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.
Sure, this sounds impossible, considering the fact that Eli Manning has more single-digit fantasy point outings (five) than games with 20-plus points (two). But something tells me this is one of those weeks for the Giants. Manning, the face of their franchise for the last decade-plus is back under center. Gone is Ben McAdoo, who each week seemed to find new ways to lose the trust/motivation of his players. And the Cowboys, a team with more holes than the plot of "Jurassic World," are their opponents. I'm not buying Dallas' win last week over Washington. They could be due for a letdown. And who better to serve it to them than old Eli, potentially on his way out of the division for good.
The Legend of Jimmy G will begin in earnest this week against a woeful Houston Texans secondary. Last week, Garoppolo looked poised and in command of the offense against a much better Bears defense, throwing for 293 yards (and an interception that could rightfully have been called a fumble) and moving the offense effectively. This time out, he'll have another full week of practice under his belt and that increased comfort level could translate to 300-plus yards and a couple of scores.
The Patriots should control this game versus Miami pretty handily and Burkhead has become a staple in this offense. Big lead, running back, you do the math. Miami has given up the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs over the last four weeks and while most are expecting a good game from Sexy Rexy in the Flexy, I'm boldly predicting a massive game to the tune of 100-plus total yards and two total touchdowns.
This might not seem that bold, but the Jaguars haven't allowed a single quarterback to hit the 18-point mark in standard scoring leagues this season. That could have some fantasy fans worried about Wilson's prospects, but let's take a look at some of the signal-callers who have faced Jacksonville. Tom Savage. Marcus Mariota. Joe FlaccoandRyan Mallett. Josh McCown (before he was putting up huge numbers). Jacoby Brissett (twice). Andy Dalton. Deshone Kizer. Blaine Gabbert (and he scored 17.3 points). Their defense simply hasn't faced a quarterback of Wilson's skill set, and he's the highest-scoring player in fantasy football. Wilson might not give you 30 fantasy points, but he won't give you a stinker, either.
I know Chiefs' cornerback Marcus Peters isn't playing and Raiders' wideouts Michael Crabtree and potentially even Amari Cooper could both return. However, in addition to being vulnerable to the pass, the Chiefs defense has also given up the most rushes of 10-plus and the second-most rushes of four-plus yards. I'm not saying receivers in this game aren't a good choice, but I don't think that means it's not a ground-heavy game script.
Everybody is so excited about Josh Gordon and how well he played in his return to the NFL, and they want to be all-in on him this week as the fantasy playoffs start. But how about a little love for his quarterback, DeShone Kizer? He's showing some signs. The completion percentage is low. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of Mike Trout's batting average (And how about Shohei Ohtani joining that loaded team...I can't want to see how fantasy baseball handles a guy who pitches and bats). But he's got a good matchup this week. The Packers are 26th in the league against the pass. They rank 28th on third down. Kizer has some pretty intriguing weapons around him. I like it.
It's bold because Lamar Miller is the obvious primary running back for Houston, and will get the majority of the volume as a runner. But we saw Ellington play 44 snaps last week, 77 percent of which came in the slot. Houston needed him to play wide receiver because they lost Bruce Ellington, Braxton Miller and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz to injury in the game, and all three of them are out again this week. Ellington had five catches for 56 yards, and I wouldn't be surprised if that workload doubles this week. He's a great value in DFS formats and should be, at worst, third in line for targets behind DeAndre Hopkins and Stephen Anderson against the 49ers.
Wentz averages 21.2 this season and Goff checks in with 17.1, so both will under-perform their season averages. The Rams and Eagles are among the top teams at pressuring the passer this season and both quarterbacks have been mixed bags under pressure. The Eagles are somehow still an underrated defense. The Rams can get run on but Aaron Donald and the boys are no joke. This doesn't look like a heavy offensive game, despite the Eagles and Rams being among the top scoring units this season.