Time for another Offensive Tendencies – Playoff Edition. The Wild Card round featured some ugly games, hopefully, the divisional round will display some better performances and fantasy production. As I said last week, the gaps to find increased opportunities are fairly limited again this week. When it comes to a small slate of games you need something to differentiate your lineup from the masses, especially in a GPP. So I have also added a “Gut Call” for each team again this week.

So let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…

Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Kansas City Chiefs 63 35 55.6% 213 1.3 28 44.4% 116 0.8 19.5
New England Patriots 66 42 63.6% 273 1.9 24 36.4% 97 0.7 23.1

Look for the Chiefs to execute a few more plays than normal against the Patriots with a slight shift to the passing game. The passing game will fall in line with their typical yardage and likelihood for one touchdown pass. The running game will produce their typical rushing yards with a decreased chance for any more than one rushing score. The Chiefs run the ball over 65% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Patriots project to execute their typical play distribution this week. The passing game will be less effective than usual with a decrease in passing yards and their opportunity for any more than two touchdown passes. The running game will have a slight increase in rushing yards with their typical opportunity for one rushing touchdown. The Patriots pass over 57% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Patriots rushing game (Steven Jackson) (+)
  • Patriots defense (+)

Gut Call:

  • Alex Smith with rush for 60+ yards
  • James White will have 5+ receptions and a receiving TD

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Green Bay Packers 65 40 61.5% 249 1.9 25 38.5% 103 0.4 21.1
Arizona Cardinals 65 35 53.8% 281 1.9 30 46.2% 144 1.0 25.8

Look for the Packers to pass more often than usual this week as they try to keep up with the Cardinals. With a few extra attempts, the passing game will see a slight increase in their passing yards with their typical opportunity for two touchdown passes. The running game will have a decrease in rushing yards and a decreased chance for a rushing touchdown. The Packers pass the ball over 70% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Cardinals will run the ball a couple extra times this week against the Packers. The passing game will have a slight decrease in passing yards than normal with a decreased chance for any more than two touchdown passes. The running game will have a significant increase in rushing yards with their typical likelihood for one rushing touchdown. The Cardinals pass the ball over 59% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Aaron Rodgers and the Packers passing game (James Starks out of the backfield) (+)
  • David Johnson (++)

Gut Call:

  • James Starks will get 50+ receiving yards and a receiving TD
  • Cardinals will have two 40+ yard plays, one by David Johnson and one by John Brown

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Seattle Seahawks 66 34 51.5% 221 1.6 32 48.5% 132 0.8 21.3
Carolina Panthers 64 32 50.0% 211 1.6 32 50.0% 127 1.0 22.6

The Seahawks project to execute their typical play distribution against the Panthers this week. The passing game will be limited to fewer passing yards than normal with a decrease chance for two touchdown passes. The running game will get close to their typical rushing yardage but will have an increased likelihood for a rushing touchdown. The Seahawks run the ball over 57% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Panthers to run a couple fewer plays than normal with their typical play distribution. The passing game projects for a decrease in passing yards and their opportunity for two touchdown passes. The running game will also fall short of their typical yardage with a decreased chance for any more than one rushing score. The Panthers run the ball 61% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Seahawks rushing TD chance (Russell Wilson) (+)

Gut Call:

  • Russell Wilson will get 3 total TDs (including one rushing)
  • Greg Olsen will have 100+ receiving yards and a TD

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Pittsburgh Steelers 65 40 61.5% 228 1.3 25 38.5% 83 0.7 18.8
Denver Broncos 67 39 58.2% 274 1.4 28 41.8% 122 0.8 21.6

The Steelers have injuries to monitor to all of their top players, so predicting who plays and can be effective is difficult at this point. I believe the key is Ben Roethlisberger. If he plays and is even 80% then the Steelers offense should be able to perform to the numbers projected even if they do not have DeAngelo Williams and/or Antonio Brown. If Roethlisberger doesn’t play, it could get ugly.

The Steelers project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game will have a significant decrease in passing yards and their opportunity for any more than one touchdown pass. The running game will also see a decrease in rushing yardage and their opportunity for a rushing score. The Steelers pass the ball 54% of the time in the red zone.

The Broncos with Peyton Manning back at quarterback will shift to more running plays this week against the Steelers. The passing game will still perform slightly above their typical passing yardage and opportunity for more than one touchdown pass. The running game will also see an increase in rushing yards with their typical chance for a rushing score. The Broncos pass the ball over 52% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Peyton Manning and the Broncos passing game (Demaryius Thomas) (+)
  • Broncos rushing yards (Split backfield, I give the slight edge to Ronnie Hillman this week) (+)
  • Broncos defense (++)

Gut Call:

  • Steelers defense gets a total of 6 sacks plus turnovers
  • Brandon McManus kicks 3 FGs

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