MFST’s Pick’em: Week 3 NFL Picks
Welcome to our weekly NFL Pick’em. 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.
Standings after Week 2
Dan Schalk: 21-10
Brandon Reid: 23-8
Orlando Torres: 17-14
Something new we are running this week through the end of the season is adding our own “celebrity picker” which will bring another challenger to the race. The “celebrity pickers” will rotate each week to see how they fare against the MFP crew. Each week, we will tally up their picks and one “celebrity picker”will be crowned the best of the rest.
This week our celebrity picker is no other than MFST’s own Casey Birch….
Week 3 NFL Picks
Ravens at Jaguars (Game in London)
Dan Schalk: Baltimore Ravens. Buck and Allen and this week’s fantasy sleeper Alex Collins will do enough on the ground to only maintain time of possession, but get a couple of scores.
Brandon Reid: Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore is playing well right now, only giving up one touchdown in two games. Jacksonville may present the toughest test defensively so far for the Ravens, but the Jags offense is a mess. I think the Ravens squeak this one out.
Orlando Torres: Jacksonville Jaguars. Even though this is across the pond this is pretty much a home game for the Jags, as they’ve been used to the environment from the games in past years. Besides Buck Allen, the Ravens backs are questionable which could also mean trouble for the passing game against this Jags tough defense.
Casey Birch: Baltimore Ravens. This might be labeled as a home game for the Jags, but the trip across the pond levels the playing field a little. That said, the Jaguars have had the advantage of playing a game in London for the last four years straight and have a sizeable fan base there. The defensive unit of the Ravens looks reborn and boasts an eye-popping ten turnovers during the first two weeks of the season. It’s almost a guarantee that Blake Bortles will add to that tally this Sunday, stealing any chance the Jaguars have of winning the contest.
Broncos at Bills
Dan Schalk: Denver Broncos. The Broncos are better in every single facet of the game.
Brandon Reid: Denver Broncos. I’m quickly having to back peddle on my prediction of Denver missing the playoffs. That D is still stout, for now. And Siemian is playing outside of his capabilities. It just wouldn’t be smart to predict a Buffalo win.
Orlando Torres: Denver Broncos. McCoy is going to have a tough day, and the Bills won’t have much options to keep this game close offensively.
Casey Birch: Denver Broncos. This game will be closer than many people anticipate. Buffalo fans will bring the energy at home and the Broncos players will consistently be reminded that they are in hostile territory. That said, the Denver defense has been firing on all cylinders and figures to shut down Buffalo’s anemic attack. If the first two weeks are to be believed, Trevor Siemian is starting to look like a real NFL quarterback and will continue to roll this weekend at Buffalo.
Steelers at Bears
Dan Schalk: Pittsburgh Steelers. I don’t like picking the Steelers when they are on the road—literally Big Ben is a different player away from home–but the Bears are not in the same class, so give me the Steelers, reluctantly.
Brandon Reid: Pittsburgh Steelers. The lack of playmakers and offensive identity for the Bears prevents me from picking them against too many teams this year. Even Bears fans know they are looking at a 3 or 4 win team. They’ll trade their Top 5 pick down, and get some talent to go with Trubisky next year.
Orlando Torres: Pittsburgh Steelers. The front seven of the Bears is talented enough to match up with Pittsburgh, but on offense Chicago won’t be able to hang enough points to counter within the game. It’ll also be interesting to see how Big Ben’s road splits affect him here where we could have a close game early on.
Casey Birch: Pittsburgh Steelers. DAAAAAAAAAAAA BEARS…are terrible. I had hope for the young Chicago team after their close game with the Falcons in week 1, but last week was a swift reminder that the Bears are nowhere close to being a competitive team. Despite the Steelers’ winning ways throughout the first two weeks, they have been largely under-performing as a team. Despite the performances, their roster is chocked full of talent. If the Steelers put it all together this week, expect the game to be a blowout. If not, they’re still likely to best the Bears.
Saints at Panthers
Dan Schalk: Carolina Panthers. I want to pick the Saints soooo bad, but that defense makes it hard to go with them. Panthers win in a shootout.
Brandon Reid: Carolina Panthers. I believe the Panthers are just the tougher team. The Saints D is the same old Saints D. I have been very surprised that Drew Brees continues to lead his offense they way he has over the last two years, while pieces have been exchanged. I just see no path for the Saints to finish higher than last in the NFC South.
Orlando Torres: Carolina Panthers. I would’ve never guessed that the New Orleans Saints could be staring 0-3 in the eye right now and it’s possible that after Sunday they’ll remain winless. It’s not like Cam and the Panthers are any offensive juggernaut, but their defense is one of the best currently and being that it’s a home game I expect the Panthers to grind it out in a close game.
Casey Birch: Carolina Panthers. I desperately want to believe that New Orleans can win this game, but I doubt it. The Saints’ defense currently looks incapable of stopping the common cold, let alone a 200-something pound ball carrier. The Panther’s offense has looked shaky, but they’ve got the job done over the first two weeks and should only improve as the season goes on. Losing Greg Olson to IR hurts, but the Panthers are still going to beat out the Saints at home this week.
Buccaneers at Vikings
Dan Schalk: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I jumped on the Bucs bandwagon this offseason and I see them as the best team in the NFC south. That is saying a lot, but if it is the case—they need to win this game.
Brandon Reid: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is a step up and prove yourself to the league type of game for the Bucs. Their defense isn’t too far behind the Vikings. They definitely have more weapons on offense. Regardless of whether Bradford plays or not, I think the Bucs are the better team. The line is EVEN. Should be a wildcard caliber game.
Orlando Torres: Minnesota Vikings. With Mike Zimmer stating that he doesn’t know how long Bradford could be out is worrisome to say the least, but Keenum is a viable QB to get you by, and being that the Vikings are hosting this game I’m gonna give the edge to the home team.
Casey Birch: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sam Bradford is still on the mend from a knee injury that kept him out of Minnesota’s week 2 matchup against the Steelers. If Bradford plays, it’s a complete toss-up as to who wins the game. If Bradford doesn’t play, the Vikings’ lack of a passing game will allow the Bucs to easily outmatch them offensively. Despite playing against the struggling Bears last week, the Bucs high-powered offense seemed to be flowing rather smoothly and I expect that they’ll keep it up–even if it is against a much better defense.
Browns at Colts
Dan Schalk: Indianapolis Colts. Everyone seems to be jumping on the Browns bandwagon for this contest and I’m not really sure why. Yes, the Browns are an improving team, but to rely on a rookie QB going on the road when he likes to throw more INT’s than TD’s is not a recipe for success. I also believe Chuck Pagano is coaching for his job weekly, so expect the Colts to come out firing on Sunday.
Brandon Reid: Cleveland Browns. Oh wow. I have to pick a winner? In my opinion, the Colts are now where the Browns were two years ago. The Browns are trying to climb those steps and get out the cellar. The Colts are really helping that cause. By the way, the Browns are favored in a game for the first time in about 5 years.
Orlando Torres: Cleveland Browns. Both teams actually have some decent defenses and playmakers on both sides of the ball, but the lack of quarterbacks for both teams kills the vibe for this game. Indy lost a close game they should’ve won last week versus the Cards, and I think ultimately it might have brought them down a bit.
Casey Birch: Cleveland Browns. Cleveland used to be a complete dumpster fire of a team. After two years of rebuilding the Browns are starting to finally show some potential as a team on the rise. Their record doesn’t show it yet, but give them some time. This is the perfect matchup for the Browns to capitalize on, as the Colts will be without Andrew Luck for a third week. Without Luck behind center, the Colts have looked like one of the weakest teams in the NFL and I expect them to fall to 0-3.
Dolphins at Jets
Dan Schalk: Miami Dolphins. Smokin Jay Cutler, enough said.
Brandon Reid: Miami Dolphins. They’re playing the Jets. Until the Jets resemble a professional football team, that’s the response I will give.
Orlando Torres: Miami Dolphins. This game is being predicted as a close defensive battle but I cant see that happening. Yes the Jets still remain a threat on defense, but if they’re not getting shredded by Ajayi on the ground, it’ll be by Parker through the air.
Casey Birch: Miami Dolphins. I won’t waste your time. In fact, I’ll help you save some time. Don’t bother watching this game. The Dolphins will win and the Jets will continue their crusade for the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft. I never want to believe that any team has the potential to go 0-16. Detroit proved me wrong in 2008, but I doubt it will happen again. That said, the Jets are making a strong case to follow in Detroit’s footsteps.
Texans at Patriots
Dan Schalk: New England Patriots. Bill Belichick versus a rookie quarterback. Give me the hoodie.
Brandon Reid: New England Patriots. I have already lost one game this year picking New England at home. That’s not due to happen again until 2019. No surprise that the Texans are struggling. This is not the week they turn it around.
Orlando Torres: New England Patriots. Orlando left this pick blank, we are assuming because it’s so obvious that the Patriots will win.
Casey Birch: New England Patriots. The more important question is, “Would you pick New England to lose against any team at home this year?” I understand that they lost at home to the Chiefs week 1, but I doubt that’ll happen again anytime soon. For this week, I can all but guarantee that Houston is heading for a loss. Deshaun Watson looks as advertised–a shifty rookie quarterback who looks unsettled behind a shaky offensive line. While the Patriots defense has been less-than-stellar in the first two weeks, they’re due for a few picks from Watson this week. The Patriots win this one hands down.
Falcons at Lions
Dan Schalk: Detroit Lions. I need the Falcons to start losing games if my pick of them not making the postseason comes to fruition. That starts this week—the loss of Vic Beasley cannot be understated and that Falcons pass rush is mediocre at best without him in the lineup.
Brandon Reid: Detroit Lions. This will sound completely backwards but I’m not sure the Falcons can get enough stops to beat the Lions this week. Detroit’s offensive is running as smoothly as any team in the NFL so far this year. This could be an NFC Championship preview. Falcons are favored by three, I’ll take the home team.
Orlando Torres: Atlanta Falcons. Matthew Stafford is earning every penny he got paid in the offseason and this should be one of the best games of the week here. No one should under-estimate Atlanta’s defense either even with Vic Beasley out. However, I think Atlanta keeps up the pace going into Week 3 and remains perfect on the road.
Casey Birch: Atlanta Falcons. I know we’re all hoping for this game to be a barn burner shootout. Two of the best looking teams NFC teams over the first two weeks face off to see who can remain undefeated. Despite the Lions being at home, I think the Falcons offense will be too much for the Lions to contain. The Lions are claiming their defense is one of the best in the league after dismantling the faltering Giants and Cardinals over the first two weeks, but let’s see how they do against a top quarterback. I still expect Stafford to put up a good fight, but the Falcons will come out on top and roll to 3-0.
Giants at Eagles
Dan Schalk: New York Giants. The Giants can’t be as bad as they were the first two weeks right? That’s what I’m hoping for with this pick.
Brandon Reid: Philadelphia Eagles. I am so glad I didn’t draft Odell or Eli on my fantasy team this year. This offense has been horrid under Ben McAdoo. I know their O-Line is a big part of that but there is such a thing as adjustments. Last Monday night’s game left me not being able to pick the Giants for the foreseeable future. My NFC East pick was bad wrong.
Orlando Torres: New York Giants. Both teams are coming off losses in Week 2, but I think the Giants come out in desperation mode to get their first win, and to not trail 0-3 in the NFC east.
Casey Birch: Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants have shown very little aptitude for scoring touchdowns this season. As some of you may know, touchdowns are a very important factor in a team winning games. Consequently, the Giants have looked pathetic and I don’t expect that to change while traveling to face their division rivals in Philadelphia. On the other side, Wentz has been looking like an experienced NFL quarterback and the Eagles have been playing solid football, despite losing to the Chiefs last week.
Seahawks at Titans
Dan Schalk: Tennessee Titans. The Seahawks are a bad football team. Stop looking at history and believing in this team. They are a six win team at best. They have the worst offensive line in football, the most overrated quarterback in the game and a defense that hasn’t matched their Super Bowl talent in three years.
Brandon Reid: Tennessee Titans. Now I’m ready to pick the Titans in a big game. The offense wasn’t ready to beat the Super Bowl contending Raiders in Week 1. The Seahawks are still struggling on offense. My advice is trade Jimmy Graham for an offense lineman so you can get back to doing what you did when you were successful. The Titans are favored at home.
Orlando Torres: Tennessee Titans. Could this be it? The Derrick Henry breakout game we’ve been waiting for? Either way, the Seahawks are typically late bloomers, and in a late evening showdown I don’t see the Hawks being able to put up points when needed.
Casey Birch: Seattle Seahawks. The Seattle Seahawks have started off the 2017 season in their usual fashion…slowly. The offense has looked sluggish as Russell Wilson has only thrown one touchdown pass thus far. Expect that to change significantly this week as the Seahawks iron out the kinks from the previous weeks. The Titans are not a team to be taken likely and will make this a close game, but I expect Seattle’s defense to be the deciding factor that swings the odds in their favor.
Chiefs at Chargers
Dan Schalk: LA Chargers. I tend to agree with Brandon’s statement that the Chargers are the best 0-2 team in the NFL. Despite the lack of home field advantage in LA, I’ll go with the home team in this divisional matchup.
Brandon Reid: LA Chargers. Here is my upset pick of the week. I think the AFC West is shaping up to be the best division in football. The Chargers have lost at Denver by 3, and at home to Miami by 2. Rivers is the same old Rivers and many fantasy players are kicking themselves for not taking Melvin Gordon when they had the chance. Expect a good game. The Chargers may be the best 0-2 in football.
Orlando Torres: Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are the real deal and are possibly a sleeper pick for this years Super Bowl. The Chargers on the other hand are a great team but continue to be snake bitten in close games.
Casey Birch: LA Chargers. Let’s call this one the upset of the week. The Chargers may have left San Diego, but their penchant for losing games at the tail end of the 4th quarter has stuck with them. The Chargers lost both of their first two games by three or fewer points against some respectable teams. This week will remain close, with the difference being that the Chargers will come away with a win at home. The Chiefs are a complete team and are likely looking at another playoff run this year. Alex Smith has looked more like a game changer than a game manager and the explosiveness of Rookie Kareem Hunt has the team poised for greatness. Unfortunately for them, this week will bring their first loss.
Bengals at Packers
Dan Schalk: Green Bay Packers. I want to pick the Bengals because I don’t see them as an 0-3 team, but winning at Lambeau is a tough task for any team. If this were a spread pick I would take the Bengals +9.
Brandon Reid: Green Bay Packers. Packers fell to a better team last week. The Bengals just fell. Until the Bengals prove they can get in the end zone, I can’t pick them. I have no doubt they will get in the end zone this week, but I have many doubts about their chances to win. The Packers are favored by almost 10.
Orlando Torres: Green Bay Packers. If the Bengals are spending all week hearing about how terrible and bad they’ve been… well good! Because they should be reminded each day until they win a game. I’m not going to make the mistake in picking Cincy, but I do think this is a bounce back game for them scoring wise, and should be able to keep the game close in Lambeau.
Casey Birch: Green Bay Packers. If I was once of those conspiracy theorists that believes that the NFL games are fixed, I would highlight this game as the perfect upset. Luckily, I’m not one of those people and I thoroughly believe that the Green Bay Packers are going to shellac the already struggling Cincinnati Bengals. Before the season started, I was hoping that Andy Dalton would be able to have a rebound year–early reports suggest that I was wrong. So very wrong…
Raiders at Redskins
Dan Schalk: Oakland Raiders. The Raiders a great road team and against a mediocre Redskins team I think they will cruise to their third victory.
Brandon Reid: Oakland Raiders. This is a big game under the Sunday Night lights. It would take a bad offense performance from Carr, Cooper, and Crabtree for the Redskins to steal this one. If it rains, maybe the Redskins pull it out. Other than that will take a big defensive play like a pick six. The Raiders are favored by 3.
Orlando Torres: Oakland Raiders. Washington is starting to get it together as a team and defensively they should be able to hold their own, but in a prime time game and critics somewhat stepping away from the Raiders winning the AFC West should inspire this Oakland team to over power Washington at home.
Casey Birch: Oakland Raiders. Derek Carr’s broken leg last season seems to be a complete afterthought. Oakland has picked up exactly where they left off last year before Carr went down and I expect them to carry that momentum into Washington. The Redskins have looked weak and inconsistent through the first two weeks. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Kirk Cousins lost two of his top-3 receivers from 2016. Whatever the case may be, Washington is a prime candidate to get torched this weekend.
Cowboys at Cardinals
Dan Schalk: Dallas Cowboys. Last week was a mirage and I expect to see a blowout victory here. Zeke and Dak will be fantasy studs in this game.
Brandon Reid: Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys need a big bounce back game over the struggling Cardinals. A three-point win over the Colts barely counts as a win. I think the Cowboys are a significantly better team than the Cardinals. Cowboys are favored by 3, I think it will be more like 10.
Orlando Torres: Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have one bad week and all of a sudden it seems like the world has turned upside down for America’s team. Not so fast. Besides DeMarcus Lawrence there really isn’t much to be excited about on defense, but there’s no doubt Dak and Zeke bounce back to silence their doubters going forward.
Casey Birch: Dallas Cowboys. There’s quite a few older, successful quarterbacks leading teams across the NFL and showing offensive prowess. These quarterbacks include Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, and Phillip Rivers. You’ll notice I didn’t include Carson Palmer– that’s because he lost whatever offensive prowess he had last year and never found it again. Maybe his eyesight is failing him in his advanced age–who knows? Dallas is going to come in hot after their embarrassing loss to Denver last week and seems primed to put on a show.
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