Coming into week 12, this is the part of the season where the cream rises to the top. Which teams will begin their ascent to the top of the standings? Similarly, which teams will slump to the bottom of the standings? Looking at you Texans and Panthers. In order for teams to achieve their ultimate goal of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February, now is the time to start playing your best football. Which teams will begin this rise? Which teams will continue to slide? I can’t wait to see it all unfold, but let’s make some bold predictions first! Are we talking legitimate, or are we just talkin’ crazy?
Last Week’s (Week 11) Headlines:
Headline: Fade All Rams Players. Verdict: Legitimate. Coming into last week, I was down on all Rams players from a fantasy football perspective. I advised the masses to fade all Rams players. Well, other than Tutu Atwell catching a long TD pass, and Allen Robinson posting a pedestrian 4/47/1 stat line, the Rams offense did a whole lot of nothing. This is very unsurprising, but I would continue to fade all Rams players this week, and the rest of the season. This has been a stunning turnaround, and not in a good way, for the Super Bowl champs. Has a reigning Super Bowl champion started their decline this fast? It’s a legitimate question. Headline: The Cowboys Will Continue Their Slide Against the Vikings Verdict: Legitimate. Man, I totally dropped the ball on this one. Just absolutely took it to the Vikings in all facets of the game in their 40-3 drubbing. The Cowboys are starting to look like the complete team many predicted at the start of the season. They started slow against the Giants on Thanksgiving, but then their offense woke up and looked unstoppable in the second half. This NFC East race, as well as the race for the number one seed in the NFC, is going to be a fun one down the stretch.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits of Week 11:
1. Devonta Smith is going to have a breakout game It might not have been a true “breakout” game, but he did lead the Eagles in receiving with a 6/78 stat line. I’m bullish again on Devonta this week and think he could provide a similar stat line. Lock him in as a flex with upside. 2. 49ers (-8) cover against the Cardinals on MNF in Mexico City The 49ers are another team that is beginning to peak at the right time. The Cardinals, on the other hand, are not. 3. Justin Fields will rush for over 100 yards again this week against the Falcons, but the Falcons will win the game. Was close on this one! Fields finished with 85 yards rushing and a score, and yet, the Bears still lost the game. Sound familiar?
This Week’s (Week 12) Headlines
Headline: Zach Wilson’s Career with the Jets is Over This seemed inevitable after Wilson’s disastrous performance in their loss against the Patriots. Add in the press conference where Wilson showed zero accountability for his struggles, and it was pretty much a done deal that Wilson was going to be benched. He’s reportedly been demoted to third string and will be inactive in their game against the Bears this week. Now, this is undoubtedly a troubling development for Wilson, and a stunning fall for the second overall pick in last year’s draft. But, I’m not writing Wilson off just yet. I think this was needed in order to humble Wilson. A little reality check is needed from time to time. I believe Wilson will take this as a professional, learn from this, and ultimately come out better for it. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy. Headline: The Bucs Will Continue Their Winning Ways in the Coming Weeks I predicted this a few week’s back and stated the Bucs will get things rolling and still make the playoffs. After looking at their upcoming schedule, I think the Bucs will finish at 10-7 and still win the NFC South. Outside of playing Cleveland this week, they have the Saints, 49ers, Bengals, Cardinals, Panthers, and Falcons coming up. Outside of those back to back games against the 49ers and Bengals, I don’t see many potential losses. Verdict: Legitimate. Headline: The Packers Should See What They Have in Jordan Love if They Keep Losing This chatter continues to get louder and louder as the Packers continue to rack up the losses. As Aaron Rodgers continues to play through a thumb fracture, many are wondering “why not put in Jordan Love and see what we have?” Well, that would make more sense if Rodgers wasn’t signed to the extension last off-season. This is, and will continue to be, Rodgers’ team. He may only have a few years left, but in order to maximize their chances of winning another Lombardi, keep building around Rodgers. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits of Week 12
I like the Dolphins and Chiefs, both with massive spreads (-14) and (-15.5) respectively, to cover this week. I know those spreads are astronomical, but both games will get ugly quickly. Mike White leads the Jets to a big win over the Bears and keeps them in the playoff hunt. This one is extra bold, but Sam Darnold leads the Panthers to a win over the Broncos. Let’s check the receipts next week!