Week 13 is upon us and for many, this means the final week of your fantasy regular season. Hopefully you all are already in the playoffs, but if you're not, we're here to help. If you've been eliminated from the postseason already, the season doesn't have to end for you as you can dabble into the Daily Fantasy waters if you've yet to try it out. Here's the disclaimer that I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points in conjunction with your own information and thought process rather than searching out your own players in the individual player diagnosis and turning that section into a linear start/sit guide. With that out of the way, let’s hit all of the Week 13 games in a PPR fashion....
Green Bay vs. Detroit
|41.3%||Opp. Rush %||44.2%|
|58.7%||Opp. Pass %||55.8%|
- Through the first five weeks, Matthew Stafford's highest weekly scoring finish was QB16. Over his past six weeks, he’s been QB15 or higher in five weeks with four top-12 scoring weeks.
- Calvin Johnson has at least five receptions and 80 receiving yards in six consecutive games.
- After averaging a weekly finish of WR48 through seven games, Golden Tate has been the WR34, WR31, WR18 and WR21 over the past month.
- Theo Riddick is tied with Danny Woodhead out of all running backs for the most red zone targets with 11.
- Since returning from injury two weeks ago, Eddie Lacy has 62.9 percent of the team rushing attempts, higher than his 2014 share (56.6 percent) for the season.
- Over those two games, James Starks still has every backfield touch in the red zone.
- No team passes more in the red zone than the Packers at 68.9 percent of the time.
- Per Pro Football Focus, Aaron Rodgers has a quarterback rating of 104.7 plus when targeting Randall Cobb, James Jones or Ty Montgomery and a 61.8 rating targeting Davante Adams.
- After averaging 3.0 offensive touchdowns per game in their six games prior to their bye, the Packers are averaging just 2.0 per game over their past five games.
Trust: Calvin Johnson (he’s been ultra-reliable even if the Thanksgiving Day moments have been more sporadic then we were spoiled with for so long)
Bust: Eddie Lacy (he still hasn’t been used near the goal line and Detroit has allowed just 167 rushing yards total over their past three games), James Jones (Darius Slay wiped him out in the last meeting), Davante Adams (had 21 targets in the last meeting and the Lions were content with every one of them. Have to believe Green Bay alters their approach in round two), Eric Ebron (had his highest target share of the season in the first meeting, but that yielded nothing useful in the results column)
Reasonable Return: Matthew Stafford (has quietly turned his season around from a fantasy perspective), Aaron Rodgers (Detroit has been lights-out on defense since their bye outside of late production to Rodgers in their meeting three weeks ago. I’m playing Rodgers for his floor first in this one over any expected ceiling), Randall Cobb (has one top-30 scoring week over his past eight games, but the targets have still been here weekly to hold out hope as a WR3 floor play with upside), Golden Tate (it’s not shocking that an ancillary player like Tate has seen his viability rise along with Stafford improving), Richard Rodgers (you’re playing him for a touchdown and Detroit is giving them away to tight ends in the red zone on the season), Theo Riddick (weekly flex option has been a top-20 scorer in six of his past nine games with a low point of RB37)
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Houston vs. Buffalo
|39.9%||Opp. Rush %||37.4%|
|60.1%||Opp. Pass %||62.6%|
- Since Week 8, Houston has allowed just two offensive touchdowns on their opponents' past 48 possessions.
- Opposing teams have run just 17 plays in the red zone against the Texans since Week 8, the fewest in the league.
- Over that span, Houston has allowed just one top-24 scoring receiver (Brandon Marshall).
- During that timeframe, Houston has trailed for only 22.2 percent of their snaps as opposed to 66.7 percent previously and is running 10.8 fewer plays per game.
- Over the same stretch, DeAndre Hopkins is averaging 34.7 fewer receiving yards per game than he did prior.
- Hopkins is still the only player with at least five receptions in every game this season.
- Houston has one rushing play over 20 yards on the season, the fewest in the league.
- Sammy Watkins is tied with Odell Beckham and Michael Crabtree for the league lead in touchdowns outside of the red zone with five.
- Since returning from injury in Week 6, LeSean McCoy is fourth in running back touches (128), third in total yards (700) and fourth in points per game (19.0).
- Since Karlos Williams returned in Week 9, McCoy's percentage of the team carries has been 44.4%, 57.6%, 66.7% and 67.8%.
Trust: LeSean McCoy (Houston has ramped up their defense, but the touches and production from McCoy have been rock solid)
Bust: Alfred Blue (last week was set up perfectly for him to be useful and although this week isn’t overly daunting, I’m back to expecting more empty touches),Tyrod Taylor (bounced back last week in a rough matchup on paper, but this matchup may be even tougher given how Houston has been playing defense and Houston has mushed Andy Dalton and Drew Brees in two of the past three weeks), Charles Clay (hasn’t had a top-12 week since Week 6), Ryan Griffin (he's had 18 percent or more of the team targets in two of three games, but we need to see more stability before jumping on)
Reasonable Return: DeAndre Hopkins (this is another game Houston could potentially have neutral game script often against, leaving Hopkins as more of a floor play with high upside based on Houston’s current offensive approach), Brian Hoyer (with Houston in more favorable spots, we’ve seen him as more of a game manager again instead of a volume-inflated option), Sammy Watkins (you’re just living with the volatility weekly if you have him at this point because the good has been really good)
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Baltimore vs. Miami
|39.3%||Opp. Rush %||47.5%|
|60.7%||Opp. Pass %||52.5%|
- Jarvis Landry leads the league with 13 targets inside of the 10-yard line.
- Landry has a touch on 13.2 percent of his snaps, the second highest rate in the league behind Julio Jones (13.7 percent).
- DeVante Parker played 82 percent of the snaps after Rishard Matthews went down, the second highest of all Dolphin receivers.
- Since rushing for 248 yards as a team in Week 7, the Dolphins have run for 302 yards total over their past five games.
- Lamar Miller has rushed for fewer than 50 yards in eight of his past ten games.
- Miller played the fewest amount of snaps (23) and had his lowest share (32 percent) of the season last week. Jay Ajayi led the Dolphins with 48 snaps and Damien Williams played 27.
- Miami has trailed by double digits in nine different games this season, most in the league.
- Only twice have the Ravens allowed the opposing team to rush for 100 yards, the fewest in the league.
- Javorius Allen played 61 percent of the team snaps (Justin Forsett was at 67 percent for the season prior to injury) and handled 52.2 percent of the team carries (Forsett was at 66.7 percent).
- In games without Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken has finished as the WR32, WR20, WR13 and WR16 with 25.9 percent of the team targets.
- Aiken also leads the team in red zone targets over that span with 23.8 percent (five of 21).
Trust: Jarvis Landry (has 12 or more targets in three of his past four and has been a top-13 scorer in four of his past six)
Bust: Lamar Miller (I don’t know what kind of usage we’ll see with another domino falling among the staff, but Miami projects to be pass heavy this week and I don’t want to count on a receiving floor), Crockett Gillmore (his targets last week were more in line for his seasonal numbers, so it’s hard to blame the low output just on the quarterback change)
Reasonable Return: Ryan Tannehill (I would love to trust him this week as a must play in a great matchup, but he’s shown that even with immense volume, his ceiling has largely been a low QB1), Kamar Aiken (at this point, he’s everything people want out of Randall Cobb), Javorius Allen (the usage wasn’t quite as high last week as we were hoping while the efficiency was still lackluster in a great matchup, but there’s a floor to play for here in another favorable matchup), DeVante Parker (with Rishard Matthews out, he’s going to be thrown into the fire finally in a solid matchup even if there’s volatility that comes along with it)
Cincinnati vs. Cleveland
|34.4%||Opp. Rush %||45.6%|
|65.6%||Opp. Pass %||54.4%|
- Since Week 7, the Browns average just 18.6 rushing attempts and 53.6 yards rushing per game, both the fewest in the league.
- Travis Benjamin averages 16.9 points per game against defenses in the bottom half of wide receiver points allowed (five games) with four top-24 scoring weeks. In games against defenses in the top half of wide receiver scoring (the Bengals rank 12th), he averages 13.1 points with just two top-24 scoring weeks.
- Gary Barnidge is averaging 68.9 receiving yards per game, the most by a Browns tight end since Kellen Winslow (69.1) in 2007.
- The Bengals allow 6.2 receptions per game to opposing tight ends, the second most in the league, but have allowed just one touchdown, the fewest in the league.
- A.J. Green has 21 receptions for 183 yards combined over his past five games against Cleveland with a high of 53 yards receiving.
- Andy Dalton has 19 red zone passing touchdowns (third most in the league behind Tom Brady and Carson Palmer). His career high for red zone touchdowns is 23 set in 2013.
- Cleveland has allowed six top-10 scoring quarterbacks, tied for the most in the league.
- Last week was the first time Jeremy Hill averaged over 4.4 yards per carry and the first time he's reached 100 yards from scrimmage since Week 16 of last season.
- Hill played 47.5 percent of the team snaps, his highest since Week 8, but was still under 50 percent of the team total for the fourth time in five weeks.
Trust: Tyler Eifert (monitor his progress through the week as he’s a question mark, but Cleveland has shown no issues allowing tight ends to damage near the paint, which is his specialty)
Bust: Travis Benjamin, Johnny Manziel/Austin Davis (Manziel served his punishment but Davis is rumored to start, either way, we're not looking to them this week), Gary Barnidge (I have more faith in Davis helping him than Manziel as his only good moment with Manziel was against a paper-thin Steeler defense), Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson (there's nothing to see here with this offensive line playing the way it is and the looming negative game script)
Reasonable Return: Andy Dalton (like the first meeting, his yardage is likely going to be capped by game script, making him touchdown-dependent this week), A.J. Green (the matchup is sound and you can bump him up if Eifert is out, but Green has been more of a WR2 upside play than a player we’re counting on to do heavy lifting), Jeremy Hill (I’d be fine flexing him this week, but I’m going in feet first as he’s squandered a lot of appealing game scripts and matchups to date), Giovani Bernard (even when Hill has been his best, he’s still held his floor), Marvin Jones (has sunken down into fill-in territory again, but is flex-worthy this week)
San Francisco vs. Chicago
|44.1%||Opp. Rush %||43.5%|
|55.9%||Opp. Pass %||56.5%|
- Shaun Draughn played 100 percent of the 49er snaps last week, the only time a running back has played every snap in a game this season.
- Since joining the 49ers, Draughn has averaged 20 touches and 86.3 total yards per game while leading the team in targets (21).
- After Blaine Gabbert took over as the starter (and Vernon Davis was traded), Vance McDonald has had 16.8 percent of the team targets (third most) and ranks 12th in tight end scoring.
- Since returning from injury, Anquan Boldin has had 26.1 percent of the team targets and has had at least five receptions for 90 yards in each game, finishing as the WR22 and the WR24.
- The 49ers have scored one first quarter touchdown this season (31 drives), fewest in the league.
- San Francisco allows 35.2 points per game on the road, the most in the league.
- Alshon Jeffery has been targeted on 34.2 percent of his routes, the highest of all receivers.
- In his return, Matt Forte played 55.2 percent of the team snaps while Jeremy Langford played 44.8 percent. Forte handled five of the six red zone opportunities despite Langford's touchdown.
Trust: Alshon Jeffery (hopefully wheels are up on his health as the matchup is ripe), Jay Cutler (has been a stellar floor option and things couldn’t set up better for him to hit a ceiling this week against a defense that hasn’t traveled yet)
Bust: Blaine Gabbert (Chicago is allowing just 214.5 passing yards per game, second fewest and the 49ers still aren’t generating points to latch onto), Martellus Bennett (even before missing last week, he was out targeted by Zach Miller in the previous two games), Vance McDonald (in a week with multiple byes, he could have more viability, but like Ryan Griffin, I’m still just window shopping)
Reasonable Return: Shaun Draughn (the usage is carrying his value, but he may never score a touchdown), Anquan Boldin (served in two WR2 lines against Seattle and Arizona and targets will be here), Matt Forte/Jeremy Langford (this is setting up to be frustrating for the rest of the season, but there could be enough to go around this week), Marquess Wilson (if you’re looking to swing away this week in your flex, Wilson is a deep dig as San Francisco has been thumped by secondary receiving options the same as lead ones)
Jacksonville vs. Tennessee
|40.9%||Opp. Rush %||45.8%|
|59.1%||Opp. Pass %||54.2%|
- Blake Bortles has thrown nine touchdowns this season in the fourth quarter while trailing, most in the league.
- T.J. Yeldon ranks 11th in the league in rushing attempts (156) while ranking 25th in rushing points (68.1) on the season.
- After seeing just 16.6 percent of the team targets in his first five games backs, Julius Thomas has had 23.2% the past two weeks finishing as the TE8 and the TE1.
- Bryan Walters is second on the Jaguars in red zone targets (11), but has converted just one for a touchdown on the season.
- Over the past four weeks, Delanie Walker leads all tight ends with 347 receiving yards and leads all tight ends in receptions (59) for the season.
- Walker has been targeted on 24.5 percent of his routes, the third highest of all tight ends.
- The Titans are the only team in the league to turn the ball over at least once in every game this season.
- Kendall Wright played just 54.8 percent of the team snaps in his return, but he still had 19.4 percent of the team targets, which was right in line with his 19.9 percent prior to injury.
Trust: Delanie Walker (Jacksonville is allowing the third most yards per game to tight ends including 109 to Walker himself two weeks ago), Allen Robinson (still flying somewhat low in terms of overall buzz and Tennessee has been hurt by lead receivers recently)
Bust: Antonio Andrews (Shaun Draughn is everything Andrews wants to be), Bryan Walters/Marqise Lee/Rashad Greene (all three played equally a week ago and all offer low floors with not much room for a ceiling)
Reasonable Return: Julius Thomas (with Allen Hurns out, Thomas should keep his emergence going), Blake Bortles (he’s stacking points late and Tennessee has been solid in limiting quarterback production. Playing him for more of a high QB2 week), Marcus Mariota (he’d be a full on trust this week if the Titans had more weapons in creating a major ceiling, but Jacksonville has been a great floor target all season for quarterbacks including a QB10 week to Mariota in Week 11), Kendall Wright (Jacksonville has been beaten up by interior receiving options often this season and Wright had a week to shake free some rust), T.J. Yeldon (has been frustrating in a sense of turning volume into a ceiling and you may want to sit him, but he’s also been a top-24 scorer in seven straight games)
New York (AFC) vs. New York (NFC)
|35.2%||Opp. Rush %||40.2%|
|64.8%||Opp. Pass %||59.8%|
- Brandon Marshall ranks second (19) and Eric Decker is tied for third (18) in red zone targets on the season.
- Marshall and Decker are the only receivers other than Jarvis Landry to have double digit points in every game played this season.
- Decker's six receiving touchdowns inside of the 10-yard line are tied with Larry Fitzgerald for the most of any wide receiver.
- Chris Ivory has 21 carries for a loss or yards or no gain over the past four weeks, the most in the league.
- Odell Beckham has seven games with 20 or more points, tied with DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones for the most in the league.
- Beckham has 100 or more yards receiving in four consecutive games for the second time in his career already, something only 13 other players have done multiple times.
- Beckham now has 13 100-yard receiving games in his career, the most ever for a receiver through two seasons since Bill Groman's 16 in 1960-1961.
- After allowing just 9.2 points per game to quarterbacks through their first five games, the Jets have allowed 21.2 points per game since with four top-12 scoring quarterbacks.
- Over the past three weeks, Will Tye is second on the team in targets (21), receptions (13) and receiving yards (149) and has 10.6 and 13.4 PPR points in each of the past two weeks.
Trust: Brandon Marshall (11.4 targets per game over his last five and has scored in all but three games this season), Ryan Fitzpatrick (has been a top-13 scorer in five of his past six and the Giants have allowed four top-12 scorers in a row)
Bust: Giants Backfield (this should set up to be a spot to use Shane Vereen strength’s but that’s something the Giants have shown no interest in doing consistently), Rueben Randle (he’s hit 70 yards just once on the season)
Reasonable Return: Odell Beckham (we’re no longer terrified of Darrelle Revis, but there’s still something to be said for him limiting a ceiling in the larger range of outcomes. If Revis is out, go all in), Eli Manning (has been tough to nail down weekly, but the volume should carry him here again), Eric Decker (his floor and ceiling are just a bit lower than Marshall’s, but has a touchdown or 80 yards receiving in every game this season), Chris Ivory (he's saved some potentially really low weeks with short scores and Tecmo Bowl runs, but the volume and scoring opportunities exist weekly), Will Tye (someone else other than Beckham has to catch passes and it's been Tye)
Seattle vs. Minnesota
|39.9%||Opp. Rush %||40.7%|
|60.1%||Opp. Pass %||59.3%|
- Adrian Peterson averages 7.9 yards per carry this season in the fourth quarter (373 rushing yards), the highest in the league of all backs with 25 or more carries.
- Seattle has allowed a top-15 running back in four consecutive games and three top-10 scorers.
- Teddy Bridgewater has thrown multiple touchdowns in just one game this season, the fewest of all quarterbacks to start five or more games.
- Kyle Rudolph has seen 19 targets the past two weeks, the same amount he had over his previous six games combined.
- After scoring 13 offensive touchdowns over their first eight games, the Seahawks have scored 13 touchdowns on offense since their bye.
- Thomas Rawls has a touch on 60 percent of his snaps in games with Marshawn Lynch inactive. Lynch had a touch on 40 percent of his snaps for the season.
- After allowing just 83.8 rushing yards per game over their previous six games, the Vikings have allowed 121 yards rushing per game over their past four games.
- 17.1 percent (19 of 111) of Lynch's runs this year went for negative yardage; second most of all backs with 100 plus carries. Just 4.9 percent (six of 122) of Rawls' carries have lost yardage, second fewest of backs.
- The past two weeks are the first time in Russell Wilson's career that he's thrown three or more touchdowns in back to back games.
- Minnesota is allowing 223.7 passing yards per game, the fourth fewest in the league.
- After averaging 16.1 percent of the team targets per week through seven games, Doug Baldwin is averaging 24.7 percent over the past four with 20 percent or more in each game.
Trust: Thomas Rawls (showed he has a solid floor in a tough matchup last week and Minnesota has been beaten up by backs we left for dead at certain points of the season recently), Adrian Peterson (game script could potentially neutralize him hitting his ceiling, but we know he’s getting plenty of opportunities)
Bust: Teddy Bridgewater, Stefon Diggs (still a lead target among receivers but the overall low volume of the offense and lack of touchdown opportunities for him don’t provide a wide margin for error in a matchup like this), Russell Wilson (Seattle may have taken the shackles off him and this passing game and we’ll know this week in a true tougher assignment as Zimmer-led defenses have been a fantasy nightmare for quarterback production)
Reasonable Return: Kyle Rudolph (if his current usage is sticky, the Seahawks have been vulnerable over the middle and teams have been attacking them with tight ends), Doug Baldwin (has gotten back into the fold as a weekly flex play over the past month and with Jimmy Graham now lost, even more targets are available)
Arizona vs. St. Louis
|37.4%||Opp. Rush %||43.8%|
|62.6%||Opp. Pass %||56.2%|
- Larry Fitzgerald leads the league with eight games of seven receptions or more on the season.
- Fitzgerald has at least seven receptions in five consecutive games against the Rams.
- Carson Palmer is the only player to have 15 or more points in every game this season.
- After allowing 98.1 rushing yards per game over their first seven games, the Rams have allowed 133.5 yards rushing per game over their past four.
- In the first meeting between these two teams, David Johnson played a season high 49 percent of the snaps and was the RB16 for the week.
- After averaging 3.7 sacks per game over their first seven games (second in the league), the Rams have just four sacks since (29th).
- Todd Gurley averages 3.1 yards per carry over the past four weeks, lowest of all running backs with 40 or more rushing attempts.
- The Rams average just 24.6 yards per drive, fewest in the league.
Bust: Todd Gurley (he was able to float his totals with short touchdowns for a few weeks, but he even lost a lot of passing work last week to Tre Mason. This offense and team are circling the drain), Michael Floyd (was mostly a decoy a week ago and the revolving door between he and Brown has shifted once again)
Reasonable Return: Carson Palmer (St. Louis has only allowed one top-10 quarterback and the script should be favorable to the point where he may not post lofty numbers), John Brown (gained some rope a week ago with seven targets and 99 yards and had seven for 75 in the first meeting), Tavon Austin (everything about him any week feels counter-intuitive because of how he's used, but somehow it keeps working and he had 116 total yards in the first meeting between these teams)
Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay
|41.1%||Opp. Rush %||42.9%|
|58.9%||Opp. Pass %||57.1%|
- Doug Martin leads the NFL with 630 rushing yards in the first half of games this season on 101 carries (6.2 YPC). He has 387 yards on 96 carries in the second half (4.0 YPC) this season.
- Mike Evans has been a top-12 scoring receiver in just two of his six complete games with Vincent Jackson active.
- With Jackson out Weeks 8-10, Evans was targeted on 38.3 percent of his routes. Outside of that stretch, he's been targeted on 28.2 percent of his routes.
- Atlanta is allowing .339 passing points per attempt, the third fewest in the league.
- Through seven weeks, Julio Jones was tied for 5th in red zone targets (12) in the league. Since Week 8, he has just four (T-38th).
- Matt Ryan leads the league with four interceptions in the red zone.
- Ryan has thrown just one touchdown outside of the red zone all season, the fewest of any quarterback to start every game this season.
- Since Week 5, Tampa Bay is allowing just 75.0 rushing yards per game, fewest in the league.
Trust: Julio Jones (was held down a week by Xavier Rhodes and quarterback play, but the Bucs are good to get right as they’ve been wrecked by lead receivers often this season, including Jones in Week 8), Mike Evans (he’s leaving a lot of plays on the field which has kept his production in the middle grounds of receivers, but Vincent Jackson will be doing most of the work occupying Desmond Trufant)
Bust: Doug Martin (he’s living off of long runs and not scoring touchdowns, which makes for a scary floor when it hits), Vincent Jackson (has posted two identical lines since his return and if he doesn’t score, it’s not an exciting line, something we’re not banking on here against seeing Trufant often)
Reasonable Return: Devonta Freeman (will be back this week, but this is a receiving floor game for him over a rushing ceiling week), Matt Ryan (he’s not trustworthy, but Tampa Bay has been a solid option to target this year and Julio should thrive), Jacob Tamme (as long as Hankerson is out, he’s been a solid option and had 10/103/1 in this matchup in Week 8), Jameis Winston (has 14.5 points or more in seven straight games), Charles Sims (outside of last week’s hiccup to Adrian Peterson, the Atlanta run defense has been good and can slow Martin down, but Atlanta has allowed 7.3 receptions per game to running backs, meaning Sims could sneak in value here)
Denver vs. San Diego
|40.2%||Opp. Rush %||42.3%|
|59.8%||Opp. Pass %||57.7%|
- Demaryius Thomas is the only player in the league with double digit targets in the red zone without a red zone touchdown.
- Over the past two weeks, the Broncos have rushed for 170 and 179 yards, their two highest totals on the season. Through the first 10 weeks, they averaged just 86 rushing yards per game (29th).
- Since the Broncos' Week 7 bye, C.J. Anderson has carried 50 times for 316 yards (6.3 YPC) while Ronnie Hillman has carried 72 times for 264 yards (3.7 YPC).
- Opponents have scored on 45.7 percent of their possessions versus San Diego, the second most in the league behind New Orleans (46.0 percent).
- Philip Rivers has 25 or more points in four games this season, tied with Cam Newton for second behind Tom Brady's five for quarterbacks.
- The Chargers haven't had a rushing touchdown since Week 1, the longest drought in the league.
- Since Keenan Allen was lost for the season, Stevie Johnson has had 24.3 percent of the team targets. Allen had 25.4 percent prior to injury.
- Antonio Gates averages .34 points per snap, the highest of all tight ends.
- The Broncos allow 6.3 receptions per game to opposing running backs, the fourth most in the league.
Bust: Demaryius Thomas (even outside of last week’s low point and his lack of touchdowns, Jason Verrett is still playing at an elite level and only Alshon Jeffery and Amari Cooper have been top-12 receivers against San Diego from a fantasy standpoint), Antonio Gates (his targets have been sketchy and he’s become touchdown reliant. Denver has allowed just two top-10 tight ends on the season), Philip Rivers (his ceiling has become opponent driven and this still isn’t a defense against which you’re going to pursue big output), Melvin Gordon
Reasonable Return: C.J. Anderson/Ronnie Hillman (both guys have pulled ahead at different points, so it’s hard to jump on one and the distribution is still relatively even, but San Diego is a weekly target for opposing running games and Denver has run the ball well the past two weeks while fully investing into Kubiak’s offense under Osweiler), Emmanuel Sanders (if any receiver is going to get going, I’d place my bets on Sanders against Patrick Robinson), Brock Osweiler (despite limiting receivers, San Diego has been giving to quarterbacks as they’ve allowed multiple touchdown passes in seven games), Stevie Johnson (he can still stack counting stats for his floor with the types of targets he receives, even against this secondary), Danny Woodhead (the Chargers seem intent on making Melvin Gordon a thing this year and it’s capped Woodhead’s touches recently, but this is a week where they should ditch Gordon altogether since Denver can be hurt with backs out of the backfield)
Kansas City vs. Oakland
|38.2%||Opp. Rush %||36.1%|
|61.8%||Opp. Pass %||63.9%|
- After rushing for 85 or more yards in each of his three previous games, Latavius Murray has carried 47 times for 135 yards (2.8 YPC) over the past three weeks.
- Murray has just two top-12 scoring weeks on the season and his past four weeks he's finished as the RB25, RB20, RB32 and RB31.
- Amari Cooper has led the Raiders in targets in six games, Michael Crabtree in five.
- Seth Roberts leads the Raiders in red zone targets with nine and red zone touchdown receptions with four.
- Oakland has allowed 17 or more points to nine quarterbacks, tied with New Orleans for the most in the league.
- Alex Smith has rushed for 30 or more yards in four consecutive games.
- After seeing 19.8 percent of the team targets through seven games, Travis Kelce has 27.9 percent of the team targets over the past four games.
- Jeremy Maclin is the first Chiefs receiver to have three 100-yard receiving games in a season since Dwayne Bowe in 2011.
Trust: Travis Kelce (has been getting the targets we all have wanted and has scored in two of his past four with another called back), Alex Smith (he’s a great floor play in almost any week but the Raiders have been letting quarterbacks reach their ceilings)
Bust: Latavius Murray (has nosedived recently and the Chiefs have allowed just one rusher to go over 75 yards in a game on the ground), Seth Roberts (it's hard to chase those scores when his overall target level has remained consistently low)
Reasonable Return: Derek Carr (the Chiefs had trouble vertically last week and Carr leads the league in touchdown passes over 25 yards), Michael Crabtree/Amari Cooper (the individual matchups suggest this is a Crabtree over Cooper week, but you’re using both despite the fact that they hurt each other’s weekly floor), Charcandrick West/Spencer Ware (best guess is that this a true committee for at least week with Ware as the closer since he’s been too good to just bench, making both flex plays for the short term until we have confirmation of how the splits will be), Jeremy Maclin (last week was his first top-30 scoring week since Week 5, so I’m not going all in on last week becoming a regular occurrence, especially the vertical targets)
Carolina vs. New Orleans
|34.8%||Opp. Rush %||43.3%|
|65.2%||Opp. Pass %||56.7%|
- Jonathan Stewart leads the league in fourth quarter rushing attempts with 54.
- Since entering the league in 2011, only Marshawn Lynch (33) has more rushing touchdowns inside the 5-yard line than Cam Newton's 27.
- The Saints have allowed 488 rushing yards over their past three games Tennessee, Washington and Houston, all teams that average less than 100 yards per game on the ground for the season.
- In his past two games against the Saints, Greg Olsen has 18 receptions for 206 yards and three touchdowns.
- New Orleans allows 78.2 receiving yards to tight ends per game, the second most in the league.
- Carolina is allowing just 4.8 adjusted yards per pass attempt, best in the league. League average AY/A is 7.2 yards.
- The Saints allow 9.8 AY/A to opposing passers, the highest in the league.
- Carolina is allowing a touchdown pass once every 34.2 pass attempts, the second best in the league.
- Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown once every 20.7 pass attempts this season, his worst total since 2007 (23.3 attempts per touchdown).
- Brandin Cooks has been the ninth highest scoring wide receiver since Week 5, but 29.1 percent of his points are from touchdown receptions, the fourth highest dependency over that span.
- Mark Ingram is the only back other than Devonta Freeman to have at least 100 rushing points and 80 points receiving.
Bust: Drew Brees (he’s been in the bottom half of scoring in six of ten games and his best moments have come against powder soft defenses, something he won’t be getting this week), Ben Watson, Willie Snead (both Watson and Snead have come back down into volatile options weekly and it’s hard to love those types against good defenses)
Reasonable Return: Jonathan Stewart (I love his matchup this week, but as is the case weekly, he stays in this tier despite a great matchup because he has no receiving game bonus and needs to score to overcome being a low end RB2 in reception formats), Brandin Cooks (turned in seven for 79 with Luke McCown in the first meeting, there’s a look at a floor here this week indoors), Mark Ingram (Carolina isn’t giving up anything on the ground, but Ingram has held a floor with his receiving game involvement)
Philadelphia vs. New England
|41.9%||Opp. Rush %||35.6%|
|58.1%||Opp. Pass %||64.4%|
- DeMarco Murray plays only 49.6 percent of the Eagles snaps (23rd of all running backs) when active. He was at 73.9 percent (third) in 2014.
- Last week was just the second time since 2012 that Murray failed to record a reception in a game.
- 56.8 percent of Sam Bradford's passing yards have been after the catch, highest in the league.
- After allowing just 94.2 rushing yards per game through six weeks, the Eagles have allowed 165.6 over their past five games.
- In the past three games with all three active, LeGarrette Blount has played 101 snaps (49 percent), Brandon Bolden 103 (50 percent) and James White 77 (37 percent).
- After averaging 4.8 red zone trips per game over their first eight games, the Patriots have eight red zone possessions over the past three weeks.
- Brandon LaFell's target share since returning in Week 7: 14.8%, 18.4%, 23.1%, 14.3%, 20.5% and 21.4%.
- Tom Brady has averaged 9.7 fewer points per game without Rob Gronkowski active since 2013.
- Scott Chandler had three of the eight targets last week after Gronkowski left the game.
Trust: Tom Brady (even with his options hampered, I’m still putting multiple touchdown passes in pen for him this week), Brandon LaFell (has seven or more targets in all but one game since returning and this is matchup he can exploit with target volume as the lead receiver by default)
Bust: Sam Bradford (four of the past five quarterbacks to face New England have been QB24 or lower), Jordan Matthews (don’t chase that late game touchdown again this week), Brandon Bolden/James White (Bolden is playing a lot more than White, but the situation is far from feeling good about using either) , Keshawn Martin (he’s still chasing a waterfall at this stage and you don’t likely need to do that this week)
Reasonable Return: Danny Amendola (health is the only thing giving pause to fully endorsing him), LeGarrette Blount (the way Philadelphia has defended the run recently suggests that Blount could get going downhill here a lot more than the past two weeks), Scott Chandler (the Eagles are tough matchups for any tight end, so there’s a low floor here, but he’s going to be needed), DeMarco Murray (we’re very close to the point where we can just fade the Eagles altogether as they appear to closing up shop on the Chip Kelly era, but with Dont’a Hightower out, there could be room for Murray this week)
Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh
|40.6%||Opp. Rush %||37.3%|
|59.4%||Opp. Pass %||62.7%|
- The Steelers are averaging 531.3 yards of offense over their past three games, over 100 more yards per game than the next highest team.
- The Steelers have scored on 44.9 percent of their drives led by Ben Roethlisberger this season, 35.8 percent otherwise.
- DeAngelo Williams averages 127 total yards per game with Le'Veon Bell inactive. Adrian Peterson leads all running backs in total yards per game (122.5) for the season.
- Martavis Bryant has 14 touchdowns over his first 16 games played, tied for the third most of all receivers through their first 16 games.
- Bryant already has more targets (55) than he had all of 2014 (48) in 10 games played.
- Matt Hasselbeck is averaging 16.3 points per game with at least 13 in all four starts.
- Pittsburgh has allowed three consecutive 300-yard passers and six on the season, the second most in the league.
- After seeing just 15.5 percent of the team targets over his previous five games, Donte Moncrief has had 23.9 percent since Hasselbeck took back over as the starter.
- Frank Gore ranks 5th in touches (208), but just 15th overall in total scoring and 22nd in total yardage per game (77.4) for all running backs.
Bust: Frank Gore (he’s hit a wall and the Steelers have been among the best in defending the run)
Reasonable Return: Matt Hasselbeck (he’s been completely usable every week and the Steelers are a weekly target for a floor), T.Y. Hilton (the only thing holding him back here is that Hasselbeck isn’t completing anything vertically, leaving Hilton’s ceiling to red zone production like last week), Donte Moncrief (back in flex/WR3 consideration with the Steelers forcing the pass with their run defense and not being able to defend on the back end), Heath Miller (has been the one player to come and go, but the Colts have allowed seven top-12 scoring tight ends)
Dallas vs. Washington
|43.3%||Opp. Rush %||42.9%|
|56.7%||Opp. Pass %||57.1%|
- Dallas has just 22 pass plays over 20 yards this season, tied for the Rams for the fewest in the league.
- The Cowboys average just 9.9 possessions per game, fewest in the league.
- Just 28.3 percent of Matt Cassel's pass attempts have gone for a first down, ahead of only Nick Foles (25.2 percent).
- Washington averages 401.8 total yards per game at home as opposed to 264.8 yards per game on the road, the largest differential in the league.
- In Kirk Cousins' past three home starts, he's been the QB1, QB1 and QB9 with three 300-yard passing games.
- Alfred Morris played 59.2 percent of the snaps this past week, his highest percentage since Week 1 (62 percent).
- Morris (145 touches) is the only player other than Melvin Gordon (170) to have 100 or more touches this season without a touchdown.
- Since returning, DeSean Jackson has three receptions of 40 or more yards. Those three receptions have accounted for 76 percent of his receiving yards.
Trust: Darren McFadden (Washington has been getting gashed on the ground outside of last week’s game which had more to do with the Giants and game script and the touches will be here)
Bust: Jordan Reed (Dallas hasn’t allowed any tight end to finish inside of the top-10 this season including Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham), Jason Witten (hopefully you’ve bailed a long time ago as Witten has been a top-12 tight end just once over the past seven weeks), Alfred Morris/Matt Jones (similar to the Giants, the weekly usage here is all over the place and the results haven’t been worth pursuing anyways), Matt Cassel
Reasonable Return: Dez Bryant (he’s still been Cassel’s favorite target when he’s been under center, but both his floor and ceiling are compromised for the remainder of the season), DeSean Jackson (back to full form, living off of splash plays for his production), Kirk Cousins (his splits have as much to do with facing poor defenses over being at home entirely and Dallas has only allowed three top-12 quarterbacks on the season)
Trust = Set him in your lineups this week
Bust = Player to underperform season average
Reasonable Return = On par with seasonal average