Picking a whole slate of weekly games can be fun, and it can be frustrating. And sometimes, it can be both at the same time. Watching the stats post, seeing the teams you’ve picked are all down, and holding your breath that it all comes around, can be incredibly difficult, but it means you’re invested. It almost means that depending on your selections so far, by Week 7, there should be a clear separation between those who are doing well and those who aren’t.
The key is in choosing the right upsets. You see, too many people who play Pick’Em go crazy each week choosing multiple teams that don’t have great odds of winning. Even if you hit on one team that pulls the upset, you’re still down for the week with the others who do in fact lose as could have been predicted. So choosing the right upset means making sure you’ve done your research, and of course also means getting lucky in the end.
This week, with so many teams on byes, there’s a lot of parity between teams, so true upsets will be few and far between. That’s why the Patriots losing to the Jets in New England will be huge. But it will also happen. Here’s my Picks for Week 7…
Buffalo @ JACKSONVILLE (but from London) – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like that Jacksonville offense. With Bortles playing well, the Allens (Robinson & Hurns) spreading the field, and Yeldon running well, I don’t see the Buffalo defense slowing them down enough in this one. Besides that, I don’t see EJ Manuel dominating that Jaguars defense, and Shady McCoy can’t do it on his own. Pick: JACKSONVILLE.
Pittsburgh @ KANSAS CITY – Is there anything about that Chiefs team that tells me they can win a football game right now? Well, there’s Travis Kelce. The defense is not playing Chiefs football. The offense is dinking and dunking again, and they’ll probably be without their top two playmakers (Charles is gone for the season, and Maclin is highly questionable at the moment). Even without Roethlisberger I don’t see the Steelers letting this one slip away. Pick: PITTSBURGH.
Houston @ MIAMI – The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans. Yes, I said it, and it is indeed true. There must be something in the water, so perhaps the Dolphins should drink something else on game day. They looked good last week, though, for Dan Campbell, and dominated a game they should have. This is another one of those type of games, and I don’t care what the history says. I think Miami finally tallies a win against the DeAndres (Um, the Texans). Pick: MIAMI.
Atlanta @ TENNESSEE – Wow, those Titans looked great in beating up on the Buccaneers in Week 1. Anyone take a wager on the over/under for a winning season from them back then? Well, they’ve retreated to the norm, and they won’t have the franchise QB in this one because Mariota is OUT. Chalk up another loss as the Falcons get back on track. Pick: ATLANTA.
Cleveland @ ST. LOUIS – This is one of those games I talked about early in this blog, about parity between teams. This is an ultimate example here. Yes, the game is being played in St. Louis but the Browns have found lightning in a bottle with the way Josh McCown was playing before being summarily dismissed by the Broncos last week. He will get back to those ways, and it should turn the tide for the Browns on the road. Pick: CLEVELAND.
Tampa Bay @ WASHINGTON – I don’t know what to make of the Redskins. One thing I do know is that Kirk Cousins is always a play away from a turnover, so I can’t trust them. Add to that their running woes of late, and I don’t see how they can beat a good team right now. Thankfully for them Tampa Bay is not a good team. Pick: WASHINGTON.
Minnesota @ DETROIT – Divisional matchups are always challenging to predict, and even though the Vikings have played better of late, so have the Lions. I liked what I saw from Matthew Stafford finally spreading the field last week, and while I wouldn’t trust him in fantasy this week I like the Lions to win a close one at home against the Petersons (I mean, the Vikings). Pick: DETROIT.
New Orleans @ INDIANAPOLIS – I’m still not sold on the Colts being a solid team at the moment. Sure they didn’t get blown out by the Patriots, and sure, they’re in first place in a pitiful division, but this isn’t a divisional opponent, and I like the way the Saints match up against Indianapolis, even on the road. Yet, I see this as a bit of a desperation game from Indy, a chance to prove something after a home loss. Pick: INDIANAPOLIS.
NY Jets @ NEW ENGLAND – The last time the Jets beat the Patriots in New England was… um, I don’t even remember. Probably in the playoffs during the Mark Sanchez era. For perspective, that was in January of 2011, nearly five years ago. Uh oh. But it also means they’re due. And I like the look of this Jets defense. They can turn the ball over and frustrate Tom Brady. I think they will, and I think they win a close one at Foxboro. Pick: NY JETS.
Oakland @ SAN DIEGO – Smart money is on the Chargers high flying offense to handle the Raiders, but Philip Rivers has had hot and cold patches — yes, even this season — and the Raiders are fresh from the bye. Sure, they haven’t been traditionally great following a bye, but this isn’t tradition. This is now, and Latavius Murray will carve up a poor run defense, keeping Rivers off the field. Pick: OAKLAND.
Dallas @ NY GIANTS – I want to say that a change in quarterback will change the tone of this season for Dallas, but I can’t say it with a straight face. Weeden may not have been the problem, but he was one of them, and the defensive line not rushing opposing quarterbacks was (and is) another. They haven’t fixed that, so Eli will have all day to get the ball to his receivers. It might not even be close, even though it’s a divisional rivalry. Pick: NY GIANTS.
Philadelphia @ CAROLINA – The biggest receiving threat for the Panthers is Greg Olsen. The Eagles do a great job in coverage on tight ends. Hmmmm. That sounds like a recipe for disaster from a team coming off a highly emotional victory vs. the Seahawks in Seattle last week. This is the perfect chance for a letdown, at home, against an Eagles team that has gotten better over the past two weeks. Pick: PHILADELPHIA.
Baltimore @ ARIZONA – This isn’t your old-school Ravens team. The defense is a mess, and Flacco is throwing the ball 60 times a game. That isn’t good. It’s especially not good against an opportunistic Cardinals defense that will feast on any underthrown or overthrown balls. Carson Palmer will carve up that poor Ravens defense, and what might have seemed like a good quality game before the season will turn into a blowout in the desert. Pick: ARIZONA.