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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 7 Worksheet

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

Six 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 Cowboys and Panthers 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 7 games in a PPR light...

 

Chicago vs. Green Bay

 

Bears Rank @ Packers Rank
9   Spread -9  
18.5   Implied Total 27.5  
62.3 21 Plays/Gm 63.6 16
63.5 15 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.6 8
34.0% 31 Rush% 40.3% 15
66.0% 2 Pass% 59.8% 18
43.8% 27 Opp. Rush % 38.6% 10
56.2% 6 Opp. Pass % 61.4% 23

 

  • Chicago is second in the NFL in offensive yards per game over the past four weeks (427.3), but is 28th in points per game (18.3) over that stretch.
  • Brian Hoyer is the first Chicago quarterback to throw for 300-yards or more in four consecutive games.
  • Hoyer is the first Bears quarterback to throw double digit passes without an interception in five straight games since Kyle Orton in 2008.
  • Cameron Meredith has been targeted on 30.4 percent of his routes, which leads all receivers.
  • Alshon Jeffery is the only receiver in the top-50 of scoring without a touchdown yet on the season.
  • Jeffery is fourth of all wide receivers in first half receiving yardage (344), but 41st in second half yardage (143 yards).
  • After playing 93 percent of the team snaps and tallying 41 percent of the team touches during his first two games as the starter, Jordan Howard played 69 percent of the team snaps and had 30 percent of the team touches in Week 6.
  • Jordy Nelson is averaging 6.6 yards per target, 65th of all receivers with 20 or more targets on the season.
  • Eddie Lacy has the most touches (75) in the league without a touchdown.
  • After playing just 17 snaps all season, Ty Montgomery played 36 (51 percent) snaps last week and was second on the team with 13 touches.

 

Trust: Brian Hoyer (I’m likely more into this passing game than I should be this week given Chicago being big road underdogs on a short week, but the Bears and Hoyer are stacking volume and counting stats since he took over as the starter while Green Bay is a bottom-10 defense in passing points allowed per game and have allowed three of the past four quarterbacks they’ve faced to be top-13 scorers), Alshon Jeffery (he had a season-high 13 targets last week and the Packers have been shredded by lead receivers so far), Cameron Meredith (27 targets and back to back top-10 scoring weeks while the Bears should skew pass heavy once again)

 

Bust: Jordan Howard (the Packers rushing defense is somewhere in the middle of what they were the opening four weeks and what we saw versus Dallas, but they are still much better than any rush defense Howard has faced and his usage wasn’t as heavy with Ka’Deem Carey returning a week ago)

 

Reasonable Return: Aaron Rodgers (the fact that he’s at home attached to such a lofty team total make him more attractive than he should be as he’s 25th in passing yards per game while Chicago is allowing the 11th fewest passing yards to quarterbacks). Jordy Nelson (he hasn’t shown he’s regained his once stellar ceiling, but he’s still turning in a usable floor), Randall Cobb (back to back weeks of double digit targets with top-15 results and he looks much better than Nelson at this stage), Ty Montgomery (his role of being a RB2/WR3 hybrid shouldn’t be in major jeopardy with the team trading for Knile Davis on a short week), Zach Miller (he has eight or more targets in three of Hoyer’s four starts, but carries low yardage upside), Knile Davis/Don Jackson (you're flying blind here on usage here for either and I'd rather just use Montgomery unless desperate, but regardless of what type of talent you believe Davis is, in nine career games in which he's received double digit touches, he's finished below RB27 just once with four top-10 scoring games)

 

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New York (NFC) vs. Los Angeles (in London)

 

Giants Rank @ Rams Rank
-3   Spread 3  
23.5   Implied Total 20.5  
61.8 26 Plays/Gm 58.7 31
70.7 32 Opp. Plays/Gm 67.5 27
34.2% 29 Rush% 44.0% 8
65.8% 4 Pass% 56.0% 25
38.7% 11 Opp. Rush % 41.0% 20
61.3% 22 Opp. Pass % 59.0% 13

 

  • Rashad Jennings ranks last in points per touch (.47) for all backs with 25 or more touches on the season.
  • The Giants have rushed for just 53 yards per game over the past three weeks, the lowest in the NFL.
  • New York has thrown 72.4 percent of their offensive plays over that stretch, the highest rate in the league.
  • Odell Beckham has 17 100-yard receiving games, just two away from Randy Moss for the most ever by a player through the first three years of his career.
  • The Rams are allowing 42.6 points per game to opposing receiving units, the most in the league.
  • After catching three passes for nine yards through three games, Todd Gurley has at least three receptions for 30 yards in each of his past three games.
  • Kenny Britt has 34.7 percent of the Los Angeles receiving yardage on just 21.9 percent of the team targets. That 12.8 percent positive gap is the largest in the NFL.
  • Tavon Austin's -9.8 percent gap (17.1 percent of the receiving yards on 26.9 percent of the targets) is the worst differential in the league.
  • Last week, Case Keenum was the first Rams quarterbacks to complete 80 percent of his passes with 30 or more pass attempts since Marc Bulger in 2007.

 

Trust: Eli Manning/Odell Beckham (the Rams still could be without Robert Quinn and Trumaine Johnson, two of their biggest passing game disruptors while the Giants are more than willing to throw the ball as much as possible)

 

Bust: Tavon Austin (he’s had more than six targets in just one of the past three weeks as the Rams are slowly coming around on Britt being their best asset in a low volume passing game), Case Keenum (he’s been in the top half of quarterback scoring in three of his past four games, but two of those three have come in comfy matchups while the Giants are in the top third in passing points allowed per game to quarterbacks), Rashad Jennings (unless he starts receiving the type of usage that he had to end 2015, he’s not much of a factor and he played just 48 percent of the snaps returning from injury), Victor Cruz (he hasn’t been at op-40 scorer since Week 1)

 

Reasonable Return: Sterling Shepard (he’s shown a very low floor the past three games, but still has seven or more targets in every game since Week 1, while the Rams allow the most receptions in the league to slot receivers), Todd Gurley (just a little bit of receiving work has helped Gurley’s floor out a lot paired with all of the volume he gets weekly, but his ceiling is still hampered by his lack of efficiency in the run game), Kenny Britt (even prior to last week, he had scored in double figures in every game but one)

 

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New Orleans vs. Kansas City

 

Saints Rank @ Chiefs Rank
7   Spread -7  
21.5   Implied Total 28.5  
69.2 3 Plays/Gm 65.6 9
69.0 29 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.4 12
32.7% 32 Rush% 37.5% 22
67.3% 1 Pass% 62.5% 11
39.7% 16 Opp. Rush % 42.0% 21
60.3% 17 Opp. Pass % 58.0% 12

 

  • The Saints allow the most points per play to opposing offenses (.487).
  • New Orleans is allowing 34.9 points per game to opposing backfields, the most in the league.
  • After playing 10 snaps in his return Week 4, Jamaal Charles played 15 snaps this past week, receiving a touch on 11 of those plays.
  • Spencer Ware has accounted for 35.1 percent of the Chiefs' offensive yardage, the second highest rate in the league (David Johnson, 36.6 percent).
  • The 11 rushing touchdowns allowed by the Saints are the most by a team through their first five games since 2006.
  • Mark Ingram has gone over 80 yards rushing just once over his past 21 games.
  • Just 18.9 percent of the Saints offensive yardage has been from rushing, the lowest percentage in the league.
  • Drew Brees has been the QB21 in each of his road games this season and thrown for fewer than 6.0 yards per pass attempt in each game.
  • Just three of the past 18 starting quarterbacks in Arrowhead have been a top-12 weekly scorer.

 

Trust: Spencer Ware (it’s possible the field conditions last week aided Ware receiving the lion’s share of touches, but Ware has been too good to put back in the bottle and the most bankable option for this offense in a supreme matchup), Alex Smith (it’s a great paper matchup with a big team total while at home, the only concern is Kansas City leaning on the run game to the point where it could cap Smith’s ceiling)

 

Bust: Drew Brees (given his recent road output and how road quarterbacks have performed in Kansas City, it’s hard to bet on top-12 scoring output), Brandin Cooks (he moves around the formation enough to avoid Marcus Peters, but Cooks has been a top-24 scorer in just three of his past 15 games on the road), Willie Snead (he’s moved down in the pecking order while it’s hard to latch onto ancillary parts of the offense when expecting a subpar game from Brees), Coby Fleener (the Chiefs have steadily mushed tight ends dating back to last season and rank fourth in points allowed to the position so far this year)

 

Reasonable Return: Jamaal Charles (when he was in the game last week, they used him and the Saints are so giving that even if he gets another 10-15 touches, he can make something happen), Michael Thomas (he’s been a top-24 option three straight weeks and leads the Saints in red zone targets), Mark Ingram (the Chiefs can be run on a bit and he’s getting almost identical touches to what he had in 2015, he just isn’t doing as much with them yet this season), Jeremy Maclin (he’s already left a lot of good matchups on the table, so he’s hard to go all in on at this point, but you have to use him here), Travis Kelce (he had seven or more targets in every game prior to last week, so hopefully the volume dip was more due to the weather and ball control while the latter could still show up here though if Kansas City dominates on the ground)

 

Minnesota vs. Philadelphia

 

Vikings Rank @ Eagles Rank
-3   Spread 3  
21.8   Implied Total 18.8  
62.0 24 Plays/Gm 61.4 27
64.8 22 Opp. Plays/Gm 56.2 1
46.5% 6 Rush% 45.0% 7
53.6% 27 Pass% 55.1% 26
32.4% 2 Opp. Rush % 38.8% 13
67.6% 31 Opp. Pass % 61.2% 20

 

  • Minnesota is last in the NFL in yards per carry (2.5 yards).
  • Jerick McKinnon is last in rushing points per attempt (.41) for all backs with 50 or more attempts on the season.
  • McKinnon also ranks last in receiving points per target (.72) for all backs with double digit targets on the season.
  • Kyle Rudolph has been targeted 20 23.9 percent of his routes, third amongst all tight ends. His previous career-high was being targeted on 19.9 percent of his routes in 2012.
  • The Vikings have allowed 17 points or fewer in eight straight games, the longest ongoing streak in the league and the longest in franchise history since 1971.
  • Minnesota is allowing just 6.0 yards per pass attempt, the lowest in the league.
  • The Vikings are allowing the fewest points per play (.194) in the league.
  • Ryan Mathews has played just 31.2 percent of the team snaps and has yet to play 50 percent of the snaps in any game this season.
  • Just 36.2 percent of running back scoring against the Vikings has come from rushing, the lowest in the league.

 

Bust: Carson Wentz/Jordan Matthews/Ryan Mathews/Zach Ertz (I’ll save us some time here and just say to avoid the Vikings defense where you can), Kyle Rudolph (he has the largest piece of the passing pie, but is still touchdown reliant for output and the Eagles have allowed just eight receptions to tight ends so far), Stefon Diggs (he’s been dealing with a multi-week injury that doesn’t appear to be 100 percent yet and the Eagles have allowed just one top-24 receiver so far on the season)

 

Reasonable Return: Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota isn’t changing their identity no matter how inefficient their run game is and McKinnon still has 17 plus touches in three straight, but isn’t involved in the passing game like we’d like to see and is always a threat to come out near the goal line), Matt Asiata (he’s not sexy on any level, but has some involvement in the passing game and always is a threat when the Vikings are near the paint to make him a weekly flex option), Darren Sproles (he’s the only Eagle that has an avenue to a useful flex line as the Vikings have allowed top-30 weeks to pass catchers in Bobby Rainey and Fozzy Whittaker), Sam Bradford (he has 15 or more points in three of his four starts)

 

Indianapolis vs. Tennessee

 

Colts Rank @ Titans Rank
3   Spread -3  
22.5   Implied Total 25.5  
67.3 6 Plays/Gm 62.8 19
63.7 16 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.2 3
35.6% 27 Rush% 47.5% 5
64.4% 6 Pass% 52.5% 28
38.7% 12 Opp. Rush % 37.2% 7
61.3% 21 Opp. Pass % 62.8% 26

 

  • The Colts are allowing 422.3 yards per game over the past three weeks, 31st in the league.
  • Marcus Mariota is the first Tennessee quarterback to rush for 50 yards in back to back games since Vince Young in 2007.
  • DeMarco Murray's 101 touches over the past four weeks are the second most in the NFL (Ezekiel Elliott, 104).
  • The Colts have allowed seven top-20 scoring running backs (the most in the league) and five top-12 scoring running backs, tied with New Orleans for the most on the season.
  • Delanie Walker has been a top-9 scoring tight end in five consecutive games against the Colts, scoring 11 or more points in every one of those games.
  • Indianapolis is allowing 10.1 yards per target to opposing tight ends, the most in the league.
  • Frank Gore has 15 or more touches in 15 consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest streak in the league.

 

Trust: DeMarco Murray (targeting the Colts has been fruitful no matter who the back is and Murray is stacking touches weekly), Delanie Walker (he was a letdown in a prime matchup a week ago, but draws just as good of one this week), T.Y. Hilton (he’s by far the most targeted player in this offense and the Titans have allowed five top-20 receivers already with three in the top-12)

 

Bust: Kendall Wright (despite his big game and there being a need for a receiver to step up in Tennessee, he ran just 14 routes last week and the Colts have allowed just three top-20 receivers), Frank Gore (he’s as steady as RB2’s come in terms of weekly touches, but there’s a limited ceiling and the Titans are allowing the 8th lowest points per game to running backs with just one top-20 scorer), Dwayne Allen (in the four games in which he failed to score a touchdown, he hasn’t been inside the top-20, making him a one trick fantasy play week to week), Jack Doyle (if Allen can't suit up due to his ankle sprain, Doyle will be popular stopgap, but the Titans are in the top third of limited tight end production and have allowed just one top-10 scorer on the season so far), Rishard Matthews (he's posted back to back top-30 weeks, but is doing it in a Brian Quick-like fashion as he has just seven total targets over those games with two touchdowns)

 

Reasonable Return: Andrew Luck (Tennessee hasn’t allowed any quarterback inside of the top-10 yet, but they really haven’t faced a strong schedule, either. Still, there’s some concern here that the Titans can dominate time of possession if they desire and prevent Luck from cashing in on his ceiling), Marcus Mariota (he’s using his legs more than to start the season and runs into another great matchup as the Colts have already allowed three top-5 scorers on the season)

 

Buffalo vs. Miami

 

Bills Rank @ Dolphins Rank
-3   Spread 3  
23.8   Implied Total 20.8  
59.8 30 Plays/Gm 55.3 32
64.8 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.8 31
49.6% 3 Rush% 38.3% 19
50.4% 30 Pass% 61.8% 14
42.4% 22 Opp. Rush % 46.8% 30
57.6% 11 Opp. Pass % 53.2% 3

 

  • Buffalo has beaten Miami by 16 or more points in four of their past five meetings.
  • The Bills have scored five touchdowns on the road this season to 12 at home.
  • Tyrod Taylor ranks third in rushing points per game (4.9.) while ranking 31st in passing points per game (11.8).
  • After having 17.7 combined rushing points over his first two games, LeSean McCoy has averaged 19.3 rushing points per game over the past four weeks, the most in the league.
  • McCoy leads all backs with 60 or more carries on the season in rushing points per attempt (.91).
  • The 998 rushing yards by the Bills are the most the franchise has had through six games since 1975.
  • The Bills have allowed just four offensive touchdowns the past four weeks, the fewest in the league for teams that have played four games (Minnesota has allowed three).
  • Ryan Tannehill has finished as a top-15 quarterback in just one of eight starts against the Bills.
  • Jarvis Landry leads all receivers with 31.3 percent of his team's targets and 33.1 percent of his team's receptions.
  • Jay Ajayi's 204 rushing yards last week were 87 more than he had through his first four games and the most a Miami running back has had since Ricky Williams 216 yards rushing in Week 14 of 2002.

 

 

Bust: Charles Clay (he’s had five receptions in three straight games, but has still yet to manage a top-12 scoring week), Ryan Tannehill (he’s struggled against this defense during his career and the Bills have allowed a league-low three touchdown passes), DeVante Parker (he’s managed just 13 targets over his past three games while failing to crack the top-40 in any of those weeks), Jay Ajayi (chasing last week’s production will be tough as the Bills are allowing just 3.4 yards per carry to opposing backs, 4th lowest in the league), Arian Foster (his short term usage is now severely compromised given Ajayi's big game and the matchup isn't great to try to squeeze out points from a limited workload), LeSean McCoy (even if active, it's hard to gauge how he'll be used)

 

Reasonable Return: Tyrod Taylor (since Week 1 he’s been in the top half of weekly scoring every game), Robert Woods (he has 27 percent of the team targets since Sammy Watkins was placed on IR and has been a top-36 scorer in three of those four games), Jarvis Landry (he has seven or more receptions in every game except for one), Mike Gillislee (He's on the board as an RB2 for me whether McCoy is labeled active or not as you have to expect Buffalo to limit him given how they were never able to get him fully healthy last season)

 

Washington vs. Detroit

 

Washington Rank @ Lions Rank
1   Spread -1  
24.0   Implied Total 25.0  
62.2 23 Plays/Gm 61.3 29
63.2 13 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.5 5
37.0% 24 Rush% 28.3% 18
63.0% 9 Pass% 71.7% 15
39.3% 15 Opp. Rush % 38.9% 14
60.7% 18 Opp. Pass % 61.1% 19

 

  • The 230 rushing yards by Washington last week were the most they've had in a game since Week 17, 2012.
  • Matt Jones leads the league in fourth quarter rushing with 206 yards, which make up 47.6 percent of his season total (the highest in the league).
  • Opposing quarterbacks have completed 79.2 percent of their passes against Detroit the past three weeks, the highest in the league.
  • Detroit is allowing a passing touchdown once every 12.1 attempts, the highest rate in the league.
  • Opposing teams have converted 80 percent of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns against the Lions, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Lions have allowed 17 different tight ends to catch a touchdown pass over their past 22 games.
  • Matthew Stafford has thrown three or more touchdown passes in seven of his past 12 games (31 total).
  • Washington is allowing .365 passing points per attempt (12th) after allowing .484 passing points per attempt in 2015 (25th).
  • Marvin Jones ranked 7th in the league with 21 targets through two weeks, but ranks 38th over the past four weeks with 26 targets.

 

Trust: Kirk Cousins (everyone is passing on Detroit as they’ve allowed 16 points or more to every quarterback they’ve faced as well as four top-7 scoring weeks), Jordan Reed (if cleared, this is a prime matchup as seemingly every tight end scores versus the Lions. If he isn’t able to play, Vernon Davis is a reasonable play for those who need a spot start at the position)

 

Bust: Marvin Jones/Golden Tate (Washington has figured things out on the back end since the start of the season, not allowing a receiver inside of the top-20 over their past three games), Matthew Stafford (he’s tough to sit since the Lions are so one dimensional and he’s throwing so many touchdowns, but Washington hasn’t allowed a quarterback to finish higher than QB16 since Week 1)

 

Reasonable Return: Matt Jones (Jones is in play in games where we can expect neutral script for the majority of the game and Detroit is allowing 4.9 yards per carry to backs despite not allowing a rushing touchdown to the position yet), DeSean Jackson (he’s strung along three consecutive floor games and we like Cousins to get over here, so this could be a spot where he lifts the lid on his scoring), Jamison Crowder (he hasn’t has more than four targets in a game since Week 3, but remains the team leader in red zone looks with 10 and we expect Cousins to throw a few scores at minimum this week), Theo Riddick (if his ankle checks out, this a good spot as the receivers could struggle and Washington is allowing a league-high 5.2 yards per carry to backs) Zach Zenner (if Riddick is out again, Zenner tallied 16 touches last week and the matchup is strong for interior running although the  potential return of Dwayne Washington could muddy things up), Pierre Garcon (if Reed is out, Garcon had a season-high 11 targets a week ago with Reed on the shelf)

 

Cleveland vs. Cincinnati

 

Browns Rank @ Bengals Rank
9.5   Spread -9.5  
18.0   Implied Total 27.5  
62.3 22 Plays/Gm 65.2 11
66.5 24 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.7 6
37.7% 21 Rush% 39.4% 17
62.3% 12 Pass% 60.6% 16
44.4% 28 Opp. Rush % 43.0% 25
55.6% 5 Opp. Pass % 57.0% 8

 

  • Cleveland had led for 15.2 percent of their snaps, least in the league. The Bengals have led for 16.1 percent of their snaps, 31st in the league.
  • Andy Dalton ranks 10th in fantasy scoring, but just 22.7 percent of Dalton's fantasy output has come from passing touchdowns, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Browns and the Lions are the only teams to allow multiple touchdown passes in every game this season.
  • The Browns are allowing a touchdown pass once every 13.3 pass attempts, the second highest rate in the league. The Bengals rank third, allowing a touchdown every 13.3 pass attempts.
  • Jeremy Hill has averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry in 15 games since the start of last season, the most in the NFL.
  • Giovani Bernard has out-snapped Hill 98 to 36 the past two weeks.
  • After rushing for 149.3 yards per game over their first four games, the Browns have rushed for just 67 yards total the past two weeks.

 

Trust: Andy Dalton (despite the lack of touchdown, Dalton still has 15 or more points in four games while Cleveland has been a great target for opposing quarterback points on the season), A.J. Green (he’s been quiet for a couple of weeks, but this could be a game for him to pop up big as Cleveland has already allowed four top-10 receivers, tied for the most in the league)

 

Bust: Jeremy Hill (he’s dealing with a shoulder injury and has been ineffective while the Browns have only allowed two backs to hit 75 yards on the ground so far). Isaiah Crowell (He’s been the RB40 and the RB42 the past two weeks and the Bengals have allowed just one back to clear 50 yards rushing over their past four games), Gary Barnidge (he's had fewer than 20 percent of the team targets in all but one game while Gronk has been the only top-10 tight end versus the Bengals)

 

Reasonable Return: Giovani Bernard (receiving backs such as Chris Thompson, James White and Damien Williams have all posted top-25 weeks against the Browns and Bernard is handling more volume as Hill is dealing with his shoulder injury), Tyler Eifert (here’s the weekly blurb that despite him coming off of multiple weeks absent, “if” he plays, the position is thin and he has touchdown upside), Terrelle Pryor (he has nine or more targets in four games while being a top-20 scorer in three of his past four games), Duke Johnson (he’s been a top-25 scorer in four of six games so far while the Bengals had their hands full with James White out of the backfield last week), Cody Kessler (you’re not going here outside of 2QB leagues, but Kessler is coming off of a top-10 week and the Bengals have allowed four of the past five quarterbacks they’ve faced to have top-12 weeks)

 

Oakland vs. Jacksonville

 

Raiders Rank @ Jaguars Rank
1   Spread -1  
23.8   Implied Total 24.8  
61.8 25 Plays/Gm 62.8 20
64.5 21 Opp. Plays/Gm 67.4 26
36.9% 25 Rush% 34.1% 30
63.1% 8 Pass% 65.9% 3
42.6% 24 Opp. Rush % 39.8% 17
57.4% 9 Opp. Pass % 60.2% 16

 

  • Oakland is allowing 4.7 red zone opportunities per game, the second most per game outside of New Orleans (4.8).
  • Blake Bortles currently ranks 20th in passing points per game (14.2) after ranking 6th in 2015 (17.6).
  • Oakland is allowing 19.1 passing points per game, the 5th highest in the league.
  • Allen Robinson's 6.1 yards per target rank ahead of only Jeremy Kerley, Julian Edelman and Tavon Austin for all receivers with 40 or more targets on the season.
  • Julius Thomas has been targeted on 13.5 percent of his routes, lowest of all tight ends with 100 or more routes per Pro Football Focus.
  • Amari Cooper has accounted for 36.4 percent of the Oakland receiving yardage, the largest share in the league.
  • The Raiders are allowing 125.2 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields, the second most in the league.
  • Oakland has allowed nine different backs to score double digit points, the most in the league.
  • The Jaguars have rushed for 70 yards or fewer as a team in four of five games this season, the most in the league.

 

Trust: Allen Robinson (he’s been held under 60-yard receiving in four straight games with a season-high of 72 yards, but Oakland has allowed six 100-yard receivers, the most in the league)

 

Bust: T.J. Yeldon (I’m not against using him as an emergency flex since the matchup is so strong, but he has longer odds at scoring a touchdown out of the split), Derek Carr (only one quarterback against Jacksonville has averaged over 7.0 yards per attempt and only one has cleared 240 passing yards) , DeAndre Washington/Jalen Richard (Washington has out-snapped Richard 69-37 the past two weeks, but has yet to turn that into fantasy results with a high of 10.2 points while Jacksonville has allowed just one back to reach 70-yards on the ground so far)

 

Reasonable Return: Blake Bortles (he’s been higher than QB15 just once so far, so we’re only going in feet first here, but Oakland has allowed 20 or more points to four different quarterbacks so far), Chris Ivory (the usage here is mostly guesswork, but in the two games in which he’s been fully healthy, Ivory has out-touched Yeldon 26 to 15 and holds the trump card of short yardage work and Oakland has allowed a top-20 back every week since Week 1), Allen Hurns (he hasn’t been a top-30 scorer yet, but the entire offense should find success here to make him a viable flex candidate this week), Julius Thomas (he’s just not getting any targets to latch onto, but if you want to take a swing, Oakland is allowing the third most yards per game to opposing tight ends), Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree (it’s not a major green light matchup for either as Cooper will likely be  trailed by rookie Jalen Ramsey, while Crabtree will deal with Prince Amukamara, but both will give up receptions and yards as evidence of the Bears posting two top-20 scorers against them last week)

 

Baltimore vs New York (AFC)

 

Ravens Rank @ Jets Rank
0   Spread 0  
20.8   Implied Total 20.8  
70.8 1 Plays/Gm 63.0 18
58.3 2 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.7 9
34.6% 28 Rush% 36.8% 26
65.4% 5 Pass% 63.2% 7
35.4% 6 Opp. Rush % 40.5% 18
64.6% 27 Opp. Pass % 59.5% 15

 

  • The Ravens are allowing just 1.8 red zone opportunities per game, the fewest in the league.
  • Bilal Powell is running 20.7 routes per game to 17.7 per game for Matt Forte.
  • After rushing for 196 yards over the first two weeks, Forte has rushed for 164 yards total since, finishing as the RB36, RB41, RB35 and RB55.
  • 32.7 percent of the runs against the Jets have gained zero yards or lost yardage, the highest rate in the league. Baltimore is second in the league at 29.8 percent.
  • Baltimore is allowing just 8.6 rushing points per game, the third fewest in the league.
  • Baltimore faces the fewest rushing attempts per game (20.7).
  • Brandon Marshall has been outside of the top-30 scorers in three games already this season. He was outside of the top-30 just twice for the entire 2015 season.
  • The Ravens are allowing a touchdown once every 10.6 targets to opposing wide receivers, the highest rate in the league.
  • Joe Flacco has thrown a touchdown pass once every 52.8 pass attempts, the lowest of all quarterbacks in the league. 
  • Mike Wallace's 4.2 receptions per game are the lowest for any receiver in the top-24 of scoring on the season.
  • Terrance West ranks 6th in the league in carries per game (18.3) over the past three weeks.

 

Trust: Brandon Marshall (his floor has been much lower than a year ago, but he’s the only receiver here we can count on and Baltimore has allowed the most touchdowns to opposing receivers on the season)

 

Bust: Matt Forte (he’s getting out-snapped and outplayed by Bilal Powell while Baltimore has allowed less than 70 rushing yards in five of six games), Bilal Powell (with Baltimore shutting down opposing run games, you’d figure that would leave opportunities out of the backfield, but no back has topped four catches in a game yet against the Ravens), Geno Smith (despite giving up so many touchdown passes, only two quarterbacks have finished in the top-20 against Baltimore), Quincy Enunwa (he’s totaled just 19 targets with Eric Decker out after seeing 25 looks with him active), Steve Smith (his ankle is still likely going to be an issue even if he plays while Wallace fits the profile of receivers that have given the Jets trouble)

 

Reasonable Return: Terrance West (he’s the clear leader for touches and despite the Jets staunch run defense, they’ve allowed a top-12 back in three consecutive games), Mike Wallace (after having just 18 targets through three weeks, Wallace has 30 over the past three and vertical receivers have given the Jets the most issues so far on the season), Joe Flacco (he leads the league in pass attempts, but is just 11th in yards, but the Jets have allowed the highest yards per attempt to opposing passers with the second highest completion percentage), Dennis Pitta (the Jets have allowed five or more receptions to four different tight ends so far, but he’s basically the deluxe version of Jason Witten as he has six or more receptions in four games, but has reached 60 yards in just one)

 

San Diego vs. Atlanta

 

Chargers Rank @ Falcons Rank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
23.3   Implied Total 29.8  
61.3 28 Plays/Gm 63.7 14
67.7 28 Opp. Plays/Gm 67.3 25
41.6% 10 Rush% 41.1% 11
58.4% 23 Pass% 58.9% 22
32.3% 1 Opp. Rush % 35.2% 5
67.7% 32 Opp. Pass % 64.9% 28

 

  • San Diego ranks first in red zone opportunities per game (4.7) while Atlanta ranks second (4.2).
  • Atlanta allows the most completions (28.7) per game while San Diego ranks 31st (27.8).
  • Matt Ryan ranks first in yards per attempt (9.9) while Philip Rivers ranks second (8.2) for al quarterbacks with over 100 pass attempts on the season.
  • The Chargers are allowing just 7 points per game in the first half of games (3rd), but 17.8 per game in the second half (32nd).
  • After allowing 120 rushing yards per game over their opening three games, the Falcons have allowed 68.3 rushing yards per game (3rd) over the past three weeks.
  • Over the past four weeks, Hunter Henry ranks third in receiving yardage (294), tied for 6th in receptions (18) and tied for 4th in touchdowns (3) for all tight ends.
  • Antonio Gates' 4.1 yards per target rank last of all 44 tight ends with double digit targets on the season. Henry's 11.9 yards per target trails only Rob Gronkowski (14.8).
  • Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have combined for 21.6 percent of the Atlanta targets and 21.5 percent of the team receiving yardage.
  • San Diego allows 9.0 receptions (32nd) and 69.3 receiving yards (31st) per game to opposing running backs.

 

Trust: Matt Ryan (coming off of two of the toughest road matchups, the hottest quarterback in fantasy draws a home tilt in an expected shootout), Julio Jones (the banged up Chargers secondary limited the Denver receivers a week ago, but they weren’t facing a quarterback as hot as Ryan), Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman (despite playing the run well, San Diego has been roasted by all-purpose backs so far), Philip Rivers (everything is in place for this game to be the highest-scoring game of the week and Atlanta is allowing the fourth most passing points per game), Melvin Gordon (he’s had 50 percent of the team touches since Week 2 and the Falcons are allowing the third most points to opposing backfields)

 

Bust: Antonio Gates (Atlanta is favorable matchup for tight ends, but you’re mainly chasing a red zone score only with Gates), Tyrell Williams (initial assumption would be that Williams is the one who gets locked up with Desmond Trufant the most this week as he plays in two receiver sets over Benjamin, leading to more snaps played), Jacob Tamme (the Charger linebackers are exploitable, but Tamme hasn’t been a top-20 option since Week 2), Dontrelle Inman (he leads the San Diego receivers in snaps, but that hasn’t led to results as he has just one top-50 week)

 

Reasonable Return: Hunter Henry (his snaps dropped for the second straight week with Gates back and he's clearly "behind" Gates, but once again he found his way to a top-5 week while Atlanta is allowing the second most points per game to tight ends), Travis Benjamin (he played just 38 percent of the snaps last week, but that was in a game San Diego played tight with ball control, where they’ll be point chasing this week), Mohamed Sanu (his targets have gone up the past two weeks and he’s has red zone looks in each week)

 

Tampa Bay vs. San Francisco

 

Buccaneers Rank @ 49ers Rank
-1.5   Spread 1.5  
24.5   Implied Total 23.0  
70.6 2 Plays/Gm 64.0 13
61.8 10 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.5 30
38.0% 20 Rush% 50.0% 2
62.0% 13 Pass% 50.0% 31
46.0% 29 Opp. Rush % 50.6% 32
54.1% 4 Opp. Pass % 49.4% 1

 

  • Tampa Bay ranks last in the NFL in points per play (.266) while on defense, the 49ers are 27th in points per play allowed (.444).
  • The Buccaneers are allowing 13.7 yards per completion, the highest rate in the NFL.
  • San Francisco averages just 16.7 completions per game, the lowest in the league.
  • 36.5 percent of Colin Kaepernick's fantasy output in Week 6 was from rushing, a mark that would lead the league over the season (30.8 percent of Cam Newton's scoring is from rushing).
  • Tampa Bay is allowing a touchdown once every 11.1 targets to opposing wide receivers (31st) while the 49ers are allowing one every 11.3 targets (30th).
  • Last season, Mike Evans was targeted on 32.2 percent of his routes with Vincent Jackson inactive as opposed to 25.6 percent with him in the lineup. This season he is at 27.8 percent through five games.
  • After shutting out the Rams in the season opener, the 49ers have allowed 22 touchdowns, the most in the league.
  • Opposing backfields have averaged 29 rushing attempts per game against San Francisco, the most in the league.
  • The 49ers have allowed 33.2 points per game to opposing backfields since Week 1, the most in the league.
  • The past four starting running backs to face San Francisco have finished the week as the RB7, RB6, RB1 and RB1.

 

Trust: Doug Martin (although cautious of players immediately coming off of long layoffs, the 49ers rush defense is just too great of a matchup to get pushed off of. If he doesn’t play, Jacquizz Rogers is a strong replacement coming off of career highs in carries and yards in Week 5), Mike Evans (he doesn’t need Vincent Jackson’s injury to elevate him as he has five or more receptions in every game this season), Jameis Winston (the 49ers have allowed 18 plus passing points to every team the past five except for Arizona when they started Drew Stanton)

 

Bust: Adam Humphries (Humphries doesn’t have a red zone target and has had more than three receptions in just two games. Even with Jackson out, there should be low volume to spread around here with the run game expected to do well), Torrey Smith(despite the touchdown and seven targets, he reeled in just three catches), Mike Davis (Carlos Hyde is expected to be a longshot to play this week and Davis has passed Shaun Draughn on the depth chart.  Tampa Bay is allowing just 3.7 yards per carry to backs, 9th in the league)

 

Reasonable Return: Cameron Brate (the 49ers have allowed double digit points to four of the past five tight ends they’ve faced), Colin Kaepernick (the rushing attempts have been consistent for San Francisco quarterbacks and Kaepernick showed the floor they can provide against a much tougher defense on the road than the one he’ll draw at home this week)

 

New England vs. Pittsburgh

 

Patriots Rank @ Steelers Rank
-7   Spread 7  
26.3   Implied Total 19.3  
65.0 12 Plays/Gm 63.3 17
64.5 20 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.5 19
48.2% 4 Rush% 37.4% 23
51.8% 29 Pass% 62.6% 10
38.2% 8 Opp. Rush % 33.9% 3
61.8% 25 Opp. Pass % 66.2% 30

 

  • James White has played 77 snaps (53.5 percent) the past two weeks after playing just 90 snaps (33.5 percent) over the opening four weeks.
  • Only Le'Veon Bell has more targets (18) than White (15) over the past two weeks for all running backs.
  • White has finished as a top-24 scoring back in seven of his past nine games with Tom Brady under center.
  • Since returning, Bell is third in yards from scrimmage (440) and leads all running backs in receiving yards (177).
  • Tom Brady has thrown a touchdown once every 12.5 pass attempts since returning. That mark would lead the league if he had played the full season.
  • Brady has averaged over 10.0 yards per attempt in each game since he returned from suspension. It is only the second time in his career that he's posted back to back games with double digit yards per attempt.
  • The Steelers rank 31st in red zone opportunities per game (2.3).
  • In the four games without Ben Roethlisberger in 2015, the Steelers averaged 20.5 points and 315.3 total yards per game as opposed to scoring 26.8 points and totaling 416.5 yards per game with him under center.
  • In those four games, the Steelers ran the ball 51.1 percent of their offensive plays as opposed to passing 67.2 percent of their plays in other games.
  • Antonio Brown had double digit targets in every game last season except for the four games in which Roethlisberger didn't start.
  • In his one full game with Landry Jones, Brown was the WR12 for the week, catching six passes for 124 yards.

 

Trust: Tom Brady (he’s returned with two elite performances and the Steelers are allowing the third most completions per game in the league), Rob Gronkowski (two games with Brady, two 100-yard games), James White (he’s been a top option with Brady under center and the Steelers are allowing the third most receptions per game)

 

Bust: LeGarrette Blount (he’s had just 87 rushing yards the past two weeks, but has saved both weeks with 1-yard touchdowns and prior to last week, the Steelers had only allowed top-20 scoring weeks to pass catchers first in Gio Bernard and Darren Sproles), Sammie Coates/Jesse James (with the quarterback change, the ancillary parts of this offense are off of the table), Landry Jones (although Bell and Brown still performed with Jones under center last season, he himself was just the QB27)

 

Reasonable Return: Julian Edelman (he has 17 targets since Brady has returned, but has turned them into just 65 yards), Chris Hogan (his 13.1 yards per target are second in the league behind Julio Jones for all receivers with 20 or more targets), Martellus Bennett (his down week was still good for TE15 last week and while targets will be sporadic week to week, you can live with volatility at the tight end position), Le’Veon Bell (the offense should run through him with Roethlisberger out as it did last season and his all-purpose ability is enough to keep on the board as an RB1), Antonio Brown (his extremely high weekly floor is compromised, but in a very small sample he was alright with Jones under center)

 

Seattle vs. Arizona

 

Seahawks Rank @ Cardinals Rank
2   Spread -2  
20.8   Implied Total 22.8  
65.8 8 Plays/Gm 68.7 4
59.4 4 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.0 17
42.6% 9 Rush% 40.8% 12
57.5% 24 Pass% 59.2% 21
38.4% 9 Opp. Rush % 40.9% 19
61.6% 24 Opp. Pass % 59.1% 14

 

  • Seattle is allowing a league low 283.6 yards per game while Arizona ranks fourth, allowing 295 yards per game.
  • Christine Michael has accounted for 79.7 percent of his team's rushing yards, the highest in the league. David Johnson ranks fourth, accounting for 76.2 percent of the Arizona rushing yardage.
  • Since taking over the starter, Michael ranks 5th in points per snap (.51) of all running backs.
  • Seattle ranks second in yards allowed per carry to running backs (3.2) while Arizona ranks 6th (3.5).
  • The Seahawks are allowing just 17.1 points per game to opposing backfields, the third fewest in the league.
  • Arizona is allowing a league low 4.6 adjusted yards per pass attempt on defense. Seattle ranks 5th at 5.9 yards.
  • Russell Wilson's 14.6 fantasy points per game are his lowest total through five games since his rookie season.
  • Wilson has rushed for 35 yards so far on the season. He entered this season averaging 37.9 rushing yards per game.
  • Carson Palmer is 15th in passing points per game (14.5) after ranking third in 2015 (19.1 passing points per game).

 

Trust: David Johnson (the Seattle rush defense has been incredible, but Johnson is too versatile to run away from in any matchup), Larry Fitzgerald (he’s been the most bankable asset in the passing game and gets the lesser of evils in this secondary in the slot as he was a top-15 scorer in both meetings between these teams last season)

 

Bust: Carson Palmer (he’s been inside the top-10 in just two of his past 11 starts and Seattle isn’t exactly a slump buster), Michael Floyd (he hasn’t reach 50 percent of the team snaps in any of his past three games and has had more than three receptions in just one game), John Brown (he has just one top-24 week and I wouldn’t expect what happened to the Seattle secondary a week ago to become a normality), Russell Wilson (I haven't gotten Wilson right yet all season, but without his legs, this is a tough matchup to stack relevant counting stats)

 

Reasonable Return: Doug Baldwin (he got over on the Cardinals a season ago, but has six or fewer targets in three of five games so far), Jimmy Graham (he’s had 25 percent of the targets in each of the past three games and although Arizona has shut down opposing tight ends, they also have faced just one in the top-15 of scoring on the season), Christine Michael (he’s been as good as any back in the league since taking over as the starter and showed a few weeks ago against the Jets that he can overcome a tougher draw on paper)

 

Houston vs. Denver


Texans Rank @ Broncos Rank
7.5   Spread -7.5  
16.8   Implied Total 24.3  
66.8 7 Plays/Gm 63.7 15
61.8 11 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.3 18
40.4% 14 Rush% 40.6% 13
59.6% 19 Pass% 59.4% 20
48.3% 31 Opp. Rush % 43.8% 26
51.8% 2 Opp. Pass % 56.2% 7

 

  • Denver has scored on just 28 percent of their possessions the past two weeks after scoring on 44 percent over the first four weeks.
  • C.J. Anderson has been the 27th highest scoring running back over the past four weeks with a high week of RB24.
  • Houston is allowing 126.3 rushing yards per game (29th) after allowing 102.2 per game in 2015 (11th).
  • The Texans are allowing just 10.8 receptions per game to opposing wide receivers, the third fewest in the league.
  • Lamar Miller has 77.2 percent of his team's rushing attempts the highest share for any back on the season.
  • Just 13 percent of Miller's scoring has come from touchdown output, the lowest dependency of all top-12 scoring backs.
  • DeAndre Hopkins averages just 6.2 yards per target, 30th of 34 receivers with 40 or more targets on the season.
  • Hopkins' 354 receiving yards are 372 yards fewer than he had through six games of 2015.
  • Denver is allowing 8.5 receptions for 95.2 yards to opposing wide receiving units (both league lows) and haven't allowed a touchdown since the opening drive of the season to an opposing wide receiver.

 

Bust: Trevor Siemian (even with the injuries in the Houston secondary, it’s hard to put stock in Siemian given how poor this offensive line has played the past two weeks), DeAndre Hopkins/Will Fuller (just three wide receivers have reached double digit scoring against Denver with just one top-20 scorer), Brock Osweiler (LOL)

 

Reasonable Return: Demaryius Thomas/Emmanuel Sanders (the injuries to Kevin Johnson and Jonathan Joseph change a lot for what would be a situation to fade both, but we’ve also gotten a glimpse of the floor these two still have when the quarterback play is poor), C.J. Anderson (the offensive line has been an issue, but Houston has allowed a top-21 back in every game this season), Lamar Miller (the Denver run defense hasn’t been as strong as they were in 2015 and his high touch volume is intact weekly), C.J. Fiedorowicz (he’s posted double digit points in three straight while Denver inherently can force tight ends to be involved since they shut down receivers)

Context Key:

 

Trust = Set him in your lineups this week

Bust = Player to underperform season average

Reasonable Return = On par with seasonal average


**All Vegas Lines are taken from BetUs Tuesday Evenings

Rich Hribar
Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.