Cooper Kupp. He was one of my picks to breakout this season and it looks like he's going to do that in a huge way for the Rams. I have Kupp all over the place and it is amazing! Or it would be if I didn't have him on a lot of my benches. Oh yes. Most of my teams tend to be the same. Odell Beckham combined with either Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins. My third receiver tends to be a combination of Kupp, Tyler Lockett and Sammy Watkins. I went Watkins in most leagues. Boy, I love Thursday Night Football. So, if you haven't clicked out after reading that (I would say, "forget this guy"), here are five bold predictions for the week.
Andy Dalton outscores Aaron Rodgers
I understand Dalton can sometimes be like a grilled cheese sandwich. It's not your first choice. It might not even be your second choice. Hell, you might not have even ordered it and it was mistakenly brought to your table. But, he's got an amazing matchup against the Falcons who have six passing touchdowns the last two weeks. The banged-up Falcons defense is without starter Deion Jones (foot), Keanu Neal (ACL) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles). Dalton has thrown multiple touchdown passes in 12 of his last 16 feasts over the last two years.
Kerryon Johnson goes over 100 rushing yards again
The Lions did not have a 100-yard rusher since Thanksgiving of 2013 when my best friend Reggie Bush did it. Honestly, I'm glad the 100-yard drought is over. It was one of those statistics that had run its course because people wouldn't shut up about it. Like we get it, the Lions can't run the ball. Call it the curse of Barry Sanders, or what have you. But, the Lions looked like they fixed all of that. Johnson started to look like the best back in the Lions rotation and finally did it when he rushed for 101 yards on 16 attempts in Week 3. I like the matchup against the Cowboys this week, who allowed 4.88 yards per carry without Sean Lee on the field last year according to The Quantitative Edge.
Giovani Bernard outscores all RBs (save Alvin Kamara)
I love this matchup against the Falcons. Christian McCaffrey had 14 receptions for 102 yards against them. Kamara had 15 for 124 on 20 targets last week. The Falcons linebackers are just overmatched against pass-catching running backs. It's so one-sided. Like Gladstone Gander over Donald Duck. As mentioned previously, Deion Jones is out for the Falcons so Bernard should be able to feast.
Geronimo Allison cracks the Top 20 among WRs
The Bills shocked the world last week with a stunning upset of the Minnesota Vikings. It's not going to happen against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers, for his many, many faults is like the Clayton Kershaw of NFL quarterbacks. Give him a seemingly meaningless regular-season game against an overmatched opponent and he suddenly turns into Madison Bumgarner. Rodgers is the same way. He's not going to let some scrappy underdog come in and win. He's the bad guy in every teen movie. Like Danielson in "Karate Kid." And while Allison is being out-snapped and out-targeted than Randall Cobb, he's making the most of his opportunities and making big plays.
Baker Mayfield has a day
Baker Mayfield is going to throw three touchdowns against the Raiders and pull off the "double-turn" where he leaves the Oakland Coliseum as the face, while Jon Gruden and his Raiders will be viewed as the heels by the partisan crowd. And, this will go much better than the ill-fated Braun Strowman turn in the WWE recently. Seriously. Strowman was this unstoppable monster who would bench press dump trucks and now he can't do anything without his heel buddies following him around. Whatever. But I'm a huge fan of Mayfield. He tore up the Jets defense during his debut for 201 yards on 23 attempts (74 percent completion rate). The most impressive thing to me, and has long stood out about Mayfield, is his accuracy. He puts the ball on the money every time. The Raiders haven't done much defensively. They have allowed five passing touchdowns (one to Albert Wilson) and have only one interception on the season. The Raiders have absolutely no pass rush. The Raiders have one sack on the season. They rank 23rd with eight hurries. And, they are 26th in total pass rush (total pressures, sacks, hits and hurries), according to Pro Football Focus.