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Five Bold Predictions for Week 8


I've been trying. I've tried to take a more statistical approach to this column this season. I like taking in the stats. I'm not Mike Scioscia for crying out loud, but sometimes you do need to go with some gut feels. I know ... it's not professional. But this is fantasy football. Let's have some fun:

Derek Carr goes for 350, 3 TDs

You know, sometimes things need to get a little worse before they can get better. If the Raiders season was a depressing movie, the Raiders would be at the part where Han Solo is put into the carbon freeze, Luke Skywalker gets his hand chopped and it looks like the rebellion is going to be done for good. But somehow, they seemed to get their stuff together (although I would like to know what exactly the plan was at Jabba's Palace. I mean, I'll give Princess Leia the benefit of the doubt because she and Maz Kanata devised her plan where she snuck into the Palace dressed as Boussh. But, what were you doing, Luke? Is he part of the plan?).

The point being, while the NFL world has had their fun ripping the Raiders for the last week, for reasons I'll never understand. Seriously. The Raiders got a first-round pick for a guy Derek Carr rarely targeted in big situations. They did well. But, the Raiders have enough pride to come out here and win Week 8 against the Colts. And this week when people are all, "Wow, nobody saw this Raiders' win coming." Remember where you heard it first.

Kenjon Barner will score all the touchdowns

We got you now, Bill Belichick. You like to deceive us with your running back usage, but now you're backed into a corner and you have to give James White all of the touches. Which of course, just screams that Belichick will pull the switch on us and go with Barner this week. It just seems like it's going to make sense like that.

To be honest, it hasn't been that hard to figure out the Patriots running back usage. We've had a pretty good handle on it in recent weeks. White has averaged just over 14 points per game and about nine targets per game as he scored at least 11 points in four of his last five games. What's more, White has handled most of the touches as he rocked 70 percent of the snaps without Sony Michel. But, Barner did have 10 touches last week. So, it's not totally crazy to think he could figure into the mix this week. This could be his Jonas Gray game.

Sam Darnold will score more points than Mitch Trubisky

Mitch has been great as he's finished as a top-five fantasy quarterback in each of his last three games. He's averaged the most fantasy points since Week 4 and leads all quarterbacks with eight-yards per rush this year. And, that's great. I love it. But you men and women are now starting to ruin it. Being a Mitch fan was cool when it was just a few of us. But now everyone wants a piece of it. It's like if I had a small gathering of people at my home to drink some IPAs and watch "Hot Tub Time Machine" but, the next thing you know, there are 100 people there. My neighbors are calling the cops. I have to go in front of the home owner's association to answer the question of why there was a guy on an ATV joy riding through the posies. (I didn't even know who that guy was.)

And really, Bears fans: can we also calm down on the "games we should win" talk? We are not far removed from losing to Robbie Gould because he kicked five field goals against us. So, unless we are playing Corona High School, I still don't want to hear about games we should win. You're jinxing Trubisky, and I need you all to stop.

The Jaguars call at Jags the Ripper against the Eagles

I know, but Halloween is coming up and I wanted to make sure that I got in at least one holiday pun. Sue me. The thing that really concerns me is that the Jaguars really treat the London games as a true home game. It's a big deal to travel abroad. Even if you're a professional athlete. I mean, Curt Henning and Brock Lensar are professional athletes and even they had some trouble on a plane flight.

What I'm saying is the Jaguars have this stuff down. They know what they are doing. It's like when I take people to Disneyland for the first time. They want to cut across Fantasy Land right when the Main Street Electrical Parade is going on. Rookie move. Take the train. That's what it's like for the Jags and it's a part of the reason why they end up in lopsided London games like last year when they whooped the Ravens.

Stefon Diggs outscores Adam Thielen

I really do believe Thielen is going to tie Calvin Johnson for most consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards. I do believe that. But, it's time for Diggs to get into the action, too. He's the WR27 in PPR leagues -- which is way too low for a man of his talents. Diggs is eighth in the NFL with just over 10 targets per game. He's averaging more air yards per target compared to Thielen, but just by a touch (9.3 to 9.2). It just feels like Diggs is due. The Saints have allowed more than 35 fantasy points to receivers this year, and they can be had on the outside. This feels like a shootout and Diggs will get involved in the scoring.