Keeping up with 16 games in a week is a lot for some Fantasy players to handle, so here is one key number to know for every game in the NFL's Week 14.
(Numbers from ProFootballFocus.com)
Chiefs' pressure rate over the last three games
Concerns about arbitrary endpoints aside, this is a very good sign for the Chiefs' defense as it heads into the playoffs. And, it isn't exactly an arbitrary endpoint, because the Chiefs got premier pass-rusher Justin Houston back exactly three games ago.The Chiefs had a competent pass rush without Houston, generating pressure on about 30 percent of opposing quarterback dropbacks in the first nine games of the season, but they have gone to another level with Houston around. More than cold weather, or the short week, this pass rush is why you should be worried about Carr on Thursday night. Especially since he had just 13 Fantasy points in his last outing against the Houston-less Chiefs.
Ladarius Green's target share when lined up in the slot
The Steelers ran just nine plays with Green lining up in the slot, but it might be something they want to exploit more moving forward, because he's a matchup nightmare there. Green was targeted on five of his nine routes out of the slot, hauling in three of those passes for 90 yards and his touchdown. Green gives the Steelers another dimension on offense they have been missing all year, a guy who can stretch the field over the middle with defenses focused on Le'Veon Bell in the flats and Antonio Brown out wide. If Green can stay healthy, he promises to have a big role moving forward.
Paxton Lynch's PFF grade in Week 13
You don't need advanced numbers to confirm what was obvious to everyone watching last week: Lynch was not good. He was, in fact, PFF's lowest graded quarterback for Week 13 after he completed just half of his passes while averaging just 4.3 yards per attempt.
The Broncos' wideouts have a fantastic matchup against a Titans' defense that rates as the second worst in pass coverage this season, but it won't matter if Lynch can't get them the ball.
Eagles' passer rating allowed on deep attempts
The Eagles don't have a reputation as a particularly bad pass defense, but a lot of the credit for that belongs squarely with the pass rush, which still rates as one of the best in the league even as the unit as a whole has slipped as the season has gone on. However, when opposing quarterbacks have had time, they have been able to roast the Eagles, completing 44.6 percent of their deep passes for 16.3 yards per attempt. Toss in the 124.5 passer rating and the 13.8 percent touchdown rate, and the Eagles have been worse against deep pass attempts in every way imaginable; they even intercept them just 1.5 percent of the time. Cousins' second-half surge has been fueled by improved play on deep passes, and it could continue in Week 14.
Yards per carry after contact for Jay Ajayi in Week 13
Given that Ajayi leads the league in yards per carry after contact, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that he had another good week in that regard last week. Of course, he needed to put forth a herculean effort just to get to 61 yards on 12 carries, which highlights the tough situation he finds himself in. Ajayi did that agaisnt a tough defense, and faces yet another one in the Cardinals this week. If the Dolphins can keep it close, he has shown he can be productive even against tough front seven's, which makes it hard to sit him even against this matchup.
Panthers' pass coverage grade over the last two weeks
The secondary has been an issue for the Panthers all season, and the absence of Luke Kuechly has only magnified their issues. They also struggled to slow Seattle's running game in Week 13, so all of this could be adding up to a huge Melvin Gordon game if Kuechly's concussion keeps him out. Kuechly is making progress, participating in a limited practice Wednesday, but he remains in the concussion protocol and it isn't clear if he will be cleared by kickoff.
Completions beyond 20 yards downfield for Andy Dalton in Week 13
The loss of A.J. Green was supposed to be bad news for Dalton, but he has actually acquitted himself fairly well, and Week 13 was among the most impressive performances of his career. Dalton completed a number of tough passes en route to 332 yards and a couple of scores against the Eagles, and now he gets to go against an even better matchup. Dalton doesn't have a ton to work with, but he has made the most of it so far.
No-huddle snap percentage for Lions since Week 5
The Lions were among the fastest-paced teams in the NFL in the early going, in keeping with preseason expectations about an uptempo, no-huddle offense built around Matthew Stafford's arm. The offense didn't exactly hum in those first four games, putting up 24.3 points per game, and they went 1-3 as the defense was totally exposed. This Lions' defense still isn't particularly good, but it isn't on the field much lately thanks to a slow-paced game plan that has limited the defense's exposure. As we were reminded again last week in the miserable performance by the Saints, this Lions' defense just isn't one worth targeting for Fantasy purposes anymore.
Colts' pass coverage grade this season
Despite their domination of the Jets last week, the Colts remain the lowest graded pass defense in the NFL. However, just as that pass defense resisted being exposed by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty last week, it's hard to see the Texans doing much against them with Brock Osweiler under center Sunday. DeAndre Hopkins did have a busy day the last time he saw the Colts, catching nine passes, but he had just 71 yards and no score. It will be hard to sit Hopkins against a matchup like this, but don't be surprised if he continues to disappoint.
Blake Bortles' passer rating on deep passes
The Jaguars were inconsistent last season, but you could at least rely on them for some big plays and big numbers in the passing game. Bortles was actually one of the more effective deep passers in the league, hitting his target on 46.9 percent of his passes 20-plus yards downfield, with 10 touchdowns and a 101.9 passer rating. However, Bortles' regression has been felt most acutely on deep attempts, as he has hit just 11 for 51 for 327 yards and only one score, while being intercepted six times. This is a Vikings defense with a penchant for big plays, and it should thrive against Bortles.
Jets at 49ers
49ers' run defense grade
When the Jets can keep the game close and don't have to throw the ball, Matt Forte tends to play pretty well. This isn't exactly a Nobel prize winning finding, but it remains worth repeating, because the pattern has been consistent: Forte had just 10 combined Fantasy points over the past two weeks against the Colts and Patriots, two teams the Jets have had to pass against early and often. Forte had 25 in the previous two games against the Dolphins and Rams, considerably worse offenses. Matchups matter, but a lot less for Forte than game script, as last week against the lowly Colts' defense showed. Luckily, Forte should have both working in his favor, as the 49ers can't stop anyone on the ground, and aren't liable to run away with the game either. Forte should have a very good game.
Saints at Buccaneers
Combined offensive snaps per game this season
The Saints' offense stumbled last week, but as we talked about with the Lions earlier, there are good reasons for that. Those reasons shouldn't be an issue in this matchup because the Saints and Buccaneers rank second and third in offensive snaps this season, indicative of the fast pace both teams play. What could make this game even more high scoring is that both defenses have actually improved their rush defenses of late, meaning there might be even less incentive than usual to grind out possessions on the ground. These two teams should combine for plenty of pass attempts, and it seems safe to expect a lot of scoring too. It should be a nice bounce-back game for the Saints after playing just 62 offensive snaps in Week 13, their second-lowest total of the season.
Falcons at Rams
Yards per carry after contact allowed by Falcons to RB
Todd Gurley's offensive line problems are well documented, but he might actually have a pretty good opportunity to get going this week. The Falcons have struggled to bring opposing ball carriers down, allowing nearly 0.5 yards per carry after contact more than the league average (2.52). They also remain one of the worst teams in the league at covering opposing running backs out of the backfield, having allowed 94 receptions and 779 yards through the air, the worst marks in the league. Gurley has a chance to top 100 all-purpose yards in this matchup, and if he can find the end zone, he might actually start to make up for his struggles.
Yards per carry after contact allowed by Packers' defense to RB
On the other side, the Packers have been great at bringing down opposing ballcarriers. Rawls is the kind of back who seeks out contact and has a knack for coming up with big plays after getting through the first defender he meets. The Seahawks' offensive line remains an issue, so Rawls still has to create a lot of his offense on his own, and that could be a tough task against this defense.
Giants' rush defense grade this season
If you want to slow down this Cowboys' offensive, you need to be able to stop the run, and nobody has really been able to do that this season. Ezekiel Elliott is a huge talent, and he gets to run behind arguably the best offensive line in the game, so it's a lot easier said than done to slow them down. However, the Giants did manage the feat in their first meeting, limiting Elliott to 51 yards on 20 carries all the way back in Week 1. The Cowboys haven't lost since, but the Giants' revamped defensive front has already slowed them down once, so why not a second time?
Ravens at Patriots
Ravens rush defense grade this season
LeGarrette Blount has been shockingly consistent this season, nearing his first 1,000-yard season since 2010 thanks to a solid workload and some typically impressive playmaking from Blount himself. However, because he doesn't factor into the passing game, Blount is still reliant on getting plenty of opportunities, especially near the goal line, to satisfy Fantasy owners' expectations. The Patriots' offense is a bit less dynamic without Rob Gronkowski, hence the lone touchdown for Blount over the past three games, and now he has to go against what has been the best rush defense in the league. This is not an ideal situation for Blount to thrive.