Part 1 of 3
DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) calculates a team's success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.
DVOA Pass/Run Defense Rank: Team’s NFL rank in DVOA pass or run defense so far this season. #1 means best DEF against the pass/run, #32 means worst DEF against the pass/run.
ATS = Against the spread
DVOA from https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef/2019
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-4) Colts ATS:
5-4-1 Texans ATS:
5-5-0 Projected Team Totals:
Colts 20.75 Texans 24.75
Colts Opp (HOU) Pass DVOA:
#25 Opp (HOU) Run DVOA:
#10 Injuries to Watch DEF (HOU):
CB Lonnie Johnson (OUT) S Justin Reid (OUT) S Mike Adams (OUT) S Tashaun Gipson (Q) CB Bradly Roby (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (IND):
RB Marlon Mack (OUT) WR Parris Campbell (OUT) WR T.Y. Hilton (Q) TE Mo Alie-Cox (Q) TE Eric Ebron (Q) Key WCB matchups:
None Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
T.Y. Hilton (25%) Eric Ebron (14%) Zach Pascal (12%) Jack Doyle (12%) Nyheim Hines (12%) Chester Rodgers (9%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Jonathan Williams (47%, 14, 1) Nyheim Hines (36%, 6, 4) Marlon Mack (32%, 14, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown
The Colt’s just keep on rolling, and those of you who listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast will recognize the Ewing Theory; it occurs whenever a team inexplicably gets better after the departure of their star player. Now, we can’t ever know if the Colts are actually better without Andrew Luck
, but sitting tied atop the AFC South with the Houston Texans surely backs this theory up. Jacoby Brissett (upgrade)
has been very good this year, throwing for 1,797-yards and 15 touchdowns, sporting a QBR of 51.7, which places him right behind Tom Brady - good for 16th best in the NFL. The Texans have been much better against the run than the pass this year, and were torn apart by Lamar Jackson last week (but who hasn’t been?), so look for IND to attack through the air. Brissett gets a slight upgrade in this good matchup, but he’s still better suited for 2 QB formats - although HOU does give up 21.6 FPPG to QBs, plus 26.1 to wideouts, making it an enticing matchup. T.Y Hilton (upgrade)
participated in today's walkthrough and is expected to make his return from a calf injury, his involvement further upgrades Brissett while downgrading the Colts auxiliary passing options. Zach Pascal
, Chester Rodgers
and Marcus Johnson
are all shaky options with Hilton back, and none are recommended plays. Pascal is the best bet, but he has disappointed in recent weeks without Hilton, posting 2-26-0 and 2-17-0 receiving lines the last two weeks. Eric Ebron
is also expected to suit up, relegating Jack Doyle
to a low-floor TE2. Both tight ends have a habit of sapping each other’s value, but Ebron is the preferred play due to his nose for finding the endzone. RB Breakdown
Stud running back Marlon Mack (OUT)
broke his hand last week against the Jaguars and is expected to miss several weeks. That leaves Jordan Wilkins
, Jonathan Williams
and Nyheim Hines
to shoulder the load. Many including us thought that Wilkins was the true handcuff to Mack, but as fate would have it, Wilkins was inactive due to injury when Mack went down, allowing Williams to break out. The backfield situation is now one to avoid, as it’s fully expected to be a three headed RBBC, with Wilkins and Williams splitting early down work, with Hines eating up the passing-catching work. The matchup isn’t a good one either, as HOU is ranked top-10 in Run DVOA and gives up 18.5 FPPG to RBs. It’s best to take a wait and see approach with these running backs to see if one breaks out above the rest. Update
The Colts are going with Jonathan Williams (stash) as the starter for tonight's game, giving him more appeal than the other two options. That being said, it's extremely difficult to know if that means he'll be given the bulk of the early down work or if he's a starter in name only. Proceed with caution but definitely stash him if you can.
Texans Opp (IND) Pass DVOA:
#10 Opp (IND) Run DVOA:
#23 Injuries to Watch DEF (IND):
S Khari Willis (OUT) CB Shakial Taylor (OUT) CB Rock Ya-Sin (OUT) Injuries to Watch OFF (HOU):
WR Will Fuller (Q) Key WCB matchups:
None Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
DeAndre Hopkins (31%) Will Fuller (21%) Kenny Stills (14%) Keke Coutee (12%) Duke Johnson (10%) Darren Fells (10%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Duke Johnson (59%, 8, 2) Carlos Hyde (34%, 9, 1) Buddy Howell (7%, 2, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown
I’ll be the first to admit that we got our score prediction wrong regarding the Texans/Ravens last week, at the very least we expected a close game, not the absolute spanking the Ravens delivered. The matchup doesn’t get easier this week; last time these two teams played, Deshaun Watson (downgrade)
threw for 308-yards and a touchdown, but also tossed a pair of interceptions and ran for just 32-yards. Fantasy owners can’t justify sitting a quarterback of Watson’s caliber, but it’s best to keep expectations in check - IND allows just 16.3 FPPG to QBs and 21.7 FPPG to WRs.
Despite having a down year, DeAndre Hopkins
aka Nuk, is the WR9 in PPR formats. He just isn’t having the explosion games we’ve become so accustomed to. He’s killed the Colts in the past and is due a big game, continue to get him active in all lineups. Will Fuller
is expected to play but make sure he’s active before the game starts, and if he returns, this will bump Keke Coutee
to the bench. The last time all the wideouts were healthy it was Kenny Stills
in the slot, with Fuller and Nuk on the outside (Rotoworld). Either way, if Fuller is active both he and Stills are boom-or-bust WR4 options. They likely need to hit on a deep ball to find any value. Coutee shouldn’t be in any lineups irregardless of Fuller playing. Both Darren Fells
and Jordan Akins
remain involved in the offense, draining both of their values. So far, Fells has been the better option due to finding the endzone, but he can’t be trusted as more than a touchdown-dependent TE2. RB Breakdown
Last week gave us a good preview of which running back would be on the field in situations the Texans were trailing, and it was unsurprisingly Duke Johnson
receiving the higher snap rate than Carlos Hyde (upgrade standard)
. It’s likely that HOU faces a positive or neutral game-script tonight as the home favorites, meaning that Hyde will likely be heavily featured in the run game. Interestingly, even though IND Run DVOA is much worse than their Pass DVOA, they only give up 96.8 rushing yards per game and just 14.2 FPPG to RBs. Treat Hyde as a back-end RB2, it seems likely he finds his way into the endzone. Duke J can’t be trusted as more than a desperation RB3. Score Prediction: Texans 24, Colts 21
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (-10.5) Browns ATS:
3-6-1 Dolphins ATS:
5-5-0 Projected Team Totals:
Dolphins 16.75 Browns 27.25
Dolphins Opp (CLE) Pass DVOA:
#13 Opp (CLE) Run DVOA:
#20 Injuries to Watch DEF (CLE):
DE Olivier Vernon (Q) S Eric Murray (D) Injuries to Watch OFF (MIA):
WR Gary Jennings (Q) Key WCB matchups:
None Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
DeVante Parker (20%) Mike Gesicki (13%) Jakeem Grant (11%) Albert Wilson (10%) Patrick Laird (10%) Allen Hurns (7%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Kalen Ballage (70%, 14, 6) Patrick Laird (21%, 7, 6) Myles Gaskin (9%, 1, 1) QB/WTE Breakdown
The tank is still on in Miami even after winning a couple games. Instead of a being a shoo-in for the first pick, it’s looking like they’ll be top-3. Ryan Fitzmagic (downgrade)
continues to sling the rock, and impressively threw for 323-yards with no scores and no interceptions against a very good BUF secondary last week. Either way, he does not need to be considered as a fantasy option. Devante Parker
has continued his breakout, albeit about 3 years too late for most fantasy owners to get behind. Parker has a solid shot to make his preseason goal of 1000- receiving yards, and as mentioned last week, MIA has a very favorable schedule moving forward for wideouts (CLE, PHI, NYJ, NYG, CIN). He needs to be owned in all formats. Jakeem Grant
showed out last week, rushing for a touchdown and returning a kickoff for another. That kind of production can’t be relied upon, but he does have a penchant for big plays and appears fully healthy - he’s looking like the preferred flier over the likes of Allen Hurns
and Albert Wilson
. At one point it looked like Mike Gesicki
may carry value the rest of the season, but it’s hard to get behind any MIA player and he completely busted last week with a 4-18-0 receiving line. Still, he has at least six targets in three consecutive games so he warrants some consideration, but he’s best suited as a TE2. RB Breakdown
The good news is that Kalen Ballage (downgrade)
salvaged his fantasy day with a rushing touchdown. The bad news is that he ran for just 9-yards on 9 carries, adding another 8-yards on 5 receptions. He’s a desperation RB3 that can’t be recommended in any format. Fellow running backs Patrick Laird
and Myles Gaskin
aren’t seeing the volume right now to be considered in any format.
Browns Opp (MIA) Pass DVOA:
#32 Opp (MIA) Run DVOA:
#19 Injuries to Watch DEF (MIA):
S Bobby McCain (Q) DE Taco Charlton (Q) LB Raekwon McMillan (Q) CB Ken Webster (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (CLE):
OT Kendall Lamm (Q) Key WCB matchups:
Odell Beckham vs. Nik Needham (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
Odell Beckham (26%) Jarvis Landry (24%) Kareem Hunt (24%) Nick Chubb (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Nick Chubb (56%, 27, 1) Kareem Hunt (42%, 12, 8) Dontrell Hilliard (1%, 0, 0) D’Ernest Johnson (1%, 0, 0) QB/WTE Breakdown
Last week's win against PIT got ugly, culminating in DE Myles Garrett
ripping off Mason Rudolph's helmet and hitting him over the head with it. No matter which way it’s looked at, losing Garrett is a big loss for CLE. Luckily, they face a MIA squad that ranks in the bottom half for both Run and Pass DVOA. Baker Mayfield
tossed two touchdowns last week, but still hasn’t performed at the level that was expected this season. Odell Beckham Jr. (upgrade)
has been a bust so far, but against MIA is a great matchup - they give up 22 FPPG to QBs and 25.4 FPPG to WRs. CB Nik Needham is expected to shadow OBJ, and it’s not an imposing matchup, Needham was destroyed last week by ‘Smokey’ John Brown to the tune of 9-137-1. It seems more likely that he booms than busts this weekend, and he’s a good bet to find the endzone for the first time since Week 2. Speaking of finding the endzone, Jarvis Landry (upgrade PPR)
has found paydirt in three consecutive weeks. Consider Landry an upside WR2 for PPR formats in the great matchup. It appears that tight end David Njoku
isn’t expected to return from IR this week, when he does return it’ll hurt Landry’s redzone usage. Demetrius Harris
and Ricky Seals-Jones
are desperation streaming options - MIA gives up 7.7 FPPG to tight ends. RB Breakdown
MIA has been better against the run in recent weeks, a couple weeks ago they were ranked almost dead last in both Run and Pass DVOA, but they have moved up the ranks against the rush. It’s likely irrelevant, as Nick Chubb (upgrade)
and Kareem Hunt (upgrade PPR)
should run all over them in a positive game-script. Start Chubb with confidence as an RB1 and consider Hunt an upside RB2 in PPR formats - MIA gives up 22 FPPG to RBs. Score Prediction: Browns 27, Dolphins 17
Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (-4) Broncos ATS:
6-4-0 Bills ATS:
6-3-1 Projected Team Totals:
Broncos 16.5 Bills 20.5
Broncos Opp (BUF) Pass DVOA:
#9 Opp (BUF) Run DVOA:
#27 Injuries to Watch DEF (BUF):
DE Jerry Hughes (Q) DB Siran Neal (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (DEN):
WR Tim Patrick (Q) OG Dalton Risner (Q) C Conner McGovern (Q) OT Ja’Wuan James (Q) RB Phillip Lindsay (Q) Key WCB matchups:
Courtland Sutton vs. Tre’Davious White (Rotoworld) Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
Courtland Sutton (24%) Noah Fant (15%) Phillip Lindsay (11%) Royce Freeman (11%) Tim Patrick (11%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Phillip Lindsay (64%, 18, 2) Royce Freeman (30%, 9, 1) QB/WTE Breakdown
After squandering a big early lead last week, the Broncos head to Buffalo hoping to right the ship. Brandon Allen (downgrade)
got off to a hot start with a few big throws, but faded in the second half and was a big reason why the Vikings were able to make a comeback. The Bills have an above average pass defense - surrendering the 4th fewest FPPG to QBs - so any streamer appeal Allen might have had is nullified by the matchup.
His best weapon in the passing game, Courtland Sutton (downgrade)
, will face one of his toughest matchups of the season in a likely shadow matchup vs Tre’Davious White. Despite the tough individual matchup, and the fact the Bills have given up the 9th fewest FPPG to WRs, Sutton’s performance this season has earned him a long leash in season-long leagues. He’s worthy of a start as a somewhat lower ceiling WR2. The surprise for the Broncos last week was Tim Patrick (deep stash)
receiving eight targets and going for 77-yards on four catches. While Patrick is worth consideration as a deep-league stash, this is not the week to take a shot on starting him. He’s no more than a dice-roll WR4/5. Rookie tight end Noah Fant (downgrade)
had another solid outing with a 4-60 line on a team-leading 11 targets. The Bills are perhaps the toughest against TEs - fewest FPPG allowed to the position - so Fant deserves a matchup downgrade. However, his role as the second option in this passing game, combined with his elite after-the-catch abilities, make him a low-end TE1 at such a thin position. RB Breakdown
Denver was unable to establish a consistent running game against the Vikings stout front seven last week, but the Bills have a weakness in this area so it may be a matchup to exploit. Phillip Lindsay (upgrade)
soundly out-snapped Royce Freeman
in this loss, and looks set to lead the timeshare again this week assuming he’s healthy. Although Lindsay hasn’t been as involved in the passing game of late, his total touches have consistently been higher than Freeman’s. The Bills have given up the 15th most FPPG to RBs, but have a bottom-tier rush defense by DVOA metrics. Consider Lindsay a lower-end RB2 this week due mostly to the low projected point totals, but the matchup makes him worthy of a start in most leagues. Freeman is only a handcuff for Lindsay owners at this point.
Bills Opp (DEN) Pass DVOA:
#15 Opp (DEN) Run DVOA:
#6 Injuries to Watch DEF (DEN):
LB Joe Jones (Q) LB Justin Hollins (Q) Injuries to Watch OFF (BUF):
OT Ty Nsekhe (Q) Key WCB matchups:
John Brown vs. Chris Harris Jr. Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
John Brown (26%) Cole Beasley (20%) Dawson Knox (11%) Devin Singletary (10%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Devin Singletary (74%, 16, 1) Frank Gore (26%, 12, 2) QB/WTE Breakdown
The Bills finally won a game that came primarily due to passing game heroics, albeit against the league-worst Dolphins defense, but now return home to face an underrated Broncos defense. Josh Allen
finished with a career-best passer rating last week, and finished with an excellent final fantasy line. His rushing ability was on full display, but his impressive passes to John Brown were what really had his owners gushing. This week the matchup is a bit tougher - the Broncos give up the third fewest FPPG to QBs despite only the 15th ranked pass DVOA. Allen may regress a bit in the passing department, and this game’s low projected final score suggest fewer TDs, but his rushing upside keeps him in the back-end QB1 mix.
As for the previously mentioned John Brown (downgrade)
, he goes from one of the cushier matchups in the league to one of the toughest. He’s likely to face Chris Harris Jr. in shadow coverage most of the day, and although Harris got dusted a bit by Stefon Diggs last week, he remains one of the premier coverage corners in the NFL. The downgrade is negated somewhat by Brown’s ability to break a big play at any time, so owners can continue to plug him in as a WR2, but keep expectations in check. Cole Beasley (drop)
is the only other WR worth consideration for the Bills, but his inability to rack up high catch totals has sapped any potential PPR value. Although he’ll likely get an easier matchup than Brown, his value is limited only to very deep leagues as a WR4/5 with little upside. Dawson Knox (drop)
has shown some flashes as a rookie TE in the league, but he too hasn’t been able to consistently produce for fantasy. He’s an extremely TD-dependent TE2 whose matchup - Broncos give up the 13th most FPPG to TEs - isn’t enough of an upgrade to warrant a stream. RB Breakdown
With the Bills having so much success through the air last week, there were fewer opportunities for Devin Singletary
and Frank Gore (drop)
on the ground last week than would be expected in such a positive game flow. However, Singletary was far more efficient with his opportunities, and looks like he’s on the precipice of a breakout. The Bills offense has struggled to put up points against good defenses, but Singletary has been a consistently impressive force when given opportunities. The Broncos have a solid rush defense and give up the 12th fewest FPPG to RBs, but the potential for an increased role in positive game-script put the rookie in RB2 territory. Gore’s only value is as a hindrance to Singletary’s breakout, and he shouldn’t be owned in any league except as an extremely low-upside handcuff. Score Prediction: Bills 20, Broncos 16
Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals Steelers ATS:
6-4-0 Bengals ATS:
4-6-0 Projected Team Totals:
Steelers 22.75 Bengals 16.25
Steelers Opp (CIN) Pass DVOA:
#31 Opp (CIN) Run DVOA:
#24 Injuries to Watch DEF (CIN):
None Injuries to Watch OFF (PIT):
WR Juju Smith-Schuster (D) RB James Conner (D) WR Diontae Johnson (D) Key WCB matchups:
None Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
Juju Smith-Schuster (17%) Jaylen Samuels (16%) Diontae Johnson (15%) Vance McDonald (13%) James Washington (13%) James Conner (12%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Jaylen Samuels (34%, 10, 6) Trey Edmunds (47%, 6, 3) James Conner (18%, 6, 2) QB/WTE Breakdown
Putting aside the fact that he was involved in an ugly brawl at the end of last week’s game, Mason Rudolph (downgrade)
was simply horrendous under center last week. He threw four interceptions, and couldn’t seem to hit receivers that were further than five yards away from him (even that was a struggle). The matchup couldn’t be better - the Bengals’ pass defense is ranked 31st by DVOA and gives up the 3rd most FPPG to QBs - but that doesn’t move the needle enough to consider him in standard leagues. Perhaps in a 2 QB league there’s an owner brave enough to stream Rudolph in this matchup, but we’d recommend against it.
Another reason to avoid Rudolph in any format is that he will likely be missing top target Juju Smith-Schuster
, although it’s not like he used him much in the first place. With Juju doubtful to suit up, and Diontae Johnson
questionable to play as well, James Washington
is the only name to keep an eye on. If both of those players sit, Washington could be a volume-based WR3 based on opportunity and matchup. However, owners should likely avoid the situation altogether, despite the favorable matchup. Vance McDonald
may have a better shot of capitalizing on the opportunity, but he too has been victim to Rudolph’s struggles (and his own). McDonald would be a low-end TE1 if both players sit, if only due to the matchup and the bump in usage. Still, avoid this passing game if possible. RB Breakdown
Fantasy owners were dealt another tough injury-related lineup decision last week when the Steelers took James Conner
off the injury report prior to kickoff, only to see him leave the game with a re-aggravation of a shoulder injury he had apparently been dealing with all week. Conner is looking doubtful to suit up against the Bengals on Sunday, so the backfield will again feature Jaylen Samuels (upgrade PPR)
and Trey Edmunds
this week. Although Edmunds actually led the team in snaps, it was Samuels who got the majority of the touches, and managed to score a TD despite the ugly offensive performance. The Bengals are a favorable matchup - giving up the fourth most FPPG to RBs - but the state of this offense overall limits Samuels’ fantasy appeal somewhat. Still, if Conner is out, Samuels should see the requisite volume to belong in the RB2 ranks, especially in PPR leagues due to his passing acumen. Edmunds is not a fantasy option at this point.
Bengals Opp (PIT) Pass DVOA:
#5 Opp (PIT) Run DVOA:
#8 Injuries to Watch DEF (PIT):
None Injuries to Watch OFF (CIN):
AJ Green (D) WR Audent Tate (Q) WR Stanley Morgan (Q) Key WCB matchups:
None Relevant Target Share %’s (season):
Tyler Boyd (24%) Auden Tate (19%) Alex Erickson (11%) Tyler Eifert (10%) Joe Mixon (8%) Gio Bernard (7%) RB Snap %/Touches/Targets Week 11:
Joe Mixon (59%, 16, 3) Gio Bernard (52%, 4, 3) QB/WTE Breakdown
If you decided to stream Ryan Finley (16 team 2 QB league only)
last week because the Raiders have a porous pass-defense, you likely ended the day with a loss. The rookie was again unimpressive, despite a favorable matchup, and now faces the 5th best pass defense by DVOA metrics. He is an easy avoid in all formats and all league sizes this week. Finley will be without AJ Green (ankle)
again this week, and likely without Auden Tate (concussion, neck)
as well. That leaves Tyler Boyd (downgrade)
as the lone survivor of what was once a somewhat fearsome WR corps, at least on paper. The Steelers are middle of the pack in FPPG allowed to WRs, but they’ll be able to focus most of their attention on Boyd knowing he’s the only threat out wide.
After watching the Steelers shut down Cooper Kupp two weeks ago because they saw him as the most important target for Jared Goff, there’s reason to believe that’s how the Steelers will approach Boyd
. He’s in the WR4 range simply due to his likely volume, but his QB situation and tough matchup keep him out of the top-36 and give owners a strong incentive to consider benching him. Alex Erickson
and Tyler Eifert
are not fantasy options at this point outside of extremely deep leagues. There simply isn’t enough juice in this passing game with the rookie under center. If the Bengals are to pull the upset, it will be through a game manager type performance from Finley, a strong running game, and an even more inept Steelers offense. RB Breakdown
Despite their offense becoming even more inept after benching Andy Dalton, the Bengals have found some success in the running game with Joe Mixon (upgrade standard)
the past two weeks. Against two straight solid rushing defenses over the past two weeks (BAL and OAK), Mixon has racked up 200 rushing yards and over 50 receiving yards. This is due in part to a renewed commitment to him and the volume he has received, but also seemingly a slight improvement from the offensive line and perhaps from Mixon himself to run with more vigor. The Steelers are another tough matchup - giving up the 6th fewest FPPG to RBs - but with his current volume and obvious talent, Mixon should be viewed as an RB2 regardless. If Finley can improve even slightly from last week, it would give Mixon a chance to repeat his performance and snag another rushing TD along the way. Gio Bernard
is simply a handcuff to Mixon at this point, but he should be owned by all Mixon owners, especially those with postseason aspirations. Score Prediction: Steelers 17, Bengals 14
To all EFL members, from Seattle to South Beach, I have one thing to say: Welcome to the fucking show. submitted by
It's my pleasure to have EFL around for its 4th year, and it is our #1 goal to improve in every way so that this league becomes the best experience out there for Madden aficionados. With so many new members this year--members that we hope help establish the core of this league for its future--I figured that it would be nice to break the ice with each owner in the best way I know how: by attempting to roast you all and/or your teams. Given, this will be easier as more time passes since I'll get to know people better, but with the opening week roast I aim to establish an EFL tradition that emphasizes our efforts to build a strong Madden community. They may all suck, but some might not; either way, let's have a laugh at someone as we usher in the new league year.
First and foremost, I will touch again on our opening night primetime Games of the Week. Check out the primetime preview for a more in-depth look at these matchups, and expect some fireworks either way. In Game 1, starting at 6pm EST on 8/8, we have cuppa tea Rhys bringing his Chiefs down to exotic Jacksonville to take on Florida Man Plex. After 1.5 hours of bitching about Tyree Jackson, we will move our attention to N'awlins, LA, where bad gal Ry Ry meets Mo, although some people call him Moreece. You don't want to miss these milestone games, folks. We've got the first EFL 20 games, first primetime opener in league history, and Plex's 1000th game of Madden 20 all in the same night. What more can you ask for?
If you're actually asking that question, then look no further for your answer. On Friday, 8/9, EFL opens across the league with a 14-game slate over 3 days to kick things off. Here's a look at these matchups and what to look for (or shield your precious eyes from):
San Francisco 49ers (Theeeverbro) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Asshat)
Our first non-GOTW matchup of the week takes us to boring ass Tampa Bay to see Theeeverbro--new to the NFC as well as the all-22 view--attempt to throw just 4 INTs with Jimmy the Gent against a truly terrifying Tampa Bay defense led by the rotting corpse of Chris Conte. Asshat will look to shut down Jimmy G by getting some pressure from Jason Pierre-Paul, the number one PFF (Person with Four Fingers) defender in all of football.
On the other side of things, we will see Reuben Foster and Solomon Thomas, the defensive weapons Jon Lynch obtained by fleecing Ryan Pace and embarrassing him on draft day, tee off against a weak Tampa Bay offensive line and run game. JK. LOL (go Bears). Theeeverbro will instead look to rookie MAGA bitch Nick Bosa to pick up the slack and fulfill his superstar potential as soon as possible. No matter what happens, the league will be excited to see Theeeverbro coaching this roster on the field in a meaningful game. After all, he had strong conviction on this team and only deliberated a mere 53 days before selecting them.
Cincinnati Bengals (Illmatic) @ Seattle Seahawks (Blaza)
We have our first taste of the unknown in Seattle, as two-time EFL 19 Super Bowl Champion Illmatic takes on newcomer Blaza in a high stakes, winner-take-Ciara showdown. What makes it an unknown, you may ask? Well, not only do we have no tape on Blaza, but we also are playing a Madden title that does NOT feature whip route hot routes for the tight end. Is Illmatic in trouble?
He will probably answer that one with a resounding no, but the hamster living in his bedroom and powering his internet may have some different thoughts on the matter. Nevertheless, he will put his championship pedigree to the test against a rebuilding Seattle squad that is looking to ride the Russell Wilson wave to continued success despite a multitude of losses on defense. Is Blaza up to the challenge? We’ll see soon, but don’t be too quick to count him out. He sounds like a Dodgeball character and is confident in his ability to put the Globo Gym Purple Cobras on his back to get a victory.
Buffalo Bills (Klassick) @ New York Jets (TomDaddy)
EFL history may suggest an emphatic Klassick victory is in store to get the Buffalo era off to the right start. However, let’s take a closer look at the important details in this matchup to see where the advantages stand out the most. This Buffalo squad is take-no-prisoners but take-all-alleged-rapists. After trading prized shorts-wearer Josh Allen, the Bills will hit the gridiron with Shady McCoy, a truly wonderful teammate who does not hold out and also isn’t afraid to speak up [to vulnerable women]. This unique tandem of assault and disrespect will have its opposition fearing for their livelihoods each day, but as long as Ben and Shady win their football games before going home, that opposition should be temporarily be safe.
On the other hand, TomDaddy brings his Jets into Week 1 with a great football mindset. LeVeon Bell will look to keep his performance at an elite level after a historic run with Pittsburgh and a 2018 in which he set a personal career high in blunts smoked on the couch. Bell, who is striving for a second straight championship after leading his fantasy team to its league’s highest honor just a year ago, claims to be in the best shape of his life and ready to do what he does best. Joining Bell in New York is stud linebacker CJ Mosely and standout first round draft pick Quinnen Williams. Unlike the Abuse Amigos in Buffalo, these players are always working to become better teammates, and instead of playing with the safety of their loved ones, they just play with themselves.
Denver Broncos (@damnitBob) @ Oakland Raiders (Guy)
Guy just can’t catch a break these days. First, he lands in a division with English chaps Craig and Rhys, both known to take full advantage of QB mobility when they possess it. But then, Bob goes and trades for the Dak Attack while cutting statue-esque Joe Flacco just moments later. Damnit Bob! Regardless, we’re all praying for your blood pressure, Guy.
With regards to the matchup itself, this one should have plenty of intrigue. If a divisional rivalry isn’t enough to peak your interest, also note that Bob has that VIP Madden access and will probably have some cheat codes to sneak into the game if he starts to fall behind. Yeah, we’re onto you Bob. Guy, on the other hand, will need to take all of that money that Mark Davis spent this past offseason on guys not named Khalil Mack, and translate it into some on-the-field success. The gameplan will surely be to get new all-pro acquisition Antonio Brown off to a hot start. Guy will want to break the ice quickly with Brown and make him feel at home, as you don’t want him getting cold feet about signing with Oakland. If Carr develops some chemistry with Brown then watch out, as Guy could be headed to Flavortown in no time.
Indianapolis Colts (HotRod) @ Los Angeles Chargers (Craig)
Live from a modestly priced Oklahoma City Air BnB townhouse comes a HUGE opening week matchup between two exciting rosters in the middle of Super Bowl contention. Resident tech/graphic design genius Rod will travel from Indy to the outskirts of LA, where he will sit in traffic for about 5 hours before finally reaching the stadium where the Colts will prepare for their first home game of the year against the Chargers.
General Luck will square off against Commander Phillip Rivers and his battalion made up of his own children (Kony 2012). Luck enters this battle with a few more small arms at his disposal in the form of new arrivals Devin Funchess (free agency) and Parris Campbell (draft). The big question here will be whether or not new pass rusher Justin Houston can make his presence felt against a weak LA offensive line. If so, look for the Luck stampede to overwhelm the Rivers family.
Atlanta Falcons (Dusty) @ Minnesota Vikings (Slusha)
Our next EFL showdown takes us to the luscious, pure waters of Lake Minnetonka, where self-proclaimed Green Bay Packer fan Slusha aims to defend his turf against Dusty’s Dirty Birds. Led by non-Hall of Fame quarterback Matt Ryan, this Falcon offense will not be one to take lightly. They feature one of the top WR duos in the league in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley (Roll Tide, Dust) and on the other side of the ball, they weaponize more speed than any defense out there.
To combat this talented Falcons squad, Slusha will turn to his own elite WR combo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, a tandem that will force the absolute best of the Falcons secondary if they want to keep that Minnesota offense from exploding. Thielen, a scrappy player and real “lunch pail” kind of guy, has gone from unwanted and unknown to a bonafide all-pro talent that is fully deserving of his Top-10 WR status. Minnesota also trots out one of the leagues most talented defenses, which is the real reason why Mitch struggled against them last year. Seriously, give the guy a break, he looked bad on primetime but that asshole Harrison Smith hit him late and the Vikings are super good on defense so it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
…Wait, where was I? Ah yes, the Vikings will look to slow one of the league’s most powerful offenses with elite all-around play from Harrison “Hitman” Smith and a vicious pass rush from Danielle Hunter and Eversen Griffen. Simply put, this game is popcorn time.
New York FOOTBALL Giants (JBell) @ Dallas Cowgirls (Rascrush)
In our first of two NFC East rivalry matchups to begin the season, we will see JBell and the fighting Saquons travel to Jerryworld to take on the new look Dallas Cowboys, fresh off of Rascrush’s patented 19 trades before ever playing a game. While Dallas has a far superior roster on paper, don’t be too quick to count out a fresh JBell ready to make a name for himself. The biggest thing to watch for this game is how rookie Drew Lock fares in his first taste of big boy action. Will Ras regret moving Top-40 quarterback Dak Prescott, or will Lock make Cowboys fans forget all about those lame ass draft picks they received along with him?
Detroit Lions (Pitt4Life) @ Arizona Cardinals (Braves)
In this under-the-radar NFC matchup, the improved defense of the Detroit Lions will look to instill doubt in the minds of Cardinals fans regarding their new star center-fielder Kyler Murray. Head Coach Pitt will look to lean on talented sophomore RB Kerryon Johnson and standout WR Kenny Golladay to dissect an Arizona defense with a lot of youth and potential but a lack of proven playmakers.
Arizona head coach and Colin Kaepernick superfan Braves will try to ease Murray into the action by focusing on a faster start for star running back David Johnson, who will undoubtedly be hungry to rebound from a lackluster 2018 season. Braves was recently asked about the pressure he faces after relieving former head coach Kliff Kingsbury of his duties, and he had the following to say: “I have nothing but great things to say about Kliff’s tenure here in Arizona, and only hope I can live up to his legacy and continue to instill the culture he brought with him here. During his 18 days as coach here, he brought the best out of these players, and it shows both on and off the field. I loved his policy of having the whole team kneel every day out of respect to NFL legend and personal friend of mine, Colin Kaepernick, and I plan on continuing this tradition. I wish him nothing but the best as he pursuits his dream of dancing with the Chippendales all over the world.” Safe to say, the Cardinals will be must-see television as they begin yet another new era.
Green Bay Packers (SpecialK) @ Chicago Bears (Tiller)
Rivalry week continues in full swing as we head to the Windy City to watch Maserati Mitch attempt to avenge last season’s opening night loss at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and his merry band of offensive linemen who have to hold every play to accomplish anything. Many are predicting this division to run through Chicago with Tiller commandeering an incredible defense led by Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson. Special K will have to put real life friendship to the side for this one if he wants to prove those doubters wrong. Kev, be sure to use Tiller’s wife’s fandom against him and win that mental battle. Either that, or inject your quarterback with some hard drugs before the game.
Los Angeles Rams (MAGA fuckhead) @ Carolina Panthers (Cook)
This Week 1 matchup is of personal interest to me, as we have one of EFL’s most active sim owners in Cook facing off against a member of the Armpit Stain of America Club. I don’t think I’ve ever roasted Cook before and I don’t plan to now, yet I also don’t really need to roast Jtkeer either, as he roasts himself daily with that stupid red hat he wears. He will most likely throw to Todd Gurley in the flat about 18 times per half despite Gurley’s concerning battle with arthritis in his knee. Emotions will battle amongst each other as Jtkeer roots for a Cam Newton injury while simultaneously wishing he could trade his African-American players for Christian McCaffrey. All jokes aside, though, we should expect a fun matchup between two talented rosters as well as no less than 12 racial slurs shouted in Cam’s direction (only 8 of which will be from the opposing head coach).
Baltimore Ravens (Cimmy) @ Miami Dolphins
Watch out folks, this’ll be the most exciting straight sim you’ve ever seen! In reality, I shouldn’t joke about this because we get to avoid watching the Dolphins roster take the field for at least one more week. But I have a feeling we’ll miss out on a solid matchup between two EFL rookie coaches. Everyone will wait another week before seeing Cimmy’s gameplan for Lamar Jackson and whether he will finally pull off that trade for Saquon. I sense a bribe suspension incoming.
Meanwhile, MG is our newest member and the book is still out on him. He’s attempting to break the biggest curse in Madden history: the late 2010s Miami Dolphins roster. After some early moves to begin the ultimate rebuild mission, all eyes are on South Beach to see if they eventually become an NFL team.
Washington Redskins (Ditka) @ Philadelphia Eagles (Dolla)
Here’s what we all came for, folks: the self-roast. Ditka joins the NFC East this year to help with the recovery of one of the NFL’s most historic[ally racist] franchises, and first in his path is the mega-loaded Philadelphia Eagles roster. Ditka seems like an underdog on paper, but Dolla could make things interesting if he gets off his game by nutting at the sight of his first RPO completion. The R-Words, on the other hand, will turn to rookie QB Dwayne Haskins and powerful young RB Derrius Guice to keep this game at the tempo they like if they hope to keep things competitive. If the game becomes uncompetitive, definitely expect Ditka to bitch about it in chat. He thinks he’s turned a new leaf, but he can’t escape who he is. Boom! Got ‘em. If Ditka is smart and can keep his emotions in check, he’ll blame the loss on something natural like internet connection or fatigue since he’s moving into a new house Saturday. Or maybe he’ll just call it a tank job until Week 2. He’s got plenty of options, whereas Dolla only prefers two: Run or Pass. That’s a full-circle roast right there since Dolla loves RPOs. Get it?
Pittsburgh Steelers (Adrian) @ New England Patriots (Elmayimbe)
In this alternate history timeline, Rocky Balboa’s wife has joined the sports world herself as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and will look to return the team back to their hard-nosed, run-first ways of past years. After the departure of Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger, the offense now belongs to Juju Smith-Schuster, as long his bicycle doesn’t pop a tire on his way to the stadium. Feeding him targets will be the Cannon in Shorts, Josh Allen, who will need to improve as a passer in his second year to give fans hope that he can be a franchise QB.
Speaking of franchise QBs, the Patriots will look to develop Jarett Stidham right away after the retirement of kiddy-kisser Tom Brady, a system QB. Wait, Brady is back? Oh. Well then, Tom Brady returns for his age-74 season to throw some dimes against tight zone coverages that feature defenders less than 20 yards away from receivers. You hear it every year, but don’t bet against this man.
Tennessee Titans (Smalls) @ Cleveland Browns (Bluto)
Last but certainly not least on the schedule for Week 1, we get to see the all-of-a-sudden must watch Cleveland Browns in their first game since landing star WR Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason. In a game surely to make Colin Cowherd squirm, Baker Mayfield will be expected to build upon a solid rookie campaign in which he nearly led the Browns out of the gutter and into the playoffs.
The Titans, on the other hand, remain one of the NFL’s most perplexing teams. Are they contenders or overrated? Many continue to expect improvement from the team as well as QB Marcus Mariota, and with a defense as talented as Tennessee’s, a playoff run shouldn’t be out of the question. Maybe a coaching change is what will spark the run in Nashville. Get well soon, Smalls, your team needs you.
Good luck, EFL. I hope to improve my roasts as I get to know everyone a little better.
NFL Betting: Analyzing the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season win total. Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 season win total preview: However, both of those spots come against the Joe Burrow-led Cincinnati Bengals, who many expect to have another tough year in 2020. While that could make two potentially simple games tougher, it also lessens the NFL Week 12 Betting Preview: Steelers currently a 7-point favorite at the Bengals New, 4 comments Even after the disastrous offensive performance against the Browns, the Steelers are a touchdown Betting market: The Steelers are unsurprisingly a trendy road dog in Cincinnati vs. the AFC North-leading Bengals. At the time of writing, this line dropped to 2. The total, which opened at 54.5, has gradually been on the decline. Over/under bets are nearly split, but the under was getting around 80% of the dollars at the time of writing (see live betting data here). The Bengals are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games on the road. The Steelers are 2-7 SU in their last 9 games. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Bengals’ last 7 games vs the Steelers (avg. total: 40.29). Steelers vs Bengals 2019 NFL Week 12 Odds, Preview & Pick. Written by Eric Williams on November 19, 2019. NFL Betting News. NFL Week 12 Betting Trends for Steelers vs Bengals. Steelers are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games against Cincinnati; Steelers are 4-1 SU in the last 5 games;