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The Worksheet

The Worksheet: Week 14

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

For many, Week 14 means the fantasy playoffs, but if you failed to make the postseason, 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 14 games in a PPR fashion....

 

Minnesota vs. Arizona


Vikings @ Cardinals
7 Spread -7
20 Team O/U 27
61.3 Plays/Gm 65.6
62.8 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.2
47.2% Rush % 43.8%
52.8% Pass % 56.2%
41.9% Opp. Rush % 36.9%
58.1% Opp. Pass %

63.1%

 

  • Adrian Peterson's 18 rushing yards were the third fewest in a game in his career and fewest since having 13 rushing yards in Week 14, 2013.
  • Arizona is allowing just 79.8 rushing yards per game since Week 5, the fourth fewest in the league.
  • Arizona is allowing just 65.2 rushing yards to running backs per game, the fewest in the league.
  • Peterson has converted just two of 18 carries for touchdowns in goal to go situations this season.
  • Minnesota hasn't had a wide receiver hit 70 yards receiving in a game since Week 8.
  • Through three quarters this past week, David Johnson handled 22 of the 26 backfield touches for the Cardinals for 114 total yards.
  • With all three wide receivers healthy, the Arizona target splits were Michael Floyd (30 percent), Larry Fitzgerald (27.5 percent) and John Brown (20 percent).
  • Fitzgerald has at least eight receptions and 11 or more targets in five consecutive games.
  • Browns' 11.3 yards per target is the highest of all receivers with at least 70 targets on the season.

 

Trust: Carson Palmer (the best quarterback floor going, has scored 15 or more points in every game and the hedge on picking from the wide receiver unit), David Johnson (carried a monster workload like Chris Johnson was doing before him and the Minnesota run defense has faded the past month)

 

Bust: Adrian Peterson (there’s a squeaky wheel element in play in terms of volume, but this is another basement matchup and the receiving game should struggle again), All other Vikings (there’s just nothing to see here anymore)

 

Reasonable Return: Larry Fitzgerald (his floor has dropped a little recently due to a 6.7 yards per catch mark over the past two weeks, but the reception floor is still intact when that bounces back), John Brown (absurdly efficient per target for the types of targets he’s getting), Michael Floyd (three 100-yard games over his past four)

 

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Buffalo vs. Philadelphia


Bills @ Eagles
-1 Spread 1
24 Team O/U 23
62.5 Plays/Gm 68.8
64.8 Opp. Plays/Gm 70.8
48.4% Rush % 42.1%
51.6% Pass % 57.9%
37.3% Opp. Rush % 40.6%
62.7% Opp. Pass % 59.4%

 

  • LeSean McCoy has at least 100-yards from scrimmage in six consecutive games, the longest streak in the league.
  • After scoring 36.6 points total over his previous three games, Tyrod Taylor has come back to score 26.2 and 29.2 points against Kansas City (the second highest point total they've allowed) and Houston (the highest they've allowed).
  • The Eagles have allowed 27.5 points per game to opposing quarterbacks over the past five weeks.
  • Since returning in Week 9, Sammy Watkins has six receptions of 30-yards or more, which leads the league.
  • Over that span, Watkins has 45.4 percent of the Buffalo receiving yardage on 25.6 percent of the team targets.
  • During the same timeframe, Watkins has the fifth most fantasy points (95.8), but the 24th most targets (34) at wide receiver.
  • DeMarco Murray played just 14 snaps last week, his lowest total on the season.
  • The 15 carries that Darren Sproles had last week were the most he's had in a game since Week 3 of 2009 (18).
  • Sproles has been targeted on 17.5 percent of his snaps, the highest of all running backs.
  • The Bills have allowed multiple pass touchdowns in nine games this season, tied for the second most (New Orleans at 10) in the league.

 

Trust: Tyrod Taylor (preemptively wrote him off after a three week decline with two hot defenses on tap and he wrecked both. Now gets a cherry on top his matchup this week), LeSean McCoy (narratives aside, McCoy is the hottest running back in fantasy), Sammy Watkins (the matchup is stellar on paper for him to finally see some real volume)

 

Bust: Jordan Matthews (has scored in each of the past two games and still barely cracked being a weekly WR3 each week), DeMarco Murray (he’s consistently been their least efficient running back even if he recovers playing time and I’d even prefer Ryan Mathews to him if he’s back)

 

Reasonable Return: Sam Bradford (there’s some discomfort here, but the Bills have steadily provided a nice floor for quarterbacks), Darren Sproles (even if his carries go down, he’s been involved in the passing game with two top-20 scoring weeks over his past three games), Zach Ertz (he’s averaged 17.6 percent of the team targets over his past six complete games and the receivers should struggle here)

 

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San Francisco vs. Cleveland


49ers @ Browns
1.5 Spread -1.5
20 Team O/U 21
58.9 Plays/Gm 64.3
67.3 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.2
42.4% Rush % 34.1%
57.6% Pass % 65.9%
45.3% Opp. Rush % 46.6%
54.7% Opp. Pass % 53.4%

 

  • Blaine Gabbert has been sacked on 5.2 percent of his dropbacks as opposed to the 9.5 percent Colin Kaepernick was sacked through eight weeks.
  • Over the past three weeks, Shaun Draughn ranks third in targets (22) and second in receptions (18) of all running backs.
  • Anquan Boldin has 30.7 percent (31) of the team targets since returning from injury three weeks ago.
  • The Browns have allowed 30 or more points in five consecutive games, the longest streak in the league.
  • The 49ers are the only team in the league other than the Cowboys that have failed to score 30 points in a game this season.
  • Johnny Manziel has targeted Gary Barnidge on 15.6 percent of his throws. Austin Davis has targeted him on 18.8 percent and Josh McCown on 21.9 percent.
  • In Manziel's three starts this season he's been the QB23, QB21 and the QB12 in weekly scoring.
  • In his past four games, Brian Hartline has 25 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent and 30.6 percent of the team targets with four top-30 scoring weeks.

 

Bust: Duke Johnson (he’s Theo Riddick in a much worse spot weekly), Gary Barnidge (his weekly ceiling is compromised going forward), Johnny Manziel (the only time he’s shown to be usable while starting was a game in which the script and pace were extremely tilted. Even in a solid matchup, there’s not much else to latch onto)

 

Reasonable Return: Blaine Gabbert (has 14.6 points or more in every start and has added 140 rushing yards to help that mid-QB2 floor), Shaun Draughn (RB10-RB16 in each of his past four games), Anquan Boldin (lead receivers have destroyed Cleveland, but there’s not enough of a ceiling here to propel him higher than a WR3 option), Isaiah Crowell (showed some life last week and the 49ers run defense has been volatile all season long), Brian Hartline (in nearly an identical spot as Boldin this week)

 

Atlanta vs. Carolina


Falcons @ Panthers
7 Spread -7
20 Team O/U 27
68.1 Plays/Gm 67.4
63.2 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.8
38.6% Rush % 51.1%
61.4% Pass % 48.9%
42.5% Opp. Rush % 34.1%
57.5% Opp. Pass % 65.9%

 

  • Julio Jones has just 22.2 percent of the Atlanta red zone targets over the past three games as opposed to 34 percent Weeks 1-9.
  • Atlanta is running 12.7 red zone plays per game over this current span as opposed to 10.8 prior.
  • Jones was the WR34 (6/59) and the WR37 (4/58) on 19 total targets in his two matchups against Carolina last season.
  • Per Pro Football Focus, Jones runs 28.4 percent of his routes from the slot. Josh Norman has covered the slot receiver just seven snaps all season.
  • Over his past four games, 71 percent of Devonta Freeman's fantasy output has been receiving and he's averaged just 3.8 yards per carry.
  • Matt Ryan has finished in the bottom half of quarterback scoring in six weeks while finishing in the top-10 just twice.
  • Ryan has thrown a touchdown once every 28.2 pass attempts this season, the lowest rate in his career.
  • With Corey Brown back, Devin Funchess played just 32.1 percent of the team snaps last week.
  • Jonathan Stewart leads the league in double digit carry games with fewer than 4.0 yards per carry at eight, but has 20 or carries in eight consecutive games.
  • Teams target their tight ends 9.5 times per game against Atlanta, the 6th most in the league.

 

Trust: Cam Newton (been a complete product of ceiling and floor all season long), Greg Olsen (tight ends have hampered Atlanta often and Olsen inherently comes with heavy target volume to begin with), Jonathan Stewart (Atlanta has cracked the past two weeks against the run and has allowed 13 rushing touchdowns to backs on the season, most in the league)

 

Bust: Matt Ryan (playing some of the worst football of his career and now faces the league’s most stingy pass defense in terms of fantasy production per attempt)

 

Reasonable Return: Julio Jones (expectations are lowered to a low WR2 in this one, but he moves around enough to have opportunity if Josh Norman doesn’t follow him into the slot), Devonta Freeman (his rushing output has vanished, but is used heavily in the passing game), Jacob Tamme (if Julio's targets get compromised, you'd have to believe that helps Tamme but he is still more of a floor play at the position)

 

Seattle vs. Baltimore


Seahawks @ Ravens
n/a Spread n/a
n/a Team O/U n/a
63.5 Plays/Gm 67.5
60.8 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.8
48.6% Rush % 36.7%
51.4% Pass % 63.3%
39.5% Opp. Rush % 40.3%
60.5% Opp. Pass % 59.7%

 

  • Thomas Rawls' .728 rushing points per attempt ranks third of all backs with at least 100 carries on the season. Marshawn Lynch was averaging .538 points per rush, 21st.
  • Russell Wilson has just 20 incomplete passes over the past three weeks, completing a league high 76.7 percent of his passes.
  • Wilson is the first Seattle quarterback to throw three or more touchdown passes in three straight games since Dave Krieg in 1983.
  • Over the past four weeks, Doug Baldwin has been targeted on 23 percent of his routes as opposed to 15.2 percent beforehand.
  • Over that span, no receiver has more points than Baldwin (103.3) and he's second in points per game (25.8) to only Antonio Brown (26.3).
  • Through eight weeks Seattle had scored a touchdown on just 15.5 percent of their drives (31st). Over the past four weeks, they've scored a touchdown on 15 of 30 drives, tops in the league.
  • Javorius Allen is the first rookie back to have 10 or more receptions in a game since Roy Helu (14) in 2011.

 

Trust: Russell Wilson (as hot as it gets), Thomas Rawls (Baltimore is one the best against the run, but was just pounded by Lamar Miller and this Seattle offense is just moving downhill)

 

Bust: Kamar Aiken (has been a target monster, but still has a low floor when he doesn’t reach the paint and Seattle has allowed just four touchdowns to receivers on the season)

 

Reasonable Return: Javorius Allen (hasn’t done much on the ground, but is a fantastic pass catcher and Seattle has recently allowed an 8/40 line receiving to Shaun Draughn and a 7/88 line to DeAngelo Williams out of the backfield), Doug Baldwin (keep riding the wave while Wilson is scorching)

 

Washington vs. Chicago


Washington @ Bears
3.5 Spread -3.5
21 Team O/U 24
62.6 Plays/Gm 65.7
62.2 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.5
40.9% Rush % 46.1%
59.1% Pass % 53.9%
43.0% Opp. Rush % 43.1%
57.0% Opp. Pass % 56.9%

 

  • Matt Forte out-snapped Jeremy Langford 44 to 28 this past week and out-touched him 26 to 14.
  • The Bears have 25 or more rushing attempts in 12 games this season, tied with Carolina for the most in the league.
  • After scoring at least 17 points in his first six games back from injury, Jay Cutler has been the QB23, QB27 and QB27.
  • Alshon Jeffery has converted just one of 13 red zone targets for a touchdown this season.
  • Chicago is allowing just 210.8 passing yards per game, the second fewest in the league.
  • Kirk Cousins has finished in the front of quarterback scoring just four times and all four came against teams in the back half of passing yardage allowed per game.
  • Since DeSean Jackson has returned he's accrued 19.4 percent of the team targets. Pierre Garcon has seen his target share drop from 21.2 percent to 17.4 percent.

 

Trust: Alshon Jeffery (a letdown overall last week but the targets have steadily been there and receivers in the same ilk as Jeffery such as Brandon Marshall and Mike Evans have given Washington trouble)

 

Bust: Jay Cutler (Chicago has him in full game managing mode over the past three weeks), Kirk Cousins (if it hasn’t been a layup, he hasn’t cashed it in), Washington running backs (good luck week to week here on usage and the results for the lead option haven’t been inviting regardless)

 

Reasonable Return: Matt Forte (volume and passing game usage were both back last week), DeSean Jackson (back to form of relying on a play per game to float his production while the floor is scary low), Jordan Reed (ran into a tough matchup last week, but still led the team in targets), Zach Miller (Martellus Bennett has been shelved and prior to last week’s solo target had 20.7 percent of the looks over his previous three games)

 

Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati


Steelers @ Bengals
3 Spread -3
23 Team O/U 27
62.9 Plays/Gm 63.3
64.9 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.6
40.3% Rush % 46.7%
59.7% Pass % 53.3%
36.8% Opp. Rush % 34.2%
63.2% Opp. Pass % 65.8%

 

  • DeAngelo Williams leads all running backs with at least 100 carries on the season in rushing points per attempt (.750 points).
  • The Steelers average 433.3 yards from scrimmage in the seven games Ben Roethlisberger has played at least 75 percent of the snaps.
  • In those seven games, Antonio Brown averages 9.3 receptions, 138.1 receiving yards and 29.1 points per game with seven touchdown receptions.
  • Pittsburgh has averaged 529 yards per game over their past four and is the fourth team ever and the first team to have 450 total yards in four straight games since New England in 2011.
  • Since he returned in Week 6, Martavis Bryant has eight receptions of 25 or more yards, tied with Antonio Brown for second in the league (Allen Robinson, nine).
  • Cincinnati is allowing just .333 passing points per attempt, the third fewest in the league.
  • A.J. Green has at least eight receptions in four consecutive games against the Steelers with 13 or more targets in six straight.
  • Green's 9.8 yards per targets are the third highest in the league of all receivers with 70 or more targets.
  • Pittsburgh has allowed just six top-24 scoring backs and just one top-12 scoring back, both the fewest in the league.

 

Trust: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, DeAngelo Williams (even in a tougher matchup, wheels up on this offense), A.J. Green (back to back strong weeks and has steadily given Pittsburgh issues), Andy Dalton (flying in the face of the common opponent output Dalton has had and his midseason stinker and following the implied Vegas total and subpar Steeler secondary)

 

Bust: Jeremy Hill (has looked improved the past two weeks, but the Steelers have steadily mushed rushing output)

 

Reasonable Return: Tyler Eifert/Heath Miller (if both or either are back this week, Pittsburgh has allowed 6.3 receptions per game to tight ends while Cincinnati has allowed 6.4, the third and fourth most in the league), Giovani Bernard (the gameplan should definitely call for more than the three touches he had in the first meeting), Martavis Bryant (Immense ceiling that you’re using, but he’s still seeing some wonky usage in terms of snap counts and has the lowest floor of the main components of this offense), Marvin Jones (he has five or fewer targets in half of his games and you're fishing for a touchdown to cover him, but I expect the Bengals passing output to be much better than it was in Week 8 and for him to have an opportunity to do so)

 

Detroit vs. St. Louis


Lions @ Rams
0 Spread 0
20 Team O/U 20
64.8 Plays/Gm 57.7
63.8 Opp. Plays/Gm 66.6
33.7% Rush % 43.9%
66.3% Pass % 56.1%
43.7% Opp. Rush % 43.9%
56.3% Opp. Pass % 56.1%

 

  • After having 38 percent (68 attempts) of the team carries through nine games, Ameer Abdullah has 48 percent (41 carries) over the past three.
  • After allowing 12.4 points per game to opposing quarterbacks through eight weeks, the Rams have allowed 19.7 points per game over their past four weeks.
  • Over that stretch the Rams have allowed four top-20 scoring wide receivers after allowing just four over those first eight weeks.
  • Golden Tate's 6.1 yards per target rank 40th out of 41 receivers with 70 or more targets on the season.
  • The Rams have four offensive touchdowns on 51 possessions since Week 9.
  • Todd Gurley has just one rush of 10 or more yards over the past four weeks on 55 carries after having 18 runs of 10 or more yards over his five previous games (112 carries).

 

Trust: Matthew Stafford (the Rams defense is crumbling while Stafford has 15 or more points in six of his past seven games)

 

Bust: Todd Gurley (game script, surrounding talent, schedule before and after or no matter what else you want to pin his decline on, this is the time you’re looking for tangible results and they haven’t been there. Maybe the coordinator change gets him back involved in the passing game, but the rushing output still looks bleak as Detroit has allowed 58.5 rushing yards per game over the past four weeks), Eric Ebron (five or fewer targets in six of his past seven games), Tavon Austin (the way he’s used makes it nearly impossible to get a grasp on when he’ll be useful)

 

Reasonable Return: Calvin Johnson (the ceiling we once knew is rare, but has been a great floor option), Golden Tate (he’s been a WR2/3 in seven of his past eight games), Ameer Abdullah (he’s been in the flex area of production over the past three weeks but still hasn’t been used in the passing game), Theo Riddick (steady floor flex play weekly)

 

Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville


Colts @ Jaguars
n/a Spread n/a
n/a Team O/U n/a
67.0 Plays/Gm 65.3
67.9 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.2
37.2% Rush % 35.2%
62.8% Pass % 64.8%
40.9% Opp. Rush % 41.8%
59.1% Opp. Pass % 58.2%

 

  • Since scoring 12 points against the Colts in Week 4, Allen Robinson has 15 or more points in eight consecutive games, the longest streak by a non-quarterback. The next closest streak is five.
  • Robinson has 10 receiving touchdowns in the red zone, the most of any wide receiver.
  • Robinson's 50 percent red zone conversion rate (10/20) trails only Tyler Eifert (68.7 percent) for all players with double digit red zone targets.
  • With five passing touchdowns last week, Blake Bortles has set a franchise record with 27 passing touchdowns in a single season.
  • Bortles has seven top-12 weekly finishes, tied for the fourth most of all quarterbacks.
  • Jacksonville has allowed 11 different quarterbacks to score 15 or more points, the most in the league. The Colts have allowed 10, tied for the second most.
  • The Colts have rushed for just 51.7 yards per game over the past three weeks, 31st in the league.

 

Trust: Allen Robinson (his last game under par was against Indy, but he’s too hot to turn away from), Blake Bortles (the Colts have been a great floor target for quarterback and Bortles has shown he has a strong ceiling)

 

Bust: Frank Gore (made his way through the passing game last week to mask another low end rushing total)

 

Reasonable Return: T.Y. Hilton (has had a lot of volatility with the quarterback change but Jacksonville is approachable through the air), Matt Hasselbeck (last week was dreadful, but had shown a usable floor prior and Jacksonville has been a premier target for quarterback production), Donte Moncrief (he disappeared with Hasselbeck last week but managed a 6/75 game in this matchup earlier with Hasselbeck under center), Allen Hurns (expected to return this week and secondary receivers have given the Colts issues), Julius Thomas (he’s scored in three straight, but also has fewer than 30 receiving yards in five of his past six. The Colts have allowed seven top-12 tight ends which still has me interested despite the low floor if he fails to score a touchdown), T.J. Yeldon (he scored last week and when he does, he goes from a RB2 to an RB1 as he averages 18.7 touches per game)

 

San Diego vs. Kansas City


Chargers @ Chiefs
10 Spread -10
17.5 Team O/U 27.5
68.2 Plays/Gm 61.2
60.2 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.1
34.8% Rush % 43.2%
65.2% Pass % 56.8%
43.9% Opp. Rush % 37.5%
56.1% Opp. Pass % 62.5%

 

  • Charcandrick West out-snapped Spencer Ware 34 to 17 last week, but out-touched him just 11 to nine.
  • Ware had three red zone touches to West's one.
  • After having just 20.2 percent of team targets and 13.3 percent of the team receiving yardage over the three previous weeks, Jeremy Maclin has had 42.9 percent of the targets and 61.2 percent of the receiving yards over the past two weeks.
  • In five games against teams that rank in the top half of passing points allowed per attempt (Kansas City ranks 11th), Philip Rivers has been the QB24, QB24, QB2, QB27 and the QB28.
  • Through seven weeks Danny Woodhead was the RB3 overall (17.2 points per game) and ninth in total yardage (595 yards) among running backs.
  • Since then, Woodhead is the RB29 (9.9 PPG) and 35th in total yardage (253 yards).
  • Over those first seven weeks, Melvin Gordon averaged 14.0 touches to Woodhead's 12.3. Since then, it's been Gordon at 17.0 touches per game to Woodhead's 8.0.
  • The Chiefs allow just 4.2 receptions per game to running backs, the second fewest in the league.
  • Kansas City is allowing just 3.9 receptions for 36.0 yards per game to opposing tight ends, both the fewest in the league.

 

Bust: Philip Rivers (has been a matchup dependent option and Vegas has a bleak outlook for this offense overall), Antonio Gates (when he doesn’t score, the floor is low and it’s hard to expect a score this week), Melvin Gordon/Danny Woodhead (the Chargers are pot committed to Gordon and it’s shown in usage and play calling)

 

Reasonable Return: Alex Smith (Vegas wants us on the Chiefs and he’s averaged 18.4 points per game over his past 10 games, but has been inside of the top-10 scorers just once over that strong streak), Jeremy Maclin (San Diego has still been a tough matchup for lead receivers, leaving me with fringe WR2 expectations this week), Travis Kelce (just hasn’t been able to get over the mid-TE1 hump as his ceiling weekly), Charcandrick West/Spencer Ware (San Diego can be run on enough for both to be useful flex plays, but this is a split that appears to favor Ware if you’re chasing a touchdown), Stevie Johnson (completely egged last week then left with a groin injury, but San Diego lost another wide receiver and he had shown a WR3 floor prior to his matchup against Denver including a 7/54 line in this matchup two weeks ago)

 

New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay


Saints @ Buccaneers
3.5 Spread -3.5
23.5 Team O/U 27
67.5 Plays/Gm 63.4
64.8 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.5
35.4% Rush % 47.4%
64.6% Pass % 52.6%
43.4% Opp. Rush % 41.6%
56.6% Opp. Pass % 58.4%

 

  • Drew Brees has thrown 35 or more passes in 10 games this season, tied with Tom Brady for the most in the league.
  • Brees has just three top-12 scoring weeks on the season, fewer than Jameis Winston’s four.
  • The Saints allow 38.2 yards per drive on the season, the most in the league.
  • Since their Week 6 bye, the Buccaneers average 40.2 yards per drive, second behind only Pittsburgh (41.3 yards).
  • Over that span, Winston has averaged 19.7 points per game (13th).
  • The Saints have allowed seven top-5 scoring quarterbacks and six to have 25 or more points. No other team has allowed more than three of each.
  • The Saints have allowed 35 passing touchdowns, the most ever through 12 games in NFL history.
  • Tampa Bay has punted on 31.3 percent of their drives, the fewest in the league.
  • New Orleans has allowed 165.8 rushing yards per game over their past four games with at least 167 yards rushing in their past three games.
  • Mark Ingram ranks 8th in rushing points (112.9) and sixth in receiving points (90.5). The only other back to rank in the top-10 in both categories is Devonta Freeman.
  • Tampa Bay is allowing just .409 rushing points per attempt, the second fewest in the league next to the Jets (.380).
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned last week and had 22.2 percent of the team targets, a higher total than he had in either game prior to injury.

 

Trust: Jameis Winston (the Saints are giving up quarterback production at historic levels), Doug Martin (they’ve also been giving up oodles of rushing production), Brandin Cooks (has been a top-10 option in three of his past five games and Tampa Bay has struggled versus lead receiving options all season long)

 

Reasonable Return: Mike Evans (has been under 70 receiving yards in every game since Vincent Jackson returned but has scored in two of those games), Vincent Jackson (has been a top-30 receiver just twice all season, but you’re playing on the New Orleans defense raising all tides here), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (the matchup overall and the Saints lack of defending opposing tight ends dictate he’s relevant, but he’s still a leap of faith option), Drew Brees (road bugaboos and just hasn’t been a ceiling option for the bulk of the season), Mark Ingram (terrible rushing matchup, but Ingram has just one week outside of the top-20 on the season), Willie Snead/Brandon Coleman (whoever goes in this one will have some relevance as a flex option based on potential volume), Ben Watson (has averaged 19.1 percent of the targets over the past three weeks and Tampa Bay is in the middle of the pack defending tight ends)

 

Tennessee vs. New York (AFC)


Titans @ Jets
7 Spread -7
17.5 Team O/U 24.5
61.4 Plays/Gm 67.7
60.8 Opp. Plays/Gm 64.2
40.6% Rush % 42.4%
59.4% Pass % 57.6%
44.9% Opp. Rush % 35.5%
55.1% Opp. Pass % 64.5%

 

  • Since Bilal Powell returned in Week 11, Chris Ivory's snap share has been 25.4 percent, 56.0 percent and 38.5 percent each week to Powell's 61.2 percent, 45.3 percent and 55.1 percent.
  • Over that stretch, the Jets have trailed for 84.1 percent, zero and 59.7 percent of their offensive snaps.
  • The only two receivers to score double-digit points in every game played this season are Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall.
  • Since their Week 5 bye, Ryan Fitzpatrick's fantasy finishes in games he completed have been QB4, QB8, QB11, QB17, QB13, QB3 and QB8.
  • After allowing just one quarterback to finish inside of the top-15 through seven games (16.0 PPG), the past five quarterbacks to face the Titans have been the QB4, QB6, QB22, QB6 and the QB5 (23.9 PPG).
  • Marcus Mariota is averaging 18.5 points per game, the third most of any rookie quarterback ever in a season.
  • Delanie Walker is averaging 72.7 receiving yards per game, the third highest mark in a season for any tight end age 31 or older.

 

Trust: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall (has shown to consistently have a higher ceiling than Decker)

 

Bust: Antonio Andrews (plunged in a short one last week, but the Jets have allowed just one rushing touchdown to a running back all season), Kendall Wright (has been a top-40 scorer just once over his past six games played), Dorial Green-Beckham (had his first real fantasy-relevant moment last week, but did so on six targets against a soft opponent. We’ll need to see that rollover before we can go in on him), Bilal Powell (since he’s come back, the only week he’s been unusable was when the Jets controlled the game against Miami as he was the RB45. This one could have similar tempo)

 

Reasonable Return: Delanie Walker (the premier floor play tight end this season), Eric Decker (has been bankable for a weekly WR3 floor with WR2 upside), Chris Ivory (has struggled efficiency-wise and is now game script dependent, but that should be favorable this week), Marcus Mariota (he’s been excellent in three straight games that have been soft matchups, expecting more of a mid-QB2 week)

 

Oakland vs. Denver

Raiders @ Broncos
7 Spread -7
17.5 Team O/U 24.5
63.2 Plays/Gm 65.0
66.6 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.8
37.2% Rush % 40.0%
62.8% Pass % 60.0%
36.7% Opp. Rush % 39.9%
63.3% Opp. Pass % 60.1%

 

  • In the first meeting between these two teams, Amari Cooper had just 10.3 percent of the team targets, his lowest mark for the season.
  • Cooper's 8.8 yards per target rank 9th at wide receiver while Michael Crabtree's 6.6 yards per target rank 37th.
  • 48.4 percent of Derek Carr's fantasy output comes from touchdown passes, the highest dependency in the league.
  • Denver allows a passing touchdown once every 38.1 pass attempts, the best rate in the league.
  • Denver is averaging 161.0 rushing yards since changing over to Brock Osweiler as the starting quarterback after averaging 86.0 rushing yards per game prior.
  • Under Osweiler, the Broncos are running 7.1 more offensive plays per game.
  • Per Pro Football Focus, since Osweiler has taken over as the starter, Emmanuel Sanders' average depth of target (aDOT) has jumped up to 20.5 yards after 13.5 yards prior.
  • After catching nine passes against Oakland in Week 5, Sanders has reached six receptions in just two of his past six games since with four or fewer in four games.

 

Trust: Emmanuel Sanders (he’s being targeted at a similar pace as he was with Manning and Oakland has struggled to defend players of his ilk)

 

Bust: Derek Carr (his fantasy output is reliant on heavy touchdown production, something surely compromised here), Amari Cooper/Michael Crabtree (we don’t have to fight picking the right guy this week as both are avoidable), Latavius Murray (Denver has been susceptible to pass-catching backs and Murray has two of fewer catches in five of his past seven)

 

Reasonable Return: Brock Osweiler (can still find his way to modest yardage totals as Oakland has been a weekly target for quarterback production, but Denver has been a little conservative with Osweiler meaning he’ll need to throw multiple touchdowns to carry his viability), Demaryius Thomas (Oakland has defended lead receivers like Thomas well while struggling versus guys similar to Sanders. Looking at Thomas himself in Week 5, A.J. Green, Golden Tate outscoring Calvin Johnson, Jeremy Maclin last week and Keenan Allen signs point to this being a Sanders game), Denver Backfield (C.J. Anderson has been the most effective but is banged up and even with him out, Ronnie Hillman seen Juwan Thompson get involved. This is just a better unit in bulk than playing the individuals)

 

Dallas vs. Green Bay


Cowboys @ Packers
n/a Spread n/a
n/a Team O/U n/a
61.6 Plays/Gm 63.9
60.4 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.2
44.1% Rush % 40.7%
55.9% Pass % 59.3%
43.3% Opp. Rush % 41.1%
56.7% Opp. Pass % 58.9%

 

  • Randall Cobb has just a 57.6 percent catch rate on the season, which ranks 28th out of all receivers with 70 or more targets on the season.
  • Entering this season, Cobb had a 73.4 percent catch rate for his career, with a season low of 65.6 percent in 2013.
  • Out of those 41 receivers with 70 or more targets, Davante Adams' 50.7 percent catch rate ranks 38th.
  • Dallas is allowing a passing touchdown once every 32.3 pass attempts, the third best rate in the league. Aaron Rodgers has thrown a touchdown once every 16.4 pass attempts, 7th in the league.
  • After seeing 15.4 percent of the team targets through 10 games, Richard Rodgers has 16.3 percent and 22.2 percent over the past two weeks.
  • Dallas is the only team that hasn't allowed a tight end to finish inside of the top-10 in scoring this season.
  • In his six games since returning from injury, Dez Bryant has scored in the single digits four times and his weekly ranks have been WR72, WR10, WR36, WR21, WR78 and WR48.
  • Since his return he ranks 19th of all receivers in targets (50).
  • After allowing 125.1 rushing yards per game through eight games, the Packers have allowed just 85.3 rushing yards over their past four games.

 

Trust: Aaron Rodgers (still finding a way to be a ceiling fantasy option one way or another despite not feeling good about any of his receiving options as he has eight top-12 scoring weeks, trailing only Tom Brady and Andy Dalton)

 

Bust: Dez Bryant (at this stage of the season, he’s just not usable as his volume is second level and doesn’t have the touchdown upside in his current situation to get past the lack of targets), James Starks/Eddie Lacy (Lacy apparently broke team rules last week which led to his usage, but this is another matchup that is poor overall for the running game as Dallas has allowed one 80-yard rusher since Week 4. If you have to play one, chase Starks for his passing game use), Davante Adams (Dallas has played boundary receivers much better than interior ones), Richard Rodgers, James Jones

 

Reasonable Return: Randall Cobb (he hasn’t even had strong target volume over the past three weeks while being a weekly flex option, but once again has the best individual matchup. Still only a WR3 play with upside at this stage and I wouldn’t be scared to sit him in spots), Darren McFadden (lower end volume RB2 this week as the Packers run defense has been playing well)

 

New England vs. Houston


Patriots @ Texans
-3 Spread 3
24 Team O/U 21
67.8 Plays/Gm 72.0
65.7 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.6
34.0% Rush % 39.4%
66.0% Pass % 60.6%
37.2% Opp. Rush % 41.7%
62.8% Opp. Pass % 58.3%

 

  • Tom Brady has 300 passing yards and multiple touchdown passes in seven games this season, tied for the second most he's ever had in a season (he had nine in 2011).
  • Over his past three games, Danny Amendola has seen 26.2 percent, 30.8 percent and 22.8 percent of the team targets, finishing as the WR12, WR6 and WR12.
  • Scott Chandler had 12.3 percent of the team targets last week. Rob Gronkowski was averaging 20 percent per game.
  • After having 15 carries inside of the 10-yard line Weeks 2-10 (T-3) LeGarrette Blount hasn't had a touch inside of the 10-yard over the past three games.
  • Brian Hoyer has thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven of his past eight games.
  • While trailing for 87 percent of their offensive plays, Chris Polk (30) and Jonathan Grimes (27) out-snapped Alfred Blue (nine).
  • DeAndre Hopkins' 10 receiving touchdowns are a Houston franchise record for a single season.
  • Hopkins leads the NFL in red zone targets with 22, but has just six (T-32) over his past six games played.

 

Trust: Tom Brady (has had one hiccup for fantasy and tuned in a strong game in a brutal matchup on paper versus Denver and still showed his ceiling last week with his best receiver out), Danny Amendola (rinse and repeat this role within this offense)

 

Bust: LeGarrette Blount (outside of getting a bunny touchdown opportunity, this isn’t a matchup that points to him being effective), Brandon LaFell (since returning has finished inside of the top-36 just once), Ryan Griffin (back to back top-10 weeks but New England has smothered tight ends, allowing just 43.1 yards per game to them, 30th in the league), Houston Backfield (the script should favor Jonathan Grimes and Chris Polk again over Alfred Blue, but there’s not enough here to like about using anyone this week)

 

Reasonable Return: Rob Gronkowski (if he plays, may be on some form of limitation, but Houston has been beaten by nearly all of the quality tight ends they’ve faced this year), Scott Chandler (if Gronk is out, keep using him as lower TE1 for his attachment to Brady and scoring opportunities), James White (the script won’t be as lopsided as it was last week to make his production a normality, but he’s arguably one of their best passing game options right now and is the no huddle back), DeAndre Hopkins (he’s been more of a WR2 the past five weeks than a WR1 and will get full attention in this one from the Patriots' defense), Cecil Shorts (he’s seen a WR3/flex play for four straight weeks and Hopkins will surely be the focal point for Belichick this week), Brian Hoyer (he’s been relevant every week he’s played outside of one through a plethora of game scripts)

 

New York (NFC) vs. Miami


Giants @ Dolphins
-1.5 Spread 1.5
24 Team O/U 23
64.9 Plays/Gm 59.6
69.2 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.4
37.1% Rush % 33.9%
62.9% Pass % 66.1%
39.4% Opp. Rush % 46.3%
60.6% Opp. Pass % 53.7%

 

  • Lamar Miller had a carry on 62.5 percent pf his snaps last week, his highest total in a game this season. He had just one game (Week 7) over 50 percent prior.
  • Ryan Tannehill had just three completions of 10 or more yards last week, his fewest in a game all season.
  • Just 24.8 percent of the Giants yardage is from rushing, the 27th lowest in the league and just 25.7 percent of the yardage gained against the Giants is from rushing, 30th in the league.
  • The Giants allow 432.2 yards per game, the second most in the league. The Dolphins allow 390.3, the 6th most.
  • Odell Beckham leads the league in touchdown receptions longer than 30 yards with five and has nine such touchdowns since the start of last season, the most in the league.
  • Over the past six weeks, Eli Manning is averaging 306.8 passing yards per game, the 5th most of any quarterback.
  • Over the past four weeks (including a bye week) Will Tye ranks 10th in receptions (14) and 7th in receiving yards (200) of all tight ends.

 

Trust: Odell Beckham (in a game full of guys who equally excite and scare you, Beckham is the only Gibraltar option), Jarvis Landry (I’ll bank on last week being an aberration based on his body of work thus far and will face off against Trevin Wade on the interior to make up for it)

 

Bust: DeVante Parker (still is a volatile option and has the worst individual matchup of the passing game this week), Giants backfield (even in a solid paper matchup it’s hard to be excited as four guys have just about been seeing a quarter of the carries weekly and only one Giants back has rushed for 60 yards in a game and that was a season high 63 yards by Rashad Jennings in Week 6)

 

Reasonable Return: Ryan Tannehill (the matchup is great, but so was last week’s and Tannehill has shown that a low end QB1 is his ceiling this year), Eli Manning (even in a matchup where they should be able to form a semblance of a running game as a team, this team is built to throw and there should be a bed of yardage here), Lamar Miller (the Giants have been decent again versus the run over the past three weeks and the commitment to Miller has been a roller coaster, but both the Giants run defense and his usage also could be the cocktail for big ceiling), Will Tye (has been the most stable secondary option in the passing game over the past three weeks), Jordan Cameron (he has just 49 receiving yards over his past five games, but if there was ever a week for him to be useful and part of the gameplan, it’s this week if you’re digging really deep for a tight end flyer)

 

Context Key:

 

Trust = Set him in your lineups this week

Bust = Player to underperform season average

Reasonable Return = On par with seasonal average

 

Rich Hribar
Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.