Each week, NFL Media analytics expert Cynthia Frelund will provide you with her 15 must-read stats for the week. These might not be an end all, be all stat for making a start or sit decision, but they're here to help you understand the matchups and make the most informed lineup decisions possible.
Fantasy impact: His 327 carries for 1,485 yards were also both good for first in the NFL last season. Meanwhile, his 11 touchdowns were only good enough to tie for first in the league. It doesn't matter who his quarterback is, A.D. is elite. To help with future matchup issues, add tracking YAC for running backs to your list of quick metrics.
2) The Bucs allowed the second-fewest yards per rush (3.4) in the NFL last season.
4) Last season the Bills led the league in yards per rush (4.8), yards per game (152), 10-yard rushes (70) and tied for league lead in rushing touchdowns with 19.
Fantasy impact: Greg Roman dialed up running plays often in 2015, resulting in LeSean McCoy averaging 4.4 yards per carry over 12 games, and Tyrod Taylor averaging 5.5 yards per carry (568 total yards) over 14 games last season. Look for the Bills offense to continue to rely on the run game in 2016, starting in Week 1. However, we can't overlook the fact that the Ravens defense ranked 10th in yards allowed per attempt in 2015. In the two seasons prior to that, they finished second and fourth in that same category. Fantasy owners will have to decide if the Bills' strength (running the football) is greater than the Ravens' strength (stopping the run). I have Shady slated for 16 carries, 62 rushing yards, two receptions and 18 receiving yards. I have Tyrod with 20 completions, 230 passing yards, one passing touchdown and five carries for 28 yards.
Fantasy impact: Last year, Rodgers' career-low completion percentage (60.7) came with a career high in passing attempts per game (35.8 in 2015 versus 33.1 2008-2014 combined) and a career-low in yards per attempt (6.7 in 2015 versus 8.3 in 2008-2014 combined). Nelson has caught 400 of the 596 (67.1 percent) total targets he's seen since 2008 for a career average of 15.3 yards per reception. Looking only at receivers with 500 or more targets over this time period, Jordy's catch rate of 67.1 is the second-best (Wes Welker), while his 15.3 yards per reception is the fifth-best. He's the only wide receiver to finish among the top-five in each group, too. With Nelson back to full health, the deep ball (and the threat of the deep ball, which changes defenses) is back for the Pack this season.
Nelson is likely to see fewer snaps than what I project his per-game average will be due to the heat (think about running several deep routes in 10,000% humidity). The beneficiary of his absence this week against the Jaguars from a targets standpoint is probably tight end Jared Cook. Though I'm not recommending playing him in fantasy unless you are really looking to be different.
6) Eric Decker's 28 red-zone targets led the league last season and were five more than any other player.
Fantasy impact: I project Brandon Marshall and Decker to have similar stat lines this week, with five to six catches and 60 to 70 yards for each receiver. My model gives Marshall a slight edge in all categories, including a better chance of finding the end zone, despite Decker's past usage inside the 20-yard line.
7) Derek Carr improved his completion percentage on throws of 20-plus yards last season by 15 percent from 2014
Fantasy impact: He went from completing 22 percent of his throws of 20-plus yards in 2014 (last in the league) to 37 percent in 2015. For reference, the league average was 35 percent in 2015. His TD:INT ratio went from 2:2 to 10:3 year-over-year as well. Sidebar, I really like Carr versus the Saints defense this week.
Fantasy impact: You know who is three inches taller and eight years younger than Watson? Coby Fleener. Fleener also ran a 4.45 40-yard dash and had a 37-inch vertical jump at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. Fleener only saw 83 targets last season while sharing duties with Dwayne Allen in Indy, so I'm thinking Fleener is in a great spot for a breakout year. For Week 1, I like Fleener as a top-five tight end.
9) The Dolphins defense was on the field for five minutes, 15 seconds more than their opponents last season which, the third-largest differential
10) ... the Seahawks possessed the ball for three minutes and 23 seconds more than their opponents last season (fourth-largest differential)
11) Allen Robinson was targeted 47 times (33 percent of his targets) 20 or more yards down the field, catching 19 passes of that variety
Fantasy impact: Of Blake Bortles' 35 touchdowns last year, 29 came when the Jaguars were trailing. I understand the logic that the improvements to the defense will temper the fantasy returns of the Jaguars offense, but I don't think that logic works with this matchup ... come on, they're playing Aaron Rodgers.
13) The Washington defense allowed 4.83 yards per carry in 2015, the second-highest mark in the league
14) Chandler Jones recorded 12.5 sacks as a Patriot last season and has recorded 10-plus sacks in two of the last three seasons
Fantasy impact: He's also recorded 100-plus receiving yards in three of his last four Monday Night Football matchups.