NFL Week 16 Picks

Last week was yet another 6+ loss week for me.  I’m already 1-1 again.  This week, my goal is to be between 15-1 and 12-4.  Do you think that’s possible?  Let’s see.

Lock Of The Week

Chiefs, 30, Browns, 16

The Chiefs take on the Browns as they go for 9 in a row.  The Browns have no quarterback and a struggling receiving core.  Plus, they’re playing for nothing but a #1 overall pick.  They were the first team out of the playoff hunt mathematically, in both conferences.

The Chiefs meanwhile have won 8 straight since a 1-5 start with a Jamaal Charles injury.  Young good running backs have filled in for him, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce plus Albert Wilson are making up for the lack in receiving depth, and the defense is as good as ever.  I just don’t see the Chiefs losing.

For the Browns, Johnny Football’s the quarterback, Dwayne Bowe was supposed to be the main receiver, but the former Chief doesn’t even have a TD I’m aware of.  Gary Barnidge has come out of no where, but is better on paper than in real life, and Isaiah Crowell is left the only legit offenisve weapon besides developing Gary Barnidge, Brian Hartline and Travis Benjamin.  Chiefs win a blowout.

Notable Locks: Texans over Titans

 

Upset of The Week

Ravens, 27, Steelers, 17

Some of you guys are probably like, “Come on, the Ravens are done, three weeks straight of upset picks wrong?” “Don’t want to let that happen”.  I’m not listening.  Ravens overcome an 11 point spread, despite my home team picking woes.

Big Ben’s offense is just too overrated to beat them, despite the best threesome of receivers in maybe the entire league.  They lost Le’ Veon Bell, get over it, the Steelers could’ve been better at full health.  They could’ve won the AFC North.  As long as they swept the surprise Bengals.

The one they lost to Cincy was when Bell went down and Roethlisberger just came back.  Of course they lost.  The Ravens were already not the best, then bad injury luck and health hits, and the Ravens now suck.  Well, his young bunch has potential.  What stops them from upsetting teams?

Notable Upsets: Jets over Patriots, Colts over Dolphins

 

Raiders, 20, Chargers, 14
Eagles, 24, Redskins, 7
Colts, 27, Dolphins, 17
Jets, 37, Patriots, 36.  OT
Texans, 31, Titans, 30
Lions, 21, 49ers, 17
Panthers, 35, Falcons, 27
Buccaneers, 27, Bears, 17
Bills, 23, Cowboys, 21
Saints, 48, Jaguars, 41 OT
Cardinals, 34, Packers, 23
Seahawks, 34, Rams, 31 OT
Vikings, 31, Giants, 30
Broncos, 38, Bengals, 18

Team Of The Week

  1. This team has had 4 starting quarterbacks in 3 years.
  2. This team has a combined 15 wins in the last 3 years.
  3. This team is in a division with an overall record below .500.
  4. This team was no shot at the playoffs.
  5. This team is located southeast of St. Louis.

What team is this?  Guess in comments.

Last Week: Bengals

NFL Week 16 Match-Up Breakdown

This week more serious playoff implications are in play, and you don’t want to miss the match-ups.  For more info about my thoughts on the game and what the stats and history say will happen in my favorite games, look below.

 

The Redskins take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the season.  Will the Redskins stay relevant, or will Chip Kelly’s plan begin to come together as the Eagles bounce back from an ugly loss and prevail?

Playoff Scenarios

Redskins

It has been determined that only the Atlanta Falcons could knock out the Vikings, and that only the division winner of the NFC East will go to the playoffs.  With a win, the Redskins are 8-7, the Eagles are 6-9, and the Giants are still 6-8.  If the Redskins win tonight but lose next week, and the Giants win their next two, they’ll each finish 8-8.  They are tied head to head, and would be tied in the division.  But in the conference, the Redskins would be 7-5, while the Giants would be 6-6.  That gives the Redskins the division tiebreaker.  So, with a win tonight, the Redskins can actually clinch the NFC East before the final week.

Eagles

The Eagles clearly cannot get in through the wild card, as both Seattle and Minnesota are 9-5.  The only way for a playoff spot for Philly is possible is if it’s the NFC Eastern Division representative spot.  With a loss tonight, the Eagles will be two games behind the Redskins.  There’s only one more Eagles game after this.  So a loss tonight would eliminate the Eagles from the division, and playoff contention.

Keys To A Win

For Philly, the rush game needs to meet its expectations.  Whether it’s Ryan Mathews or DeMarco Murray, even young Kenjon Barner, someone needs to have a big game, I think Mathews will. Sam Bradford also needs to do the same.  Don’t make Chip Kelly regret signing you.  Don’t make him decide not to resign you.

On the Redskins side, DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed need to make an impact, and in order to do that, Kirk Cousins has to keep doing what he’s been doing to get them here.

What Do The Stats Say?

Washington is just 2-12 on the road under Jay Gruden, despite a 9-7 home record.  That plus my knowledge really leads me to believe that Philly will crush it.  But I’ve learned that the home team doesn’t win more than like, two thirds of the time (I pick like seven eighths home teams).  Besides, The Eagles have worse player stats.

Sam Bradford has a 16:13 TD:INT ratio.  That’s just 1.23 touchdowns for every pick.  DeMarco Murray had just 3 yards last week.  Jordan Matthews is the only Eagle with more than 3 TD receptions, despite 839 reception yards.  However, other running back Ryan Mathews is trending in the opposite direction, despite injuries.  He is not injured now.  He’s averaging 5.3 rush yards per game, the best in his career.  He has 523 total rush yards this season.

However, the Redskins offense can compete.  Jordan Reed is tied for the third most TD receptions by any tight end (9, behind Rob Gronkowski with 12, and Tyler Eifert with 11).  DeSean Jackson faces his former team for the first time this season, but he had 100 yard games in both 2014 Redskins-Eagles match-ups.  Expect big things from him.

Bold Prediction of The Game: DeSean Jackson has 122 yards, TD, but the rest of the Redskins do horribly.  Coach Jay Gruden will consider a change to RG3 at quarterback after Kirk Cousins’ horrible game, giving away a winnable game.

My Pick:   philadelphia-eagles-logo.jpg

 

IMG_0931.JPG

The Patriots take on the Jets in a tough match-up with huge playoff implications.  Will the Jets take victory and possibly the wild card or will the Pats win the game and home field advantage?  Here’s the breakdown.

Playoff Scenarios

Patriots

With a Pats win and a Denver Broncos win over the Bengals, the Patriots clinch the home field advantage in the AFC.

Jets

If the Jets lose today, they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.  If they win their next two and the Steelers or Chiefs lose at least one, the Jets snag a playoff berth (first for Jets since 2009).

Keys To Victory

The Pats remaining receivers need to be able to catch the ball, which best healthy receiver Brandon LaFell has struggled to do all the time this season, despite going deep numerous times.  LaFell had not been on the injury report until this week since coming off PUP, but was activated for game time.  They also need to stop Chris Ivory and the rush better, plus cool down Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker with a young banged up secondary including Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon and Tavon Wilson.

The Jets need to stop the run as well.  With the recent signing of veteran Steven Jackson and the next Dion Lewis emerging from James White, plus all the injured receivers, the Pats running game has became a bigger factor.  They also need to put extra attention and pressure on TB12 and Gronk.

What Do The Stats Say?

This is a tough and intriguing match-up, as the #3 ranked scoring offense (Pats) takes on the #8 ranked scoring defense (Jets).  Pats QB Tom Brady has a 35:6 TD:INT ratio, almost 6 touchdowns for every pick thrown.  He is one of the four QBs to throw a TD in every game this season (Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles, Kirk Cousins).  Brady is 67-16 in his career vs. AFC East foes, 29-12 on the road, and 22-6 vs the Jets.  Gronk has got 66 receptions for over one thousand yards.

The Jets however are on pace for their best total offense ever.  Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall have a combined 21 TD catches.  So, this is a grudge match.  Either team could be victorious.

Bold Predicition Of The Game: Steven Jackson makes an impact, but the Pats fall to a tough Jets defense as Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker continue to have monstrous games.

My Pick: new-york-jets-logo.png

The Cardinals and Packers fight for a first round bye in this crucial playoff match-up between two of the best teams in the league.  The Packers are overcoming a rough mid-season run as they try and clinch the division, while the Cardinals fight for their ninth in a row and the clinching of the first round bye.  Who will prevail?

Playoff Scenarios

Cardinals

With a loss or Panthers win, the Cardinals have no shot at the first seed.  If they win though they clinch that two seed at least and a first round bye, even if they can’t snag home field advantage.  Besides, the Panthers have only won two games against teams with an above .500 record.  They might slip up in the divisional round.

Packers

Simple.  If they lose, they can’t get a first round bye.  They haven’t even clinched the division, and with a loss today, they’re tied.  The Packers can clinch the division with a win and Vikings loss though.

Keys To A Win

The Cardinals need to make sure the offense, Carson Palmer, David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd especially, keep up the good work.

The Packers meanwhile need better accuracy out of their receivers.  They also need Eddie Lacy to bounce back from the worst season so far of his career.  He dropped from top 10 to top 40 RBs in the NFL in my opinion.

 

What Do The Stats Say?

Eddie Lacy has had 100 yard games in three of his last five, although he only has 664 on the season.  He has less than 50 in eight games this season.  Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is in the MVP race.  He has almost 5 TDs for every interception thrown but he’s on pace for his first below 100 passer rating since 2008 (95.2 this year).

The Cards are first in offensive yards per game, Yards/Play, Yards/Pass Play, 3rd Down Conversions, First Downs /Game and 20+ yard plays, even time of possession.  John Brown is just 67 yards short of 1,000 this year.

The Cardinals have blitzed on 45.5 percent of pass plays this year, so watch out Aaron Rodgers.  The stats say that the Packers have some good numbers, but the Cardinals are too dominant to lose in this one.

Bold Prediction of the Game: Eddie Lacy bounces back and goes for 2 TDs, but Arizona wins 34-23.

My Pick: az-cards.jpg

The Giants were eliminated from playoff contention last night, but the Vikings are playing for a wild card that if they don’t win and the Falcons do, Atlanta could claim.  Will OBJ hurt the Giants as the Vikings get a much deserved win, or will the Giants steal this one without their beloved receiver?

Playoff Scenarios

Vikings

With a win or Falcons loss, the Vikings clinch a playoff berth.  If this happens, that means that no NFC team will be playing for a playoff berth in Week 17.

Giants

NONE, the Redskins won!  If the Redskins had lost, all they would need is a win the next two weeks.

 

Keys To Victory

Especially if AP is out, the Vikings need to take advantage of their wide receiving game.  Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson, and veterans Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph all either have potential, haven’t used their power yet, or are just good receivers that have already made an impact.

The Giants meanwhile need to contain AP and keep Teddy Bridgewater in the pocket.  He is becoming dangerous.

 

What Do The Stats Say?

The Giants are 3-7 in eight point or less games this season.  They’ve also blown SIX GAMES after the two minute warning or in overtime, and would be 12-2 if games were 58 minutes long.  The Giants would be fighting the Cardinals and Panthers for a first round bye.  The Panthers would be 13-1.

AP could be out, but he has 1,301 rush yards and 9 TDs.  He has 286 carries, and leads the NFL in rush yards, and is in the Top 5 for total yards by a non quarterback.  Stefon Diggs has almost 700 yards and 4 TDs.  The stats make it very unclear to predict this game, but offense will play a big role.

Bold Prediction Of The Game: A veteran and former star on each of these teams will have a breakout.  Mike Wallace for the Vikings, and Rashad Jennings for the Giants.

My Pick: Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png

 

These two teams battle it out for a first round bye while the Pats try to clinch home field advantages by counting on themselves and Denver.  Will the Broncos win the game and first round bye, or will the Bengals stay strong, even without Dalton and Eifert, on prime time?

Playoff Scenarios

Broncos

With a win, Denver clinches the first round bye.  With two wins and a Pats loss, the Broncos get home field advantage.  With a loss, they are eliminated from the race for a first round bye.

Bengals

With a win, the Bengals clinch the first round bye.  With a loss, they are eliminated from the race fro the first round bye.

 

Keys To A Win

For Denver, apply pressure.  The biggest differences between these two teams is how they handle pressure.  Denver does it well, especially on prime time, Cincy struggles to, especially on prime time.  Apply pressure to the Bengals and you’ve got yourself an automatic win.

For the Bengals, young A.J. McCarron needs to avoid pressure and stay out of the pocket.  The smooth defense also needs to overcome their injuries and be the Bengals defense they were at full health.  With Geno Atkins, Darqueze Dennard and all.

 

What Do The Stats Say?

The Bengals have not won in Denver since 1975.  However, this year might break the 40 year streak.  No team has ever started 10-2 and missed the playoffs.  Only three have missed at 9-3.  A.J Green though has 77 rec. for 1,206 yards, and 8 TDs.  This is Green’s fifth straight 1,000 yard season, the second most in NFL history to start his career.  The defense is allowing just 17.4 PPG (fewest in NFL) and Geno Atkins has 10 sacks.

The Broncos have been shut out in the second half in three straight, losing two of them, the last two.  Brock Osweiler has just 2 TDs for every pick, but Peyton Manning still leads the league with 17 interceptions in a horrible, probably final season.

Ronnie Hillman has rushed for 783 yards, C.J. Anderson has 552.  DeMaryius Thomas has 1,128 receiving yards for 5 TDs, Emmanuel Sanders also has 5 TDs and is 31 yards shy of his 2nd thousand yard season.  The stats say mostly good things about both teams, and lean towards Cincy slightly, but this is still a grudge match.

Bold Prediction Of The Game: The Bengals get held to no touchdowns, but score 6 field goals.  They lose to Denver by 2o.

My Pick: denver-broncos-logo.jpg

Week 16 has some pretty huge match-ups, but when you break it down, they’re easier to pick a winner in than you might think.  Every team has its flaws, but with the pressure of playoff implications, any given Sunday.

NFL Week 15 Match-Up Breakdown

Week 15 is a week full of playoff scenarios, grudge matches and more.  Below are some of my favorite match-ups of the week, and analysis on each of them.

carolina-panthers-logo.jpg AT  new-york-giants-logo

The Panthers take on the Giants in New York.  The Panthers fight to stay undefeated, while the Giants fight to stay relevant in playoff contention.  I personally think the Giants are still relevant and can win this game.  If games were only 58 minutes long, the Giants would be 11-2!  But unfortunately, they have to play those last two minutes, and they’ve blown 5 games in that span, including losses to the Falcons, Saints, Patriots, Redskins and Jets.  So they have to be at 6-7.  Here are some factors to a win.

Keys To A Win

Panthers

  1. Put pressure on Eli Manning.  If he can’t do well, how can this powerful offense argue?
  2. The defense needs to stay aware of not just a good passing game, but an underrated run game.  Keep those running backs in the pocket.
  3. The Panthers offense needs to look out for an underestimated Giants defense.  It’s no Panthers lock.

Giants

  1. The Panthers secondary is better than you might think.  Keep the receivers away from them, and make sure Eli doesn’t throw picks.
  2. The Giants have so many good weapons on offense.  Take advantage of that and use lots of different players on the offensive lineup.
  3. Watch out, Cam Newton can run.  He has the 6th most rushing TDs in the entire NFL.  Put some extra LBs on Newton to stop him when he runs with the ball.

Pick A Winner!

Me      My Dad     Jill

new-york-giants-logo.jpg     new-york-giants-logo.jpg       carolina-panthers-logo

chicago-bears-logo.jpg  AT Minnesota_Vikings_Logo

The Vikings try to stay relevant against the Bears today.  This actually brings a real challenge for Minnesota.  Despite the Bears’ 5-8 record, the Beras are just 1-6 at home, but 4-2 on the road, like today.  The Vikes are only 4-2 at home, despite being 8-5 overall.  Can the Bears challenge the Vikings to this division and defeat them?  Here’s how each of the teams can grab a victory.

Bears

  1. Don’t think the Vikings defense is a weakling defense.  Keep your eye out for a young, powerful monster of a defense.
  2. The backups on this offense have potential, despite having a weaker set of starters.  Split the offense equally between all players.

Vikings

  1. Stop that rush!!!  Running backs Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford have too much strength not to attract defensive attention.  Keep your eye out for those Chicago Bears running backs.
  2. Pass!!  A young but full Bears secondary will even be overwhelmed by the receiving depth this team has, including Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison, MyCole Pruitt, Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson.  AP is really the only good player in the backfield.  Pay more attention to Teddy Bridgewater and his receivers than the running game.
  3. Pressure Jay Cutler.  Cutler’s monster season has got to stop.  He struggles under pressure.

 

Pick A Winner!

Me    My Dad    Jill

Minnesota_Vikings_Logo      Minnesota_Vikings_Logo  Minnesota_Vikings_Logo

green-bay-packers-logo.jpg AT   oakland-raiders.jpg

The Packers take on the Raiders in Oakland.  The Packers fight to keep the division lead, while the Raiders fight to stay in playoff contention.  The Packers are favorites, but can the Raiders stay relevant and pull the upset handle?  There was a point when the Raiders were legit playoff contenders, above .500.  Can they go back to that or is it too late?  Keys to a win are below.

Packers

  1. The receivers, especially Davante Adams and James Jones, need to catch the darn ball.  Make sure that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t overthrow or underthrow the football too often, or this duo will fail to function.
  2. Keep Derek Carr and the rest of the Raiders offense under good pressure.  When this offense is pressured, they do absolutely nothing.
  3. Use the running game more frequently.  Eddie Lacy has potential to be a star again, and James Starks is developing into a solid player as well.

Raiders

  1. Get Derek Carr out of the pocket, and make sure he has open receivers.  That’s the Raiders’ offensive winning formula.
  2. Keep the defense ready, this Packers offense has lots of potential, yet it’s already really good.

Pick A Winner!

Me    My Dad    Jill

green-bay-packers-logo   oakland-raiders    green-bay-packers-logo

 

denver-broncos-logo.jpg  AT  pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg

The Broncos battle for a first round bye in Pittsburgh against the Steelers.  The Patriots can clinch a first round bye if Denver loses, so us Pats fans must root for the Steelers again, but do the Steelers have a shot?  Meanwhile, the Steelers are attempting to sneak into the playoffs.  Keys to each team’s victory is below.

Broncos

  1. Keep an eye out for not just Antonio Brown, but the rest of this strong receiving game.  Don’t focus this powerful defense too much on just the superstars.
  2. Brock Osweiler needs to keep doing whatever he’s doing.  His magic formula has made the Broncos go 3-1 under his command.

Steelers

  1. Use not just receivers, but DeAngelo Williams and the run game.  Williams has still been underused this season.
  2. The defense needs to stop the power of the Denver offense.

 

Pick A Winner

Me   My Dad   Jill

pittsburgh-steelers-logo  pittsburgh-steelers-logo      pittsburgh-steelers-logo

az-cards.jpg   AT  philadelphia-eagles-logo.jpg

Battle of the Birds!!!  The Cardinals aim for a first round bye while the Eagles fight to stay in the NFC East race.  This Sunday Night game could be a lock, upset or grudge match!  Who will win?  See the keys to a win below.

Eagles

  1. Keep Carson Palmer in the pocket to prevent too far of passes and keep him under pressure.
  2. The Cardinals secondary is more dangerous than you might think.  Keep some extra receivers open on all passing plays.
  3. Don’t underestimate the Cardinals defense in general.  Treat it like the 2013 Seattle defense.

Cardinals

  1. Also don’t underestimate the weak but young Eagles defense.
  2. Use the running game too, even though the Eagles have a weaker secondary than running game.

Pick A Winner!

Me       My Dad     Jill

philadelphia-eagles-logo.jpg   az-cards.jpg       az-cards.jpg

Want to talk about your favorite match-ups of the day?  Tell me in comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Week 15 Picks

I’ve still been shaky these past couple weeks, but was pretty amazed at my 10-6 record last week.  I’m 1-1 so far this week and today has another thirteen games, with one more tomorrow.

Lock Of The Week

Patriots, 38, Titans, 20

week-15-lock.jpg
The Pats will have a day and take down the Titans.

I know Marcus Mariota has had a sensational rookie season, but no rookie quarterback can take down the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, even with a really good team, like Andrew Luck with the 2012 Colts.  Not even he could beat the Pats at Gillette in his rookie season.  The Titans defense is too worn down.  A weak secondary led by just Jason McCourty and nobody else significant, may not be able to do the best job keeping Gronk from getting to the end zone.  They also have Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Leonard Hankerson (claimed off waivers from Atlanta) and Keshawn Martin as receiving options, and tight ends Scott Chandler, Michael Williams and Asante Cleveland.

They should run the ball at times as well though, and although Brandon Bolden and James White have done a good job filling in, they can’t replace Blount.  Montee Ball could’ve, but instead they signed fullback Joey Iosefa from a practice squad, a rookie who had been on our squad since like Week 4.  Iosefa will help replace the season-long absence of fullback James Develin, and help our thin run game.

The Titans will have to pass.  Young corner Malcolm butler and veteran safeties Devin McCourty (if active) and Patrick Chung, will not let the Titans go very far.  So the Pats have this one down, and just by simply winning today, they can clinch having the division without having to use some crazy stat as a tiebreaker.

Notable Locks: Seahawks over Browns, Bengals over 49ers

 

Upset Of The Week

Ravens, 27, Chiefs, 24

The Ravens still have something left to prevent them from embarrassing themselves.  They still have a decent, but young, banged up, offensive lineup.

QB Jimmy Clausen

RB Javorius Allen

WR Kamar Aiken

WR Chris Givens

TE Crockett Gillmore

TE Maxx Williams

Well, Kamar Aiken, Buck Allen, and the tight ends are the highlights.  Hey, at least they still have Crockett Gillmore.  He was an Opening Day starter.  Maxx Williams was in there too, so was Kamar Aiken.  Aiken was the WR2, Williams was the TE2.  Steve Smith Sr. was still healthy back then.  But now, these young developing players, including the younger, newer tight ends, need to be the guys that boost this team.  They’re the youngest and least injury prone guys on this entire offense.  Best of all, the defense and special teams vets are still healthy, for the most part.  They can put a stop to a Chiefs team that depends on just a few guys for offensive victory.  The upset here is possible, you just have to believe in these young Ravens

week-15-upset.jpg
The Ravens will comeback to shock the red hot Chiefs.

Notable Upsets: Cowboys over Jets, Lions over Saints, Giants over Panthers, Eagles over Cardinals

 

Other Games

Rams, 31, Buccaneers, 21
Cowboys, 20, Jets, 13
Giants, 20, Panthers, 17
Vikings, 27, Bears, 21
Jaguars, 31, Falcons, 28
Colts, 35, Texans, 31
Bills, 28, Redskins, 24
Seahawks, 28, Browns, 21
Packers, 24, Raiders, 21
Steelers, 24, Broncos, 21
Bengals, 31, 49ers, 28
Chargers, 31, Dolphins, 24
Eagles, 24, Cardinals, 20
Lions, 27, Saints, 24

Team Of The Week

  1. This team was also undefeated at some point Week 3 or later.
  2. This team has been on a roller coaster of injury news.
  3. This team is good, but has tough competition in their division.
  4. If the season ended today, this team would have a playoff spot.
  5. This team has been a nice surprise this season.

What team is this?  Guess in comments.

Last Week: Broncos

Week 14 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em: Dominate Your Fantasy Playoffs

Get your team to the next round of the playoffs in no time.  I’ve mentioned below the players I am most confident about starting or letting ride the pine.  My starts and sits are below.
QB
Start
Carson Palmer
Palmer should be able to beat up the Vikings on Thursday Night.  The Vikings rush defense is still figuring itself out, and I saw a blowout coming last Thursday Night.  I would start Palmer any week, he just really stands out this week.  Still a must-start quarterback.  Why would you sit Carson Palmer this season if you have the option?!!
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick has a lock match-up over the Titans, and with the running game a little banged up, and with the Titans beginning to become a little more scary to face again, passing will be key to beat Tennessee.  The main reasons Ryan Fitzpatrick should be started is a) The Tennessee defense still needs lots of work and b) Fitzy might have a QB sneak or two himself to help the running game
Sit
Matt Ryan
The Falcons are just such an “early-season” team, but it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  Matt Ryan has had what might be the worst second half of a season in his career. Well, maybe not.  This is how the Falcons typically are, even though last year was the opposite.  But I just can’t trust Matt Ryan anymore, especially when he’s trying to stop the undefeated Panthers on the road!!!  At home it might be different but this is a lock in Carolina’s favor.
Derek Carr
I just don’t trust him and the Raiders against a really good Broncos team.  This is a feast or famine team, a young, still developing quarterback, facing a tough, amazing, unstoppable Denver team.
RB
Start
Chris Ivory
Ivory is one of the only legitimate backs left on the Jets, and this lock match is time for him and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to shine, against a weakling, possibly worst in the league Titans defense.  Prove yourself as a star, Ivory.
Charcandrick West
West has been dealing with injuries, but expect him and backs Spencer Ware and Knile Davis to bounce back versus a practically empty Chargers front seven.  West has looked great in Jamaal Charles’ spot.
Isaiah Crowell
Crowell may not be on the best team but the Niners defense just plain out sucks, and expect Crowell to break free, even if NaVorro Bowman bothers him.  Crowell has emerged into a solid RB1 that could really help the Browns prevent too many struggles down the road, even if they’re long gone this season.
Sit
Latavius Murray
Murray has lived up to feast mode these past couple weeks, but it’s famine’s turn to work its magic on Murray, especially against the amazingly good Denver Broncos, who are very solid and consistent this season, and are also one of the healthiest football teams in the currently banged up NFL that’s missing many of its best superstars, and letting the less noticed guys like Murray get more.  But he’s really not. Guys like Marshawn Lynch, Jamaal Charles and Le’ Veon Bell are.
Danny Woodhead
Woodhead, the team’s passing back has surprisingly led the Chargers horrible running game.  But they’re up against a powerhouse Chiefs rush D that will put full force into stopping Woodhead and fellow teammate Melvin Gordon.
Tevin Coleman
Coleman never fully emerged this season, but showed himself when Devonta Freeman was hurt.  But against this tough Carolina front seven, only Freeman is a good enough Falcons running back to overcome it.  The rest, like Coleman and Terron Ward, likely won’t be able to.
WR
Start
Tavon Austin
Austin had never had a breakout season until lovely old, injury filled, 2015.  This week should be a dominant week for Austin, as he faces a struggling, banged up Lions secondary, who are missing Ezekiel Ansah and Glover Quin, and are left with just James Ihedigbo.  Ihedigbo may bother him, but him and fellow teammate Wes Welker should overcome it.
Willie Snead
Snead and Brandin Cooks have struggled these past couple weeks, but even though the defense will likely blow the game, I think the offense has a chance to make an impact and really show that this team may be done, but if they improve their defense, they could have some serious potential, even with Mark Ingram now on IR.
Anquan Boldin
I know this isn’t necessarily a win for the 49ers, but veteran receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith will not be prevented from having big games against an easy Browns defense.
Sit
Amari Cooper
Cooper is very similar to Latavius Murray.  I would just leave everyone on the Raiders to ride the pine.  It’s famine’s turn to control not just these players, but the faith of the entire Oakland Raiders team.  Last week they fared well, just couldn’t beat the red hot Kansas City Chiefs.
Charles Johnson
Johnson isn’t the WR1 anymore, but he shouldn’t have slipped away from the Cardinals D as easily as Stefon Diggs should’ve.  All these Vikings receivers were not good options, and should be avoided if possible.
Kendall Wright
Wright really just has a bad match-up against one of the best secondaries in the league when it’s healthy, which it now pretty much is.  Wright, along with Delanie Walker, should not expect to have big games today.
TE
Start
Charles Clay
Even though I think the Eagles will hold on in this game, it doesn’t mean Sammy Watkins and Charles Clay can’t take advantage of a weak Eagles secondary.  Clay, the former Dolphin, has been a key weapon for Tyrod Taylor this season.  Clay should overcome a beaten up Eagles secondary that has Nolan Carroll hurt, and despite Byron Maxwell’s presence, him and Watkins can still have big days.
Jared Cook
Like Tavon Austin, Cook has potential to have a breakout day.  The difference is, Cook might do better as long as he’s left unguarded as expected.  Both could make a big impact on your fantasy team’s playoff status.
Sit
Kyle Rudolph
Rudolph has began to bounce back, but the Vikings are just facing such an overpowered defense.  Rudolph still hasn’t fully emerged, and he shouldn’t have a day every week at this stage of his development.  Rudolph still needs to work on his consistency, and that won’t call for a good day in fantasy this week.
Ladarius Green
Green and Antonio Gates are facing a premier defense in the league, and don’t expect them to do much.  The Chargers alone have very low likelihood of winning this game.  If Gates will struggle, Green won’t be any better.  He likely will even do worse than Gates does.
DST
Start
Dolphins
I think Monday Night‘s grudge match will be a game of defense, with the Dolphins having the edge.  Both defenses, the Dolphins and Giants, should keep up the good work, but Miami has the edge, so the Giants won’t score as much, earning Miami some extra points for holding them to a certain amount.
Sit
Steelers
I just think Cincy is too good and I don’t think the Steelers are at any edge in this game.  This game will be such a shootout, even the Bengals defense will be bench-able, let alone the Steelers defense.  I didn’t want to have too little faith in Cincy, or too much in Pittsburgh.
K
Start
Brandon McManus
I’ll tell you right now, Denver will win this game in a blowout, but the defense, at some points, will give Denver a challenge, even if their own defense dominates.  That’s the perfect recipe for a great day from the kicking position.  In Denver’s case, that’s Brandon McManus.  McManus has had a great bounce back season, after being held to just kick offs after losing his job to Connor Barth last season.  He was meaningless in fantasy.  Now he’s back on fantasy owners’ radars.
Sit
Steven Hauschka
In this upset I picked in my picks, the Seahawks are left to rot.  Kicker Steven Hauschka will be held to just one extra point and not do any better.  Horrible situation here for any kicker, even a star like Hauschka.  Kickers are really just based on the match-up.   You have to go week by week with them.

NFL Week 14 Picks

I’ve been struggling these past couple weeks, but I’m trying to mix my old and new algorithms to see if that works, because my teams I take first, without thinking, have ended up winning.  I’m putting some predictions into it, but on some of it, I’m using my head.

Lock Of The Week

Jets, 31, Titans, 24

week-14-lock.jpg
The Titans will come close, but in the end, the Jets will win, continuing their majestic playoff run.

Look, the Jets may have had some mid-season struggles, but we can all assume the cause was a banged up defense.  Look.  Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor and Antonio Cromartie were all hurt at one point.  That’s more then half the quality players on this defense, and practically the entire secondary.  They gave up a lot of passing TDs.  They can now more easily stop the pass with more, if not all of their secondary back.  The Jets are fine on weapons, just weren’t quite there health-wise.  If they had a perfectly healthy season, they might be challenging the Pats to the division.  Unfortunately Jets fans, that can’t be the case.

The Titans and their young QB Marcus Mariota is beginning to improve, but defense wins the game.  When its healthy, the Jets have a powerhouse defense.  Meanwhile, the Titans don’t have enough overall defensive weapons.  Jason McCourty is one, and they almost traded him!!!  Signing Brian Orakpo helped, but they still need more this off season.
Notable Locks: Broncos over Raiders, Chiefs over Chargers, Panthers over Falcons

Upset Of The Week

Ravens, 23, Seahawks, 7

week-14-upset.jpg
The Ravens will shock the Seahawks in this miraculous upset win.

Look, the Seahawks lost Jimmy Graham for the season a couple weeks ago.  They’ve struggled finding good wide receiver options.  Unless Thomas Rawls can carry them to a win, I don’t know what weapons Seattle has, with a good corner to guard their only other legitimate receiving weapon, Doug Baldwin.  So, this could be very difficult for Seattle, and injuries could begin to get to them, not necessarily bump them out of playoff contention, but hold them from getting too far in the playoffs.

The Ravens on the other hand, may be done with playoff hopes, but have potential to win some more game to prevent a foolish look when people look back on this season.  Young running backs Terrance West and Buck Allen, young receivers Kamar Aiken and Chris Givens, and young tight ends Maxx Williams and Crockett Gillmore, even with Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Steve Smith Sr., and Dennis Pitta all mildly hurt or done for the year, it may be tough facing the Seattle D, but the youngsters have time to shine, and they might actually beat out a banged up Seattle offense without Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Graham.
Notable Upsets: Rams over Lions, Dolphins over Giants

 

Other Games

Cardinals, 27, Vikings, 6
Eagles, 31, Bills, 14
Bengals, 31, Steelers, 27
Jaguars, 27, Colts, 21
Chiefs, 17, Chargers, 13
Bears, 24, Redskins, 16
Panthers, 21, Falcons, 10
Buccaneers, 34, Saints, 24
Rams, 34, Lions, 28
Browns, 38, 49ers, 21
Broncos, 41, Raiders, 3
Packers, 30, Cowboys, 28
Patriots, 27, Texans, 20
Dolphins, 17, Giants, 10

Team Of The Week

  1. This team has been home to multiple famous QBs at one time or another.
  2. This team has won their division without a tie for a 3rd straight year.
  3. This team went to a super bowl in this decade.
  4. This team was undefeated from at least Week 4.
  5. This team was known for cheating at some point in their history.

What team is this?  Guess in comments.

Last Week: Vikings

NFL Week 13 Match-Up Breakdown

Favorite Match-Ups

new-york-jets-logo.pngAT   new-york-giants-logo.jpg

This intense New York match-up technically has no home team, but season tickets and such give the Giants some edge.  Both of these teams have dominant offense, so watch for a shootout.  The issue is, making sure these offenses work together, despite plenty of options for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eli Manning.  So, that makes this a very intriguing match-up.  But when teams are so close like this, I usually just pick the home team.  Anyhow, there are still things to watch for from both offenses.

What To Watch For

Jets – All eyes on Jets running backs.  Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley and Bilal Powell take on a somewhat weak Giants rush D.  The secondary isn’t much better.  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has got Brandon Marshall taken care of, but also open your peepers for Eric Decker.

Giants – Can Hakeem Nicks make an impact?  Darrelle Revis is out, so either him or Rueben Randle will be left with Buster Skrine, while Antonio Cromartie takes on OBJ.  Nicks was signed by the Giants in the middle of November.

Pick A Winner!

Me            My Dad    Jill Mengel ( participates in my picks pool as well)

new-york-giants-logo.jpg    new-york-giants-logo.jpg    new-york-jets-logo.png

 

seattle-seahawks.jpg AT Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png

This may be match-up of the week. This will surely shake up the playoff picture, and it’s between two underrated teams.  The Seahawks lost Jimmy Graham last week to a torn patellar tendon.  The Seahawks must rely on other lower tier receivers like Doug Baldwin, Luke Willson and Tyler Lockett.  Meanwhile, the Vikings star running back, Adrian Peterson, will be too heavily guarded to do much against a strong Seattle defense.  Their good receiver trio will also be guarded, Charles Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Mike Wallace.  They must rely on their own tight end, Kyle Rudolph.  We last saw him at this level in 2013, when AP was hurt.

What To Watch For

Seahawks – All eyes on Thomas Rawls.  Rawls had a 60 yard game vs the Steelers last week and hopes to continue to damage the Vikings.  The rookie is the Stefon Diggs of Seattle.

Vikings – Like I said, watch for Kyle Rudolph.  He had his big year in 2013, and it’s almost seemed like he retired, but he is still really there.  If you throw to him more, maybe he’ll get his groove going again.  And just in time for Christmas :).

Pick A Winner!

Me         My Dad       Jill

Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png    Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png        seattle-seahawks.jpg

 

kansas-city-chiefs-logo.jpg AT oakland-raiders.jpg

This tough AFC West match-up could factor into deciding Denver’s faith.  If Denver wins, then it’s down to this game to decide if they clinch the division.  If the Chiefs win, then Denver’s still fighting.  If the Raiders win, they clinch.  Despite Kansas City’s red hot reign, Oakland has potential to win this game.  They’re such a feast or famine team.  Today better be a feast, despite Oakland’s recent struggles.

What To Watch For

Chiefs – Chiefs receivers Jeremy Maclin and Albert Wilson must be on their best against a weak Raiders secondary.  Watch for Jeremy Maclin to have a big game.  He’ll be motivated, with Travis Kelce under Charles Woodson’s watch.

Raiders – Amari Cooper shall feast on the Chiefs.  If Amari Cooper gets something going, he can have a third hundred yard game.  Otherwise, he’ll have a sixth 20 or less yard game.

Pick A Winner!

Me    My Dad     Jill

oakland-raiders.jpg   kansas-city-chiefs-logo.jpg  kansas-city-chiefs-logo.jpg

 

indianapolis-colts-logo.png AT pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg

In another match-up crucial to the playoff picture.  In just the blink of an eye, with a Steelers win, they’ll be in the playoff picture, and the Colts culd be out, especially if Houston wins.  Big Ben will play, even a little banged up, but they have good receiving options, and a stud handcuff to Le’ Veon Bell (MCL tear) in DeAngelo Williams.  Can Big Ben lead them to victory over Matt Hasselbeck’s Colts, 4-0 under him?

What To Watch For

Colts – Watch for Andre Johnson and other high tier receivers.  Johnson , the veteran, has been left be practically all season, and now is his time to make a mark in what may be his final season of a sensational career before retiring.

Steelers – DeAngelo Williams!!!  Williams is bound for a big game against a somewhat weak Colts Rush D.  Also look for Markus Wheaton to continue what he did last week at CenturyLink, a sequel.  Except this time, the Steelers can more easily get the W.

Pick A Winner!

Me     My Dad     Jill

pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg   pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg    pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg

Dallas Cowboys Logo.gifAT     Washington-Redskins-Logo.png

The Cowboys are missing Tony Romo again, this time for the rest of the season.  They have yet to win a game without him in the backfield.  Meanwhile, the Redskins are suddenly heating up, and snatched the weak NFC East.  Can they continue their reign over the division or will they fall.  This game is an important one to win, although it will be close.  Will Dallas stay win-less when Romo-less?

What To Watch For

Cowboys – Watch for the tight ends.  The weak Redskins secondary only has enough to cover Dez Bryant with their stars.  Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar will be left to … DOMINATE!!!  Seriously, don’t forget those tight ends.

Redskins – If their offense can keep their groove, and the youngsters continue to play as big of a role as they have, then the Redskins should be fine and win this easily.

Pick A Winner!

Me    My Dad      Jill

Washington-Redskins-Logo.png   Washington-Redskins-Logo.png     Washington-Redskins-Logo.png

 

Bold Predictions

  1. Tom Brady Throws 5 TDs for 400+ yards

I think Tom Brady will have a big game.  It’s easy against the Eagles 😀

2. J.J Watt Holds Bills To Just 100 Total Rush Yards

When you’re J.J. Watt, you dominate.  It’s what you do.

3. Jordan Cameron Goes For 100 Yards, TD

Jarvis Landry will draw Kyle Arrington’s attention.  That takes care of teh Baltimore secondary.

4. Bengals RBs have combined 200 yard game

Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard face a Browns rush D on the weaker side 0f things.

5. Despite Loss, Bortles Throws For 350, 2 TDs

Blake Bortles shall dominate the Titans defense, even if Mariota makes up for it.  It’ll be a shootout.

6. Even With Forte In, Langford Rushes For 75

Matt Forte has NaVorro Bowman.  They’ll leave Jeremy Langford alone.

7. Matt Ryan Bounces Back, Throws 4 TDs In Win

Matt Ryan’s primed for another long waited breakout weak

8. Rams Pull The Upset Switch, But Suck In Fantasy

This game will be a team effort.

9. San Diego Gets Held To 0 TDs

They can kick all the field goals they’d like!

10. CAR @ NO: Neither Team Scores Even 20

These two defenses are underrated!