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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 consensus 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?

Good to be back to some semblance of normalcy.  After the week 2 crash, week 3 was considerably more true to form (10 favorites covered the spread) while having no shortage of highlights and storylines. Week 4 promises to be as entertaining–especially for you, Mr. Betting Mann–as this is the first 2015 NFL season week of byes. Here are a few other relevant tidbits you might need to know: 

Seven teams are undefeated against the spread after three weeks; Arizona Cardinals 3-0, Atlanta Falcons 3-0, Cincinnati Bengals 3-0, Denver Broncos 3-0, Green Bay Packers, 3-0, New England Patriots 2-0-1, Pittsburgh Steelers 2-0-1 (Update: 2-1-1).

DE-turned-linebacker Jared Allen was traded by the Chicago Bears to the Carolina Panthers where he will return to his natural position, DE.

The Cowboys/Saints game was off the board until two hours before this article was finished, when it was announced that Drew Brees would be the starting QB week 4. See review below.

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Line: Ravens -2.5  (GAME OVER) Ravens win, 23-20.

Notes and Commentary: This game got a whole lot more interesting after Big Ben went down facing the Rams last week. A Las Vegas odds-maker stated this week that the injury caused a 7-point swing in Baltimore’s direction. Michael Vick, (8 TD passes, 5 interceptions, and has 7 fumbles in the last 19 games he’s played in before this game) looked mostly solid, all things considered, passing for 124 yards and a score. Baltimore, without 1st-round pick WR Breshad Perriman and starting TE Crockett Gillmore, looked to double-up on Steve Smith, but the Steelers did a good job of bottling him up most of the night. Justin Forsett ran for 150 quiet yards. Le’Veon Bell ran for 129 yards,  Steelers controlled most of the first half, but with a 20-7 lead in the third, Baltimore rolled off 13 unanswered points to send the game into overtime. On a fourth-and-short, Coach Tomlin elected to go for the first down rather than try a 50-yard field goal or punt. Even worse, the play called was an intentional Vick run around the left side where he was stuffed instantly. In OT, Coach Tomlin then calls a pass play to rookie tight end Maxx Williams and that play fails also. Heck, everyone thought for sure that Le’Veon Bell would get the call, and should have gotten both calls. “Anything we did, I take responsibility for,” Tomlin said after the game, though not willing to justify his calls. Steelers fans can only hope he apologized to his team for costing them the game. Through four weeks, Ravens are 1-3, Steelers 2-2.

NEW YORK JETS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Line: Jets -1.5

The Game: Sunday, 6:30AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: If your eyes zoomed pass the posted game time, go back and look closer; they’re in London despite it being called a home game for Miami. The Jets are a defensive team but looking more stable on offense with Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Miami’s offense is 27th-ranked and was fairly dominated by the Bills and beaten by Jacksonville, so don’t expect much more production with a wrench thrown in their sense of time. Chris Ivory should see some action and he’s a beast when healthy. It’s the Jets and the Dolphins, I know, but it’s football early…Fahgettabout it! No, don’t, that means “ya gotta watch it,” in some parts back east. Jets Win, 17-13   

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Line: Colts -9

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: This game is assuming Andrew Luck starts. He was limited in Thursday’s practice (shoulder soreness). The Jaguars got blown out by the Patriots by 34 points and the Colts should be able to cover the spread if Luck only plays three quarters. The streak of beating the Jaguars five straight games by 17+ points or more may be in jeopardy, but I’d still bet on Andrew. Colts Win, 24-10   

NEW YORK GIANTS @ BUFFALO BILLS

The Line: Bills -5.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: I’m somewhat surprised the odds remained the same after word got out that Victor Cruz will not be playing Sunday due to a setback. Perhaps it was believed that he wouldn’t have much impact. The Giants, however, could be 3-0 if they could finish final quarters. The Bills are on par to eradicate their league-longest playoff drought and Tyrod Taylor is turning into a fantasy stud. Manning can be pressured into trying to do too much but when he’s on, he’s on big time and with those weapons, watch out. A game to watch, I’ll lean towards experience under pressure, spread-wise. Bills Win, 24-20  

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 

The Line: Panthers -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The acquisition of Jared Allen to anchor the Panthers’ pass rush is huge with a rookie QB as the opposition. Cam Newton may have had his finest game last week and it appears he responds well to a shortage of weapons. An improving Jameis Winston & Co. are capable of playing tough, and will need their best, but the spread is on the low side because Tampa’s at home. Panthers Win, 21-17   

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The Line: Eagles -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: First things first, both teams have reportedly been informed that their game will not be canceled due to Hurricane Joaquin, and the chances are slim they will have to travel to the first option location, Detroit. Good news, especially for a team that won its first game and are not looking for change. Oh, but change just might be a good thing if speaking about Philly running backs. Ryan Mathews looked to be the better fit in Chipland, and there’s a strong possibility that DeMarco Murray won’t see action having seen limited action in Thursday’s practice. The Redskins seem to have a capable ground game as Matt Jones is pressing Alfred Morris for the leading role. Hard to put time and coins into two inconsistent-as-of-yet teams, however.  Eagles Win, 24-17   

OAKLAND RAIDERS @ CHICAGO BEARS

The Line: Raiders -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Hardcore Bears fans will ride this obviously-rebuilding stage out, but it might be smart to make other plans, at least until Cutler returns. Jimmy Clausen is 1-10 as a starter and the team lived up to my week 3 prediction (being shutout) rather easily. Not candy-coating it this week either, they will embarrass themselves if they post the same results against the Raiders. Oakland’s improving offense is gaining confidence and this will be a good week to take advantage of the situation they now find themselves in, a legitimate battle (behind the Broncos) for an AFC wild card playoff position. Look for RB Latavius Murray to have a huge day after not scoring in week 3, as Amari Cooper (the other of the top two receivers in the draft–Chicago’s Kevin White has yet to play a game this season) keeps the defense pretty busy. Take the favorite here. Raiders Win, 27-12    

HOUSTON TEXANS @ ATLANTA FALCONS

The Line: Falcons -6

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Atlanta RB Devonta Freeman was named NFL Ground Player of the Week for his week 3, 193 total yards/3 TD performance against a Dallas defense that was playing the run fairly well. Note: Fantasy players may want to pick him up for the balance of the season action after knowing he was the preferred back in the off-season until injury woes. Houston plays the run well also so last week will be hard to duplicate, but their quarterback is one of the league’s worst now so if Julio Jones is 95% or better, the Falcons should cover.  Falcons Win, 20-10   

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS

The Line: Bengals -4

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: If the Bengals study the game footage of last week’s Chiefs-Packers battle (and they will), they will know to pressure quarterback Alex Smith in critical situations. He doesn’t respond well. However, although still not setting the world on fire with touchdowns to receivers, the Chiefs have scored points this season (27-Houston, 24-Denver, 28-Packers) against good or decent defenses with all that Jeremy Maclin brings to the table. The loss of D-back Phillip Gaines (torn ACL) is huge in a passing division and at a time when Bengals QB Andy Dalton is having a career year. A 1-3 record will be hard to overcome for K.C. so I lean on the side of the team with its back against the wall to beat the spread in this must-see high-scoring affair. Bengals Win, 34-31 

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

The Line: Chargers -7.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: San Diego has been playing below my preseason expectations and the play of QB Philip Rivers hasn’t helped, and now he will be without two blind-side protectors Sunday so don’t expect Tom Brady West. Still, we’re talkin’ Cleveland, people. I feel less confident about their quarterback and D-back Joe Haden will play with sore ribs, if he plays. Throw in the home crowd, plus the fact that the Chargers are ranked 4th overall in total offense, and I can’t recommend the Browns. Chargers Win, 24-13   

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

The Line: Packers -9

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: I’ve never said this until now, but Aaron Rodgers is throwing the best ball out there (ex-hater, I admit). Last week’s surgical procedures on K.C. was masterful, and I like that defense better than the one he faces this week. The under-achieving G.B. receiver Davante Adams is likely an injury out (and that might be a plus). San Francisco may play tougher at home but until I see more heart, go ahead and give those points because Lacy’s back in form. Bottom line, Rodgers is hot, Kaepernick is not. ‘Nuff said. Packers Win, 31-17   

ST. LOUIS RAMS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS

The Line: Cardinals -7

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Sometimes we have to accept the fact that we are straight-up homers, sure, but there is a case to be argued for the Rams in week 4 as they take on what may be the third best team in the NFL. Despite my consistent praise since preseason of the Arizona Cardinals and how good they could become, truth is, I felt the same about the Steelers and they struggled offensively well into the late third quarter before Big Ben went down. Remember, it was the Rams that rained on the Cardinals’ parade last year when they sent Carson Palmer home early. Facing a team a week after injuring another star QB has got to reside in the psyche somewhere, right? Okay, well add Rams’ Todd Gurley having a week of real-time game play to process…No, I still can’t pick’em to win in AZ, but somebody has to have their back regarding the spreadhaven’t seen one well-known expert do it, so far. Cardinals Win, 23-17   

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ DENVER BRONCOS

The Line: Broncos -6.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Despite the speculation of Peyton Manning’s decline, the Broncos are still undefeated both in W-L record and point-spread coverage as suggested by their PF 24.7 / PA 16.3 indicates. The Vikings won’t be easily dismissed, however, with a good secondary and a run defense that tightened up after the Carlos Hyde embarrassment opening week. If the copied and pasted, “head coach Gary Kubiak learned a thing or two about how to proceed from that point on,” comment I made last week holds true, the Broncos cover the spread. I have to believe they will when I consider the Vikings are a middle-rated team defense in sacking the quarterback, and despite good D-back play, they only have 2 INTs at this point for lack of pass rush. A one-touchdown difference at home does not seem undo-able with the receivers Denver has. BroncoWin, 27-13   

DALLAS COWBOYS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Line: Saints -3.5 

The Game: Sunday, 5:30PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: Consider the Saints having 0 (yes, zero) INTs and only 5 sacks, and the Cowboys having only 3 sacks and 2 INTs, and it doesn’t make for good television. The Saints are now expecting their leader, Drew Brees, to be the starting QB, and it’s a good thing because he is the only chance they have of beating the more-talented Cowboys with its deceiving defensive bottom-half ranking due to the loss of Romo. If Brandon Weeden at quarterback doesn’t ruin Dallas, I like them here. Cowboys Win, 17-16    

DETROIT LIONS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Line: Seahawks -10

The Game: Monday, 5:30PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: The Monday Night Football factor comes into play here for me. Detroit is too talented offensively to cave in like Seattle’s week 3 opposition, and players seem to find another gear on Monday’s stage. The odds are inflated here because the paper trail points to a Seattle blow-out; Detroit having O-line issues and Megatron looking human. However, I really don’t like how the Seahawks have looked offensively, either. Jimmy Graham is not happy not getting the looks he’s used to, and it’s being said that the veterans aren’t happy with how he’s handling (or not handling) his new role. If the Lions step up at all it could get interesting. I’m hoping they make a game of it, but I won’t risk a dime. SeahawkWin, 20-13 

BYE: Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots    

Last week’s record vs. the spread (Thursday game excluded): W10 – L5 (Season total: W27 – L18)

FANTASY BEST BET STARTERS AT EACH STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION:

QB – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay / Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo

RB – Adrian Peterson, Minnesota / Latavius Murray, Oakland

WR – Julio Jones, Atlanta / Amari Cooper, Oakland

TE – Jimmy Graham, Seattle

K – Josh Brown, New York (Giants)

Def – Seattle Seahawks / New York (Jets)

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.