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.
Maybe this is my homer overreaction to how bad the Packers offense is without Aaron Rodgers. Maybe its paying respect where it's due to the Bears defense and Jordan Howard. I'd say it's probably a bit of both. But the matchup sets up nicely for Howard to smash the Packers defense, while I can't envision Brett Hundley putting the Packers into too many scoring positions. As the team's resident Cheesehead, I'd love to see this prediction blow up in my face. However, my gut tells me Jordan Howard will outscore the likes of Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery, Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb this week in fantasy.
You might have heard, but the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is pretty good this year. In fact, they've given up the fourth-fewest yards to wide receivers this season. Similarly, the Colts defense? Well, that's not so good. Only two defenses have given up more receiving yards to running backs. Indy should see a steady diet of Le'Veon Bell as both a runner and receiver. And with T.Y. Hilton nursing a groin injury, there aren't a lot of viable targets for Jacoby Brissett to trust this week.
The Pats can't rush the passer! The Broncos can't block! Something has to give and I think that something rhymes with Rock Rosweiler. In all seriousness, New England should get up double digits at some point, forcing Osweiler to throw. And with Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas both banged up, the Broncos offense is starting to look like a Jon Favreau/Christian Slater movie ie. Very Bad Things. On the flip side, it should all add up to very big things for the Pats defense, which is why they're one of my favorite streamers this week.
It's all about revenge in Tampa Bay this weekend, as Fitzpatrick and McCown battle in a game of quarterbacks who have played for a combined 15 teams (NFL record). McCown has been solid for most of the season, as he's less than a point behind Drew Brees in total fantasy points scored. Fitzpatrick can make some noise too, as he showed back in Week 6 when he replaced an injured Jameis Winston and scored 20.8 points. This isn't the sexiest matchup of the week, but the Jets and Bucs should put up points.
And by going crazy, I mean the throws for around 200 with a pair of touchdowns. Make no mistake, Jordan Howard is going to eat in this game, but this feels like the game where you can kind of take the training wheels off Mitch for a week. I mean, if you're playing against Aaron Rodgers, you need to play as smart as possible because he's going to beat you. That's not a problem with Brett Hundley. So the Bears will get a little frisky here and let Mitch show something.
Last week in this space, I predicted that the Dolphins would finally score a rushing touchdown. One of their running backs, Damien Williams did find the end zone, but it was a receiving score. This week, the Dolphins rush touchdown drought will continue against a Panthers defense that has allowed just three scores to running backs on the ground over the entire season. Miami will throw the ball if they get close. And for Carolina, Jonathan Stewart has been awful with just 24 rush yards per game and a 1.9 yards per carry average in his last five contests. If the Panthers get near the goal-line, you can bet Cam Newton is running it in. If Christian McCaffrey scores, I owe you a beer.
I'm going to keep this one simple. Chris Godwin was my favorite wide receiver prospect in this year's draft, so I think he is really good at football. With Mike Evans suspended, he will now get a chance to show just how good at football he is. He gets his shot to show it against the Jets, who have allowed a league-high 19 passing touchdowns. I'm a homer for the players I like, so I think Godwin will succeed in his chance. It's all pretty simple math. This week, the advanced data I* provided adds up for the best wide receiver to come out of Penn State University since future Hall of Famer Allen Robinson.