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Rich Hribar

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The NFL Week 14 Worksheet

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


Week 14 is here and hopefully you’ve secured a playoff spot in your fantasy leagues or you are putting a bow on your regular season this week. If you’ve been unfortunate this season in your leagues, there’s always DFS to keep the fantasy juices flowing.  

 

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 


Jaguars @ Titans

 

JacksonvilleRank@TennesseeRank
4   Spread -4  
16.8   Implied Total 20.8  
16.9 30 Points/Gm 18.4 28
20.2 5 Points All./Gm 20.4 6
65.0 10 Plays/Gm 59.5 28
61.2 11 Opp. Plays/Gm 61.7 14
41.3% 17 Rush% 46.8% 4
58.7% 16 Pass% 53.2% 29
43.3% 24 Opp. Rush % 43.7% 26
56.7% 9 Opp. Pass % 56.4% 7

 

  • The Jaguars are 1-5 straight up and against the spread over their past six games with the Titans and haven’t won in Tennessee since the 2013 season.
  • The average Jaguars game features 37.2 combined points, the fewest in the league.
  • The average Titans game features 38.8 combined points, 31st in the league.
  • Opponents have converted just 44.1 percent (15-of-34) of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns versus Tennessee, the lowest rate in the league. League average is 60 percent.
  • The Titans rank last in the league in sack rate (11.1 percent) and have allowed multiple sacks in 10 consecutive games, their longest streak in a single season since 1972.
  • Tennessee running backs are averaging .73 yards before contact on rushing attempts, the fewest in the league.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Leonard Fournette: He was a top-seven scorer in all three of his games prior to suspension, receiving 26.7 touches per game. Tennessee has allowed opposing backfields to rush for 150.3 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry over the past three weeks.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Marcus Mariota: Playing his best stretch of the season, he’s been a top-10 scorer in four of his past five games. His out this week is that he’s averaging 4.1 rushing points per game while the Jaguars have allowed the most rushing yards to quarterbacks this season, but this isn’t a strong spot to chase a low-game total and Mariota has been the QB28, QB15 and QB25 over his past three meetings with the Jaguars.
  • Corey Davis: His production has found some stability with Mariota playing well, going from someone not doing much on a lot of targets to someone making the most of a few. He’s also getting moved around a little bit more, running 12.7 routes per game from the slot over his past six games as opposed to 7.5 per game prior. But Davis has had just 17.2 percent of the team targets over the past three weeks and the Jaguars are still limiting receiver production, allowing a league-low seven touchdowns to the position.
  • TEN RBs: Derrick Henry has scored in four of his past six games but has been relegated into a touchdown only option since he’s yet to even have one run of 20-plus yards this season. Dion Lewis has just 107 yards from scrimmage over the past three games, making him even more lackluster without the scoring appeal while the Jaguars are second in fantasy production surrendered to opposing backs on the season.
  • Cody Kessler: He game-managed his way to a QB24 scoring week.
  • Jaguars WRs: This is still really just a choice of Donte Moncrief or Dede Westbrook, but neither a strong option to look at with Kessler under center on a full week of fantasy options.

 

 

Panthers @ Browns

 

CarolinaRank@ClevelandRank
-1.5   Spread 1.5  
24.3   Implied Total 22.8  
25.3 11 Points/Gm 22.2 20
25.5 21 Points All./Gm 26.0 24
61.1 26 Plays/Gm 66.2 6
61.2 12 Opp. Plays/Gm 72.0 32
41.8% 16 Rush% 40.3% 19
58.3% 17 Pass% 59.8% 14
38.5% 10 Opp. Rush % 39.7% 15
61.5% 23 Opp. Pass % 60.3% 18

 

  • The Browns rank 29th in non-passing fantasy points allowed per game (85.5) while the Panthers rank 25th (78.4 points).
  • Cleveland ranks 30th in yards from scrimmage for fantasy allowed per game (428.3 yards).
  • Carolina's point differential per game on the road (-8.0 points) compared to at home (+7.7 points) is the largest gap in the league.
  • The Panthers are averaging 19.8 points per game on the road this season (24th) as opposed to 30.8 per game at home (eighth).
  • Carolina has forced just one turnover on 39 possessions (2.6 percent) over their four game losing streak after forcing a turnover on 16.7 percent of their opponent's possessions, which was sixth in the league.
  • Baker Mayfield has the second-highest quarterback rating in the red zone this season (115.1) behind Drew Brees (116.9) while Cam Newton is third at 114.5.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Christian McCaffrey: He has at least 50 yards both rushing and receiving in each of his past five games while averaging 160.6 total yards per game over that stretch. The Browns are allowing 165.8 total yards per game to opposing backs (28th) and could be without Larry Ogunjobi this weekend.
  • Baker Mayfield: In his worst game of the season, he still averaged 9.2 yards per pass attempt and has thrown for 9.8 yards per pass attempt over the past three weeks. Carolina has struggled defending the pass, allowing a top-10 scorer in four of their past five games, giving Mayfield streaming upside once again at home.

 

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

 

  • Cam Newton: Despite the turnovers last week, he still managed two touchdowns and 300-yards passing. However, the Panthers haven’t played well on the road and the Browns have only allowed two quarterbacks to finish inside of the top-10 this season.
  • Nick Chubb: Even in a blowout last week, he still out-touched Duke Johnson 12-2 and found the end zone for the fourth straight game. The Panthers have remained solid versus the run during their defensive collapse, allowing 76.8 rushing yards per game to backs (seventh), but Chubb is a locked in top-15 back weekly at this stage due to his volume and scoring upside.
  • Jarvis Landry: His nine targets last week were the most he’s had in a game since Week 8, but they also came in a game in which the Browns attempted 43 passes, something they may not have to roll over. Still, Landry remains a WR3 play with appeal to be more against a Carolina defense that has allowed four of the past five interior wideouts they’ve faced to post WR3 or better scoring weeks.
  • D.J. Moore: He has been a WR3 or better in three straight games with at least eight targets in each. For as good as the Browns have been against opposing quarterback points, they have allowed modest production to wideouts, ranking 28th in receptions allowed (14.3) per game to opposing wideouts.
  • David Njoku: He’s been hard to nail down recently, having fewer than 20 yards in three of his past five games, but he’s hard to move down outside of the starting caliber options at his position given the state of tight end. Carolina has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends (tied for the most) and rank 30th in receptions allowed (5.8) per game to the position.

 

 

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

 

  • Curtis Samuel: He’s run 29 and 41 routes the past two weeks as the Panthers have committed to playing him. He led the team with 11 targets a week ago and has over 18 percent of the team targets in two of his past three games. There are less volatile WR4 types overall but depending on your league size Samuel also carries rushing and touchdown upside with his snaps.

 

Ravens @ Chiefs

 

BaltimoreRank@Kansas CityRank
7   Spread -7  
23.0   Implied Total 30.0  
24.8 13 Points/Gm 37.0 1
17.8 1 Points All./Gm 27.2 27
71.7 1 Plays/Gm 62.2 20
60.9 9 Opp. Plays/Gm 69.5 30
43.7% 10 Rush% 39.8% 21
56.3% 23 Pass% 60.2% 12
37.8% 6 Opp. Rush % 34.7% 2
62.2% 27 Opp. Pass % 65.4% 31

 

  • The Chiefs are first in the league in points per play offensively (.595) while Baltimore is first in the league in points allowed per play (.293).
  • Opponents have scored on just 29 percent of their possessions versus Baltimore, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Opponents have scored on just 27.8 percent (15-of-54) of their possessions on the road versus Kansas City (third-fewest) as opposed to scoring on 53.2 percent of their drives (third-most) versus the Chiefs while at home.
  • Kansas City's +16.2 point differential per game at home is the largest in the league.
  • Patrick Mahomes' seven games with four or more passing touchdowns is now the second-most over an NFL season, trailing Peyton Manning's nine games in 2013.
  • Travis Kelce has five or more receptions in 11 straight games, matching a team record set by Tony Gonzalez in 2008.
  • Baltimore is the only team in the league in the top-five in both rushing yardage differential (+41.9 yards) and passing yardage differential (+50.1 yards) per game.
  • The Ravens have rushed for 200 or more yards in three straight games, their longest streak in franchise history.
  • Gus Edwards has gained positive yardage on 92 percent of his carries, the highest rate in the league for all backs with 50 or more carries on the season.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Travis Kelce: He is on a tear and would be the WR6 in overall scoring if you combined the primary pass-catching positions. Baltimore has also given up production to opposing tight ends over wide receiver play this season.  Tight ends have accounted for 25.9 percent of the receptions against Baltimore (31st) and 29.4 percent of the receiving yardage (31st) while they have allowed a tight end to score in five of their past six games.

 

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

 

  • Patrick Mahomes: I suppose he should technically be listed below, but we should give him tempered expectations compared to the lofty bar he has set so far this season. Mahomes has faced just two top-10 pass defenses this season in terms of passing points allowed per game -Baltimore ranks third - when entering the week and was the QB17 versus Jacksonville (15.8 points) and the QB13 versus Arizona (20.1 points). Despite their strong play, Baltimore hasn’t been invincible, allowing four top-10 scoring weeks on the season.
  • Tyreek Hill: It will be hard for him to play worse than he did last week but runs into a tough draw against a Baltimore secondary that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard receiver yet this season and just two wideouts to even reach 80-yards on the season. They’ve also been challenged so far by A.J. Green, Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown/JuJu Smith-Schuster (x2) and Julio Jones on the season. Hill only needs one play and should continue to get peppered in a few rushing attempts, while the touchdown upside is still present no matter the matchup.
  • Lamar Jackson: He’s held a solid floor each week, scoring 15.7, 20.2 and 16.5 points, but hasn’t shown a huge ceiling thus far since he’s been all rushing production. 73 percent of his scoring the past three games has come from rushing production only.
  • Gus Edwards: Opportunity and matchup align once again for Edwards. He has 17, 23 and 21 touches over his past three games and gets a Chiefs run defense that ranks 26th in rushing points allowed (15.9) per game to backfields. The remaining downside for Edwards is that he still has yet to has a receiving target over the past three weeks, leaving him potentially as a “yardage-only” fantasy option if he fails to reach the end zone that could hurt his overall volume if the Ravens fall behind early in the game.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Spencer Ware: One player won’t be Kareem Hunt in this offense, but Ware’s usage was still more promising than the end result showed. He played 49 snaps (69 percent) and ran 23 pass routes. That said, this is nowhere near as alluring as a spot as last week was, going against a Baltimore defense that has allowed opposing backs to rush for just 109 yards on 42 carries over their past three games, leaving Ware as someone you need to find the end zone.
  • BAL WRs: If Joe Flacco plays, then we can recalibrate, but with Jackson under center, Ravens wideouts have combined for 18 receptions and 207 yards with one touchdown over three games.

 

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

 

  • Ty Montgomery: He’s gotten on the field for 28 and 27 snaps the past two games and last game lead the team with seven targets in the passing game in a game which signaled that he should be used more based on an exploitable defensive weakness. That’s the case again this week against a Chiefs defense that is allowing the most receiving points per game (16.7) to opposing backfields which includes ranking 30th in receptions and 32nd in receiving yardage and touchdowns to the position. If the Chiefs get out ahead early on, Montgomery could feasibly just end up as an outright better play than Edwards, but you're at the mercy of nailing game script.
  • Chris Conley: If Sammy Watkins is out once again, he’s the cheapest path to a piece of Mahomes and has 15 targets over his past two games. But given the aforementioned receiving struggles against Baltimore this season, he’s more of a touchdown-or-bust option.

 

 

Colts @ Texans

 

IndianapolisRank@HoustonRank
4.5   Spread -4.5  
22.3   Implied Total 26.8  
27.1 8 Points/Gm 25.2 12
23.2 15 Points All./Gm 19.6 3
66.8 5 Plays/Gm 65.3 9
63.0 17 Opp. Plays/Gm 63.7 22
36.7% 26 Rush% 48.2% 2
63.3% 7 Pass% 51.8% 31
42.7% 20 Opp. Rush % 38.4% 8
57.3% 13 Opp. Pass % 61.7% 25

 

  • Opponents have scored on just 28 percent (30-of-107) of their possessions against Houston since Week 4, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Opponents have scored a touchdown on just 18 of those possessions (16.8 percent), the lowest rate in the league.
  • Houston has allowed the fewest red zone plays (6.0 per game), and the fewest plays run inside of the 5-yard line (nine) this season.
  • Lamar Miller leads the league in rushing (605 yards) since Week 7.
  • Deshaun Watson has accounted for 85.2 percent (23-of-27) of the Houston offensive touchdowns, the highest share for a quarterback this season.
  • Last week, Andrew Luck was just 10th quarterback ever to have fewer than 250 passing yards and zero touchdowns on 50-plus attempts in a game and the first since Josh Freeman in 2013.

 

Trust (spike starting production)

 

  • Eric Ebron: He received a season-high 30.8 percent of the team targets last week and has had seven or more targets in every game that Jack Doyle has missed this season. Ebron carries high touchdown upside at the position while already posting a 5-50-1 line on 10 targets against the Texans back in Week 4.
  • T.Y. Hilton: He’s garnering 25.8 percent of the team targets over the past four games with seven or more catches in three straight games. When these teams last met, Hilton notched 115 yards prior to injury.

 

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

 

  • Deshaun Watson: He is averaging just 201.4 passing yards per game over his past seven games with a high of 239 yards. He’s also thrown for more than two touchdowns just once on the season. He’s been able to get by because he’s averaging 4.1 rushing points per game. His efficiency can hold here as the Colts allow opposing passers to complete 72 percent of their passes (31st) for 7.7 yards per attempt (19th).
  • DeAndre Hopkins: With the Texans winning and becoming run-oriented, Hopkins has reached 100-yards in just one of his past seven games. But his floor has been incredible as he is the only player with at least 50 receiving yards in every game this season. He’s still received 25 percent or more of the team targets in every game but one this season, so that target volume can spike if there’s potential for a back-and-forth game here while he still has caught six of the 13 passing scores Watson has over that seven-game reduced sample.
  • Andrew Luck: Last week was the first time that Luck has failed to throw a touchdown pass in a game since Week 16 of the 2014 season. We shouldn’t expect his road bump to be as dramatic here, but the Texans haven’t allowed more than two touchdown passes since they last faced Luck in Week 4. Despite capping the passing scoring, Houston has allowed at least 290 passing yards to three of the past four quarterbacks they’ve faced.
  • Lamar Miller: He has rushed for over 100-yards in four of his past six games, the only bugaboo holding him back from being a regular RB1 given his workload on the ground is that he’s still not being used in the passing game, catching two or fewer passes in all but two games this season with one or fewer in six games.

 

Bust (underperformance)

 

  • Demaryius Thomas:  He has 10 catches for 131 yards on 14 targets over his four games with Houston.
  • Marlon Mack: We’ve been picking our spots with Mack as a matchup play so far and he gets another subpar paper outlook once again this week. Houston hasn’t allowed more than 60-yards rushing to a back since Week 6 and are allowing 115.9 total yards per game to backfield on the season (eighth).

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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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