Well, Last week was not a great start to the picks. Lucky for us this is for amusement purposes only.
We ended the week under .500 (6-8-1) with a few close games not falling our way. I blame the replacement refs. Home teams went 14-2 straight up (11-4-1 ATS), do you think those new refs were a little intimidated by the home crowds? Maybe, but since I’m thick headed and never learn from the past I went with eight road teams to cover this week. Buyer beware.
Last week the Eagles and Giants both won for us, but didn’t cover, and we got a push on Cincinnati. We called the Rams and Seahawks upsets, so that was cool. And we ended the week with winners on Sunday night (49ers) and Monday night (Falcons) so let’s try to keep up the momentum in Week 3…
I do tweet out some picks on Sunday mornings, so give me a follow on Twitter (@Fantasource) and I’ll keep you in the loop.
Last week: (6-8-1)
Season Record: (6-8-1)
St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears( -7 1/2, O/U 44 1/2)
This is a bounce back game for the Bears. Last Thursday night they really put up a stinker at Green Bay. 168 yards of total offense? Jay Cutler threw 4 interceptions, was sacked 7 times and started a firestorm when he put the blame on his offensive line. The Bears also got fooled on a fake field goal that went for a TD. It can’t get worse, can it?
The Rams had a nice win at home against RGIII and the Redskins but the Bears defense is a different animal from Washington. I think the Bears will clamp down on Sam Bradford and keep the Rams out of the end zone. Matt Forte is hurting (ankle) and may not play, but Michael Bush should be able to step in just fine. I like the Bears to win big in this one.
Pick: Bears -7 1/2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (-8, O/U 46 1/2)
Tampa has a little fire in their belly. I like that. HC Greg Schiano has his guys playing until the last whistle (literally), and maybe a little attitude adjustment is what they need in Tampa. The Bucs sleepwalked through the second half of the season last year, dropping ten straight games. But with an opening week win over Carolina and an “almost had it, but it slipped away” loss to the Giants last week, they are showing some promise.
Dallas is coming back home after an ugly loss up in Seattle, and I’m sure Jason Garrett will have his guys ready to play. But I think Tampa will be able to control the Dallas running game and leave it up to Romo to beat them (yes, I know that Eli threw up 510 yards on them last week).
I like the Bucs to make a game of it, and getting 7 points? I’ll take them. And who knows, maybe they even walk out of “JerryWorld” with a win.
Pick: Buccaneers +8
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings (+7 , O/U 43)
The 49ers are the best team in the NFC, they are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl and they have looked pretty sharp in their first two games.
But you know what? I think they will have trouble with Minnesota. Just seems like one of those games where the 49ers might have a letdown. After a huge Week 1 win in Green Bay, then a Week 2 win at home against the Lions (the rematch of last year’s ‘handshake-gate’) seems like the 49ers might be ready to show up flat.
Both teams are pretty evenly matched in defensive stats this year, so I think the Vikings can hang in this one with a good combination of Adrian Peterson running and Christian “Game Manager” Ponder passing to Percy Harvin.
I’ll take the points, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset from the Vikings.
Pick: Vikings +7
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans( +3 1/2 , O/U 47)
Chris Johnson, where are you?? Fantasy owners everywhere are all trying to figure out what happened to CJ2K. 21 yards rushing in two games? The Titans are not going anywhere this season with those kind of numbers.
Not that the Lions have been anything short of mediocre but Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson should be able to have their way with the Titans this week.
I’m laying the points without hesitation here.
Pick: Lions -3 1/2
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins( -3 , O/U 49)
Here’s my quick breakdown on this game: In a matchup of two very bad defenses, which offense can capitalize and outscore the other.
I like RGIII (he’s on my fantasy team) and here he comes to play his first home game in DC. The crowd will be fired up, and I think the Redskins rise to the occasion. The Bengals got a win over Cleveland in Week 2 but it wasn’t pretty. The Browns rookies, QB Brandon Weeden (322 yds passing) and RB Trent Richardson 109 yard rushing), exposed the Bengals defense one week after the Ravens ran all over them on Monday night. I think the Redskins will be able to do the same on Sunday. Redskins RB Alfred Morris (who?) had another fine game last week and a mobile Griffin should be able to move the ball against the Bengals.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have problems of their own. They lost two defensive starters this week (LB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker) so a defense that gave up 450 yard of offense last week to the Rams is even more shorthanded.
I expect this to be a high scoring game but I think the Redskins can get the win at home for RGIII’s DC debut.
Pick: Redskins -3
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (+2 1/2 , O/U 40 )
Miami had a nice 35-13 win last week at home against the Raiders. But I’m still not sold on that offense, especially the passing game. If Miami is going to win this game they are going to need another super performance out of Reggie Bush (172 yards and 2 touchdowns last week).
Miami has trouble with the pass this year and that’s what’s going to cause them problems this week. I think Sanchez bounces back from a tough game at Pittsburgh and put up more of a performance like he gave in Week 1 vs. Buffalo.
Laying less than a field goal I like the Jets to win, and cover, this AFC East battle.
Pick: Jets -2 1/2
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints (-8 1/2 , O/U 53)
Ok Saints, this is it. We are all pretty sure your season is over, but this is the week where you sink or swim. The Chiefs got blasted last week at Buffalo and also in Week 1 vs. Atlanta, so if New Orleans is going to get their mojo back this is the week to do it.
But…. the Saints defense has been terrible so far. Giving up 75 points in the first two games, tied for worst in the league with, yup you guess it, the Chiefs.
But I’m looking at it this way; I think Drew Brees at home against a terrible defense will be enough to outscore Matt Cassell. But can the Saints cover the 9 points? I say yes. I’m thinking like 34-20 or something like that.
Pick: Saints -8 1/2
Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns ( +3 , O/U 44)
To win this game the Bills need to stop the run. Can they? The Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson looked pretty good last week at Cincinnati, rolling up 145 yards of total offense. With Brandon Weeden still figuring things out behind center, the Browns are going to have to rely on Richardson for their offense.
Last week the Bills steamrolled the Chiefs (21-0 at half, 35-3 after 3 quarters). So the Bills offense looks ok but can the defense shut down Trent Richardson, because Brandon Weeden isn’t beating anyone by himself. I might be in the minority but I like the Bills offense, especially new RB C.J Spiller. Spiller stepped in for injured Fred Jackson and he hasn’t missed a beat. I’ll take the Bills minus the points on the road.
Pick: Bills -3
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-3 , O/U 43)
Is your quarterback’s name Blaine Gabbert? Ok, then. I’m betting against you.
Seriously, Jacksonville could be the worst team in the league. That stingy defense that they relied on last year is gone. Their QB is not good (53 yards passing vs. Houston last week before leaving early with an ‘injury’). MJD is the lone bright spot on that team, but when you fall behind early the run game really never gets a chance to shine.
For the Colts, Andrew Luck has been pretty good in his first two games, and he should only get better. This is a good week for him to shine, playing at home against a team that is giving up 400 yards of total offense per game this season.
Some O-line injuries to the Jags will just make a bad situation even worse. Now don’t get me wrong, the Colts aren’t a great team but they are good enough to beat a bad Jaguars team at home and move to 2-1.
Pick: Colts -3
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals( +3 1/2 , O/U 43)
Once again the Eagles get the ‘Fishy Line of the Week’ award. 3 1/2 point favorites at Arizona? That’s it? The Cardinals did pull off a major upset at New England last week, and they come into the game at 2-0, but the Eagles are only laying 3 1/2? Despite being 2-0 the Eagles are 0-2 ATS thanks to two 1 point victories.
Arizona is a strong home dog (7-2 last 9 games ATS) but I think this week they will be overmatched and the Eagles will use their league leading defense to set the pace.
Arizona came into Philly last year and knocked off the Eagles 21-17 and I’m sure the Eagles remember that. Philly is coming in 2-0 because of back-to-back come from behind wins over Cleveland and Baltimore. While the Cardinals needed a stalled Seahawks drive inside the 10 yard line with under a minute to play to beat Seattle 20-16, and last week Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42 yarder that would have won it for New England.
I’ll say that Mike Vick, Shady McCoy and the Eagles offense will be able to move the ball against the Cardinals improved defense, the Eagles defense will be able to shut down Kevin Kolb, and Philly moves to 3-0.
Pick: Eagles -3 1/2
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers( -3 1/2 , O/U 47 )
Atlanta is coming off of a nice Monday Night win at home over Denver last week, they jumped out big early by forcing 4 turnovers in the first quarter
Coming off that big win, travelling west on a short week. I think that catches up to them and I’ll take the Chargers to get the win and cover at home.
Atlanta has had a hard time running the ball this season with Michael Turner playing well below his career numbers this season, Turner was arrested and charged with DUI after the Monday Night game, so his status is up in the air for Sunday. But it may not matter since the Chargers league leading rush defense should be able to stop Turner or whoever the Falcons decide to use in the backfield.
This should be a pass-first game from both sides, and I like the Chargers to take advantage of the friendly home field and get themselves a win and move to 3-0.
Pick: Chargers -3 1/2
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos( +1 1/2 , O/U 46 )
‘Has Peyton Manning lost it?’ That was the leading storyline coming out of his Monday Night performance. Manning looked bad in the first quarter with some poor throws, which resulted in three interceptions and put his Broncos in the hole early.
Houston has rolled in it’s first two games, but let’s be honest kicking around Miami and Jacksonville isn’t really a big deal. Let’s see what they can do on the road against a pretty good Denver team.
I like the Texans this season, and I still think that they will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but in this one I’m giving Peyton the benefit of the doubt and say he rallies the troops, recovers from an ugly Monday Night performance and gets the win (and cover) at home over Houston. And if he lays an egg, maybe the story really should be “Peyton is washed up”.
Pick: Broncos +1 1/2
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders( +4, O/U 44 )
I came into the season with high hopes for the Raiders. I actually thought they would win the AFC West. But after back-to-back losses to the Chargers and Dolphins I’m beginning to see the light. This team isn’t really that good.
Pittsburgh had a nice win last week over the Jets but they are coming into this game a little banged up. Their two top defensive players, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, may not play on Sunday. Both sat last week against the Jets and are questionable for the Raiders game. We probably won’t know until Sunday if they will play.
Last week the Raiders got beat 35-13 by a mediocre Dolphins team and if the Raiders couldn’t control the Dolphins offense (452 yards total offense) what makes me think that they can handle Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers this week? I’m expecting a big game from Big Ben and I’m laying the points with the Steelers.
Pick: Steelers -4
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens( -2 1/2 , O/U 49)
Both of these teams were on everyone’s short list for the AFC title, but after this week one of them is going to be 1-2.
Everything in my heart says to go with the Patriots getting points. They have the better offense. And (this season at least) I think they also have the better defense. New England is looking to bounce back from an ugly Week 2 loss to the Cardinals, while the Ravens spent most of the week complaining about the replacement refs and blaming them for the loss to the Eagles.
But Baltimore has some things in it’s favor; revenge from the AFC Championship last season, a better running game with Ray Rice and the home field advantage. But I’m still sticking with the Pats.
That vaunted Ravens defense looks a little older this year, the Eagles put up almost 500 yards of offense last week and Eagles TE Brent Celek had a big game, so you have to think that the Patriots have something similar planned for Rob Gronkowski in Sunday. New England has only given up 125 yards rushing this season, and if they can control Ray Rice then it could be a long night for the Ravens and I’m taking Tom Brady and the points.
Pick: Patriots +2 1/2
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks( +3 1/2 , O/U 47)
Last week we had Seattle as the pick at home over Dallas. Now they are home again, getting points, on Monday Night. So, am I taking the Seahawks as a home dog again? Nope. I’m going against my gut and laying the points with the Packers.
I went with Seattle to beat Dallas last week because I really don’t believe in the Cowboys, but I do believe in the Packers. Aaron Rodgers won’t replicate his season from 2011, but he is still a top 3 quarterback in this league. I think the Packers will be able to get to Russell Wilson and get out of Seattle with a win. This is a step up in class for the Seahawks, beating Arizona and Dallas is nice, but this is the Packers and they will be ready to play.
Lots of ‘discount double check’ from Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers win by a touchdown.
Pick: Packers -3 1/2