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ACE PART III

It is time for Week 3 of Ace’s Advice.
The lure of home openers everywhere has worn off and the time for everyone to start making knee-jerk reactions has started. I always love hearing fans dig a team’s grave after a 0-2 start, or book plane tickets to the Super Bowl after one starts 2-0. We are not even a quarter of the way through the season, but this is a crucial time for fantasy gamers everywhere to scope out the right players who may be legit after a hot first two weeks.
With that said, here are two guys I am targeting on the waiver wire this week.
• I’ll start with Giants running back Andre Brown, who plays vs. the Panthers in the Thursday Night game this week. Brown got the bulk of the carries Sunday with Ahmad Bradshaw hurt, and certainly took advantage of it. If Bradshaw can’t go Thursday (which looks like it may be the case), that trend will continue. Running back is always hard to find on the wire, so this should get a lot of attention.
• The next guy I am looking at it Donnie Avery of the Colts. Avery has become a nice target for Andrew Luck after catching 12 balls on 18 targets for 148 yards and a touchdown through two games. You may want to see Avery do this for a few more weeks before expecting weekly production, but sometimes those receivers who catch on (no pun intended) with a rookie QB are hard to ignore.
As it happens every week, there were a few big injuries across fantasyland that need to be addressed. The big one for me personally is Aaron Hernandez. Luckily for all Hernandez owners, TE is super deep this year, especially when you just need a short term injury or bye week filler. I loved Martellus Bennett from the Giants and Kyle Rudolph from the Vikings since before the season, and they are living up their expectations, with Bennett putting up starters numbers so far. Remember, Bennett plays on Thursday however, so if you have say a Fred Davis who is questionable for Sunday, you will have to make a tough decision.
When it comes to predicting the games, last week this blog went 11-5 straight up, 5-9-2 ATS (yikes), missed on the “lock of the week” with the Redskins losing, and hit the upset of the week with the Colts win.
Heading into this week’s games, here’s how the blog has fared:
13-5 straight up
7-9-2 ATS
1-1 lock of the week
2-0 upset special
Let’s see if we can do better this week, and remember, all sports betting should be done legally.

GIANTS @ PANTHERS (-1)
Eli Manning threw for a career high 510 yards last week, but the Giants D also looked very shaky. The Panthers have also allowed yards in chunks this season however, and Cam Newton could help turn this matchup into a shootout, with the entire country watching. In the end, I think the energized crowd and the Madden cover runner-up help the Panthers win what could be a great game to start week 3. No Hakeem Nicks will also hurt the G-Men. Prediction: PANTHERS over Giants 27-23

RAMS @ BEARS (-7)
I was a hater on the Rams the past two weeks, but I really like the way they are playing through two games. I still don’t like Cortland Finnegan, (he should have been penalized at the end of that win last week as well) but they have shown enough to make me think they can play the Bears tough. Speaking of the Bears, remember when everyone had them winning the NFC North after a week one win? Yeah, I don’t hear them anymore either. They are good enough to finish second in the North, but they need to win these kinds of games at home. I think they do, barely, this week. Prediction: BEARS over Rams 24-23

BILLS (-3) @ BROWNS
It is so hard to predict Bills games now a days. I was so confident they would throttle the Jets in week one, and we all know how that turned out. Then, when I wasn’t as confident last week, they surprised me in a good way. Fact is, this is a quarterback league. Fitzpatrick MUST limit the turnovers as he did vs. the Chiefs. The Browns have a very good LB core, so expect the Bills to spread the Browns out to take advantage of a secondary missing Joe Haden. This does not mean CJ will not be involved however, as he should still touch the ball 20-25 times. The Bills run D has been very good through two games, and if they can contain Trent Richardson, then I expect the Bills to snap an eight game road losing streak dating back to the opener in KC last year. Prediction: BILLS over Browns 24-17

JAGUARS @ COLTS (-3)
In a matchup of two teams that are most likely not headed towards the playoffs in 2012, I like Andrew Luck a heck of a lot more than Blaine Gabbert. As long as Indy keeps MJD in relative check, the Colts really should win this game. Prediction: COLTS over Jags 23-16

JETS (-2.5) @ DOLPHINS
Take the under. That is the first thing that popped in my head when scouting this game. These are two subpar offensive teams that have good defenses that will occasionally bail them out for a win. The Jets will need Mark Sanchez to have a statement game this Sunday, as the Dolphins have not allowed a 100 yard rusher in a full season’s worth, and are allowing only 2.2 yards a carry through two games. This just in however, Jets fans shouldn’t want to have the game rest in Sanchez’s hands. Unfortunately, I think the Jets D does just enough to give the Jets an ugly win on the road. Prediction: JETS over Dolphins 13-10

49ERS (-7.5) @ VIKINGS
If you step back and take a look at the 49ers roster, it is unreal to think that they are considered the best team in football. This team is so fun to root for though, and how can you not love Jim Harbaugh? I’d play for that man any day. He has turned Alex Smith’s career around and we all know how good that defense is. I don’t think they will have a problem stopping Adrian Peterson, and I think once again the offense does enough to win. Prediction” 49ERS over Vikings 24-16

CHIEFS @ SAINTS (-9)
No way the Saints start 0-3, right? Getting a struggling Chiefs team at home is just what the doctor ordered in my opinion, and the Saints will be primed and ready to go. Expect Brees to have a ho-hum 300 yard day that will send the Chiefs to 0-3. Prediction: SAINTS over Chiefs 31-24

BENGALS @ REDSKINS (-3)
A lot has been said that this game has shootout written all over it. Well, I agree. Washington lost two of its best defensive players last week, and the Bengals have allowed 35 points and 435 yards through two games. If you have read the previous blogs then you know I think RG3 is already a top 10 QB in this league, and I believe that trend continues Sunday as the Redskins win in a shootout. Prediction: REDSKINS over Bengals 41-34

PATRIOTS @ RAVENS (-3)
In a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game, this has the making of a great game to end our Sunday. One of these teams will lose two straight to drop to 1-2, but neither should be too worried about their playoff chances. Both teams could very well end up in New Orleans as they are still the two best teams in the AFC in my opinion. The Ravens have allowed a surprising 404 yards on defense through two games, and the Pats D, while better than last year, is still not something to lose sleep over. With these two high powered offenses, it could make for some fireworks, but I think Tom Brady settles for touchdowns, not field goals in this thriller to lead the Pats to 2-1. Prediction: PATS over Ravens 28-27

PACKERS (-3.5) @ SEAHAWKS
Did people really doubt the Packers after a loss to what is now considered the best team in the NFL after week one? They have the best QB in the NFL people, I’m pretty sure they will be fine no matter how many yards they rush for. Seattle is not a bad team however, as proven last week in their blowout upset against the Cowboys. I still have a tough time picking Russell Wilson over Rodgers however, so I believe he makes the difference in a hostile atmosphere in Seattle on Monday Night. Prediction: PACKERS over Seahawks 27-20

EAGLES (-3.5) @ CARDINALS
I believe the Eagles will come in with a cautious approach to limit turnovers after Vick has thrown six through two games. In the end it pays off as the world is reminded why Kevin Kolb was a backup to Mike Vick. Prediction: EAGLES over Cards 27-17

FALCONS @ CHARGERS (+3)
It is noted multiple times in this blog that the Falcons were my preseason Super Bowl pick. I stand by that pick, but a cross country road game on a short week is a recipe for a loss. Somehow, the Norv Turner led chargers will be 3-0 in my opinion, but we all know he will find a way to screw the hot start up eventually. Ryan Matthews’ possible return also gives the Chargers a boost. Prediction: CHARGERS over Falcons 24-23

TEXANS (-2) @ BRONCOS
Can we all now admit Peyton Manning is not his former self? The guy is 36 years old, had four neck surgeries in the past two years, and is throwing more picks than ever before dating back to his last season with the Colts. The Broncos as a whole are simply overrated in my eyes, and Houston is a really solid, complete, football team. Houston goes in to Denver and starts 3-0. Prediction: TEXANS over Broncos 27-20

STEELERS (-4) @ RAIDERS
Oakland has looked terrible through two games, but in my opinion this game hinges on the health and presence of James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, and to a lesser extent Rashard Mendenhall. If those three(or at least two) can play Sunday then the Steelers will win. I am going to make a prediction assuming they do in limited roles, which I think is enough to catapult the Steelers to 2-1, while the Raiders fans start realizing they are in rebuilding mode. Prediction: STEELERS over Raiders 24-20

“Lock of the Week”
LIONS (-3.5) @ TITANS

In my eyes this game has the makings of a blowout. Chris Johnson is useless, especially behind a subpar offensive line. The Titans have also allowed an average of over 400 total yards and 36 points through two games. If the Titans had an elite QB to keep them in the game I would give them a chance, but last time I checked Jake Locker is not elite. Lions win big as Jim Schwartz returns to the place he served as defensive coordinator. Prediction: LIONS over Titans 34-17

“Upset of the Week”
BUCS @COWBOYS (-8)

It is tough to read the Bucs right now. Are they the team that held Cam and Co. to 10 points in week one or the ones that gave up 510 through the air and 41 points to Eli Manning. Right now, I’m going to say they are slightly closer to the team in week one. I think Mark Barron is a future All-Pro, and if the Bucs keep DeMarcus Ware off of Josh Freeman then I actually think the Bucs can win this game. Let’s just hope the Cowboys don’t end the game with a kneel down, because what Schiano’s squad did last week was flat out dirty. Prediction: BUCS over Cowboys 23-20
I also have the Pats coming up with the “upset” but we all know that’d be cheating in terms of picking an upset.

That’s it for week three! Enjoy the games everyone!
GO BILLS!

-Ace

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