Advertisement

Last week: 5-9

Overall: 47-60-7

Advertisement

Six-pack: 20-25-3

Six-pack: St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Green Bay

Chiefs at Rams

The difference: St. Louis is 2-1 at home this season, with its only loss coming on a last-minute field goal against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, Kansas City has put up over 30 points in back-to-back weeks, but both those wins came at home. The Chiefs are 1-2 on the road, with their only win being a three-point victory over Arizona.

Fantasy nugget: Marc Bulger has thrown 12 touchdowns and one interception this season. Damon Huard has tossed eight TDs and one pick. However, this could be his last game if Trent Green returns next week. Needless to say, both are fine starts this week.

The pick: St. Louis (-3)

Bengals at Ravens

The difference: The Ravens have given up way too many big pass plays this season, and the Bengals come to town knowing they can force a first-place tie in the division, despite not having played very well so far. It's not so much about Ocho Cinco. Cincinnati has a very balanced corps of receivers with T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry also capable of doing damage.

Fantasy nugget: Running back Rudi Johnson complained about not getting more than 12 carries against the Falcons last week. Sound familiar Ravens fans? Johnson is having a solid year though with 552 yards and five touchdowns. Don't expect a big game from him vs. the Ravens, who have the league's best rush defense.

The pick: Cincinnati (+3)

Texans at Giants

The difference: Four of Houston's five losses have been by at least 14 points. Some point to this as a trap game for the Giants, considering New York has the Bears next week. It doesn't matter. The Giants could play at 50 percent and still win by two touchdowns.

Fantasy nugget: I knew there was a reason I never felt safe starting David Carr despite his solid numbers. The Texans quarterback was yanked last week against the Titans and has thrown for less than 130 yards in two of his last three games. I wouldn't recommend playing him against a pass rush that has hit its stride.

The pick: New York (-13)

Advertisement

Titans at Jaguars

The difference: I don't have much to say about this one so it's time for reader Mike T.'s weekly bash! His e-mail from this week:

Do you feel like Denny Green this week as you make your picks? At some point will the axe fall on you picking football games? Maybe they'll just move you to the fantasy football player personnel director or media director of fantasy football. The owner may come out and say, "The losing needs to stop now and we need a change of direction."

Fantasy nugget: I thought Jacksonville's passing game had a lot of potential going into this season. The Jaguars had the league's biggest corps of receivers, and I thought Byron Leftwich would be solid. Oh well. Jacksonville's pass offense ranks 25th in the league, and David Garrard will get his second straight start (no, he's not a good fantasy option).

The pick: Tennessee (+10)

Cowboys at Redskins

The difference: These are two teams headed in different directions. Dallas is building off the Tony Romo momentum (over-under for T.O.'s first public criticism of the new Cowboys quarterback? I'm going to say Week 16). Meanwhile, the Redskins are hanging on to hopes for a spot in the playoffs, but would probably have to win all but one of their remaining games to sneak in.

Fantasy nugget: Romo put up solid numbers in his debut, throwing for 270 yards and a touchdown against the Panthers. Expect similar numbers against the NFL's 30th-ranked pass defense.

The pick: Dallas (-3)

Packers at Bills

The difference: Green Bay is right in the middle of the pack (pun intended). The Packers have lost to the Bears, Eagles, Saints and Rams, but they've beaten the Lions, Dolphins and Cardinals. Which of those two categories would you put the Bills in to? Exactly.

Fantasy nugget: Brett Favre hasn't been spectacular, but he's been solid. The future Hall of Famer has tossed four touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games. After being picked off 29 times last  year, Favre has just five INTs after seven games in 2006.

The pick: Green Bay (+3)

Saints at Buccaneers

The difference: The Bucs are 2-1 this season at home, having beaten the Bengals and Eagles while suffering a close loss to the Panthers. But then again, Tampa Bay needed a 62-yard field goal to beat Philly, and the Saints are coming off a pounding from the Ravens. Hmm...I hate picking these games.

Fantasy nugget: Did you see what Chad Johnson said when asked why he didn't add Ravens linebacker Bart Scott to his list? "He's out there hurting people intentionally, so I think I need to stay away from him," Johnson said.

That's good stuff. Reggie Bush is expected to play by the way.

The pick: Tampa Bay (+1)

Falcons at Lions

The difference: This game comes down to one simple question: Has Michael Vick turned the corner as a passer? The Falcons QB has tossed seven touchdowns in his last two games and faces the 29th-ranked pass defense in the NFL Sunday. I picked against Atlanta the last two weeks, but they are beginning to look like they belong in the NFC's top-tier.

Fantasy nugget: I got exactly one thing right in my preseason predictions -- Kevin Jones is having a good year. Detroit's running back has over 700 rushing and receiving yards and five touchdowns through seven games.

The pick: Atlanta (-5.5)

Dolphins at Bears

The difference: Chicago has won every home game this season by at least 27 points. And now the Bears face what might be the league's worst team. Joey Harrington has tossed seven interceptions in three starts. How can this one be decided by less than 20 points?

Fantasy nugget: Where have you gone Bernard Berrian? Chicago's wide receiver was one of the biggest early season surprises with four touchdowns in the season's first five weeks. He's since come back down to earth, with seven catches for 72 yards and no touchdowns in his last two games.

The pick: Chicago (-13.5)

Advertisement

Vikings at 49ers

The difference: Brad Johnson gets to go from facing the Patriots' defense to the 49ers' defense. That's like going from reading Peter King to reading me. The Vikings' short week after their Monday night loss scares me a little, but not enough to pick San Francisco.

Fantasy nugget: This game wins the Week 9 award for least startable fantasy players. Frank Gore, Chester Taylor, and is there anyone else? I guess maybe Antonio Bryant if you're desperate. And maybe Brad Johnson or Alex Smith...if your team stinks.

The pick: Minnesota (-5)

Browns at Chargers

The difference: How do you think Rams' fans feel right now? In case you missed it, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman appealed his four-game suspension and played last week against St. Louis. He totaled three sacks in San Diego's victory. But now, he's dropped his appeal and will miss four games. Do we take away those sacks? Do we take away the Chargers win? Couldn't it be like taking away Heismans and National Championships? I'm very confused here.

Fantasy nugget: Kellen Winslow is second to only Tony Gonzalez in terms of receiving yards for tight ends. Has anyone else noticed the trend of tight ends helping inexperienced quarterbacks? There's Winslow with Charlie Frye. Gonzalez with Damon Huard. Antonio Gates with Philip Rivers. Jason Witten with Tony Romo. Desmond Clark with Rex Grossman. And probably some others that I'm forgetting.

The pick: San Diego (-12.5)

Broncos at Steelers

The difference: This game confuses me to no end. I don't know how you can pick the Steelers after last week, but I don't think anybody would be comfortable picking Denver, despite the fact that they are coming off a tough loss and are looking to avenge their AFC Championship defeat from a year ago.

Fantasy nugget: Tatum Bell owners, I feel your pain. T. Bell (which is also what I call Taco Bell) carried the ball 13 times (a season-low) for 27 yards last week because of turf toe. I'm sure the injury is painful, but it must kill professional athletes to be sidelined with toe injuries. Bell is a solid 5-foot-11, 213-pounds, but he's missing action because the little piggy can't go to the market. Anyway, it looks like it will be Mike Bell once again this week, but you never know with Mike Shanahan.

The pick: Denver (+2.5)

Patriots at Colts

The difference: It's the game of the year. Get ready for a million "Peyton Manning has numbers but Tom Brady has rings" stories this weekend. Can you see either of these defenses stopping either of these offenses? I can't. What do you say to a Adam Vinatieri field goal making the difference?

Fantasy nugget: Tom Brady owners, get ready. He's due for a monster second half. Brady had thrown for less than 200 yards in three straight games before he went off against the Vikings. He's thrown for multiple touchdowns in four straight weeks, and that streak will continue vs. Indy.

The pick: Indianapolis (+3)

Advertisement
Advertisement