Can Todd Gurley and the Rams stay unbeaten in the Super Dome?
By: Elias McMillan
Last Week: 12-2
Big Five Games of the Week
Atlanta @ Washington – I don’t think I’ll let my mind convince me that Washington is the real deal. But with the current shape of the NFC East, they may be good enough to win that division. I can at least admit that they have addressed and improved in one of their weaker areas. Washington has a top ranked run-stopping defense this year and it is helping them tough out some victories. Atlanta is a team with an amazing roster on paper but they are extremely average on the field. Despite that, I think they have enough firepower on offense to really test Washington’s defense. I don’t think Atlanta will be able to run the ball but they could be in good shape if they can protect Matt Ryan. That’s a “big if” and I don’t trust Atlanta on the road at all. They are a constant under achiever. Hone this one up to wishful thinking. Winner: Falcons
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore – The Ravens got completely outclassed last week in Carolina. They have to be telling themselves that this is a must “bounce back” week with Pittsburgh coming to town. There has been a lot of drama surrounding the Steelers this season but they are currently riding high. That’s probably because they played Cleveland last week. I feel that Pittsburgh is all “gassed up” and cocky after last week. The Ravens beat them earlier this season in a game that wasn’t as close as the scoreboard indicated. I think Baltimore will regroup at home on Sunday and those issues that Pittsburgh still have defensively will rear its ugly head once more. Winner: Ravens
LA Chargers @ Seattle – Seattle has been a surprise this season because they were supposed to stink. Now, they can even beat bad teams on the road. The Chargers are fairly decent at 5-2 and they should prove to be a tough out for the Seahawks, even at home. But I feel like we can still count on the Chargers to be wildly inconsistent and for Seattle to be a cruel place for opponents on the road. Winner: Seahawks
LA Rams @ New Orleans – The Rams have been the most impressive team in the league this season and their undefeated record shows that. Last week against Green Bay, it felt like they were running out of gas. New Orleans has had their rough stretches this season but they are starting to resemble a real contender. This matchup will have plenty of offensive fireworks and the team with the ball last will probably end up winning. I think home field advantage will play a huge factor on the outcome. Winner: Saints
Green Bay @ New England – Green Bay’s defense over achieved last week in LA and they probably deserved to win that game. I don’t know if I can trust that same unit in constitutive weeks. New England is banged up on both sides of the ball. I can see this matchup being actually what everyone wants to see: a duel between two of the greatest QB’s of all time. Winner: Patriots
The Rest of Week 9
Raiders over 49ers – San Francisco is starting a QB tonight who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. If Oakland loses tonight, Jon Gruden should be fired.
Bears over Bills – Chicago’s defense faces the Peterman! Should be fun.
Chiefs over Browns – The mastermind of Bounty gate is now the head man in Cleveland. Should KC avoid starting Patrick Mahomes Sunday? Serious question.
Jets over Dolphins – The Jets can use their running game to dominant Miami on the road.
Vikings over Lions – Detroit doesn’t look like a team ready to compete for a playoff spot.
Panthers over Buccaneers – Fitzmagic is back! But Carolina is playing some of its best football currently.
Texans over Broncos – Denver will be punch-less on offense. The Broncos can be tough at home but I think Houston should roll.
Cowboys over Titans – Tennessee isn’t very good. These are the games that Dallas should be able to win.
Fantasy Football Picks of the Week
QB: Cam Newton (Panthers) – After dismantling Baltimore’s defense, Newton has a favorable matchup this week against the 2ndworst defense in the league.
RB: Lamar Miller (Texans) – Miller ran it well against a weak Miami defense last week. Denver’s run defense isn’t that much better.
WR: Michael Thomas (Saints) – I like Drew Brees’ top target to have an impressive stat line in a game that will give the scoreboard operator a workout.
TE: Travis Kelce (Chiefs) – With Tyreek Hill banged up, Kelce could see some extra targets.
DEF: Chicago – An easy choice with the Peterman starting for Buffalo.