Another week down in the fantasy football season. It’s flying by, just like every year. As always, let us take a deeper look at some of our bold predictions. First, we will recap the Thursday night game, then reminisce on last week’s predictions, lastly followed by this week’s predictions. Is the talk around the league legitimate? Or are we just talkin’ crazy?
Ravens 27, Buccaneers 22
Ravens top performer(s): After a pretty brutal first half, which had the Ravens veer away from their running game, they were able to put together a really solid second half of football. They leaned heavily on their ground game in the second half, without much of a choice, due to losing Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman to injuries. Lamar had an efficient second half, as he and Isaiah Likely were the players of the game for the Ravens. Gus Edwards led the team in carries, but he did tweak his hamstring, which is something to monitor moving forward, as are the injuries to Andrews and Bateman. Bucs top performer(s): That’s it. I throw my hands up regarding the 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’ve been waiting for this offense to break out for weeks. After many failed attempts at predicting when this breakout will come, I’m officially declaring that I believe it’ll never come this season. Now, I’m not saying Tampa won’t go on a run and make the playoffs, but if you’re expecting the juggernaut offense of the past two seasons, you haven’t been watching this offense struggle as greatly as they are. Mike Evans was the star in this one, like he is every week, but Tom Brady continues to miss too many throws. Now, I understand what he is going through personally has to weigh on him while he’s on the field. I hope everything works out for him, and he can find happiness. But, the way he’s been playing this year, has me staying away from this offense. Let’s take a look at last week’s predictions and see which ones have me feeling like Nostradamus, and which ones have me feeling like a clown on this Halloween weekend. Headline: The 49ers are Super Bowl Contenders After Acquiring CMC from the Panthers. Verdict: Talkin Crazy. I realize this bold prediction is more of a long-term game. Therefore, it’s difficult to truly assess just exactly how bold this prediction is, but we will continue to keep an eye on it the rest of the season. I did note that the games versus the Chiefs and Rams would be big tests. Well, after jumping to an early lead against KC, not much else went right for the Niners. If they lose again this week in LA against the Rams, the sense of urgency will certainly be felt in the Bay Area. The Broncos Did the Right Thing in Withholding Russ from Playing this Week: Verdict: Legitimate. This one was a no-brainer. First it was the shoulder/lat issue with Russ, and then a hamstring injury on top of that. It made sense for the Broncos to put him on the shelf until he was close to 100%. Once Russ was ruled out, not many people were thinking the Broncos would win over the Jets, but they did keep it within one score. Now, reports are that Russ is going to play this week. Those issues that Russ is dealing with do not go away with just one week of rest/rehab. So, I’m expecting Russ to struggle this week, as well as the whole Broncos offense. Headline: Cowboys will Roll to a Big Win Over the Lions in Dak’s Return: Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy. If one looks at the result of this game and sees the 24-6 final, they might assume the Cowboys rolled to victory, but this was hardly the case. This was a 10-6 game for a large portion of the contest, until Dallas scored two late TDs to put the game away. I think Dallas’ offense improves each week as Dak continues to get healthier, but it might be slow going for a few weeks.
Miscellaneous Quick Hits of Last Week:
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. BOOM. Nailed that one. Green Bay just does not have that regular season mojo. 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. See above for my white flag waving confession about the Bucs offense. I think the Ravens will have two 100 yard rushers against the Browns. Well, they got 160 yards rushing as a team, and their top two rushers had 66 and 59 yards respectively. Not exactly a hit, but far from a L as well. The Headlines of This Week (Week 8): Headline: The Patriots Have a QB Controversy: Mac Jones struggled mightily on Monday night and was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe, who led two scoring drives. However, Zappe did not do much after this, as well as the whole New England team. Based on the eye test, Zappe looks more comfortable & confident than Mac Jones. I see this battle ending with Zappe eventually being crowned as QB1 in New England. I get that Jones was a first round pick last year and is only in his second year, but the eye test screams for Zappe. Verdict: Legitimate. Headline: The Eagles Will Go 17-0 in the Regular Season: Let me preface this by saying I am a huge Eagles fan. Like, a diehard. If that changes your opinion of me, then so be it. BUT, there’s no way they are running the table the whole season. It just doesn’t happen. This chatter became more prevalent this week because Vegas now has the Eagles favored in every single game the rest of the way. And, honestly, if you peep the Eagles schedule it is easy to see why. Not a whole lot of potential losses on the schedule. But, there will inevitably be that game where things just do not go their way, and they suffer a defeat. Verdict: Talkin’ Crazy. Headline: All NFL Games Should Be Played on Grass: In case you missed this news, Cooper Kupp stated this week that all games should be played on a grass playing surface. I agree with Kupp in this regard. There are different types of turf. Turf that is soft and is flexible is similar to playing on a grass playing surface. However, turf that is rigid increases the likelihood of various injuries including a torn ACL, among other diagnoses. I think a transition to grass playing surfaces league wide would reduce this season-ending injuries, but I do not foresee this change happening. The owners won’t go for it. The turf is easier (and cheaper) to maintain, and the turf gives them the flexibility to use the stadium in other ways as a glorified entertainment system. So turf is not going anywhere anytime soon. But, have you seen Sterling Shephard’s video of how he sustained his ACL injury? If not, go check it out on YouTube. ACL’s should not tear with that mechanism of injury. Verdict: Legitimate (but will not occur).
Miscellaneous Quick Hits:
The Jaguars top the Broncos in London, which solidifies Denver’s standing as sellers heading into the trade deadline this week. As a result, Bradley Chubb and Jerry Jeudy are traded. Give me the Jets +2.5 at home versus New England. Lock it in! Sam Ehlinger provides the spark that the Colts offense desperately needs. This includes JT returning to last season’s form, and oh by the way, the Colts win.