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Evan Silva

Matchups

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Silva's Week 12 Matchups

Sunday, November 25, 2018



NY Giants @ Philadelphia
Team Totals: Eagles 26.5, Giants 20.5


Past the point of reeling amid legitimate coaching concerns, the Eagles can silence some noise with a win over their longtime NFC East rivals. Even if it seems like forever ago, Philadelphia tore the G-Men to pieces 34-13 at MetLife Stadium in Week 6. Logically speaking, Sunday’s rematch should be a relative breeze. Yet Philly lost three of its last four games and looked like a sincerely bad team in the process, particularly in Week 11’s 48-7 Superdome spanking. The seven points were fewest of the Doug Pederson era. Carson Wentz must put this team on his back. He is a narrative-driven, fade-recency-bias DFS-tournament play. This same Giants defense yielded 58 combined points in Weeks 10-11 to Nick Mullens and a Bucs team that benched its quarterback during the game. … It isn’t hyperbole to say Philadelphia’s lone Week 11 source of offense was Josh Adams, who broke a first-quarter 28-yard TD sprint and finished with career highs in routes (16), targets (6), and snaps (55%) while Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood remained black holes. Secure as the Eagles’ lead back, Adams should push for 15-plus touches as a home favorite versus a Giants defense that has allowed 100-plus rushing yards in 8-of-10 weeks and 14 running back TDs in its last nine games. I feel like I’ve been saying this for weeks, but there are reasons to believe Week 12 can be a turnaround game for Philly. The Eagles’ Weeks 12-17 schedule is among the softest in football, and division-leading Washington just lost its starting quarterback to I.R.

Wentz’s Weeks 10-11 target distribution: Zach Ertz 19; Alshon Jeffery 13; Golden Tate 12; Nelson Agholor 9; Adams and Jordan Matthews 6; Clement 4; Smallwood 2; Dallas Goedert 1. … Shut down by a combination of New Orleans’ stingy tight end coverage and sheer Week 11 offensive ineptitude, Ertz enters prime bounce-back position versus the G-Men, against whom tight ends have caught 48-of-63 targets (76.2%) for 581 yards (9.2 YPA) over their last eight games. Ertz’s three targets were an obvious outlier; his 10.3 targets per game still lead all Bears tight ends. … The Saints used Marshon Lattimore in full-time shadow coverage for the first time since trading for Eli Apple in last week’s win over the Eagles, and Lattimore kept Alshon Jeffery quiet (4/33/0). Jeffery gets a much softer Week 12 draw in Janoris Jenkins, whom PFF has charged with the NFL’s third-most yards (626) and a league-high seven TD passes allowed. Jenkins couldn’t hang with Mike Evans (6/120/1) last week. … Tate took over as the Eagles’ Week 11 slot receiver with Agholor moving outside and finishing catch-less on two targets against the Saints. A misfit on the boundary, Agholor is difficult to trust as anything more than a WR4. Tate is a playable WR3 coming off team highs in targets (8) and receiving (5/48/0). Tate went from playing just 29% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps in his Week 10 debut to 71% last week. … Goedert, sadly, has been the odd man out of Philly’s passing game since the Tate trade with one target in the last two weeks.

Eli Manning catches his third straight plum draw in Sunday’s date with the Eagles, whose secondary lost the battle of attrition weeks ago and continued to suffer cornerback injuries throughout last week’s loss to the Saints. Four straight quarterbacks to face Philadelphia have logged top-12 fantasy results – Blake Bortles and Dak Prescott included – while Eli’s shown he has just enough left in the tank to sporadically deliver the ball to his wealth of playmakers with top-14 fantasy scores in three of Manning’s last four starts. Manning is a low-floor, low-ceiling play but offers some desperate streamer appeal and should be locked into two-quarterback-league lineups. … The Eagles have sprung leaks everywhere, including in run defense with DC Jim Schwartz forced to compensate for backend injuries by pulling defenders out of the box. Albeit against Dallas and New Orleans’ elite ground games, Philly hemorrhaged a combined 61/330/3 (5.41 YPC) rushing line in Weeks 10-11. The Giants’ run blocking is far inferior, of course, and NT Timmy Jernigan’s (back) return will help the Eagles’ up-front stoutness. Saquon Barkley remains an elite RB1 play regardless of opponents with 22-plus touches in five straight games. The Eagles could not tackle Barkley when these teams met in Week 6. He tallied 229 yards from scrimmage with a 50-yard score. Last week, Barkley would have scored four touchdowns had Manning not thrown behind him on a late-second-quarter pass with Barkley wide open and no defenders between him and the end zone.

Eli’s Weeks 7-11 target distribution: Odell Beckham 37; Barkley 28; Sterling Shepard 21; Evan Engram 20; Bennie Fowler 10; Rhett Ellison 5. … Beckham should have no trouble eating against an Eagles secondary that’s been dusted by Julio Jones (10/169/0), Corey Davis (9/161/1), Tre’Quan Smith (10/157/1), DeSean Jackson (4/129/1), Adam Thielen (7/116/1), Michael Thomas (4/92/1), Stefon Diggs (10/91/0), Mike Evans (10/83/1), Taywan Taylor (7/77/0), Devin Funchess (6/62/1), Chris Godwin (5/56/1), and Ryan Grant (3/35/1). … Shepard was a major Week 11 dud, although losing a 23-yard gain to replay in the second quarter didn’t help. Nevertheless, this is a bounce-back spot against the Eagles, who are dealing with injuries to first- and second-team slot CBs Sidney Jones (hamstring) and Avonte Maddox (knee) while permitting the NFL’s second-most yards per game to wide receivers (205.9). … Engram’s blocking deficiency is costing him playing time. Fantasy owners who started Engram last week were lucky he caught a 54-yard seam ball in the fourth quarter, because Engram ran a season-low eight pass routes on just 32% of the snaps. Engram has five targets or fewer in 3-of-4 games since returning from his MCL sprain. Philadelphia yields the NFL’s third-fewest receiving yards per game to tight ends (34.5).

Score Prediction: Eagles 28, Giants 21

San Francisco @ Tampa Bay
Team Totals: Buccaneers 28.5, 49ers 25.5

Back in Tampa Bay’s quarterback saddle after leading four straight touchdown drives in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick in last week’s 38-35 near-comeback versus the Giants, Jameis Winston is a monster-upside Week 12 play against the 49ers, who have allowed multiple touchdown passes in 8-of-10 games. 7-of-10 quarterbacks to face San Francisco have posted top-14 fantasy scores, including otherwise-ineffective Eli Manning, Josh Rosen, and Matthew Stafford. Winston and Fitzpatrick’s 271.5 cumulative fantasy points rank just ahead of overall QB1 Patrick Mahomes’ scoring (270.8) through their respective first ten starts. … Peyton Barber reclaimed Tampa’s lead-back job with 20 touches for 110 yards and a touchdown on 68% of the Bucs’ Week 11 offensive snaps, while Week 10 100-yard receiving tease Jacquizz Rodgers touched the ball three times. Now favored at home in a non-imposing matchup, Barber is a volume-based RB2 play against the Niners. San Francisco has shown its most running back vulnerability in the passing game, however, conceding 6.1 catches per game but holding Barber’s position to 3.94 yards per carry. Ultimately, Barber is almost always a fantasy disappointment when he doesn’t reach pay dirt.

Jameis’ 2018 target distribution: Mike Evans 30; Adam Humphries 27; DeSean Jackson 22; Chris Godwin 21; O.J. Howard 16; Cameron Brate 10; Barber 7. … Positive-touchdown regression hit Evans hard in Week 11, first scoring on a fortuitous end-zone fumble recovery followed by a 41-yard TD bomb from Winston where Evans handily beat Giants “top” CB Janoris Jenkins. Richard Sherman has played at a high level, but he never moves off left cornerback. Evans runs 64% of his routes elsewhere on the field. … Humphries has had his best moments with Winston under center and caught last week’s eight-yard score on a second-half slant route from Jameis. Notable fellow slot WRs to face San Francisco include Golden Tate (7/109/0), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3/103/0), Larry Fitzgerald (8/102/1), Adam Thielen (6/102/0), Robert Woods (5/78/0), Keenan Allen (7/63/0), and Sterling Shepard (2/9/1). … Jackson has remained volatile regardless of quarterbacks. Winston hit Jackson for a 60-yard touchdown bomb in his Week 8 start, then got benched the next week. D-Jax is always a high-variance WR3. … Godwin has topped 60 yards in 2-of-10 games, continuing to solidify himself as a touchdown-or-bust WR3 option with a slightly lower floor but definitively lower ceiling than Jackson. … Howard’s (ankle) absence locks in Brate as Tampa’s main tight end, but that hasn’t necessarily translated to fantasy results. Brate’s 2017 box scores in Howard’s three missed games were 2/24/0 – 3/13/0 – 3/37/0 on target counts of 3 – 4 – 5.

Week 9 Thursday night prodigy Nick Mullens took a step back in his second NFL start, throwing a pair of picks and showing happier feet with less decisiveness in the pocket on Week 10 Monday Night Football against the Giants. Undrafted out of Southern Miss in 2017, this will be Mullens’ first non-primetime start. It’s also an overwhelmingly favorable one; Tampa Bay has permitted top-12 fantasy scores to 8-of-10 signal callers faced with the sole exceptions of Nick Foles and Alex Smith. Mullens’ happy feet should be partly alleviated by a Bucs defense that ranks 30th in pressure rate (23.6%). Mullens is a two-QB-league starter with desperate streamer appeal. … Matt Breida torched the Giants for 132 yards and two scores on 20 touches in San Francisco’s Week 10 win, then used the Week 11 bye to overcome any lingering effects from his early-season high ankle sprain. At or near full strength, Breida is going to be a handful for the Bucs, who got lit on fire for 83/428/4 (5.16 YPC) rushing by enemy backs in Weeks 9-11 and allow the NFL’s tenth-most receiving yards per game (51.1) to Breida’s position. No. 2 back Alfred Morris hasn’t reached double-digit touches since Week 5. Breida is a confident RB2 with RB1 upside.

Mullens’ 2018 target distribution: George Kittle 14; Marquise Goodwin 9; Kendrick Bourne 8; Dante Pettis 6; Breida and Pierre Garcon 5; Kyle Juszczyk 4; Richie James 3; Trent Taylor 1. … Mullens is 13-of-14 (93%) for 191 yards (13.6 YPA) and a touchdown when targeting Kittle, while Tampa Bay is allowing an NFC-high 77.9 yards per game to tight ends. … Goodwin hasn’t topped five targets in a game all year, but he also hasn’t had a better matchup with Tampa Bay allowing the NFL’s sixth-most catches per game to wide receiver groups (14.2). Fellow perimeter WRs Julio Jones (10/144/0), Taylor Gabriel (7/104/2), A.J. Green (5/76/1), Odell Beckham (4/74/1), Ted Ginn (5/68/1), Antonio Brown (6/50/1), and Josh Doctson (4/46/1) have all met or exceeded expectations against Tampa Bay. … With Garcon (knee) sidelined for another game, the 49ers will trot out some combination of Bourne, Pettis, Taylor, and James as complementary wide receivers.

Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27, 49ers 24

Seattle @ Carolina
Team Totals: Panthers 25, Seahawks 22

Despite suffering what was believed to be a high left ankle sprain and sprained MCL in last week’s loss to Detroit, Cam Newton hung tough for Week 11’s fantasy QB4 finish on a season-high 357 passing yards with three scores, including Newton’s 12-yard TD to Curtis Samuel mere minutes after the injury. The concern is Cam’s dual threat could be compromised, so it’s comforting to know he’s thrown multiple touchdown passes in nine straight games. As Seattle is likely to have offensive success against Carolina’s disappointing defense, this game’s high-scoring potential enhances Newton’s outlook as an upside QB1 who’s demonstrated a safe floor with top-16 scores in 9-of-10 starts. … Seattle’s run defense has put up minimal resistance lately, surrendering a 47/299/3 (6.36 YPC) combined rushing line to enemy backs in Weeks 9-11. If Newton’s mobility is indeed limited, OC Norv Turner could opt for more quick passes and run plays to Christian McCaffrey, who has totaled 100-plus yards and/or reached pay dirt in four straight games.

Newton’s Weeks 6-11 target distribution: Devin Funchess 32; McCaffrey 31; D.J. Moore 26; Greg Olsen 24; Curtis Samuel 19; Jarius Wright 12; Torrey Smith 6. … Although Smith (knee) is on track to return, Funchess (back) was listed as doubtful, locking in Moore as the Panthers’ No. 1 wideout against Seattle. Moore’s short-area quickness, straight-line speed, and run-after-catch ability make him a mismatch for Seahawks plus-sized outside CBs Tre Flowers and Shaq Griffin. Moore is a DFS cash-game play. … Samuel set a season high with seven targets in last week’s loss to Detroit, operating more like a true wideout than gadget guy. Samuel is a DFS-tournament play for many of the same reasons Moore’s outlook is strong. … Olsen has scored a touchdown in four of the Panthers’ last five games. Over the last two weeks, Rams and Packers tight ends combined to catch 9-of-9 targets for 119 yards and a touchdown against Seattle.

On extra rest following last Thursday night’s win over Green Bay, the Seahawks visit Carolina having scored 27-plus points in five of their last six games. The Panthers’ pass-rush deficiencies showed up prominently in last week’s loss to the Lions, who entered Week 11 with massive pass-protection leaks. Yet Carolina hit Matthew Stafford just once on 38 dropbacks, falling to 24th in the NFL in sack rate (6.0%) and 25th in QB hit rate (13.2%). Panthers DC Eric Washington has resorted to blitzing at the NFL’s fifth-highest clip (33%), playing perfectly into Russell Wilson’s Week 12 hands as the league’s highest-rated passer when blitzed (129.4). Wilson is a DFS-tournament play in stacks with Doug Baldwin and/or David Moore. … Beat writers believe the Seahawks have settled on a backfield pecking order. Deservedly, Chris Carson is the lead runner coming off a rock-solid 17/83/1 (4.9 YPC) rushing line in last week’s win over Green Bay. Rashaad Penny is the changeup, flashing big-play chops with 30-plus-yard runs in back-to-back games. Mike Davis is the passing-game specialist with 28 targets on the year, 16 more than Penny and 17 more than Carson. Seattle’s three-man RBBC is probably here to stay, but at least there are loosely defined roles. Carson is a low-floor RB2 with almost no passing involvement. Penny projects for 6-10 touches per game as a dart-throw flex. Davis is a low-upside flex option specific to PPR leagues.

Wilson’s Weeks 4-11 target distribution: Doug Baldwin 37; Tyler Lockett 32; David Moore 31; Davis 26; Nick Vannett 21; Penny and Ed Dickson 5; Carson 3. … After battling early-season injuries to both knees, Baldwin declared himself 100% entering last week’s win over Green Bay. He looked the part for season highs in targets (10) and catches (7), hitting pay dirt for the first time all year. Unfortunately, Baldwin didn’t practice all week with a groin injury. If he can’t play, Lockett will take over at slot receiver with Moore and Jaron Brown outside. Tyler Boyd (6/132/1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (3/90/1), Adam Humphries (8/82/2), Sterling Shepard (4/75/0), Cole Beasley (7/73/0), and Bruce Ellington (6/52/0) are among the slot receivers to have met or exceeded expectations versus Carolina. … Lockett is easily playing at the highest level of his career, but he is a low-volume commodity with big-play dependency on target counts of 6 – 5 – 4 – 2 – 4 – 6 – 5 since Baldwin came back. … Very quietly, Moore leads Seattle in raw targets (19) and Air Yards (279) over the last three weeks, giving him DFS-tournament appeal in stacks with Wilson. Moore’s 134 Air Yards in Week 11 easily led the team, yet he dropped his first pass all season and simply didn’t connect with Wilson. Moore did peel off 57 yards, more than Baldwin. Seattle’s biggest-bodied wideout is a prime positive-regression candidate. … Vannett and Dickson are rotating snaps, rendering each other low-floor, touchdown-or-bust tight ends.

Score Prediction: Seahawks 28, Panthers 27


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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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