Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator. May it be your dog of war.
Week 11 Fantasy Forecast
Chicago Bears at New York Jets Sunday 1:00p
The Jets can expect to see a heavy dose of Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson with Thomas Jones doing the majority of the damage. I’d shy away from Rex Grossman and Mushin Muhammad this week but either could be used if you are caught on the talent short stick. You’d only be caught short on the stick if you messed up your draft royally, traded your good players away and/or just recently discovered the league has a free agency system. Nice work Bozo.
The Jets will actually run quite well themselves as Leon Washington will do well and Kevan Barlow is a lock for a score. Watch Chad Pennington self combust this Sunday as the Bears pick him like a cherry tree.
Bears 37 – Jets 23
Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins Sunday 1:00p
Ya know what? I really don’t care about the Minnesota Vikings this year. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some teams I dislike due to management primarily, but the Vikings aren’t one of them. There’s just something oh so boring about them in 2006. I’ve always liked the Vikings as well as a number of other teams. While I’m team dropping, I’ll just toss out a few other teams I’m partial to. The 49’ers, Bears, Texans, Steelers, Packers, Seahawks, Broncos and Patriots of course and there are more. I like them all. The Houston Oilers would have been on this list if they didn’t sneak away. What a travesty it is that the Houston Oilers no longer exist.
Miami is playing some tough nose defense lately and I’m not recommending you start ANY Viking, yes, even that Viking, unless you really, really, super really, have to.
The Dolphins have really been playing some lights out football but they still have problems. The Vikings are one of the best at stopping the run and after what everyone saw the Patriots do to the Vikings by spreading 5-wide most of the night, the Dolphins will go to the air often. I am not a fan of Ronnie Brown this Sunday and highly recommend you think long and hard about your #3 RB and whether he has a shot at putting up anything, as it won’t take much to best Mr. Brown.
A nice day on tap for Josey Harrington and the pussy cats. Good kitty.
Dolphins 23 – Vikings 17
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday 1:00p
I just have to laugh out loud when thinking about the Redskins. Then I think of their poor fans. I think there is no NFL fan base in America that has been more tortured than the Redskins. Well .. Raiders, Bills even Packers .. ahh.. Redskins are up there. Every year the expectations are high, and why not, they sink a ton of cash into their product. However, every year is a debacle and it’s not the coaches, it’s their player personnel folks. Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis? Ouch. Trying to stumble by with a senior behind center? Guys, where’s the defense? I mean, any defense? Anywhere?
The Buccaneers are not error free but they have the pieces that enable good to great games of football. Sometimes. The Bucs won’t have a perfect game but they will put together a respectable outing. Bruce Gradkowski will settle down a little more and everyone will get involved. No one will shine, there are no must starts here, though none will hurt your lineup.
Buccaneers 21 – Redskins 20
St. Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers Sunday 1:00p
The Panthers do a nice job against the run. Picture this, Julius Peppers moved over to the right side of whomever the goat is that took over left tackle for Orlando Pace. Actually, that goat is Adam Goldberg who did start one game this season at left guard for Todd Steussie but hasn’t started a game at left tackle. It seems too darn obvious, doesn’t it?
Torry Holt owners, panic now. Adam Goldberg is now the guy standing between Marc Bulger and Torry Holt. Because of this situation, look for the Rams to be loaded to the teeth with screens to Steven Jackson on the right side, all day long. Marc Bulger will have some solid stats because of the combination of passes to the RB’s coming out of the backfield and some catches by Kevin Curtis.
The Panthers <insert obligatory Panther Stadium rrrrrooooowwwwww here> will play well here and finally put together a solid day on offense. They will be able to run the ball though look for both DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams to share the success, diminishing each others value. Expect a solid day from both Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson with Keyshawn catching a few more this week and Steve Smith a little less. Both are still worthy of the start.
Panthers 24 – Rams 23
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans Sunday 1:00p
I’m not buying into whatever it is that Buffalo is doing. They are a small market team (and yes I know about revenue sharing) but don’t tell me that works out even-steven around the league in the bottom line. The Bills are not putting a lot of dollars on the field and it shows. They desperately need a QB with up and coming talent, like yesterday.
Before we anoint Wali Lundy as waiver wire grab of the year, realize that what Samkon Gado did last week smells quite a bit like the Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes relationship earlier in the year, though on not as grand a scale. Depending on the match up we will see a little more of Lundy or a a little more of Gado. Expect a solid day from Andre Johnson, as always. He will be very active against the Bills.
Texans 23 – Bills 17
Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens Sunday 1:00p
The Falcons will handle themselves well against the Ravens and are going to put up a heck of a fight. They will be able to run, a lot, as the Ravens D is a little banged up right now. Especially with Ray Lewis sidelined, Warrick Dunn will be running well.
The Ravens will struggle running the ball. Do not expect Jamal Lewis to carry your team and it is OK to consider letting him sit. Mike Anderson will plunge his way into the end-zone however. In the air, the Ravens will take flight. Expect Steve McNair to put up big numbers to Derek Mason and Todd Heap. I expect Heap to play, this has been his groove this season as he plays the games and rests up between them. He has had a number of lingering injuries that are better off rested instead of worked.
Ravens 28 – Falcons 24
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 1:00p
Holy Moo. The Raiders are bad. The entire organization is an operational nightmare. The only thing that will put seats in the stands is winning and that ain’t happening. The Raiders need to blow their team up. Just blow it up. Fire the entire coaching staff and start from the ground up. By the time they are done slicing and dicing there should be at most, 3 starters on offense and 3 starters on defense that remain with the team. Jettison the rest. Then, get yourself someone that can identify talent from 10 miles away, pay them well, sit back, stir, enjoy.
Kansas City does what Kansas City does. They pound Larry Johnson and throw the ball on 3rd down. The loss of Tony Gonzalez hurts this offense as it takes away one of their most dangerous dimensions. The Raiders will be able to contain the Chiefs because of it. If they don’t, then the defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, ex-Cardinals and Patriots coach, needs to go.
Chiefs 30 – Raiders 18
New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers Sunday 1:00p
The Patriots have been good on the ground but not as great as they were earlier in the season. They will do well here but it will not be a running festival where both Laurence Maroney and Corey Dillon post big digits. They will both run well but neither will individually hang a whopper on the board. Instead, look for the Patriots to take advantage of some weaknesses the Packers have, one of which is their secondary. Tom Brady will silence some of the light critics and Reche Caldwell will continue to do well in a Patriots uniform. The difference will come down to turnovers. Over the last 6 games, the Patriots have 7 fumble recoveries and 9 interceptions and the Packers have only been able to muster 3 fumble recoveries and 5 interceptions, not very impressive. Though you may get a hoot out of this. Over the last 6 games, which NFL team can boast that it has not been able to recover a fumble? Not even one?
Answer: The Cincinnati Bengals
The Packers will not run well as the Patriots will be able to handle the assignment. The trouble for the Patriots starts in their secondary, as while it certainly is serviceable, the mismatch between Greg Jennings and Ellis Hobbs is too great to ignore. Asante Samuel will draw Donald Driver and you can’t leave Asante 1-on-1 all day with Driver, which leaves Greg Jennings alone in single coverage a lot with Ellis Hobbs. Youch.
Patriots 27 – Packers 24
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Sunday 1:00p
Willie Parker? Check. Hines Ward? Check. Ben Roethlisberger? Check. All set, fantasy lineup good to go this weekend.
Braylon Edwards will catch an extra ball or two for the Browns and as a team, they will play tenaciously, moving the first down marker by inches and keeping the game close to the vest.
The Steelers are still the better team but the Browns won’t roll over.
Steelers 27 – Browns 24
Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints Sunday 1:00p
The Bengals will build on their offensive out pouring last week and pile on a little more. We knew it wouldn’t take too much longer for the offense to find it’s stride and this week will build upon that stride. They are all in for a good day, play them.
The Saints are on fire. Look for a monster day from Drew Brees and Marques Colston ala Chad Johnson last week. Deuce McAlister won’t run for a lot of yardage but will get his nose across the end zone a number of times.
Expect a ton of offense in this crazy shoot out and some fantasy games won and lost because of it.
Saints 33 – Bengals 24
Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles Sunday 1:00p
Travis Henry is going to shred the Eagles like the angry man that he is. Eagles fans, prepare yourself with Travis Henry voodoo dolls as you are going to need them.
When the Eagles have the rock, well, that changes things a little. The Eagles will be able to slice through the Titans D like it’s not even there. Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Donte Stallworth, you name it, if it has wings on it’s helmet, play it.
Eagles 30 – Titans 21
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Sunday 4:05p
If Shaun Alexander or Matt Hasselbeck plays, this game swings the Seahawks way. Today in time, I am assuming neither plays or if either does, they do not play enough to overly impact the result of the game. Maurice Morris makes a good start against the 49’ers if he is running solo. You don’t play him over a host of other RB’s but Maurice makes a decent #2 or solid #3 this week.
The 49’ers will run Frank Gore quite effectively against the Seahawks lackluster front but will struggle in the air with their void of good receivers. Still though, the 49’ers are a feisty bunch and Frank Gore is the player of the game which will push the 49’ers into the win column. Pending the availability of those two good guys I mentioned earlier, of course.
49’ers 24 – Seahawks 23
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Sunday 4:05p
Enjoy the Lions passing game and Roy Williams this Sunday. I know I will be. Kevin Jones makes an OK start. Just OK.
The Cardinals should be able to run on the Lions and that is what they have been missing to be able to stay in a game. The Cards will stay in this one but do not look for an Edgerrin James break out game here. The Cardinals O-line would have to get better in a hurry to blow the Lions off the line to make room for Edge to have a break out game. He’ll have his best game to date, but it won’t be a nice, big, fat, juicy game. Until Matt Leinart shows us something, you have to downgrade Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, no matter how good they are.
Lions 27 – Cardinals 21
Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys Sunday 4:15p
The buck stops in Dallas. A couple of nice boys from Indiana coming down to the depths of Texas with all the pressure on them? It is too much to ask as each week the task of winning gets harder and harder for the Colts. The Colts will be absolutely prototypical with their offensive philosophy. They will run both RB’s and will throw the ball a lot. You don’t need me to tell you to start Peyton Manning and crew. Though a Joseph Addai or Dominic Rhodes is nothing more than gambling.
The Cowboys will take a page from the Bills book and run right at the Colts. Both Julius Jones and Marion Barber III will be tough to stop and they will be running – a lot. When they need to mix it up, a pass from Tony Romo to either Terrell Owens or Jason Whitten will strike pay dirt. The Cowboys, for all the mistakes they were making, have been playing a lot better under Tony Romo. The Cowboys know who is in town and the offense knows it has to score points or die trying.
Cowboys 31 – Colts 24
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos Sunday 8:15p
Philip Rivers is coming into his own and will once again look good on the football field. There’s nothing like a QB coming into his own with some room to spare before the playoffs. While LaDainian Tomlinson is always a must start, look for the Chargers to get him involved a little more in the passing game than running game this week.
The Broncos will play a competitive game. No one is poised for a big day but assuming Tatum Bell gets the nod, he will be serviceable, as will Javon Walker.
Chargers 32 – Broncos 27
New York Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars Monday 8:30p
Tiki Barber‘s thumb shouldn’t slow him down and he will run well in this one. The Giants are having trouble in the passing game and that does not improve here with the constant barrage of blitz packages the Jaguars will be bringing. You’ve been warned.
The Jaguars will run the ball well but they’re currently running the foulest four letter acronym in fantasy football – RBBC. I’m not completely sold on David Garrard. I really like his arm and his mechanics but he has a long way to go before being worth anything and the Jaguar receiving group takes a hit because of it.
Jaguars 24 – Giants 23