- Jake Delhomme is worth a start this week at home against the Cardinals. Arizona generally plays poorly on the road. They’ve allowed eight passing scores in their last two road games. Delhomme is averaging fewer than 30 pass attempts per game, which isn’t ideal for a starting fantasy QB. However, he’s been efficient, throwing multiple passing scores in his last three home games.
- Before we crown their ass, I’d like to see how the Titans perform against stiffer competition. None of the teams they’ve defeated so far have a record above .500. No doubt Tennessee has a good team and a very good defense. But shutting down offenses led by QBs like Tyler Thigpen, Joe Flacco, Gus Frerotte and even Carson Palmer isn’t enough for me to even give them credit as being the best team in the AFC let alone the entire NFL. The Titans play host to Indianapolis this week. Despite their shortcomings, I think the Colts have the best offense the Titans will have faced to date. If Peyton Manning is your regular starter, the Six-Pack suggests keeping active unless you have a clear alternative. Manning has an impeccable record on Monday Night Football. Since 2003, he’s led the Colts to a 7-0 record on MNF. Fantasy-wise he’s averaged 279 yards and 2.7 touchdowns per game. I don’t expect him to meet or beat that average, but he should be able to net around 240 yards and a touchdown or two.
- Atlanta rookie QB Matt Ryan is a rising star and worthy of a roster spot in most leagues. However, keep him on your bench this week against the Eagles. Philly’s defense dominates opposing QBs at home. They’ve only allowed one passing touchdown this year at Lincoln Financial Field and Antwaan Randle El, a wide receiver, threw it.
- If your league doesn’t penalize for turnovers, J.T. O’Sullivan has enough upside to warrant a spot start this week against the Seahawks. JTO threw for 321 yards and one touchdown earlier this year against Seattle. The Seahawks rank 29th in the NFL against the pass and they’ve allowed 300 passing yards and/or multiple TD passes in each of their last three games. Look for O’Sullivan to close out the game with at least 275 yards and 1-2 scores.
This Week’s Sleepers: Jake Delhomme, J.T. O’Sullivan, Jeff Garcia and Ryan Fitzpatrick
- It might be best to avoid the Pittsburgh RB situation this week against the Giants. As good as Mewelde Moore has been, he’ll likely have a difficult time getting traction against the defending world champions. Plus, with Willie Parker not on the injury report, there’s a high potential for a committee approach. New York hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rushing performance this season and they’ve only ceded two scores on the ground. Scant rushing yardage and a low probability of touchdowns divided by two RBs equals junk for fantasy owners.
- Bank on a bounce back performance from Frank Gore this week against Seattle. Gore had his worst outing of the year last week, posting 11 yards on 11 carries against the Giants. His historical numbers against the Seahawks (100+ all-purpose yards and/or a TD in four of the last five meetings) as well as Seattle’s futility against the run (opposing RBs have scored four TDs in the last three games), set the table for a good outing by Gore this week.
- Continue to ride Steve Slaton and consider giving Ahman Green some work this week against the Bengals. Cincinnati has been dreadful against the run. They’ve allowed at least one rushing score in every game this season. What’s worse, they’ve given up six RB scores in their last two games alone. Look for Slaton and Green to combine for 2-3 scores.
- It used to be that when you saw the Saints on the schedule, you could count on a monster performance for your RBs. Not so anymore. New Orleans has been quite good at stopping opposing rushers. In their last four games, the Saints have allowed just one rushing TD to RBs. They negated Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore, arguably the two RBs most like LaDainian Tomlinson—the RB they’ll face this week. Keep your expectations for LT at a reasonable level.
This Week’s Sleepers: Ahman Green, Leon Washington, Cedric Benson and Willis McGahee
- Don’t be surprised to see Buffalo’s Lee Evans post huge stats this weekend against the Dolphins. Last season in the only game Trent Edwards started against Miami, he and Evans combined for two scores, one of them from 70 yards out. Miami ranks 27th in the NFL versus the pass and they’ve allowed at least one WR score in every game this year.
- Although Derrick Mason may have opened your eyes with his 87-yard, 1-TD effort last week against the Dolphins, I’d avoid playing him this week against the Raiders. Entering the season, Oakland was projected to have one of the better cornerback tandems in the NFL with Nnamdi Asomugha and DeAnagelo Hall. While the team struggled early, they’ve since clamped down on opposing wideouts. The Raiders have allowed four passing scores in their last three games but none have gone to WRs.
- Give Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson a start this week and consider dusting off Kevin Curtis if you’re really in a bind. The Falcons rank 26th in the NFL against the pass. They have allowed six passing scores in their last three games—and four of those scores have struck from 25 yards or longer. With both Jackson and Curtis capable of scoring on the deep ball, I like their upside. Repots suggest Curtis may start ahead of Reggie Brown.
- Things seem to be looking up for Calvin Johnson. He has three touchdowns in his last two games and is perhaps more in-synch with QB Dan Orlovsky than he was with Jon Kitna. Temper your expectations this week though. The Redskins pass defense is tough. They’ve allowed just one passing score in the last three games—a one yard TD to Joshua Cribbs.
This Week’s Sleepers: Kevin Curtis, Josh Morgan, Antwaan Randle El, Muhsin Muhammad and Antonio Bryant
- Give Washington’s Chris Cooley the starting nod this week against the Lions. Detroit was burned for two touchdowns by Owen Daniels last week and they’ve allowed quality TE performances in two of their last three games. Cooley has cooled off a bit since his breakout game three weeks ago against the Eagles, but he’s still a featured player in the Redskins offense. He’s caught a minimum of four passes in every game since the opener.
- Avoid Heath Miller this week against the Giants if possible. The Steelers TE may have a difficult time producing points against a New York team that’s only allowed one TE score this season.
This Week’s Sleepers: Todd Heap and Bo Scaife
- If your team has a critical need for a kicker this week, look to the San Francisco versus Seattle matchup for help. Those two teams have allowed the most fantasy points to kickers this season. The 49ers have allowed nine three-pointers in their last three games. Seattle has given up at least two field goals in every game this season. I like Joe Nedney better than Olindo Mare because San Francisco’s offense moves the ball more effectively. Nedney also scored 15 points in the Week 2 game against the Seahawks.
- Give Jay Feely of the Jets a spot start this week against the Chiefs. Kansas City has allowed 34 or more points in three of their last four games. Feely has scored seven or more points in each of his last three outings. He should be good for close to 10 this week.
This Week’s Sleepers: Joe Nedney, Jay Feely and Matt Bryant
- After their dominant performance against the Broncos, I think the New England Patriots defense can be trusted this week against the Rams. I realize the Rams are playing better but Marc Bulger is still a sitting duck and has been sacked seven times in the last two games. Bulger is also notoriously bad outdoors. Look for the Patriots to pick up some easy points on sacks and perhaps a turnover or two.
- The Seattle Seahawks have one of the worst defenses in terms of fantasy production this season with no defensive touchdowns and just one interception. However, if your options are severely limited, give the Seahawks defense a start this week against the 49ers. J.T. O’Sullivan leads the world in sacks, interceptions and fumbles. Even though I think the 49ers will score 30+ points, Seattle should pick up some points along the way.
This Week’s Sleepers: New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets
This Week's Six-Pack: Spotted Cow
Origin: New Glarus, Wisconsin
Appearance: This ale comes in a standard brown longneck and it features a plain green and black label that has an image of, you guessed it, a cow. The pour actually resembles a hefeweizen with its hazy straw color and puffy white head. The head wasn’t very uniform in shape and collapsed rather quickly.
Smell: The smell resembles lemon zest with hints of grass and corn.
Taste: Spotted Cow tastes fruity. If you’ve read the Six-Pack regularly, you know that fruity beers generally make me want to retch. That said Spotted Cow provides just enough complexity and secondary flavors to make things interesting. It starts out with a distinct tart apple flavor that gives way to malt, yeast and sweet corn qualities. It finishes clean with very little aftertaste.
Drinkability: The best thing Spotted Cow has going for it is the mouthfeel. It’s superbly smooth and creamy. This combined with its light body and minimal aftertaste secures a high rating on the drinkability scale.
Last Call: I’m Wisconsin born and raised, so I’m well aware of the almost cult-like following this beer has. And while it has its virtues, Spotted Cow just doesn’t live up to the hype. It’s well worth a try if you ever find yourself in the Badger State. Just don’t let any cheeseheads convince you it’s the best beer the state has to offer. Three stars out of five.
Next Week's Six-Pack: Budweiser American Ale