Saturday, October 25

Da Games: Early Sundayers (Beta)

In our attempt to provide every possible way for you to have more reason to kick yourself after a well researched fantasy loss, we antagonizingly analyze each and every weekend matchup. This week we test the new beast of a feature out. Give us feedback via commenting or email at

Am I the only one who thinks it's a lot worse than good to send a franchise that was just busted for steroids masking agents to represent our country in London, England? That is what Sherriff Goodell wants to put out for the world to see, a banged up Saints team full of guys who fail drug tests?
U. S. A.! U.S.A.!
It seems to be the theme of the year, disappointing representations. Romeo Crennel was not supposed to be on the hot seat this year. The New England Patriots weren't supposed to be leaning on a guy named Matt Cassel. Ryan Fitzpatrick was not supposed to be the face of the Bengals.
So I guess it's only fitting that the NFL would send two teams like San Diego and New Orleans to put on for America in the international sports scene. They are some of the few correct representations in American football, showing the world the let down that this league is all about.
And that's just one story line for a week eight full of intrigue. On to the early Sabbath day games.
Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Joe Flacco, JaMarcus Russell
RB - Willis McGahee, Le'Ron McClain, Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden, Ray Rice, Michael Bush
WR - Derrick Mason, Javon Walker
TE - Todd Heap, Zach Miller
Key Stat
10—the Ravens have given up less than 10 fantasy points per game to both QBs and RBs (9 and 9.5, respectively).
Our Take
Tosten Burks—In a matchup of two young, developing quarterbacks, Baltimore's superior defense will be the difference maker. Hopefully you're not forced to have any Raiders in your starting lineup.
Alex KozoraTwo fairly inept offenses here; not much to note. As I said in my name-calling section, neither DMC nor Fargas are strong plays against a tough Ravens defense.
Zach FeinI feel bad for northern California and Maryland—this game will be a snooze fest. I'm starting one player in this game, Willis McGahee, and Baltimore's defense. Bench everyone else.
Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Jake Delhomme, Kurt Warner
RB - Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Tim Hightower, Edgerrin James
WR - Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Muhsin Muhammad, Anquan Boldin
TE - none
Key Stat
4—Number of teams that have given up more fantasy points to opposing QBs than the Arizona Cardinals.
Our Take
Tosten Burks—Some interesting story lines for Arizona here: how much will Boldin play? What impact will he have? I don't think he'll get the touches to be up to the par of his previous production but he's still a decent start. And yes, Hightower is a better fantasy option than Edge.
Alex KozoraKurt Warner has Boldin back; both are starts. I like Jonathan Stewart this week. You know the Panthers want to keep the Cards potent offense off the field. To do so, they'll run the ball.
Zach FeinThis game should come down to the wire. Warner is a top-five QB and Delhomme top-10, and I'd rank the RBs Stewart, Edge, DeAngelo. Boldin should start, too, so don't play Breaston.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Jeff Garcia, Brad Johnson
RB - Marion Barber, Earnest Graham, Warrick Dunn
WR - Terrell Owens, Antonio Bryant
TE - Jason Witten
Key Stat
25—he rank of the Dallas Cowboys defense against opposing WRs in fantasy points allowed.
Our Take
Tosten Burks—With the 'Boys being America's team, Wade Phillips has the pressure of that many more people on his shoulders. Which sucks, because his banged-up team will drop this one.
Alex KozoraIf Brad Johnson threw three INT's against the Rams defense, I can only imagine what'll happen against Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2. Expect a heavy dose of Marion Barber. The Barbarian isn't a bad play because of the number of carries he'll get, but the Bucs have a tough run defense.
Zach FeinLook for the Bucs to upset the Romo-less Cowboys this week. I wouldn't start any Cowboys receiver besides TO, and I really like Antonio Bryant this week against the bad Cowboys pass defense.
Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Jason Campbell
RB - Clinton Portis, Kevin Smith, Rudi Johnson
WR - Santana Moss, Calvin Johnson, Antwaan Randle El
TE - Chris Cooley
Key Stat
73—The total number of fantasy points allowed per game by the Lions to opposing QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs, the most in the NFL.
Our Take
Tosten Burks—Basically just put all your Washington guys in your lineup and watch your bingo card blackout. I think what I just said is a positive thing.
Alex KozoraWashington will roll, and so will their fantasy players. It'll be a good day for the Lions if Dan Orlovsky can avoid his own end zone.
Zach FeinStart all your Redskins—Portis, Campbell, Moss, and Cooley, and Randle El wouldn't be a bad sleeper. The only Lions player I'd start is Calvin Johnson, but I'm not too happy with his matchup either.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Trent Edwards, Chad Pennington
RB - Marshawn Lynch, Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams
WR - Lee Evans, Josh Reed, Greg Camarillo
TE - Robert Royal, Anthony Fasano
Key Stat
14.3—Average points per game of Lee Evans in his past seven games against the Dolphins.
Our Take
Tosten Burks—The Bills pass defense is good, and every other aspect of both teams's D's is decent. This one will be a low scorer with solid production from Evans, Edwards, and Brown.
Alex KozoraShould be more of the same from the Bills. An efficient Trent Edwards and a heavy dose of the run game with Marshawn Lynch. Both are excellent plays this week. With the Wildcat exposed, I'm weary of Ronnie Brown and Chad Pennington.
Zach FeinStart Edwards in even eight-team leagues. I like Lynch more than Brown if you have both, and I wouldn't start any Dolphin besides Brown.
St. Louis Rams @ New England Patriots
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Matt Cassel, Marc Bulger
RB - Steven Jackson, Kevin Faulk, Benjarvus Green-Ellis
WR - Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Torry Holt
TE - Ben Watson
Key Stat
68.5—The amount of fantasy points allowed per game by the Rams to QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs, third-most in the league.
Our Take
Tosten Burks—I never thought I'd see the day when I got to call a guy named BenJarvus an impact player. But with Maroney and Morris both it, he could be a nice little sleeper. Cassel wouldn't be a horrible start either against a subpar Rams pass defense that will cease Haslett's winning streak as it gets torn up by Randy Moss.
Alex KozoraDonnie Avery is a sleeper. He has the raw ability to burn you, and he's facing a beat up Patriots' secondary. Matt Cassel is a good play while BenJarvus Green-Ellis (ain't that a mouthful) is an average play.
Zach FeinLook for BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk to split the touches in the Patriots backfield as Sammy Morris ails his knee injury. I wouldn't start either one. I like Bulger more than Cassel, and I think Donnie Avery is a top-25 WR this week (but not higher than Torry Holt).
San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Philip Rivers, Drew Brees
RB - LaDainian Tomlinson, Deuce McCallister, Darren Sproles, Aaron Stecker
WR - Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson, Deverey Henderson, Malcom Floyd
TE - Jeremy Shockey, Antonio Gates
Key Stat
12.5—Points per game of Marques Colston since week eight of last year.
Our Take
Tosten Burks—In what I feel is the game with the most plotlines of any matchup, Colston and Shockey should come back to solid statlines, the top running backs on both sides should be good starts, Vincent Jackson should continue to produce, and backups Sproles and Stecker are both sleepers.
Alex Kozora—Still a fan of Vincent Jackson, but I'm an even bigger fan of the Saints' passing attack.
Zach FeinIn what I expect to be a very close matchup in London, Deuce McAllister should get the majority of the carries and should be a top-20 RB this week. Vincent Jackson is a nice play, but I obviously like Colston more.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Brett Favre
RB - Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Kolby Smith, Jamaal Charles
WR - Jerricho Cotchery, Laveraneus Coles, Dwayne Bowe, Chansi Stuckey
TE - Tony Gonzalez, Chris Baker
Key Stat
5.4—Difference of the PPG allowed by the worst defense against RBs (the Chiefs, at 33.5 PPG) and the second-worst (the Broncos, at 28.1 PPG).
Our Take
Tosten Burks—The Chiefs are really, really bad. Most Jets are solid plays and Gonzo is the only Kansas City guy worth even touching with a ten-foot pole as he goes up against the ninth-worst Jets pass defense.
Alex KozoraAll Jets that aren't tight ends are solid starts. I wouldn't touch anyone on the Chiefs' offense. They're going to find out that the dynamic duo of Tyler Thigpen and Kolby Smith isn't so dynamic.
Zach FeinThis one will be a 20-point blowout by the Jets. Start Favre, Thomas Jones, Coles, Cotchery...everyone on the Jets. I don't think Bowe is a top-25 WR this week, and if I had better options I'd bench him.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Fantasy Impact Players (in order of week 8 projected production)
QB - Donovan McNabb, Matt Ryan
RB - Brian Westbrook, Michael Turner, Jerious Norwood
WR - DeSean Jackson, Roddy White, Kevin Curtis
TE - L.J. Smith
Key Stat
16—Fantasy points per game of Donovan McNabb in his past 16 starts (excluding week 11 last year when he had 11 attempts).
Our Take
Tosten Burks—Brittle Brian Westbrook finally returns, and to a standing ovation. He'll dominate the decent-at-best Atlanta defense. Jackson is a must start and Curtis, who also returns from an injury this week, possibly warrants a roster spot. It'll be interesting to see who is really McNabb's top target now that he has his full arsenel.
Alex KozoraSit Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. Westbrook is back and should make his presence known in a big way.
Zach FeinMcNabb is a must-start in all formats—he's a top-three QB this week. Similarly, Michael Turner and Roddy White are both top-10 at their respective postitions. We have real dogs, and we talk to strangers.

No comments: