Finally all the bye weeks are over. For the majority of fantasy leagues, this is the last week of the regular season and this when teams find out if they are playoff bound or not. Meanwhile in the NFL we are going to see if anyone actually wants to win the NFC East. Neither team probably deserves to be in the playoffs but either the Cowboys or Eagles will host a round 1 game.
Game of the Week: San Francisco @ Baltimore (BAL -6)
There really is no other choice for the marquee match-up of the week. The current 1 seed in the NFC and 2 seed in the AFC meet in a potential Super Bowl preview. It is time for another one of the better defenses in the NFL to take their shot at trying to contain Lamar Jackson. He already put up a big fantasy day against the league’s top defense a few weeks ago when the Ravens dealt the Patriots their only loss. If the 49ers’ defense can’t contain Jackson, then Jimmy G will need to show he can lead their offense to a win in a big game.
Players to Watch: Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, George Kittle, Tevin Coleman
Fantasy Football X Factors: Deebo Samuel, Gus Edwards, MAtt Breida
Prediction for Winner: Baltimore to win and cover. I do not see anyone slowing Jackson down and I don’t believe the 49ers’ offense will be able to keep pace. Add in the cross country trip for a west coast team to play in the early game and I see the 49ers losing by at least a touchdown.
New England @ Houston (NE -3)
The 2019 Patriots have some similarities to the last year of the Peyton Manning Broncos. A dominate defense and an older great QB that is not quite the same anymore. The drop off for Manning was a lot larger, but the parallels are there. The Texans are coming off a big division win, but they still are far form having that division locked up. The Patriots’ defense shut down the high powered Dallas offense last week and now they face another offense with explosive players on the road.
Players to Watch: Julian Edelman, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson
Fantasy Football X Factors: Will Fuller, Duke Johnson, every Patriots’ WR not named Edelman
Prediction for Winner: Patriots to win and cover. Watson has basically had to run for his life since he came to the NFL, now he faces the best defense he has ever gone against. Also, the advantage at the head coach position is in the favor of the Patriots.
Tennessee @ Indianapolis (IND -2.5)
Both of these teams are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoff picture. They are part of a 4 way race for the 2nd wild card spot and only a game out in the division. Titans offense has been lead by Derrick Henry and what appears to be a career resurgence for Ryan Tannehill. The offense has looked significantly better once Mariota was benched. The Colts are coming off a loss where their passing game struggled. TY Hilton still doesn’t seem to be 100% and Eric Ebron was put in IR this week.
Players to Watch: Jacoby Brisett, Jonathan Williams, Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill
Fantasy Football X Factors: AJ Brown, TY Hilton, Jack Doyle
Prediction for Winner: Tennessee with the upset. The difference in the Titans’ offense with Tannehill running things has been interesting to watch. Before he took over, the team looked destined for a losing season. I am expecting Tannehill’s push for being the starter next season to continue.
Buffalo @ Dallas (DAL -6.5)
3 games of Thanksgiving football and this the most important of the games. Both teams are currently playoff teams, but neither seems to be taken very seriously as a threat based on their schedules. The winner of this game will take a step towards changing that perception. Dallas is facing a a tough defense for the 2nd week in a row, Buffalo is better against the pass than the run so I would expect Dallas to feed Elliott on Thanksgiving
Players to Watch: Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, Josh Allen, John Brown
Fantasy Football X Factors: Michael Gallup, Devin Singletary, Randall Cobb
Prediction for Winner: Dallas to win but not cover. I expect this game to stay close with Dallas prevailing. With how their offense has started slower this season, that is too large a spread to be comfortable with, but the offense, especially Cooper, does play better in Dallas.