The Staff Picks returns for its 12th year, believe it or not, and all five of us are back. One thing I noticed while recompiling the data at the bottom of the grid - a different writer has won it each of the last five years: 2006: Liss, 2007: DDD, 2008: Erickson, 2009: Pianowski, 2010: Stopa. The other thing I noticed is over the last three years, there have been only *two* under .500 seasons - Erickson and DDD in 2009. In other words, 13 of the 15 possible seasons have been .500 or better.
This week we have four consensus picks: the Bears, Rams, Bucs and Dolphins.
Enjoy Week 1.
|Saints +4.5 at Packers||Saints||Saints||Saints||Packers||Saints|
|Falcons -3 at Bears||Bears||Bears||Bears||Bears||Bears|
|Colts +8.5 at Texans||Colts||Texans||Texans||Texans||Colts|
|Bills +6 at Chiefs||Bills||Bills||Bills||Chiefs||Bills|
|Titans +3 at Jaguars||Titans||Titans||Titans||Titans||Jaguars|
|Bengals +6.5 at Browns||Browns||Browns||Bengals||Bengals||Bengals|
|Eagles -4.5 at Rams||Rams||Rams||Rams||Rams||Rams|
|Steelers +2 at Ravens||Steelers||Ravens||Ravens||Steelers||Ravens|
|Lions +1 at Buccaneers||Buccaneers||Buccaneers||Buccaneers||Buccaneers||Buccaneers|
|Vikings +9 at Chargers||Vikings||Chargers||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings|
|Giants -3 at Redskins||Redskins||Redskins||Giants||Redskins||Giants|
|Panthers +7 at Cardinals||Cardinals||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Seahawks +5 at 49ers||49ers||49ers||Seahawks||49ers||49ers|
|Cowboys +4 at Jets||Jets||Cowboys||Jets||Jets||Cowboys|
|Patriots -7 at Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins||Dolphins|
|Raiders +3 at Broncos||Broncos||Broncos||Raiders||Raiders||Broncos|
|2010 Best Bet Record||7-9-1||9-7-1||9-8||10-6-1||11-5-1|
|2010 Consensus Pick Record||32-21-1|
This week we have four consensus picks: the Bears, Rams, Buccaneers and Dolphins. We went 32-21-1 on consensus picks in 2010.
|Erickson||I understand the Bears got some breaks along the way (ok, a lot of breaks) last year, but how are they home dogs here? ... I'm going to take the points more often than not early in the season. ... I think the Texans should beat the Colts, but a nine-point swing is pretty huge. Is there any other player in football that would force the line to change that much due to his absence? ... I think it's funny that David Garrard has been cut and yet the Jags' line hasn't changed. I do think it'll hurt them, though.|
|Pianowski||The Carolina defense wasn't that bad last year, and they should have the foundation of a good running game. Kevin Kolb just got into Arizona 15 minutes ago; it's going to take time. The Panthers have a fair chance to win this game outright, and the spot is gravy ... If anyone knows how to get a scratch out of a Macbook, let me know. You'll never pay for a beer in my presence again.|
|Liss||Does anyone remember the Jets destroyed the Pats in the playoffs, and easily outplayed the Steelers in the second half of the AFC title game after digging themselves a hole in the first with turnovers? Don't get me wrong - I hate the Jets - but Tony Romo could be in for a rude awakening in his first game back.|
|Stopa||I usually make my picks on Monday or Tuesday, then re-think them if anything changes (e.g. an injury or a significant line change). Usually, my picks stay the same, but this week, the Jaguars sudden decision to cut David Garrard reeks of desperation and prompted my switch to the Titans. I'd be all over an "under" bet on Jaguars season victories if presented to me right now. ... There's been huge movement in the lines since they opened in favor of the Dolphins, Bears, Panthers, Bucs, Bengals and Colts. The Colts' move is understandable - Peyton Manning is that good - but the others are a reflection of the public jumping all over one side. Since the public is wrong more often than not, I'll side with Vegas on those games. Plus, the Browns and Cardinals have no business laying this many points. ... The Chargers always struggle in September, and the line never accounts for it. ... The thing I'm most confident about this week is that the Packers are notably better than the Saints on both sides of the ball, plus the line is down to -4 after the -5.5 opening. Packers 34-21.|
|Del Don||This is almost a certain jinx, but I've been of the belief for quite some time now that Week 1 presents the best value ATS all season long, and this year looks no different. The three toss-up games for me this week were Ten/Jax, NYG/Was and Oak/Den, but the rest were fairly easy calls - right or wrong. I especially like this slate when it comes to teaser opportunities.|
•Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Value Meter. Covers and roots for the Bengals.
•Scott Pianowski: Fantasy expert for Yahoo! Sports, and also contributes to Rotowire.com. 2009 Staff Picks Champ. Roots for the Patriots.
•Chris Liss: RotoWire Managing Editor, 2000, 2002, 2006 Staff Picks Champ, 2003, 2004 co-champ. Writes East Coast Offense, Beating the Book and Surviving the Week in addition to Staff Picks. Covers and roots for the Giants.
•Mark Stopa: Staff Writer, 2010 Staff Picks Champ, Writes Working the Wire. Roots for the Bills.
•Dalton Del Don: RotoWire Senior Staff Writer. 2007 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Game Capsules and the Barometer. Covers the Eagles and roots for the 49ers.