For those that are new to The Worksheet, 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. This edition focuses just on the Packers-Patriots SNF showdown (Packers at Patriots, Sunday at 8:20 pm ET; watch on NBC and the NBC Sports app). For every Week 9 game, check out the full column!
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.
Packers @ Patriots
|Green Bay||Rank||@||New England||Rank|
|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.
- 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)
- Geronimo Allison/ Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Both ran nearly identical routes in the passing game last week and Valdes-Scantling now has 10, six and five targets over his past three games. He’s the preferred option over Allison if fishing here, but either receiver away from Gilmore from following Adams should find opportunities.