Seriously.

I had an unprecedented week, and I need to brag about it for 900 words or so.

Let’s see, I made 5…count ‘em…FIVE guarantee picks last week, and they were all prophetic.

Minnesota: W 35-9
Jacksonville: W 18-15
Detroit: W 38-37
Arizona: W 21-13
New Orleans: W 38-7

Sure, some of them needed some last second heroics to pull off their wins, but a win is a win, dammit.

But, oh, the awesomeness doesn’t stop there.  I was also 6-0 picking games in our league this week.  AND, I made some stellar calls within those predictions.  Let’s see some quotations for proof:

“Beanie Wells doesn’t much get involved in the passing game…But he’s been getting a larger piece of the pie for the past 4 weeks now, which is a great time to be facing the Rams.”

Result: Beanie Wells scores 15.5 against the Rams.

“Warner has absolutely been torching teams all season, and has really started hooking up with Fitzgerald lately, but I think Fitzgerald has a slightly below average day this week. I know that’s a pretty bold prediction, since he has at least 11 fantasy points in 8 of 9 games this season, but if St. Louis can keep him in the 12-16 point range, I might have a chance.”

Result: Warner gets injured, Fitz scores 18.7, and I had a damn good chance of winning.

“Kauffman RB#2. I made sure to stay up late so he couldn’t grab Forsett off of waivers, which leaves him to decide between Kevin Faulk and Fred Jackson.  My biased desire to see Kauffman fail this week aside, I would guess Faulk is the better start here.…Regardless of the choice, it’ll be tough to count on either back to put up more than 8 fantasy points.”

Result: Faulk scores 7.7, Jackson scores 7.5.

“Marion Barber has just one TD in the Cowboys’ past 5 games. He hasn’t even carried the ball for more than 60 yards since week 2.”

Result: Barber scores 9.9 points.

“X-factor: My second-fiddle runningbacks. The major deal breaker is the Cedric Benson/Larry Johnson/Bernard Scott dilemma, because whoever starts is going to have fun against Oakland…If Benson is deactivated, I may have captured lightning in a bottle with this pick-up. If Benson starts, I’ll have to decide between Donald Brown and Justin Forsett, depending of course on the availability of Joseph Addai and Julius Jones, respectively.”

Result: Forsett scores 18.9, Scott scores 16.6….I couldn’t have gone wrong!

Oh, and in upset #2:

“Tomlinson had a decent game against Denver earlier this season, and that was back when their D was firing on all cylinders. Having just allowed 174 rushing yards to the Portis-less Redskins last week, I like LT’s chances against the Broncos.”

Result: Tomlinson puts up 13.3 points.

“David Garrard loves him some Mike Sims-Walker. MSW has been targeted at least 7 times in 6 of his 7 games this season, and has seen the ball come his way double-digit times in a game thrice.”

Result: MSW makes 8 receptions on 9 targets for 19.1 fantasy points.

“Bloom’s got several tough defensive matchups this week. Reggie Wayne and a questionable Joseph Addai on the road against a Ravens defense that is allowing just 8 points per game since their bye week (Who called that one? Pat on the back.) And while the Broncos have been free-falling as of late, they still have a great passing defense. Vincent Jackson got absolutely shut down last week against the Eagles, and a similar stat line may be in order this week.”

Result: Wayne, Addai, and Jackson combine for 34.6, well below their season average of 49.7….especially Jackson, who had just 4 catches for 56 yards against that Broncos D.

“X-factor: Michael Turner. If Turner is out, which he probably will be, Damn lucks his way into a pretty decent starter in Jason Snelling. The Giants are not a great team against the run, having allowed 8 rushing TDs in the past 5 games.”

Result: Snelling scores 22.4 points for Damn, including 2 rushing TDs, and the X-Factor gets him the win.

But the prognostication doesn’t stop there, my friends.  Here’s what I had to say in the 2 games of the week:

“In the first game, as much as I love to screw with Harshbarger and put hexes on him, I think he cakewalks his way through this match-up, setting himself up nicely for a playoff spot. Alex Smith was his demise last week, but Matt Schaub is his savior this time around.”

Result: Down by 9 points going into the Monday night game, Schaub was absolutely Harshbarger’s savior.

“Peyton Manning has at least 20 fantasy points every week this season. If he can continue that trend against the Ravens this week, Duncan should win.

BUT…

I think the Ravens are going to pull the upset this week.”

Result: The Ravens come a Red Zone INT away from upsetting the Colts, and Peyton Manning has his worst fantasy week of the season.

I’m on fire.

You can’t put me out.

Time for more gold.

And Damn better pay attention, because Garland didn’t listen to my advice last week, and it cost him his Eliminator life.

5 Guarantees for the Week:

(A segment that will continue until I fail to get 4 out of 5 right.)

1 – Dallas Cowboys over Oakland Raiders.  It’s too easy…Almost too easy…Yes, the Raiders beat the Bengals last week.  But come on.  The Bengals aren’t that good.  Sure, they beat the Steelers twice, but they’re 0-2 against the AFC West this season.  That doesn’t speak volumes towards your success as an NFL team.  Plus the last time the Raiders pulled an unbelievable upset, they followed it up by losing 38-0 to the Jets…and this is a Thursday game we’re talking about, and those Thursday games always favor the better team on offense.  If you’re going to try to tell me that the Raiders are offensively better than the Cowboys, I’m going to hit you in the head with a tack hammer.

2 – Atlanta Falcons over Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Yes, I hate intra-divisional games, but the Falcons are at home, they are in desperation mode, and the Buccaneers are still in “we suck” mode.  You don’t allow 130 more points than you score by accident.

3 – Cincinnati Bengals over Cleveland Browns.  Remember what I said earlier about the Bengals not being that great.  Yeah, well, it doesn’t matter in this game.  Brady Quinn isn’t having another 300 yard, 4 TD game again in his career, and he certainly isn’t doing it this week against Cincinnati.  They’ve got a great defense.  It was the 4 turnovers that killed them this past week against Oakland.  On top of that, Cedric Benson should probably be back this week, and Cleveland has no rush or pass defense whatsoever.  If you don’t believe me, explain how Matthew Stafford throws for 422 yards against them, or how every team this season has rushed for at least 128 yards against them (with the exception of Detroit, who you should know if you read the first half of this statement clearly didn’t need to run the ball against them.)

4 – New York Giants over Denver Broncos.  Injured or not, Kyle Orton is officially THE KYLE ORTON WE THOUGHT HE WAS.  After Denver got off to that 6-0 start, WE LET HIM OFF THE HOOK, but he’s still terrible.  And the Giants may have proven for about 6 consecutive weeks now that they absolutely cannot stop the run, but THEY PLAY TO WIN THE GAME (sorry, I’m drunk, and feel the need to reference Coors Light commercials, and emphasize them with the Caps Lock ON) and they shouldn’t have any trouble stopping Moreno and Buckhalter.  That bye week was huge for the Giants, and they should be able to continue their winning ways for at least one more week.

5 – Green Bay Packers over Detroit Lions.  A road team in an intra-divisional game?  Holy red flags!  But those red flags didn’t stop me from correctly picking 2 of my 5 games last week.  As confident as I am in Brady Quinn not repeating last week’s performance, I am at least a million times more confident that Matthew Stafford will not repeat last week’s performance.  Besides, Green Bay’s “weakness” in the passing defense the pass 3 weeks has been at the tight end position, and I’m not even remotely afraid of Brandon Pettigrew.

Damn, do your favorite league commish a solid.  Don’t pick any of the Thursday games.  I just told you who I’m picking in all 3 of them.  If I go 3-for-3, ride the wave and take the Bengals on Sunday.  If I somehow am wrong on one of them, feel free to pick whoever you want.

Nevermind.  Just pick Dallas.  You’re not going to get a better chance to use them.

League Standings:

Things got a little mixed up last week.  Garland is still going to make the playoffs…Meyers and Dincher still aren’t…but everything is up for grabs for those 11 teams in between.  How do I know everything is still up for grabs?  Because Damn is holding down the #6 spot right now with less than 1000 points.  Here’s what we’ve got with just 3 weeks left to play:

1. Garland’s Giants (9-2) – 1217
2. Bloom’s Broncos (7-4) – 1307
3. Gideon’s Bears (7-4) – 1164
4. Harshbarger’s Chargers (6-5) – 1247
5. A’s Bengals (6-5) – 1027
6. Damn’s Bills (6-5) – 991
~~~~~~~~~Playoff Cut-off~~~~~~~~~~
7. Duncan’s Packers (5-6) – 1233
8. O’Neill’s Deserted Buccaneers (5-6) – 1229
9. Travelpiece’s 49ers (5-6) – 1218
10. Montgomery’s Rams (5-6) – 1108
11. Nelson’s Steelers (5-6) – 1087
12. Miller’s Chiefs (5-6) – 996
13. Meyers’ Cowboys (3-8) – 1090
14. Dincher’s Dolphins (3-8) – 948

I mean, come on, I’m 6 teams away from playoff contention, but I’m only 1 game away from playoff contention?  And would you look at the scores on those teams right behind Damn?  Believe me, anything can still happen.

Onto the games of the week, and again, we’re going 2 at a time, so obviously if I don’t pick your game, I hate you.

~~~~~~Blowout(s) of the Week~~~~~~

Miller’s Chiefs (5-6) over Dincher’s Dolphins (3-8)

Take a look at some of the teams my guys are playing against this week:
– Kansas City
– Tennessee
– St. Louis
– Houston
And my other guys are MJD and Megatron, who finally decided to show up for this season.

Who knows how Roethlisberger will feel come Sunday, but even if he is healthy, I don’t like his odds on the road against a desperate Ravens squad.

Add to that the fact that Clinton Portis is already ruled out for next week’s game, so Dincher will have to play Tashard Choice again…and that Dincher hasn’t put up over 86 points since…well, since the last time he kicked my ass.  I’ll just shut up now and make a prediction.

Final score: KC 107-85.

Garland’s Giants (9-2) over Duncan’s Packers (5-6)

Theoretically this should be a pretty good game…and not that past matchups make any difference in fantasy football, but Duncan handed Garland his first loss of the season 7 weeks ago.

But Garland has been the luckiest son of a gun since then, and because he lost this past week, I’m going to arbitrarily hand him a blowout win here.

Final score: SF 141-110.

~~~~~~Upset(s) of the Week~~~~~~

Meyers’ Cowboys (3-8) over O’Neill’s Deserted Buccaneers (5-6)

5 reasons:

1)  Brady vs. Moss.  I made this point 2 weeks ago when O’Neill had Clark against Manning.  If Brady is going to do well, it almost always means Moss is going to do well.  Welker may make all the receptions, but Moss is the deep threat who will make at least 5 catches a game anyway.

2) Aaron Rodgers vs. Detroit.  Brady Quinn picked apart the Lions secondary last week.  Rodgers should have no difficulty doing the same.

3) Vikings D/ST vs. Jay Cutler.  The Bears don’t score many.  The Vikings don’t allow many.  Cutler is throwing 3 interceptions per game on the road this season.

4) I just straight up don’t like Knowshon Moreno this week.  I have no evidence to support this claim, because he’s been doing well the past couple weeks, but I don’t like him.

5) Jason Witten has been fairly worthless since week 3.  He will have a slump-snapping game.  You heard me.

X-Factor: Dallas Clark…as usual.  Last time the Colts faced the Texans, Clark had 14 receptions for 119 yards.  But in the past 2 weeks, Clark has made just 5 receptions.  If it’s possible for a 10-0 team to be struggling, the Colts have been doing so for the past 4 weeks, and it’s started to have an adverse effect on their fantasy value (with the exception of Pierre Garcon, who has steadily been getting better for the past 6 weeks.)  Clark has averaged 14 points per game this season.  I think the Texans key on him this time around and he has a bad week; in the 4-8 point range.

Final Score: Dal 113-109.

Montgomery’s Rams (5-6) over Harshbarger’s Chargers (6-5)

5 reasons:

1) Slim Shady.  McCoy didn’t do so well against the Redskins earlier this season, but he’s been improving since then, and despite the $100 million man on the defensive line, Washington isn’t that good against the run.

2) Visanthe Shiancoe.  Brett Favre loves this porn star.  Vernon Davis leads tight ends with 8 TDs this season, but Shiancoe has 7.  Chicago has allowed 18 passing TDs thus far this season.  He’s bound to haul in a pass in the end zone.

3) Ravens D/ST vs. Pittsburgh.  Ben might not play, and the Steelers don’t have much of a running game.  If Roethlisberger is out, this Ravens squad that hasn’t allowed more than 17 points since week 6 becomes even more valuable.

4) The $41 curse that is Steve Slaton.  You have to play him, because he could score 20 points any given week.  You’re terrified to play him, because he might fumble the ball in the first quarter and never see the field again.

5) Assuming Harshbarger puts Charles in instead of Bradshaw, can the Longhorn keep up his recent trend.  San Diego has been allowing nearly 120 rushing yards per game, and there’s really no one other than Charles on the Kansas City roster to get those yards.  I say Charles has a bad week though.  Similar to my complaint about Knowshon in the previous game, I have no good reason to believe this, but I do.

X-Factor: Whether or not Montgomery updates his roster before Thursday.  If so, Jennings is a great play.  If not, he’s stuck with whatever a banged up Brandon Jacobs can do on short rest.  I’ll assume he updates it, and that his diligence earns him a win.

Final Score: StL 122-114.

~~~~~~Game(s) of the Week~~~~~~

Game #1: Gideon’s Bears (7-4) vs. Travelpiece’s 49ers (5-6)

Nearly half of this game will be decided on Thursday.  I love Ryan Grant against Detroit.  I’m not a fan of Donald Driver against Detroit.

Matt Ryan is bound to have a good game against the Bucs, and I think even Houshmanzadeh comes to play this week against the Rams.

Moreso than anything, though, the Ronnie Brown injury really killed Travelpiece, and I think starting this week, he’s going to slowly fade out of playoff contention.  Chester Taylor doesn’t win you games.

Final score: Chi 131-100.

Game #2: A’s Bengals (6-5) vs. Damn’s Bills (6-5)

This is almost certainly an elimination game.

If Warner is healthy enough to play, which he probably will be, the only real question mark on Kauffman’s team is the same question mark that has been there all season.  That 2nd RB spot might have some life in it if Marshawn Lynch is unable to go.

Damn has a lot of issues heading into this week, though.  Cutler vs. the Vikings or Garrard vs. the 49ers?…which Saints RB to start?…will Snelling even play again this week?…should he start playing TO again after this past week?

The only thing Damn really has going for him right now is Mike Sims-Walker, and that’s not nearly enough to overcome A’s line-up.

Final score: Cin 127-87.

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