Kansas City @ Buffalo
Kansas City was hit with some bad news today, as leading tailback Priest Holmes went on IR with a neck/shoulder/spine injury. But with Larry Johnson to the rescue, the offense shouldn’t miss a beat. Buffalo is coming off its bye week, after losing to New England 21-16 in week 8.
Kansas City plans to run Johnson right at the Bills porous run defense, and Bills middle linebacker London Fletcher should benefit statistically. Buffalo also wants to run the ball to prevent QB Kelly Holcomb from having to win the game. As improved as the KC defense has shown, it is still vulnerable to a back of McGahee’s caliber and the Bills will attempt to shorten the game. Expect big games out of the Chiefs active LB's, as well as the Bills London Fletcher.
Best Bets – Kansas City – LB Derrick Johnson - Buffalo - LB London Fletcher
Solid plays – Kansas City – LB Kawika Mitchell - Buffalo - DB Terrance McGee
Others to Consider – Kansas City – DB Greg Wesley - Buffalo - DL Aaron Schobel
San Francisco @ Chicago
San Francisco started Cody Pickett at QB last week, and the 2nd year pro showed he wasn’t ready for the bright lights of the NFL. The Giants beat the 49ers 24-6, but it was a closer game than that, only leading 10-6 entering the 4th quarter. 9ers CB’s Shawntae Spencer and Mike Adams led the way with 13 tackles and 4 assists combined.
Chicago is an eye opening 5-3 with rookie QB Kyle Orton leading the team to yet another victory last week vs. New Orleans. The Bears defense is going to keep them in virtually every game, and last week was no exception.
San Francisco is pathetic on offense, and Chicago should win this game rather easily. Expect the 49ers to keep a TE in to block, and try and open up holes for RB’s Barlow and Gore, which could help Bears LB’s Urlacher and Briggs have decent games. Look for the Bears to run the ball at will, then take shots down the field with Mushin Muhammad. I wouldn’t expect great numbers for any of the Bears defensive players as SF isn’t likely to sustain enough drives to give them the opportunities.
Best Bets – San Francisco – LB Derek Smith - Chicago – LB Brian Urlacher
Solid plays – San Francisco – DB Tony Parrish - Chicago – LB Lance Briggs
Others to Consider – San Francisco – DB Shawntee Spencer - Chicago – DB Mike Brown, DB Charles Tillman
Arizona @ Detroit
Kurt Warner returned for Arizona and threw for 300 yards, but that wasn’t enough to stay with RB Shaun Alexander and the Seahawks running game. The Cardinals also lost pro bowl DL Bert Berry to a season ending torn pectoral muscle.
Detroit was without QB Jeff Garcia, and it showed in their 27-14 defeat to the Vikings. Lions rookie DT Shaun Cody recovered the Lions only turnover.
This game figures to be competitive if Garcia is out again, as Joey Harrington is a turnover machine, 3 more last week, 2 thrown interceptions and one lost fumble. Warner will light it up in the air, as the Cardinals running game is putrid, but finding the end zone has been difficult for Arizona lately. Both defenses should keep the score down, and put up nice fantasy points.
Best Bets – Arizona – DB Adrian Wilson - Detroit – LB Earl Holmes
Solid plays – Arizona – LB Karlos Dansby - Detroit – DB Kennoy Kennedy
Others to Consider – Arizona – DL Chike Okeafor- Detroit – LB Boss Bailey
Houston @ Indianapolis
Houston welcomed back WR Andre Johnson last week, but was without RB Domanick Davis, and that seemed to be the difference in their 21-14 loss to Jacksonville. The Texans defense continues to give up red zone TD’s, instead of field goals, and looked worn out in the 4th quarter when they gave up 2 rushing touchdowns. Peyton Manning shook the New England monkey of his back with the first win in Foxboro of his career. The difference in that game was the much improved Indianapolis defense which forced 2 turnovers and held the Pats to 34 yards rushing.
This game is a mismatch from every perspective. Indy is 8-0 while Houston is 1-7. Indy can beat the Texans without throwing a pass, just handing the ball off to Edge, which figures to be the game plan until the 4th quarter when Dominic Rhodes gets his mop up stats. But more importantly this could be a poor week to start the Indy LB's, though DL Dwight Freeney should get to Texans QB David Carr at least twice.
Best Bets – Houston – LB Morlon Greenwood - Indianapolis– LB Cato June
Solid plays – Houston – DB Dunta Robinson - Indianapolis– DL Dwight Freeney
Others to Consider – Houston – LB DaShon Polk - Indianapolis– LB Gary Brackett
New England @ Miami
The Super Bowl Champs have given up 40 points to two different opponents at home this season, a far cry from their defense from a year ago. LB Tedy Bruschi is back, but he isn’t getting pressure on opposing QB's, and he doesn’t cover wide receivers which seems to be the Pats biggest weakness right now. Miami simply ran into a better team last week losing 17-10 to the Atlanta Falcons. As expected Zach Thomas had a huge game with 7 tackles, 6 assists and forced a fumble.
New England should beat Miami, but gaining yards on the ground won’t be the recipe for success as the Dolphins are scrappy vs. the run. Miami just may not be able to keep up with the Pats scoring, and the difference in this game figures to be Tom Brady. New England has him and Miami doesn’t. Expect Vrabel and Bruschi to both have strong statistical days stopping the Dolphins RB combo of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown.
Best Bets – New England LB Tedy Bruschi - Miami – LB Zach Thomas
Solid plays – New England LB Mike Vrabel - Miami – LB Channing Crowder
Others to Consider – New England DB Eugene Wilson - Miami – DL Jason Taylor
Minnesota @ N.Y. Giants
Minnesota is the most unpredictable team in the NFL this yr. Coming into this season several experts had them in the Super Bowl, and after a terrible start vs. Green Bay a few weeks back, they miraculously came back from 17-0 to win that game. Then last week they lost pro bowl QB Daunte Culpepper for the season and what do they do the next week with backup Brad Johnson? Put up the 2nd most points of season vs. Detroit. The Giants currently lead the NFC East with a 6-2 record after beating the 49ers on the west coast a week ago.
The Giants on paper are a superior team, and should win this game at home, but the unpredictable Vikings could just hang around and win this game in the 4th. Minnesota is getting great play from CB Antoine Winfield with 11 tackles and 3 assists a week ago, and expect that kind of performance to continue with the loss of CB Fred Smoot. Smoot has a broken collarbone and is out 4-6 weeks.
Best Bets – Minnesota DB Antoine Winfield - NY Giants – LB Antonio Pierce
Solid plays – Minnesota LB Sam Cowart - NY Giants – DL Michael Strahan
Others to Consider – Minnesota E.J. Henderson - NY Giants – DB Gibril Wilson
Baltimore @ Jacksonville
Baltimore was once again without the services of LB Ray Lewis, and it's being reported he may not be back until December with a pulled hamstring. FS Ed Reed was out again week 9 after playing in week 8. A bright spot for the Ravens is special teams guru Bart Scott, who started at WLB in place of Tommy Polley who moved to middle linebacker. Scott had 9 tackles, 2 assists, and a sack. Jacksonville trailed Houston last week 14-7 entering the 4th quarter before Leftwich and Greg Jones took over. The Jags won the game 21-14. MLB Mike Peterson was again a force for the Jags with 9 tackles, 1 assist, a sack and a forced fumble.
Baltimore expects to get starting QB Kyle Boller back in week 10, and will evaluate him for the rest of the season to decide which way to go at QB in the off season. FS Ed Reed figures to also return to action this week but could be 1 hit away from leaving the game at any time. Jacksonville continues to get great play from its DL and LB corps, and that should continue no matter who Baltimore has behind center.
Best Bets – Baltimore– LB Tommy Polley - Jacksonville – LB Mike Peterson
Solid plays – Baltimore – DB Will Demps - Jacksonville – DL John Henderson
Others to Consider – Baltimore – LB Bart Scott - Jacksonville – LB Daryl Smith
Denver @ Oakland
Denver is coming of their bye week with a 6-2 record, leading the AFC West. But some in Denver are cautious about the fast start as we have all seen this change after the bye the past few seasons. Oakland lost to KC on the final play of the game. The Raiders led for most of week 9, but couldn’t hold the lead in the final minute.
Denver wants to stick another nail in the Raiders playoff coffin this week, and will run Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson to keep the ball away from the high octane Oakland offense. Raiders LB's Kirk Morrison and Danny Clark figure to have nice outings. Oakland will be chunking it around to play catch up and Denver DB Darrent Williams could have another big day.
Best Bets – Denver – LB Al Wilson - Oakland - LB Kirk Morrison
Solid plays – Denver – LB Ian Gold - Oakland - LB Danny Clark
Others to Consider – Denver – DB Darrent Williams - Oakland - DB Stuart Schweigert
NY Jets @ Carolina
The Jets shockingly had a chance to beat San Diego from the Chargers' 7 yard line in the final seconds, but couldn’t get it done. The Jets had a strong performance out of MLB Jonathon Vilma, and Safeties Erik Coleman and Kerry Rhodes who each had 7 tackles in the loss. Carolina put a whooping on the Tampa Bay Bucs, 34-14. Carolina LB Will Witherspoon led the team in tackles with 8, while FS Mike Minter finished with 6.
This game figures to be a run fest, but Carolina can throw it with great efficiency to WR Steve Smith, who figures to be the difference maker. The Panthers may not get but 3 yards a carry, but that won't sway them from running the rock right at Vilma and Co. Play your Jets studs, but be cautious with Morgan and Witherspoon as the Jets may have to throw more often than you would like.
Best Bets – NY Jets – LB Jonathon Vilma - Carolina – LB Dan Morgan
Solid plays – NY Jets – DL John Abraham - Carolina – LB Will Witherspoon
Others to Consider – NY Jets – DL Shaun Ellis - Carolina - DL Julius Peppers
Green Bay @ Atlanta
Brett Favre has led Green Bay to a 1-7 on the season, and some think if he were the Eagles QB instead of Donovan McNabb, they would be undefeated. That is the most amusing thing I’ve heard in sports in a long, long time. The Packers couldn’t beat the Steelers with Charlie Batch at QB and Duce Staley at RB. Atlanta on the other hand is 6-2 and is one of the strongest teams in the NFC. The Falcons won a defensive contested game at Miami 17-10. FS Bryan Scott led the Falcons defense with 5 tackles and 2 assists.
If Vick stays healthy this could be a 2-1 ratio of time of possession game in which the Falcons just run, run, and run some more. Packers LB Nick Barnett figures to have a huge day, and I predict him to lead all LB's this week in tackles. Falcons DB DeAngelo Hall could also have a huge game, with Favre chunking it on virtually every down they have the ball.
Best Bets – Green Bay – LB Nick Barnett - Atlanta – LB Demorrio Williams
Solid plays – Green Bay – DB Mark Roman - Atlanta – LB Keith Brooking
Others to Consider – Green Bay DL Aaron Kampman -Atlanta – Db DeAngelo Hall
St. Louis @ Seattle
The Rams were on Bye week 10, but welcome starting QB Marc Bulger back in Week 10. Seattle a week ago ran left, ran right, and ran through the Cardinals defense in route to a 33-19 victory. Seattle DB Marquand Manuel led all defensive players with 9 tackles, and 3 assists.
The Rams without Head Coach Mike Martz have committed to running the ball more often and its paid great dividends thus far. The return of Bulger could switch that thinking a bit, but expect Seattle’s LB Tatupu to have a nice afternoon crashing into Rams RB Steven Jackson. It’s a given Seattle is going to run the ball, and as a result their top LB Tinoisamoa should also have a strong afternoon.
Best Bets – St. Louis – DB Adam Archuleta - Seattle – LB Lofa Tatupu
Solid plays – St. Louis – LB Pisa Tinoisamoa - Seattle – DB Michael Boulware
Others to Consider – St. Louis – DL Anthony Hargrove - Seattle – DB Kelly Herndon
Washington @ Tampa Bay
Washington was impressive beating Philly last Sunday Night without their top WR Terrell Owens. Washington’s D is very under rated and former 1st round draft pick LaVar Arrington is starting to play well. Tampa was destroyed a week ago by the Carolina Panthers, but on the bright side, LB Shelton Quarles and DB Jermaine Phillips had strong statistical days.
Washington has been a surprise since Mark Brunell took over as QB, and continues to run RB Clinton Portis even if he only gains 3 yards a carry, which is great for owners of Bucs LB's. Tampa wants to run the ball to keep backup QB Chris Simms from throwing the game away, but the score often dictates the game plan in the second half. Washington may be without standout DL Cornelius Griffin again in week 10.
Best Bets – Washington – LB Lemar Marshall - Tampa Bay LB Shelton Quarles
Solid plays – Washington – LB LaVar Arrington - Tampa Bay DB Jermaine Phillips
Others to Consider – Washington – DB Ryan Clark - Tampa Bay LB Derrick Brooks
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Cleveland RB Rebeun Droughns had something to prove after being arrested for drunk driving, and his 189 total yards were a great step in the right direction. The Browns were able to hold off the Titans 20-14, after leading from the opening score. Pittsburgh started Charlie Batch for injured QB Ben Roethlisberger. The passing game took a hit, but the Steelers still managed to get the win. Though Steelers standout LB James Farrior was injured in the process. Farrior is expected to miss 2 -3 weeks with what is being called a grade two MCL sprain.
Pittsburgh will also be without starting RB Willie Parker, but Duce Staley showed he was more than capable of carrying up the load. Cleveland is in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing yards allowed, so expect Pittsburgh to pound the rock early and often. Cleveland will attempt to run at Pittsburgh without their defensive leader, Farrior. Start your studs in this match up.
Best Bets – Cleveland – LB Andra Davis - Pittsburgh – DB Troy Polamalu
Solid plays – Cleveland – DB Chris Crocker - Pittsburgh – LB Larry Foote
Others to Consider – Cleveland – DB Daylon McCutcheon - Pittsburgh – DB Ike Taylor
Dallas @ Philadelphia
Dallas is coming of their bye week, and you can bet they prepared both weeks for Philly. Philly is living the soap opera that is TO, and they hope to put this distraction behind them for this contest on Monday night. Philly can’t run the ball, as shown last Sunday night vs. Philly, and are vulnerable as a 1 dimensional offense.
Dallas humiliated Philly 33-10 back in week 5, but it wasn’t really that close. The Eagles lone TD was a defensive TD which was stripped from Keyshawn Johnson and returned for 6 points. Outside that TD, they couldn’t muster up more than a FG the whole game on offense. The Cowboys D has been impressive for 55 minutes of just about every game, but has melted down in half their games in the finals 5 minutes. HC Bill Parcells wants that fixed ASAP. Philly LB Jeremiah Trotter, if he can stay out of pre game fights expects to be one of the top scoring LB's of the week.
Best Bets – Dallas – DB Roy Williams - Philadelphia – LB Jeremiah Trotter
Solid plays – Dallas – LB Bradie James - Philadelphia – DB Michael Lewis
Others to Consider – Dallas – LB Dat Nguyen - Philadelphia – DB Brian Dawkins
Open Date: Cincinnati, Tennessee, New Orleans, San Diego