Weekly Pickem for week 2

So I missed posting my first week of pickem. Yea, I know, not a great way to start the season. I did make my picks in my actual fantasy league pickem and went 10-6 last week and got the Thursday night game right for this week. I’m sitting at 11-6 and I’m going to make sure I submit my picks weekly this time. Just keep in mind that the scores or just for bragging rights, who I pick to win the game is where the points come from. That being said we have a strong slate of games this week so let’s get right down to it.

BENGALS @ BEARS

Yahoo has 57% picking Bengals and I gotta follow the crowd on this one. Burrow looked very precise, poised, and methodical against the Vikings last week. The deep ball to Chase was perfect, he was playing smart, and he has some weapons to utilize. This team is better than expected on offense and Chicago doesn’t have the offensive firepower to expose the mediocre Bengals defense. The only way for Chicago to have a shot here is too, say it with me now, PUT FIELDS IN. I think Fields is talented and he’s ready. This team wants him to play and they really have a decent chemistry already with the rookie. Nagy is stubborn and Dalton plays again and his 5 yard chip passes keep them from winning another game.

CIN 30 CHI 17

TEXANS @ BROWNS

This pick isn’t as easy and safe as many people think. Am I saying Cleveland gets upset? Dear lord no, they have one of if not thee most loaded roster in the league. Am I saying the Texans will put up a decent fight, yes. Tyrod Taylor had this offense looking decent against the Jaguars. Houston also gave Lawrence and company fits on the other side of the ball. Cleveland is a whole different animal though and Baker and this offense are a well oiled machine. I think Baker finds a strong rhythm and the defense keeps Houston from controlling the game like they did last week against the Titans. I’m giving this game to the Brownies.

CLE 27 HOU 21

RAMS @ COLTS

I’m fairly comfortable with this pick. Wentz and the Colts didn’t play bad on offense at all last week. They put up solid numbers and really only struggled to convert key 4th downs and in the redzone. The defense simply ran into the phenom that is Russell Wilson. Wilson can’t really be stopped by anyone and he really whooped on the Colts defense. They won’t get much of a break here either. Stafford may not be as dynamic as Wilson, but he’s got a great arm and has solid touch. He really has a special offense and a pretty stout defense on the other side of the ball. This won’t be a huge blowout, but the Rams will win this relatively comfortably.

LAR 34 IND 20

BILLS @ DOLPHINS

Last week, the Bills got upset by the Steelers. The Steelers defense was next level good in containing Diggs and virtually shutting down Allen. The Bills were under constant pressure and could do next to nothing to score aside from that second quarter TD. Buffalo looked really rough on offense and their defense was the only reason it was close. I think they fix that this week and Miami poses less of a defensive threat. Tua is a solid player but he’s young and is still finding himself as a player. The Buffalo defense is going to give him trouble and Allen and company are going to find a little more success against this Dolphins defense. Give me Allen and the Bills this week.

BUF 24 MIA 16

PATS @ JETS

The Mac Jones era has begin and he looks promising. He was accurate and showed strong leadership and pocket presence. He was moving the ball and making some plays. He was still finding his footing and they really only lost because the team couldn’t hold onto the ball as his RBs fumbled 3 times and lost 2 of them. Granted he fumbled as well, but without those two turnovers, they very likely win the game last week. The Jets had a different story. Wilson looked rough and was literally running for his life on almost every play. They couldn’t get the run going at all and they put all the pressure on Wilson’s shoulders. Once they adjusted, he found his footing and started making plays, but it wasn’t enough. Jones is solid and New England has a decent defense. I think New York’s offensive line is just too abysmal to overcome and Jones finds his first win as a pro.

NE 23 NYJ 13

49ERS @ EAGLES

This is one of the good games to watch. Two teams who could go either way in terms of success. You have people that think these two teams could be a flop and finish at the bottom of the division and people who think they’re strong and can really compete in the division. Both teams looked strong in their first games, but to be fair both teams played against mediocre at best defenses. Still though, Hurts looks like a solid dual threat QB and made something out of his lack of weapons. He used the trio of Smith, Goedart, and Ertz to find success and used some smaller role players to fill the gaps. The 49ers opened up a can of whoopin on the Lions before they stopped trying and let the Lions offense race back into it. Both teams showed us their best last week. I give the 49ers the slight edge this week.

SF 20 PHI 17

RAIDERS @ STEELERS

This is my other 1:00 game to watch. Both teams just knocked off 2 of the leagues top teams and surprised everyone. For Pittsburgh it was an elite defense that stymied Allen and company, that very few teams have managed to do. This defense, led by Watt and Fitzpatrick, is top of the league and they just continue to dominate in the trenches and make game changing plays. However, we’re seeing some weakness from the offense without a solid offensive line and a Raiders defense that had Lamar Jackson running for his life, Pittsburgh could be in trouble on offense. Oakland forced pressure and a few costly turnovers on a Ravens offense still finding it’s identity without half it’s offense. Oakland also had success making chunk plays on command as they managed to keep the pocket clean for Carr. Pittsburgh front 7 has a bit more strength and depth than Baltimore, but I think Oakland has just enough on both sides of the ball to grab the win this week.

LV 26 PIT 24

SAINTS @ PANTHERS

In our second divisional matchup this week, we have a good game from some surprise teams. I think people had some trust in Winston finding success with New Orleans after his lasik surgery, but nobody expected him to make Rodgers and the Packers look foolish. He was slinging it all over and built some strong chemistry, especially with his speedsters. The Saints looked good and they finally found the long ball they’ve missed with Brees the past couple years. Carolina on the other hand brought in the ghost seeing QB in Darnold and hoped to turn him around a bit to get a fresh start with a new team. He went against his former team and looked comfortable and efficient, like the old Darnold was just gone. The whole offense was strong and moved the ball well. I think the Saints end up taking this game but it’ll be a shoot out.

NO 38 CAR 30

BRONCOS @ JAGUARS

Let’s give Trevor Lawrence some credit, he took the helm of a bad team with an interesting head coach and gave it his all. He had his struggles like any rookie QB is expected to, but he had some solid moments and plays. You can see there’s something solid for the Jags to build on with this young man. They still have a lot of work to do to build a strong team again, but selecting him was a good first step. The Broncos made a good step this offseason too however by grabbing Bridegwater. The Broncos really established a strong running game last week. Their defense held their ground and the team did pretty well converting on 3rd and 4th down. Facing off against a rebuilding Jags team, I like Bridgewater and the Broncos to tally on another W this week by a couple scores.

DEN 27 JAX 13

VIKINGS @ CARDINALS

Last week Murray and the Cardinals went into Nashville and lit up a strong Titans team on both sides of the ball. Murray threw for 290 and 4 TDs and rushed for one as well. They have plenty of offensive weapons and Hopkins proved he’s still a top 5 WR if not top 2. The defense was even scarier. Chandler got to the QB 5 times last week…you read that right, Jones alone had 5 SACKS. They ate Henry on the ground, eliminated the play action and crushed Tannehill in the pocket. Their opponent this week runs a fairly similar offense. Minnesota also uses a top 5 RB to establish a play action pass. The main difference is that Minnesota has a more efficient QB with better touch. Cousins is sneaky effective in passing and even in the loss last week to the Bengals, Cousins put up 350 yards and completed 74% of his passes. If they can get Cook going a little more, they stand a pretty solid chance. However, I think Arizona’s defense will dial up the pressure again and Murray will have another solid game.

ARI 24 MIN 18

FALCONS @ BUCCANEERS

This is the big blowout of the week. TB12 and the Bucs have the most complete offense out there. They work the whoe field, they move the ball, and they score at will. They also tend to defend well against anyone that isn’t Dak Prescott. Tom Brady is the GOAT for a reason and proved that much against the Cowboys as they marched down field and did pretty much whatever they wanted. Atlanta had an average and young Philly team roll in and absolutely work them over. Matt Ryan couldn’t get anything going and the run game was stale. Philly did just as much damage on the other side as Atlanta had no answers for Hurts and the offense and I can’t imagine they’ll fair any better against a top Bucs offense helmed by the best of all time. This will be a laugher.

TB 41 ATL 13

COWBOYS @ CHARGERS

This game is gonna be a slugfest. You have two teams that are really solid on offense with average defenses. I think LA stands more of a chance than people wanna admit. LA out worked a strong Washington defense and stymied a potent Football Team passing attack. Granted they were adjusting to losing Fitzmagic and bringing in Heinick, but we saw just how solid and poise he can be on Thursday. Herbert is proving to be a solid and efficient QB and I think they will put up a solid fight. However, this Cowboys offense is stacked with weapons and Dak is capable of slinging the ball all over the place. I think the key to this game for the Cowboys will be getting Zeke more involved as he was flat out just not used by the Cowboys. I think they’ll use him more this week and grind out a competitive win over the Chargers.

DAL 27 LAC 20

TITANS @ SEAHAWKS

If you watched Tennessee and Arizona last week, you saw a monster upset beat down by the Cardinals. They took Henry away from the offense and just overwhelmed and abused Tannehill. The defense played just as poor, letting Murray do whatever he wanted. They looked so out of character and lost. The competition doesn’t get any easier this week as they head to the legendary 12th man to battle Russ and the Seahawks. Russ whooped on the Colts defense just the same way Murray did to Tennessee. The Seahawks arguably have a better defense too so I won’t be surprised if this thing turns out the same way. I love Henry and Brown and it’s fun to watch this scrappy Titans team, but I think they’re roundly mismatched against Seattle this week.

SEA 37 TEN 23

CHIEFS @ RAVENS

This is the matchup we all need and can’t wait to see for week 2. Mahommes vs Lamar, Reid vs Harbaugh, it should be fun and exciting to watch. Last week we saw the Chiefs come out slow against the Browns. The Browns showed up ready to fight and actually went into half beating KC 22-10. Mahommes and the Chiefs came out after half though and made it rain on the Browns. He was exceptional in the second half and really displayed why he’s the best in the league. On the other side, Lamar had a very solid game prior to the fumbles, even though he spent half the game running for his life. Lamar faced pressure on 56% of his dropbacks but still managed to have the Ravens on top for most of the night. Eventually the pressure caught up to him and he had a few costly turnovers. This team has had horrible luck with 15 injuries already this season. I think a healthy Ravens team beats the Chiefs, since the Ravens are 15-2 in primetime home games. I’m going to have to give the Chiefs the edge though here with an injury riddled Ravens team, but it will be close.

KC 34 BAL 31

LIONS @ PACKERS

If you all watched or at least followed the Packers game last week, you’ll see that Rodgers and the Pack just flat out forgot to show up. They were absolutely brutalized and embarrassed by the Saints and Jameis Winston. Rodgers is not about to let the Lions do the same thing. Rodgers has a solid amount of weapons and is also a top 10 QB all time. He’s going to shake the cobwebs out, have a talk with Adams and they’re going to find their swagger again. The Lions were getting totally demolished by the 49ers last week, at one point down 38-10, and managed to fight back into it after the 49ers let off the throttle. The Lions defense looks very rough and, now having lost Okudah, they will be easy pickens for Rodgers and company. I think Rodgers reminds everyone who he is and just why people thought they would be competing for a title this season.

GB 31 DET 20

There you have it, my week 2 pickems and summarized breakdowns are written and recorded, hopefully my good luck for pickem keeps rolling. We have a pretty solid slate of games to look forward to and plenty of enticing matchups. Good luck to everyone’s teams, leave plenty of likes and comments, and see you all next week. And as always, thanks for reading!

Fantasy Hot Takes/Bold Predictions for 2021

Ok everyone, it’s here, a fresh season of football is upon us. With Covid and a whole lot of other craziness over the past year and a half, the long awaited return of a normal(as normal as NFL football can be) football season is here. For some of us, football season is something we eagerly wait for many months for. Football Sunday, Thursday Night Football, Monday Night football, they’re like Christmas for us. Part of this beautiful season is fantasy, bets, and personal competition and comments of all kinds. Well who am I to not take part in this tradition. As you all know, I do a pickem every season and I’m heavily involved in fantasy as well. This season I wanted to start out with a bang and do my own personal hot takes and predictions for the season. I’m even gonna risk embarrassment by breaking one of my personal rules and predicting the 4 teams to make it to the Championship games this season. So, lets get right down to it.

FANTASY PREDICTIONS

Lamar Finishes as the top fantasy QB and passes for 4,000 yards

I know this seems like a homer pick, but the pieces are there and the proof is in the pudding. Lamar completes a very fair amount of deep passes and is very good over the middle. Lamar is 2nd since starting back in 2018 in effectiveness in pure passing situations. He also is in the bottom half of the league in passes off target. He’s a better passer than he’s given credit for and spent all offseason working on passing, specifically outside the hash marks and down field. The Ravens also beefed up the offensive line this offseason and brought in a handful of new weapons. Plus Lamar also happens to be one of the most electrifying and gifted running quarterbacks in NFL history. Lamar has finished top 6 in his 2 full seasons as a starter and he gets better every year and has newer and better weapons this season. Look for him to prove the doubters wrong again.

Baker finishes top 7 in fantasy QBs

This Cleveland Browns team has the highest ceiling out of any team in the league. They had a great season last year as they beat the Steelers in the playoffs and gave the Chiefs all they could handle. What more they do to improve you ask? Oh I don’t know maybe just build the best offensive line, with 4 of their 5 starters ranking 1 or 2 in their positions. They also have the strongest RB duo in the league. They have very strong receiving weapons and they added a plethora of defensive talent this offseason. This team looks very strong and if they can mesh well and Baker takes another step forward, this train may have enough steam to go farther than they’ve ever gone before. I like Baker to be a top fantasy QB and maybe even be an MVP candidate this season.

Nick Chubb finishes as the leagues top rusher

Speaking of the Browns, lets address the oh-so-talented Nick Chubb out of the backfield. He finished 7th in rushing last season and that was after rushing only 190 times. He average 5.6 yards per carry, had he rushed closer to 250 like most of the other top rushers, he’d have been up towards the top. He’s a very special and talented runner and the O-line starters have returned and I look for him to get plenty of opportunities to prove me right. Kareem Hunt will take some carries away, but Chubb is too good to keep out of the game. He’s going to go off and have a huge season.

Zeke Elliott finishes out of the top 10

This one is going to catch some flak from football minds. Everyone loves Zeke, hell, I love Zeke. He’s a very gifted and consistent runner and athlete. Last year was his lowest season rushing however, failing to break 1,000 yards. With Dak back, I surprisingly think that keeps things from changing much along with more growth from Tony Pollard. Dak is back and will be aggressive and strong. Dak was on fire before his season ending injury and will prove to be the same talent again this season. They have a lot of mouths to feed on that offense, but not everyone gets to eat as much as they’d like. Zeke will do better than last season, but he won’t have the resurgence that people have been anticipating with Dak’s return.

Jalen Hurts won’t make top 15 in fantasy

Plenty of people are on the Hurts hype train in fantasy. I mean why not? He’s proven to be a gifted athlete and a dependable winner. He’s a solid dual threat option, how can a running QB not break top 15? It’s simple, he’s young and has very little weapons. Sure he has a solid line, but he’s young still. It takes guys time to become good or even solid QBs. Hurts just looked too shaky with what we saw from him last season. Factor in the fact that he has no dependable weapons outside of his TEs and RB, and his inexperience and it’s a bad recipe for the season. This team isn’t strong on paper and he’s just not in a good place to have success this season. Look for him to struggle to find his footing this season.

Jameis Winston will finish in the top 10

Let’s not pretend that Winston didn’t just finish the 2019 season with 5,000 passing yards and 33 TDs. Sure he threw 30 INTs, but lasik eye surgery could be the difference between season of stats that are all over the map and a consistently efficient season. I know that seems like a joke, but don’t give up on old Jameis yet. The sample size we saw in the preseason was small and it’s preseason so it has to be taken lightly, but he showed a different Jameis then we’re used to. We saw a QB with poise, readability, precision, and smart decision making. He looked like an old broken down toy given a repair and a new sense of fight and motivation, setting the stage perfectly for a comeback we won’t forget.

Julio Jones has the best season of ANY Titans weapon

See when i say ANY offensive weapon, I mean any. He will have a better season than Brown, Firkser, Henry, any Titan player for Tannehil to get the ball to, he’ll overshadow them. Julio Jones was unanimously considered the best WR in the league hands down just a couple of years ago. Granted this offense isn’t as gunslinging as Atlanta’s, and he’s definitely not the same young buck he was, but he’s still more than capable of posting solid numbers. He did just have 1,200 yards and 10 TDs 2 years ago. He has a system where the defense can’t put all focus on him and a QB who has perfected using the run to open up play action to make space for his receivers. Look for Jones to remind us of why he was once considered the best in the league.

Bold Predictions For The Season

AFC champions will be from the AFC North

As much as I love what the Chiefs and Bills have put together, it’s so easy to get lost in their success and power, that we forget to remember the next tier or even the surprises to come. KC and Buffalo are top dawgs in the conference and rightfully so. They prove the past few seasons they’re here and it’s going to take some strength and discipline to take them down. Enter in Baltimore and Cleveland. Baltimore is one season off from going 14-2 with the MVP under center. The team they’ve assembled this season has the few pieces that 14-2 team was missing. Maturity, more weapons for Lamar, and a more diverse pass rush. They added some bodies to the defense that are capable of getting in the backfield in a hurry, and they’ve added a couple of weapons that fit the scheme very nicely. Harbaugh may have something special that’s capable of stringing together a few playoff wins. Let’s not forget though that last year’s Browns made the playoffs and knocked off the favored Steelers. That Browns team looked strong and hungry, but they just fell short at the hands of the Chiefs. They ended up adding even more pieces on both sides of the ball and have even more chemistry amongst them this season. This team looks incredibly stacked and tough, maybe tough enough to dethrone the kings of the AFC.

NFC Champions will be one of the old rival QBs

Just last season, Stafford and Rodgers faced off twice a year as divisional rivals. Rodgers had the fortune of representing the stout and strong Packers, while Stafford had the misfortune of representing the comical and sluggish Lions. This season, the script has flipped for Stafford as he finds himself on an already established and strong Rams team lead by a hell of a coach in Sean McVay. They will finally have strong and proven quarterback play this year. They will have to outduel a Green Bay team that looks to maximize what could be the final season of Rodgers and Adams together in Green and Gold. Rodgers wants to go out of Green Bay on top though in one last prove it all effort. The only problem is, they have to usurp the GOAT with 7 rings to make it there. I believe either Rodgers or Stafford will be the one to finally take Brady down and make it to the Super Bowl.

Lamar will win his second MVP

You can call this a homer pick all you want, but I’ve seen the offseason development, the added weapons and the joint practices. Lamar has made some solid improvements in his passing. This notion that the NFL has “figured him out” is silly. There’s nothing to figure out when the guy who throws the ball, also happens to be the fastest and most skilled player on the field. They’ve given him some new weapons, added to the offensive line, and his passing, poise, and vision seem to have strongly improved. You will no longer see a QB who will struggle when forced to throw outside or downfield as you all claim. We will see a QB who can just do whatever it is that he damn well pleases on the field. He’s not going to be perfect, but he will make a sizeable jump in his passing ability to accompany his ever skilled and dangerous feet. I think he sets the league on fire to the tune of 4K passing and 1K rushing. Call me a homer all you want, that’s just how I see it.

Brady and the Bucs get knocked out of the playoffs early

We all know Brady is the goat. It’s an accepted ideal at this point, we can all be adults about it. Last year Brady and company burned the league left and right on their way to that sweet Lombardi trophy and his 7th ring. They brought back much or even all of the same starters. So how could I possibly justify a hot take like this? Well I’ll tell you how, the rest of the league is maturing and getting stronger. The next generation is here and it’s adding wisdom and strength every season. Mahommes, Lamar, Allen, Baker, Herbert, etc., they’re the future of the league and the QB position as a whole. At some point, Brady’s reign will end and the baton will be passed completely. Nobody is saying that that is happening now, but this may be

There you have it, some bold fantasy projections and some hot takes for the season mixed in. I know I speak for us all when I say this time of year is like being a kid walking into the world’s largest candy store. The familiar pre-game jingles, the pre game analysis, the fanfare, the predictions, the tailgates, it all adds up to a truly magical time of year and it’s now just around the corner. With that, I thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and just supporting in whatever ways you do. Good luck in your fantasy leagues, good luck to your NFL teams, and let’s all enjoy yet another glorious NFL season.