Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator. May it be your Caesar. Good luck dominating your playoffs. You’ve earned it. We’ve been on a hot streak with predictions to finish up the season, let’s see if we can keep it up.
Week 15 Fantasy Forecast
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Thursday 8:00p
The war on the ground. Frank Gore running helter skelter one way, Shaun Alexander coming hard the other way. Advantage goes to Alexander. Stay away from both the 49’ers and the Seahawks passing game as neither will shine on the NFL Network.
Prediction: Seahawks 28 – 48’ers 20
Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons Saturday 8:00p
The Cowboys are going to throw the ball a ton on the Falcons. Atlanta has been very porous in it’s secondary as of late. Look for Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn to all take advantage.
The Falcons will be tricky on Saturday. The will gain yards on the ground in bunches but both Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood are dreaded game time decisions. If you keep you ear to the ground though, you should be able to make the right choice on Saturday as the Falcons will trot both backs around the field earlier in the evening to see what they’ve got. If you have both, the one that does start will be worth it and you will know if you watch our forum before game time.
Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Falcons 20
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Sunday 1:00p
This should be a lay up for the Packers as they’ll be able to both run and pass the ball. While your standard cast of Packers make decent starts, none of them will explode for you but don’t forget about them as the matchup is favorable.
The Lions will have trouble running the ball so expect Roy Williams to get some looks.
Prediction: Packers 24 – Lions 20
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints Sunday 1:00p
Some solid fantasy stats in this contest as Ladell Betts continues to get it done for the Redskins while everyone else just run blocks for him.
Until someone stops Drew Brees and his current crop of talented receivers, I put them tops on the list for Week 15. You can also safely play Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister this week.
Prediction: Saints 32 – Redskins 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Sunday 1:00p
An interesting fact in this game will be that the Bucs will have more rushing yards than the Bears, which is something the general populous won’t see coming. Carnell Williams actually makes a solid start here.
The Bears will struggle on offense but oh man, that defense and special teams unit.
Prediction: Bears 32 -Buccaneers 14
Houston Texans at New England Patriots Sunday 1:00p
The Texans will have their hands full. A Patriots team that gets blanked by the Dolphins had a very hard week of practice and it will show. Andre Johnson of course belongs in your lineup but I’d be leary of anyone else.
The Patriots could really use Laurence Maroney back and may this week though I think more likely next week. It won’t matter too much though as this will be the Tom Brady show as he lights up the Texans.
Prediction: Patriots 27 – Texans 21
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans Sunday 1:00p
Like last week, the Jaguars are our top rushing team of the week. Look for Fred Taylor and rookie Maurice Jones-Drew to bring home the bacon. Is David Garard still QB for the Jaguars? Seems strange that his name has completely disappeared from the landscape.
The Titans will be fine. Primarily running Travis Henry with surprising success against the decent Jaguars run stop D but don’t look for a spark from the passing game. Pro Bowl calls for Vince Young are a little premature.
Prediction: Jaguars 30 – Titans 24
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers Sunday 1:00p
Willie Parker is a lot better at home and will be contained in Carolina. You still start him but worry if you have plans for him to be your main point producer. The Steelers will have opportunities in the air and while there will be some on the ground, there will be less. No big day for any Steeler this week, just a solid day of football.
The Panthers will throw the ball on the Steelers, a lot. I hope Chris Weinke is ready for this. Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson make solid starts this week.
Prediction: Panthers 23 – Steelers 20
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Sunday 1:00p
The Dolphins will run Sammy Morris till the cows come home and leave again and will pass on 3rd down to move the chains.
The Bills will struggle on offense but will try and control the ball. No fantasy numbers from any of your Bills this week though Willis McGahee will find pay dirt more than once and added to his below average rushing totals will make a decent start.
Prediction: Bills 30 – Dolphins 27
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Sunday 1:00p
The Browns are cooked.
The Ravens will be running with authority and completing all the passes they need to complete to run away with this one. Enjoy.
Prediction: Ravens 31 – Browns 14
New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings Sunday 1:00p
Everyone else has died trying so don’t expect a lick out of the Jets running game. Hide it. However, Chad Pennington and Laveranues Coles both make serviceable starts against the poor Vikings secondary.
The Vikings will want to run the ball on the Jets as much as they possibly can. Expect a lot of hand offs most of the day.
Prediction: Vikings 27 – Jets 20
Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals Sunday 4:05p
The Broncos will be just fine in this one. They will be running the ball well and Jay Cutler will be make the clutch throws. Nothing to worry about here from a fantasy perspective. I’m willing to wager the Broncos would love to have a legitimate TE in their offense.
The Cardinals will have trouble on the ground running at the Broncos. The Broncos have a decent run stop D and Edgerrin James will be running uphill most of the day. Matt Leinart has developed a good chemistry with Larry Fitzgerald and they will foster that relationship here. The Cardinals offense will be an easy one. Throw to the receiver that Champ Bailey isn’t covering as that will be the open man. The Broncos don’t have enough to cover both and that is where the Cardinals will shine and will win the game.
Prediction: Cardinals 30 -Broncos 27
St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders Sunday 4:15p
The Raiders play tough D and as a result, you need to downgrade all your Rams this week. Steven Jackson will get his due to sheer repetition but do not expect a monster this week. I would seriously consider better options at QB if you have them instead of sticking Marc Bulger in there. Yes he’s almost always a decent start but there are concerns this week.
The Raiders reacquire Doug Gabriel after the Patriots cut him. No big gain but it does fill a need. Gabriel is a better fit for the Raiders than the Patriots anyway and it would not surprise me to see his production suddenly go up. Look for Justin Fargas to surprise on the ground and actually check in with a serviceable fantasy start. Not a great start, but one worth sticking in to fill a flex position.
Prediction: Rams 20 – Raiders 17
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants Sunday 4:15p
The Eagles passing game vs. the Giants running game is how this will shake out and heads up, I’ll take the Giants running game though this will be a great game to watch. The Eagles will be throwing almost at will on the Giants, Jeff Garcia, Donte Stallworth and maybe even Reggie Brown make solid starts.
For the Giants, stay away from Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress as the Giants will run the ball with Tiki Barber first and when he needs a break, the big fella will come in. Expect to see Brandon Jacobs in the end-zone, for at least 2!
Prediction: Giants 24 – Eagles 23
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers Sunday 8:15p
The passing of Lamar Hunt, a true end of an era, will lift the Chiefs somewhat. If they were at home, I would really need to sit back and evaluate how much that will mean to their team. On the road, the emotional loss of Mr. Hunt and how it will effect the outcome of the game will be dampened. Two of the best runners in football, if not the two best, will be squaring off in this one and do not be surprised when Larry Johnson rushes for more yards than LaDainian Tomlinson as it will happen. Stay away from the rest of your Chiefs however as they will struggle most of the day.
The Chargers will of course be running but where they make up the difference to the Larry Johnson rushing festival will be in their passing game. Phil Rivers to Antonio Gates will be alive and well and that is why they will win the football game.
Prediction: Chargers 39 – Chiefs 20
Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts Monday 8:30p
The Bengals will bring balance. Expect them to try Rudi Johnson, a lot, on the Colts after what everyone else has been doing to them but the Bengals don’t have an effective two headed running attack like the other teams that have dominated the Colts. Rudi Johnson is a must start but don’t expect 150 yards. The Bengals won’t forget their bread and butter and will also throw the ball as you will rarely see a team, no matter the match up, abandon their strength and try to play completely to the opponents top weakness. Yes they’ll throw a little extra at that weakness but don’t worry about your Bengals receivers. The Jaguars strength is their running game so of course they double whammied the Colts with it.
The Colts will put this one on the shoulders of Peyton Manning. Expect a big day from Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison as the Bengals corners get schooled.
Never-the-less, a great game to watch and an awesome Monday Night game to watch, with the sound down of course. When will someone understand that Joe Theismann can kill a broadcast. I for one miss Michaels and Madden. For all the Madden haters out there, sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. They make a great tandem in this authors not so humble opinion.
Prediction: Colts 28 – Bengals 27