NFL Weekend Picks: Week 16
Great Pick: Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Odds: Carolina -6.5
Two weeks ago the Carolina Panthers shellacked the Atlanta Falcons 38-0 and over the past few weeks, little has changed. The Falcons did snap their 6 game losing streak last week and will be the host this time around, meaning a 38-0 beat down is much less likely. With that said the Panthers are the best team in the league right now and a win locks them up the top seed in the NFC and puts them within a single game of a perfect season.
Good Pick: New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
Odds: New England -3
The Patriots have dominated the Jets over their past 10 regular season meetings, going 9-1. With that being said the last 5 meetings between these two teams have been decided by 7 points or less. The Jets nearly pulled off the upset earlier in the season, before giving up a fourth quarter lead. The Patriots are favoured by a modest -3 points, making them a good pick as the Jets are talented and have plenty to play for so the game should be close.
Pick: New England
Game to Avoid: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Odds: Pittsburgh -9.5
The Ravens and Steelers have one of the biggest and toughest rivalries in the NFL with both teams having a general hatred towards one another and most games being decisively close. Pittsburgh is the superior team in this match up this time around, but is 3-9 in their last 12 trips to Baltimore. In 9 victories in Baltimore since they moved there in 1996, Pittsburgh has a single win of more than 8 points. Baltimore has been roughed up at home their last two games, but those where against Kansas City and Seattle – two of the NFL’s best defenses and Baltimore should rebound a bit after their first 12 games of the seasons being decided by one score.
Fantasy Players of the Week
Quarterback: Blake Bortles vs. New Orleans – New Orleans and their terrible passing defense is always a good option for Fantasy Players and this week is no exception. The Jaguars offense should be fully healthy come Sunday and with the Saints having given up over 30 points in 3 of their last 5 games Bortles can continue setting single season records for the Jaguars.
Running Back: Charcandrick West vs. Cleveland Browns – West has found himself becoming a larger part of Kansas City’s scoring a touchdown in 4 of his 7 starts and he has averaged 100 yards of offense over that stretch of 7 games. West’s matchup against the Browns should be fruitful as they have been one of the best matchups for fantasy running backs all season along.
Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins vs. Dallas Cowboys – Watkins has been tearing up opposes defenses over the last four years, scoring 6 touchdowns and averaging over 100 yards. Watkins started the season slow and dealt with some injuries in the middle of the season, but he has built a strong report with his starting quarterback – Tyrod Taylor – and should continue this successful streak against the Dallas Cowboys in Buffalo.
Tight End: Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. Chicago Bears: The Bucs tight end has missed the majority of the season, but has returned in time to get some extra playing time with his rookie quarterback. Rookie quarterbacks have a tendency to lead on tight ends – evident in Jenkins first game of the season where he went for 110 yards and two scores. The tight end has only 9 catches and a touchdown over the last 3 games since returning from injury, but should his role increase as the Bucs head coach – Lovie Smith – faces his former team.
Defense: Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans – The Texans defensive turnover began in late October against the Titans – holding them to only 211 yards and sacking the quarterback 7 times. The Titans offensive line has been horrific this season and they have turned to their backup quarterback for the remainder of the season to help protect Marcus Mariota from injury.
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