Vegas released their over-under on total wins for the season yesterday. Naturally, we’re going to make our picks and argue in the comment section. Ignoring the juice, here are the over-unders for the bEast teams (opinions subject to change):
Redskins – 6.5: They have a really good front 7 and a very under-the-radar, but talented set of skill position players on offense. Also, everyone craps all over their OL, and it’s fair to do so to some degree, but they suffered a bunch of injuries/suspensions last year, and had little continuity. I think they will be better there this year. And obviously, I need the obligatory “Rex Grossman won’t be their QB this year” comment. I just fear that secondary. Still, seven wins is reasonable. I’m bullish on the Skins. Over.
Cowboys – 8.5: As usual, we have a team here that is star heavy at the top, but has virtually no depth and won’t win many battles in the trenches. As a general rule of thumb, I always think Vegas over-values the Cowboys, by design. The Cowboys are the most popular football team in the world, and people bet with their hearts. Vegas knows this. Under.
Giants – 9.5: The OL has all the makings of being a disaster. Hell, it was a disaster last year, and they won anyway. But that QB and that DL are both just too good to bet against. Over.
Eagles – 10: Ten? Come on, Vegas. Give me a line with a .5. This is team that is just too talented to think they’re going to only win 9 games (and yes, I remember that they only won 8 last year), but has too many nuclear possibilities (like Vick’s health) to have any sort of confidence in counting on them to get to 11. So… I’m going to go lame here… Push.
While we’re on the “gaming” topic, I figured we’d talk a little fantasy football. As a disclaimer, I typically hate talking about fantasy football, and despise when people tell me about the awesome team they had in 2007. But I do like to play fantasy football with friends/family. So this may be a one-time thing. I like to keep my strategies close to the vest, so I’m going out on a bit of a limb here hoping that my adversaries won’t remember in August who I said I liked/disliked in May. That said, I’m bearish/bullish on the following players:
Miles Austin: I already talked in detail that I think Miles Austin has become something of the forgotten man outside of the Cowboys’ fan base. If he can stay healthy, there’s little reason to think he won’t put up good numbers.
Fred Davis: If Davis hadn’t gotten suspended last season, he was on pace for 79 catches and 1061 yards. He could be RG3’s security blanket this season. Ask anyone to give you their list of the 5 best TEs in the game, and NOBODY will include Fred Davis. Nobody. A lot of people won’t even think of him in the top 10. 8th-9th round steal.
Michael Vick: Other players are going to be scared to draft him because of the injury risk. Minus that injury risk, Vick is probably a first round pick. Fantasy football leagues are hard to win. It’s usually the owners that take some risks that win. If he’s sitting there in the 4th or even the 3rd, take a chance.
Jeremy Maclin: Jeff McLane of Philly.com made his case for Maclin:
Fantasy-league owners, take note: Jeremy Maclin could be poised for a breakout season. I recently asked one Eagles coach to give me the name of a player that will make his first Pro Bowl this season and he said Maclin’s name without hesitation. It’s going to be difficult for the Eagles wide receiver to rack up Megatron-like numbers. For one, he isn’t as good as Calvin Johnson, and, two, the Eagles have more offensive weapons than the Lions. But Maclin has had the look this offseason of a player that is ready to take that next step. (He also has a little extra motivation in that he’s entering the fourth year of a five year contract.) Last season would have been the “next step” year if he hadn’t had the cancer scare that wiped out most of his offseason. He still put up respectable numbers – 63 catches for 859 yards and 5 TDs – but he missed almost four games because of injury – wear-and-tear injuries that might have been reduced had he had a regular camp and preseason. I saw Maclin last week and he said he was a solid 205 pounds, seven more than his listed 198.
I can confirm that Maclin looks far more built this year than last, when he was recovering from a serious illness.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Like Vick, I think people will be afraid of Bradshaw’s potential for injury. But here’s what I love about Bradshaw… He’s tough as hell, and he loves football. A number of the media guys at Giants OTAs expected that Bradshaw would not participate so that he could rest his foot. Nope. He was out there, running hard… in May. I just believe in his mentality to stay on the field. Never underestimate the power of your team drafting a guy in the 1st round that plays your position.
Tony Romo: This is nothing against Romo. I just fear for his safety behind a bad OL, and I don’t like their depth at WR and TE. If any one of Miles Austin, Dez Bryant or Jason Witten go down, that passing attack is in trouble.
LeSean McCoy and Victor Cruz: They’re both great and all. Just don’t expect 20 TD’s or 1500+ receiving yards next season.
Pierre Garcon: People are going to say “He’s their #1 receiver.” Don’t be fooled by those silly titles. All the Skins receivers are going to get looks, from Garcon to Moss to Hankerson to Morgan. And as I already noted, I think Fred Davis will be the focal point of that offense.