You Can Find Me on Twitter @DelRayBoston
Well we have reached the last stretch of the 2021 Season. With 4 games on tap for the weekend and (in theory) the best of the best playing each other, it will be tough to get different in tournaments – but that is why we are hear. To help you #BuildBetterLineups. So let’s get right into it!
Cincinnati Bengals vs Tennessee Titans 4:30PM
THE KING IS BACK! Derrick Henry will be returning to the field today and probably not a minute too soon for the Titans. Although, I do believe that the Titans defense isn’t getting near the credit it deserves for keeping the games without Henry close and competitive. So let’s talk some plays!
If you are playing the all day slate, I don’t think you can get cute with ownership at the QB position each of the 4 are pulling roughly 25% ownership and sure there may be two that are heavier owned than the others, but it’s a margin of 5-10% difference and honestly that isn’t anything that is going to sway you one way or the other… stacking creatively will likely be the leverage/variance maker.
I am saying this because for me that means you are in need of Raw Points from the Quarterback Position. So when I consider Joe Burrow $6,600 and Ryan Tannehill $5,800 I have to ask the question – do either player have the chance to outscore Jimmy G or Aaron Rogers later. Starting with Burrow over the last 3 games Burrow has averaged 39 Pass Attempts, completing roughly 74% and averaging an amazing 405 yards and 3.25 Touchdowns and 32 fantasy points. He plays a Titans Defense ranked 24th against Quarterbacks who are allowing a hair under 250 passing yards. Meanwhile Tannehill has averaged 19.5 Passing Attempts over the same span, completing around 71% averaging 206 yards and 19 Fantasy points. He gets a defense ranked 18th against QBs and also averaging 250 yards through the air. If Derrick Henry wasn’t back, I might take a shot on Tannehill here in a must win at home. But even as unsustainable as Burrow’s numbers have been, out of the two if there is one that has a shot to outscore the QBs in the later game – I think it is Burrow.
Next we have another conundrum – play Derrick Henry ($7,500) or play Joe Mixon $6,600. Surprisingly, it is Mixon who is drawing the ownership at close to 75% and I have to assume that has a lot to do with people either playing Mixon thinking that Henry will be the chalkiest of chalk, or people are playing Tannehill and stacking with Mixon because they think a Joe Burrow – Derrick Henry stack will be the Chalkiest of Chalk. Well at 58% ownership on Henry and 30% ownership on Burrow, I can tell you … that is not the case. Once again if you are playing the all day slate, in clicking either running back you need to run it through the same lens as QB. Do either Henry or Mixon have a chance to score higher than Aaron Jones and Eli Mitchell later. The pace that Henry was on prior to his injury was without question historic. Over 100 yards rushing in 5 of 8 games played. Over 130 in 4 of those 5. 10 Rushing Touchdowns in 8 games including 3 games of 3 rushing scores. Only twice in 8 games did he see under 28 rushing attempts. And he had FINALLY gotten in the passing game too. It’s been so long, maybe you forgot how absolutely dominant Henry was to start this season. He will see a Bengals defense that ranks 21st against Running Backs and allowing over 100 yards on the ground. Meanwhile Mixon has only gone over 100 yards 3x all season long. Over the last game he has averaged 50 yards on an average of 17 carries. He does have 3 more rushing scores on the season but again keep in mind, he has played 10 more games than Henry this year. The biggest thing in Mixon’s favor is the passing game where he has consistently seen an average of 5 targets for 45 yards over the back half of the year and he has 3 touchdown receptions on the season. But the matchup is brutal. The Titans rank #1 against Running Backs and are allowing a paltry 85 yards on the ground. The science and the sense is in Henry’s favor. If either of these backs has a shot at the most raw points – it has to be The King.
Last point I will highlight is defenses here. I think one sneaky play today is defenses in this game. I think the most players are going to go all the way up for the Packers at an affordable $3,200 in the tundra against the west coast team… Additionally the Titans are looking to be the highest owned at $2,800 and so – I think a sneaky play is the Bengals at $2,700. Here’s a fun fact, in Away games this year the Bengals are giving up an average of 225 passing yards and with a known low volume passing game on tap already, I think he Bengals have a decent shot at positive points – even in a loss – and with the Bengals being the 3rd highest owned – if they find a way to slow Henry down too, you could be walking into the later game with a positive yardage at DST.
Ja’Mar Chase $7,100 36% owned, the Titans rank 31st against WRs
Tee Higgins $5,700 37% owned
Tyler Boyd $4,700 19% owned
I love the Burrow double stack with Chase and Higgins or Chase and Boyd, running it back with Henry
AJ Brown $6,200 50% owned, the Bengals rank 15th against WRs
Julio Jones $4,600 19% owned
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine $3,800 2% owned
It’s tough not to pair Tannehill and AJ Brown, but instead of running it back with Mixon, I much prefer a Bengals Wide Receiver at half the ownership of Mixon. I mostly like Julio and NWI as low owned lineup fillers for my lineups that are heavy with Packers and Niners.
DART THROWS: Tight Ends
CJ Uzomah $3,400 41% owned – the Titans rank 6th against Tight Ends
Anthony Firsker $3,100 6% owned – the Bengals are 25th against Tight Ends
Geoff Swaim $2,800 3% owned
Ryan Izzo $2,500 3% owned
GREEN BAY PACKERS vs SAN FRANCISCO 49ers – 8:15PM
There isn’t a soul looking at this game and not thinking that the 49ers are going to know what to do with the cold of a Green Bay night at Lambeau Field. I have a different take. They know what to do – run the football. Run the football. Run the football – run the game. Anything can happen remember.
If you are playing the all day lineup you will ultimately face the same questions as exist with Burrow and Tannehill. If there really isn’t much difference in ownership, raw points will matter most at the position. So the question is do either Aaron Rogers $7,100 or Jimmy Garoppolo $5,200 have a shot to finish with more fantasy points than either Ryan Tannehill or Joe Burrow. So the answer in my mind is yes – kinda. Burrow is still probably my favorite Quarterback on the slate but not counting week 18 where he was pulled at half time, Rogers was also lighting things up down the stretch. Averaging 35 pass attempts per game week 12 – 17, 265 yards per game. He 33 touchdowns on the season and only 3 picks – with multiple touchdown passes in every game but 1. Meanwhile Handsome Jimmy has also really stepped his game up down the stretch. Averaging 33 pass attempts over his last 5. It is Jimmy’s completion percentage (63%) though that gives me worry as it the lowest of the 4, even below Tannehill’s. Of these two players the raw points have to favor Rogers at home and so now with all 4 discussed my ranking is: #1 Burrow, #2 Rogers, #3 Tannehill, #4 Garoppolo.
The next piece of this game that I think you need to consider are the Running Backs. Aaron Jones $6,800 36% ownership and Eli Mitchell $5,800 and 48% ownership. I really like Aaron Jones the player but I don’t think there is any use in looking at his numbers in trying to make a comparison on who to play. This is because there has been a real division in snaps and opportunities between Jones and AJ Dillon $5,100 12% ownership. COMBINED this season Jones and Dillon are averaging 24 attempts per game. Ironically, in games this season where Mitchell started and finished (15) he himself averages 23.5 opportunities. So from the stat standpoint the clear volume play here is Mitchell. BUT to me. my gut is telling me, there is a reason why the Packers have given Jones so much sideline time all season and that reason is to keep him fresh when it matters most – these next 3 games. Again it is just a gut feeling – but I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jones clock 20+ carries and 6+ catches, potentially two scores. Now the Million Dollar Question, can either back put up more raw points than Derrick Henry and/or Joe Mixon? The Packers and Niners are 6th and 7th against running backs for what it’s worth. For the opportunity (based off of the season) I give the edge to Mitchell, but my gut still tells me something special is coming from Aaron Jones. #1 Derrick Henry #2 Eli Mitchell #3 Aaron Jones #4 Joe Mixon #5 AJ Dillon
Instead of focusing on defenses here the last in depth comparison in this game for me is Wide Receiver 1s. Davante Adams $8,500 60% Ownership and Deebo Samuel $7,600 40% ownership are the guys that I think we need to take a hard look at. Adams is arguably the overall Wide Receiver 1 in the league averaging 11 targets per game in 2021 with 8 games +100 yards including week 3 against the 49ers where he saw 18 targets, caught 11 balls and finished with 132 yards. Adams has 11 Touchdowns on the season. Meanwhile Deebo has 6 games of 100 yards ore better, averaging 8 targets per game with 6 Touchdown Catches. What keeps Deebo in the conversation though is his rushing game. Since Week 10, Samuel has had no less than 5 rushing opportunities in every game including 10 last week in Dallas, where he had his second highest rushing total of the season at 72 rush yards (he also finished with 79 in Week 11 against Jacksonville). Tack on 9 Rushing scores for Deebo on the season and he is right there with Adams in my opinion for WR1 Status on the day. So the question becomes what to do. Well if you want build around Henry-Adams-Samuel it will be very difficult so I think you need to choose in a lot of your lineups, Samuel or Adams… you can’t go wrong. I think either man has the potential to finish as WR 1 today. Personally, I rank the top WR options today as #1 Deebo Samuel #2 Davante Adams #3 Ja’mar Chase #4 AJ Brown
Alan Lazard $4,300 23% owned
Randall Cobb $3,100 24% owned
If you are stacking Aaron Rogers and Davante Adams, give your lineup some variance by double stacking either Lazard or Cobb. Plus the price on Kittle makes him a nice run back option or Eli Mitchell, who is also priced aggressively.
George Kittle $5,300 35% owned
AJ Dillon $5,100 11% owned
Brandon Aiyuk $5,100 18% owned
Garoppolo stacks with Deebo will be popular but a way to offset is to double stack with Kittle or Aiyuk and run it back with Lazard or Cobb or a flex on AJ Dillon.
Josiah Deguara $3,000 8% owned
Jauan Jennings $3,100 5% owned
Trent Sherfield $3,000 2% owned
Travis Benjamin $3,000 2% owned
Equinnious St Brown $3,000 2% owned
Marcedes Lewis $2,600 1% owned
Jauwan Winfree #3,000 2% owned
Ross Dwelley $2,500 3% owned
Charlie Woerner $2,500 3% owned
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!