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The Prognosticator – Week 5

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May Tony Graffanino learn that you field a ground ball with the glove on the ground!

 

The chart below are the rushing and passing projections for each team this weekend, their opponent is given for reference.

 

Fantasy Projections for Week 5

 

Team

Rushing

Passing

Opp

ARI

80

254

CAR

ATL

156

221

NE

BAL

85

207

DET

BUF

102

155

MIA

CAR

105

192

ARI

CHI

118

210

CLE

CIN

127

199

JAX

CLE

84

221

CHI

DAL

104

218

PHI

DEN

114

195

WAS

DET

72

177

BAL

GB

102

207

NO

HOU

108

157

TEN

IND

108

293

SF

JAX

100

200

CIN

MIA

146

163

BUF

NE

114

212

ATL

NO

85

191

GB

NYJ

88

190

TB

PHI

95

291

DAL

PIT

116

234

SD

SD

127

208

PIT

SEA

114

254

STL

SF

82

193

IND

STL

101

242

SEA

TB

136

182

NYJ

TEN

113

221

HOU

WAS

108

208

DEN

 


Bye Teams


Kansas City Chiefs      Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants         Oakland Raiders


Chicago Bears  at Cleveland Browns     Sunday 1:00p

Before the break the Bears were running the ball well behind Thomas Jones and there is reason to think this will continue.  Expect Thomas Jones to have a very good day and help your team to victory.  The Bears have a very light schedule this year and the Bears D in particular are in for a big season.

 

The Bears are very tough to run on so temper your enthusiasm with Reuben Droughns.  Those that grabbed perennial scrap heap Quarterback, Trent Dilfer will be disappointed.  The Browns are up against a stretch of tough defenses.  In the next couple of weeks, maybe two, maybe three, think about adding Braylon Edwards to your squad.  He’ll likely be available.

 

Prediction: Bears 27 – Browns 21


Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams       Sunday 1:00p

This is going to be one fun football game to watch as it is going to come down to aerial fireworks between both teams.  The Seahawks will be able to throw the ball with authority and burn the Rams corners.  Darrell Jackson would have been the man here but it doesn’t sound good for D-Jax.  I know I mentioned Jerome Pathon in this column last week as the benefactor till a reader pointed out that Pathon is no longer with the team.  I managed to get my Bobby Engram’s and Jerome Pathon’s mixed up.  Lesson #1: When I say Jerome Pathon, I may mean Bobby Engram and vice versa.  Got it?  TE Jerramy Stevens makes a nice spot start here in TE required leagues and keep an eye on Joe Jurevicius.

 

Although I like Shaun Alexander better than the Rams running game, neither will be in for a big day.  The play is in the air and the Rams will edge the Seahawks because of their injuries.

 

Prediction: Rams 28 – Seahawks 24


Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions        Sunday 1:00p

The Ravens are a mess and I think it starts at the top.  The coaching staff is not working well together and there are pressures to perform.  It’s causing a trickle down effect through the organization that spills out onto the field.  It would also help if they could run block and had a viable QB and a WR or two.  This is not your Daddy’s Ravens anymore.  Jamal Lewis continues his struggles here and I remain fervent on my Chester Taylor cry.

 

The Lions are going to be equally horrendous but I think they will edge the Ravens as they’re hungrier, especially at home.  Do not be foolish and start a Lion but Lion’s fans will enjoy the taste of a win this Sunday. 

 

Prediction: Lions 21 – Ravens 12


New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers    Sunday 1:00p

The Saints are a hit or miss type team.  They may pull this one out, it will be a close contest, but Brett Favre will be able to pick the Saints D apart a lot better than Aaron Brooks and company can the Packers D.  Brett Favre’s almost miracle come back on Monday Night is proof that there is some gas left in the tank.  He did that with a patchwork offensive line that had no business holding their own against the Panthers front 4.  No business what-so-ever.     

 

Fantasy wise I would shy away from everyone in this game.  Obviously it is hard to sit Deuce McAllister or Joe Horn if he plays, but if you have a better option, use it this week.

 

Prediction: Packers 21 – Saints 19


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets        Sunday    1:00p

Look, we’ve been here before with the Bucs and if RB #1 can’t go, Michael Pittman can always step in and dominate a game.  Whether Carnell Williams will be effective or not is irrelevant to the outcome of the game but you do want to get one of them in your lineup.  If Williams can’t go then Michael Pittman becomes a must start.  If Williams can go, then plug him in your lineup as you normally would.  It’s interesting this rebirth of Joey Galloway and at this point, you have to assume it’s here to stay. 

 

Vinnie Testaverde gets the start behind center and that is all you really need to know.  The Jets offense gets dragged down with him.  Much respect and all that but come on now. 

 

Prediction: Bucs 26 – Jets 21


Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans       Sunday 1:00p

The Titans will be exceedingly average against the Texans as the Texans actually played a little D last week.  They still have a firm grasp of the bottom rung on the “fantasy D’s in the NFL” ladder and that will help anyone that plays them.  The Titans simply haven’t shown anything to lead me to believe that they can play.  They should be a little better than they are but can’t seem to put it together.  That will continue here.

 

The Texans have turned into the “show me” team and thus far, they’ve shown us nothing.  For some odd reason I like Domanick Davis in this and I would start him.  The Texans passing game is in a ton of trouble. 

 

Prediction: Titans 23 – Texans 17


Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills        Sunday 1:00p

It’s almost Ricky time!  But what do we have here?  It’s not only Ricky time but it’s controversy time.  That’s right, Ronnie Brown is about to say, “not so fast” this weekend and will run with authority.  He is coming off a 132 yard performance where he averaged 5.7 yards per carry.  True, one of those was a 58 yard scamper but he played well both running the ball and in the passing game.  Ronnie Brown is about to make it interesting and if you’re looking for a flex player this Sunday, stick him in there.  

 

The Bills D is hurt, they have no QB and their team can’t score points.  Eric Moulds is publicly questioning the play calling and the team is in general disarray.  Good luck with that fellas.  The answer was to have a real QB or at least a real one in the wings that could pick up the pieces if they went ka-blooey.  What you were thinking I’ll never understand.  Kelly Holcomb gets the nod in this tilt.

 

Prediction: Dolphins 24 – Bills 21


New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons      Sunday    1:00p

A tough one for the Patriots last week.  For some reason I stood by them and thought they could pull it out against the Chargers.  I knew, and reported, that their D was going to be a shell of what it once was and that the Chargers were going to be able to take advantage of the Patriots D most of the day.  For some reason, I thought Tom Brady could do it again.  His numbers were solid and guys caught balls, but it just was not enough to slow down the Chargers.  I hate to let all you Patriots fans in on this, because it has been a very long time since you have seen this, but the Patriots are a very average team and each game week to week will be a coin flip.  The system is not enough anymore, they need a few guys that can play and they are missing too many pieces.  An average day on tap for all your Patsies.

 

The Falcons of course will be running on the Patriots and I think we see a little more work for TJ Duckett this week as the Falcons try to soften up the middle early for Warrick Dunn to take advantage of late in the game. 

 

Falcons walk through the Pats and .. oh never mind, bring on the pain!  Pats win! 

 

Prediction: Patriots 37 – Falcons 31


Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers    Sunday 4:05p

As promised last week, “he’s back.”  Peyton Manning had a solid outing as the Colts got back to some old fashioned Colts football.  The Colts will lead all teams in passing this week as they will light up the 49’ers for a bunch of yards up top.  Play your Colts!

 

The 49’ers are going to surprise a little and make a game out of this but they are so out classed it isn’t close to funny.  Still though, they’ll get some scores on the board and will hold their own for a lot of the game.  Alex Smith takes over for Tim Rattay and this is one heck of an introduction to the NFL. 

 

Prediction: Colts 30 – 49’ers 28


Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals      Sunday 4:15p

The card is stacked this week with a lot of good games and this one is no exception.  I know the Panthers have made the claim that they are a passing team this year, I haven’t really seen much evidence of that.  Jake Delhomme is making sound decisions and throwing the ball with great accuracy, it’s his receivers that are letting him down.  It is tough to be a throwing team when you do not have anyone to catch the ball.  Stephen Davis and De’Shaun Foster look to be sharing the load which should be illegal as a RBBC does nothing to help us fantasy owners.  NOTHING!

 

The Cardinals have been dominant in the air with Larry Fitzgerald making the big, tough catches and Anquan Boldin making the catches in the middle and in the end zone.  They are quite the dynamic duo.  Josh McCown may have reopened that door that was shut closed on him early last season.  It is not out of the question to see McCown rise from the ashes and all it will take is one more, great showing against the Panthers.  McCown not only has to play well, but the Cardinals need to win this game for Cardinals brass to take a long hard look at him and their direction. It will be hard to deny that the team wins with him under center and doesn’t with Kurt Warner.

 

Prediction: Panthers 31 – Cardinals 24


Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos       Sunday 4:15p

The Redskins are certainly winning, but I’m not buying yet.  I do think they’re playing a little better this year and their defense is quietly getting it done, but the QB situation is too glaring a problem not be noticed.  The Redskins will do OK on Sunday.  Not good, not bad, just OK.  If you are looking for a big stat hit in this game you won’t be finding it.  Clinton Portis, Marc Brunell, Santana Moss all startable.  Just do not expect a bunch of numbers from any of them.

 

Let me try and make this easy.  The Broncos have won their last three in convincing style and are vastly improved.  The Broncos will be last years Chargers by coming out of nowhere and taking the division.  The difference for the Broncos will be defense.  For you wagering types, and I honestly don’t gamble on sports except for making these predictions; there is always one team the books haven’t latched onto earlier in the season and the Broncos are them.  It will take another couple of weeks for the line to adjust.  All I’m saying is tuck this little factoid away somewhere.  We were all over the Chargers last year, long before anyone caught up to them and the Broncos smell like the same type situation.

 

Prediction: Broncos 27 – Redskins 15


Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys       Sunday 4:15p

Fine.  Uncle.  The Eagles win.  There?  Happy now?  The Eagles games I predicted  they would lose were a heck of a lot closer than most were predicting.  A lot closer than Eagles fans certainly thought and a lot closer than Vegas thought too.  But I think the Eagles will be OK with the Cowboys.  It will not be a cake walk, far from it, but I do think they match up well with the ‘Boys.  Look for the Donovan McNabb connection to be connecting with you know who all day long.  I am still going to be surprised if McNabb finishes this season with his current injury.

 

The Cowboys will play well and this will be a fantastic game, particularly with what I perceive to be the best rivalry in the NFL today.  The Packers, Eagles and the Cowboys I think share the largest fan base with the Patriots and Steelers not far behind.  When the Eagles and Cowboys meet, it’s similar to a Yankees/Red Sox series.  Similar only in that the rivalry is intense, not similar to the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry as that by far is the most intense rivalry in sports.  In my opinion of course.         

 

Prediction: Eagles 30 – Cowboys 27


Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars    Sunday 8:30p

The Bengals have been hot and until the Jaguars ran into the Broncos last week, they were too.  The Jaguars will put up a fight at times but in the end, the Bengals will handle this one fairly easily.  Look for the Bengals to go up early then run Rudi Johnson for the remainder of the game, giving Rudi a nice day on the ground.

 

Prediction: Bengals 30 – Jaguars 21


Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers     Monday 9:00p

It is borderline not fair.  We had so many great games to watch  Sunday, then to be treated to this gem on Monday Night?  Thank the heavens.

 

The Steelers will play hard and well against the Chargers and you should play Willie Parker and Hines Ward as both will get the funk out. 

 

The Chargers are going to focus on one thing and one thing only, LaDainian Tomlinson.  Look for this to come down to Tomlinson vs. the Steelers D with Tomlinson winning the heads up battle.

 

Prediction: Chargers 34 – Steelers 30

 

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