Last week: 6-9-1

Overall: 14-17-1


Six-pack (my most confident picks each week): 7-5

Six-pack this week: Colts, Panthers, Redskins, Ravens, Eagles, Patriots


Jets at Bills

The difference: Both teams are better than I thought they'd be before the season started. Buffalo's defense posted seven sacks last week against the Dolphins. Look for them to get to Chad Pennington and produce points on either defense or special teams.

Fantasy nugget: Laveranues Coles is the NFL's leading receiver after having posted 253 yards in the season's first two weeks. He is listed as questionable in week three after injuring his calf in practice, but reports Friday indicate that he will play.

The pick: Buffalo (-5.5)

Bengals at Steelers

The difference: Please tell me you've seen this Joey Porter story (note: I said it was Jerry Porter in the initial post. Thanks to the reader who pointed this out). This is why I love professional athletes. At the risk of sounding insensitive, events like dogs killing miniature horses just don't happen to everyday people like you and me. What does this have to do with the game? Absolutely nothing. I'm 0-2 picking Steelers games this season, so go with the opposite of my pick.

Fantasy nugget: If you're with friends at your local watering hole this weekend, here's a good question to throw out there: Who would you rather start a team with right now-Carson Palmer or Ben Roethlisberger? Palmer is clearly the better fantasy option, but I'd take him over Roethlisberger if I was starting an NFL team also. I know Big Ben is something like 27-5 as a starter, but I think Palmer has the skills to eventually get a ring and be one of the best natural passers of his era.

The pick: Steelers (pick 'em)

Jaguars at Colts

The difference: Jacksonville has had a short week to prepare for Peyton Manning and is coming off an emotional victory over the Steelers on Monday night. The Jaguars are a good team, but expect the Colts to make a statement, something they're pretty good at doing during the regular season.

Fantasy nugget: The following was posted on the Charm City Champions League message board: Wasn't it just a little ironic to see all that draft advice Sheil posted, and then see him get roasted?

Very ironic. Cue Alanis Morissette. One reason I'm 0-2 in our league with readers is the running back situation in Indy. I have both Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes on my squad. Last week, Addai ran 16 times for 82 yards, but Rhodes has a pair of touchdowns on the season. I am forced to start both of them this week (we can start three RBs) with LaMont Jordan having a bye. Expect to hear me complain about this the rest of the season.

The pick: Indianapolis (-7)

Titans at Dolphins

The difference: How about Jeff Fisher going off on Billy Volek this week? Good entertainment all around. Meanwhile, Miami, a trendy preseason pick, just got roughed up at home by Buffalo. These two teams came into the season with different expectations, but neither has a win heading into week three.

Fantasy nugget: Attention all Daunte Culpepper fantasy owners: After he puts up big numbers against Tennessee, unload him! It will not last! If you REALLY want to dupe a fellow owner, wait one more week, and let him put up big numbers against Houston in week four. His trade value will never be higher, and he's a lock for three picks the following week against New England.

The pick: Miami (-10.5)

Redskins at Texans

The difference: Houston is giving up 350.5 yards per game through the air after the first two weeks of the season. Granted, the Texans have faced Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning, two of the league's better quarterbacks, but if the Redskins can't put up points in this one, it might be time to just forfeit the season.

Fantasy nugget: In the aforementioned Charm City Champions League, I drafted Aaron Brooks and Trent Green. Needless to say, that didn't really work out for me. Last week, I was able to pick up David Carr, who put up 219 yards and three touchdowns. On the season, he's completed over 75 percent of his passes! And if that didn't just jinx him, I'm definitely losing my touch.

The pick: Washington (-4.5)

Bears at Vikings

The difference: When I saw that Rex Grossman tossed four touchdowns last Sunday, I could think of only one thing. A picture on the Internet of the ex-Gator QB looking absolutely wasted at a Florida party. I don't know if the photo was legit or not, but I can't get the vision out of my head whenever I hear Grossman's name. Apparently, photos like this circulate around the Internet all the time and more often than not, they find their way into my inbox. Does anyone have any idea what I'm talking about here?

Fantasy nugget: We knew Lovie Smith would ruin the lives of fantasy owners by playing both Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson this season, but have you noticed what's going in with the Bears tight end situation? Desmond Clark has been a pleasant surprise with 10 catches for 162 yards and a touchdown over the first two weeks of the season, but his numbers could be even better. Chicago's other tight end, John Gilmore had two touchdowns of his own last week.

The pick: Minnesota (+4.5)

Panthers at Buccaneers

The difference: Both teams are 0-2, but I think they're going in different directions. Look for Carolina to improve with the probable return of Steve Smith and eventually make a push for the playoffs. Look for Tampa Bay to struggle all season, causing Jon Gruden to be banned from the NFL for strangling Chris Simms on the sidelines.

Fantasy nugget: It appears DeAngelo Williams will take over the starting running back spot from DeShaun Foster sooner rather than later. The 5-foot-9 rookie from Memphis piled up 98 yards and a touchdown on 18 touches last week against Minnesota.

The pick: Carolina (-3.5)


Packers at Lions


The difference: Let me get this straight. Detroit's defense doesn't allow a touchdown to Seattle in week one, but gets torched for four touchdowns by Grossman in week two? Now you know why my record for picking games is so bad. Maybe the Lions are a team that will play significantly better at home than on the road this year? Ya, let's go with that…

Fantasy nugget: Roy Williams was a trendy pick for fantasy owners going into this season, but he's produced a modest nine catches for 107 yards over the first two weeks of the season. Look for him to be a good option against a Green Bay defense that got burned for 353 yards passing by Drew Brees last week. And besides, the Lions really should have put up 40 points in week one.

The pick: Detroit (-6.5)

Ravens at Browns

The difference: Is there any chance that announcer Gus Johnson is calling this game for CBS? His voice reminds me of the NCAA Tournament, but how about his excitement level last week whenever Oakland backup Andrew Walter completed a pass? As I said in this week's podcast, it was like Johnson was watching Joe Montana. Hey, I like the guy's excitement, but when you're watching the game Sunday, don't be surprised to hear, "LOOK at Charlie Frye right now! He's three for eleven, but the Browns have themselves a star in the making Steve Tasker!"

Fantasy nugget: Jamal Lewis has had some good games against Cleveland in the past and that should continue Sunday. The Browns defense gave up 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Rudi Johnson last week.

The pick: Baltimore (-7.5)

Rams at Cardinals

The difference: A year ago, I would have said this looks like it will be a shootout against two of the league's best passing offenses, but it looks like St. Louis coach Scott Linehan is serious about emphasizing the run. Steven Jackson has rushed for 224 yards over two weeks and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

Fantasy nugget: Edgerrin James hasn't been great over the first two weeks, but he goes up against a Rams defense that is giving up 144 yards rushing per game. If he can't find running room in this one, it could be a long season for James' fantasy owners.

The pick: St. Louis (+4.5)

Giants at Seahawks

The difference: There seem to be two schools of thought on this one. The first one says the Giants lucked out last week and aren't a good football team but stole one from the Eagles. The other says New York's miraculous win in week two will project into a winning streak and control of the NFC East. See my pick for which school of thought I'm going with.

Fantasy nugget: Non-fantasy players always look down on us because they say we are more worried about players than our favorite teams. As a diehard Eagles fan and an Eli Manning fantasy owner, I can honestly say that's not true. I would have loved for him to throw a pick in overtime last week. Ok, maybe the Philadelphia loss stung a little less because of Manning's 371 yards, but not by much.

The pick: Seattle (-3)

Eagles at 49ers

The difference: Anyone see InVINCEable? My favorite part was the group of overweight, drunk guys showing up to the Eagles open tryout. It took me back to my childhood, growing up as a football fan in Veterans Stadium. Anyway, what would happen today if teams held open tryouts? Should I start juicing in case this happens and I need to be ready? Anybody want to go run routes when I get off work?

Fantasy nugget: How about Antonio Bryant last week? I'm not talking about his four catches for 131 yards, but rather the tantrum he threw after not getting the ball early in the game. Then, after a 72-yard touchdown catch, he ran off the field with quarterback Alex Smith, who was forced to act like he and Bryant were best buds. I wonder if QBs gather once a week to vent their frustrations with their wideouts? Can't you picture Smith joining Drew Bledsoe and Donovan McNabb in someone's basement as they discuss which NFL receiver is really the biggest baby?

The pick: Philadelphia (-7)

Broncos at Patriots

The difference: This could be a matchup of the two coaches with the biggest egos in the entire league. And probably not so coincidentally, they've both won Super Bowls. Think about it. Bill Belichick seems to place little value on any player except for Tom Brady, and Mike Shanahan shuffles his running backs each year because you could plug me into his system and I'd run for 1,200 yards.

Fantasy nugget: Javon Walker hasn't put up huge numbers so far this season in his new home, but I like that Denver is looking to get him more involved. The ex-Packer had five catches for 79 yards last week and also carried the ball twice for 21 yards. I think he will be a great fantasy option when all is said and done this year.

The pick: New England (-7)

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