NFL 2012: Week 6 - The AFC West will be decided on Monday

That's right, whoever wins the Monday night game between the Chargers and Broncos will win the AFC West.  A Chargers victory will give them an insurmountable two game lead and a Broncos victory in San Diego gives them the tiebreaker with the second matchup in Denver.  I'll think more about the rest of the NFL next week.  I ended up taking lots of favorites this week...and may have screwed myself in the process.

Pittsburgh (-6) over TENNESSEE: The line should be 8.
Fantasy: Start all your Steelers and none of your Titans.  Unless you're dying with Chris Johnson.  Fantasy owners live and die by Michael Vick.  They just die by Chris Johnson.
Not So Bold Prediction: The Titans continue to suck and lose this game.  This is only slightly different than the Steelers winning.
Bold Prediction: Baron Batch (who?) has 10 carries for 22 yards and a touchdown.

ATLANTA (-9) over Oakland: I can't actually calculate how high the line would need to be for me to take the Raiders because spreads above 14 are so rare I can't actually develop a sample size large enough to determine corresponding winning percentage.  It isn't as high as Houston's 101% chance of beating the Titans last week, but I have the Falcons winning 98.6% of the time.
Fantasy: Roddy White, Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, Darren McFadden.  Those guys are all starts and no one else should even be on a roster.
Not So Bold Prediction: In the fourth quarter, Michael Turner has more carries than Matt Ryan has pass attempts.
Bold Prediction: Michael Turner and either Roddy White or Julio Jones scores a touchdown.

Cincinnati (-1.5) over CLEVELAND: Not much value, but the Bengals should be favored by 3.
Fantasy: AJ Green and Trent Richardson are automatic.  The Law Firm is coming back to earth a little, but still a solid Probable.  Don't drop Andrew Hawkins yet, but get ready to if he does nothing.
Not So Bold Prediction: Brandon Weeden throws an interception.
Bold Prediction: AJ Green catches a touchdown.

St. Louis (+3.5) over MIAMI: The line should be 2, so I guess I'm picking Miami to win, but the Rams to cover?  Should be close at least.
Fantasy: Reggie Bush is showing last year's 1000 yards weren't a fluke.  He's running more, but catching fewer passes.  Danny Amendola's inverted clavicle injury is a bummer.  No other Rams receiver is worth playing.  No Dolphins receiver is worth playing either, but keep an eye on Brian Hartline and his 52 targets.  You know exactly what you're getting with Steven Jackson.  5-7 points rushing and a 30% chance of a touchdown.
Not So Bold Prediction: Reggie Bush outrushes Steven Jackson
Bold Prediction: Nobody scores 20 fantasy points in this game.

Indianapolis (+3.5) over NYJ: Pod Vader summed it up best instead of his long series of insignificant stats, Andrew Luck is good, Mark Sanchez is not.  Indy has a 51% chance of winning this game outright.
Fantasy: Reggie Wayne is a #1 fantasy WR.  Donald Brown is out for a bit and I keep hearing good things about Vick Ballard.  No one on the Jets should be started in fantasy, including Jeremy Kerely and Santonio Holmes.
Not So Bold Prediction: Andrew Luck has more rushing yards than Mark Sanchez.
Bold Prediction: The Colts win outright.  Chuckstrong!

Detroit (+4) over PHILADELPHIA: I really don't have a beat on either of these teams.  But these two teams are basically even, maybe half a point or a point towards the Eagles in Philly.
Fantasy: LeSean McCoy, Calvin Johnson.  Surprisingly, those are the only automatic starters.  Michael Vick and Matthew Stafford are 90% automatic, but it's possible you have a better option.  Mikel LeShoure, Brandon Pettigrew and DeSean Jackson are Probable.  Nate Burleson and Brent Celek are Questionable.  Jeremy Maclin is Doubtful in the fantasy sense of the word.
Not So Bold Prediction: A turnover occurs in this game.
Bold Prediction: 6 players score double digit fantasy points.

TAMPA BAY (-4) over Kansas City: This line should be 7...mostly because the Chiefs are bad.  As a Chargers fan, I'm sure glad they are in the AFC West.
Fantasy: Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe are automatic.  If you drafted Vincent Jackson, he's automatic for you, and although it's a little out of turn, the opponent says this is one of his 18 point games.  Doug Martin is Probable and Mike Williams is Questionable.
Not So Bold Prediction: Jamaal Charles gets 15 touches.
Bold Prediction: Vincent Jackson getting 18 fantasy points is bold enough.

BALTIMORE (-3.5) over Dallas: The Ravens are that good and the Cowboys just aren't.  This line should be double digits.
Fantasy:  Start everyone.  The Cowboys defense isn't a big factor and the Ravens aren't nearly where they were four years ago.  Ray Rice, DeMarco Murray, Joe Flacco, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Torrey Smith, Jason Witten, Dennis Pitta.  I'd even start Anquan Boldin.  Not all of them will score, but there will be plenty of touchdowns and you don't want to miss out.
Not So Bold Prediction: Ray Rice catches a pass.
Bold Prediction: Ray Rice scores a touchdown.

ARIZONA (-5) over Buffalo:  It's not that I think the Cardinals are THAT good, it's that the Bills are much closer to bad.  They are one of the worst 6 teams in the NFL, which all happen to be in the AFC that includes Jacksonville, Buffalo, Oakland, Tennessee, Kansas City, and Cleveland.  I'll be picking against those six teams for quite a while.
Fantasy: CJ Spiller and Larry Fitzgerald.  Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson are Probable.  I don't know which Arizona RB gets the most carries.  Don't drop Andre Roberts or Scott Chandler just yet.
Not So Bold Prediction: Larry Fitzgerald catches a pass.
Bold Prediction: No one outside Arizona or New York watches this game.

SEATTLE (+3.5) over New England: Really?  Didn't the Patriots just score 50 last week? (Editor's note: They scored 52 two weeks ago over Buffalo).  But that's the beauty of the Pythagorean winning %.  Even though the Patriots point differential is 52 (coincidence) and Seattle's is 16, you need to realize that allowing fewer points has a bigger impact.  The only team to allow fewer points than Seattle is San Francisco.  This good defense at home should only be giving 1.5.
Fantasy: You're still starting tom Brady, Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Marshawn Lynch, but expect less of them this week.  It doesn't look like Aaron Hernandez will play and no one else on the Seahawks is worth starting.  I dropped Russell Wilson in my keeper league for Christian Ponder.
Not So Bold Prediction: The 12th Man gets some love.
Bold Prediction: Brandon Llod leads the game in targets.

San Francisco (-6.5) over Nyg:  You know what really helps your advanced metrics.  Winning 34-0, then 45-3 in consecutive weeks.  I wonder how big the spread will be when they play Arizona and St. Louis in the next few weeks? 10? 13?
Fantasy: Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks if he plays.  Ahmad Bradshaw gets the standard "RB against SF gets pushed down to Questionable".  In general, the 49ers should be up in this game and the Giants will be throwing.  I don't know if that defense can hold up against so many pass attempts.
Not So Bold Prediction: Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick has at least one rushing attempt.
Bold Prediction: Eli Manning throws for 300 yards.

Minnesota (Off) over WASHINGTON: Yahoo has this as Off(0), I found one place listing the Redskins as a 1.5 point favorite.  I'm taking the Viking until they are favored by 6.
Fantasy: Based on position, Percy Harvin is actually a better fantasy value than Adrian Peterson.  Robert Griffin III has replaced Cam Newton as a top 5 fantasy QB.  Alfred Morris Probable, but won't score much.  You can drop Leonard Hankerson if you want.  Keep Kyle Rudolph.
Not So Bold Prediction: Christian Ponder and RGIII combine for 20 rushing yards.
Bold Prediction: Percy Harvin or Kyle Rudolph scores a touchdown.

HOUSTON (-3.5) over Green Bay:  This should be a good game, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Texans run away with it.  The fun narrative is that Brian Cushing's ACL tear makes the Texans' defense a little less impressive and the Packers are still a good team led by MVP Aaron Rodgers.  I say the Texans are really good on both sides of the ball and the Packers are just average.  Houston wins by 10.
Fantasy: Losing 35-24 can still produce good fantasy numbers for the Packers...well, at least the passing game.  Aaron Rodgers has decent numbers, and I say Randall Cobb is the guy to start after Jordy Nelson (with Greg Jennings out).  James Jones is Questionable. Arian Foster is automatic and Andre Johnson is Probable.  Owen Daniles is also Probable while Matt Schaub is questionable.
Not So Bold Prediction:  Arian Foster scores a touchdown.
Bold Prediction: Houston wins by 10.

SAN DIEGO (-1) over Denver:  I'm really glad this first game is in San Diego.  That home field advantage gives them the slight edge and with a victory they take a huge psychological leap over the Broncos.  These two teams are really close.  It really is just home field that says the Chargers win by 3.
Fantasy: Ryan Mathews, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Demaryius Thomas.  Willis McGahee is Probable.  If you want to star a Chargers WR, Malcolm Floyd is Questionable, Eric Decker is only Questionable going against his former team (remember Robert Meachem last week?) and Meachem is Doubtful.  I honestly don't know what's going on with Antonio Gates.  He is getting separation and coming up with big plays, but just isn't putting up numbers.
Not So Bold Prediction: Peyton shills something during the commercial.
Bold Prediction: The Chargers never trail in this game.


  1. Your (Editor's Note: ...) absolutely slayed me. Haha well played.

    A lot of lines that I don't get for today, so I'm going with the shotgun approach:

    $20 on each of these games ... Atlanta -9, St Louis +3.5, Baltimore -3.5, New England -3.5, and San Diego -1.

    Also, $50 on Indy +3.5. The subjective sports fan in me feels like the Jets really want to bounce back after getting skunked and totally embarrassed last week. But looking at this objectively, I'd rather have over a field goal in points from the better team.

  2. I start the week at $950 by the way.

  3. It's good I forgot/was too busy to make any $ picks. I would have gone with Baltimore, Atlanta, Arizona, San Francisco, Detroit, Houston and Pittsburgh. At least 5 of those were wrong.

  4. I think I missed every pick? Atlanta won by 3 (lost), St Louis lost by 4 (lost), Baltimore won by 2 (lost), New England lost by 1 (lost), and my big pick of Indy got killed by 26. So I lost everything pending the final pick of SD.

    Good job me!

    That means I lost $130 so far, down to $820, pending the SD game.

  5. St. Louis +3.5 was a winner. It was Miami 17 - St. Louis 14.

  6. Yes! Then I am only down to $840. Small victories.

  7. ...and a whole lot of pride as a Chargers fan. What happened tonight?!?!

    PS - I'm super glad I didn't get any of my bets in (Niners, Chargers, Ravens, Falcons)...

  8. Thanks for nothing, Chargers. Back to $820. And drowning my sorrows. Goodbye SD playoff hopes.