We have finally reached the last week of byes. No more desperate waiver wire plug-ins or shortened schedules after this week. There are some big favorites in Week 11, including a favorite on the road that I think you should avoid.
Thursday Night Game
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills -- The Dolphins usually struggle when they come to the Northeast, but we are still in mid-November so the weather has not gotten too bad, just yet. However, this is a night game and it will be chilly in Buffalo. I would avoid this match-up, though, as it is too close to call in the AFC East.
The big home favorites this Sunday include the Dallas Cowboys against the Cleveland Browns, the Atlanta Falcons against the Arizona Cardinals, the Houston Texans against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Denver Broncos against the San Diego Chargers, and the New England Patriots hosting the Indianapolis Colts. I will rank those choices in my selections below. As far as the not-so-obvious choices, the St. Louis Rams host the New York Jets, and any smart money right now is against the Jets. The Rams would be a gutsy pick when there are five teams posted as touchdown favorites this week, but your options may be limited in Week 11. Don't trust Cincinnati going into Kansas City, and I would also avoid Green Bay on the road in Detroit.
Tampa Bay at Carolina and Philadelphia at Washington are two divisional games I would not be tempted with picking. If I had to pick winners, I would go with both home teams, but I do not have much confidence in those picks. It appears that Nick Foles will get his first start, so there are questions as to how Philadelphia will respond after falling to 3-6 and likely out of contention now in the NFC. The loser will fall to 3-7 and definitely be in for a rough winter. However, if Washington can pull this off and move to 4-6, they have the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants in their next two game. So even though coach Mike Shanahan is thinking about the 2013 roster, the Redskins are not dead yet.
In the night game, we are looking at a battle between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. It is a tough break for the Steelers, who were finally making strides and now have lost their quarterback. Pass on this game.
Monday Night Football
Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers -- Both of these teams will likely be without their quarterbacks as Jay Cutler and Alex Smith deal with head injuries. Therefore, I would stay away from this one. I would pick the 49ers at home, though.
I mentioned the Top 5 favorites this week followed by a slight favorite in St. Louis. The top pick this week is clearly Houston. The next choice would be Atlanta at home following its first loss. Dallas should handle Cleveland at home, even though the Browns are coming off a bye. Denver has looked very impressive recently, especially on defense, but this is still a divisional matchup which saw San Diego jump out to a big lead the last time these teams met. I'll rank my options as follows: Houston, Atlanta, New England, Dallas, St. Louis, Denver. Don't count out the Indianapolis Colts, but Andrew Luck will fall short to Tom Brady in his first game in Foxboro.
I am going to avoid the New Orleans Saints on the road this week. Oakland was embarrassed on the road last week, and the Raiders will want to play better at home. Everyone knows the Saints are a different team at home, so I will advise you to lay off New Orleans this weekend.