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Week 10

Week 10
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
CHI at TEN - CB CAR at SF - AD
DET at JAX - CB MIN at GB - CB
KC at NO - AD  
PIT at CLE - AD Sunday - 8:30 PM EST
SEA at STL - AD BUF at NE - AD
TB at ATL - AD Monday - 9:00 PM EST
  PHI at DAL - CB

Bye Weeks: Denver, Miami, Oakland, San Diego

Last Week's Projections
(5-9) Straight Up - 35.7%
(5-9) Against The Spread - 35.7%

For The Season
(74-56) Straight Up - 56.9%
(71-57-2) Against The Spread - 54.6%

Baltimore (-2) at N.Y. Jets, 1:00 pm
Man oh man did that defense lay the whupping on the Browns last week. That is what great defenses do. When the game is on the line they come at you with everything and make plays. That was the name of the game Sunday night when the Ravens held the Browns to 230 yards of total offense. They rendered Garcia helpless and stopped the Browns running game cold. The Raven offense was largely ineffective however they only turned the ball over once which is key to success. This week they will feast upon QCAR and the rust since he has not taken a meaningful snap since last December. Jamal Lewis should have a big day.

The Jets took two really big hits on Sunday. First the Bills on the road manhandled them. It really was not that shocking considering the Bills have been playing good ball. But the big issue was that Pennington would be out for 2-4 weeks. That is some terrible news against the top-rated Ravens D. It looks like QCAR will start and try to get into his grove against the Ravens D. Q can run, and he will need to against this pass rush. The Jets will try and control the game with running Curtis Martin like a thoroughbred but that is a tall order this week. I think they will have major problems scoring and should be punting from their own end on several occasions. I think any Jets player would be a tough one to start this week. If you have other options, take them.

Final Score: Ravens 17, Jets 13

Chicago (no line) at Tennessee, 1:00 pm
Maybe the upset of the week had to be the Bears over the Giants. I watched a little of this game and it looked like the G-Men had it well in hand through the first quarter up 14-0. However Lovie Smith is proving he can motivate these guys even when they seemingly have all the odds stacked against them. There was an A-Train sighting this weekend as the Wolverine rushed for 110 yards and 2 scores. His college teammate David Terrell finally backed up his mouth by catching some balls this week for 70 yards. But this game was more about the Giants mistakes than the Bears offense. The defense played great as they forced three fumbles and two interceptions. But let me tell you 8/21 and 144 is not going to cut it against the Titans. They won't make the same mistakes. Thomas would be an ok start, no Krenzel and no Terrell as he is too inconsistent.

Tennessee was on a bye last week. They were celebrating their outstanding victory vs. the Bungals the week before. Chris Brown is proving he is a monster as he is fifth in the league in rushing yardage. He also has five TDS. The Titan offense rank at the middle of the pack and the defense is rolling along at about 13th. Where they will exploit the Bears is the fact they are one-dimensional. With no passing game on the road it usually spells trouble. The passing defense is where the Titans struggle and the Bears will not be able to take advantage of that. Both teams are 3-5 and badly need a win. Volek would be an ok start if McNair is not ready. Brown of course, and Mason.

Final Score: Titans 27, Bears 17

Detroit (+3) at Jacksonville, 1:00 pm
Weird game to call with Leftwich sitting this one out. I have seen Garrard play in the past and he has some skills. He is quick on his feet and can throw the rock. But this is a different team without Byron. I think they will depend on the running game to bail him out a little. But that was mostly ineffective against the Texans the week before as they failed to reach the 50 total rushing yard barrier with Leftwich in for most of the game. Garrard will eventually be ok but you can't help but think he will struggle when the Lions bring the kitchen sink. Don't forget the Lions are very opportunistic on defense and rank 6th in the league in takeaways (17). Look for all the main offensive players for the Jags suffer in production until Leftwich returns. I would probably start Taylor and J Smith and pray for the best.

As we mentioned before nobody is better than the Lions as they are number #1 in the league in giveaway/takeaway ratio at +11. They protect the ball very well as they are #1 at least turnovers with 6. That all being said they had a really disappointing loss against eh Skins last week at home. Two things that led to their demise was the lack of a running game and the inability to stop Portis. Kevin Jones was really bad as he only rushed for 20 yards on 12 carries. Granted this is a good defense but that is not the output you would expect from a first round draft pick. Az-Hakim had a great game torching the Skin secondary with 120 yards. Roy Williams was silent as the Skins had Springs on him all day. But I think the Lions will bounce back and move the ball enough to beat the Jaguars. They will cause some turnovers and work from a short field.

Final Score: Lions 20, Jags 19

Houston at Indianapolis (-9.5), 1:00 pm
Indianapolis won the battle of the great QB's Monday night although one QB was without perhaps the greatest weapon in football. Even though Manning had four TDs the Colts won the game with the Edge on the ground. He beat up the pavement and controlled the clock all night. Keeping the Pepper on the bench for most of the first half. He ran for 123 tough yards. Manning is on pace to crack the 50 TD barrier as he had another fine game against perhaps the weakest secondary next the Colts. I still see some chinks in the armor when I watch this Colts defense. They simply cannot put away good offensive teams because they have no secondary. They rank dead last in pass defense and next to last in total defense. I see no championship in their future unless that is addressed.

Houston…Houston means that I am one day closer to you. I don't know the significance to that song and this column I just like the line. Houston disappointed me in not showing up against the Broncos. I really thought this team was ready to make the corner and beat a quality team on the road. I suppose I was wrong. Letting Plummer throw for 4 TDs and not forcing him to toss a pick or two, which he likes to do, was their undoing. They let the grocery store clerk Droughns run for 120 yards and keep the Bronco masses praising Shanny's name. (As you can see I love tempting Bronco fans to e-mail me. They are loud when they win but obviously quiet when they lose. I am sure this week they think they are Super Bowl bound. We will see what the Chargers have to say about the division title) Anyway, on to the Texans. Carr, Davis, and Johnson will have big days. However they will lose this track meet in the RCA dome.

Final Score: Colts 30, Texans 20

Kansas City (-4.5) at New Orleans, 1:00 pm
Both teams come off tough losses that all but knock them from the playoff hunt. The ironic part is that San Diego - who Kansas City is chasing in the AFC West - beat New Orleans, while Tampa Bay - now tied with the Saints in the NFC South - beat the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have gotten good performances recently from QB Trent Green, who has averaged well over 300 passing yards per game in his last four games, with 8 TDs to show for it. Since the Saints are pretty horrible against the pass, he's a lock. Couple that with the fact that RB Priest Holmes is questionable, and you've got a lock at QB. A great way to deal with Holmes' injury would be to pick up RB Derrick Blaylock - if he's available. The only trouble is that Blaylock, too is injured. If you're lucky enough to have him already, and even luckier to get an OK from team doctors, here's your chance. The only other option is RB Larry Johnson, who Dick Vermeil is not that high on. Stay tuned right up until gametime and play accordingly. At WR, both Eddie Kennison and Johnnie Morton look like great plays. TE Tony Gonzalez is putting up good numbers and is also a must-play. On defense, keep it simple this week with DB Greg Wesley and LB Scott Fujita.

The Saints also have a few solid plays this week, including QB Aaron Brooks, RB Deuce McAllister and WR Joe Horn, who is almost always a lock for 100 yards and a score. WR Jerome Pathon is also an option, with WR Donte Stallworth both injured and useless. I still like TE Boo Williams, even though he's been inconsistent this year. IDP options include DL Charles Grant and DBs Jay Bellamy and Fred Thomas.

Final Score: Chiefs 30, Saints 23

Pittsburgh (-4) at Cleveland, 1:00 pm
This game looks more like a trap than a coiled piece of metal smeared with a piece of cheese. Sure, Pittsburgh is hot, but Cleveland always plays these guys tough. If the Browns run defense can shut down Duce and the Bus, Big Ben might have some trouble opening up the passing lanes.

The Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has been steady as a fantasy QB, but he might not be able to keep it together for long. There's something about this matchup I don't like, and it has a lot to do with all the hype the Steelers have gotten. I'd be wary on playing Ben, Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis, but I'll give the okay to WR Hines Ward and WR Plaxico Burress, who can't be left out of fantasy lineups. On defense, I like DB Troy Polamalu, DL Aaron Smith and LB Joey Porter.

The Browns might be able to crack the tough Pittsburgh defense with two-headed running attack of Lee Suggs and William Green, although picking who will emerge as the better start is a tough call. Since Suggs catches more passes, I'd go with him. WR Andre Davis is a little dinged up, and with inconsistency riddling the rest of the Browns receiving corps, I'd keep away. On defense, the smart plays are DB Anthony Henry, LB Andra Davis and DL Kenard Lang.

Final Score: Browns 23, Steelers 20

Seattle (Pick) at St. Louis, 1:00 pm
I'd like to see both these offenses in full form, and since neither team has been playing that well on defense, we might see just that.

The Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck, RB Shaun Alexander and WR Koren Robinson are all excellent plays this week against the Rams. Watch the availability of WR Bobby Engram and WR Darrell Jackson, who might also be good plays if healthy. TE Jerramy Stevens might get a few catches, but I'd look elsewhere since he's been inconsistent. On defense, LB Anthony Simmons has returned and should be a good start along with DB Ken Hamlin (with DB Ken Lucas questionable) and DL Chike Okeafor.

The Rams have lots of good fantasy options this week - like always - including QB Marc Bulger, RB Marshall Faulk, WR Isaac Bruce, WR Torry Holt and even WR Shaun McDonald and RB Steven Jackson. Everybody get some. IDP options include DL Leonard Little, Adam Archuleta and LB Tommy Polley, who has been solid in the last few games.

Final Score: Rams 38, Seahawks 31

Tampa Bay (+3.5) at Atlanta, 1:00 pm
With all the scoring these teams have done lately, I think both coaching staffs will spend a lot of time this week figuring out how to slow this game down. While fantasy owners will not be happy, it's bound to happen.

The Bucs new QB Brian Griese played well against KC, but he'll have his hands full with the Atlanta pass rush and secondary. Stay away from Griese and all receivers. The best bet on this offense is RB Michael Pittman, while defensive options include LB Derrick Brooks, DB Ronde Barber and DL Greg Spires.

The Falcons have spent almost the entire season baffling prognosticators, fantasy owners and opposing NFL coaches. QB Michael Vick is capable of either feast or famine, and since he's not been successful against the Bucs in his career, I'd predict a famine this week. Both RBs - T.J. Duckett and Warrick Dunn - will also struggle, with the edge going to Dunn for his ability to catch passes out of the backfield and make things happen. WR Peerless Price has been improving, so he's a decent start, but stay away from everybody else except TE Alge Crumpler. On defense, the secondary is filled with good performers, including DBs Bryan Scott and Kevin Mathis. LB Keith Brooking and DL Patrick Kerney are also must-plays.

Final Score: Falcons 17, Bucs 10

Cincinnati (+3) at Washington, 4:05 p.m.
Is it time to rejoice in D.C. now that the Redskins have won another game against a weak conference opponent? What do you think Joe Gibbs would say?

The Bengals are one of 11 - that's right, ELEVEN - 3-5 teams in the NFL. Of those 3-5 teams, the Bengals and Cardinals are the two to be most excited about. QB Carson Palmer has looked okay recently, but Washington stands a good chance to pick up a few INTs and sacks. I'd be careful how much faith to put in Palmer. RB Rudi Johnson, even against a tough run defense, is still a solid option, and WR Chad Johnson, for all that's been said about him, always puts up decent numbers. Defensively, there's DB Madieu Williams, LB Brian Williams and DL Justin Smith.

The Redskins are a team without a leader, since LB LaVar Arrington has been injured almost all year. While preseason pundits might have said to look no further than veteran QB Mark Brunell in that role, he's been as useless as a eunuch at a whorehouse. RB Clinton Portis and WR Laveranues Coles might have good games, with Portis the obvious start and Coles falling into the #3 WR category. On defense, you'd be smart to play LB Antonio Pierce, LB Marcus Washington, DB Fred Smoot and DB Shawn Springs.

Final Score: Bengals 20, Redskins 13

Carolina (Pick) at San Francisco, 4:15 p.m.
Stephen Davis has made more misleading statements in the past five weeks than Donald Rumsfeld has in the past five years, which is saying something. In the meantime, my fantasy team resembles the Golden Girls cast after a head-on collision with Designing Women.

The Panthers are the worst returning NFC champions in history, but it's not really their fault. You can't win games without your #1 receiver, and #1 and #2 running backs. QB Jake Delhomme has played well lately and will continue to put up numbers against a weakened Niners secondary. Play him, Davis (if he's healthy), WR Keary Colbert and WR Muhsin Muhammad. On defense, I recommend (just like last week) DL Julius Peppers, LB Will Witherspoon and DB Mike Minter.

The Niners have a couple decent fantasy options this week, but quarterbacks and wide receivers are not among them. Stay away from Rattay, Wilson and Conway, but play RB Kevan Barlow and TE Eric Johnson. On defense, LB Jamie Winborn has been a beast, along with LB Derek Smith and DB Tony Parrish.

Final Score: 49ers 24, Panthers 17

Minnesota (+4) at Green Bay, 4:15 p.m
Minnesota tried to hold on and upset the Colts in Indy but that didn't happen. Again because of a defense that leaks more than my uncle's faucet. Culpepper didn't really get started until the third quarter and tried to again be competitive without the greatest weapon in football. Randy Moss. It just came out today that Moss would be out for this game as well. Don't look for him to come back for about another two weeks. They really should have gotten him off the field and rehabbing earlier but it is tough to do. When your offense really centers around one player it goes to shambles a lot when that player is gone. In any event, look for a logjam at RB with Moore coming back. There will be an odd man out when you get Moore, Smith, and Bennett on the same field together. I have no idea however I think Moore should see the most action. Start Culpepper, Burleson, Robinson, and Wiggins.

Favre has made a believer out of me. What a QB this guy is. I think you can make a case that he has had trouble against the great teams of his era. He couldn't win in Dallas. Had trouble with San Francisco all in the 90's. But he has a bigger heart than any QB of his time. This team had failure written out it at the first of the year and has turned it around big-time. They are currently on game out of first in the North Division and look to tie it up this week. The defense is still suspect and ranks on the south side of the league in yardage allowed. But the Vikings are without the great Moss and have not played particularly well on offense since his departure. At home, division on the line, I think they have to be the favorite to win this one. Start Favre, Green, Walker, and Driver. They should have fine games against a suspect defense. However I think the Vikings will cover the four.

Final Score: Pack 30, Vikings 27

N.Y. Giants at Arizona (+2), 4:15 p.m
Hear that?? Hear the footsteps?? Those are Eli Manning's feet about to run up Warner's ass. If Warner can't play any better than the pitiful performance he put on Sunday then he needs to let the young kid take the rains. Two interceptions, two fumbles, and one near coronary from Coughlin. Barber was the only bright spot as he racked up 136 total yards and probably is the surprise fantasy RB of the year so far. Other than that you don't have much bright spots. Taking a beating for a 2-5 team doesn't do much for your confidence. I think they will have problems blocking Arizona's offense front. The Giants offensive line may be one of the worst in football and with a lead-footed QB that spells doom.

The Cardinals overcame a slow start to put the Dolphins and their coach out of their misery. Down 12-3 at halftime they score 21 points in the second half and put it away with a Fitzgerald TD with 9 seconds left. I think the Cardinals will exploit the Giants weak offensive line and will harass Warner all day. With their leader gone on defense the Giants will be shorthanded on the defensive front as well and will get run on all day by the two-headed monster of Hambrick and Smith. Which statistically speaking they are 50 yards better at home than on the road. Tell you a story? Look for Fitzgerald, McCown, Smith, and maybe Hambrick to do ok in this one. At home I think the Cardinals pull it off.

Final Score: Cardinals 21, Giants 17

Buffalo (+8.5) at New England, 8:30 p.m.
With Buffalo playing well lately, this might be more of a test for Bill Belichick and the Patriots than the Rams were last week.

The Bills are now 3-5 and beat the Jets last Sunday with Willie McCheeselegs and a solid defensive display. With Lawyer Milloy back in the secondary, these guys are a different team. Unfortunately, it going to take more than Milloy and momentum to beat one of the top teams in football. I don't like Drew Bledsoe but this week he's a decent option considering the status of the Pats secondary. McGahee looks like an okay play, as do WR Eric Moulds and WR Lee Evans. On defense, I like DL Aaron Schobel, LB London Fletcher and Milloy.

The Patriots QB Tom Brady is one of the most consistent fantasy performers, and should be on track for a couple TD passes at the very least against Buffalo. RB Corey Dillon might have some trouble with the Bills defense, but is still a solid fantasy start when healthy. With WR David Givens emerging as the go-to-guy, WR David Patten has taken a back seat, but I like his chances this week for a score. And don't get me started about TE Daniel Graham, whom I've played in consecutive weeks over Dallas TE Jason Witten. IDP options this week include DB Rodney Harrison (arguably the best IDP performer in football) LB Tedy Bruschi and DL Richard Seymour. LB Willie McGinest should also get some looks at Bledsoe, who's about as good on his feet as a drunken narcoleptic.

Final Score: Pats 27, Bills 17

Philadelphia at Dallas, 9:00 p.m
You had to know that Philly was running into a buzz saw last week in Pittsburgh. There is nobody playing better ball than the Steel Men right now. McNabb looked his worst in the post-Owens era and nobody else did much better. Check out these numbers, Westbrook-17 yards, Owens 53 yards and no scores. McNabb busted out an eye boggling 109-0-1 pick. Geez were they beaten. Also it is being played off but don't tell me T.O. wasn't giving to McNabb on the sideline. T.O. is ALWAYS open as he says. I am sure that is what the conversation was about on the sideline. We will chalk this one up as just something said during the battle but keep an eye on this situation. But there is one remedy to this situation…the Cowboys secondary.

Speaking of the boy's secondary they have allowed (and this ain't no joke) 8 passes of over 40 yards. That ranks third most in the league. What does that tell you? The Cowboys give up the big play. What are they faced with this week? Two guys that can snatch your children with big plays. Another interesting fact, the Cowboys have given up 16 passing TDs this season. That ranks 5th worse in the league. Bottom line? Buckle up the kids because you have a pissed off team coming in and will reap havoc on this fading team. What did the Cowboys show you last week? That Vinny throws more interceptions than Plummer. Had to throw the Bronco dig in there. When Jason Whitten is your main weapon you can lock the doors and go to bed. This team is done and needs a major facelift.

Final Score: Philly 30 Cowboys 17