After a week hiatus, fantasy football bold predictions are back! And in arguably the most crucial week in fantasy so far, it’s go big or go home. Let’s get to it.
In a surprising 316 yard, three touchdown performance in Week 12 without Alshon Jeffery or Zach Miller, Barkley impressed. He has a great match-up this weekend against a very leaky 49ers defense that has given up nearly 950 yards and eight touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks over the past three games. Having a rapport with Marquess Wilson will certainly help Barkley as he is set up to have another surprisingly solid performance for the second week in a row.
Despite having one of the best wide receivers in the league in Mike Evans, Winston doesn’t appear to have a good game coming this weekend. He started off hot last weekend but faltered after two quick touchdown throws. He faces the Chargers this weekend, who haven’t allowed a quarterback to throw for more than 246 yards over the past two games while also snagging three interceptions as opposed to allowing only two touchdowns during that span. Winston will likely be serviceable because of his high-floor, but don’t count on him being particularly valuable in fantasy this weekend.
Freeman has continued to be a valuable fantasy running back this season, including running in two touchdowns last weekend. Unfortunately, he faces the Chiefs this weekend, who haven’t given up a touchdown to an opposing running back over the past three games, including no rushing touchdowns since week four. Coupled with the fact that Tevin Coleman is healthy and back in the rotation, it doesn’t help his case either. He will see a normal workload most likely, but the Chiefs have been terrific against the run and could pose a big problem for Freeman this weekend.
Like the Emperor, Lewis is quickly finding his new groove. Over his first two games back in a limited role, Lewis has 110 yards from scrimmage on 18 total touches. He saw 10 touches in Week 12 after seeing eight in Week 11. His workload seems to be slowly climbing back and he could see closer to 15 touches this weekend, which comes at a great time against the Rams. Los Angeles has given up 550 yards and four touchdowns from scrimmage to opposing running backs over the past three games. In what could be a blow-out game in favor of the Patriots, Lewis could see a lot of garbage time work as well in a great match-up. Plus, considering Gronkowski is out for the rest of the season after having back surgery, Lewis will likely see a few more targets his way as well.
Hill has assumed near-workhorse-like status for the Bengals. He had 18 touches, including six receptions in a tough Week 12 matchup against the Ravens. He was stifled for only 21 yards on 12 rushing attempts but had 61 yards receiving as well. The Eagles, however, have allowed only four running backs to have more than 80 yards from scrimmage all season. Along with that, the Eagles have only allowed seven total touchdowns to running backs in 12 games this season as well. Hill will likely struggle on the ground again and considering he has only surpassed 30 receiving yards in a game three times in a career, he likely won’t see 60+ receiving yards again this weekend.
Hopkins has been a big disappointment this season compared to last year. A lot of the blame can be pinned on the extremely poor play of his quarterback, Brock Osweiler. Despite that, he has a terrific match-up this weekend against the Packers, who have given up six receiving touchdowns and nearly 570 yards to opposing wide receivers over the past three games. Hopkins still has 105 targets in 12 games (8.75 per game), tied for seventh among wide receivers. He is bound for a big game and it very well could come this weekend against a weak Packers secondary.
Widely remarked as a “bounce-back” game for Cooks after seeing zero targets in Week 12, he doesn’t exactly have a great match-up to begin with. The Lions have given up only 159 yards and two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past two games. Additionally, it’s possible that rookie Michael Thomas has surpassed Cooks as the number one wide receiver in New Orleans. Cooks is a solid gadget / speed player who can make big plays but can be a boom / bust fantasy player most of the time. In a tough match-up and reportedly “frustrated with his role”, Cooks isn’t easy to trust this weekend.
Crowder has been on a tear over a good portion of this season, securing either 85 yards and / or a touchdown in six straight games. That includes two touchdowns over the past three games as well. And with Jordan Reed unlikely to suit up this weekend, it could mean even more looks for Crowder in a surprisingly solid match-up. The Cardinals have given up 537 yards and four touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past three games, which is good for eighth most in standard leagues during that span. Crowder has a lot of momentum coming into this good match-up, leading him likely towards a good game overall.
Despite being in a great scenario, Vernon Davis may not be able to capitalize.
As for Davis, who is expected to start for Jordan Reed if he sits this weekend, he may not have the same fate as his teammate Crowder. The Cardinals have been in lock-down mode all season when it comes to defending tight ends, including only allowed 10 receptions for 86 yards over the past three games. Davis very well could see a healthy amount of targets, but don’t expect him to capitalize on as much as he would in most other match-ups.
Expect a big bounce-back for C.J. Fiedorowicz against the Packers.
Over the past three games, the Packers have been burned by opposing tight ends. That includes giving up 258 yards and two touchdowns to them over the past three games, good for second most in standard leagues during that timeframe. Fiedorowicz is averaging over 50 yards receiving over the past seven games and has at least four receptions in six of those. He has been the model of consistency at a position that doesn’t have many of those, making him very valuable. He has a great match-up this weekend that he likely won’t squander.