NFL Week Nine: Bruno Boys Game of the Week

Michael WhooleySenior Writer INovember 8, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 01:  Donovan McNabb #5 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the New York Giants on November 1, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Giants 40-17.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With Week Nine of the NFL season fast approaching, it is once again time for the Bruno Boys to pick a Game of the Week, with a fantasy football twist. Each week we will choose one NFL game that we feel will have a lot of impact on the fantasy football world.

This week we head to the City of Brotherly Love as the Dallas Cowboys travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a NFC East battle.

It is a matchup of bitter division rivals who, on paper, are very evenly matched. They both have 5-2 records, both teams are on multiple game winning streaks and they have very similar totals in the points-for and points-against categories.

Not only should this be one heck of a game to watch on NBC’s Sunday Night Game of the Week, this game should also offer a good amount of fantasy football points, making it the Bruno Boys Game of the Week.


The Eagles have won three of their last four games since Donovan McNabb returned from his rib injury. He has passed for three touchdowns in two of the five games he has played this year, but has only totaled three touchdowns in his three other starts combined.

He has passed for a total of 1,008 yards with nine touchdowns and one interception in five starts. McNabb will look to continue a very good streak against the Cowboys who have given up an average of 237.1 yards through the air with 12 passing touchdowns this season.

In McNabb's last 16 starts against Dallas, the Eagles are 11-5. He has passed for 3,501 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 17 career games against the Cowboys. McNabb is ranked No. 5 on the Bruno Boys Quarterback Rankings this week and should be considered a must-start fantasy quarterback in this matchup.

After passing for four touchdowns with four interceptions over the Cowboys’ first four games, Tony Romo has been on fire of late.

In his last three starts, he has thrown eight touchdowns without a single interceptions and it’s no coincidence that Dallas has won all three games. He has brought the Cowboys from a team that was 2-2 and had people questioning if they could even make the playoffs, to a team that is 5-2 and tied with the Eagles for first place in the division.

In seven games this season Romo has passed for 1,908 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. He will have a stiff test this week against a Philadelphia defense that is ranked No. 10 against the pass, but have allowed 11 passing touchdowns.

In seven career starts against the Eagles he has thrown for a pedestrian seven touchdowns to go with eight interceptions, but over his last three games he is playing some of the best football of his career.

Romo is our No. 6 ranked quarterback this week and even in this tough match-up on the road he should be used as a mid-level starting fantasy quarterback.

Running Backs

Brian Westbrook was inactive for the Eagles Week Eight victory over the New York Giants after suffering a concussion in the first quarter of the team’s previous game against the Washington Redskins.

Philadelphia and fantasy owners alike were happy to hear head coach Andy Reid state that Westbrook has been medically cleared to play this week.

In 14 career games against Dallas he has rushed for 734 yards with seven touchdowns and added 63 receptions for 517 yards with two touchdowns. He is not currently having his best statistical season of his career, but through five games he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and has recorded two total touchdowns.

Westbrook is ranked No. 14 on the Bruno Boys Running Back Rankings this week and should be used as a RB2 in this heated rivalry.

Rookie LeSean McCoy, who has rushed the ball 70 times for 294 yards with two touchdowns, will face the Cowboys for the first time in his career. He started in place of Westbrook last week and had 11 carries for 82 yards including a 66-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He is a dynamic, young running back who has a bright career ahead of him, but as the No. 2 running back in Philadelphia he should be thought of as a RB3 or flex option this week.

Like Westbrook, Marion Barber is a veteran running back whose numbers are down this season due to injury.

He missed the Cowboys’ Week Three contest against the Carolina Panthers with a quad injury and he has not had more then 15 carries or 53 yards rushing in the four games since returning from injury. He has posted two touchdowns over the four games and he has scored five touchdowns in seven career games against the Eagles. Barber is averaging 4.6 yards per carry in six games this season and has scored four touchdowns.

He is our No. 19 ranked running back this week and should be started as a low-end No. 2 fantasy football running back.

Second-year man, Felix Jones is a nice change-of-pace back to compliment the power running of Barber. He is extremely quick and is a home-run threat every time he touches the ball. He is averaging 7.8 yards per carry this season and has added one touchdown though battling injuries. Jones has not been as consistent as fantasy football owners were hoping, but could be used as a No. 3 running back or flex player this week if needed.

Wide Receivers

Eagles' second-year receiver DeSean Jackson may continue to be one of the most underrated wide receivers in fantasy football this season.

It seems every week fantasy owners are looking for reasons not to start him, but all he has done in seven games this season is make big plays.

He has 24 catches for 501 yards with four touchdowns and he has added seven carries for 115 yards with another touchdown. He is an explosive player who continues to make the big-plays, as all five of his touchdowns this seasons have gone for 50 yards or more.

Jackson has quickly become a must-start fantasy football wide receiver on a weekly basis and he is ranked No. 7 on the Bruno Boys Wide Receiver rankings this week.

During the off-season Philadelphia added another speedy wide receiver when they moved up in the first round of the NFL Draft to select University of Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin. He has started in six of the Eagles seven games this season and he has 22 receptions for 293 yards with three touchdowns.

He has posted at least four receptions in four of his last five games, including a six-reception, 142 yard, two touchdown performance Week Five against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Use Maclin as a low-end WR3 this week against the Cowboys.

During the Cowboys first four games Miles Austin was an afterthought, posting just five catches for 81 yard with one touchdown. Over Dallas’ last three games, he has emerged as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver.

Over that three game span he has 21 receptions for 482 yards with five touchdowns. He is our No. 11 ranked wide receiver this week and should be used as a low-end WR1. Austin should be considered a must-start fantasy wide receiver at this point.

When the Cowboys traded for Roy Williams last season they definitely were expecting more from him. He has just 14 receptions for 249 yards with two touchdowns in six games this season, but he still believes he is the team’s No. 1 wide receiver.

The stats sure tell an entirely different story, as Austin’s totals over his last three games nearly double Williams’ season totals. Williams should not be considered more then a No. 3 fantasy wide receiver until he proves he can play at a high-level over an extended period of time, something he has never done in his career.

The Cowboys’ No. 3 wide receiver Patrick Crayton has some fantasy football value as well. He has 20 receptions for 291 yards with two touchdowns this season, but he has scored six or less fantasy points in six of the seven Cowboy’s games this season. Keep him reserved in all formats; unless you receive points for return yardage, then he could be used as a low-end WR3.

Tight Ends

Brent Celek has not only filled in admirably for the departed L.J. Smith this season, he may be a better tight end the Smith ever was.

He has 37 receptions for 447 yards with three touchdowns through seven games this season. He is ranked No. 6 on the Bruno Boys Tight End Rankings this week and he should be used as a TE1. In one season as a starting NFL tight end, he has emerged into a weekly must-start fantasy option.

Jason Witten has 37 receptions for 348 yards with one touchdown this season in seven games, which aren’t bad numbers for a tight end.

The problem is he has been an elite tight end the past few years and that was expected again this year. Many owners drafted him as the first tight end off the board this summer and thought they had a tight end that would get them double-digit fantasy points every week. He hasn’t scored more then nine points in a week yet this year.

That should change this week as the Eagles give up 11.1 fantasy football points per week to tight ends. Witten is our No. 1 ranked tight end this week and he should be used as the TE1 he was drafted to be.


Both David Akers of the Eagles and Nick Folk of the Cowboys have been top-10 fantasy kickers this season and are recommended fantasy football starts this week in what should be a high scoring game.

Team Defense

Normally the D/ST units involved in the Bruno Boys Game of the Week aren’t recommended fantasy football options as it is expected to be a high scoring game, but Philadelphia has been one of the better units in fantasy football this season and could be used as a low-end starting option if needed.

The Cowboys have been improving of late, but the Eagles offense is more potent and mistake-free then Dallas’ last two opponents (the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks). Keep the Cowboys D/ST reserved this week if possible.





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