Man, last week was truly a dream week for those of us who like to make “bold” predictions. I’m sure some folks made a LOT of money parlaying various underdogs/spreads during last week’s slate of games. Are we in store for another wild week of football? I’m sure we are, but who exactly knows how things will shake out. As always, let’s take a quick recap of the game that unfolded Thursday night, followed by a look back on last week’s predictions, and lastly this week’s bold predictions. Are the predictions legitimate? Or are we just talkin’ crazy?
Cardinals 42, Saints 34
Cardinals top performer(s): In a game that featured many scores from non-fantasy stars, two players delivered that were probably in lineups. First was Eno Benjamin, who had close to 100 yards rushing and a score. He continues to provide flex level production and should, as long as James Conner is out. The other player was none other than Deandre Hopkins. For those of you that have been stashing Nuk on your bench for the season thus far, you have to be pretty happy with the results. 10 catches for over 100 yards on an insane 14 targets. No other Cardinals player got more than 5 targets. I expect the targets to even out somewhat, but Nuk is back and should continue to produce at a high level, as long as he stays healthy. Lineup lock.
Saints top performer(s): While the box score indicates Andy Dalton had a pretty strong game with 361 yards passing as well as 4 TDs, let’s not forget he also threw 3 INTs, with 2 of them being pick-sixes. Not going to win many games when that happens. The bright spot from the Saints was the return of Chris Olave from a concussion he sustained, and he had over 100 yards. As long as Olave stays healthy, he belongs locked into lineups as well. The Saints season is slipping away from them, and they really need some players to get healthy (i.e. Jameis Winston, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Marshon Lattimore, among others) in order to turn their season around.
Last Week’s Predictions:
The Bucs Will Finally Breakout This Week: Verdict: Legitimate.
Dropped the ball on this one. Kudos to the Steelers for coming out playing like the hungrier team. I’m still waiting & optimistic that the Bucs offense will get it all clicking, but I’m starting to have a verrrrrry small feeling I could be wrong on this one.
The Dolphins Are In Trouble: Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy.
Although the Dolphins lost to the Vikings, they kept it closer than many thought they would. Now, they get Tua back. Is it safe for Tua to be playing again so soon after suffering the two concussions in less than a week? Probably not. But that’s the reality of business in the NFL. While the Dolphins may be tied for last place in the AFC East with the Patriots at 3-3, they are still right in the thick of the log jammed AFC. They have the Steelers this week, followed by the Lions, Bears, Browns and Texans.
No Steelers Are Fantasy Worthy This Week: Verdict: Legit.
Well, I ALMOST nailed this one. Unless you started Chase Claypool, which would have been an absolute blind dart throw lineup decision, the other Steelers players disappointed. Najee Harris finished with 42 yards rushing & 7 yards receiving, but he did find the end zone. Diontae Johnson finished with 5 catches for 28 yards.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits:
I predicted the Chiefs to win, which of course did not happen. However, I did predict would have another monster game and he delivered with over 75 yards and 2 TDs.
So, what are the bold predictions for this upcoming week? Let’s dive in!
The 49ers are Super Bowl Contenders After Acquiring CMC from the Panthers:
Now, let me preface this by saying I love CMC as a player. Guy can truly do it all on the football field. Running between the tackles, outside, pass-catching, you name it, he can do it. BUT, does this automatically elevate the 49ers to Super Bowl contenders? I’m not ready to go there just yet. They are currently dealing with a number of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and the offense seems to click sporadically. I definitely think this improves the play of just about everyone on the offensive side of the ball, but until I see a complete game from their offense, I can’t go there, yet. Next two games vs the Chiefs and Rams will be a monstrous test. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy.
The Broncos Did the Right Thing in Withholding Russ from Playing this Week:
Have you seen Russ play this year? If you have, you probably noticed how terrible he’s been. Word came out last week that he has been dealing with a partially torn lat muscle, which was treated with an anti-inflammatory injection. Furthermore, he also is dealing with a hamstring strain, which limits his mobility, as well. The Broncos are doing the smart thing this week in holding Russ out this week. He needs to be as close to 100% as possible if the Broncos want to make some noise in the postseason, if they get there. Verdict: Legitimate.
The Cowboys will Roll to a Big Win Over the Lions in Dak’s Return:
The return of Dak. The week every Cowboys fan was looking forward to, especially after how poorly Cooper Rush played last week against the stout Philly defense. Now, I do believe the Cowboys will win this game. But, if I’m gambling on this game, I’m absolutely taking the Lions at +6.5. The Lions are coming off their bye week, and have gotten healthier. Amon-Ra St. Brown has been removed from the injury report, and Deandre Swift is questionable as well, but seems like he will play. I think this game will be entertaining and the Cowboys come out on top, but I do not see the blow out that some may be imagining. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits:
I think the Commanders keep it close this week at home against Green Bay, and I’ll even venture out to say I think they have a pretty good shot of winning this game. Give me Washington +4.5.
Okay, I’m going to do this one more week. The Bucs breakout is coming this week. If it doesn’t, against the lowly Panthers, it’s not coming at all this year.
I think the Ravens will have two 100 yard rushers against the Browns. Who will they be? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ll say Lamar and Kenyan Drake, especially with JK Dobbins going on IR due to undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after his knee “tightened up” playing on the awful turf at MetLife. Did you know the Browns are giving up 131.5 rushing yards per game? I like the Ravens to rely heavily on the ground attack this week.