Welcome to the weekly Patch NFL Pick 'Em, where Fair Lawn residents and wannabe NFL prognosticators Stuart Pace, Steve Brown and Zak Koeske offer up their picks for three games each week, and dish out a little fantasy football advice to boot.
If you'd like our opinion on fantasy roster moves, have a fantasy football question you'd like answered or would like to compete against us as a Guest Picker, email Patch NFL Pick 'Em at email@example.com
Question of the Week:
I'm in a first-round playoff matchup with week, so it's a must win game! Who should I start? I need a flex RB/WR and one additional WR.
Pick two: Malcom Floyd, Nate Burleson, Peyton Hillis, DeAngelo Williams, Miles Austin and Brandon Jacobs.
- Freddy French Fry
I'd take my chances with Malcom Floyd and Miles Austin.
Floyd was back to his old self last week hauling in a deep ball from Philip Rivers for a score. As long as he's healthy, Floyd is always a strong play.
Austin's had a rough year and he's had a long injury layoff, but if he's playing and is close to 100 percent, you gotta pull the trigger. The Giants' pass defense is too weak, and Austin will take advantage.
While both of these guys are calculated risks because they're kind of boom or bust, the upside in each case is too great to outweigh sitting them over any of your other options, who either face tough matchups, time shares or are just generally unexplosive and unexciting.
This week's Pick 'Em games:
Chicago Bears (7-5) @ Denver Broncos (7-5)
New York Giants (6-6) @ Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
Philadelphia Eagles (4-8) @ Miami Dolphins (4-8)
Stuart Pace’s Game Picks:
Denver, New York Giants and Miami
Denver Broncos over Chicago Bears -– TEBOW. Until he loses, thats all I'm saying. I really think Jesus listens to his prayers, cause there is no other explanation for the Broncos to be 5-1 with him. Tebow is the reason for the postseason in Denver.
New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys -- Oy! Whoever shows up to this game with an attitude wins. I like Eli and Victor Cruz a little better than I like Romo and Dez. The Giants played their hearts out for 59 minutes last week. 59 FREAKIN MINUTES. Oh wait, but there's 60 in the game, Stu. Oh yes, and that's why I lost my upset of the week. I'm taking Eli and Osiyoomenyoura and all the other names I can't spell. Go Big Blew.
Miami Dolphins over Philadelphia Eagles -- What, Mike Vick is back? Who cares? Miami is playing like a team straight out of the NFL, which they forgot to do in weeks 1 through 7. Philly? Been playing like Miami did in games 1 through 7. Matt Moore is in rythym, Miami finally figured out how to use Bush and the D is playing well. Eagles mail one in and Miami win.
Upset of the Week
Carolina Panthers over Atlanta Falcons -- Hmm, upset- You bet I'm upset. They realigned hockey. LOL! Nah, the upset of the week shouldn't even be an upset. Panthers at home versus the ever-fading Falcons. Cam is the man, breaking records, winning games. He is an exciting young player who will singlehandedly win this game.
Shonn Greene, RB (NYJ), Sleeper of the Week – Of course he is due to break out this week against KC because I am officially out of all of my fantasy league playoffs. So he will run for 300 yards and 6 TDs this week because, hey, I don't need him anymore.
Mike Vick, QB (PHI), Bust of the Week -- There's nothing I like more than a big bust. And this week I will put the burden of the title on Mike Vick. He is back from whatever the heck and he is playing against a revitalized (just in the nick of time to lose the first pick Andrew Luck) Miami D. They have been playing extremely well, limiting TDs in the last five or so games. Welcome back, Mike. Your team stayed in Philly.
Steve Brown’s Picks:
Denver, New York Giants and Miami
Denver Broncos over Chicago Bears – I am converted. I am a believer now. Tim Tebow is the chosen one. How else can you explain it? He throws passes like a kid scooping up snow, packing it tightly and then winging it from their hip, and yet the team wins. The kid wins. He won in college, probably won in Chutes and Ladders as a toddler.
Matt Forte’s knee got smote, and the Bears QB’s have been treated worse than Job. Even Brian Urlacher isn’t impervious to the plagues sent the Bears way as he tried to bat down a pass only to see it caught for a TD in their 10-3 loss to the Chiefs.
The Broncos have 3 very winnable games left. Only the Pats should scare them. Given that God probably doesn’t love the Raiders, even with Al Davis up there in his ear all Sunday long, give me the Broncos and go with God as they say.
PS- Note to fantasy players -- No, Urlacher does not get credited with a TD pass.
New York Giants over Dallas Cowboys -- Ever been to a wedding where the bride throws the bouquet and it gets batted down and all the single ladies walk away from it until the awkwardness gets to be too much and someone picks it up? That is what this game feels like. Both teams have had great chances to take the reins in the NFC East and both have spit the bit. So I will take the Giants (who put up a valiant effort against the Packers) over the Cowboys, whose late game clock management and icing of their own kicker snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the hapless Cardinals, which makes me feel like they want the bouquet even less than the Giants do.
PS- Giants fans- Watch the hustle out of #93 Chase Blackburn and wish that your more highly paid linebackers played with this guy's desire.
Miami Dolphins over Philadelphia Eagles -- What can you say? Philly has a better coach, a much better collection of individual talent and much better depth at key positions. So why is it they play like listless dogs and malcontent DeSean Jackson can no longer be counted on to run a pattern, though he is willing to walk the first few steps of it in order to keep his million dollar salary and evidently to “showcase” his "hustle" for his next team?
How this high scoring team of Dolphins replaced the ones that started the first 7 games is beyond me, but it is time to recognize that they have. Who is that in the Reggie Bush costume running hard and earning his draft status? What primordial ocean did these creatures emerge from and how will Dolphins management toss Tony Sparano back into it if they continue to win like this with Matt Moore guiding the ship? I can’t answer all those questions but I can tell you that I like the Dolphins to roll over an Eagles team that has clearly rolled over.
PS- The over/under on "DeSean Jackson benchings" is 3 for this game. I’m parlaying that bet with the "Suspended from the team for the season" option.
Upset of the Week
Jacksonville Jaguars over Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Give me Jacksonville over Tampa in the battle for swamp supremacy in Florida. It seems that the Jags players haven’t given up and are playing hard for interim coach Mel Tucker. I’ll take the Jags to eek this one out using the human bowling ball that is Maurice Jones-Drew and a couple of Blaine Gabbert passes to outduel the Bucs.
PS-This pick is for my boy Rich Alberti, newly displaced Jags fan. Rich is such a hardcore Jags fan he once tore up his knee while tailgating…..now that is Much Jags Love. Tyson Alualu to you Rich, wherever you are.
Robert Meachem, WR (NO), Sleeper of the Week – Give me a saint, any Saint. Seems to me we are living in a pretty special time when, barring injury, we get to watch at least five future Hall of Fame Quartebacks in Aaron Rodgers (Maybe premature, but I mean c’mon man, Brett who?), Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning (I did say barring injury) and Drew Brees. Brees seems to be the least appreciated of these, but he is playing at an incredibly high level and everyone on the field is better for it. So I’ll spin the Saints skill position wheel, round and round she goes……Moore, no Sproles, no Meachem Give me Robert Meachem this week.
Adrian Peterson, RB (MIN) and Michael Vick, QB (PHI), Busts of the Week -- We’re having a special today, 2 for the price of 1.
Both Michael Vick and Adrian Peterson are said to be ready to come back to play at the time I am writing this. Were I you I would avoid them like women avoided Stuart in High School. Both teams have little to play for in the standings and little reason to risk further injuring their stars by playing them extensively in these games. Tempting as it may be to try to save your season by reinserting one of your high draft picks post-injury, don’t do it if you have a steady point producer ready to stand in for them for one more week.
Zak Koeske's Picks:
Denver, Dallas and Miami
Denver Broncos over Chicago Bears - No Jay Cutler. No Matt Forte. No Chance. Five of the six games Tim Tebow has won since taking over as the Broncos quarterback have been on the road. You know the hometown fans are just dying to celebrate their savior as he brings home a victory at Mile High.
Dallas Cowboys over New York Giants - So the Giants almost won against the Packers last week? Big whoop. They lost. Just like they have every week for the past month.
The Cowboys are at home, where they're 5-1 this year, and Tony Romo has quietly been outstanding the last five weeks. Since taking a Week 8 shellacking from the Eagles, Romo has thrown 11 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. The Giants soft defense isn't going to be putting an end to that run.
Miami Dolphins over Philadelphia Eagles -- At the beginning of the season, I know none of us would have picked Miami to beat Philly, but here we are in Week 14 doing so unanimously.
These teams are trending in entirely opposite directions. The Dolphins are playing like a team possessed. I don't know how they're doing in, but I've been a believer for a while now (as evidenced by my choice of the Dolphins for Upset of the Week three straight times). Reggie Bush had another 100 yard game last week on 22 carries! That's two centuries this year. Doesn't sound like much, but it's more than he'd had in his entire 6-year career up to that point. The 22 carries last week were also a career high.
On the other hand, the Eagles are just loathsome. It doesn't get much worse than losing by 17 to the Seahawks. This from a team that was a Super Bowl favorite heading into the season. I love watching Vick and McCoy, but this team doesn't care anymore. They've got nothing to play for.
Upset of the Week
Minnesota Vikings over Detroit Lions -- The Lions freefall continues in epic fashion against the 2-10 Vikings. I don't even think the Vikes need AP to pull this one out, but if he does end up playing that'll just make the victory come a little bit more easily. Minnesota actually forced overtime with Detroit early in the season (they lost), when the Lions were actually a good team. This will be payback.
Roy Helu, RB (WAS), Sleeper of the Week – Helu got a ton of hype in the pre-season but the shenanigans of Mike Shanahan kept him from getting the touches he deserved. Now that he's finally playing, he's actually under the radar. Not for long. Helu's gone over 20 carries and 100 yards rushing in his past two games while facing solid run defenses. And even if he can't get it going on the ground, Helu's still a threat to take a short pass to the house. A must start this week.
Beanie Wells, RB (ARI), Bust of the Week -- Whene Arizona and San Francisco faced off three weeks again Wells didn't fare well. He mustered only 1 fantasy point, on 8 carries, 33 yards and a fumble. I smell a repeat stinker.
About Stuart Pace:
Stu has been played fantasy football for more than 15 years and also spent a number of years hosting a Fair Lawn TV show called "Electric Football" with Steve Brown. He's currently in four leagues. A die-hard Miami Dolphins fan ("The Dolphins make me cry"), Stu has a Miami Dolphins tattoo and a Dolphins cause bracelet ("The lost cause").
About Steve Brown:
Steve was co-host of "Electric Football", the highest-rated NFL-related YouTube video series shot in Fair Lawn that we are aware of. When he's not producing that cult favorite, he spends way too much time crying quietly in the closet after Viking's losses. Steve has come in second place in more Fantasy Leagues than anyone he knows of since he started playing in 1992, and is still famous among his friends for the ill-fated KiJana Carter No. 2 overall pick.
About Zak Koeske:
Zak's a 9-year fantasy football veteran who has made a tradition of producing pre-season Power Rankings and crafting league write-ups for his personal league the past few years. This season he took part in his first auction-style draft, and is still trying to recover from the damage of spending all of his money on his first four picks.