April 5, 2020

Washington Redskins Week 9 Power Rankings Roundup

The Washington Redskins took some time off this past weekend to rest, relax and do some self-evaluation. They ended the unofficial “first half” of their season with a thrilling 31-30 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Despite not playing a down, the Redskins did see some movement in the weekly power rankings. Before we dive in to Week 9’s edition of the roundup, take a look back at last week’s.

(via @lastwordonsports on Twitter)

And now, check out where the Redskins rank across the national media. [Read more…]

Fantasy Football: Week 10 Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

It’s Week 10 in the Survivor Pool world. And it’s time for this week’s Survivor Pool picks. Is there a sleeper out there hiding in the weeds? I’m here to help you with your Survivor Pool for Week 10.

Week 9 recap

We saw the Packers go down on Monday night mainly due to the injury to Aaron Rodgers. With Seneca Wallace at the helm, they turn into a fairly average team. We also lost the Saints and Bengals though not a lot of players were on them. There is still one land mine out there in the coming weeks – one game that will take a majority of players out. Then, it comes down to attrition based on who has certain teams left. If you are still left (and why would you be reading this otherwise), congratulations and let’s get to Week 10.

Bye week: Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New York Jets.

Survivor Pool – Week 10 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of late on Wednesday:

Office Football Pool

 

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

 

Rank

Team

Picks

1

Tennessee Titans

68.50%

 

1

Tennessee Titans

78.78%

2

Indianapolis Colts

11.80%

 

2

Indianapolis Colts

6.70%

3

New York Giants

11.70%

 

3

New York Giants

5.49%

4

New Orleans Saints

1.70%

 

4

Miami Dolphins

1.74%

5

San Francisco 49ers

1.60%

 

5

New Orleans Saints

1.43%

6

Denver Broncos

1.10%

 

6

Washington

1.04%

7

Pittsburgh Steelers

1.10%

 

7

San Francisco 49ers

0.94%

8

Washington

0.70%

 

8

Denver Broncos

0.84%

9

Miami Dolphins

0.40%

 

9

Seattle Seahawks

0.51%

10

Seattle Seahawks

0.40%

 

10

Green Bay Packers

0.51%

 

That’s a big favorite up top again this week. It looks like there are a couple of equity plays to be had. There will be a good number of people rooting against the Titans this week.  Where should you put your “money” this week? Let’s see (and watch me break another of my rules in the selections below):

Here are my choices for Week 10 in order of preference:

  1. Indianapolis Colts – If you have the Colts left, it’s time to use them. The Colts looked lost last week in the first half against the Texans (who aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they’d be with Case Keenum at QB). The Colts get to face the Rams and Kellen Clemens. True, the Rams do have emerging RB Zac Stacy, but they won’t have enough fire power to stay with the Colts on the road. I give the Colts an 81% chance of winning.
  2. New York Giants – I don’t love this choice, but there are so many players on the Titans you have to look elsewhere for value. The Giants defense has been usable in fantasy the last couple of weeks and could be rounding into form. Moreover, the Giants come off a bye and should get RB Andre Brown back into the lineup giving Eli Manning another reason not to throw the ball all over the yard. The Raiders aren’t very good and if Terrelle Preyor isn’t 100%, I’d think about making the Giants my number one choice. I give the Giants a 77% chance of winning.
  3. Tennessee Titans – I could write the same thing about the Titans this week that I wrote about Dallas last week. They should win and win handily against the Jags (even with Jacksonville off a bye). The Titans have added Shonn Greene to the offensive mix and that seemed to help last week. The Jags are now without Justin Blackmon and we could see them go 0-16 – they are that bad. Everyone is on the Titans this week and should they lose, there will be very few entrants left in your pool so go with my first two choices if you have them. If not, play it safe because I believe the rest of the slate is littered with potential land mines. I give the Titans an 85% chance of winning.

It’s a short list this week as there are as many as seven games that I see as no better than pick ‘em games. As for the other picks above, no team has more than 2% of the pool on them and I really wouldn’t consider any of them unless I didn’t have the Titans.

The Saints are a better team at home, but the Cowboys get DeMarcus Ware back this week which will improve the ‘Boys defense significantly. The 49ers get Aldon Smith back on defense and Mario Manningham on offense, but they are still one-dimensional on offense and the Panthers are second best at stopping that dimension (running the ball) in the NFL.  The Broncos on the road in San Diego without John Fox causes me some concern, but Peyton should be able to lead them. All in all, not a great slate of games and I’ll probably go the safe route to hopefully see another week.

Other teams I like early this week: New Orleans Saints (68%), Denver Broncos (66%)

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from….well, just about everyone else. This is a week to watch the late movement on Vegas lines and see if any news comes out to sway things.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Buffalo Bills on the road to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills get E.J. Manuel back this week and look to have a healthy RB tandem of C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. The Steelers are reeling and while they have a solid offense, they just don’t have the Steel Curtain anymore on D.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.

Fantasy Football: Week 9 Survivor Pool Picks

Week 9 Survivor Picks

It’s Week 9 in the Survivor Pool world. And it’s time for Week 9’s Survivor Pool picks. Is there a sleeper out there hiding in the weeds? I’m here to help you with your Survivor Pool for Week 9.

Week 8 recap

There was almost no carnage in pools last week unless you chose to take the Steelers. The Seahawks came close to dropping a couple of more teams out, but they ended up defeating the Kellen Clemens-led St. Louis Rams. Another six teams on bye including the season-long punching bag Jacksonville Jaguars. You may have to work hard to pick a team this week.

Bye week: Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

Survivor Pool – Week 9 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of midday on Wednesday:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

Rank

Team

Picks

1

Dallas Cowboys

59.90%

1

Dallas Cowboys

63.58%

2

Seattle Seahawks

15.50%

2

Seattle Seahawks

11.32%

3

Green Bay Packers

6.90%

3

New England Patriots

6.77%

4

Carolina Panthers

5.30%

4

New Orleans Saints

5.39%

5

New England Patriots

5.00%

5

Green Bay Packers

3.72%

6

New Orleans Saints

3.00%

6

Carolina Panthers

2.49%

7

Cincinnati Bengals

1.40%

7

Cincinnati Bengals

2.33%

8

Kansas City Chiefs

1.00%

8

Kansas City Chiefs

1.98%

9

Baltimore Ravens

0.40%

9

Indianapolis Colts

0.73%

10

Oakland Raiders

0.40%

10

Oakland Raiders

0.55%

 

That’s a big favorite up top. It looks like there are a couple of equity plays to be had. There could be a good number of people rooting against the Cowboys this week.  Where should you put your “money” this week? Let’s see (and watch me break another of my rules in the selections below):

Here are my choices for Week 9 in order of preference:

  1. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks gave everyone who chose them last week a big scare as they struggled mightily with the lowly St. Louis Rams. It’s an important reminder that Seattle is not nearly the same team on the road as they are at home. If you recall, the Seahawks were 11-5 last season, but only 3-5 on the road. Luckily for you, the ‘hawks are back home this week against a Bucs team that would likely rather be on the golf course. The Bucs have shown some life on offense, but Seattle should have no problems back in the Pacific Northwest.  I give the Seahawks an 85% chance of winning.
  2. Green Bay Packers – I’m not sure how the Packers offense continues to hum along as they lose contributors seemingly every single week. The key for them has been the play at RB – both Eddie Lacy and James Starks have given them steady contributions they haven’t had in many years. The face the Bears at home on Monday night. The Bears have backup QB Josh McCown who was serviceable against Washington in relief. The home field gives the Pack too big of an advantage. I give the Packers an 82% chance of winning.
  3. Dallas Cowboys – Everyone is on the Cowboys this week and should they lose, there will be very few entrants left in your pool. Hence, my recommendation to take Seattle or Green Bay if you have either available. That said, the ‘Boys face a Minnesota Vikings team that can’t quite figure out who they want to start at QB. The Cowboys could get DeMarco Murray back this week and with Dez Bryant and Terrence Williams running circles around defenses, the Cowboys should be able to outscore the lowly Vikes especially with Adrian Peterson less than 100%.
    Finally, I told you I’d break a rule again this week. The rule – don’t look ahead. Well, I did and I don’t see many opportunities in the future where you’d use Dallas (perhaps Week 13 against Oakland?) I don’t like to look ahead because injuries play such a big part in the NFL that things can change week to week. That said, the Cowboys are unlikely to be a top three choice for much of the rest of the season if all things stay the same. I give the Cowboys a 79% chance of winning.
  4. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers may have Jonathan Stewart back this week adding another weapon to the Panthers’ offensive arsenal. The Falcons could also get Roddy White back this week which would open up more of their passing game. However, the Falcons running game is stuck in quicksand. The Panthers defense has been great all season long and should be able to contain the one-dimensional Falcons. I give the Panthers a 71% chance of winning.
  5. Tennessee Titans – I like the Titans a lot this week. They’ve got Jake Locker at QB and he looks like he’s rounding into a solid average NFL QB. The Titans have also talked about getting Shonn Greene some more work at RB at the expense of Chris Johnson (which is probably a good idea). Yes, the Rams are at home, but they still have Kellen Clemens at QB and may be without Zac Stacy as well. I give the Titans a 69% chance of winning.

Other teams I like early this week: New England Patriots (68%)

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs both on the road against the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills respectively. The Jets have alternated wins and losses all season long. They lost last week so of course they will win this week. That and the Saints aren’t the same team on the road as at home and the Jets defense will clearly be licking its wounds from the 49-9 pasting at the hands of the Bengals. The Chiefs have been doing it with smoke and mirrors the last couple of weeks. They are due to trip up and this is the week they do it.  

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Oakland Raiders at home to the Philadelphia Eagles. Oakland can be a tough place to play and the Eagles will start Nick Foles (fresh off his concussion) at QB. The Raiders aren’t great, but neither are the Eagles and Philly looked listless last week against a terrible Giants squad.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.

Washington Redskins Game 9 Review: Redskins Fall to Panthers, 21-13, in Battle of the Heisman Winners

The Washington Redskins (3-6) looked to post big numbers against the Carolina Panthers (2-6) in Sunday afternoon’s battle of the Heisman winners, but penalties and poor performance in the red zone proved costly as the Redskins fell 21-13 at FedEx Field.

Regardless of your party affiliation or your belief in the Redskins Rule – whereby a Redskins win this week would spell four more years for the Obama administration – Sunday’s match-up was a must-win for the sub-.500 team as they looked to salvage hopes for a playoff run.

For the first time ever in NFL history, the two most recent Heisman trophy winners went head-to-head in their first season in the NFL together. Robert Griffin III went 23-for-39 with 215 yards and an additional 53 yards over 11 carries, but the 2010 trophy winner emerged the victor Sunday, despite posting less impressive numbers than his rookie counterpart.

Put simply, the Redskins failed to pose any kind of threat against the Carolina defense. In fact, their performance in the red zone was downright awful.

Washington made its way just outside the red zone on their first possession, but a holding penalty on Trent Williams cost the Skins a potential touchdown drive as both Evan Royster and Santana Moss failed to make it past the Panthers’ front line. On fourth and 10, Kai Forbath sent one between the posts from 47 yards to give the Redskins their first – and only – lead of the day.

It took the Panthers almost no time to answer.

Kealoha Pilares returned Forbath’s punt to the Panthers’ 31-yard line and Steve Smith and Jonathan Stewart helped bring the Panthers to Redskins’ territory. On first and 10 from the Redskins’ 30-yard line, DeAngelo Williams scrambled down the sideline to find the end zone as the referee blew the whistle to signal that he had stepped out of bounds on the run. However, Williams continued to run for the touchdown and, upon review, the touchdown ruling stood, despite the fact that the Redskins’ defense clearly came to a halt once the whistle sounded. Still the Panthers’ finished the second quarter with a 7-3 lead.

The Redskins seemed to have a knack for picking up yards without tacking on points. On their first drive of the second quarter, the Redskins managed to convert two fourth downs to find themselves within seven yards of a go-ahead touchdown. Alfred Morris ran the ball to the second-yard line, only to lose two yards on the next play and on third and 4, the Redskins entrusted the ball to Brandon Banks, who failed to make it past the two-yard line. Given the Redskins’ nearly perfect fourth down conversion rate, Coach Mike Shanahan stuck with Griffin and company on fourth and 2 for the QB draw, but Griffin failed to find a hole in the Panthers’ defense.

On the next drive, Newton ran the ball 15 yards on two plays and found Mike Tolbert and Greg Olsen for seven and 17 yards respectively.

However, the biggest help came from the Redskins’ defense as London Fletcher cost Washington 15 yards for roughing the passer and Josh Wilson brought the Panthers to the Redskins’ 19-yard line on a questionable pass interference penalty. Nevertheless, Newton found Smith for the touchdown and the Panthers headed for the locker room with a 14-3 lead.

The Redskins’ offense was slow to wake in the second half, but the defense held the Panthers’ to an 11-point lead long enough to allow Forbath to trim their lead to 14-6 with a 25-yard field goal.

In the fourth quarter, things fell apart fast for Washington.

After Griffin endured his second of four sacks on the day – all of which occurred in the second half – the Panthers regained possession of the ball with just over 14 minutes left to play. On the very first play, Newton fired to Armanti Edwards for an 82-yard catch-and-carry in just his second career possession. Then, Williams picked up another three yards and the Redskins lost an additional five yards on yet another pass interference penalty on Wilson. On the next play, Newton ran the ball for the touchdown to give the Panthers a commanding 21-6 lead.

Then, the Redskins failed to make it beyond their own 43-yard line on their next two possessions.

With just over three minutes left in the game, the Redskins’ offense finally broke into Panthers territory. On third and 4, Griffin tossed an incomplete pass to Santana Moss who suffered a concussion on the play and left the game. Griffin carried the ball himself to convert the fourth down and keep the drive alive and he tossed to Leonard Hankerson who picked up seven yards.

Penalties continued to hurt the Redskins, who managed 13 on the day. Twice, Griffin sent the ball into the end zone, only to have the touchdowns nullified – the first on a holding penalty by Will Montgomery and the second on an illegal formation penalty.

The third time was the charm, however, as Griffin found Royster for the two-yard catch. But, it was too little too late for the Redskins who fell 21-13 in front of a FedEx crowd that began filing out of the stands long before the game was called.

It will be a real challenge for Redskins fans to remain optimistic in the weeks ahead. Coming out of next week’s bye, the Redskins have three straight NFC East games and if they expect to position themselves as even a long-shot in their division, they will need to tally wins in at least two of their next three match-ups.

 

 

Fantasy Football: Week 9 Notes and Survivor Pool; Start ‘em and Sit ‘em

It is starting to get down to crunch time as we enter Week 9. If you want to make the playoffs, it’s time to make your push now.  I’m getting this up a bit earlier and may have an update for your Sunday morning. I’ll tweet out the update and post it on DSP’s Facebook page if I do.

Let’s take a look at who to start and sit this week. I’ve got one big addition to the Survivor options this week. Take a look – no one is on this team yet.

Remember, I usually like to use Rotoworld’s rankings as a quick guide and then see where I can take advantage of lower or higher rankings. Follow along, as I read aloud. If you have questions, just leave a comment or send me a note on Twitter.

Bye week: New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams

Quarterback      

Up: Matt Schaub and the Texans come off a bye to face a Buffalo Bills team. I can see Schaub in the top 10 this week. The Texans should be able to do whatever they want against the Bills 9who also are off a bye). I think they may try to get the WRs involved a bit more (especially Andre Johnson) and look to take some of the load off of Arian Foster as he’s on pace for a staggering number of carries.

Brandon Weeden seems to be here every week, but I generally feel he’s undervalued most weeks. The Ravens defense has struggled to get an effective pass rush with only 12 sacks in eight games so far this season. It’s a solid matchup for Weeden and he should sneak into the top 12.

Carson Palmer faces a Tampa Bay pass defense which has been uneven all year long. The Raiders do not seem to be able to run the ball so the offense will again look to Carson Palmer to throw them down the field. Expect a top 10 day from Carson this week against the Bucs.

Down: Jay Cutler has a great matchup, but it oesn’t matter. The Bears do not throw the ball enough for Cutler to be anything more than a low end bye week replacement. Also, there was news this week from Chicago that they want to get Matt Forte more involved which can only mean fewer opportunities for Cutler.

Ben Roethlisberger looks like he has a great matchup against the Giatns, but looking deeper Big Ben would be better served changing his last name to Romo if he wanted to succeed against the Giants secondary. Looking deeper into the Giants numbers, they have really been burned by Romo – he’s thrown for 844 yards in his two matchups with the Giants. Working for Big Ben is it looks like he may not have much of a running game with only Isaac Redman healthy enough. Lastly, the Steelers will be traveling the day of the game and the Giants should get a huge emotional lift from the crowd in the wake of Sandy. I see Big Ben around 250 yards and 2 TDs for the day so tread with caution.

Cam Newton also has a great matchup, but it’s unclear who he might throw the ball to this week. Steve Smith is healthy, but Brandon LaFell likely won’t play and the Panthers don’t have a ton of depth at WR. I can see the Redskins trying to double Steve Smith and force Newton to take underneath stuff to Greg Olsen. Moreover, the Redskins have begun to struggle recently against the run and I think the Panthers will want to establish Jonathan Stewart early. Newton will be between 15 and 20 on the QB list this week.

Running back

Up: Matt Forte is a top 3 option this week. The Titans give up a ton of rushing yards and also give up over 6.5 receptions per game to RBs. Make sure Forte is in your lineup.

Michael Turner looks like a poor matchup play this week, but digging deeper, we see a Dallas defense without starting ILB Sean Lee again this week. In their first game without him, they gave up over 100 yards to Giants RBs. I like Turner as a top 15 option this week – a solid RB2.

Daniel Thomas is a great flex play this week as the Dolphins faceoff against a porous Colts run defense. I can see the Dolphins continuing to give carries to Thomas to spell Reggie Bush and to mix it up on offense. Ryan Tannehill is injured and will likely play, but I assume the Dolphins will try to take the load off Tannehill’s shoulders.

Travaris Cadet was mentioned in my early season column as a deep sleeper who could play the Darren Sproles role in the offense should Sproles get hurt. Sproles broke his hand this week and could be out for as much as eight weeks. Cadet should be owned in all return yardage leagues right now as he takes over Sproles’ role immediately. I can also see him getting into the lineup as the replacement for Sproles as I don’t see another back on their roster who profiles like Sproles.

Down: Mikel LeShoure mysteriously missed the fourth quarter last week for Detroit. There was no injury reported (even though it seemed evident from the TV that he was being worked on). LeShoure has a solid matchup, but I think he’s too risky to start as it’s in unclear what hs role will be or how long he might get to play into that role this week. The Lions seem to be moving back to their ‘throw on every down’ offense. LeShoure is nothing more than a desperation flex play for me this week.

Doug Martin needs to stay in your lineup this week, but monitor this game to see how Martin is affected by the season ending injury to starting guard Carl Nicks. I still think Martin will be OK, but he is a rookie who could start tiring with the long season in addition to the loss of Nicks.

Adrian Peterson also stays in your lineup this week, but the Seahawks do have the capability of slowing him down and moving him down to RB2 territory. If you have AP in your lineup, you may want to take an upside risk elsewhere in your lineup.

Darren McFadden – yea, whatever. He’s a flex option at best for the rest of the season unless he shows something (anything!) in the coming weeks.

Isaac Redman looks like he’s the starter this week for Pittsburgh, but I don’t see any more than a top 40 RB this week. He’s got some value in PPR leagues, but he’s just not made to run in the NFL.

Wide Receiver

Up: As I noted with Matt Schuab, I believe the Texans will try to throw to Andre Johnson more this week and the Bills don’t have the defense to stop them. I see Johnson as a strong WR1 this week and I would start in all leagues without hesitation.

Cecil Shorts has another great matchup and I could see another 100 yard game out of him. At a minimum, I’d expect 6 catches and 80 yards and he’s a good shot for a score as well. He’s a WR2 in my books this week and should swing between WR2 and WR3 for the rest of the season as he has usurped big free agent signing Laurent Robinson.

In deep leagues (especially PPR), I like Golden Tate to pick up another 6+ catches this week. The Vikings struggle against WR2s and I think they will focus their coverage on Sidney Rice leaving Tate available to take advantage.

After seeing what Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon did to the injury-riddled Packers secondary last week I’m inclined to recommend Andre Roberts as a solid flex play this week (or perhaps more in a  PPR). The Packers are still trying to figure out how to manage without Charles Woodson and the rest of his injured band mates.

In the Captain Obvious call of the week make sure DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are in your lineups. They both should have solid games, though do not expect a breakout from Maclin this week. He should be slightly above his averages as the Saints.

Down:  Julio Jones was the focus of a Yahoo! piece this week on his struggles at home. I’m a sucker for those types of statistics (especially over a long period of time like Jones). That said, the Cowboys also have a good secondary which could harass Jones as well. I see Jones in the low end WR2/high-end flex territory this week.

Steve Smith faces Washington who can’t seem to stop anyone through the air. However, the Panthers don’t have another viable WR in the lineup to draw any coverage. If Washington doesn’t roll as much coverage as possible to Smith I won’t understand the reasoning. I see Smith in the WR2 category this week.

Torrey Smith has what appears to be a juicy matchup. However, the Browns poor ranking against WRs comes mostly from the time when Joe Haden was out. Haden will likely follow Smith all around the field and should be able to hold Smith to under 70 yards and no TDS.

Tight End

Up: Sadly, the Tennessee Titans are no longer the worst team against TEs in all league formats. The Washington Redskins have snuck ahead in some leagues. This change dovetails well with my recommendations to the Carolina Panthers’ that they target Greg Olsen.

Dwayne Allen is the starting TE for the Colts for the next couple of weeks as Coby Fleener is out with a shoulder injury. The matchup isn’t great, but Allen should see all TE targets and should end up in the top 12 this week.

Logan Paulsen is the number one TE in Washington and he has a solid matchup against the Panthers. I can see him sneaking in for a TD this week and 50 yards.

Down: Brent Celek doesn’t actually have a great matchup even though he faces the Saints. The Saints defense is awful in general, but they’ve done a good job against TEs all year. Perhaps it comes from facing Jimmy Graham in practice. I see Celek outside of the top 12 this week as the Eagles attempt to simplify the offensive package and exploit a poor Saints run defense and weak DBs.

Jacob Tamme looks like he’s slowly being phased out of the offense as his number of offensive snaps has dropped from 43 to 36 to 25 the past three games. He’s not a viable option in any league in my opinion and can be safely dropped. He shares time with Joel Dreesen and the emerging Virgil Green.

Oh, cut Jermichael Finley. Just another reminder. I don’t care that Jordy Nelson is out again (potentially) this week.

Kicker

Up: Kai Forbath has taken the Redskins kicking game and run with it. As I mentioned in earlier columns, the Redskins offense had a good number of field goal attempts, the problem was Billy Cundiff. With Cundiff gone, Forbath makes a great pickup for the stretch run and a top 5 option this week against a Panthers’ defense which gives up the second most points to kickers.

Down: Justin Tucker was a fantasy find early in the season. However, he’s heading up against a tough Browns defense this week. I’d go to the waiver wire and grab Kai Forbath for him this week.

Defense

Up: I see the Cleveland Browns as a top 12 option this week. The Ravens are coming off a bye, but they are doing so on the road where Joe Flacco has struggled his entire career. The last Ravens road game they scored nine points. Against the Chiefs! The Browns have the tools to stop Flacco and the Ravens. Start the Browns with confidence.

If you want to look deeper, the Jacksonville Jaguars could be a top 15 option against the Lions. The Lions have looked better the last couple of weeks, but surprisingly the Jags have as well. The Jags are missing their top two CBs this week, but they were last week as a well when they kept Aaron Rodgers in check. The Lions are the Packers-lite as they can’t run the ball well and like to throw the ball all over the field.

Down: The Minnesota Vikings are heading on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson has been quite solid at home and looked good last week on the road against the Detroit Lions. I believe Seattle will win the game outright and should score 24+ points in the win.

IDP

A quick IDP note as D’Qwell Jackson was added to the injury report late in the week. You may need to look elsewhere on game day for help at LB.

Well, one more note. Eagles Nate Allen also looks like he might not be 100% this week

Survivor

Week eight saw only one big team go down as the Vikings fell at home on Thursday (taking 8% of the Office Football Pools entries out) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My top four teams advanced, but the Eagles and Vikings lost out. This may be the week to take a risk (and some of us may not have a choice as the teams are getting thinner).

Bye week: New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams

Survivor Pool – Week 9 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of mid-Saturday afternoon:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Team

Picks

Team

Picks

1

San Diego Chargers (W)

34.80%

1

Houston Texans

34.07%

2

Houston Texans

30.10%

2

San Diego Chargers (W)

30.73%

3

Green Bay Packers

10.50%

3

Detroit Lions

6.82%

4

Seattle Seahawks

6.80%

4

Green Bay Packers

6.04%

5

Detroit Lions

4.00%

5

Baltimore Ravens

5.04%

6

Denver Broncos

3.70%

6

Denver Broncos

4.83%

7

Baltimore Ravens

2.90%

7

Seattle Seahawks

3.69%

8

Washington Redskins

2.80%

8

Washington Redskins

3.18%

9

Chicago Bears

1.80%

9

Chicago Bears

2.50%

10

Atlanta Falcons

0.90%

10

Atlanta Falcons

1.10%

The Green Bay Packers are this week’s only double digit favorite for the second week in a row. The Packers look to be firing on all cylinders. If you didn’t use them last week, the Packers likely offer a great payoff this week. The big question looming is do we trust Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers against a team that hasn’t led in regulation at any time this season?

My final picks for this week are below:

  1. Green Bay Packers – If you have the Packers left, use them this week. It is rare that you can find a double-digit favorite as a value play, but the Packers are for most pools. The Packers are a one-dimensional team, but that dimension is superior. The Cardinals have some dangerous WRs, but the Packers have enough of a pass rush to disrupt John Skelton and the passing game. I give the Packers a 79% chance of winning.
  2. Houston Texans – The Texans are a close second to the Packers this week. The Bills are putrid on defense and coming off a bye week, the Texans will likely ride the legs of Arian Foster. I cannot see the Bills putting up more than 14 points against this defense. I give the Texans a 78% chance of winning.
  3. Seattle Seahawks – You could almost flip a coin between my #3, 4 and 5 choices which means one of them is likely to lose. The Seahawks head home where they have defeated Dallas, Green Bay and New England. They have probably the biggest home field advantage in the league. The Seahawks do not have the most dynamic offense, but their defense is stout. They face a Vikings team that has had ten days to think about their loss to the Bucs so they should be well rested.  I give the Seahawks a 71% chance to win.
  4. San Diego Chargers – Ok, I don’t trust Norv Turner or Philip Rivers that much. However, it seems that the Kansas City Chiefs are led by a coach who doesn’t know what is going on with his offense. Matt Cassel turns up at QB again for a short week. I assume he’ll turn the ball over at least three times and the Chargers should be able to take advantage of it. I give the Chargers a 70% chance of winning.
  5. New York Giants – I would have moved the Giants ahead of the Chargers had the Chargers not already played. I’ve moved onto the Giants bandwagon as the week has progressed. Part of the change is the due to the effects of Sandy and the rest is football-related. First, the football reasons – the Steelers have struggled on the road all season (losing to the Raiders and the Titans). They have Isaac Redman as their only healthy tailback and he’s not a legitimate NFL RB. The Steelers have to travel on game day to New York to play. I also believe there will be a strong emotional lift for the Giants from the disaster that Sandy has brought to the area – the Giants offer a short respite for many in the area. I know the Giants aren’t a great team at home this year either, but I think this game is different. I give the Giants a 71% chance of winning.
  6. Chicago Bears – My only trepidation is that the Bears are on the road this week. They have a fantastic defense, but we’ve see Chris Johnson be the CJ2K of old. However, I think the Bears have too many playmakers on defense to lose to a Titans team even on the road. I give the Bears a 67% chance of winning.

Other teams I like this week: None

As for the avoid list, I’d lean away from the Baltimore Ravens on the road against the Browns. The Browns picked up an ugly win last week and the Ravens are coming off a bye. The Browns lost by a TD earlier this season and were driving for the tying score late in the fourth quarter. If Trent Richardson is healthy, he can run all day against this aging and depleted Ravens defense.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Oakland Raiders. The Bucs have looked good lately and I think they can outscore a Raiders team which is turning to one-dimensional without Darren McFadden able to get going.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.


Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at 
@chrisgarosi

 

Fantasy Football: Week 9 – Survivor Pool and Thursday Night Game Preview

Week eight saw only one big team go down as the Vikings fell at home on Thursday (taking 8% of the Office Football Pools entries out) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. My top four teams advanced, but the Eagles and Vikings lost out. This may be the week to take a risk (and some of us may not have a choice as the teams are getting thinner).

Bye week: New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams

Survivor Pool – Week 9 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and ESPN as of late Wednesday night:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Team

Picks

Team Picks

1

San Diego Chargers

39.40%

1

Houston Texans

36.17%

2

Houston Texans

30.00%

2

San Diego Chargers

29.47%

3

Green Bay Packers

10.00%

3

Detroit Lions

6.08%

4

Seattle Seahawks

5.60%

4

Baltimore Ravens

5.57%

5

Detroit Lions

3.30%

5

Green Bay Packers

5.32%

6

Denver Broncos

2.90%

6

Denver Broncos

4.57%

7

Washington Redskins

2.50%

7

Washington Redskins

3.60%

8

Baltimore Ravens

2.40%

8

Seattle Seahawks

3.44%

9

Chicago Bears

1.40%

9

Chicago Bears

2.54%

10

Atlanta Falcons

0.90%

10

Atlanta Falcons

1.13%

The Green Bay Packers are this week’s only double digit favorite for the second week in a row. The Packers look to be firing on all cylinders. If you didn’t use them last week, the Packers likely offer a great payoff this week. The big question looming is do we trust Norv Turner and the San Diego Chargers against a team that hasn’t led in regulation at any time this season?

My early picks for this week are below (my final column will be up Sunday):

  1. Green Bay Packers – If you have the Packers left, use them this week. It is rare that you can find a double-digit favorite as a value play, but the Packers are for most pools. The Packers are a one-dimensional team, but that dimension is superior. The Cardinals have some dangerous WRs, but the Packers have enough of a pass rush to disrupt John Skelton and the passing game. I give the Packers a 79% chance of winning.
  2. Houston Texans – The Texans are a close second to the Packers this week. The Bills are putrid on defense and coming off a bye week, the Texans will likely ride the legs of Arian Foster. I cannot see the Bills putting up more than 14 points against this defense. I give the Texans a 78% chance of winning.
  3. Seattle Seahawks – You could almost flip a coin between my #3, 4 and 5 choices which means one of them is likely to lose. The Seahawks head home where they have defeated Dallas, Green Bay and New England. They have probably the biggest home field advantage in the league. The Seahawks do not have the most dynamic offense, but their defense is stout. They face a Vikings team that has had ten days to think about their loss to the Bucs so they should be well rested.  I give the Seahawks a 71% chance to win.
  4. San Diego Chargers – Ok, I don’t trust Norv Turner or Philip Rivers that much. However, it seems that the Kansas City Chiefs are led by a coach who doesn’t know what is going on with his offense. Matt Cassel turns up at QB again for a short week. I assume he’ll turn the ball over at least three times and the Chargers should be able to take advantage of it. I give the Chargers a 70% chance of winning.
  5. Chicago Bears – My only trepidation is that the Bears are on the road this week. They have a fantastic defense, but we’ve see Chris Johnson be the CJ2K of old. However, I think the Bears have too many playmakers on defense to lose to a Titans team even on the road. I give the Bears a 67% chance of winning.

Other teams I like early in the week: None

As for the avoid list, I’d lean away from the Baltimore Ravens on the road against the Browns. The Browns picked up an ugly win last week and the Ravens are coming off a bye. The Browns lost by a TD earlier this season and were driving for the tying score late in the fourth quarter. If Trent Richardson is healthy, he can run all day against this aging and depleted Ravens defense.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Oakland Raiders. The Bucs have looked good lately and I think they can outscore a Raiders team which is turning to one-dimensional without Darren McFadden able to get going.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.

Thursday night game preview – Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers

San Diego

Phillip Rivers should be solid against a middling Chiefs passing defense. I see about 250 yards and 2 TDs. Rivers didn’t have to throw a lot in the earlier meeting as the Chiefs turned the ball over six times.

Ryan Matthews should be due for a 100 yard game against the Chiefs defense. I think the Chargers may try to run the ball a bit more to take the pressure off of Rivers. Remember, Matthews was still coming back from injury in their early season matchup and split carries with Jackie Battle.

Malcolm Floyd has the look of a WR3/flex play as the Chiefs do have Brandon Flowers to lock him down. I don’t see any other WR being worth a start.

The key to a big win may lie with Antonio Gates, but the Chiefs do clamp down on TEs effectively. I don’t expect a big game from the old man.

The San Diego defense should be started in every league this week. The Chiefs are the most generous team to fantasy defenses.

Kansas City

Matt Cassel is not a viable option in any league. He should be on your bench (or preferably the waiver wire).

Jamaal Charles had almost as many carries as I did last week. It seems like whenever the Chiefs forget they have Charles on their team, they feed him until he explodes. I’d expect a big game from Charles this week – I can see him as a top 10.

I also like Dexter McCluster as a solid PPR flex play this week as the Chargers do give up a good number of receiving yards to RBs and McCluster is all over the formation.

Dwayne Bowe should also be OK as long as Cassel can get him the ball as the Chargers don’t have a shutdown corner to cover Bowe. I do not see any other Chiefs’ WR or TE as useful in any leagues.

The Chiefs defense is not a useful option this week so avoid them unless you are desperate.

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi

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