By Brett Malamud
Let’s take a look at some names that have been active in fantasy over the last week as we head into the fantasy playoff race.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles
The quarterback who is surprisingly a great play this week. You can trust Bortles, who has remained consistent through most of the season. Obviously if you have guys like Rodgers and Newton, start them, but Bortles will help many teams on their playoff runs.
Flying with the Jets
With the fact that the tallest Titans DB stands at a measly 6-foot-1, you can bet that Eric Decker (6-foot-3) and Brandon Marshall (6-foot-4) will both have nice days. I think that the Jets receivers are a great play this week.
That’s about all I can say about Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper this week as he faces the Denver Broncos. They’ve proven that they’ve had the top defensive secondary all season. Cooper will be benched for me this week, and should be for many of you.
Richard Rodgers…One Hit Wonder?
I know that last week, Rodgers was the hero (both of them actually). But this week is different. Richard Rodgers has been invisible for most of the season, and his 61 yard catch to win the game is simply boosting his stats. I’d beware of him today, even against a weaker Dallas Cowboys defense.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Brett Malamud
Here’s some tips as your fantasy football playoff race heats up in week 11:
The Coop Troop
Starting Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper this week will be vital to your team’s success, and I’ll even name him my Start of the Week. Cooper has been an extremely reliable option at wideout thus far, and the last few weeks are proof of that. In his last three weeks, Cooper has been targeted 31 times. This number makes it very intriguing to play him, considering the recent success of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (who should be started as well). The Detroit Lions defense have given up at least 73 yards to seven out of the nine top receivers they’ve faced this season, so Cooper is expected to have a big day.
It’s been a while since Danny Amendola was a reliable fantasy wide receiver option. You’d have to go back to his days in St. Louis to compare the hype that he’s been getting this week. Amendola will have the opportunity to return that level after the losses of pass catching running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Julian Edelman. This obviously gives a major boost to a player like tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will certainly see an increase in targets. I’m looking at Amendola to step up though, especially after having 10 catches last week. I’d definitely play Amendola as a flex this week.
This week marks the return of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to the starting lineup. Not much to say here. He’s going to have a nice day against a struggling Miami Dolphins team.
Don’t(e) Play Donte
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief is my buyers beware player of the week this week. Of the five touchdowns that Moncrief has this week, every one has been from quarterback Andrew Luck, who is prepared to come back in mid-December. The last time that Matt Hasselback started for the Colts, Moncrief had just one catch. Plus there’s the fact that the Falcons have been great against opposing wide receivers. I’d keep Moncrief on the bench, as you probably have a better option.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Brett Malamud
Digg for gold
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs has scored 43 fantasy points over the last three weeks, making him one of the most intriguing names on the fantasy football waiver wire. He’ll take on a St. Louis Rams defense that has a tough secondary. I’m not sure that this will be a huge outing, but Diggs should still be considered as a flex play.
Big Ben’s Back
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned from a sprained MCL injury last weekend, completed 28-of-45 passes for 262 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions Sunday against the Bengals.. Not such great numbers. I think that this week, Big Ben returns to his old self, and has a big day against an Oakland Raiders defense that has allowed the most passing yards in the league. Look for wide receiver Antonio Brown to have a huge day as well.
Same Face, New Place
Headlines were made this week as the Denver Broncos traded two sixth round picks this week to acquire two time pro bowler, tight end Vernon Davis. This had me intrigued for the main reason that quarterback Peyton Manning loves his tight ends. Let’s take a look back. Julius Thomas had 24 touchdowns from Manning in his final two seasons as a Bronco. I think that can be Davis this season, and am highly attracted by the potential that this trade has. He does have two other tight ends on the roster to compete with (Owen Daniels and Virgil Green), but there’s a reason why Denver traded for him. I say take a number and stash Davis on your bench this week.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Last week we saw many players go down with major injuries, crippling fantasy teams everywhere. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell tore his MCL and PCL, and he is done for the season. DeAngelo Williams is going to replace him, and if you were lucky enough to snag him on the waiver wire, he should be in your lineup right away. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte suffered damage to his MCL and will be out for a few weeks. Enter Jeremy Langford. I expect him to have a big week against the Chargers on Monday Night Football.
Your Bold Prediction
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski takes on the Washington Redskins this week, who have allowed the 12th fewest yards per game to tight ends. Of course, they’ve yet to face Gronkowski and I’m predicting three touchdowns today from Gronk.
By Ryan Crawford
The hot commodities of this draft include the two intriguing quarterbacks, two high level running backs, a batch of very good interior defensive linemen, three dynamite edge rushers and a group of wide receivers that just might rival last years extraordinary crop. Here’s my initial mock draft for 2015. There’s sure to be many changes before long.
1. TAMPA BAY BUCS – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State
Lovie Smith and the Bucs badly need a franchise quarterback and Jameis Winston can be that guy. Questions about his maturity and too many interceptions are the major red flags. I think the Bucs jump at the opportunity to snag such a high level QB prospect and hope the potential problems work themselves out.
2. TENNESSEE TITANS – Leonard Williams – DT – USC
I do not think the Titans are enamored with developing Marcus Mariota at QB. Williams might be the top talent in the draft and fills a huge need in the middle of the Titans defensive line.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Randy Gregory-OLB- Nebraska
Jaguars are looking to upgrade on defense and Gregory is a stud.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Amari Cooper-WR-Alabama
Take your choice between Cooper, White, Parker etc. but there is a clear need at the receiver position and the Raiders will have plenty to choose from. Cooper seems to be the cream of the crop.
5. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Landon Collins – S- Alabama
Best safety in the draft fills a huge void for the Redskins.
6. NEW YORK JETS – Dante Fowler – DE/OLB – Florida
Bigtime explosive pass rusher is a welcome gift for the defensive minded new head coach Todd Bowles.
7. CHICAGO BEARS – Shane Ray – DE – Missouri
Watching the Bears play defense last season was somewhat frightening for Bears fans. Ray is a pure pass rusher who should put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
8. ATLANTA FALCONS – Danny Shelton -DT- Washington
Another team with a bad defense…seeing a trend down here? Danny Shelton was a monster at the senior bowl and should anchor the middle of the Falcons line for years.
9. NEW YORK GIANTS – Brandon Scherff- OT- Iowa
The Giants most important job is to keep Eli Manning upright so he is able to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle. This load should help accomplish that goal.
10. ST LOUIS RAMS – Marcus Mariota- QB- Oregon
Rams are thrilled to see Mariota drop into their laps and will jump at the chance to replace the often injured and highly paid Sam Bradford
11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Kevin White – WR- West Virginia
White ran a 4.35 at the combine. At 6’3″ with top flight speed, he can be a dynamic weapon for Teddy Bridgewater
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Devante Parker- WR- Louisville
Parker is another top weapon to be contended with and the Browns have major concerns at the wide receiver spot with Josh Gordon being a major question mark.
13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Vic Beasley-DE-Clemson
Beasley is a prolific pass rusher who will be called upon to play OLB because of his size. Certainly the Saints will require some defense sooner or later. Had a great combine.
14. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Ereck Flowers- OT- Miami
Another massive body in front of Ryan Tannehill could be just what the doctor ordered for the Dolphins.
15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Arik Armstead –DE/DT-Oregon
New coach, new ideas but there will be a big need to retool the ferocious 49ers defense and Armstead is a mountain of a man for the defensive line.
16. HOUSTON TEXANS – Andrus Peat – OT- Stanford
The Texans need to build up their offensive line and Peat is great place to start
17. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Eddie Goldman- DT- Florida State
With all the weapons they have on offense, the Chargers can use a little defense and this guy is a force in the middle of a four man front
18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Dorial Green Beckham- WR- Missouri
Green-Beckham is just one of those guys who could not seem to find his niche in college but oozes talent. The Chiefs are a team that had no touchdowns last year from a wide receiver. Seems like a match to me.
19. CLEVELAND BROWNS – TJ Clemmings- OT- Pittsburgh
The Browns continue to build up their offense. Now if they can only figure out the quarterback situation then they can start to move the team forward.
20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Trae Waynes – CB – Michigan St
Not sure how I got Waynes to drop down this far, especially after he ran a 4.30 in the combine, but the Eagles would be thrilled if he did and snatch him up quickly.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Bud Dupree- DE/OLB- Kentucky
Called a physical freak of nature, this future NFL edge rusher will help the Bengals defense immensely. Ran a 4.56 in the 40 yard dash and has a 42 inch vertical leap and did a 138 inch broad jump. All while weighing in at 270 lbs. Oh My!!
22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Malcolm Brown- DT- Texas
A mountain for the middle of the Steeler defensive line.
23. DETROIT LIONS – LaEl Collins – OT – LSU
The Lions have a few holes on their offensive line and Collins looks like he’ll be a pretty good one. At 6’5″ and 322 lbs, he projects at left tackle.
24. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Jaelen Strong- WR- Arizona State
At 6’4″, this blazer is another stud in the crop of highly sought after receivers. A local product, the Cards are thrilled to scoop him up at 24.
25. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Marcus Peters – CB- Washington
Regarded as the number two cornerback in the entire draft, Peters is a very physical corner who fills a major need for the Panthers.
26. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Melvin Gordon-RB-Wisconsin
The Ravens are in dire need of a top flight running back and Gordon is considered the best of a strong group.
27. DALLAS COWBOYS – Maxx Williams- TE – Minnesota
The heir apparent to Jason Witten, the Cowboys are on the lookout for a young tight end that they can develop. Williams has great hands and top speed. Reminds some of a young Jeremy Shockey.
28. DENVER BRONCOS – Devin Funchess- WR- Michigan
Broncos are in salary cap dilemmas with the Thomas boys. If they franchise Demaryius Thomas, they might lose Julius Thomas. Either way they should be in the market for a pass catching tight end with speed to play receiver and Funchess certainly fits the description.
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Cedric Ogbuhei- OT- Texas A & M
When you have a quarterback with the ability of an Andrew Luck, you must wisely do anything and everything to protect him. A big tackle helps and Ogbuhei oozes with potential.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Denzel Perryman – ILB – Miami
The Packers just released veteran A.J.Hawk and Perryman is a highly regarded prospect who could step into that inside linebacker role.
31. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Kevin Johnson- CB- Wake Forest
The Legion of Boom was a little banged up by the end of the season and with Byron Maxwell slated for free agency, a young corner might be just what the doctor ordered.
32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Mike Bennett – DT- Ohio State
Another big body for the defensive front should help the Patriots continue to dominate the NFL.
Other Potential 1st Round Picks
Todd Gurley- RB- Georgia
Trey Flowers – DE- Arkansas
Shaq Thompson- OLB – Washington
Eli Harold- DE- Virginia
Breshad Perriman- WR- Central Florida
Quinten Rollins – CB- Miami (Ohio)
By Brett Malamud
As we approach another week in the NFL, we see teams begin to have their bye weeks. But for the rest of the teams, this week could help to carry the momentum for the rest of the season. Here’s my week four predictions:
–BYES: Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals, Bengals, Rams, Browns
-Giants (1-2) at Redskins (1-2), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST
The Redskins are playing some great football at the moment, even with the loss to the Eagles last week. I’m taking them here over the Giants, who look to string together a win streak. Verdict: Redskins
-Packers (1-2) at Bears (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Aaron Rodgers told Packers fans to “relax.” However, if i’m a Packers fan, I’m not relaxing. Their lone win came against the Jets. They looked horrible against the Lions last week, much like in week one against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Bears are playing very well and come off their Monday Night Football win against the Jets. The wide receivers are a huge help to Jay Cutler. I’m going with the Bears here (and Packers fans definitely won’t be able to relax after this one.) Verdict: Bears
-Bills (2-1) at Texans (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Intriguing matchup here, as the AFC East leading Bills take on the AFC South leading Texans. This is sure to be a good game. The running game for Buffalo has been nothing short of the expectations headed into the season. I think they’ll run over Houston this week. Verdict: Bills
-Titans (1-2) at Colts (1-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Colts faced two of the toughest opponents they’ll meet all season within the first two weeks of the season, so that’s where their record comes in to play. The record definitely doesn’t represent the team. They’ll prove that this week against the Titans, who’ve lost their last two games. Verdict: Colts
-Panthers (2-1) at Ravens (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Panthers and Ravens head into this one both at 2-1. The Ravens have been superb on the running game, especially after the loss of Ray Rice. The Panthers took a brutal loss to Pittsburgh last week and I think the same happens here in Baltimore. Verdict: Ravens
-Lions (2-1) at Jets (1-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
A good defensive battle sees the top two defenses (thus far) face off. The Jets secondary is going to have a long day, especially with Calvin Johnson, who looks to find the end zone for the first time in three weeks. On the other side of the ball, the Jets run game has been great. Hopefully, Rex Ryan realizes that and stops Geno Smith from making more bonehead plays. I’m going with the Jets here in a shocker. Verdict: Jets
-Buccaneers (0-3) at Steelers (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
This one shouldn’t be that much of a contest. The Bucs aren’t playing well at all and come off a week in which they allowed 56 points to the Falcons on national television. I’m going with the Steelers, no question. Verdict: Steelers
-Dolphins (1-2) at Raiders (0-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Boring matchup here, as the Dolphins face the Raiders. I’m going to take the Dolphins, simply because the Raiders can’t get anything right this season. Verdict: Dolphins
-Jaguars (0-3) at Chargers (2-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
The Chargers host a team that they should run right over. The Jaguars haven’t stopped a team with a good quarterback this season, and I don’t see any reason of why they’ll suddenly do it this week. It could be a long day for Jaguars rookie QB Blake Bortles in his first career start. Verdict: Chargers
-Falcons (2-1) at Vikings (1-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
I think that Teddy Bridgewater will be good but not great this week. I also think that Matt Ryan is phenomenal and will play well. I’m taking the Falcons in a close one here. Verdict: Falcons
-Eagles (3-0) at 49ers (1-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
This is my matchup of the week. The sixth-ranked 49ers defense will look to stop the sixth-ranked Eagles offense. I think that Kaepernick will have a major game by torturing the Eagles’ secondary. But in the end, I think that the Eagles will escape and move to 4-0. Verdict: Eagles
-Saints (1-2) at Cowboys (2-1), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST
This matchup was on my radar since week one. I don’t recommend fantasy owners to start either team’s defense because I believe that this will be a high scoring game. I think that the Saints take it, and Drew Brees gets another game ball to add to his collection. Verdict: Saints
-Patriots (2-1) at Chiefs (1-2), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST
This could be quite the battle throughout this one. The Patriots offense, known to be dominant, has struggled this season. The Chiefs defense, which was one of the league’s best last season, has also struggled this season. It should be a good game, but I’m going with Tom Brady. Verdict: Patriots
By Brett Malamud
-Buccaneers (0-2) at Falcons (1-1), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST
The Buccaneers travel one state over to the confines of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons come in after their offense was virtually shut down by Cincinnati last week. I think that coming home will heal the woes and that Matt Ryan will come back strong tonight. Verdict: Falcons
-Chargers (1-1) at Bills (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
I watched the Bills game last week and there wasn’t much excitement, other than the Sammy Watkins touchdown play and the C.J. Spiller kickoff return for a touchdown. I think that after taking down Seattle last week, the Chargers should roll through the Bills. Verdict: Chargers
-Cowboys (1-1) at Rams (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Cowboys beat the Titans last week and DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant looked great. The Rams third-string quarterback Austin Davis went 22/29 for 235 yards and no interceptions, as St. Louis slightly edged out Tampa Bay. If Davis continues at that pace this week, it could make for a close game, but I’m still going with the Cowboys. Verdict: Cowboys
-Redskins (1-1) at Eagles (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Kirk Cousins is now at the helm for the Redskins and it’ll definitely be noticeable. Cousins went 22/33 and completed his first 12 passes. Not bad for a guy coming in cold off of the bench. I don’t think they’ll get past the Eagles though, after they’ve rolled as of late. The duel back combo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles continues to be the story and should be it again this week. Verdict: Eagles
-Texans (2-0) at Giants (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Giants stink. They took a loss to the Drew Stanton led Arizona Cardinals after quarterback Carson Palmer was announced as inactive for the game. The G-Men turned the ball over the ball four times, much to the disappointment of head coach Tom Coughlin. The Texans, on the other hand, won in Oakland last week. I’m gonna take the Texans here because the defense will be too strong for the Giants. Verdict: Texans
-Vikings (1-1) at Saints (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Saints are 0-2. Seriously? They’re so great but have had some not so great moments. A last second field goal decided their fate last week in Cleveland. I’ve got to take them here, especially after the beat down that the Patriots gave Minnesota. Verdict: Saints
-Titans (1-1) at Bengals (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Titans couldn’t find a way to beat the Cowboys. Jake Locker showed some promise, throwing for 234 yards with a touchdown. The Bengals come in fresh off a win at home against the Falcons, and my belief is that they’ll stay undefeated after this week. Verdict: Bengals
-Ravens (1-1) at Browns (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Browns shocked the Saints last week, winning on a field goal in the final seconds. Baltimore came together after losing Ray Rice and didn’t allow a touchdown to the Steelers last week on Thursday Night Football. Still, Joe Flacco only threw for 166 yards. I think the Browns continue to shock and take this game in another close one. Verdict: Browns
-Packers (1-1) at Lions (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Packers were down 21-3 to the New York Jets. They came all the way back, beating the Jets 31-24. Aaron Rodgers looked pretty invisible in the first quarter and a bit of the second quarter, but powered back in the second half and finished the day off with 346 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Lions showed that Megatron was human, as Calvin Johnson could not be found in the end zone last week. Instead, the lone Lions touchdown went to Fullback Jed Collins. I think the Packers stay hot and win this one. Verdict: Packers
-Colts (0-2) at Jaguars (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Colts lost…to the Eagles. And I say it that way because the Eagles looked fantastic. But the Colts looked good too. They were edged out at the last second and so the loss might sting a bit, but I know they’ll come back strong this week against the Jaguars, who were slaughtered by Washington last week. Verdict: Colts
-Raiders (0-2) at Patriots (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
There shouldn’t be much debate here. The Patriots woke up last week, and beat down the Vikings by a score of 30-7. They’ll take on the Raiders in what could be an ugly result. Verdict: Patriots
-49ers (1-1) at Cardinals (2-0), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
I have been and am still pushing hard on this Cardinals defense. I’ve said it all along, I really like their defense. They forced four Giants turnovers last week at MetLife Stadium. This will be their toughest test yet, as they take on the 49ers. The Niners, however, didn’t look right at home in the second half of the inaugural game of their new stadium. Instead, quarterback Colin Kaepernick forced passes throughout and the Bears rallied to beat them. I think that the woes will stop and that Kaepernick will lead his team to the victory. Verdict: 49ers
-Broncos (2-0) at Seahawks (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
This is my matchup of the week. A rematch of last season’s Super Bowl sees the Broncos headed to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The Seahawks took a loss last week to the Chargers. Marshawn Lynch was not much of a factor, only rushing for 36 yards. Wes Welker is back this week after the NFL and NFLPA agreed on a new drug policy, freeing him from the remaining four games on his previous suspension. I think that the attention on Welker should free up Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. I like the Broncos this week to quiet the 12th man. Verdict: Broncos
-Chiefs (0-2) at Dolphins (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
The Chiefs almost took down Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos last week, but they didn’t. Instead they dropped to 0-2 and their defense has allowed 50 points through only two games. On the other side of the field will be the Miami Dolphins, who shocked everyone back in week one, when they took down the New England Patriots. Last week was a different story and they couldn’t get anything going, taking the loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs are desperate for a win in the competitive AFC West, and I think they’ll get their first of the year here. Verdict: Chiefs
-Steelers (1-1) at Panthers (2-0), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST
The return of Cam Newton brought a great performance by the Carolina Panthers offense. Newton was 22/34 for 281 yards and a touchdown as he defeated “Donkey Kong Suh and [his] fellow Auburn teammate Nick Fairley.” The Panthers look ahead now to this week’s matchup at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Simply put, the Steelers couldn’t score a touchdown last week on Thursday Night Football. This week they’ll play their second game in a row in a primetime slot. I think that they’ll lose this one as well, and the nation will see the flaws of this struggling team. Verdict: Panthers
-Bears (1-1) at Jets (1-1), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST
Ah, the Jets. Many of you know how much I love the Jets, and how I continue to root for them, even in the darkest of times. Well, last week was one of those times. The Jets went up 14-0 within the first seven minutes of the game. Then, the Jets were up 21-3 in the middle of the second quarter when things started to unfold. Capped off by an 80 yard laser to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown, the Jets collapsed and lost 31-24. As far as bright spots, there were not many. Eric Decker looked good, but how long until defenses double team him on every play? Chris Johnson played an awful game, and finished the day with 21 yards on 12 carries. Instead, the running back who looked the best was Chris Ivory, who had just 43 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. I’m not sure they’ll bounce back this week though, facing the Chicago Bears. The Bears had three fourth-quarter touchdowns to take down the 49ers. I don’t think that the Jets secondary can handle Brandon Marshall, who scored three touchdowns last week. Jay Cutler is 8-4 on Monday Night Football with 20 touchdowns in only 12 games. The trend of touchdowns for him should continue this week, and you can bet that Jets head coach Rex Ryan will be upset with that. Verdict: Bears
By Brett Malamud
Week one proved to be a great week of football that was full of crazy catches and games coming down to the wire. Let’s hope week two can bring the same level of excitement. Here’s my picks for this week:
-Steelers (1-0) at Ravens (0-1), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST
The Steelers escaped a major comeback at the hands of the Cleveland Browns. Now they’ll face their rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, who were narrowly defeated at home against the Bengals, under the bright lights of M&T Bank Stadium in primetime. Crowd noise will be a factor, but I’ll take the Steelers here in a close one. Verdict: Steelers
-Dolphins (1-0) at Bills (1-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Pretty even matchup here as these AFC East foes duke it out. The Dolphins are coming in red hot after defeating the almighty New England Patriots. Buffalo is also coming in with some momentum as well, after shocking the Chicago Bears in overtime. The addition of Knowshon Moreno has proven to be great for Miami thus far, especially after he ran for 134 yards on 24 attempts with a touchdown. I’m going to take the Dolphins here. Verdict: Dolphins
-Jaguars (0-1) at Redskins (0-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
I’m going to be brutally honest, I will not tune in to this one. After watching the Texans dispose of the Redskins offense last week, I can regretfully say that I am not interested in the team, with the exception of Alfred Morris, DeSean Jackson, and Jordan Reed (who has been a major disappointment to my fantasy team), as they are amongst the players on my three fantasy football teams (thankfully, each is on a different team). I’m taking the Jaguars, who took a 17-0 lead into halftime last week against the Eagles. Verdict: Jaguars
-Cowboys (0-1) at Titans (1-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Now we come to the Cowboys, who were manhandled last week when they faced the San Francisco 49ers, and at one point were down 28-3. The game included two fumbles from the Cowboys offense, one of which was taken all the way back by the 49ers defense for a touchdown. The Titans had a great showing out of quarterback Jake Locker, who threw for 266 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. I’m going with the safe bet of picking the Titans to win this one. Verdict: Titans
-Cardinals (1-0) at Giants (0-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Both of these teams played in the Monday Night Football doubleheader in week one and each of those games was a polar opposite of the other. The Cardinals rallied late, scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter. Carson Palmer looked phenomenal, and his night was highlighted by a 63 yard bomb to Michael Floyd, who also had an impact on the game (although he didn’t score a touchdown). The other game was rather one-sided and the Giants were done from the opening whistle. Eli Manning was intercepted twice and there wasn’t much room for Rashad Jennings to run. The Giants should struggle this week against a tough defense. Verdict: Cardinals
-Patriots (0-1) at Vikings (1-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Patriots were shocked last week, taking a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins. They’ll travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings, who had an excellent game last week by shutting down the Rams in St. Louis. My gut tells me that the Patriots will come back strong and win the game. Verdict: Patriots
-Saints (0-1) at Browns (0-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Saints lost a heartbreaker in Atlanta after fumbling the football in overtime. Drew Brees tried out his new toy in Brandin Cooks and liked what he saw. Cooks has one less catch than Jimmy Graham, hauling in seven receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. The Browns rallied against the Steelers from a 24-point deficit but ultimately lost on a field goal as time expired. The Browns may give the Saints a run for their money at the beginning of this game, but I think the Saints pull away in the second half. Verdict: Saints
-Falcons (1-0) at Bengals (1-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
On the other end of the Saints’ heartbreaking loss was the Atlanta Falcons. Didn’t Matty Ice look great? I mean, seriously! 448 yards. FOUR HUNDRED AND FOURTY EIGHT YARDS! A Falcons franchise record for him with that, and he even threw three touchdowns. I do like the Falcons’ addition of Devin Hester, who was targeted six times and caught five of those for 99 yards. The Bengals blew a 15 point lead but scored a touchdown with just over five minutes left against the Ravens. I don’t see it shaping up that way this week, because instead I see the Falcons going up early and not looking back. Verdict: Falcons
-Lions (1-0) at Panthers (1-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Lions looked fantastic last week, but after all, they were playing the Giants, who blew coverage after coverage. It seems that nobody could stop Calvin Johnson, who made the most ridiculous catches. The Panthers will get Cam Newton back but I don’t see much changing. The Lions are just too good right now. Verdict: Lions
-Rams (0-1) at Buccaneers (0-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
Another boring matchup on the week two slate sees the Sam Bradford-less, touchdown-less St. Louis Rams, squaring off with the team that had the worst ranked defense in the NFL last season. The Rams might have lost their backup as well, with Shaun Hill going down last week with a strained quad. Doug Martin did nothing last week, piling up a whopping nine yards on nine carries. I’m pulling for them this week though, and this could be the week that Doug Martin comes back to form. Verdict: Buccaneers
-Seahawks (1-0) at Chargers (0-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
This seems to be one of the more intriguing battles this week. The Chargers took a loss, but looked good against the Arizona Cardinals. The Seahawks also looked good in their game, taking down the Packers. I’m going to take the Seahawks here, but I’m sure that San Diego will compete throughout. Verdict: Seahawks
-Texans (1-0) at Raiders (0-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
The Texans defense is electric. They were great against the Redskins. The Raiders were not, and took a loss to the Jets. I see the Texans defense as too much of a threat to the Oakland offense. Verdict: Texans
-Jets (1-0) at Packers (0-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
This could be a really close game, but it could also turn ugly and end up as a blowout for Green Bay. The Packers look to bounce back against the Jets after being defeated by the Seahawks last Thursday. The Jets have assembled a bit of a new offense, with Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as duel threats in the backfield. Johnson caught five passes and one touchdown out of the backfield in addition to his 68 rushing yards. Eric Decker also played nicely, racking up 74 yards on five receptions. Ultimately, I see the Packers taking this one, but not by much. Verdict: Packers
-Chiefs (0-1) at Broncos (1-0), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
The Chiefs weren’t themselves on defense last week. They were picked apart by Jake Locker and allowed him to drive down the field, resulting in two touchdowns. This week they’ll face an even tougher task: Peyton Manning. The 38 year old took down his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, in a showdown with Andrew Luck. Peyton found Julius Thomas in the end zone three times and utilized the acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders. The Chiefs are no match for the top team in the AFC. Verdict: Broncos
-Bears (0-1) at 49ers (1-0), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST
The Niners dominated the Cowboys throughout. Rookie Carlos Hyde scored a touchdown and Vernon Davis caught two. The Bears lost that shocker to the Buffalo Bills last week and I’m not sure their defense can keep up with the Niners’ fast west coast offense in the inaugural game for Levi’s Stadium. Verdict: 49ers
-Eagles (1-0) at Colts (0-1), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST
Interesting matchup here as the Eagles face the Colts on Monday Night Football. Andrew Luck threw for 370 yards against the Broncos. Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy are a deadly combo for Philadelphia. Should be a great offensive duel but I’m taking the Colts at home. Verdict: Colts