After a couple of bye weeks for the Game Breakdown, we’re back with a slightly new format for the weekly breakdown article. I’ll try and work the stats and comments into around 10 things to watch for each game, not only so the article as a whole takes a little less time to write but also so it might be a bit more easily consumable. I’d love to know what you think and/or if you absolutely hate the change. You can let me know on twitter, @EthanHaskellDFS
Buffalo at Miami – THU, NOV 13
Over/Under: 41 Points
Spread: MIA -4
1) The Dolphins defense is the real deal and Brent Grimes is the key piece. He’s a shutdown corner who rarely shadows anyone, but with Cortland Finnegan out look for Grimes to most likely shadow Sammy Watkins around the field this week. Grimes is the #11 rated coverage corner on PFF and it’s going to be a huge challenge for the stud rookie WR.
2) The Bills are 4-0 in games where Watkins has at least 80 yards receiving and just 1-4 in games where he doesn’t reach that marker. Some may consider that an arbitrary stat but I think it’s more indicative of how this offense just doesn’t have enough big play ability if he’s being locked down. Grimes should be able to lock him down here and I think the Bills offense struggles mightily.
3) Fred Jackson returned to the Bills lineup last week and had 3 carries, 4 receptions and 5 total targets. His workload was minimal and both Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown saw similar touches. Brown was far and away the most impressive – taking 7 carries for 35 yards and 6 catches for 65 yards. Look for Brown to continue that success this week as Fred Jackson is OUT for Buffalo and Brown/Boobie Dixon will split backfield touches again.
4) If the Bills do want to beat the Fins, running the ball is going to be huge. Miami is 15th in the NFL in FPPG allowed to opposing running backs compared to 5th against opposing QBs. Even without Cortland Finnegan, you still want to attack their front seven more than their secondary.
5) For the Dolphins offense, it’s going to be a huge challenge for them to rebound this week after losing LT Brandon Albert in Week 10. Albert was the 4th highest rated left tackle in all of football this year according to ProFootballFocus.
6) The injury is particularly concerning given how much Ryan Tannehill struggles under pressure. He has just a 47% completion percentage on the year when under pressure. That number is right around the league average, but he’s not one of the better QBs when hurried and he should see substantially more heat with Albert out.
7) To make matters worse, the Bills have the 9th highest rated pass rush this season on ProFootballFocus. On the season they’ve accumulated 38 sacks and 98 QB hurries (an average of nearly 11 hurries per game).
8) If Tannehill can stay upright, the Bills secondary hasn’t been very good this season and there are opportunities for the Dolphins receivers. Mike Wallace should see a healthy dose of Leodis McKelvin, the #152 rated corner on ProFootballFocus this season. McKelvin is allowing 1.72 fantasy points per target on the year as well and Wallace should see 8-9 targets.
9) Jarvis Landry emerged as the target leader last week, seeing 10 looks from Ryan Tannehill against a staunch Lions defense. Landry takes the majority of snaps out of the slot and is an excellent red zone threat, making him a viable option again in Week 11. It helps that Nickell Roby handles slot coverage for the Bills and is ranked #187 in coverage this season on ProFootballFocus.
10) Charles Clay has 12 catches for 100 yards and a TD over his last two games while being targeted 17 times. Clay’s workload is always risky but he’s proven when he gets enough looks he can be one of the higher-performing tight ends. This matchup isn’t perfect, but I like the recent workload and performance paired with a reasonable price tag on DK.
- Bryce Brown – $4400
- Jarvis Landry – $4600
- Charles Clay – $4100
Minnesota at Chicago – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 46 Points
Spread: CHI -3
1) The biggest question facing the Bears this week is whether or not they’ve given up on head coach Mark Trestman after taking a 42-0 beating into the locker room after just one half in Green Bay. They return home this week where they’re sure to be showered with boos (they’re also 0-3 at Soldier Field this season).
2) Jay Cutler is under the most heat and will need to rebound against a Minnesota defense allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Cutler has thrown four INTs over his last three games and the Vikings have picked off their opposing QB three times in that same span.
3) Look for the Bears to try and split Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall out wide as often as possible (as opposed to using Marshall in the slot). Marshall should be able to lineup against Xavier Rhodes on the majority of downs and Rhodes has been far and away the lowest rated corner for the Vikings. He’s #139 on the season. If Marshall does come out of the slot, he’ll see Captain Munnerlyn who has been really impressive since allowing 3 TDs over the first few weeks of the year.
4) The best matchup goes to Matt Forte who had his first disappointing game in a long time last week against the Packers. The Bears were getting blown out though, so don’t expect that to repeat. The Vikings are allowing the 7th most FPPG to opposing RBs on the year and 106.87 rushing yards per game to opposing backs. Forte is also invaluable in the passing game and has seen no fewer than 6 targets in any game this season. Minnesota is right in the middle of the league in receiving yards per game allowed to opposing running backs.
5) Martellus Bennett has been up and down all season, but this matchup looks like it could be challenging as the Vikings are 7th on the season against TE’s. They haven’t allowed over 40 receiving yards to a TE since Week 3 against Jimmy Graham, and Graham’s 54 receiving yards are the most they’ve allowed all season.
6) This could be a nice spot for Jerick McKinnon to bounce back, despite Matt Asiata’s recent touchdown stealing ways. Chicago is allowing the 11th most FPPG to opposing running backs over the last 5 weeks and even with the 10 carries given to Asiata in Week 10, McKinnon still got 14 carries of his own and 4 targets. Asiata is however still the primary pass-catching back and does have upside associated with that.
7) Teddy Bridgewater managed the game against the Redskins well, throwing for 268 and a TD with no interceptions. He’ll have plenty of chances to burn the Bears this weekend as they’re dead last in FPPG allowed to opposing QBs on the season, over the last 5 weeks and over the last 3 weeks.
8) Just looking at the Bears last two games against the Patriots and Packers, the Bears have allowed 669 passing yards and 11 passing touchdowns with 0 INTs to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Bridgewater is FAR from that class of quarterback but it’s not unreasonable to expect him to throw a lot in this game and hit somewhere around a 300 PaYd, 2 PaTD afternoon (which is more than enough for him to reach value).
9) Targets have been a challenge to predict for the Vikings and the likely return of Kyle Rudolph this week won’t make the situation any easier. At least it looks like Greg Jennings should see a good matchup across from Tim Jennings (not related) who is allowing 1.97 fantasy points per target this year and is ranked #147 in coverage on PFF. Cordarrelle Patterson moves around a ton and will likely get a mixture of Jennings, rookie Kyle Fuller (who has been one of the league’s worst corners over the last few weeks) and slot corner Demontre Hurst. All of the Bears corners are ranked outside the top 100 on PFF’s coverage ratings.
10) The return of Rudolph likely means it’s time for Chase Ford to return to his secondary role in the offense. It’s really too bad because Ford had 11 catches for 127 yards and a TD over his last 2 games. Rudolph should dominate the snaps at TE (if he’s truly healthy) and it’s a great matchup against a Bears defense allowing the most FPPG to opposing TE’s this season.
- Teddy Bridgewater – $5900
- Jerick McKinnon – $4800
- Greg Jennings – $5000
- Kyle Rudolph – $3600
- Brandon Marshall – $5800
- Alshon Jeffery – $5900
- Matt Forte – $10100
Houston at Cleveland – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 41 Points
Spread: CLE -3
1) The 41 point over/under here should tell you what to expect from this game, which has been dubbed the name of ‘The Brady Backup Bowl’. Don’t expect a lot of fireworks but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find fantasy value in a couple of places between these two teams.
2) The Texans are 22nd in FPPG allowed to opposing running backs on the season and 27th over the last 5 weeks, so there are certainly some holes in the front seven that can be exploited. The issue is the time share between Terrance West, Isaiah Crowell and Ben Tate right now. Last week, West played 36 snaps, Tate played 25 snaps and Crowell played 16 offensive snaps. West did get the most touches, carrying the ball 26 times for 94 yards and a TD. Tate had 10 carries for 34 yards and a TD and Crowell had 12 carries for 41 yards and a TD. While they all scored, don’t expect too many games where the Browns have the luxury of rushing the ball 48 times between their three running backs.
3) Brian Hoyer is about as balanced of a QB as you’ll find and the target distribution for his receivers is indicative of that. With that said, Andrew Hawkins is still the most targeted receiver for Hoyer and this offense and it’s the last game before the true stud, Josh Gordon returns. Hawkins comes out of the slot and will draw a lot of Andre Hal in coverage. Hal has limited exposure this season but is ranked #178 in coverage on PFF and will be forced to play a lot after the injury to Kareem Jackson. If the Browns are forced to throw a lot, Hawkins could be the biggest beneficiary. Just be a little wary here, Hawkins is questionable this week but is expected to suit up after missing the Thursday night game against the Bengals.
4) Jordan Cameron failed to practice on Thursday which is a bad sign for players in the NFL’s concussion protocol. In his absence, Gary Barnridge has 4 carries in back-to-back games but he’s an afterthought in this run-heavy offense and doesn’t have nearly enough upside to warrant consideration.
5) Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for multiple touchdowns in every week starting in Week 3 against this Texans secondary. The Browns run the ball more than any other team (50.76% of downs) but if they give up an early lead to Houston you could see a huge game out of Brian Hoyer against an already bad secondary that has lost one of its more talented corners in Kareem Jackson.
6) The cornerstone of the Texans offense, Arian Foster, is listed as a game time decision for this weekend. If he sits, Alfred Blue becomes one of the more intriguing value plays of the weekend. The Browns are ranked #1 against opposing backs over the last three weeks, but Blue took 13 carries for 78 yards in the only other game that Foster missed this season.
7) The Texans will roll Ryan Mallett out for his first NFL start this weekend. It’s a huge unproven so predicting targets is going to be a challenge. However, reports are that Mallett has terrific rapport with Andre Johnson who has been lobbying for him to get the keys to the Texans offense. If that’s accurate, we could see Johnson jump back into fantasy relevancy.
8) The biggest risk with Johnson is a potential shadow matchup with Joe Haden who has been much more Haden-esque over recent weeks. Over the last four weeks Haden has allowed just 127 yards on 15 catches with no touchdowns. His physicality also matches up better with the playing style of Johnson, meaning I’d expect him to chase Andre around the field in Week 11.
9) That leaves the best matchup to DeAndre Hopkins against either Buster Skrine or Justin Gilbert in coverage. Both have been terrible this season and Hopkins has 17 catches for 318 yards and a TD over the last three weeks. Hopkins was a favorite target of Fitzpatrick, so there are some concerns that Mallett won’t be as likely to get him the ball but he still is in a terrific spot and Mallett would be wise to try and avoid the shadow coverage of Joe Haden.
- Alfred Blue – $3000
- DeAndre Hopkins – $6200
- Terrance West – $4400
- Miles Austin – $3600
- Brian Hoyer – $5500
Philadelphia at Green Bay – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 54.5 Points
Spread: GB -6
1) 54.5 over/under here means we should expect a lot of scoring between two high-powered offenses. These two do however play very different styles of offense. Philadelphia is much more uptempo, ranking 2nd on the season in offensive players per game at 71.2. Surprisingly, the Packers run the 4th fewest offensive plays per game at 59.7.
2) The Eagles secondary has only held opposing QBs to less than 2 TD passes once this season and Rodgers has 6 games with at least 3 touchdown passes. Similarly, only two teams are allowing more FPPG to opposing quarterbacks on the season than Philadelphia. Rodgers is in a great spot here and is in serious consideration as the #1 overall quarterback for Week 11.
3) While you can look at the final stat line for Jordy Nelson in Week 10 (6-152-2) and be pleased, he was targeted only six total times (yes I know it was a blowout). It’s still a somewhat startling trend though as Nelson now only has 16 targets over the Packers past three games. That’s only four more looks than rookie WR DaVante Adams and less than the 20 Randall Cobb has seen. Nelson should still be the receiver to target this week against Bradley Fletcher on the outside. Fletcher is ranked #52 in coverage on PFF this season so he’s not a total disaster, but he’s still exploitable.
4) Slot receiver Randall Cobb could struggle to find space against the very talented slot corner, Brandon Boykin. Boykin is ranked 22nd on PFF this season and has had a ton of success in coverage out of the slot and he’s yet to allow a single receiving touchdown in slot coverage. That’s bad news for Cobb who leads all NFL receivers in TD receptions this season.
5) The other piece of the receiving puzzle for the Packers is Davante Adams who disappeared in the blowout against the Bears. If the Eagles are able to establish their pace though, Green Bay could be forced to ramp up their offensive efforts and that should mean more involvement for Adams. He gets the beneficial matchup against Cary Williams on the majority of snaps. Williams is ranked #139 in coverage this season and was touched up for both of the receiving touchdowns allowed to another rookie WR, Kelvin Benjamin, in Week 10.
6) Eddie Lacy now has 100 net yards in back to back games and maybe most impressively, 191 receiving yards over his last two contests. The Eagles are in the lower half of the NFL in receiving yards allowed to opposing backs on the season and are somewhat prone to allowing a big gain or two in the screen game. They also rank 20th in FPPG allowed to running backs overall on the season.
7) For Philadelphia, the biggest surprise in their MNF win over Carolina was the play of Jordan Matthews who had great rapport with Mark Sanchez and took 9 targets for 7 catches, 138 yards and 2 TDs. Matthews comes out of the slot primarily and will have a huge matchup disadvantage this week against Casey Heyward, the Packers primary slot corner. Heyward is allowing a paltry 0.64 fantasy points per target on the year and is the #13 rated coverage corner on ProFootballFocus.
8) Expect Sam Shields to chase around Jeremy Maclin this weekend and Shields has been nearly as impressive as Heyward in coverage. Shields has rated #17 on PFF and could give Maclin fits on the outside. I’d still expect both Maclin and Matthews to see 8+ targets each, but the matchups are really concerning for these two.
9) It might be time to finally jump off the LeSean McCoy bandwagon. Every year there are a few players who torment you by constantly underproducing. You always expect them to be so much better but there comes a point when you need to admit defeat (and naturally, they’ll score 30 fantasy points when you do). McCoy has reached that point after he mustered just 19 yards on 12 carries and dropped numerous screen passes out of the backfield in Week 10. I’ve finally reached a point where I just don’t feel like he has to be rostered every week. He’s still a reasonable tournament option but it has become a situation where he’ll need to prove he can produce before he finds a cash game lineup again.
- Jordan Matthews – $4500
- Jeremy Maclin – $8200
- Zach Ertz – $3000
Green Bay Targets
- Aaron Rodgers – $9400
- Jordy Nelson – $7700
- Davante Adams – $3900
- Eddie Lacy – $6800
Seattle at Kansas City – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 42 Points
Spread: KC -2.5
1) This is a game with two defensive minded teams who tend to run first. Seattle is 3rd in run play percentage at 50.09% and Kansas City is 5th at 47.09%. Both teams rank in the top 11 in terms of FPPG allowed to opposing running backs as well, meaning both the Chiefs and Seahawks will likely be trying to fight through their opponents strengths (which isn’t great for daily fantasy purposes).
2) The Seahawks lost DT Brandon Mebane for the season last week. Mebane is a run-stopping specialist and although he hasn’t graded out too highly on ProFootballFocus this season, it’s still a major loss for their rush defense. Considering they’re also missing Bobby Wagner, we could see the Seahawks struggle to contain Jamaal Charles this week.
3) If the Chiefs are able to sustain the run, which I suspect they should do, the Seahawks may be vulnerable. Of all opposing RBs with at least 16 carries against SEA this season, Jonathan Stewart has the fewest rush yards against at 79. Tre Mason has a 18 rush, 85 yard, 1 TD game against them and DeMarco Murray had 29 carries for 115 yards and a TD as the only two other rushers to tally 16+ carries vs. SEA.
4) No KC wide receiver has a touchdown this season and the matchup with the Seahawks isn’t the most likely spot for them to buck that trend. Dwayne Bowe does however have 22 targets over the last two weeks. Unfortunately we should expect to see Bowe lined up across from Richard Sherman on the majority of snaps, and while Sherman has struggled more this year than he did a season ago, he’s still not likely to yield much to an average receiver in an average passing attack.
5) The Seahawks have struggled keeping TE’s out of the end-zone this year, allowing an average of 1.11 receiving touchdowns per game to opposing TE’s. They’ve also held TE’s to the 5th fewest receiving yards per game at 41.11, so it’s a tough situation to figure out. Travis Kelce could have some red zone value, but he’s still a risky option given the yardage upside and his limited involvement in an offense that could be running the ball a ton this weekend (he usually only plays on passing downs.)
6) Kansas City ranks in the top-12 in defense vs. every position this season and over the last 3 or 5 week splits. Their defense is incredibly efficient and fantasy value has been hard to come by against them this season. After allowing 20 FP to the first two QBs they faced (Jake Locker and Peyton Manning), no QB has more than 14 fantasy points against them this year. The highest opposing RB score they’ve allowed is 15.2 FP and the highest opposing WR score they’ve allowed was just above 20 against Brandon Lafell (mostly in garbage time). They just don’t allow a lot of big games.
7) Russell Wilson has been extremely quiet over the last 3 weeks, totaling just 550 passing yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs through the air in that time. He has however been efficient on the ground, with 28 carries for 173 yards and a TD in that 3 week span. The Chiefs are 7th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed to opposing QBs at just 7.10 yards allowed per game. Much of that is based on situational matchups, but they have faced the likes of Michael Vick, Colin Kaepernick and Jake Locker this season. None of the three have had over 18 rushing yards against KC.
8) Marshawn Lynch has been an animal of late, with 6 rushing touchdowns and 207 rushing yards in the last two games on top of 99 receiving yards. While KC’s defense has been stout against the rush in the red zone (they’ve still yet to allow a single RB to score a rushing touchdown), they might be on a bit of a good luck streak. They’re 13th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed to opposing RBs on the year at 105 per game. Given how high Lynch’s market share of carries is in this offense, we could see him top 100 rushing yards and the Chiefs unreal streak without allowing an opposing RB a touchdown might end in Week 11. Lynch had 11 red zone touches in Week 10.
9) The biggest weakness in the KC secondary is their slot coverage, highlighted by Chris Owens who is #176 in PFF’s coverage ratings so far this season. The slot duties usually fall to Doug Baldwin, who has seen 33 targets in four games since Percy Harvin was traded. Baldwin has been hit or miss but certainly has the best matchup of all the Seahawk receivers in this one.
Kansas City Targets
Denver at St. Louis – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 51 Points
Spread: DEN -9.5
1) It’s pretty rare that you see a road team favored this heavily, but such is the case for Peyton Manning’s Broncos on the road at St. Louis. It’s pretty indicative of the quality difference between these two teams and don’t be surprised to see the Broncos run away with this one.
2) Peyton Manning is staring down a juicy matchup with a defense ranked 26th in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing QBs. The Rams have been getting healthier in their secondary, and are 10th in DvQB over the last 3 weeks, but Manning is a challenge that should be too much for this St. Louis secondary to handle. Look for 3-4 passing touchdowns as the floor this week for Peyton.
3) Things look pretty good for at least one of the Broncos WRs. The Rams have allowed at least 75 receiving yards to a single opposing WR 8 different times this season. Most recently, they’ve been gashed out of the slot by Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Denver’s slot duties fall to Wes Welker against LaMarcus Joyner. Welker has been extremely quiet and instead of him being able to gash STL, I’d expect Julius Thomas to be that in-the-seam receiving weapon that can dominate this Rams secondary.
4) On the outside, look for Demaryius Thomas to see a lot of Janoris Jenkins in coverage. Jenkins is ranked #169 on PFF this season and it’s a really nice matchup for a WR who might be flying under the radar after a pair of sub-par weeks (for his lofty standards). Opposite him, Emmanuel Sanders should see E.J. Gaines on most downs. Gaines has been sensational this season and is ranked 18th in coverage on PFF this year. For the Broncos receivers, I’d rank them Demaryius (#1), Julius (#2), Sanders (#3), Welker (#4).
5) Ronnie Hillman isn’t expected to play this week, just in time for the return of Montee Ball. Ball has reportedly looked sensational in practice and will likely see the bulk of the workload, despite the recent solid play of C.J. Anderson. St. Louis is allowing the 7th fewest FPPG to opposing running backs on the season but a big Denver lead and an increased focus on stopping the pass usually softens most rush defenses against the Broncos. Ball is in a really good spot here.
6) The Rams offense has moved to Shaun Hill because what helps a struggling franchise rebuild better than a 34-year old lifetime backup quarterback. Hill’s only time this season was at the beginning of the Rams opener where he had 81 yards and an INT in limited time. It’s tough to tell where he’ll throw the ball, but he could certainly be throwing it a ton with the Rams playing from behind for most of this game.
7) Early on, expect St. Louis to try and establish the run which means a heavy dose of Tre Mason, who has led the team in carries over the last three weeks. Mason has a 19 carry, 65 yard game and a 14 carry, 48 yard, 3 rec, 33 RecYd game in his last two weeks. He’s the most talented back here but the matchup is tough (Denver ranked #8 in FPPG allowed to opposing RBs this season) and the spread has the Rams playing from behind here. Mason is nothing more than a deeeeep tournament punt play in Week 11.
8) If the Rams want to stay in this game, Hill will need to work with Kenny Britt a lot on the outside. With Brian Quick out, Britt should be the primary target (averaging 4.5 targets per game with Quick out, but that should increase as the pass play percentage rises). Britt looks to match up most often with Aqib Talib on the outside. Talib is talented but has had a few really bad games this season. According to PFF, he’s rated negatively in coverage in games against the Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers and Patriots. For those counting at home, those are the other three NFC West teams. Obviously that has no correlation to this matchup but more of an interesting note.
9) The Broncos are allowing the 4th most FPPG to opposing TE’s this season and they’re 2nd worst over the last three weeks. In that time, they’ve been gashed:
* Antonio Gates (Week 8) – 5 Rec, 54 RecYd, 2 RecTD, 22.4 FP
* Rob Gronkwoski (Week 9) – 9 Rec, 105 RecYd, 1 RecTD, 28.5 FP
* Mychal Rivera (Week 10) – 6 Rec, 64 RecYd, 1 RecTD, 18.4 FP
That’s good news for Jared Cook who should serve as a nice check down option for Shaun Hill in Week 11. Cook had one big play against the Cardinals last week but his targets have been somewhat limited in recent weeks (no more than 5 in the last 4 games).
St. Louis Targets
Cincinnati at New Orleans – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 50.5 Points
Spread: NO -7
1) The Bengals looked absolutely horrible on Thursday Night Football last weekend but they get an AFC South opponent in Week 11. The AFC North has dominated the NFC South this season and even though the Saints are 7-point home favorites, don’t rule the Bengals out in this one. I expect it to be much closer.
2) The Saints are 23rd in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing QBs on the season and they’re averaging just 0.70 INTs per contest. That’s bad news against Andy Dalton who has thrown 6 INTs over his last three games (3 last week with just 86 PaYd for Dalton). Given the spread and the vulnerabilities in New Orleans’ secondary, don’t be surprised to see Cincinnati pass the ball 40+ times this week which makes Andy Dalton somewhat fantasy relevant.
3) A.J. Green should be closer to being fully healthy and gets the nice boost of playing on the turf this weekend against the Saints. He’ll be shadowed most likely by Keenan Lewis (IF LEWIS IS HEALTHY – he’s listed as questionable right now. If he sits, get Green into lineups). Lewis has been better in coverage of late, but still ranks 85th among all corners in the NFL in coverage ratings on PFF. Lewis has shut down Michael Crabtree and Kelvin Benjamin in recent weeks, but Green is a different animal. Still, Lewis is much better than the disaster that has been Corey White this season who will likely see a lot of Mohamed Sanu and Greg Little (Little plays more outside than Sanu).
4) Speaking of Sanu, he plays primarily out of the slot when Green is healthy and that’s probably the most difficult matchup this week. Patrick Robinson is the primary slot corner for New Orleans and he’s rated out as the 35th best coverage corner on PFF this season. If Cincinnati is smart, they’ll slide Greg Little inside more often and force the Saints to matchup with Sanu with the struggling Corey White.
5) Gio Bernard is again expected to miss the game this week, and that means Jeremy Hill will be the featured back for the third consecutive week. Some may shy away from Hill given the spread, but don’t forget that Hill is also pretty solid in the passing game – despite the diminished target totals over the last couple of weeks. With that said, the Saints are somewhat vulnerable up front, ranking in the middle of the NFL in FPPG allowed to opposing backs. That was showcased last week when Frank Gore had 23 carries for 83 yards and a TD.
6) The demise of the Saints offense might be slightly exaggerated. Brees quietly has 20 or more fantasy points on DraftKings in each of his last 6 games. The Bengals rank 11th in FPPG allowed to opposing QBs on the season but have yielded a pair of 300+ yard passing games this season and I’d be pretty surprised if Brees wasn’t able to surpass that total again.
7) The Bengals biggest defensive weakness could prove to be a huge problem against the Saints. Cincy is 27th in FPPG allowed to opposing tight ends on the season and Graham appears to be pretty much back to full health. He was targeted 13 times last weekend and is far and away the best option to pair with Brees in DK tournaments.
8) The best WR matchup for the Saints goes to Marques Colston against Dre Kirpatrick out of the slot. Kirpatrick, albeit in limited time, has rated out as the 108th corner in coverage on PFF so far this season. Colston has been tremendously inconsistent this year, and has just 12 total targets over his last three games, but he might be in a better spot than Brandin Cooks or Kenny Stills on the outside for the Saints.
9) Another area of weakness for the Bengals this year has been stopping opposing RBs. They’re 29th in FPPG allowed to opposing backs on the year, including at least 90+ rushing yards allowed to backs in each of their last four games. Similarly, in that time they’ve allowed 7 rushing touchdowns in that four game span.
10) Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomas are both expected to be out this week once again, which leaves the door wide open for Mark Ingram in this juicy matchup. In the last three weeks with Khiry and Pierre out, Ingram is averaging 27 carries per game and has over 100 rushing yards in all three. He’s the workhorse back and he’ll see 20+ carries again this weekend, making him a safe bet for 100+ rushing yards. If he finds the end zone, he could end up as one of the highest scoring RBs in Week 11.
New Orleans Targets
San Francisco at NY Giants – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 44 Points
Spread: SF -4
1) It’s hard to picture a situation where this game turns into a fantasy-fest, as neither team has topped 30 real points in each of the last four weeks but both do have significant injuries on the defensive side of the ball that could make them a little more vulnerable than usual.
2) The 49ers announced that Patrick Willis will miss the remainder of the season. Willis is the QB of the 49er defense and has been out for the last month already, so we have some idea of what their D looks like without him. Chris Borland has filled in admirably but his absence hurts them most in coverage, as showcased by the clinic Jimmy Graham put on last weekend. Graham had 10 catches for 76 yards and 2 TDs. Don’t expect Larry Donnell to replicate those numbers but he could still have a decent game at home. Over the last 5 weeks, aka the time Willis has been out, the 49ers are 27th in FPPG allowed to opposing TE’s.
3) Rashad Jennings is expected to return to the lineup this week, moving Andre Williams back to a secondary role. It might not mean much since the 49ers are 4th in FPPG allowed to opposing RBs on the season but Mark Ingram did manage 120 yards against them in Week 10. Jennings has upside on DK because of his ability to get involved in the passing game (he had 8 catches for 95 yards in Weeks 1 and 2).
4) Odell Beckham Jr. will see a lot of Perrish Cox in coverage this week. Last week, we shied away from Beckham because of the matchup with Richard Sherman and he hauled in 7 balls for 108 receiving yards so I’m done saying a matchup is too difficult for him. This kid is a monster and, at the right price, he’s worth considering this week against a pretty solid secondary.
5) Beckham had the better game last week but Rueben Randle had more targets against the Seahawks and flew under the radar with 10 looks from Eli. Randle will see a lot of Chris Culliver in coverage who has been #38 on PFF so far this season. It’s not an ideal matchup, but if he sees double digit targets he could have a nice bounce back game.
6) The 49ers offense has sputtered of late as Colin Kaepernick has had just 1 passing touchdown in each of their last three games. That’s not the end of the world if Kaep is moving the ball on the ground but he has maxed out at 24 rushing yards in that three game span as well. He’ll have a good matchup with an average secondary this week that has been ravaged by injuries. Over the last 5 weeks, the Giants are 30th in FPPG allowed to opposing QBs.
7) Last week Russell Wilson broke lose against this defense with 100+ rushing yards. Wilson has been far more efficient than Kaep this season in terms of rushing the football, but it still opens the door for big game potential from Kaepernick this weekend. In the 2 games prior, the Giants gave up 7 passing touchdowns so there are weaknesses all over the place.
8) The 49ers best receiver has been Anquan Boldin coming out of the slot. Boldin should matchup against Jayron Hosley this weekend who hasn’t been great in a fill-in role for the Giants secondary. He’s ranked #108 in coverage on PFF and Boldin has back to back 6 Rec, 90+ RecYd, 1 RecTD efforts. He’s been the preferred option over a struggling Michael Crabtree and could be looking at another decent game this weekend.
9) Giants rush defense has been an absolute disaster this year, allowing the 2nd most FPPG to opposing backs on the season including 140 yards and 4 TDs to Marshawn Lynch in Week 10. Gore is coming off his 2nd most carries of the season against the Saints with 23 touches, but much of that was due to how badly the 49ers needed a W. They’re still in dire straits but I don’t know if Gore gets more than 16-18 carries this weekend after the heavy workload a week ago. Still, the upside is there given this matchup.
San Francisco Targets
NY Giants Targets
Tampa Bay at Washington – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 45.5 Points
Spread: WAS -7
Analysis coming soon
Tampa Bay Targets
Atlanta at Carolina – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 47 Points
Spread: PICK EM
Analysis coming soon
Oakland at San Diego – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 44.5 Points
Spread: SD -10
Analysis coming soon
San Diego Targets
Detroit at Arizona – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 41 Points
Spread: ARI -1
Analysis coming soon
New England at Indianapolis – SUN, NOV 16
Over/Under: 57.5 Points
Spread: IND -3
Analysis coming soon
New England Targets
Pittsburgh at Tennessee – MON, NOV 17
Over/Under: 46.5 Points
Spread: PIT -5.5
Analysis coming soon