Written by Steve Marcuz and Shaun Meyer, who go by @sidskeat and @deadduck on the Fantasy Life App, respectively.
Wow. That’s all we can say really. This season has been one of the more difficult to bet, and it’s clear because Vegas has been the winner in weeks 1 and 3 so far this season. And although it would appear we are off to a rough start, it’s good to know that we are not alone. Many industry pickers are also struggling to get a handle on teams this season so although our pick record isn’t fantastic, it’s somewhat comforting to know that people who I consider much brighter than I are having the same type of issues and Shaun and I. But alas, the show goes on and we are here again, vowing to turn this thing around, and the march for 65% begins this week. Alright let’s get to it! We are switching the format going forward, no longer will I be forced to pick Shaun’s games, and he won’t be forced to pick mine! We’re going with what we like and that’s that! The turnaround must begin now!
Steve: 2-3 Season Record: 6-8-1
Shaun: 1-4 Season Record: 5-9-1
With 14 weeks left to go, things must change. And that starts on Sunday!
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (London) UNDER 49.5 Confidence LVL: 6
Has any team been more of a letdown so far this season than the Jaguars? With how much money they spent on upgrading their defense this offseason to be paired with their already explosive offense they come into this game 0-3 looking the like the same Jaguars we’ve come to know. The Colts are coming off of their first victory in comeback fashion over the again injury-plagued Chargers. So with these 2 offenses going against 2 suspect defenses, why take the under? This is a London game, so I think jet lag plays a part here. Couple that with the fact that the total in 8 of the last 10 matchups between these teams has hit the under. I like those odds, and if you listen to the FLAFFL House Podcast you know what I think of Blake Bortles. I think this game is a London special: boring and low scoring.
Seattle @ New York Jets (+2.5) Confidence LVL: 7
I’m willing to bet that of my 6 picks I’ve gotten right this year, at least 4 of them are underdogs, so this will be a recurring theme for me this week. The Jets looked like garbage last week and Fitzpatrick can only look at himself. Seattle was able to win against the 49ers after being upset the week before by the Rams of Los Angeles. So why the Jets? Well home dogs always get extra attention and there are a couple things working in their favor. First is that Seattle will be flying east for a morning kickoff, which always throws up a red flag. Next is that Seattle has been a slow starting team over the last couple seasons, sporting a 1-5-1 record ATS in October and this team already seems no different based on September. On top of that, the Jets are 8-3-1 in their last 12 home games ATS so give me the points and I think the Jets win this one straight up.
New Orleans (+4) @ San Diego Confidence LVL: 7
Another pick, another dog, but this one finds themselves on the road and with a QB you typically don’t like when he leaves the friendly confines of home. The Saints lost a tough game on Monday night against the Saints. Rob Ryan might be gone, but bad habits are hard to break. The defense sucks yet again, which should make Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense happy to hear. The Chargers lost to Indy, giving up yet another 4th quarter lead to fall to 1-2 on the year. Although the Saints are known as a home team favorite, they’re surprisingly 4-2 ATS in their last 6 road games. The Chargers on the other hand are only 3-11 ATS in their last 14 home games and 2-5 straight up. Now this does include their home win this year against the Jaguars but I think the Saints offense will be able to keep up better than the Jags because, well, Blake Bortles. Take the points again!
New York Giants (+5.5) @ Minnesota Confidence LVL: 9
This is my favorite pick of the week and I can see that look on your face, stop it! Remember last week, when you made this face when I gave you Buffalo?? Ok, that’s better. Minnesota’s defense has been the talk of the NFL this week, and rightly so, after making Cam Newton look like RG3 last week. The Giants are coming off of a loss at home to division rival Washington for their first loss of the season. Seems like an easy Vikings win right?? Wrong! In their last 7 games on Monday Night Football, the Vikings are 0-7 not only ATS, but straight up! Yuck. Couple that with the fact that the Giants are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games after losing as a favorite, this has TRAP GAME written all over it. You know it when you see it. For the 3rd time in a row, take the points!
Buffalo @ New England (-5) Confidence LVL: 8
New England is fresh off a 27-0 shellacking of Houston last Thursday. Buffalo is coming off a surprise (at least to me) upset victory over the Cardinals. Somehow the Ryan brothers cloaked their terribleness and took some of the heat off their seat by looking unstoppable on offense and dominant on defense against one of the league’s best teams. The masses thought the Pats would be lucky to go 2-2 or 1-3 without Brady, but are sitting fat at 3-0 and favored this weekend. Who is their QB going to be? Who cares!! It could be Garoppolo, Brissett, Edelman, me, or Bill Belichick himself and I don't think it would matter. Rex is so obsessed with Bill that he won’t be able to game plan clearly. With the Pats coming off the Thursday night game they have extra time to prepare, and will win comfortably over the Bills. Patriots 28-17.
Carolina (-3) @ Atlanta Confidence LVL: 6
Well pouty Cam Newton made his first appearance since the Super Bowl. The Vikings defense harassed Cam all day, sacking him 8 times and picking him off 3 times. Atlanta is hot off a shootout victory over the Saints from Monday night. Matt Ryan has been one of the hottest QBs of 2016, but he comes out of Monday night’s game with a banged up thumb and I believe the buck stops here. Their schedule takes a brutal turn and it starts this week with a pissed off Panther team. I don't think the Falcons can apply the pressure it takes to knock Cam off his game. I think Matty Ice, Hot Garbage Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman come back to Earth over the next few weeks starting Sunday. Panthers 38-27.
Dallas (-3) @ San Francisco Confidence LVL: 5
Dallas is 2-1 and coming off an impressive victory against the Bears on Sunday night. Zeke ran up and down the field at will it seemed and to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere, they kept giving his touchdowns away to everyone else. But I digress. I swear I'm not bitter. Dak has been unbelievably cool through 3 games. San Francisco made a struggling Seattle offense look like the greatest show on turf. Christine Michael ran all over the Niners and Russ Wilson had himself an OK game, in a little over a half, on one leg. Other than the week one beat down of the Rams, the 49ers have gotten worse by the week. The Cowboys and 49ers!!! Remember how good this rivalry was. Unfortunately now is not then, and Montana and Rice aren’t walking through that door. Zeke, Dak and the Cowboys run, run, and run some more and hopefully let Zeke into the end zone. The Cowboys take care of San Francisco. Dallas 24-16.
Denver (-3) @ Tampa Bay Confidence LVL: 7
Tampa Bay has been one of my biggest disappointments this year. Not being terrible, just not winning games either. They let the Rams beat them at home last Sunday. The week before that they lost 40-7 to the Cardinals. Your Bucs have given you OK fantasy numbers, it just hasn't translated to wins. Denver on the other hand is still riding that defense that won them the big game last year. Plus Siemian has been fine, good even, giving the Broncos more than they were getting from noodle arm Peyton and the Brockness Monster last year. CJ Anderson has been the back you drafted him to be last year. The Broncos are coming off a road win vs the Bengals and are looking like they are still a major threat in the AFC. I say Denver wins on the road again. Broncos 31-21.
Steve: Oakland Baltimore OVER 46.5 Confidence LVL: 6
Another instance of a West Coast team flying east (something that Oakland will be doing for the 3rd time in 4 weeks) but that is best saved for home dogs. Since the Ravens are favorites, I’ll stay away from the line and look at the over instead. The over has hit in 7 of the last 9 games where Oakland has come in as a road dog. On top of that, the total has gone over in 7 of 8 Ravens games when facing AFC West opponents. There will be a lot of scoring in this game, gimme the over!
Shaun: Tennessee Houston OVER 40.5 Confidence LVL: 6
JJ Watt. That is all. What? You want more? Alright. Houston just gave up 27 to a Brissett-led Patriots offense. Blount ran all over them. Now JJ Watt is out possibly for the year and that defense is going to crumble. Big game for Murray and/or Henry and Houston's offense will look better than they did in New England last week. Look for both teams to be in the 20's and an easy over.