#3: San Francisco over LA Chargers (5-4: BAL, cin, PHL, DAL, kc, tb, LV, ind, NE)
The 49ers are fresh off their bye week and ready to get back
into the playoff push with Jimmy
Garoppolo back under center. Great things were expected after
he emerged from Tom
Bradyís shadow but he turned out to be overrated. This year,
everyone expected him to be traded as Trey
Lance moved into the starting role. Lance seemed to have more
skills, talent and youth, and Jimmy G was washed up. Well, he
is back under center after an injury to Lance, and is leading
this 49ers team and gaining some respect that he has been yearning
however isnít enjoying his season as much. In his third year as
the Chargers signal caller, he has been playing through a rib
injury that has limited his mobility and reduced his passing motion.
(hamstring) and Mike
Williams (ankle) are injured and limiting his passing options.
With Allen playing just two games all season, and Williams out
the three at least, itís easy to see why Herbert is averaging
281 yards a game this season, down from his 297 average in 2021.
Thank goodness for Austin
While Ekeler is probably the top back in PPR leagues, he is this
player that the number one rushing defense will key on. Combine
this with limited receiving options and this game begins leaning
towards the Niners. Expect a balanced attack from San Francisco
led by Garoppolo and donít be surprised if Kyle Shanahan completes
the back-to-back sweep of the Los Angeles football teams.
#2: Chicago over Detroit (6-3: NO, BUF, kc, det, PHL, sf, DAL, MN, MIA)
In survival pools, the rule is, donít take games between division
rivals. Also, donít pick games that are three points or less and
not a lock. And lastly, donít pick games that weather might be
With thatÖ Da Bears are the team you shouldnít be taking this
week. They are a playing a Lions team that has lost five of the
last six, stealing their last game against a Packers team that
seems lost for the first time in years.
Detroit has averaged 12 points over the last four games. What
a contrast to the first four weeks where they were averaging 35
points a game.
Matt Eberflus, the new head coach of the Bears and offensive coordinator
for Indianapolis from 2018-2021, has turned Justin
Fields loose. Adding Chase
Claypool at the tradeline to balance out Darnell
Mooney who is a better number two than a number one receiver,
has made the passing game more viable. Unfortunately, David
Montgomery nor Khalil
Herbert are tier one running backs but they are more than
serviceable to beat the Lions this week.
The temperatures will be dropping from the high 60ís this week
to the mid 30ís with cold wind off the lake. Not the ideal conditions
that the Dolphins had to win in a shootout last week, but definitely
conditions that favor Da Bears playing a dome team that is struggling
to put up points.
#1: NY Giants over Houston (5-3: den, lac, GB, BUF, LAR, tb, PHL, KC)
Donít look now, but Brian Daboll has the Giants at 6-2 and in
the race for an NFC Playoff spot. They may not catch the high
flying, undefeated Eagles for the NFC East Division title, but
unless they completely fall apart in the second half, this team
should be playing late in January.
The Texans however arenít as fortunate. While Dameon
Pierce has been a great rookie addition, and truly the centerpiece
of this Houston attack, the team needs to find a QB who can do
more than pass the ball an average of 200 yards a game (Davis
Mills). Add to that, they need to find a way to get Brandin
Cooks on board after he wasnít traded at the deadline. Nico
Collins has great talent, but needs to stay on the field (injuries)
to provide an alternative to Cooks. All of this disfunction has
led to an offense that scores only 16.6 points a game (28th in
the NFL) and a team that doesnít move the ball well.
has re-emerged as the dominate back that everyone expected when
he was drafted out of Penn State. He must be salivating looking
at film as he prepares for this last place rushing defense. Yes,
the NFL tends to take away your strength and if they do, Darius
Slayton and WaníDale
Robinson may find themselves on the receiving end of play
action pass plays for long gains. Itís the perfect combo for a
win at home to gain ground on their division rivals. Take the
GMen, especially if it is messy from the remnants of Nicole.