New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns Preview

People were likely snickering as soon as they saw it on the NFL’s primetime schedule: Week 3, Jets at Browns. Typical Thursday night snoozer. The team that so many said could go winless last season against the team that actually did go winless.

And even now there’s not much to get excited about, right? The Browns still haven’t won, although they have scared the Saints and bungled a winnable game into a tie against the Steelers. The Jets won their opener in Detroit, but it’s hard to be impressed given how bad the Lions look. And they wasted a strong defensive performance in a loss last week, a familiar theme from a year ago.

Still… are we sure these teams can’t be good? The Jets turn the ball over a lot, not unexpected for a team starting a rookie quarterback, but they also take it away and rank fifth in total defense. The Browns could be 2–0 if not for kicker Zane Gonzalez, who was waived after missing two field goals and two PATs in a three-point loss to the Saints on Sunday after having the potential game-winning kick blocked in overtime against the Steelers in Week 1.

New York at Cleveland

Kickoff: Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: NFL Network

Spread: Browns -3

Three Things to Watch

1. Riding the rookie roller-coaster

Sam Darnold hasn’t been perfect in his first two NFL starts, but he has been exciting. He bounced back in the season opener after throwing a pick-six on his first NFL play. He threw for 334 yards against the Dolphins last week but tossed a costly interception early and got the Jets into the end zone only once. He’ll have his hands full with a Browns defense that kept Drew Brees in check last week and forced six turnovers against the Steelers in the opener, including three interceptions of Ben Roethlisberger.

2. The Browns’ defense might be for real… if it’s healthy

Granted, Cleveland gave up a ton of yards in Week 1 to the Steelers, but the six turnovers made up for it. The Browns followed that up by holding Brees and the Saints to 275 yards in the Superdome. No team held New Orleans under 300 yards anywhere last season. In fact, you have to go back to 2012 to find a game in which the Saints didn’t gain at least 300 yards at home. So they could give a rookie passer fits… if they are at full strength, which is unlikely. Four starters — including both cornerbacks — are questionable for the Jets game, and on a short week it’s a safe bet they won’t all be active. Life becomes easier for Darnold if corners Denzel Ward and Damarious Randall can’t go.

3. Tyrod Taylor is who we thought he was

He’s uncharacteristically thrown interceptions in each of his first two games as a Brown, but Taylor otherwise is doing pretty much what he always has done as a starting quarterback. He takes a few more sacks than you’d like (10 through two games) but he also extends drives and drives defenses crazy with his legs (103 yards on 8.6 ypc and a touchdown so far this season). How long will that be enough to hold off top overall pick Baker Mayfield? A win would help, because the longer Cleveland is winless the sooner it will look to the future. Taylor usually found success against the Jets as a starter for the Bills (three wins in five starts with eight TDs and two INTs), but again, the formula for his success was familiar: He’s 3–0 against the Jets when his defense allows 17 or fewer points. It’s a safe bet the interceptions will disappear, but will he win enough games to delay the Baker Mayfield era?

Final Analysis

Despite the hints that these teams might be on the rise, they’re not there yet. Also, the Jets opened the season on a Monday night, meaning this is their third game in 11 days. In addition to the physical challenges, that’s a lot to throw at a rookie quarterback. This could swing the other way if none of the banged-up starters on the Browns’ defense can go, but we’ll take the home team to finally get in the win column.

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Posted in NFL, Top Fantasy Picks

Complete AFC East Preview

Here is a look at what you can expect from the Pats, Bills, Dolphins and Jets this season…

New England Patriots

This offseason seemed to have the most drama, off-the-field madness and media — social, print, television, blog, whatever — frenzy of any before it. Or was if the Deflategate one? Or the Spygate one? Or the “Patriots are going to go 19-0” one? Really, the amount of off-the-field friction — perceived, real, all of the above — is basically this organization’s normal by now. So for as much panic as resides in New England over the Super Bowl loss and the breakdown in chemistry, the Patriots still suffered just a one-score loss to the Eagles because the defense simply couldn’t make a stop.

If any of the deficiencies on that side of the ball can be cleaned up, this should again be one of the best teams in the AFC and a Super Bowl contender. The division appears to have an emerging threat in Buffalo, which made the playoffs last year, but so did the Dolphins the prior year before fizzling out. There isn’t a real challenger until someone else wins the division, and that hasn’t happened in nearly a decade.

So we should see another strong season from the Patriots, provided Brady stays healthy. Between the lines, coach Bill Belichick and his staff still have enough talent on hand to continue their dynasty and earn the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl championship.

Most of the contenders seem to be emanating from the South, as the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans all have good young cores with the type of talent to make things interesting. The Steelers, Chiefs and Chargers should also be threats, and if Baltimore can solve its issues on offense, they’re in that mix, too.

So, of course, the Patriots aren’t a slam dunk to make it back to the AFC Championship Game, but do you really want to put your money down that they won’t? Didn’t think so.

Buffalo Bills

While making the playoffs for the first time since 1999 was cause for dancing in the streets in Western New York, Bills fans are bracing for a step back. Even though former Bills QB Tyrod Taylor had his limitations, he was experienced, and he had a track record (22-20) of moderate success. If AJ McCarron can lend some stability at the quarterback position until Josh Allen is ready, and if Buffalo’s defense can improve at stopping the run, the Bills could make a push for a return to the postseason. But they still play in the AFC East where the Patriots reign, and their schedule (five of the first seven games are on the road) won’t make a fast start very easy.

Miami Dolphins

Coach Adam Gase has spent two years clearing out players he didn’t feel fit with his program. Stephen Ross might start thinking about some housecleaning himself if his team remains perennially stuck in the NFL’s middle class (or worse) for the 11th straight year under his ownership. Gase, though, has gotten what he wanted — a collection of “his guys” on the roster and coaching staff, captained by a quarterback he trusts and the expectation that RB Frank Gore, G Josh Sitton and WR Danny Amendola will provide leadership that was sorely needed.

“We haven’t had the opportunity to really add a lot of veteran players, and it was probably the right time for us because we’ve got those guys that are in their second and third year,” Gase says. “Having some guys that can make a positive impact and show the right way to do things, that’s really what we needed.” So is recapturing the magic of Gase’s first Dolphins season with another playoff appearance.

New York Jets

What would represent adequate progress for this Jets team as the rebuilding process continues? Would six wins be enough for coach Todd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan to stick around? That is debatable. More important than wins, however, could be the development of Sam Darnold at quarterback. He doesn’t have to be the Week 1 starter. But he has to demonstrate some growth in whatever action he gets. And maybe he doesn’t get the starting job until just after midseason, like Jared Goff with the Rams in 2016. There would be nothing wrong with that, as long as he looks like he belongs by the end of the season. And if he belongs, then it’s safe to say that his coach will be back for a fifth season.

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Posted in NFL

NFL Season Preview:

 2016 AFC East Fantasy Football Season Preview

While the start of the season is quickly approaching, we’ll be providing insights and predictions on each NFL divisions in the league. We’ll begin by the AFC East first, a Patriot’s total domination for the past decade. FanPicks will be providing  you this 2016 AFC East Fantasy Football Season Preview, exclusive from FanPicks, home of the cross sports fantasy contest.

The patriots have been AFC East champions for 7 years in a row now and have occupied the 1st spot for 12 of the last 13 years. But will this domination remain this year with their superstar QB Tom Brady being suspected for the first four games of the

For the past seven seasons — and 12 of the last 13 — the Patriots have finished in first place. But will they be able to keep up despite their superstar QB Tom Brady  missing the first four games of the season?

 

New England Patriots

Brady will only be back in Week 5 due to the four games suspension he will serve for the Deflatgate at the start of the season. The Pats will remain favourites and could easily go 3-1 or worst 2-2 during that period. We’ve seen what an angry Tom Brady can do and he could definitely come back and dominate like he did last year.

Definitely expect the Pats to make another Super Bowl push and get their revenge on a “Manning-less’’ Denver Broncos team.

New York Jets

The Jets were the only winning record team in the NFL that did not make playoffs last year. Their talent can definitely shake things up in the division and expect them to win close to 10 games once more. They were already one of the most improved team last year. We can say that there’s reason to believe in the Jets. The future is pretty bright for this team.

 

Buffalo Bills

With not much of a change expected in the standing’s order, it may be another year for the Bills to add to the longest active playoff drought by any team in major professional sports. Let’s face it, they’re far from the Patriots, not as good as the Jets but much better than the Dolphins.  Expect Buffalo to finish with a 7-9 or 8-8 record.

 

Miami Dolphins

Unfortunately the Dolphins, they haven’t made the playoffs in 7 years. They’ve only finished 2nd 4 times during the 14-year span period. They have a pretty big uphill battle in front of them and the the drought may be continuing until they get busy with Free Agency and Trade deadlines.

Posted in NFL

Fantasy Football NFL Draft

With the upcoming NFL Draft, it’s this time of the year where we take a look at the needs for every team this off-season to improve in the next few year. FanPick will be providing a special mock draft contest on April 28th 2016.  Let’s take a look at what requirements need to be addressed for the AFC East division teams in the fantasy football NFL Draft.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills were having issues with their offense this time last year. The upgraded offense is now the best part of the the team, while  their powerful defense took a dive this past season. Ooooh things have changed in Buffalo! Coach Rex Ryan needs to fix his defensive squad front seven. With Mario Williams gone, a defensive end is not a bad option. The Bills were also unable to re-sign Nigel Bradham. Is spot as linebacker will need to be fixed during the draft as well.

Top 2 round picks: 19th and 49th selections.

Miami Dolphins

Miami as a clear idea of his needs for the draft. First, they have to replace the hole left by running back Lamar Miller during the off-season. They also have two openings at corneback, one as a starter and the other one to play nickel. Another option would be at the guard position, but it should fall behind the previous two positions.

Top 2 round picks: 13th and 42nd selections.

New England Patriots

The Patriots have a short-term answer at the running back spot, which mean a young talent to refresh it is not out of the question. Coach Bill Belichick can never have enough cornerbacks on his squad. With 2014 first-round pick Dominique Easley released, a penetrating 3-technique could help on the inside of the defensive line. New England will unfortunately forfeit his first-round pick due to the deflate-gate debacle.

Top 2 round picks: 60th and 61st selections.

New York Jets

The Jets are likely to draft at least two starters for next year. An edge rusher who can develop into an every-down, 3-4 outside linebacker would be a possibility. The right side of the O-Line would need help as well, with right tackle Breno Giacomini and right guard Brian Winter not doing the job. They could also pursue a quarterback, especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick stay unsigned until then.

Top 2 round picks: 20th and 51st selections.

 

Posted in NFL

Fantasy Football AFC East Review

FanPicks is proud to bring you this Fantasy Football AFC East Review of the 2015 season. Come enjoy daily Fantasy sports news at Fanpicks.com during this NFL offseason.

Fantasy Football AFC East Review

Fantasy Football AFC East Review

For 15 years, the AFC East has been the New Englands Platriots division. They’ve lost that crown only twice during that span of time. And things haven’t changed much this past season, with the Pats winning their seventh straight AFC East title. The Jets almost made it through the playoffs, but were denied entry after losing the last week of regular season. To make matters worse, they lost to their old coach, Rex Ryan, and his Buffalo Bills.

 

  • New England Patriots (12-4)

Coming into the 2015 season under scrutiny with “deflategate” and Tom Brady’s upheld suspension by the Supreme Court, New England put that all behind with a 10-0 start. They’ve started losing steam after that, winning two out of the last six. They fell from the AFC number one seed to number two. This proved costly, as they had to travel to Denver for the AFC Championship and lost at the doorstep of the Superbowl, to a score of 20-18. Once again, Rob Gronkowski was the star of this team, leading all NFL tight ends in receiving categories.

 

  • New York Jets (10-6)

After juggling through quarterbacks in the past few year, the Jets have found themselves a full-time starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick. New York also moved on from what was the Rex Ryan circus show. Todd Bowles did a good job for a team that had not a lot of expectation. This season springboard the Jets into contention for the AFC East number one spot, next year. Brandon Marshall also saw his career rejuvenated. He posted solid numbers, equal to his wonder years.

 

  • Buffalo Bills (8-8)

Bills fan entered the season with many questions. The most glaring one was who’s going to start at quarterback. Rex Ryan made his decision a few days before the first game of regular season. He chose to go with Tyrod Taylor, who impressed during training camp. Buffalo’s attack was solid, but the defense failed to reach expectations. It caused the team to be inconsistent, as they weren’t able to string two wins in a row all season.

 

  • Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Not much went the way of the Dolphins, this season. After opening the season 1-3, the team fired coach Joe Philbin. Philbin spent three years in Miami and recorded a total of 24 win and 28 defeats. Tight end coach, Dan Campbell, took the interim coaching job, but failed to do much better. Last season’s Bears offensive-coordinator will take on the coaching duties for next year.

 

If you liked our Fantasy Football AFC East Review, stay tuned for FanPicks NFC North Review.

Posted in NFL

NFL Week 16 Review

Washington Shows up when it Counts

The Redskins won a “must-win” game against the Eagles on Saturday night locking up their playoff position. Kirk Cousins continues on his hot streak. He threw for 365 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns totaling 32.2 fantasy points. He connected with the weekend leading tight end, Jordan Reed 9 times for 129 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns for 36.9 fantasy points.

Big upsets around the League

This week saw losses from the top teams all over the league. These teams are already locks in the playoffs though so who knows if they were playing at the full level. The first loss was the Patriots overtime loss against the Jets. Brady played the whole game and produced very poor numbers: 231 passing yards, 1 passing touchdowns, and an interception for only 14.8 fantasy points. Fitzpatrick for the Jets provided some good fantasy value with 3 passing touchdowns (2 to Marshall and 1 to Decker), with 296 passing yards for 26.9 fantasy points.

The next big upset was the Falcons taking down the undefeated Panthers. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones got back in sync with Ryan totaling 306 passing yards and a touchdown (19.2 fantasy points) while Julio had 178 yards and a touchdown on 9 catches (35.8 fantasy points). Cam Newton threw for only 142 passing yards, no touchdowns.

Lastly, the Seahawks, who have been red hot over the past 4 weeks, fail to generate much offense against the Rams. Doug Baldwin, who totals 10 receiving touchdowns over the previous 4 weeks scored only 1 this weekend for 1 of 2 passing touchdowns by Wilson.

Johnny Football plays Running Back

Manziel put up the worst game of the weekend as far as passing stats but he helped save a little fantasy value by running the ball. While passing only 136 yards and 1 interception, he ran for 108 rushing yards on 11 attempts. This brought his total score to 17 fantasy points.

Megatron gets some attention

Calvin Johnson put up a decent game this week after catching only 1 pass in each of the previous 2 weeks. He caught 6 passes for 77 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. This made 19.7 fantasy points. Far from the 3 touchdown game he put up on Thanksgiving, but an improvement.

Brees and Bortles Shootout

The Jaguars and Saints had a high scoring shootout game, which is no surprise with those aggressive quarterbacks and weak secondaries. Although injured, Brees threw for 412 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns in the win, totaling 31.5 fantasy points. One was a long 71 yard touchdown pass to Cooks, giving him a 5 catch, 123 yard, 1 touchdown game (26.3 fantasy points)

Bortles was less effective throwing 2 interceptions, but with 368 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns, he stayed close to Brees with 32 fantasy points.

Steelers finally stopped

Big Ben and Antonio Brown seemed unstoppable after putting up big numbers against the Broncos defense last weekend. They were finally stopped this weekend however by the likes of Baltimore. Roethlisberger only there for 215 yards and 2 interceptions, a measly 10.6 fantasy points. Brown had a touchdown get called back and ended the day with 7 receptions for 61 receiving yards and 13.1 fantasy points.

Cardinals and Vikings prove contenders

The Cardinals had a big 38 to 8 win over the Packers. Carson Palmer and the Cardinals prove to be serious contenders, especially with the other big teams showing poor results. There was no huge individual fantasy value in this game, only team contentions.

The Vikings won a blowout of their own winning 49 to 17 against the Giants. Minnesota was very effective running the ball with Peterson rushing 104 yards with a touchdown and McKinnon rushing 89 yards with 2 touchdowns.

Some Premium Receivers Deliver

Brandon Marshall caught 8 passes for 115 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. 31.5 fantasy points.

Deandre Hopkins caught 7 passes for 117 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. 24.7 fantasy points.

Julio Jones caught 7 passes for 178 receiving yards and a touchdown. 35.8 fantasy points.

Allen Robinson caught 6 passes for 151 receiving yards and a touchdown. 30 fantasy points.

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Draft News 12-25-2015

New England Patriots versus New York Jets NFL Real Money Fantasy Preview 12-27-2015

Two AFC East division rivals meet in Week 16 as the New York Jets will meet the New England Patriots. NFL fantasy football GMs can tune to CBS TV on Sunday December 27th at 1PM Eastern Time to track the scoring results of their one day real money roster picks.

After six straight games being held under 30 points the New England Patriots put up 33 points on a bad Tennessee Titans team. The Patriots have been hit hard with injuries to their wide receiver and running back position that has impacted fantasy value on their playmakers.

The Jets have had four straight good defensive performances. They held Tennessee to eight points two weeks ago and last week held the Cowboys to just 16 points. But those results came against poor offensive teams. In the first meeting with New England it was New York allowing 30 points to the Patriots in a loss. The Patriots simply abandoned the run in that contest with Tom Brady passing for 355 yards and two touchdowns. Everyone knew that Rob Gronkowski was going to be heavily targeted yet he led the Patriots with 11 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

Don’t expect the Patriots to waste downs running the ball on the Jets defense. New York had trouble covering Rob Gronkowski. He has touchdown receptions in three straight and 8 of his 13 games played this season.

Play Rob Gronkowski

New England Patriots TE

Green Bay Packers versus Arizona Cardinals NFL Fantasy Preview 12-20-2015

A battle between playoff contenders as the Arizona Cardinals will meet the Green Bay Packers. DFS draft managers can tune to FOX at 4:25PM Eastern Time on Sunday December 27th to follow the results of their roster picks.

The Arizona Cardinals have the top offense in the NFL as they average 422 yards per game. They are second best in the league by putting up 32 points per game. They are coming off a 40 point performance last week in a win at Philadelphia.

Green Bay is in a back to back road trip out west in this spot. The 30 points put up on the Raiders last week were greatly aided by Oakland turnovers. Arizona has played clean this season. The location is key here in a climate controlled stadium in Arizona instead of the cold December weather of Green Bay.

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

Carson Palmer has been healthy this year and is putting up some quality numbers this season. He has completed 64.3% of his throws for 4277 yards with 32 touchdowns and nine picks. He has thrown touchdown passes in 13 of his 14 games this season. Palmer has multiple touchdown passes in ten games with games with three touchdowns or greater in six. The past two home games for Carson Palmer came against good defensive teams. He passed for 310 yards and two touchdown passes against Minnesota and had 317 yards passing with four touchdowns in a Week 11 win against Cincinnati. He faced another good defensive team but this time on the road to Seattle where he threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns.

Play on Carson Palmer

Arizona Cardinals QB

Second year wide receiver Josh Brown is showing improvement with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. He is way ahead of his numbers from a season ago mainly due to the fact that Carson Palmer has played every game. Brown is the deep threat who has caught 58 passes this year for 933 yards with six touchdowns. He is averaging 16.1 yards per catch this season. With the run game producing for Arizona and with an intermediate route runner in Larry Fitzgerald lingering in pass patterns it will open the field for big plays for Brown.

Play on Josh Brown

Arizona Cardinals WR

Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Draft News 12-18-2015

New York Jets versus Dallas Cowboys NFL Real Money Fantasy Preview 12-19-2015

The NFL has action for fantasy GM’s to play into on Saturday December 19th as the Dallas Cowboys will host the New York Jets. DFS draft managers can tune to NFL Network at 8:30PM Eastern Time to follow the results of their one day real money line.

 

The Dallas Cowboys have struggled looking for offense without their starting quarterback Tony Romo. He is out for the season and getting the start on Saturday night will be Matt Cassel once again. The Cowboys have sunk near the bottom of the league in the key offensive categories in 2015. They sit 30th and third worst in the NFL in scoring as the team averages just 17.7 points per game. Last week in a loss at Green Bay the Cowboys were limited to just seven points.

 

The Jets have plenty to play for as they enter this contest. At 8-5 they are tied with Kansas City and Pittsburgh for the race for two available AFC wildcard spots with just three games remaining. The Jets have won three straight after a 30-8 home victory to Tennessee.

 

Here are the Fantasy Football Picks

 

New York Jets RB

 

Play on Chris Ivory

 

Looking at the game plan that the Packers used on the Cowboys, it could suit the New York Jets fine. They ran the football 44 times for 230 yards and took the safe route to victory since the Dallas offense showed very little ability to score points without Romo. Look for the Jets to do the same here. Look for Chris Ivory to get a high number of carries against a downtrodden offense. Heck it worked last week when the Jets hosted a bad offensive team in Tennessee and they came away with a 30-8 victory. Against the Titans Ivory rushed for 101 yards on 22 carries.

 

Play on New York Jets Defense

 

 

The Jets defense should find some great success in this spot. With their game plan to ground and pound it will limit the amount of plays for the Cowboys on offense. The Jets sit fifth in total defense and that gets upgraded when they face an inept offensive team like Dallas.

 

Buffalo Bills versus Washington Redskins NFL Fantasy Preview 12-20-2015

 

The Washington Redskins are very much in the hunt for the NFC East title as they battle the Buffalo Bills. NFL fantasy GM’s can tune to CBS on Sunday December 20th at 1PM Eastern Time to track the results of their one day fantasy league draft picks.

 

Buffalo suffered a loss that was detrimental to their ability to reach the playoffs in 2015. They dropped a 23-20 decision at Philadelphia to drop them to 6-7 and two games back of the Chiefs, Jets and Steelers for the two AFC wildcard playoff spots with just three games remaining. The Bills have lost three of four all the losses coming on the road. They play their fifth road game in six games.

 

Washington is tied with the Eagles and Giants for the NFC East lead after they came away with a 24-21 road win at Chicago last week so there is much to play for the Redskins in this spot. They have traded wins with losses the past eight weeks

 

Here is the NFL Fantasy Pick for your Real Money League

 

Washington Redskins K

 

Play on Dustin Hopkins

 

The Washington Redskins have had issues finishing drives and getting into the end zone. They often settle for field goals in the red zone. Their kicker Dustin Hopkins has made 85% of his field goal tries this season. He kicked three field goals in Week 14 at home to Dallas and in Week 10 at home to New Orleans he kicked four field goals. He is also a perfect 27 of 27 on extra points.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in NFL