This could be an ugly week as a reuslt of all the quality fantasy football players on their bye week. As a result, the focus on many of this week's games is more about the point spreads than who is going to be lucky enough to have started Jayson Wright or, conversely, who was unlucky to have faced the team who started Jags WR Dennis Northcut who catches two TDs passes. FWIW, he was unavailable in my two deeper leagues.
However, one general trend to watch is how a struggling team or player performs. With six weeks of data available, teams will begin to alter course. This can have major effects in fantasy football as the mid-point nears and runs for the play-offs begin.
Byes: Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets (+3.5):
- Everything is New York clamors for the Jets to replace QB Chad Pennington with 2nd-year QB Kellen Clemens. This is worth watching as Clemens would likely be perceived as a better fantasy QB than the weaker-armed Pennington.
- Given the teams similar records, I am surprised the linesmaker has made the Eagles a road favorite. Is this a signal that the Eagles offense is going to have a good day? it must because the Jets are good for 14-17 points thanks to Pennington's ability. Will Reggie Brown or Kevin Curtis contribute?
- Has anyone noticed the Bengals aren't that good? Their skills players are great for fantasy football, but there real-life production is a .500 team. While I do not believe in the Chiefs, they are just half a game out of first place in the suddenly pathetic AFC West.
- Which Larry Johnson shows-up for the Chiefs? The one from Week Four and last season or the one from Week Three and Five whose average-per-carry would make Drew Bledsoe and Dan Marino feel good?
- The Jaguars do not seem to possess enough offense to make laying a touchdown seem comfortable. If the other team returns a kick-off, you get the sense the bet wouldn't be good until the very last drive of the game with the Jags up 10-7. Regardless, Fred Taylor is doubtful so I will be interested to see if Maurice Jones-Drew gets the bulk of work or if another back is worked in.
- Is this the week the starless Texans finally fold?
- The Dolphins start QB Cleo Lemon against the very generous Browns' defense.
- The Browns start QB Derek Anderson against the very generous Dolphins' defense.
- This game has all the makings of a fantasy football dream as long as neither teams' defense is starting.
- Following the bye, have the Vikings done anything to make themselves more than a one-dminsional offense?
- The Bears laying five? The Vikings have the better RBs and defense.
- The oddsmakers say the Rams cannot score. How else is a 9.5 point line and a 37 O/U reconciled?
- The Ravens do not have the offense or defense to be 10 point favorites.
- Another strange line as the Titans have a good enough defense to shut down the weak Tampa Bay offense. What will the Bucs backfield produce folloiwng the injuries to Cadillac Williams and Mike Pittman?
- QB Vince Young will likely be without his #1 WR Brandon Jones. Will anyone notice?
- Last week, QB Jason Campbell and the Skins Defense made winners of many fantasy football teams. Is a two-week streak too much to ask? How will the RB carries be split after FB Mike Sellers vultured two TDs?
- Eventually, the running-game-less Pack will lose thanks to a Favre rash of bad decisions.
- Starting QB: Vinny Testaverde. 'nuff said.
- Starting QB: Kurt Warner. Someone has to win.
- This is the marquee game of the week with the Patriots clearly being the juggarnaut having out-scored their opponents by nearly 3:1. Given they average 30 points per game, their foes don't fare too well. However, this line seems crazy since the Cowboys score 29 per contest.
- How will the Cowboys fare after last Monday's near-loss in Buffalo and the coming onslaught of the New England machine?
- Guess who is in first place in the AFC West? The oakland Raiders! Will Lamont Jordan play despite reporting his back has hurt worse than he could remember and that was only in a light practice?
- If the Chargers lose, they will fall into, at best, a tie for last place if KC also loses. Obviously, Vegas doesn't believe the Chargers are as bad as that. otherwise, they wouldn't be 10-point favorites.
- Will Reggie Bush have a #1 RB big game i.e 25+ touches and a score or two? If he doesn't who will be the RB2?
- Can Shaun Alexander quell the unrest building about his desire to play? Does anyone remember this team used to be considered a high-scoring one?
- 3.5 road favorites on Monday Night Football? Old School Rules say take the Falcons. If they hold, then the Falcons' player will make fantasy players stretched thin by the six-team bye week very happy with "quality" efforts.
- Last week, the RB duo of Jacobs & Ward impressed any non-fantasy player with its potential for a RBBC. Will it continue?