It was the official week of ones and threes as each competitor had either one loss or three losses, and I have to say four out of the five had three losses. It was a big move this week for Jonesy who seems to do the opposite of whatever he says he is going to do. Whenever he says he is going to have a 5-0 week in one of his pick previewing bravados he goes in the tank. Last week he admitted he had no idea of what he was doing and he was the top picker of the week. As for the rest of these jokers, they were each only able to pick up one win against the spread. What will Week 9 bring? Hallam is still leading as he has all season long, but the margin is as narrow as possible now as Jonesy has just one fewer win. This competition is getting more furious by the week, and one of these times we are going to have another embarrassing side bet for sure. As you are ready to pick your games, check out what these yahoos think.
After eight weeks here are the current standings with last week's results in parenthesis:
Hallam: 23-16-1 (1-3-1)
Jonesy: 22-13-3 (3-1-1)
Mans: 18-18-4 (1-3-1)
Xander: 18-19-3 (1-3-1)
Stein: 17-18-5 (1-3-1)
Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Indianapolis Colts – This seems like an absolute lock and I’d back that up with every fiber of my being. The Falcons had two weeks to prepare for the worst team in football and need a win desperately to keep pace in the NFC South. Everybody is going to take this pick this week.
Seattle Seahawks (+12) at Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are going to win this game but it isn’t like they’ve been rolling over on opponents themselves. With Tarvaris Jackson back (did I just say that?), the Seahawks should at least resemble an offense and therefore keep the game within a respectable 10 point margin.
St. Louis Rams (+2) at Arizona Cardinals – A couple of weeks ago this one appeared to be a cinch for the Cardinals but after an impressive win over the Saints last week it appears as though St. Louis has figured some things out. The Rams have simplified both their offensive and defensive schemes which allowed the talent to take over at times last week and lead them to victory. The Cardinals will be without QB Kevin Kolb and there is no way that I would put any trust into John Skelton.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) Vs. Miami Dolphins – The Chiefs are getting better each week while the Dolphins are wondering what’s the deal with the old man in sunglasses who keeps hanging around? Two teams going two very separate ways and I love the home team giving up a handful of points in this game.
San Diego Chargers (+6) Vs. Green Bay Packers – At one point many thought this might be a Super Bowl Preview but the Chargers and specifically Phillip Rivers have stumbled of late. Still, this is a quality San Diego team here and playing at home against the defending champs should get their blood pumping a bit on Sunday. While I won’t guarantee an upset here, I definitely believe the Chargers might give the Packers their first loss of the season here. Whatever happens, I expect it to be closer than most people including the odds makers believe.
Chicago Bears (+7.5) at Philadelphia Eagles – What can I say, my kids a homer. In his defense though, the Bears do usually play Michael Vick well mostly because of great speed on defense. But that defense has gotten older and isn’t quite what they used to be.
Denver Broncos (+7.5) at Oakland Raiders – Either the kid loves 7.5 point road dogs or he’s a closet Tebow fan. Or perhaps, he is a hustler who read that Darren McFadden might miss this game and knows that Carson Palmer was destined for retirement just three weeks ago and hasn’t picked up the offense as quickly as anticipated.
Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Indianapolis Colts – Now it is official, everybody in this competition is choosing the Falcons. Not sure if this is a jinx or a blessing but when the 1 year old starts making sense, maybe its time to revisit my picks.
Green Bay Packers (-6) at San Diego Chargers – Xander like the defending champs but as his Father and a loyal Chicago Bears fan I am appalled. The kid is destined for therapy…
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Pittsburgh Steelers – It was naptime during the first half of the Ravens/Cardinals game last week when Arizona built a big lead. All Xander saw was the Ravens closing like a thoroughbred and must have liked what he saw.
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at Washington Redskins -- I have gone from never picking my favorite team, to basically picking them every week at this point. I am a little worried that they will have a let down game here, but I just don't see how Washington is going to score points here. The running game is a mess, and while John Beck hasn't been a total abortion, he has been the morning after pill. I don't like to pick against underdogs at home, but the Niners do the two things that win football games, and that is run the ball and play defense. They should win here.
Denver Broncos (+7.5) at Oakland Raiders -- Everyone is killing Tim Tebow after his seemingly disastrous game last weekend, but everyone has a bad game and that was against one of the better defenses in football. Oakland will be without Darren McFadden, and although I like Michael Bush, the offense just won't be the same. I still am a long way from trusting Carson Palmer as well, wlthough you have to believe he did plenty of work in the bye week. I just don't think Denver, or their bible bumping bandleader are as bad as everyone thinks and should be able to keep it within a touchdown.
New York Giants (+9.5) at New England Patriots -- I know that the Patriots are among the best teams in the NFL, and they have to be really pissed coming off the loss to the Steelers last week, but really? 9.5 points? The Giants are a pretty damn good football team, and Eli Manning has been playing at a high level. Do we really think that the Giants aren't going to be able to put up 28 points or more on New England? I think this is an easy one for Big Blue to at least cover the spread.
New York Jets (+1.5) at Buffalo Bills -- I think I am being stupid here and falling victim to the Jets' reputation and not what I have seen on the football field this season, but for some reason I just can't help myself. I do believe in the Bills to an extent, but for some reason I see the Jets' defense stepping up and keeping Buffalo in check. If Shonn Greene can keep his momentum going and Mark Sanchez can play almost mistake free football, I think that the Jets should win this game and bring the Bills back down a peg and really tighten up the AFC East.
Indianapolis Colts (+7) vs. Atlanta Falcons -- OK, I did read Jeff's picks and I have to say that while I don't have a ton of confidence that the Colts will win this game, but my father always told me when picking football games "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is". Same thing goes for last weekend when that hot chick was chatting with me and I thought I was taking her home. I was completely shocked when she told me that she needed to get paid. Live and learn my friends, live and learn.
San Francisco 49ers (-4) at Washington Redskins --My first pick is a 49ers team that is just rolling. Their defense is probably ranked #1 in the NFL and I just dont see how the Skins can score against this team. Of course there will be one John Beck rushing TD but other than that I think this team will barely crack a dozen pts. Take the Niners!
St. Louis Rams (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals -- Coming off a nice win versus the Saints I like the Rams going up against John Skelton. Skelton?? Really? Oh yea baby. I don't know how the Rams aren't GETTING pts in this one.
Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Tennessee Titans -- So it seems that Vegas thinks this team is equal, therefore the Titans get a FG at home. But I think Vegas is wrong-headed in this judgement. I believe that the Bengals are a better team on both sides of the ball and so I like them getting pts here.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) vs. Miami Dolphins -- You gotta roll with the Chiefs. They've really surprised me after an awful start. Bouncing back from some crucial injuries on both offense and defense and yet they still somehow improve each week and seriously, how bad is Miami at this point? This line should be Chiefs by a TD so I think the 4 is a complete steal.
Oakland Raiders (-7) vs. Denver Broncos -- RAIDERS > Tebow.
NY Jets (+1.5) over Buffalo Bills -- The Jets are back on the right track as they head into the Aaron Maybin Bowl. The Bills haven’t collapsed yet as I predicted they would, but this could be the start of their inevitable demise. It will be ugly and the Jets won’t look good doing it, but they will come out on top despite Fred Jackson running through their defense. Prediction: Jets 24 Bills 20
NY Giants (+9.5) over New England Patriots -- The Giants are more banged up than Rihanna after a night out with Chris Brown. I don’t see how they can outright win the game with their best running back, best wide receiver, and starting center all out or playing hurt. But Eli Manning has been great this year and he should be able to match Tom Brady for most of the day against the Patriots’ awful defense. Prediction: Patriots 34 Giants 28
St. Louis Rams (+2) over Arizona Cardinals -- The Arizona Cardinals used to play in St. Louis. You think anyone out there still cares? Out of nowhere, the Rams laid a smackdown on the powerful Saints last week. Their defense was all over Drew Brees, so I would expect more of the same this week against Arizona’s backup quarterback. The Rams aren’t going to the playoffs this year, but they have a nice stretch of games coming up against bad teams. Here is to two in row for Spags. Prediction: Rams 23 Cardinals 16
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) over Miami Dolphins -- Miami’s Suck for Luck campaign makes its way to Kansas City as the Chiefs look to build on their 4 game winning streak. They had no business winning last week against San Diego, but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. The Dolphins are dying to be lucky because they sure aren’t good. Prediction: Chiefs 30 Dolphins 17
Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) over Chicago Bears -- Michael Vick against dogs was an unfair match. But Michael Vick against Bears is more like it. The Eagles have looked more like themselves the past two games after digging a 1-4 hole to start the season. They will continue their winning ways against the Bears as Jay Cutler tries to survive another week. It is interesting and ironic to try and guess who will get killed on the field first between Cutler and Tebow. My vote is for Tebow…he is going to get crucified. Prediction: Eagles 38 Bears 20
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'.