Bryan’s Week 2 Picks


Let’s take a look at all the games, using spreads published on Tuesday (unless there’s a drastic change since then for some reason).

Last Week: 9-7
Year to Date: 9-7

DEN @ KC (-3.5)

I took the Chiefs because Peyton Manning hasn’t looked good with a lot of rest, never mind 3 days of rest.

I DVR’d the game last night and started watching it at 11:07pm. Using the 30-second skip button on my remote to jump from play to play I got to the end of my recording by 11:50pm. Only problem was, there was two minutes left in the game when my recording stopped*. The Chiefs were up 24-17, and I assumed that was the final score. It wasn’t.

I have seen the highlights. The clock struck midnight in the East Coast and Manning turned from a pumpkin back into an NFL QB. He tied the game, and then Jamaal Charles lost it with a devastating fumble-for-a-return-TD while trying to run out the clock. Ballgame.

(and how about this burn from Jim Nantz…click to listen)

I took the Chiefs.

*note – I usually add an hour to my sporting event recordings, but I noticed a new feature recently from Comcast called “auto-extend” or something like that? Well, whatever it is, it doesn’t work. Nothing was extended except my frustration with Comcast. I missed the last two minutes.

TEN @ CLE (-1.5)

Cleveland’s leading rusher last week? John Manziel.

Cleveland’s second leading rusher last week? Josh McCown.

And this was supposed to be a run first team? Yikes.

I’m taking the Titans.

TB @ NO (-10.5)

ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Blog says the Saints have the best chance to win this week, if you’re a Suicide Pool guy. I’ll be taking them or the Colts, I think. And speaking of taking, I’m taking the points in this matchup. This line should probably a couple points lower, but the Bucs looked THAT bad last week.

I’m taking the Bucs.

NE @ BUF (+0.5)

I think the schedule makers gave Rex Ryan two gifts:

1. They gave him both AFC Championship teams back to back to start the season. Tough start? Of course. But is there any coach better suited to take that and turn it into a motivating factor for his team? I don’t think so.

2. They gave him the Colts in Game 1 and the Patriots in Game 2. Rex used the long build up to Game 1 to devise a game plan that flummoxed Andrew Luck and his plethora of weapons. And as for Rex’s own offense, Bill Belicheck only has a week to create a gam plan to stop Tyrod Taylor, not 3 months.

I’m not guaranteeing a win or anything, but I see the Bills keeping it close and maybe pulling out a late win.

I’m taking the Bills.

ARI @ CHI (+2.5)

When in doubt, take Bruce Arians over John Fox. Sometimes it’s that simple.

I’m taking the Cardinals.

SF @ PIT (-6.5)

Which team is more desperate? Probably the Steelers.

Which team looked better in Week 1? Probably the Niners.

Which team has the worst secondary? Probably the Steelers.

Which team still doesn’t have folks believing in them? Definitely the Niners.

This spread is a touch too high, so I’m taking the points.

I’m taking the Niners.

STL @ WAS (+3.5)

Cue up the in-game montage of the RGIII trade and what Washington game up to St. Louis to get him. Also cue up my yawns (for the montage, not the game).

That front seven of the Rams is game-changing, and until they show me otherwise, I’m rolling with them.

I’m taking the Rams.

SD @ CIN (-3.5)

The Chargers got a gift last week in the form of DeAndre Levy not being on the field against the Lions. They also got a gift in the Lions not adjusting to the short passes Phil Rivers threw all day to Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson. This week won’t be so easy.

I don’t love the Bengals this year, but I think they take care of business at home against a traveling west coast team.

I’m taking the Bengals.

HOU @ CAR (-3.5)

Head Coach Bill O’Brien named Ryan Mallet the starter for Week 2 and told him to “let it rip”.

I’m assuming he was talking about farts, not footballs, but either way, I don’t like the unexperienced QB on the road in this one. Prepare for the Cam Show.

I’m taking the Panthers.

ATL @ NYG (-2.5)

This game has the second highest Vegas total of any game this week, meaning Vegas thinks a lot of points are going to be scored. If you’ve got two QBs in fantasy and Eli is one of them, this might be the game to go with him.

As someone who picked the Falcons to win their division in the Beast Book, I’d love to see them pull this one out. I’ve got a hunch, though, that we are going to see a lot of 1-1 teams in the NFC headed into Week 3.

I’m taking the Giants.

DET @ MIN (-3.5)

Speaking of 1-1, only one of these teams can emerge Sunday with that record after they each lost on the west coast in Week 1. I think Mike Zimmer uses the embarrassing defeat to the Niners to snap the Vikings back into the reality of the NFL: that you’re only as good as your record, not your hype.

On a fantasy note the Lions only ran 47 plays last week in San Diego, twenty less than the 65 they averaged last year. Expect that number to jump back to normal this week, and start Megatron and Golden Tate confidently (not that you would have benched them anyway).

I’m taking the Vikings.

BAL @ OAK (+7.5)

Did the Ravens only score 13 points last week because the Denver D is amazing? Yes.

Did the Ravens only score 13 points last week because they have a dearth of stud playmakers on offense? Yes.

I saw very little that inspired me from the Raiders, but with David Carr back, he’ll keep targeting Amari Cooper and they’ll keep it close enough.

I’m taking the Raiders.

MIA @ JAX (+6.5)

Two offenses that looked atrocious last week, but I’m giving the Dolphins a pass because the Redskins defense isn’t terrible, and they had 3 months to prepare for them. You know who the Jags have been preparing for for 3 months? The Panthers. And they lost 20-9. And here comes Bill Lazor and Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller, and I think they put up some big points.

I’m taking the Dolphins.

DAL @ PHL (-5.5)

This game has the highest point total in Vegas, so expect scoring and lots of it. The Dez injury is a tough blow to this offense, but Romo loves spreading the ball around to anyone with a star on his helmet anyway.

The Cowboys score a lot, the Eagles score more.

I’m taking the Eagles.

SEA @ GB (-3.5)

I picked Seattle to win SB50, so the last thing I want for that prediction is an 0-2 start.

The thing is, this Packers team is good, and without a fatal flaw as glaring as the Seahawks’ O-line deficiency is right now. I think Russell Wilson has a big game, but the Packers still believe that should have been their Super Bowl appearance last year. Big win for the CheeseHeads.

I’m taking the Packers.

NYJ @ IND (-7.5)

I’m taking the Colts with my Suicide Pool pick this week. The Saints’ spread is higher, but I got burned by them at home too many times last year.

So yes, I do believe the Colts will win this game because they have more talent and they want it more…but…7.5 points is a lot of points. I’m gonna hedge my bet and protect against the dreaded back door cover.

I’m taking the Jets.

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