Today was the final game of the season at Fenway Park. The Red Sox got the 2-0 win. Henry Owens pitched 7.2 great innings, with only 3 hits, no earned runs, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.
The first run was scored in the 1st inning. Mookie struck out, but Brock Holt walked. Bogaerts then singled. But he decided to go to second and he lost his chance. However, he advanced Holt to third. Then, with David Ortiz up, there was a wild pitch and Holt slid home on a close play!!!! It was a great base running move for Holt! He slid he just ahead of the throw.
The second run came in the bottom of the 3rd, when Blake Swihart hit a leadoff solo shot. The rest of the game was quiet, and only five more hits were hit by Boston. The Orioles were held to six, only four after the dinger. I got to enjoy today’s game from a top level luxury box. The Pats also won today, 51-17. See my full post game recap on the Pats coming soon.
Enjoy my first ever fantasy football Start/Sit article.
Start Of The Week
I’m expecting a huge week 3 performance out of Brady. Tom Brady is facing the weak Jags defense and this match up is a lock for the Pats. I would also start Julian Edelman and maybe even Danny Amendola this week, plus obviously GRONK. Aaron Dobson is even a good Week 3 sleeper. This isn’t because of my fandom, anyone would go Pats galore in week 3.
Eli Manning (NYG vs. WSH)
Manning hosted the ‘Skins and did amazing, just as I had predicted. Teams who started Manning should have decent results this week, as long as they start my other recommendations and all the must starts. Manning could be an amazing sleeper in future weeks, but this match up is so priceless, he’s better than just a sleeper.
Nick Foles (STL vs. PIT)
Foles looked great in his first two weeks with the Rams. Expect Foles to keep up the good work in this Super Bowl XIV rematch. The Rams will be especially fired up to get their revenge in this Week 3 brawl. And this is year of the Rams, so it’s time to take action. He should find Tavon Uastin and Kenny Britt, rebounding sleepers for touchdowns, especially if Todd Gurley is out again. The Rams should go heavy passing on a rushing focused Steelers D. Most of their best guys are defensive lineman or linebackers, although their star Troy Polamalu is a safety. But he’s the only guy really that you need to look out for on a relatively weakened Steelers secondary. Foles is looking much better as a fantasy option than he did two weeks ago. I think he may be coming close to surpassing Sam Bradford soon even.
Ryan Tannehill (MIA vs. BUF)
I have underrated Tannehill all season, and this week is his time to shine, in what appears to be an easy match hosting the division rival Bills. The homefield advantage means a lot in this one. Don’t think they’ll go all run to Lamar Miller. Tannehill will get chances to score passing TDs with not just Jarvis Landry, but also sleeper receivers added this off season, Kenny Stills and former star Greg Jennings. They also should have a better use for tight end Jordan Cameron than his old team. Use him as an extra companion to Landry too. This team hasn’t discovered how good their core passing game is.
Matthew Stafford (DET vs. DEN) – Upset? Coming right up!!
Carson Palmer (ARZ vs. SF) – I underrated him in weeks one and two. He’s emerging into a star.
Philip Rivers (SD @ MIN) This week brings a better match up than you might think.
Johnny Manziel (CLE vs. OAK) If McCown struggles, he’ll jump in.
Ryan Mallett (HOU vs. TB) Even if they struggle on offense, WATT will finish ’em off.
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT @STL)
As I was saying, St. Louis’ confidence will lead to dominance, causing the whole Steelers offense to be afraid, and end up being fantasy busts for the week.
Andy Dalton (CIN @BAL)
Baltimore’s recent history of hosting Cincinnati shows almost all wins for the Ravens. Dalton and crew will be under a lot of pressure, and will continue as that third, decent team in the division that squeezes its way to the playoffs. I’m even worried about Cincy’s playoff hopes this year. There’s no way to escape the pressure of Baltimore, and they will most likely end up suffering a surprise blowout.
Peyton Manning (DEN @ DET)
Manning has the pressure of Stephen Tulloch covering his main receivers, and better worry about sacks from DeAndre Levy and Ha’toli Ngata. Not to mention that Manning is running out of steam after a long career of record-breaking, almost unbeatable, years.
Matt Ryan (ATL @DAL)
Ryan may be playing an injured, broken down Cowboys squad but they aren’t giving up, especially the relatively healthy D. The rest of the Falcons offense had a miracle in a first two weeks. What a fluke! With Tevin Coleman out, they will focus on passing, but Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr should do a nice job making the Falcons offense look foolish this week. Matt Ryan is left weapon less, if Jones and White are covered heavily, and Tevin Coleman is hurt.
Fred Jackson (SEA vs. CHI)
Jackson will have an extended role in week 3 if starting running back Marshawn Lynch is out. Lynch is currently questionable for Sunday’s game vs the Bears. Jackson was kicked out of Buffalo when LeSean McCoy joined the team, but after Seattle traded both Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, they needed him as a handcuff to Lynch. It’s Jackson’s time to shine and prove that he’s not too old to do well yet.
Frank Gore (IND @TEN)
Gore has had an embarrassing first two weeks to the season. He barely got any touches compared to rookie Josh Robinson. Gore was supposed to fill in the holes Trent Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw’s departure made. Him and Andre Johnson will be in the spotlight as scouts will watch to make sure that Gore and Johnson still have some steam in them and still have years left in their careers. These guys used to be stars, and I guarantee you, if they don’t look like stars against Marcus Mariota’s young Tennessee Titans, they’ll regret it, and guys like Mariota and Bishop Sankey will grow to be better current players than older guys like Gore or Johnson. These two guys are doubted at their age. Come on guys, prove yourselves! Give him a shot. If he disappoints you, just bench him completely. Find a new starter, unless he can shine this week.
This is his moment.
Ryan Mathews (PHI @NYJ)
If DeMarco Murray is out Sunday, it’d be no surprise if Ryan Mathews here just completely breaks out. He is a former starter. He’ll be able to act like one, even under the pressure of Sheldon Richardson, Jets defensive lineman. Mathews and Murray, just the entire Eagles rushing game has been depressing so far. It’s time the best part of this team, really steps up and does something. Otherwise, the Eagles will just keep on losing, and all these guys will be busts.
Chris Johnson (ARZ vs. SF)
Chris Johnson was outran by David Johnson in week 2. Now it’s his turn. The Johnsons will battle for the handcuff position of Andre Ellington, who is out at least another week or two. Chris Johnson came in to New York last year and challenged Ivory for his job, but late in the year he stunk. The old Chris Johnson is still in there somewhere. Johnson is still relevant this season.
Shane Vereen (NYG vs. WSH)
Vereen and crew didn’t get many touches, but when he went he went far. Start him more in match-ups like this one.
Darren McFadden (DAL vs. ATL) – Should make an impact with Romo, Bryant and possibly Witten sitting
Darren Sproles (PHI @NYJ) – If Murray sits, he’s the backup to Mathews.
Jacquizz Rodgers (CHI @SEA) – Despite the tough match-up, he hasn’t been watched all year when he’s Forte’s handcuff
Danny Woodhead (SD @MIN) – This match-up isn’t what it looks like
Melvin Gordon (SD @MIN) – What’s not to love about this guy?
Andre Williams (NYG vs. WSH) – Not many yards, but got his fair share of scores
Todd Gurley (STL vs. PIT) – If he’s healthy, he’ll help Nick Foles run the show in his NFL regular season debut
Doug Martin (TB @HOU)
Martin is left facing J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Vince Wilfork and Brian Cushing. Any running back would panic in Houston vs. the Texans defense. Even the best like Marshawn Lynch sometimes suffer to Watt’s crew. Doug Martin will be on a ton of pressure alone, while the whole team also has a horrible match-up for Tampa. Martin’s lucky if he rushes for just 50 yards, let alone score a single touchdown.
Alfred Morris (WSH @NYG)
Morris will soon be sharing the touches with rookie Matt Jones. They are slowly aiming at him loosing his job. Morris barely got any work in Week 3, and this is not the only hard game on a tough, tough schedule. Morris only scored 1 fantasy point using CBS Sports scoring. Morris is not in a good position this week against the Giants.
Jeremy Hill (CIN @BAL)
This is practically the same story as Andy Dalton, except worse. The Bengals alone already suck in Baltimore. Now, Jeremy Hill is in a situation where he has almost the entire core of the Ravens defense on him, Dalton, Gio, and the offensive line. Elvis Dumervil, Timmy Jernigan and C.J. Mosley are all covering the Cincy running backs. Even Terrell Suggs would be if he was healthy.
DeAngelo Williams (PIT @STL)
After a great first two weeks, Le’ Veon Bell, possibly the best in the league back from suspension, Williams is in a bad place to even start at all this season on your team. If you have anyone like, Dexter McCluster or better on your waiver wire, (not including Starks if Lacy plays), pick them up, and yes, drop DeAngelo Williams. I know he scored 25-35 points in most leagues last week, but it’s time to MOVE ON. Bell is back, and he’ll steal the show as usual.
Bobby Rainey (TB @HOU)
This is more disappointing of a story than Martin’s. Although he’ll get less defensive attention, he still is doomed under J.J’s pressure. Don’t expect him to even get a positive amount of fantasy points. Yes, he could actually lower your team’s score and get NEGATIVE amounts if you put him in your DFS or regular fantasy lineup this week.
Bishop Sankey (TEN vs. IND)
Sankey could already suffer a sophomore slump, but to make matters worse, he’ll have D’Qwell Jackson watching every step of his failure. Sankey clearly gets my vote for bust alert.
Eric Decker (NYJ vs. PHI)
Both Decker and Brandon Marshall have an easy match-up against a breaking down Eagles secondary. The Eagles defense is focused on the rush. Expect lots of passing in this game, which means Marshall and Decker should have huge games. Eric Decker is bound for an amazing week. The Jets alone are getting better this season, better than you might even expect. Decker and Marshall are must-starts.
Julian Edelman (NE vs. JAX)
Edelman will be part of the Week 3 Brady’s Bunch montage. Edelman is primed for an amazing week against an easy Jaguars defense. Edelman should put up a ton of points along with Brady, Gronk, Amendola and Chandler against this defense. Expect Edelman to score at least 1, possibly two touchdowns in Sunday’s game.
Michael Crabtree (OAK @CLE)
Crabtree? Most people would consider him a sleeper but I think he’s one of the most underrated receivers. Michael Crabtree does have a relatively tough match-up, but Joe Haden is watching Cooper. Justin Gilbert is still left for him though. And this should be a close game. Crabtree is in a good situation this week and he’ll take advantage of it. I know Oakland isn’t the best team, but this is one of about 3 weeks that that they’ll even come close to winning a game. A tough schedule just makes it worse, and the division is tough.
Amari Cooper (OAK @CLE)
Cooper is in a similar situation to Crabtree, but he has Joe Haden on his watch. He won’t be as sharp as Crabtree, but will still have an okay week.
Again, this is one of the only chances that Cooper has to shine, along with the rest of the Raiders.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU vs TB)
Hopkins will have a good week. He’s expected to play against an empty Bucs secondary. I’ve underrated him all season and now and can’t say he won’t do well in probably the second most lopsided match-up behind Pats-Jags.
Malcom Floyd (SD @MIN) – Steve Johnson will get more targets, but Floyd still has a role
Dwayne Bowe (CLE vs. OAK) – Bowe should get healthier in Week 3, and in an easy match-up, his odds for a breakout are good
Tavon Austin (STL vs. PIT) – Expected to get more Week 3 targets
Greg Jennings (MIA vs. BUF) – Him and Stills should get more work than expected behind Jarvis Landry
Danny Amendola (NE vs. JAX) – A super sleeper in an easy match
Rueben Randle (NYG vs. WSH) – Randle started well behind Beckham with Cruz hurt
Kenny Britt (STL vs. PIT) – In similar situation to Tavon Austin
Harry Douglas (TEN vs. IND)
Douglas hasn’t fallen through yet with his new crew. Already Kendall Wright is getting the workload. He’ll be off Vontae Davis’ mind, but backup corners are watching him. The Colts defense actually isn’t so bad, and the Colts offense is already going to shock the D. Douglas doesn’t have much of a chance to score.
Roddy White (ATL @DAL)
Julio Jones is already under pressure, but not enough to sit. But RODDY WHITE? I could go on for days. The Cowboys have enough guys to keep both Julio and White double covered ALL GAME LONG. Expect J.J. Wilcox and Brandon Carr to guard White, while Julio takes on Morris Claiborne. This Cowboys D is so strong, that the Falcons’ fate depends on their weak defense. However, the Cowboys offense is weak when dinged up.
Pierre Garçon (WSH @NYG)
Garçon got the workload with DeSean Jackson out until at least next week. He was a decent start for the week, but, let’s get serious. One, the Giants secondary was tough. Two, Jordan Reed was the guy who really got exposed. Reed got 60 more yards and two ALMOST touchdowns. Yup, that’s how much of a let down all of the Redskins are.
Mike Evans (TB @HOU)
Evans is still trying to recover from his injury and will still be limited in the game. Vincent Jackson should be attempted more. On the bright side, Evans and Jackson get more work with ASJ out. But this entire match is ruined if the Texans defense gets to them. No Bucs receiver or tight end will come out “alive”.
Eddie Royal (CHI @SEA)
Royal is going to get more attempts with Jeffery out, but Royal earns himself coverage from Richard Sherman and possibly additional coverage from Kam Chancellor, who will return to action just in time for the first likely blowout. Royal or any of the Chicago wideouts will have trouble against the restrengthening Seahawks secondary, including, Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas III.
Vincent Jackson (TB @HOU)
Evans’ situation of doom + JOHNATHAN JOSEPH = Jackson’s Week 3 Performance. Don’t expect much out of Vincent Jackson. Don’t even expect anything at all. 😉
Jermaine Gresham (ARZ vs. SF)
Gresham may have not looked like the starting tight end when he came to Arizona, but with the way Ifeanyi Momah and Troy Niklas are doing, now he is. The coverage will be focused on Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald, and besides, the Niners don’t really have much of a secondary anyway. He’ll be able to sneak past any defenders that are in his way to score, even more than Fitzy, John Brown or Floyd. Expect a one of a kind better than usual day for Jermaine Gresham.
Jared Cook (STL vs. PIT)
Cook, unlike Gresham has Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor on the opposing secondary. But, like Gresham, they should be onto receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt before they come to him. However, he will be watched more than Gresham, he is known to be a top Rams receiving player. But still, Cook can sneak a TD or two, while Austin and Britt get majority of the direct coverage.
Zach Ertz (PHI @NYJ)
Ertz has the disadvantage of being one of the stronger Eagles receivers. Antonio Cromartie may guard him over second string receiver Nelson Agholor. Also, the Jets secondary is tough. But Cromartie may switch off a bit, giving him opportunities here and there to run free and score touchdowns. The may do the the nickel defense, but otherwise, Ertz may not have a full time guard.
Larry Donnell (NYG vs. WSH) – Donnell got his share vs The Skins.
Coby Fleener (IND @TEN) – Allen is out, so it’s Fleener’s week to himself.
Jordan Cameron (MIA vs. BUF) – Cameron is left with rookie corner Ronald Darby, who has been to problemo to anyone recently.
Travis Kelce (KC @GB)
In this Super Bowl I match, Kansas City will be fired up, and they’ll come close, but they can’t win if Green Bay is at Lambeau. Rodgers has never been intercepted off at home. Kelce’s situation faces a decent secondary, with lousy corners, but some good safeties for double coverage. Kelce will get double covered some of the game. This is just not a reliable match-up for Kelce to be started in. He’s still only an NFL sophomore.
Martellus Bennett (CHI @SEA)
Bennett, not directly faces, but will see his brother in this lock match-up. The match-up is clearly in Seattle’s favor, and expect Bennett to get Richard Sherman as his defender. There’s no way Bennett can work around that. It is very unlikely he’ll get any touchdowns let alone much completions. Bennett is just in a horrible match-up that you can’t work around in Week 3.
Jordan Reed (WSH @NYG)
This isn’t the best advice, because of the fact that Reed went for 100+ yards but the guy had two or three touchdown attempts and couldn’t even get a single completed touchdown. Reed did not look good in clutch moments on week 3, and definitely contributed into a Redskins’ red zone failure that helped craft loss number two. He just didn’t show up when they needed him. He must’ve cared more about his personal stats than trying to score for his team.
Heath Miller (PIT @STL)
St. Louis doesn’t have much of a secondary. Their defense is rush based. But Heath Miller’s expectations are a little too high. With Bell facing the tough rush defense, Big Ben will pass, using Antonio as usual, and Heath Miller as his WR2. Miller has been overused as a receiver during Martavis Bryant’s suspension. It’s more work than he’s used to getting each game. Remember, this is a tight end, not a flex-like WR2. He may be a decent flex option if that’s what to want to use him for.
Randy Bullock (HOU vs. TB)
Bullock can be sure his teams score a lot of touchdowns against the Tampa Bay defense. Lots of touchdowns means lots of extra points. And the Bucs defense is good enough to shut them down sometimes, so Bullock’s long distance accuracy WILL come in handy.
Dan Bailey (DAL vs. ATL) – A dinged up offense means more field goals.
Justin Tucker (BAL vs. CIN) – Baltimore should have a scoring party hosting Cincy
Sebastian Janikowski (OAK @CLE) – An underrated star has one of his better match-ups this week.
Phil Dawson (SF @ARZ)
Dawson and the 49ers offense have a tough match-up. This tough Cardinals defense consists of Patrick Peterson, LaMarr Woodley, Sean Weatherspoon and Matt Shaugnessy. That tough defense should really limit San Fran’s scoring and make it hard for Dawson to have a good game. This defense cold have an amazing shut down day and make sure the Niners rarely even reach field goal range.
Cowboys (DAL vs. ATL)
This game will be defense focused if the Cowboys want to win. The offense as suffered their fair share of injuries, while the defense stays pretty healthy. Greg Hardy and Orlando Scandrick are still out, but besides them, this defense looks great led by Morris Claiborne, Sean Lee and Barry Church. They have an easy match-up against an also dinged up, slow going, young Falcons offense. I can see a big game out of everyone on the defense.
Jets (NYJ vs. PHI) – Revis Island is primed for a great game
Packers (GB vs. KC) – The Pack should have an easy Super Bowl I rematch
Colts (IND @TEN) – The Titans offense is so bad, it doesn’t matter if this D really sucks
Saints (NO @CAR)
This defense has a lot of weapons, and the Panthers have many injuries, but the Panthers offense is still strong. This match-up is by far in Carolina’s favor. You could say this is a bust this week for the Saints. This is one week to sit them, but in most weeks, I would start them. Use the sitting advice for the Saints this week only.
So, you can hope for a great week with my recommended starts. This is based on my match-up analysis combined with my player analysis. Time you set your lineup. Good luck, game on and as always, GO PATS!!!!!!!
The first two weeks have been full of upsets, and here are some locks, upsets and other scores to watch for in Week 3.
Lock Of The Week
Patriots, 37, Jaguars, 14
Tom Brady and the Patriots should have a dominant game against the Jags. On offense, they Blount Force Trauma should get more touches after a quiet week 2 return. I’d expect a TD from him. The only road blocks are star linebacker Paul Posluszny and rookie defensive lineman Michael Bennett. He can work around that. I also expect a lot of passing touchdowns. Julian Edelman doesn’t have a starting corner to watch him, so either safety James Sample or safety Jonathan Cyprien is left to guard him. With Edelman and Gronk under that pressure, expect sleepers Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and Scott Chandler to show up, about a touchdown each. The Patriots can look forward to a relatively easy match.
On D, they should be all set as well. Running backs TJ Yeldon and Denard Robinson are going nowhere when the defense has Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones and Jerod Mayo to cover. Last year they also had the added pressure of Vince Wilfork and Akeem Ayers, but Mayo was hurt. I wouldn’t expect it to be much worse, especially if you put Jamie Collins and Don’t A Hightower in too. And Marcedes Lewis, who has starred to start the year, will be guarded by Devin McCourty. And Allen Robinson will have Malcolm Butler on him.
Colts over Titans, Seahawks over Bears, Texans over Buccaneers, Giants over Redskins
Upset Of The Week
Lions, 24, Broncos, 20
This might sound silly to you, but it’s not really that surprising. Peyton Manning is getting older, and at the same time, Matthew Stafford is on the uprise. Joique Bell and Ameer Abdullah will get touches, but will get DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller as guards. It would be easier to throw the rock. Not just to Megatron, who will have Aqib Talib by his side, but should break through once Talib wears down, but Golden Tate. Tate, the former Seahawk, doesn’t have an amazing second string corner to guard him. Tate should see action, along with tight ends Eric Ebron, thenewly signed Tim Wright and possibly Brandon Pettigrew if he’s healthy.
While on the Lions D, it’s a better fit for the Broncos offense. DeMaryius Thomas will have Stephen Tulloch on him like white on snow. Emmanuel Sanders and Owen Daniels may get TDs, but the overall options are limited in Denver. I think Sanders’ season will be a low point in his career, and Daniels isn’t quite a perfect fit in the Denver style offense. Expect an early season loss today out of Denver. What about CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman. Ngata and DeAndre Levy should be enough to hold them up. So, the Lions could have a huge win vs Denver today.
Rams over Steelers, Cowboys over Falcons
Team Of The Week
1. This team’s quarterback got severely injured last season.
2. This team has been in last in their division for the last couple years.
3. In 2013, this team’s division was the toughest.
4. This team is named after an animal.
5. This team is located somewhere in the Midwest.
Week 1 had many upsets, and this week, I’ll try to be more accurate with my picks.
Lock Of The Week
Saints, 21, Buccaneers, 10
The Buccaneers looked like a bust when Marcus Mariota came to visit. The Saints will be even better than the Titans. Drew Brees and crew is ready to kick butt in this match-up. On defense, they are really good too. Bobby Rainey and Doug Martin will be held up by Saints defensive lineman Cameron Jordan and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. With Mike Evans hurt, Jameis Winston is left with just WR Vincent Jackson and TEs Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Tim Wright. Evans may make it for week two, but still isn’t enough under the pressure of Champ Bailey and Brandon Browner.
However, on the other side, the Bucs defense may compete against Drew Brees. Gerald McCoy should be an effective stopper to Mark ingram and C.J. Spiller. Brandin Cooks will be guarded by Lavonte David. And tight end is a hole with the departure of Jimmy Graham. So, the Saints offense isn’t looking as good as you might think, but the Saints D is enough to stop the Bucs. This game should be extremely low scoring.
Upset Of The Week
Vikings, 27, Lions, 24
The Vikings aren’t as bad as you may think, especially on offense. Adrian Peterson’s horrible week 1 was a fluke, he’ll do fine this week. And Teddy Bridgewater has a wide range of weapons, from Mike Wallace, to Kyle Rudolph, to Charles Johnson, to Cordarrelle Patterson. They should all have a nice day. With Ndamukong Suh out, the Lions D is left with just DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch.
On the other side, the Lions should dominate the young, but weak Vikings defense. If Joique Bell isn’t enough, throw in Ameer Abdullah and Johnson, Tate and the Lions many tight ends make the receiving core key. But there could be a little slumping. I don’t feel like some of these guys are going to be on their game in this one. Why? Too many cooks in the kitchen. So good an offense, it makes itself struggle. That’s the Lions for you.
Patriots, 26, Bills, 21
Colts, 40, Jets, 34
Dolphins, 27, Jaguars, 20
Ravens, 23, Raiders, 16
Steelers, 27, 49ers, 20
Bengals, 23, Chargers, 21
Browns, 31, Titans, 24
Texans, 30, Panthers, 20
Chiefs, 20, Broncos, 17
Eagles, 26, Cowboys, 23
Giants, 35, Falcons, 10
Rams, 17, Redskins, 14
Packers, 26, Seahawks, 23
Bears, 27, Cardinals, 14
Team of the Week
Almost all of their receivers are on this week’s injury report
This team has been known for lacking weapons
This team went 2-14 in 2012, but hasn’t been under .500 since
The team colors are red and yellow.
Their quarterback was a #1 draft pick.
What team is this? Comment with your guess below. I will announce the correct answer in next week’s picks.
1 day into the season, here are some things to look out for.
1.The Cowboys will sign Montee Ball, and he’ll dominate
Montee Ball was ditched by Denver last season after injury. Before then, he was a star. Now CJ Anderson is there. In Dallas, their old star, DeMarco Murray, is gone. Ball can fill in that slot, and I believe he can make a comeback to the top 10 fantasy running backs. The Dolphins may also need him to backup Lamar Miller, but Dallas is a better fit for Ball. Comeback Player of The Year, no decision.
2. Peyton Manning will conclude his NFL career
This year I think is Peyton Manning’s last. Manning is getting older, and he isn’t as dominant anymore. I would rank Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford before him, at this point. The burning question is, how will to Broncos do without him? Unless they get a sharp rookie QB, not as good. More like 10-6, 9-7 than 12-4, 13-3. I expect Manning to announce his retirement any moment now.
3. The Packers will struggle at receiver
The Packers still have Randall Cobb, but Davante Adams is not a WR2, and James Jones is not a good WR3. they’ll depend on Aaron Rodgers, Cobb and Lacy. Who else do they have. This is not as dominant of an offense without poor Jordy Nelson. Nelson is amazing, probably top 3 in the league, of any position, along with Rodgers and DeMaryius Thomas. Hope for 11-5, 12-4 if the D is sharp.
4. The Seahawks defense will slow down
Besides Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, who do they have anymore. This years ‘Hawks will be more base offense, using Marshawn Lynch, and Jimmy Graham like their wide receiver that can fill that hole, while they continue using the same old guys like tight ends. I wouldn’t be shocked if Graham became a receiver permanently. This is another slowing team. In the future, look Eagles, Cowboys, Colts, Ravens, Steelers, Pats and Bengals. Maybe also the Pack if Nelson returns. Not the Seahawks as much.
5. The Texans will not perform offensively
the defense in Houston is amazing. J.J Watt and Vince Wilfork on one defense, joined by Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney, and Johnathan Joseph. But the offense, when you think about it, isn’t so great. Brian Hoyer is not very good, and with Arian Foster out, Alfred Blue, Chris Polk and Jonathan Grimes are the only running backs left. And at receiver, DeAndre Hopkins I think is overrated. Then you have Jaguars and Titans former sleepers Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts III. Shorts could be alright, but I don’t feel it in Washington. And that leaves you with rookie Jaelen Strong, and I feel that Strong is a strong player. Then at tight end, Garrett Graham, C.J. Fieodorowicz and A.J. Griffin. The offense is not as good as you might think.
6. The Vikings won’t get better, but get worse
This sounds stupid, stating the fact that Teddy Bridgewater is emerging and Mike Wallace got bring some power to his options, but the defense has not improved very much, and that will impact the team. Adrian Peterson has returned, but that thins their other options. If they don’t play, what happens if Peterson gets hurt like he did in 2013? At receiver, it’s the same. After Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson are the next best options. And the tight ends are better that 2014, but they can’t always catch passes.
7. The Buccaneers go 2-3 in the first 5, but won’t win another game
The Buccaneers have easy matches against the Titans and other bad teams early on that they can easily win. But when their schedule gets tougher in the last eleven weeks, don’t expect another victory. Everyone on the Bucs is pretty much a sleeper or developing player. EVERYONE. Even Doug Martin and Bobby Rainey. When they don’t have an easy match, they can’t win.
8. The Rams will make the playoffs
Things are looking up in St. Louis. Nick Foles is a less injury prone quarterback, so that straight-up trade for Foles was worth it, even if it was good for Philly too. At wide receiver, I see potential in sleepers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt. These two players never fully adapted last season, and they can this year. The defense has also improved. Aaron Donald should be better in year two, and Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree should still be within stardom. There are also many more offensive sleepers that push it so much, that the Rams should get an NFC wild card, giving them a ticket to the playoffs.
9. Matt Ryan, Tevin Coleman and the Falcons will have a bust season
I wouldn’t go expecting much from rookie Tevin Coleman, or any Falcons running back, and I have a feeling Matt Ryan will also have a bust season. Even with Julio Jones and Roddy White at receiver, the rest of the offense is in bad condition. And the defense isn’t any better. The Falcons are not going to perform this season, at least that’s what I think.
10. The Colts will power the defense to win Super Bowl 50
The Colts already have a great offense. Andrew Luck, Frank Gore, TY Hilton and Andre Johnson are all primed for a breakout. And there’s more. Don’t forget Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. The Colts will be the best offense in the NFL. But imagine the defense doing the same. Dwight Freeny, Robert Mathis, D’Qwell Jackson and Vontae Davis are all great players. What stops them from working together to make the defense much better than it really is? They have super bowl potential.
The Patriots beat the Steelers 28-21 on opening night Thursday. Rob Gronkowski scored a whopping three touchdowns while Scott Chandler scored the 4th. The first quarter was quiet. No scoring, lots of defense. But one thing I saw right away was the Pats’s extensive usage of running back Dion Lewis, who hadn’t played since the 2013 season. With Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant suspended along with starter Blount, backup RB Cadet was inactive, Markus Wheaton and DeAngelo Williams also got to see the ball a lot, plus Heath Miller, Steelers tight end.
In the 2nd quarter, the Pats offense dominated. Rob Gronkowski scored two touchdowns, and had some great additional catches this quarter. He makes it look easy. Meanwhile, the Steelers hadn’t scored TDs, and kicker Josh Scobee isn’t helping by missing the first two field goal attempts. He could get cut for Nick Novak or Shayne Graham this week! I wouldn’t be shocked if they picked up Novak and dropped Scobee, who could return to the Jags, Saints or Chargers, or remain a free agent because of developing replacement kickers better. However, Scobee scored a field goal late in the quarter. At halftime, it was 14-3 Patriots.
In the 3rd, the Pats marched down the field on their first drive, and Scott Chandler got the TD on 2nd and goal. But some very long plays by DeAngelo Williams, Markus Wheaton and Antonio Brown led to a Williams touchdown. Wheaton got a 2 point conversion to help catch up. 21-11. The Steelers almost did it again after the Pats punted away. Slowly, the Steelers moved along, reaching the 4th quarter on the way. When they reached 4th & goal near the end zone, Josh Scobee kicked the field goal. 21-14.
For the first drive of the 4th, the Pats scored again. A Gronk 52 yard reception led them to the Steelers’ side of the field. Then a crazy play happened. Dion Lewis caught a pass, fumbled, and Rob Gronkowski made it a touchdown, but it got reversed. On third down, they passed to Gronk wide open for TD 3, technically TD 4. Two drives later, the Steelers had the ball, and Duron Harmon intercepted it, even with Fletcher there. Harmon took the glory. On the Steelers next drive, they marched down the field, passing to Brown, eventually for a touchdown. Butler almost intercepted it again, but it didn’t matter. Either way, the Pats won, 28-21.
They are 1-0 on the season, Brady has most QB wins for a team, passing Brett Favre in the rankings tonight. They are also 4-0 on opening night. As Belichick would say, “We’re on to Buffalo.” Nice win. Follow my picks from my last post this Sunday, and read my recap of next Sunday’s game. GO PATS!!!
Football is back and better than ever! So are my picks. I’ve included a team of the week guessing segment at the bottom.
Lock Of The Week
Bengals, 30, Raiders, 13
The strong Bengals defense, made up of Vontaze Burfict, AJ Hawk and Geno Atkins has by far enough capability to stop a near last place Raiders offense. Trent Richardson and Michael Crabtree, the latest additions, will be stopped by their guards most of the game, and Derek Carr will be a clear sack target. The Raiders offense clearly has a lack of weapons to compare to strong Bengals D-Line and overall defense, ranked 4th overall by my preseason fantasy rankings.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, it may be hard to run for it, with Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck on watch, but Weapons like A.J. Green and young tight end Tyler Eifert. They’ll be facing a weak Raiders secondary. So, there isn’t much to explain. The Bengals are clear winners of this meeting.
Carolina over Jacksonville
New York Jets over Cleveland
Philadelphia over Atlanta
Upset of the Week
Rams, 24, Seahawks, 23
Although the Seahawks have a leading defense, the loss of superstar safety Kam Chancellor will be a setback on the “12 man team”. So, the Rams passing game should step it up, even if the best they got is Tavon Austin and Jared Cook. Austin and Kenny Britt are primed for a breakout with Zac Stacy broken down. They can partially outsmart the Seahawks secondary, and get at least a few TDs out of it. Running the ball? That’ll be tougher, especially with Bobby Wagner and Michael Bennett covering them. Maybe they can squeeze out a clutch rushing TD, but probably not.
Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson aren’t in a great position either. Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree and Aaron Donald should stop them. Passing? They can try Jimmy Graham a couple times but he can’t score infinite touchdowns. The wide receiver options are slim, with Golden Tate and Percy Harvin, 2013’s main targets, elsewhere. The ‘Hawks are left with Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and rookie Tyler Lockett. They also have clutch options Ricardo Lockette and Chris Matthews. The Seahawks are panicking at this point. Looks like it’s jut an off day for The Legion of Boom.
Chicago over Green Bay
Patriots, 23, Steelers, 21
Jets, 23, Browns, 7
Dolphins, 24, Redskins, 14
Colts, 30, Bills, 17
Broncos, 31, Ravens, 6
Texans, 30, Chiefs, 14
Buccaneers, 28, Titans, 24
Panthers, 17, Jaguars, 14
Chargers, 20, Lions, 17
Eagles, 37, Falcons, 24,
Cowboys, 27, Giants, 24
Bears, 27, Packers, 26
49ers, 27, Vikings, 20
Saints, 21, Cardinals, 17
Team Of The Week
The coach coached a playoff team in the 2014 season.
This team has not been above .500 for 2 or more years
An important receiver departed this team this off season
This team is in the NFC
This team was named after the city’s most popular baseball team
As you can see, there are many fantasies on this roster, but for a reason. Ryan Lindley’s on the roster for a reason, even with Brady back for the first four. They need a backup, and if Garroppollo is too young and struggles, Lindley, who did a decent job as the Cardinals emergency option, steps in.
That Jonas Gray cut, even with the fact that they wouldn’t pay for him, he had an outbreak before LeGarrette Blount out. With Blount suspended, and Gray cut, who works with Cadet? Bolden? White? Lewis? Apparently. And even with a dominant preseason, Dion Lewis did not deserve a bubble spot over Gray, or even Cadet. Cadet had a nice 2014 year with Drew Brees, not even as good as Tom Brady.
I also don’t understand Josh Boyce’s cut. There was a point less than two years ago when Boyce was having breakout weeks. Chris Harper, apparently, earned the bubble spot over him. I understand, Harper had a nice preseason, but there’s no room for him. They have Edelman, LaFell, Amendola and Dobson, even Slater ahead. Also, why did Wayne come and go so fast? He was going to be an important addition, especially if the injured Brandon LaFell was gonna miss the opener. Wayne just was probably too old. The Pats are going young. I liked the idea of racking up as many vets as you can and going for another title, especially with Brady’s suspension off.
They also cut some good tight end depth in Asante Cleveland and AJ Derby. Derby could sign with another team and be a surprise rookie the Pats ditched. Cleveland was definitely on the bubble, but they traded what might have been their starting left guard for him. I thought Mike Williams was closer to a cut though. Apparently, I was wrong.
It also surprised me that they cut JOE VELLANO. He had such a good super bowl performance, and he was going to replace Vince Wilfork. Now it’s up to Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown, first round picks from 2014 and 2015. Sealver Siliga might contribute, too, but he has to cover for Chris Jones, who’s hurt for now. Geneo Grissom, the 5th round pick is another option.
At corner, about 2 weeks ago I would say, “Butler and Ryan will start.” But late in the preseason, Tarrell Brown has shined. He could not just make the roster, but start alongside Butler. Ryan is not strong enough to start with Brown as an alternate, he can backup. Another additon they kept was Eagles free agent Bradley Fletcher, joining Brown and Butler and maybe surpass Ryan.
Moving forward, here’s my Thursday projected lineup.