Rich Hribar

The Worksheet

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The NFL Week 5 Worksheet

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

We’ve reached the quarter turn of the NFL season and Week 4 was a doozy. After a couple of quiet(er) weeks on the injury front, the hammer dropped as Ty Montgomery, Dalvin Cook, Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr and Julio Jones were just a few of the stars that left their games due to injury. Hopefully you survived the carnage as we’re forced to press on. We’re also starting the bye weeks, so make sure you get all of your Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Washington players out of lineups.


As for the token disclaimer, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.


Lastly, as the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is NOT a start/sit column, rather an expectations column. The labels for each subset of players for each game are simply a vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player that you can find at the end of the column. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process. Remember, you control your own team. With that out of the way, let’s hit all the Week 5 games with a PPR light…


Patriots @ Buccaneers


New EnglandRank@Tampa BayRank
-6   Spread 6  
30.8   Implied Total 24.8  
68.2 4 Plays/Gm 60.0 25
63.8 17 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.7 31
38.5% 22 Rush% 36.7% 26
61.5% 11 Pass% 63.3% 7
41.2% 14 Opp. Rush % 38.8% 10
58.8% 19 Opp. Pass % 61.2% 23


  • New England is allowing a league-high 2.08 passing points per drive while Tampa Bay is right after them at 1.94 pass points per drive.
  • The 1,341 passing yards surrendered by New England to opposing passers is the second-highest in franchise history through four weeks (1,507 yards in 2011).
  • Tampa Bay allows 28.7 completions per game, the most in the league.
  • Tom Brady ranks second in the league in yards per completion at 13.6 yards.
  • 60.3 percent of Jameis Winston's completions have gone for 10 or more yards, the highest rate in the league.
  • Brandin Cooks has the most targets (24) in the league without a red zone target on the season.
  • 30.8 percent (8-of-26) of Chris Hogan's targets have come from inside the red zone, the highest rate for all players with 20 or more targets on the season.
  • The Patriots have allowed 32 points per game so far, the most they've ever allowed through four weeks in any season in franchise history.
  • 91.5 percent of the rushing attempts versus New England have gained positive yardage, the highest rate in the league.


Trust: Tom Brady (This is actually Brady's first ever NFL start in Tampa Bay. He has thrown 15 touchdowns to one interception in six career non-Week 1 Thursday games and the Bucs have just allowed back to back top-5 weeks to Case Keenum and Eli Manning), Jameis Winston (he’s turned in 300-yard passing games versus the Giants and  Vikings while every quarterback to face New England has hit 300-yards this season), Mike Evans (he’s had a couple of tough individual assignments the past two weeks, but is all systems go against a secondary hemorrhaging passing yardage), Chris Hogan (he hasn’t had more than five catches or 78 receving yards in any game, but has scored three straight weeks and has been the wide receiver used the most in the red zone), Brandin Cooks (he’s had just one top-30 week through the opening month, but Tampa Bay is allowing the most receptions and yards per game to opposing wideouts to chase a big week in a potentially high-scoring game against Vernon Hargreaves)


Bust: Mike Gillislee (this game should feature scoring, so I won’t fault anyone for chasing a short plunge into the paint, but Tampa Bay is allowing just 2.7 yards per carry and 65.3 rushing yards to backfields and Gillislee is givign you nothing in the passing game), O.J. Howard(New England has been a target for tight ends to start the year, but he’s had just four catches on the year and you’re counting on another busted play to carry you), Dwayne Allen/Jacob Hollister (it's hard to hop efor anything more than a touchdown here, but with Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander out, they may make a play or two)



Reasonable Return: DeSean Jackson (his volatility has been on full display with 18.4 points in Week 2 and 10.9 points total in his other two games, but we’re making a play on an upside week against the Pats’ secondary in a similar faship to Cooks), Cameron Brate (his targets and yardage have gone up in every game while New England has allowed the fourth-most points to opposing tight ends), Danny Amendola (he has two top-15 scoring weeks in three games while Tampa Bay has allowed five or more catches to all three of the primary slot receivers they’ve faced. Gets the biggest bumnp with Gronk out), Adam Humphries (if the bye weeks have you needing a WR3/flex, Humphries has at least six catches in each of the past two weeks on 17 targets, second on the team), Doug Martin (when he returned last year from injury, he averaged 21.3 touches per game, but he’s only going to have one true day of practice given the short week.  Jacquizz Rodgers will likely still be involved in some capacity in passing situations, but the running back landscape is too barren to ignore Martin in a potentially hihg-scoring game), James White (he played a season-high snap share last week and has been a top-30 back in three of four games with two weeks as a top-20 option while Tampa Bay has allowed big receiving games to backs in two of three games)


49ers @ Colts

San FranciscoRank@IndianapolisRank
1.5   Spread -1.5  
21.0   Implied Total 22.5  
63.8 11 Plays/Gm 59.8 26
70.2 32 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.0 22
36.9% 25 Rush% 47.7% 6
63.1% 8 Pass% 52.3% 27
45.9% 26 Opp. Rush % 43.1% 19
54.1% 7 Opp. Pass % 56.9% 14


  • 30.9 percent of the completions against the Colts have gained 20 or more yards, the highest rate in the league. The rest of league is at 13.2 percent.
  • Indianapolis is allowing .523 points per play, the most in the league.
  • The Colts averaged 21.3 yards per drive, the fewest in the league.
  • The Colts have been outscored 79-15 in the second half this season, the most points allowed and fewest points scored in the league.
  • After facing a league-high 32.9 touches to running backs per game in 2016, the 49ers face 33.5 per game to start this season, the most in the league.


Trust: Carlos Hyde (even with the injury scare last week, he handled 42 percent of the team touches and is averaging a career-high 4.3 receptions per game while the Colts have allowed more and more rushing yardage in each week of the season so far)


Bust: Jack Doyle (he’s been a top-20 tight end just once while teams have targeted their tight ends a league-low 11.9 percent of the time versus the 49ers), Donte Moncrief (even with the touchdown last week, his snaps dropped once again as Kamar Aiken has surpassed him on the depth chart)


Reasonable Return: T.Y. Hilton (he has been a top-50 scorer just once, but that one came in a similar matchup as San Francisco has allowed five top-24 receivers to start the year), Pierre Garcon (his downs have come in predictable matchup scares and while Vontae Davis returned last week, he’s not the scare he was a few years ago as a guy to run completely away from), Brian Hoyer (the Colts have allowed 15 or more points to every quarterback they’ve faced so far), Jacoby Brissett (echo those thoughts for Brissett as a 2QB league/Superflex option as San Francisco has allowed 649 passing yards the past two weeks), Marquise Goodwin (only an option if you're chasing a fill-in that could connect on a long ball against a secondary allowing plenty of them), Frank Gore (he’s had double-digit scoring and a top-30 week in each of the past three games while the game script should be in order to make him RB2/flex viable)


Jets @ Browns


NY JetsRank@ClevelandRank
1   Spread -1  
19.0   Implied Total 20.0  
59.0 29 Plays/Gm 64.5 10
66.2 27 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.0 14
44.9% 11 Rush% 32.6% 28
55.1% 22 Pass% 67.4% 5
46.4% 29 Opp. Rush % 46.4% 28
53.6% 4 Opp. Pass % 53.6% 5


  • In five games in which Matt Forte has played fewer than 20 percent of the snaps or missed outright, Bilal Powell has averaged 25.6 touches for 148.4 yards from scrimmage with four top-10 scoring weeks.
  • Opponents have scored a touchdown on 84.6 percent (11-of-13) of their red zone possessions versus the Browns, the highest rate in the league.
  • Tight ends have been targeted 30.3 percent of the time versus the Browns, the highest rate in the league.
  • Cleveland is the only team in the league that has yet to run an offensive play with the lead yet this season.
  • DeShone Kizer is the first Cleveland quarterback to complete fewer than half of his passes with 30 or more attempts in three straight games since Brian Sipe in 1981.
  • Kizer is the fourth rookie since 2000 to throw eight interceptions over his first four career games played, joining Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Keith Null.
  • The Jets are the only team that ranks inside of the bottom-12 in rushing points allowed per game (15.3) and receiving points allowed (13.3) to opposing running backs.


Trust: Bilal Powell (even though he shared opportunity with Elijah McGuire, Powell handled 66 percent of the rushing attempts and 46 of the team touches last week and has steadily produced high-end results with any actual opportunity he's received),  Austin Seferian-Jenkins (he has a pedestrian 9-77 total through two games, but the Browns are a premier target for tight end plays, allowing a top-5 scoring week in three of four games to players such as Jesse JamesBen Watson and Tyler Kroft)


Bust: DeShone Kizer (Kizer has progressively gotten worse as a passer in terms of actual output and the Jets defense has been better than assumed, allowing just 203 passing yards to opposing quarterbacks per game), Kenny Britt (he has 18 targets the past two weeks, but has turned those into just six receptions), Elijah McGuire (he should flirt with a dozen touches, but the yards from scrimmage floor isn’t as strong as other players in his flex bucket of the position)


Reasonable Return: Duke Johnson (he’s the only Cleveland player to have any confidence level in right now and while you can’t keep banking on a touchdown each week, he’s leading the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards over the past three weeks), Jermaine Kearse/Robby Anderson (both are fringe flex plays if you’re in deep need as they each enter the week tied in targets. Kearse is more of the reception floor play while Anderson has higher yardage upside and Cleveland has allowed a top-24 scorer in every game this season), Josh McCown (it's a rough week for quarterbacks on bye weeks and streamers are thin this week, while McCown draws a matchup against a team that has allowed 27.8 points to Jacoby Brissett and 28.3 points to Andy Dalton over the past two weeks), Isaiah Crowell (he’s not an easy play at this point as he’s yet to turn in a week over RB26 and has just 14.8 total points over the past three weeks, but if you can’t use him with Cleveland as a rare home favorite against a team that has allowed 175 rushing yards or more in three of their four games, when will you ever use him?)


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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.
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