Mike Davis | Panthers | RB
It’s been a tough few weeks for the #RunningBacksMatter truthers. Since taking over as the starter for Christian McCaffrey, Mike Davis and the Panthers have gone 3-0. Not only has the team had success, but Davis has continued to bring us fantasy success. He’s posted three straight top-10 scoring weeks with 351 total yards and three touchdowns on a whopping 67 touches. Davis draws a middling matchup against the Chicago Bears that allow 15th-most rushing points per game to opposing running backs. The Bears have allowed over 100 scrimmage yards to opposing running backs in all but one game (the game that Saquon Barkley tore his ACL). They rank 17th in rush DVOA, but have given up the 14th-most rushing yards and 14th-highest EPA per rush. It’s not an amazing matchup on the ground, but we saw Davis produce solid numbers in a tough matchup against the Chargers a couple weeks ago. Where Davis really brings a lot of value is in the passing game as he is averaging 8.3 targets per game as the starter. The Bears haven’t played against teams that really feature their running backs in the passing game outside of Detroit, who conveniently had a running back drop a game winning touchdown. Despite facing teams that don’t use their running backs in the passing game a ton, they’re still allowing 4.4 receptions per game to opposing running backs. They’ve done a good job of limiting the yards though as they only allow 31 receiving yards. This will be a much different matchup for the Bears though as Teddy Bridgewater loves to target his running backs. Including his starts for the Saints, Bridgewater has targeted his running backs at least eight times in 8-of-10 games. Davis might see even more targets this week as the Panthers should have a tough time slowing down this pass rush that has the 4th-best grade per PFF. PFF gives Carolina the 4th-worst pass rush matchup of the week. Bridgewater will be looking to get rid of the ball quickly which should bode well for our Must-Have. With the return on McCaffrey looming, we’re going to continue locking Davis into our lineups while we still can. And remember, #RunningBacksDontMatter.
Jamison Crowder | Jets | WR
As if 2020 could not get any weirder, we’ve decided that a New York Jets football player is a guy that you need to have in your lineups this weekend. At his price point, Crowder is an absolute steal this week considering his matchup and volume. Despite missing two early season games, Crowder still ranks 4th in the NFL with a 30.84% market share of the Jets’ targets. Through the three games he has played, Crowder is averaging 11 targets per game and has yet to see less than 10 in a game. He’s been very productive with his targets too, posting at least seven catches for 100 yards in all three games he’s played and is currently averaging 25.5 Draftkings points per game. He is also averaging the 12th-most fantasy points per snap among all flex position players that have played 25% of their team’s snaps. There was some concern that Crowder would not have the same rapport with Joe Flacco as he has with Sam Darnold but Crowder put those worries to rest with an 8/116/1 receiving line on 10 targets last week. The Dolphins have been solid against perimeter receivers this season but Nik Needham has really struggled in the slot. Needham is currently allowing 1.52 yards per route covered, a number that is the 20th-highest out of 96 cornerbacks. His ranking in PFF coverage grade is even worse as he ranks 105th out of 115 cornerbacks in this metric. With his consistent high-volume role in the Jets’ offense and a plus matchup, Crowder is a player to lock into all of your lineups this Sunday!
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