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Week 8

Week 8
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
CHI at DET - CB TB at SF - AD
CLE at HOU - CB KC at SD - CB
GB at CIN - CB MIA at NO - CB
JAX at STL - AD  
MIN at CAR - AD Sunday - 8:30 PM EST
OAK at TEN - AD BUF at NE - AD
WAS at NYG - AD Monday - 9:00 PM EST
  BAL at PIT - CB

Last Week's Projections
(7-7) Straight Up - 50.0%
(7-7) Against The Spread - 50.0%

Arizona at Dallas (-9) 1:00 p.m
The Pokes choked again in the crunch against the Seahawks last week. Dallas dominated defensively from start to finish. However the old Bledsoe showed up and threw maybe the biggest bone-head pass I have ever seen. There was no way in the Land of Oz he was going to get that pass to Glenn, unless it mysteriously passed through the defender. They got rid of Cortez after he missed his 4th 20-yarder of the season. It was about time. I don't know if Jones will be ready for this one. Pick up Barber if he is available. He proved to be a pretty good runner.

The McCown experience keeps on trucking. He didn't do as good as I would have thought against an average Titans defense. He only posted 140 yards and 1 TD. The offense really didn't play that well but the defense came to play last week. They won the game and that is what matters. It looks as though they will still go with Josh this week over Warner but if he struggles and they are down early you might see Green make the switch. It looks like he might give Arrington some more looks. No catches for Boldin last week. Not good. I think that they will struggle to score and the Pokes will be looking to right the ship.

Final Score: Pokes 30, Cards 17

Chicago at Detroit (-3) 1:00 p.m
Thank God for Garcia. You know the folks in Mo-Town are happy to see some balls being thrown downfield. If you have Harrington on your roster you can ditch him. As long as Garcia stays healthy then you will see him for the rest of the year. Its not that Garcia went wild but he opened it up a little and made no mistakes. He didn't get sacked either. It looks as though the value for all their receivers as well as Jones is looking up. But think about benching them this week. Chicago is a tough defense for anyone to score on.

The Bears won the war of offensive ineptness. The battle between the Bears and the Ravens was not a game that was good for TV. Other than Thomas Jones, there was not that much offense in this game. Jones has been crazy this year and has left the Bears looking pretty stupid for wasting a draft pick on Benson. I think that Orton is just not going to get much going in this one and they Garcia is much better than Wright. The Bears will hang in but will lose by a TD at the end.

Final Score: Lions 20, Bears 13

Cleveland at Houston (-2) 1:00 p.m
I predict the Texans will win this week!! How is that for a limb?? The Texans are way over due and tried the right thing by running the ball alot. That strategy really took the ball out of Carr's hands. This is not good from a fantasy perspective but good from a trying to win perspective. But they just didn't have enough to take down the best team in the land. Their run defense is the biggest issue and the Browns can't run with consistency. Play Davis but that wraps is up.

The Browns might have a worse offense. Dilfer, after starting the season red hot was held to 73 yards passing. Jesus!! He just didn't have any answers after the game and is lucky that he will get the starting nod this week. Their best bet is to run Droughns until he drops and try to minimize Dilfer's mistakes. Simply, three interceptions is not going to cut it. This is far from a lock but I think this might be the week.

Final Score: Texans 21, Browns 17

Green Bay at Cincinnati (-9) 1:00 p.m
Last week had to be disappointing for Favre. First he loses a heart breaker to a team that just go off a boat then it just keeps getting worse for the Pack as they have to go the rest of the way without Green. With Davenport already on the shelf it looks like it is Tony Fisher for the rest of the way. That is not a good thing by the way. Favre still is putting up impressive numbers and his only real weapon has to be Driver so play both in this game. But they will come at Favre will reckless abandon.

Boy did a team get manhandled or what? Just when you thought the Bengals were ready to take over the division and be the new kings the old kings stepped up and stomped all over them. The Bengals had no answer for the Steelers running game. The feeling I got was that they are a little soft in the middle and will need to be more physical with bigger players to take a team like the Steelers. However we are not talking about the Steelers here. If the Bengals are looking towards the playoffs then they need to discard the Packers with ease. You have to put team like this away if you are playoff team. A team on the ropes. Play all the offensive stars in this one as they are sure to score alot.

Final Score: Bengals 33, Packers 20

Jacksonville (No Line) at St. Louis 1:00 p.m.
Rams QB Marc Bulger has a sprained AC joint in his right, throwing shoulder, Torry Holt missed his first game of his NFL career last Sunday because of a strain in his posterior cruciate ligament, Isaac Bruce has turf toe, the Rams front office has stopped receiving phone calls from ailing head coach Mike Martz, who has a heart infection, and defensive end Leonard Little missed Sunday’s game because his brother was shot to death last Tuesday. Karmically speaking, things have not been going well for the 1999 Super Bowl champs. The Jaguars should be able to capitalize on the Rams misfortunes. Byron Leftwich faces an inept Rams secondary that often yields big stats to opposing QBs and RB Fred Taylor is back after nursing an ankle injury — with the help of a bye.

I like Leftwich, Taylor and Jimmy Smith, with backup RB Greg Jones even a possibility for some stats and a score if the Jags get up big early. The Rams managerial power struggle hasn’t helped them recover from the injuries that have plagued them as of late, and the offensive performances will continue to suffer until the team gets some direction. Interim coach Joe Vitt is a defensive guy and has little more than a cool name working for him, so don’t expect more than 7-13 points from the Rams offense this week. RB Stephen Jackson will shoulder much of the load this week, Holt probably wont platy (although he should be in your lineup if he does) and WR Kevin Curtis is the only receiver that makes any real sense in the current vacuum. Waiver wires may also offer WR Dane Looker as a possibility in a pinch, but his inconsistency is a huge liability.

Final Score: Jags 30, Rams 13

Minnesota (+8) at Carolina 1:00 p.m.
I’ll be perfectly honest — it’s not often that I weigh the statistical importance of road performance in making my fantasy selections from week to week. But it has come to my attention from a couple of astute readers out there that the Vikings, and especially their mercurial quarterback, suck pretty bad outside of Minnesota. The Vikings problems away from home should continue this week. Culpepper has tossed nine picks and has thrown for just one touchdown on the road this season, and the Panthers defense will be successful in forcing both turnovers and general malaise for the Minnesota O. Whatever numbers you get from these guys will be minimal and garbage time-induced. The Panthers have several solid options this week — given the Vikings poor defense — including QB Jake Delhomme, WR Steve Smith, RB Stephen Davis and TE Kris Mangum, and should put up lots of points at home.

Final Score: Panthers 31, Vikings 17

Oakland (Pick) at Tennessee 1:00 p.m.
While this game is still off the boards, I see it materializing as a pick, since the Raiders are 2-4 coming off a big win over Buffalo and the 2-5 Titans are at home coming off a 20-10 loss to Arizona. Doesn’t it sound like a wash to you? The Raiders should put up BUKU points against the Titans, who they had a scoring fest with last year that featured big numbers from Kerry Collins. Lamont Jordan is on fire, and a healthy Randy Moss will also light up the scoreboard, but watch the injury report and use WRs Jerry Porter and Doug Gabriel with even more confidence if Moss doesn’t go.

The Titans should see the return of Steve McNair this week, but even if Billy Volek plays in McNair’s absence, he should still put up good numbers — as he did last year versus Oakland. Travis Henry is back, and with Chris Brown suffering a stinger last week, he might be the go-to guy. Watch the injury report closely as it develops this week, but in any event, play the other receivers, including wideout Tyrone Calico and both TEs (Kinney and Troupe) if you’ve got ‘em.

Final Score: Raiders 34, Titans 27

Washington (+2.5) at N.Y. Giants 1:00 p.m.
A decade ago, this would have been a completely different type of game, but given the offensive attributes of these NFC East rivals right now, we should be in for a (do I dare say it?) veritable scoring bonanza. The Redskins scored 52 points last week, their highest total since a 56-17 win over Atlanta in 1991. Other than the apocalyptic situation that has the Bears and Detroit leading the NFC North, the Redskins season has been the biggest surprise of 2005. But the fairy tale should soon be over. Brunell, Portis, Moss and Cooley are all hot enough to start this week, but I have a feeling they all won’t be must-plays after Week 8. Either somebody’s going down, or somebody’s going to get exposed. The Giants offense is a well-oiled machine that lacks only big-game experience and a little credibility. Plaxico Burress is turning into the #1 receiver that everyone thought he would be out of college, and Eli Manning has been solid engineering the team’s drives. Barber should have an okay week, as should Shockey and Toomer, but Manning and Burress will be the guys putting up the big numbers.

Final Score: Giants 27, Redskins 24

Philadelphia (+3.5) at Denver 4:15 p.m.
Pundits are saying the Eagles won’t go anywhere in the playoffs unless they can run, and while that might be true, they might not even make the playoffs. I’m rooting against them. The Eagles should be able, however, to dispatch the Broncos this week by exposing the Denver secondary with Owens, Greg Lewis, L.J. Smith and Westbrook catching passes out of the backfield. Start McNabb and those guys with confidence. The Broncos offense has been weak an ineffectual, with running statistics getting split by ex-Marine Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell. Did I mention that I hated Mike Shanahan with a passion usually reserved for ignorance and uncommon human suffering? Plummer will most likely throw some picks, and Rod Smith will most likely take some Centrum Silver. I hate to say it, but the best Broncos starter is still Jason Elam.

Final Score: Eagles 23, Broncos 17

Tampa Bay (-11) at San Francisco 4:15 p.m.
With Griese out, the Bucs offense falls into the capable hands of Steve DeBerg — I mean, Phil Simms — I mean, Chris Simms. Whew, now that’s out of the way, let us proceed with the debacle. The Bucs will get good numbers from Simms, Galloway and Cadillac (if he starts), with the Michaels (Clayton and Pittman) even chipping in a little. Of course, Pittman will be a must-play if Carnell Wiliams is unavailable and he gets the starting nod, and with the 49ers on the docket, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chucky left the Caddy in the driveway for another week. I’m not even going to address the 49ers, expect to say they got trounced by 35 at home versus Washington last week. Nuff said.

Final Score: Bucs 31, 49ers 13

Kansas City at San Diego (-6) 4:05 p.m
Best 3-4 team in history. It seems as though Marty got "Parcells" disease last week. Again a team is just too conservative down the stretch and calls plays they do not help its cause. The result was a long field goal that got blocked and returned for a TD. Eagles with the score and the game is over. LT had a horrible day as the line did absolutely nothing to stop Trotter and the gang. That was just a pitiful display. Ah, but hopes springs eternal as the Chiefs and their soft D come to town. You can bet they give LT the ball a few times. Not bad numbers for Bees (299 yards, 2TDs) and look for him to have a good game this week.

A game that was moved up a couple of days you would think would favor the home team. Guess again. The firm of Johnson and Holmes took care of any delusions that the Dolphins could hang. Both ran for close to 100 yards and 3 TDs between the two of them. Green looked much better with 289 yards. By gosh we even had a Tony G sighting. This will be a pretty high scoring contest but I think the Chargers D is better and they need it more.

Final Score: Chargers 28, Chiefs 20

Miami at New Orleans (-2) 4:05 p.m
Bring on Rosenfels!! The S.S. Frerotte has just hit an iceberg. He did nothing last week with only 125 yards passing and 1 interception. I think it might be time to throw in the towel and give the kid a shot. First pass?? Went for 77 yards and a TD to Chambers. Brown is starting to pull a Cadillac impression and has looked great as of late. He will continue to keep Ricky's touches to a minimum. I wouldn't touch anyone other than Brown on this team.

Another prediction is that the Saints will win this one. They will be back in Louisiana for the first time this weekend. The really had the Rams on the ropes but just stopped paying and allowed them get back in it with mistakes. They will be pumped up for this one. Hakim and Stallworth would be good plays along with Brooks.

Final Score: Saints 24, Dolphins 17

Buffalo (+9) at New England 8:30 p.m.
Are the Patriots on their last legs as perennial Super Bowl contenders? Has the magic salve that Bill Belichick applied liberally to the oft-injured defense over the past few years finally reached its expiration date? Is Tom Brady really just a common, third-string QB that sold his soul to the devil for three Super Bowl rings? Find the answers to these questions, and more, this Sunday after Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Andy Rooney and all the other old bastards at 60 Minutes wrap up their bullshit this Sunday on CBS and you switch to ESPN to watch the Bills and Patriots. The Bills are a team capable of scoring some points and forcing some turnovers, if they can get to opposing quarterbacks. They’ll be hard-pressed to do both of those this week against the Pats, but they will get good performances from Kelly Holcomb, Willis McGahee and Lee Evans, who is emerging as a Holcomb’s go-to guy over the older, more decrepit Eric Moulds.

The Pats will probably go back to what’s been successful, spread the field and get serviceable games from Brady, Dillon, and Branch. A TE touchdown is probably overdue for the Pats, and it’s a common thing in the games between the Bills and Patriots. If you’re guessing between Ben Watson and Dan Graham, just go with Graham and pray you’re correct.

Final Score: Pats 24, Bills 20

Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-9 1/2) 9:00 p.m
Pretty easy one here. Pittsburgh is the toughest team in football and will run the ball all over the Ravens. The Ravens will be without Lewis and Reed so you can forget it. I will sum this one up in one paragraph as the Steelers D against A Wright is downright against the rules. Look for this to be over by halftime and we can all get to sleep a little earlier.

Final Score: Steelers 35, Ravens 13