Last Week: 2-5
For you newcomers, this is my third year of making weekly picks and I was within a game or two of .500 in each of the first two years. It seems that trend is continuing. Mediocre, but consistent! That's me!
Lake Balboa Ladybugs (2-2) at The People's Elbow (2-2)
Speaking of consistent, I've had a big name player injured in each of my four games. Addai, Colston, Shockey and now this week, Anquan Boldin is down with a fractured sinus membrane. How that is different from a broken nose is that...it's worse.
In the face of tremendous adversity, I am the 3rd-highest scoring team in the league, a fact that surprises me even more than it surprises you. Can it continue this week? Well, Cotchery's bye makes Boldin's busted breather even harder to deal with, hence, the acquisition of the other Steve Smith. I should pick up the Bears' Adrian Peterson and start the All-Confusing team. With Plaxico suspended for general frivolity and Seattle's terrible defense, Steve Smith could put up 15 points this week. Or 2. I'm dying to find out. Selvin Young will not run far on Tampa and he definitely won't score and unless Tim Hightower scores a touchdown, he's not getting enough carries to be useful just yet.
Garrard and Porter won't do much against Pittsburgh - Porter especially - but the matchups for Gore, Graham and Felix Jones are so dreamy that I'm going to need a Yom Kippur miracle. Unfornately, I am a gentile. The famed Tampa Cover 2 should prevent Marshall from getting deep, but that defense's willingness to allow underneath passes means that Marshall might have 35 catches for 150 yards. The Baltimore/Tennessee field position war of attrition means Rob Bironas might kick five field goals in a 15-6 win.
The Pick: The People's Elbow 91 - Jerry Porter 0 - Lake Balboa Ladybugs 72
Newbomb Turk (2-2) at St. A's Crusaders (2-2)
This is the week Chris Chambers has been waiting for! He gets to go back to Miami and show that they never should've traded him! Actually, he probably doesn't care and is happy to be on a good team. If anything, now that I think about it, maybe he'll take it easy on the Dolphins to thank them. And if anything, Newbomb will win because Kevin Walter had a surprise 90-yard, TD day against an iffy Colts defense.
Carolina's defense is just 10,000 notches better than Denver's, so all this talk of a Larry Johnson rejuvenation will come a halt faster than a Chiefs running play this week. Fred Taylor either rushes for 40 yards or 210 against the Steelers, and if Tony is rooting for the 210, fantasy sports have truly corroded his soul. If Romo scores less than 30 points against Cincy, it can only be considered a disappointment.
Brees will have no problem passing on an average Viking pass defense and when you combine New Orleans' running problems with Minnesota's run defense, Brees might throw it 95 times. Santana Moss catching a deep pass is becoming a recurring theme and if Ryan Grant doesn't run through the Falcon defense, truly he is the bust of the year. Except for Tom Brady. Speaking of Brady, Wes Welker will continue his streak of 0 NFL championships. And also his streak of less than 10 fantasy points per week.
The Pick: Newbomb Turk 78 - St. A's Crusaders 66
Brookline Bucs (1-3) at LetsGoPens (2-2)
Brookline has the fewest points in the league and the most moves. And had Vanduhlay made one move last week - benching a player on a bye - they wouldn't have any wins. It's been a colorful season in Brookline. Scott Henry has been reading various sports media sources - all of them - in a quixotic quest to find a winning lineup, but this isn't baseball. Or last year.
Aaron Rodgers should be able to torch the Atlanta secondary assuming he plays all 60 minutes, which is definitely not a given. In a bizarre inverse backfield tandem, Brookline has the Arizona starter who doesn't get goal line carries as well as the Buffalo backup that doesn't get them either. Arizona and Buffalo play this week in a game Scott Henry definitely should not watch. And...Mewelde Moore, huh?
Brian Griese should be happy to play the Denver defense, though he's thrown 6 picks in two weeks. Owens will probably be targeted 25 times against Cincy in order to buy two weeks' worth of quiet, so expect a big day there. And Clint actually took the time to bench McFadden due to his bye, so Brookline's luck is drying up.
The Pick: LetsGoPens 79 - Brookline Bucs 64
Atlas Shruggz (1-3) at Crafton Tough Kids (2-2)
The lowest point totals posted so far this season are 43 and 47 and the two teams in this matchup could tell you a little bit more about those scores. Chad Johnson has vowed to get a DUI this week in an attempt to turn things around. Chad says that in '05, the Bengals had their most arrests and most wins, so maybe they need more arrests. I believe that is what is called specious reasoning, but don't tell that to Chad. He won't know what it means.
Philip Rivers will continue his throw party this week and the Dolphins won't say no, and Greg Jennings should light up the Falcons as long as his QB isn't Brian Flynn or Matt Brohm. Sorry, Brian Brohm or Matt Flynn. But, as predicted, Laurence Maroney is not very good and the return of Dallas Clark pushes Gonzalez down the target chart.
I'm assuming Campbell will start over Palmer since Carson's elbow is plum swole up like a water balloon, and Chris Perry will be benched for Vincent Jackson. I'd like to assume that the league's worst defense will be dropped for a different one, but Larry must be holding the Broncos for some reason. Marion Barber might score 8 TDs on the Bengals this week and if he does, he'll account for 90% of the Tough Kids offense.
The Pick: Atlas Shruggz 95 - Crafton Tough Kids 73
Lowcountry All Stars (3-1) at Purple Swirls (4-1)
The winner of this one gets to hold the conch. The All Stars are already reaching for it because all of their matchups are perfect this week. The only potential trouble spot is Reggie Bush, but if the Saints continue flanking him out, he's barely a running back anyway. The All Stars don't have a care in the world right now.
On the other hand, Caulen is frantically refreshing the NFL injury page for updates on Westbrook. Held out of practice? Sounds bad! Oh, but they may be keeping him fresh for Sunday! Practiced in the walkthrough, but was limited? Sounds bad! But it is only Wednesday. Chris Johnson is healthy but it's hard to run on Baltimore no matter how fast you are. In fact, judging from recent history, this will be the Swirls' last week to enjoy the fruits of Chris Johnson before he goes down for the season.
The Pick: Lowcountry All Stars 103 - Purple Swirls 85
Stringfellow Hawks (2-2) at Iron City Pounders (2-2)
The sheer number of 2-2 teams makes this feel like a pee wee league where everybody gets a trophy. Shameful. Yes, I'm aware that I'm 2-2. The QB battle in this one is Peyton Manning vs. Kyle Orton. The Lions defense is so bad that it makes fantasy owners willingly start Kyle Orton. Yes, I'm aware Favre is on a bye. Amazingly, considering Indy's annual troubles in Houston...I can't believe I'm saying this...Orton might actually win that matchup. Holy Christ. What world is this?
But if Manning struggles for the Pounders, Harrison will struggle for the Hawks. McGahee against Tennessee will be beyond a struggle. With an eye gouge against Cleveland followed by a bruised chest against Pittsburgh, I'm sure McGahee is dying to find out which body part is injured this weekend by Albert Haynesworth. Perhaps...all of them. Tomlinson against Miami is nice and the only thing that will slow down Williams against the Chiefs is Jon Stewart stealing his carries.
Driver misses Favre, but Holmes finally caught his first touchdown. I'll tell you right now, I'm putting Steve Slaton down for 125 yards and a score against the Colts. But I'm not feeling so bold about the rest of the Pounder lineup.
The Pick: Stringfellow Hawks 100 - Iron City Pounders 88
Deathfromabove (2-2) at Vanduhlay industries (2-2)
Seriously, has anybody checked in on Vanduhlay? Fargas is off with a bye, but he'll still play because the VI bench consists of another back with a bye, a QB and a guy out of the NFL. He has all of these good players, too. Cutler, Forte, Andre Johnson, Gates, Jackson when he plays. What is going on here?
And you know what? He's going to win this week! Vanduhlay is going to be 3-2 after two straight weeks playing shorthanded. Peterson will run wild on the Saints, but forget about the rest of the DFA lineup. I...I can't go on.
The Pick: Vanduhla industrie 85 - Deathfromabove 76