Welcome back readers! Today I will be discussing how my fantasy football teams did this past week and who I have starting this week, and a quick preview of all week 15 NFL action as well as spread, over/under analysis and predictions using the lines from Covers.com. I will also give my reaction Bleacher Report’s week 15 predictions. I cut out the Fan Duel conversation and saved that for a topic for next week.
I run in just in 2 leagues, only because more would be too much work to have to update constantly on my type of schedule. One is in one of my buddies’ league with a gentlemen’s wager of $20 per team. This past week was the start of the playoffs for this league. I came into the playoffs like Seattle a few years back, I was 6-7 but on a current 2 game slide. I had to face a team with Peyton Manning (31 points), Antonio Brown (19 points), Andre Johnson (15 points), and the Chiefs Defense (27 points). To say the least, it was a tough game. However, I had a team worthy of being competitive but just couldn’t match up with the stats of my opponent, Drew Brees (28 points), Desean Jackson (11 points), Chris Johnson (8 points), and Jason Witten (7 points). Now those players mentioned as the highlights on my team were actually outscored by my kicker (all but Brees), Phil Dawson (16 points), who was signed Sunday, around 3 pm, as a last minute acquisition because I forgot to start my actual kicker Mason Crosby. Nevertheless, my team ultimately lost 118-80 and was booted from the playoffs.
My other league, I am the commissioner of. This league consists of a few newbies to fantasy football or guys who only have a season or two under their belts. Again, gentlemen’s wager of just $10. I have dominated this league, going 8-0 to open the season but limped to my first week bye going 2-3 in the last 5 weeks. This week is my bye but heading in to my first playoff matchup, this will be my starting lineup for next week:
QB Drew Brees/WR Vincent Jackson/WR Demarius Thomas/RB Pierre Thomas/RB Jamaal Charles/TE Tony Gonzalez/WR-TE-RB Dwayne Bowe/K Garrett Hartley/DEF Seattle Seahawks
Now here is when I’m just supposed to brag about how I picked some of these guys up in lopsided trade with a newbie or picked a couple of these guys up off the free agents waiver wire and hit big. No. I drafted every one of my starters and this is why having a strong draft will carry you through your season and the playoffs. From what I’ve noticed in fantasy football, not many people are willing to trade because you play just about everyone at some point in the season. I must applaud my good buddy Josh in the $20 league he runs, he traded me Drew Brees and Chris Johnson for Marcus Colston and Adrian Peterson (trade happened around week 4 or so). I saw that as a fair trade and one that I thought would benefit me in the long run since Brees puts up crazy numbers and the Vikings offense has been hot and cold through the first couple of weeks this season. Nevertheless, he made it past the first round (and picked up McCown just before the week started to which he scored him 38 points, Peterson got hurt and only scored him 1 point but had Shady McCoy which scored him 33 points to which McCown/McCoy accounted for 71 of his winning 104 points this past week against a team that only scored 78 points, so yeah…) and I didn’t.
I didn’t have as strong of a draft as my other league but was also playing against some smarter fantasy players who all drafted well. Through the season I was in that waiver wires hunt every week, trying to catch the next couple week starter that busts out for 20-30 quick points. Live by the draft, die by the draft. Do your homework, have a strong draft and make smart moves/trades.
Now, on to my week 15 analysis and picks. I will be going into depth on Sunday’s and Monday’s games later this week for analysis. I will put the lines up now so you know where they are at least starting Wednesday.
For now, here are my thoughts on the Thursday game:
Chargers @ Broncos
Covers.com is a site I use to check lines and trends since they do polls of the users of the site as well as 12 “expert” odds makers and how they feel the game will go with the given lines. They also have a little write up and prediction at the end of every games preview. Also included on this site for every game is individual and team stats, as well as injuries and previous 10 games of each team and previous 10 meetings of the two teams. This site gives you a lot of information to use and it’s all free!
Bleacher Report shows the Odds Shark computer prediction for every game which runs thousands of simulation models to come up with an estimated guess based on facts and factors for the game. Bleacher Report gives you the computers scores and then gives you their predictions against or with the computers outcome, so you’re really getting two predictions.
Odds Shark says: 38.2 – 27.9 Broncos Victory in the Over
Bleacher Report says: San Diego will have to play one of its best games of the year to hang with the Broncos. Rivers has been absolutely great, and Chargers head coach Mike McCoy might have some insight as to how to slow down Manning and Co. But Denver has proven it can cover big numbers. Give the points with the Broncos, and pay attention to the OVER trends below as well.
Covers.com says: Broncos 37 – Chargers 27 in the Over
Listen, I lost out on this game the first time around, I won’t do that again! I took the BRONCOS on the points and the OVER back in early November and lost out because they scored under 56 only totaling 48 points. Out of the Broncos 13 games so far this year, 2 games have scored under the point total, back to back weeks but first being against the Chargers. They were the first real test for Peyton and his Broncos, making the highlight reels feature the other team as well and actually keeping the game within reach for the Chargers. Broncos still covered but barely. This week it’s Denver, in the cold again, but Manning put to rest the accusations that he doesn’t play well in the cold and wouldn’t play well in Denver come crunch time, late in the season and through the playoffs. Broncos are -10 with an over/under of 55.5.
I say stay away from the spread as I think it could go either way but definitely take the OVER 55.5 as the Broncos have this unreal offense and listen, Denver has covered the points or came within 7 of the total by themselves alone in 3 of 7 home games this year, and 4 of 13 overall. In the NFL, that means you are scary good! I want to say, with the Broncos being at home, they will want to end the last regular season home game for its fans on a high scoring note, not to mention the excitement of having their coach John Fox back on the sidelines. He missed his first game after open heart surgery in week 10 when they played the Chargers and makes his first game return against them…coincidence?
Broncos 45 – Chargers 31
- Broncos cover or come within 7 of the points total by themselves in 3 of 7 home games
- Broncos have beaten the Chargers four straight overall
- Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS past seven games at Denver
- Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in the past seven games as road underdogs
- OVER is 12-2-1 past 15 games when Chargers are road underdogs
- OVER is 10-1-1 past 12 Broncos home games
- OVER is 8-0-1 past nine times Broncos home as double-digit favorites
- Chargers Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are both 28th in the NFL
- Broncos Pass/Overall Defense entering this week are 29th/25th in the NFL
- Chargers Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are 4th/4th/11th in the NFL
- Broncos Pass/Overall Offense and Points entering this week are all 1st in the NFL
- Manning has recorded 11 games with 300+ passing yards this season, tying Tom Brady for the 2nd most in NFL history
- Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 61 catches (a franchise record for a rookie) for 902 yards, 5 TD’s
- The Broncos need to score 75 points in their final 3 games to break the NFL record of 589 total season points set by the Patriots in 2007. They average 39.6 points per game so far this year
The rest of the NFL games (lines only), spreads are for the home team.
Redskins @ Falcons -6.5 O/U 51
49ers @ Buccaneers +5 O/U 41
Seahawks @ Giants +7 O/U 41
Bears @ Browns -1 O/U 45
Texans @ Colts -5.5 O/U 45.5
Bills @ Jaguars +2 O/U 43
Patriots @ Dolphins +2.5 O/U 45.5
Eagles @ Vikings +4.5 O/U 51
Chiefs @ Raiders +4 O/U 41
Jets @ Panthers -11 O/U 40.5
Packers @ Cowboys -7 O/U 48.5
Saints @ Rams +5.5 O/U 47
Cardinals @ Titans +2.5 O/U 41.5
Bengals @ Steelers +3 O/U 40.5
Ravens @ Lions -6 O/U 48