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Sunday Scaries: Week 7

Week 6 Update:

Breece Hall +1.5 Vs. Aaron Jones. Easy W. Jones got 9 carries FWIW. Going into the Jets game, Jones averaged 9 carries in Packers losses. Didn't need the points.

Ja'Marr Chase +2.5 Vs. Stefon Diggs. Chase finished as the WR1 overall. WR2? Diggs. Close call, but was a big W.

DK Metcalf +1.5 Vs. Marquise Brown. Even though Brown left early with a foot injury, he still outscored Metcalf, who couldn't reel in the TD. Third W of the week, finishing 3-0.

Running Season Record: 12-6

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Week 6 Matchups:

Josh Jacobs Vs. Dameon Pierce + 3.5

Both Josh Jacobs and Dameon Pierce have been great surprises so far this season. Jacobs was being drafted ealy 6th round in July, but had fallen as far as the 9th round since the first preseason game where he saw a few drives worth of action. Entering Week 7, Jacobs is the RB4 in fantasy points per game. Pierce's ADP hovered between round 11 and 12 this offseason, and has paid off, ranking as RB11 in fantasy points per game thru the first six weeks.

Looking deeper, Jacobs has a stranglehold on the Raiders backfield. Jacobs plays among the most snaps at running back in the NFL, ranking as RB4 in snap% with 74%. He also has 79% of his team's rushes and 60% of his team's rb targets, Jacobs is coming off a bye week which followed the highest consecutive fantasy performances in his career. Over the last two games, Jacobs has rushed 49 times for 298 yards and 3 TDs, along with 10 receptions on 11 targets for 70 receiving yards. And the matchup against the Houston Texans is a smash one-- the Texans allow the most fantasy points per game, most rushing yards, 5th most receptions, and 7th most receiving yards to running backs on the season. If there's a spike week in store for Jacobs, this is the week.

Dameon Pierce has clearly been a rising fantasy asset this season. Pierce has finished as a top-12 running back each of the last three weeks, in which he's had 20+ touches in the Houston Texans backfield. Coach Lovie Smith declared during the bye week that Pierce should get 20 carries each game. But the Raiders are not a cakewalk for opposing running backs as they rank 20th in fantasy points allowed to running backs on the season. That, and projected game script seem to limit Pierce's upside with the Raiders favored by 7 points in the spread. Though, perhaps, Pierce will continue to get 5+ targets like he has each of the last two weeks.

Final Pick: Josh Jacobs. The positive game script and significant plus matchup is enough to get over that +3.

Ezekiel Elliott vs. Tony Pollard +3.5

Both Dallas Cowboys running backs have seen varying levels of success this season. Pollard has had three top-24 running back weeks; Zeke has only accumulated two such games. Zeke has outscored Pollard in four of six games, however, with +3.5 points, two more of those games favor Pollard. The Lions give up the second most fantasy points per game to the running back position, so both Elliott and Pollard are startable considerations in Week 7.

Ezekiel Elliott's efficiency metrics indicate that he's no longer the dynamic running back he once was. Zeke ranks 42nd in true yards per carry, 49th in yards per touch, 42nd in juke rate, 51st in breakaway run rate, and 54th in yards created per touch. While the Dallas Cowboys are 6.5 point favorites at home against the Lions, Elliott has actually averaged more fantasy points in losses than wins this season (10 pts vs. 9 pts).

As for Tony Pollard, his efficiency metrics greatly out-match Elliott's on the season. Pollard ranks 20th in true yards per carry, 10th in yards per touch, 30th in juke rate, 18th in breakaway run rate, and 25th in yards created per touch. In wins this season, Tony Pollard is scoring over 11 fantasy points per game, compared to losses where he's scoring 4.5 fantasy points per game.

Final Pick: Tony Pollard +3.5. Even if Zeke is salting the game away, it won't mean much. Giving Pollard points in a positive game script is just too tantalizing to ignore.

CeeDee Lamb vs. Amon-Ra St. Brown + 3

Both CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown have stepped up as the bona fide number one receiving option for their respective teams this year. It's interesting, though, that St. Brown, who averages 4.6 fantasy points per game more per game than Lamb, is getting the +3.

St. Brown is 6th among Wide receivers in fantasy points per game, averaging 16.4. That's including Week 5 against New England where he played only 30% of snaps. Excluding that Week 5 game, St. Brown is averaging 20.6 fantasy points on the season, which would be the WR2 overall only behind Stefon Diggs. St. Brown is 2nd in target rate, 3rd in fantasy points per route run, 7th in target accuracy, and 9th in dominator rating on the season. And coming out of the bye week, with DJ Chark out, St. Brown is reportedly going to handle as many targets as Jared Goff can throw his way. The volume for St. Brown projects to be massive against Dallas, which gives up 27.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Speaking of volume, CeeDee Lamb has probably put up the quietest 33% target share we've seen in some time. Lamb is putting up the #1 target share among wide receivers, but is second among receivers in unrealized air yards. As much as certain members of the media have clamored for a competition between Cooper Rush and Dak Prescott upon Prescott's return from injury, Lamb is a good bet to increase his WR22 fantasy points per game output. No wide receiver with a 33%+ season target share over the last five seasons has finished outside the top-2 of fantasy scoring at the position. While Michael Gallup has now returned to the lineup following recovery from an ACL tear, regression is due to hit CeeDee Lamb, and comes at the right time with the return of Dak Prescott. Finally, the Lions are a plus matchup for opposing wide receivers, giving up the 8th most fantasy points and receiving yards per game.

Final Pick: Amon-Ra St. Brown +3. While I think Dak's return is good for Lamb's ceiling in future weeks, it may have to wait after this first game back for Prescott. I'll lean the points and higher target rate for St. Brown.

You can follow me on Twitter @FFStalder for more!


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