Week 3 Matchups


Kickoff Thursday, Sep 23rd 8:20pm Eastern

Panthers (
25.5) at

Texans (
17.5)

Over/Under 43.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Panthers Run D
12th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Texans Run O
32nd DVOA/26th Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Texans Pass O
24th DVOA/29th Yards per pass
Texans Run D
30th DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
20th DVOA/18th Yards per carry
Texans Pass D
9th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
27th DVOA/15th Yards per pass

Xandamere’s Showdown Slant

Week 3 is here and it starts with the Panthers visiting the woeful Texans. Houston, not content with already being the worst team in the league, has now absorbed injuries to its starting quarterback and two of its four wide receivers who were part of their Week 1 lineup. Good grief. This game has a total of just 43.5 right now, with the Panthers favored by 7.5 points, which is quite a line for a visiting team. The Texans are likely to struggle to hit their modest total in this one.

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Carolina

On the Carolina side, we have Christian McCaffrey, our lord and savior returned after a lost season. CMC has seen a whopping 30 running back opportunities in each game so far, despite missing a few snaps in Week 2 due to leg cramps. This backfield is CMC’s as one of the few remaining true bell-cow running backs in the NFL, and he’s the clear favorite to be the top scorer in this game. The matchup is favorable, his team is a large favorite, his pass game role is elite, and he even kept playing late into a blowout against New Orleans last week. There’s absolutely nothing to point to anyone else having a high likelihood of outscoring CMC beyond “football is weird.” He’s the clear strongest play in the game, but he’s probably going to be something like 90% owned, and so there’s always a game theory case to be made for fading (or just being underweight the field) on any play at that level of ownership. Or, you could just lock him in 100% of your lineups and move on. Neither decision is “right,” this is a question of your style of play. Behind CMC, we have rookie Chuba Hubbard, who saw eight carries in Week 2 (a few when CMC took a leg cramp break and a few more at the end of the game). You’re basically hoping for a huge blowout or an injury to make him relevant, and he isn’t even priced at full-punt level. 

In the passing game, DJ Moore looks like the clear alpha of this offense so far with 19 targets, while no other non-CMC receiver has more than nine. As with CMC, we have an elite talent in a great situation with only game theory as a factor to consider as a negative. Robby Anderson is almost $3,000 cheaper, but with people wanting to play an extremely expensive CMC, Anderson might come in at similar ownership to Moore just because of salary and common roster construction. Watch ownership projections here. If Anderson looks significantly lower owned than Moore, he’s a great leverage option. But if ownership looks similar (or if Anderson is higher), I’d be tempted to go really heavy on Moore. Rookie (and preseason sensation) Terrance Marshall hasn’t had a big box score yet, but he’s established a solid role playing about half of the snaps, which I expect will increase throughout the season. At $4k, all Marshall has to do is outscore the kickers to be relevant. In this matchup, I like his odds of doing so. Behind that, it gets thin quickly as the Panthers are a highly concentrated offense. Brandon Zylstra caught a touchdown last week but is priced at $4,600, which is outrageous for a guy playing under 20% of the snaps. Alex Erickson will be on the field a tiny bit. At tight end, the Panthers primarily use Ian Thomas, who is really just a blocker who you’re hoping falls into a touchdown. Dan Arnold is the receiving tight end and a reasonable play, but similar to Zylstra, you’re paying $4,800 for a guy who might barely crack 50% of the snaps if he’s lucky. He’s probably the best fourth receiving option for the Panthers on this slate, but just be aware he’s highly volatile and will almost certainly need a touchdown to pay off. Tommy Tremble and Giovanni Ricci will be on the field as well at tight end. It’s worth noting that Tremble had a nice preseason as a receiver, and while he has yet to see a target in the NFL this season, his snap count increased from 19% to 38% from Week 1 to Week 2 (at the expense of Arnold, who fell from 52% to 29%), so he’s at least worth having in your MME punt pool. Unless you’re intentionally trying to get weird to lower duplication, though, the Carolina offense is basically CMC, Moore, Anderson, Marshall, and maybe a smidge of Arnold or Zylstra.

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

Houston

On the Houston side, the backfield is a mess. Mark Ingram handled 26 carries in Week 1’s surprising win and then 14 more in Week 2. He can be viewed as the lead back, though in what looks like a poor game script, his workload is unlikely to be robust. At $6,600, he makes a nice value play if you’re building rosters that hypothesize Houston remaining competitive in this one, which would likely come via their defense overperforming rather than winning a shootout. David Johnson has seen seven and eight opportunities so far with a most passing game role giving him at least some semblance of floor. Phillip Lindsay has seen 13 carries and two targets but has two touchdowns (football is weird). Rex Burkhead has zero carries and two targets. The likeliest outcome is that none of these guys ends up in a winning Showdown lineup, but if you want to take some shots here, Ingram and Johnson are the best plays, with Lindsay and Burkhead falling down to the “a sprinkle in MME” range.

In the passing game, the Texans will be led by David Mills. Mills himself is a tough play as a shaky quarterback with no real rushing ability (that we’ve seen so far) going up against a solid defense, with a dubious cast of receivers around him. Yeesh. That said, quarterbacks bring some of the strongest floors of any position in Showdown, and Mills is about as cheap as we ever see QBs at $8,400. Mills’ receiving corps is basically Brandin Cooks and a pile of some random dudes. Cooks himself has seen massive volume with 14 targets last week and is the highest confidence play on the Texans. Volume alone should keep him relevant in this one. Past Cooks, it gets ugly fast. Chris Conley should be forced into a nearly full-time role with Nico Collins out and Danny Amendola almost certainly out, and brings some upside as a potential deep threat who can pay off his extremely modest salary on just a couple of plays. Conley is likely to be extremely popular, and despite being a good on-paper value play, he’s also going to be a volatile receiver on a bad offense. Personally, if his ownership gets out of hand (which feels likely on a slate with CMC as a captain option who people will want to pay up for), I’ll want to be underweight here. Assuming Amendola misses (he’s listed doubtful currently), Andre Roberts will see more work, and Anthony Miller will likely be active for the first time this season. The Texans have primarily been running 2-wide formations so far this season so the WR3 role is still likely to be a part-time one. I’ll include both in my MME player pool but I won’t feel great about it. At tight end, we have a nearly even timeshare between Pharaoh Brown and Jordan Akins, with both on the field together fairly regularly. Both have a floor of 0 and are only worth considering as punt tourney plays. This offense is VERY thin. Houston just sent their previous TE3, Antony Auclair, back to the practice squad so if they call someone else up before the game, you could stick that guy in your MME pool as well (if it’s someone who’s on the site you’re playing).

Outlook

The way this game is likeliest to play out is the Panthers stomp all over the Texans. We need to talk about defense for a bit because I expect Carolina’s defense to come in quite highly owned. My position on defense in Showdown is that I always want about 10-12% of any DST so that I’m underweight the “good” ones and overweight the “bad” ones. Price and ownership are extremely poor predictors of DST success, and the field vastly overweights the probability of a good defense in a good matchup putting up a tourney-worthy score. It could happen here, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all, but my personal approach to Showdown is to always be underweight highly-owned defenses (and to try to make sure I am using them intelligently when I do use them, i.e. in 5-1 or 4-2 builds only). To quote from my Advanced Showdown course, “really good defenses in good matchups approach 50% ownership or higher in Showdown tournaments, while poor defenses are often under 10%. To me, that level of ownership doesn’t appropriately capture the variance of the position. There’s just no way I want much exposure to a defense if it’s going to be 50% owned.” Some other tributaries to consider:

  • Houston could actually win this game! As wild as it seems, the Vegas odds give the Texans about a 1 in 4 chance of winning. Do you think 25% of rosters will be built around the idea of Houston winning? I doubt it, which tells us we have a leverage opportunity to dedicate at least some of our exposure in this direction (either with “Houston wins” rosters or even just “Houston keeps it competitive before losing a close game”).
  • I expect we’ll see a lot of 5-1 and 4-2 Carolina stacks. I mean, duh. Obvious, right? And we’ll see a lot of those stacks built around expensive Panthers with cheap Houston bring-backs. This provides us with an opportunity to build rosters still predicated on Carolina winning, but constructed differently from how the field is likely to. For example, CMC captain with Darnold, but then use Arnold and Marshall as two other Carolina pieces instead of one of Moore or Anderson. This is a slate in which we can predict not just individual player ownership, but also a lot of overall roster construction, with a pretty high degree of accuracy, which lets us build in ways that maximize our exposure to the best plays while our constructions can differ from the field.
Cash games

My cash game pool consists of CMC, Darnold, Cooks, Mills (ugh), Marshall, the kickers, and Conley.

Tournaments

In tournaments, the obvious favorite captain is CMC, but I would bet that he pushes 40%+ captain ownership and around 90% overall ownership. Yikes. I also want to be heavy on Moore, Anderson, Marshall, and Cooks, with Conley (or other cheap Texans) as interesting punt captain choices.

Some groups to consider
  • At most 1 kicker
  • At most 1 defense
  • Pair captain pass catchers with their QBs (or consider boosting the QB if using a captain receiver if you don’t want 100% exposure to this pairing – discussed in further detail in the 2020 update to my Advanced Showdowns course)
  • If using an RB captain, apply a negative correlation to the opposing defense and kicker (you can see how to do so in my FantasyLabs tutorial video)
  • Pair captain QBs with at least 2 pass catchers
  • If using Mark Ingram, boost the Texans DST
  • At most 1 Texans running back
  • At most 1 of the non-Cooks Houston wide receivers
  • If playing Carolina DST, at most 2 Texans

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • HOU’s hot start with Tyrod took a hit with his injury, forcing rookie Davis Mills into action
  • HOU was outscored 17 to 7 after Tyrod left in first half
  • CAR is outscoring opponents (NYJ/NOR) 45-21 to start the season

Davis Mills:

  • Mills went 8/18 for 108 yds, TD, INT and an awful 10.0 QBR in forced action vs CLE
  • For context, Tyrod’s QBR was at 94.8 when he left the game
  • CAR has already picked of Wilson & Jameis three times, holding their offenses to a combined three TDs
  • CAR has 10 sacks through two games
  • Davis Mills best PlayerProfiler comparable is Landry Jones

Brandin Cooks:

  • Cooks as HOU’s #1 since 2020: 5:95 (8) // 5:65 (8) // 6:59 (7) // 7:141:1 (10) // 11:166:2 (16) // 5:132 (7) // 9:78:1 (14)
  • 10 of Cooks’s 14 targets from W1 came from Davis Mills in the second half
  • Cooks has 21 targets through 2 games (next closest on team is 6)
  • #1 WRs vs CAR through two games: Davis (5:97:2) // Callaway (2:8)
  • Since 2014, Home WRs averaging 7+ targets, on teams implied for under 19 pts, have failed to meet salary based expectations nearly 60% of the time
  • Only four of the 57 WRs in that sample reach 20 DK pts, and just one reached 25 DK pts

HOU RBs:

  • Ingram has rushed 26 & 14 times in the first two weeks of 2021
  • CAR has allowed a total of 57 rush yds to the NYJ & NOR RBs
  • DJ & Lindsay have each caught a TD in the first two weeks, but no one has topped 22 rec yds

Sam Darnold:

  • Darnold scored 20+ DK pts in just 8/38 games with NYJ (just one of 30+)
  • Darnold has scored 20.1 & 22.9 DK pts in his first two games for CAR
  • QBs vs HOU’s new Lovie Smith defense to start 2020: Lawrence (332:3:3) // Baker (213:1:1; rush TD)

CAR WRs:

  • Targets through 2 weeks: Moore (8, 11) // Robby (3, 6) // Marshall (6, 3)
  • HOU allowed 213 yds, 2 TD to JAC’s top 3 WRs, but held CLE’s in check (albeit on just 21 passes, 30 less than JAC threw)
  • HOU allowed the highest success rate to WRs in 2020, and Robey was traded to NOR
  • HOU has allowed the 8th most completed air yds & 7th most YAC through 2 games
  • Anderson has the highest avg intended air yds in the NFL through 2 games
  • CAR WRs only scored 20+ DK pts together twice in 2020 (RA & DJM vs TB // DJM & CS vs DET); none reached 20 in W1

Christian McCaffrey:

  • HOU allowed 300 more RB rush yds than the next closest team in 2020 (145.8/g)
  • HOU allowed over 3000 total RB yds in 2020 (190.9/g)
  • HOU is allowing 5.4 yds/att through 2 games vs Robinson/Hyde & Chubb/Hunt
  • Since Week 9 of 2018, CMC has scored under 24 DK pts just five times in 30 games
  • Two of those five came in W17 blowouts vs NOR in which multiple starters either didn’t play or finish game
  • CMC has 30+ pts in 16 of those 30 games and 35+ in 8 of them
  • CMC is second on the team in targets with 15 despite two games CAR led the entire way (30 att+tg in each game so far)

Dan Arnold:

  • HOU has allowed James O’Shag, Harrison Bryant, & Austin Hooper to each top 40 rec yds, and Chris Manhertz to score a TD
  • Arnold has 3 & 4 targets to start 2021, with 55 yds in the most recent game vs NOR
  • Arnold had five games of 40+ yds for ARI in 2020 with 4 TDs


Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Colts (
21.25) at

Titans (
25.75)

Over/Under 47.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Colts Run D
2nd DVOA/13th Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
10th DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
30th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
26th DVOA/27th Yards per pass
Titans Run D
27th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
16th DVOA/11th Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
25th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
22nd DVOA/16th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By MJOHNSON86 >>
  • Tennessee has played from behind for all of regulation in both games so far this season.
  • Weakness vs weakness: Colts offense vs Titans defense
  • Indianapolis played much better in Week 2 than they did in Week 1, but relied on some fluky plays to keep it close later in the game.
  • Both teams are likely to have similar approaches to this game, with one of them much more likely to be successful

How indianapolis Will Try To Win ::

Carson Wentz sprained both of his ankles late in the game against the Rams. He was unable to play the last drive and Jacob Eason finished it out with an interception. Wentz is highly questionable for this week, and even if cleared, it is hard to see him being very effective with limited mobility in both legs. If Wentz is unable to play, Eason is not a high level talent and is a non-factor with his legs which will further limit the ability of the Indianapolis offense to create dynamic chunk plays.

The Colts are going to have a very straightforward game plan with a heavy dose of the running game behind their traditionally strong offensive line, though their line has struggled mightily through their first two games. Look for the Colts to also get creative in their use of screens, short-area passing, formations, and personnel, as they will need to find ways to sustain drives. The Titans defense was very successful bottling up the running game of the Seahawks last week after giving up a lot of rushing yards to the Cardinals. The Seahawks are likely a more fair comparison for the Colts, as the Colts don’t have Kyler Murray back there to hold linebackers and safeties from filling gaps. And while the Seahawks were limited on the ground, they did exploit the Titans porous secondary with multiple explosive downfield plays. Unfortunately for the Colts, they also do not have the talent at QB or in their receiving corps to attack the back end consistently.

How tennessee Will Try To Win ::

Tennessee trailed from start to finish in Week 1, then trailed by multiple scores for the last two and a half quarters against Seattle before tying the game with under a minute left and winning in overtime. Those game scripts are entirely opposite of how Head Coach Mike Vrabel wants this team to play and how they are traditionally built. This week sets up differently and the Titans will look to impose their will and get back to their identity after being lucky to escape the first two weeks at 1-1.

Realistically speaking, the Jaguars and Texans are close to expansion level teams. While the Colts are 0-2, they have the coaching, culture, and enough talent on the roster to provide the only realistic threat to the Titans for the division. The Titans are likely well aware of that and understand the opportunity they have here to deliver a big blow to their only “competition.” I would expect the Titans to come out energized and take it to the Colts early on both sides of the ball. While they will give a heavy load to Derrick Henry, Vrabel also has an aggressive nature to him and will likely take some shots downfield early against a Colts secondary that has shown vulnerabilities through two weeks. The Colts usually prefer to play zone coverage and are not prone to blitz, instead using their front four to get home. The Titans are facing some injuries to their offensive line, so they may have some issues creating holes to get Derrick Henry to the second level and will likely need to use a running back or tight end to help protect Ryan Tannehill on passing plays. If the line is able to give Tannehill time, he may be able to highlight his high profile wide receivers who are as physically imposing as any WR duo you will find in the league.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The Colts are unlikely to “control” the tempo of this game as they simply lack the talent on offense to do so. They will simply be “holding on for dear life,” hoping variance and some lucky bounces give them a shot late in the game. The Colts do have a very good front seven and run defense that has stood up well to start the year, so despite the intent of the Titans to impose their will on the ground, it will likely not be that simple. I would expect a slow paced game early on with some Colts punts and long Titans drives. The Colts may be able to get an early score on scripted plays and do some creative things to take the Titans off guard, but they are unlikely to sustain consistent drives with limitations from their QB position. This game will likely have a slow tempo to it, with the Titans gradually pulling away and becoming more aggressive if it stays close into the second half.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • Carson Wentz is questionable with ankle sprains to both ankles, and his backup Jacob Eason has only taken NFL snaps in the 2021 preseason
  • TEN has already allowed 38 & 30 points to ARI & SEA
  • This matchup has gone back and forth with Reich & Vrabel, with both teams going 2-0 on the road

IND QBs:

  • TEN faced the 2nd highest amount of passes in 2020, allowing the 4th most pass yds & 2nd most pass TDs
  • TEN has allowed the 6th most pass yds & 3rd most pass TDs through two weeks
  • Rivers averaged 301.5 yds, 1.5 TDs in this matchup a year ago, with Brisset also running in 3 short TDs
  • Eason came in and almost immediately threw an INT vs LAR in W2
  • TEN intercepted the 10th most passes in 2020; has just 1 on Kyler through two weeks

IND Pass Catchers:

  • IND targets in 2021: Pittman (4, 12) // Pascal (5, 6) // Campbell (3, -) // Doyle (4, 8)
  • Pascal lead with 3 TDs, but Pittman leads with 152 rec yds
  • Eason targets: Pascal (2) // Pittman (2) // Doyle (1)
  • Only ATL allowed more WR DK pts than TEN in 2020
  • WRs vs TEN in 2021: Hopkins (26.3), Kirk (24), Moore (10.8) // Lockett (34.8), Swain (21), Metcalf (11.3)
  • IND WRs vs TEN in 2020: Hilton (4:40; 4:81:1) // Pittman (7:101; 2:28) // Pascal (4:33; 1:23)
  • Doyle’s 12 targets trail only Pittman; two RZ targets
  • TEs Maxx Williams, Gerald Everett, & Will Dissly have been quiet vs TEN thus far
  • Only seven teams faced fewer TE targets in 2020, but 18 teams allowed fewer TE yds

IND RBs:

  • TEN allowed the 7th most RB DK pts in 2020
  • RB rushing vs TEN in 2021: Edmonds (12:63), Conner (16:53) // Carson (13:31:2), Collins (1:25)
  • Taylor rushing in 2021: 17:56 vs SEA // 15:51 vs LAR
  • Edmonds also added 43 rec yds vs TEN
  • Nyheim Hines dominated this matchup through the air in 2020, going 5:45:1 and 8:66 on 16 targets
  • Hines scored 28.5 & 17.5 DK pts in the two games
  • Hines has 8 & 2 targets so far, running routes on 22/44 & 19/44 dropbacks
  • Taylor has 7 & 1 targets so far, running routes on 18/44 & 15/44 dropbacks
  • Taylor’s DK scores as an Underdog: 15.4 // 10.4 // 16.4 // 17.6 // 6.3

Ryan Tannehill:

  • Wilson & Stafford have averaged 266 yds, 3 TD through two games vs IND in 2021
  • Tanny bounced back from poor W1 for 347 pass yds vs SEA in W2 (plus a questionable reversed TD to Julio)
  • Tanny threw for just 147 & 221 yds in this matchup last year, as Darius Leonard being out opened the door for big Henry games (just 27 & 22 pass att for Tanny)
  • 2020: The game scores of his 7 games of 20+ DK pts read: 46-25, 42-36, 35-41, 42-16, 41-38, 33-30, 30-24

TEN WRs:

  • After four low scores as a Home Favorite early in his rookie year (including two with Mariota), Brown as a Home Favorite since has scored: 26.5 // 28.4 // 22.8 // 30.3 // 23.1 // 11.7 // 15.4 DK pts
  • Brown went 1:21 & 4:98:1 vs IND in 2020, but also dropped a sure 70-yd TD
  • IND held Metcalf & Woods to about 60 rec yds each, but Lockett & Kupp have combined for 263 yds, 4 TDs vs IND in the first two weeks
  • Targets so far: Brown (8, 9) // Julio (6, 8) // Rogers (6, 5)
  • TEN had a 100+ yd WR in 10/16 games last year, and now 1/2 so far in 2021
  • Julio went for 8:128:1 in 2019 vs Eberflus’s IND defense

Derrick Henry:

  • RBs vs IND in 2021: Carson (16:91) // Henderson (13:53:1), Michel (10:46)
  • Henry vs IND with Tanny: 26:149:1 // 19:103 // 27:178:3
  • Henry’s touches in 2021: (17 att, 4 tg) // (35 att, 6 tg)
  • Henry has scored 26+ DK pts in 9/19 of his games with Tannehill as a Favorite: 32.5 // 27.6 // 26.9 // 42.1 // 30 // 43.4 // 39.2 // 28.2 // 39
  • He has also scored under 10 DK pts in 5 of the other 10 games

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Falcons (
22.25) at

Giants (
24.75)

Over/Under 47.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Falcons Run D
25th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per carry
Giants Run O
29th DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
26th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Giants Pass O
15th DVOA/9th Yards per pass
Giants Run D
26th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
31st DVOA/24th Yards per carry
Giants Pass D
22nd DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
25th DVOA/12th Yards per pass

GAME OVERVIEW ::

BY Hilow >>
  • How Atlanta will try and win through the air lines up fairly well with what the Giants are willing to give up through the air
  • Extremely wide range of potential outcomes as far as game flow is concerned (the field is likely to assume a great deal of confidence in this regard)
  • Extremely concentrated expected offense from the Falcons; extremely game flow-dependent offense from the Giants (we can safely assume concentration from each potential game flow outcome, dependent on how the game plays out)

HOW Atlanta WILL TRY TO WIN ::

The first thing that we need to be clear on is we have no clue what Atlanta’s identity is at this point. They have looked downright atrocious. They’ve allowed a silly 40.0 points per game against, Matt Ryan holds a ridiculously low 3.6 completed air yards per pass attempt value, Cordarrelle bleeping Patterson is leading the team in fantasy points scored at the running back position after a two score game, and the thought-to-be concentrated offense hasn’t panned out up to this point. That was a lot of words to indicate the lack of certainty we have with this team right now. That said, we have a team playing at the eighth-fastest situation-neutral pace of play, a combined 81 pass attempts over the first two weeks, a combined 23 penalties over two weeks (good for expected pass production; defensive penalties mean sustained drives for the opponent while offensive penalties put the team in long down and distance to go situations), and the likely absence of what should be the third receiving option when all is said and done (Russell Gage suffered an ankle injury in Week 2 and has yet to practice this week). There is a lot to like from a prospective fantasy production standpoint here, so let’s see if we can’t figure out how Atlanta will approach this game before they even can.

The matchup on the ground yields a below average 4.145 net-adjusted line yards metric but the Falcons have filtered 26 of 81 total targets through the running back position, good for a hefty 32.1% positional target rate. The gross part is all of Mike Davis, Cordarrelle Patterson, and fullback Keith Smith are playing meaningful snaps (65/35/25 snap rate split) out of the backfield and it appears the team is set on continuing the Patterson running back experiment (which has gone on for four years now across three different coaching staffs; #IConfuse). Outside of the obvious fact that this team has been playing from behind for eight quarters to start the year, there remains a lot of questions regarding the expected usage here. Atlanta’s 35% situation-neutral rush rate over two games is the eighth-lowest to start the year, and their 3.9 average yards per rush attempt ranks 21st. We shouldn’t expect a massive bump to the 23.0 rush attempts per game we’ve seen thus far, meaning expected running back production is difficult to bank on heading into a game against a defense built from the front back.

As alluded to earlier, wide receiver Russell Gage, the de facto WR2 on this team, suffered an ankle injury in Week 2 and has yet to practice this week (as of Thursday), likely leaving WR2 duties to the smattering of mediocrity in Olamide Zaccheaus, Tajae Sharpe, and Christian Blake. The addition of Adoree’ Jackson to James Bradberry in the secondary has allowed the Giants to play more man coverage and, more importantly, blitz at a heavier rate to start the year. The Giants currently rank tied for seventh in blitz rate, which has been largely ineffective (only three sacks and 18 quarterback pressures). The setup, however, is what matters here: we should expect elevated blitz rates from the Giants against an opponent that has shown the propensity to get the ball out quick to its primary receiving options as they look to protect their aging quarterback. With the absence of one of those primary pass-catchers, this sets up well for Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts, in particular, to see significant volume in man coverage against a team with ten missed tackles already this year. The Giants have allowed an overall quarterback rating against of 100.1 thus far and, although their corners and safeties are performing at an NFL-average level, their linebacker coverage grades rank second-worst to start the year. All of James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Darnay Holmes, and Jabrill Peppers have allowed 7.3 yards per attempt or less in primary coverage but the defense as a whole has allowed a whopping 75.61% completion rate against, meaning most of the damage against has been of the short area variety. Furthermore, the Giants have allowed the fifth-highest drive success rate against to start the year. Again, this lines up well for how we expect Atlanta to attack through the air.

HOW New York WILL TRY TO WIN ::

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett continues to operate a vanilla offense with an average pace of play, average situation-neutral rush-pass rates, and average situational play calling tendencies. What’s interesting, though, is how effective this offense has looked due in large part to the dual-threat ability of quarterback Daniel Jones. Not only has he shown great scramble ability, but he is one of the most accurate deep passers over the previous two seasons. Crazy, right? But when we talk about how coaching tendencies significantly affect how a game is likeliest to play out, Jason Garrett is very much in the “aggression depends on the opponent” bucket, meaning he is very rarely aggressive with play calling deep into games the Giants control. The big picture from the matchup is the Giants should find success moving the ball however they choose. 

2.57. That is the current adjusted line yards value from the New York offensive line. Get the laughs out now before we continue. The matchup yields a laughably low 3.67 net-adjusted line yards metric because of New York’s shortcomings. Saquon Barkley has target counts of three and three to start the year, likely attributable to his status of coming back from a lost season. What really stood out to me, however, was the fact that he accrued only three targets twice in games the Giants played primarily competitively throughout against tough opponents in the Broncos and Football Team. Both of those games were also played without their starting tight end, Evan Engram, who is tentatively expected back this week. Sum it all up and we’re left wanting more as far as involvement goes out of Saquon (running back opportunity counts of 13 and 16 to start the year) before we can confidently assume he is fully healthy, even in a perceived smash matchup.

The passing game brings a great deal more intrigue. Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram both hold question marks as far as health goes, so it is fair to expect decreased levels of involvement from each until both can prove their health. That leaves us with a concentrated pass-catching corps of Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, and Darius Slayton (notice I listed Shepard first there “wink emoji”). Quarterback Daniel Jones has pass attempts of 37 and 32 to start the year, giving us a good idea of the expected range of outcomes as far as pass attempts go here. Shepard leads the team in targets with a total of 19 through two games and brings the highest floor to the table against a weak secondary. The viability of the other pass-catchers depends largely on game flow and/or efficiency (aDOTs:: Slayton: 15.1, Golladay: 14.3, Shepard: 8.9).

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW :: 

From the standpoint of likeliest game flow, I would say with a great deal of confidence that there doesn’t exist a likeliest game flow from this one. What I mean by that is this: since so much of the expected aggression level from the Giants depends on what their opponent is able to do on the actual scoreboard, and since we know so little about Atlanta’s team identity at this point, we’re left with an absurdly wide range of potential outcomes from this game environment, one that largely depends on Atlanta’s early success from a real-world scoring perspective. Since the Falcons have looked so poor on offense to start the year, many will immediately assume this game will be controlled by the Giants, allowing New York to dictate the pace and flow. I would greatly caution against this assumption and instead look to embrace the uncertainty presented to us through this game.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Matt Ryan:

  • Through two weeks, the NYG pass defense that was supposed to be upgraded from 2020 has allowed 600 pass yds, 4 TD, 1 INT to Bridgwater & Heinicke
  • The Giants do have the 4th highest pressure rate in the NFL after two weeks (PHI, ATL’s first opponent, is just behind them)
  • The Giants have sent the 3rd most blitzes through two weeks (TB, ATL’s second opponent, ranks 1st)
  • Ryan threw just 164 yds vs PHI, but got to 300 vs TB (though with 3 INTs)

Calvin Ridley:

  • Ridley’s 18 targets lead the next closest WR (Gage) by nine
  • Ridley has totaled 12 rec for just 114 yds, TD through two weeks
  • #1 WRs have torn up NYG in each of the first two weeks, with Jeudy racking up 6:72 before leaving early with injury and McLaurin putting up 11:107:1
  • Bradberry & Adoree spent more time on Julio than Ridley in their matchups vs ATL in 2019
  • Ridley as a Road Dog in 2020 (DK pts): 32.9 // 18.9 // 7.2 // 14 // 29.4 // 20.3 // 11.6
  • Notable ATL performances in Ridley’s sub-20 DK scores from that sample: Julio (8:137:2) // Julio (7:137) // Ridley (90 of Ryan’s 232 yds; ATL scored 9 pts) // Gage (9:91:1)

Kyle Pitts:

  • Bouncing back from a sub-par opener in which nobody on ATL could do anything, Pitts put up 73 yds on 5 catches in his second career game vs a talented TB defense
  • Only Ridley has more targets than Pitts’s 14 through two games
  • Only BAL & ATL have allowed more TE pts than NYG so far, and BAL faced Waller & Kelce both
  • Thomas & Fant each received 7+ targets vs NYG

ATL RBs:

  • NYG have allowed the 5th most RB rush yds through two weeks (7th most DK pts)
  • Melvin Gordon’s 70 yd rush TD late in W1 is a big boost to those numbers
  • NYG allowed the 4th most RB rec yds in 2020, and let McKissic loose for 83 rec yds in W2
  • Touches through two games vs tough RB defenses: Davis (15 & 9 att; 6 & 7 tg) // Patterson (7 & 7 att; 2 & 6 tg)
  • That’s total touches in each game of 21 & 16 for Davis, and 9 & 13 for Patterson
  • Patterson has outproduced Davis 136 yds to 135 yds despite the fewer touches, and also scored twice vs TB
  • 2020: Four RBs reached 20+ DK pts vs NYG (Monty 21.7, Wilson 21.9, Zeke 23.5, Carson 20), but some RB pairs did it combined: (Wilson+McKinnon 38.6) // (McKissic+Gibson 23.9 & 30.7) // (Sanders+Scott 27.9) // (Drake+Edmonds 25.3) // (Dobbins+Edwards 27.9) // (Zeke+Pollard 21.4)
  • Gordon (23.8) & McKissic (20.3) both scored over 20 so far in 2021

Daniel Jones:

  • The Giants have scored under 20 offensive pts in 11/18 games with Garrett as OC
  • Last week’s 29 points were the 2nd most of the Garrett era
  • ATL has allowed 32 & 48 pts to start the season
  • Jones has scored 22.4 & 29.5 DK pts to start 2021 thanks in large part to 24.2 total DK pts on the ground
  • Despite the switch to Dean Pees at DC, ATL has struggled vs QBs to start 2021, with Hurts & Brady putting up scores of 28.8 & 30.64 behind 8 total TDs
  • In 18 Jason Garrett games, Jones or Colt McCoy have scored 1 TD or less in 12 of them
  • Hurts ran for 62 yds in W1 (Jones has rushed for 27 & 95 yds in 2021)
  • Jones has 40 TOs in 28 starts
  • ATL has just one forced TO through two games

NYG WRs:

  • NYG WR targets through two games: Shep (9, 10) // Golladay (6, 8) // Slayton (7, 6) // Toney (2, 0)
  • Production: Shep (113:1, 94) // Golladay (64, 38; one blow-up at Jason Garrett) // Slayton (65, 54:1, dropped deep TD) // Toney (-2, 0; one frustrated Instagram story)
  • Shepard is back playing mostly in his natural position as slot WR, and has racked up 16 catches in two games in that role
  • ATL vs WRs through two games: Smith (6:71:1), Reagor (6:49:1) // Evans (5:75:2), Godwin (4:62:1)

Evan Engram:

  • ATL has allowed the 2nd most TE DK pts behind 3 TDs from Goedert & Gronk
  • Engram had 7+ targets in 7 of 8 games in 2019, and then had 10 games of 7+ targets in 2020 (no Rudolph in 2020)
  • Even with all the targets, Engram had just six games of 10+ DK pts and just two of 15+ DK pts in 2020
  • Rudolph has 7 targets as the lead TE without Engram thus far

Saquon Barkley:

  • ATL has allowed 4.6 yds/att to the PHI & TB backfields
  • Each opposing backfield has had 40+ rec yds
  • DEN & WAS are two of the tougher RB matchups in football, and they were also Saquon’s first games since tearing ACL last year
  • Saquon has 29 of 40 RB touches thus far (23/30 att, 6/10 tg)
  • Saquon’s snaps jumped from 48% to 84% in W2 despite a short week
  • Saquon played 87% snaps in W1 2020 with 24/26 RB touches

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Chargers (
23.75) at

Chiefs (
30.75)

Over/Under 54.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chargers Run D
31st DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
5th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
11th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
1st DVOA/2nd Yards per pass
Chiefs Run D
32nd DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
8th DVOA/22nd Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
31st DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
8th DVOA/7th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Austin Ekeler is highly appealing to me (won’t steal the thunder just yet)
  • Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Patrick Mahomes always carry slate-breaking upside in even the most difficult of matchups
  • We’re likely to see the Chiefs succeed here; likely game flow depends largely on the Chargers level of success offensively
  • Chargers rank first in the league in yards per drive while the Chiefs rank third
  • Could this game be going overlooked?
  • High likelihood of this game being the top game environment on the slate

How Los Angeles Will Try To Win ::

The secrets of Joe Lombardi’s new-look offense are largely known at this point, and it’s transpiring exactly as we thought it would coming into the season. The power and stretch run game work in close conjunction with the “X” wide receiver (Mike Williams) in a possession-style role, with now “Z” and “Y” hybrid Keenan Allen maintaining a similar role as he has grown accustomed to. Basically, Lombardi took the base offense from his time in New Orleans and folded one of the most pure route runners in the league into it. The big picture is Lombardi is still tweaking things as the season labors on, with the plan of attack slightly different in Week 1 as compared to Week 2, but the overall concepts remain rather consistent. The biggest change in fundamental role has been Mike Williams, who has transformed from primarily a downfield threat into the prototypical possession-style “X” receiver. His average depth of target in 2021 falls right in line with how we would picture that type of player, checking in at 9.2 yards (quick side note: Keenan Allen holds a deeper aDOT than Mike Williams this season, something we never thought we’d hear or say). The Chargers hold the league’s seventh highest situation-neutral pass rate through two weeks and play at the fifth fastest situation-neutral pace of play.

Running back Austin Ekeler’s opportunity counts of 15 and 18 are right in line with what we should expect of a running back playing around 60% of the offensive snaps. The short-lived concerns about his pass game usage went right out the window after a Week 2 game in which he saw a whopping nine targets. The matchup on the ground yields a borderline elite 4.77 net-adjusted line yards metric and the clear optimal way to attack the Chiefs is on the ground and over the short-middle of the field through the air. If ever there were a game for the Chargers to lean more heavily on Austin Ekeler, this would be it (not from a likely game flow perspective, but from the perspective of what gives them the best chance of coming out of this game with a win). When we look at the two games the Chargers have played, it becomes fairly evident that Ekeler’s usage is highly influenced by game plan coming into the game. He saw 15 rushes in a slugfest-style game against the Football Team and subsequently saw nine targets against a Dallas team that the Chargers knew they would have to put up points against. This game sets up well for him to see additional pass volume again.

As we explored above, the dramatic shift in offensive philosophy has turned the wide receiver roles on their heads to start the year. Lombardi came in and immediately transformed Mike Williams into a possession-style, prototypical “X” receiver, altering his routes and tightening up his average depth of target. What that means is he is relegated to a player who requires an increase to volume and one or two scores in order to provide a GPP-worthy score. The setup for this game is interesting due to the likely increased aerial aggression and pass volume from the Chargers, but the per-target upside is lacking from Mr. Williams due to the types of routes he is running. Keenan Allen runs higher YAC-upside routes, but this Chiefs defense is built to subdue YAC potential through swarming tackling. Finally, Jared Cook and Donald Parham are splitting snaps at a near-even rate.

How Kansas City Will Try To Win ::

Patrick Mahomes. Travis Kelce. Tyreek Hill. That’s how Kansas City will try to win. I’m only half joking. We’ve seen this offense tear apart defense after defense. The matchup literally does not matter. With that out of the way, the Chiefs are operating at a moderate 62% situation-neutral pass rate and seventh-ranked situation-neutral pace of play to start the year. Their drive success rate ranks first in the league at a ridiculous 82.7% and they have scored the most points per drive in the league at 3.59. They are #goodatfootball.

The matchup on the ground yields a 4.055 net-adjusted line yards metric, but why run the football behind an offensive line ranked 29th in the league in yards created metrics when you have Patrick Mahomes? That’s basically been the theme so far this season for the Chiefs, and until we see a higher level of schemed usage near the goal line and through the pass game, Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains a fringe option at best.

The moneymakers for this offense remain Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill through the air. The Chargers have allowed the second fewest fantasy points in the league to wide receivers over their first two games, but like we alluded to earlier, matchup largely does not matter with the Chiefs. If choosing one or the other, Travis Kelce sets up better to do significant damage from an on-paper sense against the prevent nature of this Chargers defense. It feels almost wrong keeping the Chiefs portion of this writeup so short, but there isn’t much to add that you don’t already know about how this team will look to win games currently.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The Chiefs are very rarely a consideration to completely fail, so if the likeliest scenario has the Chiefs succeeding on offense in even the most difficult of matchups (this isn’t the most difficult matchup, but I wouldn’t call it a plus matchup either), their game flows largely depend on what their opponent is able to muster on offense (as in, the Chiefs more often than not control the pace, tempo, and flow of games – they’re just that good). When we start thinking through the likeliest scenario in this spot, it becomes fairly evident the Chargers should feauture Austin Ekeler heavily in both the run game and pass game. This will, without a doubt, give them the best opportunity to come out of this important divisional game with a win. Regardless of how they ultimately choose to attack here, it is likely we see some additional aggression from the Chargers as they look to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes and his Chiefs. Of note: the Chargers rank third in the league in drive success rate (Chiefs rank first), first in the league in yards per drive (Chiefs rank third), but have turned the ball over at the league’s highest rate, leading to just a 15th-ranked points per drive value.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • For the first time since 2016, the Chiefs are not atop the AFC West
  • The Chargers fell to 1-1 on a buzzer beater field goal
  • Andy Reid and Mahomes are versus the Chargers
  • Chiefs totals following a short week: 

Justin Herbert

  • In Week 1, the Chargers offense utilized 11 personnel on 64% of their snaps and 12 personnel on 22%
  • In Week 2, those figures increased to 71% out of 11 and 23% out of 12 (meaning other formations saw even less usage)
  • Through two weeks, the Chargers have had a success rate of 52% out of 11 (94 snaps in total)  and 61% out of 12 (31 snaps)
  • LAC’s ranks fourth in pass rate over expectation after two weeks
  • The second most pressured QB last season, as a rookie, Herbert still led the league in QB rating under pressure
  • Through two weeks, that has regressed to 11th
  • Herbert ranks in the bottom 10 on rate of passes with 15+ air yards through two weeks (11.36%)
  • In all games that closed with a Vegas total line of 50+, here are Herbert’s DK totals: 19.7 // 30.1 // 20.4 // 26.4
  • In all games that ended with 50+ points: 24 // 27.4 // 41.5 // 23.2 // 26.4 // 21.5 // 30.7 // 31 // 36 (@ KC but Mahomes inactive)
  • The Over hit in 56.2% of Chargers games last season
  • In Herbert’s first career game, stepping in last minute due to the lung puncturing Tyrod Taylor received at the hands of team medical staff, he scored 26.2 DK points in a home loss to the Chiefs (20-23)
  • Then in Week 17 last year, Herbert put up 35.98 DK points in a road victory at Arrowhead
  • Mahomes was inactive that game
  • This week marks the first time that Herbert and Mahomes have squared off in a game that Herbert was the expected starter for the entire week while the KC defense game planned

LAC Passing Attack

  • Through two games, the Chargers pass catchers (RB/WR/TE) are third in the league in targets per game with 43, behind only Las Vegas (44.5) and Detroit (45.5)
  • 65.1% of team targets have gone to the WR position
  • KC defense has allowed 54.8% of receiving yardage given up to go to the WR position, 53.8% of the targets, and only 0.5 TDs per game
  • Against RBs, those figures are 11.3%, 15.4%, and 0, respectively
  • But KC has allowed TEs 33.9% of all receiving yardage (most in the league to that position), 30.8% of targets, and 0 TDs
  • Keenan Allen averaged 12.2 targets in 11 full games with Herbert last season
  • Through two games, he’s averaged 10 (12 in Week 1 @ WAS, 8 vs. DAL)
  • Keenan is eighth in total targets among all players
  • Since 2020, Keenan’s DK totals in games that closed with a Vegas total of 50+: 17.8 // 2.6 (limited snap count off of injury) // 16 // 28.3
  • Keenan’s DK totals in games with normal snaps and 50+ points scored: 14.2 // 10.9 // 25.5 // 21.7 // 28.3 // 12.9 // 38.5
  • Here are the career ADoT season averages for Mike Williams, starting with 2017-2020: 12 // 15.6 // 18.3 // 15.8
  • Through two games in 2021, Mike’s ADoT average is 9.9
  • He had only received double digit targets in three total games his first four years
  • Mike had 12 targets in Week 1 and 10 in Week 2. His 22 targets in two games would be more than 25% of his best career season (85 targets)
  • Mike is fourth in total targets for all players, third in WRs
  • His DK points in 2021: 22.2 // 22.1
  • Since 2020, Mike’s DK totals in games that closed with a Vegas total of 50+: 22.1 // 4.2 (less than 50% snaps) // 5.6 // 13.1
  • Mike’s DK totals in games with 50%+ snaps and 50+ points scored: 30.9 // 1.4 // 21 // 13.1 // 5.8 // 17.2 // 25.8
  • Jalen Guyton has seven targets in two games and a PFF grade of 53.9
  • Guyton’s ADoT in 2020 was 16.4
  • Through two weeks in 2021, it’s 5.1
  • Josh Palmer has just three targets in two games
  • Jared Cook has out targeted fellow tight end Donald Parham 13 to 1
  • Cook has turned those targets into eight receptions and DK totals of 10.6 & 5.8

Austin Ekeler

  • Kansas City has allowed the most rushing yards (404), rushing TDs (7), and yards per rush (6.0)
  • Ekeler was the sixth highest scoring RB on DK in Week 2, behind the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson & Tony Pollard, and just ahead of JD McKissic
  • Ekeler had zero targets in Week 1
  • He led all RBs with nine targets in Week 2
  • The Week 3 matchup versus KC will be only the third game with a 50+ Vegas total that Ekeler has been active for alongside Herbert. His DK totals in those games: 22.5 // 11.9 // 23.9
  • Ekeler’s DK totals for games with 50+ Vegas lines prior to Herbert: 24.2 // 13.3 // 9.3 // 1.9 (only 10 offensive snaps) // 12.9
  • Ekeler’s DK totals versus KC: 17.1 // 18.8 // 17.9 // 24.2 // 23.6 // 1.9 (10 offensive snaps)

Patrick Mahomes

  • Last year’s Super Bowl was the first time that the Chiefs failed to score a TD with Mahomes on the roster
  • Mahomes was the most pressured QB in Super Bowl history
  • The Chiefs have since had an OL makeover
  • Since 2018, here are the DK totals for Mahomes in games that closed with a 50+ Vegas total line: 41.84 // 28.26 // 25.86 // 31.98 // 36.82 // 30.02 // 30.8 // 43.92 // 33 // 18.02 // 28.22 // 18.34 // 17.92 // 24.9 // 35.62 // 30.86 // 21 // 21.54 // 20.82 // 16.18 // 41.14 // 35.06 // 20.44 // 43 // 33.7 // 20.6 // 33.88 // 25.52 // 35.28 // 22.32 // 24.62 // 26.86 // 20.22 // 21.6 // 28.5 // 36.28 // 28.02
  • That’s an average of 28.46, with games in there that he played less than 100% of snaps for injury, blowout, playoff rest, or a combination
  • Using the Fantasy Labs Trends tool, that’s a 6.42 DK points over expectation (which uses salary cost to determine expected output)
  • Against the Chargers, Mahomes has scored: 28.34 // 18.02 // 16.18 // 12.06 // 30.48

KC Passing Attack

  • Tyreek Hill leads the Chiefs in targets with 19 in two games
  • He’s caught 14 balls for 211 yards and 1 TD
  • He’s lined up in the slot on 44.6% of his routes and 54.1% out wide, with one snap inline
  • Tyreek had just four targets in the loss to Baltimore Sunday night
  • His 5.9 DK points was the lowest since the game in Buffalo last October, the only single digit DK outing in 2020
  • Tyreek DK totals vs. LAC: 21.8 // 10.1 // 8.1 // 45.3 // 19.8 // 20 // 17.1
  • Tyreek’s totals in games with Vegas totals 50+, since 2018: 5.9 // 40.1 // 29.2 // 22.9 // 10.5 // 17.4 // 26.1 // 14.8 // 60.9 // 30 // 36.1 // 5.5 // 18.3 // 21.2 // 15.6 // 24.4 // 6.5 // 25 // 5.2 // 24.8 // 31.6 // 13.1 // 8.1 // 6 // 46.5 // 12.5 // 10 // 20.6 // 42.2 // 14.6 // 7.6 // 20
  • Travis Kelce has 15 targets through two games
  • He’s produced 13 catches, 185 yards, and 3 TDs
  • Kelce is third in targets behind Darren Waller (26) and TJ Hockenson (20), and second in team target share % behind Waller
  • Since Mahomes took over the Chiefs, Kelce’s DK totals vs. LAC: 
  • Kelce’s DK totals in games with Vegas totals 50+: 26.9 // 25.6 // 39.8 // 27.9 // 22.8 // 22.8 // 30.6 // 30.6 // 16.2 // 29.86 // 28.9 // 22.5 // 27.8 // 14.7 // 17 // 6 // 44.4 // 22.2 // 9.8 // 11 // 15.5 // 15.9 // 26.7 // 11.3 // 20.8 // 11.2 // 10.4 // 13.1 // 42.8 // 31.7 // 28.9 // 19.9 // 14.5 // 11.1 // 20.8 // 22.4 // 32.9
  • Kelce’s DK totals against LAC: 24 // 5.4 // 22.2 // 13.1 // 1.6
  • (It’s odd how many games close with 50+ Vegas totals when Mahomes is at QB…)
  • Mecole Hardman is the only other KC pass catcher with double digit targets so far in 2021
  • He’s caught 8/11, for 74 yards
  • Hardman’s DK totals vs. LAC: 3.5 // 7.3 // 10 // 3.3
  • Demarcus Robinson has five targets, four receptions, 55 yards and a score. His 17.2 ADoT leads the team
  • Robinson’s notable DK scores: 13.6 // 11.8 // 10.9 // 10.4 // 11.4 // 16.3 // 11.9 // 13.3 // 38.2 // 15.9
  • Byron Pringle has caught all three targets for 69 yards and a score. His 90% out of the slot leads the team, but he only has 20 pass routes
  • Pringle’s notable DK scores: 14.3 // 15.2

KC RBs

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire has only three targets in 2021
  • That’s tied with notably not notable Ameer Abdullah
  • In 13 games last season, he averaged 4.2 targets
  • CEH’s DK scores in games with a Vegas total closing line of 50+: 3.6 // 10.2 // 7.7 // 9.3 // 14.1 // 4.9 // 20.7 // 12.4 // 23.9 // 11 // 18.4 // 22.8
  • In one career game versus the Chargers, CEH scored 13 DK points
  • The Chargers have allowed 29.1 DK points per game to the RB position

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Bengals (
19.75) at

Steelers (
22.25)

Over/Under 42.0

Tweet
Notes

Key Matchups
Bengals Run D
7th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
22nd DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
12th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
19th DVOA/17th Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
6th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
24th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
18th DVOA/18th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • This game sets up as a true divisional slugfest, with two offenses that struggle to maintain drives against two defenses that have largely enjoyed success at suppressing opposing drive success rates
  • Both teams are dealing with injuries to key players, which should open up additional opportunities for Juju Smith-Schuster and Tyler Boyd
  • When the two players of most intrigue are opposing slot wide receivers with low aDOTs, it tells you about everything you need to know about this game

How Cincinnati Will Try To Win ::

Cincinnati’s eighth highest situation-neutral rush rate of 46% clearly indicates how they would like to win games this season. Even more surprising than that (considering their relatively weak offensive line) is the fact that their defense has looked #good to start the year. One of the biggest deciding factors of this game is going to be the mismatch in the trenches between the Steelers fierce pass rush and a Bengals offensive line ceding the highest adjusted sack rate in the league through two weeks. Furthermore, all three major groin injuries from last week from the Steelers (Joe Haden, Devin Bush, and TJ Watt) returned to practice on Thursday.

As previously mentioned, the Bengals would prefer to run the football heavily to control the tempo of the game and to set up the pass. That could be an issue this week against a tough interior, with the matchup yielding a low 3.66 net-adjusted line yards metric on the backs of the Steelers’ third-ranked value of 2.86. The running back opportunities should be there for Joe Mixon, who has snap rates of 78% and 84% and opportunity counts of 33 and 22 to start the year, but this is not a matchup that generates a +EV environment.

The pass game could be without one of its top performers in Tee Higgins this week, who has yet to practice with a shoulder injury (as of Thursday). Some combination of Mike Thomas and Auden Tate should step into his role should he miss, which appears likely at this point in the week. Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase should see the most of Joe Haden in coverage, leaving Tyler Boyd to the coverage of James Pierre and Cameron Sutton, both of whom have been absolutely torched to start the year (both have allowed greater than 70% of passes in their primary coverage to be completed). The sticky coverage from the Steelers’ linebacker corps spells trouble for the Cincinnati tight ends and Joe Mixon through the air, but they are rarely used in that role to begin with. 

How Pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::

The Steelers have attempted to open up their offense under Matt Canada, which has largely been underwhelming to this point. Pittsburgh has scored only three offensive touchdowns through two games and continues to operate primarily through a semi-power run and short passing game. The pistol offense Canada has implemented is a nice balance between keeping Ben Roethlisberger out from under center and the predictable nature of shotgun, but this team is simply finding the intermediate areas of the field clogged without the threat of deep passing. They hold the league’s fifth highest situation-neutral pass rate at 68% and play at the sixth fastest situation-neutral pace of play, but it hasn’t been enough to overcome the predictable nature of their offense to this point (primarily due to Big Ben’s lack of downfield chops at this point in his career). To complicate matters this week, wide receiver Diontae Johnson is expected to miss Week 3’s contest with a knee injury sustained late in Week 2, leaving Juju Smith-Schuster and running back Najee Harris as the primary extensions of the run game through the air.

Pittsburgh’s younger-but-not-better offensive line has been a real issue in the run game and the matchup with an overperforming Bengals defense yields a paltry 2.955 net-adjusted line yards metric. We shouldn’t expect much success on the ground this week, leaving a larger pass game load for Juju and Najee. Najee remains an every-down running back, but that has largely not translated to elite levels of running back opportunities, let alone production. His 19 and 15 opportunity counts over the first two weeks leave much to be desired.

As discussed above, a good portion of Pittsburgh’s pass game serves as an extension of the run, with Juju working to a 4.1 aDOT, Diontae Johnson working to an 8.9 aDOT, and Chase Claypool’s 15.9 aDOT only translating to a 42.9% catch rate. Rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth actually leads veteran Eric Ebron in snap rate over the first two weeks, working to a 7.4 aDOT (12.3 for Ebron). With Diontae expected to miss this week’s contest, look for James Washington (2020 aDOT of 12.6) to soak up a 65-80% snap rate share operating on the perimeter. The Bengals have forced the league’s third shallowest yards per completion value at 8.1, seemingly weighed down by their Week 2 game against an Andy Dalton-led Bears team. The more reliable stat for this matchup is likely Cincinnati’s 70.27% completion rate allowed. What all of this means is that the matchup aligns with how the Steelers will be looking to attack through the air.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The Steelers came out and beat the Bills in Week 1 only to lose to the Raiders in Week 2. Consistency is a real problem on the offensive side of the ball for this team to start the year and it is highly likely this divisional matchup plays to an ugly game because of it. Pittsburgh’s offense is likely to continue to struggle until Matt Canada can figure out how to best utilize the main components of his offense, as evidenced by their 27th-ranked drive success rate. On the other side of the ball, the Bengals are one of only five teams with a worse drive success rate on offense than the Steelers to start the year and both defenses rank in the top half of the league in drive success rate allowed (Cincinnati with the surprise rank of sixth, with Pittsburgh checking in at 14th). 

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • Cincinnati has the sixth fewest combined plays per game with only 118 (CIN + opponent avg)
  • The Vegas total for this game is the third lowest on the main slate
  • Pittsburgh is 28th in plays per game with 55.5
  • Cincinnati ranks 21st at 61

Joe Burrow

  • Per PFF, Joe Burrow leads all QBs in percentage of pressures that result in sacks with 40.9% (Ben Roethlisberger is 10th at 22.2%)
  • 50% of pressures on non-blitzes have resulted in a sack
  • Burrow’s DK point finishes through two weeks: 21st & 25th
  • Burrow’s passing stat lines: 20/27-261-2-0 // 19/30-207-2-3
  • Burrow’s 3 INTs in Week 2 were a career high, professional or collegiate
  • The Bengals have called play action on 27.3% of his dropbacks
  • Last season, the Steelers ranked second in fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs per game (15.6 DK)
  • After facing Josh Allen then Derek Carr, they now rank 19th
  • Burrow’s DK totals: 17.3 // 28.5 // 23.4 // 19.1 // 6.3 // 20.7 // 38.6 // 18.9 // 12.5 // 12.3 // 18.6 // 13.3

CIN Passing Attack

  • Bengals used 11 personnel on 65% of snaps in Week 1 and 69% in Week 2
  • They used that formation 76% in 2020
  • Pittsburgh’s defense is 25th in DK points allowed to the WR position so far, with 48.2 pts per game
  • Rookie Ja’Marr Chase leads all WRs in snap % with 91.1%
  • Ja’Marr’s has seen 19.3% of team targets
  • JaMarr’s DK totals: 23.9 // 13.4
  • Tee Higgins saw a 74% snap share in Week 1
  • That rose to 91% in Week 2
  • He led the team in targets Week 2 with 10
  • His team target % of 26.3 also leads the team
  • Ja’Marr & Tee have each scored two receiving TDs
  • Tee’s DK totals: 6.5 // 21 // 13 // 10.2 // 21.7 // 18.8 // 14.4 // 26.5 // 5.6 // 15.4 // 10.6 // 9.9 // 6.1 // 21.9 // 15.8 // 17
  • Tyler Boyd has seen 79.8% of snaps
  • Boyd’s earned a 22.8% target share
  • He’s run 90.3% of his routes out of the slot so far
  • In 2020, he ran 84.2% from the slot
  • Boyd’s DK totals since 2020: 7.3 // 20.2 // 25.5 // 16.4 // 8.2 // 12.9 // 30.74 // 19.6 // 10.1 // 17.5 // 4.5 // 14.2 // 9.3 // 2.2 // 6.2 // 14.3
  • Burrow has targeted the tight end position just four times in 2020

Joe Mixon

  • Mixon is third in the league in average touches per game at the RB position with 27
  • He finished fourth last season with 23.3
  • He’s second at the position in team snap share with 80.6%
  • His 10.5% team target percentage ranks him just below Ty’Son Williams and just above Antonio Gibson
  • In Week 1, Mixon finished second in DK points
  • In Week 2, he finished 36th
  • He averaged 17.3 DK ppg last season
  • Mixon’s DK totals since Burrow joined the team: 7.1 // 12.6 // 8.5 // 45.1 // 15.4 // 14.9 // 28 // 8.1
  • Through two weeks, PIT allows an average of 12.6 DK ppg to the RB position. That’s fourth fewest in the NFL
  • PIT finished last year at third fewest with 19.2

Ben Roethlisberger

  • Ben is the 32nd ranked QB in PFF grade
  • His 6.7 YPA ranks 25th
  • Only 11.1% of his passes have been thrown deep (20+ yards)
  • That’s 21st through two weeks
  • Ben’s DK point finishes through two weeks: 28th & 24th
  • Ben averaged 19.5 DK ppg last year, the same figure as Joe Burrow
  • Since 2014, Ben’s DK totals against the Bengals: 30.9 // 21.98 // 11.48 // 10.88 // 21.8 // 14.9 // 16.66 // 19 // 24.56 // 14.78 // 32.32 // 8.7
  • He’s averaged 19.84 DK points at home versus the Bengals
  • Ben has an injured pec and his availability in Week 3 is uncertain

PIT Passing Attack

  • Cincinnati is 19th in ppg to WRs with 42.2
  • They finished last season 11th with 35
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the WRs for PIT in snap share at 93.9%
  • His target share is 20.8%
  • JuJu’s caught 10 of his 13 targets for 93 yards
  • JuJu’s DK totals in a home game with a Vegas total of 45 or less: 10.6 // 9.8 // 11.9 // 8.7 // 38.3 // 9.5 // 19.5 // 24.3 // 4.6 // 7.4 // 11.8 // 6.8 // 17.7 // 24.6
  • JuJu’s totals at home versus the Bengals: 11.9 // 14.7 // 4.5 // 22.7
  • Diontae Johnson was next in snap share with 81.6%
  • Diontae’s target share is 30.6%, averaging 11 targets per game
  • He’s caught 14 balls on those 22 targets for 141 yards and 1 TD
  • Diontae’s DK totals at home in low Vegas totals: 7.7 // 19.4 // 1.5 // 10.4 // 4.1 // 10.2 // 23.2 // 0.8 // 12.6 // 21.7
  • Diontae’s DK log versus the Bengals: 18.7 // 5.9 // 26.6 // 19.9
  • Diontae hurt his knee at the end of Week 2 and his availability in Week 3 is uncertain
  • Chase Claypool has played on 71.9% of team snaps
  • Claypool has a 19.4% target share
  • Claypool’s ADoT is 17.4, nearly double the next best WR on PIT
  • He’s caught six of 13 targets for 115 yards
  • Claypool scored 21.3 & 7.8 points versus Cincinnati last season
  • Claypool’s DK log in low Vegas totals: 6.7 // 17.8 // 45.6 // 14.2 // 15.3 // 11.2 // 7.8 // 9.4 // 24.1 // 9.2
  • The 45.6 pt outing came against the Eagles. That game had an O/U of 44, but ended up a shootout that the Steelers won 38-29. Diontae Johnson played just 6 snaps in the game
  • Tight end Pat Freiermuth holds the best PFF grade among all PIT pass catchers, 73.7
  • He’s caught all five of his targets for a total of 60 yards
  • Through 2 weeks, he leads Eric Ebron in snap share 54.4% – 44.7%

Najee Harris

  • Najee played on 100% of snaps in Week 1
  • In Week 2, he played on 95%
  • He leads the RB position league wide with 97.4%
  • Cincinnati has allowed 21.6 DK ppg to the RB position, 15th fewest
  • CIN finished last year at 17th fewest with 23.6
  • Najee finished eighth in scoring last week

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Bears (
18.5) at

Browns (
26)

Over/Under 44.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bears Run D
11th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Browns Run O
1st DVOA/1st Yards per carry
Bears Pass D
4th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Browns Pass O
14th DVOA/26th Yards per pass
Browns Run D
5th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Bears Run O
12th DVOA/7th Yards per carry
Browns Pass D
19th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per pass
Bears Pass O
31st DVOA/32nd Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mjohnson86 >>
  • Excitement in the Windy City for the debut start of Justin Fields against a talented but underachieving defense
  • Both defenses have shown some promising things but also have deficiencies that may be exploited
  • The game flow here will likely depend on how Cleveland decides to attack early and if their personnel allows them to attack downfield

How chicago Will Try To Win ::

The Bears got off to a rough start in Week 1 being dominated in almost all phases of the game by a superior across-the-board team in the Rams. While that game was only a six point game at halftime, the reality is that from the 4:39 mark in the first quarter on, the Bears never had the ball and the game within one score. They followed that up by winning an ugly game at home against the Bengals in Week 2. Both game plans were very conservative by nature and did not inspire confidence or excitement in this team being able to take part in explosive scoring games the rest of the season.

Enter Week 3. Andy Dalton is out for a few weeks, thrusting Justin Fields into the starting QB role for the Bears. Fields had some situational work in Week 1 and then played the last two and a half quarters against the Bengals, but this will be the first time he enters a game after taking a full week’s worth of reps with the starters, where Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy has the opportunity to devise a game plan specifically designed around Fields’ strengths. Nagy has taken a lot of heat over the years for lack of creative concepts and usage of his best players, after coming to Chicago with high expectations of doing those things due to his association with the Andy Reid coaching tree in Kansas City. While much of that criticism is justified, this is his chance to change the narrative. Fields is a dynamic weapon who can and should change the environment for everyone around him. If Nagy is unable to leverage Fields’ abilities into a more exciting uptempo offense over the next few weeks, his seat may (and should) get very hot. 

The Bears will likely try to win this game by controlling it. While there is a lot of excitement around Fields’ debut start, the reality is that for whatever reason the Bears staff did not think he was ready to start in Week 1. While it is easy for us to look at his athletic and production profile and think it should have been a clear decision, there are a lot more factors behind the scenes that NFL coaches consider when making those decisions. Usually, when a decision is made that is head scratching to the outside (like how in the world can they think Andy Dalton is better than Justin Fields?!?!), things like film study, control of the line of scrimmage (audibles), blitz and protection recognitions, and understanding of the playbook and verbiage of the offense are the real issues. Assuming that to be the case and the Bears staff thinks Fields is not there yet in some or all of those areas, it is likely the Bears will simplify things and try to keep the game in front of them. They aren’t fools, however, and will strategically create chances for Fields to use his legs and take shots with his all-world arm. The Browns play primarily zone coverage and have carried one of the lowest blitz rates in the league over the last two seasons. The Bears have a below-average offensive line but without many blitzes, Fields should have time to go through his reads and take off running in this game. Tyrod Taylor and Patrick Mahomes each ran for a TD against this Browns team in the first two weeks.

How cleveland Will Try To Win ::

Cleveland has a top notch offensive line, a great RB duo, an underrated QB, and a terrific scheme. Unfortunately, they are limited with playmakers on the outside due to the injury of Jarvis Landry. While their receiving corps will get a boost with the expected return of Odell Beckham, Jr., it is hard to project him to play a full complement of snaps or expect that he will have his normal explosive, game-changing abilities just 11 months after tearing his ACL. This is unfortunate for the Browns, as the Bears secondary is by far their weakest position group. At full strength, this would set up as a game for the Browns to use play-action early and attack the weakness of the Bears through the air; and then pound them into submission with their top notch running game once they have built a lead. It will be interesting to see if the Browns still use that approach while undermanned in their receiving corps. If they do not have trust in that approach, they will lean on their strength of running the ball early and often to maintain control of the game and hopefully find some explosive passing games later on if OBJ is healthy or there is a coverage breakdown by the Bears.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The likeliest game flow is a disappointing one for scoring and fantasy purposes, as it entails the Browns running their strength, into the strength of the Bears defense, rather than attacking a clear weakness through the air. The Bears are unlikely to volunteer to spike this game environment either, as they will try to keep Justin Fields upright and not cause him to take any more hits than his playing style already opens itself up to.

Tributaries ::

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Dwprix >>

Overview:

  • The total has been bet down to 45.5 from 47 and is the eighth highest on the 13 game slate
  • These teams haven’t played since 2017.  Neither of these HCs were with their current teams
  • Through two weeks these teams rank 7th (CLE) & 8th (CHI) in rush atts/g
  • Last season, CLE ranked 5th & CHI ranked 28th

Justin Fields:

  • 11th overall pick Justin Fields will make his first NFL start
  • He played five series (42 snaps) after Dalton left with a knee injury going 6:13 60 yds:1 int
  • Fields avg 10 rush atts/game his soph & jr years at OSU (left for NFL early).
  • In 34 college games, Fields had 19 rush TDs
  • He threw for 67 TDs to 9 INTs

David Montgomery: 

  • Montgomery has 40 total touches through two weeks
  • He’s been given 60% of the rush attempts 
  • Montgomery DK pts last eight regular season games: 10.9 // 21.8 // 28.2 // 20.1 // 32.2 // 27.5 // 27.1 // 28.3
  • Fields and Dalton makeup for 25% of CHI rush atts
  • Damien Williams has just 8 atts 

CHI WRs:

  • Allen Robinson (15) & Darnell Mooney (15) makeup up 47% of CHI tgts
  • Last season Mooney saw 98 tgts to Robinson’s 151
  • Marquise Goodwin (7) & Damiere Byrd (3) make up the rest of CHI WR tgts

CHI TEs

  • Cole Kmet saw seven targets Week 1 but just one last week.
  • Kmets tgts in final five gms last season: 8 // 6 // 2 // 7 // 7
  • In 18 career games, Kmet has yet to top 50 rec yds & has just two TDs
  • Jimmy Graham was 3rd on the team in tgts and first in rec TDs last season
  • He’s only played 22 snaps & has just 2 tgts

Baker Mayfield:

  • Over two weeks CLE is the second lowest in pass att/g (24.5)
  • Mayfield has seen just 13 pressures on the season.
  • He’s seen pressure on just 22% of his throws which ranks third lowest.
  • His adot ranks 25th at 3.3 yds
  • CHI D had three INTs last week against Joe Burrow.

CLE RBs:

  • CLE has seven rushing TDs (one passing TD)
  • Snap %: Nick Chubb-54% // Kareem Hunt: 51%
  • Rush att %: Chubb-43% // Hunt 32% (Mayfield: 18%)
  • In 12 games last season, Chub had 12 rushing TDs & went 100+ yds six times
  • He has at least one TD in eight straight regular season games
  • Hunt had 11 total TDs in 16 games
  • CHI allowed one 100+ yd rusher all last season (Ronald Jones Week 5: 106 yds)
  • Through two weeks, CHI has given up the 5th least rushing yds while allowing the 8th most atts.
  • CHI ranks 5th best in yards/att (3.3).

CLE WRs:

  • Jarvis Landry (IR) played two snaps last week before spraining his MCL
  • Odell Beckham hasn’t played this season but could be in action Week 3
  • Without OBJ & Landry, the Browns WRs only saw five of Mayfield’s 21 tgts last week
  • CLE has utilized three WRs sets at the third lowest rate in the league
  • BAL high rec last four gms (including playoffs): Brown-113 yds // Watkins-96 // Brown-109 // Brown-87

CLE TEs:

  • Stefankis used 2+ TEs on 49% of the Browns plays this season & 3 TE sets at the highest rate in the league (14%)
  • TE Routes Run (of 62):  Austin Hooper-34 // David Njoku-31 // Harrison Bryant-21
  • TE Tgts this season: Hooper- 8 // Njoku-8 // Bryant-6 

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Ravens (
29) at

Lions (
21.5)

Over/Under 50.5

Tweet
Notes

Key Matchups
Ravens Run D
19th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Lions Run O
25th DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Ravens Pass D
20th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Lions Pass O
28th DVOA/25th Yards per pass
Lions Run D
28th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
Ravens Run O
16th DVOA/4th Yards per carry
Lions Pass D
27th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per pass
Ravens Pass O
7th DVOA/11th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • Game stack correlations make sense in this one 
  • The Ravens offense is highly likely to succeed 
  • T.J. Hockenson has a lot of factors in his favor 
  • Game flow will depend on the Lions ability to keep up 

How baltimore Will Try To Win ::

The Ravens are coming off a thrilling primetime win over a Kansas City team that has been their nemesis the past few years. The Ravens staved off an 0-2 start, which is a historically difficult hole to escape on your way to a playoff berth. JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, Ty’Son Williams, Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and the third-string popcorn vendor are all players that could succeed in this scheme behind this O-line. The Ravens are showing the world that the RB position doesn’t matter much in today’s NFL. All of Williams, Murray, and even Freeman had success running the ball against the Chiefs. Of course, all the Ravens RBs are RB2s, because the true RB1 is their QB, Lamar Jackson. 

The Jackson-led Ravens have had their way with bad defenses. This is a bad defense. The Ravens have no reason to deviate from their preferred method of attack: pounding a combination of RBs behind Jackson and mixing in shots to Marquise Brown and Sammy Watkins. Mark Andrews is yet to see more than five targets in-game, and it remains to be seen if his seemingly reduced role is fluky or if we need to adjust our expectations for the star TE going forward. Since the Ravens should be able to attack in any manner they choose, Week 3 will offer insight into the state of Mark Andrews. 

Expect the Ravens to take an early lead and keep their foot on the gas long enough to put the game away before eventually running out the clock in the 4th quarter if the Lions fail to keep up on the scoreboard. 

How detroit Will Try To Win ::

Dan Campbell deserves credit; the Lions are biting knees. It will be hard to win with such a talent-deficient roster, but the Lions aren’t just rolling over and playing dead. They played very hard against San Francisco/Green Bay, two teams that are expected to contend. San Francisco jumped on the Lions, and instead of throwing in the towel they roared back and almost stole the game. Aaron Rodgers was sweating bullets at halftime before eventually pulling away late. If comparing rosters, the Lions had no business being in either game. 

Expect the Lions to come out swinging rather than sitting back and waiting for the Ravens to bring down the hammer. The Lions have thrown 93 passes versus only 43 runs, and while game flow has influenced those numbers, the Lions are also being aggressive. The Lions are a boxer that knows he’s outmatched but would rather get knocked out than lose on the judge’s card. They will try and keep up with the Ravens, eventually falling flat and turning the ball over once forced into desperation mode. 

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game has a 50-point total which falls right around the upper middle of the slate. The Ravens are expected to score most of those points with a 29-point implied team total. The most likely game flow is the Ravens jump on the talentless Lions defense and do their typical dismantling of below-average units. This scenario would lead to the Ravens pilling up points early and remaining aggressive if the Lions can keep it close. The Lions are unlikely to lay down and will keep leaving teeth marks on Lamar Jackson’s legs for as long as they can. Expect the Ravens to keep their foot on the gas through three quarters, eventually slowing the game down in the 4th with a multiple score lead. 

Tributaries ::

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Dwprix >>

Overview:

  • This matchup is the 5th highest total & carries a total over 50 (opened @ 49)
  • BAL carries the 4th highest implied team total (28.75) and has the 4th largest spread (-7)  
  • They’ve put up 35 & 27 pts and rank fourth in pts/gm
  • BAL has been in high scoring environments against KC (3rd pts/gm) and LAR (7th in pts/gm)
  • DETs thrown on 75% of their offensive plays
  • They’ve given up the second most pts/game (38) playing GB & SF

Lamar Jackson: 

  • BAL has attempted just 28 passes/game (27th)
  • Jackson hit his ceiling last wk with 37.36 DK pts scoring 2 rush TDs, one pass TD, & hitting the 100+ yd bonus
  • BAL O has scored 201.66 DK pts.  Jackson has 57.26 of them (28%)
  • In 43 career starts, Jackson has 11 with 100+ rush yds
  • Jackson was 9th overall in rush yds last season & is third so far this season

BAL RBs:

  • Snap share: Ty’son Williams-50% // Latavius Murray-33% 
  • Williams has carried for 22:142:1 TDs, 6.5 yds/att
  • Trenton Cannon was released 
  • Devonta Freeman-13% snap share Week 2
  • RBs vs DET:  Aaron Jones: Rush 17:67:1 TD, Rec 6:48:3 TD (41.5 DK pts)  // Elijah Mitchell: 19:104:1 TD (19.4 DK pts) (Goal line TD stolen by Hasty, Hasty’s only rush att of the gm)
  • DET ranked 31st in DK pts allowed to RBs in 2020 (33.1 pts/g)

BAL WRs:

  • 57% of Jackson’s targets have went to Marquis Brown (16 tgs) or Sammy Watkins (15 tgs)
  • Brown has the only rec TDs for BAL
  • Of 6 BAL RZ targets attempted, Brown has three for one TD
  • Brown has eight TDs in the last eight regular season games

Mark Andrews:

  • Andrews has run a route on 67 of 74 Lamar dropbacks
  • Tgts // RZ tgts: 10 // 0
  • He has two TDs in his last eleven games 

Jared Goff:

  • Goff is tied (Derek Carr) for the most passes this season (93) having to play from behind against SF and against GB 
  • 57 pass atts in Week 1 was Goffs second highest of his career
  • Goff ranks 27th in yds/comp (6.3)
  • Goffs passer rating when kept clean: 117.5 // Under pressure: 41.2
  • Martindale blitzes at one of the highest rates in the league

Det RBs:

  • De’Andre Swift is second on the team in tgs.
  • Swift leads the NFL in RB tgs (16)
  • Jamaal Williams has also seen 12 tgs 
  • Swifts DK price is down $1.3k from last week in another game DET will be expected to have to throw
  • Swift & Williams have split carries: Swift-19 // Williams 16

DET WRs:

  • Tyrell Williams is doubtful to play after leaving Wk 1 w/ a concussion
  • WR snap share: Kalif Raymond-70% // Amon Ra St. Brown-62% // Quintez Cephus-51% // Trinity Benson- 49%
  • DET WRs make up 44% of the team target share
  • Cephus leads WRs w/ 12 tgs and has TDs in both games

TJ Hockenson:

  • Leads DET in tgs (20), rec (16), rec yds (163) & has two TDs on the season.  
  • That ranks second among TE tgs and third in TE yds.
  • BAL has faced arguably the two best TEs in the league so far (Kelce, Waller).  
  • They’ve given up the most DK pts/game to TEs this season
  • Over the past three seasons with Don Martindale as DC, BAL has ranked in the second half of the league in DK pts allowed to TE.
  • BAL D under Don Martindale TE DK pts allowed rank: 2020-19th (12.2) // 2019-31st (13.7) // 2018-16th (13.3)

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Saints (
20.25) at

Patriots (
23.25)

Over/Under 43.5

Tweet
Notes

Key Matchups
Saints Run D
4th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per carry
Patriots Run O
27th DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
5th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per pass
Patriots Pass O
23rd DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Patriots Run D
22nd DVOA/17th Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
18th DVOA/9th Yards per carry
Patriots Pass D
8th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
9th DVOA/31st Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • This game started with a low total, and it has been bet down 
  • Alvin Kamara and Damien Harris need touchdowns to pay off their prices 
  • There isn’t much to like from either passing attack
  • New England’s defense is in play

How new england Will Try To Win ::

“See, boy, we both knew it wasn’t Tom all those years, didn’t we boy. Yes, we did. You always knew I could win on my own. Yes, you did.” Bill Belichick mumbles to his dog after a bottle of victory Scotch. *It was the Jets* Tom Brady’s voice whispers back. 

Maybe that isn’t the way Belichick decided to celebrate his Week 2 victory, but it must have been how he felt. Belichick and New England breathed a collective sigh of relief as they were able to dust the possibly (I’m predicting this a little early) 0-16 Jets. Their offense looks that bad. While getting a win that was never competitive relieves the pressure slightly, losing this week would leave New England with a 1-2 record that wouldn’t feel all that much better than 0-2. There is still a lot of pressure on New England and Bill Belichick to win this game. 

A key question about how the Patriots want to attack this year is how much trust Belichick has in Mac Jones. Week 2 offered a clue, as the Patriots threw the ball 30 times compared to 24 team carries. A 56% pass rate is still considered balanced in today’s NFL, but the Patriots were winning comfortably all game and slammed the ball in the 4th quarter. They skewed pass-heavy initially, which showed Belichick trusted Mac Jones enough to attack the relative weakness of a defense rather than trying to hide his rookie QB. 

In comes the Jekyll and Hyde Saints that blasted a Packers team expected to contend before falling flat against a probably underrated Panthers squad. The Saints are a creative defense that plays many different looks to try and confuse the offense. Last year, the best feature of their defense was their 5-0 and 6-0 fronts that they commonly employed on third downs. Those fronts led to the second-best third down pressure rate in the league. This year’s unit isn’t quite as strong as last year, but it still boasts above-average players at every level (depending on how you feel about Marshon Lattimore). 

That all is to say that the Saints don’t present a clear “path of least resistance” for the Patriots to attack. In the absence of an evident defensive weakness, I expect the Patriots to default to their strength, pounding the rock behind an elite O-line. In ideal circumstances, Harris looks to be in line for another 20-touch day, but the Pats have shown trust in Mac Jones, making Harris game script dependent. If good Jameis Winston shows up early, the Pats won’t be afraid to abandon the run.

How new orleans Will Try To Win ::

In a way, both Sean Payton and Bill Belichick are currently experiencing the same reality. A reality that most other NFL coaches have had to face over the past decade. A reality that it’s a lot harder to win football games when you don’t employ a top-five QB of all time. Sean Payton is an excellent coach, and if the Saints remain a playoff team one year after losing a hall of fame QB, that would be quite the feat. 

Payton is smart enough to know that Winston is just as likely to throw five picks as he is to throw five touchdowns, and sometimes he’ll do both! I had to check the box score twice to be sure, but the Saints ran a pitiful 39 plays in Week 2. Ouch. There is a chance that’s the lowest play count for a team all year. Is the Panthers defense suffocating, and we haven’t figured it out yet? Or did they play Zach “frightened child” Wilson and Winston on a bad day? The latter is more likely, and last week’s performance was a peek at how this offense might look when Winston isn’t feeling the flow. 

On the road, Winston is capable of being confused against a defensive head coach that is known for confusing QBs. One or two interceptions are likely in this one. Expect Payton to try and limit his QB’s ability to make mistakes for as long as he can while hoping his defense can force Mac Jones to the air and create turnovers. Early in the game, expect Alvin Kamara to be the focal point and to remain the focal point unless game flow dictates otherwise. Sean Payton will be happy to win this game with his star RB and defense. 

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game opened with a small total of 42.5 and has since been bet down 41.5. No one expects much scoring in a game that is likely to have a slow pace between two above-average defenses. The game is predicted to be close, with the Patriots as three-point home favorites, essentially saying this is an even game on a neutral field. Expect the Patriots to come out pounding Harris as they probe for weaknesses in the run game and hope that their elite offensive line can pave the way to an easy win. If slamming Harris fails, don’t expect Belichick to try and “hide” Mac Jones. The Patriots have an adaptable coaching staff and appear willing to let Jones try and win them games when appropriate. The most likely outcome is a close battle that turns in favor of the victor in the 4th quarter. 

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • NOR is expected to get all their missing coaches & some key starters back that were missing in Week 2
  • Payton-Belichick history: NOR blowout win // NE last-second win // NE blowout win
  • Of course, Jameis Winston vs Mac Jones is a bit different than Brees vs Brady

Jameis Winston:

  • Winston was under pressure all day, with reports of massive communication gaps between himself and the offensive line (starting C Erik McCoy’s absence was clear hit to protection calls, as it’s become the Center’s job now after departure of Brees)
  • Winston, one of the only 5K yd passers in NFL history, has 259 pass yds through two games (only 42 total pass att thus far)
  • NE, without Gilmore, has held Tua & Zach Wilson to 202 & 210 pass yds to start 2021
  • NE has 5 INT after facing those QBs; Winston threw two INTs vs CAR
  • Winston threw for 334 yds, TD in a 14-19 loss to 2017 NE in his only game vs Belichick
  • NE has so far allowed the 2nd fewest completed air yds and 4th fewest YAC

NOR WRs:

  • NOR WR targets: Callaway (6) // Harris (4) // Hogan (4) // TyMont (2) // Humphrey (2)
  • NOR has only had one non-Thomas/Sanders WR catch 7+ passes in a game in each of the last 3 seasons: Tre’Quan (10) // Ginn (7) // Callaway (8)
  • WRs vs NE so far: Parker (4:81), Waddle (4:61:1) // Davis (2:8), Moore (4:47), Berrios (7:73)

Alvin Kamara:

  • Gaskin, Ty Johnson, & Carter all received at least 9 rush att vs NE in the first two weeks, racking up a combined 158 yds on 32 att
  • NE currently ranks 23rd in defensive rush DVOA through two weeks; ranked dead last in 2020
  • Kamara went from the 2nd most rush att in his career (20) in W1, to tied with his 2nd lowest rush att total from 2020 (8) in W2
  • Kamara’s 10 targets currently lead the team, but he’s only produced 7 rec for 33 yds, TD with them
  • Opposing RBs vs NE have so far produced 80 yds on 9 rec (11 tg)
  • AK’s DK pts without Thomas: 38.4 // 47.7 // 20.9 // 19.9 // 22.8 // 25.3 // 18.4 // 59.2 // 18.1 // 7.0
  • The only three have to have it scores there came with touch totals of 22 (9 tg) // 20 (14 tg) // 27 (6 TDs)

Mac Jones:

  • The only QBs with a lower avg intended air yds through two weeks are Dalton, Ryan, Jimmy G, & Brissett
  • NOR allowed the 5th fewest QB DK pts in 2020, including zero 300yd passers
  • After shutting down the GB offense in W1, Darnold found success vs an injury-depleted NOR defense
  • Two of NOR’s top defensive backs (Lattimore, Gardner-Johnson) are expected back
  • Mac Jones has scored just 15.24 & 7.4 DK pts to start the year
  • NE has the lowest total of any favorite this week

NE WRs:

  • NE WR targets: Meyers (9, 6) // Agholor (7, 3) // Bourne (3, 3)
  • NOR held GB WRs in check, but DJ Moore picked on rookie Paulson Adebo, playing CB1 in Lattimore’s absence, for 8 rec 79 yds, TD
  • None of NE’s WRs are on Moore’s level, NOR is expected to get Lattimore back, historically solid CB Bradley Robey will be playing his second game for NOR, and so far Mac Jones has shown a major hesitancy to attack downfield

NE TEs:

  • Targets: Jonnu Smith (5, 5) // Hunter Henry (3, 4)
  • DK pts: Jonnu (9.2, 6.8) // Henry (6.1, 6.2)
  • TEs vs NOR so far: Tonyan (2:8) // Arnold (3:55)
  • NOR allowed the 2nd lowest success rate to TEs in 2020

NE RBs:

  • NE RB touches: Harris (23 att, 3 tg / 16 att, 1 tg) // White (4 att, 7 tg / 5 att, 6 tg)
  • Harris has 4 att inside the 10 and White has 1 att
  • RBs to score 20+ DK pts vs NOR since 2018: Saquon (22) // Latavius (20.5) // Zeke (25.6) // CMC (34.3, 22.8, 26, 24.7) // Mostert (24.9) // Dalvin (28.0) // Sanders (32.6) // Fournette (21.7)
  • That’s 11 RB scores of 20+ DK pts allowed in the last 55 games
  • 11/11 scored a TD /// 4/11 scored 2 TDs /// 8/11 had 5+ rec /// 11/11 had 6+ DK rec pts
  • Of the three without 5 rec, one had 82 yd TD, one caught a WR pass TD, one had 28 rush att, and all three scored 2 TDs

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

Cards (
29.75) at

Jaguars (
21.75)

Over/Under 51.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
13th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Jaguars Run O
2nd DVOA/13th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
3rd DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Jaguars Pass O
30th DVOA/20th Yards per pass
Jaguars Run D
24th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
13th DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Jaguars Pass D
32nd DVOA/31st Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
6th DVOA/8th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Cardinals are set up to dominate from start to finish in the likeliest game flow
  • The most intrigue comes from Kyler Murray (naked) and Cardinals receivers that can return value with moderate volume (Rondale Moore and Christian Kirk)
  • Marvin Jones, Jr. has asserted himself as the lead wide receiver for the Jaguars, a noticeable development playing on a team with the highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league over the first two weeks
  • Laviska Shenault, Jr. get-right week? I’m intrigued…
  • Hefty net-adjusted sack rate for the Cardinals defense keeps them squarely in play against the team with the highest situation-neutral pass rate

How arizona Will Try To Win ::

The Cardinals 58% situation-neutral pass rate in 2021 remains right in line with their 56% rate from 2020. Their pace of play also has remained sticky from a year ago, leading the league in situation-neutral pace of play at 27.14 seconds per play, and coming in second overall in pace of play at 25.06 (both of those values jockey with the Cowboys for clear tops in the league, over a full second faster than the next closest team). We’ve seen an absolutely torrid start to the season from this offense, scoring the second-most points per game over the first two weeks at 36.0, a full 10.4 points per game more than they scored in 2020 (ranked 14th in 2020). The bulk of that success has come in the form of downfield passing. While quarterback Kyler Murray holds a pedestrian 5.4 intended air yards per pass attempt value, he has attempted the third-most passes of 20+ yards and tied for the most of 30+ yards downfield to start the year, all on just the 18th most pass attempts. So, while the offense appears to operate via the same horizontally-spread principles, the addition of rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore and strong performances from Christian Kirk have this offense operating in a highly efficient manner. What this team really needs to improve upon is second half production (which was also an issue last season and should be attributed to coaching and play-calling tendencies) as the Cardinals have scored 14 and 10 points in the second half of their two games to start the year, compared to 24 points in the first half of each game.

The matchup with the Jaguars yields a moderate 4.26 net-adjusted line yards metric, but the Cardinals really operate with three extensions of the run game: a straight-ahead, power run game through Chase Edmonds and James Conner, the short passing game through DeAndre Hopkins and AJ Green, and the threat of Kyler Murray’s legs. When you then consider the heavy spread nature of the offense, you get a run game that appears highly efficient on paper. Arizona’s 4.4 average yards per rush attempt ranks 13th in the NFL to start the year behind what is, by all metrics, a poor run-blocking offensive line. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and staff are doing a far better job at keeping defenses off balance to start the year, with a balanced 54% early-down pass rate and moderate 73% pass rate on third down. Lead back Chase Edmonds has seen opportunity counts of 16 and 13 to start the year, with James Conner checking in at 16 and eight, with both yet to find the end zone. The big picture here is that we should continue to expect a split workload (somewhere around 60/40 to 65/35) between these two backs, while Kyler Murray continues to operate as the primary red zone threat on the ground (a rushing score in consecutive weeks to start the season).

DeAndre Hopkins’ 8.9 aDOT from a year ago has bumped to 10.5 to start the season, but he is still being used primarily in a possession role as an extension of the run game. His 0.97 average air yards per snap rank in the bottom quarter of the league and his 4.0 average yards after the catch rank in the bottom 40%, indicating that not much has changed in this regard. AJ Green has garnered the starting perimeter wide receiver role opposite Nuk to start the year, playing only 14 fewer snaps over the first two weeks. His 8.7 aDOT, 3.4 average yards after the catch, 41.7% catch rate, and 0.99 average air yards per snap rank towards the bottom of the league, indicating a low upside role. The real intrigue comes in the form of the downfield and YAC threats: Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore. Kirk’s 17.1 aDOT is top 5% in the league while Moore’s 13.0 average yards after the catch value is the top mark in the league. Against a defense with a good deal of new faces and complex scheme, each can do hefty damage on moderate volume here. Tight end Maxx Williams has 74% or more of the offensive snaps each week but has seen only eight combined targets to start the year.

How jacksonville Will Try To Win ::

The Jaguars absolutely baffled me in Week 1 when they came out and allowed their rookie quarterback to sling it around all day in his first NFL game. They proceeded to attack in the same manner in Week 2, ending the week with the highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league. The team currently operates at the league’s sixth-fastest pace of play at 26.18 seconds per play and holds the league’s 29th-ranked drive success rate on the backs of an abysmal 50% completion rate from rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The matchup on the ground yields a surprisingly high 4.62 net-adjusted line yards metric but the Jags have run the ball a league-low 16.0 times per game and execute a gross-for-fantasy 65/35 split in opportunities between James Robinson and Carlos Hyde. Really nothing to see here.

Things get a little interesting when we get to the Jaguars passing game as Lawrence has thrown the sixth-most passes over the first two weeks. When we factor in the likely fast pace of this game with the high likelihood of Jacksonville playing from behind, we are left with a clear path to upwards of 40-50 pass attempts here. Now consider the heavy 11-personnel rates, the fact that their starting tight end is on the IR, and they’ve only fed 13 of 84 combined targets to the running back position, and we’re left with an interesting case to be made for one (or more) of Marvin Jones, Jr., Laviska Shenault, Jr., or DJ Chark, Jr. to see double-digit targets against a burnable secondary.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

We’ve seen the Cardinals start games fast this season and we should expect them to do just that against an inferior opponent on both sides of the ball. A year after surrendering 30.8 points per game, the Jaguars have allowed 30.0 points per game to open the 2021 season, ceding a 70.15% completion rate and 295.5 passing yards per game along the way. Basically, the Cardinals should have no problem moving the ball against a defense allowing the 13th most yards per drive and points per drive in the NFL. The Jaguars are also one of only two teams yet to generate a turnover on defense. When we get to the Jaguars offensive side of the ball, it’s hard to envision this team being able to take advantage of a weakened secondary. Arizona’s top-rated pass rush should cause numerous disruptive plays against an offense with the league’s highest situation-neutral pass rate, creating the opportunity for turnovers and short fields. In all, this game should be dominated by the Cardinals from start to finish. Although it doesn’t warrant a full tributary breakdown, there is the chance for this game to play to a back-and-forth, shootout type contest should the Jaguars finally click on offense primarily due to their heavy pass rates, and the lightning quick combined pace of play from both teams (first and sixth overall). Should that transpire, all skill players gain increased intrigue.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • ARI scored 27+ in 8/16 games in 2020, and have scored 38 & 34 to start 2021
  • JAC has allowed 37 & 23 points to HOU & DEN

Kyler Murray:

  • Kyler Murray DK pts in games with final totals of 50+ pts: 24.12 // 28.92 // 41.1 // 41.92 // 30.9 // 18.42 // 38.14 // 34.56 // 38.1
  • QBs vs JAC: Tyrod Taylor (291:2, 40 rush yds) // Teddy Bridgewater (328:2)
  • Kyler’s first two games: (289:4:1, 20 rush yds, TD) // (400:3:2, 31 rush yds, TD)
  • JAC has the 5th worst defensive pass DVOA through two weeks

ARI WRs:

  • Routes: Hop (35, 40) // Green (32, 35) // Kirk (23, 30) // Moore (14, 24)
  • Targets: Hop (8, 4) // Green (6, 6) // Kirk (5, 4) // Moore (5, 8)
  • ADOT: Hop (10.92) // Green (8.75) // Kirk (17.22) // Moore (4.8)
  • Yards: Hop (83, 54) // Green (25, 44) // Kirk (70, 65) // Moore (68, 114)
  • WRs vs JAC: Cooks (5:132), Amendola (5:34:1) // Sutton (9:159), Patrick (3:37:1)
  • Of Moore’s 182 yds, 95 have come on two ridiculous Kyler Murray scrambles turned broken play big gains (So not within structure) (Moore’s speed keeps him alive in these scramble drill situations)
  • With ARI, Hopkins has 9 games of 20+ DK pts: 8 came in Wins, and in 6 ARI scored 30+ pts
  • Hopkins has surpassed 30 DK pts just twice with ARI (32.1, 34.0)

Maxx Williams:

  • Williams has run 22 & 24 routes, being targeted once & seven times
  • Williams 94 yds last week were a career high (had never broke 60 before)
  • JAC vs TEs: Pharaoh Brown (4:67) // Noah Fant (4:33:1), Albert O (4:24)

Chase Edmonds:

  • 2020: Edmonds was under 10 att in every game except two (25, 11), and Drake missed the one he received 25
  • Edmonds has 12 & 8 att in the first two games of 2021 (Conner with 16 & 8)
  • Edmonds caught 3+ passes in 11/16 games in 2020
  • Edmonds has 4 & 5 rec in the first two games of 2021
  • Edmonds has gained a very efficient 109 yds on 20 rush att (+ 9 rec for 72 yds)
  • Edmonds has 14.6 & 12.5 DK pts without a TD in 2021
  • JAC allowed 120 rush yds, 2 TD (+ a rec TD) to HOU RBs, and 95 rush yds, 48 rec yds to DEN RBs

Trevor Lawrence:

  • ARI pressured TEN all day, leading to a poor outing from Tannehill, but was picked apart by Cousins for 244 yds, 3 TD
  • Lawrence has gone 332:3:3 in his first start vs HOU, and 118:1:2 vs a tough DEN defense
  • 638 Home Dog QBs since 2014 have hit expected points (determined by salary) just 45.5% of the time (79 of 638 scores of 26+ DK pts)

JAC WRs:

  • WRs vs ARI: Brown (4:49:1), Julio (3:29), Rogers (4:62) // Jefferson (6:65:1), Thielen (6:39:1), Osborn (5:91:1)
  • JAC WR targets: Jones (9, 11) // Chark (12, 4) // Viska (9, 7)
  • JAC WR aDOT: Jones (13.95) // Chark (16.31) // Viska (4.13)
  • JAC WR air yds market share: Jones (34%) // Chark (31%) // Viska (8%)
  • ARI has allowed the 3rd fewest completed air yds & 4th lowest YAC

James Robinson:

  • Robinson touches: (5 att, 6 tg) // (11 att, 3 tg)
  • Robinson routes/dropback: (33/52) // (22/36)
  • Henry & Cook rushed for 58 & 131 yds vs ARI, and the TEN & ARI backfields put up 43 & 30 yds through the air
  • Vance Joseph has only had one rush def in his 5 seasons as HC or DC that finished as a top 20 rush def in yds allowed

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 1:00pm Eastern

WFT (
19.25) at

Bills (
26.25)

Over/Under 45.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Washington Run D
9th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
Bills Run O
11th DVOA/5th Yards per carry
Washington Pass D
29th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Bills Pass O
13th DVOA/10th Yards per pass
Bills Run D
1st DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Washington Run O
23rd DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Bills Pass D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Washington Pass O
16th DVOA/24th Yards per pass

GAME OVERVIEW ::

BY MJohnson86 >>
  • Due to matchup and then game environment, Buffalo has not been the dynamic, pass-happy team we expected to see this season through two weeks
  • Washington is coming off a big divisional win and ten days of rest
  • Game environment here will likely depend on the play calling and efficiency of the Buffalo offense
  • Washington has several dynamic playmakers but will face a tough test against a Buffalo defense that is playing at a very high level

HOW Washington WILL TRY TO WIN ::

Taylor Heinicke has looked very good, especially relative to expectations, since taking over for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 1. Heinicke also had a stretch at the end of the 2020 season where he was the Washington starter and fared admirably against very good competition, so it is likely that the competence he has shown this year is real and not just a small sample size mirage. Washington won a wild Thursday night game in Week 2 against a mediocre Giants team in a game that went back and forth at the end with both teams trying to find a way to lose and Washington coming out with the victory. This matchup on the road will present by far their toughest test of the year.

Washington is likely to try to control the game and feed Antonio Gibson the ball at a high rate while also getting the ball out of Heinicke’s hands quickly. Buffalo is a very difficult place to play and their defense has been great this season, surrendering only 16 offensive points combined in their first two games of the season. Washington has a much better offensive line and running game than either of the Bills first two opponents so it will be interesting to see if they can impose their will here and pound the ball to give Heinicke easier situations to throw from. Buffalo has a shutdown corner in Tre’Davious White along with great scheme and personnel in their secondary and pass rush. Washington will need to get creative with their primary pass-catcher Terry McLaurin to create opportunities for him to make plays. The Bills also have very athletic linebackers who cover ground well sideline to sideline and should be able to make plays on short passes to prevent short gains from turning into long ones. Buffalo HC Sean McDermott is one of the brighter defensive minds in the game and should have some creative looks to throw at Heinicke as the Bills usually play zone but can also mix it up depending on their opponent. I expect Washington to use their backs heavily early in this game and also to dial up some looks for tight end Logan Thomas.

HOW BUFFALO WILL TRY TO WIN ::

Buffalo has not looked like the offensive team we saw tear through the AFC last year behind a high volume and high-efficiency passing attack. The Bills threw often but had little success in Week 1 as the Steelers had a great game plan and held the Bills to 16 points. In Week 2, the Dolphins laid a complete egg and lost their starting QB early in the game which led to the Bills taking their foot off the gas and never needing to throw with their usual volume. 

This week will be an interesting test as Washington presents Buffalo with the easiest matchup in the secondary they have seen all year, although it wouldn’t be fair to call them an easy opponent. I expect Buffalo to get back to the team we saw in 2020 this week. Washington has a very good defensive line but gave up a good game to Daniel Jones in Week 2 and allowed Justin Herbert to throw for 337 yards in Week 1. Washington’s defense is very good against the run and the matchup dictates more success through the air, so a spread attack with pass heavy tendencies is likely in the cards for Buffalo here. Buffalo has shown the awareness in the past to abandon the run, almost completely, in matchups like this where there is a clear “path of least resistance”. After laying an egg at home in Week 1, it is safe to expect Buffalo to be very aggressive from the outset in this return home to the #BillsMafia.

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW :: 

Buffalo will be aggressive from the outset on both sides of the ball. As outlined earlier, they will find more success through the air and surely want to get their high octane offense looking like itself again. On the other side of the ball, Washington will attempt to slow things down but the Bills will likely give extra attention up front and bring pressure on Heinicke to shrink the field and force him to beat them downfield. The likeliest game flow is that the Bills take control early and it is a matter of whether they get field goals or touchdowns in the first half that will decide if this game can flip the switch. If the Bills are unable to convert drives into touchdowns, we are likely in store for a similar game to what each of these teams saw in Week 1 — a 23-16 loss to the Steelers for Buffalo and a 20-16 loss to the Chargers for Washington.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • Washington’s offensive line features three out of five starters with a PFF grade rank in the top 20 at their position. Their lowest ranking is 36th
  • Washington’s defensive front seven features three starters in the top 16 at their position
  • Buffalo’s best offensive lineman ranks 24th at their position
  • Three out of five offensive line starters for Buffalo rank 62nd or worse at their position
  • The Bills had a 57.9% pressure rate in Week 2
  • Bills are second in combined plays per game so far
  • Washington is seventh
  • Bills are fourth in no-huddle rate, Washington is sixth

WAS Passing Attack

  • Taylor Heinicke’s PFF grades in his three starts: 46.5 // 92.0 (losing to Tampa Bay in the Wild Card round last season) // 73.4
  • In Week 2, Heinicke completed 34/46 passes for 336 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, good for 24 DK points
  • Buffalo is allowing 9.6 DK points per game to the QB position in 2021
  • Terry McLaurin has a 79.7 PFF grade, 12th out of 107 WRs
  • McLaurin’s DK totals in games that close with a Vegas total line of at least 45 points: 10.2 // 13.5 // 16.2 // 13.4 // 18.2 // 5.6 // 24.8 // 12.6 // 28.5 // 17.2
  • Since entering the league in 2019, McLaurin has cracked 20 DK points on seven occasions
  • Out of 107 WRs graded by PFF, Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown rank 92nd & 98th, respectively
  • Humphries notable DK scores since 2015: 18.4 // 15.8 // 15.3 // 17.9 // 19.1 // 17.4 // 28.9 // 20.2 // 15.9 // 19.4 // 15.6 // 22
  • Dyami Brown has a team snap % of 89.7 and 10 total targets
  • He’s scored 7.2 total DK points in both weeks combined
  • WR groups against Buffalo have averaged 31.5 DK points per game in 2021
  • Logan Thomas and Tyler Higbee are the only TEs to play on 100% of team snaps through two weeks
  • Logan has just 10 total targets
  • Last season, Buffalo ranked 29th in points allowed to the position with 15.2 per game
  • Two games in, they are 10th with eight DK points per game
  • Logan’s notable DK scores under Ron Rivera: 12 // 12.4 // 13.3 // 26.1 // 13.42 // 16 // 13.2 // 13.7

WAS RBs

  • Antonio Gibson has 79 snaps in two games
  • That’s a 62.7% team snap share
  • JD McKissic has 51, for a 40.5% share
  • In Week 1, Gibson had 5 targets to McKissic’s 1
  • In Week 2, McKissic had 6 targets to Gibson’s 2
  • Gibson’s career DK totals: 9.3 // 12.8 // 5.5 // 9.9 // 39.6 // 17.4 // 22.5 // 13.5 // 21.8 // 9.5 // 10.1 // 22.8 // 14 // 12.2 // 6.4
  • McKissic’s notable DK totals since 2016: 20.3 // 23.2 // 25.7 // 10.6 // 17.9 // 17.2 // 14.4 // 10.9 // 10.6 // 11.5 // 16.2 // 10.3
  • Buffalo’s DK points per game rank under Sean McDermott, from 2017-2020: 32nd // 25th // 12th // 18th
  • Through two games in 2021, the Bills ranked third, with only 9.2 DK points per game to the RB position

Josh Allen

  • Last season’s QB 1 in overall DK points scored, and third in points per game with 27.3, Josh Allen is currently QB 20 in overall points (just ahead of Taylor Heinicke) and points per game (17.9)
  • Allen began the 2020 season against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets
  • In the final, pre-2020 defensive rankings, PFF ranked those two teams at 20th and 22nd
  • The 2021 campaign began against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins
  • Through two weeks, in defensive grades, they rank third and ninth
  • The Washington Football Team ranks 22nd
  • In their 2019 meeting, Allen scored 17.6 DK points
  • Both teams have changed tremendously since then
  • Through two weeks, WFT ranks 21st in DK points allowed to QBs with an average of 23.9
  • Last Thursday, WFT allowed Daniel Jones to complete 22 of 32 passes for 249 yards and 1 TD, plus nine rushing attempts for 95 yards and 1 TD. His 29.5 DK points were good for fourth in Week 2
  • Current Vegas total as of Wednesday afternoon is 45
  • Allen’s DK totals in games with 50% snaps that finish with 50 or fewer points scored (starting with his 2018 rookie year): 5.6 // 27.7 // 4.9 // 10.2 // 5.4 // 26.3 // 33.7 // 24.3 // 19.8 // 13.7 // 20 // 22.2 // 19.3 // 11.7 // 18.5 // 18.3 // 17.6 // 25.4 // 20 // 23.5 // 11.7 // 17.4 // 20.6 // 33.2 // 16.1 // 20.4 // 13.5 // 17.5 // 19.3 // 35.3 // 18.2 // 17.7

BUF Passing Attack

  • The Washington starting CBs hold current rankings of 60th and 95th out of 102 per PFF
  • Top ranked secondary member, safety Kamren Curl, is currently 11th out of 79 safeties. Fellow safety, Landon Collins, ranks 70th
  • WR rooms have averaged 48.5 DK points against WFT so far in 2021, 26th most in the league
  • In 2020, those figures were 32.3 and third
  • Last season, the Bills WR room led the league with 57.1 ppg
  • Second place scored 48.9
  • Stefon Diggs averaged 10.4 targets during the 2020 regular season, third most
  • He had 13 in Week 1 and eight in Week 2, an average of 11
  • Diggs DK totals for Buffalo in games with 75% snaps that ended with 50 or fewer points: 16.6 // 16.6 // 10.8 // 15.2 // 10.9 // 32.1 // 44.5 // 15.9 // 16
  • Emmanuel Sanders has played just one less snap than Diggs through two weeks
  • He’s only scored 9.2 & 6.8 DK points
  • Sanders has run 30% of his routes out of the slot, 70% out wide
  • Cole Beasley has played on 77.3% of team snaps
  • Cole’s DK totals have been 14 and 7.6
  • Cole’s DK points in Buffalo in games that finished with 50 or fewer points: 9 // 12.3 // 14.8 // 14.5 // 5.1 // 13.1 // 9.3 // 11.4 // 19.6 // 26 // 14.9 // 1.6 // 20.8 // 9.8 // 14.5 // 25.2 // 4.4 // 9.3 // 9.1 // 4.7 // 14 // 7.6
  • Gabriel Davis received zero targets in last week’s shutout victory over the Dolphins
  • He received an injury in Week 1
  • Last season, Davis played on 73.12% of team snaps
  • Gabriel’s DK totals in games with 50 or fewer points in 2020: 3.6 // 1.7 // 2.1 // 16.9 // 10.9 // 6.3
  • Dawson Knox played on 44.68% of snaps in 2020
  • He’s played on 68% through two weeks in 2021
  • Knox has just an 8.3% target share
  • DK totals for Knox in 2021: 8.1 // 9.7

BUF RBs

  • Devin Singletary has played on 71.3% of snaps in 2021
  • Last season, that number was 60%
  • Singletary has had seven total targets in the first two weeks of 2021
  • He had 47 in 16 games last season
  • Singletary’s DK totals in games with 50 or fewer points: 14.8 // 11.7 // 14.9 // 23 // 8 // 15.4 // 19.1 // 17.8 // 9.9 // 5.8 // 10.3 // 5.5 // 6.7 // 10.2 // 12.2 // 4.4 // 7.2
  • Zack Moss was a healthy scratch in Week 1
  • In the Week 2 victory, he played on 18 total offensive snaps
  • Moss ran eight times for 26 yards and two scores, plus two receptions on two targets for eight yards
  • That was good for 16.4 DK pts
  • Moss has scored 4x his Week 3 DK salary ($4,500) once

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 4:05pm Eastern

Jets (
15.75) at

Broncos (
25.75)

Over/Under 41.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Jets Run D
18th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
21st DVOA/14th Yards per carry
Jets Pass D
21st DVOA/17th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
17th DVOA/13th Yards per pass
Broncos Run D
10th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per carry
Jets Run O
24th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
13th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Jets Pass O
32nd DVOA/30th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By MJOhnson86 >>
  • These two teams have had completely different starts to their seasons through two weeks
  • Denver has an incredible record at home in September historically
  • Difficult to see a game flow situation where the pace increases dramatically for either side
  • Both teams are in very similar situations this week as they were in for Week 2

How New York Will Try To Win ::

New York had a ton of momentum and positive energy entering this season with a new staff and some shiny new toys on offense headlined by #2 pick Zach Wilson. It took two weeks for the honeymoon to end, with home fans booing Wilson off the field in a Week 2 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots. The Jets have already lost their best offensive lineman in Mekhi Becton and now face a terrorizing Broncos pass rush. The Broncos gave Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars all sorts of fits last week, holding their offense scoreless after an opening drive touchdown. Jacksonville was at home while the Jets are on the road this week and are arguably worse at every position offensively than the Jaguars, so they are in for a long day. The Broncos also have a historically terrific record at home in the month of September as teams struggle with the high altitude and difficult environment. 

This section is supposed to be about “how New York will try to win,” but it would probably be more aptly titled “how New York will try to survive” based on everything just discussed. The Jets will try to use their running scheme and short passes early in the game to protect Zach Wilson. Head Coach Robert Saleh spoke after Week 2 about the need for Zach Wilson to learn that “boring plays are OK,” a reference to Wilson’s aggressive tendencies that led to four Patriots interceptions. That tells me that the staff is likely to rein him in through their play calling and kind of force the issue with Wilson by not giving him as many opportunities to rip it downfield. This is unlikely to be effective in this matchup, but slowing it down and not turning it over is the only chance the Jets have to shorten this game and hope for some fluky bounces to give them a chance.

How Denver Will Try To Win ::

Teddy Bridgewater has looked terrific through two weeks, completing 77.1% of his passes (second best mark in the NFL), while posting a passer rating of 120.7 — good for sixth best in the NFL (behind some guys named Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford, Kyler Murray…and the great Tyrod Taylor) — with four touchdowns and no picks. Furthermore, Teddy ranks fifth in the NFL in average intended air yards — shedding his short-area reputation to lean on the stable of weapons he has that can attack at all levels of the field. In Week 2 against Jacksonville, the Broncos were able to attack in pretty much any manner they chose to, and the same should be the case against this Jets defense that has started the season ranked 13th in DVOA against the pass (a number that is certain to get worse) and 26th in DVOA against the run. In that Week 2 game, the Broncos were relatively balanced, calling on Teddy to throw 34 times while Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams each took 13 carries. So far, the Broncos have faced the middling Giants defense and the very bad, no good Jaguars, so there is certainly still time for Teddy to turn into a pumpkin. But this is not the spot where we should expect it to happen, as the Broncos should again be able to successfully attack in whatever way they want.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The most likely way this game plays out is with the Broncos taking control of this game early. Crazy things happen in the NFL, and you could come up with some scenarios in which the Jets grab a lead (a strong first drive, or a Denver turnover, etc.), but even in that situation, it’s hard to see the Jets taking a big enough lead for the Broncos to be jolted out of the approach we’ve seen from them over the last couple weeks. Assuming a standard number of plays from this team (the Broncos rank 30th in pace of play on the young season, so we certainly shouldn’t be expecting them to try to speed things up here), we should again see Bridgewater tossing around 35 pass attempts and the running backs divvying up the workload in the backfield as the Broncos eventually seal away this game.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • Per Warren Sharp, the Jets leading scorer last year was their kicker. He played in just nine games
  • Their third leading scorer was the backup kicker. He played in only six games
  • The backup kicker almost doubled the points scored by the fourth leading scorer
  • On Wednesday evening, this game has the lowest Vegas total on the slate with 41

Zach Wilson

  • Wilson completed 73.5% of his passes for 11 ypa in his final year at BYu
  • Through two games, he has completed 55.7% for 6.7
  • Jets QBs were pressured on 43.6% of dropbacks last year
  • Wilson has faced the most pressure through two games
  • 24.4% of those pressures have led to sacks
  • Wilson’s 10 sacks lead the league
  • His 5 INTs are tied for the league lead with fellow rookie Trevor Lawrence
  • Denver has allowed an average of 14.1 DK points to the QB position in 2021

NYJ Passing Attack

  • Denver has allowed 37.9 DK ppg to the WR position in 2021
  • Corey Davis finished fifth in yards per route run last season
  • He’s at 45th through two games
  • Davis has played on 80.4% of team snaps with a 17.1% target share
  • Davis scored 26.7 points against Carolina
  • He managed just 2.8 versus New England
  • Davis has caught the only two TDs among the WRs
  • Elijah Moore leads the team in snap share with 81.9%
  • His target share is identical to Davis
  • Moore has scored 0.7 & 8.7 points
  • Slot WR Braxton Berrios has played on just 58% of snaps but leads the team in target share with 25.7%
  • Tight ends Tyler Kroft and Ryan Griffin have combined for 14 targets. They’ve caught nine of them for 66 yards

NYJ RBs

  • Ty Johnson’s snap share: 49.3%
  • Michael Carter’s snap share: 35.5%
  • Tevin Coleman’s snap share: 17.4%
  • Touch count order is Carter (18), Ty (17), Tevin (14)
  • Total DK points scored: Ty – 8.6, Carter – 13.8, Tevin – 4.8
  • Denver allows the second fewest DK ppg so far, with 8.8 to the RB position

Teddy Bridgewater

  • Teddy supported strong fantasy campaigns for Robby Anderson, DJ Moore, and Curtis Samuel last season
  • He’s sixth in ADoT, second in completion %, and sixth in passer rating through two games
  • The Jets have allowed 13.8 ppg, fifth lowest, to the QB position
  • Last year, they finished averaging 24.1, third most
  • Teddy’s DK log last year: 19.4 // 14.68 // 14.6 // 27.24 // 23.82 // 11.44 // 19.16 // 13.04 // 31.3 // 20.04 // 14.88 // 20.42 // 17.92 // 10.58 // 5.74
  • This year: 20.46 // 24.22

DEN Passing Attack

  • DEN’s snap share order among pass catchers: Courtland Sutton (78.5%), Noah Fant (77%). Tim Patrick (71.9%), Albert Okwuegbunam (54.8%), KJ Hamler (54.1%)
  • Target share: Courtland Sutton (21.4%), Noah Fant (20%), Tim Patrick (11.4%), Albert (10%), Hamler (10%)
  • NYJ allowed 39.6 ppg to the WR position last season (20th)
  • So far, they’ve allowed 25.6 (third)
  • Sutton has averaged 10.41 ppg at home. Sutton’s notable DK totals at home: 24.2 // 14.7 // 17.3 // 23.4
  • Fant is fourth in target share among all TEs
  • Fant averages 8.86 ppg at home. Notable scores: 11.1 // 23.5 // 19.1 // 11.7 // 20.8
  • Patrick’s notable DK scores in 33 games: 16.6 // 14.3 // 26.3 (@ NYJ) // 17.1 // 19.9 // 20.4
  • KJ Hamler’s notable DK scores in 14 games: 15 // 22.6

DEN RBs

  • NYJ has allowed 31.1 ppg to RBs in 2021, 28th in the NFL
  • In 2020, they allowed 24.7, 20th in the NFL
  • Melvin Gordon leads rookie Javonte Williams in snap share, 54.8% to 45.2%
  • They are tied for 29 touches
  • Gordon has scored the only touchdown among RBs on DEN
  • Gordon’s DK log as a favorite with a 5 point spread or greater: 14 // 15.3 // 21.8 // 18.4 // 30.6 // 33.9 // 22 // 21.6 // 9.6 // 7.8 // 22.7 // 8.9 (Week 1 @ JAC)
  • Gordon has scored 23.8 and 8.9 DK points
  • Javonte has scored 5.1 and 8.4 DK points

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 4:05pm Eastern

Dolphins (
20.75) at

Raiders (
24.25)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Dolphins Run D
21st DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
20th DVOA/30th Yards per carry
Dolphins Pass D
23rd DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
30th DVOA/3rd Yards per pass
Raiders Run D
14th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per carry
Dolphins Run O
26th DVOA/32nd Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
14th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per pass
Dolphins Pass O
29th DVOA/28th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Likely to see a pass-heavy approach from both teams here, with two of the bottom run-blocking offensive lines in the league pitted against each other
  • Look for Miami to work primarily short-intermediate over the middle of the field through the air, while Las Vegas holds the personnel to stretch Miami vertically
  • Expect a lot of offensive plays to be run from scrimmage here, with questionable drive success rate from each team
  • Likely to be an ugly game with the possibility for one or two usable pieces from volume alone

How Miami Will Try To Win ::

Miami has played at the league’s 25th-ranked situation-neutral pace of play and 26th overall, with the ninth highest situation-neutral pass rate and 28th-ranked adjusted line yards value. It’s likely not a case of them not wanting to run the football (when considering their above average defense), it’s simply that they can’t. They built this team all offseason around Tua Tagovailoa and the passing game, and now Tua is out with fractured ribs. Jacoby Brissett will now be charged with managing a game plan put together over the course of a week against an aggressive opponent that can put up points against the best of them.

Running back Myles Gaskin has maintained his lead back role over the first two weeks, garnering 54% and 61% snap rates and seeing running back opportunity totals of 14 and 10, respectively. Behind Gaskin, expect Salvon Ahmed (six and nine opportunities) and Malcolm Brown (five and five opportunities, all rushes) to mix in with low upside roles. The matchup yields a net-adjusted line yards metric of 3.375 and the Raiders have overperformed in that area to start the year. There’s not much to love here outside of the fact that Gaskin has seen five targets in each game thus far and now has a quarterback with the shallowest air yards per attempt value in the league (small sample).

The Dolphins are expecting wide receiver Will Fuller to make his season (and team) debut in Week 3. Fuller is of great significance to the overall function of this offense as his elite speed opposite DeVante Parker should serve to open up the underneath areas of the field for tight end Mike Gesicki and rookie slot man Jaylen Waddle. Fuller’s individual fantasy prospectus takes a large hit with Brissett at quarterback. Jaylen Waddle’s 5.6 aDOT highlights the short-area nature of his routes thus far, which lines up well with Brissett’s skillset (more of a timing quarterback as opposed to a slinger). DeVante Parker (11.9 aDOT), Will Fuller, and Mike Gesicki (11.1 aDOT with a ridiculously low 2.0 YAC) are unlikely to mesh well with what Brissett can provide.

How Las Vegas Will Try To Win ::

John Gruden’s west coast, spread offense would like to incorporate heavy rush rates early in the game in an attempt to wear down and open up the opposing defense. Unfortunately, running back Josh Jacobs appears set to miss his second game in a row with an ankle injury. With Jacobs likely out, expect heavy pass rates as evidenced by Las Vegas’ Week 2 game against the Steelers, where they held a hefty 68% situation-neutral pass rate. Derek Carr has thrown the ball a whopping 93 times over the first two games and we should expect more of the same here. The emergence of second year wide receivers Henry Ruggs III (15.8 aDOT) and Bryan Edwards (14.9 aDOT) has allowed Gruden and Carr to attack all areas of the field, opening up much needed operating room for tight end Darren Waller underneath (9.9 aDOT).

Running back Kenyan Drake saw a solid 71% snap rate in Week 2 with Jacobs out, handling 13 running back opportunities in the process. Fullback Alec Ingold was next up as far as snap rate goes at 26%, followed by straight ahead runner Peyton Barber (13 rush attempts and no targets) at 29%. I’d expect those snap rates to largely remain consistent heading into Week 3, with the possibility of additional rush attempts as a team against an opponent that runs a prevent-zone defense best attacked on the ground. The matchup yields a net-adjusted line yards metric of a paltry 3.31 yards primarily due to the Raiders’ poor run-blocking offensive line (dead last in the NFL in adjusted line yards metric).

Regardless of what is the best way to attack Miami’s defense, it is highly likely we see this offense adopt a pass-heavy approach in the absence of Josh Jacobs. Miami has allowed a below average 63.89% completion rate thus far, with a below average 9.5 yards allowed per completion. This defense is built to keep the game in front of them and tackle well after the catch. This sets up best for Darren Waller underneath (the cornerback duo of Xavien Howard and Byron Jones form one of the best corner duos in the league). 

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

It is likely this game plays rather ugly throughout as each team struggles to move the football. The team likeliest to break through first is the Raiders, and the best chance for them to do so is through Darren Waller against linebacker and Nik Needham’s coverage, all of whom are ill equipped to handle the athletic tight end. This should ensure continued aerial aggression from Miami and lead to additional offensive plays run from scrimmage for both teams, which leaves some level of intrigue from each side.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • LV is second in plays per game with 72
  • LV is seventh in points scored, tied for 10th in points allowed
  • MIA ranks fifth fewest in total points per game with 34 (MIA + opponent)
  • MIA is 32nd in points scored, tied for 18th in points allowed
  • PFF grades the LV defense at tied for sixth, the MIA defense at third

MIA Passing Attack

  • Tua Tagovailoa is the 31st ranked QB per PFF grade (55.9) in 2021
  • Tua has already been ruled out
  • Jacoby Brisset received a 72.3 from PFF in relief of Tua last week, good for 17th this season
  • Jacoby’s DK log as a starter for Indy in 2019: 16.5 // 18.3 // 23.8 // 23.5 // 11.9 // 31.6 // 10.5 // 2.8 (only 15 snaps) // 16.1 // 13.2 // 17.7 // 22.6 // 7.3 // 15.7 // 6.2
  • QB’s are averaging 17.4 ppg against LV this year
  • LV is allowing 41.6 ppg to WRs
  • Will Fuller was inactive for personal reasons in Week 2 but is on track to play Week 3
  • Fuller’s PFF grade last year: 86.2
  • Fuller’s DK totals indoors last season (albeit with Deshaun Watson throwing the ball): 25.8 // 15.8 // 12.5 // 14 // 38.1
  • MIA’s snap share order among pass catchers: DeVante Parker (78.1%), Jaylen Waddle (70.3%), Mike Gesicki (53.1%), Albert Wilson (49.2%), Durham Smythe (46.9%)
  • Target share: Parker (22.5%), Waddle (19.7%), Wilson (11.3%), Gesicki (11.3%), Smythe (2.8%)
  • In 84 games, Parker has scored over 20 DK points (less than 4x Week 3 salary) 13 times. All but two instances were below 25 (25.1 & 37.9)
  • Waddle has scored 16.1 & 9.8 points
  • LV has ceded 6.3 ppg to the TE position this season, sixth fewest
  • Gesicki was sixth among TEs in target share last season with 15.2%
  • His share has reduced by 25.7% through two weeks
  • He was scoreless in Week 1, then produced 7.1 DK points in the 35-0 loss to the Bills at home

MIA RBs

  • LV allowed 29.9 ppg to RBs last season, 29th in the league
  • Through two weeks, 25.2 ppg/21st
  • Myles Gaskin’s snap share of 57.8% is less than Kenyan Drake and just above Leonard Fournette and Nick Chubb
  • Salvon Ahmed has a 26.6% snap share
  • Gaskin averages 11.5 touches per game, Ahmed 5.5
  • Last year, Gaskin averaged 18.3
  • Gaskin’s notable outputs in 10 games last year: 20.1 // 16.6 // 33.9 // 15.1 // 17.7

Derek Carr

  • Carr is PFF’s 9th ranked QB, with an overall grade of 81
  • He finished last season 9th as well
  • MIA has allowed 17.4 ppg to QBs
  • Last year that was 19.7
  • Carr leads the league in passing yards, his ADoT ranks ninth
  • Carr averages 19.46 ppg at home in September
  • Notable DK totals from that sample: 30.34 // 25 // 21.2 // 36.58 // 22.58 // 28

LV Passing Attack

  • Darren Waller leads the team in snap share with 93.4%
  • Next closest is Bryan Edwards at 69.7%
  • Waller leads in target share with 28%
  • Next closest is Hunter Renfrow at 17.2%
  • Henry Ruggs is third with 12.9%
  • Waller’s 28% target share dominates the TE position (Kelce is second with 22.4%)
  • His 26 targets are six more than second place (Hockenson – 20)
  • Miami has only allowed 11.1 ppg to the position, but they haven’t played a team whose offense operates through TE like the Raiders do
  • At home in September, Waller has scored: 14 // 12.3 // 31.3 // 29.5
  • MIA allows 39.8 ppg to WRs, 22nd in the league
  • Bryan Edwards has cracked double digit points in just two out of 10 games (12.1 & 13.1)
  • Henry Ruggs has 12 targets in two weeks, and 1 TD
  • Ruggs has produced 3 notable scores in 15 games: 22.8 // 16.4 // 25.5
  • Renfrow’s notable scores (out of 31 games): 18.8 // 17.4 // 26.7 // 25.2 // 20.4 

LV RBs

  • Josh Jacobs has been a home favorite five times
  • His DK log: 27 // 17.4 // 12.9 // 32.6 // 20.4
  • MIA has allowed 29.9 ppg to the RB position in 2021, 27th in the NFL
  • Gruden has called Jacobs “very questionable” for Week 3
  • In Week 2 without Jacobs, Kenyan Drake saw 71% of the snaps while Peyton Barber handled 29%
  • The touches were even with 13 to Barber and 12 to Drake
  • Drake’s DK log as a home favorite last year: 11.5 // 8.9 // 13.9 // 6 // 13
  • Barber has scored 4x his Week 3 salary ($4,300) three times out of 58 career games
  • Barber has yet to see a target for LV; Drake has averaged 5.5 per game

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 4:25pm Eastern

Hawks (
28) at

Vikings (
26)

Over/Under 54.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Seahawks Run D
17th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per carry
Vikings Run O
28th DVOA/8th Yards per carry
Seahawks Pass D
28th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
Vikings Pass O
11th DVOA/6th Yards per pass
Vikings Run D
20th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per carry
Seahawks Run O
7th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Vikings Pass D
6th DVOA/12th Yards allowed per pass
Seahawks Pass O
4th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Dalvin Cook’s game day status has a massive influence on how we should expect the field to view this slate (one lacking any clear “value”)
  • Two offenses that excel in the splash play arena; opportunity for fireworks here
  • Both teams reside in the bottom half of the league in situation-neutral pace of play; don’t expect additional offensive plays run from scrimmage
  • Each team relies on efficiency from the offense

How Seattle Will Try To Win ::

We know the drill by now with this Pete Carroll-led Seahawks team. Elevated rush rates (eighth highest situation-neutral rush rate), deep passing (Russell Wilson leads the league in intended air yards per pass attempt, of qualified quarterbacks), above average secondary, and slow pace of play (22nd-ranked situation-neutral pace of play) are the name of the game here. One of the most telling statistical splits from this offense is the delta between points per drive and drive success rate, with the Seahawks ranking eighth in the league in points per drive at 2.64 but all the way down at 23rd in the league in drive success rate at 71.4%, further indication of just how much the Seahawks rely on splash plays on offense.

The run game filters primarily through Chris Carson, who can typically be relied upon for 65-75% of the offensive snaps. Travis Homer has emerged as the change of pace back with the injury to Rashaad Penny, but that role translated to a measly two running back opportunities in Week 2. The matchup on the ground yields an above average 4.74 net-adjusted line yards metric which should serve to boost the expected drive success rate of this Seahawks offense.

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combine for a massive 61.6% of the total targets through two games. The difference in their early season successes comes down to catch rate and average depth of target. Tyler Lockett has caught 75% of the passes thrown his way and holds an unsustainable 16.7 average depth of target, while DK Metcalf holds a below average 62.5% catch rate and moderate 10.5 aDOT. There is nothing in the data or film that indicates a clear causal factor that explains why Lockett has enjoyed such success and Metcalf has not. Chalk it up to small sample variance. When that is the case, it presents a very clear opportunity for leveraging recency bias, which we will get into below. The big picture is that both Metcalf and Lockett are extremely large parts of this pass offense (both have seen 30.8% target market shares). 

How Minnesota Will Try To Win ::

The Vikings are doing a much better job of remaining balanced through play calling so far this year, with a 55% situation-neutral pass rate on first and second down and a 63% rate overall. They are also mixing their personnel alignments a good deal more than a year ago when they rarely played from 11-personnel. The issue to start the season is with Mike Zimmer’s defense. The Vikings have allowed the fifth highest yards per pass attempt, worst completion rate (hard to be bad at both), mediocre yards per rush attempt, and over 30 points per game to start the year. That said, they’ve scored a combined 57 points on offense, have lost both games by a combined four points, and rank top ten in drive success rate allowed on defense. We should continue viewing the Vikings as a team that harbors plus game environments until they can limit the splash plays against.

Workhorse running back Dalvin Cook has yet to practice this week with an ankle injury (as of Thursday evening), placing him in jeopardy of missing Week 3’s game against the Seahawks. Keep an eye on his level of participation on Friday as we head into the weekend. Dalvin is such a large part of this offense, with running back opportunity totals of 27 and 25 to start the year. Behind Dalvin, Alexander Mattison operates as one of the true handcuff running backs in the league, capable of stepping into a semi-workhorse role in games Dalvin misses. The big picture here is that Dalvin’s game day status has a large influence to not only this game, but the makeup of the slate overall. The matchup on the ground yields a slightly above average 4.24 net-adjusted line yards metric and the Seahawks are fresh off a game where they allowed Derrick Henry to break the slate. Again, Dalvin’s involvement, or lack thereof, has a massive influence on the state of this slate overall.

The loss of tight end Irv Smith has fundamentally altered the state of the Vikings offense to start the season, particularly in the pass game. The Vikings have doubled their three wide receiver set rates from 2020 over the first two games, playing from 11-personnel at a 53% clip and 20-personnel (two running back, no tight ends) at an additional 12% clip. This is big news for a team that was highly concentrated in 2020, supporting all of Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, and Adam Thielen. The emergence of KJ Osborn (12 catches for 167 yards and one score thus far) has altered the offensive alignments of fellow wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen as Osborn has played a whopping 77% of his offensive snaps from the slot. His snap rate did take a hit in Week 2, down to 59% from a Week 1 rate of 81%. It is likely that rate jumps once more should Dalvin Cook miss in Week 3. The tight end stable of Tyler Conklin and Chris Herndon has seen a combined eight targets through two games, so while the offense is supporting an additional wide receiver, it is doing so at the expense of the tight end position as opposed to the top two wide receivers (this is extremely important when analyzing this offense).

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game has all the makings of a back-and-forth, shootout type of game. Whether or not that transpires largely relies on the level of success each team achieves with splash plays, but the chances of each respective defense suppressing that area over the course of a full game remain fairly low. Since both teams operate slow offenses, it is highly likely the game itself starts comparatively slow, with each team dialing up increased aggression as the game moves on.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • Wilson & Carroll are 5-0 vs Zimmer’s Vikings, with this being the 4th straight year the teams will face
  • Scores since 2018: 21-7 // 37-30 // 27-26
  • For the second straight week, solid MIN defense overall (2 INT, 3 Sacks, 4 Punts) was hurt by big breakdowns on a few TD drives
  • 3 of ARI’s 4 TDs came due to Kyler’s unique ability with his legs, extending plays that wouldn’t be there for 99% of QBs
  • While Kyler Murray is one of the only guys who could make certain plays that MIN allowed in W2, Wilson is probably one of the others

Russell Wilson:

  • Wilson has rushed for 50+ yds in 3 of the 5 matchups vs Zimmer
  • Wilson’s pass yd totals vs Zimmer: 274 // 142 // 72 // 240 // 217 // (9:4 TD:INT ratio)
  • The good: Russ is averaging 298.5 yds, 3 TD in his first two games with Waldron
  • The not as good: Russ has thrown just 23 & 31 times in the first two games
  • In just two games, Russ is already 6/11 for 304 yds, 4 TD on 20+ yd passes
  • MIN has allowed the 5th fewest completed air yds through two weeks after facing Burrow & Cousins, but has been beat for deep TDs to Chase & Rondale Moore
  • Before ranking 14th in QB DK pts allowed with 20/g in 2020, Zimmer’s MIN defenses have ranked: 9th (16.3) // 3rd (15.2) // 3rd (13.1) // 5th (16.2) // 10th (17.4) // 9th (16.8)

SEA WRs:

  • Lockett & Metcalf finished with 132 & 129 targets in 2020
  • Lockett & Metcalf each have 5 & 11 targets in the first two weeks
  • Lockett has turned 16 targets into 278 yds, 3 TD
  • Metcalf has turned 16 targets into 113 yds, 1 TD
  • Avg Intended Air Yds: Lockett (17.6) // Metcalf (10.8)
  • Eight of Metcalf’s 10 rec have come on targets short of 10 yds
  • Lockett has 6 rec each short of 10 yds & beyond 10 yds
  • WRs vs MIN: Chase (5:101:1), Higgins (4:58:1) // Hopkins (4:54:1), Moore (7:114:1), Green (3:44:1)
  • 50 of Chase’s 101 came on deep TD // 77 of Moore’s 114 came on broken play TD created by Kyler
  • Metcalf has 2:45:1 on passes over 10 yds in 2021 // 37:923:10 in 2020
  • Lockett has 6:227:3 on pases over 10 yds in 2021 // 30:563:6 in 2020
  • Swain’s routes jumped from 13 of 28 dropbacks in W1, to 30 of 37 dropbacks in W2 (due to Eskridge being out)

Chris Carson:

  • Carson received 19 of 22 RB touches in W1, and 13 of 17 RB touches in W2
  • Carson didn’t top 17 rush att in 2020 after 8 games of 20+ att in 2019
  • So far in two games in which SEA has held big leads, Carson has still just rushed 16 & 13 times
  • MIN ranks 3rd worst in defensive rush DVOA through two games (though Kyler’s 5:31:1 is likely impacting this)
  • Only five teams have allowed more RB rush yds than MIN so far
  • Carson has scored 20+ DK pts in 4/9 games as a road favorite, scoring in those games 29.8, 21.5, 29.7, 25 DK pts
  • Carson’s four games as road favorite in 2020, in which he received less rush att/g than in 2019, produced DK scores of: 25 // 5.1 // 13.9 // 8.9

Kirk Cousins:

  • Final game totals of Cousins 25+ pt DK scores with MIN: 2021 (51, 67) // 2020 (51, 59, 63, 55, 72) // 2019 (50, 58, 72) // 2018 (50, 41, 69, 58)
  • 13/14 games came in 50+ pt finishes, with 8/14 over 58 pts
  • SEA allowed the 6th most QB DK pts in 2020
  • SEA has allowed 299 pass yds on 39 att/g to Wentz & Tannehill through two weeks
  • MIN Cousins vs SEA: 208:1 // 276:2:1 // 249:2:1

MIN WRs:

  • 2020: SEA allowed the most WR rec, 2nd most WR rec yds, 4th most WR DK pts
  • 2021 WRs vs SEA: Pascal (4:43:2), Pittman (3:29) // Julio (6:128), Brown (3:43)
  • MIN WRs in three Cousins games vs SEA: Thielen (5:70 // – // 9:80:2) /// Diggs (4:76 // 4:25) /// Jefferson (3:23)
  • Jefferson out-targeted Thielen in 7 of the last 8 games in 2020
  • Thielen led 10 to 9 in W1 // Jefferson led 10 to 7 in W2
  • Jefferson has 70+ yds in 8 of his last 10 games
  • Thielen has caught at least one TD in 12/18 games since last year
  • The only games in which BOTH guys have failed to produce since last year: 11-28 L vs IND // 28-22 W vs GB (Dalvin w/ 51.6 DK pts) // 34-20 W vs DET (Dalvin w/ 42.2 DK pts) // 14-26 L vs TB
  • Osborn has run a route on 47 of 52 dropbacks W1 and 24 of 35 dropbacks in W2
  • He’s finished with 7 & 5 targets in those games

Dalvin Cook:

  • SEA has allowed the 2nd most rush yds in the NFL behind 182 from Henry
  • Dalvin has the 4th most rush yds in NFL behind Henry, Mixon, & Lamar
  • SEA has allowed the most RB rec yds by a wide margin, with Taylor, Hines, & Henry combining for 18 rec (6 each) 163 yds just between the three of them
  • Dalvin has 8 rec for 60 yds to start 2021, and had 5 rec in the first half vs SEA before leaving with injury in 2020
  • Dalvin has scored at least one TD in 24 of his 32 games since 2019; seven 2+ TD games in that span
  • As an underdog since 2019 (13 g), Dalvin has five games of 30+ DK pts & six games under 20 DK pts
  • Dalvin scored 29.9 DK pts in his only career game as a home dog (TEN in 2020) // MIN lost that game 30-31 with Dalvin & Jefferson each surpassing 175 yds

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 4:25pm Eastern

Bucs (
27.5) at

Rams (
27.5)

Over/Under 55.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Buccaneers Run D
3rd DVOA/1st Yards allowed per carry
Rams Run O
6th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Buccaneers Pass D
18th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per pass
Rams Pass O
2nd DVOA/4th Yards per pass
Rams Run D
15th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per carry
Buccaneers Run O
9th DVOA/28th Yards per carry
Rams Pass D
16th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
Buccaneers Pass O
3rd DVOA/1st Yards per pass

GAME OVERVIEW ::

BY Hilow >>
  • In MLB DFS, the percentage solution is “great pitching beats great hitting and poor hitting beats poor pitching”; in the NFL we can think of this as “great defense beats great offense and poor offense beats poor defense”
  • That said, this game has a wide range of outcomes with two great offenses matching up with two great defenses
  • Even wider range of potential individual outcomes considering a large portion of Tampa’s fantasy prospectus hinges on how the Rams choose to deploy Jalen Ramsey, knowing Antonio Brown is likely to miss
  • The weakness of the Buccaneers defense is over the intermediate to deep middle of the field, primarily from opposing slot receivers; all of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Tyler Higbee play heavy slot snaps in bunch formations

HOW Tampa Bay WILL TRY TO WIN ::

Tampa’s situation-neutral pass rate through two weeks sits at 72%, just one percent lower than the Jaguars for tops in the league. They have averaged 43.0 pass attempts per game to start the year. Their defense has allowed just 57.5 rush yards per game against yet have allowed almost 400 yards of total offense against per game. It’s fairly evident how Tampa would like to win games (which shouldn’t come as a surprise after the second half of last season).

The backfield work has been “dominated” by Leonard Fournette to start the season but the snap rates tell a different story. Fournette has running back opportunities of 16 and 15 with snap rates of 65% and 49% to start the year, while Ronald Jones II holds opportunity counts of four and nine on 9% (early fumble) and 41% of the offensive snaps and Giovani Bernard holds opportunity counts of three and two (all targets) on 26% and 10% of the offensive snaps. The big picture though is this team prefers to attempt to win games with the ball in Tom Brady’s hands. The lofty net-adjusted line yards metric of 4.9 is almost immaterial considering the 17.5 average rush attempts per game over the first two weeks. The proverbial money is made from this offense through the air and things get a little more interesting considering the likely absence of wide receiver Antonio Brown. The biggest influence to the prospective fantasy goodness of Buccaneer pass-catchers hinges around how the Rams choose to deploy Jalen Ramsey, who has previously been used as a shadow on Mike Evans (4/40/0 in their last meeting). Looking at the target frequency of the Los Angeles secondary tells us everything we need to know: Ramsey and David Long have been targeted a combined 15 times in primary coverage while Darious Williams has been targeted a whopping 20 times in primary coverage. If we assume Antonio Brown misses and Jalen Ramsey shadows Mike Evans, it leaves a large expected target share to Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, and, to a lesser extent, the combination of Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson. The problem is we don’t exactly know precisely how the Rams will deploy Ramsey (who has routinely traveled into the slot while in shadow coverage), due to the emergence of perimeter corner Darious Williams, who led the team in pass breakups and interceptions a year ago. I could make a clear case for Ramsey to stick to Godwin with Williams and safety help over the top of the higher-aDOT Mike Evans, which would make this offense tilt towards Gronk and the tertiary receiving options. Again, we just don’t know at this time how the Rams are preparing for this matchup knowing that Antonio Brown is likely to miss.

HOW Los Angeles WILL TRY TO WIN ::

The Rams have injuries of their own that could greatly affect how they attack this game. Borderline workhorse running back Darrell Henderson, Jr. missed practice Wednesday with what is being called a rib cartilage injury. Rib cartilage injuries typically do not run the risk of further injury but are extremely painful to play through, particularly for a running back who is being hit in the torso on almost every snap (obviously with the ball in his hands, but also in pass protection and rubs). If he misses here, it would likely be Sony Michel stepping into an almost every-down role. Regardless, the matchup is very much a strength-on-strength matchup, yielding a net-adjusted line yards metric of 4.185 primarily held down by Tampa’s elite 3.27 mark.

We’re unlikely to see the Rams attack heavily on the ground, particularly if Sony Michel is charged with a workhorse role. If we played this slate out 100 times, Michel would hit a handful of times in this spot, but it is not a spot I recommend attacking heavily. I searched for varying angles to bet on with respect to the Rams running back situation but continually came up empty. The largest detractor is the complexity of their run-blocking scheme paired with the fact that Sony has only been with the team for three weeks. It is much more likely that Sean McVay turns to the air in this spot.

Opposing perimeter corners Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis have allowed a combined 5.0 yards per attempt in coverage value, the lowest in the league through two weeks amongst cornerback duos. Fill-in slot corner Ross Cockrell has allowed 10 of 12 targets to be completed in just over one game’s worth of work, for 103 yards and two touchdowns. To say he is the weak link in this vaunted defense is quite the understatement. While Cooper Kupp is sure to garner the most ownership, it is well worth noting that both Tyler Higbee and Robert Woods play heavy slot snaps. The bunch formations and multiple-slot alignments make this more of a crap-shoot than the field will likely think (based on expected ownership). Van Jefferson plays primarily a perimeter role with a high aDOT and is the pass-catcher least likely to succeed in this spot.

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW :: 

As previously mentioned above, there are really two likely scenarios with about the same chance of transpiring here. Both teams have the personnel and scheme on defense to be able to slow the other and both offenses hold the pieces to be able to break through. It is far less likely that one team clearly takes control and maintains that position for the duration of the game, so the best way to attack this game is to build for two very clear game scripts: a slugfest or a back-and-forth, high scoring affair. A slugfest would indicate a failure by each team to sustain drives over the course of the game, making one-offs “just okay” considering the salary of the pieces and expected ownership. A shootout makes game stacks extremely appealing from what should be highly concentrated offenses (assuming Brown and Henderson each miss the contest). That said, I expect the majority of exposure to this game to primarily be of the one-off variety and not full game stacks, something to keep in mind when building this week.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • LAR won 27-24 in this matchup last year
  • LAR have changed far more than TB since, with DC Brandon Staley & several starting defensive backs being the biggest defensive differences, and Stafford being the biggest offensive difference
  • Goff & Brady threw 51 & 48 times respectively in the 2020 matchup
  • The teams combined for just 79 rush yds, 1 TD on 38 att in the 2020 matchup

Matthew Stafford:

  • With a stifling rush defense over the past three seasons, TB has consistently faced one of the highest pass rates in the league
  • So far, Stafford has thrown just 26 and 30 times in games LAR have rushed 18 & 26 times
  • Dak & Ryan have thrown 58 & 46 times vs TB to start 2021
  • Stafford is still averaging 300 yds through two games despite the low att totals
  • TB allowed 6 QBs over 300 yds in 20 games last year
  • TB has allowed both Dak & Ryan to throw for 300+ yds in 2021

LAR WRs:

  • Kupp has been Stafford’s #1 through two weeks, racking up 16 rec for 271 yds, 3 TD on 21 targets vs CHI & IND
  • Kupp has 36% of LAR intended air yds in 2021
  • Woods trails Kupp by 8 targets, but did jump to 9 in W2 after just 4 in W1
  • LAR WRs vs TB in 2020: Kupp (11:145) // Woods (12:130:1)
  • WRs vs TB in 2021: Cooper (13:139:2), Lamb (7:104:1) // Ridley (7:63:1)

Tyler Higbee:

  • Higbee dropped from a 5:68 W1 to a 1:8 W2 (6 targets to 1 target)
  • Higbee has run a route on 50 of 59 Stafford dropbacks
  • TB allowed 9:65 to Jarwin/Schultz and 5:73 to Pitts
  • TB has allowed 14.2 & 14.0 DK pts/g to TEs in two Bowles seasons

LAR RBs:

  • Darrell Henderson is questionable // All 10 of Michel’s rush att came in the 4th quarter after Henderson’s departure
  • No team allowed fewer rush yds than TB in 2020, with the next closest team allowing nearly 200 yds more; 2019 TB allowed the fewest by 100+ yds as well
  • In 20 games, Kamara, CMC, & Cook were the only RBs to break 20 DK pts vs TB, and AK & CMC both needed 2 TDs to get there
  • Gurley & AK were the only two RBs to break 20 DK pts in 2019 vs TB, and they combined for 17 rec in those 2 games
  • Zeke, Pollard, & Davis were held in check, but Patterson had a nice day vs TB thanks to 2 TDs and 5 rec for 58 yds through the air
  • Michel has 26 career receptions with a game-high of just 3

Tom Brady:

  • Dalton & Wentz offenses were only able to score 31 combined pts vs LAR
  • Since the shellacking TB took vs NOR on primetime, TB has scored: 46 // 24 // 24 // 26 // 31 // 47 // 44 // 31 // 30 // 31 // 31 // 31 // 48
  • Nine straight 30 point games
  • The 2020 Rams were one of the last teams to hold Brady’s Bucs under 30
  • Brady is averaging 3 TDs/g over those last 13 games
  • Brady went 216:2:2 in the 2020 matchup
  • The Rams have 3 INT vs Dalton, Wentz, & Eason to start 2021
  • 30 QBs vs LAR since Ramsey arrived are averaging just 15.58 DK pts, with the only QBs over just 20 DK pts being Dalton (London), Lamar, Kyler, Allen, Jimmy, & Rodgers
  • 6/30 QBs vs Ramsey’s Rams have topped 20 DK pts, and only 3/30 over just 24 DK pts (36.3, 36.2, 25.5), while 18/30 have finished below 15 DK pts
  • Brady has topped 30 DK pts in both games to start the year vs DAL & ATL

TB WRs:

  • Top WR score in games Brady scored 20+ DK pts since adding AB: 19.7 // 20 // 20.3 // 43.1 // 39.8, 33.3 // 20.9 // 7.4 // 19.6 // 13.2 // 27.5, 26.7 // 24.5
  • TB WRs times leading/tied for lead in targets w/ AB: Evans (7), Godwin (6), Brown (5)
  • TB targets in 2021: Godwin (14, 5) // Evans (6, 9) // Brown (7, 3)
  • Mike Evans has just four games of 20+ DK pts with Brady, two before adding AB (26.4, 28.1) and two after (43.1, 24.5)
  • Godwin has just three games of 20+ DK pts with Brady (23.8, 33.3, 27.5)
  • Brown has just three games of 20+ DK pts with Brady (20.3, 39.8, 26.7)
  • Each of Brown’s & Godwin’s best games came in the same ATL game that Evans left early with injury
  • Elite perimeter WRs vs LAR in 2020: Cooper (10:81) // Diggs (4:49:1) // McLaurin (3:26) // ARob (4:70) // Metcalf (2:28; 6:59; 5:96:2) // Evans (5:49:1) // Hop (8:52:1; 4:35)
  • LAR held ARob to 6:35 in W1, but did allow 8:123 to Pittman in W2
  • In the 20 games since 2020, LAR have allowed 32 WRs to surpass 40 rec yds, but just 13 above 60 yds: Cooper (81), DJax (64), Davis (81), Beasley (100), Deebo (66), ARob (70), Lockett (66), Deebo (133), Crowder (66), Metcalf (96), Lazard (96), Adams (66), Pittman (123)
  • So of the 32 WRs to reach 40 yds vs LAR, 19 of them finished between just 40-60 yds
  • Only WRs over just 15 DK pts vs LAR since 2020: Deebo (27.3) // Metcalf (26.6) // Hopkins (19.2) // Beasley (19) // Cooper (18.1) // Deebo (18) // Lazard (19.6) // Adams (21.6) // Pittman (23.3)

Rob Gronkowski:

  • Gronk’s last three games: 8:90:2 // 6:67:2 // 4:39:2
  • TB’s margin of victory in Gronk’s 10+ pt DK scores in TB: -3 // +2 // +18 // +22 // +23 // +25 // +28 // +40 // +2 // +23
  • Kmet & Doyle have produced 42 & 64 yds on 7 & 8 targets vs LAR in 2021
  • Gronk went 2:25 in this matchup last year

TB RBs:

  • RoJo only scored above 20 DK pts three times in 2021, and Fournette played 0 snaps in two of them
  • RoJo was benched vs DAL after fumbling and got just 6 carries in W2 vs ATL
  • Fournette touches so far: (9 att, 7 tg) // (11 att, 4 tg)
  • Only three teams allowed fewer RB DK pts than LAR in 2020 (6th fewest RB rush yds), despite one of the highest rates of light boxes faced in the NFL (Staley is now gone, but Donald is still superhuman)
  • In 2021, Montgomery went 16:108 & Taylor went 15:51 with the biggest difference being a 40 yd run by Montgomery

Kickoff Sunday, Sep 26th 8:20pm Eastern

Packers (
23.75) at

49ers (
26.75)

Over/Under 50.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Packers Run D
29th DVOA/12th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
14th DVOA/12th Yards per carry
Packers Pass D
17th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
12th DVOA/14th Yards per pass
49ers Run D
16th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Packers Run O
15th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
15th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per pass
Packers Pass O
10th DVOA/21st Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Sunday Night Football should be a fun one as the Packers visit the 49ers for a nice 50.5 total game. The 49ers are favored by 3, telling us the general perception is these teams are evenly matched since home field advantage accounts for 2.5 to 3 points in betting lines.  Both teams have had weird starts to the season. The Packers got completely blown out by the Saints, then ended up convincingly beating the Lions after a shaky first half. The 49ers scored 41 against the Lions but also allowed 33 in . . .

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Kickoff Monday, Sep 27th 8:15pm Eastern

Eagles (
24) at

Cowboys (
27.5)

Over/Under 51.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Eagles Run D
23rd DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
3rd DVOA/3rd Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
10th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
5th DVOA/5th Yards per pass
Cowboys Run D
8th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
4th DVOA/15th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
7th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
21st DVOA/23rd Yards per pass

Xandamere's Showdown Slant

Week 3 closes out with a really interesting game as the Eagles visit the Cowboys. We have a 51.5 total game (total has dropped a bit from the open) with Dallas favored by 3.5. Dallas started with a shootout against the Bucs and then a surprisingly low-scoring affair against the Chargers, while the Eagles have stifled the Falcons (who hasn’t?) and the 49ers so far, only allowing 23 total points against in two games. Of course, now we say “small sample size!” and note that Philly has not faced an offense anywhere . . .

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