Evan Silva’s Matchups: Week 7

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Oct 23 2020 75 mins   36
Detroit @ Atlanta Team Totals: Falcons 29.5, Lions 27 His Week 6 production capped by Detroit’s run-dominant blowout win over Jacksonville, Matthew Stafford visits Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz dome in bounce-back position facing a Falcons defense that served up top-12 fantasy finishes to each of its first six quarterbacks faced while presenting enemy signal callers with clean pockets by managing the NFL’s sixth-fewest sacks (6). No team has allowed more touchdown passes than Atlanta (18). After the Falcons’ offense re-found its footing in Julio Jones’ return, Detroit-Atlanta offers monster shootout potential as Week 7’s second highest-totaled game. … Although Adrian Peterson (35%) and Kerryon Johnson (25%) remained frustratingly involved, D’Andre Swift emerged from the Lions’ Week 5 bye leading the backfield in snaps (36%), targets (4), touches (17), total yards (123), and touchdowns (2) in a breakthrough performance that promisingly occurred in a game the Lions led from start to finish. Since the Falcons play sneaky pass-funnel defense – they’ve stymied enemy backs for 112/410/2 (3.66 YPC) rushing – this matchup sets up much more favorably for versatile Swift than early-down banger Peterson, who’s been out-targeted by his second-round rookie teammate 20 to 7 on the year. Only the Panthers have coughed up more running back receptions than Atlanta (46). Swift isn’t without risk in a three-man RBBC but warrants upside RB2 valuation here. Stafford’s Weeks 3-6 target distribution: Kenny Golladay 21; T.J. Hockenson 16; Swift and Marvin Jones 10; Danny Amendola 9; Jesse James 7; Jamal Agnew 6; Johnson and Peterson 4; Marvin Hall 3. … Seeing a robust 23% target share with 100-plus yards and/or a touchdown in all three games since returning from his hamstring pull, Golladay is an eruption candidate at Atlanta. Eight different wide receivers have cleared 90 yards against the Falcons, who have allowed the NFL’s fifth most fantasy points to Golladay’s position. Golladay is by far Detroit’s premier vertical weapon, and no NFL defense has yielded more 20-plus-yard completions than Atlanta (29). … Tight ends facing Atlanta have caught 41-of-50 targets (82%) for 450 yards (9.0 YPA) and a league-high seven TDs. Although Hockenson’s target volume has been slightly lacking, he has cleared 50 yards and/or hit paydirt in 5-of-5 games and is a cinch TE1 in this possible shootout. Despite Detroit’s early-season bye, Hockenson ranks second in the NFL in end-zone targets (6). … Held below 60 yards in nine straight games, Jones’ Week 7 appeal is tied entirely to matchup. He’s a boom-bust WR4/flex play who hasn’t boomed in seemingly forever. … Amendola has scored one touchdown and cleared 50 yards in 6-of-20 games (30%) since signing with the Lions in 2019. Amendola is averaging three targets per game since Golladay returned. Rejuvenated in Julio Jones’ (hamstring) Week 6 return for season highs in yards per attempt (9.3), QB rating (136.6), and touchdown passes (4) against the Vikings, Matt Ryan is positioned to stay hot versus the Lions, who rank 29th in Sack Rate (3.4%) and QB Hit Rate (11.9%) and have supported high fantasy quarterback floors by dishing out top-15 finishes to 4-of-5 signal callers faced. Ryan has finished QB25 or worse in three games missed or left early by Julio and top-seven scores in Jones’ three games played beginning to end. Matty Ice is a high-floor, high-ceiling play versus Detroit. … Todd Gurley’s run of plus draws continues Sunday versus Detroit, upon which enemy backs hung a combined Weeks 1-6 rushing line of 118/619/5 (5.25 YPC). All told, backfields facing the Lions have averaged 166.2 total yards and scored seven all-purpose TDs in five games. With touch counts of 21, 15, 17, 18, and 23 over the past five weeks, Gurley is a rock-solid RB2 play with matchup-driven RB1 upside. Detroit is a soft enough opponent that Falcons No. 2 back Brian Hill makes for a pa [...]