I should stamp my week one picks with a disclaimer every year. I always get hammered the first week and last week was no exception. I was a woeful 4-12 last week against the spread. I’m choosing to look at it this way: my survivor pick (Detroit Lions) made it and there’s only one way to go from here… up.
This week’s already off to a better start after I snagged the Packers pick on Thursday. Here’s my picks for the early games this Sunday:
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (-3.5)
Matchup to exploit: CJ Spiller-Spiller broke out last week and will get all the RB touches with Fred Jackson out.
Matchup to avoid: Stevie Johnson will get all the attention of the Chiefs defensive backfield which welcoms back Brandon Flowers, KC’s top cover corner.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)
Matchup to exploit: BenJarvus Green-Ellis-The Law firm will get most of the carries and should be able to get the job down against the Browns front seven. Also, click here for Andrew Hawkins analysis.
Matchup to avoid: Andy Dalton-Michael Vick was shut down by a solid Browns pass defense. Dalton struggled last week.
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts (+1.5)
Matchup to exploit: Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson should be in for good days. Coby Fleener gets plenty of attention from Andrew Luck
Matchup to avoid: None. These defenses should give up plenty of points.
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (+2.5)
Matchup to exploit: Reggie Bush and Darren McFadden both have nice matchups and are good options.
Matchup to avoid: Ryan Tannehill-not quite ready for primetime in week one.
Arizona Cardinals at Arizona New England Patriots (-13.5)
Pick: New England
Matchup to exploit: All the Pats regulars. Don’t give up on Wes Welker just yet…
Matchup to avoid: Beanie Wells-Pats defense looked great against Chris Johnson week one and Wells is splitting carries too.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants(-6.5)
Matchup to exploit: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, and Hakeem Nicks- I think the extra practice since their first game will help the G-men passing game hit on all cylinders.
Matchup to avoid: Ahmad Bradshaw-Tampa’s run defense looked good against the run-first Panthers last week.
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
Matchup to exploit: LeSean McCoy-The Ravens D did look vulnerable to the run and Michel Vick throwing too much is a recipe for trouble with Ed Reed lurking.
Matchup to avoid: Michael Vick-Vick will be contained and hit hard by a tough Ravens D. His speed will be negated by Baltimore’s speed on defense.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (+2.5)
Pick: New Orleans
Matchup to exploit: Lance Moore- I think he’ll have a big game against the Panthers secondary.
Matchup to avoid: DeAngelo Williams-After struggling last week, he has to share the backfield with Jonathan Stewart once again.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5)
Matchup to exploit: Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub. After a slow start in week one, Johnson and Schaub should be ready to roll against the Jags who Ponder and Harvin looked good against last week.
Matchup to avoid: All Jags without MJD as their initials.
Check back later for the late game picks and Sunday and Monday night spotlights. For all your final matchup and lineup questions check our weekly positional rankings.