I can't think of anything more important for me to do right now than to sit here with the Dodgers game on typing up an article nobody will read about the NFL season with commentary about fantasy football. I don't do extra research for this stuff (that's my big concept) other than what I normally do to get through a day without stapling myself to death. So I read websites like thebiglead and deadspin and ESPN and wonder how shitty I must be at writing thaat my attempts to become commenters on these sites don't even warrant a response from the assholes running the sites. How am I supposed to get work like that? Wow, the pity party is in full motherfuckin effizzect. I don't even feel good about rooting for the Dodgers. They're still a bunch of assholes. So, if you somehow stumbled into this one with no idea of how I operate I have to ask you, what are you doing here? And by way of explanation I offer this: I pick winners only. Purple is the color of winning. This is my second week with the NFL. I pick most of the college games in the same fashion. No research, just my gut. I am a decider here.
Last week I got a lot of things wrong. I called Dwayne Bowe "Derrick", for instance. I picked the Bills to win. I thought Cedric Benson would start to suck again. I went 8-6. Just picking winners. That's not very good. The NFL makes less and less sense to me as I get older. In high school this would have been entirely unacceptable. I actually made a point of saying not to play Braylon Edwards last week. How far off was I on that one? I did at least get this down on paper about the Pats-Broncos game (I picked Broncos by a field goal, btw, so it wasn't all bad for me): "This game will be dull and worthless with some fake-seeming "thrilling" ending to make it seem like you missed out if you didn't watch it." So you've seen my bonafides now, your can trust me, right?
SUNDAY, OCT. 18th
Houston at Cincinnati - I'm iffy on this. I don't trust the Texans and the Bengals are at home. Carson Palmer should throw for close to 400 yds. Benson should run for 150, which means he will NOW revert to form. I think Cincy's defense is legit but how much is homefield advantage worth when you can't really sell out the stadium? Did you know that nobody sold out any games at all in the 20s? I mean, pro football was just starting out so it isn't really surprising there but baseball attendance figures look horrible, in hindsight. I'd like to live in a society where I was weird for liking sports too much rather than this one where I am just an average to below-average fan. Play Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson but I'm iffy on Schaub for this one.
Detroit at Green Bay - Boy, I'd like to pick the Lions here. Just for Daunte Culpepper's sake. I like Daunte. I think he gets a bum wrap in the league and I would love to see him resurrect his career. MegaTron is out for this one, so don't start him. Kevin Smith migt be okay for the Lions but you shouldn't really play any of the Lions. Aaron Rodgers is probably a safe play and I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the game where Greg Jennings has his first good game of the year. Ryan Grant will be good here. I don't quite trust the Green Bay 'D' here but it could be a huge day for them, too.
Baltimore at Minnesota - This is a letdown game no matter what happens. I'm picking the Ravens because they have some serious motivation right here. Ed Reed and Ray Lewis have to make the Ravens defense worthwhile. What happened that Cad Benson got through for a huge game? That guy has always been terrible. I've been way off all year when I say things like this but I'm willing to bet that last week was aberrational for the Ravens. Go Balmer! Ray Rice will be OK. Flacco will get some good numbers. Adrian Peterson will be OK but not as good as Benson was. Ouch. Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe should be good plays. I won't bother with the other guy. Make your own call.
NY Giants at New Orleans - I'm playing the Saints defense, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas and Drew Brees. The Giants QB situation is a little uneasy to me. Brandon Jacobs should be alright. At least one Giants WR will be good this week but I'm not going to say which one. I hope it's Manningham.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh - Terrible looking game. Pittsburgh should win by 30. Mendenhall for president. Big Rape willhave good efficiency numbers but might not throw so many passes this week. I know Pittsburgh throws a lot. Big deal. They don't have to throw a lot. I don't know if they're stupid or not, but they really shouldn't throw much here. Don't start any Browns until further notice.
Carolina at Tampa Bay - Josh Johnson deserves a great game. He looks good to me but this Bucs team is awful. KII should be a great play this week and so should both Carolina running backs. Steve Smith might get back to normal production here and Delhomme might trick some people into picking him up on Sunday night. Bucs RBs should be a good play but I am unsold on all of them at this point. Good matchup, meet bad roster.
Kansas City at Washington - I am aghast at myself for picking K.C. I bet Portis and Cooley are OK in this game. Santana Moss will be OK. Either QB is dicey under the best of circumstances. These are the best circumstances. Either one is OK as an emergency start but that's all. I wish the Chiefs would stick with Jamaal Charles. He's a better player than Larry Johnson. Dwayne, not Derrick, Bowe should have decent numbers.
St. Louis at Jacksonville - People are giving Jacksonville a lot of grief over their meltdown last week. The team deserves it but I've seen people picking St. Louis in this game. I can't entertain that possibility just yet but Marc Bulger might become decent again. SJax sucks but is still top 25 in the league at RB. Donnie Avery is good. I think he would fit nicely in Miami. But he won't get there. He'll stay in St. Louis. Start Garrard, MJD and Sims-Walker if you've got 'em.
Arizona at Seattle - It seems very kind of the NFL to schedule this game for October instead of December. I think Denver, Seattle and Green Bay should be home for most of Nov. and Dec. Snow is good for football. Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin will all be decent. If Todd Wade would quit dicking around with it and just let go, Beanie Wells would be a good play here, too. Jon Carlson and Hasselback will be pssable. Nate Burleson should be legitimately good. Tim Hightower is tough to count on but he could break out here. Play Kurt Warner if you have him.
Philadelphia at Oakland - Any Philly player you have should play this week. Remember how bad Oakland looked last week in their game last week? Jamarcus Russell actually had his best stat line of the year. The Eagles will win this one by a lot. Don't start any Raiders.
Tennessee at New England - Eventually the Titans will win. Tom Brady and whatever receiver he likes this week will be good. I'll say Welker AND Moss but it could be Edelman. Don't ever start Kerry Collins but LenDale White and Chris Johnson should be OK. I will keep picking the Titans until they win.
Buffalo at NY Jets - Wow, Buffalo has been terrible and getting worse. When is the trade deadline again? If T.O. doesn't get traded he will be bad again this week. Leon Washington and Dustin Keller will get you some points. So will the Jets 'D'. Don't play anyone on Buffalo until they do something.
Chicago at Atlanta - These two teams are overrated. I'd play Matt Forte and Michael Turner without thinking about it. Roddy White will be fine. Kyle Orton, though? I don't trust him. More than anything I just don't trust Chicago's defense. So Matt Ryan will be good in my memories of the future. Tony Gonzalez gets the start until he retires.
MON, OCT 19
Denver at San Diego - Just picking Denver in the hopes Norv gets fired. Tony Scheffler is supposed to have a good matchup. I'd start Denver's defense if I had them. San Diego doesn't look so good to me this year. I've got nothing to add. Moreno might have another decent game and Brandon Marshall should be automatic for you by now. Same goes for Gates. But I don't want to see or hear anything about this game. So that's all.