ffm logo home

Fantasy Football Metrics

College Football Metrics

Brought to you by  - Total Football Advisors, LLC

ffm logo home

Fantasy Football Metrics

College Football Metrics

Brought to you by  - Total Football Advisors, LLC

ffm logo home

Fantasy Football Metrics

College Football Metrics

Brought to you by  - Total Football Advisors, LLC

SUBSCRIBE NOW >>
Get the app
App link only works on mobile.
Customer Service
"The scouting home for serious, high-stakes dynasty fantasy football profiteers
rss feed

2020 Season AFC Wild Card Fantasy Football and Handicapping Preview

Date:
January 8, 2021 8:55 AM
January 8, 2021 6:11 PM

2020 Season AFC Wild Card Fantasy Football and Handicapping Preview

 

We’re going to take a look at each wild card game from a handicapping and fantasy (playoffs version) perspective and then project/predict the full AFC bracket to the Super Bowl. Yesterday, we looked at the NFC (see FFM home page).

 

Colts at Bills (-6.5)

I have believed in the Bills as the top team in football since about Week 10-11-12, and I started theorizing that possibility Weeks 2-5 (that it was KC-BAL-BUF and then everybody else). I had the Bills top 2-3 in the NFL most of the season and was betting them that way…and because the analysts (and thus the public) did not believe that claim (until the last few weeks) the Vegas lines were suppressed, and the Bills were a very profitable bet most of the season. They’ve won (and won ATS) their last 6 games by 10 or more points, while the line has been the Bills as single digit favorites each time.

I don’t think the Bills are slowing down any at home in ‘feels like’ low 20s weather, with actual fans in attendance for the first time. Six of the Colts last 7 games have been indoors. They lost outside to the Steelers Week 16, and the Bills are a similar but 5x better team than Pittsburgh. This should be another 10+ point win for Buffalo – the clear best team in football today.

The Bills defense has gotten healthy and become a top unit again – meaning all things Colts are bad for fantasy purposes. Even Jonathan Taylor…who Frank Reich will probably rotate in out with Wilkins-Hines, as he does, even in the biggest game of the season for Indy. It’s just what Reich does.

I think the Bills will run the table and get to the Super Bowl led by who else – Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. They worked for FF in the regular season, and I see no reason to stop riding them. Also, John Brown should be fully back, healed and rested here, and is a solid ‘sleeper’ (of sorts)…a ‘sleeper’ in the sense he has been away so long we kinda forget about him. He was rolling in this offense, but was plagued with all kinds of injuries, then COVID reserved as well. In his last three games played, Brown has averaged 6.0 rec., 77.7 yards, 0.33 TDs per game.

 

 

Ravens (-3.0) at Titans

The Ravens have five wins-in-a-row, so they are ‘hot’ for Vegas line-making…the fact that their big wins are against DAL-JAX-NYG-CIN is a distraction not being discussed enough in the general public. They also beat CLE in that MNF gem, in the five game win streak -- but that was a lucky (but solid) win for sure (with CLE having injury issues on defense).

Baltimore is hard to figure out…a season-ending win streak, albeit against weaker teams. Lost four of 5 games before that, but all close losses to good teams…including getting beat, again, by the Titans. I don’t know what Ravens team shows up one week to the next. To me, their team ebbs and flows with CB Jimmy Smith being healthy or not…it totally changes their pass defense when he’s out. In the end, every time the Ravens have had a ‘big game’ spot in the 2020 season – they have not shown up/lost. There is risk it happens again here (and then Baltimore has serious franchise issues going forward with their current roster).

I could make a lot of the same claims about the Titans…beating bad teams, faltering against playoff teams the 2nd-half of the year – but did beat the Ravens Week 11.

It’s hard to beat a good team three times in a row, so the Ravens have that ‘edge’…as well as ‘revenge’ for last year in the playoffs, the shocking upset at the hands of the Titans. But, potentially trumping all that is the fact that the Titans are just better overall than the Ravens, Lamar Jackson is not a dominating QB in 2020 season (and Ryan Tannehill is the better, more reliable QB), and the Ravens cannot stop the run…and the Titans bring a great run game to the contest.

I wouldn’t bet this game at all.

In the end, I’d lean Tennessee…especially if CB Jimmy Smith is out or not 100%, plus you’re getting the points.

For Fantasy, you have to assume a battle of the stars…Henry v. Lamar. You have to worry A.J. Brown will get shut down again by Baltimore. AJB being taken away might open up a curveball play like Jonnu Smith. Someone out of the blue will have a nice moment in this game, like Dez or Jonnu…but I’d just go with the obvious – big Lamar touches v. big Henry touches…and Tannehill always finds a way to FF-matter.

 

 

Browns at Steelers (-6.0)

We haven’t had THIS Browns team face THIS Steelers team. We did have the Week 6 then-undefeated Steelers crush the Nick Chubb-less but with bad-luck-charm OBJ still playing version of the Browns. Week 17 we had could-care-less Steelers versus the desperate, COVID-riddled Browns…and the Browns barely pulled it out to make the playoffs.

This week we could opine that we get the best Browns roster versus the proper Steelers roster for the 2020 season. The Steelers were better earlier in the season before they got exposed/figured out and lost their starting linebacker(s). The Browns might have Chubb-Denzel Ward-Myles Garrett all together without OBJ (which is a good/great thing) for one of the few times this season.

Denzel Ward playing or not (COVID) is HUGE in trying to project this game/outputs.

The Browns are (6-2) in their last 8 games, and the Steelers are (4-4) in their last 8 games…call it (4-3) considering they quit on Week 17. Still, the Browns have been ascending while the Steelers have been falling. Pittsburgh has been close to losing their last five games…almost their last 6 games.

Point being…this isn’t a very good Steelers team. No run game. Ben fading. Tomlin inexplicable with his offense. A solid defense. Baker is probably a better QB talent than current day Ben is right now, except Ben has all the experience in these situations…and Baker does not, but Baker has played under a microscope since college. I don’t think he’ll be rattled in this spot.

Last 6 games…

Ben 11 TD passes/5 INTs, 2 games with 285+ yards passing

Baker 11 TDs/1 INT, 4 games with 285+ yards passing

The Browns have a better run game, O-Line/blocking advantage, and a capable if not more dynamic QB. The Steelers have the fact that Ben can be magical, they have a tough defense, and hopes that Diontae Johnson can catch footballs.

I think the Browns are better overall, but the Steelers have all the experience and home field which makes it SEEM like they should win. Either way, I’ll take the points unless the COVID inactives for CLE are just too harsh (and they might be). And I’ll be rooting for the Browns…because they deserve good things and more rooting for a Steelers loss to put a blazing fire underneath ‘the problem’ in Pittsburgh – Mike Tomlin.

In the end, I am not touching this game as a handicapper...I'll just 'take the points' as a pick but if Ward and OL Joel Bitonio are out...it's devastating to the Browns' cause.

For Fantasy, I assume both teams will have to overdo/ride their main weapon…heavy Nick Chubb (maybe 25+ carries/touches) vs. all Ben throwing (because they cannot run the ball). I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben threw the ball 50-60+ times in this game depending upon the flow.

Nick Chubb is an obvious FF play. Kareem Hunt has hope. Jarvis Landry has been hot.

Big Ben could lead all QBs in passer attempts this weekend, which is good for him for Fantasy and Diontae Johnson and either JuJu/Claypool or both…but Mike Tomlin leaves JuJu on the field always and Claypool is an ace special teamer, so flip a coin on Claypool (imagine Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones playing special teams as rookies…or being benched for fear of a ‘rookie wall’?).

 

 

AFC Wild Card Top Projections at each position for FF…

 

QB = Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen…Big Ben in 6pts per pass TD formats IF Denzel Ward is out

RB = Derrick Henry and Nick Chubb

WR = Diontae Johnson (if Ward out), Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry

TE = Austin Hooper

Sleeper = Jonnu Smith

Deep Sleeper = Dez Bryant

 

 

My AFC Playoff predictions…

 

Wild Card:

BUF def. IND

TEN def. BAL

PIT def. CLE

 

Divisional Round:

KC def. TEN or PIT or CLE

BUF def. PIT or TEN or BAL

 

AFC Finals:

BUF def. KC

 

 

***************************************************

College Football Metrics (CFM) 2021 subscriptions early sign-up early January 2021 open now.

It’s going to be a scouting NFL Draft season like no other – some top prospects opting out of their final college season, a unique schedule for CFB teams to have played, a different type of bowl season…a whole new backdrop to scout against. An experienced, talented scouting eye is going to rule. I have 10+ years of successful CFM scouting and analytics to lean on – I’m ready for the challenge.

I know the mainstream football analysis is going to butcher this year’s class even worse than normal – because they are going to blindly favor big school prospects more than ever, because those schools will have the only names they are truly familiar with, and it’s just the ‘name’ they are familiar with not their ‘game’. They’ll ‘hive mind’ run with whatever names the collective seems to be buzzing about – because they don’t put in the work, they just echo things they’ve heard. I’m not saying that to be a jerk – it’s the open window of opportunity (their failure) that I was able to build my career/business upon.

I spend many hours each offseason day/week/month researching the current class of top 100+ prospects individually as well as all the smaller school and ‘lesser named’ prospects our computer models start to identify. I study and compare prospect’s tape, and I input the performance data (weighted with our secret, proprietary scouting formulas) to get a firsthand feel for it so I can analyze and test/challenge all our analytics. I get to know these prospects on the field, statistically, and do character background research as well -- so I can boil it down to reports so my private clients and subscribers (from serious fantasy players, to professional handicappers, to agents, to NFL war room personnel) can know these prospects by description and statistically – for NFL purposes, for Dynasty Rookie Draft purposes, for Fantasy Best Ball/Redraft purposes in the preseason, and for handicapping and prop betting purposes.

If you love Fantasy Football, if you love the NFL Draft process – I guarantee you’ll never look at the process the same way again with a CFM subscription.

As the regular season football ends, a whole new season of football discovery begins with our ‘CFM’ subscription and study or current and past rookies (offense and defense) – and material flows daily all offseason January to September (NFL season start), leading us to using the material to our advantage for the NFL regular season.

Go to our College Football Metrics or Fantasy Football Metrics subscription pages for more information. 

***************************************************




Tags:
Support us by shopping our affiliate links>>
Draft Kings

Daily fantasy sports for cash! Play FREE to win millions!

Steiner Sports

15% OFF Authentic Sports and Entertainment Signed Memorabilia!

NFL Shop

NFLShop - The Official Online Shop of the NFL!

Amazon

Shop our Amazon affiliate link and save!

SportsMemorabilia.com

Shop for Authentic Autographed Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com

StubHub

Best Selection of NFL Tickets on StubHub!

LeagueSafe

Collect League Dues...for FREE!

FansEdge by Fanatics

Shop the Freshest Sports Apparel Styles from FansEdge

Fanatics

Sports Apparel, Jerseys and Fan Gear at Fanatics.com Sports Shop

About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>