“Noise and Signal Callers” is a statistical smorgasbord for the upcoming NFL week. Some of the stats are (hopefully) predictive, while others are just interesting. I leave it to you to sort out which is which.
New Orleans @ Carolina
|Starting QB||Drew Brees||Cam Newton|
- For the first time in 2016, Brees ranks first in fantasy points per game, with 23.8. (As always, all fantasy points are calculated using FanDuel scoring.)
- The Panthers have allowed 19.7 fantasy points per game, sixth-most in the league.
- Brees’ 465 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns, and 33.6 fantasy points against the Panthers in Week 6 all mark season highs.
- Week 6 against New Orleans is the only game all season in which Newton rushed for fewer than 10 yards. He still scored 28.0 fantasy points.
- Through nine games, the Saints have allowed six top-12 QB fantasy performances. Only the Browns have allowed more.
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland
|Starting QB||Ben Roethlisberger||Cody Kessler|
- Through nine games, Cleveland has allowed opposing QBs to finish among the top 18 fantasy scorers each week. Every other team has held at least two opposing QBs outside the top 18.
- In two games against the Browns in 2015, Roethlisberger averaged 364 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 26.9 fantasy points.
- Kessler has been sacked on 7.8 percent of his dropbacks, fifth-most in the league.
- The Steelers have averaged just 1.4 sacks per game, fewest in the league.
Baltimore @ Dallas
|Starting QB||Joe Flacco||Dak Prescott|
- Against the Cleveland Browns, Flacco has averaged 21.5 points per game, which would rank sixth among QBs who have played at least four games.
- Against teams that are not the Cleveland Browns, Flacco has averaged 13.8 points per game, which would rank 27th among QBs who have played at least four games.
- The Dallas Cowboys are not the Cleveland Browns.
- The Ravens have been the ninth-toughest opponent for fantasy QBs, allowing just 15.9 points per game.
- Prescott has already played three teams among the top 12 toughest opponents for fantasy QBs: Philadelphia (6), Washington (10), and Pittsburgh (12). These three teams have combined to allow just 16.0 QB points per game. Prescott has averaged 21.8 points per game against them.
Jacksonville @ Detroit
|Starting QB||Blake Bortles||Matthew Stafford|
- Bortles has faced three teams, Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Oakland, among the top 10 in QB fantasy points allowed. He’s averaged 23.6 points in those games. Against all other teams, he’s averaged 17.0 points per game.
- The Lions have allowed 21.7 fantasy points per game, third-most in the league.
- Through nine games, Stafford has five top-12 weekly finishes. He had six in all of 2015.
- 86.2 percent of Stafford’s passes are targeted less than 15 yards downfield. Only Derek Carr throws short more often.
- The Jaguars have been the stingiest defense in the league against short passes, allowing only 5.22 yards per attempt on passes targeted less than 15 yards downfield.
Tennessee @ Indianapolis
|Starting QB||Marcus MariGOATa||Andrew Luck|
- The Colts are the sixth-stingiest defenses in the league against deep passes, allowing just 9.7 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield.
- The Colts are the most generous defense in the league against short passes, allowing 7.6 yards per attempt on passes targeted less than 15 yards downfield.
- Mariota throws deep on 22.4 percent of his pass attempts, behind only Colin Kaepernick and Ben Roethlisberger.
- Luck has faced just two defenses, Tennessee and Detroit, among the top 10 in fantasy points allowed. He posted the highest QB score of the week in both of those games.
- The Titans have faced four top-12 fantasy QBs: Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Blake Bortles. They have allowed 25.9 points per game to those opponents.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
|Starting QB||Tyrod Taylor||Andy Dalton|
- Since a Week 2 slugfest in Baltimore, Taylor has averaged 21.0 fantasy points per game, which would make him QB6 on the season.
- 20.9 percent of Taylor’s passes are targeted at least 15 yards downfield, seventh-most in the league.
- The Bengals allow 16.7 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield, most in the league.
- 24.9 percent of teams’ passes against the Bills are targeted at least 15 yards downfield, most in the league.
- The Bills allow 14.7 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield, fifth-most in the league.
- Dalton averages 16.3 yards per attempt on deep targets, sixth-most in the league.
Tampa Bay @ Kansas City
|Tampa Bay||Kansas City|
|Starting QB||Jameis Winston||Alex Smith|
- 21.0 percent of Winston’s passes are targeted at least 15 yards downfield. That’s the sixth-highest rate in the league.
- Winston averages just 7.7 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield. That’s third-worst in the league among QBs with at least 25 such attempts.
- Smith is averaging 6.6 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield. That’s, you guessed it, worst in the league among QBs with at least 25 such attempts.
- The Buccaneers are allowing 14.6 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield, sixth-most in the league.
Arizona @ Minnesota
|Starting QB||Carson Palmer||Sam Bradford|
- Palmer averaged 21.4 fantasy points in the first eight games of 2015, 18.6 fantasy points in the last eight games of 2015, and 16.3 fantasy points in the first eight games of 2016.
- The Vikings haven’t allowed a top-12 QB fantasy week this season. Every other team has allowed at least two.
- Bradford has thrown just two interceptions, which ties him with Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott for fewest interceptions among QBs who have played at least eight games.
Chicago @ New York Giants
|Chicago||New York Giants|
|Starting QB||Jay Cutler||Eli Manning|
- Contrary to reputation, Cutler had just one multi-interception game in 2015. Week 10 marked his first multi-interception game in 2016.
- Opponents have thrown 42.6 passes per game against the Giants, most in the league.
- Manning had five top-6 weekly finishes in 2015.
- Through nine games, Manning has zero top-6 weekly finishes in 2016.
- Manning is averaging 5.2 adjusted yards per attempt when throwing to the left side of the field and 7.5 adjusted yards per attempt everywhere else.
Miami @ Los Angeles
|Starting QB||Ryan Tannehill||Jared Goff|
- Tannehill is averaging 17.4 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield, fourth-highest in the league.
- 89.4 percent of Rams’ opponents’ passes have been targeted less than 15 yards downfield, most in the league.
- The last QB drafted in the first round to play his first career game in Week 10 or later was Jay Cutler in 2006.
- Among QBs with at least 100 pass attempts, only Ryan Fitzpatrick has a worse touchdown-to-interception ratio than Case Keenum (9:11). (I know, I know: this is Goff’s time. But I couldn’t pass up one last Keenum fact.)
New England @ San Francisco
|New England||San Francisco|
|Starting QB||Tom Brady||Colin Kaepernick|
- Brady is averaging 19.6 yards per attempt on passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield, which is best in the league.
- Brady is averaging 7.7 yards per attempt on passes targeted less than 15 yards downfield, which is also best in the league.
- Kaepernick has scored just one touchdown on his eight opportunites (dropbacks + rushes) within 10 yards of the goal line. Among QBs with at least five such opportunities, only Ryan Fitzpatrick has a worse touchdown rate.
- They’re now allowing 18.9 points per game — tenth most in the league — despite not facing a single QB currently in the top 12 in points per game.
Philadelphia @ Seattle
|Starting QB||Carson Wentz||Russell Wilson|
- Seattle is allowing 15.6 QB fantasy points per game, eighth-fewest in the league.
- Wentz has faced three teams, Washington, Minnesota, and the New York Giants, in the bottom 10 of QB fantasy points allowed. He has averaged 9.2 points per game against those teams.
- Wilson has completed 59 percent of his passes targeted at least 15 yards downfield. That’s the best deep-ball completion percentage among QBs with at least 25 such attempts.
Green Bay @ Washington
|Starting QB||Aaron Rodgers||Kirk Cousins|
- Presented without comment:
- Cousins is exceedingly average. (Which is pretty good, considering his competition is NFL QBs.) He ranks between QB10 and QB20 in the following categories:
- fantasy points per game
- yards per attempt
- interception rate
- touchdown rate
- yards per completion
Houston @ Oakland
|Starting QB||Brock Osweiler||Derek Carr|
- Osweiler is averaging 9.6 yards per completion, which is worst in the league among QBs with at least 125 pass attempts.
- Osweiler is completing 58.6 percent of his passes, which is fifth-worst in the league among QBs with at least 125 pass attempts.
- The only other QB averaging fewer than 11.0 yards per completion and completing less than 60 percent of his passes is Blaine Gabbert.
- 86.5 percent of Carr’s passes are targeted less than 15 yards downfield, most in the league.
- The Texans allow just 5.5 yards per attempt on passes targeted less than 15 yards downfield, third-lowest in the league.