Each week we will make predictions on who we think will potentially outperform and underperform their weekly fantasy projections. (These projections are provided by Sit or Start Fantasy Football using standard PPR scoring.) We make these predictions to help you figure out which players can help you win your matchup and/or to nudge you in the right direction for that lineup decision you’ve been sitting on all week. Let’s see who’s going to be this week’s heroes and zeroes.
First, full disclosure from our Week 13 selections:
Tom Brady, Quarterback, Patriots
Week 13 Projection: 17 points
Actual -- 24 points
Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Jets
Week 13 Projection: 16 points
Actual -- 11 points
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Texans
Week 13 Projection: 18 points
Actual -- 15 points
Darren Waller, Tight End, Raiders
Week 13 Projection: 13 points
Actual -- 17 points
After going perfect two weeks ago, we went 2 for 4 last week. Of our two correct predictions, Tom Brady picked up a lot of his points in a failed fourth quarter comeback attempt. He ended with 326 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. DeAndre Hopkins was initially matched up on Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, but the Patriots defense ended up playing a zone defense which allowed Hopkins some space to maneuver. He underperformed his projection, but still caught five passes for 64 yards to include throwing a touchdown pass. The fantasy playoffs are in full swing, so let’s not waste any time. This week we will focus on:
Kyle Allen, Quarterback, Panthers
Week 14 Projection: 15 points
Kyle Allen and the Panthers have had better days. They have lost four games in a row and their head coach, Ron Rivera, was just fired. In those games, Allen has six touchdown passes, six interceptions and has been sacked a staggering 19 times. The Panthers travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons and Allen is hoping to not repeat his performance against them three weeks ago where he threw for 325 yards, was intercepted four times and sacked five times in a 29-3 loss. Here’s the silver lining from that game, three of those four interceptions were when the Panthers were inside the Falcons 22-yard line. So those could have easily been touchdowns instead of interceptions and then the narrative would have been completely different. The Falcons currently give up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and give up the sixth-most passing yards per game. It’s not impossible for the Panthers to make the playoffs, but it is highly unlikely at this point as they are three games out of the last NFC Wild Card spot. Look for Allen to outperform his projection and for the Panthers to end their losing streak with a division win under their new interim coach Perry Fewell.
Derrius Guice, Running Back, Redskins
Week 14 Projection: 10 points
Derrius Guice had a great game last week at Carolina where he rushed ten times for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Obviously a 12.9 yards per rush average is not sustainable, but it definitely shows that Guice has the talent at this level. The Redskins travel to Green Bay this week in what looks to be a one-sided affair as the Packers opened as an almost two-touchdown favorite. The Packers are not bullet-proof though as their defense gives up the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs and in home games have given up the fourth-most rushing yards in the league. During the past four games they have also given up at least 95 rushing yards. As Guice gets more integrated and in tune with the offense, look for him to establish himself as the lead back. Adrian Peterson will more than likely get the goal line looks and Chris Thompson will spell Guice on passing downs. On paper this matchup doesn’t bode well for the Redskins, but Guice has a chip on his shoulder after falling into the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Now that he is fully healthy, he is going to show both the Redskins and his fantasy general managers that the wait was worth it. The Redskins will lose at Lambeau Field, but Guice will outperform his projection.
Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver, Saints
Week 14 Projection: 21 points
Michael Thomas is arguably this year’s WR1. If you own him in any fantasy format he is starting each week. There have only been two games this year where Thomas did not have at least eight catches and 89 receiving yards. One of those came last week against the Falcons where he had six catches, 48 yards and zero touchdowns. The stats are not in his favor this week as the Saints host the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have only allowed two receivers to eclipse 88 yards all year. TWO. They give up the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, the fewest passing yards per game, have the second-best opponent completion percentage (60.6%) and have allowed the least amount of 20+ yard passing plays. This will be Thomas’s toughest opponent to date. Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Thomas are both elite, but the 49ers will not make it easy. If you are in the fantasy playoffs then I’m sure you may have rode Thomas there, but this is a really bad matchup for him. Lower your expectations for Thomas in what should be a great game.
Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Ravens
Week 14 Projection: 11 points
Marquise Brown could not have started his rookie season off any better. He hauled in 4 catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in his very first game. He subsequently averaged 8.5 targets the next four games, but got injured and has not been the same. Since he returned from injury he has received more than four targets just once, eclipsed more than 80 receiving yards once in his last eight games and has only seven red zone targets since Week 6. The Ravens have been doing all their damage on the ground, so Brown has not had to produce. This week the Ravens travel to Buffalo to take on the surprising 9-3 Bills. Brown will be matched up on Tre’Davious White who has had a Pro Bowl-type season. He has allowed 39 catches on 72 targets, 482 yards and zero touchdowns. The Bills also allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers, the third-fewest passing yards per game and have allowed only three passes of over 40 yards. That does not bode well for Brown and his big play ability. The Bills Mafia will be out in force and this game will not be a walk-in-the-(Orchard) park for the Ravens. Look for White to shut down Brown enroute to an underachieving performance for the Ravens leading wide receiver.