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.
People are panicking over Buck Allen after he and the entire Ravens offense laid an egg in London, but I believe the former Trojan bounces back in a big way against the Steelers. He'll see plenty of targets and get a healthy amount of carries as the Ravens try to keep Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell on the bench. One touchdown and he sneaks into the top-12, rewarding those who kept the faith.
Greg Olsen is out. Kelvin Benjamin is less than 100 percent. And the Patriots secondary has been butter to the rest of the NFL's hot knife. With so much attention likely being paid to Christian McCaffrey and Jonathan Stewart, here's an opportunity for Funchess to prove he can be the outside playmaker the Panthers have been waiting on. With an average targeted air yards of 15.5, there is big-play potential with this big cat.
It's kind of a double trend in that Ben Roethlisberger has done poorly on the road and versus divisional foes. This week in Baltimore, Big Ben smashes, going for 250 pass yards and three touchdowns. The "preseason" is officially over for the Steelers and the entire Pittsburgh cast comes to life versus a Baltimore team that looked utterly lifeless in Week 3 versus the Jaguars.
The tight end position is a mess, so why not go out on a limb with ASJ? He actually had five catches in his first game of the season, and it's not like the Jets have a hanger full of awesome pass catchers, right? The Jaguars have also allowed the third-most fantasy points (11.93 PPG) in standard leagues and almost 18 points per game in PPR formats. Seferian-Jenkins is a free agent in a lot of leagues, too
I'm going back to the well with A.J. Green again this week and saying he matches or bests his performance against the Packers (111 yards, TD). Here's a quick story: the Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor held a whole bunch of passing records as Cornell's quarterback until the early 2000's. His records stood until his own quarterback broke them when Lazor was a part of the offensive coaching staff at Cornell. Why did I add this? Because it's a random thing I know. Also, because it's potentially more interesting than just saying he's got a documented history of being a pass-focused coach.
Why Green having a big day may be a little contrarian: Looking at red zone play-calling last week Lazor called running plays at about a 2:1 ratio (run:pass). The Bengals are facing the Browns, so common thinking may be that they will be playing with a potentially a big lead, meaning the game script could call for runs. I think there are more points scored in this game than we might anticipate. Green saw 13 targets (50 percent of the team total) last week and with Eifert, Ross and potentially LaFell all out, the volume should be there for Green.
I will see Cynthia's proclamation for A.J. Green and will again double-down on my own Dalton take from last week. Let's say even going for the quad-down. Dalton has played well against the Browns during his career, in particular, the last two years. He's had 10 touchdowns and no turnovers in his last four against them. At least 20 fantasy points in three of those four (and that's even in those ridic leagues where you get just four points for a passing touchdown). Dalton still needs to get his groove back, and there is no better elixir than Cleveland. And I should know better than to just trust Dalton, because letting us down when we need him the most is what he does best. I mean, he's no Jay Culter in that regard, but close. Either way, I'm in.
The rookie back actually outscored Lamar Miller last week in PPR formats thanks to his two receptions that both went for over 30 yards. I can see him surpassing Miller, even in standard scoring this week, against the Titans. Foreman has out-touched Miller in the red zone by a count of six to two this season, and it's only a matter of time until the Texans realize who the best back on their roster is. (Hint ... it's Foreman).