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The FFM Analysts Debate/Discuss the 2022 NFL Season Projections (Part 5)

June 16, 2022 9:46 PM
June 17, 2022 11:00 AM

The FFM Analysts Debate/Discuss the 2022 NFL Season Projections (Part 5)


A couple of weeks ago, we ran a series (Faux 1.0) where our analysts ran their 2022 season projections for wins-losses and projecting through the playoffs. They then took that information and pitched their Top 3 over-under win total bets, using a fictitious $1,000 to wager. Now, to wrap up this series, the analysts were engaged in a chat format debate/questions on their 2022 projected season results and top over-under bets – and we will be publishing the chat over the course of this week in a daily series, publishing a section at a time (in order).

This chat was designed to detail more on the group’s top predictions and/or most controversial projections. Sometimes the group is in agreement, but there’s always room for firework debates on the right topic (and we had a few).

We hope you enjoy this peek behind the curtain as the FFM analyst’s weigh in on their early predictions and projections for 2022. Analysts = RC, Ross Jacobs, Xavier Cromartie, and Chris Bilello (limited due to travel when we had this ongoing chat). 

*Forgive any typos, shorthand-grammar…it’s an informal chat, with a lot of words published straight from the chat.

RC: There’s a lot of love/mention of the Eagles and Saints, and I should’ve put Philly into this NFC conversation earlier…because we have a group average of 10.3 wins for them with an 8.5-win total line (and horrible money at -150).

Philadelphia is to Chris as Indy is to Ross…the team projected much higher in wins than the rest of the group. Actually, everyone but me has Philly winning the NFC East. I have the Eagles at 8 wins, not making the playoffs. I’m the outlier on the other end of the spectrum (get it) on Philadelphia’s win total.

I have no great defense for my position except to say…I probably am underestimating them. I think I took my disdain for Nick Sirianni, and his staff, and Eagles management too far. The roster/starting lineup is solid across the board, except maybe linebacker. I should give them more defensive credit for James Bradberry added. I think I was light, and in Faux 2.0, I’ll probably correct it.

My only real path to them having a losing record is – they are not great, they are good. So is Dallas…and possibly Washington and NYG are scrappers in that division, and that the whole division will be a cluster and the Eagles could just be a half-step behind. But looking at it more…I think I’m too light/low on them.

But of the Saints-Eagles…I like the Eagles better. I’m low man on the Saints (6 wins) but the group average on N.O. is 8.0 wins, which is ‘under’ the 8.5 line. I just can’t back a team led by Jameis…especially Jameis off an ACL. Losing the likes of Sean Payton, Terron Armstead, and Malcolm Jenkins is some leadership continuity disruption…and when you have a locker room filling up with returning Mike Thomas, lunatic Jarvis Landry, overrated SAF nobody ever wants after they spend for him Tyrann Mathieu, and Marcus Maye with Winston – I just think this team, this organization is asking for trouble and Payton bailing and some others in the organization leaving…I don’t like the feel of them, just a personal feel.

The Eagles, Saints, and Vikings seem to be always (recently) in that ‘maybe’ territory…not winning a Super Bowl type team, but a tough-out and wild card hopeful or low-level division winner in the 8-9-10 wins range.

Who do you feel strongest about from the Philly or Saints, or Vikings…or let me add a Trey Lance-led/no Jimmy G. on the roster? These are four teams we all have as wild card level teams, for the most part, not division winners…except Philly in a mediocre NFC East. Philly-Saints-Vikings…oddsmakers have all three at 8.5 wins. No line for SF because of the QB situation, but it will probably be 9.5 wins with Lance…maybe.

For a million dollars if you’re right, pick the team that will win the most games in 2022 among these four teams? 

Then…if I told you one of them won the Super Bowl, and you got a million dollars if you picked it correctly – which one of the four would you think it to be? 

Ross: If any of your answers are any team except SF I'm going to be disappointed. They are head and shoulders above that group. So actually I'm going to remove them from the discussion at least for me. Most games won and a possible Super Bowl...it's got to be SF.

After SF I think I'd take Philly over Minnesota and NO even though they are the team I currently have projected as the lowest among the three! (Philly 8.l wins, NO 8.3, Min 8.6) I'm probably underrating the additions of AJ Brown, Bradberry, and Reddick a little bit and I'll likely tick them up in my 2.0 projections. I could see Phi getting to 10 wins perhaps. The Saints I'm starting to lose confidence in. I still think they have a pretty solid overall roster but there are risk factors I think I underrated at first. Jameis coming off an ACL (although he's had a long time to recover...think about Burrow's timeline last year), Kamara could be suspended, Mike Thomas seemingly isn't ready to go yet, and possible leadership issues (although I think that might be more a long term thing). I still think they win 7 games minimum though and the defense could carry them to 9. I'm not willing to bet on them either direction. Same for the Vikings as we've already discussed.

XC: When we started, the Eagles were at Over 8.5 (-150), but FanDuel has now changed it to Under 9.5 (-120). I think that's the only team that has shifted. Even without this information, I would have taken the Eagles to win the most games of the four teams. I don't believe in the Fraudy-Niners.

I see the Eagles as most similar to the Patriots and Vikings. Overall they're all in the top 1/3 of NFL teams. The Eagles are just a little better than the Vikings. I see the Saints and 49ers in the middle of the pack of NFL teams, but for different reasons; the Saints are better on defense, whereas the 49ers are better on offense.

The Eagles have the best chance at a Super Bowl, because I think their offense works well. It's not so much that Jalen Hurts stands above these other QBs, but the overall talent that he's working with on the Eagles’ offense is excellent. It's like he's back at Alabama with so much talent around him.

RC: For the $1M, I’d pick Minnesota for both options…most wins, furthest in the playoffs. In order for one of the teams we have to choose from to make it big, everything would have to go right/stay healthy and they’d have to have the top QB, or arguably the top QB. Winston v. Lance v. Hurts v. Cousins…I;’ll take Cousins on a number of levels, if just not for his experience. If the Vikings defensive unit has a healthy Danielle Hunter all season PLUS all the changes they made on defense PLUS that killer home field, I’m with the Skol.

RC: Winding us down…

If I visited you from the future and told you one of the Vegas odds teams with a current line set at 7 wins or less, actually made it to the Final Four of the playoffs, who would you think it was and why?

The choices are (alpha): ATL, CAR, CHI, DET, HOU, JAX, NYJ, SEA.

I have to go with the Jets, who I had in the Faux 1.0 wild card…so, I’m already a believer. Two great personnel offseasons the last two years. A possible sneaky good defense. But I almost went with Detroit – I believe in Goff, they have a nice O-Line, and now have real WR weapons to go with a hard-nosed, scrappy defense. 

XC: The obvious answer is the New York Jets. It is possible if Zach Wilson makes a great leap forward in his second season. Maybe his rookie season humbled him. Growing up, he was not a particularly devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He got a little more into it, out of necessity, at BYU. Perchance at some point this offseason, he sat down and opened the Book of Mormon to 1 Nephi. And then, mayhaps, he read the story of the attempt by Lehi's sons to obtain the plates of brass from Laban. They failed twice. But they did not give up. Nephi returns again, defeats Laban, and obtains the plates. Perhaps this story will inspire Wilson to become great.

If he becomes great, he has a lot to work with on offense. He has four solid WRs, and the Jets added some TEs. The OL is being built in the Eagles' style. On defense, they fixed the CB problem. If they had better play at LB, they would be pretty good. But the Jets are pretty much all on Wilson's shoulders. He could, instead, end up like Coriantumr the Dissenter—overconfident from the ease of his earlier victories, ultimately leading to his downfall. 

RC: Don’t ruin the last episode of Stranger Things for me, I’m almost at the midseason finale. 

Ross: If you told me one of those teams made the final four I'd ask you what you're smoking...but if I had to choose one it would likely be the Jets because Zach Wilson made a huge jump. I could also see maybe Jacksonville if their defense made a bigger turn with all the additions and Pederson got the offense close to average. Even Carolina has a decent squad outside of QB, so if Corral somehow ended up better than expected that could be an option. But honestly all of these scenarios are huge long shots. None of these teams looks anywhere close to competing to me.

RC: OK, let’s reverse that last question…

If I visited you from the future and told you that one of your final 8 playoff teams (division round) finished with 6 wins in 2022 season, and they didn’t have a QB (played all 17 games) or major injury at all really – who is the ‘good’ team who is most ripe to let you down? 

For me, it would have to be the Vikings…that the new coach was a dud and the defense never came together the way I think they’re going to…and as Detroit rises up some in the NFC North, perhaps.

XC: For me the only sensible answers are either the Titans or the Eagles. But it's hard to believe that it would be the Eagles. Even if Jalen Hurts turned into a pumpkin, they have Gardner Minshew behind him, and the rest of the team is constructed well.

With the Titans, the argument is easy: Tannehill could regress into the mediocre QB he was with the Dolphins. Malik Willis is just a backup and he's nowhere near ready to play. The new WRs might not work out. Derrick Henry is getting closer to his expiration date. They're small at CB. The safeties have to maintain elite play. A lot could go wrong… a “Titanic” disaster, if you will. But, as previously mentioned, more likely they will be a steady, solid team.

Ross: My final 8? Yikes. There's only two I can realistically think of a scenario for but it feels like a massive stretch to say either one of them would only win 6 games without major injuries. The 49'ers or Colts I guess. I'm sure that makes it sound like I don't have confidence in my Colts after I said I think they could potentially be the #1 seed in the AFC, but that's just not true. But if you told me from the future that one team only won 6 games I'd have to assume something went massively wrong and the only two teams I can envision that happening too are Indy and SF if Matt Ryan just fell off a cliff or Trey Lance completely bombed. They are the only two QB's in my final 8 that remotely have questions about them so it's basically by default.

Tomorrow we wrap things up with a Deshaun Watson debate, out of nowhere...

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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 >>