I’m with you, Familia. Estoy con ustedes. With six teams on bye this week, the NFL schedule makers did us no favors. Major players like Jonathan Taylor, Justin Fields, Christian Watson, Terry McLaurin and Chris Olave are just a few of the players who are mandatory sits for you this week. OK, it sucks, but the playoffs don’t wait.
You’ve done the work on the waiver wire, or have some to do. Time to maximize what you have on all your rosters. If you need a win to get into the playoffs, ADENTRO Y AFUERA is here to help you assess who should be in and who should be out of your lineup. Though there’s not too many AFUERAS this week, because of all the sits.
Let’s get into it. Per-game averages are since Week 9, so you can have a more recent reading on what players are doing. I’ll note weather where it’s possibly affecting the play on the field. My DraftKings lineups are definitely going to skew more toward dome and fair-weather teams when it comes to QBs and pass catchers. Time to help you win. Salud!
NYJ (7-5) @ BUF (9-3)
BUF -10 / 43
34 Snow / Wind 11 MPH
How will a snow game affect him? He put up 31-59-367-0-2 last week, and Mac Jones (195 yards) and Jared Goff (240) have been slowed down by the Bills’ D since Jacoby Brissett went for 324-3 in Week 10. No Von Miller (out for season) will impact Buffalo pass rush, but Tre’Davious White is rounding into shape. I’m not loving how weather could slow down White. AFUERA.
Since Week 8, only one WR has more than 60 receiving yards against the Jets. Diggs is that guy, as he went for 5-93-0. He has either a TD or 93+ yards every week starting Week 6 (8 games). Only 3 of 12 games has he been under 9 targets. Sauce Gardner does not shadow, though Diggs is so good he’ll get the best of any DB. Diggs will eat plenty when he doesn’t have Sauce on him. The Jets are #2 against the WR, but this is Diggs and Josh Allen had extra time to strengthen/heal his injured elbow. ADENTRO.
CLE (5-7) @ CIN (8-4)
CIN -5.5 / 46.5
In Week 8, Cooper went for 5-7-131-1. Since then, no WR has more than 83 yards vs. the Bengals, and they just held Patrick Mahomes to 223-1. The Bengals are #3 and allowing 126.2 YPG to WR. Deshaun Watson looked very rusty, so it could take a while to get him up to speed. Cooper is also battling injury, but will play. A lot of factors are impacting whether to play him or not if you have a playoff spot on the line. AFUERA.
Since Week 8 when he was sacked 5 times by Cleveland, Burrow has been sacked 5 times total in four games. He’s Top 2 in 4 of the last 7 games, and threw for 300+ yards four times this season. The Browns are giving up 236.5 passing YPG allowed to QB, and Burrow is 0-4 against them. He has Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon back, it’s a home game, he’s been hot since that Halloween debacle and the O-line is protecting him better. All signs point toward him having a big game. ADENTRO.
HOU (1-10-1) @ DAL (9-3)
DAL -17.5 / 44
Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks have been ruled out already. Davis Mills is coming back to start, but who’s he going to throw to? That really leaves Pierce as the only skill player who is a significant part of the offense. He’ll get the rock early, but how long before the Cowboys take a lead in Big D? And will Pierce get targets to play catchup? Last week, he got 21 touches for 95 yards, including 3 catches. His high-water mark for targets is 6, which happened twice. The Cowboys are #24 in rushing YPG allowed to the RB, and just gave up 82 rushing yards (103 total) to Jonathan Taylor. That was in a 54-19 Cowboy blowout win, so getting a healthy yardage total is possible. Aaron Jones pounded them for 156 scrimmage yards in Week 10. JT getting his in a blowout is hopefully a sign of good things to come for Pierce. ADENTRO, but I’m very afraid.
Here are Pollard’s touches in the four weeks since the Cowboys had their bye: 25-21-20-14. He went over 100 scrimmage yards in 3 of 4 games. During the last three games, Ezekiel Elliott has this many touches: 16-17-20. The Texans are bleeding yardage to RBs, as they’re #26 with 123.2 rushing YPG given up to the position. Pollard is cheap in Draftkings (6700), so he’ll be popular. He’s going to deliver. ADENTRO.
MIN (10-2) @ DET (5-7)
DET -2 / 51.5
He has just four games under 10 targets, but one of them was the 6 that he received when he was playing the Lions in Week 3. Jeff Okudah and Co. held him to 3-14-0. Can they repeat? Jefferson is on a nice run, with 8 of 9 games with either a TD or 98+ receiving yards. With 1,277 receiving yards, he’s second in the league and even getting some MVP chatter. Has the Minnesota coaching staff figured out how to break him free when the coverage concentrates on Jefferson? While the Detroit corners are getting high marks from the inimitable Greg Cosell, those DBs have given up good games recently from Wan’Dale Robinson (100 receiving yards), Darius Slayton (86), Isaiah McKenzie (6-96-1) and Christian KirK (6-104-0). This game is going to be fast-paced and high-scoring, and Jefferson will have a major role. ADENTRO.
This is one of several games where the home team has at least 4 fewer wins than the visitor, though the Lions are the rare favorite in that scenario. Especially considering the Vikings are 10-2. This was a game that started out with Minnesota favored, so the sharps know something. Goff’s home/road splits are pretty eye-opening. He has a 17-3 TD/INT breakdown at home, while just 2-4 on the road. He’s thrown for 1887 yards at Ford Field, and 1135 away from it. Goff has thrown for multiple TDs in 3 of 4 games, and surpassed 300 passing yards in a pair of them. The Vikings are #31 in allowing 307 passing YPG, and just got blitzED for 369 yards by Mike White and 382 yards by Mac Jones in the two most recent games. This game is shooting out to the over. ADENTRO.
JAX (4-8) @ TEN (7-5)
TEN -4 / 41
Fabio Football, aka Lawrence, has a painful toe injury that we all worried was much worse when he was taken down last week. He’s on the questionable side, so that is going to put major defensive focus on Etienne even if the QB starts. Coming off his own injury scare, that might be asking a bit much. Etienne hasn’t surpassed 100 scrimmage yards since Week 9, and had just 66 last week in a blowout loss in Detroit. The Titans are #3 with allowing just 51 rushing YPG, though they have given up a healthy 56.4 receiving YPG to the RBs. Teams are just going away from the run and going bomb’s away in the passing game, as evidenced by the 24 rushing yards Miles Sanders had last week. Not looking like a great week for Etienne to face them. AFUERA.
Treylon Burks has been ruled out, so who is left to catch passes? Okonkwo, step to center stage. The young TE has 10 targets over the last couple games, which is high on the Titans. He has 7 catches for 103 yards in those games. The Jaguars are #31 against the TE, allowing 76 receiving YPG to the position. Travis Kelce got them for 76 yards, but that’s not anything new. Josh Oliver (81 yards) and Greg Dulcich (87) are lesser names who have gotten more than their fair share against the Jags. At 2700 in DK, I’m ADENTRO on the rookie with the hard name that’s becoming more familiar to us.
PHI (11-1) @ NYG (7-4-1)
PHI -7 / 44.5
39 Possible Drizzle
Hurts is a chameleon depending on the matchup. The Packers were poor against the run, so Hurts led a rushing attack with 157 yards on the ground. The Titans have been one of the worst teams against the pass, so he brought out the air assault to the tune of 380 yards and 3 TDs – adding 12 yards and 1 TD on the ground. Up next are the Giants, who have given up 133.5 YPG to RBs, and are allowing 255 passing YPG. The Giants have also seen rushing QBs have big games against them. Lamar Jackson (77 yards) and Justin Fields (52) did what they wanted when taking on the Giants. With rain possibly affecting the passing game, Hurts could just choose which way he wants to beat the Giants. ADENTRO.
Home underdog alert. At +7, my system says to take the Giants in their casa. Slayton has 24 targets in his last three games, which is far and away the leader for the team. The problem: Waiting on the other side James Bradberry (#5 at 81.2) and Darius Slay (#9 at 78.9) are two of the top corners according to PFF coverage grade. Christian Watson and Terry McLaurin are the only WRs who have more than 100 yards on the season against the Eagles. No other receiver has more than 78 yards. Slayton won’t get there either. AFUERA.
BAL (8-4) @ PIT (5-7)
PIT -2 / 36.5
Amigo Graham Barfield had the great stat that in 220 pass attempts by Tyler Huntley since the start of the 2021 season, 26.8% of them have been pointed at Andrews. That’s fantastic usage, and really he’s the only game in town when it comes to anyone catching passes from Huntley. He has 22 targets in the three games since Baltimore’s bye week. The Steelers have given up some yardage to the TE, as they’re #28 and allowing 63.2 YPG to the position. Fun fact: Andrews has yet to score a TD against the Steelers in six career games, catching 25 passes for 274 yards. Does that change this week? At 6500 in DK, I’d take my chances with a Huntley-Andrews stack. ADENTRO.
With 18 touches for 92 total yards in the last game, Harris looks to be back from his injury scare in Week 12. Unfortunately, the Ravens are waiting and they’re still one of the best run defenses in the league. RBs are averaging just 42.8 rushing YPG, though the only RB who would be considered among the elite is Alvin Kamara. He had 30 yards on 9 carries in Week 9. AFUERA.
KC (9-3) @ DEN (3-9)
KC -9.5 / 44
In 15 lifetime games against the Broncos, Kelce has 90 catches for 1176 yards and 6 TDs. That’s quite the season for any WR1 in fantasy. Speaking of WR1, Kelce’s 20.5 FPG would make him the WR7 on the season. Looks like those predictions for him slowing down were premature. The Broncos are #14 against the TE position, and just held Andrews to 53 yards on 4 catches. Denver may have one of the best secondaries in the NFL, but Kelce is on another level. Mahomes is spreading the ball to the WRs, but Kelce is averaging 9 targets per game. We know where the ball is going, and Denver can’t do much about it with Kelce. At $7600 in DraftKings, he seems like he might be a little light on the price point. ADENTRO.
Home underdog at home alert. The spread is +9.5 for the Broncos, and it’s a divisional game. I’m looking to parlay all combinations of 2, 3 and 4 games in a round-robin format. As for Jeudy, he ran just 10 routes last week, which is somewhat concerning. But Courtland Sutton has been declared out for this game, so targets will likely be spread between Jeudy and TE Greg Dulcich. Slot WRs Christian Kirk (9-105-2) and Keenan Allen (5-94-0) have had good games against the Chiefs, and Tyler Boyd would have had more than 60 receiving yards if he hadn’t made an egregious drop on a sure TD. Hard to trust this offense, but someone needs to get targeted in what will be a negative gamescript. ADENTRO.
TB (6-6) @ SF (8-4)
SF -3.5 / 37.5
52 Possible Rain
Yes, the game-winning TD drive in front of a national MNF audience was really cool. Having Peyton Manning on the Manningcast made it all the sweeter. That was so last week. What’s next? The 49ers and their defensive front that’s #7 in PFF pressure rate. The 49ers got 16 pressures and 1 sack on 54 pass attempts last week against the Dolphins. Will the O-line be able to protect Brady? The GOAT was running for his life at home against the Saints, and that unit is inferior to the 49ers. Probably the same can be said about all other defensive fronts in the NFL. I don’t like the way this is trending for Brady. AFUERA.
Young QB in Brock Purdy, making his first NFL start, will have plenty to think about with light showers in the forecast, and Brady on the other sideline. He has a good offensive line in front of him, and a group of good pass catchers who get plenty of YAC to help with those yardage totals. One of them is a young QB’s best friend, a stud TE in Kittle. When the 49ers have a good matchup, like in Week 11 against the Cardinals, they feature Kittle. That game he saw 6 targets, and turned them into 4-84-2. The Bucs are just #21 against the TE, but have given up big games to Kelce (9-92-1) and Isaiah Likely (6-77-1). Kittle will get his share of short-and-intermediate route shots and turn them into larger gains. ADENTRO.
CAR (4-8) @ SEA (7-5)
SEA -4 / 44
Foreman appears to have been cleared from the injured foot that limited him in practice, and this matchup is made for him. When the Panthers face a weak run defense with a close point spread, Foreman is featured like in both Atlanta games (118 and 130 yards) and last week against Denver (24-113-0). The Seahawks are #32 against the RB, allowing an astounding 141.2 YPG on the ground. After the all-world 303-yard effort from Josh Jacobs, the Seahawks got gouged by Cam Akers for 17-60-2. The Seattle pass D is very good, giving up just 226.5 passing YPG. If this is close, Foreman will be plenty involved. Warning: Chuba Hubbard could be involved as well, as he got 17 carries to Foreman’s 24 last week. ADENTRO.
At some point DK is going to start pricing Smith appropriately. At 6200, he’s a steal, and easy to stack with D.K. Metcalf (7100) or Tyler Lockett (6500), who both went over 100 yards and scored TDs as Smith passed for 367-3-1 last week. Smith has thrown multiple TDs in six straight games and surpassed 300 passing yards four times on the season. At QB7 through 12 games, he’s no longer a fluke. The Panthers have a decent pass defense, giving up 191.2 YPG to the QBs. Still, I’m calling him ADENTRO.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
MIA (8-4) @ LAC (6-6)
MIA -3.5 / 51.5
This is one of my two favorite games of the weekend – Detroit-Minnesota is the other. My first inclination is to declare Jeff Wilson Jr. as a player I want to start, because the Chargers are so bad against the run. Then I looked at the single carry he got last week, and I want to just run away. So I decided to go with the 2020 NFL Draft boys. Here we have Tua, going to the team with the QB who before this season left many Miami faithful wishing the golden boy with the rocket arm were wearing teal. Then Tua put up a season with 19.5 FPG, which was more than a point more than Justin Herbert (18.3). With the over/under one of two games that’s over 50, the QBs are going to push the pace and fly past that number. ADENTRO.
Weeks 5-10 Herbert’s ADOT was between 5.5 and 6.7, definitely not what you’d expect from someone with his arm talent and reputation for making deep throws. Since Keenan Allen returned in Week 11, Herbert put up 8.8 and 9.1 readings. Coincidentally, he threw out 274, 280 and 331-yard passing performances. Now he’s likely getting Mike Williams back just in time for a barn burner of a game against the Dolphins on SNF. And for some reason prime time games at SoFi Stadium bring back memories of the Air Coryell days. Miami has allowed 204 passing YPG, but hasn’t faced any elite passers in that time. Brock Purdy did just throw for 210 yards and 2 TDs in relief last week, and the previous time they played in a dome Jared Goff threw for 321-1 in a 31-27 win at Detroit. This is one of those games where you just want to watch as a fan and see the points roll in. The game is going over the total. ADENTRO.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
NE (6-6) @ AZ (4-8)
NE -1.5 / 43.5
Full disclosure, in a league where my entire bench is on bye and I need a win, Henry is starting in one of my final flex positions. The options on the waiver wire were limited, but the matchup is what really drew me. In his last two games, Henry’s seen 10 targets and now gets the Cardinals and their generous defense to TEs. They’re last in the league in defending the position, allowing 68 receiving YPG. Noah Fant (5-96-0), George Kittle (4-84-2) and Tyler Higbee (8-73-0) have all recently had big games against Arizona. ADENTRO.
This will be the second full game that Marquise Brown and Hopkins are on the field together, and coming off a bye you’d hope that the Arizona coaching staff has figured out ways to utilize them more effectively. Weeks 7-12, Hopkins is the WR2 behind Davante Adams. He’s averaging 10.7 targets and 20.7 FPG in that span. Elite Nuk is back. The Patriots have been giving up big games to opponents’ WR1 of late. Garrett Wilson (6-115-0), Justin Jefferson (9-139-1) and Stefon Diggs (7-92-1) have all had big games against the Patriots. With Brown on the field to assure that the Pats can’t focus coverage on Hopkins, another big game is coming. ADENTRO.
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