Week 15 Picks: Naughty or Nice Edition
We’ve made our list. We’ve checked it twice. We still have no chance in the fantasy playoffs, so we’ll take a shot with these three games.
Patriots @ Raiders (-1.5)
Bill Belichick has a history of being naughty (Spygate, Deflategate, letting that dog run the 2020 draft) but he’s been less ornery against his former assistants. He’s only 18-19 when facing his old lieutenants.
This week he’ll face Josh McDaniels, his old offensive coordinator. McDaniels has a 16-24 record as a head coach between the Raiders and Broncos. His record in Las Vegas is just 5-8. That’s surprising considering the talent on his roster.
Adams leads the NFL with 12 touchdowns, not bad considering his quarterback only completes 62% of his passes. Look for that number to go down against the Patriots’ defense.
Against Arizona, New England’s defense had six sacks, an interception, a fumble, a touchdown, and a partridge in a pear tree. Granted, those numbers came against Colt McCoy, the Cardinals’ backup, but they still make the list.
The Raiders just lost to a backup quarterback. Baker Mayfield beat them after only three days with the team. That should sit with the Raiders like a holiday fruitcake. If McDaniels wants to have a wonderful life in Sin City, he’ll need to beat his old boss.
Fantasy abacus says: Raiders win and cover
Ravens @ Browns (-2.5)
Lamar Jackson had a consensus ADP of 41 this year, the fourth quarterback off the board. He failed to reach 20 fantasy points seven times this year. He even said a bunch of naughty things to some poor kid on Twitter. Do we really need to tell you which list he’s on?
His backup joined him on the injury list with a concussion last week, but Tyler Huntley is good to go against Cleveland. So much for the Anthony Brown era. Good thing J.K. Dobbins was nice enough to get back on the field with 120 yards against Pittsburgh. Without him, the Ravens lose that game.
Baltimore won four of their last five games, which is nice. They also won four of their last five games against Cleveland, which is better.
The Browns have a better quarterback now, we think. Deshaun Watson made the naughty list 30 times this year and that’s not counting his last two weeks of horrible play. Cleveland lost three of their last five games and is 3-3 at home.
The Ravens are 5-2 away from home and 2-1 as an underdog. They’ve also covered every spread on the road. As long as Huntley is healthy, Ravens fans should expect these trends to continue. As long as Watson plays for Cleveland, Browns fans should expect coal in their stockings and lots of news about lawsuits in their Google feed.
Fantasy abacus says: Ravens cover
Lions @ Jets (-1.5)
Santa sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake, but he apparently hasn’t seen many Lions games lately. Detroit scored 34 points to beat the Vikings last week, and 40 points to beat the Jaguars a week earlier.
Detroit may only have six wins, but four of them have come in the last five games. They’re on a nice little roll. Meanwhile, the Jets can’t figure out who to roll out at quarterback.
Zach Wilson has a bruised ego but is otherwise healthy and benched. Mike “The Hype” White has bruised ribs, but he expects to play. He’ll get a good matchup on Sunday. Only the Titans and Vikings give up more yards through the air than the Lions.
The Jets lost three of their last five games, but they’ve covered every spread as a favorite this year. Do you think the Jets quarterback has a favorite Christmas song? How many times do you think the announcers will make a White Christmas reference? One will be too many.
Fantasy abacus says: Detroit wins their third straight game
That’s all for now. @fantasybruce needs to explain “ornery” to the millennials.