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.
The Lions haven't had a 100-yard rusher in the last 56 games. Ameer Abdullah had 94 rushing yards last week and the Lions are running the ball on 42.1 percent of their plays (highest percentage since 2005). The Panthers allow a measly 67.5 (sixth-fewest in the league), which on paper is a terrible matchup for this prediction. But that's why it's bold, friends. It's going to happen for the Lions eventually, and I say it does in Week 5.
Stop laughing. No, seriously. Okay, I'll wait ... you done yet? Think about it. After a bad first week with a pair of picks, McCown has been good about taking care of the football and is one of the league leaders in completion percentage. I know that stat can be overblown but it speaks to how efficient McCown has been the past few weeks. Combine that with a Browns secondary that has been less than good and McCown could be a sneaky play this week.
If we're being completely honest, Christian McCaffery has been a semi-disappointment in fantasy. Largely drafted somewhere in the first three rounds of your typical snake draft, Run CMC is sitting currently as your RB32 in standard leagues and just outside the top 20 in PPR. He has yet to find the end zone but I think that changes this week as the Panthers take on the Lions. He's just too explosive of a player to be kept in check this long and it's entirely possible that Carolina has turned the corner offensively. BOLD PROJECTION: seven receptions, 120 scrimmage yards and two scores. Let's go.
Maybe this is wishful thinking since I'm forced to start him in a league, but I do believe Brissett has some sleeper appeal in what could be a high-scoring game against the 49ers. Remember, their defense surrendered more than 23 fantasy points to Jared Goff in Week 3 and almost 17 points to Carson Palmer a week ago. He's worth a look for those desperate to find a bye-week quarterback replacement (like me).
I project fewer high-scoring games this week overall, but my model projects Green Bay at Dallas to be a close game with plenty of points for both teams. Cobb's upside is in the slot; a place where Dallas' defense has been vulnerable and where Cobb is very efficient. Cobb's extra because he could potentially be used in the run game too with Ty Montgomery out.
I know, I know, revenge game. How can I not see this coming, right? But Garcon has been a target monster for the 49ers this season. Which is great, except his quarterback is Brian Hoyer. It's like getting $1 beers at happy hour, only it's crappy domestic lagers and not something you would actually want to consume. But hey, if you're just there for the volume then it's hard to beat a deal like that. So I like this for Garcon. He's operated mainly out of the slot and at right wideout, meaning he avoids Vontae Davis, which would be great news.
The Rams offense is producing at an extremely high level, leading the NFL with 35.5 points per game. Jared Goff is at home, against a banged-up Seattle defense that lost corner Jeremy Lane and pass rusher Cliff Avril to injuries last week. Plus, as good as Seattle's defense is at home this season, they allow an average of 18.12 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks on the road. Goff is in an ideal streaming spot and could light it up in Week 5.
I see the rest of my colleagues are rattling off "(player X) will be a top-10 quarterback" bold predictions this week. Cute. So, let's kick this into a high-gear with a top-five prediction for Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Everyone likes the person who needs to one-up their friends (just co-workers in this instance), right? Anyway, the Chargers are reeling and making the dreaded west coast to east coast road trip. The Giants changed their offense to a more quick-strike attack to get the ball out of Eli Manning's hands quickly in Week 3. In the last two contests, he's averaged 48 pass attempts per game and taken zero sacks. New York has figured it out. Sounds like a recipe for a fantasy explosion at home against a Chargers team that looks well out of sorts.