By: Rick Findura
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks
Prediction: Giants 24, Seahawks 10. The Giants D is playing lights out right now, and with Matt Hasselbeck out for Sunday because of a concussion last week) and no real proven performer at receiver, it won’t be easy for Seattle, despite their recent successes against the G-men at home. Mike Williams has been the best option for the Seahawks, but isn’t explosive. Williams may get some late grabs in what I expect to be a game the Giants keep well in hand throughout. Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett shouldn’t see much room to run. The Giants have completely shut out the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Arian Foster, and Matt Forte. Lynch isn’t as established as any of them, and shouldn’t be in your starting lineup this week. For the Giants, expect a balanced effort. Ahmad Bradshaw again will get the ball between the 20’s, and as he’s shown, he’ll do some damage. Brandon Jacobs has a good shot at getting in the end zone in this one. I see the big points however coming from the Giants receivers. Hakeem Nicks has shown himself to be a terrific red zone target and deep threat and it is rare to be both in this league. I think the guy to look for this week though is Steve Smith. Going against his former college coach in Pete Carroll, you know he’ll be looking to impress. With the Giants getting out to an early lead, I see the Giants looking at Smith often to pick up first downs and keep the chain and the clock moving. Smith has been picking it up of late and is a solid start in PPR leagues as well as Standard.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Raiders 20. This is a matchup of the number 1 and number 2 ranked rushing teams in the NFL. With the Chiefs being the number 1 rushing team in the league. I give the edge to the Chiefs running game due to the fact that the Raiders are 26th in stopping the run. (The Chiefs D is 7th). I expect Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones to run the ball all over Oakland on Sunday. As is the usual for the Chiefs, Jones will get the bulk of the carries early and on short yardage. Charles will get the ball often between the 20’s. Charles is averaging an astounding 6.5 yards per carry, giving him the title of “Breakout Player of the Week” possibility. Charles is also great catching the ball out of the backfield. Charles and Jones should both get the start in your league. Dwayne Bowe has caught 5 TD’s in the past 3 games, but with only 6 catches combined the past 2 weeks, consider anything he does this week to be a bonus. Don’t rely on him to but up big numbers, even with Nnamdi Asomugha doubtful to play for the Raiders. The only player worth starting for the Raiders is Darren McFadden. McFadden has been a great Fantasy back when not out of the lineup due to injury (twice this season). He’s gone over 100 yards in 4 of the 6 games he’s played. (95 yards in another). In the 2 games he didn’t break 100 yards rushing he caught 6 balls out of the backfield in each. Expect Jason Campbell to struggle. Darius Heyward-Bey had a breakout game last week, but Brandon Flowers is one of the best, and most underrated corners in the league.
Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles
Prediction: Colts 31, Eagles 17. This is a tough game to predict. The Eagles are getting Michael Vick back for the first time since week 4. And I don’t know how much he’s going to give you. The Colts pass rush is excellent, so expect a lot of hits and a lot of pockets collapsing, forcing Vick to run…and take some more hits. DeSean Jackson is expected to play, but might be tentative in his first game back. LeSean McCoy could be in for a nice day though. The Colts don’t stop the run, and even if they do, McCoy is dangerous out of the backfield. I don’t see the Colts attack slowing down Mcoy this week. Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning. Expect him to find Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, and Jacob Tamme most of the day. Joseph Addai and Mike Hart are both most likely to be out Sunday, leaving duties to Donald Brown and Javarris James but don’t expect much too much from them. This will be a game that will be won through the air…surprise!
Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers
Prediction: Packers 31, Cowboys 13. Ok, well, this much I know…don’t look for the Cowboys to break out of their funk this week. The Packers battled their way to a 9-0 win against the tough Jets D. They should have no problem moving the ball against the Cowboys. Expect most of the damage to be done by Aaron Rodgers, obviously. He’ll pick apart the Cowboys injured secondary all night. Greg Jennings is a must-start. And if Donald Driver doesn’t start, you may want to give James Jones a chance as well. Though Brandon Jackson hasn’t been getting in the end zone, I think he’ll have the ball in his hands enough times to put up decent numbers. I really don’t see anyone worthy of a must-start against the Packers D for the Cowboys. Jon Kitna has been getting a lot of yardage in mop up duty when the Cowboys are already out of the game, and that’ll be the case again. Dez Bryant has been coming on of late, but Miles Austin is still their number 1. Only 1 of them can really be expected to have a good game, and it’s a coin flip really as to which one. Jason Witten figures to be Kitna’s security blanket, and he’d be the only Cowboy I’d want in my lineup. I wouldn’t touch any Cowboy RB with a 10 foot pole this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Prediction: Steelers 28, Bengals 14. Straight up and down the Steelers lineup I like in this matchup. Ben Roethlisberger should be able to hit Mike Wallace down the field, and hit Hines Ward to move the chains. Rashard Mendenhall should get some yards against the Bengals 23rd ranked D against the run. For the Bengals it’s another story. Carson Palmer could put up a ton of yards in garbage time. I don’t know how often those drives will end up in the end zone however. I do know that if they do, they’ll be in the hands of Terrell Owens. Chad Ochocinco is known for not playing well against the Steelers. Terrell Owens has been a revelation this year though. TO has averaged over the past 4 games, almost 8 catches for nearly 120 yards, and he’s scored in each game. (5 TD’s total). Ride the wave while it’s still going. Cedric Benson should be resting nice and easy on your bench this week.