the right throws. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw will run the ball successfully allowing the Giants to control the clock throughout the 4th quarter. Giants over the Saints 27 - 24.

Chicago Bears (+3.5) @ Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan has been sensational this season; a 103 QB rating, a 7 td : 2 int ratio, and only been sacked 2 times all season. Ryan has been great and is always sharp when he plays at home where he is 9-1 SU and 7-2 ATS. The Falcons defense is suspect against the run and look for the Bears to exploit that aspect of the Falcons defense. Matt Forte is due for a big game and this is his opportunity. The Falcons are the perfect win for the Bears to get on a roll. However, the Bears seem to play poorly the week after a bye under Lovie Smith (1-4 ATS after a bye). That being said, the Bears need to commit to the ground game in order to keep Ryan and the Falcons offense off the field. I feel too strong about Ryan's confidence level when he is playing at home, therefore I will take the home team to win on a late field goal. The Falcons take down the Bears late in the 4th quarter, 30 - 27.

Baltimore Ravens (+3) @ Minnesota Vikings - Baltimore heads into Minnesota with their bye coming next week. Instead of this being a bad thing, I look at this as a very positive thing for John Harbaugh and the Ravens. The Ravens need to expend all of their team energy this weekend to sure things up before their bye week and leave Minnesota 4-2. The Ravens need to open up their play calling and allow Flacco to take more shots down the field. The Ravens secondary, corner backs specifically, need to step their game up and get back to their vaunted defensive style. The Ravens run defense, ranked 4th in the NFL, should be able to contain Adrian Peterson from having a monster game. This game will be determined by Brett Farve's arm. In his career, Brett has average numbers against the Ravens (82 QB rating, 5 td's to 4 int's, and 3 sacks in 3 games). Farve will have to be sharp and decisive against Ed Reed, the safety of the Ravens. All in all, the game will be close, the crowd will be rockin', and Ray Lewis will be hittin'. The Vikings are not battle tested enough for me to be sold on their 5-0 record. Their opponents are 7-18 combined, and the Vikings should have lost the game to the 49ers 2 weeks ago. A prime reason the Vikings are 5-0 is the play of DE Jared Allen who has 6.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and a safety. The Ravens will have rookie tackle Michael Oher against Allen this week, and that is a crucial matchup for both teams. If the Ravens win that matchup, Flacco will have more time to throw and stand tall in the pocket. On the other hand, if Allen wins that matchup you can bet a silver dollar that Flacco will be eating the turf more than one time in the game. I like the Ravens to win this game outright and have Flacco and Ray Rice take it to the Vikings defense. The Vikings will be out played and out coached in this match up. Ravens over the Vikings 24 - 20.

Denver Broncos (+3.5) @ San Diego - The Chargers are coming off a bye week and are playing at home. Teams coming off a bye and playing at home are 4-0 so far this season. The Chargers defense has to play with more tenacity and chemistry this week if they are going to take down the undefeated Broncos. With only 6 sacks in 4 games, the Chargers pass rush hopefully did their homework this week and has an idea of how to get Orton on the ground. If the Chargers can get the Broncos to be 1-dimensional, by stopping the run, they have a great chance to beat the Broncos. If Knowshon Moreno is able to run will, then the Broncos will win this game. The Chargers on the other hand, must be able to run the ball effectively on first down in order to keep the Broncos defense honest. The Bronocos defense is only allowing 8 points per game, and they are ranked 5th in the NFL against the run. Statistically, the home team has won 12 of the last 16 matchups between these two teams, and the Chargers are used to playing the good defensive teams as they have already faced the AFC's 2nd, 4th, and 6th ranked defenses this season. This week it is the 1st ranked AFC defense. In Phillip Rivers career after a bye week, the Chargers are 4-1 SU, and 3-0 in San Diego. The Broncos on the other hand, lost last season the week before their bye to the Patriots in New England by 34 points, and the year prior to that they lost in San Diego to the Chargers by 38 points. This is a different defense and coach this year, so I do think they will be very focused and prepared to keep this game close all 60 minutes. A late field goal does it for San Diego. Rivers is too sharp for the Broncos defense. Chargers over the Broncos 27 - 24.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

East Coast Bias Article

Adam Jones possibly heading to Baltimore?

Week 6 Start 'Em/ Sit 'Em

Here are my fantasy picks for Week 6 in the NFL:


1. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA)
- Arizona is allowing over 300 yards through the air per game and Hasselbeck is coming off a monster game at home last week against the Jaguars. Arizona allowed David Garrard to throw for 282 yards and 2 touchdowns two weeks ago when the Cards ripped the Jags 31-17. Look for Hasselbeck to continue his success from last week when he went for 241 yards and 4 touchdowns against Jacksonville at home. Hasselbeck has a career 88 QB rating against the Cardinals in 14 games, look for that rating to increase after this weekend. 270+ and 3 touchdowns is not hard to fathom this weekend.

2. Phillip Rivers (SD) - I do not know why you would ever think about not starting Phillip, but going against the Broncos defense I can see you second guessing him. Rivers is a starter every week no matter who he plays. The Broncos just shut down Tom Brady and I know Rivers was glued to the TV the entire game watching Brady miss open throws and seeing flaws in the secondary coverage of the Broncos. Rivers also has the luxury of coming off a bye week which allowed him even more time to prepare for this game. The Broncos have allowed Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, and Tom Brady all to throw for over 215 yards. The Broncos shut down Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell only allowing a combined 220 yards passing. In 7 career games vs Denver, Rivers has a 113 QB rating and a 3:1 TD to INT ratio. I love Rivers against the Broncos this week.


1. Matt Cassel (KC)
- I know a lot of people are predicting an upset in Washington, but I do not like Cassel as a fantasy option this week. Whether they win or lose will depend a lot of Larry Johnson over Cassel. The Skins are 2nd in the NFL in home defense against the pass only allowing 110 yards per game. Sit Cassel for another option this week.

Running Backs:

1. Rashard Mendenhall & Willie Parker (PITT)
: The Steelers have been running the ball a lot more due to the success Mendenhall has been having in the ground game. With Parker back healthy this week, look for the Steelers to pound the Browns NFL-worst run defense with this two-headed punch of Mendenhall and Parker. I think Parker will step his game up this week as well, due to the fact his starting job is not safe.

2. Brian Westbrook (PHI) - This will be the game that will make fantasy owners happy for the first time in 6 weeks. Westbrook will get more touches running the ball and I expect a screen or two to go his way. He had a good, healthy week of practice and I know he expects a lot out of himself this week to bolster his confidence as the Eagles head to Washington next week and host the Giants the following week.

3. Jonathan Stewart (CAR) - Stewart is once again healthy, and the Panthers take on the Bucs this week where Stewart has had success before in his career. Stewart had 10 rushes last week, while the Panthers ran it 29 times. The Panthers need to get back to their ground attack like they had last year in order to get some more wins this season. Stewart is a pivotal part in their ground attack, and spelling Williams and taking goal-line carriers is a value for fantasy owners.


1. Julius Jones (SEA)
- Jones has only surpassed the 100 yard mark once this season, opening Sunday against St. Louis. Since then, Jones has averaged only 12 rushes per game for 42 yards per game. That is only 3.36 yards per carry in his last 4 games and he has accumulated only 168 rushing yards in his last 4 games combined. With a hot Hasselbeck, and the Seahawks going against the NFL's top ranked rushing defense, and the NFL's worst ranked passing defense, you get my idea of Jones' value this week. I see maybe 40-60 yards and 25 through the air.

Wide Receivers:

1. Kevin Walter (HOU) - Cincinnati is coming off a huge win for the franchise last week in Baltimore. Whether Cinci wins this game or not is still a question, but they better be ready for the high-flying passing attack of the Texans. The Texans put up 207 yards in 28 plays over 3 drives in the 3rd and 4th quarter of last weeks game. The Texans are coming into this game fuming over there goal-line loss last week to the Cardinals, and they will be very prepared to score early and often against the Bengals defense. The Bengals defense is allowing 250 yards per game at home through the air (24th in the NFL) and the Texans are the NFL's best road passing attack averaging 364 yards through the air on the road. This is a great sign for Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and more importantly, Kevin Walter. Walter was targeted 6 times last week and caught 4 passes. Look for those numbers to increase as the Bengals will put heavy coverage on Johnson all game which will free up Walter in man coverage. Walter has big potential this week. I am looking for something around 110 and a TD.

2. Jeremy Maclin (PHI) - Clearly everyone is hot on Maclin after last week (142 yards, 2 td's, 6 recs, 8 targets). With Asomugha covering DeSean Jackson this week, look for Maclin to take advantage of his single coverage with a few deep balls heading his way from McNabb. The Giants put up 44 on Oakland last week, look for the Eagles to do the same this week. This will be a no-contest victory, but Maclin will stay in to get extra reps from Kolb. 8 receptions 100+ yards is feasible.

1. Dwayne Bowe (KC) - I don't like Cassel this week, and I really don't like Bowe this week. The Redskins shut down teams passing attack when they play at home, only allowing 110 yards through the air at home which ranks them 2nd in that category. The Skins will be putting pressure on Cassel, and with DeAngelo Hall on Bowe, I will put money that Cassel will be targeting Bradley and Wade more often than Bowe. Take away his 16 yard touchdown reception against the Cowboys last week, and Bowe's game would have been: 4 receptions for 58 yards. That is what I expect this week. Sit him.

Power Rankings

Here are my power rankings for the NFL heading into Week 6:

1. New York Giants (5-0) - Eli Manning is second only to his brother in quarterback rating (111.7) and he has only been sacked 2 times in 5 games. Big game in New Orleans this week, but I don't see a Giants win being an upset like the odds makers do.

2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0) - Peyton Manning is the leader in QB Rating (114), completions (133), yards (1645), td's (12), and has only been sacked twice. He is the MVP of the NFL after the first 5 weeks and he will be watching the games on a couch this Sunday as the Colts are on a bye week.

3. New Orleans Saints (4-0) - Huge game against the Giants this weekend at home. Can Brees and the offense run the ball efficiently and make some big plays with the play-action pass? Can the Saints defense be as good as they have been all year as they take on Jacobs and Bradshaw this week? I think the Saints are not physical enough in the trenches to win this game. It will be close.

4. Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
- Brett Farve has already taken this franchise to a level they never thought they could reach. With AP running the ball, and the gun-slinger making smart decisions, the Ravens will have to play nearly perfect to get the win in Minnesota.

5. Denver Broncos (5-0)
- When will people start believing in this team? Did you see the Broncos defense eat up the Patriots and hold them to just 17 points? Do you see the chemistry that this team has and share with each other? Did you see new head coach Josh McDaniels celebrate after the victory against his former team? This team is for real. The defense is allowing just 8 points per game and Kyle Orton is playing like a potential MVP candidate. This team can beat the Chargers on Sunday, but will they do it is the real question?

6. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
- The tipped-pass loss is looking better and better each week as the Broncos are showing that they are a legit contender. The Bengals are a good football team. Can they remain this consistent? After an ugly win in Cleveland, the Bengals gave everything they had to pull off the last second win against the Ravens in Baltimore last week. I don't think they come prepared against the Texans this week. The Texans can put up points in a hurry and I think the Bengals will be caught sleeping this week.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) - They will be 4-1 after this weekend in Oakland, and we still won't know a thing about them.

8. Atlanta Falcons (3-1) - What an impressive win on the road against the 49ers last week. Michael Turner played great, and Matt Ryan continues to impress week in and week out. This defense is 24th overall, so that is their weakness. But, if the offense can play well enough to put up 20-24 points they could win a lot of games this year. Great matchup this weekend as Ryan and Cutler battle for their 4th win of the season.

9. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
- This is a good football team. They would have won last week had they let Flacco loose. Let the kid play.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) - With Polamalu set to return this week or next, the Steelers are in good shape to get this division back in their hands. The loss of Aaron Smith will be felt for the rest of the season.

11. Chicago Bears (3-1) - The Bears play a pivotal game this weekend in Atlanta. The Bears are coming off a bye week so they should be very prepared to play the Falcons. Atlanta is coming off a huge road win in San Francisco and they will be pumped up to play in front of their home crowd. If Cutler can make smart throws and utilize Forte in the backfield, this will be a great game to see.

12. New York Jets (3-2)
- The Jets will eat up the Bills this week after the brutal loss in Miami on Monday night. I can't imagine how practice was this week.

13. New England Patriots (3-2)
- When will Tom Brady come back? Will he ever come back? Even if he does not return to his 2007 form, this Patriots team is still very good and Brady and Welker are so hard to defend.

14. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
- I wonder if the 49ers were still hurt from the loss in Minnesota? This bye week couldn't have come at better time. FYI - Crabtree is active.

15. San Diego Chargers (2-2) - Coming off of a bye week, playing at home, and they are playing the top team in the division that is undefeated. Do they need any more reasons to play well?

16. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
- What a great win for the Dolphins on Monday night. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams looked phenomenal, but Chad Henne stole the show. He mad so many smart decisions with the ball, and he took chances when he had the opportunity. The Dolphins are right back in the thick of things.

17. Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
- Don't get on the Miles Austin bandwagon just yet. This team is way too inconsistent to believe in, and a 6 point win over the Chiefs is not a good win.

18. Green Bay Packers (2-2)
- Aaron Rodgers is a very good quarterback with a very bad offensive line. The Packers can be a good team, but in order for that to happen they must start protecting their quarterback.

19. Seattle Seahawks (2-3) - The Seahawks are such a different team when Matt Hasselbeck is playing. They took advantage of their home crowd and layed a beat down on the Jaguars. Seattle is back.

20. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) - Tough game this week as they travel to Seattle. Can the Cardinals play consistent football two weeks in a row?

21. Houston Texans (2-3) - They have a great opportunity to steal a win this week as the Bengals are coming off two wins on the road that required everything they had to give. If the Texans can get out early this game could be over fast.

22. Carolina Panthers (1-3)
- Jake Delhomme deserves a start this week in fantasy. I don't think it will be a blow out, but I do this the Panthers get the win by a touchdown in Tampa Bay.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
- The Jaguars play the Rams, go on a bye week, play at Tennessee, and then play the Chiefs. Maurice Jones-Drew will do everything he can to make his team go 3-0 in the next 4 weeks.

24. Washington Redskins (2-3)
- With the players standing by their coach, I expect a win at home against the Chiefs this weekend.

25. Tennessee Titans (0-5)
- Have you ever seen a more talented 0-5 team?

26. Cleveland Browns (1-4)
- Derek Anderson gets the start this week after going 2/17 and 23 yards last weekend in Buffalo.

27. Buffalo Bills (1-4) - Make it 1-5 as they will get blown out by the Jets this week.

28. Detroit Lions (1-4) - The Lions may have Stafford back this week, even so, they are playing the Packers in Green Bay. Not a good chance for a win this week.

29. Kansas City Chiefs (0-5)
- The Chiefs played the Cowboys tough last week, and the Redskins are not a good football team. This could be an interesting game.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-5)
- Josh Johnson or Josh Freeman? Freeman please.

31. St. Louis Rams (0-5)
- I don't know when the Rams will win a game, but the Raiders shouldn't be anywhere but dead last.

32. Oakland Raiders (1-4) - Take JaMarcus Russell out and let's start from there.