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Handicapper Blog

Posted by Darin Zoccali on Saturday, September 15, 2012 2:23 AM

Games -


1. NY GIANTS (-7) vs. Tampa Bay


The Giants are beaten up in the secondary and it showed against the Cowboys. It appears that Michael Coe will play but Prince Amukamura is a game-time decision (even though he has not been impressive) and Corey Webster has not looked good since the latter part of last season.  Tampa Bay added Vincent Jackson to the receiving corps and Mike Williams should have a bounce back season (he scored in week 1).  On the ground side, Doug Martin was very impressive in his NFL debut and should keep the defensive front of the Giants honest.  The Bucs have an improved secondary and one of the most talenter corners in Aqib Talib, which should hamper the production of Hakim Nicks who is already slowed by a foot injury that he is still nursing. In addition, the Bucs completely shut down the run game of the Panthers in week 1, allowing just 10 yards rushing.  Ahmad Bradshaw did not look nearly as explosive in week 1, and David Wilson was benched following a fumble.  This line opened at 8.5, but has moved to 7 during the week.  The Giants can't fall to 0-2, but The Bucs are going to give them a game.  


Play: Tampa Bay (+7)


2. NEW ENGLAND (-13.5) vs. Arizona


This game is going to get out of hand.  The Cardinals running game is far below average as neither Ryan Williams or Beanie Wells looked good against Seattle. With John Skelton hurt, Kevin Kolb will get the start.  He has one legitimate weapon in the form of Larry Fitzgerald.  Last week the Patriots completely took away Chris Johnson.  Expect them to do the same in this matchup with Fitzgerald.  The Cardinal defense is below average and New England is going to put up a ton of points.  The list of weapons on New England's side of the ball seems never ending and with a new-found running game in the form of Stevan Ridley, there just doesn't seem anyway the Cardinals can contain the Patriots or score with them.  Similar to the Houston-Miami game last week, this has the makings of a blowout.


Play: NEW ENGLAND (-13.5)


3. CINCINNATI  (-7) vs. Cleveland


The Bengals ran into a buzzsaw in the form of The Ravens in their home-opener.  Baltimore also put out a new no-huddle offense that the Bengals had never seen before.  At times they moved the ball effectively against Baltimore, they just let the game get away from them.  They couldn't meet a more different opponent this week.  Cleveland comes into this game off a narrow loss to the Eagles in what was one of the ugliest games, if not the ugliest game of week 1. Quarterback Brandon Wheaton had a QB rating of 5.1 and to be fair, other than Greg Little, he just does not have the weapons to help.  Trent Richardson will be the player the Bengals will focus on shutting down.  All-Pro corner Joe Haden is not playing, which means the sky is the limit for Bengals sensational wideout A.J. Green.  Benjarvis Green-Ellis looked really good against a tough Ravens defense in Week 1 and this assignment is much easier.  The Bengals are going to bounce back from a week 1 defeat and score plenty of points here. 


Play: CINCINNATI (-7)


4. SAN FRANCISCO (-7) vs. Detroit


San Francisco is one of the hottest plays of the week.  This spread opened at 4.5 and has grown to a touchdown.  The 49ers offense is improved has Frank Gore has plenty of help in the backfield with Kendall Hunter, Lemichael James and Brandon Jacobs.  In addition, the receiving corps has added Moss and Manningham to compliment Crabtree and tight-end Vernon Davis.  Alex Smith still won't put up the gaudy numbers of some of the elite QB's in the league, but he has more weapons to work with this year.  On the defensive side of the ball, it's simple.  The 49ers defense is the best in the NFL, especially against the run.  The Lions run game is sketchy at best with often injured Kevin Smith carrying the load as Michael Leshoure and Jahvid Best are both not active.  Matthew Stafford did not have a good game in Week 1 throwing 3 interceptions.  Clearly the 49ers will do their best to limit Calvin Johnson, if that is possible.  While the Rams secondary that the Lions faced last week was thoroughly improved from a year ago, they face a whole new animal in the 49ers.  In addition, the Lions are a much better time in the dome.  


Play: SAN FRANCISCO (-7)

Fantasy Football Start 'Em or Sit 'Em:

Start:

1. Stevan Ridley (RB/NE): Faces a poor Arizona run defense in a game where New England is likely to have a comfortable lead in the second half.  Ridley will get plenty of garbage time touches.  Expect a 100 Yard/TD performance.

2. C.J. Spiller (RB/Buf): Went off on just 14 carries against the Jets in week 1 and with no Fred Jackson, he will be a three-down back against a Kansas City defense that got blitzed by Atlanta in week 1. A 100 yard/multiple reception performance seems likely.

3. Reggie Bush (RB/Mia): With Daniel Thomas nursing a concussion, Bush will get the lions share of carries against a Raiders defense that is up and down. Expect Bush to get low to the ground, find holes and catch passes. 80 Yards + 5-6 cathes for 40 yards is in the cards.

4. Benjarvis Green-Ellis (RB/Cin): Gets a premium matchup against a Browns defense that gave up over 100 yards to Lesean McCoy last week. Green-Ellis looked good against Baltimore last week and in a scenario where The Bengals could be up big, Green-Ellis will get plenty of touches. 85-100 yards and a TD is likely.

5. Brandon Lafell (WR/Car): In a game that appears destined for a shootout (Over/Under is 51.5), Lafell is the 2 or 2A option in a Panthers pass-happy offense.  With Steve Smith a little banged up a breakout game for Lafell could be in the cards. Conservatively, 80 Yards and a TD.

6. Antonio Brown (WR/Pitt): With Darelle Revis out and Mike Wallace opening up the field with his big play ability, expect Brown to catch several balls in the 12-18 yard range. His punt return ability adds to his value. 8 Catches for 100 Yards and a TD.

7. Greg Olsen (TE/Car): He will demand plenty of looks in addition to Lafell in what should be a high-scoring affair. Olsen seems poised for a breakout year and the Saints have a tough time defending tight-ends. 6 Catches for 60 Yards and a TD.

8. Scott Chandler (TE/Buf): With David Nelson out for the season and Fred Jackson sidelined, there just are not many offensive options for Fitzpatrick to go too.  Chandler scores touchdowns.  He is an interesting reach play.

Sit:

1. Michael Vick (QB/Phi): He's intangibles make him tough to sit when he is healthy, but Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are both banged up and if one of them leaves the game, against a Ravens defense that can still play, he is in for a long day.

2. Shonn Greene (RB/NYJ): I can make him a permanent sit, but especially against a Steelers Defense that he never performs well against. Expect a hard nose - smack in the mouth game that yield 40 yards on 14 carries for Greene.

3. Michael Turner (RB/Atl): His days as a ferocious downhill runner are behind him and Denver is underrated against the run.  This game has the look of a high scoring passing affair.  Turner has become a 3rd or 4th option in the red zone.

4. Kevin Smith (RB/Det): He was a start last week and a good one, but this week he's a sit. He faces the #1 run defense in the league and he doesn't seem likely to breakthrough here.

5. Jeremy Maclin/Desean Jackson (WR/Phi): With both receivers banged up and a Ravens defense to deal with, neither receiver has the appeal of a good fantasy start.  The Eagles could be in line for a long day.




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