Just a public service announcement. To all you people lucky enough to still have fantasy action, I went ahead and checked the weather report for Minneapolis on Monday night. It’s going to be 3 degrees. I didn’t forget to hit the second number. That’s a lone 3 sitting there. It isn’t supposed to snow, but when it is 3 degrees out, who really knows, right? I’m trying to think about it being 20 degrees colder than last night when I braved the KOP parking lot without a jacket. Anyway, I’m sure the Bears/Vikings game played outdoors at U of Minnesota is going to be a complete stink bomb. Bench all kickers, and really any Viking at this point isn’t viable. My team is in shambles. I’ll be starting all of 2 players I drafted this week in the semi-finals.
There are a couple decent games on the schedule this week, most notably the Eagles and Giants getting together to decide the NFC East. We’ll hit that up that game in more detail tomorrow, but in honor of last week’s horrendous slate of games, I thought I’d countdown the weekly schedule in terms of watchability and try to think of a reason to check out each game, if you happened to be stuck in a regional coverage nightmare.
15. Arizona @ Carolina. Skelton vs. Clausen. The Panthers may run the wildcat. The Cardinals may start kicking field goals on second down. Easily the stink fest of the YEAR. Reason to watch: Massive DA Fantasy Semi-Finals implications.
14. Cleveland @ Cincy. If only it was the mid-eighties. Esiason vs. Kosar for the right to lose to the Broncos. Carson Palmer seems determined to lose enough games to usher his replacement (Andrew Luck) into town. Reason to watch: T.O. is due for a blow-up.
13. San Francisco @ San Diego. San Francisco has had the strangest point spreads of any team in the league this year. In San Diego, I’d be comfortable laying 16.5. They are going to get torched. Reason to watch: It’s the only game on Thursday night.
12. Detroit @ Tampa Bay. Beat a back-up quarterback 7-3 and get excited. The life of a Lions fan. If the Bucs lose this game at home every Tampa sports team should be relocated. Reason to watch: Suh/Freeman/Piledriver.
11. Houston @ Tennessee. I’d rather watch the 1990 Oilers scrimmage themselves. How does the AFC South get off the hook? This division is awful too. I expect Pro Bowl level intensity out there in this one. Reason to Watch: Angry Chris Johnson owners storm the field.
10. Denver @ Oakland. If you look across the field to the opposing sideline and see the Raiders and then realize that they are a better team and organization than you in every way…it’s time to panic. Reason to Watch: Oakland this time of year? Gorgeous.
9. Buffalo @ Miami. The Dolphins are 7-6 and only 1-5 at home. What does that mean? The Bills win and officially enter the Robert Quinn sweepstakes. Aa-ron May-bin (clap-clap-clap-clap-clap). Reason to Watch: Fred Jackson.
8. Atlanta @ Seattle. You know those graphics during NBA games where it will say Kobe Bryant 24, Raptors 22? I’m pretty sure that will happen with Michael Turner on Sunday. Reason to Watch: At least it isn’t a bowl game.
7. Bears @ Vikings. You already know something about this one. What you don’t know is the Vikings may not have a QB, and they may bring in Patrick Ramsey. Patrick Ramsey, 3 degrees, and against J-Pepp? Too good to be true. Reason to Watch: Maybe the 4 shirtless morons with painted chests won’t be dudes.
6. Kansas City @ St. Louis. These AFC/NFC West games are really a treat. If Croyle plays again, the Chiefs lose. If Cassel comes back, the Rams win. Reason to Watch: Haley’s post-game press conference.
5. Washington @ Dallas. Something about seeing Donovan McNabb is going to ignite the Dallas defense. He’s catnip. I also imagine he’s terrified to play this game. Bold prediction: Rex Grossman will take snaps in this game. Reason to Watch: Uh, I just said…Rex Grossman.
4. New York Jets @ Pittsburgh. Watching the Jets on offense right now is like watching people try to sprint across those giant red balls on Wipeout. The Steelers are totally decimated and look terrible as well. What’s the record for combined pick-6s in a game? Reason to watch: Mark Sanchez screams, “because I’m scared!” and then bursts into tears on the sideline.
3. Green Bay @ New England. I’m rating this game as if Aaron Rodgers is playing. If he isn’t, go ahead and re-slot it in the teens. Rodgers is my fantasy QB, but this would be a tough match-up anyway. We’re one blowout away from handing the Pats the Lombardi trophy. Actual Football Reason to Watch: Is Green Bay the team that can finally slow NE down?
2. New Orleans @ Baltimore. I’m playing against Drew Brees in fantasy this week. Matt Schaub’s 2nd half against the Ravens on Monday didn’t make me feel great. This is a huge game in the realm of conference supremacy. If the Saints win, I’m officially ready to forget about the Falcons. Actual Football Reason to Watch: Is the Saints defense good enough for them to repeat?
So, there you go, fifteen games all leading up to the Giants/Eagles contest Sunday afternoon. Plan your schedules accordingly.