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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 5 Worksheet

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

With four weeks already put in stone, we’re finally start to mount a good feel for players and teams. Nothing is ever certain the NFL, but we are able to identify consistent areas of strengths and weaknesses for offenses and defenses to begin the season. Week 5 has just two teams on bye once again, so make sure all of your Tampa Bay and Chicago players are out of lineups and their replacements are accounted for.

 

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.

 

 All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 


Colts @ Patriots

 

Indianapolis Rank @ New England Rank
10   Spread -10  
20.8   Implied Total 30.8  
23.5 18 Points/Gm 23.8 15
25.0 18 Points All./Gm 21.0 12
69.0 7 Plays/Gm 63.8 17
70.5 29 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.8 19
29.0% 31 Rush% 44.7% 8
71.0% 2 Pass% 55.3% 25
39.7% 17 Opp. Rush % 42.8% 26
60.3% 16 Opp. Pass % 57.3% 7

 

  • The Patriots have won eight straight non-Week 1 Thursday Night games, outscoring opponents by an average of 18.0 points per game over those wins.
  • James White has accounted for 26.2 percent of the New England fantasy production for skill players, the eighth-highest rate among running backs in the league.
  • Sony Michel leads all backs with a touch or target on 78.3 percent of his snaps played this season.
  • Thursday will be the first time that the Patriots have both Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski active in the same game since Week 12 of the 2016 season.
  • Andrew Luck's 186 pass attempts are the most by any quarterback in franchise history through the opening four games, surpassing his own 177 attempts to start 2012.
  • The 17 sacks by the Colts defense are the most they've had through the first four games of a season since 1992.
  • Nyheim Hines is averaging 28.5 pass routes per game, fifth for all running backs.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Sony Michel: He’s gone from 11 to 15 to 25 touches over his three games while attached to a big home favorite, which should propel that volume.
  • Tom Brady: He’s a huge home favorite, Edelman is returning to the lineup, Gronk is going to at least dress and the Colts enter the week with multiple injuries all over. 

 

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

 

  • James White: The touchdowns should slow down over time, but he’s still the safest bet in this passing game at the moment, receiving more than 20 percent of the team targets in three of the opening four games while the Colts have allowed 28 receptions to backs out of the backfield.
  • Julian Edelman: He’s in the WR3 mix in his first game back and he has familiarity with the offense to overcome only getting in two practices in his return while he could walk right into volume if Gronkowski is indeed held out on the short week against a defense that lives in zone coverage.
  • Eric Ebron: He hasn’t been efficient the past two weeks, but still has 21 targets in those games and has now found the end zone in five of his past seven games dating back to last season.
  • Nyheim Hines: He’s locked into the passing-down role in a game that sets up for the Colts to put up points while Indianapolis has yet to stabilize the running back rotation outside of him.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Andrew Luck: Volume should still be here as he has more than 40 pass attempts in three of the opening four games, but with no T.Y. Hilton as a road dog in a short week, he’ll find himself back in QB2 territory.
  • Josh Gordon: He played just 18 snaps and ran just nine pass routes in his debut a week ago as he’s still working his way into a role within this offense.
  • Chris Hogan: If Gronk is out, Hogan will get elevated in the red zone, but going backs to a player with just eight catches for 109 yards on the season and will now be pushed back on the perimeter with Edelman returning to the lineup.
  • Colts WRs: All of Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant and Zach Pascal had 11-17 percent of the team targets with Hilton in and out of the lineup a week ago. If you have to swing, Rogers has the most red zone targets of the trio, but no one here is a target.
  • Rob Gronkowski: All indications are that he's going to be active, but limited to "high leverage" snaps. It's doubtful teams have a strong backup tight end option, but there's no wide gap from his floor to ceiling here in a game he may not be potentially needed.

 

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

 

  • Phillip Dorsett: He has at least seven targets in three of the four games this season and is tied with White for the team lead in red zone targets with five.

 

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Packers @ Lions

 

Green Bay Rank @ Detroit Rank
-1.5   Spread 1.5  
26.0   Implied Total 24.5  
23.0 19 Points/Gm 23.5 17
20.8 11 Points All./Gm 28.5 24
67.2 9 Plays/Gm 65.8 12
61.2 10 Opp. Plays/Gm 57.8 3
33.8% 27 Rush% 32.7% 29
66.2% 6 Pass% 67.3% 4
39.2% 16 Opp. Rush % 51.1% 31
60.8% 17 Opp. Pass % 48.9% 2

 

  • Matthew Stafford has thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven consecutive games versus the Packers, the longest streak for an opponent in Green Bay history.
  • Stafford has been a top-10 scorer in the past four of those games, throwing 10 touchdowns to two interceptions while passing for over 300-yards (averaging 354 yards per game) in each of those games.
  • Golden Tate has been a top-12 scoring receiver in the past three of those games, averaging 6.7 catches, 98 yards and 21.4 points per game.
  • Detroit has scored a touchdown on 33.3 percent (4-of-12) of their red zone possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Kerryon Johnson ranks sixth in yards before contact (2.79 yards) while LeGarrette Blount ranks 47th (0.37) of 52 backs to have 20 or more carries on the season.
  • After playing 24.6 percent of the Green Bay snaps in his Week 3 return, Aaron Jones played 38.2 percent of the snaps in Week 4.
  • 41.4 percent (7-of-17) of Jones' carries have resulted in a first down, the highest rate for all backs with double-digit carries to begin the season.
  • Aaron Rodgers has been the QB12 or lower in three consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 15-17 of the 2015 season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Matthew Stafford: He has at least 17 points in each of his past three games and is heading home to face a defense with multiple injuries to their cornerback unit in Jaire Alexander and Kevin King.
  • Golden Tate: He has at least six receptions in every game and has tormented Green Bay recently from the inside while the Packers have been most vulnerable to interior options to begin the season, allowing double-digit points to Adam Thielen and Jamison Crowder in two of their past three games.

 

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

 

  • Davante Adams: He’s cleared 53 yards in just one career game versus the Lions and has yet to turn in a WR1 scoring week on the season. He's run into a number of tough individual corners, but he’s had a stellar floor, seeing 10.8 targets per game and catching at least seven passes in three games in a row while he always carries weekly touchdown upside. He also may be due for a larger target boost with both Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) entering the week questionable.
  • Jimmy Graham: He’s at just 6.8 yards per target to begin the season which still leaves him with a low floor when he fails to find the end zone, but reliable tight end targets are a commodity this season and he should be right behind Adams in receiving opportunity if Cobb and Allison are unable to get back into the lineup.
  • Kenny Golladay/Marvin Jones: In a game in which we’re high on Stafford, everyone comes along for the ride and the Green Bay secondary is still banged up.  Golladay has had the higher floor, scoring at least 11 points in all four games while Jones still leads the team in air yards and targets inside of the 10-yard line on the season.
  • Kerryon Johnson: He’s been RB25 or better in three straight games but is still has a hurdle to push past RB2 status with LeGarrette Blount still siphoning 35 percent of the rushing attempts per game.
  • Theo Riddick: He’s been an RB3 or better in three of the four games with the only week below FLEX status coming in a game that they controlled throughout.
  • Aaron Jones: He led the backfield in touches in just his second game back and got the money touches near the end zone, but there’s still a bit on uneasy feeling with Jamaal Williams only being one touch behind him in that game. The matchup couldn’t be better for the Packers to lean on their run game with a potentially hobbled receiving corps as the Lions have been gashed on the ground, allowing a league-high 208.8 total yards and 6.1 yards per carry to opposing backfields on the season.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Aaron Rodgers: His fantasy output has been suppressed as he’s fighting through his injury, finishing as the QB19, QB12 and QB18 over the past three weeks while he may be down to relying on multiple rookie wide receivers this week in the lineup.

 

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

 

  • Ty Montgomery: If the Packers are going to enter this game completely short-handed at the wide receiver position, Montgomery becomes a deeper option to be used in the passing game more.
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling: He's the next man up in the rotation, running 37 routes a week ago and gets extra elevation with Allison also expected to be out with Cobb.

 

 

 

Giants @ Panthers

 

NY Giants Rank @ Carolina Rank
7   Spread -7  
18.8   Implied Total 25.8  
18.2 29 Points/Gm 23.7 16
23.8 16 Points All./Gm 20.0 8
62.0 23 Plays/Gm 64.0 15
60.2 9 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.3 7
33.1% 28 Rush% 47.4% 3
66.9% 5 Pass% 52.6% 30
43.2% 29 Opp. Rush % 37.6% 12
56.9% 4 Opp. Pass % 62.4% 21

 

  • Christian McCaffrey has played 85.1 percent, 94 percent and 100 percent of the Carolina offense snaps over their opening three games.
  • McCaffrey's share of the team touches has gone from 32.7 percent to 44 percent to 53.4 percent.
  • McCaffrey -the RB12 overall and RB7 in points per game- is the only running back in the top-30 of overall scoring that has yet to score a touchdown.
  • Cam Newton is averaging 10.8 rushing points per game, which would rank 10th among running backs on the season.
  • New York is allowing 7.3 yards per play on first down, the highest rate in the league. League averaged outside of them is 5.6 yards per play allowed.
  • The Giants have trailed for 71.4 percent of their offensive snaps, the highest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 47.1 percent.
  • Saquon Barkley is the fifth player to reach 100-yards from scrimmage in each of his first four career games, joining Kareem Hunt, Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Billy Sims.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Christian McCaffrey: Even with Newton continuing to be a thorn in his touchdown upside, McCaffrey has established one of the highest floors at the position as he’s elevated into a bellcow back this season, positing 95, 139 and 194 yards from scrimmage to start the year.
  • Cam Newton: He has five passing touchdowns to one interception over his past two games while he’s tacking on double-digit rushing production per week to begin the season.  The Giants have allowed at least 2.8 rushing points to a quarterback in every game so far this season with 150 yards allowed to the position on the ground already.
  • Saquon Barkley: He’s fifth at the position in touches (83) and yards from scrimmage (453) while Carolina has allowed 16-plus points to every lead back they’ve faced on the season.

 

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

 

  • Sterling Shepard: He has 24.3 percent of the team targets over the past two weeks, catching 16-of-17 targets with four targets from inside of the 10-yard line in those games. Carolina has struggled with his archetype in two of their three games, allowing 6-132-1 to Tyler Boyd and 7-73 to Cole Beasley.
  • Odell Beckham: His start is similar to his opening four games of the 2016 season and the touchdowns and the big plays eventually came that year. He’s had a reliable floor, catching at least seven passes in three games with two 100-yard games, so we're treating him still as a lower-end WR1.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

 

Broncos @ Jets

 

Denver Rank @ NY Jets Rank
1   Spread -1  
21.3   Implied Total 22.3  
21.0 25 Points/Gm 22.2 21
24.2 17 Points All./Gm 22.2 13
64.0 14 Plays/Gm 59.0 29
64.2 20 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.2 26
41.4% 14 Rush% 42.0% 13
58.6% 19 Pass% 58.1% 20
37.7% 13 Opp. Rush % 41.4% 22
62.3% 20 Opp. Pass % 58.6% 11

 

  • Sam Darnold averages 0.85 fantasy points per possession, the fewest of all starting quarterbacks.
  • The Jets have converted just 36.4 percent (4-of-11) of the red zone possessions into touchdowns, 31st in the league.
  • Denver has lost six consecutive early start road games by an average of 16 points per game.
  • Emmanuel Sanders has the most targets (30) without a red zone target on the season.
  • Only Nelson Agholor has fewer receiving yards (167) than Demaryius Thomas (168) among the top-36 wide receivers in targets on the season.
  • Royce Freeman has 23.1 percent of the Denver offensive opportunities when the Broncos are tied or leading while having 15.2 percent when trailing.
  • Phillip Lindsay has 23.8 percent of the opportunities tied or ahead while having 18.1 percent when trailing.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Emmanuel Sanders: The lack of scoring opportunities and the play of Keenum are becoming noticeable, but he’s matched or out-targeted Thomas in three of four games to start the season and runs into the best individual matchup against Buster Skrine, who has allowed the second-most receiving yards from the slot this season and 20-point games to all of Golden Tate, Jarvis Landry and Dede Westbrook to begin the season.

 

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

 

  • Phillip Lindsay: He’s the safest play from this timeshare as he’s led the Denver backfield in touches in all three full games he’s played and even received and converted a short-yardage scoring opportunity last weekend.
  • Royce Freeman: He’s a lower-FLEX play. The game script should keep him around and he’s scored in three straight games while the Jets have allowed four rushing scores over the past three games. But it’s worth sticking in your back pocket that the game script was also good on Monday Night and he had just eight touches, the second time in three weeks he’s had single-digit touches, leaving you to depend on a scoring opportunity.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Demaryius Thomas: He’s been a WR4 or worse in three consecutive games while the Jets boundary cornerback play is far superior to how they’ve played on the inside, allowing just one touchdown on the perimeter.
  • Case Keenum: After a QB13 open to the season, he’s now been the QB23 or lower in each of the past three weeks, averaging just 219.6 passing yards per game over that span.
  • Isaiah Crowell: The Broncos have allowed a rushing touchdown in each of the past three games if you want to chase a potential scoring opportunity, but Crowell has now rushed 32 times for 69 yards over the past three games and the Broncos have only allowed one back to clear 70-yards on the ground in a game this season.
  • Sam Darnold: There’s just no fantasy production to squeeze from him and his situation. He’s been in the back half of quarterback scoring all four weeks and has fewer than 200-yards passing in three of the four weeks while he’s averaged 5.2 yards per attempt the past two weeks after averaging 8.6 yards per pass through two games.
  • Quincy Enunwa: A low-level FLEX option, he has at least eight targets in each game on the season but has reached 70-yards just once while he runs into one of the premier slot defenders in Chris Harris.

 

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

 

  • Bilal Powell: His snap rate has gone from 40 percent, 52.3 percent, 54 percent up to 63.6 percent over the open to the season while out-gaining Crowell 205 yards to 93 over the past three games.

 

Titans @ Bills

 

Tennessee Rank @ Buffalo Rank
-3.5   Spread 3.5  
21.3   Implied Total 17.8  
18.8 28 Points/Gm 12.5 31
18.2 6 Points All./Gm 26.5 20
62.8 20 Plays/Gm 60.0 28
63.0 17 Opp. Plays/Gm 67.0 21
47.8% 2 Rush% 40.8% 16
52.2% 31 Pass% 59.2% 17
38.1% 14 Opp. Rush % 36.6% 9
61.9% 19 Opp. Pass % 63.4% 24

 

  • The Bills average drive begins with them trailing by 10.1 points, the largest average deficit in the league.
  • Buffalo is last in the league in yards gained per play on first down (3.1 yards), last in the league in yardage needed to gain on third downs (9.3 yards) and last in the league in third down conversion rate (27.6 percent).
  • The 21 sacks taken by Bills quarterbacks are their most as franchise through four games since 1998 (25) and the most for any team through four games since Detroit in 2007 (22).
  • LeSean McCoy has a touch or target on just 29.3 percent of his snaps played. His rates the past three seasons in Buffalo were 50.4 percent, 44.2 percent and 42.3 percent.
  • The Titans rank last in the NFL in plays of 20 or more yards (eight) while the Bills rank 31st (nine).
  • Tennessee ranks 31st on yards created before contact for their running backs (0.36 yards), ahead of only Minnesota (0.34).
  • Derrick Henry has a 31.5 percent opportunity share with Tennessee tied or leading on the season. That rate is 11.8 percent with the Titans trailing.
  • Dion Lewis has a 32.3 percent opportunity share while trailing and a 21.5 percent share when tied or leading.

 

 

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

 

  • Derrick Henry: He’s been dreadful but has 18 touches in each of the two games that Tennessee controlled throughout and is favorite here facing a defense that has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs through four games. If you can’t play him in these spots, then he’s not worth a roster spot.
  • Dion Lewis: 14 of his 18 receptions have come in the two games that gone off the rails for the Titans, something we shouldn’t expect to happen this weekend, but he did still manage 15 and 12 touches in the weeks Tennessee controlled the game while Buffalo is 25th in fantasy production allowed to backfields.
  • Corey Davis: His breakout game a week ago was aided by the Titans running the most plays they have all season in catch-up mode while he added 9.4 of his points in overtime, but he’s all the Titans have. Davis leads the league in target rate per route run (31.5 percent) and Mariota’s progress a week ago was a major positive in getting him catchable opportunities.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Marcus Mariota: His game a week ago was a big development moving forward since he had struggled so badly through his injury. He’s also rushed for 51 and 46 yards the past two weeks. He should still be a QB2 option, but I’m concerned about the low team total and low passing volume potential here while the Bills have gotten better defending the pass each week, holding Kirk Cousins to QB23 and Aaron Rodgers to QB19 scoring weeks over their past two games.
  • LeSean McCoy: He’s now had just 8, 13 and 8 touches through three games while Tennessee has yet to allow a touchdown to a running back and ranks 12th in yards from scrimmage allowed to the position.
  • Josh Allen: The Titans allowed a handful of rushing production to Deshaun Watson (44 yards) and Blake Bortles (27), but just one quarterback has finished higher than QB15 against them to start the season.

 

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

 

  • Taywan Taylor: His targets have risen in each game this season as he's coming off a career-high seven catches last week with Rishard Matthews completely out of the picture while running 34 pass routes after 29 through three weeks.

 

Falcons @ Steelers

 

Atlanta Rank @ Pittsburgh Rank
3   Spread -3  
27.3   Implied Total 30.3  
29.0 6 Points/Gm 25.5 10
30.5 30 Points All./Gm 29.0 26
62.8 19 Plays/Gm 69.0 6
68.2 24 Opp. Plays/Gm 70.5 30
38.3% 21 Rush% 29.4% 30
61.8% 12 Pass% 70.7% 3
34.8% 7 Opp. Rush % 38.7% 15
65.2% 26 Opp. Pass % 61.4% 18

 

  • The Falcons are allowing the third-most fantasy points per game (94.4) to skill players. The Steelers are allowing the fifth-most (89.0) per game.
  • The Steelers are scoring the fourth-most points (90.3) while Atlanta ranks ninth (88.3) for skill players per game.
  • The Falcons rank tied for last in rate of allowing opposing possessions to score (50 percent) and 31st in rate of drives allowing a touchdown (35.7 percent).
  • Atlanta is facing 13.0 red zone plays per game, the most in the league.
  • Per Pro Football Focus, just 57.7 percent of Antonio Brown's targets have been catchable, the lowest rate for all wide receivers with 25 or more targets on the season. For his career entering this season, 72.3 percent of Brown's targets were catchable.
  • 24.4 percent of the pass attempts against the Steelers have come on throws 15-yards or further downfield, the highest rate in the league.
  • Julio Jones is tied with DeSean Jackson for the most receptions (eight) on throws 15-yards or further downfield and ranks second behind Jackson in yardage gained (264 yards) in those receptions.
  • Julio Jones has failed to catch a touchdown pass on 57 consecutive regular season receptions, the longest draught of his career.
  • Calvin Ridley's six receiving touchdowns are tied for the most ever through the first four games of a career, joining Martavis Bryant in 2014 and Bucky Pope in 1964.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Matt Ryan: This is the game that fantasy owners are circling as both of these defenses are injured and playing terribly. Ryan has scored at least 29 fantasy points in each of the past three weeks while the Steelers have allowed a QB1 scoring performance in every game this season.
  • Julio Jones: He leads the league in receiving yardage and has been the best deep-ball target in the league outside of DeSean Jackson while the Steelers have been gauged vertically to begin the season.
  • Calvin Ridley: He’s not going to score multiple times per week and has fewer than 20 percent of the team targets in every game but one, but everything still lines up for him to remain in the WR2 conversation as the Steelers have allowed six top-25 scoring wideouts to begin the season.
  • Ben Roethlisberger: He’s at home once again against a defense that is ravaged by injuries and has allowed 24 or more points and three passing touchdowns to each of the past three quarterbacks they’ve faced.
  • Antonio Brown: For as uneven his production has been given that he’s second in the league in targets, he still has nearly identical fantasy production to what he had through four weeks a year ago. Atlanta is much worse defending the interior defensively, but has allowed 7-77-0 to Devin Funchess, 10-129-0 to Michael Thomas and 4-78-1 to A.J. Green over their past three games.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster: Atlanta has just been ripped to pieces on the inside defensively, allowing receivers from the slot to combine to catch 24 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns over their past three games.

 

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

 

  • James Conner: He’s gotten progressively worse for fantasy each week. After rushing 31 times for 135 yards in Week 1 he’s rushed 32 times for 97 yards over his past three games, but he’s averaging 4.5 receptions per game to anchor his floor from bottoming out while Atlanta ranks 23rd in rushing points and 31st in receiving points per game allowed to backfields.
  • Vance McDonald: He is running a pass route on 80.6 percent of his snaps, the highest rate for all tight ends while Atlanta has allowed a top-12 scoring tight end in three of their four games.
  • Mohamed Sanu: He’s caught 10-of-16 targets the past two weeks while Pittsburgh may be forced to lean on second-year Cameron Sutton in the slot once again due to Mike Hilton’s injury. Sutton allowed 6-of-6 targets to completed in his coverage in the slot on Sunday Night for 66 yards and a touchdown.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Atlanta RBs: Everyone in this game is worth a look with the scoring potential raising all tides, but with Devonta Freeman returning from injury and causing a split with Tevin Coleman things get messy. I’m skeptical on trusting Freeman off a long layoff and Atlanta has not run the ball well outside of one game while the Steelers lone defensive bright spot has been holding opposing backfields to 3.5 yards per carry, which ranks sixth in the league.

 

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

 

  • Austin Hooper: Another week of keeping him around the tight end streaming pool since the position is in such bad shape. He carries a low floor, having three or fewer catches in every game but one, but the teams have targeted their tights 27.1 percent of the time versus Pittsburgh, the highest rate in the league while they’ve allowed a league-high 30 receptions to the position through four weeks.

 

 

Ravens @ Browns

 

Baltimore Rank @ Cleveland Rank
-3   Spread 3  
25.3   Implied Total 22.3  
30.8 5 Points/Gm 25.5 11
16.2 4 Points All./Gm 26.0 19
74.8 1 Plays/Gm 73.2 2
62.8 16 Opp. Plays/Gm 73.5 32
38.1% 22 Rush% 44.0% 9
61.9% 11 Pass% 56.0% 24
33.9% 5 Opp. Rush % 39.8% 18
66.1% 28 Opp. Pass % 60.2% 15

 

  • Baltimore is averaging 4.2 red zone possessions per game, fourth in the league.
  • Cleveland is allowing 4.2 red zone possessions per game, tied for the most in the league with San Francisco and Pittsburgh.
  • Baltimore is +35 in first downs gained versus their opponents this season, the largest differential in the league.
  • John Brown leads the NFL with 17 targets 15-yards or further downfield. Those targets account for 56.7 percent of his targets on the season, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Ravens have allowed just 34 percent of opposing possessions to cross midfield, the lowest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 51.5 percent.
  • Carlos Hyde is the first player with a rushing touchdown in six consecutive games since DeMarco Murray over 2014-2015.
  • 47.8 percent of Hyde's fantasy points have been scored inside of the 5-yard line, the highest rate in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • John Brown: He’s established himself as the top receiver in this passing game over the opening month and even leads the team in red zone targets with four. Only Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins have seen more air yards come their way this season. Cleveland has faced a tough schedule of opposing lead wideouts, but they have struggled to contain production as they’ve allowed top-10 scoring weeks to Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown and Amari Cooper to begin the season.

 

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

 

  • Jarvis Landry: He’s traded strong and subpar performances each week, but his floor remains high due to his volume potential each game. He ranks fourth at the receiver position in targets (11.8 per game) and seventh in air yards.
  • Joe Flacco: His strong play continued a week ago as he has 15 or more points in all four games this season. Cleveland’s pass defense is better than they showed in the fourth quarter a week ago, but Flacco is still a higher-end QB2 this weekend.
  • Alex Collins: His persistent fumbling issues keep his touch count from becoming consistent, but he’s managed to score a touchdown in three of the opening four games while Cleveland ranks 29th in rushing production allowed (111 yards) per game to opposing backfields.
  • Michael Crabtree: Nothing more than a floor-FLEX option, he has 8.5 targets per game, but is averaging just 46 yards receiving so far per game on the season. Outside of struggling against top wideouts, Cleveland has also allowed two WR2 scoring weeks to secondary wideouts through four games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Carlos Hyde: Even on the strength of a rushing touchdown in every game, he’s finished higher than RB20 just once and has 82 or fewer yards from scrimmage in every game but one. The Ravens are fourth in the league in allowing just 67.8 rushing yards per game to backfields, meaning that Hyde will need to improve on his four receptions overall when he inevitably has a game without a touchdown.               
  • Baker Mayfield: His debut was good only for QB22 last week while Baltimore ranks first in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passing points per attempt to quarterbacks to begin the season while they are getting Jimmy Smith back in the secondary.
  • Duke Johnson: He was more involved last week, but still managed just six touches overall, which matched a season-high. That number is still far too low to put into lineups, while Baltimore ranks sixth in receptions allowed to backfields.
  • Antonio Callaway: A player with his kind of explosive play potential is bound to hit a huge week soon since he has 19 targets over the past two weeks, but the Ravens rank third in success rate against passes 15-yards or further downfield this season.
  • David Njoku: He’s now had seven or more targets in three of the four games this season which are relevant at his position, but he’s yet to do anything substantial with them, finishing as a TE15 or lower in every game this season.
  • Ravens TEs: This is a great spot for one player and Baltimore tight ends have 24 percent of the team targets on the season, but with Hayden Hurst returning to action, they now have a logjam and Hurst may not see the full allotment of playing in time in his first game of the season.

 

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

 

  • Javorius Allen: He’s been an RB3 or better in all four games this season despite failing to reach 50-yards from scrimmage in any game while Collins’ issues holding onto the football are going to keep Allen in play for stealing goal line touches.

 

Dolphins @ Bengals

 

Miami Rank @ Cincinnati Rank
6   Spread -6  
22.0   Implied Total 28.0  
20.5 26 Points/Gm 31.5 4
22.5 14 Points All./Gm 28.2 23
50.0 31 Plays/Gm 62.0 24
69.8 27 Opp. Plays/Gm 72.5 31
46.0% 4 Rush% 33.9% 26
54.0% 29 Pass% 66.1% 7
43.0% 28 Opp. Rush % 37.6% 10
57.0% 5 Opp. Pass % 62.4% 23

 

  • The 126 points scored by the Bengals are their second-most in franchise history through four games behind the 1985 season (129 points scored).
  • The Bengals 113 points allowed are the most they've allowed through four games since the 2007 season.
  • Cincinnati has converted 84.6 percent (11-of-13) of their red zone possessions into touchdowns, the highest rate in the league.
  • Andy Dalton is one of just two quarterbacks (Philip Rivers) to throw multiple touchdown passes in every game this season.
  • Dalton has now thrown multiple touchdowns in 13 games since Bill Lazor took over as offensive coordinator in Week 3 of last season, trailing only Russell Wilson (15 games) over that span in games with multiple touchdown passes.
  • Kenyan Drake leads all running backs in rate of runs (24.2 percent) that have failed to gain yardage on the season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Andy Dalton: He has multiple touchdowns in every game and over 40 pass attempts in three straight games. As a home favorite the game script may not require him to do so much lifting, but the Dolphins just had their first real passing challenge of the season against a New England team that hasn’t been as good as the Bengals have and they crashed and burned.    
  • Joe MixonWith Bernard now sidelined, Mixon will return to a full workload as a home favorite. The Dolphins rank 27th in rushing points allowed per game (16.4) and 28th in receiving points allowed per game (17.5) to opposing backfields.

 

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

 

  • A.J. Green: His weekly target share of 21.7 percent of the looks is a touch lower than we’ve been accustomed to and he’s had just one WR1 scoring week to begin the season. Xavien Howard will get praise entering this matchup, but Miami has still only faced a rogue’s gallery of Corey Davis, Quincy Enunwa, Amari Cooper and the New England wideouts through four weeks, no one close to the stature of Green.
  • Tyler Boyd: He has at least six receptions and 90 yards in each of the past three games while he’s coming off 36.6 percent of the team targets a week ago.
  • Ryan Tannehill: The way he was living off of splash plays and touchdown production with almost no passing volume was eventually going to catch up to him, but last week’s zero-point game was an overcorrection. The Bengals have struggled to stop opposing games dating back to last season, allowing a top-13 scorer at quarterback every week this season and in nine of their past 10 games dating back to last season.
  • Kenny Stills: This sum of parts passing attack is one of the worst to dissect and predict performance from. Five Miami players have double-digit receptions this year, but no one has more than 13. The weekly play for upside remains Stills and he gets the most favorable individual opportunity against a struggling Dre Kirkpatrick.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Kenyan Drake: He’s now been scripted out of each of the past two games and his rushing attempts have dropped every week of the season. As a road dog, we can’t place any faith him having a tangible touch-count this week.

 

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


  •  C.J. Uzomah: There's still potential for both Uzomah and Tyler Kroft to split responsibilities here and cannibalize each other, but heading into this week, Uzomah has played significantly more in the pass game, running 65 routes on the season to just 21 for Kroft.

 

Jaguars @ Chiefs


Jacksonville Rank @ Kansas City Rank
3   Spread -3  
23.0   Implied Total 26.0  
22.0 22 Points/Gm 36.2 1
14.0 1 Points All./Gm 28.8 25
65.2 13 Plays/Gm 62.2 21
58.2 4 Opp. Plays/Gm 67.5 22
40.2% 17 Rush% 42.6% 11
59.8% 16 Pass% 57.4% 22
41.2% 21 Opp. Rush % 31.9% 2
58.8% 12 Opp. Pass % 68.2% 31

 

  • The Jaguars have allowed a touchdown on just 8.7 percent of their opponent's possessions, the lowest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 23.6 percent.
  • The Chiefs have scored a touchdown on 47.4 percent of their possessions, the highest rate in the league. The Chiefs are averaging 4.2 red zone possessions per game, tied for fourth in the league.
  • Jacksonville is allowing 2.0 red zone possessions per game, the second fewest in the league.
  • Jacksonville is +9 in plays of 20 or more yards gained on offense (17) versus allowed on defense (eight), the largest differential in the league.
  • The Jaguars are allowing 53.1 points per game to position players, the fewest in the league.
  • Kansas City is allowing 94.6 points to position players per game, 31st in the league.
  • Jacksonville is allowing the fewest fantasy points per target to opposing wide receivers (1.38) while Kansas City ranks fourth (1.47).
  • Just 6.7 percent of Blake Bortles' passes have been thrown from inside of the red zone, the lowest rate for all full-season starters to begin the season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • T.J. Yeldon: He’s been a top-20 scorer in three of his four games on the season with 90 and 100 yards from scrimmage the past two games. The Chiefs are allowing 201.5 yards from scrimmage to backfields (31st) and are allowing the most rushing points per carry (.870) to backs to begin the season.

 

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

 

  • Patrick Mahomes: In his “worst” fantasy game of the season he still got to 300-passing yards and a QB11 finish. While the Jaguars early season dominance has been nursed by facing the Giants, Titans and Jets in three games, we still also inherently know they are one of the toughest defenses in the league and have allowed a fantasy QB1 just twice since the start of last season. At home with a team total that isn’t fazed by the matchup, Mahomes is still in play as a lower-end QB1 this week.
  • Tyreek Hill: He has funky home/away splits as he averages just 42.2 receiving yards per game in Kansas City with just four of his 16 touchdown catches coming at home. But when you see the small list of players that have reached 100-yards receiving against Jacksonville over the past two seasons, Hill may be the type of speed player that can find success. That list is only three players, Antonio Brown (twice), Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks. With Sammy Watkins’ status in jeopardy, Hill could build on his season-high 13 targets from a week ago and still stack production that puts him in WR2 territory.
  • Blake Bortles: He’s been a tough player to get a firm grasp on as he has games with 376 and 388 passing yards surrounded by ones with 176 and 155 yards, but he's averaging 3.3 rushing points per game as a constant and the Chiefs are still a team we’re circling for streaming options despite their initial floundering defensively being aided by strength of opponent to begin the season.
  • Kareem Hunt: He's beginning to pick up some steam as he's improved his scoring output in each game and finally got involved in the passing game a week ago. With Watkins questionable and the Jaguars strong on the boundaries, that receiving opportunity should roll over. 
  • Donte Moncrief: The Chiefs have actually been good on a per target basis defending opposing receivers, they’ve just faced a ton of volume to begin the season, something that could happen once again with Leonard Fournette sidelined. You can kick around any of the Jaguar wideouts as FLEX plays this week. Moncrief has the best individual matchup against Orlando Scandrick while Dede Westbrook draws the toughest assignment against Kendall Fuller, leaving Keelan Cole somewhere in between.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Travis Kelce: Kelce has double-digit targets in three straight games with at least seven catches in all of them, but the Jaguars have already nuked Rob Gronkowski and Evan Engram in two of their opening games to begin the season.
  • Sammy Watkins: He’s dealing with a hamstring issue that may keep him sidelined while he managed just one catch against the Jaguars a year ago.

 

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

 

  • Corey Grant: He’s not a reliable source of touches to universally play, but for those really fishing in deep waters, the Chiefs have allowed seven different backs to reach double-digit scoring in a game versus them this season.

 

Raiders @ Chargers


Oakland Rank @ LA Chargers Rank
5.5   Spread -5.5  
24.0   Implied Total 29.5  
24.2 13 Points/Gm 27.8 9
30.8 31 Points All./Gm 30.0 28
72.0 4 Plays/Gm 62.0 25
59.2 6 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.5 11
38.5% 18 Rush% 38.3% 20
61.5% 15 Pass% 61.7% 13
41.8% 23 Opp. Rush % 42.7% 25
58.2% 10 Opp. Pass % 57.3% 8

 

  • The Raiders are allowing 6.8 yards per play (31st) while the Chargers are allowing 6.3 yards per play (28th).
  • Oakland ranks 32nd in yards per completion (13.9) allowed while the Chargers rank 31st (13.0).
  • Derek Carr's 1,373 passing yards are the most by an Oakland quarterback through four games in a season in franchise history.
  • Jared Cook has accounted for 21.1 percent of the Oakland fantasy points for skill players, the highest rate for a tight end to begin the season.
  • Oakland has allowed six touchdowns from outside of the red zone, the most in the league.
  • Melvin Gordon leads all running backs with 50 or more carries in percentage of runs to gain 10 or more yards (18.5 percent) while Austin Ekeler leads all backs with 25 or more carries in the same category (28.6 percent).
  • Gordon has been targeted on 32.6 percent of his routes, the highest rate for all running backs.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Melvin Gordon: He hasn’t even had more than 15 carries in a game yet this season, but his rushing efficiency has spiked while his receiving work is through the roof. Oakland ranks 23rd in yards from scrimmage allowed to opposing backfields.

 

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

 

  • Philip Rivers: He has 17 or more points in all four games this season as he’s lived in the QB10-15 range. Oakland has allowed only one QB1 through four games but have surrendered multiple touchdown passes to three passers.
  • Derek Carr: He’s fourth in the NFL in passing yardage and has thrown for 288 or more yards in all four games this season while the Chargers have not had the kind of success they had a year ago defending the pass, ranking 28th in passing points allowed per attempt to begin the season.
  • Keenan Allen: He’s still reeled in two-thirds of his targets (24-of-36), but the yardage has been pedestrian as he’s now had three-straight WR4 or lower scoring weeks, but Oakland has allowed a touchdown to a primary slot receiver in three of four games to start the season.
  • Austin Ekeler: His yards from scrimmage have gone down in all four games, but he still leads all backs with more 10 touches on the season in yards per touch (8.6) while the Raiders are 30th in both rushing and receiving production allowed to backs per game.
  • Jordy Nelson: He has eight targets in each of the past two games after eight total through two weeks while I expect Carr to keep this yardage train moving this week and the Chargers have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing wideouts already, better than only two teams.
  • Jared Cook: He’s close to the Amari Cooper version of tight ends as he has been the highest scoring tight end in two of the first four weeks with games of 12 and 13 targets and then the TE17 and TE23 in the other two games with 10 total looks. At the tight end position, you just keep taking the bitter with the sweet despite Cook catching just five passes for 49 yards in two games versus the Chargers a year ago.
  • Marshawn Lynch: He’s progressively scored more fantasy points in each game this season with 20 or more touches in each of his past three games, but the Chargers have been more exploitable by backs in the receiving game as they rank 11th in rushing production allowed per game to backfields.

 

 Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Amari Cooper: The Cooper-Coaster keeps moving along as he’s received three, 10, five and 12 targets through four weeks. The Chargers did use Casey Hayward on Cooper for the bulk of his routes last year, with Cooper catching two passes in his coverage for 18 yards, but he also did find his way to an 87-yard touchdown in the second meeting to keep hope alive that he can string together two usable games in a row for the first time in 2018.
  • Antonio Gates: He's gathered five targets in each of the past two games, but he's still only a factor near the goal line, posting just 88 total yards through four games.

 

 

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

 

  • Mike Williams: He’s now surrounded games with six and seven targets with two and three target games, which is what you’re going to get from a player that is the third receiver on his team but is more appealing for fantasy than their number two wideout because he actually can score touchdowns.

 

 

Vikings @ Eagles

 

Minnesota Rank @ Philadelphia Rank
3   Spread -3  
20.8   Implied Total 23.8  
22.5 20 Points/Gm 20.5 27
27.5 22 Points All./Gm 20.2 10
68.8 8 Plays/Gm 73.0 3
62.2 15 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.8 12
26.6% 32 Rush% 37.0% 23
73.5% 1 Pass% 63.0% 10
43.0% 27 Opp. Rush % 30.8% 1
57.0% 6 Opp. Pass % 69.2% 32

 

  • The Eagles rank 30th in points per play (.281) after ranking third in 2017 (.434).
  • Zach Ertz is the only tight end with double-digit targets in every game this season.
  • Minnesota is the only remaining team on the season without a rushing touchdown.
  • 80.9 percent of the yardage allowed by the Eagles has been passing, the highest rate in the league.
  • Just 13.7 percent of the Minnesota rushing plays have resulted in a first down, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 24.4 percent.
  • The Eagles lead the league in rate of opponent's runs that fail to gain yardage (15.8 percent).
  • The Vikings have run just five plays from inside of the 10-yard line, the fewest in the league.
  • Kyle Rudolph is running a route on 70.7 percent of his snaps this season, the fourth-highest rate in the league. He ran a pass route on just 43.6 percent of his snaps in 2017.
  • Adam Thielen is the first player to have over 100-yards receiving in each of the first four weeks of the season since Randy Moss in 2007.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Adam Thielen: He has at least 12 targets and 100-yards in every game this season while the Vikings project to be pass-happy once again here against an Eagles defense that can defend the run but is highly vulnerable through the air through wide receiver play.
  • Stefon Diggs: He’s now had 13, 10 and 15 targets the past three weeks while only the Buccaneers and Saints have allowed more wide receiver production than the Eagles have.
  • Kirk Cousins: He leads the league in pass attempts and that doesn’t project to come back down in this game when teams are throwing against the Eagles at the highest rate in the league. Both of the huge games allowed for fantasy by Philadelphia have come on the road, but Cousins’ wide receivers have such a strong outlook that it should carry him to a top-12 line with all of that volume.
  • Zach Ertz: He’s yet to even score a touchdown on the season but has been a top-10 scorer at the tight end position in all four weeks while the Vikings have allowed top-6 scoring weeks to the two tangible tight ends they have faced this season in George Kittle and Jimmy Graham.

 

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

 

  • Carson Wentz:  He took a step forward in his second game of action as the QB15 last week plus the Eagles got more pieces back into the lineup offensively. Minnesota has not been the boogeyman that defensively that it was billed as at all, allowing back-to-back top-5 scoring quarterbacks and allowing 27 or more points in three games in a row.
  • Alshon Jeffery: He played 83.3 percent of the offensive snaps in his Week 4 return and immediately made his presence felt, catching 8-of-9 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. He had a 5-85-2 line against Minnesota a year ago playing with Nick Foles, so any concerns about Xavier Rhodes are lifted a bit here.
  • Kyle Rudolph: The Vikings taking a step back as a team has lifted Rudolph back up as a receiving-first tight end as he’s the only tight end other than Ertz to be a top-12 scorer at the position in all four weeks this season.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Jay Ajayi: He returned to collect 18 touches last week, but he still needs to find the end zone to hit for fantasy and the one thing the Vikings have done well enough defensively is defend the run, ranking sixth in rushing points allowed to backfields to begin the season and they have yet to allow a rushing touchdown to a running back through four games.
  • Minnesota RBs: It’s unclear what kind workload Dalvin Cook will get after playing just 18 snaps last Thursday, but he won’t be treated as more than a lower-end RB2 against an Eagles defense that is number against the run against backs on a carry basis as well as a volume-based one.
  • Nelson Agholor: He’s been turned into a glorified scatback in three of his four games played, averaging fewer than 5.0 yards per target in three games and eclipsing 33 yards receiving just once.

 

Rams @ Seahawks

 

LA Rams Rank @ Seattle Rank
-7   Spread 7  
28.8   Implied Total 21.8  
35.0 2 Points/Gm 21.2 24
16.8 5 Points All./Gm 20.2 9
63.5 18 Plays/Gm 62.0 26
57.5 1 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.2 14
44.9% 6 Rush% 44.8% 7
55.1% 27 Pass% 55.2% 26
32.6% 3 Opp. Rush % 42.6% 24
67.4% 30 Opp. Pass % 57.4% 9

 

  • The Rams average 7.4 yards per play on first down, the highest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 5.6 yards per play.
  • The Rams lead the league in rate of possessions to cross midfield (73.7 percent), reach the red zone (47.4 percent) and reach the 10-yard line (36.8 percent).
  • Brandin Cooks' 452 receiving yards are the most by a Rams wide receiver through four games in a season since Torry Holt (487 yards) in 2000.
  • Jared Goff leads all passers in completions to gain 10 or more yards (61) and completions to gain 20 or more yards (23) while ranking second in completions to gain 50 or more yards (four) on the season.
  • Over the past two weeks, Goff has the second (44.3 passing yards) and third highest (42.3 yards) games of passing yards per possession on the season after Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 1 performance (46.3 yards per drive).
  • Goff is just the second Rams quarterback to ever throw for over 350 yards in three consecutive games, joining Kurt Warner in 2000.
  • Russell Wilson has thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in 8-of-12 career games against the Rams and has been a fantasy QB1 in just four of those games.
  • Wilson ranks 26th in rate of completions (9.2 percent) to come throws 15-yards or further downfield and 22nd in overall completions (seven) on those throws. In 2017, he ranked third in completion rate (14.8 percent) and fourth in overall completions (50) on those throws.
  • Wilson has 4.2 rushing points this season, 22nd among quarterbacks. He averaged 4.8 rushing points per game in 2017, fourth at his position.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Todd Gurley: he’s picked up right where he’s left off from a year ago with 23 or more points in all four games to start the season.
  • Jared Goff: There’s no wonky defensive splits on his resume to start as this offense has just done whatever they want over the opening month of the season. The Seahawks have been respectable defensively to start the season, but have faced Case Keenum, Mitchell Trubisky, Dak Prescott and Josh Rosen while they’ve just lost Earl Thomas.
  • Rams WRs: The reason we love the Rams is they are the league’s best offense and we know exactly where the points are being scored. Robert Woods (15.1 percent), Brandin Cooks (14.9) and Cooper Kupp (14.1 percent) all have nearly lateral usage shares.

 

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


  • Doug Baldwin: He had just 41 yards n his return, but led the team with 27 percent of the team targets and 49 percent of their air yards. Seattle will have to press the action more through the air this week and the Rams just allowed 10-143-1 to Minnesota slot wideouts a week ago.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Russell Wilson: He’s been the QB17 or lower in three straight games, doesn’t have a great history versus this defense as two of his three lowest scoring games from 2017 came against the Rams and worst of all, he’s not running to boost his floor since he’s never been a high passing yardage producer.
  • Seahawk RBs: Just when we thought we were getting some clarity, Chris Carson suffers an injury and Mike Davis is propelled as the starter over Rashaad Penny. If Carson misses the game outright, Davis could have FLEX appeal, but we may see another rotation of backs in a game where the Seahawks should be chasing the scoreboard.
  • Tyler Lockett: He was living off touchdowns to start the year and has been receiving just 5.8 targets per game, moving him to FLEX status with Baldwin returning to the lineup.
  • Nick Vannett: He ran a season-high 24 pass routes last week with Will Dissly now shelved and tight end is very thin if you need to swing. The Rams season stats against tight ends are still majorly skewed by what Jared Cook did in Week 1, so I'm still higher on plays like Uzomah or Swaim if you're getting this deep.

 

Cardinals @ 49ers

 

Arizona Rank @   San Francisco Rank
4.5   Spread   -4.5  
18.3   Implied Total   22.8  
9.2 32 Points/Gm   25.0 12
23.5 15 Points All./Gm   29.5 27
49.5 32 Plays/Gm   60.8 27
68.2 25 Opp. Plays/Gm   69.8 28
38.4% 19 Rush%   42.4% 12
61.6% 14 Pass%   57.6% 21
51.3% 32 Opp. Rush %   37.6% 11
48.7% 1 Opp. Pass %   62.4% 22

 

  • Arizona has won six consecutive games versus the 49ers, their longest streak against San Francisco in franchise history.
  • David Johnson's snap rate over the opening four games has gone from 67.9 percent, 77.8 percent, 86 percent to 91.7 percent.
  • Johnson's share of the team touches has been: 40 percent, 43.8 percent, 45.7 percent and 58.1 percent.
  • The Cardinals are generating 46.8 fantasy points and 220.8 yards from scrimmage per game for their skill players, the fewest in the league.
  • George Kittle has accounted for 31.1 percent of the San Francisco receiving yardage, the highest rate for any tight end in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Matt Breida: He out-touched Alfred Morris 12-to-5 last week and ran a season-high 22 pass routes last week. Arizona is just bleeding opportunity to running backs as they are facing the most rushing attempts (31.0) and touches (36.3) to opposing backfields per week and have allowed 16 or more fantasy points to five different backs so far through four games. If Morris is healthy, he even gets some FLEX appeal for those willing to dig that deep.

 

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

 

  • David Johnson: His usage is slowly getting to where it needs to be while he showed signs of life with 2-1 and 30-yard gains last week. The 49ers are 30th in receiving points allowed per game to running backs while Johnson has still found the end zone in three of four games.
  • George Kittle: He’s matched or led the team in targets in all four games this season and has now been a top-8 scoring tight end in five of his past six games dating back to last season. Arizona has only faced two viable fantasy options at tight end so far, allowing 4-48-1 to Jordan Reed and 4-55-0 to Trey Burton.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Larry Fitzgerald: Despite an appetizing matchup, he’s admittedly not playing at full health and has three or fewer catches in each of the past three weeks for 65 total yards, relegating him to WR4 territory until his health and quarterback gain positive traction.
  • Josh Rosen: His receivers did him no favors last week with a pair of dropped touchdowns, but he was only the QB23 and still attached to a lowly-implied road underdog this week.
  • CJ Beathard: He’s usable in 2-QB leagues as he found his way to 17 points and offers some mobility, but for as porous as the Cardinals have been in totality, they have just been giving up production to backfields hand over fist and not forcing quarterbacks to make a lot of plays and stack fantasy output.
  • Pierre Garcon: He had a season-high seven targets last week and Marquise Goodwin is dealing with thing and hamstring injuries, but as noted above, Arizona isn’t coaxing much passing volume from teams that inherently aren’t using their passing games to stack leads so far.
  • Ricky-Seals-Jones: After receiving six targets in the first two games of the season, Seals-Jones has just seven total over the past two weeks with three catches.

 

Cowboys @ Texans

 

Dallas Rank @ Houston Rank
3.5   Spread -3.5  
20.8   Implied Total 24.3  
16.8 30 Points/Gm 24.0 14
19.2 7 Points All./Gm 27.0 21
57.5 30 Plays/Gm 69.8 5
62.0 13 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.0 23
43.9% 10 Rush% 40.9% 15
56.1% 23 Pass% 59.1% 18
43.6% 30 Opp. Rush % 40.1% 19
56.5% 3 Opp. Pass % 59.9% 14

 

  • Lamar Miller played a season-low 53.5 percent of the team snaps in Week 4 after playing 76.5 percent of the snaps over the opening three games.
  • Deshaun Watson leads the league in rate of completions to gain 10 or more yards (64.1 percent).
  • Ezekiel Elliott is the only player in the league with over half of his team's touches at 51.2 percent.
  • 46.6 percent of the offensive yardage gained by Dallas has been from rushing, the highest rate in the league.
  • Houston ranks 29th in sack rate allowed (10.3 percent) while Dallas ranks 30th (10.9 percent).

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • DeAndre Hopkins: The target monster is back at it again as he has double-digit targets in every game while leading the team in red zone targets (six) and targets inside of the 10-yard line (four).
  • Ezekiel Elliott: No player’s workload is more bettable than Elliott’s and all of increased passing game opportunity finally paid off last week.

 

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

 

  • Deshaun Watson: After a slow start in Week 1, Watson’s fantasy production has risen each week in three straight top-10 scoring weeks. Dallas has a way of neutering ceiling games from quarterbacks as they slow down tempo and haven’t allowed a QB1 scoring game since last Thanksgiving, but Watson is adding 5.5 points per game on the ground and this Texans team cannot move the football on the ground with their running backs.
  • Dak Prescott: Coming off his best game of the season, he rolls into his best matchup of the season against a pass defense that ranks 30th in passing points allowed per attempt that has allowed season-high games to Eli Manning and Andrew Luck over the past two weeks.
  • Keke Coutee: He returned to the lineup and immediately was jammed with 15 targets, catching 11 of them. Even with Will Fuller in the game, he led the Texans in targets in the first quarter, so his involvement was by design. On a team with no functional running game or tight end presence, his workload should remain high.
  • Will Fuller: He's trending in the direction of being active on Sunday Night and if he's good to go, Dallas has allowed five pass plays (three for touchdowns) of 30 or more yards over their past two games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Lamar Miller: After handling all of the work to open the season, Miller is back on similar usage that we saw him receive at the end of the 2017 season. Given his inability to turn substantial volume into fantasy production, using him with compromised work is tough.
  • Dallas WRs: The Texans just allowed the trio of Chester Rogers, Zach Pascal and Ryan Grant to combine for 19 catches, 205 yards and a touchdown a week ago, but unfortunately, we can’t anticipate that kind of passing volume from Dallas. Their rotation was the tightest it has ever been between Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup and Cole Beasley, but they still have put just one wideout in the top-30 all season long so far. If you have to dig deep, Gallup has run more routes in each of the past three games and has picked up red zone targets each of the past two weeks.

 

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

 

  • Geoff Swaim: There’s blood in the streets at the tight end position, so we’re reaching deep into the corners of the world, but Swaim has seven and five targets the past two weeks with two targets inside of the 10-yard line. Houston has allowed a top-8 scoring tight end in three games this season, allowing touchdowns to Eric Ebron and Rhett Ellison the past two weeks.

 

 

Washington @ Saints

 

Washington Rank @ New Orleans Rank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
23.0   Implied Total 29.5  
21.3 23 Points/Gm 34.2 3
14.7 2 Points All./Gm 30.2 29
67.0 10 Plays/Gm 66.0 11
59.0 5 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.2 8
49.3% 1 Rush% 36.0% 25
50.8% 32 Pass% 64.0% 8
33.9% 6 Opp. Rush % 40.7% 20
66.1% 27 Opp. Pass % 59.3% 13

 

  • Opponents have scored on just 22.6 percent (7-of-31) of their drives versus Washington, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Saints are averaging 18.3 red zone plays per game, the most in the league.
  • Alvin Kamara leads the league in opportunities from inside of the red zone (35) and inside of the 10-yard line (16) on the season.
  • Kamara has accounted for 90.4 percent of the total yards gained by the New Orleans backfield, the second-highest rate in the league behind Ezekiel Elliot (95.3 percent). Last year, that mark was at 48.2 percent.
  • Over the final five games of the 2017 season, Kamara out-touched Mark Ingram 78-to-71 and 8-to-2 inside of the 10-yard line.
  • Kamara has the most fantasy points scored through the first four games of a season in NFL history.
  • The Saints are allowing a league-high 9.3 yards per pass attempt while Washington ranks second at 5.1 yards per pass attempt.
  • Washington has allowed just 7.4 percent of their completions allowed to gain 20 or more yards, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 14.6 percent.
  • Drew Brees is tied for third in the league in 20-plus yard completions (19) on the season.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Alvin Kamara: He’s definitely going to concede opportunities with Ingram returning to the lineup, but he’s co-existed with Ingram before as a high-end fantasy asset and has only one really good rushing game over his past nine weeks of football. Ingram was on the field when these teams played a year ago, with Kamara totaling 116 yards on 14 touches.
  • Drew Brees: The outdoor road game bugaboos caught up to Brees once again last week, but he returns indoors in the Superdome on Monday Night. Washington has been stingy on defense but did allow Aaron Rodgers to slip in as the QB12 while injured in the rain. Brees should do better here as he hit this defense for 385 yards in the air a year ago.
  • Michael Thomas: He turned in a complete dud last week on just four targets, but the targets should immediately rebound, and he had 6-91 in this matchup a year ago on 11 targets.
  • Chris Thompson: He ran just 10 pass routes in Week 3 after running 24 ad 39 over the opening two games as Washington sat on a lead and milked the game away. That’s an unlikely option here given Washington needing to score points and the Saints lone ray of sunshine is that they’ve stopped the run this season.

 

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


  • Alex Smith: He posted 17 fantasy points on just 20 pass attempts in his last game but will have to pump up the volume here and scoring production. The Saints have now traded two defensive duds with two strong games, but Smith comes with a high floor and upside potential for those playing the wire at quarterback this week.
  • Jordan Reed: The Saints have yet to allow a top-12 scoring tight end on the season, but Reed is second on the team in targets (20) behind Thompson and has had his target share go from 16.7 percent to 17.4 percent to 35 percent over the three games to start the season
  • Jamison Crowder: The Saints have been hammered in the slot so far this season, allowing five touchdowns to wide receivers from the slot already. After losing Patrick Robinson for the season a week ago, Giants wide receivers caught 11-of-11 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown. 

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Mark Ingram: It’s tough to gauge how much Ingram will find the find this week and he had just 66, 54, 35 and 28 total yards over the final month to close 2017, but not everyone’s running back situation is similar and the Saints still have a large team total at home if you can’t give him a week.
  • Adrian Peterson: We’ve had two strong games from Peterson and one stinker. The common thread through all has been game script. The Saints are third in rushing yardage allowed per game to opposing backfields (53.3 yards) and third in yards per carry (2.96) to backs. Everyone is in play for touchdown potential in this game, but the signs line up for this to be a game in which Peterson may not get the revenge he desires unless Washington controls the game.

 

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

 

  • Paul Richardson: The Saints played he deep ball well a week ago for this first time this season, but still have allowed a league-high five receptions of 40 or more yards to start the season. Richardson leads all Washington wideouts in targets (14) and air yards (31 percent of their team total) on the season.
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.