• 2017 NFL Playoff Projections: Week 6

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    Week 6: NFL Injuries Minor in Impact for Playoffs

    Week 5 was devastating for the New York Giants and Houston Texans. They both lost key players, when Texans JJ Watt and Giants Odell Beckham jr fractured legs and are out for the season. In addition to this, the Texans defense got another hit when Whitney Mercilus faced season ending injury as well as Giants receiving corps were torn apart with season ending injuries to Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris. What kind of impact there is to these teams' playoffs hopes?

    Based on Accuscore’s season simulations with current rosters, Houston has around 8% probability to reach playoffs and their average record at the end of the season is 7-9. If we run simulations with JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus, their chances are not improving dramatically. The probability to reach playoffs is basically same as well as the preseason predicted record at the end of the season.

    Simulations rely on historical data and it was a game three when JJ Watt injured year ago. The end result for the Texans that season was a playoff place, and they were able to pull wild card victory during postseason. At the end, it may be that JJ Watt’s impact on Texans performance is more mental than physical.

    Top Trends: After Week 5

    - All NFL Picks vs the Spread: 43-30-4, 58.9% +1,000
    - All Side Value Picks: 44-31, 58.7% +1800
    - All Totals Picks: 44-29-4, 60.3% +1210

    All of AccuScore's Week 6 NFL Picks

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    New York Giants’ chances to playoffs are next to nothing after an 0-5 start and injuries to their star receivers. We predict that the Giants' probability to reach playoffs at the end of the season is under 1%. Based on same simulations they'll end the season with a 4-12 record. If the team has recorded only losses during first five weeks of the season with their best roster, there is not much that can go more wrong.

    With Beckham and Marshall, the Giants’ playoffs probability only pop up to 2% and they would get one additional win compared to the current forecast. Even though it looks like the final blows to the Giants' season, the 2017 campaign was already lost with the 0-5 start when everyone was healthy.

    And then Adrian Peterson…in Arizona

    The Arizona Cardinals acquired running back Adrian Peterson from the New Orleans Saints, where the former Minnesota Viking running back had been trying to get some carries during first games of the season. Accuscore simulated AP's impact to Arizona’s playoff chances.

    Arizona currently sits on a 2-3 record thanks to two wins in overtime. Their game plan hasn’t been working very well, and before they traded their chances to the postseason away, were around 30% with the record of 8-8. These simulations were run with the tandem Chris Johnson and Kerwynn Williams carrying the main load of their running game.

    When we replace Johnson with Peterson and make him featured back like he was during his heydays in Minnesota, the Cardinals' chances to reach the playoffs drop to 18%. Based on these simulations the 8-win season might be a stretch and it looks more like 7-9 that they'll finish up with. As simulations are using historical data and not the highlight videos years ago to determine outcomes of the games, it is quite clear that based on the performance during last and this season, Adrian Peterson's impact is not positive. His star is fading away and a substandard offensive line cannot light it up anymore.

  • NFC West: 2017 NFL Previews

    Written by AccuScore Staff
    Follow @AccuScore on Twitter

    NFC West: 2017 NFL Division Previews

    AccuScore wraps up its 2017 NFC Division previews with a look out West, where the Seahawks are expected to rise up as one of the conference’s elite teams.

    2017 NFC West Projections and Preview

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    Other Previews:
    NFC North Division Preview
    NFC East Division Preview
    NFC South Division Preview

    Will The Cardinals Return to the Playoffs?

    The Arizona Cardinals were unable to continue their playoffs streak last year after a team coached by Bruce Arians ended the season with single digit wins for the first time ever. QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald aren’t getting any younger, but Accuscore’s season simulations reveal that Cardinals are in the playoff mix in the NFC, even if they’re not favorites to win the division.

    According to AccuScore’s 10,000 simulations, Arizona is projected to win 9 games. Division games against the San Francisco 49ers and the LA Rams, both of which don’t expect to be good, assist the Cardinals’ projections.

    Roster Moves

    The main changes come on the defensive side of the ball. The Cardinals lost starters DE Calais Campbell, Safeties Tony Jefferson and D.J.Swearinger, linebackers Kevin Minter and Alex Okafor. It would be big task for others to fill these gaps. Additions Antonie Bethea (SS), Karlos Dansby (LB) and Jarvis Jones (LB) are well known players, but the Cardinals will need some of the players already on the roster to take a step forward to help plug the gaps.

    Fantasy Analysis: Arizona Cardinals

    On the fantasy front QB Carson Palmer is predicted to be Top 20 among other signal callers. The same applies to Larry Fitzgerald on the receivers group, though neither Palmer or Fitzgerald are Top 10 guys at this point in their careers. Even with the changes in defense, Accuscore fantasy prediction shows the Cardinals’ defense and special teams as a sixth best fantasy point collector during the season. Of course, playing teams like the 49ers and Rams twice helps those averages.

    The best running back in the league and arguably the no. 1 pick for your fantasy draft is David Johnson, who collected over 2,000 combined yards rushing and receiving with 20 touchdowns in 2016.

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    Best team in LA?

    The Los Angeles Rams will get local competition as the LA Chargers have moved into town and will look to steal some of the vast LA sports market. The first season for the Rams in LA wasn’t memorable, as they closed the season on seven straight losses with Jared Goff under center. Goff’s performance under first year coach Sean McVay will play a major role in the Rams’ season to come.

    The Rams are still heavy in the rebuild, and AccuScore gives the Rams less than a 1% chance of winning the division over Seattle and Arizona.

    Roster Moves

    The biggest offseason move was the departure of the Rams’ first 1,000-yard receiver in a decade, Kenny Britt. The team looks to be forming a new receiving corps led by Cooper Kupp, Nelson Spruce, Mike Thomas and Josh Reynolds. Also, a trade for Sammy Watkins gives Goff and defenses a clear no. 1 target to focus on. In addition, the Rams improved the offensive line with veteran tackle Andrew Whitworth from Cincinnati. There were also few chances on defensive backfield, but those are not making any notable differences in the simulations.

    Fantasy Analysis: LA Rams

    For fantasy players last season, Todd Gurley ultimately destroyed teams that wasted a top pick on the running back. However, the drop in value provides the perfect opportunity to pick up Gurley this season. Accuscore projections show that he should bounce back at least a bit from last season’s under 900 rushing yards. AccuScore predicts that Gurley should collect enough fantasy points to rank him as one of the top10 RBs in 2017. As far as that goes, the Rams do not boast any other Top 10 fantasy players.

    New Start in San Francisco

    The San Francisco 49ers did a complete house cleaning after the tumultuous years that followed Jim Harbaugh’s tenure. New head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch bring a new hope and a new culture, but San Franciso is now in the early days of a brand new rebuild. That said, Accuscore predicts that San Francisco will double the amount of win total from the two to four this season.

    Obviously, four wins is not exactly a blueprint to make the postseason, but the team is expected to improve on 2016’s awful year. With Arizona and Seattle in the division, though, San Francisco’s chances of winning the division are nearly non-existent.

    Roster Moves

    When a team has a new front office, a head coach and is coming off a 2-14 season, very few jobs are safe. The 49ers did a fair bit of work in the draft, but the level of success usually takes time to evaluate. Notable additions are new QB tandem Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley from Chicago. Also new target for those quarterback is veteran wide out Pierre Garcon. Garcon should improve the passing game that was the dead last season—provided he can stay healthy.

    Fantasy Analysis: San Francisco 49ers

    As one would expect, San Francisco is not stacked full of top fantasy player. RB Carlos Hyde should rush for another 1000-yard season, and those numbers would put his just outside the top 15 in RBs in fantasy points. Brian Hoyer is predicted to be 28th on the QB scale, and Pierre Garcon is ranked 48th within their respective wide receivers. The defense is projected to be ranked 27th, so Hyde is probably the only player worth focusing on from San Francisco.

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    Steady Seattle Seahawks

    Five years in a row, the Seattle Seahawks have reached the postseason. Of course, that period of time is defined by two trips to the Super Bowl and one victory in the big game. This season is not going to be very different, as AccuScore projects the Seahawks to collect 12 wins—1.5 more than a year ago. In fact, AccuScore is projecting Seattle to finish first in the NFC, not just the NFC West. AccuScore predicts the Seahawks’ playoff streak will reach six straight seasons with roughly 90% probability.

    Notably, Seattle travels to Lambeau field in Week 1, and AccuScore projects the Packers and Seahawks to finish as the top two teams in the NFC.

    Roster Moves

    The Seahawks were hardly in need of massive changes. The most interesting move is to boost up the rushing game that dropped from 3rd in 2015 to 25th in 25th. Marshawn Lynch had something to do with that. Former Packer Eddie Lacy looks to help the Seahawks bounce back in the running department.

    Fantasy Analysis: Seattle Seahawks

    Seattle’s stingy defense is ranked second in Accuscore fantasy projections. There are few other players at the very top of the respective position ranks. Russell Wilson is number 3 on the QB ranks, and Doug Baldwin slots into the same elite company among WRs. List of Top 3 fantasy players is completed by TE Jimmy Graham, who is projected to reach 1,000 yards receiving first time since 2013 season.

  • NFL Thursday Night: Seahawks at Cardinals - Analyst Pick

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals: TNF Analyst Pick

    Seattle will look to get back on track on a quick turnaround in Week 10 as they head to Arizona for a matchup with a Cardinals team that's been below average to put it nicely. Seattle has a history of strong performances when the spotlight is on them, 6-0 straight up (SU) and 5-1 against the spread (ATS) in the last six prime-time games.

    Vegas Odds
    Seattle opened at 6.5-point favorites before dropping a half-point over Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Betting Line: Seattle Seahawks -6
    Total: 46

    At the time of publication, about 58-to-60 percent of the public was laying the points and taking the Seahawks. 54 percent of the wagers on the total have been on the OVER.

    Betting Trends
    - Seattle is 4-2 ATS in its last six games vs Arizona.
    - Seattle is 4-1 ATS in its last five games vs Arizona.

    AccuScore has all picks for Thursday & this weekend live, including a free forecast with picks, trends and player projections: All of AccuScore's NFL Picks

    What to Watch For

    Arizona's seen some success handing RB Adrian Peterson the ball. They lost 20-10 to San Francisco, but Peterson did have 159 yards on 37 rushing attempts.

    Peterson is projected to finish with 79 yards on 14 carries; he averages 0.4 TDs per sim.

    In the loss against Washington last week, Seattle QB Russell Wilson finished with 297 yards, 2 TDs and 77 rushing yards, but also threw two INTs. The Seahawks have their eye on the NFC West title and will look to make a statement Thursday night.

    Wilson is projected to finish with 270 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, to go along with 17 rushing yards on 4-to-5 carries.

    Here's a not-so-fun fact for Arizona fans -- the Cardinals are 0-4 SU and ATS against teams at-or-above .500.

    Analyst's Pick
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