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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?

The same six teams remain undefeated (Patriots, Broncos, Packers, Falcons, Bengals, and Panthers), but that could change in week 6. (Update: Falcons fall to the Saints). Overall, things could be interesting as 10 of the 14 scheduled games have spreads of 4 points or less. Week 5 saw the favorites rebound to edge out the underdogs 7-6-1, with only three ‘dogs winning outright. Use discretion, as always, and monitoring the up-to-the-minute changes and injury info is crucial. 

ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Line: Falcons -3.5 (GAME OVER) Saints win 31-21

Post-game Summary: Led by Drew Brees and tight end Benjamin Watson, the Saints topped the Falcons Thursday night in a game that saw both teams take turns at outplaying the other per quarter. New Orleans drove 80 yards on their first possession, then took advantage of a blocked Atlanta punt and scored on their second drive as well to never trail in the game, and perhaps save their season by avoiding a 1-and-5 start. Watson had a career game hauling in 127 yards on 12 targets, more than twice as many targets as any other Saints receiver. Mark Ingram added two touchdowns despite an average per carry of less than three. Devonta Freeman continued to impress, with a 100-yard day that included a 25-yard touchdown run. Julio Jones posted 93 yards on 6 receptions but did not score. 

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ NEW YORK JETS

The Line: Jets -6

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Going against the grain here as well-respected experts appear to view the 6-point spread as high against a Redskins team that’s not as bad as first expected. As I see it, however, the ‘Skins posted 24 points against an underestimating, under-prepared St. Louis team, and hasn’t matched or exceeded that output since to lesser defenses. New York at 3-and-1, on the other hand, is a team people are expecting to self-destruct at any minute based on previous seasons and quarterback play (Okay, and current management). Though QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is no Aaron Rodgers by any stretch of the imagination, he is also no Geno Smith, and the team plays rather well under the current coaching staff. RB Chris Ivory, when healthy, is a beast and wears down opposing defenses late in games. Home field advantage is huge here. The bye week may be as well, while Washington comes off an emotionally-draining game that got away versus Atlanta. Perhaps a point more and I feel different, but take the favorite with Washington’s DeSean Jackson and Matt Jones listed as day-to-day. Jets Win, 20-13 

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Line: Cardinals -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Las Vegas appears to be baiting folks on the outside possibility that a healthy enough Big Ben will take the field. This is the only reason I can figure that a team with a soft secondary that gave up 365 passing yards to Philip Rivers is only a 3-point ‘dog to Arizona, a team with more dangerous and faster weapons, plus something the Chargers lack, a ground game. Sure, receiver Martavis Bryant returns from his 4-game suspension, but Darrius “Butterfingers” Heyward-Bey has been catching balls like never before so there was little if any drop-off the first four weeks. Yes, Vick  has looked adequate at times but hasn’t been capable of being spectacular. In fact, he appears to be playing not to lose rather than playing to win, not the solution to crack the secondary with the best corners in the NFL. [Using a disclaimer: Handicapped for a non-healthy Ben Roethlisberger game], I’ll go with the Cardinals all the way.  Cardinals Win, 34-22 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Line: Vikings -3.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Last week I took the Chiefs (-9.5) to cover the spread against the Bears, and they were leading by two touchdowns when Jamaal Charles left the game with the injury, so I’m tossing out that loss. Kansas City has had the leading ground game in all but just over one half of one football game (the Charles-less half), and considering the fact that Jamaal has had 75 yards or less in 4 of 5 of those games, you have to credit their defense with stopping those opposing runners. That being said, Matt Forte led all runners last week and Adrian Peterson will probably lead week 6, but he is the great equalizer. The Chiefs are the better overall team despite the odds suggesting that the Vikings would be a half point better on neutral ground post-Charles. I argue that the replacement back, Charcandrick West, has a week of work with the first team and will be more effective than people think. Chiefs Win, 21-17 

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ BUFFALO BILLS

The Line: Bengals -3.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Too many questions for my taste. Are the Bengals ready for prime time? Can they get up for yet another challenge after the exhaustive performance in last week’s amazing comeback victory over Seattle? Will Sammy Watkins and Karlos Williams play, and with all the talk of Tyrod Taylor perhaps out, why isn’t he listed on the injury report? The fact remains, the Bengals definitely need to keep winning while the Steelers are extremely vulnerable with a head-to-head match-up two weeks away in which Big Ben is likely to attend in pads and guns-a-blazin’. Buffalo has the defense to keep things close but if Tyrod doesn’t start the Bills are simply too out-manned to be a threat when the going gets tough. The spread swung in Cincinnati’s favor from a “pick’em” at the opening, and only the Bills D and home field keep it under a touchdown. Assuming Tyrod plays, I give the Bengals a 4-point advantage but without, as many as 10 points. Bengals Win, 24-20 

CHICAGO BEARS @ DETROIT LIONS

The Line: Lions -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: From a prediction standpoint, one of the more interesting challenges here. The spread says on a neutral field, it’s an even game. I’m inclined to agree, but that’s not to say I think both teams are evenly matched. It’s more like, “With these two teams, anything can happen.” The star match-up angle: Cutler and Forte have been the game leaders at their positions in every game they’ve started and finished together, while Stafford and Megatron have only accomplished that once (against Minnesota). The thing is, the Bears D–minus crippled teams or the Raiders–can’t stop anybody at all while the Lions D appear capable of stepping up when they feel like it. Perhaps, because the this old rivalry, they feel like it for only a second time this season. Lions Win, 24-20 

DENVER BRONCOS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Line: Broncos -4

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The spread here dropped a half-point from its opening. Don’t trust it, and don’t be fooled by last week’s Browns victory over the Ravens in which Josh McCown threw for 457 yards and was even crowned King of the Week by NFL Network’s Kurt Warner. The Ravens’ secondary couldn’t stop a molasses syrup leak with a can of Flex Seal and two rolls of duct tape. In fact, the truth about the McCown-led Browns is about to be revealed as they now face the stiffest portion of their season against three of the top defenses, starting with the Broncos’, so if you rushed to claim Josh off the fantasy waiver wire, you still have time to correct your mistake. The only debate here is quality of play from (can’t believe I’m saying this…) the lesser of the two Mannings vs. an adequate secondary. Broncos Win, 24-17 

HOUSTON TEXANS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The Line: Jaguars -1

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Is it just me, or does it feel like this is the first time Jacksonville has ever been the favorite? Seriously, [with these two 1-and-4 teams]turn tail and run away from any inclination to bet or watch this game unless you’re a die hard fan (in which case, I do understand), or unless there’s an unexpected solar flair-up that knocks out every channel except the one this game is on. The spread opened as “pick’em” and I’ve also seen Houston favored by 1.5 somewhere not worth remembering. Oh, well, for those still reading, I like the quarterback change, and defensively, I think the Texans have the edge with Watt. Blake Bortles is having a career year (haven’t you noticed?), but in the end, turnovers will play the biggest part in a game like this. You probably don’t care, but… Texans Win, 20-17 

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ TENNESSEE TITANS 

The Line: Titans -1

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Interesting that this game opened at 2.5 in the Titans’ favor, then dipped to 1. Are we to believe that new head coach Dan Campbell will make such an impact sight-unseen? Hard for me to back a team that’s 1-and-8 in its last nine games against the spread. Even harder to believe soft players can become tough players over the course of a bye week. Still, it starts with quarterback play, and Mariota is expected to outplay Tannehill. Then there’s that footage of Miami’s D (namely, Ndamukong Suh) playing so poorly, lazily even, not pursuing and frankly, going through the motions. Perhaps Campbell can light a fire under the butts of some of these guys, but until it shows up [on film], I am going with the hungry upstarts with the better rated defense and less reason for mistakes (less shuffling of personnel). Titans Win, 27-20 

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Line: Seahawks -7

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: When I mentioned above that an undefeated team can fall this week, this is the game I had in mind. The Panthers are the least talented of the unbeatens offensively and facing Seattle’s Legion of Boom figures to be extremely difficult with no major receivers and a quarterback that is bound to call his own number too often. That being said, for the life of me, I don’t get the thought process of a 7-point spread with the Panthers having the defense they do. Russell Wilson and Company haven’t exactly been causing defensive coordinators to lose sleep with their O-line playing so poorly facing lesser defenses. Wilson will be on the run this week as well. Thomas Rawls wasn’t much of a downgrade, but Marshawn Lynch is set to return. However, so is the Panthers’ star linebacker Luke Kuechly. If Cam Newton can keep it close to the fourth quarter, he has a shot because the Seahawks haven’t been finishing games like the previous two seasons. If you love a defensive battle, this may be your game of the week–especially if you’ve started either defense on your fantasy team. Seahawks Win, 17-16 

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS

The Line: Packers -10

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The spread here is fair. Two of the Chargers’ three games have been on the road and they yet to score more than 19 points against road opponents. The Packers, on the other hand, have scored 27 and 24 on two of the best defenses in the league in Seattle and St. Louis, and a whopping 38 against Kansas–all better than what they’ll see this weekend. San Diego has no ground game (Week 1, the only game in which they had the leading rusher, Melvin Gordon’s 51 yards vs. Detroit), and that’s too bad because Green Bay can be vulnerable there. The interesting match-up is at quarterback. Philip Rivers has not been outperformed this season in terms of passing yards, and Aaron Rodgers has outperformed all but Jay Cutler in yardage. He has yet to face a QB the likes of Rivers’, but everyone knows A-Rod’s so much more than total yards. With the return of Antonio Gates, the Chargers suddenly make this a worthwhile watch, but Green Bay remains undefeated through to their week 8 match-up with Peyton and the Broncos after a bye. PackerWin, 35-24 

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

The Line: Ravens -2

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The 49ers might have gained a bit of confidence after what can be argued as their best performance to date, certainly their best output at 27 points. They’ve given up a total of only 20 points in two home games and 120 points on the road, so obviously, they leave their heart in San Francisco (too good to resist, sorry). Sad to say, Kaepernick has not outplayed any opposing quarterback this season and is not likely to facing Flacco, but the Ravens’ already-atrocious D is more banged up with DE Chris Canty and LB Elvis Dumervil either “out” or “questionable.” The ‘frisco coaching staff may do well to listen to NFL legend Joe Montana, who is quoted this week as expressing his views on how Kaepernick should be utilized, basically saying that Kap should be allowed to do what he does best; run and create. Fitting him into a mold other than how he was made is not the answer this weekend, indeed, as Reggie Bush is “out” and Carlos Hyde is “questionable.” The Ravens’ Justin Forsett is also “questionable.” This is definitely a no-touch affair, Mr. Betting Mann. 49ers Win, 20-17  

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Line: Patriots -9

The Game: Sunday, 5:30PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: This game opened at 6.5 and is now threatening the Don’t-bother-watching category. Not what the schedules expected for sure. Of course, celebrities always attract and Tom Brady alone is worth the price of a ticket or three of our day, as he is a living legend we all will tell the young’ins about someday. Now throw in, for entertainment purposes, the storyline of the Indianapolis Colts [indirectly]being the reason Mr. Brady spent his off-season defending himself behind “Deflategate,” and the cause of playground best buds Rodger Goodell and Robert Kraft now drawing lines in the sand at one another, and you have a game that you may want to record for historical purposes because multiple records could be broken. Analyzing this game in depth is practically a waste of life, as I refuse to believe coach Belichick has only prepared for this particular game for only this past week. When the Patriots are forced to circle their wagons and/or circle your name on their calendar, you’re dead meat. Patriots Win, 41-23  

NEW YORK GIANTS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

The Line: Eagles -4

The Game: Monday, 5:30PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: This game makes for a very exciting Monday night game from a fan’s perspective. Sam Bradford, as erratic as he’s been, is getting more comfortable in Chip’s system (part of the 59 points scored in the last 6 quarters) while Chip is adjusting his system somewhat. The Eagles are 27th against the pass, but the Giants’ receiver health is a concern. Meanwhile, the Giants’ 30th ranked defense gave up a season high 27 points to the Kaepernick-led 49ers, and allow an average 314 yards by air per game. Philadelphia looks to avoid an 0-and-3 start in the division, so this game is huge for them. The G-men have won three in a row, which makes this a nervous time for their fans based on their consistence in recent years. All things being equal, I’ll take Chip’s Eagles against a bad pass defense. Eagles Win 38-30  

BYE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams  

Last week’s record vs. the spread (Thursday game/disclaimer games excluded): W5 – L8 (Season total: W40 – L32)

FANTASY BEST BET STARTERS AT EACH STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION:

QB – Sam Bradford, Philadelphia / Tom Brady, New England

RB – LeVeon Bell, Pittsburgh

WR – Julian Edelman, New England / Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England

K – Josh Brown, New York (Giants)

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.