Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator. May it be the gravy that ties it all together for you. For many it’s playoff time and we’re happy to get you over the hump and into the drivers seat. A lot goes on here at FantasySharks over the off season. We will likely have fantasy baseball coverage this year and some Shark Baseball Leagues for you to play in. We just opened up a Shark Ticket agency for all your game and concert needs, look for more on that in the next few days as we tie up that deal. Mock drafts galore! The great folks in the Shark Tank mock more than should be legal. If you missed out on our Fantasy Football Shark Leagues you will want to check back and register a team. The feedback has been great! Next season the winners will move up into a tougher league and the not so fortunate will move down. Do you think you can be the best? Sign up and prove it.
Good luck this week and kick some opponent tail!
Weekend Fantasy Outlook
Oakland Raiders at Atlanta Falcons Sunday 1:00pm
The Raiders running game is in disarray and the loss of Ronald Curry hurts in many areas. Amos Zereoue will likely get the start but he has managed to play himself right out of the NFL. One debate point this week was whether the loss of Ronald Curry would help or hurt Jerry Porter. Let me decide that debate for you and let you know that it will hurt. Just as Porter was starting to gather steam this happens. Stay away from your Raiders and that includes fantasy wonder Kerry Collins unless you are in a bind.
The Falcons were embarrassed last week and against the joke like run stop D of the Raiders, they will make amends fairly quickly. A big day on the ground for all involved including Michael Vick. Vick will run wild and still have an OK day up top with Alge Crumpler.
Raiders squeak one out as RB Justin Fargas runs well and Doug Gabriel does just enough to keep them in the game.
Prediction: Raiders 21 – Falcons 20
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings Sunday 1:00pm
Welcome to the Shaun Alexander show as he will run well. Nothing flamboyant in the Seattle passing game this week as Matt Hasselbeck has disappointed this season.
The Vikings will get their aerial assault going this weekend with or without a 100% healthy Randy Moss. In fact, look for Nate Burleson to carry the day and not Mr. Moss. A fine passing day for Daunte Culpepper is on tap for Sunday. Average day for Onterrio Smith but his receiving numbers will help push him up to a viable start. Moe Williams will vulture a TD or two though.
Prediction: Vikings 27 – Seahawks 24
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 1:00pm
Never doubt The Progno! It’s powerful voodoo. The Bears took care of business last week. Thanks guys, appreciate the assist. The Jaguars are going to play much better, are going to have the better fantasy statistics and will deserve to win this game. But they won’t. The Bears D will force some untimely turnovers and Chicago will capitalize. However, start your Bears at your own peril.
Fred Taylor ran hard and well last week against a good run stop D. Expect a whole lot of him this weekend as he checks in with a stellar day. Freddy T in the end zone this week as he doubles or possibly even triples his TD season total all in Week 14!
Prediction: Bears 24 – Jaguars 20
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys Sunday 1:00pm
This is an easy one. This comes down to the Joe Horn wing and a prayer express against the steady chain moving of Julius Jones. Both will have fantastic days and are must starts. The Cowboys with Julius Jones suddenly look 200x better and the Saints are busy licking stamps as they mail in the rest of the season. Advantage Cowboys.
Prediction: Cowboys 24 – Saints 20
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens Sunday 1:00pm
It is safe to play Tiki Barber as your #2 or #3 RB but only your #2 if you have to. This Ravens D is quick at all the points Tiki likes to attack and it is a difficult match up for him. The mistake is not realizing that big players show up for big games. If you’re really starting Eli Manning then you didn’t make your league playoffs and you may want to rethink your strategy for next season.
The Ravens will excel on the ground which is of course one of their trademarks. There is a question whether Jamal Lewis plays or not as he is questionable. If he does, play him. If he doesn’t, play Chester Taylor with no questions asked. Whomever gets the pill on Sunday will play very well though if Chester Taylor gets the start he’ll play better. The Ravens will be too tempted to get Taylor in there for a series or two if Lewis starts the game.
Prediction: Ravens 24 – Giants 11
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots Sunday 1:00pm
As mentioned, the Bengals have quietly been a very good football team and will play hard and well in Foxboro. Don’t expect much from Rudi Johnson as the Patriots smother the runner. The Bengals will have a few strikes in the air as they will be able to get both Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh involved but look for a cast of characters that don’t traditionally get involved to be a big part of their game plan. Guys like TE Matt Schobel and FB Jeremy Johnson come to mind as prime targets. Expect a lot more 3 and even 4 wide sets from the Bengals as that is their best chance at keeping up with the Pats.
The Patriots will run the kitchen sink at the Bengals. Corey Dillon is in for another big day and I expect once again to see some of Cedric Cobb. The Patriots machine rolls on.
Prediction: Patriots 35 – Bengals 27
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills Sunday 1:00pm
Hardy Har Har. The Browns are awful as they’re long past the self implode point. The only guy that’s playing well is new guy Antonio Bryant and he will continue to.
The Bills have managed to put their offense on the back of Willis McGahee and suddenly everything is all right with the world again. A lot of McGahee this sunday as he scores multiple times.
Prediction: Bills 34 – Browns 17
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Sunday 1:00pm
Here’s a tip for you. Peyton Manning throws the ball all over the field at his leisure so be sure to give Peyton the start. HA! By now you know the drill. Play ’em if you got ’em.
No recommendations for the Texans. The Texans would much prefer to run the ball and pass later but the sudden maelstrom of scoring will cause them to play a game they aren’t good at playing.
Prediction: Colts 45 – Texans 20
Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos Sunday 4:05pm
The Dolphins are going to surprise and pick apart the Broncos secondary. Chris Chambers has a rib injury but I expect he will play, Marty Booker and even Derrius Thompson will get in on the action. A heavy does of passing as the Dolphins try to keep pace and they will make a game out of it.
The Broncos are not going to do any one thing well but will do a lot of things OK enough to win this. No big day on tap from any of your Broncos as they all check in with very ho hum days. Watch the Reuben Droughns story closely as it appears Tatum Bell is starting to cut into his carries. Coach Shanahan indicated that Reuben would still get 20 carries a game and Bell will get 5-10 but that ratio could shift in a hurry Tatum Bell‘s way and will. Next week look for the two to split carries.
Prediction: Broncos 27 – Dolphins 24
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday 4:05pm
Tough game for the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! Look for the Jets to try and get Curtis Martin going early and if that fails then switch to Lamont Jordan. I think Jordan a better style runner for the Jets against the Steelers and we will see if Herm Edwards agrees.
The Steelers are going to do what they have been doing best lately. They will run till the steel mills close and Duce Staley will get the Lions share though Jerome Bettis will be in for a score. The Steelers are going to answer the Staley/Bettis question this weekend by demonstrating that everything is business as usual just like it was in the beginning of the season. Staley gets the yards and Bettis the score.
Prediction: Steelers 23 – Jets 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Diego Chargers Sunday 4:15pm
Tough run for Michael Pittman as he will hit a wall against the Chargers run stop D. The way the Bucs use Pittman doesn’t really matter fantasy wise because while Pittman won’t be able to get his yards on the ground, he will get them in the air. Pittman is a lock to be the focal point of the offense and the Bucs will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
The Chargers are going to focus on LaDainian Tomlinson and Tomlinson will earn his pay check this Sunday. Look for a lot of Tomlinson most of the day.
Prediction: Chargers 31 – Buccaneers 27
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Sunday 4:15pm
What a train wreck of a game. Dorsey, no Barlow and a QB shuffle in Arizona leaves this game a sloppy disaster. Will someone actually watch this? I know I won’t be.
Prediction: 49’ers 17 – Cardinals 15
St. Louis Rams at Carolina Panthers Sunday 4:15pm
The Rams could have a lot worse than Chris Chandler starting this game. Chandler tends to play well out of the gate but these days fades quickly. I expect a solid day from Chandler. The receiver that will benefit from Chris Chandler will be Tory Holt. Chandler was famous for being one of the best deep bomb passers in the league. He has phenomenal touch on long routes and gets a lot of air under the ball which makes it easier to catch. Expect at least one deep pass to Holt to connect. Stephen Jackson is questionable with a knee bruise, Marshall Faulk is questionable, the Rams could use a runner. Jackson will start this game but will not have the same success as last week.
The Panthers have been playing lights out for a playoff spot and things are looking better. They suddenly have Nick Goings running wild and Mushin Muhammad catching everything that resembles a football. It’s amazing how high a player can step in a contract year. Expect the Panthers to score some points on the vulnerable Rams D but they will spread the ball around more, reducing the fantasy day from most Panthers. Nick Goings is going for his fourth straight 100 yard rushing day and it will be a lot closer this week than the other three. I think he gets it but only by a yard or two.
Prediction: Panthers 32 – Rams 17
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Sunday 4:15pm
It has been a while since we’ve heard from Joey Harrington and this Lions offense. They put a string of games together in the early and middle part of the season that made everyone pay attention. For a while there, hope was running rampant through Lion nation. The Lions have turned into pussy cats down the stretch run but they are still capable at times. Expect an unusual mini explosion from Joey Harrington. Az-zahir Akhim and Roy Williams are practically back at full speed and that will help things dramatically.
The Packers may have been handed their elbows last week but they aren’t going to be phased by it. There are too many veterans that can control the tempo of this proud team. Some teams would spiral into the gutter after the beating the Eagles laid down but the Packers are made of something tougher.
It’s been a while since we heard from Ahman Green. Welcome back to fantasy football Ahman and congratulations on another 1,000 yard rushing season after this weekend.
Prediction: Packers 27 – Lions 17
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins Sunday 8:30pm
The Eagles are going to have a difficult time with the Redskins D which means they will be held to a TD a quarter. Donovan McNabb will not be breaking any TD passes in a game this weekend as he checks in with a performance that is good enough to win the game comfortably without heroics. No real stand outs offensively from the Eagles this week, just solid performances.
The Redskins will want to perform exploratory surgery on the Eagles middle and they will run Clinton Portis at their center. If Portis can pop that middle he will have a grind it out day with the Birds. If that center holds, it’s a long day for the Redskins.
Prediction: Eagles 28 – Redskins 17
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans Monday 9:00pm
This is going to be a good football game. There are plenty of higher billed games like the Jets and Steelers but I’m picking this as the game that will keep you on the edge of your seat if you just like to watch football. In fact, throw out all your fantasy angles and plan on spending some time with this game as a football fan. It’s been a while I know but do yourself a favor, and enjoy this game from start to finish.
The Chiefs say they are going to split carries between Derrick Blaylock and Larry Johnson this Monday. Ummm, OK. This is the Chiefs biggest chance to showcase Larry Johnson to the rest of the league on the biggest public stage and boost his value big time. They aren’t going to pass that up. Do not forget about Eddie Kennison this week as he will play well.
The Titans are going to spend a lot of time throwing the ball and lighting up the Chiefs secondary for big gains. Derrick Mason and Drew Bennett will receive a lot of attention this Monday, enjoy the gains if you own them.
Prediction: Titans 24 – Chiefs 23