• Josh Jacobs and Ezekiel Elliot have the two most tantalizing matchups Sunday
  • Can Ross Dwelley extend the Arizona TE season long streak?
  • Sunday could finally be the breakout for Curtis Samuel

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

  • White should have success out of the backfield against a Philly defense that has allowed the fifth-highest target share to RBs at 23%.
  • The Eagles defense has allowed a 23% target share against opponents who have targeted RBs at 21% in all other games. (7% premium allowed to opponent average.)
  • He has averaged 8 targets, 7 receptions, and 54.5 yards against four teams that rank in the top 10 in target percentage allowed. He caught at least 5 passes in all four games

Josh Jacobs

  • Another week and another appearance from Jacobs in this column.
  • He has a tasty matchup against a Bengals defense that ranks 31st in success rate defending the run, 25th in Adjusted Line Yards, per Football Outsiders, and have allowed the third-highest explosive run rate.
  • It’s rare for the Raiders to be a double-digit favorite so Jacobs will be in an advantageous game script throughout.
  • Last week, Jacobs was finally heavily involved in the passing game and received five targets. He caught three passes for 30 yards and gets to face a Bengals defense that has allowed the fifth-highest target share to RBs and second-highest yards per attempt.

Ezekiel Elliot

  • This is a homerun spot for Zeke against a Lions team that isn’t expected to have Matthew Stafford.
  • Elliot gets to face a Lions defense that ranks 27th in success rate on the ground to RBs and is 27th in adjusted line yards allowed.
  • Elliott has gone under 100 rush yards four times this season and has followed up three of those instances with 100+ yard games. 
  • The Lions have allowed a 53% success rate on the ground. Zeke has only faced three teams with success rates at 50% or above — Miami, Washington, and Green Bay. In those three games, he has rushed 54 times for 298 yards (5.5 yards per carry) and 2 TDs.

Tight Ends:

Gerald Everett

  • Everett has received double-digit targets in three of his last five games, including 12 last week against Pittsburgh.
  • The problem with Everett is that while he has received a bunch of targets, he is not turning a lot of those targets into big plays. He is only averaging 10.7 yards per reception and has only topped 68 yards one time this season.
  • He will have a good matchup against a Bears defense which ranks 30th in yards allowed to TEs this season.
  • The Bears have also allowed the sixth-highest target share to TEs.
  • With the Rams OL being a disaster with multiple injuries and having to face the Bears pass rush, expect Everett to serve as a strong quick outlet for Jared Goff.

Ross Dwelley

  • Without George Kittle and after Emmanuel Sanders went down in the second quarter on Monday night, Dwelley received all seven of his targets in the game and caught three for 24 yards.
  • Now he gets to face the defense that has allowed the most yards to TEs in the NFL this season in Arizona.
  • It’s not even that they have allowed the most yards to TEs, they also rank dead last in DVOA against the position.
  • Even O.J. Howard diced up this defense last week for 47 yards and a TD, his first of the season.
  • Many will just see the box score for Dwelley and see that he only gained 24 yards and dismiss him but when you receive 23% of the QBs targets, we should pay attention.

Wide Receiver:

Randall Cobb

  • Cobb has received eight targets in each of the last two games and turned those 16 targets into 12 receptions for 141 yards and 1 TD.
  • Cobb will get to face a Lions pass defense which has struggled all season defending slot WRs. Justin Coleman and Rashaan Melvin are the main slot DBs for the Lions and rank 36th and 61st in passer rating allowed out of 72 slot DBs.
  • In the last month, the Lions allowed slot WRs Stefon Diggs, Golden Tate, and Hunter Renfrow to put up an average stat line of 8 targets with 7 receptions and 94 yards. 

Deebo Samuel

  • Deebo also benefitted from Sanders being out, as he received eight of Jimmy Garoppolo’s 30 targets.
  • He caught 8 for 59 yards and he was easily the most reliable and explosive WR on the field for the Niners.
  • He may not get the same target share with the potential for Patrick Peterson shadowing him, but he is explosive enough to squeeze out big yardage on some of those targets. Peterson has really struggled the last two weeks, grading out at 29 and 39 according to PFF.

Curtis Samuel

  • It feels like we have been waiting for the monster breakout game for Samuel all season but here we are again.
  • Samuel is facing a Falcons secondary ranked dead last in pass defense DVOA and has allowed the seventh-highest percentage of explosive passes in the NFL.
  • Samuel has played three games against opponents that rank in the bottom 10 in pass defense —Tampa twice and Arizona. In those games, he produced an average stat line of 9 targets, 4.8 receptions, and 71 yards per game. He has also scored two TDs in the three games.
  • The Falcons rank 24th in deep passing DVOA and Samuel ranks seventh in deep percentage (percentage of attempts 20 yards or greater down the field). The opportunities have been there all season, it’s just a matter of finally connecting on a couple more targets.