Get in on the NFL fantasy fun, plus a look at NHL playoff picks



The out pick the fat guy contest is on for 2020 in case you missed last week’s column. It’s easy to play. Go to the ESPN website. The next step is to click on fantasy and then Pig Skin Pick’em. The group name is viewnewspapers. If for some reason you miss opening night’s game on Thursday night do not panic! There is still time to sign up and pick the rest of the week’s football games. I see some of you have signed up already. I will announce the prize if you win in next week’s column. I encourage all to play — it’s free and fun! Let’s get signed up football fans and see if you’re a better handicapper than me. Hey, trust me, being a better handicapper then me doesn’t take much either. It’s NFL kickoff time for 2020.

The Detroit Lions will open up at home on Sunday with kickoff slated for 1 p.m. The Chicago Bears, a division opponent, travel to Ford Field. This 2020 season is obviously different with the crowd situation and no pre-season games. I have been preaching for years that we don’t need four games of preseason football. I do believe the teams need at least two pre-season games. I expect the games this weekend to be very sloppy football with numerous penalties and turnovers. We know those two issues are Detroit Lions specialties if you have watched them over the years. I expect this game between Detroit and Chicago to be a close football game as I have both teams even talent wise. I know the Lions “D” stinks, however, hopefully it’s improved this season. I mean “Pencil Head” is a defensive mastermind (just spit out my barley pop) just ask him. The Chicago Bears offense is atrocious and struggles to score points. I mean Mitch “I Toss Too Many Picksy” is not a good quarterback. The bottom line is, this game is a coin toss. The Crystal Cheeseball’s first NFL prediction in 2020 says: Prater game winning field goal 20 and Chi Clowns 17. The Lions open up season with a BIG FAT “W.”



The game of interest for me is the Tampa Bay and New Orleans Saints game. The Tom Brady era in Florida will begin and it will be against a tough New Orleans football team. I will not be shocked to see a Brady to “Gronk” touchdown pass is this contest. I think all of us fans will tune into this football game.

I think the New England game will be a great watch also without Brady under center for the Patriots. How will the Patriots look without number twelve quarterbacking?

An action packed lineup this week in the NFL and it all starts on Thursday night in Kansas City. The Chiefs will get their Super Bowl rings and then play the Houston Texans.

The NHL is down to four teams competing for the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup in a couple weeks. The Eastern Conference matches Tampa Bay and the surprising New York Islanders. The Tampa Bay team was a favorite to win the Cup coming into these playoffs. The Islanders were a long shot to get here. The Tampa Bay team is more talented and will win the series in five games.

The Western Conference features Las Vegas and Dallas in what should be a competitive series. The Vegas team is top favorite to win the Cup. I, however, smell a Dallas Stars upset. The Stars in seven games.

The NFL picks are back and I know you are all excited to see my losing selections. This will be a bounce back year for the fat guy after a horrible 2019. Let’s roll the games and make some hot selections: