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.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are a few things we can pretty much guarantee every year. They'll play down to (and lose to) an inferior opponent (see Week 3 at Chicago). Ben Roethlisberger will over play some injury, making it seem as if he has a zero percent chance to play only to return to the field last minute and get a win (still waiting on this one). And lastly, Big Ben will have two stellar games sandwiched together that make his season-long numbers look incredible, but when you think back on his production you remember almost all of his fantasy points came in 2-3 games. We hit the first half of this one last week (299 yards, four touchdowns), and I fully expect Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to rip through the Packers secondary on Sunday night.
Not so sure you've noticed but the wheels have come off the Packer wagon. And a couple of doors and one of the side mirrors as well. Brett Hundley is still trying to figure things out and the rest of the offense -- despite their best efforts -- is struggling as a result. That's bad news against a tough defense like the Steelers. On the flip side, it looks like the Pittsburgh offense is starting to heat up which doesn't bode well for a banged-up Packers defense. But should signal the start of a happy holiday season for the best receiver in football and his cohorts.
I feel as if I should just stop after my walk-off last week but alas here I am to show you all that I am indeed an idiot. Jay Cutler is out and Matt Moore is low-key the best quarterback on the roster anyway. The Dolphins are taking on the Patriots and even though the game is likely to be a blood bath in favor of New England, Moore still has quite the favorable matchup. Don't be surprised if the garbage-time points start stacking up for Moore to the tune of 250-plus and three total touchdowns.
Why? Because the Texans defense is horrible against wideouts on the road. Like worse than a dry turkey on Thanksgiving bad. Or being forced to eat your aunt's fruitcake that's harder than a brick bad. In fact, Houston is allowing close to 50 PPR points a game on the road to wide receivers. I also wouldn't be a bit surprised to see Joe Flacco score 18+ fantasy points. He's a legitimate option in 2-QB and super flex leagues.
I am excluding QBs from this statement and anyone who already played. There are a lot of potentially lopsided games this weekend (with the exception of Saints at Rams), so make sure to think about game scripts as you navigate your lineup. For me, the weekend could very well end up with Gurley, Kamara, Ingram, McCoy and maybe ever Tevin Coleman all vying for the top three spots. Those are my top five RB projections, FYI.
Look, I'll be honest. I had a dream this past Wednesday night that Larry Fitzgerald collected 291 yards and a touchdown on the Jaguars (against me in my League of Record, of course). But when I woke up, I realized that not a single game had been played yet, and that it'd be absolutely insane for him to put up such a line against a Jaguars defense that's been near impossible for wideouts to produce against. The Jags are allowing just 162 pass yards per game. But on Friday morning it was reported that Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars star cornerback, injured his hand and won't play on Sunday. Prophetic? YOU BET. But this is the place for bold predictions, so I'm sticking with my dream scenario, just hedging a bit because 291 yards is ridiculous and even without Ramsey, Jacksonville's secondary is hashtag good. Don't be afraid of the matchup and keep the man, the myth, the legend that is Larry Fitzgearld in your starting lineup this week.
Neither AFC South defense can stop the pass, as the Titans rank 21st and the Colts 30th in passing yards per game allowed. This game sets up well for Jacoby Brissett (top-three in passer rating on 20-plus air yard throws) and T.Y. Hilton to have big games. Hilton's only three useful fantasy performances have come when the Colts play inside against a soft defense. We have that again in Week 12. The Titans have enough offensive players to give chase in a potential shootout, especially with Marcus Mariota due for some major touchdown regression.
Let's be honest. Sean McDermott is that fussy Thanksgiving guest who has dietary restrictions (and I'm not talking legit food allergies, but a dude who is just being a pain) and doesn't want to impede his gains (GAINZZZ) so he makes you serve some hipster alternative. Like lamb meat loaf baked in mini pumpkins. And you're all, good job showoff. Then the next morning, you catch him in the kitchen making turkey sandwiches and you're all, "I KNEW IT." And by now you should realize that the turkey is Tyrod Taylor in this analogy. But I'm not going with a Taylor prediction because that's too easy. So, I say it's going to be Zay Jones who is the top receiving option. He gets you, well, what I have listed up there. Don't make me repeat myself.