For the record week 9

Bears -9.5 @ Bills

I appreciate that the Bills are pretty flawed team, but I also think giving 9.5 points at home is pretty insulting…and then I recall Nathan Peterman is starting this week and how he has managed to turn every appearance into a disaster. I also am aware that Chicago has a defense that could make him look considerably worse. But Chicago is a team trying to build an identity while the Bills are a team the may be able to muster enough pride to keep Trubisky slightly off his awkward game. Bills to cover.


I’m not buying into the Gabriel as Tyreek Hill narrative. He may fill that role this season but he’s nothing more than a place holder. Miller is showing up more, Cohen is providing highlight footage and even Kevin White has a pulse. All that to say I’m not buying anyone with conviction. We need to see more.

Chiefs -8.5 @ Browns

A week of disarray in Cleveland should provide the Chiefs an opportunity to get back to their explosive ways. The long overdue departure of Hue was welcome news. My fear, however, is what ails this teams starts at the top. Recent rumours suggest the Browns may look to hire Mike McCarthy, if available, this offseason. A hire like this seems like a typical Brown move: a recognizable name, past success; essentially a guy with a good CV on the surface. Nobody should want to look under McCarthy’s hood. He’s taken a generational QB and gotten in his way. If the Packers make him available this offseason it is because they have finally realized this. The Browns hiring McCarthy, or any other “known” retread name, would be a certain disaster. It seems Jimmy Haslam’s creativity and imagination is limited to to accounting practices. Take the Chiefs.


I remain hopeful that the new administration can get some of their more talented players involved: Duke Johnson, Nick Chub and David Njoku in particular. Chubb remains expensive but I remain an aggressive buyer, the same goes for the other two, slightly cheaper options.

As for the Chiefs, all that can be bought on the cheap are backups. I’d stash Spencer Ware, who becomes an immediate RB1 should Hunt fall, the same is true of Demetrius Harris should Travis Kelce get injured.

@ Dolphins -3.5 vs. Jets

Sam Darnold on the road versus Brock Osweiler or a weak armed Ryan Tannehill. What else is on? These teams aren’t exciting at the best of times, but subtract Tannehill and Stills from Miami, along with Enunwa, Anderson and Powell from the Jets and you’ve got yourself an exceptionally uninteresting matchup. I’m holding my nose, and breath, and taking Osweiler to cover.


Todd Bowles and the coaching staff have expressed enthusiasm for both Eli McGuire and the running game in general. McGuire is officially back from injury this week and he’s 50 yards away from being on everyone’s waiver wire list.

@ Vikings -4.5 vs. Lions

It seems unlikely that the Vikes would allow back to back home losses. Last week’s loss to the Saints will be fresh in their minds when they face an inconsistent Lions Team. Detroit has been great against great teams (Pats, Packers) and lousy against average teams. Detroit will also be adjusting to life after Golden Tate, using a reimagined offense. A road game against a very decent defense isn’t the best place for tinkering. Vikings to cover.


Obvious call for the Kenny Golladay coming out party for the second half of the season. But the Tate move also seems to be an endorsement of Jones. Golladay is getting all of the love this week, so perhaps Jones is the guy to target in trades. Theo Riddick is likely to get a second lease on life with Tate gone, eating the departed receivers dink and dunk diet.

@ Washington -1.5 vs. Falcons

Out of the bye the Falcons should be energized and motivated to turn their season around. Their losses have all come against respectable teams, while Washington has won just enough respect to no longer be taken for granted. The Washington defense is legit and the addition of Clinton Dix only makes them better. A tough game, but one Atlanta desperately needs. Falcons to win and cover.


Austin Hooper gets no love. He’s one the field for north of 80% of the Falcons’ snaps thanks to his capability in the receiving and blocking games. He should remain a permanent fixture in the offense, and with some luck may find himself collecting enough targets to get him to the 700-850-yard mark.

@ Panthers -6.5 vs. Buccaneers

Logic suggests that the Panthers, who are undefeated at home and containing offenses in general, should be able to easily best the volatile Buccaneers. Were Winston starting this week I would fully expect the Carolina defense to have its way with Tampa. I think that the TB offense may find new life this week with Fitzpatrick back at the helm. While I don’t expect them to win I do expect them to be around late in this one, and cover.


Chris Godwin and Desean Jackson are relevant once more. I’d buy both for the home stretch, with an emphasis on Godwin.

DJ Moore has had a few rough outings, but has also provided enough tape to suggest better days are ahead. Rookie lethargy may have set in on the owner who drafted him, why not see what they want in return. Devin Funchess has played well and surprised me every time I’ve watched the Panthers, but I expect he yields looks to Moore sooner than later.

@ Ravens -3.5 vs. Steelers

The Ravens are coming off of two losses and will certainly have a fire in their belly for the Steelers. The Ravens defense will make life difficult on bad karma Big Ben who I would guess has been reveling all week ion Haley’s dismissal in Cleveland. The Steelers simply haven’t impressed me this year.


The Montgomery trade certainly had me looking in the mirror and considering my continued blind faith in Kenneth Dixon. Hope is fading, but I remain a believer that he will make the most of his touches when he gets back.

@ Broncos -2.5 vs. Texans

A surprising spread given the Texans have been on a run of wins while the Broncos have been on a losing streak. The Broncos losses, however, have come to some pretty great teams (KC twice, Rams and the Ravens) while the Texans win streak is a who’s who of mediocrity: Colts, Cowboys, Bills, Jags and Dolphins. I suppose 2.5 to a home team in a tough stadium is reasonable. Broncos to cover.


Courtland Sutton has looked great all season and kudos to the Broncos for clearing his path and trading Thomas. Ditto their handling of Phil Lindsay. The team could easily force fed high draft pick Freeman, but opted for meritocracy over draft capital. If only they could find a quarterback, I’d feel that much better about buying both. Keke Coutee, despite Demaryius’ arrival, is worth buying here as I suspect his value has dipped slightly in the wake of the new arrival.

@ Seattle -1.5 vs. Chargers

The Seahawks have managed to get themselves off to an average start in an ugly fashion. The road gets harder soon though, with games against the Chargers, Rams, Packers and Panthers in November. I suspect this is where the Pete Carroll regime might start to look wobbly. The Chargers have been better than they are getting credit for. They’ve lost twice but those losses came against the Rams and Chiefs and they’ weren’t exactly embarrassed in either. Chargers to win in Seattle.


For the long-term investor, I’d accumulate shares of Hunter Henry, who you might be able to pry off someone’s IR and Justin Jackson, who is a 3 down back, one injury away from relevancy.

@ Saints -2.5 Rams

This game would be much easier to bet of the Rams were favoured by 2.5, and frankly I’m surprised they aren’t. Looking at each team’s wins reveals the Saints have beat 3 ½ good teams to the Rams 3. I suspect this one isn’t the shootout we might expect, but one both teams would rather control on the ground. This might be the game where we realize how good the Rams defense is, as they frustrate Brees and company. Take the Rams.


Tre’quan Smith is a popular waiver name and I’ve certainly mentioned him here in the past. I’m a little concerned about buying him though for a few reasons: (1) Michael Thomas, (2) the running game and (3) Drew Brees will eventually retire and I’m not convinced Teddy Bridgewater can provide similar volume. Receiver is very deep and this is a landscape destined for change. So like David Moore in Seattle, we can all sit back and observe for a while and only grab these guys if they’re truly eye-popping.

@ Pats -5.5 vs. Packers

Another week, another disrespectfully high line against Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers does not flake out in big games, he thrives. Brady and company beat the Chiefs and nobody else all that impressive. Rob Gronkowski is a shadow of his former self and Sony Michel isn’t healthy. I’ll take Rodgers and the points to hang tough with Brady and a depleted arsenal. Pats might win, but just.


I’m sitting back and scouting these rookie receivers in Green Bay.

@ Dallas -6.5 vs. Titans

Good news – you won’t have to stay up late Monday night watching this shit show. The Cowboys giving 6.5 seems like a crime to me given how horrid that coaching staff is and how anemic their offense has been at times. I’m guessing that the Titans, fresh of their bye, will be better than the Cowboys fresh off of theirs. Titans to cover, if not win.


For the stretch run I am counting on this Titans staff making some strides and the trio of Mariota, Lewis and Corey Davis, all to factor in. It’s show me time for this staff and these players, with the QB and receiver, in particular, under the microscope. If they shit the bed down the stretch I’ll be ready to write both of them off.

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