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Evan Silva

Matchups

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Silva's Week 5 Matchups

Sunday, October 7, 2018


1:00 PM ET Games

Tennessee @ Buffalo
Team Totals: Titans 22, Bills 17

Watch the tape. There wasn’t a worse individual player performance on a pro football field than Josh Allen’s at Lambeau last week. Green Bay’s D/ST was a predictable fantasy week winner, and the Titans now make for a compelling streamer after tallying the NFL’s seventh-most sacks (12) and fourth-most QB hits (29) in Weeks 1-4 with a dynamic pass-rush corps of DT Jurrell Casey and OLBs Harold Landry, Brian Orakpo, and Derrick Morgan. Continued wild swings in Allen’s week-to-week play should be expected after the rookie committed five turnovers in his initial 14 NFL quarters and took sacks on 14.9% of his dropbacks, most in the league by more than three percentage points. … Tennessee’s defense has failed to limit ground-game efficiency, yielding a combined 78/382/0 (4.90 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs in Weeks 2-4. Buffalo’s inability to play functional offense is a much bigger obstacle for LeSean McCoy, whose touch counts are 8 > 13 > 8 on a team that has scored 3 and 0 points in each of Shady’s two full games played. Returning home from a two-game road trip does increase Buffalo’s odds of keeping this game tighter for McCoy to benefit from balanced to run-friendly game script. Still, McCoy will be a risky RB2/flex option for the foreseeable future. … Just one Bills player has topped 40 receiving yards through three Allen starts, and none has reached 70. Kelvin Benjamin has pathetically managed 92 yards and one touchdown on 21 targets (4.38 YPT). Charles Clay is scoreless in 15 straight games and listed as questionable with hip and shoulder injuries.

 

 

Marcus Mariota took a huge step forward in his recovery from a debilitating throwing-elbow injury in last week’s comeback win over Philadelphia, hitting Corey Davis on 28- and 51-yard deep balls, topping 300 passing yards for the first time in 12 games, and tacking on a 10/46/1 rushing line to finish as Week 4’s fantasy QB7. Decimated in the secondary – playmaking FS Micah Hyde (groin) was the latest to go down – Buffalo has surrendered an 8:2 TD-to-INT ratio and the league’s eighth-highest completion rate (69.4%). There are no guarantees Mariota’s arm is out of the woods, however, and this is a potential letdown spot traveling to Buffalo after last week’s upset win at home. Mariota is still more of a two-quarterback-league start. … At 11 > 18 > 18 > 10 for Derrick Henry and 21 > 15 > 12 > 13 for Dion Lewis, touch counts in Tennessee’s backfield have been a weekly roller coaster. Henry has been unplayable with an average of one target per game and zero TDs. Lewis’ passing-game usage has been sporadic and game-script dependent. Nevertheless, this game sets up for both backs to break out against the NFL’s worst team. Henry’s primary problem has come in the touchdown column, where Buffalo has allowed a league-high seven TDs to running backs. Sean McDermott’s club has also given up the league’s ninth-most receiving yards to backs (230). Henry is an underrated RB2/flex play. Lewis is a PPR-specific flex.

Mariota’s 2018 target distribution: Corey Davis 26; Lewis 14; Taywan Taylor 13; Tajae Sharpe 6; Henry 4; Jonnu Smith and Darius Jennings 3. … In last Sunday’s plus matchup against the Eagles’ beleaguered cornerbacks – specifically weekly burn victim LCB Jalen Mills – Davis finally flashed his ceiling with a mammoth 9/161/1 receiving line, including the game-winning TD. Davis enters Week 5 ranked 13th in the NFL in Air Yards (419) on a robust ten targets per game. Purely from a usage standpoint, Davis’ deployment has been similar to Julio Jones under first-year OC Matt LaFleur, who worked on Atlanta’s 2015-2016 offensive staffs. Davis can expect shadow coverage from Bills LCB Tre’Davious White on perimeter routes, although Davis is moving around the formation often and has made 8 of his 22 catches on slot targets (36%). White plays in the slot 1% of the time. … Taylor’s post-Rishard Matthews upward trend continued in last week’s win, logging season highs in snaps (63%), routes run (36), targets (9), and production (7/77/0) as Tennessee’s No. 2 outside receiver opposite Davis. Sharpe mixed in for three targets on 44% of the downs, and slot man Williams played 43%. The Titans’ lone true vertical speedster, Taylor is a WR4/5 stash with upside once this still-work-in-progress offense hits high gear. … Smith has yet to carve out a meaningful passing-game role despite playing 96% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps since Delanie Walker (ankle) went on I.R. All three of Mariota’s targets to Smith have fallen incomplete. Smith remains a Dynasty stash, not a TE1 streamer.

Score Prediction: Titans 17, Bills 16

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Miami @ Cincinnati
Team Totals: Bengals 27, Dolphins 21.5

Andy Dalton should experience a squeaky-clean Week 5 pocket against the Dolphins, who rank 30th in sacks (6) and 28th in QB hits (19) and are missing three of their top-four defensive ends in Cameron Wake (knee), William Hayes (ACL), and Andre Branch (MCL). The Fins also cut DT Jordan Phillips, who has played the third-most snaps on Miami’s interior defensive line. Armed with A.J. Green, third-year breakout WR Tyler Boyd, and returning Joe Mixon (knee), Dalton has been a high-floor, high-ceiling producer with four straight top-15 fantasy results and two in the top eight. … As Giovani Bernard (knee) has been ruled out, Mixon is slated for workhorse usage against Miami, which has yielded a modest 108/416/4 (3.85 YPC) rushing line but the NFL’s fourth-most receiving yards (269) to enemy backs. Mixon logged 22 touches in consecutive games before going down. The Bengals showed limited trust in third-string RB Mark Walton during Mixon’s absence, giving the fourth-round pick seven touches in two games. Walton managed nine yards on five carries in last week’s win over Atlanta. Facing a depleted Dolphins front with minimal backfield competition, Mixon should be immediately teed up as a fringe RB1/2.

Dalton’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Boyd 36; Green 33; Bernard 21; Tyler Eifert 19; John Ross 15; Mixon and C.J. Uzomah 8; Tyler Kroft 5; Walton and Josh Malone 4. … Boyd is a cinch WR2 play versus Miami, where fellow slot WRs Jordy Nelson (6/173/1) and Quincy Enunwa (7/92/0) ate in two of the last three weeks. As Eifert (leg) is out for the year, and Ross (groin) and Bernard (knee) are out this week, Boyd and Green are set up to carry Cincinnati’s passing attack. The Dolphins are also without No. 2 CB Bobby McCain (knee). … Green will likely get the Xavien Howard shadow treatment, but that’s not especially imposing considering their lopsided history. Green famously “Mossed” Howard for a 10/173/1 stat line in their 2016 meeting, and Howard got torched for touchdowns by Cordarrelle Patterson and Phillip Dorsett last week. … Uzomah out-snapped Kroft 70% to 27% in last week’s win over Atlanta, while Uzomah’s route total on the season is 72 to Kroft’s 25. Uzomah is the preferred fantasy pickup against a Dolphins defense that ranks 13th in catches (20) and 14th in yards allowed (226) to tight ends … Malone will likely replace Ross in three-receiver packages opposite Green with Boyd in the slot. Malone has been silent this year, but he played ahead of Ross in 2017 and drew Marvin Jones comparisons last offseason. Malone ran 4.4-flat at 6-foot-3, 208 coming out of Tennessee last year.

Although the Bengals have yielded top-12 fantasy results to all four quarterbacks faced, Ryan Tannehill is an undesirable Week 5 streamer with fewer than 30 pass attempts in 4-of-4 starts on a slow-paced Dolphins offense that is running the league’s second-fewest plays per game (50.0). The Dolphins lost LG Josh Sitton (shoulder) to I.R. after Week 1 and C Daniel Kilgore to a torn triceps last week, worrisome ahead of this date with Bengals DT Geno Atkins. The Dolphins started the season 3-0 mainly because they faced the league’s softest schedule in Weeks 1-3. They got boat raced 38-7 in Foxboro last week, and this game doesn’t set up much better. … Even with Bengals WLB Vontaze Burfict back from suspension, this is an unimposing matchup for Kenyan Drake after Cincinnati surrendered a generous 88/391/1 (4.44 YPC) rushing line and the NFL’s 12th-most receiving yards to running backs in September. Adam Gase’s backfield usage is growing stranger by the week, however, utilizing Frank Gore ahead of Drake in crunch time and garbage time, and barely using Drake at all in the last two games. In chronological order, Drake’s weekly touch counts are 17 > 15 > 7 > 4 compared to 9 > 10 > 6 > 13 for Gore. Until Gase commits to using him more, Drake will remain a low-floor flex option regardless of matchups.

Tannehill’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson 17; Danny Amendola 16; Jakeem Grant 15; Drake 14; Mike Gesicki 7; AJ Derby and DeVante Parker 3; Gore 2. … Cincinnati does not pose a worrisome matchup for wideouts, having surrendered receiving lines of 9/173/0 (Julio Jones), 6/111/0 (Mohamed Sanu), 4/92/1 (John Brown), 4/67/1 (Devin Funchess), 8/59/0 (Ryan  Grant), 4/54/2 (Calvin Ridley), and 5/46/1 (T.Y. Hilton). Instable target projections are the problem here. Albeit highly volatile, Stills is always the best fantasy bet because he plays the most snaps in Miami’s receiver corps and is tied for the team lead in targets. Stills’ 329 Air Yards are over 100 more than anyone else on the Dolphins. … Amendola gets the second-most playing time, but his weekly target counts are 6 > 4 > 3 > 3 without a 50-yard game or a touchdown. … Grant’s big-play potential is undeniable, but he has no shot at reliability averaging 14.5 routes run per game. … Wilson is the second-best fantasy bet tied with Stills for the team lead in targets and ranked second in Air Yards (193), but he has cleared 40 yards in 1-of-4 games. … Gesicki played a season-high 84% of Miami’s Week 4 offensive snaps with Derby (foot) on the shelf, yet the rookie tight end still hasn’t seen more than three targets in a game.

Score Prediction: Bengals 27, Dolphins 17

 

 

Baltimore @ Cleveland
Team Totals: Ravens 24.5, Browns 21.5

Baker Mayfield admirably fought through a whopping nine drops by would-be pass catchers, Cleveland’s sudden defensive collapse, and his own four turnovers in last week’s overtime loss at Oakland, still managing to move the ball consistently in a QB20 fantasy finish. He’ll get a tougher Week 5 test versus a Ravens defense that gets back top CB Jimmy Smith after holding Pittsburgh’s previously-on-fire offense to a solitary touchdown drive at Heinz Field last week. To-date quarterback results allowed by Baltimore are QB22 (Ben Roethlisberger) > QB31 (Case Keenum) > QB8 (Andy Dalton) > QB33 (Nathan Peterman-Josh Allen). Mayfield is a back-end two-quarterback-league play. … Carlos Hyde enters Week 5 on pace for a career high 348 touches with weekly snap rates that have climbed in each game (53% > 58% > 58% > 61%). As Hyde is averaging a career-low 3.43 yards per carry and ranks 29th among 38 qualified running backs in Football Outsiders’ rushing Success Rate, however, fantasy owners must begin sweating increased usage for rookie Nick Chubb, who broke off 63- and 41-yard touchdown sprints against the Raiders. Nevertheless, Hyde’s consistent volume locks him in as an every-week RB2 until something changes. Chubb hasn’t so much as touched the ball in the red zone, while Hyde leads the NFL in carries inside the five (9). Hyde’s matchup is imposing versus Baltimore, which got back difference-making run stoppers MLB C.J. Mosley (knee) and NT Michael Pierce (foot) in Week 4 and has held enemy running backs to a combined 75/271/1 (3.61 YPC) rushing line and the NFL’s third-fewest receiving yards (81).

Mayfield’s 2018 target distribution: Jarvis Landry 19; Antonio Callaway 14; David Njoku 9; Duke Johnson and Rashard Higgins 8; Darren Fells 2; Hyde 2. … Landry runs 72% of his routes in the slot, where PFF has charged Ravens slot CB Tavon Young with completions allowed on 10-of-13 targets for 131 yards and two TDs. As Hyde is unlikely to churn out sustaining runs against Baltimore’s front, Landry projects as Cleveland’s best means of moving the chains. … Callaway was Mayfield’s main dropped-pass culprit at Oakland, letting three balls bounce off his hands and fumbling a punt after a similarly mistake-filled Week 3. Callaway’s big-play potential is undeniable – he flamed Raiders CB Gareon Conley for a 59-yard gain to set up Hyde’s one-yard score last week – but coaches have said the miscues will begin costing him snaps. Callaway is a boom-bust WR4/flex play against Baltimore’s stout perimeter corners, infused by Smith’s return. … The best place to attack the Ravens’ defense is in the middle of the field, where they’ve allowed the NFL’s tenth-most catches to tight ends (20), including a perfect 6/85/0 stat line on six targets to Steelers TEs last Sunday night. Njoku led Cleveland in Week 4 catches (5), ranks top ten among tight ends in Air Yards (191), and is a viable low-end TE1 in this above-par draw. Promisingly, Njoku checked in as Week 5’s No. 2 buy-low tight end in Josh Hermsmeyer’s predictive Air Yards model.

Joe Flacco visits Cleveland having accounted for multiple touchdowns in eight of his last nine starts with weekly fantasy results of QB10 (Bills) > QB12 (Bengals) > QB20 (Broncos) > QB12 (Steelers), showing a limited ceiling but mostly-solid floor. Although the upstart Browns defense equaled its takeaway total (13) from the entire 2017 season in the third quarter of last week’s loss to Oakland, DC Gregg Williams’ unit wound up getting shredded by previously-struggling Derek Carr for 437 yards and four TDs, good for Carr’s season-best QB4 finish. As just three of Carr’s 35 completions and 363 of his yards came on passes thrown within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage, Carr’s performance is not necessarily repeatable by a Ravens passing game that counts on deep threat John Brown for its heavy lifting. Among pass catchers with at least ten targets, Brown’s 22.1-yard Average Depth of Target (aDOT) ranks highest in the league. Back on the road after last Sunday night’s emotional primetime win over Pittsburgh, this is a potential letdown spot for Baltimore’s offense. … Alex Collins was benched for almost the entire second quarter against the Steelers after losing his second goal-line fumble of the year. All told, Collins has fumbled six times – losing four – across 288 touches as a Raven. Collins and Javorius Allen finished Week 4 with 12 touches apiece in what is likely to remain a near-even RBBC. Cleveland offers a mediocre matchup after yielding a moderate 109/444/4 (4.07 YPC) rushing line and the NFL’s 13th-most receiving yards (196) to running backs in Weeks 1-4. Collins is a high-risk flex option, especially after reporters observed him getting around gingerly due to a knee injury in Friday's practice. Allen remains the favorite for targets and scoring-position work and is an underrated RB2/flex.

Flacco’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Michael Crabtree 34; John Brown 30; Willie Snead 26; Allen 19; Nick Boyle 16; Mark Andrews 13; Maxx Williams 12; Collins 10. … Brown put on yet another show in Week 4’s upset win, torching Joe Haden for an early 33-yard score before catching a play-action bomb for 71 yards deep down the middle. Brown doesn’t even lead the Ravens in raw targets, but his 662 Air Yards rank third in the NFL, and his five end-zone targets are by-far most on the team. An every-week WR2, Brown’s Week 5 matchup is upgraded by Cleveland’s loss of RCB Terrance Mitchell (wrist). … Even with four more targets, Crabtree’s Air Yards (334) are roughly half as many as Brown’s, and his scoring-position role hasn’t materialized with just two red-zone targets and one inside the ten. Flacco overthrew Crabtree on a would-be 44-yard TD in last week’s first half, overestimating what’s left of the declining possession receiver’s speed. Crabtree is a humdrum WR4/flex with low yardage and touchdown ceilings. … Albeit for 56 scoreless yards, Snead caught six more balls at Pittsburgh and has a superior seasonal receiving line (18/198/1) to Crabtree’s (18/184/1). Snead is a PPR-specific WR4/flex. … Although first-round pick Hayden Hurst (foot) is slated for his debut, he figures to return in a rotation after Williams was among Baltimore’s most-critical pass catchers in last Sunday night’s win at Heinz Field, and Boyle is valued as a blocker. With very few exceptions, tight-end committees are fantasy situations to avoid.

Score Prediction: Ravens 21, Browns 20


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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