Sanaynay’s NFL Week 8 Single-Game Breakdowns
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New York Jets (3-3) @ New York Giants (2-5)
NYJ -0.5, O/U 36.5
The New York Jets have a solid to neutral matchup against the Giants’ pass defense this week, but it is going to be tough to come around on Zach Wilson regardless. Outside of the Kansas City Chiefs game, Wilson has yet to throw for 200 yards or multiple TDs in a single game. Combined in the other five games, Wilson has averaged only 170 yards passing and has two total passing TDs while throwing five interceptions.
The Giant defense historically blitzes at the highest rate in the NFL under Defensive Coordinator, Wink Martindale. This year they have scaled it back a little bit, but they still rank third in the NFL at a 41.6% rate. Last week, they blitzed Commanders’ QB, Sam Howell, relentlessly, and Howell completely imploded. I have concerns that the same thing can happen to Zach Wilson in this matchup. Wilson is currently ranked 28 out of 36 qualifying QBs in PFF rating against pressure. He has the fifth fewest YPA total at only 4.5 and has not thrown a single TD.
Because the Giants blitz so much, it leaves their cornerbacks sustainable to above average talent who can win consistently out of man coverage. This is where Garrett Wilson steps in, as I expect him to do exactly this. Wilson is currently seeing a 33.7% target share over his last three games and a 32.5% share on the season as a whole. He has seen at least seven targets in every game except one and has eclipse 12 twice on the season. I think Zach Wilson is going to look for Garrett Wilson early and often. Outside of Wilson, the Jets don’t have much to offer volume-wise, worth noting except for Tyler Conklin. Conklin currently has a 16% target share on the season, which ranks him 15th in the NFL among all TEs. Outside of 5-6 targets, there isn’t a matchup here that is appealing, as the Giants give up the ninth fewest PPR points per game to opposing TEs, and have only given up one receiving TD and less than four receptions per game to the position over seven games. Outside of Wilson and Conklin, the Jets don’t have any receivers over a 10.2% (Lazard) target share over the last three games.
I love Breece Hall this week. Two weeks ago Jets Head Coach, Robert Saleh, announced they were taking all volume restrictions off of Breece Hall. Since then, Breece Hall has seen a 52.3% snap share with a 68.8% rush share and a 11.5% target share in Week 5 and a 66.2% snap share with a 57.1% rush share and a 15.2% target share in Week 6. He has run the ball 34 times for 216 yards with two scores over those two games while catching all eight of his targets for 71 receiving yards, good for 48.7 PPR points. The Giants are giving up 23 PPR points per game to opposing RBs, which ranks 10th most in the NFL while offering up five yards per carry to go with the third worst rush DVOA, along with the second worst rank in adjusted line yards at the line of scrimmage in the NFL. The Jets’ running game will have success early and often in this game, and mixed with Breece Hall’s home run ability, he is a smash play in all formats. No other RB on the Jets is worth mentioning as Dalvin Cook has all but been phased out, seeing only 20 snaps over the last two games behind Michael Carter, who has seen 33. Carter and Cook have combined for 15 touches between the two of them while Breece Hall has 42 himself.
The New York Giants have announced Tyrod Taylor as their starter for this game. Daniel Jones is still working his way back from a neck injury and as of now, his return won’t be in Week 8. Taylor has started for the Giants over the last two weeks, combining to accrue 479 passing yards on 55 attempts with two scores, while adding 49 rushing yards on the ground on 13 attempts en route to 31.7 fantasy points. Taylor will have a plus matchup running the football against the Jets. The Jets have given up the most rushing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, allowing four of the six QBs to run for at least 36 yards against them with the two exceptions being Dak Prescott and Mac Jones. This offers a high floor in terms of fantasy for Taylor at QB for the Giants.
On the receiving end, the Giants have begun to funnel down their receiving tree to Darren Waller and Wan’Dale Robinson over the last three games. Waller has a 29.5% target share while Robinson has a 18.2% target share, no one else on the team has over a 13.6% share. In Tyrod Taylor’s two starts, Waller has seen an impressive 15 targets with at least seven in each game. He has caught 12 of those targets for 141 yards and a score, good for 32.1 PPR points. This is the spot I would focus on for the Giants’ pass catching group, as the Jets have given up the most PPR points per game to opposing TEs at 15.9 points per game and at least 9.2 PPR points to six different TEs this year. Against WRs, the Jets have given up the eighth fewest PPR points per game to perimeter WRs and the second fewest to opposing slot WRs. On the season, only three WRs have topped 50 yards against them and they are all elite WRs in Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, and AJ Brown.
I like Saquon Barkley a lot in this matchup, due to both volume and matchup. The Jets are giving up the sixth most PPR points per game to opposing RBs at 24.9 per game. They also rank 31st in the NFL in receptions per game against them by opposing backs and 30th in receiving yards. The sixth most fantasy points against is all done while only allowing one rushing TD to opposing backs on the season. The Jets’ defense has been bludgeoned by these opposing backs by allowing eight RBs this year over seven games to have at least 59 yards rushing or four or more receptions. Since returning from his ankle sprain two weeks ago, Barkley has stepped right back into his workhorse role, carrying the ball at least 21 times in each of the last two games, with at least 77 rushing yards in each as well as three or more receptions in each. I expect the Giants to continue this workload and have Barkley be a massive part of their passing game once again in this one.
I think this is going to be one of those slower, more boring games of the week. Both defenses are going to show up and I think they struggle to get to 37 points as hard as that is to believe. With that said, I think the offenses are centralized enough for us to get fantasy production out of Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, and Darren Waller in this one. I think the Jets pull off the win in a Field Goal-infested box score.
- Breece Hall OVER 67.5 Rushing Yards (-115): 3u – DraftKings
- *Monitoring Saquon Barkley’s Receptions line
- *Monitoring Tyrod Taylor’s Rushing line
Minnesota Vikings (3-4) @ Green Bay Packers (2-4)
PK line, O/U 42
Kirk Cousins is quietly playing lights out football for the Minnesota Vikings this year. He is nipping on the heels of Tua Tagovailoa for most passing yards in the NFL, sitting at 2,057 through seven games played, only 35 yards behind Tua. Cousins has thrown for at least 284 yards or two scores in six of the seven games played. He has topped 344 passing yards or more in four of those seven games. In Week 8, Cousins quietly has a positive matchup against the Packers, who currently have the 25th ranked pass DVOA. This hasn’t been displayed on the field, as the Packers have held opposing QBs to under 237 passing yards in every game and have yet to allow anyone to throw multiple TDs. What this means is that we are due for some major regression towards the mean here, starting with this matchup.
Since Justin Jefferson got hurt in Week 5, we have seen TJ Hockenson lead the team in target share with a 23.5% share. Following him is Jordan Addison at a 20.2% share, KJ Osborn at a 16.8% share, and Brandon Powell with a 12.6% share. Over the last three games, Addison has caught 16 of his 24 targets for 215 yards and four scores, good for a 20.5 PPR point per game average. Hockenson has caught 22 of his targets for 187 scoreless yards, which has resulted in a 13.57 PPR point per game average. While I think that both Hockenson and Addison perform well and produce in this matchup, I’m going to be once again targeting the third and fourth options of this passing game. I like the lines that Vegas is offering for Osborn and Powell once again given their volume of 5-6 targets, offering value in their props.
The Minnesota Viking backfield has certainly been a curious case since they traded for Cam Akers. In the first two games that Akers played with the Vikings, he saw 29.2% of the offensive snaps in both Week 4 and Week 5 while accounting for 21.7% of the rush share in Week 4 and 27.8% of the rush share in Week 5. After that, Mattison retook a huge stranglehold on the backfield in Week 6. Mattison saw a near season-high 78.9% of the backfield snaps and 81.8% of the team’s rush share, which was the first time Mattison had seen these types of numbers since the team acquired Akers. It had seemed that the team was going to be moving forward with Mattison back as a bellcow of the backfield. However, in Week 7, we saw Cam Akers re-emerge from the backfield, seeing a season high 38.6% snap share vs. Mattison’s 52.9% snap share and a near split in rush share with a 47.6% share to Mattison’s 38.1% share. With our most recent sample size of Week 7, Cam Akers led the backfield in total touches, carrying the ball 10 times for 31 scoreless yards and adding two receptions for 30 yards on three targets. Akers had an extremely impressive reception on a screen in the second quarter, where he broke multiple tackles to be brought down at the two-yard-line after gaining 30 yards. This is probably what resulted in Akers taking most of the touches as the game progressed beyond that. It is nearly impossible to predict who is going to lead this backfield moving forward and it is turning into one of the purest 50/50 splits that rides the hot hand moving forward. Whoever does get the majority of the touches is in line for a great matchup, as the Green Bay Packer rush defense is not good in the slightest. They are giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing backs, while their defensive line ranks 26th in adjusted line yards and 22nd in opposing RB yards per rush. This is a situation where I am going to be playing for the momentum from Cam Akers, as it presents a cheaper line for his rushing prop and a score.
Jordan Love has had a rough go of it lately, playing poorly in three straight games, all of which have resulted in losses for the Green Bay Packers. Over the last three games, Love has thrown the ball for an average of 202.67 yards per game and three scores with six interceptions. He has had this poor stretch playing against the Lions, Raiders, and Broncos. He made the Raiders look so good that it had convinced me that the Raiders had turned a corner and that they were playing solid defense. It turns out that Jordan Love is just having a hard time finding a groove. Love has particularly struggled throwing the ball deep, something he continues to do time and time again. Love is fifth in the NFL with a rate of 14.5% of his passes going for 20 yards or more. Out of those 28 attempts, he has only completed seven of them for 269 yards. This is a 9.6 yards per attempt, which ranks fifth worst in the NFL. He has only thrown for one TD on 20+ yards while having the sixth most interceptions with three. Even his adjusted completion percentage according to PFF ranks fifth worst in the NFL and he has the fourth most turnover-worthy throws from this distance. This was a big reason why the Packers drafted Love, and he could not be more disappointing as we approach the halfway point of this season.
The Packer receiving corps is doing its best to get healthy as Christian Watson got banged up in Week 7 and enters Week 8 very, very questionable, while the Packers’ rookie TE, Luke Musgrave, who was the recipient of a dirty hit from Kareem Jackson, hurt his ankle at some point during this game, putting his availability in doubt as we approach Sunday. If Watson were to miss, this simplifies this receiving group to the point that we can play Romeo Doubs. I expect Watson to miss, as the Packers have been very cautious with their playmakers this year and aren’t pushing them back into action before they are ready and when they do play, they play limited snaps. In the four games that Watson has played 50% of the snaps or less, Doubs has balled out. Over that span, Doubs averaged 15.1 PPR points per game and scored 18 or more in three of them. Mix that with the Minnesota Vikings giving up the third most fantasy points to opposing perimeter WRs and I want as much Doubs as I can get, given we have clarity on Watson by Sunday. Behind Doubs and Watson returning, we have seen Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks turn into nothing more than role players as Reed has only seen a 9.8% target share over the last three games and Wicks has only seen three total targets resulting in a 3.3% target share.
We have ironically seen two of the best games of AJ Dillon’s career the last two weeks as Aaron Jones is nearing a return to a full workload. In Week 6 against the Raiders, Dillon captured a season high 13.6 PPR points, running the ball 20 times for 76 yards and a score with no air work. In Week 7, Aaron Jones returned, taking only 35.9% of the team’s offensive snaps while Dillon once again led the team in rushing, taking 51.7% of the team’s rush share, compared to Jones, who took just 27.6%. Dillon once again had a solid game per his standards, running the ball 15 times for 61 yards while catching both of his targets for 34 yards in the air. I think we continue to see Aaron Jones be worked more into the game plan and the Packers are going to need him in this matchup. Opposing RBs have combined to score only 16.7 PPR points per game this season, which is the sixth best mark in the NFL. Only three backs have scored double-digit points against the Vikings this season. Swift dropped 27.1 on them in Week 2, a game in which he ran the ball 28 times for 175 times and a score. Last week Christian McCaffrey scored 22.6, but 12 of those came on TDs, as he was held to only 45 yards rushing on 15 carries, but caught all three of his targets for 51 yards. Other than that, Pacheco scored 13.4 in Week 5, but no other back has topped 7.7 PPR points against them. AJ Dillon is virtually useless in this matchup and we are hoping Jones returns to a 60%+ snap share while seeing his typical four-plus target workload in order for him to pay off in fantasy.
I think the Vikings continue to roll here and take down the Packers in Lambeau. The Packers are circling the drain and going to find themselves in the Caleb Williams sweepstakes sooner rather than later. I think this coaching staff has earned a mulligan this season and this team will be in the market for a new QB in 2024, potentially even the QB they are playing against in this very game. The only way the Packers can win this game is if Love outplays Cousins, and I don’t see that happening.
- Cam Akers OVER 28.5 Rushing Yards (-114): 2u – FanDuel
- Cam Akers 1+ TD (+290): 1u – MGM
- *Monitoring Christian Watson’s status for Romeo Doubs props
Las Vegas Raiders (3-4) @ Detroit Lions (5-2)
DET -8, O/U 46
I expect the Raiders to get Jimmy Garoppolo back for this matchup in Detroit. If he doesn’t get the nod, we will get either Brian Hoyer or Aiden O’Connell under center. I’m going to act as if Jimmy G is getting the nod here, as that is how the injury report and practice reports are pointing. Jimmy Garoppolo has not been good this year with nearly anything, except having a narrow route tree for his receivers. He is only averaging 12 points per game and has topped 11 just twice in five games, never exceeding 17.66. I would be more inclined to attack this Raider offense from a fantasy and betting perspective with the Lions’ defense. Jimmy G has been the worst passer in the NFL so far throwing the ball under pressure. So far on the season, he has only completed a league-worst 11 of 31 (35.5%) passes against pressure and has thrown a league-high five interceptions while missing two games. The Lions currently rank 14th in the NFL in pressure rate at 23.9%, and while this isn’t a glaring number, I think it is enough to force Jimmy G into mistakes. Along with those mistakes, it is going to create a volatile environment in this game, as I expect the Lions to put up points on the Raiders. This is going to give Garoppolo plenty of time to accrue garbage time fantasy points and make his box score look better than what it should be. I also want to note that the Lions have given up the eighth most fantasy points per game (18.8) to opposing QBs and I wouldn’t be shocked that with that garbage time Jimmy can get close to 15-17 fantasy points in this one while playing a poor game overall.
Last week out of the gate we saw the Davante Adams squeaky wheel effect, with Adams getting the first seven targets on the day. After that, Adams only saw five while Jakobi Meyers saw a whopping 13. Over the last three games, we have seen Meyers completely leap Adams in target share, taking 28.6% (30) of the targets to Adams only seeing 20% (21). Over that span, Meyers has performed as a WR1, scoring 18.53 PPR points per game compared to Adams, who has scored 8.7 over that span and has even dropped a TD. It seems apparent that Adams wants out of Vegas, but the team has been adamant they aren’t moving him. Poverty franchises will stay in poverty. I’m not over the moon about either of these two WRs because the Lions funnel the passing game into the middle of the field towards the slot and both of these players line up outside on the perimeter 82.7% (Adams) and 75.5% (Meyers) the majority of the time. The Raiders use a mixture of players in the slot between Hunter Renfrow (92.2%) and their TEs, Austin Hooper (32%) and Michael Mayer (23.9%). The area I’d like to attack is with Michael Mayer this week, who I think is once again primed for a great matchup. The Lions have given up the third most fantasy points to opposing WRs out of the slot at 23.6 PPR points per game and that leaks over to TEs, where they give up the second most slot points to opposing TEs at 8.4 PPR points per game.
Josh Jacobs has had a disappointing season and I bit the dust on him last week as the latest victim to back him in terms of having a good game. Last week Jacobs ran the ball 11 times for 35 scoreless yards and only caught one of his four targets. It is worth noting, he had a TD called back on a ticky-tack penalty, but that is life in the NFL. He is now averaging 13.5 PPR points per game and ranks as the RB20 on the season. With that said, his volume has still been elite. He has the fifth highest snap rate amongst all RBs in the NFL, seeing 76.7% of the Raiders’ offensive snaps. He is second in the NFL in team rush share, seeing 72.8% of the Raiders’ carries and leads all RBs this year with a 16.5% target share, even higher than Christian McCaffrey (16.2%). Unfortunately, this isn’t the week Jacobs rights the ship. The Lions are one of the best, if not the best, team against opposing RBs this year. They have given up the third fewest PPR points per game to opposing backs at only 15 and this is with Gus Edwards ripping off long runs and catches in Week 7 en route to a career high 21.4 point performance. Prior to that game, it was even more egregious, as they led the NFL by giving up only 11.8 per game to opposing backs. They are only allowing 3.6 yards per carry and last week was the first time any RB had eclipse 35 rushing yards against the Lions, as Gus Edwards ran for 64 on 14 carries and Justice Hill got to 46 on only four carries. Don’t expect much out of Jacobs on Monday Night.
Jared Goff is playing like a top 10 QB in the NFL this year and I don’t think anyone can really argue that. While leading the Lions to a 5-2 record with near mistake-free football, Goff has thrown for 1,902 yards (6th) with a 7.6 adjusted yards per attempt (8th) and a 4.3% TD rate (11th) and a 1.6% INT rate (8th). All of this is encompassed for Goff to put up 17.9 PPG this year, which places him as the QB9 on the season. I’m very interested in Goff this week for fantasy and one of the main reasons is because of his extreme home and away splits. Goff puts up a lot more points at home in the dome than he does on the road. Since the start of the 2022 season, Goff has averaged 22.2 PPG at home vs. 12.9 PPG on the road. In three home games this year, Goff has put up 802 passing yards with a ridiculous 8.88 adjusted yards per attempt and tossing seven scores. On the road, he drops to a 6.81 adjusted yards per attempt and has only four TDs thrown in four games. The Raider pass defense has been respectable so far this year, giving up the 13th fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs and allowing the ninth fewest yards per attempt. The only QB to throw for over 235 yards against them this year was Josh Allen back in Week 2 when the Bills trounced the Raiders and Allen threw the ball 37 times, completing 31 of them for 274 yards and three scores. I think that this is the type of game that Goff is going to have, shredding the Raiders’ defense up and down the field all game long.
In terms of matchup for the Lions WR group, nothing jumps out. They give up the 25th fewest PPR points per game to opposing WRs as a whole and there isn’t a funnel of where they want the targets to go. They are relatively stout against the TE as well in terms of fantasy, giving up the 19th fewest points over to the position per game. However, there is a hole in the sense that they give up the sixth most PPR points per game to TEs lined up in-line, which is where Sam LaPorta takes 46.9% of his snaps. I’m not too concerned with this matchup, as I expect the usual suspects to eat for the Detroit Lion receiving group. The targets on this team are funneled to Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta. ARSB has seen a ridiculous 34 targets over the last two games while LaPorta has seen 18. No one else on the team has come close to that except for Jahmyr Gibbs, who saw 10 in Week 7. You should expect both of these two to play well with no one else in this group offering up much predictability outside of a flash in the pan play due to lack of volume. No other WR or TE on the team is averaging over 10.3% share (Jameson Williams) on the team over the last three games.
I think the waters get muddied here if David Montgomery were to suit up on Monday Night, but I don’t think that it is likely Montgomery returns before the Lions’ Week 9 Bye. With that said, this is the Jahmyr Gibbs backfield. In Week 7 against a tough Ravens defense, Gibbs saw a 86.7% snap share and a 78.6% rush share to go along with a 20.4% target share. He turned this volume into 68 rushing yards and a score on 11 carries with nine receptions on ten targets in the air for 58 yards. I don’t think that the air work will be quite as drastic for Gibbs in Week 8, since the Lions were down 28-0 quick against the Ravens in Week 7, but I do think the rushing will be there. I think Gibbs gets to 18+ carries and has a fantastic matchup to get him over his 65.5 rushing line. The Raiders have given up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing backs and their defensive front in this game is going to have their hands full with the elite Detroit offensive line. This is an extreme mismatch as the Raiders currently rank 30th in the NFL for defensive adjusted line yards while the Lions rank sixth in offensive adjusted line yards.
I think the Lions handle the Raiders easily on Monday Night. The only way this game stays close is if all of the calls go the Raiders’ way and we wake up Tuesday morning complaining about the refs. There is a slim chance that the Raiders back door cover in this one with how well the Lion defense is playing. I’ll be all over Gibbs and expect him to have a ceiling game.
- Jahmyr Gibbs OVER 65.5 Rushing Yards (-110): 3u – DraftKings
- *Monitoring Jimmy Garoppolo’s Passing Yards