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Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 7

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The NFL season seems to be going by fast as we are already through 6 weeks. Some people have already thrown in the towel in their leagues this year. But you know what? I believe in all of you guys that are 1-5 or 2-4 can turn it around & make a playoff push. DON’T LOSE HOPE! And don’t be one of those people that since your season isn’t going as expected you just stop paying attention to your lineup & let it go that gets annoying. Instead be like me who last year started 2-4 & ended up finishing 2nd in the league. Yes, that was a humble brag but hopefully that brings you a glimmer of hope to keep being active & try to restore your fantasy record to be at least a respectable one. Again all my start/sits are based accordingly to PPR scoring.

Top 3 Performers of Week 6:

Drew Brees (QB, Saints): 40 points

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR, Giants): 40 points

Matthew Stafford (QB, Lions): 35 points

QBs to start in Week 7:

Andy Dalton (vs. Browns): Dalton has struggled so far this season but has actually looked pretty good the past 2 weeks scoring 48 points in both weeks combined. Dalton is facing a terrible Browns defense this week that just allowed 33 points to Marcus Mariota in Week 6. Dalton could have a nice week especially if his favorite red zone target in Tyler Eifert can return this week. I see a good outing for Dalton regardless with him facing the Browns who have given up the 2nd most points to opposing QBs. I like Dalton as a fill in QB if your QB is on a bye (Cam Newton, Dak Prescott) or if your QB has a bad matchup.

Philip Rivers (vs. Falcons): Rivers had a disappointing week in Week 6 scoring only 13 against the Broncos. But that was against a tough Broncos defense on a Thursday night game. The 2 previous weeks before the Broncos game Rivers scored 56 points combined. This week Rivers has a very favorable matchup against a Falcons team that has given up the 3rd most points to opposing QBs. It also looks like Rivers has a very nice red zone weapon in Hunter Henry so that increases Rivers stock going forward.

Marcus Mariota (vs. Colts): Finally, Mariota has performed as a very viable fantasy option at QB the past 2 weeks scoring a whopping 69 points combined. It seems like Mariota liked Kendall Wright in Week 6 with Wright getting 27 points. I don’t know if I see that connection continuing consistently the rest of the season. Mariota’s streak of good matchups continues this week against a Colts defense that has given up the 8th most fantasy points to opposing QBs & just gave up 20 points to Brock Osweiler which is really sad. I see Mariota having another big week this week.

My Star QB of the Week: Tom Brady (vs. Steelers): I really do feel bad for everyone who has to play Brady this season because he is on a mission to prove everyone wrong & he wants to rub every win in Roger Goodell’s face. Brady has been unstoppable in his first 2 games this season throwing for 782 yards, 6 touchdowns & no interceptions. Next team up is the Steelers who have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL & they are without Ben Roethlisberger on offense so I see the Patriots having the ball the majority of the game controlling the clock. I’m sorry Steeler fans you probably will be taking another loss this week but at least it won’t be the Dolphins right?

Under the Radar QB: Joe Flacco (vs. Jets): Flacco only had 12 points last week against the Giants but his 307 yards were still good. Flacco is going against a struggling Jets secondary that has given up the 5th most points to opposing QBs. The Jets defense has also given up the 2nd most yards per pass attempt in the NFL so that favors the Ravens who have a guy like Mike Wallace who’s a great deep threat. I like Flacco as another fill in QB this week but I’d start Andy Dalton instead of him if possible.

QBs to sit in Week 7: 

Carson Palmer (vs. Seahawks): Carson Palmer has been very disappointing this season. I don’t know if it’s cause he’s getting older or if his injury is affecting him or maybe a mixture of both because he doesn’t look like the same QB that was the 5th best QB in fantasy last year. This week I’m absolutely benching him against a tough Seattle defense that has given up just 56 points all season to opposing QBs (11.2 a week). Palmer is no longer an automatic start at QB unless he shows signs pf being the QB he was last season.

Carson Wentz (vs. Vikings): It seems like Wentz has come back to Earth the past 2 weeks scoring just 27 combined points. This week he plays the Vikings who is probably the last defense I want to play this season especially as a rookie QB. The Vikings are coming off a bye so they had an extra week to prepare for this game & they have given the 3rd least amount of points to opposing QBs this season. All signs point to Wentz struggling again this week.

RBs to start in Week 7: 

Demarco Murray (vs. Colts): Murray has impressed this year being the 3rd best fantasy RB so far this season only behind David Johnson & LeSean McCoy. The most impressive thing is that he doesn’t have a great offensive line & he’s actually involved in the passing game as well this season. This week Murray plays the Colts who just allowed Lamar Miller to get 31 fantasy points & have given up the most points to opposing RBs this season. I see big days for Murray & Mariota this week for the Titans.

Spencer Ware (vs. Saints): Ware has been a nice surprise in fantasy this year taking the reins as the starting RB for the Chiefs while Jamaal Charles is recovering from injury & slowly getting worked into the offense. Ware has only 8 less points this season than Lamar Miller who just had a 31 point game in Week 6. Ware is coming off a 24 point performance against the Raiders in Week 6 & I see another great game against the Saints who have given up the 3rd most points to opposing RBs. The only way Ware doesn’t have a big week is if Andy Reid is lying about “slowly” easing Jamaal Charles into getting snaps. I see Ware as the guy you start between them & I’d maybe play Charles at flex this week.

James White (vs. Steelers): With Brady at the helm for the Patriots it instantly makes guys like James White viable fantasy options in PPR formats. In the 2 games Brady has played, White has scored 37 fantasy points. Brady loves to use the running back in the passing game to create mismatches against linebackers. With an injury to a guy like Ryan Shazier I don’t see any of the Steelers linebackers being able to stop White from getting the ball. I like White as a RB2 or flex play this week.

My Star RB of the Week: LeSean McCoy (vs. Dolphins): I know the Dolphins are actually the 14th best defense against RBs allowing just 87 points this season but I’m not believing they can stop the run. I think Week 6 was just a one time thing where the Dolphins slowed down Le’Veon Bell but in Week 7 they will be going against the 2nd best fantasy back this season in McCoy. The Bills seem to have rejuvenated their season somewhat with their dynamic running game of Tyrod Taylor & LeSean McCoy. McCoy is coming off a 34 point performance & I see another huge game for Shady McCoy this week.

Under the Radar RB: T.J Yeldon (vs. Raiders): Yeldon hasn’t been a good fantasy option pretty much all season but if there is a game he could over perform it could be this one. I know he’s in a timeshare with Chris Ivory but the plus side is Yeldon gets the snaps on passing plays & is a talented back in the passing game. The Raiders have given up the 5th most points to fantasy RBs & I maybe see Yeldon scoring a touchdown this week. I only see him as a flex play in deeper leagues but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a 15-17 point performance.

RBs to sit in Week 7:

Jordan Howard (vs. Packers): Jordan Howard might be a guy you should sell high on (check out my Buy Low/Sell High article). In Week 6 Howard seemed to have a somewhat split workload with Ka’Deem Carey out touching him 17-9. We are nearing the return of Jeremy Langford so I’m expecting a timeshare between Howard & Langford. This week I’m benching Howard because he plays the Packers who have shut down everyone besides Ezekiel Elliott & have still have given up the least fantasy points to opposing RBs.

Frank Gore (vs. Titans): Let’s give props where they’re due. Gore became the first RB to rush for 100 yards for the Colts since 2012 (Vick Ballard) in Week 6 against the Texans. The most impressive thing is Gore did it behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. To me it’s likely that Colts won’t be able to repeat that 2 weeks in a row after going 3 & a half seasons without one. Gore also faces the Titans who’s strength on defense is stopping the run having the 10th best rush defense in the NFL. Gore usually isn’t a great play in PPR leagues but this week I don’t like him at all.

WRs to start in Week 7:

Allen Robinson (vs. Raiders): Robinson has been a bit of a let down this season being the 32nd best fantasy WR so far this season. Robinson was drafted late in the 1st round or early 2nd round in majority of drafts. If there’s a week he can rebound it’s this week against the Raiders who have given up the 4th most points to opposing WRs. It hasn’t really been Allen Robinson that’s struggling it’s been Blake Bortles who’s played like he did in his rookie season. If Bortles can figure it out we should see Robinson return as a WR1 this week.

Cameron Meredith (vs. Packers): Meredith seems to be Brian Hoyer’s favorite target to go to since Kevin White went down with injury. Meredith has scored 48 total points in the last 2 weeks. Unless Hoyer starts to target Alshon Jeffery more, Meredith should be a viable option the rest of the season (we’ll have to see if the Bears go back to Cutler at QB too). The Bears play the Packers who have injuries in their secondary & they just put Sam Shields on IR so I see Meredith as a solid WR2 or great flex play this week.

Mike Evans (vs. 49ers): Evans is the 10th best fantasy WR even after having a bye in Week 6. Evans plays the 49ers who have given up 10 touchdowns to WRs this season which is the 2nd most in the NFL. The 49ers surprisingly have the 9th best pass defense but I’m not buying it especially against a guy like Evans who can just out jump anyone in the league. The Buccaneers also just placed Vincent Jackson on IR so I see even more targets for Mike Evans if that’s even possible. I see Evans having one of the best fantasy weeks from a WR if not the best.

My Star WR of the Week: Odell Beckham Jr. (vs. Rams): Is Beckham Jr.’s kicking net antics getting old? Maybe so, but if he gets me 40 points every week I don’t care what he does with the net (OK  lets keep it PG-13). You see what I did there? His number is 13 & I said… nevermind. Beckham Jr. finally seemed to get on the same page as Eli or it might be the other way around but I don’t care he got me 40 points! This week he plays the Rams who might be missing their starting CB & they’ve given up the 5th most points to opposing WRs this season. I see another huge outing for Odell Beckham Jr. this week & hopefully him & the net live happily ever after.

Under the Radar WR: Mike Wallace (vs. Jets): Wallace is still one of the best deep threat WRs in the NFL & he has a QB who loves to throw deep in Joe Flacco. Wallace is coming off a solid day catching 4 passes for 97 yards against the Giants in Week 6. This week he faces a Jets secondary that is struggling to cover pretty much everyone this season. The Jets have allowed the 2nd most points to WRs this season. I like Wallace as a solid flex play this week.

WRs to sit in Week 7:

Jordan Matthews (vs. Vikings): Matthews has been kind of disappointing this year. His Week 1 performance of 24 points looked promising but since then he has yet to score over 13 points. I don’t know if this because of him or if it’s because Carson Wentz has seemed to struggle a bit the past couple weeks. Matthews is facing the Vikings this week & he is playing injured so that’s not a good combination. The Vikings have allowed the 2nd least amount of points to opposing WRs so Matthews is an absolute bench for me unless you absolutely have to play him in deeper leagues.

John Brown (vs. Seahawks): Everyone thought John Brown was in for a big week this past week against the Jets but he ended the game with just 10 points. John Brown seems to be dependent on the big play downfield but it seems like the Cardinals & Carson Palmer aren’t pushing it downfield as much as last year. Brown this week is going against a tough Seattle secondary that doesn’t allow many big plays so I don’t see much happening for Brown in this game. Seattle has allowed the 3rd least amount of points to opposing WRs. Even in PPR leagues John Brown should be benched this week.

TEs to start in Week 7: 

Hunter Henry (vs. Falcons): Henry seems to have solidified himself as the main TE in the Chargers offense. In the last 3 weeks Henry has scored a touchdown in each game & has scored a total of 52 points in those 3 weeks. With the TE position being so thin & hard to trust in fantasy this season Henry might be one of the more reliable TEs the rest of the season. Henry faces the Falcons who have given up the 4th most points to opposing TEs & just gave up 89 yards to Jimmy Graham in Week 6. I see another nice week from Hunter Henry. This game could become a shootout between Philip Rivers & Matt Ryan because of both teams having mediocre defenses.

Delanie Walker (vs. Colts): Walker can’t keep struggling this season can he? I hope not but I’ll keep putting him in my start column until he proves me right. Walker in Week 5 had a nice performance scoring 17 points but in Week 6 he only was able to muster up just 3 points. And that was against the Browns… Hopefully Walker is in for a nice week against the Colts who have allowed the 10th most points against TEs this year. Walker is no longer the TE that you can rely on every week like last season. He’s a matchup play guy until he shows he can be consistent.

Charles Clay (vs. Dolphins): Clay has quietly been one of the most consistent TEs the past few weeks. In the last 3 weeks Clay has caught 5 passes in each game & seems to be targeted a lot more by Tyrod Taylor lately. He has yet to get into the endzone this season but I see Clay scoring his 1st one on Sunday. The Dolphins have given up the 9th most points to TEs this season so that also helps Clay this week.

My Star TE of the Week: Rob Gronkowski (vs. Steelers): Finally Gronk looks healthy & ready to Gronk anyone who gets in his way (I’m going to start using Gronk as a verb it’s fun!). Gronk had his best game of the season in Week 6 catching 7 passes for 162 yards & a touchdown for a whole 29 points. This week Gronk faces the Steelers who’s secondary leaves a lot to be desired. Last year when the Patriots played the Steelers Gronk had 5 catches for 94 yards & 3 touchdowns. I see a nice day from Gronk & co. in this game.

Under the Radar TE: Cameron Brate (vs. 49ers): With the news of Vincent Jackson heading to the IR someone on the Bucs offense is going to have their fantasy stock rise & I believe it may be Cameron Brate. Brate was able to put up 32 points in weeks 3 & 4 combined but in Week 5 he only put up 4 points. After the bye week I think the Bucs might have game planned to get the ball out faster & maybe more ways to get Brate the ball. The 49ers have allowed the 11th most points to opposing TEs so that works in Brate’s favor.

TEs to sit in Week 7:

Zach Ertz (vs. Vikings): Ertz has been one of the most disappointing TEs this season. He was one of the first TEs taken in drafts but has only scored 20 points in the 3 games he’s played this season. There’s also the fact that he plays the Vikings this week & I don’t like the idea of playing anyone against this Vikings defense. The Vikings have yet to allow a touchdown to an opposing TE & I don’t see that changing on Sunday.

Coby Fleener (vs. Chiefs): Yes, I know Fleener is coming off his best performance of the season but besides his other 20+ point performance he’s scored a total of just 9 points in the other 3 games. It seems like Fleener is very TD dependent in this offense & with Drew Brees on the road I don’t like Fleener this week. The Chiefs have given up the 4th least amount of points to opposing TEs & with the Chiefs being at home Fleener might have another very disappointing game.

DEF/STs to start in Week 7:

Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Browns): Dang what a surprise.  A defense that is going against the Browns is a must start defense this week. People forget that this Bengals defense is still pretty talented. The Browns still have rookie Cody Kessler at QB so I see the Bengals forcing a couple turnovers on him & shutting down the Browns offense for the most part.

Buffalo Bills (vs. Dolphins): Now I have the Bills here just out of spite towards the Dolphins. Last week I said the Steelers defense would be a nice play against the Dolphins & what does the Steelers defense do? They score negative points & make me look like an idiot. This week the hot Bills defense gets their chance at the Dolphins & hopefully I’m right this time about someone shutting down this poor offense of the Dolphins.

DEF/STs to sit in Week 7:

Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Vikings): I don’t think people have given enough credit to how good the Vikings offense has been while Sam Bradford has been the QB. He has yet to turn the ball over & this week he plays against the team who traded him after drafting Carson Wentz 2nd overall in the 2016 draft. Bradford is going to be out to prove everyone wrong & I see the Vikings blowing out the Eagles this week. Plus the Eagles has seemed to come back to Earth after allowing just 27 points in the first 3 weeks they have allowed 51 in the last 2 weeks.

Los Angeles Rams (vs. Giants): The Rams are playing the Giants in London on Sunday while Odell Beckham Jr. is coming off his best week in Week 6 where he had 40 points. The Rams could be without their starting CB in Trumaine Johnson again & if that’s the case OBJ might be running wild again against a Rams defense that has some glaring holes right now. I’m benching the Rams defense this week & I’m maybe thinking about grabbing a defense like the Ravens who are playing Geno Smith in his first start this season.

 

 
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I'm a huge sports fan but my favorite sport is football. I'm a Los Angeles Rams fan in football, Cleveland Cavaliers fan in basketball, & New York Yankees fan in baseball. I love writing & talking about sports & hearing others opinions on sports related topics!

Fantasy Football

5 Fantasy Players To Roll the Dice On Week 1

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Fantasy football is all about staying healthy, match-ups and a little bit of luck if you want to win your league. Remember, nobody at work wants to hear about who you drafted in the 8th round, (fantasy players included). One thing you can control however is doing your research and trying to take advantage of match-ups.

It is a given that guys like Laveon Bell, D. Johnson and Odell Beckham are going to be must starts every week. It is the tier two guys you really want to maximize. With that being said here are 5 players you might want to have active this week for your fantasy lineup.

Ben Roethlisburger, Pittsburgh Quarterback – Match-up: @ Cleveland Browns

Big Ben has the best receiver in the league as well as Le’Veon Bell back in the fold and they are going up against a Cleveland defense who just traded away their best player in the secondary. You can count on the usual suspects to eat but if you grabbed Ben in those later rounds he might be a sneaky play week 1 against a defense that will be less than stellar.

Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Running Back – Match-up: @ New England Patriots

New England will most likely win this game but look for Hunt to have every opportunity to make plays for the Chiefs. He is Andy Reid’s guy for now and in the past guys like LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles have benefited from being the guy for Reid. He can catch out the backfield which makes him a duel threat even in a PPR league. He’s got a low center of gravity which makes him hard to take down. Put Hunt in your lineup this week.

Alec Ogletree and the Rams defense might be a good play in week 1. (photo credit: USA Today Sports)

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Tight End – Match-up: vs New Orleans Saints

Last year Rudolph had 128 targets and ranked top four in receptions, yards, touchdowns and end zone targets (11). Rudolph finished second at the position in fantasy points. He is going up against a weak New Orleans secondary so do be surprised if Rudolph grabs a touchdown or two.

Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Wide Receiver – Match-up: vs New Orleans Saints

Last season the Saints had the worst pass defense in the entire NFL (yes there seems to be a pattern here). Diggs is the #1 guy at receiver coming out of camp so look for him to have plenty of targets against a less than stellar secondary. He does have big play potential and two 13 catch games on his resume from last year. I would rate Diggs as a must start this week.

Los Angeles Rams – Match-up vs Indianapolis Colts

Without googling tell who is going to be at QB for the Colts this Sunday? … Exactly. We don’t know either. Furthermore, no disrespect to Frank Gore but is the starting tailback for this offense and this is year 13 for him. The numbers don’t really look good for this Colts offense. So yes, this post isn’t so much about the Rams defense as it is the lack of Colts offense. Defenses are a dime a dozen, pick the Rams up and see what the do for you this weekend.


pff edge

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Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Team PPR

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It is almost time for the Fantasy Football drafts to take place and many players are reading articles and doing mock drafts to develop their strategy.

We decided to do a mock draft and give you some insight as to some of the strategy that we use.

You’re welcome.

We decided to do a 12 team PPR mock draft.

If you are a beginner PPR simply means players get points per reception when they add up the scoring.

Every strategy is different based on where you are drafting and we randomly got selected to pick 12th.

Picking at the end of the first round is both a blessing and a curse because you get two picks back to back but after that it seems like you have to wait an eternity to pick again.

If you find out that you have the 12th and 13th picks your first two selections better hit.

You can’t afford to miss on either two.

Round 1 & 2 … Strategy: Best player available

At this position you can forget about Laveon Bell, David Johnson, Antonio Brown or any of those top 10 guys. Fill your que with players that are typically available around that area. (Jordy Nelson, Devonte Freeman, Melvin Gordon, AJ Green, Ty Hilton).

My pick: Demarco Murray … Jay Ajayi

I decided to go ahead and grab both my starting RB’s. There was still some good pass catchers available but if I focus on that the next round I should still be able to get some quality.

photo credit: yahoo sports …Murray rushed for over 1200 yards and 9 touchdowns last season.

Round 2/3 … Strategy: Best Pass Catcher available.

In the meantime since I have to wait for the snake to come all the way back I’m looking at my targets and filling my que.

Never just wait for the time to go by, always be working the draft pool.

My picks: Golden Tate .. Jordan Reed
I was hoping Brandin Cooks would be here but he got snatched up right before my pick.

Tate is in a very pass happy offense and caught 91 balls last year. In a PPR league such as this he is a good pick for a WR1.

Reed was a top 3 tight end and grabbing a guy like him is just as good as having a WR2 at this spot.

Round 3/4 … Strategy: Best player available.

My picks: Matt Ryan … Brandon Marshall
I typically wait to draft my QB but guys like Brady, Rodgers, and Brees if they are still there in the 3rd or 4th round I don’t think it’s a bad idea to jump for them.

Brandon Marshall will be opposite Beckham in New York but he is proven vet and as a WR2 he seems to be a solid pick.

Ryan was last years MVP. If you can grab him a round early, do it.

Round 5/6 … Strategy: Finish out starters / look for depth or handcuffs.

My picks: D.McFadden … Randall Cobb
McFadden will be a starter for the best O-line for the first few weeks of the season.

He should make a good RB3 or even a flex if he gets hot.

Cobb is coming off a 60 catch 4 TD season. If the match-up is right he might be a good flex play on a given week.

Round 6/7 … Strategy: Depth

My picks: Doug Martin … Cameron Brate

Ok these are my homer picks. Admittedly I am a Bucs fan but I think these are quality picks for this round.

Martin will miss the first three games but if he gets that starting job back and holds on to it then I just grabbed a starting running back in the 6th round. Brate will be a solid TE2 this year.

I don’t expect another 8 TD’s but if he gives you 6 that will be good quality at that position.

Round 8/9 … Strategy: Depth

My picks: Phillip Rivers … A. Bolden

Rivers is as about as solid a backup as you can ask for. He is as consistent as they come. Bolden is a bit old but he should still be a serviceable WR.

With Sammy Watkins gone in Buffalo there might be plenty of opportunity for him.

Round 10/11 … Strategy: Best player available

My picks: J. Whitten .. Mohammad Sanu
These are just picks for depth. At this point you just want football players that you wouldn’t mind sticking in on a bye week.

Round 12/13 .. Strategy: Kicker/Defense

I’m a believer of you always save your last two spots for your defense and your kicker. Reason is because nobody ever said that their kicker and defensive team carried them to a fantasy football championship.

My picks: Rams D/ST …. S. Janikowski

I don’t put much research into kickers or defense but I know the Rams have some playmakers and Janikowski has always had a strong leg. That’s good enough for me.

So to recap here is what my starting roster should look like day 1.
QB – Matt Ryan
RB – Demarco Murray
RB – J. Ajayi
WR – Golden Tate
WR – Brandon Marshall
TE – Jordan Reed
FLEX- D. McFadden / R. Cobb / D. Martin (depending on the weekly matchup)
D/ST – Rams
K – Janikowski

Bench
QB – P. Rivers
WR – A. Boldin
TE – J. Whitten
WR – M.Sanu


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Arizona Cardinals

2016 NFL Season Week 17 Pick ‘Em

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We are finally here. Week 17. The end of the NFL season and the beginning of the playoffs.

In many ways, other than week 1, week 17 is the hardest to predict. With many of the playoff positions already determined many teams will be featuring backups or young talent in an effort to preserve their stars for the playoffs or to hasten the impending rebuild.

In fact, only a few games this week have any intrinsic value, and those will be highlighted further in the article. So without further ado, let us take a look at how this season is going to wrap up.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

Baltimore just got eliminated from the playoffs by their arch-rivals and Cincinnati is desperate for this lost season to come to an end. Neither team has anything to play for, neither are going for the playoffs, nor are they jostling for a high draft pick. Both of these teams are in a hellish middle ground that drives sports fans up the wall.

So what this game comes down to is coaching. Who will get their team better prepared and better motivated to finish the season strong. In that case I will take John Harbaugh over Marvin Lewis. I actually am a big fan of Lewis, but Harbaugh is simply better at getting his players to always play hard and play smart.

I like the Ravens to finish the season strong.

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

This game is very important to exactly one man: Tom Savage. Savage is not only trying to give his team momentum entering the playoffs, but he is also auditioning for a starting job next season. Brock Osweiler is obviously not the answer and the Texans are not about to sign another high-priced free agent at quarterback. So the Texans have two options: 1) draft a quarterback for the future, or 2) go all in with Savage. The problem is that Savage has yet to show any real leadership ability or offensive flare. The best that can be said is that he is competent.

Unfortunately, the Titans are in worse shape. Their entire offense is predicated on a strong run game supplemented by an accurate passer who minimizes mistakes. Neither of those two descriptors apply to Matt Cassel.

In the end this game will come down to defensive prowess and the Texans have the better defense.

Texans win.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cam Newton wants this season to end…desperately. I do not care who the Panthers’ face, a Cam Newton without motivation will not be winning many games; especially behind that awful offensive line.

To make matters worse, the Bucs actually do have something to play for. If the Bucs win and the Lions and Redskins lose, then they would make the playoffs as the last wildcard (if my playoff math is correct). But even without playoff implications, Tampa Bay made some great strides this year and the team as a whole will want to keep that momentum going no matter if it is to the playoffs or to next season.

I like the Buccaneers to take this one.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers

So the Browns got a win. Makes the rest of the season kind of pointless doesn’t it? If you are going to suck that bad, then make history and be the worst ever. But leave it to the Browns to even screw that up. The Steelers do not have much to play for since they have locked up their spot in the postseason.

With all of that being said, Mike Tomlin has never been the type of coach to lay back. He is very aggressive, and in the words of Herm Edwards, plays to win the game. Because of that mentality the Steelers will win, since they are an infinitely better team at this point in time.

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

Yet another game with nothing to play for. The Cowboys have locked up the #1 seed along with the first round bye. The funny thing here is that even if the Cowboys decide to rest Dak Prescott, then that means Tony Romo will get the start. For the Eagles it is damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I do not think Dallas will rest its guys, but even if they do, the Cowboys will still win.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

Oh dear God, are they honestly allowing this game on TV? The Bills fired the brother Ryan and the Jets at this point in time may be the worst team in the league. The problem with the Jets is not talent or even coaching…it’s heart. It is a team full of individuals. There does not seem to be a unity of purpose and it becomes incumbent on the coach and GM to fix that problem.

The Bills’ problem is a much different one. They suffered a rash of injuries at the outset. Personally I felt that Rex Ryan deserved one more year (not Rob Ryan though). But be that as it may, both of these teams are entering the offseason with a lot of questions.

But as for this game, I will take heart over talent every time. Bills get one more feel good win.

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings

A major battle between two majorly disappointing teams. The Vikings started 5-0 and then spiraled out of control as the lack of offensive line help and the absence of a run game sunk what was a promising season for Minnesota.

On the flip side, many in Chicago were looking forward to the team’s progression under John Fox. While very few realistically expected a deep playoff run, many were hoping for at least a winning season with momentum heading into the heart of this rebuild.

Obviously that did not come true for the Bears who with a loss, would complete the worst season in Chicago history for a 16-game schedule.

The Vikings have won games based on defense and special teams and this Bears team is completely incapable of countering either of those. Matt Barkley just threw 5 interceptions last week and the Bears’ special teams are amongst the worst in the league.

The Vikings should win this one walking away.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts

Do not let last week’s performance fool you…the Jaguars still sucks. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut and after four years Blake Bortles finally put together a decent 4th quarter. The sad thing is that even with the inspired play by Bortles, had Mariota not been injured the Jaguars still likely would have lost.

I would not be surprised to see Jacksonville take a quarterback in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft as an insurance policy.  Indianapolis has not been very good either, but they at least have a reliable quarterback and in this game that is all they are going to need.

I like the Colts to get the W against the lowly Jags.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Both teams have not only clinched a playoff spot, but both are locked into their positions as well. But here’s the rub: New England is notorious for resting starters. It was not that long ago that Bill Belichick started Doug Flutie in week 17 against the Dolphins and let Flutie do a drop kick.

Conversely, Adam Gase is changing the culture in Miami and is unlikely to rest anyone. I think Gase feels the team has momentum and wants to keep it going into the playoffs.

I expect the Dolphins to play hard and the Patriots to treat it like a preseason game; therefore I am picking the Dolphins to win this one.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers

There is a lot at stake for the Chiefs here. If the Chiefs win and the Raiders lose, then the Chiefs will be the 2nd seed and get a first round bye. That is huge motivation, especially for a team that has some seasoned veterans on their defense. Kansas City will be fighting hard for that bye.

The Chargers technically have nothing to play for, however; it may be the last game they ever play in San Diego. While southern California is not known for the ferocity of their sports fandom, I have a feeling there will be a good crowd there to send this team off. Furthermore, Philip Rivers loves San Diego and was outspoken in his opposition to the team moving to L.A. and I have a feeling he will come out slinging.

It won’t matter though. I have said repeatedly that the Chiefs may be the most well-rounded team in the NFL and with the motivation to win that they have I can not imagine them losing here.

Chiefs win.

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams

Are the Cardinals good enough to score points? Yes, they are? Then they are good enough to beat the worst offense in the league. The Rams offense is an absolute joke and the GM should be on the street right along with their former coach.

Cardinals win in what may be the last game of Larry Fitzgerald’s career.

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos

The poor Raiders. They looked like a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl, until Derek Carr had his leg broken. Now their hopes land on the shoulder of either Matt McGloin or Connor Cook. It does not look good.

The Broncos’ offense has been terrible, but they are at home and they have that great defense.

I have no faith in that Raider offense without Carr and their defense is not good enough to win them games. I like the Broncos to win here and cost the Raiders that 1st round bye.

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

The Giants are a better team and if they really want to make a push, then I think they would take this game. That being said, the Redskins can still make the playoffs and I have a feeling that the Giants will be conservative and sit some players, leaving it wide open for the Redskins.

Redskins sneak into the playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

The Seahawks should rest Russell Wilson and that bad wheel of his, but even if they do the 49ers are not a match for the Seahawks. San Francisco has been horrid this year. Despite the “brilliance” of Chip Kelly they have been one of the worst offenses in the NFL and make no mistake they will be looking for a new quarterback this offseason.

When the only splash you have made all season is your quarterback’s pregame ritual, then you have a lot of work to do. Seahawks win and ease into the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are competing for a bye and have the home field advantage. The Saints are playing for nothing. Drew Brees is a great competitor who will go out and do everything he can to win, but in the end he is leading a team without a defense and a head coach that is seemingly checked out.

The Falcons have been the best offense in the NFL all year long and they shouldn’t have much trouble against the Saints defense. Falcons win.

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

This is the game of the week. This game is practically win or go home. The winner is crowned NFC North Champion and the loser will likely be eliminated unless some other teams help them out.

Both of these teams have suspect defenses and are completely dependant on the play of their respective quarterbacks. Matthew Stafford has been incredible, constantly leading his team from behind in the final minutes of games. Whether it be throwing down field or lowering his head and taking on linebackers while running for the first down.

Aaron Rodgers’ accomplishments speak for themselves and over the Packers’ 5-game win streak there has not been a better quarterback in the NFL. This game should be a shootout and should be a great game.

Personally, I am rooting for the Lions, but I honestly think the Packers will win. You can’t bet against a team on a hot streak and there is no team hotter than the Green Bay Packers.

 

 

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