Another week into the NFL season, and it’s hard to believe that we’re into week 13! As this season continues to churn, this is the time of the year where certain teams will be shutting down some players (i.e. the Rams & remember when I advised you weeks ago to fade all Rams players) while other teams are just coming into their zone such as the Super Bowl runner-ups, the Bengals. As always with this column, let’s review some of last week’s headlines with my predictions, as well as the miscellaneous bold predictions, which are typically a little spicier. But first, let’s recap the game from Thursday night.
Bills 24, Patriots 10
Bills top performer(s): Coming into this game, most reasonable folks had an idea the Bills offense would be slightly slowed down by the Patriots defense. Even though they certainly were not as potent as usual, Stefon Diggs still managed a 7/92/1 stat line. Week in and week out this guy just produces. Josh Allen had a solid game statistically, but I’m sure his fantasy owners were bummed that he scored under 20 points. Is there a changing of the guard in the backfield? James Cook received 14 carries and Devin Singletary received 13. I believe at this point, both backs are flex-level plays. Singletary will get most of the goal line work, but Cook also contributed 6/41 receiving which is huge value in PPR formats. Patriots top performer(s): After their offense looked rock solid against the Vikings on Thanksgiving night, they couldn’t get much of anything going against the Bills. Mac Jones was seen shouting on the sidelines, presumably to the coaching staff, to open up the deep passing attack. It didn’t work. Marcus Jones, a CB, scored the only TD of the game for the Pats. Rhamondre Stevenson continued his trend of double digit fantasy points however due to his 10/54 rushing line and 6/24 receiving line. A disappointing stat line for sure for Stevenson owners, but he still offers a safe floor, which is what you need out of a RB1.
Last Week’s (Week 12) Headlines
Headline: Zach Wilson’s Career with the Jets is Over. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy. Well, I’m still not entirely sure what to make of this one. Like I said last week, this is more of a long-term play. Did Mike White look great? Absolutely. However, the Bears defense, especially their secondary, is ravaged with injuries. But still, White took what was given to him and looked poised and confident. Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson were certainly happy that he was under center. These next few weeks are pretty much a tryout for White. If he plays well, the job is probably his entering next year. If he struggles, I could see an “open competition” in training camp next year. For what it’s worth, the Jets have some suspect defenses in the weeks to come (Vikings this week, followed by the Bills, Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, and Dolphins). Some tough tests there, but also some winnable games. Let’s see how it all plays out. Headline: The Bucs Will Continue Their Winning Ways in the Coming Weeks. Verdict: Legitimate. Just when the Bucs had me back on the wagon, they lost a game against Cleveland, who for their part played a terrific game. The offense couldn’t get much of anything going and had no deep passing attack at all. Rachaad White owners were happy due to the plethora of dump offs from Brady, but overall the offense struggled big time. Up next is the Saints, who are probably going to be without Marshon Lattimore, but Dennis Allen’s defense has played well against Brady and the Bucs in the past couple of years. I still like the Bucs to win this game, but I’m not overly confident. Headline: The Packers Should See What They Have in Jordan Love if They Keep Losing. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy. Another tough one to read. They signed Rodgers to a massive extension this off-season. Clearly, they are going to continue to build around him, assuming he does not retire. But, in a lost season, why not play Love? They’re 4-8, and pretty much need to win out to stay alive for the wild card. I think it would benefit them to play Love as an audition for the rest of the league and then possibly trade him in the off-season.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits of Last Week (Week 12)
1. I like the Dolphins and Chiefs, both with massive spreads (-14) and (-15.5) respectively, to cover this week Boom, big hit here. They both didn’t cover by much, but they did, and that’s all that matters. 2. Mike White leads the Jets to a big win over the Bears and keeps them in the playoff hunt. Another hit! 2 for 2. I had a feeling White would inject some life into the offense, and he sure did. As stated before, the Bears secondary was depleted with injuries, but still, a win is a win. 3. This one is extra bold, but Sam Darnold leads the Panthers to a win over the Broncos. 3 for 3 on the week! Darnold wasn’t spectacular, but he did what he had to do. DJ Moore was certainly happy he was playing QB, and D’Onta Foreman and the offensive line out-physicaled the Broncos.
This Week’s (Week 13) Headlines
Headline: The Mike White Train Keeps Rolling What can Mike White do for an encore? Jets roll into Minnesota this week in what should be an entertaining game. I’m fully expecting a high-scoring affair, and the over (44.5) to hit. Maybe I am talkin’ crazy, but I like the Jets to pull out this W as White passes for 300 yards. Verdict: Legitimate. Headline: Deshaun Watson Will Shred His Old Team (Texans) The game most had circled on their calendar. When the 11 game suspension was levied, the length of it seemed very odd. Once folks checked the calendar, sure enough his first game eligible to play in was against his old team, the Texans, in Houston no less. Due to all these factors, I think the Texans actually keep this a close game. Will they win? Probably not, but I do think they’ll cover (Texans +8 as of Sunday AM). Watson was away from the team for a majority of the suspension, and I think it’ll show. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits of Week 13
1. In a game where two teams that are better than their records indicate, I like the Lions to top the Jaguars at home. Additionally, I think Jameson Williams scores in his first game action since he suffered the torn ACL in the BCS National Championship last year. 2. After having a sour taste in their mouth about how last week’s game ended, I like the Ravens to cover (-9.5) against the Broncos. 3. In two of the most highly anticipated games of the week, I like the Dolphins to top the 49ers, and the Chiefs to top the Bengals. Let’s check the receipts next week!