The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 11 Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Sunday afternoon game.
|LA Rams||Rank||@||New Orleans||Rank|
|40.78%||11||Opp. Rush %||45.44%||23|
|59.22%||22||Opp. Pass %||54.56%||10|
- The Rams are a league-worst 2-6-1 against the spread this season.
- The Saints are 3-7 against the spread this season, tied for 30th in the league.
- The Rams have a -74.5 point margin against the closing line in their games this season, the worst margin in the league. The next closest team (Green Bay) is at -56.0 points.
- The Saints are allowing a league-high 5.0 scoring plays per game, but just 48.9% of those plays have been touchdowns (fifth lowest).
- The Rams are averaging 3.1 scoring plays per game, tied for the fewest in the league.
- 41.7% of the Rams’ drives have failed to gain a first down or touchdown, the highest rate in the league.
- The Rams are allowing 5.1 sacks plus turnover per game, 31st in the league.
- The Rams are averaging a gain of 20 or more yards once every 24.8 offensive plays, 31st in the league.
Andy Dalton: Dalton received a vote of confidence from Dennis Allen after Sunday that he will remain the starter despite back-to-back toothless performances. The Saints have scored two touchdowns on 20 possessions the past two weeks. They have averaged just 20.6 yards per drive in those games, 29th in the league over the past two weeks.
Dalton has now made seven starts and has finished higher than QB16 in just one of them.
As lackluster as the Rams have been, they are eighth in passing points allowed per attempt (0.377), allowing 6.8 yards per attempt (eighth) and a 3.3% touchdown rate (eighth). The Rams have not allowed a QB1 scoring week since Week 1 to Josh Allen, leaving Dalton as a back-end option in 2QB leagues.
Matthew Stafford: Stafford could not clear concussion protocol in time to start on Sunday. He has yet to be cleared for this week, but we will enter the week tentatively approaching things as if he will be back for Sunday. If he is not and we get another week of John Wolford, circle back here, but things are not going to change a lot around the edges with how the Rams are playing offensively.
When we last saw Stafford in Week 9, he completed a season-low 48.1% of his passes for just 165 yards. And that was with a 69-yard touchdown pass. Stafford has now thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in every game but this season, sitting on a potential career low in touchdown rate (2.8%).
The Rams just can’t get anything going in this offense outside of getting the ball to Cooper Kupp, who now will miss time with a high ankle injury.
Stafford has completed 72-of-93 passes (77.4%) for 813 yards (8.7 Y/A) and six touchdowns to Kupp and then 66.5% of his passes for 6.0 Y/A and two touchdowns to everyone else in the offense.
He hasn’t had a QB1 scoring since Week 2 playing with Kupp, so without Kupp available there is not much to feel good about here as Stafford being more than a QB2.
Alvin Kamara: After it appeared as if Kamara was fully back as a set-and-forget RB1, he has been caught in the avalanche of this offense struggling to do anything the past two weeks. Kamara has 17 carries for 56 yards the past two weeks, paired with catching just six passes for 51 yards.
The New Orleans offensive line is once again mangled right now and they are really having trouble running the ball overall. Kamara has run for just 3.4 yards per carry over the past three games. That rushing inefficiency wasn’t an issue when he was catching six or more passes in every game Weeks 5-8, but it shows up when you have receiving output like the past two games.
The Rams can play the run, too. They are fourth in the league in success rate against running back carries (66.3%) and sixth in the rate of backfield carries to gain a first down or touchdown (20.3%). Where you can have success against them is they are 18th in receiving points allowed per game (9.2) to backs.
If we don’t get the receiving work back here for Kamara, we are looking at hoping for a similar outcome that we got with James Conner last week against the Rams where he wasn’t efficient but was able to keep stacking carries due to game script and then was able to punch in his scoring opportunities.
Kamara is at least a home favorite here to latch onto. He is at the mercy of the Saints’ offense getting back on track but is still in that fringe RB1 area for fantasy.
Rams RBs: This backfield was still completely ineffective Sunday as the Rams backs combined for 93 yards on 17 touches.
Darrell Henderson led the trio here with 34 snaps (56.7%), turning his seven touches into 32 yards. Henderson is the best bet to make in this backfield, but he has not cleared 56 total yards in a game since Week 1.
Cam Akers played just 10 snaps, rushing six times for 22 yards. He did not have a reception, his fifth straight game without a catch. Akers has 32 touches for 71 yards over his past four appearances.
Kyren Williams was finally able to get back onto the field after suffering an ankle injury back in Week 1. He played 16 snaps (26.7%), rushing one time for nine yards, catching all three of his targets for 30 yards. 10 of his 16 snaps were pass routes as he immediately occupied the passing down role.
This backfield has been a complete mess all season and the Rams just put two more offensive linemen on injured reserve.
Even if we had just one back getting all of the work, he would only be a volume-based RB2. With three backs splitting the pie, it is largely avoidable unless you are forced to play Henderson as a FLEX or chase a larger opportunity manifesting itself for Williams to close the year.
The Saints can at least be run on if you do have to play someone here. New Orleans is allowing 4.52 YPC to backs (20th) and 13.6 rushing points per game (19th) to backfields. New Orleans just allowed 141 yards rushing to a previously invisible Pittsburgh backfield last week.
Chris Olave: Olave only managed to collect 3-of-5 targets for 40 yards Sunday as none of the prime contributors in this offense survived. Olave had 17.9% of the team targets, his lowest rate in a game since Week 1. Some floor has crept in here for Olave, who has been a WR4 or lower in two of his past three games. He has not reached the end zone since Week 5 and has 71 yards or fewer in five of his past six games.
We may have prematurely pumped Olave’s bags as a fringe WR1 for fantasy, but his overall body of work and opportunity still point towards a high-floor player. Olave still ran a route on 87.1% of the dropbacks last week, we just need this offense to be better.
There is no guarantee of that, but the Rams do allow their share of wide receiver production. Wideouts have 65.0% of the receptions against the Rams, the highest rate in the league. they are 30th in receptions allowed per game (14.7) to opposing wideouts while they rank 29th in points allowed per game to opposing WR1 targets (18.4). Olave just faced the Steelers (who were last coming into last week in that department) so we cannot overinflate the matchup, keeping Olave as a WR2.
Allen Robinson: Robinson snagged 4-of-6 targets for 44 yards Sunday. He has just two games all season finishing as a WR3 or better, but the Rams are kind of forced to try and jam some targets into Robinson now with Kupp sidelined, even if Robinson isn’t getting open on his own.
Kupp has 33.5% of the targets from Stafford. While Robinson has been far from inspiring to date, the ancillary options of Ben Skowronek and Van Jefferson do not inspire any faith as well. If Robinson cannot lead this unit in target opportunity then he is fully cooked.
I am not saying you have to jam Robinson in anywhere. This was a bad offense with Kupp and still projects to be bad moving forward. But he is worth picking up to see where things shake out or playing as a floor-based WR3/FLEX based on the target runway opening up. The Rams are forced to be more creative now in scheming things for Robinson.
The Saints could finally be getting Marshon Lattimore back here to help a defense that is allowing a 66.7% catch rate (25th), 8.7 yards per target (24th), and a 4.5% catch rate (19th) to opposing wide receivers.
Jarvis Landry: Landry returned to the field for the first time since Week 4, catching 3-of-6 targets for 37 yards. Landry received 21.4% of the targets and ran a route on 80.7% of the dropbacks.
Landry has 11 catches for 91 yards after a 7-114-0 game in the season opener.
The Rams are allowing 6.9 yards per target (third) and a league-low 8.6 yards per catch to opposing slot receivers, keeping Landry as a WR4/FLEX with greater appeal in full-PPR formats.
Rams WRs: Van Jefferson caught all three of his targets for 19 yards and his first touchdown of the season last week. Jefferson has just eight targets in three games since returning to the field and ran just 14 pass routes last week. He will be forced into a larger role now with Kupp injured, but Jefferson was well behind Ben Skowronek.
Skowronek ran 39 pass routes last week, which was 97.5% of the dropbacks. Skowronek had seven targets come his way but managed to catch just two of them for 14 yards. He is the best bet to take over slot snaps in the absence of Kupp, but he has not shown to be much of a target earner or effective player to this point of his career. Skowronek did have a stretch from Weeks 3-6 in which he was a WR4 or better in three of those four games.
Both Jefferson and Skowronek can be considered as desperation WR4 plays with Skowronek as the floor play and Jefferson the all-or-nothing swing.
The Saints have been good at defending the deep ball, allowing a 24.1% completion rate on throws to wideouts over 20 yards downfield (fourth).
Tyler Higbee: After a three-week span where he totaled three catches for 22 yards, Higbee bounced last week against our favorite tight end matchup versus Arizona, catching all eight of his targets for 73 yards.
Higbee has 57 targets already from Stafford, which is 16 more than any other player on the team outside of Kupp. If making a bet on any pass catcher for the Rams, Higbee has already been the most usable player on the roster playing alongside Kupp.
While we can play Higbee as a TE1, this is a tough draw to handle him as more than a floor play. The Saints continue to limit tight ends after holding Pat Freiermuth to 36 yards last week. On the year, the Saints have allowed a league-low 4.7 yards per target and a league-low 53.7% catch rate to tight ends.
Juwan Johnson: Johnson has turned in a TE1 scoring week in three of his past four games. He has been aided by four fourth quarter touchdowns over that span to squeeze out those outcomes, but last week Johnson also did receive a team-high 25.0% target share.
I would bet against Johnson out-targeting all of Olave, Landry, and Kamara many weeks. He still has not had more than 44 yards in a game and with Adam Trautman back last week, Johnson ran a route on just 64.5% of the dropbacks. Johnson is a touchdown-or-bust TE2.
Taysom Hill: Hill had three carries for one yard last week as the dream of Hill being this Swiss Army Knife and tool for fantasy gamers to unlock the tight end position is on life support. Hill has now been a TE1 in one of his five games played since that eruption spot against the Seahawks. He has 24.2 fantasy points over that span. Hill is a volatile tight end swing that could pop off in any given week but has the worst floor at a position filled with basement occupants.
Rams vs Saints Prediction for Week 11:
Based on the Sharp Football moneyline outcome model, recent trends & key matchups, we predict the Saints will win this Week 11 game.
More Week 11 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet: