• Derrius Guice is looking for back to back breakout games 
  • Oakland looks to bounce back through the air with Darren Waller
  • A.J. Brown will be the top target through the air for Tennessee 

In advance of Sunday’s games, I wanted to isolate specific advantageous matchups that could be interesting from a fantasy and prop perspective. 

Game, Total and Props

Running Backs:

James White

  • Most people will think the NE RB to own on Sunday will be Sony Michel because of the poor KC run defense. That’s fairly obvious but I am profiling White instead here.
  • The KC pass defense has been excellent this season, especially when it comes to covering WRs. KC is first in DVOA defending No. 1 WRs. But they have struggled defending RBs out of the backfield. KC is 17th defending RBs and has allowed the second-most yardage per game to opposing RBs.
  • KC has allowed the second-highest share of targets to RBs and is 31st in yards per attempt allowed. The Chiefs have allowed a 24% target share while facing opponents who have only targeted their RBs 21% of the time. This 18% target premium allowed to opponent averages ranks as third-highest in the NFL.
  • KC has played four games against opponents who target RBs the top 7 most in the NFL. RBs in those games, like Austin Ekeler, Dalvin Cook, and Aaron Jones produced huge stat lines. Cook caught 4 balls for 45 yards, Ekeler 8 for 108, and Jones 7 for 159 and 2 TDs.  

Derrius Guice

  • Guice broke out last week against Carolina with 129 yards rushing on only 10 carries.
  • The Packers run defense has been shredded lately. They rank dead last in Adjusted Line Yards allowed and dead last in success rate allowed. The Packers run defense has been consistently bad all year, ranking 31st in Weeks 1-6 and 32nd in Weeks 7-13.
  • Washington is fifth-best in the NFL running up the middle at 4.87 yards per carry. The Green Bay run defense ranks dead last defending runs up the middle, allowing 5.34 YPC. Look for runs right up the gut for Guice and the Skins.
  • The only risk is that this game is a blowout and Washington has to throw the ball to catch up. I believe this game will be closer than the spread indicates and under Callahan, Washington has run the ball the second-highest percentage in games with margins of 10 or less. The Skins are also the slowest pace team in the NFL so expect lots of runs up the middle and a boring, slug of a game.

Tight Ends

Darren Waller

  • In the first game without Hunter Renfrow, Derek Carr targeted Waller 9 times out of 30 total pass attempts (30%) against the Chiefs.
  • It was Waller’s first 100+ yard receiving game since October 20 at Green Bay. I don’t think it’s coincidence Waller stepped up in the first game without Renfrow. I expect more of the same against Tennessee.
  • The Titans are 21st in target share allowed to TEs, 24th in DVOA, and 21st in yards per attempt allowed to TEs. Tennessee is 24th overall in DVOA pass defense.
  • I don’t think the Raiders can necessarily slow down the Titans offense, so I expect a shootout. Waller should be a big part of this Oakland pass offense on Sunday.

Tyler Higbee

  • In a matchup against the worst TE defense in the NFL last week in Arizona, Higbee dominated with 7-107-1 TD.
  • Gerald Everett is out again on Sunday and Higbee gets a Seattle defense that has allowed the fourth-most yardage per game to TEs.
  • Seattle has allowed the fourth-highest target percentage to TEs and in the first matchup this season between these two teams, Everett ripped Seattle for 7 catches and 136 yards

Wide Receiver

A.J. Brown

  • Brown is in a smash spot against an Oakland pass defense that has been torched by almost every opponent this season
  • Oakland is 28th in DVOA pass defense and has allowed the second-highest percentage of explosive passes. 
  • Brown is tied for ninth in the NFL with four 40+ yard receptions and he has done so with only 54 targets. In fact, Brown ranks third among NFL WRs in yards per target at 11.59. He is also No. 1 in the NFL in YAC and the Raiders have allowed the most YAC per completion.
  • Slot WR Adam Humphries is missing the game Sunday as well so Brown should garner a few more opportunities than normal.

Stefon Diggs

  • Diggs should be in position to dominate on Sunday against a Lions defense that ranks 26th in DVOA pass defense and has allowed the sixth-highest percentage of explosive plays.
  • The Lions pass defense has plummeted from early in the season, ranking dead last in pass defense success rate allowed since Week 7. Over the first six weeks, the Lions ranked fifth in pass defense. They have been this bad against the pass during a stretch of games against QBs like Mitch Trubisky twice, Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, and Derek Carr
  • In their first meeting, Diggs caught 7 passes for 143 yards against Detroit. With Adam Thielen expected to miss another game, Diggs will be targeted early and often.