The Week 8 byes don't shelve the fantasy thunder that they did in Week 7, but still make sure to get all of your Bills, Jaguars, Eagles and Washington players out of lineups this week.
As for the token disclaimer, I encourage you use the game by game tables and data points in conjunction with your own information and thought process rather than searching out your own players in the individual player diagnosis and turning that section into a linear start/sit guide. With that out of the way, let’s hit all of the Week 8 games....
Miami vs. New England
|46.0%||Opp. Rush %||37.0%|
|54.0%||Opp. Pass %||63.0%|
- Lamar Miller had a touch on 70.8 percent of his snaps in Week 7, the highest rate of any running back in the league.
- Miller's touch per snap rate per week: 30.4%, 38.5%, 22.2%, 15.7%, 44.7%, 70.8%.
- Miami had scored on just 23 percent (10 of 44) of their drives before the bye week, 31st in the league. Over the past two weeks, they've scored on 48 percent (11 of 23) of their possessions.
- Miami had four scoring plays of 50 or more yards last week. They had just one all of 2014.
- 48.4 percent of Ryan Tannehill's points this season have come from passing touchdowns, the highest percentage in the league.
- Per Pro Football Focus, 90.8 percent (256 yards) of Tannehill's 282 passing yards last week came on yards after the catch.
- Last week, New England was the first team ever to win a game with single digit rushing attempts (nine) and fewer than 20 rushing yards (16) since 1945.
- Rob Gronkowski has eight receptions of 25 yards or more, tied with Antonio Brown for the most in the league.
- Tom Brady has thrown multiple touchdowns in six straight games and Tannehill in five, the two longest streaks going in the league.
- Brandon LaFell returned last week and played 72 percent and has seen 14.8 percent of the team targets, both third at receiver after Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
Trust: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski (Miami has allowed good games to every decent tight end they’ve faced), Ryan Tannehill (New England has allowed 16 plus points to every opposing quarterback except Brandon Weeden)
Bust: Jordan Cameron (inefficient target that is fourth in line for touches), Danny Amendola (if Dion Lewis is out, then bump him up again as his involvement the past two weeks has had correlation to Lewis’ absence and limitation), LeGarrette Blount (with all of the offensive line injuries, it’s hard to see New England focusing on him, but the opportunity for a shot score is always looming in this offense), Brandon LaFell (there will better days than his first one back a week ago, but is still a boom/bust WR3 option in your lineups)
Reasonable Return: Lamar Miller (roasting the Titans and Texans is a little different than New England on the road, but the offensive philosophy has moved into more two tight end sets with the coaching change), Jarvis Landry (you know where the floor is, so if he’s going to find the end zone like he did last week, you’re set), Rishard Matthews (I anticipate the Miami passing game to be better than the run game in this one), Julian Edelman (has left numerous plays on the field the past two weeks, but the opportunities are still there), Dion Lewis (if he’s back, I’m going back to him as an RB2)
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Detroit vs. Kansas City (in London)
|47.2%||Opp. Rush %||40.7%|
|52.8%||Opp. Pass %||59.3%|
- 96.8 percent of Theo Riddick's fantasy output has been receiving, the highest dependency of any running back.
- Golden Tate's 5.2 yards per target and 1.18 points per target rank last of all receivers with 40 or more targets.
- Tate hasn't reached 100-yards receiving in 14 consecutive games played.
- Kansas City has allowed the most receivers to reach 80-yards receiving in the league (11) and the most to reach 100-yards (five) on the season.
- The Lions have scored on just 21 percent (eight of 39) of their second half possessions, last in the league.
- Detroit has rushed for fewer than 80 yards as a team in six of their seven games.
- Opponents have run 89 plays in the red zone against Detroit, most in the league.
- Detroit is allowing .544 passing points per attempt, the third most. Kansas City is allowing the 8th most at .493 per pass. League average is .425.
- Travis Kelce has run the second most routes of all tight ends, but has been target on 19.3 percent of them, which ranks 12th.
- Kelce averages 7.6 yards after the catch, the highest mark of any receiver or tight end with at least 20 receptions on the season.
- Charcandrick West handled 75.9 percent of the Kansas City rushing attempts last week. A higher mark than Jamaal Charles had in any game before injury.
Trust: Calvin Johnson (has been productive through a rough schedule and an inefficient, one-dimensional offense but the schedule gets really nice and this matchup is as good as they come), Jeremy Maclin (back after missing last week against a defense that has allowed seven top-20 receivers and four top-10 ones), Alex Smith (Detroit has allowed 15 or more points to every quarterback this season)
Reasonable Return: Matt Stafford (despite the Chiefs giving away receiving yardage, only Aaron Rodgers and Andy Dalton have top-12 weeks against them), Golden Tate (he’s a low floor, low ceiling option, but if there’s a week in which he actually contributes to your lineup, it can be in this one), Eric Ebron (has double digit points in every game he finished), Travis Kelce (the overall numbers still hold water among his peers at tight end, but the weekly production and usage has still been a letdown), Charcandrick West (the Chiefs have shallow enough ball distribution for him to stack counting points), Theo Riddick (his floor has been a RB3/flex option weekly)
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San Diego vs. Baltimore
|44.3%||Opp. Rush %||40.7%|
|55.7%||Opp. Pass %||59.3%|
- Danny Woodhead leads all backs in points per touch (min. 50 touches) at 1.41 points.
- Woodhead has five games with 50 or more receiving yards on the season, the most of any running back by two games.
- Philip Rivers has thrown for 300 or more yards in four consecutive games, the longest streak in the league and longest run in his career.
- In this meeting a year ago (also in Baltimore), Rivers had his highest fantasy output for the season (27.2 points), going 34-45 for 383 yards and three passing touchdowns.
- San Diego has run on just 25.6 percent of their offensive plays over the past three weeks, lowest in the league. 85.3 percent of their offensive yards have been passing over that span.
- Justin Forsett has 60 percent or more of his team's carries in six games, the most in the league.
- San Diego has allowed 142.7 rushing yards per game over the past six weeks and at least 100 rushing yards to every team over that stretch, the longest streak in the league.
- Joe Flacco is on pace for 656 pass attempts this season. He's gone over 600 just once in his career, attempting 614 passes in 2013.
Trust: Philip Rivers (even on trip all of the way east for an early game, I’m not moving off of the volume and matchup), Keenan Allen (double digit targets three weeks in a row and dropped 11/121/2 in this matchup a year ago), Danny Woodhead, Justin Forsett (keep playing backs against the Chargers, especially ones getting a lot of touches)
Bust: Steve Johnson (if he doesn’t score, the floor is basement level), Melvin Gordon (King Dunlap and Orlando Franklin are back, but this game is built for San Diego to keep attacking through the air)
Reasonable Return: Joe Flacco (has had volume just below that of Rivers, but his supporting cast hasn’t been enough to turn that volume into a strong ceiling), Steve Smith (he’s going to see the most targets and the San Diego pass defense finally cracked a week ago, but this is still a tougher draw for Smith), Crockett Gillmore (had a season high 17.5 percent of the targets a week ago, San Diego has let four different tight ends score this year), Antonio Gates/Ladarius Green (Green has 9.7 points every week this season, even with Gates active. Gates still may be limited if he’s back on a trip cross country)
Arizona vs. Cleveland
|38.9%||Opp. Rush %||45.4%|
|61.1%||Opp. Pass %||54.6%|
- Gary Barnidge leads all tight ends with 20 or more targets in yards per target at 10.7.
- Duke Johnson led the Browns backfield in snaps this week with 29, but his 38.7 percent snap share was his lowest total of the season.
- Johnson is tied for fifth in the league in receptions (31) over the past five weeks.
- Isaiah Crowell hasn't played at least 40 percent of the Browns snaps since Week 3 and hasn’t had more than 33 percent of the Browns' carries in each of the past two games.
- Chris Johnson is the first Cardinal running back to have three 100-yard rushing games in a season since Edgerrin James in 2007.
- Cleveland has allowed six different backs to rush for 90 or more yards, most in the league.
- Carson Palmer has averaged 7.0 yards per pass attempt in every game this season, the only quarterback to do the same is Andy Dalton, who has played one fewer game.
- 42.8 percent of Palmer's passes have gone for a first down, highest rate of all passers to attempt at least 100 passes on the season.
- Arizona leads the league in first half scoring at 19.1 points per game.
Trust: Chris Johnson (Ellington’s return hasn’t dented his involvement until late in games and Cleveland is a weekly target at the position), Larry Fitzgerald (his target rate has dropped two consecutive weeks, but we were expecting some regression off of his hot start eventually)
Bust: Travis Benjamin (saved a rough matchup in Week 6 with a lot of late production, so maybe we see a similar performance, but I’m not buying at face value here), Isaiah Crowell, David Johnson/Andre Ellington (this is a matchup where they can do something with their small amount of touches each, but neither have stability going for them in terms of usage), Cleveland QB
Reasonable Return: Gary Barnidge (if Josh McCown misses this game, then I’m running away completely, but Barnidge has been too reliable at a position full of low floors), Duke Johnson, John Brown (five weeks of at least WR2 output, including four in a row, just one as a WR1 scorer), Carson Palmer (his floor is reliable as he has 16 plus points every week, but has topped 21 points just once), Michael Floyd (He's here in the event Brown is held out as the last two matchups and touchdowns carried him, but his target share last week was also the lowest it’s been since Week 2. If Brown plays, I'm moving off of him)
Minnesota vs. Chicago
|38.6%||Opp. Rush %||46.1%|
|61.4%||Opp. Pass %||53.9%|
- Stefon Diggs is the first Vikings receiver to have back to back 100-yard receiving games since Percy Harvin in 2012.
- Diggs has five receptions of 25 plus yards over his past three games, second in the league over that span behind DeAndre Hopkins (six), who has played an extra game and had 37 more targets over that stretch.
- Chicago is allowing the most passing points per attempt in the league at .602.
- Adrian Peterson leads the league in rushing attempts inside of the 5-yard line with 11, but has converted just one for a touchdown.
- Peterson has carried 69 times for 192 yards (2.8 YPC) in the first half of games this season and 51 times for 338 yards (6.6 YPC) in the second half. His 3.8 YPC increase in the second half is the second highest in the league.
- Per Pro Football Focus, Eddie Royal's average depth of target (aDOT) of 2.6 yards is the lowest in the league of all receivers with 20 or more targets.
- Martellus Bennett has been targeted on 29.2 percent of his routes over the past three weeks and on 27.6 percent in the four games Jay Cutler has played completely. That rate would rank second of all tight ends for the season.
- Alshon Jeffery has been targeted on 31.4 and 28.9 percent of his routes in the two games he's played. The league average for wide receiver is being targeted on 18.3 percent of routes.
Trust: Adrian Peterson (has been quite the past two weeks, but has positive touchdown regression coming), Stefon Diggs (running away with his opportunity and Chicago has allowed six top-20 receivers), Martellus Bennett (production is waiting to meet opportunity)
Reasonable Return: Matt Forte (the Vikings have been better against the run then their overall output suggests, but Forte is too involved to leave you empty handed), Alshon Jeffery (volume over efficiency here in a tougher individual draw), Jay Cutler (14 points in every game he’s finished, but no more than 19 in any of them), Teddy Bridgewater (has underperformed in other soft matchups this season and the ceiling isn’t as high as other quarterbacks)
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
|35.4%||Opp. Rush %||38.7%|
|64.6%||Opp. Pass %||61.3%|
- Le'Veon Bell has played 93.9 percent of the Steeler snaps since returning, this highest rate of any running back in the league. Next highest is Matt Forte at 83.9 percent.
- Antonio Brown has had just four red zone targets so far this season. He had 34 in 2014.
- Opponents have run just 26 plays in the red zone against Cincinnati, fewest in the league.
- Andy Dalton is averaging .634 passing points per attempt, second in the league behind only Aaron Rodgers (.635). Dalton's previous career high in this category is .450 points per attempt in 2013.
- A.J. Green has eight or more receptions in four of his past five games against the Steelers.
- Pittsburgh has allowed five or more receptions to five different tight ends this year, most in the league.
- Gio Bernard has the most carries (eight) from within the 10-yard line yet to score a touchdown. Jeremy Hill has scored on five of nine of his attempts inside of the 10.
- Bernard has 38 carries in the fourth quarter this season which leads the league, Jeremy Hill has just 11.
Reasonable Return: Ben Roethlisberger (will need to see how healthy he truly is, but has the weapons to produce regardless), Martavis Bryant (scored in both games against the Bengals last year and already has three touchdowns from Landry Jones), Marvin Jones (has benefited from Green taking on some tough individual draws, but Pittsburgh has let secondary receivers do damage this year), Gio Bernard
Tennessee vs. Houston
|48.9%||Opp. Rush %||45.4%|
|51.1%||Opp. Pass %||54.6%|
- Before Arian Foster returned, the Houston backfield snaps were 151 for Alfred Blue, 126 for Jonathan Grimes and 90 for Chris Polk, but each of the three led a different a game in terms of total snaps played.
- In those three games, Blue had 49.5 percent of the team carries, while Grimes (13) and Polk (nine) combined for 22 targets to Blue's three.
- Only 23.6 percent of Brian Hoyer's passing yardage is created after the catch, with 76.4 percent of his yards as air yards, highest in the league.
- Hoyer has 11 passing touchdowns on 180 pass attempts so far this season. His career high is 12 passing scores set last year on 438 passes.
- The Titans have scored on just six (three touchdowns) of their 34 (18 percent) possessions over the past three weeks since their bye, lowest in the league.
- In four games facing Houston as a member of the Titans, Delanie Walker has two touchdowns, but just 82 total receiving yards.
Trust: DeAndre Hopkins (the target volume isn't dropping off here, especially with Foster lost for the season)
Bust: Kendall Wright (he’s had more than four catches in just one game), Marcus Mariota (despite a good paper matchup, health issue and has been the QB21 or lower in three of his past four starts), Antonio Andrews (Lamar Miller was the first back to clear 100-yards against the Texans and the touchdown upside here is limited to overcome low yardage output)
Reasonable Return: Brian Hoyer ( I doubt the volume goes off the rails here again, but Hoyer was also the QB5 with positive game script in Week 6), Nate Washington (has eight or more targets in every game played, but has been below WR50 twice and higher than WR15 twice), Alfred Blue ( I prefer Polk for the long run, but this is a week in which I believe Houston will hold some semblance of neutral game script), Delanie Walker (hasn’t had success against Houston so far, but targets will still be here and Kelce, Olsen and Julius Thomas have all turned in good lines versus the Texans so far)
New York (NFC) vs. New Orleans
|40.0%||Opp. Rush %||41.8%|
|60.0%||Opp. Pass %||58.2%|
- Drew Brees completed just three of 11 pass attempts last week on throws 15 or more yards downfield, moving his season total to 18-48 on such throws (37.5 percent). On throws under 15 yards downfield, Brees is 153-204 (75 percent) passing.
- Brandin Cooks had a season high 28.9 percent of the team targets last week. His previous high was 21.1 percent in Week 3.
- Since having 22 receptions for 203 yards through the first four weeks, Mark Ingram has just seven receptions for 32 yards over his past three.
- Ingram had a season low 38.9 percent of the Saints' carries last week, but nearly doubled his previous season high of 77 rushing yards with 143 yards on the ground. He now has just one week finishing below RB16 on the season.
- After allowing a league low 279 rushing yards through four weeks, the Giants have allowed 515 rushing yards over the past three weeks, 31st in the league.
- The Saints have 1.3 to 1.0 rushing touchdown to passing touchdown ratio, the highest in the league. League average is 2.1 passing touchdowns for every rushing touchdown.
- After averaging 373.6 yards on offense per game through five weeks, the Giants have produced just 247 and 289 yards on offense the past two weeks.
- Since his hamstring injury, Odell Beckham has totaled just 96 receiving yards and his average depth of target has gone down from 11.1 yards to 8.7 yards.
Bust: All Giants running backs (even before Orleans Darkwa added his name to the hat I was staying away, now it just gets more unclear. Even Darkwa himself had only 32 percent of the team carries), Willie Snead (his target share has fallen back to untrustable levels the past two weeks), Eli Manning (outside of Beckham, this offense has little to offer and he’s been compromised the past two weeks, Manning has been the QB26 and QB25), Larry Donnell (the Saints have been a positive matchup for tight ends, but Donnell hasn't topped 40-yards in any game this season. You're more or less chasing a touchdown here)
Reasonable Return: Brandin Cooks (no Prince Amukamara should open the door for him to have a positive impact again, but has just four career touchdowns in 17 games), Ben Watson (went right back to his normal target share last week, but that may be enough against the Giants, who have allowed six top-12 tight ends so far), Odell Beckham (you’re playing him regardless in this matchup, but his injury has had an overall negative impact on the entire offense)
San Francisco vs. St. Louis
|42.2%||Opp. Rush %||41.1%|
|57.8%||Opp. Pass %||58.9%|
- Todd Gurley had five more runs of 10 or more yards last week (most in the league). He know had 14 runs of 10 or more yards over his past three games, only one behind Devonta Freeman over that span, who has had 11 more carries.
- Gurley's rushing output by quarter: 12 carries for 16 yards (1.3 YPC) in the 1st Quarter, 21 carries for 97 yards (4.6 YPC in the 2nd, 18 carries for 116 yards (6.4 YPC) in the 3rd, and 23 carries for 213 yards (9.3 YPC) in the 4th.
- Gurley is the first player to have 125 or more rushing yards in three consecutive weeks since Adrian Peterson in 2012.
- 49ers opponents average 3:09 minutes per offensive possession, the most in the league.
- The 49ers are allowing 39.8 yards per drive, most in the league. The Rams are averaging 26.2 yards per drive on offense, the fewest in the league.
- St. Louis ranks 29th in offensive touchdowns per game (1.7), while San Francisco ranks 32nd (1.4).
- Just 23.4 percent of Colin Kaepernick's fantasy output is attributed to passing touchdowns, the lowest percentage in the league.
- As a 49er, Anquan Boldin has at least five receptions for 90 yards in all four games facing the Rams.
Trust: Todd Gurley
Bust: Colin Kaepernick (has made the most out of his layup matchups, but has been brutal against above average defenses), Carlos Hyde (whether you want to pick from the foot injury, the matchup or the implied game script, nothing here is enticing), Nick Foles (has passed for 200 yards just once this season)
Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta
|46.0%||Opp. Rush %||34.0%|
|54.0%||Opp. Pass %||66.0%|
- Doug Martin has rushed for 100 or more yards in three straight games for the first time in his career. He's the first Tampa Bay running back to rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games since Cadillac Williams in 2005.
- Per Pro Football Focus, Martin has 332 rushing yards after contact, second most in the league behind only Le'Veon Bell (367 yards).
- Mike Evans had four receptions of 20 or more yards last week after having just two coming into the week.
- Atlanta has allowed just one top-12 scoring quarterback on the season (Brian Hoyer -QB11).
- Devonta Freeman has 116.1 rushing points, 41.1 more than the next highest back, Mark Ingram.
- Atlanta is the only team with at least 375 yards of offense in every game this season.
- Julio Jones is tied for the league lead with nine targets inside of the 10-yard line. He had five such targets all of 2014.
- In two games against Tampa Bay last year, Jones totaled 17 receptions for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
- Matt Ryan's past four weekly finishes have been QB21, QB27, QB15 and QB20.
Reasonable Return: Doug Martin (Atlanta’s run defense has been strong and the game script could get away from Tampa on the road, otherwise I’d keep riding Martin as a mid RB1), Mike Evans (Atlanta has given up big games to Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins and with Vincent Jackson ailing, volume should be heavy), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (if he’s back, he steps in with Jackson nursing a knee injury and Atlanta has allowed six top-12 tight ends), Charles Sims (if the game script flips, Sims could be in line for a lot of grabs as the Falcons have allowed six or more catches to five different backs), Matt Ryan (we just watched Tampa Bay get melted on the road by Kirk Cousins, but outside of Jones, there’s no other viable target on this offense)
New York (AFC) vs. Oakland
|33.7%||Opp. Rush %||33.4%|
|66.3%||Opp. Pass %||66.6%|
- Amari Cooper has already tied an Oakland rookie record with three 100-yard receiving games for a single season.
- Cooper averages 7.0 yards after the catch, the highest of any receiver with 20 or more receptions.
- Just one of Cooper's 50 targets has been in the red zone (two percent), lowest rate of all receivers with 25 or more total targets.
- The past three teams to face the Jets have combined to rush 37 times for 109 yards.
- Oakland is allowing just .483 rushing points per attempt on the season, the third fewest on the season. The Jets are first at .369 points per carry.
- Out of their Week 5 bye, Eric Decker has 26.9 percent and 30.8 percent of the New York targets.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick has 14 or more points in five consecutive games and 20 or more in back to back weeks. Only Peyton Manning failed to finish as a top-12 scoring quarterback against the Raiders this season.
Bust: Latavius Murray (has seen his workload lighten the past three games and the matchup is negative), Amari Cooper (I wrongfully faded him last week, but I still believe the process is sound to do it again this week. He’s not seeing a high level targets and isn’t seeing any near the end zone while having another poor paper matchup), Derek Carr (outside of Tom Brady, the other quarterbacks to face the Jets have all been QB25 or worse)
Reasonable Return: Chris Ivory (the matchup is tougher than most assume when looking at Oakland and he’s also dealing with an aggravated hamstring), Michael Crabtree (has been targeted 17 times to 10 for Cooper over the past two weeks)
Seattle vs. Dallas
|43.2%||Opp. Rush %||40.6%|
|56.8%||Opp. Pass %||59.4%|
- 24.2 percent of Russell Wilson's fantasy points have come from rushing, down from his 36.7 percent mark in 2014. He's currently averaging 4.5 rushing points per game as opposed to 7.6 last season.
- Wilson has finished as the QB14 or lower in six of seven weeks this season.
- Over the past three weeks, opposing quarterbacks against Dallas are completing 71.7 percent of their passes, highest in the league.
- Dallas has forced just three turnovers on the season, fewest in the league.
- Tyler Lockett leads the Seattle receivers in target share over the past three weeks with 19.2 percent, 21.7 percent and 20.8 percent but still hasn’t eclipsed five targets in any of those weeks.
- Dallas is allowing .690 rushing points per attempt, fourth highest in the league.
- Darren McFadden entered last week with 37 carries for 129 rushing yards and a touchdown before carrying 29 times for 152 yards and a score last Sunday.
- It was McFadden's first 100-yard rushing game in 29 games played.
Trust: Marshawn Lynch
Bust: Terrance Williams, Matt Cassel (you weren’t playing these guys already unless you’re really thin), Tyler Lockett (if you're really up against the bye weeks or in a deep league, you can go here, but the floor is really low and Dallas defends receivers well from a fantasy stance)
Reasonable Return: Jimmy Graham (has been efficient per target, but the issue has been volume), Russell Wilson (Dallas won’t force him into many bad spots, but also won’t inflate his ceiling), Jason Witten (a top-12 tight end every week except for one, but hasn’t scored since Week 1), Darren McFadden (Dallas is still going to get their carries in and McFadden is also the third down back if the script goes really haywire), Dez Bryant (if he plays, I don't believe he's a must start with Cassel on the road in Seattle, but it's unlikely you have three better options and it's doubtful Richard Sherman follows him completely, if it all)
Green Bay vs. Denver
|37.8%||Opp. Rush %||37.6%|
|62.2%||Opp. Pass %||62.4%|
- Denver has scored a touchdown on just 13 percent (nine of 71) of their drives, lowest percentage in the league.
- Peyton Manning ranks last in passing points per attempt of all quarterbacks with 150 or more pass attempts at .291 points per throw. Average from that group is .418 points per attempt.
- Manning has scored single digit fantasy points in four games this season. The only other quarterback with that many is Sam Bradford.
- Week 6 was the first game this season when Ronnie Hillman outsnapped C.J. Anderson, 44 to 40.
- Hillman had a season high 60.6 percent of the carries in Week 6, his previous high was 48 percent of the carries in Week 1.
- Ronnie Hillman averages .319 points per snap to C.J. Anderson's .172 points per snap.
- Demaryius Thomas currently has a 1.3 percent touchdown rate per target. His career mark coming into this season is 7.1 percent.
- Aaron Rodgers leads the league with .635 passing points per attempt. Denver is allowing the second fewest passing points per attempt in the league at .248 points per throw.
- The highest individual performance against Denver in that category was Teddy Bridgewater at .360 points per pass in Week 4.
- Bridgewater also has the highest weekly fantasy finish against Denver at QB18. In Rodgers' past three starts, he's been the QB13, QB15 and QB12.
- Randall Cobb has three consecutive games with fewer than 50 receiving yards and four on the season. He had three such games all of 2014.
- The Broncos are allowing just .507 rushing points per attempt, 7th fewest in the league. Eddie Lacy is averaging .478 rushing points per carry, 37th of amongst running backs.
Trust: Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas (regardless of how Manning has played, both receivers are seeing the requisite targets per game to make them weekly factors and Thomas will start finding the end zone soon), Randall Cobb (will avoid both of Chris Harris and Aqib Talib the most, so should be involved often)
Bust: Eddie Lacy (it’s low hanging fruit based on how he’s played, the concerns with his ankle and the matchup, but outside of forcing him into lineups out of necessity, he’s someone you need more out of before going back in on), Peyton Manning (ditto), Davante Adams (comes back healthy in a brutal spot on the perimeter), James Jones (low volume, touchdown dependent option against a set of corners not giving up touchdowns)
Reasonable Return: Aaron Rodgers (I wouldn’t run away from Rodgers here, but I also wouldn’t head into this one anticipating a QB1 scoring week, either), Ronnie Hillman (Anderson is still carving out enough snaps to prevent a full bankable starter here), Richard Rodgers (will have to be asked to be part of the game plan and the last time we saw Denver they allowed two scores to Gary Barnidge)
Indianapolis vs. Carolina
|42.5%||Opp. Rush %||36.1%|
|57.5%||Opp. Pass %||63.9%|
- Andrew Luck already has 73 pass attempts in the fourth quarter while trailing by double digits on the scoreboard, most in the league (next highest is Brian Hoyer at 48). He had just 38 attempts In those situations all of 2014.
- Luck leads the league in interception rate at 4.3 percent (nine on 210 attempts). Matt Hasselbeck didn’t throw an interception on his 76 pass attempts this season.
- Carolina is allowing just 4.6 adjusted yards per attempt to opposing passers, lowest in the league.
- Frank Gore has played less than 50 percent of the Colts offensive snaps in each of the past two weeks after playing 73 percent or more in each of three previous games.
- The Panthers have allowed just two top-30 scoring receivers all season.
- Jonathan Stewart's 9.0 receiving points are the fewest for all backs in the top-40 in overall scoring.
- The Panthers average 32.8 rushing attempts per game, the most in the league. Indianapolis faces 29.6 rushes per game, third most in the league.
- After a season low 30.3 percent of the team attempts in Week 4, Stewart has come out of the bye with 60.6 percent and 72.7 percent of the Carolina carries.
- Carolina has just 437 yards after the catch, fewest in the league. That mark is 797 yards below the league leader in that category (San Diego).
- Greg Olsen is the only tight end that has played 100 percent of his team's offensive plays this season.
Trust: Jonathan Stewart (the lack of reception and touchdown upside potentially set this up for failure, but Stewart appears over his nagging knee injury and more like the back we saw close out 2014 since the Carolina bye), Greg Olsen
Bust: Andrew Luck (I feel similarly about Luck as I do Rodgers this week matchup wise except Luck has given me no reason to believe he be stable in a poor environment to this point. It will be harder to stack junk production on the road in Carolina then it was the past two weeks in the event that happens), Frank Gore (the Colts team total and spread have me off of Gore, who has played well but has just one scoring week inside the top-20 all season)
Reasonable Return: T.Y. Hilton (the matchup is bad, but I don’t want to run completely away from using him), Donte Moncrief (treating the Colts pass catchers in a similar fashion as when they faced Buffalo and the Jets to start the season), Cam Newton (only one week in the back of quarterback scoring this year)
Trust = Set him in your lineups this week
Bust = Player to underperform season average
Reasonable Return = On par with seasonal average