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Week 7

Week 7
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
PHI at CLE - CB NO at OAK - AD
SD at CAR - CB SEA at ARI - AD
STL at MIA - CB NYJ at NE - CB
TEN at MIN - CB DAL at GB - CB
JAX at IND - CB  
ATL at KC - AD Monday - 9:00 PM EST
CHI at TB - AD  
DET at NYG - AD  

Bye Weeks: Houston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington

Last Week's Projections
(8-6) Straight Up - 57.1%
(10-4) Against The Spread - 71.4%

For The Season
(53-35) Straight Up - 60.2%
(51-36-1) Against The Spread - 59.3%

Philadelphia (-7) at Cleveland, 1:00 pm
Cleveland surprised me by actually deciding to show up last week. I was not expecting the Browns to come out shooting against the Bengals. There is so much in-fighting there I thought they were just about done. But it wasn't the first time I have been wrong. Although overall I was 8 for 13 total against the line last week. The games I wrote about were not as good. But my greatness will come out this week. Cleveland had some good offensive movement as Garcia looked like his old self. He posted 310 yards and four TDS. William Green came alive and put his name above Suggs this week rushing. However Suggs had 100 yards receiving. It is like a dang revolving door with these guys. You never know which one is going to show up and perform. Morgan was shipped off to Big D and the disgruntled Antonio Bryant will be Garcia's main man. All is rosy except for the fact the Eagles are coming to town. Time to hide Browns defense.

Again I say the Eagles will lose. Again it won't be this week. As expected the Eagles laid the woods to the fading Panthers by 22 last week. McNabb was ok but he didn't need to be great since they were up 23-0 by the fourth quarter and the Eagles defense was busy forcing 4 Delhomme interceptions. Owens had 123 yards by halftime and did not catch another ball the rest of the game. From a fantasy perspective this was an off game by the big three of this team McNabb, Owens, and Westbrook as they have been putting up incredible numbers through 5 weeks. I think they will take advantage of the Browns beat up defense and again post solid numbers yet not spectacular.

Final Score: Philly 28, Browns 17

San Diego (+3) at Carolina, 1:00 pm
I tell you folks I am a believer in Marty Ball. Even with Caldwell going down the Chargers made some serious moves this week picking up Bobby Shaw and trading for McCardell. That gives this team a legitimate two receivers to go along with Antonio Gates. This team was about two plays away from beating Atlanta at home as they held a 17-7 lead going into the 4th quarter. This team is young but they play hard and never give up. In all seriousness this team should not be winning any games at all. But Marty has them believing. I think Brees is getting settled in and making good throws without many mistakes. He is currently 5th in the NFL with a 98.3 passer rating. His completion percentage is 64%. He has a 9 to 3 TD to interceptions ratio. Not bad. Gates is just a stud. He has more yards (422) than any other TE in the league. Start Tomlinson and Gates. Brees would not be bad either if you have to.

Carolina's re-match with Philly was not much of one. They were manhandled the whole game and looked over matched at times. One pass I saw was Manning vs. T.O. and the latter running by him for a 50-yard catch pretty effortlessly. Bad sign of the day. Looked much different last January. Carolina should put some points on the board put that Charger D has been tough. Still not allowing a 100-yard rusher all year. 2nd in the league as a matter of fact. The Panther offense is dependent on the running game to get it started. If Stephen Davis does not get off to a good start that will not be a good sign for this team. I think they will have a difficult time moving the ball and should lose this game. Not many good starts this week. Stay away from all if you can.

Final Score: Chargers 22, Panthers 21

St. Louis (-6) at Miami, 1:00 pm
Is that the St. Louis Rams "Greatest Show on Turf" back again?? St. Louis again puts on a show in the 4th to come back and beat the Bucs 28-21. Running game looked a little slow but that can be expected as the Bucs have always been stellar in that area. Torry Holt showed some 2003 with a 124-yard 2 TD performance. Bulger pulled another one out of the hat. This guy is just winner. Having to deal with Martz complicated system I think he is handling himself beautifully. The defense is still a sore spot. They are 27th overall. Allowing 370 yards a game. More importantly, only 6 takeaways, which is tied for 3rd worse in the league. They also have a dismal -5 differential. Get the picture? They have a great offense but have the tendency to give the game away. In any event, they should handle Dolphins fairly easily but do not expect crazy numbers as the Dolphins D is still stout.

Miami finished the battle for worse last week and lost or won depending on the context. This team I have said may go 0-16 this year. They have a real chance. They got split open by McGahee by 111 yards and did practically nothing on offense. About 220 yards against a Bills defense that normally is happy to give up more. There really is no reason to continue typing as this team has nobody besides it's defense you would want anyway. As a matter of fact I think we should take this team out of the match-up list next week.

Final Score: Rams 24, Dolphins 10

Tennessee at Minnesota (-7), 1:00 pm
It bears watching as to what the status of Moss is. Even though Culpepper went completely nuts without him it doesn't matter. Moss has the ability to make other receivers look good. Just by the coverage he commands. Without him, teams are able to change their game plans. That being said Culpepper is on such a roll it might not matter. He is on pace to pass for over 5000K in yards and over 50 TDS. Three games out of 6 where he has thrown for 5 TDS?? You have got to be kidding me!! I watched that game from start to finish and I don't know of anyone who is more dialed in than this guy. Every receiver on this team looked good. From Moss to Wiggins they all looked like superstars. But the real find is this Moore kid. He had 187 yards of total offense and really kept the Saints on their toes. The one drawback of this team is the defense. The offense scores so easily it seems the defense is not as aggressive knowing how good the offense is. Just an observation. Taking all that into consideration start Culpepper, Moss, Burleson, Robinson, Moore and Fran Tarkenton.

Tennessee pulled a 180 and gave the Texans a gift with 4 interceptions they lead to scores. Houston just looked more balanced with all phases of the offense. McNair just looks as though he has no weapons to throw to. The Texans defense is getting better but this was a team that got torched by Culpepper for 5 TDS the week before. They should have been able to put up more points. Interceptions did this team in and they really never got on track offensively. Chris Brown looks hit or miss with a lackluster 52-yard day. I would start McNair, Brown, and Mason, as the Minnesota D will give up points and yards.

Final Score: Vikings 30, Titans 21

Jacksonville (+9 ˝) at Indianapolis, 1:00 pm
Although I might regret it as the Jags are a different team at home. I like them to cover the 9 points. They did a great job of hanging in there against the Chiefs and came back to win it in the end. The almighty Holmes was held to 75 yards rushing. Leftwich is really hitting on all cylinders as he looks like he will be a force for years to come. Hitting over 70% of his passes and throwing for 2 scores. Including a gorgeous 64 yarder to Taylor. I think the Jags know they need this one to try and catch up to Indianapolis and Coach Del Rio will be letting them know all week. Look to start Leftwich, Smith, and Taylor.

The Colts were off last week and are coming in sizzling. Stat wise they are one of the best. Manning is 2nd only to Culpepper in passer rating with a 114.1. He has 14 TDS next to only 3 interceptions. He is on pace to throw again for over 4000 yards and close to 40 TDS. Another typical bang-up Manning year. The Edge is looking to get a fat contract at the end of the year in Miami and has put up stellar numbers so far. He is 7th in rushing yards with 5 TDS. Where I think Manning has gotten better and the team as a whole is spreading the football out. Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley have done a great job of spreading the defense out and make room for Harrison. Harrison has not had one of his better years. Both above gentlemen have more yards than Harrison so far this year. I seem this offense as being similar to the Vikings. A lot of weapons to start. Go with Manning, Edge, Harrison, Wayne, and Stokely.

Final Score: Colts 27, Jags 21

Atlanta (+4) at Kansas City, 1:00 pm
Atlanta SQUEEEAAAKED one out over San Diego last week, 21-20, which is very characteristic of this team's season so far. They don't win huge very often, and seem to get by with a stifling pass rush an decent defense overall in the close ones. At 5-1, they have the second best record in the NFC.

The Falcons need to establish a running game early against the Chiefs, who can keep opponents at bay as long as the defense isn't facing 2nd and short. These guys have limited options on offense, although I feel that Vick will emerge as a consistent fantasy starter as the years goes on. Warrick Dunn, Alge Crumpler and Peerless Price, who should have a decent game against KC, round out the mix here. On defense, I would count on DL Patrick Kerney, LB Keith Brooking and DB Kevin Mathis.

The Chiefs are a measly 1-4 but need a win here to resurrect the season and make a move in a very bad division. Pundits still believe in them, hence the status as 4-point favorites. Trent Green will likely throw some interceptions, a factor that increases exponentially with blitz pressure. He'll counter that with a couple TD throws, but don't expect any amazing numbers against Atlanta. Priest Holmes is still a good start against a stalwart Atlanta run defense, basically because of his prolific touchdown tendencies. Johnnie Morton looks like the guy, and the veteran receiver will be Green's number two option after Tony Gonzalez, who is quietly having another good season. LB Monty Beisel hasn't blown up since early in the year, which is upsetting since he resembled like the real deal when I took him off waivers. Dl Eric Hicks might track down Vick is week, and LB Shawn Barber and DB Greg Wesley will make some plays.

Final Score: Chiefs 23, Falcons 17

Buffalo (+6.5) at Baltimore, 1:00 pm
If I were the Ravens, this is just the kind of matchup I'd want to see coming off a bye. You know this Buffalo team thinks they're tough after beating the Dolphins, right? Well, maybe not, but at least Drew Bledsoe is on the menu for Ray Lewis and the rest of the Baltimore defense, which means lots of sacks, INTs and fumbles.

The Bills offensive line will have its work cut out for it this week, and starting Bledsoe in that kind of environment would be a mistake. The Ravens will also be coming after RB Willis McGahee, looking to turn his legs into cheese once again. By the end of the game, we might be calling him Willie Fondue. Eric Moulds seems to always get his, but a TD may not be on his schedule. Don't know what to say, folks, other than stay away from Buffalo this week. IDP options include LB London Fletcher, LB Takeo Spikes (finally showed up), and DL Aaron Schobel.

The Ravens haven't gotten any wonderful fantasy games from Kyle Boller this year, and probably won't start this week. Jamal Lewis is serving the first half of a two-week suspension for his involvement in Cellular 2: Doin' Dirt in the Dirty Dirty. Start Chester Taylor, who has performed well this year, and give the thumbs up to Randy Hymes. Good things come to those who wait and play him. On defense, LB Ray Lewis, LB/DL Adalius Thomas and DB Ed Reed are money.

Final Score: Ravens 20, Bills 10

Chicago (+7) at Tampa Bay, 1:00 pm
This may be the last time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seven-point favorites.

The Bears are bad, really bad, but have a chance to play close against a team that hasn't stopped anything since Super Bowl XXXVII. QB Jonathan Quinn is useless, RB Thomas Jones is a good fantasy play but is overworked and underpaid, and the WRs are a complete crap shoot from week to week. Don't play anybody except Jones and Terrell, and only if you have to with Terrell. On defense, LB Brian Urlacher should have a huge game, and you can expect good things from DB Jerry Azumah, who returned last week with Urlacher and had a big play.

The Bucs have confusion at QB, a position you should stay away from anyway. Don't start Griese, although Michael Pittman and Michael Clayton are excellent plays. On defense, there should be several key performers, including LB Derrick Brooks, DB Ronde Barber (always puts up good numbers) and LB Jeff Gooch.

Final Score: Bucs 16, Bears 13

Detroit (+7) at N.Y. Giants, 1:00 pm
This game hinges on turnovers and the effectiveness of rookie WR Roy Williams, who missed the last couple weeks with a sprained ankle.

The Lions have played decent defense this year despite having injuries at linebacker, mainly because they done well with the pass rush and have scrappy, veteran D-backs. The offense can produce, but with QB Joey Harrington struggling to find healthy options at receiver and consistency out of the backfield, this unit is in trouble. Sit Harrington, whichever Detroit RB you may have and play Williams on the outside shot he's ready to go this week. If he's a no-go, there really isn't anyone to play this week on the Detroit offense. Decent IDP options include LB Earl Holmes, DB Brock Marion and DL James Hall & Shaun Rogers.

The Giants should get good fantasy numbers this week from their main four: Kurt Warner, Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey. I don't anticipate Warner having too much trouble chopping up the Detroit secondary, considering they have some injuries and trouble stopping physical receivers like Toomer and Shockey. On defense, it's all about DL Michael Strahan, LB Kevin Lewis and rookie DB Gibril Wilson, who's had a great year.

Final Score: Giants 24, Lions 13

New Orleans (+3) at Oakland, 4:15 pm
If the 2-4 New Orleans Saints ever needed a game to turn around a season, this is it. The Raiders have given up 150 points in six games, ranking somewhere near the bottom of the league with Kansas City and San Francisco, an opportunity the Saints will capitalize on.

The Saints should get good games from Aaron Brooks, Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn and Boo Williams. Donté Stallworth might even grab a TD pass as he emerges as a decent fantasy option, but watch his status since he's currently questionable. On defense, you can't do much better than DL Charles Grant, and LB Courtney Watson is having a good rookie season. The secondary also contains some IDP options, including DBs Jay Bellamy and Fred Thomas.

The Raiders are a team without an identity. Without Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, they're not the oldest anymore. Without LB Bill Romanowski and FB Jon Ritchie, they're not the craziest. They're not talented, aren't impressive in the red zone on offense, and can't stop anybody on defense. Don't start any skill positions except maybe WR Ronald Curry, who for some reason has been scoring like crazy. On defense, you can play DL Tyler Brayton and LB Danny Clark.

Final Score: Saints 30, Raiders 17

Seattle (-7) at Arizona, 4:15 pm
Ouch. This is like matching the United States Olympic Basketball Team against Argentina. No, wait, they killed us. Okay, the Cards are the U.S. Olympic team and the Seahawks are the Argentineans.

The Seahawks may have some success doing what no one else has done - torn up the Cardinals with great fantasy numbers. QB Matt Hasselbeck is a good play, and RB Shaun Alexander should have a big day. At WR, there is some uncertainty, with Koren Robinson facing a suspension. Darrell Jackson is probably the man this week, although veteran Jerry Rice is also a decent option if you're really hurting. Jerramy Stevens is a good play at TE, and he might even score. On defense, I'm still waiting for Anthony Simmons to have a big game, but since I didn't draft him it's not a big deal. Plus, he's hurt this week, so play LB Orlando Huff (not to be confused with Saints LB Orlando Ruff) and LB Isaiah Kacyvenski. DBs Ken Hamlin and Ken Lucas are solid in the secondary.

The Cards have their work cut out for them, considering nobody (except St. Louis) has really torn up the defense. If anything, you'll see a big game from rookie WR Larry Fitzgerald and maybe some decent numbers from Bryant Johnson and TE Freddie Jones. A big Pootie Tang Nay--no on the Tippie Ty to Josh McCown, Emmitt Smith, Troy Hambrick and WR Karl Williams. Sah da tay, ma damies. Start DB Adrian Wilson and LB Ronald McKinnon, who's got to start producing some time, especially with Alexander pounding at the Cards all day.

Final Score: Seahawks 27, Cards 17

N.Y. Jets at New England (-6), 4:05 pm
Not to take anything away from the Jets. I know they are 5-0. I know they are doing something historic in Gotham. However, the competition has not been stiff. Next up, the 20-0 defending champs. Not it is time for Pennington to come of age and prove all the doubters wrong. Both teams are 5-0 and this will begin the battle for the division. Last week the Jets beat up on a very weak Niners team but they don't make the schedule so let's give them their due. Pennington went 222 with over 60% in completions. Martin is still rolling. What a man!! Another 100-yard game with two touchdowns. I have to give him credit. He is just a bear this year when folks were writing him off. I would go with Pennington and Martin.

The Pats pulled of another victory against a 1-loss team that everyone had pegged for the Super Bowl. Seattle got behind early from some pressure by the Pats D. Corey Dillon is looking like his old self and taking over games. He had 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. The more comfortable he gets the better this team will be. Just another dimension of this offense. The ability to run out the clock will be critical in the playoffs. From what I understand the Pats were trying to sign Bobby Shaw at the last second but the Chargers stole him away. They are upset that Troy Brown and Deion Branch have been slow to come back from injuries. Play hurt boys!!! Be men!! But the Pat machine keeps on rolling. I don't think it will stop this week. The Jets are a solid opponent but being at home could be too much. New England will cover and reign supreme for #21.

Final Score: Pats 28, Jets 17

Dallas (+3 ˝) at Green Bay, 4:15 pm
Dallas basically gave the game away last week to the Steelers. What was that anyway?? Testaverde looked as though he just dropped the ball on the ground. They should have probably ran the ball and made the Steelers their last timeout, hindsight I suppose. Good day for Glenn as he was the lone bright spot on offense. He had 7 catches for 140 yards. I think they should use him more. Veteran receiver who knows how to find the weak spots. The problem with Dallas is still the running game. They do not have the ability to run out the clock when needed. This causes them to give up too many opportunities at the end of games. They have got to find a combination that works. I think they will be able to do some things against the Packer defense although they looked better as a team last week. Start Vinny, Key, and Glenn this week. We will see later if Quincy Morgan can make a difference.

Favre never ceases to amaze me. Looks like crap one week, comes back and throws for 257 yards the next. This team needs to play Davenport more. He had 6.2 yards per carry and a marvelous TD run for 13 yards. Donald Driver had a good game with 110 yards and 2 scores. I think the Dallas D should hold him in check. I get more e-mail when I bash the Packers than any other team. Everyone is so living on the past it is frightening. I hear the greatness of Favre and don't count him out and blah.blah.blah. Pitiful folks. Every team has to go through transition. If you don't see where the Packers have no chance to make the playoffs then you are blind. This defense has more holes than the Titanic. You will see a big fat one when Vinny lights them up for 300 this week. Start Favre, Green, and Driver.

Final Score: Pokes 21, Pack 17

Denver (-6) at Cincinnati, 9:00 pm
Denver's a pretty bad 5-1 team, and Cincy's damn good for 1-4. With that said, there should be more ball game than expected for Monday Night Football viewers. The Broncos have had success with Jake Plummer at the helm, which pains me to say almost as much as "Boston Red Sox - ALCS Champions." This week, Plummer should post decent numbers but will still throw picks. He just has a love affair with opposing defensive backs, what can I say? Mike Shanahan is obviously still high on Reuben Droughns, and Quentin Griffin is no longer being compared to Barry Sanders. Meanwhile, Rod Smith is having another good year and Ashley Lelie is finally breaking out with some scores. Play Droughns, Smith and Lelie, and consider Jeb Putzier as a decent TE option. IDP guys are, as always, LBs Al Wilson, D.J. Williams and Donnie Spragan & DBs Kenoy Kennedy and John Lynch.

The Bengals are a good team trapped inside the learning experience of Carson Palmer. I just haven't seen this guy do that much right since he's taken over. He sat all of last season and has received rave reviews leading his team to a 1-4 record. What gives? He reminds me of Jeff George more than anyone else and doesn't come up big when his team needs him. Sit Palmer and play the Johnsons - Chad and Rudi. On defense, start LB Brian Simmons, LB Kevin Hardy and DB Madieu Williams.

Final Score: Broncos 26, Bengals 17