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Don’t head out to that favorite sports bar, sports book, 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’n 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?

Two of the five remaining unbeatens go head-to-head this weekend but there’s a fair chance more than one team loses the goose egg in the loss column (Undefeated: Patriots, Broncos, Packers, Bengals, and Panthers). Underdogs continue to do well, but the favorites edged them out in week 7, winning 8 of 14 games. Only two games in week 8 have points spreads over a touchdown so the promise of action and storylines is certain. The selections below are made in advance so as always, be sure and monitoring the up-to-the-minute changes and injury information. 

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Line: Patriots -8  

The Game: Thursday, 5:25PM PT, NFL Network/CBS

The Skinny: You may have noticed, the NFL Network is building (or overbuilding) this game up to be an important spotlight game as if to oppose NBC’s Monday Night Football legacy or NBC’s Thursday Night Football top-billing showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers. Can you say, reality check?

The Miami Dolphins have been riding on cloud 9 the last two weeks, and many are jumping aboard the aqua-colored bandwagon…but just when you thought it was safe to go into the water, look who shows up on the schedule. Tom Brady, that’s who. Granted, interim coach Dan Campbell has done a fine job lighting a much-needed fire under the bottoms of his players (some of which make enough money to burn a few dollars under their own butts), and no doubt he has so far done enough to shed the interim label next season, but cheer-leading, beer lingo and brawn mentality can only go so far. In this case, as far as the gates at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Make no mistake, Dan Campbell is no Todd Bowles, and he’ll need time to figure out what hit him. By that time, it might be too late.

The Dolphins are now a running team as much as a passing team. Lamar Miller will see his share of carries early on, but with their pass-rushing talent, look for Dion Lewis (questionable three consecutive weeks now) or the practically-unknown James White catching short passes out of the backfield. As aggressive and emotional as Miami is now playing, their defense has allowed 26 or more points three of their last four games, including the last, the Texans scoring 26. Meanwhile, Patriots’ linebacker Dont’a Hightower returned week 7 and the defense is inspired by their leader. Patriots Win, 38-23   . 

DETROIT LIONS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (via London)

The Line: Chiefs -4.5

The Game: Sunday, 6:30AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Don’t expect too much difference this week behind the changes being made in Detroit, it’s practically a short week having to play in London. However, expect the Lions to call upon Calvin Johnson a bit more, and for that they will have to block. Matthew Stafford is listed as questionable but expected to play. K.C. can get after a QB so passing down field will be difficult. The Chiefs have been playing better defense the last three weeks, and Charcandrick West was the workhorse week 7, his 122 yards help beat the Steelers. Look for another productive day for him.  Chiefs Win, 27-20 W

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ ATLANTA FALCONS

The Line: Falcons -7

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: If Tampa Bay can muster an adequate offense, they have a chance to beat the spread. Their defense is among the top ten despite allowing over 30 points in three consecutive games. Tough against the run, they may not have an answer for a healthy Julio Jones. I can’t quite see Jameis Winston keeping up with Atlanta’s passing attack, which is what this would take for the Bucs to hang around late. Falcons Win, 34-24

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Line: Cardinals -5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Josh McCown says he feels better and is expected to start…Not sure that’s a good thing as his receivers may need plenty of time to get open and Manziel extends plays better. Manziel did gets some reps in this week with the first team offense so he’ll be ready. The Browns also get two 2014 Pro Bowlers back this week; CB Joe Haden and FS Tashaun Gipson. Interesting because outside of their win versus Detroit, Arizona’s offense has been looking a bit more regular in 3 of the last 4. Cardinals Win, 24-20 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

The Line: Rams -8

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The two lowest-scoring teams in the NFL face off, and at first glance, Zzzzzzz. Once you wake up, you realize you might miss seeing the early years of a future Hall of Famer, perhaps a future all-time great in the Rams’ running back Todd Gurley. If you’re a Rams fan, you’re not about to miss the long-awaited beatdown of the 49ers. It seems to only come around once in a blue moon. The ‘niners allowed 122 yards and a touchdown to Beastmode and the Seahawks…with Seattle’s suspect O-line. Now they get Gurley on a fast track? That Rams defensive front on a fast track? If the Rams manage one touchdown by way of air, the spread is a piece of cake. On the chance Kaepernick is allowed to run, I’ll give the 49ers the benefit of the doubt and keep it close. Rams Win, 23-14

NEW YORK GIANTS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Line: Saints -3.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Tough game to pick, both teams have been erratic this season. New Orleans has the better ground game here and that might be crucial late in the game. The Giants seem to pull rabbits from their when you least expect it. Odell Beckham Jr. should get his, and Drew Brees doesn’t have a serious go-to guy as yet. Back to the ground game, and throw in the home field advantage…Should be good for 4 points. Saints Win, 31-27 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ CHICAGO BEARS

The Line: Vikings -1

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The Vikings are only 1-point favorites because they don’t play well on the road. The Bears are playing better with Cutler and are surprisingly decent on defense. Enter Stefon Diggs. His emergence has opened things up, and I have to believe Adrian Peterson will benefit. The question may come down to, is Matt Forte really trade bait with the trade deadline coming up. If so, do the Bears showcase him or protect him? Touch call, but I’ll side on who is the “now” team.  Vikings Win, 20-17 

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Line: Ravens -3

The Game: Sunday, 10:00AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: I have a problem with Baltimore being favored over anyone these days. Rivers will pass on them — your dollars should as well — and it looks like another close game between two teams with no playoff hopes whatsoever. The Ravens have lost better games, while the Chargers have lost games they should have won. Strangely-attractive game to watch, with two gunslingers, but I lean the QB that’s bound to attempt more passes on a porous secondary. Chargers Win, 31-30  

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Line: Steelers -1

The Game: Sunday, 10:00AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: This is the game to watch. Ben Roethlisberger is set to return here but probably not completely at 100%. The Steelers have been somewhat inconsistent without him — beating Arizona by 12 points, then losing to Kansas City by 10 points is just plain goofy. Martavis Bryant’s return makes Pittsburgh better than they were when they were flying high for the first two weeks, but Cincinnati is not hurting for weapons and Dalton is having his best year. Both defenses nearly cuddle together in the major category rankings. Does it come down to Big Ben’s health and timing versus the Bengals sluggish off a bye?  Too close to call so I’ll go opposite my heart for a change and choose the team with the tight end edge. Bengals Win, 31-28  

TENNESSEE TITANS @ HOUSTON TEXANS 

The Line: CURRENTLY NO LINE DUE TO MARIOTA’S STATUS

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: However, I will pick the Titans here with their potential sub, Mettenberger. Houston is simply playing awful and now their star running back is down again.  Titans Win, 17-10 

NEW YORK JETS OAKLAND RAIDERS 

The Line: Jets -2

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Wow, only 2 points? If I were New York, I’d be insulted. While the Raiders (and Jets) have been one of this year’s surprises, A second-year QB will not be cracking the defensive code of the Jets as easily as veteran/legend Brady did the week before. Oh, but Amari Cooper paying a visit to Revis Island is must-see TV for sure. Crabtree will need to step up big time. Still, I see Chris ivory wearing down the Raiders. Jets Win, 27-13  

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ DALLAS COWBOYS

The Line: Seahawks -6

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Won’t waste much time here. This game should be a bit too close for comfort if Dallas’ newest “leader” can inspire all his teammates to knock clipboards from the opposing coaching staff’s hands…Really, Jerry? As a fan of class and character alone, I’m pulling for Beast Mode and Company. Seahawks Win,  26-12 

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ DENVER BRONCOS

The Line: Packers -3

The Game: Sunday, 5:30PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: The defense in this game is a chess match in itself. The Broncos have a slight edge there but offensively, the gap widens considerably and the Packers get Davante Adams back now, a mere beautiful distraction that he is at 6’2″. Aaron Rodgers is a bit more nimble than Peyton Manning, and cannot extend plays. 7 TDs to 10 INTs is not the stat for a quarterback to have trying to beat one of the all-time greats still in his prime. Packers Win, 24-17 

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Line: Panthers -6.5

The Game: Monday, 5:30PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: A game to watch, though it is not as attractive with Andrew Luck not having much luck these days. The Panthers’ D is pretty darn good and will be harassing Luck throughout. On the other side of the ball, the Colts won’t accomplish much trying to stop Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart. 5 of the last 7 wins for the Panthers have been by 7 or more points, and they’ve been winning here for me. Still, I do hope the Colts make a game of it.  Panthers Win, 20-17  

BYE: Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars  

Last week’s record vs. the spread (Thursday game/disclaimer games excluded): W5 – L9 (Season total: W40 – L33)

MY FANTASY FOOTBALL STARTERS (STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION):

QB – Philip Rivers, San Diego / Eli Manning, New York (Giants)

RB – Chris Ivory, New York (Jets) / Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams

WR – Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh / Odell Beckham, New York (Giants)

TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England

K – Josh Brown, New York (Giants)

Def – St. Louis Rams

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.