Fantasy Football: 5 Bold Predictions for Week 12
One of the things that makes fantasy football so captivating is the variance. Even throughout Cooper Kupp's historic, unflappable season, he was the top wideout for the week just three times in 2021. That means, on individual weeks, some very strange players may pop in terms of fantasy points at their positions.
That opens the door for some room to be "spicy" and make some fun predictions. In a landscape increasingly set ablaze by "hot takes," it can be difficult to understand the difference between a bold prediction -- based on a particularly strong spot for a team or player -- and a senseless take with the prayer of becoming correct based on variance.
Let's shoot for the former with five interesting spots to target during this weekend's NFL games.
Note: All predictions are for half-PPR formats (and FanDuel scoring for quarterbacks).
1. Back for Thirds: Allen Dishes 25+ Fantasy Points on Thanksgiving Again
In two appearances on Thanksgiving, Josh Allen has absolutely chowed -- as most of us do on the holiday.
The Lions have won three games in a row, but it's come in spite of their defense. They're still numberFire's worst overall defense, ranking third-worst against the pass and worst against the run. Not great, Bob!
In a vacuum, this take doesn't seem too bold, but Allen's only averaged 20.2 fantasy points per contest in his last four games as he continues to deal with an elbow injury.
Given he appears to be putting the injury behind him -- and how poor Detroit's defense is played -- expect Buffalo's star to rebound on Thursday.
2. Rise Ugh: No Falcons Tailback Records Double-Digit Fantasy Points in D.C.
In positive matchups, we can squeeze blood from the proverbial turnip that is the Atlanta Falcons' backfield. This isn't one of those weeks.
Atlanta has formed an ugly committee since Cordarrelle Patterson returned two weeks ago. Patterson has played 43.4% of the snaps, Tyler Allgeier has been in for 50.4%, and Caleb Huntley and Avery Williams have combined for another 24.7%.
As a result, no Falcons back is averaging more than 12 adjusted opportunities per game during this time. Hypothetically, Allgeier is the lead guy in terms of snaps, touches, and pass-game work, but he's subbed out quite often.
I'm not expecting a ceiling game or emergence this week, either. Atlanta is traveling to Washington to face the red-hot Commanders. The Commanders are numberFire's second-ranked run defense, and they're potentially getting back star pass rusher Chase Young this weekend.
This is a warning; bench your Atlanta backs this week. In a change from most of 2022, there are plenty of waiver-wire candidates that would be better starts this week.
3. DK's Jungle: Metcalf Crosses 100 Receiving Yards Against Vegas
Without exaggeration, the Raiders are the best matchup for pass-catchers in fantasy football.
They're allowing a 106.3 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks. For reference, Patrick Mahomes' career passer rating is 106.2. As a result, we saw Courtland Sutton -- in a wasteland of an afternoon for his Broncos' offense -- still post a nice fantasy day with 80 receiving yards.
The Seattle Seahawks get this matchup in Week 12, and it could be a chance for D.K. Metcalf to get rolling. Metcalf hasn't been a disappointment in fantasy, but given Geno Smith has played well enough to position Seattle as numberFire's eighth-best passing offense, it's a bit surprising that it's happened with D.K. so quiet.
He's only exceeded 100 yards receiving once this year. However, he's still 16th in the NFL in air yards per game (91.8), so the formula for a huge outing is still there.
In a supreme matchup, the pick is Metcalf crosses the century mark for the second time this year.
4. Bananas Foster: The Raiders' Tight End Posts a Top-12 Week
The Seahawks-Raiders clash should be one of the better fantasy contests of Sunday, and tight end might be a sneaky way to gain exposure to it.
Filling in for Darren Waller, Foster Moreau has one of the best tight-end roles in the sport right now. Moreau has played 97.6% of Las Vegas's snaps and run 79.6% of the team's routes in his five games returning from injury. He's quite literally an every-down tight end.
His production is far from terrible, as well. Amidst Davante Adams' season-best game in Denver, Moreau only saw 3 targets, but he did turn those into 33 yards. He'd seen at least four targets in each of the four games prior, and 9 of the 26 targets in this five-game stretch came over 10 yards downfield.
Seattle gives him a great chance to turn all this usage into a box score result this week. The Seahawks have allowed the second-most adjusted fantasy points per target to tight ends.
5. Brute Stripe: Cincy's D/ST Records 4+ Sacks Against Tennessee
Overall, the teams that get the most pressure convert the most sacks. Teams that get more pressure than they've been getting sacks are a good place to look for regression.
The Cincinnati D/ST is a prime example. They're 12th in the NFL in pressure rate (31%), yet they're tied for the third-fewest sacks in the league (16). That's almost unheard of.
Fortunately, the Bengals have a great matchup to turn it around this week. The gritty Tennessee Titans have a great defense and running game, but they've struggled to protect Ryan Tannehill, ceding the second-highest pressure rate (32%) in the NFL. Even in his sold effort against Green Bay, Tannehill was sacked three times.
I'm going out on a limb that the Stripes respond in a big way -- at home -- to their lack of conversion thus far. They're a really solid D/ST streaming option if they're out there on your wire, but the same can be said about the Patriots, Chiefs, and Panthers, as well.