Tuesday - Jan 22, 2019

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The Prognosticator – Week 4

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator. May it be your north star in a zodiac sky. We had some fun last week as a few folks wrote in. Most wanted to know if they could take action on my prediction that the Raiders would nip the Eagles by a point as many were expecting an Eagle blow out. It didn’t quite turn out that way.  In the end, it was anyone’s game with David Akers showing some guts.

Weekend Fantasy Forecast

Team

Rushing

Passing

Opp

ARI

Average

Warm

SF

ATL

Hot

Average

MIN

BAL

Cold

Average

NYJ

BUF

Warm

Cold

NO

CAR

Cold

Average

GB

CIN

Warm

Cold

HOU

DAL

Cold

Hot

OAK

DEN

Hot

Cold

JAX

DET

Frigid

Cold

TB

GB

Frigid

Hot

CAR

HOU

Average

Frigid

CIN

IND

Average

Hot

TEN

JAX

Cold

Frigid

DEN

KC

Warm

Warm

PHI

MIN

Cold

Warm

ATL

NE

Cold

Hot

SD

NO

Warm

Frigid

BUF

NYG

Cold

Warm

STL

NYJ

Average

Warm

BAL

OAK

Cold

Average

DAL

PHI

Cold

Warm

KC

SD

Warm

Warm

NE

SEA

Cold

Average

WAS

SF

Cold

Frigid

ARI

STL

Cold

Warm

NYG

TB

Average

Frigid

DET

TEN

Cold

Average

IND

WAS

Warm

Cold

SEA

  
 
 

Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints Sunday 1:00p

The Bills will be keeping this on the ground, as if they have a choice. Willis McGahee will run well and will post a very fine fantasy score. Starting another Bill is just a fools play. The Bills just were not very smart to get rid of Drew Bledsoe without backing JP Losman up with someone. The Jets were smart enough to snatch up Vinny Testaverde this past week, it makes you wonder why the Bills haven’t made a similar move.

A lot of people are not going to like the Deuce McAlister match-up with the Buffalo run D but not I. Play McAlister and reap the rewards. Players show up and respond to the challenge and Deuce is a player. If you play anyone in the Saints passing game, and that includes Aaron Brooks and Joe Horn, you’re a braver man than I Gunga Din. Not to disparage our lady readers as I am fully aware that many of the finer sex play this game. A big fist pump and shout out to the ladies!

Prediction: Bills 27 – Saints 17


San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots Sunday 1:00p

The Chargers are a good football team and they bring some weapons to the table. Their D is still trying to gel but they are very much on the right track. They are young and need some experience in some places but overall they’re a solid unit. The Patriots are reeling a little after their prize fight in Pittsburgh with the loss of Strong Safety Rodney Harrison for the season. Without Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison, their middle just got soft in a hurry. Not to mention every starting CB they have may not dress. Injuries have taken their toll on the Patriots and it most definitely will start to show. The Chargers will be able to take advantage of the weak spots and expect a fine statistical day from all of them. LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees and Keenan McCardell should be in your lineup. The Patriots should be able to take away Antonio Gates but don’t sit him.

Corey Dillon will have a tough go of it against the Chargers as they’re fairly tough against the run, but Dillon has been getting the ball in short yardage goal line situations and that’s a nice feature for us fantasy owners. I don’t expect a big day rushing for Dillon, though he will see a little more action with Kevin Faulk banged up and newly acquired Amos Zereoue still trying to figure out where to start with the play book.

I know it sounds like doom and demise for the Patriots but we all know better than that. Tom Brady has been smoking hot lately and has put this team squarely on his shoulders. Guess what? He’s handling the load easily. Spin the wheel on which Patriots receiver has the big day on Sunday as it will be one of them. Tom Brady lights up the sky with some amazing throws and single handedly wins this game. The pocket passer is far from dead in the NFL.

Prediction: Patriots 37 – Chargers 30


Seattle Seahawks at Washington Redskins Sunday 1:00p

Do not look for a high scoring affair as both teams match up well. The Redskins will focus on Shaun Alexander and will take him out of the game, as they have the personnel to do it. The Seahawks will have to counter with some throws but they won’t be able to stretch the field much. Expect a lot of short passing most of the day. This could be an interesting start for TE Jerramy Stevens in TE required leagues as well as a possession type receiver like Jerome Pathon or Joe Jurevicius. There will be a lot of under the coverage passing and the Redskins LB’s will be busy tracking Alexander.

The Redskins are going to run Clinton Portis fairly well and we’ll hear a little noise from Portis on Sunday. Those expecting the Marc Brunell to Santana Moss connection to rekindle it’s fire against the Seahawks can stop expecting now. Moss has been playing very well and I expect that to continue but this week will be uphill for him.

Prediction: Seahawks 21 – Redskins 15


St. Louis Rams at New York Giants Sunday 1:00p

Simply put, this is going to be an air it out type of football game. The Rams will be throwing the ball – a lot. The Giants will be throwing the ball – a lot. Marc Bulger and Eli Manning are both in for solid days. Tory Holt you know is in your lineup, not much to edu-ma-cate you on that front.

Keep an eye on Eli Manning as his last few performances have been solid and he has great chemistry with both Plaxico Burress (who looks like a poor mans Terrell Owens at times) and Jeremy Shockey. Do not be surprised when Burress becomes this years Andre Johnson.

Prediction: Giants 21 – Rams 20


Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday 1:00p

So much promise, so much hope, and then the Lions pop a seam. This has the potential to be a very long season for the Lions and Mooch. Go ahead, start a Lion, I double dare you, and that goes for Kevin Jones as well. A tough day on tap for the kitties.

The Bucs are still not fluid in their offense but they sure can run block. I know everyone in fantasy land is all over Carnell Williams and what he has been doing. I know I’d like to have him on a team. Everyone is saying how he is the real deal and he is going to run away with rookie of the year honors. I mean, a blind man can see what Cadillac is doing. He’s slicing through opposing defenses with authority and running like someone just stole his car. I agree, Carnell Williams is the real deal and he is in line for a stellar NFL career barring injury, but permit me to make one observation and it’s an observation that will be met with a certain level of unpopularity but it’s based on all that I know about fantasy football.

There will come a point this season that you should trade away Carnell Williams and cunning owners will watch for it. The NFL season is much longer and takes a much bigger toll on the rookies as compared to their college seasons. This will be the first time any of them play the amount that they do, getting banged up week over week over week and that will wear down a rookie. Cadillac will, in all likelihood, get tired toward the end of the season and you need to watch for the signs. Watch his yards per carry numbers game to game and track them. When they decline over the span of 3 games, put him on the block and get another RB with another positional need to push you through the playoffs. In the meantime, enjoy the ride and hope he doesn’t hit the skids till the day after your Superbowl.

Prediction: Buccaneers 17 – Lions 12


Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 1:00p

There are a handful of teams that perhaps weren’t expected to do all *that* much this season, that were certainly bubble teams, that are giving their fan base a lot of reason to hope and it’s been fun for many markets. The Broncos and Jaguars are two of those teams and it’s been fun for the Broncos and Jaguars fans so far. Unfortunately, one of these two teams has to take a step backward this week and it could be either one.

As pronounced last week, the Broncos were going to find their starting RB last week, commit to him and that will be one preseason mystery solved. Mike Anderson took the job and all you Tatum Bell and Ron Dayne owners should try and get what you can get. If someone offers a piece of blueberry pie with vanilla bean ice cream for Tatum Bell, I’d make that deal. Here is another tip for you, this will be your last week to get the ice cream with the pie for Bell. After this weekend, where Mike Anderson makes an even bigger statement on the field, you’ll be lucky to get anything.

The Jaguars scare me this week and I’d avoid all of them but play Fred Taylor in a pinch, in a float spot, if you really need him.

Prediction: Broncos 21 – Jaguars 20


Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans Sunday 1:00p

As discussed last week, defenses are adjusting to the Colts and Edgerrin James will be the beneficiary. I have read in a number of places, “What’s wrong with Peyton Manning?” and subsequently read all sorts of cockamamie responses to the question. Let me answer it for you. The answer is, NOTHING. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Peyton Manning, all they’re doing is winning football games and isn’t that what this is about? If you read the preseason Progno and my comments on Peyton Manning and why you don’t want to be the person that drafts him early, you would have read that the Colts have been playoff Cinderella’s, never sealing the deal even with Peyton Manning and crew doing what they do. For the Colts to get over the hump, they are going to need to come at this a different way as the Manning to “anyone open on the field” methodology is good enough to get them close, but it’s not enough to get them in the winners circle.

They needed to work on their D and their running game to complement Peyton Manning and let Manning win the game for them at the end, instead of trying to win it for all four quarters. Welcome to the new Indianapolis Colts and welcome to the reason why they will win the Superbowl.

Now with the said, expect a mini reprisal of Manning of old as even he hears the questions. He is perfectly capable of threading the needle and making big plays and will this Sunday.

The Titans have lost Travis Henry for 4 weeks and one has to sincerely hope that the brittle Chris Brown can stay alive long enough for that suspension to be served. I am not thrilled with the Titans run blocking to date as it’s been a negative factor for them. Steve McNair has been solid and expect another solid day here. I know Dwight Freeney will be coming around the edge but McNair is a pretty mobile QB and that will buy him the extra second or two he’ll need to complete the pass.

Titans at home are extra tough and they pride themselves on their home game performances. The Colts get a lot slower on grass. Should I set up a separate Email address for this prediction for everyone who would like to take my lunch money?

Prediction: Titans 28 – Colts 20


Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 1:00p

Until the Texans implement their new offense after firing and hiring a new offensive coordinator, they will still struggle – a lot. In a week or two however, Domanick Davis has the potential to be a full blown fantasy stud if their system works out the way they’d like it too, as he will be the cog that makes the entire thing go. I’m very concerned about the season long value of Andre Johnson.

The Bengals rock. I mean, they really, really rock. They may not make it out of the 1st round in the playoffs, but they sure are fun. I’ve never been a Bengals fan my entire existence purely because of ownership. Anyone that purposely dooms a franchise to fail just is not worth the time. But if my eyes don’t fail me now!

Look for a surprising reversal of roles this week as Rudi Johnson walks away the hero.

Prediction: Bengals 36 – Texans 13


New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens Sunday 4:05p

It seems that everyone is down on the Jets reversal of fortunes. They lose their starting QB for likely the season, fire up the obvious red flare by hiring Vinny Testaverde back on an hourly basis, while they try to figure out if they really are going to shut Chad Pennington down and people worry. Did anyone actually see Chad Pennington play? Believe me, it’s a blessing. Now the Jets can finally get on with some football.

It’s time to try Chester Taylor. Hello? Is there anyone listening? That’s Chester with a C and Taylor with a T which stands for CHANGE TODAY! For god sakes already. The guy ran behind that same line all preseason and walked away the #1 RB in all football and you’re telling me Jamal Lewis can’t find holes? Ridiculous. It’s not about the players, it’s about the team, if it’s better for the team, do it. At this point you have very little to lose. If you have room, stash him away now.

Look for a mini surprise in the Ravens passing game as Jamal Lewis continues to struggle.

Prediction: Jets 20 – Ravens 17


Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons Sunday 4:15p

Hopefully you stuck with us and traded for Daunte Culpepper as he was an easy grab for little comparative cake. That one will pay dividends. Look for a little more of Daunte Culpepper to Travis Taylor this Sunday. Taylor is available in some leagues.

The Falcons run the best running game in the business and they know it. They run everything they have at you all day long. It’s near impossible to defend against as the offense can exploit a weakness quickly. The system coupled with the personnel is as much a contributor to their success as the players are. Warrick Dunn is easy money here and TJ Duckett is starting to look interesting. A score in every game this season deserves a long look.

The only flaw in the entire Falcons offense and what will ultimately be their achilles heel is their inability to keep their starting QB on the field. If it was Daunte Culpepper back there instead of Michael Vick, he’d be experiencing a lot more injuries too. You get tenderized well when you’re part QB and part RB.

Prediction: Falcons 23 – Vikings 20


Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Sunday 4:15p

I’m impressed by the Cowboys. How can you not be? They’re driving many a fantasy team to victory and they’re winning exciting football games against decent opponents. The energy is coming from the passing game and Drew Bledsoe. It makes me wonder if Bill Parcells really does know how to create a system that Bledsoe is comfortable in. The emergence of Terry Glenn is no joke. He may still be available in your league. Look for another active day for Bledsoe and the boys.

The Raiders pretty much proved to themselves that they certainly know how to lose football games. Move Randy Moss soon. Let’s remember who we’re talking about here. Tuck this away back in the rear brain cell to the left, Moss will start taking plays off like in Minnesota and may start to berate his teammates if they lose this one too. As soon as you hear even a whisper of him taking a play off, throwing a weak block or if he starts “challenging” his team, move him if you can get something good for him. But hold and play him now.

Prediction: Cowboys 23 – Raiders 20


Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 4:15p

I really only have a few rules around here and one of them is never piss off the Eagles fans. You may need to have a seat on this one though. Guys, David Akers will not be back for a while. That certainly hurts but the injury to Donovan McNabb should have you freaking out. He can’t play through what he has. He needs surgery, and you don’t want to jeopardize 2006 as well as 2005. Listen to me now and hear me later, get what you can for McNabb. Terrell Owens will certainly go down in value but TO is TO and he’ll get numbers no matter who is throwing to him.

The Chiefs are due for a good day on offense and they get it here. They’ll run well and pass well and will beat the Eagles. No really. They really will. The Chiefs play well against better opponents. Their offensive line will start to take over the game.

Prediction: Chiefs 21 – Eagles 14


San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Sunday 8:30p

100,000 fans projected to be predominantly Cardinals fans due to Mexico’s proximity to the state of Arizona, will be packed in to watch the first International regular season NFL game. This should tell you two things.

1. The NFL is testing the waters for expansion of the NFL into Mexico as it doesn’t seem to grip Canada and there is a lot more possibility by expanding south.

2. The total number of Cardinals fans just quadrupled.

Play 49’ers at your own peril. I won’t take responsibility for any of them.

The Cardinals took a blow as Kurt Warner will be out for a little while. I am curious to see what Josh McCown can do with two track stars like Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. The kid always had promise and has good size. It’s a long shot but just maybe, the Cardinals will do OK with him.

Prediction: Cardinals 21 – 49’ers 17


Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers Monday 9:00p

I surrender. I finally have reached that day when I need to look myself in the mirror and say, Brett Favre ain’t all that. Oh how that hurt to type and it hurts too much to talk about.

Panthers win. Let’s get it over with.

Prediction: Panthers 27 – Packers 20

 

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