Washington Football Team (5-6, 4-7 ATS) at Las Vegas Raiders (6-5, 5-6), 4:05 p.m.
Brolley’s Football Team Stats and Trends
Washington has won outright and covered in three straight games since their Week 9 bye after starting the season 2-6 outright and 1-7 ATS.
The Football Team has played under the total in five of their last six games.
Antonio Gibson looks as healthy as he has all season since their Week 9 bye, averaging 24.0/90.0 rushing per game with two rushing scores over the last three weeks. He also posted seven catches last week after topping out at three catches in a game through the first 11 weeks, and he should stay involved as a receiver after J.D. McKissic suffered a scary neck injury last week. The Raiders are giving up 140.9 scrimmage yards per game to RBs, and Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott combined for 33.7 FP last week.
Taylor Heinicke has finished with fewer than 16 FP in five of his last seven games after completing 27/35 passes for 223 yards, one TD, and one INT against the Seahawks in Week 12. He also had just one carry for four yards after racking up 20/149 rushing in his previous four games. The Raiders are giving up the 10th-most FPG (19.4) to QBs with seven QBs reaching 20+ FP against them.
Terry McLaurin continues to be a boom-or-bust option, falling below 12 FP seven times or topping 21+ FP in his other four contests. He’s seen eight or fewer targets in five of his last six games after posting 11+ targets in three of his first five games this season. Michael Gallup posted 5/106 receiving last week while operating as Dallas’ clear top WR.
Curtis Samuel saw his first action last week since Weeks 4-5, but he played just 24% of the snaps and he caught his only target for nine yards on six routes. His snaps should grow moving forward as long as he doesn’t have a setback, but DeAndre Carter is still locked in as the #2 WR with 4/42 receiving on five targets and 27 routes last week. The Raiders are giving up the sixth-fewest FPG (32.4) to WRs.
Logan Thomas wasn’t quite back to his full-time role from early in the season, but he played a promising 79% of the snaps with 3/31 receiving on six targets. He also had a touchdown taken off the board late in the game, which prevented him from having a top-12 TE performance in his first game back. His snaps should continue to rise this week, and he gets the second-best TE matchup against the Raiders, who are giving up 17.4 FPG.
Brolley’s Raiders Stats and Trends
The Raiders are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
Las Vegas is 8-2 toward overs in its last 10 home games.
Derek Carr has finished with fewer than two TD passes in three of his four games out of their Week 8 bye, but he had his best game in a month on Thanksgiving Day. He completed 24/39 passes for 373 yards (9.6 YPA) and one TD against the Cowboys. Washington is giving up a league-high 24.2 FPG to QBs this season, and they’ve allowed multiple TD passes in 8-of-11 games.
Darren Waller is having a season from hell after picking up a knee injury early in the second quarter of their Thanksgiving Day game, which eventually turned into a fantasy bonanza against the Cowboys — he managed 2/33 receiving on five targets through 18 minutes of action. Waller was just starting to heat up after posting 90+ yards twice in Weeks 9-11, but he could now be looking at a potential absence for his knee injury. Waller has seen 8.4 targets per game this season, and Foster Moreau went off for 6/60/1 receiving when Waller missed in Week 7. He’s scored a whopping 10 TDs on just 53 career targets, and Gerald Everett posted 5/37/1 receiving in this matchup last week.
Hunter Renfrow stepped up as Carr’s clear top option against the Cowboys, posting season-highs in catches (8), receiving yards (134), and FP (21.6). He has been incredibly consistent with 5+ catches in nine of his 11 games, but he hadn’t topped 60+ yards in a game since Week 3 until he exploded for his first 100-yard since the end of 2019. Tyler Lockett posted 96 receiving yards on three catches in this matchup last week.
The Raiders unleashed DeSean Jackson on the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, and he gave Las Vegas’ stagnant offense some much-needed life. He posted 3/102/1 receiving on four targets against Dallas while playing on a season-high 48% of the snaps. Washington is giving up a solid 13.0 YPR to WRs this season.
The Raiders went out of their way to feature Josh Jacobs more in Week 12 and it resulted in season-highs in carries (22), rushing yards (87), and FP (19.2). He finished with 22/87/1 rushing and 2/25 receiving on four targets in an overtime victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. Jacobs had seen fewer than 10 carries in three of his last four games, and he could also play a bigger role in the offense if Waller misses time. Washington is giving up the second-fewest rushing yards per game (64.8) and just 3.6 YPC to RBs, but they have given up 5+ receptions to individual RBs in three straight games.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 30.1 (28th)
Plays per game: 69.6 (3rd)
Pass: 56.6% (25th) | Run: 43.4% (8th)
Pace: 27.4 (14th)
Plays per game: 59.6 (28th)
Pass: 63.1% (13th) | Run: 36.9% (20th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
While this game is getting a ton of respect in the markets with a 50 over/under, the pace and play volume setup is mediocre overall. The Raiders and The Team combine for just the seventh-best game of Week 13 in the pace / plays model. We’re also going to need to see a trend reversal from Washington defensively because they have held their last five opponents to 24 or fewer points after giving up 29+ in their five previous games.
The Raiders won last week in a great game against the Cowboys, but they still didn’t fix their red-zone woes that have plagued them since the bye. Over the last four weeks, the Raiders are one of five offenses to have 15 drives go into the red-zone – but they have cashed in for just 5 TDs on those possessions. The Colts, Chargers, Patriots, and Vikings are the other four teams with 15+ red-zone drives in this span and they have all scored at least 10 TDs inside-the-20. A few tweaks could open up the scoring floodgates for Vegas.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
I don’t think Casey Hayward Jr. is going to ghost Terry McLaurin in Week 13. The expectation is actually for Terry McScorin to score in the neighborhood of 17-19 FPs. But Casey Hayward Jr. has been one of the top-five corners this season, providing an excellent face-off for our viewing pleasure.
Seeing Hunter Renfrow threaten his excellent Slot Machine nickname by working on a substantial number of reps outside due to the complete ineptitude of Bryan Edwards is a damn shame. Kendall Fuller, meet the softest matchup of your ‘21 season.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
This off-season, we were drafting RB Antonio Gibson — a former college WR — based on the assumption that he was going to get a massive workload, especially in the passing game. There was a chance he could be a discount Christian McCaffrey. And we weren’t the ones who said that. Team coach Ron Rivera has been saying that since the day Gibson was drafted, and just recommitted to the bit this summer.
Rivera says Gibson has a skill set similar to Christian McCaffrey.. In college, lined up in backfield, in slot a lot too.— John Keim (@john_keim) April 25, 2020
Because of injuries and that pesky (but useful) JD McKissic, things haven’t worked out that way for Gibson. But if — and this is a big if — you’ve managed to survive to this point, you might be getting the best of Gibson. His shin seems to be much less of an issue, after Washington’s bye, and now McKissic is out with a concussion.
Here’s Scott Barrett with more on Gibson from Start/Sit:
“Could it be? Might all of our offseason dreams finally be coming true?
Gibson has been dealing with a stress fracture in his shin since Week 4. Per Virginia Zakas of The Athletic, “This is an injury that isn’t going to heal until he takes time off, and it is an injury that can get worse the more he plays on it. Gibson needs to be shut down for at least a month, and even then it won’t be 100%." He’s still listed on the injury report, and is only practicing in a limited capacity. But…
Since the team’s Week 9 bye, Gibson has played on 60% of the team’s snaps, averaging 24.0 carries, 3.0 targets, 106.3 YFS, and 17.6 FPG. And this culminated in career-best usage for Gibson in Week 12, earning 29 of 37 carries (4 of 4 inside the 10-zone) and 7 of 12 targets out of the backfield (on 68% of the team’s snaps).
It’s worth pointing out that all 3 games since the team’s bye were wins, and he’s historically been very gamescript-dependent. Plus Washington is projected to lose this week, as 2.5-point road underdogs traveling across the country on a short week. But that probably shouldn’t be too big of a concern if J.D. McKissic (concussion protocol) sits out. In fact, if that happens, I think we’ll finally see Gibson as the gamescript-immune McCaffrey-like bell cow we’ve long dreamed he might one day become. Jaret Patterson is averaging just 7.0 snaps, 4.0 carries, and 0.0 targets per game since their bye. But McKissic leaves behind (over the same span), 5.3 carries, 3.7 targets, and a 41% snap share.
And minus the negative gamescript, the on-paper matchup is just about perfect. The Raiders rank bottom-7 in both rushing and receiving FPG allowed to opposing RBs, and 4th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed (+5.4) — and, 3rd-worst over the last 5 weeks (+5.9). We have him ranked as a top-5 RB this week, and keep in mind, that’s with McKissic expected to play.”
With McKissic out, it isn’t Patterson taking the extra touches, or at least Ron Rivera isn’t saying so. That’ll be Wendell Smallwood:
With McKissic out, expect Wendell Smallwood — not Jaret Patterson — to fill the McKissic role for Washington. Rivera was asked if Patterson could fill it and then Rivera pivoted to Smallwood.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 3, 2021
Logan Thomas is back, too! And frankly, Washington’s TE situation is one of the best in the NFL — presuming we know who to start based on injury. Here’s Scott again!
“If (just for fun) we include plays later overturned and/or negated due to penalty, Thomas averages 5.5 targets, 9.6 XFP, and 12.2 fantasy points per full game on a 87% route share. Among all TEs those numbers would rank: 13th-, 12th-, 6th-, and 1st-best.
And if, further, we treat Thomas and Ricky Seals-Jones as one player, then Washington’s TE1 is averaging: 5.8 targets, 10.4 XFP, 42.7 YPG, and 11.3 fantasy points per start on a 89% route share. Among all TEs those numbers would rank: 11th-, 10th-, 12th-, 8th-, and 1st-best.
So, I was already viewing a healthy Thomas as no-less than a fringe-TE1. But he’s definitely a TE1 this week, against a Raiders defense that ranks 5th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing TEs (+3.3), with 28% of their total receiving production allowed going to TEs (3rd-most).”
The big news for the Raiders this week — well, more of a question — is the availability of TE Darren Waller, who has a knee injury and is doubtful. It’s not expected to be serious (i.e. long-term), as it is reported as a rare but relatively minor IT band injury, but we do wonder if there’s more going on.
Darren Waller:— Edwin Porras, DPT (@FBInjuryDoc) November 25, 2021
*By this angle appears to be MCL sprain of left knee
*Left eversion sprain/high ankle secondary concern
*Grade I MCL and he could return any time between today to Week 14
*Grade II MCL would be a 3-5 week injury. Think Jarvis Landry. pic.twitter.com/hmhCSMrnQ5
Here’s more from Scott on Foster Moreau, in the event Waller doesn’t play, as is expected:
“Pat Freiermuth averages 16.6 FPG without Eric Ebron. Ricky Seals-Jones was at least serviceable in his 4 full starts Logan Thomas missed (9.8 FPG). Dan Arnold was a seamless replacement for James O’Shaughnessy (who we’ll get to in a second). And Moreau, in the one game Darren Waller sat out, played on 100% of the team’s snaps, catching 6 of 6 targets for 60 yards and a score.
And so, handcuff TEs are apparently the trendy new fad in fantasy football. And as such, we like Moreau, the newest incarnation, as a mid-range TE1 this week (assuming Waller sits).
Moreau has been heavily utilized in the red zone (25% of his targets coming there), and draws a matchup that’s potentially top-10 and is at least neutral at worst. Washington ranks 10th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing TEs over the last 5 weeks (+1.9). And, against arguably the league’s worst pass defense (and No. 1 pass funnel defense), the Raiders are projected to score 23.25 points this week, which is +6.5 (33%) more than what they’ve averaged over the last 5 weeks.
And, well, those points have to come from somewhere. So, why not Moreau in the Waller role, feasting in the intermediate-middle portion of the field, while DeSean Jackson works deep, still drawing extra help at the single-highest rate in the league (per PFF).”
It is, of course, worth pointing out that DeSean Jackson is hurt again, this time with a calf injury. So the Raider offense could be more restricted in the short to intermediate area. The injury is not believed to be serious… but forgive me if I don’t exactly feel all warm and cuddly inside given Jackson’s history.
While calf injuries often linger, this ones sounds like a minor deal. Something to watch, but the belief is it’s not serious. https://t.co/Ovhe70G2eR— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 2, 2021
One guy you’re playing regardless? Hunter Renfrow. Here’s Graham on why:
“If Darren Waller misses this game, Hunter Renfrow becomes a nails WR2 play in PPR leagues. He’s obviously coming off of his best game of the season (8/134 vs. Cowboys), so it might feel like you’re chasing points here – but you’re really not. It’s no surprise that Renfrow went off in a game that Waller sustained two injuries (back and knee) and it’s no surprise that he led the team in targets (9) and had a solid 7/58 back in Week 7 when Waller was out. Renfrow catches a great matchup here, too, as Washington is permitting the sixth-most FPG (21.8) to opposing slot WRs.”