Saturday, December 17, 2011

NFL Week 15 (Continued)

Finally got off to a 1-0 start as the Falcons crushed the Jaguars. Now let's finish up with 15 wins in the NFL and 2 wins in Fantasy. Right, back to reality after the jump...

Saturday, December 17th
Dallas Cowboys (-7) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:20 ET
The Cowboys were within four minutes of having a stranglehold on the NFC East. This week DT Jay Ratliff nearly had a stranglehold on some beat reporter when he was asked about former Cowboy WR Sam Hurd's involvement with a drug ring. You just never know what you're going to get with this group of players - one second they look like a legit competitor in the NFC and the next they leave fan scratching their hands after some dumbfounding losses due to missed field goals. Unfortunately for the Cowboys they lose star rookie RB DeMarco Murray. Fortunately for the Cowboys they play the Bucs this week. Take the Cowboys and look for Romo and Felix Jones to get them back on track. 

Sunday, December 18th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants (-7)
First of all Jason Pierre-Paul is an absolute beast. He single-handedly led the Giants to victory last week and has been beating up on opposing offensive linemen all year. With injuries to Osi Umeniyora and Justin Tuck the Giants pass rush didn't miss a beat thanks to JPP. As a team this Giants team has been all about streaks. They started off with a streak of 3 wins at the beginning of the year (weeks 2-4), then after losing week 5 (my survivor pick against the Seahawks), they reeled off another three game winning streak (weeks 6-9). Directly following that streak, they went on to lose 4 in a row until last weeks victory over the Cowboys. Last week started another streak - and I like them to continue that streak this week over the Redskins. Take the Giants to get the win and inch closer to a week 17 showdown with the Cowboys. 

Green Bay Packers (-14) vs. Kansas City Chiefs
How can there possibly be anyone that looks at this matchup at thinks to themselves - hey you know what? Maybe the Chiefs can hang with arguably one of the best offenses of all time. It's just not plausible on paper. But something that the Chiefs did this week on paper might give their players and fans some much needed incentive to play up to par. They fired their coach Todd Haley and have named Romeo Crennel as the interim head coach. That's good enough for me to think the Chiefs will keep this within two touchdowns. If leaders of your organization getting fired doesn't get you all fired up, I don't know what will. Take the Chiefs and take the points in Arrowhead.

New Orleans Saints (-7) vs. Minnesota Vikings
A double-edged sword for me in this game because of the fact that I have Drew Brees in my big money league, but I'm playing against one of his favorite targets - Marques Colston in both leagues. Lucky for me, Brees has about 7 favorite targets so that chances that Colston goes bananas are a little less likely than some other No. 1 WRs. What there is no denying is that Brees will throw a TD pass and the Saints offense will put up a lot of points. My guess is that they'll put up at least 7 more than the Vikings - making the pick in this game: Saints minus the points.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears (-3.5)
This is what the Chicago Bears injury report looks like this weekend: Devin Hester (ankle) is questionable, while Jay Cutler (thumb) Matt Forte (knee), and Sam Hurd (5-10 kilos) are all out. When a team is missing its go to QB, RB, and in-house drug kingpin, things are bound to go bad. I'll take the Seahawks in this one.

Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans (-6)
A rookie quarterback will be leading their team into the Playoffs - but it won't be Cam Newton and the Panthers. Instead, T.J. Yates, the first ever Tar Heel QB to start in the NFL, will be the signal caller for the AFC South Champions Houston Texans. He's even looked good the past two weeks - leading the Texans to two late game winning TD drives over the Falcons and Bengals. This week - he'll have the chance to prove to teams around the league he was drafted 151 spots too late in the draft. Meanwhile, this years no. 1 pick Cam Newton has shattered all types of records and will continue to improve on his 28 total TDs, and 13 rushing TDs both records for a rookie QB. I think Newton and the Panthers will keep this closer than the 6 points that the Texans will have to cover. 

Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills (No Line)
There's no line to this game yet - likely because no one will be watching this game to care about betting on it. I would give it the game to avoid watching at all costs but that's too harsh of a punishment to the Bills. Like the Chiefs, the Dolphins also fired their head coach this week - but will travel to upstate New York a far cry from the sand and sun of South Beach. If Matt Moore is out this week - the Dolphins will rely on former Bills QB J.P. Losman. Ugh - the mere thought of writing "Bills QB J.P. Losman" gave me shivers - haunting time to be a Bills fan when he was under center. I expect Losman to pick right up where he left off - yelling for his offensive lineman to pick him up off the ground after another sack. I'll take the Bills to win easily in this one. 

Tennessee Titans (-6.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have three more chances to avoid going 0-16 for the year - something in my gut tells me this could be the game. Matt Hasselbeck was injured last week, so rookie QB Jake Locker was brought in for the second half. If Hasselback can't go - the Colts face a QB that has never started a game in the NFL - what more do you want? Then I think about it, and the answer is - Andrew Luck. The Colts have a chance to clinch the No. 1 pick in the draft next April with a loss here. That's good enough incentive for me to take the Titans.

Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) vs. St. Louis Rams
The Rams blow. To make matters worse they will be calling on the newly signed Kellen Clemens to take snaps from the center on Sunday. For those of you that don't know anything about Clemens this clip pretty much sums it up. I just removed Brandon Lloyd from my fantasy roster after watching that clip. But - I'm still taking the Rams over the Bengals at home - because - well... I don't know. Just feels like the Rams need to cover a spread at some point, right? Who knows, just take the Rams, don't bet this game. In fact, don't watch this game. This game takes the award for game that I will avoid watching at all costs. Congrats!

Sunday, December 18th (4:00 ET Kickoffs)
Detroit Lions (-1) vs. Oakland Raiders
I'm about as confused as possible on this game. The Lions have been playing stagnantly lately - although they do get DT Ndomakung Suh back so that might help for the 1.5 quarters that he plays before ripping someones testicle off. The Raiders have looked terrible these past couple of weeks and have literally handed the division over to the Broncos and made room for the Chargers to have a fighting chance. When it comes down to it - I'm that the Stafford - Megatron connection will be too much for the Raiders to fend off. I'll take the Lions to go into the black hole and come out with a W. 

New England Patriots (-7.5) vs. Denver Broncos
The fact that my fantasy team is playing against Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski is enough for me to take the Broncos in this game. But if there was ever a soul out there that didn't like Tim Tebow as a human being before - watch this clip. Simply galvanizing. So hopefully I get some help from the man above to win my fantasy match ups this week. Go Tebow!

New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-3)
Well this is a fun game. Another NY / Philly matchup. I'm getting pretty hype on this big brother vs. little brother rivalry after watching that Rangers-Flyers 24/7 on HBO. While I find myself liking the Rangers a little bit more in Hockey - I will not root for another AFC East team to make the playoffs. Plus, I think it will be loads of fun to watch Eagles fans have to hold out for one more week to see if there team still has an outside chance to make the Playoffs. I'll fly with the Eagles in this one. 

Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)
I know all of the hype in the league has been about Tebow - but Arizona has a little bit of Skeltonmania going on as well. John Skelton has led the Cardinals to an impressive 5-1 mark in their last 6 contests vaulting them right back into the thick of the NFC Wild Card race - kind of. Meanwhile, the Browns continue to be an absolutely horrid team but somehow have managed to win 4 games this year - I'd be surprised if they won another game the rest of the year (Ravens and Steelers to follow). I like this Cardinals team as an up and coming team and once they cut Kolb, clear up some cap space, and draft well - they very well could be in the thick of the Playoff race next year. For now, I'll roll with Skelton and the Cardinals to take care of business.

Sunday Night Football
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) vs. San Diego Chargers 
Since 2006, the Chargers have posted an NFL best 20-1 record over the final 4 weeks of the season. The Kings of December at it again. Too bad for the Chargers the playoffs don't start earlier. Philip Rivers has actually looked like an NFL Quarterback the past two weeks compiling 6 TDs, and more importantly zero picks. Granted he put up those numbers against the Jags and Bills, but still. He will need to take care of the football against a Ravens D that returns its heart and soul Ray Lewis. I think the Chargers get the win here and put a dent into the Ravens chances for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Monday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers (No Line)
There is no line on this game - because its uncertain as to whether Big Ben will play. That's a big uncertainty for the Steelers and fantasy owners that have rode Big Ben's success throughout the year. The conservative play would be to bench all of your Steelers and find suitable backups to insert to your fantasy lineups. But that's for the birds. I'll be starting Antonio Brown with the hopes that Big Ben comes back and leads the Steelers to a strong offensive performance and puts his team in the drivers seat of the AFC North after a Ravens loss. I'll take the Steelers in this one.

Enjoy week 15 of the NFL and best of luck to everyone in their Fantasy matchups this weekend! See you out there.

This Week: 1-0!
Last Week: 8-8
Season Record: 102-99-7

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