Week 1 is always the most difficult to predict as we are reliant on last year’s stats, preseason outlooks and a lot of speculation and coach-speak to derive our analysis. However, as the weeks of the 2017 NFL season unfold we have more relevant data points to analyze and we are able to see with our own eyes what team’s tendencies are and how well players perform in their current situation. With that, the Hot Sheet will get better and better with each passing week of data and my analysis of players and team tendencies. Week 2 may be a pretty clear cut week with two games leading the way with very high Vegas totals and a lot of strong DFS plays to try to fit in.
Numbers in RED are “hot” indicating a good matchup. I will list some “Hot Picks” for each game rated from one to three stars and at the bottom of the article give my Top Plays for the week. Check out my intro in Week 1 for more details on what stats are behind these numbers.
So let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
After a disappointing Week 1 loss at home, the Texans will travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals on a short week with a rookie QB Deshaun Watson set to make his first start. The Texans offense looked dreadful last week but Watson did provide a little spark off the bench in the second half. However, on a short week look for the Bengals defense to contain the Texans’ passing game. Any passing production will likely come through DeAndre Hopkins as they have limited receiving options and a rookie QB that will force feed the ball to his first read. The Texans’ running game behind Lamar Miller should have a little bit of success and will be leaned on to help take the pressure off of Watson.
The Bengals are also coming off a disappointing home loss as they were shutout by the Ravens. The Bengals offense was equally anemic but with a lot of veteran leaders on offense, they should have a better chance to bounce back quickly. Andy Dalton and the Bengals’ passing attack might still struggle to get much going against a strong Texans’ pass defense. Dump off passes to Giovanni Bernard and Joe Mixon might be the most effective option through the air. However, I expect the Bengals to lean on their running game behind the three-headed backfield of Benard, Mixon and Jeremy Hill to grind out a victory. Unfortunately, the split backfield makes it difficult to strongly recommend any one player but Mixon received the most touches last week so I’ll give him the edge. The Bengals defense is actually the strongest play and probably the only useable option of the entire game at home as a favorite with a low Vegas total going against a rookie QB.
- DeAndre Hopkins (*)
- Lamar Miller (*)
- Joe Mixon (*)
- Bengals defense (**)