Game Overview ::
By Hilow >>
- The highest game total of the slate and also the only game where both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in defensive DVOA.
- The Chiefs were the only team with a positive pass rate over expectation (PROE) value in every game played this season.
- The Jaguars had the narrowest range of PROE values of any team in the league (smallest standard deviation – most likely team in the league to have game environment influence their play calling).
- These two teams rank sixth (KC) and ninth (JAX) in first half pace of play.
- Mecole Hardman remained a DNP in both Wednesday and Thursday’s practices.
- Skyy Moore returned to a full participant in Thursday’s session.
How jacksonville Will Try To Win ::
First off, Jacksonville had the narrowest range of PROE values this season. That tells us that they are the team most influenced by game environment in their offensive play-calling tendencies. That is neither good nor bad news for the eventual outcome of this game but is nonetheless extremely important to understand as we work through how to attack these spots for DFS purposes. Those tendencies bleed over into pace of play as the Jaguars finished the regular season ranked ninth in first half pace of play, ninth in pace of play when trailing by seven or more points, but 24th in pace of play when leading by seven or more points. Those two metrics combine to give us a clearer picture of how the Jaguars approach games when compared to simply looking at their overall rush-pass rates or situation neutral pace of play numbers (14th in overall pass rate at 58.93% and ninth in situation neutral pace of play). The final thing to consider for the Jaguars is a matchup with a Chiefs defense that utilized man coverages at a rate almost double the league average this season (38%) – more on this in the respective matchups sections below.
Since we can confidently expect a pass balanced approach from the Jaguars until otherwise forced, expect Jacksonville to start the game with a near even split in rush attempts versus pass attempts. That’s important because it means more early volume for a borderline workhorse back in a solid on-paper matchup, as lead back Travis Etienne has taken on an elite snap rate role since the departure of James Robinson – playing 71% or more of the offensive snaps in nine of 11 games over that timeframe (78% or higher in six of 11). JaMycal Hasty should continue as the lone change of pace back on an offense that operates primarily from 11-personnel, with almost zero 21-personnel usage and only a handful of snaps each week from 12-personnel. While Etienne’s pass game involvement looks non-terrible on paper, the truth of the matter is that he has seen more than a modest three targets only three times all season, and has not surpassed three targets once since the departure of James Robinson. As such, think of any volume through the air as floor-boosting instead of ceiling-enhancing. The pure rushing matchup yields a slightly below average 4.26 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Kansas City defense holding opposing backfields to a non-terrible 4.29 yards per carry this season.
The Chiefs defense operates primarily from straight-up man coverage looks behind a defensive front generating pressure at the league’s fifth highest rate. That is likely to be a significant issue for Trevor Lawrence, who ranks as PFF’s 36th passer when under pressure this season (of quarterbacks with five or more starts). That should also lead to Lawrence relying on the players that can win within the first five yards of the line of scrimmage, which for this year has been Christian Kirk for the Jaguars. Kirk’s 23.2% target market share jumps to almost 33% against man coverage this season. That said, his 1.89 fantasy points per target against man coverage this season ranks just 25th in the league as they are mostly shorter area targets than he has seen against zone coverages. Zay Jones and Evan Engram should also play nearly every offensive snap, while Marvin Jones Jr will likely cede some level of snaps to blocking tight end Chris Manhertz. From a pure matchup perspective, the edge lands with Christian Kirk, but we’ve seen head coach and offensive play caller Doug Pederson get more creative in scheming touches to all three of Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Evan Engram, over the second half of the season after the team picked up the scheme better. As in, any one of these three could be the primary benefactor in a given week.