- Chad Pennington has been efficient over the last month. The Dolphins QB has exceeded 280 yards passing in four straight games and tossed six TDs over that stretch. He’s a smart play this week against the Seahawks. Seattle ranks 31st in the NFL versus the pass. In their last five outings, they’ve allowed 280 passing yards and nearly two touchdowns per game. Pennington looks like a lock for 275 yards and a score or two.
- Bills QB Trent Edwards has had a steady hand at home this season. He’s thrown one TD pass in all four home games and exceeded 260 yards in his last three home outings. He’s playable against a banged up Patriots secondary that has allowed 13 passing scores. Consider Edwards a stable choice for a starting fantasy QB this week.
- He’s a must-start every week, but owners should realize that Phillip Rivers doesn’t have a great history of success against the Chiefs from a fantasy perspective. In his last three games against Kansas City, Rivers has a 1:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. With the Chiefs so vulnerable to the run, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rivers end with one or even zero TDs.
- Brett Favre owners are well aware that he’s been maddeningly inconsistent this season, but I’d give him the nod this week against the Rams if you don’t have a clear alternative. Favre has played well at home, connecting on at least one touchdown pass in every home game this season. In fact, 10 of Favre’s 15 passing scores have come in the Meadowlands. He may toss an interception or two, but I expect him to post at least 250 yards and a score against a Rams defense that ranks 28th in the NFL against the pass.
This Week’s Sleepers: Trent Edwards, Chad Pennington, Brett Favre and Joe Flacco
- San Francisco’s Frank Gore is money against the Cardinals. Gore has recorded a ridiculous eight touchdowns in his last five games versus Arizona. Although the Cards rank inside the top 10 in run defense, they aren’t impenetrable. They’ve allowed RBs to exceed 100 all-purpose yards and score a TD in two of their last three games. Gore owners can be relatively confident their RB will end the day with a good performance, but don’t be surprised if he does most of his damage through the air.
- Steven Jackson appears unlikely to play this week against the Jets. Even if he does try to make a go of it, bench him and all other Rams RBs. St. Louis won’t find much room to run against a stout Jets run defense. New York ranks fourth in the NFL against the run and they allow just 76 rushing yards per game. Jackson hasn’t scored or surpassed 100 yards rushing in his last six road games.
- Bank on a big performance from LaDainian Tomlinson this week against the Chiefs. LT has accounted for seven touchdowns in his last four meetings with KC. He averaged a mind-blowing 173.3 all-purpose yards per game in those four outings. The Chiefs rank last in the NFL in just about every key run defense stat including yards per carry, yards per game and touchdowns allowed. Considering the Chargers are coming off bye, this might be the perfect storm for LT. Don’t be surprised if he posts three scores.
- Throw out the crazy “Wildcat” game against the Dolphins and the Patriots are essentially untouchable when it comes to holding opposing RBs out of the endzone. New England allowed four rushing scores to Ronnie Brown that game . . . the only four rushing scores they’ve allowed this season. And it’s not as if they’ve been untested. The Patriots have faced LaDainian Tomlinson, Thomas Jones, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson. Lower your expectations for Buffalo’s Marshawn Lynch. If you play him, pray he gets lots of looks in the passing game.
This Week’s Sleepers: Tim Hightower, Leon Washington, Mewelde Moore and Pierre Thomas
- Don’t count on a banner day for Carolina’s Steve Smith this week against the Raiders. Oakland may have decided to release cornerback DeAngelo Hall but Nnmadi Asomugha is still anchoring the unit and will likely blanket Smith all day. Opposing #1 wideouts have been largely held in check by Asomugha and the Raiders. Take a peek inside the numbers: Roddy White (5-54-0), Derrick Mason (1-3-0), Laveranues Coles (4-51-0), Chris Chambers (2-42-0) and Lee Evans (4-65-0) all have been contained. On the other hand, #2 WRs have been huge versus the Silver and Black: Michael Jenkins, Demetrius Williams and Roscoe Parrish all scored. The trend points to a productive afternoon for Muhsin Muhammad.
- Randy Moss absolutely tormented the Bills last season, scoring an astounding six touchdowns in two meetings. Moss has scored at least once in all five career games versus Buffalo and surpassed 100 yards all but once. With numbers like that he might be the biggest no-brainer play in all of Week 10.
- Lower your expectations for Bernard Berrian this week against the Packers. Berrian has scored in four straight games and has achieved must-start status. However, a matchup against Green Bay doesn’t look promising. The Packers have allowed just two WR scores in their last five games. Neither of those TDs came from beyond 25 yards while all but one of Berrian’s scores has come on deep passes. Dating back to his days with the Bears, Berrian has faced Green Bay nine times; he’s only scored once and has never had a 100-yard day.
- Look for Giants wideout Plaxico Burress to bounce back after a two-game slump in which he’s only posted 49 yards and zero touchdowns. Plax has a spectacular track record against Philly. He’s scored or exceeded 120 yards in five straight games versus the rival Eagles.
This Week’s Sleepers: Muhsin Muhammad, Devery Henderson, Greg Camarillo, Mark Bradley and Derrick Mason
- Eagles TE Brent Celek had a career game last week against the Seahawks, but don’t chase his performance. Celek and fellow Philly TE L.J. Smith will have a tough go of it against the Giants this week. In 10 career games against the Giants, Smith as just one touchdown. The Giants have allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to TEs this season.
- Owners in need of a TE this week might be able to get by with Miami’s Anthony Fasano. Fasano has been up and down this season but he should fare well against the Seahawks. Seattle has allowed the second most passing yards in the NFL and they’ve given up 13 passing scores. Fasano leads the Dolphins in receiving TDs so he has a good chance to reach paydirt this week.
This Week’s Sleepers: Anthony Fasano and Mercedes Lewis
- Look for a better than average performance from Arizona’s Neil Rackers this week against the 49ers. San Francisco has allowed 29 or more points in five straight games. Over that stretch opposing kickers have averaged 10.8 points per game against the 49ers. Rackers looks like a lock for double figures.
- Philadelphia kicker David Akers has scored seven or fewer points in the last four meetings against the Giants. New York has allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to kickers in 2008. Don’t count on great things from Akers this week.
This Week’s Sleepers: Dan Carpenter and Jay Feely
- Talk about disciplined football—the Titans offense hasn’t turned the ball over in three games. Even more impressive, QB Kerry Collins has been sacked just three times in eight games. The team’s mistake-free approach to the game won’t help the Chicago Bears this week. It’s probably not worth it to go out on the waiver wire to find an alternative, but know the Bears will be hard pressed to score points for your fantasy squad.
- It appears Daunte Culpepper will get his first start with the Lions this week. How miserable must life be for Culpepper to go from the Dolphins to the Raiders to the Lions in a matter of a few seasons. Each team was arguably the worst in the NFL while Culpepper was on the squad. In his most recent stint in the NFL, Culpepper was a fantasy defense’s best friend. He started six games for the Raiders in 2007. In those six games he threw five interceptions, fumbled eight times, and was sacked 21 times. The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t playing great defense right now, but even they should find success against the Lions.
This Week’s Sleepers: Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers
This Week's Six-Pack: Gösser Dark
Appearance: Gösser Dark comes in a green bottle with a double “G” embossed into the glass. The label is green foil. It pours to a rich dark color and when held to the light it gives off ruby highlights. It’s not quite opaque. The head didn’t last long. While it was there it was khaki in color and had a soapy consistency.
Smell: Smells like brown sugar with hints of dark chocolate and nuts.
Taste: The flavor of this dunkel starts out with roasted nuts and robust malt characteristics. The roasted flavor picks up intensity before finishing with kind of coffee and chocolate flavor with earthy undertones. Overall, Gösser Dark is well balanced, rich and tasty.
Drinkability: As far as dark beers go, this one rates high on the drinkability scale. The aftertaste isn’t overpowering. The carbonation is appropriate. It’s not overly bitter. And it’s not particularly heavy.
Last Call: I reviewed Beck’s Dark a few weeks back. Gösser Dark is superior in every way. It’s not as bold as it could be but this beer has everything else you could ask for in a dunkel. It has a nice malt foundation backed with rich coffee and chocolate flavors. Four stars out of five.
Next Week's Six-Pack: Chimay Tripel (White)