Sunday - Jan 20, 2019

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The Prognosticator – Week 14

Week 14


Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May it find you with your foot in the door of your playoffs.  As the season winds down the playoff races pick up both in fantasy football and the NFL.  Both races add to the grandeur and I look forward to both.  

A number of people have asked me how I have fared in my leagues.  This season has been kind.  If you really want to know I participate in three showcase redraft leagues, one other redraft, three dynasty leagues, one survivor draft and one showcase team management concept league.  How do I do this you may wonder?  I partner on a number of teams with fellow shark Doug Coutts.  Doug and I partner in two dynasty leagues and two showcase leagues which helps take a lot of the burden off me.  We consult on every move and I think we both feel we can dominate as a team.  I force him to draft a WR once and a while and he stops me from dropping our backup kicker the week our starting kicker is on his bye.  Team fantasy football management can be a lot of fun if you’re both willing to bend and never point when someone’s idea went sour.  To maintain my sanity I need to rank these leagues in importance to me personally.  I have different reasons why one league is more important than the next and it changes from year to year based on circumstances.   

Here’s the report card Mom and Dad..

League Results
FFL! FFL! FFL! – The league that started it all. In the playoffs.  If I win this week I win my division and the #2 seed.  Lose and I win the wildcard and the #4 seed.
Great White – FantasySharks.com  showcase league. Won my division.  In the playoffs as the #4 seed.  
FanEx – The Grand Daddy of showcase leagues. A win last week would have left me with a guaranteed win and I’m in situation this week.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and I’m left with a win and I need a lot of help to get in situation.  
Insanex – Asylum showcase league.  Doug and I made the playoffs as the #6 seed (the final playoff spot) and roll in with the best winning streak in the league.  
HAFAX – Showcase team managed league. We won our division but lost our 1st round playoff game.
TDL – Dynasty League Self managed and it shows!  Let’s say we’re building for the future with youth and continued high draft picks!
FLASH – Dynasty League Doug and I won our division, still waiting to determine playoff seeding.  We won this league a couple of years ago and I think we’ve won our division three years running.
HUDL – Dynasty League We inherited this team.  It had NO RB’s then, and it has almost NO RB’s now.  We’re waiting patiently for one to develop as we keep trying to find some through the rookie draft.  A typical .500 season as the rest of the team is fairly solid.
FantasySharks Survivor It’s down to me, Ron Anish or Pat Smith with Ron and I laying down some solid ground work last week.

 

Road Map to Victory

Team

Rush

Pass

Opponent

ARI

124

187

SF

ATL

132

164

CAR

BAL

123

198

CIN

BUF

140

192

NYJ

CAR

140

207

ATL

CHI

106

169

GB

CIN

139

190

BAL

CLE

110

194

STL

DAL

131

194

PHI

DEN

136

169

KC

DET

117

208

SD

GB

144

163

CHI

HOU

97

168

JAX

IND

89

249

TEN

JAX

141

205

HOU

KC

108

210

DEN

MIA

97

173

NE

MIN

123

251

SEA

NE

96

231

MIA

NO

138

171

TB

NYG

122

223

WAS

NYJ

97

220

BUF

OAK

129

220

PIT

PHI

116

189

DAL

PIT

113

209

OAK

SD

106

179

DET

SEA

146

247

MIN

SF

112

214

ARI

STL

92

238

CLE

TB

131

204

NO

TEN

92

206

IND

WAS

123

201

NYG

Red – Hot bed of stats.  Play ’em or lose!

Yellow – Warm day on tap.  A solid play.

White – Luke warm day.  OK if you need them.

Light Blue – Getting colder.  Stay away.

Dark Blue – Downright frigid.  Run away!


All times are Eastern

Wagers
Initial Bankroll: $500 Geoffrey Dollars.
Current Bankroll: $365 Geoffrey Dollars.
Last Week: Won $50 on the Bengals +3 over the Steelers.

I really should have bet the farm on the Bengals but it did take a last minute score to put them on top and in the money, so maybe our conservatism was justified?  There are three games we’re toying with, the Eagles to cover the 5.5 against Dallas, the Chiefs getting points against the Broncos or an odd game that probably won’t attract much action, the Texans over the Jags and they’re getting 6 points to boot.  I understand the KC/Denver game smells like a trap but the money has been flowing on Denver.  To me, that’s the trap.  The Broncos haven’t played anyone since the Patriots 4 weeks ago, a game which they lost.  While they were at it, they lost to the Bears in that stretch as well.  These two teams have already met this season where the Chiefs beat the Broncos 24-23.  The Chiefs have been giving up some yards on the ground and that is cause for concern but we think anytime the Chiefs are getting points, take ’em!

This Week: $55/50 on the Kansas City Chiefs over the Denver Broncos +3. 


Washington Redskins at NY Giants – Sunday 1:00pm

Patrick Ramsey will give it a test later in the week but it doesn’t look encouraging right now that he’ll play this week.  Although Trung Canidate has been active, expect to see Ladell Betts start to creep back into the picture again.  Laveranues Coles is the only person worthy of a start.  

Tiki Barber did nothing last week but the Giants aren’t going to lie down.  Jim Fassell will continue to throw his best guys on the field and will continue to ask them to perform at a high level.  Since the Giants haven’t been that good, that level is more like tapioca orange.  

No big numbers from this contest, but look for Kerry Collins to post a better day than everyone is giving him credit for.  He will be throwing to Ike Hilliard and Tiki coming out of the backfield a lot.  Redskins on the road in the Meadowlands in December and the underdog?  You know where I’m going with this.  If it’s against all odds then the Redskins win.  In fact, this is an upset special weekend as The Progno is picking just about every game to be an upset and we’re starting off with upset numero uno.

Prediction: Redskins 24 – Giants 21  (Giants -3)


San Diego Chargers at Detroit Lions – Sunday 1:00pm

A good showing by the Lions to win on Thanksgiving.  Something stinks in Wisconsin and it’s not the cheese.  The Chargers are indicating that Drew Brees may be back in the saddle this weekend which makes sense to close out the season.  I like this offense better with Doug Flutie.

Lions ride their Turkey Day wave and play better.  Which means they’ll play average football but it will be enough to squeak one by the Chargers.

Prediction: Lions 24 – Chargers 23  (Lions -3)


Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings – Sunday 1:00pm

*** RB of the Week Award: Shaun Alexander ***

*** QB of the Week Award: Daunte Culpepper ***

I find it hard to believe that the Vikings can be favorite of anything with that defense of theirs.  The Seahawks could put up 40 in a flash.  Look for huge days from all the Seahawks and start whatever you may have without reservation.  Seahawks are the offense of the week by a wide margin.

The Vikings will be able to keep pace with Culpepper to Moss as their main story.  Michael Bennett is starting to look really good and if this game is close look for his numbers to be solid.  

Vikings favored?  I don’t think so.  Sounds strange that we’re picking the Seahawks in an upset but there it is.

Prediction: Seahawks 31 – Vikings 24  (Vikings -1.5)


Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles – Sunday 1:00pm

Will the real Dallas Cowboys, please stand up?  I think we’re seeing the typical team that was playing above and beyond and now they’ve snapped back to their mean.  Though they are blaming a lot of their woes on their lack of production on the ground, this week they’ll emphasize it and get some surprise running.  Cowboys D is still a good one.

The Eagles are on a roll and it’s just spinning faster and faster each week.  Cowboys present a minor speed bump to them.  No major stats however as the ‘boys D will be quick to the ball.

Prediction: Eagles 30 – Cowboys 15  (Eagles -5.5)


Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – Sunday 1:00pm
Are you starting to believe in my “Bears are a scrappy team” mantra yet?  By now you should be.  Chris Chandler may be good enough to play but Jauron liked what he saw from Kordell Stewart last week so look for him to get the start again.  Anthony Thomas should play.  Look for the Bears to scrap as usual, with no big days for any one individual.

The Packers got a wake up call last week and they will be running with some authority this Sunday.  When Brett Favre needs to win the game for them though, that’s where the Bears will come up with a big interception to preserve the lead.

Another upset special.

Prediction: Bears 23 – Packers 21  (Packers -7)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints – Sunday 1:00pm

Whatever.  I like Jon Gruden but what we witnessed was a team that was cocky beyond even their self confidence.  Look for some sparks in their running game as Thomas Jones and Michael Pittman keep it chugging.

The Saints will also emphasize their running game and Deuce McAlister as one thing teams have been able to do is run on the Bucs.  Don’t even thinking about passing but running up the gut, yeah, that works well.  

Prediction: Saints 24 – Bucs 20  (Saints -1.5)


Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 1:00pm

David Carr is forced back into action a little earlier than expected with the season ending injury to backup QB Tony Banks.  The Texans have been playing some scrappy ball of their own and I liked what I saw against the Patriots.  They’re winning or they are in every game they play.  Statistically I wouldn’t start anyone from this team, even slightly hampered RB sensation, Dominick Davis.  

Fred Taylor will be a monster in this game as he clobbers his way through the line.  Although the Jaguars haven’t had a big passing attack, Jimmy Smith gets a lot of balls fed his way and he’s almost a lock each week because of it.  

Texans scrap and claw there way into a win in this game.  Another upset!

Prediction: Texans 24 – Jaguars 21  (Jaguars -6)


Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens – Sunday 1:00pm

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

Yes the Bengals have been hot lately.  Yes the Ravens have been hot lately.  The Bengals taking on the Ravens Defense is a whole different matter than the down trodden Steeler D.  Look for a complete surprise and instead of the Bengals passing the ball, they get some impressive running from both Rudi Johnson and Corey Dillon.  Corey Dillon has the potential to run wild in this.  

The Ravens don’t do it with flash even though they put up over 40 points a game.  Marcus Robinson, welcome back from the trash heap.  The Ravens are glad you arrived and you showed up just in time.  Ravens with Robinson are a much better team than many think.  They’re one injury at the QB position away from disaster but for now, they have an amazing list of pieces that will help them not only beat the Bengals but cover as well.

Prediction: Ravens 34 – Bengals 24  (Ravens -3.5)


Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday 1:00pm

The Raiders have been scrappy but a source for fantasy statistics they don’t tend to be.  This will be different and you aren’t going to read this anywhere else, but some of your Raiders make decent plays this week.  Tyrone Wheatley and Jerry Rice or Jerry Porter actually are worthy of consideration.  Go ahead and scoff!  

The Steelers just aren’t clicking.  Yes Hines Ward is a machine and even Plaxico Burress has been involved lately but there is still a lot wrong.  Tommy Maddox may or may not go this weekend.  Keep a close eye on that situation if you were planning on starting him though he makes an average play at best. 

Prediction: Steelers 24 – Raiders 21  (Steelers -5.5)


Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans – Sunday 1:00pm

*** WR of the Week Award: Marvin Harrison ***

I’m a huge fan of the Indy passing game this week.  The Colts secondary receivers have been dropping balls and with Dallas Clark out, look for Manning to lean on Marvin Harrison a lot in this big contest.  Marcus Pollard in the endzone is almost a sure thing.  Big day on tap for both Manning and Harrison.  The Titans have been very stingy against the run and that won’t be any different this week.  If Edgerrin James gets numbers, he’ll have to be a part of the receiving game which is exactly what will happen since Jevon Kearse probably won’t play.  This means the Colts can more often put the RB in the pattern instead of worry about blocking schemes.  

The Titans don’t tend to explode with numbers and this week will be no different.  The Colts play sound defense and they will be able to contain Eddie George.  Look for the Titans to do most of their damage with Steve McNair and squeak one out.

Prediction: Titans 28 – Colts 27  (Titans -3.5)


NY Jets at Buffalo Bills – Sunday 4:05pm

Does anyone else think that Chad Pennington is great?  I know I do.  I hope the Jets tank the rest of the season so I can draft him later in my drafts next year.  This contest will come down to two elements.  The Jets passing vs. Travis Henry as that is all either team has.  The Jets will be able to pass effectively on the Bills which will keep putting points up for them.  Travis Henry is in for a huge day as he runs till the cows come home this Sunday.  The trouble is, Chad Pennington to Santana Moss can chew up yards in bunches.  Henry can chew up clock in bunches.  Advantage Jets when they need to drive for the win.  Disadvantage Bills when they need to drive for the win.

Jets continue the trend and upset the Bills.  Though how the Jets can be the underdog after beating the Titans on Monday Night is beyond me.

Prediction: Jets 24 – Bills 17  (Bills -3)


Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49’ers – Sunday 4:05pm

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

This is about as blah as it will get this weekend.  The Cardinals will have some success on the ground with Marcel Shipp and in the air to Anquan Boldin but neither will put up big numbers.  Average to above average yardage with below average scoring and that average is already pretty low!

The 49’ers also will come out flat because they’re starting Jeff Garcia at QB.  Let’s see, the 49’ers scored 6 points with Garcia last week and the Cardinals managed 3.  A barn burner in the works people!  Tim Rattay!  Tim Rattay!  Tim Rattay!

Prediction: 49’ers 23 – Cardinals 17  (49’ers -10)


Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos – Sunday 4:15pm

The Chiefs are 11-1 and the Broncos are 7-5 yet the Broncos are favored by a field goal?  What gives?  The Chiefs are 8-4 against the spread and the Broncos are 6-6 so there’s no advantage there for the Broncos.  The Chiefs beat the Broncos already this season, 24-23.  The Broncos just finished playing San Diego, Chicago (which they lost) and Oakland.  Not exactly powerhouse teams.  Before this impressive string, they lost to New England, Baltimore and Minnesota in a row.  Yet the Broncos are favored by 3?  Interesting.  What’s more interesting is that the line opened at 2 which means the money has been pouring onto Denver.  Even more interesting.  

The caveat and I think the reason why Denver is favored (as far as I can tell) is the comparative strength of run defenses.  The Chiefs have not been good stopping the run lately and we all know who Denver has running the ball.  The Broncos have been shutting down opposing running games cold, but we all know who the Chiefs have running the ball.  Fantasy wise I do think Clinton Portis will walk away with the best statistics from the game.  

The Chiefs don’t always win pretty but they win, which is more than the Broncos can say.  Going against the grain and picking yet another upset.  My mailbox should be fun this week!

Prediction: Chiefs 30 – Broncos 21  (Broncos -3)


Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Sunday 4:15pm

The Dolphins have to win this game to have a shot at the division.  If not, a win goes a long way to a wildcard berth.  That’s all well and good but have you seen anyone crack the Patriots D this season?  I didn’t think so, because it hasn’t cracked.  In the bitter cold and potentially snowy weather in New England this weekend, the warm weather Dolphins are going to have a tough time of it.

The Patriots are undefeated at home this season and will want to put an asterisk on the division.  There is a very distinct advantage in the NFL to being the #1 seed and if they keep playing like they do, especially with the Colts and Titans facing off this week, a win puts them very close to that position where the AFC playoffs have to come through New England in January.  Ask the Raiders about New England in January.

Prediction: Patriots 24 – Dolphins 21  (Patriots -3)


Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons – Sunday 8:30pm

The Panthers are 3-2 on the road and are losers of their last two.  The Falcons are the only team in the NFL yet to win a game at home.  Now that stings.  The Falcons have a lot to play for because they’re playing for their pride.  No team wants to go defeated on their home field, that’s just embarrassing and local media must be eating them alive.  Either that or they’ve given up completely on the debacle.  In case you weren’t sure, the Panthers are going to circle their wagons around Stephen Davis and run him straight at the poorest run stoppers in the league.

The Falcons of course get Michael Vick back this week and that will be a lift for them.  Look for some decent rushing numbers out of Vick and I wonder if Peerless Price finally gets involved?  

Look for the emotional lift of the return of Michael Vick and the Falcons desperate at home to make the difference.  That’s right!  Yet another upset special as the Falcons upend the Panthers.

Prediction: Falcons 28 – Panthers 21  (Panthers -1)


Saint Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns – Monday 9:00pm

The Rams are going to throw the ball.  It’s almost scary how clairvoyant I am ain’t it?  Be afraid, be very afraid.  Bulger to Holt will be the flavor of choice as the Rams like to play on Monday.  Usually the Rams on grass is a bad sign and you discount the Rams more than any other team on grass but the resurgence of Marshall Faulk looks to be the equalizer.  

The Browns will be as average as it can get.  Kelly Holcomb is back under center and he will be spreading it around as James Jackson does his best to audition under the lights of Monday Night.  This is a big opportunity for him but he will be plain Jane average James Jackson that we’re all used to by now though he makes a solid #3 RB if you have room for one.

Rams are on a roll as promised and as I’ve been saying, don’t doubt the Rams.    

Prediction: Rams 30 – Browns 21  (Rams -4)


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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.