Last Week: 3-4
It's hard enough to make picks under normal circumstances, but with officially half of the league a game-time decision this week, only a fool would even try.
On to the picks!
Lake Balboa Ladybugs (2-3) at Newbomb Turk (3-2)
I panned Newbomb as a team that could go 0-13 in the season preview and now they're one game ahead of me. A team that isn't even paying attention anymore, Vanduhlay, is one game ahead of me. I've had a star out so regularly that Donovan McNabb is getting LASIK Saturday morning just to keep the streak alive. I only want to hang on until everybody is healthy, but if I lose again this week, I might become more unhinged than McCain supporters reading new poll numbers.
But I know how to win, my friends. It's easy. I know how. I can do it, my friends. My friends, DeAngelo Hall is so bad that Marques Colston is going to play through a sore thumb just to face him. McNabb and Jackson should have fun in San Francisco together, Cotchery is looking at a big day on the Bungles and unless Adrian Peterson takes every handoff 80 yards for a touchdown (possible against the Lions), even Chester Taylor should have a decent day.
You know who's not looking so good? That one. Nobody on the Newbomb roster is the least bit intimidating this week with the exceptions of Romo and Taylor. They're going to have big days on bad defenses for sure, but this is an even-numbered week, my friends. That means a Ladybug victory. A victory the American people need.
The Pick: Lake Balboa Ladybugs 94 - Newbomb Turk 78
The People's Elbow (3-2) at Atlas Shruggz (1-4)
With Big Ben's bye break, Carson Palmer is the living embodiment of The People's Elbow. Carson's elbow is swollen, forcing inaccurate throws and possibly tabbed for surgery. On the other hand, he's throwing against the Jets, so maybe it's a wash. Then again, Nate hopes Carson doesn't hit Chad ______ for too many touchdowns because each score for 85 is 6 for Atlas and that's a net -2 for Nate.
With Earnest Graham and the Tampa defense in his lineup, Nate is hoping the Bucs beat Carolina 37-0, an outcome about as unlikely as one of the kids for The Hills coming up with answer to America's energy problems. What's much more likely is Graham putting up a 0. Gore doesn't have any easy shakes against Philadelphia, either and I am not taking a Derrick Mason sighting seriously.
With Tomlinson's toe and the Patriots secondary both weak, Rivers will be chucking. But with Chambers out and Gates gimpy, who knows where the ball will end up. Greg Jennings should torture the Seattle secondary, but probably not enough to carry Atlas' world on his shoulder. Unbelievably enough, Nate choosing the correct fill-in kicker this week will decide this dog of a game. John Carney, are you ready?
The Pick: The People's Elbow 70 - Atlas Shruggz 68
Brookline Bucs (2-3) at St. A's Crusaders (2-3)
A brutal Balkanization battle to decide the superior diocese of Pittsburgh. Even though the kids from Brookline and St. A's are indecipherable, they hate each other with a burning fury. It's all of the similarities that chaff them so and they don't even realize it. One key difference between the two groups, however, is that nearly every Crusader matchup this week is as golden as the tabernacle that holds the eucharists at St. A's. They are looking shiny and artistic!
If Ryan Grant doesn't get going this week, he never will and Thomas Jones will blast through Cincy like an actual jet would tear through an actual Bengal tiger, which is probably depicted on some 5th grade kid's notebook at St. A's. Santana Moss should get back on the board this week against the Saskatchewan Rams and Drew Brees against the Oakland pass defense is a bigger mismatch than...the jet and the tiger thing again, I guess.
On the other hand, Warrick Dunn is the tiger and the Carolina defense is the jet. If he has more than 3 points, I will be flat-out inspired. Even the Rodgers matchup, which looks good, might not go anywhere. If the Packers get up early on the terrible Seahawks, a distinct possibility, look for lots of running to save Rodgers' shoulder joint, which is currently located in his elbow. That's extra points for Ryan Grant, dontcha know?
The Pick: St. A's Crusaders 98 - Brookline Bucs 67
LetsGoPens (2-3) at Vanduhlay industries (3-2)
Rumors surfaced this week that the CEO of Vanduhlay industries was found with the body of Steve Fossett, which is the actual reason the Dow Jones tumbled below 9000 this week. Too bad Bush didn't get to put Social Security in the market. Then the news would've been really interesting this week.
Dwayne Bowe is in line to be the third straight VI starter with a bye, though how good has he been anyway? Jacobs, Fargas and Forte all look pretty decent, it's just too bad that 8 have to do the work of 9 for VI.
Caulen's prized draft pick, David Garrard, has surfaced with another team, and he could be the latest in a long line of quarterbacks to rip up Denver. Owens should get the ball early and often to prevent a complete meltdown in the Cowboy locker room and Arizona couldn't cover him even if Romo wasn't looking for Owens on every play. Calvin Johnson got some bad news this week when he found out Dan Orlovsky would be his QB, but Portis should score enough points to balance it out. Warren Buffet just bought a 10% stake in Ronnie Brown vs. Houston. The Oracle of Omaha recognizes a good opportunity when he sees one.
The Pick: LetsGoPens 102 - Vanduhlay industries 90
Lowcountry All Stars (3-2) at Crafton Tough Kids (3-2)
A classically ridiculous fantasy football loss last week turned the All Stars into also rans. An L2 streak makes this team hungry for a win. GM Jeff Webster gave the troops Tuesday off and invited everybody down to a shrimp boil in the hopes of loosening the tension, but when every player on the roster stood him up, he was left with 95 pounds of uneaten shrimp and one awkward locker room Wednesday.
And wouldn't you know, he's right back where he was last week, facing his opponent's defense on Monday night, hoping to not catch the screwgie once again. Bush and Manning should get fat this week on bad defenses, but the rest of the roster will be lean. Lean starts with an L. Make that streak L3.
Vincent Jackson is the only mildly healthy target for the Chargers so that should be good, and Barber should be nice against the Cards, but the fabled Ronnie Brown to Greg Camarillo hook up isn't quite threatening Young to Rice just yet. Chris Perry is going to keep losing carries to Cedric Benson of all people as the Tough Kids can only look at Cotchery's stats and sigh wistfully.
Hmm. This is a tough pick. Both teams look like dook, but it's a big game because the winner gets to keep the white and green helmet.
The Pick: Crafton Tough Kids 81 - Lowcountry All Stars 78
Stringfellow Hawks (2-3) at Purple Swirls (4-1)
To the surprise of nobody, Caulen is once again rising to the top of the WVFL. He is the Bill Parcells of our league. Coincidentally, Bill Parcells is also a fan of experimental noisecore. These two should get together for lunch sometime.
Assuming Westbrook is out, Ray Rice is in, although he'll still be 3rd on the Raven depth chart. John Harbaugh isn't pulling any strings for Caulen. The Indy run defense is so bad that a few points might trickle all the way down to Rice, but you want more than 3 points from your RB2. You also want your RB1 to be more than Julius Jones.
You know what drives me crazy about J.T. O'Sullivan? He's one of those guys whose media guide photo doesn't match his current appearance. So whenever you watch a Niner game, they show this next to his stat line, but when they put that chyron on a sideline shot, you see this hair. That's bullshit and you know it, J.T. Pick a style and stick with it. Who do you think you are, Jeff Webster?
So those are Caulen's problems. As for the Hawks, Tomlinson, McGahee and Winslow are all hurt, DeAngelo Williams is impossible to predict and Devery Henderson could be the one Saints receiver with 100 yards and a score...or it could be one of six other guys. How many receivers does that team have, anyway?
Brett Favre is gonna have so much fun out there this week, flinging it around for the Hawks.
The Pick: Stringfellow Hawks 91 - Purple Swirls 75
Deathfromabove (2-3) at Iron City Pounders (3-2)
Yahoo! is predicting 23 points for Adrian Peterson against the Lions this week. That is one of the highest Yahoo! predictions I have ever seen. And it might be low. Of course, if Peterson scores 30, he and Jamal Lewis will combine for 32. Buckhalter will be nice against the Niners with Westbrook out and Kurt Warner's line will either be 350 yards and 3 TDs or 200 yards, 3 INTs and 2 fumbles lost. 26 points or 2. There will be no in between.
Conversely, Yahoo! is being way too generous with Michael Turner and Steve Slaton. The Bears will shut down Atlanta and Miami has actually been controlling the line on defense. And I know I'm getting old, because I remember when Peyton Manning was a dominant fantasy football player.
The Pick: Deathfromabove 99 - Iron City Pounders 65