The NFL trade deadline came and went and only two trades were made for mid-round draft choices; Jacksonville wide receiver Mike Thomas went to Detroit for a 5th rounder in 2014, and talented but troubled Buccaneer cornerback Aqib Talib will join the Patriots defense for a 4th rounder in 2013.
The Oracle's Top 5 remains unchanged for the third week in a row: 1. Atlanta 2. Houston 3. Green Bay 4. Chicago 5. San Francisco.
Cleveland has finally moved out of the worst team distinction and the quarterback-deprived Kansas City Chiefs move in to the Oracle outhouse.
Rob Stewart is... The Fantasy Oracle
Chiefs' quarterback Matt Cassel has more turnovers himself than every team in the NFL except the Dallas Cowboys, talk about poor quarterback play. Kansas City's only lead of the year came on the final play in their overtime win over New Orleans meaning they have never led during a game. The last time a team didn't have a lead with the clock running after eight games was the 1929 Buffalo Bisons. They never saw the 1930 season, FYI, as they folded up the franchise after that disastrous year.
Free agents who may be available on your waiver wire to grab and play if you are desperate are Isaac Redman, Daniel Thomas, Justin Forsett, Titus Young, Cecil Shorts, Sidney Rice, Greg Olsen and the Steelers defense (they play the Chiefs next week).
Peyton Hillis and Shaun Draughn are speculative adds that might bear fruit based on Jamaal Charles suffering what appeared to be a concussion Thursday night.
In the WTO Laid Back League, the jinxed Oracles suffered another high scoring defeat. The Oracles stand at 2-6 but would be 60-28 if they faced every team in the league every week. It is just the luck of the draw as the Oracles continue to climb the yearly point standings, but have come to the realization that they need to win out in order to avoid their first year not making the playoffs in this league.
This week's feature game is (6-2) Cody "Nightmare on Elms Street" battling low-scoring Mitchell "Living" Wilston (5-3). Wilston is 11th in total points despite the impressive record. In other games, the Oracles battle Jacob "Where's Perryman" (5-3); defending champion Brian Hagberg (5-3) faces hard luck Jon "Houshmanzadeh" Sitler (1-7, but 8th in total points); Jonathan "Foosball" McAfoos (4-4) takes on Josh "The Gambler" Cotton (2-6); Bob "Big Bossman" Patchen (5-3) tangles with Allen "Wingnut" Seybert (4-4), and; Derek "Mountain Man" Farr (4-4) tries to reel in a victory against Brian "Fish" Ferry (5-3).
Last week's scores were as follows: McAfoos 125.78, Oracles 107.72; Seybert 100.58, Cotton 78.06; Patchen 87.94, Farr 70.98; Ferry 77.34, Wilston 65.74; Elms 123.16, Hagberg 75.90; Perryman 115.18, Sitler 105.08
ASK ALAINA: Alaina was 3-2 last week (10-5 overall). Faced with some tough questions, she missed on the Eagles defense vs. Jets defense by one point and Ryan Mathews easily outpointed Reggie Bush. She nailed Peyton Manning over Drew Brees, Big Ben over RGIII and Demaryius Thomas over Marques Colston.
This week's questions are: 1. Drew Brees or Michael Vick - Brees; 2. Andrew Luck or Cam Newton - Luck; 3. Darren McFadden or Doug Martin - McFadden; 4. Randall Cobb or Larry Fitzgerald - Cobb; 5. Tony Gonzalez or Jason Witten - Witten.
BYE WEEK TEAMS: New England, New York Jets, San Francisco and St. Louis.
FANTASY STAR OF THE WEEK: Wingnut QB Matthew Stafford with 37.28 points. Stafford threw for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushed for another in the Lions victory over Seattle.
STEELERS (4-3): The Steelers looked dominant and Jonathan Dwyer became the first Steelers running back since Willie Parker in 2008 to record back to back 100 yard games. This week the Black and Gold face the defending champion NY Giants and are a field goal underdog. I like the Steelers in an upset 24-21. Look for Mike Wallace to catch a bomb and Heath Miller to have a big game as the Steelers try to avoid the Giants pass rush.
BROWNS (2-6): In my only miss last week, the Browns stifled the Chargers offense and held on for a 7-6 victory. This week they get to face a rested Baltimore Ravens team that needs to focus on running the ball with Ray Rice. Will they do it, if this year is any indication, then no, they will not. I still like the Ravens in this one however, 24-9. Phil Dawson makes a great play if you are in need of a kicker this week. Trent Richardson is a must start every week so don't over-think it.
BILLS (3-5): Coming off the bye week, Buffalo has its hands full taking on the Houston Texans. I think this one will be a Texan run-fest. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, Fred Jackson all will be serviceable as the Bills will probably be playing catch up and throwing a lot. Houston 38 Buffalo 17.
FANTASY BUST: Last week, Jordy Nelson didn't even suit up so those who exercised caution and followed my advice were not blind-sided. The bust pick continues to be spot on and this week we focus on Doug Martin who is coming off a breakout week. Losing Carl Nicks to a season ending toe injury is going to be huge as Martin has ran best following Nicks' lead blocks. Look for 70 yards tops against a soft Oakland defense.
FANTASY START: Last week I said, "Against a terrible Saints defense, Manning will throw at least 3 TDs and go over 300 yards." Manning's final stat line 305 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now that I'm done patting myself on the back, it's on to this week's prediction. This week's pick is Arian Foster against Buffalo's last-ranked rush defense. I expect 180 total yards and two touchdowns.
ELIMINATOR PICK (5-0): Another great prognostication from last week was, "Playing at home, they will survive a scare from Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers." Chicago "bearly" (pun intended) survived, 23-22, on a field goal as time expired. We continue to try and stay alive with Denver on the road against Cincinnati since we have already used Houston, NY Giants, Atlanta, Green Bay and Chicago.