theRUNDOWN: Week 8

For those of you new to theRUNDOWN this is what I do. I pick my best team of the week, some nice plays with a few reasons to back up my picks. After that I list a couple sleepers, either decent guys that I expect to have good weeks, or relatively unused guys I like to do well. Then, at the end I list a few usually solid guys that I would leave on the bench. Just in case you didn’t catch it, this is my RUNDOWN for Week 8…

QB: Donovan McNabb vs. Atlanta: I think the Eagles will have some trouble with the Falcons, but I like McNabb to throw for many yards and a couple scores.

RB: Clinton Portis vs. Detroit: Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. Clinton’s dominating the league and he gets to pick on the Lions this weekend. I don’t think he’ll get quite as many looks, but two touchdowns in this one is what I’m looking for.

RB: Thomas Jones vs. Kansas City: Jones isn’t the best back in the league, but I have to like him against the Chieftons. The Jets always try to establish the run and it won’t take much trying against KC.

FLEX: Steve Slaton vs. Cincinnati: I love Slaton’s game, but he needs to continue to be involved in the passing game, the kid is filthy in space.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Carolina: People say the Panthers are a tough match-up, well I like the Cardinals to be throwing a lot on Sunday. I like Fitz to catch a few of those and put up some points in Carolina.

WR: Andre Johnson vs. Cincinnati: Johnson is a beast. One of the dirtiest most sure thing receivers in the game. Plus, despite the rankings, I like this match-up.

TE: Antonio Gates vs. New Orleans: Bad defense, great player, good quarterback – touchdowns. We’ll see, but the odds look to be in my favor.

K: Stephen Gostkowski vs. St. Louis: I think the Rams have gotten a little better defensively, and I think that’s good for Gostkowski. A couple more 3rd down stops means a couple more field goals.

D: Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland: All the Raiders can do consistently is run. The Ravens dominate opposing rushing attacks. Duh on this one.


David Garrad: DG plays at home against Cleveland. The numbers don’t look great, Cleveland is solid against the pass and Garrard has been less than mediocre so far this season – still, I like his chances this week. Call it a hunch. Ha.

Jason Campbell: Great match-up this week for Campbell. If handing it to Clinton wasn’t so easy, he’d get even more fantasy points. Still, he’s been good enough for a start here.

LenDale White: I don’t think Bob Sanders is playing in which case the Titans will be getting plenty of rushing opportunities. Chris Johnson is the better back, no doubt in my mind, but LenDale is still a nice start this week against the Colts.

Jamal Lewis: Yep, I like this horse. Jamal runs hard, and his numbers don’t show how well he’s been carrying the rock this year. I like him against the Jags.

Vincent Jackson: “Play him while he’s hot.” I had him here last week, and even though the game is in England, which means lots of traveling and probably less scoring, I don’t think Chambers is playing which makes Jackson the #1. That’s a good thing against the Aint’s secondary.

Josh Morgan: I’m not sure who’s playing QB for San Francisco, I’m not sure who’s the #1 receiver for the 49ers, but I do know that Mike Martz loves Morgan, and that should be enough for a bye week sleeper fill in this week.

Billy Miller: If you need a TE then you can take a shot with Billy. He gets looks. Drew seems to like him, and there’s a chance Shockey either doesn’t play or is limited. Sounds like a play to me, and to throw a nice hanging slider in there – the Chargers secondary leaves something to be desired.

New York Jets: You bet, Chiefs are on the road, defense is in my sleeper slot – it’s that easy.

Papa’S Week 6 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)

Matt Cassel: I know he had a nice game last week, but the Rams are bringing many pressures since Little came back – I think Matt gets sacked a lot and becomes turnover prone.

Mewelde Moore: I know Moore was the hot pick up this week, and last, but I don’t see why. He won’t do much this week, I’m almost sure of that, and Parker will be back soon.

Dominic Rhodes: He did well last week, looking good filling in for Joseph Addai. This week he gets to play the Titans… Haha, “gets”, lucky guy. Don’t start him this week unless you are really desperate.

Roddy White: I think Atlanta does some good things through the air, but not via Roddy. He’ll have trouble matching up with some tough corners in Philly.

Five for Friday

I know my uncle does the good starts bad starts “theRUNDOWN” action, but this week I have some solid plays that you might be steering clear of. Just remember, just because there’s a tough match-up doesn’t mean you should ignore your good players – it also means that you might be starting a lesser option (ie Thomas Jones) over a better player (ie Michael Turner) to get the best chance of big points. Here’s my Top 5 “interesting” starts of the week. 

Matt Schaub is going up against the 6th ranked pass defense, but that doesn’t mean you should start him. In fact, I’d start him over Brett Favre and a bunch of quarterbacks ranked higher than Matty. Schaub should do work against the Bengals, and I don’t expect him to slow down at all this week. Andre Johnson plays like a big brother beasting opposing corner backs, and I see that trend continuing against the youngsters manning the corner in Cincinnati. 

Jeff Garcia is playing at Dallas. Dallas is in shambles and while I wouldn’t shoot for Garcia many weeks, I think his numbers against the Cowboys should be solid. I think Dallas will play better against the run, but Garcia and the Bucs should find plenty of room in Dallas’s secondary. Garcia makes plays with his feet, and that should be on display this week in Dallas. 

Michael Turner plays a top rated run defense when the Eagles host the Falcons this week, and most people are resting Turner thinking he’ll get shut down like he has recently against very good run defenses. Not to fast on labeling the Eagles stout against the run, though. See, Philly gave up about 150 to Portis and 101 to Gore (in limited rushes) in back to back weeks. Turner runs hard, and Philly’s front line is undersized. Maybe this isn’t such a bad match-up after all. 

I see some things out there saying, “Don’t start Cotchery against the Chiefs” and I can’t seem to figure it out. Sure, the Jets will probably run twice as much as they pass, but Brett takes chances, it’s just part of his game. It doesn’t look like Coles will be playing this week, and Cotchery is the better receiver anyway. All things aside, I’d bet Cotchery gets about 7 balls for 80+ yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. Those are start him numbers to me. 

Nate Washington against the Giants. Santonio Holmes might be suspended, and Nate is a good bet to get 5 or 6 looks even if he doesn’t start. Mewelde Moore and the Steeler running game won’t be great this week and that means Big Ben will have to pass. I like Washington’s size and Ben’s confidence going to him in and near the red zone. I think he’s a solid start this week, where most people aren’t even thinking about getting him close to roster spot, let alone a starting lineup. Swim against the flow!