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“You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don’t Take.”-Wayne Gretzky… -Michael Scott…


Woof! Week Three PICANTakes were Ruff! There are too many dog puns to describe how “contrarian” my hot takes ended up compared to the actual results. That’s also a sales-y way to say, “I was wrong…again.” A couple of them might have been classified as straddling the line between bold and plain stupid, and I was semi-close on a couple of them, but I’ll admit my 0-fer. My dad spent the three hours he was around preaching accountability, so I’ll chop the sleeves off my hoodie, grunt indistinguishably, and trudge onward.

Josh Allen did not rush for 100 yards. In fact, he didn’t even rush for 10 yards against the Rams in Week Three. Los Angeles employed a spy to keep Allen in the pocket, which left the secondary exposed to the tune of FOUR passing touchdowns.He still also found the end zone on the ground once to complete a second consecutive MONSTER performance. Buffalo is looking like a championship contender already this season, despite their defense struggling from linebacker injuries.

The Cowboys-Seahawks game lived up to the incendiary hype going in, but alas, only four receivers eclipsed 100 yards on the game instead of the five I predicted. This ended up rather close, however, thanks to the surprise emergence of Cedrick Wilson, who ended up with 107 yards on five catches and two touchdowns. I was 14 yards from Amari Cooper away from victory lapping something fierce on Twitter and everywhere else. A near win is technically a loss, but this one was damn close. My dogs were hiding behind the couch shaking on the last drive by the Cowboys, because I was shrieking, “Throw it to COOOOOP, NINETEEN!!!!”

The worst prediction from Week Three was undoubtedly that the Steelers defense would somehow reach the end zone more times than the Texans offense. I had this wild idea that the vaunted Pittsburgh pass rush would steal Deshaun Watson’s lunch money all game, getting a pick six and/or a strip sack while clamping down on the running game. I came away, after watching the tape, with a renewed admiration for the sheer talent and grit of Watson, who was predictably thrown around like a ragdoll, but still managed to throw two touchdown passes. He did throw one interception and took five sacks, but to post a 110.7 passer rating against that defense (and his putrid offensive line) is amazing.

The final take is a continuation take, where I raised the possibility that Nick Mullens is actually better than big money starter Jimmy Garoppolo and would smash the Giants with such a stat line that some quarterback controversy rumors would swirl. Since I live in 49ers country, I have heard some grumblings about Jimmy G’s limitations and how Mullenslooked “respectable,” but his 21 fantasy points weren’t a massive performance. I would be surprised if he gets a second look after Garoppolo’s return from injury, barring another one, and there is enough of the season remaining to expect Jimmy G to surpass 21 points at least once to shatter my take. We shall see.

We’re looking for Week Four to raise some eyebrows, as the amount of crazy leading up to game day surrounding the COVID-19 infection of numerous Titans players and staff. Plus,the virus was also apparently hiding out in the feather in Cam Newton’s Curious George hat and has now ruled him out of the game against the Chiefs. That game might still take place Tuesday, but I have my doubts that it will actually kick off this week. In all seriousness, I wish nothing but good health to everyone on these teams that are dealing with the insanity surrounding this virus. In the NFL, the show will go on, so let’s turn the heat dial up to 11.

The Colts Will Force at Least Four Bears Turnovers

This is a hot take, but it’s rooted in statistics and my absolute disdain for both Chicago quarterbacks. Nick Foles did NOT beat out Mitchell Trubisky for the starting role, Matt Nagy is NOT a good offensive coach, and opponents are NOT passing successfully against Indianapolis. Foles had three touchdown passes against a terrible secondary and led a comeback win against a Falcons team that is notorious for choking away games. Even with all of that shallow success, Nick Foles showed up on tape looking like himself: a bad quarterback. Give me all of the Colts defense this week and fade every Bears offensive player.

Darrell Henderson will be THE RB1 in PPR points on the Week.

A lot of fantasy analysts like Henderson this week. He will get a good amount of volume against a terrible Giants defense, where game flow should favor a lot of running the ball. Where this take is completely BONKERS is that the whole world is expecting the RB1 this week to be Alvin Kamara.  If it isn’t Kamara, it would be Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott, or Aaron Jones…right? This is where a good opportunity, mixed with some big breakaway runs and a couple scores, puts the sophomore runner from Memphis at the top of the heap this week.

Matthew Stafford Will Pass for 400+ Yards and DET Will Beat NOS by 10

I have this as my highest game total on the slate and many “experts” are predicting fireworks, so I made this one a TWO-fer. The Saints will be leaning heavily on Alvin Kamara and a bunch of lunch pail guys for the third week in a row. The difference this week is the absence of Jared Cook on offense and All-Pro cornerback Marcus Lattimore on defense. The latter is very bad news for a squad tasked with slowing down the likes of Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Jr., and TJ Hockenson. I won’t take a win on this unless both predictions are correct.

Carson Wentz Will NOT Commit a Turnover on Sunday Night

This should finish off anyone still reading while nodding in agreement with the plausibility of my PICANTakes. I don’t think Carson Wentz has been dealt any favors this season, playing without healthy offensive linemen and wide receivers. He is also to blame because he himself is playing dreadfully. He has the lowest passer rating in the NFL from a clean pocket and the least accurate in terms of on target pass percentage. This take stems from a belief that the Eagles will do everything in their power to simplify Wentz’s game plan, with a heavy dose of Miles Sanders and Zach Ertz. The 49ers defense is in a similar state of disarray, so a conservative attack of a tattered opponent should bode for a dull and methodical primetime affair.

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