Week Two Primer (2014-2015)

Cameron WakeCameron Wake is primed. Your turn!

As average as it gets for yours truly in week one action, I now sit at 8-8 on the year so far. Time to rub the crystal ball with a little more conviction…

Week One Picks

Buffalo 27 – Miami 23

This has been a rough matchup for Miami in recent years, regardless of how the two teams finish their seasons. It seems winnable for Miami in particular because of the huge win over the Patriots they’re coming off of. Of course, that’s also priming for a letdown. I’m leaning towards the latter.

Detroit 20 – Carolina 14

In time, I expect the Panthers to look similar to the 2013 version that won the NFC South. However, I smell a bit of an upset here in Carolina. The Lions may have mystified me based on their porous competition (Giants) last week, but the whole team looked like a team for the first time in years. That sort of effort, with their talent, can be a threat to any other in the league.

Cincinnati 33 – Atlanta 20

The Falcons shocked a lot of people with their inspired play against the Saints last week, myself more than most. I still think they’re a team with holes, particularly in the running game and across their defense. The types of holes a better Bengals team, at home, can and should exploit.

Cleveland 27 – New Orleans 24

Upset of the week, perhaps? The Saints are not as steady on the road, and that does factor into this decision, but what’s more vital to this matchup is how energized both teams will be coming off of near-wins against divisional foes last week. That, plus Cleveland’s home field advantage and progressing offense, equals a possible upset that I’m banking on.

New England 30 – Minnesota 24

With or without Adrian Peterson (I won’t be touching that story, don’t worry), I couldn’t see the Vikings getting past a motivated and embarrassed Patriots team this week, even at home. I do think, however, that Minnesota will keep it honest and show more of the fight that allowed them to blow out the Rams last week.

Arizona 30 – New York 13

I think we all need to get used to seeing the Giants struggle. Unlike years past, they simply don’t have the personnel to rise above the competition. It’s no slight of Tom Coughlin or new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, just a bitter fact that teams like Arizona are going to give us examples of during a long, long year for Giants’ fans.

Tennessee 33 – Dallas 26

It’s not difficult for a veteran team like the Cowboys to correct mistakes, but it is difficult for a defense as bad as theirs to correct a talent deficiency. The Titans beat a depleted-yet-better-than-Dallas team in Kansas City last week, and they’re on the right path. Look for a similar outcome, but with a little more work out of Dallas’ offense.

Washington 24 – Jacksonville 17

I gave serious consideration to flipping a coin before realizing that Washington has too much talent to lose games like this. Of course, all that talent means nothing when turnovers become routine. If Washington can fix that, and get RG3 playing more confident, they’ve still got a chance this year. This would be as good a time as any to get the ball rolling (or not rolling, in this case).

Seattle 31 – San Diego 21

The Seahawks looked way too good against the Packers for me to think a road trip is going to hurt them, especially not one down the coast. The Chargers have the ability to pull off the upset, but Seattle has the ability to nullify that, and one outweighs the other too much to pick it any other way.

Tampa Bay 20 – St. Louis 13

The offensive drought in St. Louis will continue against a stout Buc defense. Beyond that, this is going to be a messy game by all indications, something akin to last week’s Jets-Raiders mashup.

Denver 34 – Kansas City 17

Last year, a fit and talented Chiefs team looked to take their division away from the eventual AFC Champions. They couldn’t win either game, and this year, the Chiefs are sinking fast while the Broncos are just a’rollin’ along. They’ll keep rollin’ this week.

Green Bay 40 – New York 24

This is going to be ugly. While the Jets boast a tremendous front seven, the Packers boast Aaron Rodgers, who treats pressure like a bothersome fly. New York doesn’t have the firepower to keep up, and the Packers’ defense is already more dynamic with Julius Peppers taking pressure off of Clay Matthews. Geno Smith is going to feel the heat.

Houston 17 – Oakland 13

JJ Watt puts up about 10 dynamic plays; sacks, blocked passes, maybe an INT or forced fumble. He pretty much wills his team to victory. Again. The Raiders have a long, long way to go. Derek Carr doesn’t look too bad, though.

San Fransisco 28 – Chicago 17

With the possibility of Brandon Marshall AND Alshon Jeffery missing or at least being limited in this game, almost all hope of the Bears pulling off the upset goes up in smoke. I’m not 100% sold on this 49ers team yet, but starting 2-0 while waiting for core players to return from injuries is certainly huge.

Philadelphia 38 – Indianapolis 31

Offensive onslaught. Both ways. Neither defense has the bodies to cover one another, so this comes down to clever Chip Kelly playcalling, keeping the ball out of Andrew Luck’s hands early and often enough to pull out a close, exciting one. Fantasy owners: sit the defenses, start everyone else.

Fantasy Start’Em/Sit’Em

Start ‘Em

EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (No brainer perhaps, just don’t want to see anyone get nervous about the matchup.)
Giovanni Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills
Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Mason Crosby, K, Green Bay Packers
Denver Broncos D/ST

Sit ‘Em

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins
Martellus Bennet, TE, Chicago Bears
Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets D/ST

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Week 16 Primer

This week’s primer is coming at you a couple of days early, due to Kevbo Industries’ (my) vacation starting Saturday. So get a leg up on your friends with some expert picks (and enjoy my little summary of my fantasy football season afterwards) and have yourselves a great Christmas and drunken New Years!

Week 16 Picks

Miami 31 – Buffalo 24

Despite beating the Patriots for the first time in four years last week, the heart-attack Dolphins will find a way to almost lose against a lesser Bills squad. Keyword: almost.

Carolina 33 – New Orleans 21

In the biggest game in the NFC South this year, the Saints’ road woes will most likely continue in a stadium that should be rocking in the wrong direction. Cam Newton continues to impress, and as long as he and his defense do their jobs, the division is clearly within their grasp.

Cincinnati 27 – Minnesota 21

The Vikings have been upsetting playoff hopefuls for about a month now, but they struggle on the road, and the Bengals have to be fully aware that their postseason fortunes ride on playing mistake-free, consistent football from here on out. It won’t be an easy win, but I look for the Bungles to get it done this week (at least).

Denver 31 – Houston 21

I’m not seeing the barnstormer most others are, particularly because, despite their record, the Texans have a decent enough defense to keep Peyton Manning (relatively) honest. Still, this is a game the Broncos would have to choke on mightily to lose.

Jacksonville 30 – Tennessee 24

In a game that doesn’t matter for anything other than heart, whose got the bigger heart? Of late, it can’t be argued that the Jaguars are playing better despite having nothing on the line but pride.

Kansas City 41 – Indianapolis 27

This may be an early preview of a wildcard matchup in a couple of weeks and, much to the disappointment of Colts fans everywhere, it should play out in a fairly lopsided fashion. These Chiefs are really starting to find their offensive stride, which could be a frightening prospect for the rest of the AFC come playoff time.

Cleveland 20 – New York 13

Another game of heart, but the matchup clearly favors the Jets. Or does it? Flip a coin on this one, but bank on neither team winning so much as one of the two losing. If that makes sense.

Tampa Bay 24 – St. Louis 14

After upsetting the Saints, the Rams will do what the Rams have done for most of the year and simply look like a different team against lesser competition. The Bucs are starting to figure some things out, and more than anything, seem to have at least a glimmer of an answer to their QB situation, a definite advantage over the Rams.

Washington 40 – Dallas 35

Balls will fly. Backs will bulldoze. Defenses will collapse. In the end, I expect one Tony Romo turnover to be the difference. How can anyone honestly expect different?

New York 24 – Detroit 20

Prepare yourselves, Lions fans; your disappointing season is about to hit a new low.

Arizona 21 – Seattle 20

In an upset of major proportions, I have a gut feeling that we’re going to see a sense of urgency and aggressiveness out of this Cardinals team that the Seahawks, who are already a lock for the postseason, won’t be prepared to match. Not even with the 12th man behind them.

Baltimore 26 – New England 24

Justin Tucker beats Tom Brady. Nobody is sure how that headline will go over, but we won’t be able to avoid it.

Green Bay 30 – Pittsburgh 24

The Packers are riding some big victories of late and, despite going Rodger-less for another week, match up favorably against a Steelers team that is shaky on the road. This is about as close of a call as it gets, so feel free to switch the teams around. I might before too many people read this…

San Diego 41 – Oakland 21

Unleash the Kraken! Aka Phillip Rivers. Raiders fans, your season is over, stop watching and save yourself for the offseason. This is going to get ugly.

Philadelphia 33 – Chicago 28

LeSean McCoy, LeSean McCoy and more LeSean McCoy is the key here. Oh, and don’t forget LeSean McCoy.

San Fransisco 31 – Atlanta 6

For some reason, Monday Night just won’t have the same luster as it usually does this week. Hmm, I wonder why…

My Fantasy Season In A Nutshell

I missed the draft in my main league:

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After I drafted in my own league:

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Season progresses, I lose as often as I win. Somehow, with help from other people losing, I make the playoffs in both leagues:

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I proceed to lose in the first round in both leagues:

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Week Four Primer

Each Sunday morning during the season, I’ll be bringing you my picks for each game and some last-minute fantasy football advice for you league legions out there. As always, enjoy and I hope it helps you with your picks/leagues!

Week 4 Picks

Baltimore 27 – Buffalo 13

We’re beginning to see the Ravens right the ship after a shaky start, and with or without Ray Rice, the Bills and their banged up defense will be the least of their worries as the Ravens D hassles E.J. Manuel into another learning experience.

Cincinnati 30 – Cleveland 17

The first Battle of Ohio takes place on the Browns’ terms, coming off of an impressive win and playing their next door rivals on their own field. None of that will matter when the game is over, as the best team (who is coming off of a much more impressive win over the Packers) takes this one handily.

Chicago 34 – Detroit 24

This one could tip in the other direction is Reggie Bush can be as much of an X factor as he was in week one, but there’s something about these ‘new’ bears under Trestman that feels much improved over their 2012 version, and it’s not just in the 3-0 record.

Seattle 20 – Houston 17

This juuuust might be where Seattle is truly put to the test; on the road, where they’re nowhere near as consistent as they are at home, against a solid team. But I’m not going to bank on it until I see it, and neither should you.

Indianapolis 31 – Jacksonville 17

Anyone playing against the Jaguars should feel good about their chances, “trap game” or no. The mouse traps coach Chuck Pagano spread around the team’s practice facility during the week should be an ample enough reminder that the better team still needs to show up and prove it regardless of the opponent.

Kansas City 23 – New York 20

No repeat performance of last week’s debacle, but the Giants will most likely be staring at the sort of record that teams simply don’t rise up from after Andy Reid and his knowledge of his former NFC East foes gives them a little Midwestern hospitality.

Minnesota 17 – Pittsburgh 10

The trip to London will sap both 0-3 team in terms of stamina and energy, but I’ll take the team with the beast in the backfield over the team with the least in the backfield. If the Vikings can’t get to Roethlisberger, this one tips in Pittsburgh’s favor.

Arizona 28 – Tampa Bay 20

The troubles in Tampa are just starting, and unless Mike Glennon comes out and looks like Andrew Luck from game one, the Cardinals should find a way to pull this one out.

Tennessee 16 – New York 13

In a battle of evenly matched teams, I usually tip the scales in the home team’s favor, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Rex Ryan’s defense absolutely batters Jake Locker and manages to keep Chris Johnson from being a game-changer.

Denver 41 – Philadelphia 31

The Eagles will harass Denver for most of this game, regardless of what the critics say, but Chip Kelly needs to learn to adapt his high-speed offense further and switch-hit every once in awhile with something we like to call “keep-away”. The recipe for beating Peyton Manning is a defense that has 12 men on the field and a running game that can work for four quarters; sadly, the Eagles only have one of these elements, and even that is in doubt because of their head coach’s need for speed.

Washington 34 – Oakland 24

This has to be the week the Redskins get back on track. If they’re looking at 0-4 after playing a team as shaky as Oakland, regardless of the cross-country trip…well, Jim Haslett is going to be looking for work elsewhere soon enough, and the organization is going to have to bring in defensive help immediately.

San Diego 30 – Dallas 27

This one will go down to the last seconds I believe, but I’m giving the Chargers the edge for one reason and one reason only: home field advantage. See the Tennessee – NYJ matchup.

New England 27 – Atlanta 21

At 3-0, the critics want to say New England hasn’t faced a “real challenge” yet. Every NFL game is a challenge, especially when your top-tier QB is not in sync with his offensive weapons. No Gronk, no Amendola, but the Patriots defense will limit the banged up Falcons much like the Dolphins did last week and pull this one out.

New Orleans 35 – Miami 24

Yeah, I just don’t see this going in my team’s favor, regardless of what direction I look at it in. It would take an incredible amount of overachieving by a team that’s not as accustomed to winning big games on the big stage, and that dome is feared by every team in the league. Brees is going to have a monster stat line, whether or not Cameron Wake manages to get on the field. I believe I mentioned that I wouldn’t be picking against my team again after we pulled off the upset in Atlanta, but…I have to go with logic over emotion.

Fantasy Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Start ‘Em

Phillip Rivers – QB – San Diego Chargers
Michael Vick – QB – Philadelphia Eagles
Trent Richardson – RB – Indianapolis Colts
Alfred Morris – RB – Washington Redskins
Dwayne Bowe – WR – Kansas City Chiefs
Marques Colston – WR – New Orleans Saints
Dallas Clark – TE – Baltimore Ravens
Martellus Bennet – TE – Chicago Bears
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST
Rob Bironas – K – Tennessee Titans

Sit ‘Em

Andy Dalton – QB – Cincinnati Bengals
Matt Schaub – QB – Houston Texans
David Wilson – RB – New York Giants
Reggie Bush – RB – Detroit Lions
Andre Johnson – WR – Houston Texans
Greg Jennings – WR – Minnesota Vikings
Jermaine Gresham – TE – Cincinnati Bengals
Kyle Rudolph – TE – Minnesota Vikings
Miami Dolphins D/ST
Randy Bullock – K – Houston Texans

 

 

 

Week Three Primer

Each Sunday morning during the season, I’ll be bringing you my picks for each game and some last-minute fantasy football advice for you league legions out there. As always, enjoy and I hope it helps you with your picks/leagues!

Week 3 Picks

Baltimore 24 – Houston 21

I’m going with my gut on this one, and the gutsy, ugly way the Ravens are capable of winning will likely surface in a game that could easily go either way. These are the games that Baltimore has a better recent history of finding a way to win.

New York 34 – Carolina 28

This has to be the week the G-Men turn things around, right? Eli is facing a secondary that is absolutely riddled with injuries and inexperience, and whether or not the running game gets going, he should slice and dice the Panthers. If the Giants lose this game, the rest of the season starts to look rather bleak.

Green Bay 31 – Cincinnati – 20

The Packers first two games were shootouts where their defense was looking across the field at an unconventional offense, with QBs that could just as easily beat them with their feet as their arms. Against a more conventional, vanilla offense, the pash rush will come to life while Rodgers does his thing against a stout defense.

Dallas 24 – St. Louis 20

In a game the Cowboys could easily lose, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt for two reasons. First and foremost, they’re more potent on offense. Second, home field advantage. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the talking heads of postgame, halftime and NFL Network start chants of “Same old Cowboys” after this one.

Minnesota  27 – Cleveland 9

Without Trent Richardson, the Browns offense suddenly looks like a disaster area. The Vikings, despite Christan Ponder’s uninspiring play, will handily beat the Browns and kickstart a bit of a revival towards relevance in the NFC North.

New England 20 – Tampa Bay 10

The inevitable collapse of the Buccaneers will continue this week, as they stumble into Foxborough and are taken advantage of by a Patriots defense that feeds off of turnovers. This isn’t the week the Patriots offense suddenly explodes, but they’re winning games the way they did when they used to win Superbowls…and the ‘W’ is all that matters in the end.

New Orleans 27 – Arizona 20

They won’t need the last-minute heroics of Sean Payton and Drew Brees to take this one, but it’ll still be a close shave. The Cardinals aren’t cutting anyone breaks this year, but then again, neither are the Saints.

San Diego 31 – Tennessee – 21

The resurgence of Philip Rivers will continue against a team that just can’t seem to find a balance or an identity. The injuries are piling up for the Chargers, but once again my gut tells me they take to the road and get things done this week.

Washington 38 – Detroit 31

The defense will still look like hammered sh*t by the end of the game, but this is the week for the Skins to begin turning things around. The Lions are going nowhere, and it’s as baffling now as it has been for the past several years…they find a way to get in their own way better than any team in the NFL.

Atlanta 30 – Miami 24

I am a homer, but I have my limits, and my Fins beating the Falcons, despite all of Atlanta’s injuries, is pushing those limits. Would a Miami win surprise me? More than a little, but at the same time, this is the week where we sort of determine where we’re truly heading in 2013. Closer than last year, but still not quite capable of pulling out these kind of wins…that’s my feeling on it.

Buffalo 20 – New York 17

Another bit of last-minute heroics for the better of the two rookie QBs on these teams? Sure, why not? The Jets will mostly limit the Bills defensively, but with a shaky offense and the inevitable C.J. Spiller breaks for big chunks, the Jets won’t have the answers in a close one.

Seattle 31 – Jacksonville 3

If the Seahawks are as good as they decided they were last Sunday, then this game is going to be the 2nd easiest to pick in week 3. Marshawn Lynch fantasy owners, prepare to win your games.

49ers 27 – Indianapolis 21

The Colts won’t make it easy, and the 49ers are starting to show some holes on their defense that simply didn’t exist (or were more easily covered up) last year. Still, the trip into Candlestick will not fare well for the Colts, with or without Trent Richardson. Ultimately, it’ll be the Luck that runs a little too low this week.

Chicago 28 – Pittsburgh 17

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who thinks the Steelers’ woes will suddenly reverse course against this Bears team is simply living in denial of what I’ve been saying since before the season began; Pittsburgh is heading in the wrong direction, and they’re doing it at a speed that is going to cost more than one person a job. Paging Todd Haley…and bring your ridiculous playbook.

Denver 45 – Oakland 20

No doubt the easiest pick of the week, the Broncos will keep on (steam)rolling against the lowly Raiders. Darren McFadden has been a thorn of sorts in the Broncos’ side throughout his career, but that won’t be anywhere near enough to keep up with Mile High Manning ™.

Fantasy Start ’em/Sit ’em

Most ‘experts’ do this by position, but I’m just going to throw up 10 guys for each side that I think will have great/terrible weeks statistically. I’m right more often than I’m wrong, folks! Give me Fabiano’s job.

Start ’em

Jay Cutler – QB – Chicago Bears
Robert Griffin III – QB – Washington Redskins
Marshawn Lynch – RB – Seattle Seahawks
Chris Johnson – RB – Tennessee Titans
Matt Forte – RB – Chicago Bears
Anquan Boldin – WR – San Fransisco 49ers
Eddie Royal – WR – San Diego Chargers
Julius Thomas – TE – Denver Broncos
Matt Prater – K – Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks D/ST

Sit ‘Em

Andy Dalton – QB – Cincinnati Bengals
Tom Brady – QB – New England Patriots
James Starks – RB – Green Bay Packers
Maurice Jones-Drew – RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Dez Bryant – WR – Dallas Cowboys (you almost can’t, but If I had him, I would without hesitation this week.)
Marques Colston – WR – New Orleans Saints
Jermichael Finley – TE – Green Bay Packers
Ed Dickson – TE – Balitmore Ravens
Rob Bironas – K – Tennessee Titans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST