Buffalo Bills (+5.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
I’m running with the Bills this year and I like their front seven against a depleted Jaguar offensive line. Buffalo’s defensive line tallied four sacks last week including two from former Jag Marcus Stroud. Neither of these quarterbacks (David Garrard or Trent Edwards) will beat you with their passing game, but the Bills have more weapons at WR than the Jags who have zero. I wonder if Matt Jones is betting this line or snorting it? Fantasy stud: Marshawn Lynch. Fantasy sleeper: Matt Jones (seriously, someone needs to catch the ball). Fantasy dud: Fred Taylor.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) over Atlanta Falcons
I just erased everything I wrote and changed my pick. All Tampa has to do is stop the run against the Falcons. That’s it. Matt Ryan won’t be able to keep this game close on the road. The Week-One-opening-blow-out-win-at-home high is over. Reality begins for the Falcons at Tampa this weekend. Brian Griese will get the start over injured quarterback Jeff Garcia and I don’t see this being an issue. I’ll take a Gruden game-plan against a rookie QB all day, any day. Fantasy Stud: Ernest Graham. Fantasy sleeper: Warrick Dunn (playing against his former team). Fantasy Dud: Matt Ryan.
Seattle Seahawks (-7) over San Francisco 49ers
This NFC West stinks. I’m not intrigued with this game one bit. I think you have to take a Mike Holmgren-coached Seattle Seahawks team at home against a horrible team to cover seven after they just got blown out. That’s just a rule I have. I really don’t have anything to say about this game, so let me just get right to my fantasy picks. Fantasy stud: Frank Gore (he is the entire SF offense). Fantasy sleeper: John Carlson (Seattle TE). Fantasy duds: Every single 49ers wide receiver.
Arizona Cardinals (-6.5) over Miami Dolphins
How awesome is this game? I’ll make sure to tell the bartender to put this game on the main TV. The only way the Cardinals lose this game is if Matt Leinart somehow has to play. Will Allen and Andre Goodman will obviously have their hands full with Boldin and Fitzgerald, but Rod Hood and Eric Green will not have their hands full with Ted Ginn Jr. and who? Miami TE Anthony Fasano caught eight balls (one for a TD) last week, so look for him to be the main target again for Pennington. That last sentence tells you to take the Cardinals to cover. Fantasy stud: Kurt Warner. Fantasy sleeper: Anthony Fasano. Fantasy dud: Ricky Williams.
New York Jets (-2) over New England Patriots
Randy Moss told us this week that the New England Patriots are still the team to beat this year. He is correct. They will get beat every week. You gotta believe that Eric Mangini wants to spank Bill Belicheat over his knee this weekend. These two coaches hate each other. This New England defense is very old, so is Brett Favre, but I’ll still take the Jets to beat the Brady-less Patriots by more than a FG. The only way the Jets lose this game is if they come out too hyped and overconfident. They can’t let New England hang around. Look for the Jets to open up an early lead, forcing Matt Cassel to play catch up. Fantasy stud: Jericho Cotchery. Fantasy sleeper: Sammy Morris. Fantasy dud: Wes Welker.
Houston Texans (-4.5) over Baltimore Ravens
(this game has been moved to Monday Night due to Ike…Hurricane Ike, not Ike Reese)
Another thrilling matchup. These 4:15 games are giving me goose bumps. Joe Flacco wasn’t that impressive in their win over the Bengals last week. He didn’t make any mistakes and that’s why they won. The Ravens gained 229 yards on the ground with two scores; however, those two scores came from an amazing 38-yard run by Joe Flacco that took five minutes and a 42-yard run by receiver Mark Clayton. I don’t see those happening again. And rookie Ray Rice didn’t have a great game either. Despite their win last week, I feel the Ravens are a really bad team and Houston will be able to beat them at home. At least they should. Fantasy stud: Andre Johnson. Fantasy sleeper: Steve Slaton. Fantasy duds: The entire Ravens offense.
Denver Broncos (+1.5) over San Diego Chargers
Here is the best game of the day. A rivalry was born last year with the whole Jay Cutler-Philip Rivers talking smack episode. I love both of these young quarterbacks and I see many memorable battles between these two teams for years to come. Both have very explosive offenses and very tough defenses. Cutler looked great on Monday Night and he gets back his favorite target in Brandon Marshall this week. With the addition of rookie sensation Eddie Royal, Cutler has the weapons he needs to show the NFL how great of a quarterback he really is. This is a revenge came for Denver, but they are coming off a Monday Night win. I still think they prevail. Fantasy stud: Brandon Marshall. Fantasy sleeper: Andre Hall. Fantasy dud: Chris Chambers.
Cleveland Browns (+6.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
There’s something not right about this game. Pittsburgh looked outstanding against Houston. They established their ground attack with Willie Parker and Big Ben managed the game almost perfectly. Cleveland looked horrible in getting spanked by Dallas and they showed us nothing. It seems too easy to take Pittsburgh. Cleveland can’t go 0-2 to start the season. This is a very important divisional game and Cleveland is getting way too many points for this game to be at home. I personally think Pittsburgh will win, but there’s something not right about this game. I’ll take Cleveland and the points. Fantasy Stud: Braylon Edwards Fantasy sleeper: There really isn’t any. Fantasy dud: Jamal Lewis.