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2019 NFL Week 14 ThriveFantasy Picks:

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Let’s make a deal: If my NFL Week 14 ThriveFantasy Picks help win you some money, can we please stop talking about Mike Tomlin as coach of the year? Seriously.

I’m going to give you my NFL Week 14 ThriveFantasy Picks either way. But I actually had someone try to tell me today that Tomlin was the AFC Coach of the Year. And I understand the argument, but I just don’t agree with it.

At least the individual making this argument started in a very rational manner. To paraphrase he said he knew many would probably argue for John Harbaugh or Bill Belichick. And that’s not my argument, but he was right. But he then went on to talk about all the talent that the Steelers lost this year. Because last time I checked, they acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick, one of the best moves made this season.

Meanwhile, they lost a petulant prima donna distraction at wide receiver. Their 37-year old quarterback who had thrown 13 or more interceptions each of the last four years and seemed to have trouble winning on the road was lost to injury. They saved literally millions of dollars in cap space not resigning Le’Veon Bell, who is averaging barely over 3.2 yards behind a lesser offensive line.

The front office has done an incredible job in Pittsburgh. And the reason the Steelers continue to win is that the same front office has managed to continually acquire talent. The Steelers continue to win in spite of Mike Tomlin. Yes, Tomlin finally won a challenge this year but that’s exactly the point. He doesn’t know when, how, or where to challenge.

Can you name one good team that Pittsburgh has beaten this year? The best team they beat this year is the Rams, at home in Pittsburgh. But it seems people don’t know what is good coaching and what isn’t. So the “theme” for my NFL week 14 ThriveFantasy Picks centers around some of the more high profile coaches this week.

2019 NFL Week 14 ThriveFantasy Picks

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Grab ‘Em

So one of the most talked-about coaches this year is Sean McVay who some people are saying should be fired. Are these people out of their minds?

If the Steelers are going to keep Tomlin after some lean years, the Rams would be foolish to even entertain the thoughts of letting McVay go.

However, some of the talent they have they might want to reconsider. And that starts with their starting quarterback.

Jared Goff, Rams 22.5 Completions – 110 Points – UNDER

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Let’s set the baseline first: Goff is averaging 23.6 completions a week. Yet if we throw out the extreme outlier 45 completion day against TB, that average drops to 21.6. Even if we balance it out by also throwing out his two lowest completion days against the Bears and 49ers, his average completion rate is still below 23 completions, or right around this week’s line.

Now, let’s apply some facts. Seattle is allowing just under a 64% completion rate. This means that Goff is going to have to attempt 36 passes in order for him to hit that 23 completion mark. Will he do that? Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Rams are 7-5. In the Rams five losses, Goff is averaging 43.8 attempts. In their seven wins, Goff is averaging 33.4 attempts. I think it is safe to say McVay’s game plan will not be to have Goff throw the ball 30+ times.

I’ll take the additional ten points as something tells me McVay puts the ball in the hands of Todd Gurley. Which is why I am also going to take….

Todd Gurley, Rams 84.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards – 100 Points – OVER

Perhaps this was the Rams plan all along. Rest Todd Gurley until the playoff push.

I’ve been cheating a little bit here because we already know Gurley is going to see more carries this week. Why? Because Sean McVay is not an idiot:


I think he goes way over these numbers, but lets conservatively give Gurley 15 carries and 4 catches. I was tempted to use his career averages, but instead let’s use this the averages from this disappointing year, which are 4.2 yards per carry and 6.1 yards per catch. Some quick multiplication…..that’s 87 yards. Well, that’s the over, and remember our estimates were conservative.

Given that Seattle is giving up a weekly average of more than 22 fantasy points to RBs, I’m feeling confident that Gurley can hit the over here. But we are not done with McVay yet. Let’s talk about when Seattle has the ball.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks 282.5 passing + rushing yards – 100 Points – UNDER

Originally I was going to go with the OVER because I’d rather bet on Russell Wilson than against him. I was originally thinking like 225 passing yards and 60 rushing yards. But Wilson has yet to rush for 60 yards in a game this season. Furthermore, he’s he had two games of 50+ rushing yards, yet every other game is 32 rushing yards or less.

So let’s give him a generous 40 yards. He still needs another 243 passing yards. That’s a lot to ask from a quarterback playing for Pete Carroll, And you know ol’ Petey loves to run the ball. Despite the MVP-like year that Wilson is having, Seattle is still third in the league in rushing attempts.

Meanwhile, I think McVay doesn’t want this to become a shootout between Goff and Wilson, so he’ll slow the play pace down. And Carroll will gladly match that pace. Therefore, I just don’t think Wilson gets enough attempts to get that much yardage. Throw in the fact that the Rams are in the top 12 in preventing QB fantasy points, it just makes more sense to take the UNDER on Wilson here.

The next thing I am about doing might be one of the risky plays I’ve made all year–I am going to bet agaisnt Bill Bellichick.

Travis Kelce 75.5 receiving yards – 110 points – OVER

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Yup, I think Bill Bellichick will have a hard time keeping Travis Kelce in check.

But I’m not alone in that. Checking our buddy Bob Lung’s Consistency Ranking tool, he too recommends taking the over.

Meanwhile, Kelce is averaging 76.9 yards per game. In addition, he’s coming in on a nice little streak with three games of 75+ yards. The last time he saw less than seven targets was middle of October. Kelce doesn’t fail to haul it in too much and he’s averaging 13+ yards per catch. So if he catches six passes, he should be able to top 75 yards.

All of that, plus add the 10 point bonus? I’ll take that.

Of course, I think Bellichick finds a way to get his offense back on track too. Which is why I’m going to go aggressive and take

Julian Edelman, Patriots .5 receiving TDs – 120 points – OVER

One thing for the record, of all the WRs with TD prop bets on ThriveFantasy this week, I like DJ Moore the best.

But let’s focus on Edelman for now. I’m going to turn this over to our friends over at PFF….

Perhaps somewhat quietly, Edelman has played like a high-end WR1 for much of the season. He ranks third in XFP per game (17.7) and fifth in fantasy points per game (17.1). Running 68% of his routes from the slot, he draws an exploitable matchup in Week 14. Kansas City ranks best in fantasy points per game allowed to outside wide receivers (11.2), and third-best in fantasy points allowed per target (1.4). However, against slot wide receivers they rank 10th-worst in fantasy points per game (14.9), and third-worst in fantasy points per target (2.2).

 

Good enough for me. I’ll take Edelman, who has seen double-digit targets for the last six weeks, to score. Hopefully, I’m right and this is just one of many picks I get right on the NFL Week 14 ThriveFantasy slate. Because Tomlin love is out of control.


Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Mark Strausberg

Despite his youthful appearance, Mark has aged hundreds and hundreds of years due to soul-sucking and crushing near misses over his decades of both playing and writing fantasy sports.

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