Is Father Time finally catching up to Tom Terrific or is the loss
of Gronk and the young receiver corps more to blame? Itís
likely a little of everything, as the Patriot offense is in a
funk we havenít seen in quite some time. After feasting
on a very weak early season schedule, this offense has taken a
step back these last several weeks, scoring only 50 points. Brady
hasnít had a true QB1 week since Week 6 against the Giants,
but this is a ďget rightĒ matchup against the Texans.
Currently yielding the 6th most fantasy points to quarterbacks,
this is a secondary that Brady should be able to pick apart all
evening. Play the match-up and roll with Tom as a top-10 option.
The Red Rifle returns. After being unceremoniously benched for
4th round rookie Ryan Finley, the Bengals turn back to Dalton. Dalton
was actually putting up decent fantasy numbers over the first 8
games, as he was on pace for over 4,000 yards and close to 20 touchdowns.
Not surprisingly the offense sputtered behind the rookie, so itís
Daltonís last chance to prove to the 31 other teams that he is worth
a look in the offseason. The Jets defense has been white hot lately,
but they are a middle of the road pass defense that can be exploited
out wide. There are a few bullets left in the gun, and a big chip
on his shoulder.
More of a stat compiler than a quality real life quarterback,
thereís little debate that Winston has been a fantasy stud
this season. Third in the NFL in touchdown passes (22) and 2nd
in yardage, Winson is also a turnover machine, leading the league
with 20(!!!) interceptions. In fantasy you take the good with
the bad sometimes, and thatís likely what youíre going
to get this week against Jacksonville. Winston has two elite weapons
to throw to, two underwhelming backfield mates, and a defense
just bad enough to make most games offensive shootouts. These
are the ingredients for fantasy success, so just grab your ticket
to the Winston rollercoaster and hold on tight!
Although I donít subscribe to the theory that the Pats defense
is a historic unit (their numbers are padded) I do think they have
plenty to make life rough for Watson. While Watson is a dynamic
playmaker, heís not the threat to run like Lamar Jackson, and penning
him in the pocket will be priority No.1 for the Patriots. Watson
struggled in a Week 1 loss to this team last season, grappling to
get past 150 yards passing. Being at home will be a huge help, but
with New Englandís ability to limit big plays in the passing game,
Watson must take a more patient, conservative approach. All the
signs point to a limited ceiling for Watson and this offense this
Emotions are going to run high this week, and the brash young
gunslinger from Cleveland is going to get caught up in it. The
Browns are going to be subject of relentless torment from the
Pittsburgh faithful, and then they have to deal with an aggressive
attacking Steeler defense. Baker has turned it on of late, totaling
9 touchdowns to only a single turnover during the last four games.
The offense now runs through the playmakers more consistently,
as Kareem Hunt has added a dimension to the offense that must
be respected. But the Browns have shown a real undisciplined streak,
and with the expected intensity of this game, I can see Mayfield
trying too hard and turning the ball over multiple times. Brighter
weeks are ahead.
Carr and the Raiders might as well have stayed in Oakland, as
they were trounced in the Meadowlands by the hapless Jets last
week. Unable to establish the run game, any threat of play action
was eliminated and with receivers unable to beat their men one-on-one,
the Raider offense crumbled. The Raiders are in a really tough
spot this week, having to come back across the country to play
in one of the most hostile environments in the NFL. Andy Reid
is a master coming off bye weeks, and windy weather could play
a factor. This entire team has overachieved so far this season,
but I feel a regression coming down the stretch. This is a game
K.C. knows they must win, and they will play like it.