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Week 15 bold fantasy predictions: Mike Evans rebound

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  • By NFL Fantasy staff NFL.com
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All your favorite NFL Fantasy analysts (and the other ones, too) spend all week pouring over data, slugging through hours of game film and debating amongst each to give you the best advice on what to do with your fake football squads. In this space, however, as the work week comes to an end we'll crank up the heat a bit more than usual and go off the map. Every week, our analysts will drop their boldest predictions and inevitably dance around their desks with idiotic grins if they ever happen to come true. If said predictions go belly up, we shall never speak of them again.

Alex Gelhar: Jordy Nelson is a top-five fantasy wide receiver

Once upon a time, Jordy Nelson was actually THE WR5 in fantasy, but then Aaron Rodgers got hurt and Nelson became lost. Over the next seven games, he posted a yardage-high of 35 and failed to find the end zone even once (after taking six trips there in the first five games of the season. Now, Rodgers is back and he wants to fill Nelson up with juice (uh, phrasing?), and I'm all-in on this dynamic duo reuniting on the football field - even in a tough matchup against the Panthers. Since 2011, Nelson averages 18 PPR points per game with Rodgers under center versus just 10.8 with anyone else slinging the rock.

Marcas Grant: Kenyan Drake will be the RB1 this week

The Dolphins sent the Jay Train north to Philadelphia and have since found themselves a new ride in the backfield. Since Damien Williams went down with an injury, Drake has been ultra-productive. This week he gets to run against a Bills defense that has played "butter" to opposing running backs' "hot knife" in the past six weeks, giving up 174.5 rushing yards per game over the past six weeks. If you ever wanted to see a Dolphin run, this is the week for you.

James Koh: Philip Rivers will make like Willy Wonka and give you the golden ticket to your fantasy finals

I was listening to Macklemore's new track featuring Offset from the Migos called Willy Wonka and got woke AF. Prior to this track, I had never thought about how baller Wonka is. I mean let's think about this: he's a candy mogul, he owns acres upon acres of land, he's waited on hand and foot by oompa loompas. This man is rich. Similarly, Rivers has low-key been sweet for fantasy managers that stuck with him, averaging more than 21 fantasy points per game over his last four games in standard leagues. Now he gets to see a Chiefs defense that has given up yardage in bulk and the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season? I'm going directly against my esteemed colleague below and boldly predicting that Rivers racks up 300 and three scores.

Michael Fabiano: Philip Rivers will be held under 16 fantasy points

This hasn't happened since Week 10, and a matchup against the Chiefs looks like a no-brainer for fantasy fans to start the red-hot Rivers. But the last time he faced this AFC West rival, the veteran was held to fewer than four fantasy points. No, I'm serious, look at the box score. Oh, and the Chiefs have held Rivers to fewer than 15 fantasy points in five of their last six meetings at Arrowhead Stadium.

Cynthia Frelund: Philip Rivers and Alex Smith will be the QB1 and QB2 this week in fantasy.

Rivers is the safer play, as the Chiefs defense is vulnerable to the pass and the run...this isn't surprising or bold. However, sometimes it takes a close game to get the crazy-high results we want in the fantasy playoffs. I think it's easy to picture a really high-scoring Patriots and Steelers matchup but in my world of bold, this AFC West clash surpasses it. Alex Smith has been averaging twice as many 20-plus air yard attempts since Matt Nagy started calling plays (two games, small sample) at 7.5 per game. Factoring in that when he targets Tyreek Hill, Smith's passer rating is over 125, it seems that big plays will be an influential part of the game script. Do I think Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram bring excellent pressure? Of course. But the Chiefs and Chargers both really need this game to fall their way, so I think it's boom or bust for both teams, and lots of fantasy points for both quarterbacks.

Adam Rank: Rank: Nick Foles is a Top-11 fantasy quarterback

It was a rough time for fantasy enthusiasts who saw Carson Wentz went down for the season. The Eagles players are confident they can still get to the Super Bowl and I'm just as confident Foles can lead me to fantasy glory. Actually, I'm not. But I don't have much of a choice. But I do like the matchup this week. He'll get close to 300 and a couple of scores to make him a solid QB1ish.

Matt "Franchise" Franciscovich: Tyreek Hill posts 100 receiving yards on the Chargers

The Chargers haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver all season. Tyreek Hill has three 100-yard performances this year and is averaging 8.6 targets per game over his last three. Alex Smith has been throwing the deep ball more often since Kansas City passed play-calling duties off to Matt Nagy and if the Chiefs want any chance at beating the red-hot Chargers, they're going to need Hill to hit on a couple of big plays. He had 77 yards against Los Angeles back in Week 3, and I say he hits the century mark at home this week.

Matt Harmon: Mike Evans goes over 100 yards on Monday night

It would be the first time over the century mark all year for Mike Evans. My new policy for fantasy is volume over literally everything. Volume has been there for Evans all year, in terms of air yards and raw targets. So, I'm going to side with that over recent dud performances. A brand play? Yes. But that's what this space is for.

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