NFL Grind Down: Week 5

Written by MrTuttle05

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, an all-encompassing preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the statistics, insights and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

NOTE: Games will be published as they are completed. Primetime matchups are free for all users. Main slate breakdowns can only be accessed by Premium subscribers.

Every game will be broken down statistically, with several key elements highlighted in our charts. Vegas lines are broken down to show projected team totals, to give you an idea of who is favored to win, and often more importantly, how many points they’re expected to score. Each contest is then analyzed team-by-team, with a focus on finding matchups to exploit and trends to follow.

Vegas Overview

LAR @ SEA Team Spread Total Implied Moneyline
SEA -1.5 49.5 25.5 -122
LAR 1.5 49.5 24 106

Betting Quick Take: These teams played twice last season and both games turned into shootouts with the Rams winning 33-31 and 36-31. It is in the Seahawks’ best interest to limit possessions and I expect Pete Carroll to lean on the running game as much as possible in this spot on a short week. Seattle already runs the ball at the 10th highest rate in the league and play at the 27th slowest situation-neutral pace. Look for those numbers to be even more pronounced against a Rams team that plays at the 2nd quickest situation-neutral pace in the league and ranks 18th in Adjusted Line Yards. Jared Goff has historically poor road splits and has carried his travel woes over to this season averaging just 227 passing yards per game. Look for Goff to struggle to get into a rhythm limiting the Rams offensive production on a quick turnaround after the offense ran a ridiculous 89 plays against the Bucs in Week 4.

SEA -1.5
Confidence Level 5/10

Under 49.5
Confidence Level 6/10

Injury Situations

Player Team Pos Status Part Impact
Rashaad Penny SEA RB Q Hamstring 7

Injuries to Monitor: Rashaad Penny is off the injury report and fully expected to play. Look for him to reclaim his backup RB role with C.J. Prosise returning limited to no action. Duane Brown is listed as questionable but was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice and should suit up.

Matchup Factors, Team Identity Metrics, and Game Flow Expectations

Expected Game Pace and Tempo: The Rams and Seahawks operate at opposite ends of the spectrum with Los Angeles playing at the 2nd quickest situation-neutral pace in the league and Seattle operating at the 6th slowest. As long as this game stays close, I fully expect Pete Carroll to slow down this game as much as possible in order to limit the number of plays the Rams are able to run. Volume for both passing games could be a real concern if Carroll and Seattle are successful in playing the time-of-possession game, which I expect them to be.

Seattle Seahawks Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Rank Proj ProjAtt ProjYds
Russell Wilson SEA 19.58 QB6 35.82 287.22
RB Team Rank Proj ProjRu% ProjTar%
Chris Carson SEA 15.56 RB11 59% 10%
Rashaad Penny SEA 7.1 RB44 25% 5%
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Tyler Lockett SEA 17.22 WR6 25% 8.96
D.K. Metcalf SEA 12.48 WR35 20% 7.16
Jaron Brown SEA 4.76 WR94 8% 2.87
Will Dissly SEA 11.62 TE8 18% 6.45

LAR Adj. Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 18/ RB Rank 12/ WR Rank 15/ TE Rank 11

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note:
Week 4 Snap Share: Chris Carson 83.6%, C.J. Prosise 18.2%
Week 4 Carries: Chris Carson 22, C.J. Prosise 3
Season Target Share: Chris Carson 11.8%, C.J. Prosise 7.4%

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Rams DVOA against the Run: 8th
Carson’s YPC: 3.8

Find someone to look at you the way Pete Carroll looks at Chris Carson. Seattle held strong with Carson throughout his early-season fumbling problems and he paid the team off with his best game of the season in Week 4 carrying the ball 22 times for 104 yards and catching all 4 of his targets for 41 yards. Carson tied for the Week 4 lead with Alvin Kamara and Ronald Jones with 9 avoided tackles and averaged 4.82 yards after contact per attempt.

The biggest question surrounding Seattle’s run game is how the return of Rashaad Penny will affect Carson’s workload. Carson dominated RB carries last week with 22 carries to Prosise’s 2 but it seems unlikely that extreme of a split will continue with Penny back. Penny saw 6-of-21 RB carries in Week 1 and 10-of-27 RB carries in Week 2. We currently have Penny projected for a 25% rush share against the Rams, which if anything could be a bit generous for Carson. I have no hesitation stating that Carson will continue as Seattle’s lead back but am expecting closer to a 65% share of RB carries than the 91.7% he saw in Week 4.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note:
Target Share: Tyler Lockett 24%, Will Dissly 17%, D.K. Metcalf 17%
Market Share of Air Yards: D.K. Metcalf 31%, Tyler Lockett 29%, Will Dissly 15%

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Rams DVOA against the pass: 13th
Wilson’s Y/A: 9.0

The maddening lack of passing game volume continues for the Russell Wilson led attack. If you take out Week 3’s 50 passing attempt outlier, Wilson is averaging just 27.7 attempts per game. Even with Wilson’s unreal efficiency metrics, fantasy value is hard to come by with that limited of a workload. Lack of passing volume has killed Lockett 2-of-4 weeks this season with weekly target totals of 2, 12, 14, and 4. Although he’s seen fewer targets on the season, D.K. Metcalf volume has been more consistent with target totals of 6, 7, 6, and 4. It’s been Metcalf, and not Lockett, who has been Seattle’s top downfield threat this season with D.K. owning a 31% market share of air yards. Will Dissly has jumped into the picture as Wilson’s #3 option as Dissly saw a season-high 87.3% snap-rate in Week 4 with Nick Vannett shipped out of town.

We currently have Wilson projected for 35.82 passing attempts against the Rams which would tie for the second-most attempts he’s thrown in a game this season. I would take the under on that number while acknowledging he could rocket past that number if Seattle does find themselves down in a big early hole like they did in Week 3. At the current projected volume, Lockett rates as WR6 on the week if given a 25% target share which is in line with his season rate.

Team Quick Summary: Chris Carson rates as a strong single-game slate option but there’s enough uncertainty surrounding his volume with the return of Rashaad Penny that he is an easy fade in all full-slate formats. Similarly, Russell Wilson is a priority spend on single-game slates but should only be used as a part of game stacks in full-slate GPPs. Tyler Lockett has enough value where he can be considered in all slates and formats yet seems unnecessary for full-slate cash game builds. D.K. Metcalf can be used as a value option in all single-game formats and only used as a part of game stacks in full-slate GPPs. Factoring in his price tag, Will Dissly is a fade for me on all slates and in all formats.

Los Angeles Rams Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Jared Goff LAR 18.77 QB9 38.75 296.76
RB Team Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Todd Gurley LAR 12.5 RB18 47% 10%
Malcolm Brown LAR 7.14 RB42 42% 3%
WR/TE Team Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Robert Woods LAR 15.35 WR12 22% 8.52
Brandin Cooks LAR 14.87 WR15 21% 8.14
Cooper Kupp LAR 14.97 WR14 22% 8.52
Gerald Everett LAR 4.97 TE31 8% 3.10
Tyler Higbee LAR 4.69 TE33 7% 2.71

SEA Adj. Fpts Allowed: QB Rank 11/ RB Rank 25/ WR Rank 6/ TE Rank 13

Rushing Opportunity Metrics of Note:
Week 4 Snap Share: Todd Gurley 75.9%, Malcolm Brown 25.3%
Week 4 Carries: Todd Gurley 5, Malcolm Brown 5
Season Target Share: Todd Gurley 9.9%, Malcolm Brown 1.7%

Rushing Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Seahawks DVOA against the Run: 18th
Gurley’s YPC: 4.3

It’s possible that we’ll look back at Week 4 and see it as the turning point of Todd Gurley season. While Gurley and Malcolm Brown both carried the ball just 5 times against the Bucs, Gurley’s playing time continued to trend in the right direction with a season-high 75.9% snap-rate. Most importantly, the Rams looked to involve Gurley in the passing game as he was targeted 11 times, good for a season-best 16.2% target-share.

With that said, a short week is certainly worrisome for a player battling injury. Despite positive trends, it’s tough to project Gurley for too much of an increased workload in the passing game. However, I do have some optimism Gurley will account for a bigger than projected 47% rush share despite splitting carries down the middle with Brown last week.

Passing Game Opportunity Metrics of Note:
Target Share: Cooper Kupp 27%, Robert Woods 22%, Brandin Cooks 18%, Tyler Higbee 11%, Gerald Everett 9%
Market Share of Air Yards: Brandin Cooks 31%, Cooper Kupp 26%, Robert Woods 26%, Tyler Higbee 12%, Gerald Everett 5%

Passing Game Efficiency Metrics of Note:
Seahawks DVOA against the pass: 17th
Goff’s Y/A: 6.1

Cooper Kupp’s dominance continued against Tampa Bay as the Rams slot receiver hung a gaudy 9/121/1 line. Kupp has taken over as the Rams true WR1 through four weeks with a 27% target share followed by Robert Woods (22%) and Brandin Cooks (18%). There’s still some optimism surrounding Cooks as he leads the team with a 31% market share of air yards. Don’t expect Gerald Everett to see 8 targets again in a game this season.

Despite Kupp’s early-season dominance we currently have him projected with an equal Week 4 target share to Cooks and Woods. While this seems a tad odd given what we have seen this season, I actually agree with the sentiment of skepticism that Kupp is going to run away as the Rams WR1 on a weekly basis. Projecting Los Angeles’ true passing game split on a per-game basis is likely to be a chore all season long unless we see the wide receiving corps trimmed due to an injury.

Team Quick Summary: Similar to Chris Carson, Todd Gurley is seeing enough work to make him a primary single-game target but not enough to work to consider him in any full-slate formats. Cooper Kupp ($9,600) has been the Rams’ WR1 through four games this season and DraftKings’ pricing reflects that, as he’s significantly more expensive than both Robert Woods ($8,000) and Brandin Cooks ($7,800). While scary, I’m prioritizing Woods and Cooks over Kupp on DK’s Showdown slate. Pricing considered my order of ranking for FanDuel’s Showdown slate: Kupp, Cooks, Woods. Cooks is my favorite full-slate tournament option of the trio.

DFS Recommendations

Optimal DFS Plays: Russell Wilson (single-game), Chris Carson (single-game), Todd Gurley (single-game), Jared Goff (single-game)

Leverage Plays: Tyler Lockett, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp

Secondary Plays: Russell Wilson (full-slate), D.K. Metcalf (full-slate)

About the Author

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