Game Overview ::
By Hilow >>
- One of four lopsided expected game environments on the week, but there just might be some hidden (maybe not-so-hidden) fantasy goodness here based on Detroit’s fast-paced and pass-heavy second half offense.
- Each coaching staff should be expected to keep the foot on the gas throughout this one, regardless of game flow.
- Players from this game are unlikely to go completely overlooked, but the large spread and nuanced (maybe even muted) aggression from each team lends itself to an intriguing setup, one that is likely to go under-owned relative to fantasy expectation.
- The Lions lead the league in second-half pass rate, a boon to the game environment overall.
How Detroit Will Try To Win ::
The best way to describe what head coach Dan Campbell is trying to instill in Detroit is “smash-mouth football.” He wants to out-effort every team on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, he was dealt a seven-deuce offsuit when it comes to the talent on his roster. Effort can only go so far in this league. A little bit of bar trivia to highlight just how bad this team has been this season: the Lions are one of only two teams who have yet to play with a lead of seven or more points through six weeks (the other one being the Washington Football Team, which surprised me as well). With the ball, Detroit opens games at a snail’s pace (28th-ranked situation neutral pace of play) but open up their offense when they need to (second fastest second half pace of play and eighth fastest pace of play when trailing by seven or more points – good news for hunting for upside in game environments). Their situation-neutral pass rate in the first half of games is a 29th-ranked 54%, which jumps all the way up to the most pass-heavy offense in the second half of games (75%). This, again, is excellent news when we’re looking for game environments to attack, as it gives us a good environment for their opposition to pick up extra plays run from scrimmage later in games. This also tells me that Dan Campbell and his Lions are not likely to roll over at any point in the season and will fight tooth and nail until the final whistle blows.
The Lions average just 22.8 rush attempts per game due primarily to the extreme negative game scripts they have found themselves in thus far, which is unlikely to change here. Running back D’Andre Swift has gone from lead back status to borderline elite workload over the last three weeks, averaging 75% of the offensive snaps over that time. The biggest value Swift brings to the table each week is his work through the air, having seen 42 (!!!) targets on the season and a minimum of five in each game played. Jamaal Williams saw his lowest opportunity total of the season last week at five but had seen between 10 and 18 running back opportunities in every game up to that point. The matchup on the ground yields a modest 4.085 net-adjusted line yards metric, but the Lions just lost standout offensive linemen Frank Ragnow for the season after he underwent surgery on his toe.
Through the air, the Lions lead the league in running back target rate at 27% and remain above average in tight end target rate at 21%, leaving a low 52% of the available targets to the wide receivers. With wide receiver Tyrell Williams yet to be activated from the IR with a concussion suffered in Week 1 and second-year wide receiver Quintez Cephus likely to miss the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone, the Lions are likely to be forced to start Kalif Raymond, Khadarel Hodge, and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown at the wide receiver position, who each played heavy snaps in their Week 6 contest. Tight end TJ Hockenson missed practice on Wednesday, which was likely due to rep management with his ailing knee. The primary cogs of this offense continue to be the running backs and Hockenson, which also represent the Lions best chance at moving the ball against the outside-in funnel Rams defense.
How Los Angeles Will Try To Win ::
The Rams play at the second-fastest situation-neutral pace of play and boast the fifth-best drive success rate in the league, leading to an average of only 61.67 offensive plays run from scrimmage per game. The low play totals should primarily be attributed to efficiency as this offense has scored at least 26 points in every game save one (a Week 4 dismantling at the hands of the Cardinals, in which they scored 20 points). The additions of quarterback Matthew Stafford and deep threat wide receiver DeSean Jackson have opened up this offense into an efficient juggernaut, giving Sean McVay the pieces to be able to hit every area of the field and keep opposing defenses off balance. The Rams below average 56% situation-neutral pass rate over the first six weeks indicates a propensity to remain balanced in all but extremely negative game scripts, which is unlikely here.
Running back Darrell Henderson has seen a minimum of 66% of the offensive snaps in every healthy game this season, with three of those games landing above 82% (82/90/94%). That robust snap rate has led to an average of 19.4 running back opportunities per game over his five healthy games. With a touchdown in all but one game, Henderson brings a solid floor and ceiling combination to the table in his best matchup of the season. Said matchup yields a healthy 4.655 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Lions defense allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to the running back position (12 total touchdowns allowed to opposing backfields). Behind Henderson, expect recent addition Sony Michel to mix in for a modest snap rate and eight to 10 opportunities.
The Rams pass game runs primarily through Cooper Kupp, who leads the league in team target market share at 34.0%. Both primary wide receivers (Kupp and Robert Woods) share a primarily intermediate role (9.0 and 9.1 aDOT, respectively), leaving the downfield work in the hands of Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson, who typically split available snaps at a 60/30 clip. The three to six targets we can typically expect from each deep threat, paired with the same three to six target expectation for tight end Tyler Higbee, highlights the pass game dominance of Cooper Kupp in this offense, who has seen double-digit targets in every game this season (the only player in the league to see double-digit targets in every game played). The matchup with the Lions creates a situation where the Rams can basically win anywhere on the field, as the Lions have allowed a below-average 67.88% completion rate and disgusting 13.5 average yards per completion (worst in the league).
Likeliest Game flow ::
It is likeliest we see the Rams control this game from the jump, forcing each team into a familiar game script (the 5-1 Rams playing with an established lead and the Lions forced into second-half aggression as they try and claw their way back into the game). When we then consider Detroit’s willingness to open things up in the second half of games, we’re left with a likeliest game environment that is ripe for potential fantasy goodness. Both of these coaching staffs should be expected to keep their feet on the gas regardless of game script, which further boosts the game environment overall. If ever there were a close to two-touchdown spread game that got me excited to attack from both sides, this would be it.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- Stafford-Goff revenge-game szn
- Stafford’s Rams have scored 34 // 27 // 34 // 20 // 26 // 38
- Goff’s Lions have scored under 20 points in every game except the first (which they were down 38-10 at one point)
- The only spread bigger than the Rams by 15 here is the Cardinals by 17 vs HOU
- Stafford is averaging 306.3 yds, 2.7 TD, 0.7 INT in his first six games with McVay
- DET is allowing the 12th most pass yds despite facing the fewest pass att
- DET is giving up the highest yds/att (9.8)
- DET is allowing the most fantasy points per pass att in 2021 (per @TJHernandez)
- Stafford’s only games as 10+ pt favorite since 2014: 27.2 // 7.9 // 22.7 DK pts
- Of 54 QBs favored by 14+ pts since 2014, only 12 have scored 25+ DK pts
- 3 of 23 QBs since 2014 on teams favored by 16+ pts have scored 25+ DK pts
- 2 of those 3 were Mahomes & Lamar vs the Gase-Jets in 2020 that ranked 8th in def rush DVOA but 28th in def pass DVOA
- DET ranks 25th in def pass DVOA & 26th in def rush DVOA
- DET has allowed a 100-yd WR in 4 of 6 games, and the two without included multiple deep Hollywood drops and Chase finishing with 97 yds
- The 4 WRs: Deebo (9:189:1) // Adams (8:121) // Mooney (5:125) // Jefferson (7:124)
- Kupp has finished with 90+ yds in 5/6 games: 108 // 163 // 96 // 64 // 92 // 130
- Kupp has between 10-13 tg in every game
- Since 2014, 6 WRs averaging 10+ tg have been 14+ pt favorites (DK pts): D Thomas (22.5) // Edelman (16.5) // A Brown (43.9) // Juju (14.7) // M Thomas (9.1) // Diggs (21.4)
- Kupp already has 26+ DK pts in each of two blowouts vs CHI & NYG
- Tg, TD inside the 10: Kupp (7, 4) // Woods (3, 1) // Van (1, 0)
- Woods only has two games of more than 6 targets
- Woods has just one game of 15+ DK pts (the only game he outproduced Kupp)
- Henderson has 5 rushes inside-5 to Michel’s 1
- DET has allowed 6 RB rush TDs & 6 RB rec TDs
- Top RB rush yds vs DET: Mitchell (19:104:1) // Jones (17:67:1) // Murray (7:28) // Monty (23:106:2) // Mattison (25:113) // Mixon (18:94)
- Notable RB rec yds vs DET: Jones (6:48:3) // Mattison (7:40:1) // Mixon (5:59:1), Evans (3:49:1)
- Henderson rush yds: 70:1 // 53:1 // 89 // 82:1 // 78:1
- Henderson rec yds: 17 // 29 // 27 // 17 // 29:1
- Henderson’s rush att in the 3 Rams Wins he’s played in full: 16 // 17 // 21
- Goff has 7 TOs already
- Rams have forced the 5th most TOs (10)
- Goff already has three games under 10 DK pts
- 34 QBs vs LAR since Ramsey arrived are averaging just 15.9 DK pts, with the only QBs over just 20 DK pts being Dalton, Lamar, Kyler (x2), Allen, Jimmy, Rodgers, Brady
- 8/34 QBs vs Ramsey’s Rams have topped 20 DK pts, and only 4/32 over just 24 DK pts (36.3, 36.2, 25.5, 31.7), while 20/34 have finished below 15 DK pts
- Targets: 10 // 9 // 2 // 8 // 3 // 11
- Yards: 97:1 // 66:1 // 10 // 42 // 22 // 74
- TE yds vs LAR: Kmet (42) // Doyle (64) // Gronk (55) // Williams (66:1) // Dissly (29) // Engram (24)
- Rush att: Swift (11, 8, 14, 8, 11, 13) // Williams (9, 7, 12, 14, 13, 4)
- Each has 3 games leading the team in rush yds, but neither has topped even 70 rush yds
- LAR ranks 11th in defensive rush DVOA
- Swift still has total control of the receiving work, with 42 targets to Williams 18
- Swift has 5+ tg in every game (11, 5, 7, 6, 6, 7)
- LAR have allowed the 9th highest success rate to RBs through the air
- Swift’s rec DK pts: 20.5 // 8.1 // 13 // 7.3 // 11.3 // 9.3