MFST’s Week 1 Picks
A new NFL season means a clean slate for our yearly picks. After Dan took home the crown in 2016, Orlando showed up and was named the champ in 2017. Only Brandon is left of the trio to not win a pick’em title. Maybe 2018 will be his year…
Dan Schalk: 0-1
Brandon Reid: 1-0
Orlando Torres: 0-1
Week 1 Picks
Bills at Ravens
Dan Schalk: Baltimore Ravens. The Bills are going to be bad this season, like five wins bad.
Brandon Reid: Baltimore Ravens. Where is my shoulder shrug emoji? I have no idea. I’m afraid the Bills offense will be a mess for a while. Give me the home team.
Orlando Torres: Baltimore Ravens. The Bills have problems all over the place and quarterback is a big concern. They’re starting Peterman on the road against a scary Ravens defense.
Jaguars at Giants
Dan Schalk: New York Giants. The Jaguars have an elite defense–but so does New York this season (they will surprise some people). So give me the Giants offense to do more.
Brandon Reid: Jacksonville Jaguars. A lot of people are predicting a quick bounce-back for the Giants this year. While they do have the weapons on offense, and I think they are a lot better than their record of last year, I still think they have a lot of areas to shore up. Their defense is thin, and I’m not 100% sold on their offensive line yet, despite signing Nate Solder. Now they have to work out a good offensive balance with Beckham, Shepard, Engram, and the 2nd pick in the draft, Saquon Barkley. It will take time.
Orlando Torres: Jacksonville Jaguars. The Giants have a lot to be excited for this season. They have Saquon Barkley, a healthy Odell, a decent defense, but the Jags are coming in Week One to kick ass and take names.
Buccaneers at Saints
Dan Schalk: New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees vs Ryan Fitzpatrick…who do you think I’m picking?
Brandon Reid: New Orleans Saints. Big year from the Saints this year. Tampa Bay is not ready.
Orlando Torres: New Orleans Saints. I like the Bucs as a bounce back team this season, but the Saints are legit Super Bowl contenders and just the better team here.
Texans at Patriots
Dan Schalk: New England Patriots. Do not bet against Tom and Bill Week 1.
Brandon Reid: New England Patriots. No Super Bowl for New England this year. For real this time. But they are upset about getting embarrassed in Week 1 last year at Foxborough.
Orlando Torres: New England Patriots. DeShaun Watson and JJ Watt make their returns in Week 1, but they’ll need a lot of help if they really want to upset Tom Brady and his group of handsome receivers.
49ers at Vikings
Dan Schalk: Minnesota Vikings. Jimmy G will be wishing he was back in New England after facing this Vikings defense Sunday.
Brandon Reid: Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers will be a lot more competitive this year, and give fans in the Bay reason to be excited again. But opening up the season in Minnesota is not a place any offense in the NFL wants to start.
Orlando Torres: San Francisco 49ers. Here we have two teams with playoff hopes in the NFC. Kirk Cousins found a new home and with the injury of McKinnon the Niners have to think fast when it comes to their backfield. As good as the Vikings defense is, don’t sleep on Garoppolo.
Titans at Dolphins
Dan Schalk: Tennessee Titans. Despite making the playoffs last season AND winning a game, Tennessee is being disrespected this offseason. This team will be good, real good–starting with a beatdown of Miami.
Brandon Reid: Tennessee Titans. I can see this being a wet, ugly game. I give the Titans defense the edge, especially with Tannehill working his way back into NFL shape. Mariota, Vrabel, and the Titans have a lot to prove this year. I see them learning their way through this game, and picking up the win, mostly on the legs of Derrick Henry.
Orlando Torres: Tennessee Titans. The Dolphins have improved their defense and Ryan Tannehill is back! The Titans also have a new look this season with the departure of DeMarco Murray. Close game, but Titans secure the win.
Bengals at Colts
Dan Schalk: Cincinnati Bengals. Andrew Luck is back, but the Colts can’t protect him or stop anyone on defense.
Brandon Reid: Cincinnati Bengals. I may say this a couple of times this week but, I have no idea. I do know the Bengals have more offensive weapons, and the better defense. I predict the Colts to clearly be the worst team in the AFC South. It will be good to see Andrew Luck back on the field, but the Colts franchise has a long road to recovery.
Orlando Torres: Indianapolis Colts. Just like Tannehill, Andrew Luck is finally making his return after a year off from injury. The Colts are still a mess and Luck remains their best player–although the Bengals should be better than last season, give me Luck and the Colts.
Steelers at Browns
Dan Schalk: Pittsburgh Steelers. I originally wrote the Cleveland Browns, but then I slept on it. I’m no tough guy Week 1, so give me the Steelers.
Brandon Reid: Pittsburgh Steelers. This will be an early, exciting test for the “new” Cleveland Browns. While Pittsburgh will be without Le’Veon Bell, they will have more than enough familiar weapons to control the offensive flow of this game. Stout test for the new look Cleveland offense. I’m on the record saying curb your over-the-top optimism with the Browns this year. I have them winning four or five games this year, which is a step forward.
Orlando Torres: Cleveland Browns. Hmm this is a tricky game. Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t showed up to camp and the Browns have looked pretty good as of late. Give me the Brownies in a surprise victory here.
Chiefs at Chargers
Dan Schalk: LA Chargers. Melvin Gordon will outduel Kareem Hunt.
Brandon Reid: Kansas City Chiefs. This might be my surprise of the week. I look for the Chiefs offense to look really sharp and dynamic under Patrick Mahomes. The Chargers might have the slight edge on defense, but if you have watched the NFL over the last decade, you know the Chiefs start out like Super Bowl contenders for the first two months of the season. Then…
Orlando Torres: LA Chargers. The Chiefs will now have Patrick Mahomes under center, but this is a tough road game for this young Chiefs team.
Seahawks at Broncos
Dan Schalk: Denver Broncos. The Broncos defense isn’t what it once was, but Seattle’s has gotten that much worse.
Brandon Reid: Seattle Seahawks. I just can’t with Denver. Nothing about this team excites me. The defense is depleted, they stay in QB controversy, and they’re not completely sold on a backfield yet. I just can’t. They’ll be battling Oakland for last place in the AFC West.
Orlando Torres: Denver Broncos. The Seahawks have a lot of concerns here. Their multiple running backs, weak offensive line, weaker defense, and Doug Baldwin admitting to not be fully healthy–I don’t expect the Broncos to have a repeat from last season.
Cowboys at Panthers
Dan Schalk: Dallas Cowboys. Rumor has it Zeke is hungry.
Brandon Reid: Carolina Panthers. I know the Cowboys have the best offensive line in football, and their defensive line is pretty stout too. But they have so much to workout on offense that I think they will struggle to put it all together this year. I think the longer Dak is in the league, the less effective he will be. I got Super Cam at home.
Orlando Torres: Dallas Cowboys. This should be a close game. Dak and the offense run a lot smoother when Zeke is in the backfield and the Panthers also have responded with their weapons. Give me the Boys on the road in a close game.
Washington at Cardinals
Dan Schalk: Arizona Cardinals. David Johnson will have Adrian Peterson thinking about retirement.
Brandon Reid: Arizona Cardinals. I happen to think that the Redskins will end up being the better team this year. But they are pretty banged up, and Alex Smith doesn’t have the kind of game to lift up other players. The Cardinals defense should get it done at home.
Orlando Torres: Washington Redskins. David Johnson is back for the Cardinals, but will he be there on Sunday? Fitz is aging, and Bradford is one hit away from missing time yet again… Alex Smith has proven himself capable of leading a team.
Bears at Packers
Dan Schalk: Green Bay Packers. Tempted to pick the improving Bears squad, but this game being in Lambeau sealed my pick.
Brandon Reid: Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is back! If this game is even somewhat close in the 4th quarter, how are you gonna bet against him? Trubisky will be a sleeper QB in fantasy this week though.
Orlando Torres: Green Bay Packers. Okay maybe with Mack in Chicago it’ll no longer be a blowout, but the Pack still wins here.
Jets at Lions
Dan Schalk: Detroit Lions. Expect some growing pains with Sam Darnold this season–they’ll lose a lot of games, but the future is bright.
Brandon Reid: Detroit Lions. The Jets simply aren’t ready. The Lions are favored by a touchdown.
Orlando Torres: Detroit Lions. I imagine the Lions defense will be a popular pickup in Week 1 for fantasy football because they should be all over Darnold in his first NFL start.
Rams at Raiders
Dan Schalk: LA Rams. I can’t wait to see the Rams defense play–Jared Goff not so much.
Brandon Reid: LA Rams. The Rams are going to smash the Raiders. The four point spread is laughable. Take it to Vegas.
Orlando Torres: LA Rams. Welp the Raiders gave $100 million to Gruden, but couldn’t come up with anything for Mack. I don’t think his 1998 mindset is going to be enough to stop this Rams team.
Follow the Pickers on Twitter
Dan Schalk @FFSportsTalk
Brandon Reid @New_Breid
Orlando Torres @itslandoyo