Steve Renner’s 2018 NFL Predictions

Another NFL season is here and this is going to be a kick off article that walks through my predictions and picks for the upcoming season as they stand now.  Some bold calls, some chalk calls and some honesty in spots where there’s no real call at all.  Sit back and enjoy the ride and lets make some money this year…

Let’s walk through division by division with my predictions as well as one OVER and one UNDER prediction for each division.

 

AFC East

The Patriots are clearly the favorites here and should hold the division again barring any major injuries.  I expect the usual results from New England with Brady, Gronk and when he returns Edelman being the main-stays on a week to week basis.  Nothing earth shattering there.   The shocker in this division is that I give the Jets the edge among the other three.  To me they’re headed in the right direction more than the Bills or Dolphins this year and I will take the OVER on 6 games for them this season.

  1. New England
  2. NY Jets — Over 6 WINS
  3. Miami
  4. Buffalo — UNDER 6 WINS

Notes:

  • The Bills Defense is going to be a target of mine early and often.
  • Gronk will get hurt as he always does which will open the door for Jacob Hollister to shine in DFS

AFC North

Prepare for chaos!  I have been against the Steelers in this division since the end of last season.  To me the way they fell apart against New England and then got rolled by Jacksonville was a clear sign of the end of a brief era for this team.  Big Ben was playing on a lingering desire to play last season and is once again back and one foot out the door in my mind.  LevBell?   We’re seeing that ship sail as well and should be embracing the beginning of the James Connor era.   But the real chaos begins with the question, if not Pittsburgh then who?   Cincinnati?  Feels like a decent team, but no.   Cleveland?   Sorry Browns fans, I like where your team is headed but not yet.   So wait….  We’re gonna go Baltimore???   Yep.  Baltimore is my sneaky team here.  Flacco as much shit as he takes is still a decent QB in this league and someone who can drive the Ravens to the playoffs in what I think is a chaotic division this year.

  1. Baltimore — OVER 8
  2. Cincinnati
  3. Cleveland
  4. Pittsburgh — UNDER 10 (My biggest play on the win totals)

Notes:

  • Baker Mayfield will shine for a few weeks but then also have some terrible weeks.  He’s the ultimate GPP player at QB this year.
  • AJ Green has more yards receiving than Antonio Brown

AFC South

If the North is gonna be chaotic then the South is going to be just as entertaining but with less flare.  I don’t think Jacksonville is taking many steps forward with a depleted WR core and still having Blake Bortles manning the ship but lets not kid ourselves, they’re the champs down here until beaten and that defense remains legit scary as fuck.   My darling in this division is a tie between DeShawn Watson and Marcus Mariota, two young QB’s that I really think are going to be winners in this league and should each battle for second place with two good teams along side of them.  Tennessee is ahead of Houston though in depth and I trust them to remain the 2nd place team in this division.   Welcome to chalk city on my picks here.

  1. Jacksonville
  2. Tennessee — OVER 8
  3. Houston — UNDER 8.5
  4. Indianapolis

AFC West

I feel like the Broncos and Chargers are flying under the radar as contenders in the AFC this year.   Denver is returning an elite defense and has potentially stabilized their QB situation enough with Case Keenum in the mix and a healthy Manny Sanders.  The player I love the most and drafted everywhere is Royce Freeman, I think he is going to have a huge season.   The Chargers have had too many big injuries at the start of the season for me to remain as hyped about them as I was back in April, however I still think they’ll fight for a playoff spot.   The Raiders are gonna be terrible.

  1. Broncos — OVER 7
  2. Chargers
  3. Chiefs
  4. Raiders — UNDER 8

Notes:

  • Pick on the Raiders in survivor
  • Broncos offense shocks everyone

Another NFL season is here and this is going to be a kick off article that walks through my predictions and picks for the upcoming season as they stand now.  Some bold calls, some chalk calls and some honesty in spots where there’s no real call at all.  Sit back and enjoy the ride and lets make some money this year…

Let’s walk through division by division with my predictions as well as one OVER and one UNDER prediction for each division.

 

NFC East

Nice to see someone else in this division win a Super Bowl for a change.  Congrats to the Eagles on sneaking up and taking the NFC by storm last year, it won’t happen as easily this year as the NFC remains the better of the two conferences, but they still have the benefit of playing in a mediocre NFC East.  Washington lacks enough talent on both sides of the ball to win more than 8 games and Dallas remains in a tough spot where they should continue a rebuild and come into the season with health questions at their strength — the offensive line.  I am not as high as others on the Giants ‘Skill Stars’ Barkley, Beckham and Engram as others but I am also not as low on Eli and the Giants defense as others are either.  The Giants should be a better coached team this year and remain in most games in healthy, rarely will they get blown out IMO.

  1. Philadelphia — OVER 10
  2. NY Giants
  3. Washington
  4. Dallas — UNDER 8

Notes:

  • This is by far the toughest division to pick O/U win totals from.   Pick your division winner and take their OVER.
  • Dallas is probably the best last place team in all of the NFL, but I still cannot pencil them in for more than 5-6 wins.

NFC North

Rodgers, Stafford, Trubisky, Cousins.   The NFC North finally has some decent Quarterbacks — and Kirk Cousins…..   Yeah, that’s a joke.   It’s me making fun of Cousins because I think he was glorified as a superstar in this league long before he really accomplished anything besides beating up on bad defenses in home 1pm games.  Well, he should be able to do that again this year as the Vikings strong defense will put Cousins on the field in good position to execute an offense that if healthy should be one of the more consistent ones out there this season.  The Vikings are about as solid of a team all around, so projecting them for 9+ wins feels like a lock — bet the under.   Green Bay showed their flaws last year when Rodgers went down, but if he remains upright there’s no reason to bet against AA-Rod, except for the fact that I LOOOVE the Lions this year….   This was the hardest division for me to settle on, but if you are placing a bet here I love the Lions to win the division as a dart throw.

  1. Detroit  — OVER 8
  2. Green Bay
  3. Minnesota — UNDER 10
  4. Chicago

Notes:

  • I wouldn’t be shocked to see Detroit, GB and Minny all wind up 10-6 as this division faces the NFC West which is the weakest division in the NFC.

NFC South

Best division in football?   Not quite, but some feel that way.   You all know I am a Saints fan — and if you dont, then you clearly aren’t following me on Twitter (@steve_renner).  Some will say I am biased (hint:  I am) but I keep that bias out when evaluating the flow of the Saints and this off-season they plugged the exact holes they needed too and the rookie class that shined in 2017 will shine even more in 2018 and beyond.  Marcus Williamd and RT Ryan Ramczyk are the two guys everyone overlooked from last years rookie class but they are arguably the two most important pieces from that draft.   The off-season acquisitions of TreQuan Smith (Rookie) and DeMarrio Davis should fit perfectly into holes on this team and they’ll be in the mix to win this division again this year.  Atlanta is the second best all around team.  Their defense is LEGIT GOOD.  Not scary, not dynamic, just damn GOOD.  But I don’t know that they can move the ball effectively enough on offense.  They need to just let Ryan go no huddle more often.  The Panthers Defense is going to rank in the bottom third of the league and it won’t be close.  They’re an early DFS target for me as they had a massive fall off last year and could not stop anything in the passing game.  And Tampa remains one of the worst coached teams in the league.

  1. New Orleans — OVER 9.5
  2. Atlanta
  3. Tampa Bay
  4. Carolina — UNDER 9

Notes:

  • Carolina defense gives up over 20 points per game and is a DFS target
  • The Saints offense has a big year but the player you want the most is Michael Thomas along with Drew Brees

NFC West

This is the biggest run away division in all of football — more than the AFC East.  The LA Rams just kept adding and adding and adding talent to an already good team.  To the point where some feel they might have added too many stars together.  That’s nonsense.  This is another team with little holes on both sides of the ball and the defense should be the rock that they lean on to win most games and let one of the best young offensive minds do his magic on offense with Sean McVey.   I like San Francisco and the direction they are headed but they’re just not talented enough to supplant the Rams.  They should be around .500.  Arizona and Seattle are two of the worst teams in the league and Seattle is a team you should be running away from heavily.   Wilson is more interested in dancing with Ciara and who can blame him

  1. LA Rams — OVER 9.5
  2. San Francisco — UNDER 8.5
  3. Arizona
  4. Seattle — UNDER 8

Notes:

  • Seattle winds up with a top 3 pick next year and Russ Wilson is shutdown mid way through the season
  • Sam Bradford steps on a scorpion around week 3 and is out for the season as it ruptures some ligament in his arm.
  • It gets so bad between the Rams and Seahawks that Jared Goff doesn’t play the 2nd half of their second game.

AFC Playoff Predictions

  1. New England
  2. Denver
  3. Jacksonville
  4. Baltimore
  5. LA Chargers
  6. Tennessee

3 OUT from last year:   Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Kansas City

3 IN this year:   Denver, Baltimore, LA Chargers

AFC Championship Game:    Chargers over Patriots … Rivers Revenge

NFC Playoff Predictions

  1. LA Rams
  2. New Orleans
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Detroit
  5. Green Bay — via tie breaker
  6. NY Giants — via tie breaker

 

3 OUT from last year:   Minnesota, Atlanta, Carolina

3 IN this year:   Detroit, Green Bay, NY Giants

NFC Championship Game:    Saints over Packers

 

NFC SUPER BOWL:    NFC Team over AFC Team

About Steve Renner 557 Articles
ScoutDFS - MLB, NHL and NFL DFS Expert.2018 NHL WHFC Live Finalist. Author of the Dongers Club. Defender of all things New Orleans Saints.