This game is a perfect example of value, public perception, and the books playing to the belief that a quarterback makes a football team. Aside from Big Dumb Ben not being in black and gold this Sunday, this Steelers team will almost certainly be better than the Steelers team down the stretch run of last season.
Troy Polamalu is back for the Steelers, and that means the defensive quarterback is healthy and ready to lead his team. The offensive line has improved, and as slight as that improvement may be, it’s an improvement nonetheless. Defensively, the Steelers put a lot of pressure on opposing passing attacks – because A, they shut down the run, and B, they can pressure the quarterback on base rushes and blitz packages alike. They have a handful of elite pass rushers in Pittsburgh.
While Big Ben would surely give the Steelers the best chance to win a football game, Dennis Dixon poses an entirely different problem for a Falcons team that has been defensively challenged over the years. He gives the Steelers a solid chance to win any game. Dixon truly is an awesome and dangerous option on the ground. He’s as fast as they come and takes great angles – plus, he can throw the ball. It’s not like that’s no longer an option.
The Falcons always struggle if they can’t run the ball well – and I don’t think anybody runs the ball well against the Steelers defense. As always, a game can go any way, but the fact that Pittsburgh is an underdog at home makes them a great value bet in Week 1.
I don’t know what I’m thinking here. Okay, I know what I’m thinking, I just don’t know if it’s sane or not. Lets walk through Week 1′s happenings in regards to these two programs. Maybe I can make more sense of my Thundering Herd selection.
West Virginia is 1-0 after smoking Coastal Carolina 31-0 in their opening game. They powerful and fast Mountaineers defense allowed just 9 first downs all game long. They stopped CC one almost every single 3rd down play, as Carolina converted just 2 of 14 on 3rd down. The Mounties allowed just 186 total yards. But the Mountaineers weren’t that good against a bad CC team. They scored just 10 points in the first half. They scored more than once in only a single quarter, the 3rd. If you look at the final score and final numbers, sure, it was a good one for West Virginia – but if you watched the game, you have to wonder about their offensive prowess against even a mediocre opponent.
Marshall got crushed. Ohio State made the Thundering Herd look like a circus showing of Shetland ponies. There wasn’t much of a herd and I didn’t hear any thundering. 21 rushes 44 yards – not the ratio you’re looking for. But they’ll be better at home against an opponent without Top 3 talent. I’m sure of it.
Marshall has never beaten West Virginia. Never. The closest the score has ever been is 11, back in 1997. I think the Herd has a chance in this one, and they’ll at least keep it close. Or so I hope – I could look like a real dope if they get blown out again. Nothing like not learning your lesson…
West Virginia Mountaineers @ Marshall Thundering Herd (+13.5)
I’m not trying to take up a lot of your time with an intro or anything, but it’s my damned article so I’m going to take this time to tell you a story. (Lucky Lester edit, to go right to predictions, scroll down and ignore the following)
When I was a boy I wasn’t too hot on telling people what was going to happen. I just thought about stuff before I did it, came to my own conclusions, then chuckled to myself when those who did dumb things ended up exactly where my mind had predicted they’d be. I also realized that it was easier that way. I beat lots of folks at lots of stuff, but not once did I predict (out loud) that I would beat them. I just won a lot and liked it. Now that I’m old and I don’t win physically as much, I tend to talk about stuff a lot more. Now I predict things, and when they come true I squack around like a blasted rooster at daybreak. The moral of my story is this, when you’re old you do stuff you can’t really explain, like tell stories before articles.
Without further ado, here are my 2010 NFL Season and Fantasy Football Predictions. 40 big ones!
- Write this one down in stone… Both these things will happen: 1 – One of the following teams will win at least 9 games (Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Seattle, St. Louis, Buffalo, or Jacksonville). 2 – One of the following teams will win less than 9 games (Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Atlanta, or the Jets).
- Shonn Green has 3x as many carries as LT and finishes with at least 1200 yards.
- Jahvid Best leads all rookies in total yards – yeah, I’ve just recently came up wit that.
- CJ Spiller finishes the season with more touchdowns than any other rookie.
- Brandon Jacobs returns to his old self – at least 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns.
- Vince Young finishes the season as a Top 12 Fantasy Quarterback.
- Nate Washington, not Kenny Britt, will lead the Titans in receiving.
- Dennis Dixon wins at least 3 games as the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Derek Anderson starts fewer than half the Cardinal games this season.
- Marion Barber scores 12 touchdowns or more this season.
- Percy Harvin finishes with 14 touchdowns or more.
- The Colts start the season 6-0 before losing their game after the bye week to Houston.
- No passing, rushing, or receiving records get broken this year (yards, touchdowns, etc).
- The Oakland Raiders win at least 7 games this year, but probably not Week 1 in Tennessee.
- Beanie Wells finishes top 5 in yards per game played.
- Hakeem Nicks will be the highest scoring fantasy receiver in New York -that counts the Giants as well as the Jets.
- The San Diego Chargers don’t end up winning the AFC West, in stunning fashion.
- The Cleveland Browns start the season with two wins – but they win just 3 more to finish with just 5.But I’m willing to bet they’ll do a lot better ATS.
- Jerome Harrison finishes with 1150+ yards, 8+ touchdowns, and 350+ receiving yards.
- Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew – one of these touch-heavy running backs plays fewer than 11 games in 2010.
- Brett Favre doesn’t match the same numbers he had in 2009 – but he still throws 20+ touchdowns for Minnesota.
- The Ohio State Buckeyes win the National Championship, but Terrelle Pryor never starts in the NFL.
- Donovan McNabb leads the Redskins to 10 wins.
- Albert Haynesworth gets traded.
- LeSean McCoy catches at least 60 passes this season.
- Carnell “Cadillac” Williams finishes the season as a Top 10 rusher in the NFL.
- Nate Burleson scores 8 touchdowns or more for the Lions.
- Reggie Bush, in PPR leagues, finishes the season as a Top 12 running back in fantasy terms.
- Dez Bryant starts by Week 3.
- Jeremy Maclin finishes with 1000+ yards and at least 7 touchdowns.
- Laurent Robinson finishes within 20 fantasy point of Hines Ward.
- 2010 NFC MVP? Adrian Peterson. 2010 AFC MVP? Tom Brady. Rookie of the Year? Offensively, Jahvid Best. Defensively, Rolando McClain. Comeback player of the year? Cadillac Williams (because he deserved it last year and has his best season of his career this year).
- NFC Champ – Green Bay Packers
- AFC Champ – Baltimore Ravens
- Super Bowl Champ – Green Bay Packers
- Jay Cutler throws 30 touchdowns in Chicago – fewer than 15 interceptions.
- I get over half of these predictions right (if this one is the tie breaker, it counts, yahtzee!)
- Dexter McCluster catches 70+ balls for the Chiefs this season.
- Eddie Royal has at least 67 catches for 800 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Alright guys, Week 1 is upon us, shoot – the 2010 NFL Football season is here! The Vikings visit New Orleans tonight, and thus kicks off the fantasy and real life football season. I’ve had a nice bunch of emails this week, and since I’m old and find answering random fantasy questions oddly entertaining, I’ve been busy as a bee getting my knowledge out this week. Here are 4 quality email questions sent in from you loyal readers… (Remember, if you want to be heard or better yet, answered, send your fantasy qualms to PAPAWEIMER50@HOTMAIL.COM – I’ll be there!)
Dave was looking for the right sleeper when he asked, “How would you rank the following WRs? Nate Burelson, Anthony Gonzales, Mark Clayton…”
Nate Burleson is the #1 because he will get single coverages a lot and he’s a big play receiver for a team with a big-armed quarterback that will be throwing the ball. Singled coverage for Nate will be something he beats deep for touchdowns at least 6 times this season – or so I figure.
Next I’d probably say Mark Clayton is the guy sure to get you some numbers where Gonzo is the guy that could end up being a solid fantasy option. I don’t think CLayton’s upside is that good. He’s never been a real consistent receiver, and he plays small. In St. Louis there will be chances for him, and he’ll convert some of those into points – he’s starting right off the bat, so there’s some value in that. Gonzo is stuck in Indy where there are 3 pretty dang good receivers and Dallas Clark. Now, Gonzo is good, I truly think so, and he could end up as the #3 in a Brandon Stokely type role, which means he could break 1000 yards and 8 touchdowns – but then again, he’s possibly the #4 WR and he could end up with 300 yards and a touchdown or two. Depending on what you need, these two guys are tied.
Michael in Denmark writes in, “Lucky, your advice is always appreciated – here are my receivers this year… WR: D. Jackson, G. Jennings, B. Edwards, S. Breaston, and M. Sims-Walker. Were I’m torn is WR Jackson and Jennings are my # 1 and 2, but both have tough match-ups so I’m wondering if any of my other WRs are worth a look?”
Good to hear from you again. You have a solid team it looks like, good drafting! (He listed his entire team, but the question was only about receivers, so I left the rest out, anyway, his team is solid) You do have some tough match-ups this week, but I’d stick with your big guns. The only other guy I’d consider starting right off the bat, based on upside, is Mike Sims-Walker, and he has one of the toughest match-ups of all, dealing with Champ Bailey and Denver’s secondary – so I would just go with Jennings and Jackson and hope for some big plays from each #1 receiver. Edwards and Breaston could be solid plays this year, but I’d wait to see what Breaston does before I go starting him over guys like Jennings, Jackson, and Sims-Walker – and I’d only start Edwards if the Jets show they are willing to throw the ball with Mr. Sanchez.
Tom John Sam asks, “Is Marshawn Lynch going to have any fantasy value? There is some noise that Peyton Hillis make be the starter in Clev. Do you think that will happen?”
Really? I hope for your sake that you are three buddies or something, because that’s a tough name to get on with, and if it is, you might as well Jones-Drew or Sims-Walker that thing – Tom-John-Sam, or even Tomjohnsam could work… On to your questions, tough call on Marshawn, but he sure is talented, and should be worth owning out of the gates if any time at all, because with jackson out he might get a nice full look in week 1. As for Hillis, I don’t buy it – he’s not a bad runner, but Jerome Harrison was awesome down teh stretch, they drafted a nice back in the 2nd round, Hillis will get carries because he works really hard, can block well, and can catch – but I doubt he’d ever be a consistent guy worth owning on a weekly basis – and I would love to own Jerome Harrison.
Rubber Chicken from Bellingham writes, “Lucky, this is one of my toughest drop seasons of all time for my 20 player keeper league. I have it down to four choices, but remember, I’m not great at running back, especially in the youth department. Here are your choices, Blount, Demaryius Thomas, Aromashadu, Jermaine Gresham. I do have Tony Gonzalez and Shiancoe, but it’s hard to give up a young stud TE possibility like Gresham. What do you think? Thomas? My WRs aside from those two are Boldin, Maclin, Housh, Vincent Jackson, TO, and Knox. Thanks in advance!”
None. Amazingly, I think I’d drop Roy Williams. I know he is technically a #2 receiver for a high-powered Dallas Cowboys’ offense – but Roy hasn’t showed me much since that one big season in Detroit, and there surely hasn’t been any greatness while wearing a star on his helmet. Plus he runs like a duck. He’s an anomaly, running that fast and doing it just like a duck- don’t trust him. No, I’m sure he’ll probably outscore some guys that you’re keeping, maybe Aroma and Thomas, but both guys have higher upside, and with Boldin, Maclin, Housh, Vincent Jackson, TO, and Knox I don’t think you’ll need much Roy anyway. When would you play him? Over which 2 or three starters would you put him in over? I know he could be decent again, but I think those chances are low, especially with Dez Bryant ready to take big snaps away from Roy. It could backfire, but upside is your hope for the last spots on a team, and Roy’s is all used up!