BUF at DAL
Welcome to the Demarco Murray show. No Kyle Wilson, no Felix Jones and no Miles Austin combined with the fear of Romo being Romo means 25 carries for Murray. Even with double coverage on Dez, Buffalo is susceptible to giving up the big play. Look for 10 catches and 100 yards from Witten. Buffalo is great at creating turnovers, so hold back expectations for Romo just a tad, either by way of Buff Def or Garretts play calling. Rob Ryan got emailed the game plan to limit Fred Jackson from his brother Rex. While you can’t bench him, he is in line to do more in the passing game than rushing. Fitz’s connection with Stevie Johnson should be just fine, especially if they are in catch up mode. Dallas should win this easily thanks to game plan. Laurent and David Nelson are worth flex consideration, Nelson especially in PPR.
31 – 17 Dallas
AZ at PHL
Well this game would have been much more exciting had it been about the return of Kolb to Philly, but instead it will be about how Vick should carve up one of the leagues worse pass defenses. Beanie Wells should have success against Philly’s Wide 9 defense, but that’s about it. Even with Fitz’s size and route running he won’t be able to help Skelton out by avoiding a shutdown corner; though an Asante gamble could save the day for Fitz if he lines up on the right. Doucet should find room over the middle with his size. Look for steady draw runs from McCoy and you know Andy Reid is going to want to show he made the right QB decision by allowing Vick to laser some shots down field which could mean a break out game for Desean.
28 - 13 Philly
WASH at MIA
John Beck returns to Miami, however I think the Dolphins will be happy to see him. The Dolphins are very capable on the back end and that combined with Beck’s lack of down field throws, bodes well for the Dolphins at home. With Cameron Wake providing a steady pass rush look for Captain Check Down to feed the ball to Shanny’s new prodigy, Helu. I suspect this will be your last chance at Helu for a week. Something screams Tashard Choice next week hosting the Cowboys. Even if Torain gets touches, he’s no match for Dolphins interior. Matt Moore’s favorite target, Brandon Marshall figures to be blanketed by D. Hall and that will probably result in a meltdown for both players. I think Thomas may have success here early with Bush helping Moore on dump offs evading Orakpo and Kerrigan.
23 - 17 Miami
JAX at IND
BOREFEST!!! Look for a heavy dose of MJD and perhaps a break out game for Gabbert. Indy has just been destroyed on Defense this year and nothing sets up play action more than the 30 touches MJD will receive. Typical Painter here… Few over and under throws to Wayne and near miss deep shots to Garcon; with no Dallas Clarke don’t expect Tamme to excel like he did last year with that one QB… what’s his name??? With Gabbert drawing early comparisons to Clausen last year, you got to put your chips in on him this week. Now or not again this season. Indy’s perfect season remains intact.
20 – 13 Jax
DEN at KC
Tebow, meet Mr. Hali. The tummy tuck exchange with McGahee is going to have to happen fast this week. I expect Flowers to remove Decker as Tebow’s go to, even on play action, he’s been too good this year. Romeo Crennel should have something ready for Fox and his new offensive plan. I just don’t know what KC team I’m going to see this week. I know that Bowe is a no gowe with Champ eating him up. Denver’s pass rush is gaining steam. I think the home team wins this game either way because they both have electric crowds and uninspiring offenses. KC has the bigger upside with their 3 wide sets, though you can’t roll with Baldwin or Breaston. Whichever one you pick, the other will get the points. So that is where the game will be won or loss. I’m going with won.
27 – 13 KC
PITT at CIN
Well the rookie hype train of Dalton and Green are running smack dab into the steel curtain. If Cinn defense can keep it close, look for a steady dose of Benson. Offensive lines have figured out how to take away DT Hampton – throw yourselves at his feet. Hampton is too timid with people around his knees. This should be all that Benson needs. Despite the rookies against the vets, this is a divisional game and they are always wars. Big Ben is throwing passes like Eli Manning right now and Cinn interior should cancel out Mendy. I look for Big Ben to come home to Ohio and try to get up quick and early on Cinn and put the game in Daltons hands where surely Dick Lebeau and the rest of the Steelers Defense likes their chances. Welcome to the real world Cincy. Gresham vs. Troy will be a good matchup, as long as Troy isn’t in run support.
24 – 13 PITT
N.O. at ATL
Some say the winner of this has the edge for the NFC South crown. I don’t buy it. Lots of games left to be played, including a rematch week 17. However, this is a statement game. Ingram comes back this week for N.O. after a probable tag but ATL run defense is pretty good. This is where Sproles excels, on the outside on turf. Lance Moore is questionable and with a stout run defense, he will be needed. Graham and Colston will get theirs. Matty Ice may be a bit nervous, at least I would be about Julio on the injury report. Either way ATL should plan on running with Turner. When he gets 25 or more touches they win about 85% of the time. New Orleans back end is banged up so even without Jones, who is probably just getting rest because if he was going to pull his hamstring again, he would have done it on that breakaway slant in go last week in Indy. He practiced fully Wednesday then limited the next two days. I don’t like betting against Brees and Sean Payton, who might be back on the sideline and I think that actually helps with him with playcalling and game feel. It should be highscoring either by catch up or keeping up. Going with the home team.
28 – 27 ATL
TEN at CAR
Carolina is coming off the bye and that hasn’t been a good thing for teams this year across the NFL. Carolina’s run defense is at the bottom of the league and on paper against Chris Johnson, it doesn’t look well. However, Carolina can afford to give up the yards as their offense has not had a problem performing this year. It will be interesting to see Smith and Finnegan line up against each other, plenty of jawing to be had there. Despite the records of the two teams, I don’t see Lance Kendricks or the rest of the Tenn offense doing much. Unless CJ is impressive, it looks like Ringer could be worth a flex play here. The player I’m rolling with this game is Olsen. I think Carolina can do enough to overcome what have been their customary penalties and faulty special teams play. Plenty of action for the kickers in this one.
26 – 20 CAR
STL at CLE
Shurmur’s old offense comes to his house. Toss out Amendola and add Lloyd, you’d think that was an upgrade. But not in this match up. Lloyd an outside the numbers receiver should be locked up by Joe Haden. This leaves plenty of ground to cover by Sjax who easily gets 150 total yards and possibly 2 td’s. The Rams defense is playing inspired and they certainly won’t fear Colt McCoy and waiver RB Ogbonnaya(sp). Little gets his targets, but does Little with them. The only thing that keeps Clev in the game is being at home in the cold against a dome/turf team. Hopefully Sjax stretches well. Look for Pettis to shine in the slot with Lloyd covered. Sorry not too exciting except for the fans of these teams. At least Bradford has had another week under his belt to get used to his new toy Lloyd, which should serve them well after this week with their upcoming schedule.
17 – 13 STL
HOU at TB
The game plan for Houston is the same even if Andre Johnson was playing. Because if he was he would see a lot of Talib who is very accomplished. But without DT McCoy and even with Haynesworth’s one week try out, the Texans certainly aren’t afraid of giving Foster 20+ carries and Tate around 15, flex worthy. Newly acquired Jonathan Joseph should negate Mike Williams so look for Benn and Parker to help in passing game. Winslow cannot be relied on. Look for Josh to be on the run without the threat of screen passes as Blount isn’t trusted and Lumpkin futile. If and when Houston has to throw it will be to Owen and Dressen. Owen the only one worth playing, but worthy he is against the cover 2. Problem for Tampa is if they have to throw to win, Josh won’t put up 300 yards, so edge clearly goes to Houston in what should be an easy game plan, but not such an easy win; with a running attack to be featured by both sides.
27 – 17 HOU
BAL at SEA
It’s probably going to take a 13th man for Sea to win against Balt this week. Ravens are tough against Seattle's strength of the run and Lynch, and you just can’t feel good about Sea and their air game. Sea run defense has been tough this year, but then went to Dallas and got gashed by a rookie and a small offensive line. You got to figure Balt’s beefy line and speedy compact Rice will excel in the Seattle elements on the ground and in the pass game. Boldin is doing damage week in and week out lately across the middle and regardless if Torrey Smith catches the ball or not, the next one is coming his way. You just cant trust anyone on Seattle’s offense. Rice has the experience and size to challenge the secondary but it is going to have to be on the intermediate stuff as Reed will play Tarvaris like a fiddle. Easy win in tough environment. Baltimore would have to beat Baltimore in this one for Seattle to have chance.
30 – 13 Bal
DET at CHI
I still haven’t figured out why Detroit isn’t that good against the run. They have a rotation to keep guys fresh and one of the most back field disrupting DT’s in the league. Look for redemption by Calvin and his ‘catch’ from last year and if Stafford can avoid Peppers he should be ok. No sense even going to Morris, spread em out and throw the ball. With Hanson hurting, limited or out - look for Hester and the return game to be good here. Especially at home with a few he probably shouldn’t bring out going for good yardage. Can’t believe Cutler didn’t get sacked last week, but that won’t be case with VDB and Avril this week. Lucky for Cutler his Vandy Buddy Bennett is back and he should be a good WR3 in PPR, I just can’t trust Roy or Knox, ever. You aren’t sitting Forte. 150 total yards and score on ground and in the air possible. Not sure which Det TE it will be this week, but they should have plenty of room in the middle of the CHI cover 2, especially with CJ taking the top off. After a fast start to the season by DET, this game will have a lot to do with second place in division. I like CHI running game and special teams more than DET passing game. Home team here.
24 – 20 CHI
NYG at S.F.
Well teams traveling East have done well this year, lets see how Giants do going West. No Bradshaw really hurts in the screen game against a tough S.F. run defense. Jacobs may be good for a goal line score, but Eli is throwing it around the lot here. If Nicks is active, the fade is more likely than a Jacobs plunge, so look elsewhere. The GMEN Passing offense is a go here, all 3 even if Nicks is active. Cruz and Manningham have PPR potential in and out of the slot. Gore should gash the inside of the GMEN line and 4 or 5 catches is easy on screens against that pass rush. Can’t trust anyone else in the SF offense, maybe Crabtree but he is a low WR3. Just not a lot to go around in 20 completions for (Braylon, Davis, Walker, Crabtree and Gore). If Eli protects the ball they should be able to take the game out of Gore’s hands, which is the key here. I think it will be close and it will probably take another Eli comeback. Good matchup exists with Ballard and the S.F. LB’s. I think the confidence in coming back against the Pats serves Eli well here. GMEN.
24 – 17 GMEN
N.E. at NYJ
The word is out. Crowd the Pats receivers at the line, rush the passer. After 2 weeks of that, perhaps Belichik has it figured out and maybe he just runs more this week, which means you cant know which Pats back it’s going to be. You figure Welker will be covered by Revis, which they tried to do last meeting. Every time Revis wasn’t on him it seemed like Brady new it and went there. So PPR potential still there and WR2 based on chemistry. You got to like the TE’s for the Pats in this one. Greene should get his 20 touches but you just cant be sure if LT will vulture a TD or Plax gets his on fade route. I like Plax a lot at home against this Pats Defense, Holmes too if Green can keep the defense honest. Should be plenty of work for Keller whether ahead or behind in this one. But, it’s a division game and it will be close. I think Belichik is all in on this one and the Pats grind it out… Hernandez and Gronk all day.
24 – 21 PATS
MINN at GB
Will the Vikings score enough points to keep up with Rodgers, possibly; they did in their first meeting. The Packers pass defense, despite the threat of the pick 6 has been getting lit up this year. Granted the stats are slanted because teams have to throw to play against the Packers, but they’ve been giving up yards since week 1. As always, a heavy dose of AP; who actually has been catching some balls too lately. Having made it through half the season with no migraine from Percy he’s even being used on kickoffs. I think the Vikes finally realize he needs the ball to make plays. But he’s about all the only other Vike you can trust, maybe Visanthe. A lot of wealth is spread around the GB offense, so only Jennings and Jordy are weekly plays. Finley you got to ride because you give up the small out puts to gain the big pay days; bc it is going to happen, is this the week? Gotta love GB at home on Monday night. Ponder has shown great potential even with receiving core cast offs. Monday night, divisional game won’t be enough for the Vikes. It will be Rodgers early and often and Starks closing it out, game over. Starks has flex appeal based on garbage/clock time, but you can’t count on goal line work with Kuhn/Grant and shotgun from the 2. The Packers are who we thought they were…. And the Vikes are gonna get the hook, maybe as early as the halftime. I hardly ever recommend Crosby bc GB goes for it on 4th down so much, but here with the lead he’s good to go.
37 – 17 PACK