Week 9 Matchups

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Kickoff Thursday, Nov 4th 8:20pm Eastern

Jets (
17.5) at

Colts (
27.5)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Jets Run D
14th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per carry
Colts Run O
9th DVOA/16th Yards per carry
Jets Pass D
3rd DVOA/7th Yards allowed per pass
Colts Pass O
17th DVOA/15th Yards per pass
Colts Run D
24th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
Jets Run O
32nd DVOA/13th Yards per carry
Colts Pass D
14th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per pass
Jets Pass O
31st DVOA/31st Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Week 9 starts with a matchup that might have looked boring a week ago as the Jets visit the Colts. The game has a total of 46.5 with Indianapolis favored by a whopping 10.5. But, these are the Jets that just surprised the hell out of the Bengals, putting up 34 points against what had been one of the stingier defenses in the NFL (the Bengals had yet to allow more than 25 points in a game, and that includes playing Baltimore, Green Bay, and Minnesota). It’s possible this game could end up . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Broncos (
20) at

Cowboys (
30)

Over/Under 50.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Broncos Run D
30th DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per carry
Cowboys Run O
15th DVOA/19th Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
26th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per pass
Cowboys Pass O
11th DVOA/14th Yards per pass
Cowboys Run D
9th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
14th DVOA/18th Yards per carry
Cowboys Pass D
6th DVOA/25th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
18th DVOA/25th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • Dak Prescott is expected to return, while Michael Gallup is currently expected to miss his seventh straight game with a calf strain.
  • Noah Fant popped on the COVID list with a positive test on Tuesday and will need to return two negative tests spaced at least 24 hours apart in order to play; from what we’ve seen this season via the league’s COVID protocols, consider him closer to doubtful at this time.
  • The Broncos lead the league in situation-neutral pass rates over the previous four weeks and get an extreme pace-up matchup here.
  • Denver has allowed the second-fewest points per game this season, but hold up a minute, check who they have played thus far (we’ll do this below).

How denver Will Try To Win ::

The Broncos would like to slow the game down (29th ranked situation-neutral pace of play over the first half of the season), but contrary to popular belief, they are more than capable and more than willing to turn things heavily towards the air if forced to do so. Their situation-neutral pass rates over the full season sit at a 12th ranked 62%, but their situation-neutral pass rate since Week 4 leads the league at 68%. During that time, they have trailed for the majority of the game against Baltimore, trailed for most of the game against Pittsburgh, trailed for most of the game against Las Vegas, trailed for most of the game against the Browns (scored twice in the second half to lose 17-14), and escaped with a narrow 17-10 win over Washington. Although their pace of play when trailing by seven or more points ranks 21st in the league at 27.55 seconds per play, it marks an over six-second increase in pace from their situation-neutral value of 33.70 seconds per play. What does this all mean? Well, it means the Broncos can and will open things up if forced to do so. Against the Cowboys, the likeliest scenario leads to a situation where they should be forced to do so.

The backfield situation continues to be a 60/40 split in snap rate between Melvin Gordon III and rookie Javonte Williams. That said, each holds exactly 49 running back opportunities over the previous four games, with both typically landing in the eight to 13 opportunity range. Basically, an already low-volume run game is split almost evenly, leaving only a thin chance at a GPP worthy score for either. The matchup on the ground yields a below-average 4.22 net-adjusted line yards metric, which I highlighted here not as a vote of confidence for this run game, but as a reminder of the likeliest plan of attack for the Broncos against a pass-funnel Cowboys defense.

The passing game is likely to be missing one of its key contributors after Noah Fant popped on the COVID list on Tuesday. While possible he makes it back in time for Sunday, he will need to provide two negative tests spaced at least 24 hours apart in order to play this weekend. This leaves the primary pass-catching duties to Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, and backup tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (don’t ask me to spell that again!) should Fant miss. Sutton and Patrick should be considered the near every-down wide receivers and Jeudy should see snaps close to 70% (Denver have played from 11-personnel at a 61% clip thus far, which is likely to see a slight uptick with the return of Jeudy). Jeudy’s heavy slot snap rate means he should largely avoid standout corner Trevon Diggs, assuming he plays (forced from last week’s contest late in the fourth with an ankle injury – already practiced in full on Wednesday). Diggs has gained widespread media attention for his seven interceptions on the season, but this dude is quickly becoming one of the premier lockdown corners in the NFL. After his string of six consecutive games with an interception, he shut down Justin Jefferson in Week 8. He has allowed only 19 of 42 passes thrown into his primary coverage to be completed, with the aforementioned seven interceptions to only two touchdowns allowed. This kid is #good. Finally, Albert O should step into the near every-down snap rate left behind with the (likely) absence of Noah Fant.

How dallas Will Try To Win ::

Dallas has continued their altered approach over the previous four weeks of play, with a fast pace (fifth fastest situation-neutral pace of play and third fastest with the score within six points) and elevated rush rates now being their new calling card (54% previous four games, 55% on the season). After the injury to Michael Gallup, we’ve seen this team transition to a heavy 12-personnel base offense, running the third-highest rate of 12 in the league behind only Atlanta and Miami. With this in mind, the injury status of Blake Jarwin becomes highly pertinent to how we think this team approaches this game. Keep an eye on his status as the week progresses, as he missed practice on Wednesday with a hip injury. His absence would likely open up additional offensive snaps for Cedric Wilson and Noah Brown. 

The backfield split between Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard remains heavily weighted in Zeke’s favor, who has played 70% or more of the offensive snaps in every game but one this season. Zeke has seen between 21 and 26 running back opportunities in each of the last four games played, compared to between eight and 18 opportunities for Pollard over that same time. This gives us a good idea of the top-end on Zeke’s expected workload here, with most game scenarios leading to a hard cap on his opportunities due to the presence of Pollard. The matchup yields an elite 4.87 net-adjusted line yards metric on the backs of the top-rated run-blocking unit in the league. Tyron Smith, one of the league’s top-rated tackles, appears likely to miss this contest. A large part of the moderate 4.23 yards allowed per rush to opposing running backs from this Denver defense is simply due to the level of competition they have faced this season (their adjusted line yards allowed metric is a below-average 4.56).

Through the air, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb should be considered co-WR1s on this offense, with Cedrick Wilson the acting WR3 (typical snap rates between 50-60%) and Noah Brown handling primarily spread package duties. Tight end Dalton Schultz has been operating a notch below every-down duties, while Blake Jarwin has typically seen 40-55% of the offensive snaps. Should Jarwin miss here, we could see increased 11-personnel or we could see Jeremy Sprinkle step into Jarwin’s workload, with no clear indication either way. To me, the answer likely lies somewhere in the middle, with increased 11-personnel and Sprinkle in 12 packages. The matchup against Denver’s heavy zone, prevent defense tilts expected production to the short-intermediate areas of the field, particularly considering the high level of play of the safeties to this point. Cornerbacks Bryce Callahan and Ronald Darby have been absolutely torched this season (Darby has been targeted 26 times in just four games played, allowing a 65.4% completion rate and 256 yards in his primary coverage). It is clear the path of least resistance is away from standout rookie Patrick Surtain II, which tilts expected volume slightly in favor of CeeDee Lamb and Cedrick Wilson.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

It is likeliest we see the Cowboys dictate the pace, flow, and game environment overall here against a Broncos team that has continually started games slowly this season on offense (and assuming Dak Prescott returns to the lineup). The main thing that could derail this likeliest game flow would be the Denver defense buckling down in the red zone, as they have done all season, having surrendered the second-fewest points per game at only 17.1 and allowing a touchdown on only 50% of opposing red zone trips. Although less likely against a Dallas team with Dak back at the helm, this would throw enough of a wrench in the game environment as a whole so it bears mention here. That said, when we look at who the Broncos have played (and how many points they’ve allowed to those opponents), we start to get a clearer sense of just how good (or not as good) this defense really is. They started the season allowing only 13 points to the Giants, then 13 points to the Jaguars, then a shutout against the Jets, before allowing 23, 27, and 34 points to the Ravens, Steelers, and Raiders, before then playing the slow-paced Browns (17) and a reeling Washington team (10). The Broncos also lost linebacker Von Miller to the Rams via trade this week. All of that is to say, this defense can be broken against solid offenses, which is very much the case here against the Cowboys. When all is said and done, it is likeliest we see the Cowboys hit first and hit hard, forcing the Broncos into the all too familiar catchup mode, increasing their aerial aggression along the way.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::


Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Falcons (
18.25) at

Saints (
24.75)

Over/Under 43.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Falcons Run D
8th DVOA/10th Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
13th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
29th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
20th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass
Saints Run D
25th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
20th DVOA/14th Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
11th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
22nd DVOA/8th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Jameis Winston is done for the year after suffering a torn ACL; Michael Thomas is done for the year after suffering a setback with his surgically repaired ankle.
  • Taysom Hill should return this week and should be the starting quarterback for the Saints for the remainder of the season.
  • Calvin Ridley’s absence means most Atlanta players are relegated to largely rotational pieces in this offense.
  • Not a ton to love here, and we’ll explain why in the DFS+ section (we’ll also take a moment to do some higher-level teaching surrounding range of outcomes projections).

How Atlanta Will Try To Win ::

The biggest story out of Camp Atlanta is the absence of Calvin Ridley for an unspecified amount of time, who is away from the team to address his mental health (again, kudos to him for taking the time to take care of himself). That is likely to have the biggest impact on the expected snap rates of Cordarrelle Patterson and Tajae Sharpe moving forward. Atlanta held a situation-neutral pass rate of 61% in Week 5 and Week 8, the two weeks Calvin Ridley has missed this season (compared to their season-long value of 63%). This indicates a coaching staff that has been slow to adjust to the offensive personnel on hand, further highlighted by the sporadic snap rates for one of their most dynamic playmakers in Cordarrelle Patterson. That said, both Patterson and Mike Davis have played over 60% of the offensive snaps in each of the past three games (two of which Ridley missed). I would expect that trend to continue moving forward. 

Interestingly enough, both Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson have scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one game this season, with only Patterson showing any semblance of a ceiling (even then, he has only two games above 20 fantasy points; 23.9 and 34.6). Both running backs should see 60% or more of the offensive snaps here, but the matchup is an extremely difficult one against the team allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. The pure rushing matchup is also a difficult one, yielding a well below average 3.65 net-adjusted line yards metric. Overall, expect this backfield, one that has derived a large portion of its value from efficiency and touchdowns this season, to struggle here.

The heavy emphasis on 21- and 12-personnel alignments from the Falcons over the previous three games (a laughable 15% of their offensive snaps over that time have been from 11-personnel) means fewer snaps per week for the three-man rotation of Russell Gage, Tajae Sharpe, and Olamide Zaccheaus. Gage and Sharpe led the wide receivers in snap rate last week at 68% each, with Olamide checking in at 40%. Expect Kyle Pitts to land in the 70-80% snap rate range moving forward, with fellow tight end Hayden Hurst in the 55-65% range. As we’ve seen throughout the season, the weekly floor of every pass-catcher remains fairly low, with Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson holding the best chances at ceiling.

How New Orleans Will Try To Win ::

Sean Payton faces his toughest test of the season, not from an opponent perspective but from a game-planning perspective, as a lot changes with this offense with the shift from Jameis Winston to Taysom Hill. Regardless of the quarterback shift, this is still a team that is sitting at a 5-2 record and only half a game behind the Bucs for first place in the NFC South on the back of their defense. This is the biggest realization that we must come to in order to dissect how this team moves forward. The Saints have allowed the fourth-fewest points per game (18.3), third lowest drive success rate against (67.5%), fifth-lowest yards per drive (31.14), and have generated the third-best turnover margin in the league. From an offensive perspective, expect the Saints to continue to emphasize the run (highest situation-neutral rush rate in the league at 52%), with some of those rush attempts coming through Taysom Hill. The offense’s moderate drive success rate (16th-ranked 72.3%) is likely to take a slight step back as they transition to Taysom at quarterback, which is likeliest to lead to some ugly games over the coming few weeks.

Mark Ingram II rejoined the Saints prior to Week 8 and he immediately stepped into a normal change of pace workload (29% of the offensive snaps, six carries, and two targets). Of note, Alvin Kamara saw his normal 80-90% snap rate dip to 67% in Week 8, which should serve as a note of caution with respect to his workload moving forward. Running back/wide receiver hybrid Ty Montgomery continues to see meaningful snaps both out of the backfield, out of the slot, and split out wide but I’d expect his role to shift to more of a traditional wide receiver role following the addition of Ingram. After seeing 24-31 running back opportunities in every game outside of the hangover trouncing the Saints took against the Panthers following their Week 1 dismantling of the Packers, Kamara saw 23 running back opportunities on the decreased snap rate. The big picture here is Kamara is still Kamara, and he should remain the focal point of the offense moving forward. The matchup on the ground yields a slightly above average 4.345 net-adjusted line yards metric.

The snap rates amongst the secondary pass-catchers in this offense (remember, Alvin Kamara should be treated as the sole primary pass-catcher in a low-volume offense) have been somewhat all over the place. Expect Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith to operate as the “starting” wide receivers, with Deonte Harris and the aforementioned Montgomery operating as the “package” receivers, and Kevin White on hand to spell Callaway and Smith should they need a breather. Finally, Adam Trautman is playing heavy snaps (86% or more in three consecutive games) but has seen more than three targets only twice all year (six targets in Week 1 and Week 8). Considering the fact that the Saints average only 27.7 pass attempts per game this year and are now shifting their offense to one built around Taysom Hill, there shouldn’t be much volume to go around amongst the secondary and tertiary pass-catchers. 

Likeliest Game flow ::

The flow of this game is likeliest to be dictated by the defense of the Saints against a seemingly one-dimensional opponent. The absence of Calvin Ridley allows opposing teams to key in on rookie tight end Kyle Pitts to a point where the offense as a whole suffers greatly. The slow pace of the New Orleans offense (29th-ranked first half pace of play and 31st-ranked second half pace of play) means we should expect the Falcons to end this game below their season average of 64.4 offensive plays per game, even with them likely in catch-up mode. Look for the Saints to control the game in the trenches on both sides of the ball and lean on the run game through Kamara, Taysom, and Ingram.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • Somehow we are back in 2020 and Taysom Hill is getting his first start of the season against ATL once again
  • With this “2017 core” of Saints, NOR has gone 6-2 vs ATL, winning 5 of the last 6 and both matchups with Taysom Hill at QB in 2020
  • In the last three years (6 g), Ryan has been sacked 5 times per game!!
  • Arthur Smith’s Titans scored 28 pts vs NOR in 2019
  • Smith’s Falcons pt totals: 6 // 25 // 17 // 30 // 27 // 30 // 13
  • NOR pts allowed: 3 // 26 // 13 // 27 // 22 // 10 // 27

Matt Ryan:

  • Ryan’s W1 & W8: 164:0 // 146:1:2
  • Ryan’s W2-W7: 300.8 : 2.4 : 0.8
  • Ryan was sacked 6 times in W1 & W8, and 6 times in all of W2-W7
  • In the last three years (6 g), NOR has sacked Ryan 5 times per game!! (30 sacks)
  • QB pass yds vs NOR: 201 // 305 // 270 // 402 // 248 // 167 // 375
  • NOR ranks 5th in def pass DVOA
  • NOR has allowed 10 QB TDs to 11 INT
  • NOR has faced the 7th most pass att/g
  • Only 5 QBs have thrown more pass att/g than Ryan
  • Ryan’s last four vs NOR: 182:2:1 // 312:2:2 // 232:0:2 // 273:1:0

ATL WRs:

  • Presumably no Ridley for the time being (10.4 tg/g)
  • Targets w/o Ridley: Sharpe (5, 6) // Olamide (4, 1) // Gage (–, 0)
  • NOR has allowed the 7th lowest success rate to WRs, but the 9th highest yds/att
  • Nine WRs have 70+ yds vs NOR this season
  • Sharpe’s two games without Ridley: 4:53 // 4:58
  • Sharpe has 3 games of 70+ yds in 58 career games
  • Gage had 4:67:1 in his return vs MIA before being shut out last week
  • Gage has 4 games of 70+ yds in 51 career games
  • Total WR yds across two NOR matchups in 2020: Ridley (198) // Julio (133) // Gage (109:1)

Kyle Pitts:

  • Kyle Pitts is basically a WR: 261 snaps slot/wide vs 92 inline
  • Pitts is averaging 7.1 tg/g, and has 10 & 6 tg in the two Ridley has missed
  • Top WRs vs 2021 NOR: Adams (5:56) // Moore (8:79:1) // Meyers (9:94) // Golladay (6:116) // McLaurin (4:46) // Metcalf (2:96:1) // Godwin (8:140:1)
  • Arnold (55) & RSJ (41) are the only TEs over 40 yds vs NOR, as NOR has allowed the 6th lowest success rate to TEs
  • Physical freak TEs vs NOR in 2020: Waller (12:103:1) // Hock (2:9:1) // Fant (1:13) // Kelce (8:68:1)
  • Pitts has four games of 50+ yds already: 5:73 // 4:50 // 9:119:1 // 7:163
  • Hurst totaled 1 rec for 9 yds in two games vs NOR in 2020

ATL RBs:

  • Rush att first four games: Davis (15 // 9 // 12 // 13) // CPatt (7 // 7 // 7 // 6)
  • Rush att last two games: Davis (13 // 4 // 9) // CPatt (14 // 14 // 9)
  • Davis has yet to top 75 yds on the season
  • NOR ranks 2nd in defensive rush DVOA, but has allowed the 8th highest yds/att to RBs through the air (16th in def success rate)
  • Lead RB rushing vs NOR: Jones (5:9) // CMC (24:72:1) // Harris (6:14) // Saquon (13:52:1) // Gibson (20:60:2) // Collins (16:35) // Fournette (8:26)
  • The best RBs vs NOR thus far were CMC, Saquon, Gibson, and they still combined for just 184 yds on 57 att in 13 quarters
  • RBs to score 20+ DK pts vs NOR since 2018: Saquon (22, 29.6) // 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) // Gibson (21.2)
  • That’s 13 RB scores of 20+ DK pts allowed in the last 60 games
  • 13/13 scored a TD /// 6/13 scored 2 TDs /// 9/13 had 5+ rec /// 12/13 had 6+ DK rec pts
  • Of the four without 5 rec, one had 82 yd TD, one caught a deep WR pass TD, one had 28 rush att, and all four scored 2 TDs
  • 2021: CMC & Saquon combined for 10 rec, 29.9 DK rec pts vs NOR
  • 2021: CMC, Saquon, & Gibson combined for 5 TDs vs NOR
  • CPatt has 7 TDs on the season, with two multi-TD games
  • CPatt has 5+ rec in 5/7 games (2 // 5 // 6 // 5 // 7 // 2 // 5)
  • His rec yds in the games with 5+ rec: 58:1 // 82 // 82:3 // 60 // 37:1
  • CPatt’s floor since W2 has been 14 DK pts (23.9, 16.2, 34.6, 18.4, 14.1, 18.2)

Taysom Hill:

  • QB passing vs ATL: 264:3 // 275:5 // 266:0 // 290:3 // 192:0:1 // 291:4:2 // 129:0
  • QB rushing vs ATL: Hurts (62) // Jones (39) // Heinicke (43) // Tua (29) // Darnold (66)
  • Taysom passing in starts: 233:0 // 78:0:1 // 232:2 // 291:2:1
  • Taysom rushing in starts: 10:49:2 // 10:44:2 // 14:83 // 5:33
  • ATL ranks 29th in def pass DVOA
  • Taysom had Michael Thomas (albeit hobbled) & Emmanuel Sanders for all four of his 2020 starts
  • Those two received 54 of his 114 passes in those games
  • NOR is currently trotting out Tre’Quan Smith, & undrafted Harris & Callaway as its top 3 WRs

NOR WRs:

  • With the Saints low pass volume, the only WRs over 70 yds have been Harris (2:72:1 // 1:72:1) & Callaway (2:74 // 4:85:2)
  • NOR had four WRs between 30-40 rec yds in W8
  • After one target in Taysom’s first two starts, Smith saw 6 each in the second two
  • Evans & McLaurin are the only two WRs with 20+ DK pts vs ATL, and both scored 2 TDs
  • Smith, Evans, McLaurin, Waddle are the only WRs with 70+ rec yds vs ATL

NOR TEs:

  • Targets in the Taysom starts: Cook (1, 2, 5, 4) // Traut (1, 1, 3, 1)
  • TEs vs ATL: Ertz (34), Goedert (42:1) // Gronk (39:2) // Engram (21) // RSJ (19) // Gesicki (85:1) // Tremble (18)

Alvin Kamara:

  • Kamara’s rush att: 20, 8, 24, 26, 16, 20, 19
  • Kamara’s targets: 4, 6, 4, 0, 8, 11, 4
  • Kamara’s total touches: 24 // 14 // 28 // 26 // 24 // 31 // 23
  • Ingram got 6 rush att & 2 tg in his first game back in NOR
  • RB touches w/ Taysom in 2020::
  • AK: (13 att, 1 tg) // (11, 2) // (15, 3) // (11, 10)
  • Lat: (12 att, 2 tg) // (19, 1) // (5, 2) // (4, 1)
  • RBs with 10+ touches vs ATL: Sanders (113), Gainwell (43:1) // Fournette (76) // Saquon (94:1) // Gibson (75:1), McKissic (59:1) // Carter (58:1) // Gaskin (77:1) // Hubbard (91:1), Abdullah (66)
  • Kamara’s total yds vs ATL in career: 27 // 90 // 190 // 98 // 74 // 84 // 45:1 // 97:1
  • Kamara had his first 2 TDs vs ATL last year, as Taysom/Brees have combined for 6 rush/rec TDs vs ATL since 2018
  • AK has just 1 TD on 6 rush att inside-5 this year, and 12 att inside-10
  • AK converted 12 att into 9 TDs inside-5 in 2020
  • Taysom scored 3 rush TDs in first four games, and scored 8 rush TDs in 2020 (4 as starter)
  • NOR scored 8 rush TDs in Taysom’s 4 starts: (4 Taysom, 2 AK, 2 Murray)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Patriots (
22.25) at

Panthers (
19.25)

Over/Under 41.5

Tweet
Notes

Key Matchups
Patriots Run D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per carry
Panthers Run O
25th DVOA/23rd Yards per carry
Patriots Pass D
13th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per pass
Panthers Pass O
32nd DVOA/32nd Yards per pass
Panthers Run D
32nd DVOA/13th Yards allowed per carry
Patriots Run O
23rd DVOA/24th Yards per carry
Panthers Pass D
20th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Patriots Pass O
29th DVOA/28th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By MJohnson86 >>
  • This game sets up as a defensive struggle that will rely significantly on which team wins the turnover battle.
  • While both teams have had some ugly moments this year, both are still quietly in the thick of the playoff battle and this is an important “winnable” game that they will not want to let slip away.
  • This will likely be a tightly contested game — both teams have been a part of one-score games in four of their last five contests.
  • The statuses of Sam Darnold and Christian McCaffrey will have a huge impact on the projection of this game.

How NEw England Will Try To Win ::

For a couple of decades now we have seen Bill Belichick’s philosophy very clearly — attack his opponent’s weaknesses on defense and make them beat you in ways that they don’t want to on offense. Given that approach, we can get a clear picture of what the Patriots will try to do against the Panthers: run the ball and stop the run. 

Carolina is 6th in the league in pass defense DVOA and 2nd in yards per pass attempt allowed while ranking middle of the pack against the run. On the other side of the ball, Belichick knows all too well how mistake-prone Sam Darnold can be and he will likely load the box to cut off the run and force Darnold to overcome the “ghosts of Belichick past” — remember the infamous “ghosts” game that has followed Darnold for years was against the Patriots. Darnold is currently in the concussion protocol and also battling a shoulder injury; if he were unable to play, that would mean PJ Walker would start at QB. While Walker provides some additional dual-threat ability, it would likely not do anything to change the Patriots approach as they will also force him to “prove it” and make them pay for loading the box. I would also expect a heavy blitz rate on passing downs from New England.

That whole dynamic on the other side of the ball will play a huge role in the Patriots offensive approach. They are not going to force the ball down the field against a good pass defense and risk turnovers that let the Panthers off the hook. The Patriots will pound the run and control the ball. Their only objective is to get out of here with a win, they don’t care if it’s pretty. Belichick will stay conservative offensively as long as needed in a game of “chicken” with the Panthers QB to see what happens first: they can consistently move the ball or they make a couple of costly turnovers.

How Carolina Will Try To Win ::

Matt Rhule has made comments in consecutive weeks that point to a conservative, old-school approach. A couple of weeks ago he talked about how “we haven’t been committed enough to running the ball” and this week said, “the team has to come to grips that it’s a ‘defensive team’”. He isn’t wrong, as their offense has not shown an ability to move the ball against better defenses and they have a lot of defensive talent and a good scheme. As I discussed in my Process Points article this week in the “Reflection Scroll”, we are at a point in the year where things like this will happen and teams will change from what we’ve known them to be. While Carolina has been respectable in pace and pass rate statistics to this point, we should expect those numbers to regress towards the bottom third of the league in the coming weeks.

In this matchup with a gritty Patriots team, Rhule and company will be put to the test if they will stick to their word. The bottom line is that it appears clear that they *do* trust their defense and they *don’t* trust their quarterback(s). The manner that they will try to win is likely to be the same as the Patriots — run the ball, avoid turnovers, control the clock, hope the other team makes mistakes. Usually, I like to throw more statistics into these breakdowns, but the changing nature of the Panthers approach combined with the set-up of this game environment makes it so the “narratives” and dynamics of the game are much more easily understood through a conceptual lens than from a statistical analysis.

Likeliest Game flow ::

This game has the lowest total (41) on the slate, and rightfully so. Both teams are likely to take a “run and defend” approach to this game and both defenses are good enough to keep the other team from scoring a lot of early points. The only scenario that I can see that would turn up the tempo here would be if Carolina surprises and is able to bust some big plays in the passing game early, as New England will basically be daring them to try. In that scenario, the Panthers would jump out to a lead and force New England out of its shell. However, even then it is unlikely they would build such a lead where the game environment would truly get out of hand — for instance, the Patriots are unlikely to abandon their plan if they were down something like 17-7 at halftime. Christian McCaffrey seems like he’s probably still a week away, but if he were active and resumed his normal role, that is one thing that could change the dynamic of everything as the Patriots linebackers would really struggle to contain him in space.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • Total opened at 43 (tied for second-lowest in Week 9) and has since moved to 41
  • CAR’s live implied total of 18.5 is fifth lowest
  • CAR ranks sixth in plays per game (68.2), per TeamRankings
  • NE ranks 15th
  • In adjusted seconds per play, NE ranks second with 28.1 (per numberFire)
  • CAR ranks 24th (30.8)

Mac Jones

  • Mac ranks 13th in PFF passing grade
  • He’s averaging 24 completions on 35 attempts, 250 yards, 1.1 TDs, and 0.8 INTs
  • NE has a 1:1 passing to rushing TD ratio
  • Since debuting at $4,400, his DK salary has settled in the $5-5.5k range ($5,300 in Week 9)
  • DK log: 15.24 // 7.44 // 14.6 // 17.9 // 12.54 // 16.76 // 25.18 // 11.72
  • His 15.2 DK ppg ranks 29th
  • CAR ranks 10th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (18.7)

NE Passing Attack

  • NE utilizes both 11 and 12 personnel at below league average rates, but their usage of 21 personnel (19%) ranks third overall (league average is just 7%)
  • Snap share: Jakobi Meyers 88.4% // Nelson Agholor 73.6% // Hunter Henry 71% // Jonnu Smith 53.6% // Kendrick Bourne 51.6% // N’Keal Harry 30.7%
  • Target share: Meyers 23.5% // Agholor 14.5% // Henry 12.1% // Bourne 12.1% // Smith 11.1%
  • Among all qualified WRs, Meyers ranks 10th in overall targets and 9th in catches, 22nd in air yards, and 19th in target share (per Koalaty Stats)
  • Incredibly, he has still not scored a TD in the NFL
  • Meyers has produced 11.69 DK ppg, with no 19+ scores this year
  • Agholor ranks sixth in ADoT (16.3) and 19th in air yards
  • Agholor averages 8.5 DK ppg, with no 19+ scores this year
  • Bourne is the only NE wideout to surpass 20+ DK pts on the season (21.6 vs. NO)
  • Bourne’s DK log: 2.7 // 4.6 // 21.6 // 10.8 // 6.8 // 14.5 // 15.8 // 6.8
  • CAR ranks 6th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (34.2)
  • Recent target counts for Henry: 8 // 2 // 4 // 3
  • Recent target counts for Smith: 2 // 2 // 5 // 2
  • Henry’s DK log for those games: 19.5 // 10.5 // 10.3 // 4.3
  • Smith’s DK log for those games: 5.2 // 1.9 // 7.7 // 3.3
  • CAR ranks 14th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (11.3)

NE RBs

  • Snap share: Damien Harris 45.8% // Brandon Bolden 25.2% // Rhamondre Stevenson 10.7%
  • Target share: Bolden 7.6% // Harris 4.2% // Stevenson 2.1%
  • Touches per game: Harris 16 // Stevenson 7.5 // Bolden 4.2
  • Harris’s DK log: 15.7 // 13.4 // 3.1 // 4.6 // 10.8 // 20.8 // 28.3 // 14
  • CAR ranks 2nd in DK ppg allowed to RBs (18.1)

Sam Darnold

  • Darnold ranks 27th in PFF passing grade
  • He ranks 27th in YPA and 24th in ADoT
  • He’s averaging 21 completions on 34 attempts, 227 yards, 0.9 TDs, and 1 INT & 4.3 rushes for 22 yards, and 0.6 TDs
  • Darnold’s DK salary started at $5,000 in Week 1, climbed to a high of $6,100 vs. MIN in Week 6, but has fallen back to $5,000 for Week 9
  • DK log: 20.06 // 22.9 // 28.26 // 36.54 // 9.08 // 17.08 // 3.44 // 11.76
  • His 18.6 DK ppg ranks 20th
  • NE ranks 6th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (18.1)

CAR Passing Attack

  • CAR utilizes 11 personnel at a 64% rate, 12 personnel at 19%, and 21 personnel at 8%
  • Snap share: DJ Moore 85.7% // Robby Anderson 80.6% // Ian Thomas 60.8% // Terrace Marshall 43.3% // Tommy Tremble 39%
  • Target share: Moore 28.1% // Anderson 17.4% // Marshall 7.6% // Thomas 5.9% // Tremble 4.9%
  • Moore ranks 5th in air yards, 6th in target share, 8th in air yard market share, and 7th in WOPR among all WRs
  • Moore’s DK log: 15.4 // 21.9 // 23.5 // 34.9 // 8.8 // 11.9 // 13.3 // 9.9
  • Anderson ranks 21st in air yards but 99th in PFF receiving grade, dead last among qualified WRs
  • Anderson’s DK log: 12.7 // 6.8 // 1.8 // 9.9 // 5 // 10.1 // 4.4
  • Marshall hasn’t played since his concussion in Week 6
  • Marshall’s DK log: 5.6 // 4.7 // 8.8 // 1.2 // 3.4 // 1.9
  • NE ranks 14th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (37.5)
  • No CAR TE has hit 10+ DK pts this season
  • NE ranks 1st in DK ppg allowed TEs (6.8)

CAR RBs

  • CMC likely not back this week
  • Snap share without him: Chuba Hubbard 47.3% // Royce Freeman 18.2%
  • Target share: Hubbard 9% // Ameer Abdullah 3.1% // Freeman 2.1%
  • Touches per game: Hubbard 15.8 // Freeman 3 // Abdullah 2.6
  • In Week 8, newcomer Abdullah leapfrogged Freeman in snaps and touches
  • Abdullah’s 5 targets in Week 8 led the RB room, and was good for 2nd for the offense as a whole
  • Hubbard’s DK log since Week 4: 9.1 // 21.4 // 13.5 // 9.6 // 15.1
  • NE ranks 17th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (24.5)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Vikings (
22) at

Ravens (
29)

Over/Under 51.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Vikings Run D
12th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per carry
Ravens Run O
1st DVOA/3rd Yards per carry
Vikings Pass D
10th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per pass
Ravens Pass O
4th DVOA/4th Yards per pass
Ravens Run D
7th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Vikings Run O
27th DVOA/22nd Yards per carry
Ravens Pass D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Vikings Pass O
21st DVOA/17th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • One of the lighter “injury concerns” games, meaning we have a more clear idea of how each team will approach it from both sides.
  • Although the path to this game truly blowing up doesn’t leave many “outs,” it is still the likeliest scenario for how the game should play out. This presents an interesting scenario where I wouldn’t feel comfortable with an “always one Viking” rule, but would instead spread exposure to account for the Vikings completely failing or the game environment overwhelming. That gets even more tricky to digest when we consider the fact that the Ravens are one of the more spread offenses in the league.
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has more games of double-digit rush attempts than he does of games with single-digit carries. He also has not scored a rushing touchdown since he scored two in Week 2.
  • Expect the Ravens to come out looking sharp following their Week 8 bye.

How Minnesota Will Try To Win ::

We pretty much know what we’re going to get from this Vikings team. They rank middle of the pack in both situation-neutral rush/pass rates and situation-neutral pace of play. That said, they rank all the way up at seventh in overall pace of play, primarily due to pretty consistently finding themselves in either negative game scripts or highly competitive games. That’s part of the appeal of games involving Minnesota – they are typically highly competitive games (a startling six of seven games have been decided by one score or less). When looking at how the Vikings approach games, we typically see a balanced approach throughout as opposed to insane pass rates when trailing. A defense that has improved dramatically as the season has progressed has led to the Vikings offense ranking fifth in the league in plays per game at 68.6. This, in turn, has led to increased volume for the offense as a whole, and a quarterback in Kirk Cousins who has yet to attempt fewer than 32 passes in a game this year.

This backfield is dominated by Dalvin Cook for as long as he remains healthy. Dalvin has seen a 71% snap share or greater in all four of his fully healthy games this season, translating to running back opportunity counts of 27, 25, 32, and 20. After seeing 16 targets in two and a half games, his four targets over the previous two weeks are a bit of a letdown all things considered. Behind Dalvin, Alexander Mattison typically handles a modest 10-20% snap rate and opportunity share whenever Dalvin is healthy. Fullback extraordinaire CJ Ham continues to play heavy snaps on this offense largely devoid of play-makers outside of the big three, playing 30% or more of the offensive snaps in five of seven games thus far. The matchup is a difficult one against Brandon Williams and this Ravens rush defense, yielding a paltry 3.615 net-adjusted line yards metric. Continue to monitor the status of Brandon Williams, who missed Wednesday’s practice with a shoulder injury.

For how conservative quarterback Kirk Cousins is, he has absolutely smashed against the blitz this season, actionable information against a Ravens defense that plays man coverage and blitzes at some of the highest rates in the league. What this scheme has historically done is cut down on both aDOT against and opponent catch rate, but what we’re seeing this season is a team cutting down on opponent completion rate but allowing an absurd 12.3 yards per completion, which ranks second-worst to only the Lions. On top of that, the Ravens allow an inflated average depth of target when targeted as a defender (8.4). Although Justin Jefferson is the team’s primary deep threat (11.5 aDOT), he has largely struggled in his young career against tight man and press man coverage, both of which he should expect to see a great deal of this week. Adam Thielen’s modest 9.7 aDOT and 22.8% team target market share means he typically requires a spike in volume to provide GPP-worthy scores, which just might be the case here against the Ravens. KJ Osborn actually holds a lower aDOT than Thielen all the way down at 7.9 yards and would require an immense boost to volume or a broken play to pay off. One of the most interesting pieces from this offense is tight end Tyler Conklin. Conklin holds a silly 4.4 aDOT and modest 13.7% team target market share but represents the path of least resistance for the Vikings this week. Averaging about 5.3 targets per game, he’ll likely require extreme efficiency and a trip to the end zone to provide a GPP-worthy score at cost, but the potential is there.

How Baltimore Will Try To Win ::

The Ravens have landed between 26 and 31 pass attempts in five of seven games, with the two outliers in that thrilling overtime, come-from-behind victory against the Colts and a Week 4 game against the Broncos in which they struggled to run the football. We know by now to expect elevated rush rates and a slow pace of play from these Ravens, which should hold true this week. Not much left to say about this Ravens offense that we all don’t already know, other than the likely return to the lineup for Sammy Watkins, which should dent the expected snap rates of both Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman. The status of Latavius Murray is still up in the air, but we can expect three of Murray, Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell, and Ty’Son Williams to be active on game day and see meaningful reps.

When we then consider that this team basically plays with four running backs on a weekly basis with the addition of Lamar Jackson’s rushing workload, it leaves very few paths to GPP-worthy scores to emerge from any of the three weekly active running backs. Consider this: the team-high for fantasy points from any one running back is 18.4, scored all the way back in Week 1 when Ty’Son Williams shared the backfield with only the recently added Latavius Murray. The high outside of that Week 1 game is 13.6 fantasy points. The matchup is almost irrelevant at that point, particularly when Lamar Jackson typically rushes for double-digit attempts on his own.

The passing game has once again relied heavily on efficiency as opposed to volume this season. LJax’s tight range of typical pass volume (as discussed above) means the Ravens require outside influence to raise their weekly pass volume. This is most likely to come in the form of a game environment that pushes them to become more aggressive, but when we consider their opponent this week typically adapts a similar outlook when it comes to aggression (rarely push the envelope on their own), it leaves very little outs for the game environment to take off. This means both Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews are likeliest to land in their standard targets range of seven to nine, while the secondary options in the passing game take a significant hit should Sammy Watkins return to his standard seven to eight looks (hit that tight range in every fully healthy game this year). Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche would be relegated to MME prayers in that case. 

Likeliest Game flow ::

Due to the nature of this Vikings team, where they very rarely become aggressive on their own but are fully capable of playing games close once forced into aggression, this game environment overall revolves almost entirely around the Ravens ability to score points and the Vikings ability to return the favor. This leaves us with a fairly narrow path to the game environment truly erupting, but we have seen games involving these Vikings do just that at multiple points over the past season and a half. Put another way, we shouldn’t expect the Vikings to come out firing from the first kick on their own, usually requiring an outside force to kick start them into aggression. That nudge is likeliest to come in the form of the Ravens putting up points early.

I wanted to go through the way (or ways, in some cases) where the game environment could truly take off for some of these games this week in which the likeliest game flows don’t really separate themselves from other equally as likely occurrences. The decision to take this approach this week also has a lot to do with the state of the slate overall, where injuries, COVID listers, and other outside factors have had a great effect on the likeliest plans of attack, game flows, and game environments.

The likeliest scenario for this one involves the Ravens controlling the pace (slow) while the Vikings are responsible for the flow and overall environment. Games like this typically play competitively throughout, which falls in line with what we’ve seen from the Vikings this year.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Alex88 >>

OVERVIEW

  • 49.5 Vegas total ranks 4th highest in Week 9
  • BAL’s implied total of 27.5 ranks 6th
  • MIN ranks 5th in adjusted seconds per play (28.4), per numberFire
  • BAL ranks 27th (31.6)
  • In adjusted passing rate, BAL ranks 31st
  • MIN ranks 18th

Kirk Cousins

  • Cousins ranks 5th in PFF passing grade
  • He ranks 19th in YPA and 33rd in ADoT
  • He’s averaging 27 completions on 39 attempts, 279 yards, 2 TDs, and 0.3 INTs
  • DK log: 25.04 // 25.26 // 28.12 // 11.12 // 14.4 // 31.52 // 13.16
  • His salary on DK has remained within $6,200-6,500
  • In 17 games as a road dog for MIN, Cousins averages 16.31 DK ppg (-2.25 his salary based expectation)
  • BAL ranks 20th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (21.1)

MIN Passing Attack

  • MIN utilizes 11 personnel at a 45% rate (league average is 59%), 12 personnel at a 14% rate (league average is 22%), and 21 personnel at a 17% rate (league average is 7%)
  • Snap share: Adam Thielen 96.7% // Justin Jefferson 86.8% // Tyler Conklin 78.5% // KJ Osborn 62%
  • Target share: Jefferson 22.8% // Thielen 21.4% // Osborn 13.8% // Conklin 13.4%
  • Among all WRs, Jefferson ranks 16th in air yards, 18th in target share, 9th in air yard market share, and 13th in WOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
  • Jefferson’s DK log: 12.54 // 18.5 // 29.8 // 22.4 // 15 // 4.1 (missed time due to injury)
  • His 17.5 DK ppg ranks 17th among all WRs
  • Thielen and Jefferson are tied in red zone targets, but Thielen leads 8 to 3 in receptions and 5 to 3 in TDs
  • Thielen’s DK log: 30.2 // 15.9 // 17 // 7.6 // 6 // 32.8 // 19.8
  • His 18.5 DK ppg ranks 12th among all WRs
  • Osborn’s DK log: 14.6 // 20.1 // 4.6 // 6.6 // 4.4 // 19.8 // 3
  • BAL ranks 13th in DK ppg allowed to WRs (37.4)
  • Conklin ranks 12th among all TEs in target share
  • Conklin’s DK log: 8.1 // 3.5 // 20 // 5.8 // 4.5 // 10.1 // 10.7
  • BAL ranks 32nd in DK ppg allowed to TEs (21.2)

Dalvin Cook

  • Cook ranks 3rd in rush share, 14th in goal line share, and 10th in RBOPR (per Koalaty Stats)
  • His 22 touches per game rank 5th at the position
  • DK log: 21.4 // 19.8 // 6.4 // 25.3 // 7.8
  • In 17 career games as a road dog, Cook averages 20.19 DK ppg (+2.72 his salary based expectation of 17.47)
  • BAL ranks 26th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (28)

Lamar Jackson

  • Lamar ranks 11th in PFF passing grade
  • He’s 5th in YPA and 1st in ADoT
  • DK log: 20 // 37.26 // 20.28 // 22.44 // 45.88 // 13.78 // 23.08
  • His 26.1 DK ppg ranks 3rd at the QB position
  • As a home favorite, Lamar averages 25.55 DK ppg (+3.91 his salary based expectation of 21.64)
  • MIN ranks 9th in DK ppg allowed to QBs (18.6)
  • Opposing QBs DK log: Joe Burrow 18.64 // Kyler Murray 38.1 // Russell Wilson 16.62 // Baker Mayfield 9.3 // Jared Goff 8.12 // Sam Darnold 17.08 // Cooper Rush 22.2

BAL Passing Attack

  • BAL uses 11 personnel at 37% (league average is 59%), 12 personnel at 4% (22%), 21 personnel at 29% (7%), and 22 personnel at 18% (3%)
  • Snap share: Marquise Brown 74.7% // Mark Andrews 70.8% // Rashod Bateman 64.1% // Devin Duvernay 56.3% // Sammy Watkins 50%
  • Target share: Marquise 24.2% // Andrews 21.6% // Sammy 13.6% // Duvernay 8.1% // Bateman 5.1%
  • Among all WRs, Marquise ranks 2nd in air yards (with only 7 games played), 16th in target share, 13th in air yard market share, and 15th in WOPR
  • His DK log: 19.4 // 26.3 // 8.3 // 19.1 // 36.5 // 7.5 // 19
  • His 19.4 DK ppg ranks 8th at the WR position
  • No other BAL WR averages double-digit DK points
  • Bateman immediately stepped into the WR 2 role, beginning with his debut in Week 6
  • He had more targets than Marquise in Week 6 (6 to 5), and just one fewer than Andrews in Week 7 (6 to 7)
  • His DK log: 6.9 // 11
  • Sammy and Duvernay have yet to score 14+ DK pts this season
  • MIN ranks 31st in DK ppg allowed to WRs (45)
  • Among all TEs, Andrews ranks 4th in air yards, 3rd in target share, 6th in air yard market share, and 4th in WOPR
  • His DK log: 5 // 10.7 // 18.9 // 11.7 // 44.7 // 17.8 // 7.8
  • His 16.7 DK ppg ranks 2nd (0.1 behind Kelce)
  • In 26 career games as a home favorite, Andrews averages 13.32 DK ppg (+3.57 his salary based expectation)
  • MIN ranks 7th in DK ppg allowed to TEs (9)
  • Notable opposing TEs DK log: Maxx Williams 16.4 // Gerald Everett 10.4 // TJ Hockenson 4.2 // Dalton Schultz 3.1
  • Other opposing TEs include Cleveland and Carolina

BAL RBs

  • Snaps in Week 7 without Latavius Murray: Devonta Freeman 29 // Le’Veon Bell 22 // Ty’Son Williams 21
  • Targets: Freeman 3 // Bell 2 // Williams 2
  • Touches: Freeman 7 // Bell 6 // Williams 4
  • No BAL RB has scored 20+ DK pts this season
  • The highest total came from Williams in Week 1’s overtime game against LV (18.4)
  • Otherwise no RB has even hit 15 DK pts
  • MIN ranks 14th in DK ppg allowed to RBs (23.6)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Browns (
22.75) at

Bengals (
24.75)

Over/Under 47.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Browns Run D
5th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
22nd DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Browns Pass D
2nd DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
14th DVOA/26th Yards per pass
Bengals Run D
28th DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Browns Run O
21st DVOA/25th Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
21st DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Browns Pass O
26th DVOA/13th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By MJohnson86 >>
  • Both of these teams play at a plodding pace, meaning this game will need the offenses to be very efficient in order to take off.
  • There is a lot of uncertainty on both sides of the ball in how they will choose to attack, and how successful they will be with those strategies.
  • Cleveland’s defense has been “Jekyll and Hyde” this season and has been extremely matchup sensitive in its performance.
  • Cincinnati is a team that has evolved throughout the season and is still in the process of settling on an identity.

How Cleveland Will Try To Win ::

The Browns have what many teams aspire for — an offensive identity. They rely on their running game, which is ranked #1 in DVOA and #1 in yards per carry, to wear teams down and control the clock. Even without Kareem Hunt the last few weeks, D’Ernest Johnson has stepped in admirably and allowed Cleveland to maintain their favored approach of using multiple backs which lets the Browns heavily rely on their backfield without running one player into the ground. The Browns also play at a plodding situation-neutral pace of 33.40 seconds per snap — 29th in the league. Their ability to run the ball, which keeps the clock moving, and take their time between plays makes for long drives that shorten games with fewer possessions. 

Through the air, Baker Mayfield is quietly 2nd in the league in average intended air yards, at 9.1 yards per attempt. Cleveland’s offense leverages the success of their running game by using high amounts of play-action passing and taking deep to intermediate shots. You will often hear of teams “using short passes as an extension of the running game”, but Cleveland’s offense is not designed like that — at least usually that’s not the case. However, the Browns primarily have two players who have more explosive abilities that can be used effectively down the field: Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (DPJ). OBJ has essentially been kicked off the team and DPJ is nursing a groin injury that has kept him out of the last two games. 

After watching Mike White and the Jets dice up the Bengals by spreading them out and peppering them with short passes, perhaps the Browns look to employ a similar attack this week. It is a strategy that would make sense as they have good pass catching tight ends, solid options out of the backfield, and their wide receiver room is made up of possession-style receivers. Also, the Browns will be without All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin, which means they will likely have less success than usual running the ball. The lack of downfield threats for the Browns will make it more difficult to take shots down the field through play-action, thereby forcing them to spread the field and stretch the defense horizontally through quick passes and misdirections.

How Cincinnati Will Try To Win ::

Cincinnati’s yearlong stats don’t necessarily tell the whole story of the team they currently are. The Bengals started the year relying on their running game and protecting their franchise QB, Joe Burrow, who was returning from an ACL injury. They have gradually picked up the pace with their passing, however, and have thrown at the 4th highest rate in the league over the last two weeks. Now they are entering a Week 9 matchup with a Browns defense that provides some clear “pass funnel” features and whose performance has been very matchup dependent so far this season. What I mean by that is this:

  • KC, ARI, and LAC vs Cleveland defense — 39 points per game (ppg)
  • HOU, CHI, MIN, DEN, PIT vs Cleveland defense — 12.6 ppg

The Browns defense as a unit has some talent and can be very good. However, they have been torched by some of the better offenses in the league. This makes sense, as a unit that relies on personnel outplaying their opponents will be able to overwhelm outmatched teams. Unfortunately, when their talent advantage is neutralized, this appears to be a team that has a lot of schematic flaws and communication issues that well-coached teams can take advantage of. Cleveland ranks 3rd in DVOA against the run while struggling to the tune of the #25 ranking against the pass. The way things line up, Cincinnati is going to be incentivized to continue their recent increase in pass rate in this matchup. What we want to figure out is how successful they will be in taking to the air, which it appears depends on which group from above you think they belong in. If we break those teams down by quarterback, this is what it looks like:

  • Mahomes, Murray, Herbert — 39 ppg
  • Tyrod, Fields, Cousins, Bridgewater, Roethlisberger — 12.6 ppg

In my opinion, Joe Burrow is clearly better at this point than every quarterback in the bottom group and is playing at a level recently that would put him at least very close to the top group. My lean is that the Bengals, with their talented receiving corps and backfield, will be able to have a lot of offensive success and move the ball against this Browns team.

Likeliest Game flow ::

This is a big game for both teams and they are both average to above average on both sides of the ball. However, it is also true that none of the four units (CLE D, CLE O, CIN D, CIN O) are juggernauts that will clearly dictate how this game plays out. These teams rank 29th and 30th in situation-neutral pace and both are also top-10 in the league in run rate. However, there are clear signs laid out above that would lead us to believe that at least one of those things (run rate) will change on one or both sides of the ball this week. 

The Browns are going to slow this game down if they can — that’s just how they are built and how they’d prefer to play. Ultimately the pace, scoring, and volume that this game sees will depend on the success of the Bengals — specifically their passing game. You can look at the splits I laid out in the Cincinnati section and, based on where you feel the Bengals passing game fits in, that should give you a decent idea of how to approach this spot. If the Bengals are able to move the ball efficiently and vertically early in the game, they could build a quick lead and force the Browns to copy the Jets attack from last week with quick, spread passing. There is also a chance that the Browns lean that way from the start — when the 28th ranked offense in the league just dropped 34 points on the team you are about to play, you may want to take notice and attack similarly. In either regard, if the Browns pass rate rises and the Bengals have early success throwing the ball this game could greatly exceed expectations. The Jets, who have been one of the more plodding offenses this season, had a whopping 78 offensive plays last week against the Bengals.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Dwprix >>

Overview:

  • Sixth highest total w/ CIN favored by 2.5
  • Total opened at 46 & has been bet up to 47
  • Totals from last seasons matchups: 71 // 65
  • CLE won both matchups: 35-30 // 37-34
  • Baker Mayfield & Joe Burrow played in both games
  • Nick Chubb & Joe Mixon missed the second matchup
  • CLE has scored just 10, 17, & 14 pts the last three games
  • CIN has scored 31, 41, & 34 their last three

Baker Mayfield:

  • Mayfield has a torn labrum & fractured humerus in his non-throwing shoulder
  • CLE ranks 30th in pass atts/g (30.0), 26th in pass yds/g (221.4), & 24th in sacks allowed (2.4)
  • Mayfield has yet to attempt more than 33 passes in a game: 31 // 28 // 32 // 33 // 31 // 21 // 28
  • He has two games over 300 pass yds: 225 // 234 // 305 // 155 // 246 // 213 // 321
  • Mayfield has no games w/ three TDs but three games w/ zero TDs
  • He has just six passing TDs in seven games
  • Mayfield ($5.4k) is the cheapest he’s been all season
  • CIN allows the 16th most DK pts/g to QBs (20.5), most pass atts/g (41.0), 10th most pass yds/g (266.9), & rank T-5th in sacks/g (2.8)

CLE Rushing:

  • CLE rushed for 35:215:3 TDs Week 2 vs CIN last season
  • Nick Chubb: 22:124:2 TDs rush, 1:9 rec, 29.30 DK pts
  • Kareem Hunt (IR): 10:86:1 TD rush, 2:15:1 TD rec, 24.1 DK pts
  • Last week w/o Hunt: Chubb-16:61, 1:8 // D’ernest Johnson-4:22, 1:7
  • Chubb’s salary this week ($6.7k) ties his cheapest salary on the season (Week 5 vs LAC)
  • In eleven full games last season, Chubb topped 100 yds in six games
  • This season he has 100+ yds in two of six
  • Chubb hasn’t broke 30 DK pts since Week 6 of the 2019 season
  • However, he has broke 25+ DK pts six times in the same time period
  • CIN allows the sixth most DK pts to RBs (28.2) but 7th least rush yds/g (94.4)

CLE Receiving:

  • Jarvis Landry has played just three full games 
  • Landry tgts: 10 // 8 // 5
  • Odell Beckham has played six games
  • OBJ tgts: 1 // 6 // 8 // 3 // 7 // 9
  • CLE has only had two players reach 100+ rec yds
  • Week 6 Donovan Peoples-Jones-4:101:2 TDs, 29.1 DK pts // Week 5 David Njoku-7:149:1 TD, 30.90 
  • CIN allows the 13th most DK pts to WRs
  • CLE TE snaps:routes run last week: David Njoku-38:19 // Austin Hooper-38:17 // Harrison Bryant-23:10
  • Njoku saw 3 tgts (3:39 yds) // Bryant saw 2 (2:33 yds)
  • TE RZ tgts: Hooper-8 (leads team) // Njoku-3
  • Mayfield number of targeted receivers by week: 10 // DNP // 10 // 7 // 9 // 8 // 10 // 10

Joe Burrow:

  • Burrow lit it up last season against CLE:  35:47:406:3 TDs:1 INT (38.64 DK pts) // 37:61:316:3 TDs (28.54 DK pts)
  • He’s scored 20+ DK pts in five straight: 21.26 // 30.64 // 23.84 // 20.34 // 25.32 
  • His highest score (30.64) this season was against division rival BAL
  • DK pts: @ NYJ-21.26 // @ BAL-30.64 // @ DET-23.84 // vs GB-20.34 // vs JAX-25.32 // @ PIT-18.58 // @ CHI-13.28 // vs MIN-18.64
  • In ten games last season, Burrow scored 20+ DK pts four times 
  • His best DK pt outing last season was vs CLE (38.64)
  • Burrow vs division rivals: @ BAL-30.64 // @ PIT-18.58 // @ PIT 12.52 // vs CLE-38.64 // @ BAL-18.58 // @ CLE-28.54
  • Burrow’s season high price was last week vs NYJ ($7.1k)
  • It fell to $6.8k this week, second highest of the season
  • CLE allows the 9th most DK pts to QBs (21.9)

CIN Rushing:

  • Joe Mixon has 72% of CIN rush yds playing 66% of snaps
  • Rush Market Share: Mixon-68% // Perine-15% // Burrow-9%
  • Perine only played 14 snaps last week w/ 0 carries & 2 tgts
  • Mixon saw 14 rush atts & 5 tgts
  • He’s the most expensive he’s been all season ($7.1k) & the fifth highest priced RB on the slate (Kamara, Ekeler, Cook, Jones)
  • Mixon has three 20+ DK pt games
  • The two most recent 20+ DK pt games (Week 8 & 6) came against NYJ (allowing the most DK pts to RBs) & DET (allowing the third most DK pts to RBs)
  • CLE allows the fifth least DK pts to RBs (19.1)

CIN Receiving:

  • Boyd led CIN in rec yds in both games vs CLE last season: 7:72:1 TD, 8 tgts // 11:101:1 TD, 13 tgts
  • Higgins vs CLE last season: 3:35 // 5:71:1 TD
  • Higgins missed Weeks 3 & 4 this season
  • Tgts w/ all three WRs playing: Tee HIggins-49 // Jamar Chase-46 // Tyler Boyd-36 
  • RZ tgts: Chase-8 // Higgins-8 (in 6 games) // Boyd-6 
  • Chase’s price is up to $7.6k, 4th highest WR (Hill, Samuel, Diggs)
  • He’s had a great game in every other game this season: 13.1 // 37.10 // 13.70 // 30.90 // 13.70 // 22.50 // 13.40 // 23.90
  • Chase has a TD in all but two games w/ one 2 TD game
  • His NFL rec ranks: 4th in rec yds/g (98.3) // 2nd in 20+ yd catches (14) // T-4th rec TDs (7) // 10th in Air Yds (789)
  • Chase tgts by game: 9 // 10 // 6 // 10 // 9 // 5 // 4 // 7
  • Boyd: 8 // 7 // 3 // 5 // 11 // 6 // 9 // 4
  • Higgins: 6 // 15 // 6 // 7 // DNP // DNP // 10 // 5
  • Boyd’s price has been between $4.7k & $5.3k all season & is $5.0k this week
  • Higgins price this week ($5.3k) is the second most expensive this season going up $100 from last week
  • CJ Uzomah tgts: 4 // 3 // 3 // 2 // 6 // 1 // 2 // 2 
  • Uzomah has only two RZ tgts but 5 TDs w/ 6 plays of 20+ yds
  • CLE allows 37.4 DK pts to WRs (14th most) & 9.6 DK pts to TEs (9th least)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Bills (
31.5) at

Jaguars (
17)

Over/Under 48.5

Tweet
Notes

Key Matchups
Bills Run D
18th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per carry
Jaguars Run O
26th DVOA/30th Yards per carry
Bills Pass D
9th DVOA/5th Yards allowed per pass
Jaguars Pass O
13th DVOA/18th Yards per pass
Jaguars Run D
6th DVOA/9th Yards allowed per carry
Bills Run O
5th DVOA/9th Yards per carry
Jaguars Pass D
12th DVOA/17th Yards allowed per pass
Bills Pass O
3rd DVOA/7th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mjohnson86 >>
  • Buffalo is a pass-happy, cold weather team that is walking into a “pass funnel” situation in great weather.
  • Jacksonville will have to play one of their better games of the year just to keep their heads above water.
  • The Jags will likely struggle to run the ball and have trouble attacking downfield, making a pass-heavy game plan focused on the short areas and schemed routes their best plan of attack.

How buffalo Will Try To Win ::

The Bills came out of their Week 7 bye a little sluggish offensively (only 10 points through three quarters) but turned it on late to coast to a double-digit victory over the Dolphins. They continue to have aggressive, pass-happy play calling, and their offense is built around Josh Allen. In their Week 8 triumph over Miami, Allen threw 42 passes and ran the ball eight times while Buffalo running backs only combined for 15 carries. That means that Allen accounted for a whopping 76% “usage rate” of plays where he was directly involved in the outcome.

After watching Seattle turn to Geno Smith to attack Jacksonville through the air, it is highly likely that the Bills turn Allen loose against the 32nd ranked DVOA pass defense. Jacksonville is actually a respectable 14th in DVOA against the run, meaning that it sets up a “pass funnel” situation where the Bills will be incentivized to attack their opponent through the avenue that they already have a preference for. The Jaguars play man coverage on the majority of their defensive snaps. This sets up well for a Bills receiving corps that is great at separating against man coverage and a scheme that spreads the field and gives them room to operate. The Bills struggled for the first two and a half quarters against a Dolphins team that also plays a high rate of man coverage, but Miami has much better personnel in their secondary, and the Bills found their groove late — scoring 23 points over their last four possessions after only scoring 3 points over their first six possessions. We should expect the Bills to continue their aggressive approach from the outset of this matchup in Jacksonville.

How jacksonville Will Try To Win ::

The Jaguars are a mess. After wandering into a victory in London in Week 6 against a Dolphins team that keeps finding new ways to lose, the Jaguars returned home for a bye. They then entered Week 8 playing a team who was on a short week, struggling offensively and without their franchise cornerstone QB. The way that game was set up, a team with any semblance of organization, direction, and promise would have shown some signs of life and, at the very least, given Seattle a competitive game. Instead, we saw an offense that could barely move the ball and an undisciplined team rack up 12 penalties. The defense was picked on through the air by Geno Smith, which isn’t encouraging, but overall held their opponent to 229 total yards and gave up only 24 offensive points (the last Seattle TD was a fluky onside kick TD return) — which *should* give most teams at least a chance to make a game of it.

After that deflating loss, the Jaguars now return home with the daunting task of playing a Bills team that has been rolling outside of a fluky close loss to the Titans. Based on the evidence we have from Urban Meyer so far, the Jaguars are more likely to be focused on “the best way to lose” rather than finding a way to win. Buffalo ranks #1 in the league in defensive DVOA, with top-5 ranks against both the run and the pass. James Robinson picked up a foot injury, and his status is unclear, so they may be riding the back of 31-year-old RB Carlos Hyde as they attempt to shorten the game. We will often see rookie QBs look better after a bye week, but Trevor Lawrence struggled in Seattle. The environment in that road game likely played a factor, however, and there is a chance we could see him get into a rhythm with short-area passing work if/when the Jaguars realize they aren’t going to be able to ride Hyde to sustain drives. They will need to give Lawrence high percentage throws on early downs to set up manageable 2nd and 3rd downs and keep the Buffalo pass rush from hitting him all game. Buffalo also boasts PFF’s #1 graded coverage unit, meaning that the Jaguars will want to scheme the ball out quickly as their receivers will likely struggle to create separation downfield. A scheme similar to what the Jets did with Mike White in Week 8 would be ideal and give the Jags a fighting chance of at least making this interesting.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

The Bills should be aggressive from the outset and are highly likely to be efficient and score points early and often. While Jacksonville will try to slow things down early, they will be forced from that plan in quick order, as the Bills should have no trouble moving the ball and scoring points. Buffalo ranks 3rd in situation-neutral pace, and Jacksonville is quietly slightly faster than league average in that statistic. The Jaguars also rank #1 in seconds/play when not adjusting for the situation — a ranking which is likely driven by how often they’ve been playing from behind. These statistics provide important context to consider here because it tells us that Buffalo is going to play fast and pass often, from the outset, and Jacksonville is willing to really pump the tempo once they fall behind — which they should do in short order here. The combination of those things sets up a situation where we could see a lot of drives and very high play volume, which is very good for fantasy.

What is truly mind-blowing about the Jaguars being ranked 32nd in pass defense DVOA is the fact that they’ve done so while playing a fairly easy schedule of opposing passing offenses. Buffalo’s offensive success should be locked in as one of the top spots of the week, with a chance to go truly nuclear as they aren’t the type to get a lead and be content handing it off and punting for a large portion of the game. Likewise, if Jacksonville is able to score a couple of times in the first half or mount any signs of life early in the second half, it would push the Buffalo offense to be aggressive for an even greater portion of the game.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • BUF has pt differentials of: -7 // +35 // +22 // +40 // +18 // -3 // +15
  • JAC has pt differentials of: -16 // -10 // -12 // -3 // -18 // +3 // -24
  • BUF is favored by 14 pts on the road to open the week (similar to LAR being favored by 14 on road vs HOU last week)

Josh Allen:

  • QB yds:TDs vs JAC: 291:2 // 328:2 // 316:0:1 // 348:2 // 197:1 // 329:2:1 // 195:2
  • JAC ranks 32nd in def pass DVOA and has given up the 2nd highest yds/att
  • Allen’s yds (rk of def pass DVOA): 270:1 (15) // 179:2:1 (26) // 358:4 (31) // 248:2:1 (16) // 315:3 (30) // 353:3 (14) // 249:2 (26)
  • JAC allowed 40 rush yds to Tyrod & rush TDs to Kyler & Geno
  • Allen has 8+ rush TDs in every season
  • Allen’s rushing DK pts in 2021 of 4.4 // 3.5 // 6.9 // 4.1 // 11.9 // 2.6 // 11.5
  • 18 of 67 QBs since 2014 on teams implied for 31+ pts have scored 30+ DK pts
  • 14 of 58 QBs since 2014 on teams favored by 14+ pts have scored 25+ DK pts (5 of 30+ DK pts)
  • Two of the five 30+ DK pt scores were Mahomes & Lamar vs the Gase-Jets in 2020 that ranked 8th in def rush DVOA but 28th in def pass DVOA
  • JAC ranks 14th & 32nd in def rush & pass DVOA

BUF WRs:

  • WRs over 60 yds vs JAC: Cooks (132) // Sutton (159) // Green (112), Kirk (104) // Boyd (118), Chase (77) // Waddle (70:2), Hollins (61) // Lockett (142)
  • JAC has allowed the 2nd highest success rate & yds/att to WRs
  • WR targets: Diggs (14, 8, 10, 10, 5, 11, 7) // Beasley (13, 4, 13, 2, 2, 9, 13) // Sanders (8, 6, 6, 6, 5, 8, 4)
  • WR aDOT: Diggs (12.4) // Beasley (5.7) // Sanders (17.3)
  • WR yds: Diggs (69, 60, 62, 114, 69, 89, 40) // Beasley (60, 36, 98, 16, 5, 88, 110) // Sanders (52, 48, 94, 74, 54, 91, 0)
  • Diggs has 10+ targets in 15/26 games with BUF and 8+ targets in 7 more (5, 6, 7, 7 in the only games below 8)
  • Diggs has 10 games of 100+ yds with BUF, and 3 more with 90+ yds
  • Beasley has three games of 80+ yds this season (11:98, 7:88:1, 10:110)
  • Sanders’ role as the intermediate/deep WR has led to just two scores of 20+ DK pts (26.4, 20.4), both in which he caught 2 TDs
  • The two games in which BUF faced almost no resistance and won by a combined 75-0 vs MIA & HOU produced a high WR score of 21.4 from Stefon Diggs, with the three combining for yds of 174:1 (Diggs), 52 (Beasley), 122 (Sanders) over the two games

BUF RBs:

  • Season high in DK pts: Moss (18.1) // Singletary (17.1)
  • Season high in touches: Moss (16) // Singletary (16)
  • Both those season-highs for both RBs came in the first MIA blowout
  • RBs with 10+ rush att vs JAC: Ingram (85:1) // Williams (64), Gordon (31) // Conner (43:2), Conner (26) // Mixon (67:1) // Henry (130:3) // Collins (44)

Trevor Lawrence:

  • Mahomes is the only QB with more than just 216 pass yds vs BUF (272)
  • BUF has allowed just 5 pass TDs to 11 INT
  • Lawrence’s only games of 20+ DK pts have come vs HOU & TEN, teams ranked 16th & 14th in def pass DVOA

JAC WRs:

  • Targets w/o Chark: MJJ (3, 6, 10, 7) // Viska (7, 3, 10, 4) // Agnew (1, 7, 6, 12)
  • Production w/o Chark: MJJ (3:24 // 1:25 // 7:100:1 // 5:35) // Viska (6:99 // 1:58 // 6:54 // 2:13) // Agnew (1:27 // 6:41 // 5:78 // 6:38:1)
  • #1 WRs vs BUF: Diontae (5:36:1) // Parker (5:42) // McLaurin (4:62) // Cooks (5:47) // Hill (7:63) // Brown (7:91) // Parker (8:85)
  • BUF is allowing the 2nd-fewest DK pts to WRs: 26.8 DK pts/g

JAC RBs:

  • Robinson left W8 early and is considered day-to-day
  • Hyde finished with a season-high 17 touches (9 att, 8 tg) with JRob leaving early
  • Robinson total touches:yds before last week’s injury: 11:54 // 14:64 // 21:134 // 20:76 // 19:147 // 21:101
  • Top RB total yds vs BUF: Najee (49) // Gaskin (46) // Gibson (104:1) // Johnson (48) // Williams (45) // Henry (156) // Gaskin (55)
  • BUF has allowed just 4 RB TDs all year (3 rush to Henry, 1 rec to Gibson on breakaway screen)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Texans (
20.5) at

Dolphins (
24.5)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Texans Run D
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Dolphins Run O
3rd DVOA/1st Yards per carry
Texans Pass D
23rd DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per pass
Dolphins Pass O
2nd DVOA/2nd Yards per pass
Dolphins Run D
21st DVOA/8th Yards allowed per carry
Texans Run O
30th DVOA/26th Yards per carry
Dolphins Pass D
18th DVOA/12th Yards allowed per pass
Texans Pass O
12th DVOA/5th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • This game is a battle between two 1-7 teams, expect sloppy football.
  • The Dolphins have been choosing to throw, and their passing game has a cake matchup.
  • Tua Tagovailoa, Davante Parker, and Jaylen Waddle are all priced below $6,000 on DK.
  • The Dolphins defense might end up being the best play from this game.

How houston Will Try To Win ::

The 1-7 Texans come into this game riding a seven-game losing streak. Since beating the hapless Jaguars to open the season, the Texans have only played one competitive game. They managed to score 22 points last week in the final eight minutes of the 4th quarter against the Rams backups, after going down 38-0. The spread was 16.5 for those keeping track. If you remove those eight minutes versus backups, and you remove the Texans mysteriously competitive game against the Pats, their last four losses have come at a score differential of 140 to 8. Yowzers.

The Texans don’t try to win, as much as they try to survive. They’ve been smacked 40-0, 31-3, 31-5, and 38-0 (until reserves entered the game), in four of their last five games. David Culley looks lost as a coach, but in his defense, he doesn’t have any talent on the roster. The Texans play slow (27th situational neutral) even when they’re losing (20th when trailing), and they’re always losing. The Texans are playing the brand of football that is designed to “keep the score respectable,” rather than win. Yet, they still can’t keep the score respectable. This week, they draw the Dolphins who are 26th in DVOA against the pass, and 16th in DVOA against the run, creating a mini pass-funnel. There is no reason to expect the Texans to be able to take advantage of the Dolphins weaknesses. We can expect the Texans to try and throw, eventually falling behind and giving up.

How miami Will Try To Win ::

A wise man once said, “when you’re playing the Texans, it’s hard to lose, but when you’re the Dolphins, it’s hard to win.” The 1-7 Dolphins are also riding a seven-game losing streak, making this is a matchup between the two worst records in the AFC. Unlike the Texans, the Dolphins are competitive, having lost close games to the Colts/Jags/Falcons, and only getting pasted by the Bucs in their five most recent contests. Last week, the Dolphins lost a competitive game against the Bills, who scored a TD they didn’t need as time expired to win by fifteen. The spread closed at 14.5 for those keeping track. 

This week, the Dolphins draw a Texans team with a similar record, but a much weaker roster. The Texans are 16th in DVOA against the run, and 31st against the pass, presenting us a mini pass-funnel, but all are paths of least resistance against this talent deficient defense. The Dolphins have been attacking through the air since Tua Tagovailoa returned, attempting 47/40/39 passes in their last three games. There is no reason to think the Dolphins will lean away from how they’ve been playing, and it’s reasonable to expect the Fish to take a lead while throwing, before cruising down the stretch to victory. 

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game has a reasonable total of 46.5 but only one side is expected to do much scoring, as the Texans can’t seem to ever produce a team total that breaks twenty points. How bad are you to be a seven-point dog against a 1-7 team? Texans bad. The most likely game flow in this one is that it follows a similar game script to all the Texans lopsided games. The Dolphins should move the ball against the Texans with relative ease, and the Texans will “try” to come back, before eventually giving up in the 4th quarter.


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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • Matchup of teams whose only win came in W1
  • HOU actually looked half-competent with Tyrod Taylor (may return this week)

Tyrod Taylor / Davis Mills:

  • Mills has 9 TOs in 6.5 games
  • Mills has scored over 11 DK pts just twice, and one came after falling down 38-0 vs LAR
  • Tyrod’s 1.5 games: 291:2, 4:40 // 125:1, 1:25:1
  • MIA has allowed the 3rd most DK pts/g behind the most pass yds allowed
  • Josh Allen also added 90 yds, TD on the ground in his two matchups
  • 862 QBs on teams implied for fewer than 20 pts since 2014 have averaged 14.14 DK pts (1.84 below expectation) with a putrid 37.4% consistency

Brandin Cooks:

  • Cooks in 5.5 games with Mills: 4:28:1 // 9:112 // 5:47 // 3:23 // 9:89 // 5:21 // 6:83:1
  • Cooks in 1.5 games with Taylor: 5:132 // 5:50
  • Top performing WR vs MIA: Agholor (5:72:1) // Diggs (4:60:1) // Renfrow (5:77:1) // Pittman (6:59) // Brown (7:124:2), Evans (6:113:2) // MJJ (7:100:1) // Gage (4:67:1) // Beasley (10:110)
  • Cooks has 70 tg on the season; the next closest HOU WR is Collins with 19
  • Collins has 15 of his 19 tg in the last 3 weeks since returning from injury

HOU RBs:

  • First game without Ingram, rushing: Lindsay (3:8) // DJ (2:4) // Burk (4:21:1) // Phillips (5:11)
  • First game without Ingram, receiving: Lindsay (0) // DJ (1:-1) // Burk (3:27) // Phillips (2:9)

Tua Tagovailoa:

  • Pass att vs HOU: 51 // 24 // 34 // 30 // 30 // 20 // 28 // 32
  • Tua’s pass att: 27 // 47 // 40 // 39
  • Tua scored 25.4 & 28.5 in recent games vs pass defenses ranked 32nd & 29th in def pass DVOA
  • HOU ranks 16th in def pass DVOA
  • HOU has allowed the 4th highest pass yds/att and 15 TDs to 7 INT

MIA WRs:

  • WR targets in games together: Parker (43) // Waddle (43)
  • WR targets in Tua games: Parker (7, — , —, 11) // Waddle (6, 13, 8, 12)
  • Tua games: Parker (4:84 // 8:85) // Waddle (4:61:1 // 10:70:2 // 7:83 // 4:29)
  • HOU has allowed the 4th highest success rate & 4th highest yds/att to WRs
  • WRs with 70+ yds vs HOU: Chark (86:1), MJJ (77:1) // Moore (126) // Diggs (114), Sanders (74) // Hilton (80) // Kupp (115:1), Van (88)
  • HOU has allowed the 5th highest rate of explosive passes to WRs
  • HOU has allowed 20 deep completions on 31 deep WR targets
  • MIA deep WR targets: Parker (4 of 11) // Waddle (1 of 8) // Hollins (2 of 4)

Mike Gesicki:

  • TEs with 40+ yds vs HOU: O’Shag (48) // Bryant (49), Hooper (40) // Henry (75:1) // Ertz (66:1)
  • HOU has allowed six TE TDs
  • Gesicki yds since barely playing W1: 41 // 86 // 57:1 // 43 // 115 // 85:1 // 48
  • Gesicki tg with Parker playing: 2 // 6 // 12 // 6 // 4

Myles Gaskin:

  • Gaskin has just three games of 10+ att with a high of 15
  • Gaskin in those games: 13:65 // 15:67 // 12:36
  • Gaskin’s tg with Tua: 5, 6, 4, 4
  • Gaskin’s season high in touches is 19 (twice)
  • 14 RBs in eight games have topped 50 total yds vs HOU
  • RBs with 14+ rush att vs HOU: Singletary (14:79), Moss (14:61:1) // Harris (14:58:1) // Edmonds (15:81) // Henderson (14:90:1)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 1:00pm Eastern

Raiders (
24.75) at

Giants (
21.75)

Over/Under 46.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Raiders Run D
17th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per carry
Giants Run O
31st DVOA/15th Yards per carry
Raiders Pass D
8th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
Giants Pass O
30th DVOA/30th Yards per pass
Giants Run D
29th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per carry
Raiders Run O
24th DVOA/29th Yards per carry
Giants Pass D
19th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per pass
Raiders Pass O
28th DVOA/24th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By papy324 >>
  • Both QBs in this game offer some appeal as salary saver options.
  • Volume is likely to pile up on the ground for both sides.
  • The WRs on both sides of this game are a mess.
  • Devonte Booker played 93% of the snaps last week and is priced below $6,000 on DK.

How las vegas Will Try To Win ::

The 5-2 Gruden-less Raiders come into this game having won two straight and sitting atop a division many predicted them to finish in last. Rather quietly, the Raiders have put up at least 26 points in every game since Week 2, outside of a total dud against the Bears. Derrick Carr is also silently playing the best football of his career, ranking 6th overall in Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR). DYAR is like WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in baseball and compares a player against a league-average replacement. Carr is sixth in the NFL in DYAR, behind only Stafford/Brady/Prescott/Murray/Rodgers. The Raiders were adaptable under John Gruden, and that hasn’t changed with his departure. This week, they draw the Giants, who are stronger against the pass (11th DOVA) than they are against the run (21st in DVOA), which should tilt the Raiders toward testing the Giants on the ground to start this game. The Raiders play at an above-average speed (12th in situational natural pace), but slow down when they’re winning (25th in pace when ahead), and there is a good chance they will be leading this game. The Raiders should remain balanced, attempting to gash the Giants defense on the ground to set up shots through the air.

How new york Will Try To Win ::

The 2-6 Giants are led by a coaching staff that is hoping to keep their jobs for the remainder of the season. The G-men have certainly been bit by the injury bug, but they are also vastly underperforming based on the talent on their roster. The Giants try to play fast (7th situational neutral pace), and maintain that pace when winning, but slow down (18th in pace when leading) if they are up on the scoreboard. The Giants are rarely winning, which means they tend to play most of their games at an elevated pace. Unfortunately, running a bunch of plays in a Jason Garrett offense usually means you’re running many plays that go nowhere.

The Raiders are about the same at defending the pass (19th in DVOA), as they are the run (13th in DVOA), which doesn’t create a clear path of least resistance. That’s perfect for Garrett, as he wouldn’t be looking for one anyway. Although the Raiders are slightly weaker against the pass, there is a good chance the Giants decide to run the ball. They limited Daniel Jones to 33/32 pass attempts the past two games, which resulted in a win, and a competitive loss. Garrett is the type of coach that will keep trying “what’s been working,” regardless of matchup. That type of thinking will lead Garrett to limit Jones’ attempts, even if the best way to win is by attacking the Raiders weak secondary. 

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game has a middling 46.5 total that has started to creep up on some sites early in the week. The game is expected to be competitive, and both defenses can be exploited. The most likely game flow has both teams trying to lean on the run (the Raiders because it makes sense, and the Giants because it has been working recently), which will take some of the air out of this game. The offenses are the better side of the ball on both sides, so points should come, but a shootout isn’t the most likely outcome. 


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Tributaries ::

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • The Giants have scored under 20 offensive pts in 14/24 games with Garrett as OC
  • The Giants have never scored 30 offensive pts with Garrett as OC
  • Pts allowed by LV: 27 // 17 // 28 // 28 // 20 // 24 // 22

Daniel Jones:

  • In 24 Garrett games, Jones/McCoy/Glennon have scored 1 TD or less in 16 of them
  • QB TDs vs LV: 1 // 1 // 1 // 3 // 1 // 3 // 2
  • Teddy Bridgewater in heavy comeback mode is the only QB over 300 yds vs LV
  • Since his four week hot start, Jones DK pts read: 4.8, 8.1, 17.5, 17.1
  • LV has allowed the 14th fewest QB DK pts/g (19.3)
  • QB rushing vs LV: Lamar (12:86) // Brissett (7:37:1) // Fields (3:4) // Hurts (13:61)
  • Jones has 5 games this year of 25+ rush yds: 27:1 // 95:1 // 39 // 27 // 28

NYG WRs:

  • The Giants main WRs just can’t seem to get healthy together in 2021, with no full games together since W2
  • LV has allowed the 4th fewest WR DK pts
  • WRs with 20+ DK pts vs LV: Diontae (22.5) // Sutton (23.4)
  • Golladay, Shepard, Toney all have just one 20+ pt score this year each, and all are questionable to play in W9

NYG RBs:

  • Booker without Saquon: 16:42:1, 3:16:1 // 12:41, 4:28 (Penny scored TD) // 14:51:1, 2:15 // 15:60, 5:65
  • Saquon had 52/66 RB touches in his full games (52/63 att, 19/24 tg)
  • Saquon’s targets with Garrett: 9 // 3 // 3 // 7 // 6
  • Saquon’s total yds with Garrett: 66 // 27 // 69 // 94 // 126
  • LV ranks 13th in def rush DVOA & has allowed the 5th lowest success rate on RB tg
  • Ekeler is the only RB over 20 DK pts vs LV

Derek Carr:

  • Carr’s top target (Waller) is still questionable, and his top WR (Ruggs) has been charged by the police
  • None of Edwards, Renfrow, Jones can replicate Ruggs skillset in this offense
  • Carr has passed for 300+ yds in 5/7 games this year, and has scored 2 TDs in 6/7 games this year
  • QB TDs vs NYG: 2 // 2 // 2 // 3 // 3 // 4 // 0 // 1
  • NYG rank 11th in def pass DVOA

LV WRs:

  • NYG have allowed the 9th most WR DK pts/g
  • Renfrow has 10+ DK pts in 6/7 games, but just two games of 15+ pts (16.5, 18.7)
  • Edwards season-high in DK pts is 13.3, and he has four games of sub-10 DK pts
  • Edwards has one game of more than 5 tg in his career (6)
  • Ruggs absence would vacate 5.1 tg/g
  • Zay Jones aDOT is nearly the same as Ruggs (16.1 vs 16.9)

Darren Waller:

  • NYG have allowed 4 TE TDs
  • Top TEs vs NYG: Fant (6:62) // Thomas (5:45) // Pitts (2:35) // Johnson (2:20:1) // Schultz (6:79) // Higbee (5:36) // Kelce (4:27)
  • Since W1’s 10 rec & 105 yds, Waller has just 4 or 5 rec in every game and one game over 60 yds (65)
  • Waller saw 7+ targets in 11 games in 2020 (7 games over 10 targets)
  • Waller’s 2021 targets: 19 // 7 // 7 // 7 // 8 // 5 // –
  • Moreau went for 6:60:1 in Waller’s absence vs PHI

LV RBs:

  • Jacobs had six games with 20+ rush att in 2020 (five wins)
  • Jacobs season-high in 2021 is 16 rush att
  • 17 of Jacobs’s first 21 career TDs came in 8 games (2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2); 3/4 of the 1-TD games came vs LAC
  • Jacobs has now scored just one TD in three straight games, as Drake has scored 3 TDs in the last two games
  • Drake hadn’t topped 8 rush att before his 14 in W8 after Jacobs left early
  • Drake had 17 tg in the first three weeks
  • Jacobs has out-targeted Drake 14 to 6 over the last four games
  • RB rush att vs NYG: 25 // 17 // 19 // 33 // 35 // 30 // 15 // 24
  • RBs with 70+ yds vs NYG: Gordon (118) // McKissic (93), Gibson (73) // CPatt (102), Davis (70) // Kamara (120) // Zeke (112), Pollard (103) // Henderson (107) // Williams (110)
  • Games with 70+ yds in 2021: Jacobs (82) // Drake (70, 73, 79)

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 4:05pm Eastern

Chargers (
24.75) at

Eagles (
24.75)

Over/Under 49.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Chargers Run D
22nd DVOA/12th Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
6th DVOA/12th Yards per carry
Chargers Pass D
30th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
7th DVOA/11th Yards per pass
Eagles Run D
19th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per carry
Chargers Run O
28th DVOA/28th Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
28th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Chargers Pass O
16th DVOA/21st Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By mjohnson86 >>
  • Clear avenues to attack for both teams, through the air for the Chargers and on the ground for the Eagles.
  • Both teams are at a critical point in their seasons as they try to jockey for postseason position.
  • Two rookie head coaches that have had very different perceptions from outsiders based on their first few weeks in charge. Staley is well-liked and heavily focused on analytics, while Sirianni seems to do or say something head-scratching every other week that causes people inside and outside the organization to question his abilities.

How los angeles Will Try To Win ::

Philadelphia has been a very inconsistent defensive team this year but there has been some consistency in the situations they thrive in, as opposed to those where they struggle. They have given up four or more touchdowns in half of their games (against the Cowboys, Chiefs, Buccaneers, and Raiders) while holding their opponents to two or fewer touchdowns in the other half of their games (against the Falcons, 49ers, Panthers, and Lions). This week, the Chargers come to town equipped with explosive offensive pieces and a young stud QB. While the Chargers have struggled to get going the last couple of weeks against the Patriots and Ravens, they should be able to get things moving again in this matchup.

The Chargers throw the ball at the fourth highest situation-neutral rate in the league through eight weeks, which is no surprise considering they have two high profile wide receivers, an elite all-purpose running back, and an ascending star at QB. I would expect the Chargers to continue throwing at a high rate in this game, and to continue playing at the second-highest situation-neutral pace in the league, 28.13 seconds per snap. The teams that have taken it to Philadelphia offensively have done a majority of their damage underneath and in the intermediate areas, as the Eagles play a lot of deep zone and give a lot of two-high safety looks in coverage. Tyreek Hill got loose on them in Week 4, but other than that, the damage they give up is mostly from accurate quarterbacks picking them apart. Derek Carr and Tom Brady had combined for a 65 for 76 passing line — an insane 85.5% completion rate — in the two weeks prior to the Eagles Week 8 throttling of the Lions. Carr and Brady also combined for 8.2 yards per passing attempt so it isn’t like the Eagles were just giving up short dump-offs that inflated the completion percentage.

Ekeler should see something in the range of 12 to 15 carries with the Chargers spelling him for another five to eight carries from his backups, but this game will be primarily attacked through the air. Keenan Allen is so good at finding openings underneath against these types of teams, and Mike Williams has settled into his “X” receiver role this year that makes him more than a deep threat. Add Ekeler’s usage and explosiveness in the passing game, and some athletic tight ends to the mix, and Herbert should be dealing.

How philadelphia Will Try To Win ::

The Eagles had their best all-around game of the year in Week 8 as they took it to the Lions, and took some heat off QB Jalen Hurts and Head Coach Nick Sirianni. Now they return home to “The Linc” to try to prove to the Philly faithful that it wasn’t just a fluke. With the NFL moving to a 17 game season and now having seven playoff spots in each conference, the Eagles are still very much alive to make the playoffs at 3-5 despite their rocky (to say the least) first half of the season. The Eagles are only a game behind the current seven-seed, the Panthers, who they also hold a tie-breaker over. The Eagles also get to play the Giants and Washington two times each, so if they can get out of here with a win, they could be in great position to make a run down the stretch.

The Eagles should have a clear plan of how they should attack this matchup. After passing at a top 10 rate through the first six weeks of the season, the Eagles have altered direction significantly the last two weeks including an insane 46 rushing attempts to only 16 pass attempts in Week 8. While a lot of that was driven by game script last week, the Eagles will no doubt recognize they played their best game of the season when they leaned on the run, and they are facing the Chargers league-worst run defense. The Eagles will likely also look to use Jalen Hurts on designed runs as the Chargers struggled to contain Lamar Jackson a couple weeks ago and are built to deter deep passing and force teams to the ground. The Eagles offensive struggles this year have almost all been due to putting too much on Hurts plate in the passing game and forcing him to do things he isn’t as comfortable with. In this spot, the Eagles should be able to move the ball well on the ground and let Hurts find short-area openings in the passing game from favorable down and distance situations.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

This game has a LOT of potential for explosiveness and offensive production. Both offenses have playmakers and a clear path to attack that, in theory, will offer very little resistance. As the highest game total on the main slate, and basically being a “pick ‘em,” this game has a lot of “Week 8 Titans vs. Colts” vibes to it. Both offenses operate at a top-five situation-neutral pace so even if the Eagles turn run-heavy, there should be enough plays to go around. The game projects to stay close, which would be good for a potential back and forth shootout. If it doesn’t stay close, either scenario below would also provide a lot of fantasy appeal:

  • If the Chargers pull ahead it would just turn the Eagles to a more aggressive approach while the Chargers would still lean on the pass as the easiest way to move the ball and sustain drives; also, Brandon Staley is analytically minded and not the type of coach who is likely to just “sit” on a lead early.
  • If the Eagles jump out to a lead, the Chargers would likely abandon the run almost entirely and turn their tempo up to even higher levels. Of the two offenses, the Eagles have the higher likelihood of laying an egg, which means that in a scenario where they score points early, it raises the floor of the entire game as it eliminates a “complete dud that drags down the Chargers” scenario.

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DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Jalen Hurts:

  • Hurts passing first 4 g: 264:3 // 190:0 // 326:2:2 // 387:2
  • Hurts passing last 4 g: 198:0:1 // 115:1:1 // 236:2 // 103:0
  • Pass yds vs LAC: 135 // 237 // 260 // 196 // 305 // 167 // 218
  • Only SF & BUF have allowed fewer pass yds
  • Hurts rushing in 12 starts: 18:106 // 11:63:1 // 9:69 // 8:34:2 // 7:62 // 10:82:1 // 9:35 // 8:47 // 9:30:2 // 10:44:2 // 13:61 // 7:71
  • QB rushing vs LAC: Heinicke (3:17) // Mahomes (4:45) // Lamar (8:51)
  • LAC has allowed the 4th fewest QB DK pts/g

PHI WRs:

  • PHI WR tg: Smith (56) // Reagor (32) // Watkins (28)
  • LAC has allowed 2.5 WR DK pts/g less than the next closest team (26.3 DK pts/g)
  • Smith’s only 20+ pt score came against a KC defense allowing 36.8 WR DK pts/g
  • No WR has scored 20 DK pts vs LAC this year

Dallas Goedert:

  • Goedert had a season-high in rec & yds in his first game without Ertz (6:72)
  • Goedert received 7 targets on 14 Hurts pass att in W8
  • TEs vs LAC: Thomas (3:30:1) // Jarwin (3:37) // Kelce (7:104) // Waller (4:50:1) // Njoku (7:149:1) // Andrews (5:68:1) // Henry (1:33)

PHI RBs:

  • RB rush att without Sanders: Gainwell (13) // Scott (12) // Howard (12)
  • Gainwell received most of his touches late in garbage time
  • RB rush yds with 12+ att vs LAC: Gibson (90) // Zeke (71:1), Pollard (109:1) // CEH (100) // Jacobs (40) // Chubb (161:1), Hunt (61:2) // Harris (80:1)
  • LAC ranks 4th in def rush DVOA

Justin Herbert:

  • PHI ranks 12th in def pass DVOA
  • Carr is the only QB with 300+ pass yds vs PHI
  • PHI has played weaker QBs much tougher, while allowing Dak (3 TD), Mahomes (5 TD), Brady (2 TD) to have much bigger games
  • PHI has 6 INT
  • Herbert has 16 TDs to 6 INT on season
  • Herbert has more games below 20 DK pts this year (4) than above (3), and all three came in a 3-game stretch Wks 3-5 (30.8, 21.3, 45.8)

LAC WRs:

  • Keenan’s yds by week: 100 // 108 // 50 // 36 // 75 // 50 // 77
  • Keenan’s DK score by W9 salary multiplier: 3.3 // 2.7 // 2.8 // 1.6 // 2.0 // 1.5 // 2.9
  • His highest score was 22 in W1
  • PHI has allowed the 3rd fewest WR DK pts/g
  • Williams has games of 22.2 // 22.1 // 36.2 // 39.5 DK pts
  • His other three games: 2.1 // 4.7 // 3.9
  • Keenan leads in tg 69 to 61, but Williams has had the high ceiling games
  • Elite WRs vs PHI: Ridley (5:51) // Deebo (6:93) // Lamb (3:66), Cooper (3:26) // Hill (11:186:3) // Moore (5:42) // Brown (9:93:1), Godwin (5:43), Evans (2:27)
  • Keenan has spent 54.5% of his snaps in the slot
  • Williams has spent 86% of his snaps on the outside
  • Darius Slay has spent 88% of his snaps as an outside CB

LAC TEs:

  • Cook has topped 30 yds just twice all year, and not since W4
  • Three LAC TEs have caught at least one pass in three separate games
  • RZ targets: Cook (5) // Parham (2) // Anderson (1)
  • PHI has allowed 6 TE TDs

Austin Ekeler:

  • PHI ranks 22nd in def rush DVOA
  • PHI has allowed the 2nd highest success rate on RB targets
  • Ekeler’s touches (att, tg): (15, 0) // (9, 9) // (11, 6) // (15, 5) // (17, 5) // (6, 7) // (11, 10)
  • So in total: 15 // 18 // 17 // 20 // 22 // 13 // 21
  • RBs with 15+ touches vs PHI (total yds:TDs): Davis (72) // Mitchell (53) // Zeke (116:2) // CEH (114:1) // Chuba (134) // Fournette (127:2) // Drake (79:1) // Swift (51)
  • PHI has allowed the 2nd most DK pts/g to RBs (31.3)
  • Ekeler has scored 22+ DK pts in 5/7 games: 22.5, 22.7, 32.5, 33.9, 24.4
  • He scored 2 & 3 TDs in the two 30+ pt scores
  • LAC leading scorers in the two Ekeler didn’t score 22+: Williams (22.2), Keenan (22) // Cook (12.5), Keenan (10)
  • LAC pts in the 5 good games: 17 // 30 // 28 // 47 // 24
  • LAC pts in the 2 bad games: 20 // 6

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 4:25pm Eastern

Packers (
20.5) at

Chiefs (
27.5)

Over/Under 48.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Packers Run D
26th DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
Chiefs Run O
11th DVOA/11th Yards per carry
Packers Pass D
27th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per pass
Chiefs Pass O
6th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Chiefs Run D
27th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Packers Run O
17th DVOA/10th Yards per carry
Chiefs Pass D
5th DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per pass
Packers Pass O
5th DVOA/10th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>

One of the more wild line swings you’ll ever see, firstly due to recency bias surrounding the Chiefs (moved from Kansas City -2.5 to a pick ‘em) and then due to the absence of Aaron Rodgers (moved from a pick ‘em to Chiefs -6.5).28th and 32nd-ranked defenses in drive success rate allowed, against the number one and number three offenses in time of possession per drive.This game hold two potential outcomes with respect to likeliest game environment that carry equal chances of transpiring (Chiefs stomping and an uglier . . .

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Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 4:25pm Eastern

Cards (
19.5) at

49ers (
25)

Over/Under 44.5

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Notes

Key Matchups
Cardinals Run D
31st DVOA/29th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
2nd DVOA/4th Yards per carry
Cardinals Pass D
31st DVOA/21st Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
1st DVOA/1st Yards per pass
49ers Run D
15th DVOA/18th Yards allowed per carry
Cardinals Run O
8th DVOA/2nd Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
4th DVOA/3rd Yards allowed per pass
Cardinals Pass O
25th DVOA/29th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By hilow >>
  • A.J. Green was placed on the COVID list on Wednesday and is highly likely to miss this contest, while quarterback Kyler Murray has yet to practice this week following his late-game ankle injury last Thursday. We should find out more regarding his status on Friday.
  • Antoine Wesley is the best comparable wide receiver to fill in for AJ Green. At 6’ 5”, expect him to fill the perimeter role opposite DeAndre Hopkins.
  • No single player would be expected to see a significant boost to volume with the almost one-for-one, direct substitution from Green to Wesley.
  • Two of the top six offenses in situation-neutral rush rates this season.

How arizona Will Try To Win ::

The glaring starting point for the discussion surrounding the Cardinals is the likely absence of AJ Green (COVID) and the possible absence of Kyler Murray (ankle). Murray has yet to practice this week after injuring his ankle late in last Thursday’s matchup with the Packers. We’ll need further clarification from the Cardinals Friday practice report before we can make any definitive plans, but it currently appears like Colt McCoy could be the starting quarterback for the Cardinals this week. The Cardinals are a fast-paced (ninth-ranked situation-neutral pace of play, fourth highest in the first half, 32nd in the second half, notable for sure), high rush rate team (47% situation-neutral rush rate on the season). We think of this offense as being a blisteringly fast-paced team when the reality is that they have slowed the game down significantly in the second half of games this season. If you take away the rushing potential from Kyler Murray (should he miss), we might see a slight hit taken to the hefty 4.62 yards per rush attempt their running backs have enjoyed this season.

Yes, the Cardinals are a spread offense that looks to incorporate downfield passing with a relentless rush game and high pace of play in the second half. That said, this offense has developed into a “spread offense” in more ways than just one, as all of Kyler Murray, Chase Edmonds, James Conner, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green (when active), Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, and now Zach Ertz are on hand to split snaps and production. We’ve also seen a decrease in the normally high rushing rates of Kyler Murray this season, which has led to the optimal way of playing him shifting to a pairing instead of as a naked one-off (which we’ve dissected completely this season). Okay, so what happens if Green and Kyler miss? What we’re likeliest to see is a heavy emphasis on the run game through Edmonds and Conner, with Antoine Wesley almost directly filling in for Green on the perimeter opposite Nuk. I wouldn’t expect a massive bump to the expectation for the remaining regular starters as far as volume goes, and we have to think the efficiency of the offense overall suffers a great deal with McCoy at quarterback. As for the matchup on the ground, the Cardinals are subject to a below-average 3.89 net-adjusted line yards metric against a San Francisco defense built to stop the run first.

We uncovered most of what to expect from the Cardinals through the air above, but the offense would gain a significant boost overall if Kyler can make his way back from that ankle injury. If he can’t, expect a lower drive success rate than we’re used to seeing from this offense, lowering the appeal of the game environment as a whole. Also, since we can’t confidently project any one player to see additional volume with the almost one-for-one swap from Green to Wesley, the pass-catchers remain low expected volume, bet on efficiency pieces. But Hilow, how do you so confidently expect Wesley to directly fill in for Green? Good question! The only other wide receivers on the roster (Andy Isabella and Josh Doctson) profile differently than Wesley, who is the closest match to what AJ Green provides at this point in his career.

How san francisco Will Try To Win ::

The return of JaMycal Hasty has meant at least some semblance of running back work through the air, which makes this offense a little less one-dimensional. For example, Hasty has seen 14 targets in the four games in which he played meaningful snaps this season (30% or more), compared to four total targets over five healthy games for Elijah Mitchell. Mitchell continues to be a 60-65% snap rate running back but should be thought of as a strict yardage and touchdown back in a difficult on-paper matchup. The absence of George Kittle and his run-blocking ability is a big deal for this Niners offense, considering how they would like to operate, so keep an eye on his status as the week progresses (he was activated off the IR on Wednesday, which opened his 21-day practice window). Jimmy Garoppolo has surpassed 30 pass attempts only once across his six games played this year, further indicating how this offense would like to operate.

The matchup on the ground yields a slightly above average 4.41 net-adjusted line yards metric and should be the likeliest way for the Niners to move the ball. That said, the threat of splash plays against the Cardinals is muted by a defense built to keep the game in front of them, which is such a massive part of how the 49ers operate on offense. Expect Elijah Mitchell to land in his standard range of 18-20 running back opportunities, almost all of which should be carries. JaMycal Hasty has returned to siphon eight to ten running back opportunities per game, with four to six expected targets.

Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Mohamed Sanu continue to operate as the primary pass-catchers in this offense, with only Deebo seeing a reliable weekly workload (eight to 13 targets in every game this season). Aiyuk has played between 67% and 88% of the offensive snaps for five weeks now, but the production has yet to follow. Interestingly enough, it has been Charlie Woerner who has emerged as the de facto lead tight end in the absence of George Kittle, primarily for his run-blocking chops (only five targets on the season). Arizona allows the fourth-lowest yards per completion in the league at only 9.2. Furthermore, they have allowed the second-fewest yards after the catch this season, denting the upside of Deebo and Aiyuk.

Likeliest Game Flow :: 

When we consider the combinatorial heavy rush rates from each team, the injuries and COVID issues for the Cardinals, and the likely continued absence of George Kittle from the 49ers, we’re left with the likeliest scenario of a grind-it-out, slugfest style game environment here. Neither team is likely to separate substantially from the other, with the greatest chance of that occurring coming from the Cardinals defense. If they are able to create consistent short fields for their offense or even score a defensive touchdown, it could force the Niners into aggression earlier than they would otherwise like. The only other path I see to this game truly opening up is a broken play from Elijah Mitchell or Deebo Samuel, which carries an even lower percentage chance of happening here. When the best chance of the game opening up is from defensive production, it might be time to call this one a low upside game environment (lolz). Both offenses should be expected to largely struggle to sustain drives with a matchup between Colt McCoy and Jimmy Garoppolo on deck, meaning muted overall offensive production from both teams and low expected ceilings from all skill position players.

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By Dwprix >>

Overview

  • Fourth lowest total (46)
  • ARZ is favored by 1 after opening 2.5 pt favorites
  • These teams already played three weeks ago
  • The total was the third highest (48.5) then
  • ARZ won a low scoring game, 17-10
  • Trey Lance started for Jimmy Garoppolo who was injured
  • Lance had 16 rush atts to Eli Mitchell’s nine
  • Since these teams met three weeks ago, both have run less plays/g
  • ARZ came into the last matchup running the 9th most plays/g (66.5)
  • ARZ now runs the 11th most (64.9)
  • SF ran the 14th most plays/g (65.0) but have since moved down to 26th (60.9)
  • ARZ scores the fourth most pts/g (30.8)
  • SF scores the 16th most pts/g (24.0)
  • SF/ARZ pts totals last five w/ Murray and Kingsbury: 27 // 32 // 44 // 62 // 53

Jimmy Garopollo

  • Last week, Jimmy snapped his streaks of eight games w/o 20+ DK pts & 16 games since a 30+ pt game
  • Jimmy did so w/o a passing TD, instead rushing two in: 12:28:322, 5:4:2 TDs
  • He has only one game w/ two passing TDs (Week 3 vs GB, 16.7 DK pts) and zero three TD games
  • Garopollo’s price ($5.7k) has stayed in the $5.4k-$5.7k range all season
  • Pass atts: 28 // 27 // DNP // 23 // 40 // 30 // 25
  • ARZ allows the second least DK pts to QBs (15.7)
  • ARZ vs QBs: Aaron Rodgers-15.66 // Davis Mills-4.40 // Baker Mayfield-15.16 // Trey Lance-15.58 // Matthew Stafford-20.30 // Trevor Lawrence 11.46 // Kirk Cousins-25.26 // Ryan Tannehill-17.18

SF Rushing:

  • Elijah Mitchell only rushed nine times in this matchup three weeks ago
  • That was his lowest rush att game so far
  • Trey Lance took rush 16 atts
  • Jamycal Hasty’s cut into Mitchell’s snap share since returning Week 7
  • Haysty has been on the field to give them an option to throw to a RB
  • Hasty snaps:routes run: 19:16 // 19:12
  • This hasn’t cut into Mitchell’s rush atts
  •  Mitchell rush atts last two: 18 // 18
  • Hasty rush atts: 3 // 3
  • Mitchell’s price is a season high $5.8k, rising $400 from last week
  • ARZ allows the 13th most rush yds/g (120.1) & second highest rush yds/att (4.9) but seventh fewest DK pts to RBs (21.1)

SF Receiving:

  • Deebo vs ARZ: 3:58, 9 tgts // didn’t play in either 2019 matchup // 10:134, 10 tgts // 4:40, 7 tgts
  • Deebo has 100+ yds in four of seven games & 10+ tgts in four of seven
  • No other SF player has a 10+ tgt game or 100+ yd rec game besides George Kittle’s 10 tgt game Week 4 
  • Deebo’s targets since Kittle went down (35% tgt share): 9 (of 27) // 11 (of 27) // 9 (of 28) 
  • Deebo’s the third highest priced WR behind Tyreek Hill ($7.8k, highest price of career) & Davante Adams (Q)
  • Other SF WRs w/o Kittle: Aiyuk-7, 1, 4 // Mohamed Sanu-4, 1, 3 
  • Brandon Aiyuk has yet to have a game over 7 tgts but had six last season in 12 games
  • He also had six games with 20+ DK pts
  • Aiyuk vs ARZ last season: 1:15 // DNP
  • His price is down to $4.1k, cheapest of the season
  • TE Charlie Woerner has seen five total tgts the last three w/ Kittle out
  • ARZ allows the 13th least DK pts/g to WRs (35.9)

Kyler Murray:

  • Murray has 22+ DK pts in six of eight games
  • He’s the second most expensive QB ($7.9k) behind Josh Allen
  • The first four games of the season Murray avg 29.71 DK pts
  • The last four he’s avg 18.23
  • Murray DK pts vs SF: 13.66 // 23.04 // 26.7 // 27.3 // 16.38
  • SF allows the fourth most DK pts/g to QBs (22.9) but third least pass yds/g (196.9) & fifth least pass atts/g
  • SF vs QBs: Justin Fields-29.30 // Carson Wentz-21.30 // Kyler Murray-13.66 // Russell Wilson-22.56 // Aaron Rodgers-19.04 // Jalen Hurts-21.80 // Jared Goff-32.92
  • Murray & Rodgers are the only QBs not to score 20+ vs SF

ARZ Receiving:

  • AJ Green has been placed on the Covid list (doubtful)
  • Hopkins tgts: 2 // 9 // 4 // 9 // 7 // 6 // 4 // 8
  • With no Jaire Alexander on the the field, Hopkins still only saw two tgts last week vs GB
  • Christian Kirk tgts: 6 // 5 // 8 // 5 // 1 // 8 // 4 // 5
  • Rondale Moore tgts: 4 // 3 // 4 // 6 // 3 // 2 // 8 // 5
  • Moore hasn’t topped 60 rec yds since Week 2
  • Chase Edmonds tgts: 4 // 3 // 4 // 4 // 7 // 5 // 4
  • SF allows the tenth least DK pts to WRs (35.2) & seventh least yds/comp (9.4)
  • Since coming from PHI Zach Ertz has went: 4:42, 4 tgts // 3:66:1 TD, 5 tgts
  • SF allows tenth least DK pts/g to TEs (10.1)

ARZ Rushing:

  • Rush att: Edmonds-7, 12, 8, 11, 12, 6, 4, 15 // Conner: 5, 16, 8, 11, 18, 10, 16, 10
  • Conner has eight TDs in eight games 
  • He has three games with two TDs
  • Edmonds scored his first rush TD last week
  • Rush atts were spread out vs GB last week: Edmonds-7 // Conner-5 // Murray-6
  • Edmonds has four games w/ 10+ rush atts // Conner has six
  • SF allows the sixth most rush yds/g (127.1) but 10th least DK pts to RB
  • The last two weeks they’ve gotten lit up: Justin Fields 10:103:1 TD + Khalil Herbert-23:72 // Jonathan Taylor-18:107:1 TD + Carson Wentz 4:23:1 TD

Kickoff Sunday, Nov 7th 8:20pm Eastern

Titans (
22.75) at

Rams (
30.25)

Over/Under 53.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Titans Run D
10th DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Rams Run O
7th DVOA/8th Yards per carry
Titans Pass D
24th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Rams Pass O
10th DVOA/3rd Yards per pass
Rams Run D
20th DVOA/16th Yards allowed per carry
Titans Run O
18th DVOA/21st Yards per carry
Rams Pass D
22nd DVOA/27th Yards allowed per pass
Titans Pass O
24th DVOA/16th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Sunday night football has the Titans visiting the Rams in a nice 53 total game with Los Angeles favored by 7.5. The Titans have beat three strong teams in a row in the Bills, the Chiefs, and the Colts, but the Rams are going to be their toughest challenge yet, and they have to do it without Derrick Henry. Yikes.

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Tennessee

The Titans run game is likely to be anchored by Jeremy McNichols. Adrian Peterson and D’Onta Foreman were added to the team this week, but it’s . . .

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Kickoff Monday, Nov 8th 8:15pm Eastern

Bears (
16.5) at

Steelers (
23.5)

Over/Under 40.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Bears Run D
4th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Steelers Run O
12th DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Bears Pass D
17th DVOA/11th Yards allowed per pass
Steelers Pass O
19th DVOA/20th Yards per pass
Steelers Run D
13th DVOA/20th Yards allowed per carry
Bears Run O
10th DVOA/6th Yards per carry
Steelers Pass D
7th DVOA/29th Yards allowed per pass
Bears Pass O
23rd DVOA/23rd Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

A very, very weird Week 9 wraps up with the Bears visiting the Steelers in a game with a total of . . . wait for it . . . 39 points. That’s right, this is one of those extremely rare games with a total below 40. The Steelers are favored by a touchdown so Vegas has little faith in Chicago’s offense as they are projected here for just 16 points.

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Pittsburgh

On the Pittsburgh side, Najee Harris IS the run game. Harris is one of the few true bell cow backs in the . . .

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