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Five Bold Predictions for Week 15


The fantasy semi-finals are in full swing. We all know why you are here. Let's hit the bold calls:

Josh Allen will have fewer than 20 rushing yards

Allen has rushed for at least 99 yards in three consecutive games and has drawn to mind some of the best mobile quarterbacks of all-time. Michael Vick. Tim Tebow. And, David Greene. AKA Brendan Fraser's character from "School Ties." In one of the most pivotal scenes of the movie, Greene is out in front of his boarding school dorm screaming "cowards" at all of his classmates. Which incidentally, was what I was yelling at Marcas Grant who didn't want to play Allen. Well, don't let this be the week you get on board with Allen. It's too late. The Lions have allowed seven rushing yards to quarterbacks in the last month. Now that list included Josh Rosen, Jared Goff and Chase Daniel. But it also includes Cam Newton. And in fact, Mitch Trubisky holds the highest total on the season with 18 rushing yards against the Lions.

Doug Martin will rush for 100 yards

It's been a long time since Martin has rushed for 100 yards. You have to go all the way back to 2015. Things were way different back then. Bradley Cooper was considered one of the top actors in the game and garnering Oscar buzz. Kanye was losing his mind on Twitter. And, Doug Martin was crushing it as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yes, it seems so long ago. In fact, on November 22, 2015, Martin rushed for 235 yards against the Eagles. And that was the day, Marty McFly set on the Delorean in "Back to the Future." And while that's not completely true, understand that facts mattered in 2015 -- and they don't now. But it will be a fact that Martin gets 100 this week against the Bengals and you don't need Grays Sports Almanac to see that.

Baker Mayfield will throw for 399 against the Broncos

I'm really trying to understand if Baker Mayfield is really that good, or if Cleveland has been hurting for so long, that anybody who is merely competent is going to look like Joe Montana by comparison. It's kind of how those QSR drive-thrus survive as a business model. I mean, nobody would seek out those greasy, somewhat edible tacos during normal business hours. But if you're open at 1 a.m. after I've spent the evening in a public house, and well, all of a sudden, it's the best thing I've ever eaten in my life. That being said, Mayfield has been dealing as of late. He had 397 against Houston a couple of weeks ago. He had a passer rating of 125.6 last week against the Panthers. And the Broncos have been vulnerable as of late, having allowed 357.8 passing yards since Week 11. The most in the NFL over that span.

Deshaun Watson will struggle against the Jets

I feel you. When you think of the Jets, you think of Dan Hanzus showing up for his elementary school photo day wearing his Chad Pennington jersey. And there is no doubt he is going to torch the Jets. But temper your expectations just a little bit. Watson is among the most-pressured quarterbacks in the NFL, and has the lowest passer rating under pressure among 32 qualified quarterbacks. His passer rating is 32.7 when being pressured, which is lower than Allen's. Which somehow doesn't seem possible. His passer rating drops 87.7 points under pressure, the biggest differential in the NFL. The Jets defense lives on pressure and has both the fifth-highest pressure rate and blitz rate in the league. So, I'm not saying that Watson won't score points. I'm not saying to sit DeAndre Hopkins. But, realize Watson might not be the best option if your league lasts for a short period of time, like a day or something.

Ben Roethlisberger does his hero stuff, but still loses

Nobody loves the injury report more than Big Ben. He loves the drama. I mean, this is some serious pro wrestling stuff. And even then, he sells his injuries better than the Undertaker. I know you might have been thinking Brock Lesnar, but that dude will sell. Don't kid yourself. You know whenever you're watching a match and a guy gets carried off on a stretcher, he's coming back. Usually driving an ambulance to a huge pop from the crowd. And you know that thought has crossed his mind before. Like could you imagine him going downstairs to the Steelers locker room (and really, Heinz Field, was that the best possible design?), only to have the sirens piped in through the stadium sound system and emerge from an ambulance at mid-field. The crowd would go nuts. But in pro wrestling, those guys win. Roethlisberger does not. At least not against the Patriots. Still, he's going to have a monster passing game and will likely end up in the top three scoring QBs.