With the upcoming holidays and the NFL season winding down this will be my last “full” NFL Hot Sheet writeup of the regular season. I’ll be back for an abbreviated version for Week 17 and then some Playoff Edition Hot Sheets in January.
Week 16 still has quite a few teams fighting for playoff spots so there shouldn’t be too many teams mailing it in (I’m looking at you Cincinnati). With a two-game appetizer on Saturday, the main course on Sunday and a two-game Christmas Day dessert there are plenty of opportunities to get your fill of NFL action during the holiday weekend. I hope you all have a very happy and safe holiday season and get a little monetary present under your DFS tree this year!
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Note: DVOA referenced in this article stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average which is a metric from FootballOutsiders.com.
So, let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
The Colts have dropped five straight games following their loss to the Broncos last week. They will likely have a hard time changing their recent results with a trip to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Saturday. The Ravens’ pass defense has allowed a lot of yardage in recent weeks giving up 292 passing yards (32nd) over the last five weeks but they remain stingy in the red zone allowing just 0.6 TD passes (1st) during that stretch and rank 2nd DVOA against the pass this season. Meanwhile, Jacoby Brissett and the Colts’ passing game ranks last in passing yards (149 per game) over the last five weeks. The best opportunity for success in the passing game will be through TE Jack Doyle as the Ravens rank 31st DVOA against opposing TEs and have allowed 5.8 receptions (30th) per game over the last five weeks. The Colts’ running game will be led by Frank Gore with a little Marlon Mack sprinkled in but both will have difficulty churning out yardage as the Ravens have allowed just 3.69 YPC (9th) over the last five weeks. Gore could have some success near the goal line if the Colts and mount any drives deep into Ravens territory as the Ravens have allowed 1.2 rushing TDs (28th) over the last five weeks.
The Ravens have won four of their last five games including a victory over the Browns last week. They will come home on Saturday for a matchup with the Colts. The Colts’ pass defense has struggled on the season ranking 30th DVOA and allowing 263 passing yards per game (28th) this season. However, they have performed much better recently allowing just 203 passing yards per game (7th) over the last five weeks. While Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ passing attack has been better the last few weeks they are still in the bottom half of the league in passing yards (17th) and TD passes (20th) over the last five weeks. The primary receiving option will be Mike Wallace with Jeremy Maclin likely out. Wallace had 10 targets last week and has a good individual matchup against the Colts’ secondary. Ben Watson could also have some success against the Colts’ 29th DVOA ranked defense against TEs while allowing big plays to the position with 16.3 YPC (30th) over the last five weeks. Alex Collins should flourish on the ground with a positive game script while facing the Colts’ run defense that has allowed 136 rushing yards (32nd) to opposing RBs over the last five weeks. Both the Ravens’ defense and kicker Justin Tucker are also strong plays with a favorable matchup and positive game script while playing at home.
- Jack Doyle (*)
- Mike Wallace (**)
- Ben Watson (*)
- Alex Collins (**)
- Ravens defense (**)
- Justin Tucker (*)