The only 2 holes really are the London Game, but it’s so early in the morning it doesn’t matter what teams are playing in my opinion. And the game on Monday Night probably won’t be very good, but I’m hoping for a Shakespearean twist at the end, dig into this weeks NFL: 64 to find out what I’m talking about!
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. If you don’t want to sift through all the games looking for your team just click the game and be magically transported to that game!
More bye weeks in week 8. Your Bills are either hurt or now out of your lineup because of the they are on bye. Your Jags, Eagles and Redskins are sitting out this week too.
|Sun 930 AM – London|
|1.NE 6-0 LW1|
|2.GB 6-0 LW2|
|3.CIN 6-0 LW3|
|4.CAR 6-0 LW7|
|5.DEN 6-0 LW4|
|6.ARZ 5-2 LW6|
|7.NYJ 4-2 LW9|
|8.ATL 6-1 LW8|
|9.SEA 3-4 LW10|
|10.MIN 4-2 LW11|
|11.STL 3-3 LW12|
|12.OAK 3-3 LW14|
|13.PIT 4-3 LW7|
|14.MIA 3-3 LW21|
|15.NYG 4-3 LW16|
|16.BUF 3-4 LW15|
|17.WAS 3-4 LW17|
|18.PHI 3-4 LW18|
|19.NO 3-4 LW24|
|20.JAC 2-5 LW27|
|21.IND 3-4 LW13|
|22.DAL 2-4 LW25|
|23.CHI 2-4 LW23|
|24.CLE 2-5 LW23|
|25.SD 2-5 LW20|
|26.BAL 1-6 LW26|
|27.KC 2-5 LW31|
|28.TB 2-4 LW28|
|29.HOU 2-5 LW22|
|30.TEN 1-5 LW29|
|31.DET 1-6 LW32|
|32.SF 1-2-5 LW30|
BYE WEEK TEAMS
- It’s a long week in the north of New York and not because the weather has turned cold, but because the Bills look all out of sorts. My Friend Craig isn’t going to want to hear it, but Tyrod Taylor needs to come back.
- I personally sold on Lesean McCoy a couple weeks ago and are still happy to do it. Hard to make heads or tails of the WRs and Charles Clay has disappeared without Taylor. Getting him back will give a better idea of the fantasy outlook in Buffalo, until I’d say you have to either sell low or buy with impudence.
- This team may finally be the team I thought it was at the start of the season. The defense came around a bit and maybe they can fix some of the blown coverages in the off season. They really miss the number 3 overall pick, Dante Fowler, Jr., the defensive end who blew his knee out at the beginning of camp. He was likely to be a real difference maker in the pass rush. Should be a great value add to the Jags next year.
- TJ Yeldon, Allens Hurns and Robinson, Julius Thomas and even Blake Bortles are all interesting fantasy players. I don’t know the long term prospects of any of them, but as long as they are all in Jacksonville they should be competent to good fantasy players and, for a while still, great values.
- Another essential no show on Sunday Night football. The Sam Bradford QB problem is real. He just isn’t any good or hasn’t played well enough to show any sign of being good. The defense is also pretty bi-polar in the sense that one week they can’t stop WRs and the next they can’t stop RBs. It’s a weird dichotomy and you never know what you are going to get. Speaks to questions in talent, and questions in scheme concentration week in and week out.
- I think Demarco Murray and Ryan Mathews are about the only guys you can even roster at this point. I don’t want to start them, but RBs are so bad you probably have to.
- I don’t want Kirk Cousins on that wall, I don’t need Kirk Cousins on that wall. He isn’t good and sure he won a game against a team whose Head Coach the game passed by 7 years ago, but he isn’t good. Did I make that clear. This Kirk isn’t solving the Kobayashi Maru soon, no I want to go further, he isn’t ever solving it and guess who he gets after the bye week? Bill “Spock” Belichick.
- I hate this team and am avoiding everyone on it fantasy wise except for Jordan Reed and I’m nervous about him too because of his injury history. I’m certainly backing him up if I have him.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
- Miami is going to be able to move the ball against the Patriots. Not like they did against the Texans, but they are as high as a team can be coming in and looking to knock off the champs. It’s a great spot to be in for them. Now can they capitalize? And can their defense stand tall against the highest scoring offense in the game? That is the crack in the wall.
- You can play just about any of your Dolphins. The Pats aren’t great on defense and they willingly allow yards. TDs are harder to come by, but they will get a few. Jarvis Landry is likely to have a big day as underneath WRs who can move well after the catch give the Patriots fits.
- As good as the Patriots stats, look they haven’t played as well as they can and likely will later. Part of that is injuries and they haven’t fully adapted to the new personnel. I expect the Dolphins defensive line to be able to get to Brady and smother the running game, much like the Jets did last week. Also Ndamukong Suh is a mad man (on the field, not off the field that we know about) and loves not only the spotlight, but getting to a QB like Brady. Seeing 3 rookies lined up at the guards and center will have Suh salivating at the chance to discard their blocks like an annoying mosquito.
- I’d avoid the Pats running game even though Arian Foster scored a ton of garbage time points. I’m playing Brady, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski no matter what, and I’m considering Danny Amendola. I’m avoiding Brandon Lafell until his hands join the rest of his body off the physically unable to perform list. (Joke inspired by and partially stolen from my buddy Ruston.)
Patriots 34, Dolphins 27
SUNDAY 930AM EST – LONDON
- Yes it was the offensive coordinator’s fault. I’m not saying he was great, but Jim Caldwell is the real problem. He has 38 career wins and 33 losses. 14 of those wins came in his first year with Peyton Manning at his peak, pre-neck surgery. Take those and the 2 losses of that season out 24 and 31 as a head coach.
- KC has a decent defense that will give Stafford pass rush fits, but he should have an OK day because the secondary isn’t great and Calvin Johnson and Eric Ebron should find plenty of room to outrun and out jump them.
- I don’t know what to think of the Chiefs, I’m probably too low on them, but their season is over and so it’s hard to know exactly when they start mailing it in. Every now and then I’m sure they will put a great effort forward like they did against an undermanned Steelers team last week, but it’s nothing to be excited about.
- Just pretend Alex SMith doesn’t exist, start Travis Kelce, start Jeremy Maclin if he is healthy and Charcandrick West is a nice bye week/injury replacement option, but if I can avoid him I will.
Lions 35, Chiefs 32
SUNDAY 1 PM GAMES
- The Bucs shit away a game they should have won. That’s about all you can say about that. Lovie Smith isn’t a good coach. Time to end that experiment in Tampa.
- Mike Evans and Doug Martin are nice fantasy pieces, Charles Sims will get around 10 touches, if you are desperate for a bye week/injury replacement.
- A win’s, a win’s, a win, but that was an ugly one against a backup QB in Tennessee. The Falcons won which showed something, but they need to be better against bad teams or they are going to be be fighting down to the end for a wild card, when they should be able to fight Carolina for the division title.
- Start the obvious Falcons and sit the rest, Leonard Hankerson, Roddy White, Tevin Coleman and any TEs can’t be started these days.
Falcons 28, Buccaneers 14
- Arizona looked super professional until the second half of the 4th quarter. That is totally fixable with some strong situational coaching. I expect the coaches to deal with that.
- Play all your Cardinals, except for Andre Ellington and David Johnson. They just aren’t getting the touches. Sit them on your bench though if you have a spot because if Chris Johnson falters one of them will get plenty of touches.
- I think this team has no idea what they are doing. (Neither does the NFL with this Johnny Manziel incident. I just deleted a rant about that, maybe I’ll write a longer form piece about it.) It’s like the head coach is Vizzini from The Princess Bride and he has a plan, but it’s not a particularly good plan and he thinks he has all the answers, when in reality he is out of his depth. And every time they lose he thinks it’s inconceivable. God I wish he would come out and say inconceivable about 5 times at his next press conference after a loss. Josh McCown went out with another injury, what did you think of that coach, “Inconceivable!” The other team moved the ball pretty much as much as they wanted coach, “Inconceivable!” The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain coach, “Inconceivable!”
- Start Duke Johnson and Travis Benjamin is a nice piece and Gary Barnidge until he stops producing. I’d keep Isaiah Crowell on my roster, but I’m not starting him anywhere.
Cardinals 35, Browns 21
- Can we not televise the 49ers game the rest of the year? If Colin Kaepernick becomes the scapegoat when the coaching sucks and the personele sucks, then the ownership is doing something totally wrong. Which may just be the case. And I don’t even like Kaepernick or how he plays, but to throw all the blame on him is insanity.
- I guess you have to start Carlos Hyde, but you can’t like it. Everyone else is just sort of there, and hardly very fantasy relevant.
- Control the clock, don’t turn the ball over and create turnovers on defense. That’s a blueprint that can get you into the playoffs, and fairly deeply. It’s the track the Rams are on and there is no need to alter it as long as Todd Gurley keeps doing Adrian Peterson like things.
- Todd Gurley is the only relevant fantasy player besides the DST. They have some nice skill players, but they are consistent enough to start, if you really like one, sit him on your bench and see if he gains consistency.
Rams 28, 49ers 9
- I want to hate this Giants team because they just seem to have such weaknesses in places, the defensive line, Eli Manning’s unwillingness to feed Odell Beckham touches, but they keep winning and are one of only 11 teams with 4 or more wins.
- The news that Beckham has returned to full practice gives hope that he will be back to the focal point of the offense. The other Giants are just a who’s who of disappointments.
- Are the Saints really going to be good the rest of the year? No. They don’t have the talent. Mark Ingram isn’t going to average 10 yards a carry every game and Drew Brees still hasn’t proven he can throw the ball deep. If they can’t do those things they can’t win because the Saints defense is bad and they aren’t going to stop anyone for that long.
- Khiry Robinson is a guy I’ve had my eye on for a while and think he could be a weekly contributor even with Ingram in the fold, but only if he keeps getting 10+ touches and a couple of red zone targets.
Giants 30, Saints 20
- In some ways Minnesota is due for a clunker and this seems like a prime candidate. I’m not going there though because I think they have more or less survived their clunkers of 2015 so far. They didn’t show up week 1 in San Fran, but in their only other loss they had a last second chance to beat the undefeated Broncos. They are a solid team and the 2014 team would likely lose to this Bears team, where I think the 2015 version will prevail.
- Play Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and maybe Mike Wallace. Roster, but sit Charles Johnson.
- I think this is the type of game that the John Fox coaching influence starts to be seen in abundance. I’m not sure what that means offensively, but it should mean that the defense starts to execute mentally and be in good position on each play. They don’t’ have the defensive talent to be great at executing even if they are in the right positions, but it will help more often than not.
- I think the offensive influence will start to be shown in how much they try and get Matt Forte the ball to decrease the ability of Jay Cutler from throwing that awful interception at that awful moment.
Vikings 24, Bears 13
- Phillip Rivers showed some second half moxy in terms of effort and leadership, but they came out flat at home against a team they should compete with. Something is still wrong with the Chargers overall and it might be the coach, but their season is essentially over unless they run off a string of wins, like 8.
- If you don’t have Ladarius Green and you do have Antonio Gates you need to get him, or someone. It doesn’t look like Gates will play again this week. Start Rivers as he looks like he might throw for 10,00 yards this year. I think Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen are fine plays this week, but I don’t know about anyone else.
- The Ravens looked ok at points during their Monday Night loss to the Cardinals, but until the Cardinals devolved into the 49ers they didn’t seem to actually threaten to win the game. It’s a lack of talent issue, pretty plain and simply.
- Start Forsett and Steve Smith Sr. and hope that they don’t get hurt. Sit everyone else.
Ravens 34, Chargers 27
- I expect the Bengals to come out and keep proving they are legit in Pittsburgh off of their bye. The Bengals have been excellent in all aspects in the game and there is no reason to assume that changes.
- The Steelers defense has been ok, but playing a bit over their head so I expect the Bengals to be able to put up their typical numbers. The hard part of that will be determining which 2 WRs will put up the best numbers? I’d list them AJ Green, Marvin Jones and then Mohamed Sanu. As a new Jeremy Hill owner I’ll be anxious to see if they try and pound the ball a bit more out of the bye week and control the clock in a more traditional way, like they did for large chunks of 2014.
- If Big Ben is back and able to produce like Big Ben they are going to jump up my ranks because I think the offense is dynamic enough to cover the tragic flaws of the defense. Until then though they are stuck in the middle.
- Start your Steelers, all of them, ok maybe not Heath Miller if Ben doesn’t play. Oh, and not, Markus Wheatly if you were still considering him.
Bengals 31, Steelers 17
- I wanted to drop them further in my ranks, but I couldn’t do it because they were already so low and I think Detroit and San Fran are worse because I think their coaches are worse, but Ken Whisenhunt is right behind them at the top of the bad coaches list. Their best players are also banged up, so again I had to drop them because they should have stolen that game from the Falcons but didn’t.
- If you own a Titan, in a non-dynasty format, please send me an email telling me why, HookingFoul@gmail.com..
- So typically when I have two teams ranked next to each other I think that the higher ranked team is better, but in this case I think they both stink an equal amount. Losing Arian Foster in the second half of a game you can’t win is a terrible blow to a team already having a terrible season. Then the GM/coach backup QB bull shit and it’s a big mess over there in Houston.
- Start your DeAndre Hopkins, cut everyone else.
Titans 21, Texans 20
SUNDAY 4 PM GAMES
- The Jets aren’t ready to topple the Pats yet, but they are very good and should take care of business in Oakland. I don’t think it will be easy though and were the Raiders to pull this out at home I wouldn’t be shocked, and I wouldn’t kill the Jets for it. Especially if it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick’s fault, which would be the most likely scenario as to why the Raiders would come out on top.
- Start your Jets, while the Raiders defense is good, it’s not a world beater and they allow plenty of yards and scoring.
- Oakland almost sort of coughed up that game in San Diego last week. They didn’t find a way to lose, and that’s a big step. It will be interesting to see how they handle the Jets D and I’ll be able to watch plenty of this game because there are only 2 late games, thanks NFL. I think they can make some serious noise in the AFC during this second half and seriously contend for a wild card. Being 3 games behind the Bronco’s rules out a serious run at the division title, unless there is a major injury in Denver.
- I don’t love starting any of my Raiders this week, but they are all solid players. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will be ok and get their targets, but the offensive line is going to have to do some serious work to open holes for Latavius Murray, but if he gets to the second and third levels he could break some big plays as he is big and shifty and the Jets secondary are good tacklers, but don’t love to initiate contact.
Jets 27, Raiders 26
- Don’t schedule the Super Bowl parade quite yet Seattle. The 49ers rolled over and played dead last week. While this is a better team, it still isn’t operating at a high level without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. If Bryant is back it will allow the Cowboys to move the ball a bit better and make this a bit closer. The Seahawks offense is still sputtering, at best and I expect Russell Wilson to again be running for his life, maybe literally, because it will be Greg Hardy in hot pursuit.
- Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson are must starts, Jimmy Graham is probably too because of what sort of cost he was to you, but I’m not holding my breath for him to be much the rest of the season.
- Dallas finally had a chance to get off the snide without Romo despite the fact that Matt Cassel looked like a guy who never started at the college level. Then the special teams gave up a kick return for a TD. The aforementioned Hardy is a powder keg just waiting to explode and while I hope it doesn’t get ugly, I’m very much expecting it to, and soon.
- You start Dez if he plays, you start Jason Witten, and I don’t love it but you start Darren McFadden. I think the rest are just guys.
Seahawks 27, Cowboys 14
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
- As suspect as the Green Bay offense has been the last couple of weeks, they should get Davante Adams back this week and that should make a big difference, especially if they took the bye week to figure out why Eddie Lacy was so ineffective.
- I’m starting my Packers because it’s Aaron Rodgers and that guy is pretty good, loves night games and wants to beat Peyton Manning in his house.
- Guts, guile and defense has the Broncos undefeated. The defense is very, very good, but in this marquee matchup I expect the refs to be very aware of pass interference and defensive holding and I expect them to let the WR create space against the physical secondary of the Broncos. This will make it hard for the Broncos to match the offensive output of Rogers and the Packers.
- I’d hate starting any Bronco right now if I owned any, but you have to start Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. I hope you don’t have to start Peyton or CJ Anderson, but if you do, best of luck.
Packers 28, Broncos 18
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
- I think we are very close to the world of the Colts to come tumbling down. It’s a mess that is perpetuated by Jim Irsay who reminds me a lot of Charlie and the Chocolate Factories Violet Beauregard, he wants 2 titles out of the Andrew Luck era, AND HE WANTS THEM NOW! This isn’t always the best way to run a sports team, look at George Steinbrenner before he was suspended, or ask Mikhail Prokhorov owner of the Nets. Nor was it the best way for Violet Beauregard to not turn into a huge violet ball to be rolled away by Oompa Loompas never to be heard from again. If only we could watch Jim Irsay turn into a big violet ball and be rolled away never to be heard from again.
- I believe that this is a nightmare matchup for the Colts guys, but unless you are deep at WR you probably have to play TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief. Same thing at RB you have to play Frank Gore. If you own Andrew Luck you are almost hoping he is hurt and sat down so you don’t have a choice between him and your backup.
- Everything seems to be rolling down the river for Riverboat Ron Rivera. That is usually when a hiccup happens and I think the Eagles missed a chance to get a win because Cam Newton was good, but not great and gave the ball up a couple times. That is when the Panthers are at their weakest. I don’t expect it 2 weeks in a row.
- Cam, Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart are the only Panthers I’d like to use on a regular basis. If you are desperate to cover byes or injures maybe you take a shot on Mike Tolbert or Ted Ginn and hope it’s a week they fall into the end zone once or twice.
Panthers 27, Colts 14