The first week of the 2013 NFL season is in the books, so it's time to look ahead to week two with the game being played tonight as the New England Patriots host the New York Jets.
Last week I went 9-7 straight up. Admittedly it wasn't a great week. If you picked all the favorites to win last week you would have went 12-4. I always try to pick a few underdogs and it didn't work out last week. Live and learn.
NY Jets (1-0) @ New England (1-0) 8:30 PM
The Patriots come into this game with some injuries to key players like RB Shane Vereen (over 100 yards rushing last week) and WR Danny Amendola (injury prone to say the least). Both are out in this game. I expect them to feed RB Stevan Ridley a lot because even though he fumbled twice last week they don't have much else. Tom Brady will do his best with a depleted receiving group and I fully expect him to find a way to put some points on the board. It's the first home game against a division rival that isn't supposed to be a very good team. I like the Patriots to win at home.
The Jets won last week, but it's not like it was a pretty win as they beat the Bucs 18-17. That's how they will have to play all year. They don't have the playmakers that will allow them to compete in 30 point shootout type games. Rookie QB Geno Smith needs to avoid turnovers, move the chains and hope their defense can keep their opponent under 20. Against the Patriots that will be hard to do. It's tough to go into New England to win a game like this for any QB. For a rookie in his second game with a below average offense? I don't like the Jets chances.
The spread right now is 12.5 points for the Patriots. I like the home team to win and cover because I think the Jets will commit three or four turnovers that will cost them. The Patriots are my pick in my Survivor pool too (had Colts in week one). Patriots 31-17
Fantasy Football Five Thoughts for Week 1
1. I doubt I'm the only one out there that was disappointed by the week one performances of star WRs Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant. No touchdowns. Both had under 50 yards receiving. I have each guy in multiple leagues. I'm not worried about them. They're too good and too important to their teams for them to not have a huge impact this week.
By the way, Johnson's catch should have been a TD. That rule about having control all the way to the ground makes little sense to me when the guy already had control when he crossed the line in the first place. I get why the rule is in place, but in this instance when the guy is crossing the front of the end zone with the ball in his possession it's a touchdown. You might as well cross the goal line and throw the ball into the crowd instead of falling down with it because if it moves when you hit the ground you may lose the TD. Can't the refs interpret the rule differently so that they can see that the guy had full control when he crossed the line? Dumb rule. Here's a picture of it.
That was about five feet in the endzone after he already crossed the line. If he crossed the line and threw the ball out of the endzone, then fell down it would have been a TD. Because he took the ball to the ground and it moved he lost the TD.
2. If you own RBs like Stevan Ridley and David Wilson you should start them this week without hesitation. Ridley fumbled last week and was benched. The Patriots lost backup Shane Vereen to a wrist injury that will keep him out for about ten weeks. I really don't think they're going to give the ball to Blount or Bolden too much. Ridley should get 20 carries and a score.
Wilson's confidence is low because of two fumbles against the Cowboys, but the Giants don't have too many options behind him. He'll play a lot as long as he holds onto the ball. I think the Giants will be in a high scoring game at home to the Broncos, so if you have Wilson you should keep him in your lineup.
3. The Eagles offense was so fun to watch on Monday night. With new head coach Chip Kelly calling the plays and QB Michael Vick snapping the ball with 20 seconds left on the play clock they play at a faster pace than any team in the league. Vick had a big fantasy game. RB LeSean McCoy had a monster game proving that he's an elite back this year. Desean Jackson had a big game as Vick's favorite target. With the Eagles at home against the Chargers this week I love those three guys. Will all three of them be healthy all year long? Probably not. For right now they are healthy, so get them in there.
4. I like Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor home to the Jaguars this week. Why not? It's the Jaguars. They might be the worst team in the league and they are going to make every offensive player look good. Since Pryor ran for over 100 yards against the Colts last week the Jags could look to take the run away, which would allow Pryor to throw downfield for some scores. Does that mean I have any interest in watching Jags at Raiders? Oh hell no. But I would start Pryor in a fantasy league if he was better than another option on my team.
5. While I don't expect a QB to throw 7 TDs in a game this week like Peyton Manning did last week, the QB I like the most this week is Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are coming off a tough loss to the 49ers. He's at home facing a Redskins defense that gave up 33 points at home. I'm expecting that Packers offense to have a huge game with Rodgers tossing four or five TD passes.
I'll be back tomorrow with my picks for the rest of the week two games.