Week 5 picks: More than just games   

Updated: October 3, 2008

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With the byes wreaking havoc again this weekend, I couldn't resist picking a few additional matchups to stretch out my Week 5 picks.

NFL NETWORK (-14) over My Enduring Disbelief
I wish I could hop into a time machine, travel back to 1988 and see the look on my face as 2008 Bill says the words, "Twenty years from now, Morrissey's 'Every Day is Like Sunday' will be used to promote the NFL." What's next, the WNBA centering its Finals campaign around "Girlfriend in a Coma"? I can't get over this.

Steve Slaton

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Dear fantasy owner ... Despite the horrible things I've said about you, I'm about to make you an offer you can't refuse.

TEXANS (+3.5) over Colts
The 2008 Texans are like an overvalued stock that has plummeted well past where it should have plummeted, and now they're a nice buy for the next few weeks. Remember, they choked away that Jags game last week and have four straight home games coming up: Indy, Miami, Detroit and Cincy. In a related story, I would trade for Steve Slaton if I were you. Like, right now. Today. This moment. Don't even finish the column, just go to your fantasy site and make Steve Slaton's owner a "Godfather" offer. Go. Leave. Make the offer. Come back later.

THE INJURED LIST (-7) over Bob Sanders
New rule: Nobody is allowed to call the Colts' defense "vulnerable" because Bob Sanders is injured. The guy can't stay on the field. We went through this with the Stone Temple Pilots and Scott Weiland; sometimes, you just have to let go. And if Sanders shows up, it's like found money. OK? OK.

Titans (-3) over RAVENS
I'm stacking my bets and riding this Titans team like a hot blackjack table right now ... and let's just say Joe Flacco isn't exactly one of those dealer changes that scares you off. On an unrelated note, after enduring three weeks of annoying debates about Vince Young's mental state even though nobody has any idea one way or the other, I'm now expecting to see the broadcast cut to the Titans' sidelines as Vince paces back and forth in a white gown like Hurley on "Lost."

SIMMONS PODCAST

Bill guesses the Week 5 NFL lines with Cousin Sal and remembers the great moments at Shea Stadium with Gus Ramsey. B.S. Report

USA Today Sports Weekly (-3) over MY WALLET
I like reading all kinds of publications. All of them. Any of them that have been in front of me all these years. I have a vast variety of sources from which I get my news.

(Oh, wait, you wanted details?)

One of the papers I read is the USA Today Sports Weekly. I'm a loyal subscriber, if only for moments like these (from the current issue) ...

1. "Keep an eye on OLB Joey Porter, who's talking big and backing it up again, just like he used to when he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers."

(You mean, like the 2002 AFC Championship Game? If I picked football games every week, made it seem like I knew what I was talking about and did well once every three months, would that earn me a reputation for talking big and backing it up like Joey Porter? OK, bad example.)

2. "Carson Palmer's streak of 51 consecutive starts was broken last week."

(You can relax, Brett Favre. Take a deep exhale.)

EAGLES (-6) over Redskins
I have no evidence to back up this statement and didn't feel like looking it up because the baseball playoffs are on and I'm lazy, but here it goes: In the past three weeks, the Eagles broke the records for "most guys tackled inside the 1-yard line," "most plays run inside the 2-yard line" and "most times inexplicably avoiding a QB sneak." It has happened between 18 and 20 times. That's my guess. Trust me, I have Donovan McNabb on my West Coast fantasy team. As for the Redskins, I'm not ready to believe. Win this one and I'm in.

NFC East (-7) over EVERYONE ELSE
You could argue -- repeat, argue -- the NFC East has four of the best five teams in football right now (excluding Tennessee). I don't believe this, but you could argue it. What's even more fascinating is that we have a four-way paper-rock-scissors thing going (Eagles over the Redskins, Redskins over the Cowboys, Cowboys over the Eagles, Eagles over the Giants, Giants over the Cowboys, Redskins over the Giants), which made me wonder, if you created a four-way paper-rock-scissors, what would it be called?

(I spent 20 minutes figuring it out and you'd probably have to use real-life relationships because there aren't four inanimate objects that could provide a four-way sequence that works. For instance, if Jennifer Aniston dated Billy Bob Thornton for three months and dumped him, and Angelina Jolie divorced Brad Pitt, we'd have a Jolie-Pitt-Aniston-Billy Bob scenario. Something like that could work. If you have a better idea, I'm all ears.)

Chargers (-6.5) over DOLPHINS
Normally you'd say, "Trap game, sucker bet, Norv on the road ... take the points." But the Chargers are 2-2. Can you really have a trap game when you're 2-2? And didn't the Dolphins just spend the past two weeks high-fiving each other after that Patriots' beating? Also, what about all the fantasy owners who picked up Ronnie Brown or traded for him, only to whip their remotes in disgust after he rushes 10 times for 27 yards this Sunday? And isn't LTD overdue for a monster fantasy week? I'm glad we talked through this one.

Chris Chambers (+7.5) over THE WEIRDEST STATISTICAL SEASON EVER
Four games, four TDs, 20.5 yards a catch ... and of the 20 times San Diego has thrown to him, Chambers has caught only eight passes. Is he underachieving? Overachieving? Has anyone ever caught more touchdowns than nontouchdowns in one season? If you catch 40 percent of the balls that come your way in an offense in which every defense is keying on two other guys who aren't you, isn't that bad? My head hurts.

Falcons (+7) over PACKERS
These teams aren't as far apart as you might think. Even last week, during a seemingly predestined defeat in Carolina, the Falcons would have been right there if their receivers hadn't had a case of the dropsies. Which reminds me, here's my Dropsies All-Star Team through four weeks: Bernard Berrian and Andre Johnson (starting WRs), Daniel Graham (starting TE), everyone on Atlanta and Tennessee (backups), Ben Watson (injured reserve), and every fullback in the league. Berrian has to be the MVP. I'd love to see a game show in which he tries to catch various things -- keys, babies, Jell-O, pop flies, knives, you name it. If you're ever holding a baby and leaning out of a burning building and Bernard Berrian says, "Throw the baby, throw it to me," I implore you to explore alternatives.

Scott Linehan

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Not even the power of Oda Mae Brown could save Scott's coaching soul.

BYE WEEK (-17.5) over Rams
Remember in "Ghost" when certain guys would die and those black shadows would come out of nowhere and snatch the guys away? I kept expecting to see them sneaking up on Scott Linehan during the Rams-Bills game last weekend. Didn't happen. This seems like a good time to mention that when your defense has given up 147 points in four weeks, firing the head coach and promoting the defensive coordinator isn't exactly the best way to fire your fans up.

Bears (-3.5) over LIONS
The Lions finally get to celebrate Matt Millen Liberation Day! If they don't win here, they play at Minny, at Houston, Washington, at Chicago, Jax, at Carolina, Tampa and Tennessee ... in other words, they could be looking at 0-12. Meanwhile, we get Fox's enjoyable team of Dick Stockton, Brian Billick, Brian Baldinger and Brian Baldinger's mutant finger for this one. I'll go this far: Billick is the best NFL coach turned TV guy since Madden. He's also the first newcomer this decade who might actually steal one of Cris Collinsworth's 27 gigs some day. Naturally, Billick is assigned to the third-best NFL game on Fox every week even if he's the best guy it has. This is how network television works. Don't be surprised if Fox moves Billick out of the booth and crams him on the pregame show as the sixth guy so he can speak twice an hour. And if Troy Aikman was sitting next to me, he'd definitely say, "You're exactly right, Bill."

(Speaking of Troy, Sig in Wisconsin came up with a good one: "After Washington's interception early in the third quarter of the Dallas game, Troy said, 'They're doubling Austin Miles all afternoon.' The funny part is that I was trying to figure out if it was a mistake. How many other athletes would fit into a Miles Austin All-Star team, where the name sounds just as cool forward as backward? My buddies and I came up with Earnest Graham, Hines Ward and Brandon Marshall in about four seconds, and now we can't stop doing it. I have four NBA contributions: Robert Parish, Charles Oakley, LeBron James and James Posey.")

Matt Forte (+3.5) over EVERY OTHER 2008 ROOKIE RB
This line will swing hard after he rushes for either 220 yards, 250 yards, 300 yards or 475 yards against the Lions this weekend.

CHELCIE ROSS (-4) over Any Other Candidate for the All-Time Greatest "That Guy" in a Sports Movie
Ross might have already held the title even before next weekend's release of "The Express," but now it's not even a debate. He's the Robert Horry of sports movies and nobody can tell me differently. Our apologies to G.D. Spradlin, James Gammon, Harold Sylvester, J.C. Quinn and Google.

GIANTS (-7.5) over Seahawks
Any time you're feeling better about your passing game because your QB with a bulging disc and a shaky offensive line finally has a decent target at receiver ... only that receiver is coming off a torn ACL in January and is playing his first game since the injury ... and you're playing in Giants Stadium against a great pass rush ... um, I still need to be swayed.

(Marcos in Houston disputes that the 2008 Giants could be the first "Nobody Still Believed In Us!" team, writing, "The 1995 Rockets relied on that theory when they went back-to-back. Although they couched it with Rudy T. and 'Never Underestimate the Heart of a Champion' rhetoric, they entered the playoffs as a sixth seed and knocked off three 50-plus-win teams, then swept Orlando when everyone was ready to anoint Shaq and Penny as the new dynasty. I think they had that ground covered." Great point. And since I won more money on the '95 Finals than I had won in my life up to that point, I should have remembered that.)

Plaxico Burress

David Drapkin/Getty Images

Go ask the previously undefeated Patriots secondary if Plax is good.

PLAXICO BURRESS (-15.5) over Domenik Hixon
I have a question: If Plaxico Burress is so good, why is everyone telling us Domenik Hixon can easily step in and replace him? I'm leaning toward, "Actually, Plax is really good and can't be replaced."

Irrational Grudges (+4.5) over JULIUS JONES
When Matt Berry mentioned my "Fantasy Kryptonite" concept in his Week 5 column, I realized my Kryptonite is unquestionably Brandon Lloyd. He just keeps luring me back in. I think he could convince me to strip naked and let him take photos of me as I cried like Irene Cara in "Fame." I would do it for him. Brandon, you're my man. Anyway, I have a flip side to that one, the "Fantasy Grudge" guy, aka the guy you inexplicably dislike and continue to dismiss even when he's doing well. For me, it's Julius Jones. I found out two years ago that he smokes cigarettes and I just can't think rationally about him after that. He could rush for 200 yards a game and be sitting there on the waiver wire and I wouldn't go near him because I fear he'd pulled a Ricardo Mayorga on me. He might have quit smoking; I don't care. He's out.

(Speaking of fantasy, allow me to be the 10,000th person who passed along this link: As I predicted years ago, we're getting closer and closer to our first fantasy-related murder! Here's my question: You know how the other convicts either respect you or revile you depending on the crime you committed to end up in the joint? Like, child molesters are on the bottom of the list, but somebody who murdered the guy his wife cheated with would be at the top? Well, where would the fantasy football murderer rank? I feel like he'd be pretty high up there. At least higher than a bank robber, right?)

PANTHERS (-9.5) over Chiefs
After watching Jake Delhomme throw frozen ropes this season, I couldn't help but wonder why Chad Pennington just doesn't get elective Tommy John surgery. It couldn't hurt and could only help, right? By the way, I sincerely hope you sold high on Larry Johnson in fantasy this week. It's for the best. Don't look back.

VEGAS (-120) over anyone dumb enough to do a 10-point, three-team tease
San Diego killed you in Week 1. Miami killed you in Week 3. Kansas City killed you in Week 4. These were not accidents. Just stop. No more.

HERM EDWARDS (-3) over the Unintentional Comedy Scale
Did you see the Hermster in the locker room after K.C.'s upset of Denver? If you missed it and want to get a feeling for what happened, scream the next two sentences at the top of your lungs and see how everyone else at work reacts ...

"Let's build on that! LET'S BUILD ON THAT!!!!!!"

THE IHOP ON SUNSET & MANSFIELD (+9) over the IHOPs everywhere else in Los Angeles
Right now, I'm writing this column and eating corn pancakes at -- you guessed it! -- the IHOP on Sunset and Mansfield. Two strippers are sitting 10 feet away from me, discussing their next month of gigs and occasionally sneaking me those "If you have enough money on you right now, we might add you to the list of gigs" looks. A group of five hungover guys in their 20s are sitting behind me and recapping last night on the town, which included a bedroom story so over the top that I don't think I could have even printed it on my old Web site. Two tables over, an old lady complained that she ate too much and started coughing/retching, then her nurse provided her a plastic bag and the old lady threw up in it for three solid minutes. If that's not enough, "Even the Nights Are Better" by Air Supply is playing on the jukebox. Top that, every other IHOP in L.A.! Let's build on that! LET'S BUILD ON THAT!!!!!!"

Bucs (+3) over BRONCOS
Last week, I had the Broncos ranked fifth in my quarterly Power Poll and wrote, "It feels like this is their year." This week? I think they're going 6-10. Look, I'm not the one who is fickle here. It's the NFL. Things change too much. I don't know what to tell you. Denver's defense is reprehensibly awful. It really is. Throw in Brian Griese hovering around 1.3 on the Vengeance Scale and I'm making this my lock of the week.

Napoleon

Otto Ballon Mierny/AFP/Getty IImages

Wait, when he said Waterloo did he mean Napoleon or the Abba song?

Dan Dierdorf (+9) over HYPERBOLE
Actual quote during Denver's Week 4 loss: "If Mike Shanahan was Napoleon, then this [Arrowhead] is his Waterloo." Great point. Can we make sure someone gets that on Napoleon's Wikipedia page? Just stick it right after the section about the 100 Days. Thanks.

Patriots (-3.5) over NINERS
In this week's B.S. Report, I mentioned not being able to remember the last time the Pats played in San Fran and that it probably turned out so badly, I blocked it out of my mind. Well, it has happened twice in the past 28 years: 1989 and 1995. Combined score: San Fran 65, New England 23. And Drew Bledsoe separated his shoulder in the '95 game. No wonder I blocked it out of my mind. Anyway, here's a stat for you: Since 2003, the Pats are 8-0 after a double-digit loss.

(Translation: Double-digit losses make Bill Belichick mad.)

Common Sense (+10) over MIKE SCIOSCIA AND WEEI
I know it's a football column, but I wanted to thank the Angels' manager for (A) not having any of his players try a bunt single in Game 1 when Mike Lowell's hip is screwed up and he'd probably collapse in a heap if he ever tried to field one; (B) not pinch running for Vlad Guerrero with one out in the eighth inning when that was their best chance to get a tying run, and Vlad currently runs exactly like Snake Plissken during the last 45 minutes of "Escape from New York" after somebody shot a spear into his right leg; and (C) bringing in Scot Shields over Jose Arredondo in the ninth inning, then keeping Shields in to pitch to a clearly struggling David Ortiz when Ortiz is hitting something like .935 against Shields this decade. Thank you, thank you and thank you. We need to hire scientists to figure out how such a normally astute manager can turn into such a dunce every time he faces one particular team.

As for WEEI, that's the local sports radio station back in Boston that (according to various friends and readers) spent most of Thursday ripping apart my Manny Ramirez piece even though it could have been talking about the Angels-Red Sox series. That's fine. I knew that would happen. I hold no grudges with this stuff. But after everything settled down and the callers started weighing in, what unfolded was the very "Who was really to blame: Boras or Manny?" debate that I had been hoping to provoke in the first place. I thought this was funny. Please, guys, keep talking about it and inadvertently proving my point. Knock yourself out.

SPORTS GAL'S RANT

There needs to be a word for babies that aren't really babies anymore: Nine to 12 months, when they can't walk or talk, but they can stay awake for hours, pull a shelf of books down on their heads and stick their finger in electric sockets. I vote for "Destructo." Our boy hit the Destructo phase six weeks ago. He used to be the easiest, happiest kid! He could play with the same toy for an hour. He could sleep in restaurants or be smuggled into movies. No more. Now he gets his kicks from sticking his face in a dog bowl, or opening a drawer, pulling out all the clothes, then opening and shutting it until he slams his finger.

You don't want to travel with Destructo. We flew cross-country two weeks ago and I am still drinking two glasses of wine every night to recover. OK, three. All right, it's a whole bottle. It was just me and him on the way back. Think about holding a 25-pound fish that's wiggling to get back into the ocean for six hours as the fish emits bloodcurdling screams and you're stressing that everyone hates you. Does that sound like fun? The one silver lining was the 12 different times we went to the bathroom. Destructo really liked the sound the toilet made when it flushed so I kept flushing it even though I was probably harming the atmosphere. When toilet flushing is the highlight of any trip, you know you're in trouble.

Some tips if you're ever on a plane with me and Destructo. First, don't empathize by telling me, "I know how it is, I just flew with our baby for 12 hours, although he slept the whole way." Great! I'm glad your perfect kid slept the whole way and mine didn't! UP YOURS! Second, don't say, "Don't worry about us, we're used to this." What does "this" mean? Being tortured? Just read your Vanity Fair and shut your piehole. Third, don't keep glancing back sadly like you feel bad for me! Just don't! Fourth, if he falls asleep, don't walk by me and say loudly, "He finally fell asleep, huh?" Unless you want a dirty diaper stuck in your carry-on bag. Fifth, if you're the pilot, don't interrupt us every few minutes because you're excited that we might get in four minutes early, or that we're flying over the Grand Canyon when it's pitch-black. You're lucky that door was locked. And sixth, when it's over, don't pretend that Destructo was good as I'm holding clumps of my own hair in my hands and staring into space like a mental patient.

Here's what you can do: If you're the flight attendant, keep bringing me wine like the nice lady did throughout our flight. I don't know where you are, honey, but thank you again! And thanks for not judging me as I stumbled off the plane like Heather Locklear. No jury would convict me.

Here are my Week 5 picks: Hou -3.5, Tenn -3, Mia +6.5, Phi -5, Atl +7, Det +3.5, NYG -7.5, KC +9.5, Den -3, NE -3.5, Zona -1, Cincy +17, Jax -4.5, NO -3.5.

Last Week: 6-7
Season: 30-29-1

COWBOYS (-17) over Bengals
Chris Perry, you've accomplished something special: You're a starting running back for an NFL team, you're healthy and, yet, fantasy owners are still waiving you. Don't stick that on your Arena Football résumé, my friend. In other news, Dave G. in Cincy summed up the 2008 Bengals season with one paragraph:

"I was watching the Bengals-Browns game with my buddy and his girlfriend the other day. At the start of the second half, they showed a montage of Fitzpatrick throwing picks, getting sacked and throwing horrendous passes. During each clip, my friend's girlfriend was saying, 'Awwwwwww.' It was the same noise you make when you watch your child try to walk for the first time or when you watch a rebound bounce four times in the WNBA. You know they won't succeed, but it's cute that they're trying. Can we make this their new slogan? 'Your 2008 Cincinnati Bengals! It's cute that they're trying!'"

TOUCHES (PK) over Lack of Touches
This week's "Touches" update, sponsored by Jergens hand creme: Frank Gore is getting more than enough touches; Larry Johnson is finally getting enough touches; Terrell Owens is getting enough touches but feels like he's not getting enough; Adrian Peterson could use a few more touches; and Braylon Edwards is going to kill someone if he doesn't get more touches.

Bills (+1) over CARDS
Random thoughts to commemorate Buffalo's undefeated season ...

But seriously, it never stops being funny when an announcer praises Marshawn Lynch for running someone over.

If you had to pick one 2008 player to have a Ben & Jerry's flavor named after him, I'd go with Bertrand Berry.

Let's say Buffalo makes the Super Bowl, and let's say O.J. Simpson doesn't go to jail in this Las Vegas case. Would the NFL ban O.J. from appearing in Tampa that week? It would be like a poor lottery pick's degenerate father crashing the party on draft day, multiplied by a billion, right? You know he'll be there.

Hey, was anyone else waiting for Tom Cruise to run out on the field after Anquan Boldin got knocked unconscious?

Actual names of Buffalo coaches this season: Dick, Perry, Turk, Bobby, Alex and Tyke. Somebody get a fake all-male porn movie poster ready! Come on! Do it for me! Call the movie, "Lotion in the Basket" or "Extra-Hot Buffalo Sauce" and stick that thing online. I don't ask for much.

BILLS FANS (+6) over troublemaking sports columnists
Thanks to every die-hard who embraced the chance to educate me about the team's future in Buffalo, and thanks to 99.9 percent of you for resisting the urge to use swear words or compare me to an orifice. I appreciated it. Please know I am collecting my thoughts for a future column. One thing, though: If you're sending me an e-mail to challenge my joke that Vincent Gallo is the city's signature celebrity, saying, "Come on, man, everyone knows it's the Goo Goo Dolls" isn't exactly helping your cause. Tim Russert was the play there.

(You know what would be a great solution to the Buffalo issue? Remember how Jacksonville built a state-of-the-art stadium to accommodate a region that has no interest whatsoever in professional football? It's too bad they can't just move that stadium to Buffalo, like how you can move one of those "CAUTION: Wide Load" houses that you see occasionally on the highway.)

JAGUARS (-4.5) over Steelers
Here's something you won't hear on Sunday night: "You can't make those kinds of mental mistakes against Mewelde Moore, he will KILL you." By the way, David Garrard has stolen so many pages from Steve McNair's "Winning Ugly" playbook -- successfully scrambles on third-and-8, QB draws on fourth-and-4, an inexplicable rise in completion percentage in every fourth quarter, tipped passes that ricochet off three guys before landing in a receiver's hands -- that we might be nearing a copyright suit soon. Why not just hire McNair as his QB coach and get it over with?

Ben Roethlisberger (-1) over "BEN"
So the explanation for why announcers continue to break play-by-play protocol by calling Ben Roethlisberger "Ben" has always been, "Because Roethlisberger takes too long to say." If that's true, then how do you explain every NFL talking head constantly eschewing "NFL" so they can say "National Football League"? For instance, Ron Jaworski said the words "National Football League" between 30 and 375 times on Monday night, but he also consistently called Pittsburgh's QB "Ben." Why? What's the answer? This is just one of the things I don't get about the National Football League.

SPORTS GAL (-3) over the other wives
The mere sight of Troy Polamalu caused her to Google "Samoa" on Monday. Did you know Samoa is between Hawaii and New Zealand?

Bye Week (-3.5) over RAIDERS
(Lemme be the one person in America this week to start a sentence with the words, "In Al Davis' defense ...")

Al Davis

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apparently "Just win, baby" has been replaced with "Just scare the crap out of small children, baby."

In Al Davis' defense, when your coach is attempting a 76-yard field goal during an NFL game, he probably is trying to get fired. On the other hand, the whole saga led to Al's news conference during which he broke the HD tuner on my 52-inch plasma because he looked like a sea monster. Which reminds me...

Ghastly Hollywood analogies (+14) over AL DAVIS
In the span of five hours after his surreal news conference, my readers sent me e-mails comparing Davis to the following Hollywood characters: Jigsaw (from "Saw"); Skeksis ("Dark Crystal"); Bill Murray's dead boss ("Scrooged"); Mason Verger ("Hannibal"); Mr. Burns ("The Simpsons"); the Crypt Keeper; Emperor Palpatine; the first alien villain who lands in "Men in Black"; Jason Voorhees when he comes out of the water in "Friday the 13th" (the first one); and what Bernie's rotting corpse would have looked like if they stretched the series to a "Weekend at Bernie's V." I kept expecting Davis to suddenly jump from his seat and grab Scott Ostler or Tim Kawakami while screaming, "Give me his blood! I need to drink his blood right now!!!!!!"

STOMACH PUNCH (-7) over Raider fans
You know what killed me about the press conference for interim coach Tom Cable? After Davis explained the hiring by saying, "Look, we've gotta win, and I think he can win, that's what we've gotta do" and Cable went into his "We gotta start closing out every game" and "The goal of the game is to win" routine, I made the mistake of looking up Cable's coaching record. He has been a head coach only once, at the University of Idaho from 2000-03. You know what his career record was? Eleven and 35! Now he has a Ph.D. in winning? I love sports sometimes.

My Actual 2008 Record (+10) over THE RECORD AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN
Here's why I hate picking games on Thursdays. Last week, I finished 8-5. Two of those five losses were the Bengals and Eagles. You know me pretty well by now. Would I ever lay 3.5 points with the Bengals if I knew Ryan Fitzpatrick was starting over Carson Palmer? And would I ever lay 3 on the road in Chicago without Brian Westbrook involved? That was a potential 10-3 week down the tubes. I lose 10 extra games a year picking by handing in my picks on Thursdays. Damn it all.

Vikings (+3.5) over SAINTS
Your complete list of 2008 teams that don't have a chance in hell if they fall behind by two scores in the second half: Baltimore, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Oakland ... and Minnesota. I think the Vikings keep the lead in this one thanks to a 35-point fantasy day from Adrian "Cousin Sal, Why Did You Trade Me For Westbrook?" Peterson. By the way, don't count out the Vikes: Bryant McKinnie is back and their schedule is getting easier starting right now. We could have our Gus Frerotte-Kerry Collins Super Bowl matchup yet.

All right, I can't resist ...

FREROTTE! COLLINS! SPRINGSTEEN!!!!! It's Super Bowl XLIII on NBC!

Last Week: 8-5
Season: 31-28-1

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. For every Simmons column, as well as podcasts, videos, favorite links and more, check out the revamped Sports Guy's World.