Week 11 Matchups

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Kickoff Thursday, Nov 17th 8:15pm Eastern

Titans (
18.75) at

Packers (
21.75)

Over/Under 40.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Titans Run D
1st DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Packers Run O
5th DVOA/8th Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
13th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per pass
Packers Pass O
16th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass
Packers Run D
29th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
14th DVOA/20th Yards per carry
Packers Pass D
12th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
12th DVOA/7th Yards per pass

Hilow’s SHOWDOWN SLANT

Welcome to week 11, friends! We kick things off this week with the 6-3 Titans visiting the reeling 4-6 Packers at Lambeau. Tennessee is coming off a 17-10 victory where they scored their first second-half touchdown since a Week 5 game against the Colts, while the Packers sit a game and a half behind the 49ers for the final playoff spot in the NFC.

TENNESSEE

We know the drill by now with the Titans – expect a snail’s pace, extreme rush rates, and an offense built around Derrick Henry. We did, however, see this offense open up a bit more with the return of Ryan Tannehill last week after two consecutive weeks of 16 or fewer pass attempts with Malik Willis in behind center. During that game, Tannehill attempted 36 passes to just 23 team rush attempts, which made Week 10 their highest individual pass rate of any game this season. That said, a Packers defense allowing a startling 5.05 yards per running back carry this season highlights the path of least resistance for Derrick Henry and the Titans, which should govern their offensive game plan here. Furthermore, the Titans have almost completely taken their foot off the proverbial gas in the second half this season, ranking dead last in second half points scored at just 4.8 per game (truly disgusting). Yet, here they are, sitting at a comfy third seed in the AFC at a 6-3 record. Most of their game plan revolves around both the offensive and defensive lines, where Derrick Henry can wear down an opposing defense through repeated beatings, and their defensive line can keep the opposition from achieving any semblance of rushing success (league-low 3.57 adjusted line yards allowed and just 3.89 running back yards per carry allowed). A game against a Packers team largely devoid of both chunk-yardage specialists and consistent chain movers through the air provides the Titans with a perfect on-paper matchup to be able to run their preferred game plan. Expect a healthy dose of Derrick Henry early, with a large emphasis on game flow-dependent design in the second half. As for Henry, not much additional needs to be said – the dude just keeps on rumbling and destroying linebackers and safeties with devastating stiff arms along the way. Of note here, Dontrell Hilliard had established himself right around the 30% snap rate range for the better part of the last six weeks before seeing 42% of the offensive snaps against the Broncos a week ago. Whether that was due to the game flow (where the Titans didn’t take a lead until five minutes remaining in the third quarter) or a decision to lighten Henry’s workload remains to be seen. Overall, expect Henry to be the focal point throughout the first half, with the eventual game flow likely to dictate the final snap rate split between Henry and Hilliard. We’ve seen the per-touch upside Hilliard brings to the table in this offense, keeping him very much in the mix, particularly considering his basement $3,200 price tag on DK (Henry is the most expensive player on the slate at $11,600).

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Rookie Treylon Burks returned from the injured reserve to a tidy 56% snap rate in Week 10, but it was Nick Westbrook-Ikhine who stole the show with a 5/119/2 line on eight targets. NWI has consistently played the heaviest snap rate in this offense, playing alongside fellow starter Robert Woods throughout the season. That said, Week 10 marked his first game above a modest four targets all season, was the first time he scored this season, and was only his third game all year over 13 yards (119 in Week 10, 72 on two catches in Week 5, and 40 in Week 3). His price has spiked up to $6,200 after the two-touchdown game, making him a boom-or-bust option at an inflated price. Robert Woods, the acting “alpha” on this team, managed only two catches on seven targets a week ago and leads the team with 43 targets. Even then, he has maxed out at only four receptions this season and has scored one touchdown. Consider him in the same bucket as NWI – a high variance, touchdown-dependent pass-catcher on a low pass volume offense. As for Burks, who immediately stepped back into the “gadget and designed touches” role for the Titans coming off of injured reserve, expect a snap rate floor of 55-60% without much room for that to increase as the clear third option through the air. That said, Treylon should carry the highest targets per route run value for the rest of the season on this offense as the highest per-touch upside player on the field outside of Derrick Henry. Even with his return in Week 10, this is still an offense that ran 78% 12-personnel. When you combine that with the low expected pass volume, all three of the primary wide receivers should be considered wide range of outcomes plays that are likely to be heavily reliant on efficiency and touchdowns. Expect all of Geoff Swaim ($200), Austin Hooper ($4,600), Chigoziem Okonkwo ($2,600), and even Kevin Rader ($200) to rotate through at tight end, all cannibalizing the upside of the bunch in the process. The biggest thing to note here is that this offense typically has two tight ends on the field, and all four have been utilized near the end zone, keeping all four deserving of consideration. Rader is without a reception this season and is primarily used as a blocker, Swaim has a ridiculously low 28.8% route participation rate (16.4% targets per route run rate), Okonkwo is in a route at a startlingly low 19.3% clip but has seen a robust 31.7% targets per route run rate, while Hooper has run routes at the highest rate (61.3%) to go with a modest-yet-not-terrible 18.5% targets per route run rate. Any of these dudes can pop in a touchdown, which should be considered the primary contributor to their respective values. 


Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Bears (
23) at

Falcons (
25.5)

Over/Under 48.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bears Run D
25th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
8th DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Bears Pass D
30th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
15th DVOA/9th Yards per pass
Falcons Run D
24th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per carry
Bears Run O
10th DVOA/1st Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
28th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
Bears Pass O
27th DVOA/16th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • The highest total game on the slate is between two of the most run-oriented teams in football.
  • The Falcons backfield is a chopped-up timeshare.
  • David Montgomery is set to reprise his workhorse role.
  • Justin Fields is more fairly priced this week.
  • None of the passing game options see any volume.
  • These two teams are dead last in pressure rate.

How Chicago Will Try To Win ::

The 3-7 Bears come into Week 10 on the heels of a three game losing streak, having lost five of their past six games. The final score hasn’t reflected the progress the Bears have made on offense over the past six weeks. As DFS players, it’s easy to think of the Bears as a resounding success, but as a coaching staff or owner, the results haven’t been what you want. It’s worth mentioning that discrepancy because the mood of the actual Bears players is likely very different from the sentiment currently felt about them in fantasy football. Regardless of their record, Matt “can I get a clue?” Eberflus got a clue and the Bears offense has evolved into what resembles the early Lamar Jackson Ravens. The Bears coaching staff deserves a lot of credit for making an excellent mid-season adjustment, although it begs the question, why weren’t they using Justin Fields as a hybrid QB/RB before? Whatever the answer, the Bears offense has put up 33/29/32/30 averaging 31 points over their past four games. For perspective, the Chiefs are number one in the league in scoring and average 30 points a game. 

Chicago plays slow (24th overall in pace) but plays noticeably quicker (14th in situational neutral pace) when the game is close. The Bears overall pace number is dragged down by their willingness to plod (28th in pace) if they have the lead. The rest of their pace numbers are more neutral than slow and although they’ll never be confused with the Charges, the Bears are playing fast enough that their pace doesn’t drag down a game environment unless they have a large lead. The Bears have turned the corner on offense but their defense wasn’t good before and is now horrific after trading away two of their better defensive players (Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith) which makes it unlikely that Chicago takes a big lead in this game.

The Falcons have been whipped through the air (29th in DVOA) and stomped on the ground (25th in DVOA). The Falcons defense has been a sieve all year, only holding the banged-up Chargers below 25 in their past five games. Dean Pees uses a unique defensive system that runs a 3-4 base but is frequently lined up in exotic fronts without many down linemen. The results have been an inability to stop the run based on scheme, and an inability to stop the pass based on poor personnel combined with lack of pressure (dead last in pressure rate). The Bears have been explosive but they are limiting Fields’ passing attempts (3rd highest rush rate), and their offensive line is much better at run blocking (14th in adjusted line yards) than pass blocking (dead last in adjusted sack rate), providing more incentive to “run the damn ball.” There is every reason to think the Bears will stick with their run heavy approach, using Fields as a dual-threat runner and passer.   

How Atlanta Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Panthers (
14.25) at

Ravens (
27.25)

Over/Under 41.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Panthers Run D
21st DVOA/17th Yards allowed per carry
Ravens Run O
1st DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
21st DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Ravens Pass O
8th DVOA/17th Yards per pass
Ravens Run D
14th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
16th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Ravens Pass D
8th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
32nd DVOA/13th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow>>
  • Three defensive starters missed practice on Wednesday for the Panthers, who also have the dreaded flu sweeping through their locker room. Quarterback P.J. Walker also missed Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury.
  • Mark Andrews was initially reported to have missed practice on Wednesday, but it has since been changed to a limited session as he works his way back from a couple of lost games due to various injuries.
  • The Ravens are pretty easy to break down – Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews and then everyone else, including four players likely to be involved in the backfield and no pass-catcher outside Andrews a lock to see more than 60-70% of the offensive snaps.

How Carolina Will Try To Win ::

First of all, I don’t necessarily think it’s right to say “the Panthers are trying to win games,” as it’s much more pertinent to say “the Panthers are trying to figure out what they have that can pair well with future top picks in the NFL draft for the next three to five years.” The revolving door at quarterback indicates they haven’t yet found that piece at that position, they recently dealt away Christian McCaffrey so they’re running a combination of D’onta Foreman, Chuba Hubbard, and Raheem Blackshear in the backfield, and their pass-catching corps consists of D.J. Moore and four youngsters in Terrace Marshall, Shi Smith, Laviska Shenault, and tight end Tommy Tremble. Basically, they have some pieces they like up front on defense, have a great secondary, and not much of anything else. The rest of the season is likely their litmus test for what fits moving forward. Carolina has been forced into the ninth-fastest pace of play in the second half this season through routinely negative game scripts but would prefer to keep things slow and on the ground. Their 28th-ranked pass rate over expectation value indicates that even their modest 54.84% overall pass rate might be higher than they would otherwise like, which isn’t likely to change much against the Ravens – an opponent that should control the game environment with their defense and ground attack. That puts a relative ceiling on the number of total offensive plays expected from this game environment, and a cap on most of the offensive skill position players on the Panthers as well.

Christian McCaffrey was dealt following the team’s Week 6 game, leaving Foreman, Hubbard, and Blackshear to handle backfield duties over the previous four games. Hubbard missed two of those games, which provided the opportunity for Foreman to stamp his mark as the clear lead rusher, which he has yet to relinquish. That said, Foreman’s utilization has proven to be entirely tied to game flow as he played 68% of the offensive snaps in the overtime loss to the Falcons in Week 8 and in the 25-15 win over the same Falcons in Week 10 but dipped to 43% in a blowout loss to the Bengals in Week 9 and started the post-CMC stretch with a 54% snap rate in the surprise drubbing of the Buccaneers. The Panthers want to see what they have in Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear in blowouts in either direction while riding their best rusher in Foreman in games that remain close. The small sample size alert is in full effect with that analysis, but that’s what makes the most sense to me considering the current state of the team. As such, it is foolish to immediately pencil Foreman in for 65-70% of the offensive snaps and backfield opportunities in a game they are currently listed as 13-point dogs. The pure rushing matchup yields an above average 4.615 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Baltimore defense that has lost its top two nose tackles that started last season (lost longtime staple Brandon Williams via release and lost Michael Pierce to season-ending injury early in the season).

The Panthers pass offense is relatively concentrated amongst its top two wide receivers in D.J. Moore and Terrace Marshall, with Shi Smith and Laviska Shenault splitting the remaining WR3 role and pass-catching youngster tight end Tommy Tremble splitting time with blocking tight end Ian Thomas. The Panthers utilization of 21-personnel has been all over the map this season, with fullback Giavanni Ricci seeing everything from 9% of the offensive snaps to 51% of the offensive snaps earlier in the season. That leaves a lot of uncertainty behind Moore and Marshall regarding the snap rate expectation of the secondary pass-catchers in this offense, not to mention the poor play from the quarterback position for the duration of the season. In all, your guess is as good as mine as far as what to expect behind the top two, and even the top two aren’t locks to see consistent usage or volume. One thing is for certain – all players on this pass offense are highly unlikely to burn you for not playing them.

How Baltimore Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Browns (
21.5) at

Bills (
29)

Over/Under 50.5

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Key Matchups
Browns Run D
32nd DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Bills Run O
19th DVOA/3rd Yards per carry
Browns Pass D
27th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Bills Pass O
3rd DVOA/4th Yards per pass
Bills Run D
4th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per carry
Browns Run O
4th DVOA/9th Yards per carry
Bills Pass D
7th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per pass
Browns Pass O
7th DVOA/11th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Add a sweeping illness and four feet of expected snow to the list of Buffalo worries this week, as four members of Buffalo’s defense sat out of practice Wednesday with an illness, Josh Allen continues to be limited by a UCL injury in his throwing arm, and extreme lake effect snowfall is expected from Thursday to Sunday (Update: this game has been moved to Detroit and will be played at a neutral site).
  • David Njoku remained a non-participant in practice to start the week for the Browns after two missed games and a bye week following a high ankle sprain. He is within his expected return window now (four weeks post-injury) so monitor his practice statuses to finish out the week (Update: he got in a limited session Thursday).
  • Isaiah McKenzie popped on the injury report on Thursday with the same illness spreading around the league – monitor his situation on Friday and into the weekend.

How Cleveland Will Try To Win ::

The Browns are set to play their second to last game with Jacoby Brissett under center with the suspension of DeShaun Watson almost complete. We’ve seen this team start games with a slow-to-moderate pace of play and increased rush rates, but they are most definitely a team that will dial up the aggression if forced to do so, as evidenced by a second half pace of play that ranks seventh in the league, and a pace of play when trailing by seven or more points that rank third in the league. We’ve also seen the Browns attempt to shorten the game against top offenses recently through the utilization of increased rush rates and a slow pace of play in the first half. This gives us a good idea of what to expect here, with a high likelihood that Cleveland starts the game with high rush rates and a slow pace of play before adjusting to the game flow in the second half. That does two things for us – it gives us a very clear expectation for the first half game environment, but it also provides a path to the game opening up in the second half. The final wrinkle to the expected game plan from the Browns involves the injuries and illnesses running rampant throughout the Bills defense, meaning we could see the Browns open up their offense sooner than they otherwise would against a fully healthy unit. From a macro perspective, the Browns have run about league average rates of 12-personnel but typically don’t utilize multiple backs on the field at the same time.

Lead back Nick Chubb has been held to 57% of the offensive snaps or fewer in all but one game this season, with the team instead utilizing Kareem Hunt as a “1B” in an attempt to keep the per-touch efficiency of both high throughout the game. That has left Chubb with five games of 20 or more running back opportunities with a max of 24 all season. That places a relative cap on his weekly range of outcomes and also requires DFS players to view him with that same capped ceiling. As in, Chubb requires efficiency and touchdowns in order to provide a GPP-worthy score. Kareem Hunt has peaked at just 16 running back opportunities this season, which gives him a relatively tight range of potential outcomes as far as workload goes. Expect 12-16 opportunities in a hybrid change of pace and passing down role. The matchup on the ground yields an average 4.37 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Bills defense ranked near the middle of the pack in DK points allowed per game to opposing backfields at 22.8. That said, the multiple injuries and sicknesses to the Bills defense could influence both the Cleveland offensive game plan and the expected level of efficiency here.

The Cleveland pass offense is most likely to be influenced by the status of tight end David Njoku than any other outside force. Typically, the presence of one of the league’s better all-around tight ends allows the Browns to utilize multiple pass-catching tight ends on the field together, whereas they have been forced to devolve into a more concentrated unit in the absence of Njoku, with blocker Pharoah Brown playing 35% or more of the offensive snaps each of the previous two weeks. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Amari Cooper continue to operate as the near every-down wide receivers and are each capable of running intermingled routes that can stretch a defense both horizontally and vertically. But again, the presence of Njoku makes this offense more dynamic and unpredictable. Keep an eye on his level of involvement heading into the weekend. Rookie David Bell fills in as the primary WR3, with Anthony Schwartz and Mike Woods each contributing a handful of snaps each week.

How buffalo Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

WFT (
22) at

Texans (
19)

Over/Under 41.0

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Key Matchups
Commanders Run D
2nd DVOA/9th Yards allowed per carry
Texans Run O
29th DVOA/22nd Yards per carry
Commanders Pass D
16th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Texans Pass O
30th DVOA/24th Yards per pass
Texans Run D
31st DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
Commanders Run O
25th DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Texans Pass D
25th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Commanders Pass O
28th DVOA/21st Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Taylor Heinicke will continue to start this week with Carson Wentz not yet ready to come off injured reserve.
  • J.D. McKissic failed to practice Wednesday after two missed contests with his neck injury, typically not a good signal for a player coming off missed games.
  • Brandin Cooks returned from a one-game absence due to a wrist injury in Week 10, immediately picked an additional hip injury, and failed to practice Wednesday.
  • Get ready to watch each team repeatedly pound their backs into brick walls (Washington’s offensive line and defensive line are basically brick walls).
  • The passing game volume and concentration are almost nonexistent here.

How Washington Will Try To Win ::

The Commanders have maintained a slow pace of play (30th-ranked situation neutral pace of play and 22nd-ranked first-half pace of play), a bottom ten pass rate over expectation (PROE) value, and a moderate 57.21% overall pass play rate as they attempt to tread water in the NFC. Their current 5-5 record has them just a half game back of the 49ers for the final playoff spot out of the NFC, which is a borderline miracle considering they’ve played half the season with a backup quarterback and have fought through countless injuries to primary players this year. The team is coming off a shocking upset of the previously undefeated Eagles on Monday night, a game that saw them run the football a massive 49 total times. They also played the now 8-1 Vikings to a close game throughout on the backs of 30 total rush attempts, beat the Packers four weeks ago behind 38 rush attempts, and beat the Colts three weeks ago in a game that entered the fourth quarter 7-6. Basically, those four games highlight how this team is trying to win games with Taylor Heinicke at the helm, who has held a tight range of pass attempts between 28 and 33 in his four starts (3-1 record). He is now matched up against the team ranking worst in the league in most major defensive rushing metrics and it becomes clear how this team is likeliest to try and win here.

Antonio Gibson has played 77 total offensive snaps in the two games without J.D. McKissic while rookie Brian Robinson has played 71 total offensive snaps. Robinson leads the way in total running back opportunities during that span with 40, versus 31 for Gibson. The point here is that the two have combined for an insane 71 running back opportunities over the last two games and now get the distinct pleasure of facing the worst rush defense in the league. Robinson continues to be the preferred “grinder” option of this backfield even while struggling to a 3.28 yards per carry mark this season. It’s honestly difficult to put into words just how poorly he has looked on film, yet the team continues to employ him as their top option on the ground. To be fair, Gibson hasn’t performed much better with just a 3.61 yards per carry mark this season but he has looked the better back to the trained eye this season. As alluded to previously, the matchup on the ground is a good one, yielding an above average 4.57 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Houston defense allowing a massive 34.0 DK points per game to opposing backfields (14 total touchdowns allowed through nine games). The problem is we quite simply can’t expect either back to separate from the other as far as expected (or efficiency) goes.

Rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson returned from a five game absence to force a maddening snap rate dispersal amongst primary Washington pass-catchers, with only Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas seeing more than 64% of the offensive snaps a week ago. It is likeliest we see Dotson’s snap rate increase a bit here, but unlikely that it makes much difference in the overall state of the passing game. As in, all of McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Dotson, Cam Sims, Dyami brown, Dax Milne, Thomas, John Bates, and blocking tight end Armani Rogers are likely to see some run moving forward, which creates a gross expectation of volume considering backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke has finished between 28 and 33 pass attempts in each of his four start this season. Good luck finding volume from this unit outside of McLaurin, and even then, he holds just a 20.2% targets per route run rate, has gone over 100 yards just three times and has scored only two touchdowns this season. The “okay” news is that McLaurin has caught the eye of Heinicke, seeing eight or more targets in each of his starts, a mark he hit in only two of six games with Wentz in as signal-caller.

How houston Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Eagles (
25.75) at

Colts (
19.25)

Over/Under 45.0

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Key Matchups
Eagles Run D
26th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
32nd DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
3rd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
31st DVOA/30th Yards per pass
Colts Run D
6th DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
2nd DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
14th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
6th DVOA/5th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • Philadelphia’s offense is in a bit of a tough spot, playing short-handed on a short week against a good defense.
  • Indianapolis will want to run the ball to control the clock, protect Matt Ryan, and attack Philadelphia’s weakness.
  • Both teams play at a relatively fast tempo, but focusing on the running game will likely keep the clock moving and limit play volume.
  • This game has two likely paths, either a low-scoring competitive game or a game that Philly controls and dominates.

How philadelphia Will Try To Win ::

The Eagles offense had their worst showing of the season on Monday night against the Commanders, as they scored only seven points in the last three quarters, had the least total yards they’ve had this season, and managed only 47 offensive plays, which was by far their lowest total of the year. The context of a second divisional game against a solid and improving Washington defense must be considered, however, as the Commanders were prepared and made adjustments from their first matchup. Perhaps the biggest concerns for the Eagles this week will be playing a road game on a short week and losing a key offensive piece with Dallas Goedert being placed on IR. The Colts also have a relatively strong defense that excels against the run and has two or more sacks in eight of their ten games this season.

The Commanders defense laid a blueprint last week, which many teams will try to emulate going forward. Part of that blueprint was a zone-heavy scheme that featured heavier boxes to help against the run, then dropped a lot of players into coverage. This strategy helped to contain the scrambling of Jalen Hurts while also keeping the running game in check and allowing Washington to make plays and limit yards after the catch for Eagles receivers. The Colts play zone coverage at the 6th highest rate in the league and have a top-5 run defense, so they are already set up well to execute a similar game plan to the Commanders. Keep in mind that this Colts defense held the highest-scoring offense in the league (Kansas City) to 17 points in Week 3. Losing Goedert to injury leaves a big hole for the Eagles, as his replacements are significantly less talented and athletic. I would expect the Eagles to get their other receivers more involved and spread things out a bit more to create running lanes. I would also expect a lot of crossing patterns, hitches, curls, and/or screens for Devonta Smith and AJ Brown in this matchup, as they should clearly be prioritized in the passing game. As for the running game, Jalen Hurts has scaled back the running significantly in recent weeks. After averaging nearly 13 carries per game in the first six games, Hurts has averaged less than six carries per game in the three games since the Eagles bye week. Now that the Eagles have lost a game and lost a key offensive weapon, it would not be surprising to see Hurts start running the ball more often again.

How indianapolis Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Jets (
17.25) at

Patriots (
20.75)

Over/Under 38.0

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Key Matchups
Jets Run D
8th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per carry
Patriots Run O
24th DVOA/26th Yards per carry
Jets Pass D
5th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Patriots Pass O
26th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Patriots Run D
12th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per carry
Jets Run O
21st DVOA/18th Yards per carry
Patriots Pass D
1st DVOA/20th Yards allowed per pass
Jets Pass O
20th DVOA/20th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Not a ton of moving pieces on the Patriots injury report, which is saying something considering Bill Belichick’s free utilization of the term “questionable.”
  • Jets nose tackle Sheldon Rankins and wide receiver Corey Davis were the big names to miss practice on Wednesday, each of whom has been a key contributor to this team when healthy.
  • Mac Jones and Zach Wilson are the bottom two quarterbacks in the league when under pressure this season, which spells trouble for each of these teams as the Patriots are now number one in pressure rate while the Jets sit fourth overall.
  • The eventual game environment contains a tight range of outcomes with the game likeliest to be dictated by each respective defense. 
  • The Jets have shown the ability and propensity to pick up the pace and pass rates when required this season, but the team clearly does not want Zach Wilson chucking the ball around unless there are no other options.

How new york Will Try To Win ::

New York’s game plan this season has started with their defense and has attempted to hide a quarterback not yet fully ready for the NFL game. Zach Wilson’s pass attempts have swung wildly as the starter this season, ranging from 18 to 41 attempts. Wilson has thrown multiple picks (five total between two games) in each of the two games in which he attempted 36 passes or more this season and has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league when under pressure over his short career, not a great trait to have against the defense generating the highest rate of pressure in the backfield this season. Knowing head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to be of the new-age, forward-leaning variety, we should expect the Jets to tailor their game plan to their opponent here. That is likeliest to lead to increased rush rates while within striking distance, more emphasis on 12-personnel, and routes designed to counterbalance the increased blitz rates exhibited by the Patriots thus far. I would expect increased utilization of screens, pre-snap motions, and quick hits as the team fights through those heavy blitz rates. While the Patriots now hold the league’s highest rate of pressure in the backfield, they’ve had to achieve it through an elevated rate of unique blitz packages, designed to trick and bait opposing quarterbacks into mistakes. This should all lead to a relatively conservative offensive approach throughout the first half, while the ultimate approach to end the game is highly likely to be driven by the game flow.

The Jets started incorporating recent signee James Robinson more their last time out, who managed 15 running back opportunities on a solid-for-a-RB2 40% snap rate. The Jets clearly don’t want Michael Carter playing anything more than a 1A role as they have held him to 61% or fewer of the offensive snaps in every game this season outside the game where Breece Hall got injured. A standard expectation for the split in usage for the two is likeliest to leave Carter in the 14-16 running back opportunity range and Robinson in the 12-14 running back opportunity range, with a likely increased emphasis on utilizing the two through the air. The pure rushing matchup yields a slightly above average 4.45 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Patriots defense holding opposing backfields to just 17.7 DK points per game this season (second fewest to only the 49ers).

The absence of Corey Davis and the presence of Elijah Moore on the coaching staff’s poo-poo caca list has left the primary pass-catchers as rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson, perennially failed experiment Denzel Mims, and tight end Tyler Conklin, leaving Moore, slot-man turned gadget-man Braxton Berrios, Jeff Smith, and blocking tight end C.J. Uzomah to fight for the leftovers. Wilson has been a revelation for these Jets this season, ranking 19th in the league in targets per route run rate at a healthy 27.5%. Wilson also has been moved around the formation and is the player likeliest to see an increased rate of schemed touches against the blitz-heavy Patriots, which serves to elevate his expected volume here (somewhat required on a modest 8.5 aDOT and weak 64.2 average air yards per game). In all likelihood, the players who are likeliest to benefit the most from increased pass game involvement are the running backs, particularly when you consider the Jets already target the position at the seventh highest rate and now find themselves playing the defense generating the most pressure in the backfield this season. The problem (at least for fantasy purposes) is twofold – the backfield is expected to be a tight split amongst Michael Carter and James Robinson and any upside from the pass game is likeliest to come through the highly variant acts of busted plays and touchdowns.

How new England Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Rams (
18.5) at

Saints (
21)

Over/Under 39.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Rams Run D
5th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
12th DVOA/13th Yards per carry
Rams Pass D
26th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
24th DVOA/10th Yards per pass
Saints Run D
20th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per carry
Rams Run O
26th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
15th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per pass
Rams Pass O
22nd DVOA/29th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • Expect a very slow paced game between two teams with quarterback and weapons issues.
  • Two previous high powered offenses are now among the slowest paced and least aggressive teams in the league. 
  • There is some uncertainty for both teams regarding who their starting QB will be this week. 
  • Scoring will be at a premium this week with a “first one to 20 wins” feel to this game.

How los angeles Will Try To Win ::

The Rams have one of the worst running games in the league and their offensive line might struggle in the Pac-12. They also just lost all-world wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, for at least four weeks to a high ankle sprain. Matthew Stafford may be able to return this week from his concussion but even if he does return there is only so much you can do with no running game, blocking, or explosive weapons. Very dark times for the defending Super Bowl champs.

The thing about the Rams offense that many people don’t understand is that it is built around the running game. Sean McVay is a very good offensive mind who comes from the “Shanahan coaching tree.” The concepts within the offense rely on a consistent and occasionally explosive running game which opens things up via play action, misdirection, and shot plays. The inability of the Rams offensive line to effectively open up holes coupled with the revolving door of running backs who are middling talents at best has left the Rams in a situation where they can’t run the ball with any sort of sustained success. That reality has left them up a creek without a paddle as their passing game concepts don’t fool any defenses or create advantages without a real threat from the running game. Their one “trump card” has been Cooper Kupp’s ability to sustain the offense at varying levels of the field. Now that they don’t have Kupp, it is hard to see the Rams moving the ball well at all for the foreseeable future unless they get some very easy matchups, which this week is not.

The Rams, who run primarily “11” personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB), will have Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, and Ben Skowronek on the field for virtually every play. As opposed to the concentrated approach the Rams use when they have Kupp, the passing game usage should be spread out relatively evenly between those three and Tyler Higbee, with a couple of RB targets sprinkled in. The Rams may try to “establish the run” a bit more without Kupp but the game plan will likely be some form of conservative, slow paced approach and try to win a low scoring game on the back of their defense. If Stafford plays, they may look to take a couple more shot plays downfield to Robinson and Jefferson.

How new orleans Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 1:00pm Eastern

Lions (
20.5) at

Giants (
23.5)

Over/Under 44.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Lions Run D
27th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per carry
Giants Run O
11th DVOA/12th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
23rd DVOA/31st Yards allowed per pass
Giants Pass O
14th DVOA/25th Yards per pass
Giants Run D
28th DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
7th DVOA/11th Yards per carry
Giants Pass D
24th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
13th DVOA/6th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Wide receivers Josh Reynolds and Trinity Benson missed practice to start the week for the Lions while running back Jamaal Williams missed practice with the same illness sweeping the league.
  • Daniel Bellinger continued to miss practice with his orbital bone injury near his eye – he has not played the last two New York games in addition to the team’s bye week in Week 9.
  • This game likely carries a much smaller chance at shooting out than the field is likely to realize, considering the game logs the Lions have put up this season. Things have changed fairly dramatically for the Lions over the previous three weeks.
  • Each team ranks poorly in most run-stopping metrics, but the Giants have completely clamped down in the red zone under the guidance of Wink Martindale. 

How detroit Will Try To Win ::

The Lions continue to be a team in complete disarray, primarily due to the numerous injuries they have been forced to contend with this season. They continue to operate with a moderate pace of play to start games before being inevitably forced into an increased pace, and aerial aggression as games move on due to routinely finding themselves in negative game script. Their 23rd-ranked pace of play with the score within six points and sixth-ranked pace of play in the second half highlight this fact, while a pass rate over expectation value ranking 25th in the league and 21st-ranked overall pass rate (56.41%) back it up. Of note, D’Andre Swift has yet to return to full strength following ankle and shoulder injuries, Jamaal Williams missed practice Wednesday with an illness, Josh Reynolds has yet to return from his extended absence due to a back injury, D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams remain on the injured reserve, and fullback Jason Cabinda made his first appearance of the season last week following an extended absence. Last week, we saw that mess translate to the first real 21-personnel usage seen from the Lions this season and increased 12-personnel rates compared to their season average. I would tentatively expect a similar outcome here, with the team moving more and more away from an offense based out of 11-personnel, at least until key pass-catchers return.

The backfield was a mess last week, with all of Jamaal Williams, D’Andre Swift, Justin Jackson, and fullback Jason Cabinda seeing 21% or more of the offensive snaps – with no back surpassing a modest 40% snap rate. That basically translated to a three-headed timeshare at running back amongst Williams, Swift, and Jackson and just over a 20% 21-personnel utilization. Williams saw 16 rush attempts and no targets, Swift saw nine combined running back opportunities, Jackson saw seven combined running back opportunities, and Williams and Swift split red zone work basically down the middle. Talk about a maddening situation. The pure rushing matchup yields a well above average 4.785 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Giants defense holding opposing backfields to just 21.5 DK points per game, primarily due to a second-ranked 38.24% opponent red zone touchdown rate allowed (only six total touchdowns allowed to opposing backs through nine games played).

Volume has come and gone for Jared Goff and the Lions pass offense but has mostly dried up over the previous five games. During that time, Goff has three games of exactly 26 pass attempts, one game of 35 attempts, and one game of 37 attempts. That’s a far cry from earlier in the season when the Lions turned up the passing volume to a higher rate, with 34-41 attempts in each of the team’s first four games. The opponent this week, the Giants, should combine with the Lions to leave each team with below-NFL-average total offensive plays run from scrimmage, which should serve to cap the range of outcomes of Goff’s pass attempts. With Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond each playing just over 80% of the offensive snaps last week with the team shifting their focus to an offense more rooted in heavy sets, there is only one player remaining that we can confidently project for consistent volume – Amon-Ra St. Brown. Tom Kennedy and Trinity Benson filled in to combine for the team’s WR3 role a week ago, but Benson finds himself on the injury report as a DNP on Wednesday with a knee injury. That should serve to further the likelihood of a heavy set-based offense this week. The Giants 3-4, 4-3 hybrid defense mixes and matches defensive personnel along their front to remain balanced and unpredictable, playing from man coverage at the highest rate in the league through 10 weeks. That has come through a consistent 40-50% man coverage utilization with typical Wink Martindale elevated blitz rates (league-high 39.7%). That has translated to just league-average pressure rates, providing a situation the Lions can potentially take advantage of when they do turn to the air. That said, Jared Goff when blitzed is not a pretty sight, as we’ve come to know over the previous three seasons.

How new york Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 4:05pm Eastern

Raiders (
19.5) at

Broncos (
22)

Over/Under 41.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Raiders Run D
22nd DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
28th DVOA/28th Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
32nd DVOA/15th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
25th DVOA/8th Yards per pass
Broncos Run D
18th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
6th DVOA/7th Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
4th DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
18th DVOA/14th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • The “Disappointment Bowl” features a Raiders team that keeps losing close games and a Broncos team that is a mess on one side of the ball.
  • These teams squared off in Week 4, with the Raiders winning a 32-23 game that was played in Las Vegas.
  • Both offenses have lost multiple key offensive pieces since that first meeting.
  • Denver has scored 20+ points only once this season, while the Raiders have given up at least 20 points in every game.

How las vegas Will Try To Win ::

Perhaps this section would be more appropriately titled “how Las Vegas will find a way to lose.” The Raiders have actually played pretty solid football this season but have just been completely unable to close out games when they needed to. While the Raiders are currently 31st in the NFL in winning percentage, they are 22nd in point differential and have had the ball with a chance to tie or win the game in the four quarter or overtime in six of their seven losses. That is not to make excuses for the Raiders but rather to point out that while they currently have the second worst record in the NFL, they are definitely not the second worst team in the league.

Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams continue to be the dominant focus of the offense, which is down two of their top skill players with Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller on IR. Over the last two weeks, Adams and Jacobs have combined for an absurd 68% of the offense’s usage (targets plus carries). We should expect much of the same this week, as the Raiders will likely run the ball with Jacobs early and often against a Broncos defense that is top-three in most pass defense metrics while struggling at times against the run. Jacobs and tight end Foster Moreau will also likely see a decent amount of targets underneath. When throwing the ball, we should expect Davante Adams to be the focal point as he has a 42% target share over the last two weeks. Broncos All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain will likely shadow Adams on his perimeter routes once again, as he did in the first meeting of these teams, although with Waller and Renfrow out, we should expect a healthy amount of slot work for Adams as well. While Surtain is very good, the Raiders simply don’t have enough other weapons to let him be a deterrent from throwing the ball to Adams.

How denver Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 4:25pm Eastern

Cowboys (
25.75) at

Vikings (
23.25)

Over/Under 49.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cowboys Run D
10th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Vikings Run O
13th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
2nd DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Vikings Pass O
23rd DVOA/28th Yards per pass
Vikings Run D
13th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
3rd DVOA/14th Yards per carry
Vikings Pass D
19th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
17th DVOA/12th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • The “game of the week” on the main slate, this should live up to the billing.
  • The Dallas defense looks better in most season-long metrics than how they have performed recently.
  • Likewise, the Dallas offense is rounding into form as they get healthy in the passing game and turn the running game over to Tony Pollard.
  • The combination of explosive players on both sides of the ball and defenses that have shown the tendency to get burned give this game massive upside.

How dallas Will Try To Win ::

The Cowboys offense has shifted into high gear since the return of Dak Prescott, averaging 34.7 points in their last three games after averaging only 21.4 points in his absence. This week they face an inconsistent Minnesota defense that ranks 5th worst in the league in yards per play allowed, one of the more predictive metrics we can find. The Cowboys passing offense continues to get healthier and more in sync, while the Vikings pass defense has given up 300+ passing yards in three of the last four weeks – the one exception being against Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders. The Cowboys rank 26th on the season in pass rate at 54.2%, driven primarily by Dak Prescott’s five-week absence. Since his return, the Cowboys had an easy win over the Lions, a highly efficient passing performance against the Bears, and a pass-heavy game against the Packers.

Looking at how the Cowboys will approach this game, they are likely to be aware of the need to score a healthy amount of points in this matchup to win due to their defense’s recent struggles and the prowess of the Minnesota offense. If Ezekiel Elliott is active, it will allow the Cowboys to lean on their running game more, as they will have two highly trusted RB’s to rely on. On paper, the Vikings pass defense is worse than their run defense, but they are by no means a scary unit against the run. Expect a game plan built first around their running game, which sets up their passing concepts and allows them to attack the intermediate and deep areas of the field. Now that their receiving corps is fully healthy, they can move Ceedee Lamb around the field more, and Dalton Schultz has returned to a high-usage role as Dak Prescott’s security blanket. Expect an efficient performance from the Cowboys as they play at their usual fast pace and attack a defense that has been bailed out by their offense on multiple occasions this season.

How minnesota Will Try To Win ::

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 4:25pm Eastern

Bengals (
21.5) at

Steelers (
18)

Over/Under 39.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bengals Run D
16th DVOA/12th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
23rd DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
10th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
21st DVOA/31st Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
5th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
9th DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
18th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
10th DVOA/15th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mike johnson >>
  • This is a rematch of a Week 1 game that the Steelers won on the back of their defense and Cincinnati turnovers. 
  • After failing to score 30 points in their first five games, the Bengals have scored 30+ in three of their last four games.
  • The Steelers have not scored over 20 offensive points in a game this season.
  • Both teams play at a league average tempo and throw the ball at an above average rate, with Cincinnati doing so in a much more efficient manner.

How cincinnati Will Try To Win ::

The Bengals have played two games without Ja’Marr Chase. In those games, they had one game against the Browns where they looked completely lost and had their worst offensive performance of the season. In the other game, they absolutely stomped the Panthers while using Joe Mixon as a true offensive centerpiece, as he had a monster game in the box score. While Mixon’s career day was partially caused by the Bengals turning more to their running game after their ugly performance in Cleveland, the reality is that they threw the ball on eight of their first 12 offensive plays and their success on the ground had more to do with the final play calling split than a giant philosophy shift.

It is important to understand the context of that Week 9 game before the Bengals bye week because this week they face a Steelers defense that has struggled significantly against high octane passing offenses, giving up eight touchdown passes and over 700 passing yards combined to the Bills and Eagles, while ranking top-10 in the league by almost any metric. Joe Burrow also threw for 340 yards in the first meeting between these teams, the issue was just keeping him upright, as the Steelers had seven sacks in that game. The Bengals offensive line is still not very good, but they have improved since that season opening loss. I would expect the Bengals to try to strike quickly in this game to take some air out of the Steelers defense and put some pressure on their offense to open things up for Kenny Pickett, hoping that leads to mistakes and a bigger lead.

The Bengals are third in the NFL in pass rate over expectation, but that number is skewed for this week due to the absence of Chase. We should expect a more balanced attack from Cincinnati, like we saw in Week 9, with the potential for more of Mixon’s usage to be through the passing game if/when the Steelers load the box. The Steelers defense has also struggled historically against slot wide receivers and occasionally tight ends, making Hayden Hurst and Tyler Boyd candidates for busy days. Finally, we’ve seen big bodied downfield receivers do a lot of damage against the Steelers and we could see Tee Higgins be a true alpha receiver for the first time since Chase left the lineup. The Steelers defense is solid and will likely give them a good test, but I expect the Bengals to make a concerted effort to jump out on top and let their momentum carry them to another big win.

How pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::

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Mike Johnson >>
  • Despite Joe Mixon’s massive game in Week 10, he’s a player I’m struggling to decide on. The matchup and game environment don’t look great and his price has risen significantly – especially on Fanduel. Mixon is more appealing to me on Draftkings as I could see him being heavily involved as a receiver as a means of countering the Steelers pass rush. I will likely play some Mixon on DK, but he won’t be one of my top two or three RBs from this slate.
  • The Bengals passing attack is very intriguing to me on this slate. We know what Burrow and company are capable of in a given week and as I outlined above I could see the Bengals really laying it on if they get the chance. I think the Bengals passing game is the most likely spot to be the stack you “had to have” at low ownership this week. Burrow doubles are firmly in play for me.
    • Tee Higgins seems like he’s going really overlooked. There have been two games without Chase and the Bengals played awful in the first then Mixon stole the show in a blowout over the Panthers. Higgins is a true alpha at this point and is tied to one of the top passing quarterbacks in the game. With the running game likely to have more difficulty this week and the WR position a little thin on this slate I think Higgins can be a difference maker.
    • Tyler Boyd’s price feels uncomfortable because of the player we all perceive him as. The reality, though, is that he’s a very talented player in his own right and his role provides a “better than advertised” ceiling.
    • Hayden Hurst is a great option to use in Burrow stacks thanks to his low price tag and it’s always a good idea to correlate your TE position, especially when salary saving. He also provides some roster flexibility due to the game’s late start time.
    • On the Pittsburgh side, Najee Harris appears healthy so the backfield should once again be split, which makes both players relatively thin.
    • That being said, Warren is an interesting piece for large field tournaments as Harris could easily get banged up with the knee issue he came out of last week with or Warren could get the lion’s share of the work if PIT falls behind. Warren is a consideration for me as a correlated piece with Burrow stacks due to the dicey state of RB this week.
    • The Steelers main three receiving options on the slate – Diontae, Pickens, Freiermuth – are also in play for me as salary savers with volume and/or correlated with Bengals pieces.

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 20th 8:20pm Eastern

Chiefs (
29) at

Chargers (
23.5)

Over/Under 52.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chiefs Run D
19th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
31st DVOA/30th Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
20th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
19th DVOA/26th Yards per pass
Chargers Run D
30th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
18th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
11th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Sunday Night Football brings us an exciting matchup as the Chiefs visit the recently healthy Chargers for a 52-point total game with Kansas City favored by 5.5. So, basically, we’re expecting a shootout. Seems fun! Let’s explore it.

Kansas City

The big news out of Kansas City is Isaiah Pacheco seizing the RB1 role away from Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has played just 17% and 6% of the snaps the past two weeks. I’m assuming this is an intentional change and will continue, however, keep in mind this is the Chiefs we’re talking about – one of the pass-heaviest teams in the NFL. Pacheco saw 16 carries last week but that was in a game the Chiefs were dominating from start to finish. I’d expect something like 10-13 carries in a “normal” game plan. His passing game role is also dubious, with just three targets on the year, and Jerick McKinnon is going to vacuum up the bulk of the passing down work. Pacheco is interesting because he’s the shiny new thing, but there’s really nothing to point to him being anything different than CEH (except perhaps a bit more efficient). He’s going to get some carries, and he’s going to need to find his way into the end zone to matter. I would prefer McKinnon in a vacuum, whose passing game role gives him a strong floor on any given week. McKinnon also works very nicely in rosters that are predicated on the Chargers winning or at least playing from ahead, and his price is very favorable. CEH would be a wild “maybe the role changes back” play at no ownership but there’s also nothing to point to it happening.

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman are out, leaving the Chiefs with Travis Kelce as the TE1/WR1, and then a group around him of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Justin Watson, and Skyy Moore. Toney saw a lot of use on just 44% of the snaps this week and I’d expect him to be in a nearly full-time role this week – he’s my favorite of the bunch (I’m biased towards Toney, I’ll admit – I played like 25% of him last week on the main slate). He is hands-down the most talented wide receiver on the roster and he isn’t quite priced like it at just $8,000. Next for me comes Watson, who played 73% of the snaps last week, and that was with JuJu playing at the start of the game. Watson’s box score dud has led to him being left at just $1,400, which is egregious; he’s the best value play on the slate by a mile. MVS is fine – he’s highly volatile, he’s going to carry a lot of ownership, but he’s certainly cheap and has ceiling. Moore is a wild card, as we don’t know how involved he’s going to be; remember, he had a great preseason camp leading to him being aggressively drafted in Best Ball, but he’s barely played so there’s something the coaching staff is seeing that they don’t like. He only played 25% of the snaps last week despite Hardman missing the game and JuJu leaving early. It’s possible his role grows – he seems talented – but it’s hard to say if this will be the game. If the field is going to overlook him, I’ll happily be overweight, but if he’s going to be popular, I’ll be under. What I mean by that is that I’m comfortable with maybe 15-20% of Moore across my rosters, regardless of what the field does. Kelce is, of course, Kelce and he’s elite. He’s a smash play. He’s awesome. 

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Kickoff Monday, Nov 21st 8:15pm Eastern

49ers (
26.5) at

Cards (
16.5)

Over/Under 43.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
49ers Run D
3rd DVOA/1st Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
27th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
9th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
29th DVOA/32nd Yards per pass
Cardinals Run D
23rd DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
22nd DVOA/15th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
22nd DVOA/12th Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
5th DVOA/3rd Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Monday Night Football has the 49ers visiting the Cardinals to close out Week 11 in a game with a modest 43-point total and San Francisco favored by 8 (yes, this means the Cards are projected for just 17.5 points – yikes). We’ll start with some key injury situations. Based on practice participation this week, I’m expecting Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins both to play, but it looks like Marquise Brown will not be activated off of injured reserve just yet and Zach Ertz is out for the season. The 49ers have a clean injury report. 

Arizona

On the Cardinals side, James Conner is fully healthy and coming off of a massive 96% snap share last week, while backup Eno Benjamin was just released seemingly out of nowhere, leaving Keontae Ingram as the most likely RB2 candidate. Conner saw by far his largest snap share and touch count of the season last week, but I expect that was more about having Colt McCoy starting at quarterback than any significant role change for Conner. I would bet he settles back into the 70% range, which is still a very healthy RB1 role but not a full-on bell cow. Behind him, Ingram’s role is going to be very up in the air but we know that “RB2 in Showdown” is a viable spot. If Conner’s usage last week keeps Ingram’s ownership way down (say, under 10%), it’s a spot I would want to be decently overweight on. The matchup here is awful as the 49ers are 8th in overall defensive DVOA with no real weak point to attack, but all rosters have to have at least one Cardinal, and despite being significant underdogs, it’s obviously very unlikely that they get completely shut down here. 

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, we can expect DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore to be the two full-time pass catchers. Both are dynamic talents and both get short-area work that is hard to defend, so even in a tough matchup, I think they both rate as strong plays (even if DHop is a bit expensive). I prefer Moore here due to price as $6,600 is a bit too cheap for his talent and role without Marquise Brown and Zach Ertz. Dusty A.J. Green will run some routes and probably not do much with them, Greg Dortch might see a bit of the field, and Robbie Anderson should suck up a deep target or two (it’s weird that Robbie only played 12% of the snaps last week with Ertz leaving early; he played over 80% the week before so something’s strange here). Robbie is the biggest wild card given how his snaps have wildly varied, which makes him an interesting tournament option. At tight end, Trey McBride played 91% of the snaps last week after Ertz departed early, but that only resulted in one target (lol). Stephen Anderson might be the better receiving option here, but really anyone outside of Hopkins or Moore is a tough sell for me in a really difficult matchup and with a lot of role uncertainty . . . I’d take Robbie next, and then Anderson, then McBride, then Green, then Dortch. 

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$229 // 22 Weeks
$58 //11 Weeks

(Through Superbowl)

Black Friday Sales expires after MNF, 11/28!*