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Staff Picks: Backing the Bears and Cowboys

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Erickson won the week at 8-5, though Pianowski remains by himself in first place 11 games over .500, and DDD and I are tied for last, one game under.

This week, three writers made the Bears their best bet, and it's also a consensus pick. Incidentally, consensus picks are 10-5 so far this year after a strong showing (32-21-1) last season.

Enjoy the games.

Erickson Pianowski Liss Stopa Del Don
Panthers +3.5 at Falcons Panthers Panthers Falcons Falcons Panthers
49ers +4 at Lions 49ers 49ers 49ers Lions 49ers
Colts +7 at Bengals Colts Colts Bengals Colts Bengals
Eagles -1 at Redskins Eagles Eagles Redskins Eagles Eagles
Rams +15 at Packers Packers Rams Rams Rams Packers
Jaguars +12.5 at Steelers Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Steelers
Bills +3 at Giants Bills Bills Giants Bills Giants
Browns +7 at Raiders Browns Browns Browns Raiders Raiders
Texans +8 at Ravens Ravens Texans Ravens Texans Texans
Saints -4.5 at Buccaneers Saints Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers Saints
Cowboys +7 at Patriots Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys
Vikings +2.5 at Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears Bears
Dolphins +7.5 at Jets Jets Dolphins Dolphins Jets Jets
Best Bet Bears Cowboys Buccaneers Bears Bears
Last Week's Record 8-5 7-6 6-7 6-7 6-7
2011 Record 38-37-2 43-32-2 37-38-2 38-37-2 37-38-2
Best Bet Record 4-1 3-1-1 3-2 3-2 1-3-1
Consensus Pick Record 10-5
2010 Record 129-122-5 134-117-5 126-125-5 136-115-5 134-117-5
2009 Record 123-130-3 132-121-3 131-122-3 130-123-3 126-127-3
2008 Record 132-114-10 128-118-10 124-122-10 125-121-10 130-116-10
2007 Record 127-120 118-129 127-120 N/A 130-117
2006 Record 118-129 N/A 139-108 N/A N/A
2005 Record 121-126 N/A 127-120 N/A N/A
2004 Record 124-124 N/A 130-118 N/A N/A
2003 Record 121-126 118-129 124-123 N/A N/A
2002 Record 113-136 123-126 141-108 N/A N/A
2001 Record 124-113 117-120 118-119 N/A N/A
2000 Record 123-117 134-106 141-99 N/A N/A

Consensus Picks

This week we have two consensus picks: the Bears and Cowboys. We went 2-1 on consensus picks in Week 5 to go 10-5 on the year. We went 32-21-1 on consensus picks in 2010.


Erickson Yes, the Bears have looked like a dumpster fire the last two weeks on defense, but it's hard to underestimate the likelihood of Donovan McNabb derping it up all over the field, and I don't trust the Vikes to just give Adrian Peterson 30 carries like they should... Maybe it's my self-hating Bengals fandom kicking in, but I can't fathom them giving more than a touchdown to anyone, especially a team that has looked non-horrific the last two weeks... I feel like such a square taking the Saints, but it's possible that the Bucs are just that bad, and that they won't have a fully healthy LeGarrette Blount to take advantage of their best matchup.
PianowskiThe Dallas offense is perfectly equipped to exploit that awful New England secondary, and the Cowboys should be reasonably healthy after the bye.
LissI don't love this slate and am surprised three people made the Bears their best bets in what I considered a toss-up game.
StopaEven when I like a pick, I can almost always understand the rationale for where Vegas set the line, i.e. I can see an argument for taking the other side. With Vikings/Bears, I just don't see it. I can't ever recall saying this before, but this line is wrong. The Vikings are a bottom-seven team, yet they're being treated as equals to the Bears (or better than equals by some books). I'm not saying Chicago is elite, but they're far better than Minnesota. Yes, their record is 2-3, but that's skewed by having played the Packers, Saints and Lions already. This is basically the same team that made the playoffs last year, and the Vikings are nowhere near that level. I also love how the Bears are coming off a loss and the Vikings just played their best game of the season. This line should be -6 or -6.5, so I'm making the Bears my "best bet" of the year so far... The Saints are going to lose one of these games on the road on grass eventually, and the Bucs should rebound. ... If the Falcons don't score 30 at home this week against a Panthers defense that escorts opponents to the end zone through the air and via ground, I'll be surprised... I think the Bengals are a dark horse for a Wild Card, but they play too close to the vest for me to lay a TD with them... Eli makes a few loose throws every week, and the Bills secondary hasn't been missing on its chances to convert those into INTs. The Giants pass rush is a concern, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is smart enough (did you know he went to Harvard?) to get rid of the ball. Plus, I have to pick Bills on principle alone, as I know Liss will pick the Giants.
Del DonI hate taking nine favorites, but I'm not switching any single game just because of that fact.

The players:

Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Value Meter. Covers and roots for the Bengals.

Scott Pianowski: Fantasy expert for Yahoo! Sports, and also contributes to 2009 Staff Picks Champ. Roots for the Patriots.

Chris Liss: RotoWire Managing Editor, 2000, 2002, 2006 Staff Picks Champ, 2003, 2004 co-champ. Writes East Coast Offense, Beating the Book and Surviving the Week in addition to Staff Picks. Covers and roots for the Giants.

Mark Stopa: Staff Writer, 2010 Staff Picks Champ, Writes Working the Wire. Roots for the Bills.

Dalton Del Don: RotoWire Senior Staff Writer. 2007 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Game Capsules and the Barometer. Covers the Eagles and roots for the 49ers.