NFL: Week 4

So in week 3 we learned shit about shit. 

The home dogs were out in force. Week 3 is such a fucking weird week because any 0-2 team really has to win if they want any fucking hope of sniffing the playoffs without any crazy shit going on with other teams. On the flip side, any 2-0 team sort of rests on their laurels and takes the week for granted. And you can’t do that in the NFL. So it proved out that many of the good teams, lost to bad teams, for simply this reason. Sometimes it looks like fucking collusion.

Now a quick opinion paragraph….

In terms of the protesting. I’m fine with it. It’s fucking shameful how minorities have been and are being treated in this country. So you won’t hear me bitch about the players, coaches and owners taking a knee one bit (hell I want more of them to do it. Calling Brady? Calling Rodgers?) because its not about the song, or the flag, its about the freedoms they represent and part of that freedom is the ability to protest.

And while I agree, some of these owners are protesting to protect their industry and financial interests from governmental interference into their business more so than the inequity in how we treat minorities in this country, I say, that’s not the worst thing. They are involved now. That’s step one. Sometimes the motivation isn’t pure, but the end result can be practical and beneficial on a huge scale. (The US’s entry into World War II comes to mind as a situation where, were the US being truly altruistic, they would have entered the war far earlier than when they did. But in the end the defeat of the Axis powers still had a significant impact.)

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Who Let the Home Dogs out?

So in week 2 we learned some more things. I’ve very close to calling a few definitive, lets list those first.

  • The Jets, Saints and Colts are just fucking terrible and have little hope of anything positive happening in 2017.

Now some less definitive notes….

  • The Bengals are very, very bad and I had them on the edge of the playoffs.
  • I was wrong about the Bronco’s, maybe, but I was right that the AFC West is the best division in football and will likely have 3 playoff teams come from it.
  • The AFC South should be barred from the playoffs.
  • I’d love to see a Falcons, Lions NFC Championship.

Now a quick opinion paragraph….

The lack of practice is hurting the quality of the game. And I don’t just mean for the skill position players. I mean for everyone. Football is a violent collision sport and there is no way to replicate or “walk thru” that. You need to take hits, to learn how to take hits. Learning how to take a hit with in the game plan can be critical preparation. You also need our body to be ready to take the pounding that is an NFL game. The current rules are precluding both of these preparations and that’s how you get this shit level of play. I’m still thrilled football is back though.

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NFL: Week 2

So in week 1 we learned somethings. Nothing that will call definitive, but a few quick notes…..Last week I was 8-6-1 Against the Spread and 8-6-1 on Over/Unders. 

  • The Bengals could be very, very bad and I had them on the edge of the playoffs.
  • The Colts are going to be fucking terrible until Andrew Luck returns and even when he does, they are likely to just be middling.
  • The Steelers are still arrogant, but it’s probably going to work out for them most weeks.
  • I think the Saints and Bronco’s are going to be as bad as I originally thought. Sure, the Bronco’s held on for a win, but I really feel had the Chargers taken the reigns off of Rivers earlier they would have won.
  • Patriots lose was shocking (to me) as it happened, but KC executed a hell of a game plan to perfection.
  • Texans are already playing the the QB shuffle and that’s never a good sign.
  • The Giants offense relies way too much on Beckham, Jr.
  • The Raiders looked like the best prepared team in the league.
  • The Rams are a mirage, that’s how bad the Colts are, they can make the Rams look good.
  • Hold the horses on the Jags, yes the defense is legit, but let’s wait until Bortles has to DO something before deciding they are good.

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Week 1 is here, LITERALLY!

IT IS HERE! NFL Kickoff night is literally here, in both time and space!

I don’t know how a lot of the football stadium situations work across the country, but here in Boston, Gillette Stadium is nowhere near Boston. (Well, relatively, the shortest route via Google Maps is 27.2 miles.) So while Boston Proper gets the parades, it doesn’t get the games. Since 1971 Foxboro, Massachusetts has been the home to the Patriots. And a splendid home it has become. It just means that the city doesn’t tend to get the festivities of an event like the NFL Kickoff driven by Hyundai.

Until today!

Christopher Columbus Park, in my North End neighborhood, will host a gated event showing “America’s Game: 2016 New England Patriots” at 11 AM and then at 12 PM Guster will perform. Former Patriots Willie McGinest and Rodney Harrison will be in attendance.

I swung by on my walk to work this morning and this was the scene.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty cool event to have hosted in my neighborhood, just outside the Joe’s I go to a lot and the park where Ronan will be running around in soon enough. And the fact that it marks that the NFL is back is just the icing on the cake.

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Ronan Inspired Reboot!

Maintaining consistency in creating content for Hooking Foul has been my biggest challenge. Often times I pick it up, run with it for a while, put it down, not meaning to leave it for months and yet, here we are again, months have gone by without a post. Even though I’ve started some fun, great stuff, I haven’t finished any of it.

I’m fairly certain that this is going to change over the next couple of weeks, months and years going forward, as will the scope of Hooking Foul in general.

One: because football is back.
Two: because of this guy.

Everyone please meet Ronan Driscoll Sullivan. Born August 12, 2017 at 8:43 am measuring in at 8 pounds 5 ounces and 20.25 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing exceptionally well, considering the huge physical toll pregnancy, labor and delivery are for both Mom and kid. I honestly don’t know how Kelly did it, but I am amazingly proud of her and lucky to have her as a partner on this adventure. Continue reading

Week 4 NFL Picks

I’m revamping how I do this. I’m not writing what I want to write, I’m writing to this form that I don’t hate. You are still going to get my picks and I’m still going to give you some observations of each game, but it’s going to be briefer with more “writing” at the top.

I mean not this week, this week is just the picks.

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N:64 Week 3, Part 2


And now for the rest of the week’s games!

1 Patriots 1 0
2 Steelers 2 0
3 Panthers 5 +2
4 Vikings 9 +5-
5 Bengals 3 -2
6 Broncos 13 +7
7 Giants 11 +4
8 Cardinals 12 +4
9 Texans 22 +13
10 Chiefs 10 0
11 Seahawks 4 -7
12 Packers 8 -4
13 Raiders 7 -6
14 Lions 6 -8
15 Ravens 16 +1
16 Jets 20 +4
17 Bucs 15 -2
18 Chargers 25 +5
19 Cowboys 24 +5
20 Eagles -23 +3
21 Falcons 21 0
22 Colts 17 -5
23 Jaguars 14 -9
24 Redskins 19 -5
25 Dolphins 18 -7
26 Saints 27 +1
27 49ers 29 +2
28 Titans 30 +2
29 Bills 29 -1
30 Rams 32 +2
31 Bears 26 -5
32 Browns 31 -1


ARIZONA (1-1) @ BUFFALO (0-2) [+4] OVER/UNDER [47]

  • The Cardinals really bounced back and there is no reason to expect them to slip back, even flying across the country. They are just better than the Bills in each in every way possible. Even Bruce Arians bluster at least makes sense most of the time.
  • I think the year of John Brown may have been 2014. Otherwise the Cardinals look like the Cardinals, lots of points in lots of places.
  • The Bills are bad. Poorly coached, lacking in healthy talent, and while I think Sammy Watkins can play, but it seems like that trade up was just poor planning.
  • I don’t think there are any Bills you can start in fantasy, except you probably have to start LeSean McCoy based on where you drafted him.

Cardinals 31, Bills 9 (UNDER 47)

OAKLAND (1-1) @ TENNESSEE (1-1) [-1.5] OVER/UNDER [47]

  • The Raiders need to figure out their defense and fast. They have put up plenty of points, but haven’t been able to stop anyone. Where is Khalil Mack? Or is this a case of the University of Buffalo showing their true colors as an institution? It’s just going to be a bad NFL year for My Friend Craig on EVERY front.
  • Start your Raiders.
  • Titans were allowed a chance to win and Marcus Mariota threw a horrible pass that Andre Johnson happened to catch. I hear people saying he is good, but I just am not sure, he completely panics in the face of a blitz and I’ve seen no sign of that getting better.
  • The Titans have a great matchup against the struggling Oakland defense, but I don’t know that I would trust any of these guys in my fantasy lineups.

Raiders 35, Titans 21 (OVER 47)

WASHINGTON (0-2) @ NEW YORK [NFC] (2-0) [-4.5] OVER/UNDER [45.5]

  • My, oh my, all the hope and promise that the Redskins started the year with, is slipping through the cracks and a loss to another division opponent is not going be damn near the end of their year. I still think they lose, my biggest question is Jay Gruden a good coach? The team seems to be in these games, but the QB is costing them, and the WRs aren’t happy. BUT why do you throw 3 fade routes to a rookie?
  • I was surprised by how they attacked the Cowboys, but it seemed mostly effective and had Cousins been good I think they win. That being said, I don’t know who you can trust fantasy wise.
  • The New York Giants may have figured it out, at least when they hold on to the ball. They should have run away with that game against the Saints last week, but turnovers almost cost them the game entirely. They will figure it out and get ODell Beckham Jr. more involved.
  • If Rashad Jennings can’t go, Shane Vereen is a nice play as he will get the majority of the work. Start the WRs and Eli Manning as well.

Giants 24, Redskins 13 (UNDER 45.5)

CLEVELAND (0-2) @ MIAMI (0-2) [-10] OVER/UNDER [41.5]

  • It’s a tale of woe in Cleveland, but that’s ok because they want to lose and build through the draft, which looked to be going pretty well, until Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice. If Cody Kessler is the starter the rest of the year 0-16 is not only possible, I think it becomes likely.
  • I’m starting Isaiah Crowell this week, but that’s more because I lost Jonathan Stewart, than because I love the play. I think Gary Barnidge might be a sit.
  • The Dolphins were on their way to a being hugely blown out before an injury saved their Sunday and maybe their season. Sure they didn’t win, but they can take a lot out of those 2 road games to start the season. If they can get Tannehill to be even mediocre consistently.
  • Start your Dolphins. Arian Foster is the only guy I’d sit, even if he plays.

Dolphins 27, Browns 14 (UNDER 41.5)


  • I don’t know that the Ravens are good, but they can win games against less talented teams. My question now is, are the Jaguars a less talented team? I don’t think so, but they don’t have the “it” factor the Ravens have proved to have.
  • Mike Wallace and Dennis Pitta should get the bulk of the targets. Other than that I’m not sure there is a safe play on the Ravens not named Justin Tucker.
  • It’s win or go home for the season with the Jaguars. Which also means it’s win or clear out your desk for Gus Bradley.
  • You have to start you Jags because paid for them. TJ Yeldon is my favorite play if Chris Ivory is still inactive.

Ravens 31, Jaguars 30 (OVER 47)

DETROIT (1-1) @ GREEN BAY (1-1) [-7.5] OVER/UNDER [47.5]

  • Jim Caldwell is going to get fired if the Lions blow another game like that. Too many penalties, too many missed opportunities.
  • The Green Bay defense doesn’t look too stout, so feel free to start the Lions you need to without too much worry.
  • Green Bay needs to fix their protection and find a way to get the wideouts open or Aaron Rodgers is going to be just another guy.
  • Start Rodgers, I just don’t know who else you can trust. The targets seem to be there for Jordy Nelson, but he doesn’t look the same to me.

Packers 21, Lions 20 (UNDER 47.5)

DENVER (2-0) @ CINCINNATI (1-1) [-3] OVER/UNDER [41]

  • The Denver defense has looked great, but the Demarcus Ware injury could be a huge loss in how teams can protect against Von Miller. Also the first road game, in a fairly hostile environment for Trevor Semien. I don’t expect him to be particularly good, because while he has done his job, he hasn’t been exceptional in any real way. Plus the Bengals defense did a heck of a job against Ben Roethlisberger at home, who is far better than Semien.
  • They are going to rely heavily on CJ Anderson to take pressure off Semien. They need to figure out how to get Emmanuel Sanders more involved as well.
  • The Bengals splitting their first two road games is a win for them. Andy Dalton looks a little better in the pocket than he used to, but his arm strength just might not be there for some of the play calls. He can still get to them deep into the playoffs if the defense holds up and if Jeremy Hill decides to come out of witness protection.
  • Start AJ Green and Giovnni Bernard in a PPR. I don’t know who else you can trust though.

Bengals 20, Broncos 10 (UNDER 41)

MINNESOTA (2-0) @ CAROLINA (1-1) [-7] OVER/UNDER [43]

  • Losing Adrian Peterson may not be the big blow everyone thinks it is. They don’t need a stud at RB, they need to move the chains and kill the clock. Their backs can do that. They do need to keep Sam Bradford healthy though.
  • I’m playing Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph in various leagues this week. Rudolph in a two TE league. You may have better single TE options.
  • It will be interesting to see if Carolina can score against a good defense, which the Vikings are, especially without Jonathan Stewart. I don’t think they can, hence me taking the points and the under.
  • Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen….

Panthers 17, Vikings 13 (UNDER 43)


LOS ANGELES (1-1) @ TAMPA BAY (1-1) [-5.5] OVER/UNDER [42]

  • Sure the Rams beat the Seahawks, but they still stink, they just caught the Seahawks at a good time. I don’t think they can go to Tampa Bay and win.
  • I mean you drafted Todd Gurley as your season long tent pole, you have to play him, but I wouldn’t be in love with the move even if Jared Goff becomes the starter.
  • A young team like Tampa Bay is going to struggle against better teams on the road, and that’s what happened in week 2. It doesn’t worry me too much, although keeping everyone on the field til the end of the game is questionable.
  • With Doug Martin out and a good Rams front, I expect Charles Sims to carry the load, but to have that load be more short pass based than actually run based. You don’t care as long as he gets you points. I do expect them to take some shots against a somewhat suspect LA secondary.

Bucs 38, Rams 17 (OVER 42)

SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) @ SEATTLE (1-1) [-9] OVER/UNDER [40]

  • The 49ers showed good pluck against what looks to be the best team in the NFC again. Can they take it to the Seahawks in Seattle? The way Seattle is playing I wouldn’t doubt it and while I don’t think it’s likely, I’ll take the 9 points considering Seattle still only has 1 TD all season.
  • I don’t know who you can comfortably start on the 49ers, but the list starts and ends with Carlos Hyde.
  • This is starting to look less like a slow start for the Seahawks and more like the beginning of the end for Petey Carroll in Seattle. He was amazingly animated on the sidelines last week, even for him. He doesn’t coach well when things aren’t going well and that was evident last week. They really poorly planned for a potential Russell Wilson injury and I don’t know that they know how to survive if that ankle doesn’t heal.
  • Ugly. Can you start Tyler Lockett? Either of the running backs? Russell Wilson? I just don’t see it and I’m a big Lockett fan.

Seahawks 20, 49ers 16 (UNDER 40)

NEW YORK [AFC] (1-1) @ KANSAS CITY (1-1) [-3] OVER/UNDER [42.5]

  • 10 days off is a good way to go into Kansas City, but I don’t know that this Jets team is ready for that. They are developing but this pretty early in the season to get a big win in KC. They can do it for certain, but while they look good at times, the offense is still a little too suspect for me. Oh and they gave up a bunch of points to the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Bills.
  • Until Matt Forte gets hurt he looks like the beast he has always been. Quincy Enunwa has been good enough to take some of the value away from Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. That makes it tough to use them for the value you paid for them. If Marshall is out then Enunwa and Decker can be valued almost like Marshall and Decker were a year ago.
  • The Chiefs know they need to get off to a better start at the onset of the game. It’s a tough Jets D, but if they get Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce involved in the short passing game and Alex Smith is accurate they can easily neutralize the Jets front 7.
  • I’m playing Maclin in multiple leagues and I expect that Kelce will also have a nice day. I’d be more hesitant about starting Spencer Ware or Charcandrick West.

Chiefs 24, Jets 20 (OVER 42.5)

SAN DIEGO (1-1) @ INDIANAPOLIS (0-2) [-2.5] OVER/UNDER [52]

  • The Chargers surprised everyone with their shallacking of the Jags last week without Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. Can they do it again? I think they can score points against a bad Colts defense, but I don’t know that they can do what they need to defensively to win on the road.
  • Melvin Gordon is the only must start. Antonio Gates is banged up and so that makes him sketchy. I am playing Tyrell Williams in a league this week, I like how they used him and only think that his role will expand.
  • The Colts are in danger of falling way behind the 8 ball if they go to 0-3. For a team that claims to have Super Bowl aspirations that’s not a way to get there.
  • Start Andrew Luck and TY Hilton. Phillip Dorsett if you are desperate and Dwayne Allen isn’t a great choice, but there are far worse streaming options.

Colts 33, Chargers 28 (OVER 52)

PITTSBURGH (2-0) @ PHILADELPHIA (2-0) [+3.5] OVER/UNDER [46.5]

  • The Steelers are looking like they are on a path straight to the AFC title game. They don’t look perfect, but they sure do look ahead of everyone else. And that is what good teams do. I am still nervous about their back end on defense, but if they can coach them up this team looks destined for a long playoff run.
  • Start your Steelers.
  • The Eagles look solid and the early returns suggest that Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz are a pretty good pairing. But they aren’t ready to win the battle for Pennsylvania.
  • You can use Jordan Matthews, and they are throwing to Nelson Agholor, at least for now, and Ryan Matthews is a starter, but if he doesn’t get in the end zone he is likely to disappoint you.

Steelers 31, Eagles 17 (OVER 46.5)


CHICAGO (0-2) @ DALLAS (1-1) [-7] OVER/UNDER [44.5]

  • Wow the Bears are bad. Do they get better without Jay Cutler? I’d be tempted to say yes, but Brian Hoyer is the fill in. Ouch.
  • I don’t know what the deal with Jeremy Langford is, but I’ve put him on the bench. Alshon Jeffrey’s value also tanks with Hoyer instead of Cutler.
  • The Cowboys went on the road and got a big division win. No reason to think they can’t hold serve at home and beat up on the injury plagued Bears.
  • Dez Bryant is a definite start. I’m not so sure who to start between Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris. Elliott may have to sit and watch a bit because of the fumbles. He will play and get touches, but if he has dropped the ball at all in practice it could be a “sit and watch kid” game.

Cowboys 24, Bears 10 (UNDER 44.5)


ATLANTA (1-1) @ NEW ORLEANS (0-2) [-3] OVER/UNDER [53.5]

  • That’s a pretty good win by the Falcons in Oakland, but they still can’t stop anyone, and Drew Brees at home is likely to light them up like a Christmas Tree.
  • I would start the Falcons that you have. The Saints defense isn’t good, they only held the Giants down because the Giants kept dropping the ball.
  • The Saints need a win in the worst way if they want to even pretend they are going to compete for the playoffs. On this the 10th anniversary of the game that reopened the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina I fully expect the Saints to play their best game of the year.
  • Start your Saints the Falcons D stinks.

Saints 42, Falcons 38 (OVER 53.5)

N:64 Week 3, Part 1


Man I was bad early. I was ok later, but Minnesota really saved my week. We are looking for a big rebound this week and actually sort of like the slate and my picks. It all starts tonight, with the Pats third string QB going against known QB destroyer JJ Watt. Do I think the Pats can win? Sure, I mean they haven’t given me any reason to doubt they can win in any situation since before I had either of my degrees. So why not win in a short week at home against a team that has to travel and is suspect on the road to begin with? So do I think it’s likely? Not at all, but it sure as shit is possible.

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2016 Week 2 NFL Summation


Week 2 of the NFL is in the books and I sucked in the early games. I was decent in the rest and so I needed some space. So V-Sull and P-Sull went to see Tom Hanks play a guy named Sully! Not a bad take. I didn’t know much about the situation other than a plane landed on the Hudson and no one died. There were some serious levels of investigation involved though and that was fascinating even if they were obviously there to show Director Clint Eastwood’s disdain for red tape. The other thing that was was over the top was pointed out to me by V-Sull, and it was the overt product placement for Marriott. It came to a climax when the hotel manager hugged a soaked Hanks in the hall outside his room. All in all it was good and brief coming up about 90 minutes. A pleasant surprise in this day of 2 hour movies being the standard. Now onto football! Continue reading

N:64 Week 2, Part 2



SEATTLE (1-0) @ LOS ANGELES (0-1) [+7] OVER/UNDER [38]

  • I will be curious to see how Russel Wilson’s ankle plays in week 2. If he isn’t able to plant and cut in his normal way my 13 win Seahawks are going to be the 9-10 win Seahawks.
  • It’s hard to know who to trust on these Seahawks fantasy wise. I own shares of Tyler Lockett and I don’t know what to do. There will be fantasy value on this team not named Wilson. I just am not sure who it is yet, or if it will be reliable.
  • After their week one El Stinko the now LA Rams open up at home with one of the best teams in the NFL (and their division) in week 2. Welcome back to the NFL LA you’re gonna keep getting your ass kicked!
  • Todd Gurley. Only relevant guy. And he could maybe not be relevant if the Rams really stink.

Seahawks 27, Rams 10 (UNDER 38) Continue reading