As we somehow attempt to move onto week 18 in the NFL season, let’s continue to show our prayers and support for Damar Hamlin. His recovery to this point has been nothing short of remarkable. What’s even more remarkable is seeing NFL fans, and non-fans, all over the country show their support in various ways. From the kind words, to the prayers, and to the donations sent to Hamlin’s GoFundMe toy drive, it instills the kind of hope in humanity that we need more of on a daily basis. Now that the NFL has found a resolution regarding the canceled week 17 game between the Bengals and Bills, as well as a solution for playoff seeding moving forward, let’s press on with this column. For the first-timers, welcome. For those that are returning, thank you for your support throughout this entire season. As you may or may not know, this is our bold prediction column. We’ll quickly recap last week’s bold predictions, which frankly did not go too well for me last week, and then discuss some of the predictions entering a pivotal week 18. Once the dust settles this week, we will look back on my playoff predictions from a couple months ago and see where I was right and wrong. Am I talkin’ crazy?
Last Week’s (Week 17) Bold Predictions
1. With Carson Wentz being pegged as the Commanders QB1 this week, I like Jahan Dotson to find the end zone again. Dotson and Wentz had some strong rapport earlier this season, and I think it shows in this one. As we all know by now regarding Carson Wentz, there’s going to be some great flashes, and some boneheaded decision making as well. No idea who wins this game, but I like Dotson to score. Additionally, I think Brian Robinson Jr has a HUGE game with Antonio Gibson being ruled out. Man, HUGE miss here on my part. I know Carson Wentz’s play has been up and down but I was not expecting it to be this down in such an important game for the Commanders. With no scores, 3 INTs, and a L, this performance will surely end Wentz’s time in Washington. The question now becomes, who will want to take the next shot on the former second overall pick? 2. I like the Bears (+6) to cover versus Detroit. I’ve been on this Lions bandwagon all season long, but did you see the Panthers run all over them last week? I expect David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, and Justin Fields to do the same. Well, Justin Fields had 100 yards rushing in the first quarter, and things were looking promising. Then, the wheels fell completely off and the Bears got blown out. Fields was banged up in this one (sound familiar?) and is getting a well deserved rest in the season finale. The Bears need to surround Fields with some legitimate talent in the off-season. 3. I like both Atlanta’s RBs (Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson) to top 10 fantasy points this week versus a weak Arizona run defense. Fire up both as low RB2’s/flex plays And we’re on the board! Both backs found the end zone and finished with not only 10 fantasy points, but 15+ a piece. I felt good about this one, and it delivered. 4. Speaking of topping 10+ fantasy points, I think both of the star Dolphins WRs (Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle) will do just fine with Teddy Bridgewater under center versus the Patriots. Don’t get too cute, you need to play them if you have them. Another miss here. Tyreek HIll had a pedestrian performance and did end up with over 10 fantasy points, but Waddle was a big disappointment. 5. Give me the Panthers straight up over the Bucs this week. I expect Carolina to adapt a similar game plan as last week, and that’s to run, run, and run some more. I would play Foreman and/or Hubbard this week if you have them. The Panthers fought like hell, but ultimately it was Tampa coming out on top and securing the NFC South title. 6. I think Davante Adams will disappoint again this week. When the news broke earlier this week that Derek Carr would be benched the rest of the season, all of Adams’ owners cried a little on the inside. Just a terrible blow to his fantasy stock at the worst possible time. If you’re banking on Adams to have a big game with Jarrett Stidham under center, you’re probably better off playing the Mega Millions. Just a massive miss here on my part. Watching this game, I was flabbergasted with how comfortable and confident Stidham looked under center. He was firing downfield with accuracy, and Adams had a huge game. Can Stidham repeat this performance against the Chiefs? I like him to pass for over his prop value (238 yards). 7. The Packers will beat the Vikings at home this week as they continue to sneak into the postseason field. If they do, they’ll be a dangerous team. Also, I think Aaron Jones rebounds this week and is more heavily involved in the passing/screen game. Fire up Jones. I like him to score close to 15 fantasy points this week. Jones had a bounce back week and the Packers beat the you know what out of the Vikings. Chalk this one up as W.
This Week’s (week 18) Bold Predictions
1. I like the Jags to top the Titans for the AFC South title in Doug Pederson’s first season in Duval. For what it’s worth, I love Derrick Henry anytime TD scorer and for him to hit his over total rushing yards prop as well (92.5). 2. I think the Chiefs top the Raiders in an entertaining game that secures the 1 seed for the Chiefs. I’ll take the over (52.5) for points scored. 3. The Falcons win a meaningless game against the Bucs, and Desmond Ridder does enough to show the Falcons staff he deserves to be QB1 entering next season. 4. The Bills will cover (-7.5) in an emotional game versus the Patriots. 5. The Texans will win against the Colts and lose the number one overall pick. 6. The Dolphins beat the Jets in a backup QB battle and secure the last playoff spot in the AFC. 7. The Broncos will beat the Chargers, who will be resting most of their starters. 8. I think the Eagles beat the Giants to secure the number 1 seed in the NFC, but I think the Giants (+14.5) will cover. 9. The Rams beat the Seahawks, spoiling their postseason hopes. 10. I’ve been on this train all year long, but give me the Lions over the Packers on Sunday night. That’s right, Detroit sneaks into the playoff field! Let’s check those receipts next week! Also feel free to reach out on social media @DLorenzDPT (Twitter) and @TheFantasyDoctors (Twitter) and follow/subscribe to our YouTube channel. I can handle the heat.