There are plenty of teams in the upper echelon of the NFL this year that are bonafide Super Bowl contenders. For the AFC, you’ve got the Patriots and Chiefs, but you could make a case for the Ravens, Colts, Texans and even the Bills as potential spoilers.
In the NFC, you’ve got an undefeated 49ers team, the Packers, Saints, Vikings and Seahawks all at 6-2 or better. The defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams sit at 5-3.
While that’s a fierce battle, there’s another battle going on for number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Boy, that’s heating up.
Throughout the season, the once proud Miami Dolphins — owners of the only undefeated season in NFL history in 1972 — have been the laughing stock of the league, with players requesting trades and putting out a roster that lacks star power.
We had a “Toilet Bowl” matchup three weeks ago as the winless Dolphins took on the then-winless Washington Redskins and it was a game that came down to the wire, with Miami scoring a late TD and then deciding to go for the win on the two-point conversion with seconds left. So Miami dialed up a wide receiver screen that was doomed from the start that gave Washington a 17-16 victory.
But eight games in, we’ve another team going toe-to-toe with Miami for complete futility: the Cincinnati Bengals.
In Cincy’s “hold my beer” moment of the season, the 0-8 Bengals have decided to bench longtime QB Andy Dalton — who never really was an elite QB in his tenure in Cincy but was also never the worst QB in the league, either — in favor of rookie fourth round pick Ryan Finley out of NC State. Cincy’s O-line has been atrocious all year, so good luck, Ryan, in your quest to lead the Bengals offense. Yikes.
I think this could come down to a week 16 matchup as Cincinnati and Miami square off for potentially the number one overall selection on Dec. 22.
Early congrats are in order for the team that tanks the most for the right to pick Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa first overall.
Definitely had a weird week in my picks last week as I didn’t get a single stud prediction correct.
However, I nailed every single dud pick, so that 5-5 record puts me at 33-37 on the year. This week’s predictions are as follows ...
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders. If you have your normal QB on a bye this week, chances are Carr is available in most leagues. He’ll be going up against a Detroit team that’s given up the seventh most fantasy QB points.
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers. The rookie wideout out of Toledo has seemingly stepped into the #2 receiver spot in Pittsburgh — a spot that JuJu Smith-Schuster thrived in for two seasons. Now he did have the egotistical yet ultra-talented Antonio Brown as his teammate, but nonetheless, that second WR spot in Pittsburgh can be productive to fantasy players. This week’s matchup against the Colts should see a good bit of points on the board and Johnson having a double-digit points day isn’t out of the question.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins. While the Dolphins as a whole are horrendous, Parker has been putting up decent numbers, scoring no less than eight fantasy points over his previous four games. A matchup against the struggling Jets may give Parker a chance to improve that average.
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers. There are plenty of fantasy points to go around in the Packers backfield these days, as fellow RB Aaron Jones has scorched the earth on occasion this season. But in the last three weeks since returning from a concussion, Williams has scored 21, 10 and 16.5 points, respectively. Expect that trend to continue against a bad Chargers team that — if the Packers lead by a few scores — could see Williams be heavily involved in the second half.
Darren Fells, TE, Houston Texans. This week’s London game figures to be a high-scoring affair between the Texans and division rival Jacksonville. Fells has quietly moved up to the TE9 spot on the season — which isn’t saying much considering Hunter Henry is TE10 after missing four of eight games. Take a chance on Fells if you need a TE for the week.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals. Murray has been a great fantasy asset all season but has only scored 15 combined points over the past two weeks. That won’t change tonight as they take on a tough Niners defense.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers. Allen has scored single-digit fantasy points for the past five weeks. I’ve got him in a dynasty league and it’s become frustrating. However, I don’t think things get better against the Packers this week.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns. Beckham continue to be this year’s biggest WR disappointment due to Baker Mayfield’s struggles. The Browns take on a Denver team that doesn’t let up a whole lot of passing years. Expect to see OBJ in single digits again.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks. I mentioned this previously, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made superior RBs look completely average this season. Tampa gets Carson and company this week. Look for that game to see Russell Wilson sling it more than normal in another potential shootout — leaving Carson with fewer opportunities to continue his great season thus far.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers. In the last four games, Olsen has racked up 10 fantasy points. Combined. That’s it. If that’s not enough of a reason to bench him, I don’t know what is.