Thursday, October 1, 2015

NFL Week 4 Picks

At a high level, Week 3 looked like a bountiful week for us. After the numbers were tabulated, it wasn't all that hot. With Seattle and Atlanta easily covering, it was misleading since neither team covered in the first half. Also, Seattle decided to kick field goals instead of score TDs, leaving us just short of our team total Over. Also, I picked the wrong portion of the Steelers game to put in our Teaser or that would have blown up for us. Argh. Still a winning week, but not a big difference maker that allowed us to make a foolish purchase Sunday night in celebration.

I am not overly enamored with this week's offerings so it is a light card. Good luck!


Atlanta -6.5 vs. Houston - I don't expect a repeat performance from ATL RB Devonta Freeman, especially against the Houston DL, but QB Matt Ryan should have a fun time picking apart the weak Texans' secondary. Houston is simply outmanned when it comes to playmakers and can't keep up the scoring pace when it exceeds 20 points. Take Atlanta to cover the first half for 6 units at -3.5 and to cover the game for 6 units at -6.5. Also, play 5 units on the Falcons' Team Total Over 26 points.

Oakland -2.5 at Chicago Over 44 - the Bears should have WR Alshon Jeffery back this week, but it is probable that QB Jimmy Clausen will still be throwing to him. Now, we are not mistaking the Raiders defense for Seattle's but we are not mistaking the Raiders offense for Seattle's either. This will be a higher scoring game than the game in Seattle, especially if Cutler does play. If Cutler finds his way listed as Doubtful or Out come Friday, this line will move at least a point. The Bears still lose either should be a much bigger margin with Clausen doing the QBing. Play Oakland for 7 units in the first half at -1.5 and for 7 units in the game at -2.5. Also play the Oakland Team Total Over 24 for 8 units.

Arizona -6.5 vs. St. Louis - the Rams defense was a bit better last week but their offense is terrible. Arizona has been beating up, and I mean BEATING UP, the hapless bottom rung of the league and the Rams aren't much of a step ahead of them. On their home turf, I expect the Cardinals to roll again, though they may only score into the mid-to-high 20s, which is plenty against St. Louis right now. Play Arizona in the first half for 7 units at -3.5 and for 7 units in the game at -6.5.

6.5 Teaser of the Week (2.5 to 1) for 4 unitsSan Diego -1
Atlanta Pick em
Indianapolis -2.5
Seattle -3

Season Record:Straight-up: 12-9 +22.5 units
Totals:  6-13 -57.4 units
Moneyline:  3-1 +20.0 units
Teasers:  0-2 -7.0 units
Parlays:  0-1  -2.0 units

NFL Week 3 Picks

Week 2 was spot on or WAY the Hell off....The Saints were flat out horrible, even before Brees' shoulder quit working and the Dolphins defense was a flag-gathering dysfunctional mess. I gave them WAY too much credit going into the year, as I did the Rams defense in Washington. They have no resemblance to last season's squad even with the same personnel. There is not a lot I like going into week 3, but the games that I do like, I like a lot.

Pittsburgh ML at St. Louis Over 48 - the Steelers have been rolling offensively while Le'Veon Bell has sat on the sidelines. They get him back this week and go up against a Rams defense that is not playing well. St. Louis adds Todd Gurley to the backfield which will help the offense, but he will be worked back slowly. The Rams just don't have the weapons to go toe-to-toe with the Steelers but will score enough to help our Over. Play the Steelers for 7 units in the first half at minus a half point and take the moneyline in the game at -120 for 7 units. Play the Over 48 in the game for 10 units and place a 2-unit parlay on the Steelers and the Over.

Atlanta ML at Dallas - the Falcons are playing good football right now. They are without RB Tevin Coleman but Devonta Freeman is a suitable replacement. The Cowboys have been winning with smoke and mirrors at the expense of two inept teams in the Giants and Eagles. Matty Ice controls this game and Dallas is too beat up on offense to do anything about it. Atlanta starts off strong and doesn't let up. Play the Falcons in the first half at minus a half point for 10 units and the moneyline in the game for 10 units at -120.

Arizona -6 vs. San Francisco - the Steelers showed how bad the Niners really are after a rare dominating performance to start the season at home versus Minnesota. That game was more about Minnesota not being together as a team moreso than what the Niners did to win. The Cardinals are clicking right now and will roll over another bad team. Play Arizona in the first half for 8 units at -3 and in the game for 8 units at minus 6. Also play the Cardinals Team Total Over 26 for 5 units.

Seattle -14 vs. Chicago - I mentioned in my Saints write-up last week that I rarely take these big spreads in the NFL and should have listened to myself, but I can't help it in this game. The Bears are really, really bad and they are starting Jimmy Clausen at QB and possibly their 4th and 5th WRs since they can't field a single WR on their normal depth chart. Seattle is not happy with their 0-2 record and they will open at home with a statement. Pete Carroll will run the score up as a reminder to the league that they need to fear the Seahawks. Play Seattle for 10 units in the first half at -7 and in the game for 10 units at -14. Also, play the Seahawks Team Total Over 28 at 7 units and the Bears Team Total Under 14 for 5 units.

7-Point Teaser of the Week (4-to-1) for 4 units
Pitt/STL O41
Atlanta +6
Arizona +1
Seattle -7
Patriots -6.5

Season Record:
Straight-up 8-7 +11.5 units
Totals: 4-11 -49.4 units
Moneyline 1-1 +3.0 units
Teasers 0-1 -3.0 units

NFL Week 3 Recap and Week 4 Waiver Pick-ups

It seems like the season just started and a few teams are already getting a break. We are in Bye Week season now and New England and Tennessee are taking the first seats. I can’t imagine the Patriots thinking they need a break already but that is the luck of the draw. For us, it means that we are looking to fill roster spots for Kicker and Tight End, cuz who needs more than one kicker or tight end when you have Gronk, and possibly a variety of running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks since Tennessee actually has some usable players, which I didn’t think I would be saying before the start of the season. Speaking of which, I didn’t initially plan on have Brady in a starting role until October either. VERY nice for the leagues that I grabbed him in.

Now, you could be playing in a league that employs our Bye Week Rollover option. If so, you could have rolled over any of the players from New England or Tennessee and received last week’s points this week. That decision would have needed to have been made before last week’s games started, but, you would be very happy if you decided to roll NE kicker Goskowski’s points over since he had a monster day. Of course, if you gambled and decided to roll Titans RB Sankey’s points over since you were sure that he was due for a big game against Indy, you would be handcuffed two weeks in a row since he was a major dud last weekend. That is the drawback of the feature, once burned becomes twice burned.
Week 3 brought in more injuries to deal with on top of the week 4 Byes. The biggest injury was to Big Ben as he is out an estimated 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. It looked dirty to me but who am I to say. All I know is that I thought Ben was done for the year. He is a tough ol’ boy. No doubt about it.

So far, the Denver Broncos have been winning with defense; who woulda thunk it? The team that I picked as my Sleeper defense, the Miami Dolphins, look HORRIBLE. They are so bad to watch that even their wives are finding excuses not to go home and face their spouses.

Tyrod Taylor had another great game, though it was at the expense of said Dolphins’ defense. Another 277 yards and 3 TDs. I was dead wrong about him. I figured that it would be all defense that won games for them but he is excelling and with few weapons to boot.

This week’s waiver line may outdo week 1 with activity as there was even injuries at the tight end and kicker positions that will require transition. I won’t list available kickers to acquire but be aware of injuries and dismissals in Philly and Houston as old faces replace previous kickers. Nick Novak joined Houston and Caleb Sturgis joined Philly. Sturgis may have more opportunities but Novak is the better kicker. I would still look at current free agents in your league over both of these kickers first. For real players, we have these on many waiver wires.

QB: Derek Carr (OAK) – he did better than I expected in Oakland. Having Joe Haden leave the game for Cleveland helps, of course. Carr now gets the sad sack Chicago Bears. He should enjoy the game, as well as many others when he gets back to sunny California. A must-add if you need a QB. Tyrod Taylor as well if he is somehow still available. I was burned by Michael Vick the past few years so faggetaboutit.

RB: Karlos Williams (BUF) – he should have been handcuffed to RB LeSean McCoy LONG ago, but, he is still available in too many leagues so grab him, grab him, grab him. McCoy looks to be out for sure this weekend and who knows what the depth chart may look like soon…Williams has scored in all three games this season and simply logged 110 yds last week on a mere 12 carries.

RB: Thomas Rawls (SEA) – Marshawn Lynch is banged up. He left the game against Chicago and Rawls replaced him instead of Fred Jackson. The undrafted rookie RB went off for 104 rushing yards on 16 carries. He is a must-add if you have Lynch as you can swap either player in, unless your lineup locks early, Monday night after Lynch’s status is announced. Being a gambling man, I would be willing to say that Lynch doesn’t play since Seattle shouldn’t have much difficulty with Detroit and the Seahawks will choose to rest him.View

WR: Ted Ginn Jr (CAR) – someone has to catch passes from Cam. Olsen is always double-covered so Ginn is getting it done. He is more of a deep threat so ignore in PPR but he matches up nicely against a soft Buccaneer pass defense this weekend.

WR: Rishard Matthews (MIA) – So much for WR Kenny Stills being the main target until WR DeVante Parker is healthy. Matthews has stepped and assumed the position. Since the Dolphins have been unable to run the ball and are playing from behind, Matthews has been putting up nice numbers. He went off for 6/113/2 against Buffalo last week. He heads to London for a game and then is on Bye, but don’t be afraid to use him this weekend with Revis banged up for the Jets.

TE: Gary Barnidge (CLE) – last week’s production is unrepeatable for someone who spends most of his time blocking. But, as long as QB Josh McCown is under center, Barnidge is usable. There is no fluke in a 6/105/1 day and he works for a nice one-week fill-in this week if you have to replace Gronk or one of the numerous injured tight ends.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Future For 0-2 Teams

Someone has to start 0-2, right? Well, statistically, the answer is no if all things were equal, which they are far from. Today’s NFL has a few really good teams, more than a few really bad teams and a whole bunch of mediocre teams which tends to yield an average of nine 0-2 teams after week 2, which is spot on this season. The average is that one of those teams makes the playoffs. Last year was an exception as two teams made the playoffs that started 0-2; Indianapolis and Carolina, but common sense sez that Carolina was not a playoff-worthy team and should not be counted. Will only one team make the playoffs this season or will it be more? Two of the nine reside in the same division and the other two teams in the division have no chance, even though they are tied for the division lead. There are some high profile teams on this list so let’s take a look.

Teams With As Much Chance As A Kardashian/Jenner
Becoming a MENSA Member

Chicago Bears: The Bears thumbed their nose at their history of how they seasonally built a winning team and sacrificed solid defense for mediocre, overpaid quarterbacking and Karma is kicking them in the a$$. At least Brandon Marshall had the wisdom to question the logic in Halas Hall and was thanked by getting traded to a playoff contender. Good for him! Karma is wise! Papa Bear is rolling over in his grave as the Bears are on a beeline for the number 1 draft pick and will probably not trade it and will use it on another QB. The defensive moves that they have made the last decade are mind-boggling and has made this team a mockery, but fruitful for opposing offensive players. Zero chance at playoffs and a fifty percent chance of going winless.

Outside Looking In But Happy That They Are Not The Bears

New Orleans Saints: I hated their off-season moves and expected a down year as they knew Drew was coming of age and thought they needed to focus on the run game more than the passing game. I can see Sean Payton ordering a hit on DC Rob Ryan since he has done nothing with the defense since he has been there. Losing at home against Tampa sets the stage for a franchise freefall. I am not sure if they win more than five games this year and it may get worse next year.

Detroit Lions: the Lions have let most of their talent on defense go the past five years and have settled on QB Matthew Stafford as their leader, which is a bad move. He could be better with a better offensive coordinator, but their play-calling is terrible. Even when Calvin Johnson has been healthy, they don’t use him right and they have long struggled with balance between run and pass plays. They get the Bears twice, but blowing that big lead at San Diego foretold the story of the season and it does not have a happy ending. Six wins seems like the best they can do.

Similar Of Chances Of Finding Someone Who Likes That Annoying Big Bang Theory Show (better than one would guess but more unlikely than likely)

Baltimore Ravens: Hard to figure this team out; poor offensive showing one week, pretty good the next. Good defensive showing one week, poor the next. They need to figure out how to survive without Terrell Suggs on defense and they need to get Breshad Perriman on the field to help the passing game. If RB Justin Forsett is a one-year wonder, then this team is toast. They do get Cleveland twice and they will need to hold home field against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to have a chance. Sunday’s game against Cincinnati is a Must Win or they can start planning for 2016.

Houston Texans: It is so sad to see a great defense go to waste. It has been a long time since the QB play in Houston was above average. They wasted the best years of Andre Johnson and Arian Foster is approaching his twilight. They need to get better QB play to give themselves a chance at the playoffs. If they can do that, their easy schedule does set them up for a potential run at the division, especially if the Colts can’t put it together.

New York Giants: The good news after two weeks is that the Giants did have double digit leads in the fourth quarter of both of their games. Bad QB play helped give those games away though. Truthfully, the only reason that I give them a chance is because the NFC East resembles the NFC South of 2014 all of a sudden. With Philly lost on offense and Dallas beat up, the Giants can’t be counted out, especially since they have Washington on their schedule for two games. They will be lucky to achieve a .500 record, but that has a good chance of standing up in this division.

Philadelphia Eagles: What the Hell happened here? They can’t run the ball with one of the best duos, on paper, in the backfield, and they can’t complete a pass to anyone not named Jordan Matthews. They have too much talent not to succeed but their play-calling needs to change to give them a chance. Maybe a switch to Mark Sanchez would do the trick. If not, for the Love of Liberty, throw the ball downfield and spread out the defense!

As Solid As Seeing An Annoying DraftKings Commercial On Sunday

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have yet to play a home game and are getting Kam Chancellor back, so I expect them to secure a wildcard spot. I think it is Arizona’s division if they stay healthy. A wildcard team at 9-7 is a lock, even if they only win 9. I have them pegged at 10 though.

Indianapolis: Signing salty veterans is great if they are in a tutoring role. If they are in a starting role, not so good. The Colts can’t block and have no explosiveness on offense. Their defense is accumulating injuries quickly, but they will get at least 4 wins in their division but, most likely, 5 or 6. They will not beat any of the good teams on their schedule, but they will finish with 10 wins and win the division.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NFL Week 2 Recap and Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups

Once again, the NFL proves that it stands for Not For Long. As soon as you think you have things figured out, they completely change…in most cases. Expecting my Chicago Bears to fare poorly is one of the NFL’s truisms nowadays. It would be nice if the Bears gave QB Jay Cutler two jerseys so he could put on the Bad Jay number before he decides to implode so Bears fans can look away. One other constant about the NFL is that money doesn’t buy brains. After the Dolphins reinforced a solid defense in the off-season, they are now one of the most undisciplined units in the league. As I mentioned last week, money doesn’t buy brains or bring out talent. After letting the Jags march all over them all day long, the Dolphins D just needed to step up for one stand. Did they….nooooo…Jax continued to move the ball and DE Olivier Vernon decided to help them with a senseless personal foul shove after being baited. Like a fish that needed to be culled, he bit and bit hard.
Other head-scratchers from week 2:
  • Buffalo completely shut down the Colts and followed it up by being completely dismantled at home by the Patriots. I guess that should have been a sign of things to come for the Colts Monday night.
  • Never, never, never bench Tom Brady for Sam Bradford, Tony Romo, or any other QB that you have on your roster no matter how tasty their matchup looks over Tom’s. BTW, how much more proof do you need that Brady did in fact sell his soul to Satan years ago? You can’t write credible success stories like his.
  • Don’t overreact after Week 1 (stated yearly and repeated last week). Yet, many owners dumped the likes of Allen Robinson, Leonard Hankerson and Derek Carr (a bit more reasonable due to injury) to chase Week 1 studs and will be looking to get them back this week.
  • Did Roddy White miss the team flight to New York last week? Was Jimmy Graham late to Lambeau? Was Keenan Allen too dizzy from focusing on his 15 catches in week 1 to run routes in Cincinnati on Sunday since he only had 2 catches for 16 yards? There were many notable disappearances in week 2.
  • Always handcuff the backup RB to your RB1s (stated yearly and repeated last week). Yet, many Eddie Lacy owners will be trying to get James Starks this week. The same could be said for Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, especially since Jones had since a great pre-season. No way did I expect to see a full split last week after Morris looked damn good versus Miami in Week 1. Guess it is a RBBC in Washington all of a sudden.
  • Why don’t more people play in our Injury-proof Weekly or Daily Fantasy Football leagues? Using a Team QB for Dallas was a big benefit versus just having Tony Romo starting. Also, in-game changes allowed teams to swap in a 2H replacement for Eddie Lacy. There are major injuries happening every game it seems so why not give yourself the best chance to win? You know you are paying attention to the games, getting the injury updates and have time to swap out players for new ones.
  • The Steelers went 2-for-2 on two-point conversions before having San Fran buried and going for an extra point, which K Josh Scobee promptly missed. I hope the NFL is happy. They have more missed extra points already this year than they did all of last year.
  • The Eagles had a team total of SEVEN yards rushing versus Dallas on Sunday after spending the GNP of Haiti on their backfield. If the NFL counted sacks as negative rushing yards like the NCAA does, they would have had around negative 50.
  • The NFC East was thought of as one of the strongest conferences before the season started. Now it rivals the NFC South in lack of a quality team. When people start thinking that the Redskins now have a chance at the playoffs, you know your division has hit rock bottom.
  • I think the Vikings just knocked Matthew Stafford to the ground again. One would think that Detroit would have called more running plays as Stafford approached 50 passes but they let him keep going. I know the Lions barely averaged 1.5ypc, but 11 carries for Detroit against a Vikings defense that gave up almost 200 yards the week before is just bad coaching.
  • Did Eli Manning go one step further this week after telling Rashad Jennings not to score against Dallas in week 1? The Giants running game looked like he told them not to run past the line of scrimmage.
  • Talk about a Bizarro week. Not only did Ryan Fitzpatrick outplay Andrew Luck, but Jameis Winston outplayed Drew Brees. Both of these games took place in what used to be the most hostile venues in the NFL. If Jimmy Clausen takes the Bears to Seattle and outplays Russell Wilson this week and the Bears win, I'll quit the game.
This is going to be another crazy waiver wire week. Those people in Bid waiver leagues better budget accordingly. There are another 14-15 weeks left in your fantasy season. Aside from the players to be reclaimed this week that I already mentioned, there are a number of players that will be hot with injuries, big, small and rumored, to a lot of starters.
QB: Andy Dalton (CIN) – Big Red is getting some love this week due to injuries to Romo and Brees (no verdict on what the status is with his rotator cuff). Get Carson Palmer if you are in a shallow league and he is available. If not, you have a litany of mediocre QBs to choose from; Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Mariota, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the like. However, you need to determine if you are looking for a one-week fill-in or a longer-term solution. The other QBs are strictly match-up players. Dalton is startable more often than not, outside of the NFL Playoffs, as long as A.J. Green is healthy so I would opt for him. If he is not available, I am grabbing QB Derek Carr (OAK) next.
RB: Dion Lewis (NE) – a MUST ADD in PPR leagues. New England has a way of getting RBs to explode onto the scene and then disappear but it looks like Lewis is here to stay. Compare him to Danny Woodhead for expected weekly contributions.
RB: Matt Jones (WASH) – as mentioned above, he was a rock star in pre-season and should have been handcuffed to Alfred Morris in case of injury. Washington decided to give him playing time last week without an injury to Morris and he delivered with a 19/123/2 line with an additional 3/23 receiving. I think I would add and start him over James Starks this week, who should be added by every Eddie Lacy owner if he is available. Word is that Lacy is not ruled out on Monday so I would hesitate to get Starks to start unless I own Lacy as well.
WR Michael Crabtree (OAK) – rumors of the Raiders demise under QB Derek Carr have been dispelled. I expected good things from Carr and Amari Cooper this year and then Week 1 happened and I expected nothing last week. HA! If they stay healthy, it is a good year for QB/WR stats in Oakland. With Cooper’s skills, he will be getting the double-teams, leaving Crabtree with single coverage. With Oakland’s porous defense, the offense will be throwing early and often so Crabtree will continue to see his share of Looks. He may not get 16 per week, but will get enough to be productive as a WR4.
WR Travis Benjamin (CLE) – I ignored his big TD in Week 1 as a fluke with the Jets stacking the box after Johnny Football came in but he proved last week that he is a Big Play waiting to happen. That offense is not geared towards throwing lots of passes, especially with Josh McCown starting as rumored, so he is not a strong PPR option but should be added in leagues that award more points for longer TDs and credit the player with points on special teams TDs or for fabulous hair.
WR Ty Montgomery (GB) – in mid-August, he looked like he would be in line for the WR3 position in Green Bay after Jordy Nelson went down. However, James Jones became available and joined the team, rendering Montgomery useful only in the return game. Well, the injury to WR Devante Adams Adams (ankle) brings him back into those discussions. There are plenty of Looks to go around in Cheeseland so he should be added in deeper leagues.
TE Crockett Gilmore (BAL) – Gilmore is another player that got some good press in pre-season but was easily dismissed since Baltimore drafted TE Maxx Williams this year and the passing game looked awful in their opener in Denver. However, their playbook has long had a big section for tight ends and they broke it out last week for Gilmore and he delivered a 4/79/2 line. I would add him over Eric Ebron (I don’t trust consistent TE production in Detroit) or Coby Fleener (Dwayne Allen went out on Monday with an ankle injury) if you lost last week's hot add in Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week 2 NFL Wagering Picks

Week 1 was profitable….until the Eagles-Falcons game started. Wow, that game should have easily gone over, but that is why it is gambling, folks. An INT in the end zone, many drive-killing penalties and too many field goal attempts certainly do not help in scoring enough points to cover. That is going to happen at times and it just took us from a winning weekend to a losing weekend but didn’t cause us to break our bankroll. It simply motivates us for this week, right?! I have no interest in betting any aspect of the Thursday night game, though the Under would be a play that interests us if we were so inclined to play.


New Orleans -9.5 vs Tampa – Tampa was a train wreck last Sunday and, this Sunday, they enter one of the toughest venues on opposing teams in the league. The Saints put up a good fight in Arizona last week until a late clinching TD for the Cardinals. Their defense is a bit improved and should have fun with a discombobulated Bucs team. It is amazing how bad Tampa is on defense under Lovie Smith. I can guarantee that it will cost him his job this year. Drew and company will score at will on Sunday. I hate giving this many points in the NFL, but this is one of the games that I don’t mind doing it. Play the Saints in the first half at -6 for 7 units and in the game at -9.5 for 7 units.

Pittsburgh -6 vs. San Fran – the Steelers are still a week away from getting La’Veon Bell back but DeAngelo Williams looked sufficient against the Patriots. The Steelers will have 10 days to reflect on that loss and to prepare for the Niners. San Fran looked better than expected on Monday night but that was due moreso to the Vikings being out of sync than San Fran being good. San Fran is not as good as they looked on defense, for sure. RB Carlos Hyde is the real deal on offense, but that is it on that team. The Steelers will light them up and San Fran won’t be able to catch up, especially with the preparation difference and time difference. Play the Steelers in the first half for 8 units at -3 and in the game for 8 units at -6.

Arizona ML at Chicago – the spread is Arizona -1.5, but it is better in this case to pay the extra juice and play the game straight up. The Bears put up a valiant fight for most of the game against Green Bay before Bad Jay showed up. The Cardinals defense is far superior to the Cheeseheads’ D and the Bears will have trouble scoring. Arizona lost Andre Ellington for a few weeks but they have the Johnsons to back him up in Chris and David. Play the Cardinals in the first half for 8 units at -1 and in the game straight up for 8 units at -125.

St. Louis -3 at Washington – The Redskins put up an admirable effort against a superior Miami team that couldn’t get it together last week. I was impressed at how well they ran the ball. I am expecting St. Louis to gameplan for the running game and to dare the ‘Skins to try to win through the air. TE Jordan Reed may have a decent game, but I don’t see QB Kirk Cousins doing much else. The Rams will stifle the ‘Skins and will be able to score into the 20s and easily cover the 3 point spread. Play the Rams -1 ½ in the first half for 8 units, minus 3 in the game for 8 units and play the Under 19 for the Redskins Team Total for 10 units.

Miami -5.5 at Jacksonville – the Jags were a huge disappointment last week as I expected a better effort from them at home versus Carolina. They host another formidable defense this week so I expect the same lack of offense from them. Miami did enough with their defense and special teams last week to win. I expect more from RB Lamaar Miller and WR Jarvis Landry this week and the Dolphins to showcase a bit more of their offense. It is not going to be an exciting game…until we cash our tickets. Play Miami in the first half for 5 units at -3 and in the game for 5 units at -5.5. Also, play 5 units on the Jacksonville team total Under 17.5.

7-point Teaser Of The Week (4 to 1 odds) for 3 Units
New Orleans -2.5
Pittsburgh +1
Houston +10
St. Louis +4
Indianapolis Pick

Season Record:
Straight-up:   5-1    +27.5 units
Totals:             4-9   -34.4 units
Moneyline:    0-1    -5.0   units

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 2 NFL Waiver Line

Week 1 is in the books and, whoooaaaa baby, it was a wild one. It had a few upsets, a few dominant performances, a few fantastic finishes and a few duds. It also had more than its normal share of injuries, which isn’t good for the fans or the fantasy football team owners. For you fantasy owners, having handcuffs for your top-ranked players (see C.J. Anderson and Andre Ellington, to name a few) became a stark reminder very early this year. If you have some of those players, or high-profile players that delivered a dud, don’t panic. It is only week 1! This is the week with the worst knee-jerk reactions…and the week with the most waiver activity, though they do go hand-in-hand. If you missed out on getting a fantasy team, there is time to draft a Redraft league starting in Week 2 or any number of Weekly or Daily fantasy football leagues.

There were so many injuries taking place on Sunday that I had to discard my Post-it notes and go straight to a full notepad. Dez Bryant was the biggest name to get injured, but injuries to Andre Ellington and T.Y, Hilton are nothing to overlook. Even small-name injuries cast a wide net. With QB Derek Carr injured, Amari Cooper drops quite a bit, as one example. Other injuries create comedic situations; not like I am laughing at injuries, but the manner in which Josh McCown was injured was pretty funny as that kind of recklessness is a Johnny Manziel trademark. Speaking of which, Johnny Football got his first TD pass, which was very nice….and then settled into his turnover-per-possession rate. Opposing defenses look real tasty when playing the Browns.

A few other Week 1 notes:
  • Kansas City went crazy and replaced their whole depth chart of wide receivers in the off-season. Last weekend, Alex Smith threw 3 TD passes….none to a WR.
  • Eli Manning signed an absurd contract and promptly proved, again, that money doesn’t buy talent or brains.
  • Speaking of Eli, the idea of him approaching Aaron Rodgers money is ludicrous. The Giants are hurting at wide receiver and cut James Jones because he couldn’t connect with Eli. The Packers picked him up and plugged him and he had two TD catches less than 7 days later. The Great Ones make everyone around them better. They don’t bumble their way to defeat.
  • Buffalo made one helluva statement on Sunday. I definitely have to eat some crow for the disparaging things that I had to say about QB Tyrod Taylor.
  • There were a few unexpected RB committees on Sunday; New Orleans, Baltimore and Denver, though Denver’s may have had something to do with an ankle injury that was undisclosed until today for C.J. Anderson. Workhorses are far and few between.
  •  It is not often that I have to Google a WR with 13 Targets, but that happened when I saw Jacksonville’s box score and WR Rashad Green’s stats. Of course, aside from the TD, he did very little with those Targets as they amounted to 7 catches for 28 yards. My guess is that he is someone not to go crazy for on the waiver wire, even in a PPR league.
  • Tight ends were out-of-control productive on Sunday with 11 of them scoring double digits and 4 of those scoring over 20 points. Surprisingly, none of those were named Greg Olsen. If your league uses a WR/TE flex, don’t be afraid to start multiple tight ends.
  • The Redskins are the longest running joke in the NFL so this is not surprising, but it is worth a laugh:
Get ready for the waiver wire rush! Now, unless you absolutely HAVE to have someone, you may want to wait until everyone clears waivers. There are enough players at each position that are available that a few should slip through the cracks and you can get them for free.

QB: Marcus Mariota (TENN) – it is tough to acquire a QB when you feel pretty sure that he has already had the best game he will have this season. It was no fluke though. The kid is solid. With Delanie Walker dinged up and playing other defenses than Tampa, he can’t be expected to shine every week. Cleveland is much better against the pass so he won’t have great numbers this week, but Mariota should be on a team’s bench and played for the right matchups.

QB: Tyrod Taylor (BUF) – I would have no problem grabbing and starting Taylor this week. He played under control and within a limited playbook last week. I am not a fan of the Patriots’ defense so I expect a solid week from him this week. He will continue to improve and his numbers will get better as Sammy Watkins gets healthier. Hey, he has already gotten more out of Percy Harvin that the Jets did last year.

QB: Carson Palmer (AZ) – He is available in shallow leagues and never should have been. He has a full arsenal of weapons and always puts up solid numbers when he can stand up. He should eat the Bears alive this weekend as well as many other teams on his schedule. I actually started him in personal leagues over Peyton (yea me!) last week. He is listed third in available QBs as the other 2 QBs are wiiiidely available but the odds of you finding Palmer are slim.

RB: Dion Lewis (NE) – Jonas Gray? James White? Nope, Dion Lewis is the Patriots’ replacement for Shane Vereen. LeGarrette Blount comes back this week, which will cause his carries to drop, but he should be in the mix for a half-dozen catches per week.

RB: Chris Johnson (AZ) – Andre Ellington survived a season-ending scare, but he is out for a few weeks. CJ looked pretty good without a lot of practice time. David Johnson is a better longer-term replacement, but I like CJ going up against the Bears this week.

RB: Darren Sproles (PHL) – unless you are in a very deep league, Sproles was too far down in the pecking order to get much draft love and that was a mistake. He was all over the field on Monday, proving that there is plenty to go around in the Philly playbook. He is a PPR starter.

RB: Ronnie Hillman (DEN) – Any C.J. Anderson owner that didn’t handcuff Hillman deserves to lose him so grab him, even if he has to sit on your bench cuz you have better options. He was rock solid before getting injured himself last year so maybe this is Karma.

RB: David Johnson (AZ) – Chris Johnson is not a workhorse back so DJ will get 8-10 carries and 4-5 catches per game while Ellington is out.

RB: Lance Dunbar (DAL) – this is a PPR option as Dunbar is definitely the RB option for catching passes. He had 8 catches Sunday night and should see that many opportunities weekly (or more) with Dez out.

WR: James Jones (GB) – Yeah, Aaron Rodgers knows how to use Jones.

WR: Terrance Williams (DAL) – With Dez out, Williams becomes the new WR1, though don’t expect near as many Targets for Williams as Dez gets. Romo now looks Witten’s way first, then to one of six other options.

WR: Percy Harvin (BUF) – Maybe Percy will be a productive WR2 for Buffalo. I don’t expect solid PPR numbers though as Buffalo won’t be throwing a lot.

WR: Nate Washington (HOU) – 6 catches, 105 yards on 11 Targets. That is a productive day. However, Houston can’t figure out their QB situation and will return to pounding the ball unless they are in a quick 20-point hole again so only go after him in the deepest of leagues.

WR: Donte Moncrief (IND) – T.Y. Hilton has a bruised knee and should ride the pine for a few weeks. He steps in as WR2 for the Colts, who, when not playing a top-ranked defense, throw the ball, successfully, a lot.

WR: Stevie Johnson (SD) – Stevie showed that he should have been drafted in more fantasy leagues when he delivered a 6/82/1 line last week. He was wasted in San Fran last year and aims to make up for it this season.

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TB) – There was chatter about how well he could work with Jameis Winston and most of us didn’t buy in. We were fools. He is a 6’5” 265lb security blanket. He stepped up in a big way last week with WR Mike Evans out. He had a 5/110/2 day to be the top-scoring tight end not nicknamed Gronk. He is a solid grab-and-play option if you drafted poorly (see Owen Daniels) or have to fill Delanie Walker’s spot.

TE: Jordan Reed (WASH) – who knew that he would be healthy enough to play and put on a show last week? Who believed but was surprised that he finished the game healthy? Face it, everyone is in one of those two buckets. He is a fabulous option with Kirk Cousins under center and DeSean Jackson injured. Grab him if ASJ is unavailable. He had 11 Targets which turned into 7/63/1 last week.

TE: Eric Ebron (DET) – a lot was expected from Ebron last year and he disappointed. He delivered a 5/53/1 line last week but I am skeptical that he will be a consistent option so only grab him if beyond desperate.

TE: Ladarius Green (SD) – Green was a Sleeper last year and sleepwalked through the season. He was banged up going in this season and had left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth from last year so he went virtually undrafted. He delivered a 5/74/1 line last week. He looks like a solid start for the next 3 weeks if you are in a deep league.