By Kalvin H.
Week 4 Record: 0-3-0
Overall Record: 7-5-0
Oh, how the mighty fall! Week 4 was bad, but I’m still ahead in the win column and I need to rebound. It wasn’t just bad just for my picks, but my fantasy teams did poorly, and the NFL in general seems to be struggling with COVID. Week 4 had two postponed games, the Pittsburgh vs Tennessee game was moved to a later week, and Kansas City vs New England was postponed for only a day before the spread could really be assessed. It was nice to have that KC vs NE game on Monday night to accompany the snoozer of Green Bay vs Atlanta, but what was the real cost? Cam Newton was the first to test positive, and no other players or staff had tested positive before the game Monday, but early today it was released that Stephon Gilmore has tested positive as well. Gilmore played in the game Monday night and thus exposed not only his own team but Kansas City’s players as well. What does that mean for the Chiefs? No one has tested positive yet, but COVID can take a few days to manifest and produce a positive test, so the fall out is still truly unknown. In the meantime, two more Tennessee players have tested positive this week and they are in jeopardy of having another postponed game. What can the league do to stop this? It’s going to be hard to contain within a team, they’re with each other too much and if they don’t get practices in because they’re trying to distance, that’s going to be detrimental to their team’s ability to play in the game, from a physical ability standpoint as well as a preparation standpoint. I think the league needs to go ahead and add in a “Week 18” to the schedule, and right now it just stands as an extra bye week for all teams before the playoffs, but for any team that has to postpone games due to positive cases, it would stand as a makeup game week (they may even need two weeks for this, for teams that would need more than one make up game). Then if there are any positive cases within a team, their game is automatically postponed to Week 18, no more of this “well let’s quarantine the one player and wait to see if it spreads further.” It’s going to spread, postpone the game, isolate the players and staff from each other for a week to assess the spread within the team while testing everyone, and then resume practice as normal the following week with only the uninfected team members. Why are we just assuming that it’ll be ok, and that one positive test will stay one positive test? It’s been shown time and time again that’s not how this virus works, if you’re in close proximity to someone who is infected, there is a good chance you will be infected. It wouldn’t be hard for the NFL to create a new week in the schedule and push back the playoffs, they dominate the sports landscape at that time anyways. An extra week means extra revenue for the networks and potentially the teams. It’s easy, but the NFL and Roger Goodell are stubborn, they’re not going to admit that they didn’t prepare properly and fix the situation now that it’s starting to spiral, they’re going to press through until a player dies from COVID, then maybe they’ll think about maybe changing something. Damn, I didn’t go into this thinking I would rant about NFL COVID protocols, but here we are. I don’t have much to say about last week;s games anyways, they were mostly bad and my picks were worse, so without further ado and in the immortal (paraphrased) words of Bill Belichick, “We’re on to Week 5!”
Arizona (-7) @ New York Jets
The Jets are very bad. Arizona has had a couple of bad games and are going to be looking to bounce back. There is no better team to bounce back against than the Jets. Expect Kyler Murray to dice up this very shaky Jets defense and to walk away with at least a two score win. This may be the easiest pick of the week.
Seattle (-7) vs Minnesota
Minnesota got their first win in week 4 against a floundering Houston team (more on them later), but that doesn’t mean they’ve turned their season around by any stretch of the means. Russ will continue to cook against a Minnesota defense that has been absolutely torched all season. Watch for DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett to have huge games here. Minnesota has a very potent offense that may be able to keep pace for a little while in Seattle, but at the end of the day Russ will head to the kitchen and pull away in the 4th quarter.
Cleveland (+1.5) vs Indianapolis
I’ve been burned by Indianapolis at least 6 times already this year, but I am going to keep going back to it. I have no faith in this team whatsoever. They are no fun to watch, Phillip Rivers is a check down king, and if it’s my lot in life to be continually burned betting against them, then so be it. I cannot in good faith bet on Indianapolis to win anything (until they play the Jets). Cleveland showed some signs of life in Week 4 against Dallas. The loss of Nick Chubb didn’t slow them down at all and that trend should continue against Indy (but watch out for a huge let down from OBJ in Week 5; if he’s on your fantasy team, now would be a great time to go fishing for a trade before he scores 5 points this week). Cleveland should be good enough to beat this Indianapolis team, so I’m taking the home underdog again here.
BONUS TEASER – 6 points – Houston (PICK) vs Jacksonville/Dallas (-4) vs NY Giants
Houston finally fired Bill O’Brien. Fully expect a win against Jacksonville this week buoyed by some fresh air and then for the team to come back to earth in the following weeks. 6 points is way too much, though. They’re not a good enough team from top to bottom to beat anyone by a touchdown. Bill O’Brien had almost every job in Houston and he was terrible at all of them, this team is a wreck on and off the field (personnel wise) and is going to be difficult to rebuild, luckily they have some good pieces to start with in Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt. The Giants are the only team that may be as bad or worse than the Jets. Dallas should run away with this one here, but it’s hard to bet on a 10+ point spread for a team that has gotten blown out in the first halves of their last two games. This was the perfect opportunity to tease.
Come back every Wednesday for more “Can’t Miss Picks” and for even more from Kalvin, check out A Podcast About Something on your favorite podcast app or follow on twitter @APASomething