One Thing Week 8

AFC

North

Steelers- JuJu Smith-Schuster saved the day for the Steelers with his 97-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter. That catch and run helped overshadow what was a so-so performance from Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense. The defense didn’t have its best game either only registering 2 sacks against backup tackles and allowing 423 yards passing from Matt Stanford. They won the game however and that’s all that really matters as they remain on track for a first-round bye.

Ravens- the Ravens got a much needed win to stay alive in the division. After that scary hit from Kiko Alonso, it’s anyone’s guess as to if joe flaccid will miss any time. The Ravens defense returned to its old self with a dominant shutout and two defensive touchdowns and running back Alex Collins looked great against a good Miami defense. If they can keep this up the Ravens could challenge Pittsburgh for the division.

Bengals– Carlos Dunlap’s tipped pick-six may have been the play that won it for Cincinnati but there were a couple others that should have lost it for them. After asking for more carries last week Joe Mixon got them but he only picked up

Browns- well hue Jackson finally stuck with one quarterback for a full game and Deshone Kizer played maybe his best game of the season. For the most part, he made good decisions and good throws. Despite this progress, it’s getting more and more difficult to find a win on the Browns upcoming schedule.

South

Titans- After their bye, the Titans are still tied for first in their division. A win against the suddenly surging Ravens will help them keep pace.

Jaguars- Coming out of their bye the Jaguars look to keep in contention for the division lead with a win over the slumping Bengals.

Texans- Although this year’s Seahawks defense is a far cry from the units that beat Peyton Manning and almost beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, heck it’s not even as good as the unit that got trounced in the playoffs last year, Deshaun Watson put up the impressive totals of 402 yards passing, 67 yards rushing, and 4 touchdowns. However, Watson’s 3 interceptions seem to give away this team as one that’s at least a year away from true contention.

Colts- Jack Doyle is back. After dropped passes and fumbles over the past few games Doyle put up 12 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. it wasn’t enough however as Indy fell 24-23. Indy has a tough test next week against Houston as they hope to remain relevant in a crowded division.

East

Patriots- At the end of September, the Patriots were in last place for points allowed, at the end of October the Pats have moved up to 18th. It seems though if it’s not one thing it’s another. This week on their red zone trips the Pats were 1 for 4 and with Gostkowski missing two kicks the game was definitely closer than it could have been. The Pats go into their bye tied for the best record in the AFC and at the perfect time with injuries mounting.

Bills- Who would have thought that the Bills would be 5-2 eight weeks into the season? The Bills continued their personnel approach of addition by subtraction when they traded defensive tackle Marcel Darius for a sixth-round pick. As long as they don’t trade away LeSean McCoy the Bills have as good a chance as they’ve ever had to break their 17-year postseason drought.

Dolphins- I can admit when I’m wrong, and I was terribly wrong about the impact Matt Moore would have on the Dolphins offense. After leading a 14 comeback against the Jets last week I was convinced that he would provide Miami with the spark they needed going forward. After getting shut out and with two pick-sixes its clear that Matt Moore is not the guy.

Jets- Now sitting at 3-5 the team that rallied for a 3 game win streak to go to 3-2 seems far off. The Jets are technically not out of it yet but a 1-3 record in the division and with the team seemingly finding ways to lose after blowing two 14 point leads and a fourth-quarter lead in its last three Games their chances of making the playoffs don’t look great.

NFC

North

Vikings- after coming out to a sluggish start in London mike simmers team finally realized they were playing the Browns and ended the game with a commanding 33-16 lead. Going into their bye week Minnesota is in a great spot with a division lead and a top record in the NFC.

Packers- The Packers had better hope they figured out with to do without Aaron Rodgers on their bye week. They have an opportunity to stay relevant with two division game coming up.

Lions- On Sunday Night Matt Stanford passed for over 400 yards with no touchdowns. That’s the second time in his career he’s done that. Over the last 20 years, no other QB has even one such performance. What does that mean? I’m not totally sure but here’s an easier to digest stat: The lions were 0-5 in the red zone and did not register a single touchdown the entire game. Couple that with a defense that was penalized at seemingly the worst times and you have the lions sitting at 3-4. With Aaron Rodgers out the division is still wide open bu the Lions cant have any more performances like this if they hope to qualify for the postseason.

Bears- On this weeks installment of “no one knows what a catch is” we take you to the Superdome where Bears tight end Zach Miller has apparently pulled in a TD pass grabbing the ball and pulling it in as he goes to the ground. But no, its called back and everyone is left wondering what a catch in the national football league is. Miller suffered a gruesome knee injury on the play but luckily he had successful emergency surgery and doctors were able to save his leg. As Mitch Trubisky slowly comes along the future is bright for the Bears… next season.

South

Saints- This game was tighter than it needed to be after two late Mark Ingram fumbles but once again, on offense, the day was won through Ingram and his backfield partner Alvin Kamara. Both backs chipped in over 75 total yards a TD apiece paving the way for the Saints fifth straight win. The division is still anyone’s to win right now the saints will need to keep their winning ways going against the Buccaneers next week.

Panthers- A solid win against a division opponent lets Carolina keep pace in a competitive division and the return of Luke Kuechly bodes well for an already good Panthers defense. A win against Atlanta next week would go a long way to cementing their place in the division.

Falcons- Things didn’t always look good for Atlanta in the rain on Sunday with Matt Ryan fumbling he snap three or four times but in the end, they pulled it out with Matt Bryant a perfect 4-4 on field goals and an outstanding catch by Mohamed Sanu in the back of the end zone. Next week the Falcons have a chance to move to second place in the division with a win over the Panthers.

Buccaneers- Jameis Winston is good? Jameis Winston is bad? Jameis Winston is inconsistent. That’s the one of the only thing you can really say about Winston in his third year. There’s not a lot of great things your can say about the Buccaneers as a team; they seem directionless and unmotivated. At 2-5 not sure where this team goes from here.

East

Eagles- Carson Wentz continues to shine throwing 2 touchdowns and leading his team to victory. The Eagles sit at 7-1with the best record in the league but Wentz no his offense will be tested next week when they take on the dangerous Denver defense.

Cowboys- This was a big win for the ‘Boys. At 4-3 and 2-0 in the division, the Cowboys have not yet played the first place Eagles. Now that Elliott’s suspension is back The Cowboys could be in trouble as their next six games are the Chiefs, Falcons, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, and Giants. It will take a team effort and big showing from Dak to keep this team in contention for the division.

Redskins- This loss as brutal for the ‘Skins. They now sit at 3-4 and 0-3 in the division and their hopes of making the playoffs took a major hit. Technically no one is eliminated this early in the season but its awfully unlikely that Washington makes the playoffs.

Giants- The Giants are in an interesting spot, at 1-6 they’re most likely not going to make the playoffs so what’s the move for them? Do they keep valiantly trying and pursue the victories, or do they see this as an opportunity to get younger guys involved and work toward next season? We’ll get a look at their future plans when they take on the Rams next week.

West

Seahawks- with a win on Sunday the Hawks moved into first in the division but all throughout the day Russel Wilson was running for his life. The Seahawks hope that will change after trading for left tackle Duane Brown to help stabilize the offensive line.

Rams- Coming off their bye the Rams will look to keep pace with the Seahawks for the top record in the division in their game against the Giants.

Cardinals- With the news that David Johnson will most likely not be back the Cardinals season has an even more bleak outlook. This could be Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgeralds last year in the league and its a little sad if this is their swan song.

49ers- With their stunning trade for Jimmy Garoppolo The Niners have injected hope into their franchise. while not expected to suit up this weekend to play he seems to be the perfect fit for the offense Kyle Shanahan likes to run. Things could be looking up in San Francisco.

One Thing Week 7

Another NFL week has come and gone and the early signs of contenders can be seen among the pack. We’ll cover it all from the Raider’s Thursday night thriller to the Eagles Monday night win.

AFC

North

Steelers– After wins the last two weeks it looks like the only thing that can stop the Steelers is themselves. If they can avoid any internal mess and continue to hand Le’Veon Bell the ball the Steelers will be tough to beat.

Ravens– Joe Flacco threw the ball 39 times and couldn’t muster more than 186 passing yards and a garbage-time touchdown. This used to be a team that relied on its defense and Justin Tucker to win games but when the offense can’t even get into field goal range and the defense

Bengals– For two quarters it looked like the Bengals had a good chance to knock off the defending division champs as the score was tied 14-14 at the half with the teams going back and forth but ultimately it was the Bengals lack of quality line play and abandonment of the run game that allowed the second half box score to read 15-0 in favor of the Steelers.

Browns– After 10,363 snaps Joe Thomas missed the first snap of his career and with that, a record that will (probably) never be broken is set in stone. Joe Thomas was the best thing about the Cleveland Browns and now the factory of sadness get even sadder.

South

Jaguars– A shutout win without the guy your offense is centered around is a great win under any circumstances and to have that win come against a division opponent is just cake. The jags look to have one of the top defenses and rushing attacks in the league a combination that could end up leading Jacksonville to the playoffs.

Titans– This was an impressive game by any stretch for the Titans. The only good thing that happened this game was they eventually got the win after the Cleveland Browns forced over time. In a tight division, at the momentum, the Titans are far from contenders.

Texans– Coming off a bye week the Texans and rookie Deshaun Watson will be tested by the Seattle Seahawks after falling to second in the division.

Colts– Getting shut out is never good and then to have your star receiver call ou the offensive line is worse. Opponents have finally figured out the few plays Jacoby Brissett has had time to learn and even with new general manager Chris Ballard’s shrewd free agency moves this squad has underperformed. If this keeps up believe the rumors will start about a Chuck Pagano firing before season’s end.

East

Patriots– This was easily the Pats most complete game of the year. From start to finish they demonstrated consistent play and held a passer under 300 yards or the first time all season. That’s not to say it was a perfect game, five red zone trips and only 2 touchdowns is something Belichick is sure to point to as an area to improve but an underrated aspect of this game was the fact that it’s the first game this season where all 4 of the Pats running backs were healthy. Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkehead, and Mike Gillislee combined for 202 total yards.

Bills– Tyron Taylor was once again solid as the Bills survived a late rally from the Buccaneers. The Bills, according to coach Doug McDermott, are motivated by the talk of them tanking this year. It remains to be seen how the season ends for them but right now the Bills are right in the race for the AFC crown. However, a tough test awaits next week as they take on the Raiders.

Dolphins– This looked to be yet another disappointing Dolphins loss. Even after Matt Moore came in he threw an interception. But Moore galvanized this team and beat a respectable Jets squad. Right after the Tannehill injury, I thought Adam Gase should have stuck with Matt Moore but no Gase’s hands are tied as it looks like Cutler won’t make it back for this weeks Thursday night game. If the Dolphins can win they’ll tie the Patriots for the best record in the division.

Jets– Going into the fourth quarter with a 28-14 lead should give you a good chance to win but after two Dolphins TD drives the Jets found themselves tied. Josh McCown has exceeded expectations this year but with 47 seconds remaining he threw a bad interception from the Jet’s 15-yard line which set up the Dolphin’s game-winner. The Jets still aren’t out of it and a surprise win against a reeling Falcons team would far exceed expectations from the beginning of the year.

West

Chiefs– Still leading the division despite the loss the to raiders the shock and awe of the early season offensive wrinkles and ingenuity appear to have worn off. The good news is that Alex Smith continues to play at a high level previously unseen from the 13th year pro. The Chiefs will have a chance to get back to winning and reassert themselves when the Broncos visit them next week

Broncos– The Broncos offense needs help. Trevor Siemien is clearly not the guy

Chargers– The suddenly resurgent Los Angelos Chargers are sitting 2 games out of first place in the division after their 0-4 start. They have an important slate of games coming up which will tell if they are contenders or pretenders.

Raiders– This was such an important game for this team. If they were to fall to 2-5 their season could have been over. But Derek Carr wouldn’t allow it. He was great all game especially on the last drive executing the game-winning play five or six times including plays called back by penalties. The Raiders have 3 straight AFC East games coming up ending with the Patriots.

NFC

North

Vikings The Vikings are the NFC team no one is talking about and they have quietly moved to 5-2 on the strength of their defense and a running game that appears to have recovered nicely from the loss of Dalvin Cook. They will have some tough decisions to make when both Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater are healthy enough to return but for now, they sit atop their division with a game against the Browns next on the schedule.

Packers– Now that the Green Bay defense isn’t buttressed by an offense that can score 30 points there’s a lot more pressure on Clay Matthews and Co. to pick up the slack. As for the offense, it was odd to see Mike McCarthy give a guy who’s in his third year with the team a gameplan fit for someone who’s in his third week with the team. The Packers need to reshape their offense around burgeoning rookie Aaron Jones if they hope to be in a position where Aaron Rodgers will be able to come save them.

Lions– Coming off their bye this team is hoping to show more consistency after an early season run where they were all over the place. They’ll have a great opportunity as they take on the 5-2 Steelers on Sunday night

Bears– the last tie a QB won two straight games and completed less than ten passes was Tim Tebow on the Broncos in 2011, and who might the coach have been? none other than John Fox. Kidding aside Mitchell Trubisky is not Tebow. Bears coaches and players have come away impressed with Trubisky since taking over the starting job 3 weeks ago. Accolades abound for rookie safety Eddie Jackson after two 75 yard defensive touchdowns and he remains a player to watch as part of a possibly strong rookie class for Chicago.

South

Saints– After starting the season 0-2 with a blowout loss to the Patriots the Saints have stacked up 4 straight wins to move into first in the division. Despite early struggles by Brees the Saints backs once again went for over 200 total yards and the Saints were able to come back and win. The defense, although not great, is not the sieve it once was setting the Saints up well for the rest of the season.

Panthers– The Panthers Offense has problems, and they all stem from the offensive line. Without enough time to set up and throw properly Newton is forced into risky throws. The line hasn’t been any better run blocking either not giving McCaffrey room to run between the tackles and the pressure on Cam means his role is reduced to dump-offs and screens and he can’t run routes down the field like the Panthers envisioned. The Panthers have two important division games coming up against Tampa Bay and Atlanta that could put them either at the top or bottom of the division

Falcons– Despite all the “just another game” talk running through Atlanta this week it was apparent this game meant something more when they attempted a fourth down conversion 11 minutes into the game. Even with their high powered offense and aggressiveness, the Falcons would only score with under 5 minutes remaining with the game already out of reach. Steve Sarkisian has been a major downgrade from Kyle Shanahan and the Falcons need to figure it out before their season slips away.

Buccaneers– After an offseason in which many had Tampa penciled in as a playoff contender it’s more than surprising to find them sitting at 2-4 through seven weeks. For whatever reason, offensive minded coach Dirk Koetter cant seem to work Desean Jackson into his offense. O.J. Howard though has looked every bit the first round talent as he broke out last week with 6 grabs for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns. With two big divisional games looming can the Bucs save their season?

East

Eagles– The only team with one loss the eagle now sport the NFL’s best record at 6-1. Carson Wentz has been electric since week one and is finally getting the props he deserves. The defensive back seven is a work in progress and the loss of Jordan Hicks and Jason Peters will definitely hurt but with 3 division wins and Carson Wentz, the Eagles are in a great spot.

Cowboys– Will he or won’t he is the biggest question regarding the Cowboys season. So far Zeke has gone back and forth with the NFL over his suspension. The Cowboys have a difficult schedule the rest of the season and if Zeke were to miss any time it could severely hurt the playoff chances of a squad that already sits at 3-3. Also, safety Jeff Heath made an extra point last Sunday which was pretty cool.

Redskins– Washington is clearly hurting right now with injuries on both sides of the ball impacting team performance. They have a tough slate of games coming up and the ‘skins will have to come up big with or without their currently injured teammates if they hope to have a chance at the postseason.

Giants– After their big win last week many, myself included, inferred that maybe the Giants had figured out how to effectively use their personal and that the shift of play-calling away from Ben McAdoo would possibly lead to more wins down the road. After only registering 7 points against the Seahawks its back to the drawing board once again.

West

Rams– After shutting out the Cardinals its clear this Rams team is one to be reckoned with. Sean McVay continues to innovate on offense with Jared Goff taking a keeper in for a touchdown and Wade Philips has continued to improve his defense. The Rams can’t take their foot off the pedal as the Seahawks sit only one game behind them in the division.

Seahawks– After a 1-2 start, Seattle has won their last 3 as they close in on the Rams. I feel like its a worrisome thing when your star receiver shoves your offensive line coach but things like this seem to come up a few times a season nowadays for the Seahawks.

Cardinals– At 3-4 and in a tight division there’s a chance the Cardinals could still make the playoffs, but the loss of Carson Palmer coupled with David Johnson being out all but seals the fate of the Arizona Cardinals. However, you won’t see any quit out of Bruce Arian’s squad as they look to get to .500 against the Niners.

49ers– Another week, another loss for the Niners who join the Browns at 0-7. But fear not Niners fans, despite the winless start coach Kyle Shanahan believes “sometimes you’ve got to go through this stuff to find out who the special people are.”

Week 7 Fantasy Advice


Here we go again, guys. Week 7 kicks off tonight, so here’s to another awesome week of NFL football. Personally, this is one of the craziest, parity-filled seasons I’ve ever seen, so if your fantasy team is struggling with all of this unpredictability, don’t feel bad. It happens to the best of us. But, don’t forget to take some of this advice into consideration – hopefully it’ll help you get the season back on track. Without further ado…

Fave Five:

  1. Jared Goff
    • After a down week against the shut-down Jaguars secondary, Goff should be back to impressing this season. Going up against a Cardinals D that’s 28th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season, I fully expect him to air it out big time. Yes, Patrick Peterson is an elite defender, but Justin Bethel is not and QBs have taken advantage of that all season. Plus, with Peterson possibly not 100%, look for Goff to ball out.
  2. Joe Mixon
    • Could this finally be the breakout game fans have been waiting for? Being that the Pittsburgh defense has been playing out of their minds in the secondary lately, and are 27th in fantasy points allowed to RBs, I say yes. Since week 3, when Bill Lazor took the reins for this offense, Mixon’s averaging a healthy 19 touches per game, tying him with Carlos Hyde. He’s also has 15 or more carries in 3 straight games – only Fournette, Bell, and Howard have a longer streak. Plus, he’s graded out at 80.3 according to Pro Football Focus, which would make him the 14th best halfback in the league despite a horrendous o-line. The talent is there, results should follow.
  3. Kirk Cousins
    • It’s no secret that Philadelphia has an elite rush defense, while their secondary leaves a lot to be desired. Despite a poor showing against them in the season opener, I expect Cousins to show off his talents this Monday, especially because he’s historically been better as the season has gone on and has continued that trend this year. And, don’t forget that there was a designed run for him at the goal line last week. Captain Kirk is a points machine.
  4. Delanie Walker
    • Delanie’s had a slow start this year, but I think that has more to do with the team’s struggles overall rather than a steep decline in his own play. Of course, another week for Marcus Mariota to get healthy is a major boost for his value, but the major selling point for Walker comes from his matchup with the Browns. At this point, you should just play whatever tight end is up against the Browns, because it seems like they manage to spot whatever lucky player that happens to be a ton of points. This week, that lucky player is Delanie Walker.
  5. Everybody in the ATL/NE game
    • Whenever two struggling defenses matchup, it’s great for fantasy. And with the Falcons looking to bounce back after a shocking upset by the anemic Dolphins, I think they take advantage of one of the worst defenses in the league. While the Falcons’ defense hasn’t been horrible this season, and I expect Vic Beasley and Desmond Trufant to play up to their abilities, I don’t see this Patriots offense scoring less than 20 points. That being said, I could see Atlanta keying on Brandin Cooks so look for a big day from Chris Hogan after last week’s dud.

Cause for Concern:

  • T.Y. Hilton
    • To me, T.Y. is the ultimate boom-or-bust, especially after alternating huge weeks with absolute flops lately. I’m a Jacoby Brissett fan, but I don’t like his chances against this elite Jacksonville secondary and without him producing, neither will Hilton. Yes, his ceiling could be a top 10 receiver each week, but his floor could also be outside the top 30. That volatility is too much to handle for me.
  • Cam Newton
    • For the past few weeks, so many people have been wrestling with the same question: Is Cam Newton back? After big games against the Pats and Lions, a lot of people say, “Yes.” Personally, I’m still not sold. I’ll admit, the performance on the road in Detroit was impressive to me, but last week’s 3-interception game against Philly left me wondering what he really has left. Seeing the rushing numbers come back was certainly encouraging, but the Panthers have made it clear that they don’t want him running as much this year. With so many question marks and a matchup with a stout Bears D in Chicago, I’d temper expectations
  • Alshon Jeffery
    • Let’s get a few things out of the way, first. Carson Wentz is awesome. Zach Ertz is also awesome. I’m not yet ready to proclaim Alshon Jeffery awesome. Honestly, Ertz is Wentz’s safety blanket and his go-to end zone target, so where is Alshon’s fantasy value? Interestingly, Wentz has trusted him with an impressive amount of contested balls, but not enough to return elite value like so many wanted from him. I don’t like Jeffery’s prospects in this game, especially if Josh Norman returns this week.

Streamers and Sleepers:

  • Zay Jones
    • The Tampa Bay defense has been straight-up BRUTAL recently. After making the ageless Larry Fitzgerald look like he was 25 again, I could see Jones having a big game as the Bills’ number one option.
  • NY Jets D/ST
    • The Jets’ defense was extremely impressive last week and, if not for a late second-half interception by Josh McCown, could have easily held the Patriots under 20 points – safe to say, that’s no small feat. The secondary looked energized and nearly picked off the great Tom Brady twice. If they could bait Brady into such mistakes, what could they do to Jay Cutler?
  • Mohamed Sanu
    • Sanu returns this week for the Falcons, which should take some pressure off the offense and get them back on track. Of course, a matchup with the New England defense isn’t too shabby either, so look for Mo to get some looks in the end zone with Julio Jones only receiving one such target all year.

One Thing Week 6


Nobody knows anything. That’s the only takeaway so far this season that everyone can agree on. Parity has descended upon the league and at this point in the season it’s still too early to call any team a true super bowl contender. The various injuries to star player haven’t helped either and we seem to be in the midst of a year where almost any team can make the playoffs.

AFC

North

Steelers– After a dismal showing last week against Jacksonville, the Steelers came up big, spoiling the last undefeated team in the league. Running the offense through Le’Veon Bell is what really got this O back in gear.

Ravens– This might have been the worst loss of the week. There isn’t one thing you point to as a problem for them. The offense is struggling, as is Joe Flacco, and the defense couldn’t stop a rookie quarterback.

Bengals– The Bengals will have a big test next week going up against a resurgent Steelers squad after coming off their bye week. With the division mostly wide open even after their horrendous offensive start, a win against Pittsburgh could go a long way to a potential playoff push.

Browns– Not sure what Hue Jackson was thinking when he decided to put in Kevin Hogan last week and start him this week. The Browns have too many issues to list them all, but deciding what to do at QB the rest of the season should be the first one addressed.

South

Texans– Deshaun Watson continues to shine. Even though it was against the winless Browns, the rookie showed great arm strength and ability to fling the ball all over the field. Watson will need to cut down on rookie mistakes like his pick-six, as the Texans offense looks to pick up some of the slack from a defense weakened by injuries.

Jaguars– After Leonard Fournette ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run on his first carry, it looked to be a game that the rookie running back would dominate. However, he posted just 55 yards on his next 20 carries before leaving with a scary non-contact injury. It remains to be seen whether the Jags are just a bad team that has overachieved in some games or a good team that has underachieved in others

Colts– Jacoby Brissett played well, but his playmakers let him down. Jack Doyle fumbled and couldn’t seem to hang onto a pass, Donte Moncrief dropped a would-be touchdown and TY Hilton was invisible the entire game. Dropping to last in the division won’t help, but the hope that Andrew Luck returns in time to make meaningful contributions this season will continue to keep Colts fans interested.

Titans– In a game where Marcus Mariota played without the ability to run or scramble, the Titans defense came up big in the second half, holding the Colts to 9 points. Mariota was also awesome in the fourth quarter, going 6 for 6 with 103 passing yards. They’ll have an easy go of it next week when they visit the 0-6 Browns.

West

Chiefs– For all the trickery and finesse the Chiefs had used to attain their 5-0 record, they found out quickly it’s wouldn’t be working against the Steelers. Only time will tell if the Steelers have on tape the blueprint to beat them.

Broncos– Vance Joseph’s squad was embarrassed on Sunday night when the 0-5 Giants came into Denver and left with a dominant win. A run defense that been a strength for this team all year and had kept the likes of Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliot, LeSean McCoy, and Marshawn Lynch to 95 total rushing yards gave up 117 to Orleans Darkwa. Despite that, the worst part of the night for the Broncos might have been when Emmanuel Sanders left the game with an ankle injury. Even when the defense returns to its dominant form the offense will still every playmaker possible to help whoever is under center.

Raiders– The Raiders use of Marshawn Lynch is questionable at best. It’s hard to understand why they brought him out of retirement if they were only going to hand him the ball 13 times. With his offensive line struggling, Derek Carr has too as he’s not used to facing pressure – he’d been sacked only 4 times last season. Giving Lynch more carries should help alleviate some of that pressure and maybe translate into wins.

Chargers– Win number two for the (at the moment) number two LA team. Once again the great pass rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram put pressure on the opposing offense. Melvin Gordon, for the second game in a row, put the team on his back with 150 total yards and 2 touchdowns. They will have a big test next week taking on the Broncos.

East

Patriots– It wasn’t pretty, but they did it. There was a stretch during this game where they looked like the Patriots we expected at the beginning of the season, scoring 21 unanswered points to dig themselves out of a 14 point hole. This team still has flaws, however, and will be tested again facing an underperforming Falcons team next week.

Bills– Now sitting in second place in the division after their bye week the Bills will take on a severely underperforming Buccaneers team that may or may not feature Jameis Winston. A win here would keep the Bills relevant for first in the division.

Jets– There’s a lot of things to say about the Jets this season. One thing you cant say is that they’ve given up. The upstart Jets were a worthy opponent for the defending champions but ultimately came up short. Of course, we have to mention the call that ultimately took points off the board for the Jets and gave the ball to the Pats. According to the NFL rules, the play was called as it should have been. Austin Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball and was unable to reestablish control before the ball crossed the plane and went out of the end zone. For the referee’s explanation, click here courtesy of ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Dolphins– The Dolphins are another team where I’m not quite sure where they stand. After getting shut out in London, this team has put up two straight wins with this one coming against the defending NFC champions after being down 17 points. It won’t be any easier to tell next week when they take on the Jets.

NFC

North

Packers– There’s not much to say about the Packers at this point. There’s no telling what kind of team the Packers will be when Aaron Rodgers returns- if he returns. It’s a detriment to the game when a player of Rodgers’ caliber gets injured for any extended amount of time, but he might join a long list of stars who’ve been shelved for this season. Green Bay will now find out for sure what it has in Brett Hundley unless they bring in someone else.

Vikings– The Vikings have certainly faced their own injury struggles with Sam Bradford, Dalvin Cook, and Stefon Diggs. The good news is the defense is still good, but the offense is constantly a mixed bag depending on who is playing. The Vikings could take the next step to becoming contenders by beating the Ravens next week.

Lions– For whatever reason, no matter the score, every Lions game seems to come down to the fourth quarter. It’s hard to know what to make of the Lions at this point in the season, but seeing how the wins they’ve had have come against struggling teams it might be fair to say the Lions aren’t a good team.

Bears– Mitch Trubisky’s first win, hopefully, the first of many if you’re a Bears fan. The duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen has worked wonders for the Bears, combining for 222 total yards this game. The Bears might not have much to play for this season, but if Mitch Trubisky continues to develop they could be setting themselves up for the future.

South

Panthers– Cam Newton continues to baffle me. One moment he’s confidently leading his team, seemingly making every play, the next he’s losing his composure and turning the football over on cringe-worthy plays. The bright side is Christian McCaffrey making plays all over the field and the defense living up to its billing as one of the top units in the league, plus they’re leading the division.

Falcons– Another home loss for Dan Quinn’s crew. Is it time to push the panic button? Not yet, although their upcoming schedule isn’t the easy with matchups against the Patriots, Panthers, and Cowboys comprising three of their next four games. This is still a team with a boatload of offensive playmakers and anything can happen.

Saints– Trading Adrian Peterson might be the best thing the Saints have done this season. Without the future Hall of Famer, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara combined for 237 total yards and 2 touchdowns. The Saints defense came to play too, scoring 3 touchdowns and providing splash plays throughout the day. With the Saints above .500 for the first time since 2013 and playing in a tight division, there’s hope for a return to the playoffs this season.

Buccaneers– It’s never a good sign when your franchise quarterback gets injured, but even when Jameis Winston has been healthy this Tampa Bay team has severely underperformed. Winston has yet to get on the same page as Desean Jackson and still seems to make the same mistakes he made as a rookie. This team still has a lot of work to do if it hopes to have a chance at the postseason.

West

Rams– If you asked, not many people would have thought the Rams would be leading the division at any point this season, much less after six weeks. But they’ve done it through Sean McVay’s innovative play calls, Wade Phillips’ opportunistic defense and John Fassel’s excellent special teams unit. The only thing that remains to be seen is can they keep it up?

Seahawks– Coming off their bye, a Seahawks team that seems to always be up and down this part of the season will take on a Giants team that appears to have possibly figured it out and has nothing to lose.

Cardinals– It’s the old guy show on the Cardinals offense with the triplets of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson running the show. The Cardinals will have to get Peterson involved with the passing game before they become too predictable, but after the start they’ve had, sitting a game out of first in the division is pretty good.

49ers– After Brian Hoyer got injured, it was time to see what they have in the first QB picked of the John Lynch era. C.J. Beathard finished with 245 yards on 19 of 36 passing with one touchdown and one interception. Still without a win, the best you can say about this team at the moment is that they don’t quit, bringing the game down to the last second against the Redskins.

East

Eagles– With this being such a wild NFL season, there are two things we know for sure about this year’s Eagles: Carson Wentz will keep making plays and people will keep questioning whether he is actually good. Carson Wentz has been great so far this year and always seems to make one jaw-dropping play each week. Jim Schwartz has the Eagles D-Line on fire and if they keep it up they can mask the deficiencies at corner until Ronald Darby returns. If the Eagles can keep this up, they could be looking at a trip to the postseason.

Redskins– After Chris Thompson lit the League on fire the first few weeks with explosive plays there were calls for him to get more early touches. It didn’t quite work out with Thompson not gaining substantial yardage. It’s still too early to tell if the Redskins are contenders or pretenders, but next week’s game against the Eagles would go a long way toward figuring that out.

Cowboys– The Cowboys had their bye week this week and they needed it. After losing to Aaron Rodgers in what might be his last game this season, the ‘boys have a lot of questions to answer and holes to plug. Ezekiel Elliot hasn’t quite played up to his level from last year and his struggles have bled into Dak Prescott. With Zeke’s suspension looming, it’s important for the Cowboys to retool their offense and find something that works. They’ll have a good chance to experiment and impress when they take on the 0-6 49ers.

Giants– In a game without their top 3 receivers and sporting an 0-5 record, the New York football Giants went into Mile High stadium to face a top defense and came out with an arguably dominant win. The difference? McAdoo handing over play calling to Mike Sullivan, a reshuffled offensive line that actually worked and the mindset of a team with nothing to lose. Despite this positive win, no team beginning the season with an 0-5 record has ever made the playoffs.

Week 6 Fantasy Advice


Well, after a hiatus that was far too long, the fantasy column is BACK. This season’s been a blast so far and I hope you guys enjoy my advice…

Fave Five:

  1. Deshaun Watson
    WOW! Coming off of a five touchdown effort against the undefeated Chiefs, Deshaun Watson could be the most exciting player in football right now. Suffice it say, I don’t expect him to slow down against a soft Browns secondary that’s ranked 29th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Not to mention, Cleveland’s been surprisingly stout against the run this year, so the potential for more passing opportunities and scramble plays for Watson looks promising to say the least.
  2. Alvin Kamara
    Kamara could be the biggest beneficiary of Adrian Peterson’s move to Arizona. Not only does the trade free up 7-10 touches per game in that backfield, but New Orleans has also proven that they love the young runner in the passing game and trust him between the tackles. In fact, his stellar game against the Dolphins might have just punched Peterson’s ticket to the Cardinals, so in a game where Michael Thomas could get shadowed by Darius Slay, I see big potential for Kamara.
  3. Todd Gurley
    Guys, he’s fine. I promise. After disappointing against the Seahawks – a game that could have had an entirely different story if not for Gurley’s inopportune fumble at the goal line – I fully expect a bounceback for the incredible ball carrier this week against a Jacksonville defense that’s been run over this season. Plus, I doubt that Jared Goff is going to want to go anywhere near that Bouye-Ramsey secondary, so Gurley could end up getting elite volume this weekend between rushes and targets in the flat. Expect a monster day on Sunday.
  4. Larry Fitzgerald
    There hasn’t been much consistency for Fitz this season, but one spot that’s remained constant is volume. In fact, he’s one of only three receivers to have at least 50 targets this season. That bodes well moving forward, especially against a Tampa secondary that’s allowing the most points in the league to opposing wideouts.
  5. Demarco Murray
    Finally, Demarco actually looks to have a promising matchup and workload. (Knock on wood just in case I jinxed that.) But, with Marcus Mariota nearing a return on Monday – a game that shouldn’t be all that close – and Murray seemingly establishing himself as the clear starter over the past couple of weeks, this just might be his revival. As an added bonus, Taylor Lewan could also be back for the game which should help a line that was extremely disappointing last week.

Cause for Concern:

  • Michael Thomas
    It’s time to consider Darius Slay a shutdown corner. He just gets better and better and he held Michael Thomas to 4 receptions on 5 targets in week 13 of last season. The return of Willie Snead means Brees will have even more weapons and probably won’t have to challenge Slay very often, especially with Alvin Kamara poised to have a higher workload this week. Thomas should obviously be started in all leagues, but I’d temper expectations for the young receiver.
  • Sammy Watkins
    Ultimately, he is who we thought he was. Watkins exploded week three against San Fran, but has been invisible throughout the rest of the season so far. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that to get any better this week against a Jaguars secondary that is rivalling Denver for best in the league. This game should rest squarely on Todd Gurley’s shoulders and I’m not sure how many looks the former Clemson Tiger will even get.
  • Ben Roethlisberger
    Maybe he just doesn’t have it anymore. Coming off an abysmal five-interception effort at home, I think Ben can be dropped in just about all standard-sized leagues. Honestly, there are just too many good quarterbacks to roll the dice on a guy that over the past three years or so has been a completely different player on the road and at home. Now that he isn’t even contributing at home, what’s the point? If you expect Roethlisberger, who has historically been a far worse quarterback on the road, to turn it around in a hostile road environment against the undefeated Chiefs, then kudos to you. You must be a Steelers fan.

Sleepers and Streamers:

  • Stephen Gostkowksi
    It’s hard to justify mentioning kickers in a blog like this, but this one interests me. It’s no secret that the Pats’ D has been horrendous so far this year, nor is it surprising that their offense has blown the doors off some teams with Brady still at the helm. However, the Jets’ offense has shown an ability to hold its own, so is it that crazy to think that this could be a high-scoring affair? And even if it’s not, New England is notorious for doing everything it can to try to run up the score, especially against a division rival like the Jets. Most importantly, New York has had the best defense in the league once opposing offenses have gotten within the Jets’ 30-yard line, only allowing teams to score around 60% of the time. What does that mean? Field goals. Giddy-up.
  • Austin Sefarian-Jenkins
    There aren’t many stories better than ASJ’s redemption this year. Since coming back, he’s played great and has shown to have great rapport with quarterback Josh McCown, who he knows from their Buccaneer days. He hasn’t had less than four receptions in any of the games he’s appeared in this year and looks like McCown’s favorite target. Against the league’s worst defense – a defense that’s already surrendered four touchdowns to tight ends – I see potential for big things.
  • Desean Jackson
    Jackson has been earning more and more of the target share as the season’s progressed and that should only continue to grow. Being that the Bucs have such a vertical attack, Desean is a perfect fit for the offense and after showing off his elite speed against the Pats, his big-play ability is still in there. While Mike Evans will draw Patrick Peterson, Jackson could quietly feast on a shaky Justin Bethel on Sunday.

Week 6 Power Rankings


One of my favorite aspects of this season has been the parity throughout the league. Every team is so close and the races are still wide open in each conference after five weeks of play. Honestly, this is making for one of the more tight, frustrating, and exciting seasons in recent memory. But, in a sport where each team plays only 16 games, isn’t that what you want? Every game means so much in the NFL and this season, every game seems to mean so much more. And, as you might have seen, that also means that there are going to be vastly different evaluations of the teams and how they match up, but without further ado, here’s how I see it. My week 6 Power Rankings:

  1. Chiefs (5-0)
    Haven’t scored less than 24 points in any game this season. Alex Smith is playing like an MVP. Kareem Hunt is almost literally running away with Offensive Rookie of the Year. Andy Reid is actually managing the clock well. A lot can happen, but this team looks dominant.
  2. Packers (4-1)
    Aaron Rodgers showed yet again this week why he is the best quarterback in this league. If he played every drive like there’s a minute left in the game, I think they could score every time. And, the defense looks better than I expected.
  3. Panthers (4-1)
    Just when it looked like Cam was headed toward mediocrity, he broke out with tremendous showings over the past two weeks. I was still skeptical after he took advantage of a weak Patriots defense, but I think Detroit is for real. His re-emergence, coupled with this elite defense has catapulted this team back into contention.
  4. Eagles (4-1)
    Boy is it fun to watch Carson Wentz. He plays the game like he’s a kid having fun in his backyard and his mobility is severely underrated. I expect the o-line to get better every week and live up to their potential as a top unit in the league. The defense is a problem, but it should be able to keep them in games once Ronald Darby returns from injury.
  5. Falcons (3-1)
    They might be higher on this list if not for their bye, but with Vic Beasley coming back the future looks bright. I don’t see any signs of a Super Bowl hangover and a lot of signs that they might be on their way back there.
  6. Lions (3-2)
    I love this Lions team, but there’s something about them that makes me feel like they’re still “very good” and not yet “great”. Darius Slay is an elite corner and I like the defensive unit as a whole, but I wish the offense were more aggressive. They made Matt Stafford the highest paid player for a reason, I would’ve expected one of those reasons to be that they trust him to take control of a game. I don’t think they take the next step until they’re more offensive on offense.
  7. Broncos (3-1)
    This defense is still the best in the league… And I’m not so sure it’s close. Obviously, the all-world duo of Harris and Talib terrorizes opposing offenses, but the run defense has been the big surprise. Trevor Siemian has actually looked like a good NFL starter and C.J. Anderson has returned to form in the backfield. Everything seems to be clicking for this Denver squad so far.
  8. Seahawks (3-2)
    At first glance, this team looks like it could be in trouble, but then they just figure out how to win games. Admittedly, I was among those expecting the Rams to take this past weekend’s matchup, and yet the Seahawks found a way. The defense hasn’t been as good as it was in recent years – specifically the run defense – but I expect that to correct itself. This team is still anchored by superior coaching and one of the only quarterbacks in the league that can win a game without an offensive line. Ultimately, though, this line could keep the team from being a true contender.
  9. Patriots (3-2)
    It’s not time to doubt the Patriots yet. I mean, Super Bowl LI ring a bell? As long as Belichick and Brady are at the helm of this team, they always deserve the benefit of the doubt. Always. That being said, any Patriots fans downplaying the struggles of this defense are delusional and it calls into question the decisions to let go of Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones while trading a first round pick for Brandin Cooks. The offense is not and has not been a problem. At best, those calls look questionable right now and at worst, downright irresponsible.
  10. Rams (3-2)
    Perhaps the biggest surprise of this year, the Rams look like the real deal. Jared Goff has made shocking strides in year two, Todd Gurley looks like he can take over games, and Sean McVay is even more impressive than I expected (as a 31-year-old head coach no less).
  11. Cowboys (2-3)
    Let me tell you, Dak Prescott is the real deal. Yes, Zeke gets most of the attention, but a lot running backs could’ve had a field day behind that line last year. I mean, Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden did in 2015. That same year, backup QB after backup QB floundered. That’s not to say Zeke isn’t a special talent, but with him still looking at a potential suspension, Dak needs to take the reigns of this team. And I believe he can.
  12. Bills (3-2)
    Before week 1, people were talking about this team possibly trying to out-tank the Jets. Five weeks later, they’re legitimate playoff contenders and sitting in first place in the AFC East. They still have a lot to prove, but the defense looks great and Tyrod Taylor is making the front office look like fools for trying to move on.
  13. Texans (2-3)
    Deshaun Watson is quickly becoming one of my favorite players in this league. At every level, he’s proven people wrong and has carried himself with what seems like a genuine humility and compassion. That’s a leader and arguably the lone piece the Texans missed last season. Losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus are crushing blows, but I love this team and what they’re playing for.
  14. Bengals (2-3)
    What a difference a change in coordinator makes. Even more impressive is the fact that this team was minutes away from topping the Packers and being in first place right now. Losing Tyler Eifert for the season is extremely disappointing and you wish him the best, but Tyler Kroft has filled in admirably in his absence. Andy Dalton looks good again, but he needs to improve for this team to take the next step. Cincinnati has a potential top 5 defense to go with one of the league’s best playmakers and if the O-line can give the uber-talented Joe Mixon room to run (he gets the least amount of yards before contact by far), I like this team’s chances.
  15. Redskins (2-2)
    This team still has a lot to prove and a lot of questions. Will Jordan Reed ever be healthy? Will Terrelle Pryor find himself in this offense? One guy I’m sure of is Kirk Cousins. I love him as a leader for this team and expect him to perform at a top level the rest of the season. Quietly, though, the defensive line looks good. Yes, they have to hope Josh Norman returns soon, but there’s a lot of potential here.
  16. Vikings (3-2)
    The defense is championship-caliber and the line looks improved, but I don’t have much faith that Sam Bradford will ever be completely healthy. After losing Dalvin Cook, this can’t rely on the run anymore and I don’t foresee Case Keenum leading a deep playoff run.
  17. Saints (2-2)
    I have to say, I’m very impressed by their draft and think the defense looks improved, but I still think this team is stuck in limbo. The offense is still great and will get a boost from Willie Snead, but in a tough division, I can’t see anything better than a 9-7 finish.
  18. Jaguars (3-2)
    Does anybody know what this team is? They destroyed a talented Texans team, got their doors blown off by the Titans (who don’t look as great as they did before the season), embarrassed the Ravens (who had looked great early in the season), lost to the Jets, and now beat down the Steelers. Honestly, I have no idea if this team is good or bad but I do know that the secondary is arguably top two with Denver and Leonard Fournette is a beast. I’ll admit, I thought he was heading towards being a huge bust prior to the draft, but he’s the real deal.
  19. Raiders (2-3)
    This team needs to find its identity. Not only has the line looked weak, but without Derek Carr they’re lost. And, even with Derek Carr, they looked lost the past two games. If he doesn’t figure out how to handle pressure soon, this team could be in trouble, but I do expect him to figure it out because up until this point he’s been too good not to.
  20. Steelers (3-2)
    Honestly, it doesn’t look like Ben has it anymore. The QB has historically been much better at home than on the road, but he hasn’t even been great at home recently. And that’s putting it nicely considering he threw five interceptions last game. This team is very, very vulnerable and unless Ben turns it around soon, I’d be worried as a Steelers fan.
  21. Ravens (3-2)
    The good thing is the defense looks very good and is very underrated. The bad news is the offense is nonexistent. Let me put the (joke) debate to rest, Joe Flacco is not elite.
  22. Titans (2-3)
    The Titans are basically a mirror image of the Raiders: A team with high expectations coming into the year that has been hampered by an o-line vastly underperforming and a young stud QB going down. Thankfully, Mariota looks like he should be back Monday, but they need the line play and Demarco Murray to improve. A healthy Corey Davis wouldn’t hurt either, but the defense needs to be better as well. I’m in the minority, but I believe that could happen with Dick LeBeau.
  23. Buccaneers (2-2)
    Jameis looked bad against the worst defense in the league. Without him at his best and a defense riddled with injury, I don’t see much reason for excitement.
  24. Jets (3-2)
    Is the tank officially off? In a wide-open AFC, I say yes. ASJ is a great story and finally gives the Jets much needed production at tight end. Josh McCown has been the leader this offense has needed and brings Fitzpatrick’s gutsiness, but has been smart with the football… So far. However, what gives this team a shot is their defense, specifically the two young safeties that have looked like veterans out there. I think they’re a major reason why offenses score only around 60% of the time they get within the Jets’ 30-yard line. With clutch play like that, there’s reason for hope, but that’s all it is at this point.
  25. Bears (1-4)
    Mitchell Trubisky looked okay in his debut. Yes, that was a bad mistake at the end, but I saw promise and he was certainly an upgrade over Glennon. Jordan Howard can play for my team any day with the heart he’s showing despite being injured and the defense is underrated. There’s potential here.
  26. Cardinals (2-3)
    The run defense has been very good, the pass defense not as much… Exactly what we all expected. Justin Bethel has undoubtedly been a weak link and the O-line has been abysmal. With an aged Carson Palmer throwing nearly 50 times a game, it’s hard to win. Does the addition of AP get me excited? Not really, but having a legitimate threat in the backfield should help this team in the short-term. Although, with the most players over 30 of any roster in the league, what is this team’s long-term future?
  27. Chargers (1-4)
    This is one of the better 1-4 teams I’ve seen in a long time. Melvin Gordon is a great player, Keenan Allen is a special talent, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa are going to be powerhouses in this league… I like a lot of what I see. It’s just about seeing them put it together. Despite playing in the toughest division in football, I’ve liked what I’ve seen
  28. Dolphins (2-2)
    I’m shocked by what I’ve seen from Adam Gase’s squad. Not much else to say other than that. They look horrible on both offense and defense, but they still sit at 2-2. The NFL is odd, my friend.
  29. Colts (2-3)
    Jacoby Brissett has done a fine job coming in and filling in for Andrew Luck in-season. I’m extremely impressed by his tenacity. That’s about all the good I have to say about this team.
  30. 49ers (0-5)
    I don’t think they’re as bad as their record shows and yet, it’s what we all expected. Just like everyone else, I’m confused about what’s happening with the backs, but I like the promise the young players are showing while Hoyer and Garçon have done fine filling in for the short-term.
  31. Giants (0-5)
    I don’t even know what to say here. This was a team that some were predicting were a Super Bowl contender during the preseason and they now sit at 0-5 with little hope for anything positive this year. A combination of horrible cap mismanagement and drafting has culminated with the Giants having the worst o-line in the game in my opinion. With an absurd string of injuries to the wide receivers last game, I’d be surprised if this team won more than three games. Fortunately, they’ll probably secure a top draft pick and could try to build toward the future with a healthy Odell Beckham next season.
  32. Browns (0-5)
    I actually thought Deshone Kizer showed promise week 1 but has since fallen so far that he might not even start for the team after week 5. That’s about where this team is. Cleveland seems to be where football dreams die (I’m sorry, Browns fans).

One Thing Week 3


What a week this was. From the wild Thursday night game to the incredible finishes and stunning performances what a week this was. With all the recent talk of how the product in the NFL has declined and the lack of competition and no close games, this past week solved all of those concerns. Even though we haven’t yet made it out of the first quarter of the season teams are already writing the story of the 2017 season. Here’s one takeaway for each team from the latest chapter.

 

AFC

NORTH

Ravens- the Ravens must have been dealing with some serious jet-lag when they took the field Sunday against the Jaguars. Joe Flacco completed 8 of 18 pass attempts with 2 interceptions and no touchdowns. The Baltimore defense was equally as bad allowing 44 points and 4 touchdown passes from Blake Bortles. After 10 takeaways in their first two games no one was expecting this kind of performance. However, this was the first game the Baltimore Ravens franchise had ever played that wasn’t in America and I would still expect to see the team back to its usual self next week when they welcome their rivals, the Steelers, into Baltimore.

Steelers- For whatever reason the Steelers vaunted offense is not clearing the bar. An offense that features Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon should score more than 17 points against the Bears.

Bengals- How about this Bill Lazor guy? Under their new offensive coordinator, the Bengals rolled to two touchdowns on their first two drives. Even though the offense couldn’t put away Aaron Rodgers and the Pack at the end, this game will serve as a jumping off point for the rest of their season.

Browns- saying this was not Deshone Kizer’s best day is an understatement. The rookie signal-caller was 22/47 with 2 touchdowns and 3 picks. The Browns made the score close at the end but the Colts had this game in hand.

SOUTH

Jaguars- this week the Jaguars looked more like the team that beat the Texans 29-7 and ekes like the team that lost to the Titans 37-16. The Jaguar’s defense almost blanked the Ravens. Jacksonville will have a chance to flex its muscles again next week against the Jets.

Titans- After their most recent performance, the Titans offensive line is ready to challenge for the title of best in football. Taylor Lewan, Quinton Spain, Ben Jones, Josh Kline, and Jack Conklin absolutely dominated the Seattle defense and for now, DeMarco Murray silenced all the people calling for Derrick Henry.

Colts- Colts fans have to be relieved that after expecting Scott Tolzien to start the first few games of this season the organization swung a deal for Jacoby Brissett. The second-year pro filled the game tape with a multitude of big plays and positive moments. The celebration will be short lived however as this team travels to Seattle to take on an angry Seahawks team.

Texans- Even though coach Bill O’Brien feels that there are no moral victories there is a lot of positives to take away from this loss. After underperforming the first two games of the season, the Texans pass-rushing trio of Mercilus, Watt, and Clowney got back to their old selves registering 3 sacks and a forced fumble combined. Deshaun Watson also kept New England’s defense off balance for much of the game and after players from both sides remarked how impressed they were with him.

 

EAST

Bills- After only managing 3 points a week ago against the Panthers expectations were low with an even more stingy defense in the Denver Broncos coming to town. But the Bills were ready and after a first quarter where they totaled only 10 yards the Bills managed 6 scoring drives and converted in key spots to put the game away. Even after a win against a quality team, things don’t get any easier next week when the Bills travel to play the defending NFC champions.

Patriots- Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve never lost a game, I just ran out of time.” The same can be said of Tom Brady. After trailing late all it took was a little Brady magic as he overcame a 2nd and 20 and a 3rd and 18 to get the Pats into the endzone. At 40 years old he completed 5 of 8 deep passes for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns and continues to defy logic about how aging players should perform. Brady’s heroics shouldn’t overshadow the poor offensive line play and shaky defense that put New England in a hole. This team is good right now but it’s still a far cry from the one people expected to be 16-0.

Dolphins- Jay Cutler giveth and Jay Cutler taketh away. After leading Miami to a close victory in Week 2 the league was reintroduced to the ugly side of Jay Cutler. It wasn’t all his fault though, not much can be expected from an offense when your leading rusher ends up with 16 yards on 11 carries and the other team just wants it more than you.

Jets- For Jets fans hoping for a tank and an 0-16 season to lock up Sam Darnold came away disappointed. Fans on the other end of that spectrum were excited to see the Jets play inspired football, avoid major mistakes and put together a great defensive game that should have ended in a shutout had it not been for a last play touchdown.

WEST

Chiefs- It’s hard to go 3-0. Only the Chiefs and the Falcons have remained unbeaten after Week 3. Kareem Hunt again put on a show but the real star of the game was KC’s defense which forced 3 interceptions and gave the conservative offense short fields.

Broncos- What a difference a week makes. After eviscerating the Cowboys defense Siemian came back down to earth when he was forced to make throws on third down after C.J. Anderson, who had been Denver’s driving force offensively, carried 8 times for 36 yards with 32 of them coming on one play. The Broncos will look to bounce back against the division rival Raiders next week.

Raiders- Coming into the game most expected the Oakland defense to have a rough go of it, what no one expected was the Oakland offense to have an outing that was just as bad or possibly worse but that’s exactly what happened Sunday night. Last season when he was part of MVP consideration QB Derek Carr was sacked only 16 times. Against the Redskins he was sacked 4 times and his two 1000 yard receivers from last year were nowhere to be found combining for 2 catches for 13 yards and two drops. Marshawn Lynch was a nonfactor as the Raiders O-line couldn’t push anybody around. The offense will be tested again when it travels to Denver next week.

Chargers- Through the first 2 games of the season it had looked like Philip Rivers had transcended his mistake-prone times but against an old foe he fell back on old habits throwing 3 INTs. Still winless the only bright spot, albeit an incredibly bright one, is their duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Ingram had 3 sacks on the day and both he and Bosa were in the backfield all day. If this keeps up those two will become the most feared pass rush duo in the league.

 

NFC

North

Packers- down big at home – no problem, throw a pick six – no problem, defense allowing a team that hadn’t scored a touchdown to score 3 – no problem. When the game is on the line, money on the table let Aaron Rodgers go to work. During the game however it didn’t look too much like Rodgers game. He threw only the second pick six of his career and looked skittish for most of the game behind a line that gave up 6 sacks. They’ll need to get it together for a quick turnaround as the Bears come to town on a Thursday night. Last thing – for your “really?” moment; that was Aaron Rodgers first ever win in OT, really.

Vikings- coming in it looked like Jameis Winston and an explosive Buccaneers offense would take over a game in which Sam Bradford was out with an injury. However (Steven A voice) that prognostication couldn’t have been further than what happened. Case Keenum seems to have a knack for beating the Buccaneers as he’s now 3-0 against them in his career with 793 passing yards and 7 touchdown passes across those games. Keenum had a lot of help from Dalvin Cook who has become the unquestioned bell cow back carrying 27 times for 97 yards and a TD. The Minnesota defense also came up big picking off Jameis Winston 3 times and playing overall suffocating defense. With 3 teams in the division 2-1, the Vikings have a chance to take the number 1 spot in the division with a win against the Lions.

Lions- It just seems to be the fate of the lions to have their games decided by a wild sequence in the last minute of the game. The Lion’s defense was impressive picking off reigning MVP Matt Ryan 3 times returning 1 for a touchdown. Controversial ending aside, theLionss had many chances to win but Matt Stanford couldn’t get anything going consistently without a presence in the run game. This is a big week for the NFC north with 3 teams at 2-1 and all the teams playing division games. With a win over the Vikings, the could make an important statement in the division.

Bears- These are the types of games the Bears can win. Games where they take advantage of opportunities and run the ball. A lot. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Combined for 216 yards on 35 carries. Through 3 games Tarik Cohen has the most targets and catches of all running backs. Until Mitch Trubisky gets a shot this team will have to rely on its two young running backs to win games. And of course, we have to talk about Marcus Cooper. He now joins an infamous group of players who had a touchdown but because of cockiness, unawareness, or pure stupidity fumbled the ball and cost his team 6 points.
South

Falcons- the Falcons are 3-0 right now, a lucky 3-0 but undefeated none the less. Opening the season against 3 NFC north teams their blowout of the packers is bracketed by scares from the bears and the lions. It’s still too early to call it for any team but despite what their record suggests they have been less than perfect. During his MVP season, Matt Ryan didn’t have a multi-interception game but he threw 3 on Sunday almost throwing away the game in the process. The Falcons have one more game next week before their bye so they have time to get themselves in order before mid-season.

Panthers- Something is not quite right with Cam Newton. The 2015 MVP has not regained that form that won him the award. Throwing 3 INTs against one of the worst secondaries in football is never a good sign. The only bright spot was first round rookie Christian McCaffrey catching 9 balls for 101 yards. Struggling to stay relevant in the division race, the Panthers have a tough one next week when they travel to Foxborough to take on the Patriots.

Buccaneers- 2 games into their 2017 season the Buccaneers have put together two very different performances. After blowing out the Bears in their first game Tampa Bay’s offense could not get it together against a stingy Minnesota unit. Their Franchise QB Jameis Winston threw 3 INTs and the ground game only managed 26 yards. Equally concerning was the Buccaneers defensive effort against a team missing its starting quarterback. There’s still reason for optimism though Doug Martin comes back in two weeks and the 0-3 New York Giants come to Florida in what could be a good bounce back game.

Saints- The Ted Ginn revenge game really wasn’t. The former Panthers wideout caught 2 balls for 44 yards and a TD with 1 carry for 15 yards. The biggest takeaway from this game is Sean Payton admitting that he still hasn’t quite figured out how to best utilize his 3 running backs. New Orleans has a chance next week to get to .500 with a win against a Miami Dolphins team still seeking direction.
EAST

Eagles- what a joy it is to watch Carson Wentz develop and progress. The second year quarterback is loads more athletic than defenses seem to realize dazzling defenses with one “wow” run or escape each week. There’s a lot to like about a close win against a division rival the fact that the Eagles let the Giants get back into this one is concerning. If it hadn’t been for rookie Jake Elliot and his rookie record 61 yard buzzer beater field goal the Eagles could be answering questions about an epic collapse if things hadn’t gone their way in OT. Sitting atop the division the Eagles visit the underperforming chargers next week.

Cowboys- Dallas did not get off to a particularly good start on Monday night. After a rough first quarter, the offense steadily improved eventually rolling to 28 on four touchdowns from Dak and Zeke. The defensive MVP is split between DE Demarcus Lawrence who seems to be turning into the premier pass rusher the Cowboys envisioned he would be when they took him in the second round, and rookie cornerback Jordan Lewis who was all over the field with good coverage and sound tackling. After rebounding well from their loss to Denver and a poor start on Monday night, Dallas will take on the suddenly hot Los Angelos rams offense.

Redskins- it was almost a dominant performance in all three phases from the Washington Redskins on Sunday night. The secondary led by Josh Norman nabbed 2 INTs and their pass rushers bullied the Oakland offensive line racking up 6 sacks on Derek Carr. Kirk Cousins completed 25 of 30 passes for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions and Chris Thompson had another dominant all-purpose performance. The Redskins will have an opportunity to show that Sunday night wasn’t a fluke when they take on the undefeated Chiefs on Monday night.

Giants- almost. They almost did it. After a late rally and big plays from their wide revivers the giants had finally reached 20 points for the first time in their last 10 games. 0-3 is not the way any team with playoff hopes wants to start the season. The Giants have major problems along their offensive line and under center and they may be too big for the defense and OBJ to overcome. The Giants have a chance to turn their season around next week when they visit an also underperforming Buccaneers team.

 

WEST

Rams- The youngest head coach in NFL history is off to a good start sitting atop the division at 2-1 with two 40 point games under his belt. He’s gotten there with inventive offense and an enterprising defense. After a disappointing 2016, Todd Gurley looks to be back to what we saw in the first few games of 2015. We’ll get a good look at whether this Rams team is legit or not when they take on the Dallas Cowboys next week.

Seahawks- We know the Seahawks offensive line is a problem but who would have that now the Seattle defense might be a problem. This unit was manhandled in the second half of the game as it appeared that Mike Mularkey’s “exotic smash mouth” offense wore them down. Russell Wilson’s career passing day was overshadowed by his defense which gave up two touchdowns of over 50 yards including the first rushing touchdown 75 yards or more since 2009. Seattle will have to hope that it can sort itself out defensively and return to form against the Colts next to get to .500.

Cardinals- There was a lot of bad Monday night from the Arizona Cardinals but let’s start with the good; Larry Fitzgerald is Amazing. He finished with 13 grabs for 149 yards and a score. He was absolutely electric out there making one spectacular catch after another. Now for the bad. Bruce Arians playcalling and game management were atrocious in the final quarter and the offensive line couldn’t block three rushers. Their season is on life support right now but a home game against an 0-3 Niners team could be just what the doctor ordered.

49ers- Despite their 0-3 start it can be argued that the 49ers have had a successful season so far. In their Thursday night loss to the Rams, the Niners showed a fortitude and fight not seen since the Jim Harbaugh era. Kyle Shanahan takes his squad next week to take on a reeling Arizona in a game where the 49ers could find some success in the win-loss column as well.

 

Sunday Primer Week 3

You would be forgiven for not expecting much excitement in a Thursday night game that featured the Rams and the 49ers. But the game between the two youngest coaches to ever face off against each other in NFL history far exceeded expectations featuring great play design, lots of scoring, a fourth-quarter comeback, and best of all some gritty, no-quit football from both sides.

 

5. Seattle @ Tennessee

Two teams that don’t play each other often and two teams most are picking to make the playoffs. With both teams sitting at 1-1 this game is an opportunity to

 

4. Kansas City @ Los Angelos Chargers

Andy Reid’s squad has looked like maybe the NFL’s best team through two games and now they have a divisional test against a talented but underperforming Chargers team that has blown two big fourth quarter opportunities in as many games. An 0-3 start puts the Chargers in a big hole in maybe the NFL’s division. Expect the Chargers to pull out all the stops in this one.

 

3. Houston @ New England

Last season in 432 regular season pass attempts Tom Brady threw only 2 interceptions. In one divisional playoff game against the Texans, he threw 2. After their week 1 debacle, the Patriots have appeared to bounce back after beating the Saints but this game will be a true test on both sides of the ball for the defending champions even though this Texans unit gave up 22 points to the Jaguars and has the second least amount of passing yards in the league with only the Buccaneers (who have only played 1 game) behind them.

 

2. Atlanta @ Detroit

With the Lions off to their first 2-0 start since 2011 and the Falcons looking to build off last years success with their own 2-0 start, this game features two hot quarterbacks and enterprising defenses and will serve one team with its first loss of the season. A win for the Lions gives them sole possession of first place in the NFC North while a win for the Falcons allows them to keep pace with the also 2-0 Panthers. Expect a shootout between these two hot QBs with young defenses.

 

1. Oakland @ Washington

Another matchup of two teams that don’t play each other often, the Sunday night game features two high-flying offenses from 2016. The only difference in 2017 appears to be that the Raiders have recaptured their 2016 glory right out of the gate hanging 45 on the Jets last week. Kirk Cousins and his offense have struggled some only managing 17 points against the Eagles in the opener and then getting by for a win against the Rams. If Jay Gruden can get his offense running again this should be a high-scoring game filled with points on both sides.

Sunday Primer Week 2

img_1135     Week 2 got off to a fairly uninspiring start with rookie QB Deshaun Watson and the Texans outlasting the Bengals in a defensive battle on Thursday night. But this weekend’s slate of games should provide much more entertainment and intrigue. Here are this week’s top 5 games.

 

5. New England @ New Orleans

Savor this matchup. This might be the final time these two legendary QBs face-off against each other. This is very well a game that should be high scoring with New Orleans suspect secondary and New England still trying to figure itself out on that side of the ball.

 

4. Philadelphia @ Kansas City

The student faces the master when Andy Reid’s former offensive coordinator Doug Pederson comes to Kansas City. Reid’s squad should be riding high after upsetting the Patriots last week and the Eagles looked good in all phases last week beating a division rival. Even without the coaching intrigue, this is still a matchup of two good teams looking to go up 2-0 in competitive divisions.

 

3. Minnesota @ Pittsburgh

Sam Bradford was practically perfect last week completing 27 of 32 passes for 346 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Vikings defense put the clamps on Drew Brees and the Saints offense for most of the game last week and look to have a repeat performance against the Steelers explosive offense. Top rookie T.J. Watt looks to offer a repeat performance after his 2 sack, 1 int, 7 tackle performance week one.

 

2. Dallas @ Denver

The Denver defense will be arguably the best unit Dak and Zeke have ever faced. Both second-year players came up big in their week one win but this game will test both of them. After an offseason of uncertainty, Trevor Siemian emerged as the starter and did enough to lead Denver to a win last week. He’ll face a Dallas defense that racked up 3 sacks on Eli Manning in week one.

 

1. Green Bay @ Atlanta

Here’s the big one, a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. After being embarrassed last January Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be looking to spoil the Falcons on their new stadium’s opening night. This potential playoff matchup between two top NFC teams could become important later in the year as playoff positions are decided.

Finally, it’s back…​

Well, here we are. At 8:30 tonight, the NFL will kick-off and the road to Super Bowl LII will be underway. Of course, with the season comes everybody’s favorite weekly escape, Fantasy Football. Maybe you play because you’re a football junkie and can’t get enough of the game. Or, maybe you’re a Jet fan like me and you need a reason to root for some other players as well this year. Hey, maybe you’re not even a huge football fan, but you’re in a league with friends or at work and just want to win for the sake of bragging rights. Whatever the case may be, this gridiron game brings people together and Fantasy Football is the cherry on top to a season that brings so much excitement. Here we go with my weekly Fantasy Advice:

Fave Five

  1. Kelvin Benjamin
    • Benji could have a major bounce-back season this year and it starts week 1 in San Francisco. Not only does Benjamin have arguably the weakest cornerback schedule in the league this season, but the addition of Christian McCaffrey as a Swiss Army knife for that offense should force defenses to respect the run more. Plus, now a year removed from ACL surgery and with the Panthers looking to have Cam Newton be more of a pocket passer and run less, I see Benjamin torching a weak 49ers secondary and improving upon the two scores he’s already had this preseason.
  2. Melvin Gordon
    • I know, I know. They’re playing Denver this week. Yes, I expect Denver to have a good showing and play LA tough (it’s still weird to me that they’re not San Diego anymore). The thing is, by volume alone I expect Flash Gordon to start this season with a bang. Over the past three years, Phillip Rivers’ target share to receivers goes from 54% to 47% against Denver. Where do all those targets go? To the running back, and with Danny Woodhead now in Baltimore, Melvin should get an enormous amount of touches through the air and on the ground, especially with the all-world cornerback duo of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib patrolling the secondary.
  3. Brandon Marshall
    • Another bounce-back candidate for me, I fully expect Marsh to return to form as an elite end zone target. I keep hearing about how he’s old and continue to see people point to his regression last year. Relax. First of all, he’s only 33, it’s not like the guy is hobbling around out there and he’s not on an Andre Johnson-esque trajectory. I’ll admit, he uncharacteristically dropped way too many balls last year, but how much of that was his miserable situation combined with the fact that he had ineffective quarterbacks throwing him the ball? The Giants can’t run and will look to feast on an uninspiring Cowboys’ secondary. Couple this with the facts that I don’t expect Odell Beckham to be 100% and the Giants love to deploy 3-wide receiver sets and I see tremendous opportunity for B-Marsh. Not only is it a tough task to cover Marshall man-to-man, but the Giants also drop back to pass the 4th-most in the NFL in the red zone over the past two years… and now have the best fantasy wide receiver in the red zone since 2012. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this looks pretty promising for his debut for Big Blue.
  4. Todd Gurley
    • I fully expect the Rams to run the ball down Indy’s throat with the intentions of exploiting a weak defense and controlling the clock. Throw in the fact that Andrew Luck is out and Scott Tolzien, who can be subject to turnovers, is starting for Indy and I expect a huge day for Gurley – one that puts his disappointing 2016 firmly behind him.
  5. Bilal Powell
    • I mean, who else is going to get the ball? I don’t expect Josh McCown to throw very much on Sunday and when he does, will can that offensive line even hold up? My bet is he checks it down when he drops back and hands it to Powell the rest of the time. I do think Matt Forté will get some work too and have a nice game himself, but with the former pro bowler in his age 31 season and the best veteran leader the team has, I expect it to be the Bilal Powell Show in Buffalo.

 

Cause for Concern

  1. Keenan Allen
    • See: Melvin Gordon. I’m actually high on Allen’s prospects this season and expect him to finally have a healthy year this year. *Knocks on wood* Unfortunately for him, he begins the season against that all-world secondary I mentioned earlier and if Rivers plays Denver the same way he has over the past 3 years, then the LA receivers will have only 47% of the target share to split amongst themselves. Over the course of the season, I consider Allen a great pick and major sleeper at his current draft position, but I’d temper expectations for this week.
  2. Dez Bryant
    • The oft-injured receiver would make me nervous as a fantasy owner with his physical style of play. Although obviously a great talent, I don’t trust him against high-end corners. Yes, he typically devours mediocre corners, but in tough matchups he chokes far too often for me to trust him as a low-end WR1. Oh yeah, and in TWO games against the Giants last year he had two receptions for 18 yards and a fumble. I’m wary of Dez this week.
  3. T.Y. Hilton
    • Ultimately, T.Y. is way too make or break for me to trust him as a WR1. Of course, you have to respect any player that led the league in receiving yards, but with Scott Tolzien starting for Indy week 1 against a respectable Rams defense I don’t have much confidence that he’ll put up WR1 numbers. Plus, I think the Colts’ decision to trade for Jacoby Brissett says something about their confidence in Tolzien. Beware.

 

Top Streaming Options

  1. Paul Richardson
    • Green Bay surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in the entire league last year. Now playing out wide opposite Doug Baldwin and with the Seahawks’ running game a major question mark, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Richardson get some volume in a game that could see a lot of scoring. Yes, Seattle has a great defense, but is anybody really ready to count out Aaron Rodgers? Against the best quarterback in the league, Russ is going to have to air it out and I don’t think the Green Bay secondary has anybody to stop Richardson from having a great day.
  2. Zay Jones
    • Sammy Watkins is gone. Jordan Matthews just arrived and may or may not be hurt. Um, this Jets-Bills game this weekend could be the worst combination of receivers I’ve ever seen in a regular season game. That being said, is it that crazy to say that the rookie Jones might be the best receiver on the field? Coming off a season where he caught a ridiculous 158 balls at ECU, I’d say it’s not that crazy. Despite the fact that I expect the Jets’ defense to be much improved this year, I think it’s a great matchup for Jones and could see him getting some nice volume as the Bills’ top receiver.
  3. Andy Dalton
    • The Red Rifle finished last season as the 12th best QB in fantasy despite missing AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, Gio Bernard, and having to deal with a regressing Jeremy Hill. Two seasons ago he was top 5. The guy is a sneaky great fantasy quarterback and with Green, Eifert, and Gio all fully healthy, plus the addition of Joe Mixon, I could see him having a resurgent year. Against a Baltimore defense that doesn’t inspire a ton of fear anymore, I see him hitting Eifert and Green for a few scores as Cincy rolls over the Ravens.