A quick reminder that the focus of this column is to show the impact of offensive line play on your fantasy players. If you ever have any questions about specific players as it relates to how their team’s offensive line will fare in a game and I didn’t cover them in this column please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter. @SethFriederman
Offensive Lines That Should Dominate
Los Angeles Rams (vs Texans) – The Rams are near the top in every offensive category. Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, Jamon Brown, and Rob Havenstein have been an outstanding overall unit this season. They are called on to run block much more than pass block as the Rams pass the ball around 30 times a game which is in the bottom five league-wide. Even there though they are giving Jared Goff ample time to take shots downfield. The Texans are staring at the remains of a once-promising season and with all of their injuries, I believe the Rams will steamroll them with Todd Gurley and then use play action to take shots downfield. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp could pay dividends in your line up and Sammy Watkins is in play as a dart throw.
Chicago Bears (vs Packers) – Although the Bears are one of the least potent offenses in the league that’s not because of their O-line. You may recall a few weeks back when I showered praise on their unit. Their strong D, solid line, and the great running of Jordan Howard have kept them competitive in many games where a team with a rookie QB with no one to throw to should have gotten blown out. Week Ten’s opponent the Packers is weak against the run and even weaker against the pass. With the Packers unable to finish drives and consequently running far fewer plays than their opponents I like the Bears line to dominate and for Howard to have a huge game.
New England Patriots (vs Broncos) – Tackle Marcus Cannon‘s absence is a major blow to the Patriots. It also could mean Von Miller will be raining blows down upon Tom Brady. The Patriots this season have been far and away a pass first offense. However it’s also looking like the Pats will be without Chris Hogan. I have faith in Bill Belichick however to utilize the run game and the quick pass to move the ball. The traditional straight ahead run game has not fared well against the Broncos D so far this season and their linebackers do cover RB’s well. Look for New England to try to run a lot of misdirection and stretch plays which they can do well. Think more James White and Dion Lewis with Nate Solder and Joe Thuney leading the way.
Offensive Lines That Should Struggle
Washington Redskins (vs Vikings) – No unit is more devastated by injuries right now than the Skin’s offensive line. Their win over the Seahawks last week was miraculous and due solely to Kirk Cousins. As luck wouldn’t have it their opponent this week is the Vikings whose defense is one of the best in the league in both pass defense and run defense. Not to mention unlike Seattle they get to the QB with alarming regularity. Toxic brew for Washington that leaves them choking. I wouldn’t even start Capt. Kirk this week if you have other options.
San Diego Chargers (vs Jaguars) – Okay, anyone vs the Jags is a recipe for pain and punishment. But we’ve all seen that the Chargers this year are a balanced and mildly potent offense. I see this shaping up as a good test for the Sacksonville D. The reason I believe that the Chargers will struggle is the one on one match ups, particularly up the middle with Abry Jones, Malik Jackson, and Marcell Dareus of Jacksonville doing battle with Spencer Pulley, Dan Feeney, and Kenny Wiggins from Los Angeles. We already know what a headache the Jaguars ends are causing the league but with Dareus added to the mix they can get more push and pressure up the middle and I don’t believe that Chargers offense will have time to execute.
Buffalo Bills (vs Saints) – This is one of my favorite games of Week 10. A great New Orleans defense against a very good Buffalo offense. Can the surging D line lead by Cam Jordan & Alex Okafor get past Cordy Glen & Jordan Mills into the backfield and disrupt LeSean McCoy & Tyrod Taylor? I think the answer is yes particularly with Mills whose inconsistency is one of the things holding this unit back. The addition of Kelvin Benjamin and the return of Charles Clay will definitely help the offense but as far as the line play goes advantage Saints.