Hope you didn’t miss me too much! Jake did an admirable job filling in for me, as always, and didn’t hurt you too bad last week. This week, we’ve got a whole lot of betting to do to make up for last week. We already had our first wild result of the week, with the Ravens falling to the Dolphins in a bit of surprise. I’m sure there are many more surprises to come, but hopefully, they happen on my non-recommended bets, because my clout isn’t allowed to take any more damage.
Adam’s Betting Record: 26-28 (We are nearly back to .500!)
Matt Ryan OVER 291.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Ryan OVER 290.5 Passing Yards (-114)
Matt Ryan is quietly racking up the passing yardage for the Falcons — if only because the Falcons’ run game is just atrocious — which should continue against the Cowboys. While Dallas’ pass defense rates quite favorably (7th in Pass DVOA), I think Ryan is going to have to work very hard to keep the Falcons in this game, and that starts with his arm.
Let’s take a quick look at Ryan’s game log:
While he’s not regularly throwing for 300 yards, Ryan has been able to pass the ball quite easily for most of the season, including last week’s heroic effort against the Saints. And, he’ll have the opportunity to do so this week, despite Dallas playing some pretty mediocre run defense, because the Falcons’ rushing offense is dead last in the league by DVOA. Last week, Atlanta’s rushing offense combined for an incredible 34 yards on 25 carries (that’s an average of 1.4 yards per carry, by the way). The Falcons’ leading rusher was Mike Davis, who took the ball 9 times for just 13 yards (1.4 YPC).
This isn’t an isolated incident, either. The Falcons average 80.4 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks 29th out of 32 teams. They just don’t get it done on the ground.
All of this is not to bash Mike Davis or my personal hero, Cordarrelle Patterson. Any RB would have trouble finding running lanes behind this offensive line, which means that Matt Ryan is going to have to air the ball out, regardless of the score.
Also, a quick note on Dallas’ pass DVOA: They are a strong pass defense unit. However, they still give up plenty of passing yardage, ranking 12th out of 32 in passing yards allowed. That’s just fine with us, as Matt Ryan passing yard investors. If you’re a Matt Ryan fantasy investor, it might also help you to know that the Cowboys’ defense has given up the 6th-most fantasy points to the QB position, so Ryan may not be a bad option.
Also consider: Matt Ryan OVER 1.5 Passing TDs (DK, -165)
Josh Allen OVER 33.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Josh Allen OVER 32.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Fresh off of a week in which the Bills’ players were replaced by inept, non-football-playing lookalikes, Josh Allen gets another opportunity to rack up the yardage against a suspect Jets defense. The Jets rank as FootballOutsiders’ worst NFL defense by DVOA, including a 31st-ranked rushing defense. That’s good news for Buffalo’s second-leading rusher, who is averaging 5.6 yards per carry this season and approximately 40 yards per game.
Somewhat worrisome is that the Jets do not allow a lot of QB rushing yardage this season, ranking as the best team in the NFL in limiting QB rushing yardage. That number is slightly jilted by the type of QBs that the Jets have encountered this season, listed below:
- Sam Darnold
- Mac Jones
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Ryan Tannehill
- Matt Ryan
- Mac Jones again
- Joe Burrow
- Carson Wentz
Not exactly a group known for leaving the pocket and making plays with their legs. So, that QB rushing yardage mark might be a little misleading. But, I’ll leave it up to you, as the smart and well-read fantasy bettor, to make the final decision.
Bonus: Josh Allen looks good in shorts!
— Jon Scott (@JonScottTV) September 26, 2021
Also consider: Josh Allen OVER 322.5 Passing + Rushing Yards (DK, -115)
Adrian Peterson UNDER 43.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Adrian Peterson UNDER 32.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
I don’t know how you keep doing it, old man, but welcome back to the NFL.
Peterson, D’Onta Foreman, and Jeremy McNichols have the unenviable task of trying to replace the King, Derrick Henry, in the Titans’ offense. Last week, it was Foreman who came out on top in terms of rushing yardage, but it was Peterson who got the majority of the carries, as the carries were split as follows:
- Peterson: 10 carries, 21 yards
- McNichols: 7 carries, 24 yards
- Foreman: 5 carries, 29 yards
I’m not totally sure what to make of this result. If you invested in Adrian Peterson, you’re probably pleased to see that Peterson ended up with the most carries and salvaged his fantasy day with a TD. If you invested in McNichols or Foreman, you might also be pleased to see that they outproduced Peterson in terms of rushing yardage. But how much of that out-producing is from Peterson being rusty? Does this mean anything for the carries going forward? Are we headed towards the dreaded Running Back By Committee?
My guess is that Peterson is going to see a little more action this week as he gets more accustomed to the Titans’ playbook. McNichols and Foreman are probably going to see their share, but there should be 12 or so (at least!) carries in the works for Peterson.
At the same time, Peterson and the Titans get to square off against the NFL’s best rushing defense by DVOA. The Saints have stuffed opposing RBs with reckless abandon, holding their opponents to just 73.8 rushing yards per game. That’s not a promising matchup for whichever Titans RB gets the ball handed to them.
Peterson isn’t going to see a big enough workload to justify this type of rushing/receiving yardage number. It seems low at the moment, but I think the oddsmakers have baked in a lot of optimism about Peterson returning to his former self (or, similar to Frank Gore, an efficient rushing machine), but I find it hard to believe that a man with 2 weeks of practice, going up against the NFL’s best rushing defense, in what appears to be an RBBC for the time being, will pick up more than 44 yards from scrimmage.
Also consider: Adrian Peterson OVER 4.5 Receiving Yards (DK, -120)
Najee Harris OVER 125.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (DK, -120)
On Fanduel: Harris OVER 29.5 Receiving Yards (-114)
Harris has bounced all over the place in his receiving yardage totals, but I think this is one of those ‘boom’ weeks and not a ‘bust’ week. If there’s any week to pick up some yardage through the air, it’s this one, against the Lions. Couple that with what should be a nice opportunity for the Steelers to get ahead early and hand the ball off to the running backs to salt away the game clock, and Harris should roll.
The Lions have done an adequate job of limiting RB passing yardage (8th-best in the NFL) but have done such a poor job of limiting rushing yardage (8th-worst). They also happen to rank 25th against the rush by DVOA and 28th in Run Stop Win Rate. Take your pick of the stats, the Lions simply don’t limit the run.
And, with Harris’s workload, he should be able to take advantage of those opportunities. Harris’ workload has really picked up since the calendar flipped to October:
Over the past month(ish), Harris has really started to churn up the yardage, especially in that game against Denver. I think it’s because the Steelers are getting more comfortable handing the ball off to him and letting him carry the offense and take some of the workload off of Big Ben. Whatever the reason is, that increased workload means good news for fantasy investors and bettors.
I credit some of his struggles last week to the opponent, as I don’t think Harris is going to be held to under 3 YPC very often. He’s no Mike Davis. Besides, this week should be quite different, as I’ve already outlined for you some of the issues Detroit is having defending the run. The Steelers should have the ball in their hands quite often (T.J. Watt, have you met Jared Goff?), as their defense should be able to get the ball back quickly. It’s just a matter of whether Big Ben decides to dump the ball off to Harris or hand the ball off to him.
Also consider: Harris OVER 93.5 Rushing Yards (-115)