Fantasy Football: 5 Bold Predictions for Week 12
You ever eat a banana dipped in ketchup? If you answered "yes" to that question, you might want to get yourself checked out -- however, I will say this, it certainly is a bold meal choice.
Not to be confused with baldness, boldness would be sporting a mohawk at the ripe young age of 75. In an unrealistic football analogy, boldness would be trading the best receiver in football for a washed-up running back with a huge contract. Ehhh, no one would be that stup...oh, nevermind.
For this article, we'll focus the boldness on fantasy football. Think of this piece like Taco Tuesday -- it's better when it's spicy, but the spiciness is not what it's all about; it's there to add flavor. The point here is not to hit on 100% of the predictions. After all, I'm not a vomiting hippo. The goal here is to uncover insights that can help us win some dough in fantasy. The idea is to uncover some players that might either have an amazing week or post a complete dud.
Now, let's eat a serving of ketchup banana (yuck).
(All predictions are for half-PPR and FanDuel scoring for quarterbacks.)
1. Derek Carr Finishes as a Top-7 Quarterback
"Top seven, what's bold about that?" you might ask. Well, it hasn't happened yet this season. The highest Derek Carr ($7,100) has finished was last week when he ranked as the QB8. This week, he'll get a delicious matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, the team that's dead last in both Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play and fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Through 10 games, the Falcons have surrendered at least 20 FanDuel points to quarterbacks eight times.
2. Todd Gurley Racks Up 70+ Yards and 2 Touchdowns
As I noted in this week's start/sit column, Todd Gurley ($6,900) has had more multi-score games over the last four seasons than he has had games without a touchdown. This season, Gurley has scored in 7 of his 10 outings, including 2 games with multiple tuddies.
In Week 12, Gurley will get the tasty draw that is the Las Vegas Raiders. Through Week 11, Las Vegas ranks dead last in adjusted run defense, and they've ceded the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing backfields. Four backs have posted at least 77 yards and multiple scores against the Raiders this season, and six of the seven runners to see at least 15 touches have recorded 12.7 or more fantasy points. Gurley has gotten to the 15-touch mark in all but one game during this campaign.
3. Josh Jacobs Finishes Outside the Top-20 at Running Back
If you exclude the three blow-up performances Josh Jacobs ($8,000) has had this season, he's averaging just 10.6 FanDuel points per game. That's not awful, but it's definitely not RB1 material.
This matchup is not one where we should expect a massive performance from the 22-year-old. As I mentioned in the Carr prediction, the Falcons are a pass-funnel defense. In fact, Atlanta has yielded the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the ground this season. The Falcons are sandwiched by New Orleans Saints (first) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (third) in that category, two teams Jacobs has already faced this season. In those two contests, he managed just RB23 and RB43 finishes. A similar result could be awaiting him this week.
4. DeVante Parker Finishes as a WR1
This matchup is one that the 27-year-old should be able to take advantage of. Believe it or not, the New York Jets have sported a somewhat run-funnel defense in 2020. New York ranks seventh in adjusted run defense, but they find themselves second-worst in adjusted pass defense. So far this season, 11 wideouts have managed at least 13.1 FanDuel points against the Jets, and six have amassed at least 19.1.
Parker has a realistic chance of finishing as a top-12 fantasy wideout for the very first time this season.
5. Hunter Henry Finishes as a Top-3 Tight End
Hunter Henry ($5,900) went through a scoring dry spell where he scored just once through his first eight games -- and that's despite seeing seven or more looks in six of those contests. Well, that drought is over, as Henry has now hit paydirt in two consecutive outings.
I don't expect Henry to slow down at all this week, as he faces a Buffalo Bills team that's conceding the second-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season. Six tight ends have seen more than five targets against the Bills this season, and those six have posted an average of 15.2 FanDuel points per game.
Henry has finished higher than TE6 just once this season, but I expect that to change in Week 12.