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The Profit

A little better, but still not quite there yet.

A 9-win week, while respectable, was tainted by just a 1-2-1 mark on the best bets, including blowing the pick of the week with Atlanta. Had it not been for Vick getting banged-up, there's a good chance the Seahawks give that game away but results are results. Point To The Shirt, I know. For the uninitiated, check out our forums and you'll know what I'm talking about.

For some reason, I picked the Eagles as my pick of the week initially, and then changed it. I didn't want to simply rely on picking a favorite as my best bet every single week, and figured Atlanta had as good a shot of winning their game outright as Philly did of covering a 2-touchdown lead. The lesson to be learned here is to trust the first instinct.

Anyway, there are some more tricky games this week. Sometimes, it takes a couple of weeks to really get a feel for the teams, how they play, strengths/weaknesses, etc. After one week, we expected that teams like Baltimore and Minnesota would turn it around. After two, you've got to have the mindset that it's more trend than mere slip-up. Still, in the backs of our collective minds we know that Jamal Lewis is a monster of a running back, and Daunte Culpepper probably did not inherit the spirit of Heath Shuler.

On to the picks…

Source: Yahoo.com

BUFFALO (-2.5) vs. ATLANTA
Buffalo has the type of defense that can stifle Vick and the Falcons running game. But Atlanta has the type of defense that can throttle any offense, let alone one led by J.P. Losman. Seeing as how I think of the Falcons as a Super Bowl contender, I can't expect them to play two poor games consecutively. I assume Vick is going to suit up, and if he does I have no problem taking them and getting points, even if it is a tough road game. If Vick doesn't play, count me out. PICK: Falcons

CINCINNATI (-3) at CHICAGO
Now that people are properly high on the Bengals' offense (and everyone knows I've been leading those cheers), it's time for a little reality check. Carson Palmer, great as he may be, and Chad Johnson (easily one of my favorite players in the league) are not going to go for 4,500/40 and 1,800/20 this year. The Bears defense is an awesome unit, and much better than I gave them credit for at the beginning of the season. The Bengals have done what they've done so far against the Browns and Vikings - hardly defensive stalwarts. The Bears will put up a much bigger challenge, and will specifically game-plan for this to be a close, tight game. If they are able to play "their" game, perhaps they'll have a shot late. The main thing that scares me about this game is that I expected the Bengals to be favored by a lot more than three. People are starting to realize the Bears defense is legit, and good defense always holds down good offense (See: Week 2, Indy vs. Jacksonville). PICK: Bears

DALLAS (-6.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
The Cowboys and Niners used to be the highlight game of the year. Now, it's simply a measuring stick to see how well the two teams respond to adversity. Can Dallas regroup and rebound from an awful final two minutes against Washington? Can the Niners come back and at least play a respectable game against a quality opponent? The answers, in my opinion, are "Yes" and "No". PICK: Cowboys

MINNESOTA (-4) vs. NEW ORLEANS
Wow, the all-time battle of head coaches who should've been fired two years ago but somehow managed to hang onto their respective jobs because of unknown reasons and maybe they have questionable photographs of the team's owner because there is no other explanation for why these two men should have held onto their positions past year two and yet here they are several years later still coaching their teams and leading them down a path to losing yet no one seems willing to make a very necessary change at the top position and so all of this incredible talent on each team will go to absolute waste. PICK: Vikings (for no reason)

PHILADELPHIA (-8.5) vs. OAKLAND
I like Philly to win this game, obviously, but 8.5 is a little much for me. The Raider offense is obviously superb, and while Philadelphia combines both a stellar offense with an outstanding defense, I can't lay 8.5 here and feel good about it. Make it less than a touchdown and I'm on board. But I don't see Oakland getting blitzed many times this year, because even if they're down by like 20 heading into the fourth quarter, they certainly have the capability to put up two quick scores and ruin your bet. PICK: Raiders

PITTSBURGH (-3) vs. NEW ENGLAND
Hurry up everyone, there are only a few seats left on the "Corey Dillon got old fast" train, and we're leaving after this week. Be warned: he may run for fewer yards than Hines Ward this week. I still like the Pats to win it all because at the end of the year and in the playoffs, they'll make the plays needed to win the big games, but I don't like them a ton on a week-to-week basis so much. Sure, they could go into Pittsburgh and roll by forcing Big Ben into mistakes like last year, but this is sort of a different Pats defense than last year. Loss of coordinator and two big playmakers will do that. I figure it'll take some time, and losses like last week to Carolina and what I expect will be a loss this week to Pittsburgh will be just enough to make people doubt them - which will set them up perfectly for another Super Bowl run in January. PICK: Steelers

SAN DIEGO (-5.5) vs. NEW YORK GIANTS
It's too bad most San Diego fans are completely lethargic and bored. Otherwise, Eli Manning might actually feel some wrath going in there Sunday night. As it is, the Charger players at least get an opportunity to take out some anger on him. Heck, Philip Rivers might even get in on the act and start berating Manning. After all, Manning's demands last year are the primary reason that Rivers isn't starting at QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers right now. With the Chargers FINALLY committed to getting the ball into Tomlinson's hands (you know Tomlinson, right? Best player in the league? Heard of him? Ok good.), perhaps San Diego will sustain a few more drives. It is an absolute must-win for the Bolts, while it'd be a "nice" win for the G-Men. Give me the desperate team just about every time. PICK: Chargers

SEATTLE (-6.5) vs. ARIZONA
Man, I hate doing this. I hate relying on Seattle to come through with the win when they *should*. Ya know, the whole 'always letting me down' angle? They really should go into Arizona this week and stake their claim to the division. I mean, they SHOULD go in and roll up about 30 points of offense, take away the Cardinals' mediocre run game, and force Kurt Warner into poor decisions. That said, I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if they laid an egg. I'm still picking them to win and cover because they're home, but I just hate doing it. PICK: Seahawks

SAINT LOUIS (-6.5) vs. TENNESSEE
Tennessee proved last week that they definitely will, in fact, play football this year. I don't anticipate them playing it well all that often, mind you. And the Rams have yet to be on the home surface yet, meaning the points are about ready to be seen from all angles. I know the Rams aren't the safest team in the world to rely upon, but I feel comfortable enough that they'll win this game by a touchdown. Of course, it'll probably be as close as possible and they'll win by EXACTLY a touchdown, but hey I'll take it. PICK: Rams

TAMPA BAY (-3.5) at GREEN BAY
It looks like the Packers are going to force Brian Griese to beat them, as the defensive focus will be on shutting down Cadillac Williams. I know it's probably not the best idea for the Packers to expose their horrid secondary, but it does make more sense this way. As for the game itself, I just can't bring myself to go against Green Bay at home against the Tampa Bay Bucs. I'm not of the belief that Tampa is completely legit just yet, and I don't see them marching into Lambeau and emerging victorious. Yes, that's my biggest reason for going with the Packers, but it's as good a reason as any. PICK: Packers

BEST BETS

CAROLINA (-3) at MIAMI
This is a baffling line. Carolina is coming off a win over the defending champs. Miami is a team with very little offensive firepower, coming off a bad loss to the Jets. Simply baffling. That should scare me, but it doesn't. I'm a big believer in Carolina. PICK: Panthers

INDIANAPOLIS (-13.5) vs. CLEVELAND
The Colts are 2-0 and haven't even really gotten started yet. This week, they'll get started. Expect a Philadelphia/San Francisco-type result. I know, you can't discount Romeo Crennel's past abilities to thwart Peyton Manning, and if that scares you then by all means steer clear of this game. But Crennel just doesn't have the same personnel in Cleveland as he had in New England, and hasn't had the time to get it up and running in quite the same way. PICK: Colts

NEW YORK JETS (-2.5) vs. JACKSONVILLE
I didn't really get a feel for this game, what with Leftwich banged-up and Pennington's arm strength somewhere between the arm strength of Jillian Barberie and Adam Sandler. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized - Jacksonville all but shut down PEYTON MANNING! I shudder to think of what Pennington will do. PICK: Jaguars

DENVER (-3) vs. KANSAS CITY
The Chiefs will destroy Denver. Know why? Because the Broncos aren't very good. That is all. PICK: Chiefs

PICK OF THE WEEK: Carolina Panthers


LAST WEEK

  • OVERALL: 9-6-1
  • BEST BETS: 1-2-1
  • PICK OF WEEK: 0-1

SEASON TOTALS

  • OVERALL: 15-16-1
  • BEST BETS: 3-4-1
  • PICK OF WEEK: 1-1
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