Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator, may it be your opening day miracle. The NFL is back and we couldn’t be more excited here at Sharks Central. For those that don’t know me, Hi, I’m Tony, I own the place. I started this site back in 2002 after working on several other fantasy endeavours starting in 1995, so if my math is right, this is my 22nd season of contributing to the fantasy football discourse and somehow, I haven’t been run off the web yet.
I do hope that you enjoy your stay with us, we try hard to get it right and we try hard to make it good and hopefully that comes through. The people that contribute to the site that help us grow are truly a dedicated group of top-notch professionals that are gifted at creating prose and giving advice. It’s not easy becoming a Shark, if you think that Ninja Warrior stuff is tough, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve tried to pass our entrance exam. I feel like we’ve truly assembled the best-of-the-best for you from writers, to projections and everything else in between. So as we start our trek through the 2016-2017 NFL Season, I just wanted to welcome you back and thank you for taking the time to spend it with us. We’ll try very hard not to let you down.Have a good season and like we like to say around here, “Enjoy the Swim!”
How to read the table: The table shows how a team will do Passing and Rushing in the upcoming week of the NFL. Red is HOT, Yellow is WARM, White is NORMAL, Light Blue is COLD and Dark Blue is FREEZING COLD. Play players from teams that are Red and Yellow, avoid players from teams that are Light or Dark Blue and expect average days from teams that are White.
|Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos – Thursday 7:30pm|
Make no mistake, this will still be all about the defenses as we are opening the season with arguably the top two defenses in football playing on the same field in the same game. I’ll let you decide which order they should go in, it’s not that cut and dry, as a strong argument could be made for either unit as being number one. There won’t be a lot of offense in this as both teams struggle to get too much going on offense but Super Bowl or not, the Broncos have less pieces (particularly at QB) and the Panthers have more (particularly at WR) which is why this one is a pay back game for the Panthers as they make it look fairly easy on the road.
Favorite: Carolina Panthers by 3
Prediction: Carolina Panthers 33 – Denver Broncos 20
|Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets – Sunday 12:00pm|
The Jets just never get any respect. They open as underdogs at home against a Bengals team that will have trouble finding their footing. The Bengals would prefer to run the ball and the Jets are big up front, which will slow Jeremy Hill down in a hurry. A.J. Green will get his but when you take a step back you have to marvel a little at all the pass-catching ability the Jets actually bring to the field. Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Matt Forte and even Bilal Powell are fantastic pass-catching players and Ryan Fitzpatrick can manage a close game with his veteran presence. Look for Eric Decker to do very well here as the Jets apparently “surprise” at home in a game that will pit A.J. Green against an avalanche of Jets offensive players.
Favorite: Cincinnati Bengals by 2.5
Prediction: New York Jets 24 – Cincinnati Bengals 23
|Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans – Sunday 12:00pm|
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Adrian Peterson will rumble and will be the focal point of the Vikings offense. The Vikings have built a fairly impressive defense but they’re better built for their home games and the Titans will find ways to move the chains in Tennessee. The Titans have a lot of options and what makes them hard to game plan against is that it’s hard to choose which offensive players you want to try and focus on, as the Titans don’t really have any true superstars but rather, a cast of characters that on any given Sunday can fire up for big points and it is that diversity that would make the Titans dangerous. Add this to the list of home underdogs that won’t let their homebase down this weekend.
Favorite: Minnesota Vikings by 2
Prediction: Tennessee Titans 23 – Minnesota Vikings 21
|Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 12:00pm|
And here’s yet another home underdog in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sense a theme yet? I understand that Vegas has to make the Packers favored in this and fantasy-wise, I’d prefer the Packers on my fantasy team too as their running game will play well here in an Eddie Lacy/James Starks timeshare. But many are selling the Jaguars way short this season. Their passing game with Blake Bortles and an all star cast of stud receivers is going to be hard to contain for any team. Throw star tight end Julius Thomas into the mix and a few talented and hungry runners in their backfield with a gi-normous offensive line and NFL teams aren’t going to want to line up to play the Jags too often. While the Jaguars defense has improved, it is still their Achilles heel but expect the Packers to make some uncharacteristic mistakes as the Jaguars play well at home to open the season and surprise Green Bay in their opener.
Favorite: Green Bay Packers by 4.5
Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 31 – Green Bay Packers 23