Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator. I apologize for the shortened (and late) version this week but I wanted to get something out. Sometimes, real life just gets in the way. I’ve decided to try something just a little different with the hot, warm, cold, frigid chart I do each week. Instead I’m going to try showing a sorted list of how each team will perform both rushing and passing. For example, the Colts, Chargers, Chiefs, Saints, Panthers and 49’ers are going to have smoking hot days on the ground from a fantasy perspective. You want to pay close attention to the running backs you may own that are running for those teams this week.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings Sunday 1:00p
Watch the passing attack from both sides in this one. Lions up top a lot but the Vikings will be shredding the Lions secondary all day long. Play both passing games and steer clear of both ground games.
Vikings 21 – Lions 17
Washington Redskins at New York Giants Sunday 1:00p
The Redskins offense is back. Expect a lot of fantasy statistics to come out of your Redskins players. Brunell and company make solid starts. The Giants will have their way with the Redskins secondary but Tiki will be hampered a little on the ground. Look for Jeremy Shockey to get involved. A big day on tap for Eli Manning, actually, both QB’s in this contest.
Giants 28 – Redskins 25
St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers Sunday 1:00p
Marc Bulger is the QB play of the week. Start him no matter who else you have on your team, and that includes Peyton Manning. The Rams ground game will be serviceable but nothing spectacular. I’ve read some sources that don’t like Brett Favre as a play this week. I think he’s going to end up a top 10 QB this week and I wouldn’t be afraid to give him the start.
Rams 28 – Packers 21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Sunday 1:00p
Until the Bucs show signs of life, they stay on my bench, and that includes Carnell Williams. The Saints won’t have to do too much more than run the ball and play solid defense, which is exactly what they are going to do.
Saints 28 – Buccaneers 13
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers Sunday 1:00p
The Browns aren’t as bad as some may think and they’ll be a scrappy bunch in this one. They will be able to move the ball on the Panthers and the Browns will have some success. Expect the field goal units to be active in this game. Fantasy wise, there are no outstanding plays from the Browns though you could use some in a pinch. The Panthers will run all day long with DeShaun Foster and he should be in your lineup. I also expect a lot of receptions for Steve Smith though his yardage total will be down as they throw a lot of short passes to Smith to help move the chains.
Panthers 23 – Browns 21
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts Sunday 1:00p
Uhhhhh .. OK.
Colts 38 – Titans 13
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears Sunday 1:00p
You play Willis McGahee but he is not going to carry your team this week. The Bears will play Bears football, no deviation here. They will run the ball but the Bills will be able to handle the run defensively which will push the Bears up top and they will hit some long plays to open this thing up. Once they’re up by a bunch, then it’s more running to grind out the rest of the clock.
Bears 31 – Bills 17
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Sunday 1:00p
The Patriots will have an answer for Ronnie Brown but Chris Chambers will leave a small mark. Nothing major, but a few nice catches.
The Patriots will run, run, run but the Dolphins D causes some matchup problems for the Patriots so do not expect a repeat of last week.
Patriots 23 – Dolphins 14
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 4:05p
The Jets will be throwing the ball a ton as their ground game will be in utter shambles. Running against the Jaguars is a difficult feat as is. Laveranues Coles should play and should put up decent numbers.
The Jaguars will be firing statistically up top and on the ground as they handle the Jets D.
The Jets on paper are over powered but they are a much scrappier bunch than some are giving them credit for. They will keep it very close with gadgetry and opportunistic play.
Jaguars 25 – Jets 24
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals Sunday 4:05p
Larry Johson domination. Statistically the Cardinals will not be good and you should expect very little fantasy wise. However, the kid plays well enough to win his first NFL game out of the shoot. It makes no sense I know, but rarely does the NFL make sense.
Cardinals 27 – Chiefs 24
Oakland Raiders at San Francisco 49ers Sunday 4:05p
LaMont Jordan vs. Frank Gore. Throw everyone else away. Gore by a nose print but both make solid plays.
49’ers 21 – Raiders 17
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Sunday 4:15p
The Eagles are favored but the Cowboys will eek this one out. Expect a big day offensively for the Cowboys in all aspects of their offense. The Eagles will counter with Donovan McNabb and a lot of passing to anyone who is open but the Cowboys have better depth as a team and that will show. The Eagles will never be out of this game however.
Cowboys 30 – Eagles 28
Pittsburgh Steelers at San Diego Chargers Sunday 8:15p
The Steelers are in a very bad place right now. I would watch this one from the sidelines and not start any of them. The Chargers of course will be running the ball and run they will. Good day for LaDainian Tomlinson owners on tap as the Steelers walk away a shell of the team they once were.
Chargers 31 – Steelers 14
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos Monday 8:30p
The Ravens will be fine in Denver. They will play some tough football and won’t be pulling any punches. They will do exactly what you expect. Run the ball and throw to Todd Heap when they get near the end zone. The Broncos have some serious problems in their passing game and Jake Plummer will end up being the scape goat.
Ravens 27 – Broncos 13