The first thunderous cannonball has been fired over the bow of the fantasy football community’s ship. I have perfectly predicted my first “PICANTake” of 2022. I hate to say it (I love to say it) but there are many more where it came from! Where most football fans were complaining about what an absolutely unwatchable abomination the 49ers and Broncos put on Sunday night, I was laughing maniacally at this prediction. Jimmy G and Mr. Unlimited were horrible. To call their performances “average” is an insult to mediocrity. San Francisco and Denver served us raw chicken with a flat soda on the side in a game with only 21 total points…just like I said it would.
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— Bo McBrayer; 👑 by 🌶 (@Bo_McBigTime) September 26, 2022
Not only did I have this game tied, but I was also a screaming voice in a small crowd of people who picked the Dolphins to upset the mighty Bills in Week 3. However, my hot shot wasn’t perfect, as Josh Allen he easily outpaced the dizzy and wobbly Tua Tagovailoa in fantasy points. As I requested last week, the Miami Dolphins led by Mike McDaniel are for real. Tua was effective against a Bills defense so sloppy but broken. The Dolphins held Josh Allen, successfully turned him over and made numerous key stops on third down. The game was as exciting as anyone expected, which bodes well for the future of this fledgling rivalry.
Week 4 is a completely different animal. We’re neck deep in the NFL schedule. There is a match in London this week. I’ll spare them a hot shot as most of my British friends have no tolerance for capsaicin. To reiterate, I will never sacrifice heat level to strive for a higher success rate. My disclaimer is that each hot take is completely outlandish and improbable, but plausible and conjured up with supporting reasons and data. Put on a bib. This week could get messy.
Patrick Mahomes is intercepted three times and the Bucs defense holds the Chiefs to less than 15 points
I sure hang out with Patrick Mahomes a lot. I don’t hate him; I recognize that he is a generational QB with true elite talent. He also reminds me a lot of Brett Favre (on the field). The ridiculous releases that make the highlight reels are the ones that work, where there are a few games that are noticeably ill-advised. Finally, Mahomes threw his first interception of the season last week. He was in that groove dating back to the middle of last season when he cornered the league’s most intercepted QB on one with ruthlessly surgical precision.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been playing world-class defense in 2022. Their historically forgiving secondary has improved dramatically. They completely shut down the Cowboys, who were the number one offense in football last year. The Bucs then held the Saints to just 10 points, followed by a narrow 14-12 loss to the Packers. If they can limit Travis Kelce, the Bucs can shut down a putrid WR corps and force Mahomes to fight for his life and play hero ball. I don’t think the Chiefs have enough firepower this season to overcome very good defenses. This matchup will be a true test of that theory.
Austin Ekeler is the RB1, with 170 scrimmage yards and multiple touchdowns
Western Colorado’s undrafted “household name” was the RB2 in PPR formats last season. Austin Ekeler is getting a lot of touches this season, but his running efficiency has been lacking. Enter the Houston Texans – the latest RB destroyers. Ekeler has yet to break out many of his great air guitar shredding works this season, but he’s due for a mega performance. Some fantasy managers have let their hopes slip, but I’m not one of them. Imagine a slingshot. The first three games were a big build-up, the downside storing the jittery tension needed for a burst forward.
While others are worried about Joshua Kelley and Sony Michel winning red zone snaps over Ekeler, I’m envisioning those ultimately gravitating toward the more talented player as the Chargers battle for the NFL’s toughest divisional crown. Worried about a healthy superstar RB? It couldn’t be me. It’s only a matter of time before the fireworks go off and Austin and Matt Harmon pop bottles on their Yahoo podcast. It could also happen against the defense, which missed a ton of tackles and was torched by Khalil Herbert last week.
Cooper Kupp is Monday Night Magic, gutting the 49ers with 200 yards and three touchdowns
To make a Cooper Kupp prediction spicy enough for this column, I had to aim really high. Stefon Diggs single-handedly turned seven fantasy wins into losses for me with his mammoth performance Monday night in Week 2. I’m already looking to see how many of my Week 4 opponents include Kupp, who I fear break the internet against some shoddy 49ers. secondary school Kupp has owned every defense since last year, and the 49ers are no exception. Matthew Stafford seems to only have eyes for his wife and Cooper Kupp, who might as well be twins. The blitz of targets is set for prime time against the bitter division rivals.
Diggs posted 44.8 PPR points in Week 2 on a 12/15/148/3 line. For Kupp, I’m envisioning something similar, but with a few more yards per reception. he average 29.3 points in three meetings with San Francisco last season, including an insane 37-point performance in the NFC Championship. It might not sound spicy with how good and consistent the Eastern Washington star has been, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever predicted a 45-point performance for any player at any position. For it to happen to my least favorite team (and fanbase) would make it all the more glorious.
Amon-Ra St. Brown continues his Snub Revenge tour project with more fantasy points against Seattle than Dee Eskridge has combined snaps over four weeks
You may have seen the postgame presser after the Detroit Lions played the Washington Commanders. Second year WR Amon-Ra St. Brown continued his torrid production with a 41-point outburst against one of the teams that drafted a different WR over St. Brown in the 2021 NFL Draft. “The Sun God,” told reporters he remembers every team and every WR that went before his fourth-round pick that year. One of them was Washington’s Dyami Brown, who played just one game against the St. Louis Lions. Brown. Detroit welcomes the Seattle Seahawks to Ford Field this week. They landed Western Michigan WR Dee Eskridge in the second round, long before the Lions finally drafted Amon-Ra St. Brown from the board. So far this season, Eskridge has logged 23 snaps in three games.
If Eskridge doesn’t see the field in Week 4, he’d still need more than 23 fantasy points for that prediction to come true. If the pattern continues, the Seahawks’ oft-injured slot receiver will see 7-15 snaps. This would push the hot take into Scotch Bonnet territory for spiciness. I think that St. Brown will absolutely try to make John Schneider look on in horror as he eviscerates one of the NFL’s worst defenses, while Eskridge watches from the sidelines as Pete Carroll deploys three-TE packages instead of putting his draft capital on the field. This revenge narrative is mean and diabolical (and I love this). I was wrong about the role of St. Brown in the Lions’ plans for 2022. Now, you won’t find me rooting harder for any other USC Trojan.