Each week we will make predictions on who we think will potentially outperform and under perform 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 12 selections:
Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Browns
Week 12 Projection: 17 points
Actual -- 24 points
Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Falcons
Week 12 Projection: 15 points
Actual -- 22 points
Chris Carson, Running Back, Seahawks
Week 12 Projection: 15 points
Actual -- 9 points
Noah Fant, Tight End, Broncos
Week 12 Projection: 9 points
Actual -- 4 points
We were perfect with our predictions last week! Baker Mayfield had a huge game throwing for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Calvin Ridley also had a solid game with six catches, 85 yards and a touchdown. Chris Carson under-performed his projection as he was shut down by the Eagles defense. He compiled only 57 scrimmage yards, which was his second-fewest on the season. Finally, the Bills defense once again did what they have done all season and that was to shut down the opposing team's tight end. They allowed Noah Fant to gain only 14 receiving yards and held him out of the end zone. Let’s keep it going this week as some fantasy leagues start their playoffs. This week we will focus on:
Tom Brady, Quarterback, Patriots
Week 13 Projection: 17 points
Tom Brady is not having his typical MVP-caliber year. In fact, last week versus the Cowboys, Brady had a 46% completion rate which was third-worst in his 19 years in the league. On Sunday night, Brady and the Patriots take on the Texans in Houston. The Texans defense have given up the sixth-most completions to quarterbacks this year and the ninth most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Historically, when the media coverage is trying to “retire” Brady for a poor performance is when he usually comes back with a vengeance. With Texans defensive end J.J. Watt out for the season with an injury and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney no longer with the team (traded to Seattle), Brady should have plenty of time to stand back and make some accurate throws. The Patriots are also getting healthy at wide receiver. Philip Dorsett should be back this week and Mohammed Sanu is trending in the right direction to play. Throw in rookie N’Keal Harry who caught his first NFL touchdown last week and Brady’s security blanket, veteran receiver Julian Edelman and Brady should have plenty of people to target. Look for Brady to outperform his projection in a Patriots road win.
Le’Veon Bell, Running Back, Jets
Week 13 Projection: 16 points
The New York Jets offense is on fire as of late. They have scored at least 30 points in their last three games, which is second in the NFL over that span (Ravens). Bell has not lived up to the high expectations after signing this past off-season with the Jets and is currently ranked nineteenth in the league with 557 rushing yards, but this week the Jets face an 0-11 Bengals team in Cincinnati. This is a game where Bell should be able to dominate as the Bengals give up the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs, have allowed the most rushing yards (1,829) and the most rushing yards per game (166.3). Bell is coming off a game last week where he had 108 scrimmage yards and he has at least 92 scrimmage yards in three of his last four games. Look for him to be back in the end zone after not scoring last week and to run (and catch) all over the Bengals defense in a Jets win.
DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Texans
Week 13 Projection: 18 points
DeAndre Hopkins is once again a top-ranked wide receiver. He has 81 catches, which is good for second-best in the NFL (Thomas, 121) and is currently Dynasty League Football's WR2. This week though he has his toughest game to date. The Texans welcome the AFC-leading Patriots to NRG Stadium on Sunday night. We chronicled a bit above how Brady has struggled, but the Patriots defense is a different story. The Patriots defense lead the league in total points against, have allowed only four receiving touchdowns and allow a league-best 12.3 fantasy points to wide receivers. They either own or are second to the 49ers defense in almost all defensive statistical categories. Hopkins will be matched up against Stephon Gilmore, who is in discussion for the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award. Of the opposing team’s number one wide receivers Gilmore has been matched up against each week, here are their game stats:
JuJu Smith-Schuster 4-43-0
DeVante Parker 0-0-0
Robby Anderson 2-11-0
John Brown 4-68-0
Terry McLaurin 3-51-0
Golden Tate 0-0-0
Robby Anderson (second meeting) 0-0-0
Odell Beckham Jr. 4-49-0
Marquise Brown 2-22-0
Nelson Agholor 1-5-0
Amari Cooper 0-0-0
Hopkins will definitely have his work cut out this week. Look for him to under perform in a potential preview of an AFC playoff game.
Darren Waller, Tight End, Raiders
Week 13 Projection: 13 points
Darren Waller leads the Raiders in receptions and receiving yards. He has had a breakout season so far and is definitely turning his career around after drug charges nearly ended his career. With that being said, the last five games have been a bit of a struggle for him. After catching 44 passes in his first six games, he only has 15 catches in the last five games. Over those last five games, he also only has one game of having more than three receptions (five, Week 11) and has just three touchdowns on the year (Week 7 & 8). The Raiders will be without the their second-leading receiver Hunter Renfrow (injury), so Waller and wide receiver Tyrell Williams will be quarterback Derek Carr’s main targets. Obviously with Waller being Carr’s first look this season, look for the Chiefs defense to focus on him and let someone else attempt to beat them. The Chiefs lead the AFC West division, but their defense has not been great this year. Most fantasy general managers will start Waller this week because of the Chiefs defensive struggles, but don’t expect much as he has become a touchdown dependent option over the past month. Look for him to under perform his projection in a Raiders loss.