When you're right, you're right; when you're wrong, you're Andrew Davidson. I'm going to start off this week's edition by recapping last week performance of projections and suggestions. I was correct in most of my sit/start match-ups, but not by much. In other words, the guys I suggested to start barely outperformed the guys I recommended sitting. Let's take a look:
Marshawn Lynch vs. Ryan Grant - I forecasted Lynch to have 50 total yards and 0 TDs; he had 49 total yards and 0 TDs. Grant was forecasted for 110 total yards and 1 TD; he had 51 total yards and 0 TDs. Grant outperformed Lynch, but this is a loss eithe way. Feel free to lynch me.
Braylon Edwards vs. Michael Crabtree - Well, I said Braylon wouldn't get a TD and he did. I said Crabtree would get a TD and he did not. Yardage wise, Crabs outperformed Edwards, but just barely (81 to 74). To make matters worse, Crabtree also had a Fumble Lost.
David Garrard vs. Matthew Stafford - Garrard helped me out here, I forecast 190 pass yards (w/30 rush yards), 1 TD and 1 INT. He ended up with 139 pass yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs (w/ 22 rush yards). If you benched Garrard, you're welcome. If you started Stafford, I'm sorry; the Lions QB had 168 pass yards, 1 TD (rushing), and 1 INT. Stafford out performed Garrard, but most QBs did (even Kurt Warner's 6 turnovers).
Dustin Keller - I seriously high fived myself when I saw his stat line: 76 yards, and 1 TD. I recommended Keller as one of my sleeprs, and boy did it pay off. This is the only pick I really felt great about, mainly because it's the only one I nailed.
San Diego DEF - The Chargers forced just 1 turnover and allowed JaMarcus Russell to complete 63.6% of his passes. The Team D allowed 16 points, but also had 5 sacks to go along with the INT. Not a great performance, but Shawne Merriman finally did get a sack (actually he had 2).
After the jump, I attempt to out-do myself in this week's forecasting...
RB to Start
Ryan Grant GB @ TB - I'm going to roll with Grant this week, because I know he can have a big game against the Bucs. Tampa Bay proudly owns the third worst rush D in the league, allowing 162.4 ypg (7 TDs isn't quite as embarassing). Both Buffalo (worst run D) and Cleveland (second worst) have a BYE week, so Tampa gets picked on in Week 9. Of course, Tampa is winless, and coming off a BYE; however, the Packers got Favred at home and are probably looking to take it out on Tampa Bay. Give Grant the Green Light, as I'm essentially taking the easy way out here. Week 9 Forecast: 110 total yards, 1 TD (where have I seen this before?)
RB to Sit
Rashard Mendenhall PIT @ DEN - The Broncos are coming off a loss to Baltimore and have the pleasure of facing Pittsburgh at home on Monday Night Football. Denver's run defense is third best in the league at stopping the run, allowing 86.1 ypg and 3 TDs. Ray Rice had a fine performance (84 rush yards, 1 TD), but averaged just 3.7 ypc; had the Ravens not been leading by such a large margin, Rice's carries would've decreased. While Mendenhall has a knack for breaking free, the Steelers won't find much success running against D.J. Williams and Company Monday Night. Week 9 Forecast: 70 total yards, 0 TDs
WR to Start
Michael Crabtree SF vs. TEN - If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. This time, my Crabtree suggestion makes much more sense as the Titans are allowing 299.1 pypg second worst in the league and slighty worse than San Francisco (269 pypg). This is the week that Michael Crabtree scores his first NFL TD, and has his first 100-yard receiving game. Mark it down. I said MARK IT DOWN. Further more, after this week, Crabtree will be a no-brainer when it comes to sit/start, so this will be the last time you see him on this list. If I had to gamble on Crab getting 100+ yards and 1 TD, I would. Start Crabtree, I promise he'll do what I'm forecasting. Week 9 forecast: 100 total yards, 1 TD, 0 FL
WR to Sit
Marques Colston NO vs. CAR - I am totally going out on a limb here, let's hope it doesn't break. Perhaps you're saying "but Colston is a must start no matter what", and I can't blame you for that. Forget that Colston has averaged just 63.6 ypg against Carolina in 6 career game, or that he's scored just 3 TDs in the same span. The Panthers are the best at keeping Drew Brees in check out of all the teams in the NFC South. Carolina also boasts the top pass defense in the NFL (176.3 pypg), and forced Kurt Warner into have one of the worst games of his career last weekend. Sit Colston, because I think it will be the other Saints WRs (since they have a million threats) that produce this week. Week 9 forecast: 70 total yards, 0 TDs
QB to Start
Joe Flacco BAL @ CIN - Flacco had a bad outing versus Cincinnati in their first meeting, but the Bengals are allowing 268.7 pygp and 10 PaTDs. I look for Flacco to get his revenge this weekend, even though the Bengals will win the game. I could've went the easy route this week, and said Matt Hasselbeck vs. Detroit, but since I'm going with Crabtree and Grant, I'll make it a bit harder on myself. The Bengals have the fifth-best run D, so I expect the Ravens to go to the air, because they'll have greater success there. Flacco doesn't have to face Antwan Odom, and the Bengals pass rush may not be as disruptive this time around against Baltimore. Week 9 forecast: 275 pass yds, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
QB to Sit
Philip Rivers SD @ NYG - I'm out on that limb again telling you to bench a guy like Philip Rivers, a QB who is arguably a guy you never want to sit. However, would you want to face a Giants defense at home that got embarassed by Philadelphia last Sunday? I wouldn't, and I think Rivers is going to find out he's in for a long day once the whistle blows. This is also the first time Rivers and Eli Manning square off in their NFL careers; if you recall, the two were involved in a draft day trade during the 2004 NFL Draft. I think the Giants show Rivers a "good" time in New York, as he'll be enjoying the scenery from his backside all game long. Yes, go ahead and bench Rivers. Week 9 forecast: 175 pass yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Jacksonville Team DEF vs. Kansas City - The Jaguars are allowing 25.3 ppg and 370.7 total ypg this season, pretty paper thin if you ask me. Luckily for the Jags, the Chiefs are quite terrible offensively, averaging 15 ppg and just 251.6 total ypg. Further more, I expect Jacksonville to bounce back after allowing Tennessee to get their first win in 2009 this past week. The Jaguars are at home, and should thump the Chiefs who are without Larry Johnson. If you've got Minnesota's Team DEF and need a BYE replacement, take a look at Jacksonville, they're probably on the waiver wire. Week 9 forecast: 13 pts allowed, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Def TD
Bo Scaife TEN @ SF - To be honest, the 49ers have done pretty well against opposing TEs in all but 2 games. Those two games just happen to be their previous two games. Now, Bo Scaife is no Owen Daniels, nor is he Dallas Clark's doppleganger. However, I think the Titan TE will be involved in catching a lot of short passes against San Francisco with Vince Young under centre. Last week, Tennessee TEs had 7 catches total, compared to the 6 that the WRs had. Scaife was on the receiving end of 4 of those passes (for just 24 yards, but you get the point). If you are in a PPR (points-per-reception) league, Scaife might be worth looking at if you're other TE has a less than favourable match-up. Week 9 forecast: 7 receptions, 55 total yards, 0 TDs
That's it for this week and just because I went out on a limb doesn't excuse me from getting absolutely thrashed if I end up being wrong. I have Rivers in the Niners Nation FleaFlicker league, and I'll be benching him if I can find a suitable replacement. Further more, I have Colston in a FF League that has pride on the line and I'll be benching him in favour of Greg Jennings or DeSean Jackson (any help is appreciated chickmagnet). To say the least, if I'm wrong, I'm hurting myself more than anyone. See you guys next week.