Week Nine Eliminator Preview: Birds, Bucs, and Bears
This article will take a look at your best bets to stay alive in your elimination pool this week. We try and give you the teams you haven't used yet.
On to the week nine selections.
1. Philadelphia over Seattle
If you haven't used the Eagles yet, now is the time. Well, now or Week 11 against the Bengals. You can't go wrong either way, but the Eagles' fourth ranked pass offense versus the Seahawks' 30th ranked pass defense is a huge mismatch.
Expect to see a lot from Brian Westbrook out of the backfield, and Kevin Curtis making a triumphant return.
Even if Matt Hasselbeck was healthy (and he isn't) I don't think this makeshift Seahawks team would stand much of a chance.
The 12th man might play a factor, but not unless all 60,000 fans in attendance were allowed onto the field to help in pass coverage. It's never a good thing when Leonard Weaver is leading your team in fantasy points.
Eagles 34, Seahawks 10
2. Tampa Bay over Kansas City
Much like it is with fantasy running backs, a good choice for elimination pools is the answer to the question: Who plays KC this week? The Jets tried to lose to KC last week and couldn't. And by tried to lose I mean they let Brett Favre throw in the red zone.
I expect Earnest Graham, Warrick Dunn, and even Jeff Garcia to run wild on the porous KC run defense, and Tampa to control the ball most of the game. Even if Larry Johnson is allowed to play, I don't think it matters with Tyler Thigpen at the helm. Tampa's D is just too good.
Buccaneers 24, Chiefs 6
3. Chicago over Detroit
Don't blink, or you might miss Kyle Orton and the Bears' new-look, no-huddle offense.
To borrow a stat from Dan Pompeii at the Trib, Orton has a 144.7 passer rating in the no-huddle offense versus 84.8 after a huddle. Orton has also had three of his best games against Detroit, going 3-0 with a 105.5 passer rating.
Without Roy Williams, the Bears will be able to double Megatron (Calvin Johnson) all day long. The Bears' defense has something to prove after allowing 41 points to the Vikings, and I see them using the Lions to show what they are truly capable of.
I'm also going to predict Devin Hester's first return TD this year, provided they kick him the ball. Very one-sided affair in this one.
Bears 31, Lions 14
Upset Special: St. Louis over Arizona
Three weeks ago, this would have been a ridiculous prediction to make. Now, with Haslett at the helm and Bulger behind center, the Rams are starting to look like a football team.
Arizona has played well recently, with the 2008 Kurt Warner looking like the 1999 Kurt Warner. Anquan Boldin is one of the gutsiest players around, and rookie back Tim Hightower is starting to make Edge irrelevant.
However, provided that Steven Jackson is healthy and starting, I see the Rams taking this one in a shootout. (If Jackson doesn't play, do not pick the Rams.)
Rams 38, Cardinals 34
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