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Justin Jackson a Playoff Savior and More Week 15 Bold Predictions

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.

A recap of our bold predictions for Week 1 of the fantasy playoffs:

  • Lamar Jackson did not set the rookie QB record for Week 1 fantasy playoff scoring, falling 16.8 points short.
  • We predicted Nick Chubb would be the overall RB1 through the fantasy playoffs. After one week, he’s the RB10.
  • Ryan Tannehill  did not outscore Tom Brady in the Miami Miracle, but it was close — 26.6 to 23.9.

Our picks are 8-30 on the year (21 percent).

Justin Jackson is a Top 3 RB

After averaging eight yards per carry over the previous two weeks, I was surprised to see Justin Jackson take a backseat to Austin Ekeler in the Chargers’ win over the Bengals last week.

But the road to fantasy playoff glory is clear. Ekeler has been ruled out, and all indications are that Melvin Gordon will miss another game. And what a game to miss. The Chiefs give up 16.9 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, second most in the league.

When these two teams met in Week 1, Chargers RBs put up a combined 49.3 fantasy points.

The matchup is right, and as a whole, the Chargers have scored the third-most RB fantasy points in the league.

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Jackson’s plus efficiency on the season suggests he’s capable of taking advantage of the prime opportunity and matchup before him.

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Christian McCaffrey Breaks Week 15 RB Receptions Record

McCaffrey is on pace for 105 catches, which would break Matt Forte’s single-season record of 102 for RBs. By the end of Week 15, I predict he’ll own the record for most RB receptions in the second week of the fantasy playoffs.

He’s going to need a dozen to do it, as Bilal Powell and LaDainian Tomlinson both hold the record with 11.

Player Date Tm Opp Tgt Rec Yds
Bilal Powell 2016-12-17 NYJ MIA 12 11 78
LaDainian Tomlinson 2003-12-14 SDG GNB 16 11 144
Terrell Fletcher 1999-12-19 SDG MIA 13 9 66
Charlie Garner 2001-12-22 OAK TEN 10 9 75
Charlie Garner 1999-12-18 SFO CAR 10 9 62
Steven Jackson 2011-12-18 STL CIN 10 9 72
Jerick McKinnon 2016-12-18 MIN IND 9 9 59

Reaching the record is realistic — McCaffrey had 14 catches on 15 targets against the Falcons in Week 2, and 11 on 11 targets in Week 11 against Seattle.

He faces the Saints at home on Monday Night, a team that is elite versus the run but just middling against the RB passing game. New Orleans allows 26 percent fewer rushing yards than the next closest team, but they give up 5.4 receptions per game to the position, 18th most.

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