NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 17

Not a terrible way to end the season, not a big winner, but a winner nonetheless! The playoffs are just around the corner, and I’ll certainly be getting my picks out for those games by mid-week as well. As for week 17, it was good for some, that’s for sure – but it was a heck of a lot worst for most of those teams with playoff dreams… This is how it went down.

Oakland Raiders (+14) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) Well, the Raiders upended the Bucs playoff hopes, opening the door for the Eagles to run the Cowboys and take the 6 seed. Like I said, Oakland does their best work against smaller defense, not unlike the Bucs. 14 points was way too many, ha.

Detroit Lions (+10.5) @ Green Bay Packers: (WINNER) Well, they couldn’t pull off the win, allowing one or two too many big plays down the stretch, but this game was close, and the 10 points difference writes a different story. Either way, the Lions covered for me.

Dallas Cowboys (+2) @ Philadelphia Eagles: (Loss) I was dead wrong here. The Eagles came to play, and everything worked out for them to own the final playoff spot. Do they keep their go for it attitude and make a run at the NFC crown or will they parish into their play not to lose alternate personality? Good question, I know, but they kicked some Cowboys tail this Sunday! I lose.

New York Giants (+7) @ Minnesota Vikings: (WINNER) The Giants should have won this game, but they didn’t really go for the throat and they let the Vikings hang around. Either way both these teams were in the playoffs, with the same seed, but Minnesota might come out of this one with a little more hope. AP had a big day for the Vikings. But I still won this one easily.

Chicago Bears (+3) @ Houston Texans: (Loss) “I love the Texans. They play very tough at home, and I see them throwing the ball around against the Bears secondary – but how about the will to win? The Bears have that. I hate betting on teams that won last weak where I thought they should have lost. That’s the Bears to a T. But what about the will?” – Here’s my answer – the will isn’t strong enough to go against my betting rules. When I learn that I’ll win more.

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ New Orleans Saints: (Loss) Well, this one was close. The Panthers wanted a suer thing bye, but the Saints weren’t about to roll over for them. Drew Brees was on his game, finishing just shy of Marino’s single season yardage record. The Siants pulled it out, but by just enough to make me a loser, 2….

St. Louis Rams (+15.5) @ Atlanta Falcons: (WINNER) I had this one right on the button – I hope the Falcons keep finding ways to win with a big playoff game coming up next week. What a rushing attack in Week 17, Turner and Norwood did work.

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ Cincinnati Bengals: (Loss) The Bengals really learned to play some defense as the season moved forward. If they keep that up next year, they might be alright. The Chiefs didn’t impress me much, and as it turns out I may have expected a little too much out of a 2 win team.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens (-12): (WINNER) I was right on the button with this one too. The Ravens are a terrible match-up for the Jaguars, or at least this Jaguars team. Baltimore’s tough nosed, grind it out style, with the ability to get first downs through the air, was just too much for the Jags.

Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Indianapolis Colts: (Loss) Weird game. The Titans didn’t do much, and it looked like the Colts turned into the team I thought Tennessee was. Both teams had their 2nd teamers in there, but it was the Colts that dominated from the get go, and they rode their momentum all game long.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-10): (WINNER) The Steelers lost Big Ben in a meaningless game, but hopefully he’ll be alright for the playoffs. They dominated the Browns, though, putting up 31 and shutting out Cleveland’s anemic offense. I needed this one.

Miami Dolphins (+3) @ New York Jets: (WINNER) “If the Jets’ play calling is stupid enough for them to lose at home to Denver, in San Francisco, and then in Seattle in 3 of their last 4 games, then it is probably bad enough to choke this one away too. I don’t know about the average football mind, but if I had an old quarterback that got respect on his deep passes, one that was having shoulder issues, I would probably run the ball more than I threw it. If the Jets did that, they’d have won against the Hawks last week. They would have beaten the 49ers as well. But Man-Jina loves to throw the ball, regardless of the auto five yards Thomas Jones is getting and the great back-up speedster they have in Leon Washington. All things being equal, that stupidity should get Miami into the playoffs.” As soon as the Jets are down at all, they immediately turn to throwing the ball every single down. Their play calling sucks. Miami was the better team by season’s end, and that’s because their coaching is much better. There you have it. Hooray Miami! Hooray me!

New England Patriots (-6) @ Buffalo Bills: (WINNER) It was windy, it was nuts – the Patriots held on to the ball as long as possible and made some great moves that kept Buffalo out of the end zone. They won a big game, finished 11-5, but still found themselves up and out of the playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (-6): (WINNER) “I have to pick this game as if the last couple weeks didn’t happen to the Cardinals. The Cardinals are 6 points better than Seattle, especially at home, and especially after getting slammed each of the last two weeks. They have to get it together now or never, and I think their offensive firepower will be tough for the Hawks to handle. Big tough receivers aren’t the easiest on the little coverage guys in Seattle’s secondary.” There you have it. And it was Kurt and his crew of big receivers tormenting the Hawks secondary all day long, especially late. Larry Fitzgerald had a big day, catching two touchdowns in the process. Yhatzee!

Washington Redskins (+3) @ San Francisco 49ers: (PUSH) For the second straight week the 49ers found a way to win. They were down, but not out, and it might be Big Mike. I hope Singletary is exactly what the 49ers need to get back to respectability. Winning a bunch of games down the stretch probably helped them out a ton heading into next season. I didn’t win or lose, just pushed all the way to my money back on this one.

Denver Broncos (+9.5) @ San Diego Chargers: (Loss) This game was awesome – if you hate Denver. I thought the Broncos would put up more of a fight, but this was consistent with the entire season, I once again had trouble predicting the Broncos. That damn Splinter is always confusing me.

9-6-1 to finish – 23 games up on the season…

Ask Papa Weimer: Week 17

Well, I will randomly post up questions with answers as the year moves forward, but this is my last of my seasonal Ask Me questions and answers. I’m always available via e-mail, for questions and advice, so feel free to send in at your will. I got a ton of questions from David this week in an email, and all were solid, so I just printed his one question and my long answers… Hope this helps!

“I want to thank you for all the advice I used and all the advice that I failed to use and I should have used. It enabled me to win my teacher’s league and finish 2nd in my big money league by .4 of a point. It looks like I will be able to play for a few more seasons. Now I need some advice for the playoffs. 1a-I would like you to list the 2 best teams in each conference and 1b-who you think will be in the Superbowl. 2-If you had a chance to draft a team for the playoffs what top 3 QBs would you go after,which 6RBs,and 6 WRs would you target? 3-Are there any players that you think will play in 3 games? 4-What are the 3 best Def to target? I appreciate all the help that you have given me. Also, 5- I am in a keeper league where I can spend $160. I can keep 3 players. Here is my list. Which 3 would you keep and why?

Andre Johnson $25
Ryan Grant $20
Chris Johnson $13
Eddie Royal $6
Jay Cutler $12

6- Finally, are there any RBs or WRs that could have a break out year that will be flying under the radar for next season? What about QBs that could have great seasons? Are you in any playoff leagues?

I would like to say you’re welcome for the advice, and sorry for the poor advice that I gave that might have stopped you from getting #1 in both leagues, but 1 and 2 is pretty solid. I’m in a couple playoff leagues, one in which you just pick the best starting lineup every week (I’m defending Champ there), and one where you pick 25 guys, any 25 you want, and you make a starting lineup every week depending on who gets eliminated from your roster every week. Now for the answers to your questions (but remember, this might all be a little easier if I knew exactly who was going to the playoffs)…

1a. Top Two Teams in Each Conference:
NFC- NY Giants, Carolina Panthers – both rely on the run game, and have solid defenses – that usually means playoff success.
AFC- Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans – I think I’d rank the Titans higher because they run the ball better, but if Big Ben gets his stuff together, and he usually does come playoff time, the Steelers will be tough to beat.
Sorry there’s no flier crazy pick here, but I truly think these top 4 are the top 4, so I have to go that way.

1b. Super Bowl match-up: Carolina Panthers vs. Tennessee Titans: Tough one for me. I think the Giants have a chance to get upset. They have some holes, that’s for sure, and they don’t play their best against the rest of the NFC East. If Dallas or Philadelphia somehow get in, and the Giants play one of them in New York in Round 2 of the playoffs, the Giants might get upset. If Carolina plays all their games at home, I think they have a great shot to see the Super Bowl. But really, the NFC is a tough one. AFC too, it’s either the Titans or the Steelers for me, and both have a great shot.

2. Playoff Rankings
QB- Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo or Eli Manning, Peyton Manning…. UGH (I hate the quarterbacks in this one, i have to be honest, I think Ben might be in the longest, and he has a chance to go all the way, and he’s solid so he gets the nod over Kerry Collins and Jake Delhomme, neither of those guys are that good fantasywise. Tony and Peyton both have a chance to play multiple games, if Dallas gets in, they could easily play 3, and Manning will match up against one of the AFC East teams or the AFC West winner, neither of those teams are great, and he has a good match-up in Week 1, plus they can’t run so he’ll be throwing. Romo (if Dallas gets in) will likely play Arizona or whoever wins the North (Chicago or Minnesota) – all are great throwing match-ups, and Dallas is likely better than any of those teams. But this is tough, I might pick four just to make sure.

RB- Brandon Jacobs, DeAngelo Williams, Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, (AP or Forte – whoever gets in), Marion Barber (I would almost stay exclusively in the NFC, because whomever wins in the AFC wild card round will have to face Tennessee and or Pittsburgh – don’t sign me up for that RB match-up. Pittsburgh’s RB situation is cloudy to say the least, and Tennessee probably has a good match-up in Week 2 of the playoffs, with Chris Johnson being a good match-up against a wild card winner. But that might leave you hanging if the Titans don’t make the Super Bowl. Tough choices.

WR- Steve Smith, TO (if Dallas gets in), Reggie Wayne, Randy Moss (if), Hines Ward, Wes Welker (if) – if the Patriots don’t get in, or if Dallas doesn’t get in, you need three more – Roddy White, Domenick Hixon, Vincent Jackson – if Vince doesn’t get in, maybe take a shot on Arizona and grab Boldin or Fitz, I just don’t see that team winning in the playoffs, but you never know. I didn’t think much of the Giants last year either – how’d that work out for me?

3. I think Dallas, Indy, Atlanta, New England, – and the 4 top seeds all have a chance to play 3 games…

4. I would target only defenses from the AFC, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and maybe Baltimore (if they get in) – that way you’ll have the best shot at starting a D every week, and all those defenses are tough. The only D I’d grab from the NFC is the Giants, and remember, repeating as Super Bowl Champs is really hard to do. If Baltimore doesn’t get in, and you need one Week 1 playoff defense, the winner of the NFC North or the Cowboys might be a decent bet. If Baltimore gets in, I’d surely take the 3 top Ds that I listed.

But all of this depends on how you’re doing this league. If this is a draft, and you are snaking and picking up players, things might be different. The way I do playoff leagues is that you get 25 players of your choice, and every week you start a lineup of QB, RB, Flex, WR, WR, TE, K, D… I kind of remember you maybe doing a draft. If that’s the case, I think the Falcons have a nice shot at winning Week 1 in the playoffs, and a solid shot at Week 2 as well. Roddy, Turner – two solid options.

5. Keeper League Guys:
I would keep Chris Johnson for sure – he’ll never be $13 ever again, kid is only going to get better.
I would probably keep Andre Johnson too – I think the Texans break out next year, and this guy is probably the best young receiving talent in the league. And I also think $25 is a nice price for a top receiver – who were the expensive receivers this year? What did they cost?

Eddie Royal for $6 seems like a steal, but it seems like auction drafts always find you cheap receivers somewhere, is that true? I haven’t done one before, had a couple started, but never got the league all the way through…

If it’s not a PPR league, I think Ryan Grant is a solid buy. He doesn’t have much hype though, and it’s likely that you can get him for around this price next season – so maybe you’d want to go for Cutler…

What did the top 5 QBs go for this season? He’ll definitely be a Top 5 guy next year. Just think about value, I think Jay, Eddie, Chris, and Andre all have climbing value. Grant is about the same, maybe down a bit – you want to keep your best value. But you also want to look at RB options moving forward, if Grant is going to be one of the best RBs left on the board, he might be a keeper option. Not a PPR is it? If it is a PPR league, I think I’d shy away from Ryan.

6: Some guys that have either seen a huge drop in Value, or aren’t respected as much as they should be, that could be goodies next season…

Kevin Smith (I see a lot of talent there), Pierre Thomas (he’s the best running back in New Orleans), Rashard Mendenhall (I still love his game, and I have a feeling Parker might get the snip), Roddy White (one of the best receivers in the game, doesn’t get enough credit), Marques Colston (not sure, but he might have lost a lot of value), Braylon Edwards (so much talent, so many drops, probably drops way down because of those), Ted Ginn Jr (looks to be doing well, next year is his 3rd), Dwayne Bowe (consistent, very consistent and that KC offense seems to be blossoming a little bit), Vincent Jackson (this might finally be the time he meets those expectations he gets from his talent), Maurice Jones Drew (the #1 back in Jacksonville next season, all season- he’s had a great year, and they will undoubtedly have a healthier offensive line next season), Ronnie Brown (they didn’t give him the ball enough this year, Ricky gets older, this kid has all the talent in the world for a team that’s getting better where it counts, on the line), Ryan Torrain (I watched him in half a game, and I see what Mike Shanny sees in him, hopefully Shanny doesn’t go schitzo and change it up, but he’s a deep sleeper), Ray Rice (stay tuned, but Willis might get the snip, and Ray would be in line for at least a Chris Johnson-LenDale White type share of the Ravens backfield), Roy Williams (this is a big shot in the dark, but Dallas traded too much and gave up too much money to see Roy get 3 passes a game, he probably turns into a 1000 yard guy next year, but I think his value will go back up because of Dallas Hype going into next season).

NCAA Football Free Picks: Bowl Season 2

Okay, here goes my last part of the Bowl Series games. I’m not going to say much about all these games, but I’ll give you a couple little tidbits, and I pick every single college game right here! Good luck bowlers!


Florida Atlantic @ Central Michigan (-7): Central Michigan is a little overrated, but Dan Lefevour is a stud, and Central has been a great home team all season long while FAU is just 2-5 on the road. This game is tough for me though, because FAU’s rushing attack is so good of late. Still, this game is in Michigan, basically a home game for the Chipps.


West Virginia @ North Carolina (+2): The Tar Heels and Mountaineers are very equal, but Carolina is basically playing at home, they get the benefit of the doubt in a home game.

Wisconsin Badgers @ Florida State Seminoles (-5): I think the best team in the ACC is playing in this game. They played great down the stretch, using their speed to their advantage. They have power too. I think they end up being too athletic for the Badgers. Wisconsin lost to Michigan for God’s sake.

Miami @ California (-8): More players keep getting suspended from this game. And they’re all Hurricanes. Weird. Miami has now lost 5 players for this game, including their starting quarterback. I like Cal to pull this one out because of that. The game is in San Francisco.


Northern Illinois @ Louisiana Tech (+1): This game’s easy, LaTech, in Louisiana, against a team they are better than. Sign me up for that party!


North Carolina State (+7) @ Rutgers: Both of these teams have really won a lot down the stretch, both come in with winning streaks, NC State with a 4 game deal, and Rutgers riding a 6 game streak. Both also started off terribly. What else? They were smoking their opponents. NC State beat Miami by 10 after upsetting the Tar Heels by 31. Rutgers blew out South Florida, Army, and Louisville to end the season – allowing just 33 points total while scoring 142. Why am I taking the Wolfpack? Russell Wilson is a freshman, and he’s dynamite. He also has covered every single game he’s ever started and thrown 16 touchdowns compared to 1 interception. I love his style.

Northwestern @ Missouri (-12): The Wildcats have played two good teams this year, they were iced by both. Missouri is good. The Tigers are also ranked three spots lower than the Wildcats, and they are favored, that’s a recipe for success.


Maryland @ Nevada (+2.5): I think Nevada is the better team, this is more of a home game for them, they’ve played on the blue field, the Terps traveled across America to play in Boise – I think the Wolfpack win this one by a touchdown or two.

Western Michigan (+3) @ Rice: This game is a home game for the Owls, but I still like Western Michigan. It’s a close one, I wouldn’t bet the house, but I’m putting my name on Western Michigan in hopes that Rice’s sieved of a defense will be the end of them in this game. Even in a shoot out, you need to find a way to stop your opponent.

Oregon @ Oklahoma State (-3): This game is being played in Pac 10 country, but OK State has played in tougher places. The Pac 10 isn’t worthy. Most of the public agree with me, which I don’t like too much, but how can you go against the Cowboys here?


Air Force (+4) @ Houston: The Houston Cougars lose when they get out-rushed, they almost certainly will be in this one. So I like my chances here.

Pittsburgh @ Oregon State (-2.5): I’m starting to get weary of 2.5 games, but that’s probably silly. The Beavers are ranked lower and favored, you know I like that. This game is in Texas, so no travel favorites here. I just hink the Beavers are really good when Jacquizz Rodgers is healthy, and I think he will be. I’m taking the Beavers.

Boston College (-3) @ Vanderbilt: It’s all about defense and what the Eagles do well, stop the run. Vandy can’t pass the ball to victory, and I think the Eagles take this one because of that. Boston College has won 8 straight bowl games, coincidence?

Minnesota @ Kansas (-8.5): Losses to Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa to end the season just don’t get me excited. Kansas will win here, I like them to do so by double digits. However, I warn you, Minnesota always seems to manage magic during the bowl season, not in wins, but at least in close games. I’m leaning Kansas here, but I’ve been more confident.

LSU @ Georgia Tech (-4): I think Tech runs the ball too well, and despite their talent, LSU hasn’t shown me the will to stop a rushing attack that continues to battle all game long. This game, in Atlanta, isn’t much different than a home game for the Yellow Jackets.


South Carolina @ Iowa (-3.5): The Hawkeyes run the ball too well, and that is trouble for a South Carolina team that prides themselves on stopping the run. That won’t happen against Shon Greene, he’s the most consistent runner in the nation. Every school he went up against new he was the guy getting the ball, new he was the one Hawkeye you needed to stop. Only nobody stopped him as he rushed for over 100 yards in every single game he played in this season. The Gamecocks are a good run defense, but the Hawkeyes will give them enough trouble here, and I don’t see much heart from Spurrier’s squad.

Clemson (-2.5) @ Nebraska: Nebraska beats the bad teams and loses to the the good teams. What about the middle? We shall see. Both of these teams have won three straight. Clemson is very talented. I think they take down the Cornhuskers in Florida.

Michigan State @ Georgia (-7.5): Georgia is talented enough to just out-muscle the Spartans. Kind of like Ohio and Penn State. Both of those teams crushed Sparty. That continues in Florida.

Penn State @ USC (-9.5): I think Penn State is underrated and the Trojans are a little overrated. However, this is a home game for the Trojans. This will also be the best team USC has played all season long. That being said, Pete Carol knows how to win bowl games, and there’s something to be said for a home team with a great post season coach.

Virginia Tech @ Cincinnati (-2): The Bearcats lost to the Huskies of Connecticut and the Sooners. That’s it. They win a lot of close games, this will likely be another. They haven’t beaten a great team, and the Sooners come in spanking the BC Eagles in the ACC Championship. I like the Cats though, their defense has great speed that I think will frustrate Tyrod Taylor and the Hokies.


Mississippi (+5) @ Texas Tech: Don’t ask me why, I can’t even figure it out, but I like Mississippi here. It might be one of those cases where Tech feels robbed and plays accordingly I guess. No Heisman invite for Harrell (what a joke), a bowl game against Mississippi after losing just once (to arguably the best team in the Nation) – I feel like this is what Kansas State had to deal with a long time ago, and it never really worked for them either. I wouldn’t bet too much on this game, though.

East Carolina (-2.5) @ Kentucky: Kentucky gives up more yards than they gain in almost every game they play, but they often find ways to make it close. ECU struggles with that too, but they won 9 games this season. These two teams are hard to explain. But ECU creates lots of turnovers, and that helps them put points on the board. In a game with two low-scoring offenses, easy points should get the job done. ECU is more likely to get those turnovers.

Utah @ Alabama (-9.5): The Crimson Tide had a great season, and took a tough loss against Florida. I would love for Utah to pull a Boise State, but I think the Crimson Tide are just too burly to be undone here. Utah has some great stories, and they could be one, but Alabama might very well be the Nation’s best team, and if they play with something to prove, they’ll win easily.


Buffalo (+4.5) @ Connecticut: These teams are very equal. This game is in freaking Canada. Anything can happen in Hockey country. I’ll take the 4.5 points here.


Ohio State @ Texas (-8): Yeah, I don’t like the Buckeye’s chances. Texas is a great team and this bowl isn’t a slap in their face. I expect an outcome similar to USC/OSU.


Ball State @ Tulsa (+3): Ball State was one huge upset loss away from an undefeated season, and they couldn’t do it as they were ousted by Buffalo of all teams. Then their coach bolted, and things just don’t seem right. Plus, Tulsa is really good despite a couple tough losses. I like the Golden Hurricane here.


Oklahoma (+3.5) @ Florida: I’m going this way for a couple reasons. 1 – Alabama should have pulled off the win against Florida, and I often see that kind of “last game” getting karma’d out. If that even makes sense. Also, I think Oklahoma is the best team in college football, and since I said that before the season started, if they win here I look even smarter than I already am – don’t take my bragging too seriously, in real life I’m more humble – ha. I understand taking Florida in what looks like a home game in Miami, but the SEC doesn’t impress me as much as it does everyone else, and I think Oklahoma’s big game experience against other Big 12 schools will pay off in this game. Plus, Bob Stoops and his OK boys can’t lose the big one forever, can they?

Lucky Lester's Predictions: YEAR IN REVIEW

Well, they didn’t all come true, not even most of them – here’s a look back at the crazy predictions section from before the season started. That’s right, I’ve got tabs – check them out.

50 Predictions that Have a GOOD Chance of Coming True

Ricky Williams will have more fantasy points than Ronnie Brown. – Well, I was wrong, Ricky had about 50 less fantasy points than Ronnie.
Ronnie Brown will still have 1000+ total yards from scrimmage. – This is true, headed into the final week, Ronnie had 859 rushing and 239 receiving.
Brett Favre will throw multiple touchdowns in each of his first three games. – Wrong, he had 1 TD in Week 2, but he did throw 2 in Week 1, 3 in Week 3, and 6 in Week 4. Give me a little leniency here, what I was saying is he’d start hot, and he did.
Shaunna Alexander and Michael Strahan will start a boy-band named, “The Gap-Tooth Goons” – What, nobody went to see them perform?
Darren McFadden will rush for over 1100 yards and be a top 15 fantasy running back. – GONG!!! Dead Wrong. Maybe next year!
Rashard Mendenhall will rack up more fantasy points than Willie Parker – neither will be Top 15 backs. – Half and half, neither were top 15 backs, but Willie had more points than Rashard. But you have to see what I’m saying, Mewelde Moore, the #3 ended up with more points than Willie- injuries are tough to predict I guess. But this is a statement that helped you if you were drafting.
Josh Morgan will finish the season with more fantasy points than Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey put together – thank you Mike Martz. – A couple injuries made this a tough one, all guys went through injuries and McDonald was leading headed into Week 17.
Despite the recent DeSean Jackson hype, Eddie Royal will lead all rookie receivers in the fantasy realm. – True. Eddie was a Top 20 WR in the league. And he had DeSean by 30+ fantasy points.
If they play the same amount of games (no injuries), Michael Turner will have more rushing yards than LaDainian Tomlinson in 2008. – Many people laughed, but how ridiculous does this statement seem now that I’m right?
Tom Brady won’t throw more than 35 touchdowns this season. – Well injuries kind of helped my cause here, but I thought he’d miss more than a few games, just not the entire freaking season. Anyway, if he was healthy he would have crushed me. But I might as well be right here.
Calvin Johnson will eclipse these numbers, 80 catches – 1200 yards – 10 touchdowns (ps: pick him). – He had just 69 catches but 1200+ yards and 10 TDs headed into the final week. Your welcome. I’m right where the numbers count most, I’ll take the credit here.
Chris Simms will be a starter before the season is over – somewhere not in Tampa. – Got me here, it could have been Tennessee – I’m beginning to wonder if Simms will ever get a chance?
Devin Hester will score double digit touchdowns for the Bears. – Just 3 TDs for Hester, he let me down, but I still think he’ll be a good one. Maybe next year.
Kyle Orton will be a Top 10 fantasy quarterback in Week 1 against the Colts. I didn’t take into account how bad the Colts run defense would be right off the bat, or how solid their secondary would be. Missed this one.
Marion Barber will be a Top 3 fantasy running back. – Barber basically missed the last four games with an injury. Kind of derailed his run at the top. When he was healthy, he was one of the best around, and those who had him know that.
Steve Smith will have at least 3 multi-touchdown games, eclipse 1100 yards, and easily get into the double digit touchdown category. – Only 6 TDs headed into the final week, but he does have 1287 yards in his 13 games. Not too shabby, but I missed by a few touchdowns. I guess I didn’t think this running game would be so great.
Deion Branch will play in at least 12 games and finish in the Top 30 amongst fantasy receivers. – Whoops. The Seahawks receivers were cursed!
Chris Perry (if you can risk picking the walking wounded) is a great late round pick. He’ll have 1300+ yards from scrimmage and score 7+ touchdowns. – I considered just deleting this one and pretending it never happened. I wish I would have done that when I originally thought of this prediction.
Drew Brees will lead the league in touchdown passes. – Drew has a chance, just 2 behind Philip Rivers going into Week 17. Drew is the top fantasy quarterback though, something to be said for that.
(Two of Three) Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady will miss at least one football game due to injuries. – Peyton got hit more than ever, and Brett had shoulder issues over the last half of the season, but neither followed Tom’s fate, making this statement incorrect. And I’m glad for that.
Thomas Jones will prove to be a better fantasy player than Willie Parker, Reggie Bush, Willis McGahee, and Brandon Jacobs. – There you have it, hopefully you were like me and owned this guy in many a league. Think, if Eric Mangini wasn’t such a genius, not only would Thomas be closer to the Top 2, but his Jets would be in the playoffs. I’ll take being right though, Thomas had one hell of a year.
Jericho Cotchery will be a Top 14 fantasy receiver. – Nope 25th headed into the Final week, I doubt he gets up to 14.
Antonio Gates will be the top scoring fantasy tight end – don’t believe the bad hype. Nope, he was #4 headed into Week 17 with absolutely no chance of catching one of the best tight ends ever, Tony Gonzalez, who leads the TEs by more than 50 fantasy points. 91 grabs, 1000+ yards, and 9 TDs heading into Week 17, amazing.
Phillip Rivers will throw more touchdown passes than Eli Manning (less interceptions too). – One more interception heading into Week 17, but Rivers leads the league with 32 TD passes while Manning has 21. Eli has been solid. Philip has been unreal.
Chris Johnson will lead the Titans in yards (receiving and rushing combined). – 1488 headed into the final week, he ran away with this title.
Chris Johnson is the NFL’s version of Usain Bolt.– Chris has been amazing. He’s as fast as they get.
One of the following 6 teams will make the playoffs – Dolphins, Raiders, Bears, Falcons, Cardinals, Rams. – Goodness, it looks like four of them could find themselves in the playoffs, the Falcons and Cardinals are already in it to win it.
Frank Gore will eclipse 1,500 total yards, 70 receptions, and score 10+ touchdowns. – Gore has just 1340 yards headed into Week 17, but the last 2 weeks with an ankle injury. He has 8 total touchdowns. I think he would have gotten everything except the 70 receptions. He was on pace to get just over 50 catches, but easily pass those other two marks. With a 160 total yard 2 TD final game performance, he still gets both of those totals. However, I was wrong.
Kurt Warner will be a Top 10 fantasy quarterback. – You bet. Before a late season lull, there was MVP talk about the former Super Ram. He had a great year.
Maurice Morris will be a better fantasy back than Julius Jones. – Well, neither was that exciting, but Maurice will pass Julius with a decent game against the Cardinals on Sunday. All he needs is 60 more yards and a catch and he gets Julius. He’s the starter now. If he didn’t miss a good portion of 6 games I think he’d have it locked up by now. But I’ll take a chance and be pretty sure that Mo gets it.
Larry Johnson will rush for 1,300+ yards and score 12+ touchdowns. – Well, that blew up in my face. He missed four games and never really was the workhorse I expected him to be. He is averaging 4.7 yards per carry with 856 rushing yards and 5 scores, but that whole woman beating incident and the benching, and all that stuff didn’t help his cause. Sorry about this one.
Plaxico Burress will play in less than 11 games. – 9 – kind of crazy, I hope he doesn’t get put in jail – that’s ridiculous, mandatory minimums are as stupid as they sound, but he wasn’t going to play 11 games anyway.
The Giants will finish the season under .500. – Hahaha – probably my worst call of 2008-09 season.
Chris Taylor will lead the Houston Texans in rushing yards and scores. – Chris, meet Steven Slaton. Wrong.
Anthony Gonzalez will have a similar year (give or take a few fantasy points) to Brandon Stokely a few years ago when he played with the Colts – 1077 yards, 68 catches, 10 touchdowns. – No sir! Try 56 for 652 and 4 touchdowns heading into Week 17.
During the fantasy playoffs (week’s 14-16) Adrian Peterson (Vikings) will have more yards and touchdowns than any other running back. – Yards? Maybe – Touchdowns, no way. Either way, I was wrong about this one.
The Patriots will win 13 games during the regular season. – They might get 11, but tough call without Brady in there, wish I knew that.
Ryan Torrain will start at least 5 games for the Broncos later this season. He would have started them all down the stretch, but like all the other Bronco backs, Ryan went down with an injury. In his first game starting, too.
Chad Johnson will lead the NFL in receiving yards despite his shoulder ouchy. – Carson Palmer didn’t play after the first couple weeks – Chad had his worst year as a pro.
Vince Young will throw more touchdowns than interceptions. Even in his one game, this was a false statement.
Lee Evans will score 10+ touchdowns. – 3 TDs. Ha.
Bernard Berrien will have his best receiving totals of his career – yards, catches, and touchdowns. – If BB gets 70 yards and a score in Week 17, he has the most TDs and yards in a single season for his career. He only has 44 catches though, he won’t catch that mark.
Wes Welker won’t match last season’s totals, he’ll eclipse them – (yards and touchdowns for sure). – He will have more yards and catches with a 4 grab 40 yard performance against the Bills, basically a lock, but Tom’s absence hurt his TD total, as Wes only has 3 this year.
Ben Watson will be a Top 12 tight end. – Nope.
Four rookie running backs will rush for over 1000 yards (I’m thinking Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and Kevin Smith – but keep your eye on Ryan Torrain, Jonathan Stewart, and Rashard Mendenhall. – Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton all have eclipsed 1000. Kevin Smith needs 120 to get it, and you know what, I think he does. Teh biggest surprise? Try Slaton. His stock dropped, and it’s beginning to look like there was no reason for it.
The Eagles will not have a 1000 yard receiver – but they’ll still win 10 games. – Right and wrong. Even if the Eagles win against the Boys, they still don’t win 10, they go 9-5-1. Nice tie folks. Unless DeSean Jackson goes off for 136+, they won’t have a 1000 yard rusher.
Donovan McNabb will be a Top 5 fantasy quarterback. – 8th overall, 29 points behind 5th…
Jake Delhomme will finish in the Top 8 amongst QBs. – 19th headed into Week 17, not gonna do it.
Leon Washington will score at least 6 touchdowns while having at least 3 games with 100+ yards (receiving and rushing combined) – 7 touchdown (5 rushing and 2 receiving – and then you add in return scores and you get even more. But he only had one 100+ yard game. Not used enough. Thanks again Man-Jina!
Barrack Obama will become president in one of the most lopsided elections in recent history. Lopsided in electoral votes anyway. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

There you have it, dig it, disagree with it, recognize it – just get ready for me to gloat when prediction becomes truth – I’ll keep tabs so you don’t have to!

NFL Free Picks: Week 17

Well, after a tough go at it down the stretch here, I’m still having a solid season. I’m looking to cap it all off with a huge Week 17, one of the more difficult weeks to cap in my opinion. But I put in my work, that’s for sure, and I think I have some solid stuff that should get me in the green in week seventeen. I’m 16 games up through 16 weeks, only because of a couple toughies to end the season, but a good finish gets me 20+ and that’s what I’m looking for. Enjoy!

Oakland Raiders (+14) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I hate the Raiders more than the next guy, I promise, but 14 points is too much for a team taht’s lost 3 straight games, and wilted down the stretch badly in two of those games. As big favorites the Bucs are 1-2 ATS this season, covering against only Detroit. The Raiders have their best games against smaller teams, and the Bucs fit in their. I think Tampa wins by 10, but Oakland covers in that case so I’ll go with the Raiders here.

Detroit Lions (+10.5) @ Green Bay Packers: Detroit plays better on the road than they do at home. And wouldn’t it be perfect for the ultra-disappointing Packers to have a tough one against the winless Lions in the last week of the season. I’ll tell you this, the Lions should be playing harder than the Packers, but it’s not like the Packers have nothing to lose here, how about some respect? Every other team that has strapped it up against the Lions this season has beaten them. Do you think the Packers want to be the first to fall? No way, no how. Still, though, the Lions might have played their worst game of the season last week – I think they bounce back from that and catch the Packers a little off guard. Tough to be the Lions, but it seems like the right thing to do. Raiders and Lions in the same week though? Yikes.

Dallas Cowboys (+2) @ Philadelphia Eagles: I guess it comes down to poor play calling (the Eagles have been brutal there, doing their best not to lose while losing because of it) and talent. The Cowboys have more talent, more to play for, and Tony Romo needs to step up in a must win game. Plus, the Cowboys always play the Eagles tough, and even though this game is in Philly, I still like the Cowboys chances to find the playoffs behind a great game from Tony Romo. McNabb and the Eagles and maybe Andy Reid and the Eagles as well – they might be playing their last games together. This season has been disappointing for both of these teams, but Dallas is the better team, so I’ll take them in the last game.

New York Giants (+7) @ Minnesota Vikings: Tom Coughlin got out of my dog house when he manned up and ran the ball in last week to beat the Panthers in overtime. He wasn’t dumb, he wanted a sure thing, and you’ve got to think that a 3 yard run with Brandon Jacobs is more of a sure thing than a kicker letting loose in windy conditions. Smart coach. Looks like an evil smurf, but he’s smart. That being said, he also believes in last season’s recipe for success, playing hard until the end and riding your winning ways into the playoffs. Smart move as well. You can rest in the off-season. That kind of attitude, and the fact that NY has nothing to lose, should be enough to keep them in it against an offense that should really struggle against the Giants defensive pressure. I also see that the Giants don’t struggle against run-heavy teams, they just outrun them and hold them down. DeAngelo Williams may have scored four times last week, but it took him a lot of carries to get to 100 yards, and that Carolina offensive line is awesome. The Giants do work against the run. I’ll take NY.

Chicago Bears (+3) @ Houston Texans: I love the Texans. They play very tough at home, and I see them throwing the ball around against the Bears secondary – but how about the will to win? The Bears have that. I hate betting on teams that won last weak where I thought they should have lost. That’s the Bears to a T. But what about the will? As a coach, a player, and a fan, I see the will to win as the #1 most important thing in sports. With playoffs on the line and their season in the balance, how can this Bears team fail here? They might not make the playoffs, but it’s not going to be because they lost in their season finale to the Texans.

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ New Orleans Saints: Because this game matters and the Panthers are much better than the Saints. New Orleans can throw the rock, no doubt but Carolina can do it all, and that’s worth a field goal in a game that will give them a bye in week 1 of the playoffs.

St. Louis Rams (+15.5) @ Atlanta Falcons: Do the Falcons need this game? You bet, a win for them and a loss by the Panthers gives them a first round bye and happiness all over the world. At least a 1st round bye. However, they won’t need to go for the throat, and I think it would take that to win by more than two touchdowns. The Rams have played 3 tight games in their last 4. They aren’t a great road team, but they have a rushing attack that is strong enough to stay tight against the Falcons. Especially if Atlanta is up a couple scores late and just pounds the ball to end it fast.

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ Cincinnati Bengals: The Chieftains score too many points for the Bengals to hang, that’s my humble opinion. They’ve scored 20 or more in 7 of their last 9 contests, and that’s often against much better defenses than the superstar caliber guys in Cinci. Yhatzee. The Bengals, on the other hand, have scored 21 points or less in, well, all but two games this season. They’ve never scored more than 23, and after playing the Browns last week I think they’ll be in for a bit of a surprise, these Chiefs may be 2-13, but they play hard. I like the Chiefs to win easily in Cincinnati.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens (-12): I hate taking a low scoring team by double digits, but it seems to be the only way. The Ravens absolutely annihilate bad teams. Since beating the Bengals by a touchdown in Week 1, when Cinci still had Carson Palmer and Joe Flacco was starting his first game as a pro, the Ravens have beaten the Browns by 18 and then 10, the Raiders by 19, the Texans by 28, and the Bengals by 31… Bad teams, big wins, the Jags aren’t good either and this is a bad match-up for them.

Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Indianapolis Colts: Neither of these teams will play their starters throughout the game, but I think the Colts lose more when their #1’s sit. The Titans are toughness and grit and offensive line play and just straight power and will. The Colts are Peyton Manning and finesse. When Peyton goes out, and those stars start to sit, I see the Titans walking away with this one.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-10): The Browns have lost their last three games by at lest 14 points a piece. The Steelers come into this knowing all they have to do is score a couple touchdowns, keep Ken Dorsey from beating them, and they have a first round bye wrapped up and home field in their first game. I don’t see them coming out soft. The Steelers, like the Ravens, beat the piss out of bad teams. The Browns are bad.

Miami Dolphins (+3) @ New York Jets: If the Jets’ play calling is stupid enough for them to lose at home to Denver, in San Francisco, and then in Seattle in 3 of their last 4 games, then it is probably bad enough to choke this one away too. I don’t know about the average football mind, but if I had an old quarterback that got respect on his deep passes, one that was having shoulder issues, I would probably run the ball more than I threw it. If the Jets did that, they’d have won against the Hawks last week. They would have beaten the 49ers as well. But Man-Jina loves to throw the ball, regardless of the auto five yards Thomas Jones is getting and the great back-up speedster they have in Leon Washington. All things being equal, that stupidity should get Miami into the playoffs.

New England Patriots (-6) @ Buffalo Bills: The Bills haven’t won at home since San Diego back in the middle of October. Losing to the Jets and Dolphins at home is at least understandable, but taking it to the dome against teams like Cleveland and San Francisco hardly gets me thinking home filed advantage. There’s no pressure on them, though, but I don’t think that helps them against this offensive juggernaut. The Patriots put up too many points for the Bills to hang, and they’ve proven the ability to do that in all weather conditions. Buffalo’s defense has regressed and that is why I’ll take the Pats in a game where everyone seems to be on New England. Oh well, hopefully we all win!

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (-6): I have to pick this game as if the last couple weeks didn’t happen to the Cardinals. The Cardinals are 6 points better than Seattle, especially at home, and especially after getting slammed each of the last two weeks. They have to get it together now or never, and I think their offensive firepower will be tough for the Hawks to handle. Big tough receivers aren’t the easiest on the little coverage guys in Seattle’s secondary.

Washington Redskins (+3) @ San Francisco 49ers: I would normally like the Niners here. They’ve been playing really well with a new toughness since Mike Singletary took over. They have been winning games too, taking 4 of their last 6, including the Bills and Jets. But two were also St. Louis, so don’t get too excited. Last week’s game is why I’m on the Redskins here, and I’m not talking about the Redskins game either. The 49ers should have lost last week, but they pulled out some magic hat type stuff and got it done. You know how I feel about that, if they should have lost, the truth will come out next week where they will lose. I’ll take the Redskins here – plus, in reality, the Redskins are better than the 49ers – there’s always that.

Denver Broncos (+9.5) @ San Diego Chargers: The Broncos have lost to the Raiders, Chiefs, Bills, Jaguars and more. Gross. The Chargers really haven’t lost to a terrible team all year, and they have to be ready to get the Broncos back for that terrible muscle man referee call that gave the Broncos life the last time these two teams played. The Broncos seem to be the kings of choke while the Chargers have been all but out of the playoffs for some time now. All but out. Interesting term now, isn’t it? All the Chargers have to do is hold serve at home and they are in. All but in? But I still think this will be a fight, the Chargers, I expect them to win – but I expect Jay Cutler and company to do some things to keep this tight. 9.5 is too many for me – the Chargers haven’t been that good.

theRUNDOWN: Week 17

What is theRUNDOWN? I pick my best team of the week, some nice plays with a few reasons to back up my picks. I’ll list a few sleepers and some guys I wouldn’t play unless I had nobody else, we call these splinter butts because of their need to be benched – this is the last week of the year, and quite possibly the last Rundown ever – only because I figure there might be a better way to go about my weekly fantasy predictions -anyway, without further a due, this is theRUNDOWN for Week 17.

QB: Phillip Rivers vs. Denver: Because this is Philip Rivers’ team now, and they will need him to continue his huge season to get into the playoffs. Not only that, but this guy somehow got snubbed by not making the Pro-Bowl, and he’s out to show everyone the mistake they made.

RB: Kevin Smith vs. Green Bay: The Packers lost yet another game that they should have won when they took an OT shot to the face last week against the Bears. The Packers can’t stop the run, and I know Kevin is getting the ball 23-30 times this week. That’s more than I can say about most running backs – with playing time in question, I’ll take this solid young back that’s gotten better as the season matured.

RB: Michael Turner vs. St. Louis: The Falcons have to go into their game against the Rams with hopes of a first round bye. That means Turner pounding the Rams into submission, and that’s a good thing for Mike Turner owners. I think he’ll have a huge Week 17.

FLEX: Pierre Thomas vs. Carolina: It’s a tough match-up for Thomas, but in this PPR format and in a game that should be close, he’s going to get around 20 carries and 5-8 catches – that makes for a good game from this ultra-talented back.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Seattle: This guy is a beast for Seattle’s little corners to match-up with, and I think the Cardinals come out winging it around against the Hawks. Fitzy is one of the most consistent receivers in the league, and in a game where Arizona needs to find their mojo, I see Kurt looking under the Larry Fitz rock.

WR: Terrell Owens vs. Philadelphia: He hasn’t had a real big week in a while, but I think TO gets back to wrecking the Eagles with a huge game against his former team. TO is a gong-show, no doubt about that, but he’s a gong-show with amazing ability, the ability he loves to torment the Eagles with.

TE: Tony Gonzalez vs. Cincinnati: I’m not giving up on Tony – he’s legit, against Cincinnati he looks like the best play around.

K: Robbie Gould vs. Houston: Dome games and kickers are a nice combo, and the Bears offense is just bad enough to move a little bit and get in FG range before being halted.

D: Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland: I just see Ken Dorsey causing more problems for the Browns offense, and the Steelers turnover causing defense will be at it again, starters or not.


Tyler Thigpen: I like this match-up, especially if you get more points for a quarterback rushing touchdown. Thigpen gets 40-50 yards a week, and it most leagues that’s just like a free touchdown. He’s a great start this week against the Bungles.
Jason Campbell: With the last game here, and the pressure off, maybe Zorn will take the reigns off as they say. Let the kid throw the ball down field!
Joe Flacco: I like the kid this week against the Jags, what’s not to like?
Larry Johnson: I’m thinking that LJ gets more carries this week than he has over the last few weeks, and I think he does some nice work against the Bengals.
Fred Jackson: I don’t think Lynch plays, and that makes Jackson a great start. Fred does a lot of things well, catching the ball too, and he should get lots of touches against the Patriot, and that’s a good thing against a run defense that isn’t great.
Jon Stewart: I think Stewart gets the Lion’s share of the carries this week as Williams gets a little bit of a rest. I think Stewart has a BIG game.
Chad Johnson: Chad hasn’t had a big game all year – that’s too rare for this game breaker, even if Ryan Fitz is his QB – I like him to have his highest yardage output of the season against the Chieftains.
Mewelde Moore: He’s been better than Fast Willie, so much so that I think Parker gets the axe headed into next season. Moore will get a lot of carries this week, and that’s good for him.
Mark Bradley: You bet! The former Bear is back in action, and I’m willing to bet that he has a big game in his second game back from injury. Thigpen loves him. Anytime Mark’s on the field, Tyler has seemed to have big games.
Greg Olsen: How about the Bears knowing what’s good for them and getting the ball to this playmaker? I see them doing that in the final week.
Atlanta Falcons: Bye week #2 seed on the line, St. Louis in their way, I see big plays and a big day from Atlanta.

Papa’S Week 17 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)
Peyton Manning: If he plays, he won’t play long, the Colts are one of the few teams in football that can’t better or worsen their position this week, and Tony Dungy is a guy that believes in resting his stars before the playoffs.
Marshawn Lynch: What do the Bills gain by playing Lynch? Nothing is the answer, except further risk of a lingering ailment.
Jamal Lewis: No thank you. What an impossible season schedule for Jamal.

theRUNDOWN Review: Week 16

Well it didn’t go all bad for me this week – wait, yes it did- not only did I lose in 3 fantasy superbowls, but I also lost my lunch at the local Cost-Cutter, and then I throw out this gross number – 130 – but I guess it’s been worse- This was theRUNDOWN for Week 16.
QB: Jay Cutler vs. Buffalo: Jay was the 5th rated quarterback this week, behind Rivers, Manning, and Cassel and Tyler Thigpen – his 27 fantasy points helped me win, but it didn’t help his Broncos stay away from having a loser out game in San Diego next week – awesome. I really win twice there.

RB: Maurice Jones Drew vs. Indianapolis: Jones Drew did a great job of catching some balls, and that gave me some solid pointage. In fact, he was the #4 running back in the league last week. I’ll take those 23 points with a smile.

RB: Matt Forte vs. Green Bay: I needed 19 from Forte to win one of my fantasy super bowls – as it turned out he only finished with 17, so I lost. Tough one to take, I thought GB would allow big stuff to Forte – it hurts to be wrong.

FLEX: Thomas Jones vs. Seattle: Jones had 11 – I hate Eric Mangini.

WR: Andre Johnson vs. Oakland: AJ had 3 fantasy points – I didn’t get to see the game, but I was thinking he must be sitting this one out. Then I saw him catch a late pass, and wondered where he was all day. Apparently covered on lockdown.

WR: Randy Moss vs. Arizona: Randy had 16, converting one deep touchdown on a wide receiver screen. He may be getting older, but tell the Cardinals that he’s lost a step.

TE: Tony Gonzalez vs. Miami: TG had 19 – he’s my hero.

K: Josh Brown vs. San Francisco: Josh Brown had 11, one of my top scorers. I’m getting this kicker thing down pat.

D: Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee: I was wrong here, the Steelers defense was abused a little, and they gave up enough points to hurt me, they got 2 fantasy points.


Tyler Thigpen: A couple picks, but great numbers otherwise and 3 total touchdowns. I win again. A+

Dan Orlovsky: I get a good one with Thigpen, then a crap pick here – Dan-O did notta. F

Shaun Hill: 18 fantasy points? You bet, not a Tyler Thigpen day, but still a start you should have made I’m guessing. B+

Pierre Thomas: He didn’t have to do that much work against the Lions. In the middle of the 2nd quarter, the Saints had 4 rushing TDs one of which went to Pierre. Still he pulled home 16 points, not too shabby for a half day’s work. B

Kevin Smith: All he did was rush for 111 yards and a touchdown – can’t argue with those numbers. A-

Leon Washington: Whoops! F.

Kevin Walter: 2 catches for 17 yards – sorry about this one guys, big swing and a miss. F

Devin Hester: 2 catches for 12 yards, good day to be a receiver on my fantasy squad apparently. F

Tory Holt: 4 grabs for 55 yards – that doesn’t really do it, but it basically tripples peformances from Walter and Hester… C-

Jeremy Shockey: He got hurt, but seeing as though I might deserve it, I’ll take the F.

Miami Dolphins: The Fins had 11, but they picked some balls off and were that close to having a big day. C-

Papa’S Week 15 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)

Tony Romo: I was right on the button until his last minute toss to Jason Witten – oh well, he had a decent game but not great. I started Rivers over him in my league, and it helped me out.

LaDainian Tomlinson: 25th overall, if that was good enough for you to start him, than sorry for the advice. He got 13 fantasy points – like I said, there’s a lot of guys I’d start over LT this week. 24 would have worked out.

Maurice Morris: 29 carries for 119 yards against the Jets. I’ll be the first to say that’s about 60 yards more than I expected. He didn’t score and didn’t catch a ball, he had 11 – not a great sit by me, but not a bad one either.

Santonio Holmes: 5 catches, 93 yards, and one diving touchdown catch. Needless to say I blew this one.

NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 16

A nice start had me excited before I fell right on my face just like the Jets and Eagles did – coincidence? I picked both of those teams to step up when their games mattered most. I should get a nice slap on the face just for imagining that they’d play with some urgency.

Thursday Night
Indianapolis Colts (-6) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WIN) It was just barely, but they pulled it off late, a nice 7 point win on a 6 point spread. The Jaguars played like the Jaguars should have played all year, where were they?

Saturday Night
Baltimore Ravens (+4.5) @ Dallas Cowboys: (WIN) I did say that I saw the Ravens winning outright in Dallas, I just didn’t think they’d run the ball for that many yards. However, watching the game you know they got most of those yards in the last 5 minutes. Either way though, the Ravens were in control of this one, they are the tougher team.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (WIN) “I don’t think Ken Dorsey is worth a bet.” That pretty much says it all right there, and his game against the Bengals “awesome” secondary definitely confirms it.

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions (+7.5): (Loss) The Lions didn’t win. They are 0-15. They played with absolutely no heart, and even though more than 40 players from the Lions had the flu, I have to be considered dead wrong on this one.

Miami Dolphins (-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WIN) This game was very tight, and it came down to a score. That score just happened to be a touchdown and the Dolphins won. I win and I’m happy. What are the fins doing with Ronnie Brown? That guy is a beast, and I know they don’t want to wear him down, but he’s not getting enough touches. Maybe they’re kind of resting him for the playoffs?

Arizona Cardinals (+9) @ New England Patriots: (Loss) Am I just wrong about the Cardinals and not willing to admit it? I’m beginning to think so – we’ll see next week when they are supposedly approaching the last game of the year like it’s a playoff game.

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) @ St. Louis Rams: (Loss) San Francisco pulled one out, but they didn’t deserve it. They couldn’t run the ball against the Rams, which is pathetic in and of itself. They got a little luck going their way late and won by one, but they didn’t have the brass bowling balls to cover for me.

Pittsburgh Steelers (pk) @ Tennessee Titans: (Loss)This game was just about what I expected early but then the Titans started taking it personally. I was wrong here.

San Diego Chargers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): (Loss) The Bucs have really hit the skids. Think, a few weeks ago they had the NFC South crown in their grasp, now it’s probably out of the playoffs for the Buccos – gotta love that. Can’t love my miss on this one though, how about them Chargers about to battle for the playoffs? Awesome.

Buffalo Bills (+7.5) @ Denver Broncos: (WIN) You know I was loving this one, and the Broncos really tried hard to make it come true for me. Jay Cutler is like one of those guys on Madden that pick who they are throwing to when they select the play, no matter what the defense is doing. He has great games when the defense guesses wrong, but with the season on the line and Brandon Marshall double teamed, the defense guessed right.

Houston Texans (-7) @ Oakland Raiders: (Loss) The Texans aren’t a road team. I need to pound that home in my memory, even if they are playing a terrible Raider team.

New York Jets (-4.5) @ Seattle Seahawks: (Loss) This one was worth it. The Jets play calling is trying not to lose – and you know what that means. I thought they’d run and run against the Hawks, but instead they passed and passed, unsuccessfully at that. Eric Man-Gina is brutal lately. His genius is making him do sick things.

Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) @ Minnesota Vikings: (Loss) The Falcons won in Minnesota, locking up their spot in the playoffs. Gotta love that.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) @ Washington Redskins: (Loss) Haha – Eric Mangini and Andy Reid game plan together – no doubt in my mind. I hate that teams like Philly can trick bettors as much as they did this week, they should be beaten for that, or at least fired.

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants (-3): (WIN) The Giants were the better team, but this came down to the end, and I was sure an overtime field goal was going to push me to a tie. Nope, the Giants didn’t want to mess with kicking – and Tom Coughlin stepped right out of my dog house because of it. They won big, and they relied on what got them there, the running game.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (-4): (Loss) I hate the Packers and the Bears. I hate losing. Cry.

Fantasy Super Bowl: And Quotes from the Sofa

Well, the fantasy Superbowls (in most leagues) came and went, and those of you that picked up Dominic Rhodes and started him, those folks that kept going with DeAngelo Williams against a tough Giants defense, the guys that said hell yes to the Tarvaris Jacksons, Tyler Thigpens, and Isaac Bruces – good on ya! Those of you that hung your chances on the maybe injured souls of Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, they both did magic tricks – Ward with yardage and Jacobs with touchdowns. Even those that had to choose between LeRon McClain and Willis – no matter what, your choice worked out. But those that rested their Championship dreams on recently added new faces like Deshaun Foster, Deion Branch, Caddy Williams, Dan Orlovsky or old fantasy studs like Marion Barber, Joseph Addai, Kurt Warner, and Willie Parker – I feel for you. I really, really do. Who knew Addai would suit up and not play? Not me – that’s for sure. I would have started Rhodes in one league, and I would have sat Addai in another. But life, and fantasy, they are both full of these choices. For those that won, let this be a celebration. For those that lost, let this brighten your snowy, sunless days. Here are some quotes from the sofa that caught my attention…

During the morning game…

“Why are they making me watch this? It’s 47-0!!! I hate cable TV!!!”

“If I see another damn infomercial I’m going to punch Martin Gramatica in the mouth, then Tony Harding that knee of his brother’s.”

During the Jets Game…

“I bet Laveranues Coles would have caught that ball if Chad Pennington would have thrown it.”

“Maybe they should have kept Chad Pennington, or maybe they should trade Chad for Brett in the offseason.” (Thanks FOX)

“Do you think Man-jina realizes that his team has won every game that Thomas Jones carries the ball more than 20 times?”

“Do you think Man-jina is trying to lose this game, his job, and his wife?”

“If you aren’t sure that your kicker can make a 50 yarder, but then he gets a free trial run and busts one through the uprights that would be good from 60+, is it fair to say that you should get fired for then deciding to punt?”

During the Broncos game…

“Hahahaha – now they have to play a Chargers team playing their best football all year, in San Diego. Awesome. I bet Splinter is going to put his Ninja Turtles through so much Ninja training.”

During the Eagles game…

“Are Andy Reid and Eric Man-jina going to the same psychiatrist?”

“Playing not to lose is like playing the prevent with 4 minutes left in the game while you’re up 2.”

“If the Eagles score right there, do you think they go for the tie… you know, in overtime?”

During the Night Game…

Q: “True or False: When Eli Manning makes that face after a bad pass he looks like you stole his lunch box, ate everything in it, crapped in his napkin, put it back in his designated lunch box area. And then he returned after a three day fast, only to sit down, open up the box, and find the crap in the napkin… And then he ate it because he was so hungry…???” A: “I’m going to go with true.”

Q: “If Brandon Jacobs fought Mike Ditka, who would win?” – A “Ooooo, tough one, did Jacobs sign with the Bears as a free agent?”

“If I would have started JaMarcus Russell, Tashard Choice, Dominic Rhodes, and Johnnie Lee Higgins over Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Slaton, and Andre Johnson – I would have won.”

“Does Tom Coughlin look like an evil smurf?”

“If you mute the TV while Chris Collinsworth is talking, everything feels better.”
“How do you know when he’s done talking?”
“You have to guess, but it’s better to just be safe and wait until the game’s over or until you change the channel.”

Ask Papa Weimer: Week 16

You know the gig, so I’ll get right to the questions and answers… Enjoy… Congrats to those playing this week.

David writes in, “A couple quickies, Browns or 49ers, Keller or Z Miller? I need to pick between those… Thanks!”

That’s a good questions, but I my first instinct is that I’d go with the 49ers and Zach Miller – Miller is just more consistent, and he doesn’t have to rely on Brett throwing good or throwing piss. However, the Seahawks are dead last in the NFL in passing yards given up and only 5 teams have given up more passing touchdowns than they have. Houston’s not much better but they are a little, they are in the middle of the pack as to yards allowed. The Jets love to throw the ball so even thought it’s stupid for them not to give the ball to Thomas Jones, they will likely try to get their yards through the air, even though it is snowy and cold in Seattle this week (believe me, I’m just an hour or so North and it’s snowy and windy here). So after thinking about it long and hard, the Hawks match-up has me swaying more toward Keller. I don’t know man, it’s so hard. I guess if you need a big day from him, go for Keller, he has 3 scores this season and has had more great games. But if you want a sure thing, Miller is your guy. Over the last 11 weeks he’s had less than 40 yards receiving just once. Once. THat’s crazy for a TE. But he only has one TD. I’d go SF over Cleveland because of a couple reasons, 1. They have better playmakers on their defense and instead of playing deflated (like the Browns), they have been playing inspired since Mike took over as head coach. Also, Marc Bulger is and always will be a sitting duck that throws picks. Also, if I’m taking one defense in the Browns game, it’s probably the Bengals. They’ve been way better against the run lately – they haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher since Mewelde Moore in Week 7, and they’ve allowed just two all year. Crazy huh? And Dorsey can’t throw.

Johnson-ville from Jacksonville asks, “Would you start DeAngelo WIlliams, Joseph Addai, or Kevin Smith?”

JV, I’d go with Kevin Smith. I think he gets about 25 carries against the Saints this week, and I have a feeling that the Lions offensive line will be doing work against a Saints team that is basically already checked out. They’ve been eliminated. Bush is out. This should be a running game versus Drew Brees’ attempt to break the yardage record held by Dan Marino. I think Kevin Smith busts 100 yards and has a touchdown. I don’t think Addai or Williams will break the century mark in their respective match-ups.

Tim-e from Portland asks, “We have to decide our keepers in my work league before the last game in Week 17 – so I’m looking for some advice. I’m in a 12 team league where you have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX, – It’s PPR, and you get bonuses for 100 yards at WR and RB, 50 yards at tight end, and 300 at QB – double bonus at 200, 100, and 450 – which four would you keep? DeAngelo Williams, Drew Brees, Brandon Jacobs, Steve Slaton, Chris Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Jason Witten – thanks in advance.”

Tiny Tim-E – Interesting scoring format, and I think it definitely changes things. It seems like Witten is a great option, even though I hate the idea of keeping a TE – the way I see it is this, he’s going to bust 100 yards often, and thus he’s going to get double bonus action a lot. That is a huge bonus and could win you weeks. Led by a TE? Probably not, but he is definitely a big time scorer for you. I also hate keeping QBs, so I probably wouldn’t keep Drew. He’s having a hell of a year, sure, but as you well know QBs don’t blow up year after year after year. Now Drew’s about as sure as it gets, but part of me wants to keep Slaton, Marshall, and Chris Johnson. But, since Drew is a solid 300 option against just anybody in the league and thus his bonus will be enforced often. So, that takes one away from Slaton, Marshall, and Chris Johnson. I like Slaton, but I think Johnson is the more explosive of the two, and I have to imagine that LenDale gets less and less in that offense. So, my final answer is Drew, Witten, Marshall, and Chris Johnson. I think Marshall is one of the best in the league, and as Cutler matures Marshall will only get better and better.