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The Prognosticator – Week 2

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May it be your fireside chat with a glass of Shiraz, Australian of course.  The upsets picked in this column last week came rolling in as the 49’ers upended the Rams and the Dolphins easily won their game.  Some folks accuse me of picking upsets on purpose but that’s not what I do here.  These picks aren’t made with a dart board, a voodoo doll or by divining the future from a newspaper filled with parakeet droppings.  I actually do this with databases and spreadsheets, as it’s a handicapping system I developed to predict games and find the upsets on the card each week.  We’re not always perfect but overall we do fairly well.

 

You’ll read others that write a similar article but The Progno was the first (that I know of) on the Internet a long, long time ago to delve into the mystical art of predicting with a fantasy slant.  Many have copied but none have duplicated! 

 

Enjoy Week 2!

 

 

Team

Rush

Pass

Opp

ARI

Cold

Cold

STL

ATL

Hot

Frigid

SEA

BAL

Hot

Hot

TEN

BUF

Warm

Frigid

TB

CAR

Frigid

Hot

NE

CHI

Frigid

Frigid

DET

CIN

Average

Hot

MIN

CLE

Average

Frigid

GB

DAL

Frigid

Average

WAS

DEN

Average

Hot

SD

DET

Warm

Average

CHI

GB

Warm

Average

CLE

HOU

Average

Frigid

PIT

IND

Cold

Hot

JAX

JAX

Warm

Cold

IND

KC

Average

Hot

OAK

MIA

Frigid

Average

NYJ

MIN

Cold

Hot

CIN

NE

Warm

Average

CAR

NO

 Warm

Average

NYG

NYG

Cold

Frigid

NO

NYJ

Hot

Cold

MIA

OAK

Average

Average

KC

PHI

Average

Hot

SF

PIT

   Warm

Cold

HOU

SD

Average

Frigid

DEN

SEA

Average

Average

ATL

SF

Cold

Frigid

PHI

STL

Average

Average

ARI

TB

Cold

Frigid

BUF

TEN

Cold

Hot

BAL

WAS

Average

Average

DAL

 


 All Time are Eastern 


Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears        Sunday 1:00pm

Even though the Bears have a stout defense, possibly the most under rated D in the NFL right now, Kevin Jones will have a strong day for the Lions and Joey Harrington will once again do nothing to lose the game.  Do not expect fantasy starter numbers from Harrington but he will keep the ball tight to the vest and will make a lot of short pass plays.  The Lions D will look oh so good against the lack luster Bears offense. 

 

The Bears will start working rookie runner Cedric Benson in a little more this week but do not expect miracles.  What Carnell Williams did for the Bucs last weekend was directly related to his time spent in camp.  These rookie RB’s just don’t get it, they hold out for the all mighty dollar then never catch up all season, potentially throwing an NFL career away before it starts. 

 

Prediction: Lions 20 – Bears 15

 


Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals      Sunday 1:00pm

Whether the Vikings can hang with the Bengals will come squarely down on two guys.  Head Coach Mike Tice and RB Michael Bennett.  If Tice commits to Bennett in this game and doesn’t trot a new RB out with each series, that will help them in this game.  If Bennett can find room to run behind the injured Viking O-Line, they can keep it close.  Look for Daunte Culpepper to not repeat the mistakes of last week and expect Nate Burleson to get in on the action this week.  Daunte Culpepper in particular will throw for a lot of yards.

 

I wasn’t confident in Carson Palmer this preseason but he is doing his best to prove me wrong.  A lot of the guys I believed in, that weren’t getting a fair shake on draft day panned out Week 1, which helped me win EVERY fantasy football contest I drafted a team for.  I believe that’s 14 leagues, 14 W’s – I think, not even I know how many leagues I’m in.  Boo Yah!  14-0 is a nice way to start a season!

 

Expect Carson Palmer to adorn a “Hey Progno, what the heck do you know?” T-Shirt during warm ups on Sunday and continue to make chump meat out of me.  Go ahead, play Chad Johnson.  There, even I can sound like the “other” Progno columns out there sometimes.  Rudi Johnson will help move the chains but the Bengals will have a field day with the Vikings secondary.

 

Prediction: Bengals 31 – Vikings 19

 


Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans     Sunday    1:00pm

This is going to be an unexpected gold mine of fantasy statistics this weekend.  The Ravens offense, after looking like a pile of gnu dung on Sunday night, will roar back and dominate the Titans D.  Expect a big day from Jamal Lewis as it appears his ankle is holding up just fine and the Ravens will be going to the air a lot too.  Derek Mason and <shudder> Anthony Wright make good plays as well.  Expect Kyle Boller to be backing someone else up next season.  Or at least be competing with Patrick Ramsey somewhere for the 3rd string job.

 

The Titans are going to get on the flying horse and air it out with Steve McNair, who punches in a solid day at the office.  The Titans were behind last week but McNair just missed Tyrone Calico on two long bombs.  Calico did have trouble getting separation but their timing was off too.  Expect the Titans to try that one more time this weekend and connect.  The star though will be Drew Bennett who will rope in a lot of balls and will complement McNair nicely.  The Tennessee ground game still has some trouble and their run blocking needs to get a lot better – fast.

 

Prediction: Titans 30 – Ravens 27

 


San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles      Sunday 1:00pm

Now that the 49’ers got that out of their system it’s time to take on the team that represented their division in the SuperBowl last season, the Philadelphia Eagles.  The 49’ers won last week because the Rams just aren’t that good – yet.  Against the Eagles Defense?  Uhhh.. No.  The only glimmer of hope will be an occasional run by Frank Gore.  Did I just type Frank Gore and not Kevan Barlow?  Expect the switch and be prepared because Gore will have every opportunity to take the starting job, and soon.  There is no guarantee he will run with it but he will perform better than Barlow has.  For the 49’ers passing game, expect a lot of Tim Rattay lying horizontal behind the line of scrimmage with 5 green shirts piled high on top of him.  Call your insurance agent and take out a policy on Rattay, as it will pay handsomely. 

 

The Eagles will have success up top and this is a huge game for Terrell Owens against his former team.  Brian Westbrook who is more a receiver than a runner, will also post some decent receiving stats.  The 49’ers D, which is quite a bit better than most are giving them credit for will bend and not break but they’ll be bending a lot.  The Eagles don’t run away with it but it’s a comfortable win for them.  If the Eagles only had a real RB.

 

Prediction: Eagles 21 – 49’ers 13

 


Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers        Sunday 1:00pm

Break out the band-aids, sutures and whirlpools, as this is going to be a smash mouth game of football.  Please, for humanities sake, keep ambulances standing by and please avert the eyes of the children at home as this is going to get ugly.  The strength of the Bills is Willis McGahee and their Defense.  Guess what?  You’re going to see a lot of both.

 

The Bucs certainly ran Cadillac Williams well last week and they will try to feature him again, but the Bills D is just too dominant to let anything like that happen to them.  The Bucs will move the ball on occasion but they won’t be able to move it enough.

 

Prediction: Bills 37 – Buccaneers 20

 


Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts   Sunday 1:00pm

The Jaguars always play the Colts tough.  Their personnel match up well and they play a good game of football against the Colts.  Fred Taylor was passed on in many leagues but he’ll perform well in this one as the Jaguars will never be completely out of the game.  It was nice to see Byron Leftwich take the next step in his development last week.  Expect more good games from him as he will perform better in 2005 than his draft position indicated.  This week though, the Jaguars focus on ball control to keep Peyton Manning and company off the field which reduces Leftwich’s numbers. 

 

The Colts are just too strong in the air to be beat.  They were my preseason Super Bowl Champion prediction and I’m sticking to it.  Expect a big day in the air for the Colts and enough balls to go around for everyone.

 

Prediction: Colts 27 – Jaguars 21


Pittsburgh Steelers  at Houston Texans       Sunday 1:00pm

Willie!  Willie!  Willie!  Don’t you just love it when you pick a guy in the second to last round in as many drafts as you could get him in and he does that?  Especially when you start him because you were expecting that!  Aaaaah…. pure genius.   😉

 

I really liked Willie Parker very early on when I was researching players but didn’t put him on my radar until Week 3 of the Pre Season.  The big question in fantasy football land is whether Parker can actually do it again and hold off the veterans.  The answer in my book is yes, and no.  He can and will do it again against the Texans this week and probably will get the start against the Patriots in Week 3.  That, is the pivot point for Willie Parker.  If he excels against the Patriots, that is as true of a test as any RB can play through and every coach in the league knows it.  If Parker runs strong and well against the Pats, it’s his job to lose, I don’t care who is behind him and Willie Parker will win championships for you.  As he will probably run a little soft against the Pats, and then the Steeler’s have a bye week it will go down like this: Parker will get another shot but Duce Staley will split time with him starting Week 5 or 6.  Parker is fast and Staley is a hammer, together they could put the Steelers on their back. 

 

Domanick Davis the only play here for me.  He’ll be OK but the offensive line of the Texans looks horrendous.  All Texans will be statistically reduced until they fix that hole.  They may not this season and that’s a big problem for a franchise on the way up.

 

Prediction: Steelers 21 – Texans 17

 


New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers    Sunday    1:00pm

Super Bowl Rematch!

 

As I’ve stated, I am a believer that Corey Dillon will end this season a top 5 fantasy RB.  He will play well here and score multiple times.  Dillon is in line for a big hay day Emmit Smith type 30+ TD season.  Every once in a great while, Tom Brady looks human and this is one of those games where the defense will give Brady trouble.  The Panthers can play D and their front 4 are as good as anyone’s. 

 

The Panthers are going to throw the ball as they are firmly a passing team this year.  Jake Delhomme should check in with a strong fantasy season.  This week he turns up the heat and makes a lot of plays to a number of different WR’s.  He’ll look extremely Tom Brady’esque and put the shoe on the other foot. 

 

Panthers win in the upset.

 

Prediction: Panthers 32 – Patriots 28

 


Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks     Sunday 4:05pm

The Falcons looked great on Monday Night but remember too that this is a game of match ups and the Seahawks match up well against the Falcons.  It’s not going to be an easy game, not by any stretch.  Newsflash!  The Falcons will run.  Then when they’re finished that, they’ll run some more.  Warrick Dunn will continue his solid production.

 

The Seahawks won’t do anything well but they also won’t do anything to hurt themselves.  Shaun Alexander will be slightly above a normal RB as will the Seahawks passing game but together, they’ll work well in tandem. 

 

Prediction: Seahawks 27 – Falcons 24

 


St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals        Sunday 4:05pm

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not on the Rams tour bus quite yet.  They have a lot of holes to patch to become viable.  Can they?  Sure.  It just takes time.

 

This contest will not provide much in the way of statistics for your fantasy team.  The Rams will be OK and all involved will put up just, OK numbers.  The Cardinals D will enjoy playing at home. 

 

The Cardinals will have troubles of their own.  Till JJ Arrington starts to feel comfortable, things are going to be a little touch and go.  It is pretty scary that Larry Fitzgerald is on the field and Anquan Boldin is on the other side.  That’s solid and the difference maker.  Quick!  Who’s better?  The Rams top 2 WR’s or the Cardinals top 2?   

 

Prediction: Cardinals 21 – Rams 14

 


Miami Dolphins at New York Jets        Sunday 4:15pm

It is going to take a few weeks before the Dolphins get respect, but they will take another step toward earning it by beating the Jets.  The Dolphins will have more effect in the air and expect a nice tally from Marty Booker as Chris Chambers will be fighting off Ty Law all day.

 

The Jets will want to establish a running game early after getting a glimpse at their passing game last week.  Curtis Martin will get the call early and often.  Stay away from the rest until Chad Pennington looks a little better than an 11 year old pop warner QB.  

 

Prediction: Dolphins 24 – Jets 23

 


Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers    Sunday 4:15pm

I just have to believe that Brett Favre will bounce back from his last outing.  The Packers have some trouble but I just have to, have to, have to believe they’re better than the Browns. 

 

Both teams will try to feature their running game and the Packers will look a lot better running on the Browns Defense.  Ahman Green will be a force in this one.  For Cleveland, Reuben Droughns takes honorable mention.

 

Prediction: Packers 24 – Browns 12

 


San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos       Sunday 4:15pm

The Chargers and Broncos have had some knock down, drag outs over the years.  It’s nothing like a Broncos/Raiders game but on occasion it can rival one.  Just like the Chargers and Cowboys last week, this is going to be a heck of a football game.  LaDainian Tomlinson will get a little extra room to work this week but do not expect a monster day.  Drew Brees will be anxious to work in Antonio Gates as they could have used him last week. 

 

The Broncos will prefer to test the Chargers corners with Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie because they will have great success there.  Jake Plummer will have a very good day. 

 

Prediction: Broncos 24 – Chargers 23

 


Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders      Sunday 8:30pm

This one is actually pretty easy.  Give me the Chiefs any time of the week over the Raiders.  When you go down the list, apart from at WR, there’s no other position I’d take from the Raiders over the Chiefs.  Heck, I’d even take the Chiefs backup RB to the Raiders starting one if I could run him exclusively.  Chiefs D vs. the Raiders D?  Um, Chief me. 

 

Look for solid days all around for the Chiefs.  Don’t be afraid to start any of them.  I am a little concerned over a Larry Johnson start this week (if you’re thinking of using him as a float) due to the arrest distractions.  I do not believe anything will come of it as his girlfriend who pressed the charges only wanted them noted, and didn’t want him arrested.  He did something that wasn’t socially cool and she wanted him to know it.  End of story.  But till the media coverage dies down on it as they have to make it bigger than what it really is because it sells, LJ will be a little distracted.

 

The Raiders will look about as good as they looked against the Patriots but a little better.  Take that for what it’s worth.

 

Prediction: Chiefs 35 – Raiders 24

 


New York Giants at New Orleans Saints       Monday 7:30pm

The Giants are feeling quite happy with themselves but this week we discover what we always knew about the Giants, they’re a .500 team at best and it will show.  I am not a fan of any Giants in your lineup this week.  Tiki Barber the only automatic, but that’s just because he does it all.

 

Deuce McAllister will benefit the most from the attention the Saints are getting.  The Saints are a better team than people may think and will surprise.  The Saints will run a ton and use Aaron Brooks to Joe Horn only when they have to move the chains for a first down. 

 

Prediction: Saints 29 – Giants 21


Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys       Monday 9:00pm

A battle royale as we can attest to in the forums here at FantasySharks.com.  Redskins fans and Cowboys fans are like Cowboys and Indians.  They’re always warring!  From a fantasy perspective the Redskins will be a better bed of statistics than the Cowboys.  The Redskins will have very bland days from their personnel but they will be enough to make them all an average start.  Don’t look for a big bang player from Washington this week. 

 

On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys will have a very difficult time running the ball against this very good Redskins run stop D.  The story after Monday will be the fit Drew Bledsoe has made in Dallas and the early chemistry he is experiencing with his receivers.  Keyshawn Johnson in the end zone again on Monday! 

 

Prediction: Cowboys 23 – Redskins 20

 


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