Fantasy Football: 5 Bold Predictions for Week 13
You ever eat a banana dipped in ketchup? If you answered "yes" to that question, you might want to get yourself checked out -- however, I will say this, it certainly is a bold meal choice.
Not to be confused with baldness, boldness would be sporting a mohawk at the ripe young age of 75. In an unrealistic football analogy, boldness would be trading the best receiver in football for a washed-up running back with a huge contract. Ehhh, no one would be that stup...oh, nevermind.
For this article, we'll focus the boldness on fantasy football. Think of this piece like Taco Tuesday -- it's better when it's spicy, but the spiciness is not what it's all about; it's there to add flavor. The point here is not to hit on 100% of the predictions. After all, I'm not a vomiting hippo. The goal here is to uncover insights that can help us win some dough in fantasy. The idea is to uncover some players that might either have an amazing week or post a complete dud.
Now, let's eat a serving of ketchup banana (yuck).
(All predictions are for half-PPR and FanDuel scoring for quarterbacks.)
1. Kirk Cousins Finishes as a Top-5 Quarterback for the Third Consecutive Week
Remember in Week 2, when Kirk Cousins ($7,300 on FanDuel) posted a depressing 1.5 FanDuel points? Well, we've come a long way since then. Over the last four weeks, 2020's most expensive quarterback (literally) has averaged 21.7 points, with his lowest output being 18.6 in Week 10 against the Chicago Bears. In fact, Cousins has thrown for three touchdown passes in four of his last six outings. That brings us to Week 13's juicy matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. On the season, Jacksonville ranks sixth-worst in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, and they've surrendered the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Six passers have surpassed 24 FanDuel points against the Jags this season.
Cousins, who has topped out as the QB5 and QB3 over the last two weeks, is in prime position to smash again in Week 13.
2. Deshaun Watson Doesn't Finish as a QB1
Projecting someone to not finish as a QB1 might not seem bold, but in the case of Deshaun Watson ($8,200), it very much is. After not placing higher than the weekly QB12 in any of the first four games, Watson has been inside the top-10 in six of his last seven contests -- that includes three outings as the QB1. However, Week 13's circumstances could put that streak in jeopardy.
First off, the Houston Texans will be facing the Indianapolis Colts. Through 12 weeks, Indy ranks eighth-best in adjusted pass defense, and they've ceded the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Watson, who has scored 24 or more fantasy points in six of his last seven games, will be going up against a defense that has yet to allow a quarterback to reach 24 fantasy points.
In this tough matchup, Watson will be without Will Fuller, who has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Watson has failed to reach 20 fantasy points in 6 of his last 12 games without Fuller -- keep in mind, he had DeAndre Hopkins for a majority of those contests. This could be a rare week when the two-time Pro Bowler fails to produce at a high level in fantasy.
3. David Montgomery Totals 110+ Yards and a Touchdown
This marriage of matchup and volume seems almost too good to be true. Of course, I'm talking about David Montgomery ($6,200) going up against the Detroit Lions. In 2020, no team has yielded more fantasy points to opposing backfields than Detroit has. The Lions enter Week 13 as the sixth-worst adjusted run defense, and they've allowed the sixth-most touches to running backs on the season. Through 11 games, 12 backs have already exceeded 13 FanDuel points against this defense, with 8 of them posting 17.8 or more.
At the same time, Montgomery has seen a snap share of 80% or higher in each of his last six healthy games, and he's averaging 18.9 opportunities (carries plus targets) per contest this season. Four backs have recorded at least 110 yards and a tuddy against the Lions, and I predict Montgomery to be the fifth.
4. DeAndre Hopkins Fails to Reach Double-Digit Fantasy Points
Jalen Ramsey and DeAndre Hopkins will square off for the 8th time on Sunday.
I went back and watched their first 7 matchups, and picked a winner from each one.
A tale of the tape (with all-22 GIFs!) https://t.co/kEU84cLVGS
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) December 4, 2020
That article is a fantastic breakdown of the matchups. In summary, Ramsey's gotten the better of Hopkins in a majority of their bouts. That shouldn't come as a surprise -- Ramsey is one of the league's top corners. That's certainly been the case this season, as the Los Angeles Rams have surrendered the fewest fantasy points to wideouts. In fact, the only receiver to score 15 or more fantasy points against this defense has been San Francisco 49ers gadget receiver Deebo Samuel.
A sub-10-point performance wouldn't be unheard of for Hopkins. The 28-year-old has put up 8.3 or fewer FanDuel points in five of his last eight efforts. I'm fading Hopkins in Week 13.
5. Mike Gesicki Finishes as a Top-5 Tight End
This is a prediction I'm much more confident in if Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the call at quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. The fact is, at least from a fantasy perspective, all of Miami's fantasy-relevant players get a boost when Fitzpatrick is leading the charger -- and that's certainly the case with Mike Gesicki ($5,700).
Gesicki has had four games with eight or more FanDuel points this season, and each of those came with Fitz behind center. That said, regardless of who the signal-caller is, this is a delicious matchup for the third-year tight end.
Through Week 12, the Cincinnati Bengals are tied for the second-most fantasy points allowed per game to tight ends. Eight tight ends have recorded at least nine fantasy points against Cincy, and before you dismiss that stat, remember that nine fantasy points would have been good enough for a TE1 finish in 7 of the previous 10 weeks of this season.
For the first time Since Week 3, Gesicki heads into a game having seen at least five targets in each of his previous two outings. Look for that streak to continue against a team that struggles to defend the position.