Fantasy Football: Gdula's Game Notes for Week 12
numberFire has no shortage of tools -- lineup generators, fantasy projections, and more -- to help you round out your rosters, but some extra prep never hurt anyone. So, here are some notes to know about each and every game on FanDuel's main slate for Week 12.
Seattle at Philadelphia
Miami at Cleveland
Oakland at NY Jets
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Denver at Buffalo
NY Giants at Chicago
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Carolina at New Orleans
Detroit at Washington
Jacksonville at Tennessee
Dallas at New England
Seattle at Philadelphia
|Over/Under | Spread||48.0||-2.0|
|Implied Team Total||23.0||25.0|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||40%||13%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||30%||14%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||19||27|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||17||15|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||16||9|
This one features two teams with below average paces and mid-level pass defenses. There are paths to production. However, even with a 48-point over/under, it is not a guaranteed shootout. Each team is 25th or lower in pass rate over expectation and could be without vital offensive linemen. The money is on the under, according to oddsFire.
Seattle Offense Notes
- Russell Wilson ($8,200) ranks 7th in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back but could be under pressure often on Sunday: the Philadelphia Eagles rank 6th in adjusted pressure rate, and the Seattle Seahawks are 31st offensively. Wilson, who is without his starting center, isn't a safe play at the salary.
- The Eagles are 10th in adjusted yards per attempt allowed on passes traveling at least 16 yards downfield, putting a damper on Wilson and his primary pass-catchers. Despite that, Tyler Lockett ($7,400) has had a 26.3% target share (8.8 targets per game) since Will Dissly's injury -- though 18 of them came in Week 9. D.K. Metcalf ($6,700) has a 24.8% target share since Dissly's injury. Jacob Hollister ($5,800) has had an 18.0% target share. Josh Gordon ($5,100) could throw a wrench in the mix the more he gets involved, but Lockett and Metcalf are more than viable if banking on the game going over.
- Chris Carson ($7,700) has averaged an 83.7% snap rate over his past five games with target totals of 4, 5, 1, 3, and 4, so he's not out of play despite possible negative script. He's merely a game-stack play, though, at the price.
Philadelphia Offense Notes
- Even in six games against pass defenses outside the top 12, Carson Wentz ($7,300) has underperformed the NFL average in passing efficiency, and he has posted 6.88 yards per attempt in such games. All other passers against non-top-12 defenses average 7.53. Star tackle Lane Johnson is in concussion protocol, and without him, Wentz could struggle even though the Seattle Seahawks are 31st in adjusted pressure rate. His salary helps out, at least.
- With no Alshon Jeffery ($6,200) last week, Zach Ertz ($6,100) had 11 targets, Nelson Agholor ($4,800) had 9, and Dallas Goedert ($5,200) had 6. Seattle ranks top-14 in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and tight ends.
- Miles Sanders ($5,600) would be a great play if Jordan Howard ($6,100) misses again. Sanders played 85.3% of the snaps last week but did share some work overall with Boston Scott ($5,200), yet that snap rate is hard to hate at the salary.
Core Plays: Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor
Secondary Plays: Russell Wilson, Miles Sanders, Tyler Lockett, Dallas Goedert
Tournament Plays: D.K. Metcalf, Jacob Hollister, Chris Carson, Carson Wentz
Miami at Cleveland
|Over/Under | Spread||44.5||-11.0|
|Implied Team Total||16.75||27.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||67%||20%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||90%||27%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||4||21|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||32||8|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||26||24|
The Cleveland Browns finally showed some life, and the Miami Dolphins once again have an embarrassingly low total. Blowout risk caps the appeal of Cleveland's offense a bit, but the points should flow. The betting action tracks: everyone likes the over.
Miami Offense Notes
- Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,100) always has DGAF potential in shootouts but hasn't thrown a touchdown in two straight games. Cleveland's defense is down key pieces up front in Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi.
- DeVante Parker ($6,000) has 10 targets in each game without Preston Williams and came through with 135 yards last week in a tough matchup. The Browns are another stingy outside matchup (8th in Target Success Rate allowed), yet the volume should be there again in negative game script.
- Mike Gesicki ($5,000) draws the NFL's 25th-ranked tight end defense by Target Success Rate, and he has had six targets in each game without Williams. While we generally want tight ends with higher implied totals, the price is fair.
- Kalen Ballage ($5,500) has played 81.8% and 76.8% of snaps the past two games, and Mark Walton has been released. Ballage had 20 and 9 carries in the past two games for 54 total yards. His 10 targets have yielded 10 yards. The snap rate couldn't get much better; the production couldn't get much worse.
Cleveland Offense Notes
- Baker Mayfield ($7,500) gets the NFL's worst adjusted pass defense this week. In four games against bottom-half pass defenses, Mayfield has put up 0.03 Passing NEP per drop back (the NFL average in that split is 0.17). However, three of those games were on the road, and the Dolphins are the best matchup we can ask for.
- Odell Beckham ($7,000) is priced very well here, though the Dolphins surprisingly rank 10th in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers (but 30th in FanDuel points per target). The Dolphins are 31st in slot yards per snap allowed, good for Jarvis Landry ($6,900).
- In two games with Kareem Hunt ($5,600), Beckham leads the team with a 32.8% target share. Hunt and Landry each have 25.4%. Beckham's 145.0 air yards in these two games rank him seventh among receivers.
- Even with Hunt playing just over half of the snaps, Nick Chubb ($8,200), has had 47 of 57 carries between them in two games. The targets are 17 to 5 in favor of Hunt, but game script should point to Chubb against the NFL's 27th-ranked rush defense by Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs.
Core Plays: Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham, Baker Mayfield
Secondary Plays: Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kareem Hunt, Mike Gesicki
Tournament Plays: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Oakland at NY Jets
|Over/Under | Spread||46.5||+3.0|
|Implied Team Total||24.75||21.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||57%||27%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||59%||40%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||30||15|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||27||25|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||22||4|
Two bad pass defenses square off against capable quarterbacks. The Oakland Raiders' pace always has me a mite concerned about fully stacking. However, they shouldn't be able to run the ball efficiently on the New York Jets. Problematically, few players have dominant market shares.
Oakland Offense Notes
- Josh Jacobs ($8,000) is still priced up despite a road matchup against a defense that ranks top-four in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play, Rushing Success Rate, and yards before contact allowed.
- Derek Carr ($7,400) has commanded the NFL's fifth-ranked adjusted pass offense but actually has not yet thrown for 300 yards in a game (though he's had at least 285 in three of his past four games). With the best protection in the league, Carr is still viable on the road but is more a game-stack preference than a cash-game passer this week.
- Since Tyrell Williams ($6,400) returned in Week 8, the Raiders' target leaders are Hunter Renfrow ($5,900) and Darren Waller ($6,200) with 22, Williams with 19, and Zay Jones ($4,800), Jalen Richard ($5,000), and Jacobs with 12. That means no player has better than a 19.1% target share, though Waller's price is trending back down to help account for that. The Jets are 22nd in deep-ball defense, a good sign for Williams, who has half of the deep attempts since returning.
NY Jets Offense Notes
- Le'Veon Bell ($7,300) had averaged a 91.1% snap rate before posting rates of 73.9% and 54.9% the past two games. Even with the dip in snaps, he has 21.0 opportunities per game in those two (compared to 22.1 prior). He gets the worst run blocking in football by yards before contact generated, but the Raiders are a mid-level rush defense.
- Sam Darnold ($7,400) faces a bottom-six pass defense and posts splits on par with the NFL average against his opponents, which is to say he's matchup-dependent. In three games against bottom-eight opponents, he's averaged 261.0 yards and 2.0 touchdowns.
- With Darnold back at the helm, the Jets' target distribution has been: 23.1% for Jamison Crowder ($6,500), 19.8% for Demaryius Thomas ($5,200), 17.6% for Robby Anderson ($5,400), and 13.7% for Bell. The deep targets favor Anderson, who ranks 10th in deep looks per game in that split, catching just 3 of 14. He could have some big-play regression coming. Thomas has caught 7 of 11 deep targets.
- Ryan Griffin ($5,600) is priced up but does have target totals of 8, 1, and 5 the past three games. Oakland is actually fourth in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends, though.
Core Plays: Darren Waller
Secondary Plays: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
Tournament Plays: Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Demaryius Thomas, Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, Tyrell Williams, Ryan Griffin
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
|Over/Under | Spread||51.0||-4.0|
|Implied Team Total||23.5||27.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||75%||83%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||93%||85%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||5||22|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||24||29|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||1||14|
One of the shootouts of the week, this is the first matchup between divisional opponents. I'm always a little nervous about divisional games, but, and the Atlanta Falcons' defense looks elite since changing play-callers two weeks ago.
Tampa Bay Offense Notes
- Through Week 9, the Falcons' defense had allowed 0.48 Passing NEP per drop back to opposing quarterbacks, along with a 57.0% Passing Success Rate, both NFL worsts. The past two games, they're down to -0.20 Passing NEP per drop back and a 44.9% Passing Success Rate. Those would rank third and eighth, respectively, on the full season.
- Jameis Winston ($7,600) has commanded the league's 20th-ranked adjusted pass defense, and with the Falcons' turnaround and Winston's interception woes, he's not a safe play.
- Mike Evans ($8,000) leads the NFL in air yards per game (151.0) and deep targets per game (3.5). Chris Godwin ($7,800) ranks 19th in air yards per game (95.8) and 22nd in deep targets per game (1.8). Their target shares are nearly identical on the full year, but Evans has the higher-leverage looks and deserves more daily fantasy attention.
- After O.J. Howard ($5,000) bobbled an eventual interception, his role was consumed by Cameron Brate ($5,400), who had 14 targets last week. Given Brate's lack of yardage upside and Howard's bottomless floor, neither are viable unless loading up on this game.
- In negative script last week, Dare Ogunbowale ($4,900) played 42.7% of snaps, followed by Ronald Jones ($6,000) at 30.9% and Peyton Barber ($5,500) at 17.7%. None are bankable with numbers like that.
Atlanta Offense Notes
- Since Mohamed Sanu's departure, Julio Jones ($8,400) has 9.7 targets per game (10th among receivers). Calvin Ridley ($6,700) has 6.7 (37th). Russell Gage ($5,300) ranks 43rd with 6.0. There's a chance that Austin Hooper ($6,600) returns, which would lessen the appeal for Ridley at that tag and for Gage, but Jones is a stud regardless.
- Matt Ryan ($7,900) has put up 281.7 yards and 2.3 touchdowns per game in three contests against bottom-half pass defenses. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' funnel defense should elevate volume for Ryan and all the receivers.
- Brian Hill ($5,500) draws the worst rushing matchup for any back this week and had 3 targets last week on a 45.7% route rate. He's still a cheap running back who should play the majority of snaps in a high-totaled game.
Core Plays: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mike Evans
Secondary Plays: Calvin Ridley, Jameis Winston, Chris Godwin
Tournament Plays: Russell Gage, Brian Hill
Denver at Buffalo
|Over/Under | Spread||37.5||-4.0|
|Implied Team Total||16.75||20.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||74%||69%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||97%||76%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||11||13|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||12||18|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||11||29|
The paces are decent in this game, but the total is rough for an 11-game slate. There's a lot of action on the over, for what it's worth.
Denver Offense Notes
- Brandon Allen ($6,600) will face his first non-top-12 pass defense. So far, he has averaged -0.02 Passing NEP per drop back, same as all other passers against top-12 opponents. However, his 32.8% Passing Success Rate is well off the average mark of 44.5% against top pass defenses.
- Allen has given both Courtland Sutton ($6,800) and Noah Fant ($5,100) elite treatment. Sutton has a 30.9% target share in Allen's starts; Fant is at 27.3%. No other Denver Bronco is above 7.3%. Unfortunately, the Buffalo Bills rank top-six in Target Success Rate against receivers and tight ends.
- Phillip Lindsay ($6,300) has carved out a 25-13 lead in carries over Royce Freeman ($5,300) in those two starts, and the Bills are 22nd in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs.
Buffalo Offense Notes
- Josh Allen ($7,800) has maxed out at 266 passing yards in a game this season but has had at least 6 carries in each of his past four games while totaling 4 rushing touchdowns over the past three. While bottom could fall out against a good pass defense, the ceiling is always high for Allen due to the rushing.
- Since Zay Jones' departure, John Brown ($6,500) has averaged 10.0 targets per game and is the only relevant Buffalo pass-catcher. Brown has 16 deep targets in that split, ranking second in the NFL. Denver is 11th against deep passes.
- Devin Singletary ($6,300) has played at least two-thirds of the snaps in four straight games with target totals of 6, 4, 6, and 1. His routes last week were still in line with his typical rate, so I won't be overreacting to the one-target game.
Core Plays: Noah Fant
Secondary Plays: Josh Allen, John Brown
Tournament Plays: Courtland Sutton, Devin Singletary, Phillip Lindsay
NY Giants at Chicago
|Over/Under | Spread||40.5||-6.5|
|Implied Team Total||17.0||23.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||20%||19%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||20%||15%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||18||9|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||26||7|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||12||7|
A game with a low total involving the Chicago Bears is always an unnerving game to stack up, and Daniel Jones ($7,500) could be seeing plenty of pressure. The vast majority of betting action is on the under.
NY Giants Offense Notes
- Jones' New York Giants rank 25th in adjusted pressure rate on offense, which could lead to some quick throws and lessened efficiency. In two games against top-12 pass defenses, Jones has been stifled for 171.5 yards, 1.0 touchdowns, and 2.0 picks on average.
- If we can't bank on Jones to move the ball, then the whole offense takes a hit, and Sterling Shepard ($6,500) practiced Wednesday. That will muck up the usage for Golden Tate ($6,400) and Darius Slayton ($6,300) who are both already shaky plays against a top-five receiver defense.
- Saquon Barkley ($7,900) has a tough price to pay with an implied total of just 17.0 points and a date with a top-10 rush defense. Barkley has averaged 7.0 targets in four games since returning but is merely a tournament play given the salary and matchup.
Chicago Offense Notes
- Mitchell Trubisky ($7,000) is dealing with a hip injury, so we could see Chase Daniel ($6,000) against a pass defense that rates out in the bottom-third of both Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and Passing Success Rate.
- Allen Robinson's price ($7,500) is way jacked up. He has a 24.9% target share since the bye and gets a bottom-five receiver defense but is a really hard justification at such a high tag. Nobody else has better than an 18% target share since the Week 6 bye, and with the poor quarterback play from Chicago, nobody stands out.
- David Montgomery ($6,600) played 46.1% of snaps last week in negative script, giving him post-bye rates of 46.2%, 73.2%, 73.3%, 59.7%, and 46.1%. The Giants rank sixth in Rushing Success Rate allowed to backs, so even at a shot at a 70% snap rate, expectations should be kept in check.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: David Montgomery, Allen Robinson
Tournament Plays: Saquon Barkley
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
|Over/Under | Spread||39.0||+6.5|
|Implied Team Total||22.75||16.25|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||11%||35%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||6%||31%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||25||10|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||3||31|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||2||19|
The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3 back in late September, and the 0-10 Bengals haven't shown much reason to think they'll produce against a team that is top-three in adjusted rush and pass defense. The Steelers will be without center Maurkice Pouncey, who will be serving the first of his three-game suspension. JuJu Smith-Schuster is not expected to play in Week 12. This game seems like a lock for the under. And then I saw the action on the under, and yeah, well, nobody likes this one.
Pittsburgh Offense Notes
- Despite the jokes, Mason Rudolph ($6,900) has met the NFL average in Passing NEP per drop back against bottom-eight pass defenses, but he has just two games in that sample. He's averaged 239.5 yards and 2.0 touchdowns in those two matchups.
- Diontae Johnson ($5,600) practiced Wednesday but remains in concussion protocol. James Conner ($7,100) is up in the air.
- Vance McDonald ($5,300) would be an intriguing piece against the NFL's 31st-ranked tight end defense. McDonald has had 7 targets in three straight games and could be the top receiving option.
- Even with Conner's early exit, Jaylen Samuels ($6,900) played just 33.8% of snaps last week. Trey Edmunds ($5,400) played 47.3% but had only three carries.
Cincinnati Offense Notes
- Ryan Finley ($6,300) posted one of the worst passing games of the season against the Raiders' 27th-ranked adjusted pass defense last week. The Steelers are third defensively.
- Tyler Boyd ($5,600), a squeaky-wheel candidate after just three targets last week, could get greased, though touchdowns should be hard to find for Cincinnati. Pittsburgh is 16th in Target Success Rate allowed. His previous low in targets had been six against the Steelers in Week 4. Auden Tate is in concussion protocol, which could open up targets for Boyd and Alex Erickson ($4,700), yet the efficiency should lead to underwhelming production.
- Joe Mixon ($6,700) has totaled 45 carries and 200 rushing yards over the past two weeks with Finley under center while playing 76.0% and 58.7% of snaps, but he's not viable in this game script unless chasing the volume.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Vance McDonald
Tournament Plays: Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon
Carolina at New Orleans
|Over/Under | Spread||47.0||-8.5|
|Implied Team Total||19.25||27.75|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||52%||69%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||73%||83%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||3||28|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||5||10|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||32||6|
This one could be out of control if Kyle Allen ($6,600) can't keep it close, as the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's worst rush defense and 8.5-point underdogs. Still, there's action on the over, and the Panthers are pretty easy to stack.
Carolina Offense Notes
- Christian McCaffrey ($10,500) remains a viable play at the salary. Last week, he had 14 targets for 121 yards and should be playing from behind again. He just doesn't have to be forced in with such a high salary and such a low implied team total, but all the power to you if you choose to do so.
- After two straight games with positive efficiency against strong opponents, Kyle Allen had a 325-yard, 0-touchdown, 4-interception game against the Falcons. Against top-half opponents, Allen is 0.11 Passing NEP per drop back below the NFL average in that split.
- Since Allen's first start, McCaffrey ranks fifth among running backs in targets per game (7.1), Greg Olsen ($5,100; 5.3) ranks 12th among tight ends, and D.J. Moore ($6,400; 8.8) ranks 14th among receivers. Moore has scored just once on 614 yards in that sample and has regression coming. We'll have to track Marshon Lattimore's status here, but Moore is fourth in air yards per game (139.3) since their Week 8 bye.
- Curtis Samuel ($5,700) is priced down but has still had 7.3 targets per game from Allen and as many deep looks (18) as Moore since Week 3. He's 11th in air yards per game (113.5) since their bye.
New Orleans Offense Notes
- Michael Thomas ($9,200) still looks likely to pay off his salary in my projections, as he leads the NFL in target share (33.0%). The Panthers do rate out fourth in Target Success Rate, but it doesn't particularly matter. In two games with Drew Brees ($8,500) and Alvin Kamara ($8,300) back, Thomas has a 42.6% air yard share and 31.6% of the targets. Kamara is second with a 25.3% target share. Jared Cook ($6,000) is third at 15.2%.
- Brees has three dominant weeks and two terrible weeks under his belt, so there's a tinge of concern against a top-five pass defense at such a high price tag.
- Kamara should cede carries to Latavius Murray ($5,400) against the NFL's worst rush defense, so while Kamara has a plush matchup, the ceiling is capped. Murray does have appeal at such a low salary.
- Ted Ginn Jr. ($5,200) and Tre'Quan Smith ($4,500) have run virtually the same number of routes the past two weeks and play the majority of snaps. One of them could make a splash play or two, though volume favors Ginn.
Core Plays: D.J. Moore, Michael Thomas, Greg Olsen
Secondary Plays: Christian McCaffrey, Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook
Tournament Plays: Curtis Samuel, Latavius Murray, Kyle Allen, Ted Ginn Jr., Tre'Quan Smith
Detroit at Washington
|Over/Under | Spread||42.5||+3.5|
|Implied Team Total||23.0||19.5|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Underdog||44%||3%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Underdog||49%||3%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||12||29|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||22||30|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||23||20|
One of the least appealing games I could think up has middling money and bets on the over and under, which isn't high to begin with.
Detroit Offense Notes
- Jeff Driskel ($7,300) has some appeal against a bottom-three adjusted pass defense. He ranks second in deep attempt rate and has run 15 times for 88 yards in two starts.
- Driskel's target shares: 20.9% for Kenny Golladay ($7,800), 19.4% for Danny Amendola ($5,700), 16.4% for Marvin Jones ($7,200) and J.D. McKissic ($5,500), and 11.9% for T.J. Hockenson ($4,900). Washington is 31st in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers, but Golladay and Jones are pricey. Hockenson's price is much more reasonable against Washington (15th in Target Success Rate to tight ends).
- Bo Scarbrough ($6,400) is already priced up and isn't out of play but doesn't stand out at such a high salary and with a lack of receiving upside.
Washington Offense Notes
- Dwayne Haskins ($6,700) has posted -0.38 Passing NEP per drop back, and you don't need to be an expert to know that's bad. The Detroit Lions' pass defense is 31st since Week 4, but still.
- Haskins' target distribution in starts: 21.9% for Terry McLaurin ($5,800), 13.3% for Trey Quinn ($4,700), and 12.0% for Kelvin Harmon ($4,500). McLaurin is the only relevant asset here.
- It was Wendell Smallwood ($4,500) leading the backfield with a 45.6% snap rate in a negative script last week. Derrius Guice ($5,400) played 29.4%, and Adrian Peterson ($5,800) played 25.0% while splitting carries.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: T.J. Hockenson, Terry McLaurin
Tournament Plays: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Jeff Driskel
Jacksonville at Tennessee
|Over/Under | Spread||41.5||-3.0|
|Implied Team Total||19.25||22.25|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||55%||61%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||82%||28%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||26||23|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||19||14|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||27||3|
The first matchup between these two teams in mid-September was a 20-7 win for the Jacksonville Jaguars on a Thursday night. There's a ton of money on the over, and that's how I'm viewing it, too.
Jacksonville Offense Notes
- Nick Foles ($7,200) returned to post average efficiency last week but fed D.J. Chark ($7,000) 15 targets, 6 of which were downfield. That's a very high-leverage workload, and even at his salary, he's viable. After Chark, it was my dude Chris Conley ($5,700) getting eight targets, two deep. Leonard Fournette ($7,000) had seven targets, followed by Dede Westbrook ($5,300) with six and Keelan Cole ($5,300) with five. If banking on the over, the receivers rank Chark, Conley, Westbrook to me, given the high-leverage shares.
- Fournette rates out as the best per-dollar running back in my projections. He has posted double-digit FanDuel points in 7 of 10 games and no fewer than 9.2 despite scoring just one touchdown all season.
Tennessee Offense Notes
- Derrick Henry's $8,400 salary is laughably high for a back who has maxed out at three targets in a game. The Jaguars do rank 27th in adjusted rush defense and 19th in Rushing Success Rate allowed to running backs, but Henry is a tournament-only option who needs to break long rushes and score multiple times on the ground to pay off.
- Since Ryan Tannehill ($7,100) took over, he has had league-average efficiency. His targets have been dispersed, and nobody has higher than a 20.0% target share even after adjusting for games missed. Corey Davis ($5,200) and Delanie Walker ($5,400) both practiced Wednesday, so this guarantees to be an impossible-to-predict receiving corps to pinpoint on an 11-game slate.
Core Plays: Leonard Fournette, D.J. Chark
Secondary Plays: Nick Foles
Tournament Plays: Chris Conley, Derrick Henry
Dallas at New England
|Over/Under | Spread||46.0||-6.5|
|Implied Team Total||19.75||26.25|
|Percentage of Bets on: Over | Favorite||61%||52%|
|Percentage of Money on: Over | Favorite||66%||55%|
|Adj. Seconds/Play Rank||8||14|
|Adj. Pass Defense Rank||21||1|
|Adj. Rush Defense Rank||21||10|
It's weird to see the Dallas Cowboys' total below 20 points, but the New England Patriots' defense is that good. There's action on the over, and this one could be back-and-forth, so there's appeal in case the floodgates open.
Dallas Offense Notes
- In three games against top-12 pass defenses, Dak Prescott ($8,100) has produced 0.25 Passing NEP per drop back and a 51.6% Passing Success Rate. The NFL averages in that split: -0.02 and 44.5%. That means Dak has been great. Still, Prescott is no more than a tournament play at this salary and in this matchup.
- In three post-bye games, Amari Cooper ($7,700) has a 23.6% target share and 32.3% air yards share. Michael Gallup ($6,800) has a 23.6% target share and 31.4% air yards share. Each have averaged more than 200 air yards per game. Their usage is absolutely elite, but the matchup is dreadful, and the Patriots rank first in Target Success Rate allowed to receivers and first in adjusted yards per attempt allowed on deep passes. Randall Cobb ($6,000) has an 18.7% target share of his own with 95.3 air yards per game in the three post-bye games. He's not far off the mark. He'd be great in another matchup, but all three still have some appeal.
- Jason Witten ($5,300) has the easiest matchup here, as the Patriots are 26th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position, and he has a 17.1% post-bye target share.
- Ezekiel Elliott ($8,100) has target share concerns (6.7% since the bye), so as a 6.5-point road underdog, he's a game-stack option and not a safe play, per my projections.
New England Offense Notes
- Tom Brady ($7,700) has a decent on-paper matchup, but even against bottom-half pass defenses, Brady has averaged just 275.2 yards and 1.3 touchdowns (0.15 Passing NEP per drop back compared to the NFL average of 0.18 in that split). Dallas is first in adjusted pressure rate, killing the vibe for the entire offense. Brady hasn't been that great all year, and that's something that should matter here.
- Mohamed Sanu ($5,800) and Phillip Dorsett ($5,400) didn't practice Wednesday. Last week, Julian Edelman ($7,500) had a 22.2% target share. N'Keal Harry ($5,000) debuted with a 40.8% route rate and 4 targets. We'll have to see how the injuries shape up for Sunday.
- Benjamin Watson ($5,300) has played at least a 69.6% snap rate in all four of his games with target totals of 5, 1, 5, and 4, so we could do worse. The Cowboys are 20th in Target Success Rate allowed to the position.
- Neither Sony Michel ($6,300) nor Rex Burkhead ($5,400) hit a 30% snap rate last week, and Michel hasn't done that for two straight games. James White ($6,100) hasn't topped 43.2% for three games.
Core Plays: None
Secondary Plays: Jason Witten, Julian Edelman, Benjamin Watson
Tournament Plays: Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Ezekiel Elliott