The first Thursday game of the NFL season means that your league probably locks the picks early this week. So, from now on, the Eliminator Preview will be appearing on Tuesdays, with all the info you need to stay alive for another week.
Last week, I went 3-0, although not quite the way I expected. Philadelphia won easily, but the Bucs and Bears had to pull out come-from-behind, fourth-quarter wins. The upset special didn't go so well. Steven Jackson was clearly not 100 percent, and the disclaimer proved true that the Rams were a bad choice without him.
As always, I'll do my best to pick the teams you might not have used yet. On to the Week 10 picks, in order of confidence:
1. Arizona over San Francisco
Not many people watched the 'Niners lose to the Seahawks two weeks ago, so all the news from that game was surrounding new coach Mike Singletary. This week, America will be forced to watch them play on Monday Night Football . It won't be pretty.
If a depleted Seattle team can put up 34 points on San Fran, it will be fun to see what the NFL's second-leading passer in yards, TDs, and passer rating will do. I expect Kurt Warner to throw all day long to Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston.
This will also be Tim Hightower's national coming-out party, as more of America than just fantasy footballers will know his name. I see a big day from all aspects of the Arizona game and can't wait to see what Singletary does next after another big loss.
Arizona 41, San Francisco 13
2. Carolina over Oakland
What can you say about Oakland's performance against Atlanta on Sunday? Nothing good, that's for sure. You've all read the stats by now, and if that's what they can do against Atlanta at home, playing Carolina won't be any better.
I look for a big day from the Carolina defense, with at least three turnovers and potentially a TD. There is no way Oakland will have such a miserable day again, but this one won't be too much better.
On the offensive side of the ball, I don't expect huge days from anyone on Carolina. I think the game will be won because of Carolina's good field position, a direct result of Oakland's lack of offense. Not an exciting game by any means, but one that should be pretty one-sided.
Carolina 24, Oakland 7
3. San Diego over Kansas City
The Chiefs gave us a scare last week, running trick plays involving passes to the QB in nearly beating Tampa Bay. This caused me to be wary of KC, but I still think they are no match for the San Diego Super Chargers.
The Chargers will be playing their first game under new defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. Not only will they be playing to impress, but Rivera is good, as evidenced by running a defense that carried a Rex Grossman quarterbacked team to the Super Bowl. I see not much offense from the Chiefs this week.
Meanwhile, I am again going to predict the Chiefs opposition to run wild against them. This time, however, L.T. is the opposing back, and I think he will have a day to make fantasy owners proud.
Chargers 27, Chiefs 13
As a disclaimer, upset specials are to be used only if you have already used the three teams above. Or if you're feeling lucky. Either way, this week's pick is purely a gut call, you've been properly warned.
Chicago over Tennessee
Because Rex Grossman has something to prove. Because the Titans can't win them all. Because it's supposed to be in the 40s at game time.
Because the Bears' defense woke up in the second half against Detroit. Because the Bears have another week to get healthy. Because the Titans don't pass the ball much, which is the Bears' biggest weakness.
And finally, because Matt Forte is the man. I see a 100-yard day against a tough run D and the Bears pulling out a squeaker.
Bears 17, Titans 16
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