slate Overview ::
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- Overall, the state of the wide receiver position is likely to be a primary decision node considering the top three options at the position all carry significantly wider ranges of outcomes than the field is likely to give credit for.
- Tremaine Edmunds, Greg Rousseau, and Tre’Davious White all appear unlikely to play for the Bills on a short week.
- RG Evan Brown, LG Jonah Jackson, and C Frank Ragnow all were listed as DNP on the estimated practice report for the Lions on Monday, who could also be without CB Jeff Okudah, DE Josh Paschal, and WR Josh Reynolds.
- The Bills have averaged 28.1 points per game this season (second in the league), and the Lions have ceded 28.2 points per game this season (worst in the league) – yea, we probably have to account for the Bills in some form across rosters in play on Thanksgiving.
- The Lions are one of the most adaptive offenses in the league, preferring to ease into the start of games with increased rush rates but willing to open their offense up if forced to.
- Daniel Bellinger and Adoree Jackson will not play for the Giants, who also have six offensive linemen listed on the injury report ahead of their game against the Cowboys.
- The Giants also have issues in their secondary, where they utilized a three-player rotation at cornerback in the absence of Adoree Jackson after Fabian Moreau left with an oblique injury in Week 11.
- Giants pass-catchers are a case of roulette behind Darius Slayton and Lawrence Cager.
- The Cowboys have been hit by the illness bug this week, with multiple defensive players on the injury report with an illness.
- The biggest injury news for the Vikings is offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, who is unlikely to play this week as he works his way through the league’s concussion protocol. The pressure rate split allowed with and without Darrisaw in the lineup this season for the Vikings is stark, to say the least, which is not a good sign for the Vikings as they take on the aggressive front of the Patriots, particularly considering quarterback Kirk Cousins’ struggles when pressured this season.
- The expected pressure rate from New England’s defense should be the driving force behind the overall game environment for the last game of the slate.
- Volume is likely to be difficult to fully nail down amongst the secondary options on this slate, but one or two secondary pieces from the six teams in play are likely to be required to ship GPPs on Thanksgiving – something to keep in mind when putting together rosters.
How new york Will Try To Win ::
We know with a high degree of certainty how the Giants want to try and win this game, as they’ve shown us all season that they want to leverage elevated rush rates (third lowest pass rate over expectation) and a slow pace of play in an attempt to keep the game close into the fourth quarter. While the Dallas defense has stumbled against the rush over the previous month of play (like, allowing almost 180 yards rushing per game, stumbled), six offensive linemen for the Giants are currently listed on the team’s injury report heading into Thursday’s game with everything from injuries to illness. Furthermore, their top two corners are banged up, making it more likely they experience more negative game script than they’ve grown accustomed to handling this season. Electric rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson suffered a torn ACL in Week 11 and will miss the remainder of the season as well, which is a big blow to a team already without tight end Daniel Bellinger (particularly so considering the Giants operate primarily from 11-personnel this season). All of those injury and illness concerns introduce a slew of uncertainty regarding how we expect the Giants to attack here, with most roads pointing squarely back to Saquon Barkley and a run game that has succeeded through volume as opposed to efficiency this season (well below average 4.10 adjusted line yards and 4.33 running back yards per carry).
The backfield is firmly Saquon Barkley’s, as Week 11 marked only his second game all season below an 80% snap rate (76%). Barkley is on the field at the highest rate amongst all running backs in the league (82.4% average snap share) and has seen the highest share of team opportunities and the second most rush attempts this season. The biggest question is the expected efficiency, considering the unknowns surrounding the Giants offensive line. Matt Breida should continue operating as the change of pace back behind Saquon but has seen no more than 30% of the offensive snaps or six running back opportunities this season. The matchup on the ground yields a below-average 4.23 net-adjusted line yards metric, with each side seeing a recent hit in efficiency.
The state of the Giants pass offense is such that we can only expect certainty from Darius Slayton and tight end Lawrence Cager, the former of whom started the season fifth on the depth chart and the latter of whom started the season on the practice squad. The injury to Wan’Dale Robinson opens things up significantly behind those two, with all of Kenny Golladay, Richie James, Isaiah Hodgins, Marcus Johnson, and rookie David Sills likely to see some level of involvement. Kenny Golladay has more drops than receptions this year and has struggled through injuries, Hodgins was brought over to the team three weeks ago, Sills hasn’t played an offensive snap over the previous two games, and Marcus Johnson started the season on the practice squad – yea, your guess is as good as mine as to who would be likeliest to emerge as a secondary option for the Giants this week. Based on previous utilization and familiarity with head coach Brian Daboll, I tentatively expect Darius Slayton, Marcus Johnson, and Isaiah Hodgins to operate as the top three wide receivers, each likely to play 80% or more of the offensive snaps. That leaves Golladay likely to mix in for 40-50% of the offensive snaps and David Sills likeliest to bring up the rear in snap rate. Practice squad tight end Lawrence Cager reverted to the practice squad on Monday before being elevated to the active roster on Tuesday, marking his third and final elevation prior to requiring a full signing. He worked his way up to a 74% snap rate last week. The team also signed former Saints tight end Nick Vannett to the practice squad on Tuesday, but he would be unlikely to make much of an impact after being with the team for only a couple of days come Thursday.
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