Engel: Texan twosome

Updated: November 21, 2007, 4:06 PM ET
By Scott Engel |

Every week, I will share my personal selections and picks in's mini-games, plus feature my lineups in prominent expert leagues that I am participating in this season. I'll explain the reasoning behind many of my choices, in an effort to assist you in making your own decisions or to explain why certain picks may seem risky or unusual.

Gridiron Challenge

QB1: Tom Brady (Value: Locked at 8.0)
QB2: Matt Schaub (5.9)
RB1: Maurice Jones-Drew (5.7)
RB2: Maurice Morris (5.8)
WR1: Randy Moss (Locked at 7.2)
WR2: Andre Johnson (6.5)
TE: Donald Lee (Locked at 3.4)
K: Neil Rackers (3.7)
D/ST: Arizona Cardinals (4.7)
Total Team Value: (49.9)
Engel's Angles: Brady and Moss will stay locked in for the remainder of the season unless the Patriots surprisingly lose a game and bench their starters late in the season. No matter the matchup, they stay in my lineup. The Matt Schaub/Andre Johnson combination is back, and should be very productive again as the Texans face the Browns. Cleveland is allowing an AFC-worst 269.5 passing yards per game and has also surrendered an NFL-high 23 touchdown passes. I go with the "All Maurice" running back duo, as Jones-Drew opposes the Bills, who are allowing 119.3 rushing yards per game. Maurice Morris has played respectably and will start again this week. The Rams have allowed 11 rushing touchdowns, tied for last in the NFC. Lee is the best bargain in the game at his position. The Cardinals' defense has turned up its level of play recently despite some key injuries in the secondary, and is one of the best starts of the week against the 49ers, who are averaging an NFL-low 11.3 points per game. San Francisco is also minus-9 in giveaways/takeaways, tied at the bottom of the NFL in that category. The Niners have turned the ball over 21 times.


Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Miami Dolphins)
Engel's Angles: This one is so obvious it's silly, and I am glad I have saved the Steelers for this long. I have been on target in 10 of 11 weeks so far, and I feel very safe with this pick for obvious reasons. If the Dolphins are going to score their first win down the stretch, I believe it will be in December against either the Jets or Ravens at home. Miami played respectably in a loss at Philadelphia last week and the Steelers suffered a surprising letdown on the road against the Jets. The Steelers have won all five of their home games so far, and Miami has no chance to challenge them at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh will easily contain Jesse Chatman, and Ricky Williams won't be a factor yet. That puts the ball in the hands of rookie John Beck, who doesn't have any reliable playmakers to at least help him keep the defense honest. Pittsburgh will easily dominate time of possession, and even without injured wide receiver Santonio Holmes, Ben Roethlisberger will spread the ball around well to his other targets. Tight ends Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth will become more involved in the passing game, with Spaeth always a threat in the red zone. Once Pittsburgh builds an easy early lead, the Steelers will pound away at the Miami front seven with the duo of Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport. Parker should roll up good yardage numbers and will score on a sizable touchdown run, but Davenport will also get in the end zone at least once and will be on the field for a lot of second-half reps as the Steelers use him frequently in extended garbage time.

Pigskin Pick 'Em: Versus the spread

My selections in CAPS
GREEN BAY -3 @ Detroit
Dallas -14 vs. NEW YORK JETS
Indianapolis -11 @ ATLANTA
NEW ORLEANS -3 @ Carolina
TENNESSEE -1 @ Cincinnati
CLEVELAND -3 vs. Houston
JACKSONVILLE -7 vs. Buffalo
Kansas City 5 vs. OAKLAND
New York Giants 7 vs. MINNESOTA
SEATTLE 3 @ St. Louis
TAMPA BAY 3 vs. Washington
ARIZONA 10 vs. San Francisco
Chicago 2 vs. DENVER
San Diego 9 vs. BALTIMORE
NEW ENGLAND 22 vs. Philadelphia
PITTSBURGH 16 vs. Miami
Engel's Angles: Defense will dictate the Packers' win over Detroit, as the Lions' offensive line won't give Jon Kitna enough time to make completions in key situations. The Jets won't beat Dallas, but will move the ball well enough under Kellen Clemens and won't get blown out. Without Marvin Harrison, you cannot count on the Colts to fully dominate against Atlanta, even in a victory. The Titans will be able to run the ball effectively and control the clock against the Bengals. Cleveland will outshoot Houston in one of the most exciting games of the week. Jacksonville will continue to move the ball crisply against Buffalo. Kansas City's offense is down to Brodie Croyle and Kolby Smith, making the Chiefs vulnerable in an old rivalry against Oakland. The Vikings will stick close to the Giants by running the ball adequately and forcing turnovers. The Cardinals will dominate in all phases of the game as the Niners continue to slide. The San Diego offense cannot be counted on to build a large lead against the Ravens. Yes, the Patriots will sandblast another opponent, whether Donovan McNabb plays or not.

Pigskin Pick 'Em: No Spread

Home team in CAPS
Green Bay over DETROIT
DALLAS over New York Jets
Indianapolis over ATLANTA
New Orleans over CAROLINA
Tennessee over CINCINNATI
CLEVELAND over Houston
Oakland over KANSAS CITY
NEW YORK GIANTS over Minnesota
Seattle over ST. LOUIS
TAMPA BAY over Washington
ARIZONA over San Francisco
Denver over CHICAGO
SAN DIEGO over Baltimore
NEW ENGLAND over Philadelphia
Engel's Angles: The Saints will stop their two-game skid this week against the Panthers. Carolina won't be able to generate enough offense to keep its defense off the field. The Raiders will go on the road and beat Kansas City. It won't be a high-scoring affair, but Oakland will make the plays late, while the Chiefs suffer from too much unproven youth in the backfield. The Rams are looking better on offense, but will not be able to contain Seattle's revamped passing game. The Buccaneers will win a physical, hard-fought struggle with the Redskins. The Broncos will force turnovers and run the ball well at Chicago. The Patriots clearly belong in their own league and the Steelers will come out ready to roll after a surprising defeat last week.


The Experts League, where I face off against nine other fantasy staff members. Check out Tristan H. Cockcroft's coverage of the league on our fantasy football pages every week.

QB: Derek Anderson
RB: Frank Gore
RB: Kolby Smith
RB/WR: Maurice Morris
WR: Donald Driver
WR: Reggie Wayne
TE: Dallas Clark
K: Mason Crosby
D/ST: Green Bay Packers
Reserves: Ben Roethlisberger, Adrian Peterson (MIN), Travis Henry, Ryan Grant, T.J. Duckett, Ike Hilliard, Donald Lee
Engel's Angles: Another tough call at quarterback this week, as I am looking for a strong rebound performance from Roethlisberger, but Anderson has too many weapons for Houston to handle. The absence of Santonio Holmes also makes me believe there is less of a threat of big plays downfield by Pittsburgh this week. The scrambling for quality starters continues at running back, as Ryan Grant is iffy, but Kolby Smith now starts for Kansas City and my patience in waiting for him to get the job now pays off. I expect respectable totals as he proves to be a good downhill runner with some potential as a pass catcher. Morris starts again, and while I never expect great totals from him, the Seattle passing game is opening up some running room and he's a perfect flex player. Driver has been a disappointment, but I don't have any better options. Another tough call at tight end, but I expect Clark to contribute more this week after he was quiet against the Chiefs. I expect Crosby to be very productive against the Lions and the Packers' defense will generate a lot of pressure with its front four and take the big plays away from the Lions' offense. Jon Kitna will certainly make more turnovers as he is frustrated throughout the day. Duckett will likely be waived off my roster tonight.

Fanex Football

A long-running, highly prestigious 12-team experts league that has always been tops among seasoned fantasy experts. Four points for passing touchdowns, 0.05 points for each passing yard, 0.1 each for rushing and receiving yards, one point for every reception. Only two add/drops allowed per week, with blind bidding.

QB: Derek Anderson
RB: LenDale White
RB: Willie Parker
RB: Earnest Graham
WR: Reggie Wayne
WR: Brandon Marshall
WR: Justin Gage
TE: Donald Lee
K: Jeff Reed
D/ST: Washington Redskins
Reserves: Donovan McNabb, Matt Hasselbeck, Dwayne Wright, Thomas Jones, Ted Ginn Jr., David Patten, Nate Washington, Nate Burleson, Vernon Davis and Vikings D/ST
Engel's Angles: Another tough decision at quarterback, but Anderson gets the nod over Hasselbeck. It's still hard to say or believe, but Anderson is truly one of the elite quarterbacks in fantasy football right now. I like White to get back on a positive track against the Bengals. It was another difficult decision between Graham and Thomas Jones, but the Tampa Bay running back has been more consistent recently. I'm going to take a chance on Gage this week. He's become a more integral part of the Tennessee offense and faces the highly vulnerable Cincinnati defense.

Krause Publications Experts League II

From the publishers of Fantasy Sports Magazine, a long-enduring fantasy industry staple. A 12-team league with similar scoring to Fanex, except running backs get .5 points for a reception.

QB: Matt Schaub
RB: Willie Parker
RB: Justin Fargas
RB/WR: Chester Taylor
WR: Bobby Engram
WR: Wes Welker
WR: Plaxico Burress
TE:Chris Cooley
K: Mason Crosby
D/ST: Arizona Cardinals
Reserves: Ben Roethlisberger, Fred Taylor, Kolby Smith, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez and Lions D/ST
Engel's Angles: This team is shaping up to be one of my favorites, as I have quality options at every position and a quality crew of reserves. I'm banking on the Schaub versus Cleveland matchup here, while I also expect Parker to go for more than 100 yards. Chester Taylor will have to work harder for his yardage this week against the Giants, but I still expect him to finish off any scoring drives Minnesota can put together. Fargas will give me adequate production, and I also have Kolby Smith for more depth. Engram may see even more time as a slot receiver this week, but should post good numbers against St. Louis. Burress has been in a statistical slump recently, but the Vikings' secondary is very shaky and I have to give him another shot this week. I will ride the wave of Arizona's defensive momentum as it continues this week.

Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for You can contact Scott here.

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Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for