This game is a no-doubt W for the Texans. I love their new offense, Lamar Miller should fit great in the Houston system, Will Fuller is a major sleeper, and I feel Brock Osweiler is ready for this bigger role. DeAndre Hopkins is still here, and the defense is still strong and should back it up well. I’m feeling like this is a great match-up for Brock Osweiler and the offense to show their dominance off to the NFL. Lamar Miller will have an unbelievable week, especially in fantasy, where he is a must-start this week. Jay Cutler and his rebuilding offense will truly be put to the test against the Houston defense, and man, I think they’ll fail utterly. I see a huge blowout coming.
Upset Of The Week
Jaguars, 33, Packers, 30
Whether the Jags win or the Pack takes it, this game will be a high scoring one. I just think if you have these two playoff contending teams, with the Jags at home, they should win. As you know, I’ve always been a big fan of home teams winning. This year I took it down a little bit as I’m predicting that four road teams will win (the Raiders, Panthers, Bucs and Lions). But the Jaguars are a major dark horse team. I love their offense nearly as much as the Packers’ offense, and to be honest, the Jaguars defense is a little bit better, but still not great and the Packers defense? I think they’re highly overrated. This Jaguars defense is capable of almost as much. The Packers definitely have more superstars, and less holes, but both have the same level of mediocre guys who are filling in most of the defensive lineup. So the Jags should be able to beat the Packers in Jacksonville. I didn’t even see this game as an upset until I saw the spread! As good as I think the Packers will be, even if I think the Packers can win the Super Bowl and should definitely make it, the Jaguars are capable of more than you might think.
The Rest of The Scores
Panthers, 30, Broncos, 26
Cam Newton and the Panthers should’ve won the Super Bowl. Instead, they go to Denver for this rematch. Despite secondary problems, they are still a good team. Even at home, the Broncos new issues on offense, from no QB to a weak spot at tight end and WR3. I think Carolina’s offense should beat out the Denver offense, and the Panthers defense is nearly as good as the Broncos defense, so I could see road win for the Panthers.
Buccaneers, 27, Falcons, 16
I admit it, I have been very low on the Falcons in preseason forecasts. But look, Matt Ryan is very inconsistent, and Devonta Freeman could be a one year wonder. Did I mention they have no tight end at the same time? Or legitimate third receiver? What did Justin Hardy do for this team? Anyways, I think a new and improved Bucs defense that is getting no attention could actually edge out the Falcons. That adds to an underrated offense led by Jameis Winston, Doug Martin and Mike Evans. The Bucs have a good history against the Falcons too. They’ll keep that up in this intriguing battle of two potential dark horses.
Ravens, 27, Bills, 20
Baltimore won’t be a major playoff bully this year, but they will keep up with the Bengals and other contenders that are just missing. A half-decent team starts with more home wins, and in the home opener against the Bills, a big sleeper team, they should win. They know what the playoffs is like. The Bills haven’t seen them in 20 or 25 years. A healthy Ravens team will help, and they have more backfield options if Justin Forsett struggles. Steve Smith Sr. is retiring soon and Mike Wallace is on his fourth team in the last few years, but these are quality receivers. The Ravens just need to find the right scheme for them. This offense has a ton of depth, and the defense is underrated as well. The Bills don’t have much depth on offense, or anywhere for that matter. Especially if players on both these inconsistent teams are flopping, that will be the difference for Baltimore.
Chiefs, 24, Chargers, 10
There are some mixed opinions about the AFC West this year, but I have the Chiefs winning the division, the Raiders taking a wild card at 10-6, the Broncos falling flat at .500, and the Chargers seeing mild improvements, but nothing major. But when the Chiefs play the Chargers? That’s when this close division match turns into a blowout. The Chargers defense has underperformed lately, and that’s affecting the finishes of this team. The Raiders’ recent surge is also a factor. Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense should overwhelm the Chargers offense. Expect a lower scoring game, a couple TDs for the Chiefs, and a dud for the Chargers.
Raiders, 38, Saints, 26
This will be a back and forth mad dash to score a ton of points. Both these teams have strong offenses. The difference in who wins will actually be defense though. The Raiders defense is underrated, a defense nobody talks about as decent. But the Saints have a straight out terrible defense. I love this Saints offense, Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram, Coby Fleener, Michael Thomas and all. But they will blow more than half of their games because of bad defense. That’s the kind of stuff the Oakland offense is looking to take advantage of. So I’m seeing a road win for the Raiders.
Jets, 23, Bengals, 17
This Bengals offense was good. Last year it was. This year, it has problems. No legitimate receivers besides A.J. Green, no Tyler Eifert to start the season and no Andre Smith pretty much explains why. Despite the strength of the Bengals D that could overwhelm the Jets offense, the Jets have a defense of their own that I think could excel against Andy Dalton and the washed up Bengals. This will be a humble low scorer, but the Jets offense should edge the struggling Cincy offense out. Even in an easy match-up for the struggling offense, a strong offense will do better, even in a somewhat tough match-up of it’s own.
Eagles, 31, Browns, 27
Carson Wentz should lead the Eagles to a win against the Browns. In my mind, the Eagles have an okay, but inconsistent defense, and the Browns have a plain out bad defense. This will be a high scorer, and we will see these offense at their max as these terrible defenses fail. At least the Eagles defense has something left in them. That should be the difference in this game. Cleveland’s run game could be stopped short by Fletcher Cox and the Eagles pass rush. But based on how bad the Browns D is, especially the front seven, the Eagles offense should pretty much be able to run free.
Titans, 29, Vikings, 27
This probably would’ve been a tougher pick to make with Teddy Bridgewater healthy. But with Shaun Hill, not even Sam Bradford starting at QB for the Vikes, I’ve got to go with my gut on this one and pick the home team Titans. Sure the Titans defense sucks, and the offense has a tough defense to face, but to be honest, I think the Titans could work through the Vikings defense with Minnesota’s offense struggling. They would just get very frustrated in the red zone when they get forced to attempt a field goal one out of every five times. We’ll just have to see what this new and improved Titans offense can do, and I could potentially see big things, even if the defense blows most games for them after this.
Seahawks, 23, Dolphins, 12
No questions asked. The Seahawks are so much better than the Dolphins. There’s no way they will lose to the Dolphins at home. The Seahawks defense will be all over them, not allowing a single TD. As for the Seahawks, they won’t be blowing out the Dolphins as they do have a decent defense of their own to face, and their offense is nowhere as good as their defense. But they should put up enough points to clearly win this game. Can you think of anything that can go against my case? I wouldn’t think so.
Cowboys, 32, Giants, 26 OT
Trust me, I had a legitimately tough time picking the winner here. The Cowboys would surely win at full health, but without Tony Romo, without a legitimate pass rush, this will be a close battle of offenses. The Giants defense is good, but has little balance, and is not a good fit for much more to this Cowboys offense then stuffing Dak Prescott over and over again. That won’t even happen because Dak is good, trust me, and he can lead this Cowboys offense just as good as Tony Romo can, especially based on his preseason dominance. The Giants are good, but they don’t have a dominant force like the Cowboys offense. That will be the difference in this game when it’s tied 26-26 in overtime. The other factor will be that Dak Prescott doesn’t blow games, or at least didn’t in his preseason excellence, even with the defense giving up as much as it did.
Lions, 27, Colts, 23
Trust me, it’s no guarantee the Colts will bounce back at all. The defense is sloppy, the offense has little depth and is struggling to find the youth it desires. The Lions are a highly underrated team, especially on offense, and I see them struggling early, but coming back to take this road win. Reminding fans of the great 2014 season and all the Lions’ playoff years. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones along with Anquan Boldin should make up for Calvin Johnson’s impact on this team that was lost. Ameer Abdullah is a major post-hype sleeper, and I love Eric Ebron and Matthew Stafford too. The defense may be in bad shape, but the entire Colts team is in bad shape. Win #1 of who knows how many for the dark horse Lions.
Cardinals, 24, Patriots, 23
This is not about Garoppolo. Tom Brady and the Pats would have lost this game. It’s about the Cardinals simply being better than the Patriots when in Arizona. The Patriots are a better overall team, but this Cardinals team is just too good for any Pats to beat on the road, especially Brady-less Pats. The defense should still be good, I just don’t see the Patriots offense functioning well against the Cards defense, and the strong Arizona offense should put up some points on our defense. At Gillette, with Brady, it would be a different story, but this is just not the right conditions for the Patriots to win in.
Redskins, 23, Steelers, 20
The Steelers monster offense has issues this week. No Ladarius Green, no Le’Veon Bell. It’s really down to Big Ben, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton. Kirk Cousins still has a good Redskins offense on his hands, and with the defense making big improvements by signing Josh Norman and Greg Toler to help the secondary, the Redskins could actually edge the Steelers at full health. Unless the Steelers defense is on its best, this will be a blown game for Pittsburgh as the Redskins take the win.
49ers, 20, Rams, 17
Hey, the 49ers went 4-12 last year when winning in Week 1. This match-up is sonewhat easy for the Niners. The Rams defense is good, but so is the 49ers’ is. These two teams actually have a lot of similarities, and they look to be around the same lousy level. Okay, okay, the Rams do have a star running back and overall, a slightly better offense, even though the Niners have Carlos Hyde, Torrey Smith and Vance McDonald. Like I always say, when teams are around evenly matched, the home team wins.
Week 1 is going to be great. Finally we have real Football Sundays again! Fantasy teams are back, and every team has an intriguing match-up What do you think of my picks? Comment your own picks below.