South Florida Bulls (+7) @ Pittsburgh Panthers: The Panthers don’t blow good teams out, they aren’t that kid of squad. South Florida has a very quick defense, and I think that ends up limiting the Panthers in this one. Isn’t it time for Pittsburgh to start losing games they are supposed to win? The Panthers have just one loss, to a mediocre to bad North Carolina State team, a couple one score wins in a row won’t help the Panthers in this one. South Florida fights back after a tough loss last week to Cincinnati. You can run on the Panthers, and the Bulls will – that’s enough to take the 7 here. Give me the Bulls.
Week 4 wasn’t historic, these were my best picks? Damn! Well, it’s what I got. Brett Favre and Laveranues Coles would have been a nice combo, they went for 81 fantasy points together. My outing went like this… And 116 points ain’t too shabby.
QB: Aaron Rodgers vs. Bucs: Rodgers had some injury woes, but his 165 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions got me a whopping 12 points – to make matters worse I too a hit on that game as well, as the Packers didn’t stand a chance with no running game to speak of and all those turnovers.
RB: Frank Gore vs. New Orleans: The 49ers were down, so Gore only rushed the ball 16 times – or was it because Mike Martz is a freak? Option two. Either way, Gore’s 82 rushing yards and 31 receiving yards got him 15 fantasy points, good for 13th amongst running backs.
RB: Marshawn Lynch vs. Car Ram-Rod: Yet another week where Lynch was outscored (in PPR leagues) by Fred Jackson. Jackson almost had as many yards *47-59, on 12 less carries (7-19) and he caught one more ball for 15 more yards than Lynch as well. Marshawn was 18th overall with 11 fantasy points.
WR: Brandon Marshall vs. Chiefs: Marshall continued his onslaught of NFL defenses, having a down day and still grabbing 7 balls for 77 yards and a touchdown – his fumble brought his total down to 18. Still, 16th overall on the day wasn’t great.
WR: Steve Smith vs. Atlanta: 6 catches, 96 yards and a touchdown for 21 points. Steve is back and he looks to benefit from Mushin’s presence along the outside.
TE: Tony Gonzalez vs. Denver: 3 grabs for 47 yards and a score, nice day for a TE, but how can I not go with Witten? He was 5th overall with 13 points.
K: Rian Lindell vs. Ram-Rod: 5th overall with 13 points, that’s like hitting the lottery! I’m off the snide!
D: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore: 8th overall with 13 fantasy points, not the shutdown performance I was expecting, maybe I didn’t give their injuries enough thought.
PAPA’S Week 1 SLEEPERS
Kerry Collins: Collins had 199 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions – he did throw a lot, 35 times, but only completing 18 passes is never a good percentage. Collins, though he was a stretch, only got me 6 fantasy points. F
Trent Edwards: Trent was 12th overall making him a low end starting option on Sunday. His 200 yards 1 touchdown 1 pick performance gave him 13 points on the week. I’ll take a B for that one.
Carson Palmer: Didn’t start, didn’t play. He’s a write off.
Maurice Jones Drew: How can you go about life giving this kid 7 carries? I’m convinced the Jaguars are stupid. But hey, he had 6 fantasy points. Ugh. F
DeAngelo Williams: Williams had 7 fantasy points getting half the team’s carries. Jon Stewart is the better option. D
Selvin Young: If the Broncos gave him a chance he’d be solid. Denver was down all day to the Chiefs though, so Young only got 11 looks, he did gain 49 yards with those chances though. Silly Splinter. F
Bernard Berrian: 5 catches for 78 yards, no score, but this was a good day for Berrian owners – if you snuck him off the waiver wire, you are about to get a good return on that investment. B+
Jerry Porter: 1 catch 6 yards – full health? What were the Jaguars up to this week? F
Eddie Royal and DeSean Jackson: Royal grabbed 9 balls for 104 yards (and a fumble) for 17 points – Jackson snagged 5 balls for 71 yards and a touchdown for 19 fantasy points – there were 14th and 19th overall respectively. A
Owen Daniels: Daniels had 7 catches for 87 yards to lead the Texans in receiving – he was 4th amongst TE’s. A
Buffalo: 3rd overall with 17 fantasy points, good day for the Bills, and they pulled out a win. There were bound to score a defensive touchdown against St. Louis, right? It was meant to be.
Papa’S Week 4 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)
LenDale White: 11 carries 13 yards, but the touchdown made him noteworthy i guess – still this was a good sit. Your welcome.
Ryan Grant: 15 carries for 20 yards. Your welcome.
Clinton Portis: Clinton carried the Redskins past the Cowboys, getting a couple huge first downs to put the game away and rolling for 121 yards on 21 carries. He managed 15 points on the day and was a solid option (13th overall). My bad.
Brandon Lloyd: 2 catches for 33 yards – your welcome.
One of my readers asked me to cap all of DirecTV’s GamePlan picks during the season. I looked into it a little bit and figured I could give my insight on these games every week during the year without too many tears being shed. This will be in addition to my normal college picks every single week, because those picks are the one’s I find the most value in. Again, these are all the games that DirecTV has in their college football package for Week 2’s games. Enjoy and good luck! A couple games didn’t have lines, but these are the ones that did – 6 DTV package games for your viewing (and betting) pleasure.
All games take place on Saturday the 6th!
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (+7) @ Boston College Eagles (12:00PM EST):
I’m not crazy about this game. I’m taking the points because both teams are led by their defense and pose a lot of questions on offense. Georgia Tech runs the ball very effectively, but the Eagles have a stout defense to combat that upside. The Eagles have won ATS in 4 of the 5 contests between these schools, and have won last season 24-10. I still like Tech’s ability to keep this game within reach, and turn the Eagles young offense over a couple times. I’m taking Tech.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (+18) @ Auburn Tigers (12:30PM EST):
It won’t be too easy for the Tigers. Southern Miss has a few great athletes that could give the TIgers some trouble. Austin Davis (QB) will be good enough to put the ball in the air at Auburn, but it will be the Southern Miss rushing attack that does their share of damage. I understand last week’s game was against UL Lafayette, but still, the Golden Eagles had two backs rush for over 100 yards including Damion Fletcher’s 222 yard 2 touchdown performance. Any team with a running game is a good (+17) bet against a mediocre offense. Take the Golden Eagles.
Cincinnati Bearcats (+21.5) @ Oklahoma Sooners (3:30PM EST):
This game looks a little scary for the Sooners, except for the fact that they are one of the Nation’s best teams. The Bearcats have a very good defense that will kick and scratch all night long if it means they have a chance. Offensively, the Bearcats will struggle to score at Oklahoma, but I still like their chances of keeping this game within that huge 3 touchdown margin. The Sooners are good, but not good enough to beat everyone in the 57-2 range like they did last week. I’ll take the Sooners to win by 10, but the Bearcats will make it a battle.
Mississippi @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-8) (3:30PM EST):
The Demon Deacons did Baylor dirty last week on the road. The Bears looked lost as Wake marched through their defense to win 41-13. Riley Skinner is for real, and so are the Deacons. Being lost in the mess of ACC peers, Wake should continue to get favorable lines. Eight points to cover against a decent but not great Mississippi team seems easily manageable. Wake isn’t a team that’s going to win a lot of games by 20 points, but this could be one of the few times they do.
Buffalo Bulls @ Pittsburgh Panthers (-13) (6:00PM EST):
Buffalo mangled UTEP in week 1, as quarterback Drew Willy completed 10 passes for 221 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Bulls also managed two 100 yard rushers, as RB James Starks took 31 carries for 179 yards. But that was UTEP, can they really do the same thing against a team like Pittsburgh? I don’t think so. But they don’t have to do the same thing against Pitt to win against the spread. But I’ll have to go with Pitt here. Sure, they lost to Bowling Green last week, but the Falcons are much better than advertised, and their offensive attack is a bad match-up for the Panthers. This week, Pittsburgh has to shut down the run to win, and I like their chances at that a lot more. LeSean McCoy will have his way with the Bulls, and I like the Panthers come back from last week’s opening day loss to win by at least two touchdowns.
Tulane Green Wave (+30.5) @ Alabama Crimson Tide (7:00PM EST):
After being moved around a lot because of Hurricane Gustav, and being thoroughly outmatched by the Tide athletically, the Tulane Green Wave are in for more tough times this weekend. Alabama may have played perfect football last week against a good Clemson team, but even so, they have definitely show that they are better than advertised. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be taking the Tide in this one. A 30 point favorite is too much for me to buy. The Tide come in hot on bettor’s minds, and that’s never a good thing for the favorite. Tulane plays teams pretty tough. They lost a lot in Matt Forte, but in their season opener I expect enough excitement to keep this game closer than 4 touchdowns. Alabama is a tough match-up for Tulane, as their run defense is stellar, but that won’t stop the Green Wave from handing the ball off, and their schemes are good enough to get some first downs. John Parker Wilson will come back to earth in this one. We’ll see, but I’m not buying the Tide beating many more teams by four scores…
Well, well – a winner is a winner is a winner I guess. When you win more than you lose it all works out. It wasn’t as hard as it sounds. I picked 10 games of Week 1’s action and finished 6-4. There were a couple tough ones, (cough, cough – Vanderbilty/Miami-Ohio – cough) and some really nice upsets that I pulled off as well (go Bowling Green) – this is the review…
Vanderbilt Commodores @ Miami-Ohio Redhawks (-4): (loss)
“Vanderbilt loses their best player in wide receiver Earl Bennett. He was by far their most effective and productive offensive player. Their leading returning receiver is out with a stress fracture (George Smith). If that weren’t enough, the Commodores also said goodbye to their leading rusher from last year, as well as their entire starting offensive line – that’s the kicker. The Commodores don’t have much cohesion right now, as new starters are still being decided. The starting quarterback for this Thursday’s game wasn’t decided by the weekend, leaving much to be answered in the four days before kickoff. While Vanderbilt has all the questions, Miami of Ohio looks to be full of answers.” (Me) Well, I guess I was wrong about this one. Still, I read everything going into this game and it looks like a tough go for the Commodores. Luckily they named the right QB as Chris Nickson rushed 20 times for 166 yards, tormenting Miami-Ohio’s defense. It all sounded good to me, I guess I can’t always know.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-12) @ Baylor Bears: (WINNER)
“Wake Forest is the real deal. I expect them to start off the season hot, and ride their quarterback to the top of the ACC. Take them over the Bears by a couple touchdowns.” I couldn’t have predicted this game any better, except a couple touchdowns turned into 4 touchdowns. Riley Skinner lit up the Bears to the tune of 27 for 36 with 220 yards and 3 touchdown passes. The Deacons defense was stout, holding the Bears to just 6 points through 3 quarters.
Oregon State Beavers (-3) @ Stanford Cardinal: (9:00pm EST, 8-28-2008)
The Beavers fell down early and when they were just about to get up, or score the game tying touchdown, their young wide receiver fumbled the ball through the end-zone, ending what would have been one heck of a come back for me. The Beavers lost by 8. The Cardinal did it on the ground while putting up just enough points to win despite Lyle Moevao’s 404 passing yards and 4 TD passes. I was 1-2 before the weekend even started.
Temple Owls (-7) @ Army Black Knights: (7:00pm EST, 8-29-2008)
“Temple, amazingly, won 4 of their last 7 games, have three Pre-Seasons All Conference players returning, and were voted “Program on the Rise” by the MAC conference. They return their leading passer and an offensive line that found cohesion late last year. Defensively, Temple is better than expected, as Army will find out. Army switched their entire offense around this summer, moving from a no-huddle spread to an option based rushing attack. When that happens originally, teams seem to struggle because of the recruiting differences for offenses like that. I never thought I’d consider taking a Temple team on the road and favored by a touchdown, but that’s exactly what I’m doing and I’m confident about it.” Sometimes I can really pick them. Temple held Army scoreless in the first half while putting up 21 points of their own. The game ended at 35-7 and Temple looked good carrying my win on their backs.
Bowling Green Falcons (+13) @ Pittsburgh Panthers: (WINNER)
“The Bowling Green Falcons bring 17 of 22 starters back to a team that is expected to compete for a WAC crown this season. The Falcons won 5 of their last 6 regular season games in 2007 before getting absolutely crushed in their bowl game against Tulsa. I like that last part. The Falcons have waited all summer, 17 returning starters and many other frustrated kids, to get back on the football field and prove that bowl game was a fluke. In comes the Panthers with one of the best running backs in the Nation and a former pro-football head coach. I like the Falcons’ chances – take them and all those points.” YES! Bowling Green pulled one of the weekend’s biggest stunners and I was right there to pat them on the back. I have to admit, I was a little worried when LeSean McCoy and company marched down the field for a score, and then went up 14-0. But the Falcons were resilient and finished off the Panthers 27-17.
Akron Zips @ Wisconsin Badgers (-26): (tough loss)
Akron’s 4th quarter touchdown killed me, taking this game from a two point cover to a 5 point loss. It’s always tough with big spreads, which is why I like to stay away from them for the most part – but up 38-10, the Badgers kicked me right in the junk when they allowed Akron to throw a touchdown pass with 38 seconds left on the clock. Now that’s a bad freaking beat!
Utah Utes (+3.5) @ Michigan Wolverines: (3:30pm EST, 8-30-2008)
“The Utes are very good and should win their conference this season. Michigan lost too many good players and are in the midst of a complete turn-around with their new head coach, Rich Rodriguez. I don’t know what else to say besides this, Utah is the better team with a better mentality and they also have nothing to lose in this one. Sign me up for that every single week.” The Utes made this closer than it had to be, but I’m still not that impressed with the Wolverines. They rode a little momentum late but the better team was Utah all day long. The game ended with the better team winning.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (-6) @ Washington State Cougars: (WINNER)
“The Cougars weren’t very good a year ago, usually open the season soft, don’t have much of a home-field advantage during the first few weeks of the college football season, lost their star quarterback to graduation, and don’t have much confidence either. Hmm…” What else can you say? I wasn’t real surprised when I won this one in the first quarter. End of game score, 39-13- Cougs, thanks for playing – see you next week.
Michigan State Spartans (+5) @ California Golden Bears (loss)
This game was close, but the Bears looked better than the Spartans all night long. Sometimes I feel robbed after a loss, but that wasn’t the case here. The Bears looked solid defensively despite the big score at the end of the game. MSU fought hard at the end of the game but in the end Cal had the better athletes and it showed. Still, I was just a field goal away from winning this one.
Idaho Vandals @ Arizona Wildcats (-27): (WINNER)
“It seems like a lot of points, and it is, but I just have a feeling… …This game wouldn’t surprise me if it was a 45-7 WIldcat blowout.” It would however surprise me if the Wildcats put up 70 in this one. Try a 35 point 2nd quarter and a 70-0 final score. Yikes. Like I said, I just had a feeling.
6-4 overall with a few huge wins a couple tough losses – such is the way it goes. Tune in tomorrow for some Week 2 Free NCAA Picks!