My Fantasy Pick’em: Wild Card Weekend Predictions
Our My Fantasy Pick’em weekly column will move onto the playoffs! After a successful 17-week regular season of picks, we crowned one champion of all champions.
With Wild Card weekend here, we will reset the standings and start with a clean slate—Orlando is very thankful. We will pick all the games straight up, and the MFST writer with the best record at the conclusion of Super Bowl LI will be named #PostseasonTopDog. For the playoffs, we have gathered the rest of our NFL writers to join us for the pick’em.
Wild Card Weekend Picks
Raiders at Texans
Dan Schalk: Houston Texans. If you followed our picks at all this season, you know how little I think of the Texans as a team, especially with Osweiler back in as starting QB, but the Derek Carr injury is huge for the Raiders and Connor Cook scares me even more than Osweiler does. Just look at this scouting report I wrote about Cook during the NFL Draft.
Brandon Reid: Houston Texans. The number one defense at home has never lost a Wildcard Weekend game in the Super Bowl era of the NFL. Connor Cook is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to make the first start of his career in the playoffs. I’ll take Houston.
Orlando Torres: Houston Texans. Connor Cook vs Brock Osweiler the quarterback match up we’ve all be waiting for all season!!! Just kidding what did we do to deserve this?? Have we as fans taken football for granted that the football gods slapped up with a match up like this on prime time television?? Ok but on a serious note both teams have respectable rosters. Both Oakland and Houston have suitable scary defenses and have playmakers and speedy wide receivers to make the big plays, not to mention the running back featured in this game as well. The only thing is– can the quarterbacks in the game be capable of not turning this into a defensive battle or snooze fest? If I were Jack Del Rio I’d roll out Derek Carr out there in a wheel chair and build a wall around him and let him throw in 70 + plus times. Who ever wins is more than likely going to be eliminated in the divisional round to begin with, so because the Texans are hosting this wildcard game I’m going to roll with them at home.
Jeremy O’Neill: Houston Texans. This game is a toss-up with the quarterback situations.. I can’t see Connor Cook being able to move the ball against the Texans defense.
Michael Gomez: Oakland Raiders. Probably the least compelling game of the off-season. The Texans do have an offense and their defense is decent without JJ Watt, but even without Derrick Carr the Raiders have too many weapons on offense. The Oakland offense will make something happen and Khalil Mack will make sure the already uncomfortable Brock Osweiler won’t be a factor in the game.
Erion Jordan: Oakland Raiders. These two teams have something in common, they’re lacking a dependable quarterback. I think Oakland is the better overall team though and they’ll get the W over the Texans.
Lions at Seahawks
Dan Schalk: Seattle Seahawks. If this game was in Detroit I would expect a different result, but the Lions who are used to playing a dome will travel to the Northwest to take on Seattle in one of the best home field advantages in all of sports. Seattle takes this one on the back of their defense.
Brandon Reid: Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks offense has been so sporadic this year. You never know what Seahawks team will show up. I have to believe the playoff version of the Seahawks will show up. I know the defense and the 12th man will anyway. Stafford has not looked good in the last month. I don’t think the Lions will be able to keep up.
Orlando Torres: Seattle Seahawks. I can go on and on about why the Lions won’t win this game. Reason from the face that this game is on the road, and the Lions have not won any playoffs games on the road since I can remember. It’s in the cold which doesn’t help, the 12th man is going to be loud and rumbling all game, and this game is in prime time— the Lions didn’t win any of their prime time games this season. Nonetheless they’re 9-7 and could’ve been 10-6, but choked last week at home to the Pack. Seattle on the other hand have not lost a playoff game at home since being under head coach Pete Carroll, and I don’t see the Lions playing spoiler here. Seattle wins easily.
Jeremy O’Neill: Detroit Lions. Going with my hometown team, but it will be tough to actually pull off the upset.
Michael Gomez: Seattle Seahawks. At home going against a still injured Mathew Stafford, the Seattle secondary will feast on the Lions. Russell Wilson should be moving fine and have a great game against this uninspiring Detroit Defense. Seattle is just a better team all around.
Erion Jordan: Seattle Seahawks. This will be a battle between these teams and don’t expect Matthew Stafford to lay down against Seattle. The 12th man will be a key factor to Seattle winning.
Dolphins at Steelers
Dan Schalk: Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not high on Pittsburgh’s chances of advancing past Wild Card weekend like most people I have talked to. If Tannehill was playing in this game I would be picking the Dolphins. Steelers squeak by.
Brandon Reid: Pittsburgh Steelers. I don’t see the Matt Moore led Dolphin offense being able to keep up with the Steelers offense. The difference in defense is negligible. Playing in Pittsburgh this time of year is a lot different from playing in Miami. I would consider it a pretty big upset if Miami were to win this game.
Orlando Torres: Pittsburgh Steelers. Now I’ll let it be heard this is my sleeper team out of the AFC to make it to the Super Bowl. Yes if you’ve been listening to the My Fantasy Sports Talk podcast you would’ve heard me predicting the Patriots vs the Cowboys, but come on that’s the obvious choice and with good reason at that. With that being said you already know my pick here, but last year the Steelers didn’t have Le’Veon Bell who missed the last part of the season and post-season with a knee injury, and Antonio Brown sat out with a concussion. That’s not the story this year. Finally we get to see the Steelers at full health and are looking to make a deep run in the post-season. Last time these two met was in week 6 in which the Dolphins crushed the Steelers like a grape 30-15. Well really it was Jay Ajayi who had rushed for 204 yards, and the Steelers had no answer for it. If the Dolphins were to pull another upset in Wild card weekend it would lay solely on the legs of Jay Ajayi, unfortunately for the Dolphins they’re dealing with a quarterback injury as well with Tannehill and well be seeing Matt Moore here on the road.
Jeremy O’Neill: Pittsburgh Steelers. A healthy offense is too potent for the dolphins to keep up.. the Steelers will certainly be able slow down Ajayi more than the first time they played.
Michael Gomez: Pittsburgh Steelers. While Miami is coming into the playoffs after their most successful season in years they come face to face with a health Ben Roethlisberger and the playoff veteran Steelers in Pittsburgh. Even Miami’s defense will suffer against the aggressive Steelers offense.
Erion Jordan: Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger just has too much experience for the Dolphins who are lacking Ryan Tannehill. I think they win an easy one.
Giants at Packers
Dan Schalk: New York Giants. History is on the Giants side. When they won it all in 2008 as a Wild Card team, they beat the 13-3 No.1 seed Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay in Lambeau before knocking off the then-undefeated Patriots. Well, they get Green Bay earlier than 2008, but I expect the same result, a narrow victory. Watch out Dallas.
Brandon Reid: Green Bay Packers. I haven’t liked the Giants offense all year. They averaged 19.4 ppg this year, seventh worst in the NFL. Eli hasn’t been sharp all year. They have no running game. This is not the year the Giants make that Wildcard Super Bowl run. It might be the year the Packers do however. Green Bay has won six in-a-row. The game is also being playing at Lambeau in January.
Orlando Torres: New York Giants. The Packers and Mike McCarthy are just happy their seeing post-season action. They had a rough start to the beginning of the season, but got red-hot at the right time. Unfortunately for them they are dangling in the secondary department and lost three more players in week 17, who might not all be available on Sunday vs the Giants. Maybe that’s why Odell and Victor Cruz went to South Beach after defeating the Redskins–it was to celebrate the fact that they may have an easy day vs a weak Packers defense. As it isn’t bad enough that the Giants don’t even have a run game to begin with, they may not even need it here. For the Packers they will go as far as Aaron Rodgers takes them, but he’s going to have a long day being under pressure and hurried as he tries to scramble on his bad calf against a ferocious Giants defense. To help make you believe the Giants will advance every time they end up in the playoffs especially against Packers it’s usually in favor of Eli.
Jeremy O’Neill: Green Bay Packers. The Packers are on a roll and Rodgers is more focused than ever to win a Super Bowl.. they won’t lose at home.
Michael Gomez: Green Bay Packers. This should be the best game of the weekend, both teams have red-hot offenses and defenses with exploitable holes. However, I much prefer Green Bay’s chances at home in 15° weather. Aaron Rodgers has been his former self as of late, combine that with New York’s susceptibility to the run you have recipe for Green Bay’s success.
Erion Jordan: Green Bay Packers. I like Packers over Giants in what might be the most interesting Wild Card game. Aaron Rodgers is hot, but he is running into the magical playoff monster Eli. Giants won’t be able to keep up with Green Bay’s offense.
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Dan Schalk @FFSportsTalk
Brandon Reid @New_Breid
Orlando Torres @itslandoyo
Michael Gomez @MichaelGom3
Erion Jordan @ErionJ4595
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