AFC 2015 NFL Football Season Predictions, Division Winners

Here we go, here is our NFC and AFC 2015 NFL season predictions, (best case scenario vs. worst case scenario format) for every team. We are starting with the AFC then our next post will be the NFC. After piling through a ton of NFL off season assessments and after analyzing our comprehensive (782 page) NFL 32-team preseason book, we believe the following is a solid forecast on how things should settle, give or take a game (AFC):

NFL Prediction – AFC EAST (Final seeding: 1. Bills 2. Patriots 3. Dolphins 4. NY Jets)
AFC East
1. Buffalo
Best Case Scenario: Don’t look now, but there’s a new QB in town (Tyrod Taylor) and this team has all the tangibles (on both sides of the ball) to be a 9 or 10 win team.  One of the toughest defenses to go with some key offensive weapons, toss in a fierce running game – then take all that and sandwich between Rex Ryan’s energy & drive – then this could be a playoff team but…
Worst Case Scenario: the hex could continue with a .500 or worse end of season performance. A quarterback carousel fueled by inconsistency won’t help matters, it never does… the longest playoff drought in football just may continue.

2. New England
Best Case Scenario: Yes, we pulled the trigger here. This is a team that should attain achieve a 9-win season with a Josh McDaniels’ offense and a game plan that changes from week-to-week. Then you have Brady & Belichick – a tried & true duo and cementing a dynasty of a franchise but…
Worst Case Scenario: Replacing key losses on defense will be hard – offensive line leaks will hurt too.  Deflategate needs to go far away and fast too.  Missing the playoffs altogether is not out of the question for this storied franchise.

3. Miami
Best Case Scenario: Combine two top draft picks, with some high priced acquisitions, piggy back off of big offensive improvements last season.. and QB Ryan Tannehill should have what it takes to make the post season. Although this could be a 7-win team, the personnel is in place to make this an 8 or 9 win WildCard team, but…
Worst Case Scenario: A bust of a season may be in store for a team that could very well see coach Joe Philbin and his entire staff sent packing, only to continue the lack of continuity in Miami.

4. NY Jets
Best Case Scenario: Great pass defense, a Chan Gailey offense that elevates Geno Smith’s third year play by utilizing Brandon Marshall to the max could mean a decent late season drive, short of a WildCard berth. This is an 7-win team at best, but…
Worst Case Scenario: Sorry Jets fans, but it seems like Quarterback(s) (or the lack thereof) only continue to plague this team.  Without stability at this position, it’s hard to muster ‎any kind of a postseason run let alone a .500 season.

NFL Prediction – AFC WEST (Final seeding: 1. Chiefs 2. Chargers 3. Broncos 4. Raiders)
AFC West
1. Kansas City
Best Case Scenario: QB Alex Smith will elevate his game as he is plenty capable of doing, while the addition of Jeremy Maclin will help in the air game huge. Andy Reid should have his team poised for an AFC crown with 10 wins or more, we even forecast a winning streak of 6+ games somewhere in the season and a possible Super Bowl appearence, but..
Worst Case Scenario: Injuries might come to plague this team once more, while the play of QB Alex Smith does not elevate as hoped for.. and the defense cannot make up for offseason losses. A losing year will put Andy Reid in the hot seat.

2. San Diego
Best Case Scenario: Rivers has been paid and should lead another strong offensive push behind the ground game of top pick RB Melvin Gordon. This is a 9-win team on paper. In fact, this team could be a late season surprise. We predict a solid post season run for this team and even two wins over Denver in the season series, but..
Worst Case Scenario: The defense lacks the fortitude to solidify a “deep” post season run and the backfield is unproven with rookie back Gordon in the flock. The Chargers fail to make the playoffs again in their farewell year in San Diego.

3. Denver
Best Case Scenario: This team is poised to be a Super Bowl contender heading into this 2015 NFL Season, but something is amiss in Denver. Manning will thrive on offseason tailored schemes to put pressure more off himself and onto others, including a C.J. Anderson-led backfield. Whichever their formula for success, we predict an 8-win season for this team but…
Worst Case Scenario: Manning’s 39 year old body is showing signs of fatigue, and the team has quite a few new faces to adjust to on the coaching side, San Diego could very well be the nemesis for a .500 Denver team this season.

4. Oakland
Best Case Scenario: QB Derek Carr is poised to make waves in Oakland behind an improved O-line, and the defense should improve under the coaching of Jack Del Rio who hopes to turn in at least a .500 season in his first year in Oakland but..
Worst Case Scenario: There are too many contenders in the AFC/West, ahead of the Raiders, preventing them from escaping the basement of the division.

NFL Prediction – AFC NORTH (Final seeding: 1. Bengals 2. Ravens  3. Browns 4. Steelers)

AFC NORTH
1. Cincinnati
Best Case Scenario: Don’t look now, but we do believe the Bengals are set to contend, for real this time. Yes, this would rely on QB Andy Dalton escaping his limitations, eliminating errors and elevating his play this season. This team is formidable on both sides of the ball and a 10-win campaign is not out of the question but…
Worst Case Scenario: This is a brutally bruising division and the Bengals need to avoid injuries to make a deep post season run, let alone a .500 finish.

2. Baltimore
Best Case Scenario: New additions to the offense along with QB Joe Flacco’s play could solidify a strong winning team to contend for the division crown. A 9-win campaign is certainly possible for these AFC contenders but…
Worst Case Scenario: Losing key defensive personnel could hurt this team, judging from the patchwork repairs we have seen in preseason play. There seems to be a pressing of personnel into big-shoe roles and this could prove costly. The Ravens could vie for a WildCard berth or fail to qualify for post season altogether.

3. Cleveland
Best Case Scenario: Make no mistake, if this team can avoid the injury bug and QB Johnny Manziel can play to his strengths in a tailored-to-him offense, the Browns could very well make a legit push for postseason contention or at least be a significant Sleeper team, but..
Worst Case Scenario: Injuries could ruin this team and a more maturated Manziel could be a total failure of a franchise QB in Cleveland, next up.

4. Pittsburgh
Best Case Scenario: A lot of things need to happen if the Steelers intend to capture the division crown. Some promising changes in the secondary along with veteran RB DeAngelo Williams coming to fill-in for suspended Le’Veon Bell should help behind QB Ben Roethlisberger’s attack in an 8 or a lesser 7-win campaign.
Worst Case Scenario: Injury has already claimed C Maurkice Pouncey and if it further claims other personnel – this could be a frustrating & dismal below .500 year for Steelers fans.

NFL Prediction – AFC SOUTH (Final seeding: 1. Colts 2. Texans 3. Jaguars 4. Titans)

AFC SOUTH
1. Indianapolis
Best Case Scenario: QB Andrew Luck needs no introduction and off season changes could propel this team to a Super Bowl appearance. This could very well be an 11-win campaign for the Colts but…
Worst Case Scenario: The defense fails to produce ‘key stops’ and slow opposing offenses while aging veterans show signs of slowness & late season fatigue, this could be a under-performing team in a “one and done” postseason scenario for the Colts.

2. Houston
Best Case Scenario: The Texans are coming off a winning season that utilized a quarterback carousel of sorts. The post season promise land will come for the Texans if they could rely on one solid QB starter (Brian Hoyer) to tie in with a fierce rushing attack, complimenting an above-average defense. That, with little or no impact of injuries could make this a 9-win team and a postseason contender.
Worst Case Scenario: The quarterback carousel continues to spin, although Brian Hoyer is supposed to start over Ryan Mallet. RB Arian Foster is aging and the offensive stat sheet could suffer as a result. The Texans could very well make .500 but miss the playoffs yet again.

3. Jacksonville
Best Case Scenario: QB Blake Bortles in a second year role could pay dividends, if both the O and D lines can improve from last year, this could very well be a .500 team with 8 wins – which would be a significant improvement from yesteryears.
Worst Case Scenario: An atrocious defense could ruin this team’s chances of .500 success and if Bortles fails to impress, the Jags will be competing with Tennessee for the division’s cellar dweller position.

4. Tennessee
Best Case Scenario: Could QB Marcus Mariota be the one to take the Titans to the postseason? If the offensive line has improved as we have assessed so, then why not? If the defense could play formidably under Dick LeBeau’s scheming, then the Titans could potentially be knocking on the door of a mathematical playoff berth with 8-wins but…
Worst Case Scenario: Mariota might be plagued by typical rookie failure and the O-line might not hold up in strength for the entire season. We project this team to be at the bottom of the AFC South with a below .500 season.

See you at SafePicks.com!

FINAL 2015 NFL Football Conference & Super Bowl Predictions, Bold NFL Picks

2015 NFL Football Conference Predictions And 2015 Super Bowl Prediction Picks (Effective 08/31/2015)

Yes, SafePicks.com NFL experts deliver highly successful NFL predictions, NFL picks, and highly successful Super Bowl predictions… now let’s delve into our future NFL playoff predictions for the 2015-2016 NFL football season!

So check out these bold NFL predictions and Super Bowl picks for the 2015 NFL Football season. See SafePicks.com Forums or the SafePicks Blog for ALL final NFL season forecasts and division winners – posted by SP, straight from the desks of our NFL experts:

AFC Division Winners: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City
AFC WildCard Teams: San Diego, New England
NFC Division Winners: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New Orleans, Arizona
NFC WildCard Teams: Seattle, Dallas
NFL potential Top Two Best ‘win/loss record’ finalists for NFC: Philadelphia, Arizona
NFL potential Top Two Best ‘win/loss record’ finalists for AFC: Indianapolis, Kansas City
NFL ‘Surprise’ Comeback Teams (AFC) we’ll be watching (to finish better than last season): Buffalo, San Diego
NFL ‘Surprise Comeback Teams (NFC) we’ll be watching (to finish better than last season): Philadelphia, New Orleans
NFL NFC Biggest Disappointments (let-down prediction): Washington
NFL AFC Biggest Disappointments (let-down prediction): Pittsburgh
NFL potential “Dark Horse” teams for AFC (Sleeper teams): Cleveland, Miami
NFL potential “Dark Horse” teams for NFC (Sleeper teams): St. Louis, Tampa Bay
Super Bowl Prediction (two potential conference finalists – AFC): Kansas City, Indianapolis
Super Bowl Prediction (two potential conference finalists – NFC): Green Bay, Philadelphia, (runner up: Arizona)
Super Bowl Predictions (Championship Final matchup): Kansas City vs Philadelphia
Our final prediction for the 2015 Super Bowl winner is: Kansas City

Good luck this 2015 NFL Football and NCAAF Football Betting Season!

Adrian Peterson 2015 NFL Prediction, NFL Fantasy Football Prediction, Making A Case To Avoid AP?

We fired up and ready to go!  Yes, another NFL season is in our midst as we wind down another NFL offseason and preseason football.  Although our private NFL Fantasy league already drafted at the beginning of the month, NFL Fantasy football is all the rage these days!  With that, comes the Adrian Peterson bandwagon that everyone seems to be piling on to, as of late.  His past is but a memory, although his off-the-field issues still seem to lurk in the news.

But here we go, our SafePicks.com 2015 NFL prediction: Adrian Peterson will have a less-than-stellar season, one that may be poisoned and/or shortened with injury.  So if you plan to draft Adrian Peterson, especially if you have the first pick in your NFL Fantasy league, do so with caution.  Having had the pleasure of the first pick in our NFL Fantasy league draft, we avoided him with pleasure. Guess we’ll see if we were right to do so… soon enough.

Before some of you seethe or even scold us for our bold prediction here, although we may not the be-all-end-all authority in NFL Fantasy football, we do know a thing or two on the subject.  As background, SafePicks.com finished FIRST last season in our NFL Fantasy League, we came second the season before, and we finished top three in the last five of six seasons. So, we will do what we do, (making successful NFL predictions and NFL Fantasy predictions) and we will go out on a limb as we have, (win or lose) making such a bold prediction about Adrian Peterson.  That’s what we do, we make successful NFL predictions.  It’s a case of buyer beware. Why?  For several reasons.

First off, AP has a huge chip on the shoulder.  He is a man on a mission now that he’s back on the field.  But sometimes such an overly determined mindset does not ultimately bode well for performance and stat sheets, based on our research, and even history itself.  We’ve seen players try to do too much before and it did not serve them well in the long run, in terms of success and/or in health.  There is nothing worse than over-thinking it in NFL football especially in your all-out quest with something to prove.  In AP’s case, his mission will be to out-perform and then welcome the post-game media – only to field questions about his mired personal past.  Just you wait and see, Adrian Peterson will be trying to bite his tongue in those post game pressers which will only fuel his restless mental state.  Oh sure, AP is going to ‘give it’ and give it good in the heat of such self-imposed pressure.  But that mentality could potentially be his undoing.  When we make successful NFL predictions and we make many, this would be classified as the psychological angle ‎we use in our assessment of a game or player.

Then, secondly, if you believe in Poker gods, Golf gods, and even Football gods (don’t laugh), then the luck factor is a funny & unpredictable type of thing. Think on it, the gods of poker and golf have already made examples of a few big names, (Woods, Ivey, etc. just to name a few – for their own fall-from-grace reasons).  In fact, Tiger Woods is arguably a great example of what happens when you tempt fate and success, outside the game.  In that same vein, could one wonder if those Football gods plan to make an example of AP given his well documented personal issues?  With that to ponder, we find it absolutely stunning that he’s garnering so much fantasy football attention, going off as number one in so many mock drafts, NFL fantasy (Tier 1) ranking polls, and the like.  ‎Heck, even NFL.com has him top-ranking, how ironic is that by the way?  Everybody is jumping on the AP bandwagon!

Will Adrian Peterson put up some numbers?  Absolutely!  Will the same AP have some breakout games?  Certainly.  But will Peterson have the year (for the ages) that a majority of fantasy players are banking on?  We don’t believe so.  In this great sport we call NFL football, let’s not put the proverbial cart before the horse.  The killer, in the world of NFL predictions, is gut feeling or assumption.  Both are avid mothers of evil when making NFL predictions, so we believe.  AP is AP, no question.  But the jury is still out on Adrian Peterson, for a couple of more weeks only.  Then the world will see how wrong (or right) we may be.  Not long now.   As instinct would have it, we’re supposed to forget the off-the-field stuff and go all-in on Adrian Peterson.  Right?  But SafePicks.com cannot do such a thing, win or lose.  He’s a 30 year old back, drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft, (just like Marshawn Lynch).  For both, this is their ninth year.  Make no mistake though, Adrian Peterson was on track to becoming the best back ever to ‎run with the ball.  Then, a torn ACL, news of a child’s death, and then later, child abuse charges came and all of this put a dent on his chances of reigning supreme on the ground.  With a full year off, he is back and more determined than ever to make a point.  But tread carefully, proceed with caution.  Whether it be Lynch or another, there are better choices for our NFL Fantasy league dollars!  Good luck from SafePicks.com!

(If you want to enjoy success, there are more NFL Predictions, simply visit SafePicks.com – a bold many are there and waiting for you!)

2014 Bold NFL Power Rankings, Forecasts and Predictions By SafePicks

It’s that time of year again as NFL experts, prognosticators, and the so called pundits all over the NFL landscape debate and conclude their respective 2014 NFL Power Rankings with NFL Regular season kickoff quickly approaching. At the end of the day, this is only our preliminary power rankings and anything can and will happen in the NFL. But when you’re SafePicks.com, enjoying success year in and year out, then hopefully we have put together a nice piece here.  

Although these power rankings are open to debate, one could easily make a case for half the NFL teams this year to win the Super Bowl. Rating each NFL team from one to 32 based on their chances of becoming Super Bowl champions is no easy task when you account for a ton of varying factors. SafePicks.com experts got together last week, assessed offseason acquisitions & changes, examined 2013 performance, forecasted 2014 performance, and finalized some season-ending predictions to come up with these “preseason” NFL Power Rankings. Vegas odds are subject to change, obviously. Comment at your own will.  Our money would be on any of the top 7-8 teams to win the Super Bowl in these rankings:  

1. Seattle Seahawks (Vegas odds: 6-1) – As with most Super Bowl Champions, one has to consider the “repeat” factor for a talent-rich team like this one. This should be the team to beat. They’re not the all-out favorites, but how can we not like Seattle’s chances of repeating? The Seahawks lost some players this offseason, while securing several key members of the defense. This team has a legit chance of repeating as champions in 2014.

2. New Orleans Saints (Vegas odds: 17-1) – Don’t look now, but the Saints are serious contenders once again. The Saints were one Seahawks team away from NFC championship success. But head coach Sean Payton made a bevvy of notes and followed up with some major defensive changes (upgrades) this offseason. These offseason changes could prove to be so potentially fruitful for the Saints – that they could possibly take the No. 1 seed in the NFC, making sure the playoffs go through the Superdome this time around in 2014. Their offense needs no introduction, coupled with the defense, the Saints (and Seahawks) will almost be a ‘sure thing’ week in and week out this coming NFL season.

3. Denver Broncos (Vegas odds: 6-1) – Yes, as we predicted successfully at SafePicks.com, the Super Bowl would be an utter disaster for the Broncos. But there’s a compelling case to be made that the Broncos simply had a bad day right? Some key departures from the team might have a negative impact.  However, with a re-loaded defense, then Peyton Manning back for another year, and a chip on the team’s shoulder, there’s a reason Denver’s one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. However, we’re not buying into the offseason hype just yet – and Manning is not getting any younger. Still, Denver could potentially deliver some good regular season results. We like this team situated here at number three. ‎

4. San Francisco 49ers (Vegas odds: 8-1) – The Niners where a couple of plays short of being defending back-to-back champions. Aside from some minor personnel issues, this team looks pretty good still – but maybe not as formidable as last season. Coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly wants to be paid like a guy who has won a Super Bowl? Some of the post season hoopla has gone to his head and he is now a year and a few months away from becoming a free agent. Meanwhile we believe QB Kaepernick is overpaid and slightly over-rated, and we feel that right now, the fourth spot in these rankings is best suited for the Niners heading into 2014 NFL season. This team should surely make a fourth straight playoff appearance regardless. The jury is still out though on whether or not this is a Super Bowl team.

5. New England Patriots (Vegas odds: 10-1) – They’ve been so close so many times the last several years, it would not shock anyone if this is the season New England ends up back on top. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have to win one more before it’s all said and done, it’s this duo that keeps this team in the thick of things year in and year out. Belichick should have the right mix on defense to be viable contenders once again. On paper, this team should be able to hit the 10-win mark as sure favorites to win the division.

6. Green Bay Packers (Vegas odds: 14-1) – Aaron Rodgers must stay healthy for the Packers to have a fighting chance at success. The Packers nearly knocked off the Niners in the playoffs a season ago, and if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t get hurt in the regular season, they would have landed a better seed in the NFC playoffs, avoiding such a match-up altogether. Rodgers must play all of 2014 and the Packers would not be such a bad bet to win it all – if they can handle the other NFC contenders. There is a little uncertainty on the defensive side, but all in all, this would be the right spot to place the Pack.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (Vegas odds: 30-1) – Yes, we might get some flack on this one from our Dallas fans, but the numbers tell us a lot about this team, and especially with the quarterback for this team. Nick Foles is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL that has yet to receive his due. If he and Chip Kelly can continue to lead the Eagles to big time success on offense, the defense might have just enough for the Eagles to take it to the next level. Do not count these birds out of a conference top spot.

8. Indianapolis Colts (Vegas odds: 25-1) – Quarterback Andrew Luck was able to win a playoff game a season ago and the next step is for him to lead the Colts on a deep postseason run in his third season. The Colts will play in a division that is unsettled at best, they should easily own the top spot in the AFC South barring a calamitous injury. Depth has been added to an already good team and winning 11 games each of the last two years has Colts fans with heightened expectations. Let’s see if the Colts can take things to the next level.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Vegas odds: 32-1) – The Bengals have done absolutely nothing to inspire confidence in the playoffs over the last three years. However, the Bengals’ defense is one of the league’s best, (only Seattle gave up less yards per play). The Bengals have the defense, now they need the offense to hold up its end of the bargain, behind $96 million dollar man, quarterback Andy Dalton. He is durable and productive – but turnover-prone. His play must improve for the Bengals to have a fighting chance.

10. Chicago Bears (Vegas odds: 25-1) – The duo of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are both ready to prove their offense has what it takes to win in the postseason, while Alshon Jeffery could be the next Calvin Johnson. A few defensive issues needs to be resolved. But if the Bears can get hot at the right time this year, avoid the injury bug, and if they can handle the Packers in division play, they can absolutely make it to the NFC championship game and beyond.

11. Atlanta Falcons (Vegas odds: 52-1) – This spot might seem a bit low, yes. But a healthy Falcons team was a play or two away from going to the big game the season before last. Don’t sleep on Atlanta’s trio of stars in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White, it’s not too hard to envision them having a solid chance in the NFC South. The Falcons will shift to more of a 3-4 defense this season and this might make the difference for a Mike Smith led Falcons team desperate to go deep in the playoffs.

12. San Diego Chargers (Vegas odds: 50-1) – The Chargers have been rejuvenated by Mike McCoy and there are a lot of reasons to like San Diego starting with quarterback Phillip Rivers. The 2013 Chargers earned the AFC’s final wild card berth on the final day of the regular season, and were they ever the definition of a wild card. It was a successful first season for Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who oversaw a club that always seemed to give itself a chance to win.

13. Arizona Cardinals (Vegas odds: 50-1) – If they can steal a game in San Francisco or Seattle and bump one of those two down in the NFC West standings, the Cardinals are potentially a major dark horse. Plus, if they make it to the Super Bowl, it will be a home game – the first in NFL history. The Cardinals have a sufficiently capable defense, they need a consistent defense to have even a chance with the likes of the Niners and Seahawks to contend with in the NFC West.

14. Carolina Panthers (Vegas odds: 40-1) – The Seahawks won a title with an elite defense a season ago, so why can’t the Panthers do it as well? Some would argue that Cam Newton (who is quickly approaching his contract renewal talks) might be a better QB than Russell Wilson. Ron Rivera loves to silence his doubters, like we all saw last season, but the Panthers will be fighting in a very tough NFC South division.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (Vegas odds: 32-1) – Big Ben’s already won two, so he knows how to get it done in January and February. Wouldn’t it be fitting for the Steelers to get their third title in the last nine years when no one’s really talking about them anymore? The Steelers have missed the playoffs for two straight seasons under coach Mike Tomlin. While no one has sounded the alarm just yet, another less-than-stellar campaign from the Steelers might potentially instigate a new chapter of change in Pittsburgh.

16. New York Giants (Vegas odds: 40-1) – The Giants could absolutely come out of nowhere and win their third title in recent history. There have been some magical runs on the way to two Super Bowl titles for the Giants under coach Tom Coughlin. With a little help from defense and special teams, we have to believe that if the Giants’ offense, along with both Eli Manning and Victor Cruz, can have success – this could potentially prime New York for one more run at the ultimate prize. They will be in tough against division foes like the Eagles though. The Giants have the potential to be real contenders though.

17. Kansas City Chiefs (Vegas odds: 50-1) – Fresh off an all-time playoff collapse and a brutal offseason that saw their roster get gouged, it’s easy to be down on the Chiefs going into 2014.  However, head coach Andy Reid has a ton of experience as a playoff coach, but we don’t envision Kansas City playing postseason football this year. The Chiefs provided sound & stout play on their way to a wild card berth. However, the Chiefs had peaked early. They won just two of their final eight games, including a 45-44 playoff loss at Indianapolis marked by Kansas City blowing a 28-point third-quarter lead. In the end, the Chiefs fit here in our NFL power ranking structure. The Chiefs were 10-0 against clubs who missed the postseason but just 1-6 against playoff teams, something that will need to get fixed if the Chiefs are to have any chance.

18. Buffalo Bills (Vegas odds: 75-1) – We’re optimistic this season for the Bills.  Mind you, going from 6-10 last season to 10-6 this season requires lots of help, talent, and luck. But with all the tough luck the Bills have had recently, maybe they’ll catch a break in 2014?  We actually are leaning towards believing so.  We think fans would be happy with a .500 year, as a deep playoff run would shatter all expectations but anything can happen in the NFL. With a new owner coming on board soon, there is lots of pressure on this team to find success, from the top on down.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Vegas odds: 75-1) – The Bucs quietly got a ton better over the last few months, and Lovie Smith has a plethora of playoff coaching experience, but Tampa Bay winning it all is tough to truly see.  Unless quarterback Josh McCown proves he should have been an All-Pro over the years, it might not be happening.  But we do believe that Lovie brings a sense of stability and brand back for the Bucs. This team could surprise many this season, so conservatively, we like this generous spot in our rankings.

20. Dallas Cowboys (Vegas odds: 48-1) – With all the Tony Romo jokes and punch lines, it’s easy to forget the QB has talent – but recent back surgery and other ailments might have decreased his stock value. Dallas has found so many crazy ways to lose over the last handful of years, maybe 2014 is finally the season it all comes together for Dallas?  Doubtful. They will need lots of help in the NFC East and as long as Jerry Jones is the head man, any Cowboys progress will likely be hindered. On paper, this is simply not a great team, let alone a good enough team to make the playoffs.

21. Detroit Lions (Vegas odds: 40-1) – Maybe a change at the head coaching position was what the Lions needed to take the next step. Jim Caldwell didn’t have a ton of playoff success in Indy, but he’s a coach who knows how to win football games. This roster is full of talented players. But we’re taking a wait and see approach in a division that will see the Bears and Packers vying for the division crown.

22. Miami Dolphins (Vegas odds: 50-1) – If absolutely everything went right for the Dolphins, with a new GM and hopefully a new locker room culture, they could make a run at a title. The problem is that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is going to have to take a major step forward, something we’re not convinced will happen. He is entering this season with 32 starts, 15 wins, and a 79.1 QB rating, time for Tannehill to produce or else.

23. St. Louis Rams (Vegas odds: 50-1) – Making the playoffs is going to be a very difficult task. The Rams’ most likely chance would be to finish third in the NFC West, steal a No. 6 seed, and go on a fairy tale playoff run. Anything can and will happen in the NFL right?  But overall, the Rams will need lots of help to get into the post season.  Stranger things have happened in the NFL though. ‎The Rams should have the best defensive end tandem in the league (Robert Quinn and Chris Long). There is no need to review coach Jeff Fisher’s resume, while bringing back Greg Williams to run the Rams’ defense might just be what the doctor ordered for the the team along with this coaching duo (as we reflect back on the ol’ Titans days).

24. New York Jets (Vegas odds: 70-1) – We’re not convinced the quarterbacks on this roster will take the NY Jets to the promise land, that and playing in a division owned by the Pats, makes us place the NY Jets somewhere in this area code. Sorry Jets fans, just going with what the sheets tell us. Let’s wait and see.

25. Cleveland Browns (Vegas odds: 70-1) – He’s been the talk of the offseason recently; and wouldn’t it be fitting for Johnny Football (Johnny Manziel) to make the Browns football relevant again with a crazy run to an AFC North title?  The Hoyer/Manziel quarterback battle is not over yet mind you. We’re not betting on a big playoff run, but the Browns have enough talent to warrant such a conversation and a 25th spot here.

26. Baltimore Ravens (Vegas odds: 40-1) – Some will probably hate our assessment here.  But things just look different for Baltimore, a team that has already lost so much talent from their Super Bowl team of 2012.  With so much turnover effect still being felt, our faith in Baltimore and ultimately quarterback Joe Flacco is not very high.  The Ravens failed to make the playoffs last year and they’re facing a degree of transition thanks to last year’s post-Super Bowl retirements and free-agency defections. Some of the offseason behavior from Flacco, with his typical nonchalant ways, was concerning too.

27. Tennessee Titans (Vegas odds: 90-1) – The Titans will need a lot of things to come together to make a playoff run. Former coach Munchak posted a 6-12 record, in three seasons, against division opponents. That record must change for the Titans to have a chance.  New head coach Ken Whisenhunt might succeed eventually in Tennessee, but this year it’s not going to happen, at least not in our books.  As well, quarterback Jake Locker is in a make or break season. If Locker plays well and the newly installed defense can play with consistency, maybe the Titans become division contenders? Let’s see.

28. Houston Texans (Vegas odds: 60-1) – The Texans are an intriguing pick, as J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney should be one of the top defensive duos in the league, no question.  Also, let’s not forget Houston was nearly the No. 1 seed in the AFC in 2012 before a late season collapse.  Still, a ton of questions at quarterback remain and it will probably doom this team from the get go.  Simply put, a lack of a superior quarterback will hold most teams back.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (Vegas odds: 250-1) – There’s no doubt they had a really good draft and Gus Bradley has his team trending in the right direction – but there’s a reason Jacksonville is the biggest long-shot to win the Super Bowl.  But based on our assessment only, this is the right place for the Jaguars as they continue on rebuilding for a couple more seasons to come.  However, do not be too shocked if this team finishes at .500, because we won’t be.  Read our prior post, remember Blake Bortles, we assessed his credentials back in June, this guy will be the real deal if he (and likely will)‎ gets the nod for the Jags.

30. Washington Redskins (Vegas odds: 55-1) – What the Redskins do this season is all dependent on one person, that would be RG3. If Robert Griffin III plays at his Baylor / 2012 level again, the Redskins will remain a viable contender. Mind you, his backup (Cousins) is a good quarterback too. Realistically, this team will be finishing in the 5-11 to 8-8 range.

31. Oakland Raiders (Vegas odds: 155-1) – The Raiders actually got a little bit better over the last three months without a lot of people noticing.  While they won’t win the Super Bowl in 2014, we don’t doubt they’ll be a much improved football team, but how much improved remains to be seen.  Some veteran additions to the roster should help steer the team in the right direction, but for now, that’s about all we expect this season and a 31st spot on our preseason rankings.

32. Minnesota Vikings (Vegas odds: 120-1) – Without a true franchise quarterback, and unless Adrian Peterson rushes for 2,500 yards (not happening), the Vikings simply are not going to make the playoffs, let alone win the Super Bowl. There’s an all- out re-build process going on in Minnesota, and maybe when the city hosts the game in 2018, they’ll be closer to winning it? Let’s see. For now, we will put the Vikes in this spot, lucky to make. 500.

Go to SafePicks.com to see our over 11 years of success and to find out who we predict to win it all in the 2014 NFL season!  

2014 NFL Picks & Predictions: Getting Ready At SafePicks.com

Hey Everybody!   We are excited and fired up for yet another season of NFL and NCAAF Football picks & predictions at SafePicks.com!   We’ve started up the SafePicks.com engines and we’re chomping at the bit to get it all started for what promises to be our 12th highly successful year.   We have a few posts coming soon here, hang tight. See you at SafePicks.com!   Wishing you all the best this coming football season! 

NFL Fantasy Football Champions Usually Avoid These: Mistakes, Pitfalls and Blunders!

To achieve NFL Fantasy Football championship glory, one must avoid as many mistakes and/or pitfalls as possible.  Most NFL Fantasy Football champions avoid mistakes.  NFL Fantasy Football is absolute fun and the object of the fun is to win it all!  But certain mistakes and/or pitfalls will only lead to a less-than-stellar league finish.  Managing an NFL Fantasy Football team is not complicated at all, championship success will only come to the team that makes the least amount of mistakes or lapses in judgement come draft day.

Every year, at SafePicks.com, I get questions regarding NFL Fantasy Football – and how to avoid making those dreaded mistakes.  Now remember, at SafePicks.com, we tailor our site content for beginners and pros by wording our site in such a way that everyone can enjoy.   In that vein, I also make myself available by email as best I can to help our users, which is a huge benefit for many of our ‘beginner’ users.  My cousin Josh just joined our NFL Fantasy league… then recently he asked me for some tips or more specifically, what mistakes should he watch out for.  So he is trying to seek out some NFL Fantasy Football tips and pointers for avoiding mistakes.   I thought it was a good question: and then I decided to post about that here.   So Josh, this is for you and anyone else looking to avoid making those mistakes when it comes to NFL Fantasy Football.

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ALERT! 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Breakout & Sleeper Candidates, Top 10 Picks By SafePicks.com

ALERT! 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Breakout & Sleeper Picks are out!  A little edge in NFL Fantasy Football always helps us at SafePicks.com!  With another exciting season of NFL Fantasy Football quickly approaching for us – the time has come to look at our Top 10, 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Breakout & Sleeper picks!  The team at SafePicks.com takes great pride in finishing tops in the last few years, both in NFL Fantasy Football (regular season and in playoffs).  The method to the madness is simple, at the SafePicks.com Website: we prognosticate and project well, we do so for a modest but hard-earned living!  This has translated into solid NFL Fantasy Football decisions for us.  Actually, half the battle in NFL Fantasy Football, aside from what all the pundits tell you, is a little knowing.  We especially love leveraging any edge to help us succeed in NFL Fantasy Football and our ‘extra-curricular’ NFL betting activities.  Although past success is never an indication of future success, we will stick with our program, (it has helped us to finish tops in the last five years) so why stop now?  SafePicks.com success is built on going with what works!

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