Of late, the Muscle Hamster has flexed for the ladies, owners. (USP)
Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 9.
Doug Martin, off a pacesetting 214 total yards and two touchdowns at Minnesota, total yards at Oakland 109.5
Scott — OVER. I know they lost Carl Nicks, blocking stud, but at least it's a guard injury (a center or tackle would be worse). Martin has been terrific since the bye, partly because of experienced gained, partly due to the play-calling shift, and partly due to improved blocking. Keep rolling, roller.
Andy — OVER. Barely. Let's hope for a touchdown. The Carl Nicks injury hurts everyone.
Brandon — OVER. He's had 120-plus total yards in three straight games and the matchup (Oakland) is certainly not off-putting
Michael Vick, firmly planted on the hot seat, combined yards at New Orleans 309.5
Dalton — OVER. For as disappointing as Vick's been, he's still averaged a combined 295.7 yards per game this season. He now faces a New Orleans defense that has allowed the following: 9.1 YPA, a 110.6 QB Rating and an NFL record 400 or more yards in each of their first seven games, including 500 or more in three of its past five contests.
Scott — OVER. I believe in Andy Reid and I don't believe in the New Orleans defense. That said, maybe it's time for all of us to stop overrating the Philly receivers — okay, after this week.
Andy — OVER. With ease. New Orleans can't hold any opposing offense to less than 400 total yards. As long as Vick keeps his job for four quarters, this number is no problem.
Torrey Smith, who's seemingly disappeared since Week 4, receiving yards at Cleveland 74.5
Brandon — UNDER. Unlike Michael Salfino, I do not think Joe Haden is overrated. Smith was over against the Browns in Week 4, but Haden was out. With Haden back, I expect Smith to go under for the fourth straight game.
Brad — UNDER. Joe Haden hasn't performed up to his usual All-Pro level, but Smith would get lost in a 'crowd' of three. It's doubtful he duplicates the 6-97-1 line he racked against the Chihuahuas in Week 4.
Dalton — UNDER. Smith has reached 60 receiving yards in just two of seven games this season, although he did get 97 against the Browns during their earlier meeting this year. I actually expect this game to be close, so Baltimore won't be necessarily nursing a lead throughout the second half, but I say Smith falls just short of this number.
Split-brained Julio Jones receiving yards at home versus Dallas 69.5
Dalton — OVER. Yes, Jones weirdly has 107 receiving yards and zero touchdowns at home this season compared to 392 receiving yards and five scores on the road and actually had similar splits last year, but I'm not putting too much credence into that yet. Dallas has been tough against opposing WRs too, but I say Jones surpasses this in primetime.
Scott — UNDER. I have much respect for the Dallas corners; look for more Tony Gonzalez this week.
Andy — OVER. By plenty. Julio's home/road split isn't predictive. That's a ridiculous thing to worry about. You seriously think Julio gets worse on a fast track, without weather, with 71,000 fans rooting for him? Stop it.
Jamaal Charles, fresh off a whopping 8-touch game in Oakland, total touches at San Diego 15.5
Brad — UNDER. Romeo Crennel and Brian Daboll are one dynamic offensive duo. Nothing says 'Brilliant!' like playing your best offensive weapon only 51.6 percent of the time (Last four weeks). Expect more of the same against a better than average San Diego front.
Dalton — OVER. The Chiefs were killed in the media all week and will react accordingly (not that it's not the right response in a vacuum anyway). Even with a now healthy Peyton Hillis, I'd be surprised if Charles doesn't get 20 touches Thursday night.
Scott — OVER. The Chiefs staff has been publicly shamed (perhaps woken up) and will use Charles liberally this week. I also expect a surprisingly-competitive game.
This might finally be the week Megatron shakes the Madden Curse (USP)
Combined touchdown receptions for Calvin Johnson AND Steve Smith 1.5
Andy — UNDER. At this point, Calvin is a question mark to play, still dealing with a knee issue. I highly doubt that Smith can beat this number on his own, despite the friendly match-up. His quarterback isn't exactly the league's most accurate.
Brandon— OVER. The smart money would be to take the under, but I actually think the set-ups are great for both to find paydirt.
Brad — OVER. Screw the Madden Curse. No team, outside possibly New Orleans and Buffalo, can repair your fantasy reputation quite like the Jags. Washington's secondary is similarly generous. Both Smith and Megatron get off the schneid.
Tight End Tango. Pick one: Jermaine Gresham (vs. Den), Brandon Pettigrew (at Jac), Brent Celek (at NO) or Kyle Rudolph (at Sea)
Scott — GRESHAM gets the call. Although I have plenty of good things to say about Denver's defense (take a bow, Jack Del Rio), the tight-end coverage has been a leaky area.
Andy — CELEK. Easy. No contest. In a rout. The Saints allow whatever you need.
Brandon — RUDOLPH. The Red-Zone Reindeer has been quiet for the past few weeks, but Seattle is likely spot for him to re-emerge as teams have had success against Seattle with tight ends — the Seahawks have allowed the seventh-most yards and sixth-most receptions to the position.
Pick a running Jonathan: Dwyer (at NYG) or Stewart (at Wash)
Andy — STEWART, please. I don't think this one is particularly close. He's a much better back, useful as both a receiver and a rusher.
Brandon — DWYER. He's fit like a glove in the Steelers backfield with back-to-back 100-yard games, and the matchup with the Giants defense is a positive — New York allows 4.6 YPC. And my answer is to say I expect Dwyer (quad) will be cleared to play this week, and will start.
Brad — STEWART. Washington's strength is clearly in the trenches, but Stewart should shoulder another 20-plus touches. If Cam can successfully stretch the field, he should better what Dwyer accomplished against the 'Skins last week (118 total yards) .
Larry Fitzgerald receiving yards at Green Bay 79.5
Brandon — OVER. The Cardinals will be scoreboard chasing, and Green Bay has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards to wide receivers.
Brad — OVER. If future Hall of Famer, Cecil Shorts, can surpass this number in Green Bay, so can Fitzgerald. Offensive line problems continue to plague Fitz, but expect plenty of catches in garbage time.
Dalton — OVER. With an ineffective running game and likely playing the majority of the game from behind, Arizona will be forced to throw a ton Sunday, and while Fitzgerald is on pace to finish with his worst numbers since his rookie season, I say he reaches 80 receiving yards this week.
QB Quandary: Tony Romo (at Atl), Eli Manning (vs. Pit) or Josh Freeman (at Oak)
Andy — FREEMAN, entirely for match-up reasons. This is a close one on my board, as I have these three 10-11-12. No terrible options here, but no great ones, either.
Brandon — ROMO. I might be Romo's only fan, but I would love to see what he could do with a decent head coach — sorry, but Jason Garrett doesn't qualify. At any rate, Romo has been over 250 passing yards in all but one game, and I expect he'll have to chuck it a fair amount against the juggernaut Falcons.
Brad — FREEMAN. The Buccaneer might be hotter than a scantily clad Kate Upton holding a blowtorch. His 29.3 per game average over the past three weeks ranks only behind Aaron Rodgers. Another 290-plus with 2-3 TDs on tap in O-Town.
Scott — ROMO. The poor guy, he's blamed for anything, everything. I have no faith in Dallas's running backs or run-blocking; Romo gets the nod on volume. Mmmmm, volume.
Dalton — ROMO. The Cowboys can't run the ball, and this could turn into a shootout. That said, this was a really tough call for me, and it's worth pointing out the Falcons have allowed just seven passing scores on the year.
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