So I’m a few days late with the NFL64, but my Pats pick was up and I had the team right, but the score wrong. So here is the first regular season NFL64 with picks at the bottom. They are straight wins picks, I don’t involve the spread, but will mention it from time to time when I think it makes sense or makes me think Vegas knows something the rest of us don’t. ONTO THE PICKS!
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
PITTSBURGH @ NEW ENGLAND
- The Steeler secondary forgot about Rob Gronkowski on too many occasions for any coach to be happy and Gronk made them pay with 3 TDs.
- If you Own DeAngelo Williams in fantasy trade him now, hopefully to the Le’Veon Bell owner and get a top 20 RB or WR with a more stable situation back.
- I’ll say it again, I think Gronk has the best TE season in history, 3 TDs in week 1 certainly tends to suggest that.
- The Pats secondary and Defensive line need to help each other be better. A little better coverage, a little better pass rush and they can be very good.
I had Pats 38-17, Pats won 28-21 (backdoor push!). I’ll blame it on the rain, yeah, eh, yeah.
SUNDAY 1 PM GAMES
GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO
- Who else catches passes for Green Bay besides Randall Cobb? I’m not even sure Aaron Rodgers knows.
- Eddie Lacy and James Starks are going to be a very, very good football combo in 2015, sadly it hurts Lacy as a fantasy player.
- Which Jay Cutler shows up? And how will he respond to new Head Coach John Fox?
- Big fan of Martellus Bennett as a Cutler safety net and as a top 5 fantasy TE in 2015. That’s only a crazy prediction because of Cutler’s instability.
Packers 31, Bears 17
KANSAS CITY @ HOUSTON
- I’m not as sold on Travis Kelce as everyone else is for fantasy purposes, but in the land of Gronk and everyone else he is a shining beacon of hope that most TEs have long since lost for fantasy owners.
- Alex Smith is fine as a QB, but you can’t win or go deep in the playoffs with him under center.
- I like Alfred Blue as a fantasy option way more than most folks seem too, but that’s because it’s only for 2 maybe 4 weeks.
- The Texans defense is going to be fun to watch. Be sure to enjoy JJ Watt and everything he brings to the table.
Texans 16, Chiefs 10
CLEVELAND @ NEW YORK (AFC)
- Isaiah Crowell is better than people want you to think. I think if he had a QB or WR around him he could emerge as a top 10 RB in fantasy.
- The Browns offensive line will be amazing to watch, but sadly is also their best collection of offensive talent.
- Use Chris Ivory early in DFS and season long and then trade him in season long.
- Watch how every few weeks the Jets Defense will get better and better as Todd Bowles takes hold and molds them from an already very good group, to one of the best in the league.
Jets 17, Browns 12
INDIANAPOLIS @ BUFFALO
- I’m in the Andre Johnson 2015 will look a lot like Reggie Wayne 2014, so I’m staying away and recommending you do too.
- Colts need help on defense, still. I feel like it’s been that way for 15 years.
- Bills don’t need help on defense. In fact put Andrew Luck on the Bills and they are a Super Bowl favorite. Keep drooling My Friend Craig.
- LeSean McCoy will have plenty of yardage week 1 contrary to popular belief.
Colts 20, Bills 14
MIAMI @ WASHINGTON
- Ryan Tannehill to Jarvis Landry 10-12 times in week 1, count on it.
- Ndamukong SUh will have a career high in sacks in 2015.
- Make room on your fantasy bench for Matt Jones, the future is coming to DC and that future is not Alfred Morris.
- Redskins are seemingly in total disarray, so much so even on the road Miami is my eliminator pick for week 1.
Miami 34, Redskins 9
CAROLINA @ JACKSONVILLE
- Greg Olsen is as safe a thing to have 12-15 targets a game as any ball catcher in the NFL.
- If the Carolina offensive line is good they could make some serious noise in a bad division. It’s not though.
- The Jacksonville defense is solid and gets after the QB, (6th in sacks in 2014, thanks Matthew Berry) and their offense is getting better even if I think Julius Thomas was a waste of money. I see them as a team on the verge of being a team on the rise.
- Stay away from Jacksonville in fantasy, if you like a guy stash him, but I wouldn’t start or play anyone in DFS until I see a couple weeks of production.
Panthers 24, Jaguars 17
SEATTLE @ ST. LOUIS
- Jimmy Graham is needed to block the St. Louis defensive line in week 1. He ends up with 5 catches for 38 yards and maybe a TD in week 1. You have to believe in that TC to use him in fantasy this week.
- Without Kam Chancellor the wheels on the bus start to come loose in the Seattle Secondary. Loose enough for Nick Foles? Maybe.
- If Chris Givens could learn to run ANY (as in 1) route other than a post or a go route he could be a top 30 WR. If he learned 2 he could be a top 10 WR. But he hasn’t (or can’t) and is just a guy we can watch catch 3 80 yard TDs a year with 13 catches the rest of the season.
- Watch the St. Louis Defense take extra hits on Russell Wilson if given the chance on read option runs.
Seahawks 20, Rams 19
SUNDAY 4 PM GAMES
NEW ORLEANS @ ARIZONA
- Look for Drew Brees to throw about 7-10% less passes in 2015, but he will be more efficient and effective when he does throw.
- Mark Ingram should be special to watch working with the best offensive line he’s had since Alabama.
- Larry Fitzgerald isn’t done quite yet for fantasy purposes, but now he is a “possession red zone guy” instead of a “can take it to the house” on any given play guy.
- The Arizona Secondary is weaker for a few reasons, losing Todd Bowles as coordinator and Antonio Cromartie at cornerback. How do they adjust to those losses and can Patrick Peterson bounce back to his all world form now that he knows and can monitor his diabetes?
Cardinals 24, Saints 16
DETROIT @ SAN DIEGO
- Don’t start thinking the Lions defensive line is putrid now that they lost Suh, but it’s different. Haloti Ngata is still an effective NT he just isn’t a 3 down player or as versatile as Suh.
- I love Ameer Abdullah this week because even if Joique Bell plays I think they will be limiting his touches to keep him healthy long term. And Theo Riddick is a good football player, but he isn’t the talent of either Bell or Abdullah.
- Danny Woodhead will reemerge as a valuable weapon in 2015 after losing a big chunk of 2014 to a broken leg.
- Woodhead might be the fantasy receiver you want from the Chargers. I just don’t trust anyone else until I see it or Antonio Gates comes back from suspension.
Lions 20, Chargers 14
TENNESSEE @ TAMPA BAY
- The only player on this roster with fantasy value at all is Dorial Green Beckham and I want to see him do it for 2 weeks in a row before I trust it. (BUT if he does it once I’ll add and stash him for sure.)
- There should be some worry that Marcus Mariota takes way too many hits behind that awful offensive line. At least I’d be worried.
- In college when the lights shined brightest Jameis Winston became a different player, in a good way. While some players shrivel in the spotlight like my skin in the sun, Winston was always great. So the ability is there, when does that switch flip for Winston in Tampa? I doubt its week 1, but he won’t want to lose to Mariota for a second game in a row.
- I love Doug Martin in DFS this week and I love him as a trade chip in season long. Let him run for a 100 yards with 5 or 6 catches in week 1 and TRADE HIM!
Buccaneers 24, Titans 17
CINCINNATI @ OAKLAND
- Marvin Jones is BACK! Another of my “let him prove he is healthy and trade him” guys. To get max value it might be after a couple of weeks when he has 3-5 TDs.
- I’m streaming the Bengals Defense in week 1 and it scares the shit out of me. This is a cross country trap game for the coach that always gets caught in the trap game and were this any other week but week 1 I would run the fuck away. But I think the Bengals show up for week 1 against a Raiders team that some days seems on the right track and some days signs Trent Richardson.
- I want to Derick Carr become good enough to make Amari Cooper Great. Yes, capital G great. I just don’t want to happen week 1. (See above comment for reason.)
- Khalil Mack is the real deal and My Friend Craig was right about that. If you are a watching this game focus on #52 of the Oakland D and watch how much a difference a middle linebacker can make.
Bengals 24, Oakland 19
BALTIMORE @ DENVER
- Who is Joe Flacco going to throw to? I mean once Steve Smith’s age catches up with him week 7 or 8.
- I’ve got the Ravens winning and beating up at Peyton Manning in this game.
- CJ Anderson is a stud and can take immense pressure of Peyton, if Peyton lets him.
- I’d avoid the Denver D until we see what Wade Davis is going to do scheme wise. His history suggests total overhaul and I don’t know that the Denver personnel will work in that care right away.
Ravens 27, Broncos 20
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
NEW YORK (NFC) @ DALLAS
- Odell Beckham Jr. likes the lights brights, he watns Dez Bryant money in a few years and he crushed the Cowboys for 10 catches (on 11 targets), 144 yards and 2 TDs in 2014. Yeah he is good.
- Shane Vereen is going to make Eli Manning look great and could develop in the way Rashad Jennings did later in his career, as much a runner as a pass catcher.
- Dez wants to earn his money and show he was worth it and does in spades in week 1. Partly through his effort and partly because the Giants secondary stinks.
- I’m not sure who I want as a RB in Dallas. Jerry Jones has wanted Darren McFadden for years. So I’m sure he is pressuring Jason Garrett to make McFadden the bell cow. Because if we can count on one thing, it’s that Jerry will meddle.
Cowboys 38, Giants 28
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
PHILADELPHIA @ ATLANTA
- Demarco Murray is going to run for a lot of yards in a much easier way in 2015.
- Ryan Mathews is not to be forgotten about and he is not just a Murray handcuff.
- Julio Jones is going to have an amazing year, making Matt Ryan have a great year.
- Don’t forget about Leonard Hankerson. If he has cured his dropsies he has all the other physical tools.
Eagles 42, Falcons 24
MINNESOTA @ SAN FRANCISCO
- Adrian Peterson is in just as much of a “fuck you mode” as Tom Brady.
- Teddy Bridgewater will be even better with Peterson back, I’m excited to see how much better.
- Colin Kaepernick can throw a football 60-70 yards in the air. Torrey Smith has some of the best straight line speed and separation skills in the NFL. This could be a match made in heaven. Or not because Kaepernick was awful on throws past 15 yards in 2014.
- 49ers are going to stink. Way too much player turnover and lost a top 5 NFL coach.
Vikings 28, 49ers 16