After a cracking start to the season with a narrow win for the Bucs on Sunday normality is returned and the Cowboys are the worst team in the league.
It was a hell of a game, settled with a typically Brady drive with 1:25 left on the clock which gave them the winning field goal, helped by a blatant OPI being missed… but them’s the breaks and it was only against the Cowboys so I’m sure we’re fine with it.
The first Sunday arrives and I’m off to Birmingham to meet some of the Full10Yards crew for a few bevvies and watch the games there. Maybe with the Bengals on Gamepass on mobile while doing it. The final weekend before half of us realise our teams are shite and the next 17 weeks are going to be pain upon pain. Or maybe that’s just us Bengals fans, we’ll see.
Quick warning. I got a bit carried away. It’s a LONG read this week.
Check out my views on the late games
Arizona Cardinals +3 @ Tennessee Titans: 54
Two of the more interesting teams in the league take to the field in Tennessee for the highest predicted score of the week. There was a little in the week about homefield being a little less than in previous years, down to about 2.5 in general instead of 3, so the books seem to think the Cardinals are slight favourites here.
I’ve done a full professional preview for SBR Preview if you want a read. So I’ll keep it shorter on here, for this game at least.
I like the Titans, they’re efficient, I think they’ll employ the same gameplan as last year despite a change in OC, A lot of Henry, AJ Brown and Julio Jones. It could finally be the year for Julio to get some TDs as that’s an area which has been lacking during his time in Atlanta. Behind them two it’s a little shallow, Josh Reynolds the 3, but as always I like the tight ends, with Jonnu Smith gone Anthony Firkser should get more looks in the redzone.
I do like the Cardinals and Kyler Murray tends to keep them in games with his mobility. I would like AJ Green to do well now that he’s not the main man with Nuk Hopkins on the other side, although I have reservations over his remaining ability, the addition of Rondale Moore seems to have him as the 3, although they run a lot of plays so there could be value on Christian Kirk still. I personally think that Chase Edmonds will be the RB1 although it looks like he’ll share that with James Conner. I’m not convinced in Conner, although I’m happy to admit that’s bias against the Steelers.
I think the Titans win and cover, don’t mind the over, but it’s high.
Jacksonville Jaguars -3 @ Houston Texans: 45
At the other end of the entertainment table you’ve got this game. The Jaguars get to roll out their first overall pick Trevor Lawrence who was destined to be the top player in the draft since high school. He was outstanding in college but as happens with #1 picks, doesn’t join the best team in the world. There’s some talent on offense, but the offensive line won’t give him much protection and the defense isn’t what it used to be. BUT that’s putting a damper on seeing one of the most talented signal-callers to come out of the draft in years. We should be able to appreciate his talent this year and for the next decade.
They drafted Travis Etienne at RB to join him but lost him for the season before it kicked off meaning that James Robinson will lead the line again as he did very well last year, with Carlos Hyde and probably a mix of Duke Johnson, Dare Ogunbowale and Devine Ozigbo taking some of the passing downs. Robinson should be on for another 1,000 yard season, not bad for an undrafted guy.
The pass-catching group needs to prove it’s worth. A lot of people like DJ Chark but I’m not convinced by him, much prefer to keep an eye on Laviska Shenault who is electric and gets the ball in a variety of ways, either rushing or receiving. They also signed Marvin Jones who I’ve got a soft spot for, he’ll be a very useful deep threat for Lawrence should he get the time to make the throws, very good in contested catches and should make some chunk plays for the team. Oh, and of course the Irishman at tight end, James O’Shaughnessy.
They do have some names on defense, Josh Allen, Myles Jack and K’lavon Chaisson.
The Texans are tanking. They’re going to be terrible. Tyrod Taylor starts. Brandin Cooks is there. Chris Conley is there, Nico Collins is probably going to get snaps as a rookie as there’s not much else. Could be a lot of work for the tight ends, Jordan Akins and Pharoah Brown.
It’s a RBBCCCCC with Mark Ingram, Philip Lindsay, Rex Burkhead, David Johnson and the almighty Scottie Phillips probably sharing carries. I would assume Ingram would be the goal-line back should they get that close to the endzone.
It’s a bit of an insult to the Jags that they’re only 3 point favourites, but the books don’t like rookie QBs even if they are playing a team who don’t want to win. I’d have to take the Jags covering the spread if forced.
Los Angeles Chargers +1.5 @ Washington Football Team: 45
I find this a tough one to call. I’m quite high on both of the teams in this fixture so getting to an end-point might be a bit of a struggle.
The Chargers are always going to be behind the Chiefs with Mahomes there, but they’ve made moves to close the gap this year, mainly replacing Anthony Lynn at head coach with Brandon Staley who stays in LA after moving over from the Rams. He’s a defensively minded coach who gets a talented defensive roster to coach. Led by Joey Bosa they could be one of the best defenses in the league if it all clicks for them.
The betting side of the ball always looks good on paper for the Chargers and they might have hit gold with Justin Herbert who was thrust into the side last year and ended up winning offensive rookie of the year after finishing with 4,336 yards which was good for 6th most in the league and 31 TDs (10th) without playing the full season, he may well be closer to 5,000 if he starts all 17 games. There’s no reason he won’t be a gunslinger again this year although this week in particular might be tougher than most.
Keenan Allen is one of the best route-runners in the league and got a bumper deal within the last 12 months paying him like one, he’ll be the main guy and had several double-digit target games last season with Herbert, I’d imagine that will continue. They’ll want more from Mike Williams though who’s always shown promise without really putting it all together just the 5 TDs from 48 receptions last year, his size should make him a big redzone threat. Behind them two is a bit muddled, Jalen Guyton comes into his second year while rookie Josh Palmer comes in with a bit of chatter behind him.
They signed Jared Cook at tight end who brings in some experience and good record behind him, I think he’ll be a bit of a star for them actually, could get a lot of work in this team. Behind him Donald Parham had a few nice plays last year.
Austin Ekeler looks poised for a big year… BUT… He was left out of practise the other day with a muscle strain so there’s going to be a worry over his availability for this week specifically and frankly being a muscle injury a worry going forward as well. If he plays, he’s very good, if not it will likely be a mix of Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley with rookie Larry Rountree probably getting a bit as well after a pretty good pre-season.
The other side of the ball also boasts a great defense which got stronger over the summer with the additions of Jamin Davis and William Jackson in the draft and free agency. The defensive front is filled with 1st round picks, mainly from ‘Bama and Chase Young should be looking for 15+ sacks this year. The secondary is good, the linebacker group strong as well, it’s a very good defense, maybe the best in the league.
The other side of the ball has been the issue and they’ve tried to improve that by bringing in Ryan Fitzpatrick who isn’t far from collecting a jersey from every team in the league. It will definitely make them more interesting as Fitz won’t pull out of a throw because it “might get intercepted” he’ll just lob it up there. He’s more mobile than a man of his age should be as well so can scramble a bit if needed.
They do have one of the better WRs in the league in Terry McLaurin who puts up big numbers no matter who’s been throwing the ball to him, with Fitz there you’ve got to think he’ll have the best year of his career. There’s not a huge lot in the passing game without him, Curtis Samuel would have been the 2nd choice but he’s on short term IR with a hamstring, so it will probably be TE Logan Thomas who showed up well last year. You’ve got to think that rookie WR Dyami Brown will get some targets and Adam Humphries coming in from the Titans should get a fair bit of use in the slot.
As well as having a (probably) top 10 WR, they’ve got a Running back who will be looking at that as his target for the year as well in Antonio Gibson. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure on him coming in last year due to a lack of use in college but he looked good last year and impressed in preseason after coach Ron Rivera described him as “their Christian McCaffrey” – That’s enough for me to get involved in Gibson and expect him to have a big year. Behind him JD McKissic may get some work as a pass-catching back, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see that more limited this year with Gibson staying in on those downs. I have to mention Jaret Patterson as well, the rookie who showed up well in preseason as well.
I can’t pick this one. If forced I’d say take the Chargers moneyline, no real need to take a 1.5 spread.
Minnesota Vikings -3 @ Cincinnati Bengals: 47
Joey B returns to action and I can’t wait! It’s not the worst start for the Bengals offensive line to get put into action as the Vikings don’t have the most deadly pass-rush in the league, but the rustiness of the Bengals offense in general has been there for all to see over the summer. First round pick Ja’marr Chase has made a number of drops on easy passes and came out this week saying it’s tougher to see the NFL ball without the stripes of the college ball. Not an excuse, just explaining his issues. I think he’ll be fine after he takes a hit and we’ll see him settle into the season.
Fortunately for the Bengals it’s a position of strength so they can have a few weeks using him as a decoy targeting Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd who both had around 1,000 yards last year. Higgins in particular has had a good camp and came on strong through the season last year, he’s got the potential to be a star in this league. Then you’ve got Auden Tate who’s highlight reel is better than most in the league, he can’t get separation but he doesn’t drop anything.
I’m strangely happy for the return of CJ Uzomah at tight end as well, I thought he had some good games at the start of last season and should provide a decent target for them this year.
The offensive line has been an “issue of concern” both before and after Burrow got injured last year and I’m fed up of having to show idiots that they have addressed it. No, they didn’t draft Penei Sewell. He was one player. They needed more than that especially with having a first round pick at LT already. They needed a RT and got Riley Reiff, a significant improvement on Bobby Hart of last sesaon. They needed to strengthen the interior OL and they did that in the draft. IT HAS BEEN ADDRESSED and they only allowed 1 sack in the three preseason games, even in first quarters against the Bucs and Washington… – Watch it be terrible now and allow everyone to take their victory laps. Oh, and they also changed Offensive line coach and brought back the guy who helped Joe Mixon led the AFC in rushing yards a couple of years back.
Talking of, Joe Mixon is back healthy and with Gio Bernard no longer there should be a full 3-down back which the fans have been clamouring for since he was drafted. He should get 20+ touches in every game and I biasedly believe he could be up there with the best if he stays healthy and gets that usage. Samaje Perine actually looked all right in relief of him after injury last year and may get more goal-line work, while rookie Chris Evans has shown ability both rushing and pass-catching in camp may get some snaps during the year.
Oh, Minnesota are playing as well. Kirk Cousins. Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson.
(Proper preview here – SBR Preview for Bengals v Vikings)
As you might have read in the SBR preview, I don’t want to touch the spread here, I think there’s a good chance of Vikings winning by 20 if I’m wrong about our OL and defense, or the Bengals scraping a 13-10 win or something similar. So. I am taking the under in this one. I think Burrow is rusty, the Bengals offense has been poor over the summer, the defense has been surprisingly good.
New York Jets +4 @ Carolina Panthers: 44.5
Two teams who should be markedly better this year. The Jets managed to get rid of Gase which seems to improve everyone and the Panthers with a lot of young players coming into their second season and welcoming back Christian McCaffrey who missed most of last season.
The Jets have a skip in their step with Gase gone and a new QB in there with baby-faced Zach Wilson coming straight from the set of his latest Disney-teen presentation to take the field for them. He’s been really impressive in pre-season and they’ll be hoping the change of QB and coaching gets them rewards on offense.
They brought in Robert Salah from the Cowboys. He caught the eye on the sidelines as a… well as a psychopath, frankly. He will get this defense fired up and making plays. As a Bengals fan I was gutted to see Carl Lawson go and I felt he’d have been a beast in NY but he’s done for the year so it’s Quinnen Williams who’s going to have to get pressure on opposing QBs.
Back to the offense the run-game isn’t great; it seems like Tevin Coleman will be the first choice at RB following Salah to NY from San Francisco. He’s all right. Behind him are a group of randoms. LaMical Perine, Ty Johnson, Josh Adams and rookie Michael Carter who a lot seemed keen on in Fantasy.
I was a big fan of Mimsy coming into last season and he sparked a little but he’s hugely out of favour with new-signing Corey Davis coming in as the de facto WR1 after a couple of improved seasons in Tennessee. Jamison Crowder is the usual slot guy but he misses this week with Covid, so it could open the door for Mims or mean more for Keelan Cole and rookie Elijah Moore, another who impressed in camp. They managed to get a pick for Chris Herndon so go into the season with Ryan Griffen and Tyler Kroft at tight end.
I’m worryingly high on the Panthers this year. They were involved in, and lost a number of one-score games last year with Teddy Bridgewater under center, so they’ll be hoping that Sam Darnold was just shellshocked in New York and can show why he was the 3rd overall pick just a few years ago. I have no ability to judge that either way, but they obviously feel he’s at least as good as Teddy B was and he’s got a good cast around him.
Christian McCaffrey suffered an injury early last year, tried to return and suffered more so took the rest of the year to recover. As one of the best backs in the league he’ll greatly improve this offense and will quickly become Darnolds best friend in the backfield. Equally as good on the ground as through the air he’s one that neutrals really want to stay healthy. Behind him? Chuba (Chew-ba) Hubbard? and apparently Royce Freeman has joined after being released from Denver. Who knew.
The WR group is good, DJ Moore would be a league-wide star on a better team, both he and Robby Anderson topped 1,000 yards last year and while they are shallow behind those two, Terrace Marshall has had a good camp and has experience in a Joe Brady offense from their shared time at LSU. It’s another shallow WR grouping, but the top 3 should be pretty good this year. TE is a bit of a mess although Ian Thomas and Dan Arnold have shown promise in their time in the league.
They drafted exclusively on defense last year so all of those guys coming into their second season brining a little experience to their pace and I would expect the whole unit to be better this year.
It’s a tough game to call to start the year, Darnold facing his former team with a rookie QB themselves makes it impossible to figure out through anything historical. Typically you want to go against rookie QBs and I am strangely high on the Panthers this year so I’ll be leaning their way.
Philadelphia Eagles +3.5 @ Atlanta Falcons: 48.5
Two teams who’ve had rough off-seasons and are avoiding any attention from bettors and “experts” alike. I’m actually a little higher on the Eagles than most and I’m pretty sure I’m lower on the Falcons than most.
I don’t mind Jalen Hurts at QB for the Eagles, his mobility is a big plus and maybe I’m thinking with too much of a fantasy head on when looking at the Eagles but they put up some points with him last year and with a healthier team in front of him I’m hopeful they’ll be all right. Maybe it’s blind optimism.
Miles Sanders had some good games with Hurts under centre with his best run of games in the receiving department. If he’s healthy he’s a very good back, it doesn’t mean he’ll get all the work as the Eagles seem determined to make him share the work back there and Boston Scott may well get involved as well.
I usually got WR first, but there’s a reason for switching it up here, there’s not much. Devonta Smith was their first round pick this year and it looks like he’s all right after a knee sprain in camp, he’s a heismann winner and will come into the league looking to prove he’s that good. There’s not a whole lot behind him, it will probably be the tight ends getting the bulk of the targets in Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz who didn’t get a move away. WR group is left with JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Jalen Raegor, neither of whom have impressed and Greg Ward… In fairness Quez Watkins had a few highlights in preseason so there’s a twinge of hype around him now.
They should be fairly strong on defense though, the pass-rush is usually good and starting the year healthy will be a big boost for them.
The Falcons… I really struggle to see them doing much this year. They will be fun. They’ve got offensive talent but the defense is looking really shit. So basically I think a few guys will put up a lot of points, but they might not win a whole lot.
I love Matt Ryan, mainly for betting and fantasy but he took his team to a Superbowl, does he really deserve the disrespect he seems to get? I believe he will always put up yards regardles of the players around him but he’s generally had Julio there so this season will be a proper test of his abilities, that and the lack of a run game could scarper him, but I like Ryan so think he’ll be all right.
I am really not confident in Mike Davis leading their rushing attack. He was OK for a few fames for the Panthers before the extended workload slowed him down a the end of the year and maybe that will help him adjust to life as the lead back in Atlanta but I can’t believe he’ll be a difference making back behind a fairly poor offensive line.
So the WR group lost their star so it’s time for another to emerge and there’s a reason Calvin Ridley is one of the faves for top receiver this year. He’s really fucking good. I struggle to believe he’ll be Julio good but he probably won’t be far off. He’s had games when Julio has been out or carrying a knock where he’s had to carry the load and done it well and that will be the case for much of this year. He’ll be the 1, the 2 and the 3 in this offense. Mainly because there’s not much behind him. Russell Gage, Olamide Zaccheus, Christian Blake… yeah. Not inspiring.
In all honesty the second target will be Kyle Pitts who’s got more hype than any TE coming out of the draft in years. He was a phenom in Florida and showed a couple of sparks of what he can do in pre-season. It’s believed he’ll line up as a WR as much as any other position so a good one to look for in player props early in the season. Hopefully we’re not too late on that as his rec. yards line has risen considerably already from the opening 40.5. He’s a guy I’m looking forward to seeing.
So another fairly even game to start the season, the one thing I do expect it a lot of scoring so I’ll happily take o48.5, I think it will be nearer 60. I would lean Eagles winning and covering, I think they have 2 OK units, compared to one Good Falcons unit.
Pittsburgh Steelers +6.5 @ Buffalo Bills: 48.5
The early sky game sees two playoff teams from last year take each other on in “Buffalo Stadium”. The playoffs went very differently for them though with the Bills making the conference game and the Steelers bowing out in the wildcard to the Browns after capitulating at the end of the season.
As always I’ll find it tough to be complimentary about the Steelers, but I’m a pro and I’ll get through my biases. They won 11 games in a row to start the year, a brilliant feat, unmatched by any team in the league, then the luck ran out and the interceptions that Ben Roethlisberger should have thrown in the earlier games started being caught by the opposition and the tide turned, even involving an embarrassing loss to Ryan Finley’s Bengals. Seriously. That’s terrible.
I personally think Ben is done, but in fairness to him he looks like he’s put some effort in this off-season instead of eating pies and has come back in some decent shape. He will always make plays, and if his receivers catch the ball he may well prove me wrong with better play-calling from the new Offensive coordinator. I know that Steelers fans blame the OC for a lot of their issues last season.
The offensive line was a big issue too and they’ve completely revamped it with probably 5 new starters for this opening game. they identified an issue and looked to address it. That might be painful for a few games but it can’t be much worse than last year.
They realised that having no good RBs was an issue as well and picked up Najee Harris as the first RB off the board in the draft. I’m expecting big things from him as the workhorse back in Pittsburgh. They always try and employ one guy and he’s got the talent to do that being good with hands and on the ground, he could have a TON of touches this year and will help the team immensely.
It’s no surprise than an overweight old man fell off at the back of the year after having to throw 17,000 attempts, most of them dropped by Diontae Johnson, but it’s again something that has been worked on and if he’s fixed those issues he has the potential to be the lead of a good receiving corps. I will never believe Juju is anything other than a good number 2, but Claypool showed his athleticism in a couple of huge games last year and could develop into a very good player.
The Bills are a team I can respect though, a fine up-standing bunch of blokes.
They had it all their own way last year with the Patriots opt-outs gifting them the division, but in fairness they dominated the games that they won last year after building around Josh Allens strengths and it paid dividends with a run to the conference championship game which they lost to the Chiefs.
I have reservations on whether they’ll be as good this year. I appreciate they were very good but things will be tougher this time around with the Patriots getting a lot of players back from opting-out, the Dolphins coming back with a good defense and Tua having a full off-sesaon, and the Jets won’t be as bad.
They come into this one without any injury worries and amazingly without Cole Beasley on the Covid list despite being out-spoken in promoting his beliefs regarding the vaccine in the states. They lost John Brown but picked up Emmanuel Sanders who is at least as good as, so they’ll go in with Stefon Diggs leading them, Beasles, Manny Sanders and Gabriel Davis mixing in after a good rookie year when covering for injuries. They retained Dawson Knox at TE who flashed between periods of injury last year and may do well.
Running back is a bit confusing but I think Zack Moss will get the RB1 work with Devin Singletary the 1b. Whether either role means a lot when Josh Allen will probably get the bulk of the red zone carries is another thing, but I do think Moss is the main man there. They also picked up Matt Breida to add a change of pace.
They have a great defense which will get stronger up front with Ed Oliver and Gregory Rosseau adding some pass rush through the draft this year. Tre’Davious White is considered one of the best corners in the league and Tremaine Edmunds one of the better LBs. They’ve done a great job building the roster.
I obviously think the Bills win, but it’s not one I’d be looking to back. The Steelers are healthy and may well cause an upset here.
San Francisco 49ers -9.5 @ Detroit Lions: 46
This line was 8 on Friday night at Redzone, now 9.5, although there is an 8 at 365 still at time of writing, so obviously a lot of money from on the 49ers side of the ball and for good reason, I can see them destroying the Lions in the opener here.
The 49ers traded up in the draft to take Trey Lance and while he isn’t likely to see much action it looks like a good move from what we’ve seen in camp. He’s got a big arm and is mobile, he could be quite fun in the league but they look like they’ll be starting Jimmy Garoppolo for the first game at least and it’s not the toughest assignment in the world.
They will likely make use of their new RB Trey Sermon alongside Raheem Mostert. Given the success of pretty much any RB in the Shanahan system it’s no surprise that there’s hype over Sermon, but I think it’s Mostert’s job until he gets injured and he’ll probably get a couple of scores here.
At “WR” they come in with Brandon Aiyuk having missed a bit of time with a muscle injury, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him off the field a fair bit which should give Deebo Samuel more of the ball while he’s fully healthy. They lost Kendrick Bourne to the Patriots but signed Mo Sanu as his replacement and while he’s not a headline grabber he’ll do a good job in the slot for this lot. Jalen Hurd is on IR. Shock.
George Kittle… Is the best TE in the league? Debatable, I still think it’s Kelce but Kittle is immensely fun to watch, he loves blocking and with the ball in hand is very very tough to stop.
not a whole lot to write about the 49ers that’s not known already. If they’re healthy they’re a great team, they just struggle to keep everyone fit.
The Lions are at the other end of the spectrum. The Bengals of the NFC, no-one cares about them, no-one expects anything other than them just being there. Ironically the took the player the Bengals got slated for passing over when drafting Penei Sewell, a “generational” left tackle who for some reason they’ve been playing unsuccessfully at left tackle.
He’s meant to come in to protect Jared Goff who came over in the Matthew Stafford trade to the Rams. It was basically a salary dump by the Rams and a draft pick acquisition for the Lions, which is a little harsh on Goff who has shown he’s fine as a QB. It will be interesting to see how he does on his second team now that he doesn’t have McVay whispering in his ear.
It’s not a good spot for Goff or any QB as the Lions let go their experienced WRs over the summer and didn’t really replace them. That group will be led by Tyrell Williams who once had a 1,000 yard season but missed last year through injury. Opposite him probably Amon-Ra St. Brown (great name) and Quintez Cephus coming into his second year. Basically not a promising group to hang your hat on.
It’s likely that Tight end TJ Hockenson will lead the team in receptions this year and should get a bump on the 67 receptions from last year. He scored 6 TDs last season and will be looking to up that this year, although the addition of old man Darren Fells may take some redzone looks (I’m not even joking, he’s a large man)
With Anthony Lynn coming in as offensive coordinator after being released by the Chargers there’s a lot of hope that D’Adre Swift steps up and becomes their version of Austin Ekeler. It’s possible in the coming weeks but he’s had a troubled camp and missed a lot of it, so I’m not entirely sure he’s ready to go here, that might mean a little more work this week for Jamaal Williams who’s also a good pass-catcher coming out of the backfield. I think Swift may well be very useful going forward but this isn’t the matchup for him.
49ers win this one, and if it’s like last year they’ll destroy a weaker opponent. This could be a big win for them.
Seattle Seahawks -2.5 @ Indianapolis Colts: 49
The final preview of the early games sees the Seahawks as favorites on the road in Indy. I’m not sure on this one, it originally opened with the Colts as 2.5 favourites but the injuries to Wentz and the offensive line during preseason has flipped it the other way. The bit that confuses me is that it’s not moved much back since the news of Wentz starting making me think that people don’t consider him ready to go in this one.
I struggle to write about the Seahawks.
Russell Wilson is brilliant, as is DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett is clearly very good as well, but I really don’t see how they do so well with such a shallow squad. It really does highlight the brilliance of Russ, and maybe the coaching.
They kept 5 RBs on the roster with Chris Carson leading them. He should get most of the carries but does get banged up a lot. Behind him is anyones guess. I still want it to be Rashaad Penny but injury keeps fucking him over, so Deejay Dallas might get a few snaps a game, or Alex Collins who is still languishing at RB3 or 4 despite showing up well when required.
They brought in Gerald Everett from the Rams at tight end, he’s all right I guess. If Will Dissly could make it 3 games without a season ending injury though it would be lovely.
Meh, I’m not even sure why I’ve got nothing on them, they’re boringly efficient and effective.
The Colts will be starting Carson Wentz after his trade from the Eagles and hoping that he can stay healthy for an extended period of time. I have doubts over that but the injury this time was a recurrence from a past surgery which they think they’ve sorted out, so you never know. I think he’s still a good QB if he can get a run in the team but time will tell on that. He’s probably no worse than Rivers was last year though.
There’s a good chance that a lot of their offense comes on the ground this year though with Jonathan Taylor leading the line after a good rookie year which saw him finish 3rd in yards, mainly due to 253 yards in the the 16th game last year. He’ll be the main man from the start this year and will do the job well. It should be mentioned that they just gave Nyheim Hines a big contract though so he’ll be getting work as the 3rd down back and maybe some slot work as well if they’re paying him all that money. Marlon Mack returns from the injury whihc robbed him of the RB1 job last year and will be looking for some snaps as wlel.
The WR group isn’t great. TY Hilton has been there forever and time is catching up on him. He misses the start of the season through injury meaning that Michael Pittman has to step up as the WR1. He’s got the physique to do so, but it was a rather disappointing rookie year for him so I’m withholding my praise for now. Parris Campbell is an interesting one behind him coming off of a season-ending injury in the 2nd game last year, he looked like he could be an interesting piece so I’m looking forward to seeing him again this year. Other than those two it’s rookie Mike Strachan (who pronounces his name wrong) and Zach Pascal. It’s not great.
Jack Doyle and Big Mo (Alie-Cox) should be a good tight end duo like Wentz was used to in Phillie with Doyle moving the chains and Mo getting redzone targets. I hope. I love Mo.
I don’t know how this goes. I would take the Colts getting the points at home though.
Best Bets from the early games.
It might be a little late on some of my favourite picks this week. There’s been some lines up for a few days that have moved a fair bit (Pitts from 40.5 to 48.5 and from 3.5 to 4.5 receptions)
- Kyle Pitts – Anytime TD – 15/8 (PP)
- Antonio Gibson anytime TD – 21/20 (Hills)
- Raheem Mostert anytime TD – 10/11 (Skybet)
- Jonathan Taylor anytime TD – 19/20 (Hills)
- TJ Hockenson o4.5 receptions – 5/6 (Hills)
- Justin Jefferson longest reception o25.5 – 10/11 (Hill/PP)
No huge prices for week 1, and mainly RBs. might even be worth taking those three for first scorers as teams look to get their main men involved early on.
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