Week 14 of the NFLseason is upon us, which can only mean one thing… fantasy playoff time! Will one of your players score more than 40 fantasy points this week? Or will your so-called stud that has carried your team to the playoffs have his worst game of the season causing you to bow out in defeat?
You never know what’s going to happen on any given Sunday. So let’s take a look into the crystal ball and see what crazy things could be in store this week.
Andy Dalton Outduels Ben Roethlisberger
One might think that the way both the Bengals and Steelers are playing right now, this game might end up something like 43-41. But of course this is a divisional game and it really matters in the playoff race so the game is more likely to be 24-21 than a high-scoring affair. Regardless of the score, this is the game where Andy Dalton sends notice to all the NFL that he is legit. Dalton has never had such good weapons on offense. It now seems that running back Jeremy Hill is starting to play like the Hill of late last season and Dalton should get his favorite touchdown machine back in Tyler Eifert. Add in that the Steelers don’t really have much of a defense, currently allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and Dalton should finish the day with well over 300 yards passing and three touchdowns, while Big Ben struggles.
The Houston Texans Force Tom Brady to Throw More Picks Than Touchdowns
Tom Brady started the season on fire and was the easy choice for league MVP just a few short weeks ago. That was until his offensive weapons started falling apart around him. Just look at who Brady has available to throw the ball too. Danny Amendola, Keshawn Martin, James White, Scott Chandler. None of those guys put fear in opposing defenses. Look at how Brady struggled last week at home against a porous Eagles defense just to complete easy passes. This week the Patriots travel to play a tough Texans defense that will be looking to make a statement and lay claim to the AFC South. The Texans will pressure Brady all game, forcing him to make ill-advised throws and finishing with with three picks to only two touchdown passes.
Jameis Winston Goes HAM on the New Orleans Saints
The best quarterback in the NFL this year is whoever is playing New Orleans. The Saints are currently allowing an all-time high passer rating against, and they also have surrendered 21 passing touchdowns in the last five games, with no fewer than two allowed in any contest. Winston just got the last of his major three weapons — tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins — back, and he also is second in the NFL in quarterback rushing touchdowns with five. Tampa is still in the playoff hunt and the Buccaneers have plenty to play for, so Winston should have plenty of stats to collect in this one.
Devonta Freeman Single-handedly (Almost) Beats the Carolina Panthers
This is not the space to get into how or why Matt Ryan sucks this year. The only thing that needs to be said is that Ryan has killed many a fantasy team because of his play and his inability to take full advantage of Julio Jones. The Falcons are playing like the worst team in football right now, having lost six games in a row, but believe it or not they are still in wild card contention. They absolutely need a win this week and it isn’t going to come easy playing in Carolina against the undefeated Panthers. Instead of leaning on Ryan in this one, the Falcons instead are going to let Freeman do the heavy lifting, as he will eclipse 200 all-purpose yards and score two touchdowns in Charlotte. In fact, Freeman's performance will be so impressive that the Falcons will come this close to handing the Panthers their first loss, if not for last-minute field goal from Graham Gano. Remember, you read it here first.
Johnny Manziel Shows He Can Play and Score More Than 20 Fantasy Points
The up and (mostly) downs of Manziel’s young NFL career have been well documented and unfortunately for him, he’s more known for his poor decisions off the field than he is for anything he’s done on it. Now finally the Cleveland Browns, even out of reluctance, are going to give the ball to Manziel and let him play, short leash or not. By the end of Sunday's game, Browns fans who have been clamoring for Manziel to play since day one, will be screaming “I TOLD YOU SO” at the top of their lungs. This week the Browns play host to the 49ers and while San Francisco has been playing surprisingly well, this team won't be able to put together two good games in a row on the road. Manziel will use his arm and legs to move the ball all over the field and finish the game with around 250 passing yards and two TDs, while adding another 60-plus yards and a touchdown on the ground.
LeSean McCoy Crushes the Eagles and Rubs it in Chip Kelly’s Face
By now everyone has heard the sour grapes that McCoy has regarding Kelly and his departure from the Eagles last offseason. Whether or not you agree with McCoy, or what you think about Kelly, this is a revenge game for McCoy and players always get up for those opportunities. It also just so happens that the Eagles' defense just isn’t any good, currently giving up the 13th-most fantasy points to running backs. McCoy also plays for Rex Ryan, who loves to run the ball down teams' throats and will give McCoy every opportunity to get back at Kelly. McCoy is set for a huge game to the tune of at least 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.