Thursday, October 4, 2007

Matt's Stats: Week 5 NFL Preview

It's amazing how fast the NFL Season goes. We are already a quarter of the way through, and moving along as quickly as a Devin Hester kick return. So, with no further ado, I bring you my week 5 picks.

While you are here, also make sure to visit Dave's Slap Shots (just below) for some early season pointers on hockey, and Jeremy's Spoken (below that) for more football advice from a trained statistician.

"Sleep"ing on the Job:

1) Selvin Young (RB, Denver Broncos) - PICK YOUNG UP IMMEDIATELY!!!! Personally I feel that Young should have been drafted in all leagues, but somehow he is only owned in 46 % of CBS leagues. It was just reported on Fox 31 in Denver that Travis Henry is about to be suspended for the season due to failing a drug test. Young totalled 8 rushes for 81 yards in backup duty last week and as the new starter, he is guaranteed to become a top RB!

2) Sidney Rice (WR, Minnesota Vikings) - The 2nd round draft pick out of South Carolina is getting more and more playing time. Rice had his best game of the season last week totalling 6 Catches, 75 Yards, and 1 TD. The Vikings have been very weak at WR and will need Rice to produce more and more as the season progresses. Rice is currently owned in only 7 percent of CBS leagues and could be a great pick up to help get your team to the playoffs.

3) Donald Lee (TE, Green Bay Packers) - Brett Favre has always liked using his Tight End in the passing game, dating all the way back to the Mark Chmura years. This year has been no different and Lee has totalled 4 Receptions in every week of the season, totalling 172 Yards and 1 TD. Lee is only owned in 33 percent of leagues and should be an excellent backup TE and bye week replacement when needed.

"Play" or "Stay Away"

QB - Play Jason Campbell (WR, Washington Redskins) this week against the Detroit Lions. While I am normally not a fan of Campbell (627 Yards, 2 TD, 3 INT), and he may not have Santana Moss this week, this is probably the best start for Campbell so far this year. The Lions may be improved this year overall but their pass defense certainly is not (Tied for 30th in the League). The Redskins have plenty of other weapons (including newly signed Keenan McCardell) so expect Campbell to have one of his best games of the season.

Stay away from Chad Pennington (QB, New York Jets). Pennington is often used as a bye week replacement in many leagues, but it is not recommended for this week. The Jets have a bad offensive line and as evidenced by the first half of the preseason game between the two teams, the Jets will not be able to stop the Giants' defensive line from blitzing. Expect the Giants defense to keep improving and for Pennington to have a rough game.

RB - Play Edgerrin James (RB, Arizona Cardinals). Edge is going against a depleted Rams team who is currently ranked 29th in the league against the Rush. The cards may be confused over who to start at QB, but they have no questions at RB....expect a big game from James this week.

Stay away from Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham (RBs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers). A lot of owners will be tempted to start these two RB's right off the bat now that Cadillac's season is over, but I would suggest waiting at least a week. Nobody knows how the carries will be broken down yet between these two (the 2nd half of last week suggests a pretty even split), and they are against the Colts, who have the 3rd best defense against the run in the NFL this year. Pittman and Graham should be valuable Fantasy RBs this season, but not yet.

WR - Play Dwayne Bowe (WR, Kansas City Chiefs). The Chiefs some how have won 2 in a row and are tied for first in the AFC West. Bowe currently has 299 Yards receiving and 3 TDs for the season. He has scored a TD in 3 consecutive games and has increased his receiving yards in every game of his career. The Jags will be busy trying to stop the rushing game and will be content to let the Chiefs passing beat them. Take advantage and start Bowe this week.

Stay away from Vincent Jackson (WR, San Diego Chargers). Expected by some (including myself) to have a break out year, Jackson has had a very average start at best so far. Going against the #1 rated defense against the pass in the Denver Broncos (led by Champ Bailey and Dre Bly) the Chargers are going to continue wishing for Martyball to return and will not do much on Sunday.

Survival of the Fittest:

It was a funny week with my survival pick. While I had my best week of the year in the pickem pool I do each year (11-3 against the Spread), I had my first loss of the year for a survival pick to move my record to 3-1 on the year. The Professor has been giving me ear since Monday for turning down his two winning predictions in favor of my own failed choice, and he has threatened replacing me in favor of himself. I guess, it's time for redemption.

Getting back to my winning ways in week 5, I'm gonna do what some suggested I should have done last week and go against the Rams. Look for the Arizona Cardinals to win easily this week over the Rams. Gus Frerotte hasn't been the same since he ran into a brick wall in the 7-7 tie to the Giants back in '97. The duo of QBs will keep clicking and it all equals to a Cardinals win and a rare winning record for Arizona on the season.

(Note for all Readers: The Professor, 4-0 in both of his survivor pools, has opted for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts in his two pools this week. If either of those teams lose, he promises to lay off Matt from Stats.)

Have a Great Week 5!


Matt Cohen is a Senior Deputy Justice at His column, Matt's Stats appears on Fridays at SportsJudge Blog.

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Mangan said...

"Stay away from Victor Jackson (WR, San Diego Chargers"

Well Matt, looks like you've done it again. It is easy to stay away from ficticious players like "Victor" Jackson. I believe the player you are looking for is Vincent Jackson.

My advice this week is to stay away from predictions from columnists who can't even get the player's names right, and as I said earlier this week, go Titans.

Matt Cohen said...

Well you are right it is never good to start players that don't exist. I apologize for the typo, but I still suggest staying away from Vincent Jackson if possible. He is on both of my fantasy teams this week, and this is the first time that I will not be starting him.

Marc Edelman said...

As an editor's note,the most recent edition of Matt's Stats has been updated to include the correct name for Mr. Jackson. The team further appreciates the continued diligence of its readers. We encourage readers to continue using the comments section to voice their views, and express their agreement (or lack thereof) with the published articles.

Mangan said...

At least you got the correction in there before Sunday. I'm sure most readers check this site out on Saturday anyway, so hopefully the amount of readers who had a good laugh about Victor Jackson was limited to me and maybe a few others.

I decided to do a little research on the Victor Jackson’s in sports history and noticed that your advice may not be that bad. Victor Jackson, a guard for the Manhattan Jaspers basketball team averaged 0.4 points per game last season (coming off of a 3-pointer, his only made field goal of the season in a game which he logged 24 minutes).

There was once a Victor Jackson in the NFL, too. In the mid 1980's, Jackson was a CB/S who played 2 games for the Colts and 2 games for the Raiders. Before making it to the show for a total of 4 games over 2 seasons, Jackson began his lackluster career in the USFL playing safety and returning punts on special teams.

With that said, it's safe to say that it is good advice to stay away from any athlete named Victor Jackson.

mangan said...

hey matt,

i'll lay off of my hater-aid for a while as although my pick-em team came through, my gambling advice was miserable as I went 0-3. i would feel really bad about myself, but vincent jackson ended up having a good game. if you want to carpool to the football advice unemployment line, let me know. hopefully i'll do better next week

Matt Cohen said...

Hey mangan,

Thanks, the great thing about the NFL is that nobody can get it right every week. Anyone can win or have a big game on any given sunday. I enjoy your comments and look forward to what you have to say next week.