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Fantasy Football Hot Takes: Tua Tagovailoa, Keenan Allen, Dalvin Cook, Pat Freiermuth (Week 13)

by Bo McBrayer | @Bo_McBigTime | Featured Writer
Dec 1, 2022
Fantasy Football Injury Updates: Lamar Jackson, Kenneth Walker III, Tua Tagovailoa (2023)

I was certainly on the right track last week with my spicy predictions in Week 12. Alas, none of them were exactly right. On the other hand, all four of them gave me a glimmer of hope during the action.

D’Andre Swift looked incredibly explosive and ‘almost’ scored a touchdown on Thanksgiving versus the Bills. Unfortunately, the game was close throughout, and Dan Campbell still inexplicably had Justin Jackson on the field more than he should have.

Elijah Moore was sensational on his two receptions from new starter Mike White, including a touchdown. It ended up being a banner day for rookie Garrett Wilson instead, and Moore’s usage was criminally low yet again, despite looking completely unstoppable when on the field.

Geno Smith was a (not the) QB1 with 20.32 points versus the Raiders, but the overtime thriller belonged to the Raiders and the murderous ball-carrying exploits of Josh Jacobs.

Week 13 ushers us into the month of December. I have some very strong inclinations about how these Week 13 games will play out. As close as these spicy predictions have been in recent weeks, I see no reason to tame my wildness for the sake of an easier hit. It will either be that warm, snuggly blanket you just pulled out for the winter chill or that scratchy wool sweater with the atrocious pattern that your aunt sent you for Christmas before Labor Day. Follow the hashtag PICANTakes on Twitter and let me know your own picante predictions.

Tua Tagovailoa Ends 49ers’ Second-Half Scoreless Streak and Tosses Three Touchdown Passes; Miami Beats San Francisco with 30+ Points on Offense.

It is true that the 49ers’ defense has not allowed a single point in the second half of any of their past four games. This is remarkable, with the next-best team during that stretch allowing 28 points in the second half. The Miami Dolphins are the hottest offense in the NFL and have the ultimate ace in the hole for their date with the Niners at Levi’s Stadium: familiarity. Mike McDaniel knows every single facet of the 49ers scheme, especially Demeco Ryans’ heavy Cover-3 approach.

Tua is absolutely eviscerating Cover-3 this season, completing 76.8% of his passes and a league-leading 10.3 yards per attempt (The 33rd Team). For how dominant San Francisco’s defense has been all season, they have really not faced an offense of this caliber since they were shellacked by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in October by a score of 44-23. I believe this defense will regress abruptly under the strain of trying to cover Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, with Tua getting rid of the ball long before the pass rush can get home.

Keenan Allen is a Top-5 Fantasy WR with 25+ PPR points; Chargers Destroy Raiders by Double Digits.

Are the Chargers for real? If they are, they will need to exorcise the poltergeist that is the Las Vegas Raiders. The Silver and Black sent the Chargers packing their bags for the winter instead of making the playoffs last season. Los Angeles defeated Las Vegas earlier this season but made a game out of it when the Raiders were clearly outmatched on the field. The fear in this prediction is the scintillating matchup for Josh Jacobs after his rampage in Seattle last week. Jacobs is not fully healthy, which leads me to believe Josh McDaniels will ease up on his workload after his 39-touch overtime jaunt.

Keenan Allen has looked fantastic since returning from his hamstring injury. The Raiders sport one of the most terrible defensive backfields in the NFL, and Justin Herbert has to be licking his chops in anticipation of a huge performance. Allen has owned the Raiders during his career, and there is nothing that leads me to believe he won’t have another massive game at Allegiant this week.

Dalvin Cook Runs All Over the Jets, Puts Up 120+ Scrimmage Yards and a Touchdown; Vikings’ Defense Turns Over Mike White Multiple Times in Victory.

Everyone wants to crown the Jets after their romp over the Bears last week. I get it. They looked good. They now must return from the clouds and travel to Minneapolis to take on the 9-2 Vikings, who drubbed the Patriots on Thanksgiving evening. These are the same Patriots who took New York’s lunch money twice in three weeks. Mike White had a fairytale return to the field last week against the Bears, similar to his romp over the Bengals last season.

White’s carriage turned into a pumpkin and rotted last season when he tossed four interceptions against Buffalo before the Jets reverted back to Zach Wilson. Although I don’t expect Wilson to see another starting snap for the Jets this season, a thorough beating from an actual playoff contender should pump the brakes on the “White Knight” fervor. The Jets are a good defense but weren’t overly stout against David Montgomery last week. Minnesota is likely to lean on the running game with Dalvin Cook, who, as we know, is still one of the best in the game and can erupt at any moment.

Pat Freiermuth is the TE1 in Week 13 with Two Touchdowns; Steelers Keep Tomlin’s Streak Alive and Hold Falcons Without an Offensive Touchdown.

The fraudulent Falcons have seen the wheels fall off their improbable run the last couple of weeks. No surprise, they enjoyed an early season full of an immense fortune. Seemingly headed in the opposite direction, Kenny Pickett and the Steelers have looked rather impressive lately. TJ Watt’s healthy return to play is not coincidentally aligned with this turnaround. Pittsburgh has done a better job of beating up opposing QBs and protecting their abysmal secondary. No bother, Atlanta’s downfield passing attack is about the worst in the entire NFL. Marcus Mariota‘s inaccuracy and poor decision-making, paired with horrid coaching and game-planning by Arthur Smith, have crippled Atlanta’s playoff chances. They might only be one game behind the Buccaneers for the lead in the NFC South, but the Falcons are hurtling toward another losing season and a top-10 draft pick.

Even with the Steelers’ defense stiffening in recent weeks, Kenny Pickett’s steady improvement under center has the Steelers competing at a higher level. George Pickens and Diontae Johnson have been steady contributors, but the one trustworthy fantasy weapon has been second-year TE Pat Freiermuth. The Muth is currently the TE6 in PPR and has been getting more steady volume, despite scoring only one touchdown this season. The Falcons are 22nd at defending the TE position, which bodes well for Freiermuth. He has averaged 10 targets in the four games versus defenses in the bottom half of the league at allowing fantasy points to the TE position. Positive touchdown regression is in store for this Steelers’ offense, especially for their talented red zone weapon of choice.

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