We wrap up another week of fantasy football content with some bold predictions by our own Mark Abell. Argue with him below!
1.) Sam Darnold is a top 10 quarterback.
Justification: After starting out this season like an elite QB1, Sam has significantly cooled (as have the Panthers) since the first three games. He hit a low of 112 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT last week, as he was benched. He had time to think about it and comes in with a chip to prove himself against one of the most favorable teams (Atlanta) who have allowed a combined 7 TDs and just 3 INTs over the last three games. The last time this season Sam had 0 TDs he rebounded the next week with a 2 Rush TDs, 2 Pass TDs and 301 yards in Week 4.
2.) Ja’Marr Chase finishes outside the top 15 wide receivers.
Justification: This is NOT a knock on Ja’Marr, he is an absolute stud and a force to be reckoned with. This is an acceptance of a few items – first, he had 201 yards and a TD last week. The last two times he exceeded 100 yards this season he had an okay performance the next week but fell just outside the top 20 each time. Second, he is facing the New York Jets this week. The Jets have allowed three TOTAL receiving TDs this season to star WRs and no 100-yard games.
3.) Tyler Conklin (20% owned) is a top 10 tight end.
Justification: Kirk Cousins seems to like Conklin as an option. Tyler has become a top 25 tight end across the last four weeks in targets and receiving yards. The only knock is he doesn’t have any receiving touchdowns to match this output. There is a chance that snaps this week as Dallas has allowed four receiving scores to opposing tight ends (fifth most in NFL). They have also allowed four tight ends 50+ receiving yards across that time—just about the only two tight ends who didn’t thrive were Jared Cook (LAC) and Ian Thomas (CAR).
4.) James Robinson is a top 7 RB this week.
Justification: Four straight games of 70+ yards and at least one rushing score for James, as he’s running as good as anyone over this time span. He faces Seattle this week who is one of the most generous defenses for a runner to play against. The string of 70 yds and 1 TD won’t last forever, but I jumped on it two weeks ago and will continue to ride it out until it dries up.
5.) The Browns are listed as 3.5 point favorites, but give me the Steelers by three.
Justification: If the taste of losing in the playoffs to a rival wasn’t enough for Pittsburgh last season, the notion of how important this is to their playoff chances this early in a season has to add an edge to it. As 3-3 vs. a 4-3 team, this is an important game that could count for tie breakers down the stretch (every team in the AFC North is .500 or greater). Add to all of this the number of injuries Cleveland has amassed so far, and the Steelers should prevail here.