WATCH: CLEAN SLATE – WEEK 17
As we head into the final week of the regular season, all 16-games will be played on a massive Sunday only slate. I’ll get you set for this, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Highest Scoring Game
Atlanta Falcons vs.New Orleans Saints
Projected Point Total – 55.5 points
With a win, the Falcons will secure a first-round bye, so they do have something to play for here. The last time these two teams met, they put up 77 total points at the Superdome. Surprisingly, Matt Ryan only threw for 240 yards with two touchdowns, as it was Tevin Coleman who swooped in for three touchdowns that week. Nonetheless, Ryan has been great at home this season, averaging 321 passing yards in seven home games with 15 of his 34 touchdowns. Ryan has thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight games now and has an excellent chance to do that once again.
Hoping to play the part of spoiler, Drew Brees did account for the huge game the Saints had when these teams first met up, throwing for 376 yards and three touchdowns. While his road numbers aren’t as impressive as his home numbers, he’s still posting an average of 298 passing yards in seven road games with 15 of his 35 touchdowns. As of late, Brees has honed in on Brandin Cooks, as he’s received 36 targets over his past four games.
Lowest Scoring Game
Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
Projected Point Total – 41 points
The Raiders promising 2016 season took a turn for the worst last week with the loss of Derek Carr for the season. Now, with a matchup against the Broncos looming, it’s not exactly the light at the end of the tunnel. As the lowest projected scoring game of the week, it’s really hard to love any passing option the Raiders have. Trevor Siemian is coming off back-to-back poor performances, having not thrown a touchdown in two straight games, so it’s understandable why this game is projected to be a low-scoring affair.
Worst QB Matchups
1. Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos – Matt McGloin will be the starting QB for the Raiders and draws a very unfavorable matchup against Denver. The Broncos have only allowed 11 passing touchdowns (lowest in the league) and an average of 201 passing yards per game to QBs.
2. Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants – The Giants have ended up becoming the second toughest defense against opposing quarterbacks, allowing just 14 passing touchdowns and an average of 262 passing yards per game.
3. Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans – Matt Cassel will be starting this week after Marcus Mariota suffered a broken fibula. Houston has only allowed 19 passing touchdowns and an average of 218 passing yards per game this season.
Best QB Matchups
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns – Ben Roethlisberger draws the most favorable matchup of the slate, although it remains to be seen how much he’ll play this week (if at all). Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 259 passing yards per game while throwing for 33 touchdowns, a number that leads the league by three over the New York Jets’ defense.
2. New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons – Drew Brees faces a Falcons’ defense that’s allowed 29 passing touchdowns and an average of 276 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks.
3. Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans – The Titans have allowed the second most passing yards in the league coming into this week at 4,270, averaging out to 284 per game. When you couple those numbers with the 23 passing touchdowns allowed, they’re one of the worst at defending opposing quarterbacks.
VALUE PLAY: JACQUIZZ ROGERS TO SEE INCREASED SNAPS
Worst RB Matchups
1. Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots – The Dolphins well be hard pressed to get their run game going against the Patriots here in the final week. New England has not allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 8 and on the season has allowed just four. Opposing running backs are only gaining 3.6 YPC against them.
2. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys – The Eagles are down to Darren Sproles and Byron Marshall at running back this week and have a tough matchup ahead. The Cowboys have allowed just seven rushing touchdowns and 3.9 YPC to opposing RBs.
3. L.A. Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals – Arizona has allowed quite a few rushing touchdowns on the season with 12, but running backs aren’t gaining much otherwise. At just 3.3 YPC, opposing running backs have only been seeing their success against Arizona at the goal line.
Best RB Matchups
1. Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers – The Seahawks could be running Alex Collins out as their starter this week if Thomas Rawls is unable to suit up. Nonetheless, someone will get a tasty matchup against the 49ers, a team that’s allowed 23 rushing touchdowns to lead the league, and 4.9 YPC.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns – This could end up being a DeAngelo Williams game if the Steelers rest their starters against the Browns in Week 17. Regardless, they’ll draw the start against a Cleveland defense that’s allowed 17 rushing touchdowns and an average of 4.5 YPC.
3. New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills – The Bills continue to be ripped on the ground by opposing running backs. They have allowed 18 rushing touchdowns and an average of 4.5 YPC to opposing running backs.
Worst WR Matchups
1. Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos – The Broncos have shut down opposing wide receivers this season, holding them to just six touchdowns and an average of 97 receiving yards per game.
2. Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals – Cincinnati has allowed just 12 touchdowns and has given up an average of 134 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers.
3. Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers could be coasting in the game, but they still have a solid defense against wide receivers. With only nine touchdowns allowed, they’ve held opposing WRs to an average of 151 receiving yards per game.
Best WR Matchups
1. Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers – The Lions’ wide receivers will draw the best matchup on this slate taking on the Green Bay Packers. Coming into this game, Green Bay has allowed 24 receiving touchdowns and an average of 185 receiving yards per game to WRs.
2. Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Philly has allowed 17 receiving touchdowns and an average of 193 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers.
3. Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans – The Titans certainly made Blake Bortles and company look good last week, so why not Tom Savage and his group of wideouts? The Titans have allowed 17 receiving touchdowns and 189 receiving yards per game to opposing wide receivers.
Worst TE Matchups
1. L.A. Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have only allowed opposing TEs to score 2 touchdowns, and they are only giving up an average of 27 receiving yards per game to the position.
2. Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles – Philly has held opposing tight ends to four touchdowns and an average of 26 receiving yards per game.
3. San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs – This will be an interesting matchup, as the Chargers’ tight ends have accounted for 42% of their touchdowns this season. The Chiefs have only allowed one touchdown and an average of 41 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends.
Best TE Matchups
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns – Jesse James could be the top tight end if Ladarius Green isn’t healthy, in a great spot against the Cleveland Browns. With 13 touchdowns allowed, the Browns are allowing opposing TEs to average 66 receiving yards per game.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers – The Buccaneers placed Cameron Brate on IR, and he’ll be missed, as they are another team that focuses on their tight ends in the red zone, as they’ve accounted for 39% of Bucs’ touchdowns this season. The Bucs face a Carolina defense that’s allowed 11 TDs and an average of 59 receiving yards per game to opposing TEs.
3. Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions – The Lions have been poor against opposing tight ends all season, putting the Packers in a good spot here. Detroit has allowed 10 touchdowns and an average of 53 receiving yards per game to the position.
Last Week’s Leaders
|Name||Team||Last Week’s OPP||Targets|
Last Three Week Leaders
|Name||Team||Last 3 Weeks||Avg. Targets|
Lineup Quick Hits
QB To Build Lineups Around…
Russell Wilson ($6,800) – The Seahawks control their own destiny in terms of their playoff seeding. Which means we should see a good amount of Wilson in a week where big name starters could be few and far between. As long as this game isn’t a blowout (which it could be), Wilson will be lined up in a great matchup against the 49ers. In a tougher matchup agains the Cardinals last week, Wilson connected on 29 of his 45 pass attempts for 350 yards and four touchdowns. It was also encouraging to see him rush 10 times, the most in any game this season. With Wilson seemingly healthy and having something to play for, I like him a lot in this very friendly matchup.
WR To Pair Him With…
Doug Baldwin ($7,200) – Baldwin hits his highest salary of the season at $7,200, but he’s also coming off his most productive game of the season. Seeing a season-high 19 targets, Baldwin turned those into 13 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown. Going up against one of the worst defenses in the league makes it feel as if Baldwin could be worth the price of admission, even if he doesn’t get in a full game of work. With the Seahawks’ running back situation in a bit of disarray due to injuries, I think it’s safe to say Baldwin will see some heavy usage once again in the final week of the regular season.
The Top RB Will Be…
Latavius Murray ($5,200) – I don’t think Murray will be the highest scoring running back of the week, but I expect some heavy usage at a very low price. With Derek Carr out for the season and an impending matchup against the Broncos on deck, Murray could see a heavier than usual workload. The Broncos are certainly vulnerable on the ground, allowing nine rushing touchdowns and 4.1 YPC. Murray hasn’t looked very impressive in his last two weeks, but I think this could be a good week to turn that around at a discounted salary.
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