AROUND THE NFL

NFL Week 4 ATS Picks and Fantasy Tips

Well what a wacky week three that was! The Browns won a game. The lowly Bills dominated a Super Bowl contender. Fitzmagic was even more prolific. It was pretty damn insane!

This week brings more intrigue. Will Baker Mayfield continue to be pew pewing laser beams all over the field? Can Josh Allen save the Bills? Will Jameis claim back his QB spot or will Fitzmagic continue?

Minnesota (+6.5) @ LA Rams

Minnesota was putrid against the Bills. I’m pretty sure the guy on the Red Zone said they didn’t even cross midfield until sometime in the second half. With Diggs and Thielen and Cousins, against a defense that couldn’t stop a brick from falling out of a wet paper bag, that’s just fucked up. What the hell was going on? Now they’ve got to come back on a short week against the best team in football?

The Pick?

Obviously, the Rams by a touchdown. C’mon, man!

RAMS

https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/1041449358384783360

Miami (+7) @ New England

Of all the anomalies in the standings, seeing this New England squad at 1 – 2 is pretty jarring. Miami, at 3 – 0, is listed where the Patriots usually find themselves. It’s an odd scenario, and all the Phins get for their blistering start is seven points on the road in Foxborough. It makes sense though, since those three wins came against Tennessee, the Jets, and Oakland. None of those are wins where you step back and admire them.

The Pick? 

The two Pats losses were on the road, so there’s that factor. Jacksonville is very good, even though they lost to Tennessee, but hey, shit happens. There was this little guy in the back of my mind whispering “Matt Patricia is a genius and he’s been preparing for the Patriots all off-season….” but I ignored it. I’m an idiot like that. So this is the week New England gets back on track and throttles. But don’t fall into the Josh Gordon trap this week. Everyone is going to try and sneak him into their lineups, if his hamstring cooperates. I’m expecting him to be a classic decoy this week if he goes.

PATRIOTS

Houston (+1) @ Indianapolis

Another shocking twist to start the season is Houston establishing themselves as one of the 30’s. When you look at the power rankings and see the squads in the 30’s, you know shit is real bad. That’s how it’s started down there. They’ve got Deshaun Watson, Nuk Hopkins, JJ Watt, Jadaveon Clowney, and yet they’ve been abysmal so far. Watt got to Eli Manning three times last week, so perhaps that’s something that Indy will worry about with a ‘recovered’ Andrew Luck. I put that in quotes because they inserted Jacoby Brisette to throw a hail mary pass…which seems to indicate maybe not everything is 100% with Luck’s repaired shoulder.

The Pick? 

The Colts have been doing a good job of blowing second half leads. There’s just something about this game that screams the Texans will get their first win. The Colts offense is a prime candidate to get the Houston defense on track, and all Watson needs is a bit of confidence to get it going. But steer clear of any fantasy guys in this one. It looks like a low scoring affair.

TEXANS

Cincinnati (+5.5) @ Atlanta

A brutal beginning schedule has the Falcons out of the gate at 1 -2. That’s understandable against Carolina, New Orleans, and the defending champions in Philly. Now they get the leaders of the AFC North, who are limping into this one having lost their first game of the year to the very same Panthers the Falcons got their lone victory against. Cinci is down Joe Mixon and AJ Green is likely to miss this game on the road. Andy Dalton, who had a great first two games, did his routine of throwing four picks in the last game.

The Pick? 

Matt Ryan continues to be a beast. You really can’t go wrong pegging him as your QB every week. It would be nice if he’d focus more on Julio Jones, but the greats can spread it around. Sadly, that Falcon defense is a sieve and Ryan needs to keep up the prolific in order to give his team a chance. Perhaps that ailing Cinci offense led by Dalton turnovers is the tonic the Falcons need to even up their record.

FALCONS

Buffalo (+10) @ Green Bay

Buffalo’s output last week is a perfect example of why Hue Jackson is such a fucking atrocious head coach. Jackson won one game his first two seasons in Cleveland. This Bills team was nearly a 17 point underdog, and they went on the road and won outright in dominating fashion. With a good game plan and coach to make adjustments, any team can beat anyone on any given Sunday as they say. But not Hue Jackson. Hue needs talent to overcome how awful he is as a coach.

The Pick?

My disdain for Hue Jackson hijacked the convo for this game, but that’s how awful he is. He permeates this column.

Now I’d typically pick Green Bay at home against a shit team without batting an eye, but this isn’t your usual Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is playing in pain, and it’s affecting him. His stats look pretty good, but if you watched him play, there were some concerns. He just wasn’t elite Aaron Rodgers. So with Buffalo amped up after a big one and Rodgers not himself, I’m going to take Buffalo to cover, but Green Bay wins outright. And I’m going with Charles Clay as my TE in my daily lineup.

BILLS

NY Jets (+7.5) @ Jacksonville

Poor Todd Bowles. The man can coach football. But he has dipshits on his team like Isaiah Crowell who do things like this

Throwing that into the stands after wiping his sweaty man ass with it is not only disrespectful, it cost his team 15 yards. There were other guys committing personal fouls as well, and you could see Bowles was just utterly indignant when asked about it after the game. It’s tough to win when you’re not very good, and then you do stupid shit because you lack discipline. That’s how you let a team that hasn’t won in 635 days come back from 14 down with a rookie quarterback.

The Pick?

As perturbed as I am by Jacksonville scoring six points against Tennessee in a loss, they’re too dominate up front to let that sway your pick. It’s an aberration, and we’ll treat it as such until a pattern develops. It’s akin to Minnesota’s performance against the Bills. It’s the NFL, and if you look past a team, shit can go south in a hurry. After dominating New England, it’s pretty clear they had a let down game that will serve as a wake up call.

JAGUARS

https://twitter.com/insidetheNFL/status/1042156306994356224

Tampa Bay (+3) @ Chicago

Three games and three 400-plus yard outputs from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Fitzmagic must go on. You can’t go back to Jameis Winston until Fitzpatrick fails miserable or physically can’t go due to injury. DeSean Jackson has already let it be known he wants Fitz, and why wouldn’t he? Fitz finds Jackson on deep routes. Fitz makes the team better. Jameis let them down because he groped an Uber driver. You stick with the hot hand, even if he had a few picks. That’s what happens when you’re fearless. Occasionally, you make a mistake.

The Pick? 

Chicago has been quiet since Khalil Mack’s amazing first half of game one. Sure, the defense has led them to victory, but that silence from the offense is deafening. They can beat Seattle and Arizona with shit offense, but not Tampa Bay. Not with Fitzmagic. And yes, if Fitz goes, I’m all in with DeSean as a WR.

BUCCANEERS 

Philadelphia @ Tennessee (+4)

How the fuck are the Titans 2 – 1? Mariota has some weird nerve injury affecting his finger feeling, so he doesn’t play, and then has to go in when Blaine Gabbert gets a concussion and leads them to a W with paltry production. Again, I think Jacksonville overlooked them and that’s all I can come up with to try and make sense of this.

The Pick?

Much like the Bengals, Philly is banged up at key spots with Jay Ajayi and Alshon Jeffery nursing some injuries, along with Carson Wentz returning from his own injury. Wentz was pretty good, and looked confident standing tall in the pocket. It’s a good weekend to go with Wentz as your QB and look for Philly to blow this one out on the road.

EAGLES

Seattle @ Arizona (+3)

Well after Sam Bradford sucked ass again, Josh Rosen went in and sucked ass in the second half. We’ll see a lot of Josh Rosen sucking ass in his brief career. He’s not good, nor will he be good.

The Pick?

Arizona is not good. They won’t do anything good against Seattle, who isn’t really good either. They’ll be good enough to beat and cover the Cardinals.

SEAHAWKS

https://twitter.com/NFL_Stats/status/1044032267193110528

Cleveland (+2.5) @ Oakland

Here’s your gift of the week. If Hue Jackson wasn’t such a dip shit who couldn’t see Mayfield was vastly superior to Tyrod Taylor, this Browns team could be sitting 3 – 0. Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi lead a stout defensive front that brings serious pressure, while Denzel Ward and Damarious Randall are ballhawks in the secondary. It’s a tenacious defense for a stumbling Derek Carr and the Raiders to go up against. Now that Mayfield is under center and keeping that defense off the field, it’s going to be a turnover fest with that rested side of the ball.

The Pick?

The Raiders lost Khalil Mack and with him any semblance of rushing the quarterback. Baker Mayfield was quick and decisive, throwing pinpoint accurate passes all over the Jets defense. Now you’re giving him even more time to attack? Believe the hype. Start Mayfield on the cheap and partner him with his favorite target Jarvis Landry and you’ll rack it up. Maybe even take a flyer on Antonio Callaway, as the kid has had or had a shot at a long touchdown in every game this season. Browns win outright in Oakland. Put your mortgage on it.

BROWNS

San Francisco (+10.5) @ LA Chargers

Porn star loving Jimmy G is gone for the year and with it is all hope in San Francisco. He joins Jerick McKinnon on that list. CJ Beathard is the next man up, and if you said “who?” well you’re not alone. SF is about to be one of them 30’s soon enough.

The Pick?

Yeah, the Chargers are 1 – 2, but you know who beat them? The Rams and the Chiefs. If you’re not paying attention, those are the two teams with the highest octane offenses in football. The Chargers will be 2 – 2 after this win, and have a pretty smooth sea to sail over their next eight games. There’s a very good chance this team is 8 – 2 after that easy slate against teams with a collective record after 3 weeks of 7 – 16 – 1. Of those teams, only two are over .500, and those two teams are Denver and Tennessee, who don’t inspire much fear in anyone. Keep an eye on the Chargers!

CHARGERS

New Orleans @ NY Giants (+3.5)

Why am I so confident in the Browns above? Mostly because of how well they handled the high powered Saint offense. New Orleans scored 40 against Tampa and 43 against Atlanta, but only 21 against Cleveland. They should have their way against the Giants, who aren’t particularly good at stopping the run or pass. New Orleans can pound you with the run, or just let Drew Brees throw for 400 on you. It’s going to be a daunting task for the Giants.

The Pick? 

I really want to get Saquon Barkley into my dailies, but this isn’t the time. You can bank on NYG being down early, meaning Eli will have to go through the air to keep up with the Saints. That bodes well for Eli and OBJ, so consider them this weekend if you’re feeling that shit bra.

SAINTS

https://twitter.com/Steve2duhO/status/1044006799010074624

Baltimore (+3) @ Pittsburgh

There’s more to the Steelers problems than just the off field shit with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. They’re 1-1-1 but it’s how they’re 1-1-1 that is concerning. The defense doesn’t feel all that great. The offense isn’t all that great. They are penalized more than any other team and their kicker is shaky. Couple that with the aforementioned drama and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. But, they’re the Steelers. They always seem to figure shit out eventually.

The Pick? 

The AFC North is wide open. Cleveland and Pittsburgh tied. Cinci beat Batimore. Now we get another chance to glean insight into how things will shake out. I’m not sold on the Ravens being the class of the division, as it’s still Pittsburgh’s to lose. However, getting three points in a familiar place against a familiar team that has plenty of question marks is the rationale behind this one.

RAVENS

Kansas City @ Denver (+5)

How about Browns GM John Dorsey? His first overall pick Baker Mayfield looked sensational in his debut, and he was also the one who spearheaded the decision to draft Patrick Mahomes while in KC. Mahomes is having a Wentz like season, establishing himself as an MVP candidate on the AFC’s best team. We can only hope we’d be so lucky as to see KC face the Rams in the Super Bowl, with Mahomes and Goff just slinging it out.

The Pick? 

KC gives up the most yards per game. They’ve allowed over 100 yards on average on the ground, and a staggering 362.7 yards per game against the pass. Part of that is they’ve scored so much that the other team has to throw to catch up, and it’s been Big Ben, Jimmy G, and Philip Rivers doing the tossing. It’s not an awful defense, so you can anticipate that regressing to the mean as the season progresses. With all that firepower, it’s an easy choice to take them giving five on the road against a Denver team that is going to be mediocre all season.

CHIEFS

MeatMan’s 2018 NFL ATS Pick Accuracy

Week 3: 6 – 10 – 0

Season: 22 – 25 – 1 (46.8%)

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