Welcome my fantasy brethren to another edition of The Prognosticator, may it not blow up in your face. Where has the season gone? Last night, I discovered that Jeb Bush is 7-0 in fantasy this year and Chris Christie thinks we should just, “let them play!” I’m not political, quite the opposite actually, but I’ll bet anything that Hillary Clinton does not have a fantasy team, so this election may be decided for me already.
We work hard each week to get all of our content up, it’s a well oiled machine these days but it doesn’t seem possible that we’re half way through the season already. Trade deadlines are coming up shortly for many leagues, you may want to take a look at exactly when that is and make your final adjustments now. Championships are won and lost by these final tweaks and if you have extra depth at a certain position and less at another. Find your polar opposite in your league and make those trade offers while they feel like they may still have an outside shot at a playoff berth if things fall their way. Teams that feel like they are completely out of it, tend to pull up their tent and head home and you’ll never get a deal done with them. Now is the time to make those deals while you still can.
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.
|Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots – Thursday 8:25pm|
The Dolphins have been playing spirited football for sure but this is the New England Patriots, at home, on a nationally televised game. The Dolphins will play well but the Patriots will play better. This is as usual, all about Tom Brady and the Dolphins secondary desperately trying to keep up. Expect Miami’s safeties to be pushed to the edge in this one. There won’t be any big numbers as Miami is truly a better team now than they were just three weeks ago but this is still a very tall task for them to try and get past the Patriots in Foxboro.
Favorite: New England Patriots by 7.5
Prediction: New England Patriots 37 – Miami Dolphins 24
|Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday 9:30am|
Procedurally this is going to be a learning curve game for the Lions with new coaches and some changes to the play calling. They know it’s a lost season already but they’ll try and get this team pointed in the right direction with the games that they have remaining. The good news? The Chiefs defense is abysmal making this an easy game for the Lions to put up big fantasy points, particularly in the air. Expect a good ole’ fashioned torching of the Chiefs as the Lions look better than they have all season.
The one problem for the Lions though is that defensively they are just as bad. The Chiefs will be able to run and pass on them at will and with this game being played in London, the Chiefs find a way to win this, primarily because the Lions just won’t be able to muster much of a ground game and the field won’t be the kind of fast track that they like to play on.
Favorite: Kansas City Chiefs by 5
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 31 – Detroit Lions 24
|Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns – Sunday 1:00pm|
The Browns will be able to compete in the air with underneath passing. This will be a big game for rookie Duke Johnson as he’s a perfect fit for how the Browns can best expose the Cardinals defense. Be warned though, that the Cardinals have blanketed opposing tight ends so Gary Barnidge doesn’t look as good of a play as he usually does. It will be interesting to see just how many snaps Robert Turbin gets here as the Browns are still searching for a starting tailback and maybe, just maybe, Turbin can be that guy but we likely won’t find out this week since the Cardinals are going to score at will, reducing the number of plays that the Browns will be able to run on the ground.
The Browns still have a lot of rebuilding to do. It wouldn’t hurt if they started with their defense, as if it’s not the worst unit in the NFL, it’s certainly close. This will be like a “hot knife through butter” for the Cardinals as they excel in every phase of the game in a trouncing of the Browns.
Favorite: Arizona Cardinals by 5
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals 37 – Cleveland Browns 27
|Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday 1:00pm|
There’s no love lost between these two teams and often, it’s home field that goes to the victor. It will be a better showing by the Steelers if in fact Ben Roethlisberger does play, which seems likely, but the Bengals have found a groove and they’ll perform well here against a Steelers team that has struggled to defend the pass. The Bengals are more susceptible to giving up yards on the ground so Le’Veon Bell will get his here. This should truly be a great game, a fun back-and-forth game to watch where both teams will have a chance right up until the final whistle.
Favorite: Cincinnati Bengals by 1.5
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 31 – Pittsburgh Steelers 27
|Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears – Sunday 1:00pm|
The Vikings have done a nice job winning football games with quiet fantasy performances. They get it done with their lines, a good defense, a good offense, but nothing spectacular. They’re a “steady Eddy” team that just keeps on chugging. It means that they never put the game out of reach and the opposing team almost always has a chance if they can put something together in the 4th quarter. Being that a late game explosion is Jay Cutler‘s calling card and the Bears are at home, expect a horrible fantasy day for all your Bears. But a late touchdown will get the Bears past the Vikings in a game that the Bears will never lead in until their final drive. The only fantasy play here is Adrian Peterson, be wary of the rest.
Favorite: Minnesota Vikings by 1.5
Prediction: Chicago Bears 23 – Minnesota Vikings 21