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Week 8

Week 8
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
CIN at TEN - CB NE at PIT - CB
DET at DAL - CB OAK at SD - CB
GB at WAS - AD  
IND at KC - AD Sunday - 8:30 PM EST
JAX at HOU - AD SF at CHI - AD
NYG at MIN - AD Monday - 9:00 PM EST
  MIA at NYJ - CB

Bye Weeks: Cleveland, New Orleans, St. Louis, Tampa Bay

Last Week's Projections
(8-6) Straight Up - 57.1%
(6-7-1) Against The Spread - 43.7%

Last Week's Projections
(61-41) Straight Up - 59.8%
(57-43-2) Against The Spread - 55.8%

Arizona (+3) at Buffalo, 1:00 pm
The Cardinals pulled off a great upset vs. the Seahawks last week. I have to say I called the fact I thought they would cover the spread however I wasn't sure they would win it outright. Emmitt Smith has come back from the dead with a couple of good production weeks. Last week he had another 100-yard day with a TD. McCown had an average day with 200 yards, TD, and a pick. The most impressive feat may have been the Cardinal defense that held the explosive Seahawks offense to 195 yards passing and 69 yards rushing. That was an incredible job. They should be favored in this game as I think they might be the better team. However the Cardinals are a different team away from the desert.

Buffalo got a spanking laid to them from the Ravens. Bledsoe had a ridiculous 4 interceptions. One of those was a tip-job that prime time took back to the house. The Bills are 1-5 and probably need to pack it in for the year. Pray that the ton of picks they gave up for Losman was worth it. Because it is looking more and more like the Cowboys will wind up with a top five pick. What a bunch of goofs. They can't decide whether to go with Henry or McGahee. To me it is simple. I think they both possess the skills but one is younger and maybe a little more explosive. Build around Losman, McGahee, and Evans and try and build a big three like other teams have done. But that would be too smart right?? Now they have missed an opportunity to send Henry packing and getting something in return. No he will leave for nothing.

Final Score: Cardinals 21, Bills 17

Baltimore (+8) at Philadelphia, 1:00 pm
Baltimore, as stated above, laid the wood to Buffalo last week. However the Eagles will be a much more formidable opponent. Baltimore didn't lose a whole lot with Chester Taylor taking up the running duties with 89 yards. He is not Jamal Lewis but he does have some elusiveness and can break it anytime. Boller didn't have to do much as the defense really beat the crap out of Buffalo and they were not going to let Boller lose it for them. That is Ravens football folks. They will try and follow the same formula this week. One thing I do know. Forget the preseason game where the Eagles ran wild. If you read my column then you know I am a firm believer in the pissed off theory. That is they theory where a team has extra motivation to win. The Ravens were embarrassed by T.O. and the Eagles last time. They will be looking for revenge. They won't get beat by more than 8.

The Eagles had quite a scare last week and needed some extra quarters to beat the average Browns. It tells you one of two things. Either you are in the camp that the Eagles didn't lose so there is nothing to worry about. Or that they played down to their level of opponent and for a large portion of that game was outplayed by an obviously inferior opponent. I think I am somewhere in between. I don't think they are as good as they have looked at times however they are really good. No before I get all the e-mails from drunken Eagles fans about the greatness of McNabb and T.O. They both had great stats last week. When you pass for 376 yards and 4 TDS you have nothing to be ashamed about. That is passing. Owens and Pinkston broke the 100 yard barrier. So they weren't stopped obviously. Brian Westbrook won't make this one as he is hurt. Levens will start in his place. They will win I think. Just not by more than 8.

Final Score: Eagles 20, Ravens 13

Cincinnati at Tennessee (-3), 1:00 pm
Cincinnati looked very good against a good Denver team last week. They defense played lights out and forced two interceptions and got key stops in big situations. The Johnson brothers had monster games as both went well over the 100-yard barrier and both had TDS. Carson Palmer wasn't great but he played tough and won the game against a defense that was #1 in yards allowed in the league. The problem I see is that Palmer is still growing and seems to be a different person on the road. He needs more time to season and manage a game better. He looks like he is making better decisions but young QBs take time. I think he will have trouble in the Music City. Rudi Johnson should be a good start this week. Even though I think the offense will struggle.

The Titans are on and off. You have no idea what you are going to get from week to week. They thrash the Packers in Lambeau but then get hammered by the Vikings and really were never in the game. Who knows?? But I believe they are at home and need a win to stay on track at 2-5. This could help them get back in it. The problem is that McNair may not be healthy again and Volek laid a serious egg with 190 yards and 3 interceptions. I am not sold on Chris Brown yet. He seems to only feast on bad defenses. I have observed him against the Chargers and the Vikings and he seemed like a different runner. Maybe because they got behind so quickly and needed to throw the ball to get back into it. I don't know. I just don't seem ready to call him the "truth" yet. However he is facing a bad Bengals defense and should have a good week at home.

Final Score: Titans 24, Bengals 17

Detroit at Dallas (-3), 1:00 pm
I am pretty close to being done with Dallas this year. My gosh can they not do anything right?? What happened to that defense?? Brent Favre absolutely torched that defense for 258 yards and 2 TDS and allowed Ahman Green to run like he stole something for 163 yards and 2 TDS. That is over 10 YPC for Green against a Parcells defense?? I think the apocalypse is near. I really think they are missing Darren Woodson more than what they thought they would. He is just someone that is hard to replace and makes that defense better with his speed and ability to assist in run defense. Things have got to change in Big D but I think they are better than Detroit and are playing at home. Look for Testaverde to get another 300 yards with Whitten and Johnson having big games. Sit Glenn and Morgan as they are battling injuries.

Detroit had a great game in the Meadowlands against the G-Men. Roy Williams makes this team so much better. He really is a man among boys. Looking at him is a reason every kid should stay the four years in college. He could have come out early but wanted to stay to get better. Man how could you argue with his results so far? He only had 67 yards and a TD but the Giants defense is pretty good. They need to shore up that passing defense as they allowed Barber to catch some passes out of the backfield. Giving up 100 receiving yards to a back equals usually a loss but turnovers always play a key role. I am waiting for Kevin Jones to come alive but he is still hurting a little. Go with Jones and Williams in this one.

Final Score: Boys 28, Lions 21

Green Bay (-2) at Washington, 1:00 pm
Okay, so Green Bay isn't quite done yet. You just knew Brett Favre was going to pull off a few more wins, but beating the Cowboys 41-20? Didn't see that coming. The Packers now face another underachieving NFC East opponent in the Redskins, who will also have a tough time stopping Ahman Green. If the Packers mix it up like they did against Parcells, you'll see great games from Favre, Green, Javon Walker and Donald Driver again. Defensively, it's much harder to call who will rack up the tackles and perform well for IDP leagues, especially with the injury to Darren Sharper, but I'd always go with LB Nick Barnett, LB Na'il Diggs and DB Mark Roman. If you need a lineman, KGB is due for a couple sacks.

The Redskins will have some opportunities to score here with the Packers nursing injuries in the secondary. Just because the defense has been playing well doesn't mean they can't give up a few scores here and there. I'd hold off on starting QB Mark Brunell, who has thrown just three picks this year but has managed only five TD passes. Brunell looks to be about as close to finished as the acting career of Brigitte Nielsen, but you can rest assured that Clinton Portis, Lavernues Coles and Rod Gardner could still have serviceable games. Portis is mired on one of the worst teams in football but is still averages almost 100 yards rushing per game. On defense, LB LaVar Arrington is still a no go, but IDP stars Antonio Pierce and fellow linebacker Marcus Washington have stood out in his absence. DBs Sean Taylor and Sean Springs are also good plays this week.

Final Score: Packers 27 Redskins 17

Indianapolis (-1.5) at Kansas City, 1:00 pm
What do you get when you mix two potent offenses and a 1960s TV show starring Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright, Dan Blocker as Eric "Hoss" Cartwright and a young Michael Landon as "Little Joe"? A scoring BONANZA! This game is a fantasy football owners dream, unless you're on the wrong end.

The Colts should get good games from all their offensive weapons, including Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokely. At TE, you should take Marcus Pollard over Dallas Clark this week, but honestly, these guys have to split everything and it's better to find a more consistent tight end. IDP standouts include LBs David Thornton and Cato June. I also like DL Dwight Freeney getting a sack or two on Trent Green and S Mike Doss - who's healthy again - making lots of plays. Doss has played two games this season and lost 24-27 in both contests, but that shouldn't discourage him too much.

The Chiefs are in the same boat as the Colts, but need the win a little more. I don't think they'll have eight rushing touchdowns in this game, but they should be successful moving the football for at least two quarters. Go with (I don't like saying this) QB Trent Green, RB Priest Holmes (obviously) TE Tony Gonzalez and your pick of WRs Johnnie Morton and Eddie Kennison. If both wide receivers are ever going to have decent games together, this is the game. On defense, it would be prudent to stay away from Monty Beisel and go with DBs Greg Wesley, William Bartee and Eric Warfield. LBs Shawn Barber and Scott Fujita are also options.

Final Score: Colts 34, Chiefs 31

Jacksonville (+1) at Houston, 1:00 pm
This Jacksonville team gets no respect. They've beaten some good teams and some bad teams but they are 5-2. So far, they've dispatched the Bills (1-5), Broncos (5-2), Titans (2-5), Chiefs (2-4) and Colts (4-2), and lost to the Chargers (4-3) and the Colts in Week 4. So why are they underdogs to the Texans (3-3), even if it is in Houston?

The Jaguars should get another excellent game from QB Byron Leftwich, a decent game from RB Fred Taylor and a monster game from WR Jimmy Smith. I know Jime-me has another 10-catch, 125-yard, 2-TD performance left in those veteran bones. Unfortunately, there's nobody else consistent enough to consider playing on offense. On defense, DB Donovin Darius has been solid along with LBs Mike Peterson and Akin Ayodele.

The Texans come off a much-needed bye week and have a healthy RB crew. They will test the Jaguars defense with their young weapons, but don't expect anything stupendous from QB David Carr. He might have a decent game, but I have a feeling he'll throw some picks this week against a defense that has only three on the year. You should definitely play Domanick Davis, who may still split carries with RB Jonathan Wells but picks up a lot of receptions in that offense. WR Andre Johnson is developing into a great receiver and should continue to post good numbers this week. On defense, LB Jamie Sharper is one of the league's best and his fellow linebackers Jay Foreman and Kailee Wong also post good IDP numbers most weeks. DB Marcus Coleman is another smart start against the Jags.

Final Score: Jags 30, Texans 24

N.Y. Giants (+7) at Minnesota, 1:00 pm
All signs point to a drubbing by the mighty Vikings, but all signs pointed to Seattle pounding Arizona last week, too.

The Giants cannot turn the ball over against Minnesota, who has too many weapons and lots of red zone TDs. I think playing Kurt Warner might be a mistake, even against the Vikings D, since he's bound to turn the ball over. RB Tiki Barber is having his best year and should score lots of points again this week. WR Amani Toomer and TE Jeremy Shockey are also decent plays. IDP standouts include LB Kevin Lewis and rookie DB Gibril Wilson. CBs Will Allen and Will Peterson might also be good plays this week, as the Vikings will undoubtedly throw the ball into coverage (like they always do) and both corners have been consistent this year in posting tackles and passes defended.

The Vikings have a huge lists of fantasy starters, including superstud QB Daunte Culpepper, rookie RB Mewelde Moore and the injured Randy Moss, who should return this week, even if only for a few plays. Obviously, if he's inactive, you don't play him, but there are other receiving options, including Marcus Robinson and TE Jermaine Wiggins. If Moss can't go, WR Nate Burleson is another option. On defense, I think somebody's going to get to Warner. DL Kevin Williams has the best chance, so start him and go with DBs otherwise - Antoine Winfield, Corey Chavous, Brian Williams and Brian Russell.

Final Score: Vikings 27 Giants 23

Atlanta (+6.5) at Denver, 4:05 pm
I'm sick of Atlanta this year, and I'm even more sick of Denver, so I'll make this quick. Picking the Falcons every week is about as smart as using Courtney Love as a designated driver or nanny. They're about as consistent as Brianna Banks' bowel movements after a double anal scene.

The Falcons might get rushing yards from Michael Vick, and if your league rewards heavily for that and doesn't penalize too much for turnovers, you'll be golden. Unfortunately, this guy has been turning the ball over a lot. It's still okay to play RB Warrick Dunn and TE Alge Crumpler, since they're more involved than anyone else, but stay away from RB T.J. Duckett, WR Peerless Price and WR Dez White. On defense, play it safe with DL Patrick Kerney, LB Keith Brooking and DB Bryan Scott.

The Broncos were devastated by the Bengals, who looked more mature than each of the previous six weeks. As much as I belittle Carson Palmer, I saw a little bit of what his praisers are talking about. Jake Plummer, on the other hand, I will never give props to. I think he'll have an average game with his average talents, and RB Reuben Droughns will reach 100 yards for the fourth straight game. I like both Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie, but it's hard to say who will post the better numbers. Don't expect anything too crazy from either of them, but both will be decent #3 receivers this week. TE Jeb Putzier might be a decent option, but only if you have nobody else. On defense, LBs Al Wilson and D.J. Williams are the guys, along with DBs John Lynch and Kenoy Kennedy.

Final Score: Broncos 20, Falcons 17

Carolina (+8) at Seattle, 4:05 pm
Weren't the Panthers in the Super Bowl last year? Weren't the Seahawks 4-0 and marching toward the playoffs with opposing offenses firmly in check? Yes, but just last Saturday the Yankees were up 3-0 on the cursed Red Sox.

The Panthers have had worse luck this year than the Red Sox have for the past 85 years (actually, maybe not) but could make a move in a really shaky division with a few wins. I just don't see how it's going to happen without a healthy Stephen Davis and both RB DeShaun Foster and WR Steve Smith out for the rest of the year. QB Jake Delhomme just can't get it done with FB Brad Hoover carrying the ball and only Keary Colbert and Muhsin Muhammed to throw to. Don't play Delhomme, Davis (still injured), or even Hoover against the Seahawks, who should get a win against the battered Panthers. If you're going to start anybody, make it Muhammed, who with Colbert should be the only source of offense these cats have this week. On defense, keep it simple with LB Dan Morgan, safety Mike Minter and CB Ricky Manning, Jr.

The Seahawks can expect a huge day from Shaun Alexander, who might get 200 yards and three touchdowns this week. I just think a huge day from him is long overdue. QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Darrell Jackson and TE Jerramy Stevens are also great plays this week. WR Koren Robinson might get suspended and WR Bobby Engram is questionable. Who does that leave? Only the best receiver in the history of the game. Play Jerry Rice this week like he was 25 again - you won't regret it. IDP starters should include LB Orlando Huff and rookie LB Niko Koutouvides, and while Ken Lucas and Ken Hamlin remain the guys to play from that secondary, Lucas has made all the big plays this year. The defensive line should get some sacks, which means playing Antonio Cochran (who stepped in for Grant Wistrom) and Chike Okeafor.

Final Score: Seahawks 37, Panthers 13

New England at Pittsburgh (+3), 4:15 pm
I know this is not going to be popular but I think this is the week. The Pats will go down this week. I think at this point New Englanders will be celebrating the World Series victory of their beloved Red Sox. But will be moving on as the streak will end at Pittsburgh. The Steelers have this date marked on the calendar for awhile and are looking to establish themselves as one of the elite teams in the NFL. Nothing lasts forever. Pittsburgh was on a bye last week and should be well rested. Look for Staley and Big Ben to have a good day. The Pittsburgh defense will solve the banged up Pats offense and set the tone.

Another victory for the Pats as they New England is the happening place nowadays. They really handled the Jets well although it wasn't a complete blowout. David Givens is now becoming the go-to guy. He had 107 yards receiving and there are rumblings that the coach is not happy with Brown and Branch for not paying the last few weeks. It keeps going on. Branch was looked at the first of the year to be the man. I can't see where a hammy should take six weeks to heal. Dillon looks better and better as he posted another 100 yard game. Brady, what can you say, efficient. Defense? Bend, don't break. But this week they will need a little extra and I think they won't find it.

Final Score: Steelers 24, Pats 20

Oakland at San Diego (-6), 4:15 pm
Did you ever think you would see the day when the Chargers were 6 point favorites over the Raiders? Remember you heard it here first. I told you the Chargers were for real and this is with a banged up Tomlinson who has not been as effective as he normally is. Brees is not throwing for yards but he has become the poor man's Tom Brady. Very efficient and no mistakes. Let your running game with L.T. and Jesse Chatman (116 yards and 2 TDS) take you home. Signing McCardell was a stroke of genius. This gives them a genuine receiving threat that team have to respect. He also looked in good shape. Antonio Gates continues to hover at the top of the stats lists with another great game. They should press Denver for the division lead with that defense.

I figured the Raiders would blow it against the Saints. Both team are underachieving but the Raiders have a way of finding new and improved ways of losing. Collins tore up the Saints D as expected with 350 yards and 2 TDS. Jerry Porter decided to get open for one week and catch 113 yards and a TD. Problem being is that they allowed the same type stats to the Saints who actually have a decent running game. McAllister ran for only 42 yards but got the hard yards around the goal line and scored two TDS. That shows a lack of toughness for the Raiders. A staple of a Norv Tuner coached team. Basically they will not run the ball on the Chargers and the Chargers will run all over the Raiders. The Raiders will be out of it with a loss.

Final Score: Chargers 30, Raiders 17

San Francisco (+1.5) at Chicago, 8:30 pm
Nice matchup. This game is equivalent to having Rosie O'Donnell and Tyne Daly in a stripping competition. They won't be comfortable, and neither will any of the spectators.

The 49ers have a great chance to feature Kevan Barlow and get him some stats, and should also get good numbers from QB Tim Rattay, WR Brandon Lloyd and WR Cedrick Wilson, who is majorly overdue. WR Curtis Conway has been unproductive, so sit him. TE Eric Johnson is one of Rattay's favorite targets, and should play every week. On defense, I like LB Jamie Winborn LB Derek Smith (if he's back this week) and DB Tony Parrish.

The Bears have two bad QBs and neither - under any circumstances - should be starting for you. RB Thomas Jones, on the other hand, has been great despite the Bears paltry 1-5 record. Go with him and WR David Terrell - no one else - on offense. The best IDP guys this week are LB Brian Urlacher, DB Mike Green and DL Alex Brown.

Final Score: 49ers 24, Bears 20

Miami at N.Y. Jets (-6 ), 9:00 pm
I think the Miami game against St. Louis was a mirage. They haven't played that good since 2003. Sammy Morris had 83 yards and a TD. Chambers had 100 yards receiving along with McMichael's 78 yards. I knew the defense would not allow Martz to run up and down the grass like a track meet but to say that the offense would be able to stay with them was crazy. However even the Dolphins have pride. Bring back RICKY!! But they are away from South Florida and are playing a team that will see this win and not take them likely. I still wouldn't start anyone except for the defense. I think they get throttled in this one.

The Jets gave it the old college try against the Pats but came up short. They could have won this one but really had no BIG plays that it takes to when a game of this magnitude. Pennington was unspectacular with 162 yards and no TDS. Martin was held under 100 yards with only 70. I think they will run Martin like a rented mule and try and wear down that Miami D. When they feel they have a shot you will see Pennington go downfield. I think at the end of the day Miami will not be able to score with this team and that will show.

Final Score: Jets 27, Dolphins 14