Ten Weeks left in the fantasy season, and ten people left in the eliminator group (8 of which are in our pool)

Ignore the texts that I sent you guys about trading players for future draft dollars. I didn’t really think it through at the time, and once I did, I decided it was a poor idea. You shouldn’t be rewarded in future drafts for tanking in a season. If you’re throwing in the towel, go back to trading for guys who might make for good, cheap keeper options (like Arian Foster, who I purchased for $18, hint hint).

There were a lot of close calls for eliminator purposes, but I still managed to go 4-1 on my picks. That’s two straight weeks where my top 4 picks were good and #5 ruined my perfect record. Unfortunately, #5 also cost me $60 this week by half a freaking point because of a 60 yard field goal at the end of the game. That’ll teach me to bet on the road team in a divisional game. Speaking of which, of the 9 most popular picks this past week, only 3 of them lost. All 3 of those teams were road teams in divisional games. I tell you guys every week not to pick road teams in divisional match ups. I know what you’re saying: “Hey Commish, the Jets won convincingly and they were the most popular pick as the road team in a divisional game. Doesn’t that break all 3 laws of Eliminator?!” Yes. Yes it does. You have to believe me though, that more times than not, these teams lose these games. All that game should tell us is that the Jets are really good and the Bills are really, really bad. There’s only one divisional match-up this week, and while the road team in that game is currently the 4th most popular pick among eliminator entries, the home team will be my upset pick of the week.

The pick’ins are super slim this week. I mean, I don’t even feel all that great about my #1 option, so that should say something about the amount of confidence I have in my #5 pick.

#5. San Francisco (0-4) over Philadelphia (2-2).

There are a number of teams I was tempted to put in this doomed to fail spot, including the Jets over the Vikings, the Texans over the Giants, and the Colts over the Chiefs, but this one just feels right. We got all excited about the new Michael Vick era, but somewhere along the way we forgot that it came in 10 quarters against the Lions, the Jaguars, and a garbage time 2nd half against the Packers’ prevent defense. I mentioned it in last week’s post that the Redskins are secretly one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Even before the ribs injury, Vick was unable to do much of anything against them and Kolb certainly didn’t do much better, and I just don’t see how they get any better on the road against a pretty solid 49ers defense on a Sunday night. The only problem with this pick is that it means San Francisco has to actually score a couple points. But based on how incredibly ugly this past week’s Sunday night game was, I’m not ruling out San Francisco winning this game by a score of 2-0.

#4. Dallas (1-2) over Tennessee (2-2).

The Cowboys’ offense has gradually been putting the pieces together, and following a bye week, I expect them to come out firing on all cylinders against a Titans secondary that has been horrendous in the past two weeks. And on the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys are in the top 25% of the league against the run thus far. Personally, I think that stat benefits from the fact that 2 of their 3 games came against the Redskins and the Bears who run the ball about as poorly and infrequently as anyone, but I also think their rush defense is at least respectable enough to keep Chris Johnson from scoring the necessary amount of times that would keep Tennessee in this score fest.

#3. Atlanta (3-1) over Cleveland (1-3).

If Atlanta had actually looked good in their win over San Francisco or if this was a home game for the Falcons, this would probably be my #1 pick. But they didn’t look good. At all. And the game is in Cleveland. And the Browns have been quietly good. But they’re still the Cleveland Browns, and the Falcons are still possibly the best team in the NFC. At the end of the day (which is a phrase that needs to go away forever), I’m condoning a Super Bowl contender on the road against a team that is inexplicably optimistic about the possibility of having Jake Delhomme back as their starting quarterback.

#2. Baltimore (3-1) over Denver (2-2).

Compared to most people in the business (whoever they may be), I’m surprisingly terrified about this game. I know the stats say the Ravens are one of the best teams in the league against the pass, but they’ve played against 4 of the most run-first teams in the NFL. However, I remember that going into the season, the biggest concern on this Ravens team was going to be their secondary. Their Super Bowl hopes hinged on the theory that they’ll be able to tread water until Ed Reed gets back in week 9, and that was before Dominique Foxworth was knocked out for the season. Now their starting four in the secondary features a punt returner, a substitute safety, and two cornerbacks who weren’t even good enough to bring home the bacon in Oakland. As disgusting as it sounds coming out of my mouth, I really fear that the Baltimore Ravens’ defense is going to be put to the test this week against Kyle Orton. But at the same time, I think the Ravens are one of those teams that will just find a way to win games all season, whereas the Broncos tend to find ways to lose games. Also, this pick is heavily based upon the West Coast team playing a 1:00 game theory. Are you getting the picture yet that there really aren’t any good options this week?

#1. New Orleans (3-1) over Arizona (2-2).

Arizona is so bad and the other options are so sketchy that this has to be my #1 pick, even though New Orleans is the road team. Arizona has allowed more points than any other team in the league not located in Buffalo, which is quite impressive when you consider they’ve played games against Oakland and St. Louis already this season. If New Orleans is ever going to come out and remind us that they’re the reigning Super Bowl champions, this is the week to do it.

The Commish’s NFL Upset of the Week:

Oakland Raiders (+6.5) over San Diego Chargers

I’m pretty sure San Diego is the only team in the league in the top 10 in each of the rush offense, rush defense, pass offense, and pass defense categories, but thus far they’ve been a hard luck team on the road, and the Raiders have been especially frisky at home. It’s a gut call. There’s bound to be a divisional upset every week, and this is the only divisional game. I think the Raiders win 27-23.

The Commish’s 3 Team Teaser of the Week:

St. Louis +3, Green Bay -2.5, New Orleans -6.5

If you don’t know anything about spreads, just move along, but if you’re interested in my gambling tips, allow me to introduce you to the idea of a teaser. There are different types of teasers for varying amounts of teams and points, but for argument sake, I’ll be dealing with 3 team 10 point teasers (which pay out -120, just for the record). Here’s the idea: Pick 3 games, add 10 points in your favor to their spreads, bet money, hope for the best. So if we’re adding 10 to each of these picks, I’m left with:

St. Louis +13, Green Bay +7.5, New Orleans +3.5

There’s no way Detroit should be favored against the Rams. Even in the two games that they lost, the Rams were right in it until the last second, and now they’ll have Steven Jackson tearing holes through one of the most porous rush defenses in the NFL. I mean, they’re 26th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game, and that includes two games against the Bears and Packers, neither of which can run the ball worth a damn. I absolutely love having St. Louis getting almost 2 touchdowns. And if you think there’s any chance in hell the Redskins are beating the Green Bay Packers by more than 7 points, you have my phone number, and I will gladly take that bet from you. Washington is 31st in the league against the pass, and Aaron Rodgers is going to destroy them. And if I have New Orleans as my most confident straight up pick, it only makes sense for me to pick them +3.5. Wish me luck.

******Games of the Week******

~~~~~~~Blowout of the Week~~~~~~~

Dincher’s Dolphins (3-1) over Miller’s Chiefs (1-3)

Projected Matchup:

P. Manning, M. Bush, Peterson, Clayton, Floyd, Walter, Cooley, Colts, Akers

Vs.

Flacco, Forte, Foster, Bowe, Fitzgerald, S. Moss, T. Gonzalez, Jets, Nedney

Warning! Bitch fest upcoming!

This just isn’t my year. I have a total of one person on my roster that I feel comfortable playing on a weekly basis, and he damn near didn’t even play this past week after missing a team meeting. Fitzgerald is worthless unless Kurt Warner comes out of retirement. Then there are the two streaks I have going thus far this season: I’ve played the wrong quarterback every week, which has already cost me 38 fantasy points, and each week my opponent’s defense has scored a touchdown. Before New England’s D went out and scored 3 touchdowns on Monday night, there were 19 defensive/special teams touchdowns scored so far this season, and 5 of them were at my expense. How does that even make sense? And what really sucks is that the streak will inevitably continue when Dincher’s Colts defense plays against my beloved Chiefs. And Peyton Manning will torch the Chiefs, at which point I will probably torch my couch. Apparently I used up all my luck for the season in Week 1, and until something bounces my way and I break one of those ridiculous streaks that I have going, I don’t see the point in even pretending my team will be competitive again. I’ve got several favorable matchups this week, but it won’t amount to anything. At least my eliminator entry is alive and kicking. Famous last words.

Final score: Mia 108-72.

(Honorable mention to Yelen’s Texans over Nelson’s Steelers. Nelson has three starters on a bye, and three other starters that are unlikely to play this week. He might score less than the 47 he scored last week. Really glad I got to play him when he scored 130 points and then Harshbarger got a win this past week against him by scoring 78 points. That ain’t right. I now know what Gideon has been dealing with for the past few seasons. Unfortunately, he shook the “opponents always have great weeks against me” bug and acquired the injury bug. Rough year for Outback House, circa 2009-10).

~~~~~~~Upset of the Week~~~~~~~

O’Neill’s Buccaneers (1-3) over Harshbarger’s Chargers (2-2)

Projected Matchup:

Rivers, T. Jones, Hillis, Charles, B. Edwards, L. Moore, Da. Clark, Falcons, Feely

Vs.

Schaub, Jacobs, Blount?, Berrian, S. Holmes, Jennings, Pettigrew?, Texans, M. Bryant?

5 Reasons:

1: Harshbarger’s running backs.

McGahee, who is banged up after last week, hasn’t been even remotely reliable, and Harshbarger’s only other starting running back is probably going to sit out this week with a groin injury. This no doubt means that Harshbarger will either be targeting Ryan Torain in Wednesday’s FAAB silent auction, feverishly proposing trades over the course of the next 5 days, starting LeGarrette Blount, or some combination of all of the above. Yuck. Good thing he has 5 viable wide receivers though. Those 2 bench guys will serve him well.

2: Dallas Clark vs. Kansas City.

The Chiefs have sucked against opposing tight ends for years, and while they’ve improved their defense significantly over the course of the past half decade, I still think Dallas Clark will get an awful lot of looks from Peyton Manning this week. Dude has 16+ points in 3 of the first 4 weeks. Make it 4 out of 5.

3: Attack of the bye weeks.

I guess Matt Bryant is a pretty solid option this week as a fill-in kicker, but Harshbarger won’t be able to replace Heath Miller. Two of the three best options on free agency are both on the Lions, and even if you manage to pick the right one, they’re still facing a defense which is surprisingly 2nd best in the league against opposing tight ends. And there’s a slightly better than slim possibility that someone else will outbid him for the other decent option out there.

4: More Moore.

With Reggie Bush on the sidelines, the Saints have had to rely more on their slot receiver. I think the projected 14 fantasy points might be a little lofty, but I expect another solid day from Lance.

5: Monday night wide receivers.

Bernard Berrian has been useless, and his value certainly doesn’t increase by facing the Jets secondary. Until he’s had a few games to be integrated into the offense, I’m not buying Santonio Holmes either, so it looks like O’Neill’s Braylon Edwards will single-handedly outperform 2 of Harshbarger’s wide receivers.

X-Factor: Kansas City’s rush attack

Indianapolis’s rush defense sucks something fierce, so I have to assume that at least in the first half, Charles and Jones will put up some numbers for O’Neill. But I don’t feel good about this game, and I think the Colts will have practically won it by halftime, which means no more rushing for the Chiefs. This is where our Achilles heel really kills us. We will have absolutely no ability to play from behind. If a team gets up 14 points on us and virtually eliminates our ability to run the ball, we’ll end up losing by 30 because of the need to rely on Matt Cassel. I guarantee that no team will be deferring the option until the second half if they win the coin toss against the Chiefs; they’ll take the ball and try to score early and often.

Final: Even if Kansas City doesn’t run the ball the entire game, I still think O’Neill will have more than enough points to give the NFC the inter-conference victory for the 5th consecutive week. Score: TB 131-86.

~~~~~~~Game of the Week~~~~~~~

Montgomery’s Rams (3-1) vs. Meyers’ Cowboys (3-1)

Projected Matchup

Orton, Gore, R. Rice, Ca. Johnson, Collie, D. Thomas, Olsen, Bears, Crosby

Vs.

Rodgers, F. Jackson, M. Turner, Hester, D. Jackson, TO, Shiancoe, Saints, Prater

I knew Meyers would have a pretty solid team this year, but I never thought that at any point in time I would be two games behind Montgomery in the standings. Who could have known Kyle Orton and Austin Collie would each be top 5 options at their position? Better question: Who actually thinks those levels of production will continue?

Break it down!

QB: While I’m afraid that Kyle Orton could potentially light up the Ravens secondary, I’m at least 98% confident that Aaron Rodgers throws for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns against an atrocious Redskins secondary. Significant edge: Meyers

RB: Sometimes you don’t even need to make fantasy trades to luck your way into a better running back. Once in a while, the NFL makes those trades for you. Out of nowhere and beyond reason, Fred Jackson’s value triples with the departure of 3rd stringer Marshawn Lynch. At home against the Jaguars, I expect Jackson to have a solid day. I also think it’s time for Michael Turner to bust out. He’s had 1.5 good games, 0.5 injured games, and 2 games against solid rushing defenses. The stats say Cleveland is the #7 rush defense in fantasy, but I’m not buying it. They haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown, but it’s a fluke. Turner finds pay dirt and eclipses his projected fantasy total, but it won’t be enough to out produce Gore and Rice. The 49ers are going to beat the Eagles, and the only way the 49ers have scored this year is through Frank Gore, so he’s going to have an amazing day. The Eagles suck against opposing running backs. The Broncos do not, so Ray Rice may struggle a little bit, but I think the combined score of the running backs in this match-up fall in favor of Montgomery by a score of around 44-34. Significant edge: Montgomery.

WR: Collie, Megatron, DeSean, and TO should all have monster games this week. If one of them is going to fail, I would actually lean towards assuming it’s DeSean Jackson, but it’s impossible to tell, so I’m calling those 4 guys a wash, which leaves this match up in the hands of Devin Hester and Demaryius Thomas, neither of which have really done anything of interest in the past few weeks. Given his history of inconsistency and the uncertainty at the quarterback situation, I think it’s less likely that Devin Hester has a good day. Orton consistently throws for a billion yards…Thomas is bound to get a piece of that again. Slight edge: Montgomery.

TE/Def: I still hate Greg Olsen, but I can’t complain about a Bears defense which hasn’t allowed more than 20 points in a game this season against a team that hasn’t scored more than 18 points in a game this season. However, if Shiancoe plays at anything better than 50%, I have to like the combination with the Saints defense against the Cardinals. Edge: Meyers.

This should be an incredibly close game, but I think Montgomery’s luck somehow continues for another week.

Final: StL 131-128.

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