Ten for Tuesday: Week 3

1. Eddie Royal is still for real. In the one league I didn’t draft Royal in, I just traded for him. Ha. After what Brandon Marshall did to the Chargers I have a feeling more coverage is headed his way. The fact that Royal got the game tying touchdown and the game winning two point conversion thrown his way is just an example of Splinter’s trust in his young ninja turtle – grab him if you can.

2. Darren McFadden is a stud – weird. For those of you that thought D-Mac was going to fall on his face and struggle in his first year running the ball in the NFL game – you are silly rabbits. Anyone can see that this kid has all the running ability and vision in the world. He’s a beast – let that be known.

3. Jonathan Stewart is going to be the man. Yes, DeAngelo Williams will get his carries, but I’m willing to bet that J-Stew finishes the years with more carries, more touchdowns, a better ypc average, and more catches out of the back-field. Both will be an option, which is why either one is a tough start, but if you have both and have to choose one, I’m going with the rookie.

4. Jay Cutler is a top 5 fantasy quarterback – and maybe even more efficient on the football field. Right now, mine go like this for the rest of the season – Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Donavan McNabb, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner – yes, I may be going out on a bit of a limb here, but I like three ahead of Peyton and one just behind, and Warner might push Manning for his spot.

5. Randy Moss: Now is as good a time as ever to grab the tall receiver. He didn’t do dick last week, and people were already questioning his chances with Super Tom off the field for the season. Let me tell you this – Randy is still a top 5 receiver, and anybody that thinks otherwise doesn’t deserve to have him on their team. So go for the jugular and snipe him away for something way under value – like Santana Moss (if you can). I love me some Randy touchdowns.

6. Marion Barber is a beast. I wouldn’t be stunned if Barber puts up 20 touchdowns this year, hell, I expect that much. Barber is a beast and that Cowboy offense is sadistically good. Barber is a touchdown machine and nobody runs tougher. If you didn’t listen to my predictions and grab Barber early, you are probably too late, but if someone offers him to you, take it and run with it.

7. Unless it’s LT. That’s right, don’t trade LT. He’s still going to go off, probably as early as the Jets. New York has played decent against the run in their first two games, but that won’t last. If LT plays, and I expect he will, I’m predicting 150 yards and a couple touchdowns. After two down weeks in a row, and sounds of a toe injury, it might be a good time to try and plunder superman from his unsuspecting owner. Make it happen.

8. 150, 140, 3 scores: Kurt Warner knows who to throw the ball to apparently. Larry Fitz collected the most yardage from his 6 grabs, while Boldin finished just behind him with 140 yards – but those three scores helped fantasy owners win all over this week. Both receiving options are studs, and both will have brilliant seasons if they stay healthy. If you were smart enough to draft Boldin despite all the “trade me” talk and pre-season hysteria, then you are looking brilliant now. Doesn’t it feel good?

9. J.T. O’Sullivan to the rescue: And after week 1 everyone dropped this guy figuring “no way is he going to put up Mike Martz numbers,” c’mon guys – that’s why you never practice premature edropulation. O’Sullivan will be putting the ball up a lot this year, and many of his passes will be to a running back in Frank Gore that has all the ability to make a lot out of a little. Feel free to pick him up if he’s available. Against sloppy secondaries, which there are a lot of in the NFC, J.T. will be a solid option all year long – same for Bryant Johnson for that matter. After an injury plagued pre-season, Johnson looks like a big fast Martz #1 – can’t hate on that.

10: Maybe the Patriots aren’t that bad after-all. Check out last week’s stuff – this team is still legit, and Matt Cassell will only get better as the season goes on. Remember, this last week was his first start since high-school… Take that Matt Leinart!!!

NFL Free Picks: Week 2

Week 1 in the NFL saw some big upsets, some big drummings at the hands of the Cowboys and Eagles, the loss of last season’s record breaking MVP, and of course two big fat losses for the Raiders and Rams – so some things are new and some are the same old same. Week 2 is bound to surprise here and there, and remember, one bad week a season doesn’t make – or something like that. 15 more games to go for every single one of these teams – and this Sunday is a new start for every single one of them. This is how I see the cookie crumbling – the way of the road warriors?

Oakland Raiders +4.5 @ Kansas City Chiefs: The Raiders had some tough bounces roll away from them, and they just got caught in a opening night nightmare against the Broncos on Monday Night. I don’t think Denver is quite that good, and Oakland isn’t that bad. In fact, I think the Raiders will go back to the drawing board and see that running the ball will work for them. Also, JaMarcus will get a little more time against the Chiefs, and this game will come down to the wire. Close games are always tough to call, but I’m taking the Raiders and the points in this one, 4.5 is too much for the Chiefs to give – plus, these guys have lost 10 straight games going back to last year.

Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers (-3): Like any capper in the last few seasons, I hate to take the Panthers as a favorite against just about anyone – especially at home where they don’t play their best ball. But these are the Bears here. A Bears team that put it all together and made a mockery of the Colts in Week 1. I can’t buy them doing that again. The Panthers are for real this year boys and girls, not just a finicky team that will be up and down like it’s their job. They have a solid healthy rushing attack with two confident running options. Aside from Steve Smith (out one more week) they still have Mushin Muhammad and D.J. Hackett, two very competent receivers – and a tight end, Donte Rosario, that looks like a nice options as well. At home against a Bears team that played above and beyond last week? You bet, that’s worth a shot right there.

New Orleans Saints (+1) @ Washington Redskins: Little do people know, but New Orleans is better away from New Orleans than they are at home in… New Orleans. I like the Redskins to have a little bit better cohesion offensively this week, but I don’t expect their defense to be as tough in thier own red-zone. The Saints score 3 touchdowns, kick one field goal, and this thing is over. Marques Colston isn’t in action for the next few weeks, so expect some fireworks from little used Robert Meachem. I think Robert is a great option for Drew with Colston out. He’s a big kid and he’s got wheels. Look for New Orleans to utilize him against the Redskins.

Indianapolis Colts (pk) @ Minnesota Vikings: I like the Vikings to exploit the Colts run defense, but this game comes down to the wire and Peyton Manning, with one regular season game under his belt, can do enough against a suspect Viking pass defense to take this game on the road. This is no easy pick, though. The Colts were shredded by Matt Forte and the Bears rushing attack last week, just imagine what the Vikings plan to do with them. Also, Indy looked pretty disjointed without Jeff Saturday handing the ball to Peyton, if it was his absence that had the Colts lost, this could be a long game. I’m betting on Peyton’s rust being more of the problem than Saturday’s musk – we’ll see.

New York Giants (-8) @ St. Louis Rams: This one is tough for me because I expected more out of the Rams this season. The Giants are tough to run against, and they have a pretty nice group of corners as well. Seeing Philly pick the Rams apart has me moving away from them, especially after they showed absolutely no heart during the contests. Still, I wouldn’t wager the world on this game – The Rams will be out to prove their worth once again. The thing that has me siding with the Giants is their run defense and rushing attack – both are powerful. Also, the Giants are a very good road team – that will help them cover.

Buffalo Bills (+6) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Tough game for sure. I think a lot of the Jaguars, but without three of their starting offensive linemen, the Jaguars just don’t seem like a good favorite to bet on. I think the Jags will be better against the Bills than the Hawks were, but Buffalo’s physical play is a nice match-up for a physical Jags team. There aren’t many teams that will try to out-tough the Jaguars, and the Bills might just do that in Week 2. Take the points in this battle.

Atlanta Falcons (+9) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Way the Bucs play, and the way Atlanta is destined to try and grind it out, I just have to take all of the 9 points here. I know it’s different on the road for a young team, but with two teams not willing to risk a lot, those 9 points look pretty darned good. The Falcons can run the ball, and they seem to be loving life under a real head coach. They have confidence and a young signal caller that is going to be a great one. Lots of weapons of offense will be a tough match-up for Tampa. A good game here – so take the points.

San Francisco 49ers (+9) @ Seattle Seahawks: I like the Niners to cover in this one. Not only did the Hawks get thinner at wide receiver, but they also have to try and stop Frank Gore, a guy that just kills them usually. The Niners will be able to stick to it and put up enough points to stay close in Seattle, even though the Hawks play well at home, they look like a dejected unit right now. They just lost their starting guard for the season, and yet another receiver is out. They also cut Jordan Kent, a guy that played minutes last week, though he was drop-happy. Right now they are trying to get their back-up quarterback on the field to catch passes – yes, it looks desperate in Seattle.

Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals (-6): I like the Cardinals here. Arizona is a solid team against the run, and that’s really all Miami has. Chad Pennington can throw it accurately, but the safeties in Arizona are really speedy ball hawks, and both Rolle and Wilson will make big plays on Sunday. I expect Kurt Warner to air it out a little more against a suspect Dolphins secondary, as his two receivers look to have big games. The Cardinals are the best team in the NFC West, and while that doesn’t say much, it does mean they can handle the Dolphins with ease.

Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans (-4): I’m willing to believe that the Ravens awesome defensive performance last week was at least partially due to the horrid play by the Bengals. Houston will be a lot tougher defensively and I’m assuming offensively as well. Joe Flacco will have a tough time escaping Mario Williams – that’s for sure. If the Ravens can’t run the ball, this has the makings of a 24-6 ball game. I don’t expect the Ravens to score more than 17 points in half of their games this season. 17 won’t do it in Houston. Take the Texans as a solid bet in Week 2.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) @ Cleveland Browns: I still don’t think much of Cleveland. They’re all probably sitting around practice this week thinking that Week 1 was a fluke, and they’ll get back on track with a big win over the Steelers – wrong. It’s amazing how much the Browns remind me of last years’ Saints. I know Pittsburgh isn’t the same on the road as they are at home, but this one has the makings of a blowout. Jamal Lewis won’t be able to run much, because the Steelers plug up rushing attacks week in and week out. That leaves Derek Anderson, a guy that hasn’t had a good game since Week 12 last year, to beat them. The Steel-Show won’t let that happen. Look for Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall to be a nice 1-2 punch against Cleveland, just like Barber and Felix Jones were last week.

Green Bay Packers (-3) @ Detroit Lions: Come on, this seems like an insulting line. This is definitely one of my picks of the week. Before the season, after the season, before the LIons were killed by Atlanta or after the Lions had beaten the ’89 49ers, I don’t care, I’m still taking the Packers in this one. Aaron Rodgers is a sniper. His accurate air assault and the Packers powerful rushing attack should dominate this game by keeping possession in their hands. Take the Pack to advance to 2-0.

Tennessee Titans (+1.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals: Free Money – even with Kerry Collins at quarterback. The Titans and the Bengals are on a different level, same league, but different level. For example, the Titans have 11 starting defensive players that can really tackle. The Bengals have one, and he’s a rookie. The Titans have a solid offensive attack despite quarterback trouble -the Bengals have a talented quarterback with previous success that looks lost because of how bad his offense is. Things are going bad in Cinci, and a Titan beat down isn’t going to make them feel any better.

San Diego Chargers (pk) @ Denver Broncos: Yes, Denver lit up Oakland in Week 1, but I have to like the Chargers as a pick’em against Denver. I just don’t see San Diego going 0-2 to start the season. Last week was a nice little wake-up call. Take advantage of Denver’s big Nationally televised annihilation of the Raiders on Monday Night Football, and take the Chargers in Denver. San Diego is the better all around team. They will run over Denver like Atlanta did to Detroit. Hundreds of rushing yards are in the Chargers immediate future.

New England Patriots (+2.5) @ New York Jets: At least there was something good out of Tom Brady going down with an injury – we get this spread to play with. I’ll take the Patriots as a dog against the Jets and laugh it all the way to the bank. There’s not much to say about this game besides this, the Jets aren’t as good as the Patriots. They might have a better quarterback right now, but that’s about it. Even the Pats rushing attack will likely out-gain the Jets’. Look for a nice road win from a team that just lost their leader.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5): This is a tough one for me because the Eagles looked so good and they are absolutely chalked full of talent – however, the Cowboys looked almost equally as good against a better team (or so people think Cleveland is better than the Rams, I’d probably agree). Still, that’s just last week, and how much does last week really matter? Are the Eagles really that solid on offense? Are the Cowboys that legit defensively? It’s a tough game to call, that’s for sure. And then you put in the Eagle/Cowboy rivalry to boot. I’m going to say that Donovan McNabb has a tough time handling the Cowboys pressure, as Dallas forces him into some poor decisions. The Cowboys will also hold Philly’s rushing attack in check – so I’m going with the Cowboys here. Tough call for sure, but the Boys get the nod.

NFL Pre-Season Free Pick REVIEW: Week 4

Well, yet another winning week made it 3 out of 4 for me in the NFL pre-season. I’m not going to yack about it too much, but this is how the story went – gotta keep records…. I finished the pre-season 10-6-1.

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles(-3):

The Eagles were up 13-3 in this game, but the luck of the 3rd stringers couldn’t hold on. An 11 yard touchdown pass to Paul Raymond with 2:25 to go in the 1st half gave me a little taste of things to come, and it was a late Jesse Chatman touchdown run that gave the Jets a 27-20 win in Philly. My only favorite lost – I should have gone all underdogs apparently.

Detroit Lions (+3) @ Buffalo Bills:

The Bills had more yards (both passing and rushing), first downs, a better 3rd down efficiency, and just about everything else besides score. That’s where the Lions came out victorious, 14-6. Buffalo couldn’t put points on the board, and were busted twice for safeties, giving away nearly as many points as they scored on those plays alone. The Lions scored 14 first half points and that was enough to finish off the BIlls.

Atlanta Falcons (+3) @ Baltimore Ravens:

The offensively challenged Ravens continued their frustrating pre-season – but at least Joe Flacco looked good enough to be named the opening day starter. Not that the Ravens had a choice, he’s the only healthy signal caller left on the roster. Anyway, the Falcons got a touchdown pass from D.J. Shockley and that was enough to cover the spread. The 3rd quarter field goal was just icing as the Falcons won by a point.

Carolina Panthers (+3.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers:

I had a feeling that half point would come in handy. Amazing how that works – I loved the Panthers at +3.5 and only thought them decent at +3 – and this is why folks. Jeff Reed hits a 43 yarder to win it, and everyone’s a winner – except the Panthers of course. Anyway, Pittsburgh won by 3 and I won by the good old .5.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys:

With the Cowboys up 3, Nick Folk kicked a 52 freaking yarder to go up 6 points and finish off my push. Damn kickers! Ha. Folk and the Cowboys brought me to 3-2 on the week and 10-6-1 overall during the pre-season. Lost here, but won a chicken dinner with my nice pre-season work.