The Primer: Week 11 Edition (2022 Fantasy Football)
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There are tiny moments in life where circumstances can test your patience, fortitude, and resolve. Having to use the bathroom when you’re stuck in a traffic jam, realizing that you left your Airpods at home when walking into the gym, or walking through the grocery store when you’re starving.
That last scenario was, unfortunately, me Wednesday afternoon. Walking aisle by aisle as I grabbed ingredients, sides, and more for Thanksgiving. After 45 minutes of shopping, while standing in the checkout lane, I realized we didn’t need five pies, and I had no clue why I tossed four containers of ice cream into the cart. As I popped open a bag of chips, waiting to check out, I looked over my hunger-driven and somewhat horrible (yet awesome) food choices.
When I reached the checkout, the cashier began to ring up everything, and while we rattled on through small talk, he told me that he “hated Thanksgiving turkey and didn’t understand why anyone would ever eat it.”
I stood there silent. My jaw filled with Doritos hanging open. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. For everyone reading the Primer weekly and for the wonderful fellow that checked me out with the broken taste buds, this week I’ll run through my favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
- Fried Turkey – If you hate it, I question whether you’ve ever had it prepared correctly.
- Stuffing – If Turkey is Batman, this is Robin.
- Homemade Mac N Cheese – I can never eat enough of this.
- Green Bean Casserole – This might be only for the French-fried onion strips on top.
- Brussel Sprouts – Grilling them is the 1.01.
- Mashed Potatoes – My wife’s fav.
- Deviled Eggs – They are like Pringles. I can’t stop with just one.
- Apple Pie – Yes, I know this might be ranked too low.
- Rolls – Bread is always needed.
- Peanut Butter Pie – Unless you’re allergic, this is a must.
Now, I’ve made myself hungry again. Onto Week 11 and the Primer.
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Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta Falcons
- ATL -3, O/U 49
- Bears vs. Falcons Player Prop Bets via BettingPros
Pace and playcalling notes
- Since Week 6, the Bears are 14th in neutral pace and third in neutral rushing rate. Over the same span, the Falcons are 32nd in neutral pace while leading the NFL in neutral rushing rate.
The NFL to Justin Fields:pic.twitter.com/JGw0z2jntD
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) November 13, 2022
Justin Fields: Since Week 5, Fields has been on another level. He’s averaging 100.3 rushing yards per game with five rushing touchdowns while putting highlight-reel plays on tape weekly. Over that span, he’s also expanded upon his abilities as a passer completing 62.8% of his passes with a 99.6 passer rating (eighth-highest). Over his last six games, he’s sixth in success rate and seventh in EPA + CPOE composite. Fields is a top-five fantasy option again this week. Atlanta is eighth in fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks while ranking fifth in yards per attempt and tenth in passing touchdowns.
Marcus Mariota: Simple weekly rule. Enjoy Marcus Mariota‘s fantasy production, but for the love of everything holy and sacred in this world, don’t watch him play quarterback. Last week Mariota made bonehead mistake after bonehead mistake while trying to do too much with each play. He looked like me playing backyard football after watching Patrick Mahomes‘ highlights. It wasn’t pretty. Since Week 5, he’s been the QB13 in fantasy, ranking 11th in yards per attempt. The downside is in that timeframe, he’s also logged the tenth-highest turnover-worthy play rate and is 27th in adjusted completion rate. Mariota again sits at the borderline of QB1 status this week, taking on a Bears’ secondary that’s faltering. Over their last three games, Chicago is 32nd in pass defense DVOA giving up the highest yards per attempt and passer rating in the NFL.
David Montgomery: With Khalil Herbert headed to the IR, Montgomery likely goes back to a bellcow workload. Since Week 8 he’s owned the backfield even with Herbert. Over that stretch he’s averaged 14.4 touches and 54.3 total yards playing 66-70% of snaps. He finished between RB35-RB38 weekly. The absence of Herbert could push Montgomery’s carries into the 20-plus range which he hasn’t enjoyed all season (season high of 17 carries Week 1). Montgomery has no second gear in the open field, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an effective rusher ranking 10th in juke rate and evaded tackles (one breakaway run all season). Montgomery is a volume-based RB2 in a good matchup. Atlanta has allowed the fourth-highest rushing success rate while giving up the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. The Falcons are 28th in adjusted line yards and 26th in EPA per rush.
Stash Trestan Ebner in Dynasty & 🎯 him with final picks in Best Ball
5’11 209 89th %tile speed
UBER efficient at Baylor
2021: 3.42 yds after contact/att
33rd among 81 RBs w/ 150 or ^ rush att
Yearly ranks – yards per route run
(RBs min 20 tgs)
— Derek Brown (@DBro_FFB) June 5, 2022
Trestan Ebner: Ebner is a strong stash in all formats. He’s now one injury away from operating as a workhorse in Chicago. Ebner was a late-round NFL draft pick that I loved in the off-season. His combination of speed, collegiate efficiency, and pass-catching chops is enticing. While the likely outcome is Montgomery soaks up most of Herbert’s volume, it’s possible Ebner can work into the mix and eat away 8-10 touches weekly. Unlike Herbert, Ebner has a strong receiving acumen which could lead to him working into the passing downs more than Herbert ever did.
|Player||Rushing attempts||Target share||Routes||Red zone opportunities|
Cordarrelle Patterson: Since his return, Patterson has been bubble wrapped as the Falcons have deployed a four-headed backfield monster. Patterson has averaged 38.5% of the snaps, ten touches and 36.5 total yards in this two game sample. With his snaps and volume being capped, he’s a weekly RB3 dart throw. Patterson is 41st in yards after contact per attempt, 27th in breakaway rate, and 48th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Patterson would be a smash play with massive upside if his workload was more substantial. The Bears are 28th in rushing yards per game, 27th in explosive run rate, and fourth in fantasy points per game allowed.
Tyler Allgeier: Allgeier is another RB3/4 flex dart. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaged 11 touches and 63 total yards. Allgeier and Patterson have split the passing game role, with Allgeier seeing two targets per game. He’s 23rd in yards after contact per attempt and 37th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Allgeier has been more effective as a rusher as the season has worn on, surpassing 3.00 yards after contact per attempt in three of his last five games. Relying on any back from this team is playing with fire as the volume is spliced up, and Arthur Smith seems to pull names out of a hat for red zone touches.
Darnell Mooney: Since Week 4, Mooney is the WR36 in fantasy points per game with a 28.9% target share (6.6 targets per game) and 37.7% air yard share. In his last seven games he’s ranked 24th in PFF receiving grade and 20th in yards per route run (minimum 15 targets). Mooney has ten deep targets (24th) and has seen a recent uptick in his red zone usage with four of his six redzone targets coming in the last three games. Mooney is an upside WR3 who will run about 65% of his routes against Isaiah Oliver (75% catch rate, 71.9 passer rating).
Chase Claypool: Last week Claypool only ran seven routes as the reps were split up opposite Mooney. Byron Pringle also checked in with 11 routes and Dante Pettis ran 13. Until Claypool is a full-time player in this offense, there’s no reason to risk him in your lineups.
Drake London: London’s targets have ticked up recently. He’s averaging 6.5 targets per game over the last two games but still hasn’t hit at least 40 receiving yards since Week 6. While he has seven deep targets this season, his aDOT (10.6, 52nd) still makes it difficult to produce weekly without a volume bump. London is still a huge part of this low-volume passing offense, with a 27.9% target share (11th) and ten red zone targets (12th). London is 16th in PFF receiving grade and 39th in yards per route run (minimum 15 targets). With the volume constraints, he’s only finished as a top 36 wide receiver twice since Week 3. London will run about 82% of his routes against Jaylon Jones (86.7% catch rate, 98.1 passer rating) and Jaylon Johnson (64% catch rate, 111.1 passer rating).
Cole Kmet: Kmet has been running hot lately, finishing as the TE2 and TE1 over the last two games. Since Week 5, he’s 16th in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (minimum 15 targets) with an 18% target share (4.2 targets per game) and 23.1% end zone target share. Kmet has six red zone targets (11th) this season, and five have come in the last three games. Kmet is a TE1 taking on an Atlanta defense, giving up the tenth-highest catch rate and third-most receiving yards to tight ends. The Falcons have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to inline tight ends (Kmet 41% inline). Kmet was limited to start the week (thigh), but he got in a full practice on Friday and won’t carry an injury designation into this game.
Kyle Pitts: The Pitts pain train continues as he’s the TE20 in fantasy points per game. Although his usage has risen since Week 8, he’s just not doing much with the rising volume. In his defense, many of his targets are uncatchable from Mariota (57.4% catchable target rate, 34th). Over his last three games, he has a 30% target share (eight targets per game) and a 39.9% air yard share lining up in the slot on 48% of his snaps. This means Pitts will run about half his routes against Kyler Gordon (80.4% catch rate, 114.2 passer rating). Pitts remains a TE1. The usage is there. He just needs to convert on his opportunities.
Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills
- BUF -7.5, O/U 50
- Browns vs. Bills Player Prop Bets via BettingPros
Pace and playcalling notes
- From a pace perspective, this game will finish around the middle of the pack as Buffalo is 13th in neutral script pace, and Cleveland checks in at 18th.
- As long as Josh Allen is under center, Buffalo will remain a pass-heavy team (fourth in neutral passing rate). The same can be said for the opposite side of the coin with Nick Chubb in Cleveland, as the Browns are ninth in neutral script rushing rate.
Jacoby Brissett: Brissett has played admirably for Cleveland in real life, but for fantasy purposes, he’s been a bottom-of-the-barrel QB2. Brissett is QB27 in fantasy points per game, ranking 13th in yards per attempt and 21st in adjusted completion rate (minimum 100 dropbacks). Fresh off being destroyed by Justin Jefferson, expect the Bills to come out fired up. Buffalo is fifth in pass defense DVOA giving up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the second-lowest passing touchdown rate, and the seventh-lowest yards per attempt. Brissett isn’t a must-play, even in Superflex leagues.
Josh Allen: Last week despite all the drama around his status, Allen did Allen things. He was the QB5 in fantasy, tying for the most big-time throws (three) for the week and sitting at 14th in adjusted completion rate. Allen also showed no hesitancy in taking off from the pocket as he also rolled up 84 yards on the ground with six carries. Allen remains the top fantasy quarterback overall weekly. He should have no issues carving up the Browns. Cleveland has allowed the tenth-highest success rate per dropback, seventh-highest EPA per drop back, and seventh-highest passing touchdown rate. Allen should have all day in the pocket against a pass rush that’s 26th in pressure rate.
Nick Chubb: Chubb keeps motoring on weekly as he’s on pace for over 1,700 rushing yards and a whopping 21 rushing touchdowns. Chubb has rushed for at least 100 yards in 55% of his games with three multiple touchdown weeks. Chubb is ninth in yards after contact per attempt, 12th in breakaway rate, and third in PFF’s elusive rating. Add in that since Week 4, Buffalo is 21st in rushing yards per game, 24th in EPA per rush, and 28th in explosive run rate. Tremaine Edmunds and Greg Rousseau have been ruled out, which doesn’t hurt Chubb’s outlook either. Chubb smash. He’s a top-five running back this week.
Kareem Hunt: Last week Hunt played a season-low 36% of snaps with seven touches and 19 total yards. Hunt hasn’t finished inside the top-24 running backs since Week 1, which is the only time he’s done it this season. Overall he’s averaging 11.4 touches and 49 total yards. Since Week 5, his efficiency on the ground has slipped, as he’s 41st in yards after contact per attempt and 39th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Over the same span, he has just one game with more than two targets. Buffalo hasn’t relented to running backs through the air allowing the sixth-lowest yards per reception and receiving yards, so don’t expect Hunt to have a banner day with check downs. Hunt is an RB3/4.
|Player||Rushing attempts||Target share||Routes||Red zone opportunities|
Devin Singletary: Singletary still has a firm command of the Bills’ backfield. Nyheim Hines played only six snaps running four routes. James Cook stole some red zone work, but Singletary still held the upper hand inside the 20-yard line. Over the last two weeks, Singletary has averaged 13 touches and 47.5 total yards while playing 73% of the snaps. Singletary still isn’t breaking tackles, ranking 46th in juke rate and 35th in evaded tackles, but he has been able to break some big gainers sitting at 22nd in breakaway runs. Cleveland remains abysmal, attempting to stop the run, ranking 23rd in rushing yards per game, 32nd in EPA per rush, and 28th in explosive run rate allowed. The Browns have surrendered the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Singletary is a low-end RB2.
Amari Cooper: Cooper is the WR17 in fantasy with five weeks as a WR2 or better. Despite tossing a dud last week, he still has a 25.1% target share (20th), 26.8% target per route rate (21st), and 35.6% air yard share (13th). Cooper is ranked 24th in deep targets (ten) and 20th in red zone targets (nine). Cooper has proven with the move to Cleveland that he still has plenty of juice left in the tank, ranking 18th in PFF receiving grade and 22nd in yards per route run (minimum 15 targets). He’s a WR2 that will run about 75% of his routes against Dane Jackson (61.5% catch rate, 68.3 passer rating) and Kaiir Elam (78% catch rate, 85.8 passer rating).
Donovan Peoples-Jones: Since Week 4, Peoples-Jones has been the WR36 in fantasy garnering a 21.3% target share and 31.9% air-yard share. Over his last six games, Peoples-Jones is 29th in PFF receiving grade and 15th in yards per route run with five weeks of at least 70 receiving yards (minimum 15 targets). He’s still looking for his first touchdown of the season despite six red zone targets (three in his last four games). Peoples-Jones is a WR3 who will run about 70% of his routes against Jackson and Elam.
Stefon Diggs: Diggs has been unstoppable this year as the WR1 in fantasy. He has at least 90 receiving yards and has finished as a top-20 fantasy wideout in seven of nine games. Diggs is seventh in target share, 12th in air yard share, and top-five in deep targets (fifth) and red zone targets (second). He’s second in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (minimum 20 targets) behind only Tyreek Hill. Diggs is a top-five receiver who will run about 61% of his routes against Denzel Ward (66.7% catch rate, 99.6 passer rating) and Martin Emerson (63.3% catch rate, 93.7 passer rating). Cleveland has utilized zone coverage on 58-64% of their coverage snaps with Emerson, Ward, and Greg Newsome. Diggs has seen 55.2% of his target volume against zone, ranking third in PFF receiving grade and yards per route against zone (minimum ten zone targets).
Gabriel Davis: Davis is the WR22 in fantasy with a 16.3% target share (5.9 targets per game) and 29.1% air yard share (25th). Davis is 11th in deep targets with only four red zone looks, but three of those targets inside the 20 have come in his last four games. If Diggs doesn’t burn this secondary deep, Davis will. Cleveland is 30th in DVOA against deep passing with the seventh-highest deep completion rate and fourth-most deep passing yards allowed. Davis is a high-ceiling WR2 that will run about 89% of his routes against Ward and Emerson. Excluding Weeks 3 and 4 where he was hobbled with an ankle injury, Davis has seen 60.5% of his target volume against zone coverage ranking 24th in PFF receiving grade and 12th in yards per route run (minimum ten targets).
Dawson Knox: At this juncture, we can assume Knox is finally fully healthy, as he hit an 82% route run rate last week. He logged his second-highest single-game yards per route run of the season (1.39). Knox has an 11.4% target share with five red zone targets (17th) this season. He’s a TE2 this week against a secondary that’s been tough against tight ends. Cleveland has held tight ends to the second-lowest catch rate, tenth-fewest receiving yards, and only one receiving touchdown.
David Njoku: Njoku opened the week with a DNP but practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday. He’s been listed as questionable and is expected to play. In Weeks 1-6, Njoku had a 17.7% target share, 23.5% end zone target share, and 76.4% route run rate. Njoku is second in PFF receiving grade and fifth in yards per route run (minimum 15 targets). Njoku is a low-end TE1, but keep your outlook in check. The Bills are an elite defense against tight ends. They are second in DVOA, allowing the second-lowest yards per reception, and haven’t given up a receiving touchdown to a tight end.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts
- PHI -6.5, O/U 45.5
- Eagles vs. Colts Player Prop Bets via BettingPros
Pace and playcalling notes
- The Eagles continue to sprint, ranking 11th in neutral pace while focusing on the run (fifth-highest neutral rushing rate).
- The Colts remained slow and run-centric last week despite Matt Ryan‘s return. They operated at 28.4 seconds per snap, running the ball on 52.7% of their snaps with the score close. Those marks would have them sitting at 24th in neutral pace with the fifth-highest neutral rushing rate in the NFL.
Jalen Hurts: If you have Hurts, you’re starting him. He’s the QB3 in fantasy who has only one game this season finishing outside the top 12 fantasy quarterbacks. Hurts is second in fantasy points per dropback while also ranking top-ten in yards per attempt, true completion rate, and deep ball completion rate. Hurts has been running less lately, but compensating with his arm. Since Week 5, he hasn’t crossed 30 rushing yards, but he’s thrown for multiple touchdowns each game. The Colts remain a run funnel. Since Week 4, they are allowing the tenth-lowest success rate per dropback, ninth-lowest EPA per dropback, and eighth-lowest explosive pass rate.
Matt Ryan: Ryan is a QB2 you’re avoiding if you can help it. The Eagles remain an elite pass-defense. They are giving up the second-fewest passing yards per game, lowest EPA per drop back, and sixth-lowest explosive pass rate. Ryan finished as the QB5 last week, but much of that is due to his flukey 38 rushing yards and rushing score. Last week he was 15th in PFF passing grade and tenth in adjusted completion rate, but he didn’t record one big-time throw. Overall he’s the QB18 in fantasy points per game.
Miles Sanders: Sanders is the RB20 in fantasy averaging 17.1 touches and 83.6 total yards per game. Over his last three games, he’s only logged one contest with at least 15 carries. He should see his workload tick upward again this week against the Colts. Sanders hasn’t displayed the same home run ability as previous seasons, ranking 37th in breakaway run rate, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been an effective rusher. Sanders is 28th in yards after contact per attempt, 12th in missed tackles forced, and fifth in runs of ten-plus yards (minimum 25 carries). Before Josh Jacobs flopped last week, since Week 4, the Colts were 20th in rushing yards per game and 17th in explosive run rate allowed. Since Week 4, they are 12th in fantasy points per game allowed to running backs. Sanders is an RB2 with RB1 upside this week.
Jonathan Taylor: Taylor looked fully back last week, toting the ball 22 times for 147 yards on the ground with 2.91 yards after contact per attempt, which is his third-highest mark of the season. Taylor managed two runs of at least ten yards, along with a 66-yard scamper. Taylor was an every-down bell cow playing 94% of the snaps with a 78,1% route run rate. Taylor can stack explosive games this week against a run defense that has struggled this season and is still without Jordan Davis. Philadelphia has allowed the highest rushing success rate this season. They are also 20th in rushing yards per game, 31st in EPA per rush, and 23rd in explosive run rate allowed. The Eagles signed Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph this week to beef up the defensive line and the run defense. I’m not dropping my projection for Taylor, though, because while these additions are great for the Eagles, I highly doubt that Suh and Joseph will play full-time snaps fresh off the street this week. Taylor is a locked-in RB1.
A.J. Brown: Brown is coming off a disappointing week with four targets and seven receiving yards. He dinged up his ankle and has opened the week with a limited practice. Brown is the WR10 commanding a 29.2% target share (eighth) and 41.3% air yard share (third). He’s eighth in red zone targets while also seeing ten deep targets (24th). The Colts have deployed their corners in zone on 64-68% of their snaps. Brown has seen 39.7% of his target volume against zone, ranking 29th in PFF receiving grade and 36th in yards per route run against the coverage (minimum ten zone targets). Brown hasn’t been Philly’s primary weapon against zone. Brown is a low-end WR1/high-end WR2 this week that will run about 75% of his routes against Stephon Gilmore (58.5% catch rate, 73.3 passer rating), Isaiah Rodgers (80% catch rate, 90.0 passer rating), and Brandon Facyson (76.5% catch rate, 120.2 passer rating). It’s possible that the Colts let Gilmore shadow Brown this week. Gilmore has shadowed three times this season following Brandin Cooks, Courtland Sutton, and Terry McLaurin on 57-84% of their routes, limiting them to 11 targets, three receptions, and 33 receiving yards.
DeVonta Smith: Smith could be headed for a banner day. Smith is the WR32 in fantasy points per game, garnering a 24.1% target share (25th) and 25.1% air yard share (43rd). He’s been lacking in deep and red zone targets ranking 50th among wideouts in both. Smith continues to be Philly’s primary means of attacking zone coverage, with 64.4% of his target volume coming against zone. Smith is 13th in PFF receiving grade and 14th in yards per route run against zone (minimum ten zone targets). Smith will run about 78% of his routes on the perimeter. If Gilmore is stuck on Brown, Smith can chew up Rodgers and Facyson. Smith is a strong WR2.
Michael Pittman: Pittman has a 25% target share, 23.1% end zone target share, and 27.9% air yard share with Matt Ryan under center. In his seven games with Ryan, he’s finished as a WR1 twice and a WR3 or better in four weeks. Pittman’s high-value usage has been pitiful, as he has one deep target and only six red zone targets (38th) this season. The Eagles have deployed their corners in zone coverage on 60-61% of their snaps. Against zone, Pittman has accrued 51.8% of his target volume, ranking 28th in PFF receiving grade and 31st in yards per route run (minimum ten zone targets). Pittman is a WR3 that will run about 75% of his routes against Darius Slay (47.7% catch rate, 46.4 passer rating) and James Bradberry (43.1% catch rate, 41.2 passer rating).
Parris Campbell: With Ryan under center Campbell has a 15% target share and 12.7% of the team’s air yards. It’s been feast or famine for Campbell. He has three WR1 weeks where he surpassed 57 receiving yards in each. In his five other games with Ryan, he’s finished as the WR63, WR115, WR91, WR46, and WR81. Campbell only has two deep targets and five red-zone looks this season. Campbell has seen 60% of his targets against zone with only 1.02 yards per route run against the coverage. Campbell will run about 78% of his routes against Josiah Scott (73.3% catch rate, 122.6 passer rating). Campbell is a WR4 with a high ceiling.
Alec Pierce: Pierce’s route run rate dipped back to 59% last week. As a part-time player in a nightmare matchup, he’s not worth rolling into your lineup. Pierce hasn’t seen more than five targets since Week 6.
With Eagles sending Dallas Goedert to IR, he’ll miss a minimum of four weeks. Big blow to the offense. Grant Calcaterra and Jack Stoll get elevated roles.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) November 16, 2022
Sirianni: "Just in the last game I said something on the headset like — we threw the ball to Jack Stoll on a crossing route there in the game — and I just said over the headset, ‘Man, Jalen really trusts Jack.’ You can just tell that the trust of Jack has continued to increase."
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) November 16, 2022
Jack Stoll: Stoll is a deep league matchup-based desperation heave. Stoll could easily split routes and snaps with Tyree Jackson and Grant Calcaterra until Dallas Goedert is healed up. Stoll has one red zone target this season, with a 2.8% target share and 0.62 yards per route run. He’s decently athletic, with an 87th percentile agility score, but his speed score is only in the 60th percentile. The Colts give up production by the bunches to tight ends, which is the only reason I’m mentioning him. Indy is 28th in DVOA against tight ends allowing the third-highest catch rate, 12th-highest yards per reception, and ninth-most receptions.