Five weeks down and we have some solid baselines shaping up for diagnosing trends and splits to ramp up making more accurate evidence-based decisions. Only two teams are on bye this week, so make sure all of your Vikings and Buccaneers are out of your lineups.
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 6 games in a PPR light...
Denver vs. San Diego
|42.9%||23||Opp. Rush %||34.0%||4|
|57.1%||10||Opp. Pass %||66.0%||29|
- After having 46.5 percent of the team touches through the first two weeks, C.J. Anderson has had just 33.6 percent of the Denver offensive touches since.
- Devontae Booker's snap percentage through five weeks: 10 percent, 19 percent, 23 percent, 25 percent and 41 percent.
- San Diego is allowing 3.57 yards per carry to opposing running backs, the 7th fewest in the league.
- The Chargers are allowing 9.6 receptions per game to opposing backfields, the most in the league.
- San Diego allows 2.8 red zone touchdowns per game, the most in the league.
- Demaryius Thomas is averaging 6.8 targets per game, his lowest total since 2011.
- Thomas has caught 76.5 percent of his targets to start the season. He secured just 59.3 percent of his targets in 2015 and his career high is 65.7 percent in 2012.
- Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have both been top-24 scorers in each of the past three weeks.
- Philip Rivers hasn't been a top-12 scoring quarterback over his past 11 games played against Denver, passing for more than 260 yards in just one of those games.
- Denver is allowing 5.5 yards per target to opposing wide receivers, the second best rate in the league (Minnesota 5.4 YPT).
- Only 49.4 percent of the receiving yardage against Denver has gone to wide receivers, the only team in the league under 50 percent.
- Denver is allowing 115.4 yards per game rushing (22nd) after allowing a league low 83.4 rushing yards per game in 2015.
- Melvin Gordon is the first Chargers running back to score in each of the team's opening five games since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.
Trust: Emmanuel Sanders (he leads all receivers in team target share and has led the team in targets in every game this season) Demaryius Thomas (he’s made up for volume loss with improved efficiency and is finding the end zone. San Diego’s back end is in enough disarray to put both Denver wideouts in top-20 consideration)
Bust: Philip Rivers (he’s hardly found any success versus Denver in his career and this model of the Denver pass defense is just as good as any), Travis Benjamin/Tyrell Williams (getting the Denver secondary that is smothering production is far from the comfy space they were allotted against Oakland last weekend), Antonio Gates (he played just 14 of 32 passing snaps last week and may not be much of a factor outside of the red zone)
Reasonable Return: C.J. Anderson (getting Donald Stephenson and Virgil Green back should help the run game out, but San Diego has been solid versus the run and Devontae Booker has been consistently shaving snaps), Melvin Gordon (the offseason losses Denver had to the interior of their defense has allowed teams to run better and the touches will be here for Gordon, but he’s still being carried by touchdown production), Trevor Siemian (his shoulder is a concern, but San Diego has allowed four 300-yard passers and multiple passing scores in every game except for one), Hunter Henry (he out-snapped Gates 2-1 in passing situations and showed he’s still a big play option for this offense even if his targets are compromised)
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Philadelphia vs. Washington
|35.5%||7||Opp. Rush %||38.7%||12|
|64.5%||26||Opp. Pass %||61.3%||21|
- Washington is tied for fourth in the league in red zone opportunities per game (4.0), but is last in the league in red zone touchdown rate at 35 percent.
- The Eagles are third in the NFL in red zone opportunities per game at 4.5.
- Washington has allowed at least 100-yards rushing to six straight teams, the longest streak in the league.
- Washington is allowing 5.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs, the highest in the league.
- Ryan Mathews played 40 percent of the team snaps in Week 5, his highest total since playing 46 percent Week 1.
- Mathews has a touch on 55 percent of his snaps played, the highest rate in the league.
- Zach Ertz returned to play 83 percent of the team snaps, but received just 9.1 percent of the team targets.
- The Eagles are allowing .326 passing points per attempt (7th in the league). Kirk Cousins is averaging .392 passing points per attempt, 25th in the league.
- DeSean Jackson has had fewer than 50 yards receiving in nine of his past 14 games dating back to last season while reaching 100-yards just twice.
- Jordan Reed has 25.4 percent of the Washington receptions, the second highest for all tight ends.
Trust: Ryan Mathews (he’s still only getting a little over a third of the offensive touches, but this is a game where he should find a lot of success and he’s been consistent at finding the end zone)
Bust: Carson Wentz (Washington has allowed just one quarterback inside of the top-15 so far this season), Kirk Cousins (the Eagles are allowing just 215 passing yards to quarterbacks per game and Cousins will need to stack touchdowns to overcome low yardage output), Matt Jones (his fantasy output has been opponent driven so far this season and the Eagles are allowing just 3.7 yards per carry to backfields), DeSean Jackson (he’s had 20 percent or more of the team targets in just two games so far and the Eagles have allowed just one top-24 receiver on the season), Jamison Crowder (he has just six targets total the past two weeks and the Eagles have defended the slot well so far)
Reasonable Return: Jordan Matthews (he’s had just seven targets over his past two games, but will have a favorable outlook on the interior against rookie Kendall Fuller), Zach Ertz (Washington has allowed 18 receptions to tight ends over the past two weeks and the boundary receivers for Philadelphia should struggle), Darren Sproles (he’s playing the most snaps of all the backs and has been a top-24 option over his past two games), Jordan Reed (Reed is in a similar spot as he was last week when he was the TE9. The Eagles have allowed a league-low six receptions to tight ends, but have yet to face a team that involves the position into their passing game like Washington does)
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Pittsburgh vs. Miami
|29.8%||1||Opp. Rush %||49.2%||32|
|70.2%||32||Opp. Pass %||50.8%||1|
- The Dolphins average just 25 yards per drive, ahead of only the 49ers (22.8) for the season.
- Just 6.4 percent of Ryan Tannehill's pass attempts have come from inside of the red zone, the lowest percentage in the league.
- The Dolphins have run 41 and 43 plays on offense the past two weeks, the two lowest totals in game for any team this season.
- Miami has led for just 10.9 percent of their offensive plays, the lowest in the league.
- The Steelers are allowing the most receptions (15.8) and 9th most receiving yards (180.6) per game to opposing wide receivers.
- Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 250 or more yards in six straight games dating back to last season, the longest ongoing streak in the league.
- Roethlisberger has thrown a touchdown once every 12.8 pass attempts, best in the league. Last season he threw a touchdown once every 22.3 pass attempts, 19th in the league.
- Per Pro Football Focus, Le'Veon Bell has run 35 routes per game since coming back. That mark would lead the league over David Johnson's 32.2 routes per game for backs that have played the full season.
- 36.9 percent of Jesse James' points are from touchdowns, the highest rate of any tight end in the top-12 of scoring for the season.
- Sammie Coates has 25.3 percent of the Pittsburgh targets over the past two weeks after receiving just 10.2 percent of the team looks through three weeks.
Trust: Antonio Brown (he’s been top-10 every week except for one and Miami is in the bottom-10 in receptions and yards allowed to wide receivers), Ben Roethlisberger (we always like Ben more at home, but this is still a great matchup), Le’Veon Bell (Bell has 23 and 29 touches since returning and the Dolphins face the most running back touches per game at 35)
Bust: Miami Running Backs (even if Arian Foster returns, I’m skeptical on players returning from multiple week injuries and the Steelers are facing the 6th fewest running back touches per game), DeVante Parker (after 13 targets in his first game back, he’s had just 12 since as the Miami pass protection hurts their vertical targets)
Reasonable Return: Sammie Coates (his usage has steadily risen and his big play ability puts him in play as a weekly option), Jesse James (you’re largely chasing a touchdown when using James, but the Dolphins have allowed a top-10 tight end in three of their past four games), Jarvis Landry (his three targets last week were the fewest he's had over his previous 29 games played. Look for those targets to recoil against Sean Davis on the inside), Ryan Tannehill (play volume and pass protection is still major concern here, but if chasing some points, the Steelers have allowed four straight quarterbacks to score 15 or more points)
Jacksonville vs. Chicago
|41.2%||19||Opp. Rush %||45.1%||27|
|58.9%||14||Opp. Pass %||54.9%||6|
- Brian Hoyer is just the second Bears' quarterback to ever throw for 300-yards in three consecutive games (Josh McCown in 2013).
- 17.1 percent of Hoyer's pass attempts have come inside of the red zone, the third highest rate behind Matt Ryan (18.5 percent) and Philip Rivers (19.8 percent).
- The Jaguars are allowing 6.1 yards per pass attempt, the second best outside of Minnesota.
- Cameron Meredith played 93 percent of the snaps in Week 5 while leading the team with 29.3 percent of the team targets.
- Alshon Jeffery has been targeted on 15.9 percent of his routes. In 2015, he led all receivers in being targeted on 32.7 percent of his routes.
- Jeffery's 12.7 yards per target ranks second in the league for all receivers with 20 or more targets.
- Jordan Howard's 5.8 yards per carry leads all running backs with 50 or more carries on the season.
- Howard has had 79.3 percent of the team carries (5th of all backs in Week 4) and 84.2 percent (first in Week 5) through his first two games as the starter.
- Allen Robinson is averaging 5.8 yards per target, 53rd of all receivers with 25 or more targets on the season.
Trust: Allen Robinson (downfield targets have given the Bears the most trouble and 32 percent of Robinson’s targets have come 15 yards or further downfield)
Bust: Alshon Jeffery (he’s still producing on the targets he’s receiving, but usage is in his way and Jacksonville has allowed just two receivers to reach 80-yards this season as Jalen Ramsey has limited lead options when they find his coverage), Zach Miller (the Jaguars have yet to allow a top-12 tight end on the season) Chris Ivory/T.J. Yeldon (for as banged up as the Bears’ defense is, they’ve only allowed 66 and 98 yards rushing the past two weeks and it’s hard to buy into an individual piece of this backfield as road underdogs), Allen Hurns (he hasn’t been a top-30 scorer in any week and is yet to clear five receptions in any game), Julius Thomas (he’s at just 13.4 percent of the team targets when he’s been active, which is 21st at the position)
Reasonable Return: Jordan Howard (the Jaguars are much better up front than the past two teams Chicago has faced, but Howard is dominating touches and has the added bonus of being a home favorite), Brian Hoyer (this feels like a potential letdown spot as Jacksonville is quietly allowing only 216.8 passing yards per game to quarterbacks, but they’ve also allowed multiple touchdown passes in three of four games and Hoyer is at home), Blake Bortles (he ranks 17th in passing points per game, but Chicago has allowed two of the past three quarterbacks they’ve faced to be top-10 options), Cameron Meredith (47 percent of Hoyer’s passes are to the right side of the field as he’s jammed the right wide receiver with targets so far), Eddie Royal (he’s been a top-36 scorer in each of the past two weeks with 16 targets those weeks)
Cleveland vs. Tennessee
|42.7%||22||Opp. Rush %||40.1%||16|
|57.3%||11||Opp. Pass %||59.9%||17|
- The Titans are second in the league with 148.6 yards rushing per game after ranking 25th in 2015 with 92.8 rushing yards per game.
- After ranking 25th in the league in rushing attempts through two weeks, DeMarco Murray is tied for the second most attempts (68) since then.
- Murray has accounted for 34.6 percent of the Tennessee offensive yardage, the second highest rate for any back (David Johnson at 36.6 percent).
- Cleveland is allowing 402.6 yards per game, 29th in the league.
- Last week Marcus Mariota had the fewest passing yards (163) in a 30-point fantasy game since Daunte Culpepper had 31.8 points with 75 passing yards in Week 4, 2007.
- Cleveland is the only other team outside of Detroit to allow at least 15 points to every quarterback this season.
- 33.7 percent of the receiving yardage against the Browns has been by opposing tight ends, the highest rate in the league.
- The Browns are allowing 10.8 targets, 8.6 receptions and 100.2 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends, all the most in the league and have allowed five top-10 scoring tight ends on the season.
- Just 7.5 percent of the plays run against the Titans this season have been in the red zone, the lowest in the league.
Trust: DeMarco Murray (he’s hoarding touches and the potential script sets up to provide a lot of them once again), Delanie Walker (he’s led the team in targets the past two weeks and Cleveland is getting steadily shredded by tight ends to start the season)
Reasonable Return: Marcus Mariota (he’s had a few great matchups that he’s squandered so far already, so I'm not completely chasing last week's performance and there’s some concern here about Tennessee not having to put the ball in the air a ton, but Cleveland has been a reliable target for baseline points from the quarterback position), Terrelle Pryor (he’s had double digit points in three straight games and comes with Swiss Army knife usage to help aid his floor), Gary Barnidge (his target share has risen in every game this season as he’s been a top-12 scorer in each of the past three weeks, but has yet to see a red zone target on the season)
Cincinnati vs. New England
|44.1%||26||Opp. Rush %||36.0%||8|
|55.9%||7||Opp. Pass %||64.0%||25|
- The Patriots have led for 67.2 percent of their offensive snaps, first in the league. The Bengals have trailed for 73 percent of their snaps, the second highest behind Miami (74.2 percent).
- After attempting a league low 28.5 passes per game through four weeks, the Patriots threw 41 times last week.
- After playing 62.5 percent of the team snaps Weeks 1-4, LeGarrette Blount played 38 percent of the plays Week 5.
- After running just 17 routes total over his first two games of the season, Rob Gronkowski ran 34 routes in Week 5, the 6th most of any tight end in the league last week per Pro Football Focus.
- The Bengals are allowing a touchdown pass once every 14.2 pass attempts, the second highest rate in the league. In 2015, they were the second best in the league, allowing a touchdown pass once every 35.9 pass attempts.
- Just 23.9 percent of Andy Dalton's fantasy output has come from passing touchdowns, the second lowest in the league.
- Giovani Bernard is tied with Derrick Henry for the most rushing attempts (34) with none coming from inside of the 10-yard line.
- New England is allowing just .230 points per play defensively, second in the league behind Minnesota (.194).
Trust: Tom Brady (sure, it was against the Browns, but Brady and the Pats offense looked right last week and three of the past four quarterbacks to face the Bengals have been top-12 scorers), Rob Gronkowski (he finally looked back this past week, but we caught a glimpse that he now has some competition for red zone work)
Bust: Andy Dalton (the passing attempts and yardage should be enough to make him in play as a high QB2, but the Patriots have only allowed one quarterback to crack the top-12 so far), LeGarrette Blount (he still managed 18 touches and had all of the red zone backfield work except for one carry, but his snap percentage dropped to the levels where we're back to playing him for a touchdown or bust), Jeremy Hill (he's dealing with a shoulder injury that may limit him if he plays and the only backs to have success versus New England so far have been all-purpose types)
Reasonable Return: A.J. Green (he’s the best offensive weapon for the Bengals right now and the Patriots have a history of limiting the best piece of an offense), Tyler Eifert (as usual, temper expectation on players returning from injury layoffs, but the Patriots have allowed four tight ends to catch five or more passes and the targets are immediately available for Eifert once he’s ready to jump back in), Giovani Bernard (with Jeremy Hill’ status questionable, Bernard’s floor moves from flex option to RB2, if Hill plays, then knock him back to a flex option), Julian Edelman (interior options such as Jarvis Landry, Cole Beasley and Quincy Enunwa have already posted 13 plus points against the Bengals), James White (with Brady back, he out-snapped Blount and was the RB20), Chris Hogan (there’s going to be some weekly volatility to Hogan as the targets won’t pile up, but the quality of those targets are worth looking at as a WR3 weekly), Martellus Bennett (the same applies to Bennett as it does with Hogan as his snap share has dropped each week since Gronk has been active, but Bennett still carries touchdown upside while playing a far more scarce position)
San Francisco vs. Buffalo
|48.8%||31||Opp. Rush %||41.6%||21|
|51.2%||2||Opp. Pass %||58.4%||12|
- These two teams throw the fewest passes per game in the NFL. The 49ers rank 31st at 30 pass attempts per game while Buffalo averages the fewest pass attempts per game at 28.
- Jeremy Kerley has been targeted on 28.1 percent of his routes, the third highest rate in the league.
- San Francisco leads the NFL in possessions per game (13.2), but ranks 31st in total yards per game (291.4).
- 28.9 percent of Tyrod Taylor's fantasy output stems from rushing, the third highest dependency in the league.
- After allowing just 65 rushing yards Week 1, the 49ers have allowed 167.3 rushing yards per game over the past four weeks, the most in the NFL.
- After rushing for 151 yards combined over the opening two weeks, Buffalo has rushed for 178.3 yards per game over the past three weeks, third in the NFL.
- 44.8 percent of the Bills' offensive yardage comes from rushing output, the highest rate in the league.
- 41.2 percent of LeSean McCoy's carries have gone for five or more yards, the highest rate of all players with at least 40 carries on the season.
- 75 percent of the touchdowns allowed by the Bills this season have been rushing, the highest rate in the league.
Trust: LeSean McCoy (McCoy looks great to start the season as he's been a top-17 scorer in every game so far while the 49ers have allowed four consecutive 100-yard rushers)
Bust: Colin Kaepernick (this is a tough spot for him to draw his first start as Buffalo has allowed just two passing touchdowns and just one top-20 quarterback all season, but the silver lining is that Blaine Gabbert was leading all quarterbacks in rushing attempts per game at 7.8 if you want to chase rushing output that can mask a limited passing game)
Reasonable Return: Tyrod Taylor (he ranks only above Gabbert in passing yards per drive and the Bills won’t have to put it in the air a lot here, but he comes with the rushing bonus that always allows you play from the floor up if using him), Robert Woods (he has over 25 percent of the team targets in each of the past three games, but the size of the Buffalo passing pie still isn’t large enough to prevent running into some duds like last week), Jeremy Kerley (he’s been the WR13 and the WR9 the past two weeks and it’s hard to ignore a player getting 30 percent of his team’s targets, no matter the offensive attachment and quarterback change), Carlos Hyde (Hyde isn’t much different for fantasy than McCoy week to week in terms of holding a reliable floor due to bankable touches on a run first team, it’s just that this week he’s also a big road dog facing a defense allowing the third lowest yards per carry to running backs at 3.46 YPC)
Baltimore vs. New York (NFC)
|37.4%||9||Opp. Rush %||39.7%||15|
|62.6%||24||Opp. Pass %||60.3%||18|
- Baltimore allows just 1.8 red zone trips per game, the fewest in the league.
- The Giants have scored just five touchdowns since Week 1, 30th in the league.
- Eli Manning has thrown just two touchdown passes over the past four weeks, the fewest in the league.
- Odell Beckham hasn’t been a top-12 scoring receiver in any of his past seven games played.
- Just 20.6 percent of the rushing attempts against the Ravens have gone for five or more yards, the lowest rate in the league.
- Dennis Pitta is the only top-10 scoring tight end on the season without a touchdown.
- Joe Flacco is third in the league in completions per game (27.6), but ranks last in yards per completion (9.3).
- Flacco's 5.9 passing yards per attempt rank ahead of only Blaine Gabbert.
- Flacco has thrown a touchdown just once every 43.2 pass attempts, last in the league.
- No team has passed more often while ahead on the scoreboard than the Ravens at 60.6 percent of their offensive plays.
Bust: Eli Manning (he’s yet to get into the top-12 in any given week and the Ravens have allowed just one top-12 scorer on the season) , Orleans Darkwa/Rashad Jennings (only one back has reached 60-yards rushing in a game versus the Ravens this season and all of those yards came on one busted run), Joe Flacco (on the road with a lower team total, he’s finished above QB19 just once so far and only one quarterback has finished above QB14 facing the Giants), Terrance West (the offensive coordinator change could lead to Baltimore running the ball more, but the Ravens are still a road dog and the Giants have only allowed one opposing back to finish higher than RB24 this season), Victor Cruz (he’s been a top-40 option just once and has more than four receptions in just one game), Sterling Shepard (after starting the season with three straight top-36 weeks, he’s been the WR63 and WR72 while Baltimore has stymied slot options so far on the season)
Reasonable Return: Odell Beckham (he hasn’t hit his ceiling in nearly half of a season going back to last year, but has still had just three games outside of the top-20 over that span), Bobby Rainey (he’s fully adopted the role left open due to Shane Vereen’s injury as he’s been the RB22 and the RB19 the past two weeks with 13 receptions), Steve Smith (he may miss this game with a high ankle sprain, so expectations are in check, but if he can be close to a full go, the Giants have struggled with interior options all season long, allowing top-30 weeks to Cole Beasley, Jamison Crowder, Willie Snead and Randall Cobb so far), Mike Wallace (if Smith plays, then knock him down, but he’ll see upwards of double digit targets if Smith can’t go, putting him WR3 status based on volume alone), Dennis Pitta (he’s a floor first option that could find his way to more targets if Smith is out)
Los Angeles vs. Detroit
|40.5%||17||Opp. Rush %||38.7%||14|
|59.5%||16||Opp. Pass %||61.3%||19|
- Todd Gurley ranks last in percentage of carries (19.1 percent) to go for five or more yards for all backs with 40 or more carries on the season.
- Gurley's 0.56 points per touch is the third lowest in the league for all backs with 40 or more touches, but he ranks third in the league in touches (116).
- Detroit is the only team that has yet to allow a rushing touchdown on the season.
- Tavon Austin has a touch or target on 22 percent of his offensive snaps, the highest of all wide receivers.
- 32 percent of Theo Riddick's rushing attempts have gained zero yards or lost yardage, the highest rate in the league for all backs with 50 or more carries on the season.
- Riddick ranks first of all running backs in percentage of his team targets (17.7 percent) and receiving points (63.0) on the season.
- Marvin Jones has 37.7 percent of the Detroit receiving yards, the highest of all wide receivers.
- After receiving 27.6 percent of the team targets over the opening two weeks, Marvin Jones has had 19.8 percent over the past three weeks.
Trust: Matthew Stafford (he’s been up and down to start the season, but the Rams are dealing with multiple injuries on the defensive side of the ball and could be without Robert Quinn and Trumaine Johnson on the road this week)
Bust: Golden Tate (despite rumors of feeding him last week, Tate had just five targets for 39 yards, the 25th consecutive game that he’s posted 80-yards or fewer)
Reasonable Return: Todd Gurley (Detroit hasn’t allowed a touchdown on the ground yet, but they are allowing 5.1 yards per carry to backs and we know Gurley’s touches will be there), Tavon Austin (he continues to see right around 30 percent of the team targets and has found himself in the top-24 in two of the past three weeks), Case Keenum (you aren’t using him outside of 2QB leagues, but the Lions are one of two teams to allow 15 or more points to every quarterback they’ve faced), Marvin Jones (foot injuries have limited him to WR34 and WR28 scoring weeks the past two games, but the Rams are allowing the 5th most receptions to receivers to start the season and could be without their best cover corner in Johnson), Theo Riddick (he’s yet to rush for over 50 yards in a game, but has only finished outside of the top-24 just once), Kenny Britt (he’s posted double digit points in four of five games this season)
Carolina vs. New Orleans
|45.6%||28||Opp. Rush %||40.9%||18|
|54.4%||5||Opp. Pass %||59.1%||15|
- Drew Brees has thrown three or more touchdowns in seven straight games at home, the second longest streak in NFL history.
- Mark Ingram's percentage of team touches through four weeks: 28 percent, 30.9 percent, 32.2 percent and 42.1 percent.
- 72.2 percent of Willie Snead's targets have resulted in a first down, the highest percentage of all players with double digit targets.
- New Orleans allows 5.5 red zone trips per game at home, the most in the league.
- The Saints have allowed a touchdown on 31 percent of their opponent's possessions, the highest rate in the league.
- The Saints are allowing .950 points per rushing attempt, the highest in the league.
- The Saints have faced the most rushing attempts (11) from inside of the 5-yard line this season.
- Greg Olsen has eight or more receptions in three consecutive games against the Saints.
Trust: Drew Brees (anytime that he’s at home, he’s in play as a top option and the Carolina secondary is a shell of what they were a season ago, allowing 8.1 yards per pass attempt), Brandin Cooks (he ran into a couple of tough matchups before the bye, but has scored in seven of his past eight games at home), Cam Newton (it will be hard for the Panthers to change who Newton is on the field despite his recent concussion and he posted 30 points in each of the games against New Orleans a season ago) Greg Olsen (he has 29.2 percent of the team receptions and 36.2 percent of the Panther receiving yardage while having a history of roasting the Saints), Kelvin Benjamin (the targets in Carolina largely only go in two directions and both are in play as top options in New Orleans)
Bust: Coby Fleener (I don’t want to completely run away from a Brees target at home, but Fleener has one top-20 week and the Panthers have allowed more than two receptions to just two tight ends so far)
Reasonable Return: Willie Snead/Michael Thomas (any game in which we’re anticipating a ceiling performance from Brees puts his entire receiving corps in play), Mark Ingram (he’s never going to consistently flirt with half of the team touches, but he has been a top-10 option in each of his past two games and there should be scoring opportunities here), Jonathan Stewart (I don't love using players after missing multiple games, but the Saints have been giving away rushing touchdowns and it’s possible that Carolina doesn’t run Newton as much near the goal line to get him another score this week)
Kansas City vs. Oakland
|44.0%||25||Opp. Rush %||38.7%||13|
|56.0%||8||Opp. Pass %||61.3%||20|
- The Raiders have allowed the third most passing yards (1,653) through five games of a season in NFL history.
- Oakland has allowed the most pass plays of 20 yards or more in the league (24).
- Just 5.4 percent of Alex Smith's pass attempts have gained 20 or more yards, the lowest rate in the league.
- The Chiefs have trailed by two or more possessions (nine or more points) for 52.8 percent of their offensive plays, the highest in the league.
- Oakland is allowing 219 yards receiving per game to opposing wide receiver units, the most in the league.
- Per Pro Football Focus, Jeremy Maclin is running 45.3 percent of his routes from the slot this season. That number was at just 31.8 percent in 2015.
- In his first game back before the bye, Jamaal Charles played just 10 of 75 snaps.
- The Chiefs rank 29th in yards allowed per carry to opposing running backs (4.8 YPC) while Oakland ranks 30th (4.9 YPC).
- Derek Carr has four games of 20 or more points, the most for all quarterbacks.
- The Chiefs have allowed just two top-12 scoring quarterbacks over their past 17 games.
- Michael Crabtree's five receiving touchdowns are the most by an Oakland receiver through five games since James Jett in 1997.
- With Latavius Murray out, DeAndre Washington out-snapped Jalen Richard 37 to 23, but both had 14 touches while Richard out-gained Washington 97 to 52.
Trust: Alex Smith (because the Chiefs have been so bad to start the season, Smith is second in the league in pass attempts per game and the Raiders have allowed four top-6 scoring quarterbacks on the season). Travis Kelce (he’s been top-10 in three of his four games Oakland is allowing 10.1 yards per target to opposing tight ends, the most in the league), Jeremy Maclin (the Raiders have already allowed six top-15 receivers and when he moves inside he should be able to do damage against D.J. Hayden)
Reasonable Return: Spencer Ware/Jamaal Charles (we still don’t have clairvoyance on the split here and Ware could still very well be used near the goal line, but the matchup is so good that I wouldn’t be against using either as a RB2), Derek Carr (he’s been a top-10 option every game except for one and although the Chiefs have allowed multiple touchdown passes just once so far, they are far from the defense that we watched close 2015 as they rank 31st in sack rate), DeAndre Washington/Jalen Richard (splitting duties, Richard checked in at RB16 while Washington was RB25. Kansas City is allowing 157 yards per game to opposing backfields, the 5th most. If Latavius Murray plays, it takes all three off the board), Amari Cooper (he totaled six receptions for 89 yards against the Chiefs in 2015, but runs a little over 50 percent of his routes from the left side, where he can avoid Peters)
Dallas vs. Green Bay
|34.3%||5||Opp. Rush %||35.0%||6|
|65.7%||28||Opp. Pass %||65.0%||27|
- Dallas leads the NFL with 191 rushing yards per game over the past three weeks. It's the first time that they've run for 175 or more yards in three consecutive games since 1994.
- Green Bay has allowed 171 rushing yards in total for the season, the second fewest ever by a team a through four games played.
- The opponents that have faced the Packers have rushed for 87.4 yards per game outside of their games versus Green Bay, which would rank 25th in the league.
- Ezekiel Elliott's 627 yards from scrimmage are the 6th most by a player over the first five games of his career.
- Dak Prescott's 87.7 fantasy points are the 4th most ever by a rookie quarterback over his first five games.
- Green Bay leads the league in first half scoring at 19 points per game, but ranks 31st in second half scoring at 5.5 points per game.
- After rushing for 89 yards per game over the opening two weeks, Green Bay has rushed for 135 yards per game over their past two games.
- Aaron Rodgers has averaged 7.0 yards per pass attempt in just three of his past 14 games.
- Rodgers' 56.1 completion rate is last in the league.
Trust: Ezekiel Elliott (it’s on the road against the league’s best rush defense, but the Packers haven’t been challenged yet by a run first team and we know the touches will be here while Elliott has shown the big play ability we caught in college over the past few weeks)
Bust: Jordy Nelson (you’re definitely still playing him and he’s scored in every game, but Dallas has held Odell Beckham. Alshon Jeffery and A.J. Green all outside of the top-30), Davante Adams (he has seven or more targets in three of four games, but I’m more interested in slot options against Dallas than those on the perimeter), Jason Witten (he’s had double digit points just once since Week 1 with three or fewer receptions in all but one of those games while Green Bay has allowed more than three receptions to just two tight ends)
Reasonable Return: Dak Prescott (he’s been a top-12 option in each of his past three games), Aaron Rodgers (he’s no longer a set and forget high end option as he’s 10th in passing points per game, but the only quarterback to finish in the back half of quarterback scoring against the Cowboys was Blaine Gabbert), Randall Cobb (he came to life last week and while Dallas has limited high-end boundary receivers, they’ve allowed top-36 weeks to interior options such as Jeremy Kerley, Jamison Crowder and Sterling Shepard), Eddie Lacy (he’d be a trust this week if it wasn’t for his ankle injury as Dallas is allowing 4.8 yards per carry to opposing backs), Cole Beasley (he has double digit points in every game)
Atlanta vs. Seattle
|33.9%||3||Opp. Rush %||41.2%||20|
|66.1%||30||Opp. Pass %||58.8%||13|
- Atlanta is averaging the most yards per game (457.4), while Seattle is allowing a league low 264 yards per game.
- The Falcons have scored a touchdown on 36 percent of their drives, the highest rate in the league. Opponents facing the Seahawks have scored a touchdown on 11.4 percent of their possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
- Matt Ryan averages 22.7 passing points per game on the season (most of all starters with multiple games).
- Seattle has allowed 28.2 passing points all season, the fewest in the league.
- 34 of the past 42 starting quarterbacks facing the Seahawks in Seattle have thrown one or fewer touchdown passes with just one throwing three or more.
- Tevin Coleman has 33.1 percent of the Atlanta rushing attempts and 24.7 percent of the Atlanta touches. He is the only running back in the top-12 of scoring on the season that doesn't have at least 40 percent of his team's rushing attempts and the only one without at least 30 percent of his team's touches.
- Seattle is allowing 3.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs, the second lowest in the league (Green Bay 2.2 YPC).
- Atlanta is allowing 21.3 passing points per game, tied for the second most in the league.
- Jimmy Graham's 12.1 yards per target leads all tight ends with 20 or more targets on the season.
- Graham has had back to back 100-yard receiving yard games for the first time since 2013.
- In the two games in Seattle this season, Doug Baldwin has been the WR7 and the WR5.
Trust: Russell Wilson (Atlanta has allowed over 20 fantasy points to four of the five quarterbacks they’ve faced), Jimmy Graham (he’s back and involved while the Falcons have allowed four top-12 scorers at the position), Doug Baldwin (he primarily runs all of his routes from the slot, where he’ll match up with Brian Poole), Christine Michael (he’s been a top-12 scorer in each of his games as the starter and the Falcons are allowing the 5th most points to opposing backfields)
Bust: Matt Ryan (he’s in almost an identical spot that he was in last weekend when he was the QB18), Julio Jones (the same goes for Jones who totaled posted a 2-29 line a week ago and has been targeted more than eight times in just one game), Mohamed Sanu (he hasn’t finished inside of the top-60 since Week 1), Tyler Lockett (he didn’t play more than 40 percent of the snaps in any of the three games prior to the bye as he dealt with a knee injury. With Graham and Baldwin having great matchups, it’s best to leave him on benches and see if that snap count and his health bounce back)
Indianapolis vs. Houston
|38.2%||10||Opp. Rush %||48.4%||30|
|61.8%||23||Opp. Pass %||51.6%||3|
- Houston is last in the league in points per play (.246).
- Houston has scored a touchdown on just 10.2 percent of their possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
- Brock Osweiler's 38.9 completion percentage in the red zone is the second lowest in the league behind Kirk Cousins (37.9 percent).
- The Colts are allowing 41.1 yards per drive, the most in the league. The Texans are averaging 26.4 yards per drive, 29th in the league.
- The Texans are the only team in the NFL without a rushing touchdown so far on the season.
- 40.8 percent of the rushing attempts against the Colts this season have gained five or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
- The Colts have allowed 15 or more points to six different running backs so far on the season, the most in the league.
- DeAndre Hopkins has been targeted on 19.8 percent of his routes on the season. In 2015, he was targeted on 28.2 percent of his routes.
- Andrew Luck is 20-26 passing with seven touchdown passes in the red zone this season. His 76.9 completion percentage in the red zone is tied with Drew Brees for the highest in the league.
- T.Y. Hilton is the only wide receiver to have double digit targets in every game this season.
- Phillip Dorsett has been targeted on just nine percent of his routes, the lowest of all receivers.
Trust: Lamar Miller (he has 47 percent of the Houston touches, the second highest share of team touches for any back in the league and the Colts have been a premier matchup for running backs weekly)
Bust: Dwayne Allen (you’re relying on short score to buoy his output and the Texans have yet to allow a top-20 tight end while facing a host of top tier players at the position), Phillip Dorsett (he’s actually had fewer targets per game since Donte Moncrief was injured)
Reasonable Return: Andrew Luck (the Colts increased the tempo last week and it led to Luck having his best game since Week1, but the Texans have allowed just one top-10 quarterback over their past 14 games), DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller (the Colts have allowed seven top-36 receivers, but just three to finish with more than 15 points), Brock Osweiler (he’s yet to finish in the top half of weekly scoring, so you’re blindly trusting the matchup here, but the Colts have already allowed three top-5 quarterbacks on the season), T.Y. Hilton (he’s on pace to shatter his career high for targets, but the Texans have allowed just one top-24 receiver), Frank Gore (lock in 15-18 touches and 60-80 total yards, it just depends on if he finds the end zone or not)
New York (AFC) vs. Arizona
|38.3%||11||Opp. Rush %||43.1%||24|
|61.7%||22||Opp. Pass %||56.9%||9|
- New York is allowing 21.6 passing points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the highest in the league.
- 81.6 percent of the yards gained against the Jets have been through the air, the second highest rate in the league (Green Bay, 86.5 percent).
- The 1,512 passing yards allowed by the Jets are the most in franchise history through five weeks.
- 24.2 percent of Carson Palmer's pass attempts have been 15 yards or further downfield, the highest rate in the league.
- 34.8 percent of the rushing attempts against the Jets this season have gone for no gain or lost yardage, the highest rate in the league.
- David Johnson leads the league with 12 rushing attempts from inside of the 10-yard line.
- Johnson is the only back to play at least four games with 100-yards from scrimmage in every game this season.
- The Jets have two offensive touchdowns over the past three weeks, the fewest in the NFL.
- Brandon Marshall has secured just 44.4 percent of his targets. His career low for a season is 57.4 percent in 2011.
Trust: David Johnson (even with the Jets great rushing defense, Johnson does enough all-purpose wise to overcome poor matchups), Carson Palmer (the Jets are getting bludgeoned in the vertical passing game and that rolls right into what the Arizona passing game wants to accomplish), John Brown (outside of getting mushed by Drew Stanton last week, he’s shown to be back in form and vertical playmakers have done damage to the Jets)
Bust: Michael Floyd (he’s played just 44 percent and 33 percent of the snaps the past two games and has had more than three receptions in just one game), Ryan Fitzpatrick (he’s last in the league in passing points per attempt and the Cardinals are allowing the fourth fewest passing points per attempt), Matt Forte (he’s scored single digit points in three straight games and has just nine total targets those weeks), Quincy Enunwa (his targets have dropped since Eric Decker was injured and he hasn’t been a top-30 scorer in each of the past three weeks)
Reasonable Return: Larry Fitzgerald (he’s one of just two receivers with at least five receptions in every game this season), Brandon Marshall (he hasn’t been wildly efficient, but his targets have gone up every game this season and he showed two weeks ago that he can still produce no matter the matchup), Bilal Powell (he’s completely taken over the pass catching role as he’s had six receptions in each of the past three games while being a top-30 scorer each week)
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