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The Prognosticator: Week 6

Week 6


Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator.  May it make you wonder if there is intelligent life inside our own solar system.  

Nomah!  Slapping the Progno together tonight with the Red Sox vs. Yankees and Cubbies and Marlins on at the same time.  If I start to wander and write about QB’s trying to steal third downs in a fielders choice, please forgive me.  Usually I flip on some 80’s Power Rock and crank out this article.  I was always partial to just about anything that came out of England during that period.  Inspirational I tell you!  

Team

Rush

Pass

Opponent

ARI

94

191

BAL

ATL

110

191

STL

BAL

152

186

ARI

BUF

113

196

NYJ

CAR

138

162

IND

CHI

119

167

NO

CLE

121

193

OAK

DAL

103

240

PHI

DEN

139

190

PIT

GB

140

199

KC

HOU

82

214

TEN

IND

103

221

CAR

JAX

95

224

MIA

KC

124

194

GB

MIA

128

190

JAX

NE

105

225

NYG

NO

139

184

CHI

NYG

121

228

NE

NYJ

115

203

BUF

OAK

122

177

CLE

PHI

98

175

DAL

PIT

98

200

DEN

SEA

146

224

SF

SF

125

218

SEA

STL

117

229

ATL

TB

104

212

WAS

TEN

99

221

HOU

WAS

108

200

TB

Red – Must Play!

Yellow – Good Play.

White – Average Day.

Grey – Run Away!


All times are Eastern
Wagers
Initial Bankroll: $500 Geoffrey Dollars.
Current Bankroll: $485 Geoffrey’s.
Last Week: We won $50 on the Redskins +5.5 last week but we feel lucky on that one with a last second touchdown to close the gap.  

Just a token bet this week, nothing really jumping off the spreadsheet.  We originally were going to take the Cowboys when the line opened up with the Cowboys getting a point. A scant two days later and the money appears to be pouring onto the Cowboys as the line has moved 2 points to where the Cowboys are now favored.  And all that BEFORE the Progno came out to drive the line through the roof!  So the 2 point sway pushes us off that game and onto the Colts .. Base Hit Ramirez! .. to cover the 5 points over the Panthers.  Nutty I know, and I’m not comfortable with 5 points against this defense but the Colts showed they could do it against the Bucs and that’s good enough for me. 

This Week: $55 to win $50 on the Colts -5.


Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints – Sunday 1:00pm

*** Low Score of the Week Award ***

Home Run!  David Ortiz!  2 run blast into the upper deck!  Sox lead 2-0 in the 4th.  Maybe there is life in these Bears after all?  Most teams that start off like the Bears do end up getting better as they go, unless they’re completely stripped due to injuries.  The coaches make adjustments, work on the things that need fixing and they get better.  The story from last week wasn’t the Bears, it was how bad the Raiders were.  Al Davis must just be beside himself as he spits nails weekly.  It is time to .. Todd Walker, Home Run! Sox 3-0.  dismantle the Raiders.  Let’s see Justin Fargas, I can’t wait for Jerry Porter to return, he’ll be active.  Who will be the heir apparent to Rich Gannon?  Let’s start answering that question.  I still wouldn’t start any Bears unless you’re desperate.

The Saints have a weapon in Deuce McAllister and he is going to have a huge week this week.  Rushing, receiving, passing, kicking field goals, punting, coaching, you name it, he’ll be doing it.  

Prediction: Saints 17 – Bears 14  (Saints -5.5)


Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys – Sunday 1:00pm

*** QB of the Week Award: Quincy Carter ***

Home run Manny Ramirez!  4-0 Sox in the 5th!  .. The Eagles definitely looked good last week.  They looked like the old Eagles.  Donovan McNabb doing it all with support from his defense.  The Eagles D played hard and well, surprising given their inexperience at CB but what they lacked in skill they made up for in quantity.  I think they played their nickel package all game because their front four were performing so well.  I’d start Donovan McNabb as he looks to have a lot of his old shine back but I’m concerned this week about the rest of this team.

The Cowboys .. Mussina run off after 6 .. are good.  There, I said it.  They’re a good team.  They’re not an aberration, they’re not a fluke, they’re a Bill Parcells led good team.  Those that read me know I’ve always been a huge Bill Parcells fan.  So much that I’ve studied the guy, broken down what he does, when he does it, what he thinks and I think I’m darn close to knowing what he’ll do before he does it.  I heard so much in the preseason about how the Cowboys were going to implode with Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells at the helm.  “How can that work?” everyone asked.  I shook my head and saw exactly how it was going to work.  I’ve meant to write about this for weeks now but never had the thought in my head.  It’s really quite simple, Jerry Jones in his heart is a business man.  It’s what he is down to the very fiber of his being and he runs his business, team and life like a business man.  Bill Parcells to Jerry Jones is nothing more than a tool he needed to get a job done and he knows, being a business man first, that the best thing for his business was to bring in a guy that knows football.  He can afford to back away for a couple of years and let Parcells just run with it.  It brings his Cowboys back, merchandise sales go back up, endorsement deals get more lucrative and he make millions of bucks by stepping back.  Once Parcells brings his team back he’ll take over and have some fun again, shake Bills hand on his way out and smile until he needs another tool to help his business.

Look for Quincy Carter to just go off this weekend with this suddenly scary receiving group.  Troy Hambrick is a nice complement to this offense but not the stud back Parcells would like.  The Cowboys D are playing on all cylinders and don’t be frightened to take a chance on them.  They’re one of the better turnover Defenses in the league and they keep the points off the board.

Prediction: Cowboys 23 – Eagles 14  (Cowboys -1)


NY Giants at New England Patriots – Sunday 1:00pm

The Giants are either all the way on or all the way off.  Lately, they’ve been off due to the problems in their offensive line.  They have so much talent at the skill positions but their offensive line is killing them.  The Patriots have been giving up just ridiculous yards in the air lately as they over commit to stopping the run due to injuries of their own.  Look for Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard to have some fun this week.

The Patriots fill holes with guys and guys produce.  It’s as simple as that.  When the dam starts forming micro-fractures, then big chunks starts to bust open, the Patriots fill them with guys and the dam solidifies again.  A true testament to their coaching staff and their Director or Player Personnel.  They have depth and guys that know how to use that depth.  Look for the Patriots to try to take advantage of some favorable matchups they’ll have in the air this week.  I’m still waiting for .. Manny Ramirez scores on a Millar single!  Sox 5-0 in the 7th .. Troy Brown to have one of his 12 reception games, this could be it.

Prediction: Patriots 24 – Giants 17  (Patriots -3) 


Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts – Sunday 1:00pm

Darn good game this should be.  The Panthers .. and an RBI double by Posada in the 7th bring the Yankees one run closer .. are just rolling with Stephen Davis and obviously, apart from Davis and their defense, there’s very little fantasy worth here unless you get points for run blocks.  

The Colts have a distinct advantage .. sac fly to left field by Matsui, Sox 5-2 in the 7th .. in that they just played the Bucs who have a very similar defense to the Panthers and they were able to get by them.  It’s a lot harder playing a poor defense then a good one, a lot easier when you’re coming off already having played and won against a top defense.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Edgerrin James sits this one out too before their bye week, but how about that little Ricky Williams?  He may be hard for Manning to find but he sure is quick.  

Look for the Colts to pass and the Panthers to run.  Both well.  The Panthers have been playing from a lead in their games this year and they haven’t seen anything like the Colts offense yet.

Prediction: Colts 33 – Panthers 17  (Colts -5)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Redskins – Sunday 1:00pm

The Redskins have been in every game they’ve played and have yet to blow or be blown out.  This game will be no different.  The Bucs are clearly a solid unit.  Michael Pittman has turned into a solid fantasy play and you probably picked him up rather cheaply in your draft.  Brad Johnson could be on pace for a career season and generally, the Bucs are playing well.  

There has been a lot of chatter by Lavar Arrington this week as he’s been threatening to “get” Warren Sapp if he crosses the 50-yard line during warm ups as he’s been reported to do.  Sapp likes to take a “loop” through the opposing team and Arrington has promised to make sure that doesn’t happen.  Well that should be an entertaining start to the game before it even begins.

Can you say enough about Patrick Ramsey?  Even when he starts slow he hangs in there and just looks like the best thing since the circle.  No big stats this week from either team however as the Bucs will be a problem for the Redskins and the Redskins will be a problem for the Bucs.  Redskins surprise at home as long as they’ve figured out how to not lose 60 yards a game to offside penalties.

Prediction: Redskins 23 – Bucs 21  (Bucs -3)


Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans – Sunday 1:00pm

The Texans are joining the crowd and officially going with their own RBBC now.  Let me be the first to say, BOO!  Give a fantasy brother a break will ya?  Seriously folks, at this rate, the game of football is changing before our eyes and we are going to have to make some adjustments in the game of fantasy football.  The draft tends to already be RB centric but if there are just a handful of true starting, 3 down backs in the league, it turns into a game where whomever gets picks 1-6 in their draft will be there in the end, and the guys at the tail end of the draft get nothing.  That’s not fantasy football and if this continues we’re either going to have to switch to a team RB concept or just strike until the NFL agrees to have at a minimum, 12 starting RB’s at all times in the league with no time sharing.   

Look for Steve McNair to rock and roll once again as he does his best Donovan McNabb impersonation.  By the way, I picked McNair to falter this season and up until this season I’ve had my finger on the pulse of Steve McNair.  Drafted him in his good years, let him go in his over hyped years.  I have had my finger on the pulse of a number of the things in the NFL over the years and it hurts to be wrong for the first time in his career about Steve McNair.  Eddie George?  Please, my friend, I respect you a great deal but the fat lady is singing.  

Prediction: Titans 27 – Texans 17  (Titans -10)


Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns – Sunday 1:00pm

I’m going to be stubborn and stick with the Raiders.  At some point I know I just look dumb but until the numbers say different, and if they keep stinking up the joint the numbers will take care of their fate.  Let it be known, I’m barely sticking with them.  

I don’t really like much in this game.  Tim Couch just needs one big win, one big performance this weekend to get his job back.  That’s not what you’re hearing but that’s the way it is.  William Green had a nice week last week and A-Train ran well enough, perhaps a little spark from Mr. Green this week to watch out for. 

Prediction: Raiders 24 – Browns 23  (Browns -3)


Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 1:00pm

Ricky Williams had how many yards rushing last week?  Look for that to change in a hurry this week as the Dolphins go back to featuring their horse.  

The Jaguars with Jimmy Smith back are a much different team.  Watch for a lot to change for this team in the positive because WR was the biggest hole that they had to fill.  Byron Leftwich is the starter the rest of the way and he likes to throw it.  He’s actually looked good doing it too.  Fred Taylor is Mr. Utility knife as he has been doing it all.  I really think the Jaguars are going to surprise the Dolphins this week.  

Prediction: Jaguars 24 – Dolphins 23  (Dolphins -3)


Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers – Sunday 1:00pm

And sparks fly.  Two immovable objects collide and in Green Bay, advantage goes to the Packers.  You aren’t going to shut down the Chiefs completely.  No one can do that.  But the Packers D has stepped it up and Ahman Green is turning into a top 3 RB this year.  A healthy Donald Driver just adds on the muscle.  

The Chiefs have their weapons of course and they have a lot of speed, but the Packers right now have more tangibles to work with.  The most opportunistic D these days are the Minnesota Vikings but backing them up are the Chiefs as they cause turnovers.  That has always been a problem for Brett Favre and it remains to be seen if the Chiefs can pick him off enough to set themselves up.  That will be the key for the Chiefs, bring their secondary up and trying to grab balls when they don’t hand it off to Green, which the Pack will be doing a lot.  

Prediction: Packers 31 – Chiefs 24  (Packers -1.5)


Buffalo Bills at NY Jets – Sunday 4:15pm

Neither team are playing well and it sounds as if Eric Moulds will not be playing this week which is a real shot in the arm for the Bills.  Shaw and Reed just aren’t .. Red Sox Win!  Red Sox Win!  I know there are Yankees fans that read this and Marlins fans too, absolutely no offense guys but this author would simply love to see a Red Sox/Cubbies Series.  It would be a special year for baseball if that happens .. anyway, back to football, Shaw and Reed look suspiciously like Chrebet and Moss and we know how far that is taking the Jets.  The Bills are going to have to rely on Travis Henry to put the team on his back in this one.  And if Willis McGahee comes on and turns this into a RBBC situation by seasons end, I may just snap every pencil I own as I take up picket signs and myself with the loyal faithful stage a sit in at NFL corporate HQ demanding something be done about this RBBC plague.  

The Jets have shown the world nothing.  I’m holding out till they do.  Start Jets at your own risk. 

Prediction: Bills 27 – Jets 24  (Bills -3)


Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos – Sunday 4:15pm

The Steelers aren’t all there.  They have some trouble here, there and everywhere.  They are still capable of putting together a masterful performance with the talent they have, but play calling is hurting them and their line could play better than it has.  They also have to do a better job of holding onto the football.  Going into Denver, the Steelers will be ready, but can they stop Clinton Portis?  The answer, is no.  Look for the Steelers to have an above average day in the air but nothing to write home about.

The Broncos are licking their wounds after that Chiefs affair and I’m sure are just sick to death over how they were creamed on special teams.  Story of the day in Denver is Portis, as it will be every week.  He is scary good.   

Prediction: Broncos 31 – Steelers 20  (Broncos -7)


Baltimore Ravens at Arizona Cardinals – Sunday 4:15pm

*** RB of the Week Award: Jamal Lewis ***

The Ravens know their formula for success and it mimics what the Panthers are doing.  Run Jamal Lewis till he can’t run anymore and let your D win it for you.  The Ravens will do exactly that and you really don’t need me to tell you to start Jamal Lewis against the Cardinals do you?

As it happened, Anquan Boldin looks to be the last man standing in this receiving group as the rest of them are hurt and probably not playing.  That puts Chris McAlister on Boldin and while the Cardinals will probably be down early and will need to pass, they won’t have anyone to throw to.  Their only, and I stress ONLY prayer in this is if Marcel Shipp shows us a little something of what he started to show us last year.  If he doesn’t, this one is over by the half.

Prediction: Ravens 20 – Cardinals 13  (Ravens -5.5)


San Francisco 49’ers at Seattle Seahawks – Sunday 8:30pm

*** High Score of the Week Award ***

Shoot out at the Larry Allen coral.  In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been sky high on the Seahawks even though I’m not a huge fan of Mike Holmgren’s coaching style.  Smart guy with the playbook, one of the best.  He also knows player/personnel, but I’m not convinced he knows how to coach players.  

Both these defenses have done a tremendous job causing turnovers and that is something both offenses are going to have to keep an eye on.  Here’s a question for you.  Ozzy Osbourne, I know he was part of that English rock movement way back in the late 60’s with Black Sabbath but would you consider him an English act or an American act?  It seems to me that Blizzard of Ozz started off as an American work but his roots are English.  Did Black Sabbath’s paranoid come out in England or the US first?  Anyone?  I guess their popularity was in America first and they pretty much appealed to US fans first which is why I always consider Oz an American act.  

Oh, football, right.  The Seahawks are going to be able to pass well on the 49’ers and Koren Robinson is in line for a nice day.  On the other side of the ball, Terrell Owens will almost certainly find the end zone and tack on some nice numbers of his own.  The play you don’t want to miss, like you would, is Shaun Alexander.  You play him, no questions asked as usual and be happy that you did.  Jamal Lewis is our RB of the Week but Alexander is a close 2nd.  He’ll be dragging himself, the kitchen sink, Terrell Owens sharpie and most of the 49’ers defense with him, as he stops to shake Dennis Erickson’s hand on the way to the endzone.  

Prediction: Seahawks 31 – 49’ers 24  (Seahawks -3.5)


Atlanta Falcons at Saint Louis Rams – Monday 9:00pm

OK look.  The Falcons are not going to win this game.  Yes Peerless Price had an eruption, finally got the ball he’s been screaming for and produced.  Here’s a little tip, the Rams watched the tape, they aren’t going to be surprised by Peerless Price like everyone else was.  The Falcons don’t get it, I don’t get it, but everyone else seems to get it?  Warrick Dunn.  

Dear Mr. Reeves, 

I’ve always respected your abilities to coach a football team.  You’re a darn good coach, a man among boys in your field and I legitimately felt for you and your family when you went through that heart thing you had to go through.  I’m sure you were frightened as were your family.  It’s hard on a family when someone is sick and as part of your extended football family, it was hard on me too.  But Danny, I may call you Danny right?  What the freak are you doing?  Still drawing up plays for Michael Vick?  With Vick not playing, you have noticed that he’s not playing right?  You need speed bro.  Lots of speed, this ain’t your fathers NFL anymore Danny.  T.J.Duckett?  Warrick Dunn is your all purpose back that brings the element you need to get over the hump.  You aren’t going to win games with your defense by trying to grind it out.  You need an explosive back carrying the rock and that guy is Warrick Dunn.  Line him up as a receiver and throw a couple quick slants to him.  Throwing Dunn screens should be a staple of your offense to get him out into the open field and make a difference in a game.  I just read on another site, OK, nfl.com, what a fine job T.J. Duckett did for you last week and his role should continue to expand.  Fine?  Someone stick a fork in my eye.  

You’ve won your opener then lost your next 4, really like this playbook I’m thinking.  Duckett had 69 yards on only 11 attempts which is nice, didn’t score, caught 2 balls for 10 yards and fumbled once.  Now I know 69 yards on 11 attempts sounds good which is why other people think Duckett had a nice game but you know what?  He broke one for 55 yards but since he’s not explosive wasn’t able to score.  That means he had 10 attempts for 14 yards not including that one botched defensive play, didn’t score and fumbled.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was encouraged that you finally used Dunn in the passing game.  He caught the ball 6 times for 83 yards and when you let him rush the ball, all 3 times he averaged 5 yards a rush.  What I’m saying is that you should give Dunn the rock and let him work his magic if you want to win football games.  Have you noticed you’re an 11 point underdog this week?  The biggest dog of the week?  Get Dunn’s head in the game and keep his head in it, don’t spot duty him.  As a fantasy owner, I’m sick to death over this RBBC bologna we’re seeing in the NFL today.  As a concerned fantasy owner, please, please, stop this foolish RBBC experiment and play regularly a man I happen to have on my team.  Warrick Dunn.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Tony Holm, Publisher, FantasySharks.com

Prediction: Rams 30 – Falcons 20  (Rams -11)


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