Welcome to FedEx Air and Ground fantasy analysis. Each week, we'll highlight some favorable quarterback plays and a few running backs that could prove valuable for fantasy owners based on matchups, projected game flow, and most essentially, talent. With Week 11 in the books and another sample of fantasy points against data to work with, here are a few matchups to exploit in Week 12. These players might just win your week.
Derek Carr is fantasy's QB7 and has only gotten better as the season has gone on. He averaged a season high 9.5 yards per attempt and put up 295 yards last week against a tough Texans pass defense that had been allowing just 196.8 passing yards coming into the game.
We saw on Monday night that Oakland can use its running backs as receivers if needed, which gives Carr another channel to rack up yards and in turn, fantasy points. Against Houston, the Raiders' backs combined for 199 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns, while Amari Cooper (who scored) and Michael Crabtree combined for just 62 receiving yards in the game.
The Panthers should be a much easier task for Carr to carve up than either of his previous two opponents (DEN, HOU). Carolina is one of just five teams in the NFL that's allowed over 2,900 passing yards for the season. Plus, the Panthers' defense could be without All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly. His absence could slow the team's pass-rush and give Carr even more time in the pocket to find an open receiver.
Bortles has played less than mediocre real football of late, but has been decent as a fantasy option with nine touchdown passes and "only" four picks in his last four games. He posted two consecutive 21-plus fantasy point outings in Weeks 8 and 9 and has thrown two or more touchdown passes and for 250 or more yards in three of his last four games.
And for all the flack he's caught for being bad, he's not that far off his numbers from last year in terms of passing yards per game (262.3) and passer rating (80.0). I mean, neither of those numbers are good but everyone is acting like the dude's career is over. Since they made a change at offensive coordinator, the Jaguars red zone touchdown percentage is up to 75.0 in their last three contests from 54.5 in their first seven. The team's third-down percentage is also up to 43.2 from 30.3 and their total yards per game is up to 357.3 from 330.6.
With the emergence of Marqise Lee as a consistent threat, and obviously Allen Robinson creating havoc for opposing secondaries, as long as Bortles can keep his head above water against a Buffalo pass defense that has struggled lately (third-most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks over last four weeks), Bortles should be just fine for your fantasy team on Sunday.
We're finally seeing the Giants use Rashad Jennings the way he should be used. With a season-high 21 carries last week, plus five receptions, Jennings posted his best fantasy outing of the season.
It's obvious to fantasy owners (although not to the Giants' coaching staff apparently) that when Jennings is given enough work, he's able to get into a rhythm and produce. In fact, in his career with the Giants when he's had 16 or more touches in a game, he averages 113 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns per contest. Give him the ball!
Jennings has also had six targets in each of the last two games, and that work as a pass-catcher has helped to provide a safe floor for owners in PPR formats. His touch count has been trending up in the five games since he returned from injury, with totals of 13, 15, 14, 18 and 26 and he gets to face the Browns in Week 12. Cleveland has allowed 15 total touchdowns to running backs and have allowed 100-plus rush yards in nine of 11 games this year (143.9 rush yards per game). Use Jennings with confidence in Week 12.
Jay Ajayi's fantasy production has slowed of late. He's gone two games now without a touchdown, but volume has been there with 20 and 19 touches in each of his last two contests and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry in that span.
Two weeks ago, Damien Williams scored twice in a homecoming game (he's from San Diego). Last week, the Dolphins had a tough task against a solid Rams defensive front, and Miami's offensive line was banged up, eventually playing without three of its starters.
This week, none of that should be a problem, even for backup linemen. Ajayi should have no issues finding room to run against a 49ers defense that is allowing a ridiculous 5.2 yards per carry, by far the worst in the NFL. With an average of 179.5 rushing yards per game allowed and six total touchdowns given up to running backs over the last three games, Ajayi's 77 percent snap rate the last two weeks points to a big week.
When you consider that the 49ers rank dead last in average time of possession per game (26:16), you can see why Ajayi will have plenty of opportunities to return to form in Week 12.
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