5 x 5: NFL Week 9

Replacement Refs?!?

That is certainly what it felt like this week, as I watched my undefeated streak come to an end. While 4-2 still looks nice, it is still two loses. That was the most troubling part: the refs were the determining factor! The Chargers had two horrible calls go against them, and the offensive pass interference called on Steve Smith, Sr was deplorable. Call those two games correctly, and we would still be looking at perfection. Anyways, 9-2 on the season ain’t too shabby, so lets look to stay hot in Week 9. I invite you to check out this weeks Fantasy Football podcast in the SoundCloud player below. I was joined by Sal Stefanile (@2QBFFB) who is quickly emerging as one of the most respected names in the industry. We discussed the debut of Charles Sims, Zach Mettenberger, Martavis Bryant vs Donte Moncrief, and a bunch more. If for no other reason, at least listen to the first minute and see if it doesn’t get a laugh from you. Next week another huge name in the Fantasy community joins me, so make sure to check back. Good luck this week in all of your action! Now for my Week 9 picks…

Season Record: 9-2

1.) New England Patriots (+3) vs Denver Broncos, 4:25pm

Is a Peyton vs Brady matchup ever boring? If it seems like these guys always square off in pivotal games, its because it is true. Both teams are playing extremely well, in large part to their veteran leaders. The difference in this game will be with the home team, who is actually being given points!! This is the game both franchises supped up their rosters for, and the Pats pass defense is the toughest Manning will see yet. 

2.) Oakland Raiders (+15) at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25pm

Yes, the Raiders are winless. And yes, they now travel to the blackhole. But, as desperate as the Seahawks are to straighten their course, something is still amiss. Derek Carr continues to gain confidence and experience each week, and frankly 15 points is too much to give to any NFL team. It should be a lopsided win, but not by more than two scores.

3.) St. Louis Rams (+10) at San Francisco, 4:05pm

Fresh off a bye, the Niners look to get back on the winning streak they had going, before being derailed by the Broncos. These are two teams going in opposite directions this season, yet it is still a heated division rivalry. San Fran already embarrassed the Rams on their home turf in St. Louis, now it is time for some retribution. I expect a dogfight in this one.

4.) Cleveland Browns (-6.5) vs Tampa Bay, 1:00pm

Tampa Bay is a mess right now. Veterans on the hot seat; a rookie who is quickly becoming viewed as a hopeful savior; and now they have to take their act into a hostile environment. Good luck! The Browns don’t look like world beaters, but they do find ways to win. This is a great match up for them to exploit at home, and should be able to win by at least one touchdown.

5.) Miami Dolphins (-2) vs San Diego, 1:00pm

The Chargers have now lost two straight, and narrowly a third the week before in Oakland. This is essentially a must win if they are serious about the playoffs… for both teams. The Dolphins can control the clock with their ground game, and the defense plays better than the stats would suggest. An early start on a cross country trip is enough to keep San Diego looking lethargic.

*Bonus Carolina Panthers (+2.5) vs New Orleans, 8:30pm #TNF

The Saints looked pretty good Sunday Night in beating the Pack. But they still might have lost that one had Aaron Rodgers not pulled a hamstring. The Panthers couldn’t be angrier after letting the Seahawks escape with a win on their home turf. With all of the lights on Cam, I like him to keep the Saints winless on the road. It could come down to a field goal, so if you can get this at 3.5 all the better.

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