Keeping this one short and sweet this week. Different format this time so see what my groupings mean below.
Tier 1: Borderline lock plays with a decent chance to be consistent and reach value.
Tier 2: Step below the above.
Darts: High risk high reward players that should be lower-owned
Punts: Value option that has an increased role or a decent matchup to consider.
NO @ ATL (-3) o/u 53
NO: Looking like shit on the defensive side of the ball. They barely beat the Browns in a game they would have lost had the kicker not missed an extra point and a FG at the end of the game. They did this last year too for the first several weeks until getting it together. High total in a division game that should bring out the best of this offense at least.
Tier 1: Michael Thomas
Tier 2: Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara
Darts: Ted Ginn Jr., Mike Gillislee
Punts: Ben Watson
ATL: Bounced back from the loss to the Eagles to beat their other division rival Carolina. They are looking solid on both sides of the ball to start this season. Keep an eye out to make sure Julio is playing.
Tier 1: Matt Ryan
Tier 2: Julio Jones
Punts: Calvin Ridley, Mo Sanu
GB @ WAS (+3) o/u 45.5
GB: Rodgers is managing his knee injury but does not look the same out there. Crosby choked at the end of regulation to end the game and the Packers were actually lucky the Vikings couldn’t make a FG and escaped with a tie.
Tier 2: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb
Darts: Aaron Jones
WAS: Washington has now beaten the Cardinals and lost to the Colts to start the season 1-1. Not sure how they only get 3 points in this matchup. I would think that will probably be passing more to keep up with the Packers scoring.
Tier 2: Chris Thompson, Alex Smith
Darts: Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson, Josh Doctson, AP
IND @ PHI (-6.5) o/u 47.5
IND: Luck and the Colts are utilizing the short passing game more it’s looking like. As the season progresses and he continues to get healthier and stronger they should open the playbook up more. Tougher test this week against the defending champs.
Tier 1: Ebron (if Doyle is ruled out)
Tier 2: Ebron (if Doyle plays), Jack Doyle
PHI: Wentz is back. We’ll see how he looks after coming back from the torn ACL of last year. It may take him some time to get through the nerves of playing again after an injury like that. His presence should immediately give their team a boost in all areas.
Tier 1: Corey Clement (if Sproles and Ajayi are out)
Tier 2: Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, Corey Clement (if only one, Ajayi/Sproles is out)
Darts: Carson Wentz
Punts: Corey Clement
BUF @ MIN (-17) o/u 41
BUF: It’s a close race between the Bills and the Cards for worst team in the NFL. As you can tell from the spread, I’m wasting my time here talking about these guys.
Tier 1: nope
Tier 2: not
MIN: Even with giving up 17 points you have to like the Vikings to cover. They are one of the better teams on both sides of the ball and should win this one easily. With the large spread look for the running backs to get a bump as they should be killing time in the 2nd half.
Tier 1: Vikings D/ST
Tier 2: Diggs, Theilen, Cook (if he plays), Murray (if Cook sits)
OAK @ MIA (-3) o/u 43.5
OAK: Gruden has had a tough start to the season going against one of the best teams in the league and then losing on a last second field goal in a game that they led the whole time. They can only go up from here right?
Tier 2: Jared Cook
MIA: The Dolphins are looking better than expected after coming out to start this season 2-0. They don’t have many offensive threats to speak of outside of Kenyan Drake yet still managed to beat the Titans and Jets who usually have decent defenses.
Tier 1: Kenyan Drake (borderline Tier 2)
Tier 2: Kenny Stills
Darts: DeVante Parker, Tannehill
DEN @ BAL (-5.5) o/u 44
DEN: Another surprise 2-0 team, but not as surprising after you realize that the Seahawks aren’t good anymore and the Raiders haven’t been good in a couple years.
Tier 2: Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas
BAL: Somehow 5.5 point favorites even though all they have done is beat the worst team in the NFL and then lose to the Bengals. Guess I must be missing something or they are an extremely different team at home..
Tier 2: Flacco, Buck Allen
Darts: John Brown
CIN @ CAR (-3) o/u 44
CIN: Dalton is finally looking comfortable in his new offense under Bill Lazor. Solid cornerbacks and a good D-line on the other side of the ball have helped to get them off to a 2-0 start as well.
Tier 2: A.J. Green, Andy Dalton
Darts: Tyler Boyd, Bengals D/ST
CAR: Cam does not look very comfortable yet in the new Norv Turner offense. He did drop it off to McCaffrey 14 times last week though so he’s figuring out that that is his only real offensive option currently. Someone else needs to step up else this could be a long year for the Panthers.
Tier 1: Cam Newton (too cheap), Christian McCaffrey (borderline because of the $)
Darts: D.J. Moore
NYG @ HOU (-6) o/u 42
NYG: Saquon is the only bright spot for this team right now. I can’t understand how they fail to do anything on offense with the weapons they have. They do have O-line issues and they aren’t getting better any time soon after they lost their starting Center last game.
Tier 1: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
Darts: Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard
HOU: Deshaun should get his first win this season here. He doesn’t look the same yet since returning from injury which is to be expected. In the coming weeks he should be back to his old self. Will Fuller was a welcome sight too as Deshaun likes the deep ball and Will can take the top off the defense for him.
Tier 2: Hopkins, Watson, HOU D/ST
Darts: Will Fuller V
TEN @ JAX (-6.5) o/u 39.5
TEN: Are they going Gabbert or Mariota at QB? I really don’t care. This team is super boring to watch and on top of that they get to go against one of the best defenses in the league. It is a division game so it might actually stay close somehow.
JAX: See above about this being a division game. Bortles probably won’t throw for another 4 TDs this week so it has a chance to stay close. It also looks like Fournette should return so they should rely on him a bit more to balance out their offensive attack.
Tier 1: JAX D/ST
Tier 2: Leonard Fournette, Blake Bortles, Westbrook, Cole
Darts: Donte Moncrief
SF @ KC (-7) o/u 57
SF: Jimmy G is going to have to put up some points up if they hope to keep this game close. Luckily he gets the to play the worst D in the league. Goodwin has practiced this week and is looking like he’s on track to play so that will at least give him an extra weapon.
Tier 1: Jimmy G
Tier 2: Matt Breida, Kittle (if Goodwin is out), Pettis (if Goodwin is out)
Darts: Goodwin (if he plays)
KC: If Mahomes has another strong performance I am going to be forced to get on the wagon. He is going to get plenty of opportunities on offense because their defense is so awful. They are the Rockets of the NFL basically.
Tier 1: Mahomes (feels like a trap game but get some exposure still), Travis Kelce
Tier 2: Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Sammy Watkins
LAC @ LAR (-7) o/u 48
LAC: The battle for LA. Just kidding, no one cares about the Chargers in LA. This is still shaping up to be a good game and I actually think the Chargers have a chance to steal this one.
Tier 2: Melvin Gordon III, Keenan Allen
Darts: Austin Ekeler, Philip Rivers, Mike Williams, LAC D/ST
LAR: The Rams have played two of the worst teams in the league to start their season off so it’s no wonder they look good. This is their first test and if they don’t come out focused Philip will take advantage and get them on their heels.
Tier 1: Todd Gurley II
Tier 2: Kupp
Darts: LAR D/ST
DAL @ SEA (-1) o/u 41.5
DAL: I will not be paying much attention to this battle of shit teams. Dak is showing that he isn’t a franchise QB and needs to turn it around soon. Zeke should be able to handle the offensive load in this game.
Tier 1: Zeke Elliott
SEA: Russell is literally carrying this team. He has very little protection and not many weapons to throw to. We should start to see more Penny in the run game as Carson is just not cutting it.
Tier 2: Tyler Lockett
Darts: Jaron Brown
CHI @ ARI (+6) o/u 38
CHI: The Bears should dominate on both sides of the ball this game if they can just put together an average performance. They have one of the best defenses now that Mack is in the lineup and Trubisky is finding his rhythm with new addition Allen Robinson on the offensive side.
Tier 1: Jordan Howard
Tier 2: CHI D/ST
Darts: Allen Robinson II (they still have Patrick Peterson)
Punts: Taylor Gabriel
ARI: The Cardinals have shown zero competence so far through their two losses to the Redskins and Rams. Bradford may get Bakered in this one and have to fake an injury for the league so they can get Josh Rosen in there. They still have David Johnson and so once they learn to feed him they may be able to get something going.
Darts: David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald