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The Prognosticator: Week 12

Week 12


Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May it leave you with a far away feeling of wonder as we enlighten and entertain ye.  

Team

Rush

Pass

Opponent

ARI

118

176

STL

ATL

109

178

TEN

BAL

128

175

SEA

BUF

134

160

IND

CAR

117

178

DAL

CHI

90

172

DEN

CIN

134

227

SD

CLE

105

217

PIT

DAL

109

186

CAR

DEN

105

178

CHI

DET

126

204

MIN

GB

148

203

SF

HOU

102

198

NE

IND

94

237

BUF

JAX

128

207

NYJ

KC

106

272

OAK

MIA

107

169

WAS

MIN

106

231

DET

NE

122

232

HOU

NO

149

189

PHI

NYG

118

220

TB

NYJ

114

202

JAX

OAK

134

195

KC

PHI

129

166

NO

PIT

96

193

CLE

SD

126

183

CIN

SEA

112

192

BAL

SF

135

218

GB

STL

96

231

ARI

TB

114

196

NYG

TEN

132

261

ATL

WAS

89

184

MIA

Red – Crazy Stats!

Yellow – Solid Play.

White – Average Play.

Light Grey – Think Twice.

Dark Grey – Run Away!!


All times are Eastern
Wagers
Initial Bankroll: $500 Geoffrey Dollars.
Current Bankroll: $315 Geoffrey Dollars.
Last Week: Won $50 on the Ravens +6.

Good week last week as both our games came in.  We only took the Ravens to cover but also considered the Texans to win outright against Buffalo.  Both were solid.  

This week there are three games that could entice our Geoffrey’s.  The Jets to cover the 4 points at home against the Jaguars or the Chiefs to cover the 11 points against the Raiders but there’s one game that is head and shoulders above.  We’re going back to the well and taking the Colts -3 against the Bills.  Both teams are banged up but the Colts didn’t seem to lose a step last week, the Bills with Henry probably out, most certainly will.  

This Week: $82.50/$75 Colts -3 over the Bills.


Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – Sunday 1:00pm

Joey Harrington actually had a decent day last week and some may be tempted against this Vikings defense.  When you boil it down, the Lions offense is a glove fit for the Vikings defense as they’re both poor.  It will equate to average numbers on the day for your Lions.  Now would I play Shawn Bryson over any Redskins RB?  Why yes, I would, but if you’re choosing between Shawn Bryson and whomever is running next for the Skins, you probably aren’t doing that well are you?

The Vikings will have success up top against the Lions as they have absolutely nothing even close to an answer for the Culpepper to Moss connection.  Think about the pressure that is on Mike Tice right now.  They were riding high just to give it all back over the last four weeks to the point where I think anyone with a head for this sort of thing fully expects the Packers to come out of that division.  What’s worse?  They have to play the Lions this week.  Worse Tony?  Imagine if you will, the Lions pummeling the purple out of the Vikings this Sunday?  What happens to Mike Tice then?  This is a bad spot for Tice as a win over the Lions isn’t exactly a statement game but a loss would be devastating to his career as a head coach. 

Prediction: Vikings 27 – Lions 17  (Vikings -10.5)


Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens – Sunday 1:00pm

Seattle is a good team.  Not a great team and certainly not a poor team, just good.  Against the Ravens D in Baltimore is a tall order for anyone.  The Seahawks will have their successes because their offense is capable, even against the Ravens.  They are a lot better than the Dolphins offense of last week because they’re multi-faceted and Mike Holmgren will have a good game plan in place.  Still though, a very average day for all your Seahawks.  Look elsewhere this week if you can but don’t run away screaming just because they’re playing the Ravens.  

Only the Bills have been turning the ball over lately more than the Ravens.  The Ravens lost the game last week due to a costly Jamal Lewis fumble in OT.  The Ravens can’t afford mistakes and it is always the difference between them winning or losing.  They can run the ball effectively and will this week.  They can play outstanding defense and if they don’t turn the ball over in the passing game, they win the game.  Lately they’ve been turning the ball over a ton and the result is not pretty.  Brian Billick needs to keep his guys focused on protecting the football at all costs and everything else will take care of itself.   Since the Seahawks aren’t a very opportunistic defense the Ravens have a solid shot at a win here on the legs of Jamal Lewis. 

Prediction: Ravens 28 – Seahawks 21  (Ravens -2.5)


San Francisco 49’ers at Green Bay Packers – Sunday 1:00pm
Name one source that came out in preseason stating that Tim Rattay is the better option over Jeff Garcia.  If you named FantasySharks.com, you would have named the one.  The problem with fantasy fanatics is that we spend too much time in the numbers and not enough time watching.  If you had watched Tim Rattay play, you would have seen a spark of something special and you wouldn’t have called him out as a dud, like so many sources did just a few short weeks ago.  Amazing how the same sources have come full circle and are now preaching the virtues of Tim Rattay.  One element has served me better for predicting the long term value of a football player more than anything else.  Watching.  

I’ve told this story before over the years but it rings home with me.  When you think of some of the best NFL talent evaluators over the years, 49’er guru Bill Walsh must always be mentioned.  The stars he brought to the 49’ers time and time again, cemented him as one of the best ever in talent evaluation.  I like to study guys like that when they excel at something and try to figure out for myself just how they do it.  With Bill Walsh, he had an eye.  You want to know how he built some of the best teams of all time?  He watched.  As the story goes, he and a scout were in the stands watching a few players workout for them at a combine, taking notes and talking about the players.  Suddenly Walsh says, “Who’s that?”.  Scout looks at his sheet and reads off the name of the guy currently in front of them.  Walsh says, “No.  Not him, that guy over there” as he pointed clear across to the other side of the field.  That guy was Roger Craig who went on to be their starting RB for 8 season and ranks in the Top 50 of all NFL players in history in 5 separate categories.  Walsh could see a guy run and know he was special.  I know this will sound corny, but I have a little of that Walsh in me too.

The 49’ers are going to be solid this week with Rattay.  They will run and pass with effectiveness as the Packers defense can look very bad at times.  I like what I see out of Tim Rattay.

The Packers will run Ahman Green lights out.  In fact, there are only two crazy blow out running games this week.  Ahman Green just missing out on RB of the week honors to the guy coming up in the next game.  Monster week from Green and an average day from Favre as the Pack continue to struggle feeding the ball to their WR’s.

Prediction: Packers 28 – 49’ers 24  (No Line)


New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles – Sunday 1:00pm

*** RB of the Week Award: Deuce McAlister ***

Aaron Brooks you kill me!  The Falcons and you still can’t get it done?  Bro.  Come on?  Help a fantasy player out will ya?  The factor back this week will be Deuce McAlister as he runs and catches for just ridiculous amounts of yardage.  Remember last season when Ricky Williams was pointing out how he was clearly the better RB over McAlister?  Last season he was.  This season, holy crow!  Ricky, insert foot in mouth, carry on.

The Eagles keep throwing Westbrook at us so I guess Westbrook is the man.  He’ll again have a solid day of production but the Eagles passing game will struggle.

Saints surprise.

Prediction: Saints 28 – Eagles 27  (Eagles -5.5)


Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys – Sunday 1:00pm

*** Low Score of the Week Award ***

The Panthers will of course run the ball but what a surprise out of Muhsin Muhammad last week.  Neither team make for a good fantasy play this weekend.  Even runner extraordinaire Stephen “Spurrier wants you back” Davis will be limited in his production.  He is the better type back to throw at the Cowboys since he can pound their smallish front.  You just don’t run around the Cowboys and their speed at LB.  

The Cowboys will win because of one simple difference as both teams are fairly evenly matched across the board.  The Cowboys have the better stable of WR’s, and that will pull them through.

Prediction: Cowboys 20 – Panthers 17  (Cowboys -3)


Jacksonville Jaguars at NY Jets – Sunday 1:00pm

Fred Taylor had MRI’s on both knees and both were negative but the word is still out on his playing time this Sunday.  Jimmy Smith was a complete non-factor last week but that will change a little this week as the Jets have an easier defense to exploit.  The Jaguars are better off running the ball, especially if Fred Taylor is healthy, but I expect them to be down fairly quickly in this which will help Jimmy Smith’s numbers in the second half.

The Jets matched the Colts last week one for one and the Colts have a fairly solid defense.  I’m somewhat amazed that they’re only favored by 4 in this considering they’re also at home.  Don’t look for a big day from any one person on the Jets but they all will contribute to the game plan.  They’ll simply smother the Jaguars with a variety of looks.  

Prediction: Jets 30 – Jaguars 17  (Jets -4)


Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – Sunday 1:00pm

Tommy Maddox just doesn’t look crisp to me.  He looks like a very good backup QB.  He misses a lot of passes and seems slow to make the right read at times.  Typical of a good veteran backup QB.  Charlie Batch is not the answer but even I am curious.  The Steelers schedule is pretty much downhill from here and the Browns were supposed to be one of those downhill teams.  Lucky for the Steelers, the Browns seem to have found another gear.  I also can’t help thinking that if you added a little bit of Jerome Bettis’s size to Amos Zereoue, he’d make a decent RB.  RB simply has to be a priority for the Steelers in the off season.  Bettis is moonlighting as an NFL RB and Zereoue looks to be an adequate backup.  The Steelers have a lot to fix.

Adding insult to injury, William Green was stabbed by his fiancee.  I feel for Green and his situation as his father, a heroin addict, died from AIDS when he was 12 and his mother died a year later from the AIDS contracted from his father.  In some ways I don’t blame the guy for escaping the real world as his real world is a very different place than yours or mine.  Maybe Andre Davis as the #1 WR for the Browns this season wasn’t that far fetched of an idea after all.  Davis is another guy that I knew was special when I watched him play last season and made the projection that he would be the Browns #1 one day.  For him to be buried down at #4 on the depth chart was a crime.  I like what I see at times from Quincy Morgan but he doesn’t bring it every down ala Plaxico Burress.  Andre Davis does.  

Prediction: Browns 30 – Steelers 20  (Browns -3)


New England Patriots at Houston Texans – Sunday 1:00pm

The Patriots are well coached.  There’s nothing else to it.  They have the right game plan at the right place at the right time to win the football game.  When adjustments need to be made, they’re made in the blink of an eye.  It really is a marvel to watch how the Patriots are getting blood from a stone.  They’re winning the turnover war handily and Brady is throwing a nice deep ball.  I have long criticized Tom Brady for his accuracy on the deep passes and thought him incapable of what he is doing right now.  Sure he won the longest pass competition in that off season QB challenge thing, but that isn’t for accuracy.  Brady has an arm and if he’s managed to gain some confidence in it and can throw the deep pass, I’ll admit, I was wrong.  I will say begrudgingly that when he does throw it deep, he gets some nice air on it which makes it easier for the receiver to adjust to the ball.  Look for a lights out day of passing from the Patriots as everyone tools the Texans corners.  

Houston has a funny way of keeping games close.  Closer than anyone ever thinks and they will in this one as well.  Tony Banks starts for them over David Carr and that is a blow but Banks is very unpredictable.  He can surprise one week and stink up the joint the next.  No one has figured out the Patriots D and I don’t think Banks will be the one.  If Banks is having a good day because Saturn is lined up with Uranus, the Texans can exploit the Patriots secondary in spots.  Good luck running the ball though.

Prediction: Patriots 23 – Texans 21  (Patriots -6)


Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills – Sunday 1:00pm

I don’t have to see anymore.  Peyton Manning is the man.  Send me and Doug Coutts out there as #1 and #2 (not necessarily in that order!) and we’ll make some pretty solid possession receivers.  Just drill it into my chest so it sticks and I’ll fall down before Lawyer Milloy pops me.  I’m really starting to think that Peyton Manning could win with Doug and I.  Doug in the slot of course.  Sweet passing day on hand for Manning and crew.  If Harrison can’t go, Reggie Wayne will do nicely.  As mentioned last week, Wayne is really a #1 type receiver and not a #2, so can fills in quite well when needed.

Travis Henry is in a walking boot and it remains to be seen whether he can play.  My bet is that they shoot him up with pain killers before the game and at the half and he does play, but Sammy Morris will certainly be more involved.  For those that have followed me for a few years, you know all about my fondness for Sammy Morris and my frustrations with the Bills for not recognizing his talent.  If I had a team, I’d be knocking the door down to get Morris as he has the softest hands of any RB outside of Marshall Faulk.  That’s my statement and I’m sticking to it.    

Prediction: Colts 27 – Bills 13  (Colts -3)


Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos – Sunday 4:05pm

The Bears are going to be a veritable wasteland of statistics this weekend.  Do yourself a favor and cross them all off your list.  They will keep the game close because they’ve turned into a scrappy team but they’ll get it done with guys like David Terrell and a cast of characters.  No one you’d want to start.

The Broncos are not going to explode like last week.  Yes they are better with Plummer and yes they have an offense, but the Bears are going to keep them grounded a little more than usual as they can scrap with the Broncos effectively.  

Prediction: Broncos 23 – Bears 20  (Broncos -10.5)


Saint Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals – Sunday 4:05pm

Even Rams fans are doubting the Rams ability to get it done this year.  If I were you I wouldn’t worry.  I said last week the Rams wouldn’t look good on grass and there are certain fields that give them fits.  The Rams are built for turf and in years where the Superbowl is on turf, immediately pencil in the Rams as a favorite unless they have to go through Green Bay.  The Rams schedule is cake from here on out, they’ll be in the playoffs and the division is certainly a possibility.  The Rams defense have been vultures lately.  No defense in football even comes close to the amount of turnovers they’ve been generating lately.  They’re playing aggressive and it shows.  Look for the passing to never end as they burn Arizona in the sky.

The true colors of the Cardinals have bled their Cardinal red the past few weeks and the bleeding isn’t about to stop anytime soon.  Marcel Shipp may be down and that effectively puts a nail in the coffin.

Prediction: Rams 28 – Cardinals 20  (Rams -8)


Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons – Sunday 4:05pm

*** WR of the Week Award: Derrick Mason ***

The Titans should use this game as a retooling session.  Try a few new plays, maybe cycle in some different personnel, see what RB Chris Brown can do, have some fun and let the offensive line play as the defensive line and let the defensive line play as the offensive line.  Maybe they should all come out wearing Michael Vick Jerseys?  

The Vickster had his foot stepped on in some non contact drills which has pushed his timetable for return back even further.  You getting that sinking feeling yet?  I wonder if all the people who bought a Michael Vick jersey can get a refund?  Dan Reeves has seen enough of Kurt Kittner and boy, so have we.  Doug Johnson gets the job back.  Warrick Dunn the only potential start out of this mess as you can’t ignore the hundreds of combined yards he’s put up over the past two weeks.  Thankfully someone reads the progno in the Falcons camp.

Prediction: Titans 32 – Falcons 23  (Titans -6.5)


Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday 4:15pm

*** QB of the Week Award: Trent Green ***

I had Cocoa Pebbles coming out my nose when I heard the announcers last week stating Rick Mirer may be one of those reclamation, off the scrap heap kind of players for the Raiders.  These guys get paid to think this?  Has anyone seen Rick Mirer play?  The most I will admit is that I thought the Patriots should have selected Mirer over Bledsoe but after that, I correctly said my peace and quickly jumped out of the Rick Mirer circle.  I’ve never been back since and never will.  People, I present to you, the real Rick Mirer.  

The Raiders have no one that they can attach to Tony Gonzalez and subsequently, he will be catching footballs most of the day.  Priest Holmes will see a lot more screens and he’ll be used a lot more as a receiver this week as the Chiefs are going to want to exploit mismatches with the Raiders LB’s.  Look for Trent Green to benefit from all the passing to not only his WR’s but the bigger TE’s and RB’s as well.  

Prediction: Chiefs 36 – Raiders 17  (Chiefs -11)


Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers – Sunday 4:15pm

*** High Score of the Week Award ***

The Bengals bring some swagger with them now.  Kitna and the Johnson’s.  Hmmm .. I may want to rephrase that.  Peter Warrick tosses in some pain for good measure as the Bengals suddenly have a football team.  Kudos to Marv Lewis for what he’s accomplishing in Cincinnati.  A job that looked impossible is starting to look almost probable.  This all falls apart next season when Lewis wants to get more players to take the next step because Bengal ownership doesn’t believe in paying for players.  But till then, enjoy!

LaDainian Tomlinson will get a chance to get involved in this and involved he will be.  Doug Flutie and his 41 year-old rubber legs just aren’t getting it done anymore.  I read some place last week that Doug Flutie deserves to be in the hall of fame.  All the guy does is win, or some such drivel.  What a fool that guy is.  Clearly, empty thoughts like that would never be uttered here.  

Prediction: Bengals 30 – Chargers 27  (Bengals -3)


Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins – Sunday 8:30pm

If Patrick Ramsey can’t play, that changes this game a lot.  Ramsey must be counting the minutes till the end of this football season.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a guy take such a savage beating week to week.  David Carr got whacked around pretty hard last year but defenses were easy on him even though they got to him every other play.  A sack when you’re pummeling the other team 33 – 3 just isn’t that rewarding.  The problem with the Redskins and Ramsey is that they’re in every game and that means the defense is coming hard.  With Ramsey in I’d consider playing Laveranues Coles if I had to.  With Ramsey out, I wouldn’t touch anyone on this team.

The Dolphins have Ricky Williams and that is about it.  Look for Williams to have an OK day and for everyone else to struggle.  

If Ramsey plays, the Redskins have a solid shot at winning this game.  Just like the Seahawks game, no one expects them to win and the deck is stacked against them, which is exactly why they will win.  No Ramsey and even the Dolphins can pull this one out.  

Prediction: Redskins 21 – Dolphins 20  (Dolphins -6)


NY Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Monday 9:00pm

Battle of the Barbers.  Those that have been watching these two teams, simply can’t be that impressed.  Once again we’ll get to rehash the whole Michael Strahan/Warren Sapp war of words at nauseam and be treated to Tiki and Ronde all night long.  There’ll of course be a Keyshawn Johnson moratorium and you know the MNF crew are pulling in every favor they have right now to try and get an interview with Keyshawn at the half.  A couple Tiki/Ronde Visa commercials and that will complete the evening.  Oh joy.  I get so sick of this network garbage some times.  America loves drama, therefore we must give them drama!  Even if there is no drama to be had.  

The Giants have an advantage in the air and watch Ike Hilliard’s status in this.  He is sorely needed and would be a good producer in this contest if healthy.  

“Just give me a damn team” looks to be on his way out of Tampa, is apartment shopping back in New York.  You know what?  Nice job Jon Gruden and team for sticking to your guns.  I always liked Keyshawn’s fire but he crossed the line every 5 minutes and distractions like that just aren’t welcome on a football team.  

While we’re on Keyshawn, don’t get me started again about Randy Moss and why he, and players like him, are what’s wrong with professional sports.  I don’t understand why teams can’t ever seem to get it through their thick skulls.  Never, ever, sign players to big money deals.  One guy is never worth that much cash and the investment will never pay you back.  Look at Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers.  As long as A-Rod is with the Rangers, they are doomed to never win anything because they’re not a team.  The same goes for Randy Moss.  The Vikings aren’t a team because of it and the most powerful concept in sports is the one of team.  The Anaheim Angels won a world series as a team, the Florida Marlins won a world series as a team, the New England Patriots won a Superbowl as a team, and the list goes on.  Spending all your cash on the top player in the league is a losing formula.

Prediction: Bucs 23 – Giants 17  (Bucs -5)


About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.