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THE PROGNOSTICATOR: Week 4

Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator, may it be your Pocket Aces. Welcome back one and all to Week 4. It’s been a fun season so far with the usual story lines about rule changes and questions about whether the Patriots are done or will the Browns now make it to the Super Bowl? It’s just as crazy as every year, it’s what makes it all so much fun to watch. One fantasy relevant development is that there are a lot of teams that have over-powering offenses that have very poor defenses and when those teams meet, fantasy points are scored in bunches. Scoring is up in the NFL this year and it’s these matchups that’s causing it. As fantasy players, you want to look closely at all the teams with high powered offenses and suspect defenses and emphasize those in your lineups. I touch on this throughout this weeks Progno. Read on for more, as there are several of these shootout matchups this week where we are going to get a shower of fantasy points.

 

Passing Rushing
Team Score Team Score
TB 312 DAL 141
DEN 300 SF 137
MIN 298 DEN 128
BAL 290 CLE 125
LAC 289 MIA 121
NO 289 LAR 120
NE 286 PHI 119
NYG 284 HOU 115
KC 279 BUF 111
ATL 278 LAC 111
CIN 275 NYJ 111
CHI 270 ATL 111
PIT 266 CIN 109
OAK 266 SEA 108
LAR 262 JAX 106
GB 261 BAL 105
HOU 257 OAK 104
MIA 244 DET 99
SF 239 IND 97
DET 239 NO 97
SEA 235 PIT 97
CLE 225 ARI 96
IND 223 NE 93
PHI 221 CHI 93
JAX 217 TEN 92
TEN 208 KC 91
BUF 205 NYG 86
NYJ 196 GB 85
ARI 174 MIN 81
DAL 149 TB 69

How to read the table: The table shows how a team will do Passing and Rushing in the upcoming week of the NFL. Red is HOT, Yellow is WARM, White is NORMAL, Light Blue is COLD and Dark Blue is FREEZING COLD. Play players from teams that are Red and Yellow, avoid players from teams that are Light or Dark Blue and expect average days from teams that are White.

All times are Eastern

Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams – Thursday 8:20pm
Minnesota has a legitimate chance in this. Whenever you have such a dramatic mismatch like the Vikings will have with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen due to the Rams’ starting cornerbacks being out, then you always have a chance. The Rams can be tough up front defensively so I wouldn’t be looking at the Vikings for any fantasy running support but Todd Gurley of course, always eats. The Vikings in the air on offense is what makes this game so interesting and the Rams offense vs. the Minnesota defense will be a master class in play calling.

 

Favorite: Los Angeles Rams by 6.5
Prediction: Los Angeles Rams 31 – Minnesota Vikings 20
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts – Sunday 1:00pm
Like the Vikings on Thursday night, the Texans have an advantage in the air with all that they bring and they’ll never be out of this, particularly since they can run the ball well with Lamar Miller. Fantasy wise, the Texans have the better day but NFL wise, that’s a different story.

Andrew Luck took a beating this week in fantasy due to the Colts removing him for an end-of-game Hail Mary play and putting backup Jacoby Brissett in instead. Immediately, Luck’s arm strength was questioned and thousands of trade offers with Luck in a package were created. Sometimes I just roll my eyes at this stuff. Brissett has a cannon for an arm, is more mobile and Indianapolis was a long way away from the end zone — end of story. It’s called, “trying to win a football game.” Andrew Luck has been precision focused and the Colts are going to have to sling it a ton this season due to a defense that is adept at giving up points.

 

Favorite: Indianapolis Colts by 1
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 24 – Houston Texans 17
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Sunday 1:00pm
Last I checked, the sky is still up in New England and it hasn’t fallen yet. What bothers me most about the Patriots right now is the state of their defense. It’s just not good and that ultimately, will be their Achilles heel. What always saves New England is Tom Brady but in those games where things don’t go Brady’s way, there just aren’t enough horses left to make up for his off day. I do still think that New England’s best games are still to come but there are cracks and some of those cracks are starting to separate. The good news for Patriots fans is that this is a Tom Brady game and the passing will be frequent. The injury to Rex Burkhead is noteworthy mainly because it leaves just Sony Michel and James White left to run the football and historically, the Patriots’ first play option at the goal line has been to run it. The sly fantasy owner is desperately trying to land Michel or White today.

Expect Miami to play really well here, especially on the ground with both Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore making it hurt on the inside. Kenny Stills is also awfully tough to cover and he’ll be open downfield. Ryan Tannehill has been playing some good fantasy football lately. This will be a hard fought nail-biter with the Patriots’ home field being the only difference in the outcome.

 

Favorite: New England Patriots by 7
Prediction: New England Patriots 30 – Miami Dolphins 27
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans – Sunday 1:00pm
Just when we started to think that Blake Bortles may be starting to figure it out, the Jaguars struggled against Tennessee. I don’t think many did, but I think you have to tip your cap to the Titans as they played nose-to-nose with Jacksonville and that is not easy to do. Tennessee is a home underdog against Philadelphia and on paper, well, they should be. What the paper doesn’t take into account though are the intangibles. If you compare all the tangibles then yes, Philadelphia is the better team but when you add up how Tennessee played against a quality opponent last week with Jacksonville and Tennessee is home, it manages to even just about everything out.

 

Favorite: Philadelphia Eagles by 3.5
Prediction: Tennessee Titans 21 – Philadelphia Eagles 20
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday 1:00pm
Speaking of Jacksonville, they get to stay home, lick their wounds from Tennessee last week and right their ship against a visiting New York Jets pushover team. That’s how the script is written at least. What actually plays out is Blake Bortles making more completions to guys in white and green uniforms and the Jets surprisingly out-rushing Jacksonville as they hand the Jaguars another confusing loss on their own home field. No really, the Jets win. Seriously.

 

Favorite: Jacksonville Jaguars by 7.5
Prediction: New York Jets 27 – Jacksonville Jaguars 23
Category Advantage
Rushing
Passing
Offense
Interceptions
Fumbles
Turnovers

About Tony Holm

Founder and President of FantasySharks.com. Five-time nominee for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Started publishing fantasy content on the web in 1993 and hasn't stopped yet.