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.
|Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals – Thursday 8:20pm|
Both teams will be OK up top but they’ll be very close in production. It is fine to play your usual suspects like A.J. Green and Michael Crabtree but there may not be a lot of action to go around. Where this game is won or lost is in the running games. This is NOT a Joe Mixon game. I am a fan, just not tonight, not against the Ravens tough front. The Bengals are going to be in catch up mode too which means more passing and more Giovanni Bernard. The stars of the game will be the Ravens defensive front, Alex Collins and Javorius “Buck” Allen.
Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 33 – Cincinnati Bengals 21
|Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills – Sunday 1:00pm|
Buffalo is at home and even the Buffalo faithful know they are in for a very long season. It’s easiest to mention the Chargers first as they’ll be efficient and dynamic in all phases of their game. Play what you own and enjoy the rewards.
The Bills however are a harder read this week. Rookie Josh Allen gets the start and truth be told, he’s the best option, so I don’t expect him to let go of the reigns now that he’s been handed them. The trick for him will be to learn when to throw the ball away so he doesn’t get blown up and sent to the IR by mid-season. I may be the last writer left standing that is still beating the LeSean McCoy drum but here I am. If the Bills were smart, they’d run and pass to McCoy a whole lot, no matter what the game situation says. If they’re not so smart, like last week, they’ll actually try and win the game by passing the ball a zillion times to players that aren’t as good.
I get the new head coach stutter steps as all the new head coaches lost last week, and I get the desire to want to play the strategy side of football the way it is supposed to be played but in reality, what’s best for the Buffalo Bills is to stop all that nonsense, focus on just THEIR game plan and not to get caught up in trying to react. Just focus on the game plan no matter the consequences and if you execute that well, count that as a win, no matter what the score dictates. This is a year of growing and coming together, not a year of trying to win the Super Bowl at the expense of every player with promise on the roster. They will learn nothing about their team if they continue to put their starters in positions to fail. Now you know. Run LeSean McCoy and chuck the ball down-field just enough to keep the defense honest and STOP REACTING to the score. That will give Buffalo their best chance at not only winning the game but it will also start to help bring the team together. This isn’t solved on a Sunday, this is solved over many weeks of grinding away in the trenches together. The primary challenge for Buffalo is to keep as much of their starting unit together as possible.
Favorite: Los Angeles Chargers by 7.5
Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers 24 – Buffalo Bills 17
|Miami Dolphins at New York Jets – Sunday 1:00pm|
Points will be scored as both teams march up and down the field. Miami will have the big plays up top but the Jets will keep coming, methodically, like a great big churning wheel. It’s Miami in the air that rules the game in fantasy but the little engine that could just keeps on coming.
Favorite: Miami Dolphins by 1
Prediction: New York Jets 30 – Miami Dolphins 27
|Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans – Sunday 1:00pm|
I could be wrong but something didn’t feel right about Houston last week. I know they were playing New England in Foxboro, which is never an easy place to play, but something just.. doesn’t feel right. Their timing was off, Deshaun Watson was tentative, defensively they even looked to have lost a step. It’s truly a tough place to be if it was the absence of Will Fuller that made all the difference. It’s Houston that are favored in this matchup versus Tennessee who are at home; I’m starting to believe that they have been undervalued offensively and defensively. The loss of star tight end Delanie Walker is going to sting, not only is he a loss of talent but it is the loss of a veteran leader that hurts. Marcus Mariota is expected to play and Dion Lewis will make a difference, as he’ll not only continue to be the better runner but will absorb some of the targets that Delanie Walker would have received.
Favorite: Houston Texans by 2.5
Prediction: Tennessee Titans 24 – Houston Texans 17
|Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday 1:00pm|
Make no mistake, this one is not about the ground games, this one is all about both offenses trying to take advantage of the others secondary. Both offenses are going to come into this thinking they have a gross mismatch in their favor when passing the ball and pass they will. Play what you own in both passing games and play James Conner as he would like to continue to audition well. I know some are down on Kareem Hunt but this is how he goes. He disappears in some games and then explodes in others. He will see a lot of work in the passing game and it will take just one missed tackle to spring him loose.
Favorite: Pittsburgh Steelers by 5
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers 30 – Kansas City Chiefs 20
|Indianapolis Colts at Washington Redskins – Sunday 1:00pm|
The Indianapolis defense is going to be one to target in fantasy this year as one to play your starters against. Enjoy your Washington Redskins this week. There will be a mini-surprise from the Indianapolis ground game if Marlon Mack plays. When he does, he’s going to play well. He’s an electrifying player.
Favorite: Washington Redskins by 5.5
Prediction: Washington Redskins 27 – Indianapolis Colts 13