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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?

Another one bites the dust in week 9 as there are now 3 undefeated teams remaining after the Broncos loss (Patriots, Bengals, and Panthers…Yes, Bengals!). Underdogs got the best of week 9, 7-6-0, with 5 outright winners. Another week of key “missing persons” adds to the intrigue of this week’s play so check the injury reports daily up to game time. 

The return of Rex Ryan to New York kicks off week 10:

BUFFALO BILLS @ NEW YORK JETS

The Line: Jets -2.5

The Game: Thursday, 5:30PM PT, NFL NETWORK/CBS

The Skinny: It’s probably Media Day all week in New York due to the return of the Jets’ ex-coach Rex Ryan, now head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Still, after all the hype and hoopla, after all the social hits and tweets, chirps, chimes, or whatever else is trending these days, there’s still a game to be played. While Rex is not only good for reporters with mini digital recorders or recording apps on their cell phones, he’s also good for his football team.

Sure, he’s a class clown at times, and what Jets’ safety Calvin Pryor put out there for all the world to see may be true indeed, that Rex does anything for attention. Yet and still, put yourself in the shoes of a professional football player — one that’s not a diva, that is — and consider this big game coming up between yours and a division foe in which both trail arguable the best team in football and have no chance of catching that team unless the Rams come up on their schedule some time soon and their Hall of Fame quarterback goes down for the season (unfortunately for both, not the case here). So, victory is crucial, especially for your team because it’s a game behind your 2nd-place opponent (with a record that would put you atop the AFC South) and there are five other teams with better records racing towards the wild spot in post-season…Would you want to face the media all week answering mostly-stupid or repetitive questions, or concentrate on your opponent’s hidden tendencies and game weaknesses? If I played for Rex it would be a blessing to me that he was so adept at distracting attention away from my focus on the game plan, and I certainly wouldn’t fault him for wearing anything on his person in support of his son’s team.

Regarding the game, the past couple of weeks the Jets haven’t been playing as well as they started the season. Their secondary is banged up a bit (Revis, being the only healthy member, who figures to have his hands full with Sammy Watkins) and Watkins has had his moments on Revis Island in the past. Meanwhile, the Bills are getting dangerous again because they’re getting healthy again. Tyrod Taylor is a duel threat that will be hard to game plan against because Jets linebackers will also have to help out in the passing game. Home field is a plus, but these Thursday night games are a lot like Monday night Football in that the national spotlight seems to bring out the inner-money-earning in pro football players. Still, Buffalo’s defense must pressure Fitzpatrick to win. In a game that can go either way, the Bills appear to have the edge in more categories, but that includes a big “IF” they play their game. All things being fairly equal, this is a great Thursday Night Football match-up. Bills Win, 23-21

DETROIT LIONS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS

The Line: Packers -11.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Judging by Aaron Rodger’s body language while losing his second straight game last week, I’d say the Lions are about to be skinned alive. Detroit does not have the defense that A-Rod has trouble with so it should be back to normal this weekend for he and his crew. Davante Adams is back and will take some of the pressure off as the deep threat he is considered to be, being a tall drink-o-water at that. Yet, I expect him to be a decent decoy at best as he wasn’t winning Rodgers over before he got hurt. I look for Randall Cobb and James Jones to get the bulk of targets, and Starks is now the starter so you can expect the offense to have a more balanced attack. The Lions will be playing from behind so the second half is in the outlaw Stafford’s hands. Who would you choose to come through under pressure between the two?  Packers Win, 27-17 

DALLAS COWBOYS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

The Line: Bucs -1.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Despite barely losing to the spread last week, Dallas still played the gutsy game I thought they would and I see no reason they will not feel the same motivation to play that way again. On the other hand, the Bucs I expected didn’t show up and that was against a softer defense in the Giants. Although Jameis Winston hasn’t thrown an INT since week 4, he may find it more difficult to pass on the Cowboys and running could be mildly successful if Sean Lee (concussion) is out for Dallas. Still a point or two better than the Bucs, all things being equal and if they’re heads are on straight—what with the newly released photos’n all. May not be one of the better games to watch, but this game opened at Dallas -1. The swing makes the ‘boys look tempting, so for the second week in a row, I’m betting they win their first Romo-less contest. Cowboys Win, 21-17

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ TENNESSEE TITANS

The Line: Panthers -5.5 

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Have to give Marcus Mariota credit, he played an admirable game coming off lost game time last week. Today, however, is Education Day for him and every rookie on the team. Receiver Kendell Wright is at “questionable” and corner Jason McCourty is now “out” and those are key injuries here. A huge confidence-booster is they win or hang tough, but Mariota (limited in practice with a knee issue) will be limited to short passes all day and this allows the Panthers to play up closer. If he can get some distance shots in, the Titans have a prayer. I don’t foresee enough of them unless their really young receivers step way up. Looks like the Titans’ output last week influences the Vegas baiting.  Panthers Win, 24-13

CHICAGO BEARS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

The Line: Rams -7

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  The Rams got brutalized in the media this week, but I doubt that softens up their defensive play. What I’m sure of is that their developing reputation is bound to be in the back of the mind of a player like Cutler — where clarity has been known to go to die. Bears running back looks like a fair replacement for Forte, but they need the real deal this week. Tight end Martellus Bennett is one of their best receivers but the Rams don’t allow tight ends great fantasy numbers these days. Alshon Jeffery should get his being the large target he is, but others will have to have a career day to overcome the storm that is the St. Louis front line, especially with Robert Quinn returning. Expect Wes Welker to play this week as they are feverishly attempting to get special packages in for his being on the field. If he helps them go something like 6 of 12 on third downs, this is a drastic improvement and they win fairly easily…but if he doesn’t help much or does not play, the Bears can make it a tough game. Cutler could be forced into a mistake or two, his O-line a hold or three, but until the Rams show more ability to capitalize it’s hard to give the point spread. The Bears aren’t as bad as some expected early in the season.  Rams Win, 20-16

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The Line: Saints -1.5 

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The Saints are playing surprisingly well considering they’ve practically had a makeshift secondary at times. Kirk Cousins should relish their lack of pass defense, however, and you can expect him to pass often. This, and every game is important to these two teams from here on out…The problem is, Drew Brees always plays like it’s a do-or-die playoff game so the mental edge has to go to New Orleans. With an offense that has averaged 29 points the last four games against a team that’s only scored more than 24 points once (against defenses that include the Falcons and the Giants) all season, it’s wise to give the points. Saints Win, 31-26

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

The Line: Eagles -6

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: This game feels a lot like what Miami just faced against Buffalo, with the exception of Bradford being able to take off effectively. Another 1-2 punch in the backfield looms the danger as well in DeMarco Murray and the nimble pair of Darren Sproles and Ryan Matthews. The talent of the Dolphins front four will need to play harder for this for this team to stay afloat in their division. Now that you’re over the illusion of Miami’s turn-around, you probably realize how they lose by big numbers…Got heart?  Eagles Win, 31-20 

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS   

The Line: Steelers -4.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Wow, what timing for Cleveland — no Roethlisberger to contend with. McCown may start but if he does not, look for a slightly better performance from Johnny Manziel this week, especially if Pittsburgh fails to pressure him enough. You don’t want a player like Manziel getting his confidence back. Yet, the Steelers are a top ten sack team and McCown is too banged up to escape much pressure, so a Manziel sighting is possible. The defense of the Browns being labeled as the worst run-stopping defense in the league may not quite apply any longer. Eyes test says they have improved a bit, and they will need to because DeAngelo Williams is looking as good as ever these days. Big Ben refused to rule himself out so buyer beware, but without him this game is considerably closer. Steelers Win, 22-16

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS 

The Line: Ravens -5.5

The Game: Sunday, 10:00AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Hard to give points here because Baltimore seems to play nothing but close games, win or lose, and Jacksonville (I am starting to believe) isn’t the same team that couldn’t score in the past. Home field advantage here is huge regarding the win, but less threatening when laying down the dollars and sense. Stats-wise on the year, the two teams appear near identical — both even losing 3 of their last 4 games. A toss-up that leaves the spread a bit high.  Jaguars Win,  27-24 

 MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS

The Line: Raiders -3 (BRIDGEWATER IS EXPECTED TO START)

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: I have a thing about improvement, and my thing tells me that the Raiders are showing more of it than the Vikings. Sure, the Viking won last week’s game but my eyes told me they weren’t the better team all things being equal. Raiders don’t have the defense last week’s Vikings opponent does, but their offense is significantly better (scoring 30+ in every game since their bye, including that Jets game) and should pose a danger to Minnesota, especially after the banging the Vikings received last week. Could be a slug-fest that, like last week, may come down to the last possession. But I have to side with the upward movement of the silver and black at home because the last possession is more likely to be a TD.  Raiders Win, 30-27 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ NEW YORK GIANTS

The Line: Patriots -7

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: If you have Tom Brady on your fantasy team and fail to start him this week, please don’t breed. Don’t get caught up in everything being said during the week of how the Giants play them tough, how coach Coughlin has Belichick’s number, and so on. This particular New York team does not possess the defense to make Brady even a little nervous, as in past games. J.P.P. will play but not be much of a factor. You can bet that Beckham Jr. will see targets galore and he may pull down a few good ones, but penalties and mental errors are inevitable here for the Giants, and it’s quite plausible to envision New England scoring on nearly every possession.  Patriots Win, 40-27 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ DENVER BRONCOS

The Line: Broncos -5.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Vernon Davis is expected to make his Broncos debut so you can expect the Broncos to be at the top of their game. Kansas City is no push-over by any stretch of the imagination, but they face a defense that makes allowances like Donald Trump makes…I better not. I don’t see this game getting out of hand and K.C. could make it interesting late if they hang around long enough fresh off a bye and with Aqib Talib suspended for this one. Broncos Win, 27-23 

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Line: Seahawks -3

The Game: Sunday, 5:30PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: Arizona (though they probably won’t address it much in front of the camera now) has had this game circled on their mental calendar since the second week of the season — even this week the not-so-politically-correct Tyrann Mathieu is quoted as saying the Seahawks are “in our way.” But the truth is, Seattle has gained confidence while the Cardinals now know they can be beaten, and have by teams considered to be lesser. It is extremely hard to win in Seattle and despite their open confidence, the Seahawks have to view this game as their best (and possibly only) chance at another division title. At the very least, a wild card position. 12th man or not, Seattle’s fate lies in one thing; whether or not they can pressure Carson Palmer enough to rattle his timing. Arizona has too many weapons and Seattle has only one Richard Sherman. Truth be told, giving up 34 (to the Rams) and 27 points in three games this season (two since Chancellor’s return vs. the Bengals and Panthers) doesn’t convinced me there will be enough BOOM to stop Arizona with an extra week to prepare after the bye. The must-see game in the NFC this week should not be wagered on with serious money. Just enjoy…but if you must, Arizona beats the spread.  Cardinals Win,  21-20

HOUSTON TEXANS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS

The Line: Bengals -10.5

The Game: Monday, 5:30PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: The Bengals are capable of scoring more than the Texans’ recent opponents rather easily, and this week they are home.The Texans have legitimately beat on Tampa Bay and Jacksonville if you exclude the Mariota-less Titans week 8. The spread is slightly low in my opinion, but perhaps accurate because Bengals’ starters should have no reason to stay in late.  Bengals Win, 35-18

BYE: Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers

Last week vs. the spread (disclaimer games excluded): W5 – L7 (Season total: W51 – L48)

MY FANTASY FOOTBALL STARTERS (STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION):

QB – Tom Brady, New England / Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

RB –Todd Gurley, St. Louis / Mark Ingram, New Orleans

WR –Martavus Bryant, Pittsburgh / O’dell Beckham, New York Giants

TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England

K – Blair Walsh, Minnesota

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.