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NFL Week 17 bold predictions: Bengals upset Chiefs; George Pickens has encore performance

Throughout the 2023 season, NFL Network analysts will provide one bold prediction heading into each week's slate of games (see the full Week 17 schedule).

Marc Ross

All season long, we have waited for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense to look dominant, but the new norm is a unit that ranked third in drops and first in offensive penalties heading into Week 16, while logging the sixth-most turnovers. We’ll see more of the same against the Bengals on Sunday, as the Chiefs lose their fourth game out of their last five, failing once again to score 20-plus points. This is a new chapter of the Andy Reid-Mahomes era.

Maurice Jones-Drew

George Pickens put on a show last week, recording a career-high 195 receiving yards with two touchdowns against the Bengals. The young receiver dials up an encore performance one week later. With a playoff spot on the line, Mason Rudolph targets him 12 times, with Pickens hauling in 10 catches for 200 yards in another career day.

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David Carr

Saturday’s matchup between the Lions and Cowboys features no shortage of offensive stars, but the ones who’ll shine brightest at AT&T Stadium will be the guys up front. Dak Prescott and Jared Goff will be kept clean all game as both offensive lines won’t allow a single sack. 

Matt Okada

Between the recent resurgences of Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Demarcus Robinson, Kyren Williams' utter dominance, Puka Nacua's record-setting year and Sean McVay's ability to optimize all of them, it feels like the Rams are one of fantasy's most lovable teams these days. I'm ready for commitment. Against a soft Giants defense, every player named here will hit 15-plus fantasy points -- with Stafford, Williams and either Kupp or Nacua each topping 20 -- in a blowout win over the Giants that results in a playoff berth by the late afternoon.

Joel Smyth

Over the last half of the season, Travis Kelce is TE10 in fantasy points per game. He has one final shot to salvage a disappointing year with a vintage performance in the fantasy championship. Kelce faces off against the only defense to allow 1,000 receiving yards to tight ends on the year, as the Bengals have struggled against yards after the catch to the position. The unanimous TE1 in fantasy drafts has the matchup to come through when it matters most and will finish TE1 this week for the first time since Week 7.

Eric Edholm

Justin Fields will play one of his better games this season against a respectable Falcons defense, with rushing and passing scores, leading the Bears to a late victory. It’ll be so impressive, in fact, that it will convince Atlanta to trade for Fields this coming offseason.

Marcas Grant

Does predicting that someone will throw four touchdown passes against Washington’s porous defense count as bold? It might when the player in question threw four interceptions in his previous game. Brock Purdy should find the going much easier against the DMV’s other squad as he helps the 49ers rebound from a tough loss. The MVP conversation has rightfully moved on from Purdy, but he’ll get the Niners one step closer the top seed in the NFC.

Michael F. Florio

Patrick Mahomes will top 25 fantasy points for the first time since Week 7 and just the third time this year. The Bengals have allowed the most passing yards since Week 12, and they have let backup QBs Mason Rudolph and Nick Mullens torch them in recent weeks. Mahomes gets right in time to win some fantasy championships -- just maybe not in the way you envisioned when you drafted him. 

Full NFL Week 17 schedule

Saturday, December 30

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