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5 must-read fantasy stats: Kareem Hunt's slump ends

Happy Week 11!!

Each week I'll be giving you five stats to think about as you make your fantasy roster selections. I am also going to give you three high-ceiling picks at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) and a kicker and defense that might be available to stream. I am trying to go outside the top few at each position and find some picks that could deliver exceptional value based on their matchup and opportunity (volume, game plan, projected final score). I'm going to try to avoid listing the players who are too obvious.

My goal is to help you think about edging out your opponents with a strong floor and exceptional upside picks. The "rules" for this article:

  1. Not super obvious.
    1. As exclusive as possible to this article.
    2. You give me feedback and we evolve it together. Twitter (@cfrelund) is the best for this, unless you are creepy then just stick to rules 1 and 2.

Got all that? Let's go!!!

1. 24

My model's output gives the following teams the strongest odds of scoring 24 or more points this week: Rams, Vikings, Saints, Chiefs, Patriots, and Eagles. The Lions and Seahawks have the next best chances. Note: The Steelers are also included in the strong 24-plus category, so if you're reading this after Thursday Night Football, use it as a bit of a measuring stick. The Vikings and Rams face each other in Minnesota in the closest score projection for any of the higher-scoring games. Use this to navigate your roster selections.

2. +2

That's the yards per carry difference the Bills defense allows to opposing rushers when Marcell Dareus has not been on the field. Between injuries and being traded, the Bills have played four games without Dareus this season, in these games, they've allowed opposing rushers to average 5.2 yards per carry and gave up 11 total rushing touchdowns. In the five games he played, the Bills held opponents to only 3.2 yards per rushing attempt and three total rushing touchdowns. I'm doing this to tell you to take a look at Austin Ekeler. Is it working?

3. Stat snacks to tell your friends that should be relevant this week:

 » The Green Bay Packers average 4.87 yards per play when they use formations with zero running backs since Aaron Rodgers got hurt. They've run 155 plays with no backs on the field since Week 7, the next closest team in terms of zero-back sets has run 16 such plays since Week 7 (Chargers).
 » The Raiders defense is currently sitting at nine consecutive games without an interception (an NFL record) and Tom Brady has completed 132 passes without an interception. The chances are low either streak is disrupted.
 » The Lions have now reached 61 consecutive games without a 100-yard rusher, a streak that I project to stay alive this week against the Bears

4. Things that probably won't last ...

 » 88.9 percent - Andy Reid's post-bye win percentage is one of my favorite over-talked about things. This will very likely increase (they're playing the Giants), but I want to add that Kareem Hunt's "slump" is likely coming to an end. He's my top rated back for the week in median and ceiling projections.
 » Julio Jones is on a three-game streak without a touchdown. Without Richard Sherman, Jones' chances go way, way up.
 » Minnesota's offensive line has not allowed their quarterback to be sacked in four games (very unlikely to hold the Rams and Aaron Donald to zero sacks).

5. If-thens ...

Adapting your lineups post injury-report is one of the biggest keys to fantasy wins -- especially in formats where you have access to all the players each week. Here are three for now. I'll tweet out more as they come in. Again, Sam Bradford is in here this week:

 » If Danny Woodhead plays don't bench Alex Collins. The Ravens' offensive coordinator told the media that Collins will remain the featured back. Do, however, downgrade Javorius Allen. Benjamin Watson is still fully playable in my model.
 » If Chris Hogan doesn't play (and he's not expected to) give a little boost to Brandin Cooks, maybe Danny Amendola (who is also questionable) and Phillip Dorsett. But give a bigger nod to Rex Burkhead. James White and (obviously) Rob Gronkowski are already must-plays.
 » If Jordan Reed plays, expect him to split targets with Vernon Davis and adjust your expectations. The Saints defense has not been generous to opposing tight ends either.

High Ceiling (remember, these are riskier!)

QB: Philip Rivers, Derek Carr, Dak Prescott 
RB: Adrian Peterson, Joe Mixon, Kenyan Drake 
WR: Sterling Shepard, Jeremy Maclin, Bruce Ellington, Jamison Crowder 
TE: David Njoku, Tyler Kroft, Austin Hooper 
DEF: Texans, Chargers, Ravens

Follow Cynthia Frelund on Twitter @cfrelund.

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