Picking sleepers is hard. Like throwing a dart at a tiny dot in the middle of a small round board with metal pieces ready to reject your toss with an annoying “clack” sound. In the dark. After a few beers.
Well actually, like darts, I’m better at picking sleepers after a few beers. But that’s just me.
Last week, I had a couple of darts clack off, but I put a few in the ring around the bulls-eye. Let’s see if we can nail the big one this week.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense have some issues. About the only thing that looked good last week was the connection between Prescott and his slot receiver, Cole Beasley. Beasley, one of the few familiar faces for Prescott, caught 7 of 8 targets for 73 yards against a strong Panthers defense.
Dallas kicks everything up a notch when they play the Giants. New York’s defense looks better than last year, but they still have a hole in the middle. Their new linebacking corps let too many receivers slide into the gaps for crucial plays as they kept one eye on Leonard Fournette.
Beasley will take advantage of the attention paid to Ezekiel Elliott and break one for a touchdown against the G-men.
New York didn’t throw the ball a lot against the self-destructing Lions Monday night, but it was still a surprise that Robbie Anderson was only targeted once by Sam Darnold. Fortunately for those who didn’t heed my advice to play Quincy Enunwa over Anderson, he turned that one target into a 41-yard touchdown.
This week, I’m saying play both. Anderson is still the best deep threat on the Jets and I believe Todd Bowles will let Darnold loose- relatively speaking- in his home opener. Now that we know the kid can throw the ball, watch Anderson get the same yards as Enunwa on half the catches.
All of you who read that name and said, “Who?” need to check your NFL transaction pages better. Keenum Reynolds will make his NFL debut for the Seattle Seahawks after being signed off their practice squad. Reynolds had a very good preseason for the Seahawks, so Russell Wilson is familiar with him.
He will slide into Doug Baldwin's slot position. With Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall garnering most of Chicago’s attention, Reynolds could open his first campaign with a bang. Remember, Wilson threw to a guy named Will Dissly for 105 yards and a touchdown last week. There’s no reason to think he’ll shy away from another new kid.
It’s hard to bet against Tom Brady and his troops against any team, but the Jaguars really want to win this game. The defense knows their offense might have taken a step back with a gimpy Leonard Fournette and the loss of Marqise Lee. They’ll step things up.
The Jaguars defense also saw Phillip Dorsett do most of the damage against the Texans last week. Jacksonville is not scared by anyone running the ball for New England. They will concentrate on Brady and the receivers. It is likely Gronkowski and James White account for the bulk of receiving targets. If Brady is forced to push a contested ball deep, he’ll look Chris Hogan’s way before Dorsett.
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