Hi, hello & welcome to America’s favorite column about America’s favorite sport! It’s another huge fantasy football week, as teams are either in the first week of the playoffs or the final week of the regular season. You’ve gotta win this week to have a chance, and we’re here to help you do just that.
Believe it or not, last week’s picks actually went well too. There’s still a very slim chance of getting above .500 for the season. It’s slim, but it’s still mathematically possible, by cracky. Everything is possible.
Derek Carr: The Chiefs have been abysmal against the quarterback all season long, even before they went into the tailspin they’re currently on. Carr has had some rough games against the Chiefs in the past, but he & the Raiders offense are making some progress & his sorry ass receiver Crabtree will be back this week. If the Raiders are going to be the contender they thought they would be, this will be the week Carr & company shows it.
Davante Adams: Brett Hundley seems to be finding his way, and Adams has been a key part of that as he’s settled into the role of top option among Packers wide receivers. He’s going against the Browns this week, so that should go pretty well.
Melvin Gordon: Gordon’s been losing some touches to Austin Ekeler, but he’s still getting work done for the Chargers. Washington has problems containing running backs & are good against the pass, so the Chargers should be featuring Gordon early & often this week. Ekeler may be late & often, but Gordon should find the end zone before then.
Rex Burkhead: We all knew heading into the season that the Patriots would get more out of Rex than the Bengals ever bothered trying to. Bill Belichick loves his white boy running backs, and Tom Brady loves his white boy pass catchers. Burkhead’s worked his way into the mix the last couple of weeks, and I expect a big Monday night for him in Miami.
LeSean McCoy: The Bills are going to need a big week from Shady with Tyrod Taylor potentially out of the lineup & an inferior option stepping in. Fortunately, they play the Colts. Expect McCoy to have one of his biggest weeks of the season.
Russell Wilson: The Hall of Famer has been exactly that this season. He led the 2-5 13th place Omaha Beef on a six-game winning streak that I’ll be talking about on the podcast for years to come. At least 30 points a week has become the norm his fantasy owners are expecting. We can’t count on that this week. Wilson & the Seahawks travel to Jacksonville to take on a Jaguars team that’s been the best in the league against quarterbacks. It’s the worst possible timing for folks that are either in quarterfinals or in the last week of the regular season looking to clinch playoff berths. If anybody can overcome the odds, Wilson can, but I expect to see a lower number than usual in his point column.
Keenan Allen: Allen’s been going off the last couple of weeks against inferior competition and has powered some teams into contention. This week he gets a big helping of Josh Norman. I’d expect a week more like the weeks Allen had earlier in the season in the single digits.
Vernon Davis: VD goes through these stretches where he’s completely useless. I remember a couple of seasons while he was with the 49ers where he was a highly touted fantasy option and ended up doing little of value. I remember them because he was a weak link on some championship teams of mine. He might end up being yours this season, but I’d recommend trying to find other options.
Alex Collins: Collins hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire anyway, and he’s got a date with a Steelers defense that’ll be more than ready to take on the Ravens. I would avoid most people in that game if at all possible.
Eli Manning (34%): He’s baaaaaaaaack. And he’s playing the Cowboys, who aren’t exactly stout against quarterbacks. If the NFL was scripted, Manning would be an easy pick for a huge Week 14. It might not be huge in real life, but I think he makes enough plays to get the job done.
Mike Davis (10%): To say that the Seahawks have had a tough time finding a running game this season would be a severe understatement. Davis did well last week against the Eagles though, so if you’re in a pinch you can throw a dart on the chance he actually sticks.
Jacob Hollister (0%): Hollister is a white Patriots tight end. Rob Gronkowski is suspended. So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Picks Against The Spread
New Orleans (-1.5) at Atlanta: It’ll be a big Thursday night in the NFC South. The Falcons need this game to stay in the hunt for the division title & I think they’ll be up for it. Should be a high-scoring game, so make sure you have all your Falcons & Saints in your lineup.
Detroit at Tampa Bay:
Chicago at Cincinnati (-6): I don’t much care about this game either, other than the fact I’ll be attending my first Bengals game since the move to Paul Brown Stadium. I trust them more with big spreads when the game is meaningless.
Indianapolis at Buffalo: Tyrod Taylor’s status makes this pick problematic, but at least the Colts defense is terrible. Should J. Peterman have to play, it’ll be an easier matchup than the Chargers were.
Oakland at Kansas City (-4): I don’t feel terribly comfortable picking the Chiefs against anybody right now. The Raiders seem to be heading in the right direction, though that might mostly be due to their opponents.
Minnesota (-2.5) at Carolina: Defense travels well.
Green Bay (-3.5) at Cleveland: Hey, Brett Hundley seems to be making some progress. And it’s the Browns.
San Francisco at Houston (-3): Nah, don’t really care about this one either.
Dallas (-4.5) at NY Giants: It makes all the sense in the world for Eli Manning to lead the Giants to victory here, doesn’t it? Or at least a close game anyway.
Washington at LA Chargers (-6): Gonna be one of those games where Philip Rivers is driving down the field at the end of the game with everything on the line.
NY Jets (-1) at Denver: This feels like a dumb pick. But the Jets have at least been a competent football team lately, while the Broncos have been a dumpster fire.
Tennessee (-3) at Arizona: The Titans keep winning even though I keep picking against them. Consider this my assistance to Predators/Titans fans.
Seattle at Jacksonville (-3): Yes, I said Russell Wilson will have a down week. But I still think the Seahawks have a real good shot of pulling it out in Jacksonville.
Philadelphia at LA Rams (-2): A West Coast trip has derailed many a good team. The Eagles found that out last week in Seattle, and I think it continues this week against a Rams team that’s hitting on something.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-5.5): This will be your classic close & violent AFC North game. The experts will be up in arms afterwards.
New England (-11) at Miami: I’m up against Tom Brady & Dion Lewis in the Official League Championship Quarterfinals, so I hope I’m wrong with my feeling that the Patriots offense is gonna go off this week in Miami.
Week 13 Record: 11-4-1
2017 Season Record: 84-100-8