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The Prognosticator – Week 15

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May it be your playoff darling.  Most of the fantasy universe are embroiled in their fantasy playoff runs.  It’s win and you go on, lose and you go home season.  Good luck to everyone this weekend.

 

Team

Rushing

Passing

Opp

ARI

98

269

HOU

ATL

137

186

CHI

BAL

117

146

GB

BUF

69

200

DEN

CAR

113

168

NO

CHI

122

152

ATL

CIN

146

218

DET

CLE

119

180

OAK

DAL

93

210

WAS

DEN

132

242

BUF

DET

103

217

CIN

GB

114

210

BAL

HOU

109

181

ARI

IND

93

234

SD

JAX

124

217

SF

KC

115

258

NYG

MIA

114

229

NYJ

MIN

95

191

PIT

NE

127

228

TB

NO

105

137

CAR

NYG

118

239

KC

NYJ

105

226

MIA

OAK

111

171

CLE

PHI

146

196

STL

PIT

104

213

MIN

SD

115

219

IND

SEA

120

193

TEN

SF

81

177

JAX

STL

91

223

PHI

TB

106

175

NE

TEN

87

221

SEA

WAS

142

178

DAL


 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots Saturday 1:30p

Flip a coin because that’s what this game is. The Bucs will not reward anyone in fantasy land this week. If you have to, Cadillac Williams makes a serviceable start. I am worried about Joey Galloway here as he is starting to yo-yo as a fantasy starter as Chris Simms seems to be taking a step backward instead of forward.

The Patriots will be firing on all cylinders with Tom Brady in particular leading the way. Expect big number from their passing game and solid numbers on the ground. Corey Dillon, as long as he is playing relatively injury free, makes a decent spot start.

The Patriots could just as easily pull this one out but the Bucs win the turnover battle and the field position battle. The Pats will put up better stats but the Bucs will have the better stats in the column that counts.

Though all it will take is a Patriots bounce to swing this game the Pats way. A great game to watch.

Prediction: Buccaneers 24 – Patriots 23


Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants Saturday 5:00p

The Chiefs have to win and are approaching each game as a must win. I actually prefer the Trent Green to Tony Gonzalez connection but never count out Larry Johnson. The Giants will be solid and the big three of Tiki Barber, Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress all make must starts. I know Manning hasn’t been sharp lately and has made some costly mistakes but he is still putting up solid fantasy totals. A good game for some fantasy numbers on Saturday to get your playoff run off to a good start. As it so happens, in the league that means the most to me (the very first league I joined way back before there was fire) I have Eli Manning, Tiki Barber, Larry Johnson and Tony Gonzalez all going for my squad. PLEASE DO NOT SNOW OR RAIN FANTASY FOOTBALL GODS!

Prediction: Giants 27 – Chiefs 25


Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills Saturday 8:30p

Denver is in for a fantasy explosion. Expect big things from all your Denver starters.

The Bills stink and now it sounds like Kelly Holcomb is back to starting. That actually helps Eric Moulds if his head is in the game. Willis McGahee went from freight train to train wreck seemingly over night.

Prediction: Broncos 30 – Bills 20


Philadelphia Eagles at St. Louis Rams Sunday 1:00p

Very, very quietly, the Eagles may have something going on the ground. Which seems very strange with all their starters gone but watch out for Ryan Moats as a dark horse to get some yards here.

The Rams prefer to keep it up top and up top they will go. A better day for the receiving unit rather than Steven Jackson. A name we haven’t used often this season in this column, Isaac Bruce will even find pay dirt.

Prediction: Rams 24 – Eagles 20


Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Sunday 1:00p

On the Panthers side the only guy worth a look is DeShaun Foster and although he’ll make a serviceable start, do so only if desperate. The Panthers passing game has run aground and it doesn’t get on track here.

The Saints are sitting Aaron Brooks and the team is emotional about it. Joe Horn is not that happy about it though will respect the wishes of the front office. Aaron Brooks won’t be with the Saints next year but will latch on with someone and will be their starting QB in 2006.

Prediction: Panthers 20 – Saints 14


San Francisco 49ers at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 1:00p

Uhh .. stay away from your 49’ers choices. Sure some of you may be tempted to start Frank Gore but do so at your own peril. This game will get out of hand quickly and the 49’ers will fizzle on the vine.

The Jaguars will be popping fantasy stats all afternoon. Don’t be shy about dropping the bigger Jag names into your lineup.

Prediction: Jaguars 33 – 49’ers 17


Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans Sunday 1:00p

It’s just a hunch mind you but I’m going to guess that the Cardinals will throw the ball. Probably to Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald with Boldin making the better play. Just a wild guess of course.

The Texans only prayer is Domanick Davis and while I’d only start him in a pinch (though check the injury report), he can be started in an emergency situation. For instance, don’t start Frank Gore over DD as DD wants to prove there’s no need to go shopping for a new RB in the draft. Don’t be tempted by the Andre Johnson phenomenon. Sure, this may be the week he catches 14 balls for 240 yards or it may be the week he catches 2 for 24, thus far, there has been no rhyme nor reason to him. A sure sign of bad coaching and play calling.

Prediction: Cardinals 23 – Texans 21


Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans Sunday 1:00p

Seahawks roll and focus on running the ball in the second half to run time off the clock. Darrell Jackson is back but do not expect much his first time out. The Titans will pass with effectiveness but simply won’t be able to keep up score for score.

Prediction: Seahawks 31 – Titans 21


Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings Sunday 1:00p

Jeer all you want, the Vikings will beat the Steelers on Sunday. It will not be pretty and the Vikings will not make it look easy but they will come out victorious primarily due to the solid play of Brad Johnson and his plethora of above average to good receivers.

The Steelers will also need to throw the ball and that will be difficult for Ben Roethlisberger with his well advertised thumb problem. They will be able to make plays and Hines Ward makes a solid start but the Steelers are going to hurt themselves by trying to stay with the run too long to try to minimize the amount of time they have to put the ball into Big Ben’s hands.

Prediction: Vikings 31 – Steelers 20


New York Jets at Miami Dolphins Sunday 1:00p

The Jets are going to be OK in this and will be able to get the ball to Laveranues Coles, another guy we haven’t heard from in a long while.

The Dolphins will be lighting it up with Chris Chambers while keeping the Jets D honest with a light dose of running.

An interesting story line developing here as the Patriots lose this week and the Dolphins win putting the ‘Fins just one game back in the division with the Patriots and Dolphins playing next week head to head.

Prediction: Dolphins 24 – Jets 15


San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts Sunday 1:00p

A decent offensive outpouring from the Chargers and I wouldn’t be shy to start Keenan McCardell if you’re debating over a #3 WR to play. LT you already know about though I will say I am not expecting a lot of action on the ground though he will make up for it in the passing game with a number of screens.

On the Colts side, Edgerrin James is not going to find much room to run and will have a quiet week. The Colts instead will run their 3 wide offense with success. Expect a lot of Peyton Manning barking the plays and making the adjustments at the line rather than plays being sent in, as this one will be all about what Manning can do.

To answer the question about whether the Colts will rest their starters down the road and forget about the perfect season. Even they know that history and an opportunity like this is too much to just walk away from. They are going to go after it but it’s funny to think that they couldn’t win games with some star players sitting. I fully expect to see Dominic Rhodes start to play a lot more than Edgerrin James but in the Colts offense, is that really that far of a drop-off? It most certainly is a drop-off but don’t you think the Colts could win the rest of their games without Edge? I do. This is a big one and they’ll need all their starters to get past it.

Prediction: Colts 32 – Chargers 29


Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders Sunday 4:05p

The Browns surprise a little and run Reuben Droughns effectively enough to walk away the victors.

The Raiders will counter with LaMont Jordan and will also try to shrink up their offense to give Kerry Collins some quick drop passes to try and get this thing back on track. This will devalue their passing game and render Randy Moss relatively ineffective. Why is it every team Randy touches turns to stone? That’s the real Randy ratio. Two teams, two stones.

Prediction: Browns 20 – Raiders 18


Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions Sunday 4:05p

The Bengals are in for an offensive outpouring as Rudi Johnson dominates and Carson Palmer to Chad Johnson is alive and well.

The Lions deserve what they get after that horrible firing of Steve Mariucci. If Jeff Garcia can’t make it work against the suspect Bengals corners, then it really is time to see Joey Harrington again.

Prediction: Bengals 35 – Lions 20


Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Sunday 4:15p

Running will be an uphill battle for the Cowboys most of the day and the only chance they have is throwing the ball, though that won’t be easy either. Still, Terry Glenn if you need to reach, can be plugged into your lineup. Stay away from the Cowboys running game though.

The Redskins are going to run Clinton Portis till Bill Parcells goes home. A stand out week for Portis.

Prediction: Redskins 27 – Cowboys 23


Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears Sunday 8:30p

It sounds like Michael Vick will play and that is good news for the Falcons. The Falcons go from premier team in the NFL to laughing stock very quickly when Vick is not in the lineup. Expect the Falcons to keep this on the ground and just run Warrick Dunn all day long. A nice start for Dunn here.

The Bears were as pedestrian as a defense can be against the Steelers last week which I’m sure was odd to see for all the Bears fans. And a little worrisome. Thomas Jones of course will be the focal point and will produce against the Falcons but the Bears have a tough time with the Dirty Birds and drop another one. It sickens me to type it but the Vikings and Bears will be tied atop the NFC North at 9-5 when this weekend is over and Mike Tice somehow, through some form of voodoo mystical magic, may have saved his job yet again. If a cat has 9 lives, Tice is working on 15.

Prediction: Falcons 23 – Bears 21


Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens Monday 9:00p

I don’t think I’ll be able to watch this game. I know it may very well be Brett Favre’s last Monday night game ever. Though I still think he’ll be back. Either way, John Madden is going to profess his man love for Brett Favre every 30 seconds, the time capsules with the cheesy music and the retrospects on Favre the legend, even though he is, will be just too much for me to bear. I want to see Brett Favre play, that I can say without a doubt but the circus the media turns these spectacles into is just too much for my fragile psyche.

The Packers will play well enough to stay in the game but the Ravens will be able to run on the Packers very well and if Chester Taylor gets his chance, his coming out party begins this Monday Night. If you’re a Taylor owner and you have a tough fourth or fifth starter decision, keep an ear to the Ravens and be ready to plug Taylor in if he truly is announced as the starter.

Prediction: Ravens 21 – Packers 20

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