It’s the most wonderful time of the year for football fans here in Saskatoon! The CFL playoff chase is heating up, both of our local teams are getting their seasons underway (Go Huskies, Go Toppers!), American college football is in week 3… and oh yeah, THE NFL SEASON STARTS TODAY!
I consider myself a bit of a football savant. Used to play a bit back in the day (CJFL record holder… just don’t look up the record), coached high school ball for several seasons (Go Joes!) and even have a few trophies on the ol’ Yahoo fantasy account. They’re all 2nd and 3rd place trophies, but still!
Yeah, maybe ‘savant’ isn’t the right word. But lets have some fun and pick all the NFL games this year. See how we do when all is said and done! Lets pick the rest of the CFL games too… and heck, Canada West football too!
NFL Picks – Week 1
Detroit vs Kansas City: It would be really stupid to have the 1st pick of this segment be against the defending Super Bowl champions. I mean, you never bet against Patrick Mahomes, right?
Pick: Detroit – The Lions bandwagon seems to be pretty full right now. So much hype around this team… and I’m buying right into that hype, even though they’re the Lions. I believe this is the year Detroit actually turns legit. Plus, no Kelce and No Jones for KC.
Cincinnati vs Cleveland: Battle of Ohio! I’ve got Nick Chubb in all 3 of my fantasy leagues this year, so it would be nice if the Browns got up early and just fed him the ball. The Browns are such a toss-up this year because no one knows how Deshaun Watson is going to play. The Bengals don’t have to worry about their QB though…
Pick: Cincinnati – Don’t over think this one like you are the Thursday night game. The Bengals got this one.
Houston vs Baltimore: Houston is going to be a lot better than people think this season… but they will still stink. Other than Pearce at RB, the offence is pretty lame. CJ Stroud could have a tough time his rookie season, still think he’s going to be a solid QB though. Plus, it’s Lamar Jackson!
Pick: Baltimore – Can’t wait to see if the Zay Flowers off-season hype is legit or not.
Tampa Bay vs Minnesota: Like many football fans, I now have a man crush on Kirk Cousins after watching that Netflix show. The Vikings also have arguably the best offensive weapon in the league with Justin Jefferson. Vikes are at home too… Never bet against Minnesota when they’re at home!
Pick: Minnesota – Tampa Bay isn’t going to be great this year. Their core is getting a bit old and Baker is too inconsistent to beat solid teams like Minnesota.
Carolina vs Atlanta: A very lame divisional battle here. Bryce Young did not look good in the pre-season for the Panthers, and he doesn’t have a lot of help around him either. The Falcons, meanwhile, are kind of a young team with a lot of upside. Desmond Ridder is a big question mark, but at least he has some decent weapons to work with.
Pick: Atlanta – No one is talking about Drake London, I think he has a breakout season for Atlanta this year. Carolina stinks, they might finish 2nd last.
Arizona vs Washington: We will not be taking the Cardinals AT ALL this season. They stink. Do not waste your money, no matter how good the odds are.
Pick: Washington – Lotta hype around Sam Howell right now. Don’t think people realized just how good he is because of that flop of a season he had in college. The year before that at UNC he was unreal!
Jacksonville vs Indianapolis: Really can’t wait to watch Anthony Richardson play. He’s like the new Cam Newton, but less polished and doesn’t have the college resume. They play the same way though, which is good for football fans everywhere. Big, mobile QB’s are just the best! Richardson and Michael Pittman Jr. are going to be a very underrated tandem in fantasy this season I think!
Pick: Jacksonville – The Colts are still not a great football team though. Jacksonville is turning into quite a good team, and has a ton of young talent. Who else really wants to see what Calvin Ridley does after that one viral video?1
San Francisco vs Pittsburgh: The 49ers defence is scary. Don’t think Kenny Pickett and his unproven offence can handle them, especially on week 1 when timing is still an issue. They looked great in pre-season, but I think the Steelers are going to have a tough time this year.
Pick: San Fran – Little worried about Brock Purdy. That might have been a fluke last year. Still though, he’s got the pieces around him to succeed. Brandon Aiyuk is going to have a big season!
Tennessee vs New Orleans: This game is going to be so boring. The RB battle between Kamara and Henry will be okay to watch… but other than that, this one might be a snoozer. We’re picking them all though, and I think the Saints are way ahead of the Titans.
Pick: New Orleans – Did Derek Carr get too jacked in the off-season? We’ll have to wait and see!
Las Vegas vs Denver: People seem to be giving Denver & Russell Wilson a mulligan for last season because of Nathaniel Hackett. But are the Broncos going to be a bounce back team? The defence is ok, but the playmakers on offence are inconsistent or always seem to be hurt.
Pick: Vegas – People forget the Raiders have Devante Adams, who is still VERY good. Him and Jimmy G are going to make quite the tandem, and Josh Jacobs is going to be running angry. The Raiders might be sneaky good this year.
Philadelphia vs New England: Philly is scary good again this year. They might even be better than last season. Jalen Hurts is the real deal, the receivers and O-line are the best in the league… The Patriots can’t hang with the Eagles. New England’s roster is dog poop. Unless ol’ Bill has 17 tricks up his sleeve (which he probably does), this season won’t be a fun one for Pats fans.
Pick: Philly – Don’t overthink it, just pick the Eagles every game this year.
LA Rams vs Seattle: Big believer in the Seahawks right here. Geno Smith’s touch is incredible, their big 3 receivers are sick, the O-line is solid, and the defence does it’s job. Don’t think last year was a fluke, this Seahawk team is going to be fun to watch this year. The LA Rams are getting old…
Pick: Seattle – Just don’t start any of their RB’s in fantasy. You never know who will be getting the ball.
Miami vs LA Chargers: This will be a fun one to watch. Justin Herbert and his big 2 receivers vs Tua and the speedsters on the outside. Both secondary’s are very solid too. This one is probably coming down to a last second field goal.
Pick: Chargers – Justin Herbert is going to have an MVP-ish season. No one talks about the Chargers defence too, it ain’t bad!
Green Bay vs Chicago: Speaking of MVP-ish seasons…Don’t know why, but I got a gut feeling that Justin Fields is going to LIGHT IT THR EFF UP this season. He’s so good on the run, and now that he has a legit #1 receiver, he’s dangerous from the pocket too. Cole Kmet is a big target down the middle for him who’s starting to figure it out. The Bears are such an ‘on-the-fence’ team for me. No idea if they’re going to suck or be awesome. Same with the Packers I guess too! How will Jordan Love be as a starter? Is Christian Watson the next great Packer receiver?
Pick: Chicago – Fields takes over in the 2nd half and wins it for the Bears.
Dallas vs NY Giants: Is Daniel Jones elite? Remember when every QB conversation was about if they’re elite or not? Daniel Jones is sneaky good, but not elite. That could be good enough for this Giants team though. Love the Waller addition, and Jaylin Hyatt looks like a rookie gem at receiver. Dallas has the O-line though, and the best defensive player in the league. This is a toss-up.
Pick: Dallas – I strongly dislike the Cowboys, but you have to admit they’re a solid football team.
Buffalo vs NY Jets: Huge early matchup for both teams. The Jets have the ‘Hard Kocks’ hype while everyone seems to be cooling on the Bills bandwagon because of the playoff game.
Pick: Buffalo – The Jets will be better than last year, but Josh Allen is still Josh Allen. Don’t know why people are kind of giving up on the guy.
Hamilton vs Ottawa: Awful way to start week 14. The Redblacks used to be exciting to watch, but Dustin Crum has come back down to earth a bit. Hamilton’s offence is awful without good QB play. It’s gonna be a classic, greasy, low-scoring until the 4th kind of CFL game here
Pick: Ottawa – They’re due
Montreal vs Toronto: The Argos are hot, the Als are not. Cody Fajardo hasn’t looked great since he missed a few starts with injury. Some Montreal fans think Caleb Evans should now be the guy. A QB controversey is never a good thing when you’re playing the best team in the league.
Pick: Toronto – Chad Kelly has another big game. So glad he’s in the league long-term.
Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg: The Labour Day rematch will go how it usually goes… with a Bomber win. That’s how she goes for these two weeks! The Riders win the LDC, and Winnipeg takes the next one in front of their fans. Really want to take the Riders because we are the Rider station (Listen to the game on Cruz FM) but also want to have a good record with these picks so…
Pick: Winnipeg – The Riders will go on a heater after this one though. They look REALLY good as of late.
Calgary vs Edmonton: The other Labour Day rematch winner will also be the team that lost the week before. Edmonton was so close to winning on the road last week, they just need to figure out the 4th quarter. Tre Ford will make sure it’s not close in the 4th so they won’t have to blow it. Man, he has been so much fun to watch!
Pick: Edmonton – Glad to see they’ve rebounded after a horrendous start.
Canada West Picks
Saskatchewan vs Regina: Very easy choice here… GO DAWGS!
Pick: Saskatchewan – Amundrud looks like the real deal at QB. Could be the next long-term huskie pivot, he’s only a 2nd year!
Manitoba vs Alberta: Alberta’s also got a young QB that’s turning heads. They’ve rebuilt nicely after a few years of being in the basement. Manitoba had a tough 2nd half last week, so they’ll come out firing this week. Great game here, 2 good teams.
Pick: Alberta – Really like what their program is doing
UBC vs Calgary: Dinos didn’t look great last week, their reign of terror in the Can West looks to be over. UBC is a scrappy team with good weapons, if they get good QB play look out.
Pick: UBC – Their next game against Alberta is early in the schedule but will have big standing implications.