Week 1 is in the books and it's time to move on to the best bets in Week 2.
If you listened to my article earlier this week, you would have started 1-0 for taking the Giants with the points against Washington in that thriller of a matchup Thursday night. Now, let's dive into Week 2's best NFL bets.
Tennessee Titans/Seattle Seahawks Over 54
The Seahawks' offense was high-flying in the first half last week. Because the Colts never really threatened the outcome of the game, the Seahawks were able to take the air out of the ball and finish the game with an easy win while only scoring seven in the second half. While both the Titans' defense and offense looked atrocious, expect Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry to have big bounce-back weeks and make this an epic high-scoring game. This has all the makings for a shootout in which both teams put up 30-plus points.
Cincinnati Bengals +2.5 @ Chicago Bears
Until that Monday night game, the Bengals had the honor of winning the craziest Week 1 game over the Vikings in overtime. The Bears' defense, which is supposed to be their strength, looked awful against the Rams, including one of the most blown coverages you'll ever see on Cooper Kupp's long touchdown. It was simply an awful week for the Bears. I don't think it gets any better until they remove Dalton and promote Justin Fields. If they don't do that prior to game time, the Bengals will run away with this one.
Los Angeles Rams -3.5 @ Indianapolis Colts
Coming out of Week 1 the Rams looked great on both sides of the ball. Matthew Stafford had a great first game, going 20 for 26 with three touchdowns. The Colts... They didn't look that great on either side of the ball. While Carson Wentz's overall numbers didn't look bad, most of the yardage and one of his two TDs came in the fourth quarter as they were chasing from two or more scores back, never actually threatening to win the game. I'm leaning towards the Rams winning this in a blowout and would consider alternate spreads.
Arizona Cardinals -3.5 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Kyler Murray appears to be a man on a mission to avenge last season's bitter ending after absolutely torching the Tennesee Titans in Nashville. The Vikings' defense, who hasn't been as formidable as years past, is going to have their hands full with Kyler. Last week they allowed Joe Burrow to complete nearly 80% of his passes, and Burrow isn't a threat to run nor has a receiver as talented as DeAndre Hopkins. If the Vikings offense doesn't step up and make this a shootout, things could get ugly in Phoenix.
Dallas Cowboys + 3.5 @ Los Angeles Chargers
Dak Prescott looked great in Week 1 and if there were any issues with his shoulder after throwing 58 times, he had 10 days to get healed up again and ready for the Chargers. I can almost guarantee, whenever the Cowboys go to play either Los Angeles team in their stadium, that there will be more Cowboys fans than LA fans. So while they aren't playing in Jerry World, they'll have more fan support. My concern for Justin Herbert and the Chargers is their efficiency in the red zone. His most potent weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler become less effective as they get closer to the goal line. That leaves Jared Cook and Mike Williams as your bigger bodies in the red zone, which isn't ideal. The Cowboys have a decent chance to win this one outright, but you can take the points for some cushion.
- Cowboys ML (+160)
- Titans +6.5 (-105)
- Steelers ML (-225)
- Rams -3.5 (-110)
Five Props To Consider
- Calvin Ridley OVER 6.5 receptions (+115)
- Tyrod Taylor OVER 34.5 Pass Attempts (-105)
- Aaron Jones OVER 88.5 combined yards (-115)
- Nick Chubb OVER 17.5 carries (-120)
- James Robinson OVER 9.5 carries (-125)
All five of these props have an excellent chance at hitting. I like the idea of wagering a three-leg prop parlay with the last three props listed (Jones, Chubb and J-Rob). Thanks me on Monday.
Can the NFL season be over before Summer officially ends?
After Week 1, half the teams are 0-1. Each of those teams has a chance to right the ship and get to .500 with a win this week.
However, there are three teams who are guaranteed to start the season 0-2 (barring a tie). Three games have matchups of 0-1 teams facing off against each other this week. The loser of each game will be 0-2 heading into Week 3.
Historically, 92% of teams who begin the year 0-2 do not make the playoffs. That number may skew a bit this year because a 17th game has been added to the schedule. And an additional playoff team has been added in each conference, but overall, starting 0-2 is not ideal.
New York Giants @ Washington Football Team (-3.5 40.5 O/U)
The Daniel Jones experience may be coming to an end in New York. He coughed up another fumble (his 30th) last week against the Broncos in New York. His career record is only 8-19, but amazingly he's 4-0 against Washington.
Saquon Barkley only played 29 snaps last week and is complaining about the short work week, with this game against Washington just days after Big Blue's brutal loss to the Broncos. It's obvious the Giants are trying to ease Barkley back, but they may not have that luxury. They'll need him to be productive to keep Washington's defensive end, Chase Young, away from Jones. Ideally, the Giants will try to employ a quick passing attack, however, it doesn't help matters that tight end Evan Engram has officially been ruled out with a calf injury.
Washington doesn't come into this game any better, having lost Ryan Fitzpatrick to a hip injury. They've turned the reigns over to Taylor Heinicke, who actually was productive in relief of Fitzpatrick last week. The reality is, there's not much to get excited about for either team, and frankly, neither one probably should be 1-1, but the reality is, one will be.
In last week's games, neither team sniffed 20 points. Washington scored 16 points and the Giants only could muster 13 points. In this era of the NFL, it's hard to imagine a team not scoring 20-plus points, but the over-under is only 40.5, so Vegas doesn't feel either team will put up a ton of points. Out of the two teams, the Giants feel like they need it more, and Jones definitely does.
As bad as it was last season, Washington did prevail to win the NFC East last season, so the fan base should be more forgiving, especially with the Fitzpatrick injury. But for coach Joe Judge, this year was supposed to be the start of the turnaround for the Giants. Hey just cannot go 0-2, especially after seeing what the Eagles and Jalen Hurts did in Week 1 to the Falcons. The Eagles are vastly improved, as is Dallas, even though the Cowboys lost to Tampa Bay. It's going to take much more than a 7-9 record to win the division this year.
The 3.5 points is a nice bonus, but I think the Giants win outright, in a low-scoring affair. If you wanted to get frisky, take the Giants to win outright for +150.
Prediction: Giants 19-14
New England Patriots (-5.5 43 O/U) vs. New York Jets
Normally, a win could be penciled in for the Patriots and everyone would just move on. These aren't normal times. Tom Brady is no longer at the helm, and nothing should be taken for granted in New England. The dynasty is most assuredly over.
There is a narrative that coach Belichick dominates rookie quarterbacks. That just isn't so. On the road, in the last 12 games against a rookie signal-caller, Belichick is 6-6. And in games played prior to Week 10, he's only 1-5.
This game, like the Giants-Washington game, features two teams who scored under 20 points last week, although the two teams feel like they have a better offensive grasp. And each team had opportunities to score more points.
The line is hovering between 5.5-6 points depending on where you look. If you're inclined to take the Jets, try to find +6. If you like the Pats, look for -5.5. The line opened at 3 points, which means a ton of money is coming in heavy on the Patriots. The Pats do have more to lose in this game since their Week 1 loss was to the Dolphins, and they can't afford to not only start 0-2, but 0-2 in the division too.
And although the Pats are facing rookie QB Zach Wilson in his home debut, they are sending out a rookie themselves, Mac Jones, in his road debut, against a very hostile New York crowd.
Although I do think the Pats will prevail, I can't see them covering the number. Even if it's from a back door cover, I envision the Jets covering the 6-point spread. I also think both offenses will be much better than they were in Week 1. If I had to choose, I'd take the OVER. But I'd rather stick with Patriots outright or Jets covering the spread.
Prediction: Patriots 24-20.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-11 48 O/U)
A few years ago Aaron Rodgers famously said "R-E-L-A-X." With everything that went on in the offseason, it doesn't feel like he's compelled to give the same message, and it definitely doesn't seem like the fans are receptive to hearing it.
Rodgers typically doesn't put up back-to-back stinkers, but this is unchartered territory. He knows he's not coming back next season; he's on borrowed time in Green Bay. Not that he's deliberately trying to sink the team, he is a fierce competitor, but he's also a complex person and many things are surely weighing on his mind.
The good news for Green Bay fans is that Rodgers has owned the Lions in his career, going 17-5 against them with a 104.8 passer rating. They are playing in their home opener and if anything can motivate a solid performance, an opening night crowd on Monday Night Football should do the trick.
The Lions are an intriguing opponent. The ending of their game against the 49ers last week makes this matchup quite interesting. After finding themselves behind early, 31-10 at halftime, and 38-17 after the 3rd quarter, they showed life and offense in the final quarter. Yes, it can be argued that it was garbage time and the 49ers were playing soft to kill the clock, but it still shows that the Lions have heart.
I'll put it this way, the Lions put up 33 points last week. The Packers only managed a field goal.
Although I don't see the Lions' offense putting up 30-plus again, mainly because that would be back-to-back atrocious games by the Packers' defense, their offense is good enough to score more than 20 points. Jared Goff was successful in getting the ball to his tight end T.J. Hockenson, as well as his two RBs D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. They combined for 24 catches, 218 yards and 2 TDs. Williams also rushed for a touchdown.
The Lions can't bank on a disinterested Rodgers. They will utilize a ball control and short-pass/running gameplan to control time of possession and keep the ball away from Rodgers. And based on what happened in Week 1, we know Green Bay has the potential to give up points.
I'm willing to speculate that the Lions get to at least 20 points. Assuming they do, the play would be Lions +11 and over 48. That way, you're guaranteed no worse than a split.
If the Lions score 20, the only way you lose is if Green Bay puts up 32 or more points, which would be a combined 52 points. You'd lose the Detroit bet but win the Over.
Prediction: Green Bay 31-21
If it pans out like I think it might, the Washington Football Team, New York Jets and Detroit Lions will be 0-2, last place in their divisions, and already looking ahead, with one eye on the 2022 season. Thankfully, there is that extra game this year, and an extra Wild Card team.
One thing is sure, three of these teams will be facing the daunting circumstance of being 0-2.
There are more fantasy football companies than you can imagine these days. After analyzing the information and tools offered by dozens of popular websites, I decided to take the leap and try FantasySP. Just in the nick of time, too - because when stacked up against other teams, my draft was subpar.
If I wanted to stand a chance this year I had to hit the ground running with the waiver wire and strategize potential trades to improve some of the holes on my team. I was a bit skeptical about how exactly FantasySP would help me accomplish this better than I could on my own. But I suspected that expert tools and getting an extra set of opinions couldn't hurt.
Mastering the Waiver Wire After a Subpar Draft
Prior to the season starting, FantasySP's Waiver Wire tool advised me to pick up Jacksonville Jaguars undrafted free agent James Robinson after Leonard Fournette was waived and eventually signed with the Bucs. Since I was thin at the running back position, I took a chance. As any fantasy player knows, that move paid off significantly. Robinson finished the season within the top-10 running backs and I'd gotten him off the wire for no cost at all! I was so impressed by how valuable these tools can be when used correctly.
Due to the myriad of injuries over the first few weeks of the season, adding the right players from the waiver wire is critical to any fantasy manager's success. As soon as Christian McCaffrey went down in Week 1, FantasySP's Waiver Wire tool advised me to add Panthers' backup Mike Davis. Davis immediately became a focal point of my roster. After just a few weeks of the season, both of my starting running backs were Waiver Wire pickups, not your typical recipe for success, but it was working!
My team was 3-1 after the first quarter of the season. Not only did this wonderful site recommend these two stud running backs, but the Waiver Wire tool also suggested I take a chance on Chargers' rookie signal-caller Justin Herbert. Now, 3 of my 10 starters were undrafted, yet I was still dominating.
Utilizing the Start/Sit Tool to Win Weekly Matchups
But the question fantasy owners ask most during the week is "Who should I start?" FantasySP is the one-stop show that helps you manage your lineup from the draft all the way until you win that coveted trophy! FantasySP uses data from real fantasy leagues to help you make the most informed decision.
By Week 5, it was time to face off with the only undefeated team in the league. I was struggling with whether to start Mike Davis or Kareem Hunt. That's where the Start/Sit tool came in handy. When comparing the two players, the Start/Sit tool revealed that 66.7% of other fantasy players with both Davis and Hunt on their team were starting Davis. Nobody else in the industry is providing that kind of context.
Still, I needed more information before making my final decision. To determine the best play, the Start/Sit tool incorporates several factors including recent stats, expert rankings, matchups, injury history, projections, and much more. This tool ensures that you have access to all relevant data to help you make an accurate, knowledge-based, and data-driven decision. Turns out, the tool was accurate, as Davis went off for just south of 30 fantasy points! I dethroned the undefeated team and moved into first place myself!
Making Sweet Deals With the Trade Analyzer
Despite losing my first-round pick - Michael Thomas - to injury, I was in first place. However, with Thomas coming back from injury I sensed it could be the perfect time to strike a deal. So I used the Trade Analyzer to see if I could increase my odds of winning the championship.
FantasySP's Trade Analyzer will make sure you're offering trades that benefit your team but aren't so egregiously unfair to the other owners that they won't make a deal with you for the rest of the season.
With that in mind, I found a deal that matched up the trade values of the players and sent Michael Thomas and Kareem Hunt packing for Justin Jefferson and tight end T.J. Hockenson. (Evan Engram was just not pulling his weight at the tight end position). Don't be that guy who constantly offers unbalanced trades. Formulate deals that will actually be accepted and improve your roster at the same time!
This trade solidified my spot as the top team in the league.
A Playoff Run for the Ages - Using the Fantasy Assistant Tool
Getting to the playoffs wasn't difficult after FantasySP advised me on the best in-season management through the Fantasy Assistant tool. Once I uploaded my league to the site, the Fantasy Assistant made all the recommended in-season moves based on real data. No longer did I have to spend the time combing through the waiver wire or spending hours researching the best trades. FantasySP did the work for me. I finished the regular season with a 10-3 record. But now, it was win or go home in the playoffs.
In Week 14, I had a difficult decision to make in whether to start Mike Davis or James Conner. Utilizing the Start/Sit tool once again, the data pointed towards Davis. I got this far because I trusted the site. The payoff was massive. Compared to Conner's 1.8, Davis compiled 26.3 fantasy points. Had I started Conner, my season would have been over. Instead, I was off to the semi-finals.
I crushed my opponent in Week 15 and earned a spot in the championship game. All week, I went back and forth between whether I should start Robby Anderson or James Conner at the flex spot. Conner had struggled all season but he was Pittsburgh's bell-cow running back. FantasySP's Start/Sit tool revealed that 70% of other managers with both Anderson and Conner on their roster were starting Conner. Again, I trusted the tool that had helped me all season.
Although Anderson had a strong outing with 16.9 fantasy points, Conner scored a touchdown and finished with 17.6 fantasy points. You might say that 0.7 points makes no difference. But when you win the championship by 0.3 points, it makes all the difference in the world. After a long and grueling season, I was champion of the world!
For an annual price of just $89 - only $10.99 per month - fantasy managers can access the Start/Sit tool, Trade Analyzer, and the rest of the awesome data that helped me conquer my league. FantasySP is one of the most affordable websites out there, one that doesn't just recommend plays based on opinion, but on real data and fact!
I can't wait to use FantasySP's outstanding, state-of-the-art tools to gain an edge ahead of my 2021 draft. I don't anticipate making a ton of in-season moves this year because FantasySP's Draft Assistant will help me dominate on draft day!
FantasySP has the whole package: mock draft simulators, ADP reports that update in real-time, Trade Analyzers, news updates, Start/Sit tools and so much more.
Championships are won and lost by how well you manage a team during the season. Remember, only one person can be crowned champion. Why shouldn't it be you? Let FantasySP guide you to season-long domination like it did for me.
Take your game to the next level. Don't just make the playoffs. Win a championship!
The most anticipated day of the year is finally almost here: the first Sunday of NFL season! Week 1 has already started, and we've got some of our best bets ready to be locked and loaded for you. Make sure you have a proper bankroll, NFL RedZone and a relatively stable blood pressure coming in because it's going to get WILD!
Carolina Panthers (-4) vs. New York Jets
Right off the bat Sam Darnold gets to prove that it was the Jets and not him that were the problem for his three years in New York. Too many factors are going against the Jets this week. They're on the road. They're facing Christian McCaffrey in his return from an injury-plagued season. It's Zach Wilson's first game. And lastly, the jets youth at CB will be an opening for darnold. They will have no CBs starting with more than a year of experience. Cornerback is the hardest position to acclimate to in the NFL, with CMC to lean on a little bit Darnold will begin his chapter with the Panthers with a dub and cover at home.
Miami Dolphins (+3) @ New England Patriots
The Dolphins open their season against a rookie QB in Mac Jones. Mac Jones is being a bit too hyped up after a solid preseason, and the Dolphins after a solid 2020 season aren't getting enough respect. The Dolphins had a +9 turnover ratio last season, so I expect them to cause a few key turnovers this game. Jones may be an improvement over Cam Newton, but he still doesn't have any great receivers to throw to. The Dolphins cover and likely win outright as well.
Denver Broncos (-3) @ New York Giants
The Giants are coming into the game having a ton of question marks about health and 2021 talent. Billed as the 31st best offense last year, the Giants offense has a new look from last year. The problem, however, is that Kenny Golladay and first-round pick Kadarius Toney's statuses are up in the air and Saquon Barkley may be on a snap count. Plus, tight end Evan Engram has been completely ruled out. Golladay, Toney, and new acquisition Kyle Rudolph haven't really even played with Daniel Jones yet. All Teddy Bridgewater does is cover, (11-3 ATS as a starter), and he's got a nice group of young receivers and a solid defense that should force Jones into his usual multiple turnovers.
Los Angeles Chargers/Washington Football Team OVER 44.5
We've seen early-season success with Ryan Fitzpatrick before. Starting for his ninth team Fitzmagic has found a way to pump life into more than a quarter of the leagues offenses. This year the magic comes to Washington. Fitz is going to be chucking it, taking chances and moving this offense at a faster pace. On the other end you have Justin Herbert starting his second season, and there will be no sophomore slump, this dude's a certified baller. Austin Ekeler's availability is something to monitor here as his hammy is acting up, but if he's suiting up I love smashing the over here.
Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) vs. Chicago Bears
The Rams defense is going to be a lot for the deteriorating Andy Dalton. Dalton did not look good last year with the Cowboys and now comes to a team with worse offensive weapons. Matthew Stafford is making his debut for the Rams and is already familiar with this Bear's defense. He's dealt with them for his whole career, so this is the perfect matchup for him to start out on the right foot with the Los Angeles. Playing at home isn't necessarily an advantage for the Rams, but it's much better than going into the hostile environment in Chicago. Rams win this game rather easily and cover the 7.5 point spread.
Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) vs. Cleveland Browns … (1H -3.5)
I'm still trying to figure out why the line here is so low. You have the Chiefs at home, coming off of an embarrassing Super Bowl loss. That means they had to sit at home and stew in that loss for the last seven months. So you have a fired-up Patrick Mahomes and company laying less than a touchdown in Kansas City. I'm all-in on Kansas City to the point that I'm betting the first half as well at -3.5.
Philadelphia Eagles/Atlanta Falcons OVER 48.5
The true beginning of the Jalen Hurts era starts with a cupcake defense in the Falcons. Atlanta allowed the most passing yards of any team in the NFL in 2020, and don't appear to be much better coming into 2021. The Eagles themselves have a mediocre defense that ranked 19th last season in total defense. First-round pick DeVonta Smith has a solid chance to get a jump on the Offensive Rookie of the Year race. Matt Ryan is desperate to turn the page from last year. This game will be a back-and-forth shootout that gets into the 60s.
- Broncos -159
- Titans -158
- Chiefs -245