My record for last week in Picking NFL games took a little dip, but still 12-4, bringing the yearly total (starting at week2 since i was late on week 1) to a nice 25-7 (%78), not too shabby but looking for %80 or higher.
Let's review how bad I really was last week though--
Start of the weekWell it didn't happen the way I said it would, but a basically unknown WR, playing in Oakland no less, up agianst the mighty JEts. In most circles that's an automatic sit. So getting 11 out of him would qualify as a win in my book. Especially when you consider you probably would've started Santonio Holmes over him, and got all of 1 point in that very same game.
Denarious Moore, WR Oakland- I see one long TD over Revis, and 100 yards, making this one of the very few exceptions of WR's to get off Revis Island alive. And when your league owners laugh at you for starting him, come Monday morning you've got a big "I told you so" to throw in their faces.
Sit of the weekOk first off, I'll take the loss on this one, he scored 14 pts and that's a good thing for anyone that started him. But I just want to add that if you take away the short TD..you've got the exact week that I predicted. But that's why Peterson is an elite back..that one or two carries is what puts him above the majority of the RB's
Adrian Peterson. The Lions, and most notably, Ndamakong Suh, will shut down all facets of the Vikings offense, including stuffing Peterson, less than 90 yards and no scores
After two weeks of starts and sits of the week, always goign with people automatically sat or automatically started, never taking the easy road, my record is sitting at 3-1.
ON with the reaction from week 3 games--hits in bold, misses crossed out
NE @ BuffSo Perhaps Buffalo is for real?? Or Perhaps NEw England's defense is no better than that of the Raiders or Cheifs? Maybe even both? It'll be interesting to see what happens once Buffalo goes up agianst a defense that isn't having the score run up on them every week. I can't honestly see Welker's nearly 200 yards a game holding up, but he's obivously a legit WR1 for the rest of the year. Not usre what happened to Deon Branch, but it wasn't Ocho Cinco that stole his catches, so don't overreact too much to his 0. In fact, Ocho probably put himself in the doghouse more than anything, if you haven't dropped this schmuck yet, what exactly are you waiting for? Ride Gronkowski while you can, Aaron Hernandez's return should be interesting. Ridley is begining to show sings of taking the job, I jumped the gun in the bragging rights league on botht he draft and dropping him after week 1..but I had to due to WR injuries..NOw I'm kicking myslef a bit for not picking him back up. Go get him before the rest of oyur league catches on.
Must starts-Brady, Branch, Welker, Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, Gronkowski, Fred Jackson, Gostkowski, Lindell
Possible-BJGE, Spiller, Chandler, Woodhead, Nelson
Sits - NE. D/ST, BUFF D/ST
Game prediction- New England 45, Buffalo 37
Fitzpatrick and his Harvard education equal a great NFL QB. I was somewhat high on him in the offseason, thinking it was possible that he was the next big thing at QB, but I had Ryan and Freeman and Bradford all ahead of him..boy was I wrong! If you took the chance on him as your QB#2 kudos to you. Freddie Jackson continues ot be a stud RB, Spiller continues to be a tease, and now theres even an emerging 2nd WR in Buffalo in David Nelson. I sitll say this team misses the playoffs (hey the Broncos started 6-0 last year and ended up firing their coach), but the offense is going to remain a good play in fantasy all year long.
SF @ CincyThis was easily the hardest game to watch this weekend. Just ugly. Not only was just bad, but most of it was without Frank Gore..yawn. Vernon Davis finally scored a few points, now if he can only find the end zone. I wouldn't get too excited about a 100 yard day vs the Bungals. Andy Dalton and Aj Green showed why I'm not a buyer on those them. typical rookie performances, hit or miss, usually miss, and usually the hits come on your bench. Caldwell makes for an interesting desperation pickup for those of you that lost Kenny Britt and missed out on Washington or other "hotter" WR's
Must starts- Frank Gore, Akers, Nugent
Possible starts-Vernon Davis, AJ Green, Benson, Greshem, SF D/ST,
Sits- Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Simpson, Crabtree, Edwards, Morgan
Game Prediciton- SF 20, Cincy 13
Miami @ ClevelandSince my blog was written on Wednesday, I totally missed out on Hillis not playing. Guess I'll still take the hit on it though, why not??
Must Starts- Hillis, Marshall, Daniel Thomas
possible starts- Watson, Massaquoi, Bush
Sits-McCoy, Henne, Hardesty, Moore, Hartline, Robiske
Game prediction- Miami 24, Cleveland 17
Hardesty showed some nice burst, and was able to put together a decent enough day to make me wonder what Hillis's workload wil be like going forward. The Browns coaches all said they wanted ot reduce his workload and try and keep him a little more healthier this year, and hardesty has given them a good reason to follow through with that plan. Considering Hillis will sitll be the main guy, he's still the back to won here, but expectation must be brought down a notch after what Hardesty did this week.
Reggie Bush, 12 touches for 36 yards, and two fumbles. Daniel Thomas 26 touches for 122 yards..Nice knowing ya Reggie!! This game is exhibit A as to why I was down on Marshall form the begining of the year. The 'Phins just don't throw enough to get Marshall the targets he needs to justify his draft position. Nice WR3, not a good WR2, which is where he was drafted in most leagues.
It's not quite panic time for CJ2K owners, but its getting damn close. He ran completely without purpose in this game. Wasn't hititng the holes, wasn't making his normal cuts, and seemed indifferent as to whether he should try and run hard or not. And against the Broncos terrible run defense, we were really expecting a lot more than 7pts. Perhaps this is a classic case of a player getting paid and mailing it in. Hope not. The loss of Britt for the year doesn't help him out much, but it does make Nate Washington a must add if he's available.
Denver @ Tennessee
Must Starts- Kenny Britt, CJ2K, perhaps even Hasselblah, Bironas, and the TENN D/ST
possible starts-MCGahee, Lloyd, Prater, Nate Washington
Sits- Decker, Orton, Denver D/ST, Moreno, Cook
Game prediction- Titans 31, Broncos 7
As for the Broncos..McGahee remains the only reliable threat on the Broncos team, and maybe, just maybe, Eric Decker will the one WR worth a damn in the John Fox system and Brandon Lloyd will crawl back under that same rock he came out from underneath of last year.
Detriot @ MinnesotaI've already covered Peterson, so lets move on to McNabb and the passing game. Still not enough here to warrant a fantasy starter. And McNabb's lone TD went to Shaincoe, who only had that one catch, making it basically meaningless in fantasy terms. harvin finally was on the field more often than he was on the sidelines, but it still only equated to 80 total yards. the Vikings are a team to avoid in all areas other than Peterson.
Must starts- Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Best, Lions D/ST, Hanson
possible starts-Burleson, Sheffler, Longwell
sits-AP, Harvin, McNabb, Sheffler, Berrian, Shiancoe, Vikings D/ST, Pettigrew
game prediction- Lions 34, Vikings 9
Stafford is for real, there's just no denying it. Now his owners have to decide to either sell high on him, or sell their QB#1 and ride Stafford. Personally I'd like to keep them both, as I'd rather have the points from either guy on my bench then in my opponent's starting lineup. But if you feel you must do it, Id trade Stafford. his value is exceptionally high right now, and you just never know when he's going to be out for the season again.
Houston @ New OrleansBen Tate had a decent enough day, but wasn't exactly "must start" status, especially not in a game where 73 points were scored. I wouldn't read too much into Schuab's huge day, nor that of James Casey, a career special teamer, he won't see 100 yards agian in his career. We're told Foster is a go for next week, not sure what to do with Tate on that one, but you've gotta hold on to him if you own him, just in case.
Must Starts- Tate, Andre Johnson, Brees, Meachem, Henderson, Rackers, Kasay, Graham
possible starts-Sproles, Ingram, Daniels, Schuab
Sits- Jacoby Jones, N.O. D/ST, HOUS D/ST, Pierre Thomas
game prediction- Saints 27, Texans 23
Henderson was the odd man out on the Saints passing attack, but that's about as predictable where lightning is going to strike next. Ingram may have scored, but he's still splitting far too much with Peirre Thomas and Sproles. Sproles remains the fantasy back to have, especailly in PPR's. Always start your Saints receivers, jsut be aware that on any given game, your guy could be the one that gets shut out, regardless of which one it is.
N.Y.Gaints @ PhillyVicotr Cruz, one fo the preseason darling the past two seasons, finally gets a chance to shine. And not only does he shine, but does it primarilly against Awesomewaa. Realistically, he only had 3 catches..its just that they went for a lot of yards and two scores, so lets not be jumping out of our shoes to pick this guy up just yet. if you've got the room, then do it, but don't make a rash decision to drop a more proven player based on just these three catches.
Must starts- Vick, DJAX, Maclin, McCoy, Bradshaw, Jacobs.
Possible starts- Eagles D/ST, Henery
Sits- Eli, Nicks, Avant, Steve Smith, Celek, Stokley, Tynes
game prediction- Eagles 31, Giants 21
So Mike Vick has a boo-boo on his non throwing hand..wa wa..Hey Mike, your an NFL QB, suck it up and get yer act together on the field. Thus far every Eagle has been a major disappointment outside of McCoy, and now Maclin has a hamstring injury to boot. You can't drop these guys, and your not going to get decent value in a trade, so you may as well hang tight and hope for the best.
Casey Mathews has been benched on the Eagles defense, hopefully his replacement can make a difference in the run defense, because this "dream team" is nothing of the sort, especailly defensively.
JAX @ CarolinaGabbert's first quarter in the NFl couldn't have gone much worse getting sacked for a safety. But he settled down and looked OK in the second half, even connecting with Mike Thomas for a score. This MIGHT salavation a little value in Mike Thomas, but he's stll not much more than roster fill. MJD was leaned on heavily and he didn't dissapoint, even if he didn't find the endzone.
Must Starts- Cam Newton, Steve Smith, DWILL, MJD, Panthers D/ST, Mare
possible starts-Greg Olsen, The Shocker, JSTEW.
Sits- JAX D/ST, Gabbart, Mike THomas, M. Lewis, B. Lafell, Scobee
Game prediction- Panthers 27, JAG's 7
So the packers and Cardinals couldn't stop Cam newton, but a monsoon sure can. Surely all the Newton owners were a bit disappointed in going from 400 yards a game to less then 200, but if you were paying attention, you would've known that the weather was jsut terrible and you should've gone with your main QB in this one to begin with. At elast Greg Olson is finally starting to make good on his potential. It helps to actually be a part of the gameplan in a role other than blocking like he did in Chicago. Speaking of players getting paid and mailing it in..we could be watching that happen with DWILL as well. for now, JSTEW is the RB worth starting in Carolina, not DWILL
Can the Ravens defense get any better than this one? only 7 points allowed, 5 sacks, two turnovers and a defensive TD to top it off. Wow. As for the offense, Ray Rice had a good day, but not what we wanted out of him. The blowout created way too many carries for Ricky Willaims for Rice to really provide some serious production. Look for that to continue in any similar games, if the matchup is simply that good, chances are Rice will be watching Ricky close it out. Now lets talk Torrey Smith. Amazing wasn't he? But let's get real here. #1 he's a rookie WR..other than Randy Moss, that's always a crap shoot, #2 he did this without Lee Evans playing, once Evans comes back, what happens to Torrey Smith? It's possible that eventually Smith takes this job and runs with it. The more likely scenario though is that Smith will simply be used sparingly and Evans, the more reliable veteran will be the guy on the field most of the time. So should you pick him up? sure, but like I said about Victor Cruz earlier, don't make a silly move chasing these 30-some points from last week. This is a classic all or nothing situation here, and chances are it'll be nothing more often than not.
Baltimore @ St.Louis
Must starts- Ray Rice, Raven's D/ST
possible starts-Flacco, Boldin, Cundiff, SJAX, J. Brown
sits- Bradford, MSW, Denario Alexander, Kendricks, STl D/ST, Caddilac Williams
game prediction- Ravens 27, Rams 10
Not a whole lot to say about the Rams. they were just simply dominated. All the preseason hype surrounding Sam Bradford and Josh McDees is really starting to look awfully silly now. The lone bright spot was a spectacular throw on the run from Bradford to Brendon Gibson in the back of the end zone, just barely over the defender and right in Gibson's hands..truly an awesome throw, so there is hope..the NFC West portion of the Rams schedule can't come fast enough. Hopefully we've seen the last of Caddilac Willaims in StL and SJAX is healthy enough for a full load next week.
K.C. @ S.D.This is what most fantasy "experts" refer to as a "hiccup game" for Phillip rivers. In all fairness, teh Chargers should've simply dominated every aspect fo the game on Sunday, but for whatever reason they just didn't. Rivers seemed liek he forgot what team he played for at a times, and all the offensive players suffered because of it. luckily for the CHargers, the Cheifs are so bad that it didn't matter on the final score, but it sure bit more than a few fantasy owners in the rear. the one thing to take out of this game is that Ryan Mathews is finally starting to look like what most of us thought he would two years ago. The backfield situation has now changed and Mathews is the back to start in fantasy, with Tolbert playing second fiddle..even in PPR's.
Must starts- Rivers, VJAX, Tolbert, Gates, SD D/ST
possible starts-Mathews, Novak, Floyd
sits- Cassel, Bowe, T. jones, McCluster, KC D/ST, Succop
Game prediction- Chargers 35, Cheifs 0
So really the only thing to discuss on the Cheifs side of things is who took over at RB. The answer? I do beleive I was correct last week when I said, "none of the above". Thomas Jones got most the carries, McCluster had his share of touches, McClain had a few, and even Jessie Battle got a couple touches. So who do you want to own? If you hold a gun to my head and force me to pick a Cheifs RB, I'm taking McCluster, but I'm not starting him. And besides, according to CBS, he's a WR..and as WR's go, he's average at best, and on perhaps the worst team in the NFL top to bottom.
Green Bay @ ChicagoNot really sure why I neglected to put Finley anywhere in my rankings, but obivously, with every other main Green Bay packer on the start list, he would've been listed as a must start. That comeback player of the year award is virtually all sewn up. The big thing coming out of this game is the Grant vs Starks question. My take on that debate is this; Starks is goign to remain the guy that gets most of the carries, and Grant will remain in the same role sthat he had in weeks one and two. What happened this weekend was simply a result of Grant being a more experianced, physical runner vs a defense were that style was needed.
Must starts- Rodgers, Jennings, Nelson, Forte, Crosby, Gould
possible starts-Starks, Knox, Cutler, GB D/ST
sits-Hester, Cobb, Driver, Grant, Roy Williams, CHIC D/ST
Game prediction- G.B. 31, Chicago 20
Cutler sacked another three times. this guy will be lucky to make it out of this season alive. I'm not sure what the Bears staff was expecting though, only calling nine running plays. And the game wasn't out of reach until the fourht quarter. I was watchign the game and the announcers kept saying "anyone that says the Bears should've run the ball more often, didn't watch this game" Well I watched it, and I think the Bears could've done a lot more running the ball. At least Forte made up for it in reception in yards that way. Dan Sanzenbacher is a popular name for some reason. I'm not really sure why, 5 catches for 20 yards and one lucky score doens't make him a hot commodity in my book. I'd still rather have Knox or Hester
Arizona @ SeattleI scheduled some nap time for this game..and I dind't really miss much. Beenie Wells was a late scratch so I missed out there, but everything else panned out about right, except for the score. Games liek this are the reason that Keivn Kolb is only a QB2 even with Fitzgerald around. Yeah h'es better than some thought, but not nearly what others were hoping for.
Must Starts-Kolb, Fitzgerald, Beenie Wells
possible starts-Jeff King, Marshawn Lynch, Jay Feeley
Sits- TJAX, Sidney Rice, Early Doucett, Big Mike Williams, Hauschka
Game prediction- Cardinals 31, 'Hawks 10
Tavaris Jackson and Rice hooked up for a little show..but lets not forget this is the same defense that basically forgot to cover Steve Smith in week one, so I wouldn't get all worked up in trying to trade for Rice, or pick him up.
This game featured to hot QB coming into this season. Guys that were looke dat as potentially the "next big thing" Well, Matty Ice finally had osme yards, but lacked the scores, and Josh Freeman pretty much lacked everything othe rhtna a rushing TD.
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Must starts- Turner, Blount, Gonzo, Matt Bryant
possible starts-Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Mike Willaims, Kellen Winslow, Conor Barth, Falcons D/ST, TB D/ST
sits- Julio Jones, Josh Freeman, A. Benn
game prediction- Atlanta 20, TB 17
the good news is that with yards, eventually scores will come, so there's no reason to panic on Matt Ryan. And he finally got obth his big WR's into the mix as both White and Jones cleared 100 yards..now he just needs to get them into the endzone. Gonzo remains the benefactor of all the attention being diverted out wide. Anyone who guessed the biggest jump in value due to Julio Jones's prescence being Gonzalez..you get a gold star! Turner was exceptionally unimpressive
The entire TB offense had a rough go of it here, but this was a defense that I expect to get to the Super Bowl, so I wasn't all that shocked. It's not time to kick Mike Willaims and Josh Freeman to the curb, but you may want to start thinking about it. Ernest Graham could be a decent flier in PPR's leagues.
NY Jets @ OaklandThis game was the most pleasent surprise for me. I'm kicking myself for having fiath in Denarious Moore and RDMC, but not the Raiders team as a whole. Think aobut this for a second, RDMC and Michael Bush, plus some 4.2 speed in Tawain jones and a little sprinkle of a 4.4 fullback Marcel Reese sprinkled in, making up the backfield, Jacoby Ford and Denarious Moore out wide with the consistant yet uninspiring Kevin Boss in the middle..this offense has some potential, if only Jason Campbell can continue to improve. Its almost scary the kind of speed they have, its on par with the Eagles in terms of raw physical talent at the skill positions. And this time, with Ford and Moore, the track star WR's can actually catch a ball. Keeper and dynasty league owners should be targetting a few of these guys for next year and beyond.
Must starts- Greene, Holmes, RDMC, Denarious Moore, JETS D/ST, Folk, SeBass
possible starts-Plaxico, Keller, Sanchez, LT
sits- Campbell, M. Bush, Schillens, Raiders D/ST
game prediction- Jets 34, Raiders 20.
Sanchez had another 300 yard day, but it was due to need. This isnt' what Rex Ryan is going for on a regular basis here. And a large chunk of it was due to a screen pass to LT that busted for 74 yards..not something you want to bank on happening every week. THe elephant in the room is how the Jets passed for 300 yards and Santonio Holmes scored 0 points evne though he plaed the entire game?!?!? Raiders CB Chris Johnson is harldy known for shutting down receivers, in fact its usually the exact opposite. It may be time to see what you can get in trade value on Holmes. Wiht Plax stealing redzone targets, Keller continuing to improve and the addition of Derrick Mason, I'm not really sure Holmes has the role we thought he would going into this season. If you do try and trade him, sell the "he was coming off an injury angle" as hard as you can.
***Sunday Night game****
Well Pittsburgh continues to be unimpressive. The sure They walked all over Seattle and were only stopped by Mike Tomlin calling off the dogs, but this was the second un-impressive performance in three weeks, this time agianst a team that really doesn't know up from down. sure, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are still in town, but the chances given to the Steelers offense because of a total lack of an offense from the Colts, should have resulted in some nice fnatasy numbers from Big Ben and Mendenhall, but they didn't. THe Colts have also long been a team that was considered easy to run on, but due to the offense kicking your butt, you couldn't run becuase you had to play keep up or catch up. That wasn't the case Sunday night. Not sure what's going on in Pittsburgh..they hav ea proven big time QB in BIg Ben, they have serious threats outside with Wallace, Sanders, Brown and Ward, and they have a studly workhorse in Mendenhall..it's gotta be the o-line..its the only thing left. Hinder expectations for the next few weeks, find a different QB if you've got Big Ben as your #1, but don't be silly and start dealing Wallace or Mendenhall, they'll get it figured out.
Pittsburgh @ Indy
Must starts- Mendnehall, Big Ben, Wallace, Vinny, PITT D/ST
possible starts-H. Miller, E. Sanders, Suisham
Sits- Addai, Wayne, Clark, Collins, Collie, Garcon, INDY D/ST
Game prediciton- Steelers 31, Colts 13
SOunds liek we may be seeing Curtis Painter after all in Indy..about time. Not really sure what they were thinking sticking Collins in there to begin with. Sure he's a veteran and might make the right calls on blitzes and audibles..but if your looking at a lost season what was the point of that? No one outside of the Colts front office thought they'd be any good without Peyton Manning, painter should've been the choice from the get go. The win/loss record won't be much worse than with Colins, and you'll get some much needed evaluation time of your backup QB's. the big winner?? Peirre Garcon, who was Painter's main target during the second string practices, its only logical that they would have a good rapport. Wayne, Clark and Addai remain the Colts to have, and Garcon and Collie switch roles for the short term if your looking for some emergency fill in types.
*******MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL*********
Washington @ DallasHightower still dominated the touches, but it was Helu's role in critical situations that impressed me. When the game was on the line Shanny was just as comfortable going with the rookie as he was with Hightower. Helu played most of the downs in the fourth quarter and had a higher yards per touch average than Hightower did. This may end up being a situation where neither player is worth starting, but my money is on Helu taking the job outright over the next couple of weeks. If he's still avialable in your league, grab him now. This was perhaps the first game in a LONG LONG itme that I can recall Dallas containing Santana Moss. he still had his catches and a handful of yards, but for once, he didn't rip the heart out of Cowboy fans everywhere. He's still the best Redskin's WR to own. Fred Davis had a really disapppointing day, but it's more due to the Cowboys defense than it is anyhting that Fred Davis did or didn't do.
Must Starts-Romo, Dez Bryant, Witten, S. Moss, F. Davis,
possible starts-Grossman, Dallas D/ST, Gano
sits- Hightower, Helu, Cooley, Gaffney, Ogletree, Holly, WASH D/ST, Cowboys kickers, Felix Jones
Game predictions- Cowboys 31, Redskins 20
So a cracked rib puntured lung Romo can still overcome four botched snaps, and countless snafus by the WR's running the wrong routes. Not only did he overcome them, but he finally got pissed about it instead of shrugging his shoulders, smiling, and heading to the sidelines. We may see an emerging leader and big time NFL QB finally growing up before our eyes. Now that being said, he still sucked fantasy wise. Dez Bryant was apparently still limited with his little owie on his poor wittle weg. Suck it up, chump! your team needs you to be Miles Austin, go out and do it. Hopefully Luarent Robinson is the main #2 WR next week, he seemed to be the only WR other than Bryant on the same page with Romo. Anoyne that read last weeks boxscore and then jumped to pick up Jesse Holly? All who raised their hands, quickly run back to the waiver wire, grab someone else, anyone else, and then give yourself ten lashes with a wet noodle for being an idiot. Same goes for Kevin Ogletree..at some point he may develop into a decent WR, but not until he realizes he needs to pay attention when the gameplan is being installed. Two good things fantasy wise on the Cowboys side though, Felix Jones finally showed some burst and some desire to actually run, and the defense that finished 31st last eyar is really a lot better, Sean Lee may very well be the best young MLB in the league. And if you need a bye week fillin at kicker, it might not be a bad idea to grab Dan Bailey. Nothing cements your job like six FG's. If the 'Boys can fix the center snap issues, and if Bryant can overcome this hellacious boo-boo he has, next week should be a boom for Romo/Bryant/Witten