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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 aid. 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?

Carolina Panthers is hanging in there and looks poised to run the season undefeated after last week’s shutout. Cam Newton and Russell Wilson look to be the hottest items of late, and talk of who’s the MVP is no longer so one-sided. Todd Gurley squeezes early candidates for ROY in route to a 1000 yard season despite not starting until the second quarter of the season. Week 14 also saw four games decided by exactly a field goal, and one major upset, the Raiders beat the Broncos. Underdogs won only six games…Week 15: Note the one game currently off the board. Be sure and monitor the latest gametime information. Now, let’s get on with it!

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TWO NFL NETWORK GAMES THIS WEEK: Thursday & Saturday Nights

St. Louis and Tampa Bay kick-start week 15 with what could very well be the Rams’ last home field football game, and like last week, the stadium might be half full. Something I personally don’t get because if I could go back in time and get a live view of Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, or even Randall Cunningham at the sunrise of their careers I’d jump on it in any stadium. And here, you have two featured Rookie of the Year potentials going head-to-head in prime time!  

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

The Line: Rams -2

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

The Skinny:  It’s just one game, but the Rams got their offense going last week and since the Bucs’ strength and priority lies in stopping the run, there’s a good chance that new OC Rob Boras is fairly successful enough by air for the late-game entry of the Todd Gurley Show. But this for this Lovie Smith has his team playing hard (keep your eyes on LB Lavonte David, if healthy) and rookie Jameis Winston’s leadership is beyond his years. But he will be without veteran receiver Vincent Jackson and that will hurt the offensive game plan a bit. It will also hurt if Jameis has another week like last week when he completed just 18 of 32 passes for 182 yards (against that horrific Saints defense, losing 24-17), 1 touchdown, and overthrew his receivers on occasion all game long.

The Rams need to pay particular attention to Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay ground game, which definitely includes Winston. It will be their weakest link so with that said, Mark Barron and Akeem Ayers really need to have a great game. However, getting cornerback Trumaine Johnson back last week surely helps, and the likely return of Janoris Jenkins will also help. Another key factor is the play of Maurice Alexander, safety T.J. McDonald’s replacement (needing season-ending surgery).

Both teams look similar on paper and the game doesn’t scream points and much excitement, but it’s prime time and anything can happen. Still, this game looks to come down to whether or not the Rams can score enough early. Martin ran for 81 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries, and needs considerably more carries Thursday for the Bucs to have any chance against a much tougher D-unit than what passes for defense in New Orleans these days. Rams Win, 17-13

NEW YORK JETS @ DALLAS COWBOYS

The Line: Jets -3

The Game: Saturday, 5:25PM PT, NFL Network

The Skinny: The Jets are riding the wave of a 3-game win streak and Fitzpatrick appears to be playing his best ball this season. However, they are among the bottom 10 teams in the league in average yards given up per pass despite a ‘name brand’ secondary. That said, the Cowboys will go as the connection of Matt Cassel and Dez Bryant go. A couple of things to note make this a large hill to climb for Dallas; the Jets are better at sacking the QB, and they are +5 in turnover ratio (top 10), while the ‘boys are last with a sad -15. But it bears repeating that this game is also prime time…tends to make players earn their pennies.  Jets Win, 20-9

CHICAGO BEARS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Line:  Vikings -5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: With my warmest regards, this game will be cold. Look for the ground games to be significant early on and long bombs will be at a premium. The Vikings defense has been holding a pattern of playing off and on [losing but…]holding Arizona to 23 after allowing 38 to Seattle after giving up only 10 to the Falcons following 30 to Green Bay…you get the point. If you want to put stock in that, Mr. Betting Mann, this is an off week. In their first match-up week 8, the Bears (at home) had a game high 16-catch/116-yard/1TD day from Alshon Jeffrey. That same game they lost Matt Forte but Langford stepped in for a near-equal performance, neither scoring or having much impact. They lost despite leading in T.O.P and 0 turnovers to the Vikings 1. Now they play in colder weather.  Vikings Win, 21-18

ATLANTA FALCONS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

The Line:  Jaguars -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: The Falcons, for whatever the reason, have only scored 20 or more points in two their last 7 games, and one of those went into OT. The Jaguars are capable of scoring against porous defenses but their weakness is in the secondary, not that Atlanta is great. For the most part, the two teams appear surprisingly even-ish on paper, with one protruding difference; the Falcons are a higher ranked offense with a lower point-per-game average, which favors the home team. With a bit more talent at the skill positions, it baffles why such a team is now 6-8 and on the verge of losing 7 straight, especially after opening the season 5-0. They have a good shot to win here…I just can’t pick’em until they get their heart back.  Jaguars Win, 27-24

HOUSTON TEXANS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Line: NO LINE – Currently off the board pending QB status 

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  When you lose your last two games by a combined 96-26 point total, don’t cry if no one wants to respect you. Losing to the Steelers is one thing, but a 51-16 beatdown coming from Jacksonville is simply an embarrassing double dose of whoop ass…and now they get to face a pissed off J.J. Watt (with Clowney back) coming off two straight losses to better teams. Talk of Andrew Luck practicing this week…My advice? Sit this bad boy out, Mr. Luck.  Texans Win, 23-17

TENNESSEE TITANS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The Line: Patriots -14

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Without much of a ground game the Titans have no shot to beat a potent team like the Patriots. — and believe me when I say, “No shot” here. New England’s +5 turnover ratio to Tennessee’s -9, and with one team being 2nd-ranked in sacks allowed while the opponent ranks #2 in sacks accumulated (I’ll let you guess who is who)…as I said, “No shot.”  Tom and Co. also want that home field advantage badly so don’t count on a Patriots letdown.  Patriots Win, 31-13

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ NEW YORK GIANTS

The Line: Panthers -5.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: If you haven’t heard, the Panthers’ CB Josh Norman has been one of the top shutdown corners in the game. And if you haven’t” watched sports shows this week, the week’s must-see match-up is, in fact, this premiere denier and the undeniable Odell Beckham Jr.. If Josh stay out the Odell’s weekly posterization reel for three quarters, Carolina should be okay to stay undefeated. The N.Y. Giants’ ground game showed rare signs of life last week but don’t count on it this week, and if Ted Ginn Jr. feels like catching balls again this week, the Giants’ secondary will be exhausted because paper work screams of more of Cam going off on the deep end, knowing the his opponent is last in pass coverage. With that said, the G-men are ranked just below the Panthers in total offense and if the defense cranks it up a couple of notches this might be the game of the week. They’re the best defense Carolina has seen in recent weeks…on any given day… I’m just sayin’. Panthers Win, 30-21

BUFFALO BILLS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS  

The Line: Bills -1.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny: I was unsuccessful in trying to separate these two teams for dissection purposes. The problem is, Kirk Cousins is inconsistent, one good game/two bad games. If the Redskins are on their game, the defense is tough and they score just enough to be dangerous here. But the Bills are capable of getting to the QB to matter to Cousins. On the Bills’ side, Sammy Watkins might make his fantasy GMs proud going long. Stopping him is the best chance the Redskins will have to win. Bills Win, 24-21

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Line: Chiefs -7.5 

The Game: Sunday, 10:00AM PT, CBS

The Skinny: Still in shock that Kansas City could only score 10 points on San Diego’s defense last week, and when you consider three weeks prior, they beat the same team by 30 points in San Diego. Well, heads should roll if they can’t do much better this week against the Ravens. Jeremy Maclin is expected to have a good day’s work, and the Ravens don’t get to the QB much these days so Alex Smith should complete his usual short-to-mid-range passes on the regular. The Chiefs sport one of the better defenses in the league and should have a strong showing again though the Ravens’ offense is 13th overall. Chiefs Win, 24-12

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

The Line: Seahawks -14

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: Johnny Manziel may have a long day in store, and I would not be shocked if turnovers (plural) weren’t on the NFL Network highlights for the week to come. To make matters worse, the Browns’ star corner Joe Haden may be out the rest of the year still unable to make clearance from a concussion suffered weeks ago…a concern in itself. But for spectator value, look for coach Pettine to turn Manziel lose (like the wild stallion he is by nature). The ‘hawks lost their second RB in Thomas Rawls and re-sign Christine Michaels this week, but they should okay with Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown after releasing DuJuan Harris (Yes, the same Dujaun Harris that filled in for Thomas Rawls immediately after the injury…cutthroat business). Russell Wilson will carry the team just fine, and look for Doug Baldwin to continue his production spurt. Free fantasy tip: If you need a WR DO NOT overlook rookie Tyler Lockett, who is now WR2 and set to have a breakout game going long.  Seahawks Win, 37-16 

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS

The Line: Packers -3

The Game: Sunday, 1:05PM PT, FOX

The Skinny: In researching this came, I came across the video of NFL’s Network’s/ex-running back Maurice Jones-Drew and his prediction this week of a Raider blowout posted at Raiders.com. His words, exactly, “…not even gonna be close.” I, on the other hand, am not a Raider homer and will not be as bold (COUGH! COUGH! -or foolish- COUGH!). Granted, they beat the Broncos last week scoring only 15 points, but among their losses, a 30-14 whooping by the Titans, while Green Bay beat the Titans 30-13. While the two are ranked two-apart offensively, the Packers have the edge on defense.  Packers Win, 27-22

DENVER BRONCOS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Line: Steelers -6

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The Broncos have been a mid-teens-scoring team for the most part for several weeks now and averaging 20+ early on — not nearly enough points to hang with a team loaded with weapons. At the same time, the Steelers defensive play has picked up recently. You do the math, but don’t forget to throw in the home field advantage. Not likely to overtake the Bengals in the top spot, Pittsburgh, at 8-5, is desperately battling for a playoff spot with other teams that have better odds of beating their opponent this weekend. A must-win situation the rest of the season for them. Steelers Win, 29-20

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

The Line: Chargers -1.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: The closest game on paper that I can see this week — probably won’t end up that way. The Chargers hold the edge on offensively, but their scoring average has lowered of late. The Dolphins appear much more balanced as a team, lose points for overall experience and home field advantage. Danny Woodhead may hold the key to San Diego’s success as Miami’s pass defense is better…A game to avoid, Mr. Betting Man, altogether.  Dolphins Win, 24-23 

CINCINNATI BENGALS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

The Line: Bengals -4.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny: San Francisco may want to up their game after the remarks Browns coach Mike Pettine made after last week’s victory, when he ended with, “…you saw one team that wanted to be out there and wanted to compete and wanted to win a football game, and I don’t know if I sensed that same attitude from the other side.” Uh, huevos check time, fellas. You’ve been called out.

It’s up to the two A.J.s…A week of practice under his belt and A.J. McCarron should be a decent-enough Dalton replacement with the weapons this team has. A.J. Green should relish the ‘frisco secondary, and look for Giovanni Bernard to make a noticeable impact. Bengals Win, 20-16  

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

The Line: Cardinals -3.5

The Game: Sunday, 5:30PM PT, NBC

The Skinny: Would love for this to be a shootout, but the Cardinals have two of the best corners, and figure to pressure Sam Bradford (who’s been pretty darn good of late, St. Louis). Realistically, the Eagles are no match on either side of the ball. They are in the bottom third ranking on defense stopping both run and pass, so this should not be a close come the 4th quarter. Look for Michael Floyd to balls-out long distances and John Brown to sneak in some jabs, while RB David Johnson is a duel threat and a legit fantasy starter here. Oh, and then there’s this guy named Fitzpatrick…A Sunday eve prime time game that has Bradford-INT(s) written all over it, but garbage time can ruin ya, Mr. Betting Man. Play the over/under instead. Cardinals Win, 37-23 

DETROIT LIONS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Line: Saints -3

The Game: Monday, 5:30PM PT, ESPN

The Skinny: Matthew Stafford and the Lions can bounce back this week facing the Saints defense. Calvin Johnson may have his best game if New Orleans fails to hit him with the kitchen sink, too. But of course, facing Drew Brees one must also bring some game to get some game. This may shape up to be the week’s needed shootout if game plans collapse. Saints Win, 28-26

Last week vs. the spread (disclaimer games excluded): W8 – L8 (Season total: W81 – L66)

MY FANTASY FOOTBALL STARTERS (STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION):

QB – Carson Palmer, Arizona / Russell Wilson, Seattle

RB – Adrian Peterson, Minnesota / Todd Gurley, St. Louis / David Johnson, Arizona

WR – Michael Floyd, Arizona / Tyler Lockett, Seattle / Calvin Johnson, Detroit

TE – Zach Miller, Chicago / Rob Gronkowski, New England

K – Steve Hauschka, Seattle

Def – Seattle Seahawks / Kansas City Chiefs

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.