Week 10 Matchups

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Kickoff Thursday, Nov 10th 8:15pm Eastern

Falcons (
22) at

Panthers (
19.5)

Over/Under 41.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Falcons Run D
8th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
25th DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
29th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
32nd DVOA/32nd Yards per pass
Panthers Run D
32nd DVOA/13th Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
20th DVOA/14th Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
20th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
22nd DVOA/8th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Week 10 begins with the Falcons visiting the Panthers for a 42.5 total game with Atlanta favored by a field goal. It’s a war of two mediocre teams, with the “run at any cost no matter what the game situation” Falcons, who are somewhat mysteriously 4-5 and tied for 1st place in their division, going up against the blatantly tanking 2-7 Panthers. 

Atlanta

On the Falcons side, the big news last week was Cordarelle Patterson coming back from injury earlier than expected. Patterson proceeded to handle 14 running back opportunities and score two touchdowns, which is the challenge with Patterson; he can be highly efficient, but he generally doesn’t see the same kind of workload as other RB1s. In last week’s game, Patterson played 39% of the snaps, Tyler Allgeier played 38% of the snaps and saw 11 opportunities while Hilow’s favorite bowling ball, Caleb Huntley, played 21% of the snaps and saw seven opportunities. Given the low passing volume of this offense, these guys are essentially all yardage and touchdown backs in a split backfield (Patterson has eight targets on the year, Allgeier has six, and Huntley has zero). At $11,800, Patterson is objectively a pretty bad play here given his workload, but I’m curious where his ownership ends up. He’s a very obvious, blatantly bad play, so his ownership could end up coming in quite low. While a “bad play,” he still has one of the higher ceilings on the slate, it just comes with a low floor. My motto is always “play highly volatile plays at low ownership, not high ownership,” and that’s how I’ll approach Patterson here. Allgeier’s role is likely to shrink a bit with Patterson’s role growing, but Allgeier is still viable at $6,200 if he’s the one who finds his way into the end zone. Huntley is a harder sell at $4,800, as he’s only likely to get a couple of touches, and at his price, even if he finds his way into the end zone, he isn’t a lock to be optimal.

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, good freaking luck. The Falcons have attempted 28 or fewer passes in all but one game this year and are averaging just 22.3 attempts per game. It’s hard to pick out “good” plays given that level of volume. Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Olamide Zaccheaus are the guys who are on the field the most, with Damire Byrd, Khadarel Hodge, Parker Hesse, MyCole Pruitt, and special teams back Avery Williams all seeing the field to some degree. Pitts is my favorite play here (because his red zone role is larger than London), and then it’s London, and then Zaccheaus. All of the others are MME punt plays, though I have a fair bit of interest in Byrd, who has two 40+ yard touchdowns on the season (if I’m going to play a punt option, ideally, I want one who can land in the optimal lineup off of one play). This is a short section on the passing game. While I could try to get more nitpicky about each play, the incredibly low volume here means that you’re really just taking shots at who can get a touchdown. The Falcons have yet to produce a 100+ yard receiver and have a whopping ONE total pass catcher game with over 10 DK points that didn’t come with a touchdown (London all the way back in Week 1). You’re hunting for touchdowns here. Good luck.

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 9:30am Eastern

Hawks (
21.25) at

Bucs (
23.75)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Seahawks Run D
23rd DVOA/25th Yards allowed per carry
Buccaneers Run O
29th DVOA/32nd Yards per carry
Seahawks Pass D
25th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per pass
Buccaneers Pass O
15th DVOA/6th Yards per pass
Buccaneers Run D
11th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per carry
Seahawks Run O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per carry
Buccaneers Pass D
15th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Seahawks Pass O
8th DVOA/12th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

We get our first NFL game in Germany as the Seahawks and Bucs travel over there for a 44.5 total game with Tampa favored by about a field goal. This is a super interesting matchup that pits a Seahawks team that has overachieved compared to preseason expectations, against a Tampa team that has done the exact opposite, as they are barely hanging on to first place with a 4-5 record due to their great defense and a weak division.

Tampa Bay

On the Bucs side, we have Leonard Fournette as the lead back, though his role has started to erode a bit as Rachaad White gains steam throughout the season. Fournette is the guy Brady trusts and he’s a good pass blocker and receiver, which in an extremely high passing volume offense like Tampa’s is critical. But, he’s also run for just 3.3 yards per carry this year, as he is both old and slow and has a terrible run-blocking offensive line (Tampa’s O line is 29th in adjusted line yards, yikes). Seattle’s defense started the year looking like a dumpster fire that we wanted to attack in DFS but has somewhat quietly crept up to be ranked 12th in overall DVOA which is impressive after the slow start. I think we have to remove “bell cow” from Fournette’s description because he’s seen 20+ running back opportunities in just four of nine games and is trending in the wrong direction (under 10 carries in the last three). His goal-line and passing game roles keep him alive for DFS, though, and his price has adjusted from a high of $11,600 all the way down to $7,800, which feels reasonable for his role. White’s role has been growing, and though he hasn’t exactly seized the opportunity with elite performance, the rookie certainly has more long-term upside for Tampa. He’s also proven a capable receiver, and while he’s a bit overpriced for his likeliest outcome at $5,000, you can bet that the role shifts more in his favor or that he finds his way into the end zone. I think those are reasonable bets to make and I want to be overweight on what I expect to be fairly modest ownership given his price. 

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, I expect Mike Evans to play, Cam Brate to return, and Russell Gage to miss. That would give us Evans and Chris Godwin playing almost every snap, while some combination of Scotty Miller, Julio Jones, and Breshad Perriman fill in the rest of the wide receiver snaps, while Brate and rookie Cade Otton (who has been pretty darn impressive) should have some kind of split at tight end. While Evans and Godwin have historically been ranked right next to each other (and generally priced very closely in Showdowns), they’ve diverged this week, with Evans the most expensive player on the slate and Godwin down in value-town at $7,200. Why? Well, while Godwin’s volume is still robust (10+ targets in every full game he’s played except one), he’s seeing targets closer to the line of scrimmage and also managing less YAC than he has in prior seasons. It’s a fair bet that Godwin will see more targets than Evans, and while Godwin led the team in red zone work last year, it’s flipped this year with 15 red zone targets for Evans and just seven for Godwin. Emotionally, I want to latch onto Godwin at the much cheaper price – and he’s a good play – but I think the two of them are pretty fairly priced here given how their roles have diverged this season. Behind them, the trio of WR3s have vastly different prices, with Julio all the way up at $6,200, Miller at $4,800 coming off of last week’s solid game, and Perriman lingers down at $1,000. Perriman’s snaps have been the least consistent of this group, and while Julio isn’t playing a ton, he’s well-utilized when on the field. I really like Perriman as a tourney dart throw and value option, while Julio and Scotty need to be included in player pools just based on how many times Brady throws per game, but none of these can be classified as a safe play. Tight end is the most uncertain spot for the Bucs, as Otton has performed extremely well this year and Brate was only slightly out snapping him earlier in the season when both were healthy. I think Otton is the lead guy here but Brate’s return should bring down his snaps from the 81% – 94% range he’s been in without Brate. At his highest Showdown price of the season, and with the prospect of losing at least some amount of field time, Otton should be viewed as a higher-risk tourney option . . . though in a matchup that very much favors tight ends, he is still viable and fortunately, his price didn’t go up much after last week’s big game. Brate is another interesting value option at $1,200 given the elite matchup and his strong red zone role (he has 5 red zone targets on the year despite only playing 194 snaps – on a per-snap basis, that would give him the most red zone targets on the team of anyone besides Evans). Ko Kieft could be included in MME player pools, I suppose, though his role is likely to mostly disappear with Brate back. 

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Vikings (
19.75) at

Bills (
26.25)

Over/Under 46.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Vikings Run D
12th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per carry
Bills Run O
5th DVOA/9th Yards per carry
Vikings Pass D
10th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per pass
Bills Pass O
3rd DVOA/7th Yards per pass
Bills Run D
18th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Vikings Run O
27th DVOA/22nd Yards per carry
Bills Pass D
9th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per pass
Vikings Pass O
21st DVOA/17th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • We are unlikely to get concrete information on Josh Allen until inactives are officially released, but context clues and common sense would point towards him sitting out this game.
  • The Bills offense may run slightly more than normal, but they are still built as a “pass first” offense.
  • The Bills defense is banged up and has been torched on the ground recently.
  • T.J. Hockenson was a featured player in his debut for the Vikings and brings their passing game an added dimension.

How minnesota Will Try To Win ::

Last week in Washington, the Vikings ran 61 offensive plays that were not kneel downs or sacks. On those plays, they attempted to give the ball to one of Dalvin Cook, T.J. Hockenson, or Justin Jefferson on 46 plays – meaning that trio of players accounted for just over 75% of the offense’s workload last week. Given the nature of the offense and head coach Kevin O’Connell’s philosophical background, it seems likely that a heavy dose of those players is likely to continue especially in tough, high leverage games like this one.

The Vikings face a Bills defense that ranks very highly in most defensive metrics, but has been sliced up on the ground in consecutive weeks and will be without several key pieces. The Bills have given up 382 rushing yards to the Packers and Jets over the last two weeks. The Vikings have PFF’s #3 graded run blocking offensive line and Dalvin Cook could feast in this matchup if the Bills play their usual shell defense to protect against downfield passing, and if their injured players are unable to play or be effective. The Bills defensive scheme would tend to funnel targets towards the short and intermediate areas of the field – with Hockenson, Jefferson, and Cook all likely to be beneficiaries of such an approach to varying degrees. The addition of Hockenson also enables the Vikings to play faster if/when they want to, as they can play primarily in “11” personnel (3 WRs, 1 RB, 1 TE) and not have to substitute at RB or TE depending on if it is a run or pass situation. This makes them less predictable for the defense and should help efficiency in all areas.

How BUffalo Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Lions (
22.75) at

Bears (
25.75)

Over/Under 48.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Lions Run D
3rd DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Bears Run O
10th DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
16th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Bears Pass O
23rd DVOA/23rd Yards per pass
Bears Run D
4th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
4th DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Bears Pass D
17th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
9th DVOA/9th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Josh Reynolds remained out of Wednesday’s practice after missing last week’s game, typically not a good sign for his availability for the coming weekend.
  • The Bears have averaged 31.33 points per game over their previous three contests, while the Lions cede the most points per game this season.
  • Jared Goff has been one of the most pressure-sensitive quarterbacks in the league over the previous three seasons and the Bears blitz at a league-low 14.0% clip this season (and just lost Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn).
  • Everything for a massive shootout is present here, albeit with an extremely wide range of potential outcomes.

How detroit Will Try To Win ::

Woof, man, talk about polar results from this Lions team this season. They started the season first in scoring over the first four weeks before sputtering to just 12 points per game over their next four contests, including weeks of zero points, six points, 15 points, and one nice game of 27 points against the Dolphins. The dip in scoring coincides with injuries and players being dealt away, as D’Andre Swift missed multiple games and has returned to only a very limited role, TJ Hockenson was dealt away to the Vikings, WR2 Josh Reynolds has been struggling through injury since Week 5 (playing on an injured ankle through two games before missing Week 9 and missing practice on Wednesday to start preparation for Week 10), and D.J. Chark has been on IR since Week 7 after missing two consecutive games leading up to their Week 6 bye. Not the easiest wave of events to overcome, to be honest. That said, this is a team that likes to start with a moderate pace with heightened rush rates before adapting to the game environment as the game progresses. That has led to multiple instances of an increased pace of play and aerial aggression in the second half as the team has routinely found themselves in negative game scripts this season. Due to personnel constraints and negative game scripts, the offense has operated primarily from 11-personnel since its Week 6 bye, with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond likeliest to see near every-down roles, Tom Kennedy and Brandon Zylstra mixing in for the remaining wide receiver snaps, Jamaal Williams, D’Andre Swift, and Justin Jackson or Craig Reynolds sharing backfield duties, and blocking specialist Brock Wright sharing tight end duties with the electric rookie James Mitchell. Concentration outside of Amon-Ra St. Brown is likely to be sporadic, at best.

As touched on above, D’Andre Swift’s injuries have left the backfield with plodder Jamaal Williams as the lead back, with Swift utilized sparingly since returning from injury in Week 8. Swift’s snap rate dipped from 55% in Week 8 to just 16% in Week 9, as the team felt they brought him along too early. It’s likely they continue to be careful with their top back in a lost season, meaning we’re likely to see another week of Jamaal Williams as the lead back, with Swift and either Craig Reynolds or Justin Jackson mixing in from there. The low per-touch upside of Williams saps most of the upside from this unit, while Swift and Reynolds or Jackson won’t be on the field enough to matter from a GPP perspective. Stranger things have happened, but the current state of this backfield does not lend itself to GPP upside. The pure rushing matchup yields a borderline elite 4.85 net-adjusted line yards metric, but with Jamaal Williams likely responsible for the bulk of the rushing workload, the matchup matters less than in other spots.

The passing game is a little easier to decipher, with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond likely to be the only near every-down pass-catchers this week (assuming Reynolds misses, which appears likely as of this writing). St. Brown has seen a combined 19 targets over the previous two weeks, compared to just seven for Raymond, further constricting the likeliest dispersal of targets as St. Brown has another week removed from his ankle injury. That makes 11 consecutive fully healthy games for St. Brown with nine or more targets, dating back to Week 12 of last season. One area that should be a slight boost to the Lions offense this week is the relatively low blitz and pressure rates generated by the Bears defense this season, which should theoretically take a hit through the departures of DE Robert Quinn and LB Roquan Smith before the trade deadline. From a macro perspective, the Bears have blitzed at a league-low 14.0% clip this season and have generated pressure at a below average 20.9% clip. OWS faithful know the difference between “pressured Goff” and “kept-clean Goff,” but to reiterate things now – Goff has been one of the most pressure-sensitive quarterbacks in the league over the previous three seasons, with one of the worst grades when under pressure and above average grades when kept clean. All signs point to the likelihood of a cleaner pocket against the Bears this week, which bodes well for his primary pass-catcher in Amon-Ra St. Brown.

How Chicago Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Jaguars (
21) at

Chiefs (
30.5)

Over/Under 51.5

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Key Matchups
Jaguars Run D
6th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
11th DVOA/11th Yards per carry
Jaguars Pass D
12th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
6th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Chiefs Run D
27th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Jaguars Run O
26th DVOA/30th Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
5th DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Jaguars Pass O
13th DVOA/18th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • The KC offense is likely to find real life success but that may not lead to fantasy success.
  • Patrick Mahomes ownership projections might overstate his ownership in reality.
  • Travis Etienne is still underpriced for his opportunity.
  • The Jaguars are trying to keep up and have been in every game this season.

How Jacksonville Will Try To Win ::

The 3-6 Jaguars come into Week 10 off a victory against a listless Raiders team that is woefully underperforming their talent. The Jags haven’t had many victories to celebrate, but they’ve been very competitive, with all six losses coming by one score, and their previous two victories being blowouts. The Jags have an unfortunate-looking point differential (+21) when held up against their record. For comparison, the Jets have a slightly lower point differential (+20) but a much better 6-3 record. The difference between point differential and record alone doesn’t mean the Jags are vastly underrated, but it serves as a reminder that their record and the perception around them could be very different with a few close results going the other way.

Doug Pederson is playing with a moderate pace (14th overall) but he notably plays quicker (3rd overall) when trailing. Pederson wants to run but never gives up early, speeding up when his team falls behind which is why so many Jags game finish close. This team isn’t rolling over and it’s important to keep in mind they have been in every game. The Jags have a huge void between their pass-blocking grades (3rd per PFF) and their run-blocking grades (30th per PFF), but that discrepancy hasn’t stopped them from trying to run (23rd in pass play percentage). The Jags O-line hasn’t created much (26th in adjusted line yards) but the Chiefs have been equally generous on the ground (28th in adjusted line yards given up) so there is reason to think the Jags could find success in a weakness-on-weakness matchup. The Chiefs have beatable on the ground (20th in DVOA) and through the air (24th in DVOA) offering near-equal paths of least resistance. Pederson hasn’t gotten enough credit for the coaching job he’s done because of his team’s record but he has been willing to start with a run-balanced approach on offense and do what the situation dictates rather than having a rigid “play our way approach.” Without a glaring weakness to attack, it is likely that Pederson comes out with a ground-based game plan to keep Mahomes off the field but he will have the willingness to cut bait and try to keep up if the Jags fall behind early. Expect the Jags to try and run the ball for as long as they can, before eventually passing when the Chiefs take a lead.   

How kansas city Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Browns (
23) at

Dolphins (
26.5)

Over/Under 49.5

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Key Matchups
Browns Run D
5th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Dolphins Run O
3rd DVOA/1st Yards per carry
Browns Pass D
2nd DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Dolphins Pass O
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards per pass
Dolphins Run D
21st DVOA/8th Yards allowed per carry
Browns Run O
21st DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Dolphins Pass D
18th DVOA/12th Yards allowed per pass
Browns Pass O
26th DVOA/13th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • David Njoku missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, which is telling regarding his game-day status considering the Browns are coming off their bye week.
  • Standout tackle Jack Conklin got in a limited session on Wednesday before being downgraded to DNP on Thursday, a situation to monitor as the weekend draws near.
  • Third-string tight end Hunter Long missed practice to start the week as he works his way through the concussion protocol, while second-string tight end Durham Smythe remains on the injury report with a hamstring injury, although he was able to get in a limited session Wednesday. Monitor this situation for Miami for how it might influence Mike Gesicki’s involvement (which could fundamentally alter Miami’s offensive approach here).
  • This game has a path to truly open up, but it would likely require a very specific game flow where Miami jumps out to a large lead early. Cleveland has shown the desire and ability to increase their pace and aerial aggression when required this season.
  • The flip side to that is this game also has paths to be relatively disappointing should Cleveland maintain control of the environment deeper into the game.
  • Wide range of potential outcomes as far as the game environment goes.

How Cleveland Will Try To Win ::

Cleveland’s expected pass rate (adjusted for game flow and situation) sits just under 62% this season (right around league average) but their actual pass rate is just 50.56%, yielding the fourth lowest pass rate over expectation value in the league (or, pass rate under expectation, as someone in Discord pointed out a couple of weeks ago; shoutout to you, I forget who it was). The difference between the Browns and some of the other teams in the bottom tier of PROE is pace, as Cleveland starts games with a sluggish pace of play (22nd-ranked 29.34) but they are not afraid to play up-tempo when the game script requires it (fourth-ranked pace of play when trailing by seven or more points this season). That’s a positive when looking to attack their game environments due to their propensity to increase aggression should they be trailing. But we know how they want to try and win games – with a moderate-to-slow pace of play and heavy rush rates through their running back tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. They’ve largely been able to stick to that game plan behind an offensive line blocking to the league’s seventh best run-blocking metrics. In games they are able to control via the ground game, Cleveland has shown the propensity to run increased rates of 12-personnel, something that took a hit in Week 8 (they were on bye in Week 9) in the absence of David Njoku. Their seventh-ranked net drive success rate has aided in this game plan; however, poor performance in the red zone (21st-ranked 58.62% red zone touchdown rate allowed) has ballooned their points allowed per drive value to a 28th-ranked 2.43, which has been the primary issue for the Browns this season.

Nick Chubb ranks second in the league in total rush yards at 841 (105.1 per game), all the while playing no more than 63% of the offensive snaps in a game this season. The Browns are typically more inclined to keep him between 50-60% of the offensive snaps, which speaks volumes about his unreal efficiency. Kareem Hunt has almost exclusively soaked up the remaining volume out of the backfield with either Demetric Felton or D’Ernest Johnson only seeing snaps in blowout games. The Browns rank bottom 10 in the league in running back targets, meaning we’re betting on the efficiency to continue and multiple touchdowns to flow to either Chubb or Hunt by selecting them to our rosters. The rushing matchup yields a slightly above average 4.39 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Dolphins defense holding opposing backfields to just 3.67 yards per running back carry, second best in the NFL behind only the 49ers. There isn’t a lot of hidden analysis required for this unit – what we see is what we get. Of note, standout tackle Jack Conklin was limited in practice on Wednesday before sitting out on Thursday, which is something to monitor as the weekend approaches.

Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones are the lone pass-catchers to see near every-down usage in this offense in the absence of David Njoku (who had become a near every-down tight end prior to injuring his ankle). Njoku missed practice to start the week and should be considered doubtful, as of this writing, placing increased emphasis on Amari Cooper’s shoulders this week. Cooper has seen double-digit looks in four of eight games this season, scoring five total touchdowns. One thing that might go missed by the field is the increased aDOT and deeper routes that Cooper is running with the Browns after managing only 8.7 and 11.5 marks the past two seasons (12.9 this year, which is 19th in the league). Peoples-Jones actually has a lower aDOT than Cooper after being treated as primarily a deep threat throughout his career prior to this season (11.5). Either way, expect these two to be on the field almost every offensive snap and expect an increased percentage of the aerial work to flow through them without Njoku in the lineup. There is upside here against a Miami secondary allowing 36.6 DK points per game to opposing wide receivers (ninth most in the league).

How Miami Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Texans (
18) at

Giants (
23)

Over/Under 41.0

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Key Matchups
Texans Run D
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Giants Run O
31st DVOA/15th Yards per carry
Texans Pass D
23rd DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per pass
Giants Pass O
30th DVOA/30th Yards per pass
Giants Run D
29th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per carry
Texans Run O
30th DVOA/26th Yards per carry
Giants Pass D
19th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Texans Pass O
12th DVOA/5th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Two run-heavy offenses against two defenses that rank in the bottom three in yards allowed per running back carry. It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to see the clear path for both offenses here.
  • Kenny Golladay returned to a limited practice out of New York’s bye, while Daniel Bellinger remained out on Wednesday.
  • Brandin Cooks was listed as DNP Wednesday with his phantom wrist injury while Nico Collins returned as a limited participant.
  • We’re likely to see a below average total number of offensive plays run from scrimmage, with each team highly unlikely (and mostly unwilling) to open up their offense until late in games.

How houston Will Try To Win ::

The Texans currently sport the league’s third-worst net points per drive, second-worst net drive success rate, and worst net yards per drive this season. When combined with a slow pace of play (24th in first half pace of play and 27th in pace of play with the score within six points), it has led to Houston running just 58.3 offensive plays per game which is 30th in the league, ahead of only Tennessee and Carolina. While their overall 59.66% pass play rate appears non-terrible on the surface, we have to factor in the low volume of the offense and the 20th-ranked pass rate over expectation (PROE) value from this team. It also can be said that Lovie Smith’s approach to game management has largely worked as advertised this season, with the team allowing “only” 22.9 points per game, which primarily can be attributed to coaching scheme, game management, and an affinity for a more ball control-based team. Overall, expect low volume through the pass game and heavy concentration in the backfield, primarily through rookie running back Dameon Pierce. Also, consider this: the median plays per game value in the NFL this season is 63.3, a number that the Texans have surpassed only twice through eight games played (70 in Week 1 and 65 in Week 7). Again, volume is an issue here.

The offensive game plan for the Texans isn’t necessarily as bad as most seem to think it is this season. To me, last week’s Thursday Night Football game against the Eagles highlights this assertion. In that game, The Texans absolutely fed rookie running back Dameon Pierce, giving him a massive 27 carries against the top team in the league. Was this primarily due to the mostly neutral game script, was it primarily due to the fact that Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins were out, or was there a deeper meaning here? I would argue that Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton laid out a game plan that gave their team the best chance to knock off the undefeated Eagles. The Eagles have the largest gap in pass DVOA vs. run DVOA in the league, checking in at second in pass DVOA and just 27th in run DVOA. Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are a shell of their earlier selves against the run, primarily making their noise through their still above average pass rush. That led to 27 Dameon Pierce carries to just 22 Davis Mills pass attempts, with an overall 59.3% rush rate. The Giants rank 24th in rush DVOA and 23rd in pass DVOA, indicating that we might see another run-heavy offensive game plan from the Texans here. Furthermore, since Dameon Pierce took over as the unquestioned lead back in Houston, he has seen target counts of six, five, four, five, and zero, meaning he likely falls in the “this player might have enough receiving usage to offset one of the required scores he needs to be GPP-viable,” considering our shift in the way we are viewing the position through the lens of “how can running backs hit GPP-viable scores in today’s changing game” (most players in today’s game fall into the category of needing 100+ rush yards and multiple scores, whereas some provide enough receiving work to offset one required touchdown). The matchup on the ground yields a borderline elite 4.71 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Giants team ceding a robust 5.40 yards per running back carry this season (third worst).

To say the Houston passing attack is in a state of complete disarray would be an understatement. Lead wide receiver Brandin Cooks was vocal about his desire to get out of town leading up to the trade deadline, was vocal about his frustration about not being traded at the deadline, and then missed the Thursday night game against the top team in the league two days after the trade deadline for “personal reasons.” Their number two wide receiver Nico Collins has continued to underperform his hype and has not played since getting injured in Week 7. Last week, that left their pass-catching corps in the hands of Chris Moore, practice squad-turned-signee Phillip Dorsett, Tyron Johnson, Jalen Camp, and a tight end trio consisting of O.J. Howard, Brevin Jordan, and Jordan Akins. The Texans have operated from 21-personnel around 20% of their offensive snaps this season, with those almost exclusively coming through the utilization of full-back Troy Hairston (as in, Dameon Pierce and Rex Burkhead don’t play on the field together). They have also utilized 12-personnel about 30% of the time this season, making them one of the lowest 11-personnel rate offenses in the league. Look for that to continue against the Giants, regardless of the game-day status of Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins. Now factor in the low expected pass volume and relative spread in snap rates amongst the skill position players and there isn’t a ton to like from this unit this week (or most weeks, for that matter).

How new york Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Saints (
19.25) at

Steelers (
20.25)

Over/Under 39.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Saints Run D
25th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
12th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
11th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
13th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
13th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
7th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
20th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Mark Ingram and Marshon Lattimore remained out to start the practice week, while Jarvis Landry continued his trend from last week of limited showings. Offensive linemen Erik McCoy and Andrus Peat also missed practice on Wednesday.
  • The Pittsburgh injury report should look familiar, with multiple pieces of the secondary still listed as DNP and kicker Chris Boswell yet to return to practice with a groin injury.
  • This game flow and environment should go as Alvin Kamara goes, with a relatively wide range of potential outcomes. The path to upside runs through Kamara, which would then open up the Steelers offense into a range of increased pass attempts and potential fantasy goodness.
  • TJ Watt tore his pectoral in the first game of the season but is reportedly close to a return. As in, he could make it back this week for a defense struggling to generate pressure in his absence.

How new orleans Will Try To Win ::

The Saints are likely to continue with Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback moving forward (at least for Week 10), which gives us a different look to the offense than what we saw to start the season with Jameis Winston starting. During the six-game stretch with Dalton at quarterback, the Saints have averaged 26.83 points per game, while Dalton has attempted just 31.67 passes per game. The Saints clearly want to run a moderately-paced, run-focused attack with an 18th-ranked first-half pace of play, 27th-ranked situation-neutral pace of play, and 27th-ranked pass rate over expectation, but a defense allowing the fifth most points per game has forced them away from that game plan in most weeks. Recently, that has meant an increased focus on Alvin Kamara (both on the ground and through the air), increased utilization of everyone’s favorite fantasy troll Taysom Hill, and a high concentration of targets for rookie wide receiver Chris Olave. But we must understand that this team still wants to be run-balanced first and foremost, with the tendency to not open things up unless pushed into dire straits.

Alvin Kamara has played a total of seven fully healthy games for the Saints this season. In those games, he has seen no less than a 62% snap rate with an average of 72.3% of the team’s offensive snaps. His touch totals have wildly fluctuated based on varying game flows, but he has seen target counts of six, six, seven, nine, and three (last week in the blowout loss) in games he has played with Andy Dalton at quarterback. The touchdowns have overall been lacking, scoring all three of his yearly touchdowns in one game against the Raiders two weeks ago, but the usage is back to vintage Kamara levels – bringing along a solid floor and elite ceiling with it. Expect Kamara to soak up 70%+ of the offensive snaps here, with likely 80%+ of the total available running back touches. The pure rushing matchup yields an above-average 4.62 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Steelers defense allowing 23.1 DK points per game to opposing backfields. Dwayne Washington should get another week as the de facto change of pace back, with Mark Ingram unlikely to return from injury.

In what should seem like Groundhog Day, the Saints have had to fight through multiple injuries amongst their pass-catchers this season. Michael Thomas is likely done for the season, Jarvis Landry hasn’t played since Week 4, tight end Adam Trautman missed two games, and even Mark Ingram has missed two games. That has forced this team to turn to rookie wide receiver Chris Olave as their alpha, with a smattering of mediocrity consisting of Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith, Kieth Kirkwood, Kevin White, the electric rookie Rashid Shaheed, and Deonte Harty all figuring into the wide receiver picture thus far. Jarvis maintained the same level of practice participation as he did all last week, with a limited showing on Wednesday, which doesn’t mean much to us after he missed last week’s game. The best-case scenario is the team gets Landry back this week, likely in a limited fashion, after missing five straight games. The pass offense under Dalton has been a conservative one, who holds a below-average 7.5 average intended air yards per pass attempt value this season. Expect Kamara and Olave to maintain their statuses as the focal point of the offense, with nothing in the matchup to deter either from finding some form of success here.

How pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 1:00pm Eastern

Broncos (
18.5) at

Titans (
21)

Over/Under 39.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Broncos Run D
30th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
18th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
26th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
24th DVOA/16th Yards per pass
Titans Run D
10th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
14th DVOA/18th Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
24th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
18th DVOA/25th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Ryan Tannehill got in a limited practice Wednesday after apparently being close to playing in Week 9 through his ankle injury. 
  • Five defensive starters missed practice for the Titans on Wednesday, including NT Teair Tart, DT Jeffery Simmons, ILB Zach Cunningham, OLB Bud Dupree, and SS Amani Hooker.
  • Denver has the highest delta between defensive DVOA (second) and offensive DVOA (27th) in the league. 
  • The Derrick Henry show should be allowed to continue and thrive here against a clear run-funnel Broncos defense ceding 5.02 yards per carry to opposing backfields.

How denver Will Try To Win ::

The Broncos have to be considered one of the greatest head-scratchers of the 2022 season, limping into the midpoint scoring the third fewest points per game (15.1 – ahead of only Pittsburgh and Indianapolis) with a roster that many attacked relentlessly in offseason Best Ball drafts. The offensive log jam shouldn’t be viewed as resulting from one particular aspect, but rather a combination of multiple shortcomings. First, Russell Wilson has looked #bad. His timing is off, his arm strength appears down, and he has yet to gel with his pass-catchers. Second, Javaonte Wiliams was lost for the season early in the year, and he is inarguably their most dynamic offensive playmaker. Next, their pass-catchers are having an immensely difficult time separating from defenders, with Courtland Sutton (82nd), Jerry Jeudy (90th), and K.J. Hamler (unqualified) all struggling to separate from coverage. Their most often open player this season has been rookie tight end Greg Dulcich, whom we are starting to see become one of the most reliable weapons on this offense. Finally, head coach and offensive play-caller Nathaniel Hackett has called one of the most vanilla and boring offenses in recent memory, leveraging his defensive fortitude (second in defensive DVOA and second in points allowed per game) to run a moderately paced (11th in first half pace of play and 16th in situation neutral pace of play), balanced offense (neutral pass rate over expectation).

The loss of Javonte Williams for the season sparked a chain reaction for this run game. First off, their offensive line has not been atrocious by any means, blocking to the 13th-best adjusted line yards metric in the league. Their running backs have underperformed that mark by a solid 0.73 yards per carry, ranking as the sixth worst yards per carry unit in the league, which also comes with the largest gap between line yards created and running back output. This prompted the acquisitions of veteran running backs Latavius Murray (lolz) and Chase Edmonds (at the trade deadline) to pair with Melvin Gordon, further convoluting the expected snap and opportunity share in the backfield. The pure rushing matchup yields a well below average 4.12 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Tennessee team ranked atop the league in the metric (just 3.99 running back yards allowed per carry). Your guess is as good as mine as to how the backfield usage will be allotted for the Broncos this week.

Things don’t get any better through the air, as newcomer quarterback Russell Wilson is the proud custodian of PFF’s 29th overall rating at the quarterback position, amongst qualified passers. As touched on above, the primary pass-catching options have struggled immensely in generating separation this season, with the unit led by rookie tight end Greg Dulcich. To highlight the vanilla play-calling and general dysfunction from the offense this season, Denver has called play-action on just 57 Russell Wilson dropbacks this season, a number surrounded by Zach Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, and Baker Mayfield (who have all played two fewer games). Courtland Sutton has been in a route on every single pass play this season for the Broncos, yet commands targets at a meager 22.1% target per route run rate. Jerry Jeudy’s targets per route run rate sit at a comparably poor 22.7% rate. Both rates are roughly equivalent to rookie tight end Greg Dulcich’s 21.8% targets per route run rate, which honestly shouldn’t be the case for a rookie tight end. Yards per route run: 2.33 for Dulcich, 1.89 for Jeudy, and 1.66 for Sutton. The one glaring positive here is a matchup with a Titans team allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, third most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, and seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

How tennessee Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 4:05pm Eastern

Colts (
18.5) at

Raiders (
22.5)

Over/Under 41.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Colts Run D
24th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
24th DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
14th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
28th DVOA/24th Yards per pass
Raiders Run D
17th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
9th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
8th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
17th DVOA/15th Yards per pass

Game Overview::

By mike johnson >>
  • Two franchises with big preseason aspirations are now spiraling into dysfunction and obscurity.
  • The Colts experiment with Sam Ehlinger at quarterback has backfired miserably. They have arguably the worst offense in the NFL.
  • Conservative approaches on both sides of the ball limit the ceiling of this game’s expectations.
  • Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams account for a huge amount of the Raiders offense but this also makes them predictable for opponents.

How Indianapolis Will Try To Win ::

As I write this, Jim Irsay just announced that he will be hiring the winner of this week’s Milly Maker as the General Manager of the Colts effective Monday. In all seriousness, what is going on in Indianapolis is nothing short of mesmerizing. During Frank Reich’s tenure as the Colts head coach, they had been consistently competitive and always “in the mix” with three winning seasons in four years and their only losing season being the 2019 season when Andrew Luck surprisingly retired a couple of weeks before the season started. Once again, the Colts were having a competitive season with a couple of big wins over the Chiefs and Broncos when owner Jim Irsay reportedly forced the team to move to former 6th-round pick Sam Ehlinger at quarterback, despite the team having a 3-3-1 record. The last two weeks have been ugly for the Colts. Irsay fired Reich early this week for reasons unknown but it is probably safe to assume that Reich was ready to be done with the Ehlinger experiment and Irsay’s ego wasn’t about to admit defeat. Now the Colts have former Pro Bowl center and high school football coach Jeff Saturday as their Interim head coach; while Parks Frazier, a 30-year-old who was the assistant quarterbacks coach until a few months ago will now be calling the plays. Life comes at you fast, Colts fans.

The Colts offense with Sam Ehlinger under center has averaged 9.5 points, 3.9 yards per play, and 223 total yards from scrimmage through two weeks. Those averages would all rank dead last in the NFL over a full season. Ehlinger has taken 11 sacks and averaged only 5.8 yards per pass attempt, which ranks dead last in the NFL, during that time. The good news for the Colts offense is that the Raiders defense generates significantly less pressure on the quarterback than either of the Colts last two opponents, the Commanders and Patriots. Hopefully, the Colts can translate that into better protection and some improved efficiency for their passing game. The other area of hope for the Colts lies in the health of Jonathan Taylor, the heart and soul of the Colts offense. Taylor re-injured his ankle in the first half against the Commanders and missed last week’s game against the Patriots. If he were able to return this week, he could provide a spark and some consistency for an offensive unit that desperately needs it.

While we can’t really know what kind of tendencies to expect from the Colts due to their new coach and play caller, we can make some educated guesses on what the approach will be. If Taylor is able to play, we should expect a very run-heavy game plan, as the Colts called run plays on the majority of their first downs over the last two weeks while games were close, and would likely do so to an even greater extent if they can lean on their all-pro running back. Saturday’s background as an offensive lineman would also lead us to believe that a run-oriented approach would be likely. The other caveat here is that against a Raiders pass defense that ranks dead last in DVOA, maybe the Colts could try to make Ehlinger more comfortable by going to more spread looks and letting him attack the short areas of the field with time to throw against a less imposing pass rush. We really can’t know at this point, although the way things have gone down for the Colts over the past month, I would think the owner’s desire to run the ball more will win out in the end. In any regard, the Colts will once again struggle to score 20 points and will play at a slow pace while relying on their defense to give them a chance to win.

How las vegas Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 4:25pm Eastern

Cowboys (
24) at

Packers (
20.5)

Over/Under 44.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cowboys Run D
9th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per carry
Packers Run O
17th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
6th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Packers Pass O
5th DVOA/10th Yards per pass
Packers Run D
26th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
15th DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Packers Pass D
27th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
11th DVOA/14th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • The Cowboys are a very strong team coming off their bye and are facing a Packers team that is struggling with injuries and inefficiencies as they watch their season’s hopes fade away.
  • The Cowboys offensive strength is their running game, which has a terrific matchup this week.
  • The Packers are on a 5-game losing streak and have not scored over 20 offensive points during that stretch, averaging just 14 points per game on offense.
  • Both teams have a negative pass rate over expectation, while the Packers play at a very slow pace, and the Cowboys tend to push their tempo.

How dallas Will Try To Win ::

The Cowboys come out of their bye week with a 6-2 record, the top-ranked defense in the league, and their offense as close to fully healthy as they’ve been at any point this season. While the Eagles have looked dominant this season, there is a long way to go, and things can change quickly in the NFL (see the Bills loss to the Jets and Josh Allen injury). The way things are shaking out in the NFC, if the Cowboys can ride some momentum into the second half of the year, they could end up as the cream of the crop in their division and conference.

The last time we saw the Dallas offense was in Week 8 when they went nuts against an overmatched Bears defense, and Tony Pollard showed a glimpse into what life could be like with an explosive runner as the featured back. Ezekiel Elliott should be back this week for the Cowboys, which will allow them to impose their will with their running game against the league’s 31st-ranked run defense. The Packers defense is in an even worse spot as well, thanks to several injuries that have them scrambling for bodies as they attempt to put the brakes on a five-game losing streak. The Cowboys this season have thrown the ball well under expectation for the game script, and this matchup should do nothing to dissuade them from continuing down that path. The passing game should have the opportunity to be highly efficient as well, as the Packers will have to give a lot of respect and attention to the running game. Dak Prescott is fully recovered from his early season hand injury, and Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz should be close to full strength after each battled back from some knee issues at different points this season.

The Cowboys play with the 5th fastest situation-neutral pace in the league and should not be shy early in this game about imposing their will with a confident game plan that uses their running game to move the chains and set up their passing game to attack all areas of the field. We should expect the Cowboys to move the ball well and simply need to continue strong scoring efficiency, as they showed in their last two outings before the bye to take an early lead. They can let their league-best defense handle things from there against a Packers offense that has shown very little signs of life recently.

How green bay Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 4:25pm Eastern

Cards (
17.5) at

Rams (
20.5)

Over/Under 38.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
31st DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
Rams Run O
7th DVOA/8th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
31st DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
Rams Pass O
10th DVOA/3rd Yards per pass
Rams Run D
20th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
8th DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
Rams Pass D
22nd DVOA/27th Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
25th DVOA/29th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • This is a rematch of a Week 3 game that the Rams won 20-12.
  • The Cardinals offense averaged 18 points per game in six games without DeAndre Hopkins and has scored 25 points per game since his return.
  • The Rams have scored over 14 points only once in their last five games, which was in a 24-10 Week 6 home win over the lowly Panthers.
  • Neither team has been able to establish much of a running game this season, and both teams have strong run defenses, which will make both offenses relatively predictable.

How arizona Will Try To Win ::

Arizona’s offense has been rejuvenated since the return of DeAndre Hopkins, scoring a touchdown more per game since his return. However, the Cardinals disappointingly returned to a very conservative “horizontal raid” approach in their Week 9 loss to the Seahawks. This may be the last chance for the Cardinals to stay in the hunt and avoid a lost season and desperation, as they have already lost once to the Rams and would be 0-4 in the division and completely lost in head-to-head tiebreakers against two of the other three teams in their own division.

In the first matchup of these two teams, the Cardinals were unable to score a touchdown despite running 81 offensive plays. Kyler Murray threw the ball a whopping 58 times but was only able to muster 5.4 yards per pass attempt (for comparison’s sake, the lowest YPA for any NFL team this season is 6.0). The Cardinals welcomed James Conner back to their backfield last week, and Conner played on 74% of the snaps in his return. The problem for Conner and the Cardinals running game is he isn’t a guy who creates yards on his own, and the Cardinals offensive line has been battling injuries and inconsistency all season. They now face a Rams defense that ranks top-5 by pretty much any run defense metric you can find. The Rams continue to play zone coverage at the highest rate in the NFL, which should encourage the Cardinals to continue their short-area emphasis in the passing game. The Rams defense also ranks 31st in the NFL in pressure rate, which is something that Kyler Murray will likely look to take advantage of with his legs if nothing opens up through the air. The only issue with that is the zone schemes the Rams run will likely keep those Murray runs from turning into anything long as they are an athletic unit that will not be turning their back on him.

How los angeles Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 13th 8:20pm Eastern

Chargers (
18.75) at

49ers (
26.75)

Over/Under 45.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chargers Run D
22nd DVOA/12th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
2nd DVOA/4th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
30th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
1st DVOA/1st Yards per pass
49ers Run D
15th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
28th DVOA/28th Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
4th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
16th DVOA/21st Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Sunday Night Football has the Chargers visiting the 49ers for a 45.5 total game with San Francisco favored by a touchdown. Should be a fun one with the new-look 49ers backfield. The question is if the banged-up Chargers can keep this competitive or not. 

San Francisco

It’s official, Christian McCaffrey has taken over the 49ers backfield. He saw 27 running back opportunities in Week 8 (SF had a bye in Week 9), including nine targets (oh, and he also threw for a touchdown!). Dude’s a badass, especially on this team with an elite run-blocking unit. He just ran for 5.2 yards per carry against a Rams defense that is ranked 3rd in run defense DVOA, and now he gets the Chargers, who are ranked . . . 29th. Everything lines up for CMC to smash here, and the only real objection would be “well, he could get hurt, or football is weird.” At $11.6k he’s pricey, but not to the extent we’ve seen in the past (he has been this price or higher in four Showdowns already this year). He’s the clear best play on the slate. Jeff Wilson is gone, so his backup will either be Elijah Mitchell (who was designated to return from IR this week, but we don’t know yet if he will indeed be activated) or Tyrion Davis-Price. Last week, Jeff Wilson saw six opportunities as the backup, so it’s a thin role but you can always hope for a touchdown or blowout work with the 49ers as huge home favorites. If Mitchell is activated, though, he’s only $200 and we know he’s talented; he would be an excellent value option. 

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In the passing game, CMC showing up really puts a damper on the rest of the receiving corps. Jimmy Garoppolo attempted 25 passes in their last game, nine of which went to CMC, which means everyone else had to split the remaining 16. We know the 49ers aren’t likely to be highly aggressive through the air unless pushed, and we know the Chargers are banged up and significant underdogs, so with that, we should be cautious around the 49ers passing attack unless building rosters that are predicated around the Chargers keeping the game competitive or playing from ahead. The good news for the 49ers is Deebo Samuel will be back so we can expect the normal receiving corps of Deebo, Brandon Aiyuk, and Juaun Jennings at wide receiver, and then George Kittle at tight end. Deebo’s price has dropped quite a bit after missing a game, and while volume is a concern for all of these guys, $8,800 is cheap for Deebo’s level of talent. Aiyuk and Kittle fall into the “fine” realm. At their prices, both would almost certainly need a touchdown or would need a game script that generates more passing volume (Kittle, especially, sees his volume spike in games in which the 49ers play from behind, because when they’re playing from ahead he gets used more as a run blocker). Jennings is a punt option, and you can also include Ray-Ray McCloud, Ross Dwelley, Tyler Kroft, and Kyle Juszczyk in your MME punt pool. 

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Kickoff Monday, Nov 14th 8:15pm Eastern

WFT (
16) at

Eagles (
27)

Over/Under 43.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Commanders Run D
16th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
6th DVOA/12th Yards per carry
Commanders Pass D
32nd DVOA/31st Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
7th DVOA/11th Yards per pass
Eagles Run D
19th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per carry
Commanders Run O
16th DVOA/7th Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
28th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Commanders Pass O
27th DVOA/27th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Week 10 closes out with the Commanders visiting the Eagles for a 44 total game with Philly favored by 11. I guess we know what to expect as the likeliest scenario for this game! The Eagles are, of course, the last remaining undefeated team, while the Commanders are 4-5 with one of the league’s weaker point differentials to back it up. Good luck, Washington. 

Philadelphia

We’ll start with the Eagles. The run game is a tough sell here as a split backfield against a Washington defense that is 2nd in run defense DVOA. Miles Sanders has become the lead back here with 60%+ of the snaps in four of the last five games, but with only 13 targets on the season, he’s a very expensive ($9,800) yardage and touchdown back in a difficult matchup who will lose some work to Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott, and of course to Jalen Hurts as well. As a home favorite running back who has performed well this year, I’d expect Sanders to come in at pretty material ownership. If he was going overlooked I’d say the spot would be worth it for his upside despite the difficult matchup, but if he ends up at over 40% ownership, my personal opinion is that would be too high and I want to be under it. Last week, I wrote about Gainwell’s modest workload being too little for his price, and then of course he scored a touchdown on seven opportunities and ended up in the optimal (Showdown is volatile!). He’s basically in the same spot here; you’d almost certainly need a touchdown for him to pay off, but if he gets there, he’s going to do so at what should be low ownership. Poor Boston Scott doesn’t get much work and he’s in the same boat as Gainwell; even though he’s cheaper, his workload is too limited (especially with just one target on the season) that he needs the end zone to pay off. 

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The Philly passing game, however, is in a smash spot as Washington is one of the league’s biggest pass funnel defenses. Washington is 25th in pass defense DVOA, for a difference of 23 ranking spots between their pass and run Ds – that’s the second largest difference in the NFL behind only Miami. A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert are all fairly priced and the elite matchup gives them plenty of upside, with the only limiting factor being passing volume on an offense that has yet to exceed 36 pass attempts and is averaging about 30. Perhaps the difficult run matchup will tilt Philly’s volume more towards the air, but despite their strong run defense, Washington has been so bad overall that they’re only facing a 57.25% opposing passing play percentage – pretty close to league average. So, while you likely need them to get there on modest volume, the talent of those three pass-catchers and the matchup advantage means they absolutely can. I want to be all over the Philly passing game in this one. Behind the main guys, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jack Stoll, and Grant Calcaterra can all be considered as punt options, with Pascal and Watkins the clearly strong ones (Pascal’s my favorite given his price). 

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