Doc’s Office: NFL 2018 – NFC South Team Totals

NFL 2018 NFC South Preview


Atlanta Falcons


Head Coach: Dan Quinn (4th year)

OC: Steve Sarkisian (2nd year)

DC: Marquand Manuel (2nd year)

Key Position Week 1 Starters (Projected):

QB: Matt Ryan

WR: Julio Jones (currently holding out), Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley (rookie)

RB1: Devonta Freeman / Tevin Coleman

TE: Austin Hooper

Key Player Changes:

Lost Taylor Gabriel, drafted Calvin Ridley

Added Brandon Fusco

Lost Dantari Poe

Strength of Schedule:


Schedule Break-down:

Favored in ten games

Favored by 6 points or more in 4 games; largest spread as an underdog is 5 points (week 1 @ PHI)

Falcons play 5 top 10 opponents and 6 bottom 10 opponents

Season win total:

Over 9.5 +110 / Under 9.5 -130

Doc’s Pick:

Over 9.5 +110

Falcons roll to 11 wins this year (if Julio plays). We already know their backfield and QB are solid, Julio is among the best in the league and the defense is middle of the road. Falcons won’t have any problem putting up points, just need the defense to hang on.


Carolina Panthers


Head Coach: Ron Rivera (7th)

OC: Norv Turner (1st year; was MIN OC)

DC: Eric Washington (1st year; was CAR DL)

Key Position Week 1 Starters (Projected):

QB: Cam Newton

WR: Torrey Smith, Devin Funchess, DJ Moore (rookie)

RB1: Christian McCaffrey ( CJ Anderson will be heavily involved as well)

TE: Greg Olsen

Key Player Changes:

Added CJ Anderson to complement Christian McCaffrey; lost Jonathan Stewart

Added Torrey Smith and drafted DJ Moore

Added Dontari Poe DT and Jeremiah Sirles G

Strength of Schedule:

17th (tied with CHI)

Schedule Break-down:

Favored in nine games

9 of the 15 games have a spread of +/-3

Panthers play 6 top 10 opponents and 5 bottom 10 opponents

Season win total:

Over 9 +110 / Under 9 -130

Doc’s Pick:

Over 9 +110

I honestly think they win 9 or 10 games this year, I’m not super confident on the over but I don’t like the juice on the under. I think Cam finds ways to win games and Torrey Smith / CJ Anderson will be helpful additions. Look for several close games from them this year.


New Orleans Saints


Head Coach: Sean Payton (13th year)

OC: Pete Carmichael (10th year)

DC: Dennis Allen (4th year)

Key Position Week 1 Starters (Projected):

QB: Drew Brees

WR: Ted Ginn, Michael Thomas, Cameron Meredith

RB1: Alvin Kamara (Mark Ingram suspended weeks 1-4)

TE: Ben Watson

Key Player Changes:

Cut Coby Fleener, added Ben Watson

Added Cameron Meredith

Drafted Marcus Davenport DE 14th overall

Strength of Schedule:


Schedule Break-down:

Favored in ten games

10 of the 15 games have a spread of +/-3; biggest spread as an underdog is 4 points

Saints play 6 top 10 opponents and 5 bottom 10 opponents

Season win total:

Over 9.5 -130 / Under 9.5 +110

Doc’s Pick:

Over 9.5 -130

Saints are only a dog (small dog) in 4 games this year, while many of the spreads are short I think they won’t have many issues. Their backfield is among the best in the league, we know Brees is a stud and Michael Thomas is emerging as one of the top WR talents in the league. Their defense was above average in most advanced metric categories last year. If they hold the Saints win 11 again this year.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Head Coach: Dirk Koetter (3rd year)

OC: Todd Monken (3rd year)

DC: Mike Smith (2nd year)

Key Position Week 1 Starters (Projected):

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Jameis Winston suspended weeks 1-3)

WR: Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries

RB1: Ronald Jones (rookie) (Peyton Barber will see snaps as well)

TE: Cameron Brate / OJ Howard

Key Player Changes:

Added Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry (both should be starting DE week 1)

Drafted Vita Vea DT 12th overall (may not start week 1)

Drafted Ronald Jones RB 38th overall; lost Doug Martin

Strength of Schedule:


Schedule Break-down:

Favored in three games

Underdog of 5.5 points or more in 5 games

Bucs play 6 top 10 opponents and 4 bottom 10 opponents

Season win total:

Over 6.5 +110 / Under 6.5 -130

Doc’s Pick:

Under 6.5 -130

With the second hardest strength of schedule I don’t see TB getting to seven wins this year. In terms of defensive efficiency of teams they face they have the hardest schedule and the 5th hardest schedule in terms of offensive efficiency that their defense will play against. Their backfield is largely unproven, they are without Winston for three weeks, they have one good WR and their TE are average.


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