Key Statistic for Every Week 8 Matchup
The following are interesting statistics for every NFL matchup for week 8 in the NFL
Dolphins @ Patriots
Tom Brady has more passing attempts inside the opposition red zone (45) than any other quarterback this season, while his 13 RZ touchdown passes is tied for 1st with Carson Palmer. The return to form of Ndamukong Suh could be incredibly timely, given Brady’s supposed susceptibility to interior pressure, in keeping #12 from having his way with the Dolphins in short yardage situations.
Lions @ Chiefs
He may have a noodle armed quarterback in Alex Smith, but this won’t keep Travis Kelce from making big plays. Kelce leads all tight ends with at least 10 receptions in average yards after the catch this season, at 8.3, which is all the more impressive when you consider that Smith has a league worst 6.6 yards average depth of target.
The Lions have allowed two receiving touchdowns to tight ends in their last four games, and with no Jamaal Charles to worry about Kelce will be the man Detroit should be most afraid of.
Buccaneers @ Falcons
Julio Jones seemed to be back to something approaching his best last Sunday, and this could be bad news for the Bucs. Jones has five receiving touchdowns against the Buccaneers, the most against any team, and few would bet against him adding to this tally on Sunday. Tampa have allowed six receiving scores to wide receivers in their last four games.
Cardinals @ Browns
It’s been a long time since Carson Palmer was a twice a year opponent of the Brown, but he still has happy memories of playing against them. The Cardinals QB has 27 passing touchdowns against the Browns in his career, the most against any single team. He’ll face a tough challenge in adding to his haul on Sunday, as the Browns have only allowed five passing touchdowns all season.
49ers @ Rams
Generating points when inside the opposition ten yard line is something that all offenses could stand to get better at, and these two teams are no exception. 49ers running back Carlos Hyde has gained (?) minus 10 yards on four runs from inside the opposition 10 yard line, while Rams quarterback Nick Foles is a mere 1/6-5-1 inside the opposition 10 yard line. If you like high comedy, you’ll want to tune in when either of these teams start bearing down on each others end zone.
Giants @ Saints
Mark Ingram is fantasy football’s second highest scoring running back this season, despite playing less than 60% of his teams offensive snaps. When one considers that he has a 94% catch rate, his full fantasy value could be so much higher if he wasn’t inexplicably losing rushing to Khiry Robinson and receptions to CJ Spiller. The Giants have been middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposition runners over the last month, so Ingram could be in for another solid day.
Vikings @ Bears
There are not many teams that can claim to have enjoyed facing Adrian Peterson over the course of his career, and the Chicago Bears are no exception. AP averages 20.1 fantasy points per game against the Bears. Only 12 teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposition running backs than the Bears this season though, and Peterson is three games past his last 100 yard rushing day.
Chargers @ Ravens
While much of his best work has been done in garbage time, it’s hard to not be impressed by Phil Rivers production recently. #17 is averaging 390 passing yards per game in his last four games, which is potentially bad news for the Ravens. John Harbaugh’s charges have allowed 300 yards passing in four of their six games and an average of 283 per game in 2015. This could get bloody for Baltimore.
Bengals @ Steelers
Much maligned in the past for his performance in the big games (although John Madden once asked what a little game in the NFL was), Andy Dalton has saved something like his best for matches against Pittsburgh, from a personal production standpoint. While 2-6 against them, the Steelers are the only AFC North team that Andy Dalton has more touchdown passes (11) than interceptions against (7). Dalton is fantasy’s third highest scoring QB in 2014, with 14 scores against just two picks.
For the Steelers, it seems like Ben Roethlisberger could be set to return, which is only good news for Antonio Brown, who did not enjoy much chemistry with Mike Vick. Brown has been ruthlessly efficient in his career against the Bengals, reeling in 70% of all of his passing targets, his best against any AFC North opponent.
Titans @ Texans
Houston’s past and present collide on Sunday, with the Titans hoping Marcus Mariota can resume operations under center. He would offer their best chance of breaking a stunning recent trend, with the Titans having just one 300 yard passer against the Texans in their last 22 meetings, and that was back in 2013 when Jake Locker (remember him) torched the Texans for 309 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Texans, for all their frailties, have only allowed one 300 yard passer all season, namely Blake Bortles.
Jets @ Raiders
Despite playing in different divisions, the Jets and the Raiders have been fairly regular opponents over the last 20 years. In 14 meetings between the two since 1996 though, there have been only three instances of a Jets quarterback throwing more than one touchdown in a game, and never more than two. The Raiders have allowed the 10th most fantasy points to opposition signal callers this season, so now would be a good time for Ryan Fitzpatrick to break this streak.
As for Oakland, their boy wonder Amari Cooper comes up against a Jets defense allowing the 4th fewest passing yards per game this season, but they will have to prepare for the YAC attack. Cooper leads all wide receivers with 302 yards after the catch in his rookie campaign.
Seahawks @ Cowboys
The two time defending NFC Champions must be glad that Marshawn Lynch is returning to something approaching his best. Russell Wilson is averaging just 238 yard passing this season, “good” for 28th amongst all NFL signal callers in per game terms. He has not imposed himself on the Cowboys in his two career meetings with them either, as he has not topped 151 yard passing in either of these games. For the Cowboys, their numerous injuries have led to them returning Jason Witten to gameplan importance AND fantasy relevance. Witten saw just eight red zone targets in the whole 2014 season, and through this season’s first seven weeks he already has seven.
The Seahawks have seen opposition tight ends score three times in the last four weeks, which is potentially great news for Witten…if his QB can be trusted.
Packers @ Broncos
A few weeks ago, one would have been tempted to call this a clash between an irresistible force and an immovable object, as the Packers purring passing attack locked horns with the Bronco’s stellar defense. This isn’t quite the case for one of these teams at present – In Aaron Rodgers only game against the Broncos, he posted a 29/38-408-4-1 line. It would be quite something for him to reproduce such an effort against Wade Phillips boys, with the Broncos allowing a league low 192.2 passing yard per game.
They have only allowed one passing touchdown to a wide receiver in 2015.
Colts @ Panthers
At the beginning of the season, this match was billed as a clash between a team seriously considered to be their conferences Super Bowl representative and a mediocre outfit lucky to be playing in the division they are. This is still the case, but the Prince and the Pauper have changed clothes. The unbalanced Colts offense has done little to assist Andy Luck, with zero 100 yard rushers this season, none since 2012 and only FIVE since the beginning of the 2008 season. The Panthers have been generous to opposition running backs of late, allowing the sixth most fantasy points per game to tailbacks over the last four weeks. The Colts are the only team that Cam Newton has played against that he has thrown neither a touchdown pass or an interception, though he did complete 20 of his 27 pass attempts during that meeting. The Colts have allowed the 14th most rushing yards to opposition quarterbacks this season with 88, and Cam is currently averaging 40.8 rushing yards per game.
Neil’s been playing fantasy football for ten years, including a victory in 2014 in a league arranged by NFL.com Fantasy expert Adam Rank. Huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, and follows the fortunes of the England cricket team, usually with his head in his hands for both. Neil lives with his fiancé Kate and their daughter Zoe. He is an atrocious Words with Friends player.