Last week: 7-7
Six-pack: Redskins, Bills, Cardinals, 49ers, Eagles, Steelers
Titans at Colts
The difference: Indianapolis players are looking to go 5-0 for the third time in the last four years. Tennessee players are stomping on people's faces. Now you know why I pick these games with lines instead of just choosing winners.
Fantasy nugget: Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne both rank in the top-five in receiving yards this season, but neither has scored a touchdown. Harrison has posted double-digit touchdowns in seven straight seasons. Wayne had only five touchdowns in 2005. Both could find the end zone this week.
The pick: Indianapolis (-19)
Redskins at Giants
The difference: In case you missed it, Clinton Portis is back playing dress-up. His newest character is Dolomite Jenkins. And yes, I googled that name hoping to find a photo and came up with nothing. Anyway, Washington's offense has scored 67 points in its last two games, and I'd be surprised if this game is decided by more than a field goal.
Fantasy nugget: The Giants have faced early deficits in their last two games, and Tiki Barber's numbers have suffered. He's combined for 115 rushing yards in New York's last two outings, but is still a must-start every week because of his ability to hurt teams through the pass game.
The pick: Washington (+4.5)
Lions at Vikings
The difference: Every game Minnesota has played in this year has been decided by five points or fewer. Somehow, I don't see this one being that close. The Lions are 30th in the league in pass defense and have been torched by Marc Bulger and Brett Favre in the past two weeks.
Fantasy nugget: Wide receiver Charles Rogers admitted that he tested positive for marijuana earlier this week. The ex-Michigan State Spartan and No. 2 overall pick was cut by the Lions earlier this season. It hasn't been a great week for Michigan State. Tell me you saw the video clip of coach John L. Smith slapping himself after the Spartans lost to Illinois. It's an instant You Tube classic.
The pick: Minnesota (-6.5)
Buccaneers at Saints
The difference: I'm done betting against New Orleans. I thought the Saints would get hammered last week against Carolina, but they covered the spread. After this game, their schedule gets much tougher. On the other side, it looks like Tampa Bay could be headed for a top-five pick in next year's draft.
Fantasy nugget: If there is a fantasy guru in the country who predicted that Saints wide receiver Marques Colston would have any type of impact this season, I want his or her name. I am going to begin stealing material immediately. Colston has scored in three out of four weeks this year and has totaled 229 yards over the last two weeks. Not bad for a seventh-round pick from Hofstra.
The pick: New Orleans: (-6.5)
Rams at Packers
The difference: When I got my hair cut last week, the lady doing the clipping asked me the following question: Sheil, what can you tell me about the praying mantis? I was caught completely off-guard and got a helpless feeling, knowing I couldn't provide the beautiful Tonya with any information. And I am getting that same feeling now as I try to pick who will win this game. The Packers pass defense is awful. Bulger hasn't thrown an interception all season. Yet for some reason, I get the feeling he could lay an egg in week five.
Fantasy nugget: Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings looks like he is capable of making plays in this league. He caught five balls for 86 yards last week and had found the end zone in weeks two and three.
The pick: St. Louis (-3)
Dolphins at Patriots
The difference: I said last week that if the Dolphins could not cover the 3.5 point spread against the Texans, I would pick against them the rest of the season. So there you have it. That's the type of analysis you can only find on this blog.
Fantasy nugget: Upon first glance, it would appear that Ronnie Brown has been a big disappointment this year. He's averaging less than 60 yards per game and hasn't found the end zone since week one. However, he has been a threat in Miami's passing game, having caught eight balls for 62 yards last week. Brown has totaled 100 all-purpose yards in three straight weeks. It's too early to label him a disappointment.
The pick: New England (-10)
Bills at Bears
The difference: Buffalo has allowed 25 total points in two road games this season against New England and Miami. J.P. Losman has not turned the ball over in three of four games. Meanwhile, Chicago has the Cardinals, Dolphins and 49ers as its next three opponents. I think they'll get tested here, but an 8-0 start is looking very possible.
Fantasy nugget: Willis McGahee is the NFL's leading rusher with 389 yards, but he has scored just one TD. I expected the Bills running back to improve on the five touchdowns he produced in 2005, but it hasn't happened yet.
The pick: Buffalo (+10)
Browns at Panthers
The difference: I feel like I pick the Panthers every week and get burned. But if I've proven one thing this season, it's that I have no idea what I'm doing. Carolina needs this game as it faces the Ravens, Bengals and Cowboys over the next three weeks.
Fantasy nugget: Have you checked out the comments from my previous post? Two readers wanting Charlie Frye to get some love! I'll oblige. Chuck has tossed five TDs and run for three in four games this season. Not bad at all (even though he does lead the NFL with seven interceptions).
The pick: Carolina (-8.5)
Jets at Jaguars
The difference: Try figuring the Jaguars out. In week two, they shut out the Steelers. Last week, they allowed 36 points to the Redskins. Jacksonville bounces back in this one behind a strong performance from its running game.
Fantasy nugget: Anyone notice Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has scored in three out of four games this season? He's putting up Marques Colston-type numbers!
The pick: Jaguars (-7)
Chiefs at Cardinals
The difference: Shouldn't Arizona fans be worried that Matt Leinart has been under the tutelage of Kurt Warner? Isn't that going to guarantee that he fumbles for no apparent reason at least three times this week? Can't we start some kind of NFL study abroad program where Leinart would have the option of learning the game under Tom Brady or Donovan McNabb before returning to Arizona? These are the things that would happen if I was commissioner.
Fantasy nugget: If I haven't mentioned it yet, I'm 0-4 in our Charm City Champions League with readers. To make matters worse, I'm starting Damon Huard because David Carr has a bye. Wow. Look at what I just said. I guess it's no wonder my team stinks.
The pick: Cardinals (+3)
Raiders at 49ers
The difference: Welcome to FOX's game of the week! Well, my theory of always betting against Oakland looked faulty early last week when the Raiders took a big lead against the Browns. Luckily, Oakland blew it, and Cleveland covered. The theory stays alive.
Fantasy nugget: Bernard Berrian, Reggie Williams, Mike Furrey, Greg Lewis, Roscoe Parrish, Wes Welker, Drew Carter and Arnaz Battle. What do these receivers have in common? They all have more fantasy points this season than Randy Moss.
The pick: San Francisco (-3.5)
Cowboys at Eagles
The difference: I'm used to the Eagles disappointing in big games, but hopefully this one will be different. T.O. usually performs well when the spotlight is on him, and Philadelphia's defense is banged up. But if you think there's any way I'm picking the Cowboys, you're crazy.
Fantasy nugget: Terry Glenn tore up the Eagles secondary last year. He's scored three touchdowns in the last two weeks and could be poised for a big game.
The pick: Philadelphia (-2)
Steelers at Chargers
The difference: I'll preface this by saying I pick the Steelers game wrong every week (Sheil, you pick almost every game wrong each week…I know, I know). Anyway, Pittsburgh needs this game desperately after a 1-2 start. Ben Roethlisberger can't possibly play any worse, and we saw how conservative San Diego will get with a lead last week against the Ravens.
Fantasy nugget: Looking for more reasons to not pick a tight end early in drafts? There are 10 tight ends ranked ahead of Antonio Gates four weeks into the season. The Chargers tight end has caught 10 balls for 122 yards and a touchdown.
The pick: Pittsburgh (+3)
My Ravens-Broncos pick will come Monday.
- Pittsburgh Panthers
- Arizona Cardinals
- Buffalo Bills
- Dallas Cowboys
- Detroit Lions
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Miami Dolphins
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Washington Redskins
- Cleveland Browns
- New Orleans Saints
- Oakland Raiders
- San Francisco 49ers
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- New York Jets
- Marques Colston
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Denver Broncos
- Houston Texans