Hits and Misses – Week 10: "Purple Jesus" ready to roll at home

It’s pretty amazing the luck (of the bad variety) that I’ve had so far this season with my feature “hit” picks, the latest victim being my own personal favorite, the man who shares my name and plays receiver for the Denver Broncos, Mr. Brandon Marshall (two catches for 27 yards?!!) However, I did end up the week with a decent 13-7-5* record on the big days of quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Kurt Warner, plus the misfortunes of Bills running back Marshawn Lynch and a few others (even if Marshall, Clinton Portis’ big day receiving, and Kyle Orton’s injury all tried to screw me!)

Maybe picking the most obvious guy each week that is “supposed” to have a huge game is the wrong approach. If I pick LaDainian Tomlinson to have a big day against the high school players the Chiefs call a defense, is he going to get shut out? This week I’m going to change my approach a bit and go with my gut as to which player will have a big day and not base my pick solely on the numbers. While I’m not going out on a huge limb here, my big play of the week is for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, aka Purple Jesus, to run wild on the Green Bay Packers…

Hits

  • Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: While quarterback Gus Frerotte tries his best against the vaunted Packers pass defense (see the “Others” section of my misses list below), this will be a game where the Vikings try to run the ball down Green Bay’s throat with Peterson and Chester Taylor. The Pack is allowing nearly five yards per carry to opposing tailbacks and almost 150 yards a game, but you can expect Minnesota to land on the plus side of that average. The first time these two teams met this season (at Green Bay), Peterson, who is averaging around 120 yards per game at home this season, broke the century mark and also scored a touchdown as the team rushed for over 180 yards…and I’m predicting at least those results this time. 
  • Jay Cutler, QB / Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos: Hah…just kidding! I wrote most of this post last night while the Browns/Broncos game was on, so I’ve removed any of the players from that game that I would have posted here (darn Thursday game caught me off guard!) Anyways though, I started Jay Cutler in a couple leagues, Eddie Royal in one, Brandon Marshall in a couple, Brady Quinn in one, and Kellen Winslow in a couple…and I am a very happy man today. Hopefully you did the same! (Of course, I did start Braylon Edwards in a league as well…)
  • Chad Pennington, QB, Dolphins: While Miami is obviously a team on the rise, the Seahawks are a team that can pretty much ask for a mulligan this year given all the injuries they’ve had to deal with. Either way, the Dolphins will host Seattle this weekend, which should equate to some pretty good numbers for Pennington. Seattle is giving up nearly 260 yards through the air and a touchdown and a half per game, numbers you can expect from the former Jet signal caller. The fact that the Seahawks defense only has three interceptions all season long should also boost your confidence in starting him.
  • David Garrard, QB, Jaguars: Not to belabor the point, but it’s another week and there’s another quarterback playing against the Lions. Even if Garrard hasn’t been so hot this year, you can feel confident starting him this week against a bad Detroit defense.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers: LT would have been the most obvious pick here, being historically the best running back in the league, playing against the worst rush defense in the NFL (the Chiefs are allowing 5.4 yards per carry, 182 yards a game and have allowed 14 touchdowns on the ground already this season!), but due to my change in approach for this article, I’m demoting him from the feature pick (and taking a huge leap of faith with A-Pete! Just kidding.) Plus, I have him in a league so I don’t want to jinx him!
  • Laveranues Coles / Jericho Cotchery, WR, Jets: Quarterback Brett Favre is coming off of a pretty sorry performance against the Bills and should be set to rebound nicely against a less-than-stellar Rams defense. St. Louis is good for nearly 250 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks and this weekend I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Coles and Cotchery hit pay-dirt, along with 70+ yards.
  • Roddy White, WR, Falcons: The Saints are coming off a bye week in which they may have worked on toughening up a defense that has been mediocre at best this year…but something tells me that it won’t be all that much better. You can expect Falcons rookie phenom quarterback Matt Ryan to have a big day, with receiver Roddy White being a big part of that success.
  • Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs: While this game could get ugly fast with LT running all over the Kansas City defense, the Chiefs will be forced to pass often…and most of the time it will be towards their All-Pro tight end. The Chargers are allowing around 265 passing yards per game and are giving up nearly two touchdowns a game through the air. Expect 80 yards and a score from Gonzo.
  • Willie Parker Mewelde Moore, RB, Steelers: It appears Mewelde Moore’s 15 minutes of fame is over and Fast Willie Parker is back in action, as shown by his 70 yards and a score last week. So it looks like Fast Willie Parker will be missing yet another game this week, this time with a shoulder injury. This week Pittsburgh plays a Colts defense that is allowing over 140 yards per game on the ground and has given up over one touchdown per contest, so expect Parker Moore to get in the ballpark of 100 yards and a score as Big Ben struggles to get the ball down field.
  • Others: Brett Favre, QB, Jets; Thomas Jones, RB, Jets; Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars; Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

Misses

  • Ben Roethlisberger or Byron Leftwich, QB, Steelers: We’re not exactly sure who is going to start the game for quarterback of the Steelers, but in all reality, it probably won’t matter. The Colts are limiting opposing quarterbacks to a meager 181 yards per game through the air and have only surrendered two scores all season. If the fact that it looks like it will be a game-time decision doesn’t completely deter you from these starting either of these guys, the Indy defense should do the rest.
  • Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: Although J.T. O’Sullivan liked to turn the ball over, he did get the ball in the endzone every once in a while. This might change with his demotion and Shaun Hill now taking over the reigns. Expect San Francisco to lean heavily on Gore as long as this game is competitive, but that probably won’t be for long. When Kurt Warner throws his second touchdown of the first half, any game plan the Niners had will go out the window and this could get ugly for their offense…including Frank Gore.
  • Joseph Addai, RB, Colts: Since being a recommended first draft pick (sorry Matt…had to do it!), Addai has fallen on some pretty hard times between injury and a much less explosive than usual Colts offense. This week, while his injury troubles may be behind him, he now has to play a Pittsburgh “steel curtain” defense that is only allowing 2.9 yards per game. While I expect a lot of running in this game, don’t expect much success from Joseph.
  • Peyton Manning, QB, Colts: This year’s version of Peyton Manning just isn’t quite the same as it’s been in the past. He’s averaging just over a touchdown pass per game this year, but also throwing an interception each game as well. The Steelers defense is a bit better than most of the teams he’s played so far as well. They’re giving up just 164 yards per game and have intercepted eight passes, while allowing only three passing touchdowns this season, meaning Peyton could be in for a long afternoon.
  • Rex Grossman, QB, Bears: The Tennessee defense has only allowed four touchdowns all season to quarterbacks and have intercepted 13 passes. Last time I checked, “Train Rex” Grossman wasn’t the most careful guy with the ball (34 career INT to 32 TD) and his numbers could get a bit worse after this weekends game is all said and done.
  • Ryan Grant, RB, Packers: Expect a lot more Aaron Rodgers and less Ryan Grant this week as the Pack heads to Minnesota. While the Vikings defense as a whole hasn’t been all that special, the run defense has been pretty solid, allowing just 3.0 yards per carry and 70 yards per game. Grant hasn’t been running “lights out” to begin with this year and don’t expect that to change this week.
  • Santonio Holmes, WR, Steelers: Not only is Pittsburgh’s quarterback situation up in the air, but their “star” (at least he was supposed to be) receiver has been quite disappointing this season. Don’t expect Holmes to kick it up a notch against a solid Colts pass defense this weekend.
  • Steve Slaton, RB, Texans: Although Slaton remains a big part of the Texans offense and should be even more so this weekend with Matt Schaub out, he’s going up against some tough competition this Sunday as the Ravens come to town. While he can catch a few passes out of the backfield, he’ll be limited on the ground against a team that is allowing a lowly 2.8 yards per attempt and has only given up one rushing touchdown all season long! Oh…and they’re only letting up 64 yards per game to opposing team running backs.
  • Others: Steven Jackson, RB, Rams; Gus Frerotte, QB, Vikings; Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts

*Hits-Misses-Pushes


Last Week: 13-7-5
Total: 94-42-35