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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 9 Worksheet

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: October 31, 2018, 9:11 am ET

Week 9 is here, and we’re really closing in on making our final push towards the fantasy postseason, Hopefully everyone is setting up a playoff run, but if you’ve been unfortunate this season in your leagues, there’s always DFS to keep the fantasy juices flowing. Week 9 is our largest bye week so far on the season with six teams off. Make sure to have all of your Giants, Cardinals, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars and Eagles out of your lineups.

 

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.

 

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All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 

 

Raiders @ 49ers

 

Oakland Rank @ San Francisco Rank
3   Spread -3  
21.8   Implied Total 24.8  
19.7 27 Points/Gm 21.6 23
31.1 31 Points All./Gm 29.5 28
62.9 19 Plays/Gm 63.9 17
61.1 8 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.4 24
36.8% 23 Rush% 43.4% 11
63.2% 10 Pass% 56.6% 22
48.4% 31 Opp. Rush % 39.4% 14
51.6% 2 Opp. Pass % 60.6% 19

 

  • Oakland is allowing 11 red zone plays per game (31st) while San Francisco is allowing 10.9 per game (30th).
  • Opponents have scored on 52.8 percent of their possessions against the Raiders, the highest rate in the league.
  • The 49ers have scored on 30 percent (18-of-60) of their possessions since C.J. Beathard has taken over the starting quarterback, 28th in the league.
  • Oakland is averaging just 13.0 points per game on the road, 31st in the league.
  • Per Pro Football Focus, Derek Carr has a 110.0 quarterback rating with a clean pocket as opposed to a 43.4 rating under pressure. That gap is the third largest in the league behind Cam Newton and Josh Allen.

 

 


Trust (spike starting production)


  • Jared Cook: There was no target spike for Cook in the first game without Amari Cooper, but it didn’t matter as Cook turned four catches in 74 yards and a score. He leads all tight ends in targets inside of the 10-yard line (eight) on the season. The 49ers have only faced three top-12 tight ends on the season and allowed a starting-caliber week to all three. Tack on that both Reuben Foster and Jaquiski Tartt are both also unavailable for the 49ers and this spot gets even better for Cook.


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

 

  • George Kittle: With the 49ers turning things over to Nick Mullens, their entire offense receives a downgrade. That said, Kittle is still in play as a high-volume option at a depressed position. He has 23.9 percent of the San Francisco receptions, the second-highest share for a tight end behind Zach Ertz. Oakland is coming off a week in which they allowed Indianapolis tight ends to catch 10-of-11 targets for 133 yards and three scores.
  • Derek Carr: He has had his two best games of the season in high-scoring, back-and-forth environments, which we can’t count on happening here now with Mullen drawing the start for San Francisco. Still, Carr is a solid QB2 with upside here as San Francisco ranks 27th in passing points allowed per game (19.5) and they have allowed multiple touchdown passes in seven games this season, the most in the league.
  • Jalen Richard: He’s been a top-30 back in three straight games and have six or more receptions in five games so far. Slight concern that if the 49ers don’t show up that he won’t stack receptions, but he’s still a floor-option FLEX.
  • Matt Breida: Supposedly limited last week, Breida totaled 16 touches while the rest of the San Francisco backfield combined for 10 touches. Natural regression and playing with so many injuries has begun to impact Breida’s efficiency, however.  After rushing 32 times for 274 yards through his opening three games, Breida has rushed 52 times for 213 yards and a score over the past five weeks. That said, he’s still in play as a lower-end RB2 given his touch count against an Oakland defense surrendering 169.1 total yards per game (28th) to backfields.
  • Doug Martin: He totaled 15 touches and 5.5 yards per carry taking over as the lead back a week ago. The 49ers have allowed just one back to hit 70 yards on the grounds against them this season but have faced a smattering of combination backfields and are allowing 132 yards from scrimmage per game to the position. On the deepest bye week of the season, Martin is in the mix as a top-30 back and gets some added appeal if Oakland can control the game against a third-string quarterback.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Raiders WRs: In the first game without Amari Cooper, Brandon LaFell, Seth Roberts and Jordy Nelson all received four targets. Nelson and LaFell led the team in routes run with 27 each. Nelson now has now reached 50-yards receiving in just one game this season. The matchup is one we’d typically target with good wide receiver play, but this group is a better sum of parts option than picking out one individual scorer.
  • Nick Mullens : Drawing his first NFL game action in regular season play, Mullen is an undersized (6'1", 210) quarterback who threw three interceptions this preseason on 43 pass attempts. He's a complete wild card, but not one we can bet on for positive results blindly, even against a soft Oakland defense that is allowing a league-high 8.8 yards per pass attempt and is 26th in passing points allowed per game (18.8).

 

 

Falcons @ Washington

 

Atlanta Rank @ Washington Rank
1.5   Spread -1.5  
23.0   Implied Total 24.5  
27.1 11 Points/Gm 20.9 25
30.3 30 Points All./Gm 19.1 5
63.9 18 Plays/Gm 64.4 14
65.1 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.1 7
35.1% 27 Rush% 46.6% 4
64.9% 6 Pass% 53.4% 29
36.0% 6 Opp. Rush % 34.1% 2
64.0% 27 Opp. Pass % 65.9% 31

 

  • Washington has trailed for 28.4 percent of their offensive snaps, the third-lowest rate in the league behind Kansas City (20.6 percent) and the Rams (25.7 percent).
  • 43.1 percent of the drives against the Falcons have ended inside of the red zone, the highest rate in the league. League average outside of Atlanta is 27.8 percent.
  • The Falcons are allowing 7.2 yards per play on first downs this season, the highest rate in the league. League average is 5.8 yards.
  • Adrian Peterson ranks third in yards after contact (296) after Todd Gurley (340) and Kareem Hunt (341).
  • The Falcons have rushed for a league-low 67.8 yards per game over their previous five games prior to their Week 8 bye.
  • Since their Week 4 bye, Washington is allowing 72.3 rushing yards per game, third fewest in the league over that span.
  • The Falcons have scored on 26.1 percent (6-of-23) of their possessions on the road this season (27th) as opposed to 56 percent (28-of-50) at home (fifth).

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Julio Jones: We’re now up to 81 consecutive receptions in the regular season without a trip to the end zone, but that lack of scoring hasn’t stopped Jones from being a strong asset per week. He is tied for third in receptions per game (7.6) for all wideouts and leads the position in receiving yardage per game (116).

 

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

 

  • Adrian Peterson: We’re still exposing ourselves to game script any time we have supreme faith in Peterson and he’s only been an RB1 in three of seven games. Atlanta also does have an offense capable of getting out early, even if it is a road game. That said, Washington has been playing turnover-free football and controlling games to give Peterson 17 or more touches in six games this season. Atlanta has been one of premier targets for running back output, but the majority of that damage comes out of the receiving game. They are middling against the run, ranking 18th in rushing yardage (81.9 yards) allowed per game to backfields.
  • Jordan Reed: He has been far from a sexy option, averaging just 4.1 catches for 43.7 yards per game, but he is coming off a season-high 12 targets while the Falcons are 21st in receptions allowed per game (4.7) to opposing tight ends. With a six-team bye week, even another pedestrian performance Reed is tangible at the position.
  • Alex Smith: There has just been no ceiling here to speak of as Smith has been the QB16 or lower in six straight games, but the Falcons have been a supreme slump-buster so far this season. Atlanta has allowed a top-10 scoring quarterback in six straight games and are 29th in passing yardage allowed per game (320.6). If Smith had given us any ceiling to date, he’d arguably be the best streaming option on the board.
  • Matt Ryan: He’s torched fantasy points at home but has been the QB24 and the QB19 in each of his starts on the road, but Washington has allowed a top-12 scorer or a 300-yard passer in each of their past five games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Washington WRs: If Smith is going to crash through his ceiling this week, someone here should go along for the ride, but there’s little to latch onto with this group. They’ve combined to have one week higher than WR40 on the season. Josh Doctson has led the team in targets in each of the past two games and has pressed Paul Richardson for the team lead in air yards even though he has yet to cash in his opportunities.
  • Tevin Coleman/Ito Smith: The Falcons have had issues running the football and neither back is overly involved in the passing game. Between the two of these backs, they’ve had just one game in which either has had more than three catches in a game. Washington has allowed 91 combined rushing yards to Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley over their past three games.
  • Calvin Ridley: We like Ridley in shootouts, but he becomes a high-risk option otherwise. In the three games in which Ridley has found the end zone, he’s been the WR29, WR1 and WR15. In his other four games, he’s checked in as the WR106, WR64, WR56 and WR45.
  • Mohamed Sanu: It’s same story for Sanu as he’s cleared four receptions just once on the season and has ranked higher than WR64 in just one of his four games without a touchdown.

 

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

 

  • Austin Hooper: He has two games with 22 targets surrounding 19 total targets over his other five games. On a condensed week, he’s still a lower-tier option, but Washington has yet to allow an opposing tight end to post more than 48 yards in a game.
  • Kapri Bibbs: With Chris Thompson officially out, Bibbs will get the call once again as the pass-catching back in the Washington offense. The only problem with that is that Washington has yet to fall behind consistently. Bibbs has had just six and three touches in the two games that Thompson has missed this season, but did have a 4-43-1 receiving line in the last game Thompson was absent against the Cowboys. Bibbs isn't a reliable source of touches, but his role is one we typically would highlight in this matchup. Atlanta is allowing a league-high 8.9 receptions and 68 receiving yards per game to opposing backfields while Peterson has more than two catches in just one game this season.

 

Lions @ Vikings

 

Detroit Rank @ Minnesota Rank
5   Spread -5  
22.8   Implied Total 27.8  
24.4 17 Points/Gm 24.6 16
26.6 25 Points All./Gm 24.4 15
62.0 22 Plays/Gm 67.2 6
60.3 3 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.1 2
37.3% 20 Rush% 32.3% 30
62.7% 13 Pass% 67.7% 3
47.2% 29 Opp. Rush % 41.0% 21
52.8% 4 Opp. Pass % 59.0% 12

 

  • Adam Thielen has at least 100-yards receiving and a receiving touchdown in five straight games, the longest such streak since Patrick Jeffers in 1999.
  • Thielen ranks second in the league in yards after he catch (302) while Stefon Diggs ranks third (293 yards) for all wide receivers.
  • 77.4 percent of the yardage gained by the Vikings has been via passing, the fourth-highest rate in the league.
  • 60.7 percent of the yardage allowed by Detroit has been via passing, the second-lowest rate in the league.
  • Latavius Murray has a rushing touchdown in 23 games since the start of the 2015 season, tied for second in the league over that span with Cam Newton behind Todd Gurley (26).
  • Matthew Stafford has been the QB16 or lower in 7-of-8 games against the Vikings since Mike Zimmer joined the team, averaging a QB19 scoring finish, 223.8 passing yards and 14.4 fantasy points per game.
  • Kerryon Johnson averages +3.1 yards per carry than any other carry from his team, the largest gap in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Adam Thielen: He leads the position in just about everything and now has added become a touchdown scorer to his resume, leading the team with 11 red zone targets over the past five games. Tack on that Stefon Diggs will be inactive and Thielen should push double-digit receptions.

 

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

 

  • Kirk Cousins: He’s finished higher than QB10 just twice on the season, but has held a steady floor, posting 17 or more points in six of his eight games, including three in a row.
  • Kerryon Johnson: He’s set new season-highs in snaps played over the past two weeks and showed last week that he’s game-script proof with Theo Riddick sidelined as he caught 6-of-8 targets. His ceiling is still hurt by his lack of involvement near the end zone, but Johnson has double-digit points in six straight games played.
  • Kyle Rudolph: He hasn’t been a top-12 scorer or had double-digit scoring output since Week 4, but the theme of the week is that tight end is even shallower than usual with so many teams on bye. Detroit has allowed a top-12 tight end in three of their past four games and Rudolph should get more opportunities with Diggs out.
  • Kenny Golladay: There was a developing concern for his targets as he received four or fewer targets in three of his past four games, but Tate led the team in targets in 6-of-7 games and was averaging 9.9 looks per contest. Both Golladay and Jones will get the immediate target bump with no tight end presence on the roster and Theo Riddick still dealing with an injury.
  • Marvin Jones: He’s coming off a season-high 10 targets and now more targets open up with the trade of Tate. In typical Jones boom-or-bust fashion, he has one monster game (6-109-2) against the Vikings while with Detroit orbiting three other games where he’s combined to turn in 7-101-0.
  • Latavius Murray: He’s been a top-10 scorer in each of the past three weeks, averaging 20 touches per game over that span with a touchdown in each game. Detroit ranks dead last in rushing yards allowed per game (137.0) and yards per carry (5.5) to backs and has allowed five top-10 scorers in seven games this season. The Vikings look like they want to get Dalvin Cook involved on a "limited amount of snaps" Sunday, but that's vague information at best and they likjely won't push him given how many setbacks Cook has had thusfar with his hamstring injury. That said, even a 10 percent snap share can be enough to move Murray from a low-end RB1 to a RB2 given his lack of involvement in the passing game.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Matthew Stafford: Between his consistent down weeks versus the Vikings under Zimmer and the fact that he has finished higher than QB14 just once on the season, he’s a mid-QB2 option once again.

 

 

Steelers @ Ravens

 

Pittsburgh Rank @ Baltimore Rank
3   Spread -3  
22.0   Implied Total 25.0  
29.1 5 Points/Gm 24.6 14
24.6 16 Points All./Gm 17.1 1
67.0 7 Plays/Gm 72.9 1
67.0 27 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.5 16
34.5% 28 Rush% 36.9% 22
65.5% 5 Pass% 63.1% 11
34.5% 4 Opp. Rush % 39.8% 17
65.5% 29 Opp. Pass % 60.2% 16

 

  • Joe Flacco leads the league in pass attempts of 15-plus yards downfield (65) but has completed just 33.8 percent (22-of-65), the lowest rate for all full-season starting quarterbacks.
  • The Steelers have allowed opposing passers to complete just 34.9 percent (22-of-63) of their deep passing attempts, second in the league behind only Dallas (33.3 percent).
  • After allowing 8.1 yards per pass attempt through four weeks (26th), the Steelers have allowed 5.8 yards per pass attempt since, fewest in the league.
  • Over his past five starts in Baltimore, Ben Roethlisberger has averaged 233.8 passing yards, 6.2 yards per pass attempt and 11.9 fantasy points per game with five touchdown passes and five interceptions.
  • Antonio Brown has averaged 6.0 catches for 65.8 yards with one touchdown in these games and has not had a 100-yard receiving game in Baltimore over his career.
  • Brown has caught a touchdown pass in five consecutive games, the longest streak for the Pittsburgh franchise since Ron Shanklin went six straight games in 1973.
  • James Conner has 10 touches inside of the 5-yard line, second to only Todd Gurley (14). Le'Veon Bell had not had more than eight touches inside of the 5-yard line since his rookie season in 2013.
  • Conner has seven runs of 20 or more yards, tied with Saquon Barkley for the most in the league. Bell had seven runs combined of 20 or more yards over the entire 2016 and 2017 seasons.
  • Conner is the first running back to have 100-yards rushing and multiple rushing touchdowns in three straight games since Chris Johnson in 2009.

 

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

 

  • Antonio Brown: The outcry for his underperformance has died down as he’s reeled off three straight top-12 scoring weeks and now leads the position in touchdowns, but he and Ben’s history here in Baltimore is enough to at least smudge the expected ceiling.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster: He’s had 60 or fewer receiving yards in three of his past four games and has gone over four receptions in just one of those games. That said, he still carries touchdown-saving upside for his floor as he leads the Steelers in red zone targets (15) while the next closest target (Brown) has eight.
  • Vance McDonald: He had a modest 5-62 line when these teams met in Week 4. His down moments have come in big Pittsburgh wins where the Steelers have taken the air out of the ball. They should keep the volume going here as road dogs. Opposing tight ends have accounted for 29.5 percent of the receiving yardage against the Ravens, the highest rate in the league.
  • John Brown: The Steelers are defending the deep ball as good as anyone in the league of late and that’s where Brown makes his money. 49.2 percent (30-of-61) of Brown’s targets are on throws 15-plus yards downfield. With that in mind, he still had 3-116-1 on seven targets when these teams last met in Week 4, as he's the type of player that only needs to make one play and the Ravens shouldn't be expected to run the ball effectively.
  • Michael Crabtree: His 8.6 targets per game rank 15th at the position, so you can still squeeze WR3 life from him based on volume and the Ravens shouldn’t be expected to run the ball here. That said, he did have his worst game of the season (3-29-0 on eight targets) when these teams last met, but it's tough to leave him outside of the top-30 wideouts on such a shallow week.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Ben Roethlisberger: It’s an early road start, which we always throw into consideration when anticipating a down week from Roethlisberger. To tack on, it’s also a tougher matchup that he has struggled in on the road and Baltimore has allowed just three top-12 scoring quarterbacks at home since the start of the 2016 season.
  • James Conner: You're still playing him, of course but this could be a week where he struggles to reach the high-end RB1 status he will surely be ranked as across the industry. He’s dropped a hammer on three straight soft matchups but will be tested here on the road against a Baltimore defense that is allowing just 70.3 rushing yards per game to backs (fifth) and held Conner to a season-low 44 yards in Week 4. Just one back has reached 80 yards from scrimmage in a game against the Ravens. Still, Conner has had a stable receiving floor, catching four or more passes in every game but one and always carries touchdown upside.
  • Joe Flacco: He’s tied for the league lead in pass attempts per game (42.8), but it has bene empty calories of late as he’s been the QB22 or lower in three of his past four starts. The Steelers have righted the ship a bit on the back end of their defense, holding three straight passers to QB18 or lower scoring weeks.
  • Alex Collins: He’s out-touched Javorius Allen 46-13 over the past three weeks, but still has had just one RB2 or better scoring week over his past five games. The Steelers rank fourth in rushing yardage allowed per game (66.4) to opposing backfields.

 

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

 

  • Willie Snead: He has seven or more targets in five straight games and has double-digit points in 6-of-8 games on the season. There’s not much to grasp onto here as far as a ceiling goes (his highest scoring week is WR27), but if you’re in need of a floor WR4 type, he’s in play.

 

Chiefs @ Browns

 

Kansas City Rank @ Cleveland Rank
-8.5   Spread 8.5  
30.5   Implied Total 21.8  
36.2 1 Points/Gm 21.1 24
25.6 22 Points All./Gm 26.2 24
61.9 23 Plays/Gm 70.2 2
68.9 29 Opp. Plays/Gm 74.0 32
40.4% 16 Rush% 39.5% 17
59.6% 17 Pass% 60.5% 16
34.5% 3 Opp. Rush % 40.7% 19
65.5% 30 Opp. Pass % 59.3% 14

 

  • Patrick Mahomes is the first quarterback to throw four or more touchdown passes in three straight games since Drew Brees in 2011. The all-time record is five straight games set by Peyton Manning in 2004.
  • The Browns have trailed for 55.9 percent of their offensive snaps, 26th in the league.
  • Cleveland's defense has been on the field a league-high 616 snaps this season (including penalties) and a league-high 356 of those have come in the second half.
  • In the second half of games, the Browns have faced a league-high 148 rushing attempts while allowing 4.7 yards per carry (23rd) on those attempts.
  • The Browns have allowed multiple rushing touchdowns in 5-of-8 games on the season, the most in the league.
  • The Chiefs have scored a league-high 17 offensive touchdowns on the road this season.
  • The Browns have scored on 27.4 percent (20-of-73) of their possessions since Baker Mayfield took over the starting quarterback in Week 4, 29th in the league.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Kareem Hunt: He has 16.5 percent of the team targets over the past three weeks after receiving 5.1 percent through five weeks, which has boosted his fantasy game. Outside of that passing boost, the Browns have been showing defensive fatigue, allowing 118.4 rushing yards per game (27th) to backfields and have allowed multiple rushing touchdowns to four different individual backs on the season.
  • Travis Kelce: Since Week 1 he’s averaged 6.1 catches and 90.9 yards per game on 9.1 targets per game. The Browns face 8.5 tight end targets per game, 28th in the league.

 

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

 

  • Patrick Mahomes: He’s an easy set-and-forget option and has thrown for 300-yards in seven straight games. It’s worth noting that only two quarterbacks have hit their seasonal average entering the week against the Browns since they’re starting to get blown out frequently of late. Those two passers (Derek Carr and Jameis Winston) played in back-and-forth tight contests which is on the lower end of outcomes here. He also could be without Tyreek Hill here. Odds are high that Mahomes is a large part of the Chiefs stacking any early lead.
  • Tyreek Hill: Dealing with a groin injury, he may not play or be leaned as much as usual, but if he gets the green light the Browns have given up some splash plays of late, allowing five receptions of over 25 yards over their past three games with a touchdown to a wideout over 40 yards in two of their past three games.
  • Sammy Watkins: He’s had a great floor, finishing as a WR3 or better in each of his past six full games played and we finally his ceiling potentially hit in this offense a week ago. With Hill potentially not 100 percent, Watkins could build off his season-high nine targets from a week ago and will be elevated if Hill is unable to play.
  • Nick Chubb: He has 18 and 20 touches in two games the Browns have thoroughly trailed throughout, so we’re not overly concerned about the game script wiping out his opportunities. The Chiefs are a run-game target, allowing 110.3 rushing yards per game (26th) to backfields and are 31st in yards per carry (5.3) allowed to backs.
  • Jarvis Landry: Over Mayfield's five starts, he has been held under 40-yards receiving in three times. Still, he’s averaging 11.6 targets per game in those contests, which his hard to completely run from.
  • David Njoku: His goose egg last week on no official targets was a kick to the face, but it makes sense to go back to the well on him. For one, it was his first true letdown in a start by Mayfield and two, the Chiefs are allowing 74.5 yards per game (29th) to tight ends and have allowed a top-12 scorer in 5-of-8 games on the season.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Baker Mayfield: He’s averaged just 5.5 yards per pass attempt over his past three games after averaging 7.8 yards per attempt prior. The Chiefs have allowed multiple touchdown passes in just one of their past five games and have not been the automatic fantasy elevating defense assumed as they’ve allowed the QB25 and QB18 the past two weeks.

 

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

 

  • Duke Johnson: Perhaps with running backs coach Freddie Kitchens being elevated to offensive coordinator we’ll see him finally involved in the offense, but he still takes a leap of faith as he’s yet to have more than six touches in any game this season. The Chiefs are allowing 7.0 receptions per game (30th) to opposing backfields and even allowed a top-24 week to the ghost of Devontae Booker last week if you need to dig deep.

 

Jets @ Dolphins

 

NY Jets Rank @ Miami Rank
3   Spread -3  
21.0   Implied Total 24.0  
24.0 19 Points/Gm 21.8 22
25.0 19 Points All./Gm 27.4 27
61.0 24 Plays/Gm 56.8 31
67.6 28 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.2 21
45.3% 7 Rush% 41.6% 15
54.7% 26 Pass% 58.4% 18
39.0% 13 Opp. Rush % 48.1% 30
61.0% 20 Opp. Pass % 52.0% 3

 

  • Both the Jets and the Dolphins are the only two teams in the league that have scored more touchdowns from outside of the red zone than inside of the red zone.
  • The Dolphins have scored 11 offensive touchdowns from outside of the red zone, the most in the league.
  • The Jets have allowed 10 offensive touchdowns from outside of the red zone, the most in the league.
  • The Jets have converted just 37.5 percent (9-of-24) of their red zone possessions into touchdowns, the lowest rate in the league.
  • After rushing for 323 yards in Week 5, the Jets are rushing for a league-low 2.8 yards per carry over the past the three weeks.
  • Sam Darnold leads the league with five games of completing 50 percent or fewer of his passes. No other quarterback has more than two.

 

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

 

  • Kenyan Drake: While he’s still conceding more touches than we’d prefer to see in the run game, we’re at least long past when he had just seven and four touches in back-to-back games and have found a solid baseline of opportunity to latch onto. Drake is averaging 13.5 touches for 93.4 yards from scrimmage over the past four weeks.
  • Isaiah Crowell: I don’t want to do it and I know you don’t. He’s rushed 37 times for 94 yards over the past three weeks after his 200-yard game. But Trenton Cannon and Elijah McGuire can’t be counted on for touches and the Dolphins have struggled mightily defending the run. Over their past five games, backfields against Miami have rushed for 175, 209, 108, 93 and 167 yards. Crowell still has a sketchy floor as a road underdog, but he’s flirting with RB2 availably on a heavy bye week in this matchup.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Sam Darnold: He did throw for a season-high 334 yards when these teams played in Wek 2, but he has yet to show that he has a QB1 ceiling in a game yet this season and his surrounding playmakers are so banged up that we’re looking elsewhere.
  • Brock Osweiler: His yards per attempt have dropped in each subsequent start while the Dolphins chased points in all of those games. That’s an unlikely scenario here.

 

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

 

  • Chris Herndon: He’s found the end zone in three straight games, and his usage is slowly on the rise as he’s run seven, 12 and 17 routes over that span. Those are still totals that need to rise significantly before he’s a stable option over a bye-week fill in, but the Dolphins have allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends over their past three games.
  • Danny Amendola: His targets have dropped in each Osweiler start and he offers only a marginal yardage ceiling but has still managed to post three straight WR3 or better scoring weeks. The Jets are a target for slot receiver production.
  • DeVante Parker: The Dolphins were forced to play him last week and he answered the call, catching 6-of-9 targets for a career-high 134 yards. If Kenny Stills is out once again, Parker could roll over that usage once again while the Jets have allowed a 100-yard receiver in four of their past six games.

 

 

Bears @ Bills

 

Chicago Rank @ Buffalo Rank
-10   Spread 10  
23.8   Implied Total 13.8  
27.7 9 Points/Gm 10.9 32
20.6 8 Points All./Gm 25.0 20
66.0 11 Plays/Gm 60.0 28
60.6 5 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.8 20
44.6% 8 Rush% 43.5% 9
55.4% 25 Pass% 56.5% 24
37.3% 11 Opp. Rush % 41.0% 22
62.7% 22 Opp. Pass % 59.0% 11

 

  • Just 17.3 percent of the possessions (14-of-81) against the Bears have ended inside of the red zone, the lowest rate in the league. League average outside of Chicago is 28.6 percent.
  • Buffalo has a league-low seven offensive touchdowns and have scored a touchdown on just 7.6 percent of their possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Bears are the only team in the league yet to allow a rushing touchdown.
  • Chicago is first in the league in allowing opposing rate of runs to gain five or more yards (28.5 percent), 10 or more yards (6.3 percent) and rate of runs to gain a first down (17.7 percent).
  • The Bears have forced a turnover on 21 percent of their opponent's possessions, second in the league behind Seattle (21.6 percent).
  • The Bears are +10 in explosive plays (gains of 20 or more yards) gained versus their opponents, the largest differential in the league.

 

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

 

  • Mitchell Trubisky: He’s ripped off four straight top-10 scoring weeks with multiple touchdown passes in all of those games. To top that off, he’s added 58 yards per gamer rushing over that span. That rushing is a floor saver as he heads into Buffalo to face an underrated pass defense that has allowed one quarterback to finish higher than QB19 over their past six games.
  • Tarik Cohen: In a wire-to-wire win last week, he fell all the way down to six touches, serving as a reminder to how fragile his opportunity can still be. But Cohen leads all running backs in yards per touch (8.5) while the Bills rank 26th in receiving points allowed per game (13.7) to backfields.
  • Jordan Howard: There’s still an unstable floor here as he still needed a touchdown last week to push him into RB2 status, but he’s going to find his way into the RB2 field this week as a big favorite. In the win last week, 16 of Howard’s 22 touches came in the second half and he had 10 carries for 53 yards in the fourth quarter.
  • Trey Burton: We’ve been waiting for a week like last week to pop up with Burton as he averages 4.5 targets per game outside of his Week 7 spike and has four or fewer receptions in every game but one. That said, things are thin at the tight end position this week and Burton is still second on the team in red zone targets (seven) and targets inside of the 10-yard line (five) behind Cohen.
  • LeSean McCoy: The Bears haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown or any rushing production at all, but McCoy just showed that he can still be usable in a low-production running game. McCoy now has 26, 19 and 18 touches over his past three games with 108, 94 and 95 total yards.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Allen Robinson: This is a spot where the Bears may be able to hold him out another week in order to get Robinson fully to 100 percent. Even if does play, he’ll be the one who draws Tre'Davious White and has just 11 receptions over his previous four games played.
  • Taylor Gabriel: He’s been the WR67 and the WR48 over the past two weeks as his reverted back into the boom-or-bust WR4 we’ve know him as over his career. The Bills have been very good defending perimeter wideouts this season and much more vulnerable on this inside, so if we’re chasing a Bears wideout this week, it would be Miller again.
  • Anthony Miller: He’s had seven targets in each of the past two weeks but is still low budget only as he has caught five passes for 72 yards with those opportunities.
  • Nathan Peterman: Nope.

 

Buccaneers @ Panthers

 

Tampa Bay Rank @ Carolina Rank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
23.8   Implied Total 30.3  
28.7 7 Points/Gm 25.4 12
33.3 32 Points All./Gm 21.7 11
69.0 4 Plays/Gm 62.7 20
63.4 18 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.1 6
35.2% 25 Rush% 43.3% 13
64.8% 8 Pass% 56.7% 20
36.5% 8 Opp. Rush % 35.8% 5
63.5% 25 Opp. Pass % 64.3% 28

 

  • The Buccaneers have scored on 46.5 percent (20-of-43) of their possessions with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center this season as opposed to 35.9 percent (14-of-39) with Jameis Winston under center.
  • Tampa Bay has scored a touchdown on 32.6 percent of the drives with Fitzpatrick under center as opposed to 25.6 percent with Winston.
  • Mike Evans has caught 27-of-37 targets (73 percent) from Fitzpatrick this season while catching 19-of-31 targets (61.3 percent) from Winston.
  • DeSean Jackson has caught 18-of-22 targets (81.8 percent) from Fitzpatrick while catching 8-of-22 targets (36.4 percent) from Winston.
  • Fitzpatrick averages 36.1 passing yards per possession, the most in the league.
  • Cam Newton has completed 70.8 percent (17-of-24) of his red zone passes, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Buccaneers are allowing 3.1 red zone touchdowns per game, 31st in the league behind Atlanta (3.3).
  • The Buccaneers are allowing 4.8 offensive touchdowns per game on the road, the most in the league and full touchdown over the next closest team (Cincinnati at 3.8 per game).
  • Newton has thrown multiple touchdown passes in six consecutive games, the longest streak of his career and one behind the franchise record set by Steve Beuerlein in 2000.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Cam Newton: He’s gone over 20 fantasy points in four of his past five games and is off to his best start with a career-high 66.4 percent completion rate and a career-low 1.7 percent interception rate. The Bucs defense has yet to fail us as a target, allowing a top-12 scorer every game but one with that one miss still throwing for 334 yards. They rank dead last in completion rate (73.7 percent), passing yardage per game (332.9 yards), touchdown rate (7.5 percent) and passing points (24.5) allowed per game.
  • Christian McCaffrey: We covet touches against the Bucs defense and McCaffrey’s 19.4 touches per game ranks ninth at the position. Tampa Bay ranks 24th in receiving points allowed per game (13.6) to backfields while ranking 23rd in rushing points allowed per game (14.6) to the position.
  • Greg Olsen: He’s received just 16 targets over the three games since returning to the lineup but is running 36 routes per game over that span. This is a good week to see his targets rise as Tampa Bay is 31st in receiving yardage allowed per game (77.4) to opposing tight ends and has allowed a top-12 scoring tight end in 6-of-7 games.
  • Devin Funchess: His three targets last week were a season low, but he finds himself in positive matchup against a Tampa Bat defense that has allowed every lead wideout other than Julio Jones (of course) to score a touchdown this season and have allowed a league-high 22.4 points per game to lead receivers. Funchess isn’t like most lead wideouts as he’s yet to reach 80 yards in a game this season, but this is as good as it gets for him.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick: Even while trending down in each start he had earlier in the season, Fitzpatrick was a strong QB1 asset that rolled over to Winston in his starts.  One thing that is bankable is that he’s going to get a lot of yardage. Bucs passers have combined to throw for at least 365 yards in 6-of-7 games this season. The only question you have to ask is if this is a carousel now moving forward and either player that starts will finish the game if they come out of the gates with a few turnovers? But in the five games that a Bucs quarterback has played a full game, they’ve produced five top-10 scoring weeks.
  • Mike Evans: He’s gone over 100-yards in each of his past two games and has been at his best this season catching passes from Fitzpatrick.
  • O.J. Howard: He’s been a top-10 tight end in each of his past five full games played. The only shade is that he is averaging just 5.2 targets per game in his full games played. That said, this is a matchup where he can do a lot on a little as the Panthers rank 31st in receptions allowed to tight ends per game (6.9) and are last in receiving yardage allowed per game (77.9) to the position.

 

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

 

  • DeSean Jackson: He’s had double-digit output in every game but one this season and while he and Fitzpatrick’s connection is surely due for some regression given the types of targets Jackson gets, he’s been far and above better on those targets.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Chris Godwin: He’s just too touchdown reliant to count on as he’s averaging just 48.6 yards per game and has underperformed his seasonal average entering the game in three of his past four weeks.
  • Peyton Barber: Barber is at 15.7 touches per game over the past three weeks with games of 106 and 85 total yards in two of those weeks. That said, his only two weeks higher than RB44 on the season have come when he’s had a 1-yard touchdown plunge against two of the league’s worst defenses. Carolina is allowing just 67.2 rushing yards to backfields over their past five weeks. In a heavy bye week, you may have to plug your nose and play the touches, but this is not as forgiving of a matchup than the one’s he’s produced in.

 

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

 

  • D.J. Moore: His high-usage Week 8 was aided by the absence of Torrey Smith, but his snap rate and routes run were on the rise in every game since the team’s Week 4 bye. We still need that usage to become sticky with Smith in the lineup, but this is a matchup that where we’re circling the wagons on the entire offense. 

 

Chargers @ Seahawks

 

LA Chargers Rank @ Seattle Rank
1.5   Spread -1.5  
23.3   Implied Total 24.8  
27.9 8 Points/Gm 24.4 18
23.3 13 Points All./Gm 18.7 4
58.4 30 Plays/Gm 60.7 25
62.0 14 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.6 4
43.5% 10 Rush% 52.2% 1
56.5% 23 Pass% 47.8% 32
39.6% 16 Opp. Rush % 39.6% 15
60.4% 17 Opp. Pass % 60.4% 18

 

  • Russell Wilson is just the fourth player ever to have three straight games with three or more passing touchdowns on fewer than 25 passes and the first since Jay Schroeder in 1990.
  • Wilson ranks 37th for quarterbacks in pass attempts per game (26.0) but ranks third in in touchdown rate (8.8 percent) and passing points per attempt (.650) while ranking sixth in passing yards per attempt (8.5).
  • Seahawks running backs have totaled 193 rushing attempts this season, trailing only the Rams (206).
  • The Seahawks have run the ball on 64.1 percent of their offensive snaps with the lead, behind only Buffalo (64.2 percent). League average is 50.7 percent.
  • Chris Carson's 665 rushing yards are the second-most for any Seattle player through his first 10 career games, trailing only Curt Warner's 889 yards.
  • The Chargers lead the league in yards per play (6.9).
  • Philip Rivers has thrown a touchdown pass on 23.9 percent of his drives, fourth in the league behind Patrick Mahomes (32.9 percent), Ryan Fitzpatrick (30.2 percent) and Andre Luck (25.3 percent).

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Melvin Gordon: He can move down if we don’t get positive news about his hamstring injury that forced him to miss Week 7, but if all signs are positive, then all wheels are back up on him after averaging 124.2 yards from scrimmage to date on the season.

 

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

 

  • Philip Rivers: He has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this season and is averaging a gaudy 11.7 yards per pass attempt over his past three games. Seattle has yet to allow a QB1 scoring week on the season but have allowed over 300-yards passing in two of their past three games.
  • Russell Wilson: There’s going to be a game in which the efficiency bubble bursts, but this may not be the time at home against a Chargers Defense that ranks 21st in passing points allowed per attempt (.450), 25th in yards per attempt (7.8) and 25th in yards per completion (12.2) allowed.
  • Keenan Allen: You may not have gotten return on his sticker price so far, but Allen has held a solid floor with 14.7 points per game over his three games prior the bye. His catch rate (73.2 percent) is far higher than it was at this time last year (52.9 percent), the Chargers have just thrown 27 times or fewer over that stretch. With some more overall passing volume, Allen’s production should begin to elevate over the WR3 production he has provided.
  • Austin Ekeler: He’s been an RB2 or better in 5-of-7 games and with Gordon’s hamstring injury still up in the air, complementary touches could still be there. Seattle ranks 20th in receptions allowed per game to backfields.
  • Tyler Lockett: He’s going along for the ride with Wilson to some degree but has really been flying by solely on touchdowns only lately. Lockett has scored in each of the past three games but has totaled just eight catches and 11 targets over that span. The Chargers have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over their past four games. Lockett is still running 51.2 percent of his routes from the slot since Baldwin’s return, so he’ll avoid Casey Hayward enough for those who want to chase the scoring upside continuing to hit.
  • Chris Carson: Now that Seattle has settled on Carson leading the way, he’s averaged 23.8 touches per game over his past four games played with at least 124 yards from scrimmage in three of those games. The Chargers are 21st in yards per carry allowed to backs (4.47) but have been able to script teams out of the run, ranking seventh in rushing attempts faced per week (18.9). Unfortuantely, Carson is banged up and dealing with a hip injury that has him truly a game-time call. That could impact his workload if he does play and Mike Davis should be added as insurance. If Carson does sit, Davis slides into a top-24 option.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • David Moore: He is living that same life that Lockett is, scoring four times over the past three games on just nine catches and 11 targets. The Chargers have been far more vulnerable in the slot than the perimeter, so this may be a good spot for touchdown regression to make an appearance.
  • Doug Baldwin: The good news is that Baldwin is running 65.3 percent of his routes from the slot and Casey Hayward has played just 10 snaps in the slot all season. The bad news is that matchups haven’t helped Baldwin much so far, consistent volume has. Since returning to the lineup in Week 4, Baldwin has received seven, one, eight and three targets and has cleared 41 receiving yards in just one of those games.
  • Tyrell Williams: You would believe Williams plays for the Seahawks given how he’s performed the past two games. He has 118 yards in each of those past two games with three touchdowns, but just seven catches and eight targets. The Seahawks just had trouble defending the deep ball with Marvin Jones a week ago if you want to hang on to Williams continuing to convert his vertical targets.
  • Ed Dickson: If we could get Dickson to play every game in Detroit he’d be Rob Gronkowski, but he had just two targets last week while running just seven pass routes.

 

 

Texans @ Broncos

 

Houston Rank @ Denver Rank
2.5   Spread -2.5  
22.0   Implied Total 24.5  
24.6 15 Points/Gm 23.5 20
20.9 9 Points All./Gm 24.2 14
66.1 10 Plays/Gm 64.0 16
65.4 25 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.8 19
45.6% 6 Rush% 39.3% 18
54.4% 27 Pass% 60.7% 15
40.5% 18 Opp. Rush % 41.8% 23
59.5% 15 Opp. Pass % 58.2%  

 

  • Case Keenum has completed 38.9 percent (14-of-36) of his passes in the red zone this season, the lowest rate for all full-season starting quarterbacks.
  • Keenum is the only quarterback to throw an interception in every game this season.
  • Denver running backs average 121.1 rushing yards per game, trailing only the Rams (123.6).
  • DeAndre Hopkins has accounted for 31.6 percent of the Houston receptions, the largest share for a player in the league.
  • In three career starts without Will Fuller active, Deshaun Watson has averaged 200.6 passing yards per game as opposed to 288.3 passing yards per game in his 11 starts with Fuller in the lineup.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • DeAndre Hopkins: He just went through a rough stretch of individual matchups and came out with a touchdown in each game. Hopkins is tied for the league lead in 20-plus yard receptions (14) and leads the league in targets inside of the 10-yard line (10).

 

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

 

  • Deshaun Watson: Houston has run the ball on 55.2 percent of their snaps over the past three weeks, leaving Watson to do a lot on marginal passing volume. It worked out last week but expecting five touchdowns on 20 passes to hit again is asking a lot. He’s also not rushing yet, posting just 29 yards on the ground over the past three games while the Texans have protected his injury and have gone run heavy. Pressure is also a potential issue here as Denver is fifth in the league in sack rate (8.1 percent) while Watson faces pressure on 45.4 percent of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the league.
  • Lamar Miller: With the Texans controlling games, Miler has found new fantasy life with 100 and 133 rushing yards over the past two games. The Denver run defense has been improved over their past two games, allowing just 89 rushing yards on 35 carries by backs in those games, so that sticks a bit of a thorn in the upside this matchup may present at first glance, but Miller’s touch volume has him squarely on the RB2 board.
  • Phillip Lindsay: With Royce Freeman out last week, Lindsay received a season-high 21 touches and he made them stick with 112 yards from scrimmage. He now has 96 and 112 total yards over his past two games as the lead back in this backfield. The only small bit of shade is this matchup is not nearly as great on paper as the past two softees. Houston ranks 12th in yards from scrimmage allowed per game backfields and have allowed just Saquon Barkley to clear 100-yards from scrimmage on the season.
  • Emmanuel Sanders: Sanders is still the more trustworthy option in this offense and could also benefit from the trade by gaining more targets. We just seen Miami wideouts catch 15 passes for 213 yards against the Texans.
  • Courtland Sutton: With the trade of Thomas, seven targets per game are freed up to disperse, with Sutton expected to garner a chunk of those. A mix of more efficient targets could go a long way for Sutton, whose average depth of target is 14.0 yards downfield at the moment, which has impacted him only securing 17-of-37 targets on the season. Sutton has already posted 50 yards or a touchdown in five straight games prior with Thomas on the field.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Demaryius Thomas: It’s tough to have true usable expectations for him after he’s only going to have a couple of days in this offense and it’s not like he was lighting things up for us when we could predict his usage as he was 41st in points per game for wideouts through eight weeks.
  • Case Keenum: He’s been a QB1 just once so far on the season while the QB18 or lower in 5-of-8 games. Houston has kept every quarterback they’ve faced as QB23 or lower over their past four games, allowing just three touchdown passes with six interceptions to quarterbacks over that span.
  • Keke Coutee: Wit his hamstring injury and the arrival of Thomas, he’s a bit of a unknown this week, while playing in the slot against Chris Harris is the least desirable part of facing the Broncos each week.

 

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

 

  • Devontae Booker: He reemerged with Royce Freeman sidelined, notching 101 yards on 13 touches. He had five touches for 49 yards in the 4th quarter chasing points but is firmly in play as a FLEX option complementing Lindsay.

 

Rams @ Saints

 

LA Rams Rank @ New Orleans Rank
1   Spread -1  
29.5   Implied Total 30.5  
33.0 3 Points/Gm 33.4 2
19.4 6 Points All./Gm 26.1 23
65.6 12 Plays/Gm 64.3 15
56.9 1 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.7 13
48.2% 2 Rush% 43.3% 12
51.8% 31 Pass% 56.7% 21
36.7% 10 Opp. Rush % 37.3% 12
63.3% 23 Opp. Pass % 62.7% 21

 

  • This is the first game to have a 60-point game total since Week 16, 2004 when the Raiders played the Chiefs.
  • The Saints have scored on 61.2 percent (41-of-67) of their possessions, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Rams have scored on 55 percent (44-of-80) of their possessions, third in the league.
  • New Orleans runs 15.6 red zone plays per game, the most in the league. The Rams run 13.4 per game, second in the league.
  • The Rams have run the ball 62.5 percent of the time inside of the 10-yard line and 76.2 percent of the time inside of the 5-yard line, the highest rates in the league.
  • Drew Brees leads all passers with a 65.6 percent completion rate (21-of-32) on passes 15-plus yards downfield.
  • Jared Goff ranks second on such passes with a 58 percent (29-of-50) completion rate.
  • The Saints have allowed opposing passers to complete 58.3 percent (28-of-48) of those deep passing attempts, the highest rate in the league.
  • The 120 passing yards by Brees last week were his fewest in a full game with the Saints and his fewest in a full game since throwing for 106 yards in Week 17 of the 2005 season.
  • 80.2 percent of the offensive yardage gained against New Orleans has been via passing, the highest rate in the league.
  • Todd Gurley leads the league with 60 red zone opportunities while Alvin Kamara ranks second (46). The next closest player (Kareem Hunt) has 26.

 

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Todd Gurley: No jokes this week, just fantasy points. The Saints are first in the league in yards per carry (2.9) and rushing yards allowed per game (50.4) to backfields, but Gurley’s scoring upside and receiving work have negated any slow moments on the ground this season.
  • Jared Goff: Gurley finally didn’t have a rushing touchdown for the first time in three games and unsurprisingly Goff was a top-5 scorer for the first time since Week 4. The Saints have been better defensively since the start of the season but have still allowed a top-12 passer in each of their two past games. The only passers not to post a QB1 week against the Saints have been Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor and Eli Manning
  • Brandin Cooks: He’s been at 63.7 yards per game over his past three after averaging 113 yards over the opening four games of the season, but he’s averaged a healthy 21.2 yards per catch over that span. This is a good week to snap back a high-scoring game as the Saints have been the worst defense defending downfield passing as noted above.
  • Robert Woods: He has at least five catches in seven straight games, the longest streak for a Rams wideout since Torry Holt in 2007. The Saints are allowing a league-high 235.7 receiving yards per game to opposing wideouts.
  • Cooper Kupp: Early word is that he will be back in the lineup this week but keep tabs on his practice reports as the week moves on. If he were to miss, then Josh Reynolds is back on the board as a WR3 option. While Kupp was on the field, he led the team in red zone targets (10). The slot is where we frequently want to target the Saints.
  • Drew Brees: Four of his past five games have come on the road with the past two against strong defenses, so it’s not as if we didn’t see this dip in production coming. Things get better this week in an expected shootout in his house where he’s averaged 348.3 yards per game and completed 83.5 percent of his passes.
  • Michael Thomas: He’s only seeing six targets per game over his past four games as the Saints have played a closer style of offense to the one they played a year ago over their winning streak.  Volume should rebound in an expected high-scoring affair, while the Rams have been giving to opposing lead wideouts. Over the past five weeks, only Marquise Goodwin busted versus the Rams while they allowed Davante Adams (5-133-0), Emmanuel Sanders (7-115-1), Tyler Lockett (3-98-1), Stefon Diggs (11-123-0) and Adam Thielen (8-135-1) to rough them up.
  • Alvin Kamara: The Rams rank 11th in yards from scrimmage allowed to backs, but Kamara has 19 and 20 touches over the past two weeks out of the bye. He trails only Gurley in usage in the red zone and has out-touched Ingram 10-2 in the red zone over the past two games.

 

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

 

  • Mark Ingram: You're just playing everyone in a game like this, but Ingram needs consistent scoring opportunities to find his fantasy ceiling, something he’s not getting. Ingram has been the RB37 and the RB28 over the past two weeks without a score and has been held to fewer than 100-yards from scrimmage in seven straight games dating back to last year.

 

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

 

  • Tre’Quan Smith: He’s been quiet the past two weeks with Ted Ginn out, but he has 18.5 percent of the team targets in those games against the Ravens and Vikings.  That target share is much higher than 13.5 percent of the targets Ginn had. The spots where we always circled Ginn were at home and in Smith’s only home game post-Ginn, he caught three passes for 111 yards and two scores.

 

Packers @ Patriots

 

Green Bay Rank @ New England Rank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
25.5   Implied Total 32.0  
25.0 13 Points/Gm 29.9 4
24.7 17 Points All./Gm 23.1 12
66.7 8 Plays/Gm 66.6 9
61.7 11 Opp. Plays/Gm 66.1 26
32.3% 31 Rush% 42.6% 14
67.7% 2 Pass% 57.4% 19
43.5% 24 Opp. Rush % 36.1% 7
56.5% 9 Opp. Pass % 63.9% 26

 

  • New England averages 4.0 offensive touchdowns per game at home (third) as opposed to 1.8 per game on the road (24th).
  • The Packers are allowing 3.7 touchdowns per game on the road (30th) as opposed to 2.0 per game at home (eighth).
  • The Packers average 8.8 yards to go on third downs this season, the most in the league.
  • The Patriots average 5.6 yards to go on third downs this season, the fewest in the league.
  • Davante Adams is the first Green Bay player to have over 125 yards receiving in three straight games since James Lofton in 1984.
  • Aaron Jones played 61.5 percent of the snaps in Week 8 and had a season-high 14 touches after averaging 29.2 percent of the snaps and nine touches per game prior.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • James White: He’s yet to have a week this season outside of the top-24 scorers while he’s been a top-seven scorer in four of his past five games. With Sony Michel injured, White has totaled 19 and 18 touches over the past two weeks and leads the team with 12 targets inside of the red zone.
  • Tom Brady: He has some early season heavy home/road splits as he’s averaging 308 yards per game and 242 on the road with 10 of his 16 touchdown passes coming in Foxboro. The Packers have had a soft start of opposing quarterbacks to start the season, but they have allowed huge games to Jared Goff (23.8 points) and Kirk Cousins (33.5 points) when challenged by a top-12 scorer.
  • Aaron Rodgers: His efficiency has been high, averaging 9.0 yards per pass attempt over the past three games after 7.2 Y/A over his opening four games of the season. The Patriots rank 23rd in passing points allowed per game (17.3) and 26th in passing yardage per game (289 yards) to opposing passers.

 

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

 

  • Davante Adams: After being someone that was unreliable for high-yardage, all he’s been doing is churning out huge games in that area. Adams will surely be shadowed by Stephon Gilmore, who has allowed just 18-of-44 targets to be completed in his coverage, but he has also allowed three touchdowns on the season, something that Adams is always in play for.
  • Julian Edelman: He’s returned to the lineup to see 21.2 percent of the team targets and leads the team in red zone targets since his return with eight. His 104 yards last week were a spike after averaging 49 per game over his first three games, making him more of a safe floor play with upside.
  • Rob Gronkowski: He’s had more than four catches in just two games now on the season. To make matters worse, just 2-of-38 red zone passes have come his way this season. He’s running 32 pass routes per game, but the opportunities are not coming in his direction. You keep playing but expecting him to be the best player at this position cannot be where we are for now.
  • Aaron Jones: Coming out of the bye, he had his highest workload of the season and most playing time. The Packers then traded away Ty Montgomery to free up more space. It’s worth noting that Jamaal Williams also got a short scoring opportunity last week, but only played 13 snaps on the day.
  • Jimmy Graham: His four targets last week matched a season-low from Week 1, which may have to do with the Packers finally have their complete receiving corps intact. but prior to that he had reeled off five straight weeks as a TE1. The Patriots are 23rd in receiving yardage allowed per game to tight ends and are tied in allowing a league-high five scores to the position to go back to Graham after a down week.
  • Sony Michel: It's looking like Michel is going to be active this Sunday, but the extent is unknown. With the Patriots declining to add any running backs though over the past two weeks, that would signal that they are comfortabe with his status. Michel may be limited, but still carries touchdown upside as an RB2.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Josh Gordon: His target share has gone from 25.7 percent to 19.4 percent to 13.3 percent over the past three weeks and has now cleared 50 yards in just one game with the Patriots. He’ll find himself lined up against rookie Jaire Alexander, who is allowing just a 54.8 percent catch rate in his coverage with just one touchdown allowed.
  • Randall Cobb: He was fourth on the team in routes run (17) last week, playing behind both Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. With 40 or fewer yards in every game since Week 1, Cobb is not an option unless his usage shifts.

 

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

 

  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling: With Geronimo Allison doubtful, Valdes-Scantling can continue to see his role grow over his rookie season. He ran one fewer pass route (26) than Allison last week to begin with and Valdes-Scantling now has 10, six and five targets over his past three games. As the wide receiver on the opposite end of Gilmore following Adams, he should find tangible opportunities.

 

 

Titans @ Cowboys


Tennessee Rank @ Dallas Rank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
17.3   Implied Total 23.8  
15.1 30 Points/Gm 20.0 26
18.1 3 Points All./Gm 17.6 2
58.7 29 Plays/Gm 60.4 26
61.7 12 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.3 9
46.7% 3 Rush% 45.9% 5
53.3% 30 Pass% 54.1% 28
44.0% 26 Opp. Rush % 44.1% 27
56.0% 7 Opp. Pass % 55.9%  

 

  • The Cowboys have scored on 66.7 percent (18-of-27) of their possessions at home, the highest rate in the league.
  • Dallas has allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 16.2 percent (12-of-74) of their possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Cowboys are allowing 3.9 yards per play on first downs this season, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 5.8 yards.
  • Titans running backs average 0.69 yards before contact, the fewest in the league.
  • The Titans are running the ball on 63.2 percent of their first down plays, the highest rate in the league. League average is 48.9 percent.
  • The Titans have run the ball on 43.2 percent of their offensive snaps while trailing, the highest rate in the league. League average is 32.3 percent.
  • Tennessee has had the lead for 20.2 percent of their offensive snaps (30th), ahead of only Cleveland (19.9 percent) and the Giants (12.3 percent).

 

Trust (spike starting production)


  • Ezekiel Elliott:  He has had just six career games with fewer than 80 rushing yards, but four of those have come over the opening seven games of this season. That said, he is still averaging 22.4 touches per game and is a large home favorite. The Titans rank 21st in rushing yardage allowed per game (93.1 yards) despite not facing any strong backs on the season. The best running back Tennessee has faced is LeSean McCoy.

 

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

 

  • Dak Prescott: He was the QB2 and QB8 in his two games prior to the bye and comes out of the bye with an added receiving option. A boost is that we’ve seen him start to run a bit more, having at least six rush attempts in three straight games with at least 33 yards on the ground in all those games. The Titans have allowed just two QB1 games on the season, however and are allowing just 238.4 passing yards per game (sixth).
  • Amari Cooper: The Cooper-Coaster has a new home and while it’s hard to have expectations established here in Dallas, I’d be willing to kick the tires on him as a WR3 option with an extra week to get acclimated to his surroundings and the staff incorporating him in the game plan. Dallas is thirsty for a target hog and Malcolm Butler has been brutal to begin the season, allowing the second-most touchdown in his coverage this season and the fourth-most yardage on the season for all defensive backs.
  • Dion Lewis: Dallas is only allowing 72.3 rushing yards per game to backfields (seventh), but they are 27th in receptions allowed per game (6.6) to opposing backs while Lewis has been at his best when Tennessee has been forced to play catch up.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Marcus Mariota: He’s been higher than QB19 just once on the season and has thrown for more than 129 yards just twice on the season. Dallas has been an underrated defense and they play a slow a game on offense, which has prevented them from giving up a lot of production to opposing offenses. Just one quarterback has finished higher than QB14 against the Cowboys on the season.
  • Derrick Henry: He’s averaging 39 rushing yards per game with a high of 57. Dallas has only more than 55 rushing yards to two backs this season and those players received 24 and 32 carries in the game, totals all but out of the question for Henry.
  • Corey Davis: You may have to dust him off on a shallow week and he ranks sixth for all wide receivers with a 28.4 percent team target share. But it's a large piece of a small pie as he’s been WR42 or lower in every game but one and has reached 50 yards in a game just once since Week 2.
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.