The Sports Man Weekly NFL Picks (Week 9)

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These are the dark times. No, the empire hasn’t taken over a galaxy far, far away. The NFL schedule this week features only two games with both teams over .500. Nonetheless there are still playoff implications at stake and fantasy games to be won. It will be hard to top last weeks nearly perfect record of 12-1 for the Sports Man but I have to try. No, do or not, there is no try (two Star Wars references in the first paragraph, you know it’s going to be a god day)…

Kansas City over Buffalo
Everything about this game screams upset. The Chiefs Broncos game in a few weeks was just flexed to primetime so the NFL would be totally screwed if the Chiefs didn’t show up undefeated. Buffalo is at home and has the “cold weather advantage”. Still, the Chiefs are undefeated for a reason and until they lose it’s hard to bet against them.
FPYW–>Dexter McCluster. Dex found the end zone last week and is coming off back-to-back with 10+ points and 65+ yards. Alex Smith doesn’t have a favorite target and spreads the ball a lot so it will be interesting to see if McCluster can keep his production up.

Dallas over Minnesota
As long as Christian Ponder is the starting QB for the Vikings I can’t see them winning a game even with Adrian Peterson running the ball. The Cowboys are coming off a heart breaking loss to Detroit and should be anxious to go out and prove they are the team to beat in the horrible NFC East.
FPTW–>Kyle Rudolph. After a great performance in week six against the Panthers in which he caught 9 balls for 97 yards and a score Rudolph has fallen harder than an old person on ice. In weeks 7 and 8 he has combined for only 7 catches, 78 yards and no scores. Dallas has shown problems with TE’s this year so Rudolph should have some opportunities to score.

St. Louis over Tennessee
The Rams showed a lot of heart last week against Seattle. They have short rest but do have home field advantage in this one. They completely shut down Marshawn Lynch so that could mean big trouble for Chris Johnson (and his fantasy owners as well).
FPTW–>Zac Stacy. Normally I wouldn’t put a starting running back here but Stacy is an interesting option. He’s coming off a 134 yard performance. He had 26 carries and should get plenty against the Titans with Kellen Clemens under center. Look for Stacy to get his first rushing score of the season in this one.

New Orleans over New York Jets
The conventional pattern points to a Jets win and a good day by Geno Smith. The Jets, however, are anything but conventional. It’s just too tough to see Geno being successful against a greatly improved Saints defense. Rob Ryan will definitely have his guys hitting hard against his brother Rex’s team. In New Orleans this game should be a runaway for the Saints in the second half.
FPTW–>Kenny Stills. He was the hottest waiver wire pickup this week after his 129 yard and two touchdown performance against the Bills last week. Stills has posted 15+ points in back-to-back games. He should keep that streak going as the Jets secondary has had trouble with fast receivers this year.

San Diego over Washington
The Redskins secondary is as bad as that carton of milk you’ve had in your fridge for three months. Philip Rivers should pick them apart. He has an arsenal to choose from that would make the Men In Black jealous. Look for Keenan Allen to have another monster day. Chargers by two touchdowns in this one.
FPTW–>Vincent Brown. The Redskins will most likely focus their attention on stopping Allen and Antonio Gates. That could leave Brown open with opportunities to produce a similar game to the one he had in Oakland week 5 (117 yards).

Carolina over Atlanta
After the Falcons screwed up my perfect week last week I will make it a point to never pick them again. Hey, it’s not personal, it’s business. The Panthers are home and well rested after the bye week. Outside of Harry Douglas the Falcons have nobody on offense that’s scary. I would look at QB Cam Newton to have 300+ all purpose yards and two touchdowns.
FPTW–>Mike Tolbert. It may be tough for Mike to continue his trend of three straight games with a touchdown. He gets the goal-line touches but Jonathan Stewart is returning this week for Carolina and Atlanta has a tough run defense. Tolbert is a desperate flex option at best.

Oakland over Philadelphia
So that Chip Kelly offense that is going to revolutionize the league is coming this week, right?? I wouldn’t count on it. This is the NFL, not NCAA and Kelly is quickly realizing that. The Eagles defense has the unenviable task of trying to stop Terrell Pryor this week. Don’t count on that either. Raiders at home and Pryor has another 50+ rushing yard day with a running score.
FPTW–>Nick Foles. Coming back from a concussion it will be hard for Foles to reagin the form he showed in Tampa Bay where he threw for 296 yards and 3 TDs. Foles is not an advisable start this week. If you’re in a pinch look at Jason Campbell, he’s owned in only 2% of NFL.com leagues.

Seattle over Tampa Bay
And to think, people still give me grief over my pick of the Suckaneers to win only two games this season. I think “fans” in Tampa (if they even exist) would sign up for that right now. Seattle is an NFC championship favorite and and at home for this one. Russell Wilson is going to have a field day to the tune of three touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Rays will get a win before the Bucs at this point.
FPTW–>Vincent Jackson. With Mike Williams out for the season in Tampa the focus is now on Jackson. He only has to score the first touchdown of the year on the Seattle secondary to be effective. Yea, not going to happen.

Cleveland over Baltimore
I love me some Jason Campbell at quarterback and I’m glad to see him getting another shot. Ray Rice is supposedly healthy for the Ravens and that’s good news for Baltimore. This could actually turn out to be the most entertaining game of the week, I’ll take Cleveland with a three point win at home.
FPTW–>Marlon Brown. Brown could be in line for a sleeper big game. He has scored 10+ points in all but two games this year. With shutdown corner Joe Haddens attention elsewhere Brown could go for some big plays. I look to Brown for the tune of 75 yards and a score.

New England over Pittsburgh
The Patriots are at home. That’s all you really need to know. Tom Brady is good. That’s pretty important too. Even with all the injuries the Pats have suffered they’re still going to win another division title. The Steelers continue to underachieve and it continues this week.
FPTW–>Le’Veon Bell. The Patriots run defense in the second worst in the league allowing 110+ yards a game. That, combined with all the injuries New England has suffered on defense, makes this a game where Bell should find the end zone. That goes extra considering he sees most of the Steelers goal line touches. Bell is a solid #2 back this week.

Indianapolis over Houston
Indy is coming off the bye and the Texans are voluntarily starting their third string QB. Both signs the Colts get a big win. By big I mean 17 point margin big. Arian Foster and Ben Tate can’t do it all for Houston as they continue their downfall. Luck throws for 250+ yards and two touchdowns. Just for good measure he runs another in.
FPTW–>Donald Brown. I told you a few weeks ago to pick up Brown going forward. I hope you did because he seems to be in the plans for the Colts going forward. He had 11 carries last week and the Colts say they want to give him even more. Brian Cushing is out for the Texans and that makes Brown’s job even easier. In the lat two weeks he has outscored Trent Richardson 14.90 to 7.00.

Green Bay over Chicago
Don’t let the records fool you, this won’t be such a good game. Jay Cutler is out and that’s as big as not having the same cast and director back for the last “Pirates Of The Caribbean” movie. Translation- it SUCKS!!! Aaron Rodgers hasn’t lost a beat since Randall Cobb went down. So many weapons for him and only four quarters. This monday night game becomes a snooze fest by halftime.
FPTW–>James Starks. In his first game back from a knee injury Starks ran 7 times for 57 yards and scored. Not too shabby. He’s still just the second stringer behinf Eddie Lacy but in fantasy land is a solid flex option with #2 RB potential.

Joe Namath Guarantee of the week–> Man, I’m good. 8-0 on my lock picks so far. This week produces the toughest challenge so far though. Crappy match ups and limited teams left to choose from. It hurts like an acid burn to do this but I’m taking Dallas this week. I feel like throwing up just writing that.

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