There are plenty of great starts across the NFL this week using advanced stats, metrics, and analytics player profiles. Alex Collins‘ breakout season for the Baltimore Ravens should continue this week, while Mohamed Sanu will continue his role as an excellent second receiving option for the Atlanta Falcons.
Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Case Keenum’s play for the Vikings has been one of the more surprising occurrences of the 2017 season. He is currently a top-15 quarterback in passing yards, passing touchdowns, Money Throws, True Passer Rating, and more. Against the Bengals this week, Keenum’s borderline Pro Bowl campaign should continue to roll.
The Bengals defense completely broke down against Chicago last week. Mitchell Trubisky turned in the best game of his young career with a -0.98 (No. 23) Supporting Cast Efficiency. Keenum is blessed with some of the best support in the NFL with a +6.15 (No. 8) Supporting Cast Efficiency. Keenum should absolutely dominate at home against a team with nothing left to play for.
Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Alex Collins is really starting to hit his stride. After starting the season as a sleeper buried on the Ravens depth chart, Collins has emerged as one of the most dominant running backs in all of football. After scoring zero total touchdowns during the first nine weeks, Collins has scored five total touchdowns in the last four games. Collins has also emerged as the best big play runner in the league. He currently has ripped off 14 (No. 1) Breakaway Runs and has a 8.3-percent (No. 3) Breakaway Run Rate.
This week, Collins faces a beleaguered Cleveland Browns defense. While the Browns played the run tough earlier in the year, they have begun breaking down in recent weeks. Joe Mixon and Jamaal Williams have both turned in big games against them. In the Ravens week two meeting against the Browns, Collins turned in an efficient game, averaging 6.6 yards per carry in limited work. With a greater workload, Collins could turn in an amazing game this week.
Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Mike Davis has turned out to be the answer in Seattle’s backfield after a season of searching by the Seahawks. In three games of action this season, Davis has averaged a robust 4.7 yards per touch. His 11.18 (70th-percentile) Agility Score has translated well into on-field elusiveness as noted by his 36.4-percent Juke Rate.
Davis is in line for a large body of work in a critical game against the Rams this week. A clear weakness in the Rams defense has been the running game. They are currently allowing +5.56 (No. 3) fantasy points above the mean to opposing backs. The Rams have a fearsome pass rush, they are currently tied for third in the league with 40 sacks. The Seahawks will likely deploy a run-heavy game plan in an attempt to slow down their pass rushers. Start Davis and reap the very apparent rewards.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins
Jamison Crowder has hit the sweet spot for NFL wideouts, being the No. 2 receiver in a matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. With Patrick Peterson likely to follow Josh Doctson all game long, Crowder could very well see a season high in targets this week against Arizona.
This could be a rare week where Crowder sees more work on the outside than in the slot. On the outside, Crowder will see a great match up against a carousel of cornerbacks including Tramon Williams. The Cardinals have been average against receivers this year, allowing +0.58 (No. 15) fantasy points above the mean. If the targets come as they project, then Crowder should have an easy time turning in a big day.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Mohamed Sanu is perhaps the most underrated No. 2 receiver in the NFL this season. Sanu has been great in his second year in Atlanta. Sanu has been very hot as of late, scoring 20+ points and cracking the top 15 receivers on the week in two of the past three weeks. Sanu has another favorable matchup against Tampa Bay this week.
In the Falcons’ first meeting with the Bucs this season, Sanu’s fantasy numbers were inflated by a long touchdown pass he threw to Julio Jones out of the wildcat. That shouldn’t diminish the great receiving day he had that week, as Sanu hauled in eight receptions for 64 yards in that week 12 meeting. With Sanu matched up against Ryan Smith, who is currently allowing a 109.3 Passer Rating when Targeted, Sanu should once again turn in a big week against one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills
Charles Clay posted a great start to this season, until a meniscus tear in week 5 sidelined him and slowed him down upon his return. Clay finished as a top six tight end in three of his first four games. Since his return in week 10, he has cracked the top 15 just once. This week against Miami, Clay is in a great position to return to his early season form.
Miami is currently allowing +2.20 (No. 6) fantasy points above the mean to tight ends this season. They went through a very rough patch in weeks 10-12 where the Dolphins allowed four touchdowns to tight ends in three games. With Clay finally beginning to heal from a tough injury, he should be ready to return to the big games he was producing in the first quarter of the season.