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. And now that it's Week 17, some of these might be even bolder than in weeks past. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Matt Harmon's been diligently keeping track of how accurate we've been with these all season long. Check out the grid here (and embedded at the bottom of the article).
Jacoby Brissett has just one top-five fantasy finish in 2017, and it came thanks to the two rushing touchdowns he scored against the Browns in Week 3. With so many big-name quarterbacks either sitting out for the playoffs, playing reduced roles, or injured, this is the perfect time for Brissett to finish strong. Plus, he's playing a Houston secondary that can barely stop a nosebleed right now because they've suffered so many injuries on defense. This game could be a beautifully bad shootout, and I love Brissett's upside of racking up meaningless fantasy points.
We all know how much of a threat Cam can be when he gets out of the pocket and starts running. In fact, he's had 50-plus rushing yards in eight of his last 10 games. Combine that with a pair of Panthers backs who have been inconsistent running the ball and it's easy to see how he can lead his own team in rushing. But with the Panthers sixth-ranked rushing defense locking down on opposing backs, it could be a pretty bad day for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as well.
With the playoffs on the line, all the cynics out there would love nothing more than for the Chargers' postseason hopes to be dashed by a missed field goal. But I am here to tell you it won't even come down to that. Rivers is going full Zoolander and have a really, really, really ridiculously good-looking game versus an Oakland team that has been playing like they're double parked and wanting to get out of 2017 as soon as possible. A focused Rivers versus a terrible Oak-town defense that has one foot out the door, I can see him posting 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bonus bold prediction: all things shake right for LCH (leading the movement to change the ticker symbol from LAC to LCH) and they get in to the playoffs.
Why? Because ... fantasy football. Brown should see most of the work for the Rams in the absence of Todd Gurley, who will be rested this week with the Rams locked into either the third or four seed in the NFC postseason. (This is why Week 17 fantasy championships make about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine). Los Angeles will run the football often against a 49ers defense that has struggled against the run most of the season, so Brown should find some success in this NFC West "battle."
Alex Collins was cut by the Seahawks after the preseason, joined the Baltimore Ravens and became the breakout star nobody saw coming. He's just 105 yards shy of 1,000 yards on the ground this year and has a wonderfully favorable matchup against a Bengals defense that is second to last in rush defense in all of football, allowing 128.5 rush yards per game. Meanwhile, the Seattle run game is the worst in the NFL. A motley crew of SIX different Seattle running backs (Chris Carson, Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, J.D. McKissic, Mike Davis, C.J. Prosise) have COMBINED for 929 rush yards and one rushing touchdown on 284 attempts this season. That averages out to 58.06 rush yards per game. The Seattle unit needs 71 rush yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark, and Arizona allows an average of just 66.75 rush yards per game to opposing running backs this season.
DeMarco Murray has been ruled out for Sunday's game, so fantasy Twitter will finally get their wish to #FreeDerrickHenry, who has been the better runner this year. Alas, I must remind you that life is merely one cruel ironic twist of fate after another. While the story-line appears all set for Henry to get the bulk of the backfield work and therefore smash, as he's done in limited work all year, 2017 will have one last laugh before she shuffles us into the new year. The Jaguars elite defense will shut down the Titans moribund offense, including their young upstart running back. You shall not get your wish, fantasy enthusiasts. Accept your fate.
Oh wait, this is now out of context because, you see, I got confused. I know, shocking. But on NFL Fantasy Live's penultimate show of the season, Marcas predicted Patrick Mahomes would throw a 50-yard touchdown pass. Actually, scratch that. No he guaranteed it. And so I wrote this up under the guise that Marcas was going to make that prediction here, and long story short, I'm not a smart man. But I will say in this prediction Demarcus Robinson and is going to be the biggest benefactor. Trust me, I rode the bench a lot as a kid. And bench buddies always stick together. Mahomes has been working with Robinson. They had some chemistry in the preseason. So it seems rather automatic to me the pair will hook up for a touchdown this week against the Broncos. The Broncos defense, mind you, is still legit. They are second overall in total defense. But they are 22nd in scoring defense. So I'm feeling pretty good about this one.