Sunday, January 23, 2011

Championship Round

I went 2-2 again last week, and lost one of my Super Bowl teams with the utter collapse of the Baltimore Ravens. At least I can still cling to the Packers...

Green Bay (-3.5) over CHICAGO

And of course, I am going to pick them here. Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game, perhaps at the top of the entire league, and the Bears CAN be passed on. The Packers are a better team, on both offense and on defense. The Bears will try and throw the kitchen sink at Rodgers with blitzes but I think the talent wins out here. Cutler on the other side is good for at least one interception, and Green Bay will capitalize. This game has to be extremely low scoring for Chicago to have a chance, and I just think Green Bay is playing so well right now that they will not be stopped. Don't forget how good that Green Bay secondary is and how difficult it will be for Chicago to get anything going through the air. They can hope that Forte goes off for a huge game, but its hard for me to see it, because Green Bay will surely be expecting this. I don't think the game stays all that close, the match-up problems are just too scary for Chicago.

New York Jets (+3.5) over PITTSBURGH

Speaking of match-up problems, the Steelers are full of them! I don't see how they can score on this Jets team, who will be able to shut down their top wideouts man to man, quite like they did with the Patriots, daring them to beat them inside. Sure the Steelers may be able to get Mendenhall going, but that can only account for so much. With a deteriorated offensive line, The pass rush should give Roethlisberger fits, and if he can't get going, the steelers can't win. They are very even teams but the Jets have a little edge as they are healthier, peaking at the right time, extremely confident, and the Steelers don't have the secondary of the Jets, especially with Polamalu banged up as he has been for weeks. I see the Jets winning this one straight up.

So there you have it. I'm predicting a Jets/Packers Super Bowl. Frankly the Packers are my last remaining hope of anything good coming out of this football season, so here's to hoping Rodgers continues his steady ascent to the top of today's NFL.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Round Two

Well I went 2-2 for Round 1, but at least my two wins were the important ones. Gotta hope Baltimore and Green Bay pass tough tests today!

Game 1, Saturday 4:30 p.m. EST

Baltimore (+3) over PITTSBURGH

These teams split the regular season, and its always a tough game when these two collide. Both games were decided by 3 points, so odds are this one will as well, based on their style of play. Baltimore was in control of the game Pittsburgh ended up winning until a late Joe Flacco fumble forced by Troy Palamalu ended their chances. I think Flacco comes back for vengeance and leads his team to the AFC Championship game. I think they have better overall balance and more talent.

Game 2, Saturday 8:00 p.m. EST

Green Bay (+2) over ATLANTA

I am riding the hot team here. I picked Green Bay at the start of the season and they are finally firing on all cylinders. I think Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than Matt Ryan and the Packers defense is better. If they can lock down Roddy White and slow down Turner, the Packers can win this game, despite being on the road against a dominant home team in Atlanta. I trust Aaron Rodgers. It could go either way though, I just have to stubbornly stick with my gut. Either way, whoever wins is going to the Super Bowl.

Game 3, Sunday 1:00 p.m. EST

Seattle (+10)

I just don't think Chicago is worthy of getting 10 points in this game. Not after Seattle beat New Orleans, a better team than Chicago, last weekend. They shocked the world, and this one wouldn't be nearly as much of a shock. I like Chicago to win the game, but it will be a lot closer than this line indicates.

Game 4, Sunday 4:30 p.m.

New York Jets (+9)

Again, I don't think the Jets will WIN, but I do think they will COVER the 9 points. They are going to get very physical with the Pats, and they have a lot to prove after th 45-3 beat down they took the last time these teams met. But I really expect them to play smarter, run the football, run the clock and limit the amount of possessions Brady gets. How successful they are will determine how close this game is, or even if they could pull off the upset. The line is just too high here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wild Card Weekend

We're finally here, playoff time! Lucky for me, I'm hitting my stride picking games (22-10 over the last two weeks, finishing with a record of 130-104-6). Unlucky for me, I didn't get the chance to bet on the games the past two weeks. Sigh, such is the life of a gambler. Have to play the playoff games though. And along with my picks for Wild Card Weekend, I'll tell you who I like to win the whole shebang.

as always, lines courtesy of
Home team in CAPS

Game 1, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday

New Orleans (-10.5) over SEATTLE

Seattle obviously has no business being in the playoffs. This is basically a bye week for the Saints. I ask myself what it would take for me to actually consider taking the Seahawks in this match-up? what would the spread have to be. To be honest, I think it would have to be 17.5. That's how much it would have to be. The Saints will crush this team. So I'm going to take this Saints team to cover the 10.5.

Game 2, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS (-3) over New York Jets

In Peyton I trust. even with a banged up team, I just can't bet against him. He's a legend, and deservedly so. The Jets are hobbling into the playoffs and I just don't think they are good enough to beat the Colts. The Colts play fantastic at home in the playoffs and you don't bet against Manning in prime time. I'm taking the favorite.

Game 3, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday

Baltimore (-3) over KANSAS CITY

I love this Baltimore team and I am not sold on the Chiefs, especially after week 17. If the Raiders can blow this Chiefs team out, what can the Ravens do? Cassel has no playoff experience, and neither do most of the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Ravens however have experience and talent at all the right positions. They have done it before and are ready to make a serious title run. I've loved them all year and I'm not swaying now.

Game 4, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday

Green Bay (+3) over PHILADELPHIA

This is definitely the most intriguing game of the four, and also the most difficult to pick. Both teams have great quarterbacks, both teams have dynamic wide receivers, and they both can play a little defense. I'm taking Green Bay because of a couple reasons. I picked them to win the Super Bowl and I will ride them until they are eliminated, so thats first and foremost. But I'd also take Aaron Rodgers over Michael Vick at this stage. Vick can do a lot of things, but the Vikings showed a blueprint of how to beat him. I can't wait to watch this one, and I will be on the edge of my seat, but ultimately I think the Packers will prevail.

So that is how I see the first round breaking down. As for what will happen after that, here's what I see:

Round 2


New Orleans over Chicago
Green Bay over Atlanta

Baltimore over New England
Pittsburgh over Indianapolis

NFC Championship
Green Bay over New Orleans

AFC Championship
Baltimore over Pittsburgh

Baltimore over Green Bay

So as you can see, I can't deviate from the two teams I picked to make the Super Bowl until they are officially knocked off. I still think they can both do it, are peaking at the right time, and have as good a shot as any team, so why not stick to my guns. However, I picked the Packers to win at the beginning of the year, and I have switched sides this time around, predicting that it is Baltimore that will come home with the crown this year. The injuries Green Bay has suffered are just to much to overcome a Ravens team that just has no holes on offense or defense.

Good luck everyone, and enjoy the playoffs!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fantasy Football Levels of Losing

Anyone can say "I would have won 'if'" at the end of their given season. Sure, anyone can say that if they had done this, if they had done that, if something went my way then i would have won. But there is a different kind of stomach-punch type loss that happened this season for me. Not once, not twice, but in three separate leagues. There's losing, and then there's LOSING. This is my story.

League 1

This team started the season 0-4, so really, my team hadn't played a meaningless game since WEEK 4. Starting in Week 5, I won by .2 points, a win that I needed to make the playoffs. I survived by the skin of my teeth, my team did everything it needed to do, I spent my season agonizing over every move that would put me in position to make the playoffs and go on a run, and I finished the season with more points than anyone in the league. It came down to the last possible week for me to even make it in, as I finished off a win or go home game for both teams with a convincing victory that vaulted me to the 3 seed. The talent was there, better than everyone in the league outside MAYBE the one seed, but I did outscore him. And then, after all of that, My All-Pro, capable of scoring 40 any given week, dominating, first round pick, MVP candidate quarterback gets hurt and I am bounced, just like that. Aaron Rodgers had dragged this team kicking and screaming past every possible foe, and then, it was over. Just... like... that. I hung on ever second of every game for this team every Sunday, and I had such faith that this team was talented enough to win this league. Then that happened. It hurt. It hurt a lot more than a team that just goes 4-9 and misses the playoffs. This team had it and lost because of a stupid injury. It only makes it worse that I outscored both teams in the Semi's while I was stuck in the 5th place game, then outscored both teams in the finals while I didn't have a match. I win that one game, and this team wins. That's a stomach punch of epic proportions.

League 2

Now I wouldn't be doing this if that was even close to my only fantasy crushing loss this season. I was knocked out in the Playoffs of another league in which I had a 40 point lead, which I watched turn into a 30 point deficit, in horror, along with every Giants fan, as Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin single handedly ended my season with the greatest 8 minutes in fantasy history, costing me another money league finals trip. Nothing like a 70 point swing in 8 football minutes right?

League 3

But all of that pales in comparison to what happened to me Friday morning. Remember that Rashard Mendenhall stat correction? You know how you hear those nightmare stories of how something like that could cost someone a win? Well, bingo. Had won the matchup, was in the finals, the match had already started on Thursday night! I wake up Friday morning, sure enough, I have had 1.1 points removed (bonus 1 point at 100 yards, the yard was removed to drop his total from 100 to 99) and I saw myself in the third place game. After my championship match had already started. How's that for a "just my luck" situation.

Oh yeah, I would have won the Championship matchup.

So, please excuse me for hating fantasy football right now. I had four excellent teams this year, and three of them met their ends under extreme, gut-wrenching circumstances. I know I care too much about this, its way more than about money, its way more about how attached I get to building these teams from long before the draft until the final day of the season. I just hate losing three great teams under these circumstances. I don't even care if anyone reads this, I did it for me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Week 16 Picks

BUFFALO (+7.5) over New England

CHICAGO (-1) over New York Jets

Tennessee (+5) over KANSAS CITY

Washington (+7) over JACKSONVILLE

San Diego (-7.5) over CINCINNATI

DENVER (+2.5) over Houston

OAKLAND (+3) over Indianapolis

TAMPA BAY (-6.5) over Seattle

Minnesota (+14.5) over PHILADELPHIA

New Orleans (+2.5) over ATLANTA

Second Runner Up Lock of the Week
Detroit (+3.5) over MIAMI

First Runner Up Lock of the Week
ST. LOUIS (-2.5) over San Francisco

Baltimore (-3.5) over CLEVELAND

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Night Pick

I like Carolina (+14) over PITTSBURGH

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week 15 Picks

Last week sucked, a ghastly 6-10. I really need a strong week to rebound this week. Let's see if I can go 11-5 or better.

Home team in CAPS
Lines courtesy of

ST. LOUIS (-3) over Kansas City

St. Louis is good at home and Matt Cassel might not play. I'll take the favorite.

Jacksonville (+4.5) over INDIANAPOLIS

Why can't the Jags win this game? They won last time these two met, they are going to have the "nobody believes in us" fire, and the Colts are still banged up. The Jags will keep this very close.

Arizona (+2.5) over CAROLINA

Arizona whooped a slightly better team last week. And how can anyone pick the Panthers? How can they be favored? I'm sorry but Jimmy Clausen is just not an NFL quarterback.

Buffalo (+5) over MIAMI

I don't think Miami is 5 points better than the Bills at this stage. That's all there is to it.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-3) over Philadelphia

I think the Giants have something to prove in a revenge game here. The defense should be able to put up a strong fight and win the game.

TAMPA BAY (-4) over Detroit

Tampa Bay is a team that knows how to beat bad teams, and while this should be fairly close, I think they can win by 6 or 7.

BALTIMORE (-2) over New Orleans

This is a game where I think the home field really matters. If it were being played in New Orleans, they would be favored and I would take them. But Baltimore at home in cold weather should show that they can beat anyone in the league.

Atlanta (-6.5) over SEATTLE

As an elite team, the Falcons need to blow out teams like the Seahawks. I'm a strong believer in this team, so I have to roll with them.

New York Jets (+4.5) over PITTSBURGH

This Jets team will be desperate for a win and there is no Troy Polamalu. I think that is enough for them to at the very least keep it within a field goal.

OAKLAND (-7.5) over Denver

Tim Tebow is not ready to lead an NFL team to a win, at least that's my opinion. And Denver was simply awful last week. I don't see how they get much better against a better Oakland team on the road.

Green Bay (+14) over NEW ENGLAND

I don't think there is a chance for Green Bay to win the game, but 2 touchdowns is a lot of points to lay to anyone. I just don't think the Pats are two TDs better than the Pack, even with Matt Flynn at QB.

Chicago (-8) over MINNESOTA

This one is all about the QB situation for Minnesota. Who is Joe Webb, where did he come from, and how is he going to have a prayer of keeping his team competitive against a good Bears team looking to bounce back from a beatdown? I can't see it.

Second Runner Up Lock of the Week

Cleveland (PK) over CINCINNATI

Picking against the Bengals has been good all year, roll with it.

First Runner Up Lock of the Week

DALLAS (-9) over Washington

Rex Grossman is starting for the Redskins.


Houston (+1.5) over TENNESSEE

There is NO reason that the Titans should be favored here. They really can not play without Vince Young. The losing streak continues, and Jeff Fisher starts getting his resume ready.

Last Week: 6-10
Overall: 108-94-6
Lock Picks: 21-19