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NFL Week 14 – Heat Check

  • December 6, 2018
  • by admin

Wait, the Chiefs only beat the Raiders by 7??

Yea buddy!

My Oakland Raiders aren’t looking too bad for a team that only has a handful of recognizable players on the field. Still, the Raiders are 2-10 this year which means we are basically in a race for #1 pick in the draft.

Here’s a funny stat – The Two Teams with the worst records in the NFL both hail from the Bay Area.

Listen I love the Bay and have lived here my entire life besides for a small stint in San Diego for college. But we no longer have a football powerhouse in SF and Oakland has literally never been close for the entire 23 years I have followed them. Sad.

But honestly, I was never going to include either of these teams in my Heat Check. Just thought it was funny that the Bay Area could end up with #1 and #2 picks in the draft.

 

Heat Check #1: CIN (16.8) @ LAC (30.8) – O/U: 47.5

Well would you look at that the Bengals are still bad and have lost 4 straight even with the signing of Hue Jackson. LOL. Joe Mixon failed to surpass 100 yards on the ground once again and was only handed 12 carries which is troubling. Tyler Boyd seemed to be the only player on the Bengals who had an alright fantasy day for himself. And Boyd will have plenty of opportunity this week with fellow WR A.J. Green being placed on the IR with a foot injury. Guys who will also be looking to step up are Cody Core and Gio Bernard. Core had 4 targets last week although they ended up resulting in only 1 catch for 30 yards and 1 TD. Only problem with Core is that he still sits #3 on the depth chart behind Tyler Boyd and John Ross which makes him risky. Now Gio Bernard could be in line for more playing time if Joe Mixon is forced to miss any time with his injury. Bernard already had 6 catches for 32 yards on 8 targets which shows he will be heavily involved in the passing game regardless of Mixon’s health. Finally, remember that Andy Dalton is done for the year and that Jeff Driskel will remain the starting QB for the time being. Driskel threw for 236 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT which equals a pretty alright day versus a stingy Denver Defense. I think Cincinnati will score over 20 points with Boyd and Bernard looking like nice plays.

 

Ohhhh I love me some Philly Riv! Sorry I couldn’t help myself, Deion Sanders is just too funny. But Philly Riv really bout to go off this week I promise you that. Cincinnati’s defense ranks 32nd in the NFL in DVP vs QB, 32nd vs RBs, 29th vs TEs and 19th vs WRs. Get ready for some fireworks folks. But first we need to look deeper at this RB situation. Melvin Gordon is OUT which means that Austin Ekeler will be the starter with Justin Jackson filling in as the backup. What if I told you Jackson had more yards than Ekeler and scored a TD with half the touches? Well that is exactly what happened, Ekeler had 44 yards and 0 TD on 18 touches while Jackson had 82 yards and 1 TD on only 9 touches. We will have to see if that performance didn’t earn Jackson a little bit more playing time this week vs CIN. As far as WRs go we have an extremely crowded situation in LA. Keenan Allen will be the #1 guy with Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin all fighting for the rest of the targets. Why I said fighting over the rest is because Keenan Allen had a 52.78% target share last week with a whopping 19 targets from Rivers. Allen has also scored a TD in 4 consecutive games which gives me a lot of confidence playing him vs CIN. Look more into the Ekeler situation, but for right now my main plays from the LAC side would be a Keenan Allen and Phillip Rivers stack.

 

Heat Check #2: PIT (30.8) @ OAK (20.8) – O/U: 51.5

James Conner will be OUT in this one leaving the door open for Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley to fill in. Ridley hasn’t played since Week 10 vs CAR, Samuels was playing last week vs LAC and had a TD. If I have to pick between the two it is Samuels every time for me. Samuels was drafted in the 5th round by the Steelers in this year’s NFL Draft out of NCST. While at NCST, Samuels was playing everything from TE, WR, RB, QB, you name it he did it. Actually, his official position on SportsReference.com is TE which is so funny seeing as he is starting for the Steelers this Sunday. Look at his stats from his senior year to get a good look at what we will see: 75 catches for 593 yards 4 TDs, 78 rushes for 407 yards 12 TDs. This guy is a goal line beast who will also be catching passes out of the backfield like some sort of combo of Reggie Bush and The Fridge. Alright, next up we have to mention AB and Juju who seem to be the only 2 guys who Big Ben can tolerate as his WRs. James Washington has been rumored to be playing vs the Raiders but hey I will believe it when I see it. AB had a nice game last week where he turned 13 targets into 10 catches for 154 yards and 1 TD. During that same game Juju only had 9 targets which resulted in 6 catches for 49 yards. Not what I wanted to see from Juju after that monster Week 12 game vs DEN. Big Ben is one of the highest priced QBs this week because of the Raiders terrible defense and it makes sense. Oakland has allowed the most passing TDs in the entire NFL with 29. Big Ben, Samuels, and AB/Juju are all good to go this week vs Oakland.

 

Remember when I recommended that you play Derek Carr? Yea me neither. Anyways, how about this week?? I can see Carr has a few tricks still up his sleeve even if he is throwing to the worst group of WRs in the NFL. Yea I said it, name a group that is worse than Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts and Marcell Ateman? Exactly you can’t because they are so bad. But Carr still makes it work and Jordy Nelson is his favorite target. Nelson had 11 targets last week that resulted in 10 catches for 97 yards but 0 TDs. Jared Cook was also one of Carr’s favorites with 7 catches for 100 yards and 1 TD. These two guys are the only hopes for this Oakland passing attack and since Oakland will likely be trailing for most of the game and be forced to air it out early and often. This means I do not think Doug Martin is a good pick this week at all. Especially since PIT is ranked 7th in the NFL in DVP vs RBs. The only guy with any hope would be Jalen Richard who is also involved in the passing game and could help out a lot vs this PIT defense that uses the blitz a lot. My guys are Jared Cook and Jordy Nelson from the Raiders.

 

Heat Check of the Week: NO (32.5) @ TB (23.5) – O/U: 56.0

Well New Orleans was just held to their fewest point total (10) of the entire year last week vs Dallas. This means this week they are going to tear Tampa Bay up like some ripped jeans. Their attack will be led by none other than Alvin Kamara or that one NFL player with the bull ring in his nose. Kamara is playing over 60% of the offensive snaps while Mark Ingram has been relegated to 40% of the snaps. This is because Kamara is a much more natural pass catcher and can run more efficiently on the outside. Ingram is your run it up the gut guy and it doesn’t work when your offensive line isn’t built to run block. Which New Orleans line is not. Their line is built to keep Drew Brees safe and this is why Kamara is always going to be the better fit for this offense. Michael Thomas just popped up on the injury report this week with an apparent ankle injury. I am sure he will be fine but make sure to keep updated on his status before Sunday. If he can’t go then the next in line would be Keith Kirkwood, Tre’Quan Smith and Dan Arnold (TE). Now Smith had only 1 target last week and did not catch it meaning he had a big fat goose egg. The last time he had a 0-point performance, he followed it up with a 3 catch for 111 yard and 2 TD performance. Then we have Kirkwood who has now caught a TD in 2 consecutive games and has never had less than 6 Fpts in a game. He is consistent, but his ceiling is just so low to consider him in any leagues. Only way he bumps up is if Michael Thomas misses this week. The guys I like from this one are Kamara and Smith.

 

On the other side of the ball we have the Buccaneers who ended up beating the Panthers by a score of 24-17. Impressive stuff coming out of the GOAT Jameis Winston! Buccaneers are on a 2-game winning streak and Winston has performed very well with 4 TDs and 0 INTs while throwing for 561 yards with a 72% completion rate. I promise you I am not making this up! Jameis got the message of taking care of the ball and it has been paying off for the Bucs. Now I know the price tags will make you think his favorite target is Mike Evans, but it really isn’t. Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries are Winston’s favorite targets and it showed last week (Humphries – 19.1 Fpts / Godwin – 24.1 Fpts). If DeSean Jackson is out again this week then this becomes my favorite stack. Winston stacked with Godwin and Humphries. Ignore the TE position because without O.J. Howard these guys are only here to block. Cameron Brate inspires no hope to me at all. And at the RB spot we are left with only Peyton Barber. The Saints are surprisingly really good vs the Run this year and this is why I will not be picking Barber. Tampa Bay is going to air it out and I think Humphries and Godwin are the guys.

 

Thank you all for reading another edition of the NFL Heat Check!

 

My name is G.R. Bunch aka The Daily Fantasy Hitman.

Follow me on Twitter @DailyHitman for more stuff.

 

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