Is your Team a week 1 winner?
Let us take a look at all the games from week 1 of the new NFL season, throw a few numbers out there and pick some winners. These opinions and predictions are based only on my shaky knowledge and a little bit of research that I’ve managed to squeeze in around all my other work, so take them on face value. If you want concrete info to base your fantasy picks around or to bet your house upon, you should probably look elsewhere… you’ve been warned!
Winners are highlighted in CAPS
Chiefs @ PATS 24-31
Check out the article dedicated to game 1 for info on this match up.
Jets @ BILLS 13-27
The Jets have added two WRs in the last week, Jeremey Kerley and Jermaine Kearse. These two do upgrade the receiving corps but they’ve had no time to learn the system and strike up a relationship with Josh McCown. Bilal Powell has to be on form for the Jets to move the ball. The Bills have Tyrod Taylor back from the concussion protocol and Jordan Matthews back from injury. The run game is key for the Bills here too, Give me LeSean McCoy and Q.B. Taylor over Powell and fellow R.B. Forte. The Bills defense should be good enough to win this one.
Eagles @ REDSKINS 27-31
Kirk Cousins has lost his top 2 receivers from 2016 and replaced them with Terrell Pryor (formerly of the Browns) and 2nd year WR Jamison Crowder. This pairing are high flyers who’ll stretch the field and allow Jordan Reed (T.E.) to work underneath. Undoubtedly the Eagles have improved from last year, Alshon Jeffrey will help Wentz greatly, LeGaurette Blount will bring more consistency to the ground game, and if the game were at Lincoln Field I’d take the Eagles. Redskins have beaten the Eagles the last 5 times they’ve met and I see home advantage helping this tend continue.
Raiders @ TITANS 34-35
Another tight game with the edge going to the home team. Neither defense is elite and both teams have excellent offensive weapons. Keep an eye on Beast mode to see if he really is back to his best, if he is this game could swing on him. Eric Decker is one of my picks to excel this year, as is Mariota. These two could form the best WR-QB relationship in a decade for the Titans. Expect plenty of ariel attack in this one.
Jags @ TEXANS 16-20
A low scoring affair due to a pair of excellent defences hampered by sub-par QBs. DeAndre Hopkins has hung his hat on Tom Savage but I’m not sold, not by a long way. Blake Bortles has been holding the Jags back for the last 12 months, too many takeaways to be a success. Against this Texans D He will get found out again. Watch out for C.J. Fiedorowicz at T.E for the Texans, should be a solid redzone target.
Cardinals @ LIONS 28-31
Another home win, the Lions excelled in close games last season and they’ll need to again as their defense is average at best. Stafford needs to demonstrate why he’s worth his new HUGE deal and Ameer Abdullah needs to prove that he can carry an NFL team on his back. David Johnson could rip the Lions hearts out if he gets a head of steam up, Carson Palmer needs to pick himself up for one last charge towards the post season after a downturn last year. This is a tight one, home advantage wins out. Just.
STEELERS @ Browns 35-13
An away win! A blow-out at that. Myles Garrett is out for the Browns, which takes a huge amount of the starch out of their D. Kizer will combine exciting plays with rookie errors and if he gives up short fields to the 4Bs (If you don’t know who I mean you need to start watching something else-skating perhaps) then the Browns will get slaughtered. Isiah Crowell should get a lot of carries so he may gain a chunk of yards regardless of the game situation.
FALCONS @ Bears 34-14
Another heavy defeat for a home team. The future is coming at Soldier Field but it’s still some ways away for now. Glennon needs to knock some rust off before he can show what he has to offer as a starter (he may never get chance) and the loss of Cameron Meredith will not help. Jordan Howard gives the Bears a fighting chance but once they fall behind to Ryan/Freeman/Coleman/Jones/Sanu etc it’ll be a long road.
RAVENS @ Bengals 24-21
Tight away win here, the Ravens D is really good, the offense needs Joe Flacco back desperately. If Ryan Mallet plays then the result may be reversed. Danny Woodhead could be the Ravens key player from the backfield. The Bengals offense is good but unless Dalton and new comer Joe Mixon play lights-out they’ll come up short against this Defense. Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker is a danger from anywhere on the field.
Colts @ RAMS 13-21
No Andrew Luck means no win for the Colts. Simple. Goff and the Rams must take advantage of favourable match ups in an attempt to get something ticking in an offense that struggled last year. Todd Gurley and Sammy Watkins should be good enough to secure the home win. Without Luck the Colts are a rival to the Jets for worst team award.
PANTHERS @ 49ers 31-17
Cams comeback season gets underway in a big way against a poor defense. Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin will have their way against the 49ers secondary whilst Hoyer and the San Fran offense toil to little effect. Carlos Hyde will see plenty of carries and catches as he looks to relive the pressure. Christian McCaffrey may open his career with 100yrs but look to Stewart for the short yardage Tds.
Seahawks @ PACKERS 31-35
Huge win for Green Bay here, though it’ll be close. The pack defense isn’t great but its better, the Seahawks offense still needs to prove it can run. A-Rod can pick any team apart so don’t be surprised if he does it here. In Cobb, Nelson and Adams + new T.E. Martellus Bennett the Packers have one of the best pass catching units in the whole league. Seahawks haven’t won at Lambeau since 1999, if their Defense isn’t in full L.O.B mode they’ll come up short.
GIANTS @ Cowboys 27-24
Even with Elliott in the line-up I think the Cowboys come up short against a defense that truly had their number last year. Eli has great weapons to throw to even if OBJ fails to recover from his injury in time. Brandon Marshall can easily slot in a s No.1 WR. Evan Engram is the best T.E that the Giants have had in years and Shane Vereen is back to catch passes from the backfield. Dez struggled v the Giants last year as did Dak, so if Elliott isn’t able to drag the Cowboys into the endzone they may struggle more than most think.
SAINTS @ Vikings 28-27
Drew Brees wins it in a last ditch thriller. Michael Thomas shows why the Saints felt ok lettings Cooks leave. I think the Saints backfield stable (including former vike A.P.) churn out good yards against an excellent front 7 meaning the Brees-Thomas combo gets chance to play ball. Bradford is good but limited, he’ll need rookie RB Dalvin Cook to be excellent from day 1, which he can be. Tough one to call.
CHARGERS @ Broncos 27-24
Close away win, could definitely swing the other way. Denvers D is still top notch but the Chargers D is on the climb. I want Rivers to win every game he plays, he’s getting older and slower and If the Broncos get to him then this game is over quickly. However, if he stays upright then this could easily be a better win for the chargers. The offense is full of good receivers and Melvin Gordon is the real deal at RB. Trevor Simien won the starting role for Denver again and deserves some respect for doing so. The offense just doesn’t generate enough.
Bucs @ Dolphins Game Postponed
Hurricane Irma claimed a victory here, and postponing the game was the right thing to do. This caused a few fantasy rumblings as owners of Landry, Parker, Ajayi, Evans, D-Jax and Winston had to scramble for replacements. Had they played I had the edge with the Bucs 28-21
8 Home wins
7 Away wins
Lock of the week:- STEELERS