The only thing more fun than getting your fantasy football team a win, is winning because you were bold and went against the grain. If you avoided drafting RB David Johnson this year because you were concerned about injuries, technically you were right. Though most of the season has yet to unfold, it’s looking good so far if you were high on the Chiefs, were low on the Colts or passed on Odell Beckham in the first round. In this piece, I’ll try to make some bold predictions, week 3 hot takes, or whatever you want to call them. Most of them may end up false, but I hope you can at least entertain a world in which they’re possible.
That’s enough ado, let’s recap the hot takes from Week 2!
Prediction: Kirk Cousins scores twice as many points as Alex Smith
Result: Cousins – 11.9, Smith – 16.1
Prediction: Emmanuel Sanders has two TDs and 100+ yards
Result: 62 yards and 2 TDs
Grade: Hot & Spicy
Prediction: TEs will bounce back in Week 2; Travis Kelce has < 5 points
Result: Top 10 TEs combine for 120.5 points(176.5 in PPR); Kelce scores 16.3(24.3)
Prediction: The Cardinals score 40+ points against the Colts
Result: 16 points
Grade: Ice Cold
Prediction: Thomas Rawls is the RB1 in Standard; Ty Montgomery in PPR
Result: Rawls 4 total yards; Montgomery the RB2 in PPR, .4 points behind CJ Anderson
Grade: Sub Zero & Burning Up
Now fire up the grill, here are my hot takes for Week 3!!!
1. LARRY FITZGERALD IS THE PPR WR1
Is Fitzy old? Yes. Is his quarterback old? Yes. But it’s all about the matchups baby! The Colts getting blown out was one of my bad calls from last week, but the Cardinals did torch them on deep passes. Whether it was JJ Nelson or Jaron Brown, the Colts earned their 2nd worst ranking in Football Outsiders DVOA against deep passes. But this is Week 3. The Cowboys actually have the best defense against the deep ball through the first two weeks, despite poor secondary talent and early injuries. It’s all about that Rod Marinelli scheme. They give up yards, sometimes in spades, but not the big plays. The Cowboys are, however, the 4th worst defending short passes, the area where an end-of-career Larry Fitzgerald operates. Coming out of the slot will be tempting for Carson Palmer also, as his arm strength continues to wane out of existence. Add all that to one of the league’s worst running games against one of the best run defenses from a year ago, and you have this week’s PPR WR1. Book it!
2. AUSTIN SEFARIAN-JENKINS DEBUTS AS A TOP 5 TE
Oh, did you forget he was still in the league? Well, he is. Are you concerned about him playing for the totally terrible awfully inept Jets? Don’t be! After missing the first two games with a suspension, ASJ is back and ready roll. He is in the best shape of his life, has had an entire offseason to work in this offense and he actually used to play with Josh McCown when he was the starter back in their Tampa Bay days. Go figure. The Jets are in desperate need of any real receiving option behind late-add WR Jermaine Kearse, the only non-RB with more than seven receptions so far. That’s not enough to make him a top-five option you say? Well, consider the Dolphins have allowed the most yards and catches per game to TEs so far. Sure they’ve only played one game, but Miami allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to the position last year, and I’m not confident they’ve done anything significant to improve their ability to defend TEs since then!
3. ALEX COLLINS VULTURES TWO TDs FROM “BUCK” ALLEN
If Terrance West does end up playing, this could be one of the first predictions to go belly up…but who cares!?! Let’s turn up the heat! So far this season, the Ravens have had three plays inside the opponent’s five-yard line. Two of the three were rushing TDs. Jacksonville has allowed two rushing TDs of their own inside the five already in 2017. John Harbaugh suggested Collins has earned more playing time with his performance last week even though he fumbled in the game. Coaches hate it when young running backs fumble, and Alex Collins is still getting an endorsement from Harbaugh. We already saw Jalston Fowler, Mike Tolbert, and CJ Hamm vulture some TDs this season. Now it’s Collins’ turn!
4. BEN ROETHLISBERGER SCORES LESS THAN 8 POINTS
We’ve all heard the Home vs Road stats on Ben Roethlisberger over the years, but here’s one just in case you haven’t. Big Ben has scored an average of literally 10 points fewer in road games each of the last three years. This is not a joke. In last year’s eight road performances, he scored less than eight points in half of them. Oh, you think they’re playing the crummy Bears, so he’ll still have a good game? Wrong! First of all, the Chicago defense is better than the stats indicate. There were all kinds of overreactions to how the Falcons played against them in Week 1, and we saw how that turned out on Sunday Night. And both of the Bucs offensive TDs came on short fields after Mike Glennon turnovers in Week 2. The Bears are terrible on offense, leading to a game script where the Steelers can try to finally get Le’Veon Bell and the running game going. Finally, here are some QBs I would start over Big Ben(ch) this week: DeShone Kizer, Jacoby Brissett, Jared Goff and Blake Bortles.
5. SAMAJE PERINE HAS MORE RUSHING YARDS THAN THE ENTIRE SAINTS BACKFIELD
At first, it sounds too hot to be true, (#2Hot2BeTrue) but the Saints RBs rushed for just 91 yards at home last week against a worse defense than the one they’ll play in Charlotte. Yeah, I said it. The Panthers have allowed just 60 rushing yards per game so far, and I don’t see the trio of Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, and Adrian Peterson putting up more than that. Perine didn’t necessarily look better last week on his 21 carries for 67 yards, but starter Rob Kelley is dealing with an injury to the cartilage in his rib cage. Kelley could still play Sunday Night, but it will be based on pain tolerance how long Kelley can stay in the game and how heavy his workload will be. The Raiders have given up 4.8 yards per carry so far. Why can’t Kelley do at least what he did against the Rams last week, if not more?
Thanks for checking out this week’s hot takes. If you have your own hot takes, agree/disagree with mine, or just want to chat about fantasy football, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @Kaisquared. I’ll be back next week with a recap of these and some more Fantasy Hot Takes. Until then, good luck, and stay spicy!