Week Ten WR/CB matchups – Lock It Down
Hello Rush Nation!
I’ve been given an opportunity by Stocks to give the Lock It Down article a crack! Hopefully, these picks will be able to give you as good a balance as he normally gives you in here.
So, after getting the guidelines and ground rules from the man himself, here at the three picks that the research points to this week…
WEEK TEN WR/CB MATCHUPS – THE SELECTIONS
MARVIN JONES vs. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
Jones didn’t get himself a lot of the limelight in last week’s game. Understandably, he was kept rather quiet until his touchdown. 4 targets gave him three completions, 28 yards, and the score. Instead, the action went to Danny Amendola, who saw double- digit looks for his efforts.
And here we are again. First in the list last week, first in the list again this week. Jones came away with meagre pickings from the team ranked WORST in giving up fantasy points to WRs on NFL.com. And, believe me, things aren’t getting any easier against the Washington Football Team.
WFT currently sit BEST against giving away fantasy points to Wide Receivers. That fine stat comes from their lack of passing touchdowns conceded (just 3 in 8 games). The defence has also seen the fewest pass attempts made to Wide Receivers (127) the least completions to the position (80) and the second smallest yard total (1,056). Across all offensive positions, they have conceded the fewest passing yards, at just 1,485.
Could this be to do with the pressure being applied on Quarterbacks by Young, Sweat and the boys – who are already on 27 sacks for the year? Or could it be that the WFT have two Superbowl winning Cornerbacks in their midst? Kendall Fuller won it last year with the Chiefs, and Ronald Darby clinched the title with the Eagles. And Fuller, a likely shadow for Jones, already has 4 interceptions. This could become a tough task for all Lions wide options.
The good news for Jones is that Matt Stafford looks to start after his fortnight with the concussion-COVID combo. But it’s the players on the other side of the ball that Marvin should be concerned about.
ALL PATRIOTS RECEIVERS vs. THE RAVENS
Oh boy. This is a blanket warning for all of the Wide Receivers in this team. Even new go-to guy Jakobi Meyers.
This is promising to be a very tough week for New England. Murf has been very hot on the fact that the Patriots have not given a passing touchdown to a Wide Receiver for a long time. And even then, it wasn’t Cam Newton who threw it – it was the backup Jarett Stidham.
But with the news that Newton hurt his neck after a tackle in the game against the Jets, we could see that happen again! Nevertheless, who ever is behind that line when the two sides face-off is in for a rough ride.
The Ravens are riding high in many defensive stat tables. That includes their record for conceding only four passing touchdowns to Wide Receivers this season. And also includes them allowing opponents to score ANY offensive points on only 25.6% of drives. That’s just under three-quarters of drives going without even a field goal.
So that’s already spelling out trouble for those receivers. And, if they need to have any hope of breaking that barren streak, those passes have to come from somewhere. Sadly, this is where they come up against another brick wall. Or rather, have several brick walls hurtling towards their Quarterback at great speed. The Ravens have blitzed the second-highest amount this year – 147 at last count. That’s led to the second-highest Quarterback hits while they have attempted to pass (81) – and 24 sacks (6th).
And even if Cam Newton starts (which is likely), and manages to get away from that onslaught, then there’s more woe for the Wide men. Newton ranks 30th in pass attempt volume, with just 191 pass attempts. That’s less than Dak Prescott managed in his 5 games this season (222) – and both sides have been chasing leads this year.
On the contrary, Newton is more likely to run the ball away from trouble. He’s currently third in QB runs with 69 carries, behind only Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson.
So, all in all, this could be a lean night for the New England Wide Receivers, especially with that fearsome coverage lurking just behind them.
D.K. METCALF vs. THE RAMS
After my bold claim on Fast Action Friday, I’m doubling down on the DK decision.
Don’t get me wrong, we have all seen how dominant D.K. can be – on both sides of the ball! And he’s certainly been able to sample Russ’ cooking on several occasions. But this could be a week that he finds the going significantly tougher than normal.
And it’s not without supporting evidence. The Rams have conceded just 9 passing touchdowns across all positions this year – the lowest in the league. Not only that, but when narrowed down to just Wide Receivers, that number shrinks to four. And one of those was a gadget play to Deebo Samuel against the 49ers, so the tossing motion made that rush attempt count as a pass.
Not only that, but the Rams are also the only side to keep their opponents’ Wide Receivers to below 1000 yards across 8 games (997). That includes a lot of other teams who have also had their bye weeks. The Rams have also faced teams who have had to pass their way back into the game. So this is an impressive stat considering the circumstances.
FACING OFF WITH JALEN
One of the main reasons could be Jalen Ramsey. The Cornerback seems to having his best season yet. He is currently tied in fourth position with Jaire Alexander for yards conceded per snap – just 0.57 – a frighteningly small number. And, due to the amount of noise that Metcalf has been making in the last few weeks, it could well be Ramsey who is tasked with shadowing the behemoth.
Staff on both sides are expecting sparks to fly in this one, although the Rams are being coy with Ramsey’s usage. Like Pete Carroll has said recently, Ramsey is a playmaker, being used to his highest potential like the Cardinals do with fellow Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson.
And there’s only one week where Metcalf has seen less than his stellar statline. Three receptions, two targets and 23 yards. And who was covering him? Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals. I’ll let you work out the rest…
Until next time,