Rich Hribar

The Worksheet

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The NFL Week 5 Worksheet

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

With four weeks already put in stone, we’re finally start to mount a good feel for players and teams. Nothing is ever certain the NFL, but we are able to identify consistent areas of strengths and weaknesses for offenses and defenses to begin the season. Week 5 has just two teams on bye once again, so make sure all of your Tampa Bay and Chicago players are out of lineups and their replacements are accounted for.


For those that are new here, 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.


As the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is an expectations-based column over a linear start/sit forum. The labels for each subset of players for each game is simply the vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player. Players that are high performers week-to-week are held to different standards than a secondary option in an offense. Every player runs into down weeks, and we’re trying to identify those moments, even for the star players you’re going to ride through thick and thin moments that don’t tally many low points during the season. That said, we’re still embracing some of the elements that will go along with a start/sit column as a byproduct of those expectations. 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. If you are curious as to my personal weekly rankings, they can be found each and every week in the Season Pass section.


 All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 

Colts @ Patriots


IndianapolisRank@New EnglandRank
10   Spread -10  
20.8   Implied Total 30.8  
23.5 18 Points/Gm 23.8 15
25.0 18 Points All./Gm 21.0 12
69.0 7 Plays/Gm 63.8 17
70.5 29 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.8 19
29.0% 31 Rush% 44.7% 8
71.0% 2 Pass% 55.3% 25
39.7% 17 Opp. Rush % 42.8% 26
60.3% 16 Opp. Pass % 57.3% 7


  • The Patriots have won eight straight non-Week 1 Thursday Night games, outscoring opponents by an average of 18.0 points per game over those wins.
  • James White has accounted for 26.2 percent of the New England fantasy production for skill players, the eighth-highest rate among running backs in the league.
  • Sony Michel leads all backs with a touch or target on 78.3 percent of his snaps played this season.
  • Thursday will be the first time that the Patriots have both Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski active in the same game since Week 12 of the 2016 season.
  • Andrew Luck's 186 pass attempts are the most by any quarterback in franchise history through the opening four games, surpassing his own 177 attempts to start 2012.
  • The 17 sacks by the Colts defense are the most they've had through the first four games of a season since 1992.
  • Nyheim Hines is averaging 28.5 pass routes per game, fifth for all running backs.


Trust (spike starting production)


  • Sony Michel: He’s gone from 11 to 15 to 25 touches over his three games while attached to a big home favorite, which should propel that volume.
  • Tom Brady: He’s a huge home favorite, Edelman is returning to the lineup, Gronk is going to at least dress and the Colts enter the week with multiple injuries all over. 


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • James White: The touchdowns should slow down over time, but he’s still the safest bet in this passing game at the moment, receiving more than 20 percent of the team targets in three of the opening four games while the Colts have allowed 28 receptions to backs out of the backfield.
  • Julian Edelman: He’s in the WR3 mix in his first game back and he has familiarity with the offense to overcome only getting in two practices in his return while he could walk right into volume if Gronkowski is indeed held out on the short week against a defense that lives in zone coverage.
  • Eric Ebron: He hasn’t been efficient the past two weeks, but still has 21 targets in those games and has now found the end zone in five of his past seven games dating back to last season.
  • Nyheim Hines: He’s locked into the passing-down role in a game that sets up for the Colts to put up points while Indianapolis has yet to stabilize the running back rotation outside of him.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Andrew Luck: Volume should still be here as he has more than 40 pass attempts in three of the opening four games, but with no T.Y. Hilton as a road dog in a short week, he’ll find himself back in QB2 territory.
  • Josh Gordon: He played just 18 snaps and ran just nine pass routes in his debut a week ago as he’s still working his way into a role within this offense.
  • Chris Hogan: If Gronk is out, Hogan will get elevated in the red zone, but going backs to a player with just eight catches for 109 yards on the season and will now be pushed back on the perimeter with Edelman returning to the lineup.
  • Colts WRs: All of Chester Rogers, Ryan Grant and Zach Pascal had 11-17 percent of the team targets with Hilton in and out of the lineup a week ago. If you have to swing, Rogers has the most red zone targets of the trio, but no one here is a target.
  • Rob Gronkowski: All indications are that he's going to be active, but limited to "high leverage" snaps. It's doubtful teams have a strong backup tight end option, but there's no wide gap from his floor to ceiling here in a game he may not be potentially needed.


If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)


  • Phillip Dorsett: He has at least seven targets in three of the four games this season and is tied with White for the team lead in red zone targets with five.

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Packers @ Lions


Green BayRank@DetroitRank
-1.5   Spread 1.5  
26.0   Implied Total 24.5  
23.0 19 Points/Gm 23.5 17
20.8 11 Points All./Gm 28.5 24
67.2 9 Plays/Gm 65.8 12
61.2 10 Opp. Plays/Gm 57.8 3
33.8% 27 Rush% 32.7% 29
66.2% 6 Pass% 67.3% 4
39.2% 16 Opp. Rush % 51.1% 31
60.8% 17 Opp. Pass % 48.9% 2
  • Matthew Stafford has thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven consecutive games versus the Packers, the longest streak for an opponent in Green Bay history.
  • Stafford has been a top-10 scorer in the past four of those games, throwing 10 touchdowns to two interceptions while passing for over 300-yards (averaging 354 yards per game) in each of those games.
  • Golden Tate has been a top-12 scoring receiver in the past three of those games, averaging 6.7 catches, 98 yards and 21.4 points per game.
  • Detroit has scored a touchdown on 33.3 percent (4-of-12) of their red zone possessions, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Kerryon Johnson ranks sixth in yards before contact (2.79 yards) while LeGarrette Blount ranks 47th (0.37) of 52 backs to have 20 or more carries on the season.
  • After playing 24.6 percent of the Green Bay snaps in his Week 3 return, Aaron Jones played 38.2 percent of the snaps in Week 4.
  • 41.4 percent (7-of-17) of Jones' carries have resulted in a first down, the highest rate for all backs with double-digit carries to begin the season.
  • Aaron Rodgers has been the QB12 or lower in three consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 15-17 of the 2015 season.


Trust (spike starting production)


  • Matthew Stafford: He has at least 17 points in each of his past three games and is heading home to face a defense with multiple injuries to their cornerback unit in Jaire Alexander and Kevin King.
  • Golden Tate: He has at least six receptions in every game and has tormented Green Bay recently from the inside while the Packers have been most vulnerable to interior options to begin the season, allowing double-digit points to Adam Thielen and Jamison Crowder in two of their past three games.


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Davante Adams: He’s cleared 53 yards in just one career game versus the Lions and has yet to turn in a WR1 scoring week on the season. He's run into a number of tough individual corners, but he’s had a stellar floor, seeing 10.8 targets per game and catching at least seven passes in three games in a row while he always carries weekly touchdown upside. He also may be due for a larger target boost with both Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (concussion) entering the week questionable.
  • Jimmy Graham: He’s at just 6.8 yards per target to begin the season which still leaves him with a low floor when he fails to find the end zone, but reliable tight end targets are a commodity this season and he should be right behind Adams in receiving opportunity if Cobb and Allison are unable to get back into the lineup.
  • Kenny Golladay/Marvin Jones: In a game in which we’re high on Stafford, everyone comes along for the ride and the Green Bay secondary is still banged up.  Golladay has had the higher floor, scoring at least 11 points in all four games while Jones still leads the team in air yards and targets inside of the 10-yard line on the season.
  • Kerryon Johnson: He’s been RB25 or better in three straight games but is still has a hurdle to push past RB2 status with LeGarrette Blount still siphoning 35 percent of the rushing attempts per game.
  • Theo Riddick: He’s been an RB3 or better in three of the four games with the only week below FLEX status coming in a game that they controlled throughout.
  • Aaron Jones: He led the backfield in touches in just his second game back and got the money touches near the end zone, but there’s still a bit on uneasy feeling with Jamaal Williams only being one touch behind him in that game. The matchup couldn’t be better for the Packers to lean on their run game with a potentially hobbled receiving corps as the Lions have been gashed on the ground, allowing a league-high 208.8 total yards and 6.1 yards per carry to opposing backfields on the season.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Aaron Rodgers: His fantasy output has been suppressed as he’s fighting through his injury, finishing as the QB19, QB12 and QB18 over the past three weeks while he may be down to relying on multiple rookie wide receivers this week in the lineup.

 If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)


  • Ty Montgomery: If the Packers are going to enter this game completely short-handed at the wide receiver position, Montgomery becomes a deeper option to be used in the passing game more.
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling: He's the next man up in the rotation, running 37 routes a week ago and gets extra elevation with Allison also expected to be out with Cobb.



Giants @ Panthers


NY GiantsRank@CarolinaRank
7   Spread -7  
18.8   Implied Total 25.8  
18.2 29 Points/Gm 23.7 16
23.8 16 Points All./Gm 20.0 8
62.0 23 Plays/Gm 64.0 15
60.2 9 Opp. Plays/Gm 59.3 7
33.1% 28 Rush% 47.4% 3
66.9% 5 Pass% 52.6% 30
43.2% 29 Opp. Rush % 37.6% 12
56.9% 4 Opp. Pass % 62.4% 21


  • Christian McCaffrey has played 85.1 percent, 94 percent and 100 percent of the Carolina offense snaps over their opening three games.
  • McCaffrey's share of the team touches has gone from 32.7 percent to 44 percent to 53.4 percent.
  • McCaffrey -the RB12 overall and RB7 in points per game- is the only running back in the top-30 of overall scoring that has yet to score a touchdown.
  • Cam Newton is averaging 10.8 rushing points per game, which would rank 10th among running backs on the season.
  • New York is allowing 7.3 yards per play on first down, the highest rate in the league. League averaged outside of them is 5.6 yards per play allowed.
  • The Giants have trailed for 71.4 percent of their offensive snaps, the highest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 47.1 percent.
  • Saquon Barkley is the fifth player to reach 100-yards from scrimmage in each of his first four career games, joining Kareem Hunt, Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson and Billy Sims.



Trust (spike starting production)


  • Christian McCaffrey: Even with Newton continuing to be a thorn in his touchdown upside, McCaffrey has established one of the highest floors at the position as he’s elevated into a bellcow back this season, positing 95, 139 and 194 yards from scrimmage to start the year.
  • Cam Newton: He has five passing touchdowns to one interception over his past two games while he’s tacking on double-digit rushing production per week to begin the season.  The Giants have allowed at least 2.8 rushing points to a quarterback in every game so far this season with 150 yards allowed to the position on the ground already.
  • Saquon Barkley: He’s fifth at the position in touches (83) and yards from scrimmage (453) while Carolina has allowed 16-plus points to every lead back they’ve faced on the season.


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Sterling Shepard: He has 24.3 percent of the team targets over the past two weeks, catching 16-of-17 targets with four targets from inside of the 10-yard line in those games. Carolina has struggled with his archetype in two of their three games, allowing 6-132-1 to Tyler Boyd and 7-73 to Cole Beasley.
  • Odell Beckham: His start is similar to his opening four games of the 2016 season and the touchdowns and the big plays eventually came that year. He’s had a reliable floor, catching at least seven passes in three games with two 100-yard games, so we're treating him still as a lower-end WR1.


Bust (underperformance)



Broncos @ Jets


DenverRank@NY JetsRank
1   Spread -1  
21.3   Implied Total 22.3  
21.0 25 Points/Gm 22.2 21
24.2 17 Points All./Gm 22.2 13
64.0 14 Plays/Gm 59.0 29
64.2 20 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.2 26
41.4% 14 Rush% 42.0% 13
58.6% 19 Pass% 58.1% 20
37.7% 13 Opp. Rush % 41.4% 22
62.3% 20 Opp. Pass % 58.6% 11


  • Sam Darnold averages 0.85 fantasy points per possession, the fewest of all starting quarterbacks.
  • The Jets have converted just 36.4 percent (4-of-11) of the red zone possessions into touchdowns, 31st in the league.
  • Denver has lost six consecutive early start road games by an average of 16 points per game.
  • Emmanuel Sanders has the most targets (30) without a red zone target on the season.
  • Only Nelson Agholor has fewer receiving yards (167) than Demaryius Thomas (168) among the top-36 wide receivers in targets on the season.
  • Royce Freeman has 23.1 percent of the Denver offensive opportunities when the Broncos are tied or leading while having 15.2 percent when trailing.
  • Phillip Lindsay has 23.8 percent of the opportunities tied or ahead while having 18.1 percent when trailing.



Trust (spike starting production)


  • Emmanuel Sanders: The lack of scoring opportunities and the play of Keenum are becoming noticeable, but he’s matched or out-targeted Thomas in three of four games to start the season and runs into the best individual matchup against Buster Skrine, who has allowed the second-most receiving yards from the slot this season and 20-point games to all of Golden Tate, Jarvis Landry and Dede Westbrook to begin the season.


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Phillip Lindsay: He’s the safest play from this timeshare as he’s led the Denver backfield in touches in all three full games he’s played and even received and converted a short-yardage scoring opportunity last weekend.
  • Royce Freeman: He’s a lower-FLEX play. The game script should keep him around and he’s scored in three straight games while the Jets have allowed four rushing scores over the past three games. But it’s worth sticking in your back pocket that the game script was also good on Monday Night and he had just eight touches, the second time in three weeks he’s had single-digit touches, leaving you to depend on a scoring opportunity.

Bust (underperformance)


  • Demaryius Thomas: He’s been a WR4 or worse in three consecutive games while the Jets boundary cornerback play is far superior to how they’ve played on the inside, allowing just one touchdown on the perimeter.
  • Case Keenum: After a QB13 open to the season, he’s now been the QB23 or lower in each of the past three weeks, averaging just 219.6 passing yards per game over that span.
  • Isaiah Crowell: The Broncos have allowed a rushing touchdown in each of the past three games if you want to chase a potential scoring opportunity, but Crowell has now rushed 32 times for 69 yards over the past three games and the Broncos have only allowed one back to clear 70-yards on the ground in a game this season.
  • Sam Darnold: There’s just no fantasy production to squeeze from him and his situation. He’s been in the back half of quarterback scoring all four weeks and has fewer than 200-yards passing in three of the four weeks while he’s averaged 5.2 yards per attempt the past two weeks after averaging 8.6 yards per pass through two games.
  • Quincy Enunwa: A low-level FLEX option, he has at least eight targets in each game on the season but has reached 70-yards just once while he runs into one of the premier slot defenders in Chris Harris.


If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)


  • Bilal Powell: His snap rate has gone from 40 percent, 52.3 percent, 54 percent up to 63.6 percent over the open to the season while out-gaining Crowell 205 yards to 93 over the past three games.


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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.
Email :Rich Hribar

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