Hey, the real refs are coming back! Great news. Now it’s time for the real Fantasource to come back.
Ouch, another rough week for the picks. 6-8 last week is unacceptable (I’m not counting that Packers “loss”). Underdogs rolled big in Week 3 covering 12 of 16 games against the spread (winning 10 games straight up). But this week? This week I’m going back to the favorites. When I looked over the card there aren’t too many dogs that look appetizing. Buffalo? Tennessee? Oakland? Nothing sticks out. I like the Vikings, Rams and Redskins to cover but other than that it’s chalk city. Oh, and the bye weeks start this week: Steelers and Colts have the week off, adjust your fantasy lineups accordingly.
Stay in the loop. I usually tweet out some picks on Sunday morning, so follow me on Twitter (@Fantasource) to get the latest.
Let’s get back on track with some winners this week…
Last Week: 6-9
Season Record: 12-17-1
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+4, O/U 51 1/2)
Pats are coming into this one after 2 tough losses at the buzzer. Two weeks ago they missed a 42 yard field goal and lost by two points in a huge upset to the Cardinals, and then last Sunday night they got beat by one point on a 27 yard Ravens field goal as time expired. Is Tom Brady going to lose 3 in a row? No way.
But this line is only 4? Kinda makes me pause for a second. But I’m still going with the Patriots. Buffalo lost RB CJ Spiller, so this week they turn to (previous #1 RB) Fred Jackson, who is hoping to come back after missing 2 games with a knee injury. The Bills are coming in at 2-1, but the wins are against Cleveland and Kansas City, not exactly power teams.
I’m laying the points and say the Patriots get revenge for last years 34-31 loss in Buffalo.
Pick: Patriots -4
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-7, O/U 45.5)
Lions QB Matt Stafford is injured, and is questionable for the game on Sunday. So, I had a hard time finding a line on this game when I wrote this column. But I found a site (covers.com) showing a line of Lions -7 (Las Vegas Hilton also posted Lions -7) so I’ll use that.
Even with Stafford playing I like the Vikings. I’ll take the seven points, I think Minnesota is a better team. Christian Ponder, Percy Harvin and Adrian Petersen should be able to move the ball all game on the Lions defense. Like Public Enemy says, “don’t believe the hype” about the Lions D. They gave up 44 points to Tennessee? And they want me to lay 7 points? No thanks.
I think the Vikings could win this outright, and I’ll take the 7 points and say thank you.
Pick: Vikings +7
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-7, O/U 48 1/2)
This is a matchup of the hot (Falcons 3-0 straight up and ATS), and the not (Carolina 1-2, got blown out 36-7 last week at home against the Giants).
Let’s cut to the chase, the Giants put up 405 yards of offense last week against the Carolina defense. What will Matty Ice, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and the Falcons offense do to them?
I like the Falcons at -7 or lower, laying more than that and you are opening yourself up for a potential backdoor cover. I think the Falcons will put up 30+ points and continue to roll with a big win at home.
Pick: Falcons -7
San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets (+4, O/U 40 1/2)
West coast team going east to play the 1pm EST Sunday game. Not a good spot to be in for San Francisco, but the counter is to take a Jets team that is struggling to score points, and just lost their best defensive back, Darrelle Revis. His replacement? Running back Joe McKnight. And McKnight is not happy about it, “It’s been a while since I played cornerback, maybe if I’d played cornerback in college four years. Me playing cornerback in high school does not help right now.” McKnight sure seems confident. Something tells me he will be seeing alot of passes coming his way.
49ers are coming off an ugly road loss at Minnesota, and I think they will come in focused for this one. I think this comes down to the 49ers offense being able to move the ball against the depleted Jets defense. And last week against a below average Miami defense Jets QB Mark Sanchez had a QB rating of 58. Do you think he will do any better against the 49ers?
Pick: 49ers -4
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (PK, O/U 45)
We’re going down to Kansas City for the “fishy line of the week”. Chargers in a pick ‘em?
If Kansas City is going to win this game it’s going to be through the air. The Chiefs have rolled up some staggering rushing number this year, 233 yards last week for Jamaal Charles, and they are leading the league by averaging 191 rushing yards PER GAME. Wow. But the Chargers are shutting down the run so far, only surrendering 67 yards per game this season.
KC beat the Saints last week, but that’s not a big deal anymore, and a more important stat was the Chiefs not getting a touchdown in four trips into the the Red Zone in Week 3. Gotta get into the endzone if you’re gonna beat the Chargers, KC.
I’m taking the Chargers to win this divisional battle on the road.
Pick: Chargers PK
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-12, O/U 45)
Laying 12 points may not be enough in this one. The Texans are on a mission.
Houston comes in at 3-0 (straight up, and against the spread) with the #2 defense in the league (2nd in total yards, 2nd in points per game) and an offense that it putting up 30 points per game.
Tennessee is struggling, they’ve been outgained by an average of 152 yards per game, they’re giving up 317 passing yards per game. That’s not good.
Even getting 12 points I can’t take Tennessee, I don’t see how they hang in this game. The Texans are at home and should win this by 20.
Pick: Texans -12
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (+2 1/2;, O/U 38 1/2)
Seattle is coming in off of that huuuuuuuge Monday Night “win” over Green Bay. They left it all on the field, and that has to be taken into account for this game. We all saw how good that Seattle defense is when they shut down the Packers high powered offense. St. Louis doesn’t have anything close to that in terms of offensive potential, but they do have a pretty good defense.
I think this will be a low scoring game, and I’ll take the home team getting points to win against a Seattle team that has to be feeling the effects of that Monday Night thriller.
Pick: Rams +2 1/2;
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals (-6, O/U 39)
Fact: The Cardinals defense is for real. And that will be the difference in this game.
Miami may be without Reggie Bush (bad news) who left Week 3 with a knee injury but they will still have Ryan Tannehill (even worse news). Tannehill is in for a long day. His 58.3 QB rating is the lowest in the league for starting QBs.
I’m taking the Cardinals in this one strictly because of their defense, which has only surrendered 30 points all season. I know I’m asking alot of Kevin Kolb, but he has played pretty well since taking over the starting job late in Week 1.
Kevin, don’t disappoint me.
Pick: Cardinals -6
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos(-6 1/2;, O/U 47 1/2)
Oakland confuses me. I’m still not sure what to make of the Raiders. They had an ugly loss in Week 1 at home vs. San Diego. Even uglier loss on the road at Miami in Week 2, then they come back in Week 3 and get a huge win at home over Pittsburgh? Now they head to Denver.
Peyton Manning has been ok this season, but not great. Oakland has a pretty bad pass defense and I think that will be the deciding factor. Peyton and the Broncos should bounce back at home with a win, and a cover, over the Raiders.
I wouldn’t lay more than a touchdown, but at -6 1/2; I like Denver.
Pick: Broncos -6 1/2
Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2, O/U 42 1/2)
This line seems off. I know both teams have terrible defenses (both are giving up over 400 yards per game) but the Bengals offense is potent, 390 yards per game, almost 30 points per game and they are going up against one of the league’s worst defenses?
I hear you yelling, “but Fantasource the Bengals defense stinks, too!” Yes, that is correct. But the Jags offense isn’t that great. Maurice Jones-Drew is good, but other than that, they don’t have much. Blaine Gabbert? No thanks.
I’ll take my chances with Cincinnati’s better offense and hope that they can outscore the Jags on the road by a field goal or more.
Pick: Bengals -2
New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers(-7 1/2, O/U 54)
The Saints are toast. This season is a wash for them. 0-3 and looking horrible on defense. Now they travel to Green Bay and have to stop Aaron Rogers?
Green Bay is coming off that controversial (understatement of the year) loss at Seattle and I think they will rebound big here against the Saints.
At some point the Saints will just pack it in and wait for Sean Payton to get back next year because they just aren’t getting it done with their replacement coaches in 2012.
The Packers will air it out against one of the worst pass defenses in the league, and the Saints may try to counter with alot of Brees but Green Bay has a pretty good pass defense, and they are leading the league by giving up only 125 yards passing per game.
I’ll lay the touchdown and a half with Green Bay at home.
Pick: Packers -7 1/2
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2 1/2, O/U 47 1/2)
Robert Griffin v. Josh Freeman? I’m going with RGIII in this one. Yes, both defenses are very, very bad against the pass (the bottom two teams in the league in terms of passing yards per game) so I’ll put my money on the wildcard getting some points. There’s something about Griffin, kinda make me think he can pull this one out on his own.
I don’t have alot of confidence in this pick, but I’m not putting my money on Josh Freeman, so I’ll take the Skins and RGIII plus the points on the road.
Pick: Redskins +2 1/2
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles(-2, O/U 46 1/2)
Ok, Giants are getting points? Did you watch that Eagles game last week? They went to Arizona and got manhandled all game long by the Cardinals, then they come back to the east coast and they start the week with a QB controversy. Eagles head coach Andy Reid said “Mike Vick is my QB, for now.” Wow, don’t stick your neck out so much, Andy.
In Week 3 the Giants went down to Carolina and beat a (not so great) Panthers team 26-7, and they’ve had 10 days to prepare for this one. And you’re giving me the Giants plus points?
Both teams are 2-1 and this is a classic NFC East rivalry game. The Eagles defense is very, very good but the Mike Vick turnovers are what is killing them.
All that being said, I like the Eagles this week. If Vick can limit his turnovers and the Eagles can get Shady McCoy into the mix with the run then Philly should be able to stay in 1st place in the NFC East (at least for this week).
Plus, everyone and their mother will be betting the Giants, so I’m going the other way.
Pick: Eagles -2
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys(-3 1/2, O/U 41 1/2)
“Right now we’re just learning the offense. Everyone’s getting comfortable. We’re finding our identity.” When your starting QB says this after Week 3, does it give you confidence?
That’s what Jay Cutler said last week. And I’m supposed to put money on him, playing on the road? No way. I’m going with the Cowboys in this one.
It’s going to be a defensive battle, with two very good pass defenses matching up. I think DeMarco Murray is the difference in this one, the Cowboys need to get him the ball and let him move the chains like he did in Week 1 against the Giants. Bears RB Matt Forte is still hobbled. He should play, but I don’t expect him to be anywhere near 100%.
I think this one will be a low scoring game, but I like Dallas to get a win and cover at home on Monday Night.
Pick: Cowboys -3 1/2