Early indications are that weather won’t be a factor and
that’s rare for this late in December.
“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time,
but it ain’t going away.” – Elvis Presley
1) While in my opinion no one has better
hands than DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas’ ability to catch the
ball in 2018 is off the charts.
Most times wide receivers catch about 60% of their targets, tight
ends 70% and running backs 80%, but Thomas, before Monday night’s
game, had caught 102 of 118 balls (86.4%). Even more amazing,
when you consider nine of the targets were deemed “uncatchable”
by Sports Info Solutions’ analysis, he had caught 102-of-109
or 93.6% of his catchable targets. Hopkins catch percentage of
“catchable” targets by the way isn’t to sneeze
at - 86.2% (94-of-105).
2) "I feel good, not 100% obviously," Melvin
Gordon said. "But we’re going to go out there and knock off some
rust and get myself ready for the playoffs."
Truthful translation. I’m going to play, but don’t
expect me to be a workhorse. I’m just here to make sure
I’m ready for “Week 18.” Maybe 10-12 carries
and a couple of screen passes, but he’s not going to win
you your fantasy league.
3) Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Nick
Mullens lead the league in QB scoring over the past three weeks.
True. Despite Mahomes’ worst production of the season last
Thursday (20.5 FPts), he still leads all scorers over the past
three weeks (27.7 FPts/G) and for the season (31.6). Allen (27.1)
and Mullens (23.3) finished second and third from Week 13-15.
Of the three, Mullens is least likely to produce top-three numbers
in Week 16 while facing Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith and the rest
of the Bears defense which has allowed opposing quarterbacks just
12.7 FPts/G over the past three-game span.
4) Running back is a young man’s
Remember the cliché that running backs over 30 begin to
decline? These days they have long since retired by that age.
Only Adrian Peterson (33) is among the top-20 for the season.
In fact, there is only one running back as old as 25-year-old
among the season-long top-10 (Melvin Gordon) and the average age
is 22.7 years old.
5) The Chicago Bears are the only defense
that has intercepted more balls than given up touchdown passes
Fact. It’s the primary reason the Bears are the No. 1 D/ST
as they have turned those 26 INTs into five defensive touchdowns.
Add one fumble returned for a touchdown and their six touchdowns
lead all defenses. Being fourth in sacks (45) doesn’t hurt
“I love listening to lies when I already know the truth.”
1) Eric Ebron has finally blossomed as
Actually, Ebron may not have blossomed so much as he’s
just in the perfect location. Location is important in football,
just as it is in real estate. In Detroit, he had little-to-no
success in the Matthew Stafford led Lions’ offense, but
in his first year catching balls from Andrew Luck he ranks second
in tight end FPts/G (10.2). The reason is pretty simple - Stafford
doesn’t use his tight ends while Luck always has, as the
two charts below clearly illustrate. Always draft Indianapolis
tight ends … as long as Luck is healthy.
2) The Patriots and Tom Brady “own” the
month of December.
While New England does “own” December, Brady’s
holiday season hasn’t been quite as good as his team. Since
2016 (with two 2018 December games to go this year), Brady is
averaging just 19.55 FPts/G in 12 December games. That average
would rank him 26th this year.
3) Derrick Henry (178-882-11) is having
a very good season.
Actually, until two weeks ago, Henry was a huge disappointment
to fantasy owners everywhere. Through 12 games he produced 127
rushing attempts for 474 yards and five touchdowns on the ground
or less than 40 yards per game. Against Jacksonville and the New
York Giants he’s put up 408 yards and six touchdowns. Try
to remember these statistics next season on Draft Day when you
see his 1,000 yards rushing and double-digit touchdowns.
4) Over the past five weeks, one of these
receivers doesn’t belong in the top-five: Amari Cooper, Keenan
Allen, T.Y. Hilton, Dante Pettis and Tyreek Hill.
Sorry guys, but Pettis definitely IS a top-five receiver since
Week 11, averaging 14.4 FPts/G. However, if you are looking for
Pettis to help you during Championship Week, beware, he and the
49ers are going up against the tough Bears defense. He comes by
his speed hereditarily as the son of five-time Gold Glove centerfielder
Gary Pettis (354 stolen bases).
5) Head coach Doug Peterson said the timetable
for Carson Wentz’s stress fracture in his back is “three months.”
If that were true, then Wentz would have been placed on the IR
and not be available to return if needed. Nick Foles will continue
to start, but should the Eagles actually make the playoffs, Wentz
could make a return. That situation would be a major dilemma (read
headache) for Pederson. A decision between his “franchise”
quarterback and last year’s Super Bowl MVP who led them
into the playoffs.