It’s official, NFL Sundays are back and not a minute too soon. The one game on Thursday was nice, and everyone enjoyed it, most especially Bills fans. This is different though, this is NFL Sunday and it’s twelve hours of nothing but unadulterated professional football. Get ready for the action with our NFL Week 1 Preview and Picks. Let’s Ride.
NFL Week 1 Preview – 1:00PM Games
San Francisco 49ers (-305) at Chicago Bears (+260) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Chicago Bears host the San Francisco 49ers to kick off the first Football Sunday of 2022. These two teams had essentially reverse records in 2021 at 6-11 and 10-7 respectively. However, it’s 2022 and last season is just that, in the past.
During the offseason, the 49ers made a huge move in naming Trey Lance as their QB1. Lance had an up and down 2021 season, splitting time with Jimmy Garoppolo but 2022 will be all on him. The 49ers also inked superstar Deebo Samuel to a long-term contract.
San Francisco 49ers Notable Injuries: George Kittle (Questionable), Daniel Brunskill (Out)
As with their 2021 records, the two teams also had opposing off seasons. The 49ers got better while the Bears didn’t upgrade at any position. In fact, Chicago lost Allen Robinson to the Rams and didn’t manage any major acquisitions to replace him. The receiving load will fall heavily on Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. Let’s see what they can do with it.
Chicago Bears Notable Injuries: Velus Jones Jr (Doubtful), Dominique Robinson (Questionable)
Fantasy Football Information
Most of the players to watch in fantasy are on the 49ers side. There is a lot of uncertainty about how the Bears offense will look this year. The only reliable fantasy options at this point are Darnell Mooney and David Montgomery.
If George Kittle plays, then he is a must start in any league. He puts up points and is the 4th best tight end in the league when playing to his ceiling. Besides Kittle, Deebo is the best player on the field and should see plenty of action. Aiyuk is a good flex option.
49ers at Bears Prediction
The 49ers, even if they are missing their star tight end to injury, should wipe the floor with the Bears. They are the better team and are much more talented on paper. However, two sophomore quarterbacks are facing off and we still aren’t sure what each can bring to the table.
San Francisco rolls but it isn’t their easiest outing of the year.
Final Score: San Francisco 24 – Chicago 13
Wicked Wagers – San Francisco -6.5 (-117) / Full Game u40.5 (-110)
Wicked Player Prop – Deebo Samuel Total Receiving Yards Over 61.5 (-115)
Pittsburgh Steelers (+240) at Cincinnati Bengals (-278) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Pittsburgh Steelers rolls into Cincinnati to take on the team that was almost crowned Superbowl champions. This is the first time in history the Bengals open their season against the Steelers, their long-time division rival. This one is going to be juicy.
The Cincinnati Bengals ended the 2021 season with heartbreak, falling to the Los Angeles Rams in the Superbowl. The Bengals played phenomenal down the stretch and into the postseason and now enter 2022 with a chip on their shoulder. During the offseason, Cincinnati addressed their #1 issue, the offensive line. This is now a team with a top five quarterback, a top two receiving core, and an offensive line that can give Burrow time to throw. This will be a scary team for anyone who will play them.
Cincinnati Bengals Notable Injuries: Mitchell Wilcox (Questionable)
On the other side of the ball, The Pittsburgh Steelers lost two-time Superbowl champion Ben Roethlisberger to retirement. They drafted Pitt star quarterback Kenny Pickett to take over the franchise, but he won’t start right away. After a summer of guessing who would be the Steelers QB1, Head Coach Mike Tomlin officially gave the role to Mitch Trubisky following the last preseason game. Let’s see what the post Big Ben era looks like for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Steelers Notable Injuries: Cameron Heyward (Probable)
Fantasy Football Information
The Bengals have top fantasy players, and even flex players all over the roster. Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Burrow, and Joe Mixon are all definite starts for tomorrow. Depending on who’s sitting in your flex, Higgins and Boyd can also be great options, but Burrow will try to involve Chase early and often.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, Najee Harris is a must. This will be a run first offense, and even when Trubisky does throw, much of that will be checkdowns. Stay away from starting the Steelers defense in this one, no doubt that they will be excellent this year but not against the best passing offense in the game.
Steelers at Bengals Prediction
The first half of this game will be close as both teams get back into regular season shape and feel each other out. The Steelers defense will make a few plays but it’s not enough to contain this explosive offense. The Bengals will come out of halftime and put up some points to pull away.
Bengals go into week 2 with a 1-0 record. WhoDey.
Final Score: Cincinnati 27 – Pittsburgh 19
Wicked Wagers – Cincinnati -7 (-106)
Wicked Player Prop – Najee Harris Total Receiving Yards Over 23.5 (-120)
Philadelphia Eagles (-210) at Detroit Lions (+182) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Philadelphia Eagles head to the motor city to take on this years Hard Knocks team, the Detroit Lions. This is an interesting matchup with a several angles and good storylines.
Philly might be the most improved team this offseason. They went out and added starters and/or depth at every position. Just a few of those include AJ Brown, James Bradbery, and first round pick Jordan Davis. This Eagles team is poised to win an admittedly bad division, and then make some noise in the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles Notable Injuries: Miles Sanders (Probable)
The Detroit Lions made a few small, under the radar signings this offseason, the most noteworthy was DJ Chark. The Lions had an abysmal 2021 season but should be better this year. They have the pieces to be an above average team, but they will fight for space in a top-heavy division.
Detroit Lions Notable Injuries: Tommy Kraemer (Out), Levi Onwuzurike (Out)
Fantasy Football Information
There is one no brainer on the Lions, and that’s D’Andre Swift. Swift was taken in the 1st or high 2nd round of every fantasy draft this year – that’s a no brainer. Amon-Ra St. Brown is also a guy that showed out in the last few games of 2021. However, this is not the game to start St. Brown (not even in your flex). He will draw the attention of the Eagles much improved secondary and be shut down most of the afternoon.
For the Eagles, the must starts are Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, and the Eagles Defense. The defense will have a takeaway or two in this one to make the start worthwhile. As a whole, fantasy owners should be skeptical about Miles Sanders – he’s still an unknown quantity.
Eagles at Lions Prediction
The Lions will come into this game amped up after a classic Dan Campbell Ra-Ra speech in the locker room. The positive effects of Dan Campbell will last about one and a half quarters before the Eagles start to pull away.
The Detroit offense won’t put up a ton of points, but the defense will keep the game from becoming a blowout.
Final Score: Philadelphia 30 – Detroit 16
Wicked Wager – Full Game Under 48.5 (-110)
Wicked Player Prop – Jalen Hurts Total Passing Yards Over 225.5 (-115)
Baltimore Ravens (-295) at New York Jets (+250) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Baltimore Ravens visit the New York Jets on Sunday to open their season. The Ravens will play two games against the AFC East in the first month of the season, but this won’t be a true test without Zach Wilson.
The Ravens got off track in 2021 after injuries to several starters, including Lamar Jackson. They start the 2022 season as the favorites to win the AFC North, even without any true #1 wide receivers. During the offseason, they lost Hollywood Brown to the Cardinals. This departure opens the door for Rashod Bateman to become the guy in Baltimore. The Ravens will remain a run first team, which might prove difficult if J.K. Dobbins doesn’t play on Sunday,
Baltimore Ravens Notable Injuries: J.K. Dobbins (Questionable), Calais Campbell (Doubtful), Marcus Peters (Questionable)
The New York Jets come into this game without their cougar slaying quarterback. Throughout the summer, all reports pointed to Zach Wilson slaying on the field as well as with his mothers’ friends. A knee injury has pushed Joe Flacco back into the spotlight, which isn’t good for anyone. He’ll also have to go without starting left tackle Duane Brown – it could be a long day.
New York Jets Notable Injuries: Zach Wilson (Out), Duane Brown (Out)
Fantasy Football Information
Passes will be thrown by Jackson, and those will be in the direction of Mark Andrews or Rashod Bateman. Start them both this season early and often, especially if Dobbins is a scratch. Lamar Jackson is a no brainer start, he’ll likely have almost as many yards on the ground as through the air.
The Jets side of the ball is a bit more infuriating from a fantasy standpoint. If you have Breece Hall or Michael Carter, then start either (or both) of them. It will be a run heavy day at Metlife.
Ravens at Jets Prediction
The Jets are not a great team and they’ll be even worse without Zach Wilson. However, Flacco faces his former team and for some reason that always makes washed up quarterbacks play above their skill level. Flacco magic only lasts until halftime, and then it’s back to ground and pound with their two-headed running back monster. Expect a low scoring game with at least 4 turnovers.
Final Score – Baltimore 19 – New York 13
Wicked Wagers – Full Game Under 44 (-109)
Wicked Player Prop – Mark Andrews Total Receptions Over 5.5 (+110)
Cleveland Browns (-104) at Carolina Panthers (-110) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
There are always interesting story lines in the offseason of the NFL. Week 1’s matchup between Cleveland and Carolina is one of those highly anticipated games that many fans are most excited to see.
Once the face of the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Baker Mayfield will now be looking to tear apart the team he was abandoned by. Even more interesting is Cleveland’s choice to pay more than half of his contract and give the richest contract in history to a quarterback who is suspended for 11 games. Christian McCaffrey is also completely healthy (knock on wood) going into the season for the first time in years. Panthers should be ready to roll in this one.
Carolina Panthers Notable Injuries: Brandon Smith (Questionable)
The Cleveland Browns had one of the most tumultuous off-seasons with the Deshaun Watson drama. They now know they’ll be without him for the first 11 games of the season. It’s Jacoby Brissett’s time to shine, and somehow, he keeps finding himself in these situations.
Cleveland Browns Notable Injuries: Greedy Williams (Out), Jack Conklin (Questionable)
Fantasy Football Information
On the Browns’ side of the field, the two biggest names to watch in fantasy football will be Jacoby Brissett and Kareem Hunt. Brissett will be the projected starter until Watson comes off suspension and is facing a Carolina defense that gave up an average number of points to QBs last season. Hunt missed the majority of last season after scoring 5 TDs in 6 games and will be looking to jump on the 2022 season against a Panthers defense that allowed about 114 yards per game last season. Chubb is a no brainer start in this one, he’ll see the ball early and often.
On Carolina, Mayfield will be one we are all watching but Christian McCaffery and receiver DJ Moore are also worth watching. McCaffery is a force to be reckoned with, when he stays healthy. He has only played in 10 games over the last 2 seasons (missing 23 games) but enters 2022 listed as healthy and ready to get back to form. Moore is Carolina’s WR1 but to a new quarterback again. Last season the Brown’s defense gave up the 7th fewest points to receivers but they have a largely revamped lineup so we will look forward to seeing where Moore finds holes.
Browns at Panthers Prediction
Carolina will be up for this one as Baker Mayfield proves his worth. However, the Browns defense and running attack are still forces to be reckoned with. This will be a tight game but Carolina hands Cleveland yet another season-opener loss in Week 1.
Final Score – Panthers 24 – Browns 17
Wicked Wager – Panthers ML (-110)
Wicked Player Prop – Baker Mayfield Total Passing Yards Over 221.5 (-113)
Indianapolis Colts (-335) at Houston Texans (+275) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Another team with a revolving door at quarterback, the Colts head to Houston with Matt Ryan at quarterback. They walk in as one touchdown favorites for the first matchup against their division rival, who many say are in a rebuilding phase.
Houston will be looking to take a win at home and avoid the embarrassment of last season where they were outscored 62-3 in the two matchups against Indianapolis. Houston has revamped a bit over the offseason and will look better than they did last year.
Houston Texans Notable Injuries: Mario Addison (Doubtful)
The Colts just want to move on from last season’s choke at the end of the season and make it back to the playoffs in 2022. This team is poised to do some damage. We’ll see if they are as good in person as they look to be on paper.
Indianapolis Colts Notable Injuries: Shaquille Leonard (Out)
For Fantasy, we are watching Matt Ryan, Jonathan Taylor, and Michael Pittman for the Colts. Ryan will be looking to make a statement in his debut against a Texans defense that let up lots of points to quarterback’s last season. Taylor will be looking to continue the success he saw in his breakout season last year, which included almost 300 yards and 4 TDs in those two matchups against Houston.
For Houston, Brandon Cooks is a must start after his surprise season last year. He’ll accumulate a lot of points when Houston inevitably must turn to the passing game to catch up. In the running game, rookie running back Dameon Pierce is set to start and should rack up points if he can play well.
Colts at Texans Prediction
The Texans will put up a bit of a fight, but the Colts will be too much for them. The Colts continue their dominance of the Texans, in a strong victory on the road.
Final Score – Colts 27 – Texans 13
Wicked Wager – Colts -7 (-109)
Wicked Player Prop – Jonathan Taylor 1st TD Scorer (+360)
New Orleans Saints (-230) at Atlanta Falcons (+200) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Another matchup, another series of new faces. Two former Heisman Trophy winners meet today in one of the bigger storylines of week 1. In 2015, it was all about who would be be drafted #1 overall and in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season they will face off in this NFC South rivalry.
In just the second season without Drew Brees, New Orleans will also be entering this season with a new head coach in Dennis Allen. They look to have Jameis Winston back after missing a significant amount of the 2021 season. The Saints are banged up to start the season but still have enough pieces to make this a battle.
New Orleans Saints Notable Injuries: Michael Thomas (Questionable), Tyrann Mathieu (Questionable)
Atlanta has a new quarterback after the departure of Matt Ryan for the Colts. They also have new wide receivers after Gage and Julio Jones left for Tom Brady. Keep an eye on this new look Falcons team.
Atlants Falcons Notable Injuries: Drake London (Questionable)
The Saints’ two players to watch today are receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry in fantasy. Thomas is still listed as Questionable after missing the entire 2021 season but appears ready to go, and Landry will serve in the slot with at least 7 or 8 targets.
For Atlanta, it’s second year tight end Kyle Pitts. Pitts serves as the veteran in the receiving game and Mariota is already comfortable with him. Another name to watch is Cordarrelle Patterson, the running back had an excellent 2021 but is unlikely to repeat.
Saints at Falcons Prediction
For this game we are taking New Orleans to win the game with a field goal at the end of the game in a 17-14 victory, but for Atlanta to cover the spread.
Final Score – Saints 17 – Falcons 13
Wicked Wager – Falcons +5.5 (-109)
Wicked Player Prop – Alvin Kamara Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-134)
New England Patriots (+155) at Miami Dolphins (-177) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
NFL Week 1 Preview – 4:25PM Games
Minnesota Vikings (-103) at Green Bay Packers (-110) – Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
The two best teams in the NFC North are set to meet at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
The Packers had an eventful off-season with Aaron Rodgers deciding to stay, while their top receiver decided to leave. The loss of Devante Adams is going to hurt. Who’s going to step up on this receiving corps is going to be the biggest question heading into the season for the Packers. It won’t be Allen Lazard in week one, as he’s been officially listed as out.
Green Bay Packers Notable Injuries: David Bakhtiari (Questionable), Allen Lazard (Out)
Kirk Cousins will be attempting to lead the Vikings to their first division title since 2017. He’ll have one of the best wide receivers in the game on his side, as Justin Jefferson is set to have another explosive season. Sunday will mark the first game of a new change in leadership for this team. It will be 37-year-old Kevin O’Connell’s first game as a head coach. He’ll need to have his team ready to go for this critical NFC North showdown on Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings Notable Injuries: Alexander Mattison (Doubtful)
Fantasy Football Information
Aaron Rodgers is a questionable start this week after his top receiver was listed as doubtful. The Packers wide receiver core is already weak. Considering the lack of receiver depth, Aaron Jones is a must start for his receiving potential (especially in PPR leagues).
Justin Jefferson should have a big day on the Vikings side, but he’ll be heavily focused on by the Packers defense. Thielen is a solid start as he should get open looks with the defense throwing its weight to Jefferson’s side.
Packers at Vikings Prediction
This will be a great back and forth matchup that will come down to the closing minutes. The Vikings will have the ball last, and Greg Joseph will send everyone home with a game winning 45-yard field goal.
Final Score – Vikings 26 – Packers 23
Wicked Wagers – Vikings +1 (-113) / Vikings ML (-103)
Wicked Player Prop – Justin Jefferson o83.5 Receiving Yards (-113)
New York Giants (+206) at Tennessee Titans (-240) – Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
The Giants will have a tough test to start the year. They’ll have to travel to Tennessee to take on the reigning AFC South division champs.
The Giants went 4-13 last season but got some help in the draft as they had two picks in the top seven. Unfortunately, they may be without one of them as Kayvon Thibodeaux is unlikely to play in the team’s season opener.
New York Giants Notable Injuries: Kayvon Thibodeaux (Doubtful)
The Titans starting quarterback will be Ryan Tannehill this season. Tannehill may not have as long of a leash this year, as the team drafted quarterback Malik Willis in the third round of the draft. If the rookie appears on Sunday, it will only be for special run packages.
Tennessee Titans Notable Injuries: Lonnie Johnson (Out), Chance Campbell (Out)
Fantasy Football Information
Derrick Henry is the biggest fantasy name between either side and is a must start in any league. However, Tannehill will have to throw the ball, so Robert Woods is a good start. If you’re feeling good about the rest of your starters, then rookie Treylon Burks could be a fun flex option.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley will be a fantasy X factor this year and is a starter until proven otherwise. There isn’t a lot to love fantasy wise on this Giants team but Kadarius Toney is worth a start in the flex.
Giants at Titans Prediction
The Titans will trounce the Giants. Daniel Jones will turn the ball over three times, with two interceptions and a fumble. Ryan Tannehill will take advantage of the short field, helping the Titans walk away with a win.
Final Score – Titans 30 – Giants 10
Wicked Wager – Titans -5 (-112)
Wicked Player Prop – Daniel Jones under 21.5 Rushing Yards (-112)
Las Vegas Raiders (+148) at Los Angeles Chargers (-176) – Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
We’ll find out a little bit about the stacked AFC West in this one. Each team in the division has playoff expectations and are good enough to get there.
The Chargers, led by MVP hopeful Justin Herbert (+900) will attempt to exploit the new look Raiders defense. If the duo of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones can bring pressure, the Chargers offense will be in for a long day.
Los Angeles Chargers Notable Injuries: J.C. Jackson (Doubtful)
Sunday’s matchup will be the first time we get to see Devante Adams in a Raiders uniform. The star wideout will be reuniting with his former college teammate, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. We’ll see how the duo fares on Sunday, and if they are able to rekindle their former chemistry.
Las Vegas Raiders Notable Injuries: None
Fantasy Football Information
This game is stacked with fantasy players.
If you drafted the whole Chargers lineup, you’ll likely win a few games this year. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler was a top pick in most fantasy drafts. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are also must starts in the WR1 or Flex1 spot respectively.
On the Raiders side, Devante Adams’ impact this year will be a big deal to the Raiders and fantasy owners alike. Adams will draw much of the attention this year making Hunter Renfrow a sneaky good flex player. Stay away or use caution when playing Darren Waller, he’ll get a lot of focus and isn’t as good as he’s made out to be.
Raiders at Chargers Prediction
The Chargers will take an early first quarter lead in this one. The Raiders will play from behind for most of the game but manage to tie things up in the fourth quarter. Justin Herbert will lead his first game winning drive of the season, finding Keenan Allen in the endzone and securing the Chargers victory.
Final Score – Chargers 31 – Raiders 24
Wicked Wager – Chargers -3.5 (-106)
Wicked Player Prop –Keenan Allen Anytime Touchdown Scorer (-117)
Kansas City Chiefs (-255) @ Arizona Cardinals (+210) – Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
The Chiefs come into this game as huge favorites. It’ll be the first time that Patrick Mahomes is throwing to Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling. Travis Kelce will still be Mahomes’ top target. The Cardinals lost a few starters on their defense over the off-season. The Chiefs aren’t a good team to have to work out the kinks with on defense, but we’ll see how the Cardinals are able to handle it.
Kansas City Chiefs Notable Injuries: None
The Cardinals drama this off-season surrounded quarterback Kyler Murray. First, we found out that he had a homework clause in his contract signing, and then we learned in practice that there’s play calling issues between him and head coach Kliff Kingsbury. A big performance from Murray and a win on Sunday will go a long way in resolving this conflict.
Arizona Cardinals Notable Injuries: DeAndre Hopkins (Suspended)
Fantasy Football Information
Despite the loss of Tyreek Hill on the offense, Patrick Mahomes is still a top quarterback in most leagues. Travis Kelce, 32, continues to shine as one of the top tight ends in the league.
Chiefs at Cardinals Prediction
The Chiefs will be too much for the Cardinals. Expect Kelce to have a monster game in Arizona, and for Kyler Murray to be playing catch up all afternoon.
Final Score – Chiefs 41 – Cardinals 21
Wicked Wager – Chiefs -5.5 (-115) / Full Game o53.5 (-112)
Wicked Player Prop – Juju Smith-Schuster o46.5 (-114)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-136) @ Dallas Cowboys (+116) – Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
Tom Brady will not be on leave for this game. That’s good news for the Buccaneers, as they will begin their quest for two Super Bowls in three years on Sunday Night Football. They’ll be going up against the Dak Prescott led Cowboys. Prescott is on the injury report this week after rolling his ankle. The quarterback blamed his new shoes for contributing to the injury. The Cowboys better hope this isn’t a problem. The team recently decided to cut three other veteran QBs, leaving Prescott as the only QB on the roster.
These two teams met to start the season last year. After both Brady and Prescott put up massive games, the Bucs were able to come away with a thrilling, last second victory. Both of these teams have high expectations, so we could very well end up seeing the same fireworks on Sunday.
Fantasy Football Information
Dak Prescott’s appearance on the injury report raises questions for fantasy owners. He should be able to play on Sunday, so keep him in your week one lineup. Sunday night’s matchup should tell us a lot about how Tom Brady will look in his 23rd season in the league. At age 45, he remains a great player to have in your fantasy lineup.
Buccaneers at Cowboys Prediction
The Cowboys will throw the first punch in this one, after linebacker Micah Persons turns Brady over with a strip sack. Dak Prescott will throw two first half TDs leading the Cowboys into the break with a two-possession lead. Brady will lead a comeback in the second half, but it will come up short.
Final Score – Cowboys 28 – Buccaneers 24
Wicked Wager – Cowboys (+116)
Wicked Player Prop – Dak Prescott o1.5 Passing Touchdowns (-138)