Fantasy Football: Gdula's Game Notes for Week 15
numberFire has no shortage of tools -- lineup generators, fantasy projections, and more -- to help you round out your rosters, but some extra prep never hurt anyone. So, here are some notes to know about each and every game on FanDuel's main slate for Week 15.
Philadelphia at Washington
Houston at Tennessee
Miami at NY Giants
Chicago at Green Bay
New England at Cincinnati
Seattle at Carolina
Tampa Bay at Detroit
Denver at Kansas City
Jacksonville at Oakland
Cleveland at Arizona
Minnesota at LA Chargers
Atlanta at San Francisco
LA Rams at Dallas
Core Plays: Players suited for all types of daily fantasy games -- cash games and tournaments -- and players to target when building a main lineup.
Secondary Plays: Players who have good matchups or situations but are overpriced. Or players who are affordable but have tough matchups.
Tournament Plays: Players with paths to production but who are either overpriced or have tough matchups and who rate out with low production floors. Not everybody is in play in DFS, but players without the best prices and matchups still deserve consideration in large-field tournaments.
Philadelphia at Washington
|Over/Under | Spread||39.5||+3.5|
|Implied Team Total||21.5||18.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||64%||20%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||70%||26%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||26||29|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||21||26|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||8||22|
This is a rematch from Week 1, but a lot has changed since then. Both teams are slow, and both teams are run-heavy, making this one a pretty bleak fantasy matchup for divisional opponents.
Philadelphia Offense Notes
- The Philadelphia Eagles are quickly in a shambles after their Monday night game in Week 14. Alshon Jeffery ($7,400) has a significant foot injury, and right tackle Lane Johnson is week to week with an ankle injury.
- Carson Wentz ($7,700) has been pretty much exactly league average this season in terms of Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back but does face a Washington defense that is 26th in adjusted pass defense. Still, without Johnson and Jeffery, the ceiling is limited for the offense.
- There are five games in which Jeffery failed to play half of the snaps, but it's an incomplete sample with injuries and absences for other players. We do know that 28.4% of the targets in these games went to Zach Ertz ($6,700), who played in all five games. He deserves borderline stud treatment. In games in which Nelson Agholor ($5,200) played in this sample, he has 26.7% of the targets but was inactive in Week 14 with a knee injury. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside ($5,500) played 89.9% of snaps in Week 14, and Greg Ward ($4,900) played 86.5%. Ertz is the only trustworthy asset in the passing game.
- Miles Sanders ($6,800) played 56.2% of snaps in Week 14 while dealing with cramping, and we saw Boston Scott ($4,700) get 43.8% of snaps and 16 touches of his own (Sanders had 19). Jordan Howard ($6,900) is nearing a return, so this could be a backfield to avoid, despite the matchup with Washington. Sanders would be the favorite to lead the backfield, but you don't have to go there on a 13-game slate.
Washington Offense Notes
- Dwayne Haskins ($6,600) has been really poor this season, generating a Passing NEP per drop back mark of -0.26. The NFL average is 0.09 this season. His Passing Success Rate of 35.5% also pales in comparison to the league rate. Haskins has taken a sack on 14.0% of his drop backs. Case Keenum was sacked on just 6.0% of his drop backs in this offense.
- Haskins throws often to Terry McLaurin ($6,000) and -- to a lesser degree -- Kelvin Harmon ($4,800). McLaurin has a 21.3% target share from Haskins; Harmon is at 15.6%. This equates to just 6.6 and 4.6 targets per game, respectively, so they're viable only in game stacks in an unappealing game.
- Derrius Guice has been ruled out for Week 15, so the arrow points to Adrian Peterson ($6,300), but Peterson draws a top-three rush defense by Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. As massive underdogs, the script could be better for Chris Thompson ($5,200), who had 8 targets last week in negative game script.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Zach Ertz, Carson Wentz
Tournament Plays: Terry McLaurin
Houston at Tennessee
|Over/Under | Spread||50.5||-2.5|
|Implied Team Total||24.0||26.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||68%||54%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||84%||53%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||16||22|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||25||16|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||18||4|
Despite this being Week 15, it's a first-time-around matchup for the AFC South foes. The total is super high for this matchup, and lately, the offense have been pretty easy to figure out for both the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. With a slate-high total and action on the over, this should be very popular.
Houston Offense Notes
- Deshaun Watson ($8,200) has put forth some clunker games this season but has still been good on the full year, nearly tripling the NFL average in per-play Passing Net Expected Points. The Titans' defense rates out as an average-at-best unit and is 30th in Passing Success Rate allowed since Week 7.
- DeAndre Hopkins ($8,600) has a 33.6% target share in three games with Keke Coutee ($5,400) and Kenny Stills ($5,000) but without Will Fuller ($6,600). No matter the split, Hopkins deserves elite treatment and is in play at the salary. He has double-digit targets in six of his past eight games and leads the NFL in weighted opportunity rating since Week 9, according to FantasyADHD. After Hopkins, no Texan carves out enough reliable work to consider a priority. If Fuller returns, he's the exception.
- Neither Duke Johnson ($5,700) nor Carlos Hyde ($6,000) see enough work, either, to be mainstays on FanDuel. Lately, each play around 50% of the snaps -- give or take -- with Hyde getting most of the early-down work and Johnson getting most of the receiving work.
Tennessee Offense Notes
- Ryan Tannehill ($7,600) has been lighting it up on limited attempts of late. He now has averaged 0.24 Passing NEP per drop back, nearly three times the NFL average of 0.09, and a huge boost from Marcus Mariota's 0.00. Tannehill has averaged only 26.7 pass attempts, and he's stoking the fire with a 7.2% touchdown rate. Regression could hit hard, but the Texans' defense ranks 31st in Passing NEP per drop back since Week 7.
- Tannehill's target distribution is still pretty dispersed overall, but he has fixated on A.J. Brown ($6,200) over the past three games, giving him a 24.6% target share (just 5.3 per game). Corey Davis ($5,000) ranks second at 13.8%. Jonnu Smith ($4,900) did see four targets last week (14.8%) while playing 79.0% of the snaps.
- Derrick Henry ($9,400) remains someone who we have to consider even at the salary. Henry has now handled 71.0% of the team's carries over the past five games, the fifth-highest market share in the NFL. Henry has four straight 100-yard rushing games (averaging 149.8 per game) while totaling only 42 receiving yards on 7 targets. If the Titans trail, the bottom can still fall out for Henry.
Core Plays: Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Brown
Secondary Plays: Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill
Tournament Plays: Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Kenny Stills
Miami at NY Giants
|Over/Under | Spread||45.5||-3.5|
|Implied Team Total||21.0||24.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||28%||24%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||66%||33%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||4||20|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||32||27|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||25||11|
The total is pretty high in this game -- and the money is on the over. The two poor pass defenses (and turnover-prone quarterbacks) make this one imminently stackable. Let's rock.
Miami Offense Notes
- With DeVante Parker ($6,900) sustaining a concussion last week, the Miami Dolphins' offense could be very, very scarce on playmakers. Parker had a 23.2% target share in five games without Preston Williams. Michael Gesicki ($5,200) ranked second at 16.3%. Allen Hurns ($5,800) had a 15.3% share and missed practice on Wednesday. Gesicki and Hurns would see a boost without Parker, as the New York Giants are bottom-five in Passing NEP per drop back allowed since Week 7. Still, without Parker, the entire offense's ceiling lowers.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,300) still churns out elevated pass attempts (38.8 in this five-game sample without Williams), so there's volume to be had, and the Giants' pass defense is weak, while the rush defense is stout. It's not the worst matchup.
- Patrick Laird ($5,500) has played at least 60% of snaps in the past two games and got up past 80% in Week 14. The Giants are a top-five rush defense based on Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. Laird has six, one, five, and five targets the past four games. The role is actually quite good for the price, and without Parker, he could be even more involved.
NY Giants Offense Notes
- With Eli Manning ($6,800) back under center, the Giants have a quarterback upgrade. Manning has posted just 0.02 Passing NEP per drop back, but it's still better than Daniel Jones' -0.12. Miami's pass defense ranks 32nd on the full season.
- Manning's Week 14 target distribution: 8 for Darius Slayton ($6,300), 7 for Sterling Shepard ($5,900), 5 for Golden Tate ($6,300) and Kaden Smith ($4,700), and 4 for Saquon Barkley ($8,300). Slayton also led with 127 air yards. The deep targets favored Tate (three), followed by Slayton (two) and Shepard (one). Miami does rank 10th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and tight ends since Week 7, but the game environment should help the Giants overcome it. Figuring out the right stacking partner is an unappealing proposition, but given the matchup, we'll probably have to try.
- Barkley rates out as the number-one back for me this week. The Giants are 9th in yards before contact generated for running backs this year, while the Dolphins are 28th defensively. Barkley has at least 20 opportunities in each of the past three games. Perhaps the workload finally leads to a ceiling game for Barkley.
Core Plays: Saquon Barkley
Secondary Plays: Patrick Laird, Sterling Shepard, Eli Manning, Mike Gesicki
Tournament Plays: Kaden Smith, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton,
Chicago at Green Bay
|Over/Under | Spread||40.5||-4.5|
|Implied Team Total||18.0||22.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||68%||60%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||61%||70%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||12||19|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||9||15|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||9||30|
The total is pretty low here in a matchup between NFC North foes. This is a divisional rematch, but the first game came way back in Week 1, so we can probably shake a little of that worry off. Both teams still have playoff hopes, so there's some extra interest for me for that reason.
Chicago Offense Notes
- Mitchell Trubisky ($7,500) has returned a below-average Passing NEP per drop back mark since returning (0.04 compared to the NFL average of 0.09), but he has had spike weeks in recent games, and the Green Bay Packers' pass defense is not one to fear. Better yet, Trubisky has run 7, 4, and 10 times in his past three games, adding to the floor and ceiling of his range of outcomes.
- Trubisky has fixated on Allen Robinson ($8,000) in two games without Taylor Gabriel ($5,400). Robinson has a 29.0% target share the past two weeks. Anthony Miller ($6,300) has been given high-end WR2 treatment with a 24.6% target share in that two-game sample, as well, and they have combined for 9 of 11 downfield targets from Trubisky since that Thanksgiving game (6 for Robinson and 3 for Miller).
- David Montgomery ($6,400) is a tough sell in neutral and possibly negative script on the road. He played 64% of snaps in Week 14's win, returning 20 carries, but the floor can bottom out if the Bears trail.
- Tarik Cohen ($5,700) has a solid 14.5% target share in two games without Gabriel and could be a game-stack piece if playing the over, but he has only once surpassed 12.0 FanDuel points all season (15.9 in Week 11).
Green Bay Offense Notes
- Aaron Jones ($7,800) has had 13 targets in the past two games, so talks of getting him more involved have come to fruition so far. Jones has had 13, 13, 11, and 16 carries the past four games with yardage outputs of 93, 38, 18, and 134. The ceiling is high (he went over 27 FanDuel points in two of those games), but the floor is still low (5.1 or fewer in the other two). He's a boom/bust option better suited for tournaments than cash games.
- The game log for Aaron Rodgers ($8,000) looks pretty bad, as he has not topped 243 yards in any of his past five games, and he has just one game with multiple touchdown passes in that span. That's led to four of five games with fewer than 13.0 FanDuel points. In this sample, he has averaged 187.2 yards with 7 touchdowns and no picks for well-below-average passing efficiency. The Bears are just 19th in Passing NEP per drop back allowed since Week 7.
- Davante Adams ($7,800) has a 31.0% target share in five games since returning from injury, and over that stretch, his weighted opportunity rating is good for fifth among qualified receivers. Adams averages 9.8 targets per game in this sample.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Aaron Jones
Tournament Plays: Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson, David Montgomery
New England at Cincinnati
|Over/Under | Spread||40.5||+9.5|
|Implied Team Total||25.0||15.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||43%||12%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||35%||19%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||6||15|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||1||29|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||6||26|
A heavy road favorite can always lead to a wonky, unpredictable game script. The New England Patriots' offense hasn't been clicking lately. Perhaps a matchup with the bleak Cincinnati Bengals' defense can help, but this is probably a fine game to cross off.
New England Offense Notes
- Tom Brady ($7,600) has been pretty average this season, averaging 0.07 Passing NEP per drop back. The NFL mark is 0.09. Cincinnati yields 0.21 since Week 7, ranking 25th in the NFL. Brady's price is nice, so that helps, but that's the key reason to consider him.
- Also helping push us toward Brady is that he has one realistic stack candidate in Julian Edelman ($7,700). Edelman has a 20.6% target share or better in all but one game this season and at least 26.1% of the team's targets in each of the past three games while racking up at least 115 air yards in all three. Edelman is seventh in weighted opportunity rating over four post-bye games.
- In Week 14, Edelman played 98.5% of the snaps, but nobody else topped 60%. Mohamed Sanu ($5,800) played 58.2%, Jakobi Meyers ($5,100) played 56.7%, and Phillip Dorsett ($5,200) played 49.3%.
- James White ($6,800) stuck with a majority role last week, giving him 78.2% and 61.2% of the snaps the past two games. Rex Burkhead ($5,800) played 26.9%, and Sony Michel ($6,100) fell shy of 20% for the second straight week.
- Outside of Edelman, it's a pretty tough offense to trust on a 13-game slate.
Cincinnati Offense Notes
- The Bengals' offense is showing life, but against a top-tier defense, we shouldn't really chase this spot unless we're looking for game stacks.
- Auden Tate is on injured reserve, resolving conundrum of John Ross' ($4,900) return. Ross played 50.7% of the snaps in Week 14, while Alex Erickson ($5,100) played 80.0% and Tyler Boyd ($6,300) played 74.7%. Boyd has a 23.9% target share in two games with Andy Dalton ($6,500) back under center. Tate leaves behind a 15.5% target share. While Erickson had the best role last week, Ross' field-stretching and Boyd's bankable volume make them better game stack options.
- Joe Mixon ($6,700) has had a great role over the past five games (18-plus opportunities), and he cashed in on that workload last week, but he has game-script concerns for Week 15 as a 9.5-point underdog with an implied total below 16 points.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Julian Edelman
Tournament Plays: Tom Brady, John Ross, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, James White
Seattle at Carolina
|Over/Under | Spread||47.5||+6.0|
|Implied Team Total||26.75||20.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||69%||4%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||77%||14%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||21||3|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||13||8|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||15||32|
Both the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers are bottom-five teams in adjusted pressure rate defensively, and the total is high. There's shootout appeal. However, the Panthers' terrible rush defense could lead to the demise of the total, as Seattle is 30th in pass rate over expectation.
Seattle Offense Notes
- With Rashaad Penny on injured reserve, Chris Carson ($7,400) is set for a massive workload against the Panthers' defense, which ranks 32nd in adjusted rush defense and 30th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. Carson played 82.1% of snaps on Sunday Night Football in Week 14 and also ran 66.7% of the pass routes.
- Russell Wilson ($8,100) has bust appeal again this week because Seattle shouldn't have to throw. Wilson has fallen shy of 18 FanDuel points in four straight games, maxing out at 245 passing yards and averaging 30.7 pass attempts. He's been sacked at a 12.4% clip in this span, and Carolina's weak pass rush could help alleviate those concerns, but Wilson isn't a cash-game candidate and best suited for tournament lineups.
- Wilson also presents trouble when looking for stacking partners. In three games with Josh Gordon ($4,800) -- who has played just 33.9%, 36.0%, and 55.2% of the snaps, mind you -- D.K. Metcalf ($6,300) leads with a 21.8% target share (6.3 per game). Tyler Lockett ($6,900) has had just 12.6% of the targets in this span. That's 3.7 targets per game. Lockett is still the top priority and is trending up in terms of health.
- Jacob Hollister ($5,700) does have a solid 20.7% target share over the past three games (6.0 targets), so you could do worse at tight end. Carolina is 16th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position.
Carolina Offense Notes
- Christian McCaffrey ($10,400) played 98.6% of the snaps in Week 14, the first game for the Panthers without Ron Rivera as the head coach. McCaffrey handled 23 opportunities, including 12 targets. His usage was unchanged from what we've seen for most of the year. Seattle is 30th in Target Success Rate allowed to backs.
- "Committee tight end" Ian Thomas ($5,300) had 10 targets last week while playing 85.9% of the snaps. He's a viable option at the salary; Seattle is 18th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.
- Kyle Allen ($7,000) has underwhelmed this year, posting 0.00 Passing NEP per drop back on the season. In four games against top-half pass defenses, Allen has been exactly average: 238.3 yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, and -0.01 Passing NEP per drop back. The NFL norms in that split are 238.0, 1.3, and 0.00, respectively.
- In seven post-bye games, the team has given WR1 treatment to D.J. Moore ($6,900), who owns a 27.0% target share and 35.8% of the downfield targets. Seattle is just 17th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers since Week 7.
- Curtis Samuel ($5,600) isn't off the radar but has fallen well behind Moore. Samuel's target share is 17.6% since the bye, and he still has 28.3% of the downfield targets and a deeper average target depth (14.8) than Moore (12.4).
Core Plays: Chris Carson
Secondary Plays: Russell Wilson, Christian McCaffrey
Tournament Plays: D.J. Moore, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Ian Thomas, Jacob Hollister
Tampa Bay at Detroit
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||+3.5|
|Implied Team Total||25.0||21.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||81%||22%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||43%||43%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||5||8|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||15||23|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||1||20|
The over/under implies shootout potential, and both teams rank top-eight in adjusted pace, but both sides are missing downfield threats at receiver (Mike Evans for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Marvin Jones for the Detroit Lions). The bets are on the over, but the money is less certain, which coincides with the concerns about the health of both offenses.
Tampa Bay Offense Notes
- With Evans off the field, the Buccaneers' passing success rate plummets from 52.0% to 34.2%, via TheQuantEdge's injury impact tool. The sample without Evans is scarce, but it's also just logical to assume a dip in efficiency when losing someone as impactful as Evans. Sure, the volume opens up, as Evans commanded 23.8% of the team's targets and 35.0% of their air yards, but the team could move the ball less efficiently and score fewer touchdowns.
- Chris Godwin ($8,400) stands to benefit from a volume standpoint, and we probably shouldn't overthink this spot. However, he's very pricey and may not get a huge boost in downfield work. Since their Week 7 bye, he has 19.7% of the downfield targets. Breshad Perriman ($6,400) has 16.7% (Evans had 36.4%). Perriman is a legitimate option despite the price. Justin Watson ($4,500) is a flyer option after getting eight targets last week, including a downfield look and three red zone targets. He played 55.1% of the snaps. If Scotty Miller ($4,700) plays, he'd enter game stack consideration over Watson.
- O.J. Howard ($5,700) stands to benefit without Evans, as well. Howard has cleared a 77.3% snap rate in three straight games, a sample in which he has a disappointing 12.4% target share.
- Jameis Winston ($8,200) is a tougher sell without Evans to stretch the field and draw attention. He rates out seventh in value in my model, which is fine but not a spot to chase if we're concerned.
- None of the Buccaneers' running backs have hit a 40% snap rate in either of the past two games. It's an easy avoid situation.
Detroit Offense Notes
- David Blough ($7,300) came back to earth after a stellar debut on Thanksgiving, and he now rates as a subpar passer but one who can still move the chains in the right matchup -- which this may not be. Tampa Bay is the best rush defense in football, but they also rank 12th in Passing NEP per drop back since Week 7.
- Losing Marvin Jones removes a downfield threat for Blough. Danny Amendola ($5,400) leads with a 23.9% target share from Blough. Kenny Golladay ($7,900) was tied with Jones for a 16.4% target share. Golladay had 7 of 16 downfield targets and could get even more deep shots with Jones out. Again, Tampa Bay's pass defense has trended up over the past eight weeks of action. Nobody on this team is a cash-game option, and everyone defaults to game-stack territory.
- Bo Scarbrough ($5,900) gets a terrible rushing matchup but did get three targets last week. As someone who plays half the snaps, he could be a part of game stacks, but with just one target in three games prior to last week and a rib injury, he's probably best left off the radar.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay
Tournament Plays: Jameis Winston, O.J. Howard, Justin Watson
Denver at Kansas City
|Over/Under | Spread||45.5||-9.5|
|Implied Team Total||18.0||27.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||69%||37%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||86%||34%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||18||7|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||6||5|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||13||29|
This one is a rematch of a mid-October drubbing by the Kansas City Chiefs, who now host the Denver Broncos. We're dealing with two top-six pass defenses, but Drew Lock ($7,400) is a gamer, and this one could get fun. The betting action is on the Broncos to cover, which would really help for game stacking.
Denver Offense Notes
- Lock has accrued 22.12 Passing NEP on 56 drop backs (0.40 per drop back, a mark that would rank him first among all passers this season). While regression is inevitable, Lock has shown the ability to be an above-average (or at least average) producer, and that has value for daily fantasy game stacking purposes.
- Lock's two-start target distribution: 22.6% for Courtland Sutton ($7,000), 13.2% for Noah Fant ($5,700) and DaeSean Hamilton ($4,800), and 11.3% for Jeff Heuerman ($4,500) and Royce Freeman ($5,300). Sutton has at least 20.0% of the team's targets in five straight games with eight combined downfield and red zone targets from Lock. Fant's target numbers are dinged by an early exit last week, and he did not practice on Wednesday. Kansas City is 13th in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends, but Fant and Sutton are the two key cogs in the offense.
- Phillip Lindsay ($6,400) has emerged as the primary back in the offense, earning a 72-31 opportunity lead over Royce Freeman ($5,300) in four games since their bye. He also leads 10-9 in targets, which matters for what should be negative game script.
Kansas City Offense Notes
- Patrick Mahomes ($8,300) is quite affordable for a home matchup. The Broncos' defense is not a pushover, but Mahomes commands the NFL's fourth-ranked adjusted passing offense. He rates out as a top-three play in my model even at the elevated price. Denver ranks only 19th in adjusted pressure rate, so it's possible Mahomes is in store for an eruption game, provided that he is healthy.
- In five games with Tyreek Hill ($7,900), Travis Kelce ($7,300), and Sammy Watkins ($5,400) playing the majority of snaps, Hill leads with a 28.3% target share, Kelce has had 22.8% of the targets, and Watkins has had 20.7%, with nobody else getting a double-digit share. Hill also has 46.3% of the air yards in that sample. Hill had 63 yards on 2 targets in Chris Harris' coverage in Week 7 and totaled 74 yards on 5 targets.
- With Damien Williams ($6,000) on the shelf last week, Spencer Ware led the backfield with a 39.7% snap rate. LeSean McCoy ($6,100) played 30.8%, and Darwin Thompson ($5,400) played 26.9%. You can't do much with that in daily fantasy, but if Damien Williams plays this week, he's worth stack consideration, as he is the only back to be given RB1 treatment in the offense this season.
Core Plays: Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes
Secondary Plays: Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay
Tournament Plays: Sammy Watkins, Noah Fant
Jacksonville at Oakland
|Over/Under | Spread||45.5||-6.5|
|Implied Team Total||19.5||26.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||85%||77%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||62%||71%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||28||31|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||22||30|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||31||24|
Here we have two terrible defenses but two slow, horizontal offenses. There probably won't be many downfield throws this week. So while there are paths to the over hitting, there are also a good number of red flags. The discrepancy in bets versus money on the over support that.
Jacksonville Offense Notes
- Gardner Minshew ($6,900) has averaged -0.25 Passing NEP per drop back in a game and a half since returning and is now down to 0.02 on the full season. Among 51 qualified passers, he ranks 42nd in downfield attempt rate and has a 3.8-yard average target depth since returning.
- Minshew will likely be without D.J. Chark ($6,300), who is week to week with a foot injury. Minshew's target distribution since coming in midway through Week 13: 13 for Chark and Leonard Fournette ($7,700), 12 for Dede Westbrook ($6,000), and 7 for Chris Conley ($5,100) and Nick O'Leary ($5,300). On the season, Chark had 19 of Minshew's downfield targets, Conley had 16, and Westbrook had 9. Westbrook is a high-volume, low-ceiling play. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't really need many reasons to force in Chris Conley, but he does stand to benefit from Chark's absence. For the price, he's a game-stack-at-worst option and possibly a third-receiver-in-a-cash-game play.
- Fournette is coming off a 21-opportunity, 63-yard game to face the NFL's 24th-ranked rush defense. Of note, Oakland does rate out 7th in yards before contact allowed to backs but is also 31st in Target Success Rate allowed to running backs. Fournette has 7, 12, 11, and 6 targets in four post-bye games. He's again a cash-game consideration.
Oakland Offense Notes
- Derek Carr ($7,300) and the Oakland Raiders are 10th in adjusted passing offense, but that hasn't been from slate-busting performances. Carr is 38th in downfield rate and has an average pass depth of just 6.8 yards. The Jacksonville Jaguars have ranked fourth worst in Passing Success Rate defensively since losing Jalen Ramsey. It's a good matchup (again) for Carr, but he has yet to throw for 300 yards and has only one game with more than two passing touchdowns.
- In two games without Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller ($6,200) leads the team with a 26.3% target share, in line with what he had done early in the season before falling off with Renfrow's surge. DeAndre Washington ($6,300) is second at 17.5%, and Tyrell Williams ($5,600) is third at 14.0%. Williams is viable if playing the over, but he has averaged only 4.7 targets per game in seven since returning from injury.
- Without Josh Jacobs ($7,700) last week, Washington played the Jacobs role with more receiving (63.5% of the snaps, 14 carries, and 7 targets). If Jacobs were to miss again, Washington would be alluring against a defense that is 31st in yards before contact allowed to backs and outside the top 20 in Rushing and Target Success Rates allowed to backs. If Jacobs were to play, he'd be a secondary play due to an uncertain workload but good matchup
Core Plays: Leonard Fournette, Darren Waller
Secondary Plays: Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, Josh Jacobs (if healthy)
Tournament Plays: Gardner Minshew, DeAndre Washington (if Jacobs is out)
Cleveland at Arizona
|Over/Under | Spread||48.5||+3.0|
|Implied Team Total||25.75||22.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||68%||29%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||75%||47%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||25||2|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||11||31|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||28||16|
Any time a team like the Cleveland Browns get a pace-up matchup with a bad defense like the Arizona Cardinals, we have to take note because of Cleveland's relevant fantasy options. There's plenty of shootout potential in this game.
Cleveland Offense Notes
- Baker Mayfield ($7,700) has played just two bottom-eight pass defenses this season, and both matchups came in the past three weeks. In them, he threw for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Dolphins in Week 12 but then went for 192 and 0 scores (plus 2 picks) against the Bengals last week. This offense isn't entirely trustworthy.
- Jarvis Landry ($7,400) has a better recent workload than Odell Beckham ($7,200). In five games with Kareem Hunt ($6,700) in the lineup, Landry leads the team with a 30.4% target share while Beckham is at 25.9%. Landry (16) and Beckham (13) have combined for 29 of 35 deep targets from Mayfield in this sample. The Cardinals are 31st in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers since Patrick Peterson returned to the lineup.
- Nick Chubb ($8,000) has played 81.4%, 71.8%, 56.6%, 59.4%, and 69.6% of snaps in five games with Hunt in the lineup. It's really not that far off his pace prior, but the upside is capped, and the floor is lowered. He isn't priced that way and will be running against the NFL's 11th-best rush defense by Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs.
- Hunt doesn't quite see enough rushing work (a max of nine) but has two red zone opportunities in each of the past three games. Priced where he is, he's just a game-stack stab in case the points flow.
Arizona Offense Notes
- Kyler Murray ($7,600) has played six games already against top-12 adjusted pass defenses. In those games, he has averaged 211.5 passing yards, 1.3 touchdowns, and 1.0 picks. That's 15 yards shy of the NFL average in that split. Murray, though, ranks first in tournament value in my model, primarily because of his ability to run the ball. He has at least 34 yards or a touchdown in four of his past five games.
- Murray also has tournament appeal because he has just one viable stacking candidate: Christian Kirk ($6,100). Kirk has a 26.6% target share in six games since returning from injury -- plus 39.8% of the team's air yards and 37.5% of the downfield targets. He ranks eighth in weighted opportunity rating in that span. Larry Fitzgerald ($5,700) has fallen shy of a 20% target share in four of these six games.
- Kenyan Drake ($6,200) still played 65.0% of the snaps last week, giving him at least 64.3% in all five of his games with the team. However, David Johnson ($5,400) bumped up to a three-week-high 36.7% snap rate last week (only 5 opportunities). Chase Edmonds ($4,700) played 18.3% of the snaps. Drake is still the guy to prioritize, but his grasp on the backfield may be tenuous.
Core Plays: Christian Kirk, Kyler Murray
Secondary Plays: Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb
Tournament Plays: Kenyan Drake, Odell Beckham, Baker Mayfield
Minnesota at LA Chargers
|Over/Under | Spread||45.0||+2.5|
|Implied Team Total||23.75||21.25|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||87%||10%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||82%||17%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||14||30|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||10||19|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||12||21|
I have issues with this one despite the action on the over. The Minnesota Vikings are 30th in adjusted pace and 29th in pass rate over expectation this season. Since an offensive coordinator change in Week 9, the Los Angeles Chargers are 26th in adjusted pace and 23rd in pass rate over expectation.
Minnesota Offense Notes
- Last week, Dalvin Cook ($8,500) played through his chest injury to get just 46.6% of the snaps. He still had 20 opportunities and scored. Alexander Mattison ($5,600) had 16 opportunities of his own and missed practice on Wednesday. Cook had 13 of 18 first-half carries, so if this one stays close, he should stick on the field. The Chargers' defense is getting healthier and rate out as a mid-level rush defense the past two games with Derwin James and Adrian Phillips back.
- Kirk Cousins ($7,900) leads the NFL's third-best adjusted pass offense and leads the NFL in Passing NEP per drop back since a Week 5 turnaround. The Chargers have let up just 4.55 yards per attempt over the past two weeks with a healthier secondary.
- Adam Thielen ($7,300) is set to return this week, which should help alleviate the pressure from the overpriced Stefon Diggs ($7,700). In Thielen's extended absence, Diggs had just a 21.3% target share. It was 25.4% prior. Thielen's healthy games also predate the surges from Irv Smith Jr. ($5,200) and Bisi Johnson ($5,200). With legitimate pace concerns here, I think it's best to stay away from too many Vikings.
LA Chargers Offense Notes
- Philip Rivers ($7,400) has averaged 8.85 yards per attempt with 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in five games with a new offensive coordinator. His Passing NEP per drop back ranks 12th in this span. In seven games against top-half opponents, Rivers has averaged 281.9 yards (43.9 more yards per game than the average in that split) with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His per-drop back Passing NEP of 0.10 is impressive against the backdrop of 0.00 for all other quarterbacks against top-half opponents.
- Since the coordinator change, Keenan Allen ($6,800) has a 25.0% target share, Hunter Henry ($6,400) has 21.2% of the targets, Austin Ekeler ($7,200) is at 17.9%, and Mike Williams ($6,200) owns 14.1% of the passing work. The downfield targets are 11 for Williams, 7 for Henry, and 6 for Allen. The Vikings are already 29th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers, and Xavier Rhodes left early last week with an ankle injury. Minnesota does rank third in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends, so Henry gets dinged.
- Melvin Gordon ($7,400) has led 88-40 in carries over Ekeler since Week 9, but Ekeler is up 28-18 in targets and may have earned more work after a 213-yard, 12-touch game last week. Despite sitting 12th in adjusted rush defense, Minnesota is only 28th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs, so Gordon still has appeal if assuming positive script for the Chargers.
Core Plays: Dalvin Cook
Secondary Plays: Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry
Tournament Plays: Kirk Cousins, Melvin Gordon, Adam Thielen, Austin Ekeler
Atlanta at San Francisco
|Over/Under | Spread||47.5||-10.5|
|Implied Team Total||18.5||29.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||90%||57%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||90%||59%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||17||11|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||28||2|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||17||7|
This one could be a full onslaught, as the San Francisco 49ers are a dominant team, but the Atlanta Falcons can score enough points to keep both sides involved. There's some risk as a result, but it's a high-upside game. That makes it a great stack option.
Atlanta Offense Notes
- In four games against top-12 pass defenses, Matt Ryan ($7,600) has averaged 271.8 yards (44.7 more than the average in that split) but has tallied just 1.3 touchdowns and 0.8 picks per game. The efficiency still outweighs the NFL average against tough defenses.
- In three games with Austin Hooper ($6,200) healthy and no Mohamed Sanu, the team's target distribution has been 25.2% for Julio Jones ($7,500), 16.2% for Hooper and Russell Gage ($5,400), 15.3% for Calvin Ridley (injured reserve), and 14.4% for Devonta Freeman ($6,100). With Ridley out for the season, Jones, Hooper, and Gage all have elevated roles. Richard Sherman is out this week with a hamstring injury, so the matchup is less daunting than it could be, too.
- Freeman has played 66.7% of snaps in both games since returning and has had 22 and 21 opportunities in them. That's what his role was earlier in the season, and that's what it is again. Freeman has nine total targets in his two game since returning and is actually a pretty game-script-agnostic back, something that's rare for someone priced where he is. San Francisco is just 16th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs. Freeman has some game-stack appeal even as a huge road underdog.
San Francisco Offense Notes
- Jimmy Garoppolo ($8,400) is -- rightly -- priced up for a matchup with a bottom-six pass defense. The 49ers' offense is fifth in adjusted passing efficiency. In four games against bottom-eight pass defenses, Garoppolo has put up averages of 297.3 yards, 2.8 touchdowns, and 1.0 interceptions -- dominant numbers from an efficiency and fantasy standpoint. The Falcons' defense has undergone a shift but have proven still beatable in a Week 12 lapse.
- In five games with Emmanuel Sanders ($6,900) and George Kittle ($7,200) both active, Kittle leads with a 25.2% target share and Sanders is close behind at 22.2% with Deebo Samuel ($6,500) getting third-chair numbers (17.8%). The stack ability here is getting a lot easier with a clear-cut top trio. Atlanta is still just 29th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and 18th to tight ends since their new-look defense.
- The backfield has favored Raheem Mostert ($7,500) in recent weeks, as he has played 73.7% of the snaps in Week 13 and 59.7% in Week 14. Tevin Coleman ($5,200) and Matt Breida ($5,600) failed to crack 20% last week. However, Mostert is super expensive and would have to replicate his role to be considered worthwhile, something we can never fully trust in this backfield. Atlanta is just 24th in Success Rate allowed to backs on the ground and through the air, so it's tempting.
Core Plays: George Kittle, Julio Jones
Secondary Plays: Austin Hooper, Emmanuel Sanders
Tournament Plays: Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Russell Gage
LA Rams at Dallas
|Over/Under | Spread||48.5||+1.0|
|Implied Team Total||24.75||23.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||69%||14%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||50%||10%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||1||9|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||12||20|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||5||19|
With both teams top 10 in pace and with plenty of offensive playmakers, this game is fun to stack up. The pricing makes it hard, but that's half the fun -- and it should be under-owned as a result.
LA Rams Offense Notes
- Todd Gurley ($7,600) is set to be a featured player down the stretch, and his recent usage bears that out. He has played at least 68.4% of the snaps in five post-bye games (74.0%, 74.6%, 96.3%, 68.4%, and 80.0%) with a total of 47 opportunities over the past two games (and 12 red zone carries). The Dallas Cowboys are just 22nd against the rush in terms of Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs.
- Jared Goff ($7,800) has played only four games against bottom-half pass defenses. In them, he has lit it up for 395.3 yards and 2.0 touchdowns per game. Dallas ranks fourth in adjusted pressure rate defensively, so there are some concerns, but the environment-dependent Goff is in a good spot this week.
- Cooper Kupp ($7,600) was limited last week in what is being called game planning, but he also has had his fair share of gaffes in recent weeks. We have a three-week sample of the pass-catchers with Gerald Everett ($5,800) either out or limited and with Brandin Cooks ($6,300) healthy. Woods leads the team in those games with a stellar 33.9% target share, and it's actually Tyler Higbee ($5,700) second at 22.9%. Kupp is down to 18.3%, and nobody else has even 10% of the targets. Kupp and Cooks are relegated to tournament-only status, but Woods and Higbee are being treated like cash-game considerations right now.
Dallas Offense Notes
- As a team, Dallas has underperformed against good opponents all season, but Dak Prescott ($7,800) -- in four games against top-12 opponents -- has averaged 324.5 yards and 1.5 touchdowns with 0.14 Passing NEP per drop back (the NFL average is -0.03). Dak is a stealthy play at home against a defense on the rise.
- In six post-bye games, the target shares have been spread out, and it's actually Michael Gallup ($6,800) leading at 20.5%. Amari Cooper ($7,700) follows at 20.1%; then it's Jason Witten ($5,600) at 16.1%, Randall Cobb ($5,400) at 15.3%, and Ezekiel Elliott ($8,500) at 11.6%. The downfield work features a concentrated flow as well: 14 for Cooper and Cobb and 11 for Gallup. Cooper runs into Jalen Ramsey in likely shadow coverage. Gallup should see the biggest boost.
- Elliott had five targets in a mostly negative game script in Week 14. His lack of receiving has been a problem all season, but he now has 15 targets in the past two games while trailing for most of each. The arrow is up on Elliott, though the Los Angeles Rams are top-13 in Rushing Success Rate and Target Success Rate allowed to running backs.
Core Plays: Dak Prescott
Secondary Plays: Todd Gurley, Michael Gallup, Robert Woods, Jared Goff, Ezekiel Elliott, Jason Witten
Tournament Plays: Amari Cooper, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee