This Thursday night is about as good as it gets in the NFL with the 10-1 Green Bay Packers taking on the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys.
We’ve got America’s feel good story with the Brett Favre, who everyone can’t help but root for, and America’s team who most love to hate with their high profile celebrity QB Tony Romo. For fantasy owners, both QBs have been an absolute steal.
Romo was drafted as the fifth to eighth QB in most drafts. Favre was drafted by fantasy GM’s as a backup. That was only because of either two things. First, the likes of Jeff Garcia and Steve McNair were gone. Second, the person drafting was a die hard cheese-head.
As far as fantasy QB’s go, and apparently win-loss records correlate, Romo and Favre find themselves as the second and third best QB’s in the game statistically behind Tom Brady. Romo has 29 TDs and has played brilliantly in every game except that five INT debacle in Buffalo and a slightly sub par performance against New England. He’s got five 300-yard games along with three 4 TD games. If Brady weren’t having the type of season he is, Romo would be the season’s story.
Favre has done pretty well for himself as well. The big difference from Romo is that Favre has far exceeded expectations for both himself and his team. Romo’s success is overshadowed by many because it is Dallas. The celebrity spotlight he’s put himself in with the likes of okay looking girls like Jessica Simpson, Carrie Underwood, Brittany Spears, and Sophia Bush.
Favre has somehow found a way to keep himself under control, have fun, and win games every week. His energy and class has rubbed off not only on his receivers, but the running game, defense, and special teams. His blockers have allowed for him to toss 22 TDs and seven 300-yard games, including 4 of his last 5.
We love this shootout Thursday where the two gunslingers look like old western movie heroes. We have Robert Redford, the Sundance Kid, playing Tony Romo, while the aging Brett Favre has John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn. Someone has to win the game and one of the Gunslingers has to beat the other.
Dallas is a 6Â½ point favorite with the total in the 52 point range, which means everyone expects it to be a shootout. Dallas is willing to let teams hang in games until the second half where the leash comes off Terrell Owens and lets him dominate the secondary. That pattern will likely continue Thursday. Look for Owens and Romo to hook up for two TDs. Romo should have a stat line of 310 yards and 4 TD’s. Favre will likely have a 300-yard game himself. The Cowboys should take control in the third quarter and force Favre to play catch-up, forcing at least two INT’s. We’ll side with the public as the Cowboys roll the Packers 35-24 as Marion Barber chips in a short yardage TD run.
Making his first real appearance of the 2007 fantasy football season was Frank Gore. After putting up weekly numbers that looked like he was platooning with someone, Gore stepped up and got his first 100 yard game. The feature that made Gore the second pick overall in most drafts was his pass catching skills. However, up until last Sunday, Gore had caught more than three passes in a game only once. On Sunday he had 11 for 98 yards. We don’t want to quite say he’s back, but the 49ers success in the game and Gore’s personal success lead us to believe that Coach Nolan will use that philosophy once again this week at Carolina. Get Gore 35 touches and the 49ers win. Best of all, fantasy owners get a performance worthy of the No. 2 pick.
Derek Anderson (QB) Cleve: Anderson and company have the surprising 7-4 Browns only one game back of the Steelers in the AFC North. The Browns head to Arizona this week in a huge road game. A win here and the Browns will make the playoffs with a chance to win the division. The Patriots and Jaguars are still on the Steelers schedule. Cardinals Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson is still suffering from a bad right foot so look for a big game from Anderson in what should be a shootout. Feel comfortable starting him in your playoff run in the coming weeks with the Jets, Bills, Bengals, and 49ers on the schedule.
Justin Fargas (RB) Oak: 4 straight weeks of 22+ carries, two 100+ yard games, throw in 12 receptions..not bad, not great! This week the Broncos roll into Oakland and the Raiders have not forgotten about their Week 2 loss due to a late timeout by Shanahan that nullified a winning Janikowski field goal. Denver’s defense is allowing an average of 146 yards a game on the ground. With the Raiders’ bad intentions in mind look for Fargas to run up another 100-yard game and hit paydirt.
Look out for”¦
Injury reports. Check out a few key players before sending your lineups in. Adrian Peterson is expected to come back this weekend which means that Chester Taylor no longer has value. Over the last two weeks Taylor has filled in nice for the fantasy owners who picked him up giving over 200 yards and 4 TD’s.
Selvin Young is still the starter in Denver, but sat out last week in Chicago with a sore knee. Filling in for Young was Andre Hall who scored a TD and had over 150 yards rushing and receiving. It really doesn’t matter who Denver plugs in, except to Fantasy owners, because they run well whoever is there. This week against the Raiders, the Broncos backs get to feast on the Raiders, who have allowed 645 rushing over the last five games to some of the weaker backs in the game like Lendale White, Ron Dayne, Cedric Benson, Chester Taylor and Kolby Smith.
Any St. Louis Rams: If Marc Bulger doesn’t go, as he is expected, Gus Frerotte will take the reigns. The Rams have looked like the league’s worst team with Frerotte in control. Granted, most of those games were without Stephen Jackson, but nevertheless, Frerotte is awful and can kill any drive with worst of them. Jackson is tough to sit out, but Ike Bruce and Torry Holt are likely to see most passes way beyond their reach.
Larry Johnson doesn’t have a solid timeline set for his return. In his absence this week Kolby Smith ran for 150 yards and 2 TD. According to many fans in a poll done by the Kansas City Star, before Smith even ran wild against Oakland, they really could care less when Johnson comes back. Somehow, we think Chiefs coach Herm Edwards might be thinking the same way.