MFST’s NFL Pick’em: Week 1 NFL Picks
Finally, after months of anticipation the NFL is back–and with the NFL returning, our weekly NFL Pick’em returns as well. For those who don’t know, the hosts of the My Fantasy Podcast (Dan, Brandon and Orlando) pick every game straight up and crown one champion of all champions at the end of the season. Our 2016 champion is no other than the Founder of MFST, Dan Schalk. Here’s how last year’s standings played out…
2016 Final Regular Season Standings
Dan Schalk: 159-93-2 (63%)
Brandon Reid: 156-96-2 (61%)
Orlando Torres: 150-102-2 (59%)
Week 1 NFL Picks
After making our Thursday night picks, all three guys have fallen into a 0-1 hole…
Jets at Bills
Dan Schalk: Buffalo Bills. I’ll probably pick the Bills to win two times all season—both matchups against the Jets. Other than that, these are two of the worst teams in the NFL at this point in time.
Brandon Reid: Buffalo Bills. There are not many times I will consider picking the Jets this year. Period. They are staring an 0-16 season in the face. Buffalo if favored by 8.5. Let that sink in.
Orlando Torres: New York Jets. This may be seem like a low scoring game, but somebody has to score here. It makes sense that LeSean McCoy should see a heavy workload and is due for a big game, but I’m going with the Jets here. Both defenses are still solid even with the lack of offense, but I think Bowles is more desperate than McDermott here. Jets take over the AFC East lead.
Falcons at Bears
Dan Schalk: Atlanta Falcons. I expect this game to be a lot closer than most people predict, but ultimately the Falcons offense will have too much firepower and outscore the Bears in the second half.
Brandon Reid: Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are going to throw all over Chicago this week. This will not be as close the spread suggests. Falcons by two touchdowns easily.
Orlando Torres: Chicago Bears. The Super Bowl hangover begins this week on the road. Atlanta has some elite playmakers in Freeman, Julio and Matt Ryan, but people have seem to forgotten that the Bears are still pretty good defensively. Chicago might only win 4 games this season but pencil Week 1 in as a win. Chicago wins.
Ravens at Bengals
Dan Schalk: Cincinnati Bengals. Divisional games like this are always difficult to predict, but I’ll take the home team in this matchup.
Brandon Reid: Cincinnati Bengals. I am on the Bengals bandwagon this year. This will be the best matchup of Week 1. Cincinnati will pull it out in the end, at home.
Orlando Torres: Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens run game scares me, and I’m also worried about Flacco coming back into the lineup with little practice. On the other hand the Bengals beefed up their team with younger talent, and they’re getting back a healthy AJ Green and Tyler Eifert.
Steelers at Browns
Dan Schalk: Pittsburgh Steelers. Big Ben is terrible on the road and I believe the Browns are an improving team, but DeShone Kizer will get a warm reception to the NFL by the Steelers defense. Pittsburgh wins a low-scoring affair.
Brandon Reid: Pittsburgh Steelers. If Pittsburgh loses this game than their season is essentially over. No Myles Garrett to worry about. I just don’t see any way Cleveland can win this game.
Orlando Torres: Pittsburgh Steelers. I think I’m more interested to see if Antonio Brown is going to face kick another punter in this game, because let’s face it this is going to be a blow out. The Browns have some good playmakers, but the Steelers will be too much in week 1.
Cardinals at Lions
Dan Schalk: Arizona Cardinals. I am one of the few who believe the Cardinals are the best team in the NFC West–they will show why I believe that on the road in Detroit on Sunday.
Brandon Reid: Detroit Lions. This is a slight upset pick. I think it will be high scoring. Detroit will come out less flat and more ready for Week 1 in front of the home crowd. Nothing more than that in this prediction.
Orlando Torres: Detroit Lions. This is my high-scoring game of the week. The aging Larry Fitz does it again and again each season, and who could forget about the historic season that David Johnson had last year–but while everybody is in awe over Johnson don’t be surprised if Abdullah shows up to put on a show of his own at home.
Jaguars at Texans
Dan Schalk: Houston Texans. I’m not high on either team this season, but the Texans riding a wave of emotion due to Hurricane Harvey will play a role in this game. Tom Savage will be the better of the two starting QB’s in the game as well—-yes, Tom Savage.
Brandon Reid: Jacksonville Jaguars. Some of us here at MFST were one year early on Jacksonville. I think the defense will be one of the best in the league. They are on paper anyway. I know there is Blake Bortles concern, but I believe there is always QB concern in Houston.
Orlando Torres: Houston Texans. After the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey you can bet that NRG stadium is going to be riding high on emotions all afternoon. Blake Bortles is surprisingly the starter, but their defense is what should give Jags fans hope of staying in the game. However the Jags fans can’t match the sparks the Texans D will provide in opening week.
Raiders at Titans
Dan Schalk: Tennessee Titans. The Raiders are getting a lot of Super Bowl pub, but their defense isn’t that improved and Marcus Mariota will put on a show in front of his home crowd. Titans win by two touchdowns.
Brandon Reid: Oakland Raiders. This is a tough one. I think the Raiders are more ready at this point. Myself and many others think the Raiders have a shot at the Super Bowl this year. Tennessee will be great and make the playoffs. The difference will be within their division. It’s ok to lose this first game to a quality opponent like Oakland. As long as you look good and stay healthy.
Orlando Torres: Oakland Raiders. It’s the battle of both QB’s who broke their legs last season. Both teams have great defenses, and the Titans could very well run the AFC South, but people are sleeping on the Raiders here. I give Tennessee the edge defensively, but Oakland gets the win in Week 1.
Eagles at Redskins
Dan Schalk: Philadelphia Eagles. Kirk Cousins has put together a couple of solid seasons in Washington, but I’m one of the few not buying into the “franchise quarterback” hype. If anything, Carson Wentz is more of a franchise guy than Cousins—-and that will show on the field Week 1.
Brandon Reid: Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t like the way the Redskins reloaded the offense in the off-season. Definite downgrades for Kirk Cousins. I think the Eagles will fly high this year. Look for Alshon to have a big year with a second year Wentz.
Orlando Torres: Washington Redskins. This is a 50/50 game for me. Yes, Washington has struggled in the preseason and Pryor has more drops than receptions so far, but the Eagles defense should be really stingy here, not to mention their new weapons on offense. I think Robert Kelley quietly has a good game, and Cousins heats up late at home.
Colts at Rams
Dan Schalk: LA Rams. I still want to pick the Colts to win the game even without Luck and Vontae Davis, but there is one reason why I’m going with the Rams. Wade Phillips. The Rams defense will create more scoring opportunities than Jared Goff and I expect Scott Tolzien to have more INT’s than TD’s.
Brandon Reid: LA Rams. That’s right! The Rams! No Andrew Luck on a Colts team that didn’t get any better from last year. Colts finish last in the AFC South.
Orlando Torres: LA Rams. No Luck= long days for the Colts especially with no Vontae Davis. I know Cooper Kupp is questionable, but I expect him to play and excite the crowd. The Rams overall should have a very solid day.
Seahawks at Packers
Dan Schalk: Green Bay Packers. I have both teams missing the postseason in 2017, but one of them has to win this game. Give me Aaron Rodgers at home.
Brandon Reid: Green Bay Packers. This is a potential NFC title game. I think Aaron Rodgers will be the MVP this year and I think the Seahawks have a better chance of starting slow out of the gate. Packers in Lambeau.
Orlando Torres: Seattle Seahawks. This is one of the better games of Week 1. It’s hard to bet on any team going into Lambeau against a healthy Aaron Rodgers and win, but with the addition of Sheldon Richardson I think the Packers are going to be the ones having a tough time scoring. Hawks win on the road.
Panthers at 49ers
Dan Schalk: Carolina Panthers. After throwing shade at the Panthers the past two seasons (last year I was correct, the season before…not so much) I have them bouncing back and being a playoff team in 2017. The 49ers are improving believe it or not, but they aren’t ready to compete this season.
Brandon Reid: Carolina Panthers. Carolina will bounce back this year. They have too many pieces not to. And an MVP QB in Cam. They take advantage of a 49ers team still trying to figure things out.
Orlando Torres: Carolina Panthers. The 49ers will be better than what most people expected going into the season. Carlos Hyde is a stud, Garçon should see plenty of targets from Hoyer, and their defense got some solid pieces added, but even with a banged up Cam Newton I’m taking the Panthers with a healthy dosage of the Run CMC.
Giants at Cowboys
Dan Schalk: Dallas Cowboys. Dallas couldn’t beat the Giants at all last season, losing both matchups in close fashion. I expect a different result to kick-off 2017—Zeke will run wild and Dak will do enough to squeak out a close victory.
Brandon Reid: Dallas Cowboys. Another Week 1 classic. While I think the Giants will ultimately win the division, the first meeting will go to the Cowboys, with Ezekiel.
Orlando Torres: Dallas Cowboys. Most analysts have the Cowboys taking the division, but have them losing game 1 and I could see why but I’m not buying it. Jenkins on Dez doesn’t scare being how Dez will bully his way in the red zone. Zeke is also back, and with OBJ’s status up in the air it balances out in a way, which gives Dallas the advantage forcing Eli to throw.
Saints at Vikings
Dan Schalk: Minnesota Vikings. I’ll take the better defense to beat the better offense, especially since I believe the Saints will try to give as many touches to Adrian Peterson that they can—and if you have followed myself or the site at all, you know I think AP is washed up and done.
Brandon Reid: New Orleans Saints. I’m just not very excited about the Vikings this year. The defense will be solid, but what is their offensive identity? I know what the identity of Drew Bree’s is.
Orlando Torres: Minnesota Vikings. I could very well see Brees throwing for 3 TD’s here, but I could also see him under pressure all night and getting off to a bad start in Week 1 and that’s the thought I’m going with. I don’t care if Peterson eats up his yards and makes the most of his carries to his return home as a Saint. The Vikings defense is just too good, and Sam Bradford will manage the game enough to pull off the victory.
Chargers at Broncos
Dan Schalk: Denver Broncos. I like both teams this year, but I’ll take the home team with the better defense.
Brandon Reid: LA Chargers. Philip Rivers, Joey Bosa, and crew will be ready to stun Mile High nation. Not a believer in Denver this year. The defense is getting older and more stale. They will not be able to keep carrying this team. The offense is fairly dreadful and just doesn’t have juice. This will be a battle for 3rd place in the AFC West.
Orlando Torres: LA Chargers. Two huge returns will debut on MNF in Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon, and they have a tough task in front of them. The Broncos defense is going to be in the Chargers face all night, but they’ve lost TJ Ward, and more importantly they lost Wade Phillips. Chargers spoil the party in Denver by matching up defensively and simply better quarterback play.
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