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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 4 Worksheet

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Week 4 is already here, which means you have a good idea where the strengths and weaknesses of your teams lie. We’re also starting to build a feel for what offenses and defenses are shaping up to be the ones we want to attack or avoid if it all possible. Week 4 is also the beginning of the bye weeks, so make sure that you get all of your Washington and Carolina out of lineups this week.

 

For those that are new here, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.

 

As the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is an expectations-based column over a linear start/sit forum. The labels for each subset of players for each game is simply the vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player. Players that are high performers week-to-week are held to different standards than a secondary option in an offense. Every player runs into down weeks, and we’re trying to identify those moments, even for the star players you’re going to ride through thick and thin moments that don’t tally many low points during the season. That said, we’re still embracing some of the elements that will go along with a start/sit column as a byproduct of those expectations. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process.  Remember, you control your own team. If you are curious as to my personal weekly rankings, they can be found each and every week in the Season Pass section.

 

Vikings @ Rams


Minnesota Rank @ LA Rams Rank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
21.3   Implied Total 27.8  
19.7 24 Points/Gm 34.0 3
24.0 17 Points All./Gm 12.0 1
68.0 6 Plays/Gm 66.3 8
64.7 18 Opp. Plays/Gm 53.0 1
27.5% 32 Rush% 47.2% 5
72.6% 1 Pass% 52.8% 28
44.9% 25 Opp. Rush % 36.5% 8
55.2% 8 Opp. Pass % 63.5% 25

 

  • The Rams +66 point differential through three games is the highest in the league and their highest as a franchise through three games since 1970 (+67).
  • The Rams are averaging 49.7 yards from scrimmage per possession, the most in the league.
  • Jared Goff is the first Rams quarterback to throw for over 350 passing yards in back-to-back games since Marc Bulger in 2005.
  • Goff has 43 completions of 10 or more yards, the most in the league through three weeks.
  • Cooper Kupp's target rate per route has gone from 25.8 percent to 15.6 percent to 10.5 percent through three weeks.
  • Just 10.8 percent (4-of-37) of the Minnesota possessions have ended inside of the red zone, ahead of only Arizona (6.7 percent).
  • Vikings running backs are averaging .33 yards per carry before contact, the fewest in the league.
  • Adam Thielen's seven 100-yard receiving games trail only Keenan Allen and Antonio Brown (eight each) since the start of last season.
  • The Vikings are the only team to hold the Rams to single-digit points since the start of last season, holding the Rams to seven points after Los Angeles previously had outscored teams 117-24 the three games prior.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Adam Thielen: He’s had at least 12 targets in each of the first three games, seeing more looks than Diggs in two while matching him in the other. Thielen is also still running 32 percent of his routes on the perimeter, so he also will get a bump from the injuries to the Rams loss of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib as well.
  • Stefon Diggs: This was shaping up as a tough spot for Diggs who was just eaten up Tre’Davious White a week ago, but with both Peters and Talib now sidelined, he will line up against Sam Shields and Troy Hill for most of the night.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Todd Gurley: Minnesota allowed just 56 total yards to Gurley on 18 touches in their meeting a year ago and have started out the year ninth in yards per carry allowed to running backs this season, but they haven’t really been challenged by a talented back so far while they have giving up some huge plays in the passing game to opposing backs, allowing 56 and 55-yard receptions to backs in two of their first three games.
  • Robert Woods: He’s led or tied for the team lead in targets in each of the first three games and has five or more catches in nine of his past 13 games played, including a 8-81 line a year ago versus this secondary on the road.
  • Brandin Cooks:  He’s been a top-30 scorer in each of the opening three weeks and the Rams are moving him around the formation and using him in a more versatile fashion than he was a year ago, enabling him to get opportunities away from Xavier Rhodes, who has not had to travel inside this season.
  • Cooper Kupp: His targets have dipped each week to start the season, but this offense has been so good and has created so many scoring opportunities that you keep pushing out into lineups while the weakest link by default in the Minnesota secondary is on the inside with Mackensie Alexander and Mike Hughes.
  • Kirk Cousins: He has been lackluster outside of one jailbreak 4th quarter in Week 2, but with the injuries on the back end for Los Angeles and the Rams’ capability to score on anyone when things are in high-gear, Cousins should run into plenty of volume here.
  • Kyle Rudolph: He’s been his best the two weeks in which the Vikings steadily chased points on the scoreboard, something they will need to likely do versus this offense while the Rams have faced the sixth-most targets to tight ends to start the season.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Jared Goff: He’s been so good that I don’t believe you have to rush out and play a streamer over him, but I have him as a QB2 this week as the Minnesota defense is undoubtedly better than it showed a week ago and held Goff to his second-lowest fantasy scoring game of 2017 right after Goff had reeled off back-to-back weeks as the QB1 and QB3 overall.
  • Dalvin Cook: Coming off a hamstring injury, the Vikings have been unable to run the ball at all so far on much worse defensive fronts than the one they will face on the road here. Cook has at least 50-yards receiving in each of his two games played, which he will need here to stay afloat in RB2 territory.

 

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Texans @ Colts

 

Houston Rank @ Indianapolis Rank
1.5   Spread -1.5  
22.8   Implied Total 24.3  
19.7 23 Points/Gm 20.0 21
24.7 19 Points All./Gm 21.0 14
65.0 13 Plays/Gm 64.3 15
63.0 14 Opp. Plays/Gm 66.0 22
40.5% 16 Rush% 32.6% 27
59.5% 17 Pass% 67.4% 6
48.7% 30 Opp. Rush % 38.9% 15
51.3% 3 Opp. Pass % 61.1% 18

 

  • Houston is the only team in the league that has yet to run an offensive snap with a lead through three weeks.
  • The Texans average drive begins with them trailing by 9.4 points, the worst in the league.
  • Deshaun Watson's 13.8 yards per completion trails only Patrick Mahomes (14.5) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (15.8).
  • Andrew Luck's 7.8 yards per completion rank last of all quarterbacks.
  • 72.9 percent of Andrew Luck's completions have gained fewer than 10 yards, the lowest rate outside of Sam Bradford (76 percent).
  • T.Y. Hilton is averaging 10.5 yards per reception through three weeks. His career mark heading into this season was 15.8 yards per catch.
  • Hilton's average depth of target is 8.0 yards. His career average depth of target heading into this season was 12.6 yards.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • T.Y. Hilton: This offensive shift has turned Hilton into a volume-based possession receiver, but he has double-digit targets in every game while he as historically lit the Texans up. Hilton has five 100-yard games against Houston with at least 50-yards in 9-of-12 career games while he’s scored 25 percent of his career touchdowns against the Texans.
  • Will Fuller: The Colts are not giving up huge plays in the passing game like they were a year ago -ranking fifth in receptions of 20-plus yards allowed to start the year -but Fuller has now scored in all six of his games played with Watson under center and has gone over 100-yards in three straight with at least five catches in each of those games.
  • DeAndre Hopkins: He has double-digit targets and at least six receptions in all three games and while the Colts have strong numbers against opposing wideouts to start the year, the past two teams they have faced (Washington and Philadelphia) were not passing games driven by the strength of their receiver player like Houston is.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Andrew Luck: He has been the QB30 and the QB20 in each of the past two weeks on the road, but he comes back home indoors against a Houston defense that ranks 31st in passing points allowed per attempt, which gives him a pulse as an option this week.
  • Eric Ebron: We’re entering this week were we left off in Week 3, treating things as if Jack Doyle will be questionable at best. Ebron left a lot meat on the bone a week ago but played 88 percent of the snaps and saw 11 targets, including three end zone targets. Houston has allowed opposing tight ends to catch 13-of-14 targets for 196 yards and two touchdowns to start the season.
  • Deshaun Watson: Four of his five touchdowns have come in the 4th quarter chasing points while all three quarterbacks to face the Colts have been QB16 or lower, but his 40 rushing yards per game provide a nice safety net.
  • Lamar Miller: In typical Miller fashion, he’s opened the season as the RB26, RB34 and RB23 through three games, but he remains a lock for 15+ touches and the Colts rank 27th in yards from scrimmage allowed to backfields to start the season.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Colts RBs: The only one you can consider is Nyheim Hines as a low-level FLEX. This stable of backs has combined for 290 yards from scrimmage on 77 touches through three weeks with no individual reaching 65 total yards in any game thus far.

 

Bills @ Packers

 

Buffalo Rank @ Green Bay Rank
10   Spread -10  
17.8   Implied Total 27.8  
16.7 29 Points/Gm 23.3 14
28.0 24 Points All./Gm 27.7 23
61.3 23 Plays/Gm 65.0 14
64.7 19 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.0 15
44.6% 10 Rush% 30.3% 31
55.4% 23 Pass% 69.7% 2
34.0% 6 Opp. Rush % 42.3% 22
66.0% 27 Opp. Pass % 57.7% 11

 

  • Davante Adams has caught a touchdown in five consecutive games dating back to last year. That is the longest active streak in the league and one behind the franchise record held by Randall Cobb, Sterling Sharpe and Billy Howton.
  • The Bills have allowed just 10.2 percent of the passing yardage they've allowed to come on completions 15-yards or further downfield, the lowest rate in the league. The rest of the league is at 30.5 percent.
  • Packers backfield snaps in Week 3: Jamaal Williams 30, Ty Montgomery 20 and Aaron Jones 17.
  • After receiving 35.4 percent of the team touches through the opening two games, Williams had 15.9 percent of the touches in Week 3.
  • 90 percent of the rushing attempts against the Packers have gained positive yardage, the highest rate through three weeks.
  • Josh Allen has accounted for 32.9 percent of the Buffalo rushing yardage, the highest rate for a quarterback.
  • Just 5-of-27 rookie quarterbacks to face the Packers in Lambeau Field have thrown more than one touchdown pass in a game.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Aaron Rodgers: He’s been the QB19 and the QB12 playing injured against two of the better pass defenses in the league. This situation as a high-total, home favorite didn’t work out for us a week ago against the Bills, but they still rank 18th in passing yardage allowed per game to quarterbacks and 21st in points allowed per pass attempt.
  • Davante Adams: Adams quietly has been held under 100-yards in 19 of his past 20 games played and will lock up with Tre’Davious White on the boundary, but Adams has at least seven catches in each of the past two matchups against tough individual corners and has been a touchdown machine.
  • Jimmy Graham: This sets up to be his best game of the season against a Bills defense that has allowed opposing tights to catch 18-of-24 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown to begin the season.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Randall Cobb: After a huge start to the season, he’s slipped back into WR4-land the past two weeks, but he still received 24 percent of the team targets a week ago while the Bills have allowed 24 receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns from the slot through three games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Packers RBs: Buffalo has allowed six touchdowns to backs on the season, but this is setting up for a short-term committee as Aaron Jones looked explosive in his first game back, rushing for seven yards per carry. Even in a great spot on paper as a home favorite, no one is more than a dart at a FLEX spot.
  • Josh Allen: His rushing factor makes him someone that we must acknowledge having higher upside than assumed given his situation, but he finds himself in a great week for other streaming options while we’d still be chasing attachment to a huge road underdog.
  • LeSean McCoy: He should be expected back this week in some capacity and the Packers have been roughed up for 4.98 yards per carry (29th) by backfields so far, but it’s still hard to consider McCoy above RB3 status if he’s still limited by his rib injury and the Bills are chasing big points.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Geronimo Allison: He has at least 12 points in all three games while attached to Rodgers in an advantageous spot at home, but his target share has gone from 21.6 percent to 14.3 percent to 8.9 percent to start the season, leaving you low floor potential as well.

 

Buccaneers @ Bears

 

Tampa Bay Rank @ Chicago Rank
3   Spread -3  
22.0   Implied Total 25.0  
34.0 4 Points/Gm 21.0 18
30.3 29 Points All./Gm 18.3 8
63.0 17 Plays/Gm 66.0 10
65.7 21 Opp. Plays/Gm 57.0 4
38.6% 20 Rush% 42.9% 11
61.4% 13 Pass% 57.1% 22
30.0% 1 Opp. Rush % 33.9% 5
70.1% 32 Opp. Pass % 66.1% 28

 

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick is the first quarterback to ever throw for 400-yards in three consecutive games.
  • Just 15.4 percent of the offensive yardage gained by Tampa Bay has been from rushing, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Just 5.6 percent of Mitchell Trubisky's completions have gone for 20 or more yards, tied with Dak Prescott for the lowest rate in the league.
  • Trubisky has completed just 25 percent (4-of-16) of his throws 15-yards or further downfield, the lowest rate for any three-game starter.
  • 11.4 percent (4-of-35) of the drives against the Bears have reached the red zone and 5.7 percent have gone inside of their 10-yard line, the lowest rates in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Mike Evans: He has at least five catches in all five of Fitzpatrick’s starts with the Buccaneers, catching 34-of-52 targets (65.4 percent) for 537 yards with three touchdowns, including a touchdown in every game this season.
  • Allen Robinson: He’s having quarterback issues once again as just 60.7 percent of his targets have been catchable, but things don’t get much better on paper for a guy commanding 9.3 targets per game against a secondary that has allowed the most fantasy points to lead wideouts to start the season and a touchdown to each WR1 they’ve faced.
  • Trey Burton: He’s coming off his best game of the season to face the only defense in the league to allow a top-12 scoring tight end in each of the first three weeks.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: Keep riding the wave, but this is a good spot for things to slow down a bit as he created his own necessary game script a week ago to climb out of while the Bears have been a team that slows down the pace for the opposition.
  • O.J. Howard: He has been the TE13 or better in every week while his routes and targets per game have climbed in each of those weeks. The Bears have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in each of the past two games.
  • Chris Godwin: His opportunity has risen each game and he has five targets from inside of the 10-yard line while the rest of the team has combined for five.
  • DeSean Jackson: He’s the ultimate boom-or-bust WR3 as we’re steadily chasing a long touchdown given that he’s now been out-targeted by Godwin the past two weeks, but the Bears have already allowed four touchdown receptions from outside of the red zone, which is only better than the Saints.
  • Mitchell Trubisky: He’s been a mess so far, but if you can’t stream him at home against a defense that has allowed 375.3 passing yards per game to begin the season coming off a short week, then there’s little to no hope moving forward that he’s a viable fantasy option.
  • Jordan Howard: He’s still an RB2 option coming off a season-high 26 touches and a home favorite, but he’s rushed 38 times for 96 yards (2.5 YPC) the past two weeks while Tampa Bay is fifth in rushing production allowed so far versus New Orleans, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Peyton Barber: No backfield has produced fewer fantasy production than this one while the Bears have allowed the fewest points to opposing backfields. That is partially a byproduct of them facing three of the weakest running games in the league, but Tampa Bay falls into that category as well.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Taylor Gabriel: His targets have from five to seven to 10 over the opening three games and Anthony Miller is now sidelined with a shoulder injury. On top of that, he faces a defense that has allowed the second-most points to opposing receivers with this potentially being the best spot that his quarterback will have on paper all season.

 

Dolphins @ Patriots

 

Miami Rank @ New England Rank
7   Spread -7  
20.3   Implied Total 27.3  
25.0 11 Points/Gm 19.0 25
17.3 6 Points All./Gm 25.7 20
51.7 31 Plays/Gm 60.0 28
68.0 25 Opp. Plays/Gm 70.0 28
47.7% 3 Rush% 41.1% 15
52.3% 30 Pass% 58.9% 18
39.2% 16 Opp. Rush % 43.3% 24
60.8% 17 Opp. Pass % 56.7% 9

 

  • The Patriots have beaten the Dolphins in nine straight games in Foxboro, their longest streak at home over Miami in franchise history. They have won those games by an average of 18.2 points.
  • The 47 offensive plays run by the Patriots last week were their fewest in a game since 2010.
  • In Week 2, the Dolphins were the first team to score 28 or more points on 40 or fewer plays since 2010 and just the fifth team since 1965 to do so.
  • The 39 offensive plays run by the Dolphins last week were tied for the second-fewest in franchise history.
  • Chris Hogan has been targeted on just 11.7 percent of his routes -which ranks 41-of-43 wide receivers with over 100 snaps in route - ahead of only Laquon Treadwell (11.3 percent) and Josh Doctson (9.4 percent).
  • Per Pro Football Focus, Ryan Tannehill has been pressured on just 21.2 percent of his dropbacks, the lowest rate in the league.
  • New England has allowed the most rushes of five or more yards (37) and the most runs of 10 or more yards (16) through three weeks.
  • The Patriots have run the fewest plays inside of the opponent's 10-yard line (three) on the season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Rob Gronkowski: He’s had back-to-back non-TE1 games for the first time since 2011, so expecting a third in a row would be even more unique. The middle of the Miami defense is still the best place to attack while Gronk has posted lines of 5-82-2, 6-113-1 and 4-40-1 over his past three home games versus the Dolphins.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Tom Brady: We’ve seen him start slowly before, but he’s still attached to a large team total at home against a team that has only faced the Tennessee QBs, Sam Darnold and Derek Carr to start the season while Foxboro has been a horror show for Miami.
  • Chris Hogan: Despite seeing nearly no volume, he’s still running 61 percent of his routes from the slot, where the Dolphins just allowed 78 yards and a touchdown to the ghost of Jordy Nelson a week ago.
  • James White: He leads all running backs in air yards in the receiving game and has been the safest back to use in this backfield, starting the season out as a top-24 scorer in all three games.
  • Sony Michel: He played 47.9 percent of the Week 3 snaps after playing 21.3 percent in Week 2 and has a target or touch on 80.6 percent of his snaps, the highest rate in the league. While the results haven’t been there, we still can’t ignore that type of usage on a potentially good offense at home while Rex Burkhead has officially been placed on IR.
  • Kenyan Drake: Last week was one of the weirdest circumstances he could encounter with Miami running almost no plays and trailing for nearly the entire game. He’s still a road dog, but New England is 30th in rushing allowed to backfields while facing the Texans, Jaguars without Leonard Fournette and Detroit to begin the season.
  • Ryan Tannehill: He has multiple touchdown passes each week, has hardly been pressured, has added 44 and 26 yards rushing the past two games and is facing a defense that is 20th in points allowed per pass attempt to start the season.
  • Kenny Stills: The Patriots have allowed the fourth-most receptions to wide receivers to begin the season, but the Miami situation is tricky for predicting fantasy production. I’d much rather play Tannehill as a way to cover the Miami pass catchers since the Dolphins have five players between 11-14 targets on the season, but if we have to pick out one guy to swing on more than others, it’s Stills. He’s led the Dolphins in routes run every week by a substantial margin.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Phillip Dorsett: He was blanked a week ago on six targets while he should draw Xavien Howard most of the New England wideouts. if Josh Gordon is available to play, he slides into this role on a limited basis and is not a trustworthy starting option.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)


  • Jakeem Grant: I can’t recommend him as a strong play since he ran just six pass routes last week, but the Dolphins clearly have a plan for him when he enters the game in a Tyreek Hill-2016 kind of a way. In game that should feature the most passing volume for Miami on the young season, he’s a dart throw for upside.

 

Lions @ Cowboys

 

Detroit Rank @ Dallas Rank
3   Spread -3  
20.3   Implied Total 23.3  
23.3 15 Points/Gm 13.7 31
29.3 26 Points All./Gm 17.7 7
70.0 5 Plays/Gm 55.0 30
55.3 3 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.0 20
31.4% 30 Rush% 40.0% 17
68.6% 3 Pass% 60.0% 16
50.0% 31 Opp. Rush % 45.1% 28
50.0% 2 Opp. Pass % 54.9% 5

 

  • Dallas has failed to hit their implied team total in six straight games dating back to last season -the longest streak in the league- and have met their implied team total just once over their past 11 games.
  • Ezekiel Elliott has tallied 98.3 percent of the Dallas backfield touches, the highest rate in the league.
  • Since entering the league, Elliott ranks first in rate of games to eclipse 100-yards rushing (46.4 percent) and ranks third in rate of games with a touchdown (60.7 percent).
  • Elliott has 20.9 percent of the Dallas targets, but just 7.4 percent of their receiving yardage. That -13.5 percent gap from target to yardage rate is the largest discrepancy among running backs.
  • Just 8.1 percent of Dak Prescott's pass attempts been on throws 15-yards or further downfield, the lowest rate in the league. League average rate is 17.5 percent.
  • Kerryon Johnson has gone from 38.1 percent to 41.9 percent to 45 percent of the Detroit backfield touches over the opening three games.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Ezekiel Elliott: He predictably is at the top of the rushing leaderboard on the season and gets a home game against a run defense that has allowed the most yardage (150.0 yards) per game and highest yards per carry (6.3 yards) to backfields to start the year.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Kerryon Johnson: His opportunity has grown each game and he already has been the RB25 in each of the past two weeks while the Cowboys just got gashed by a dormant Seattle rushing game a week ago.
  • Detroit WRs: It’s the most complimentary top-three receiving unit in the league outside of maybe the Rams. All of Golden Tate, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are weekly starters that are neutral unless an individual matchup begs for more attention.

 

Bust (underperformance)


  • Dak Prescott: He’s now thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in 10 of his past 13 games and has reached 200 passing yards in just three of those games.
  • Dallas WRs: Only one Dallas wideout has caught more than four passes in a game or had more than five targets in a game.
  • Matthew Stafford: Dallas consistently plays such low-scoring games and internally plays at such a slow pace that it’s been somewhat of a power-dampening field on elite quarterback production. Every quarterback to face them so far has been QB14 or lower and they haven’t allowed a top-12 quarterback since last Thanksgiving.

 

Bengals @ Falcons

 

Cincinnati Rank @ Atlanta Rank
6   Spread -6  
22.5   Implied Total 28.5  
29.7 6 Points/Gm 26.7 9
25.7 21 Points All./Gm 28.3 25
60.3 27 Plays/Gm 61.7 22
74.7 32 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.7 26
33.7% 26 Rush% 38.9% 19
66.3% 7 Pass% 61.1% 14
38.0% 11 Opp. Rush % 35.0% 7
62.1% 22 Opp. Pass % 65.1% 26

 

  • Calvin Ridley's 40.5 fantasy points last week were the third-most by a rookie wide receiver since 2000, trailing only Anquan Boldin (43.7 Week 1, 2003) and Odell Beckham (42.3 Week 15, 2014).
  • After scoring a touchdown on just 1-of-12 possessions Week 1, the Falcons have scored a touchdown on 9-of-21 drives (42.9 percent) the past two weeks, fourth in the NFL.
  • Opposing teams have punted on just 26.5 percent of their drives versus the Bengals, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Opposing teams have targeted their running backs 36.7 percent of the time versus Atlanta. League average outside of them is 22.1 percent.
  • Atlanta has faced the most plays run from inside of their 10-yard line (19).
  • After playing 40 percent of the snaps Week 1, Tyler Eifert has played 64.5 percent and 64.6 percent the past two weeks. He's run 30 and 34 routes those two games after just 16 in Week 1.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Matt Ryan: At home for the third straight week, he’s been on fire with QB5 and QB2 performances the past two weeks while the Bengals have allowed a top-13 scorer at quarterback in all three games to start the season and in eight of their past nine games dating back to last season.
  • Julio Jones: Atlanta has spread the ball around more the past two weeks, but he still a top option against a defense that ranks 25th in targets faced to opposing wideouts and 22nd in receptions allowed to the position.
  • Tevin Coleman: Still treating things as if Devonta Freeman will be sidelined, Coleman would face off against a run defense that just allowed 230 yards a week ago, reminding us what kind of a runner Christian McCaffrey was in college.
  • Giovani Bernard: Assuming that Joe Mixon is still going to be inactive, Bernard handled 92 percent of the Cincinnati rushing attempts last week and will have his pass catching prowess highlighted against a defense that has just allowed 14 and 15 receptions to lead backs over the past two weeks and has consistently been a defense we target for receiving production from running backs.
  • A.J. Green: We need to monitor his health after exiting last week’s game with a groin injury, but if he’s ready to go, he’ll draw an Atlanta defense that allowed 7-77-0 to Devin Funchess in Week 2 and 10-129-0 to Michael Thomas last week.

 

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Calvin Ridley: As long as Ryan is expected to be in plus spots, he’s a starting option and the Bengals have already allowed six different wideouts to post double-digit points through three games, tied for the most in the league.
  • Andy Dalton: He has multiple touchdowns in each of the first three games and has thrown 42 and 46 passes the past two weeks while Atlanta just lost their third defensive starter for the season.
  • Tyler Boyd: He’s been a top-15 scorer in each of the past two weeks, catching six passes each week for 91 and 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Atlanta has allowed 12-175-2 to opposing slot receivers over the past two games. If Green is hampered at all, he gets a target boost.
  • Tyler Eifert: His role and opportunity have grown each week while Atlanta has allowed a top-12 tight end in two of their opening three games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Mohamed Sanu: The matchup is fine to take a swing on with Ryan in a great spot, but he’s far more touchdown dependent, failing to top 36 yards receiving in any game yet.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Austin Hooper: On paper everything lines up. Hooper has three targets already from inside of the 10-yard line, the Bengals rank 30th in receptions allowed to tight ends, and Matt Ryan should have a huge day again, but Hooper is a consistent low-volume option, catching more than three passes in just 6-of-33 career games played.

 

Jets @ Jaguars


NY Jets Rank @ Jacksonville Rank
7.5   Spread -7.5  
15.3   Implied Total 22.8  
25.7 10 Points/Gm 19.0 26
19.3 10 Points All./Gm 14.7 3
61.7 21 Plays/Gm 62.3 19
66.3 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.7 11
46.0% 6 Rush% 38.0% 21
54.1% 27 Pass% 62.0% 12
39.7% 17 Opp. Rush % 45.1% 27
60.3% 16 Opp. Pass % 55.0% 6

 

  • 50.9 percent of Isaiah Crowell's fantasy output has come from rushing touchdowns, the highest rate of running backs in the top-30 in overall scoring.
  • The Jaguars are allowing 56.4 points per game to opposing skill players, the fewest in the league. League average outside of them is 76.1 per game.
  • Jacksonville has allowed a touchdown on just 9.4 percent (3-of-32) of the opposition's possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Jaguars have averaged just 1.7 red zone trips per game, ahead of only Arizona (0.7) through three weeks.
  • Keelan Cole has the most targets (21) without a red zone target on the season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Leonard Fournette: The Jaguars are handling his hamstring with kid’s gloves for good reason, but he should be back in the lineup to face a defense that allowed the RB12 and the RB3 over the past two weeks.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Isaiah Crowell: He is living off touchdown production despite having just 90 total yards the past two weeks, something surely due to dry up.
  • Sam Darnold: The QB18 or lower in every week on the road against the league’s best defense.
  • Quincy Enunwa: Last week’s 4-57 line was a reminder that he still does carry a low floor attached Darnold while the Jaguars are not a team we push for points from at the receiver position.
  • Blake Bortles: He’s been objectively awful in two of the first three games was dreadful when these teams played a year ago, completing 15-of-35 passes for 140 yards.
  • Jaguar WRs: They go as Bortles goes and this a week where there’s not a lot to love from their quarterback.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Bilal Powell: He’s out-produced Crowell 153 yards to 90 over the past two games on 24 touches to 32 while he’s the back that can’t scripted out of the game.

 

Eagles @ Titans

 

Philadelphia Rank @ Tennessee Rank
-3.5   Spread 3.5  
22.5   Implied Total 19.0  
19.7 22 Points/Gm 16.3 30
18.3 9 Points All./Gm 16.7 4
72.0 4 Plays/Gm 61.0 25
59.7 9 Opp. Plays/Gm 58.7 6
39.8% 18 Rush% 53.6% 1
60.2% 15 Pass% 46.5% 32
30.2% 2 Opp. Rush % 42.1% 21
69.8% 31 Opp. Pass % 58.0% 12

 

  • Derrick Henry has been the RB45 and the RB47 the past two weeks while the Titans have been tied or leading for 94 percent of their offensive plays.
  • After running 27 pass routes in Week 1, Dion Lewis has run 27 routes combined over the past two weeks.
  • Philadelphia is allowing a league-low 77.3 yards from scrimmage per to opposing backfields.
  • Just 54.2 percent of Corey Davis’ targets have been deemed catchable per Pro Football Focus, the lowest rate for all receivers with at least 20 targets on the season.
  • The Eagles are one of two teams (Chicago) that has yet to score a touchdown on the season from outside of the red zone.
  • Just 25 percent (5-of-20) of Nelson Agholor's receptions have gained double-digit yardage, the lowest rate for all wide receivers in the league.
  • Carson Wentz targeted wide receivers on just 18.9 percent (7-of-37) of his throws in Week 3 while he targeted tight ends 56.8 percent of the time.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Zach Ertz: He’s yet to score, but he’s been a TE1 all three weeks and leads the position in targets (33) on the season.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Nelson Agholor: He’s still a WR3 option for his reception ability and all of the touchdowns scored against the Titans so far have been by opposing wide receivers.

 

Bust (underperformance)


  • Marcus Mariota: His injury is a major short-term concern as they tried to hide it when he came in a week ago. Only Andrew Luck (5.6 yards) had a lower average depth or target than Mariota’s 5.8 mark in Week 3.
  • Corey Davis: All the targets in the world can’t help you if they aren’t catchable and your quarterback can’t fully feel the football.
  • Derrick Henry:  You need him to hit a home run for you if he can’t produce in the preferred game script and teams know the Titans can’t throw right now, while the Eagles have been a run defense to avoid dating back to last season.
  • Dion Lewis: The script could get to a point where it helps him, but everyone in this offense has a bottomless floor until they begin to get production for the quarterback.
  • Carson Wentz: He returned as the QB22 and it’s hard to vault him back to QB1 status here until this offense gets back to full strength.
  • Eagles RBs: Jay Ajayi should be back and he’s the target if chasing a touchdown, but Wendell Smallwood may have worked his way into the fold more as well, leaving us a 2-4 man backfield on the road against a Tennessee that is eighth in yards from scrimmage allowed to backfields to start the season.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)


  • Dallas Goedert: It feels like point chasing, but with all of the injuries the Eagles have at wide receiver, they made him a large part of the game plan last week with seven targets. If Alshon Jeffery remains out, that is something Philadelphia should continue to do.

 

Browns @ Raiders

 

Cleveland Rank @ Oakland Rank
2.5   Spread -2.5  
21.3   Implied Total 23.8  
20.0 20 Points/Gm 17.3 28
19.7 11 Points All./Gm 27.0 22
73.0 2 Plays/Gm 66.0 9
68.0 24 Opp. Plays/Gm 54.3 2
44.8% 8 Rush% 41.4% 13
55.3% 25 Pass% 58.6% 20
43.1% 23 Opp. Rush % 41.7% 20
56.9% 10 Opp. Pass % 58.3% 13

 

  • Oakland is the only team other than Kansas City to not have trailed for any snaps through three quarters.
  • The Raiders have been outscored 37-3 in the 4th quarter this season, the largest differential in the league.
  • The Browns 11 takeaways lead the NFL and are the most they’ve had through three games since the 2001 season.
  • Carlos Hyde is the first Cleveland running back to have a rushing touchdown in each of the opening three games since Peyton Hillis in 2010.
  • Hyde has now rushed for a touchdown in five straight games dating back to last season, the longest streak in the league.
  • Baker Mayfield had 10 completions gain double-digit yardage on his 17 completions (58.8 percent) in Week 3. Just 36.6 percent (15-of-41) of Tyrod Taylor's completions gained 10 or more yards on the season prior to injury.
  • Derek Carr ranks sixth in the league in completions (28.3) and passing yards per game (312), but has just a 1.8 percent touchdown rate, the lowest rate of any quarterback to start all three games this season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Jarvis Landry: He’s being used in the best fashion of his career with an average depth of target of 11.8 yards and the Raiders are 29th in yards per target allowed to opposing receivers to start the season.
  • Carlos Hyde: He’s sixth in the league in touches and leads the NFL in carries inside of the 5-yard line with six while Oakland is 26th in yards per carry allowed to opposing backfields

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Amari Cooper: The Cooper Coaster is in full swing again as his target share through three games has been 7.5 percent, 31.3 percent and 12.8 percent, but Cleveland has allowed the second-most points to opposing WR1 options through three weeks.
  • Marshawn Lynch: A home favorite, he has a touchdown in each of the first three games and the Browns have allowed multiple rushing scores in two of their first three games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Derek Carr: He is due for positive uptick in passing touchdowns if he keeps throwing for so many yards, but no quarterback has finished higher than QB14 versus the Browns so far and they’ve faced both Drew Brees in the Superdome and Ben Roethlisberger already.
  • Jordy Nelson: He had receptions of 66 yards and 61 yards a week ago after having 53 yards and eight targets total through two games, so we need to some rollover in opportunity and production.
  • Jared Cook: After that huge Week 1, he’s been the ET17 and TE23 the past two weeks while Cleveland hasn’t been the sieve defensively they were a year ago.
  • Baker Mayfield: He has enough mobility to put together a high-floor, but in a strong week for streaming options, it’s hard to push him into the top-half of options in his first career start on the road while prior to giving up a ton of long touchdowns to Ryan Tannehill, Oakland had held Jared Goff to QB15 and Case Keenum to QB23.
  • David Njoku: Having a quarterback that willingly can use the middle of the field is a huge plus, but we need to see usage after having just nine catches for 69 yards through three weeks and having his targets drop all the way down to two a week ago.
  • Duke Johnson: He’s yet to finish higher than RB50 through three weeks on just 15 total touches.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Antonio Callaway: A favorite target of Mayfield this preseason, he had 10 targets a week ago -five from Mayfield- and Oakland has given up the highest rate of chunk plays per completion in the passing game to begin the season, allowing 25.5 percent of completions to gain 20 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.

 

Seahawks @ Cardinals

 

Seattle Rank @ Arizona Rank
-3   Spread 3  
20.8   Implied Total 17.8  
21.7 16 Points/Gm 6.7 32
21.3 15 Points All./Gm 24.7 18
62.0 20 Plays/Gm 47.3 32
64.3 17 Opp. Plays/Gm 70.3 29
41.4% 14 Rush% 33.8% 25
58.6% 19 Pass% 66.2% 8
40.4% 18 Opp. Rush % 50.2% 32
59.6% 15 Opp. Pass % 49.8% 1

 

  • The 47.3 plays per game run by Arizona are their fewest through weeks in a season since 2000.
  • The Cardinals 20 points scored at the fewest they’ve scored through three weeks since 1945.
  • Arizona is averaging 20.4 yards from scrimmage per drive, the fewest in the league.
  • The Cardinals are allowing 40.8 yards from scrimmage per drive, the second-most in the league.
  • Chris Carson played 72.5 percent of the offensive snaps Week 3 after playing 43.9 percent and 28.8 percent over the first two weeks.
  • Opposing backfields averaged 31.3 rushing attempts and 37.0 touches per game against Arizona, the most in the league.
  • Seattle has allowed just three completions on throws 15-yards or further downfield, the fewest in the league.
  • Arizona is the only team that has yet to allow a touchdown to a wide receiver this season.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Chris Carson: The rug can get swept out from under us at any moment in this backfield, but Seattle getting Joey Hunt and D.J. Fluker into the starting lineup had a positive impact as well as them controlling the game script for a change, something they should do here. Arizona has allowed at least 16 points to every starting running back they’ve faced so far on the season.
  • Russell Wilson: Being on the road and the depressing team total leave a lot to be desired here, but Arizona allowed top-12 scoring weeks to both Alex Smith and Jared Goff to start the season before facing Mitchell Trubisky.
  • Tyler Lockett: A touchdown in every game will inevitably run its course, but he’s been he leads the team in targets since Doug Baldwin’s injury and has been the most efficient receiver on the team, catching 70.6 percent of his opportunities.

 

Bust (underperformance)


  • Brandon Marshall: He’s been the WR63 and the WR78 the past two weeks and the best place to attack the Cardinals with receiver play is in the slot.
  • Will Dissly: He has three or fewer catches in all three games despite his two-touchdown start.
  • Josh Rosen: The Seahawks defense may not be what it once was, but they are still capable of keeping low-level starters from posting big weeks over the past two weeks, something we’re dealing with in Rosen’s first career start in an offense that has failed to show any life thus far. 
  • Larry Fitzgerald: His two targets last week were his fewest in a game since 2006 and now he has an unknown factor coming into the fold with Rosen taking over as quarterback.
  • David Johnson: Even despite scoring a touchdown in two of his first three games, he’s yet to have an RB1 week and has just 67, 51 and 61 total yards each week while the Arizona staff has given us nothing but empty promises on altering the way he’s used.
  • Christian Kirk: He’s worth a spec add in deep formats coming off of a seven-catch game last week and being Rosen’s favorite target in preseason, but his volume came in a game where Fitzgerald had none and in the end, we’re talking about a third or fourth passing-game option in the worst offense currently in the NFL.
  • Doug Baldwin: I'm always hesistant to play guys coming off long layoffs due to injury and Baldwin missed the entire preseason on top of leaving Week 1 with another knee injury. I'd  prefer to give him a week of showing he can handle a full-workload and target share if my roster allows it, leaving him as a WR3 option.

 

Saints @ Giants


New Orleans Rank @ NY Giants Rank
-3.5   Spread 3.5  
26.8   Implied Total 23.3  
34.7 2 Points/Gm 18.3 27
34.3 32 Points All./Gm 20.7 13
65.7 11 Plays/Gm 63.0 18
60.7 10 Opp. Plays/Gm 58.0 5
32.0% 29 Rush% 35.5% 24
68.0% 4 Pass% 64.6% 9
45.6% 29 Opp. Rush % 41.4% 19
54.4% 4 Opp. Pass % 58.6% 14

 

  • The Saints have run just 11 offensive snaps with the lead, ahead of only Houston (zero) through three weeks.
  • Alvin Kamara is averaging 35.7 pass routes per game, the most of any running back.
  • Kamara's 20 targets last week where the most for a running back in a game since targets have been tracked (1999).
  • Kamara is the first running back to have two 100-yard receiving games through three weeks since Thurman Thomas in 1991.
  • New Orleans is averaging 18 red zone plays per game, the most in the league.
  • New Orleans has allowed opposing passers to complete 78.9 percent (15-of-19) of their passes on throws 15-yards or further downfield. The rest of the league is at 40.6 percent.
  • 53.4 percent of the passing yardage allowed by the Saints to opposing passers has come on such throws, the highest rate in the league.
  • Saquon Barkley has accounted for 31.4 percent of the Giants fantasy points among skill players, the highest share for any skill player in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Alvin Kamara: He’s been the highest scoring running back in two of the first three weeks while the Giants are 29th in receiving points allowed to backfields to begin the season.
  • Michael Thomas: He’s the first player ever to have at least 10 receptions in every game over the first three weeks of a season.
  • Eli Manning: He’s gotten better each week of the season and is coming off his best performance of the season, which was good for QB13 on the road at Houston. This week he’s at home against the defense that has allowed the most passing points to opposing quarterbacks to start the year.
  • Odell Beckham: He’s had two 100-yard games already without any blow up spots, but that could change here against a defense that has already allowed five pass plays of 47 or more yards, with four of those being touchdowns.
  • Saquon Barkley: He’s had at least 20 touches in every game, posting a 100-yard rushing game, a 100-yard receiving game and then 117 total yards through three games.
  • Sterling Shepard: He has seven targets in each of the past two games and with Evan Engram sidelined, will be a larger focus of the passing game against a New Orleans defense that has already allowed nine touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and just sent their slot cornerback Patrick Robinson to IR.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Drew Brees: There's nothing to hide from here, but Brees has been a QB1 in just 4-of-15 starts outdoors over the past three years, giving us some pause on banking on a league-winning performance like a week ago.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Ted Ginn: His receptions and yardage have dropped in all three games while he’s found the end zone just once in six games outdoors with the Saints.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

 

49ers @ Chargers

 

San Francisco Rank @ LA Chargers Rank
10.5   Spread -10.5  
18.5   Implied Total 29.0  
24.3 12 Points/Gm 27.3 8
29.7 27 Points All./Gm 31.0 31
61.3 24 Plays/Gm 60.3 26
70.7 31 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.3 13
44.6% 9 Rush% 37.6% 22
55.4% 24 Pass% 62.4% 11
36.8% 9 Opp. Rush % 44.9% 26
63.2% 24 Opp. Pass % 55.1% 7

 

  • Austin Ekeler leads all running backs with 9.5 yards per touch while Matt Breida ranks second (8.4) for all backs with double-digit touches.
  • Breida is averaging 5.2 yards per carry before contact, the highest rate in the league.
  • Philip Rivers' 68.7 fantasy points are the most he's ever had through three games over his NFL career.
  • The 49ers are the only team outside of the Chiefs to allow at least 24 points in all three games this season.
  • San Francisco scored on just 23.3 percent (14-of-60) possessions in C.J. Beathard's six starts last season, 31st in the league over that span.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Philip Rivers: He’s off to the best fantasy start of his career while the 49ers have been roasted by quarterback play to start the season, allowing a top-10 scorer in all three games.
  • Keenan Allen: He’s had two quiet weeks but draws a 49ers secondary that is 23rd in points allowed to wide receivers and now will be without Richard Sherman.
  • Melvin Gordon: The 49ers rush defense has been strong to start, allowing ranking fifth in yards per carry allowed to backfields while not allowing any rusher to reach 50 yards on the ground yet, but that’s not enough to move us off of touch magnet at home that is a huge favorite while the 49ers still allowed two scores to Kareem Hunt a week ago.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Matt Breida: He’s had 159 and 117 yards from scrimmage the past two weeks on just 14 and 13 touches while no quarterback targeted running backs at a higher rate than Beathard a year ago. While Breida is still only running 14 routes per game over three weeks and sharing passing game duties with Kyle Juszczyk, he should be the direct beneficiary of Beathard taking over under center.
  • Mike Williams: He has out-targeted Tyrell Williams 15-to-11 through three weeks with three touchdowns and the 49ers have allowed six different receivers to score 14 or more points in a game this season, the most in the league.
  • Austin Ekeler: His yardage has dropped in all three games, but he still has at least 71 total yards and three receptions in every game while he had a season-high 14 touches in Week 2 when the Chargers were a lesser favorite than they are this weekend.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • C.J. Beathard: The Chargers have not started the year off as the deflating pass defense they were a year ago, but Beathard was in the top-half of quarterback scoring in just one of his five starts a year ago.
  • Marquise Goodwin:  We mentioned that Beathard had a hard time even attempting to get the ball to his wide receivers and Goodwin caught just 12-of-30 targets from Beathard a year ago, while Goodwin should find Casey Hayward for a large portion of the afternoon.
  • George Kittle: Beathard’s former college battery-mate caught just 10-20 targets from Beathard a year ago while the Chargers have allowed just seven catches to opposing tight ends, while being the only defense to stop Travis Kelce to start the year.
  • Alfred Morris: He found the end zone last week but has been severely out-played by Breida to this stage while he’ll need to fall into the end zone again to overcome the potential game script here.

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Tyrell Williams: He’s had just six targets over the past two games as he’s rapidly losing ground to Mike Williams, but with as poor as the 49ers have been on the back end and losing Sherman, he’s a deep dart for anyone chasing points.

 

Ravens @ Steelers

 

Baltimore Rank @ Pittsburgh Rank
3   Spread -3  
24.0   Implied Total 27.0  
32.3 5 Points/Gm 29.3 7
17.0 5 Points All./Gm 30.0 28
75.0 1 Plays/Gm 72.3 3
64.0 16 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.3 27
37.3% 23 Rush% 32.3% 28
62.7% 10 Pass% 67.7% 5
38.5% 14 Opp. Rush % 38.0% 12
61.5% 19 Opp. Pass % 62.0% 21

 

  • The Steelers rank second in fantasy points per game for skill players on offense (99.7) while the Ravens rank fifth (90.7).
  • Alex Collins' touch percentage has gone from 13.3 percent to 22.2 percent to 39.6 percent over the opening three weeks.
  • Javorius Allen (RB12) is averaging just 34 yards from scrimmage per game. The lowest rate for all running backs in the top-30 in fantasy scoring this season.
  • Ben Roethlisberger has played the Ravens three times without Jimmy Smith active. In those games, he's thrown 11 touchdowns and two interceptions, throwing for 340, 279 and 506 yards.
  • In those games, Antonio Brown has posted lines of 11-144-1, 10-96-1 and 11-213-0.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Ben Roethlisberger: Last week we highlighted how good he and the Steelers have been in prime time games and now he gets a home prime time game against a defense he has had top success against when their top pass defender is sidelined. 
  • Antonio Brown: He’s been quiet to start despite two touchdowns, averaging just 8.8 yards per catch and catching just 57 percent of his 42 targets, but he’s given this secondary tons of fits at home when Smith has been out of the lineup.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster: He has 100-yards in four straight regular season games and the Ravens have allowed 17 catches for 181 yards and three touchdowns through three games to wide receivers in the slot.
  • John Brown: He’s gone from 10.5 percent to 18.2 percent to 22.5 percent of the team targets per week with a 40-yard reception in each of the past two weeks while the Steelers have allowed five top-25 scoring receivers through three games.
  • Joe Flacco: He has at least 15 points in all three games while the Steelers have allowed a top-8 scoring quarterback in each of the first three games and are 29th in passing points allowed per attempt.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • James Conner: He has rushed just 23 times for 78 yards the past two weeks, but he has at least five receptions in all three games to help maintain a high-floor.
  • Vance McDonald: He took the receiving job back over after splitting time with James in his first game back and now has at least four catches and at least 50 yards receiving in four of his past five games played with Roethlisberger.
  • Michael Crabtree: Although his ceiling is still low, his floor has held strong, receiving double-digit targets in each of the past two games with 12 receptions.
  • Alex Collins: His touches and scoring have risen every week and he’s out-touched Allen 33-to-20 over the past two games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Javorius Allen: He’s been a top-20 scorer in each of the opening three weeks but has yet to have more than 44 yards in any game, leaving you with a scary floor when finally fails to reach the end zone.

 

Chiefs @ Broncos


Kansas City Rank @ Denver Rank
-5   Spread 5  
30.5   Implied Total 25.5  
39.3 1 Points/Gm 20.3 19
30.7 30 Points All./Gm 23.3 16
59.0 29 Plays/Gm 65.7 12
70.3 30 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.7 12
45.2% 7 Rush% 42.6% 12
54.8% 26 Pass% 57.4% 21
30.3% 3 Opp. Rush % 38.4% 13
69.7% 30 Opp. Pass % 61.6% 20

 

  • The Chiefs have beaten the Broncos five consecutive times (covering in all), their longest win streak versus Denver since a six-game streak over 1970-1973.
  • The Chiefs are the only team in the league that has yet to run an offensive snap while trailing through three weeks.
  • Kansas City is just the third team to score 38 or more points in each of the opening three weeks, joining the 2007 Patriots and 1967 Colts.
  • Kansas City has scored a touchdown on 51.7 percent of their offensive possessions, the highest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 21.7 percent.
  • The Chiefs have allowed a touchdown on 35.5 percent of their opposition's possessions, 31st in the league (New Orleans, 37.5 percent).
  • Travis Kelce's 12 100-yard receiving games are tied for the most in the NFL with Antonio Brown and Julio Jones since the start of the 2016 season.
  • Kelce has finished as the TE1, TE2, and TE2 over his past three games against the Broncos, catching 26-of-37 targets for 394 yards and two touchdowns in those games.
  • Kansas City ranks first in yards per target (6.0) allowed to opposing wide receivers, but faces 28.0 targets per game to opposing wideouts, the most in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Patrick Mahomes: The Chiefs have dominated the Broncos of late and they are the hottest offense in the league. Mahomes has the second-most fantasy points over his first four games played for any quarterback (Cam Newton) and has the most passing touchdowns through three weeks of a season in NFL history. Denver has not been a pass defense to avoid, ranking 19th in passing points per game allowed through three weeks.
  • Travis Kelce: He’s coming off back-to-back 100-yard games while heading into a matchup he has destroyed recently.
  • Tyreek Hill: Maybe there is something to his weird hot stretch in road games only after last week, but Hill has scored a touchdown in seven of his past nine games on the road with lines of 5-90-1, 7-169-2, 6-185-2 over his past three.
  • Case Keenum: For as good as the Chiefs have been on offense, they’ve been nearly just as poor defensively, allowing the most passing yardage (375.7 yards) and second-most passing points (25.0) per game to passers while allowing the Qb3, QB1 and QB11 through three games.
  • Emmanuel Sanders: He’s reeled in 19-of-23 targets to start the season with a touchdown in two games while the Chiefs have allowed 17 receptions to slot receivers through three games.
  • Demaryius Thomas: He has 125 fewer yards than Sanders does on three more targets, but still leads the team with 26 targets while we are targeting everyone in this passing game with that kind of opportunity.

 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)

 

  • Sammy Watkins: After a quiet preseason that bled into Week 1, Watkins has found his stride, catching 11-of-15 targets for 155 yards and a touchdown over the past two weeks.
  • Kareem Hunt: You keep rolling him out because of the weekly scoring upside attached to this offense, but he’s been the lone blemish in this offense, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry with just one catch through three games while the Broncos are seventh in yards per carry to backfields and haven’t allowed a rusher to reach 70 yards in a game since Week 13 of last year.
  • Phillip Lindsay: He was pacing towards getting his largest opportunity in a game before his ejection last week and still lacks the goal line and receiving opportunities to make him a full-fledge RB2, but the Chiefs rank 23rd in rushing points allowed to opposing backs and 32nd in receiving points allowed while combo-backs of Lindsay’s similar archetype in Austin Ekeler (126 YFS) and Michael Breida (117 YFS) have torched the Chiefs on minimal touches.
  • Royce Freeman: he has just eight and 14 touches the past two weeks with Denver trailing for nearly the entirety of each game but has found the end zone each week. The potential script makes him more of a RB3 option, but Kansas City ranks 23rd in rushing points allowed to running backs and have allowed goal-to-go rushing touchdowns in each of the past two games. The bottom line is that Chiefs offense and their defense has raised all fantasy tides.

 

 

If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)

 

  • Courtland Sutton: He has just five catches to start the season, but he is averaging 30.7 pass routes per game and leads the Broncos in air yard opportunity through three games. If this game reaches the jailbreak outcome it has potential to, then this could be the week Sutton makes that opportunity stand for something.
Rich Hribar
Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.