(Image credit Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
There were a lot of fun games last week. Before we take a look at my picks for week 2 let's take a look at my week 1 pick performance.
Week 1: Record 7-8-1
Overall record: 7-8-1
Now that we have gone through how I did in Week 1, I will now give my weekly NFL picks with spreads for week 2. The spreads from these games were all found on DraftKings.
Thursday Night Football
New York Giants at Washington Football Team (Spread -3.5)
This looks like a mismatch but there are a lot of questions about both teams. Let's start with the New York Giants. I mean I don’t know what to say. This team is clearly not 100% with injuries. I doubt Engram, Golliday, and Barkley are going to be healthy entering this game. This o-line is a mess and this defense is a lot worse than what I thought it was going to be. I don't know about Daniel Jones. He needs to perform better and fast. With Washington, the main question will be how will Taylor Heinicke perform, as Ryan Fitzpatrick will be out due to an injury. Who knows who will start at running back as Antonio Gibson is dealing with an injury. But this defense and o-line are a lot better than the Giants. I'd also rather have Ron Rivera at Head Coach over Joe Judge. Give me Washington as I think they are better than the Giants and are the home team.
My Pick: Washington (-3.5)
Sunday Football 1:00 PM
Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (Spread -5.5)
The Las Vegas Raiders shocked the league by not only defeating the Baltimore Ravens but winning in Overtime. When you look into the game you can tell this is not the Ravens of last season as they are currently dealing with a ton of injuries. Let's get started with the Las Vegas Raiders. Derek Carr had a strong performance against the raiders and it is clear that Darren Waller will be his favorite target as he threw the ball 19 times to him. The other receivers have mainly been mediocre but luckily had faced a beaten-up Ravens secondary. I doubt that Josh Jacobs is healthy as he was limping a lot against the Baltimore Ravens. This offensive line is bad and they could be without Richie Incognito who is dealing with a calf injury. This o-line got dominated all game by Odafe (Jayson) Oweh and Justin Houston. The offense is going to have a tougher time as they will be facing a healthy Pittsburgh Steelers defense with a stronger Edge rusher tandem in Melvin Ingram and TJ Watt (Who got paid). The Steelers Secondary is going to give the raiders receivers a challenge and linebackers Joe Schobert and Devin Bush should do a solid job covering Darren Waller. The Steelers o-line is also a mess as well but they did a solid job against the Buffalo Bills defense. The Raiders defensive line also got weaker as Gerald McCoy suffered a season-ending knee injury. The receivers Chase Claypool and Juju Smith-Schuster will have an easier opponent against a weaker secondary. I really like the Steelers here, especially as the Raiders are coming off a short week after playing a long Monday Night game and will have to travel from the west coast to the east coast. If you have not taken a look at my Survivor Pick Week 2 article the Pittsburgh Steelers will be my survivor pick. Mainly because I don’t trust the Steelers long-term as they are known later in the season to play down to competition. I would be surprised if the Steelers lose this game especially as they are the home team.
My Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (Spread +3.5)
To me, this is the game of the week. I really think that these two teams will be battling for the division so this game is going to be extremely important when it comes to the tiebreaker. Let's start with the Bills and Josh Allen did not perform well at all vs the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Steelers defense is not that good. Hopefully, Allen gets over his slump and performs well against the Miami Dolphins. Zack Moss was a surprising healthy scratch last week vs the Pittsburgh Steelers. It will be very telling if he once again is a healthy scratch and it would be a good sign for Devin Singletary's fantasy value as a starter. The Bills have a ton of depth at receiver but are going to have to face a stronger secondary with the Miami Dolphins as they have one of the best shutdown corners in the NFL with Xavien Howard. Tua did a solid job against the Patriots defense but will have to work through a stronger defense against the Buffalo Bills. The o-line will have a challenge with the depth of Edge Rushers and the defensive lineman that the Bills have. I think this game is going to be an extremely close one especially as both teams have really solid coaching and I like Miami in this game especially as they are the home team.
My Pick: Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (Spread +3.5)
First off thank goodness the 49ers did not go Full Shannahan and almost lost to the Detroit Lions. This 49ers secondary is beaten up again and Jason Verrett will be out for the season due to an injury. It felt like the defense checked out during the 4th quarter as well but excluding the secondary, this defense is pretty solid. The 49ers lost Raheem Mostert for the season due to a season-ending injury. But the Eagles actually looked solid and I have always been a believer in Jalen Hurts. Hurts was solid in this game and this offensive line actually looked well in this game and hopefully will be healthy for the entire season. The defense performed well against the Falcons and hopefully, they keep their momentum up during the regular season. I am just not confident with the 49ers after almost losing to Jared Goff and the Lions. Also, this is another case of a west coast team playing on the east coast as the Eagles will be the home team in this game which is a tremendous advantage to have. I really like the Eagles in this game and I will gladly take the points in this game.
My Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5)
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns (Spread -12.5)
I want to say congratulations to the Houston Texans as they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not only is the team rewarded with a win but with their next game being against one of the best teams in the AFC conference. I am not going on long with this one. This game is an absolute mismatch as the Cleveland Browns are better in every single way with their offense, defense, coaching, and special teams. To add the cherry on top Cleveland is the Home team in this matchup. I think the Browns will dominate in this game and I would be shocked if the Texans upset the Browns in this game.
My Pick: Cleveland Browns (-12.5)
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (Spread +6)
I am shocked that this spread is not at double digits after the unacceptable and poor performance by the Jaguars. Let's get this straight, last week was an absolute joke of a performance by the Jaguars who should have shown improvement. They got their quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and were up and down in this game. But Lawrence needs to learn when to throw the ball away as that Vernon Hargreaves interception was the worst throw that I have ever seen from Lawrence. The running back core is a mess and at least they have solid receiving options for Lawrence to throw to. The Jaguars o-line is not good at all and this defense is absolutely terrible. Urban Meyer is so far an absolute disaster as the head coach and I am starting to doubt whether he will last two seasons with the team. The Broncos impressed me during their performance against the New York Giants and the Broncos have something that they have not had since the Manning years and that is a competent quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater. This defense is going to steamroll and dominate the Jaguars and I am going to go with the Broncos in this game
My Pick Denver Broncos (-6)
Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts (Spread +3)
This game’s spread makes no sense at all. The Colts were terrible vs the Seahawks and the Colts o-line was absolutely disappointing. The Seahawks pass rush is mediocre as well and now the Colts are going to face a stronger defense in the Los Angeles Rams. I doubt that this o-line is even healthy as well and their receiving core is brutal as well. It doesn't help that the Rams have cornerbacks that will shut down the terrible receivers. At least they have a good running back core to use. Too bad the team is playing against the Rams who have a strong run defense. Matthew Stafford now has a competent coaching staff, a good o-line, and a consistently good running back core. I will be taking the Los Angeles Rams in this game.
My Pick: Los Angeles Rams (-3)
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (Spread +4)
This game was a tough game to pick. Let's start with the New Orlean Saints as they destroyed the Green Bay Packers last week. Alvin Kamara was unstoppable all game against the Packers. The Saints don't have too much depth at receiver (mainly due to Michael Thomas being placed on the PUP list due to an injury but this offensive line is one of the best in football. Mainly because 4/5 starting o-linemen are successful 1st round selections made by the team. The Saints defense is pretty solid but their secondary got worse after Marshon Lattimore will be out due to an injury. Marcus Davenport will most likely not play and will hurt the pass-rushing for the Saints defense. Carolina looked impressive vs the Jets but almost made the Jets comeback in the 4th quarter. Christian McCaffrey was extremely impressive as always and should be one of the top running backs in the league if he can avoid injury. They have depth at receivers with DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Terrance Marshall. Carolina's defense is young and they should improve in the next few weeks of the regular season. To be honest I don't really know what to think about both the Saints and the Panthers. This game is a no bet for me but I think the game will be a lot closer than what many have predicted. I will be taking the Saints but I am not confident in it.
My Pick: New Orleans Saints (-4)
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears (Spread -2)
This game could go either. The Bengals had a solid performance against the Minnesota Vikings. First off I am glad Ja’Marr Chase did not continue to drop the ball when making catches as he was solid in this game. Tee Higgins as always is a solid tool to use and his injury is not as severe as originally thought. The Bengals o-line is still brutal and hopefully, Joe Burrow does not get hurt like he did last season. I still question their defense especially as Eli Apple will be the starting cornerback for the team and he is absolutely terrible. I got to be honest despite losing to the Rams the Bears did a solid job. The Bears offensive line is absolutely brutal and it got worse as Jason Peters could be out of this game due to an injury. Andy Dalton will have a revenge game as he has been known playing for the Bengals when he was in his prime. He has tools to work with on this offense and the Bears still have a Top 10 defense in the NFL. I have no clue what the game plan is for rookie QB Justin Fields. This game is also a no bet for me as I really have no confidence in either team so I will take the home team with the Bears.
My Pick Chicago Bears (-2)
New England Patriots at New York Jets (Spread +6)
Oh dear, where to begin with this game. Let's start with the New York Jets as they have dealt with a ton of injuries both on offense and defense. Let's start with the defense and oh boy excluding the d-line this Jets defense is not good at all. The linebacking core has been hit with a ton of injuries and it got to the point where they brought in BJ Goodson and hopefully, he works out for the team. The Secondary is still terrible and now Lamarcus Joyner is done for the season due to a Torn Tricep. The Offense has definitely shown improvement as Zach Wilson made some solid throws even though the Jets o-line was brutal last week and with Mekhi Becton’s injury is a tremendous loss as he is the best player on this o-line. Crowder and Cole should be ready to go for next week giving Zach Wilson more tools to work with. But the injuries for the Jets are going to give a healthy Patriots defense a big opportunity to dominate all game. Especially as the Patriots defense got better after the return of many defenders who opted out during the 2020 season due to the pandemic. Mac Jones was solid vs the Dolphins and should do a good job playing against the Jets. I have always hated the way Bill Belichick utilizes his running backs and he always shuns and shames players who fumble the football. He is doing it again with Damien Harris and I would not start Harris until Belichick starts punishing him for a simple mistake. I will absolutely take the Patriots mainly due to how beaten up that the Jets are even though they are playing in Metlife Stadium.
My Pick: New England Patriots (-6)
Sunday Football 4:25 PM
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Spread -12)
Again not going to go long here as I think this game is a mismatch. Atlanta’s defense is one of the worst in football and the offense is not good as well. Poor Matt Ryan he deserves a lot more dealing with this franchise. Tampa Bay is too talented on both defense and offense and should easily win this game. Tampa Bay is also the home team and it gives them a big advantage especially as this game is a division game. I will take the Buccaneers all day with this matchup. I'd be shocked if they lost.
My Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals (Spread -4)
I am not going to go too long with this game. The Vikings were absolutely terrible last week. This offense should be better as they have a ton of talent at running back and receiver but the Vikings o-line is absolutely terrible. Darrisaw, their first-round pick, is dealing with a ton of injuries. The only o-lineman that performed well was Brian O’Neil and he got paid for it during week 1 with a gigantic extension. The Vikings defense was ok. But Brashad Breeland had a terrible performance vs the Vikings. Their defense definitely digressed but their run defense is solid. I am going to go with Arizona here as they are just way better than the Vikings are. Especially on offense as the Cardinals have the better quarterback, receivers, and o-lineman. The Cardinals also have the better defense as well and Chandler Jones and JJ Watt will be all over the Vikings especially with how bad their o-line is. Even though I think the Vikings have a slight advantage at coaching it is going to be tough facing Arizona at home.
My Pick: Arizona Cardinals
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks (Spread -5)
This is the game that I am interested in watching for the 4 pm games. It is actually awesome to see Russel Wilson perform with a competent offensive line for once. He has not been this protected for many years. Now Ethan Pocic is dealing with injury and was placed on IR which is a loss for this o-line. Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett should perform well vs the Titans secondary which is not good at all. In fact, the Titans defense was way worse than originally thought. They still have no pass rush at all and their run defense performed poorly against the Arizona Cardinals. The Titans offensive line has never been the same since they let Jack Conklin leave in free agency. The Isaiah Wilson pick was a total flop and he didn't even last a season in the league due to how terrible his attitude and how immature he was and Dillion Radnuz their second-round pick was not good. Ryan Tannehill needs to be given more time to throw to Julio Jones and AJ Brown as he was given no time due to how bad the Titans were at blocking. Derrick Henry was disappointing vs the Arizona Cardinals and he should rebound with Seattle’s mediocre run defense. It is an East Coast team going to go to the west coast to play the game. I am going to go with the Seattle Seahawks.
My Pick: Seattle Seahawks (-5)
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers (Spread -3.5)
A lot of people call this the game of the week but I would rather watch the Seahawks and Titans game. The Chargers are definitely a better team than they were last year. This o-line is a lot better as they signed Corey Lindsay. Their first-round pick Rashawn Slater Jr. has heavily impressed me especially with handling Washington's defense. If he continues to play like that then he could be one of the best o-linemen in the league. Justin Herbert has had strong performances but If he continues to show this throughout the season then I will be all in on Justin Herbert. The Chargers offense should be able to perform well against a below-average defense and Demarcus Lawrence is injured due to a foot injury. Dallas did a good job performing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They would have won that game if the Cowboys had competent coaching (Again why didn't McCarthy ice the kicker at the end of the game?). Dak Prescott was amazing and looked like his old self in this game. I never want to hear ever again that Dak Prescott is holding this team back because Prescott is the heart and soul of this locker room and team. I'm glad Jerry Jones paid him the money that he deserves. I am concerned about Ezekiel Elliot as he had a terrible game vs the Buccaneers. It is not a good look as Elliot suffered massive regression during last season. Also, a quick question, why in the world are you putting Elliot at fullback most of the game? He has not been the best blocker. If you are in a deep league I would pick up Tony Pollard as a cuff back because I don't know if I can fully trust Elliot to be healthy and perform well. The Chargers have a ton of targets for Herbert to use with Keenan Allen and Jared Cook. Hopefully, Mike Williams can stay healthy as durability has been a huge issue with him. Austin Eckler has been a great running back for the team and should perform well against a below-average defense. The Chargers really don’t have a true home as the relocation to LA has been a total disaster for the Chargers. But I don't trust Dallas as I think that they are poorly coached by Mike McCarthy. I am going to go with the Chargers but this is another no bet for me.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday Night Football
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (Spread +3.5)
This game would have been more exciting if the Ravens have not dealt with a ton of injuries in the last few seasons. Lamar Jackson has done a solid job running but he has to clean up his ball security as he fumbled the ball two times. He has a solid o-line but he has no consistent weapons excluding Mark Andrews. The running back core is a mess and their receiving core has had a ton of injuries that he has had to deal with. If the Chiefs shut down Andrews then they should win this game as the Chiefs offense is unstoppable. Especially as the Chiefs have a healthy o-line that killed them during Superbowl 55 against the Buccaneers. Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in the league and it is not even close. The Ravens defense will have a handful to deal with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Baltimore is too beaten up for me to take in this game and this spread is too low for me. I will go with the Kansas City Chiefs to win.
My Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
Monday Night Football
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (Spread -11.5)
I want to start this game off by saying Green Bay What the Heck was that performance. Aaron Rodgers was terrible all game and he looked extremely unconfident and that he didn’t want to play football vs the Saints. Even in his press conference, he looked like he did not want to be there as well. The offense gave up and didn't want to be on the field the longer that game took place. He will luckily face a Detroit Lions defense and the Lions secondary is extremely brutal. The Lions lost Jeff Okudah for the season due to a Torn Achilles. The Lions run defense got destroyed by a 6th round rookie in Elijah Mitchell. AJ Dillion and Aaron Jones should run all over the place in this game. The Lions offense was okay but their o-line was not good especially with Taylor Decker out with a finger injury. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams did perform well vs the 49ers and I think they can do damage vs the Packers defense. The Lions almost defeated the San Francisco 49ers in week one which terrified many in survivor pools. Even though it is a divisional game I am not a fan of this game and it is going to be a no bet for me. I think Green Bay will win the game but I will just take the points in this game with the Lions as It might be close but I am not confident.
My Pick: Detroit Lions (11.5)