Everything’s all good in Steel Town now that they’ve got their first victory of 2018, right?
By: Elias McMillan
Last Week: 6-10
Big Five Games of the Week
Minnesota @ LA Rams – The Vikings absolutely laid an egg at home last week against a terrible Buffalo team. But I believe they can bounce back this week even on the road against a good LA Rams team. The Rams have significant injuries in their secondary and I believe this will give Kirk Cousins full range in terms of attack them through the air. LA’s offense is pretty capable as well but I just think Minnesota will be anxious to get the bad taste from Week 3 out of their system. Winner: Vikings
Miami @ New England – New England had their annual early season “are they done” loss last week. The Patriots will obviously bounce back. But not enough people are talking about this undefeated Miami Dolphins team. They are proving that addition by subtraction can work out if you look at the changes that they’ve made in the offseason, which are now paying off. New England’s defense is struggling right now and I believe that Miami’s offense is capable of attack them through the ground and in the air. Instead of bouncing back at home, I think New England will lose their second straight. Winner: Dolphins
New Orleans @ NY Giants – The Giants finally got a win last week but I think that may have said more about Houston than about them. New Orleans has been apart of a close finish in each game this week. This tells me that their defense needs fixed. I think the Giants will be able to put up points against this team but I don’t think that will be enough for them to win. If they are able to go “tit-for-tat” offensively, I’ll still bet on the Saints to win another close one. Winner: Saints
Baltimore @ Pittsburgh – The Steelers finally won last week so everything’s all-good in Yinzer land. Right? Hardly. Pittsburgh’s defense is poor and they almost blew a 20-point lead last week in the second half. I think Baltimore coming to town will be a good thing for them because they should know what to expect. These games are usually a tough-drag ‘em out type of contest. Everyone knows about Pittsburgh’s struggles on defense but I don’t think the Ravens offense is good enough to exploit it. I am looking at you, Joe Flacco. I wonder if the Baltimore defense will be able to make enough stops against a Pittsburgh offense that has so many ways to beat you. The road team typically has the tougher up hill climb in these matchups. Winner: Steelers
Kansas City @ Denver – Patrick Mahomes is the talk of the NFL right now and the lights will be extra bright on him and the Chiefs offense on Monday night. I’m looking forward to see how this kid deals with being chased by Von Miller for 4 quarters. Going into the 2018 season, I believed that Kansas City would take a step back this year because of their defense. The good news is that I don’t see Denver’s offense being able to push the issue against them especially since Case Keenum will be tasked with out dueling the hottest QB in the league currently. Playing at Mile-High can prove to be a challenge but I believe Mahomes and the gang will be up for it. Winner: Chiefs
The Rest of Week 4
Falcons over Bengals – Rookie WR Calvin Ridley is starting to become an x-factor for the Atlanta offense.
Bears over Buccaneers – Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to fall back down to earth against a Chicago defense that will get after him. Winston will be the starter when Tampa returns from the bye week in Week 6.
Lions over Cowboys – I’m buying into Detroit’s performance last week but Dallas is a team that cannot score points. Last time I checked, you have to score points to win.
Packers over Bills – Green Bay is not a good team. Buffalo and especially rookie QB Josh Allen would definitely have my attention if they were able to win in Green Bay.
Eagles over Titans – I like Philly here in a low scoring affair. Tennessee is close to being down two quarterbacks. I think Carson Wentz will continue to feel more comfortable back in the lineup.
Colts over Texans – The talk in Texas maybe about the Cowboys’ struggles but what in the world is going on in Houston? Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Clowney, Hopkins, Lamar Miller. They are all healthy. Yet, Houston is winless. The hot seat will be on coach Bill O’Brien real soon if they go to 0-4.
Jaguars over Jets – Jacksonville is a good team that just can’t beat Tennessee. It makes no sense but it’s true.
Browns over Raiders – I like Bayer Mayfield to keep Jon Gruden’s Raiders winless in a road upset.
Seahawks over Cardinals – Arizona made the right decision benching Sam Bradford for the rookie Josh Rosen. But this Cardinals team doesn’t look like they are in shape to compete this year.
Chargers over 49ers – The Jimmy Garoppolo injury has taken the air out of the entire season for San Francisco.
Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB: Phillip Rivers (Chargers) – Rivers should have plenty of opportunities against the 49ers that might have trouble scoring points themselves.
RB: Kenyan Drake (Dolphins) – Many are waiting on a breakout out game from Drake. It could come this week in New England.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants) – The New Orleans secondary is back to being bad. That should be good news for New York’s top receiving target.
TE: Travis Kelce (Chiefs) – Kelce is pretty reliable is playing with house money with how well the Chiefs offense is operating.
DEF: Jacksonville – I like the Jaguars defense to limit rookie QB Sam Darnold this week.