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Staff Picks: Rams, Browns, Chiefs, Bengals and Raiders

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

For some reason we always have a lot of consensus picks in Week 1, and this year is no different. A whopping five out of 16 games are unanimous among all the writers, and not surprisingly, those teams (Rams, Browns, Chiefs, Bengals, Raiders) are all underdogs, three of them at home.

The target is on Pianowski's back as he's the defending champ.

Enjoy the games.

(Incidentally, Jeff Erickson and I discussed a few of the games on camera last week - see below for the video. If you prefer to read the article in its usual form, just scroll down).

Erickson Pianowski Liss Stopa Del Don
Cowboys +4 at Giants Giants Giants Giants Cowboys Cowboys
Colts +10 at Bears Colts Colts Bears Colts Colts
Jaguars +3.5 at Vikings Vikings Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars
Bills +3 at Jets Jets Bills Jets Jets Jets
Dolphins +11 at Texans Dolphins Texans Texans Texans Dolphins
Patriots -6 at Titans Titans Titans Titans Patriots Patriots
Rams +9 at Lions Rams Rams Rams Rams Rams
Redskins +9.5 at Saints Saints Saints Saints Redskins Redskins
Eagles -9 at Browns Browns Browns Browns Browns Browns
Falcons -2 at Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs
49ers +5 at Packers Packers Packers 49ers Packers Packers
Seahawks -3 at Cardinals Cardinals Seahawks Cardinals Cardinals Cardinals
Panthers -1 at Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers Panthers
Steelers -1 at Broncos Broncos Steelers Steelers Broncos Broncos
Bengals +6 at Ravens Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals
Chargers -1 at Raiders Raiders Raiders Raiders Raiders Raiders
Best Bet Jets Browns Chiefs Redskins Panthers
2011 Record 121-128-7 134-115-7 124-125-7 123-126-7 127-122-7
2011 Best Bet Record 7-9-1 8-8-1 10-7 10-7 7-9-1
2011 Consensus Pick Record 30-24-2
2010 Record 129-122-5 134-117-5 126-125-5 136-115-5 134-117-5
2009 Record 123-130-3 132-121-3 131-122-3 130-123-3 126-127-3
2008 Record 132-114-10 128-118-10 124-122-10 125-121-10 130-116-10
2007 Record 127-120 118-129 127-120 N/A 130-117
2006 Record 118-129 N/A 139-108 N/A N/A
2005 Record 121-126 N/A 127-120 N/A N/A
2004 Record 124-124 N/A 130-118 N/A N/A
2003 Record 121-126 118-129 124-123 N/A N/A
2002 Record 113-136 123-126 141-108 N/A N/A
2001 Record 124-113 117-120 118-119 N/A N/A
2000 Record 123-117 134-106 141-99 N/A N/A

Consensus Picks

This week we have five consensus picks: the Rams, Browns, Chiefs, Bengals and Raiders. Last year we were 30-24-2 on consensus picks.


EricksonConsider this a bet against the idea that the preseason has any meaning, especially at the team level.
PianowskiIt's going to be a while before anyone knows anything in 2012. Reflexively taking a heavy dog at home will always feel like the right play. And Cleveland's defense was a solid unit last year, amidst absolutely no fanfare. I wouldn't take Philly as a survivor pick, either.
LissI backed the teams that looked worst in the preaseason and faded the ones that looked best. That meant taking AZ and NYJ and staying away from ATL. I also faded all of the rookie QBs on the road and backed the Browns only because the line was so big in Cleveland.
Stopa I saw my Bills getting six points for this game when it opened. Now that the line is down to three - less in some places - the Jets have to be the right play. I hope I'm wrong, but that Jets defense has made the Bills offense look bad in recent years... I want the Lions, Bears and Eagles to prove it on the field before I lay that many points, especially with Philly on the road... The Saints and Ravens both have their lines set as if they will again be dominant, playoff teams. I think both will miss the playoffs, and it will take Vegas several weeks for the lines to adjust. The Saints defense is going to be among the NFL's worst, and the Ravens defense is a year older and without Terrell Suggs... Falcons/Chiefs, Steelers/Broncos, Panthers/Bucs, Seahawks/Cardinals and Chargers/Raiders all seemed like toss-ups, so I went with the home teams. Home vs. road has mattered for the Falcons, Chiefs and Seahawks in recent years.
Del Don Since it's the start of a new season, Week 1 offers the most uncertainty, so when in doubt, I took the points...Backing the Panthers certainly isn't an "agnostic" pick, but I just see them as the superior team.

The players:

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 2009 and 2011 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: Fantasy Expert for Yahoo! Sports, Roots for the 49ers.