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Fantasy Fix: Forecasting Is Dead

It hasn't been a good year for fantasy forecasting. As I've noted probably too many times, the unexpected has ruled this season, and expert projections have been so wildly off week to week as to be useless.

And that was before Ben Roethlisberger's Week 8. After his 522 passing yards and six TDs against the Colts, we all just need to fly by the seat of our pants the rest of the way.

I'll amend that comment: If you actually started Big Ben last week on your fantasy team, I'm going to shut up and listen to what you're saying the rest of the season. There was absolutely no reason to trust the Pittsburgh QB going into Week 8. He had thrown for more than two TDs only once all season, and in four out of seven weeks had thrown one TD or none. Since passing for 365 yards in Week 1, he had broken 300 yards only once.

Meanwhile, he was facing an Indianapolis defense that had allowed a total of two passing TDs in the previous four weeks, and was coming off a shutout of Cincinnati.

Big Ben was not even owned in 75% of Yahoo! leagues before Tuesday.

In Week 9, Pittsburgh will face off against Baltimore, which we have to assume won't roll over the way the Colts defense did - right?

More amazing fantasy feats from Week 8:

* Tom Brady is on a roll, and it's not just because he's coming off a 51-point splurge against the Bears. Though clearly the Bears are good for what ails any opposition, Brady actually has been lighting up the fantasy scoreboard for the last month, with 14 TDs in Weeks 5-8 after just four in the first weeks of the season. He's suddenly looking like the Tom Terrific of old rather than the fantasy bust of 2013 and early 2014. And if you think it's all just because Rob Gronkowski is finally healthy, well, in WRs Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, the Pats' have found the reliability they had been missing at the wide-out position.

* Martellus Bennett was not the best TE of the week, let alone the best in his own game, in which Gronk caught three TDs. However, Bennett continued an impressive fantasy season with six catches for 95 yards and one TD. He's now on pace for 94 receptions, more than 1,000 yards and eight TDs. Plus, as the Bears try to redraw their offense in the coming weeks, you've got to think Bennett will be fed even more passes as Jay Cutler finally, hopefully, stops forcing the ball to his WRs.

* Former Bear and current Bill Kyle Orton had himself a week as well, throwing for four TDs against, okay, the Jets. Orton probably is not to be trusted unless you're really in trouble at QB, but it's worth noting that WR Sammy Watkins, subject of so much pre-season hype, is beginning to come around, with 279 yards and three TDs in his past two games. Fellow WR Robert Woods also is a reliable target, and with injuries clouding the RB position, Orton might be giving Watkins and Woods a lot of work the rest of the way.

* Jeremy Maclin had been having a decent season before Week 8, though not really the breakout season many expected. But 187 yards receiving and two TDs may change that opinion. Maclin has never had a 1,000-yard receiving season, but is now on course for close to 1,300 yards and 12 TDs, which also would be a career high. True, Philly has a lot of weapons, but with DeSean Jackson gone, Maclin looks to be the top target in town.

Expert Wire
* eyes young receivers, including Big Ben target Martavis Bryant.

* Bleacher Report has DeMarco Murray atop its Week 9 RB rankings. What a surprise.

* CBS highlights top RB add, rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro.


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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Posted on Oct 11, 2021