Photo: Patrick Mahomes
Source: David Eulitt / Getty Image North America

Top-seeded Chiefs will have to fend off the surging Colts to secure their first home playoff win in 25 years

The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Indianapolis Colts in Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday to kick off the AFC Divisional Round of the 2019 NFL Playoffs. These teams last met in the postseason in 2014, resulting in one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history.

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The slightly favored Colts managed to erase a 28-point second-half deficit in that game to score a dramatic 45-44 victory over the visiting Chiefs. Saturday’s matchup is setting up to be another high-scoring affair with two high-powered offenses poised to put plenty of points on the scoreboard. Only this time around, the Chiefs are the favored home team, and the expectation is a closely contested shootout for four quarters.

The Chiefs (12-4) capped off a dominant regular season in similar fashion with a 35-3 victory over the Raiders to secure the AFC West title and No. 1 seed in the playoffs. They also earned the luxury of sitting out last week’s Wild Card Round with a bye. That should pay dividends for the well-rested home team. It also bodes well that Andy Reid is 20-4 all-time as a head coach when coming off a bye week. What doesn’t bode well is Reid’s 11-13 record all-time in the postseason, including a 1-4 with the Chiefs.

After a 1-5 start, the resurgent Colts enter Saturday’s game with a record of 11-6. Under first-year head coach Frank Reich, Indianapolis has won five in a row and 10 of its last 11, including a 21-7 road victory over AFC South rival (and champion) Houston in the wild-card game. The Colts now look to carry that momentum against Kansas City, who is 7-1 at home this season. Indianapolis is just 5-4 on the road, although the Colts have won their past three such contests, beating the Texans (twice) and Titans. More importantly, the Colts are 4-0 against the Chiefs in the postseason and Kansas City’s is in the midst of a six-game home losing streak in the playoffs, a stretch that goes back to 1996.

AFC Divisional Playoff: Indianapolis at Kansas City

Kickoff: Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4:35 p.m. ET

TV: NBC

Spread: Chiefs -5.5

Three Things to Watch

1. Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City’s explosive passing game

It’s no secret why the Chiefs led the NFL in total yards (425.6 ypg) and scoring (35.3 ppg) during the regular season. Mahomes has been a force to be reckoned with, and in 2018 no NFL player has been more fun to watch. In addition to Mahomes’ 5,097 passing yards, the MVP front-runner and first-team All-Pro selection became just the third player in NFL history to throw for 50 touchdowns. And he’s doing this in his just second season, first as the starter, in the NFL. Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a standout receiving corps, led by fellow first-team All-Pro selections Travis Kelce (103 rec., 1,336 yds., 10 TDs) and Tyreek Hill (87, 1,479 yds., 12).

On Saturday, Mahomes and company will be paired against a young Indianapolis defense that has come a long way since the beginning of the season, thanks in large part to the emergence of All-Pro rookie linebacker Darius Leonard (league-leading 163 tackles). Leonard and the Colts limited a dangerous Houston offense to just seven points and 322 yards last week. But they have a much bigger challenge in front of them — trying to slow down Mahomes and the Chiefs’ high-octane passing attack.

Indianapolis finished the regular season in the middle of the pick in pass defense, allowing 237.8 yards per game. The Colts also gave up more yards (1,194) to opposing tight ends than any other defense in the league. And they have not faced a tight end better than Kelce all season. In addition to the already daunting task of keeping tabs on Kelce and Hill, Indianapolis’ secondary may also have to contend with the return of speedy wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has missed the last six games because of a foot injury. That’s a tall order.

2. Indianapolis’ running game

Most of the hype surrounding the Colts’ offense heading into Saturday’s playoff game centers around Andrew Luck and a potent passing game. And for good reason as Indianapolis boasts the seventh-ranked passing attack in the league (278.8 ypg), and Luck’s 39 touchdown passes in the regular season were good for second behind only Mahomes’ 50. However, it could be the running game that pays the biggest dividends against Kansas City.

Despite ranking just 20th at 107.4 rushing yards per game, the Colts’ ground game has been hitting on all cylinders of late. Last week, they ran for 200 yards against Houston’s third-ranked rushing defense, led by a franchise playoff-record 148 rushing yards from running back Marlon Mack. It marked Mack’s third 100-yard game in the last four weeks, two of which came against the aforementioned Texans and the Cowboys (fifth in the NFL in rushing defense).

The Chiefs finished 27th in that department, giving up 132.1 yards and an NFL-worst five yards per carry. This certainly bodes well for Indianapolis. Another reason the Colts need to have success running the ball is that it would them to control the clock and limit the number of possessions for Mahomes and Kansas City’s quick-strike offense.

3. Kansas City’s pass rush vs. Indianapolis’ offensive line

No one can argue that the Chiefs’ defense is good. However, they have shined in one area on that side of the ball. No other defense in the NFL had more sacks during the regular season than Kansas City’s 52. That effort was spearheaded by defensive end Chris Jones’ 15.5 sacks, with Pro Bowl linebacker Dee Ford (13), and Justin Houston (9 in 12 games) also getting in on the action.

Meanwhile, no offensive line has fared better in pass protection than the Colts’, which is a welcome sight after this being a persistent issue throughout Luck’s time in Indianapolis. A standout line led by All-Pro rookie guard Quenton Nelson has surrendered a league-low 18 sacks in 17 games. That includes last week’s dominant effort in shutting out J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and the rest of the Texans last week.

There are plenty of intriguing matchups worth paying close attention to in Saturday’s playoff showdown, but none are more compelling than the matchup between the Chiefs’ pass rush and the Colts’ offensive line. One of these groups will have to come out on top, and It could be a major factor in determining the outcome.

Final Analysis

There are a few reasons to like the underdog Colts on Saturday. For starters, history is not exactly on the Chiefs’ side in this matchup. They are 0-4 all-time in playoff games against the Colts, they are an abysmal 0-6 in home playoff games over the last 25 years, and their head coach has a long history of coming up short in the postseason. We also can take into consideration that the Chiefs are just 3-2 since releasing star running back Kareem Hunt, and that two of those wins came against the lowly Raiders. And last, but certainly not least, is Kansas City’s much-maligned defense, whose only saving grace is a stellar pass rush that might just meet its match in the form of an equally talented Indianapolis offensive line.

But this will mark the Colts’ third straight road game while the Chiefs are coming off of a bye. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the top home-field advantages in the NFL, and Kansas City took full advantage of that, going 7-1 in the regular season. And despite Kansas City’s (and Andy Reid’s) past struggles in the postseason, the Chiefs now have something, or should we say someone, they didn’t previously — Patrick Mahomes as a starting quarterback.

Indianapolis should keep it interesting with Andrew Luck leading a well-balanced offensive attack to go along with a much-improved defense. However, the Colts’ offense will be hard-pressed to keep pace with Mahomes and company. Andy Reid and the Chiefs should finally get over the playoff hump at home to advance to the AFC Championship Game courtesy of a close, hard-fought, victory.

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Posted in NFL, Top Fantasy Picks

Complete AFC South Preview

Here is a look at what you can expect from the Titans, Colts, Jags and Texans this season…

Jacksonville Jaguars

Years of high draft picks and free-agent spending paid off with a 10-6 record. Now it is all about taking the next step — if they get a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of the conference title game, the Jaguars believe they are better equipped to finish off the win. The keys will be keeping RB Leonard Fournette healthy, getting more big plays out of the passing game, continuing last year’s dominant pass rush and improving against the run. Do that and the Jaguars should be considered a Super Bowl contender.

Tennessee Titans

The AFC South is a winnable division — with Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck and Houston’s Deshaun Watson both returning from injury and Jacksonville staying the course with Blake Bortles. Anything short of a return to the playoffs will be considered a failure. GM Jon Robinson has built a talented roster with no glaring weaknesses. This season is a referendum on QB Marcus Mariota, who is only signed through 2019. If he is indeed a franchise-caliber QB, Tennessee will establish itself as a legitimate contender this season.

Houston Texans

If QB Deshaun Watson can stay healthy, the Texans are capable of winning any game. His three losses as a starter were one-score games, including three-point defeats at New England and Seattle. Improvement in the offensive line is paramount and not just for Watsons’ benefit. The running game needs to become more productive and consistent. The defense could have three new starters in a secondary that should benefit from a more effective pass rush. If the Texans aren’t hammered by injuries again, they should be good enough on both sides of the ball to get back into the mix for a spot in the postseason.

Indianapolis Colts

The AFC South isn’t a cupcake division as in years past. Tennessee won a playoff game last year, and the Jaguars reached the AFC title game. Houston has won the division four times since 2011. That leaves the Colts with an arduous climb just to be competitive, especially with a schedule that has them on the road for four of the first six games, including away games at Super Bowl finalists Philadelphia and New England.

As GM Chris Ballard learned last year, there’s only so much that can be accomplished in one year with so many holes to fill. A healthy Andrew Luck at quarterback gives the Colts a shot at being respectable, but the run game is still an uncertainty and the defense is still lacking playmakers, even if the newcomers prove capable of making immediate contributions.

If the Colts show the expected modest improvement, 8-8 is probably the ceiling with 6-10 more likely. The fan base — which was spoiled during a run in which the Colts made the playoffs 14 times in 16 seasons from 1999-2014 — probably won’t be satisfied unless this team makes the postseason. But that remains a long shot in the short term.

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Posted in NFL

NFL Season Preview

 2016 AFC South Fantasy Football Season Preview

With the NFL season kicking off in 23 days, the excitement is electrifying for this upcoming campaign and FanPicks will be previewing all eight divisions these upcoming days, continuing by the NFL’s AFC South. Take advantage of our MLB and NFL Cross Sports contests, unique in the fantasy industry but first enjoy this 2016 AFC South Fantasy Football Season Preview article brought you by Fanpicks.

 AFC South Fantasy Football Season Preview

Jacksonville Jaguars

The good news this year is that Jacksonville appears to have found a quarterback. Their answer lies in Blake Bortles who seems to have taken a leap compare to last season. Bortles will be coupled with a few top receivers this year enabling the Jaguars to move the ball effectively through the air. Jacksonville has a pair of running backs capable of generating yardage on their own.

The return from injury of Dante Fowler will also be crucial. If Fowler can hit the ground running, the Jaguars’ defensive front will be much-improved. The addition of CB Prince Amukamara to a group that already includes Aaron Colvin and Davon House gives Jacksonville three solid corners, and Tashaun Gipson could add the playmaking touches to an already reliable unit. Improving against the pass would give the Jaguars a real chance to compete in the AFC South.

 

Key additions:   OT Kelvin Beachum, CB Prince Amukamara, S Tashaun Gipson, DT Malik Jackson, RB Chris Ivory

Key losses: None (C Stefan Wisniewski remains an unrestricted free agent)

 

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are still coming into this season as sleepers in the AFC South. WR Rishard Matthews was one of the best-value additions in the entirety of free agency thus far. With Dorial Green-Beckham, Kendall Wright, and Delanie Walker already in the fold, the Titans have a solid set of pass-catchers. DeMarco Murray may not be the player he was in 2014, but he’s a worthwhile low-risk investment for a team that has struggled to find talented running backs. Tennessee has a number of solid players in their front seven. Jurrell Casey is a stud, but otherwise the Titans lack difference-makers. Outside linebacker is a position of particular concern. Brian Orakpo had a decent season in 2015, but isn’t getting any younger. Derrick Morgan recorded his lowest pass-rush grade since 2011. The Titans lack the pass-rushers to conceal the deficiencies of a secondary full of holes. Brice McCain is certainly not the answer and Perrish Cox had an average 2015 season with Jason McCourty recording the worst coverage grade of his career. The Titans are relying on resurgence from both Cox and McCourty to be competitive on the back end in 2016.

 

Key additions: HB DeMarco Murray, WR Rishard Matthews, C Ben Jones

Key losses: CB Coty Sensabaugh

 

Indianapolis Colts

Predicting the Colts’ 2016 season outcome is almost impossible because of the enigma that is Andrew Luck. Luck wasn’t quite at his best last year, to the point where Hasselbeck’s proved an upgrade in on-field production. Luck may have been struggling with injuries but his performances offer no confidence that he will lead the Colts to a division title next season. His supporting cast does, however, remain amongst the best in the division. T.Y. Hilton should get some help from a healthy Phillip Dorsett in the passing game, while Donte Moncrief is an underrated No. 2. The loss of TE Coby Fleener is not particularly significant, especially with the re-signing of Dwayne Allen and with the Colts retaining one of the better offensive lines in the division.

The Colts lost their highest-graded defender, Jerrell Freeman to the Bears. CB Vontae Davis remains an excellent player, but Indianapolis is yet to find a complement across from him.

 

Key additions: None

Key losses: LB Jerrell Freeman, S Dwight Lowery, QB Matt Hasselbeck, TE Coby Fleener

 

Houston Texans

We cannot be sold yet on Osweiler being a franchise QB, but he’s undoubtedly an upgrade over the combination of Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett. The Texans may have been forced to pay a king’s ransom for a mid-level starter at the position, but Osweiler possesses the upside to be more than that. He flashes big-time talent on some throws, but struggles to generate the consistency of the top NFL signal-callers (in his small sample-size of games, at least). With that said, Osweiler has the potential to improve with live experience in a QB-friendly system.

 

Key additions: QB Brock Osweiler, G Jeff Allen, RB Lamar Miller, G Tony Bergstrom

Key losses: G Brandon Brooks, C Ben Jones

 

 

2016 NFL Season Other Previews

AFC East

NFC East

NFC South

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Football News

FanPicks NFL (click & play here) all-time best QB Peyton Manning can finally see his legacy fulfilled after month of being shrouded with controversy.

Peyton Manning is innocent.

After a 7 month NFL investigation on whether former pro-football quarterback Peyton Manning did or did not take performance enhancers, the conclusion announced on Monday that he played the game clean. He did not use any drugs restricted by the league, according to the reports. Taking up on retirement a month after winning his second Superbowl last February, the future Hall of Famer saw his legacy potentially tarnished by a documentary televised by the american broadcast of Al-Jazeera. The program listed out a number of professional athletes around different sport that would have consumed steroids. The name of the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos QB was included among them. The NFL found no credible evidence to confirm that the Al-Jazeera claim was valid. The investigation included an examination of Manning’s medical file.

Issue across every sports

Baseball players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard, who were mentioned on the list of doped athletes, will sue Al-Jazeera America for libel. Manning has, on the other hand, decided not to file suits against them. Green Bay Packers linebackers, Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews, as well as James Harrison from the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to submit explanation to the NFL. Mike Neal, former Packers and currently free agent, has also been summoned by the American Football magna.

Manning illustrious career

Manning had a prestigious career in the NFL. Number 18 wore the Colts colors until 2011. That year, he got sidelined for the season due to a neck injury. In 2012, he joined the Denver Broncos. He holds most of the NFL passing records, like the most touchdown passes (539 TD) and the most passing yards (71,940 yards). Invited 14 times in the Pro Bowl and 7 times within All-Pro First-Team, Manning mainly distinguished himself in 2013. He collected 55 touchdowns during that year, breaking the previous record of 50 held by Tom Brady since 2007 (which Brady broke from Manning’s 49 in 2004). The right-handed quarterback also led the season in passing yards with 5,477 yards. He completed a total of 6,125 of his 9,380 passes in the regular season, while committing 303 interceptions.

Posted in NFL

AFC South

NFL Fantasy Football Draft Needs Preview

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching and we’re less than a week away. This NFL Fantasy Football Draft Needs preview of all the AFC south teams is brought you by FanpPicks. FanPicks will be providing a special  draft contest for you starting on April 28th 2016.

Houston Texans

The Texans kind of lacked last season in terms of Wide Receiver and speed offensively. They filled their void with the signings of QB Brock Osweiler and RB Lamar Miller. Those additions will take off huge needs off the draft board for Houston. With Duane Brown coming back from a big enjury and their center spot still unsettled with the loss of Ben Jones, the Offensive line position will definitely is going to be looked over this draft.

Top 3 round picks: 23rd, 52nd, and 85th selections.

Indianapolis Colts

With franchise QB Andrew Luck missing 9 games last year and the Colts giving up 118 QB hits, an Offensive Line recruitment is critical and needs to be addressed quickly. With a few of their cornerbacks set to become free agents this offseason, they should look into recruiting in that position after taking care of the pass rush issue.

Top 3 round picks: 19th and 48th, 82nd selections.

Jacksonville Jaguars

With the addition of Malik Jackson and Dante Fowler’s return, the pass rush should be resolved for the Jaguars. But they definitely need to recruit more talent to be competitive in those secondary positions. They will definitely need to step up their running game as well and find the right fit to fill the interior.

Top 3 round picks: 5th and 38th, 69th selections.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are set when it come to their defensive line but may recruit further talent with so many talented defensive linemen in the draft. They will also need to focus on their offensive tackle to build their QB’s confidence and protect him as well as solidify their offensive strategy.

Top 3 round picks: 15th and 43rd, 45th selections.

 

 

 

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Draft News 12-20-2015

Chicago Bears versus Minnesota Vikings NFL Fantasy Preview 12-20-2015

It will be a battle between NFC north foes as the Minnesota Vikings are at home to meet the Chicago Bears. NFL draft managers can tune to FOX on Sunday December 20th at 1PM Eastern Time to track the results of their one day fantasy league picks.

The Vikings are battling the Packers for the NFC North title as they sit one game back with three games left to be played. The first meeting between these teams was held on November 1st with Minnesota posting the 23-20 road victory. The Bears failed to hold a seven point lead late as their secondary gave up big plays in the passing game to the Vikings passing attack. Adrian Peterson had a good game on the ground rushing for 103 yards.

Minnesota looks to break a two game losing streak with losses to Seattle and the Cardinals. The Vikings have scored no greater than 20 points over their past four games. Teams look to lock on Adrian Peterson and force Teddy Bridgewater to beat them.

Chicago is only 5-8 but the team has shown improvement on the playing field. They are 12th in total defense and 17th in total offense.

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

In the league, getting lit up for passing yards is only allowing 20 points per game ranking 11th the Bengals to 20 points, Jay Cutler has shown improvement under center in 2015. He has limited the amount of mistakes. He is coming off a performance against Washington last week where he threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

Play on Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears QB

Bears veteran running back Matt Forte has rushing touchdowns in two straight games. With John Fox as the new head coach of the Bears they are going to more of a balanced attack on offense. Forte is still featured in the passing game as he is averaging over three receptions per game.

Play on Matt Forte

Chicago Bears RB

Houston Texans versus Indianapolis Colts NFL Real Money Fantasy Preview 12-20-2015

It will be a key game in the AFC South division as the Indianapolis Colts will meet the Houston Texans. DFS draft GMs cant tune to CBS TV at 1PM Eastern Time to track the scoring results from the roster fantasy picks.

Both teams are 6-7 and are tied for first place in the division. The first meeting was won by Indianapolis on October 8th by the score of 27-20. The Texans were able to move the football but struggled in the red zone converting just 1 of 3 chances. Houston was able to gain 444 yards on the Colts defense. Brian Hoyer threw for 312 yards with two touchdowns and a pick in that contest.

The news surrounding this game has been the injuries on both sides. Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer is out with a concussion. Veteran T.J. Yates will be under center for the Texans.

On the Colts side Andrew Luck is still out with his kidney laceration. Matt Hasselbeck has filled in for the past four weeks. In Hasselbeck’s past two games under center he has thrown for one touchdown and two picks. In a 51-16 loss last week at Jacksonville Hasselbeck completed just 51.4% of his throws.

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins leads the Texans with 89 catches for 1221 yards and two touchdowns. In the game against the Colts in their first meeting, Hopkins had a monster game by catching 11 passes for 169 yards. Hopkins will be running pass patterns against the 29th and fourth worst passing defense in the NFL as the Colts allow 276 yards passing per game.

Play on DeAndre Hopkins

Houston Texans WR

Posted in NFL

Indianapolis Colts versus Carolina Panthers Monday Night Football Fantasy League Picks 11-2-2015

Monday night football will feature the Carolina Panthers at home to meet the Indianapolis Colts. Fantasy football draft GMs can tune to ESPN TV on November 2nd at 8:30PM Eastern Time to follow the results of their roster picks.

The Carolina Panthers are back to back NFC South division champions and look for a third straight title this season. They are off to a perfect 6-0 start as they host Monday night football. Many of their wins have come against sub.500 teams and surprisingly the Indianapolis Colts fit that mold as they enter play with a mark of 3-4. One of the biggest wins for Carolina came two weeks ago with the team coming off their bye week. They went into a hostile stadium in Seattle and came away with the 27-23 road victory. Down three points late quarterback Cam Newton led a fourth quarter comeback with a touchdown pass in the closing seconds for the victory. That victory was meaningful as it gave the team some added confidence to carry them into the rest of the season. Newton is a dual threat quarterback and has been especially good on third downs with his feet. Carolina is the top rushing team in the NFL as they run for 144 yards per game. Under head coach Ron Rivera the Panthers play a very physical and discipline style of defense.  They are seventh best in the NFL in scoring defense by allowing 18.3 points per game.

The Indianapolis Colts has struggled as the club is 3-4 this regular season. They enter play with consecutive losses at home to the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints. Last week was frustrating defeat for the Colts as they spotted the Saints a 27-0 lead early in the third quarter and their rally fell short losing 27-21. Much of the blame has been placed on the Colts offense with Andrew Luck and his offensive line sharing it. The play of the Colts defense has been miserable as the club is surrendering 408 yards a game ranking 31st and second to last in the NFL for 2015. They rank 30th in defending the pass and is a bottom third club in defending the run.

Indianapolis Colts QB:

Andrew Luck

The Colts signal caller has been experiencing some injury issues this year with a shoulder problem. In the loss to New Orleans Luck hit on 52.3% of his throws for 333 yards with three touchdowns and two picks. On the season Luck has thrown 11 touchdowns with nine picks and a 56.2% shooting percentage.

Indianapolis Colts RB:

Frank Gore

The veteran running back has 98 carries on the year with 446 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He is rushing for 4.6 yards per run on the year. Gore has not rushed for 100 yards this year and has 20 or more carries in just one game.

Indianapolis Colts WR:

T.Y. Hilton

Hilton leads the team with 37 catches for 606 yards with three touchdowns. He is averaging 16.4 yards per catch on the year. He had has best day of the year with four receptions last week for 150 yards with two touchdowns with a long of 87 yards.

Carolina Panthers QB:

Cam Newton

The Panthers gave Cam Newton a huge contract in the offseason showing a strong commitment to their quarterback. In 2015 he is completing 55.8% of his throws for 1275 yards with nine touchdowns and seven picks. Newton is a huge threat to run as he has rushed for 245 yards on 54 carries and four touchdowns.

Carolina Panthers RB:

Jonathan Stewart

Stewart has 103 carries on the year with 423 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He is rushing for 4.1 yards a carry. The veteran running back has not done much in the passing game this year with six catches for 30 yards. Jonathan Stewart had 24 carries last week for consecutive weeks with 20 or more run attempts. Stewart ran for 125 yards in their win at home to Philadelphia.

Carolina Panthers TE:

Greg Olsen

The veteran tight end has 27 receptions for 439 yards with three touchdowns. Olsen is averaging a career high 16.3 yards per catch average.

NFL Monday Night Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks

QB: Cam Newton (Panthers)

RB: Frank Gore (Colts)

WR: T.Y. Hilton (Colts)

TE: Greg Olsen (Panthers)

Posted in NFL

New England Patriots versus Indianapolis Colts

Sunday Night Football Real Money Fantasy League Picks 10-18-2015

Sunday Night Football is a rematch of the AFC Championship from last season as the Indianapolis Colts will welcome into town the New England Patriots. NFL fantasy draft GMs can tune to NBC TV at 8:30PM Eastern Time to follow the scoring results of their roster league picks.

The New England Patriots are undefeated and an offensive machine this year. They are 4-0 on the young season and sport the number one total offense in the NFL by averaging 423 yards per game. They are also the number one passing team in the league and rank second best in scoring as they push across 37.2 points per game. The Patriots have scored no fewer than 28 points a game. It was a 30-6 victory on the road for New England against the Dallas Cowboys last week. It was a good defensive performance by the Patriots as they held the Cowboys to 264 yards of offense and had a +2 turnover margin in the game.

The Indianapolis Colts are a 3-2 football team and reside in first place in a weak AFC South division. They are on a three game win streak after beginning the year at 0-2. Their wins have come against Tennessee, Jacksonville and Houston who combine for a 3-11 record. On a Thursday night the Colts went into a desperate Houston Texans team and came away with the 27-20 road victory. Indy was able to shut down the Texans run game and held Houston to 1 of 3 inside the red zone. The Colts were efficient in the red zone coming away with a touchdown three of four times and won the turnover battle by a +2 margin. Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has started the past two games for the Colts are resulting in victories. Andrew Luck was sidelined with a partially separated shoulder but is expected to play on Sunday night. Pass protection has been a major issue for years with the Colts. It is something that has been neglected in the draft by the organization. They have had success competing in a very weak division. On the year the Colts sit in the lower third of the league in several key offensive categories. They sit 23rd in total offense gaining 334 yards per game and are 24th in scoring by averaging 19.8 points per game.

New England Patriots QB:

Tom Brady

The Patriots signal caller has completed 72% of his throws for 1387 yards with 11 touchdowns and no picks. In the win against Dallas Brady hit on 74% of his throws for 275 yards two touchdowns.

New England Patriots RB:

Dion Lewis

When the Patriots allowed Shane Vereen to leave in free agency many wondered who would be the back who could contribute both on the ground and in the passing game. The fourth year pro has emerged as that guy. Lewis has 36 rushes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He has 23 catches out of the backfield for 238 yards with a receiving touchdown. Dion Lewis is averaging 10.3 yards per catch.

New England Patriots TE:

Rob Gronkowski

Gronk has 20 receptions on the year for 375 yards with four touchdowns. He has not had a touchdown reception in his past two games.

New England Patriots WR:

Julian Edelman

The seventh year veteran leads the receiving unit with 34 catches for 399 yards and three touchdowns. He made big plays in the passing game last week as he caught four balls for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Indianapolis Colts QB:

Andrew Luck

Luck is expected back on the field on Sunday. On the season he has completed 56% of his throws for 753 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. The offensive line has come under heavy scrutiny for Luck’s miscues.

Indianapolis Colts RB:

Frank Gore

Gore was acquired in free agency from the 49ers last year. He has 76 rushes for 425 yards and three touchdowns. Last week in the win against Houston Gore had 22 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Indianapolis Colts WR:

T.Y. Hilton

Hilton has been targeted 50 times and has grabbed 27 passes for 382 yards with no touchdowns. He is averaging 14.1 yards per catch. Last week in the win at Houston Hilton caught five balls for 88 yards for over 17 yards per reception.

NFL Sunday Night Football Fantasy Picks

QB: Tom Brady (Patriots)

RB: Dion Lewis (Patriots)

WR: Julian Edelman (Patriots), T.Y. Hilton

TE: Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)

Posted in NFL