Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders this week.
Colin Kaepernick, widely perceived as a sure-fire QB1 preseason, has grossly underachieved this year, ranking outside the top-12 in per game average among QBs. In the final regular season game at the 'Stick, 279.5 combined yards against Atlanta.
Dalton – OVER. It's possible the 49ers win big and Kap still finishes under this number, but he's gotten 8.1 YPA with 28.5 rushing yards over his past four games. Michael Crabtree's return has been a big deal, and Atlanta has allowed a 103.4 QB Rating this season, which is the second highest in the NFL. I expect the Niners to pour it on during the team's final game at Candlestick.
Brandon – UNDER - Kaepernick just doesn't throw it enough. In fact, he's had 31 attempts or less in each game since Week 2. And he's only gone over this number once in that span. The 49ers can stick to their MO of playing it conservative (run-heavy) on offense while the defense takes care of business on the other side of the ball.
Brad – OVER. Emotions will be on-high at the 'Stick and so will Kaepernick's Week 16 value. Atlanta's secondary is always in a giving mood, indicative in its 8.12 yards per attempt and 280.6 combined yards allowed per game to signal callers. Colin caps the fantasy season the same way he started it, with a top-10 performance.
Alfred Morris, who's underachieved a bit down the homestretch scoring just one touchdown with zero 100-yard games in his past five, rushing yards against Little D 99.5.
Brandon – UNDER. As is often the case with Morris, I think he'll wind up in the 85-95 yard range. But he continually falls just short, and he picked up just 81 rushing yards in his last meeting with Dallas.
Brad – SLIGHTLY UNDER. Morris rolled up 81 yards on 16 carries in the rivals' first clash. Though Dallas has given up a 100-yard rusher in five of its past six games, its hard to bank on a rusher with little to no defense behind him. There's a real possibility Washington, once again, plays from behind. Think 85-90 yards.
Andy – OVER. Dallas' defense isn't stopping a thing. Did they bother Eddie Lacy? No. You'll get a nice day from Morris. No worries here.
Delanie Walker, clicking with Ryan Fitzpatrick over the past several weeks, receptions on the road in Jacksonville 5.5.
Brad – OVER. Fitzpatrick nickle and dimes defenses underneath, a style that's greatly rewarded Walker. Since Week 11, the pair have connected six-plus times twice. Against a Jags defense that's yielded the third-most fantasy points to TEs on the year, they'll tack onto that total.
Andy – OVER. Easy. This defense has been friendly to the TE position, and we know Fitz will look Walker's way.
Scott – OVER. Ryan Fitzpatrick loves to throw inside the numbers and obviously Jacksonville will assist in this venture.
King of inconsistency, Mike Wallace, receiving yards on the road in chilly Buffalo 89.5.
Andy – Hell if I know. Wallace has been all over the board. Nineteen yards two games ago, 105 last week. If you own him, hope for a touchdown. What the heck made you draft this guy, anyway? Nothing I said, that's for sure.
Scott – A paper cup in a windstorm. I'm going UNDER, though I have to play Wallace in a key final. We all have our problems. You'll get 93 yards or 27 yards, that's what No. 11 does for us.
Dalton – OVER. Wallace has averaged 83.3 receiving yards over his past four games and faces a Buffalo secondary that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing wideouts this year. Through 14 games in what can only be considered a disappointing season, Wallace is one target away from tying his career high.
Adrian Peterson, expected to return to action just two weeks removed from a scary foot injury in Baltimore, rushing yards against a Cincy team under the gun 99.5.
Scott – UNDER. This is Matt Cassel's offense, baby. Actually, the number is driven by Peterson's physical condition, and expected game flow.
Dalton – UNDER. I can't imagine starting Peterson coming off his injury in this matchup with any confidence. Peterson is of course a freak, but he's averaged 93.9 rushing yards per game this season and will be playing on the road against a Bengals front seven allowing just 3.9 YPC this season.
Brandon – OVER. Any time you tell me AP is going to suit up and play, then I'm going to tell you I'm expecting him to go over 100 yards. Doesn't always happen, obviously, but I prefer not to bet against him.
Dennis Johnson, slated to overtake full-time rush duties with Ben Tate on injured reserve, total yards against visiting Denver 84.5
Dalton – OVER. It may come in ugly fashion with a low YPC, but the Texans should be playing in catch-up mode almost exclusively, resulting in plenty of dump offs to the Houston's new starting running back. Johnson should be considered a top-25 fantasy RB this week, at minimum.
Brandon – UNDER. This is another instance where I think the player will land just shy of the O/U number. Denver ranks among the stingiest in terms of yards from scrimmage allowed to the RB position. And with the likelihood that the Broncos get out to a big lead early, DJ is going to have to come by a lot of his yards via the pass. It's certainly possible that he still gets over this number that way, but with the likelihood that he won't get a lot of ground work, I think the odds favor the under.
Brad – OVER. Unquestionably, Houston will be buried early in this game, but Denver's relatively soft interior defense should allow Johnson to break a big gainer or three. Add in the fact he's an adept receiver out of the backfield and he could come close to what Ryan Mathews achieved against the Broncos last week (128 tyds, td).
Eli Manning, a magnet for turnovers this season chucking 25 errant throws, interceptions in Detroit 1.5
Brandon – OVER. Eli is giving up roughly two picks per game, and the Lions are at home with heavy playoff implications and head coaching implications. Detroit has plenty to be motivated about, while it's obvious that the Giants are just playing out the string at this point.
Brad – OVER. The Giants shoddy offensive line 'battling' a Lions front line of two of the best pass rushers in the league? Eli, who's been battered and bruised this year and without Victor Cruz, has no chance. His career benchmark in picks (25) is in serious jeopardy.
Andy – OVER. Love the Lions D as a stream this week. It's tough to imagine Eli, in a Cruz-less week, playing a clean, efficient game.
Shane Vereen, who dropped a yule-log on many a fantasy roster last week in Miami, total yards in the follow-up at Baltimore 74.5
Brad – OVER. The Dolphins did a fabulous job closing in on Vereen in the open field. Because of the Ravens' struggles against versatile rushers in recent weeks (Le'Veon Bell, Matt Forte and Gio Bernard ate them alive outside the tackle box), a repeat dud seems unrealistic.
Andy – Ick. No thank you. I'm not bullish on the Pats in any way. I'm willing to go OVER here, I guess, but I'm forecasting an empty 77 yards.
Scott – OVER. Vereen still must be used in PPR formats and his overall body of work gets him a hall pass for last week.
Monday night matchup. Pick one: Michael Crabtree (vs. Atl) or Roddy White (at SF).
Andy – WHITE. Crabtree hasn't really given us a big line yet, plus his team rarely throws. The ceiling here is low.
Scott – CRABTREE has a much better chance to score, that much is true. Atlanta wideouts don't see the end zone very much. (If I have to watch more Steven Jackson inside the 10-yard line this week, I'm taking hostages.)
Dalton – CRABTREE. White has looked healthier of late, seeing 31 targets over his past three games, but he's scored as many touchdowns on the year (one) as Crabtree scored last week. The latter should only improve the further removed he is from his Achilles' injury, and the 49ers have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, while the Falcons have ceded the ninth most.
QB conundrum. Pick one: Nick Foles (vs. Chi), Kirk Cousins (vs. Dal), Ryan Tannehill (at Buf) or Andy Dalton (vs. Min)
Scott – FOLES has to be the play, though I view Cousins as a no-brainer QB1 this week, too. Dallas's defense is a joke however you want to analyze it, on the field, on the tape, on the spreadsheet or in the coaching booth.
Dalton – FOLES. There's a decent case for Cousins here, but other than that, this doesn't seem particularly close to me. Unless you have Peyton Manning, I can't see sitting Foles this week.
Brandon – DALTON. Big Red has been solid at home (99 QB rating; 14 pass TDs, 1 rush TD, 5 INTs in six games). And facing Minnesota's defense is almost as good as it gets for a QB (Vikings second-most fantasy PPG allowed to QB position).
Brad – COUSINS. A wretched defense coupled with a sensational matchup is a winning combination. Dallas has surrendered 312.5 passing yards and 2.1 passing touchdowns per game to QBs, equal to the most fantasy points allowed. Roughly 320 yards and 2-3 TDs are achievable. Maximize the matchup.
Andy – FOLES. C'mon. There's only one choice here. Even if the Eagles don't have anything at stake on Sunday night, they'll need to get themselves right after last week's disaster. And the Bears, of course, will allow anything to an opponent, via ground or air.
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