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Evan Silva

Matchups

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Silva's Week 10 Matchups

Sunday, November 11, 2018


1:00 PM ET Games


Detroit @ Chicago
Team Totals: Bears 25.5, Lions 18.5

Back home after a cinch win at Buffalo where Chicago needed only 12 completions thanks to two defensive TDs and two more on the ground, Mitchell Trubisky catches a Lions team allowing the NFL’s tenth-most points per game (26.2), seventh-most yards per play (6.1), and a 16:3 TD-to-INT ratio to quarterbacks. Although Trubisky makes a handful of mind-boggling throws each game – last week’s was an ugly third-quarter overthrow of Trey Burton that Bills CB Tre’Davious White easily picked -- Matt Nagy’s space-creating designs, plus weaponry, and Trubisky’s dual-threat ability put him in every-week QB1 contention. Quietly, Trubisky is on pace for 32 touchdown passes and four rushing scores. Among quarterbacks, only Cam Newton (342) has more rushing yards than Trubisky’s 302. … At least in bulk production, NT Damon Harrison’s acquisition hasn’t fixed Detroit’s run defense. The Lions have surrendered rushing lines of 35/138/1 (Seahawks) and 20/120/1 (Vikings) to enemy backs in two games since the trade. Jordan Howard remains a touchdown-dependent RB2 option with just one catch since Week 3, but this matchup is unimposing, and Howard can push for 15-plus carries if Chicago plays with a lead. … Positive script limited Tarik Cohen to touch counts of 6 and 7 in the last two weeks. A mismatch Nagy may look to exploit with Cohen’s receiving skills would be versus Lions MLB Jarrad Davis, who plays man coverage versus running backs in 11 personnel.

 

 

Allen Robinson returns from his three-week groin injury to face a Lions secondary missing top CB Darius Slay (knee). Robinson has finished below 65 yards in 5-of-6 games with lowly target counts of 4 – 6 – 5 in his last three appearances. He’s a touchdown-or-bust WR3/flex with continued health concerns in a deep pass-catcher corps. … Taylor Gabriel has two 100-yard weeks and six below 55 yards. He’s hit pay dirt in 1-of-8 games and is averaging 5.0 targets over the last four, devolving into a big-play-dependent WR4 on low volume. That said, 4.40-flat burner Gabriel’s matchup is attractive against Lions slowpoke outside CBs Teez Tabor (4.62) and Deshawn Shead (4.53). PFF has charged Tabor with 17-of-20 targets allowed (85%) for 300 yards (15.0 YPA) and three TDs. Quarterbacks have a perfect 158.3 passer rating when throwing at Tabor. Slay fill-in Shead couldn't beat out Tabor. … Slot CB Nevin Lawson is another liability, notable for slot WR Anthony Miller, who leads the Bears in targets (20) and Air Yards (266) over the last three weeks. … Trey Burton has earned every-week TE1 treatment with 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last seven games. The Lions gave up 3/39/1 to Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim in Week 4, 8/84/1 to Packers TEs in Week 5, 5/67/0 on six targets to Dolphins TEs in Week 7, and 3/70/1 to Seahawks TEs in Week 8.

The Lions’ offensive line was a top-five unit in Weeks 1-8, making last Sunday’s meltdown in Minnesota especially stunning. Matthew Stafford absorbed career highs in sacks (10) and hits (17) despite being blitzed on just 5-of-46 dropbacks, while protection breakdowns were exacerbated by the trade-deadline exit of longtime safety valve Golden Tate. Week 10 is no easier; with Khalil Mack (ankle) back, DC Vic Fangio’s Bears rank top eight in sack rate (7.5%) despite blitzing at the NFL’s sixth-lowest clip (19%). With just one top-12 fantasy score in eight starts, Stafford is two-quarterback-league material. … The Lions are hellbent on becoming a run-centric team, risking offensive dysfunction versus opponents capable of eliminating the run like Minnesota and Chicago. The Bears haven’t allowed a single rushing TD to a running back while holding them to 3.43 yards per carry and the league’s fifth-fewest receiving yards (255). Theo Riddick’s Week 9 return dropped Kerryon Johnson’s snaps (56%) to his lowest since Week 5, and Riddick’s team-high eight targets were a drain on Johnson’s passing-game usage. Johnson projects for 13-16 touches as a low-end RB2 play. The Lions will miss RG T.J. Lang (neck) at Soldier Field.

Stafford’s Week 9 target distribution: Riddick and Marvin Jones 8; Johnson 5; Kenny Golladay and Michael Roberts 4; Luke Willson and T.J. Jones 2; LeGarrette Blount 1. … Jones led the team in targets, Air Yards (73), and receiving (6/66/0) in Detroit’s first post-Tate game. Bears CBs Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are hardly slouches, but ascending volume locks in Jones as a fade-matchup WR2 with WR1 upside. … Riddick manned slot receiver on third downs at Minnesota, running 30 routes on 56% of the snaps and leading the Lions in catches (7). He’s a PPR-specific flex option. … Golladay drew four targets or fewer for the fourth time in the last five games and should be downgraded to a boom-bust WR3/flex option until his volume bounces back. The Bears have allowed the NFL’s fourth-fewest 20-plus-yard completions (23) and seventh-fewest touchdowns to wide receivers (7). … Jones got the biggest post-Tate playing-time bump (51%), running a season-high 34 routes with 29 in the slot but drawing only two targets. Riddick was Stafford’s preferred interior option on passing downs. … Roberts also set season highs in snaps (51%), routes (24), and targets and has a chance to become a touchdown-dependent streamer if his Week 9 usage holds. No tight end has reached 50 yards against Chicago, however.

Score Prediction: Bears 24, Lions 21

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New Orleans @ Cincinnati
Team Totals: Saints 30, Bengals 24

Cincinnati returns from its bye in sad-sack position having lost Tyler Eifert (ankle) for the year and A.J. Green (foot) indefinitely, forcing Andy Dalton to go to war with a three-receiver set of Tyler Boyd, Alex Erickson, and John Ross, and C.J. Uzomah at tight end. Since entering the league, Dalton averages 0.63 fewer touchdowns and nearly a full fantasy point per game less with Green sidelined, and a whopping 3.5 fewer fantasy points without Eifert. Still, Dalton’s Week 10 matchup is favorable enough for low-end QB1 streaming. Again missing star rookie DE Marcus Davenport (toe), the Saints rank bottom six in sack rate (5.5%) and bottom four in QB hit rate (12.2%). Cincinnati’s offensive line has permitted pressure on just 24.1% of Dalton’s dropbacks, the ninth-lowest clip in the league. … Fully past his early-season knee issues following Cincinnati’s bye, Joe Mixon enters Week 10 with 15-plus touches in 6-of-6 games and 22-plus touches in 4-of-6 to face a Saints defense that has defended the run stoutly but yielded 121 total yards and a touchdown to Vikings backs in Week 8, then 97 yards and two TDs to Rams backs last week. Whereas New Orleans is on the road after its track-meet Sunday night win, the Bengals are fresh and rested off the open date. Mixon’s offensive line has been a helpful run-blocking unit this year, ranking No. 8 in yards created before contact per carry (2.9). Mixon is a fade-matchup, bet-on-volume RB1 play.

Green’s absence forces slot man Tyler Boyd into Cincinnati’s No. 1 wideout role, convenient since fellow slot WRs Adam Thielen (7/107/1), Cooper Kupp (5/89/1), Sterling Shepard (10/77/1), and Mohamed Sanu (4/36/1) have all beaten expectations against the Saints, who lost slot CB Patrick Robinson to I.R. early in the year. On slot routes alone, PFF has charged fill-in P.J. Williams with 22-of-29 targets allowed (76%) for 225 yards (7.8 YPA) and two scores. … Green held a massive 40% grip on Cincinnati’s target share. Outside receiver slots will now be manned by some combination of Alex Erickson, John Ross, Cody Core, and Auden Tate. You’re on your own trying to sort through that mess for sneaky fantasy value. Erickson and always-injured Ross have played the most snaps to date. … C.J. Uzomah was a catch-less bust in Cincinnati’s pre-bye loss to Kansas City after an opening-drive shoulder stinger. New Orleans has allowed the NFL’s fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends, while Uzomah has logged fewer than 55 yards in 7-of-7 games. He ranked a lowly 22nd in Air Yards (117) among tight ends in Weeks 4-8. Still, sheer opportunity in a projected shootout keeps Uzomah on the TE1 streamer map.

The Saints go back on the road following last Sunday’s emotional primetime win over the Rams to face a Bengals team that’s been left for dead due to injuries but is still 5-3 and should stay competitive at home off its bye. Alvin Kamara dominated New Orleans’ Week 9 backfield, winning the touches battle 23 to 10 over Mark Ingram. Kamara is third among NFL backs in targets (51) and has out-touched Ingram 8 to 3 inside the ten-yard line since New Orleans’ Week 6 bye. Kamara has five TDs since the open date, Ingram none. Still missing top-two LBs Vontaze Burfict (hip) and Nick Vigil (MCL), Cincinnati allows 4.92 yards per carry and the NFL’s 11th-most receiving yards per game to running backs (52.4), while Kamara averages 1.3 more career targets per game on the road. He's up to 26 all-purpose touchdowns through 24 NFL games. … Ingram has disappointed for an extended period, averaging 53.3 total yards over his last eight games. He has three TDs in that span. Ingram further hurt himself by losing a fumble deep in Rams territory last week. … Drew Brees’ home-road splits are back in full effect with top-three fantasy scores in 3-of-4 Superdomed affairs but results of QB17 or worse in 3-of-4 away games. This matchup is still too difficult to pass up; 7-of-8 quarterbacks to face the Bengals have recorded top-12 finishes, while Cincinnati’s pass rush was a flop even before losing RE Carl Lawson (ACL), ranking 25th in sack rate (5.8%) and 22nd in QB hit rate (14.9%). Per PFF, Brees has a 16:0 TD-to-INT ratio and league-best 80.8% completion rate in clean pockets. Cincinnati is also missing slot CB Darqueze Dennard (chest). The Saints and Bengals both rank top six in scoring-position offense, each converting over 70% of red-zone trips into TDs.

Brees’ target distribution since the Saints’ Week 6 bye: Michael Thomas 30; Kamara 15; Tre’Quan Smith 13; Ben Watson 10; Ingram 7; Dan Arnold and Josh Hill 4. … As Cincinnati’s defense allows a league-high 28 completions per game, DC Teryl Austin’s unit poses a plus draw for all pass catchers. … Austin took the rare step of shadowing Mike Evans with LCB Dre Kirkpatrick and DeSean Jackson with RCB William Jackson in the Bengals’ pre-bye win. Evans went bonkers (6/179/1), and D-Jax smoked W-Jax for a 60-yard touchdown bomb. If Austin sticks with his matchup-corner strategy, plus-sized Thomas would likely draw Kirkpatrick with Jackson on speedier Smith. Thomas is an elite WR1 and Smith a high-variance WR3/flex option against the Bengals, who have been lit on fire for enemy wideout lines of 9/173/0 (Julio Jones), 6/179/1 (Evans), 7/111/0 (JuJu Smith-Schuster), 6/111/0 (Mohamed Sanu), 5/105/1 (Antonio Brown), 4/92/1 (John Brown), 7/76/0 (Adam Humphries), 7/68/1 (Tyreek Hill), 3/68/1 (Jackson), 4/67/1 (Devin Funchess), 8/59/0 (Ryan Grant), 4/54/2 (Calvin Ridley), and 5/46/1 (T.Y. Hilton). … Although he paid box-score dividends (3/63/1) in last week’s shootout win over the Rams, Watson ran only 11 routes after running 7 the week before and is averaging just 3.3 targets per game since New Orleans’ Week 6 bye. Playing in a three-man committee with Hill and Arnold, Watson remains a touchdown-or-bust streamer.

Score Prediction: Bengals 24, Saints 23

 

 

Atlanta @ Cleveland
Team Totals: Falcons 27.5, Browns 23.5

The Browns showed just enough promise in Freddie Kitchens’ play-calling debut for Baker Mayfield to warrant streamer discussion against a Falcons defense that has allowed top-15 fantasy results to seven straight quarterbacks, including six top-ten scores. … To counteract Cleveland’s pass-protection breakdowns, Kitchens wisely designed quick-hitting, high-percentage plays for Duke Johnson, who set season highs in touches (10), targets (9), and routes run (30), and scored twice. Week 10 opponent Atlanta is allowing the NFL’s most running back catches per game (8.5) for the fourth straight year. As Nick Chubb has only three receptions on the season, Johnson is easily Cleveland’s best means of exploiting the Falcons’ biggest weakness. Although Atlanta’s signing of DE/OLB Bruce Irvin brought aboard a big name, it’s been years since Irvin was a legitimate difference maker. He has 3.5 sacks over his last 11 games. … Chubb’s touches stayed in steady ascent (18 > 20 > 23) in Kitchens’ debut, even as Cleveland played from behind. Atlanta’s allowance of 4.31 yards per carry to running backs suggests they pose a non-daunting matchup, yet Chubb’s lack of receiving involvement continues to render him a touchdown-dependent RB2. His upside remains considerable if the Browns can keep the game close.

Mayfield’s 2018 target distribution: Jarvis Landry 72; David Njoku 43; Antonio Callaway 42; Johnson 30; Damion Ratley 19; Rashard Higgins 16; Breshad Perriman 8; Chubb 7. … Held to 50 yards or fewer in three of the last four weeks, this is a bounce-back spot for Landry versus a Falcons defense getting torn apart in the slot. The last five slot receivers to face Atlanta were Sterling Shepard (5/167/0), Maurice Harris (10/124/0), Tyler Boyd (11/100/0), Adam Humphries (3/82/0), and JuJu Smith-Schuster (4/34/1). … Callaway’s playing time was scaled way back (52%) in Kitchens’ play-calling debut, and his 29 routes run were Callaway’s fewest since Week 1. Landry led Browns wide receivers in Week 9 routes, followed by Callaway, Higgins (24), Perriman (19), and Ratley (16). Perriman led the complementary wideouts in targets (6). Even in a plus draw, Cleveland’s WRBC severely dampens the fantasy appeal of all four post-Landry members. … Drilled by Redskins TEs for a 9/96/0 receiving line last week with three touchdowns allowed to opposing tight ends over their last five games, Atlanta’s injury-ruined defense poses a plus matchup for Njoku, who has cleared 50 yards and/or scored a touchdown in five of Mayfield’s six starts.

Curious why Cleveland’s once-upstart defense has collapsed? Look no further than the time Gregg Williams’ unit has spent on the field. The Browns are on pace to play 1,156 defensive snaps, most by any team since the 1999 expansion Browns. Running on fumes, Cleveland has coughed up a 31.3-point average over its last six games after yielding 19.7 PPG in the first three. On-fire Matt Ryan has banked top-12 fantasy scores in six of his last seven starts, including five top-eight results. Browns CB E.J. Gaines (concussions) and every-down WLB Christian Kirksey (hamstring) went on I.R. this week, while top CB Denzel Ward (hip) will play Sunday’s game shy of 100%. … Cleveland’s primary defensive weakness remains versus the run, surrendering 4.69 yards per carry, 13 TDs in 9 games, and the NFL’s fifth-most receiving yards to running backs (504). In last week’s rout of the Redskins, Tevin Coleman logged his most snaps (57%) since Week 3, most touches (18) since Week 2, and a season-high seven targets, roasting a previously-stout Washington defense on inside runs and arrow routes to the edge for 156 total yards and two scores. Coleman is an upside RB2 play in this gorgeous matchup. … Based on recent usage, Ito Smith’s Week 10 workload projection is in the 10-13 touches range. Smith scored his Week 9 rushing TD from 12 yards out, getting a great block from Julio Jones in the hole and hurdling a defender to pay dirt. Atlanta is paving lanes up front despite losing both starting guards to I.R., ranking No. 8 in yards created before contact per carry (2.9). Last week, Atlanta mauled Washington’s front for a season-high 4.96 yards before contact.

Ryan’s Week 9 target distribution: Julio Jones 10; Calvin Ridley 9; Coleman 7; Mohamed Sanu 5; Austin Hooper 3; Smith 2; Marvin Hall 1. … Julio put on such a clinic in last week’s win over Washington that Josh Norman resorted to horse-collar tackling Jones on a would-be touchdown bomb down the left sideline, accepting the 46-yard DPI flag instead. Julio exacted revenge on a 35-yard screen-pass score where LT Jake Matthews leveled Norman and Julio broke Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s tackle before diving into the paint, snapping Jones’ 90-catch scoreless streak. Julio should stay hot against banged-up Ward in Week 10. … Whereas Sanu spent most of Atlanta’s win over the Skins laying high-impact downfield blocks, Ridley played a season-high 69% of the team’s offensive snaps despite missing a few late-game plays to be checked for a concussion. Ridley’s 40-yard score came on a crossing route where Sanu took out three would-be tacklers by himself. Ridley is a locked-in WR3 with WR2 upside versus an injury-ravaged Browns secondary permitting the NFL’s eighth-most yards per game (183.1) to enemy wideout groups. … Sanu had a fourth-quarter 11-yard touchdown called back by penalty but has been passed clearly by Ridley as Atlanta’s No. 2 passing-game option. Sanu is a touchdown-reliant WR4/flex. … First missing MLB Joe Schobert (hamstring) and FS Damarious Randall (groin) and now without Kirksey, the Browns are getting drilled in the middle of the field again. Tight ends caught 23-of-32 targets (72%) for 260 yards (8.13 YPA) and two touchdowns against Cleveland in the last three weeks. Hooper’s matchup is strong, but his usage is a concern with five targets or fewer in 6-of-8 games. He is 14th among tight ends in Air Yards (317) and eighth at the position in targets inside the ten (4). Hooper is a fringe TE1.

Score Prediction: Falcons 24, Browns 23


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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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