Chicagoland native recently relocated to San Diego, California. Been out here since February 2015 and have come to the conclusion that the west coast time zone is amazing for sports fans! No game is too late. I envision the perfect football season ahead: waking up by 10am, start sippin on bloodies on the couch, planted drinking IPA's by the Sunday night game and passed out by 9:30 with plenty of rest for Monday!
The survivor pool I was in still has 84 of the initial 871 entrants, meaning it will likely extend into the post-season, barring a wacky week of upsets. I don't know if it is a tough slate of games this week, or if it just seems that way because the Cleveland Browns are off. Last week, the Giants predictably dismantled the Browns, continuing their 15-game losing streak and giving me another win.
This week there aren't many sure things. Seattle and New England are the weeks two biggest favorites, and I really don't trust Seattle against the Panthers. The Patriots are a lock at home against the Jared Goff led Rams, so if you haven't used them that's your pick. I, however, do not have that luxury, having picked the Pats earlier this season.
My next choice for the week would have been the Denver Broncos on the road against the pathetic Jacksonville Jaguars. Denver needs this win bad and an Oakland loss in the near future to make sure they don't get left behind the pack. However, when it was announced that Trevor Siemian would be out with a foot injury and rookie Paxton Lynch would make the start, I wasn't so sure. I think that Denver's defense still provides enough for them to get the win, but I will shy away from them since it is on the road.
Which leads me to this week's pick, the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers finally looked like himself last week and this week he gets a Houston team led by Brock Osweiler, who, unfortunately for the Texans has also looked like himself. Detroit faces a tough match up in the Saints this week and with a Packer win and Lions loss the two will be tied for the division lead. Green Bay will not let this opportunity slip by.
Last week was a no brainer, with the Steelers walloping the Cleveland Browns. In the process they may have done them a favor concussing Cody Kessler and allowing Josh McCown to regain the starting spot. McCown is the only choice if you are the Browns head coach and don't want to finish the season winless, which they still probably will. Which leads me to this week's survivor pick - the New York Giants 7.5 point favorites at Cleveland. I think the Giants cover in this one as they desperately try to keep pace with the Cowboys.
Looking at the Browns remaining schedule I would say either this game or Cincinnati in two weeks are their best shots to steal a win. In fact, I plan on placing a wager on that Bengals game coming off the bye.
Miami, Buffalo, and New Orleans are also very strong picks this week. Jay Ajayi is going to eat up the 49ers last ranked run defense, making Miami a safe pick.
Blake Bortles has shown this year that he cannot perform well enough to flourish against a top tier defense like Buffalo's. Expect a lot of pressure and interceptions in that one for Blake.
Finally, the Saints, believe it or not, are still in contention in the NFC South at 4-6, only 2 games back of the 6-4 Falcons. I expect them to have an easy day in the dome against Jared Goff and the Rams. The Rams defense will have to have a perfect game to even give them a shot in this one.
So far, if you have picked against the Browns every week, you have won every time in your survivor pool. Last week I had the Cowboys who smoked the Browns 35-10, easily covering the spread. This week should be no different with the Ravens being 10.5 point favorites over the pathetic Browns tonight on Thursday Night Football. However, I have peeped the remainder of Cleveland's schedule and I can't find another opponent as weak as Baltimore. For this reason I will shy away from picking this game. I cannot deny the Lions greatness in achieving the only 0-16 record in NFL history. Thursday games are funny so pick at your own risk.
My pick for this week will be the Arizona Cardinals. I had them earlier in the year in a loss to the Rams, so I tossed them back in my available teams. They are the largest favorite of the week at 13.5 points over the San Francisco 49ers. With the extra preparation Arizona has coming off the bye week, I see no way they drop this one at home vs a team battling for the 1st pick in next year’s draft.
Some of the shittiest teams in the league are on bye this week, resulting in a lot of unpredictable match-ups on the schedule for week 8. The largest point spread this week opened at just 5.5 points for New England over Buffalo, the first time in weeks there wasn't a double digit spread. This would be my pick if the Patriots were still available to me, as I have my highest points on them in the confidence pool as well. Without a healthy McCoy I see no way the Bills can hang with the Pats.
The next big favorites are the Broncos, Vikings, and Cowboys. I think the Broncos and Cowboys will probably take care of business in these games, but I am shying away from both of them. The Cowboys are at home vs an impressive looking Eagles team coming off an upset victory over the previously undefeated Vikings. In doing so I think they may have given teams the formula to dismantle Sam Bradford, bring the pressure! Maybe they are able to do the same thing to Dak and take control of that division.
I think a fired up Bears team with a returning Jay Cutler upset the Vikings at home on Monday night. The Bears season is essentially over, this will be one of their only opportunities to feel good about themselves this year. Like him or hate him, Jay Cutler possesses physical abilities that Brian Hoyer does not. If the Bears can come out focused and get an early lead I like their chances. Minnesota is a team that thrives on playing from ahead.
The Broncos are similar to the Vikings in their need for early leads in games. When these teams met 2 weeks ago the Chargers got an early lead and dismantled the Broncos. If it wasn't for some special teams mishaps for San Diego, the final score would have been embarrassing. Maybe Denver does much better at home with a normal NFL week to work with, but for that reason, I am not picking them either.
Last week I had the Bengals over the Browns in the battle of Ohio. The Bengals knocked the Browns 3rd starting quarterback of the year out of the game and cruised to a two touchdown victory.
Starting their fourth quarterback of the year this week I felt like the Jets were a slam dunk pick. My confidence was reduced slightly when it was announced that Josh McCown may return for this game. At the very least he is an NFL quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a chip on his shoulder after being benched for lousy Geno Smith. Baltimore beat Cleveland, New York just beat Baltimore equals a Jets win, that's just math. Expect big numbers from him and his receivers in this one as the Browns get one loss closer to that number 1 pick in next year's draft.
Fantasy football is a passion shared by many - we hope to provide you with insightful articles that help with tough decisions during the season, as well as beer to drink, tv to watch and recipes to make. Good luck! -drinkfive.com