Our DVOA-adjusted Pass and Run game rankings are back for Week 10!
Last week, we were accurate in predicting how the passing environments would turn out. My system’s top-nine teams all finished in the top 13 for passing yards, and seven were top 10. The Bengals (12th, Joe Mixon eruption) and Bills (13th, no excuse) were the two that just missed the top 10. Also, our four recommended fades were spot-on, with the Rams, Falcons, Texans and Panthers all failing to hit even 200 passing yards.
Concerning the rushing environments, we had a solid week. Five of my system’s top-eight recommendations finished in the top 10 for team rush yards on the week. Fading the Buccaneers and Chiefs paid off nicely, too.
Passing game targets
Patrick Mahomes is a baller. He doesn’t care about my affinity for DVOA, EPA, CIA or any other acronym. He faces a Jaguars team stout against the run (fifth in YPC), but lenient vs passers. They rank poorly against TEs (25th in EPA) and are middling against slot WRs (22nd). Travis Kelce should eat.
Your weekly reminder that injuries are not accounted for. The reports we have been seeing all week have my head spinning. Will Josh Allen play? If so, how limited will he be? He has a juicy matchup waiting. The Vikings are 32nd against non-slot WR, so it would be a Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis week.
Tua Tagovailoa and the gang are ready to take on the Browns, who are decent vs. slot WRs (6th), but beatable otherwise (21st vs. non-slot WR). Jaylen Waddle runs nearly 80% of his routes out wide. Tyreek Hill also runs over half of his routes out wide (61.5%). Stack them all together for extra fun.
Fire up sensational rookie WR Chris Olave. The Steelers are 30th against non-slot WR, and Olave spends 73% of his routes out wide. Be careful about TEs, though, as Pittsburgh ranks second against the position.
Seattle is mediocre at defending WRs both in the slot (18th) and otherwise (11th), but their kryptonite is TE (31st). Cade Otten has run the third-most routes on the team, behind only Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Ich bin ein Buccaneer.
It is a little surprising to see the Browns here, but if you want to compete with Miami, you need to throw with success. The Dolphins are abysmal against TE (28th) and below-average against non-slot WR (23rd). Fire up Harrison Bryant and Amari Cooper.
TE Dallas Goedert has been excellent this year, but, if only for a week, I am hopping off of the train. The Commanders rank 5th against the position, and second against the run. The way to move the ball on them is with non-slot WRs (25th). Another Jalen Hurts and AJ Brown week.
Playing keep-up with Mahomes will be an uphill climb for Trevor Lawrence and company. But the way to do it is with slot WR Christian Kirk. Kansas City is ranked 31st against slot receivers.
Rushing game targets
Saquon Barkley is in line for a massive workload off of a bye week, against a terrible run defense (31st). He’s likely the comeback player of the year.
Justin Fields may take all the yards, so be cautious with assumptions for the RBs in this situation. If the Bears can build a lead, they would likely opt to let David Montgomery take the punishment as opposed to their franchise QB. Detroit is 26th in defensive rush EPA.
Green Bay defends the pass well and is 24th in defensive rush EPA. That is a winning formula for Tony Pollard. If only Ezekiel Elliot would sit it out.
With D’Andre Swift not fully healthy, we don’t know what kind of backfield split we will see against Chicago’s 27th-ranked rush defense.
Nick Chubb could feast on Miami if that is the game plan to keep the explosive Dolphins offense off of the field for as long as possible. The EPA looks a bit more solid than desired, with Miami ranked ninth.
Derek Henry has been on quite the roll. With the best-ranked WR defense, the way to beat Denver is on the ground (23rd).
I trust a healthy Christian McCaffery against the Chargers’ 29th-ranked rush defense, allowing the most yards per rush in the league.
(Stats courtesy of Football Outsiders and TruMedia Networks)