The Sports Man Weekly NFL Picks (Week 10)
With the exception of “The Godfather Part II” it is very hard to follow up greatness with more greatness. That seems to be a good reason why I followed up a 12-1 week with a stinker of 7-6. At least I stayed above .500 for the week. I don’t think I’m going to be taking full blame for the regression though. Who honestly expected the NY Jets to pull off the biggest upset of the season and beat the Saints? Who predicted Aaron Rodgers going down, all but killing the Packers chance to beat the Bears? Which person bet on Nick Foles to turn into a friggin cyborg and light up the Raiders for 7 touchdowns? No one, that’s who!! So I’m going to treat last week as an anomaly. I’m feeling good about a bounce back week. Then again, when was the last time I felt bad about any of my picks…
Detroit over Chicago
The Bears look pretty good in a win last week but that was when Aaron Rodgers went out. Matt Stafford is in this week and with Calvin Johnson his top target I’m expecting fireworks from the Lions. The Packers may be out of the division conversation and I’m looking at Detroit to establish themselves as the team to beat this week.
FPTW–> Joseph Fauria. With Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham and Reggie Bush it’s hard to see a lot of targets for Fauria but the Bears are struggling against tight ends lately. Fauria put up 24+ points a few weeks back against the Browns so the potential is there.
Buffalo over Pittsburgh
The Bills get quarterback E.J. Manuel under center this week and that should boost the offense. The Steelers looked absolutely disgusting last week on defense. Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson should see plenty of targets and put up 75+ yards with a touchdown this week.
FPTW–>Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders has posted very good WR2 numbers lately. He has scored 15+ fantasy points in three of the four past games. Big Ben is certainly looking his way as he has seen 11 targets in back-to-back weeks.
Cincinnati over Baltimore
The Bengals are all but assured to win the division. They will try to stick it to the Ravens this week and assert their dominance. Clearly the Ravens are not the same team from last year and Ray Rice has struggled mightily this year. The defense isn’t the same either and I’d look at Giovanni Bernard (he should play) to gash the defense for 100+ yards and two scores.
FPTW–>Ray Rice. I never would have thought I’d be putting Rice in this section. He was a consensus first round pick but has been more disappointing than “Oceans 12″. Rice only has three games with double digit points and has under 5 catches out of the back field in three straight games. With no Geno Atkins for the Bengals Rice has a great opportunity to get going.
Philadelphia over Green Bay
It’s the matchup of disappointments. The Eagles have not lived up to the hype and the Packers are without Aaron Rodgers. Seneca Wallace is not the answer for the Pack. Nick Foles looked out of this world last week. I wouldn’t expect another 7 touchdown game but I do think he runs the offense better than any of the Eagles options. FPTW–>Riley Cooper. Cooper put on a show last week with 5 receptions for 139 yards and three touchdowns. You should not be expecting the same numbers this week. You can expect good numbers though as Coop has scored 14+ points in thee of the four past weeks and is averaging 115.7 yards per game with Foles under center.
Seattle over Atlanta
I know the Seahawks have “struggled” lately but they’re still winning and that’s all that matters. The Falcons stink worse than the garbage piles in New Jersey. Matt Ryan gets Roddy White back this week and he needs him. The Hawks need to keep pace with the 49ers in the race for the division and this is not a game they need to look past.
FPTW–>Roddy White. White is back after missing the last four weeks (three games and the bye). White numbers are extremely poor as he hasn’t scored in double figures anytime this year. He hasn’t even broken 50 yards in any game. I wouldn’t start him this week until he shows he fully healty and back to normal.
Indianapolis over St. Louis
The Colts had another comeback last week and Andrew Luck is showing he’s money in crunch time. The Rams looked lost once again and regressed agains the Titans, This won’t be too close and the Colts win by two scores
FPTW–>Chris Givens. Givens is clearly the guy that QB Kellen Clemens is looking for. That doesn’t really mean a lot but the targets do help. He’s not a sexy pick but in a week with byes he’s a decent sleeper for a desperate owner.
Tennessee over Jacksonville
The Jags will probably get a win at some point this year but this isn’t the week. Despite playing well in most games and the reemergence of MJD it’s too tough to see them beating a clearly superior team.
FPTW–> Cecil Shorts. With Justin Blackmon out the rest of the season more targets should go Shorts way. Cecil has put up 70+ yards in three of the last four games and that should go up now.He is now a mid-range WR2
New York Giants over Oakland
My G-Men are starting their run for the division. It’s actually quiet sad that they have a reasonable shot to still win too. The Raiders need a bounce back week after allowing Nick Foles to throw 7 touchdowns last week. Terrell Pryor may have a rough week as the Giants have clamped down on the run defense lately. With the game in New Jersey I’ll give the Giants the benefit of a home field victory.
FPTW–>Rashad Jennings. Stop the presses, Darren McFadden is out with an injury!! OK, it’s not breaking news. It’s also no secret Jennings doesn’t get a good matchup in his start opportunity. The Giants have allowed only one rushing touchdown since week 4.
Carolina over San Francisco
It’s the game of the week. The Panthers finally have a defense that can keep a lead and allow Cam Newton to go Superman on opponents. The 49ers are establishing themselves as NFC favorites. If you’re watching one game this is it. Cam and the Panthers have a lot to prove in this one and they have been rising to the occasion all year. Look for that trend to continue.
FPTW–> Any Panthers Running back. It’s easier to understand a Picasso painting than the Panthers running back situation. Last week DeAngelo Williams ran 15 times, Jonathan Stewart ran 13 times and Mike Tolbert ran 9. Talk about spreadin it around. Each back is a good flex option,
Houston over Arizona
Case Keenum looked like an elite QB last week. Granted it was only one week but he showed why he was monster in college. It was a very simple game plan…Throw to Andre Johnson. Look for that to continue. It won’t be pretty but the Texans get win number three this week.
FPTW–>Ben Tate. Arian Foster is out do Tate is the lead back now. Last week he ran the ball 22 times and picked up 81 yards. Keep in mind he did this with four broken ribs. It’s Tate tie to shine now but he gets a tough Cardinals run defense.
Denver over San Diego
John Fox isn’t on the sidelines but with Peyton Manning under center is doesn’t really matter. Manning could take over duties at the Pearly Gates with God taking a vacation and Heavens entry procedure wouldn’t lose a beat. The Chargers have a high powered offense and it should be a shootout between Manning and Philip Rivers. If you like high scores then this one’s for you.
FPTW–>Keenan Allen. Ok, I’m cheating a bit since I had Allen here a couple weeks ago but it’s hard not to watch him. Allen is turning into a consistent must-start and is on his way to being a keeper for next year. He’s coming off of an 8 reception, 128 yard performance last week in which he also scored. The Broncos have struggles stopping the pass and have allowed 25+ points to top receivers this year.
New Orleans over Dallas
The revenge of Rob Ryan!! It sounds like a SyFy channel movie. Ryan will be eager to show Dallas how wrong they were in letting him go. The Saints are coming off a disappointing loss (I guess every loss is disappointing though) to the Jets last week and will be looking to reestablish themselves as NFC contenders. The Cowboys just barely survived last week. They won’t be so fortunate this time. Saints win big on sunday night.
FPTW–>Darren Sproles. Forget trading cards, people need to collect milk cartons with Sproles on it. Darren has scored less than 5 points in back-to-back games. He’s coming off a concussion last week and Pierre Thomas is getting the workload in New Orleans. Sproles is a flex option at best.
Miami over Tampa Bay
Ha ha, Tampa Sucks!! I love coming back here every week and reminding everyone that I called it. Miami is on the upswing after a big win over the Bengals last Thursday. They get the extra rest and also…Tampa Sucks!! The coach is on the hot seat, the GM is on the hot seat, even the beer vendors are in danger of getting fired. Tampa remains winless and I couldn’t be happier.
FPTW–>Mike James. James surprised everyone last week when he ran for 158 yards on the Seahawks in Seattle. That’s not an easy task. The Dolphins have surrendered 13+ points in seven straight weeks to backs. James should flourish this week.
Joe Namath Guarantee of the week–> Make that 9-0 for the Sports Man!! Despite running out of powerhouse teams to choose from I am still perfect. It was hard picking the Cowboys last week but it paid off. I’m going back to an old formulas this week and going against the Jaguars. I’m taking the Titans to win and bring me to 10 perfect weeks.