Engel: Dealing Alexander for Gore
Every week, I will share my personal selections and picks in ESPN.com'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.
QB1: Tom Brady (Value: Locked at 7.2)
QB2: Derek Anderson (6.3)
RB1: Brandon Jacobs (5.4)
RB2: Marshawn Lynch (5.7)
WR1: Randy Moss (Locked at 6.9)
WR2: Braylon Edwards (6.3)
TE: Donald Lee (3.5)
K: Jeff Reed (4.2)
D/ST: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4.5)
Total Team Value: (49.6)
ENGEL'S ANGLES: Brady and Moss will stay locked in until their bye week. They are the prime reason I am tied for the lead in my group with 853 points and a percentage of 95.3. I am certainly a believer in Anderson, and I am looking for at least two touchdown passes from him this week. Jacobs should have another very good outing against the sorry Dolphins, and Lynch is entering a very friendly part of his schedule and should stay on my team for a few weeks. Edwards is a great bet for another impressive outing this week. Lee is a fine bargain with Bubba Franks out, and the safeties being the weakest link in the Denver secondary in terms of coverage. The Buccaneers will face the inexperienced Quinn Gray, who looks as though the game is moving too fast for him at this point of his career.
ENGEL'S ANGLES: I have been on target in six of seven weeks, with only those frustrating Texans as my one errant choice when they lost to the Falcons in the fourth week of the season. So now it's time to overlook some tempting choices and exact a little revenge. Cleveland is a good choice against the Rams, but you never know when a winless team can jump up and bite a ballclub like the Browns. The Giants are obviously a prime choice against Miami, but I used them against Atlanta in the sixth week. Tampa Bay is another terrific choice against the Quinn Gray-led Jaguars. Yet no team jumps out to me as much as the Chargers. The Texans are falling apart, especially on defense, after a promising start. They could also be without Matt Schaub, and Andre Johnson will miss another game. There is no way they will contain LaDainian Tomlinson, and Chris Chambers will make a positive impact on the passing game in his first game with his new team. The Chargers will also obviously want to win this one for the good people of San Diego and its surrounding areas.
My selections in CAPS
INDIANAPOLIS -7 1/2 Carolina
PITTSBURGH 3 1/2 Cincinnati
Chicago -5 1/2 DETROIT
Tennessee -7 1/2 OAKLAND
CLEVELAND -3 1/2 St. Louis
Philadelphia -1 1/2 MINNESOTA
NEW YORK GIANTS -9 1/2 Miami
New York Jets -2 1/2 BUFFALO
SAN DIEGO 10 1/2 Houston
TAMPA BAY 4 1/2 Jacksonville
NEW ENGLAND 16 1/2 Washington
NEW ORLEANS 2 1/2 San Francisco
DENVER 3 1/2 Green Bay
ENGEL'S ANGLES: No more heroics for Vinny Testaverde against Indianapolis. The Steelers will trade offensive jabs with the Bengals and stop them defensively when it counts. Detroit will outgun Chicago in a shootout. The Titans won't be able to generate enough offense this week for a decisive win. They look less potent with Vince Young at quarterback. The Eagles don't have enough in the passing game to truly challenge the Vikings' defense. The Giants will shine on offense in London. San Diego will romp in an emotional victory. The Redskins have a good defense, but Tom Brady will simply keep rolling until the Patriots have another large lead.
Home team in CAPS
Indianapolis over CAROLINA
Pittsburgh over CINCINNATI
Detroit over CHICAGO
TENNESSEE over Oakland
Cleveland over ST. LOUIS
MINNESOTA over Philadelphia
New York Giants over MIAMI
Buffalo over NEW YORK JETS
SAN DIEGO over Houston
TAMPA BAY over Jacksonville
NEW ENGLAND over Washington
New Orleans over SAN FRANCISCO
DENVER over Green Bay
ENGEL'S ANGLES: The Lions will dictate the game on offense and will surprise the Bears on the road. Cleveland will hold off the Rams, who will be inspired by the return of Steven Jackson and will lead in the game before faltering. The Dolphins are listed as the home team, but the Giants will feel more comfortable in London. The Bills will frustrate the Jets, who will make an inevitable quarterback change in another disappointing loss. The Patriots will quiet talk that the Redskins have an opportunity to stop them. The Washington offense won't be able to keep up with New England and the defense will get overworked. The Saints' "turnaround" will continue against the 49ers, who still have issues on offense. Monday's game will feature two gunslingers, the young Jay Cutler and the legendary Brett Favre, and Cutler will prevail on his home turf.
The ESPN.com 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 Friday.
ENGEL'S ANGLES: Tough decision at quarterback, as both have outstanding matchups, but I slightly prefer Roethlisberger and can always rely on him. Gore was acquired early Friday in exchange for Shaun Alexander. With Henry hurting, I needed a solid replacement and was glad to rid myself of Alexander. Gore is expected to play, and I like his schedule the rest of the way. I acquired Wynn as further insurance at running back, getting rid of Marques Colston, who I couldn't put in my lineup with much confidence anymore. Muhammad was my top free-agent addition this week. He has scored in two consecutive games and faces the Lions this week. Tough call at defense/special teams also, but the Jaguars won't give up too many points to the Buccaneers, I believe. I added Walter for further depth at wide receiver, and with Henry's return to action getting closer, this was the best week to pick him up.
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.
ENGEL'S ANGLES: Anderson can spur this team to a win after two frustrating close losses. Last Monday night, Reggie Wayne nearly pushed me to a victory, but I fell short. Meanwhile, he was going against me in another personal league, and I breathed a sigh of relief as he fell one point short of beating me. Man, the stress level rises on Monday nights when you are in several leagues. I expect Jones to fare respectably against Buffalo, and Parker will have a big day against the Bengals. Patten is no lock for the lineup when free-agent bids are processed late Friday. I may also ultimately use Lee over Davis.
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.
ENGEL'S ANGLES: Roethlisberger is locked in as a starter and is now backed up by Griese after I cut the injured David Garrard. He and Parker should drive my team this week. Battle is playing well and becomes an even better start against the Saints with Darrell Jackson not expected to play. I'm waiting for the rebound game from Harrison.
Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can contact Scott here.
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