Friday, 9/8 Quick Hitters: My New England 19-0 Prediction? GONE! + Best Bets

I’ll admit it – I was wrong. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

I said New England would go undefeated…and that’s done in Game #1. Stunning and very impressive win by Kansas City. Among the most shocking in recent memory. Completely dominant offensive performance by the Alex Smith and the Chiefs. And Tom Brady had ZERO TD passes for the Pats!

-The worst part: I was facing Chiefs rookie RB Kareem Hunt on my main fantasy team – so it’s already a loss before Sunday even starts! He had the best first NFL game of any player in NFL history with 246 total yards and 3 TDs! Hunt is looking like a sure fire top-10 fantasy RB this year with major usage in that offense. Good thing I got him at 40-1 to win Rookie of the Year!

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-The bad news for KC…if All-Pro safety Eric Berry is done for the season with an achilles injury, that would be crushing for a team who played what possibly might be the best game we’ll see all season from a heavy underdog.

-I almost feel guilty for picking against my alma mater and for my hated rival in this weekend’s college football picks. If there ever is a time to be wrong…this is a week where it wouldn’t bother me whatsoever (on those selected games).

-Call me crazy but I still think ASU is the better of the two Pac-12 in-state teams based on talent. I would take their QBs, RBs, WRs over UofA’s…but their offensive line looks to be a giant hole. After Week 1, I’d stick with my prediction that both teams miss a bowl game this season.

ASU RB Kalen Ballage runs through New Mexico State last week.

-I may talk about this every week from now on but what is it going to take for Blake Barnett to displace Manny Wilkins as the Sun Devils’ starting / primary QB? Whatever it is, I predict it won’t be this week.

-I’m just not sure Arizona will be able to win consistently with QBs, like Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate, who look to run after their top two reads are covered up. The lack of depth among the Wildcats’ receiving core is staggering.

Can Khalil Tate wrestle the starting QB job away from Brandon Dawkins?

-I’m looking forward to seeing former (Scottsdale) Desert Mountain and Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen make his Houston debut in Tucson on Saturday. If he’s as good as I think he is, the Wildcats’ secondary is in for a long night.

-Don’t underestimate USC despite a pathetic Week 1 showing against Western Michigan. On paper, they’re still a better team than Stanford…but then again, if the game was in Palo Alto, I’d be picking the Cardinal.

-I expect Oregon to blow Nebraska out on Saturday. The Huskers look to be going through a rebuilding season as evidenced by their defensive implosion vs. Arkansas State. Will 3rd year coach Mike Riley soon be on the hot seat?


-I’m not sure what to make of either Utah or BYU just yet. But I’ll take the Cougars in a close one coming off last week’s utter embarrassment in the New Orleans Superdome. LSU just might be that good. If Utah wins, watch out Pac-12 South.

-Big game at home against Minnesota for Oregon State. I expected the Beavers to show promise this season. Almost losing to Portland State at home after getting walloped by Colorado State isn’t progress.

-Oklahoma at Ohio State will be an awesome game to watch…same with Auburn at Clemson. I’d be very surprised if either of the road teams won though. All four teams easily could be in a New Year’s Six bowl game come the end of the season. I might’ve underestimated how good Clemson still is despite the loss of QB Deshaun Watson to the NFL.

Clemson QB Kelly Bryant will have quite a test with Auburn and Louisville next on the Tigers’ schedule.

Urban Meyer is 100% correct when he says not to just blame the players for losing in a coach’s first year. His former assistant, Texas coach Tom Herman, needs to look in the mirror…his team just gave up 51 points to a far less talented Maryland team!

-The one road team I would’ve picked to upset this week…Georgia…if QB Jacob Eason hadn’t gotten hurt against Appalachian State. A win this week would go a long way for Irish coach Brian Kelly.

College Football Week 2 Best Bets
Last Week: 4-3-1
Overall: 5-4-1
Louisville / North Carolina Over 62.5 total points

Pittsburgh +21 at Penn State
TCU -3.5 at Arkansas
Oklahoma / Ohio State Over 64.5 total points
ASU / San Diego State Over 54.5 total points

Along those same lines, here are my five favorite NFL plays this week:

NFL Week 1 Best Bets
Last Week & Overall: 0-0
Titans -2.5 vs. Raiders
Bills / Jets Under 40 total points
Browns +8.5 vs. Steelers
Giants +4 at Cowboys

Saints / Vikings Over 48 total points

-Considering the Cardinals haven’t lost to the Lions since darn near when I was still in college, why should I feel confident in picking Detroit this week? I don’t. But don’t worry Cards fans, I’m planning on picking your team the next two weeks at least at Indy and home against the Cowboys.

-As a Packers fan, there’s nothing more I want to see than Green Bay smashing Seattle. Remember the “Fail Mary game” or the ridiculous choke job that was the 2015 NFC Championship Game? Let’s hope it doesn’t take the Packers 8 games to get going as it did in 2016.


-I’m probably crazy but I like the Browns a lot this week…not to beat the Steelers but to keep it close even without #1 overall pick, Miles Garrett. I would keep your Le’Veon Bell expectations for fantasy football in check…who knows what kind of shape he’s in.

-What’s the over/under on number of weeks until LeSean McCoy gets hurt badly enough to miss at least the following game? I’ll say 5.5. The Bills will absolutely overuse him considering their offensive weapons outside of McCoy and Tyrod Taylor and barely over Bears / Jets level.

-I think the Saints-Vikings game might on Monday night (afternoon in AZ) be among the most fun of the weekend. Even Sam Bradford and his receivers are startable against a poor New Orleans secondary.

-Of the three New Orleans RBs, I’m most bullish on rookie Alvin Kamara this year. I wish I had him on one of my SEVEN fantasy football teams. He has the look of a great PPR flex option by midseason.

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-The two home teams I’d put on upset alert: the Cowboys (as predicted in Wednesday’s column) vs. the Giants and surprisingly the Panthers in San Francisco. New coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t have a ton of talent but could he out-scheme Carolina and pull of a Week 1 shocker?

-Starting a new set of Friday fantasy football-related predictions:
PPR HERO (an underrated player who will finish in the top-10 at his position this week): 
Week 1: Pierre Garcon (WR, 49ers)
PPR ZERO (a top-15 player who will finish outside of the top-20 at his position this week): 
Week 1: Marshawn Lynch (RB, Raiders)
KICK IT TO WIN IT (A likely waiver wire kicker who will end up in the top-10):
Week 1: Younghoe Koo (Chargers)
PUNT OF THE WEEK (the team I think will punt most frequently therefore upgrading the other team’s fantasy defense):
Week 1: Indianapolis Colts (vs. Los Angeles Rams)
-Finally, the Diamondbacks have won 13 games in-a-row and look darn near the best team in baseball. Should I take back my “Dodgers have it all wrapped up in the NL” prediction anytime soon? How does Torey Lovullo not win National League Manager of the Year at this point?

Stay safe South Florida – including my relatives and friends in Miami.
To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.


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