2018 Week 16 NFL Predictions – Fantasy Football Super Bowl Edition

Sweet, we have finally reached the best week of the year – Fantasy Football Super Bowl week. It’s the only fantasy week of the year where work slows down enough that “stealing” company time to manage fantasy is not needed. For me personally this week represented the week I could exhale with the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to play the Grinch, or the anti-Santa by pulling presents Christmas Eve to return because I knew I was about to come into some extra cash. Those presents stayed put! Good luck to all those playing this week.

Here are my official week 16 NFL picks to lay the foundation for my fantasy picks. Week 14 was exemplary (11-5); Week 15 not so much (7-9).

SuperContest

Plays (5 best plays of the week):

Ravens (+4) at Chargers – I love living in age where people’s attention span is equivalent to the time it takes to complete a “regular” bowel movement. For example, this week the Chargers are darlings of the NFL, now every “expert” is labeling them the as the “team to beat.” Not sure I get the love? I mean sure they have mounted two amazing comebacks over good teams in the last three weeks – both in primetime, which always adds to the “recency bias.” But if we dig deeper on those three games, we find the Steelers had them down 16 at half, in third quarter the Chargers were benefactors of a tipped pass touchdown and a punt return touchdown with two uncalled clips (Oh man, NFL refs have had a bad year). BOOM, tie game. Granted they took care of business to close out a win but still they were bad enough to be down double digits and needed some breaks to get back in the game. The middle game was a “mail in” spot against the Bengals, which the Chargers did. The Chiefs game was filled with good fortune as well, including the PI in the end zone on 4th down and the non-OPI in the end zone on the touchdown. Given that – four points seems like gift and I will back a rookie on the road in a must-win game for the Ravens. Pick: Ravens +4

Falcons (-3) at Panthers – Hmm, I’ve been asking myself this question – does laying points on the road with this Falcons seems a good idea? No, no it’s not. But here is deal the Panthers are on a short week after seeing their playoff hopes dashed on Monday night by the Saints. Furthermore, the Panthers defense sold out to win that game, not sure they show up this week. I mean what is the difference between 6-10 and 8-8 for a team that was 6-2. The Falcons will show up in this spot in attempt to gain some momentum heading into 2019 as well as fool their fans into thinking 2019 will be the year. In terms of fantasy, I would be very concerned about Christian McCaffery this week, thinking they might limit his work. Plus, without one-armed Newton checking down to him every play, his receptions will suffer. Holding my nose . . . Pick: Falcons -3.5

Broncos (-3) at Raiders – The Donks were eliminated with that “crap the bed” effort against the Browns. Teams that are eliminated from the playoffs in week 15 and go on the road to face a division opponent in week 16 are like 2-95 against the spread. That’s probably not true, but you get the point. Pick: Raiders +3

Rams (-14) at Cardinals – The books have clearly not paid attention over the last three weeks. What is there to like about this Rams team right now? Answer: Absolutely nothing! They have two players right now – Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley. Take those two players away and this team is the “same old sorry ass Rams of the 90s or aughts or 10s!” (Good Lord this is a horrible franchise.)  The Rams offensive line is horrible, meaning teams with a pulse of a pass rush can put pressure with four guys. The Cardinal can rush the passer a bit. On defense, the Rams linebacking core might be the worst set of linebackers in NFL history. All you need to do is block the front four and Corey Littleton will run himself out of every play. David Johnson will eat and eat a ton this week. Picture the faces of Rams fans at halftime when the Cardinals are leading by 7 (think deer in the headlights). Pick: Cardinals +14

Bengals (+9.5) at Browns – Can you imagine waking from a 16 week nap and seeing the Browns -9.5 over the Bengals? Would you even bother asking what happened this season to lead to that spread before running the book, while trampling over other bettors to get down on this game? Nope, I wouldn’t have asked and I would run over my 99 year grandma to get down on the Bengals (not really). Pick: Bengals +9.5

The rest:

Chiefs (-2.5) at Seahawks – No doubt Patrick Mahomes will feast on that soft-ass Seattle secondary, but keep in mind a couple things about this game. First, the Seahawks can run the ball and control the clock, the Chiefs cannot stop the run. That will shorten this game and keep the Chiefs offensive possession to a minimum; and second, the NFL always sends their most incompetent refs to Seattle for primetime games, thus giving the that buffoon Goodell full control over the out-come. Everyone remembers 2013 Royal Rumble in Phoenix, right? Look I don’t care how dominate CM Punk was in that match, The Rock was getting the WWE title that night. The only difference between the NFL and WWE is the players think the NFL is real. Pick: Seahawks +2.5

Redskins (+10.5) at Titans – Wouldn’t this be so Titans to blow this game and miss the playoffs. Tell me I am wrong Titans fan! At the very best for the Titans, they win by a touchdown in a game they are clearly caught looking ahead to the massive week 17 matchup with the Colts. Pick: Redskins +10.5

Bills (+13.5) at Patriots – Have you heard the news – Tom Brady is done, the Pats dynasty is over . . . Pick: Patriots -13.5

Jaguars (+4) at Dolphins – The Dolphins can still win the division! Beat the Jags and the Bills in Buffalo and then they just need the Pats to lose to the Bills and Jets in Foxboro. So, let’s picture the scene in Miami – 1PM – 20K in the stands, all riled up to motivate the Phins to the playoffs; 1:30PM Scorecard reads Pats 21 Bills 0, 20K fans exit stadium because “this is south Florida, we have options on how we spend our Sundays.” Dolphins exit playoff talk 2.5 hours later. Pick: Jaguars +4

Buccaneers (+7.5) at Cowboys – This Bucs team is feisty, and the Cowboys really cannot be trusted to cover more than a touchdown. The best part of handicapping the NFL is the multiple buy low opportunities . . . Pick: Cowboys -7.5

Giants (+9.5) at Colts – Remember the comment about “buy low” opportunities in this league? Yeah, there are also multiple “sell high” opps . . . Pick: Giants +9.5

Bears (+4) at 49ers – As a life-long Rams fan, I love what this 49ers team is doing right now. They are the vintage Joe Bugel Cardinals (for those old school Cardinals fans) or the more modern version of the Norv Turner Chargers. Once eliminated they play their best football, leaving their fans excited about next year, but also convincing the front office keep the core of the roster intact. “If only we had Jimmy G for the entire year!” They are like the fantasy guy who goes off in the playoffs after finishing 1-11 and keeps coming back donating money. Pick: 49ers +4

Vikings (-6) at Lions – Here is the classic “let’s give our fans some hope for next year, while destroying a hated rival’s season game.” Look Matt Patricia, despite being less likeable version of Belichick, has produced a couple huge home wins this year – New England and Green Bay – maybe he can get another one. And is unlikeable at Matty P is, he is infinitely more tolerable than Mike Zimmer, the red-ass who looks like he never laughs and goes 150% in a game of Corn Hole. Though you have to give Zim some credit as it appears he made the right call in firing of OC John Defilippo. Either that or it was a flat as hell Dolphins team coming off their biggest win of the season. Yeah, probably the latter. Pick: Lions +6

Packers (-3) at Jets – I need the Jets to win out to PUSH an over 6 wins play. Can I get there? Not likely, but the first part seemed like at least a coin-flip shot, until that selfish prick Rodgers decided he would play. I am guessing his decision was mostly based on the weather forecast that called for mild temps with little to no wind. Good conditions Mr. All about me to put up season-stat padding numbers. Pick: Packers -3

The coin flips:

Texans (+1.5) at Eagles – I have no idea how this game will play out. On one hand you have a Texans team loaded with talent but under coached and extremely lucky to have 10 wins. On the other hand you have an Eagles team left on the side of the road for dead but somehow resurrected themselves for one game and is now considered a “Super Bowl” contender with Nick Foles back at the helm. Let’s pump the brakes for a minute, the win last week was less about the Eagles and more about that shitshow the Rams put on the field, which was an embarrassment to football at any level. Ok, so the Texans, fighting for the division, are the obvious pick here, right? No, if there is a team in the 2018 NFL that would blow a seemingly insurmountable division lead, it’s the Texans. I could on and on and back and forth with angles for this, but it literally is a coin flip game. Heads, Texans, tails, Eagles . . . Pick: Texans +1.5

Steelers (+5.5) at Saints – The Steelers will be in full desperation mode here if the Ravens find a way to win in LA (not out of the question). Couple that with the Saints on a short week, with the #1 seed all but locked and this game will be tight. Plus in case you haven’t been watching the Saints offense has looked about as bad as the Rams the last three weeks. The big difference is the Saints have several playmakers on defense, the Rams have one. Pick: Steelers +5.5

SFL Super Bowl Pick:

Ragin Asian (-7.5) vs. Weekend Warriors

We’re going with an old school break it down, position by position:

QB:

Mahomes (WW) v. Mayfield (RA) – As mentioned above, I believe Mahomes will feast on the Seahawks secondary giving him a clear advantage in this matchup. As we all know every team in the NFL has talent and the margin between winning and losing is razor thin, therefore, I think the Bengals will be motivated after Mayfield’s antics in the Browns blowout win in Cincinnati earlier in the year, plus they must feel a little slighted about the line. WW is going to need to lay the hammer down in this matchup, creating an advantage that will be hard to overcome. To do that, Mahomes will need 35+ and Mayfield will need a poor. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening and I am going to call this matchup close as I think the Seahawks will own time of possession and keep Mahomes off the field. Pick: Weekend Warriors 29.0-17.5

RB:

Mixon, Henry, C. Thompson (WW) v. Barkley, Chubb, Cook, Ingram (RA) – If RA is going to take home the championship belt, this is where the game will be won. All four RA backs will post solid numbers, RA will need one of them to be spectacular; Barkley is the most likely as home run hitter amongst this group; plus I expect a slight letdown from the Colts defense; the Vikings have a renewed commitment to the run that gives Cook a shot to go all “Derrick Henry” this week. Speaking of Derrick Henry, him and Mixon have all the makings of a massive flop this week as both have tough run d matchups. Plus, considering 50% of the career fantasy points Henry has scored have in the last two weeks, a regression to the mean is in order. Of course, Henry might just be on one of those runs, Lord knows he has fresh legs. Thompson is an interesting start here (based on the lineup I would submit), as he is likely to get more involved in a game where the Skins figure to be playing from behind. Any way you toss match-up, it’s a lop-sided number for RA. Pick: Ragin Asian 78.0-33.5

WR:

K. Allen, Hopkins, R. Anderson, Crowder (WW) v. C. Davis, Landry, Smith-Schuster (RA) – RA starting the “poo-poo” platter of WR that doesn’t scare anyone this week. On the flipside, there are big concerns for WW as to Keenan Allen’s health, and even if he plays he has a tough matchup against the exceptional Ravens corners; WW really needs Hopkins to go off, which actually might happen as he has an already weak Eagles secondary but a spot where I can see the Eagles defense to be flat. Anderson has a good matchup and no worrisome weather. The question is can WW make up for the difference in the running backs. The answer – not enough. Pick: Weekend Warriors 60.0-35.5

TE:

Engram (WW) v. Brate (RA) – I am not a fan of Brate this week against the Cowboys, terrible matchup for him and he is coming off a career game – see “Regression to the Mean” Wikipedia page. Engram has an equally bad matchup against the Colts. You know what – who cares, this game will not be decided by the tight ends. Pick: Push 2.5-2.5

K:

Tucker (WW) v. Gostkowski (RA) – Tucker has better kicking conditions, plus he will probably be “geeked up” playing in a soccer stadium, another who cares matchup. Pick: Weekend Warriors 10.1-8.7

Final prediction: Too much firepower for Asian this week and he hoists the trophy for the first time – 142.2 to 135.1

Colin’s Picks:

If you remember this from week 14: Colin’s Picks: 1 unit on The GSW Rule (+575) and .5 unit on Weekend Warriors (+1500). I am sitting on +6.5 units if the Weekend Warriors win the title this week. I put the Ragin’ Asian money line at about -300, as much I as want to let it ride, I can lock in profit and I am pretty confident this an uphill battle for WW. Therefore, I will play 6 units on RA at -300, locking in a measly .5 unit for profit either way. A win is win!

And despite my 7.1 prediction that would lead one to believe WW is the play, I will take Ragin Asian and lay the 7.5, too many questions for WW and too much explosive ability for RA – Pick: Ragin Asian -7.5

Props to Ragin Asian for winning the 2018 SFL Title*

*won title after the Master of FF retired

SFL 3rd place pick:

Freshman 15 vs. Sidewinders (-13.8)

Any time you have a third-place game the normal question is motivation – who is motivated to play a meaningless game? Well, this I can tell you this third place game carries a prize for the victor and a huge can of “jackshit nothing” for the loser. On paper this game is not close – F15 (Newton, L. Miller, J. Gordon all likely out) has very little to be excited about this week, while Sidewinders is loaded with “something to prove” players (Gurley, Watson, Thielen). Not. Going. To. Be. Close. Pick: Sidewinders -13.8

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and best of luck this week!

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