Whew! Hallam got himself a little breathing room, as he had his second perfect week of the season and is now well over the .500 mark again. But don't look now, but Michael Stein is fighting his way out of the basement with his second straight 4-1 week and he is now just a game away from getting himself out of last. On an even funnier note, Jeff is just percentage points ahead of his 15 month old son in picking football games, which proves that it doesn't take a ton of knowledge to be smarter than Mans! But truth be told, I've spoken to Xander before and the kid knows his football! When I interviewed him he told me "Dada.......football......." and then he farted. Damn, this kid is smart! I've been saying that for years! Jonesy had a bit of a slip up last week with only two wins, but he remains in second place and is well within reach of first place if he is ever able to follow through with one of these perfect weeks that he is always promising. How is this going to unfold? The only way to know is to continue to follow the Five Game Parlay!
After seven weeks here are the current standings with last week's results in parenthesis:
Hallam: 22-13 (5-0)
Jonesy: 19-13-3 (2-3)
Mans: 17-15-3 (2-3)
Xander: 17-16-2 (3-2)
Stein: 16-15-4 (4-1)
We are near the halfway pole now and only six games separate the top from the bottom, which means it is still anyone's game, so let's quick the talking and get to the picks!
Carolina Panthers (-3) Vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Panthers are a better football team than their record indicates and they are only getting better. With Cam Newton playing at home against a fellow rookie QB I fully expect a Carolina thrashing here this week.
Seattle Seahawks (+1) Vs. Cincinnati Bengals – I can never figure either of these teams out but with Tarvaris Jackson returning to the starting QB position and the game being played in Seattle, I am quite sure that the Seahawks win the game outright.
Detroit Lions (-2.5) at Denver Broncos – Before Tim Tebow this line would have been 10+ in favor of the Lions. If Tebow somehow wills his team past the Lions on Sunday than I will start believing in him fully. Until then, I’m taking the easy victory here and giving up less than a field goal.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10) at Houston Texans – Two trends bring me to this pick. First, the Jaguars always keep the game close with superior defensive play and secondly the Texans just cannot be trusted. Everytime you think that the Texans are ready to elevate themselves they wind up messing the bed big time. I don’t trust the double digit point so I am taking the underdog and hoping for a close game either way.
New England Patriots (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers – I just can’t bet against the Patriots especially after they had two weeks to prepare for a very underwhelming Steelers team. Tom Brady and company can get tough road wins when they need to and should score plenty of points to overcome a 2.5 point spread.
New Orleans Saints (-14) at St. Louis Rams – The little man likes beating teams while they are down I presume. This game definitely looks like a mis-match but the NFL rarely goes exactly the way you expect. One of these days the Rams are going to challenge a team and then we’ll all be so very sorry!!
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10) at Houston Texans – Xander got wind of his Daddy’s prediction and has decided to back his old man up on this one. Those Jaguars just hang around and if the Texans aren’t careful they could wind up losing this one outright.
Cleveland Browns (+9.5) at San Francisco 49ers – I don’t know what the kid sees in this pick. I guess that is just how it goes sometimes for a fifteen month old trying to sit still long enough to pick five games each week.
Indianapolis Colts (+10) at Tennessee Titans – The Colts have long ago forgot about winning games and are only trying to keep the final score close twice. Xander has been spending too much time with the Peyton Manning statue that he has in his bedroom. Somebody should tell him that Manning isn’t playing for the Colts this season…
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) Vs. Dallas Cowboys – Tough game to pick but Xander seems to like the Eagles secondary’s ability to shut down the high profile passing attack of the Tony Romo led Cowboys. Something tells me this will be an incredibly close game and thus I would stay the heck away from it altogether.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) over Dallas Cowboys -- This crucial NFC East battle will be a test for both teams. The Cowboys are hoping that DeMarco Murray will truly make everyone forget about Felix Jones, and the Eagles are looking to simply stay alive in the playoff hunt. And by hunt, I in no way mean anything to do with Michael Vick and killing animals. Ok, that was so 2008. I think the Eagles turned a corner two weeks ago and are now ready to make their move. These teams always play close games, so I expect a 34-27 type game with Philly coming out on top.
New Orleans Saints (-14) over St. Louis Rams -- I think the Saints are still scoring touchdowns on the Colts. After that massive ass-kicking New Orleans laid on Indianapolis, the fun will continue this week against the winless Rams. Not only are the Rams winless, but A.J. Frickin Feeley is their starting quarterback in place of the injured Sam Bradford. This one could get ugly real quickly. The Saints probably won’t put up 62 again, but they should win by at least three touchdowns.
Washington Redskins (+6) over Buffalo Bills -- Ahhh, American football in Canada. Does it get any better than that? The Bills just signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a contract extension which means it shouldn’t take long before Buffalo fans realize this was a bad move. Yes, the Bills have played well this year and Fitzpatrick has been serviceable. But the law of averages will catch up with him, and it starts this week. The Redskins are banged up all over the place, but I see them finding a way to shut down Fitz & Co.
Denver Broncos (+3) over Detroit Lions -- God told Josh Hamilton he would hit a homerun before his 10th inning at bat in Game 6 of the World Series. God has also told Tim Tebow he can play quarterback in the NFL. God does not like the Detroit Lions.
Houston Texans (-10) over Jacksonville Jaguars -- I honestly don’t know why I picked this game, but for some reason I feel like Houston is going to destroy the Jaguars. As good as Jacksonville’s defense was last Monday against Baltimore, I just see them getting lit up by Matt Schaub and Arian Foster. Hey Jacksonville, did you know you have a professional football team that plays games every Sunday (and an occasional Monday)? Just checking.
I have no idea what I'm doing! Ok here we go:
New England Patriots (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers -- I saw this line at 3 and 3.5 somewhere and at that number it's dicey. But I most DEFINITELY feel comfy with the Pats winning by a field goal. They usually beat the Steelers at home but I can see it being a close one.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at Seattle Seahawks -- If Tavaris was starting I wouldn't touch this game but the reports are that he isn't practicing fully so I like the Bengals vs. the awful Chucky Whitehurst or as I like to call him, "Serpico".
San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) vs. Cleveland Browns -- They're off the bye and they're just going to absolutely CRUSH this Browns team. The Browns WILL NOT SCORE against this 49ers defense. They couldn't even move the ball against Seattle last week. Colt Mccoy seems incapable of throwing the ball further than 4 yards! The niners will score 2 TDs and a field goal, maybe 2 and that will equal a CRUSH!
Houston Texans (-10) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars -- After watching Jax play like it was their superbowl on Monday night, I really like this setup. A short week. They're on the road. Houston's offense looked great last week and of course we all know their defense is extraordinary. This is going be another blowout.
Buffalo Bills (-5.5) vs. Washington Redskins -- This Redskins is on the downward spiral into the loser-sphere. Buffalo is a high-powered offense coming off a bye. Take the Bills baby! And that's that!
Houston Texans (-10) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars -- The Jags have been an abomination on offense as Maurice Jones-Drew can only do so much, and defenses don't have to worry about the passing game at all as long as Blaine Gabbert and the no name receiving corps is on the field for Jacksonville. The Texans showed last week that they can still produce points even without Andre Johnson, and there is still a chance that he might be back on the field Sunday. I like Schaub and Foster to win this one handily.
Carolina Panthers (-3.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings -- I really don't understand this line, has Vegas been watching football this season? I know that the Panthers record isn't any good, but damn it they have been playing everyone closely. The Vikings on the other hand have been awful, blowing late leads and just being wildly mediocre. I know that we all got a little taste of Christian Ponder last week and the team looked a little better, but the Panthers are a decent team folks, and should roll over Minnesota.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at Seattle Seahawks -- Whaaaat? The Bengals are favorites on the road??? Did we time warp back to the 90s? I am actually getting on the Bengals bandwagon as I am a believer in Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, and their defense has been much better than advertised. The Seahawks are atrocious, and they proved last week whether it is Charlie Whitehurst or Tarvaris Jackson, their offense just isn't that good. I like the Bengals to win this one by six or more.
New England Patriots (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers -- I know the Steelers have been much better lately, but let's be honest it hasn't been against the best competition. I know they are at home, but they face the New England Patriots who are coming off of their bye, and I can't believe The Hooded One will lose the game with an extra week to prepare. Look for Brady and the Pats to do just enough to win a hard fought game by a field goal.
New Orleans Saints (-14) at St. Louis Rams -- I told you that I am officially DONE with the St. Louis Rams and this is a sure sign of it as the Rams are a two touchdown underdog at HOME! I just see nothing redeeming from the Rams anymore, which pretty much means they will probably pull the shocker here, but I am still picking the Saints. They should absolutely roll, and squash the Rams by more than the fourteen points.
Want to know a little bit more about each participant? Really? You do? Why? Well, in that case, we profile each competitor.
Michael Stein of Fantasy Judgment is the Supreme Court Justice of the Fantasy Football world. Stein is the man to go to if you have any sort of issue in your fantasy football league. Fantasy Judgment is the site you need if you have a rogue commissioner who is pulling things over on your league, a trade that just seems to be really fishy, or any other kind of shenanigans that can take a good fantasy league and make it turn badly. Not to mention the fine work that he does for us here at Fantasy Alarm. Michael Stein fared quite well for himself last year in his first foray into the Five Game Parlay as he came in second place, not far behind the championship. Even with that said, Stein picks like he has had a lobotomy, so be careful before you put any of your hard earned money on any selections that he makes!
Jonesy will be bringing the noise and the comedy flavor to the Five Game Parlay as Fantasy Alarm's resident comedian and an executive producer of The Fantasy Alarm Show. Jonesy is responsible for many of your favorite bits and songs on The Fantasy Alarm Show such as the Burress Song, "Oh, Manny!" and "80 Yards and a TD" about Ryan Grant, as well as Deep Fantasy Thoughts. Jonesy was a close third in last year's competition and was in it right to the end. He is out to show that he is more than just a pretty face, I mean just a funny face, I mean wait. Well, he's out to show he knows his football. I'm not sure if he does or not, but he will at least make you laugh along the way.
Jeff Mans is one half of the duo that comprises The Fantasy Alarm Show, and yes he is the one that talks the most. Mans has been playing fantasy football for nearly 15 years, and is known to throw a buck or two on a football game now and then. He was the winner of the inaugural Five Game Parlay, but threw up all over himself last year as he came in a distant last place. Jeff is looking to turn his fortunes around in 2011 and reclaim the title that he feels is rightfully his. Will the frosted tips on his hair and his wacky chest pubes help him pick games and lead him back to glory? Only time will tell!
Jeff's one year old son Xander Mans joins the crew for the first time this year as he has said that he is tired of hanging around his mom and two sisters and needs to start bonding with the guys! However, Xander is also a smart young man as he has already figured out what a deadbeat his poor father is. I will be calling the young lad each week to make his picks and will be reporting on what he tells me here in this article. In our first talk he has told me that he will squash the four of us like Cheerios between his teeth and will pee in the face of anyone who thinks they can pick better than he. A confident young man, Xander is the darkhorse to win the whole competition.
Ryan Hallam makes up the second part of The Fantasy Alarm Show, as he is the voice of reason, sensibility, and of course, has all of the looks, wit, and charm. Hallam pulled the big turnaround in Year Two of the Parlay and led the competition from wire to wire. Throughout his life he has watched football, but for some reason picking games against the spread was never his strong suit. But things have changed for Ryan in the past year to eighteen months and all of a sudden the tide has swung the momentum in his favor. Look for Hallam to continue his dominance and repeat as champion of the Five Game Parlay! Oh, did I mention he was the smart and good looking one out of the group too? Just checkin'.