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The Prognosticator – Week 2

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of the Prognosticator.  May it be a beacon of light in this murky sea. 

I have a bad feeling about this season.  I draft in many, many drafts and for one reason or another I almost always had the 9th or 10th pick this year.  That meant I had the honor and privilege of picking between Jamal Lewis or Fred Taylor in just about every draft I’m in.  The one and only draft I didn’t have the 9 or 10 was when I had the 5th pick.  In that draft I quickly snatched up Shaun Alexander.  You see my pain yet?  In most of my drafts I took Kevan Barlow on the way back just to add insult to injury.  Then to be sneaky made sure I went with a 3rd RB in the 3rd round and scooped up Michael Bennett without blinking an eye.  I my friends, was laughing all the way to the bank.  I have a sinking feeling that my fantasy football world is about to come crashing all around me.  Heck, it already has.  Jamal Lewis and Fred Taylor still have every opportunity to help me out but resting your fantasy career on those two guys just does not give me a warm fuzzy.  I got a real bad feeling about this season and unfortunately, my feelings tend to be right.  When I have a good feeling about my team and season things go very well for me.  I stitch my teams together very carefully to make sure I have a contender all season long.  This season, I was losing players before the opening bell and something smells rotten in Denmark over here.

Last week this column started off with a bang as we nailed the Patriots on the head as a 27 – 24 victor over the Colts.  We also snagged the Packers on Monday night over the Panthers but everything else in between (practically) was not up to snuff.  This week we brush that aside, tweek the numbers a bit and go way out on some limbs.  I think you’ll have some fun with this.  Let’s get started shall we?

Team

Rushing

Passing

ARI

Average

Average

ATL

Average

Cold

BAL

Cold

Average

BUF

Warm

Frigid

CAR

Average

Average

CHI

Frigid

Average

CIN

Frigid

Hot

CLE

Warm

Average

DAL

Frigid

Hot

DEN

Hot

Frigid

DET

Warm

Warm

GB

Hot

Frigid

HOU

Frigid

Cold

IND

Hot

Warm

JAX

Hot

Frigid

KC

Average

Frigid

MIA

Hot

Warm

MIN

Warm

Hot

NE

Warm

Hot

NO

Frigid

Warm

NYG

Frigid

Average

NYJ

Hot

Frigid

OAK

Cold

Frigid

PHI

Frigid

Hot

PIT

Frigid

Frigid

SD

Hot

Warm

SEA

Warm

Hot

SF

Cold

Hot

STL

Average

Warm

TB

Cold

Cold

TEN

Average

Average

WAS

Average

Average

 


 

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers    Sunday    1:00pm

I had a good feeling about both Thomas Jones and David Terrell this off season after the Bears traded Marty Booker to the ‘Fins.  I was intrigued by their new offensive scheme and felt Thomas Jones and David Terrell could both benefit from such a scheme.  It’s nice to be right once and a while!  When I could, I drafted both and so far am pleased with the results.  This week things get a little tougher for the Bears as the Packers D, especially with Mike McKenzie back at CB, look a little better than expected. 

Ahman Green is a one man wrecking ball and the Packers look to be built to run him hard this season.  Their offensive line man handled the Panthers Defensive line and that is no small feat since the Panthers D line is supposed to be the best in football.  Stand up and take notice, Ahman Green if healthy, may make Jamal Lewis’s numbers last year look like child’s play.  Because of this, downgrade your Packer receivers, as they may not need to pass this season.  I buy into the Javon Walker craze but not if there is no need to pass to him.

Prediction: Packers 30 – Bears 7


Washington Redskins at New York Giants      Sunday    1:00pm

This looks to be intra-divisional weekend as just about everyone plays someone else in their division.  When they are long standing rivalries like anyone against the Raiders or the Redskins against the Giants, throw the statistics out the Window because these guys will be up for this game.  I know the hate mail will flood in on this pick but I’m taking the Giants to upset the Redskins because there are more Giants that will be up for this game than Redskins.  There are a lot of new faces on the Redskins and though they know of the rivalry, many have not tasted a Giants game in the Meadowlands.  The Giants will be pumped up for this contest.

The Redskins will start with Clinton Portis but the Giants are going to focus on him all day and that will force the Redskins to go to the air.  Look for an average day for Portis and the Redskins receivers.  Kurt Warner on the other hand is going to surprise and play a strong game.  Look for Tiki Barber to be a little more involved this week due to his receiving ability.   

I know this flies in the face of reason but here you have it (and I doubt you’ll see it anywhere else) Giants win!

Prediction: Giants 21 – Redskins 10 


San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints   Sunday    1:00pm

While we’re on a roll.  Let’s go all upsets all the time and take the 49’ers to up end the Saints!  I know at times I get accused of picking upsets just to show boat but that is not the case.  I run a lot of numbers and crunch them down until a score comes out the other end.  Do not blame me.  Blame the numbers.  I know I do when I’m wrong.

This could be Kevan Barlow’s week but I lean more to Brandon Lloyd or Cedric Wilson in this one.  If Wilson pulls off another coup like last week by staying under the fantasy radar, we may be looking at this season’s Anquan Boldin.   

The 49’ers defense played well last week but look for Aaron Brooks to spread the ball around and have a good day statistically for himself because of it.

Prediction: 49’ers 17 – Saints 14 



Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs   Sunday    1:00pm

The loss of Steve Smith hurts the Panthers dearly.  I know the word on the street says that Mushin Muhammad is the guy to get but look out for Keary Colbert.  Colbert may take a lot of us by surprise and has the better opportunity to surprise.  Actually, I take that back.  If Muhammad did well for a season that would be a bigger surprise.  The Panthers are forced into running the ball and run they will.   

The Chiefs have problems in the air though Eddie Kennison may just carry the flame for this team.  The Chiefs tried desperately to get Johnnie Morton involved in the first half before giving up on that and moving over to Kennison.  If any one receiver steps up in this offense, they are in for a tremendous year and Eddie Kennison may just do it.  Look for a big dose of Priest Holmes in this one though do not expect a big day.   

Prediction: Chiefs 28 – Panthers 27


St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons      Sunday    1:00pm

The Falcons will have a tough time slowing down Tory Holt and Isaac Bruce as their secondary is just not Rams passing game caliber.  Look for another decent day from Marc Bulger because of it.  There are some rumors under foot that Stephen Jackson may be a little more involved in this one and he’ll do well.

Could it be?  Could Michael Vick actually be coming around?  It looks to be possible, even without anyone to throw to.  How is that for a smoke and mirrors act?  Keep in mind that ex Saints coach Jim Mora is at the helm of the Falcons now and he is very familiar with the Rams and their style of play.  Mora has also historically had success against the Rams and their game plan will be airtight.  Look for the Falcons to really work hard at getting their running game going which will mean a little more action for T.J. Duckett this week than last.  Heck, 2 carries would be more action than last week. 

Prediction: Falcons 24 – Rams 17


Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday    1:00pm

Is Quentin Griffin for real?  He does have a cool nickname that is required for all good players.  Q!  He has his very own letter, how Q’l is that?  Watching this guy you can’t help but be reminded of Barry Sanders and the stop on a dime moves he would make.  It is what is so compelling about him.  Maybe the NFL is a new place where small guys can take a battering and still perform.  It’s possible I guess but I still am withholding judgment till a 260 pound bruising monster of a LB, at full speed, plasters little Q.  Then I wonder if we’ll be calling him P?  Or IR?  Maybe PUP?  It’s tough to tell.  The Jaguars have a solid D and an underrated one at that.  I’d feel more comfortable playing the Broncos passing game than Q. 

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL FRED TAYLOR I HAVE HIM ON ALMOST EVERY STINKING FANTASY TEAM I OWN.  Run Fred run!!  La Progno needs a mantle of championship trophies and you better strap on, well, some running shoes and run end to end on Sunday.  You better, as Champ Bailey is about to shut down Jimmy Smith and that leaves a rookie WR to throw to.  Fred?  Are you listening?  Fred??  

Prediction: Broncos 20 – Jaguars 17


Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens     Sunday    1:00pm

The Ravens are favored in this but until they prove their injury riddled Offensive Line is capable, stay away.  Without their line and run stopper Kelly Gregg, the Ravens smell suspiciously like Bleu Cheese.  Look for Todd Heap to get behind the not so quick Steeler LB’s as they over commit to Jamal Lewis.

The Steelers have historically done well against the Ravens and with Duce Staley banging bodies up the middle and both Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward drifting around down field, the Steelers will be able to score just enough against this talented but injured defense to leave Baltimore with a victory.     

Prediction: Steelers 17 – Ravens 10


Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans     Sunday    1:00pm

The big difference here is that the Titans are at home and they play very tough at home.  The Colts prefer an environment that is very different from what they are going to see in Tennessee on Sunday.  Peyton Manning and company can’t wait to get back on their home turf.  Edgerrin James looks solid as he ran well against the Patriots.  It takes two years for an MCL injury to fully heal and we’ve seen it time and time again where a talented RB coming off an MCL injury has a tremendous season two years removed from the surgery.  It’s one reason why we liked him so much here at FantasySharks and we continue to like his chances to be a top 5 RB this season. 

The Titans are capable of playing some great football.  They started off slow in the air last week as we predicted.  We took some heat for recommending you not start Derek Mason and many called us idiots.  Not sure what’s more idiotic?  Sitting Derek Mason or 0-1?  One thing is very apparent, the Colts D flat out stinks like Grandma’s left over Christmas fruitcake and the Titans are about to exploit that like a baby exploits a pacifier.  Steve McNair is going to lead this charge by tossing some strikes of his own and if Chris Brown doesn’t have a multiple TD day I’ll turn to a life of righteousness. 

Prediction: Titans 30 – Colts 14


Houston Texans at Detroit Lions        Sunday    1:00pm

It’s nice to see Domanick Davis work out as I’ve been touting him this off-season as a guy to target.  The Tony Hollings thing didn’t really scare me off and in the cases I got him I was happy.  Davis is a poor-man’s LT and anything that starts with an L or ends with a T in fantasy football is valuable.  Look for the Texans to work Davis but also attempt to open up their passing game and take advantage of the absence of Dre Bly. 

The Lions are surprisingly going to hold and meet the challenge on D and will score a special teams or defensive TD.  The Lions D had a solid outing last week and they may be a little bit better this season than you think.  In fact, let’s make an early prediction that they’ll be picked up in your league to cover a bye week sometime this season.   

The Lions become a water cooler story next week.

Prediction: Lions 33 – Texans 13 


Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday    4:05pm

The Seahawks, with Shaun Alexander or Maurice Morris are just better.  They have really upgraded their defense to match their offense and they are an immediate contender to go deep into the playoffs.  Look for the Seahawks passing game to click and reign down fire and brimstone on the Bucs while the Seahawks defense dictates the result of this game. 

The Bucs offense is a comedy.  Stay very far away. 

Prediction: Seahawks 21 – Bucs 13


New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals    Sunday    4:15pm

The Patriots pick up where they left off against a tough competitor last week, but this week it definitely gets easier.  The Patriots are going to do what they do best and that is, mix it up.  I think a number of folks are probably predicting a big day for Corey Dillon as the Patriots are going to over power the Cardinals.  I don’t think so.  The Patriots play one style of ball and that’s passionate, every play is their last type football and you won’t see them fall back on their haunches.  Expect solid and not spectacular numbers from all your Patriots. 

The Cardinals are playing better football than you think.  They will do well this day against the New England D and that is going to surprise a lot of people.  It’s not because the Patriots D is bad, far from it, it’s just that right now, the Cardinals are playing decent offense.  The holes in their team will rear their ugly head sooner rather than later but for now, they’re getting it done with what they have. 

Prediction: Patriots 28 – Cardinals 20

 


New York Jets at San Diego Chargers   Sunday    4:15pm

I touted last week how Chad Pennington was a steal this season but I most certainly did not tout the virtues of Drew Brees.  Where did that come from?  Curtis Martin doomsayers are going to be hiding under a rock next week as Martin continues his rebirth. 

LaDainian Tomlinson is of course the focal point of the Chargers offense and your fantasy football team.  How I am jealous.  He and Curtis Martin are going to be running up and down this field high fiving each other as they pass at the 50-yard line.  The difference however will be the surprising effectiveness of Drew Brees. 

Prediction: Chargers 28 – Jets 19


Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders      Sunday    4:15pm

This continues the string of running games we’ll be seeing in the late period.  The Raiders have a solid secondary and the Bills will want to test the Raiders on the ground.  Look for both Travis Henry and Willis McGahee to run this day, minimizing both their fantasy effectiveness. 

The Raiders found Rich Gannon but they lost a running game.  Welcome back Mr. Gannon to the NFL.  I’m darn glad you’re back as I drafted Jerry Porter in any league I could get him in.  With all the RB’s in their stable, look for the Raiders to audition a little more to see what they have.  Justin Fargas the only real sleeper here.   

Prediction: Raiders 17 – Bills 7


Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys       Sunday    4:15pm

The Browns played better than I thought they would and Jeff Garcia had some nice plays.  There, I said it.  I still think Garcia implodes this season but so far, I’m wrong.  Lee Suggs was cleared to practice and if he can play, he will, and well.  If William Green is given another opportunity he may do something with it. 

The Cowboys will have trouble on the ground so they’ll turn back to Vinnie Testaverde and the three musketeers.  Key, Glenn and Bry.   

Prediction: Browns 24 – Cowboys 9


Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals   Sunday    8:30pm

If Lamar Gordon doesn’t get it going in this one he never will.  Gordon looks very good in this contest and should put up some solid numbers.  If he does not, the Dolphins may have just bought themselves a dud.   

I was impressed with Carson Palmer going into this season, I am just as impressed now.  Look for Palmer to hook up with Chad Johnson regularly and smack down the Dolphins. 

Prediction: Bengals 23 – Dolphins 14 


Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles  Monday    9:00pm 

What a game and it is going to come as billed.  This will simply be Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss against Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens.  I know that sounds like such a fantasy football line but it’s not.  In this game the lines of fantasy and reality will blur and the big name players are really going to grab all of the statistics.  The rest, really doesn’t, and won’t, matter.  This could easily be the game of the year already.  Do not miss it.

Prediction: Eagles 30 – Vikings 23

 

 

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