The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 14 Denver Broncos vs Houston Texans Sunday afternoon game on December 8, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
|45.0%||27||Opp. Rush %||37.6%||7|
|55.0%||6||Opp. Pass %||62.4%||26|
- Houston averages 1.3 more yards per play on first down than their opponent, the most in the league.
- Deshaun Watson leads the league in completion rate (69.0%) and touchdown rate (38.1%) in the red zone this season. League averages are 55.1% and 23.3%.
- Opposing passers have a 15.0% touchdown rate in the red zone versus Denver, 29th in the league.
- Opposing teams have converted 39.4% (13-of-33) of their red zone possessions versus the Broncos, the lowest rate in the league.
- Denver is ninth in the league in first half point differential (25), but 30th in second half point differential (minus-64).
- The Broncos are 30th in the league in points per play on the road (.247).
- Denver is averaging 262.0 yards per game since placing Joe Flacco on injured reserve after averaging 312.6 yards per game on offense through eight weeks.
- The Broncos are completing 14.5 passes per game over that span, the fewest in the league.
On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)
- Deshaun Watson: Watson not only smashed his toughest draw of the season last week, but he was the highest-scoring quarterback of the week. After a slight lull in the middle of the season, Watson has now thrown for 9.9 and 9.4 yards per pass attempt over his past two games. He’ll get another lower-end matchup this week against a slow-paced Denver team. The Broncos are fifth in passing points allowed per game (12.4), but have allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of their past three games and 16 or more fantasy points to four consecutive quarterbacks.
- DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins got a boost last week by “throwing” a touchdown, but tallied a serviceable 5-64 line in the air outside of that play. Denver had allowed just one touchdown to an opposing WR1 through six games this season, but have allowed the opposing lead wideout to find the end zone in four of their past six games and in each of the past three to Stefon Diggs (5-121-1), John Brown (2-39-1), and Keenan Allen (6-68-1). Hopkins had 10-105-1 when these teams met a year ago, with 3-29 in the coverage of Chris Harris.
- Courtland Sutton: Sutton is the only wide receiver in the league to have over half of his team receiving touchdowns (55.6%) this season. He has survived a change from Flacco to Brandon Allen and Drew Lock with only three games outside of the top-30 scorers on the season. He’s been a top-15 scorer in three of four games since Flacco was lost for the season.
- Phillip Lindsay: Despite having 18, 14, and 20 touches the past three games, Lindsay has only managed RB31, RB28, and RB34 scoring weeks over that stretch due to the limitations of the offense in producing scoring opportunities and having a limited role in the passing game. He’s sort of become a version of Devin Singletary on a worse team. Lindsay’s last touch inside of the 5-yard line came in Week 6 while he has 12 catches for 36 yards over his past six games.
Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)
- Drew Lock: Lock was the QB22 in his first career start, passing for 134 yards and just 4.8 yards per pass attempt. He threw for just 11 yards (1.2 Y/A) in the second half and was pretty much predicated on Sutton carrying his water in the passing game. Houston is not a daunting matchup. They are allowing 27.9 passing yards per drive (31st), but Lock is only a dart in 2QB formats.
If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play)
- Kenny Stills: With Will Fuller out, Stills once again steps in as the vertical option outside of Hopkins. Stills has had 15% of the team targets with Fuller sidelined this season. Denver has been beatable over the top, allowing a 47.1% completion rate on targets 15 yards or further downfield, which ranks 26th in the league.
- Texans RBs: Carlos Hyde has found the end zone in just one of his past six games, but is a home favorite attached to a modest team total. 95.0% of Hyde’s fantasy output is from rushing only, so there’s always some fragility to his floor when he fails to find the end zone. Duke Johnson has double-digit points in four of his past seven games, but also has three games at RB40 or lower mixed in. Denver is 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game to running backs (96.3) and also 17th in receptions allowed per game (5.5) to the position.