Dak Prescott: Under 33.5 Pass Attempts
Result: Win (32 Pass Attempts)
The Dallas Cowboys offense was able to run the fourth-most plays in Week 5, finishing the high scoring affair with 74, seven more than their average over the last three weeks. Even so, Dak Prescott only attempted a pass on 32 of these plays while Dallas continued to operate through their strong rushing attack, totaling 39 rushing attempts. We can expect to see much of the same distribution between their ground and air play calling moving forward as Kellen Moore showcases his talents as one of the more adaptable offensive coordinators in the NFL. While the old air-it-out ways of 2020 may be behind us, it will be important to identify the path of least resistance in future matchups. Moore seems content to protect his franchise QB and rely on his elite backfield as the game environments allow.
Damien Harris: Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts
Result: Loss (14 Rushing Attempts)
After scoring an early TD from the wildcat (designed play at the goal line, great for what could have been this week), Harris later fumbled as he stumbled forwards toward the goal line as a Houston Texans defender punched the ball away at the last possible second. This, combined with a rib injury that ultimately ended his day, opened up an opportunity for Rhamondre Stevenson to siphon the majority of the second half carries, finishing with 11 carries of his own. Harris averaged 4.1 yards per carry on his 14 attempts while Stevenson mustard a disappointing 2.1 YPC, but this may be the end of Harris’ grasp on lead back duties following multiple fumbles in critical spots to start the season.
Elijah Mitchell: Over 49.5 Rush Yards
Result: Loss (43 Rush Yards)
Hilow and JM were all over this usage for the San Francisco backfield, with Elijah Mitchell receiving nine rushing attempts compared to Trey Sermon and Kyle Juszczyk rushing just one time each. Unfortunately, Trey Lance rushed the ball on a whopping 16 of 29 team rush attempts – despite Mitchell’s 4.8 yards per carry, with a long of 14. While this looks like Mitchell’s backfield, with Trey Sermon appearing to still be searching for the coaching staff’s trust, it will be hard to identify usage trends with Lance’s style of play and uneven adjustment to the NFL so far. With that said, the 49ers seem to have found a real player in Mitchell and are set to continue to run the ball effectively moving forward.
Week 1: +10.0 Units
Week 2: -1.2 Units
Week 3: 0.0 Units (No bets placed, family weekend)
Week 4: +4.65 Units
Week 5: +3.1 Units
2021: +16.55 Units
Book: Bet MGM (-105)
Date Available: October 15th
“Dak pass att/g in first five vs last four (TD:INT): 52 att (12:4) vs 27 att (10:2).”
“Dak’s 32 pass att last week were his most since W1 vs TB
Pass att vs NE: 27 // 33 // 21 // 43 // 29.”
“NE ranks 8th in defensive pass DVOA and has allowed the 6th fewest pass yds on the 4th fewest att faced.”
“After starting the year with a 77% situation-neutral pass rate in Week 1 (second highest in the league), Dallas has been the most run-heavy team in the league over the previous three weeks with a very Clevelandian 43% situation-neutral pass rate.”
“This week presents the Cowboys with one of the most run-funnel matchups in the league as the Patriots come into this game ranked 29th in defensive run DVOA and second in pass DVOA, which means we can confidently project Dallas to approach Week 6 in a similar fashion as we’ve grown accustomed to over the previous four weeks.”
“Quarterback Dak Prescott has averaged just 26.75 pass attempts over the previous four weeks, and there is nothing in the matchup that is likely to force that number to increase by a significant margin here.”
As laid out in The Edge write-up for this matchup, almost everything we talked about in Week 5 transfers over to Week 6, the opponent has just changed slightly from the New York Giants to the New England Patriots. Dallas has a situation-neutral run rate of 52%, the second-highest in the league behind the Chicago Bears rate of 56%. The public has still not realized the extent of the change in philosophy here, and it is very unlikely this changes versus a Patriots system that encourages teams to attack them on the ground. The Cowboys are still playing fast and running more than enough plays for the Cowboys to continue putting up elite points per game totals, they have just changed the way they prefer to do it in 2021.
Book: Bet MGM (-111)
Date Available: October 16th
“KC & WAS have allowed the 4th & 5th most pass yds through five weeks.”
“A RB has topped 50 rec yds vs KC in three straight: Ekeler (52:1) // Gainwell (58) // Moss (55).”
“McKissic has two notable receiving games in four Heinicke starts: 5:83 & 5:44:1.”
“Washington’s pass-catching corps appears extremely thin, with tight end Logan Thomas out and Curtis Samuel and Cam Sims unlikely to play.”
“Expect the standard change of pace and third-down duties to fall to JD McKissic, who should also serve as the two-minute back and negative game script back. The Chiefs have allowed 29.6 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, including filtering 34 targets to the position through five games.”
“Considering the dearth of viable pass-catchers, it doesn’t take a large stretch of the imagination to envision a scenario where McKissic saunters into double-digit target territory in negative game flows here.”
This is an OWS fam game favorite, as well as many others across the industry. This game will likely feature a fast pace and a high number of total plays, as the Kansas City Chiefs operate at the eighth fastest situation-neutral pace of play while the Washington Football Team stands one better at the seventh quickest through five weeks. Both teams routinely are involved in high total plays per game (KC at 127, WFT at 130) and both teams give up passing yards in bunches. We can expect Patrick Mahomes to come out firing after a disappointing loss to the Buffalo Bills in primetime, combined with the loss of Clyde Edwards-Helaire to an MCL injury. At 2-3, it is unlikely that the Chiefs run the ball often, which would limit the impact of their star QB. This is all good news for the role and usage of J.D. Mckissic, while the matchup is also favorable for receiving backs. Over the last three games, KC has allowed 50+ receiving yards to at least one running back. The Football Team is low on available pass catchers and in a game they will likely need to pass at the highest rate seen this season.
Book: Bet MGM (-118)
Date Available: October 16th
“Backfields rushing vs MIN: CIN (149:1) // ARI (72) // SEA (88:1) // CLE (169:1) // DET (108:1).”
“RBs with 3+ rec vs MIN: Mixon (4:23) // Edmonds (5:29) // Homer (3:48) // Swift (6:53).”
“The Vikings have really struggled with running backs in the second level and the potential absence of Anthony Barr only serves to increase that deficiency.”
“Consider the Vikings the softest matchup for this Carolina run game to date (yes, better than the Jets and Texans). That’s a welcome sight for a team whose running backs haven’t averaged over 4.7 yards per carry in any game through five weeks.”
“In Week 5, Chuba Hubbard saw his first game with a snap rate over 55%, logging a 65% snap rate which he turned into a very CMC-esque 30 running back opportunities. It is fair to expect a similar level of involvement should CMC miss his third consecutive contest.”
“Furthering the case for whatever running back starts for the Panthers is the heavy 23% running back target rate for Carolina over the first five weeks.”
“Should CMC miss, expect Chuba Hubbard to see 65-70% of the available running back snaps and one of the largest expected workloads on the slate.”
Hilow set the tone for this matchup in the NFL Edge, there is an awful lot of uncertainty. One thing that has become certain as the week has gone on, Christian McCaffery will once again be rested. That means Chubba Hubbard will be featured coming off of a 29-touch game. While this contest may be slow to start, both teams have explosive playmakers that could set the second half up in many ways. Because of game flow uncertainty, we’ll make a bet on Hubbard’s overall involvement and not pigeonhole ourselves into his rushing or receiving usage, opting instead to look at his total yards in a game he should see another massive workload no matter the environment after Royce Freeman touched the ball just four times for eight yards. Minnesota has been vulnerable on the ground and through the air to multipurpose running backs, and Chubba is coming off a game in which he showed his capabilities to affect the game in multiple ways.