Patrick Mahomes will throw for less than 300 passing yards and have less than 20 fantasy points against Baltimore this week.
My thinking: This one boils down to the fact that the Baltimore defense has been a brute force for basically the entire season. Patrick Mahomes is having an incredible season and could very well be this year’s MVP, but it’s going to be tough sledding (even at home) against a stout defense this week. Baltimore’s defense ranks in the Top 4 in the NFL in completions allowed, passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed and average fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks this year.
Here is a list of the above-average quarterbacks Baltimore has faced this season and their stat line in those games.
Week 4 – Ben Roethlisberger – 274 passing yards, one touchdown
Week 5 – Baker Mayfield – 342 passing yards, one touchdown
Week 7 – Drew Brees – 212 passing yards, two touchdowns
Week 8 – Cam Newton – 219 passing yards, two touchdowns
Week 9 – Ben Roethlisberger – 270 passing yards, two touchdowns
Week 13 – Matt Ryan – 131 passing yards, one touchdown
As you can see, Baltimore has done a phenomenal job defending the quarterback position. Baker Mayfield is the only quarterback who has thrown for more than 300 yards against Baltimore this season. If you temper your expectations for Mahomes this week, you won’t be as disappointed when he fails to go for more than 27 fantasy points (which he’s done nine times in 12 games this season). Anything more than 20 fantasy points will be considered a good week, but even that will be tough to achieve.
Baker Mayfield will throw for 400 passing yards and three touchdowns against Carolina this week.
My thinking: Baker Mayfield is a future MVP in this league. He has made tremendous strides in his development and is only going to get better with each passing week (and year). A Week 14 home matchup against a struggling Carolina secondary is the perfect opportunity for Mayfield to have his best fantasy performance of the season. Carolina’s defense has been a sieve lately, having given up the fifth-most passing yards (1,133) and tied-most passing touchdowns (10) over its last four games. Since Week 10, Carolina ranks 31st in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Two weeks ago, against Seattle, Carolina allowed Russell Wilson to throw for 339 yards. Those 339 passing yards are by far the most passing yards Russell Wilson has thrown this season. Carolina is not trending in the right direction and is about to be carved up by the polarizing rookie quarterback out of Oklahoma. Expect Mayfield to target Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, Rashard Higgins and David Njoku early and often and put up some impressive numbers at home against this Carolina defense in Week 14.
Kerryon Johnson will have 150 total yards and one touchdown against Arizona this week.
My thinking: This one is contingent on whether or not Kerryon Johnson suits up in Week 14, but reports out of Detroit are saying that he is scheduled to return this week after missing two games with a knee injury. Assuming he plays, Johnson should have no problem carving up what has been a porous Arizona run defense. Arizona’s defense ranks 30th in rushing yards allowed per game (125), 32nd in rushing touchdowns allowed (15) and 29th in average points per reception (PPR) league fantasy points allowed (30.8) to opposing running backs this season. Prior to injuring his knee in Week 11, Johnson was averaging 5.3 yards per carry on 80 rushing attempts in his previous six games. He’s been getting better as the season has rolled on, so expect him to have one of his best performances of the season in what is a highly favorable matchup this week. If he’s ruled out for Sunday, then swap out Johnson’s name for LeGarrette Blount in this prediction.
Dalvin Cook will have 75 rushing yards, eight receptions and 75 receiving yards and a touchdown against Seattle this week.
My thinking: In the last four games, Seattle’s defense has allowed the most receptions (34), most receiving yards (369), and tied-second most receiving touchdowns (2) to opposing running backs. In total this season, Seattle’s defense has yielded the second-most receiving yards per game (62.1) to opposing running backs. Seattle’s defense has been good, but not great, this season, and has been prone to giving up bunches of catches and yards to running backs.
In the four games since he’s returned from the world’s most nagging hamstring injury, Dalvin Cook has caught at least three passes in every game and is averaging 4.5 receptions per game. Expect Cook (who is Minnesota’s primary pass-catching back) to have his best fantasy performance of the season in what is a favorable matchup against a Seattle defense that ranks 22nd in average PPR fantasy points allowed to running backs (26.7) this season.