One of the things I hate in fantasy football is when a terrible player does great against me especially in garbage time. I won’t mention any names… Blake Bortles cough cough. Bortles in the first half of the Thursday night game was awful & was doing absolutely nothing. The Titans were up 27-0 in the first half & then Bortles was able to finish the game with 337 yards & 3 touchdowns in garbage time & ended up being the 4th leading scorer this week with 29 points. It also is worse when I have Allen Robinson & he didn’t benefit from Bortles big week only getting 13 fantasy points & was unable to get into the endzone for the 3rd straight week. Let me stop ranting so I can let you know who I would start/sit this week. All my decisions are based on PPR scoring.
Top 3 Performers in Week 8:
Derek Carr (QB, Raiders): 35 points
Aaron Rodgers (QB, Packers): 33 points
Tom Brady (QB, Patriots): 29 points
QBs to start in Week 9:
Jameis Winston (vs. Falcons): Winston has had a solid first half of the season with 1,776 yards, 14 touchdowns, & 9 interceptions. Winston has seen a lot of his offensive weapons get injured like the likes of Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, & Jacquizz Rodgers. The good thing for Winston is that he still has one of the best WRs in the NFL to throw to: Mike Evans. Winston is a very talented QB & could have a big week against a Falcons defense that has allowed the 2nd most points to QBs & have allowed 19 touchdown passes which is tied most in the NFL.
Dak Prescott (vs. Browns): Dak Prescott has been nothing short of impressive this season as a 4th round rookie. In the first 3 quarters of the game on Sunday night against the Eagles Prescott looked like he was struggling a bit. In the 4th quarter & overtime Prescott stepped up & pulled a win out over the division rival Eagles. In 4 of the 7 games Prescott has started in he has ran a touchdown. This week he plays the Browns who have allowed the 3rd most points to opposing QBs & to be honest they’re the Browns & I like everyone against the Browns.
Philip Rivers (vs. Titans): Rivers right now is the 9th best fantasy QB this season. The last 3 weeks Rivers has averaged only 15 points each week but he has a favorable matchup this week against the Titans. The only thing that hurts Rivers is his constant turnovers. In the last 2 weeks Rivers has turned the ball over 5 times & has only had 2 weeks this season where he didn’t have a turnover. I envision Rivers having a nice week against a Titans defense that has allowed the 9th most points to opposing QBs.
My Star QB of the Week: Aaron Rodgers (vs. Colts): Early in the season people were asking: Is Rodgers declining? All I have to say to that is N-O. The Packers have seemed to change their offense a bit using their WRs as RBs & have used their short yardage passing game as their running game. In the last 2 weeks Rodgers has been great throwing 572 yards & 7 touchdowns in the 2 games combined. This week he gets a very favorable matchup against a Colts team that just allowed 31 total points to the Chiefs QBs (Alex Smith, Nick Foles) & have allowed the 5th most points to opposing QBs.
Under the Radar QB: Sam Bradford (vs. Lions): Yes, I know Bradford & the Vikings offense has looked awful the last 2 weeks but hear me out. There are 6 teams on bye this week & there’s probably 4 QBs on bye that have fantasy implications (Brady, Dalton, Palmer, Cousins). The Vikings also face the Lions defense that’s allowed the most points to opposing QBs & have allowed 19 touchdown passes this season which is the most in the NFL. I’m not saying you should go out of your way to start Bradford but if you need a streaming option this week he might not be a bad option this week.
QBs to sit in Week 9:
Tyrod Taylor (vs. Seahawks): Tyrod Taylor has been a solid fantasy QB this season since Week 2 averaging 20.6 points in Weeks 2-8. The most impressive part of his success is that he’s had a multitude of injuries to his weapons (Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, LeSean McCoy, etc.). This week Taylor goes up against the Seattle Seahawks defense & the Seahawks may be getting Kam Chancellor back after he has missed their last 2 games. If possible I’m finding another QB to start this week.
Eli Manning (vs. Eagles): Manning has struggled mightily this year. Manning has one of the best WR trios in the NFL with Beckham Jr., Cruz & Shepard but only has 1,984 yards, 8 touchdowns & 6 interceptions so far this season. Manning also has 3 games this season where he did not throw a touchdown. I’m avoiding Manning this week as he goes against an Eagles defense that has allowed 2nd least amount of points to opposing QBs.
RBs to start in Week 9:
Mark Ingram (vs. 49ers): Yeah, I know Ingram was benched last week against the Seahawks after fumbling early but his replacement Tim Hightower failed to get into the endzone while receiving 5 goal line carries. Ingram is easily the best RB in this offense & has a great chance to earn his job back as the sole starter this week as he goes against the 49ers. The 49ers have allowed the most rushing yards & have allowed the 2nd most points to opposing QBs. Please let this be the week Ingram gets his job back! I may or may not own Ingram.
Carlos Hyde (vs. Saints): On the opposite team as Mark Ingram in this game is Carlos Hyde. This decision is only valid if Hyde does indeed play on Sunday. Hyde was held out in Week 7 with a shoulder injury & in Week 8 they had a bye so I believe all signs point to him playing. If he plays he will be going against a Saints defense that has allowed the most rushing touchdowns to RBs (11) & have allowed the 3rd most points to opposing RBs.
Devontae Booker (vs. Raiders): Booker is coming off his 1st start in Week 8 against the Chargers. Booker had 19 carries for 54 yards & a touchdown while also adding 5 catches for 30 yards. The only negative thing in this game was he had a fumble in this game. The good thing about this is that the Broncos don’t really have a RB on the roster to take away many touches especially with C.J Anderson on IR. Booker gets another favorable matchup this week against a Raiders team that offensively is very talented but defensively they’ve allowed the 10th most points to opposing RBs.
My Star RB of the Week: Ezekiel Elliott (vs. Browns): Wow what a surprise huh? Elliott has just been an absolute beast this season. Elliott is leading the NFL in rushing yards with 799 yards & also has 5 touchdowns. Elliott has also been used in the passing game as he has 15 receptions for 150 yards. This week Zeke faces a Browns team that yes is barely a NFL team & who is also allowing the most points to opposing RBs.
Under the Radar RB: Terrance West (vs. Steelers): West is clearly the starting RB for the Ravens going forward. All season we’ve talked about how Kenneth Dixon was a good stash because he could end up as the starter but that looks less & less likely while West impresses. West just 2 weeks ago had 27 fantasy points against the Giants & will have a favorable matchup against a weak Steelers defense. The Steelers have allowed the 6th most points to opposing RBs.
RBs to sit in Week 9:
Isaiah Crowell (vs. Cowboys): I feel like the Cowboys defense has been overlooked all season. Yes, their offense does a good job controlling the clock & everything but their defense has stepped up & played great. I’m avoiding all Browns players this week & Crowell isn’t an exception. The Cowboys have only allowed 3 touchdowns to RBs this season & have allowed the 3rd least points to opposing RBs. I’m not starting Crowell if I have better options.
Todd Gurley (vs. Panthers): As a Rams fan it’s sad putting him here but it’s for a good reason. Gurley has been unable to eclipse 100 yards this season & only has 3 touchdowns as well. Gurley also has the worst yards per carry average in the NFL with an abysmal 3.0 average. I don’t see Gurley being an automatic start while Case Keenum is struggling as his QB & they face the Panthers defense who has had it’s struggles but are still good against the run. Panthers have allowed the 5th least amount of points to RBs this year.
WRs to start in Week 9:
Jarvis Landry (vs. Jets): There isn’t many bright spots on the Dolphins but I believe Landry is the best player on their offense & maybe even their best player overall. Landry has only gotten into the end zone once all year but is still 11th in receiving yards & is the most targeted WR in the Dolphins passing game. The matchup goes in Landry’s favor this week as the Dolphins play the Jets who have allowed the most points to opposing WRs. Revis Island seems to be a vacation resort now for WRs this season.
Demaryius Thomas (vs. Raiders): Thomas has been better this season than I believe people are giving him credit for. The Broncos aren’t a team that’s going to air it out but this week they may need to against the high powered Raiders. Thomas has gotten 5+ catches in 7 of 8 games & has gotten a touchdown in 4 of 8 games this season. It seems like his floor is pretty high & this week against the Raiders he plays a team that has given up the 4th most points to WRs this year.
Tyrell Williams (vs. Titans): Tyrell Williams has easily been the best receiving threat in a Chargers offense that’s had a couple injuries & likes to throw the ball a lot with Philip Rivers. Williams is a big target for Philip Rivers to throw to as he’s 6’4″. With Travis Benjamin hurt that may give Williams more targets & it could benefit him especially against a Titans defense that’s allowed the 7th most points to opposing WRs this year.
My Star WR of the Week: Mike Evans (vs. Falcons): Evans might end up with 250 targets at the end of the season with the lack of help he has in the Buccaneers offense right now. Evans has the 2nd most targets in the NFL with 86 & he’s only behind the receiving yards leader A.J Green who has 88 targets. Evans also is tied for the most touchdowns for WRs with 6 & is currently the 7th best fantasy WR this season. This week Evans plays the Falcons this week who have given up the 5th most points to WRs. I see a huge week for Evans.
Under the Radar WR: Mohamed Sanu (vs. Buccaneers): Sanu hasn’t had consistent fantasy relevance this season but last week Sanu had his best week finishing with 23 points. This year Sanu has been hit or miss all season where we’ve seen him have 3 weeks where he’s scored 15+ points & every other week he’s gotten 6 or less points. This week Sanu goes up against the Buccaneers who aren’t great against the pass & Julio Jones is playing hurt so Jones might be more of a decoy than a weapon this week. I like Sanu to step up again this week to have a nice performance.
WRs to sit in Week 9:
Marvin Jones (vs. Vikings): Jones has been a big addition to the Lions this season. Jones is currently 5th in receiving yards this season & is sitting at #9 in fantasy WRs this year. The only reasons I have him on here this week is because of a poor matchup, inconsistent offense, & Golden Tate. As of late Golden Tate seems to have gotten more & more targets, the Lions offense has also been a little inconsistent & they play the tough Vikings secondary this week. The Vikings have allowed the 2nd least amount of points to WRs.
Sterling Shepard (vs. Eagles): If you’re forced to start Shepard in any of your leagues your team must be in pretty bad shape. Talk about doing a complete 180, Shepard had 50 points in the first 3 weeks & 2 touchdowns & in the last 4 games he’s had 24 total points & has not been able to get into the end zone. I don’t think his struggles end this week against a tough Eagles defense that has allowed the 6th least amount of points to WRs.
Jordan Matthews (vs. Giants): I only have Matthews here not because of a bad matchup but because I don’t think he is that talented of a WR. Matthews might’ve put up 23 points in Week 8 but he;s only had 23+ twice & has only 2 other games with touchdowns. He might be the best WR on the Eagles to some people but that’s not saying much for them (I actually believe Dorial Green-Beckham is the best WR on the Eagles). Giants also aren’t terrible against the pass allowing the 13th least amount of points to opposing WRs. I’m avoiding Matthews as he’s been inconsistent or I would sell high on him (check out my buy low/sell high article).
TEs to start in Week 9:
Cameron Brate (vs. Falcons): The Bucs offensive weapons are dropping like flies as they’re on their 4th different RB & they also lost Vincent Jackson. I believe Brate is the 2nd best receiving threat in this offense behind Mike Evans. This game I believe the Bucs will need to throw the ball 50+ times to keep up with the Falcons & Brate will benefit from that. TEs are thin season & with guys like Gronk & Eifert on bye weeks Brate could be a nice fill in TE.
Jason Witten (vs. Browns): TEs are hard to find. Witten is one of the best TEs ever. He plays the Browns. That’s about it.
My Star TE of the Week: Kyle Rudolph (vs. Lions): Rudolph is one of the best TEs in the NFL. Rudolph is probably the 2nd best receiving threat for the Vikings behind Stefon Diggs. I know the Vikings have struggled the last 2 weeks to get anything going but I believe they bounce back this week against the Lions who have allowed the most points to opposing TEs. In weeks 2-4 Rudolph caught a touchdown & in every other week he hasn’t but I believe he gets back in this Sunday.
Under the Radar TE: Austin Hooper (vs. Buccaneers): This might come as a surprise to some people but let me explain myself. Jacob Tamme will be out with injury this week & Hooper will be replacing him. The Falcons have the #1 passing offense & Matt Ryan likes to look for his TEs especially in the red zone. If you’re looking for a fill in TE for a TE on a bye or one that has a bad matchup Hooper might be a guy worth taking a chance on.
TEs to sit in Week 9:
Julius Thomas (vs. Chiefs): Thomas has had touchdowns in back to back games now but he’s only had 6 catches for 48 yards in those games combined. I guess that isn’t awful considering most TEs are touchdown dependent with the position being so thin in fantasy. I also don’t like the fact that the Jaguars offense looks terrible & they just fired their offensive coordinator Greg Olson. They also play the Chiefs who have given up the 4th least amount of points to opposing TEs.
Zach Ertz (vs. Giants): Ertz has been very disappointing this season as he was drafted as one of the top 5 TEs this season in most drafts. Ertz has yet to reach the end zone this year & to put things into perspective he has the same amount of receptions & receiving yards as Ezekiel Elliott this season (15 catches, 150 receiving yards). As a TE in an offense that doesn’t have many good receiving threats in it. The Giants are also pretty good against TEs allowing the 8th least points to TEs.
DEF/STs to start in Week 9:
Dallas Cowboys (vs. Browns): I understand the Cowboys defense will be without Morris Claiborne & Barry Church but they’re playing the Browns. The Browns offense looks a lot better with Josh McCown as QB but that doesn’t worry me enough to say to not play the Cowboys defense this week. There are 6 teams on bye this week so you might need a fill in defense & this is the first defense I’d look for.
Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Jaguars): Have I mentioned yet how bad the Jaguars offense looks & particularly Blake Bortles? Well let me explain how bad they’ve been. Blake Bortles & the Jaguars offense has been a joke & is a disgrace to the NFL. When you have that many weapons how can you be that bad? The Chiefs defense will probably have a field day against Blake Bortles who has the 3rd most interceptions thrown with 9.
DEF/STs to sit in Week 9:
Tennessee Titans (vs. Chargers): The Titans defense this season has been good stopping the run but has had troubles stopping the pass. That might be unfortunate especially going against the Chargers who are a pass heavy offense with Philip Rivers. I believe there will be a lot of points scored in this game so I don’t like the Titans this week.
Green Bay Packers (vs. Colts): This game against the Colts is most likely going to be a shootout between Aaron Rodgers & Andrew Luck. Then you add in the fact the Packers have a decimated secondary with injuries & Clay Matthews has been battling injuries this year as well. All of that doesn’t sound like a recipe for success so I’m avoiding the Packers defense if I can.
5 Fantasy Players To Roll the Dice On Week 1
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.
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.
Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12 Team PPR
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.
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.
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.
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
QB – P. Rivers
WR – A. Boldin
TE – J. Whitten
WR – M.Sanu
2016 NFL Season Week 17 Pick ‘Em
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.
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.
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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