10 Bold Predictions for Week 14 Fantasy Football
For most of us, it’s the first week of the fantasy playoffs. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a bye, it’s time to start your studs, trust your gut, and listen to the experts. Well, maybe not that last part. Let me introduce myself: I’m Isaiah, and if you’re a regular reader of Bobby Sylvester’s Bold Predictions column, I’m filling in for him this week.
But you’re probably not reading this to hear my life story. Every second counts when you’re in a must-win situation, so let’s cut to the chase. Bobby says that a bold prediction is something that most people would say has less than a 10% chance of happening, but he’ll give it two or even three times better odds. That means this advice is best used for constructing a DFS GPP lineup or breaking a tie in close start/sit decisions, so keep that in mind before you start Parris Campbell over Keenan Allen in your redraft league’s quarterfinals.
#1 Devonta Freeman will put up top-6 numbers at running back.
The Carolina Panthers are awful against the run. Last week, they allowed both Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson to run for a combined 228 and three touchdowns. The duo did that on just 23 total attempts — that’s an average of 9.91 yards per carry! The Panthers give up 137.5 rushing yards per game, the fourth-most in the league, but they’re much worse in other rushing categories. For example, they’ve given up 22 rushing touchdowns this year, which is five more than the next-worst Jaguars, and nine more than the third-worst Bengals. Their best game against the run came in Week 11 when they took on the Brian Hill-led Falcons. Now that Atlanta will have Freeman, guard Chris Lindstrom, and tight end Austin Hooper back in the lineup, look for Dan Quinn’s team to get some revenge on the ground.
Final Prediction: 17 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD, 4 targets, 3 receptions, 23 receiving yards
#2 Jared Goff will finish as a top-10 quarterback.
Goff and the Rams looked good against the Cardinals last week, but that’s not why I’m recommending him. Los Angeles almost topped the Seahawks back in Week 5, and Goff threw for 395 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the near-win. Seattle has been one of the worst defenses against the pass this season, as they’ve surrendered 269.3 passing yards per game — the fourth-highest rate in the league! The other good news for Goff is that he’ll be playing at home this time. Although he hasn’t lived up to the QB1 hype, I’m confident that Goff can return some strong value this week. Look for him to exceed his QB16 ranking by a wide margin.
Final Prediction: 28/46, 372 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
#3 Keenan Allen won’t be a top-25 wide receiver.
No disrespect to the man, but Philip Rivers is washed up. In his last three games, Rivers has completed just 58 percent of his passes while throwing eight interceptions. While Rivers accompanied those bad numbers with five touchdowns — two of which went to Allen — that’s just not sustainable. Although the Chargers have an easy matchup against the Jaguars this week, look for Los Angeles to grind the game out with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. Jacksonville is a top-10 defense in terms of receiving yards, but they’re bottom-five against the run, and they’re especially vulnerable to opposing rushers in the red zone. They also just lost defensive captain Myles Jack for the season, and that will only make things worse.
Final Prediction: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 54 yards
#4 A.J. Brown will earn 100-plus receiving yards.
The Oakland Raiders have been abysmal on defense this year. Football Outsiders has them at 31st overall in Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) on the season, and they have looked even worse since safety Karl Joseph went down in Week 10. My biggest piece of evidence here is the Raiders’ ability to get burned deep. Oakland is giving up the second-most passing plays of 20-plus yards or more, and A.J. Brown has proven that he can get open downfield. He’s finished with 90 or more receiving yards three times this season, and he averaged 23.9 yards per reception in those games. Brown also won’t have as much competition for targets this week because Adam Humphries is out with an ankle injury.
Final Prediction: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 102 yards, 1 TD
#5 Zach Pascal will finish as a top-20 wide receiver in PPR.
Pascal earned 10 targets against the Titans last week after the Colts placed Eric Ebron on injured reserve. Indy won’t have T.Y. Hilton back this week, either, so Pascal is a safe bet to receive a similar target share. The Colts take on the Buccaneers’ pass-funnel defense this week, which gives up the second-most receiving yards of any team in the league. Although Parris Campbell will be back in the lineup, Pascal and Campbell have split work together well before. In the two games the two have played together without T.Y. Hilton, Pascal caught nine of his 13 receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown. That’s an average of 15 points per game, which Pascal should easily exceed on Sunday.
Final Prediction: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 94 yards, 1 TD
The Other Half
#6 Parris Campbell will score the second touchdown of his career (Remember what I said about the Buccaneers? Yeah, I like Campbell this week, too).
Final Prediction: 6 targets, 52 yards, 1 TD, 1 rush, 6 yards
#7 The Jets won’t finish as a top-16 defense (New York couldn’t contain Miami in Week 9, and they won’t even have Jamal Adams this time).
Final Prediction: 27 points allowed, 2 sacks
#8 Baker Mayfield won’t finish as a top-16 quarterback (The Bengals’ pass rush looks really good, while the Browns’ offensive line… does not).
Final Prediction: 17/28, 199 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
#9 James Washington will have another 100-yard game (Arizona is giving up the most receiving yards of any team, and now their second and third-best corners are both questionable).
Final Prediction: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD
#10 Bilal Powell will end up as a top-25 running back in PPR (Miami let Bell get 20.1 points in Week 9, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to play this time).
Final Prediction: 16 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD, 4 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards