Week 8 may fall on Halloween this year but nothing is more ghoulish than the current streak of inadequate picks from your LI Press Picks guru.
Four consecutive weeks of .500 picks and elimination from the Survivor Pool last week after the Saints lost to the Browns in New Orleans has scared away my chances at a trip for two to Hawaii in LI Press Picks football pool. (For more details on how to enter and win, visit LIPressPicks.com)
The Saints wasn’t the only team to get a scare last week as the Ravens avoided embarrassment by rallying to defeat the winless Buffalo Bills 37-34 on a field goal in OT. The Raiders and Darren McFadden caused the Broncos to have night terrors this week after a 59-14 abomination where the Raiders ripped off 38 points in the first 22 minutes. The Cowboys will enter this Halloween weekend without their star QB Tony Romo, who fractured his clavicle as the Giants buried another QB with a swarming and violent defense.
In hopes of breaking the streak, we’ll take a look at individual players from each game that could have the biggest impact on your fantasy football squads while still providing picks for each and every game.
Week 8 offers an opportunity to exorcise the demons plaguing this current mediocre run in what should be a fun and freaky Halloween weekend in the NFL.
Percentages taken from fan voting on LI Press Picks Football Pool. Picks indicated in bold.
Miami (3-3) (66% picked) @ Cincinnati (2-4) (34% picked)
The Dolphins were only able to rack up 64 yards on the ground last week against the Steelers but don’t expect that trend to continue this week. The Bengals are having issues stuffing the run, surrendering 118 yards a game on 4.5 yards a carry. Fantasy owners with either Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams should start them this week against the beleaguered Bengals.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (MIA-RB) Ronnie Brown/(MIA-RB) Ricky Williams
Jacksonville (3-4) (46% picked) @ Dallas (1-5) (54% picked)
QB Tony Romo was the only signal caller last season to take every snap for the Cowboys and his injury all but ends the Cowboys chances of reaching the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl, which will be held in Dallas this season. The Jags are awful against the pass (253 yards per game) which should allow backup QB Jon Kitna a little bit of wiggle room to find rhythm with the first team offense. Romo owners should be advised to pick up Kitna this week as the Cowboys still have weapons to work with on offense.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (DAL-QB) Jon Kitna
Washington (4-3) (78% picked) @ Detroit (1-5) (22% picked)
DeAngelo Hall’s four INT performance last week against Jay Cutler in the Bears made him just the third player in NFL history with four interceptions while returning one for a TD in a single game. The Redskins will try and stretch the ball outside on the ground and away from interior defenseman Ndamukong Suh. The Lions are allowing a dizzying 138 yards rushing a game and expect Redskins Ryan Torian to continue his success this season.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (WAS-RB) Ryan Torian
Survivor Pick of the Week
Buffalo (0-6) (6%picked) @ Kansas City (4-2) (94% picked)
The Chiefs are treated to a breezy home game against before facing two tough divisional road games the next two weeks. A valiant effort from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick almost netted the Bills their first win of the year but fell short in OT against the Ravens.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (KC-RB) Jamaal Charles
Carolina (1-5) (9% picked) @ St. Louis (3-4) (91% picked)
St. Louis came up short in a defensive struggle with the Bucs last week and welcome the 1-5 Panthers to St. Louis where they are undefeated this season (3-0). Steven Jackson is hurting and his status for the game on Sunday is uncertain but with the bye week following their game with the Panthers, expect S-Jax to start and begin the healing process following the game.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (STL-RB) Steven Jackson
Green Bay (4-3) (22% picked) @ NY Jets (5-1) (78% picked)
Rex Ryan’s motley crew enters the game with the best record in the NFL and seeks to expand upon that mark coming off the bye week. The Packers are in for a tough game as they are still ravaged with injuries and face a rested New York Jets defense. LaDainian Tomlinson has apparently discovered the fountain of youth and look for the revitalized tailback to run rampant on a Packers defense yielding 124.3 yards a game on the ground this year.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (NYJ-RB) LaDainian Tomlinson
Denver (2-5) (50% picked) @ San Francisco (1-6) (50% picked)
Two teams coming off deflating and in Denver’s case, embarrassing, losses should make for one intriguing football game. The game will be played in London where the 49ers will put their European undefeated streak on the line against the Broncos. Hopefully for the league, the Niners and Broncos had better put on better performances if expansion into the European market is serious.
Fantasy Player of the Game: London fans of the NFL and (SF-RB) Frank Gore
Sleeper Pick of the Week
Tennessee (5-2) (73% picked) @ San Diego (2-5) (23% picked)
The Chargers are an incredibly difficult team to figure out. They boast the best passing attack in the league with 317 yards a game while ranking amongst the league leaders in pass and run defense. They’re essentially the Dallas Cowboys of California. Something has to give in this game in a must-win situation for the San Diego Chargers.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (SD-QB) Philip Rivers
Tampa Bay (4-2) (63% picked) @ Arizona (3-3) (37% picked)
The Cardinals enter the game with the worst passing attack in the league and they’re still uncertain whether rookie QB Max Hall or Derek Anderson will start under center on Sunday. Think they’re missing Kurt Warner? Larry Fitzgerald certainly is. Bucs QB Josh Freeman engineered a 14-point comeback after finishing the final drive off with a 1-yard pass with 10 seconds left against the Rams last week. Both the Bucs (157.7 yards allowed rushing) and the Cardinals (141.3 yards allowed rushing) feature defenses that should lead to optimal performances from the backs in this one.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (ARI-RB) Beanie Wells
Minnesota (2-4) (10% picked) @ New England (5-1) (90% picked)
Brett Favre’s streak of consecutive games played is under serious doubt after Favre suffered fractures in his ankle in a loss to the Packers last week. The Randy Moss-less Patriots continue to roll; pulling back-to-back three point victories against the Chargers and Ravens.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (NE-WR) Wes Walker
Seattle (4-2) (45% picked) @ Oakland (3-4) (55% picked)
Oakland’s 59 point outburst last week against the Broncos will sadly not happen again this week against the Seahawks. The Seattle defense has stifled opposing run attacks, stuffing backs for only 77.5 yards per game on the ground. Both teams were hit for 10 penalties a piece with the Raiders being set back 94 yards despite the offensive onslaught.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (OAK-TE) Zach Miller
Houston (4-2) (15% picked) @ Indianapolis (4-2) (85% picked)
Since Arian Foster roasted the Indy defense in Week 1, the league has taken notice by exploiting the Colts inability to stop power running offenses. The Colts, as usual, will depend on the strong play of QB Peyton Manning while immobilizing the vicious Texans offense which should make for an incredibly high scoring game.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (IND-QB) Peyton Manning
Pittsburg (5-1) (68% picked) @ New Orleans (4-3) (32% picked)
Pittsburg enters the game as one of the best teams in the league and locks up with the defending champion Saints who was upset last week by the Cleveland Browns. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers narrowly escaped the Dolphins last week although the artist formerly known as “Big Ben” has sparkled thus far, tossing 559 yards with five TDs and only one pick. The Saints are still without RB Reggie Bush who practiced this week and may possibly play on Sunday night.
Fantasy Player of the Game: (PIT-WR) Hines Ward