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The Primer: Week 14 Edition (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
Dec 8, 2022
The Primer: Week 14 Edition (2022 Fantasy Football)

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Tis the season of giving. Temperatures have dropped. Snow has been falling. The beautiful and sometimes hectic nature of the Christmas season has begun. While you might be stressing out about what scented candle to buy for this year’s office party dirty Santa exchange or which ugly sweater truly is the ugliest, in the big picture, none of that matters.

The best gift that we can give each other requires no box. No ribbon. No free shipping.

Kindness.

Yes, I know I sound sappy right now, but it’s true. It’s easy sometimes to be cynical. To let the whirlwind of life, the stressors of the daily grind, etc., engulf us. One small act of kindness can inspire hope, calm, and good. While this is an amazing time of year for most, this is also a difficult part of the calendar for many. Seasonal depression, lost loved ones, and much more can weigh heavy when December rolls around. One small act of kindness can help more than you know. Paying for a person’s meal behind you in the fast food drive-thru, donating to an amazing cause like Fantasy Cares, and many other avenues I could speak about.

I want to highlight Fantasy Cares here. Scott Fish and many others from around the fantasy community take on huge yearly roles for this endeavor. Fantasy Cares raised over 65k this past year. They donate this money to wonderful programs like Toys for Tots, No Kid Hungry, and Feeding America (to name a few). Small acts of kindness by the many can snowball into life-changing efforts. Donate to Fantasy Cares (if you can). Donate your time at a local food drive. Even the smallest gestures in any way, shape, form, or fashion matter.

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are kind by being kind.”

– Eric Hoffer

Check out all of our weekly fantasy football content >>

LV vs. LAR | NYJ vs. BUF | CLE vs. CIN | HOU vs. DAL | MIN vs. DET | JAC vs. TEN | PHI vs. NYG | BAL vs. PIT | KC vs. DEN | TB vs. SF | CAR vs. SEA | MIA vs. LAC | NE vs. ARI

Want to read about only your players? Sync your team (free) to get My Primer >>

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Rams

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Since Week 12, the Rams are 27th in neutral pace while sporting the second-highest neutral rushing rate.
  • Las Vegas is 15th in neutral pace while maintaining their pass-happy ways (eighth in neutral passing rate).

Quarterbacks

Derek Carr: Carr has been on a roll with QB1 outings in four of his last five games. Since Week 9, he is 18th in PFF passing grade, eighth in yards per attempt, seventh in big-time throw rate, and first in passing touchdowns (minimum 25 dropbacks). Since Week 8, the Rams have been 29th in pass defense DVOA. Over their last three games, they are bottom-three in passing yards per game, yards per attempt, and passer rating allowed. Carr is a QB1.

 

LAR QBs: John Wolford is a game-time decision this week. If he can’t suit up, the Rams’ most recent acquisition, Baker Mayfield, could draw the start. Mayfield has had 15 seconds to learn the playbook, so expect a conservative game plan that will continue to lean heavily on the run. The Raiders are a good matchup for whoever draws the start. Over their last four weeks, the Raiders have been 27th in passing yards per game, 19th in EPA per drop back, and 31st in explosive pass rate allowed. Despite this being a glowing matchup, this is a quarterback room to avoid. Wolford is banged up, and Mayfield couldn’t produce viable fantasy numbers even when he fully grasped the Panthers’ playbook. 

Running Backs

Josh Jacobs: Jacobs has been incredible. Over the last three weeks, he’s averaging 31.1 touches and 204.4 total yards. Yes, those numbers are insane. Jacobs is also fifth in yards after contact per attempt, second in runs of ten-plus yards, and second in PFF’s elusive rating behind only Nick Chubb (minimum 50 rushing attempts). Jacobs is top-five in opportunity share, weighted opportunities, and expected fantasy points per game. The Rams have been a tough draw for running backs. Despite their injuries, they held DeeJay Dallas and Tony Jones to 3.0 yards per carry (17 carries) last week. They also rank 20th in rushing success rate allowed for the week, so there’s some hope for Jacobs to enjoy a surprising day on the ground. Since Week 10, Los Angeles is seventh in rushing yards per game, 14th in EPA per rush and third in explosive run rate allowed. Whatever Jacobs lacks in the rushing department, he can make up in the passing game. Los Angeles has allowed the tenth-highest receiving yards per game and fourth-highest yards per reception to running backs. Jacobs is 11th in target share (12.9%), sixth in routes run, and 14th in yards per route run among running backs. Jacobs is a top-five running back weekly.

Week 13

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes Red zone opportunities
Cam Akers 17 1 19 3
Kyren Williams 3 1 11 0

 

Cam Akers: Well, last week was unexpected. After Williams had seemingly taken over the backfield the week before, Akers looked like an overrated early down banger. Then Week 13 happened. Akers played 72% of the snaps, easily his highest snap count of the season, with 18 touches and 60 total yards (two rushing touchdowns). He ran more routes than Williams and gobbled up all of the red zone work. Something I highlighted last week in the Primer and have to revisit this week. Since Week 10, Akers has shown some life, ranking 16th in yards after contact per attempt, 16th in missed tackles forced, and tenth in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 15 carries). Since Week 10, the Raiders are 21st in rushing success rate, 17th in EPA per rush, and 25th in fantasy points per game allowed to running backs. A large portion of that has come through the air, as they are 29th in receiving yards per game and yards per reception allowed to backs. Akers hasn’t earned a decent share of the passing game all year, so I’d be surprised if that flips this week. Akers is a high-end RB3.

Kyren Williams: Williams is stash worthy, but after last week’s changing of the guard, he’s unplayable. Williams played 28% of the snaps with only four opportunities and nine total yards.

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams: Adams has kicked it into full legend mode. He’s arguably having the best season of his career. He’s on pace for 191 targets, 112 receptions, 1,666 receiving yards, and 17 receiving touchdowns. Adams has a 32.7% target share, 38.2% end zone target share, and 41.5% air yard share. He is second in PFF receiving grade behind only Tyreek Hill and third in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Since Week 10, the Rams have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to perimeter wide receivers. Adams will run about 68% of his routes against Jalen Ramsey (70% catch rate, 126.1 passer rating) and Derion Kendrick (69.1% catch rate, 113.4 passer rating). Adams is a top-three wide receiver weekly.

Mack Hollins: With Waller out, Hollins has an 18.4% target share and 23.7% air yard share with 1.23 yards per route run. In that seven-game stretch, Hollins has four weeks with WR3 or better finishes, but he sadly has only seen two red zone targets. Hollins has been the Raiders’ deep threat (15 deep targets, 19th among WRs). The lack of a red zone role and touchdown equity has left him at 64th in fantasy points per target. Hollins is a WR4 that will run about 85% of his routes against Ramsey and Kendrick.

Van Jefferson: Since Week 11, Jefferson has had a 19.7% target share (five targets per game), 50% end zone target share, and 28.5% air yard share. In those three games, he has a 91% route run rate, 1.2 yards per route run, and 16% target per route run rate. Jefferson is a WR5 that will run about 66% of his routes against Sam Webb (74.2% catch rate, 97.5 passer rating) and Nate Hobbs (69.4% catch rate, 90.0 passer rating).

Tight Ends

Foster Moreau: Since taking over the starting role in Week 7, Moreau has a 15.1% target share (five targets per game), 38.5% end zone target share, 1.18 yards per route run, and an 18% target per route run rate. Moreau has two top 12 tight-end weeks. He’s been heavily utilized in the red zone over the last four games with five red zone targets. Moreau is a touchdown-or-bust TE2 with top-12 upside if he gets in the endzone. The Rams are giving up the seventh-highest yards per reception and ninth-most receiving touchdowns (tied) to tight ends.

Tyler Higbee: With Stafford out of the lineup, Higbee has seen his volume drop to 2.5 targets per game. He goose-egged in Week 12 and scratched out 14 receiving yards in Week 13. With the team moving to a run-heavy approach and their pace going in the tank, Higbee is a TE2 that will disappoint if he doesn’t score. Higbee is a low-end streaming option. Las Vegas is 25th in DVOA, surrendering the seventh-highest catch rate and tenth-most receiving yards per game.

LV vs. LAR | NYJ vs. BUF | CLE vs. CIN | HOU vs. DAL | MIN vs. DET | JAC vs. TEN | PHI vs. NYG | BAL vs. PIT | KC vs. DEN | TB vs. SF | CAR vs. SEA | MIA vs. LAC | NE vs. ARI

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

Pace and playcalling notes

  • With Mike White under center, the Jets are fourth in neutral script pace and fifth in neutral passing rate. If this doesn’t illuminate how much Zach Wilson has held back this offense, I don’t know what will.
  • The Bills are 11th and fifth in neutral pace and passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Mike White: Another week equaled another nice fantasy outing from White. Over the last two weeks, he has finished as QB6 and QB7 in fantasy. White is 18th in PFF passing grade, sixth in yards per attempt, and fifth in big-time throw rate (minimum 75 dropbacks). White is a QB2 with QB1 upside again this week. Buffalo’s pass defense has been on the skids. Over the last four weeks, they are 21st in success rate per dropback, 28th in passing yards per game, and 24th in explosive pass rate allowed.

Josh Allen: The last time Allen squared off against this defense, he completed 52.9% of his passes with 6.0 yards per attempt. He finished as the QB3 for the week on the strength of 86 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Over the last four weeks, Allen has rushed for at least 78 yards twice while not eclipsing 25 yards on the ground in the other two weeks. Since Week 10, Allen hasn’t been his usual superhuman self, but to say he’s been bad is grossly inaccurate. In his last four games, he’s fifth in PFF passing grade, first in big-time throw rate, and 12th in adjusted completion rate (minimum 75 dropbacks). Allen will need every ounce of his rushing upside this week against a stellar Jets’ secondary. Since Week 10, they have been fourth in passing yards per game, seventh in explosive pass rate, and eighth in success rate per dropback. Allen is a top-three fantasy quarterback weekly.

Running Backs

Week 13

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes Red zone opportunities
Zonovan Knight 15 5 25 6
Ty Johnson 1 7 26 0
James Robinson 4 0 0 0

Michael Carter:  Carter has been practicing in full and isn’t listed on the injury report. In Weeks 8-11, he averaged 11 touches and 54.6 total yards. He handled 37.1% of the team’s rushing attempts (James Robinson 35.7%) while averaging 12 routes per game (35.6% route run rate). Carter split the early down work with Robinson while taking most of the passing downs from himself. Carter will continue to work in tandem with Knight. The question now is how much he will eat into his workload and what the division will be moving forward. The coaching staff has been effusive in their praise for Knight. Carter has been working as a committee back with Robinson after losing his job to Breece Hall earlier in the year. I expect that Knight will lead the way, with Carter and possibly Johnson working in to lesser degrees. Carter is 18th in yards created per touch, 30th in juke rate, and 38th in yards per touch. Carter is a volatile RB3. 

Zonovan Knight: Despite rumors of a three-headed committee monster last week, Knight was the clear leader of this backfield. He played 55% of the snaps with 20 touches and 118 total yards. Knight also received all of the red zone work. Knight could easily lead the way again this week. He’s been a tackle-breaking machine from the word go. Knight is ranked eighth in yards after contact per attempt, ninth in breakaway rate, and first in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Knight is in the RB2/3 mix against an average Bills run defense. Since Week 10, they are 17th in rushing success rate, 17th in explosive run rate, and 13th in yards per carry allowed.

Ty Johnson: Johnson ate into Knight’s pass-game routes, surpassing him by one route. Johnson handled a 12.7% target share. His value resides in the passing game, as he didn’t get any chances near the goal line and only one carry. Johnson is a low-end PPR flex that’s 54th in PFF receiving grade and 41st in yards per route run (minimum ten targets). The Bills have been stingy with running backs in the passing game. Buffalo is 17th in DVOA, ranking eighth in yards per reception and 12th in receiving yards per game allowed.

James Robinson: Robinson is droppable. He played 11% of the snaps with four carries and zero pass game role. He’s clearly the last back up in this rotation.

Week 13

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes Red zone opportunities
James Cook 14 6 15 4
Devin Singletary 13 2 13 1
Nyheim Hines 2 2 10 2

James Cook: This could be a usage mirage or the beginning of a breakout for Cook. Last week he managed his highest snap count of the season (43%) while piling up 20 touches and 105 total yards. He also led the backfield in routes and red zone opportunities. Cook’s talent is real, as he’s been one of the most elusive backs in the NFL. He’s 13th in yards after contact per attempt, third in breakaway rate, and 11th in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 50 carries). Among running backs with at least 15 targets, he’s third in yards per route run and target per route run rate. The Jets have not been kind to running backs, but they have softened some over the last few games. Since Week 10, they are sixth in rushing success rate, but New York over that stretch is also 17th in rushing yards per game, 18th in EPA per rush, and 21st in explosive run rate allowed. Cook is an RB3 with RB2 upside.

Devin Singletary: Last week, Singletary saw his lowest snap mark (44%) of the season. He finished with 13 rushing attempts (51 yards) and two targets. Singletary enjoyed some high usage weeks in the passing game, but that has dried up as he hasn’t garnered more than two targets in a game since Week 9. Singletary has varied from average to below average in most efficiency metrics this season. He’s 30th in yards after contact per attempt, 26th in breakaway run rate, and 33rd in PFF’s elusive rating. Singletary is also ranked 30th in yards per route run and 33rd in yards created per touch. If the declining usage from last week sticks, he’ll be a low-end RB3 moving forward. With the looming threat of that being the new normal, it’s impossible to consider him as anything more.

Nyheim Hines: Hines only managed three touches, 18 total yards, and 31% of the snaps played last week. Yes, two of his opportunities came in the red zone, but that’s impossible to bank on as a reason to consider him in your fantasy lineup. Hines can be cut to the waiver wire if you need the space on your roster.

Wide Receivers

Garrett Wilson: Eat Wilson. Eat. Wilson has at least 92 receiving yards in three of his last four games played with WR11, WR5, and WR9 finishes. With White under center, Wilson has had a 27.7% target share, 50% end zone target share, 45.8% air yard share, and 3.17 yards per route run. Those are magnificent numbers. Overall, Wilson is ninth in PFF receiving grade, immediately behind A.J. Brown, 20th in yards per route run, and 16th in YAC per reception (minimum 25 targets). Wilson will run about 56% of his routes against Tre’Davious White (75% catch rate, 86.5 passer rating) and Xavier Rhodes (55.6% catch rate, 71.1 passer rating). Since Week 12 the Bills projected starting corners have operated in zone coverage on 60-82% of their snaps. Wilson has seen 44% of his target volume against zone coverage ranking 12th in PFF receiving grade and 17th in yards per route run (minimum ten zone targets). Wilson is a WR2.

Corey Davis: In his second game back from injury, Davis garnered an 18.2% target share (ten targets), 22.3% air yard share, and 78% route run rate. Davis finished with 85 receiving yards and 1.81 yards per route run. Davis has garnered 52% of his target volume against zone, ranking 20th in PFF receiving grade and 22nd in yards per route run against the coverage type. Davis will run about 83% of his routes against White and Rhodes. Davis is a WR4 that could finish with a WR2 week if the Jets continue to pass this much.

Elijah Moore: Last week Moore saw his route run rate climb to 75% which was nearly on par with Davis’s. With White starting, Moore has a 9.6% target share with one end zone target and a 15.3% air yard share. Moore’s full season numbers aren’t worth mentioning here as Zach Wilson tanked this entire offense previously and Moore spent a few weeks in the doghouse. Last year Moore showed that he can beat zone coverage ranking 30th in PFF receiving grade and 27th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets) against the coverage type. This could be the monster game that we have been waiting for all season for Moore. He’ll run about 71% of his routes against easily the best corner matchup on the board versus the Bills, Taron Johnson. Johnson has struggled this season with a 73.2% catch rate, and 111.3 passer rating. Moore is a WR4 that could shock people this week.

Stefon Diggs: Diggs is the WR1 in fantasy, commanding a whooping 30.1% target share (sixth-highest) and 36.3% air yard share (13th). Diggs is sixth in deep targets and first in red zone looks among wide receivers. Diggs has finished as a WR1 in all but four games this season. Diggs is third in PFF receiving grade and second in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Diggs is a WR1 that will run about 66% of his routes against D.J. Reed (55.6% catch rate, 74.4 passer rating) and Sauce Gardner (43.9% catch rate, 48.6 passer rating).

Gabriel Davis: Davis is the WR30 in fantasy with a 17.1% target share and 28.2% air yard share. Davis’ field stretching ability is viable every week as he’s 13th among wide receivers in deep targets. This isn’t the matchup to look for a big Davis week, as the Jets are fourth in deep ball completion rate allowed. The Bills have also tried getting him more involved in the red zone. Davis has seen five of his seven red zone targets over the last four games. Davis is a WR3 that will run about 89% of his routes against Reed and Gardner.

Isaiah McKenzie: McKenzie has finally earned consistent usage after his snaps have been a roller coaster all season. Since Week 12, McKenzie has had a 20.8% target share and 71% route run rate with 2.26 yards per route run. He has finished as a WR3 or higher in three games this season. McKenzie is heavily involved in the red zone for Buffalo. He has five total touchdowns (17th) and ranks 13th in red zone targets among wide receivers despite his part-time role for much of the year. McKenzie is a WR3/4 that will run about 71% of his routes against Michael Carter (74.1% catch rate, 83.6 passer rating).

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin: Conklin is a TE2 whose expectations need to be held in check this week. Buffalo is among the teams that are a no-fly zone for tight ends. Conklin is the TE15 with a 15.6% target share and four deep targets (14th). Conklin hasn’t finished as a TE1 since his boxscore explosion against New England in Week 8. Buffalo is second in DVOA against tight ends, holding them to the tenth-lowest catch rate, third-lowest yards per reception, and zero touchdowns.

Dawson Knox: Add New York to the flight restriction list. Knox is in for a long day at the office. Knox is TE23 in fantasy points per game with an 11.1% target share and only five red zone looks (31st). Knox has three TE1 weeks on his resume, but don’t expect him to add a fourth this week. The Jets are fifth in DVOA, limiting tight ends to the 12th-lowest yards per reception and zero touchdowns. The Bills and Jets are the only defenses in the NFL yet to give up a touchdown to a tight end. Knox is a TE2.

LV vs. LAR | NYJ vs. BUF | CLE vs. CIN | HOU vs. DAL | MIN vs. DET | JAC vs. TEN | PHI vs. NYG | BAL vs. PIT | KC vs. DEN | TB vs. SF | CAR vs. SEA | MIA vs. LAC | NE vs. ARI

Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Last week with Deshaun Watson under center, the Browns operated at 25.9 seconds per snap with a 51.3% rushing rate in neutral situations. Overall this season, that would place them at second in neutral pace with the fourth-highest neutral rushing rate.
  • The Bengals are 18th and third in neutral pace and passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Deshaun Watson: This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Watson looked terrible last week in his first game back. He was QB30 for the week, completing 54.5% of his passes with 6.0 yards per attempt. Among 36 quarterbacks that took snaps last week, Watson was 31st in PFF passing grade, 11th in turnover-worthy play rate, and 33rd in adjusted completion rate. It’s difficult to trust Watson as anything more than a QB2 currently. Since Week 10, the Bengals have been tenth in success rate per dropback, 26th in passing yards per game, 20th in EPA per drop back, and 25th in explosive pass rate allowed. This is a good matchup for Watson to knock off the rust.

Joe Burrow: Burrow has been dealing. He’s third in PFF passing grade, seventh in yards per attempt, and fifth in adjusted completion rate (minimum 100 dropbacks) as the QB4 in fantasy. Burrow should have no issues carving up this secondary. Since Week 10, the Browns are 24th in success rate per dropback, 21st in passing yards per game, and 17th in explosive pass rate allowed. The Browns have also given up the sixth-highest deep ball completion rate and the fifth-most deep passing yards. Burrow is 11th in deep ball completion rate and ninth in deep ball accuracy. Burrow is a top-five quarterback.

Running Backs

Nick Chubb: Chubb is the RB7 in fantasy averaging 19.5 touches and 106 total yards. He is top-five in juke rate, evaded tackles, and breakaway run rate. Chubb is 14th in weighted opportunities and seventh in red zone touches. Chubb only drew one target last week, but he still had a 41.7% route run rate. With D.J. Reader back, the Bengals are 22nd in rushing success rate, 21st in yards per carry, and 17th in explosive run rate allowed. Cincinnati loaded up to stop Derrick Henry and held him to 2.2 yards per carry. Against Najee Harris, Isaiah Pacheco, and Jerick McKinnon, the Bengals yielded 4.9 yards per carry. Chubb could get the stack-the-box treatment if Watson doesn’t make them respect the pass. If the Bengals are forced to focus more assets on the passing attack, Chubb could be in for a big day. Chubb is an RB1.

Kareem Hunt: Last week, Hunt played 38% of the snaps with 11 touches and 74 total yards. That was his lowest snap count since Week 10. Hunt saw a 14.3% target share (four targets). Since Week 10, Hunt has rediscovered some pep in his step, ranking eighth in yards after contact per attempt and 11th in PFF elusive rating (51 RBs, minimum 15 carries). Since Week 8, Hunt still only has two opportunities inside the 20 yards line (Chubb, nine). Hunt is an RB3 facing a Bengals’ defense that is fifth in DVOA against receiving backs ranking 15th in yards per reception and 16th in receiving yards per game allowed.

Joe Mixon: Mixon has cleared the concussion protocol and will be back this week. He should return to his bell-cow role as Perine slides into his familiar backup job. Mixon is the RB6 this year, as he’s been living off volume and red zone work, not efficiency. He is ninth in snap share, seventh in opportunity share, and 12th in weighted opportunities. Mixon flopped against this defense in Week 8 with 15 touches and 59 total yards as the RB24. His seven receptions that week saved his bacon. Mixon is 44th in evaded tackles, 52nd in juke rate, and 36th in yards per touch. The Browns remain an advantageous matchup for Mixon, ranking 22nd in rushing yards per game, 26th in EPA per rush, and 28th in explosive run rate allowed over their last four games. Mixon is a volume-based RB1.

Samaje Perine: Perine has been outstanding in filling in for Mixon. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaged 24 touches and 124 total yards as the RB10 and RB3 in fantasy. Perine is 23rd in yards after contact per attempt and 22nd in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). I expect Mixon to carry the load this week and Perine to be shoved to the back of the pecking order again. He returns to handcuff-only status. 

Wide Receivers

Amari Cooper: Cooper has been a target hog this season, but last week with Watson took it to another level. Cooper had a 42.9% target share, end zone targets for the wide receiver room, and a 56.9% air-yard share. This is elite usage. Cooper is the WR15 in fantasy with a 27.5% target share (12th) and 40.5% air-yard share (third) this season. He’s seventh in deep targets and 16th in red zone targets among wide receivers. Cooper is 11th in PFF receiving grade and 18th in yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Cooper is a WR2 that will run about 74% of his routes against Cam Taylor-Britt (76.2% catch rate, 121.9 passer rating) and Eli Apple (56.3% catch rate, 95.6 passer rating). Cooper popped up on the injury report with a hip issue. He was limited on Thursday and then a DNP on Friday. He’s been listed as questionable. If he’s out, it bumps up Peoples-Jones target projection making him a high-end WR3.

Donovan Peoples-Jones: Last week, Peoples-Jones had a 14.3% target share, 16.7% of the team’s air yards, and 1.91 yards per route run. Since Week 4, he has an 18.6% target share averaging 63 receiving yards per game with seven games as a WR3 or higher in fantasy. Peoples-Jones has 13 deep targets (22nd) with only seven red zone looks (49th) this season. He is a WR3/4 that will run about 70% of his routes against Apple and Taylor-Britt.

Ja’Marr Chase: Chase returned last week and immediately returned to his alpha role. Chase led the team with a 25.8% target share, 29% air yard share, and 2.94 yards per route run (91.7% route run rate). Chase is 14th in PFF receiving grade and 20th in yards per route run as the WR7 in fantasy points per game (minimum 25 targets). In the eight games Chase has played, he leads the team with ten deep targets. Despite his limited number of games played, Chase is seventh among wide receivers in red zone targets. If Burrow burns this secondary deep, Chase will be the reason why. Chase is a WR1 that will run about 73% of his routes against Denzel Ward (67.5% catch rate, 107.8 passer rating) and Martin Emerson (56% catch rate, 83.6 passer rating).

BETTLE MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Each week, we’ll pick a matchup of the week, presented by Bettle. For Week 14, Ja’Marr Chase is our Bettle Matchup of the Week.

Beettle, Play the Field

Tee Higgins: In the seven full games Higgins has played with Chase, he has an 18% target share (6.9 targets per game), an 11.8% endzone target share, and 24.5% air yard share (2.16 yards per route run). Higgins is the WR16, ranking 18th in receptions (60) and tenth in receiving yards (861) among wide receivers. Higgins is 16th in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). Higgins is a WR2 that will run about 78% of his routes against Ward and Emerson. Higgins landed on the injury report this week with a hamstring problem, but he doesn’t carry any injury designation into this game after consecutive limited practices to conclude the week.

Tyler Boyd: Boyd is the WR37 in fantasy points per game with a 14.9% target share and 20.6% air-yard share. With Chase out of the lineup, Boyd was a WR3 twice but never higher than that. Boyd has played third fiddle all season, seeing limited high-value usage as he ranks 66th in deep targets and 49th in red zone targets among wide receivers. Boyd is a WR3/4 that will run about 82% of his routes against Greg Newsome (66.7% catch rate, 102.1 passer rating).

Tight Ends

David Njoku: Njoku wedged in limited practices all week and doesn’t have an injury designation this week (knee). Njoku has been excellent when he’s been active this year. He is the TE6 ranking 11th in target share (17.6%), ninth in deep targets, and seventh in red zone targets in only nine games played. Njoku is also fourth in yards per route run and seventh in YAC. Cincinnati is a middling matchup for Njoku. They are 15th in catch rate, 11th in receiving yards, and 17th in yards per reception allowed to tight ends. Njoku is a TE1.

Hayden Hurst: Hurst has been ruled out (calf).

LV vs. LAR | NYJ vs. BUF | CLE vs. CIN | HOU vs. DAL | MIN vs. DET | JAC vs. TEN | PHI vs. NYG | BAL vs. PIT | KC vs. DEN | TB vs. SF | CAR vs. SEA | MIA vs. LAC | NE vs. ARI

Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys

Pace and playcalling notes

  • Since Week 8, Dallas is eighth in neutral pace with the tenth-highest neutral rushing rate.
  • Over the same period, Houston is 23rd in neutral pace and ninth in neutral rushing rate.
  • Over their last five games, Dallas is seventh in red zone passing rate.

Quarterbacks

Davis Mills: If you’re a Mills truther, this season has been tough to watch. He’s 26th in PFF passing grade, 28th in yards per attempt, and 29th in fantasy points per dropback as the QB30 in fantasy. Mills will be under fire all game. Over the last four weeks, Dallas is ninth in pressure rate. Since Week 10, Houston is 15th in pressure rate allowed. The Cowboys secondary hasn’t relented down the stretch to quarterbacks. Across their last four games, they are fourth in success rate per dropback, seventh in passing yards per game, and eighth in explosive pass rate allowed. Mills is a low-end QB2.

Dak Prescott: Since Week 7, Prescott has been playing at an extremely high level. He’s 11th in PFF passing grade, tenth in yards per attempt, and 14th in adjusted completion rate as the QB8 in fantasy. With Dallas deploying a run game focused offense, the biggest problem for Prescott has been volume. He has eclipsed 30 passing attempts only once this season. Houston doesn’t have an imposing secondary, but Dallas doesn’t need Prescott to air it out to win this week. Since Week 10, Houston has been 17th in success rate per dropback, 17th in EPA per drop back, and 11th in explosive pass rate allowed. Prescott is a low-end QB1.

Running Backs

Dameon Pierce: After back-to-back down games, Pierce responded with a small bounce-back effort last week with 72% of the snaps played with 21 touches and 95 total yards. Stuck in the Texans’ pitiful offensive environment, Pierce hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8. Pierce remains one of the most explosive rushers in the NFL. He’s 18th in yards after contact per attempt, third in missed tackles forced, 21st in breakaway rate, and seventh in PFF’s elusive rating (minimum 25 carries). Dallas has shown improvement against the run in recent weeks. Since Week 10, they are seventh in rushing success rate, 18th in rushing yards per game, and 18th in explosive run rate allowed. Pierce is an RB2.

Week 13

Player Rushing attempts Targets Routes Red zone opportunities
Tony Pollard 12 3 14 1
Ezekiel Elliott 17 3 15 3

 

Tony Pollard: Pollard remains explosive, working in tandem with Elliott. Since Week 12, he’s averaged 17 touches and 83.5 total yards. Since Elliott’s return in Week 11, Pollard has finished as the RB1, RB40, and RB2 in fantasy. Pollard is an elite running back, ranking second in yards per touch, 15th in evaded tackles, ninth in yards created per touch, and third in breakaway run rate. Houston has made some small improvements as a run defense. Since Week 10, they are fifth in rushing success rate, but they are also 25th in rushing yards per game and 27th in explosive run rate allowed. Pollard is an RB1.

Ezekiel Elliott: It might be gross, but Elliott is a touchdown machine. Over his last five games, he’s scored seven times with RB12, RB12, RB10, RB15, and RB9 finishes. It helps when your offense is eighth in red zone scoring attempts per game over the last three games. In Elliott’s defense, he’s ranked 17th in yards after contact per attempt and 11th in breakaway rate since his Week 11 return (minimum 15 carries). Over his last three games, he’s averaged 16 rushing attempts and 70.3 rushing yards. Elliott’s pass-game role is non-existent. Last week’s three targets were the most he’s seen in a game this season and his first game with at least two targets since Week 4. Elliott is an RB2.

Wide Receivers

Nico Collins: Collins has been ruled out.

Brandin CooksCooks has been ruled out.

CeeDee Lamb: Lamb has stepped forward this season as a true alpha wide receiver. He’s the WR11 in fantasy with a 30.6% target share (fifth-best), 32.9% target per route run rate (third-best), and ninth-highest fantasy points per route run. Lamb is seventh in PFF receiving grade and yards per route run (minimum 25 targets). He is also seventh in deep targets and 16th in red zone targets (eight red zone targets over his last five games). He’s a WR1 that will run about 57% of his routes against Tavierre Thomas (37.5% catch rate, 48.4 passer rating).

Michael Gallup: Gallup has shown flashes of returning to his pre-injury form. Since Week 8, he has had a 20.3% target share, 30.8% air yard share, and a 23% target per route rate. Over his last five games, he has three weeks with at least 1.8 yards per route run. He earned four red zone targets in last week’s meeting with the Colts. Gallup is a WR4 that will run about 91% of his routes against Steven Nelson (57.1% catch rate, 72.1 passer rating) and Desmond King (69.7% catch rate, 81.3 passer rating).

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz: Since Week 7, Schultz has had a 19.1% target share, 50% end zone target share, and 28% target per route run rate. With Prescott back, Schultz draws targets at the sixth-highest rate among tight ends (minimum ten targets). Over his last six games, Schultz is 13th in PFF receiving grade and fourth in yards per route run (minimum ten targets). Houston is 26th in DVOA against tight ends with the ninth-highest yards per reception and ninth-most receiving touchdowns (tied) allowed. Schultz is a top shelf TE1.

LV vs. LAR | NYJ vs. BUF | CLE vs. CIN | HOU vs. DAL | MIN vs. DET | JAC vs. TEN | PHI vs. NYG | BAL vs. PIT | KC vs. DEN | TB vs. SF | CAR vs. SEA | MIA vs. LAC | NE vs. ARI

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