Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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BOLD PREDICTIONS: Week 6

Russell Wilson will throw for over 300 passing yards and have 40 rushing yards vs. Oakland Raiders this week.

My thinking: Russell Wilson has yet to throw for more than 300 passing yards in a single game this season and yes, he has yet to run for more than 25 rushing yards in a single game either.. but facing the Raiders is just what the doctor ordered for Wilson to put himself back on the map as a mid-level QB1. He enters Week 6 just 20th overall in fantasy points among quarterbacks, but you don’t really think he is going to be this unproductive all season, do you? We’re talking about a quarterback that finished as the best fantasy quarterback last season and has finished as a top 10 fantasy quarterback in each of the previous five seasons. He also has been without his best wide receiver (Doug Baldwin) for most of the year. Yes, Baldwin was non-existent last week, but, as I said above, you don’t really think Baldwin is not going to be heavily involved in the offensive game plan going forward, do you? The Raiders have allowed 8.9 yards-per-pass-attempt through five games, which ranks 29th in the NFL. The loss of Khalil Mack has been detrimental to the success of their defensive front-seven, as evidenced by their league-worst pass pressure rating through five games.

Joe Mixon will have less than 65 rushing yards vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers this week.

My thinking: In the three games he’s played this season, Joe Mixon has averaged 90.7 rushing yards on 20 carries per game. While his current long-term fantasy outlook and potential are at an all-time high considering how well he has been running the ball this season, this week’s matchup vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers is a challenging one for this second-year player out of Oklahoma. The Steelers are allowing an average of 16.6 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, which ranks fourth in the NFL through five games. They’ve also allowed an ungenerous 3.41 yards-per-carry on 99 rushing attempts to opposing running backs, which is behind only four teams (Cowboys – 3.29 YPC, Bears – 2.92 YPC, Saints – 2.78 YPC, Eagles – 2.77 YPC) heading into Week 6. Mixon’s development has turned him into an elite fantasy running back, but don’t expect a big performance out of him this week in what will likely be a pass-happy, air-it-out type of game.

LeSean McCoy will have 30 carries for 160 rushing yards and one touchdown vs. the Houston Texans this week.

My thinking: LeSean McCoy had his best statistical game of the season in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans, running for 85 yards on 24 carries. He also pitched in with two receptions for 23 receiving yards. It was the first time McCoy saw more than ten carries in a game this season, and if the Buffalo Bills want to have any success this year with a rookie quarterback under center, they’re going to have to rely on McCoy to shoulder a heavy workload. He’s been successful in the bell-cow role the last two seasons, having finished as a top-seven fantasy running back in 2016 and 2017. There’s no reason to believe he can’t do it again this year, so long as he’s fully healthy and on the field. Fantasy owners that drafted McCoy in the 3rd round are likely desperate for him to produce even mid-level RB2 numbers. Even against a stout defensive front-seven, McCoy has a monster game this week against the Texans.

Julio Jones will have 14 receptions for 180 receiving yards and one touchdown vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week.

My thinking: In his career, Julio Jones has played 12 games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and to say he has performed exceptionally well against them would be an understatement. There is no team in the NFL that Jones has had as much success against than Tampa Bay. In 12 career games, he has accumulated 83 receptions, 1,413 receiving yards and has scored ten touchdowns vs. the Bucs. That is an average of 6.9 receptions and 117.8 receiving yards per game. Two of his three touchdowns in 2017 came against Tampa Bay. Also, two of his six touchdowns in 2016 were against Tampa Bay as well. What makes Jones even more appealing this week is the fact that the Bucs defense has allowed an average of 49 PPR fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, which ranks 31st in the NFL. They’ve also allowed an average of 370 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers, which ranks dead-last in the NFL. If there were ever a time for this eighth-year player out of Alabama to break out of his touchdown slump and turn in a monster fantasy performance, this is it.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.