Fantasy Football Mailbag: Wednesday 11/9/16

Eli Manning finally posted a solid fantasy outing in Week 9, so can we go back to him again this week? And is Dez Bryant in a bounceback spot against the Pittsburgh Steelers?

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Now, let's answer some questions.

As numberFire's Austan Kas noted earlier this week, both Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco are tremendous streaming options this week, and we shouldn't have too many reservations about using them. But with Eli Manning being on the table, that changes things a bit.

Manning comes off a big Week 9 with an implied team total of 24.75 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. The New York Giants are 2.5-point favorites, checking another box on our checklist for fantasy quarterbacks, and that's all before we get to the matchup.

The Bengals enter this contest ranked 22nd against the pass, according to numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. They just allowed Kirk Cousins to shred them for 458 yards before their bye, and every quarterback to attempt at least 30 passes against them this year has thrown multiple touchdowns. Manning's a safe bet to hit that mark, and that -- combined with his supporting cast -- gives him a slight edge over Flacco and Cutler.

Email submission from Brantly Mitchell:

Find myself thinking a lot about home/road splits for QBs this week, especially since the usual road under-performers happen to be in great matchups. So my question is: What are some deeper stats we can consider to understand why certain QBs have such disparate home/road splits, and can we use these to adjust our typical expectation for QBs like Brees or Ben when they're away?

Brantly sent this one in last week, but the subject and question are good enough where we definitely need to address it, even if the specific examples of Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger are now in the past.

There are abundant reasons a quarterback could have large home-road splits, and they're different even in just the examples of Brees and Roethlisberger. For Brees, much of it stems from where he plays his home games. We've seen before that quarterbacks traditionally perform better in domes where they don't have to deal with the detriments of high winds or precipitation. With Brees playing his home games in the Superdome, that accounts for at least part of his splits.

Roethlisberger's reasoning may be a bit different. Since the start of 2015, the Pittsburgh Steelers have averaged one play every 27.63 seconds while at home. On the road, that number dips to 28.40. This all comes while the team is 9-3 at home and 5-7 on the road, meaning you'd expect their pace to be higher when on the road and trying to make up a deficit. They run a faster-paced offense when they're at Heinz Field, and when you add extra plays to higher efficiency, you're going to get big home-road splits.

The basic thread here, though, is that we always need to be aware of a quarterback's home-road splits. Whether it's playing in a dome, playing at a higher pace, or simply passing with higher efficiency, this will all have a big effect on that quarterback's fantasy production, and we do need to factor it into our research.

Email submission from Keenan Bates:

For my WR2&3 (WR1 is OBJ), my choices are: Larry Fitzgerald, Dez Bryant, Michael Thomas, Davante Adams. **Allen Robinson (I dropped him last week, but I think he may still be available, as I'm in an 8 team league).

You're actually in a great spot here just because all four of the guys currently on your roster are in solid matchups for Week 10. The two who separate from the pack are Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant.

The Arizona Cardinals this week will face the San Francisco 49ers, which is relevant beyond just the 49ers' wretched defense. They also have easily the fastest situation-neutral pace in the league, according to Football Outsiders, meaning the Cardinals should be able to run a ton of plays in this game. Give that to a guy like Fitzgerald, who has a 25.6% target market share, and good things will transpire.

With Bryant, we can again look at the pace mentioned above with the Steelers. They'll be running that higher-paced offense, forcing the Dallas Cowboys to run more plays than their ball-hogging offense would like. Bryant was a disappointment last week, but Dak Prescott will likely be throwing more than 27 times this week, and Bryant already has four red zone targets since his return. That's enough to warrant confidence after a tough outing.

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