Luck Will Lead the Way to Victory
Last week, you almost couldn't go wrong. Eli Manning and Jay Cutler both had good games, Ray Rice definitely topped Lamar Miller, Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton had big showings (Hilton more so) and both Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates put up good games.
Quarterback Points Allowed
|1||Indianapolis Colts||SAD||25.2||16||Cleveland Browns||DET||12.9|
|2||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||PHI||21.7||17||Pittsburgh Steelers||NYJ||17.6|
|3||Baltimore Ravens||GB||20.4||18||San Diego Chargers||IND||12.7|
|4||Dallas Cowboys||WSH||22.4||19||St. Louis Rams||HOU||13.1|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||DEN||21.9||20||Detroit Lions||CLE||12.3|
|6||Washington Redskins||DAL||25.4||21||New Orleans Saints||NE||12.0|
|7||Denver Broncos||JAC||21.2||22||Cincinnati Bengals||BUF||16.5|
|8||Houston Texans||STL||18.0||23||New England Patriots||NO||12.6|
|9||Chicago Bears||NYG||23.4||24||Buffalo Bills||CIN||13.5|
|10||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||19.4||25||Seattle Seahawks||TEN||11.0|
|11||Carolina Panthers||MIN||18.1||26||Philadelphia Eagles||TB||13.5|
|12||New York Jets||PIT||12.9||27||Tennessee Titans||SEA||12.3|
|13||New York Giants||CHI||16.3||28||Minnesota Vikings||CAR||9.5|
|14||Green Bay Packers||BAL||16.7||29||Oakland Raiders||KC||12.6|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||16.3||30||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||11.9|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
For those that waited on quarterbacks, there is a good chance you ended up with an Andrew Luck type. As for Luck owners specifically, it hasn't been a horrible season – he is seventh overall – but there is some disappointment even though many of us cautioned we'd see a drop with Bruce Arians leaving town. Some owners might be contemplating grabbing Nick Foles off waivers with Michael Vick shelved. While the high-octane Eagles offense is intriguing, Foles isn't worth starting over Luck in Week 6.
The Colts draw the Chargers this week, while the Eagles get the Bucs. Just look at the chart. The Chargers are the most favorable matchup for QBs in the league. The Redskins allow slightly more FPPG, but the Chargers grade out much worse with added metrics. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers pass defense is one of the most improved groups, now ranking as the fifth toughest draw. Even if you simply took the FPPG totals, the Chargers allow 11.7 more per game for opposing QBs. Don't get cute with Foles’ first start this year. Luck is the much better bet.
Running Back Points Allowed
|1||Denver Broncos||JAC||18.7||16||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||14.6|
|2||Dallas Cowboys||WSH||21.9||17||Seattle Seahawks||TEN||16.9|
|3||Carolina Panthers||MIN||22.6||18||St. Louis Rams||HOU||18.2|
|4||New York Jets||PIT||23.5||19||New Orleans Saints||NE||15.2|
|5||Houston Texans||STL||22.5||20||Oakland Raiders||KC||14.1|
|6||Cleveland Browns||DET||20.5||21||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||19.6|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||PHI||16.8||22||New York Giants||CHI||16.7|
|8||Indianapolis Colts||SAD||12.7||23||Tennessee Titans||SEA||14.3|
|9||New England Patriots||NO||15.8||24||Minnesota Vikings||CAR||15.1|
|10||Chicago Bears||NYG||19.0||25||Buffalo Bills||CIN||14.3|
|11||Jacksonville Jaguars||DEN||20.2||26||Cincinnati Bengals||BUF||13.7|
|12||Baltimore Ravens||GB||16.1||27||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||12.3|
|13||Washington Redskins||DAL||18.0||28||Green Bay Packers||BAL||12.0|
|14||San Diego Chargers||IND||13.4||29||Philadelphia Eagles||TB||12.6|
|15||Detroit Lions||CLE||17.2||30||Pittsburgh Steelers||NYJ||12.4|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Here we are five weeks in and Knowshon Moreno is the seventh best RB. That's right. Moreno, who was expected to be the third option in Denver, is ahead of Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Trent Richardson, Doug Martin, etc. A pleasant surprise for his owners, even with missed time, has been Eddie Lacy. Lacy has 20 FP in his two full games and is showing why the Packers trust him as their full time back. However, this week, you should trust Moreno much more than Lacy.
The Broncos have the pleasure of playing the Jaguars, and you just need to see the Vegas line to see how bad this will be. The spread has jumped to around 26-29 points, and that might be a bit kind to the Jaguars. After all, the defense is putrid and the Broncos can't be stopped. The Jags are the worst team against the run Fantasy-wise, while the Ravens are the third most difficult matchup. In addition, the Ravens are in the top third for most favorable WR matchups, which means it will be much easier for the Packers to triumph through the air. With Aaron Rodgers looking to rebound himself and the disparity in these two opponents, Moreno is the superior RB play.
Wide Receiver Points Allowed
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||PHI||37.3||16||New Orleans Saints||NE||17.0|
|2||Indianapolis Colts||SAD||29.4||17||New York Giants||CHI||21.8|
|3||Baltimore Ravens||GB||28.0||18||Cincinnati Bengals||BUF||32.0|
|4||Houston Texans||STL||27.5||19||Minnesota Vikings||CAR||18.0|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||DEN||31.0||20||Detroit Lions||CLE||16.6|
|6||Dallas Cowboys||WSH||28.9||21||Tennessee Titans||SEA||17.6|
|7||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||25.7||22||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||17.7|
|8||Washington Redskins||DAL||26.0||23||San Diego Chargers||IND||18.8|
|9||Denver Broncos||JAC||24.1||24||Seattle Seahawks||TEN||16.4|
|10||Carolina Panthers||MIN||25.7||25||New England Patriots||NO||20.6|
|11||Green Bay Packers||BAL||25.2||26||Buffalo Bills||CIN||19.8|
|12||Chicago Bears||NYG||23.8||27||St. Louis Rams||HOU||13.3|
|13||New York Jets||PIT||18.5||28||Philadelphia Eagles||TB||17.0|
|14||Pittsburgh Steelers||NYJ||24.6||29||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||15.8|
|15||Cleveland Browns||DET||24.8||30||Oakland Raiders||KC||17.9|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
It’s time to drop the Mike's. At receiver, we're looking at Mike Williams and Michael Floyd. Both are close on the year with Floyd having 28 FP to Williams’ 26. Floyd has more receptions and yards (21/301) while Williams has scored two times to Floyd’s zero. So should you bank on a TD catch for Williams or go the safer route? This week, you go with the TD upside in Williams.
It's more than just the touchdown potential for Williams though. The Eagles allow more FPPG than anyone… by far… to receivers at 37.3 per game! Through five games, Philly has already given up 1,207 receiver yards and 11 TDs. No one else has more than eight TDs allowed. The Cardinals are facing the vaunted (yes, still) 49ers defense. San Fran, even with their defense taking a step back from last year, still ranks out as the second most difficult matchup for receivers. They allow just 15.8 FPPG and have let just two receivers reach the end zone. Back to Williams, he already has five red zone targets with at least one in each game. It's hard to bet on touchdowns, but the matchup and numbers tell us Williams is a strong bet for a good game this week.
Tight End Points Allowed
|1||Baltimore Ravens||GB||11.6||16||Green Bay Packers||BAL||10.4|
|2||Denver Broncos||JAC||10.6||17||San Diego Chargers||IND||5.4|
|3||Washington Redskins||DAL||14.2||18||Detroit Lions||CLE||5.0|
|4||Chicago Bears||NYG||12.3||19||New Orleans Saints||NE||8.1|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||DEN||11.1||20||Philadelphia Eagles||TB||11.2|
|6||Indianapolis Colts||SAD||8.6||21||Cleveland Browns||DET||5.6|
|7||Dallas Cowboys||WSH||10.8||22||St. Louis Rams||HOU||6.4|
|8||New York Giants||CHI||9.5||23||New York Jets||PIT||4.8|
|9||Houston Texans||STL||6.6||24||Buffalo Bills||CIN||6.5|
|10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||PHI||5.6||25||New England Patriots||NO||6.0|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||8.3||26||Tennessee Titans||SEA||6.2|
|12||Seattle Seahawks||TEN||11.4||27||Minnesota Vikings||CAR||4.0|
|13||Pittsburgh Steelers||NYJ||7.7||28||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||6.7|
|14||Carolina Panthers||MIN||14.8||29||Cincinnati Bengals||BUF||5.2|
|15||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||12.9||30||Oakland Raiders||KC||2.9|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
To quote myself (yes, I am about to) from the preseason, "Talk to me when Jared Cook has done it… more than just one or two weeks." I was talking about all of the hype surrounding Cook and that he has done anything but produce enough to garner my faith. Since Week 1, Cook has just 11 FP (he had 24 in that first game). That is just part of the reason I'm starting Garrett Graham over him.
The matchups tell us Graham already has the more favorable situation with the Rams checking in as the ninth easiest matchup and the Texans being the ninth most difficult. Symmetry huh? The FPPG are within 0.2, but that has more to do with tight ends faced than the actual defenses. That's why we use the advanced metrics. Similar to Mike Williams, Graham has been a red zone machine with three TD catches in five games while sharing time with Owen Daniels. As you should know, Daniels is now on Injured Reserve, and Graham's ceiling is rather high. He's already shown more production throughout his games while playing second fiddle than Cook has as the clear leader on his team. Add in the matchup difference, and you see why Graham is the preferred choice.
(Reminder: You’ll notice the rankings are not in exact order of points allowed. Other metrics are calculated in along with just straight points. It allows for better analysis so one off-week doesn’t skew the opponent difficulty too greatly.)
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