Keeping up with 13 games in a week is a lot for your average Fantasy player to handle, so here is one key number to know for every game in the NFL in Week 8.
(Numbers from ProFootballFocus.com)
Joe Flacco's passer rating when not pressured
The Ravens haven't done a great job keeping Flacco clean this season. He has faced pressure on 36.5 percent of the time he has dropped back, the 10th-highest rate in football. However, he doesn't really have that to blame for his poor performance, because he has the second-worst passer rating in the NFL even when he isn't pressured.
With a clean pocket, Flacco is completing 68.3 percent of his passes, but picking up just 6.8 yards per attempt, the fifth-lowest mark in the NFL. His receiving corps isn't great, but Flacco hasn't done much to help himself either, which makes it sort of hard to buy the idea that he is going to play well tonight against the Browns.
Aaron Rodgers' yards per attempt when not pressured
We'll stick with this same number, because this one really stuck out to me. Rodgers has a 104.6 passer rating when not pressured, a top-12 number, and is completing a whopping 70.4 percent of his attempts in these situations, both solid numbers. Additionally, 17 of his touchdowns have come when not pressured. But the big play just isn't there for Rodgers. He has obviously struggled to connect on deep passes all season. He was just 1 of 8 on such attempts last week, and PFF rates him as the least accurate deep passer in the league this season. Rodgers has still been getting it done with exceptional effectiveness in the red zone, but the Packers have not been particularly efficient when it comes to moving the ball through the air.
Rob Kelley's elusive rating this season
Jay Gruden confirmed what we've pretty much come to assume Thursday, that Rob Kelley is the team's first-string running back moving forward. Matt Jones' injury pushed Kelly into the starting role, but it was his ineffectiveness that seems to have kept Kelley there. There question is, can Kelley do enough to take advantage of this opportunity? So far, he's given us reason to believe he can, breaking eight tackles on 38 carries in his limited work so far, while averaging 3.71 yards per carry after contact; compare that to Jones' 12 broken tackles on 100 attempts, with a 2.82 after-contact average. Kelley certainly has a chance to run away with this job, but he has to do so this week against a stout Vikings' defense, so don't be surprised if he doesn't stand out in Week 10.
Fantasy points per game allowed by Tracy Porter in coverage
The Bears don't have an overabundance of talent in the secondary, which is why they have been using Porter more over the past few weeks to shadow opposing teams' top options in the passing game. He has done a solid job, holding Jordy Nelson without a catch two weeks ago, and giving up just four catches for 25 yards last week against the Vikings' Stefon Diggs. That could make life somewhat difficult for Mike Evans this week, even in what seems otherwise to be a pretty good matchup. One thing Porter doesn't do often is line up in the slot, so it will be interesting to see if the Buccaneers continue to experiment with matching up Evans on smaller slot corners. He did so on 13 of his routes last week, and that could be one way to free him up this week.
Cam Newton's accuracy rate on deep passes
A big part of Newton's dominance last season was his success throwing the deep ball. He was accurate on 47.9 percent of his passes 20-plus yards down the field, and had 11 touchdowns to just one interception, all of which ranked among the best numbers anyone saw last season. His regression can be blamed on plenty of factors, but Newton's regression as a deep passer can't be ignored. Heading into Week 10, he has completed just nine of 31 deep passes, with only two touchdowns. He has seen a drop in his passer rating on such throws from 119.6 to 75.6 to this point. This wasn't what we expected to see when Newton got Kelvin Benjamin back, but it just hasn't worked out so far. Maybe last year was the outlier.
Carson Wentz' passer rating under pressure since Week 4
Wentz looked like a Hall of Famer in the making after the first three games, sporting a 90.9 passer rating when pressured, with the seventh-best accuracy rate when pressured. He was poised, with great footwork and an ability to get out of the pocket and still make throws if needed. Whether that was a fluke, he has regressed, or teams have just caught up, Wentz has been awful since the Eagles' early bye. He isn't actually being pressured much, but Wentz has just completely fallen apart over the past five games, throwing three interceptions and completing only 40 percent of his passes when pressured. The Falcons have a pretty middling pass rush, but if they can get to Wentz, we've seen it can knock him entirely off his game.
Jets' run defense grade
The Jets still gave up 100 yards to Jay Ajayi, but he needed 24 carries to get there. Only one other back has reached the 100-yard mark against this Jets defense, and at this point, it's hard to blame them for struggling to slow down Ajayi or David Johnson. Besides them, no other back has even reached 80 yards against this Jets' defense, which still sports the sixth-best run defense grade on the season. The conventional wisdom may have shifted away from the Jets being a dominant running defense, but this should still be another a tough matchup for Todd Gurley.
Devontae Booker's PFF grade in Week 9
We had high hopes for Booker after C.J. Anderson's injury, but he has been a major disappointment so far. He has just 76 rushing yards in his first two starts, and Booker was PFF's worst running back in Week 9 specifically. The offensive line hasn't helped, but Booker didn't force a single missed tackle in Week 9, and had just 15 yards after first contact. The coaching staff has made some noise about getting Kapri Bibbs more involved in the offense, and both should be worth using for Fantasy against this dreadful Saints' defense. However, if Booker has another lackluster day, it's going to be hard for Fantasy owners to trust him down the stretch.
Fantasy points per route run for C.J. Fiedorowicz
Nobody gets excited about Fiedorowicz. He isn't a big-time playmaker, and has just average athleticism at tight end, which makes it hard to see him as a big-upside player. And that's OK. It's hard to find upside at tight end, but it's also hard to find dependability there too, and that might be what Fiedorowicz brings to the table. He is already at career-highs across the board in production, and has emerged as Brock Osweiler's safety blanket lately, with five or more targets in five straight games. He has averaged 8.6 Fantasy points per game in standard scoring in that time, and seems like a safe bet to keep that up heading into a nice stretch of the season with the Jaguars, Raiders, and Chargers on the way.
Dolphins at Chargers
Dolphins' run-blocking grade over the past three games
The conventional wisdom is that Jay Ajayi's strong performance over the past three games has been the result of Miami's offensive line finally getting healthy and clearing the road for him, but PFF's numbers don't seem to jibe with that. Instead, the right interpretation might be that Ajayi is doing most of the heavy lifting himself. He leads all NFL running backs in yards per carry after contact over the past three weeks, and his 15 missed tackles are second. Ajayi looks like a different back, and if the Dolphins' offensive line isn't actually carrying him, that's a good sign for Ajayi's play moving forward.
Ben Roethlisberger on deep passes in Week 9
That Roethlisberger threw the ball deep 13 times even coming off an injury shouldn't come as much of a surprise, because no quarterback is more willing to go deep these days than Big Ben. He throws the ball 20-plus yards down the field on 17.7 percent of his pass attempts, tops in the league, and is usually among the best in the league at it; even with missed time, he ranks fifth in yards on such passes, while his eight touchdowns on deep passes lead the league. The question is, were his struggles in Week 9 a fluke, or the result of his recent knee surgery. And, if it's the latter, is this going to be a long-term issue, or did he just need to get back up to speed? It's a tough question to answer, because he certainly didn't look right last week.
49ers at Cardinals
Yards per attempt allowed by 49ers' corners out of the slot
The last time Larry Fitzgerald saw this 49ers' defense, he had six catches for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns, so you probably don't need much convincing to get him into your starting lineup. However, you should have pretty high expectations coming off the bye for him, because this is an especially good matchup for the veteran. He still lines up out of the slot more often than not, and the 49ers have been essentially hopeless against slot receivers this year. They have allowed 534 yards on 55 catches, with 4 touchdowns, numbers that would rank 12th in Fantasy points per game this season. Fitzgerald is always a solid play, but you can expect WR1 production from him in this matchup.
Seahawks at Patriots
Rusell Wilson's passer rating under pressure in Week 9
Wilson's knee and ankle have been a big source of concern for Fantasy players, but his performance in Week 9 earned some of the highest marks from PFF for a quarterback all season. His mobility remains a concern, and the offensive line rarely does him any favors, but Wilson has managed to hold up well enough to pressure all season, ranking second in passer rating when pressured. And, as anyone who has watched them can attest, it isn't because he rarely faces pressure. Wilson has been pressured on 37.8 percent of his dropbacks, the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. Wilson seemed to bust out of his slump last week, and could keep right on rolling in Week 10, with a matchup against a Patriots' defense that has had trouble generating a pass rush this season.
Bengals at Giants
Giants' pass coverage grade this season
The Giants made a point to improve their defense this offseason, and they seem to have pulled the trick off. PFF grades them out as the 10th-best defense in the league, with their work against the pass ranking second leaguewide. Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have both graded out well this season, allowing a catch rate below 53.0 percent, with only one touchdown allowed between them. A.J. Green has arguably been the best receiver in football this season, but this could be a tough matchup for him if this Giants' secondary continues their high level of play.