Want to understand the game better, hunt for future break out players or try to spot trouble before it happens? “Beyond TDs and Tackles” will be offering a handful of players and situations that you should consider when you are watching the games or even just looking at the box score. Everyone knows which players blew up over the weekend but you can gain advantages by following the changes as they start and get better definition on how to value players. Have any questions? Just hit me on twitter @SteveGalloNFL or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revis Island seemed like a mirage early this year but now it’s crystal clear that it’s a real place and one that you don’t want your WR to visit. So far this year, Revis has allowed just 19 catches for 128 yards which includes 43 YAC (yards after the catch) and one touchdown. This week he faces Calvin Johnson. Calvin Johnson is averaging 6.6 catches, 120.3 receiving yards and 1.2 TDs per game. That’s good for an average of over 25 fantasy points per game. There’s no way you are going to bench Johnson just because he’s facing Revis this weekend, but don’t be shocked to see him have his worst fantasy performance to date. Below is a table with a few CBs that can lockdown a players fantasy production.
*Passer rating is based on a QBs passer rating throwing at that CB.
Peyton Manning put on a clinic against the Chiefs in week 11. Not in how many yards he threw for or based on touchdowns, but because of how quickly he was getting rid of the ball. In that game the Chiefs logged just 9 total QB Pressures (Sacks+Hits+Hurries). All 9 were from hurries. That’s right, the hobbled Manning wasn’t sacked or even hit by the Chiefs vaunted pass rush. If you can keep your QB “clean” then he’ll have the ability to put up good fantasy numbers. Below is a list of QBs that will have a hard time staying “clean”.
Allowed To QBs Ranking
The NFL might be a passing league, but a defensive line that can “shutdown” an opponent’s running game makes things much easier on their defense. Below is a table with RBs that face teams that do a great job shutting down the running game.
|Fantasy Pts Allowed
To RBs Ranking
Coming back from the bye Gronkowski got back to putting up top-shelf fantasy numbers. Early on in the matchup against the Panthers he hadn’t done much but by the end of the game he had his. Week 11 also saw Gronkowski play in 62 snaps (86%), the most he’s played since returning from injury.
||Snaps/% Snaps Played
||Fantasy Pts (PPR)
This week Gronkowski faces a Broncos team that has allowed the 5th most points to TEs this year. The Gronk Express is picking up steam as the fantasy playoffs approach. Waiting until week 7 for him to return to service wasn’t what anyone wanted, but those that showed patience and kept him stashed on their rosters are now being richly rewarded.
After their week 11 loss, Mike Smith, Head Coach of the Falcons said, “I thought Antone [Smith] showed some explosiveness when he got the ball in his hands. I think it’s going to be imperative that we try to get him incorporated into our offense.” He added, “You saw his speed and his ability to make people miss. He’s a guy who should [get] and deserve some touches [due to] what he did on Sunday afternoon.” Late in the game, when the Buccaneers had the game well in hand Smith racked up 88 yards and a TD. Fifty of those yards came on his touchdown run (Check out this Vine to see the hole that Smith scampered through.) All told he only had two carries. Yet, Smith is telling us that he needs more carries and the Falcons need to TRY to incorporate him into their offense. Prior to week 11, for his career – he came into the league in 2010 – Smith had carried the ball two times for 5 yards. Did you run out and nab Smith off the waiver wire? Did you take Smith’s word as gospel? Or did you see how big that hole was – it was a nice run but I digress – that he scored his TD on? Did you notice he was running against backups? Did you notice that on Thursday Night Football against the Saints that Smith incorporated Smith into the offense for 1 carry (11 yards)? You can’t always believe what you hear coming from a coach, but you need to be able to read between the lines. That along with watching tape will help you to make much more informed decisions.
SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE
The Chiefs lost their first game of the season last week against the Broncos. This week the key to who wins or loses between them and the Chargers will be decided by who wins in the passing game; the Chiefs defense or the Chargers offense.
2013 Regular Season Play Direction Report for San Diego Chargers
2013 Regular Season Play Direction Report for Kansas City Chiefs
The previous images illustrate how this game will pit strength against strength. Will the offense or defense win? If you’re a Phillip Rivers, Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen or Antonio Gates owner, you had better hope the offense wins. However, one thing is for sure, for whoever wins, “Something’s Gotta Give!”