Robert Griffin III, Jamal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Knowshon Moreno, A.J. Green, Ryan Mathews, Doug Martin and Vernon Davis.
The attrition, epidemic of injuries and other issues has turned the NFL upside down in the last fortnight.
This week’s Against The Spread picks includes analysis plus fantasy and other ramifications moving forward.
2014 ATS record:
Week 2: 9-7, Season: 15-17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) +6.5 at Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
I was not high on Doug Martin’s prospects going into the season, and he is out for Thursday night, and would have ceded time anyways to Bobby Rainey (22 carries, 144 yards in Week 2). If you pick up Rainey in fantasy, be sure to have him in the lineup by Thursday night. He should be worth it against a suspect Atlanta run defense.
ATS Pick: Buccaneers
San Diego Chargers (1-1) +2 at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Somebody out there picked the Chargers to be 2-14 this year. It wasn’t me. I remain on record as saying Mike McCoy is going to prove to be a good coach. If you’re looking for a good fantasy fill-in for the next month, Donald Brown should be your man. I wouldn’t go overboard cranking up the FAAB engine.
ATS pick: Chargers
Tennessee Titans (1-1) +7 at Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)
A.J. Green (turf toe) is not ruled out for this week but Bengals have a Week 4 bye. He will likely be held out until Week 5. Mohamed Sanu’s stock is on the rise and at the very least is a nice one-week fill-in.
ATS pick: Bengals
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) -1.5 at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
There was a mad rush for Justin Forsett on the waiver wire in the wake of the Ray Rice fallout last week, but Bernard Pierce wound up with a heavy workload. That Ravens backfield situation will remain in flux all year. Ben Tate is doubtful this week, I like Terrence West as the Browns go-to RB for at least the short-term and possibly longer.
ATS Pick: Browns
Green Bay Packers (1-1) +2.5 at Detroit Lions (1-1)
Wide receivers who crack the Packers rotation always draw fantasy interest, second-round draft pick Davante Adams (five catches, 50 yards last week) fits that description and can still be had cheaply as he still flies under the waiver wire radar. It might be rough sledding for third straight week for Eddie Lacy owners, but the schedule lightens up after this.
ATS pick: Lions
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) -1 at St. Louis Rams (1-1)
During the offseason Jerry Jones allegedly reached out to a University of Oklahoma product who in recent years has been among the top backs in football. It turns out the current Sooner alum of choice is already in the Dallas backfield. DeMarco Murray is the fantasy MVP for the first fortnight of the season. The challenge going forward is for Murray to remain healthy, as is the case with Ryan Mathews it isn’t a matter of if but when Murray gets dinged up.
ATS pick: Cowboys
Oakland Raiders (0-2) +14 at New England Patriots (1-1)
With ownership needing a scapegoat, Dennis Allen has emerged as the clear favorite in the coaching dead pool. I could recommend Stevan Ridley this week, which means Bill Belichick will likely decide this is the week to turn to Shane Vereen.
ATS pick: Raiders
Minnesota Vikings (1-1) +10 at New Orleans Saints (1-1)
Adrian Peterson is likely out of the picture for good after the organization realized it could not afford the backlash after attempting to reinstate him on Monday. The Matt Asiata era will not last long, as Jerick McKinnon could prove to be the waiver wire pickup of the year. He was snagged in all serious leagues last Friday night, within hours of the initial Peterson story breaking. Mark Ingram was diagnosed with a broken hand on Monday, Khiry Robinson is excellent to target with some of the other backs getting more waiver wire attention.
ATS pick: Saints
Houston Texans (2-0) -2.5 at New York Giants (0-2)
Last year Texans started 2-0 as well, but I don’t see 14-game losing streak coming this time around. I was not high on Arian Foster going into season, but has been a top-five fantasy back so far.
ATS pick: Texans
Washington (1-1) +6.5 at Philadelphia (2-0)
The worst kept secret in the NFL: Kirk Cousins is by far the better option at quarterback for the Redskins over RG Third-String. Just a fact, and Mike Shanahan ruining his career in the Wild Card game two years ago will be discussed forever. Zach Ertz has evolved into more than just a good TE, he is approaching elite status with his deep down-field skills.
ATS pick: Washington
Indianapolis Colts (1-1) -7 at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley threw his rookie receivers under the bus this week. Things should start to change once Blake Bortles finally gets the call under center.
ATS pick: Colts
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) -3 at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
I still have concerns on Andre Ellington and his foot being a long-term issue. I would pick up Jonathan Dwyer on the waiver wire – ah, never mind.
ATS pick: Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) +4 at Miami Dolphins
With Jamaal Charles possibly out the Knile Davis handcuff situation would take effect. In one draft I participated in he went early before my pick, but lasted later in another draft where I plucked him away from the JC owner. Some have Davis as a RB1 this week but the Dolphins have been a top run defense the first two weeks.
ATS pick: Chiefs
Denver Broncos (2-0) +5 at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
I would not worry about the Seahawks loss in San Diego, which was the ultimate trap game. This should be easy to pick, we saw how this game played out seven and a half months ago.
ATS pick: Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) +3.5 at Carolina Panthers (2-0)
DeAngelo Williams appears doubtful for the Sunday night game, if you’re desperate Jonathan Stewart might be a decent play.
ATS pick: Panthers
Chicago Bears (1-1) +2.5 at New York Jets (1-1)
Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery both played last week after being considered doubtful and Marshall wound up with an epic game. Both should be all systems go for Monday night.
ATS pick: Bears