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Fantasy Football Feature
Week 16: Lancaster's Locks
Jimmy Lancaster
December 20, 2007

Lancaster Super Bowl

This week is the Super Bowl for most leagues, so let’s get ready to dig in with some deep analysis that you won’t find in other places:

This week I’m looking at four games which reflect six overall locks, for your fantasy and gambling radar:

The Giants -3: New York needs a win here because they play New England next week. Shockey is out, but the Giants’ running game should win this battle. Kevin Boss has been a mildly popular waiver-wire pick up for Shockey owners who were left stranded. He’s got soft hands and caught a TD last week. You will see lots of Brandon Jacobs here though, making up for inconsistency and injuries this year. His hammy is fine at this point. I also like Plaxico to benefit from the play action, yet this does not mean that Buffalo won’t rack up some nice fantasy points with Evans, Lynch and a super sleeper in Josh Reed, who averages 5 catches a game against the NFC East.

Under 44.5 in Houston/Indianapolis: The last time these guys played the Colts won 30-24 on the road. This total moved from 47.5 all the way down to 44.5, but I still like the under, yet I cannot reveal the non-football-related details of my madness at this time. Hint/Prediction: 27-17 Indy. Houston has already improved on last year’s win total of six, but they’ve been a much better team in terms of competing. The Colts will be spending a lot of time scheming to stop Mario Williams after his 3.5 sacks last week in order to protect the franchise, so look for Houston to mix up their packages and for someone else to emerge as a playmaker, perhaps rookie Okoye, or maybe Anthony Weaver will get his first sack of the season (Weaver and Earl Cochran as a tandem have been one of the most disappointing pairs this year; playing opposite Williams they should have at least six sacks at this point, but have only one.). As for Andre Johnson, he shouldn’t suffer since Sage is trying to prove to the league that he can start somewhere next year.

New Orleans and Over 46.5 in New Orleans/Philadelphia: The Saints, who I have been riding recently, (along with the Vikes) obviously need a win to have a chance to get in, but more importantly this line is “perfect,” since the last time these two met the Saints won by 3 at home in the 2006 Divisional Playoffs. But that was with everything on the line, and this game poses such only for the home team. Now, the Saints might have the worst defensive tackles in the history of the game, but the Eagles probably blew their load last week. This is not to say that Donovan won’t continue to make a bid for a nice free agent contract next year (perhaps in Detroit?) With Strong-Side Linebacker Takeo Spikes out on IR with a shoulder, the Eagles will scramble to replace him with rookie Akeem Jordan from James Madison, a nice area geographically, but hardly a football power. They really have no other options, with two other rookies at their other linebacker spots. Trouble. Therefore, I really hope that Reggie Bush plays, because I face a guy who grabbed Stecker this week in the Super Bowl; the Eagles defense this week is going to be Candyland for the Saints. The Spikes injury will impact the game much more than if Guard Shawn Andrews cannot go for Philly; Scott Young is a capable back-up so Westbrook’s numbers should remain stellar amid the confusion.

But what about Drew Brees instead of Tony Romo as a candidate for offensive player of the year, with or without the spell of Jessica Simpson? Where would that team be without Brees right now?

Dallas and the Over 43: Dallas has had success against Carolina since day one, winning 35-14 last year, and pulling out four point wins in 2005 and 2003, respectively, despite a wildcard loss during the latter season. This one could be an unexpected shootout though, with a goaded Dallas team and a slightly re-energized Carolina blue that keeps slim playoff hopes. Moreover, Carolina has Rucker sick and Peppers banged up, the former of whom has been severely underproductive anyway in recent weeks. Moore has looked to get Smith the ball early in the game, which means he will stay involved and has the potential for one of those huge Steve Smith days. But I like Dallas’ defensive line to continue their outstanding play, causing at least two turnovers from the young quarterback, which should lead to some points. The Dallas secondary, conversely, is in trouble with Williams out and undrafted Keith Davis and rookie Courtney Brown in. If Carolina utilizes DeAngelo Williams as they have the past few games, giving him more than half of the carries, the potential for big plays on the home side of the ball increases. Williams has been on the field for about 60% of the snaps in recent weeks, and Foster’s lost fumbles and inability to pick up simple 3rd and 4th down short yardage cannot be endearing to the Carolina coaches and fans. And therefore, DeAngelo Williams is my fantasy sleeper of the week in your Super Bowl. Why not? You picked him relatively early, so play him so at least give him the chance to justify it…

For a Happy Fun Five-Team Parlay Special, I’m also taking: Pittsburgh -7.5/Even, Cincinnati +3/+10.5, Detroit 4/+11.5, Miami + 22/+29.5 and Tennessee 9/+16.5. I’ll spend one unit here to potentially win three to one.

Last Week: 4-3-0 (Washington money line paid at least 2-1; I am also adding on another win from my week 14 3-team teaser, which I should have counted as 2-1, but I incorrectly calculated as even money).
Season: 28-30-1
Last Week’s Fantasy Sleeper: Donovan McNabb was 23-41 for 208 yards and a TD with no INTs and 53 yards rushing.
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