Rich Hribar

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The NFL Week 7 Worksheet

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Week 7 is here, and we’ve finally reached a week with more than two teams on bye. Make sure that you get all Seattle, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Green Bay players out of your lineups this week.


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.


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All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 


Titans @ Chargers (in London)


TennesseeRank@LA ChargersRank
6.5   Spread -6.5  
19.5   Implied Total 26.0  
14.5 30 Points/Gm 29.2 5
17.8 3 Points All./Gm 24.0 15
57.3 30 Plays/Gm 60.8 24
64.7 19 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.2 8
46.2% 6 Rush% 44.4% 8
53.8% 27 Pass% 55.6% 25
44.9% 28 Opp. Rush % 37.9% 15
55.2% 5 Opp. Pass % 62.1% 18


  • The Chargers rank second in the league in yardage gained per play on first down (7.6 yards) while the Titans rank 31st (4.7 yards).
  • The Chargers rank second in the league in plays to gain 20 or more yards (35) while the Titans rank last (11).
  • The Titans have scored a touchdown on just 2-of-31 (6.5 percent) first half possessions this season, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Just 35.5 percent (22-of-62) of the Tennessee drives this season have crossed midfield, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 52.0 percent.
  • After allowing opponents to score on 43.3 percent (13-of-30) of their possessions through three weeks (24th), the Chargers have allowed scoring drives on just 27.3 percent (9-of-33) of possessions over the past three weeks (third).
  • 41.8 percent of Melvin Gordon's carries have gained five or more yards, which ranks as the fourth-highest rate in the league (minimum 50 carries). His rates on such carries to start his career has been 26. 1percent, 26.8 percent and 29.6 percent.


Trust (spike starting production)

  •  Austin Ekeler:  He leads the league in yards per touch (8.6 yards) and with Melvin Gordon inactive, will be set up for his largest workload of the season.

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


  • Keenan Allen: For as disappointed fantasy owners have been by his start and lack of ceiling moments; Allen’s 36-434-1 line is nearly identical to the 33-446-1 line that he had through six games a year ago. He’s still a top-10 receiver in terms of team target share (26.2 percent), but his average depth of target (7.3 yards) has significantly sagged from his 9.3 aDOT a year ago.
  • Dion Lewis: He’s a tough sell on game script potential alone, but outside of that, the Chargers are 19th in receiving points allowed per game to backfields and have allowed top-30 weeks to satellite backs Duke Johnson and Jalen Richard the past two weeks.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Philip Rivers: It’s another week where you don’t have to press a streaming option over him, but it’s also another one where he’s in the higher-QB2 bucket than a top option. Tennessee likes to ugly games up and ranks fourth in passing points (12.1) and passing yardage (227.2) allowed per game.
  • Tyrell Williams: Despite his breakout a week ago, he still only caught three passes and Tennessee ranks ninth in 20-yard completions allowed.
  • Marcus Mariota: He has thrown a touchdown pass once every 59 pass attempts to begin the season, ahead of only Josh Allen (69.5) and the Chargers are beginning to right the ship defensively.
  • Derrick Henry: One game he will break off a 60-yard touchdown run and when it happens, it will happen when he rightfully on your bench.
  • Corey Davis: He has a game with 15 targets and one with 13, but averages 5.3 targets per game over his other four games played. He has one week higher than WR42 on the season and the Chargers have allowed lead wideouts to catch just five passes for 45 yards over the past three weeks.


Panthers @ Eagles


4.5   Spread -4.5  
20.5   Implied Total 25.0  
24.2 17 Points/Gm 22.8 20
22.8 10 Points All./Gm 19.5 6
63.6 20 Plays/Gm 69.2 4
59.8 4 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.0 14
44.0% 11 Rush% 37.6% 20
56.0% 22 Pass% 62.4% 13
37.1% 11 Opp. Rush % 31.2% 1
62.9% 22 Opp. Pass % 68.8% 32


  • Since returning to the lineup, Alshon Jefferey is tied for third in targets (six), tied for first in receptions (four) and first in touchdowns (three) among all wide receivers in the red zone.
  • Corey Clement averages 11.4 yards after the catch, fourth among all running backs. Wendell Smallwood averages 5.4 yards after the catch, 38th of 39 qualifying running backs.
  • Panthers running backs are the only team outside of the Buccaneers backfield yet to have a rushing touchdown on the season.
  • Opposing teams have thrown on 76.5 percent of their red zone plays against Philadelphia, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Panthers are -9 in number of plays to gain 20 or more yards versus the amount they have allowed, the largest differential in the league.
  • Just 36.3 percent of the completions against the Eagles have gained 10 or more yards, the lowest rate in the league. The rest of the league average is 46.5 percent.



Trust (spike starting production)


  • Carson Wentz: He’s scored more points than the previous game in each of his starts as he’s completely knocked any rust off. The Panthers have allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of their past four games and Wentz threw three scores against this defense on the road a year ago.
  • Alshon Jeffery: He’s received 23.9 percent of the team targets since returning and has eight receptions in two of three games.
  • Zach Ertz: The nine targets he had a week ago were the “fewest” he’s had in a game this season. Carolina has allowed opposing tight ends to catch 25-of-32 targets for 279 yards and three touchdowns over their past four games.
  • Christian McCaffrey: Even if what was a letdown a week ago, he still managed to be the RB16 because his floor is so high. 60.4 percent of the points the Eagles have allowed to backfields have come through the passing game, the highest rate in the league and they have allowed nine or more receptions to a back in two of their past three games.
  • Cam Newton: He’s thrown multiple touchdowns in four straight games and still is adding 7.8 points per game rushing on top of whatever you get passing. The Eagles struggled to contain Marcus Mariota (10-46-1) on the ground two weeks ago, the only mobile quarterback they’ve faced on the season and Newton ran wild on them last year, rushing 11 times for 71 yards and a score.


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


  • Devin Funchess: He’s had at least 20 percent of the team targets in four straight games but is still a touchdown dependent option as he has five or fewer catches in every game but one to go along with fewer than 80 receiving yards in every game on the season. That said, both of those marks can be elevated here against a defense that ranks 31st in receptions (16) and 28th in yardage (199.5) allowed per game to opposing receivers.
  • Corey Clement: Both he and Wendell Smallwood are FLEX options. We’ve now had one game in which Clement out-touched Smallwood but was outscored by him and another in which Smallwood out-touched Clement and was outscored, but Clement is finally nearly back to full health and the better player here overall to latch onto taking over as the 1A option in this backfield split.
  • Greg Olsen: He played 98 percent of the snaps in his return to the lineup a week ago and saw seven targets. The Eagles have been solid defending the tight end position overall but have allowed five catches to both Kyle Rudolph and Eric Ebron in two of their past four games while facing the Titans and Giants minus Evan Engram in the other two games.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Nelson Agholor: He’s had just nine targets over the past two weeks and five or fewer looks in three of this past four games. His 91 yards a week ago came on a fluky play when Wentz was hit and the other on a broken play, making him far too unreliable to count on behind Ertz and Jeffery.


Vikings @ Jets


MinnesotaRank@NY JetsRank
-3   Spread 3  
25.0   Implied Total 22.0  
23.3 19 Points/Gm 27.5 11
24.7 19 Points All./Gm 23.2 14
67.7 7 Plays/Gm 60.8 25
59.8 6 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.5 27
31.5% 30 Rush% 47.4% 3
68.5% 3 Pass% 52.6% 30
40.1% 18 Opp. Rush % 37.2% 12
59.9% 15 Opp. Pass % 62.8% 21


  • Adam Thielen is the first player have 100-yards receiving in each of his team's first six games of a season since Charley Hennigan in 1961.
  • Thielen leads the league in first down receptions (38) and is second in the league in yards after the catch (254 yards).
  • Thielen leads the league in targets (24), receptions (16) and first downs (14) on third downs this season.
  • The Vikings have allowed teams to convert just 25 percent (16-of-64) of their third down plays, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 40.2 percent.
  • The Jets have converted just 30 percent (6-of-20) of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The Jets have run on 61.2 percent (30-of-49) of their red zone plays this season, the highest rate in the league.
  • Sam Darnold is tied with Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers for the league lead with seven touchdown passes from outside of the red zone.


Trust (spike starting production)


  • Adam Thielen: He leads the league in just about everything related to wide receivers so far and we love smashing the Jets through slot play. To begin the season, the Jets have allowed opposing wideouts to post lines of 8-100-1, 8-81-1, 9-122-0, 11-142-0, 11-126-1 and 7-86-1 through the slot.
  • Stefon Diggs: He’s taken a backseat to Thielen in weeks where he draws top perimeter play, but the Jets secondary is banged up with injuries to Trumaine Johnson and Buster Skrine and they have allowed 15 or more points to five wideouts over their past three games, including two sets of teammates.
  • Kirk Cousins: He’s been in the back half of quarterback scoring in three of his past four games, but the Jets have allowed a 300-yard passer and a top-10 scorer three games in a row.


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


  • Latavius Murray: He has totaled 45-of-63 (71.4 percent) backfield touches with Cook out of the lineup. The Jets rank 20th in yards from scrimmage (134.2) allowed to opposing backfields.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Kyle Rudolph: He’s scored fewer points than the week prior in three straight games and is coming off his lowest-scoring game of the season. To compound matters, he has just 11.9 percent of the team targets now on the season, leaving him as a touchdown-dependent fantasy option.
  • Sam Darnold: He’s posted 18 points in each of his past two games in which he’s built two huge leads as a favorite, but this week he’s a dog against a Minnesota defense that may be finding their way through a rocky start to the season, allowing just three offensive touchdowns over their past two games,
  • Isaiah Crowell/Bilal Powell: Crowell has run extremely hot or extremely cold to start the season while Powell has zero receptions in three of his past four games. Minnesota ranks ninth in rushing yards allowed (77) per game to backfields.


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


  • Jermaine Kearse: With Quincy Enunwa sidelined, Kearse takes over as the primary slot option and is coming off a 9-94 game on a team-high 10 targets. Enunwa’s role was the most-targeted passing option in this offense, making Kearse a viable pickup as a floor play. 

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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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