1. Calvin Johnson will light up the Baltimore secondary for 200 yards
This week, Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam called Calvin Johnson “old” and suggested the Ravens secondary should get physical with the All-Pro receiver in an effort to slow the Lions down. It’s always a bad idea to call out the top WR in all of football, but particularly bad when the Lions are at home. Over the past five games in the friendly confines of Ford Field, Megatron has exceeded 100 receiving yards and/or scored at least one touchdown. Going back to Week 7, Johnson is averaging 175 yards in four home games, with four touchdowns. Obviously fantasy owners would never sit Calvin Johnson, but a member of the Baltimore secondary may have inadvertently giving Megatron a reason to show up even larger than usual on Monday Night Football.
2. Greg Jennings will make a sneaky flex-play this week
Overall, Greg Jennings has been a big disappointment in his first season in Minnesota, but things could be looking up at just the right time. Three of Jennings’ top four fantasy games this season have come in games that were started by Matt Cassel, who seems to target Jennings at about twice the rate that Christian Ponder did. Over the past two games (both started by Cassel) Jennings has turned 19 targets into 12 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown. Another great reason to take a flier on Jennings is the match-up for this week. The Vikings host a Philadelphia secondary that ranks dead last in the NFL in terms of surrendering fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
3. Steven Jackson will be a top ten running back this week
Another free agent who has had a disappointing season, Jackson has battled to stay healthy in a lost season for the Falcons. Fantasy owners who held on to S-Jax are being rewarded down the stretch. Jackson has scored three touchdowns over Atlanta’s last three games and averaged 15.7 fantasy points-per-game in PPR formats. The best may be yet to come this week, as the Falcons play host to an atrocious Washington defense that has surrendered an incredible 19 touchdowns to opposing running backs so far.
4. Julian Edelman will top 100 yards and a touchdown, again
Even before TE Rob Gronkowski was lost for the season, Julian Edelman looked like he was going to be Tom Brady’s favorite target. During New England’s current three game winning streak, Edelman is averaging 10 receptions for 91 yards and has scored three times. Those numbers are good enough to make him fantasy football’s #4 wide receiver over the past three weeks – not bad for a guy who’s mostly been an afterthought. Miami has a very strong defense against opposing wide-outs, but Edelman will still be a deadly option on short passes, making him a must-start in PPR leagues.
5. The Jaguars will win again
The Bills’ coaching staff may have “scaled back” the offensive playbook for struggling rookie QB E.J. Manuel, but it hasn’t helped much. Meanwhile, the Jags defense has been stout recently, ranking as the 11th-best fantasy defense over the past five weeks and helping guide the club to three straight wins. This late-season run won’t help Jacksonville secure a high draft position, but it will give their ailing fan base a glimmer of hope for the future.