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Evan Silva

Matchups

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Silva's Week 14 Matchups

Sunday, December 9, 2018


1:00 PM ET Games

NY Jets @ Buffalo
Team Totals: 20.5, Jets 17.5

Wildly erratic but a dynamic dual threat with field-flipping big-play chops, Josh Allen’s back-to-back top-five fantasy finishes went largely unnoticed but were colossal Weeks 12-13 difference makers for those courageous enough to start him. Beginning with most recent, Allen’s weekly scores in games played start to finish are QB2 (@ MIA) - QB4 (vs. JAX) - QB28 (vs. TEN) – QB30 (@ GB) – QB5 (@ MIN) – QB26 (LAC), perfectly depicting Allen’s boom-bust on-field play. The Jets’ defense poses a plus draw as a man-coverage and blitz-heavy team against which Marcus Mariota ran for 43 yards last week. Jets WLB Darron Lee was hit with a season-ending suspension on Friday, an especially big loss in this matchup because of Lee's 4.47 speed and sideline-to-sideline range. Lee has played 97% of the Jets' defensive snaps. Allen is again a compelling DFS-tournament play. … Allen’s aggressive read-option keeps, goal-line runs, and decisions to scramble over check down cost LeSean McCoy Weeks 12-13 fantasy points. Shady still logged touch counts of 18 and 19 and catches a tempting Week 14 matchup with the Lee-less Jets, who got lit up for 192/948/7 (4.94 YPC) rushing by running backs in Weeks 5-13. Shady personally pummeled Gang Green for 118 yards and two TDs in Week 10. With Allen likely to attract more defensive attention after rushing for 99 and 135 yards over the last two weeks, McCoy is an underrated RB2 play as a home-favorite feature back with 20-plus-touch upside.

 

 

Allen’s 2018 target distribution: Zay Jones 34; Kelvin Benjamin 29; Charles Clay 22; McCoy 20; Robert Foster 16. … Benjamin and Andre Holmes’ releases this week free up over seven targets per game. … Jones’ Week 12 goose egg versus Jacksonville was a reminder of his nonexistent floor, but the sophomore wideout is developing Allen chemistry with three TDs in the last three weeks and two games above 65 yards. Jones runs over half of his routes in the slot, where Gang Green has been set on fire by Dede Westbrook (9/130/0), Adam Thielen (9/110/1), Jarvis Landry (8/103/0), Zay himself (8/93/1), Julian Edelman (4/84/1), Golden Tate (7/79/1), Emmanuel Sanders (9/72/0), Chester Rogers (4/55/1), and Anthony Miller (3/37/1). … Foster is a fun theoretical talent with 4.41 speed, but his target counts are 3 – 4 – 4 over the last three weeks. Ultimately, this passing attack remains a high-risk investment with dual-threat Allen averaging just 14.2 completions in his six full games.

Sam Darnold’s (foot) return does nothing to instill Jets offensive confidence, particularly considering its tough Week 14 draw. Gang Green’s wayward pass protection is likely to get pulverized by Buffalo’s top-four QB hit rate (18.2%) and top-ten sack percentage (7.5%), while Darnold committed eight turnovers in three starts before his four-week breather. Coach Todd Bowles admitted Darnold looked “rusty” in practice leading into Week 13, so the Jets held him out for another game. Buffalo’s D/ST deserves to be popular and is viable in DFS stacks with Allen and/or McCoy.

Score Prediction: Bills 24, Jets 13

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Carolina @ Cleveland
Team Totals: Panthers 24.5, Browns 22.5

Baker Mayfield turned in the worst half of his nine-start career in last week’s 29-13 loss with three INTs in the first two quarters, including Texans ILB Zach Cunningham’s pick six. The rookie resiliently led two and nearly three second-half touchdown drives despite little help. Error-prone Antonio Callaway lost a goal-line fumble following a 71-yard Baker bomb, and LT Greg Robinson’s holding flag negated a would-be 76-yard TD earlier on the drive. Throwing for 397 yards at 9.2 yards per attempt, Mayfield still logged top-13 fantasy results for the fifth time in his last six starts. Back home facing a Panthers defense in such turmoil that Ron Rivera stripped DC Eric Washington of play-calling duties and fired two assistants, this is a prime rebound spot. Carolina has coughed up multiple touchdown passes in 10 of its last 11 games. Mayfield is an upside QB1 with DFS appeal. … Nick Chubb was victimized by Mayfield’s mistakes that put the Browns in negative script, but a deeper dive reveals some promising signs. Chubb drew three targets for the fourth time in his last five games, hit pay dirt from two yards out in the third quarter, and out-touched Duke Johnson 12 to 2. Carolina’s run defense tightened up to hold Seahawks and Bucs backs to 120 yards on 44 carries (2.73 YPC) in the last two weeks, but Rivera’s unit has still yielded a rushing touchdown to a running back in four straight games. Drawing an unimposing matchup in a winnable game at home, Chubb warrants fringe RB1 treatment. Johnson is no longer playable with touch counts of 3 and 2 in the last two weeks.

Mayfield’s target distribution with Freddie Kitchens as OC: Jarvis Landry 26; Duke and Antonio Callaway 18; David Njoku 17; Rashard Higgins 12; Breshad Perriman 11; Chubb 10. … Albeit with much of it in garbage time, Landry got off the schneid for a productive Week 13 (6/103/0), busting his slump on a team-high nine targets. Landry can stay hot versus Carolina, which has yielded at- or above-expectation stat lines to fellow slot WRs Tyler Boyd (6/132/1), Tyler Lockett (5/107/1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (3/90/1), Adam Humphries twice (8/82/2, 7/61/1), Sterling Shepard (4/75/0), Cole Beasley (7/73/0), and Bruce Ellington (6/52/0). … Drew Brees is Mayfield’s most-common skill-set comparison. They also share a tendency to keep lower-rung ancillary pieces involved, which can prevent individual Browns pass catchers from dominating targets. … Although Njoku’s Week 13 bottom line (3/8/0) severely disappointed, he set four-week highs in routes (32) and snaps (81%) and is worth staying the course with against a Carolina defense permitting the NFL’s third-most fantasy points to tight ends. … Callaway came up just shy of a monster Week 13, losing the aforementioned 76-yard score on Robinson’s hold, drawing a 47-yard DPI flag on Texans CB Kareem Jackson, and fumbling at the one at the end of his 71-yard catch. With 50-plus yards and/or a TD in four of his last five games, Callaway remains worthy of WR4/DFS-tournament discussion as a big-play threat facing a Panthers secondary that has allowed the NFL’s third-most touchdown passes (27). … This was Cleveland’s Week 13 routes-run distribution at wide receiver: Landry 35; Callaway 31; Higgins 28; Perriman 22; Damion Ratley 7. Higgins scored from 17 yards out in what amounted to garbage time at Houston.

Cam Newton’s removal for Taylor Heinicke on last week’s game-ending Hail Mary was eyebrow raising after Newton threw a career-high four picks in Carolina’s fourth straight loss. Cam admitted afterwards to experiencing shoulder soreness; Newton had rotator cuff surgery during the 2017 offseason and has struggled with throwing-arm issues on and off ever since. Cam escaped Week 13’s loss to Tampa Bay with 333 all-purpose yards and multiple touchdown passes in an 11th straight game, good for Newton’s seventh top-ten fantasy score in his last eight starts. Nevertheless, his questionable health is at least worth mentioning. Cam’s Week 14 matchup is favorable against a Browns defense that has supported high fantasy floors by yielding top-15 finishes to five of its last six quarterbacks faced, and is now missing top CB Denzel Ward (concussion) and DT Larry Ogunjobi (biceps). … Running games have trampled the Browns’ defense all year with Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue’s combined 32/157/0 (4.91 YPC) rushing line as the latest evidence, even as Blue lost a late-game touchdown run on LT Julie’n Davenport’s holding penalty. Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL in TDs over the last six weeks (10) and has totaled 100-plus yards in five straight games. Used similarly to LaDainian Tomlinson under ex-Chargers coach Norv Turner, McCaffrey is among fantasy’s highest-floor and highest-ceiling RB1 plays each week.

Cam’s Week 13 target distribution: Curtis Samuel 11; McCaffrey 10; D.J. Moore 8; Ian Thomas 5; Devin Funchess and Jarius Wright 3; Greg Olsen 1; Torrey Smith 0. … With Funchess (back) and Smith (knee) active in last week’s loss to the Bucs, Moore led Carolina’s wideout corps in routes run (46) with Samuel (41) second. Wright (29 routes) and Funchess (22) operated as the Panthers’ Nos. 3 and 4 receivers, respectively. Although Samuel paced the team in targets and receiving (6/88/0), Moore still looks like the best WR3 bet of the group based on passing-game participation with steady target counts of 8 – 9 – 8 over the last three weeks. Samuel has been an explosive but more-volatile producer. … Funchess returned as a rotational red-zone specialist against the Bucs, losing a third-quarter touchdown to a holding call on LT Chris Clark but scoring from ten yards out on the next drive. Until his playing time picks back up, expect Funchess to remain a touchdown-reliant WR4. … Olsen’s plantar fascia tear frees up five targets per game, most of which figure to go to rookie TE Ian Thomas. Thomas managed stat lines of 2/10/0 – 3/20/0 – 3/38/0 when Olsen missed Weeks 2, 3, and 5 and isn’t an exciting streamer.

Score Prediction: Browns 27, Panthers 24

 

 

Atlanta @ Green Bay
Team Totals: Packers 27.5, Falcons 22.5

With Mike McCarthy out after 13 years as Packers coach, Aaron Rodgers should have near-full autonomy with milquetoast OC Joe Philbin donning the interim tag. Green Bay’s offense may be too broken to fix in one week, but this matchup is favorable enough to offer get-right potential for Rodgers, whose disdain for McCarthy was never hidden. Giving up the NFL’s fifth-most points (27.8) and seventh-most yards (394.2) per game, the Falcons are 1-4 on the road with a near-nonexistent pass rush that ranks 28th in sacks (23) and 31st in QB hits (50) while allowing the NFL’s seventh-most touchdown passes (25). Still playing the worst football of his career, Rodgers is a matchup- and narrative-based QB1 amid the coaching change. … McCarthy’s unforgivable going-away present was to turn Green Bay’s running game back into a near-even split between explosive playmaker Aaron Jones and black-hole Jamaal Williams. Jones’ 39 snaps in last week’s embarrassing home loss to Arizona were his fewest since Week 8. Williams logged his most playing time since Week 2 (50%), managing 27 scoreless yards on 11 touches. Albeit hardly a lock, it would be rational to expect Philbin and Rodgers to restore Jones to feature-back usage to give Green Bay its best chance to win. This week’s matchup is ripe for the picking; Atlanta has coughed up 130-plus rushing yards to every opponent during its four-game losing streak, including a massive 104/586/2 (5.63 YPC) rushing line specifically to running backs. Jones is an RB2 with RB1 upside facing a swiss-cheese run defense favored by five at home.

Rodgers’ Week 13 target distribution: Davante Adams 13; Jimmy Graham 11; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 7; Randall Cobb 5; Jones and Williams 4; Jake Kumerow 2; Equanimeous St. Brown 1. … Adams leads the entire NFL in red-zone targets (25) and ranks second in touchdown catches (11), while Atlanta has allowed the league’s fourth-most TDs (17) to his position. Always Rodgers’ best DFS-stack partner by far, Adams hit pay dirt from 13 yards out on a fourth-and-four play in last week’s first half. Adams avoided Patrick Peterson on 9 of his 13 targets. … Graham is a potential beneficiary of Rodgers running the show after Rodgers lobbied for his offseason signing and for Graham to play a bigger role during the year. Graham caught a season-high eight passes and tied his season high for targets last week, running his third-most routes of the year (45). … Back from his three-week hamstring injury against Arizona, Cobb lost Green Bay’s longest completion of the game to a holding flag on RT Jason Spriggs. Cobb still hasn’t topped 40 yards or sniffed the end zone since Week 1. … Valdes-Scantling was Green Bay’s clear-cut No. 3 wideout versus the Cardinals, running 45 routes while St. Brown (8) and Kumerow (4) worked as the Nos. 4 and 5. MVS hasn’t cleared 20 yards since Week 10, however, devolving into a leap-of-faith WR4.

Inherently disadvantaged as a dome team visiting Lambeau in December, the Falcons are sputtering on offense with 19 points or fewer in four straight games amid continued pass-protection breakdowns that become exacerbated on the road. Matt Ryan has taken 20 sacks in five away games versus only 16 in seven games at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ranked No. 3 in sacks (38) and permitting just 19.0 points per game at home versus 28.8 PPG on the road, Green Bay’s D/ST is back in streamer contention. Ryan is a risky QB1 option; 8-of-12 quarterbacks to face the Packers have finished QB16 or worse. … Forced to place difference-maker DT Mike Daniels (foot) on I.R., Green Bay poses a plus running-game matchup after yielding 173/826/7 (4.77 YPC) rushing to enemy backs in the last seven weeks. Far more concerning than Tevin Coleman’s opponent is his usage and lack of production. Out-touched 8 to 7 by Ito Smith against Baltimore last week, Coleman has averaged an anemic 45.5 total yards per game with one score during Atlanta’s losing streak. Smith’s 45% snap rate in Week 13 was his highest since Week 6.

Ryan’s post-bye target distribution: Julio Jones 52; Calvin Ridley 36; Austin Hooper 32; Mohamed Sanu 27; Coleman 22; Smith 12. … The main detriments to Atlanta’s Week 13 offensive output were running a season-low 45 plays and getting clocked in time of possession 40 to 20 by Baltimore. Hooper (5/44/1) was the lone Falcon to do much of anything. Offenses facing Green Bay run 63.5 plays per game. … Julio was last week’s biggest dud (2/18/0) as Ryan passed for a season-low 131 yards after averaging 351.1 yards over his prior nine starts. Jones still has 100-plus yards in six of his last seven games and is a prime fade-recency-bias DFS play. … The Ravens doubled Julio, using Jimmy Smith in press with safety help over the top and leaving Ridley singled up on Marlon Humphrey. Albeit given only five targets to work with, Ridley didn’t hold up his end of the bargain against his college teammate, finishing below 55 yards for the seventh time in his last nine games. Ridley also lost a fourth-quarter touchdown to a hold on RT Ryan Schraeder. Ridley remains WR3/flex viable at Green Bay, which has allowed the NFL’s seventh-most touchdowns to wide receivers (16) and at- or above-expectation stat lines to fellow perimeter WRs Josh Gordon (5/130/1), Marquise Goodwin (4/126/2), Kenny Golladay (4/98/1), Stefon Diggs (8/77/1), Tyler Lockett (5/71/0), and Josh Reynolds (3/42/2) over its last seven games. … Hooper benefited from Ridley’s negated score, hitting pay dirt plays later from a yard out. Hooper has passed Sanu as Atlanta’s No. 3 passing-game option with 29 targets to Sanu’s 22 over the last month and remains in the low-end TE1 hunt.

Score Prediction: Packers 28, Falcons 21


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