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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 5 Worksheet

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

We’re already turning past the quarter mark of the fantasy regular season and heading into Week 5. Make sure all of your Saints, Jaguars, Chiefs and Seahawks players are out of your lineups this week. 

 

Let me provide the disclaimer that I encourage you use the game by game tables and data points in conjunction with your own information and thought process rather than searching out your own players in the individual player diagnosis and turning that section into a linear start/sit guide. You can always cross reference these thoughts with my weekly rankings for further context. With that out of the way, let’s hit all of the Week 5 games in a PPR light...

 

Arizona vs. San Francisco

 

Cardinals Rank @ 49ers Rank
-4   Spread 4  
23.8   Implied Total 18.8  
69.0 5 Plays/Gm 62.5 24
64.5 14 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.0 30
34.8% 24 Rush% 51.2% 2
65.2% 9 Pass% 48.8% 31
41.5% 22 Opp. Rush % 47.1% 31
58.5% 11 Opp. Pass % 52.9% 2

 

  • After allowing just 185 total yards in Week 1, San Francisco has allowed 458.3 yards per game over the past three weeks, the most in the league.
  • Over that span, the 49ers have allowed 165.7 yards rushing per game, the most in the league.
  • David Johnson ranks 7th in rushing points (48) and 4th in receiving points (35) of all running backs.
  • Johnson ranks 4th in the league in first half rushing attempts (42), but 23rd in second half attempts (22).
  • After playing 89 percent of the team snaps through three weeks, Michael Floyd played just 44 percent of the plays in Week 4.
  • John Brown played 89 percent of the team snaps in Week 4 after playing just 53 percent over the opening three weeks.
  • Arizona is the only team in the league that has yet to score in the first quarter this season.
  • Carlos Hyde leads all backs in rushing points per game (15.0).
  • Torrey Smith has had more than three receptions in two of his 20 games since joining the 49ers.

 

Trust: David Johnson (the all-purpose monster should see a strong script for touches and the 49ers’ just lost Navorro Bowman for the season while Johnson may see even more work if Carson Palmer is declared out), Larry Fitzgerald (he’s cooled down the past two weeks, but should be a favorite target against Jimmy Ward or Chris Davis on the inside and is the safest target to bet on regardless of which quarterback plays)

 

Bust: Blaine Gabbert (he has one week above QB20 so far), 49ers Receivers (the entire group has one top-30 scoring week on the season with just three inside of the top-40)

 

Reasonable Return: John Brown (finally over his concussion issues to start the season, he’s been pumped with targets the past two weeks, but a loss of Palmer would dampen his ceiling a bit), Michael Floyd (he’s caught just 39 percent of his targets, and that was while playing with Palmer. Still, if chasing a touchdown, the 49ers have allowed six wide receivers to reach the paint over their past three games), Carlos Hyde (the matchup is far from ideal, but the volume will be here and he’s been a top-20 scorer in three of four games while finding the end zone five times so far), Drew Stanton (you’re not looking at him outside of 2QB leagues, but the 49ers have allowed 18 or more fantasy points to the quarterback position in their past three games. If Palmer plays, the entire offense gets an obvious boost)

 

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Houston vs. Minnesota

 

Texans Rank @ Vikings Rank
6   Spread -6  
17.0   Implied Total 23.0  
68.2 7 Plays/Gm 60.2 27
58.8 5 Opp. Plays/Gm 66.0 21
44.0% 9 Rush% 44.4% 8
56.0% 24 Pass% 55.6% 25
46.8% 29 Opp. Rush % 34.5% 5
53.2% 4 Opp. Pass % 65.5% 28

 

  • The Texans have scored the fewest touchdowns in the league (5), while the Vikings rank 31st (6).
  • Houston has just three red zone touchdowns on the season, tied with the Rams for the fewest in the league.
  • Jerick McKinnon has 70 percent of the backfield rushing attempts over the past two weeks with Adrian Peterson out.
  • Kyle Rudolph leads all tight ends in team target share (25.8 percent) and percent of team receiving touchdowns (75 percent) while being the only tight end other than Greg Olsen to be a top-12 scorer in all four weeks this season.
  • Houston is allowing just 15 completed passes per game and a 52.6 completion rate, both are the fewest in the league.
  • Lamar Miller is the first player since Ricky Watters in 1999 to have over 100 touches through the first four weeks of the season without scoring a touchdown.
  • Just two of Miller's 93 rushing attempts (2.2 percent) have come from inside of the 10-yard line, the lowest percentage of all backs with 50 or more carries on the season.
  • DeAndre Hopkins has 33 targets through four weeks (21st). Through four games last season, he had 60 targets, the most in the NFL.

 

Trust: Jerick McKinnon (Houston is allowing the third most rushing points per game on the season while allowing back to back top-12 scoring weeks to the position. The lowest a starting back has finished against them is RB21)

 

Bust: DeAndre Hopkins (he’ll be better than last week, but this is still a tough spot to expect WR1 output as the Vikings have held Kelvin Benjamin and Odell Beckham to a combined four catches and 23 yards the past two weeks), Will Fuller (he’s only one play away from overcoming even the toughest matchup, but I’m not running out many wideouts versus Minnesota at this stage), Brock Osweiler (his highest scoring week so far has been QB16 while on the road against the hottest defense in the league), Kyle Rudolph (the Minnesota passing tree is only two branches, so he can overcome a poor matchup, but Houston has yet to allow a top-20 tight end while facing Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker and Martellus Bennett so far), Stefon Diggs (the size of the passing pie is still an issue for Diggs over his slice and Houston has allowed the third fewest receptions to opposing wide receivers), Sam Bradford (Houston has smothered passing games since the middle of last season and have rolled that right over as they’ve allowed one touchdown pass so far and just 178 passing yards per game to quarterbacks)

 

Reasonable Return: Lamar Miller (all four of his games have been RB17-RB21 as he’s held a safe floor due to volume. The Texans are expecting to get Duane Brown back this week, but this is also the toughest matchup he’s had)

 

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Chicago vs. Indianapolis

 

Bears Rank @ Colts Rank
5   Spread -5  
21.3   Implied Total 26.3  
58.8 28 Plays/Gm 68.0 8
65.2 18 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.0 11
34.5% 26 Rush% 33.5% 29
65.5% 7 Pass% 66.5% 4
48.3% 32 Opp. Rush % 40.1% 16
51.7% 1 Opp. Pass % 59.9% 17

 

  • Jordan Howard played 91 percent of the offensive plays and handled 45.6 percent of the team touches in Week 4.
  • Alshon Jeffery has 16.1 percent of the Chicago targets from Brian Hoyer after seeing 22.2 percent with Jay Cutler under center.
  • Jeffery's percentage of the team receiving yardage through for weeks: 48.6 percent, 40.9 percent, 22.1 percent and 15.2 percent.
  • The Bears have scored on 20.5 percent of the possessions, the fewest in the league. Opposing teams have scored on 52.5 percent of their possessions facing the Colts, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Colts are allowing 3.8 sacks per game and a sack on 8.3 percent of their passing plays, the highest rates in the league.
  • Indianapolis has had the lead for just 12.1 percent of their plays, the lowest percentage in the league.
  • Andrew Luck has 638 passing yards and two touchdowns outside of the 4th Quarter this season and 512 passing yards and six touchdown passes in the 4th Quarter.
  • Phillip Dorsett has just 9.2 percent of the Colts' targets over the past two weeks, tied for 5th on the team.
  • T.Y. Hilton is the only receiver other than Jarvis Landry to have double digit targets in every game this season.

 

Trust: Frank Gore (he’s started off with four weeks in double figures and is a home favorite against a Bears team that is facing the second most rushing attempts per game), Jordan Howard (the only pause here is that he's attached to a road dog, but he dominated touches and gave the staff every reason to do it again against a Colts defense that has already allowed five top-16 backs on the season)

 

Bust: Alshon Jeffery (there’s a major squeaky wheel element in play here, especially with Kevin White expected to be out, but the Colts have allowed just two top-24 receivers while playing a host of pass first offenses. I’m still rolling him out there in most cases, but with WR3 expectations), Dwayne Allen (he’s had more than five targets just once and been inside of the top-20 just once as he’s shared opportunities with Jack Doyle). Philip Dorsett (he’s not involved in the passing attack consistently enough to use outside of hoping to connect on a splash play)

 

Reasonable Return: Andrew Luck (I’m definitely using him here, but Luck hasn’t been in the top-10 since Week 1 and the Bears haven’t allowed a quarterback to throw for 250 yards in a game yet. This matchup sets up very similarly to what the Bears faced offensively from Detroit a week ago), T.Y. Hilton (as banged up as the Bears have been defensively, they’ve still only allowed one top-20 scoring receiver so far), Brian Hoyer (he’s been the QB11 and the QB7 in his two starts, throwing for over 300-yards in each), Zach Miller (his target volume is going to be something that bounces around, but he has been a favorite red zone target for Hoyer so far), Eddie Royal (with White expected to be out and Jeffery mostly drawing Vontae Davis, Royal can find his way to eight plus targets in a game where the Bears may have to play catchup if the game goes as implied)

 

New York (AFC) vs. Pittsburgh

 

Jets Rank @ Steelers Rank
7   Spread -7  
20.8   Implied Total 27.8  
67.0 10 Plays/Gm 63.8 17
57.0 3 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.2 17
40.3% 16 Rush% 40.0% 17
59.7% 17 Pass% 60.0% 16
39.9% 15 Opp. Rush % 29.9% 1
60.1% 18 Opp. Pass % 70.1% 32

 

  • The Jets are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 71.4 percent of their passes, the highest rate in the league.
  • New York is allowing 10.2 adjusted passing yards per attempt, the highest in the league. League average is 7.0 AY/A.
  • Ben Roethlisberger has six touchdown passes from outside of the red zone, the most in the league.
  • Antonio Brown has 11 receptions on throws 15 yards or further downfield, the most in the league.
  • Sammie Coates has five receptions of 40 or more yards, the most in the league.
  • Le'Veon Bell returned to play 85 percent of the team snaps, handling 46.9 percent of the team touches for 39.6 percent of the team yardage total.
  • 22.2 percent of Jesse James' targets have come from inside of the 10-yard line, the highest rate in the league.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick is averaging just .237 passing points per attempt, the lowest in the league.
  • After playing 79 percent of the snaps over the first two weeks, Matt Forte has played 54 percent over the past two.
  • Bilal Powell has jumped up to playing on 47 percent of the snaps over those weeks and has out-targeted Forte 16 to seven in those games.

 

Trust: Ben Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown (we’re always on these two at home and the Jets have been hemorrhaging splash plays in the passing game, which is the bread and butter of the Steelers' passing game), Le’Veon Bell (the Jets are still limiting running backs to just 66 yards per game on the ground, but Bell is a yards from scrimmage stud that can make up for any limited rushing output through the air)

 

Bust: Jesse James (he’s only an option if you’re chasing a touchdown at the position), Matt Forte (his usage has dried up and hasn’t been involved in the passing game and now is dealing with a knee injury)

 

Reasonable Return: Sammie Coates (his targets jumped up to eight last week and this is the right defense to take a wild swing on his vertical ability as a third receiver if you’re fishing for points), Brandon Marshall /Quincy Enunwa (the Steelers have allowed the second most receptions to wide receivers on the season, but have spread that around as they’ve yet to allow a top-20 scorer on the season), Ryan Fitzpatrick (he’s been nothing short of a disaster so far outside of Week 2, but the Steelers have allowed three consecutive top-12 scorers and inherently force a ton of passing volume), Bilal Powell (he’s taken on a role in the passing game while the Steelers have allowed flex plus weeks to three receiving backs on the season)

 

 

Tennessee vs. Miami

 

Titans Rank @ Dolphins Rank
3   Spread -3  
20.3   Implied Total 23.3  
62.5 22 Plays/Gm 55.8 32
62.8 10 Opp. Plays/Gm 74.0 32
42.8% 11 Rush% 33.2% 31
57.2% 22 Pass% 66.8% 2
39.8% 14 Opp. Rush % 47.0% 30
60.2% 19 Opp. Pass % 53.0% 3

*Hurricane Matthew may force this game to be moved to Nashville


  • DeMarco Murray has accounted 36.4 percent of the Tennessee yardage on the season, the highest for any running back in the league.
  • The Dolphins are facing the most rushing attempts per game in the league (34.8) and are the only team to face 30 or more rushing attempts in every game this season.
  • The Titans have faced just 24 red zone plays so far this season, the fewest of all teams to play four games (Packers have faced 22).
  • Miami is last in the league in rushing attempts at 18.5 per game.
  • The Dolphins average just 4.5 plays per possession, the fewest in the league.
  • Jarvis Landry has accounted for 35.2 percent of the Miami receptions, the highest team share for any receiver.
  • Landry is the only receiver to have at least 30 percent of his team's receiving yardage in every game this season.

 

Trust: DeMarco Murray (he’s dominating offensive touches while facing the defense that allows the most touches to opposing backfields on the season)

 

Bust: Marcus Mariota (as bad as Miami has been, they’ve still only allowed multiple touchdown passes just once and the run game should do some heavy lifting here), Ryan Tannehill (the Titans haven’t allowed a quarterback in the front half of weekly scoring yet and Miami isn’t running many plays because teams are controlling the clock versus them), Jay Ajayi (Adam Gase is scrapping the committee, but it doesn't really matter as Miami can't establish the run and Tennessee has allowed the third fewest points to opposing backfields)

 

Reasonable Return: Tajae Sharpe (he’s still had over 20 percent of the team targets in each game and Miami’s secondary has already allowed four top-15 scorers. If he can’t be useful here, he’s not worth rostering), Delanie Walker (he led the team in targets coming off of injury and the matchup is much lighter this week), DeVante Parker (he’ll be the receiver who lines up opposite Perrish Cox the most often this week, who has been giving to receivers in coverage so far), Jarvis Landry (10 or more targets in every game and has shown ceiling upside while DeVante Parker has been in the lineup)

 

Philadelphia vs. Detroit


Eagles Rank @ Lions Rank
-3   Spread 3  
24.5   Implied Total 21.5  
67.3 9 Plays/Gm 63.5 18
52.7 1 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.2 9
47.5% 4 Rush% 34.7% 25
52.5% 29 Pass% 65.4% 8
31.0% 2 Opp. Rush % 39.2% 13
69.0% 31 Opp. Pass % 60.8% 20

 

  • After running for 116 and 137 yards to open the season, the Lions have run for 50 and 66 yards the past two weeks.
  • The Eagles are allowing 71.0 rushing yards per game, the third fewest in the league behind the Jets (70.2) and the Packers (42.7).
  • The Eagles have trailed for just 9.9 percent of their plays this season, the fewest in the league. League average is 46.7 percent.
  • Detroit is allowing 22.8 passing points per game, the second most in the league behind Atlanta (23.9). Philadelphia is allowing 7.1 passing points per game, the third fewest.
  • The Lions are allowing a touchdown pass once every 11.7 pass attempts, the highest rate in the league. The Eagles are the only team that has yet to allow a touchdown pass on the season.
  • Golden Tate played just 55 percent of the team snaps in Week 4 after playing 87 percent of the team snaps over the first three weeks.
  • 30.3 percent of Ryan Mathews' rushing attempts have come in the red zone, the highest rate in the league.

 

Trust: Carson Wentz (every quarterback to face the Lions has put up 16 or more fantasy points on the season)

 

Bust: Matthew Stafford (he has been all boom or bust so far and the Philadelphia pass rush is a problem while the Lions have not had any playmaking on offense outside of Marvin Jones), Eric Ebron (he has just one top-10 week so far and the Eagles have allowed a league-low six receptions to tight ends), Eagles Running Backs (I love the collective group here as the Lions are allowing 5.0 yards per carry to backfields this season but I have no true pulse as to how the snaps will be distributed for us to use the pieces in lineups. Ryan Mathews is still the best bet for those chasing a short score while Darren Sproles will handle the receiving work, but Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner will assuredly see touches along the line), Golden Tate (the Lions pulled the plug for us last week)

 

Reasonable Return: Zach Ertz (I’m cautious on players coming back from multiple week injuries, but the tight end position is thin and Detroit has allowed 18 touchdowns to tight ends over their past 20 games), Theo Riddick (as bad as this matchup is and as inefficient he is as a runner, he’s still held a flex floor in every game this season), Marvin Jones (he’s yet to be held to fewer than 70 yards or 12 points in any game and the Lions have lost trust in involving Golden Tate into their passing game, which could push even more volume his direction over the long run), Jordan Matthews (his targets have dropped each week, but will have the most favorable matchup when inside versus Quandre Diggs)

 

New England vs. Cleveland

 

Patriots Rank @ Browns Rank
-10.5   Spread 10.5  
28.5   Implied Total 18.5  
63.0 20 Plays/Gm 63.0 21
65.8 20 Opp. Plays/Gm 66.2 24
51.6% 1 Rush% 41.3% 14
48.4% 32 Pass% 58.7% 19
35.7% 7 Opp. Rush % 41.9% 24
64.3% 26 Opp. Pass % 58.1% 9

 

  • Isaiah Crowell's 439 yards from scrimmage are the most by a Browns player through four games since Greg Pruitt (510 yards) in 1976.
  • Cleveland leads the NFL in rushing at 149.2 yards per game and is one of three teams (Dallas and Philadelphia) to rush for 100 yards or more as a team in every game this season.
  • Crowell leads all running backs in rushing points per attempt (.94).
  • The Browns rank 5th in the league in first half scoring (14.2 points per game), but are 32nd in second half scoring at (4.2 points).
  • Duke Johnson has 18.4 percent of the Cleveland targets, the highest team target share for any running back in the league.
  • Just 8.2 percent of Cody Kessler's passes have been 15 yards or further downfield, the lowest rate in the league.
  • New England ranks last in the league in pass attempts per game (28.5). With Tom Brady in 2015, they ranked 4th in the league at 40.4 pass attempts per game.
  • Rob Gronkowski went from 22 percent of the team snaps in Week 3 to 67 percent last week.
  • Martellus Bennett's 12.4 yards per target are the highest for all tight ends with double digit targets.
  • The Browns have allowed the most receptions in the league to opposing tight ends at 32.

 

Trust: Tom Brady (even without any narratives involved, this a superb matchup as Cleveland has allowed multiple touchdown passes to every quarterback on the season), LeGarrette Blount (while he may not be leaned on to the degree he has been, he’s always in play when the Patriots are large favorites as he’s averaged 13.0 points per game since 2014 when New England is favored by eight or more points and Cleveland is facing 30.3 running back touches per game), Julian Edelman (he failed to post a top-24 scoring week without Brady, but Cleveland has already allowed top-10 scoring weeks to intermediate targets Jarvis Landry and Jordan Matthews), Martellus Bennett (Cleveland has been tormented by tight ends so far and Bennett has health and route running using edge on Gronk currently)

 

Bust: Chris Hogan, James White (the team total is high enough to play everyone from this offense and hope to catch residual points by default, but it’s hard to say how much will be left over for the ancillary pieces of the offense if all of the main cogs are turning), Cody Kessler (he's hardly even been on the map for 2QB leagues as he's been the QB26 and QB23 to start)

 

Reasonable Return: Isaiah Crowell (he has 15 or more carries in three straight games and Cleveland isn’t going to turn away from the run while Cody Kessler is playing), Duke Johnson (he’s been a top-26 scorer in three straight, but never inside the top-20 as he holds almost no touchdown upside), Terrelle Pryor (there aren’t many places for the ball to go for the Browns as Pryor has had at least 20 percent of the team targets in every game this season), Rob Gronkowski (this is the first week I’m plugging him into lineups as his involvement made a jump last week as it feels like the Patriots have been ramping up for when they open the offense back up, but ge's still yet to be a full go yet and there are still whispers that his hamstring isn't fully healed), Gary Barnidge (he’s been the TE7 and the TE10 since Kessler has taken over)

 

Washington vs. Baltimore

 

Washington Rank @ Ravens Rank
4   Spread -4  
20.3   Implied Total 24.3  
61.0 26 Plays/Gm 70.0 3
65.5 19 Opp. Plays/Gm 56.0 2
34.8% 23 Rush% 36.4% 22
65.2% 10 Pass% 63.6% 11
41.6% 23 Opp. Rush % 38.8% 10
58.4% 10 Opp. Pass % 61.2% 23

 

  • Terrance West had 80.8 percent of the Baltimore rushing attempts and 36.2 percent of the team touches last week after having 43.4 percent of the carries and 24.3 percent of the team touches through three weeks.
  • Washington is the only team in the league to allow over 100-yards rushing in every game this season.
  • Washington is allowing 5.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs, the highest in the league.
  • Dennis Pitta is tied with Adam Humphries for the most targets in the league (29) without a red zone target.
  • After having just 7.4 percent of the team receiving yards Week 1, Steve Smith has had 32.2 percent of the Ravens' receiving yardage since.
  • Washington averages 40.8 yards per drive, the second highest in the league (Atlanta 46.3). The Ravens allow just 19.1 yards per drive, the fewest in the league.

 

Trust: Terrance West (with the workload completely his, he turned in an RB14 scoring week and now draws one of the best rushing matchups you could hope for while being a home favorite), DeSean Jackson (he’s up to his volatile ways to start the season, but will find Shareece Wright this week, who has allowed five touchdowns in coverage over the past three weeks)

 

Bust: Matt Jones (with Washington as road dogs, he’s a tough bet for a steady workload and the Ravens have allowed the 8th fewest rushing yards to backs on the season), Kirk Cousins (the team total on the road has me concerned and the Ravens are allowing 191 passing yards per game, the second fewest in the league), Mike Wallace (he’s topped 41 yards receiving just once and that came off of one reception in Week 1. When Steve Smith moves inside, he should draw Josh Norman in coverage as well), Jordan Reed (you’re never sitting him, but Baltimore has been excellent against tight ends this season with the resurgence of Eric Weddle as they’ve haven’t allowed a top-20 scorer at the position yet), Joe Flacco (he’s finished higher than QB19 just once and he’s thrown 40 or more passes in three straight games, something he may not have to do this week against the soft Washington front), Dennis Pitta (his targets have dropped in two straight games and Washington has allowed double digit points to just one tight end on the season), Jamison Crowder (his targets have dropped every week of the season and interior receivers have done next to nothing against Baltimore so far)

 

Reasonable Return: Steve Smith (he’s gotten better every week so far and his usage out of the slot has increased as well, where he can avoid Josh Norman in coverage), Chris Thompson (he's in the floor flex mold as number of receiving backs as he's been a top-30 scorer in three of four games, but has yet to finish above RB25)

 

Atlanta vs. Denver

 

Falcons Rank @ Broncos Rank
6   Spread -6  
21.0   Implied Total 27.0  
64.0 16 Plays/Gm 62.2 25
68.5 29 Opp. Plays/Gm 66.0 22
41.8% 12 Rush% 46.2% 5
58.2% 21 Pass% 53.8% 28
33.2% 3 Opp. Rush % 40.9% 19
66.8% 30 Opp. Pass % 59.1% 14

 

  • Atlanta leads the league in points per play (.594), Denver ranks 4th (.446).
  • The Falcons lead the NFL in offensive touchdowns (16) and touchdowns allowed (15).
  • The 152 points scored by the Falcons are the most ever in franchise history through four games and the 5th most for any team ever through four games played.
  • Last weekend, Julio Jones became the first player ever to have multiple games with over 250 receiving yards.
  • Matt Ryan's 1,473 passing yards are the third most ever by a quarterback through four games, trailing Tom Brady's 1,553 passing yards in 2011 and Kurt Warner's 1,557 yards in 2000.
  • Ryan is averaging 10.4 yards per attempt, highest in the league. Denver is allowing 4.9 yards per pass attempt, lowest in the league. The league mark for passing yards per attempt is 7.3 yards per throw.
  • Emmanuel Sanders leads the league with 33.3 percent of the Denver targets.
  • Demaryius Thomas ranks 29th of all receivers with 21.6 percent of the Denver targets, but ranks second in points per target (2.06) of all receivers with 20 or more targets behind Jones (2.22).
  • C.J. Anderson leads the league in rushing attempts that have gone for no gain and negative yardage with 21.

 

Trust: Emmanuel Sanders (he’s 6th in the league in targets and if Atlanta plays straight up defensively, Sanders will draw Desmond Trufant less than Thomas will), C.J. Anderson (he hasn’t been efficient the past two weeks but the Falcons are allowing the 5th most points to the running back position and Denver is a big home favorite)

 

Bust: Matt Ryan (I’m not expecting you to sit the hottest quarterback option, but I’m also not entering the week expecting QB1 returns when on the road facing a Denver defense that has allowed just four top-12 passers over their past 20 games), Tevin Coleman (between the questionable usage, the matchup and his sickle cell concerns, he’s best left on benches this week)

 

Reasonable Return: Trevor Siemian (this is a great spot as he’s a home favorite attached to a nice team total while Atlanta has allowed over 20 quarterback points in every game this season, but he may not practice all week, which casts a cloud on things. If he’s out, Paxton Lynch is a strong replacement option), Demaryius Thomas (he’s been a top-24 scorer three weeks in a row, but still hasn’t cleared seven targets in any week and should run into Trufant the most between the two Bronco wideouts), Julio Jones (you’re rolling him out, but entering with WR2 expectations with upside for more), Devonta Freeman (it’s far from an ideal matchup as Denver is in the top half of rushing and receiving points allowed to backs, but Freeman may see extra touches with Tevin Coleman possibly limited due to sickle cell issues)

 

Cincinnati vs. Dallas

 

Bengals Rank @ Cowboys Rank
-1   Spread 1  
23.3   Implied Total 22.3  
65.5 13 Plays/Gm 69.2 4
60.8 8 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.0 6
39.3% 19 Rush% 50.5% 3
60.7% 14 Pass% 49.5% 30
42.0% 25 Opp. Rush % 35.6% 6
58.0% 8 Opp. Pass % 64.4% 27

 

  • Ezekiel Elliott's 100 touches are the most by a rookie running back through his first four career games since Matt Forte's 110 in 2008.
  • The Bengals are allowing just .380 rushing points per attempt to opposing running backs, the second fewest in the league behind Green Bay (.294).
  • Jason Witten has seven red zone targets (T-2nd for all tight ends), but zero have come inside of the 10-yard line.
  • With Dez Bryant out, Brice Butler played 62 snaps and was tied with Witten for the team lead in targets with nine.
  • The Bengals are last in the league in red zone touchdown rate at 30.8 percent.
  • 89.6 percent of Giovani Bernard's fantasy output has stemmed from receiving, the highest dependency of all backs in the top-40 of scoring.
  • The Cowboys are allowing 5.3 yards per carry on interior runs (guard to guard), the highest in the league.
  • A.J. Green has three games already in which he's been targeted on 35 percent of the team passing attempts or more. The only other receiver to have multiple games is Emmanuel Sanders with two.

 

Trust: A.J. Green (Dallas has only allowed one top-24 scoring receiver so far, but you’re not scared away from any of their defenders and Green is stacking efficient volume weekly)

 

Bust: Giovani Bernard (he’s in play for flex status weekly but has just one week inside the top-30 so far and that was aided by one-way script late in the game), Jason Witten (he’s yet to get back into the top-12 after Week 1 and has low odds at scoring a touchdown at a position driven by them for fantasy), Cole Beasley/Brice Butler (the Bengals are allowing the 6th fewest receptions per game to opposing receivers and Prescott ranks 17th in completions per game, a cocktail that doesn’t set itself up for a lot of opportunity), Dak Prescott (he’s been top-10 the past two weeks and the Bengals have allowed multiple touchdown passes in three of four games on the season, but I don’t believe the Cowboys will run like they’ve been if Tyron Smith and Doug Free are still out or limited and I don’t like their receiver matchups at all)

 

Reasonable Return: Andy Dalton (he’s third in the league in passing yards with only Green as a viable target, but Dallas comes with pace concerns that force opposing quarterbacks to be touchdown reliant), Jeremy Hill (he doesn’t come with a receiving floor, but Dallas has allowed double digit points to three straight backs), Ezekiel Elliott (he’s gotten better each week, but the Bengals pose the toughest threat he’s faced arguably all season)

 

San Diego vs. Oakland

 

Chargers Rank @ Raiders Rank
4   Spread -4  
23.0   Implied Total 27.0  
64.2 15 Plays/Gm 62.5 23
67.5 26 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.0 28
40.9% 15 Rush% 38.0% 20
59.1% 18 Pass% 62.0% 13
33.3% 4 Opp. Rush % 39.0% 11
66.7% 29 Opp. Pass % 61.0% 22

 

  • Oakland has allowed 150 yards rushing per game over the past three weeks, the second most in the league.
  • After rushing for 155 and 150 yards to open the season, the Chargers have only run for 75 yards combined as a team the past two weeks, the fewest in the league.
  • 44.8 percent of Melvin Gordon's fantasy output this season has come from touchdowns, the highest percentage of the top-30 scorers at the position.
  • Just 20.5 percent of Gordon's rushing attempts have gained five or more yards, the second lowest rate for all backs with 40 or more carries (Todd Gurley at 18.3 percent).
  • DeAndre Washington's percentage of team touches has gone from 12 percent to 13.6 percent, to 15.2 percent to 18.2 percent over the opening four weeks.
  • Latavius Murray's 25.2 percent of the Oakland touches are the lowest total for any running back in the top-24 of scoring on the season.
  • San Diego has allowed 13 red zone touchdowns on the season, the most in the league so far.
  • The Raiders are first in the league in red zone touchdown rate at 90.9 percent, scoring a touchdown on 10 of 11 red zone trips.
  • Michael Crabtree has outscored Amari Cooper in 12 of their 20 games played together.
  • Only Kevin White has more targets (36) without a touchdown than Cooper (35).

 

Trust: Philip Rivers (both of his top-10 weeks have come at home, but Oakland has already allowed three top-6 scorers to start the season), Derek Carr (he’s just one of two quarterbacks to have three games of 20 or more points and San Diego has allowed three 300-yard passing games and multiple touchdowns three times while Oakland has one of the highest totals of the week), Michael Crabtree (he’s been the better of the two Oakland receivers so far and he had identical 6-75-1 lines in both meetings between these teams a year ago)

 

Bust: Tyrell Williams/Travis Benjamin/Dontrelle Inman (someone will surely pop if Rivers does, but I prefer Rivers over the group here as no one here has been a steady option for fantasy since Keenan Allen was lost. Williams has no top-24 scoring weeks, Benjamin is playing fewer snaps per game than both Williams and Inman and he has been WR53 and WR67 the past two weeks while Inman has one game with more than four targets)

 

Reasonable Return: Melvin Gordon (he’s setting us up for a dud as he’s run for 35 and 36 yards on 35 total carries in two matchups that have been equally attractive, but he’s also added 10 receptions those weeks to give you some footing for when that happens), Hunter Henry (he’s been the TE12 and the TE5 while filling in for Antonio Gates. If Gates plays, I'm not into either as a starting option), Amari Cooper (the Oakland passing tree is so thin that it’s hard to completely fade Cooper, but he's had just one top-40 scoring week and he did have a top-10 week against San Diego a year ago while Jason Verrett may be sidelined with a knee injury), DeAndre Washington/Jalen Richard (With Latavius Murray now doubtful, both will likely share the field with an edge to Washington in touches. On the season, Richard has played 54 snaps to 51 for Washington while Washington has out-touched Richard 29 to 22. San Diego has allowed only 3.7 yards per carry to backs, but the second most points to opposing backfields as they've allowed the second most receiving points to the position)

 

Buffalo vs. Los Angeles

 

Bills Rank @ Rams Rank
3   Spread -3  
18.3   Implied Total 21.3  
58.0 31 Plays/Gm 58.2 29
66.2 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 73.8 31
46.1% 6 Rush% 44.6% 7
53.9% 27 Pass% 55.4% 26
40.8% 17 Opp. Rush % 38.3% 9
59.3% 16 Opp. Pass % 61.7% 24

 

  • Todd Gurley's 216 rushing yards are the fewest by a running back through four weeks with 75 or more carries since Eddie George in 2003 (209 yard) and his 2.6 yards per carry is the lowest ever for the same group.
  • Gurley has 52.6 percent of his team's touches on the season, the most for any player in the league.
  • Despite ranking first in percentage of team touches, Gurley ranks 12th in percentage of his team's yardage (24.2 percent).
  • The Rams have punted on 60 percent (27 of 45) of their drives, the highest rate in the league.
  • Just 6.0 percent of Tyrod Taylor's passing attempts (seven of 116) have come from inside the red zone, the lowest percentage in the league.
  • In his past two games with Sammy Watkins inactive, Robert Woods has totaled 16 receptions for 173 yards on 23 targets.
  • Tavon Austin has secured just 45.7 percent of his targets (16 of 35), the second lowest rate for all receivers with 30 or more targets on the season.
  • Kenny Britt has 34.1 percent of the Los Angeles receiving yardage, but just 21.5 percent of the team targets. That 12.6 percent gap is the second largest in the league behind Marvin Jones (17.2 percent).

 

Trust: LeSean McCoy (he’s seeing 21 touches per game and the Rams have allowed a top-24 scorer every week at running back with two inside the top-10)

 

Bust: Tyrod Taylor (he’s been steady since Week 1, but Buffalo has a low total on the road while the Rams have allowed one top-20 quarterback and it took that one 58 pass attempts to get there, the type of volume that is hard to foresee for Taylor), Case Keenum (these are two of the most run-heavy teams and two of the top teams in limiting quarterback scoring), Todd Gurley (the good news is he finally got involved in the passing game last week with five receptions, but the bad news is he still was just RB23 and the Bills are allowing just 3.6 yards per carry to opposing backs so far), Tavon Austin (his targets have dropped every week as Britt and Brian Quick have had an increased roles and he’s not getting the rushing attempts he had a year ago), Kenny Britt (he’s been in double digits in three of his four games, but has had more than four receptions in just one of those games), Brian Quick (the touchdowns have been there, but he has just 14 total targets on the season. When the touchdowns aren't there, the volume just isn't there for any type of floor)

 

Reasonable Return: Robert Woods (he’s the primary target in a low volume passing, but the Rams are allowing the most receptions per game to opposing receiver units at 17.3 per game)

 

New York (NFC) vs. Green Bay

 

Giants Rank @ Packers Rank
7   Spread -7  
20.5   Implied Total 27.5  
63.2 19 Plays/Gm 58.0 30
67.8 27 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.0 13
37.6% 21 Rush% 41.4% 13
62.5% 12 Pass% 58.6% 20
39.1% 12 Opp. Rush % 36.9% 8
60.9% 21 Opp. Pass % 63.1% 25

 

  • The 128 rushing yards allowed by the Packers are the fewest through three games in franchise history and the fewest by any team since the Bears in 2010 (119 yards).
  • Just 12.2 percent of the offensive yardage gained against the Packers has been rushing, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Packers rank first in the league in yards per carry allowed (1.8 yards), but rank 31st in yards per pass attempt (8.3).
  • 27.3 percent of the completions against the Packers have gone for 20 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
  • 29.6 percent of Jordy Nelson's targets have come inside the red zone, the highest rate for any wide receiver so far.
  • After having 54.2 percent of the team rushing attempts the first two weeks, Eddie Lacy had 70.8 percent of the Green Bay carries in Week 3.
  • The Giants are the only defense that has yet to force a turnover this season.
  • The Packers allow the most offensive plays per drive (6.8) while the Giants allow the 5th most (6.5).

 

Trust: Eli Manning (he’s one of just three quarterbacks to start all four games without a top-12 scoring week and the fact that he’s a road dog isn't endearing, but the Packers are going to funnel pass attempts and don’t have the secondary to prevent this New York receiving corps from getting over with Sam Shields still out indefinitely), Odell Beckham (for all of the perceived disappointment, he actually has just two fewer receptions and just four fewer receiving yards than he had at this stage last season and the Packers have allowed the highest scoring receiver in fantasy in each of their past two games), Jordy Nelson (he’s scored in every game so far and in 13 of his past 19 games played)

 

Bust: Giant Running Backs (opponents haven’t run effectively on Green Bay and hardly are even trying. The only one I’m entertaining here is Bobby Rainey, who had nine targets and seven receptions last week), Eddie Lacy (even while topping 100-yards rushing last game, he was just the RB24 and the Giants are allowing 3.4 yards per carry to backs and the 7th fewest points), Randall Cobb (eventually he’s going to have a productive game again, but I’m done chasing it as he has been a top-30 scorer in just one of his past 11 games)

 

Reasonable Return: Aaron Rodgers (I don’t want to declare Rodgers fully back because of a monster half against what has proven to be one the league’s most giving secondaries as he still has eclipsed 250 passing yards in just two of his past 10 games, but he’s at home and the Giants aren’t forcing opposing quarterbacks into mistakes while Nelson appeared fully back in their last game before the bye), Sterling Shepard/Victor Cruz (they have almost identical target shares and yardage per week and I expect there to be enough volume in this game for both to be on the board for WR3 viability), Will Tye (with Larry Donnell out last season, Tye posted double digit points in six of his final seven games a season ago and Green Bay has allowed the 6th most points per game to tight ends on the season)

 

Tampa Bay vs. Carolina

 

Buccaneers Rank @ Panthers Rank
n/a   Spread n/a  
n/a   Implied Total n/a  
71.0 1 Plays/Gm 70.5 2
64.0 12 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.0 7
34.2% 27 Rush% 39.7% 18
65.9% 6 Pass% 60.3% 15
45.7% 28 Opp. Rush % 43.3% 26
54.3% 5 Opp. Pass % 56.7% 7

 

  • The Panthers have already allowed three or more offensive touchdowns in three games this season, they allowed three touchdowns in a game just four times all of 2015.
  • Carolina is allowing 8.1 yards per pass attempt this season (30th) after allowing 5.8 yards per attempt (2nd) in 2015.
  • Carolina is allowing 12.7 yards per completion (31st), while Tampa Bay is allowing 13.3 yards per completion, the most in the league.
  • The Buccaneers have scored on just 22.9 percent of their possessions, the second lowest in the league (Chicago at 20.5 percent),
  • After seeing 30 percent of the team targets over the opening two weeks, Kelvin Benjamin has had just 9.4 percent over the past two weeks.
  • Tampa Bay is allowing a touchdown once every 9.6 targets to opposing wide receivers, the highest rate in the league.
  • Only Greg Olsen has more targets (23) than Cameron Brate (18) at the tight end position over the past two weeks.
  • Jameis Winston averages .341 passing points per attempt (30th), but averages 44.3 pass attempts per game, the most in the league

 

Trust: Cam Newton (if he gets the green light, then the matchup is great as Tampa Bay has allowed the 4th most passing points to quarterbacks. If Newton can’t go, Derek Anderson is in play as a streamer for the same reason), Kelvin Benjamin (he’s run into two tough individual matchups the past two weeks, but the Bucs have allowed nine touchdowns to receivers, the most in the league), Greg Olsen (he’s been a top-12 scorer in every game and was the TE1 and TE2 in the last two starts that Anderson made)

 

Bust: Charles Sims (he’s been ineffective the past two weeks as a runner and Carolina is allowing just 3.5 yards per carry to backs and are in the bottom half of receiving points allowed to the position)

 

Reasonable Return: Mike Evans (he’s going to be popular after what we saw Julio Jones do to the Carolina secondary a week ago, but prior to that, the Panthers hadn’t allowed a top-30 receiver), Jameis Winston (Winston has been all or nothing, but the volume he’s seeing isn’t going to go away this week as both of these teams are running tons of plays per week), Cameron Brate (he’s been the steadiest target outside of Evans), Fozzy Whittaker (he’s been the RB15, RB28 and RB13 the past three weeks with 17 receptions over those weeks)

 

Context Key:

 

Trust = Set him in your lineups this week

Bust = Player to underperform season average

Reasonable Return = On par with seasonal average


**All Vegas Lines are taken from BetUs Tuesday Evenings

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.