NEW ROTOWORLD BETA SITE

Evan Silva

Matchups

print article archives RSS

Silva's Week 16 Matchups

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Sunday 1:00 PM ET Games

Cincinnati @ Cleveland
Team Totals: Browns 27, Bengals 17.5

For whatever small step back Baker Mayfield took in last week’s 17-16 win at Denver, he should take multiple steps forward in Sunday’s cupcake matchup with The Great Hue Jackson’s Bengals. Already torched once by Baker for 9.9 yards per attempt and four TDs in Week 12’s QB5 result, Cincinnati has coughed up the NFL’s fourth-most touchdown passes (28) while giving quarterbacks clean pockets with the league’s ninth-fewest sacks (33) and tenth-fewest QB hits (76). The biggest concern for Mayfield’s box-score ceiling is the likelihood struggling Jeff Driskel fails to answer back, allowing the Browns to ride their rushing attack in pass-unfriendly script. … Posing an even juicier matchup for Nick Chubb, Cincinnati got clocked for 163/796/8 (4.88 YPC) rushing in its last six games and has yielded an AFC-high 20 touchdowns to running backs this year. Averaging 20.5 touches per game since the Carlos Hyde trade, Chubb is a home-favorite workhorse with week-winning upside in a best-case-scenario draw. Last week, Chubb’s 100-yard effort could have been much bigger had he not lost a 35-yard sprint in the third quarter on LT Greg Robinson’s holding flag. … Although Duke Johnson reappeared for eight touches on 39% of last week’s offensive snaps in Denver, Johnson remains unplayable in fantasy leagues with ten or fewer touches in all 14 games and just seven receptions in four contests since Cleveland’s Week 11 bye.

Mayfield’s targets with Freddie Kitchens as OC: Jarvis Landry 38; David Njoku and Antonio Callaway 26; Johnson 23; Rashard Higgins 18; Chubb 17; Breshad Perriman 15. … Landry led Cleveland in Week 15 targets (8) but finished below 60 receiving yards for the sixth time in his last seven games. The Bengals have shored up their slot coverage, containing Willie Snead (5/51/0), Landry himself (3/30/0), Seth Roberts (3/29/0), and Emmanuel Sanders (4/19/0) since slot CB Darqueze Dennard’s Week 11 return from a sternum injury. Keenan Allen had a strong Week 14 (5/78/1) versus Cincinnati, but none of Allen’s production came against Dennard. … Mayfield is throwing to open men rather than forcing it to individual players, so no Browns pass catchers are bankable bets. Njoku has suffered because of it, logging a superb 73% catch rate with one drop since Week 7 but averaging fewer than 30 yards per game. Njoku’s main Week 16 selling point is his matchup; the Bengals allow the NFL’s eighth-most catches per game to tight ends (5.1), including a 4/77/1 stat line to Raiders tight ends last week. … Strangely but truly, Callaway has emerged as Mayfield’s most-consistent box-score weapon with 50-plus yards and/or a touchdown in five of his last seven games. 4.41 speedster Callaway hit in these teams’ Week 12 meeting (4/62/1), while Cincinnati has permitted the NFL’s fourth-most completions of 20-plus yards (54). … Higgins and Perriman continued to share No. 3 duties against the Broncos. Higgins drew three targets on 20 routes; Perriman ran 17 patterns and was thrown to twice.

Editor's Note: If you love Fantasy Football you have to be playing on DRAFT. It's daily fantasy football snake drafts instead of salary caps. All the fun of season long drafts but with no management and they last for just one week. They take minutes to complete and there's even auction drafts! No more setting lineups or constantly worrying about pros, just draft and win! Right now DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers an exclusive FREE entry into a real money draft when you make your first deposit! Here's the link

 

The Bengals survived Jeff Driskel’s season-worst effort in last week’s Joe Mixon-driven win; Driskel couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn beyond targets to Tyler Boyd, got picked at the Raiders’ six-yard line, and averaged a putrid 3.9 yards per attempt. With fantasy scores of QB21 – QB23 – QB21 in his three starts and Boyd (MCL) likely done for the year, Driskel is not in play against a Browns defense that has held 10-of-14 enemy passers to fantasy results of QB15 or worse. … Mixon is easily the Bengals’ top play with touch counts of 31 and 29 in his last two games and 5.02 yards per carry in the last month. Mixon’s 47-yard run in last week’s second quarter was a career long. Touched up for 155 yards by Mixon in Week 12, the Browns allowed 12 rushing TDs in their last nine games. … Driskel has targeted C.J. Uzomah a team-high 25 times. Boyd’s loss frees up 7.7 targets per game, while Uzomah’s matchup is ripe versus a Browns defense that gave up 7/99/2 to Travis Kelce in Week 9, 10/56/1 to Austin Hooper in Week 10, 6/39/0 to Uzomah himself in Week 12, 3/32/1 to Jordan Thomas in Week 13, 9/77/0 to Ian Thomas in Week 14, and 4/43/0 to Matt LaCosse last week. … John Ross has 19 receptions on 48 targets this year, “good’ for a 40% catch rate. On throws 20-plus yards downfield, Ross has caught 3-of-14 for 98 yards. He is the Bengals’ likeliest wideout to draw Denzel Ward. … Alex Erickson is a PPR sleeper after replacing Boyd in the slot last week and drawing five targets, all on the interior. Fellow slot WRs Boyd (7/85/1), Mohamed Sanu (6/47/0), DaeSean Hamilton (7/46/0), and DeAndre Carter (6/32/0) turned in above-expectation catch totals against the Browns in the last five weeks.

Score Prediction: Browns 30, Bengals 10

Tampa Bay @ Dallas
Team Totals: Cowboys 26.5, Buccaneers 19.5

Their five-game win streak snapped in last week’s shutout loss at Indy, the Cowboys return home to face a Bucs defense that has tightened up under interim DC Mark Duffner, allowing 18.5 points per game in the last month. Tampa Bay’s inability to stop the run still makes this a get-right spot for run-first Dallas; Duffner’s unit got drilled by enemy backs for 166/928/6 (5.59 YPC) rushing in Weeks 9-15, while the Bucs have allowed a league-high 78.4% of opposing red-zone trips to go for touchdowns. Averaging 28.7 touches per game since Dallas’ Week 8 bye, Ezekiel Elliott is Week 16’s top RB1 play. … A big part of Tampa’s defensive improvement has been Duffner’s lean away from ex-DC Mike Smith’s vanilla zones into more man coverage, against which Dak Prescott throws the ball best. The Bucs also allow the NFL’s sixth-most QB rushing yards per game (20.9). 10-of-14 quarterbacks have logged top-12 fantasy finishes against Tampa, including fellow dual threats Cam Newton (QB10) and Lamar Jackson (QB9) within the last month. Dak is an upside play at JerryWorld with massive home-away splits, averaging 8.22 yards per attempt with a 13:3 TD-to-INT ratio in Dallas versus 6.42 YPA, four scores, and five picks on the road.

Dak’s Weeks 9-15 target distribution: Amari Cooper 60; Elliott 53; Michael Gallup 36; Cole Beasley 28; Blake Jarwin 19; Dalton Schultz 11; Allen Hurns and Rod Smith 7. … This is a prime bounce-back spot for Cooper, who like Dak has performed much better versus man than zone coverage while destroying at JerryWorld with home-game stat lines of 10/217/3 – 8/76/0 – 8/180/2 – 5/58/1 as a Cowboy. Tampa Bay has allowed the NFL’s fourth-most TDs to wide receivers (19). … Catch-less last week, Gallup has one touchdown all year, topping 51 yards twice. He does check in as Week 16’s No. 5 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model, putting Gallup on the DFS-tournament map. … Beasley has hit pay dirt once and averaged 25.4 yards in seven games since the Cooper trade. … Jarwin played a season-high 62% of Week 15’s offensive snaps and drew seven targets for the second straight game. A dump-off specialist averaging 10.0 yards per catch with zero career touchdowns, Jarwin is a matchup- and opportunity-based streamer against a Bucs defense yielding the NFL’s fifth-most yards per game to tight ends (69.1).

Shut down in Baltimore for last week’s QB30 result – his first non-top-ten score in a full game all year – Jameis Winston catches another tough draw against the Cowboys, who like the Ravens are capable of ruining passing offenses and controlling games with their rushing attack to suck play-volume life out of opponents. The Bucs’ offense entered Week 15 averaging 67.5 plays per game, then ran just 47 plays at Baltimore. This game’s indoor environment and Tampa’s plus weapons keep Winston’s ceiling intact, but his floor is lowered by the matchup and his own team’s run-defense deficiency. The Cowboys put the brakes on Matt Ryan (QB19), Andrew Luck (QB23), and Drew Brees (QB30) within the last five weeks. … Two of Week 15’s biggest surprises were Dallas’ previously-dominant run defense getting shredded by Marlon Mack (27/139/2) and Peyton Barber successfully running on the Ravens (19/85/1). Held below 70 total yards in five of his last seven games, Barber’s odds of repeating are low as a seven-point road dog with negligible passing-game usage. Barber has double-digit receiving yards in just 2-of-14 games.

Winston’s Weeks 12-15 target distribution: Mike Evans and Adam Humphries 29; Chris Godwin 23; Cameron Brate 16; Jacquizz Rodgers 11; Barber 7. … Evans beat expectations for his seventh 100-plus-yard game of the year in last week’s defeat, whipping Ravens RCB Jimmy Smith for a second-quarter 64-yard gain on a third-and-20 play and leading Tampa in targets (9). In RCB Byron Jones (6’1/199) and LCB Chidobe Awuzie (6’0/202), Dallas’ corners are more equipped than most to handle gargantuan Evans (6’5/231). Like last week, Evans is a fade-matchup fringe WR1 facing a Dallas defense yielding the NFL’s third-fewest fantasy points to wideouts. It does help that DeSean Jackson’s (thumb) return will take away coverage, while Evans should play with a chip on his shoulder as a Pro Bowl snub despite ranking No. 2 in the NFL in receiving yards (1,328). … Godwin has a single 13-yard catch on 13 targets over the last two weeks and will lose snaps with D-Jax back. … Humphries needs volume to pay fantasy dividends as a possession-slot receiver with a team-low 6.6-yard Average Depth of Target (aDOT), putting Humphries at heightened risk of a Week 16 dud based on Dallas’ ability to limit offensive volume. … Held below 40 yards in all 14 games, Brate defines touchdown-or-bust tight end. Dallas has given up six TDs in 14 games to tight ends.

Score Prediction: Cowboys 28, Buccaneers 20

Minnesota @ Detroit
Team Totals: Vikings 24.5, Lions 19

Full-year fantasy flop Matthew Stafford returns home from last week’s predictable loss at Buffalo with two touchdown passes since Week 11 – hilariously complete to LT Taylor Decker and No. 5 WR Andy Jones – to face a Vikings defense that has held nine straight enemy quarterbacks to fantasy results of QB16 or worse, including Tom Brady (QB16), Aaron Rodgers (QB25), Russell Wilson (QB27), Drew Brees (QB29), and Stafford himself (QB23). Detroit’s pathetic offense is averaging 15.9 points over its last eight games. After dropping Ryan Tannehill nine times in last week’s blowout win, the Vikings visit Ford Field leading the NFL in sack rate (9.8%) and ranked No. 5 in QB hit rate (17.7%). Mike Zimmer’s team sacked Stafford ten times in these clubs’ Week 9 date. … With Kerryon Johnson (knee) on I.R., Zach Zenner started at Buffalo, led Detroit’s backfield in snaps (46%) and carries (10), and even ran more routes (13) than Theo Riddick (9). It was the second game in a row in which Zenner operated as the Lions’ lead back. Unfortunately, this remains a three-man RBBC with Riddick (10 touches) and LeGarrette Blount (7) still involved facing a full-strength Vikings defense after it dealt with myriad early-season injuries. Zenner is a low-floor, touchdown-or-bust flex option. Riddick’s targets are down in the last three weeks (4 – 4 – 3).

Stafford’s Weeks 11-15 target distribution: Kenny Golladay 42; Bruce Ellington 30; Riddick 25; Levine Toilolo 13; Andy Jones and T.J. Jones 7; Blount 6; Zenner 5; Luke Willson 4; Brandon Powell 3. … With Ellington (hamstring) out for the year, Golladay slid inside to run a season-high 43% of his routes in the slot, exploiting linebacker matchups in Buffalo’s zone coverage. Perhaps most impressively, Golladay whipped Bills top CB Tre’Davious White for 40- and 33-yard gains. If OC Jim Bob Cooter is smart – debatable based on this year’s offensive performance – Cooter will take a similar approach this week to keep Golladay away from Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes, who covers the slot on just 2% of snaps. Golladay has quietly gained 27% of his yards on slot routes over the course of the year. Ultimately, Golladay is best approached as a high-variance, volume-based WR3 play with eight-plus targets in five of his last six games. Golladay also popped as Week 16’s No. 4 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model.

As expected, interim OC Kevin Stefanski’s Week 15 game plan successfully carried out Mike Zimmer’s mandate to emphasize Dalvin Cook, who exploded for 163 yards and two TDs on 20 touches, rushing for 100 yards for the first time since Week 1 of Cook’s rookie year as Minnesota thumped the Dolphins for its highest point total (41) of 2018. Detroit’s run defense has been better than Miami’s, limiting enemy backs to 167/666/5 (3.99 YPC) rushing in its last eight games, a timeframe that coincides with NT Damon Harrison’s acquisition. The Lions placed RE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) and stud run-plugger DT Da’Shawn Hand (MCL) on I.R. in consecutive weeks, however, and permitted 5.8 running back catches per game in Weeks 10-15. Albeit not quite the obvious lock-and-load play he was last week, Cook is a quality RB2 with RB1 upside on upward-trending touch counts of 17 > 18 > 20 in his last three games. … Even at domed Ford Field facing a beatable Lions pass defense, Kirk Cousins is a less-confident play after Zimmer and Stefanski scaled him back to a season-low 21 pass attempts against the Fins. Cousins did himself no favors with a second-quarter pick six on a telegraphed bubble screen to Stefon Diggs, which Minkah Fitzpatrick read all the way and returned 50 yards to the crib. Cousins leads all NFL quarterbacks in turnovers (10 INTs, 7 fumbles lost) and may be pigeonholed to game managing the rest of the way.

Cousins’ post-bye target distribution: Stefon Diggs 48; Adam Thielen 40; Cook 25; Kyle Rudolph 23; Aldrick Robinson 16; Laquon Treadwell 12. … Diggs was lucky to escape Cousins’ volume reduction with 4/49/1 receiving, scoring a first-drive touchdown when Dolphins CB Bobby McCain bit on Cousins’ play-action fake. Promisingly, Stefanski upped Diggs’ slot rate to 36% after Diggs ran just 22% of his routes inside under ex-OC John DeFilippo. This will help Diggs avoid Lions 90% boundary CB Darius Slay. … A 58% interior receiver under “Flip,” Thielen’s slot rate surprisingly plummeted to 36% in Week 15, same as Diggs. Perhaps Stefanski simply plans to move his wideouts around more to create advantageous matchups. Thielen has still fallen into WR2 territory, getting out-targeted by Diggs on an increasingly run-first team with 70 yards or fewer in five of his last six games. It does help that Thielen is popping as Week 16’s No. 9 buy-low player in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Air Yards model. … Stefanski’s final notable Week 15 adjustment put rookie TE Tyler Conklin on the field for a career-high 33% of plays, while Rudolph’s 74% snap rate and 18 routes were both season lows. Conklin led the Vikings in receiving (2/53/0) but ran only five routes, mostly blocking. A former D-IAA basketball player, Conklin was the No. 4 SPARQ tight end in this year’s draft behind Mike Gesicki, Ian Thomas, and Dallas Goedert. Conklin should be stashed in all Dynasty leagues. The Vikings can save $7.63 million in cap space by cutting Rudolph after this year.

Score Prediction: Vikings 17, Lions 13


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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Player News: Week 17

    Player News: Week 17
  •  
    Matchups: Gordon, Jeffery

    Matchups: Gordon, Jeffery
  •  
    DFS Analysis: Williams/Coleman

    DFS Analysis: Williams/Coleman
  •  
    Dose: Cam

    Dose: Cam's Season Ends
  •  
    DFS Analysis: GB

    DFS Analysis: GB's Williams
  •  
    Dose: Cam Shut Down

    Dose: Cam Shut Down
  •  
    Dose: Lindsay Makes Pro Bowl

    Dose: Lindsay Makes Pro Bowl
  •  
    Dose: Gordon Eyes Wk 16 Return

    Dose: Gordon Eyes Wk 16 Return