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Kibbles and Picks 2020 – Week 3

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I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that I had a heck of a run in Week 2. I missed on just three of the week’s 16 games, putting up a 13-3 record. As you might imagine, that was good enough for me to take a bite out of Stella’s early lead.

How big, you ask? Well … that brings me to the bad news.

See, Stella had a really good week as well, outdoing Week 1’s 11-5 record by one. That 12-4 means that my huge week only managed to reduce her lead by a single measly game. Any progress is good progress, but still – I could have used a bigger swing.

Maybe I’ll get it this week, where Stella and I once again differ on seven games. But here’s the thing – I only have so many 13-3’s in me. And behind her adorable face is a ruthless commitment to making sure I know just how big a fluke last season was. So … we’ll see?

We’re at odds right out of the gate, as I’ve picked the Jaguars to win at home while Stella thinks the Dolphins are going to head into Jacksonville and come out with a road victory. It’s early, but Gardner Minshew looks like he might actually be a legitimate starting QB. The Jags have looked pretty good in the first couple of weeks. Stella thinks that neither team is particularly good, but she’s expecting the Dolphins to show up and take care of business. The truth is that we’re both wildly disinterested in this one and are basically coin-flipping.

I like the Rams to get it done against the Bills in Buffalo. This Los Angeles team looks like it has the weapons to do some damage on both sides of the ball. Jared Goff looks like he’s righting the ship, with a bunch of quality dudes to throw to, though the running back situation looks iffy. The Rams should be able to rush the passer, which will prove key to the win. Stella thinks that the L.A. defense is going to struggle a bit to deal with what Bills QB Josh Allen brings to the table; if the growth we’ve seen from Allen thus far is for real, the Rams are in trouble. She expects Buffalo to win in a relatively low-scoring game.

As far as Houston/Pittsburgh is concerned, I’m going with the home Steelers. I don’t love this Pittsburgh team, but Ben Roethlisberger keeps getting it done and running back James Conner keeps grinding out yards. They’ve got a solid front seven and a guy in T.J. Watt who can really get after the quarterback. Stella is of the opinion that the Texans are poised for an offensive breakout behind QB Deshaun Watson. She likes him to really open things up and for running back David Johnson to continue his unlikely return to offensive prominence. She also thinks the Texans have a sneaky good secondary and expects to see a big turnover or two in key moments.

Next on the slate is Detroit versus Arizona. I’m picking the home Cardinals here – I really like what I’ve seen from young QB Kyler Murray thus far this season, and we’re overdue for a monster game from DeAndre Hopkins. If Kenyan Drake can live up to the hype and move the ball, I think Arizona romps over the Lions. Stella agrees with me on Kyler Murray, but she’s going with her gut in picking Detroit to manage the road win. To her mind, it comes down to whether Matthew Stafford can have a big game throwing the ball. She thinks he will, putting up big enough numbers to take down the Cardinals.

From there, we head to the Pacific Northwest. I’m picking the Cowboys to go into Seattle and knock off the Seahawks. That offense looks REALLY explosive, with Dak Prescott leading the way for a plethora of immensely talented skill position players. I’m betting he passes for 300-plus yards while also handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott 20-plus times, overwhelming the opposition. Stella likes Dallas as a team, but she was impressed with how Russell Wilson and the Seahawks handled a very good New England team last week. She thinks he’ll be able to move the ball with impunity against the Cowboys D, while the Seahawks defense is more than capable of slowing down even an offense as good as Dallas.

In the Green Bay/New Orleans tilt, I’m going with the road Packers. I’m not super confident in the pick – particularly since there are some health questions regarding star wideout Davante Adams – but Aaron Rodgers is still the quarterback. And Aaron Jones looks just as strong on the ground as he did during his excellent 2019. Stella likes the Saints at home, though she too isn’t overwhelmed with surety. She thinks they’re going to bounce back from last week’s lackluster effort (though the likely absence of star receiver Michael Thomas doesn’t help); she’s counting on a big performance from Alvin Kamara to be the difference.

And last but not least, we have the Monday night game – Kansas City at Baltimore. After much deliberation, I’m going with the Chiefs to win on the road. While the Ravens defense is stout, the K.C. offense is so strong behind Patrick Mahomes, with pass catchers like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and the groundwork of rookie back Clyde Edward-Helaire – it’s tough for me to pick against them (particularly since the Chiefs offense is a major part of my fantasy football strategy). Stella concedes the offensive excellence of the Chiefs, but she’s a big fan of the explosive Lamar Jackson and what he can do on the field. While the Chiefs are likely a bit better on offense than Baltimore, the Ravens are significantly better than K.C. on defense; Stella feels like that disparity is where the game will be won. She’s expecting it to be tight, but that Baltimore will ultimately be on top.

There you have it. Week 3. Here’s hoping that I manage another excellent week – or at least a week that is more than a single game better than Stella. Stella, on the other hand, is quietly confident that she will instead expand her lead, en route to another rout.

(winners in caps)

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ALLEN’S PICKS

Thursday, Sept. 24

Miami at JACKSONVILLE

Sunday, Sept. 27

Chicago at ATLANTA

LA RAMS at Buffalo

Washington at CLEVELAND

TENNESSEE at Minnesota

Las Vegas at NEW ENGLAND

SAN FRANCISCO at NY Giants

Cincinnati at PHILADELPHIA

Houston at PITTSBURGH

NY Jets at INDIANAPOLIS

Carolina at LA CHARGERS

TAMPA BAY at Denver

Detroit at ARIZONA

DALLAS at Seattle

GREEN BAY at New Orleans

Monday, Sept. 28

KANSAS CITY at Baltimore

Week 2 record: 13-3

Season record: 21-11

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STELLA’S PICKS

Thursday, Sept. 24

MIAMI at Jacksonville

Sunday, Sept. 27

Chicago at ATLANTA

LA Rams at BUFFALO

Washington at CLEVELAND

TENNESSEE at Minnesota

Las Vegas at NEW ENGLAND

SAN FRANCISCO at NY Giants

Cincinnati at PHILADELPHIA

HOUSTON at Pittsburgh

NY Jets at INDIANAPOLIS

Carolina at LA CHARGERS

TAMPA BAY at Denver

DETROIT at Arizona

Dallas at SEATTLE

Green Bay at NEW ORLEANS

Monday, Sept. 28

Kansas City at BALTIMORE

Week 2 record: 12-4

Season record: 23-9

Last modified on Thursday, 24 September 2020 09:06

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