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Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 5

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Again, all of the my starts/sits are based on PPR scoring. Here I was thinking that A.J Green was going to have the best fantasy week for WRs in Week 4 on Thursday with 33 points but nope that looked average to the performance Julio Jones had. Green ended up being tied for 2nd best behind Julio Jones’ 48 fantasy points which was mind boggling & tied with Michael Crabtree’s 33 point outing. There are a lot of key players out this week on bye weeks (Anyone on the Chiefs, Saints, Seahawks, & Jaguars) so there are going to be players you want to know if you should start or not in their places. That’s why I’m here!

QBs to start in Week 5:

Carson Wentz (vs. Lions): Carson Wentz has exceeded my expectations on how well he’s played so far this season starting 3-0 (had a bye week in week 4) so much so that Eagle fans are already thinking Super Bowl (I’m sorry Eagles fans but I wouldn’t get your hopes up for this season). Wentz this week is coming off his bye week to play against the Lions who have a very poor passing defense this season. The Lions have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing QBs (97) & I don’t see them slowing down an Eagles team that’s been on a roll.

Derek Carr (vs. Chargers): David Carr’s brother has been outstanding this season & is a big reason why the Raiders are 3-1 to start the season. David, I mean Derek Carr is the 4th best fantasy QB only behind the likes of Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, & Drew Brees so far this season. This week Carr has a favorable matchup against the woeful San Diego Chargers defense. The Chargers defense has given up the 11th most fantasy points to QBs.

Philip Rivers (vs. Raiders): Rivers is still a QB I wouldn’t want leading my team but he’s always been a viable fantasy option at QB. Philip Rivers so far is the 9th best fantasy QB this season & has the Raiders coming up in Week 5. The Raiders secondary has been very vulnerable against the pass this season allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Rivers is usually a good start based on the matchup because the Chargers are usually playing from behind.

My Star QB of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Jets): Do I even need to explain this choice? Roethlisberger just tore apart the Chiefs defense throwing 5 TDs & scoring 44 points & he has his RB back in Le’Veon Bell. Antonio Brown is also not a bad option to throw to & they play a Jets secondary that just allowed Russell Wilson to throw 309 yards & 3 touchdowns.

Under the Radar QB: Brian Hoyer (vs. Colts): I don’t know if I’ll ever say this again but I like Brian Hoyer this week as an option at QB especially if you have Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, or Blake Bortles who are all on bye weeks. Hoyer is playing the Colts who have given up the 8th most points to QBs & Hoyer hasn’t played too bad in the couple weeks he’s replaced Jay Cutler with 4 touchdowns & 0 interceptions in the 2 starts he’s had this year.

QBs to sit in Week 5:

Matt Ryan (vs. Broncos): I know, I know Matt Ryan is the leading scorer at QB in fantasy this year but I’m not starting any QB against that historic defense (unless your name is Brady, Brees, Rodgers, or Roethlisberger). The Broncos have only given up an average of 169.5 passing yards a game which is the 2nd best in the NFL. They also have 17 sacks already this season which is the best in the NFL & means Ryan is in for a long day.

Brock Osweiler (vs. Vikings): Why the hell are you starting Osweiler in the first place????? The only time he’s playable for me is maybe in a 2 QB league but this week he goes against the stingy Vikings defense which is not good news for Osweiler. The Vikings are the 2nd best team in sacks getting 15 so far & their secondary is heavily underrated. The Vikings are the 8th best defense against QBs in fantasy allowing just 51 points so far to opposing QBs.

RBs to start in Week 5:

Jordan Howard (vs. Colts): Howard in his 1st start in week 4 had 23 carries for 111 yards while also getting 3 catches for 21 yards to get 16 fantasy points. In his 2nd start Howard will face the Colts this week who again have a very weak defense against the run allowing the 4th most points to RBs (90 points). With Brian Hoyer at QB the Bears would like to run the ball as much as possible.

C.J Anderson (vs. Falcons): With the injury to Trevor Siemian it is likely that Anderson sees an extended workload whether Siemian or Paxton Lynch plays in this game. Anderson has scored the 11th most fantasy points among RBs & I see him finishing as a top 5 guy at the end of the year with the amount of touches he gets per week. Anderson is playing the Falcons this week who are the 7th worst team against RBs in fantasy this season.

Melvin Gordon (vs. Raiders): Gordon has been a great fantasy RB all year so far sitting as the 3rd best fantasy back this season. Gordon has scored 6 touchdowns this year which is 6 more than last year (I’m going to say this all year) & is playing the Raiders this week who have given up the 5th most points to opposing RBs. Gordon has seen an increase in touches since Danny Woodhead’s injury having only 14 touches in week 1, 27 in week 2, 20 in week 3, & 25 in week 4.

My Star RB of the Week: David Johnson (vs. 49ers): With the news today that Carson Palmer is unlikely to play this game which means that the Cardinals will be most likely looking to further the workload for David Johnson this week on Thursday night. Johnson is one of the best dual threat RBs in the NFL coming in as the 2nd best fantasy RB this year in points. The 49ers lost Navorro Bowman for the rest of the season to an achilles injury so the 49ers took a big hit to their run defense.

Under the Radar RB: Terrance West (vs. Redskins): West was given the starting job in week 3 after the Ravens made Justin Forsett a healthy scratch from the lineup & have since cut Forsett so it seems like it’s West’s backfield alongside rookie Kenneth Dixon (go pick him up if he is available in any of your leagues). West rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries & added a touchdown in his first start with the Ravens. West also has a generous matchup against a Redskins defense that is allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to RBs.

RBs to sit in Week 5:

Any Giants RB (vs. Packers): The Giants backfield has been very mediocre this year & they’ve had Orleans Darkwa & Bobby Rainey replacing Rashad Jennings while he’s been out with injury. I might be fine starting Bobby Rainey in a deep PPR league but I’m not starting him if I don’t have to. The Giants also have an unfavorable matchup against the Packers who have allowed the least fantasy points to RBs with just 21 points allowed.

Theo Riddick (vs. Eagles): Riddick is a RB I’m avoiding this week unless maybe in a deep PPR league. Riddick is only a threat in the passing game but if he’s not getting a consistent amount of catches he’s a guy that can just kill your fantasy week. He also plays the Eagles who have given up the 2nd least amount of points to opposing RBs. Riddick could see targets with Lions being behind in this game but I’m avoiding Riddick if I can.

WRs to start in Week 5: 

Jordan Matthews (vs. Lions): Matthews has been a solid fantasy WR scoring a touchdown in 2 of the 3 games the Eagles have played (had a bye week in week 4). Jordan Matthews has 46 fantasy points which is 1 more point than Brandon Marshall this season. This week Jordan Matthews plays the Lions who have given up the 5th most points to WRs this season.

Julian Edelman (vs. Browns): Julian Edelman has been disappointing so far this year only getting 38 fantasy points so far without scoring a touchdown without his best friend Mr. Brady in at QB. Tom Brady is back from suspension so I see Edelman cementing himself as a top 10-15 PPR receiver now for the rest of the season. The Patriots went to a more standard offense of ISO formations & less shotgun formations without Brady. With Brady they like to spread you out & they use their short passing game as their running game & Edelman is their go to guy for that.

Demaryius Thomas (vs. Falcons): Thomas has been an alright fantasy WR so far this season with 65 fantasy points. Thomas has had a 3-week span of scoring 15+ points the last 3 games which is nice to see. For me I’m not too worried about the QB situation for the Broncos especially when they’re playing the Falcons who have given up the 13th most points to WRs.

My Star WR of the Week: Michael Crabtree (vs. Chargers): Crabtree is coming off an amazing 33 point performance in week 4 scoring 3 touchdowns in a 28-27 win over the Ravens. Crabtree is actually outscoring his fellow teammate Amari Cooper by 29 points this season & Crabtree is also the 4th best fantasy WR so far only behind A.J Green, Antonio Brown, & Julio Jones. This week he plays a decimated Chargers secondary with the news of Jason Verrett being out for the rest of the season which could mean an aerial assault on the Chargers defense.

Under the Radar WR: Steve Smith Sr. (vs. Redskins): Steve Smith Sr. is defying odds overcoming a ruptured achilles from 2015 & is playing at a high level at the age of 37 it is really amazing what he’s doing. Smith has had 2 straight weeks of getting 8+ receptions & 16+ fantasy points & has seemed to be on the same page as Joe Flacco so far. He will be playing the Redskins this week who might have Josh Norman on their team but have given up the 4th most fantasy points to WRs.

WRs to sit in Week 5:

Will Fuller V (vs. Vikings): Fuller has had a nice year scoring 14+ fantasy points in 3 out of the 4 games he’s played. The only game he struggled in was in week 3 against the Patriots but everyone on the Texans struggled in that game. I like Fuller the rest of the season but I’m sitting him this week if I can with the matchup against the Vikings & I don’t see Osweiler playing well in this game.

John Brown (vs 49ers): Brown had his best week so far in week 4 against the Rams scoring 24 fantasy points on 10 catches for 144 yards. It’s nice for Brown owners to finally see him be productive like he was last year but I’d be wary of playing him this week. Carson Palmer is unlikely to play so I don’t see the Cardinals airing the ball out much in this game & I see them relying heavily on David Johnson.

TEs to start in Week 5:

Rob Gronkowski (vs. Browns): Gronk owners have been very upset so far with the lack of production from him but this week is the week I see him coming back into his dominant form. Gronk has scored a total of 2 points in the 2 games he’s played this season but the way Gronk is talking in his interviews he’s very excited to get Brady back & is ready to have a big game. Another good reason to play him is they’re playing the Browns which is enough for me to start him this week.

Delanie Walker (vs. Dolphins): Delanie Walker on the Titans is the number 1 option in the passing game as a tight end so he’s an absolute start most weeks. This week Walker plays the Dolphins who have allowed the 10th most points to TEs & their secondary is full of young guys who are trying to prove themselves. There are worries about the Titans passing game with the inconsistencies they’ve shown but I see a nice week from Walker.

My Star TE of the Week: Zach Ertz (vs. Lions): Ertz has only played 1 game this season due to a rib injury but is expected to start this week coming off of the Eagles bye week. Ertz had a solid week 1 before getting hurt scoring 11 fantasy points. The Eagles play the Lions who have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing TEs so I see Ertz coming back & having a huge game in this one.

Under the Radar TE: Cameron Brate (vs. Panthers): After seeing what the Falcons did to the Panthers defense in week 4 I’m not scared to put in anyone against them. Brate seems to be Jameis Winston’s 2nd or 3rd favorite target in a pass heavy offense without Doug Martin. Brate plays on Monday night so he’s one of those guys that may win you your week if you need 8-10 points to win. The Bucs play the Panthers who have surprisingly given up the 4th most points to opposing TEs.

TEs to sit in Week 5: 

Dwayne Allen (vs. Bears): Allen has a favorable matchup against a below average Bears secondary but he’s been very disappointing since having 17 points in week 1. Allen has totaled just 14 points the last 3 weeks & doesn’t seem to be a big target for Andrew Luck to throw to. Jack Doyle, the backup TE for the Colts actually has more points than Dwayne Allen this year (Doyle has 38 to Allen’s 31). I’m avoiding Dwayne Allen until he shows he is a viable option to start.

Jacob Tamme (vs. Broncos): Tamme had a great start to the year in his first 2 weeks totaling 29 points but has shown signs of slowing down the last 2 weeks scoring only 13 points. The Falcons play the Broncos this week & I just don’t see the Falcons being able to get much of anything going in this game. I predict the Falcons will be playing from behind which can help Tamme but he’d need to score a touchdown for me to say it was worth playing him but I don’t see that happening.

DEF/STs to start in Week 5: 

Minnesota Vikings (vs. Texans): How much more do you need to see that this Vikings defense is legit? The Vikings in week 4 shut down arguably the best WR trio in the NFL with Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, & Sterling Shepard to 50 yards less for each of them. The Vikings are playing against the Texans who have Brock Osweiler at QB & he’s shown signs of turning the ball over when being pressured even dating back to last year. The Vikings have 15 sacks on the year & I see them creating havoc for the Texans in this game.

New England Patriots (vs. Browns): The Patriots defense has always seemed to be overlooked every season. This week the Patriots play the Browns & with Brady back they’ll be up by big which means there’s going to be more opportunities for the Patriots to create turnovers on the Browns rookie QB Cody Kessler. I see a big day for the Patriots like they had in week 3 against the Texans.

DEF/STs to sit in Week 5: 

Carolina Panthers (vs. Buccaneers): I just don’t know what’s wrong with this Panthers defense this year. They can’t be missing Josh Norman that much can they??? I’m avoiding starting the Panthers defense until they figure everything out even though this week could be a bounce back week for them.

New York Giants (vs. Packers): The Giants defense has looked improved this season but they’ve had some injuries in the secondary the past couple weeks. The Giants play the Packers at Lambeau Field & with the Packers coming off a bye I see a huge week for the Packers offense.
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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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