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Don’t head out to that sports bar or neighborhood man-cave to meet up with your fantasy crew unarmed. Make Fanosis your 1-stop place to cop or drop and get locked and loaded for that well-deserved winning weekend. Combined and condensed below are the latest lines from Las Vegas, my selections and why, along with final score predictions to give you a better read on how strongly I feel for or against the spread in quick access format because your time is precious and let’s face it, who has just one fantasy team anymore?  

Wow, did week 2 do a number on the experts or what, including yours truly (worst beating in quite some time). I’m calling it Week 1 hangover as the four largest-spread Las Vegas favorites not only failed to cover but lost outright, nine underdogs in all won their games. That’s why they play the games. Freak Week is history for now so let’s dust off and get back on that horse. 

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ NEW YORK GIANTS

The Line: Giants -4 (GAME OVER) Giants 32-21.

Notes and Commentary: The Giants O-line kept QB Eli Manning upright and downright clean as he and the G-men dominated Washington in a game that was not quite as eventful as the score until four touchdowns (two by each) in the fourth. A 30-yard strike to Odell Beckham Jr. and another 41-yarder to Rueben Randle prevented the Giants from collapsing late for a third game in a row.  

PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

The Line: Steelers -1

The Game: 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Interesting line on a game that nearly everyone is picking the Steelers to win, and with Le’Veon Bell returning. In week 1, the Patriots sacked Big Ben three times and he finished the game with just one touchdown pass, and the Steelers with only 21 points. Last week he was not sacked at all and he put on a passing clinic. Expect the Rams to pressure him early and often being the best front the Steelers will have faced so far. Antonio Brown will get his for sure, but the Rams at home have enough speed and defensive fire power to make it a respectable battle. Steelers can’t boast defensively. (See NFC West section for an extended review)   Rams Win, 30-29   

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Line: Vikings -2.5

The Game: 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: l’m not sure what’s more surprising; the fact that the Vikings are favored to win or that their offense is averaging 4 more points per game than the Colts. They covered the spread in 5 of their last 6 at home so there’s that. But the Chargers’ offense is in the top 10 ranking and defensively they rank better as well. Check the weather for snow if you like. Otherwise take the points despite A.P. possibly having his best week so far. Chargers Win, 24-20   

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ HOUSTON TEXANS

The Line: Texans -6.5

The Game: 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The first game with two quarterbacks I have yet to trust. They rank fairly close on paper. I like the youth with an upside on the offensive side of the ball for the Bucs, but defensively the Texans have more Wattage. However, Ryan Mallett has completed less than 50 percent of his passes and in a game that may lack much scoring, the spread seems a bit large here. Buccaneers Win, 16-13 in OT

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW YORK JETS

The Line: Jets -2

The Game: 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Another toughie because it’s unknown which QB will show up for the Eagles; the deer-in-the-headlights Sam or the sharpshooting enigma we saw in preseason. Word to the wise: if you must lay a little paper down here, bet the steady hand. New York is playing well enough offensively while leading the league in turnovers. They are playing in front of that Jet crowd, and…what happens when Leonard Williams falls on a box of crackles? Jets Win, 17-13  

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Line: Panthers -8

The Game: 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: This game was taken off the ‘Vegas boards for uncertainty until it came down Friday afternoon that Saints QB Drew Brees will sit it out. The unstable spread varies depending on where you look (anywhere from 7.5 to 8.5) but they all indicate a lack of faith in the replacement. Since I saw this game as a close match-up with Brees, I have to agree. On short notice, costly in-game mistake will be made. Panthers Win, 20-6  

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Line: Patriots -13.5

The Game: 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: I don’t work for the major networks so I won’t blow smoke up your you-know-what and call it a cool breeze to get you to watch this game. This could get ugly. New England just scored 40 on Buffalo’s defense, and they’ve won 5 or their last 6 home games by 22 points or more, and I’m confident that most, if not all, were better teams. With the off-season bulletin board material given, do you really believe Bill Belichick would let his foot off the pedal? There’s a good chance the spread is covered by halftime. Sure, it’s a sure thing, but after last week don’t quote me. Patriots Win, 37-10   

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Line: Ravens -2.5

The Game: 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Baltimore is a bit better than they played last week against the Raiders so expect more in week 3. That said, the Bengals are rated better defensively and have more and better weapons on offense. Baltimore is 0-and-2 so this is a near must-win game, and Flacco often rises to those conditions. Noteworthy battles within the war: two veterans, cornerback Adam (formerly known as PacMan) Jones and receiver Steve Smith, go head-to-head and neither backs down to anyone. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh and Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis share the same birth date (September 23rd) and this will be the first time they’ve had to spend said week preparing for each other. Bengals Win, 20-17   

OAKLAND RAIDERS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Line: Browns -3.5 (down from 4.5 early)

The Game: 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Yes, I’d prefer watching Manziel in this one also, but don’t count him out; things have a way of working out for some people and he appears to be one of them. The safer Josh McCown gets the start, however, returning from a concussion. The Raiders played up to their potential last week and are surprisingly in the upper half of the league on offense. Defensively, they are weak, but for the Browns it is the opposite; strong defensively while offense struggles. Interesting battle here, too, watching the growth of impressive rookie receiver Amari Cooper most likely getting challenged by Cleveland’s shutdown corner Joe Haden. I’m looking to the Raiders to beat the spread in a game to leave alone financially. Browns Win, 17-14   

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ TENNESSEE TITANS

The Line: Colts -3.5

The Game: 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: This might be my against-the-grain pick of the week as the Colts are preferred by most and expected to win their first game of the season. While the Titans have allowed a league best 9 sacks of their quarterback, the Colts lack pass rush ability. Mariota unpressed can be dangerous. Don’t expect Andrew Luck to continue to have the league’s worst passer rating but I’m not convinced he can carry this team currently. Titans Win, 30-24  

ATLANTA FALCONS @ DALLAS COWBOYS

The Line: Falcons -1.5

The Game: 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: CB Orlando Scandrick, DEs Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory, Dez Bryant and Tony Romo. Dallas is simply missing too many critical pieces to overcome against one of the better teams in the league. The Falcons have lost their starting running back but the gap from starting to second-string RB hasn’t been huge at all at any time in 2015 so they probably won’t miss a beat. Matt Ryan has to be two TDs better than whoever Dallas has to play Sunday, but they’re in Dallas and the defense can keep them in the game…though how close, ‘Vegas and I don’t agree. FalconWin, 23-17   

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS

The Line: Cardinals -6.5

The Game: 1:05 PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: This shouldn’t take long. RB Carlos Hyde and WR Torrey Smith not 100% but probable. The 49ers allowed 43 points and scored 18 in Pittsburgh, now travel to Arizona to play a slightly better offense with a much better overall defense. Arizona’s O-line need only show up to play for this to not become weird like others in week 2. For the second week in a row, the Cardinals are my bet-the-farm team to beat the spread. (See NFC West section for an extended review)  Cardinals Win, 35-16  

BUFFALO BILLS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS 

The Line: Bills -3

The Game: 1:25 PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The odds here suggest that at a neutral location these two teams are evenly matched on paper. I tend to factor in the human element which tells me that one team hasn’t quite played up to expectations while the other has more upside with a new coach and a QB trying to prove himself. Miami’s injury list is too critical where it counts; QB Tannehill, DE Wake and S Jones (2 hammies and an ankle) are probable while TE Cameron and RB Miller (groin and ankle) are day-to-day. Bills Win, 17-10   

CHICAGO BEARS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Line: Seahawks -14.5

The Game: 1:25 PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: I do not envy the city of Chicago this weekend. The return of Kam Chancellor inspires the media to put all eyes in Seattle to witness a possible massacre. With no Jay Cutler or Alshon Jeffery, sore-knee’d  Matt Forte (listed as probable) could have the world heaved onto his shoulders early. The Bears might be made to mail this one in mentally and get the heck outta Dodge. Marshawn Lynch mysteriously popped up on the latest injury report for calf issues so maybe the fans see the Wilson-to-Graham show they’ve been waiting for. Check around and see who else is bold enough to predict a shut out. Seahawks Win, 31-0   

DENVER BRONCOS @ DETROIT LIONS

The Line: Broncos -3

The Game: 5:30 PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: Lions QB Matthew Stafford may start but will be banged up versus the Broncos total defense league-leading squad. Meanwhile, after two weeks Detroit ranks 30th in the same category…That truth against an any-age Peyton Manning doesn’t sound like smart investment material. Sure, the future H.O.F quarterback is at the tail end of his career but against the winless Lions, which war-tested general do you prefer strategically? Besides, I may be mistaken but it appeared that late in the game last week, head coach Gary Kubiak learned a thing or two about how to proceed from that point on. Broncos Win, 27-17  

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS

The Line: Packers -6.5

The Game: Monday Night 5:30 PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: K.C. is playing inspired ball from last season and is capable of an upset here, but since I match them somewhat evenly with Seattle to this point (Packers beat Seattle by 10 points at home) it’s really hard to see them dominating Green Bay for most of the game like they did Denver. Unlike Peyton, Aaron Rodgers is playing MVP football. The loss of Jordy Nelson turns out to be a minor thing, but a possible loss of Davante Adams (ankle, day-to-day) may be critical. With or without Eddie Lacy, Packers prevail but only home field advantage puts them slightly over the spread for me. Packers Win, 24-17  

Last week’s record vs. the spread (Thursday game excluded): W6 – L9 (Season total: W17 – L13)

FANTASY BEST BET STARTERS AT EACH STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION:

QB – Carson Palmer, Arizona / Tom Brady, New England

RB – Adrian Peterson, Minnesota / Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati

WR – Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh / Donte Moncrief, Colts

TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England

K – Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams

Def – Seattle Seahawks

That’s a wrap! Thanks, and good luck, Mr. Betting Mann! 

 

About Author

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez is a die-hard Rams fan and Rams representing writer at Fanosis, as well as an avid fantasy football player that has won championships at Yahoo, ESPN, NFL(dot)com and FOX. An ex-employment specialist at Goodwill of Southern California's main headquarters, he has work with prison programs and has L.A. certified training to aid people with disabilities. He is also a poet and ghostwriter.