Falcons vs Saints Predictions, Picks, Odds, Preview - Week

2020 NFL Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips | NFC South | Falcons - Panthers - Saints - Buccaneers

2020 NFL Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips | NFC South | Falcons - Panthers - Saints - Buccaneers submitted by WagerTalk to WagerTalk [link] [comments]

Meditations on Week 15 NFL Losses

You wake up, not in a cold sweat, but in a hot shame. Your daughter’s crying at 2:57 AM, so you put her on her changing station and throw away the old diaper. You shake your head as you recall writing “$0.00 – sorry, the Redskins didn’t cover” on the tip line of your restaurant receipt, and you consider the merits of trading places with the discarded diaper.
The ESPN highlights from last night play in your mind like colorized footage of bombing runs on cityscapes from World War 2. It’s dark in the nursery, and the baby is crying. She’s pounding the changing station the same way you pounded the table when the Falcons recovered a fumble in the endzone to tilt the score above your under bet.
Suddenly, she stops, and in a single moment the tantrum and the tears are completely silenced. Did her neo-natal mind reach a revelation? Was she already smart enough not to take Jared Goff on the road, even against a spiraling Cowboys team? She clears her throat, and it feels like a moment before her first words. The silence reaches a crescendo, and you’re afraid she’s going to condemn you for devastating her college fund with her first words.
Hands outstretched in breathless anticipation, a strange confidence comes over you. It reminds you of the confidence you felt when you took Hodges to have 3 or fewer INTs in your player props. Then, a tremendous fart erupts.
Nothing oozes like a shit.

Phase I: Denial
It didn’t happen. The Raiders didn’t heartbreak their home faithful in the last game Oakland will ever see against a road Jaguars team that had lost six straight. (The Jags hadn’t won since October!) The Titans didn’t lose to the Texans, who got beat at home last week by the Broncos, 38-24. (Carlson missed two late field goals!) The Arizona Cardinals didn’t score 38 points when they’ve only scored more than 30 once this season. (How did the refs escape Oakland Coliseum with their lives?)
Home favorites are 47-81-5 ATS. How is that reality?
It didn’t happen.

Phase II: Anger
Fuck the slate this week. From the predictable Patriots win to Eli Manning beating the Dolphins, and the media treating it like he just slayed Tom Brady in the Super Bowl for a third time. That asshole barely breaks in the top 3 quarterbacks to have the name Manning, and they want to talk about his hall of fame candidacy?
Fuck the Jets for rolling over so predictably in a primetime game. Fuck the Bengals for tanking so apparently so they can acquire Joe Burrow just to trade him to another team that knows what the fuck they’re doing 2 seasons down the road from now. Fuck the Panthers for the backdoor cover in a non-division game that didn’t mean shit to them. Fuck the Bears for losing and not making the playoffs, ruining another future bet that looked so right. Fuck the Broncos for their horse-faced GM – Never has a quarterback’s face looked more like the team he represented* – Fuck the Titans for blowing such an obvious home smash spot. Fuck the Redskins for blowing the game, the spread, and the future in the same ham-fisted fumble. Fuck the Browns for losing what should have been a Baker Mayfield revenge game - No wonder Kingsbury didn’t start you, cuz. You suck. – Fuck the Chargers for Jekyll and Hyding again between last week’s 45-10 win on the road and today’s 39-10 loss at “home” – Rivers has a field goal’s worth more kids than playoff wins. Fuck the Super Bowl hungover Rams, and that’s all they deserve. Fuck the 49ers for looking tremendous against the Ravens and the Saints, only to come home and collapse like Weekend at Bernie’s. Fuck the Steelers for their dogged determination in the face of Vietnam-esque casualties. And fuck the Raiders anyway. Fuck those 53 assholes, and the sorry division they belong to. Fuck the AFC West, led by Patrick Mahomes and his Kermit the Frog voice. Fuck the AFC altogether, and then throw in the NFC for good measure. Fuck the impotent league commissioner, who has only made the game slower, softer, and outright worse. Ironic because players have only grown faster, stronger, and outright better.
Fuck the losers this week, and fuck the winners. And fuck me for betting on this chaos.
*Ryan Fitzpatrick with Tampa last year did look like a damn Buccaneer.

Phase III: Bargaining
Still not through with anger. Like trying to trade losses for going Christmas shopping with my sister is going to mean a damn now?

Phase IV: Depression
You don’t have any skin in the game, because you have neither thick skin nor game. You’re the worst kind of bettor: a play-it-safe heart bettor. Always chasing the underdog narrative so long as the narrative is comfortably favored by at least -140. You disgrace competition with your soft decision-making. You’re sloppy. The house knows it by the look of you, loose wager receipts coming out of your cheap clothes. When virtuous people think of gambling, they think of a lurid cesspool, and you’re the direct embodiment of it.
Why do you do it, you desperate sack of oozing shit?

Phase V: Acceptance.
Take a deep breath.
If you go max bet on the Saints minus points, you can start to recoup some of the devastation. Brissett is a lock to throw a pick. And of course Jack Doyle will score a tuddy. Then, next week the Packers and Patriots are a lock, so you throw them in a parlay. And Bucs-Texans will go over…
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2019 Offseason Review Series: Day 18 - The Carolina Panthers

Team: The Carolina Panthers

Division: The NFC South

It’s that time of year again! After a season that could best be described as “a hangover you don’t deserve”, we watched the Panthers soar to a 6-2 record. After a beatdown of eventual playoff caliber Baltimore, It finally looked like we were poised to shrug off our non-consecutive winning streak habit. But it was not meant to be. A combination of shallow defensive depth and a lingering shoulder issue for Cam Newton saw us collapse down the stretch, and we ended 7-9 winning only a single game. After watching the sharp downturn of our fortunes, questions surrounding our QB’s health and a major exodus of our most tenured veteran talent, one could be forgiven for a glum outlook on the franchise’s future going into this offseason.
But despite the spirit in which we entered it, this offseason has been a resounding success. And one that leaves little doubt that we’re an improved team despite our more prominent losses. What follows is a point for point breakdown in how we made the transition from collapsed contender to potential comeback story.

Coaching Changes

None whatsoever.
From both the commentator sphere and other fanbases, the Panthers were pretty roundly rebuked for hiring offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Despite alarms being raised over 7 step drops and an over reliance on deep shot, Turner was a revelation for our offense. He apparently meant every word of emphasizing high completion throws and taking pressure off of Cam, and we began to see looks for our QB that were totally absent in the Mike Shula era. He’s now had a chance to throw dump offs, and to have reliable comeback options. Cam, prior to breaking down, was enjoying one of the best seasons of his career and despite the shoulder injury, still finished with a career high completion percentage. Christian McCaffery, our other offensive mainstay, saw his rushing efficiency go from 3.7 YPC his rookie season to 5.0 yards in year two, with his total scrimmage yardage upticking from 1,086 to 1,965 in Norv’s new passing and blocking system. Turner’s tenure thus far has been an unmitigated success and a refreshing change of pace from the stale, dull system we fell into under Shula.
The other transition, from Steve Wilkes to Eric Washington at defensive coordinator, yielded decidedly more mixed results. Washington, simply put, was not good in his transition from the DL coach. In over his depth. He struggled all year, culminating in Rivera assuming defensive playcalling down the stretch. The turnaround in our defense once he did was remarkable, though by that point, Cam was falling apart so visibly that what happened on that side of the ball no longer mattered. Washington has been retained for the upcoming season, but Rivera’s going to keep the playcalling duties.
And captaining the ship is Rivera himself. Despite a call for his head among our fanbase’s more frustrated elements, Rivera was kept for 2019. And I’m glad for it. All or Nothing (though I’ve not had a chance to see it) provided a window into his management style, vindicating some like me who pushed back against narratives that he was a dispassionate robot. And while I’m a bit higher on Ron than many, I don’t think it’s unsafe at all to say that none of the coaching hires would have represented an obvious upgrade. At the end of the day, Rivera lead a squad to 6-2 before his QB’s season derailed, which is not really on him. He could maybe be criticized for letting Washington fail for too long, but at the end of the day, few of our woes from last year can be solely attributed to him. While this is certainly a put up or get out year for Rivera, I have little doubt that he’ll be leading the gang come 2020 as well.


Thomas Davis, LB - Now we get into the stuff that hurts. And this one really, really hurts. I understand it. We needed to figure out whether Thompson could stand on his own like, yesterday so we can decide his long term potential. Davis, while still playing at a high level, is an old man for the position he plays. Letting him walk was a logical decision. But none of it changes the fact that Davis has been the soul of this defense for over a decade, and was easily one of the most beloved players and leaders over the 14 years he spent with us. He will be missed, both for his play and his spirit.
Julius Peppers, DE - Speaking of franchise staples, long time DE and future Hall of Fame inductee Julius Peppers’ watch has ended. Unlike Davis, who we simply allowed to leave, Pep has called it a career. And what a career it was. Though almost every single article about our defensive adjustments leads off with “With Peppers retiring, the Panthers no longer have anyone who can rush the passer”, the reality is that Pep did far less than his opposite in Mario Addison to that effect. Though he came back to us in 2017 with a monster 11 sack season, that number was always misleading given how few pressures he accomplished it on. Last year, he came back down to earth. It was time, and while I wish we could have given Pep one last, Super Bowl winning hurrah, a new direction was needed.
Ryan Kalil, C - Ryan Kalil rounds out our list of beloved departing veterans. The anchor of our offensive line for 12 years has hung up his cleats. Of all the offseason changes, this was by far the scariest, as the difference between Cam with and without a good center of the course of his career has been stark and terrifying. Kalil was a damn good player right up to the end, though the rash of injuries he suffered between 2016 and 2018 clearly took their toll on his performance. And while we have replaced him (and debatably upgraded), Kalil was both a locker room leader and a damn good contributor that will be missed by all.
Devin Funchess, WR - We now get into the departures who will be less missed. Funchess, admittedly, gets a bit of a bad wrap from our fanbase who often talk about him as though he were trash. While not trash, he is at least very replaceable. In fact, Funchess replacement began well before the expiration of his contract, as he had been fully supplanted by rookie DJ Moore and sophomore Curtis Samuel down the stretch last year. By the end, he was a healthy scratch. While I’m sure he’s going to put up numbers in Andrew Luck’s offense, Funchess is no sort of elite talent. He’s a big body who fails to gain separation and who inconsistently leverages his size to his advantage. I view his upside as a Brandon LaFell type of guy. And that type of guy is no longer a fit for what we’re trying to do.
Matt Kalil, OT - If the Carolina fandom is ambivalent about Funyun’s departure, we’re positively giddy about this one. Cut with a June 1st designation, Kalil saved us the money that allowed other moves to be possible. Though the shine has come off the diamond that was Gettleman’s tenure with us, the man often doesn’t get the credit he should. He did do a great deal for us, particularly his completely unheralded building of our OL (No less than 3 of our 5 starters this coming season will have been Gettleman acquisitions). But by far the biggest mistake in his tenure was the massive albatros of a contract he doled out to Matt Kalil, who could not have failed more spectacularly (or predictably) to live up to it.
Mike Adams, FS - I speak on behalf of the fanbase when I say that we have nothing but respect for Adams. He was a solid player and a veteran leader who spent his last two years giving lift to a secondary that hasn’t seen a great safety tandem since the Clinton Administration. But your eyes don’t deceive. We really were running his 37 year old ass out there as a free safety. And that simply could not be allowed to continue. I wish Adams the best, but it was time to move on.


Matt Paradis, C - Here’s the fun stuff. After losing Kalil to retirement, we signed former Broncos safety Matt Paradis to replace him. At only 29, Paradis represents a significant youthening at the position, and for a guy whose upside is top 5 at the position, we got him at a significant discount. Obviously that discount was due to medical risks, which prompted his release by the Broncos in the first place. But Paradis’ has been fully cleared from day 1 and avoided the PUP list. By all accounts, he’s in tip top shape. We’ll obviously see how that holds up as the season gets underway, but Paradis is definitely one of the steals of the 2019 free agency period and I could not be happier to have him. His arrival is enormous for our prospects, and has turned our biggest positional question mark into an area of strength.
Daryl Williams, OT - It’s a bit disingenuous to call Williams an arrival, as he never actually left. But that he never left is nothing short of remarkable. After a 2017 All Pro season, Williams suffered a major setback of an injury in 2018 training camp that eventually turned into a season ending injury after he tried to rush back. Still though, the League is constantly hungry for All Pro level OT talent and I was sure Williams was going to get scooped up. Instead, he signed a 1 year, $6 million deal to come back to us, and short of black magic I’m not entirely sure how Marty Hurney pulled it off. Williams is a terrific player who can play many parts of the OL. He can slot in at LG if rookie OT Greg Little can win the LT job, but also provides insurance at LT if he can’t. He and Moton playing opposite one another represents the best OT tandem that Cam Newton has ever enjoyed.
Gerald McCoy, DT - Awwwww yeah! My all time favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneer is now a Carolina Panther. McCoy is a rock solid DT who truly needs no introduction from me. How we plan to use him is a bit murkier, but use him we definitely will. I suspect to see McCoy playing DT opposite Kawaan Short in our 3-4 looks (more on that in a minute), to line up next to him in our 5-2 looks, and to work with him on pass rushing 4-3 sets. He adds more juice to a pass rush that already saw a healthy injection of talent this year, and is more consistent in the run game than some of the other DL on the roster, which was a notable area of weakness last season. He fits the versatility first mold that’s going to allow Rivera to mix up our defensive looks as transition fully to a hybrid, and is a terrific leader in the locker room besides. Our beat writers have described him as “joined at the hip” with Kawaan Short, and I fully expect the pair to make one another better.
Bruce Irvin, OLB - Perhaps the first real signal that this wasn’t going to be the Carolina defense of yesteryear, Irvin is a vet leadership, change of pace signing. In moving to a hybrid defense, we acquired a number of rookie talents to complement OLBs like Marquis Hayes. Irvin rounds out that group, and provides us with a valuable cog in pass rushing sets and a good leader for the younguns. Though he’s not as disruptive as he once was, Irvin is a rock solid player who provides us with quality depth and leadership.
Chris Hogan, WR - A graduate of the Patriots Random White Guy Academy, Hogan flashed serious potential for his first couple of years in New England before getting gradually phased out of the offense. I’m not expecting much, but he has the potential to help us on deep balls and it’s generally never a bad thing to have more talent at WR.
Aldrick Robinson, WR - Robinson does one thing and one thing only, which is catch touchdowns. Conveniently, that’s one thing we struggled with last season. But with Greg Olsen now fully healthy and a sudden wealth of other options at WR, I would give Robinson long odds of making the roster.


Pick 1.16: Brian Burns, DE/OLB - I am still in shock that Brian Burns was available at pick #16. I wanted him very badly, but I was certain he’d be an Atlanta Falcon. Instead, people allowed him to fall all the way to us and I couldn’t be happier. Burns is the apotheosis of what we’re trying to accomplish with our defensive transition. He’s a guy as comfortable upright as he is with his hand in the dirt. While he lacks strength as a run defender, he has incredible burst off the edge and a ludicrously high ceiling as a pass rusher. I think he landed on a terrific team to turn that potential into reality and I’m extremely excited about what he can do with us.
Pick 2.37 Greg Little, OT - Every description I’ve ever read of Little has described him as “Pro Ready”, and the team clearly drafted him with an eye on starting at LT. Luckily, we’ve hedged that bet a bit with the Daryl Williams signing, but Little still projects as a talented young player with a high floor and a well rounded skillset. If not the LT starter this year, he’ll almost certainly have the job to himself next season.
PIck 3.100 Will Grier, QB - Boy did this piss people off at the time. Though cooler heads have since prevailed, this pick was seen by one group of reactionaries as an indictment on Cam’s health, and another as a wasted pick on a player who will never produce for us. The reality is neither. While Cam’s health is in good shape (put a pin it), we were put in a position last year in which he needed to rest a clearly deteriorating shoulder, but we had no faith in the men behind him to win games. If that’s the state of your backup, you need a better backup. This is a team that has seen playoff runs hinge on a game or two that Derek Anderson filled in for. So even as high as pick 100, Grier was a worthy investment. In terms of his playstyle, Grier slots as an accurate QB with a good deep ball and a cerebral style, but average arm strength and mediocre release.
Pick 4.115 Christian Miller, OLB - Like Burns, Miller projects as a do-all DE/OLB who can play either upright or down low. He’s an athletic prospect whose game is a bit raw, but who checks all the measurable boxes. Likely a top 50 player before injuries kept him out of the pre-draft process, Miller represents a hell of a value at 115. I suspect we’ll see he and Burns as long term staples of the pass rush.
Pick 5.114 Jordan Scarlett, RB - This was a bit of an odd one, but I’ve warmed to it over time. Scarlett is a bruising, violent running back who I’m almost certain was drafted to lend a hand in the red zone. As a change of pace to CMC, the two could not be more different. But coaches thus far have raved about his conditioning and power, so the pick may not have been as crazy as it looked at the time. Having said that, while I don’t think anyone should ever get upset over a 5th round pick, I do think we could have found better value at this position. Scarlett wasn’t likely to be gone by the time we selected our next player.
Pick 6.212 Denis Daley, OT - I like this pick quite a bit. Daley had a rough statline in terms of sacks allowed when facing a veritable who’s who of elite college pass rushers (Jachari Polite, Josh Allan, Clelin Ferrell among them). But in spite of that, scouting reports consistently cite both his physical gifts and his improvement as the season went on. If he can cut down on his most egregious habits (most notably his overeager lunging at edge rushers), he has legit starting potential.
Pick 7.237 Terry Godwin, WR - Godwin’s whole game is predicated on speed and football IQ. At 5’11, it’s certainly not coming from his physical measurables. But he was by all accounts a high work ethic, smart players who contributed admirably in his four years as Georgia starter. Godwin’s ceiling is likely a Curtis Samuel backup, but his early rapport with Cam makes me think he’ll stick on the roster despite his late draft spot.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Offense - With Cam’s health reportedly looking good (particularly his ability to throw deep; something he was never capable of throughout Camp) and the team adapting so well to Norv Turner’s system, I think offense as a whole is a good place to start. Though I said it last year, only to be hilariously wrong, Greg Olsen is operating at 100% as well, which provides a boost to our red zone effectiveness that is difficult to measure. By the end of last year, both DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel appeared to be on the cusp of a major breakout, both proving themselves so reliable that Devin Funchess was a healthy scratch by week 17. Those two should continue to grow, and Jarius Wright has proven to be a valuable slot receiver. And, of course, there’s CMC, who will continue to be our best offensive weapon not named Cam Newton. With good health and plenty of diverse options, I suspect the good times to continue to roll as we enter year two of Turner’s stewardship.
Offensive Line - I can’t emphasize this enough, but our offensive line is nasty. With Williams’ return, we now have an All Pro OT to pair with breakout sensation Taylor Moton, which makes for an excellent tandem. Matt Paradis replaces, and if we’re being honest, provides an upgrade over Ryan Kalil, and Trai Turner is as effective a RG as ever. LG will likely be manned by whichever of Williams or Little doesn’t win LT, and Greg Van Roten (who’s performed admirably at the position) is still in the building as well. This is a very solid group of players, and a massive upgrade over what we had to work with last year.
Pass Rush - This was a major area of concern last year, but I’m happy with where we’re at now. The transition to a hybrid defense was the right call for our personnel set, and between the draft and free agency, we’ve upgraded across the board. McCoy is a huge boost to our interior pressure and Brian Burns should contribute immediately. Efe Obada will likely continue to grow, and the new system is a much better fit for talented sophomore Marquis Hayes. Irvin is solid rotational addition as well, and Mario Addison is as stalwart a pass rusher as ever. All in all, we’ve gone from an extremely one dimensional pass rush to one that is versatile and capable of throwing multiple looks at our opponents. We will be hard to predict and hard to stop when we come at the QB next year.
Run Defense - Though I’ve seen little attention paid to it, I’m very concerned about our run defense this year. Although we’ve beefed the hell out of the defensive front, few of these pieces excel in run defense. McCoy has mostly staked his reputation on being a 3 tech. Hayes, Miller and Burns were all flagged as prospect that lacked run support talent. Poe was miserable in defending the run last year, and it’s never really been Short’s bag. In terms of yards per carry, we finished 8th overall which sounds good. But this was mostly on the strength of changes when Rivera took over the playcalling, as backs tended to run over us consistently early in the year. As long as we have Luke, our run defense will be solid. But I do worry that with so much (needed, mind you) emphasis put on rushing the passer, we’ve left off this part of the game.
The Secondary: As always with us, the secondary is a concern. It is, to be fair, less a concern than in previous years. Donte Jackson and James Bradberry both enjoyed very solid campaigns last year, and the former has allegedly done a lot of growing over the previous season. Eric Reid represents a good, solid strong safety. But free safety is, as ever, a mess. The job is going to sophomore player Rashaan Gaulden, but I think his capturing the position unopposed has less to do with what coaches see in him, and running out of money after doling out contracts to Paradis, McCoy and Williams. Our secondary, while improved, was inconsistent last season and was the primary reason we finished in the middle of the pack.
And honestly, that’s about it. This is one of the strongest rosters Carolina has fielded in the Riv-Era, at least on paper.

X Factors

Cam’s Health - Those of your who frequent nfl have likely seen my refrain on this many a time, but Cam’s health is not as dire as last season made it look, and the Andrew Luck comparisons have always been, frankly, crazy. In 2016, Cam tore his rotator cuff. He rushed his recovery in order to play in 2017. This created a buildup of scar tissue which, when coupled with a minor bone spur, caused a great deal of swelling this year that put Netwon in pain and limited his range of motion. It’s one of those injuries that, while not terrible by any means, does require either surgery or a great deal of rest. Cam, by virtue of being alpha and omega to this team, had the luxury of neither. The swelling persisted until he could barely throw. While that looks scary, the actual diagnosis was not that grim, and a simple shoulder scope as cleared the damage. By all accounts, he’s 100% and even making throws that he was incapable of these last two years. Bill Voth, who was the first (and for a long time, only) writer sounding the alarm on Cam’s strength as far back as 2017, has said that he’s making throws that look like his old self routinely.
However, we are putting him on a pitch count. This like likely vet maintenance rather than a source of genuine alarm. But after the last couple of years, he does make you sweat a little.
OL Health - The major fly in the ointment when it comes to Carolina’s optimism over its OL is that big if healthy caveat. If healthy, Paradis is a top 5 Center. If healthy, Williams has All Pro talent. 4 days into camp, however, neither is participating in serious pass rush drills and only today suited up in pads. It is possible that they’re just being eased along. They did avoid the PUP list, which we were almost sure was going to get Paradis at the very least. So they appear to be alright. But if they’re not, or they reinjure again, we go from being an extremely strong team to a fatally flawed one. A great deal is riding on the health of those two players, and the entire house of cards could fall apart quickly if they’re unable to deliver.
Greg Olsen - The one health flag that I do have complete confidence in is tight end Greg Olsen. Suffering a series of foot breaks, he is now moving around at 100% capacity and has been medically cleared for all activity for months. Bone breaks are, when all is written, temporary injuries that often heal stronger when they actually get a chance to heal. Our most trusted beat writers, Voth and Rodrigue, have both been crystal clear that he looks like his old self and that his connection with Newton is as faithful as ever. What I’m less clear on is his role in the offense. For years, Greg Olsen was the pivotal piece of our passing game. But with his largely being sidelined with foot injuries over the last two years, the game has moved on. Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore are both going to receive plenty of targets, and McCaffery will be a critical element to the passing game. Greg will undoubtedly be our principle red zone threat, but the growth of other options has downgraded his loss from catastrophic to merely unfortunate. What role he carves out, and what boost he’s able to give our offense, will be very interesting to watch.
4-3 No More: Much has been made of the Carolina's transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 this offseason. And most of it is crap. We aren't exactly moving in a direction that binary. IN the past, we have strictly been a 4-3 team throughout the Riv-Era. That is about to change, but not to a 3-4. What Rivera showed last year is a willingness to mix and match personnel sets. There were 3-4 looks, 4-3 looks and even 5-2 looks. What we're moving toward is thus not a single, codified base, but a hybrid defense that can throw out a number of formations and switch between them quickly. We want players who can play OLB and DE. DTs who can play DE. LBs who can drop into coverage and rush the passer. A modern defense is one that doesn't limit itself, which is why such a premium has been put on players with positional versatility. On paper, our personnel set is very well built for this. How it pans out in practice remains to be seen. It's a very radical transitioning happening over a short period of time, and while I think our defense has the potential to be excellent, there will doubtless be some growing pains as we navigate the transition.

Positional Battles

Very little to speak of. The premier battle is going to be between Greg Little and Daryl Williams at LT. Apart from that, the timeshare that forms in different defensive sets will be intriguing. But for the most part, the roster is set.

Win Loss Predictions

I hate this part, particularly since the NFCS is a murderers row at present. The Panthers have a shot at a serious playoff run if all the chips fall right, but the Falcons are likely going to be resurgent (god you have no idea how much it hurts me to type that) and the Saints aren’t going anywhere. The Buccs I’m sure will do their best.
That alone makes pinpointing what our season looks like in terms of Ws and Ls difficult. But this year, we’re also playing the equally enigmatic AFCS, whose teams look like contenders or middlers in turns. Even our other divisional draw, the NFCW, is difficult to find the pulse of.
So rather than pretend that I know what each game is going to look like, I’m going to do what I always do; Likely wins, likely losses, toss ups.
Likely Wins: TB, @AZ, JAX, @TB, @SF, TEN, WAS
Likely Losses: LAR, @NO, @IND
Toss Ups: @HOU, @GB, ATL, NO, @ATL, SEA
So that’s 7 likely wins, 3 likely losses and 6 toss ups.
If that seems like an unusually high degree of uncertainty, that’s because it is. Last year started off strong and fell apart for reasons that are both obvious and cautiously behind us. We’ve only improved over the offseason and should be formidable. But the schedule is grueling and many questions are yet unanswered. I said in my last offseason review that last year was likely going to be a tough season, and should be viewed mainly as a proof of concept for the new ideas we were incorporating via Turner’s offense and our gradual move away from a 4-3 defense. Well, it was a tough year for reasons of which I had no inkling at the time, and it was a proof of concept. And for the most part? The concept was proven sound. So this offseason, we’ve built on it and patched over the holes that developed in it.
I know that “This offseason is a major turning point” is one of those things that gets thrown around a lot. It’s like how every Presidential election gets described as historic, as though choosing the leader of the free world could ever be anything but. But in a very real sense, this franchise has hit a turning point. Cam has to bounce back this year or he’ll face major doubts about his future contract. Rivera has to bounce back this year, or he’ll be out of a job. GM Marty Hurney has done an excellent job restocking the cupboards, but we’ve been down this road of defensive transition and an offense that eases things on the quarterback before. Last year, both ideas mostly worked, but this is the season where we must commit to them and see them through if we want to succeed with the parts we have. Thus the Panthers find themselves where we always seem to. We are a team that is as capable of going on a deep playoff run as we are forcing a total rebuild in the next two years. But for what it’s worth, I think it’s going to be a strong, “Eureka!” type season where everything finally comes together. For the sake of Rivera and company, I hope it does.
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Meditations on NFL Week 15 Gambling Losses

You wake up, not in a cold sweat, but in a scalding shame. Your daughter’s crying at 2:57 AM, so you put her on her changing station and throw away the old diaper. You shake your head as you recall writing “$0.00 – sorry, the Redskins didn’t cover” on the tip line of your restaurant receipt, and you consider the merits of trading places with the discarded diaper.
The ESPN highlights from last night play in your mind like colorized footage of bombing runs on cityscapes from World War 2. It’s dark in the nursery, and the baby is crying. She’s pounding the changing station the same way you pounded the table when the Falcons recovered a fumble in the endzone to tilt the score above your Falcons-9ers under bet.
Suddenly, she stops, and in a single moment the tantrum and the tears are completely silenced. Did her neo-natal mind reach a revelation? Was she already smart enough not to take Jared Goff on the road, even against a spiraling Cowboys team? She clears her throat, and it feels like a moment before her first words. The silence reaches a crescendo, and you’re afraid she’s going to condemn you for devastating her college fund with her first words.
Hands outstretched in breathless anticipation, a strange confidence comes over you. It reminds you of the confidence you felt when you took Hodges to have 3 or fewer INTs in your player props. Then, a tremendous fart erupts.
Nothing oozes like a shit.

Phase I: Denial
It didn’t happen. The Raiders didn’t heartbreak their home faithful in the last game in Oakland will ever see against a road Jaguars team that had lost six straight. (The Jags hadn’t won since October!) The Titans didn’t lose to the Texans, who got beat at home last week by the Broncos, 38-24. (Carlson missed two late field goals!) The Arizona Cardinals didn’t score 38 points when they’ve only scored more than 30 once this season. (How did the refs escape Oakland Coliseum with their lives?)
Home favorites are 47-81-5 ATS. How is that reality?
It didn’t happen.

Phase II: Anger
Fuck the slate this week. From the predictable Patriots win to Eli Manning beating the Dolphins, and the media treating it like he just slayed Tom Brady in the Super Bowl for a third time. That asshole doesn’t even break in the top 2 Manning quarterbacks, and they want to talk about his hall of fame candidacy?
Fuck the Jets for rolling over so predictably in a primetime game. Fuck the Bengals for tanking so apparently so they can acquire Joe Burrow just to trade him to another team that knows what the fuck they’re doing in 2 seasons. Fuck the Panthers for the backdoor cover in a non-division game that didn’t mean shit to them. Fuck the Bears for losing and not making the playoffs, ruining another future bet that looked so right. Fuck the Broncos for their horse-faced GM – Never has a quarterback’s face looked more like the team he represented* – Fuck the Titans for blowing such an obvious home smash spot. Fuck the Redskins for blowing the game, the spread, and the future in the same ham-fisted fumble. Fuck the Browns for losing what should have been a Baker Mayfield revenge game - No wonder Kingsbury didn’t start you, cuz. You suck. – Fuck the Chargers for Jekyll and Hyding again between last week’s 45-10 win on the road and today’s 39-10 loss at “home” – Rivers has a field goal’s worth more kids than playoff wins. Fuck the Super Bowl hungover Rams, and that’s all they deserve. Fuck the 49ers for looking tremendous against the Ravens and the Saints, only to come home and collapse like Weekend at Bernie’s. Fuck the Steelers for their dogged determination in the face of Vietnam-esque casualties. And fuck the Raiders anyway. Fuck those 53 assholes, and the sorry division they belong to. Fuck the AFC West, led by Patrick Mahomes and his Kermit the Frog voice. Fuck the AFC altogether, and then throw in the NFC for good measure. Fuck the impotent league commissioner, who has only made the game slower, softer, and outright worse. Ironic because players have only grown faster, stronger, and outright better.
Fuck the losers this week, and fuck the winners. And fuck me for betting on this chaos.

*Ryan Fitzpatrick with Tampa last year did look like a damn Buccaneer.

Phase III: Bargaining
Still not through with anger. Like trying to trade losses for going Christmas shopping with my sister is going to mean a damn now?

Phase IV: Depression
You don’t have any skin in the game, because you have neither thick skin nor game. You’re the worst kind of bettor: a play-it-safe heart bettor. Always chasing the underdog narrative so long as the narrative is comfortably favored by at least -140. You disgrace competition with your soft decision-making. You’re sloppy. The house knows it by the look of you, loose wager receipts coming out of your cheap clothes. When virtuous people think of gambling, they think of a lurid cesspool, and you’re the direct embodiment of it.
Why do you do it, you desperate sack of oozing shit?

Phase V: Acceptance.
Take a deep breath.
If you go max bet on the Saints minus points, you can start to recoup some of the devastation. Brissett is a lock to throw a pick. And of course Jack Doyle will score a tuddy. Then, next week the Packers and Patriots are a lock, so you throw them in a parlay. And Bucs Texans is going to go over for sure…
submitted by psstev01 to offmychest [link] [comments]

CreateYoureReality NFL Analysis and Picks Week 7 (Sunday Games)

CreateYoureReality NFL Analysis and Picks Week 7 (Sunday Games)

Hi All! Big slate with some really nice match ups. First lets recap the TNF game.
Singles: 0-4 (-6.13u)
Parlay: none
BBDLS: none
Teasers: none
Notes: Well, this was a rough one to watch. On the bright side, I learned a lot! The Broncos almost had that first quarter. They came out strong, but I think they were a little deflated after missing the two point conversion. Conversely Maholmes came out much hotter than expected. It sucked seeing PM go down like that so early in the game but, it gave our wagers life. The QB for the other side however, Flacco, is done. (IMO) He may have another good game here and there, but he looks SHOOK. He looks so scared to stand in the pocket and take a hit. I think any team that can pressure him will have easy wins. Tyreek Alllmost came through for us in the end having a bomb for a TD, but not quite reaching the yards needed. Sucks we lost our picks, but good to learn about Flacco.

Early Games (1pm)

Arizona @ NY Giants (-3/-4): A fantastic match up to start the day with! Two first round QB picks go head to head. The number one pick, Kyler Murray, and company are coming in with a 2 game win streak while the number 6 pick, Daniel Jones, and the Giants are returning from a few extra days of rest. This extra rest comes at the perfect time as the Giants are getting back offensive juggernaut, Saquan Barkley. They also see the return of a favorable target in TE Evan Ingram. Other than Sterling Shepherd not returning for the Giants, they seem to be near full strength. The Cardinals, not so much. While they do see the return of Patrick Peterson (6 game suspension), they are going to be a little short on offense. So far out is (DL) Zach Allen (neck), (RB) D.Jd. Foster (hamstring) and (OL) Brett Toth (illness). Game time decisions are (WR) Christian Kirk and (RB) David Johnson who is probable to play (but with an ankle injury). If for some reason he is out, Arizona will be down to only 1 RB, Chase Edmunds. They could use both of those RBs to help pull linebackers in because the Giants are horrible against the pass. So far they have let opposing QBs average a 103 Passer rating and put up 285 yards p/g passing They rank 27th in points allowed and 28th in yards conceded. (however, I take these stats with a grain of salt. First two games Giants were flat because Eli, after that Saquan was out, costing the Giants TOP and putting their defense on the field longer) Luckily for NY, the Arizona defense is worse. The are 29th in points allowed, 30th in yards conceded and are the only team in the league not to have an INT. Combine the return of Evan Ingram with a Cardinals defense that has given up a league-high 599 yards and seven touchdowns to tight ends...
I think this is also a good game to look at props:
  • Evan Ingram: Obviously I am looking here. He is coming off two weeks rest. He is the primary receiver for Jones and he is facing the Cardinals.
  • Scary Larry: Not only does he normally do well playing in MetLife stadium, but he is the most consistent, reliable option for Murray. Fitz has caught at least 5 balls in EVERY game this year. His total is 5.5 right now and is +
  • Markus Golden: He has been killing it this year. Recording at least 0.5 sacks in 5 games straight and Kyler Murray is 5th on the most sacked list right now with 21 times.
At the beginning of the weak, I was going to be hard on the over too. Both crappy D, both two young QBs looking to be the better choice. But, with the addition of Saquan back in the lineup, I am cautious of the Giants running the ball against the Arizona D that is giving up 4.6 ypc, allowing them to manage the clock better. The algo has the Giants at -5 and I am definitely in concurrence on this game. I also might sprinkle a little on the Giants to win the NFC East. It's early, but looking at their schedule...now would be the time to take them if you like them!

Houston @ Indianapolis(PK/-1): Here we have one of the more anticipated match ups of the day. A divisional battle for the current 1st place in the division. Both are coming off an upset victory over the Chiefs in Arrowhead. But, the Colts are coming off a bye week and extra rest. First we start with injuries. The Colts utilized their bye week and are nearing full strength. (LB) Darius Leonard has been out for 3 games, but looks to return. The Texans have sustained some key injuries. They lost Bradley Roby (corner) and offensive tackle Tytus Howard. DeAndre Hopkins was limited in practice (ribs) but appears to be a go for Sunday. The Texans offense is pretty good. They are 1st in the league on 3rd down completion and averaging 4.9 ypc on the ground. The Colts D is pretty weak vs. the run giving up 5.1ypc (28th). Their pass D is pretty horrible too, giving out ratings of: QBR (29th) completion % (26th) and 3rd down stopping (26th). However, it is the same story on the other side of the ball as the Colts run offense averages 142 ypg (4th) and 4.5 ypc (13th). They are going against a Texans run D that gives up 4.4 ypc (18th). The Colts offense is (9th) on 3rd down at 46% and Houston is bottom 10 in the league at 3rd down stoppage. There are these interesting stats: Jacoby Brisset has only been sacked 6 times this year and colts are currently the least penalized team in the league. Also, Brisset is somehow 3-0 vs Houston? (Not sure this stat means much).
My algo has this one as a 21-21 PK. That doesn't include a HFA adjustment. This easily has me leaning the home team. Personally, I feel like the extra rest, the HFA, and the offensive line/run game of the Colts are the factors that tip the scale. (I do like the Colts in this game, but I still favor Houston to win the division)
Something to keep in mind for this game. Yea, Watson has put up over 80 points the last two weeks...But how did he look against two of the three formidable defenses he faced? 13 points against JAX and 10 points against the Panthers. Both home games. He did score 28 against the Saints D....but that was week 1, when everyone is just getting in the flow. I expect the Colts to to a much better job at keeping the Texans below 20 points.
If I was looking props in this game, it would be Marlon Mack for IND.

Miami @ Buffalo(-16.5/-17): Probably one of the lesser watched games of the slate. Buffalo is coming off a nice rest. Miami is coming off a missed Tua-point conversion that was probably their best shot at a win this year. They also benched Rosen in the middle of last game for Fitzpatrick. He came in and did OK vs the Redskins throwing 12-18 for 132 yards, 1 TD and almost a 107 QBR. However, that was vs. a Redskins D. This is vs. a Bills D that is top 5 in pretty much every category. They also have a takeaway in 4 out of 5 games this season. Which sucks for Fitz-running out of- Magic who through 4 INTs in BOTH game 1 and game 2 for Miami. Bills rush offense averages 139 ypg (6th) and 4.8 ypc (10th) and they will be facing a Miami defense that has 4.7 ypc allowed (23rd). Here you would think the focus will be on Frank Gore one of his former teams, but personally I think the focus is going to shift to the return of Rookie (RB) Devin Singletary. He has missed the Bills last 3 games with a hamstring injury, but looks ready to go. The Bills should look to use him to balance the load on the aging Gore. Fitz is a favorite to throw a TD and and INT. But barring some miracle defensive showing from the Dolphins, i see this one as an easy win for Buffalo.

Jacksonville @ Cincinatti(+4/+4.5): Here we see if the Stash can get back on track, vs the win less Bengals. The Bengals are 0-6, but they have lost 4 of those 6 by less than a TD. Jacksonville was disappointing at home last week but I think more credit has to be given to the Saints D rather than taken away from Jacksonville. First lets dive into the injuries. The Bengals have a ton: OUT: (OT) Cordy Glenn (suspended); (WR) A.J. Green (ankle); (OT) Andre Smith (ankle); (CB) William Jackson III (shoulder); (CB) Dre Kirkpatrick (knee); (DE) Carl Lawson (hamstring); (G )John Miller (groin). Doubtful: (DE) Carlos Dunlap (knee). The Jags injuries are all on the offensive side of the ball: Out: (WR) Marqise Lee (ankle); (TE) Geoff Swaim (concussion/ankle). Questionable: (WR) Dede Westbrook (shoulder). However, the Jags are very Four-tu-nette to have Leonard on their team. He has 584 yards with 5.1 ypc and is facing a Cincy run D that gives up 5.3 ypc. (good for last in the NFL) Looking defensively, the Jags 19 sacks (4th) this year and Dalton has been sacked 22 times this year (28th). The Mustache has has 9 TDs to 2 picks and a 97.5 passer rating (13th). I look for him to get back on track this week against a Bengals pass D that has let opposing QBs have a 105 passer rating (27th) and 69% completion percentage (24th). If I look at props this game, I will probably be looking the way of DJ Chark. He has been killing it since the insertion of Minshew and with the string of offensive weapons out for Jacksonville, I look for Chark to have increased opportunities. \**Another props look might be Joe Mixon. He has averaged over 100 yards in his last 10 home games. (Although a main counter to this stat is the most likely game script has Cincy playing from behind meaning less rushing opportunities) His total is currently only at 67.5.*

San Francisco @ Washington (+9.5/+10): Another game this will likely be one of the least watched. The undefeated 49ers travel to D.C. to take on the Redskins who are coming off their first and likely only victory this season. This game sees the 49ers coach return to the place that last fired him. First we look at the injuries. For the Redskins, Running back Chris Thompson is OUT with a toe injury. Tight end Vernon Davis is OUT with a concussion. Offensive lineman Wes Martin is OUT with a chest injury. Deshazor Everett is OUT with an ankle injury. Linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemson is OUT with a hamstring injury and Cornerback Josh Norman is QUESTIONABLE with thigh/hand injuries. For the 49ers, OUT is (DT) DJ Jones (hamstring), (CB) Ahkello Witherspoon (foot), (FB) Kyle Juszczyk (knee), (OT) Mike McGlinchey (knee), (OT) Joe Staley (fibula), and (WR) Deebo Samuel (groin). With (RB) Raheem Mostert (knee) listed as questionable. The 49er offense is pretty good with their rush offense leading the way. Rushing for 180 ypg and doing so at 4.6 ypc. The Redskins rush D gives up 134 ypg at 4.6ypc. Sadly the Redskins pass D isn't much either, allowing opposing QBs an average 71% completion percentage and a 101 passer rating. My algo has this as SF -14. (However, this is before injuries and... the allllll important trip from West coast to East coast for a 1pm game... adjustments have been made) The algo has this as a 31-17 game but I can easily see SF putting up more...OR less. For that reason this will probably be a no play for me. (Although, as my consistent readers know, I love betting the first quarter against West coast teams traveling east for a 1pm game. This may get a look, especially if I can find a +3 or better for WAS.)

Oakland @ Green Bay(-4.5/-5/-5.5): One of the bigger and more curious line movements of the week. Opened at -7, Green Bay WON vs the Lions, and the line has moved allllll the way do to settle at -4.5 at most available books. Very Very curious to me. Not only is then line moving against Green Bay (getting almost half the tickets written on them), but GB WON their last game!!! This has to be a red flag for heavy sharp action on the Raiders point spread. Which, when we dive in, has some serious merit. First of all, the Raiders are coming off a bye, having played their last game two weeks ago in London and put an upset on the Bears. Secondly, the Oakland offense is doing pretty well right now. Derrick Carr is leading the league in completion percentage at 73.3%. To compliment that, the Raiders rush attack is running at an average of 4.9 ypc and gaining and average 134 ypg. The GB rush D has given up 120 ypg in 4 out of 6 games this year and is averaging giving up 124 ypg rushing on the season. Unfortunately for the Raiders, their Pass D isn't the best. They did pretty well in their last game, but it was against a Chase Daniel lead Bears offense. Overall they give up an average 104 QBR (26th) to opposing QBs and 264 ypg (22nd). Let's take a look at the injury report. For the Packers, receiver Davante Adams (toe) and safety Darnell Savage (ankle) are both out. Receiver Geronimo Allison (concussion) and tight end Robert Tonyan (hip) are doubtful and defensive lineman Kenny Clark (calf/back), receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/back) and cornerback Tony Brown (hamstring) are all questionable. On the bright side for the Pack, cornerback Kevin King, tight end Jimmy Graham and cornerback Tramon Williams are all expected to play. For the Raiders, Tyrell Williams and Arden Key are OUT. Right tackle Trent Brown is doubtful, while receivereturner Dwayne Harris and guard Gabe Jackson are both questionable. The Algo has GB as -5.5 in this one, but the the heavy line movement that is counter to GB having a win on Monday night has me leaning OAK or stay away.

Minnesota @ Detroit(+2.5): Minnesota coming off back to back wins where Cousins took care of both his crying receivers. Detroit is coming off a heartbreaking loss that in the opinion of many could be chalked up to the Refs. However when we look closer we see that the Lions were 3 of 13 on 3rd down and kicked 5 field goals (two inside the ten yard line). They also had a stupid 12 men on the field penalty in a key spot. Let's take a look at the injury reports. For the Lions, no new injuries appeared to take anyone out of the game. Defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand, safety Quandre Diggs, offensive tackle Rick Wagner, fullback Nick Bawden, and cornerback Darius Slay are all questionable, but all will most likely play. For the Vikings, only line backer Ben Gedeon is out, while LB Kentrell Brothers remains questionable. This feels like it has the makings of a low scoring game where Stafford has the ball in his hands to win it or lose it in the 4th. Will he redeem the divisional loss to Rodgers on MNF in the closing minutes? Or will the Lions fade away in the division race? The Minn D speaks for itself, top 10 in EVERY Defensive category. The Minn run game is also elite averaging 5.1 ypc (3rd) and it will be facing a Detroit run D that gives up 5.1 ypc(28th). My model had this opening at Detroit -1.5 but after the loss the GB, I can see why the line is moving. I can't imagine it getting up to +3 but if it does, I will be all over the Lions. I would have to say my strongest lean here is towards the Under. Barring a few defensive scores, I think this game is ground and pound with a side of slow clock management and has a good shot at staying under the total. I would be surprised if either team scores over 21 here. The Vikings (even with the 28-10 win over the NYG) are only averaging 17 ppg on the road. I will be looking for a closer game and leaning under the total.

L.A. Rams @ Atlanta (+3): The last 1pm game on the slate and it's a tough one to decipher. The Rams started off great going 3-0 but have since dropped 3 straight. (Two against division opponents) The Falcon's, while it looks like a shit show sitting at 1-5, actually still have a outside shot at winning their division. This is because they haven't played ANY of their divisional games yet. It would be sooooo sweet to see them somehow go 6-0 in the division and lose every other game but still win the division. Which...if their defense can somehow get good overnight.. could actually be a possibility with the way Matt Ryan is playing. Last week he went 30-36 350+ yards 4 TDs and a 145 QBR. He has had a 300+ yard passing game EVERY GAME this season. And only thrown less than 2 TDs one time. Unfortunately for him, he faces the Rams D that only gives up 241 ypg (14th) The placed Talib on IR, and traded away Marcus Peters, but replaced him with a fancy new toy in Jaylen Ramsey. On the other side of the ball we have the Rams offense. Which it seems like something is a little GeOFF. Geoff has 7 TDs and 7 picks with a QBR of 80...On the bright side for Geoff, he seems to be better when he isn't pressured (as are all QBs) and the Falcons only have 5 sacks on the year. He will be facing a Falcons third down defense that is the worst in the league allowing almost half of the 3rd down plays to convert against them. This should be a defense for Geoff to get right against as they allow an average QBR of 120 while allowing opposing QBs to throw for 8.3 ypa. All signs point to an LA bounce back. No real injuries to note. Gurley is back for the Rams. The Falcon's are without star defensive player Desmond Trufant but honestly, he hasn't looked good enough this year for me to warrant that a big drop. My algo has this as LA -1. There is a good chance come game time I am leaning Falcons with the points. \**Interesting note, this game also falls into my favorite spot, West coast teams traveling East for a 1pm start****

Afternoon Games (4pm)

L.A. Chargers @ Tennessee (-2.5): For our first afternoon game of the slate we have two crappy teams, likely to miss the playoffs. On the one hand we have the Chargers who have lost 2 straight as a favorite. On the other side of the ball we have the Titans that have also lost 2 straight. First lets look at injuries. Los Angeles will be without their two starting defensive tackles, Justin Jones and Brandon Mebane. Melvin Ingram is doubtful. The Titans have some questionable ( http://www.espn.com/nfl/injuries/_/team/ten ) but the most note worthy injury is the possible absence of Delanie Walker. Starting with the Chargers, they have been horrible in the turnover department, giving up 3 in each of their recent losses and a whopping 11 on the season so far. One bright spot for the Chargers is the opportunity at pass rush. They currently only have 12 sacks on the season but in this game they face a Titans team that has allowed 29 sacks! (the most in the NFL) It would be nice if the Chargers could get their run game back on track, having 4 straight games under 100 yards rushing and averaging only 3.8 ypc. Rivers is going to have his hands full, facing a Titans D that is legit. They only give up an average of 217 ypg passing (6th) and limit opposing QBs to a 86.4 QBR (11th). While this is probably going to be a crappy game, my algo has the Chargers coming out as -3.5 favorite, predicting a low scoring affair around the 18-13 range. Should be interesting to see which team gives themselves some hope!

New Orleans @ Chicago(-4/-4.5): New Orleans rolls into Chicago riding a hot 4 game win streak on the back of an even hotter defense. Although this week the Saints will be without Jared Cook, Alvin Kamar, and Tre'quan Smith. Chicago tries to wake up as they see the return of QB Mitch Trubitsky and WR Taylor Gabriel after a bye week and some rest. Currently the Bears offense needs some work. They have only scored an average of 17.4 ppg (27th), gain 266 ypg (30th), pass for 185 ypg (30th) and convert on only 1 out of 3 third downs. That offense is going up a Saints D that has been on fire. They haven't allowed more than 260 yards in their last 3 games and their pass rush has a 33% pressure rate (3rd) and 18 sacks (6th). The Saints are going up against a rested Bears D that is only giving up 14 ppg (3rd) and has 10 turnovers (9th) in 5 games. Currently this is an underdog or stay away for me. My Algo has Chicago as 4 point favorites in a 17-13 style game AND the RLM (3 out of 5 tickets are on NO and the points but the line has moved from a -3 open to -4/-4.5) indicates that sharp money is on Chicago... But I cant help thinking the #Saints are #Blessed. Given that a positive case can be made for both sides, it is probably best to avoid this game. However, I may be looking at the Under given both teams defensive track records.

Baltimore @ Seattle (-2/-3): Ooooo boy, I am excited to see this one. Not that there are many playoff implications, as this is a non conference match up, but I am excited to see both of these teams (that are usually known for defense) compete with their explosive QBs. First off, very curious that the lines I have are -2 and -3 and not -2.5 and -3. The DK/SH books must have had a recent large wager on Baltimore. Russel Wilson is currently on fire and seriously stating his claim to the MVP trophy this year. He has 14 TDs and 0 INTs with a QBR of 125. He averages 9 yards per attempt (2nd) and has a completion percentage of 72.5!!! However for this game he will be without one of his favorite targets this year, Will Dissly. On the other side of the ball we have the have the Seattle D. So far, the rush D is giving up 4.7 ypc (27th) which doesn't bode well vs. the combo of Mark Ingram and the designed run plays for Jackson. \**An interesting note someone tweeted:* Russell Wilson's three career pick-sixes have gone to a King, a Prince, and a Captain, and he plays an Earl this Sunday. Safety Earl Thomas returns to Seattle this Sunday as a part of the Raven's team. He left Seattle after an injury during a contract hold out in 2018.\***
If I had to take a side, I feel like it would be the dog and the points. 4 of 5 of Seattle's wins this year have been by 4 points or less and 4 of Baltimore's games have been decided by a TD or less. This does have potential for a teaser. (Baltimore and the over)

Night Game (8 pm)

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-2.5/-3): For the last game of the day we have a battle for the NFC east. The coach for the Eagles was heard on a radio show saying "we're gonna win this game". The Eagles come into this game after getting smoked by the Vikings. Dallas is in a similar sinking ship losing their last 3. But, last year they started in the same ship going 3-5 only to finish 10-6. To plug the holes, it's going to have to start with turnovers. They had 2 in their first 3 games, but have given up 6 in their 3 losses. The Eagles offense looks decent. With Wentz throwing for 12 TDs - 3 INTs, averaging 243 ypg with a 94 QBR. The Eagles rushing attack is getting 4 ypc (19th) and 111 ypg (15th). The Eagles D on the other hand is medicare - bad. The Eagles Do have 14 sacks...but 10 of them came in one game (Jets). The Eagles Pass D gives up 280 ypg (29th) and has given up 13 pass TDs (28th). The Eagles like to stack the box which is bad news for Zeke, but that is good news for all of Dallas WRs. Because of the heavy run stuffing action that Philly produces, they have created a defense that is extremely susceptible to big plays in the air. "No team has allowed more 30-yard passing touchdowns or more 100-yard receivers than the Eagles"
The injury reports for both teams:
  • CB Anthony Brown (hamstring) - OUT
  • WR Amari Cooper (ankle/quad) - Questionable
  • WR Randall Cobb (back) - Questionable
  • OT Tyron Smith (ankle) - Questionable
  • OT La'el Collins (knee) - Questionable
  • C Joe Looney (back) - Questionable
  • G Zack Martin (back/ankle) - Questionable
  • DE Dorance Armstrong (neck) - Questionable
  • CB Byron Jones (hamstring) - Questionable
  • RB Darren Sproles (quad) - OUT
  • WR DeSean Jackson (abdomen) - OUT
  • OT Jason Peters (knee) - OUT
  • DT Tim Jernigan (foot) - OUT
  • LB Nigel Bradham (ankle) - OUT
  • CB Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck) - OUT
  • CB Ronald Darby (hamstring) - Questionable
This game looks like it could go either way. I lean on Prescott's running ability to help keep some drives alive but personally I think the best look in this game is Dallas Team Total points. Currently it sits at 24/24.5 depending on the book. The Eagles have given up at least 24 points to EVERY QB this year Except Luke Faulk and the Jets.

Singles 37-41 (+4.33u)
  • Evan Ingram 5.5 Rec Over (0.68u to win 0.5u)
  • Scary Larry 5.5 Rec Over (2u to win 2.4u)d
  • Markus Golden 0.5 Sacks Over (3.4u to win 2u)
  • Giants 1H (1.6u to win 1u)
  • Giants ml (5.1u to win 3u)
  • Colts 1H ml (1.2u to win 1u)
  • Colts ml (1.15u to win 1u)
  • Marlon Mack 16.5 Rush Attempts Over (3.33u to win 3u)
  • Marlon Mack to score 1st TD and Colts Win (0.5u to win 6.5u)
  • Devin Singletary 36.5 Rush Yards Over (2.67u to win 2u)
  • Joe Mixon 67.5 Yds Rush Over (0.55u to win 0.5u)
  • Leonard Fournette 89.5 Yds Rush Over (0.55u to win 0.5u)
  • DJ Chark 4.5 Rec Over (0.5u to win 0.54u)
  • Oak +5.5 (1.05u to win 1u)
  • Min/Det Total 43 Under (1.1u to win 1u)
  • Atl 1Q ml (1u to win 1.23u)
  • Matt Ryan Passing Yards 310.5 Over (1.1u to win 1u)
  • LAC +3 (1.14u to win 1u)
  • Joey Bosa 0.5 Sacks Over (2.5u to win 2u)
  • Bal/Sea Both teams to score 1TD and 1FG in each half (1u to win 9u)
  • Dal Team Total 24.5 Over (2.27u to win 2u)
Parlays: 1-1 (+45.42u)
  • NYG ml, Colts +5.5 and Under 53.5, SF ml, Buf 1H ml, NE ml (0u to win 20.6u) Free Bet on Points Bet
Big Boy Daddy Long Shot 0-3 (-2.23u)
  • Ind -1, NYG ml, 49ers -9.5, Jax ml, NE ml, Dal ml, Oak ml, Buf -17, La +2.5 (1u to win 189.5)
  • Ind +4.5, Buf -8.5, Oak +7.5, NYG ml, Jax ml , 49ers ml, LAC +3.5, Dal ml, NE ml, Bal +4.5 (0.96u to win 141.6u)
  • Marcus Golden Sacs Over, Marlon Mack Rush Attempts Over, Devin singletary rush yards over, Matt Ryan Passing Yards over, 49ers ml, NE ml, Oak ml, LAC ml, Bengals +4.5 (1u to win 190.6u)
Super Big Boy Daddy Long Shot: 0-1 (-0.5u)
  • I put in a card for the Ocean Casino. It is (0.5u to win 10000u). Im not going to type them all out as it probably won't hit, but if it is live going after the early game, I will post a picture.
Teasers: 3-8 (-9.98u)
  • Colts +5.5 and Under 53.5 (1.1u to win 1u)
  • Oak +11 and Over 40 (1.1u to win 1u)
  • LAC +7.5 and Under 48.5(1.1u to win 1u)
  • Sea +5.5 and Over 42.5 (1.1u to win 1u)
  • I put in a 15 teamer on a card for the Ocean Casino. It is (1u to win 200u). Im not going to type them all out as it probably won't hit, but if it is life after the early games, I will post a picture.
  • NE, GB, CLE, NYG all to win their Division (0u to win 257.8u) This is a Free bet (last one for DK, it was close to expiring) I like CLE's schedule after the pats game. NYG..I mean cmon. Everyones getting healthy, and the rest of the division hasn't been dominant enough to count them out. Should be a fun sweat!
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Quick Thoughts on every Week 13 game

PRO TIP: CTRL+F to find the players you care about.
Week 12 Quick Thoughts
These are the times that separate the fantasy boys from the fantasy men. For many of you, playoffs are already locked up and you’re just fighting for favorable seeding. For many more, this is your last chance to lock up a spot in the playoffs and continue your fight for glory. Good luck to everyone, and I sincerely hope this advice can be of some help.

Cowboys @ Vikings

• Though Dak Prescott has been truly excellent in his rookie season, the Vikings defense still poses a considerable challenge. I’m more comfortable projecting him as a low end QB1, rather than the high end QB1 that he ordinarily is. Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley will also be hindered by the matchup, and are best treated as a low end WR2 and WR3, respectively. Jason Witten is just a TE2 – with only 3 targets last week, he is very hard to trust against this defense. Despite concerns around the rest of the offense, Ezekiel Elliott owners should have no fears about starting him as a top shelf RB1 – Minnesota is not as tough on the run as they are on the pass.
Sam Bradford is no more than game manager QB on a bad offense – he’s a very low end QB2 for fantasy purposes. Stefon Diggs remains the most potent weapon on the team, and if he is able to be cleared from his injury before TNF he will be on the low end WR1 spectrum. Kyle Rudolph is the other main source of fantasy production in this offense, and as one of Bradford’s favorites, particularly in the red zone, he is a TE1. Adam Thielen is worth a flex play in deeper leagues, but the target share he received last week will be long gone with Diggs back in the lineup. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon are both low upside RB3s behind a terrible offensive line.

Lions @ Saints

Matthew Stafford should have a great chance to rebound as a QB1 against a defense that made Jared Goff look like a Hall of Famer in the first half of last week’s game. Marvin Jones regained his former target share for a game last week against the Saints. He’s still very hard to trust after his cold stretch, not to mention his inefficiency issues with those 11 targets. Jones will be a low end, desperation flex. Golden Tate is the more stable, reliable high end WR3 play. Aquan Boldin is in play at the WR3/flex position because, shockingly, he has 6 TDs in 11 games, and a fairly decent target share to boot. Theo Riddick is the man to start at RB; his involvement in the running and passing games makes him a PPR RB1 every week. Eric Ebron vanished last week and thus makes himself difficult to trust in Week 13 – prior to this he was doing well in terms of both targets and production, however, so I do expect he will bounce back. He’s a TE2 with a good ceiling and a nonexistent floor.
Drew Brees will be a surefire top end QB1 in a probable shootout at home. All of his WRs are in play as solid fantasy options. Chief among them will be Michael Thomas, who is a high end WR2 with WR1 upside. Brandin Cooks should rebound from his fantasy dud and put up WR2 numbers against the Lions. Finally, Willie Snead is as strong a WR3/flex option as you’re likely to find. Coby Fleener continues to lose snaps to Josh Hill - this pattern has been as certain and observable as climate change. Fleener is the polar ice caps. His fantasy relevance is the polar bears. Don’t start him, and if you need to, Josh Hill could be a good streamer in a pinch. Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower should continue to split the backfield opportunities – Ingram is playing like a man possessed and should be trusted as an RB1 in this matchup. Hightower is a strong RB3 option.

Dolphins @ Ravens

• This matchup projects to be better for the Dolphins’ passing game than its running game. Ryan Tannehill has been solid over the last three weeks, he will likely provide high end QB2 numbers. DeVante Parker is the preferred play as a low end WR2 with a lot of upside. Jarvis Landry is not what he used to be with his volume essentially halved - he’ll be just a WR3. Kenny Stillsis quite worthy of a flex dart throw – while not a high volume guy, he is a favored guy on Tannehill’s deep shots. Jay Ajayi has a tough matchup against the Baltimore run defense which is 2nd best in fantasy football, but with his volume and dominance of goal line duties, he’s still an RB2.
Joe Flacco is tough to trust as anything more than a middling QB2 in any matchup. Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace are the primary pass catchers here – neither has distinguished himself as the team’s clear WR1. Both will be decent WR3/flex plays here. Dennis Pitta is a low upside low end TE2. Kenneth Dixon is steadily taking over – last week he out snapped and out touched backfield rival Terrance West. It is still a near even split for now, but I expect Dixon to pull into the lead here against Miami. Dixon will be a strong RB3 play, and West will be a shakey flex at best.

Rams @ Patriots

Jared Goff did well last week, throwing 3 TDs against the Saints, but I wouldn’t expect anything like that against the Pats in Foxborough. Goff will be a back end QB2. Kenny Britt is very much in the low end WR2 discussion based on his volume and production. Todd Gurley should continue to churn out low end RB2 numbers. Tavon Austin cannot be trusted. Lance Kendricks is shaping up as a trusted safety valve for Goff, racking up 14 targets in the last two games with him – that kind of volume is good enough for TE2 consideration.
Tom Brady is an every week QB1 start no matter what, particularly with all of his weapons healthy as they currently are. Rob Gronkowski’s back injury is reportedly not serious, so he should be fired up as a TE1. Julian Edelman will return to being a high end WR3 with Gronk back in the mix. Martellus Bennett is better when Gronk plays, but he’s so inconsistent in this offense with so many weapons that he’s just a TE2. LeGarrette Blount is the safest bet for RB production in the backfield as an RB2. Dion Lewis is being phased in over James White - I expect White to start disappearing in this game in Lewis’ favor. Lewis will be a strong PPR flex/RB3, and White will be a dicey flex. Malcolm Mitchell is worth a dart throw at flex, and should be grabbed across the board in dynasty leagues, but his usage may have had something to do with Gronk’s absence. I’d pick him up if you have room, but wait to see how this week goes before starting him. Chris Hogan would be just a very inconsistent flex play.

Broncos @ Jaguars

Trevor Siemian is, of course, a bottom barrel QB2, particularly against a solid Jaguars pass defense. The outlook is also dimmer than usual for Broncos’ receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders against this surprisingly stout defense. With virtually identical target shares, both are low end WR2s without much more upside for more in this matchup. Devontae Booker has been disappointingly inefficient since taking over the starting job thanks to the Broncos terrible o-line, however, his workload is immense. Last week he received the most carries (24) in the league. The week before that, again 24 carries. That workload cements him as an every week RB2.
Blake Bortles should be eaten alive by the Broncos’ defense – he will be a QB2. Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee will be WR3s, with Robinson on the higher end due to volume and Lee on the verge of WR4 due to the tough matchup. Chris Ivory will be the preferable RB3 as the goal line back. TJ Yeldon will be a very shakey flex option in PPR only. Julius Thomas, if he is able to play, will be a hard to trust TE2.

Chiefs @ Falcons

• The Chiefs have a dream matchup against the Falcons terrible defense. Alex Smith still won’t be more than a QB2, however. Travis Kelce will be a no brainer TE1. Spencer Ware, despite recent fantasy mediocrity, will be a true RB1 as the workhorse in this matchup. Tyreek Hill is a player with decent enough floor and a huge ceiling. He’s a solid WR2.
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones should shine in this one, putting up stellar QB1 and WR1 numbers respectively. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman should have a tougher time against a fairly good Kansas City run defense, however, this rushing duo is extremely potent. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, and happily starting Freeman as a high end RB2 and Coleman as a high end RB3.Mohamed Sanu is a WR3/flexable option as the number two passing option against a bad secondary. Taylor Gabriel exploded last week, and has been a consistent flex for the past four games. However, he is doing so on a meager target share, which means there is a low floor here. He’s a boom or bust flex.

49ers @ Bears

• AKA “The Battle for the #2 Overall Pick”. Colin Kaepernick is a QB1, time for all of us to come to terms with that reality. He has a superb rushing floor, and he’s honestly playing very well. Against these lowly Bears, I’m starting him confidently. Vance McDonald has been his top target since Week 7 and has the consistency to be considered a solid TE2. Jeremy Kerley and Torrey Smith are the other pass catching options – they’re so boom or bust and unreliable I wouldn’t want to start them, but if you have to, either is flexable in a deep league. Someone has to catch the touchdowns. Carlos Hyde will be a high end RB2/low end RB1 against the Bears.
Matt Barkley is on the streaming radar if only because San Francisco’s defense is so pitiful. With Mariota on bye, maybe some of you will need him in a deeper league. Fire up your Jordan Howards. Running backs have feasted against this pitiful San Francisco run defense. He should be able to put up low end RB1 numbers. Marquess Wilson emerged as Barkley’s favorite target last week and is worth a start as a WR3 with considerable upside.

Eagles @ Bengals

• The good news for Carson Wentz and the Eagles is that Jordan Matthews did not suffer a serious injury last week. Still, with few viable weapons, Wentz will be just a QB2 even in this nice matchup. Matthews has a tough on paper matchup, but Cinci’s defense has been beaten badly by slot receivers (Crowder, Beckham (they’ve been using him from the slot more often), Enunwa, Beasley). I trust him as a low end WR2. The Eagles attempted to feature Wendell Smallwood last week but it didn’t work out – in a nice matchup that the Eagles should dominate, he’s a solid RB3 but no more. His value would be nonexistent if Ryan Mathews returns this week – Mathews would fill in as a boom or bust RB3. Darren Sproles has RB3/flex value in PPR. This backfield is such a mess. Zach Ertz couldn’t make much of his opportunities last week, even with Jordan Matthews off the field. Still, he is getting nice volume and should be used as a low end TE1 in a nice matchup.
Andy Dalton is nothing with his main weapon, AJ Green. All of us who own Green pray for his return, but in the meantime Dalton is just a QB2. Tyler Eifert was most heavily targeted in Green’s absence with 11 targets. He’s a high end TE1. Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell were next on the target totem pole with 9. Boyd was far more efficient - he’ll be in WR3/flex territory against the Eagles. LaFell is a desperation flex in deeper leagues. Jeremy Hill handled an expanded workload with Giovani Bernard done for the season and somewhat underwhelmed. The volume is nice though; he’ll be a strong RB2 play this week.

Texans @ Packers

Brock Osweiler continues to throw good matchup after good matchup into the trash can, but he underthrows the trash can and oh! It’s picked off by the opposing defense. He’s a low end QB2 even in this cakewalk against the Packers collapsing defense. I’ve heard folks saying DeAndre Hopkins would be on the waiver wire if he had any other name, but that’s just not true. Nobody should drop anyone getting this kind of volume, regardless of inefficiency. Regression will happen eventually, and even if I don’t trust Brock I can trust Nuk. He’s a WR2 against a bad defense. Lamar Miller should be able to churn out high RB2/low RB1 numbers in this quality matchup. CJ Fiedorowicz remains a safe, steady low end TE1. He has been a PPR revelation for late round TE drafters. Will Fuller has fallen off sense his hot start and cannot be trusted as anything more than a desperation flex.
Aaron Rodgers is a QB1 each and every week. His WRs face a tough matchup, but Tyrell Williams was able to thrive against them last week. I’m confident an elite QB like Rodgers can help his WRs thrive even in this situation. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams will both be solid WR2 options despite the tough secondary. Randall Cobb, on the other hand, will be just a fringe WR3/flex. James Starks will be an RB3 option – he gets plenty of touches but is painfully inefficient with them.

Bills @ Raiders

Tyrod Taylor gets the Raiders defense next week in a great opportunity to put up strong QB1 numbers. Working in his favor is the return of top weapon Sammy Watkins, who will play more snaps this week but not yet be at full go. Due to the uncertainty of his workload, he’s still just a WR3 but there is considerable upside; he looked good in his return last week. LeSean McCoy is an elite RB1 every week, and this is a pretty good matchup for him. You know what to do.
Derek Carr has been excellent this season and can be safely started as a QB1 this week. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have 100 and 101 targets respectively this season. So volume-wise, they’re essentially identical. Cooper has been cooling off since the bye however, with 12 targets through those two games to Crabtree’s 20. Still, I see both as high upside WR2s against Buffalo. Latavius Murray is a rock solid RB2.

Redskins @ Cardinals

Kirk Cousins has been without a doubt one of the best fantasy QBs this season thanks to his talent and excellent cache of weapons – I believe he can overcome the tough matchup and return low end QB1 numbers but temper expectations. This will not be one of his better games. The same can be said for Jordan Reed - ordinarily a no brainer TE1, against the Cardinals’ defense with a serious shoulder injury, I wouldn’t expect more than low end TE1 numbers with limited upside. Vernon Davis would also be a poor start if he's filling in for an injured Reed. The Cardinals have been legitimately excellent against tight ends. Jamison Crowder should be a solid low end WR2 in PPR even in this matchup – he has been the picture of consistency. Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson will be more low end WR3s in this very tough matchup. Rob Kelley will also be limited by his matchup – he should be a low end RB2/high end RB3 thanks to volume against fantasy’s toughest run defense.
David Johnson gets another soft run defense this week, which just isn’t fair. The man has 84 targets. He’s like starting an elite running back and a WR2 in one roster slot every week. David Johnson is a cheat code for fantasy football. I don’t feel like writing about the other Cardinals now. But I will do it anyways. Carson Palmer will be a middle of the road QB2 – they should lean on the run game against Washington. Larry Fitzgerald remains a very solid low end WR1 – the receivers behind him have not stepped up, so his workload will remain high.

Buccaneers @ Chargers

Jameis Winston will be a solid QB1 play in a likely shootout with the Chargers. Mike Evans is an every week stud WR1 – his target share is ridiculous and this matchup poses no serious issue. Cameron Brate has been a surprise hit at the tight end position – he has a low floor, but most weeks he’s getting decent targets and he has had a lot of involvement in the red zone. Use him as a TE1. Doug Martin will be an RB1 against the Chargers no good run defense. Charles Sims is worth a pickup as we near his week 14 return date. He has standalone PPR value and would become an RB1 if Doug Martin were to be injured.
Philip Rivers should also be a good QB1 play in what I predict will be a shootout. Tyrell Williams will be a high end WR2 – there is some concern about his shoulder injury coming from a clickbait article that I’m not sure whether to believe. It is reason enough for caution, but I expect he will be fine and continue to put up borderline WR1 numbers and win championships for folks. Melvin Gordon is a locked and loaded RB1 every week – he should nab a TD or two in this matchup. Dontrelle Inman is a solid WR3/flex as Rivers’ second target. Travis Benjamin is done. Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry are in an interesting situation – Gates was not targeted last week, and Henry hauled in a touchdown on just 3 targets. I’d rather put my faith in Gates this week despite the dud, given his target share prior to the bye. Start him as a boom or bust TE1. Start Henry as a low upside TE2.

Giants @ Steelers

Eli Manning has been on a hot streak and should keep it rolling against the Steelers. I expect a low end QB1 performance. Odell Beckham Jr. is an every week WR1 – fire him up in a potential shootout. Sterling Shepard went untargeted last week but I feel this is an anomaly – he is a WR3/flex, obviously with a risky floor. Rashad Jennings draws another solid matchup this week, but we all saw how that turned out last week against Cleveland – Jennings is an RB3.
Ben Roethlisberger at home is someone I always want to start. He’ll be a solid QB1. Antonio Brown is insanely good and must be started in your WR1 slot. The same goes for the third corner of this offensive trifecta, every week RB1 LeVeon Bell. Ladarius Green is getting more involved each week and has a solid target per snap rate. He’s worth a start as a TE2 in deeper leagues, and worth a stash for those desperate at TE for the playoffs –he could fill the niche that Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton were unable to. Eli Rogers is too up and down to be trusted.

Panthers @ Seahawks

The Panthers’ offense has not been what it used to be, and Cam Newton has not been what he used to be. Against the elite Seahawks’ defense, Cam will be just a QB2. Greg Olsen has cooled significantly since the Panthers’ Week 7 bye, but he is still receiving the requisite targets and possesses a decent enough floor to remain a solid TE1 play. Kelvin Benjamin has disappointed along with Cam, and will be just a WR3 against the Seahawks’ elite secondary. Jonathan Stewart receives a large enough workload to be an every week RB2.
Russell Wilson should rebound big time from last week’s disappointing, shocking, and kind of awesome (Go Bucs!) loss to the Buccaneers last week. He will be a QB1 against the Panthers’ all around weak defense. Doug Baldwin is a high end WR2 – his connection with Wilson is undeniable. Jimmy Graham is vital to this offense as well – he’ll be a strong TE1. Thomas Rawls was eliminated by gameflow and own poor offensive line play last week – the Hawks will get a critical starter back on the line this week, and the offense getting in sync should also help. I’m confidently firing up Rawls as an RB2 where I have him – he looked solid on the runs that he had.

Colts @ Jets

Andrew Luck and the Colts should have no trouble wailing on the flailing Jets. Luck will be a QB1 against a terrible secondary unit. TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief (AKA Eric Decker 2.0) should thrive – Hilton as a borderline WR1 and Moncrief as a steady WR2. Outside of games against Jay Ajayi (revelation) and David Johnson (living god), the Jets run defense has been quite solid. Regardless, Frank Gore has been extremely consistent and this game could very well end with the Colts running out the clock. Gore remains a very consistent RB2. Jack Doyle and Dwayne Allen simply can’t be trusted as they cannibalize each other’s opportunities.
Ryan Fitzpatrick gets a solid streaming matchup but he’s a tough one to trust – I’m projecting high end QB2 numbers. Brandon Marshall had a revival last week and I’d expect it to continue this week – fire him up as a solid WR2 with upside. Quincy Enunwa is a boom or bust WR3/flex option in a pretty good matchup – not a recommended start per se, but worth a punt in a pinch. Matt Forte faces off against a bad run defense, giving him a solid shot at high end RB2 numbers. Bilal Powell has some standalone value while Forte is healthy, but not a ton – in PPR he’s a worthy flex play in a good matchup for the desperate.
Thanks for reading! As always feel free to leave your questions in the comments all week. I am a fantasy degenerate and am more than happy answering questions about it all the time.
I’m just going to start posting the lineup polls for Fantasy Collective here. For those that don’t know, it’s a fantasy team run entirely by the popular vote of redditors. Keep in mind the scoring format is PPR! Polls below:
QB Poll
WR Poll
RB Poll
Best of luck to all in Week 13!
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Quick Thoughts on every Week 16 game

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Week 15 Quick Thoughts
This is it folks, the season finale. It has all been for this. I’m right there with you, having been lucky enough to make it to the championship game of 2/3 of my leagues. One final week, one final write up. If you want to ask me questions for Week 17 there are a few steps to take: 1) ask your commissioner to do the only sensible thing and make your league end in week 16, then 2) PM me your questions next week and I’ll be happy to answer them!
Whether you’re fighting for the trophy, battling for honor in the consolation bracket, or desperately avoiding a Sacko, I hope my write up helps! This may be the final Quick Thoughts for a while, but keep an eye out for my username this summer; I have what I think are some pretty solid ideas about creating empirical, accurate draft rankings. They’re going to take a lot of work but if I have anything to say about it those will be going public in time for your drafts! Writing these every week has been a blast, and I hope it has been helpful in getting some of you this far. It has been my pleasure. Good luck, Godspeed, and go win some championships!

Giants @ Eagles

• Philly’s defense is nothing to fear at this point, but the Giants’ possible offensive inefficiency keeps my expectations tempered for Eli Manning, who I’m projecting as a low end QB1. Odell Beckham, however, is a surefire WR1 against a collapsing secondary. The run game, consisting of Rashad Jennings, and Paul Perkins, is one to be avoided entirely. RIP Shane Vereen. Sterling Shepard is a low end, low volume flex play.
Carson Wentz will have a tough go of it against a surging Giant’s defense. Already a QB2, he’ll be on the low end in this tough matchup. Jordan Matthews received 11 targets in catchup mode and remains a strong, high volume WR3 in PPR. Ryan Mathews was treated as an every down back with Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood sidelined, and he should be treated as a strong RB2 if that remains the case. If Sproles returns, however (and it does sound like Sproles will return), this will once again devolve into a gross committee where any of the three are no better than an RB3. Zach Ertz is a solid TE1 play every week as he has carved out a nice target share in Philly.

Jets @ Patriots

• Assuming Bryce Petty gets the start, Robby Anderson will be a solid WR3 start – he’s proven to be Petty’s favorite. If Petty is ruled out in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall will be the preferred WR3. Neither is more than a WR4 without their respective QB. Quincy Enunwa would be on the lower end of flex range with Fitzy at QB as well. With Matt Forte another week healthier, and in a tougher matchup against New England, Bilal Powell may be returning to planet Earth this week. He’s still a strong flex play, stronger than most, but don’t expect elite RB1 numbers. Forte is an RB3/flex with an uncertain workload.
Tom Brady will bounce back as an elite QB1 against the hapless Jets. Julian Edelman has been a volume monster for a few weeks now, and should be a borderline WR1 in this matchup. I predict a bounce back game from Malcolm Mitchell, who was very well covered last week against Denver. He is a solid WR3 play, albeit with a low floor. Chris Hogan, on the other hand, can’t be trusted as anything more than a boom or bust WR4. Don’t trust Michael Floyd if he is active. Martellus Bennett is a mere TE2 with a small chance to boom. LeGarrette Blount took a bit of a backseat to Dion Lewis last week, and there is much confusion as to who is the better play this week. The only man who truly knows if Bill Belichick, but my guess would be that Blount is still your goal line back with a low RB2 floor and Lewis, finally fully healthy and trusted, will be an upside RB3 with extra value in PPR.

Falcons @ Panthers

Matt Ryan is an elite QB1 regardless of the status of Julio Jones - however, it appears the star WR1 will return for week 16. He can be fired up as a high end WR1. Carolina has had a solid run defense all season long. That won’t stop Devonta Freeman from putting up RB1 numbers. Tevin Coleman is still in play as a flex option – he’s getting a good number of carries, tears off nice chunks of yardage and is a threat to vulture a TD at any moment. With the return of Jones, Taylor Gabriel is a risky flex play, but it’s such a nice matchup there is a chance of a boom here that may be attractive to the desperate.
Cam Newton should be a mid to high range QB1 against one of the league’s most generous defenses. Greg Olsen, despite a recent spat of lackluster games, is a no doubt TE1 against the Falcons. Tedd Ginn has taken over as the Panthers’ number one receiver, and he’s a solid WR3 in this likely shootout. Kelvin Benjamin is a low end WR3 at this point. Jonathan Stewart should be a high end RB2 with plenty of opportunity.

Vikings @ Packers

Sam Bradford remains a low end, low upside QB2. Kyle Rudolph is the top pass catching option in the offense, and remains a TE1. Jerick McKinnon has at last emerged as a PPR force – in that format, he’s a solid RB3 with RB2 upside. Matt Asiata is night unstartable with Adrian Peterson back in the lineup. Peterson is a bottom barrel RB3 – the Vikings cannot get anything going on the ground. Stefon Diggs has lost much of the volume that made him so explosive in weeks 8 through 10. At this point he is a boom or bust WR3. Adam Thielen is not a recommended flex option in such an anemic offense.
Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams were two dropped passes away from much bigger days last week, and for that reason I have faith in them this week – you just can’t overreact to drops. They’re random events.Jordy Nelson can be counted on as a sure fire WR1 at home despite the tough matchup. Adams will be a low end WR2 due to the matchup and relatively low volume. Randall Cobb is a WR4 at this point – what a fall from grace. Ty Montgomery is at least a solid RB2 – the Packers are finally using him as he should have been used all along. Christine Michael is just a change of pace right now, don’t trust him.

Titans @ Jaguars

Marcus Mariota has been absolutely brutal over the last two weeks. If you’re still alive in the playoffs after using him, congratulations but it’s time to stop. Mariota is a QB2 against the Jaguars’ solid pass defense. Rishard Matthews was able to stay afloat even at Mariota’s worst last week, but that was against a significantly worse pass defense. Matthews will be a WR3 against the Jags. Delanie Walker is a low end TE1 against the Jags’ solid tight end defense. DeMarco Murray is the only player I’m confident starting – he’s a locked in RB1.
Blake Bortles is a high end QB2 with upside against a weak Titans’ pass defense. Allen Robinson has a legitimate shot at WR2 numbers against this defense. Marqise Lee is a worthy flex option. TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory will face a tough Tennessee run defense on top of capping each other’s upside in a committee; Yeldon is a solid RB3 in PPR, Ivory is nigh unstartable.

Chargers @ Browns

• The Chargers all get a big offensive boost against the downright awful Browns. Philip Rivers, despite recent struggles, should be at least a low end QB1. Tyrell Williams is probably hard to trust for most of you at this point, I get it, but his volume bounced back last week with 9 targets, the most on the team. Rivers wants to throw to this man, and it’s against the Browns. Fire up Williams as a WR2. Dontrelle Inman was 1 target behind Williams, and is a solid WR3/flex in this cake matchup. The Chargers might take this easy opportunity to get Antonio Gates a few steps closer to the TD record – he’s worth a shot as your tight end if you’re lacking in options. Melvin Gordon would be a boom or bust RB1 with injury concerns if he returns. Kenneth Farrow would be an upside RB2 in a dream matchup if Gordon is wisely ruled out by the Chargers, who are playing for nothing at this point.
• Whoever the Browns’ QB is, don’t start them. Neither WR, Terrelle Pryor nor Corey Coleman, will be a recommended start either. Pryor is more of a WR3 while Coleman is just a desperation WR4. The Chargers’ run defense remains stout as well, making Isaiah Crowell a shaky RB3. Duke Johnson is an intriguing RB3/flex option – he got more involved in the passing game last week with 5 catches, and the Chargers’ have given up the 6th most receptions to running backs this season. Keep him in mind if you’re puzzled about your flex and he’s sitting at the bottom of your bench.

Dolphins @ Bills

• QB Matt Moore played well last week, however, you’re not starting him in your playoff game. Nobody on the Dolphins received a lot of passing volume last week – Moore only tossed the ball 18 times. Jarvis Landry made the most of his four targets, however, turning them into 3 catches for 108 yards and a score. He’s probably the best bet for WR3 production against the Bills – I cannot recommend anyone getting just four targets as anything more. Kenny Stills is a boom or bust, TD dependent flex play. DeVante Parker is in the same situation as Stills, boom or bust and TD dependent. The low volume breeds this kind of situation. Avoid Dion Sims unless desperate despite the two touchdown day last week – he’s unlikely to repeat such a performance. Jay Ajayi continues to get excellent volume, but was stifled by the Jets run defense last week. Buffalo gave up 236 yards to LeVeon Bell in Week 14, and 82 to Latavius Murray in Week 13, so there is hope of a good day here. Follow the volume and start Ajayi as an RB2.
Tyrod Taylor put up 24 points against the Dolphins the last time they played, but he has been on a cool streak for the past three games. Miami has been a generous defense to opposing QBs, so I’m comfortable firing up Tyrod as a low end QB1. Sammy Watkins was brutal to owners last week – he’s almost impossible to trust at this point, but if you’re feeling lucky, Miami’s burnable CBs provide a good matchup. View him as a boom or bust WR3. LeSean McCoy is an elite RB1 and Mike Gillislee is his lovable vulture sidekick, who is flexable. Charles Clay is a decent option at TE with 13 targets and two scores through the last two games – he’s almost the last man uninjured man standing in the passing game.

Redskins @ Bears

Kirk Cousins disappointed last week, and was more of a low end QB1 in the two weeks prior. Chicago has actually been pretty good on defense – I see Kirk continuing on the low end QB1 track for the fantasy championship. He has a high floor in a pass happy offense. There has been an awakening in the Washington pass catching corps. Pierre Garcon is taking over much of the volume which once belonged to Jamison Crowder. Crowder was a disaster last week and the week before; Garcon will be the preferred WR3/flex. DeSean Jackson is on a hot streak, and his increase in targets last week was nice, but DJax is always boom or bust. Beware of the low floor, but choose him if you need a high ceiling. Rob Kelley is a solid two down back getting the majority of the carries; volume is king, so he’s a mid range RB2 play based on that alone. Game flow hurt him last week and he still did well. Sigh… Jordan Reed. He’s so tough to evaluate but I’ll say this; last week he looked hurt. He looked like he should not be out on the field. I’d keep him out of your lineups unless you need a homerun. Select a safer option for your championship game.
Matt Barkley used Cameron Meredith and Alshon Jeffery as a one two punch last week, and both WRs are fairly attractive starts this week. Meredith has the target edge, and Barkley seems to love him. He’s a solid WR3. Jeffery is no better than a WR3, despite his big name and big talent, because this QB has no reason yet to like him more than Meredith. He is, however, a strong WR3 start. Jordan Howard is a no doubt RB1 workhorse against a soft run defense.

Colts @ Raiders

• This game has major shootout appeal with two great offenses facing off against two bad defenses. Andrew Luck is a surefire QB1. TY Hilton is a locked in WR1. Frank Gore will be a solid RB2 with a good shot at a goal line attempt. Donte Moncrief coming off a hamstring injury, will be a TD dependent, extremely high risk WR3 if he plays at all. If Moncrief misses time, Jack Doyle may be decent as a streaming TE, but otherwise stay far away.
• I see a bounceback week incoming for the Raiders’ offense. Derek Carr should be at least a low end QB1 in this one, and WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are both in the low end WR2 range. Crabtree has the definite target edge right now, and I’d prefer him if forced to choose. Latavius Murrayhas transformed into a high volume back, and you’d be wise to start him as your RB1 this week.

Cardinals @ Seahawks

Carson Palmer will be just a QB2 against the Seahawks. The WRs will also take a hit against one of the league’s most talented defenses; Larry Fitzgerald will be a low end WR2, JJ Nelson will be a low end WR3, and John Brown will be not be a startable option. Jermaine Gresham will be a low end TE2 despite being a consistent low end TE1 option over the past few weeks – the Hawks’ defense is just too tough. There is one and only one Cardinal who can be trusted this week. Brothers and sisters, let us pray.
David Johnson, Who art in Arizona
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy touchdowns come
Thy load be a ton
in Week 16 as it was in Weeks 1 through 15
Give us this day our weekly 100 yards from scrimmage
and forgive us our doubts about the matchup with Seattle
as we forgive those who passed on you in the first round;
and lead us not into failure,
but deliver us a championship. Amen.
Russell Wilsonhas been extremely up and down all season, so I view him as a low floor, high ceiling QB1. Arizona’s secondary is certainly vulnerable right now, as evidenced by Drew Brees’ brutal beating of them last week. Doug Baldwin should be a big beneficiary, and is a solid WR2 play, but I also expect big things from Tyler Lockett who should succeed on the outside and benefit from easier coverage. Lockett is a high upside WR3. Jimmy Graham will be just a TE2 against the Cards’ excellent TE defense – his targets have been in the trash the past two weeks as well. Tough to trust him now, with everything on the line. Thomas Rawls has had poor production since returning, though it’s not his fault – the offensive line is embarrassing. Against the Cardinals’ solid run defense I don’t expect a lot of yardage for Rawls, but do expect a couple of goal line situations thanks to progress through the air. Rawls will be a volume heavy, O-line light, somewhat TD dependent RB2.

Buccaneers @ Saints

• The Buccaneers have undergone a transformation over the last three weeks. As the defense has improved, the offense has been asked to do less. This has been bad fantasy news for Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. I propose that this streak will end in the Dome, as Drew Brees ignites a shootout in his home. Winston has a solid floor either way, so I’m starting him as a low end QB1 with upside for more. Evans is a sure fire WR1 every week, and I think we’ll see more of the old him in your championship game. Cameron Brate is without a doubt a TE1 at this point. He’s going to be a bargain in 2017 drafts. Doug Martin has been painfully inefficient since his return, but he churned out 66 yards and a TD against the Saints in Week 14 and I expect a bigger performance this time – use him happily as an RB2. Charles Sims is a desperation flex option – if the Bucs wind up in catch up mode he could have a nice PPR day.
Drew Brees, as I mentioned above, should be a high end QB1 in a shootout at home. His receivers are all strong starts this week; Brandin Cooks is a WR2 with WR1 upside, Michael Thomas is a strong WR2, even Willie Snead is the highest of high end WR3s. Coby Fleener cannot be trusted in championship lineups. Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower are in a split, with Ingram getting the slight lead. It’s frustrating for Ingram owners that Hightower gets called in at the goal line so often, and that does somewhat cap his upside here. Ingram is a solid RB2, and Hightower is a very good RB3/flex option.

49ers @ Rams

Colin Kaepernick has a shot at low end QB1 numbers in a division battle with the hapless Rams. Carlos Hyde is the 49er to start; as the offensive centerpiece he should get plenty of work. He’s a high end RB2 – game flow should not be a concern this time. Jeremy Kerley is the last man standing in the pass catching group, and should serve as a low end flex option.
Todd Gurley has potential to be a fantasy championship hero for those owners who survived his mediocrity all season. The 49ers are hands down the worst run defense in the league. Fire up your Gurleys as a high upside RB2 – the only fear here is the incompetence of the Rams as an organization which is, to be fair, a very legitimate fear. Kenny Britt has real talent and has thus emerged as a fantasy option this year. San Francisco is a great matchup, but QB concerns limit him to high upside WR3/flex. Do not consider starting any other Ram in your fantasy championship lineup.

Bengals @ Texans

Andy Dalton will square off against a tough Houston passing defense; he will be just a QB2 regardless of AJ Green’s status. I am hesitant on AJ Green – on the one hand, why would the Bengals start him in a meaningless game if he wasn’t healthy enough to handle it? On the other hand, are they just forcing him out there as a decoy to save a few coaches’ jobs? Watching how he practices this week will be key in determining how to view him. The matchup is not great to begin with, adding to my fears. If he practices fully all week, cross your fingers and fire him up as a WR1. If it’s limited all week, understand that there is a floor of 0 and start him if you have no better option and/or need a Hail Mary. Jeremy Hill is getting RB1 volume, and turning it into decent RB2 numbers. I think he can be counted on for around 50 yards, a score and a catch or two. Brandon LaFell will lose all appeal with AJ Green back on the field – if Green misses the game he’s a decent WR3/flex. Owners of Tyler Eifert will have to take a shot on him after last week’s dud – he’s still a critical weapon in the red zone, which makes him a TE1.
• Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear football helmets and come off the bench for awful QBs. Tom Savage is my hero. He is the Prince that was Promised who will slay Brock Osweiler and competently throw the ball to DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins received 17 targets last week with Savage slinging the ball most of that game. That’s all you need to know, because when Hopkins gets good volume, good things happen. Fire up Hopkins as a high end WR2. Pour some out for the Hopkins owners who couldn’t make it to the ship because of Osweiler and the Texans organization; gone but not forgotten. Lamar Miller will be his usual RB2 self if he can suit up following his ankle injury. If not, Alfred Blue will be a viable desperation RB3. CJ Fiedorowicz will be a low end TE1 on the team which targets TEs the most of any other team; if Fedora can’t suit up, Ryan Griffin would make a nice streamer as well. Will Fuller is a low end, low upside desperation flex.

Ravens @ Steelers

Joe Flacco is on a hot streak (for him) but remains just a QB2 for the playoffs. Terrance West retook lead back duties, to the dismay of Kenneth Dixon owners. Maybe next year. For now, both are just fringe RB3s. Mike Wallace and Steve Smith are splitting targets down the middle, making them just WR3s against a decent Pittsburgh secondary.
Ben Roethlisberger finally gets another home game where he does best, so he’ll be at least a QB1 against the Ravens, with significant upside for more. Antonio Brown is, as always, a high end WR1 – the home matchup helps him out too. LeVeon Bell faces a tough test against Baltimore’s run defense which has successfully limited him in the past, not that you’re sitting him. He’s still a rock solid RB1 with a ridiculously high touch floor. If Ladarius Green gains clearance from the concussion protocol he’ll be a low end TE1 as a much needed deep threat for Roethlisberger. Don’t ever expect anything from Eli Rogers.

Broncos @ Chiefs

Trevor Siemian is, as ever, a bottom barrel QB2, but his WRs get a nice matchup against Kansas City’s weak secondary. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will both be high upside WR2s as the Broncos will need to air it out to make up for their embarrassing run game. Justin Forsett has apparently overtaken rookie Devontae Booker - neither has shown any kind of effectiveness behind a poor line. Neither can be started.
• The Chiefs’ passing game will be effectively shut down by Denver’s excellent pass defense. Alex Smith is not a startable QB this week. Jeremy Maclin took control of the WR1 spot again last week, but it won’t do him much good in this matchup – he’s a WR3. Tyreek Hill, good as he’s been, is not a startable option this week – his volume departed when Maclin got healthy. It was fun while it lasted. Travis Kelce remains a TE1 – the matchup is bad but the Chiefs may need to look to him to move the ball as its WRs are shut down. Spencer Ware will be a high end RB2 as the Chiefs will need to attack Denver in their weak spot – run defense.

Lions @ Cowboys

Matthew Stafford will be just a QB2 this week; his hand injury seems to be impacting his play, with just one passing touchdown and 3 INTs in his last two games. Golden Tate remains in play as a strong WR2 – his volume is staying high - monitor his health however, as there are reports he was injured last week. Marvin Jones is a low end flex, while Anquan Boldin is a boom or bust, TD dependent type flex. Eric Ebron is a nice low end TE1 streamer against the Cowboys’ weak TE defense. Theo Riddick would be a risky RB3 if he returns from his injury. If he remains out, Dwayne Washington will continue to “carry the load” for low end RB3 numbers.
Dak Prescott should have a low end QB1 day against a Detroit defense that has been successfully playing keep away from opposing QBs. The Cowboys own offensive style should help mitigate that however, keeping the ball in Dak’s control for much of the game. Dez Bryant is a low end WR1 in this matchup, particularly with Darius Slay out. Cole Beasley is a risky WR3/flex option. Jason Witten is a low upside TE streaming option. Ezekiel Elliott is, of course, a high end RB1 who should help carry you to the promised land!
If you feel like it, let me know who you think will win the championship match in my dynasty league! Thanks in advance.
The Matchup
The Poll
Leave your questions below, I’ll answer all of ‘em. Good luck this week, and until next year…
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Quick Thoughts on every Week 15 game

PRO TIP: CTRL+F to find the players you care about.
Week 14 Quick Thoughts
Congratulations if you've made it to round 2 of your league's playoffs! I'm still alive in two of my three leagues and I hope you are too! Last week was completely insane, the lowest scoring week in the NFL in 2016 and 2015. Here's hoping this week is a little bit more generous and predictable.

Rams @ Seahawks

• Pour one out for Jeff Fisher. The Rams offense should continue to be a dysfunctional mess in his honor. Jared Goff is unstartable, Kenny Britt will be a borderline WR3 against the Seahawks’ tough pass defense, and Todd Gurley will be a touchdown (not likely) dependent RB3 against an elite rushing defense. The Rams are toast.
• It is entirely unclear which Seattle offense is going to show up in any given week. I would like to think that against an imploding Rams team at home, Russell Wilson will get right with a big day. At this point, who knows? The Seahawks are beyond my ability to predict. He is a low floor, high ceiling QB1 play. Doug Baldwin is a solid WR2 with a nice floor and a high ceiling. Jimmy Graham did not deliver last week, but the entire offense was defunct. I expect he will do better this week, and in this season’s tight end wasteland he’s a good bet for TE1 numbers. Thomas Rawls is a high floor RB2 play with potential for a whole lot more if the Seahawks can live up to their potential.

Dolphins @ Jets

Matt Moore will lead the Dolphins against the hapless Jets. We have an extremely small sample size on Moore, but suffice it to say you should not be starting him against the Jets, and he’s a downgrade for the entire Dolphins pass catching corps. Jarvis Landry will be just an WR3, but a strong bet to receive the most targets in the passing game. Kenny Stills is an extremely shaky flex, and Devante Parker is nigh unstartable due to his reliance on deep balls which Matt Moore should never be throwing. Jay Ajayi should be fine, even against a traditionally good Jets run defense. The Dolphins will lean on him to hide Moore, and the Jets looked like they had given up last week. Ajayi is a strong RB2 play.
Bryce Petty is not a startable option on the quitting Jets. He should, however, continue to pepper Robby Anderson with targets, making him a viable WR3 against the Dolphins. Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enunwa just aren’t getting the targets from Petty that are needed for fantasy relevance. Marshall can still be used as a desperation flex, but I would drop Enunwa in all leagues but dynasty formats. Bilal Powell will be a legitimate RB2, especially in PPR, with Matt Forte sidelined with a knee injury. There is a chance Forte could still play, but I'm not optimistic - the Jets' season is lost and they have no reason to risk further injury. If Forte does play, he will be a risky RB3 with a low floor if he aggravates his injury or is simply pulled from the game to avoid risk.

Eagles @ Ravens

Carson Wentz can’t be trusted in lineups against one of the league’s best defenses. Jordan Matthews will be a solid low end WR2 option in PPR, but more of a WR3 in standard formats – I see him catching a lot of balls versus Baltimore but not going far against a good defense. Zach Ertz is an unquestioned TE1 for the rest of the season – his role in the offense has grown significantly. Ryan Mathews could be the last man standing in this backfield with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles looking to be out with injuries. Even with an increased workload, Mathews would be just a high end RB3 against a league-best rush defense.
Joe Flacco has been great lately, perhaps entering Elite Dragon mode for the playoffs. Against Philadelphia at home I think he’s an upside QB2. Mike Wallace and Steve Smith have taken on similar roles in the offense. Without a big play they’ll be just low end WR3 plays – if they’re able to break one off, there’s a shot at WR2 figures. Treat them each as boom or bust. Kenneth Dixon finally, at long last, took over the backfield last week against the Patriots. He can be treated as a low end RB2 moving forward. Dennis Pitta is a low upside TE2, particularly against Philly’s great TE defense. Breshad Perriman is a low volume flex, but a nice hold for dynasty.

Jaguars @ Texans

Blake Bortles will be just a QB2 against a solid Houston pass defense. Allen Robinson, likewise, will be only a WR3 – recently, he has not even been seeing the volume that had been keeping him somewhat afloat. Shockingly, Marquise Lee has been the more consistent play as a solid WR3 play. What a world. If Chris Ivory remains out this week, TJ Yeldon will be on the low end RB2 radar based on workload and a decent matchup. If Ivory returns, they’ll both be tough to trust RB3s.
Brock Osweiler will also face a tough pass defense in the Jaguars, not that you were starting him anyways. DeAndre Hopkins is sadly just a WR3. Looking at this matchup I am struck by the similarities in these teams passers and pass catchers. Osweiler to Hopkins is very reminiscent of Bortles to Robinson. So disappointing. But enough of past regrets. Lamar Miller will be a strong RB2 play against the Jaguars – he received 21 carries last week and the Texans should be winning this game, helping his gameflow outlook. CJ Fiedorowicz will be a low end TE1 if he can be cleared form the concussion protocol by Sunday – he remains Brock’s valuable safety valve.

Colts @ Vikings

• The entire Colts’ offense gets a downgrade against the defensively stout Vikings. Andrew Luck will still be a QB1, albeit a low end one. TY Hilton is a low end WR1 play – even in a tough matchup, I trust him to do well with Donte Moncrief hampered by injury. If Moncrief plays, he’ll be just a WR3 – he has become totally TD dependent. Frank Gore remains a low end RB2 as one of the few workhorses left in the league. Dwayne Allen hilariously followed up his 3 touchdown game with a zero catch performance – he cannot be trusted.
Sam Bradford is just a mid range QB2 even in a generous matchup against the Colts’ defense – the offense is simply too conservative. Stefon Diggs should rack up high end WR2 numbers against the Colts in PPR. Kyle Rudolph is a without a doubt TE1 every week, but especially against the Colts. Adam Thielen is a solid WR3/flex play – his role in the offense is now cemented. Matt Asiata remains in the low end RB3 mix, but he’ll need a touchdown to return that value. Mercifully, the Vikings finally got a clue and got Jerick McKinnon involved in the passing game for the second week straight. It only took 12 weeks for them to realize what he can do when he’s not shackled by their pathetic offensive line. McKinnon will be a low end RB2 in PPR formats against the Colts in a dream matchup.

Lions @ Giants

• The Giants’ defense has been excellent all season and it gives me real concerns for Matthew Stafford and the Lions on the road this week. The Giants have only allowed three performances that I would consider low end QB1 material (17+) all season. They have not allowed a single high end QB1 game. Stafford is just a high end QB2 for me this week. Golden Tate will be a low end WR2 as the primary target in this offense. Anquan Boldin is a worthy WR3/flex – he is a favorite of Stafford’s in the red zone. Marvin Jones is barely a blip on the flex radar at this point, especially in this tough matchup. Eric Ebron is a boom or bust TE2 with TE1 upside. Hopefully if you’re this deep in the playoffs you have a better option. If Theo Riddick plays, he’ll be a low end RB2 in PPR formats. If not, Dwayne Washington handled the majority of the carries in his absence and would be in the RB3 mix.
• As good as the Giants’ defense has been, the Giants’ offense has been equally bad. Eli Manning gets a tough draw against a Detroit defense which has lately been playing effective keepaway against opposing offenses. Given his struggles and the matchup, I can’t advocate Eli as anything more than a high end QB2. Odell Beckham is the offense and should be started as a WR1 every week – he showed us last week how he can thrive, even on a struggling offense. Sterling Shepard is just a low end flex – surely there are better options for you. Rashad Jennings is just an RB3, once against splitting carries with rookie Paul Perkins.

Titans @ Chiefs

• The Chiefs’ defense just got through killing Derek Carr and all of his fantasy owners, but on the whole they have not been an overly frightening defense for opposing QBs. For that reason I am trusting Marcus Mariota as a low end QB1 this week. Rishard Matthews should thrive against a questionable secondary for solid WR2 numbers. Delanie Walker has a tougher matchup against KC’s elite tight end defense – he’s still a low end TE1, but if you have other options, maybe look towards them this week. DeMarco Murray is an elite RB1. Though the matchup for the run game is tough, I’m confident he will overcome it with touchdown upside.
Alex Smith will be on the QB2 streaming radar against the Titans’ suspect defense. Tyreek Hill is a legitimate WR2 at this point, making the most of his limited volume with big play ability. Travis Kelce is an every week TE1, ‘nuff said. Spencer Ware will be a strong RB2 option based on workload, and would be an RB1 if not for the very tough matchup against the Titans’ excellent run defense.

Browns @ Bills

• It would seem Robert Griffin III did not get the memo about Terrelle Pryor being good. With only 3 targets last week to Corey Coleman’s 11, Pryor is a risky WR3 this week. Coleman didn’t do well with his targets, converting the 11 looks into only 3 catches for 26 yards. The volume bodes well for Coleman’s future, but he can’t be trusted yet as anything more than a WR3/flex with that sort of efficiency. Oh, and don’t start RG3. The matchup against Buffalo presents a good opportunity for Isaiah Crowell to post some low end RB2 numbers – the Bills have not been good against the run, having just allowed LeVeon Bell to achieve demi-god status against them last week.
• A matchup against Cleveland always bodes well for the entire offense. Tyrod Taylor should bounce back for QB1 numbers. Sammy Watkins is startable as a low end WR2 as he rebounds from injury. Finally, LeSean McCoy is a locked in, top of the line RB1 in a dream playoff matchup. Mike Gillislee could be used at the goal line, so flex him if you’re desperate. Charles Clay is even in play as a TE streamer if you’re truly in need.

Packers @ Bears

• The Bears’ defense has been the one good thing about them this season, but it gives me no concerns for Aaron Rodgers who should be a top end QB1 against them this week. Jordy Nelson should be a strong WR1 play, while Davante Adams is a WR2 with plenty of upside for more. Randall Cobb should be a startable WR3 as well, though likely on the lower end – there just aren’t many looks to go around with the emergence of Adams. This mess of a backfield will not be one to rely on in the fantasy playoffs. Ty Montgomery would be my preferred start over Christine Michael by a mile as an RB3 or a fringe WR3.
Jordan Howard is the final man left to own in this offense. He’ll be a volume based RB2, but gameflow and matchup concerns could limit him. Cameron Meredith is a startable boom or bust WR3. Chicago QB Matt Barkley seemingly has no favorite target, but he’s running low, so Meredith could benefit. Alshon Jeffery returns to play this week, but there's no telling how many targets he will receive from Barkley, or how he will do with them. He's a risky WR3 at this point.

Steelers @ Bengals

Ben Roethlisberger can be a disaster on the road, as we all saw last week. He’ll be hard to trust on the road again against the Bengals, who have been solid on defense as of late. LeVeon Bell should be the star of the show here – he will rip apart the Bengals for high end RB1 numbers. Antonio Brown should be trusted as a WR1 regardless of Ben’s struggles. Ladarius Green has a nice matchup, but the fact that it’s a road game and his limited involvement last week has me worried. Consider him a boom or bust TE1.
Andy Dalton will get a major boost if AJ Green is able to return from his hamstring injury. If Green gets in a full week of practices, pencil Dalton in as a low end QB1 and Green as a WR1 against the Steelers. Jeremy Hill should be able to have another nice day against the Steelers’ questionable run defense. Tyler Boyd will remain a decent WR3 option only if Green misses the game. Tyler Eifert is a bona fide TE1 each and every week, even if Green returns.

Saints @ Cardinals

Drew Brees has not been a good quarterback for two weeks, and play in an away game at Arizona is not a good bounce back situation. He’ll be a QB2. The entire Saints offense has fallen with him. Thomas will be just a boom or bust WR3 in this matchup if he is able to play at all. Brandin Cooks has stayed steady with 9 and 10 targets in Brees’ bad weeks, keeping him in the WR2 fold. Willie Snead remains his usual WR3/flex self. The Saints’running game has taken a large hit these past two weeks. Mark Ingram has just 14 carries through that time and hasn’t done much with them. He has the deal with that plus a tough matchup at Arizona – he’ll be a tough to trust low end RB2. Tim Hightower is back to a pure handcuff role.
• Figures that the week I say David Johnson has a floor of 20 he puts up 17.1. DJ was just showing me my hubris. Still, in the lowest scoring week in recent fantasy history, for him to show off a floor of 17 points goes to show you just how good he is. DJ gets the New Orleans run defense, which has shown improvements in recent weeks. All those improvements are about to go out the window when DJ thrashes and trashes them for an RB1 overall day. Last week was disappointing for Larry Fitzgerald owners, but if you’re still here in the playoff race, you’ve got to climb back on the horse and start him. He’s still getting plenty of volume, and can be trusted against New Orleans for high end WR2 numbers. His QB, Carson Palmer is as up and down as they come – I’m not overly optimistic, but I do think he can be a very high end QB2 against NO.

49ers @ Falcons

• The hapless 49ers will get an offensive boost against the Falcons in a game they will not win, but should put up padded stats. Don’t trust Colin Kaepernick with your playoff hopes and dreams unless you’re in a hopeless situation – on paper, he should have a good game but nothing is guaranteed. Carlos Hyde is the man to start – he should have an excellent week (think RB1) against Atlanta’s inferior run defense. Jeremy Kerley is in play as a WR3 now that Vance McDonald is on IR.
Matt Ryan should be a top of the line QB1 this week against the 49ers exceedingly generous defense. He managed to do very well last week, even with Julio Jones. Speaking of Jones, owners should prepare to be without him again this week. Turf toe is no joke and can linger, leading to decoy games if those effected can even make it on the field at all. Monitor his health throughout the week. Taylor Gabriel has filled in very nicely and is a legitimate WR2 against San Francisco. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are both firmly in play against San Francisco’s joke run defense. Freeman will be a top of the line RB1, while Coleman is a solid RB2 play.

Patriots @ Broncos

Tom Brady will be a low end QB1 facing fantasy’s best defense against opposing QBs on the road. Pass catchers Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan all get a downgrade as a result of the brutal matchup. Edelman will be the strongest play of the three; his consistent target load guarantees at least a solid WR3 day. Mitchell and Hogan are more fringe WR3/flex types for this week. LeGarrette Blount should see plenty of work and put up a strong RB2, if not RB1 performance against Denver’s less elite run defense. It looks like it’s just not happening for Dion Lewis, at least not this season. The split with James White renders both of them barely flexable. Martellus Bennett had a good night on Monday but with only 4 targets, he remains a risky option at TE. Treat him as a boom or bust TE2.
Trevor Siemian can’t be trusted as anything more than low end QB2, particularly in a matchup against the Patriots. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are best treated as low end WR2s against New England’s solid pass defense. Devontae Booker is unstartable as Justin Forsett begins to pick up more carries in the backfield. Neither is a viable start outside of a truly desperate situation.

Raiders @ Chargers

Derek Carr should get back on track against San Diego with a low end QB1 day. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtreeare best treated as low end WR2s against a pass defense that has come into its own lately and held all WRs it has faced since the bye to 70 or fewer yards. Latavius Murray is looking like a league winning RB1 – get him in your lineups.
Philip Rivers has not been good the past two weeks, but at home against a suspect Oakland defense I expect a bounceback, low end QB1 type of game. Start Tyrell Williams as a solid WR2 – his production will rise with Rivers’. Dontrelle Inman has proved worthy of WR3/flex treatment each and every week. The Chargers should dedicate themselves to getting Antonio Gates the TD record, so he’s worthy of TE1 consideration – he’s still getting 9 targets nearly every week. With Melvin Gordon unlikely to play, the Chargers will turn to a combo of Kenneth Farrow and Ronnie Hillman. Farrow is the better start, but there’s a chance Hillman forces a split, in which case neither is a going to produce much. Farrow is a risky RB3 in the fantasy playoffs.

Buccaneers @ Cowboys

• The Buccaneers and Jameis Winston played well in real life, but it didn’t translate to a good fantasy day. The Bucs will have to turn it up on offense to keep up with the Cowboys, and I expect a low end QB1 day from Winston. Mike Evans should be a true WR1 against the Cowboys – he is the main weapon on offense and will need to be utilized heavily if the Bucs fall behind. His woes recently can be attributed to a heavier use of the run game. The Cowboys will keep things very competitive, so I expect more passing. Doug Martin gets a tough draw against Dallas’ solid fantasy run defense. Still, he’s being used like an RB1 so fire him up safely as an RB2. Charles Sims is a worthy RB3/flex in PPR – the Bucs will have to pass to keep up, and Sims is the man in those situations. Cameron Brate is a true TE1, a thing none of us expected to say in September.
• I wouldn’t expect the Cowboys to put up back to back poor showing on offense. Their offense is boring, but effective. Dak Prescott can be started as a low end QB1. Dez Bryant should regain his volume and bounce back as a solid WR2. Cole Beasley is more of a low WR3/flex at this point. Ezekiel Elliott remains a rock solid RB1. Jason Witten is a low upside TE2.

Panthers @ Redskins

Cam Newton has not been great lately, but the Redskins have allowed opposing passers to throw for 300+ yards in four out of the last five games. I’d trust him as your QB1. Greg Olsen should be trusted as a TE1, despite a stretch of disappointing games. Kelvin Benjamin, on the other hand, is no more than a risky WR3 play at this point. Tedd Ginn is a superior WR3/flex play. Jonathan Stewart will be a strong RB2 play against Washington’s weak run defense.
• The matchup is a dream for the entire Redskins’ offense. Kirk Cousins is a very strong QB1 play. Jordan Reed, as long as he gets in a full week of practice, will be a rock solid TE1. Jamison Crowder is a high end WR2, Pierre Garcon is a great WR3/flex, and DeSean Jackson is a boom or bust WR2 with a good chance at a boom. Rob Kelley is a high floor, solid upside RB2. Chris Thompson is a low end RB3 option. Vernon Davis would be a TE1 if Reed is ruled out, for what it’s worth.
Thanks for reading! As always feel free to leave your questions in the comments all week. I am a fantasy degenerate and am more than happy answering questions about it all the time.
Best of luck to all in Week 15!
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Quick Thoughts on every Week 1 game

PRO TIP: CTRL+F the players you care about
Panthers @ Broncos
Vikings @ Titans
Browns @ Eagles
Chargers @ Chiefs
Buccaneers @ Falcons
Packers @ Jaguars
Bears @ Texans
Bills @ Ravens
Raiders @ Saints
Bengals @ Jets
Dolphins @ Seahawks
Giants @ Cowboys
Lions @ Colts
Patriots @ Cardinals
Steelers @ Redskins
Rams @ 49ers
Thanks for reading! I hope this was helpful to some of you in making lineup decisions. If I missed someone and you want to know what I think of them, feel free to ask in the comments.
If you enjoyed this consider checking out this thread about the Fantasy Collective, a fantasy team drafted and managed by the popular vote of redditors like yourself. We’re setting our lineup today so just pop in, vote for who you would start, and you’re done!
Best of luck to all in Week 1!
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If you’re looking for Saints betting this NFL season, you’re at the right place. The Saints are expected to try and improve on their 13-3 record this season and take another NFC South title. For a full schedule of upcoming matchups, a list of betting opportunities, and the history of the franchise keep reading. Betting Preview for the Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints NFL Week 12 Game on November 22, 2018. Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans. When: Thursday, November 22, 2018, 8:20 PM ET. Line: Atlanta Falcons (+13) vs New Orleans Saints (-13) – view all 2018 NFL lines. TV Broadcast: NBC. Betting on the Atlanta Falcons (4-6) The Atlanta Falcons (3-8) play host to the New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thanksgiving as the two NFC South rivals meet for the second time in four weeks.The game is the third of the day and will kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET. We analyze the Saints-Falcons odds and sports betting lines, while providing sports betting tips and advice on this matchup. As for the Falcons, the implied win probability of their +250 moneyline odds at DraftKings is 28.6%, meaning there is some slight moneyline value on taking the Falcons to win outright. Saints vs. Falcons Injury Report. Each team comes into this matchup with some significant injury concerns. Saints Injury Report Analysis The Atlanta Falcons are ready to take the field in 2019-20 and here, you can pick up some great betting tips. Learn how to generate payouts from exciting Atlanta Falcons betting by placing spread bets and more at leading betting sites. Check out our tips and team history below and prepare for a rewarding wagering experience.

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