DraftKings NFL: Divisional Declarations

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s #TimesUp to make DraftKings NFL Divisional round decisions. All the action last Sunday between that wild Saints/Panthers finish, and the Golden Globes red carpet makes me almost relieved I only have football to concentrate on this Sunday without the distractions of trying to figure out if Justin Timberlake is more attractive than his wife. Almost. It got so intense Sunday, I turned down an invitation to meet up with good friends of mine at the bar on the ground floor of the building I live in because I’d be taken away from my two TV setup. They made fun of me, and weren’t surprised. I invited them up of course, but they weren’t interested. Somehow, I think our friendship has become stronger for it. This brings me to my contribution to the women’s movement for the week. As soon as a group of female friends can execute that scenario I just described without any conflict, I promise they’ll take over the world. And, while I can’t speak for the movie industry, pro athletes have been helping by making great strides in their attitudes toward women in the work place in recent times. Just take this exchange with professional boxer Mike Tyson and a female reporter in the early 90s…

Now, fast forward to 2017 just some months ago pro quarterback Cam Newton with his thoughts on a female reporter’s question…

Previous Week Recap

Congrats women! You no longer have a coitus requirement in order to speak freely! Now, you can speak freely and have everything you say be blatantly disregarded and undermined due to the fact that you’re a women. It only took roughly three decades! Just imagine what we can accomplish in another 30 years! #Progress. Overall, the sneaky Titans stack paid off making for a solid all around weekend.

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Projected All Weekend Lineup

Position Player Salary
QB Marcus Mariota  $      5,900
RB Derrick Henry  $      7,300
RB Latavius Murray  $      5,400
WR Nelson Agholor  $      4,800
WR Brandin Cooks  $      7,000
WR Rishard Matthews  $      4,500
TE Rob Gronkowski  $      7,100
FLEX Delanie Walker  $      5,000
DST Vikings  $      2,900

Projected Saturday Only Lineup

Position Player Salary
QB Marcus Mariota  $      5,900
RB Devonta Freeman  $      5,900
RB Derrick Henry  $      7,300
WR Brandin Cooks  $      7,000
WR Corey Davis  $      3,400
WR Rishard Matthews  $      4,500
TE Rob Gronkowski  $      7,100
FLEX Delanie Walker  $      5,000
DST Falcons  $      3,500

Projected Sunday Only Lineup

Position Player Salary
QB Ben Roethlisberger  $      6,200
RB Le’Veon Bell  $      9,600
RB Latavius Murray  $      5,400
WR Martavis Bryant  $      5,000
WR Stefon Diggs  $      6,200
WR Tommylee Lewis  $      3,000
TE Kyle Rudolph  $      4,700
FLEX JuJu Smith-Schuster  $      6,000
DST Steelers  $      3,800

Divisional Round ATS Picks

I stayed brief with the DK analysis because I can’t seem to shut the fuck up with the betting angles for the playoffs. 1-3 last week. It looked like I was heading for a respectable split then, of course, Christian McCaffrey broke of his longest play from scrimmage this season to ultimately steal a Saints cover, and capped off an improbable 4-0 for the underdogs on the weekend. Considering that was my worst week since week 1, I’m primed to bounce back this weekend, right? 56-35-3 on the year.

Atlanta -3 at Philadelphia

Reasons to take Atlanta:

1. Last week I discussed how Atlanta’s experience factor was getting over blown, and then, well… of course, their experience and poise played a really significant role in their wild card victory in L.A. last week. As fate would have it, they’re now in position to advance to their second consecutive NFC Championship game against an Eagles team that, if Wentz were healthy, would be laying some where in the range of a touchdown. Now, a Nick Foles led offense makes me about as comfortable taking Philly as that female reporter was talking to Mike Tyson, and puts an emphasis on my next point…

2. The Falcons defense is good. After ultimately being the achilles heel last season, Dan Quinn has managed to improve his defensive unit from the 25th and 27th ranked in yards/points allowed per game respectively to top ten in both this season. If they can boss up on the Rams, there’s a strong chance Foles could be the next victim of the #MeToo movement.

Reasons to take Philadelphia:

1. They’re at home.

2. This is definitely the one game where I’d be tempted to get cute by going with the Eagles because it’s highly likely most people won’t be.

The pick: Still, when Wentz went down so did the Eagles Super Bowl chances. I get going against the grain here just because, but it’s a little too cute. Even for me. I predict an Atlanta victory by at least four points, and that President Trump will be so impressed he’ll declare the Falcon as the new National bird effective immediately via twitter in all caps.

Tennessee at New England -13.5

Reasons to take Tennessee:

1. Derrick Henry. As I wrote last week, their offense is just better with Henry receiving full-time work. New England’s defense remains suspect, and ranks 31st in the league allowing almost five yards a carry. The Titan’s offense operated much better last week once they switched to a no-huddle scheme letting Mariota call plays at the line. It’s been an on going story line publicly as of late. As long as Mike Mularkey doesn’t fuck this up by going back to the whatever the hell else he thinks they’re good at, it’s not inconceivable to see a scenario where the Titans give the ball to Henry 30 plus times keeping Mariota in 3rd and manageable. And, the ball away from Brady.

Reasons to take New England:

1. This instagram post. When bad asses like TB12 drop lines like that I tend to think they’re crazy, but in a really healthy bad ass way. Because, let’s face it–he’s dead serious. Honestly, when could a normal person say this and not be joking? Fellow crazy bad ass, Conor McGregor also had his own version of this expression this week. Another crazy bad ass, but in an unhealthy way…

Euron kind was the storm last GOT season...

Euron kind of was the storm last GOT season…

2. That fucking asinine ESPN article describing how the Patriots are tearing apart internally, and will inevitably galvanize them to their 6th Super Bowl win in the Belichick/Brady era with the Titans being the first victim in the soon to be unleashed “us against the world” carnage bestowed upon the rest of the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. It’s almost as if Bobby Kraft and Belichick submitted the article to ESPN themselves.

3. Since losing two of their first three home games, the Pats have won their last five games in Foxborough by an average of over 16 points. Shit, eight of their 13 wins this season have been blowouts. In other words, they’re the Patriots. And, they’re the Titans.

The pick: New England is winning this game. In the Brady/Belicheat era, the Pats are 10-1 in home Divisional round games. Oddly enough, their average margin of victory in those games is just about 13 points (trust me, I keep an excel of shit like this because I’m a loser). Even more odd, the only team to take out the Hoody at home coming off a bye was none other than Rex Ryan and the Sanchize himself. The combined wisdom of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle couldn’t explain that. I don’t see the Mularkey/Mariota combo becoming the second to accomplish such a feat, but I do see them making the Patriots remember the day they didn’t cover against the Titans. Pats win 31-20.

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh -7

Reasons to take Jacksonville:

1. None. After watching that atrocity that took place in Jacksonville last Sunday, I can’t, in good conscience, pretend that I believe the Jags stand a chance of going on the road and staying with any quality team in a playoff game. If the best argument I can make for Jacksonville is a scenario in which their vaunted defense forces a couple turnovers, and their quarterback has a good day running the football I’m more delusional than Andre Drummond shushing the crowd trailing by 30. I mean, what’s next? Bortles comparing himself to LeBron James?…

Reasons to take Pittsburgh:

1. The Jags defense is very good, but not great. They’re vulnerable against running backs allowing over four yards per rush ranking 26th in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, and a banged up LeSean McCoy fared very well last week with 119 total yards. Considering Le’Veon Bell’s next game could be his last, I’m sure he’ll want to take advantage toting the rock as many times as humanly possible.

2. Blake Bortles is starting at quarterback for Jacksonville Sunday.

The pick: Look, anything can happen. Just ask the Rams if they planned on having their all-pro return man Pharoah Cooper spot Atlanta 10 points by himself last week. But, I’ll let someone else rely on the turnover/special teams Gods to bless the Jags Sunday afternoon. Because other than some flukey turnover/special teams plays flipping this game on it’s head, the Jags have no chance. The Patriots and Steelers are the only real contenders in the AFC left. Deciding who goes to Super Bowl 52 with an AFC Championship rematch of their week 15 classic is the juicy inevitability we all want, and we all need. Steelers by many points.

New Orleans at Minnesota -5

Reasons to take New Orleans:

1. Brees will not let this one slip away. It’s been three long, post season-less years recovering from bad defenses, a head coach’s suspension, and lost draft picks. Now, Brees is armed with a one-two running back combo that goes for 130 yards a game, and a defense allowing the 10th fewest points per game. He’ll turn 39 Monday, and hasn’t been beyond the second round since their 2009 Super Bowl run. In a wide open year with arguably his best team since, it’s difficult to go against Brees in a match up where quarterback play is the clear edge for the Saints. Here’s the issue…

Reasons to take Minnesota:

1. I think Minnesota is the better team. And, it might not be as close as we’d like to think. Here’s how these two match up rankings wise on paper. All stats via ESPN.com and NFL.com:

Offense
Vikings Saints
Points/Gm 10 4
Rushing Yards/Gm 7 5
Passing Yards/Gm 11 5
3rd Down % 3 19
Turnovers 3 9
Point Differential 5 (130) 6 (122)
Passing plays 20+ yards 13 (53) 1 (72)
Rushing plays 20+ yards 4 (15) 2 (17)
Defense
Vikings Saints
Points/Gm 1 10
Rushing Yards/Gm 2 16
Passing Yards/Gm 2 15
3rd Down % 1 27
Passing plays 20+ yards 1 (35) 28 (57)
Rushing plays 20+ yards 2 (6) 21 (12)

Surprise! According to the rankings, the Saints offense is really good. But seriously, the Vikings do not have a weakness on paper. And, they’ll be at home in a brand new house! But, how can I take Case Keenum against a future Hall-Of-Famer? Then again, I argued in week 13 that Keenum and the Vikings were this year’s version of the 2003 Carolina Panthers that eventually lost to Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.

The pick: That’s what makes this match up by far the best of the weekend, and, rightfully so, Sunday’s finale to the Divisional round. Unproven, journeyman quarterback versus quarterback royalty looking to cement his legacy with a second Super Bowl in the twilight of his career. Strength against strength in front of a rabid, boozed up Midwest crowd in the dead of winter thirsting for Saint’s blood. Joe Buck’s odd looking beard! Troy Aikman looking like he’s at the tail end of a 27 hour Minniapolis bar crawl! That stupid fucking Viking horn every two minutes! My mind is telling me Minnesota, but my heart wants Drew back at U.S. Bank Stadium three weeks from now against TB12 for it all. Lucky for the Vikings, like Priest Vallon’s son, I have no heart. Vikings 23-17.

Good luck this weekend! You can follow me on twitter @realBobbyAdcock.

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