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Matchups, prediction for battle between AFC juggernauts

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A Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills game in October sure does feel like an AFC Championship Game preview. I know the Chiefs are 2-2, and their defense has been, well, the worst in the NFL. But they still have Patrick Mahomes, and if anybody can take a bottom-five defense to a Super Bowl, it’s him. Conversely, the Bills lost to a terrible (towel) team in Week 1 but have since thoroughly dominated their next three opponents.

Kansas City Chiefs offense vs. Buffalo Bills defense

This is a battle of the beasts. The Chiefs currently boast the league’s top offense, and by quite a margin. They’re first in both DVOA and EPA/play, and they’re second in success rate, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys.

Buffalo’s defense has possibly been even more impressive than Kansas City’s offense. Currently, their weighted DVOA sits at -49.4%. If the Bills keep up that performance through 17 games, their defense would rank as the best in the history of the DVOA database, which dates back to 1983. It would nearly DOUBLE the mark of a vaunted defense like the 2013 Seahawks (-27.9%).

However, defensive performance is often a product of the opposing team’s offense, and more importantly, the opposing quarterback — and Buffalo hasn’t faced many impressive offenses. I wouldn’t expect the Bills to post their third shutout of the season in Week 5.

Patrick Mahomes vs. Bills defense

As time passes, I’m more and more convinced that Patrick Mahomes is actually from a different planet. It’s difficult to watch any quarterback after watching Mahomes because no one can do half the things he can as a playmaker. The thing is, I’m not sure if Mahomes gets enough credit for his ability to play on schedule as a more traditional pocket passer.

The Bills have a top-3 NFL cornerback in Tre’Davious White, and their safety tandem is arguably the best in football. Additionally, their defensive line — particularly their pass rush — has drastically improved thanks to a slimmed-down A.J. Epenesa and rookie Gregory Rousseau. Meanwhile, Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds form an outstanding linebacking duo.

But they aren’t Patty.

Advantage: Chiefs

Chiefs weapons vs. Bills defensive backs

Pound for pound, I like the Bills’ defensive backs over the Chiefs’ weapons. Mahomes is the engine that makes Kansas City’s weapons go. I say this while acknowledging that Tyreek Hill is the best receiver in the NFL and Travis Kelce is the leagues’ best tight end. But they are undoubtedly elevated by the play of their quarterback.

On the opposite side, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, White, Milano, and Edmunds are all performing at a high level for the Bills. So, even though I believe the Chiefs’ offense will move the ball on a hat-on-hat basis, I think the Bills have more talent.

Advantage: Bills

Chiefs offensive line vs. Bills front seven

As good as the Bills’ front seven has been so far in 2021, the Chiefs’ revamped offensive line has been just as impressive. Creed Humphrey hasn’t simply been one of the best rookies in the league — he’s been one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. Of all the heavyweight matchups in this game, this is the one I’m most excited about.

If the Bills are going to make Mahomes uncomfortable, it’ll come off the edges. Orlando Brown Jr. and Lucas Niang haven’t been bad, but if there were any sort of weakness on Kansas City’s OL, it would be against good edge defenders.

I can’t wait to watch two of my favorites from the 2020 NFL draft — Epenesa and Niang — go at it on Sunday Night Football. That is if Epenesa is healthy enough to go in Week 5.

Advantage: Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs defense vs. Buffalo Bills offense

This one doesn’t need much text. Buffalo’s offense hasn’t looked as good as we expected so far in 2021, but they dominated the once-heralded Washington Football Team defense. There aren’t usually big discrepancies between DVOA rankings and EPA rankings, but the Bills’ offense is 9th in EPA/play and just 17th in DVOA.

The Chiefs’ defense is atrocious. I know it’s been bad for a while now, but this is so much different. They’re the worst in the league nearly any way you look at it. They can’t stop the run to save their lives, and you have to dig deep to find teams worse defending the pass.

Josh Allen vs. Chiefs defense

If I was allowed, I’d simply “LOL” this category and walk away. However, I need to break down the reasons why Allen has the advantage against the Chiefs’ defense. Allen is good and athletic, and Kansas City’s defense is really bad everywhere. I’ll explain more in the next few categories.

Advantage: Bills

Bills weapons vs. Chiefs defensive backs

Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Gabriel Davis, and Dawson Knox against Tyrann Mathieu. I know Honey Badger doesn’t give a rip, but even one of the fiercest animals in the kingdom can’t survive that gauntlet.

I can’t see a world where the Chiefs get consistent defensive stops against Buffalo, and those pass catchers are a big reason why.

Advantage: Bills

Bills offensive line vs. Chiefs front seven

The Bills’ offensive line certainly isn’t made up of world-beaters, but the Chiefs’ front seven isn’t anything to write home about either. However, if Kansas City wants to win this game, they must be able to pressure and contain Allen to the pocket — which is a tall ask given his frame and athleticism.

The Bills have been good as a run-blocking team so far in 2021, which spells doom for the Chiefs. Kansas City has far and away the worst run defense in the league, doubling the inefficiency of the next-closest team.

Advantage: Bills

Betting line and game prediction

The Kansas City Chiefs are currently 3-point favorites against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football. With the Chiefs being 2-2, the Arrowhead crowd should be as rowdy as they’ve been in recent years.

I chose the Bills as my preseason Super Bowl participant from the AFC, but I can’t see the Chiefs actually holding a losing record five games into an NFL season with Mahomes under center. Even if Kansas City’s defense ends up being historically bad, Mahomes can wash away the sins of a franchise.

Every fiber of my being says the Bills should win, but my gut is calling a shootout victory for the Chiefs, with Mahomes appearing in my Player of the Week piece come Monday.

Prediction: Chiefs 38, Bills 35



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Can the Bengals prevail over the Ravens?

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Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season has some lopsided games on paper to make picks and predictions for. While picking the winner of those games should be easy in theory, the NFL is well-known for its upsets. Additionally, making NFL betting picks and predictions against the spread when the spread is double digits in so many games is always tough.

NFL picks and predictions Week 7 | NFL lines and odds

Let’s look at the current NFL odds and lines entering Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season. A combination of mismatches according to the current NFL standings and the second set of bye weeks for 2021 has made this an extremely intriguing week for sportsbooks and for people trying to pick how Week 7 will go in the NFL.

Thursday Night Football picks and predictions | Week 7

Here are the Week 7 picks, predictions, and NFL odds for Thursday’s game as of 5:30 AM ET on October 18.

Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns (-5.5)

Time and channel: 8:20 PM ET, FOX, NFL Network, and Amazon Prime

The injury to Baker Mayfield and key parts of the Browns’ offense makes this a fascinating game to decipher. The Broncos started strong in 2021, but that appears to have been a product of an easy opening schedule. Since then, Denver has struggled, manifesting as three straight losses.

The Browns have been a strong team on both sides of the ball, but their 3-3 record does not reflect that. However, their three losses have come against good teams in the Chiefs, Chargers, and Cardinals. The Browns should win this game, but the injury to Mayfield makes it tough to be bullish on that, and a one-score game seems a likely outcome.

Broncos vs. Browns Prediction: Browns 24, Broncos 20

Sunday Week 7 free NFL picks and predictions

Here are the Week 7 picks and predictions and NFL odds for Sunday’s games as of 5:30 AM ET on October 18.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-6.5)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

What an AFC North clash we have on our hands here. Joe Burrow and the Bengals have looked impressive at times, but all four of their wins have come against questionable competition. Meanwhile, the Ravens have defeated both the Chiefs and Chargers in their 5-1 start. It is hard to look beyond the home team, but it would be wrong to write off the Bengals completely.

Bengals vs. Ravens Prediction: Ravens 24, Bengals 21

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

For a long time on Sunday, it looked like Washington was going to play the Chiefs close. However, once Patrick Mahomes clicked, the game got out of hand reasonably quickly. The Packers also made defeating the Bears look tough at times this week. Green Bay is the better team, but winning by 10 points seems like a lot to ask. A Packers victory by around a touchdown feels like the right result here.

Washington vs. Packers Prediction: Packers 28, Washington 21

Atlanta Falcons (-1) at Miami Dolphins

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

The situation surrounding this game is intriguing. Miami is flying straight back from their London game while the Falcons are coming off a bye week after a London game. The Dolphins just lost a heartbreaker that left major question marks surrounding the future of Brian Flores.

Trusting either of these teams is close to impossible in Week 7. The Falcons will be more rested, and the heat and humidity of Miami — which can upset some visiting teams — should not have a major effect on Atlanta.

Falcons vs. Dolphins Prediction: Falcons 24, Dolphins 23

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-6.5)

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

The Patriots absolutely humiliated the Jets and Zach Wilson the last time these two met. It is really hard to see how this can go any differently after witnessing the performance by Wilson in London. However, the Patriots have major question marks right now. Losing to a divisional rival that is also one of the worst teams in the league would set off major alarm bells in Foxborough.

Jets vs. Patriots Prediction: Patriots 26, Jets 17

Carolina Panthers (-3) at New York Giants

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, FOX

How you make a pick or a prediction for these two NFL teams in Week 7 is beyond me at this point. The Panthers looked so good early in the season, but Sunday was a horror show. They got back into it, only to leave too much time on the clock and lose anyway. As for the Giants, their focus should already be on the future of their franchise, especially the QB and coaching staff. The Panthers should win this, but it is hard to see it being a convincing victory.

Panthers vs. Giants Prediction: Panthers 23, Giants 20

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Tennessee Titans

Time and channel: 1 PM ET, CBS

The situation surrounding this game may change after Monday Night Football, but right now, it is hard to imagine how the Titans’ defense does anything other than get shredded by the Chiefs’ offense. Tennessee’s offense should be able to move the ball on the Chiefs, which could make this close. However, in a shootout type game, give me Mahomes and Tyreek Hill over Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry.

Chiefs vs. Titans Prediction: Chiefs 30, Titans 24

Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams (-15.5)

Time and channel: 4:05 PM ET, FOX

The Lions were an abject disaster in Week 6, while the Rams were sublime. If this were an early kickoff in Detroit, I’d give the Lions a shred of hope. However, the Rams just proved they could go on the road and destroy a bad team, so what will they do to this bad team at home? This should be a comprehensive victory, but laying 15 points in the NFL is simply too much.

Lions vs. Rams Prediction: Rams 31, Lions 17

Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders (-3)

Time and channel: 4:05 PM ET, FOX

After Week 6, it is hard to know what to make of this game. The Eagles appear to be a team that can only play football in the second half, while the Raiders may very well be running on adrenaline and emotion at this point. Las Vegas is a good team, but do we see an emotional collapse after a statement performance on Sunday?

Think back to Week 2, when the Saints crumbled against the Panthers after their emotional victory over the Packers. That situation was obviously much different than what the Raiders are going through, and I never want to write off Las Vegas’ spirit — but both provoked a response of emotion from the players. That game reminds me an awful lot of that.

Eagles vs. Raiders Prediction: Eagles 24, Raiders 21

Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals (-17)

Time and channel: 4:25 PM ET, CBS

This game could have “fall flat” moments as well. The Cardinals’ victory over the Browns without Kliff Kingsbury was a huge win that showed his team’s credentials as potential Super Bowl contenders. However, now they have to go and back it up at home against a bad Houston team. I like the Cardinals to win, but laying 17 points isn’t feasible.

Texans vs. Cardinals Prediction: Cardinals 30, Texans 17

Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13)

Time and channel: 4:25 PM ET, CBS

Based on the published spreads, this could be a very one-sided afternoon slate. The Buccaneers lost to Chicago last year (but in prime time at Soldier Field). The Bears’ defense is good, but they are not really a pressure-up-the-middle type of team, which is what you need to bother Tom Brady. This one should be a comfortable win for the Buccaneers, but beware of the huge spread and laying nearly two touchdowns.

Bears vs. Buccaneers Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Bears 17

Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers (-4)

Time and channel: 8:20 PM ET, NBC

Credit the Colts for fighting and keeping themselves even marginally alive in the AFC, but this game is worlds away from their matchup with the Texans in Week 6. The 49ers will be rested and have an ideal game plan for pulling Indianapolis’ defense all over the field. Throw in the Colts’ banged-up offensive line and this could get ugly. Indy’s best hope is that the 49ers come out a little rusty from their bye week.

Colts vs. 49ers Prediction: 49ers 24, Colts 17

Monday Night Football: Free NFL picks and predictions

Here are the Week 7 picks and predictions and NFL odds for Monday’s game as of 5:30 AM ET on October 18.

New Orleans Saints (-3.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Time and channel: 8:15 PM ET, ESPN

Geno Smith and the Seahawks’ offense performed admirably enough to make sure they were not embarrassed by the Steelers in Week 6. Unfortunately, the fact that the game was actually close was as much an indictment of Pittsburgh’s offense as it was emblematic of Seattle’s success. However, the Saints have been a hard team to get a read on as well this season. This contest has a real chance of being a close matchup that could even end up as another OT game for the Seahawks.

Saints vs. Seahawks Prediction: Saints 24, Seahawks 21



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Darrel Williams, CeeDee Lamb, and Noah Fant among fantasy heroes

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When Sunday ends, my focus is on understanding not just what happened in Week 6, but what it means for my fantasy football team. Which of my guys are overvalued? Who’s undervalued? And who can I acquire to bolster my chances in Week 7? With that in mind, here are the most notable fantasy takeaways from each Sunday game.

What performances and situations should we take note of from the 1 PM ET set of games?

Jaguars vs. Dolphins

A week after Laviska Shenault Jr. and Marvin Jones Jr. inexplicably caught just a pass apiece, they both got back on track once Jacksonville put the game more in Trevor Lawrence’s hands. Both earned 10 targets, and both should be no worse than weekly streamers, thanks to relatively soft schedules in the coming weeks.

For Miami, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki capitalized on the absence of Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, and Preston Williams. They are both screaming sell-high candidates if you can sell Gesicki as a top-eight TE and Waddle as a top-28 WR. If you can’t get that value, hold and hope they can be consistent fantasy starters.

Bears vs. Packers

Third-string rookie RB Khalil Herbert dominated. No one rostering a starter — in this case, David Montgomery, who averaged 18.8 touches in four starts — wants to see a backup shining. Fortunately for those rostering Montgomery, the Bears travel to Tampa Bay next week, where Herbert likely won’t be better than an RB5 (particularly if Damien Williams returns).

Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon both exceeded 5.0 yards per rushing attempt while splitting carries 13-11, respectively. Jones remains the 1A, and that showed up in the fantasy box score. But any given week, Dillon could be this backfield’s fantasy winner.

Lions vs. Bengals

Jared Goff has not scored a touchdown in three of Detroit’s last four games. That is almost an impossible feat in the NFL. And if you listened to my warnings about the overvalued Jamaal Williams two weeks ago, you sold high at the right time — he’s entirely TD-dependent.

Meanwhile, I pushed Chris Evans as a surprisingly good dart throw yesterday morning, and he came through for bold fantasy managers. His pass-catching skills should bump him above Samaje Perine on the depth chart, giving him strong handcuff value and potential RB5+ stand-alone value.

Colts vs. Texans

Jonathan Taylor is making a push for October’s fantasy RB MVP. I tried trading for him last week, and my opponent wisely laughed at me (or I can only assume he laughed). Also, T.Y. Hilton surprised me with an impressive return and leading Indianapolis with 4 targets. Those rostering Michael Pittman Jr. can officially worry that his weekly startability is now in serious doubt unless Hilton’s quad injury suffered in the fourth quarter turns out to be serious.

And Houston’s ugly offensive output should not overshadow the fantasy return of Brandin Cooks and the physical return of Nico Collins, who could wind up as Davis Mills’ No. 2 target going forward. Collins is an intriguing waiver add on a team that will be playing from behind often.

Giants vs. Rams

Kadarius Toney exited early, and Sterling Shepard resumed his spot atop the Giants’ WR pecking order. Most notably, former fantasy prospect Dante Pettis earned 11 targets and would be a solid streaming candidate if this receiving corps remains decimated by injuries.

For the Rams, Darrell Henderson got the job done and now has 5 touchdowns in five games. Admittedly, he has been more dominant than I anticipated. The talent has always been there. Yet, the ability to remain healthy has not. Thus far, he’s been able to manage a bell-cow workload.

Washington vs. Chiefs

Antonio Gibson’s injury issues returned, but J.D. McKissic and Ricky Seals-Jones came up big. If you listened to Tommy Garrett and me on the In the Mood podcast last week, you heard us tout both players for Week 6. McKissic was a weekly fantasy starter last year and should be again going forward.

I expected Patrick Mahomes to have an even bigger day, but most managers will take the points. More interestingly, Darrel Williams was a fantasy hero with 2 touchdowns, while Jerick McKinnon netted only 4 touches. However, Williams’ 3.0 yards per carry were less than inspiring, so let’s see how he fares next week at Tennessee.

Panthers vs. Vikings

Four of Minnesota’s six games have been decided in overtime or by less than 4 points. Although they almost gave this one away, it was a complete effort with Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and K.J. Osborn all helping fantasy managers. Kirk Cousins has everyone he needs to produce another top-10 QB season. And remember, he had a preseason QB19 ADP. Don’t forget this next summer when your opponents are once again ignoring him.

Robby Anderson logged 11 yards on 11 targets, which has to be some kind of NFL record for target-based futility. While he salvaged his day with a late touchdown, he now has only 179 yards on 12 receptions through six games. Either his high target count suggests he’s vastly undervalued, or that target count is poised to decline if/when other WRs step up. We’ll know more in the coming weeks.

Ravens vs. Chargers

The last time Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, and Le’Veon Bell scored on the same day was forever ago. Last week, I warned readers to dump Murray because, in any given game, one of four RBs would rise to the occasion. I did not anticipate three of them would. Seriously, who would have thought after Week 1 that we’d see a game like this, where the only RB not to score (or even earn a touch) was Ty’Son Williams?

This was a disastrous loss for the Chargers. Credit Baltimore’s defense, and don’t overthink this: Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and a healthy Mike Williams form one of the most top-heavy teams in the NFL. They’re not likely to get shut down again this year.

Which fantasy-relevant players from the 4 PM ET slate bear discussion?

Browns vs. Cardinals

All eyes are on Kareem Hunt’s injury, which reportedly concerns his calf rather than his Achilles. So, fantasy managers can exhale a bit as we await the MRI. And Donovan Peoples-Jones went from “streamer” to “wow” in one afternoon. In light of Jarvis Landry’s imminent return, it will be interesting to see how one of the most run-friendly teams in league history can feed more than one wideout per game.

And James Conner out-carried Chase Edmonds 16-4. After a quiet opening couple of weeks, Conner has been on fire in fantasy with 5 touchdowns in Weeks 3-5. Although his Week 6 fantasy output was unremarkable, his usage told the most compelling story.

Broncos vs. Raiders

I was wrong to dismiss Fant this summer as a back-end TE1. He’s earned 10+ targets in two of the last three games and is now the No. 6 fantasy tight end. However — and this is a big “however” — the bigger test will be when Jerry Jeudy returns. Will Fant remain a consistent top-three receiving option?

After getting only 3 touches combined in the last two contests, Kenyan Drake shook off the cobwebs to amass 73 yards and 2 scores on 6 touches. I have written continually these last 12 months about Josh Jacobs’ TD dependency. He is startable in fantasy because of scoring opportunities, not efficient running or a steady dose of receptions. If Drake is ascending, that will be trouble for those rostering Jacobs.

Patriots vs. Cowboys

Somehow, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson both had good days. I keep waiting to see which one will seize control of this backfield. Meanwhile, after averaging 38 pass attempts in his first five games, Mac Jones threw a career-low 21 passes. In other words, head coach Bill Belichick probably game-planned Sunday to be a Harris/Stevenson-led offense. Don’t get used to both of them helping fantasy managers in the same week.

I traded for CeeDee Lamb Saturday night. He’s been one of my top acquisition targets for the past three weeks. There’s no conceivable way he should have had about the same fantasy point total as Dalton Schultz. Something had to give, and yesterday it did. I won yesterday on Lamb’s game-winning touchdown. Savvy fantasy management begins with paying attention to stats, expectations, and shifting market values.

What were the biggest fantasy football takeaways from Sunday Night Football in Week 6?

Steelers vs. Seahawks

Ben Roethlisberger went toe-to-toe with a longtime backup QB, which pretty much sums up the 39-year-old’s injured body and/or declining abilities. Most notably, while Eric Ebron got a goal-line touchdown, fellow TE Pat Freiermuth earned more attention — 6 receptions for 56 yards (both career-high marks). Last night might have signaled that Freiermuth overtook Ebron as the better fantasy TE in Pittsburgh.

For Seattle, I was right about DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett being incredibly risky fantasy starters. However, I was wrong about Alex Collins’ low ceiling. Collins carried an offense that couldn’t do much of anything through the air. He will be the team’s only semi-safe fantasy starter until Russell Wilson or Chris Carson returns.



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Keenan Allen is worth the investment

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Someone once told me, “If you’re not trading, you’re not trying.” Or something like that. I can’t remember who whispered these fateful words to me. Maybe it was NFL Network’s Adam Rank, or maybe I just read it scribbled in a tweet somewhere. Regardless, I’ve been a fantasy football trade junkie ever since because capitalizing on the constantly fluctuating values of players is a great way to bolster your roster — here are some buy-low and sell-high candidates.

Let’s start by looking at some players who you might be able to acquire at a discounted price right now.

Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

The perpetually frustrating season of Laviska Shenault continued on Sunday, but it wasn’t all bad. Shenault finished with 6 receptions for 54 yards, including a clutch diving catch on a slant for a first down right at the end of regulation that set up the Jaguars’ game-winning field goal.

His fantasy day could have been even bigger, considering he had 10 targets and didn’t secure a touchdown. Shenault and Marvin Jones Jr. each saw 10 targets in this game, separating themselves from the rest of the pack.

Shenault is highly athletic — he’s big, fast, and physical with the ball in his hands. His fantasy managers might be frustrated with the up-and-down performances so far this season. If you can trade for him, do it. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is only getting better as he continues to adjust to the NFL.

Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers have a Mike Williams problem — he’s battling an injury that he just can’t seem to shake. Williams was questionable to play today, suited up, and then couldn’t finish the game.

It was a horrible day all the way around for the Chargers, who got boat raced 34-6 by the Baltimore Ravens. Allen was no different, finishing today with 5 receptions on 5 targets for 50 yards.

While Williams has been all the talk this year because of his touchdown numbers, Allen has been pacing along with him, leading him in targets (53 to 51) and receptions (34 to 31).

The Chargers are on their bye week next week, making it a good time to pounce on Allen’s suppressed value.

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Miles freaking Sanders, man. He’s so good, but head coach Nick Sirianni seemingly refuses to get him involved in the game plan. I know Tampa Bay’s run defense is the best in the NFL, but Sanders logged only 9 carries, marking the third time in the last four weeks that he wasn’t given double-digit attempts.

It’s not like Sirianni is choosing to go with another running back over Sanders. He’s simply not running the ball. The Eagles are running the ball the fifth-least of any team in the NFL at only 22 carries per game — and 8.83 of those are on the legs of quarterback Jalen Hurts.

This can’t continue. Sanders has looked great when he’s been given the chance. He converted his 9 carries into 56 yards (6.2 yards per carry) against the Buccaneers. I’m buying Sanders at what I think is his floor and hoping that the Eagles will begin to feature him in the offense.

Which potential trade targets should you sell high on?

Now that we’ve discussed some candidates to acquire, let’s talk about who to consider trading away.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

So, let’s talk about Cooper Kupp. He’s coming off yet another monster game, taking 9 receptions for 130 yards and 2 TDs. He’s looked unstoppable this year with Matthew Stafford at quarterback, and he’s currently sitting at third in yards and receptions and second in receiving touchdowns among wide receivers.

Through six weeks, pending Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, Kupp is the overall WR1.

Understand what I’m suggesting — do NOT trade Kupp away for just anything. However, his perceived value is so sky-high right now that you might be able to get someone to offer you a massive haul in exchange for him. By massive, I’m talking about a back-end WR1 and a high-end RB2 — at minimum. Test the waters. Shoot super high and see what happens. You might get someone to bite.

Derrick Henry, RB, Tennesee Titans

Everything I said about Cooper Kupp above? Apply that here. The Titans are currently on a bye, but Henry piled on 640 rushing yards and 7 TDs over the first five weeks. He’s receiving an otherworldly workload, averaging 31.25 carries and 2.75 receptions per game since Week 2. That’s insane.

Taking out his “light” workload in Week 1, if you extrapolate his 31.25 carries per game over the remaining 16 games, you get a grand total of exactly 500 rushing attempts.

The single-season rushing attempts record is 416, set by Larry Johnson in 2006. There have only been five seasons in the history of the NFL where a running back has logged over 400 carries.

Any time you’re getting into statistical territory that approaches NFL-record levels, it’s a clear statistical anomaly that should probably be bet against. Henry is currently tearing up the league, but it remains to be seen if he can hold up under this workload. With as high as his price is, if you can get someone willing to give you two elite players for him, I’d be willing to sell.

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants

Now that we’re out of the realm of superstar performances, let’s come back to earth a little bit. In the midst of the New York Giants getting squashed by the Los Angeles Rams, Sterling Shepard logged 10 receptions for 76 yards. On the surface, it looks like a big performance, especially in PPR scoring.

What the box score doesn’t include, however, is the fact that Kenny Golladay didn’t play. Additionally, Kadarius Toney left the game early with an injury. With no Saquon Barkley either, Shepard was essentially all the Giants had left.

Toney has come on strong as of late. As he and Golladay return, the opportunities will likely be inconsistent for Shepard, who hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1.



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