Evan Silva

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Silva's Week 13 Matchups

Sunday, December 3, 2017


1:00 PM ET Games

Minnesota @ Atlanta
Team Totals: Falcons 25, Vikings 22

A season-long floor play whose peak 2017 fantasy finish is QB8, Matt Ryan now draws a Vikings defense that has allowed top-12 results to just 2-of-11 quarterbacks faced while yielding the NFL’s fourth-fewest touchdown passes (12). Working in Ryan’s Week 13 favor is this game’s indoors environment beneath Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz dome and Minnesota’s allowance of 26.8 points over its last five road games compared to a 12.8-point average in its last five games at home. Ryan is an unexciting but serviceable option with top-14 fantasy results in five of his last six games. … Devonta Freeman’s return will restore Atlanta’s backfield to a two-way timeshare despite Tevin Coleman’s excellence in the feature back role. Before his concussion, Freeman averaged 13.5 touches to Coleman’s 9.3 over the Falcons’ prior four games. This is a daunting matchup for both Atlanta runners against an immovable Vikings defense that has limited enemy backs to 3.39 yards per carry and the league’s eighth-fewest receiving yards (395).

Ryan’s target distribution in Atlanta’s last six games: Julio Jones 64; Mohamed Sanu 40; Austin Hooper 26; Taylor Gabriel 15; Freeman 11; Justin Hardy 10; Coleman 7. … Julio put to bed all fears about his health in last week’s 12/253/2 eruption versus Tampa Bay. His Week 13 matchup will be far tougher against Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes, who got torched by Marvin Jones (6/109/2) on Thanksgiving but was not beaten for a touchdown all season until that point. … Sanu enters Week 13 with 60-plus yards and/or a touchdown in seven of his last nine games to face Minnesota’s up-and-down slot coverage, which shut down Golden Tate (4/7/0) on Thanksgiving but flashed vulnerability prior to that. Either way, Sanu’s to-date productivity has earned him every-week WR3 treatment. … Hooper is a low-end streamer in a below-par matchup with Minnesota, which allows the NFL’s eighth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Hooper does have somewhat bankable volume with five-plus targets in six of his last eight games.

Playing far too well to be sat for Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum has strung together four straight top-12 fantasy weeks with three top-six results included. Four of the last six passers to face Atlanta have logged top-12 scores, while the Falcons have allowed a league-high 277 rushing yards to quarterbacks, a deficiency scrappy Keenum can exploit with 13 scrambles in three games since the Vikings’ Week 9 bye. Keenum offers streamer upside with some DFS appeal based on his pass-catcher corps’ dynamic playmaking ability. … Atlanta’s run defense has tightened up, holding enemy backs to a 98/321/3.28/3 rushing line in its last five games. While this matchup isn’t as favorable as it may appear, Latavius Murray’s volume has become bankable with 15-plus carries in six straight games behind an offensive line that is moving opponents. Murray is a solid RB2/flex in non-PPR leagues whose lack of a passing-game role enhances his PPR risk. He was out-targeted by Jerick McKinnon 31 to 5 during the aforementioned six-game stretch. … Although Murray’s improvement has caused frustration for McKinnon’s fantasy owners, the Vikings’ more-versatile back remains heavily involved with 14-plus touches in six of the last seven games and draws a friendly Week 13 matchup for his skill set against an Atlanta defense permitting the NFL’s second-most catches (69) and ninth-most receiving yards (524) to running backs. McKinnon is a respectable RB2/flex play in PPR leagues.



Keenum’s Weeks 8-12 target distribution: Adam Thielen 42; Kyle Rudolph 25; Stefon Diggs 24; McKinnon 22; Laquon Treadwell 8; Jarius Wright 6; David Morgan 5; Murray and Michael Floyd 4. … Established as Keenum’s go-to guy, Thielen enters Week 13 with nine or more targets in six straight games to face an Atlanta defense that has struggled to contain fellow slot men Doug Baldwin (2/40/1), Jarvis Landry (8/62/1), and Golden Tate (7/58/1). … On paper, Diggs’ perimeter matchups will be tougher against the Falcons, who have checked Dez Bryant (4/39/0), Tyler Lockett (4/37/0), Paul Richardson (5/56/0), Mike Evans (6/78/0), and DeSean Jackson (8/60/0) in the last three weeks and allow the NFL’s ninth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. That has a real chance to change sans LCB Desmond Trufant (concussion), however. Diggs runs a team-high 50% of his routes on Trufant’s side of the field, where the Falcons are now expected to trot out usual dime back C.J. Goodwin, whom PFF has charged with 17 receptions allowed on 23 career targets (73.9%) for 188 yards (8.17 YPA) and a touchdown. … Rudolph’s matchup is above average versus an Atlanta defense that yielded 7/59/0 to Jason Witten in Week 10, 7/58/1 to Jimmy Graham in Week 11, and 4/58/0 on six Ryan Fitzpatrick targets to Bucs TEs last week. Rudolph has set back-to-back season highs in yardage and has seven-plus targets in six of his last seven games.

Score Prediction: Vikings 24, Falcons 21

Editor's Note: These two low-owned QBs could win you a tournament this week. Find out who they are here!

 

Houston @ Tennessee
Team Totals: Titans 25, Texans 18

After flopping in last week’s road date at the Colts, Marcus Mariota draws another favorable matchup against the Texans, who visit Nashville on a short week following last Monday night’s loss to the Ravens. Houston has allowed top-ten quarterback results in four of its last five games while giving up the NFL’s fifth-most rushing yards to the position (218). Albeit with ample trepidation, I am sticking with Mariota in season-long leagues while continually questioning that stance due to his year-long disappointments. … DeMarco Murray’s Week 12 fantasy score was buoyed by his goal-line TD on a fullback dive, but the dead-legged veteran lost 55% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps to Derrick Henry, who put an otherwise stagnant Titans offense on his back in the second half at Indy. Murray still won the touches battle 15 to 14, but Henry is clearly the superior runner at this stage of the season. Unfortunately, Tennessee’s near-equal backfield split renders both members mere flex options against Houston’s stout run defense, which ranks No. 8 in DVOA and has allowed the NFL’s third-fewest fantasy points to running backs.

Mariota’s target distribution since the Titans’ Week 8 bye: Delanie Walker 28; Corey Davis 26; Rishard Matthews 20; Murray 16; Eric Decker 14; Taywan Taylor 8; Henry and Jonnu Smith 7. … Matthews (hamstring) will again be a game-time decision after barely practicing this week. Although he saw only five targets with Matthews on the shelf last week, Walker stepped into the lead pass-catching role and strung together his fifth straight game above 60 yards. Houston has given up big tight end games to Rob Gronkowski (8/89/1), Travis Kelce (8/98/0), Colts TEs (10/83/0), Seahawks TEs (5/47/2), Browns TEs (4/9/1), and Cardinals TEs (4/54/2). Last week, Joe Flacco went a perfect 5-of-5 for 50 yards on targets to Ravens tight ends against the Texans. … Davis caught all four of his targets and teased with a leaping 19-yard grab in last week’s win over the Colts, but Mariota’s unwillingness to challenge vertically played the biggest role in Davis’ underwhelming 4/39/0 line. In an offense that remains run first and isn’t getting high-level quarterback play, Davis is a boom-bust WR3/flex regardless of matchups and Matthews’ availability or lack thereof. … Decker took over as the Titans’ No. 2 receiver and Taylor entered the slot with Matthews shelved against the Colts. Decker has drawn measly target totals of 4 > 3 > 3 > 4 since the Titans’ bye.

Despite a theoretically favorable matchup against Tennessee’s No. 24 DVOA-rated pass defense, Tom Savage has settled in as a low-end two-quarterback-league option regardless of weekly opponents. Savage’s fantasy results through four post-Deshaun Watson starts are QB22 > QB28 > QB20 > QB29. He is a better target for streamers of Tennessee’s D/ST; Defenses to face Savage in those four starts have logged fantasy results of DEF12 (Colts) > DEF3 (Rams) > DEF16 (Cardinals) > DEF11 (Ravens). … Tennessee’s defensive strength is versus the run, where it holds running backs to 3.45 yards per carry but does allow the NFL’s third-most receiving yards (574) to the position. With touch totals of 26 and 18 the past two weeks and only Alfred Blue presenting any threat for change-up carries following D’Onta Foreman’s Achilles’ tear, Miller is a volume-secure RB2 despite the tough draw.

Savage’s Weeks 9-12 targets: DeAndre Hopkins 49; Bruce Ellington 31; C.J. Fiedorowicz 16; Miller 13; Stephen Anderson 12; Braxton Miller 9; Blue 2. … Hopkins’ stat lines in Savage’s last four starts are 6/86/1 > 7/111/0 > 4/76/1 > 7/125/0, exhibiting a high floor and ceiling despite the downgrade from Watson. Savage has many deal-breaker faults, but a willingness to trust his arm and pull the trigger are not among them. This should be a big Hopkins game against a Tennessee defense allowing the NFL’s seventh-most fantasy points to receivers. … Fiedorowicz is a touchdown-or-bust streamer in a plus draw with the Titans, who have yielded tight end lines of 7/94/0 (Jack Doyle), 5/21/1 (Jesse James), 10/70/0 (Ravens TEs), 4/85/0 (Browns TEs), and 7/50/1 (Doyle again) in five of their last six games. … Ellington’s target totals in Savage’s four starts are 8 > 9 > 7 > 8, giving him some volume-based deep-league appeal. Ellington does have Houston's toughest pass-catcher matchup against slot CB Logan Ryan.

Score Prediction: Titans 21, Texans 20

Kansas City @ NY Jets
Team Totals: Chiefs 23.5, Jets 20.5

As cries for Patrick Mahomes to play grow louder, Alex Smith’s job security has come into question with Kansas City in a 1-5 tailspin after its 5-0 start. From a fantasy standpoint, evaluating Smith in line with his career norms rather than his hot 2017 beginning is prudent entering this date with the Jets, who do offer a plus matchup with top-12 fantasy results permitted to 7-of-11 signal callers faced and the NFL’s fourth-most rushing yards (232) allowed to quarterbacks. If we indeed treat Smith as we always did prior to September of 2017, he would be a low-end streamer and locked-in two-quarterback-league starter against Gang Green. Most of Kansas City’s recent offensive struggles have come against zone defenses. The Jets play man coverage at a top-ten clip. … After dudding incessantly in prime spots, Kareem Hunt draws his toughest matchup in a month against the Jets, who have limited enemy backs to a combined 67/197/2.94/1 rushing line in their last three games. Charcandrick West's (personal) absence shouldn't be taken lightly, however; third-down and hurry-up back West was stealing 4-8 touches and 27-40% of the snaps per game. Now likelier to log true workhorse usage, Hunt makes for a contrarian DFS tournament play and remains a locked-in RB1 in season-long leagues. 

Smith’s Weeks 6-12 target distribution: Travis Kelce 49; Tyreek Hill 43; Hunt 25; Demarcus Robinson 23; West 17; De’Anthony Thomas 10; Albert Wilson and Demetrius Harris 9. … Hill’s home-road splits are back in play against the Jets, who have allowed the NFL’s 12th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Tyreek’s weekly finishes in away games are WR3 > WR17 > WR14 > WR3 > WR18 > WR17 compared to WR45 > WR51 > WR43 > WR57 > WR29 in K.C. … In a game where the Chiefs seem likely to lean more heavily than usual on their pass game due to Gang Green’s run-defense stoutness, Kelce should be featured against a Jets team yielding the NFL’s tenth-most fantasy points to tight ends. … Wilson returned from his four-week hamstring injury in last week’s loss to Buffalo and finished second on the Chiefs in targets (7), seeing more than Kelce (4) in another sign of offensive dysfunction.

This is an underrated spot for the Jets’ offense after it showed much better than expected in last week’s date with Carolina. Kansas City has yielded 27 or more points in seven of its last nine away games, ranks No. 20 in pass-defense DVOA, and has allowed the NFL’s 12th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Josh McCown has been a high-floor passer with sneaky upside, logging top-16 results in seven of his last ten starts with top-eight finishes in four of his last six. McCown is a strong streamer who may go overlooked in DFS. … One threat to McCown’s Week 13 outlook is the possibility Gang Green runs wild on Kansas City’s porous run defense. Unfortunately, the Jets’ three-man backfield severely hinders its fantasy reliability. Matt Forte returned from his knee injury to lead the Week 12 way in snaps (41%), but he shared touches evenly with Bilal Powell (10), who outgained Forte 46 to 26. Rookie Elijah McGuire siphoned six touches on 26% of the downs. Forte and Powell are risky flex options despite the plus draw.

McCown’s post-bye target distribution: Jermaine Kearse 11; Robby Anderson 10; Austin Seferian-Jenkins 7; McGuire, Powell, and Forte 1. … Both Jets wideouts have plus draws against a Chiefs defense that has allowed a league-high 16 TDs to the position on top of the NFL’s fifth-most yards (1,885). Anderson will run a team-high 42% of his routes at LCB Marcus Peters, although Peters has struggled badly lately, and Anderson will run nearly 60% of his patterns away from stationary Peters’ side of the field. The matchup aligns for white-hot Anderson to stay white hot. … Kearse is now primarily running slot routes, where Chiefs slot CB Steven Nelson’s performance has been up and down since returning from a knee injury in Week 8. Kearse’s season-best Week 12 game (7/105/1) was just his second above 40 yards since Week 3, but this matchup makes Kearse worthy of WR4/flex consideration. … Kansas City’s tight end coverage has also been inconsistent. Last week, Tyrod Taylor went a perfect 6-of-6 for 78 yards when targeting Bills tight ends against the Chiefs. On the season, Kansas City has given up the NFL’s sixth-most yards (651) to tight ends. Seferian-Jenkins has frustrated with so many would-be touchdowns negated, but I’m sticking with him as a low-end TE1. This is a game wherein Gang Green’s offense should move the ball successfully, and ASJ continues to dominate Jets red-zone targets (9) and targets inside the ten (7).

Score Prediction: Jets 27, Chiefs 23


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



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