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NFL Weekend Picks - Week 8
Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
Pick: Minnesota -1
The Vikings – through six games – are living up to their preseason prediction as a Wild Card contender, while the Bears at 2-5 are slightly better than expected. Jay Cutler has quarterbacked the Bears much better this season, but the team’s defense is terrible and the franchise is already beginning the rebuilding process. The Vikings should run all over the Bears and Teddy Bridgewater is beginning to flourish in his second season as the Vikings signal caller.
Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos
Pick: Denver +3.5
The top two scoring defenses take the headline in a match-up featuring two quarterbacks with a combine 7 MVP awards. In what a few years ago would be a guaranteed shootout, the Packers and Broncos – especially the Broncos – are leaning more on defense than they have in the past. At 3.5 points, the Broncos enter the game as undefeated underdogs at home. The game should be close and even if the Broncos cannot stop Rodgers it could very likely be decided by only a field goal.
Game to Avoid
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals are arguably one of the top 5 teams in the NFL this season, but their quarterback – Andy Dalton – only has a 2-6 record against the Steelers over his four year career. The Steelers welcome back their franchise quarterback – Ben Roethlisberger – this weekend and the offense instantly regains a spot in the top-5 in the league. Big Ben may have some rust to shake off though and the match is a quite difficult to really give one team the edge in.
Fantasy Players of the Week:
Quarterback: Eli Manning vs. New Orleans Saints – Eli Manning is not always the sexiest fantasy option, but the fact he has cut down on turnovers and the improved health of his receiving core should give him a boost against the Saints. The Saints rank near the bottom of the league in passing yards and touchdowns allowed.
Running Back: Darren McFadden vs. Seattle Seahawks – Finally having some ability to stay healthy, McFadden is finally showing his playmaking ability that warranted his first round draft status. With Joseph Randle out, McFadden will get almost all the touches on Sunday for a Dallas team that ran for 162 yards against the Seahawks last season.
Wide Receiver: Marvin Jones vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – Marvin Jones got hot in his last game and looks to carry it forward through the remainder on the season. The Steelers will have their hands full with Cincy’s star receiver A.J Green and their emerging tight end Tyler Eiffert, allowing Jones to get plenty of snaps in single coverage.
Tight End: Ladarius Green vs. Baltimore Ravens: Green is finally becoming the top tight end in San Diego’s offense as Gates deals with age and injuries. Baltimore has been stout against tight ends in 2015, but Green is a key component in one of the league’s top passing offenses.
Defense: Oakland Raiders vs. New York Jets – The Raiders may have let the Chargers pick up some late yards and points last week after taking a 37-6 lead, but in the three games prior to that, the Raiders managed 10 sacks and 7 turnovers. The Jets offense is underrated, but so is Oakland’s defense and this game is shaping up to be a defensive battle.
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