24 Hours 'Til Sunday — Andy Richardson
Posted Oct. 23 at 08:48 PM
My job is much easier this week, because six teams (rather than four) are on byes. That's one fewer game than normal; extra time for me to contemplate trade offers I'll ultimately think better of because nobody wants to trade away players who they think might do well, and players who nobody thinks will start doing well are untradeable.
That's why it's so hard to make trades: people fear the consequences. That and everyone thinks that everyone else should love the players they hate, and wants others to view potential in guys they personally believe are terrible. It's a problem. Needless to say, I haven't made any trades so far this season. OK, on to the games:
Packers at Browns: Maybe THIS will be the huge game for Ryan Grant that last week should have been. The Browns aren't very good and half the team had the flu in the middle of the week. I like all Packers this week except for Jordy Nelson, who's injured, giving James Jones value in deeper leagues. Is Green Bay looking ahead to facing Brett Favre at Lambeau next week? Probably not, but the fans are. I'm hoping for a standing ovation; I'd like to believe that of people, anyway.
49ers at Texans: Frank Gore returns! Start him if you've got him. Michael Crabtree suits up! Anyone want to guess whether he has more receptions or rushing attempts this week? I'm going to say 3 catches, 2 endarounds, and maybe 1 direct snap. Houston's passing offense should be good again. I waited on tight ends in one of my league and had to "settle" for Owen Daniels and Heath Miller. That's worked out pretty well.
Chargers at Kansas City: Can Kansas City win this game? Yes. I kind of give the edge to Philip Rivers and company, but the Chargers D isn't very good right now. No injuries of note. I like the respective No. 1 wideouts, the quarterbacks, and even Larry Johnson this week.
Colts at Rams: You guys noticed I called the Rams' upset in Jacksonville last week, right? Er, not that it happened, but almost. Those halcyon days of the Rams nearly winning a game will be forgotten by about halftime in this one. Looks like Donnie Avery will play; he practiced Friday. Anthony Gonzalez won't, so I'll continue to waste a roster spot on him. In one league, where there's no one else worth picking up. In others I've dropped him and just left him out there. Sorry, I'm just not that patient, and I'm not confident he'll be full-time when he gets back. Hope you're not facing Peyton Manning this week, in what's basically a recurring theme this season. Indy's next three games are at home, too. And I haven't used them in my suicide pool yet, lucky me if I get through this week picking the team just below.....
Patriots vs. Buccaneers: I thought about using a bunch of charming British terms like "brilliant," "git" and the like, but instead I'll just note that this game is being played at England's Wembley Stadium where the beverages are just a little warm and the air is a little cool. I spent a summer over there some years ago and it was brilliant, although there were a lot of gits. Just kidding. My favorite Ian Fleming book was You Only Live Twice. No Sammy Morris, so I like Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk, even. Tampa Bay is a really bad defensive team. It makes me sad that the Brits will see this game and say, "What's the big deal about American football? They play two periods, take a break, and then come out and play for two more periods even though one team is ahead by 35 points!"
Vikings at Steelers: Here's your possible game of the week. Adrian Peterson is fine, but it's a rough matchup. Percy Harvin is questionable; he'll probably play, but I wouldn't chance him. Love both passing games this week, although I worry a little bit about how much each quarterback will get knocked around.
Bills at Panthers: I have eight fantasy teams (too many, I know; believe me, I know), and the worst one is 3-3. Yes, the winless one has won three in a row. And I mention this to point out how well I could be doing if I didn't have Steve Smith, the Panthers' Steve Smith, on every freaking team. What a disaster, and there's not much hope for him, either. I guess there's Josh McCown. Anyway, Trent Edwards is out. Both teams should be running the ball. I mean, they really should be running the ball. And that's probably how this one will go.
Jets at Raiders: Bad loss for the Jets last week. Remarkable win the for the Raiders; lucky for me I'd used the Eagles already in my suicide pool. No Cotchery, no Darren McFadden. Got a feeling this will be an ugly, low-scoring game, kind of like the game the teams played here last year when everything started to go south for the Jets. They've started things earlier this year. Jets running backs should be good here, though.
Bears at Bengals: Cedric Benson believes the Bears tried to blackball him after they released him, to keep him from getting work elsewhere. Personally, I think Benson's body of work kind of spoke for itself. Like, shocking that teams would hesitate to sign a guy who didn't play well, had his work ethic and toughness questioned by teammates, and had recently been arrested. Anyway, I like the Bears run defense more than Benson in this matchup, but I've got too many guys on byes (including Chris Johnson and Ray Rice in one league) to think about benching him anyway. Passing offenses should be good here. Chad Ochocinco showed up on the injury report and didn't practice late in the week with some kind of hip thing, but he's expected to play.
Falcons at Cowboys: Word is Felix Jones will play and possibly a lot. Tough to confidently use any Cowboy back this week until we get a sense as to how they might use them. I wouldn't, anyway. Roy Williams will play, but he's also hurting. The Falcons defense is the epitome of bend but not break, giving up lots of yards but not many points. I like Atlanta's passing game here. Dallas, well, I like Romo, Jason Witten, and Miles Austin.
Saints at Dolphins: The Dolphins could have signed Drew Brees, but instead traded for Daunte Culpepper. Wow. How might things have been different? I suppose some other quarterback would be doing pretty well in New Orleans, and Miami, I dunno, maybe Nick Saban would still be the coach. No, probably not. Anyway, committee backs for the Saints, and the Dolphins have a good run defense. Can't say I'd want to use any Dolphins here. I like Lance Moore and was glad to get him in a couple of leagues this week.
Cardinals at Giants: Passing is tricky in the Meadowlands, always, but that's all the Cardinals can do, so you can't write them off. They may not do WELL, as far as winning, but Kurt Warner and company should be OK yardage and maybe points wise. Larry Fitzgerald in primetime, could step it up. Anquan Boldin practiced some on Friday, so maybe he'll play. I wouldn't use him if I had a choice. Giants are healthy and should be OK; I'm going with Ahmad Bradshaw even given Arizona's top-ranked run defense.
Eagles at Washington: Washington says that Jim Zorn will remain the coach for the rest of the season. They're really overdoing it with the bad news they're giving the poor guy, aren't they? We're going to bring in an assistant for you. We're going to call up guys like Mike Shanahan and offer him your job. We're going to have that new assistant call the plays for you. And to top it all off, we're going to make you keep coaching the team! That's just mean. Anyway, Clinton Portis didn't practice all week and is banged up, but I believe he'll play; not so sure he'll play well. Eagles should bounce back from losing to Oakland, Washington probably will play well on defense but not on offense. And we'll get sideline shots of Jim Zorn after every. single. play.
Enjoy the games.
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