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NFL Weekend Picks - Week 11
Oakland Raiders vs. Detroit Lions
Pick: Oakland -2
Fighting for their first playoff spot in over a decade, the Oakland Raiders have been a pleasant surprise this season. The offense has been great with some excellent play from their young quarterback Derek Carr and rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper. The defense has been vulnerable this season, especially in the passing game, but the Detroit Lions have not been much of an offensive threat this season. To add to the Raiders fortunes, they are 2-2 this season on road and their two losses have come from a combined 5 points.
Miami Dolphins vs. Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Dallas -1
With Tony Romo finally returning from injuries, the Cowboys could – at long last – snap their long and highly spotlighted losing streak. The 2-7 Cowboys have their only wins from games in which Romo started and the chemistry with the wide receivers and tight ends is much greater with Romo under center. The Dolphins last week were able to rally back from 13 pts against another NFC East team, of course that comeback began after the Philadelphia Eagles lost their quarterback to an arm injury. The Dolphins have been an inconsistent team this season and the Cowboys were expected to contend for a Super Bowl with Romo at the helm. Look for the Boys to finally right the sinking ship and get within 2 games of the division lead.
Game to Avoid
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay/Minnesota Even
The Packers are slipping and the Vikings are surging, but it is still a tough call to make on Sunday who will be victorious in Minnesota. The Vikings rely heavily on their running back Adrian Peterson and the last time they did this the team reached the playoffs and AP won the MVP award. The Packers have themselves a MVP winner as well – Aaron Rodgers – who is the reigning champ. The current MVP has struggled a bit, but his struggles are mainly attributed to injuries at the wide receiver position and subpar play at the running back position. Rodgers almost pulled off a miraculous victory last week and it is hard to imagine the Packers losing four straight, but then again this is one of the toughest calls of the weekend.
Fantasy Players of the Week:
Quarterback: Alex Smith vs. San Diego Chargers: If a bargain bin quarterback or waiver wire pick up is what you are searching for, you could do much worse than Alex Smith. Smith has led the Kansas City Chiefs to three straight wins and with one more the Chiefs get right back into the playoff mix. Smith is not putting up much in terms of passing yards – having eclipsed 300 only once and multiple touchdowns twice in nine games this season. His real bonus is his mobility. He has crossed the 25 yard marker four times his season – including a season high 77. The Chargers defense is susceptible and the Chiefs will look to make the most of it.
Running Back: Jonathan Stewart vs. Washington Reskins – Cam Newton gets most of the credit for the Panthers 9-0 record, but Jonathan Stewart has carried his share of the load. Stewart ranks seventh in the league in rushing yards and has at least 20 touches in each of the last 5 games – meaning he will likely get plenty of chances against the 30th ranked rushing defense in Washington.
Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall vs. Houston Texans – Brandon Marshall has been great in his inaugural season in New York, helping the Jets offense exceed preseason expectation. With his quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick - having played for the Texans last season, Marshall has a chance to once again reach the end zone and have a productive day on the gridiron.
Tight End: Jason Witten vs. Miami Dolphins – With Tony Romo finally coming back from injury, Jason Witten should see a rise in his production, with it lately being hampered by poor play by back-up quarterbacks. With Romo’s arm not likely to be at full strength, Witten should be a great check down option and a safety blanket for his Veteran QB.
Defense: Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers – The Seattle got torched last week, but still have a top 5 defense in most categories and have been dominate against the 49ers in recent memory. The 49ers have mustered a paltry 13 points over their last 3 outings against the Seahawks and this season the 49ers have one of the weakest offenses in the league. Seattle is still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot and will look to rebound after one of their worst defensive outings since Pete Carroll took over in 2010.
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