Subscribe
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Happy New Year to all from FanOsis!

Whether you’re heading to Las Vegas for the New Year celebration, the neighborhood sports bar or the man-cave of your choice, 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. Fantasy football season is coming to a close soon, and taking in all the information you can get your hands on is the smart thing to do.

And then there were none! …Um, but seriously, Atlanta? Week 16 was strange indeed, but the loss to the Falcons and the near-loss the week before to the Giants now has the power rankers flocking from Carolina towards the Red Birds in Arizona, and rightfully so. Only two playoff spots are up for grabs. The New York Jets and Houston Texans can clinch those post-season berths with victories in their final regular season games, and both are favored. If you’re like me, you’re hoping this final regular season weekend at least makes sense. Let’s get to it! 

PLEASE NOTE THIS FINAL WEEK OF THE REGULAR SEASON THERE IS NO THURSDAY, SATURDAY OR MONDAY FOOTBALL. ALL GAMES WILL BE PLAYED ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 3RD. 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS

The Line: Patriots -10.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  “Aaah, home sweet home.” Can’t you hear the collective sigh of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Patriots red, white, and blue-eyed followers everywhere? New England, after reeling off their first 10 victories, is now 2-3 in their last five games. But they aren’t home yet, and have to get through Miami to cement home field advantage for the entire post-season. With the Pats’ defense still formidable, they should give up 7 points against the Dolphins on their worst day, which probably won’t be on Sunday, week 17, despite rain in the forecast.  Patriots Win, 23-9

NEW YORK JETS @ BUFFALO BILLS

The Line: Jets -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  A really difficult game to handicap. Rex Ryan and the Bills were my choice the previous match-up and it turned out right. However, since that game, the Jets have gone 5-1 while the Bills lost whatever they had early on, going 2-4. But wait…those two wins were at home, as is this one. They play tough at home. And when you look at the two teams as a whole, you see that they are more likely to cancel each other out offensively, perhaps even over-coaching. That said, I don’t see much scoring so if you must give it attention, Mr. Betting Mann, take the under if it is 45 or higher. I’m almost certain Vegas isn’t counting on the majority of you considering that a forecast of possible snow flurries may hinder this affair. As for the game, I tend to side with the improved entity in such cases.  Jets Win, 19-17 

Injury Update: Ryan Fitzpatrick’s thumb is limiting his practice this week.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ ATLANTA FALCONS

The Line: Falcons -4

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  So, the question of which Falcons team will show up this Sunday is hard to answer. Will we see the team that suddenly dropped off the face of the NFL earth in previous weeks or the near-complete football team that balled out weeks, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 16. You know, that same team that gave Cam a [well-deserved] beatdown. I’m guessing the revert backwards against the EverReady battery known as Drew Brees. Carolina had to wear them down enough, right? Wore me out just watching the game! And that New Orleans running back Hightower appears to be a great fill-in stud that compliments the speedy Brandin Cooks. The Panthers don’t have a Cooks, and please don’t say, “What about Ginn Jr?” Only Cam can make that guy relevant.  Saints Win, 27-24

BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS

The Line: Bengals -9

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  Not sure what happened last week with that shocking victory over the Steelers, but I’m betting it doesn’t happen two weeks in a row, the Ravens just aren’t that good, plus, the Bengals have a better defense than Pittsburgh these days. It does take anything away as well to know that Cincinnati beat them in Baltimore already. Yes, the Ravens could rise up once again to play their best football, but better physical play has a way of wearing offenses down in the latter stages.  Bengals Win, 26-16

PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Line: Steelers -9.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  The Cleveland Browns have not scored more than 13 points against a decent defense since the 20 spot put up versus Arizona mid-season, and the two games since in which they did score more were against Baltimore and San Francisco. Manziel is still in school and will be for some time. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is up in arms over last week’s stinker that saw their usual fantasy studs (except D. Williams) help sink the ships of thousands of fantasy championship participants. Even more pissed is coach Tomlin, so you can bet that the Steelers go all out against…well, think ‘big dog, little dog’ here and take it to the bank. Steelers Win, 30-20  

Injury Update: Several Steelers players seem to have come down with an illness, including Big Ben and Martavis Bryant.

Injury Update: Johnny Manziel is still bothered by concussion symptoms and is likely out this weekend. QB Austin Davis is taking first-team snaps in practice.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ HOUSTON TEXANS

The Line: Texans -6

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  This game is rather simple. Jacksonville is not 5-and-10 because of their lack of offense. Their defense sucks, and fits perfectly with the Texans’ make up. Look for DeAndre Hopkins to have another big output, and the Houston defense, although mid-level without J.J. Watt, always plays hard and should hold the potent Jaguar weapons in check. Give up the points and cash in. Texans Win, 31-17

TENNESSEE TITANS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 

The Line: NO LINE (OFF THE BOARD DUE TO QUARTERBACK UNCERTAINTY) 

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  Wow, talk about bad luck, among other interesting twists…The Indianapolis Colts have just signed Josh Freeman and Ryan Lindley (Who?) because they are desperate for help at the quarterback position. Andrew Luck has still not been cleared for practice, so this game is likely off the board for awhile. And with that said, they could still win.

The Tennessee Titans are waiting to see how Marcus Mariota feels (sprained knee) before deciding to play him or not in this season finale…At least, that’s what they say. See, the Titans (3-12) will have the No. 1 overall draft pick with a loss Sunday since they have a weaker opponents’ strength of schedule than the Cleveland Browns, also 3-12. Interim coach Mike Mularkey had this to say Monday, “His health is the No. 1 for us. He’s got such a great future ahead of him. He’s got plenty of games, lots of games to go, and we won’t expose him at all.”

Why, that just may be a lotta malarkey’ or not, but someone needs to tell this guy (though I doubt he hasn’t heard by now) that “we” may include him, but the newly-free Chip Kelly.  Colts Win, 12-9  

Injury Update: Matt Hasselbeck is doing better and thinks he might play.

Injury Update: Marcus Mariota has been ruled out for play this weekend.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ DALLAS COWBOYS

The Line: Cowboys -3.5

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  Sweet ‘n simple common sense is gnawing at my psyche here. The (4-11) Cowboys are now guaranteed last-place in their division, while the (8-7) Redskins need to win to call 2015 a winning season despite clinching their division. Kirk Cousins likes his current success as it directly affects his (possibly-legal soon trademarked) “You like that!” phrase. Jerry Jones has got to be thinking draft status at this point and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he instructed coach Garrett…Wait, let me rephrase that: It wouldn’t be a surprise if this weren’t one of coach Garrett’s finest-coached games. Dallas beat Washington just a few weeks ago in Maryland, but I recommend your coins be placed on the ‘skins in Dallas. Redskins Win, 23-12 

Injury Update: Dez Bryant has been ruled out and placed on IR due to surgery. 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW YORK GIANTS

The Line: Giants -3

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  With both teams here at 6-and-9, this appears to be another common sense game in which draft status is considered but not spoke of publicly. But upon closer review, Chip Kelly’s gone and interim coach Pat Shurmur may want to state his case. Tom Coughlin doesn’t know how to cave for such things and may want to keep his job. So, assuming both staffs are all in this week, it could be the highest-scoring event with the two teams being amongst the top five in points allowed. Shurmur has the upper hand, the Eagles having played better to better competition lately. I doubt he stays with the fast-paced thing that wears out defenses. I also have doubts Coughlin keeps his job come Black Monday.  Eagles Win, 30-27

DETROIT LIONS @ CHICAGO BEARS

The Line: Bears -1

The Game: Sunday, 10AM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  Looks like college rivalry week in the NFL week 17. These two have big-time history, and it sure to entertain this final day. The Lions have been playing good of late and yet another coaching staff fights to keep their jobs. But for me, it comes down to which QB wants it more and has more to work with. You guessed it! That Motor City crew do.  Lions Win, 23-16

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Line: Panthers -10.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  Though they lost by 14 points in the first meeting against the Panthers, the Bucs scored 23 points in that game. They haven’t looked the same in recent weeks, while the Panthers look to rebound after their first loss, and need a victory to lock up post-season home field advantage throughout. Running back Jonathan Stewart is likely to return for this, and that only helps the Cam-Olsen connection. Other receivers will need to step up, too, as the Bucs play the run fairly well.  Panthers Win, 28-13

OAKLAND RAIDERS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

The Line: Chiefs -6.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  It almost doesn’t feel like it’s true that the K.C. Chiefs are the 4th highest-scoring team in the AFC behind the Patriots, Steelers, and Bengals. However, it feels very true that the Raiders defense is among the AFC’s worst. If that’s not enough, the Chiefs need a victory and a Chargers upset over the Broncos to win the AFC West. They own key tiebreakers over the Broncos, including the division-play record. The Raiders need a win to break even for the season, but that may not be enough motivation when you consider their off-season needs.  Chiefs Win, 30-24

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS @ DENVER BRONCOS

The Line: Broncos -9

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  An ultra-competitive Philip Rivers may play this one out, but the match-up suggests he will have a tough go of it. And since this is a must-win game for the Broncos, expect them to play hard because the game starts at the same time the Chiefs game does (Chiefs win/Broncos loss gives K.C. the division and less reason for the Broncos to play all starters). Broncos Win, 31-17

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS

The Line: Cardinals -6.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, FOX

The Skinny:  Unsure if you are hearing the same things I am about this game; that Carson Palmer may not play if Carolina wins their game, which would lock the Cardinals into the #2 slot. Problem is, the two games are scheduled to start at the same time. That said, with Palmer playing and with a coach that is not a fan of taking days or plays off, Arizona is the better team here although this match-up may be closer in appearance than their first when the Cardinals won in Seattle, 39-32. The loss of Tyrann Mathieu is huge, but Patrick Peterson sticks to Doug Baldwin, and outside of that, one or two of several should be able to handle the firecracker Tyler Lockett.  Cardinals Win, 27-24

ST. LOUIS RAMS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

The Line: Rams -3.5

The Game: Sunday, 1:25PM PT, CBS

The Skinny:  A possible Vegas set-up game, as it sports the lowest over/under in week 17 (37.5). I don’t recommend you buy into it regardless of outcome. The 49ers have lost their last three games by 14, 10, and 15 points, while the Rams have won their last three by 8, 7, and 6 to better teams. I feel safe in guaranteeing an 8+ points victory here by St. Louis though the game is to be played in San Francisco. Despite its official on-paper ranking (due to an inefficient offense most of the season), their defense is among the five best, apparently even banged up. The Rams have been scoring lately and they’ve said they’re winning the last four games four weeks ago. I agreed then as I do now that they could very well do just that. Just looks better [to whom it may concern]outplaying the competition also vying to come to Los Angeles…Wins draw money, money talks.  Rams Win, 24-10 

Injury Update: Multiple Rams defensive players are still in concussion protocol.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS 

The Line: Packers -3

The Game: Sunday, 5:25PM PT, NBC

The Skinny:  The last regular season “game of the week” this Sunday eve may be a better-than-expected game to watch. When the two teams first met week 11, the Packers dismantled the Vikings in Minnesota, 30-13. Green Bay’s weather is likely to be colder but that’s not what hinders the Packers’ chances to repeat. The Packers have lost five of their last nine games, going 1-and-3 against winning teams during that stretch. The Vikings, winners of their last two by a combined 53 points, have only lost two games since, and those were against the deserving Seahawks and Cardinals. Adrian Peterson automatically gives Minnesota on the ground and with the winner of the NFC North at stake, expect playoff-type atmosphere.  Vikings Win, 24-20

Last week vs. the spread (disclaimer games excluded): W6 – L10 (Season total: W88 – L766)

For those of you still playing for the weekly golden ticket, here are my last FANTASY FOOTBALL STARTERS (STANDARD-LEAGUE POSITION):

QB – Drew Brees, New Orleans / Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

RB – Todd Gurley, St. Louis / DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh

WR – Odell Beckham, N.Y. (Giants) / DeAndre Hopkins, Houston

TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England / Jordan Reed, Washington

K – Stephen Gostkowski, New England

Def – St. Louis Rams / Pittsburgh Steelers

That’s a regular season wrap! Thanks, and good luck, Mr. Betting Mann…and remember not to drink and drive! 

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.