September 12, 2008

The Island is in trouble

by Dan Bilicki In: Fantasy, Football, Picks

It’s tough times for the Coney Island Whitefish so far this season. Not only did I lose my starting QB (Brady) for the season, I’ve now lost my number one receiver for at least a month. With Marques Colston sidelined by thumb surgery, the Whitefish will now be looking at Laverneous Coles and DeSean Jackson starting for a little while. At least it’s not too long before Chris Henry’s no longer suspended. And I swear, if Ryan Grant (my second round pick) goes down next week, I’ll swear there’s a conspiracy at large.
Now, my picks for week two — which can’t get much worse than the picks I made for my fantasy team.
Like always, our lines are straight from our man in Vegas.

KANSAS CITY (-3.5) over Oakland
The Chiefs kept it to within 7 against the Patriots last week and even managed to inflict long term damage on them. Oakland’s play against Denver on Monday night might’ve inflicted long term damage on their players and staff’s morale.
Tennessee (Pick) over CINCINNATI
The Titans defence looked great against Jacksonville last week. Anytime a team can stuff as potent of a running game that the Jags have, they should be considered a force. Cincinnati’s days of being known as a force are long gone.
MINNESOTA (+2) over Indianapolis
Jeff Saturday competed in full practice this week which is a great sign towards him coming back sooner than the estimated six weeks. But that isn’t this week and in this matchup, I can see Adrian Peterson break a big one or too.
New Orleans (-1) over WASHINGTON
 Losing Colston is a big blow the Saints but their offence still has a tonne of weapons to get by the Redskins. The ‘Skins have had enough time off after their long week to work out some of the kinks from the loss to the Giants. Maybe their coach will have worked out basic clock management by Sunday.
CAROLINA (-3) over Chicago
While the Bears beat a Colts team that didn’t look impressive at all, the Panthers beat a Chargers team that, despite losing Shawne Merriman, are still a Super Bowl contender. Add in the fact that Jake Delhomme is back as good as he’s ever been and you have a solid pick.
New York Giants (-8) over ST. LOUIS
 After getting thrashed by one NFC East opponent last week, the Rams get to host the Super Bowl champs who looked pretty good against Washington to open the season. If there’s any way the Rams stop the Giants still-impressive pass rush, well, I’ll be most surprised by that then anything this week.
Buffalo (+5.5) over JACKSONVILLE
Don’t think for a second that I’m writing off the Jaguars after one loss to the Titans with Vince Young trying to hand them the game. But playing without three of their top-6 offensive linemen is going to hurt and take adjustments to overcome; that won’t happen this week. And is there a better all-around special teams squad than Buffalo’s? I think not.
TAMPA BAY (-7.5) over Atlanta
Brian Griese or Jeff Garcia, it doesn’t matter. Matt Ryan better learn how to play against the Tampa 2 pretty damn quick to survive this division. And if you expect Michael Turner to perform like he did in week 1 ever again, well you will be disappointed.
SEATTLE (-7) over San Francisco
So Matt Hasselbeck reportedly has a bulging disc in his back and his top four wide receivers are all hurt. This is a team that I’m actually taking to cover seven points? Yes, because J.T. O’Sullivan will get killed playing at QWest Field and if not for two special teams TDs against Buffalo, the game wouldn’t have been too bad for the Seahawks.
ARIZONA (-6) over Miami
The Dolphins didn’t look awful last week but that was at home and Chad Pennington knows the Jets. The Cardinals should be able to use their fire power well against the rebuilding Miami defence.
Patriots (+1.5) over JETS
In week one I won big by picking the beginning of eras (Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco). Why not continue the trend and bank on the beginning of the Matt Cassel era? Also, the Jets didn’t look too impressive in beating Miami while the Patriots are still a good all around team.
Baltimore (+5) over HOUSTON
Joe Flacco, meet Mario Williams. This should be the lowest scoring game of the week with two good defensive cores going against two weak offences. I think Houston will win because of home-field advantage but it’s hard to see it by more than a field goal.
San Diego (-1.5) over DENVER
The Broncos looked like a true contender dismantling the Raiders but San Diego will be a lot tougher to handle. The only real concern I have with the Chargers is their health. Losing Merriman hurts — no pun intended — but at least they have a better than capable backup. Also, Gates and LT are both slightly hobbled. Either way, I’ll still take the Chargers to show they’re better than 0-1 suggests.
Pittsburgh (-6) over CLEVELAND
If Cleveland couldn’t get things going against Dallas’ defence, how will it possibly do it against the amazing Steelers D? In the (forecasted) rain no less? Big Ben and Fast Willie are also too good to be slowed down by this mediocre (at best) Browns defence.
DALLAS (-7) versus Philadelphia
I always feel more confident when Dallas is in Philadelphia rather than when the Eagles visit. Philly did look pretty sharp last week against the Rams, but that was the Rams. Either way, if I bet on Cowboy games, I’d be taking the points and looking forward to a great, close game.
Last week: 8-7.

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