It’s time for another season of bad bets based in good process, better known as Bold Predictions.
In this series, we’ll look at weekly matchups, using history as a contextual backdrop – as well as in-season trends – in order to unearth unexpected events that have a chance at coming true.
Week 5 brought us our first taste of success:
- It comes at the expense of RotoViz alum Josh Hermsmeyer, who is no doubt badly tilted after we proved definitively once and forever that defensive matchups do matter. Jaguars defense + elite wunderkind QB Patrick Mahomes = QB17.
- Pittsburgh upheld its end of the bargain with three players finishing top 12 at their position, but Atlanta let us down with none.
- David Johnson did score two TDs, but it wasn’t enough to return to top-five status (RB10). He had 18 carries, but Next Gen Stats show that he wasn’t exactly being used creatively.
Now on the board with an 1-14 record, let’s strive for our first winning streak of the year on the coattails of rookie running back royalty.
Barkley Breaks Rookie Record for Rookie PPR Scoring Through Six Games
Say what you will about the Giants spending a first-round pick on a running back, but unlike a certain Pacific Northwest-based team that did the same thing, at least they’re putting their pick to work.
Among all RBs, Saquon Barkley currently sits third in targets, third in receptions, second in receiving yards, and fourth in PPR scoring.
After this weekend, I predict he’ll have more points through six games than any rookie RB since 2000.
He needs 26.4 points to pass Kareem Hunt’s mark of 145.5 through six games set last season. As an aside, he’ll also bypass LaDanian Tomlinson’s record for total Expected Points with 23.9 this week.
One reason that Barkley has been able to put himself in a spot to break the mark is that his usage is such that his production is independent of game script.
It’s going to be a difficult task, among the toughest predictions we’ve tried to hit yet. Barkley has averaged 23.8 points per game so far, which bodes well. However, the Eagles have allowed just 9.3 fantasy points per outing to opposing RBs, second best among all teams.
Hitting 26 points isn’t quite in the high-end range of outcomes according to the GLSP App, but it’t close enough to give him an outside chance.
Battle of the Browns: John Outscores Antonio
Antonio Brown was the fourth-overall pick in fantasy drafts, while the less-famous Brown was all but an afterthought.
This weekend, John Brown will continue to prove he was one of the best fantasy picks of the year by outscoring the Antonio.
The Steelers wideout has an edge of 21.3 fantasy points on the Ravens No. 1 so far, but I’m banking that the latter’s edge in Air Yards will start to play out in the points department.
|Name||Tar||Rec||Rec Yards||Air Yards||YAC||TD||aDOT||RACR||MS Air||Target Share||WOPR||PPR Pts|
John Brown leads all WRs in Air Yards this season. He had a whopping 209 (most in the league) on 14 targets last week against the Browns, including two in the red zone, but it only resulted in four catches for 58 yards.
According to PFF, neither of the Brown’s quarterbacks have been doing them any favors.
% of Catchable Targets for WRs
1. Michael Thomas (98%)
2. Cooper Kypp (87%)
3. Nelson Agholor (82%)
27. Antonio Brown (55%)
Last / 28. John Brown (51%)
— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) October 8, 2018
Brown takes on a Titans defense which has been mostly solid against opposing WRs, but it has been burned by fellow deep threats Kenny Stills (4-106-2TDs) and Will Fuller (8-113-1TD).
Still, the GLSP once against suggests I’m drunk, giving Antonio a significant edge across the board.
Patriots and Chiefs Produce 6 Top-12 Finishes
We attempted this same prediction last week with the Steelers and Falcons, and we’re going to try again with what should be an be an even high-scoring affair.
The Sunday Night Football affair between New England and K.C. will produce six top-12 scorers at their respective positions.
The Vegas total for this game currently sits at 59.5, which is about as high as you’ll ever see for an NFL game.
The Chiefs? I’m not worried about them holding up their end of the bargain. As a team, K.C. is third in total fantasy scoring1.
New England, however, has been uncharacteristically average, putting up just the 14-most fantasy points so far.
But there is hope for them in the form of the Chiefs defense, which has allowed:
- The second-most fantasy points to opposing RBs.
- The second-most points to TEs.
- The fourth-most points to QBs.
- The 15th-most points to WRs.
Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski could all have the game script and the match ups to eat. James White, in particular, has a chance at a huge game against a team which gives up more receiving yards to opposing RBs than any one else.
White has 24 targets over the past two weeks and derives 59 percent of his fantasy scoring from just the passing game.
- behind the Saints and Rams (back)