Some random thoughts and musings about this week's slate, things to look for, trends to follow along with, easy and breezy. Share them, dip them, offer your own.
Denver at Atlanta: You gotta love that Broncos defense, it can't stop anyone, anything. The big kids in Atlanta are obvious plays, and Jerious Norwood and Michael Jenkins become legitimate reaches. On the other side, Jay Cutler gets to play in the shotgun most of the day, pitching to Brandon Marshal, Eddie Royal, and their 23 tight ends. Fun, fun, fun.
Houston at Indianapolis: Think we'll see the Sage Rosenfels helicopter again? Probably not. I want to see Steve Slaton get back on the horse right away so we don't have to worry. What the heck happened to Joseph Addai? Peyton Manning is going to trash the final third of his schedue.
Oakland at Miami: If I ran the Raiders, I'd lock down Greg Camarillo every snap with Nnamdi Asomugha, and use a collection of guys for Ted Ginn. That said, I bet they leave Asomugha on one side of the field and whatever happens, happens. I suppose Baby Huggy Bear might do the 25-80 thing again, if that excites you. He hasn't scored a touchdown all year, though, so don't be a hero.
Baltimore at New York Giants: Let's not forget the G-Men entered the week with the second-highest scoring offense in football. Baltimore's defense is good, but it's not 2000 good. Don't talk yourself out of your normal Giants here, and John Carney will keep the ticker going.
Detroit at Carolina: The Panthers should run for a zillion yards here, and I love Steve Smith to score at least once. Daunte Culpepper will start, who knows if he'll finish. I know it's frustrating to hear that "every receiver gets helped in PPR leagues" rhetoric, so I present to you Calvin Johnson - hurt by PPR formats. There's nothing special about Kevin Smith, but volume might push him into flex worthiness. Is John Kasay going to kick until he's 60?
Philadelphia at Cincinnati: Ryan Fitzpatrick's YPA, week-by-week: 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 5.2. Progress, Cincinnati! It must take this guy 27 bites to finish a piece of pizza. Good luck against Jim Johnson's exotic blitz schemes. (Johnson can't be discussed without mentioning those blitz packages, much like Dick LaBeau. It's like the late Chip Reese, the "great cash game player." Or Mike Krushelnyski, "with that long reach.") How good are those Marvin Lewis Polaroids?
Chicago at Green Bay: If Kyle Orton never played as a rookie in 2005, people would be pretty excited about him now. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and start over, eh? I hope he's back on the field here because Rex Grossman is killing me softly. It took me about five minutes last week to realize Bernard Berrian would never get past Green Bay's press coverage; I was just three days late on that one.
New Orleans at Kansas City: Pinball scoring, friends. This is the game you want to watch, drink in hand, comfortable seat. Tyler Thigpen, sultan of the spread. Drew Brees, the Steve Nash of the NFL (TM - Christopher Liss). Look for the Chiefs to keep it close, then lose in some weird, quirky way. Then go back online and count the fantasy points.
Minnesota at Tampa Bay: Adrian Peterson wouldn't let the Vikings lose last week. Gus Frerotte and Brad Childress wouldn't let them win. Somehow, AD got to break the tie. Man did he look like a man possessed on the game-winning drive. I cannot be rational about Jeff Garcia and his 10 cups of coffee, but I'll keep using Antonio Bryant and dissing Joey Galloway until they give me a reason to re-evaluate. Don't worry, Berrian owners, he gets five cookies after this week.
St. Louis at San Francisco: After trying out every sleeper San Francisco receiver this year short of Tai Streets and Renaldo Nehemiah, I'm pretty sure we got it right with Jason Hill. Definitely, maybe. And I'm not afraid to dial up Antonio Pittman in a deep league, albeit the Niners rushing defense is a lot better than you think (don't look at the gross yardage, look at the per-play efficiency).
Arizona at Seattle: Matt Hasselbeck will give the Seahawks a legitimate offense again eventually, but let's not expect miracles in the first week. Timing doesn't come back overnight. It's also too early to bridge-jump on Tim Hightower, I say he gets 100-plus and a score here. I'm stunned Anquan Boldin came back this quickly and continues to run fearlessly over the middle; talk about life imitating art. Show him the money.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: You traded MJD before the Friday deadline, right? That schedule has train wreck written all over it. Kerry Collins is a nice story and I like seeing 30-somethings repair their career as things settle down, but please don't mistake this for an MVP run. Chris Johnson will make it up to you in a big way.
San Diego at Pittsburgh: Man, was I wrong on Santonio Holmes. I don't have a good reason but Willie Parker still kind of makes me nervous. Ben Roethlisberger is an athletic freak but his mechanics are all over the place. Philip Rivers is the Jim Furyk of the NFL. Vincent Jackson is this close to going off, and the word is finally out in all areas - Chris Chambers is a fraud.
Dallas at Washington: One of the toughest games on the card, because we have no idea how healthy and sharp so many key elements will be (Tony Romo, Jason Witten, the Washington backfield). The line also looks goofy here; Washington already beat the Cowboys in Dallas and the Pokes have been dreadful since. I'm not much for player-versus-team history but Santana Moss likes this series. Jason Campbell needs to throw it more, and more aggressively, for Washington to win here. Dallas side, they better find 20-25 touches for Marion Barber, I don't care where the early ones go.
Cleveland at Buffalo: The Jamal Lewis season blows my mind, no upside at all but the floor is pretty safe. He does the same thing just about every week - around 70-80 yards rushing, a 50-50 chance at a touchdown, a few catches (but never more than three). If they were all this easy we wouldn't bother playing. Lewis, Week 11: 19-73-1 on the ground, two catches for 13 yards.
I was late to the Trent Edwards party, just in time for him to start playing like dirt. I can't remember the last time I liked how a Buffalo offense called plays in the red zone.
And related to nothing, this is the catchiest song I've heard in a long time. I can't get it out of my head. (If you have a ridiculous boss, it might be NSFW. I think Michael Scott would allow it.)