Week 1 – SUNDAY NIGHT! Previews #NFL

Eagles -5.5 at Washington: 42.5

As always the Eagles have been hit with injuries, this time mainly to the OL with two of them going down and Jason Peters being brought back in, rookie wideout Jalen Reagor is questionable, Alshon Jeffery out, so it looks like it’s mainly on Desean Jackson who had 2 TDs and 150-odd yards in the opener vs the Redskins this opposition last season. Greg Ward looks likely to be the 2 in the slot and Ertz and Goedert at TE will obviously be highly targeted as usual.

So they’ve ruled out Miles Sanders (so glad I traded FOR him in dynasty leagues this year) so it looks like it will be Boston Scott and I guess Corey Clement getting the action this week. Clement is in to 6/4 in places now, but there’s still over 3/1 for him around. I’m not going on him that short but he should get the short down work. Jason Huntley is the other name but he’s not listed anywhere

Darius Slay was picked up to help their secondary and they’re good at getting pressure up front with Barnett, Graham, Cox and now Hargrave. This game is going to be won in the trenches.

The team from Washington don’t have the most inspiring offense; Dwayne Haskins had little help in his starts last season, but they do have “Scary” Terry McLaurin who many think will blow up this year after a very impressive debut season. Steven Sims Jnr had some chunk playat the end of last year, and new signing Dontrelle Inman seems to be the WR3 with rookie Antonio Gandy-Golden is behind him. They’ve nothing at TE, but Logan Paulsen is the man to look for yardage props on.

Most think rookie Antonio Gibson will be the starting RB. He only had 33 carries in his final year in college but was an elite kick returner and that skill usually translates well. I have a feeling that Bryce Love will get a fair few touches after missing his rookie year with an ACL Injury, he had over 2,000 yards rushing in his last year in college. JD McKissic is actually listed as starter… yeah. Peyton Barber is there too, I’ve not heard a word on him through training camp.

They have an elite front 7 on the defense with first round picks everywhere including Chase Young who was taken at 2 this year. They should be fearsome up front and that could be the key to the game.

Washington kept it close in the opener last year and I think they will again.

  • Washington to cover the spread.
  • Lean under

Dolphins +6.5 at Patriots: 42

The Dolphins look to surely be the first team in 20 years to beat the Patriots in consecutive matches as they won game 17 of the regular season last year. Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting for the foreseeable future, he had a great rapport with Devante Parker who had a rare 5th year breakout, and Preston Williams before he went down for the season last year. Not much behind them, the likes of Jakeem Grant, Mack Hollins, Isaiah Ford. Bleh. Mike Gesicki played the most slot snaps of any TE last season and should have a decent game here.

Jordan Howard is consistent without ever really looking like much while Matt Breida was the fastest man in the league with the ball last year and is a great compliment to him.

They’ve spent heavily on defense and have the most expensive corner pairing in the league with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, and they brought in Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy from divisional rivals to improve at LB.

The Patriots start Cam Newton at QB, he seems to be loving life in the NE and is an upgrade on Stidham who was their other realistic option. If he’s back to full health then he’ll be entertaining. Whoever is there doesn’t have a whole lot to target though, Julian Edelman had the most yards of his career last year, but other than him it’s N’Keal Harry who didn’t flatter last year, Jacobi Meyers who looked good in spots, and Damiere Byrd brought in from Arizona adding some pace. Gunner Olszewski has had good reports through camp. They’ve got two rookies at TE too with Derek Asiasi the most likely to put up yards.

Running back is always a mess in NE, It looked like it would be Damien Harris but he’s injured so it looks like Sony Michel will keep his job as the main man. It could well be more James White “running through the air” though, and sexy Rexy Burkhead is still there too.

The defense was stellar last season but lost a lot through FA and Covid opt-outs, it’s still going to be OK, but it won’t hit the heights it did last year.

I was all on the Dolphins to cover this, and they still might, but Cam being there mixed my thoughts. I still think the Pats offense will struggle as there’s not much talent, but it’s Bill Belichick, so I’d be stupid to back against them.

  • Still lean to the ‘Fins covering.
  • Lean to the under.

Packers +2.5 at Vikings: 45

God I hate Aaron Rodgers, the guy is a prick. Need to get that out so you know this might be biased. I don’t buy the “he’s pissed off so he’s going to be amazing this year to show everyone that he’s still awesome” narrative. It’s stupid. Is he pissed off? Probably, the team has done nothing at all to help him and seems to be going more run heavy (they won 13 games doing it last year), but do you think he’ll now go against his HC’s plays so that he can try and throw it to his one pass catcher instead of running it? Nah. He’ll do as told, roll out then throw the ball out of play and scowl at the nearest camera before blaming everyone bar himself.

Devante Adams. That’s the pass catchers. He’ll be targeted 10 times a game. Allan Lazard is the 2 and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown have long names. Looks like Tonyan is going to be the top TE, with Jace the ace Sternberger maybe not taking the step we expected. Tyler Ervin may be the WR3 according to reports, but that’ll need to be proven.

Aaron Jones had 19 scores last year, that number will regress especially bringing in AJ Dillon the walking tree trunk who may get some short yardage work. Jamaal Williams is still officially the RB2 on the depth chart.

The Smith brothers fucked things up for opposing QBs last year and return up front while the secondary is young and improving.

The Vikings have had a ton of turnover on their squad and I think that will hurt them coming into the opener.

They got a haul for Stefon Diggs which leaves them short at WR with Adam Thielen the only proven target there now. It seems Tajae Sharpe and Bisi Johnson are ahead of rookie Justin Jefferson to start the season. I belive they’ll use a lot of 2 TE with Irv Smith Jnr. and Kyle Rudolph.

21 Personnel helps their run game which is the area they want to emphasise with Dalvin Cook the main man there, he was brilliant when healthy last year and should have another big season. When he doesn’t play it’s Alexander Mattison who fills in well.

They got a good deal on Yannick Ngakuoe and would have been pairing him with Danielle Hunter to give a very good pass rush on the edges, but Hunter is on IR. One step forward, one step back for them. They’ve one of the best safety pairings in the league but need their young CBs to hit the ground running.

  • Lean to GB winning outright
  • Lean unders

Colts -7.5 at Jaguars: 45

The Colts brought in Philip Rivers which I think upgrade them at QB. Has he still got the arm? We’ll see, we know he’ll try it out anyway, and he’s got the best offensive line in the league to give him time, a big change from his time at the Chargers. He’s got some interesting weapons, TY Hilton is reliable when healthy and able to get downfield, Parris Campbell could be in for a big year if he can stay healthy, Michael Pittman is the Colts version of Mike Williams for Rivers. Jack Doyle will likely be targeted often between the 20s and Big Mo could be on for some TD looks as their version of Antonio Gates in the redzone.

Running back is strong too, Marlon Mack had a good season last year and they brought in Jonathan Taylor in the draft who averaged 2,000 yards a year in college, as well as Nyheim Hines as the main pass catching back. I think they start with Mack but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Taylor taking the job fairly quickly.

The defense improved with the addition of Deforest Buckner and is a solid unit all round led by Darius Leonard at LB who’s been brilliant his two years in the league.

The Jaguars aren’t trying to win this year. They’ve lost a lot of talent for not much and are left with rookies on both sides of the ball.

Gardner Minshew is enjoying his time in the limelight, his unique look has got him a fair bit of attention and sponsorship. I don’t think he’s a great QB, but he’s mobile and that keeps plays alive. He built a good relationship with DJ Chark last year and he’s tipped to put up a lot of yards this season. He’ll be the 1 with Chris Conley in most of the time. Leviska Shenault is an interesting rookie making his living on yards after the catch and poor Dede Westbrook is at the end of the depth chart now. They brought in Tyler Eifert from Cinci and he may be of some worth with Jay Gruden as OC.

It looks like rookie James Robinson will be the starting RB after they cut Leonard Fournette. I’ve no idea whether he’s any good so won’t comment. We do know that Chris Thompson should be used a lot as a pass catching back and knows Gruden too. For the 4 games he’s healthy he’ll get a fair few touches.

The defense has lost most of it’s stars. Myles Jack one of the few remaining from their championship game a couple of years ago. CJ Henderson was brought in to try and replace the vacant CB spots, and Josh Allen had a very good rookie season up front last year.

  • Colts should win, and cover, but Over 7 points on the road? Not for me
  • Lean to the over

Bears +2.5 at Lions: 42.5

Apparently Mitchell Trubisky is better than one other QB in the league. He won the camp battle against Nick Foles and starts in week 1, he’s shit. HOWEVER… The one team he seems to well against is the Detroit Lions and he’s mobile. He has to be better than last year, surely. He’s probably not even the worst QB Allen Robinson has played with in his career, but he’s put up numbers everywhere and will lead the team again. It looks like Anthony Miller should have a decent year in the slot, and they added Ginn to run downfield to have the ball thrown within 10 yards of him. They’ve a million tight ends and I’m not sure any of them are any good. Jimmy Graham will start there.

It looks David Montgomery will play after a injury scare in camp. He was poor last year as well, but will be the workhorse as there’s nothing behind him. Tarik Cohen will get a lot of receptions from the backfield, his efficiency was terrible last year too. I get the feeling they just weren’t very good last year.

The defense took a step back for a lot of the year with Akiem Hicks injured, it was far better with him back and he’ll be good to go, so expect Mack and him to be a menace up front again this year. They’ll be a top 10 unit.

The Lions lost the final 8 games of the season with Matthew Stafford out injured. He was on for 5,000 yards before the injury so they’ve become a popular pick to do well this year. They aimed downfield a lot early on with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones both excellent in that aspect. Golladay aseems to be a game-time decision which is a big worry. Danny Amendola will help with short targets. TJ Hockenson had great opening game last year but not a lot after that, TE is notoriously tough for rookies so expect improvement from him.

Running back is messy. They clearly don’t like Kerryon Johnson after drafting his replacement then, when he was injured, bringing in Adrian Peterson who they are saying will get some work in this game. poor Kerryon. Realistically you want to aim for unders on Kerryon lines.

They’re not great on D, lost Darius Slay and replaced him with Jeff Okudah at pick 3, but he’s likely ruled out, so it could be a mess there. although bringing in Desmond Trufant and Jamie Collins will help them a lot.

  • Lions win and cover (I’ll admit I’ve gone from strong to soft on this one)
  • Lean to the … overs.

Raiders -3 at Panthers: 47.5

I’m high on the Raiders for this one, it’s one of the few winnable games they’ve got this season, so they’ll need to get a W on the board in the opener.

They worked a lot on the offense in the draft this year, taking the first WR off the board with the speedy Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards later on, Lynn Bowden (who they’ve now traded to the Dolphins) They were giving Carr more weapons. I don’t highly rate Carr but he had the best season of his career in many facets last year and has a good offensive line in front of him.

Tyrell Williams is out for the season so it’s up to the young kids to mix with second year Hunter Renfrow and TE Darren Waller. It seems like Ruggs will be in the slot with Edwards taking the Tyrell position. I’m not sure where that leave Renfrow as he was slot last year, so maybe they’ll bump Ruggs outside a bit and use his pace downfield, but he did a lot with short catches in space for ‘Bama in college. I think Waller regresses in terms of yardage, but probably positively in terms of TDs, to only score 3 last year on the yards he got seems low. Foster Moreau the TE2 got himself 5 and is worth a look in weekly betting at big prices (22/1 on Unibet).

They seem determined to not give Josh Jacobs passes in the run game, bringing in pass catching backs all through camp, Dwayne Washington and Jalen Richard remain on the roster for that area. Jacobs though would have gone close to leading the league in rushing yards with the full 16 last year, he’s really fucking good, and around evens for a TD is a great price today.

Defensively they brought in a CB early in the draft, higher than most thought, but this regime has shown they’ll get the player they want regardless of spot. They will be after more from Clelin Ferrell, a high pick last year. They were second worst last year on DVOA.

The Panthers have had a lot of turnover this year. New HC/OC/DC/QB – A complete overhaul and a rebuild is in the works. Matt Rhule has turned around teams in college, and he’s been given the rope to do it here with a big contract. It’s taken a year or two in college, so don’t expect big things this year.

They brought in Joe Brady who masterminded the LSU record breaking team last year, and aimed for a lot of players they’ve got history with from college days. One of those is Teddy Bridgewater who’s in at QB. There’s been a lot of fuss about his aDot last season, it was similar to Drew Brees in the same system, so I’m not too worried about his downfield passing.

They’ve got weapons on offense, Christian McCaffrey got a lot of money and will be used 300+ times this year, aiming for another 2,000 yard season, he was their entire offense last year. DJ Moore should get a lot of the ball in the slot and is immensely talented, as is Curtis Samuel who can take it in from anywhere with his pace and shiftiness and they added Robby Anderson for a downfield threat. Ian Thomas comes in at TE now Greg Olsen has left and had a few half-decent games last year.

They’re utterly changed on defense, becoming the first team in history to draft exclusively from one side of the ball. They needed it, they were the worst team against the run last year, and lost their best CB in free agency.

  • Raiders win and cover, over.
  • Josh Jacobs anytime TD – 4/5 (Skybet)
  • Bryan Edwards anytime TD – 7/2 (Skybet)

Jets +6.5 at Bills: 39.5

The Jets. Oh, the Jets. Adam Gase must be the lowest rated HC in the league, nobody likes him.

They brought in a lot of guys on the offensive line which was needed, but no games to gel could be an issue, Mekhi Becton is a giant of a man coming in at LT. Sam Darnold will hope it happens quickly, and you’ve got to hope they carry on the late season form from last year.

Le’veon Bell and Gase don’t seem to see eye to eye, but surely Bell gets the bulk of the carries still, although Frank Gore being there makes me think he might get redzone work as he did at the Bills. They don’t run guys within the 5 yard line for some reason though, so it’s not easy for them.

They brought in pace at WR and they’re mostly injured or carrying knocks already Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims, Chris Hogan? It could be all right if healthy, but it looks like Jamison Crowder will get 100 targets a game near the line of srimmage. Chris Herndon will likely get the ball a lot at TE if he can play a run of games which he’s not been able to do since his rookie year. One of the hardest teams to write anything about.

The Bills on the other hand are one of the hype teams of the off-season, bringing in Stefon Diggs in a big trade hoping he’s the final piece to help the offense take a step forward.

Josh Allen has a huge arm but needs to increase his accuracy to enable Diggs to thrive in Buffalo. He’s mobile, but has issues, as shown in the playoff loss to the Texans last year. I like him tbh, so hope he has a good year.

Diggs is added to John Brown and Cole Beasley who fill specific roles, so they do look fairly set on offense in fairness and Gabriel Davis has been making waves in camp. They will be hoping Dawson Knox takes a step at TE, it’s not an easy position for rookies but he had a few good games last year and Tyler Kroft is still there too.

They have one of the highest rated defenses in the league led by Tre’davious White and Tremaine Edmunds. They will want to be better at stopping the run, but the pass defense is great.

  • Bills win and cover
  • Nothing on the total, it’s too low to go under although I don’t expect many pts

Browns +7 at Ravens: 47.5

The Browns gave the Ravens one of their two wins last year, a comprehensive 15 point victory early in the season, done mainly by running the ball, Nick Chubb had his way. 165 yards and 3 TDs from him in that game.

Of course it won’t be easy for the Browns but they’ve improved this offseason, the OL took a lot of the blame for last season and will be better this year, with Kevin Stefanski in there it seems like they’ll go more run-heavy and play action which should help Baker Mayfield who’s been suspiciously quiet through the off-season after being a loud mouthed arrogant prick for the rest of his career in the NFL.

They’ve got one of the most talented rosters on paper, Chubb and Hunt would be RB1’s on most rosters in the league, Beckham and Landry are two of the best WRs in the league, Austin Hooper and David Njoku hugely talented at TE as well. It’s all there on paper to have a good season.

They’ve lost a few guys on defense though, particularly at LB which may well hurt them in this one against the best running team in the league, Myles Garrett got a huge contract but it’s tough to pass rush when the other team isn’t passing.

Lamar Jackson won the MVP last year with over 1,000 yards on the ground and still leading the league in TD passes. He’ll surely regress his efficiency but I think they’ll increase his passing work load. A lot depends on whether teams have figured a way of stopping them. I doubt it, and even if they do early on, I have trust in this coaching team to figure it out.

They brought in a few more targets for Jackson, Duvernay and Proche will fill the end of the roster. They will be expecting Marquise Brown to have a big season now he’s seemingly fully fit, he’s got speed to burn and made some brilliant catches last year, Willie Snead and especially Myles Boykin should be better this year. They use their TE a lot and MANdrews had a blow up season last year finishing with 10 TDs. It’s him and Nick Boyle there now after trading away Hayden Hurst.

The running back group got stronger with drafting JK Dobbins this year, he may be the man for next year, but Mark Ingram will get most of the load again this year with Gus Edwards a good North to South runner and Justice Hill likely the last option. I’d imagine Dobbins will get a bit of action in this one still though.

The defense weakened in areas, and strengthened in others, Patrick Queen fell into their laps in the first round and was the perfect pick for them as they look to improve their run defense. Earl Thomas “leaving” may be addition through subtraction as he clearly wasn’t liked there despite his talent.

  • Browns cover. I’m not sure they win, but they’ll keep it close
  • Nothing on the total

Seahawks -2.5 at Falcons: 49

The Seahawks won a lot of one-score games last year, and It’s basically how they want to play the game, run a lot, then leave it to Russ to see it out, or bring them back into it in the 4th quarter.

I can’t see much changing despite the off-season chatter. It will be a lot of Chris Carson running the ball, he says he’s fully fit after a hip injury so he’ll get the workload and they’ll let Russ loose if they need at the end of the game.

They have talent everywhere and seem like they’re going all in this season after bringing in Jamal Adams on defense. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf form a good partnership as the little and large, Lockett possibly one of the most underrated pass catchers in the league and DK has speed and size to be a problem for most defenses, Philip Dorsett is speedy and David Moore once won me a ton of money. Greg Olsen came in at TE for this year at least.

As mentioned they brought in Jamal Adams for a big cost and used their first round pick on defense as well with Jordyn Brooks who I had as a third round pick. They obviously feel they’re close.

The Falcons are a tough one to call, mainly because of their division, they can beat anyone in a one-off game as they’ve got a high powered offense, on paper anyway.

Matt Ryan is a good QB who constantly puts up the yardage, although redzone issues could be a real thing for him.

Julio Jones is the best WR in the league and a lot of people think Calvin Ridley will take a step up this year as well after 1,000 yards in year one and on-target for that last year. He’s the more likely man to score TDs as Julio never seems to put up the numbers there. Russell Gage in fact led the team in endzone looks like year.

A lot relies on Todd Gurley being able to handle the load for a full 16 games this year. There’s still concern over his knee and I don’t think we’ll ever know how much it affects him week to week. For this game he’ll surely be getting near to 20 touches.

They’ll be hoping the defense stays healthy, it’s not terrible if they’re all there. AJ Terrell was a high pick at CB and they added Dante Fowler to hopefully finally get some pass rush.

  • Lean to Falcons winning out right
  • Over on the total.

Chargers -3 at Bengals: 42

The Chargers have been hit by injuries again. Derwin James out for the season, Mike Pouncey at C out, Turner and Bulaga questionable all on the offensive line. Mike Wiliams questionable at WR with a shoulder. It’s what they do.

They start Tyrod Taylor who’ll likely put up 220 yards, run for 30 odd and keep the ball safe. He’s a game manager and I don’t think we can expect much more from him in this one.

It will probably be all Keenan Allen who they gave a big contract in the week. He’s arguably the best route runner in the game and should be able to get free against the Bengals corners. If Williams doesn’t go then there’s not a lot of depth at WR with rookie Joe Reed or Jalen Guyton who had 2 targets last year. Hunter Henry is fit though and the Bengals are historically bad at covering tight ends.

I said Keenan Allen will get most targets, I lied, Austin Ekeler will likely lead the team in targets out of the backfield and he’s one of the best in the league doing that. I think he’s probably the deciding factor in this game. Justin Jackson or rookie Joshua Kelly are worth a look at TD prices if they get to the goal line though.

The defense is still good without Derwin, but just not as good. Ingram and Bosa will do well up front as the Bengals OL probably won’t be great despite Jonah Williams being there, the secondary is loaded Harris, Heyward, Adderley, and Perryman is a good LB.

The Bengals will be hoping Joe Burrow stays up right long enough to show his talent. The #1 overall pick is already a favourites among fans and team-mates, he already seems to control the huddle and shows maturity beyond his years. He’s mobile, which will help as he tries to escape the Chargers pass rush.

He’s got a lot of talent to throw to on offense, AJ Green has said he’s fully healthy and feeling good, I think he’ll still be one of the best in the league if that’s true, Tyler Boyd will get a lot of targets in the slot, John Ross is there to add speed. Auden Tate and Tee Higgins are waiting to be mixed in as well, there’s a lot of talent there.

Joe Mixon had over 1,000 yards again last year and was brilliant in the second half of the season, I think they’ve got to use him more in the passing game but he’s great to watch and signed a new contract over the summer to keep him happy. Gio Bernard is an able backup to him if needed.

Defensively they’ve had an overhaul, probably starting a new CB, Safety and LB in this one as well as DJ Reader who should help them stopping the run. Unfortunately Geno Atkins misses a game for the first time in 96 games which is a hit.

I’m a Bengals fan. I’m avoiding any bet on spread or total here. I’ve thought the Chargers are a solid under team all year, but this is going to be more of a scouting mission I think.

Cardinals +7 at 49ers: 48.5

The Cardinals made the move of the summer bringing in DeAndre Hopkins from the Texans and then giving him a frankly ridiculous 27m per year contract. By far the biggest in the league for a WR.

He’ll definitely help Kyler Murray improve on last years stats though. Personally I thought the Cards looked good last year, especially in the second half of the season once Kyler and Kliff settled into their jobs in the league. He’s not tall but very mobile and that’s an area the 49ers struggle with.

They want to play 4 WR sets, and with Nuk now they should be able to. He adds to Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald and probably Andy Isabella as the starting 4 guys. Kirk will be outside with Nuk, Fitz in the slot and Isabella the speedster. They’re going to be fun to watch but will need to improve their redzone efficiency, they led the league in FG attempts last year.

They “transition tagged” Kenyan Drake who fitted the system well for them after being brought in last year, the 4 WR sets mean he’s not running against loaded boxes and he’s an adept pass catcher which is handy. Chase Edmonds has a similar skillset and will back him up well.

They need to improve on D, and brought in Isaiah Simmons to do that, he can play practically anywhere back there and they paid Budda Baker a lot of money at safety and Pat Pete and Dre Kirkpatrick aren’t a bad CB duo either.

The 49ers are looking to make it back to the Superbowl and have probably the best playcaller in the league with Kyle Shanahan

They didn’t seem to trust Jimmy Garoppolo last year but it’s worth saying it was his first full season as starter so you’ve got to think he’ll get better. He’s frustrating as the physical traits are obviously there.

They have had injuries at WR which isn’t helpful. Deeob Samuel isn’t far off being fit but is ruled out, so I think we’re looking at Kendrick Bourne or Brandon Aiyuk being the main man there in this one. Bourne had a good run of scoring TDs last year so one to look at (best priced 2/1). Trent Taylor might be the slot guy after missing the year with injury last season. George Kittle will lead the team in targets though, the best pass catching TE in the league and incredibly fun to watch due to his enthusiasm everywhere on the field.

They’ll likely just keep running the ball as they’re hugely effective at doing that. Raheem Mostert surely the main man with Tevin Coleman behind him and Jerrick Mckinnon finally healthy?

It seems inevitable they’ll take a step back on defense especially at CB. Sherman stays on one side of the field so you’d think the Cards will move Nuk around to avoid him. But the pass rush should get home against a weak offensive line.

  • Cardinals cover the spread
  • Lean over on the total.

Buccaneers +3.5 at Saints: 47.5

Surely the oldest QB matchup in history, two of the few starters in the league older than myself which is nice, and one of the most anticipated games of the year for a lot of people.

The Bucs come in as the off-season winners bringing in a host of players, Brady and Gronk, Leonard Fournette, Lesean McCoy all on the offensive side of the ball. It’s going to be interesting to see how it works as they will surely be a very different looking team to the one that Jameis Winston has led in recent years.

I don’t think Brady has the arm to throw downfield and they may be without Mike Evans who flitted between questionable and doubtful at the end of the week. Chris Godwin was likely the main target anyway and it seems inevitable he will be here. Scotty Miller and/or Justin Watson should get involved if Evans doesn’t go.

I think Ronald Jones will get the start at RB but he’ll be on a short leash with Fournette waiting behind him and I think it may be McCoy on third downs as a superior pass blocker which Brady will need. It means I’m taking nothing on the Bucs backfield despite Rojo having a low yardage line.

They were good on defense last year, finishing as the #1 ranked run defense with Suh, JPP and Vita Vea in the middle of the defense and Shaq Barrett leading the league in sacks last year. They brought in Winfield Jnr. to held shore up the safety position.

I don’t think Drew Brees has the arm to go downfield any more either, but he’ll throw it to Michael Thomas within 10 yards around 15 times per game, and he’ll catch every single one. He led the league in receptions and yards last season and will be there or thereabouts again this year. They did finally get a WR2 bringing in Emmanuel Sanders from the 49ers. Outside of them two there’s little at WR though, Trequan Smith, Deonte Harris are barely even bit part players. So it will probably be another big stat year for Jared Cook at tight end, although I’m interested to see if Adam Trautman sees the field.

Alvin Kamara got his big contract and his epidermal so he looks like he’ll be happy to go again as one of the best 3 down backs in the league. He was banged up last year and not as effective but is great to watch when healthy so I hope we see that this year. Latavius Murray spelled him well last year and should do again this season.

The defense is one of the better in the league as well, strengthened at safety with Malcolm Jenkins coming in and Janoris Jenkins adding depth at CB as well.

The Saints record in the first 2 weeks of the season over the last 6 years is terrible. Only winning 2 of them straight up. It’s weird, but it’s a worry.

  • Bucs win
  • Lean to the overs

Cowboys -3 at Rams: 51

The highest total of the night is the Sunday night football, and it should be, featuring the 2nd and 3rd in passing yards from last season.

The Cowboys are tipped up everywhere to make a run for the Superbowl this year after leading the league on the precious YPP stats from last year, they really should have won that division.

Dak Prescott was 2nd in passing yardage and is getting paid a lot on the franchise tag this year while looking for 40m+ per season next season. He holds all the chips and the talent they’ve got around him means the Cowboys will be paying him a lot of money for a long time.

Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb. It’s a hell of a trio at WR if they can stay healthy. Cooper and Gallup had comparable stat lines last year, Gallup may even have topped his team mate had he played all 16 games, although in fairness Cooper was banged up for a while too. CeeDee lamb wasn’t needed but was an inevitable pick when he fell to them in the draft, probably the most exciting prospect in this years draft. Of course they’ve got Blake Jarwin poised to blow up at TE as well. #AlwaysJarwin

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best RBs in the league and will lead the line again this year with Tony Pollard sitting firmly behind him.

They’re not great defensively but the signing of Everson Griffen to go with Demarcus Lawrence pass rushing was a good pickup, hopefuly LVE will be fit and good to go after a neck injury last year as he and Jaylon Smith were good at LB, and Stefon Diggs brother, Trevon should start straight away.

Offensive line injuries are big for the Cowboys, Dak doesn’t perform without the best protection in the league and they’re likely down two starters in this one.

The Rams are paying a lot of money to their stars this year, Ramsey and Kupp signing in recent weeks.

Jared Goff is much maligned after signing a huge deal, he may depend too much on his head coach helping him, but he still puts up the numbers, especially at home where he’s far better, well he was, who knows with a new empty stadium to play in.

Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are a very good duo, Kupp actually led the team in receptions and yards in the slot last year so figure he’ll do the same when on the field this year, but the end of the year they went more two TE sets and it worked well so it will be interesting to see how they go to start the season. Van Jefferson seems to have taken the WR3 spot although Josh Reynolds is listed there. Tyler Higbee was the beneficiary of them going 21 personally with some huge games at the end of the year. Logically that worked so stay with it, but who knows.

Running back is a mess for us looking in. I believe Maclolm Brown will be the starter but he’s probably got Cam Akers close behind him and when Darrel Henderson is healthy it’s even more confusing there. Brown had redzone work last year even with Gurley there.

They’re pretty good defensively, Ramsey obviously one of the best CBs and Aaron Donald the best defensive player in the league. They’re lacking at LB though, so could be a lot of Zeke and Jarwin over the middle.

  • Lean to Rams winning due to the OL issues for the Cowboys
  • Play the overs.

Summary

Fuck me, I wrote too much. It will be shorter in coming weeks.

All bets 2 points unless stated.

Spreads (I’ll be playing as a treble, 10% bonus at 365)

  • Washington +5.5
  • Raiders -3
  • Bills -6.5

Totals (Treble for me again)

  • Raiders v Panthers OVER
  • Seahawks v Falcons OVER
  • Rams v Cowboys OVER

Touchdown scorers

  • Josh Jacobs – 4/5 (Skybet)
  • Bryan Edwards – 7/2 (Skybet)
  • AJ Green – 21/10 (Uni/888)
  • Todd Gurley – 11/10 (Skybet)
  • Mike Gesicki – 5/1 (William Hill)
  • Dan Arnold – 13/1 (PaddyPower)

Player props

  • Bryan Edwards o27.5 rec. yards (365/Skybet)
  • Jack Doyle o31.5 rec. yards
  • Austin Ekeler o34.5 rec. yards (365/Skybet)

Good Luck with whatever you go for this weekend, enjoy the start of the season!

If you’ve not joined Draftkings yet and want to play weekly fantasy football then use the link below for a free $10 on a $10 deposit and go to NFL-DFS.com for some lineup advice!

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