Kickoff Sunday, Oct 31st 1:00pm Eastern

Panthers (
22) at

Falcons (
24.5)

Over/Under 46.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Panthers Run D
17th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
31st DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
15th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
25th DVOA/16th Yards per pass
Falcons Run D
30th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
26th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
32nd DVOA/29th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • At what point do we just consider the Panthers a very NFL average team on both sides of the ball? Because I’m just about there
  • It appears as if the only player we should regard as having any semblance of weekly floor for Carolina is DJ Moore.
  • The field is likely to play this game poorly (we’ll discuss this more below)
  • One of DJ Moore or Chuba Hubbard, and one of Kyle Pitts, Calvin Ridley, or Cordarrelle Patterson are likely to pop for a nice game here. The problem is that it is maddening trying to figure out where it will come from

How carolina Will Try To Win ::

As soon as we think we figure out the Panthers, they show us head-scratching usage, wild play-calling, and inconsistent quarterback play. Here’s what we know: Chuba Hubbard is likely capped at around 65% of the offensive snaps (when we then pair that with the realization that the Panthers defense is more of a middling defense rather than a top-end unit, we’re left with a likeliest range of opportunities of 18-22 weekly); DJ Moore and Robby Anderson are the only near-every-down players on the offense; Robby and Sam Darnold have struggled to hook up all year; Ian Thomas and rookie tight end Tommy Tremble eat into each other’s workload, targets, and snap rates; Brandon Zylstra is on IR; and rookie wide receiver Terrace Marshall, Jr. has yet to practice with his concussion. The Panthers play at a middling pace of play, hold a middling pass rate on the season, and utilize 11-personnel at an above-average rate. With all of that considered, paired with their 22nd ranked 20.9 points scored per game, it leads me to the realization and conclusion that maybe this offense can only support one fantasy relevant asset on a weekly basis. That asset is typically DJ Moore. 

The ground game, the one that used to be almost entirely Christian McCaffrey’s, is now closer to a loose timeshare than it is a workhorse situation. Chuba Hubbard has seen 47%, 65%, 65%, and 53% snap rates in the four games without CMC. Newcomer Royce Freeman has emerged as the de facto change of pace back, typically playing 20 to 35% of the offensive snaps. A standard range of outcomes with respect to expected usage puts Hubbard in the 18 to 22 opportunity range. The matchup this week yields a below-average 4.14 net-adjusted line yards metric against an Atlanta defense allowing 26.8 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. Until we see the snap share increase for Hubbard, we are resigned to viewing him as your run-of-the-mill lead back in today’s changing NFL scene.

As alluded to above, we can really only count on DJ Moore to see both volume and production on a weekly basis in this offense. Even with a standard range of pass attempts of 35-39, quarterback Sam Darnold appears incapable of running a functional offense. He has more interceptions on the season than he does passing scores, has fumbled the football five times (only two were lost), and although he has hit the passing bonus three times, the most passing yards he has on the season is 305. That said, if ever there were a game where he could raise his per game passing average, this would be it. The Falcons allow a lofty 250.6 passing yards per game and over 27 points per game, with the elaborate defensive scheme brought in by Dean Pees yet to translate to the scoreboard. DJ Moore has seen double-digit looks in five of seven games and leads the team in team target market share (29.1%), share of team air yards (38.6%), and average yards after the catch (5.2). Take a minute and go check out Robby Anderson’s RotoWire page. Or, maybe don’t, if you don’t want to be depressed. His 84.4 average air yards per game ranks in the top 10% in the league, but his 36.7% catch rate is the lowest in the league (of qualified wide receivers); his YAC stands at an abysmal 3.4 yards per reception, and his 12.2% drop rate ranks towards the bottom of the league. As the only other near every-down player on the team, the underlying metrics can only be described as depressing. 

How atlanta Will Try To Win ::

This Atlanta team is finally figuring out how to best utilize the offensive personnel on hand, as Cordarrelle Patterson out-snapped (and continued to out-produce) backfield-mate Mike Davis in Week 7. Seeing a team place their best play-makers on the field over more established vets, regardless of their reasoning, is a welcomed sight. Rookie phenom Kyle Pitts has been used all over the formation, playing the second-highest rate of snaps lined up in the slot or out wide of any tight end in the league (second to only Mike Gesicki, who is also a “tight end” by label but a wide receiver by trade). With Russel Gage now healthy again, the primary play-makers that the Falcons can field are the top play-makers on the roster. Calvin Ridley, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Pitts, and Russel Gage all played over 63% of the offensive snaps in Week 7, a situation that should continue moving forward. The driving forces behind the weekly approach from this offense revolve around Matt Ryan’s aging arm and a defense that has allowed the third-most points per game in the league (29.3). With that understanding, we can begin to see why Atlanta has attempted the third-most passes per game (41.2) while putting up only the 10th most pass yards per game and scoring only 22.5 points per game (19th in the league). Overall, the Falcons have the seventh-highest situation-neutral pass rate and play at the league’s 11th fastest situation-neutral pace of play.

The breakdown in running back usage took a sharp turn in Patterson’s favor over the last two weeks, as he saw 23 and 19 “running back” opportunities to 18 and four for Mike Davis. Head coach Arthur Smith explained the decreasing usage as game flow dependent, but the truth of the matter is the Falcons are unlikely to see many positive game scripts for the rest of the season. Their three wins have come with a combined 10-point victory margin, while their three losses have come with a 53-point combined margin of loss. Davis is unlikely to see only four opportunities again all season, but we have to think the tides are shifting a bit when we consider Patterson has been the more efficient player all year. The matchup on the ground yields a paltry 3.99 net-adjusted line yards metric against the team allowing the fewest fantasy points against per game to the running back position.

Kyle Pitts leads the Falcons in snaps played, aDOT, catch rate, and drop rate, while ranking second in team target market share and team air yards share. This kid is for real. He has still yet to out-target Calvin Ridley, but his efficiency leaves Ridley’s in the dust. Speaking of Ridley, who has seen eight or more targets in every game played, double-digit looks in all but one game, and double-digit fantasy points in every game played, we have yet to see the true ceiling this season out of him. Ridley and Pitts should be considered the 1A and 1B, with Patterson the 2 on this offense, who has seen five or more targets in five consecutive games. Behind those three, Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst should be considered tertiary options on most weeks, with Gage the likeliest to provide fantasy utility. 

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game is an interesting study as the Panthers tilt run-funnel on defense and the Falcons clearly tilt pass-heavy on offense, while the Falcons can be beaten any which way on defense but the Panthers are a highly inefficient offense (28th-ranked drive success rate). This provides a game environment with a wide range of potential outcomes, with either team equally likely to be the driving force behind the game environment as a whole. The two game flows with basically an equally as likely chance of happening are a shootout and a slugfest, with either team dominating this game highly unlikely. That leads to a situation where the most optimal ways of playing the game are to either stack it up or avoid it completely; there really is not much room for the in-between. That said, I can see this game gaining interest as far as one-offs go, giving us a solid leverage opportunity this week. 


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • ATL has won 3 of last 4 (and probably should’ve won four straight)
  • CAR has dropped four straight after a 3-0 start
  • ATL has scored 27+ pts in three straight
  • CAR has recently allowed 36, 21, 34, 25 points

Matt Ryan:

  • Since his ugly 164:0 start in W1, Ryan has averaged 300.8 yds, 2.4 TDs, 0.8 INT in the last five games
  • He has thrown at least 2 TDs in all five of those games
  • Only BUF has allowed fewer QB pass yds than CAR, however CAR has allowed 14 QB TDs to 4 INT
  • CAR may add stud CB Stephon Gilmore at some point soon
  • Ryan struggled vs CAR in 2020: 226:0:1 // 281:0:1, rush TD

ATL WRs:

  • Targets: Ridley (8, 10, 11, 13, –, 10) // Gage (2, 7, –, –, –, 6) // Zach (4, 6, 3, 4, 1)
  • Ridley’s best yardage game this year is just 7 rec for 80 yds vs WAS
  • Every WR since 2020 to reach 100 yds vs CAR has needed 7+ rec to get there (Evans, Keenan, Ridley, Julio, Tyreek, Cooks, Thielen)
  • WRs with 7+ tg vs CAR in 2021: Davis (97:2), Berrios (51) // Cooks (112) // Devonta (77) // Thielen (126:1), Osborn (78:1), Jefferson (80)
  • CAR has allowed the 6th fewest completed air yds
  • Both of Ridley’s TDs have come in the games Gage has played

Kyle Pitts:

  • Kyle Pitts = ATL’s new WR1? → 225 snaps slot/wide vs 84 inline
  • Pitts targets: 8 // 6 // 3 // 9 // 10 // 8
  • Pitts yds: 31 // 73 // 35 // 50 // 119 // 163
  • Notable TEs vs CAR: Schultz (6:58:1) // Goedert (2:28) // Conklin (3:71) // Engram (6:44)

ATL RBs:

  • Rush att first four games: Davis (15 // 9 // 12 // 13) // CPatt (7 // 7 // 7 // 6)
  • Rush att last two games: Davis (13 // 4) // CPatt (14 // 14)
  • CPatt has 5+ rec in 4/6 games (2 // 5 // 6 // 5 // 7 // 2)
  • His rec yds in the games with 5+ rec: 58:1 // 82 // 82:3 // 60
  • CPatt’s floor since W2 has been 14 DK pts (23.9, 16.2, 34.6, 18.4, 14.1)
  • CAR has allowed the fewest RB rec yds this season (just 86 total)
  • CAR’s last four opp rushing: DAL (30:210:1) // PHI (13:61) // MIN (33:180:1) // NYG (23:75:1)

Sam Darnold:

  • Darnold’s 4.4 yds/att, INT, and 10.7 QBR got him benched in a blowout loss to NYG
  • Darnold’s last three games: 177:1:3 (PHI) // 207:1:1 (MIN) // 111:0:1 (NYG)
  • Opp pass defenses by DVOA: PHI (19th) // MIN (3rd) // NYG (16th)
  • ATL ranks 30th in defensive pass DVOA
  • QB passing vs ATL: 264:3 // 275:5 // 266:0 // 290:3 // 192:0:1 // 291:4:2
  • QB rushing vs ATL: Hurts (7:62) // Jones (8:39) // Heinicke (5:43) // Tua (4:29)
  • Darnold rushing: TD // 11:2 // 35:2 // 10 // 48 // 0

CAR WRs:

  • Robby somehow only trails Moore in targets 38 to 42 over the last four weeks (9.5 tg/g)
  • Robby Anderson has produced just 13 rec for 101 yds on those 38 tg
  • Robby has the 5th most unrealized air yds in the NFL per PlayerProfiler
  • Robby vs ATL in 2020: 8:112 // 5:48
  • 12.7 is Robby’s season high in DK pts thanks to one 57 yd TD catch in W1
  • ATL has allowed 15 rec on 28 deep targets to WRs, with McLaurin & Evans the only ones with more than 1 rec (4 & 3)
  • DJ Moore has 70+ yds in all but one game: 80 // 79:1 // 126 // 113:2 // 42 // 73 // 73
  • Moore has 10+ tg in all but two games: 8 // 11 // 12 // 12 // 7 // 13 // 10
  • WRs with 8+ tg vs ATL: Smith (6:71:1) // Evans (5:75:2) // McLaurin (6:123:2) // Waddle (7:83)
  • Moore vs ATL in 2020: 4:93:1 // 2:55
  • Moore’s 2021 scores by salary multiplier (using W8 salary): 2.1 // 3 // 3.3 // 4.8 // 1.2 // 1.7 // 1.8
  • His best score there came in a 28-36 shootout loss to DAL
  • Final game totals of ATL games: 38 // 73 // 31 // 64 // 47 // 58
  • ATL vs CAR in 2020 finished with combined totals of just 39 & 42

Chuba Hubbard:

  • Hubbard’s rush att as starter: 13 // 24 // 16 // 12
  • Hubbard’s targets as starter:  2 // 6 // 3 // 5
  • Hubbard had 70+ total yds in the first 2.5 games in relief of CMC : 79 // 71 // 134
  • Hubbard has just 65 & 56 total yds in the last two games
  • RBs with 10+ touches vs ATL: Sanders (113), Gainwell (43:1) // Fournette (76) // Saquon (94:1) // Gibson (75:1), McKissic (59:1) // Carter (58:1) // Gaskin (77:1)