The Primer: Week 6 Edition (2021 Fantasy Football)

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Los Angeles Rams

Date/Time: Sunday December 5, 4:05pm ET

BettingPros Consensus Spread: Rams -12.5

BettingPros Consensus Over/Under

: 47.5 points

Implied Vegas point totals: Rams 30, Jaguars 17.5

Quarterback

Trevor Lawrence: There have been enough impressive throws to put together an eye-catching highlight package from Lawrence’s rookie season. Unfortunately, the lowlight reel would run longer. We’re still waiting for the watershed game where Lawrence puts it all together and convinces us he’s destined to be a top NFL starter. It’s too early to give up hope for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but it’s not a good idea to use him in fantasy the rest of the way.

Matthew Stafford: Through eight games, the Rams were 7-1 and Stafford was averaging 23.4 fantasy points a game. During the Rams’ current three-game losing streak, Stafford is averaging 16.6 fantasy points per game. He’s averaged 279.7 passing yards per game during the three-game skid, but after throwing 22 touchdown passes and only four interceptions over his first eight games, Stafford has thrown five touchdown passes and five interceptions over his last three contests. He’s also been sacked nine times over the last three games after being sacked just seven times during that 7-1 start. A home matchup against the Jaguars would seem to be a tonic for whatever’s been ailing Stafford and the Rams’ passing game, but the only quarterback to finish in QB1 range against the Jaguars over the last five weeks was Geno Smith. However, Jacksonville’s pass defense ranks dead last in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. Stafford is the QB9 this week.

Running Backs

James Robinson: Carlos Hyde played only six fewer snaps than Robinson in Week 12 and ran five more routes, but Robinson still had 20 touches while Hyde had only six. Robinson still has one of the most secure workloads of any running back in the league. In Week 13, he’ll face a Rams run defense that ranks eighth in DVOA and is allowing 3.9 yards per carry, but Robinson still profiles as a low-end RB1 despite the challenging matchup. He’s a solid DraftKings value at $6,200

Darrell Henderson: Henderson missed practice Wednesday with a quad injury, leaving him questionable for this week’s game against the Jaguars. Henderson has topped 55 rushing yards only once in the Rams’ last five games and is averaging 65.8 yards from scrimmage over that stretch. Not bad, but Henderson profiles as more of an RB2 than an RB1, and the quad injury will complicate his Week 13 outlook if he’s able to play. The Jaguars aren’t pushovers against the run, ranking 14th in run defense DVOA. Consider Henderson a midrange RB2 if he plays.

Sony Michel: If Henderson ends up missing Week 13 due to a quad injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday, Michel will be a mid-range RB2 against the Jaguars. He’s been decent if uninspiring this season in a backup role, with 79-305-1 rushing and 11-62-1 receiving. When Henderson missed the Rams’ Week 3 game against the Buccaneers, Michel had 20-67-0 rushing against one of the league’s best run defenses.

Wide Receivers

Marvin Jones: Injuries to Jaguars WRs D.J. Chark and Jamal Agnew haven’t done anything to increase Jones’ value. If anything, Jones has become a less valuable fantasy asset over the course of the season. He hasn’t scored a touchdown or topped 52 receiving yards in any of his last five games. Consider Jones a midrange WR4 this week against the Rams.

Laviska Shenault: Shenault lined up primarily in the slot against the Falcons last week and was targeted nine times, but he finished with a disappointing 5-33-0 stat line. Shenault is still seeking his first touchdown of the season and hasn’t topped 50 receiving yards in any of his last five games. In Week 13, he’s destined to see a lot of Rams CB Jalen Ramsey, who often covers slot receivers. Shenault is ranked outside the top 60 at wide receiver this week.

Cooper Kupp: He’s gone three games without a touchdown, but Kupp has still been productive during the Rams’ current three-game losing streak, with 29-313-0 on 36 targets. Kupp still leads the NFL in catches (92) and receiving yards (1,237), and he’s tied with Mike Evans and Adam Thielen for the league lead in TD catches with 10. Kupp is once again the WR1 in this week’s rankings, and he’s basically a must-have on DraftKings at $9,000.

Van Jefferson: Jefferson has seen at least six targets in each of his last five games and has 16-319-2 over that span. He’s averaging 17.6 yards per catch and 9.4 yards per target. This is a quiet but convincing second-year breakout taking place in the shadow of Cooper Kupp‘s season for the ages. Jefferson is a midrange WR3 this week.

Odell Beckham: A 54-yard TD catch fueled Beckham’s 5-81-1 performance last week against the Packers. OBJ earned his first touchdown as a member of the Rams with a nice double move to beat Packers CB Rasul Douglas. Beckham averaged 3.0 yards on his other nine targets, however, and he and Matthew Stafford might need a few weeks to get more fully in sync. Consider Beckham a high-end WR4 this week. He’s not especially compelling at a price of $5,500 on DraftKings.

Tight Ends

James O’Shaughnessy: With Dan Arnold out for the season with a fractured scapula, O’Shaughnessy is now the Jaguars’ top pass-catching tight end. O’Shaughnessy’s high-ankle sprain was one of the motivating factors behind the Arnold trade. It’s worth monitoring O’Shaughnessy’s usage, but he hasn’t been fantasy-relevant in any of his six previous NFL seasons.

Tyler Higbee: With just one catch for three yards last week against the Packers, Higbee fell to TE21 in fantasy points per game among tight ends who’ve played at least five games. In 2020, Higbee averaged 11.8 yards per catch and 8.7 yards per target, and his average depth of target was 8.0 yards. In 2021, he’s averaging 8.9 yards per catch and 6.2 yards per target, and his aDOT is 5.3 yards. Higbee is just a midrange TE2 this week vs. the Jaguars.

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Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Date/Time: Sunday December 5, 4:25pm ET

BettingPros Consensus Spread: Ravens -4.5

BettingPros Consensus Over/Under

: 44 points

Implied Vegas point totals: Ravens 24.25, Steelers 19.75

Quarterback

Lamar Jackson: Let’s start by declaring that Jackson is the QB1 this week. He’s averaging 23.3 fantasy points per game this year, trailing only Josh Allen in that category. Jackson will be facing a so-so Steelers pass defense that could be without edge rusher T.J. Watt (COVID-19) and CB Joe Haden (foot). We should note, however, that Jackson has been in a passing slump for the last five games. He’s thrown seven TD passes and eight interceptions over that stretch while averaging 218.6 passing yards per game and 6.3 yards per pass attempt. It’s not a cause for alarm – Jackson averaged 303.8 passing yards and 9.1 yards per attempt over his first five games, and his running ability is unparalleled at the QB position. You’re riding him as far as he’ll take you in season-long leagues. He’s a solid DraftKings value at $7,800.

Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben is averaging 14.4 fantasy points per game this season, which leaves him out of the top 25 in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks. He’s had three multiple-TD games and one 300-yard games, and he adds zero rushing value. Pass.

Running Backs

Devonta Freeman: Freeman only out-snapped Latavius Murray 40-36 in Week 13, but Freeman had a 16-8 advantage in carries and is the only Baltimore running back worth rostering for fantasy. He’s had 55-215-1 rushing and 12-66-1 receiving over his last four games, averaging 11.5 half-point PPR fantasy points per game over that stretch. Freeman faces the Steelers this week, and the once-mighty Pittsburgh run defense has gone to seed. The Steelers are giving up 4.8 yards per carry and allowing 20.4 fantasy points per game to running backs. Freeman is a high-end RB3 this week.

Najee Harris: Harris had a season-low eight carries against the Bengals last week and produced only 37 yards from scrimmage. It was a rare misfire for the rookie workhorse, who’s still the RB8 in fantasy points per game. Harris also had a modest workload in Week 11, with 12-39-1 rushing and 5-20-0 receiving. That ended a streak of five straight games in which Harris had more than 20 carries. With the Steelers at 5-5-1, fighting for their playoff lives and facing a critical divisional game against the archrival Ravens, it seems unlikely that Harris will see another moderate workload. He’s the RB8 this week and a reasonable value at $7,700 on DraftKings.

Wide Receivers

Marquise Brown: Brown has now seen double-digit targets in four straight games. What’s odd is that Brown has largely been used as a short-area receiver in Baltimore’s last two games. He had 6-37-0 on 13 targets in a loss to the Dolphins, then 8-51-0 in 10 targets in a 16-10 win over the Browns. Over the last two games, Brown has averaged 6.3 yards per catch and 3.5 yards per target. That’s probably just a blip on the radar, but it’s certainly not the sort of usage Brown’s investors are hoping to see. Brown is a midrange WR2 this week.

Rashod Bateman: Bateman played 44% of the Ravens’ offensive snaps in Week 12, his lowest snap share of the season. His 60% route participation rate was less than ideal, too. Bateman has generally been involved in the Ravens’ passing game, but his involvement hasn’t translated into worthwhile fantasy numbers yet. He’s averaged 50.2 receiving yards over six games and hasn’t scored a touchdown. We should probably take last week’s usage reduction as a sign to keep Bateman benched until we see a reason to get him into our lineups. He’s a low-end WR3 this week against the Steelers.

Diontae Johnson: Johnson saw a season-high 14 targets against the Bengals last week, turning them into 9-95-0. It was the eighth time this season that Johnson has seen double-digit targets. He’s averaging 80.9 receiving yards per game. Johnson is one of fantasy football’s most bankable assets. He won’t have an easy individual matchup this weekend against Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey, but Johnson is still a low-end WR1. He’s a worthwhile DraftKings cash-game anchor at $6,800.

Chase Claypool: Investors are no doubt frustrated by Claypool’s lack of touchdowns. After scoring nine TDs as a rookie, Claypool has hit pay dirt just once in 2021. But Claypool has been more efficient in other departments. In 2020, he averaged 14.1 yards per catch and 8.0 yards per target. In 2021, he’s averaging 16.4 yards per catch and 8.8 yards per target. He’s also been playing through turf toe, so credit Claypool for toughness. He’s the WR26 but not a particularly good DraftKings value at $6,000.

Tight Ends

Mark Andrews: Andrews has become a Kelce-esque workhorse for the Ravens. He was targeted 10 times last week against the Browns, finishing with 4-65-1. Andrews is second among tight ends in targets (89), receptions (60) and receiving yards (761), trailing Travis Kelce in all three categories. Andrews is the TE2 this week behind only – you guessed it – Kelce.

Pat Freiermuth: Last Sunday, Freiermuth scored a garbage-time touchdown with under 3 minutes left in the Steelers’ 41-10 loss to the Bengals, but a garbage-time touchdown is a touchdown just the same. It gave the rookie from Penn State his fifth TD in his last five games. Freiermuth has had at least four receptions in each of his last six games. He’s a low-end TE1 against a Baltimore defense that’s giving up 9.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends.

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San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks

Date/Time: Sunday December 5, 4:25pm ET

BettingPros Consensus Spread: 49ers -3.5

BettingPros Consensus Over/Under

: 45.5 points

Implied Vegas point totals: 49ers 24.5, Seahawks 21

Quarterback

Jimmy Garoppolo: It appears the 49ers will be content to keep Trey Lance on the bench for his rookie year, at least until they fall out of the playoffs. They’re 6-5, and with the expanded playoffs, the Niners should be in contention for at least another two or three weeks. That means Garoppolo investors probably don’t have to worry about a quick hook if Jimmy G. throws a couple of early interceptions. Then again, Garoppolo is probably only an every-week starter in 2QB and superflex leagues. He’s the QB21 this week against the Seahawks.

Russell Wilson: Wilson’s struggles continued last week in a 17-15 Monday-night loss to the Washington Football Team. In the three games since making his return from a gruesome finger injury, Wilson has thrown two TD passes and two interceptions while averaging 205.0 passing yards a game and 6.3 yards per pass attempt. Usually, a magician when it comes to making plays on an improvisational basis, Wilson has struggled when things go off-script, and his pinpoint accuracy has abandoned him. It doesn’t help that his protection has been lacking and that the Seahawks have no running game. Wilson is too good to stay down for long, but it’s hard to start him in fantasy with any degree of confidence. He’s the QB13 this week against San Francisco. In a Week 4 game against the 49ers, Wilson had 149 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, adding 4-26-1 rushing.

Running Backs

Elijah Mitchell: The 49ers have been piling more and more work on Mitchell’s plate, and the rookie has shown he can handle it. He’s had 27 carries in each of the last two games. In a 34-26 win over Minnesota last weekend, Mitchell ran for 133 yards and a touchdown and also had 5-35-0 receiving, making him the RB4 for the week. Over his last five games, Mitchell has averaged 116.4 yards from scrimmage. He’s in a potential smash spot this week against a Seattle defense that’s giving up 24.8 fantasy points per game and just yielded 111 rushing yards to Antonio Gibson on Monday night. Mitchell is the RB5 this week. He’s also a screaming value on DraftKings at $6,000.

PRISTINE MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

Each week, we’ll pick a matchup of the week, presented by Pristine Auction. For Week 13, Elijah Mitchell is our Pristine Matchup of the Week.

Alex Collins: The Seattle running game has hit an iceberg. Over his last five games, Collins has 53-170-0 rushing, which amounts to 3.2 yards per carry. He’s had only eight receptions in 10 games, so if it’s not happening for Collins on the ground, it’s simply not happening for him. This week, Collins faces a 49ers defense that’s giving up only 15.8 fantasy points per game to running backs. The Seahawks hacve also signed Adrian Peterson and will likely activate him for this game. Don’t bother using Collins this week.

DeeJay Dallas: Dallas played 60% of Seattle’s offensive snaps in Week 12, finishing with 3-4-0 rushing and 5-27-0 receiving in a 17-5 loss to Washington. Dallas isn’t playable this week in a tough matchup against the 49ers, and any hope of Dallas getting an audition to fully replace Alex Collins as the lead back probably disappeared with the Seahawks’ signing of Adrian Peterson this week.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Aiyuk: With Deebo Samuel out for a week or two with a groin injury, Aiyuk becomes an attractive fantasy option this week against the Seahawks. After an unproductive first half of the season, the second-year receiver from Arizona State has been coming on lately. Over his last four games, Aiyuk has 19-291-2 receiving on 25 targets, with 85 or more receiving yards in three of those four games. Aiyuk hasn’t seen more than eight targets in a game all season, but that could change this week with Deebo on the shelf. Aiyuk is a midrange WR2 and an attractive DraftKings money-saver at $5,600.

Tyler Lockett: As much as the Seattle passing game has struggled in the three games since Russell Wilson returned from a finger injury, Lockett has still managed to be productive. He had 4-115-0 against Arizona in Week 11 and 3-96-0 against Washington in Week 12. Over the last three games, has averaged 13.0 yards per target. However, Lockett remains mired in a TD slump. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2. He’s the WR17 this week.

D.K. Metcalf: Through the first eight games of the season, Metcalf had eight touchdowns and was averaging 72.5 receiving yards per game, making him the WR5 in fantasy scoring. That included three and a half games with Geno Smith at quarterback for the Seahawks after Russell Wilson sustained a grisly finger injury. In the three games since Wilson has been back, Metcalf has 8-70-0 on 20 targets. He had one catch for 13 yards Monday night against Washington, and that catch came with 1:06 left in the game. The slumping Metcalf lands at WR18 in this week’s rankings and is a DraftKings fade at $6,700.

Tight Ends

George Kittle: Kittle had one catch for 13 yards against the Vikings in Week 12, and he hasn’t topped 50 yards in any of his last three games. But with Deebo Samuel out with a groin injury, Kittle could play a major role in the San Francisco passing game this weekend. He’s generally been productive this year, with 35-425-3 receiving in eight games. Kittle is the TE3. He’s a DraftKings steal at $5,900.

Gerald Everett: Since Russell Wilson‘s return from a finger injury in Week 10, Everett has more targets (21) than D.K. Metcalf (20) and Tyler Lockett (18). Everett has 16-137-1 over those three games, making him the TE7 in fantasy points per game over that stretch. He had only topped 40 yards once in his previous six games, so it’s smart to be wary of Everett’s mini-breakout. He’s the TE20 this week against a 49ers defense that’s allowing a league-low 3.7 fantasy points per game to tight ends.

Source : https://www.fantasypros.com/2021/12/the-primer-week-13-edition-2021-fantasy-football/3/

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