Here are 20 fun facts involving some of fantasy's biggest stars leading up to NFL Week 7, which has a quirky composition of zero AFC vs. NFC games.
Hopefully, these numbers-based revelations will help bring clarity to your lineup dilemmas.
To view my smartphone-friendly cheat sheet for this weekend, click here.
1. Check out this Arian Foster homage:
When pitted against an elite fantasy running back in the last two seasons (Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Chris Johnson in 2012; MJD, Rice, Johnson Rashard Mendenhall, Darren McFadden, Michael Turner in 2011), Foster boasts incredible 10-game averages of 144 total yards and 1.1 touchdowns.
2. Comparatively speaking, in Ray Rice's last six games against elite rushers (Foster, DeMarco Murray, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews, Frank Gore), his per-game tallies are only 110 total yards and 0.33 TDs.
3. Victor Cruz, the NFL co-leader in receiving targets (70), has reached the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 100 yards and/or one touchdown in all six games. Of his last three outings, Cruz collected 20 catches, 34 targets, 217 yards and five touchdowns.
4. There is zero excuse for benching Chris Johnson on Sunday. For Weeks 4-6, the Bills surrendered an absurd average of 247 rushing yards per game. And in Johnson's last two outings against Buffalo (2009 and '11), he boasts averages of—get this—194.5 total yards and two touchdowns. BOOM!
5. Adrian Peterson went head-to-head with the Cardinals in four straight seasons (2008-11). And during that span, he averaged 149 total yards and 1.25 TDs. Can he be similarly stellar in Minnesota's fifth consecutive battle with Arizona?
6. Joe Flacco's home success has been well-documented in The Fantasy Blog, but his road numbers deserve a cursory mention, as well. Of his last 10 regular-season roadies, Flacco has pedestrian marks of 221 yards passing and 1.1 touchdowns.
7. Andre Johnson (25 catches, 358 yards, two TD) has experienced a "bookend" effect this season. For Weeks 1 and 6 (the first and last games to date), Johnson tallied eight catches, double-digit targets and at least 75 receiving yards. In the middle four outings, AJ has only nine catches and 164 yards. Ugh.
8. Of his eight career home starts (2011-12), Vikings QB Christian Ponder has notched two or more TDs six times. And of those successful fantasy efforts, he averaged 266.3 total yards per game.
9. Bills receiver Steve Johnson (27 catches, 316 yards, three TD) has accrued double-digit targets in four straight games. That's a telltale sign of his mini-slump (215 yards, one touchdown in that span) ending soon.
10. Vernon Davis' three-year averages (six games total) against the Seahawks—six catches, 65 yards, 0.33 TDs—won't turn a lot of heads. But during that span, he also collected eight targets per game.
11. Owen Daniels (26 catches, 357 yards, three TD) has evolved into a regular starter with 12-team leagues. But I'm still leery of his Week 7 matchup. Of his last three games against Baltimore, Daniels posted two or less catches twice (with no touchdowns).
12. All signs point to Eli Manning (1,772 yards passing, 11 TD) having a monster game against the Redskins—the NFL's worst pass defense (328 yards per game)—while exacting a measure of revenge on the club that swept Big Blue last year. But there is one bump in the road: Against Washington in 2011, Manning averaged a mere 263 yards passing and 0.5 total TDs.
13. In his last six games against the Bears (2009-11), Calvin Johnson has averaged six catches, 90 yards and 0.5 touchdowns—strong numbers that would look even better if the NFL recognized end-zone "receptions" of four feet and one knee in 2010.
14. There is no such thing as bad road karma for Cowboys QB Tony Romo—at least from a fantasy perspective. In his last 10 games away from Jerry World, Romo has averaged 295 yards passing and 2.1 touchdowns.
15. In his last four games, Brent Celek has pedestrian tallies of 13 catches, 135 yards and one touchdown. To be fair, though, a short TD against the Lions (Week 6) was negated by a sketchy interference call.
16. With four outings of 95 total yards and/or one TD, Stevan Ridley (575 total yards, four TD) had earned a "Get Out Of Fantasy Jail Free" card long before his 34-yard clunker against the Seahawks. And now he draws the Jets, who've allowed 160 combined rushing yards four times this season.
17. This Sunday should be an interesting litmus test for Ben Roethlisberger and new Pittsburgh Steelers O-coordinator Todd Haley. Cincinnati hasn't allowed any passing days above 250 yards since Week 2, and Big Ben has per-game averages of only 222 yards passing and 1.63 touchdowns at Paul Brown Stadium since 2007.
18. Redskins wideout Santana Moss (16 catches, 223 yards, two TD in 2012) has a so-so track record against the rival Giants, averaging only five catches, 48 yards and 0.25 touchdowns in his last four outings. However, in that same four-game span, Moss claims averages of seven catches, 77 yards and 0.5 TDs against the Cowboys.
19. Bears tailback Matt Forte (376 total yards, 1 TD) has per-outing averages of 131 total yards and 0.83 TDs in his last six games against the Lions (2009-11).
20. Let's debunk the notion that Saints receiver Marques Colston (28 catches, 444 yards, four TD) only dominates when playing indoors or on lightning-fast Field Turf-esque surfaces.
Of his last five outdoor games on grass, Colston broke the 100-yard mark and scored at least one TD four times.
And his last performance at Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium entailed seven catches, 118 yards and one touchdown.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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