FIWK the NFL: Week 6

These are just a few of the great activities the San Diego Chargers can enjoy during their bye week.

Last week, point differential went 6-6-1 after an impressive 12-4 the prior week. So maybe we take it into consideration, but not just follow it blindly. Also, now that some teams have had their bye and only played four games, we have to focus on point differential per game. I'll provide the list below. I used Football Ousiders DVOA, point differential per game, the spread and some of my own observations in my picks this week.

Carolina (+4) over ATLANTA: The Falcons are 2-3 and 1-4 ATS. The Panthers may be 1-4, but they are 4-1 ATS. Carolina has a better point differential (I'm going to use PD/G for point differential per game). While I may be picking the Falcons to win at home SU, a Panthers back-door cover or even a straight up win wouldn't surprise me. Steve Smith has been my best value pick in many of my leagues.

CINCINNATI (-7) over Indianapolis: The Colts are 0-5, but the keep looking like they are so close to winning. Then you check the stats and realize they actually have been pretty bad. The Bengals are 3-2, but when you look at their opponents, it's still really hard to get any idea about them. If anything, their 13-8 loss to the 49ers makes San Francisco look all that much better. All the stats agree with me, the Bengals are better than the Colts. Um, Jermaine Gresham has a better fantasy game than Dallas Clark?

San Francisco (+4.5) over DETROIT: Surprising game of the week featuring two teams with a combined 9-1 record. These guys are 2nd and 3rd in PD/G, but while the 49ers are 2nd in DVOA and actually have the highest odds of making the playoffs, the Lions are 13th in DVOA. If nothing else, I think this game can be close and I'll take the points.

GREEN BAY (-15) over St. Louis: I really hate trying to pick games like this. I mean the Packers are one of the best teams in the NFL and the Rams are one of the worst. But 15 points is HUGE. Packers 35 - Rams 21 means the Rams weren't even close, but still won ATS. I'll pick the Packers here, but not confidently enough to put $ on it below.

Buffalo (+3.5) over NYG: You know, I think the Bills win this outright.

PITTSBURGH (-12) over Jaguars: The Steelers looked a lot more like the Steelers last week than the Steelers. A 21 point win over the Titans was impressive, not very impressive, just impressive. The Jaguars are looking worse and worse by the week.

WASHINGTON (+1.5) over Philadelphia: Everything I see and think tells me the Redskins are the better team and win this game outright. But if the Eagles go to 1-5, are they "officially" eliminated from playoff contention? Well, right now I don't think they are going to the playoffs anyways. Redskins it is.

OAKLAND (-6.5) over Cleveland: I really should have picked Oakland last week. Not because I thought they would beat the Texans in Houston, but because they were getting 6 points. Oakland is looking not sucky and continues to have me as a Chargers fan looking over my shoulder. I would LOVE for them to lose this game. I would LOVE to gain an extra game over them. I'm not worried about the Chargers missing the playoffs, but it's definitely up in the air and there is a lot of excitement/anxiety (exciety?) along the way.

BALTIMORE (-7.5) over Houston: Baltimore is looking really good right now. REALLY good. Houston is chugging along, setting a good pace and is going to try and win the division in the last few weeks. The Titans are tied with the Texans and they play each other next week and the last week of the season. I honestly don't know which team emerges. But it wouldn't surprise me if they were both 9-7 or 10-6. The Ravens are thinking 13-3 or 14-2 and the #1 seed. They show how good they are and rough up the Andre Johnson-less Texans this week.

NEW ENGLAND (-7) over Dallas: While the Ravens are working really hard for the #1 seed, the Patriots feel like they are boringly going about their business winning games and getting the #1 seed. It's like an NBA player stepping into a pickup game at a local gym. He's so good he looks bored even as he keeps winning. The Cowboys are a high draft pick who just missed two big free throws in March Madness and is suffering a crisis of confidence despite incredible talent. Does he suck it up and take it to the NBA player or decide to defend someone else and both guys get a ton of points, but the current NBA player walks away with the victory?

New Orleans (-4.5) over TAMPA BAY: I really thought this game would be closer, but the Saints are looking great and the Bucs can't get their sh- act together. New Orleans really is that much better than Tampa Bay. Drew Brees is doing his regular leading-the-league-in-pass-attempts-AND-completion-percentage thing.

Minnesota (+3) over CHICAGO: This one is hard for me. I mean, is this a gut thing? Minnesota has a better PD/G and a better DVOA. So is it a stats thing? Chicago is 2-3 and Minnesota is 1-4, so there doesn't seem to be that much difference between them. And while Jay Cutler has looked below average, Donovan McNabb has looked bad. Is it an Adrian Peterson vs. Matt Forte game? I can't really explain why I like this game, but I really like the points.

NYJ (-7) over Miami: I really, really wanted to pick against the Jets. Their offense is bad and their defense isn't nearly as good as people think it is. They are 2-3 and that actually feels about right. But the Dolphins look really bad. Especially losing their already not that great starting quarterback for the year. I don't think the Dolphins do anything particularly well in this game and it gets horrible ratings for ESPN on Monday Night. The only saving grace might be a large New York audience, but even they might tune out if it's 30-10 at 10pm Eastern as the the fourth quarter starts.

Baltimore 3 1 4 62 15.5
Detroit 5 0 5 70 14
San Francisco 4 1 5 64 12.8
Green Bay 5 0 5 62 12.4
New England 4 1 5 46 9.2
Buffalo 4 1 5 44 8.8
New Orleans 4 1 5 32 6.4
Houston 3 2 5 32 6.4
Washington 3 1 4 20 5
Cincinnati 3 2 5 16 3.2
Pittsburgh 3 2 5 13 2.6
San Diego 4 1 5 11 2.2
Tennessee 3 2 5 11 2.2
Minnesota 1 4 5 5 1
NY Giants 3 2 5 4 0.8
Oakland 3 2 5 3 0.6
Dallas 2 2 4 -2 -0.5
NY Jets 2 3 5 -4 -0.8
Philadelphia 1 4 5 -7 -1.4
Chicago 2 3 5 -15 -3
Carolina 1 4 5 -16 -3.2
Cleveland 2 2 4 -19 -4.75
Arizona 1 4 5 -25 -5
Atlanta 2 3 5 -26 -5.2
Seattle 2 3 5 -28 -5.6
Denver 1 4 5 -35 -7
Tampa Bay 3 2 5 -38 -7.6
Miami 0 4 4 -35 -8.75
Indianapolis 0 5 5 -49 -9.8
Jacksonville 1 4 5 -56 -11.2
Kansas City 2 3 5 -73 -14.6
St. Louis 0 4 4 -67 -16.75


  1. $20 on Carolina, Buffalo, Washington, Minnesota, New Orleans, New England, Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Francisco. I don't know how I feel about going from $10 to $20, but with you guys raising the stakes, I have to make sure I don't fall behind.

  2. I've got:

    - $20 on the Bucs: divisional game @ home - I think they show up

    - $10 on the Raiders: I like the Raiders to run away with this, but it scares me

    - $50 on the Packers: I agree 100% with your analysis, but think they run away with this one

  3. $100 on the Saints -4.5... I am stunned at how low this line is. Nothing we've seen from either team the last two weeks make me think this will be close, let alone that the Bucs will even sniff victory. But maybe I'm missing something.

    That's the only line I feel strong enough to put money on, so I'll stop there. I think everyone and their dog is going to be on Carolina +4 and Redskins +1.5, so I worry about those lines by the way. But we'll see.

    I agree completely with what Aaron said about the Packers line... that would need to be +23 for me to bet on the Rams to cover, but at the same time flukey junk time scores still count and they could easily get it to 14 at the end of the game and kill this line. I hate that, and I'm staying away.

  4. Also despite my affection for the weekly EPL lines, there were none that stood out to me this week. Also apparently the last week's lines disappear when the games are done. So, there's that. They need a Yahoo Pick Em game for the EPL.

  5. Well I lost $100 to the stupid Saints so now I am back down to $900. I am still REALLY surprised that they lost.

    Glad that I didn't wager on the Redskins or Panthers, cause even though one covered it was quite close to going all wrong.

  6. +$80 on the week (won Pack & Bucs easily; thanks for the extra half-point on the Raiders).

    Up to $1,130! More of the story Royce? I'm awesome.

  7. I went 7-6 overall, 5-6 on the $ picks and now I'm at $990.