This week there is no NFL game on Thursday night, but we have another double-dip on Saturday. So, I decided to spit out a FREE Saturday only version of the NFL Hot Sheet. The pair of games might not be packed full of offensive production, but the production could be offensive if you know what a mean. Anyway, it’s an NFL slate so get your fix in because it will be gone before you know it.
Watch for the rest of my NFL Hot Sheet featuring the remaining matchups for the week on either Thursday or Friday.
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Note: DVOA referenced in this article stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average which is a metric from FootballOutsiders.com.
So, let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…
Washington Redskins @ Tennessee Titans
- Jordan Reed seems unlikely to play which will open up an opportunity for Vernon Davis and Jeremy Sprinkle
Running Game (4th): Adrian Peterson will continue to get the bulk of the carries as the Redskins are still in the mix for a playoff spot. He’ll face a Titans run defense that ranks a solid 10th DVOA but has allowed 4.75 YPC (26th) over the last five weeks. The Titans have been stingy in the red zone against the running game all season allowing just 0.43 rushing TDs (2nd) to RBs.
Passing Game (3rd): Josh Johnson will continue to be under center for the Redskins on Saturday but has provided limited production through the air in his two games with an average of 173 passing yards and one touchdown. The Titans have allowed just 234 passing yards (6th) and 1.21 TD passes (3rd) per game this season.
Top Targets: Johnson spread around the targets last week with no receiver getting more than four balls thrown his way. Jamison Crowder had the most success with four receptions for 46 on four targets and WRs have fared the best against the Titans in the passing game compared to RBs or TEs.
- Josh Johnson rushing
- Tajae Sharp questionable to play, minimal impact
Running Game (1st): Derrick Henry has been out of his mind the last two weeks piling up 408 rushing yards and six TDs. He gets a favorable matchup this week against the Redskins who rank 29th DVOA against the run and have allowed a league-high 141 rushing yards per game to RBs over the last five weeks. They have been a little better near the end zone allowing only 0.57 rushing TDs (10th) to RBs per game this season.
Passing Game (2nd): With all the work begin done on the ground, Marcus Mariota has been pretty quiet through the air with just a total of 250 passing yards over the last two weeks. He gets a slightly below average matchup against the Redskins pass defense which ranks 10th DVOA and has held QBs to 211 passing yards (10th) per game over the last five weeks.
Top Targets: Corey Davis remains the Titans most dependable receiving option, but he will have to contend with Josh Norman at least part of the time. It could open things up for Taywan Taylor for a big play but look for Davis to get targeted in the red zone.
- Derrick Henry rushing
- Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis
- Jamison Crowder (*)
- Derrick Henry (**)
- Taywan Taylor (*)
- Corey Davis (*)
- Titans D/ST (*)
Baltimore Ravens @ Los Angeles Chargers
|Los Angeles Chargers||48||49||36||31||38||63||40||-4.5|
Running Game (2nd): The Ravens are almost exclusively a running team now with Lamar Jackson at QB. They could have success against the Chargers run defense which ranks 18th DVOA. They have been decent recently allowing just 4.18 YPC (10th) to RBs but have given up rushing scores at a league-high rate (1.6 per game) to RBs over the last five weeks.
Passing Game (4th): Jackson highest passing total in five starts is 178 yards. He’ll probably be limited to a similar number against a solid Chargers pass defense that ranks 9th DVOA and has allowed just 201 passing yards (4th) and 1.2 TD passes (8th) per game over the last five weeks.
Top Targets: The Chargers have been must vulnerable to pass-catching RBs this season ranking 27th DVOA and giving up over six receptions (27th) for 60 yards (30th) per game. Kenneth Dixon is the most qualified to take advantage of the weakness. Meanwhile, Willie Snead has been Jackson’s top target over the last two weeks.
- Gus Edwards rushing
- Kenneth Dixon rushing
- Melvin Gordon expected to return this week
- Austin Ekeler questionable, if out Justin Jackson will get backup work behind Gordon
- Keenan Allen questionable, could be game-time decision, if out then bump up all Chargers WRs
Running Game (3rd): Melvin Gordon is expected to return to tote the rock for the Chargers this week in a tough matchup against the Ravens who are ranked 6th DVOA against the run. They have yielded just 3.54 YPC (3rd) and 0.5 rushing TDs (5th) to RBs this season.
Passing Game (1st): Philip Rivers will also have a tough task of moving the ball against the 2nd DVOA ranked pass defense. The Ravens have given up just 221 yards (3rd) and 1.29 TD passes (5th) per game this year. However, Rivers is in the top five in passing yards (298) and TD passes (2.0) per game over the last five weeks.
Top Targets: Through the TE is the best place to attack the Ravens pass defense and Antonio Gates is coming off a game with four receptions for 54 yards. Keenan Allen’s status will also play a big role as he would have the best individual matchup of the WRs working out of the slot.
- Melvin Gordon rushing
- Philip Rivers to Keenan Allen
- Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates
- Kenneth Dixon (*)
- Willie Snead (*)
- Philip Rivers (**)
- Melvin Gordon (**)
- Keenan Allen (*)
- Antonio Gates (*)
- Philip Rivers (LAC)
- Marcus Mariota (TEN) – GPP option
- Melvin Gordon (LAC)
- Derrick Henry (TEN)
- Gus Edwards (BAL)
- Kenneth Dixon (BAL)
- Keenan Allen (LAC)
- Corey Davis (TEN)
- Tyrell Williams (LAC)
- Willie Snead (BAL)
- Jamison Crowder (WAS)
- Taywan Taylor (TEN) – GPP option
- Travis Benjamin (LAC) – GPP option
- Antonio Gates (LAC)
- Jeremy Sprinkle (WAS) – GPP option
- Titans (TEN)
- Ravens (BAL) – GPP option
- Redskins +10 over Titans
- Redskins/Titans Under 37
- Ravens +4.5 over Chargers
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