It’s another Sunday in October which means plenty of NFL action will be the focus of football fans across the country. Yesterday I covered the latest injury news as well as who to start/sit. Normally, I post my picks on Saturday, but ran out of time to get them up yesterday.
As a result, here’s a special Sunday morning edition of Pigskin Pick’em picks for Sunday, October 7. I’ve included one sleeper to watch in each game who could have breakout potential based on use and matchup. The spread as usual is taken from ESPN’s Pigskin Pick’em game where my entry is in the 67th percentile even after a horrible week 1.
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5)
Pick: I like the Dolphins, but asking rookie Ryan Tannehill to go on the road and win seems like a little much against a Bengals team that has won three in a row. I’ll take the Bengals and give the points.
Sleeper: Armon Binns-Cincinnati Bengals WR: The Rookie from Cincinnati was held catchless last week but was targeted five times by Andy Dalton. Only A.J. Green received more targets, and against a suspect Dolphins secondary expect plenty of throws to once again be headed his way.
Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts (+7.5)
Pick: Green Bay appears to be hitting its stride after a shaky start and I think they’ll cover against #1 pick Andrew Luck and the Colts who are coming off their bye-week. It’s a lot of points to give on the road, but I have confidence in Aaron Rodgers and the Pack.
Sleeper: James Jones-Green Bay Packers-WR: Jones isn’t much of a sleeper after a pair of touchdowns last week, but he’ll again get the start with Greg Jennings sidelined again by a groin injury.
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5)
Pick: The Ravens head to Arrowhead and make a good pick giving less than a touchdown. They’re coming off an extended week after playing last Thursday and will take on the Chiefs who lost by 17 to the Chargers, 18 to the Bills, and 16 to the Falcons.
Sleeper: Bernard Pierce-Baltimore Ravens-RB: Against the Browns, Pierce took a career-high six carries and finished with 48 yards. If this game gets out of hand early, look for the Ravens to give the rookie from Temple some extra carries and against the Chiefs 21st-ranked run defense.
Cleveland Browns at New York Giants (-9.5)
Pick: The Browns hung with the Ravens last week and covered, but I don’t think they’ll be able to against the Giants. Eli and company will look to bounce back from a late loss last week in Phily. They should be able to exploit the Browns secondary and cruise (Cruz?) to victory, but the Giants tend to be bi-polar at times and let inferior teams hang around. I still think they’ll cover there though.
Sleeper: Domenik Hixon-New York Giants-WR and Greg Little-Cleveland Browns-WR: Both will have increased roles due to a plethora on injuries at wide receiver for both teams. Both Hixon and Little will see plenty of targets. The question is can they turn them into fantasy goodness.
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
Pick: Philadelphia got a big divisional win last week against New York and now faces a Steelers team coming off a bye and getting their defense back healthy. I still think the Eagles will keep this a field goal game and that it very easily could be decided in overtime. I’ll take the points, but this could go either way.
Sleeper: Heath Miller-Pittsburgh Steelers-TE: The Eagles have done a good job shutting down opposing TE but it’s still worth noticing Miller who has four touchdowns, 15 catches, and 129 yards through the first three games of the season. He’s been a consistent red zone target for Big Ben this season.
Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins (+3.5)
Pick: Atlanta is undefeated and I think they stay that way as their much-improved and still a bit under-rated defense will limit the RG3 led Redskins.
Sleeper: Fred Davis-Washington Redskins-TE: Davis led the ‘Skins in receiving last week with 70 yards. The Falcons allow the least amount of points in the league to WR, but are in the middle of the pack against TE. RG3 holds the key to his effectiveness, but if Griffin targets Davis they both could be in store for a nice game.
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Pick: Seattle struggled on the road in St. Louis last week, but the Rams showed themselves to be no fluke by knocking off Arizona on Thursday. The Panthers meanwhile have lost their last two allowing 30+ points to the Giants and the Falcons. Seattle probably won’t score that many, but their defense should be able to limit Cam Newton enough for Seattle to at least cover in this game. I think they’ll win outright.
Sleeper: Robert Turbin-Seattle Seahawks-Running Back: Turbin carried a season-high six times for 45 yards and caught a pair of passes out of the backfield for another 13 yards. He’s a flier as a flex play this week against a struggling Carolina defense. I expect Marshawn Lynch to have a great day, but Turbin may also get opportunities ans he’s been making the most of them so far this season.
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5)
Pick: The Bears looked great last week in Dallas, and I expected to give lots more points on the road in Jacksonville. Matt Forte is expected to be back at full speed, Jay Cutler is playing well, and the Bears defense will feast on Blaine Gabbert. I’ll take Chicago and give the points.
Sleeper: Justin Blackmon-Jacksonville Jaguars-WR: I expect the Jags to be behind and have to throw the ball, but Laurent Robinson is out with a concussion limiting the options at receiver. Blackmon should get plenty of looks in the passing game this week.
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)
Pick: Minnesota has far exceeded expectations and will continue to do so as they host the Titans this week. I think they’ll win and cover against the Matt Hasselbeck-led Titans offense that will also most likely be without dynamic receiver Kenny Britt.
Sleeper: Kyle Rudolph-Minnesota Vikings-Tight End: I love Christian Ponder and Rudolph in this matchup, as I wrote about in my StartEm/SitEm. No team has allowed more points to tight ends than the Titans and Rudolph is the second option in the Minnesota passing game.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-6.5)
Pick: It’s tough to give that many points, but I’m going with Tom Brady and the Pats. They looked awesome last week in the second half, and should again be able to put points on the board if they can balance their offense with Stevan Ridley. The Pats pass rush should bother Peyton Manning and limit Willis McGahee’s effectiveness enough so that the offense can cover.
Sleeper: Eric Decker-Denver Broncos-Wide Receiver: The Patriots secondary has given up big passing plays this year and Decker or Demaryius Thomas will probably get loose for a long touchdown. I think it’ll be Decker.
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)
Pick: San Francisco demolished the Jets last week while the Bills imploded against the Patriots. Could the Bills win? Maybe, but they’d need everything to go right and their offense would need to stop turning the ball over. I’ll go with the Niners here in another blowout.
Sleeper: Mario Manningham-San Francisco 49ers: Manningham led the 49ers with 47 yards on three receptions and only Michael Crabtree had more targets.
San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
Pick: The 0-4 Saints are 3.5 point favorites over the 3-1 Chargers. That normally doesn’t happen. The Saints problems have been on the defensive side of the ball, and I think the Chargers continue their trouble dropping New Orleans to 0-5. San Diego won in Kansas City last week and will continue to build their momentum. I’ll gladly take the points as a nice side-benefit.
Sleeper: Devery Henderson-New Orleans Saints: Robert Meachem should have a nice game returning to New Orleans, but I’ll take Henderson who should get more looks with Lance Moore on the sidelines and Joe Morgan questionable. Obviously Colston, Graham, and Sproles will get plenty of targets, but Henderson could also have a nice game.
Houston Texans at New York Jets (+7.5)
Pick: Did you see the Jets play last week? If you did, this pick isn’t that hard. The Texans are legit people! They’re also my pick here giving the points.
Sleeper: Owen Daniels-Houston Texans-Tight End: Daniels had his best game of the season with 72 yards and a touchdown on six catches. He converted all six of his team-leading targets and got as many throws his direction as Andre Johnson (also 6 targets). Daniels is a top-10 tight end in most formats.