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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Question of the Week
This week's Question comes from JB, who asks:
With Felix Jones out 2-4 weeks, who do you like more as a waiver wire pickup? Tashard Choice or DeMarco Murray?
Choice was a valuable fill-in for the Cowboys during his first couple seasons, but he seems to have fallen out of favor this year, and was actually on the trading block before Felix Jones went down. Most are speculating that the Dallas running game now belongs to the rookie out of Oklahoma, DeMarco Murray. Murray is going to lead this two-headed backfield for now, but I'm not sure his role is all that secure. I'd grab Choice too, if he's available. Either of these guys makes a good play this week against the Rams.
This week's Guest Picker is Arthur Murray, Fair Lawn Librarian
About Arthur: He's too old to play fantasy football, but young enough to outlive his favorite Giants players ever, Jimmy Patton and Y.A.Tittle!
This week's Pick 'Em games:
Atlanta Falcons (3-3) @ Detroit Lions (5-1) -- Can the Lions recover from their first loss of 2011?
San Diego Chargers (4-1) @ New York Jets (3-3) -- Can the Jets maintain their momentum afer Monday night's win?
Denver Broncos (1-4) @ Miami Dolphins (0-5) -The debut of Tim Tebow versus Stu's hapless Dolphins
Stuart Pace’s Game Picks:
Detroit, San Diego and Denver
Detroit Lions over Atlanta Falcons -- Alrighty then, the Lions were beaten by a fairly strong 49ers team that is as fired up as their coach, Slappy Harbaugh. Falcons found their running game. Detroit seems to be home every week.I want to say Atlanta, but I love Detroit this year.
San Diego Chargers over New York Jets – Wow, Jets barely beat the walking dead known as Miami. Rivers is bombing the ball again and Ryan Mathews is running well. Miami proved that the Jets "Are who we thought they were"
Denver Broncos over Miami Dolphins-- The Lose for Luck sweepstakes continues in South Beach and guess what? MY OWNER is CELEBRATING TEBOW on Sunday in Miami with a Florida Gator National Championship Celebration. Holy crap!?!
Upset of the Week
Chicago Bears over Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- I'll take DA BEARS to beat DA BUCS in what could turn out to be a fun game. Josh Freeman continues to prove himself a capable starter, while Cutler always provides bipolar possibilites with his performances week in and out. Better run game in Chicago. I'll take Forte
Christian Ponder, QB (MIN), Sleeper of the Week – Eh, why not? He will have to throw all day as the Vikings trail by two dozen.
Brandon Lloyd, WR (STL), Bust of the Week -- The second Brandon jettisoned from Denver in the last three years. Who knows who St Louis will have at QB and Lloyd won't know the offense.
Steve Brown’s Picks:
Detroit, San Diego and Denver
Detroit Lions over Atlanta Falcons -- Another rough coach's handshake and we might have to call them De Riot Lions! Did I underestimate the 49ers or overestimate the Lions? I’m going to give the Feisty Felines one more shot. I can tell their coach doesn’t like to be pushed around and I’m going to guess the rest of the team will play with his intensity. Detroit over this year’s strangely listless Falcons.
San Diego Chargers over New York Jets – The Chargers, after a nice week of relaxing on the beach and visiting the zoo, should be well prepared to take on the Jets. Revis saved their season with his pass interference-aided 100-yard TD interception return. Brandon Marshall’s weird inability to stay in bounds, after he was free and clear heading for an early torched Cromartie meal in the end zone didn’t help the Flippers any either. Give me the B. O. L. T. S. BOLTS! BOLTS! BOLTS!
Denver Broncos over Miami Dolphins -- You have to love the welcome the Dolphins are giving newly-starting QB Tim Tebow, though the fact he is on the opponent is a bit of a head scratcher. Is this a new NFL trend? Will the Eagles have a Welcome Eli Cotillion later this year? I think Denver will find Miami very welcoming indeed, and a conservative game plan and grind it out attack will be too much for the Fins. I reserve the right to switch my pick if the Dolphins resign Greg Camarillo the man that saved them from their first winless season.
Upset of the Week
Chicago Bears over Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Ok I’m taking a new look at things. Maybe I was wrong about Josh Freeman, maybe I was wrong about LeGarrette Blount. Maybe Mike Tice doesn’t have a big pumpkin head, maybe Donovan McNabb really did need to rest his head on the ball and take a little nap for a safety. I don’t know how much stock to put into Chicago’s whooping of my Vikes but probably enough to see them move past Tampa this week.
Mark Ingram, RB (NO), Sleeper of the Week – I’m not going to tell you that former Giant Mark Ingram’s son is going to be the best Mark Ingram to come from the Ingram family bcause I hate when parents name their kid after themselves. But Mark Jr. has scored 2 touchdowns in two weeks, and New Orleans will likely be pounding the ball to protect the early lead I fully expect them to jump out to. If you need a bye week player who should put up 70 yards and is likely to hit the end zone, pick up Mini Mark.
Cam Newton, QB (CAR), Bust of the Week -- How can you say such a thing as they are measuring his head for his bust in Canton? The Redskin’s have a surprisingly tough D- 6th in the league in total yards. Cam is coming off a bad 3 interception-week against Atlanta and may be trending downward after his ascendant start. Sure he has 6 rushing TDs, but he also has 9 int’s to his 7 passing TDs. I expect Washington to bottle up Cam and keep this a dull low scoring affair.
Zak Koeske's Picks:
Detroit, New York Jets and Denver
Detroit Lions over Atlanta Falcons -- As much as I can envision a Lions collapse down the stretch, they're at home again this week so I'll give them the benefit for now. A good team can't let lesser teams come to town and win on their field two weeks in a row. They've got to be fired up. Plus, the Falcons can't defend the pass, so Matthew Stafford should be in for another nice game.
New York Jets over San Diego Chargers -- The Jets have looked pretty miserable this year, but I'm still not sold on the Chargers. Their four wins have come against teams with a combined record of 3-17 (Minnesota, Kansas City, Miami and Denver). I'm convinced that the Jets have the corners to limit the Chargers strong passing game (although being able to Ryan Mathews on the ground is another matter). I'm a bit apprehensive about the choice, but I'll take the Jets to prevail in this one.
Denver Broncos over Miami Dolphins -- Yeah, Tebow has gotten a ridiculous amount of hype and he probably can't live up to it. But the Broncos couldn't have chosen a better game to throw him into the mix. The Dolphins are pitifully bad and getting worse. He'd have to really try to lose this one. Broncos win easily.
Upset of the Week
Kanas City Chiefs over Oakland Raiders -- Can Carson Palmer really step in and win an NFL football game right now? Even if it is against the Chiefs, I'm not so sure. Coming off two wins before their bye last week, the Chiefs should be fresh and itching to keep their winning ways alive against their divisional rival.
Earnest Graham, RB (TB), Sleeper of the Week – It seems like only yesterday that I rode the unheralded and previously unknown touchdown machine known as Earnest Graham to the fantasy playoffs back in 2007. Ernie's a bit older now, but he's got a soft matchup this week and he's coming off a 100-yard performance against the Saints. Plug him into your lineup.
Vincent Jackson, WR (SD), Bust of the Week -- Now Boarding for Revis Island. 'Nuff Said. Gotta represent the Pittsburgh guys.
Guest Picker Arthur Murray's Picks:
Atlanta, New York Jets, Miami
Atlanta Falcons over Detroit Lions --I know. It makes me sad too. But Detroit must come down and Atlanta must go up. Water finds its level.
New York Jets over San Diego Chargers -- Because. Just because.
Miami Dolphins over Denver Broncos -- Tim Tebow (the Michelle Bachmann of the NFL) has a big game. And when Tim has a big game, Denver usually loses. Or hadn't we noticed?
Upset of the Week
Carolina Panthers over Washington Redskins-- Cam Newton vs. John Beck - oh, honestly. I know the pick is self-serving for a Giants fan, but I am not above a self-serving pick.
Tim Tebow, QB (DEN), Sleeper of the Week – Is he really a sleeper? Check Denver's quarterback chart. He was back-up to a back-up of a back-up just a few mintues ago. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Matthew Stafford, QB (DET), Bust of the Week --So many busts, so little time. How about Matt Stafford? Earth, meet Matt. Matt, meet Earth. By the way, my reserve bust is also named Matt - Matt Schaub. Mr. Schaub, meet the Titans defense. Titans defense, try not to be too hard on Mr. Schaub.
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.