Now that we have reached the halfway point of the NFL season, my offensive tendency projections are completely based off of actual 2015 results and data, with no preseason projections influencing them. There are six teams on bye this week, so we have the shortest slate of NFL games we will have this season. We also have a lot of uncertain situations this week between changes due to injuries to starters, ineffectiveness with starters and more coaching changes. This was a challenging week to make determinations on how each team will adjust to all of the changes in personnel as I made more manual tweaks to the play distributions this week than I usually do.

That said, I still see some strong plays where players will have an increased opportunity to take advantage of. So with that, let’s get right to the numbers and analysis…

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Cleveland Browns 62 34 54.8% 197 1.1 28 45.2% 113 0.4 16.7
Cincinnati Bengals 67 35 52.2% 268 2.0 32 47.8% 142 1.2 27.7

The Browns will have Johnny Manziel starting at quarterback this week. With Manziel starting, expect the Browns to run the ball more often than normal. Look for the Browns passing game to be less productive than usual with a decrease in yards and their opportunity for any more than one touchdown pass. The running game should see a slight increase in their yardage with the increased attempts, but still only have a less than 50% chance for a rushing score.

The Bengals project to see an increase in total plays with a heavy focus on the running game. The running game, as a result, should see an increase in yardage with an opportunity for at least one rushing touchdown. The passing game should perform at their typical level. The Bengals run over 55% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Bengals running game (Both Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard) (++)

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Oakland Raiders 66 42 63.6% 275 2.0 24 36.4% 96 0.3 21.8
Pittsburgh Steelers 65 38 58.5% 284 1.7 27 41.5% 115 0.7 24.1

The Raiders are projected to pass slightly more often than normal this week. The passing game should see a slight increase in yardage, but have a decreased chance for any more than two touchdown passes. The running game should be less effective than normal with a decrease in yardage and their opportunity for a rushing score.

Look for the Steelers to pass more often than normal this week with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger and without Le’Veon Bell. The passing game should see a significant increase in passing yards and their opportunity for multiple touchdown passes. The running game should perform close to their typical level of production in yardage with a chance for a rushing score. The Steelers have run the ball 50% of the time in the red zone this season, a trend that I expect to start to shift more to the passing game.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing game (Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Heath Miller) (+++)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Jacksonville Jaguars 65 41 63.1% 221 1.7 24 36.9% 86 0.2 18.0
New York Jets 70 37 52.9% 239 1.7 33 47.1% 123 0.9 24.4

The Jaguars are projected to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game projects to see their typical yardage with a slightly decreased chance for two touchdown passes. The running should be ineffective with less yardage than normal and a very low chance for a rushing score. The Jaguars have passed 60% of the time inside the 10 yard line this season.

It sounds like Ryan Fitzpatrick will be ready to start for the Jets this week. Expect the Jets to focus a little more on the ground game this week. Despite the slight increase in rushing attempts, the running game projects to perform in line with their typical level of production. The passing game should also perform at their typical level for passing yards and their opportunity for more than one touchdown pass.

Increased Opportunities:

  • None, so give me the Jets Defense (++)

St. Louis Rams @ Minnesota Vikings

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
St. Louis Rams 59 31 52.5% 200 1.1 28 47.5% 140 0.8 18.1
Minnesota Vikings 65 34 52.3% 221 0.8 31 47.7% 142 0.8 19.1

Look for the Rams to execute their typical run-heavy game plan. The passing game could see a slight uptick in passing yardage, with their typical opportunity for one passing touchdown. The running game production should be similar to their normal level of yardage and opportunity for a rushing score. The Rams run over 58% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The Vikings also project to execute their typical run-heavy game plan. The passing game projects to have a slight increase in passing yards, with their typical opportunity for one passing touchdown. The running game production should be similar to their normal level of yardage and opportunity for a rushing score. The Vikings run over 62% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • None, should be a low scoring, run heavy game between two very similar teams. Both Defenses could be in play (+)

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Miami Dolphins 65 44 67.7% 259 1.9 21 32.3% 91 0.5 20.7
Buffalo Bills 67 35 52.2% 223 1.7 32 47.8% 133 0.9 23.5

The Dolphins are projected to pass more often than normal. The increased attempts will allow them to pass for more yards than usual and have an increased likelihood for more than one touchdown pass. The running game should be less effective than normal with a decrease in rushing yards and a 50/50 chance for a rushing score.

Look for the Bills to focus on the ground game this week, even more than normal. The running game will see an increase in yardage with the extra carries, but will have a decreased opportunity for any more than one rushing score. Despite fewer pass attempts the passing game should see a slight increase in yardage and their opportunity for two touchdown passes.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins passing game (Jarvis Landry) (+)
  • Tyrod Taylor and the Bills passing game (Sammy Watkins, assuming he plays) (+)

Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Tennessee Titans 64 40 62.5% 231 1.7 24 37.5% 99 0.6 21.3
New Orleans Saints 65 39 60.0% 284 2.0 26 40.0% 117 1.1 25.2

With Marcus Mariota expected to start this week, look for the Titans to pass more often than normal. The passing game with the increased attempts should see an increase in passing yards and their likelihood for more than one touchdown pass. The running game should fall in line with their typical production. The Titans pass 62% of the time in the red zone.

Look for the Saints to turn to the ground game more this week than normal. The increase in rushing attempts will allow the running game to see an increase in rushing yards and their typical opportunity for at least one rushing score. The passing game should continue to be productive coming off of a huge week. Look for the passing game to get their typical passing yards with an increased likelihood for two touchdown passes. The Saints run the ball 52% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Marcus Mariota and the Titans passing game (Delanie Walker) (++)
  • Mark Ingram (Gut Call: The numbers only say a slight increase, but I expect more) (++)
  • Drew Brees chance for multiple TD passes (+)

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Washington Redskins 67 43 64.2% 256 1.4 24 35.8% 96 0.6 19.0
New England Patriots 64 42 65.6% 317 2.4 22 34.4% 106 0.9 30.6

Look for the Redskins to pass more often than normal as they try to keep up with the Patriots. With the increased attempts, the passing game should see a small increase in yardage and their chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game projects to gain their typical level for yardage, but with a decreased chance for a rushing score.

The Patriots project to execute their typical pass-heavy play distribution. The passing game should remain very effective with even a slight increase in passing yards and an opportunity for more than two touchdown passes. The running game should see an increase in yardage with a likelihood for one rushing score. The Patriots have passed over 60% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Kirk Cousins and the Redskins passing game (Pierre Garcon) (+)
  • Tom Brady and the Patriots passing game (Gut Call: Brandon LeFell gets involved this week ) (+)
  • Patriots running game (Both Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount should be in play) (+)

Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Green Bay Packers 67 36 53.7% 222 1.6 31 46.3% 143 0.9 23.0
Carolina Panthers 67 33 49.3% 208 1.2 34 50.7% 151 1.2 21.8

The Packers project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game should see a slight increase in yardage over their baseline, but will have a decreased chance for two touchdown passes. The running game should see an increase in rushing yards and likelihood for a rushing score.

Look for the Panthers to continue to have their normal run heavy play distribution. The passing game should have their typical level of passing yards with a decreased chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game will see a very slight uptick in yardage and their chance for more than one rushing score. The Panthers run over 64% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Packers running game (Likely a split workload between Eddie Lacy and James Starks) (+)
  • Panthers running game (Both Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart should be effective on the ground, but good luck guessing who scores) (+)

Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Atlanta Falcons 69 37 53.6% 273 1.4 32 46.4% 142 1.4 24.8
San Francisco 49ers 62 36 58.1% 210 0.8 26 41.9% 104 1.1 18.0

The Falcons project to go to the ground game more often than normal this week. With the increased attempts, look for the running game to see an increase in rushing yardage, with their usual opportunity for at least one rushing touchdown. The passing game projects to get their typical yardage with a slightly increased chance for a second touchdown pass. The Falcons run the ball over 55% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

The 49ers will have Blaine Gabbert at quarterback this week. Look for the 49ers to go to the air slightly more often with Gabbert. The passing game projects to see an increase in passing yards, but still be limited to no more than one touchdown pass. The running game should have their typical rushing yards, but see an increased likelihood for a rushing touchdown.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Devonta Freeman (+)
  • Matt Ryan chance for 2nd TD pass (+)
  • 49ers running game chance for a TD (With both Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush out, it is too difficult to predict who will get the score) (+)

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
New York Giants 65 40 61.5% 261 2.4 25 38.5% 96 0.5 25.1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 68 35 51.5% 244 1.6 33 48.5% 136 0.8 22.8

The Giants project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game should see an increase in both yardage and their opportunity for more than two touchdown passes. The running game production should fall in line with their typical level of production. The Giants have passed over 58% of the time in the red zone this season.

Look for the Buccaneers to run more plays than normal this week with their typical play distribution. The passing game should be more productive than normal with an increase in passing yards and their opportunity for more than one touchdown pass. The running game should also see a very slight increase in yards and their opportunity for a rushing score. The Buccaneers have run the ball over 50% of the time in the red zone this season.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Eli Manning and the Giants passing game (Odell Beckham Jr.) (+++)
  • Jameis Winston and the Bucs passing game (Mike Evans and maybe Austin Sefarian-Jenkins if he plays) (++)
  • Doug Martin (+)

Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Denver Broncos 69 42 60.9% 289 1.4 27 39.1% 112 0.9 23.8
Indianapolis Colts 66 43 65.2% 234 1.4 23 34.8% 98 0.6 18.3

The Broncos project to run a few more plays than normal with their typical play distribution. The passing game should be effective, producing more passing yards than normal with an increased chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game should also see an increase in yardage and their likelihood of a rushing score.

Look for the Colts to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game should produce similar yardage to their baseline, but with a significantly less chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game projects to perform at their typical level of production. The Colts have passed 60% of the time inside the 10 yard line.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Peyton Manning and the Broncos passing game (Emmanuel Sanders) (++)
  • Broncos running game (expect a split of carries between Ronnie Hillman and CJ Anderson, I give a slight edge to Hillman) (+)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Philadelphia Eagles 65 39 60.0% 254 1.3 26 40.0% 114 1.1 22.5
Dallas Cowboys 67 36 53.7% 238 1.1 31 46.3% 139 0.7 19.7

The Eagles project to run their typical play distribution. Look for the Eagles passing game to be slightly more productive than usual with a slight increase in yardage and their opportunity for more than one touchdown pass. The running game production should fall in line with their typical yardage and likelihood of a rushing score. The Eagles run over 53% of the time from inside the 10 yard line.

Look for the Cowboys to run a few more plays than normal with their typical play distribution. The passing game should see a slight increase in yardage and likelihood of a touchdown pass. The running game should meet their typical level of production in yardage with a slightly decreased opportunity for a rushing touchdown.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Sam Bradford and the Eagles passing game (Riley Cooper) (+)
  • Matt Cassel and the Cowboys passing game (Dez Bryant) (+)

Chicago Bears @ San Diego Chargers

Projected Plays Pass Pass% Pass Yards Pass TD Run Run% Rush Yards Rush TD Score
Chicago Bears 62 35 56.5% 230 1.4 27 43.5% 120 0.9 22.9
San Diego Chargers 66 43 65.2% 302 2.6 23 34.8% 100 0.3 25.4

The Bears project to execute their typical play distribution. The passing game should be slightly more effective than normal with a slight increase in passing yards and chance for more than one touchdown pass. The running game should see their typical rushing yards, but have an increased likelihood for a rushing score.

Look for the Chargers to run their typical pass heavy game plan. The passing game projects for their typical yardage, but have a significantly better chance for more than two touchdown passes. The running game should see a slight uptick in yardage, with their typical low opportunity for a rushing score. The Chargers pass over 70% of the time in the red zone.

Increased Opportunities:

  • Jay Cutler and the Bears passing game (Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett) (+)
  • Jeremy Langford chance for rushing TD (+)
  • Philip Rivers chance for more than 2 TD passes (++)

Hopefully this gives you some potential fantasy football sleepers for the week, or gets you to think about some of your own favorite plays based on the data and analysis.

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