Evan Silva

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Silva's Week 10 Matchups

Sunday, November 12, 2017



4:25 PM ET Games

Dallas @ Atlanta
Team Totals: Falcons 26, Cowboys 23

Beneath Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium dome, Cowboys-Falcons has Week 10’s highest total (49.0) and pits Dak Prescott against a Falcons pass defense that ranks 24th in DVOA and has given up the NFL’s tenth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks (129). Prescott has been fantasy’s most-dependable signal caller this year, logging top-12 production in 7-of-8 games with top-eight results in four of the last five weeks. Three straight quarterbacks to face Atlanta have logged top-12 finishes. I do think it’s fair to have concern that Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams’ ankle injuries could limit Prescott’s Week 10 upside, although Williams practiced all week and Bryant has promised he will play. Another potential negative is LT Tyron Smith’s (groin) expected absence. … As Ezekiel Elliott lost his latest court battle on Thursday, Alfred Morris is set up to start against a Falcons run defense that ranks 29th in DVOA and allows the 11th-most fantasy points to running backs. Morris’ limited passing-game value lowers his floor because he would likely lose playing time to Rod Smith and/or Darren McFadden if Dallas falls behind, but the high-scoring nature of the Cowboys’ offense and this favorable matchup make Morris immediately playable as an RB2. My not-so-bold prediction is that Smith will play more Week 10 snaps than McFadden. All three Cowboys backups should be rostered in season-long leagues to see what happens.

Prescott’s targets since the Week 6 bye: Dez Bryant 27; Terrance Williams 15; Cole Beasley 11; Jason Witten 10; Brice Butler 4. … On the off chance Dez can’t play, Butler would become an attractive DFS option in a domed game with this week’s highest total. A 4.37 speedster at 6-foot-3, 214, Butler averages 18.6 yards per reception in three years as a Cowboy and has caught five touchdowns from Dak in a reserve role over the past two seasons. … Bryant still seems likely to gut it out. As he runs 50% of his routes at right corners and the Falcons stay stationary in the secondary, Dez (6’2/225) will primarily match up with RCB Robert Alford (5’10/188), whom PFF has charged with the NFL’s 15th-most yards allowed (376) among 115 qualified corners. … Beasley caught two more TDs in last week’s win over Kansas City, but he has remained a small part of Dallas’ passing game outside of the red zone. Beasley hasn’t reached 25 yards since Week 2 and hasn’t reached 50 yards in 14 straight games, including playoffs. … Williams’ Week 9 game (9/141/0) was perhaps the best of his five-year career, but he suffered an ankle injury late and projects to mainly match up with LCB Desmond Trufant. When Dez missed Weeks 4-6 last season, Williams emerged with respectable stat lines of 4/44/1 > 5/70/0 > 4/75/0, so he will be a worthy WR3 option in the event Bryant can’t play in Atlanta. … Fast at linebacker and solid at safety, the Falcons have allowed the NFL’s third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season. I think Witten is best approached as a touchdown-or-bust Week 10 play.

Matt Ryan’s 2017 season has been a disappointment relative to his far-above-expectation 2016, but he is again a worth fantasy investment in this domed potential shootout against the Cowboys, who have given up top-15 results to five of their last seven quarterbacks faced. Dallas has yielded the NFL’s tenth-most touchdown passes (14) and eighth-highest passer rating (95.5). Expectations for Ryan need to be reset to prior career levels, when Ryan was a solid-if-non-prolific fantasy scorer. Still, Ryan has logged top-14 finishes in 5-of-8 starts and should be approached as a high-floor QB1 option. His ceiling simply isn’t what it was last year. … Devonta Freeman regained sizable advantages in touches (15) and snaps (68%) over Tevin Coleman (6, 32%) in last week’s loss to Carolina and remains the running back to own in Atlanta despite a slow month-long run. Dallas presents an unimposing matchup after surrendering a combined 135/603/4.47/3 rushing line to enemy running backs in its last seven games. Freeman’s RB1 legitimacy is fair to question when he hasn’t topped 15 touches in a game since Week 5, but he should stay locked into fantasy lineups regardless in a possible shootout with a stranglehold on Falcons lead-back work. … Coleman is always a volatile flex option averaging 9.9 touches per game to Freeman’s 16.7.

Ryan’s target distribution in the last three weeks: Julio Jones 31; Mohamed Sanu 23; Austin Hooper 13; Freeman 11; Taylor Gabriel 7; Coleman and Justin Hardy 4. … Jones set a season high for yards (118) in last week’s loss to Carolina, only to drop a would-be game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. It is promising that Julio’s targets-per-game average has improved to 9.5 in the last month after he drew just 7.5 in the first four weeks. The Cowboys have allowed the NFL’s eighth-most fantasy points to receivers. … A big chunk has gone to slot receivers Larry Fitzgerald (13/149/1), Jamison Crowder (9/123/0), Cooper Kupp (5/60/1), and Sterling Shepard (7/44/0), which bodes well for Sanu, who runs 62% of his routes inside. Sanu has cleared 65 yards and/or hit pay dirt in five of his last six games and should be teed up as a confident WR3 play. … Dallas had played stingy tight end defense before getting shredded by Chiefs TEs for 8/76/1 in last Sunday’s win over Kansas City, providing some optimism for Hooper as a streamer. Hooper’s targets have been all over the place since Atlanta’s Week 5 bye (9 > 1 > 6 > 6) but he plays 85% of the snaps and runs 30 routes per game. This game’s shootout potential enhances Hooper’s outlook.

Score Prediction: Falcons 24, Cowboys 23

NY Giants @ San Francisco
Team Totals: Giants 22.5, 49ers 19.5

Albeit in a battle of teams that have combined for one win, this is a sneaky game for box-score filler between clubs that rank first (SF) and sixth (NYG) in pace of play and both play sieve-like defense. With Sterling Shepard back to full strength and Evan Engram enjoying a historical rookie year, Eli Manning has just enough weapons in a mouth-watering matchup to warrant long-shot streamer and/or cheap DFS discussion. Five of the last seven quarterbacks to face San Francisco have logged top-ten fantasy results, exceptions being Carson Palmer – who threw for 357 yards and was the QB14 – and Drew Stanton, who threw multiple touchdown passes for just the fourth time in his ten-year career, finishing as last week’s QB19. … Still missing DE Arik Armstead (hand) and trying to nurse back Solomon Thomas (MCL), the 49ers have been gashed for a 102/495/4.85/3 rushing line in their last three games, including Adrian Peterson’s 159-yard Week 9 eruption. Orleans Darkwa paced the Giants’ backfield in touches (18) and snaps (47%) in last week’s blowout loss to the Rams while Wayne Gallman (9, 25%) operated as the clear No. 2 back and Shane Vereen (28%, 3) was No. 3. I think Darkwa is an underrated RB2 in this cupcake matchup. Gallman still leads the Giants in red-zone carries (8) and is a darkhorse, desperation flex play.

Manning’s target distribution with Sterling Shepard back last week: Evan Engram 10; Shepard 9; Tavarres King 6; Vereen 4; Roger Lewis 3; Darkwa and Rhett Ellison 2; Gallman 1. … This is a blowup spot for Engram against a 49ers defense that has been rocked for tight end lines of 7/102/0 (Redskins), 5/61/1 (Cowboys), 7/69/1 (Eagles), and 3/39/1 (Cardinals) in its last four games, losing starting safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt to broken forearms along the way. Tartt had served as the 49ers’ tight end stopper to this point. … Shepard returned from his ankle injury to log 93% of the Giants’ Week 9 snaps and should be a locked-in fantasy starter the rest of the way. Shepard is New York’s best wide receiver bet for targets, and the 49ers have yielded the NFL’s eighth-most yards (1,360) to the position. … Perimeter wideouts King and Lewis are both worth matchup-based dart-throw discussion. King out-targeted Lewis in last week’s loss to the Rams, but Lewis ran 32 routes to King’s 28 and is just as playable in deeper leagues and/or as a DFS punt. I would side with King over Lewis if forced to choose between them based on King’s superior production. Manning targeted King twice in the end zone last week.

Coming off a 21-touch effort on 76% of the snaps in last week’s loss to Arizona, Carlos Hyde is the top fantasy play on San Francisco’s side against a Giants run defense that ranks 25th in DVOA and coughed up 104 total yards with two touchdowns to Todd Gurley in Week 9. Taking his all-purpose game to new heights, Hyde has remained productive even in negative scripts by ranking second among all NFL backs in targets (57) and third in catches (40). … Even if it hasn’t been reflected on the field behind putrid pass protection, C.J. Beathard has earned starter treatment in two-quarterback leagues with three straight top-18 fantasy results, including last week’s QB13 finish buoyed by a career-high 294 passing yards and a rushing score. As Beathard is running for his life, he is averaging 4.7 scrambles for 28.7 rushing yards in three NFL starts. The Giants’ defense has given up if their Week 9 performance against Jared Goff was any indication, incessantly allowing Rams receivers and tight ends to get wide open on the backend. They have yielded top-12 results to 6-of-8 quarterbacks faced, including five straight top-ten games.

Beathard’s Weeks 6-9 target distribution: Hyde 34; Marquise Goodwin 22; George Kittle 17; Trent Taylor, Matt Breida, and Aldrick Robinson 15; Kendrick Bourne 10; Garrett Celek 8. … Goodwin’s big-play potential and enhanced post-Pierre Garcon role give him boom-bust WR3 appeal against a Giants secondary permitting the NFL’s fourth-most 20-plus-yard completions (31) and sixth-most 40-plus-yard gains (6). … As Kittle (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 10, Celek should have tight end duties all to himself against a New York defense that has allowed a touchdown to a tight end in a league-record nine straight games. After Kittle and Cole Hikutini (knee, I.R.) exited last week’s loss, Celek logged season highs in routes run (31) and snap rate (74%). He should be a near-full-time player this week. … Slot man Taylor (broken rib) is out indefinitely, so San Francisco’s three-receiver set will be rounded out by Robinson and Bourne. Robinson played the most slot snaps of the group after Taylor left and figures to draw most of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie inside with Bourne outside. Goodwin would seem to be the likeliest 49ers receiver to be shadowed by Janoris Jenkins, although the Giants could easily play “sides” at cornerback. As Beathard has been a checkdown machine, all 49ers wide receivers are Hail Mary plays.

Score Prediction: Giants 24, 49ers 20

 

DFS Players: Giants at 49ers is the RotoGrinders Matchup of the Week. Some of RotoGrinders' top NFL minds break down this game from every angle and help prepare you to set winning lineups this weekend in daily fantasy football.


Sunday Night Football

New England @ Denver
Team Totals: Patriots 27, Broncos 19

As no NFL team is better than the Patriots at exploiting opponent weaknesses, a pass-first plan should be expected against a Broncos defense that ranks No. 2 in run-defense DVOA but a middling 15th against the pass due largely to Denver’s inability to generate pressure. The Broncos rank a disappointing 17th in sacks (19) and a putrid 31st in quarterback hits (35), providing enemy signal callers with clean pockets. A top-12 fantasy passer in six of his last seven games, Tom Brady returns from his bye with 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in seven straight weeks. … James White looks like the Patriots’ safest Week 10 backfield bet with target counts of 16 and 8 in New England’s last two meetings with Denver. This year, White ranks second among NFL running backs in receptions (43). … In two games entering the bye, Rex Burkhead logged chronological snap rates of 18% > 31% with touch totals of 7 > 11. Albeit risky with no guarantees on his role in a four-man committee, Burkhead is at least worthy of flex-play discussion. … One-dimensional grinder Mike Gillislee is off the Week 10 board against a Broncos defense allowing just 3.43 yards per carry to enemy backs. Gillislee is scoreless since Week 2 and hasn’t drawn a passing-game target all season. … Dion Lewis remains the Pats’ nominal lead back with rising touch counts of 9 > 11 > 14 > 17 leading into the open date. Since Lewis appears to have displaced Gillislee as New England’s primary scoring-position runner, Lewis offers the highest touchdown ceiling in this running back corps.

This is a massive Rob Gronkowski smash spot against a Broncos defense yielding the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to tight ends. Even with Zach Ertz (hamstring) inactive last week, Denver still got rinsed by Eagles fill-in tight ends Trey Burton and Brent Celek (5/80/1). … The Broncos do not use shadows at cornerback; they are an all-stationary secondary. Albeit still far from a great one, Brandin Cooks draws New England’s premier wide receiver matchup against RCB Bradley Roby, at whom Cooks projects to run 55% of his routes. Cooks ranks ninth among NFL wideouts in receiving yards (563), while Roby has the lowest PFF coverage grade among Denver’s cornerbacks. … Danny Amendola has the toughest draw against slot CB Chris Harris. Fellow slot men Nelson Agholor (2/36/0), Keenan Allen (3/41/0), and Cole Beasley (4/33/0) have all failed in Broncos matchups over the last two months. … Chris Hogan (shoulder) was ruled out, leaving Phillip Dorsett as New England’s probable third receiver in a projected matchup with Broncos LCB Aqib Talib. Dorsett is not a dart-throw risk I’d be willing to take this week. … The Patriots claimed Martellus Bennett off waivers from the Packers on Thursday, upgrading their tight end room. Bennett’s Week 10 availability is uncertain; he was missing time with a shoulder injury in Green Bay. While he helps New England’s roster, Bennett is unlikely to become a fantasy option in 2017.

Beyond desperate two-quarterback-league scenarios, Brock Osweiler has proven more useful in the fantasy realm as a signal caller to start defenses against rather than get cute streaming. Including playoffs, Osweiler has thrown multiple touchdown passes in 7-of-41 career starts (17%) with one career 300-yard passing game. … The Patriots have struggled in run defense this year, but Denver’s three-back committee renders each of its members low-floor flex options regardless of opponent. No Broncos back reached double-digit touches in last week’s blowout loss to Philadelphia. C.J. Anderson held a small lead in snaps (35%) over Devontae Booker (34%) and Jamaal Charles (31%) in what amounted to a near-even three-way timeshare. … Demaryius Thomas dominated targets (12) in Osweiler’s first start, but he is now dealing with a hamstring injury, and historically New England has had Thomas’ number on receiving lines of 2/12/0 > 7/91/0 > 1/36/0 in these clubs’ last three meetings. With plus-sized Stephon Gilmore back for New England and likely to man up on Demaryius, he is best approached as a boom-bust WR2/3 play. … Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) didn’t look right in his Week 9 return, managing one catch on five targets and sitting on the bench helmet-less for most of the second half against the Eagles. Sanders is a high-risk WR3 option. … AJ Derby caught 1-of-3 targets for 11 yards in Osweiler’s Week 9 start and appears safe to ignore. This pass-catcher corps is one to fade rather than bank on with fantasy plays.

Score Prediction: Patriots 23, Broncos 13

Monday Night Football

Miami @ Carolina
Team Totals: Panthers 24.5, Dolphins 15.5

Monday night’s game is a smash spot for Cam Newton, who has logged top-ten fantasy results in four of his last six starts and now faces a pathetic Dolphins pass defense that ranks 30th in DVOA while yielding the NFL’s second-highest completion rate (69.9%) and third-highest passer rating (102.6). The plus passing-game draw buoys Cam’s floor, and his persistent scrambling significantly raises his ceiling with at least nine rushing attempts in four straight games. Newton leads all NFL quarterbacks with a very-nice 69 scrambles on the season; next closest is Tyrod Taylor at 50. Cam is my favorite odds-relative bet to finish as this week’s fantasy QB1. … Christian McCaffrey took over as Carolina’s feature back in last week’s win over Atlanta, logging season highs in snap rate (82%), carries (15), touches (20), and rushing yards (66) in a breakthrough game, while Jonathan Stewart lost two fumbles. McCaffrey’s performance was promising ahead of a Week 10 date with Miami, which has surrendered a combined 95/447/4.71/3 rushing line to enemy running backs in its last four games, including Alex Collins and Marshawn Lynch’s season-best efforts in Weeks 8-9. If McCaffrey’s usage holds, he will be an every-week RB1 the rest of the way. Stewart will stay involved, but he is never more than a low-floor, touchdown-or-bust option.

Cam’s target distribution sans Kelvin Benjamin: Devin Funchess 7; McCaffrey 6; Curtis Samuel 5; Russell Shepard 2; Ed Dickson and Kaelin Clay 1. … Funchess indeed took over as Carolina’s No. 1 wideout in last week’s first post-Benjamin game, leading the Panthers in targets on 74% of the snaps. At least until Greg Olsen (foot) returns – expected in Week 12 – Funchess should be approached as a volume-driven, every-week WR2. Nothing about the Dolphins’ cornerback unit is imposing. … Samuel is a work in progress as a 21-year-old hybrid player, but his Week 9 snap rate (75%) was easily a season high, and Samuel is clearly being shoehorned into the Panthers’ No. 2 wideout role. With 4.31 speed, Samuel will inevitably pop up for a big play in the near future. Your guess is as good as mine as to when it will occur. As for his Week 10 outlook, it is concerning Samuel missed practice time with an ankle injury. … Early-season tease Dickson was held catch-less in last week’s win over the Falcons and has topped five targets just once all year. He remains scoreless through nine games. With that said, Dickson’s matchup makes him at least worthy of discussion. The Dolphins have been helpless against tight ends, permitting the NFL’s second-most receptions (53) to the position. They got ravaged by Jared Cook (8/126/0) last Sunday night.

Albeit in a far-softer matchup than the Dolphins draw on Monday night, early returns on last week’s post-Jay Ajayi performance against the Raiders were that it loosened up Miami’s offense and created easier completions for Jay Cutler, removing Ajayi’s passing-game drain and allowing plus receiving backs Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams to work in tandem. Cutler looked far more comfortable in a quicker-hitting, pass-first offense en route to season highs across the board. I’m not yet ready to trust Cutler as a streamer or DFS play, but he is a locked-in two-quarterback-league starter whose progress we need to monitor. Week 10 opponent Carolina has continued to show pass-funnel tendencies by yielding top-14 results to five of its last seven quarterbacks faced, exceptions being Bears rookie game manager Mitchell Trubisky in Week 7 and injured Jameis Winston in a wind-impacted Week 8 game. … Coach Adam Gase did not hold Drake’s Week 9 lost fumble against him. Drake reentered shortly thereafter and wound up leading Miami’s backfield in touches (15), snaps (55%), routes run (22), and total yards (104) over Williams (13, 45%, 17, 61). Both saw six targets. After teeing off on Oakland, however, Dolphins backs encounter a much-tougher Monday night draw against the Panthers, who hold enemy backs to 3.58 yards per carry and rank third in run-defense DVOA. Carolina has yielded the NFL’s seventh-most catches (50) to running backs, giving Drake some hope as a low-end RB2 and Williams as a flex option.

Cutler’s post-Ajayi target distribution: DeVante Parker and Julius Thomas 8; Jarvis Landry 7; Williams and Drake 6; Kenny Stills 4; Anthony Fasano 2. … Back from his high ankle sprain in last Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, Parker hobbled around for much of the second half. He has a concerning Week 10 draw against James Bradberry, the top cornerback in a zone-based Panthers defense that has allowed the NFL’s 11th-fewest completions of 20-plus yards (23) despite not having had their bye. Downfield plays are Parker’s bread and butter. I would start Parker as a WR3 in season-long leagues, but I think there is some reason for caution. … Miami’s best pass-catcher matchup goes to Landry against a Panthers secondary that has struggled in the slot, where nickel back Captain Munnerlyn has PFF’s No. 89 coverage grade among 115 qualifiers. Historically not a touchdown scorer, Landry is finding the paint regularly this year by leading the Dolphins in red-zone targets (7) and targets inside the ten (5). … Thomas was the main beneficiary of Miami’s revised offense in last week’s loss with season bests across the board (6/84/1). Whereas the Raiders are regularly gashed by tight ends, however, the Panthers have allowed the NFL’s eighth-fewest catches (32) and seventh-fewest yards (364) to the position. Thomas is a high-risk, fringe streamer play.

Score Prediction: Panthers 28, Dolphins 17



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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