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The Worksheet

The NFL Week 14 Worksheet

Updated On: December 5, 2018, 10:56 am ET

Week 14 is here and hopefully you’ve secured a playoff spot in your fantasy leagues or you are putting a bow on your regular season this week. If you’ve been unfortunate this season in your leagues, there’s always DFS to keep the fantasy juices flowing.  

 

For those that are new here, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.

 

As the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is an expectations-based column over a linear start/sit forum. The labels for each subset of players for each game is simply the vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player. Players that are high performers week-to-week are held to different standards than a secondary option in an offense. Every player runs into down weeks, and we’re trying to identify those moments, even for the star players you’re going to ride through thick and thin moments that don’t tally many low points during the season. That said, we’re still embracing some of the elements that will go along with a start/sit column as a byproduct of those expectations. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process.  Remember, you control your own team. If you are curious as to my personal weekly rankings, they can be found each and every week in the Season Pass section.

All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 

 

Jaguars @ Titans

 

Jacksonville Rank @ Tennessee Rank
4   Spread -4  
16.8   Implied Total 20.8  
16.9 30 Points/Gm 18.4 28
20.2 5 Points All./Gm 20.4 6
65.0 10 Plays/Gm 59.5 28
61.2 11 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.7 14
41.3% 17 Rush% 46.8% 4
58.7% 16 Pass% 53.2% 29
43.3% 24 Opp. Rush % 43.7% 26
56.7% 9 Opp. Pass % 56.4% 7

 

  • The Jaguars are 1-5 straight up and against the spread over their past six games with the Titans and haven’t won in Tennessee since the 2013 season.
  • The average Jaguars game features 37.2 combined points, the fewest in the league.
  • The average Titans game features 38.8 combined points, 31st in the league.
  • Opponents have converted just 44.1 percent (15-of-34) of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns versus Tennessee, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 60 percent.
  • The Titans rank last in the league in sack rate (11.1 percent) and have allowed multiple sacks in 10 consecutive games, their longest streak in a single season since 1972.
  • Tennessee running backs are averaging .73 yards before contact on rushing attempts, the fewest in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Leonard Fournette: He was a top-seven scorer in all three of his games prior to suspension, receiving 26.7 touches per game. Tennessee has allowed opposing backfields to rush for 150.3 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry over the past three weeks.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Marcus Mariota: Playing his best stretch of the season, he’s been a top-10 scorer in four of his past five games. His out this week is that he’s averaging 4.1 rushing points per game while the Jaguars have allowed the most rushing yards to quarterbacks this season, but this isn’t a strong spot to chase a low-game total and Mariota has been the QB28, QB15 and QB25 over his past three meetings with the Jaguars.
  • Corey Davis: His production has found some stability with Mariota playing well, going from someone not doing much on a lot of targets to someone making the most of a few. He’s also getting moved around a little bit more, running 12.7 routes per game from the slot over his past six games as opposed to 7.5 per game prior. But Davis has had just 17.2 percent of the team targets over the past three weeks and the Jaguars are still limiting receiver production, allowing a league-low seven touchdowns to the position.
  • TEN RBs: Derrick Henry has scored in four of his past six games but has been relegated into a touchdown only option since he’s yet to even have one run of 20-plus yards this season. Dion Lewis has just 107 yards from scrimmage over the past three games, making him even more lackluster without the scoring appeal while the Jaguars are second in fantasy production surrendered to opposing backs on the season.
  • Cody Kessler: He game-managed his way to a QB24 scoring week.
  • Jaguars WRs: This is still really just a choice of Donte Moncrief or Dede Westbrook, but neither a strong option to look at with Kessler under center on a full week of fantasy options.

 

 

Panthers @ Browns

 

Carolina Rank @ Cleveland Rank
-1.5   Spread 1.5  
24.3   Implied Total 22.8  
25.3 11 Points/Gm 22.2 20
25.5 21 Points All./Gm 26.0 24
61.1 26 Plays/Gm 66.2 6
61.2 12 Opp. Plays/Gm 72.0 32
41.8% 16 Rush% 40.3% 19
58.3% 17 Pass% 59.8% 14
38.5% 10 Opp. Rush % 39.7% 15
61.5% 23 Opp. Pass % 60.3% 18

 

  • The Browns rank 29th in non-passing fantasy points allowed per game (85.5) while the Panthers rank 25th (78.4 points).
  • Cleveland ranks 30th in yards from scrimmage for fantasy allowed per game (428.3 yards).
  • Carolina's point differential per game on the road (-8.0 points) compared to at home (+7.7 points) is the largest gap in the league.
  • The Panthers are averaging 19.8 points per game on the road this season (24th) as opposed to 30.8 per game at home (eighth).
  • Carolina has forced just one turnover on 39 possessions (2.6 percent) over their four game losing streak after forcing a turnover on 16.7 percent of their opponent's possessions, which was sixth in the league.
  • Baker Mayfield has the second-highest quarterback rating in the red zone this season (115.1) behind Drew Brees (116.9) while Cam Newton is third at 114.5.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Christian McCaffrey: He has at least 50 yards both rushing and receiving in each of his past five games while averaging 160.6 total yards per game over that stretch. The Browns are allowing 165.8 total yards per game to opposing backs (28th) and could be without Larry Ogunjobi this weekend.
  • Baker Mayfield: In his worst game of the season, he still averaged 9.2 yards per pass attempt and has thrown for 9.8 yards per pass attempt over the past three weeks. Carolina has struggled defending the pass, allowing a top-10 scorer in four of their past five games, giving Mayfield streaming upside once again at home.

 

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

 

  • Cam Newton: Despite the turnovers last week, he still managed two touchdowns and 300-yards passing. However, the Panthers haven’t played well on the road and the Browns have only allowed two quarterbacks to finish inside of the top-10 this season.
  • Nick Chubb: Even in a blowout last week, he still out-touched Duke Johnson 12-2 and found the end zone for the fourth straight game. The Panthers have remained solid versus the run during their defensive collapse, allowing 76.8 rushing yards per game to backs (seventh), but Chubb is a locked in top-15 back weekly at this stage due to his volume and scoring upside.
  • Jarvis Landry: His nine targets last week were the most he’s had in a game since Week 8, but they also came in a game in which the Browns attempted 43 passes, something they may not have to roll over. Still, Landry remains a WR3 play with appeal to be more against a Carolina defense that has allowed four of the past five interior wideouts they’ve faced to post WR3 or better scoring weeks.
  • D.J. Moore: He has been a WR3 or better in three straight games with at least eight targets in each. For as good as the Browns have been against opposing quarterback points, they have allowed modest production to wideouts, ranking 28th in receptions allowed (14.3) per game to opposing wideouts.
  • David Njoku: He’s been hard to nail down recently, having fewer than 20 yards in three of his past five games, but he’s hard to move down outside of the starting caliber options at his position given the state of tight end. Carolina has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends (tied for the most) and rank 30th in receptions allowed (5.8) per game to the position.

 

 

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

 

  • Curtis Samuel: He’s run 29 and 41 routes the past two weeks as the Panthers have committed to playing him. He led the team with 11 targets a week ago and has over 18 percent of the team targets in two of his past three games. There are less volatile WR4 types overall but depending on your league size Samuel also carries rushing and touchdown upside with his snaps.

 

Ravens @ Chiefs

 

Baltimore Rank @ Kansas City Rank
7   Spread -7  
23.0   Implied Total 30.0  
24.8 13 Points/Gm 37.0 1
17.8 1 Points All./Gm 27.2 27
71.7 1 Plays/Gm 62.2 20
60.9 9 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.5 30
43.7% 10 Rush% 39.8% 21
56.3% 23 Pass% 60.2% 12
37.8% 6 Opp. Rush % 34.7% 2
62.2% 27 Opp. Pass % 65.4% 31

 

  • The Chiefs are first in the league in points per play offensively (.595) while Baltimore is first in the league in points allowed per play (.293).
  • Opponents have scored on just 29 percent of their possessions versus Baltimore, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Opponents have scored on just 27.8 percent (15-of-54) of their possessions on the road versus Kansas City (third-fewest) as opposed to scoring on 53.2 percent of their drives (third-most) versus the Chiefs while at home.
  • Kansas City's +16.2 point differential per game at home is the largest in the league.
  • Patrick Mahomes' seven games with four or more passing touchdowns is now the second-most over an NFL season, trailing Peyton Manning's nine games in 2013.
  • Travis Kelce has five or more receptions in 11 straight games, matching a team record set by Tony Gonzalez in 2008.
  • Baltimore is the only team in the league in the top-five in both rushing yardage differential (+41.9 yards) and passing yardage differential (+50.1 yards) per game.
  • The Ravens have rushed for 200 or more yards in three straight games, their longest streak in franchise history.
  • Gus Edwards has gained positive yardage on 92 percent of his carries, the highest rate in the league for all backs with 50 or more carries on the season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Travis Kelce: He is on a tear and would be the WR6 in overall scoring if you combined the primary pass-catching positions. Baltimore has also given up production to opposing tight ends over wide receiver play this season.  Tight ends have accounted for 25.9 percent of the receptions against Baltimore (31st) and 29.4 percent of the receiving yardage (31st) while they have allowed a tight end to score in five of their past six games.

 

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

 

  • Patrick Mahomes: I suppose he should technically be listed below, but we should give him tempered expectations compared to the lofty bar he has set so far this season. Mahomes has faced just two top-10 pass defenses this season in terms of passing points allowed per game -Baltimore ranks third - when entering the week and was the QB17 versus Jacksonville (15.8 points) and the QB13 versus Arizona (20.1 points). Despite their strong play, Baltimore hasn’t been invincible, allowing four top-10 scoring weeks on the season.
  • Tyreek Hill: It will be hard for him to play worse than he did last week but runs into a tough draw against a Baltimore secondary that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard receiver yet this season and just two wideouts to even reach 80-yards on the season. They’ve also been challenged so far by A.J. Green, Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown/JuJu Smith-Schuster (x2) and Julio Jones on the season. Hill only needs one play and should continue to get peppered in a few rushing attempts, while the touchdown upside is still present no matter the matchup.
  • Lamar Jackson: He’s held a solid floor each week, scoring 15.7, 20.2 and 16.5 points, but hasn’t shown a huge ceiling thus far since he’s been all rushing production. 73 percent of his scoring the past three games has come from rushing production only.
  • Gus Edwards: Opportunity and matchup align once again for Edwards. He has 17, 23 and 21 touches over his past three games and gets a Chiefs run defense that ranks 26th in rushing points allowed (15.9) per game to backfields. The remaining downside for Edwards is that he still has yet to has a receiving target over the past three weeks, leaving him potentially as a “yardage-only” fantasy option if he fails to reach the end zone that could hurt his overall volume if the Ravens fall behind early in the game.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Spencer Ware: One player won’t be Kareem Hunt in this offense, but Ware’s usage was still more promising than the end result showed. He played 49 snaps (69 percent) and ran 23 pass routes. That said, this is nowhere near as alluring as a spot as last week was, going against a Baltimore defense that has allowed opposing backs to rush for just 109 yards on 42 carries over their past three games, leaving Ware as someone you need to find the end zone.
  • BAL WRs: If Joe Flacco plays, then we can recalibrate, but with Jackson under center, Ravens wideouts have combined for 18 receptions and 207 yards with one touchdown over three games.

 

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

 

  • Ty Montgomery: He’s gotten on the field for 28 and 27 snaps the past two games and last game lead the team with seven targets in the passing game in a game which signaled that he should be used more based on an exploitable defensive weakness. That’s the case again this week against a Chiefs Defense that is allowing the most receiving points per game (16.7) to opposing backfields which includes ranking 30th in receptions and 32nd in receiving yardage and touchdowns to the position. If the Chiefs get out ahead early on, Montgomery could feasibly just end up as an outright better play than Edwards, but you're at the mercy of nailing game script.
  • Chris Conley: If Sammy Watkins is out once again, he’s the cheapest path to a piece of Mahomes and has 15 targets over his past two games. But given the aforementioned receiving struggles against Baltimore this season, he’s more of a touchdown-or-bust option.

 

Colts @ Texans

 

Indianapolis Rank @ Houston Rank
4.5   Spread -4.5  
22.3   Implied Total 26.8  
27.1 8 Points/Gm 25.2 12
23.2 15 Points All./Gm 19.6 3
66.8 5 Plays/Gm 65.3 9
63.0 17 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.7 22
36.7% 26 Rush% 48.2% 2
63.3% 7 Pass% 51.8% 31
42.7% 20 Opp. Rush % 38.4% 8
57.3% 13 Opp. Pass % 61.7% 25

 

  • Opponents have scored on just 28 percent (30-of-107) of their possessions against Houston since Week 4, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Opponents have scored a touchdown on just 18 of those possessions (16.8 percent), the lowest rate in the league.
  • Houston has allowed the fewest red zone plays (6.0 per game), and the fewest plays run inside of the 5-yard line (nine) this season.
  • Lamar Miller leads the league in rushing (605 yards) since Week 7.
  • Deshaun Watson has accounted for 85.2 percent (23-of-27) of the Houston offensive touchdowns, the highest share for a quarterback this season.
  • Last week, Andrew Luck was just 10th quarterback ever to have fewer than 250 passing yards and zero touchdowns on 50-plus attempts in a game and the first since Josh Freeman in 2013.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Eric Ebron: He received a season-high 30.8 percent of the team targets last week and has had seven or more targets in every game that Jack Doyle has missed this season. Ebron carries high touchdown upside at the position while already posting a 5-50-1 line on 10 targets against the Texans back in Week 4.
  • T.Y. Hilton: He’s garnering 25.8 percent of the team targets over the past four games with seven or more catches in three straight games. When these teams last met, Hilton notched 115 yards prior to injury.

 

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

 

  • Deshaun Watson: He is averaging just 201.4 passing yards per game over his past seven games with a high of 239 yards. He’s also thrown for more than two touchdowns just once on the season. He’s been able to get by because he’s averaging 4.1 rushing points per game. His efficiency can hold here as the Colts allow opposing passers to complete 72 percent of their passes (31st) for 7.7 yards per attempt (19th).
  • DeAndre Hopkins: With the Texans winning and becoming run-oriented, Hopkins has reached 100-yards in just one of his past seven games. But his floor has been incredible as he is the only player with at least 50 receiving yards in every game this season. He’s still received 25 percent or more of the team targets in every game but one this season, so that target volume can spike if there’s potential for a back-and-forth game here while he still has caught six of the 13 passing scores Watson has over that seven-game reduced sample.
  • Andrew Luck: Last week was the first time that Luck has failed to throw a touchdown pass in a game since Week 16 of the 2014 season. We shouldn’t expect his road bump to be as dramatic here, but the Texans haven’t allowed more than two touchdown passes since they last faced Luck in Week 4. Despite capping the passing scoring, Houston has allowed at least 290 passing yards to three of the past four quarterbacks they’ve faced.
  • Lamar Miller: He has rushed for over 100-yards in four of his past six games, the only bugaboo holding him back from being a regular RB1 given his workload on the ground is that he’s still not being used in the passing game, catching two or fewer passes in all but two games this season with one or fewer in six games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Demaryius Thomas:  He has 10 catches for 131 yards on 14 targets over his four games with Houston.
  • Marlon Mack: We’ve been picking our spots with Mack as a matchup play so far and he gets another subpar paper outlook once again this week. Houston hasn’t allowed more than 60-yards rushing to a back since Week 6 and are allowing 115.9 total yards per game to backfield on the season (eighth).

        Patriots @ Dolphins

         

        New England Rank @ Miami Rank
        -8   Spread 8  
        27.5   Implied Total 19.5  
        27.6 7 Points/Gm 20.3 25
        21.6 10 Points All./Gm 25.0 20
        67.1 3 Plays/Gm 56.3 31
        65.2 26 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.6 21
        43.7% 9 Rush% 42.5% 13
        56.3% 24 Pass% 57.5% 20
        35.8% 4 Opp. Rush % 45.7% 30
        64.2% 29 Opp. Pass % 54.3% 3

         

        • New England is 1-4 over their past five trips to Miami, scoring an average of -5.5 points per game under their implied total in those games.
        • New England is averaging 21.7 points per game on the road this season (18th) as opposed to 33.5 points per game at home this season (fifth).
        • Miami is allowing 20.5 points per game at home (13th) as opposed to 29.5 points per game on the road (28th).
        • Miami is the only team in the league to score more touchdowns from outside of the red zone (13) than inside (12).
        • The Dolphins have run just five offensive plays inside of the opponent's 5-yard line this season, the fewest in the NFL.
        • New England has run 33 offensive plays inside of the 5-yard line, third in the league.
        • James White's 103 targets are the most for a running back through 12 games since targets were tracked in 1999.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Sony Michel: In what was a bad draw last week against a tough Minnesota run defense, Michel handled 17 carries in the run game while the rest of the Patriots backfield totaled for 17. Miami has been pummeled by the run game all season, allowing 188 or more rushing yards in four of their past six games and got steamrolled for 175 rushing yards and two scores when these teams met earlier in the season. James Develin can only keep channeling his inner John Kuhn for so long.

         

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

         

        • Tom Brady: The last time that Brady was a QB1 was back in Week 7, but he’s still averaging 293.2 passing yards per game over his QB2 streak. What has hurt Brady is that New England has eight rushing touchdowns to just four passing scores over that span. Miami’s run defense is so porous that the New England run game could smother all the scores once again, but the Dolphins are also 24th in passing touchdown rate (5.8 percent) allowed, so there’s nothing to run from here outside of the New England ghosts visitng Miami of recent past.
        • Julian Edelman: Last week was his first single-digit scoring game of the season, but he still received 25 percent of the team looks. Miami is middle of the pack against slot wideouts, ranking 18th on the season.
        • James White: After two weeks in which he looked like he may be taking a step back, he led the Patriots in receiving a week ago. This matchup doesn’t set up to limit the run game like a week ago, but White still was peppered into the run game and has had double-digit touches in 9-of-12 games this season.
        • Josh Gordon: He’s been a WR3 or better in five of his past six games but does have just eight total targets the past two games while averaging 5.8 targets per game over his past four games played with Gronk in the lineup. Gordon will draw Xavien Howard most of the New England wideouts, but as was the case last week in a poor matchup, he still carries upside.
        • Rob Gronkowski: He’s had just three receptions in each of his past four games and has had more than four catches in just two games on the season. He’s impossible to rank outside of the top of the position still given the landscape of the position, his offense and scoring upside, but the week-winning version of Gronk is something we can’t count on appearing at this stage of 2018.
        • Kenyan Drake: He hasn’t rushed for more than 32 yards in a game since Week 8 and we shouldn’t expect him to out-carry Frank Gore by any means. Where Drake should be used is in the passing game, where he has out-target Gore 59-15 on the season. New England is allowing 6.3 receptions per game to opposing backs (28th) and are 23rd in receiving points allowed per game to the position.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Ryan Tannehill: He has five touchdown passes in his two games returning to the lineup but has thrown for just 204 and 137 yards. As a large underdog, he’s left in QB2 territory.
        • Miami WRs: With Tannehill coming back, they’ve spread a small amount of opportunity around. Miami wideouts have combined to catch 18 passes for 208 yards over the past two weeks. All you can do here is chase a touchdown.

         

        Giants @ Washington

         

        NY Giants Rank @ Washington Rank
        1.5   Spread -1.5  
        20.0   Implied Total 21.5  
        22.2 19 Points/Gm 19.4 27
        26.2 25 Points All./Gm 21.4 8
        60.8 27 Plays/Gm 62.2 21
        64.7 25 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.2 18
        34.3% 28 Rush% 42.0% 14
        65.7% 5 Pass% 58.0% 19
        43.7% 27 Opp. Rush % 38.5% 11
        56.3% 6 Opp. Pass % 61.5% 22

         

        • Neither one of these teams have scored more than 20 points in any of their past four meetings.
        • Saquon Barkley's 1,556 yards from scrimmage rank fifth all-time for a rookie through 12 games of a season.
        • Barkley's 11 games of 100-plus yards from scrimmage are the most by a rookie through 12 games in any season.
        • Barkley is tied with Peyton Barber for a league-high 44 carries that have failed to gain positive yardage.
        • Barkley leads the league in runs of 20-plus yards (12), which have resulted in 43.7 percent of his rushing output, the highest rate for all backs on those carries.
        • Since allowing 38 yards on 13 carries to Barkley in Week 8, Washington has allowed opposing backs to rush for 122 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Saquon Barkley: His rushing production has ramped up over the past three weeks, going over 100-yards on the ground in each of those games while still receiving 16.5 percent of the team targets. Washington’s run defense hasn’t been the same since these teams last played.
        • Odell Beckham: He’s averaged just four receptions per game over the past four games but has gone over 100-yards in four of his six games versus Washington, including 136 yards when these teams last met in Week 8.

         

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

         

        • Jordan Reed: If going from Alex Smith to Colt McCoy wasn’t enough, Reed is now catching passes from Mark Sanchez. Sanchez did target Reed the most in relief (5-of-20 passes) on Monday, but he turned those into just 17 yards. Tight end is so poor that Reed retains TE1 viability but comes along with a low-ceiling.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Eli Manning: We’ve only tabbed Manning as a streaming option when his matchups have been pristine. He’s thrown multiple touchdowns just twice over his past seven games, with those games coming against Tampa Bay and San Francisco.
        • Sterling Shepard: He’s had 37 yards or fewer in each of his past five games with four or fewer receptions in each.
        • Adrian Peterson: He pulled off the rare feat of having a 90-yard touchdown run last week and ending the game with 98 yards rushing. Washington lost two more offensive lineman on Monday Night, making Peterson a tough choice to have faith in when he’s had 3.6 yards per carry or less in four of his past five games behind this battered offensive front.
        • Mark Sanchez: He averaged just 4.4 yards per pass coming in Monday Night and has had just two weeks with the team overall while his supporting cast in Washington is actually not supporting at all. 

         

        Saints @ Buccaneers

         

        New Orleans Rank @ Tampa Bay Rank
        -8   Spread 8  
        32.0   Implied Total 24.0  
        34.9 3 Points/Gm 26.5 10
        22.4 13 Points All./Gm 29.6 30
        63.9 13 Plays/Gm 67.7 2
        59.8 2 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.3 13
        47.3% 3 Rush% 37.1% 25
        52.7% 30 Pass% 62.9% 8
        35.6% 3 Opp. Rush % 39.8% 16
        64.4% 30 Opp. Pass % 60.2% 17

         

        • The Saints rank second in the league in yardage gained per possession (41.9 yards) while the Buccaneers rank fourth (39.2 yards).
        • Tampa Bay is allowing 19.3 points per game at home (eighth) as opposed to 39.8 points per game on the road (32nd).
        • Opponents have scored on just 21.1 percent (8-of-38) of their possessions versus the Saints over the past four weeks, the lowest rate in the league.
        • 77.8 percent of the Tampa Bay yardage is through passing, trailing only Atlanta (79.1 percent).
        • 78.7 percent of the yardage allowed by New Orleans has been via passing, the highest rate in the league.
        • The Saints average 13.4 red zone plays per game, the most in the league.
        • Opponents have converted 85.4 percent (35-of-41) of their red zone possessions for touchdowns versus the Buccaneers, the highest rate in the league.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Drew Brees: He still has been much better at home this season, throwing 20-of-30 passing scores in New Orleans, but he has two top-3 scoring weeks on the road this season when the matchups were just too good to ignore against the Falcons and Bengals. He has another similar opponent here as Tampa Bay is allowing the league’s highest completion rate (72.4 percent) and Brees is tops in that mark in the league. The only things that could limit Brees here is if Tampa Bay is stifled by the hot Saints Defense and if the bulk of New Orleans scores fall on the rushing side of the split.
        • Alvin Kamara: Tampa Bay has been crushed by all running backs this season, but they’ve especially struggled against combo backs, allowing top-5 scoring weeks to Saquon Barkley, twice to Christian McCaffrey, Joe Mixon and Kamara himself. Kamara has been a major thorn in their side, catching at least six passes in all three career meetings while Kamara has scored seven touchdowns over those three games.
        • Michael Thomas: While Thomas’ historically efficient season has been fun to keep tabs on, it has given him a small surface area that hasn’t always led to great fantasy results. He’s averaging just 7.2 targets per game over his past nine games played and outside of his 211-yard Week 9, is averaging just 63.9 yards per game over that span. This is a great spot to get him back on track and jam him with targets if New Orleans wants as Tampa Bay is 31st in the league in points per game allowed to opposing lead wideouts (18.9) and Thomas has at least 94 receiving yards in three of four games these teams have played, including a 16-catch, 180-yard performance back when the season kicked off.
        • Mike Evans: Even with the Saints defensive turnaround, they are still giving up big games weekly to opposing wideouts. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup combined for a 13-151 line a week ago while Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley had 19-240-1 two weeks ago. Evans caught all four of his targets for 115 yards and a score against Marshon Lattimore in Week 1, so he can still get over.

         

         

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

         

        • Jameis Winston: In the four games that Winston has completely played, he’s been the QB1, QB10, QB8 and the QB6. He’s played turnover-free football the past two weeks, but this Saints Defense is much better than those he’s faced in those starts. New Orleans has held Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan and Andy Dalton to four touchdown passes over the past four weeks. I still believe Winston is a QB1 option this week, but one that moves him into the lower-end of that tier.
        • Adam Humphries: He’s been a top-24 scorer in five of his past six games, averaging 5.5 catches per game over that span with five touchdowns. The Saints have been better against slot options as of late, but Humphries is second on the team in targets with Winston under center.
        • Chris Godwin: We need DeSean Jackson to miss the game to elevate his status, but over the three games that Jackson has missed with the Bucs, Godwin has been the WR21 (3-98-0), WR7 (7-111-1) and the WR8 (5-101-1).
        • Mark Ingram: He’s only in play when we we’re looking for the Saints to light up the scoreboard and the matchup is soft. Both are in play here while the Buccaneers have allowed 18 touchdowns to opposing backs this season (31st).

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Cameron Brate: He has three or fewer catches in each of his past four games with O.J. Howard sidelined and the Saints have smothered opposing tight ends, ranking third in receptions allowed to the position with just one touchdown allowed this season.
        • Peyton Barber: He’s found the end zone three games in a row, so you can keep chasing the short touchdown being in play, but he’s still rushed 32 times for 94 yards the past two weeks and isn’t catching passes while the Saints rank second in total yards per game allowed to opposing backfields.

         

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

         

        • Tre’Quan Smith: He’s a risky play since he hasn’t even caught a pass in each of his past two games on the road, but he still ran 29 pass routes last week compared to 20 for Keith Kirkwood and the matchup versus the Tampa Bay defense is one to pursue.

         

        Falcons @ Packers

         

        Atlanta Rank @ Green Bay Rank
        6   Spread -6  
        21.3   Implied Total 27.3  
        24.7 14 Points/Gm 23.4 16
        27.8 28 Points All./Gm 23.9 17
        62.8 18 Plays/Gm 63.7 16
        63.8 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.5 20
        33.1% 30 Rush% 33.5% 29
        66.9% 3 Pass% 66.5% 4
        41.4% 19 Opp. Rush % 44.0% 28
        58.6% 14 Opp. Pass % 56.0% 5

         

        • The Falcons have scored a touchdown on just 16.2 percent (6-of-32) of their possessions the past four weeks (29th) after 32.9 percent prior (fourth).
        • Over that span, the Falcons have averaged 17.0 points per game after averaging 28.5 points per game through nine games.
        • Just 20. 9 percent of the Atlanta offensive yardage has come from rushing production, the lowest rate in the league.
        • Aaron Rodgers has not thrown an interception on 336 consecutive pass attempts, the longest streak in the league.
        • Aaron Jones has rushed for a touchdown in four straight games, the longest streak for the Packers since Eddie Lacy in 2013.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Aaron Rodgers: Narratives of Rodgers having a big game post Mike McCarthy firing aside, this is as good of a matchup Rodgers has had in a few weeks after running into the Arizona and Minnesota pass defenses in his past two games. Rodgers torched his last strong matchup (QB6 vs Seattle) while Atlanta has allowed eight different passers to post 20 or more fantasy points and are 26th in passing points allowed per game (17.9). Rodgers has thrown nine touchdowns in three games played versus Dan Quinn’s defense while in Atlanta.
        • Davante Adams: He’s had just one game outside of the top-20 this season with a low-scoring week of WR28. That game came back in Week 4 as he’s averaged 7.1 catches for 103.4 yards over his past eight games with eight touchdowns.
        • Julio Jones: Not only did his 100-yard streak snap, but his 18 yards last week were his fewest in a game since Week 3 of 2016. We shouldn’t expect that happen again while the Packers are 23rd in points per game allowed to opposing lead wideouts (16.9).

         

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

         

        • Aaron Jones: He went back down to 51 percent of the team snaps last week and we’ll have to see if the coaching shake up impacts any rotation between he and Jamaal Williams, but I’d have little concern that Jones won’t bounce back as a home favorite against an Atlanta defense that is 30th in points per game allowed to backfields.
        • Jimmy Graham: His 22 percent share of the team targets last week was his largest piece of the passing game on the season. Graham hasn’t given us reason to believe that usage will be sticky, but as you know, tight end is awful and it’s a great spot for Rodgers. We also can’t count on any of the ancillary Green Bay wide receivers, keeping Graham in the TE1 mix.
        • Matt Ryan: I didn’t discount Ryan enough against Baltimore last week as the Falcons Offense has now struggled over the past four weeks against three of the better pass defenses in the league. The Packers are no push over but have allowed top-10 weeks to both Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson over the past three weeks sandwiched by games against bottom-feeders in Josh Rosen and Brock Osweiler.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Austin Hooper: Hooper is fourth for all tight ends in receptions this season. It’s true. I even looked it up. That said, he’s only been a TE1 in two of his past six games but has at least 18 percent of the Atlanta targets in three of the past four games. Green Bay has been strong against opposing tight end play, allowing more than four catches to a tight end in just two games this season and just one touchdown to the position.
        • Calvin Ridley: We just can’t trust him without a touchdown. That’s the long-running theme with him on the season. He’s gone over 47 yards in a game just twice over the past nine games and has three or fewer catches in four of the past five weeks. Chasing a touchdown against Green Bay (25th in touchdowns allowed to wideouts) isn’t the worst move you can make, but Ridley’s entire ceiling is contingent on him finding the end zone.
        • Tevin Coleman: He has 18 touches for 34 yards the past two weeks against the league’s two toughest defenses against opposing backfields. The Falcons running game has been broken all season, so we can’t count on rushing points here as a road underdog. That leaves us to count on Coleman as a receiver and the Packers have allowed the fifth-fewest receptions to backfields on the year.

        Jets @ Bills

         

        NY Jets Rank @ Buffalo Rank
        3.5   Spread -3.5  
        17.5   Implied Total 21.0  
        20.2 26 Points/Gm 14.8 31
        25.6 22 Points All./Gm 24.4 18
        61.1 25 Plays/Gm 62.8 17
        66.3 28 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.5 7
        41.9% 15 Rush% 46.3% 5
        58.1% 18 Pass% 53.7% 28
        43.0% 22 Opp. Rush % 43.3% 23
        57.0% 11 Opp. Pass % 56.8% 10

         

        • The Bills are averaging 397.7 total yards per game over their past three games (ninth) after averaging 248.3 yards per game through nine games (31st).
        • The Jets have allowed 205 rushing yards per game over their past three games, the most in the league.
        • Only Cam Newton has more runs of double-digit yardage (20) than Josh Allen (15) for all quarterbacks this season while Allen's 27.3 percent rate of such carries is first at the position.
        • Allen has completed 45 percent (27-of-60) of his third down passes, the lowest rate for all qualifying quarterbacks.
        • The Jets are last in the league in rate of runs to gain five or more yards (31.4 percent) and 30th in the league in rate of runs that fail to gain any yardage (22.7 percent).
        • The Bills are first in the league in rate of opponent runs that fail to gain yardage (27.9 percent).

         

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

         

        • LeSean McCoy: He was a let down in a great spot last week, but here we are again. Only this time as a home favorite. That’s right, the Bills are favorites for the first time this season. In 12 games as a home favorite in Buffalo, McCoy has averaged 134.8 yards from scrimmage and 24.1 fantasy points per game. We can’t count on those type of numbers spilling over, but he did drop 118 yards and two scores on this Jets Defense back in Week 10 on the road.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        Jets Offense: There’s not a Jets player I would willingly entertain using in this game.

         

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

         

        • Josh Allen: He’s not a clean starting option, but if you’re an underdog in a 2QB league, he’s in consideration over a pedestrian option because his ceiling and floor are so far apart. Allen has now been a top-5 scorer in three of seven starts this season and the QB28 or lower in the other four starts. Over the past two weeks, he’s provided 15.9 and 13.5 rushing points. His rushing production hasn’t been as predictable as someone like Lamar Jackson, but the upside has proven to be more present.
        • Zay Jones: He’s had four or more catches in four of his past five games and leads the team with 18.6 percent of the targets with Allen under center. He has a low floor just like Allen, but he also draws a great matchup as the Jets are 31st in production allowed to slot receivers, including an 8-93-1 game to Jones himself back in Week 10 with Matt Barkley under center.

         

        Bengals @ Chargers

         

        Cincinnati Rank @ LA Chargers Rank
        14   Spread -14  
        17.0   Implied Total 31.0  
        23.8 15 Points/Gm 28.3 6
        30.9 32 Points All./Gm 20.8 7
        59.2 30 Plays/Gm 59.2 29
        69.8 31 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.0 10
        34.4% 27 Rush% 42.8% 12
        65.6% 6 Pass% 57.2% 21
        45.0% 29 Opp. Rush % 39.1% 13
        55.0% 4 Opp. Pass % 60.9%  

         

        • The Bengals have now had the lead for just 20 percent of their offensive plays this season, ahead of only Arizona (17.6 percent).
        • Since their bye, the Bengals have led for 7-of-229 offensive snaps while trailing for 189 of those plays.
        • Since their Week 9 bye, the Bengals are allowing 203.3 rushing yards per game with over 200 yards in three of those four games.
        • Over that span, opponents have run the ball 63.3 percent of their offensive snaps versus the Bengals, the highest rate in the league.
        • The Bengals are allowing 172.4 rushing yards per game on the road, the most in the league.
        • Philip Rivers has thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this season, joining Aaron Rodgers (2011), Peyton Manning (2004) and Johnny Unitas (1959) as the only quarterbacks to do so through 12 games of a season.
        • Keenan Allen’s 52.8 percent share of the team targets last week was the highest total for a player in a game this season.
        • Joe Mixon averages 15.7 touches for 87 yards in Cincinnati losses as opposed to 23.4 touches for 122.3 yards per game in wins.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Phillip Rivers: After a slight lull, he’s been a QB1 in each of his past three games. Game script may suppress his volume here, but the Bengals rank 29th in passing points allowed per game (18.4) and are 27th in touchdown passes allowed (26).
        • Keenan Allen: He’s come out of the bye on fire, catching a touchdown pass in each of the past four games while being a top-12 scorer in four of the five games since the break.

         

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

         

        • Chargers RBs: This is a dream spot for a lead back, but still a favorable one for a split. We should anticipate Justin Jackson earning a larger role while Austin Ekeler is just likely a player that is better suited to have the type of ancillary role he’s had all season. Ekeler managed just 43 yards on 18 touches while Jackson posted 82 yards on nine touches last week. More noteworthy is that Jackson out-touched Ekeler 7-4 in the fourth quarter last week while the Chargers were playing to get ahead and secure the game. While we can’t forecast an official touch count here -hurting both players initial outlook some – we do know this is a tremendous spot. The Chargers are massive favorites at home against a Bengals Defense that has allowed a league-high 19 touchdowns to opposing backfields and a league-high 179.3 yards from scrimmage to the position. I would play both of these backs this week as RB2 options with upside for more.
        • Tyler Boyd: With A.J. Green back out, he’s locked into target volume each week and he’s been strong catching passes from Driskel over the past two games, catching 11-of-13 targets for 159 yards and a touchdown.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Joe Mixon: The Bengals use of Mixon continues to be infuriating. A week after keeping him on the field all game and letting him rack up season-highs in the passing game, Mixon once again came off the field in junk script. His 57.4 percent snap rate last week was his second-lowest on the season as he ran just 17 pass routes after running 30 routes the week prior. The reason that is all relevant is because we have the Bengals in a terrible spot as huge dogs on the road, forcing us to be caught in the wind on whether or not Mixon will come off the field when the Bengals fall behind.  For that, we have to treat him as a lower-end RB2 based on the body of his work in losses so far.
        • Jeff Driskel: He was the QB22 in his first start last week and just hasn’t run (six attempts the past two weeks) like his profile suggests he should. As a huge road dog against a good defense, he’s tough to stock any faith in.

         

        Broncos @ 49ers

         

        Denver Rank @ San Francisco Rank
        -5.5   Spread 5.5  
        24.5   Implied Total 19.0  
        23.0 17 Points/Gm 21.2 22
        21.8 11 Points All./Gm 28.0 29
        61.5 24 Plays/Gm 63.9 14
        65.3 27 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.8 16
        40.2% 20 Rush% 43.0% 11
        59.8% 13 Pass% 57.0% 22
        39.7% 14 Opp. Rush % 41.4% 18
        60.3% 19 Opp. Pass % 58.6% 15

         

        • Opposing teams have scored a touchdown on just 5-of-33 (15.2 percent) possessions against the Broncos over the past three weeks, 29th in the league.
        • Phillip Lindsay has posted over 7.0 yards per carry on double-digit carries in three straight games, the longest such streak for a running back since Fred Taylor in 2007.
        • 60.5 percent of Lindsay's rushing yardage has been gained prior to contact this season, the highest rate for all players with over 100 carries on the season.
        • Broncos running backs have rushed for 1,484 yards this season, the most in the league.
        • 49ers running backs have rushed for 1,433 yards, third in the league.
        • Since allowing back-to-back 200-yard rushing games in Weeks 5-6, Denver has allowed opposing backs to rush 117 times for 415 yards (3.5 YPC) and zero touchdowns over their past six games.
        • The five takeaways by the 49ers are the fewest through 12 games of any season in league history.
        • San Francisco hasn't forced a turnover in four straight games, their longest streak in franchise history.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Phillip Lindsay: He’s averaging 111.2 yards from scrimmage on 17.3 touches per game over his past six games. The only real blemish is that the Broncos have yet to involve him in the passing game given his speed in the open field and the fact that he caught 117 passes over his collegiate career.
        • George Kittle: He hasn’t blown the doors off scoring with Mullens under center but Kittle has been a TE1 in all four of his starts and has averaged 10.3 targets per game over the past three weeks. He’s not Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz but Kittle has been as reliable weekly as anyone outside of those two at tight end.

         

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

         

        • Emmanuel Sanders: He’s going to run 82 percent of his routes away from Richard Sherman and is still the best bet to lead the team in opportunity. That’s the good news. The potentially bad news is that the Broncos have thrown just 21 and 22 passes in the past two games that won going away against the Bengals and Cardinals. Sanders still has a plus matchup and volume potential to have higher upside, but also has been held to fewer than 60-yards receiving in four of his past five games.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Case Keenum: He has another great paper play this week, but the Broncos have shown they prefer to limit him in these spots and run the football as Keenum’s best fantasy moments have come chasing points regularly.
        • Nick Mullens: He’s been all over the map in regard to fantasy as he was the QB7 last week, passing for 414 yards. The matchup was good, but we were coming off Mullens laying an unusable game versus a Tampa Bay defense the week prior. Denver is beatable on the back end, but their pass rush is seventh in sack rate. The bottom line is that on a full week, Mullens is a tough sell in this spot.

         

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

         

        • Jeff Wilson: With Matt Breida out this week, Wilson will lead a San Francisco backfield that has been productive through a number of players this season. Last week, Wilson played 72 percent of the team snaps, amassing 23 touches for 134 yards. The matchup is tougher this week, but Wilson also had nine targets in the passing game last week, giving him an opportunity to circumvent any struggles on the ground.
        • Courtland Sutton: It’s another week to take a swing on Sutton if you need the upside. We mentioned last week that he had a string of bad individual matchups prior to last week’s stellar one and he had a season-high 33.3 percent of the team targets last week, turning them into a 4-85-1 line. This week, he will see Sherman more than Sanders, but will still run 73 percent of his routes against the other weak members of the 49ers secondary we’ve been picking on this season. The downside is that volume could end up being a concern if Denver controls the script.
        • Dante Pettis: He has 20 targets over the past three games and has been the WR20 and WR3 over the past two weeks. The only rain cloud is that Marquise Goodwin is on track to return this week, but Denver has lost Chris Harris on the back end, leaving an opportunity for Pettis to continue to be productive if he can continue to find his way to 15 percent of the team targets.

         

        Eagles @ Cowboys

         

        Philadelphia Rank @ Dallas Rank
        4.5   Spread -4.5  
        18.5   Implied Total 23.0  
        21.5 21 Points/Gm 20.6 24
        22.2 12 Points All./Gm 18.6 2
        65.3 8 Plays/Gm 62.1 22
        60.7 8 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.4 6
        38.0% 23 Rush% 45.0% 6
        62.0% 10 Pass% 55.0% 27
        33.9% 1 Opp. Rush % 41.1% 17
        66.1% 32 Opp. Pass % 58.9% 16

         

        • The Cowboys are one of three teams to not have a game with more than two passing touchdowns offensively, joining the Titans and Bills.
        • Dallas is the only team in the league that has yet to allow more than two touchdown passes in any game this season.
        • Dallas has allowed a touchdown on just 15.9 percent (10-of-63) of opponent's possessions on the road, the lowest rate in the league.
        • The Eagles have allowed 139 rushing yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry to opposing backfields over their past four games with five rushing touchdowns.
        • Through the opening eight games, they had allowed 50.6 rushing yards per game, 3.8 yards per carry and two rushing scores to backs.
        • Ezekiel Elliott has six games this season with five or more receptions -including four games in a row- after having just one game with at least five catches over his first two seasons.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Ezekiel Elliott: He’s put up 155.8 yards per game over his past five and has 28 receptions over that span after 25 receptions through seven games. The Eagles run defense has fallen off heavily starting when these teams last played.
        • Zach Ertz: He has been a top-3 scorer in seven of his past nine games, while lighting the Cowboys up for a 14-145-2 line the last time these teams played. That type of output is lofty to duplicate, but Ertz has had eight or more targets in every game but two this season, so expect another strong game from him.

         

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

         

        • Amari Cooper: He’s become a sturdy WR2, receiving at least 25 percent of the team targets in four of five games with the Cowboys, including catching 6-of-10 targets for 75 yards when these teams last played in Week 10.
        • Dak Prescott: His efficiency has taken off since Cooper was added, completing 72.7 percent of his passes for 7.9 yards per attempt, but has still been the QB17 or lower in three of those five games for fantasy purposes. One of those QB1 games was when these teams last played in Philadelphia when the Eagles Defense was a bit healthier than it is now. At home, he should carry a similar floor with upside.
        • Carson Wentz: He got back on track for fantasy purposes last week and while Dallas has limited the ceiling potential for opposing quarterback play, Wentz threw for a season-high 360 yards when these teams last played. That type of yardage and volume (44 passes) shouldn’t repeat itself here, but Wentz is still in play as a lower-end QB1.
        • Golden Tate: He’s received seven or more targets in each of the past three games while coming off his best game (7-85-1) since joining the team. The Cowboys have stellar versus boundary receiving options, giving Tate the opportunity in continuing to see the targets come in his direction.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Alshon Jeffery: He has 18 catches for 186 yards and no touchdowns over his past five games while being out-targeted by Golden Tate 23-13 over the past three games.
        • Josh Adams: He’s had nearly two identical games with 22 touches for 84 yards and 20 touches for 85 yards over the past two games but is another back who has been a yardage only option. Adams has just one receiving target over the past two games and the game script here could reduce his touch count. It’s hard to outright bench his volume, but that makes Adams a touchdown or bust type of RB2 against a Cowboys run defense that hasn’t allowed more than 62 yards on the ground to a back since Week 7.

        Steelers @ Raiders

         

        Pittsburgh Rank @ Oakland Rank
        -11   Spread 11  
        31.3   Implied Total 20.3  
        28.8 4 Points/Gm 18.3 29
        23.5 16 Points All./Gm 30.6 31
        66.8 4 Plays/Gm 62.7 19
        63.4 19 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.3 5
        32.8% 31 Rush% 38.2% 22
        67.2% 2 Pass% 61.8% 11
        37.8% 7 Opp. Rush % 51.0% 32
        62.2% 26 Opp. Pass % 49.0% 1

         

        • The Steelers are first in the league in passing yardage per game differential (+92.2 yards) than their opponent.
        • Opposing passers are throwing a touchdown pass once every 11.9 pass attempts against the Raiders, the highest rate in the league.
        • Pittsburgh leads the league in sack differential (+24) while Oakland ranks last (-29).
        • Oakland faces the most red zone plays per game (10.8) while Pittsburgh faces 6.4 per game (second).
        • Opponents have scored on 50.8 percent of their possessions versus Oakland, the highest rate in the league.
        • The Raiders are the only team to run an offensive play while trailing in the second half of every game this season.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Ben Roethlisberger: He’s been better at home this season like he has in the past but has still thrown for 350.5 yards per game on the road. We’re also getting him in a late start game, which hasn’t been an issue for his road production over recent years. It also doesn’t hurt that he receives the lightest amount pressure in the league and the Raiders have the worst pass rush in a decade. The Steelers should give an Oakland pass defense that has allowed a league-high 29 passing touchdowns all it can handle.
        • Antonio Brown: He has 13 targets in each of the past three games and is coming off his best game of the season. The Steelers should remain pass-heavy when building a lead here with their banged up running back unit and Brown has scored in 10-of-12 games so far on the year.
        • JuJu Smith-Schuster: The Steelers are already a pass-first team and the Raiders can’t stop the pass. Pittsburgh should find little resistance against an Oakland defense allowing al league-high 8.7 yards per pass attempt and is allowing opposing wideouts to score once ever 12 passing targets, 30th in the league.

         

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

         

        • Jared Cook: He’s averaging just 42.3 yards over his past eight games but has found the end zone in three straight games and has averaged 19.9 percent of the team targets over the past four games.
        • Jaylen Samuels: We should expect Stevan Ridley to be involved and potentially even be the goal line option, but Samuels offers a lot of upside with his receiving ability and versatility, which makes him a solid asset, even if he shares carries in the running game. His touchdown upside is in question, leaving him as a lower-end RB2, but Oakland is 27th in yardage allowed per game opposing backfields.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Derek Carr: It’s doubtful that Carr has the second-half fireworks that he posted on a Chiefs Defense that has traveled poorly this season here against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has allowed just one QB1-scoring game since Week 4 and it came last week to Philip Rivers.
        • Doug Martin: Martin has scored in each of the past two games but has 72 or fewer total yards in four of the six games he’s started. With Stefon Tuitt back in the lineup, the Steelers run defense was back in business last week, allowing 84 yards on 21 carries to backs.
        • Jordy Nelson: He had 11 targets last week after receiving 12 over his previous five games combined, making it hard to stock his viability here against a defense that has struggled with interior receiver play more than boundary options.
        • Jalen Richard: His receiving work has taken a dip, receiving four targets in each of the past three games, while we can’t count on another 6-95 rushing line to anchor his overall yardage.

         

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

         

        • Vance McDonald: He’s been held to fewer than 30 yards in four of his past five games and hasn’t reached 50-yards receiving in a game since Week 6. That said, 28.1 percent of the receptions allowed by Oakland have gone to the tight end position (32nd) while 30 percent of the receiving yardage allowed by the Raiders has posted by tight ends, the highest share in the league.

         

        Lions @ Cardinals

         

        Detroit Rank @ Arizona Rank
        -2.5   Spread 2.5  
        21.5   Implied Total 19.0  
        21.2 23 Points/Gm 14.6 32
        26.3 26 Points All./Gm 25.8 23
        64.0 12 Plays/Gm 54.6 32
        58.2 1 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.1 29
        37.2% 24 Rush% 41.2% 18
        62.8% 9 Pass% 58.8% 15
        43.5% 25 Opp. Rush % 46.1% 31
        56.5% 8 Opp. Pass % 53.9% 2

         

        • The Lions have scored a touchdown on 15.4 percent (10-of-65) of their possessions over their past six games, 29th in the league over that span.
        • Detroit has averaged just 16.1 points per game six Week 8, ahead of only the Jets (12.2 points) over that span.
        • Bruce Ellington and Theo Riddick have accounted for 41 percent of the Detroit targets the past three weeks, but just 16 percent of the team air yards.
        • The Cardinals are the only team in the league to punt on over half of their possessions (52.6 percent).
        • Josh Rosen has completed just 43.3 percent (13-of-30) of his red zone passes, ahead of only Ryan Fitzpatrick (37.8 percent).

         

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

         

        • Kenny Golladay: He’s received at least eight targets in each of the past four games and his past game was filled with “almost” moments with him failing to keep a foot in bounds on a touchdown and another long reception. That said, his overall volume shouldn’t get too gaudy with the Lions playing as favorites in a sure to be slow-paced game.
        • Larry Fitzgerald: If you can get yourself excited to play a wide receiver that has gone over 50 yards once over his past 11 games, then this the time for you. Joking aside, Fitzgerald has at least 20 percent of the Arizona targets in six of the past seven weeks and Detroit has been thumped by slot receivers when passed on, ranking 26th in points allowed to interior wideouts on the season.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Matthew Stafford: He’s just been unable to generate any fantasy production with the state this offense is in, finishing as a QB1 just once on the season while the Cardinals rank 10th in passing points allowed (14.3) per game.
        • Josh Rosen: The Lions pass defense isn’t one to run from, but Rosen has had quite a few strong matchups and he just hasn’t been able to turn them into much for fantasy purposes. He’s yet to turn in a QB1 fantasy game and has been above QB23 just twice.
        • David Johnson: It’s already been a kick to the face over and over by how Arizona how Johnson has been used this season, but now they’re going to mix in letting him get snaked on goal-line touches, too? Johnson is a tough sit based on him averaging 20 touches per game, but he’s caught four passes for 36 yards over the past three games and Detroit has allowed 87.2 rushing yards per game over their past six games to opposing backfields.

         

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

         

        • Bruce Ellington: He’s caught 19-of-26 targets the past three games but has turned them into just 115 total yards since he’s basically the wide receiver version of Riddick. Still, if you need those double-digit points in your lineup, they’re there for you.
        • Theo Riddick: He’s had 60 total yards or fewer in every game this season but has still been an RB3 or better in five straight games. There are higher-upside receiving backs to play, but like Ellington, the low-upside points are there if you need them.
        • LeGarrette Blount: He’s still a break-glass option as he handled 16-of-25 rushing attempts last week in a loss while this week the Lions are favorites against an Arizona run defense that has allowed a league-high 15 rushing touchdowns on the season.

         

        Rams @ Bears

         

        LA Rams Rank @ Chicago Rank
        -3   Spread 3  
        27.8   Implied Total 24.8  
        34.9 2 Points/Gm 28.7 5
        24.8 19 Points All./Gm 20.1 4
        65.6 7 Plays/Gm 63.8 15
        60.2 4 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.2 24
        43.8% 8 Rush% 44.3% 7
        56.2% 25 Pass% 55.7% 26
        38.9% 12 Opp. Rush % 35.9% 5
        61.1% 21 Opp. Pass % 64.1% 28

         

        • The Rams are first in the league in red zone opportunities per game (5.2) while the Bears are tied for first in allowing just 2.5 red zone opportunities per game.
        • The Rams average 7.1 yards per play on first down, the most in the league.
        • Chicago allows 4.5 yards per play on first down, the fewest in the league.
        • The Rams are first in the league in rate of runs that gain five or more yards (45.1 percent) and are last in the league in rate of runs allowed that gain five or more yards (42.6 percent).
        • Todd Gurley leads the league in runs that have gained five or more yards with 97. The next closest player (Ezekiel Elliott) has 80. Gurley also leads the league in runs of 10-plus yards (33).
        • Chicago has allowed the lowest rate of runs to gain five or more yards (28.9 percent) and rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (7.2 percent) on the season.
        • 84 percent (21-of-25) of the offensive touchdowns allowed by the Bears this season have been passing, the highest split in the league.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Todd Gurley: After having his first game of the season without a touchdown prior to the bye, Gurley came back to find the end zone twice and rack up 165 yards in the process. The Bears have been great versus the run this season but have also faced one of the lightest schedules on the season in that regard and have allowed the Giants backfield (29-141) and Lions backs (21-100-2) to find success over their past two games.
        • Tarik Cohen: He’s been lower than RB17 in just two of his past nine games, providing a consistent high-floor for a player of his use. The Rams have allowed a receiving touchdown to a running back in three of their past four games.

         

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

         

        • Jared Goff:  He came back from bye rusty, posting his lowest-scoring game of the season against the Lions. Now, he’s on the road against a much better pass defense that ranks sixth in passing points allowed per game (13.6) but haven’t been overly challenged. Chicago has faced just four quarterbacks in the top-15 of fantasy scoring, allowing QB1 weeks to all of Aaron Rodgers (QB5), Tom Brady (QB5) and Kirk Cousins (QB12) while limiting Russell Wilson (QB22).
        • Brandin Cooks: He’s always capable of finding his way to huge line, but The Bears have allowed the lowest success rate on throws 15-yards or further this season, allowing 34.4 percent (22-of-64) to be completed, throwing a cloud on anticipating a ceiling game.
        • Robert Woods: He hasn’t had more than five catches in a game since Week 6, but his floor is as good as they come. Woods has been a WR2 or better in four straight games and a WR3 or better in every game since Week 1. 
        • Mitchell Trubisky: Expected to return, Trubisky has been as matchup dependent as a fantasy option as any quarterback. Trubisky has faced four top-10 defenses in passing points per game allowed and has been the average QB23 in those weeks. He has faced six defenses outside and has been the average QB6 in those games. The Rams are 25th in passing points allowed per game (17.7) and even if you remove their game versus Patrick Mahomes, they’d rank 19th. Trubisky still has concerns over the health of his shoulder, however, and if the return of Aqib Talib continues to have a positive impact of the Rams Defense.
        • Taylor Gabriel/Allen Robinson: Of the Bears wideouts, Gabriel and Robinson are the ones who are viable WR3 options. Gabriel has 24 targets over his past three games, but two of those games came with Chase Daniel under center. Since returning from injury, Robinson has been a top-30 receiver twice, and bombed the other two weeks against Xavier Rhodes and Darius Slay. Robinson moves around the most of the three Chicago wideouts, but all have low floors.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Josh Reynolds: He’s largely a touchdown-only option unless we’re expecting a high-scoring, back-and-forth type of game.
        • Trey Burton: Even with tight end being a cesspool of inconsistent options, Burton’s inactivity is too tough to continue to disregard. He’s averaged 20.5 yards over his past six games with 14 total receptions. In the two games that Adam Shaheen has been active, Burton has one catch on two targets.
        • Anthony Miller: He leads the team in touchdown receptions with six but has had three or fewer catches in 8-of-11 games and reached 50 yards in a game just once. You can chase the score, but they often don’t come along with much else.
        • Jordan Howard: He hasn’t been inside of the top-30 scorers since Week 9 and has been the average RB41 in his eight games without falling into the end zone.

         

        Vikings @ Seahawks

         

        Minnesota Rank @ Seattle Rank
        3.5   Spread -3.5  
        20.8   Implied Total 24.3  
        22.9 18 Points/Gm 26.6 9
        22.5 14 Points All./Gm 21.6 9
        64.5 11 Plays/Gm 61.9 23
        62.0 15 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.8 3
        32.7% 32 Rush% 51.1% 1
        67.3% 1 Pass% 48.9% 32
        42.7% 21 Opp. Rush % 38.5% 9
        57.3% 12 Opp. Pass % 61.5% 24

         

        • Seattle is first in the league in run rate in neutral game script (within seven points outside of the fourth quarter) at 52.3 percent.
        • Minnesota is first in the league in neutral pass rate at 65.8 percent.
        • Just 18.5 percent of the Vikings yardage on the road has come from rushing output, the lowest rate in the league.
        • The Seahawks are allowing 43.5 yards per possession over the past four weeks, the most in the league.
        • Russell Wilson has thrown a touchdown pass for every 93.7 passing yards, the highest rate in the league.
        • The Vikings have allowed a touchdown pass for every 199.8 passing yards, first in the league.

         

        Trust (spike starting production)

         

        • Dalvin Cook: If you somehow got this far with him and in the fantasy playoffs you are a wizard and are set up to be rewarded. This is the best outlook he’s had entering a week on the season. Cook has been a top-20 back in each of his past two games and he showed consistent some rushing juice for the first time this season last week with 84 yards on nine carries. The Seahawks have been crushed by running back play of late, allowing more than 100-yards from scrimmage and a top-12 running back scorer in each of their past five games.
        • Stefon Diggs: An extra day off will help his ailments and the Seahawks have been getting shredded on the outside by opposing receivers. Over their past six games, Seattle has allowed Marvin Jones (7-117-2), Brandin Cooks (10-100), Davante Adams (10-166), D.J. Moore (8-91) and Dante Pettis (5-129-2) to torch them through the air.
        • Kirk Cousins: Cousins has been up and down here the past month in these prime time spots, giving us three QB1 scoring weeks combined with two outright unusable games over his past five games. The objective signal here lies on the positive end as Seattle has allowed a top-12 scoring quarterback in four straight games and 17 or more fantasy points to six consecutive passers with multiple touchdown passes allowed in each of those games.

         

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

         

        • Adam Thielen: Seattle is allowing the fewest amount of points per game to opposing slot receivers, but that isn’t enough to move the needle here for shade towards Thielen, who still runs 42 percent of his routes on the outside and we saw a hybrid slot option in Keenan Allen roast Seattle for 6-124 over that stretch listed above with Diggs.
        • Chris Carson: He’s remained steady, scoring as an RB2 or better in six of his past seven full games. The Vikings are eighth in rushing yardage allowed per game to backs (78.9 yards), but Seattle isn’t an offense that has changed its stripes based on opponent. Carson gets dinged a bit due to touchdown upside but is still a lower-end RB2 option.

         

        Bust (underperformance)

         

        • Russell Wilson: He’s made his living off touchdown efficiency on low volume, but that will be hard to sustain here, even at home. Minnesota allowed multiple touchdown passes in just two games this season, the fewest in the league.
        • Tyler Lockett: If we’re going to discount Wilson’s touchdown viability, then Lockett has to come along with him.  30.8 percent of Lockett’s fantasy output has come from touchdowns this season, the highest rate of the top-40 scoring receivers.
        • Doug Baldwin: Even scoring in two of the past three games hasn’t helped him a lot as he’s had one game higher than WR37 over the past four games and has cleared 52 yards just twice on the season.
        • Kyle Rudolph: He has had 41 yards or fewer in seven of his past eight games and is averaging just 3.8 catches per game on the season. Seattle is tied for fourth in the league in allowing just 3.7 receptions per game to opposing tight ends.

        Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/worksheet/nfl-week-14-worksheet