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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 Carolina Panthers are the only undefeated team left in the NFL after the Patriots dropped their first to the Broncos. If you were here, it wasn’t a surprise at all, but there were other game results that were quite the shock to us so-called experts — mainly, the fact that the Cardinals barely got by the 49ers. Yet overall, I may have had my best week this season behind the rush of holiday handicapping ahead of spread knowledge and influence. Let’s try that again. 

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ DETROIT LIONS

The Line: Packers -3

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

The Skinny: In a season of ups and downs, highs and lows, both these two teams seem to be on the upswing currently. That said, Green Bay plays defense a little better while Aaron Rodgers is the superior QB. Whenever a future H.O.F. QB is going against a mediocre-at-best secondary (and he’s not ready for the rocking chair yet), you always side with the QB, right? The Packers will probably throw more with their running game in questionable capability, which will lead to Rodgers’ great fantasy output…but Detroit has the only real top shelf receiver in Calvin Johnson, and this would elevate most QBs. Tough call, but it can really only go one way. Packers Win, 34-27

NEW YORK JETS @ NEW YORK GIANTS

The Line: Jets -2

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Eli Manning threw 3 INTs in the loss to the Redskins last week, and behind a banged up O-line, I can’t imagine things being too far from that situation again this week. The Jets will be without Revis again so that gives Odell Beckham some serious fantasy consideration, but the Giants are still tied for last in the league in getting sacks and Fitzpatrick may carve out a nice little victory with a more balanced attack. The Jets have been scoring fairly consistent on better defenses. Jets Win, 30-24 

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

The Line: Cardinals -4.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Well, the week 4 match-up in which the Rams shocked the entire state of Arizona is a distant water-colored memory now. How the Rams can get considerably worse through course of the season is not unthinkable, just mind-boggling because the players that are still healthy and have experience with the new system now appear to be regressing somehow. The calls for the coach’s head on a platter can now be heard, and the team’s fan are now eyeballing next year’s draft prospects…especially at the QB position. I would like to believe that because they are at home, they have a chance. Yet, the ugly truth is, the 49ers are outplaying them now and threatening to take the third spot. The Rams’ key injuries include Robert Quinn again (doubtful), and Case Keenum (questionable). with Foles there’s less of a shot because Keenum can extend a play. The Cardinals are banged up also, but deeper. I hope I’m wrong, but… Cardinals Win, 27-13

ATLANTA FALCONS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 

The Line: Bucs -1

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The Falcons haven’t won a game since the last time these two teams faced off in week 8, which they lost in OT by three in Atlanta. Based on what I’ve seen since, I’m inclined to believe one team has gotten better since, and one team has not. Tampa Bay ranks 6th in takeaways, while Matty Ice isn’t playing cool or hot, just poorly. Devonta Freeman is set to return this week, and it’s conceiving that Atlanta bounces back to previous form, but the physical defensive play difference may be key here.  Bucs Win, 26-18

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Line: Seahawks -1.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  This particular game looked a lot closer a few short weeks ago, before the Seahawks started to resemble last year’s Seahawks, and before Russell Wilson started to play like this year’s Cam Newton doing his impersonation of Russell Wilson’s rookie season. Richard Sherman, to my surprise, almost completely shut down Antonio Brown last week, and Minnesota does not have an Antonio Brown…or a Martavis Bryant, for that matter — which also hinders Adrian Peterson’s efforts. Yet, the Vikings have been playing great football and are 9-2 against the spread so they are hard to go against…Now for the wrench in the machine if you like Seattle: The Vikings defense has not given up more than 18 points at home all season. Vikings Win, 20-19

HOUSTON TEXANS @ BUFFALO BILLS

The Line: Bills -3 

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Extremely close game on paper, in my opinion, but Buffalo gets the slight edge in that they are playing somewhat better on offense against better competition, plus home field advantage. Houston has moved above .500 and looking for the 5th win in a row. Should be a good close one worth watching, but I’ll side with Sexy Rexy’s clan…barely. Approach with caution. Bills Win, 21-20

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Line: Dolphins -4

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Another game to avoid involving teams without much hope. Miami has the slight edge in a game that might boost fantasy numbers for the under-achievers of these teams. I gave the Ravens little hope last week, and this week I’ll give them too much credit. Ravens Win, 24-23 

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS   

The Line: Bengals -9.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The Browns are sitting ducks this week, I won’t candy-coat it. And watching them play last week, especially on defense, I’m not entirely sure they still have the heart to play for pride. Joe Haden, their best corner, is still “out” and Andy Dalton should have a great day. For the Browns, if Austin Davis starts, he is capable of extending plays and scoring, but vulnerable to mistakes as well. The Browns would need to play error-free just to have a prayer. Eifert is doubtful, so I’m downgrading… Bengals Win, 28-16

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS  @ TENNESSEE TITANS 

The Line: Titans -2.5 

The Game: Sunday, 10:00AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The Thursday night match-up just over two weeks ago between these two teams was lackluster and the Jaguars appeared to win by default, 19-13. This won’t be a prime time game so I won’t make the mistake of watching them twice, and unless the Titans look a lot more creative than the first encounter, I expect the same results. Jaguars Win, 22-17

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ CHICAGO BEARS

The Line: Bears -7

The Game: Sunday, 10:00AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The 49ers suddenly have something to play for; the removal of the last place spot in the NFC West. Never thought I see Blaine Gabbert outplay Colin Kaepernick, but I also didn’t believe they had a prayer to catch anyone this season…Back to reality: The Bears have been playing too well to lose here, and now they sport two running backs capable of doing the same things. They’re home, and Alshon is back, too? So sorry ‘niners fans, but you’ll need to wait another week. Bears Win, 26-16 

DENVER BRONCOS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

The Line: Broncos -4

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Thanks to the man that might be forever known as “The Man That Replaced Peyton,” Denver now has a balanced offense making them a more complete team overall, while the Chargers virtually have no ground game whatsoever. Not the best defense to face if you’re one-dimensional. The Chargers score well until they face a top D, which this is. The game screams San Diego turnovers.  Broncos Win, 24-12 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS

The Line: Chiefs -3

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: After losing 5 in a row, K.C. is looking for their 6th straight victory and their schedule is in favor of them winning out the season. Pretty amazing in itself, but without Jamal Charles makes it incredible. The defense can carry them here alone, but the offense has been scoring points against better defenses. Oakland does not fall in that category defensively, so this should be easy-enough pickings. Chiefs Win, 31-20 

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Line: Panthers -7

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Intriguing game we have here; Drew Brees can conjure up hurricane-force winds, we know, no matter what the NFL weather men forecast. But let’s face it, the Saints’ defense might be the worst seen by human eyes. The Panthers are bound to have enough stops to hold them off, and that’s a big “IF” Brees has a monster day…which is unlikely. Every fantasy football participant’s dream is to have a lock at a position; Cam’s the man this week. Panthers may rest players late so beware the garbage.  Panthers Win, 38-20 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Line: Patriots -9

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Sam Bradford is said to be ready to return for the Eagles. A good thing for sure, but far from enough. If you know the mind of Belichick, you are certain that Bradford is in for a long day. In short, glass jaws attract extra punches “…even after the ball leaves the arm,” he casually says to the refs. Tom Brady might get Amendola back, but he really doesn’t need all his top weapons for this one. Half the heart in Philly is already gone before the game even starts. Patriots Win, 27-15

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Line: Steelers -7

The Game: Sunday, 5:30PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: The Colts have won their last 3 games to rise above .500 again, and of their last nine games, only in one did the point differential get above 7— last week’s win against the Bucs, 25-12. Included in that stretch are the Patriots (lost by 7), Panthers (lost by 3) and Broncos (won by 3). So, it’s not unlikely that the Colts give the Steelers all they can handle. BUT…if this game is to stay close, there will have to be scoring by both teams because the Steelers have more and better weapons than the others mentioned, and only TOM is the reason the Patriots won by as much as 7 points with lesser skill players. The Steelers have scored 30 or more points in three straight games, including last week’s loss to Seattle in Seattle. The Colts have no Legion of Boom and the odds of Antonio Brown disappearing again are rather large. The over/under is an excellent risk here, and recommended over the spread if it’s not higher than 50. Steelers Win, 34-28 

 

 

DALLAS COWBOYS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The Line: Redskins -4

The Game: Monday, 5:30PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: Weeks ago, I mentioned that the Redskins were better than people first thought when they beat the then-favored Rams. Since, they are playing the best in their division (at 3-2, the only winning record in the NFC East) and have now moved into first-place. They face the Romo-less Cowboys at the perfect time — in fact, face them twice in the last five weeks of the season. The playoffs are theirs to ruin. Redskins Win, 26-17

Last week vs. the spread (disclaimer games excluded): W10 – L4 (Season total: W64 – L51)

MY FANTASY FOOTBALL STARTERS (STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION):

QB – Cam Newton, Carolina

RB – C.J. Anderson, Denver / Matt Forte, Chicago

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

TE – Greg Olsen, Carolina / Travis Kelce, Kansas City

K – Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona /

Def – Carolina Panthers

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.