Articles by Mario Puig

Mario sets the direction of RotoWire's college football and NFL draft content, with his other responsibilities primarily resting in those same subjects. He's a fan of Pete Rock, James Harrison and David Bowie.

OAK vs. KC Thursday Matchup Edge

Oakland vs. Kansas City

Open: 47.5 O/U, KC -2.5
Press time: 46.5 O/U, KC -3

We all know about Marcus Peters, but the two other Chiefs corners who play prominently, Terrance Mitchell and Phillip Gaines, are easy targets in a Kansas City scheme that refuses to move Peters based on matchup. So long as the offensive coordinator in question isn’t hopelessly inept, the best receivers who play against the Chiefs will usually run routes against their worst corners. That’s why the Chiefs are allowing 8.2 yards per target to receivers, and a league-leading nine touchdowns in five games. That’s not a great return when you have a corner as talented as Peters, but this is the choice the Chiefs have stood by to this point.

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CAR vs. PHI Matchup Edge

Carolina vs. Philadelphia

Open: 45 O/U, CAR -3
Press time: 45 O/U, CAR -3

Other than maybe Deshaun Watson, there might not be a hotter player in the league over the last two weeks than Cam Newton, who followed up an inconclusive big game against the Patriots with a convincing showing Sunday against a Detroit defense that had arguably been the league’s best in the first month.

RotoWire injury expert Jeff Stotts predicted that Newton would likely start slowly but should pick up steam as his shoulder rebuilt its strength after an offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum. Newton’s velocity noticeably lagged in his first few games, but he seemed to generate more zip last week especially. If Newton is truly himself, he’s likely one of the top quarterbacks in the league for the foreseeable future.

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TB vs. NE Matchup Edge

Tampa Bay vs. New England

Open: 53.5 O/U, NE -5
Press time: 54 O/U, NE -5

The Patriots have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 69.7 percent of passes at 9.4 yards per attempt, with a touchdown percentage of 7.7. For the Buccaneers, the yardage and touchdowns have been contained at 7.5 YPA and a touchdown percentage of 4.7, but the completion percentage is still high at 67.7.

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Thursday Matchup Edge (GB vs. CHI)

Green Bay vs. Chicago

Open: 45.5 O/U, GB -7
Press time: 44 O/U, GB-7

Aaron Rodgers at home is usually a lock, both in regard to elite expected fantasy output, as well as a Packers victory. The latter seems a safe enough bet, but can Rodgers put up elite fantasy numbers against an underrated defense when both of his starting tackles are out? What about if the backup tackles are also out?

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Thursday Matchup Edge

San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams

Open: 42 O/U, LAR -2.5
Press Time: 40 O/U, LAR -3

Carlos Hyde has looked great in both of his first two games despite facing perhaps the two toughest draws in the league, the Panthers and Seahawks. Now he faces a Rams defense that surrendered 304 yards (4.8 YPC) and three touchdowns on the ground through two games. It sure seems like he ought to be able to get something going in this one.

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Future Barometer (Week 3)

In this ‘Future’ Barometer, the goal is to break down a handful of players each week who likely don’t offer fantasy utility in the meantime, but otherwise might have the prospect profile of a player who could make an impact if an opportunity presented itself. The hope is that doing so will give you a head start in your evaluations if any of these guys pop up into the mainstream later on.

But again: these are long shots. They’re probably off the radar in even the deepest of re-draft leagues for the time being.

Presented in no particular order of importance…

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Thursday Matchup Edge: CIN vs. HOU

Cincinnati (0-1) vs. Houston (0-1)

Open: O/U 38, CIN -3
Press time: O/U 38, CIN -6

Andy Dalton’s struggles were among the top stories from Week 1, as he headed into Sunday a home favorite but was shut out with a 170-yard, four-interception line on 31 attempts. The offensive line certainly didn’t help, however, giving up five sacks while allowing plenty of disruption on the other plays, too. There’s a decent amount of pedigree on this line, so perhaps its struggles can largely be explained by the strength of the Baltimore front seven. As intimidating as J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus might be, the Texans allowed 155 yards on the ground last week and might be a tad less imposing than last year without Vince Wilfork. This game should be a fairer test for the Cincinnati line.

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