It’s Football Friday here at Razzball headquarters. I just saw Grey drinking a daiquiri he received in the mail from a loyal reader who is on the verge of winning his baseball league. He is saying something, he wants to thank everyone for, wait, he’s slurring his words, thank everyone for, uh, oh, he just passed out. Anyway, here is a run down of Sunday’s games in the National Football League, enjoy!
Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles
The storyline will be Michael Vick and how much he plays, but for the fantasy world and really for the rest of the world the storyline should be a little more branched. Matt Cassel gets the pleasure of going to The Linc, now I don’t know about you, but I would rather eat black olives than do that. (Black Olives are the Devil’s fruit) The Chiefs are going to have a tough time in Philly. Would I start Cassel, no. LJ, no. Bowe, yes, because the guy can get in the endzone, but don’t expect much more, that’s just selfish.
Kevin Kolb should get his second start in a row and after putting up big numbers he is worth a flier if you are hurting at QB. But there is a chance that DeSean Jackson might be limited with a groin injury which would hurt Kolb, but I’m guessing it hurts DeSean a little more. If Jackson doesn’t play Brent Celek would get a nice boost. The RB situation is normal for the Eagles with Westbrook not practicing on Thursday. He doesn’t practice that often when he is feeling good so this isn’t a surprise, but with McCoy in the wings it could make it easier to sit Westy if there are any doubts. He is the king of game-time decisions, but thankfully this is a 1 pm game (for you east coast biasers).
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
The Browns have a lot of problems. Brady Quinn at the quarterback position might be the biggest. He hasn’t been stretching the field and even though a longer field wouldn’t help the offense, it might help their pitiful defense. My old nemesis Jamal Lewis hasn’t practiced this week and it might give my bestus bud James Davis a chance, unfortunately it will be tough for him to prove his worth against the Ravens run defense. He isn’t worth a start, but if you own him hope for a few tough runs and for Lewis to be attacked by robots.
In Baltimore, against the Browns defense you have a recipe for some good home offensive cooking. Add some Flacco, a little McGahee, a pinch of Mason, and a whole Heap of Rice and you’ll have yourself a healthy serving of fantasy goodness.
Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions
The Redskins have scored a whopping 1 TD’s this season and are amazingly 1-1. Offenses usually get better against a Detroit defense who has surrendered 72 points in 2 games. I can’t say that Washington will even win this game, but they should be able to move the ball better than they have. You are going to start Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley of course and even Santana Moss who I consider benchable in many of their games. In this game you can even throw Campbell and Randle El in there. I’m not counting on huge games from each of these schmos, but they should have ample opportunities.
Detroit has now lost 19 games in a row. In my opinion that is not very good. But this here is a good example of how fantasy and reality aren’t the same thing, also, they are two completely different words. Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith are every week starters on a team that can’t win a game. For some reason I am looking forward to this game. It may be masochistic, but I kinda like these losers, but I am a Cubs fan as well.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
The Jags are one of the worst teams in the league. That is a sad statement for a team that usually has a tough D and has one of the best running backs in the league. The good thing about fake football is we don’t really care about crazy things like wins and what not. This game could be a shootout and that’s the way we like it, uh huh, uh huh. MJD should have a field day, whatever that is, and I would feel good about throwing David Garrard, Torry Holt, Marcedes Lewis and Mike Sims-Walker out there against them.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Schaub, it was the age of Slaton, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us and then we met the Jags and the fantasy walls came tumbling down. This should be the game that our old pal Steve Slaton gets back on track. The Jags are still ok against the run, but they are poor against stopping running backs from catching the ball. If Slaton doesn’t catch at least 5 passes I’m going to find Kubiak and drive him back to Denver and throw him in a vat of fermenting beer. Oh, and Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels are no-brainer starts. Kevin Walter was still limited in practice, but if he completes a full practice today I’d start him as well.
Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots
The Falcons look like a real team. Even in down games Matt Ryan puts up adequate fantasy numbers. It is all there. A good offensive line, QB, RB, WR and TE. And each one is an every game start even on the road in New England. And if you’re in a league that starts offensive lines that is just weird.
Brady hasn’t been Brady this year, but he’s shown signs and I have no doubt he’ll turn it around. The Falcons weakness is their run D, but there aren’t many fantasy RB’s in New England. the Falcons won’t have an answer for Moss like the Jets did with Darelle Revis so he should get back on track and it looks like Welker should be ok to go.
Green Bay Packers @ St. Louis Rams
The Packers O-line is awful right now, but thankfully for them the Rams aren’t exactly sack masters. You can safely play every living Packer and some who have passed on.
If I was a Rams fan I would be hoping for Warren Beatty to come back from heaven to QB my team. But you’ve got to go with watcha got. The Packers haven’t been great against #1 receivers so I would play Laurent Robinson because there is a great chance they will be down and needing to throw. And you might as well start SJax.
New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I would never draft Eli Manning. It wouldn’t even cross my mind to draft Eli Manning. I don’t even like saying the name Eli Manning. Is that so wrong? I guess so because he is playing well and throwing to parenthetical Steve Smith and his brother from another mother, but with a similar, but ham-phenated name, Mario Manningham. If you would have told me Smith and Manningham would be 1-2 in the NFC in receiving yards after week 2 I would have punched you in the mouth. You have to feel good about starting all of them, even the 3.3 yards per carry Brandon Jacobs, against a Bucs team that is 31st in the league in defense.
The Bucs have been airing it out because they can’t seem to stop anybody, ever. The Giants D even though banged up is still stopping people through the air, but their run D hasn’t been great. The loss of Justin Tuck won’t help. So I wouldn’t be afraid to start Caddy and Derrick Ward. Winslow will still be the primary receiver, but otherwise it might be a tough go for the passing offense.
Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets
This is why you don’t draft defenses early. The Titans have given up a whopping 339 yards through the air. Is that from the first two games? No sir, that’s per game. The Jets are tough on the pass and Revis will shut down Justin Gage or Nate Washington. I’m pretty sure he could cover both of them at the same time, so I would give both of them a time out. They are also tough against the run, but not as much. Chris Johnson won’t repeat last week, but you have to start him. Sit LenDale because I doubt he’ll have too many opportunities.
With the Titans pass defense you have to throw Cotchery and Keller out there who have both looked good. Sanchez is a gamble and I would sit him but if you are feeling frisky, and the eagle flies with the dove, you might as well love the one your with. I’d sit Sir Thomas Jones and flex out ol’ Leon Washington.
San Francisco 49ers @ Minnesota Vikings
Gore rode the Seahawks D and put them up wet, but Minnesota don’t play like that. Gore of course is an every week start, but there is less to like about this matchup. The Vikings are giving up more yards per game on the ground than usual, but they have yet to give up a TD. And they have only given up 157 yards per game through the air (double that and you still don’t have as many as the Titans per game!). I don’t like the chances of any 49er having a fantasy worthy game other than Gore.
Brett Favre is old. Let’s face cold old facts. He can’t throw the ball very far and my hopes of him stretching the field have been broken like I’m sure one of his calcium deficient bones will be at some point this year. The 49ers D has been stout against the run and a little looser against the pass. Purple Jesus should levetate those rush D numbers, but asking for 200 yards and 3 TD’s is selfish and uncalled for! Some of us never had the #1 pick okay! I like Harvin and Berrian as starters, but lets stop there before we embarrass ourselves.
New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills
With Bell out and Pierre Thomas still in limbo it looks like Drew Brees may throw about 79 times in this game. The Bills have been poor to horrible against the pass and I see no reason they won’t be humiliated like every other team Drew Brees has picked apart this year. Start Colston, Shockey, Bush and Henderson without reservations. In return leagues give Meachem a whirl. And if you are in a TD heavy league throw Hamilton at them.
The Bills haven’t exactly been slouches on the offensive side of the ball which bodes well for a high scoring fantasy free for all. Fred Jackson has been insane and should continue catching passes and running hard. Trent Edwards will need to throw the ball early and often to at least attempt to keep up with the Saints so Owens and Lee are worthy starting as well.
Chicago Bears @ Seattle Seahawks
The Bears showed a little heart against the Steelers and get an injury plagued Seahawks team. Gore ran all over them last week, and I see Matt Forte finally living up to his high draft pick status. Cutler might not blow the doors off the Seahawks, but I see an good day that won’t kill you fantasy wise. The Bears receivers are hard to read right now. Johnny Knox has the potential to really do something this year, but I’m holding my judgment for now and sitting him down with Earl Bennett. Hester is still the #1 receiver if you can call him that and I think the safest play this week.
I don’t think Hasselbeck will play. This really hurts all of the Seahawks. I feel good about Carlson and ok about Houshmandzadeh, but I’d look for a backup for Jones. Wallace will hurt him.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Steelers have beaten the Bengals 8 times in a row at Paul Brown stadium (shouldn’t that be the Browns’ stadium?). And they are coming off a tough loss. I’m looking for a grind it out kinda game between two rivals which isn’t the best scenario for fantasy. I think you have to start Roethlisberger, Holmes and Ward, but I can’t trust their running backs to do much.
The Steelers pass D is their weakness, especially with Polamalu out so you need to start Ocho, and Palmer is a toss up for me right now. I feel like there are some good matchups out there this week and you could probably find a QB not going up against the Steelers. Cedric Benson is a flex play at best. His ceiling for this game is 70 yards and a TD, but more like sans TD.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
The Raiders looked good at home in week one and then not so good away in week 2. Of course they lost in week one and won and week 2. Crazy kids! So back home against Denver I have to think they’ll play at least a little better. The Broncos D has been good this year, but they also have played the Browns and that’ll pad anybodies stats. I’m starting Darren McFadden and Zach Miller, but that’s where I draw the line!
The Broncos are still trying to find their bearings and Oakland really isn’t the best place to do that even though the Raiders are owned by the decaying one. We still don’t know what is happening with the WR rotation or the RB rotation. Marshall, Royal and Moreno should come out on top of all this eventually, but we are going to have a lot of pitiful fake football records waiting on that to happen. I’m sitting Marshall like Josh McDaniels seems to be doing. He is going up against Asomugha so it isn’t a stretch. I’m starting Royal and Moreno. I think Moreno will start getting the bulk of the carries this week and the Raiders run D isn’t the best in the league.
Miami Dolphins @ San Diego Chargers
Ronnie Brown meet the huge hole where Jamal Williams used to live. Now run through it. The Ravens ran all over the Chargers with Old Willis McGahee and after Mr. Brown’s Monday night game you might see a little less of Ricky Williams. You have to get Ted Ginn Jr. in there, but I’m holding off on Bess until it looks like he’s going to get more work.
LT doesn’t look like he’ll play yet again. If the slow healing isn’t a sign of old age I don’t know what is. I’m still healing from sitting on the couch all day. Rivers, Gates, Sproles and Jackson are all must starts. Miami’s pass D is weak and their run D is strong. Thankfully for Sproles owners he likes to catch the ball.
Inianapolis Colts @ Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals run D has been a strength this year. I would sit both Addai and Brown. Peyton will find Clark and Wayne and you will start them all or I swear I will not be that pleased with your decision making abilities. Garcon had that one catch and run to save his fantasy night on Monday, but it sure is hard to count on that. He should see more targets if the Colts can keep their time of possession above 15 minutes, but he is far from reliable. He’s an emergency starter.
The Colts pass D is tops in the league, but of course it’s hard to sit Warner, Fitz or Boldin. If I had a decent backup for Warner with a good matchup I might sit him, and if you own Warner you better have a decent backup. The Colts problem is their run D as usual. Tim Hightower is a must start and even Beanie might sneak some yards in there, but I’d sit him until he shores up more touches.