Well if you have made it this far, congratulations! You are about halfway done the season! So far, I have to say it has been pretty smooth sailing. In fact, last week, no one was eliminated in my survivor pool. This was disappointing news for me, since I want other people to get knocked out, but it has been the common theme of this season thus far. Just not too many teams are getting upset on a week to week basis. Now that we have eight less teams to choose from, and bye weeks are at full swing, finding those double digit home favorites will be harder and harder, which could lead to more people getting knocked out. Depending on the route you have taken thus far, and the teams you have left, this may be the toughest week yet. After an easy Week 8, we have our work cut out for us in Week 9.
Seattle Seahawks (-16) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This is the only “sure thing” this week. The issue is, many people have already used Seattle (myself included). If they are still available, take them.
Green Bay Packers (-12) vs Chicago Bears: I tend to avoid Monday Night Football if possible. The Bears defense has been underperforming this season, while the Green Bay offense is playing its best football to date. On top of that, the Bears are without their starting quarterback. It all adds up to what should be an easy Green Bay win.
Dallas Cowboys (-11.5) vs Minnesota Vikings: In most cases, this is the pick many people will be contemplating. Seattle has been used by all but a select few people, meaning the Cowboys are your best option. Dallas has been playing pretty well this season, especially at home. After an embarrassing collapse last week, they will want to get back on track. The Vikings have looked awful this year. It appears ponder will be the quarterback again this week, who does not bring a lot of fear to me.
Carolina Panthers (-9) vs Atlanta Falcons: Believe it or not, I like the Panthers here. Cam Newton and co have been a tear recently. I understand that their level of competition during this stretch has not been high, but we have to start looking at the Falcons as a 2-5 team, not a Super Bowl contender like we did five weeks ago.
New Orleans Saints (-7) at New York Jets: This game SCREAMS trap. Never ever ever ever pick a road team. The Saints are a historically bad road team. Though they are 6-1 this season, playing in New York in November will not be an easy task, even if they are playing a Jets team that allowed 49 points last week. The fact is, the Jets actually are decent at home. To go along with that, let’s not forget that the Saints defense really is not that good. If it was not for some silly mistakes by Thad Lewis, the Bills had a realistic shot at winning last week. Stay clear.
New England Patriots (-7) vs Pittsburgh Steelers: This year I am going to make a point to avoid picking against the Steelers. Though they are off to a rough start, they were able to beat the Ravens (which might not be as impressive as originally thought) and do have talent. The health of Gronk will definitely be a major factor in this game, and right now is a major uncertainty.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Buffalo Bills: If you had to guess the spread of this game, most would not guess three. Though the Chiefs are undefeated, they do not put up points in bundles, and the Bills are no team to overlook. The Bills competed pretty well with the Saints in a hostile New Orleans environment. We have seen teams go up to Buffalo and struggle (New England and Cincinnati). I will continue to strongly encourage you not to pick road teams.
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns: I was looking at who the public is going with this week, and believe it or not the Ravens are about the fifth most popular team this week. All I have to say is “why?”
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) at St. Louis Rams: The Titans have been a pretty decent team, but you would be silly to pick them on the road in this game.
Indianapolis Colts (-1) at Houston Texans: This is going to be a very interesting NFL game, but again a game I do not want to pick, or think about picking.
Oakland Raiders (-1) vs Philadelphia Eagles: *yawn*
Because of the teams I have already used, my only real options are the Cowboys, or Panthers. Here I am just going with the “safter” option, and am taking the Dallas Cowboys. The Panthers are interesting, but I may use them down the road when they host the Buccaneers. As I look at future, this is the week for me to take the Cowboys. I do not see them losing to the lowly Vikings.
Week 1: Indianapolis Colts
Week 2: New England Patriots
Week 3: Seattle Seahawks
Week 4: Denver Broncos
Week 5: St. Louis Rams
Week 6: Kansas City Chiefs
Week 7: Green Bay Packers
Week 8: New Orleans Saints