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Week 9

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

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

Atlanta (-2) at Miami 1:00 p.m
The Falcons were on a bye last week and it came at a good time. They need to find a way to get more of a passing game to go along with their awesome running game. Vick is just not a fantasy QB that you can depend on right now but winning is what we are talking about. Dunn is again underrated and should be starting in all leagues. With Duckett out he will be get a majority of the carries but might have some trouble against a good Dolphins defense.

The Dolphins are getting better. They got Ricky involved with Brown and they are making a great one-two punch. Kind of a thunder and lightning situation. I would think they would try and utilize this, as the Falcons have been weak on their run defense. But they will probably put several folks in the box, as they know the Falcons refuse to throw on a regular basis. I wouldn’t consider anyone in the Dolphins pass game this week.

Final Score: Falcons 20, Dolphins 16

Carolina (-1.5) at Tampa Bay 1:00 p.m.
The Panthers are one of hottest teams in football and the combo of Delhomme and Smith seems unstoppable. The defense is a still a little bit of a concern but they are getting better. They are again looking like the team to beat in the West. They are still going to have some trouble, as this defense they are facing is a good one. Other than those two guys I would only start any one else if I had no choice.

The bucs looked lost with Simms under center. Quite frankly he sucked as a college player and he sucks as a pro. He just doesn’t read defenses well and make poor decisions or no decisions. Either way he sucks. This offense will suffer without a true leader behind center. I would be careful starting any of things guys besides Cadillac.

Final Score: Panthers 24, Bucs 13

Cincinnati at Baltimore (+3) 1:00 p.m.
Believe it or not I am going with the Ravens this week. I think they showed a little courage going into Pittsburgh and giving the Steelers all they could handle even without the two Defensive Players of the Year. Wright looked decent and the run game was a little better. Still not up to Jamal’s standards. At the end of the day I think they will have enough in the tank to take this one straight up.

The Bengals looked average last week on offense but TJ is back and they should be ok. However I see some chinks in the armor and really think they are primed for a letdown week. This defense is good but still not a Super Bowl caliber defense. I think they have some tough sledding with their schedule on the way out but this one will slip by them. I would play Palmer, Johnson, and Johnson.

Final Score: Ravens 24, Bengals 21

Detroit at Minnesota (+1.5) 1:00 p.m.
Could it get any worse for the Vikings? Lose the game and the QB. Culpepper they say may never be the same with tearing every ligament within his knee. They were not doing that great anyway and it seems like it is time to pack it in. However that is why they will win this one. I think B Johnson is certainly a capable QB and he might get them to rally a little. They can move the ball on the defense.

The Lions are getting healthy but not healthy enough. Garcia will do well in this game but might throw a pick or two. I guess my problem with the Lions is lack of urgency and I think that is a direct reflection on the coach. Coach M is a player’s coach and most of the time that doesn’t equate to wins…ask Tice. Play most offensive stars on this team, as this may be shoot-out.

Final Score: Vikings 28, Lions 24

Houston (+13.5) at Jacksonville 1:00 p.m.
If the Rams could shut down the Jaguars in the second half last week, can’t the Texans do the same thing? Sure, but they’ll probably be down 27-10 at the half with the game already out of reach.

The Texans have just one bankable fantasy option this week — Domanick Davis. But at least one Texans WR should catch a TD — it’s just a bitch figuring out who it will be. You’ll have better luck guessing the age of a Cuban national with a 95-MPH fastball. The Jaguars should storm the Texans early and often with a variety of offensive weapons. Look for Leftwich, Taylor, Jimmy Smith and even TE George Wrightster to put up good numbers this week at home.

Final Score: Jags 34, Texans 17

Oakland (+4.5) at Kansas City 1:00 p.m.
These teams have been putting up big points against each other for years, and the old AFL rivalry hasn’t lost much of its juice since the days of Al Davis and Hank Stram. The Raiders will get good performances from Collins, Jordan, Moss, and Jerry Porter, the oft-maligned #2 man that came up huge last week, and the team has shown signs of improvement. Looks like the Men in Black are starting to get it back.

The Chiefs offense shouldn’t be slowed even if Priest Holmes can’t go after the mild head trauma he suffered last week. Larry Johnson has been waiting for an opportunity, and if Holmes isn’t 100 percent, LJ is obviously a capable backup. He should probably be in your fantasy lineup even if Priest gets the nod at gametime. Green, Kennison and Gonzalez are also must-plays.

Final Score: Chiefs 31, Raiders 28

San Diego (-6.5) at N.Y. Jets 1:00 p.m.
This is a pretty simple game from a fantasy perspective, with the Chargers dominating the game from start to finish. The Chargers have three excellent options in Brees, Tomlinson and Gates, and a possibly decent play in McCardell, but the Bolts will do most of their damage with LT. The Jets haven’t yet determined how to effectively use their 41-year-old QB outside of an overpaid tackling dummy. But San Diego’s potent offense should build enough of a lead to give Testaverde and company some opportunities for garbage points. Play Vinny, Lavernues Coles and Justin McCareins, but watch out for Curtis Martin, who won’t get a lot of carries with the Jets trailing early against the Bolts’ solid run defense.

Final Score: Chargers 37, Jets 20

Tennessee (+3) at Cleveland 1:00 p.m.
This matchup features two bad teams with little to no chance of making the playoffs. If it wasn’t for fantasy football, we wouldn’t be paying attention, so thank your lucky stars for the dorks like us that invented it in the early to mid 1970s and have at it. The Titans are capable of putting up some points, but the most important thing for you to do as a Steve McNair owner is to listen intently to Chris Mortensen this Sunday morning for his status. Volek is a capable backup, although his favorite target, Drew Bennett, is out and WR options are slim. Chris Brown surprised last week with a good performance, but keep an eye on his status since he’s very capable of getting injured in pre-game warm-ups. Somebody’s going to score a couple TDs against this weak Browns team, and it may even be — albeit by default — rookie WR Courtney Roby, the proverbial last man standing. The Browns are the most pathetic team in the league from a fantasy perspective, with the possible exception of the Ravens, who’s defense sometimes cores more than most of their offensive players. Reuben Droughns and Braylon Edwards stick out as the only options you should even consider.

Final Score: Titans 27, Browns 17

Chicago (-3) at New Orleans 4:05 p.m.
Given the bad karma the Saints have been getting this year, I’d like to say they’re a lock at home, but the only problem is that they’re never really the home team. Even in Baton Rouge, owner Tom Benson was scuffling in the parking lot with an enraged fan like Mike Tyson tussling with Mitch “Blood” Green. The Bears, however, seem to be a team of overachievers. Kyle Orton is doing his best late 90’s era Trent Dilfer impression, and Thomas Jones, when healthy, is playing consistently. The bruised ribs are a concern, so watch the injury report. If Jones can’t go on Sunday, look for Cedric Benson, who showed last week he can pick up where TJ leaves off. WR Muhsin Muhammed is another solid play, but be careful jumping the gun and inserting Justin Gage into your lineup to replace Mark Bradley, who is done for the season. The Saints will have trouble running the ball against the Bears, but should get mediocre to okay performances from Brooks, Horn and Stallworth. Unfortunately, things are just not right in the state of Louisiana just yet, and it’s having an effect on the football played there.

Final Score: Bears 23, Saints 17

N.Y. Giants (-10) at San Francisco 4:05 p.m.
What follows an opening season win, five straight losses and then another win. You guessed it, another five straight losses! The Giants, however, are not talking trash about San Francisco this week, but instead killing them with respect. On Sunday, they’ll kill them with Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress. Eli Manning, Shockey and probably even Toomer will also get into the mix, posting solid number against a team that gave up 52 to the Redskins, who the Giants shut out 36-0 last week.

The 49ers have their work cut out for them, since they’re playing against a potent offense that’s only improving. Offensively, they might grab a few garbage points late, but the Redskins didn’t and Tom Coughlin isn’t really the charitable sort. Barlow has been okay at home, but the Giants should focus on him and shut down this entire offense. I’ll give them 1-2 TDs and a couple field goals, maximum.

Final Score: Giants 34, 49ers 20

Seattle (-4) at Arizona 4:05 p.m
I have been going with some dogs this week but I don’t feel good about this one. The Cards are going back to Warner but what good will that do? He is a turnover machine and I just don’t think we will do much behind the offensive line that leaks more than my grandmother’s faucet. He will be blasted about 10 times in this game and will be looking like he should be in a retirement home. It just won’t work out and don’t forget Boldin will be out in this one. Bryant Johnson would be a good pick-up

The Seahawks are coming off their bye and must be feeling good after narrowly escaping with a victory against the Pokes. I would have went and got a lottery ticket after that gift. But this one should no be that hard. They have too much offense and a surprisingly decent defense. They will be too much for the Cards to handle and will punish them accordingly.

Final Score: Hawks 32, Cards 21

Pittsburgh at Green Bay 4:15 p.m. No line
This one was a no-liner at mid-week. I really don’t care about the line. The Packers just can’t get anything going on offense and Brett Favre is forcing things be throwing a billion picks. They have Tony Fisher in there and that can’t be good. However playing Driver would be good as he is the only threat they have. The defense will get cleat marks on their backs as the Steelers will be running like they stole something.

Here we go…Steelers are better than they were last week. They should have easily handled the Ravens and let them stick around too long. They are too good for that. You have to put people away when they are on the ropes. Understand this though..Big Ben has got to eventually control games when the running game is not going as planned. A good defensive coach will test him. He has the weapons and needs to test defenses. They will kill the Packers

Final Score: Steelers 30, Packers 13

Philadelphia at Washington 8:30 p.m. No Line
Philly is having some problems. Looks like Owens will miss this one and McNabb is hurting. They got smothered by Denver in the first quarter and had no answers for their running game after doing such a good job against LT. Without Owens this will be tough. Actually it will be tough with him. However the Skins did not play well either last week. Play McNabb as he will get his numbers and Owens if he is in there. Westbrook may be the most valuable as the Eagles are sure to run more.

The Skins looked horrible as the Giants just manhandled them on both sides of the ball. As I mentioned before on this column that Brunell would come down to earth. I think the clock may have struck 12 on the QB and he might have trouble recovering. I here that Portis will be ok but his stat line could have been much better as he only managed 9 yards rushing. I think they get beat in this one with or without Owens.

Final Score: Eagles 23, Skins 17

Indianapolis (-3) at New England 9:00 p.m. Monday
A difficult game to handicap from a fantasy perspective, anything could happen this Monday night in Foxboro, given the Pats historical domination of Indy but recent trouble stopping the run. The Colts will favor heavy doses of Edgerrin James and mix in Dominic Rhodes to keep Edge fresh, but don’t look for silly passes into coverage from Peyton Manning. He has learned his lesson and will forego the numbers to get the win. Still, Manning, Harrison and Reggie Wayne are acceptable plays against a defense that’s been unpredictable at times this season. The Patriots hold the keys to the kingdom, but the Colts are galloping toward the castle. Look for Tom Brady to air it out and try to get staked to an early lead by hitting Deion Branch. Corey Dillon seems to be okay and should produce decent numbers, but beware playing the other receivers, including Givens and both tight ends, Graham and Watson. Vinatieri might kick six field goals this game, including the game-winner at the buzzer.

Final Score: Patriots 25, Colts 24