- Philadelphia Eagles 10-1 (-)
- New England Patriots 9-2 (-)
- Minnesota Vikings 9-2 (-)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 9-2 (Up 1)
- Los Angeles Rams 8-3 (Up 1)
- New Orleans Saints 8-3 (Down 2)
- Carolina Panthers 8-3 (-)
- Atlanta Falcons 7-4 (Up 1)
- Seattle Seahawks 7-4 (Up 1)
- Jacksonville Jaguars 7-4 (Down 2)
- Tennessee Titans 7-4 (Up 1)
- Detroit Lions 6-5 (Down 1)
- Buffalo Bills 6-5 (Up 3)
- Baltimore Ravens 6-5 (Up 1)
- Kansas City Chiefs 6-5 (Down 2)
- Washington Redskins 5-6 (Up 1)
- Los Angeles Chargers 5-6 (Up 5)
- Dallas Cowboys 5-6 (Down 4)
- Arizona Cardinals 5-6 (-)
- Cincinnati Bengals 5-6 (Up 1)
- Oakland Raiders 5-6 (Up 3)
- Green Bay Packers 5-6 (Down 4)
- New York Jets 4-7 (Down 3)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-7 (Down 1)
- Houston Texans 4-7 (-)
- Miami Dolphins 4-7 (-)
- Indianapolis Colts 3-8 (Up 2)
- Denver Broncos 3-8 (Down 1)
- Chicago Bears 3-8 (Down 1)
- New York Giants 2-9 (-)
- San Francisco 49ers 1-10 (-)
- Cleveland Browns 0-11 (-)
- Philadelphia Eagles 9-1 (-)
- New England Patriots 8-2 (-)
- Minnesota Vikings 8-2 (Up 3)
- New Orleans Saints 8-2 (-)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 8-2 (-)
- Los Angeles Rams 7-3 (Down 3)
- Carolina Panthers 7-3 (Up 1)
- Jacksonville Jaguars 7-3 (Up 1)
- Atlanta Falcons 6-4 (Up 3)
- Seattle Seahawks 6-4 (-)
- Detroit Lions 6-4 (Up 2)
- Tennessee Titans 6-4 (Down 1)
- Kansas City Chiefs 6-4 (Down 6)
- Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (-)
- Baltimore Ravens 5-5 (Up 6)
- Buffalo Bills 5-5 (Down 1)
- Washington Redskins 4-6 (Up 1)
- Green Bay Packers 5-5 (Down 2)
- Arizona Cardinals 4-6 (-)
- New York Jets 4-6 (-)
- Cincinnati Bengals 4-6 (Up 2)
- Los Angeles Chargers 4-6 (-)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-6 (Up 4)
- Oakland Raiders 4-6 (Down 7)
- Houston Texans 4-6 (Up 3)
- Miami Dolphins 4-6 (Down 2)
- Denver Broncos 3-7 (Down 2)
- Chicago Bears 3-7 (Down 2)
- Indianapolis Colts 3-7 (-)
- New York Giants 2-8 (Up 1)
- San Francisco 49ers 1-9 (Down 1)
- Cleveland Browns 0-10 (-)
Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
After slow starts to the season for both teams, they have each won four games in a row. The spread on this game is -7 in favor of the Steelers, which shocks me as I think this game will be closer than that. The Steelers’ defense is the reason for their success this season and I think that will continue tonight. On the other hand, the Titans have struggled against the pass a bit this season and I think Ben Roethlisberger has his biggest game of the year on TNF.
Score: Steelers 24, Titans 20
Finally, order was restored last week on TNF as the Seahawks, the better team, beat the Cardinals on the road. Now we have two division leading teams squaring off, despite some inconsistent play from both of their QBs. Titans tried to beef up their secondary in the last off-season, and they got better but still aren’t that great which WRs like Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster will take advantage of. With all the unpredictable things that happen on TNF, think it’s wise to pick the better team at home here.
Score: Steelers 27, Titans 20
Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Giants
This is the first time since 1998 that the Giants are a double-digit underdog at home. That is how bad their season has been. They gave zero effort last week against a bad 49ers team. The 49ers are currently 26th in football in points scored per game and they dropped 31 on the Giants. The Chiefs are scoring 28.1 points per game. Yeah, this one is going to get ugly fast.
Score: Chiefs 42, Giants 23
I said last week that the Giants were better than a 49ers, which should bring them a victory, and then they lost. They have completely given up and a game against the Chiefs will show just that. I expect Alex Smith, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill all to have monster games here.
Score: Chiefs 33, Giants 20
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears
The Lions looked like contenders, then lost 3 in a row, and now have won back-to-back games. They will be facing a good Chicago defense this week, which may cause them some problems as the Browns’ D did to start last week’s game. However, the Bears’ offense, led by Mitch Trubisky, is almost non-existent.
Score: Lions 23, Bears 14
The Lions won last week against the Browns but not without giving up more than 20 points while the Bears lost at home to the Pack. The Lions in my opinion are a superior offense in comparison to the Bears despite Chicago boasting a good defense this year. Lions need to start making up some ground if they want to reach the playoffs, and a win here could do just that.
Score: Lions 24, Bears 20
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cleveland Browns
The Jaguars squeaked out a win in overtime last week against the Chargers on a field goal that was blocked, but went through the uprights. Talk about lucky. The Browns will be getting back Corey Coleman this week, but their offense will struggle MIGHTILY against one of the best defenses in football. Good luck DeShone Kizer, you’ll need it.
Score: Jaguars 20, Browns 7
This might seem like a trap game, with the Jags needing OT to win last week against the Chargers and with the Browns desperate to get a win at home this week. Jacksonville’s defense is just too good to allow many points and will keep the Browns off the field. If no one’s noticed, the Browns run defense has been pretty good so with Fournette having a down game last week, the jags might need to rely on Blake Bortles more to make some plays. I think he does just think against a putrid Browns pass defense and they grab a win in Cleveland.
Score: Jaguars 30, Browns 14
Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers
Brett Hundley did his best Aaron Rodgers impression on a late touchdown pass on the run to Davante Adams last week. They are going up against a Ravens’ defense that is 3rd in the league in passing yards allowed per game. On the other hand, the Ravens are letting up 125.9 rushing yards per game, which ranks at 28th in the league. The bad news for the Packers, they are already without RB Aaron Jones and may be without RB Ty Montgomery. The Ravens offense is abysmal, so I think this will be a low-scoring affair.
Score: Ravens 17, Packers 13
This here is a toss-up. You have the Ravens fresh off a bye week and the Packers returning home after beating the Bears in Chicago. For me this more hangs off the balance of if Ty Montgomery can suit up to play, as the Ravens are in the bottom 5 in rushing yards allowed per game this season. It looks like it’ll be a game-time decision, so I’m banking on that he sits and forces Brett Hundley to go against that vaunted pass defense who has given up the 3rd fewest passing yard per game this season. The Ravens have struggled away from home this year, but with the Packers limited in options I can see them leaving Lambeau with a W.
Score: Ravens 20, Packers 17
Arizona Cardinals vs. Houston Texans
Two teams who are struggling and decimated by injuries. Neither defense is playing very good, but both offenses are without key players. The Cardinals may be starting third string QB Blaine Gabbert this week and there is your disadvantage.
Score: Texans 28, Cardinals 20
This is an ugly pone, with Drew Stanton and the Cards facing against Tom Savage and the Texans. The Cards offense looked fairly decent last weeks against Seattle while it seems like its just DeAndre Hopkins doing anything for the Texans. Houston’s secondary is inferior to that of the Cards secondary lead by Patrick Peterson in my opinion, so Larry Fitzgerald should have a big game this week. Cards win by a field goal.
Score: Cardinals 24, Texans 21
Los Angeles Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have been using their third string QB for almost the whole season and they are 7-2. The Rams were one of the worst teams in football last year and they are 7-2 with the highest scoring offense in the league. Are there any bigger surprises in football? This is going to be a great game to watch. A dynamic offense going up against a tough defense. The advantage lies with the Rams’ passing defense stepping it up over the past few games.
Score: Rams 31, Vikings 28
A game between two 7-2 teams, this should be good. I believe I said last week that Jared Goff and Robert Woods had this special connection that would lead both of them going off last week and they did just that against the Texans. Do they replicate that this week? Short answer is no, a longer answer is that they’ll each still have decent games but it’s hard to replicate last weeks effort. The Vikings are on a much different tier than the Texans in terms of defense, but it’s their offense that has surprised more people this year with Case Keenum at QB. Still I think the Rams are on another level right now that is hard to match, so I see a close win on the road.
Score: Rams 28, Vikings 27
Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints
The Redskins struggled last week to stop the Vikings offense. This week they will be going up against a Saints’ offense who is top 5 in almost every statistical category. They have been relying heavily on their two-headed monster of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. If that doesn’t work, the Redskins will have to try and stop Drew Brees and the Saints passing attack. Have fun, Washington.
Score: Saints 33, Redskins 27
The Saints lead by Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara ran circles around the Bills last week while the Redskins lost a close one against the Vikings. Once again, the Saints defense has been much better over the last few weeks and should have success this week with Rob Kelley out for Washington. Saints are playing well, don’t see them stopping this week.
Score: Saints 30, Redskins 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins
Two teams who are playing just bad football. The Bucs will be without Jameis Winston once again, so they will be looking to Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead them to another victory. The advantage for the Bucs is that they will be going up against the worst offense in the league. Can Fitz do just enough like he did last week?
Score: Buccaneers 17, Dolphins 14
Well the Bucs somehow only allowed 10 points against the Jets last week while the Dolphins were wiped out by the Panthers. The tale of two sub-par QBs and two struggling defenses. I’ll give the edge to the Dolphins who haven’t looked as bad in their losses this year, besides that TNF game against Baltimore, and have multiple weapons to throw out on the field. I also trust their defense a little more to get some stops, leading to a win at home.
Score: Dolphins 26, Buccaneers 23
Buffalo Bills vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The Nathan Peterman ERA is underway in Buffalo. After one bad game, Tyrod Taylor has been pulled as the Bills’ starting QB. There is a possibility that the Chargers go into this game without their starting QB, Philip Rivers, as he has concussion symptoms. I’m expecting LeSean McCoy to run all over the last ranked rushing defense in football this week.
Score: Bills 24, Chargers 23
The Bills got humiliated last week and are now staring rookie QB Nate Peterman and faces the Chargers in his first game. There will be growing pains which means good things for the Chargers defense and I think they win this one.
Score: Chargers 23, Bills 17
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos
Wow, the Broncos suck. They have lost 5 straight games after a 3-1 start to the season, and I am expecting a 6th straight loss this week. The Bengals are not much better, but at least they seem to be competing more than the Broncos are.
Score: Bengals 17, Broncos 14
Ugh, another ugly game. Broncos lost big against the Pats last week while the Bengals lost a close one in Tennessee. The Bengals offense outside of A.J. Green isn’t good and the Broncos will take advantage of that. Brock Osweiler does enough to pull away with a win.
Score: Broncos 17 Bengals 14
New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders
I was expecting so much more from the Raiders this year, as I’m sure most people were. The Patriots are on fire as they have won five straight games and they do not look like they’re slowing down anytime soon. The Patriots are scoring the 4th most points per game, while the Raiders are giving up the 9th most points per game. Does not look good for Oakland.
Score: Patriots 33, Raiders 27
The Pats are once again firing on all cylinders, while the Raiders are coming off a bye. This game is technically a home game for the Raiders, although it’s being played in Mexico, which should favor the Pats a bit more. The Patriots are just too good so I can picture them dropping this one. Look for Rex Burkhead in DFS to have a big game here.
Score: Patriots 31, Raiders 24
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott was abused by the Falcons defensive line in last week’s game. He was without LT Tyron Smith and starting RB Ezekiel Elliott and it showed. The Eagles are the best in the league against the run, so Dak is going to have to beat them on his own. The Cowboys also have to stop the second highest scoring offense in the league. It is not looking too well for the Boys.
Score: Eagles 31, Cowboys 20
Eagles are coming off a bye and the best record in the league while the Cowboys got beat pretty bad in Atlanta last week. Dallas is dealing with injuries on the OL and will still be without Ezekiel Elliot due to suspensions. I’m just really digging the way the Eagles have been playing lately and they will show this week against a division rival that they are in fact for real.
Score: Eagles 28, Cowboys 24
Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Falcons dominated a good offensive line last week, and they will be going up against an atrocious offensive line this week. Will we see them dominate the line of scrimmage once again? They will be without star RB Devonta Freeman, but Tevin Coleman should be able to fill his shoes with ease. This is going to be a good Monday Night Football game. Winning in Seattle is no easy task.
Score: Seahawks 23, Falcons 21
Each team grabbed wins last week and are looking to stay in the playoff hunt. Seattle looks to have lost Richard Sherman which is a blow to their secondary, but I think they can still weather the storm. Doug Baldwin should have plenty of success this week as well and any other pass-catchers on the team. Seahawks win on Monday Night.
Score: Seahawks 28, Falcons 23
- Philadelphia Eagles 8-1 (-)
- New England Patriots 7-2 (-)
- Los Angeles Rams 7-2 (-)
- New Orleans Saints 7-2 (Up 3)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 7-2 (Down 1)
- Minnesota Vikings 7-2 (-)
- Kansas City Chiefs 6-3 (Down 2)
- Carolina Panthers 7-3 (-)
- Jacksonville Jaguars 7-3 (-)
- Seattle Seahawks 6-3 (-)
- Tennessee Titans 6-3 (Up 1)
- Atlanta Falcons 5-4 (Up 3)
- Detroit Lions 5-4 (Up 1)
- Dallas Cowboys 5-4 (Down 3)
- Buffalo Bills 5-4 (Down 2)
- Green Bay Packers 5-4 (Up 4)
- Oakland Raiders 4-5 (-)
- Washington Redskins 4-5 (Down 2)
- Arizona Cardinals 4-5 (Down 1)
- New York Jets 4-6 (Down 1)
- Baltimore Ravens 4-5 (-)
- Los Angeles Chargers 3-6 (Up 2)
- Cincinnati Bengals 3-6 (Up 2)
- Miami Dolphins 4-5 (Down 1)
- Denver Broncos 3-6 (Down 3)
- Chicago Bears 3-6 (-)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-6 (Up 2)
- Houston Texans 3-6 (Down 1)
- Indianapolis Colts 3-7 (Down 1)
- San Francisco 49ers 1-9 (Up 1)
- New York Giants 1-8 (Down 1)
- Cleveland Browns 0-9 (-)
By: Alex Patt
The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have arguably the most historical rivalry in NFL history. They have been playing each other for nearly a century and both fanbases traditionally get energized for the match up. However there was a big lack of energy at Soldier Field on Sunday.
For the first time since 2008, the Bears were favored over the Packers going into Sunday’s game. The Packers ended up winning the game without Aaron Rodgers by a score of 23-16 which angered Chicago fans as they dropped to 3-6. The Bears have not beaten the Packers at Soldier Field since 2010 and are overall 43-62 since 2011 while the Packers have been to the playoffs every year since 2009. Head coach John Fox has been in Chicago since 2015 and is 12-29 with only three divisional wins in that time.
Fox’s seat is on fire and another bad Bears team is making fans angry beyond belief. They are tired of losing and Soldier Field, a stadium that has traditionally sold out all games has been taking a hit the last few years. Sunday’s game against Green Bay saw an official crowd of 55,661 with over 5,000 seats unused. In addition, the crowd dwindled even more in the second half as the Bears trailed Green Bay throughout the game.
Tickets to Bears games are among the most expensive in the league and Soldier Field is not easy for many suburban people to get to. It is hard to spend a lot of money on an entire day when the team has been bad for years now. Sure, the weather was not great, but that has not stopped crowds from showing up in previous years. This has to hit the McCaskey family hard, and they have to realize the state of the franchise is taking a toll on the team.
Photo Credits: @DL1651 on Twitter
Joe Toscano 74-42
Ismael Diaz 73-41
Nick LoPrinzi 69-47
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals just do not have the firepower on offense to beat this stout Seahawks’ D. Russell Wilson has been up and down so far this year, but I expect a solid game out of him, especially since they are yet to get their run game going.
Score: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 17
The Cardinals beat the 49ers with Drew Stanton, but this week they play a real team.
Score: Seahawks 33, Cardinals 17
I said it last week and I’ll say it this week, the TNF games are so wild and unpredictable. The Jets walked all over the Bills at home last Thursday night and exposed Buffalo of some of their flaws. I’m taking a gamble here picking the Seahawks to win by double digits on the road after a tough loss at home last week. At least they don’t have to travel far and are definitely the superior team. Doug Baldwin has been on a tear the last 4 weeks, so I expected him to have a big game in what should be a Seattle win.
Score: Seahawks 25, Cardinals 13
New Orleans Saints vs. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are coming off a disappointing loss to the Jets last week, while the Saints are rolling right now. The Saints are changing their philosophy from what it used to be. Instead of relying solely on Drew Brees, they are letting their running backs and defense win them games. The Bills have yet to lose a game at home this season, but the Saints are 3-1 on the road. Buffalo’s passing defense has struggled this year and I expect Brees to break out big time in this one.
Score: Saints 30, Bills 20
The Saints have won 6 straight, but it’s going to be tough going into Buffalo and winning 7 in a row.
Score: Bills 28, Saints 26
The Saints are smoking hot while the Bills just came off a big loss against the Jets. This is a tough test for the Saints against a tough Bills D, but the Saints have played pretty good defense themselves the last few weeks. So I look at offense in this game, and I think the Saints just have a better all-around offense than the Bills do. This will be one of the closer games of the week, with the Saints escaping Buffalo with a win.
Score: Saints 27, Bills 24
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
A rivalry that is usually a must watch is going to be a huge disappointment this week. The Packers are without Aaron Rodgers and the Bears are without an entire offense. Mitch Trubisky is still struggling, but Jordan Howard has got it going lately. I think Howard runs all over the Packers’ 23rd ranked rushing defense this week.
Score: Bears: 20, Packers 14
This a battle of who has the worst quarterback. Brett Hundley wasn’t too bad, but the Packers are in trouble.
Score: Packers 17, Bears 12
Brett Hundley hasn’t done much of anything since he’s gone in for Aaron Rodgers, having not scored more than 17 points in 2 starts. He’s rendered basically everyone else on his offense useless, so a match-up at home against a underrated Bears defense won’t bode well for the Pack. The Bears have won 2 out of 4, losing 2 by a combined 10 points against the Saints and Vikings. I trust the Bears to take care of business in this game.
Score: Bears 24, Packers 13
Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions
Does a bye week help the Browns in getting their first win? Nope. Matthew Stafford is on fire in his past three games as he has thrown for 1,096 and 5 TDs in those games combined. The Browns weakness on the defensive side is their passing defense. Just does not look like a recipe for success for the Browns this week.
Score: Lions 33, Browns 13
The Lions almost beat the Steelers and beat the Packers in Green Bay. If they can get healthy, they can get on a roll.
Score: Lions 35, Browns 13
It’s simple. Browns on the road and against Matt Stafford who is loaded with weapons should equate to a blowout and a Browns loss.
Score: Lions 34, Browns 13
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Ugly. Blow out. Not going to even watch it. The Steelers are going to run away with this game. The Colts have not been able to stop any offense so far this year and they will be going up against one of the best in the league.
Score: Steelers 38, Colts 21
The Steelers are coming off a bye and have the best record in the AFC. Losing Andrew Luck has exposed a lot of problems with the Colts.
Score: Steelers 36, Colts 20
The Steelers are coming off a win on the road against the Lions and a bye week while the Colts pulled a road upset of the Deshaun Watson-less Texans. I think Big Ben just has his way through the air in this one and their defense does enough to prevent anyone on the Colts to have a big game.
Score: Steelers 31, Colts 17
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Neither team has been very successful against the run this year. The Chargers are letting up 135.1 rushing yards per game, while the Jags are letting up 124.9 rushing yards per game. Therefore, this game will come down to who runs the ball better. Looking at the offensive side the Jaguars have the best rushing attack in the league, while the Chargers are ranked 25th in the league with a measly 88.9 rushing yards per game.
Score: Jaguars 23, Chargers 17
Is it possible that the Jaguars can end up with one of the best records in the AFC? The Chargers are better than their record, but they’ll have a tough time in Jacksonville.
Score: Jaguars 18, Chargers 14
The Chargers have won 3 of 4, but I just don’t think they’re that special. On the other hand the Jags have also won 3 of 4, but they did that convincingly against the Bengals, Colts, and Steelers. I’m assuming Leonard Fournette is back for them this week and will have a big game while the Jags tough D will get to Philip Rivers and his receiving core quickly.
Score: Jaguars 28, Chargers 19
New York Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ryan Fitzpatrick gets his revenge! Fitz is starting for the Bucs for the next couple of weeks due to Jameis Winston‘s shoulder injury. The Jets have been playing good football, but this game just smells fishy to me. I think this game winds up being very high-scoring, but Fitz and Doug Martin lead the rush. I know Mike Evans is out as well, but DeSean Jackson is not a WR to sleep on.
Score: Buccaneers 33, Jets 30
The Bucs losing Jameis Winston might be a blessing. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets revenge on his former team.
Score: Buccaneers 23, Jets 21
Two QBs who have a history of being reckless with the football and are facing their old squads face-off! What can go wrong?! Actually, Josh McCown has been very good the last few weeks and have guided the over-achieving Jets to a 4-5 record thus far. He’s facing a reeling Bucs team who lost Jameis Winston for a couple weeks because of his “shoulder” and Mike Evans due to suspension. That leaves Ryan Fitzpatrick to be at the helm and his primary weapons to be Doug Martin and DeSean Jackson, a couple of unreliable options. The Jets D have been great against the run and I think they do fine against the pass this game, can’t say the same for the Bucs who have been atrocious on both ends for the most part. I’m taking the Jets by double digits, even on the road.
Score: Jets 30, Buccaneers 17
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans
If the Bengals knew how to score the ball just a little bit then I would give them this game easily. The Titans have disappointed so far this year, but I think Marcus Mariota is finally back to being healthy. The Bengals have been elite against the pass this year, but have struggled against the rush a bit. The Titans have a two-headed monster in the backfield with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, not to mention Mariota can move as well. I expect a lot of read-options and confusion for the Bengals D.
Score: Titans 17, Bengals 13
I’m not sure what’s wrong with the Bengals this year, but they won’t fare well in Tennessee.
Score: Titans 27, Bengals 19
Both teams have won 3 of their last 5, but the Titans to me have looked better in that span. Other than AJ Green, who should be suspended IMO this week after his actions against the Jags last week, the Bengals don’t seem to have much going for them on offense and it will show against an improving Titans defense. Marcus Mariota hasn’t looked all too great this season, but I think he does enough here to grab a win.
Score: Titans 27, Bengals 20
Minnesota Vikings vs. Washington Redskins
Washington pulled off and upset last week over the Seahawks, but they are too injury-plagued to keep that going. Case Keenum is having a career year, surprisingly. Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed are both questionable for this game as well. I think the Vikings defense is too good to lose to a depleted Redskins’ team.
Score: Vikings 23, Redskins 20
The Redskins looked very good going into Seattle and winning. Could they be on a roll?
Score: Redskins 26, Vikings 23
This is a tough one to call, as the Redskins are coming off a win on the road against Seattle and the Vikings have won 4 straight and are coming off a bye this week. I like the Vikings here just based on the fact that they seem have it figured out on defense, allowing less than 20 points in all 8 of their games this year, and are hot at the moment. I see Kirk Cousins struggling a bit in this one, leading to a Vikings win.
Score: Vikings 23, Redskins 21
Houston Texans vs. LA Rams
The Texans proved last week how important Deshaun Watson was to their success. Their defense has not been as good since J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus have gone down. On the other hand, the Rams have the highest-scoring offense in all of football. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley are absolutely on fire right now.
Score: Rams 38, Texans 17
The Texans are in bad shape in many areas, especially at quarterback. This could be ugly.
Score: Rams 35, Texans 17
Texans looked quite ugly last week with Tom Savage back at QB and now have to face a red-hot Rams team and their tough defense. Jared Goff and Robert Woods have been a match made in heaven the last few weeks and I see them continuing this dynamic stretch with each other this week. I’m taking the Rams with a lot of confidence here.
Score: Rams 28, Texans 17
Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
So, no Ezekiel Elliott this week. So we think. The Falcons are really struggling this year, but they are home in this one against a Zeke-less Cowboys team. Can Dak Prescott carry this team without his partner in the backfield? We will see, but I think this week without Zeke will hurt the Cowboys.
Score: Falcons 27, Cowboys 24
The Falcons are at a crossroads – if they lose this, they might not make the playoffs. They’ll find a way to win.
Score: Falcons 34, Cowboys 30
The Falcons were a disappointment last week after losing to the Panthers while the Cowboys have had back to back good wins against the Redskins on the road and the Chiefs at home. As of Thursday, the Cowboys seem to be losing Zeke again due to suspension, but even if they do they’re in good hands against a Falcons defense that has had a tough time this year against running backs especially pass-catching RBs. The Cowboys defense is looking better right now and I think they can put up points against Atlanta fairly easy.
Score: Cowboys 28, Falcons 24
New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
Two of the worst teams in all of football facing off. This is either going to be a high-scoring game or neither team will be able to move the ball. I’m leaning towards the no one is going to move the ball side. The Giants locker room is an absolute mess right now, but I think their defense wants to prove that they still have their coach’s back. I think that’s a lie, but they’ll step it up for just this week before going back into hiding.
Score: Giants 17, 49ers 13
Finally the 49ers win one! They have hope after acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo and the Giants have quit.
Score: 49ers 23, Giants 13
What team has looked almost as ugly as the win-less 49ers not named the Browns? The Giants. They have only 1 win this season and just got killed at home against the Rams a week ago. So what makes me pick them this week to win on the road? Well, they’re still better than the niners regardless of how they played. The Niners might have another chance to get a win this year, but I don’t see it this week. Look for Orleans Darkwa to run all over the Niners this week, which every RB has seemed to have done this season.
Score: Giants 27, 49ers 19
New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
The Broncos are done. Their starting quarterback situation is way too messy to comeback from this season. The Patriots, on the other hand, have won 4 of their last 5. I think their defense gains some confidence this week against a bad Broncos’ offense.
Score: Patriots 27, Broncos 14
If the Broncos had an offense, this would be a very interesting game. New England’s offense might struggle, but they’ll do enough to win.
Score: Patriots 28, Broncos 9
Some will think this will be a blowout at the hands of the Pats, but based on how each team has played in this meeting while in Denver, I’m not buying it. I still see the Pats winning by double digits just because the Broncos d hasn’t played well the last few weeks and have Brock Osweiler as their starting QB. The Pats should win this one on Sunday Night Football.
Score: Patriots 27, Broncos 16
Miami Dolphins vs. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are looking more and more like true contenders, while the Dolphins are burying themselves in a deeper hole each week. The Panthers defense may be the best in the league this year, while the Dolphins are scoring the least amount of points per game. I think that says it all.
Score: Panthers 21, Dolphins 10
The Panthers may have corrected their issues on offense and they might be ready to go on a roll.
Score: Panthers 27, Dolphins 22
The Panthers have been one of the better defensive teams this year despite some key injuries while the Dolphins are a lost-cause on offense. A Monday-Night match-up shouldn’t prove to display anything different here. I think Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey both have good games here to lead their team to victory.
Score: Panthers 27, Dolphins 17
Week 9 DFS Spotlight
With 6 teams on a bye and countless stars injured, week 9 is shaping up to be very interesting in the DFS world. Wide receiver can often be the most volatile position in our lineups, and this week is no different. We’re looking for playmakers that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but still have GPP winning upside. In this week’s DFS Spotlight, I break down wide receivers that I’m targeting in DraftKings tournaments.
T.Y. Hilton is always a threat to score 30 points in any given matchup, even on the road. When we think of Hilton, we usually imagine a long connection on a TD pass from Andrew Luck at home in the dome. Although the Colts play in Houston this week, there is still plenty of merit to playing him. At only 4900, Hilton stands out as an obvious target based on his point per dollar upside and game-breaking ability. The counter argument is that Hilton is expected to be highly owned, with ownership possibly approaching 40%. His slate breaking upside is what will make many DFS players gladly play him, despite the high ownership. If you fade him—although extremely risky—it could pay off in the event that the Colts offense comes out flat on Sunday.
Before news broke that Ezekiel Elliot would indeed play this week, Das Prescott and Dez Bryant were expected to be very highly owned. Now that Zeke is back, I expect a lot of people to move off of Dak and Dez, in favor of Elliot. While we can’t quite call ourselves sneaky for playing Dez Bryant, we can at least enjoy the fact that he may be lower owned than he should be. At only 6400, Bryant should be able to exceed price based expectations, and come through with his biggest performance of the year. Kansas City’s defense is not as good as public perception, with cornerback Marcus Peters showing a tendency to get burned by elite receivers on the outside. Do you know any elite receivers on the Cowboys that line up on the outside? I can think of one. Dez Bryant is firmly in play against the Chiefs, in what should be one of the highest scoring games of the week.
For Julio, it’s really quite simple. You are probably best served to have exposure to him even while he works through this struggle. With the second-best receiver in the world significantly underpriced (7800), play Jones in the hope that he can overcome the inefficiencies of Atlanta’s play-calling and have his 2017 arrival game. After all, it was in this exact matchup last year in which Julio went for 300 yards and torched the Panther’s secondary.
The Clemson product is one of the big-time playmakers in this league at the wide receiver position, but never seems to be valued as so. Coming into this matchup with the Giants, Watkins has several factors in his favor. The Rams are coming off a bye week in which they had plenty of time to emphasize how to get the underutilized Watkins the ball more. That game-plan won’t be as hard to put to use as you might think, with the Giants missing star cornerback Janoris Jenkins. At only 4200, this is the time to hop on the Watkins train. At no other point this year will we get a chance to play Watkins at such a cheap price, with such low ownership, and a clean bill of health. It is worth mentioning that Watkins is also returning to the state of New York, where he began he career with the Buffalo Bills. While that may not be enough reason on its own to play Watkins, it certainly doesn’t hurt his case. It is completely viable to hedge this play with other Rams offensive pieces, but Watkins is the player that stands out most to me. I expect him to absolutely shatter his price tag if he can meet or exceed 6-8 targets on Sunday.
The Kansas City and Dallas game is setting up to be shootout. There is no need to overthink this one. Play Tyreek Hill. In a plus matchup on the fast track turf, expect ‘Ty-Freak’ to give the Dallas secondary fits. As we’ve seen, Hill only needs one big scoring play to justify his price tag, which checks in this week at 6700. This game provides us with plenty of one off tournament players, as well as the possibility of stacking up the whole game. Even though Dallas likes to control the clock and run the ball, there still should be ample opportunity for the Chiefs to move the ball and score. In need of a bounce back game, Tyreek has a great chance to go nuts this week.
When there’s a team on the schedule who looks all but guaranteed to obliterate their opponent, it’s obviously a great idea to get exposure to them. With teams like Seahawks and Saints in such clear smash spots, much of the public will be drawn to the same players on these teams. While simply being higher owned doesn’t make someone a bad play, it is important to think outside the box in these situations in order to find the sharpest solution. For Seattle, we would want to first accept the outcome of Seahawks dominance and then identify where the scoring will come from. I wrote up Tyler Lockett last week, identifying him as a player that will improve as the year goes on. Lockett remains in play this week, but faces the likelihood of going up against Washington elite cornerback Josh Norman, who generally patrols the left side of the field. If you want to get frisky, you can spin the wheel with the Seahawks and have exposure to Lockett, as well as Paul Richardson and Doug Baldwin. In the end, I may very well end up having more exposure to Baldwin than either of the other two. The fact that Baldwin normally lines up in the slot is very encouraging, as he will avoid Josh Norman in coverage. The Seattle running game is a complete mess, often forcing the Seahawks to put the game on Russell Wilson’s shoulders. For the Seahawks to put up points in bunches, the passing game has to be successful. More than likely, one or more of their receivers goes off this week, with tight end Jimmy Graham being a strong possibility as well. The Seahawks defense can be stacked with an offensive player, as game flow should allow both to have opportunities to produce points. The with Hawks running game being notably bad, Russell Wilson makes a fantastic GPP this weekend as well, but he does check in with the highest price tag of any quarterback on the slate.
Saints running back Mark Ingram has been on a tear as of late, and now has risen all the way up to 7600. Even after owning up to two fumbles last week, it just seems like a classic Sean Payton move to limit Ingram’s snaps this week in favor of Alvin Kamara. This game could shootout, with Kamara having heavy usage independent of game flow. If you think the game takes the path of a defensive divisional battle, you will definitely want exposure to the Saints defense, who faces off against turnover-prone Jameis Winston. The public is sure to bet on Michael Thomas having a huge game this week, and rightfully so. If you want to hedge this play, you’ll find the idea of playing smaller names from the Saints passing game to be highly intriguing. I will be finding every which way I can to get exposure to this game, as I expect a lot of points to be scored.
Week 9’s optimal roster build will likely feature wide receivers priced in the mid-range, as so many of the elite guys have a strong chance to bust. I will be going with a complete fade of AJ Green and DeAndre Hopkins and loading my player pool with guys in the 4K-7K range. To win a GPP this week, you’ll need to have at least some element of a contrarian mindset. I wouldn’t be surprised if something such as a sneaky Rams game stack won a tournament. Keep your eyes and ears turned towards injury updates and analysis as you fine tune your lineups. Most importantly this week, don’t overthink playing underpriced playmakers. We’ve identified a few here in the hopes that they help one of you win big on Sunday.