NFL 2012 – Week 17, “Fantasy Teams, Part II” Edition

Part two of the 2012 fantasy teams, this part is the positive side of fantasy football, better known as the players who showed up this season or the “Anti-Eli Manning,” which also works.

Before I get to the teams, I wanted to take a minute to detail the reasons why I won’t be playing fantasy football next. In my opinion, fantasy football has become a commercialized joke.

In the simplest form, there are two personality types of people in the world – Type A and Type B. Type A personality traits include being overly competitive, goal oriented and achievement-driven. Given those traits, it’s obvious that a Type-A personality would measure success in fantasy football by winning rather than enjoyment. On the flip side, Type-B personalities, “do not mind losing and simply enjoy the playing game.” It’s clear which personality type is better suited playing a random game of luck.

To illustrate this, let’s say a Type-A and Type-B engage in a game of flip the coin. Probability tells us that it is likely that each person in this classic duel we will half of the flips. But let’s say the Type-A person goes on an incredible streak of calling the coin correctly ten consecutive times. Type-B guy is like, “Wow, that is impressive . Well done.” Type-A guy isn’t focused on what has happened, they are focused on continuing the streak. Now we all know, that whether Type-A guy has called the coin correctly 100 times in a row, the next call is 50/50. And if thrown enough, Type-A guy will regress to the mean, with streaks of brilliance mixed in. Each “streak of brilliance” is a killer for Type-A because he knows what can be. Whereas, Type-B, is smiling and enjoying watching the coin do a multiple flips in air.

Moreover, Type-B personalities love fantasy football for what it really is, entertainment. It keeps them interested in the game, after their teams are eliminated from the playoffs. I can imagine a Type-Ber giggling, like child watching Sponge Bob turn himself into various household items, when they sign into the league website on Tuesday morning to find out they won. I also think the Type-B guys put very little into the game like, “oh, shucks I missed free agents again this week” or “oh, my guy is on IR, maybe I should pick up his backup.” It’s the social aspect, not results, that keeps them coming back. They love getting together at the draft, maybe running a bit of smack talk during the season, and maybe, if everything breaks right for them they have a shot at a championship, but if not, “oh well, great season, see you all in August!”

I maintain both Type-A and Type-B people are the same when they start playing fantasy football, but any taste of success will drive the Type-A to reach higher levels of success. Soon, winning a division isn’t an accomplishment unless they win a playoff game, and so on. Remember the coin flip example from above. Once they’ve won ten in row, they want the 11th and if they lose the 11th, the other 10 don’t matter.

And that’s the rub, it’s in a Type-A’s DNA to be hyper-competitive and want to win, but once fantasy football has become essentially a coin flip and the losses mount, the Type-A goes crazy and eventually burns out. That’s when you find them holed up in their house buried under hundreds of fantasy football magazines.

But fantasy football has not always been a “coin flip.” In fact, back in the day (defining day – a time before fantasy football was engorged with zillions of fantasy experts, who actually make a living giving make believe advice for a make believe world), a Type-Aer had a huge advantage over “happy-go-lucky, winning doesn’t matter, just likes being part of something” fantasy player, he could out-work him for players in both the draft and the during the season. Those days are long gone, when every fantasy player has access to a version of the “weekly waiver wire recommendations.” There are no longer players that can be defined as sleepers, because once Matthew Berry announces them as a sleeper, guess what, they are no longer a sleeper. And these “fantasy sites” begin their fantasy football year so early and have so much time to fill, that they literally mention every player who might have a shot a scoring a tenth of a fantasy point in the coming year.

Now it’s a coin flip, essentially a lottery ticket where everyone shows up to the draft with a freshly printed draft cheat sheet that tells them who to draft, when to draft them and when to crack a joke about a guy being drafted to soon. These seasons could literally be played out with auto-draft on, for everyone, and then it’s a matter of avoiding injuries and getting the right mix of guys. A lottery draw!

That randomness is what will ultimately drive all Type-A players out of the game, because they know they have less control. I agree that there is randomness is virtually every facet of our lives and that shouldn’t be any different in fantasy football, but I ask you would you be happy if promotions given out by pulling a name out of a bingo machine? Exactly.

Therefore, the question becomes – can fantasy football be fixed? Can we mitigate the randomness and bring the Type-A back into the fold? Sure, I think it’s possible to fix this mess, while allowing some randomness for the Type-B’s. How? Glad you asked, here are some ideas:

  • Snake drafts should be Audi-5000’d immediately. All drafts should be auction style. Sure, it’s harder but they are far less “fantasy experts” willing to venture into the scary world of auction drafts, so it leaves room for an owner who does their homework, prepares a strategy and budget to have an advantage. An auction draft is a lot harder than crossing names off a list and drafting the next available player. Advantage: Huge to Type-A player
  • With snake drafts out of play, it would be easier to convert each league to a keeper league, with a significant amount of keepers, say five or so. When a player is acquired in the auction, the dollar amount becomes his number and to keep that player the amount rises each year. With that keeper amount rising each year, an owner cannot hang on to a rookie like Doug Martin until they have gone from the equivalent of A-List Vegas escort to waitressing the midnight shift in Laughlin (yeah, it happens that quick). This also opens up a bevy of trading options that otherwise would not be available, since at any point an owner may decide to scrap talent and build for next year. To avoid that getting out of hand, rosters are managed by a cap on player salaries. But those type of deals are what would keep a Type-A player motivated season to season, even in the face of losing. Advantage: Slight Type-A player, only slight because Type-A will likely throw in the towel way to early
  • Something has to be done to mitigate week-to-week randomness, whether it’s what I mentioned in Part I about carry over points or an all roster play or a percentage of bench points getting added to the final score. Putting something like this in play, kills two birds with a sinlge stone, as it will penalize the stagnant owner with a roster full of players on IR, but rewards the owner building the strong roster from top to bottom. Advantage: Slight Type-A player
  • Defensive teams should not be part of any fantasy league ever again. In my leagues where a defense was required this season, I witnessed a game that swung close to 50 points this season. And there were several games where the swing was at least 30 points. That is ridiculously random. There is no other position with that kind of swing, even quarterback if you were forced to start that worthless sack of dog crap Eli Manning. With defensive teams out, I would add in IDP and a return position to the weekly lineup. It works like this – one DL, one LB and one DB starts every week and gets points for defensive things – like forced fumbles, sacks, tackles, penalties,etc. The returner position can be any NFL player, but they only get points for returns, however, all returns are included – interceptions, fumble, punt, kickoff and blocked kicks. This gives an advantage to players willing to do some work, since, not surprisingly, most fantasy experts do not give fantasy advice on IDP. Advantage: Type-A player
  • Finally, I would implement something like the presidential veto where a player can potentially eliminate one of his opponents players score. There was an old Sports Illustrated/Athlon game called Paydirt, where each team had a play sheet with outcomes based on actual statistics from the previous season. One of the rules of the game was, when on defense, you had the ability to “key” on one offensive play. If the offense called that play, the result was an automatc no gain, if they didn’t the offensive outcome was taking with no regard to defensive adjustment. My idea would give owners the opportunity to “key” on one of the opponents player. If that player was the high scorer for your opponent, his score would be reduced by some percentage. But if that player was not the high scorer, points are added to your opponent for that week. Advantage: Wash, Type-B player will forget to use this more often than not, while Type-A player will over think and screw it up more often than not.

Don’t be surprised if I come back after a year off with a radical new league that mirrors the above ideas.

Ok, enough about me, let’s get back to the exciting conclusion of the 2012 fantasy teams.

To start off the “Anti-Eli Manning” side let’s introduce the “All-Rookie” team. This season seemed like there was an unprecedented number of rookies who played a major part in not only their teams success, but also their owners fantasy success.

There is an old fantasy football adage that states, “You can’t win the league with your draft, but you can lose it.” You see, most fantasy football championship are won with a fair amount of free agents comprising the winning lineups. Therefore it makes sense to recognize the top free agents pick-ups of 2012, with the “All-Waiver” team.


And without further ado, here are the “All-Fantasy” teams. These are the creme de la creme of fantasy players for 2012. Beginning with the 2nd team, players who were crazy good, but not quite the top.

And the fantasy superstars – the “All-Fantasy” 1st team:

NFL 2012 – Week 16, “Eli Manning Sucks” Edition

Two weeks left in the regular season and yours truly needs a run to get over the Mendoza line. I stand at 107-114-3, meaning I need a 20-12 finish to thumb my nose at the odds makers, who will in turn hand me a hefty “juice” bill, still I win.

The good news is that in my “Contest” picks I am 39-33-3 for a modest profit of 2.7 units. I will take it, though I feel like it should have been a bigger year because (a.) I’ve improved in not only spotting value plays but have also moved away from trying to be consistently on the “Sharp” side. Sharps lose about as much as they win.; (b.) it seemed like an easy year; now maybe that is due to the improvement mentioned above, but most likely it’s simply the bad beats have been evened out by lucky wins. Still I can’t help but feel like I’ve more than a few “I knew better” moments this season; and (c). I spent more time on handicapping, despite a couple of weeks where I was goal to goal soccer, I still managed to do plenty of work.

Winning 20 of the last 32 games is a long shot, but it’s not over, just like it wasn’t over when CJ had Zach on the brink of elimination in Hall Brawl, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and it wasn’t over for my fantasy team when Eli Manning shit his pants in week 15. Let’s get it on.

Special for this week, I’ve added a fantasy predictions for each game called fantasy three stars – where I rank the top three fantasy performers for the game.

You might be wondering why I would bother with a game I despise so much, well I figure that next year I might be able to become a fantasy “expert” since I won’t be playing.

Huh, you ask? How can you give fantasy advice unless you are in like 500 fantasy leagues? Look, the natural tendency for humans is to be biased, either for (all-in) or against (hedge), towards your players, as well as your opponents players. Think about a week like this, championship week for most fantasy leagues, I might be inclined to rank my opponents quarterback much higher than I actual believe as a hedge against myself. If I am wrong, I win my league, at a cost of enduring a few thousand angry tweets from owners who started quarterback “X” because of my recommendation. If I am right, I might lose my fantasy game, but that is a small price to pay for becoming the “fantasy go-to guy”, trust me that will have a payday all its own.

Next year I won’t be playing, so you can be sure to get an unbiased, and more often than not, correct opinion.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

The “Super Contest” Picks

NY Giants (-2.5) over Baltimore – Here is a new drinking game for you and your buddies to try out during this game – every time a quarterback throws a ball off his back foot and recoils like he just got hit in the face with a dead trout, take a drink; every time a quarterback throws a pass that either is intercepted or misses its mark by roughly 10 yards AND has a bewildered look on his face like “how did that happen”, slam a full beer or drink a shot; and every time a quarterback takes a sack without being touched, take a drink. The winner of the game is the person who stays alive AND doesn’t have to have their stomach pumped at the local urgent care.

So, reason #2458 that I will never play fantasy football ever again is my tirade of intellectually challenged tweets directed at Eli Manning last week – the “EFF YOU ELI” type of tweets are not funny, it’s boring and mindless. And that’s where Eli took me last week, past the point of funny, sarcastic tweets like “Ryan Leaf thinks Eli Manning sucks at quarterback!” to the seeing red point where I was so mad that I could only muster several plain, profanity laced tweets to exhibit my clear disgust. It’s just not worth the pain and suffering.

And I am sure you’re asking yourself this question, “Colin, tell us are you not starting Eli this week in your fantasy championship?” Hell yes I am, and not because I don’t have a viable back-up (Sam Bradford would easily give me what I would be willing to accept from Eli – 250-1), but because I want to give Eli the chance to turn my white hot hatred for him around. Plus, he has generally been pretty good when his back is against the wall, oh, he also gets a garbage team in the Ravens, that can’t hurt.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Ahmad Bradshaw, 2. Victor Cruz, 3. Ray Rice

Cleveland (+13.0) over Denver – Prior to last weekend’s humbling at the hands of the Redskins, the Browns had lost by more than 13 just one time this season. So we got that going for the Browns. Plus, aren’t the Broncos due for a stinker? The answer is yes. Now I can’t see the Browns beating the Donkeys in Denver, but I do believe this game will be closer than the odds-makers are predicting.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Knowshon Moreno, 2. Peyton Manning, 3. Denver D

Seattle (+1.0) over San Francisco – Here are three possible reasons why Pete Carroll has been running up the score on his last two opponents – 1. He is practicing for running up the score on the 49ers, much like it gets easier to turn right on red at freeway after the first couple of times; 2. Pete’s a closet Bills fan and wanted to put an over-matched Chan Gailey out of his misery, plus he wasn’t too worried about Chan getting physical with him in the post-game handshake; and 3. Petey decided to start Michael Robinson at quarterback over Eli Manning and wanted to get him more points on that fake punt play.

Here is the deal, the game was still in question at 47-17, you just never know when Frank Reich and Andre Reed are going to walk through that door.

As for this game, it’s a totally different game if the 49ers lose that game in New England last weekend. This game, in terms of the division, is irrelevant to the 49ers, unless you are in the camp that believes the Cardinals can win in San Francisco with the division on the line next week. For Seattle, this game is everything, it’s at home, in prime-time, they’re all-in on this game and the results will show.

Oh, and by the way, that Russell Wilson 6-1 to win Rookie of the Year will be looking very promising after this prime time performance.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Russell Wilson, 2. Marshawn Lynch, 3. Sidney Rice

Buffalo (+4.5) over Miami – Yeah, yeah, the Dolphins cost me last week by hammering the Jaguars but trust me here, that was the closest 24-3 game in the history of the NFL. The Jaguars were within a touchdown of covering for the first 57 minutes of game, they failed on three 4th down plays inside Miami territroy and they had two touchdwons nullified by penalty. Add all that up and in my book that’s a bad beat.

And while there isn’t much the Bills do to get excited about, I like them for the following reasons – 1. it’s a division game, so it figures to be close; 2. Is there anyone from Buffalo that doesn’t enjoy a trip to Miami in late December?; 3. The Bills are a much better team wth C.J. Spiller as their full time back; and 4. the Dolphins are banged up at WR and their not exactly deep at that position, oh by the way, they also have a rookie quarterback.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. C.J. Spiller, 2. Reggie Bush, 3. Stevie Johnson

 

Washington (-5.5) over Philadelphia – I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since I watched Nick Foles throw a pass even Ryan Leaf thought sucked that completely changed the momentum of their game. The Eagles get back McCoy this week, so expect them to return to throwing the ball at a 75/25 ratio. I know it doesn’t make sense to me either.

I can’t quite tell yet if the Redskins are a serious threat to make a deep playoff run, or even if they are capable of winning a home playoff game, but they have been very impressive over the past few weeks. And this week they get back RG III, that and the mistakes the Eagles make should be enough for the Skins to cover easily.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Robert Griffin III, 2. Alfred Morris, 3. Pierre Garcon

The “Rest of the Week 16” picks

Cincinnati (+3.5) over Pittsburgh – In terms of participants, the AFC playoff scenario comes down to this game, the winner is the 6th and final team to clinch an AFC playoff berth. That cannot make the NFL happy, with all those week 17 divisional matchups on tap and nothing but seeding to play for. What happened to parity in the AFC this season? Well, the American Football Conference is a little like America the country with the Elites and the Poor, i.e. no middle class.

Of course we have the dominate teams in the Patriots, Texans and Broncos, each with a reasonable chance to post 12+ wins. But the real reason is some really, really bad football teams that have been owned by the NFC as the nine AFC teams already eliminated from the playoffs are a combined 8-26 against the NFC.

This is a tough game to call because on one hand you have the Bengals, a really dumb team, a team that makes costly mistakes, even Marvin Lewis referenced this after last week’s victory over the Eagles, “We survived ourselves tonight.” Uh, yeah, with a lot of help from the Eagles. I am not so sure the Steelers will be as accommodating.

But on the other hand, the Steelers don’t look right to me – Big Ben is a shell of himself, despite numbers that Eli Manning owners would take without hesitation, they drop too many passes, they have special teams breakdowns at the wrong time and they’re sloppy with the ball. And while it’s hard to see the Steelers losing three straight, especially at this point of the season, the Bengals are simply a better team.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. AJ Green, 2. Mike Wallace, 3. Andy Dalton

Detroit (+3.5) over Atlanta – If I am a Falcons fan I am still very nervous about the playoffs, even in the face of the giant win over the NY Giants. Why? Well, let’s look at the possible teams that might head to the Georgia dome for round two of the playoffs – Seattle, uh that’s a bad matchup for the Falcons; Redskins, better matchup for them than the Seahawks, but can’t you see RG III going in there and pulling off four to five back breaking plays to lead the Redskins to a win; Giants, sure the Falcons just whacked them 34-0 but this would be the “playoff” Giants not the “week 15, soil themselves” Giants. Falcons fan, in the words of Rocky Balboa after Apollo told him there wouldn’t be a rematch, “Don’t want one.”

The best matchup for the Falcons would be da Bears, a team essentially on fumes right now. Of course, I cannot see the Bears winning on the road in either San Francisco or Green Bay. So, the Bears are out. That’s right Falcons fans it’s time to start preparing for what has become an annual ritual in Atlanta – playoff failure.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Calvin Johnson, 2. Tony Gonzalez, 3. Jacquizz Rodgers

New England (-14.5) over Jacksonville – A casual sports investor might glance at this line and think to themselves, “That’s a tasty line, home team dogs getting double digits are golden.” That’s partially correct, home team dogs getting between 10 and 14 points are 29-16 since 2002, that’s gold. But home team dogs getting over 14 points are just 1-5 in that same period, that’s coal. This game is an prime example of what happens when a bug (Jaguars) hits a windshield (Patriots).

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Maurice Jones-Drew Tom Brady, 2. Aaron Hernandez, 3. Shane Vereen; Side note – One of my favorites things about week 16 of fantasy football is the ability to cut players that have jacked me this year, thus sending shockwaves to the league before they realize, “oh wait, we can’t pick him up next week.” MJD got cut this week for Ronnie Brown, for nothing more than the sport of cutting a guy who accumulated .4 points for me this year. And yet Eli Manning is taking all the blame.

Tennessee (+11.5) over Green Bay – I really don’t trust this Packers team to cover a double digit spread, especially with the following (a.) clinch the division last week in Chicago; (b.) needing like eight offensive pass interference calls to go their way to clinch the division last week, hardly a solid win; (c.) having very little to play for; sure they can get a bye, but what did that do for them last year; and (d.) sure, the Packers are 10-4, but their point differential is a rather weak +52, meaning they play to their competition. Translation, they cannot put teams away, thus the Titans hang around this week.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Aaron Rodgers, 2. Kenny Britt, 3. Jake Locker

Chicago (-5.5) over Arizona – I will let you in on a little secret, I played the Bears at over 9.5 wins on the season. Needless to say but the old rule of “don’t count your sheep until you’ve got the wool sweater in hand lest they pull the wool out from underneath you” applies here. Somehow this 8-3 Bears team has found a way to flounder to 8-6 and put me a “dormie” situation. That’s the bad news.

The good news is the Bears get the Cardinals and Lions to close out the year, and while making the playoffs is a secondary motivation to them winning me my over wins bet, it can’t hurt to have that as extra incentive. They have to win out to have a shot at the playoffs and probably keep Lovie smith employed. And even then, they need help, but really when you need Dallas to choke or the Giants to fall flat against the Ravens is that really that far-fetched. Blend it all together and it means Bears will sneak in with similar resume as the past two Super Bowl champions.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Brandon Marshall, 2. Matt Forte, 3. Chicago D

Carolina (-8.0) over Oakland – This is the most ridiculous line of the season – how can the Panthers be giving anybody over a touchdown, including eventual 2012 National Champion, Norte Dame. This is a team that is three weeks removed from a loss to the Chiefs, the Chiefs! That loss is about as bad as losing to that freakshow, Abi-Marie in a Survivor final three.

Survivor Tangent time – I need someone to tell me how Abi was not in the final three in place of Denise or Malcolm. And yes I am looking at you, Lisa and you, Skupin. It’s a very interesting final three with Lisa, Scoop and Abi. What’s Abi’s final tribal opening remark – “You cannot vote for these two morons, they’re morons. That is all.” After both Lisa and Scoop essentially tell the world for the 159th time that Abi is a social leper who is perhaps the most unlikeable person in the world, Abi can come back, this time in tears, with a closing remark of, “I, I didn’t realize how much people hated me, I’m just, just very direct in my comments, I speak what’s on my mind, I don’t mean to, to offend anyone. I am lovable. I guess all I am left to say is, if you vote for me, I will give you oral sex for a year. That is all.” Of course I am guessing that most if not all of the jury had already experienced oral sex from Abi, so that wouldn’t have carried much weight.

There is no way Abi had any chance to win and to be honest there was no way Scoop or Lisa had a chance to win against either Malcolm or Denise. Scoop and Lisa knew this and yet still decided that Abi had to go. The big loser in this is Scoop, as Lisa will undoubtedly parlay this into some ABC Family show alongside Molly Ringwold. But Scoop, man, you had a million reasons to keep Abi.

Whew!

You know what, I am buying what the house is selling here on the Panthers.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Cam Newton, 2. Steve Smith, 3. Darren McFadden

Tampa Bay (-3.0) over St. Louis – Have the Bucs already tuned out Sargent Schiano? That’s why these college coaches make for lousy NFL coaches, NFL players are men with massive power, college kids are under the control of “the man.” It’s that simple.

Still even with that, I believe the personal pride of the Bucs will show up for one last time in 2012, plus the Rams have had a successful season reagardless of what they do in these last two games. They mailed that game in last week and I look for more the remainder of the season. However, next year, look out NFL, here come the Rams!

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Vincent Jackson, 2. Tampa Bay D, 3. Doug Martin

San Diego (+2.5) over NY Jets – Rex Ryan must really, really hate Christians, otherwise how do you not give Tim Tebow a shot? Is the mere thought of Tebow leading the Jets to a victory and in the post-game thanking his Lord and Savior too much for the agnostic Ryan? I mean really, how much different is this Jets team than that Broncos team last season, both need to run and play defense to win, both are over-matched against talented teams, but at this point why not give Timmy a shot? Instead the Jets turn from Sanchez to McElroy. And I actually considered picking up McElroy to start over Eli Manning this week. Side note – goodness my twitter account is going to blow up Sunday if Eli sucks, but I vow to have at least 75% of the likely 100+ tweets be at least an attempt at being humorous and not the mindless display from last weekend.

One more comment on this Jets franchise – now I hear they are going to explore trading Sanchez (and his 8.5 million guaranteed) this off-season. Hmm, so that’s a little like me trying to trade a beat-up Yugo for a brand new BMW M5. Don’t get me wrong, I could definitely do that, in fact a dealer would be salivating at how they could rip me off on the trade-in and the price of the M5, yup, right up ’til the point I tell them, “oh, by the way, did I tell you that I still owe 24K on the Yugo.”

Actually, I lied, I have one more comment – do you realize that if the NFL did not allow NBC to flex games that this would have been the Sunday night game this week? We should all thank the god, that Rex Ryan thinks might exist, for that foresight by the NFL.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. San Diego D, 2. NY Jets D, 3. Ronnie Brown

New Orleans (+2.5) over Dallas – Come on, Cowboys fan you know this is a game that this team will inexplicable lose. After two back-to-back, ballsy performances, this Cowboys team will be back to the team “we’ve grown to know and love.” The only thing that could be better is if this was the ESPN game this week. Then we could get John Gruden’s take. You know classic comments like:

“Mike, this Cowboys team needs to pick it up. The playoffs are up for grabs, the Cowboys need to grab it and choke it.”

“This Drew Bress can make throws that no one else can make. I tell you what, I wouldn’t want to play corner against him, that’s for sure.”

“This Pierre Thomas is a one man wrecking ball. You see he gets to the corner, and BAM, he is like a truck running over a Carr.”

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Drew Brees, 2. Demarco Murray, 3. Jason Witten

Minnesota(+7.5) over Houston – It is funny to see the progression of chatter about Adrian Peterson’s remarkable season, it started with a few commentators asking discussing AP’s chance to join the 2K club (and thus becoming AP2K), after a 200 yard day, the talk quickly turned to “Can AP break Eric Dickerson’s record?” AP even told ED, “I can beat this, it’s mind over matter, I don’t need a blue pill . . .” Oh wait, wrong ED. Peterson told Dickerson, “You should be nervous.” Dickerson responded with, “Footballs are oval, back to you Al!” Actually, Dickerson held up a sign stating “he wasn’t nervous,” but last week Eric was spotted in Target buying new underwear and a month supply of Pepto Bismol.

After watching Vick Ballard (see Colts roster, he is the starting running back) run over the Texans last week, I think AP has a better than 5% chance of breaking the record this week.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Adrian Peterson, 2. Arian Foster, 3. Ben Tate

Indianapolis (-6.5) over Kansas City – Oh man did Jamaal Charles do a number on his fantasy owners last week. Honestly, I identified Charles as the #1 threat to me in my semi-final game last weekend, as I felt like there was no way he would do anything less than 100-1. I really, really feared the dreaded , “no effing way” game from him, like 225-3. What was that performance? Against the Raiders, no less. Surprisingly, however, the vitriol aimed at Charles was mild in comparison to Eli Manning. A simple Twitter search of “Jamaal Charles Sucks” yields merely seven tweets with my favorite being this one:

The same search using “Eli Manning Sucks”, yielded 123 tweets and that doesn’t include any of the dozen I sent out last weekend, because the tweet “Eli Manning sucks sweaty camel balls” was far too imaginative for me last weekend. Here is a sampling of my favorites:

Now there is something I need to use more often, references to Madden, but it would be better as a parody, like, “Eli Manning sucks, in fact one time in Madden 69:A gay porn parody, I caught him the locker room performing oral sex on some Massachusetts senator. Turns out he was working for Bob Kraft.” #LessThanZero

Poor thing, she should have taken the jersey off. TAKE IT OFF, TAKE IT OFF! Ba Da Bing!

Yikes, I have Carson as well, but fortunately my stick is still intact. Whew!

And my personal favorite:

That pretty much sums it up, he seems like that type of guy, which is why when he costs you, the hate is great.

Oh yeah, the Colts should cover this game easily when the Anti-Eli Manning, Andrew Luck goes wild.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Andrew Luck, 2. Reggie Wayne, 3. Jamaal Charles

Best of luck this week!

NFL 2011 – Week Five Picks

“Super Wynner Contest” Week 4 Recap

  • G-Dub has been quite vocal around the Wynner’s mansion this weekend, taunting all three of the other competitors with weak statements like “I’ m heads and tails above you three.” And he wants me to change his name to Flip Wynner. He’s been unbearable!
  • Yeah, I get it, I have been horrible this season and I am being soundly defeated by random luck. My defense, it takes a few weeks for power rankings to be fully effective. Yeah, that’s it.
  • The good news – I passed Juana and Megan, who are circling the drain worse than A-Rod’s “True Yankee” status.

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

10-6

34-27-3 (.555)

Colin Wynner

6-10

29-32-3 (.477)

Juana Wynner

4-12

28-33-3 (.461)

Megan Wynner

7-9

26-35-3 (.430)

 

SuperContest Week 4 Recap

  • Picks: Lions, Vikings, Texans, Cardinals and Jets
  • A quick log of the early games – Lions, Texans and Vikings
    • Great start! All three of my teams get the ball to begin the game, any chance I can be up by a combined 21-0 in about 10 minutes? Maybe not, Houston fumbles the kickoff fortunately the Texans get back on top of it to regain possession; unfortunately a penalty moves them to inside their own 10 to start the opening drive; I am about to text a buddy to let him know the Texans are not covering today.
    • Oh man, I nailed this Texans game, the Steelers are not good at all – 18 play, 11 minute drive for the Texans to go up 7-0, the rout is on!
    • Minnesota leads 7-3, but Detroit is getting crushed, if not for a goal-line stand the Lions would be down 14-0; the Cowboys are trying to one-up the Eagles in the inefficient plays inside the opponents 10 category
    • End of the first quarter in Houston Texans have the ball back and lead 7-0, not worrying about that game at all.
    • Halftime in Houston – 10-0, but it should be much worse, the Texans block a field goal at the end of the half and return it for a touchdown, but some d-bag blocks a Steelers player in the back, behind the play no less, and it gets called back. This game feels so “Texans” to me, you know the kind of game they totally dominate yet find a way to lose.
    • More fun at halftime – Dallas crushing Detroit 20-3, proving that injuries to an opponent can be offset by bringing your “D” game; Minnesota is also flaking on me – down 9-7 at half; I text a buddy to whine about going 0-3 in the early games
    • The Steelers take the opening kickoff, burn 8 minutes and move into cover range; knew it.
    • So, much for the Lions coming back in the second half; now 27-3 in a game that I have written off as a loss.
    • The good news Minesota pulls into a 10-9, uh, now down 12-10; that was fast. Yup, next stop 0-3. Demoralizing! I knew I should have pulled the “REVERSE EM”, where before I send my picks, I reverse all of them.
    • More bad news in Houston, somehow the Steelers have now tied the game at 10-10, here comes the Texans 13-10 win. Good for them, bad for me (-3.5).
    • Detroit can do no right on offense, but their defense picks up a touchdown, which gives me a twinge of hope in that game, just 17 points to tie with about 21 minutes to play.
    • Houston comes right back down the field on that over-rated, old Steeler defense; capped off with a 40 yard TD run by my new favorite player, Arian Foster. They just need to keep the Steelers out of the end zone for the cover. I decide this will be a win.
    • You know what – I might go 3-0, Detroit just returned another interception for a touchdown, now a 10 point game with plenty of time remaining. Hopefully the Lions offense will wake up and start producing
    • Remember that 3-0 thought – what was I thinking, Minnesota is now down 22-10, that’s a loss and Detroit is down 30-17, still a chance but slim
    • Houston wins in a game that ends well before the other two, so I am batting a 1.000 right now; sweet!
    • Megatron makes the Detroit game a lot more interesting as he catches a TD to bring them with 6 points
    • I wish I was getting more than 1 point in the Detroit game, I can see them taking a 31-30 lead, but eventually losing 33-31
    • Now it’s getting crazy, Romo just threw another interception setting the Lions up in Dallas territory trailing 30-27 and the Vikings are down 22-17 but driving

    • Chiefs D-line “Wait, is it the 4th quarter? Protect your balls!”

      Megatron again – Detroit 34-30! One of the luckier covers, if they hang on, I’ve ever had.

    • More good news, I flip to Minnesota and they have a first down at the KC 41 with 2 minutes left. The bad news Donovan McNabb is the quarterback, but they might have enough time to run the ball with AP and Harvin for the winning score.
    • Pretty typical McNabb, two consecutive passes knocked down by the Chiefs defensive line, well I guess if you consider getting hit in the facemask knocking the ball down. 3rd down features the signature McNabb bounce pass. I forgot how bad this guy is at leading a team late in a game; I seriously would have called a draw play to AP on 4th and 10. If it didn’t work, when asked about it in the post-game press-conference I would have defended it with “Did you see the previous three plays? Based on that data, I thought we had better chance running the football.” McNabb’s 4th down pass would have been complete if somehow the Vikings could sneak the NFL Films sound guy onto the field, yeah, the pass air-mailed the intended receiver. 1-1!
    • If I am playing against Jason Witten in fantasy, I am going punt my dog like Baxter in Anchorman. Detroit is allowing the Cowboys to waltz down the field without contesting the middle of the field.
    • Whew, huge sack by the Lions; and on 4 and 20 Romo throws a short pass to Felix Jones for 8 yards!?! The funny thing about the play – Romo runs up to the line like he is going to spike the ball! He is going to get crucified in Dallas this week! 2-1
    • I felt great about going to 2-1, as though the worm was turning for me. I absolutely love the Cardinals this afternoon and I think getting 3.5 points with the Jets is money – 4-1 right around the corner.
  • So, the Cardinals go up 10 late in the fourth, but then they forget to play defense. That’s a little like getting hit with a bag of piss on a cold day – at first you think, “Wow, that’s warm, feels great!” Shortly after, you realize it was piss, now you’re colder than ever and covered in frozen piss.
  • There was a good reason the Jets went from 3.5 to 6 points before kickoff – they suck! I guess the “sharps” knew that the Jets would give up three defensive touchdowns! Damn, why can’t I predict things like that! 2-3 YUCK!
  • I have to keep chopping wood, but I need a 14-6 four week run to catapult me back into the top 100 and give me a chance!

LHSC: 2-3, 8-10-2 (Tied for 320th)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

 

NFC Worst – “The Quest for 6 Wins”

 

Tampa Bay @ San Francisco (-3.0)

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5)

Seattle @ NY Giants (-9.5)

Bye Week (-3.0) @ St. Louis

 

It must have been a full moon last Sunday, because all four NFC Worst teams had a chance to win. Fortunately, only one of the teams was able to disappoint. Unfortunately, it was the one team we couldn’t afford to pull off a victory.

 

Really, 49ers, really? Help me understand what the 49ers are thinking – we have a chance to make history here, and they go win an seemingly unwinnable game in Philadelphia. Even Jim Harbaugh couldn’t believe it, on the sideline after the win he looked like Chick Gandell from Chicago Black Sox after getting the game winning hit in game three and pissing off the gamblers, like “Uh, yeah, I am so excited we won!” But inside he is thinking, “How the hell am I going to win anything of significance with Alex Smith? I need Andrew Luck!”

 

Not all is lost, however, the damage the 49ers have done can easily be undone, they still only have two non-division wins – they’re allowed three. No worries they will get back on track this week, with Josh Freeman, the original king of cover.

 

The Seahawks dug themselves a nice 27-7 hole, but then they did the unthinkable – started to rally. Listen Hawk players, Pete Carroll is a marshmallow; you don’t have to win to have him open his palace for a post-game “kegger.” I don’t need the Hawks attempting a 61 yard field goal to win the game, it’s just too close. In fact with the 49ers exceeding expectations, I need the rest of the NFC West to save what little effort, energy, imaginative play-calling they have for the 49ers.

 

I really thought the Cardinals would notch a win against the Giants, as evidence by my SuperContest pick on them, but at the end of the game the defense realized history was at stake and that was by far more important than a silly $750,000 contest. If in 13 weeks we’re talking about the 6-10 49ers as division champs, we will look back on the Cardinals defense collapse against the Giants as the reason we have the historic 6 win division winner.

 

By far the most clutch team in the division is the Rams. What bad can you say about the Rams? When the chips are down, this team finds ways to lose, and for that members of the “6-10” club are grateful

 

The game against the Skins almost fell their way, but they took care of business when it counted most. Well done! I especially like that they shown some signs of life at the end of the game. Heading into the bye week that will give them something to build on, which won’t help them until week nine, which is exactly when we need this team to start playing like a slightly above mediocre NFL team.

 

Major concerns going forward:

 

  1. Clearly right now the biggest concern is that somehow, some way the 49ers are going to get to seven wins. We need this season to mirror the 2009 when the 49ers started 3-1 and finished 6-10.

 

For this week, we have an above average chance to post a 0-4; and yes, I am predicting a Rams loss to bye-week:

 

Seattle travels to New York to face the Giants. It seems like it never ends well for the West Coast teams traveling East. This will be no exception, although Eli Manning is about six times better on the road than at home.

 

It’s a lot of points to lay, but finish this sentence – “The Giants go up 14-0, the Seahawks respond . . .” Well, if you’re like me, you answer “by packing it in”. Seriously, 9.5 is a lot of points, but its Tavaris Jackson, on the road, in a hostile environment filled with frustrated Yankee fans. It won’t end well for the Seahawks.

 

Pick: NY Giants -9.5

 

Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Road Warriors hit the Bay Area this week to face a team that just won their equivalent of the Super Bowl. How do I know? I talked a friend of mine who is a huge 49er fan and he had a n ear-to-ear grin and he was wearing a “Week four Champs” t-shirt. Yeah, I think the 49ers will have a bit of a hangover this week. It’s back down to earth this week for the 49ers.

 

Pick: Tampa Bay +3.0

 

The Cardinals and Vikings feature a match-up of former Eagle quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb. Remember Kolb was McNabb’s understudy for his first couple of seasons in the NFL. And based on Kolb first handful of starts, Donovan really rubbed off on him.

 

Kolb has been very McNabbian-like with the game on the line this season. In Week three, Kolb threw a terrible interception agasint Seattle, to end the Cardinals best drive of the fourth quarter. Last week, Kolb couldn’t get the job done late either, as evidenced by the following Exhibits, A – needing a first down, Kolb rushes a throw off his back foot to Early Doucet; B – the final drive features a 2nd and short, the play-call is a screen pass, which Kolb eats and takes a sack as opposed to dumping the ball at the intended receivers feet, instead of 3rd and short, the Cardinals now face 3rd and 10; C – One play later, facing a 4th and three, Kolb again rushes a throw off his back foot to a heavily cover Larry Fitzgerald – ball game!

 

Therefore, my prediction is the team leading at the end of the third quarter wins this game.

 

Pick: Minnesota -2.5

 

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-2.0) – Painter-to-Garcon is going to make Colts fans completely forget about Manning-to-Harrison. Uh, well maybe not, but is it a coincidence that Painter has an above average game on Monday and all of a sudden Peyton is talking about coming back in December. I think not!

Can Chiefs coach Todd Haley get along with anyone? As the offensive coordinator of the Cardinals, Haley got into it with several players, most notably during the NFC Championship, with Anquan Boldin. Haley also ran off Charlie Weis in the off-season. The latest incident was with his quarterback, Matt Cassel. The guy seems like an egotistical prick who can’t coach – that’s a highly unusual pair of traits for an NFL head coach, most just can’t coach!

Pick: Indianapolis -2.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Five Picks

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-2.0)
– My dad always says the word “chief” or calls us “chief.”

Pick: Kansas City +2.0

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5)
– I love Arizona but I’m going to have to go with the Vikings on this one. Go #28!

Pick: Minnesota -2.5

Philadelphia @ Buffalo (-3.0)
– On the Bold and the Beautiful this week Bill Spencer got exactly what he wanted when his son got engaged to someone else. I think that the Bill S will get what they want to.

Pick: Buffalo +3.0

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5)
– My cousin lives in Texas and the Texans have been playing good football so far.

Pick: Houston -5.5

New Orleans @ Carolina (-6.5)
– New Orleans suffered through such rough times and they came back stronger from it. They have what it takes to win this one.

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

The Rest:

Cincinnati +2.0, Pittsburgh -3.5, Seattle +9.5, Tampa Bay +3.0, New England -8.0, San Diego -4.0, Atlanta +6.0, Chicago +5.0


 

 

Philadelphia (-3.0) @ Buffalo – Mike Vick declared “The Dream Team” thing dead this week. No, no, no, it’s not that easy, Mike. This requires more than public admission, you have to go perform an exorcism style ritual to get truly kill this thing off. Luckily I have the ritual for Philly – (a) Lose three of your first four games CHECK; (b) Socks, bars of soap, Vince Young – figure it out; (c) Cover an Eagle helmet in the blood of a baby eagle which every player must touch it with both hands prior to kickoff; Look you want out of this, you might have to risk going to jail and being further ostracized by PETA; (d) Andy Reid must get a tattoo of Rocky on the left butt check. We won’t need visual proof of this, your word is fine; and (e) Score a touchdown when presented with a 1st and goal inside five. There you go, Mike.

Surprisingly “e” will be the toughest challenge for the Eagles. What I don’t understand is why they can’t get Vick on the outside with some sort of run/pass option on the goal-line? I guess it’s all in Andy Reid’s master plan, like the way he calls timeouts with 2:02 left in the game. Does he realize that by calling a timeout so close to the two minute warning he provides the opposing coach free pass to call any play in his playbook? Honestly, a two year old could figure this out, why can’t Reid?

That aside there is no way the Eagles lose this game.

Pick: Philadelphia -3.0

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5) – Mr. Obvious will now tell you that the Texans are not the same team without Andre Johnson. And while we can all agree that is true, it will really have an impact this week against the Raiders. You see the Raiders are a very physical football and without Andre, the Raiders will be able to free up a safety to help in run support against the Texans best offensive weapon, Arian Foster. Mark it down the Texans will struggle to score points this week.

 

Pick: Oakland +5.5

 

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Carolina – Cam Newton has been a sports investor’s worst nightmare so far this season. He’s lead the Panthers to three straight covers, after opening the season with a push. He is destroying betting staples, like bet against a rookie on the road and don’t lay points with a rookie quarterback in any circumstance.

 

But despite the covering-hype, the public still can’t bring themselves to trust the rook, as 68% of the action is on the Saints. Even a “sharp” guy like me is siding with the 68% this week; my reasons – 1. The Saints cannot close out opponents by running the football; therefore, they will need to roll up as many points as possible, which, hopefully, will this put game out of cover reach for even the great Cam Covers; and 2. The Saints defense, while not great, will aggressively come after Newton with an array of blitzes which, I believe, will Newton into a typical rookie like performance for the first time this season.

 

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

 

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville (-2.0) – Why are the Jags favored in this game? Cincinnati’s defense is much better and their offense is at least as good; both have rookie quarterbacks, though Dalton has been far better than Gabbert. Moreover, the running games are similar, as are the special teams. This game should be no worse than a pick’em for the Bengals. But who am I to argue, I will take the free points.

 

Pick: Cincinnati +2.0

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Five Picks

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Carolina- I think that New Orleans will win because they have been doing well! In addition, they have awesome uniforms!

Pick: New Orleans +6.5

Chicago @ Detroit (-5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because they are a strong team. Therefore, they probably will the beat the Chicago Bears.

Pick: Detroit +5

Arizona @ Minnesota (-2.5) – I think that Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008. I also like their motto.

Pick: Arizona +2.5

Seattle @ N.Y. Giants (-9.5) – I think that the Seattle Seahawks will win because they have a cool motto! Also they have cool colors!

Pick: Seattle +9.5

Oakland @ Houston (-5.5) – I think that the Houston Texans will win because I think they can outplay the Raiders. I also like their team colors!

Pick: Houston +5.5

Green Bay (-6) @ Atlanta – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore, the Packers will be able to outplay the Falcons!

Pick: Green Bay +6

San Diego (-4) @ Denver- I think that the San Diego Chargers will win because they have awesome team colors! I also think that they can outplay and communicate more than Denver!

Pick: San Diego +4

The Rest:

Indianapolis +2, Buffalo +3.0, Jacksonville +2, Pittsburgh -3.5, San Francisco -3.0, New England -8.0


 

 

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – Shhh, nobody who matters has it figured out yet, but this Pittsburgh team is atrocious. Here is a list of things the Steelers cannot do: a. run the football; b. protect their quarterback; c. defend the run; d. defend the pass; and e. scare anyone physically. Other than that they’re great. Not even Mike Tomlin’s rah-rah act is getting through. They might be lucky to win six games.

 

And the Titans are the team this year that is the benefactor of the “catching teams at the right time” schedule, like the Chiefs last year. Translation, I can’t wait to bet against them in the playoffs.

 

Pick: Tennessee +3.5

 

NY Jets @ New England (-8.0) – This is way too many points. The Jets will keep it close and have an outside chance at winning outright. Believe me we’ve seen stranger things happen in the NFL than the Jets winning in New England.

 

Pick: NY Jets +8.0

 

San Diego (-4.0) @ Denver – I am not sure I trust the Broncos to keep this game close, but I will admit that the Chargers are nowhere near the same team without Antonio Gates. Plus, Kyle Orton needs a great game to save his job. How can you go against the following: Norv Turner on the opposite sideline, not having to face Antonio Gates and Kyle Orton with his back against the wall? The answer – you can’t!

 

Pick: Denver +4.0

 

Green Bay (-5.5) @ Atlanta – During my preparation for the NFL season wins prediction, I noted this game as a Falcon win based on the payback factor from the 2010 playoffs. And though I felt like the Falcons would under-achieve and the Packers were, well, the Packers, I recalled the Cardinals and Panthers 2008 playoff game, where the Cardinals went to Charlotte and throttled the Panthers much like the Packers pasted the Falcons last year. The next season the Panthers were a mess when they strolled into Phoenix for what seemed to be an easy win for the home town RedBirds. It didn’t quite work out like that, as the Panthers, clearly motivated by the way the previous season ended, crushed the Cardinals. And that was with Pickomottomus, Jake Delhomme at quarterback.

 

Pick: Atlanta +5.5

 

Chicago @ Detroit (-5.0) – Here is an interesting prop bet – Ndamukong Suh personal fouls -.5 over Jay Cutler broken ribs. A word of warning Jay, expect to hear a lot of this on Sunday, “Jay, look out!”

 

Still, the hype on Detroit is out of control; the odds on the Lions to win the Super Bowl have gone from 80-1 to 10-1. I agree that the Lions are good, but that is a severe over-reaction, they’re not that good.

 

Plus we have a trend in this – I had to dig deep into the database for this trend – home teams that have trailed in their previous two games by 16 or more points at halftime but won the game outright are 0-1 ATS since 1990. That is as of Tuesday morning!

 

Pick: Chicago +5.0

 

Colin Wynner calls (48% of) the winners!

 

Good Luck to all!

 


 

NFL 2011 – Week Two Picks

Oh man, was it great to have football back or what? I ask you on any other day of the week would it take a person 8.5 hours to take out the garbage or vacuum the house? Nope, but that is the case on an NFL Sunday? So, if you happen to have a significant other who loves football as much as you do, then you’re very, very lucky. They understand how hard it is to walk away from a game and accomplish the task. They even share in the procrastination with comments like “we can vacuum tomorrow” and “until the garbage starts to smell, I’m ok with compressing it with a boot”.

But if you’re on the other end of that stick and you have a significant other who is either indifferent to football or completely hates it, well then you have quite a problem on your hands when Sunday rolls around. The easiest choice is send significant other shopping for the day. That works for a single week, but that can become pricey for more than a few weeks. It really adds up when you’re getting tag-teamed by the inept quarterback play of Orton and Hasselbeck, or getting rammed by the St. Louis receivers dropping the ball.

The solution – pick your spots, man. For example, this week offers very few great games, especially early. So, my suggestion would be get up and take your SO out for a late breakfast, with full attention devoted to them, leave your phone at home. By the time the late games roll around SO will be such great mood that they will be willing to sit down and watch the Pats/Chargers with you.

Ugly, ugly start for the “professional” handicapper in the “Super Wynner” contest, as Colin picks up a mere 7.5 wins which puts him in two-way tie for last place (with G-DUB), while Juana had an amazing week at 11.5 and Megan eked out a one win victory over Colin.

Contestant 

Record 

Juana Wynner 

11-4-1 (.719) 

Megan Wynner 

8-7-1 (.531) 

Colin Wynner 

7-8-1 (.469) 

G-DUB 

7-8-1 (.469) 

 

SuperContest Week 1 Recap

Easy money calls on Chicago and Washington. A minor sweat on the Pats, when they decided to throw to a copy of a copy of a copy of Mike Vrabel (meaning #50 will have a tough time catching a touchdown pass if he is on the move or in other words he is a three-toed sloth) from the 1. Really, Belichick? Why try that pass in a game that the outcome was not in doubt. Isn’t a bit more important to try to establish that you can get a tough yard by running the football? I know how dare I question the great Belichick, who undoubtedly has forgotten more about football than I have ever known, but come Billy boy, you haven’t won a playoff game since 2007, which is exactly when you decided you didn’t need to worry about running the football between tackles. Coincidence? I think not.

My two losers – Denver and Tennessee. To me both those games were bad beats, not inside straight on “the river” bad beats, but “river” flush draw bad.

The Titans need a field goal to win and they’re roughly 15 yards away from reasonable field goal range, but instead of playing for the field goal Matthew Hasselbeck decides to go for the win by throwing a ball deep that ironically looked at lot most of Survivor’s Semhar’s coconut shots, weak, wobbly and off-target. Off-target is a bit harsh since Hasselbeck’s ball happen to find a target, a Jacksonville DB. Game over on what was a terrible, terrible decision by Hasselbeck. Jake Locker’s going to get his shot sooner than expected.

As for Denver, just a bad call, the Raiders have more talent or maybe the reality is the Broncos are void of talent. I have like to see what would have happened if Kyle Orton didn’t drop the ball, but rather hit the wide open receiver for an easy touchdown.

LHSC: 3-2-0 (Tied for 75th)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

Kansas City @ Detroit (-7.5) – Detroit -7.5? Wow, this is an over-reaction perfect storm. The proof – the Chiefs look like they would have a tough time beating Kansas State, the Lions are now the favorite to win the Super Bowl after beating the Bucs on the road (ok, that is an exaggeration), the Stafford to Megatron combo is set to supplant Young to Rice, the Chiefs lost their best defender on a defense that was already leaky. Further, ingrained in the minds of all bettors is the gang-rape the Bills gave Chiefs last week. Believe me that is a tough image wipe from your memory. All signs point to the Lions huge in this game, right?

 

At this point, everyone is waiting for the resounding WRONG, but when I tried to make a case for the Chiefs keeping the game close, I ended strengthening the argument for the Lions. Here’s a list of reasons to back the Chiefs:

 

  • Point: Play conservatively by running Jamaal Charles – Counter: the Lions run defense is the strength of their defense
  • Point: Burn clock and wait for the Lions to make a mistake – Counter: The Chiefs lost their difference maker on defense in Berry, the Lions would utterly have to implode for this strategy to work.
  • Point: The Lions will let down and the Chiefs will be hungry – Counter: The Chiefs won the AFC West last season, I can’t see the Lions letting down or coming in overconfident.

 

Uh, yeah, this has Lions cover all over of it.

 

Pick: Detroit -7.5

 

Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.0) – There are several compelling reasons to take the Bills in this game. The most compelling is that the Raiders play the late Monday game and have to travel across the country to an play early Sunday game in a hostile environment. That is reason enough to play this game, but here are three more compelling reasons:

  • I whole heartedly believe the Broncos suck, therefore the Raiders narrow win over them is virtually worthless. Granted the Chiefs are horrible as well, but the Bills pounded them. Big difference.
  • The Bills run defense is much better than the Broncos; meaning the Raiders will be forced to throw. Not good for a team that relies heavily on the run.
  • Jason Campbell is the starting quarterback for the Raiders – see note above about Raiders needing to throw.

Pick: Buffalo -3.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Two Picks

Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0) – The Bears will win this one because Ditka, when he was coaching, gave them inspiration to win. I think they still have the inspiration even though he retired.

Pick: Chicago +7.0

Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.0) – On Thursdays Bold and the Beautiful soap opera, Bill Spencer got mad at his son because he didn’t have his work done on time. He then fell behind schedule. I think the Bill S will fall behind schedule as well.

Pick: Oakland +3.0

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14.0) – It’s so hard to win by more than 15 points unless you just get really lucky.

Pick: Seattle +14.0

San Diego @ New England (-6.5) – I really want to live in California some day! I would also love to go to SDSU so therefore the Chargers will win.

Pick: San Diego +6.5

St. Louis @ New York Giants (-6.0) – Even though I’ve grown up liking the Rams because my dad likes them, I have a feeling that they are going to get crushed like a juice box.

Pick: New York Giants -6.0

The Rest:

Kansas City +8.5, Jacksonville +9.0, Arizona +4.0, Baltimore -5.5, Carolina +10, Minnesota -3.0, Cleveland -2.0, San Francisco +3.0, Houston -3.0, Denver -3.0, Philadelphia -2.0

 

Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0) – Despite what they did to the Falcons last week, I still think Bears are headed towards mediocrity-ville. And the Saints have had 10 days to prepare. You just can’t give Sean Payton 10 days to prepare for anyone.

Yeah, that’s a little tongue-in-check poke at Payton, who for some reason I do not consider him to be an upper echelon coach. But the fact remains the Bears caught the attention of the Saints by whipping the Falcons last week. With this the home opener for New Orleans, I see them rolling the Bears.

Pick: New Orleans -7.0

 

Jacksonville @ NY Jets (-9.0) – Remember in my NFL 2011 Season wins column how I stated that the Jets “good fortune couldn’t possibly continue”, yeah, I was pretty much dead wrong as again the Jets came up from a fresh, steaming pile smelling like roses last week against Dallas. Think back to Sunday night, do the Cowboys win that game if Jason Garret runs Felix Jones into the line three times from the three instead of running the following plays:

 

  • 1-3-NYJ3; F.Jones right tackle to NYJ 2 for 1 yard (57-B.Scott)
    • Solid play call; with the Cowboys needing a field goal to push the lead to two possessions, no need to get cute
  • 2-2-NYJ2; T.Romo pass incomplete short right to 19-M.Austin
    • This play was a mess, Austin couldn’t get off the corner, Romo’s throw was almost picked. Again run Jones into the middle and play for a field goal
  • 3-2-NYJ 2; T.Romo sacked at NYJ 3 for -1 yards FUMBLES, RECOVERED by NYJ
    • Ugh! Still a one possession game.

 

It was at that point, I knew the Jets were heading for victory, despite their anemic offense. The Jets offense managed to gain a massive 62 yards after that Romo fumble, but scored 10 points to win the game. A field goal right there was all the Cowboys needed to secure a very big week one win!

 

And that’s just how it goes for the Jets, to the point that I am starting to believe, somehow, this isn’t about good fortune, it’s about incompetent opposing coaches, who consistently leave the back door open. And when you leave your back door open the next thing you know money is missing, your daughter is knocked up and your son is addicted to meth! In other words, a lot of bad things!

 

Pick: NY Jets -9.0

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Two Picks

Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0)- I think that the Chicago Bears will win because I like the team colors. Also I think they play faster as a team. Therefore, that might affect how the team plays.

Pick: Chicago +7

Kansas @ Detroit (-7.5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I like their colors. Also I think that lions are really strong. Therefore, they will outplay the other team.

Pick: Detroit -7.5

Jacksonville @ N.Y. Jets (-9.0) – I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because I like their team colors. I also like their mascot. Therefore, I think that they can beat the Jets by communicating more.

Pick: Jacksonville +9

Arizona @ Washington – I think that Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008. I also like their team colors.

Pick: Arizona +3.5

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14) – I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win because they won the super bowl in 2008. Also because I like their team colors! In addition, I think they will be able to outplay san Francisco.

Pick: Pittsburgh -14

Green Bay @ Carolina (-10) – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore the Packers will be able to out play the Panthers! Also the Packers team colors and uniforms are cool.

Pick: Green Bay -10

Tampa bay @ Minnesota (-3)- I think that the Minnesota Vikings will win I like their colors. Also I think that they can outplay and communicate more than Tampa Bay! Lastly they have cool uniforms.

Pick: Minnesota -3

The rest:

Buffalo +3, Baltimore -5.5, Indianapolis +2.0, Dallas -3, Miami +3, New England +6.5, Denver -3.5, Philadelphia -2.0, St. Louis +6

 

Houston (-3.0) @ Miami – Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall called QB Chad Henne the “White Vick” this week, which is surprising since at the end of last season Marshall called out Henne for being unwilling to improvise, essentially throwing him under the bus. Marshall was also quoted as saying, “Tyler Thigpen is a better fit for this offense.” Now, after one game Henne is the “White Vick”. Hmm, something is smells fishy here. Maybe what Marshall was really trying to say is that since white is the opposite of black, that Henne is the opposite of Vick, as in, he really, really sucks.

 

The Dolphins have lost 10 of their last 11 home games, so they’re due. Ahh, one week in and we have the first “due” theory play.

 

Pick: Miami +3.0

 

The NFC WORST:

Arizona @ Washington (-3.5)

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14.0)

Dallas (-3.0) @ San Francisco

St. Louis @ NY Giants (-6.0)

 

OK, last season we had a 7-9 team win a division (NFC West), host and win a playoff game. That was awesome! But this year, we can do better; we can get a 10-10 Super Bowl champion! For that to happen, we first need a division winner to finish 6-10. Sound impossible? Not with the NFC West’s collection of craptastic teams. Here are the pararmeters:

 

  • All teams beat each other once within the division (3 wins for each)
  • Each NFC West team is allotted two wins against the NFC East/AFC North opponents (2 wins)
  • The max an NFC west team can win against the other NFC opponents is 1 game

 

Unfortunately, the Cardinals are already pushing the bounds of these parameters by holding on to clip the Panthers. We absolutely need them to rise the occasion this week against the Redskins by getting behind early and mailing in the rest of the game.

 

If St. Louis or Seattle were to break through on the road this week that would certainly throw a wrench in this tight plan as well. However, the Seahawks are standing on the train tracks with a train quickly approaching (the Steelers). While the Rams are still suffering from the pre-season championship hangover, which is 100% of the reason they lacked focus against the Eagles. Raising the pre-season championship banner in the pre-game ceremony never works out well for the home team.

 

That leaves us with the 49ers against a very beatable Cowboys team. At this point, we really cannot trust the Cowboys in any game where Romo is taking snaps. Of course, on the other side is Alex Smith, who is not exactly “retirement score” material. The Boys can’t possible go to 0-2, can they?

 

Picks:

Washington -3.5

Pittsburgh -14.0

Dallas -3.0

NY Giants -6.0

 

Cincinnati @ Denver (-3.5) – Donkey fans are clamoring for a quarterback change, they want Tebow! So much so that eight huge Bronco fans decided to pull together 10K to rent two billboards imploring coach John Fox and the Broncos to bench Kyle Orton in favor of Tim Tebow. I have to admit, I think this will work. When Fox realizes that these guys essentially are giving up a down payment on a tractor with an air conditioned cab, he will be forced to acknowledge their passion, not to mention their obvious high football acumen and give Tebow the starting job.

My guess is 10K for a billboard is just a start, if Tebow doesn’t the start soon, the next step will be one of these guys telling Fox, “that’s a beautiful wife you have there, it be shame for something to happen to her.” If that doesn’t work, we will graduate to full-fledged kidnapping with a ransom demand of Tebow starts ever game from now until he retires.

I will translate for Broncos fan – “We would rather go 4-12 with a Christian quarterback than 8-8 with that devil worshiping, sinner Kyle Orton.”

As for the game, this is week two “pair” games, where we logically place the paired sides of week one opponents. For example, maybe Oakland is really good this season, therefore, the Broncos are maybe a slightly above average team. Of course, I still have very little respect for the Raiders. Meaning the Broncos are terrible.

The is no reason to believe that Cincinnati, who is practically a mirror image of the Raiders, with a slightly better defense, won’t be able to do exactly what the Raiders did to the Broncos, only without the 900 penalties and special teams breakdown.

Pick: Cincinnati +3.5

 

Green Bay (-10) @ Carolina – Here is a little known fact for you – the defending Super Bowl champion never cover a 10 point spread on the road, against a rookie quarterback with the first name Cam. That trend is 1-0 for the home team underdog, as of Sunday night.

 

Pick: Carolina +10

 

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota (-3.0) – Do you think Mike Shanahan watched the replay of the Vikings/Chargers game and simply smiled every time McNabb threw a pass like the rules of the game dictate that the ball has to bounce once? Me too. And by the end of that game he was probably in hysterical laughing, like “damn, I nailed that.”

 

Tampa Bay has the feel to me of a team that we will keep saying every, “This is the week they get it together” and then at the end of the season they’re 6-10. They’re so young that they can afford a season where they just failed to meet expectations. But watch out for this team in 2012!

 

Pick: Minnesota -3.0

 

Cleveland (-2.0) @ Indianapolis – Pre-season line had the Colts favored by 7.5 points but that was under the assumption that the Browns would handle the Bengals, so we can safely adjust that number to 9.0, which means that if Manning is worth 9.5 points (established last week) and Kerry Collins is worth -1.5 points. It’s never a good thing if a starting quarterback is considered a liability.

 

The Colts can’t be this bad, can they? I believe this is all a pre-planned ploy to be able to draft Andrew Luck and allow with Payton a couple seasons to groom him. But according to Robert Mathis that is not true. Mathis tweeted this week – “Luck is not our quarterback and we’re not tanking to get him”. Quick, someone let Robert in on the plan!

 

Pick: Indianapolis +2.0

 

Baltimore (-5.5) @ Tennessee – Chris Johnson told reporters this week that in the Titans playoff loss to the Ravens in 2008 the Ravens tried to hurt him. Wow, really, CJ, they tried to take out the best player on the opposing team in a playoff game. No way! We have to remember, that was CJ2K, not the 2011 version better known as CJ200, so it makes total sense that the Ravens wanted him out of the game. However, after watching film this week, the Ravens allegedly agreed to try to NOT hurt CJ200.

 

Anyway, I would think CJ would come out pissed off and ready for vengeance in this. We certainly shouldn’t see any of the week one, “Franco Harris”-esque, two yards and fall down crap, right CJ? We shall see. Fantasy owners need to be very cautious of this guy.

 

Another interesting point on this game is that the Ravens are currently drawing 89% of the side action, with the second highest number of overall bets (numbers courtesy of pregame.com).

 

Now, I am no advanced mathematician, but my guess is the Book’s might have trouble making their “quota” if they lose too many games where 89% of the money is backing one side. And back in the old days, I would’ve blindly taken the Titans just for that reason alone, ignoring obvious facts like – a. Already established, but I like to harp, CJ is not CJ, and it’s not close; b. Matt Hasselbeck is not 2006 Super Bowl Matt Hasselbeck. That’s true with every one as they age, but generally while the physical skills deteriorate, the mental skills sharpen. Uh, not with hASSelbeck, as evidenced by the decision to throw that game ending wobbly, inaccurate pass. In addition, Hasselbeck spent most of the day doing his best John Lackey impersonation, screaming at his receivers because they couldn’t catch balls thrown at their feet; c. Mike Munchak looks to be a poor-mans, Mike Tice. That’s not a compliment; d. Much to my surprise the Ravens under Harbaugh don’t suffer the post-Steelers week hang-over; e. MJD ran wild against the Titans, imagine what a guy with healthy knees, like Ray Rice will do to them; and f. Flacco is no Luke McCown. And that is a compliment.

 

Add it all up and this is a no-brainer. Damn be the action. Plus, my theory on the books is they will get theirs, just not this one.

 

Further, let’s imagine the following scenario; you’re heading the Vegas, with a pre-defined “loss” limit of $500. Once there you sit down a Blackjack table and proceed to lose the entire $500. You’re more likely to stop gambling, because you tasted no success whatsoever.

 

Now, imagine that instead of losing $500, you win $500. You just doubled your money, your riding high, feeling invincible, ready to go for “the kill”. But then you start to lose, albeit slowly, first a $100, then $200 more, you keep trying to right the ship, but now you’ve given back all of your winnings plus $200. Frustrated you keep going, but to no avail and you lose $300 more. Now you’re down the original $500.

 

Now, tell me, which scenario is more likely to see the individual described above dig for beyond the $500? I say it’s a no-brainer, the second scenario. Homey had success, so they know it can be done, just a $200 more can get me back to even. Just $200 more, I can limit my losses. Just $200 more, I know I can win.

 

The odds-makers have no problem giving away a few freebies early in the season, just to lock in people beyond their “limit”. They don’t want the $500, they want the $1500 and they know you have to spend money to make money. Therefore. . .

 

Pick: Baltimore -5.5

 

San Diego @ New England (-6.5) – Here’s a meaningless, but coincidental fact – the Patriots blew out the Bengals last year 38-24 in week one, then laid an egg, at the hands of the Jets, in week two. Last week the Pats blew out the Dolphins, 38-24. Coincidence? I think not!

 

I am not afraid of a mere 6.5 points with Norv Turner coaching. Repeat I am not afraid . . .

 

Pick: San Diego +6.5

 

Philadelphia (-2.0) @ Atlanta – This is my five star NFL game of the century! In fact, I am so confident that this game is a winner that if it loses I will give you the rest of the season for free!

 

Quick hitting facts about this game:

 

  • The Eagles should be 0-1, but thanks to the Rams utter incompetence they escaped with the narrowest 18 point win in NFL history
  • The Falcons are much better than what we witnessed last week
  • The Eagles are still getting a ton of action from the betting public; we don’t have to look far for proof of this – they’re favored in Atlanta
  • The crowd will be wild, there is nothing like rabid Atlanta fans on a Sunday night; hang on scratch that, I just made a point for the Eagles.
  • This will be the game where Julio Jones becomes Wholio instead of Jewelio; i.e. this is his breakout game.
  • Those playing fantasy football against Michael Turner this week will get a call Monday morning from their opponent, who will state, “Man, I am sorry, but Michael Turner just scored again!”
  • Sunday nights are always tough on Andy Reid, who by the middle of the third quarter the is so famished that the play sheet looks like a menu.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk my alter ego into making this one of my SuperContest picks of the week.

 

Pick: Atlanta +2.0

 

Colin Wynner calls the winners, no really this week, Colin really calls the winners!

 

Good Luck to all!

 

 

NFL 2011 Week One Picks – Part II

OK, boys and girls let’s get on with the 2011 NFL week one picks. I have stared at the opening week lines for six weeks, but I know about as much now as I knew during the lockout – very little. But that won’t stop me from picking these games; it’s just a little disclaimer of “buyer beware”.

In an effort to spice things up this year, I have created the “Super Wynner” contest, which matches your truly with two of my kids. You know it’s never too early to get the kids in on the family business. In fact, they don’t remember but back when my oldest was two years old, I already was consulting her on picks. For example, let’s say the Bears and Lions were playing I would show her a picture of a Lion and a Bear and ask her who she liked better? Those were some dark handicapping days!

Officially, the entries are as follows:

Colin Wynner – “Calls the winners”; heavy; heavy favorite to win this contest

Juana Wynner – “Want winners? Call Juana Wynner”; very likely to finish last

Megan Wynner – “Tired of being a loser, let Megan Wynner make you a winner”; sleeper pick

G-Dub – “I do a 2160 and come down with a perfect winner”; the proverbial coin-flip not expected to exceed 50%

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

Megan Wynner Week One Picks

Season Totals: 1-0-0 (1.000)

Philadelphia (-4.0) @ St. Louis – I think that the St. Louis Rams will win because I like the team colors. Also I think that Rams are stronger than Eagles. So that might affect how the teams play.

Pick: St. Louis +3.5

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-1.5) – I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win because they won the super bowl in 2008. Therefore they have a strong team. So I think they will outplay the other team.

Pick: Pittsburgh +1.5

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-6.5) – I think that the Cincinnati Bengals will win because I like their team colors. I also like their mascot and their uniforms. I think that they can beat the Indians by communicating more.

Pick: Cincinnati +6.5

Carolina @ Arizona (-7.0) – I think that Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008. I also like their team colors.

Pick: Arizona -7.0

Seattle @ San Francisco (-5.5) – I think that Seattle will win because I like their team colors. Also because their mascot is awesome! And I think they will be able to outplay San Francisco.

Pick: Seattle +5.5

Detroit @ Tampa Bay (-1.5) – I think the Detroit Lions will win because Tampa Bay has Geno Hayes as a weak linebacker. Therefore the Lions will be able to score lots of touchdowns! Also Detroit team colors and uniforms are cool.

Pick: Detroit +1.5

Atlanta @ Chicago (+2.5) – I think that the Chicago bears will win because bears are better than falcons. Also the Bear’s team colors are awesome! Lastly they have cool uniforms.

Pick: Chicago +2.5

The rest:

Houston -8.5, Tennessee +1.5, Buffalo +5.5, Minnesota +8.5, N.Y. Giants -3.0, Dallas +5.5, Miami +7.0, Denver -3

Season Totals: 1-0-0 (1.000)

LHSC: 0-0-0 (Tied for 1st)

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-1.5) – “This is the whole season right here” – expect that to be mentioned in the stands at M&T Bank stadium this weekend. Literally this is the whole season for the Ravens, it’s a much of a must-win game in week one as there ever has been. Unfortunately, this Steelers team has the Ravens number and might be best Steeler team in over a decade.

Pick: Pittsburgh +1.5

Detroit @ Tampa Bay (-1.5) – Is there anything more terrifying right now in the NFL than Suh? He’s like a cross of Breaking Bad’s Tuco Salamanca and 48 Hours Albert Ganz only if Suh got the worst parts of both those guys.

I am on record with the Lions going 11-5, but I see them taking the loss here. At the end of the year, the Lions will look back at this game as necessary to focus them for the rest of the season.

Pick: Tampa -1.5

Atlanta (-2.5) @ Chicago – So, I am in total agreement that the Bears are going to be nowhere near what they were last year. But my big question is why are the Falcons being considered a great team? What have the Falcons done? Think about it, this nucleus (Smith, Ryan, Turner and White) hasn’t won a playoff game together, yet somehow they respect like they’re the second coming the 70’s Steelers.

Pick: Chicago +2.5

Buffalo @ Kansas City (-5.5) – “Live by the ribs, die by the ribs”. As in KC lives by B-B-Q ribs and dies with Matt Cassel’s bruised ribs. If there has ever been a quarterback who needed to be 100% healthy to be 75% effective, it’s Cassel. FOUR WINS, CHIEFS, THAT’S IT – 4-12!

Interesting fact – in the Super Contest Buffalo is the most picked team. Who am I to argue with the “best of the best”?

Pick: Buffalo +5.5

Indianapolis @ Houston (-8.5) – How much is Peyton Manning worth? 9.5 points! This line opened at Indy -1. Yikes! Either way, you want to know what happens in Houston when Indianapolis visits with Manning scheduled to start at quarterback. The rest of the team hits the world famous, tastefully done strip clubs the night before. About 3AM, some rookie will ask Jeff Saturday, “Dude, shouldn’t we get home? We got a game tomorrow.” Saturday’s likely response, “Dude, relax, P’s got it.”

This week Saturday will be heading up bed checks at 9PM. I’m jumping on the Kerry Collins bandwagon.

Pick: Indianapolis +8.5

Philadelphia (-4.0) @ St. Louis – Remember what happened in the Heat’s (“dream team”) first game? They got hammered by the Celtics. Remember that the Heat ended up in the NBA Finals. As dumb as that comment by Vince Young was, it may turn out to be very prophetic. Translation – the Eagles will struggle early in the year.

Pick: St. Louis +4.0

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-6.5) – The odds-makers cleverly posted this at 6.5, enticing everyone who looks at the Bengals as clearly the worst team in the NFL to bet on the Browns. First off, the Browns should be giving any team 6.5 points; secondly, this Bengal team is going to be a lot better than most people believe. In fact, I will call my shot right here, the Bengals will finish with at least a .500 verse the spread.

They record win number one this week.

Pick: Cincinnati +6.5

Tennessee @ Jacksonville (-1.5) – So, Peyton Manning is worth 9.5, I wonder what David Garrard is worth? Fortunately for me the budget conscience Jaguars cut Garrard this week, so we don’t have to guess. He is worth a single point – 1! Wouldn’t have been hilarious if after Garrard was cut the number went up to Jags -6?

Pick: Tennessee +1.5

NY Giants (-3.0) @ Washington – How many starting defenders have the Giants lost? Exactly. And this Skins team is under-rated.

Pick: Washington +3.0

Carolina @ Arizona (-6.5) – Look at the balls on the odds-maker at Las Vegas Hilton – everyone else has this line at 7, but this guy, with balls the size of Jupiter, is daring bettors to take the Cardinals.

Are the Panthers with Cam Newton really worse than the 2009 Panthers with Jake Delhomme? No way. In fact, at least Newton can make plays with his legs. Oh by the way, that 2009 Panther team blew the Cardinals out at UOP.

Pick: Carolina +6.5

Seattle @ San Francisco (-5.0) – The “Andrew Luck” bowl. The Jaguars are on the clock, but they just invested a #1 pick on a quarterback, which means the loser of this game will have the inside track.

But, Jim Harbaugh’s hate for Pete Carroll is greater than his love of Andrew Luck.

Pick: San Francisco -5.0

Juana Wynner Week One Picks

Season Totals: 1-0-0 (1.000)

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-1.5) – The Steelers are cheaters who really aren’t that good at football. I hate them because they beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl 43. The Ravens got this one.

Pick: Baltimore -1.5

Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-6.5) – I’ve never understood why someone would name a team “Browns”? It just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Pick: Cincinnati +6.5

Carolina @ Arizona (-7.0) – Arizona is my team! Even though they suck sometimes really really bad I got to support my states team!

Pick: Arizona -7.0

Minnesota @ San Diego (-8.5) – I love Adrian Peterson! So therefore the Vikings will win because he is such an amazing player.

Pick: Minnesota +8.5

New England (-7.0) @ Miami – Boston is one of my favorite states because I love the Red Sox! Even though I’m not much of a fan of New England I think they will win. They usually dominate their games.


Pick: New England -7.0

Colin’s Comment: I guess it’s better than her stating that “being high” is one of her favorite “states”, but yikes, I guess I am left with no choice but to blame the public school system.

The Rest:

Detroit -1.5, Chicago +2.5, Buffalo +5.5, Indianapolis +8.5,Philadelphia -4.0, Tennessee +1.5, New York G -3.0, San Francisco -5.5, New York Jets -5.5, Oakland +3.0

Minnesota @ San Diego (-8.5) – I love the Chargers this year, absolutely love them. Part of that love is based on my belief that the Chargers will start fast this year. Super Bowl contenders don’t mess around with bad teams like the Vikings. Sure, I am slightly worried that the Chargers will be looking ahead to the match-up with the Patriots in week two, but come on its Donovan McNabb on road, with less than six weeks to absorb the new playbook (not even close to enough time for him).

Pick: San Diego -8.5

Dallas @ NY Jets (-5.5) – This line has moved 1.5 points in the last day, but let’s be real a 4 to 5.5 point is almost worthless. See those bookies are sharp!

Pick: NY Jets -5.5


New England (-7.0) @ Miami –
I will admit it, I had this pick from the minute I saw the opening day lines. Of course that when the line was 3.0, now at 7.0. Plus with roughly 1 out of every 1 person is betting on the Patriots (81%) and this game being on Monday night, I am a little nervous. But my logic here is that Vegas is giving this week away. It is solid logic, every company is willing to invest in a free preview in hopes that you pony up cash to buy their product. Plus, if a person is going to invest in sports this season and decides that their line in the sand is $500, how do you get them to go past their line – by taking all $500 week one or allowing them to double their money week one? The latter, of course, will cause investor to “go for the kill” and will be more likely to think he can have another “week one” to dig himself out of any hole. Not that I would know!

Pick: New England -7.0


Oakland @ Denver (-3.0) –
Love John fox, hate the Raiders. My only regret is not having this game at Denver +1.0 like it was in the pre-season. That’s the Tim Tebow factor – he is worth -4 points.

Remember sports investors, Colin Wynner calls the winners!

Pick: Denver -3.0