Well that was the kind of week those who have been with me since last season have grown accustomed to. 9-2 is exactly what we needed to give us a bit of a cushion. I mentioned in last weeks emails we needed the suckers to get hammered this week and they did. Whenever you see that many home dogs on the board you know the public is going to come out betting fast and furious at those seemingly deflated lines. If you were in an office pool you probably saw some pretty low win totals last week.
Because we had such a big week your bankroll should now be larger. My suggestion would be to use your original bankroll all season long and the winnings are put aside. In other words bet the same amount you did in week 1 per game this week. Do not get the urge to push the bet sizes. You will find yourself having a big week, like last week, and follow it up with a not so good week and be in worse shape than you were before the big week. Then you will have to bring the bet amount down and we will have another huge week. The worst week you have will be the highest you bet. It is hard to pick winners over the course of the season like we did last year and so far this year. To screw it up with poor money management is devastating.
Having a look at this weeks card we are in a similar situation as we were last week. We have the dog in 10 of the 13 games we are taking. I have gone through the games a million times making sure there are no mistakes. The numbers are coming out with another dog heavy week. What is interesting is historically favorite leaning trends are leaning toward the dogs overwhelmingly so far this season. Part of that is the inordinate amount of home underdogs we have seen so far. 39.5% of all games have seen the home team getting points. Over the course of the season, if that continued, we would have 101 games with a home dog. The largest number of home dogs we have seen in the last 20 seasons was 88 in 2007. So far this year the oddsmakers have not gotten a handle on who are the better teams. The underdogs are winning at a 60% clip. Hopefully that trend continues this week.
Week 4 Picks
1. Miami +6.5………………..76%
2. Oakland +6.5…………..75%
3. New Orleans +7.5……..73%
4. Buffalo +4.5……………..66%
5. Carolina +7………………65%
6. Seattle -2.5……………..63%
7. Jacksonville +2.5…………63%
8. Dallas -3.5……………….62% MNF
9. Washington +3…………61%
10. San Diego +1………….58%
11. San Francisco -4………57%
12. NY Giants +2…………..56% SNF
13. Cleveland +12………….55% TNF
Power Rankings Week 4
1. Houston Texans – 31.76 ( – )
No change at the top from last week, nor would we have expected any. The Texans went into Denver and showed why they are the team to beat in the AFC. They can rush it, 150 ypg, and they can stop the rush, 68 ypg. If they need to throw it Schaub is more than capable, sporting a 102.4 passer rating. After 3 weeks they are the class of the league.
2. Atlanta Falcons – 29.77 (+12)
A big move up for the Falcons this week. Nice win going out to San Diego and knocking off a 2-0 Charger team. The Falcons are now 3-0 and in total control of the NFC South. The Falcons will battle for the top spot and #1 seed in the NFC this year, mainly because that division looks very week. Regular seasons have not been a problem for the Matt Ryan Falcons. The playoffs have. The owner and fans have much higher expectations this season than in the past. They want at least a Super Bowl appearance. With the 3rd ranked defense and 5th ranked offense perhaps they can.
3. Denver Broncos – 28.8 (+1)
Maybe there are some more deserving teams to be 3 but the computer does not think so. The reason being is the Broncos have played the toughest schedule in the NFL and they have had a chance to win every game. Most teams playing a similar 3 games would have looked a lot worse. But the computers will not be nearly as kind if they lose this week to Oakland. Even a marginal win won’t help the cause. Manning has completed 60% of his passes for 824 yards but much of that is because they have been battling from behind.
4. Baltimore Ravens – 27.32 (+1)
The Ravens escaped week 3 with a win but it wasn’t easy. The game was marred by bad officiating once again. 11 first downs as a result of a penalty in the game. But they did get the win and move up 1 spot to number 4. The Raven offense is second to only the Giants in my rankings. The defense is ranked just 17th. If they can find a way to get this defense in the top 10 they will be tough to beat. Until that time they are vulnerable giving up 290 ypg in the air and 112 ypg on the ground.
5. Arizona Cardinals – 26.52 (+1)
Many people questioned this team being 6th overall last week. Fewer will question them this week at number 5 after the handled the eagles easily and move to 3-0 The Cards are not without issues averaging just 181 ypg in the air. But where they lack offensively they are making up on defense. They are giving up just 82 YPG on the ground and 13 PPG.
6. Seattle Seahawks – 25.86 (+4)
Overshadowed by bad calls was the fact that Seattle played one hell of a game defensively on Monday night. The Seahawks threw a first half shutout and sacked Rodgers 8 times. They held the Pack to just 12 points and 268 total yards. On the flip side they only had 238 total yards themselves. They continue to be run first averaging 141 ypg on the ground. Maybe the NFC West is not so bad.
7. Green Bay Packers – 25.61 (+1)
Pretty tough way to lose a game but they are not the first to have a late bad call go against them. I can name a ton off the top of my head. The difference here is the public expected the replacement refs to mess up and they did. But what is not being talked about is how bad Green Bay has looked. Without the help of some bad calls themselves they may have only scored 6 points in the game. Rodgers is 19th in passing yards after finishing 5th last season. That probably has more to do with the Packer offensive line than Rodgers but either way production is way down.
8. San Francisco 49ers – 25.42 (-5)
Big drop for the team last week considered the best in the NFC. The 49ers looked pretty pedestrian in their game at Minnesota. The Niners rushed for just 89 yards. They gave up 146 yards on the ground to AP and company. With the NFC West looking much stronger the Niners may not have the cake walk to the playoffs as once thought. They travel east this week to take on the Jets. Without Revis, Smith will have a better chance to get back to what he did in the first two weeks when he had a 115.9 passer rating.
9. New England Patriots – 24.95 (+5)
Despite a loss, the Pats move up 5 spots to #9. Another national game mired by bad call after bad call. But the Patriot offense looked like the one we are used to with 30 points and almost 400 yards of total offense. But was this a case of the Patriots finding it or the Ravens defense losing it. This week they face an even worse ranked defense in Buffalo (29th). Look for Brady to build on last weeks numbers.
10. Dallas Cowboys – 24.88 (-1)
Cowboys get a win but they were not very impressive in doing so. The offense has sputtered the last two weeks scoring a total of 23 points over that time. Defensively they are 3 in my rankings. This offense has the fire power to be much better than they have shown ranking 25. The only solid game they have had was against one of the poorest defenses so far, the Giants. This week they have an interesting matchup at home against Chicago. The Bears are 9th in my defensive rankings. The Cowboy offense could sputter again.
11. New York Giants – 24.73 (+11)
One of biggest moves up this week and deservedly so. The defending champs finally looked like it when they dominated the Panthers on both sides of the ball. The Giants are my number 1 ranked offense but the 30th ranked defense. The Giant defense is all about the pass rush and they haven’t gotten much of one yet. Just 6 sacks in 3 games after 48 a year ago.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – 24.04 (-10)
A big drop this week for the Eagles after taking a beating in Arizona. 3 more turnovers to add to their league leading total of 12. The Eagles are 5th in total yards and tied for last with the Cowboys in points scored. That is tough to do. The fix is obvious, handle the ball better, but they have yet to prove they can do it. Could be a good fantasy day for Philly players going up against the Giants this Sunday night.
13. Miami Dolphins – 22.77 (-6)
As expected Miami drops out of the top 10. They had their chances to beat the Jets last week but they blew it in OT. The one thing you can not do against Miami team is run the ball. They are averaging 57 ypg against on the ground. They face the 3-0 Cardinals this week who really have not run it well yet. I would expect the Miami defense to be stingy again on the ground.
14. New York Jets – 22.76 (+2)
Big OT win in Miami last week but in the process they lost All Pro CB Darrelle Revis for the season with a torn ACL. The Jets are supposed to be built on defense. They are currently ranked 23 and without Revis may see a dip from there. This week they get to face SF off a loss. Not a good spot for the Jets but they are home. If the Jets have any thoughts of getting to the playoffs a win this week would help.
15. Chicago Bears – 22.74 (+4)
The Bears moved to 2-1 but the two wins have been against two of the worst teams in the league. When facing a quality opponent the Bears did not show anything. This week they play at Dallas on Monday night. The passing game for the Bears is way below what was expected this season. They are averaging 186 ypg in the air and Dallas is yielding just 137 ypg passing. May want to bench Cutler this week if you have a decent backup fantasy option.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers – 22.18 (-5)
Steelers lost a tough road game after looking like they had it in hand. Big Ben has the 2nd best QB rating of 109.2 but they are getting nothing from the running game averaging 65 ypg on the ground. The Steelers get a week off to try and figure out how to get the running game going.
17. Buffalo Bills 20.71 (+10)
Big move up for Buffalo after going into Cleveland and getting the win. Not terribly impressive I know but a win is a win. This team is now 2-1 in an NFC East that may be weaker than originally thought. The Bills lose Spiller but will be getting Fred Jackson back as early as this week. They will need him to keep up the pace Spiller set. They are running it 178 ypg right now. That will serve them well as the weather turns shortly.
18. Minnesota Vikings – 20.52 (+13)
Huge win for the Vikings and Chris Ponder. Ponder continues to impress with a 70.1% completion percentage. The running game doubled its yearly output last week with 146 yards. If they can run it like that with Ponder playing well the Vikings may make a climb up the rankings. Detroit is up next and have a sub par rushing and passing defense. Could be a good offensive week for the Vikings.
19. Kansas City Chiefs – 20.35 (+10)
The Chiefs surprised many and ruined a lot of survivor pools by coming from behind and defeating the Saints in New Orleans. We had that as our top play of the week and cashed in nicely. The Chiefs looked awful for two games but the Saints defense was just what the doctor ordered. The Chiefs scored 27 and in regulation got 250 yards on the ground. 2 big runs helped pad those numbers. This week they play the Chargers who have been stingy against the run. Do not expect a repeat rushing performance.
20. San Diego Chargers – 19.75 (-2)
The Chargers finally played a real opponent and they got blown out at home by Atlanta. San Diego had just 164 yards in the air last week in a game they were down from the start. Rivers does not have the same weapons he once did and maybe that is catching up to them. Rivers has just an 86.5 passer rating. The team ranks 29th in offense but a solid 4 in defense.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars – 18.37 (-)
Despite a win on the road the Jags stay at the 21st spot on the list. Gabbert remains awful going 10 of 21 for 155 yards, 80 of which came on that last TD throw to Cecil Shorts. This week they get the Bengals at home. This is a spot we could see a big day from MJD.
22. St. Louis Rams – 18.12 (-5)
Not a very inspired effort in Chicago last week for the Rams. Just 6 points and 160 total yards. Those kind of numbers will not win many games. This week they face a tough defense as Seattle comes in to town. This may not be a good week for Steven Jackson in fantasy. Seattle is 6th in defense and is holding opposing teams to 20 less yards per game on the ground than they average.
23. Detroit Lions – 17.95 (-11)
Losing to a team that has looked as bad as Tennessee will not do much to help your rankings. Detroit had a dramatic comeback in the final 20 seconds scoring 2 td’s to get the game to OT. But in OT they elected to go for a 4th and 1 instead of kicking the game tying fg and it didn’t work. Detroit is a defensive mess right now ranked 28th. Offensively they are getting it done at 8th overall but its hard to win a shootout every week. Minnesota is up next and has the 16th ranked defense. I would expect the Lions to be able to put points up. As always you want their offensive players in fantasy.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – 17.70 (+7)
Nice win on the road for the Bengals in DC last week. Andy Dalton boasts the 4th best QB rating at 105.0. They face Jacksonville this week. The Jags have been bad against the pass so far. Dalton and his WR could be a good option in fantasy leagues this week.
25. Indianapolis Colts – 16.98 (+1)
The experts love Luck and have not said anything critical about the rookie yet. Thus far he has been a sub par performer. 75.4 passer rating and 53.3% completion percentage. I am not saying he is a bust by any means. He only has 3 games in the NFL under his belt. It could take a QB years to really understand how to play in this league. But I am saying the experts seem to want so desperately for him to be a Hall of Fame QB that they aren’t looking at anything negative. He will need more help around him in the future to reach the potential. Right now this team will linger near the bottom of the pack.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 16.8 (-2)
It seems like since the start of the second half of the Giant game this offense has disappeared. Just 75 yards on the ground and 91 yards in the air last week. It’s surprising that they were even able to keep the game competitive. The defense has been solid for 10 of the 12 quarters they have played. But is that just a product of playing bad offenses in Carolina and Dallas? Looks to be that way so far.
27. Oakland Raiders – 16.68 (-7)
Oakland drops 7 spots even after a win over Pittsburgh. In the win they were really dominated by the Pittsburgh offense. Big Ben threw for 379 yard against them and scored 31. Oakland may have been lucky to win this game. Oakland ranks 27th in defense and now has to go in to a hostile Denver and face a team that we have ranked 3rd that is itching to have a big game.
28. Washington Redskins – 15.81 (-13)
Things started out so well for the Skins but a late collapse in St Louis followed by a defensive bombing in the home opener and this team is suddenly near the bottom of the rankings. RG III is doing his part, 6th in passer rating 4 TD and 1 Int but he has been sacked 9 times. The defense is averaging almost 34 points against. You understand giving up points to the Saints in the Dome but the Rams and Bengals offenses were not that impressive in other games. There may be a lot more work to do in DC.
29. Cleveland Browns – 14.64 (-1)
What can you say about the Browns so far. They are my dead last offensive rated team. In 3 games they played teams that are an average 19th ranked in defense and have yet to move the ball with any vigor. Weeden is really struggling throwing 3 TD’s and 6 picks so far. The defense is ranked 19th but the number 2 offense Ravens are up next. Another long season in Cleveland.
30. Carolina Panthers – 14.05 (-5)
A lot of people took offense to the Panthers being 25th last week but they pretty much played like a bottom of the barrel team against the Giants. I was worried about Cam this season as I said last week. We can now add last week to the list of sub par games over his last 9. Outside of torching the Saints this offense is struggling. They are ranked 31st in offense. Don’t expect a big fantasy week for Panther players going against the 5th ranked Falcons defense this week.
31. New Orleans Saints – 12.07 (-8)
This team has been the survivor pool killer so far. 0-3 for a team picked to contend for a Super Bowl. And they have not played the toughest schedule. As a matter of fact each team they lost to has 1 win. Drew Brees has passed for a lot of yardage but he is completing just 54.7% of his passes. For his career he is 65.7%. The defense is ranked dead last in the league. This week a struggling offense that is looking to wake up is on the schedule. The Packers should be able to put up points on the Saints this week. The Saints offense will be in for a challenge with the Packers ranked 7th in defense.
32. Tennessee Titans – 10.99 (-2)
Tennessee wins and still drops to last. Maybe a good omen as Cincinnati was able to win from the bottom spot last week. Tennessee is ranked dead last in defense. Teams are scoring 12 more points per game against them then they average. Things do not get easier this week as they face the best team in the league Houston. A strong showing, even in a loss, will move them up the list but a blowout may keep them right where they are.