Our DVOA-adjusted pass and run game rankings are back for Week 14!
Last week was excellent, with focus players A.J. Brown, Christian Kirk, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, Josh Jacobs, and A.J. Dillon producing well, in line with our predictions.
Commensurate with my system, the passing attacks of the Bears, Colts, and Titans, and the rushing attacks of the Dolphins, Broncos, and Patriots were all underwhelming. Nice!
Passing Game Targets
Tua Tagovailoa on top is my prediction. In the battle of the young franchise QBs, you can trust Tua in a bounce-back spot against a suspect defense. The Chargers are 20th vs. slot WRs, 28th vs. TEs, and are allowing the third-most points per game. Play Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in what could be a track meet.
Minnesota can’t stop WRs lined up wide, and allows the most points and pass yards per game in the league. Find a way to play Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and/or sprinkle in one of the other Lions wideouts (D.J. Chark, Kalif Raymond, or rookie Jameson Williams). Feel free to run it back with Justin Jefferson, as the Vikings just missed the top few pass game plays in my system this week.
They put up a bit of a dud as a team last week, but they have the talent to put up points, and a coach who can get the best from his players. Playing the interdivisional Titans will be a stiff challenge. Tennessee ranks second vs. the rush, so if Doug Peterson wants to move the ball, let QB Trevor Lawrence orchestrate with Zay Jones and Christian Kirk. The Titans are beatable through the air, ranking 30th vs. non-slot WRs, 21st vs. slot WRs, and allowing the second-most passing yards per game.
Interesting, because the best way to beat Cleveland is on the ground against their 32nd-ranked rush defense. The Browns defend the slot well (sixth), but fare much worse against non-slot WRs (24th). This indicates that it will be a “play Tee Higgins or Ja’Marr Chase and fade Tyler Boyd” game. Joe Burrow has proven that he has a decent ceiling recently.
Kansas City Chiefs
Denver defense is serious business. The Chiefs appearing here is entirely a product of their offensive prowess, and not any shortcoming of Denver. Their defense ranks first overall vs. WRs and 10th vs. TEs. While Patrick Mahomes has looked MVP-worthy, the Chiefs have not scored more than 30 points since October. This feels trappy. I would only consider Travis Kelce here, and he is no way a lock.
The other side of the Dolphins game, Justin Herbert will need to keep getting the best out of his healthy receivers if they want to keep up with the fast Dolphins attack. Miami ranks 26th in points allowed, 16th vs. slot WR, and 23rd vs. TE. This could be a Gerald Everett week.
Passing Game Fades: Texans, Giants, Panthers
Rushing Game Targets
Give Tony Pollard the job already! Ezekiel Elliott still lingers, so it is difficult to guess which player outperforms expectations, but why not both? The Texans are not a good team, ranking 22nd vs. the rush, 28th in yards per game allowed, and 25th in first downs per game allowed. We really could see a split backfield where both players excel.
A week after “pass-first Eagles” came to fruition, we should get “ground and pound Eagles” this week. While you can beat the Giants through the air, Philadelphia shouldn’t need to. The G-men are 24th vs. the rush, 24th in yards per play, and 30th in first downs per game allowed. Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts are both viable plays in DFS.
Cincinnati defends TEs and wideouts well, but struggles against slot WRs (28th) and rushers (21st). Expect a heavy dose of Nick Chubb to keep Burrow and company off of the field. Chubb warrants your consideration.
Who is their running back? They play Seattle’s 28th-ranked rush defense, so figure it out and use him as a punt RB if you need to save salary. D’Onta Foreman seems to be the top dog for now.
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley has been up and down this season, but maybe the Eagles’ 25th-ranked rush defense is the proper elixir. He is the focus of the Giants’ offense, which means that he has both opportunity and the attention of defensive coordinators. Considering his pass-catching abilities and his workload (and Daniel Jones threatening to run himself), I would consider Barkely a decent consideration.
Run Game Fades: Buccaneers, Chargers, Jaguars
(Stats courtesy of Football Outsiders and Trumedia Networks)