Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator. May it be your bar room brawl. Get ready to light it up this weekend as there is a mismatch of offense to defense. Expect fantasy scores to run higher than average in Week 9, particularly for QB’s and some big WR performances. Though some RB’s are also in for monster days. Here’s hoping they’re on your team and not on the team you’re facing.
Week 9 Fantasy Forecast
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Sunday 1:00p
After their big comeback last week behind new QB Tony Romo the Cowboys have a full head of steam coming into Washington. The team believes which will send them up from the ashes and into the stratosphere. Expect a solid day from your Cowboys. Tony Romo and Terrell Owens make a splash while Julius Jones also makes a solid fantasy start. If you Julius Jones owners could just tack on Marion Barber‘s stats, you’d be swimming in gravy this week. Watch out for Jason Whitten this week, he draws a tough matchup with the speed of the Redskins linebackers.
The Redskins will have trouble on the ground and won’t fair too much better in the air. Santana Moss is a big key to this game. If he does play, he is worth a start, if not, the Redskins are in for a very long day at the office. Those with Marc Brunell on their roster are advised to cut bait. I know I dropped him for Tony Romo today in one of my leagues, I advise you do the same.
Cowboys 34 – Redskins 24
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday 1:00p
The Saints don’t really need Reggie Bush this Sunday as they will get it done with Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Joe Horn. If Reggie Bush can’t go then just sheer repetition makes Deuce McAllister a decent start but if Bush does go, I’d worry about both of them making viable fantasy starts for you as they will primarily be blocking for the passing game.
The Bucs will play this close as they, like Dallas, are starting to get a head of steam. Look for the Bucs to keep this one on the ground and jam Carnell Williams up the middle. An infrequent solid production day in store for Cadillac. Stay away from the Buccaneers passing game, there will be very little to be had.
Saints 23 – Buccaneers 21
Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills Sunday 1:00p
Ahman Green belongs in your lineup as does Brett Favre if you’re struggling at QB. There’ll be a host of better QB plays than Favre like, Drew Brees, Jon Kitna, Marc Bulger, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Brad Johnson and Damon Huard but Brett Favre makes the next best option which actually squeezes him into the top 10. Check the injury report if you have Green Bay receivers. They’re worthy of a start but make sure they are playing.
The Bills will have difficulty running and that pretty much prevents their chances of having a good game. The fans in Buffalo are sick of J.P. Losman and when the team, as well as the fans lay the heavy blanket of expectation on him, he will feel like a castaway on a deserted island and that will show in his performance. Ground your Bills this week.
Packers 27 – Bills 20
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions Sunday 1:00p
Can you say ridiculous, dominant, crazy running performance this weekend? I can. Watch Warrick Dunn run up and down the field and when he’s on the sideline sucking oxygen, Jerious Norwood will be busting 60 yard runs and putting on a stiff arm clinic. When both Dunn and Norwood are huddled around the oxygen tank like two tourists in a hash bar in Amsterdam, Michael Vick will just run a few down the sideline. Guess what? Michael Vick turned the corner this season and answered his critics as this author was saying he would.
The Lions won’t be able to run the ball against this stout Falcons front but Jon Kitna has quietly put together a few productive weeks and Roy Williams is ready to be the man. Expect a Roy Williams clinic with a heavy dose of Mike Furrey for good measure. If you have Kitna, think long and hard about getting him in your lineup this week, over just about any other QB you may have.
Falcons 31 – Lions 30
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Sunday 1:00p
Another aerial assault as the Bengals can’t run on the Ravens so they will have to take it to the air. Be very leery of Rudi Johnson this week. The Bengals will attempt to expose their 3rd WR option as they will have their biggest mismatches when their 3rd and 4th WR’s are matched up with the Ravens 3rd and 4th DB’s. Expect Chris Henry to check-in with a big day as that is where the Bengals have the upper hand.
Jamal Lewis ran well last week, trying to silence guys like me who demanded Musa Smith see the field. Guess what? M-U-S-A! Say it with me! M-U-S-A, Musa, Musa, MUSA!! I wonder who will be the team to pluck Musa Smith from the Ravens and acquire the next Chester Taylor? That said, Jamal Lewis scores his second TD of the season this week. Did you know the Ravens have only scored three TD’s on the ground so far? Jamal Lewis, Mike Anderson and Steve McNair have all run just one in.
Ravens 27 – Bengals 21
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 1:00p
Last week I predicted the Travis Henry show and surprisingly, that didn’t work out. Just like getting thrown from a bike though, we get back in the saddle, ride up to the tallest hill we can find and ride off the edge again. Travis Henry the only start for the Titans and he will be in for a solid day. Woah! Watch out for that boulder!
The Jaguars will want to feature their running game too as Fred “bones of glass” Taylor has a decent day, though his carries are limited with Maurice Jones-Drew pilfering touches. There’s nothing like a 5’7” guy stealing your touches.
Jaguars 30 – Titans 24
Houston Texans at New York Giants Sunday 1:00p
The Texans seem to be in a state of flux with new questions raised at the QB position, is Wali Lundy a flash in the pan? Do they have anyone that can actually defend? Forget about passing on Reggie Bush for Mario “only 17 solo tackles” Williams, the rest of the league should start to wonder why they passed on Laurence Maroney. More questions than answers and that does not jive well for any team in any sport. Andre Johnson of course makes the start as the leading receiver in the receptions department in the NFL. You have to love one man band receivers on teams that are always playing from behind. Remember what I preached in the preseason? Andre Johnson and Roy Williams would be the value WR steals in your draft this season.
The Giants won’t do anything but run the ball. Tiki Barber all day long. Tiki owners, rejoice, your time has finally arrived. Tiki in for 1 TD, Brandon Jacobs checks in with 2 though no where near the yards that Tiki will put up, Jay Feely drops two in between the uprights and we have our final.
Giants 27 – Texans 17
Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears Sunday 1:00p
If I could somehow make your computer play “Taps” right now I would. Although, there will be a couple of twists to this game. Yes the Bears are going to blow the Dolphins out but offensively they will be just average. All your usual suspects, Thomas Jones, Rex Grossman, Mushin Muhammad, Bernard Berrian and Desmond Clark all can get into your lineup but use them only if you have to or are looking for a 3rd or 4th to plug in. The Bears will score a couple with their D to push the score up as Joey Harrington will make mistakes and their run D will force turnovers.
The Dolphins aren’t completely cooked. Although Joey Harrington will make mistakes, if you aren’t penalized for interceptions, I expect 3, he actually makes a decent spot start. Chris Chambers is no slouch and Harrington found the healthy again Marty Booker a lot last week. The Dolphins will be able to leave a mark in the air. If you start Ronnie Brown, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Bears 40 – Dolphins 14
Kansas City Chiefs at St. Louis Rams Sunday 1:00p
The Chiefs offense is going to have their way with the Rams. Larry Johnson will be rumbling and Damon Huard to Tony Gonzalez and Eddie Kennison will be alive and well. Expect some offense in this game.
The Rams will have a tougher time on the ground with Steven Jackson though he still makes a serviceable start with all the goal line opportunities he’ll see. The Rams will do it in the air however with Torry Holt and another Kevin Curtis sighting. Marc Bulger is in for a solid day.
Rams in a nail biter.
Rams 31 – Chiefs 30
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers Sunday 4:05p
Not only did the Patriots expose the Vikings last Monday, but they handed the key to cracking the Vikings to everyone else. The 49’ers defense is as bad as it gets so the Vikings will move the ball both on the ground with Chester Taylor and in the air to maybe Troy Williamson. I say maybe because not even this author can figure out who the Vikings are trying to throw to, never mind who they do throw to. This makes a very nice match up for what Troy Williamson can bring to the table.
The 49’ers are going to counter with, you guessed it, 4 and 5 wide sets ala New England until the Vikings figure out how to prevent it. Alex Smith should be fine and Antonio Bryant will check in with a good day at the office. Be concerned with Frank Gore this weekend. Be very concerned.
49’ers 28 – Vikings 24
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday 4:15p
Man, I was up and down Tatum Bell last week and boy was I right that the Broncos running game was going to roll. Wrong Bell though. Not my fault as the switching of the Bells happened just before game time. Look for another decent day from -ahem- Bell and worthy of a lineup spot. Stay away from the Broncos passing game, all of it.
The Steelers face a tough opponent in the Broncos as they can effectively shut the run down and the Broncos secondary ball hawks first then tries to make the play. I do not like Willie Parker to do much of anything this Sunday. The Steelers however will rally around Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward will show the Broncos secondary a thing or two about physical play.
Steelers 28 – Broncos 20
Cleveland Browns at San Diego Chargers Sunday 4:15p
I’ll make this easy. All Browns on your bench – NOW Mister/Missie!
In case you haven’t heard, the Chargers have this guy named LaDainian Tomlinson and he’s pretty good. Good enough to win this one on his own.
Chargers 32 – Browns 20
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots Sunday 8:15p
You know, it’s funny. I watch our own Paul Fountain pick his Broncos every week in the Pick ’em pool here at Fantasy Sharks. Without fail, ink in the Broncos for him. I also watch our very own Pat Smith pick his Giants every week. Without fail, ink in the Giants for him. So why oh why, would I pick the Vikings over the Patriots when I KNEW the rash I’d take from everyone around me when the Patriots kicked their hiney’s up and down the field on Monday? Let me just say, trick or treating was difficult with the jeers, door slammings and occasional egg at the one guy in New England that picked the Vikings. It’s a lonely world sometimes. Murph, your brother sent your message, I realize I’m a dumb ass, thanks for the confirmation.
The Colts are the Colts and they’re a heck of a team. Joseph Addai is coming on but he hasn’t run into the Patriots D or anything like it yet. Best o’ luck to you Mr. Addai. You always play the Colts passing game of course and this is no exception. Not even the Patriots can completely shut down Peyton Manning and crew. Marvin Harrison will be double teamed all day which will open up Reggie Wayne as Ellis Hobbs does not match up well with him.
The Patriots will bring their Colts game plan into Foxboro and execute it well. Do not expect to see a lot of 5 wide sets but rather, expect to see a lot of Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney with Maroney making the better start. He will break a couple of long ones against the Colts and will be a differentiating factor though Corey Dillon will still be the goal line back. Tom Brady helps to move the chains with whomever is open at the time.
In Foxboro, there is no contest, Patriots by a TD!! That’s right! The guy in New England is actually taking the team from New England. Now please, everyone, stop trying to drive me off the road and while that one fingered salute seems to look like fun, I’m having a tough time figuring out why it is always directed at me?
Patriots 34 – Colts 27
Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks Monday 8:30p
The Raiders actually make a game of this with some strong running from LaMont Jordan (check injury report.) Even their passing game with Randy Moss and their new found 2nd WR, Jerry Porter get in in the action.
The Seahawks will struggle statistically as Maurice Morris is turning out to be not all that but Seneca Wallace could be serviceable enough to get the job done. It doesn’t stink that he has 3 or even 4 first class WR’s to throw the ball to.
The Raiders could very well bring this one home and it is a coin flip in my mind, but in Seattle, the Seahawks will have some tricks in store for the Raiders and will game plan better than the Raiders are capable of doing. The coaching staff win this game for the Seahawks but the Raiders players rack up better fantasy numbers.
Seahawks 24 – Raiders 23