Rich Hribar

The Worksheet

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The NFL Week 9 Worksheet

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We’re past the halfway point of the fantasy regular season and working towards getting rosters in order for the upcoming playoff stretch. Before we can officially get there, we still need to stack some wins. Week 8 was thankfully light on the injury front as far as major assets go, but we did have a fun trade deadline for once that could have a ripple effect moving forward. We have another heavy bye week for Week 9, with six teams resting this weekend, so make sure all New England, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh players are on your bench this weekend.


As for the token disclaimer, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.


Lastly, as the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is NOT a start/sit column, rather an expectations column. The labels for each subset of players for each game are simply a vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player that you can find at the end of the column. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process. Remember, you control your own team. With that out of the way, let’s hit all the Week 9 games with a PPR light…


Bills @ Jets


BuffaloRank@NY JetsRank
-3   Spread 3  
23.0   Implied Total 20.0  
21.9 15 Points/Gm 19.6 21
16.4 3 Points All./Gm 23.2 22
63.3 19 Plays/Gm 59.0 30
65.1 25 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.6 28
51.5% 2 Rush% 40.7% 20
48.5% 31 Pass% 59.3% 13
35.3% 2 Opp. Rush % 45.3% 26
64.7% 31 Opp. Pass % 54.7% 7


  • Buffalo is the only team in the league that has yet to run a play while trailing by multiple possessions on the season.
  • The Bills have scored two offensive touchdowns on the road this season, the fewest in the league.
  • LeSean McCoy currently has 23.5 percent of the Buffalo targets, second for all running backs. His career-high for target share is 16.2 percent in 2010.
  • The Jets are allowing a passing touchdown once every 16.2 pass attempts, 31st in the league.
  • The Jets average 4.4 red zone plays per game --the fewest in the league -- but have nine touchdowns scored from outside of the red zone, tied for second in the league.
  • Josh McCown is the first Jets quarterback to throw multiple touchdown passes in four straight games since Ray Lucas in 1999.
  • Over the past four weeks, McCown is the QB3 in overall scoring, finishing as the QB14, QB7, QB6 and QB4.
  • After allowing 229 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks through four weeks, Buffalo has allowed 341.7 per game over their past three games.
  • Just 35.5 percent of Austin Seferian-Jenkins' receptions have resulted in a first down, the lowest rate for all tight ends in the league.


Trust: LeSean McCoy (his ceiling has been uncorked by scoring in each of the two games and his floor is as good as there is due to his touch volume and averaging 5.4 receptions per game)


Bust: Bills Pass Catchers (Kelvin Benjamin has been the average WR20 per week over his past six full games, but what can we really expect from him on two days’ notice? The rest of the group has a new player seemingly perform every week), Jermaine Kearse (he’s in play as a low-level flex if you need it, but when he hasn’t scored, he hasn’t been useful, averaging 42.8 receiving yards per game)


Reasonable Return: Tyrod Taylor (he’s been down through three road starts so far, but always comes with an insulated floor with his legs and the Jets have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in six games, tied for the most in the league), Bilal Powell/Matt Forte (each are flex options, but cap each other’s ceiling. Both have been top-30 scorers in each of the past two weeks with both active while Forte has been a top-24 scorer in each of his past four full games), Robby Anderson (I haven’t given Anderson enough love in this post weekly, but he’s out-targeted Kearse 40-to-27 over the past six games and ranks sixth in the league in market share of air yards), Josh McCown (the Bills still aren’t allowing ceiling games to the opposing passers since they’ve kept the touchdowns allowed down, but are giving up a lot of yardage weekly and are still banged up in the secondary on a short week), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (his floor is poor when he doesn’t score because he’s yet to hit 50 yards in any game thus far, but Buffalo has allowed three top-10 scoring tight ends over the past two weeks)


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Ravens @ Titans

n/a   Spread n/a  
n/a   Implied Total n/a  
21.2 17 Points/Gm 22.6 13
18.5 6 Points All./Gm 24.7 26
63.9 16 Plays/Gm 61.1 24
65.5 26 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.1 23
46.8% 7 Rush% 46.0% 9
53.2% 26 Pass% 54.0% 24
47.9% 30 Opp. Rush % 42.5% 17
52.1% 3 Opp. Pass % 57.5% 16


  • 41.7 percent of the Tennessee offensive touchdowns have been via passing, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Marcus Mariota has the most pass attempts (176) without a red zone touchdown on the season. The only other quarterbacks without a red zone touchdown are Mitchell Trubisky and C.J. Beathard.
  • The Titans have thrown just 39.6 percent of the time in the red zone, the lowest rate in the league this season.
  • The Ravens allow .79 passing points per drive, second in the league.
  • Baltimore allows 17.6 completions per game, the fewest in the league.
  • Mariota averages 18.3 completions per game, 28th in the league.
  • DeMarco Murray has out-touched Derrick Henry 87 to 49 in quarters 1-3 this season while Henry has out-touched Murray 29 to 12 in the 4th Quarter this season.
  • Baltimore running backs average 122 rushing yards per game, third in the league behind Jacksonville (147.4) and Dallas (123.4).
  • 42.5 percent of Alex Collins' rushing attempts have gone for five or more yards, the third-highest rate for all backs with at least 50 carries on the season. 18.8 percent of his carries have gone for 10 or more yards, the second-highest rate of the same group.
  • Collins has run a pass route on 18.2 percent of his snaps, the lowest rate for all running backs in the league.


Bust: Marcus Mariota (Baltimore hasn’t faced a wealth of good quarterbacks over the front half of the year, but Mariota hasn’t been a QB1 since Week 1 and thrown one or fewer touchdowns in every game but one), TEN WRs (with Corey Davis returning, the target shares all get muddled a touch while Baltimore is allowing the third-fewest points per game receiving to opposing wideouts), Derrick Henry (his only two useful fantasy weeks have come in very specific climate in which he closed out big wins, but just hasn’t shown weekly usability with Murray still ahead of him), Ben Watson (if only we could on a short touchdown from Ryan Mallett every week), Buck Allen (he had just two fewer touches than Collins last week, but stacked nearly all of his usage when the game was out of hand, which makes him hard to use a flex option), Joe Flacco (he looks like he’s going to play this week, but still has yet to finish a week in the top half of scoring), Mike Wallace (the matchup itself is one that is appealing, but Wallace is still just a dart throw option as he’s topped five targets in just one game and topped 30-yard receiving just twice), Delanie Walker (he’s still dealing with an ankle injury and while the Ravens have allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends, they rank ninth in receptions allowed to the position)


Reasonable Return: Jeremy Maclin (he’s in a similar spot as last week as a WR3/flex, facing a defense that has been exploited through the air, while he has three of the five scores from the Baltimore receiving unit), Alex Collins (he had a season-high 20 touches last week and even had a red zone touch and caught two passes), DeMarco Murray (his ceiling has been capped due to playing through multiple injuries and Henry salting away leads when they’re presented to Tennessee, but he’s still turned in RB2 or better weeks in four of his past five games)


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Buccaneers @ Saints


Tampa BayRank@New OrleansRank
7.5   Spread -7.5  
21.3   Implied Total 28.8  
21.1 18 Points/Gm 27.3 6
24.0 24 Points All./Gm 20.7 12
63.6 18 Plays/Gm 64.4 14
66.3 29 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.7 8
34.4% 31 Rush% 43.5% 13
65.6% 2 Pass% 56.5% 20
43.8% 23 Opp. Rush % 39.8% 8
56.3% 10 Opp. Pass % 60.2% 25


  • Opponents are running 16.1 percent of their plays inside of the red zone versus Tampa Bay, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Buccaneers have allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 38.7 percent of their drives on the road this season, the highest rate in the league.
  • Since the Adrian Peterson trade, Mark Ingram has been the RB2, RB7 and RB8. Alvin Kamara has been the RB21, RB11 and RB9.
  • 23.8 percent (10-of-42) of Alvin Kamara's rushing attempts have gained 10 or more yards, the highest rate for all running backs with 20 or more carries on the season.
  • Before last week, the last time the Saints won a game in which Drew Brees failed to throw a touchdown pass was Week 4, 2009.
  • 60 percent (6-of-10) of the New Orleans offensive touchdowns over their three games since the bye have been rushing. League average for rushing touchdown rate is 30 percent.
  • Tampa Bay has a league-worst 2.7 percent sack rate on opposing dropbacks while New Orleans allows a league-best 2.8 percent sack rate on dropbacks as an offense.
  • Over their past five games, opponents have scored on just 22.8 percent (13-of-57) of their possessions versus New Orleans, the second-lowest rate in the league over that span.


Trust: Drew Brees (he’s largely just been a floor play because the Saints have run the ball well and played good defense, but the passing touchdowns are due to recoil since they’ve all been on the ground recently and the Bucs are 21st in touchdown rate allowed to opposing passers), Michael Thomas (he’s quietly been the WR13 or better in four of his past five games with seven or more catches  in four of those games despite his ceiling being limited for similar reasons that Brees’ has, but draws a secondary allowing the most points per game to opposing receivers), Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara (Ingram’s two late fumbles could revert him back to the doghouse, but keep playing both members of this backfield confidently as high-scoring home favorites), Mike Evans (he’s fourth in targets per game among wide receivers while New Orleans has still allowed 90 or more receiving yards to three different receivers over the past three games)


Bust: O.J. Howard (he has more than two receptions in just one game), Jameis Winston (there’s a possibility that he may sit this week to get his shoulder right, but we won’t know until later in the week. Regardless, the Saints haven’t allowed a quarterback to finish higher than QB11 or score 15 points in a game since Week 2)


Reasonable Return: Ted Ginn (he’s been a WR3 or better in four of his past fives and the matchup couldn’t be any sweeter against a team that has allowed double-digit points to 14 different wide receivers on the season), DeSean Jackson (he’s third in the league in air yards for all wide receivers and the volume should be here in this game regardless of quarterback, while the Saints have allowed WR3 or better games to four different WR2s on the season), Doug Martin (he’s been an RB3 in each of the past two weeks, but is at 17.5 touches per game since returning while the Saints have allowed over 120 yards from scrimmage to each of the past two lead backs they’ve faced), Cameron Brate (even without scoring in each of the past two games, he’s shown he has a steady floor, finishing as a TE1 now is six straight games)


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Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.
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