This week’s survivor pick is the Green Bay Packers! Just kidding! Good on you if you made the early pick on the Thursday night game. I jumped on the Packers -4.5 halftime line to make an easy buck when it was clear Matt Barkley was going to be finishing the game.
The Browns gave us a little scare at the end there last week against the Titans. I was very confident with the Titans up 28-13 with around 2 minutes left in the fourth. The Browns finish that drive with a TD but fail to convert the 2. Two possession game, still feeling great when miraculously the Browns recover an onside and drive to another TD with 27 seconds left. But alas lightning only struck once and the Titans recovered the 2nd onside attempt to hold on 28-26.
Pittsburgh losing to Miami knocked many people out last week but if you are still alive here's who I like this week. New England seems like a pretty safe bet facing the aforementioned Steeler without Ben Roethlisberger. I can’t imagine the Patriots letting this one slip away. However I have already used that team in week 4. Here is a quick recap of my selections.
4 New England
Denver should be another good option. I believe they show the world why they moved on from Brock in this one. As long as Trevor Siemian doesn't gift the Texans the game and the Broncos offense shows up in a modest form, they shouldn't have trouble handling the Texans.
However my pick will be the Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals have been given a golden ticket to re-enter the division race. It is looking like they will be the only team in the division this week fielding their opening day starting QB. Last year’s division winner will get right vs the pathetic Cleveland Browns and try to distance themselves from the Steelers while Big Ben is out. Start your Bengals fantasy players, the only team letting up more points than the Browns are the 49ers.
Some of the shittiest teams in the league are on bye this week, resulting in a lot of unpredictable match-ups on the schedule for week 8. The largest point spread this week opened at just 5.5 points for New England over Buffalo, the first time in weeks there wasn't a double digit spread. This would be my pick if the Patriots were still available to me, as I have my highest points on them in the confidence pool as well. Without a healthy McCoy I see no way the Bills can hang with the Pats.
The next big favorites are the Broncos, Vikings, and Cowboys. I think the Broncos and Cowboys will probably take care of business in these games, but I am shying away from both of them. The Cowboys are at home vs an impressive looking Eagles team coming off an upset victory over the previously undefeated Vikings. In doing so I think they may have given teams the formula to dismantle Sam Bradford, bring the pressure! Maybe they are able to do the same thing to Dak and take control of that division.
I think a fired up Bears team with a returning Jay Cutler upset the Vikings at home on Monday night. The Bears season is essentially over, this will be one of their only opportunities to feel good about themselves this year. Like him or hate him, Jay Cutler possesses physical abilities that Brian Hoyer does not. If the Bears can come out focused and get an early lead I like their chances. Minnesota is a team that thrives on playing from ahead.
The Broncos are similar to the Vikings in their need for early leads in games. When these teams met 2 weeks ago the Chargers got an early lead and dismantled the Broncos. If it wasn't for some special teams mishaps for San Diego, the final score would have been embarrassing. Maybe Denver does much better at home with a normal NFL week to work with, but for that reason, I am not picking them either.
Last week I had the Bengals over the Browns in the battle of Ohio. The Bengals knocked the Browns 3rd starting quarterback of the year out of the game and cruised to a two touchdown victory.
Starting their fourth quarterback of the year this week I felt like the Jets were a slam dunk pick. My confidence was reduced slightly when it was announced that Josh McCown may return for this game. At the very least he is an NFL quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick has a chip on his shoulder after being benched for lousy Geno Smith. Baltimore beat Cleveland, New York just beat Baltimore equals a Jets win, that's just math. Expect big numbers from him and his receivers in this one as the Browns get one loss closer to that number 1 pick in next year's draft.
So far, if you have picked against the Browns every week, you have won every time in your survivor pool. Last week I had the Cowboys who smoked the Browns 35-10, easily covering the spread. This week should be no different with the Ravens being 10.5 point favorites over the pathetic Browns tonight on Thursday Night Football. However, I have peeped the remainder of Cleveland's schedule and I can't find another opponent as weak as Baltimore. For this reason I will shy away from picking this game. I cannot deny the Lions greatness in achieving the only 0-16 record in NFL history. Thursday games are funny so pick at your own risk.
My pick for this week will be the Arizona Cardinals. I had them earlier in the year in a loss to the Rams, so I tossed them back in my available teams. They are the largest favorite of the week at 13.5 points over the San Francisco 49ers. With the extra preparation Arizona has coming off the bye week, I see no way they drop this one at home vs a team battling for the 1st pick in next year’s draft.
Last week was a no brainer, with the Steelers walloping the Cleveland Browns. In the process they may have done them a favor concussing Cody Kessler and allowing Josh McCown to regain the starting spot. McCown is the only choice if you are the Browns head coach and don't want to finish the season winless, which they still probably will. Which leads me to this week's survivor pick - the New York Giants 7.5 point favorites at Cleveland. I think the Giants cover in this one as they desperately try to keep pace with the Cowboys.
Looking at the Browns remaining schedule I would say either this game or Cincinnati in two weeks are their best shots to steal a win. In fact, I plan on placing a wager on that Bengals game coming off the bye.
Miami, Buffalo, and New Orleans are also very strong picks this week. Jay Ajayi is going to eat up the 49ers last ranked run defense, making Miami a safe pick.
Blake Bortles has shown this year that he cannot perform well enough to flourish against a top tier defense like Buffalo's. Expect a lot of pressure and interceptions in that one for Blake.
Finally, the Saints, believe it or not, are still in contention in the NFC South at 4-6, only 2 games back of the 6-4 Falcons. I expect them to have an easy day in the dome against Jared Goff and the Rams. The Rams defense will have to have a perfect game to even give them a shot in this one.
We're joined by fantasy football veteran and former drinkfive.com contributor Vince Foss as we discuss the very best plays moving forward into championship week. We'll analyze the matchups and go over recent NFL news and updates that can impact the production of your players.
For Fantasy Football team managers, playing in week 15 is all about making the right starts to get to the championship. Whether you fought hard to get into the playoffs from the bottom of the league or coasted into a bye spot early on, everyone is on an even playing field and (in most cases) only has one shot.
We'll be paying special attention to the players that you should and shouldn't start in week 15 and what matchups to keep in mind should you make the championship game in Week 16. We're joined by regular guest and drinkfive.com contributor Mike Mocerino.
Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!