Javonte Williams Hopes for a Fast Start and Jaxon Smith-Njigba Gets a Warm Welcome: The Wrong Read, Week 1 – Part 2
Image Credit: Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Javonte Williams.

The Wrong Read has had many lives — first as a reflection on insights from the RotoViz podcasts; then as a free-form space for exploring a variety of metrics and strategies. It will likely continue in that latter function, but at least for now — in season — it’s an in-depth matchup lookahead article.

Each week I’ll gather advanced stats from our tools to paint a picture of the upcoming week and offer some thoughts on how the games might unfold. My interest is in how the games will impact fantasy teams, and as such I’m looking mainly at the metrics that I think can help us predict how different teams and players will (or won’t) score fantasy points.

Don’t miss Part 1!

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Packers Bears Packers Bears
Total EP 83.7 (No. 21) 65.8 (No. 32) 76.9 (No. 1) 79.0 (No. 2)
Total FPOE 3.7 (No. 13) 4.3 (No. 12) 4.1 (No. 24) 11.9 (No. 32)
Passing EP 16.6 (No. 18) 11.2 (No. 32) 14.6 (No. 2) 13.7 (No. 1)
Passing FPOE -0.2 (No. 11) -0.8 (No. 14) -1.3 (No. 13) 1.0 (No. 30)
Pressure Rate 26% (No. 2) 42% (No. 32) 37% (No. 5) 24% (No. 32)
Positive Pass % 45% (No. 14) 36% (No. 32) 46% (No. 22) 50% (No. 29)
Boom Pass % 21% (No. 12) 20% (No. 19) 20% (No. 10) 26% (No. 32)
Receiving EP 50.5 (No. 20) 33.6 (No. 32) 43.5 (No. 2) 43.2 (No. 1)
Receiving FPOE 3.3 (No. 12) 1.5 (No. 15) 3.7 (No. 26) 5.5 (No. 30)
Rushing EP 16.1 (No. 19) 20.5 (No. 5) 18.6 (No. 25) 21.4 (No. 31)
Rushing FPOE 0.5 (No. 21) 3.6 (No. 3) 1.7 (No. 22) 5.2 (No. 31)
Positive Rush % 45% (No. 6) 42% (No. 12) 47% (No. 30) 43% (No. 18)
Boom Rush % 9% (No. 13) 13% (No. 1) 10% (No. 26) 11% (No. 27)

The Packers could be a very different offense in 2023, but expectations that their passing game will take a sharp decline with the departure of Aaron Rodgers are overblown. Rodgers piloted a passing attack that displayed middling efficiency and big play ability, despite playing behind the No. 2 offensive line in pressure rate allowed and pass blocking points earned. The line returns four starters from last season, and should be about as good in front of Jordan Love.

One thing that could hold Green Bay back against Chicago is the fact that Christian Watson is out. He helped lead Packers’ receivers to 3.3 receiving FPOE per game (No. 12 in the league). The Bears’ defense is exploitable by efficient receivers — no team allowed more FPOE to WRs last year — so there is hope that Romeo Doubs can make the most of his opportunities in place of Watson.

Both the Packers’ and Bears’ defenses won last year by limiting opponent scoring opportunities — they ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in total EP allowed. As the Bears are also the No. 32 offense in total EP, expect fantasy points to be in short supply for Justin Fields and Co. The Packers’ pass rush ranked No. 5 in the league in pressure rate, and no offensive line allowed more pressures per dropback than Chicago’s.

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Raiders Broncos Raiders Broncos
Total EP 85.0 (No. 20) 81.7 (No. 24) 89.2 (No. 18) 85.7 (No. 14)
Total FPOE 3.5 (No. 14) -2.5 (No. 24) 5.9 (No. 27) -3.9 (No. 6)
Passing EP 17.1 (No. 17) 16.5 (No. 19) 17.6 (No. 19) 17.1 (No. 16)
Passing FPOE -0.2 (No. 11) -2.2 (No. 23) 0.3 (No. 25) -2.7 (No. 5)
Pressure Rate 35% (No. 21) 34% (No. 18) 33% (No. 16) 32% (No. 19)
Positive Pass % 43% (No. 17) 37% (No. 29) 50% (No. 29) 42% (No. 5)
Boom Pass % 23% (No. 7) 18% (No. 31) 23% (No. 25) 19% (No. 2)
Receiving EP 53.3 (No. 16) 49.8 (No. 21) 54.1 (No. 19) 54.0 (No. 18)
Receiving FPOE 1.9 (No. 13) -0.4 (No. 24) 3.1 (No. 23) -2.0 (No. 4)
Rushing EP 14.2 (No. 28) 15.1 (No. 22) 16.8 (No. 15) 14.4 (No. 2)
Rushing FPOE 2.1 (No. 10) 0.1 (No. 22) 2.6 (No. 25) 0.8 (No. 16)
Positive Rush % 47% (No. 2) 39% (No. 22) 43% (No. 18) 38% (No. 5)
Boom Rush % 8% (No. 18) 7% (No. 25) 10% (No. 24) 8% (No. 10)

Both the Raiders and Broncos have elements that make them hard to predict in Week 1. Las Vegas starts a new quarterback and has moved on from one of their top pass-catchers from the last few seasons, Darren Waller. Denver replaced their coaching staff and may be without star receiver Jerry Jeudy to open the season. Nevertheless, the personnel on the field remains similar enough that we can make some educated guesses.

The Broncos’ defense was among the best at limited passing scores and big plays last year, even without generating much pressure. Las Vegas’ mediocre passing attack could struggle, especially with a relative dearth of experienced weapons. Josh Jacobs helped the team to a 47% positive rushing play rate (No. 2), as the Raiders beat all but one team in yards after contact per attempt and evasion rate. But Denver’s rushing defense made positive plays hard to come by (No. 5 in positive rush play rate allowed). Only six teams were better at limiting yards after contact.

Las Vegas’ defense is beatable on the ground. They ranked 27th in broken tackle rate allowed and evasion rate. Sean Payton has said that Javonte Williams is “going to play a big role” in Week 1. Williams has the matchup to make the most of his opportunities and start fast in 2023.

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Eagles Patriots Eagles Patriots
Total EP 101.4 (No. 8) 78.7 (No. 27) 94.8 (No. 24) 85.5 (No. 12)
Total FPOE 14.6 (No. 2) 0.8 (No. 21) -3.7 (No. 7) -1.3 (No. 10)
Passing EP 17.9 (No. 11) 15.7 (No. 27) 18.6 (No. 22) 17.4 (No. 18)
Passing FPOE 2.2 (No. 3) -1.6 (No. 20) -3.5 (No. 1) -1.2 (No. 14)
Pressure Rate 33% (No. 15) 30% (No. 7) 36% (No. 8) 37% (No. 5)
Positive Pass % 45% (No. 14) 42% (No. 22) 42% (No. 5) 43% (No. 12)
Boom Pass % 24% (No. 4) 19% (No. 24) 19% (No. 2) 20% (No. 10)
Receiving EP 55.9 (No. 11) 48.4 (No. 25) 56.7 (No. 21) 53.1 (No. 15)
Receiving FPOE 7.0 (No. 2) 0.8 (No. 19) -1.4 (No. 6) 1.7 (No. 14)
Rushing EP 27.1 (No. 1) 14.2 (No. 28) 19.1 (No. 29) 14.7 (No. 3)
Rushing FPOE 5.6 (No. 1) 0.8 (No. 18) 1.5 (No. 20) -1.7 (No. 3)
Positive Rush % 49% (No. 1) 39% (No. 22) 46% (No. 28) 38% (No. 5)
Boom Rush % 13% (No. 1) 9% (No. 13) 10% (No. 23) 8% (No. 6)

The Eagles had by far the most efficient rushing attack last season, largely on the basis of Jalen Hurts’ legs. The Patriots’ rush defense is one of the stronger units in the league, but with how efficiently the Eagles can move the ball through the air as well, running lanes should open themselves. While the Eagles listed four starting RBs earlier in the week, they’re already expected to make Rashaad Penny a healthy scratch. This leaves D’Andre Swift — one of the more dynamic rushers in the game — as the lead option.

The Patriots’ defense appears to have no glaring weaknesses, but is more beatable through the air than on the ground. They allowed positive FPOE to both WRs and TEs last season. A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert will hope to make the most of this matchup as New England tries to contain Hurts. The TEs in particular have above average matchups, according to the Passing Game Matchup Rater.

Philadelphia meanwhile comes in with arguably the strongest passing defense, and bottom-of the-league rushing defense. Their pass rush earned the most points saved per snap of any unit and they allowed fewer passing FPOE than any other team. But they do allow opposing teams to get positive rushing plays on 46% of their attempts (No. 28). Rhamondre Stevenson is likely to be a focal point of New England’s game plan.

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Dolphins Chargers Dolphins Chargers
Total EP 87.0 (No. 16) 105.7 (No. 4) 97.8 (No. 27) 82.7 (No. 8)
Total FPOE 9.4 (No. 5) -1.6 (No. 22) 1.6 (No. 14) 8.3 (No. 30)
Passing EP 18.1 (No. 9) 22.6 (No. 4) 19.8 (No. 29) 16.1 (No. 9)
Passing FPOE 1.9 (No. 5) -2.5 (No. 25) -0.3 (No. 18) 0.1 (No. 24)
Pressure Rate 36% (No. 25) 36% (No. 26) 35% (No. 11) 32% (No. 19)
Positive Pass % 47% (No. 10) 46% (No. 13) 46% (No. 22) 42% (No. 5)
Boom Pass % 25% (No. 1) 21% (No. 12) 19% (No. 2) 22% (No. 18)
Receiving EP 55.1 (No. 12) 68.2 (No. 4) 60.8 (No. 28) 49.6 (No. 9)
Receiving FPOE 6.1 (No. 7) 0.1 (No. 22) 2.0 (No. 16) 3.3 (No. 25)
Rushing EP 13.4 (No. 30) 14.7 (No. 25) 16.6 (No. 11) 16.6 (No. 11)
Rushing FPOE 1.3 (No. 15) 0.7 (No. 19) -0.1 (No. 11) 5.0 (No. 30)
Positive Rush % 41% (No. 16) 39% (No. 22) 37% (No. 2) 45% (No. 26)
Boom Rush % 8% (No. 18) 7% (No. 25) 10% (No. 21) 10% (No. 22)

With Jeff Wilson on IR and De’Von Achane inactive, Raheem Mostert will get all the work he can handle. And there’s almost no better matchup for him to turn those opportunities into chunk plays and positive gains. Only two teams are worse than the Chargers at allowing rushing FPOE. Only three teams allowed a higher evasion rate or missed tackle rate. While Los Angeles wasn’t particularly stingy against the pass either, they did rank No. 5 in positive pass play rate allowed, which may funnel more of Miami’s plays to Mostert and Salvon Ahmed.

The Dolphins meanwhile defend the run well. They allowed only 37% of the attempts they faced to go for positive EPA (No. 2). Austin Ekeler doesn’t need rushing efficiency to score fantasy points, so this doesn’t impact his outlook to a large degree. But Miami’s weakness in the passing game has been at the TE position. Only four teams allowed more FPOE to TEs last year. Neil Dutton rightly names Gerald Everett has one of his favorite streaming options of the week.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Rams Seahawks Rams Seahawks
Total EP 80.1 (No. 26) 89.9 (No. 13) 84.8 (No. 10) 92.3 (No. 19)
Total FPOE -6.3 (No. 26) 9.6 (No. 4) 0.7 (No. 13) 3.4 (No. 21)
Passing EP 16.3 (No. 21) 18.0 (No. 10) 16.8 (No. 13) 16.8 (No. 13)
Passing FPOE -4.1 (No. 29) 1.4 (No. 6) -1.6 (No. 11) -0.1 (No. 21)
Pressure Rate 35% (No. 19) 35% (No. 20) 29% (No. 29) 32% (No. 19)
Positive Pass % 43% (No. 17) 48% (No. 6) 48% (No. 28) 43% (No. 12)
Boom Pass % 19% (No. 24) 21% (No. 12) 23% (No. 25) 22% (No. 18)
Receiving EP 49.4 (No. 22) 57.0 (No. 10) 51.4 (No. 12) 52.4 (No. 14)
Receiving FPOE -2.9 (No. 28) 5.8 (No. 8) 2.9 (No. 20) 2.4 (No. 18)
Rushing EP 14.4 (No. 27) 14.5 (No. 26) 16.5 (No. 10) 22.5 (No. 32)
Rushing FPOE 0.7 (No. 19) 2.8 (No. 6) -0.8 (No. 9) 1.0 (No. 19)
Positive Rush % 39% (No. 22) 37% (No. 30) 41% (No. 10) 41% (No. 10)
Boom Rush % 9% (No. 13) 13% (No. 1) 7% (No. 3) 10% (No. 25)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes his NFL debut against a team that allowed 48% of passing plays to go for positive EPA (No. 28) and 23% of passing plays to go for at least 1.0 EPA (No. 25). There aren’t many more favorable welcoming parties for incoming rookies. The Rams limit positive and boom plays in the rushing game at a much higher rate, and no team was better at limiting opponent evasion rate. The Seahawks should take to the air in this one.

On the other side, Los Angeles will again be without Cooper Kupp. The good news is that Seattle has been exploitable on the ground. Only five teams were worse in yards after contact allowed last season, and no team allowed more rushing EP. Cam Akers has struggled with efficiency his entire NFL career (and arguably his entire college career as well) but gets a favorable start to 2023 to hopefully turn his fortunes around.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Cowboys Giants Cowboys Giants
Total EP 97.0 (No. 9) 87.0 (No. 16) 93.5 (No. 22) 96.2 (No. 26)
Total FPOE 6.3 (No. 10) 4.5 (No. 11) -1.7 (No. 9) 2.8 (No. 16)
Passing EP 17.7 (No. 13) 16.3 (No. 21) 18.6 (No. 22) 19.1 (No. 25)
Passing FPOE 0.7 (No. 9) -1.3 (No. 19) -2.0 (No. 10) -1.2 (No. 14)
Pressure Rate 32% (No. 8) 42% (No. 31) 41% (No. 1) 38% (No. 3)
Positive Pass % 48% (No. 6) 43% (No. 17) 42% (No. 5) 44% (No. 14)
Boom Pass % 21% (No. 12) 19% (No. 24) 21% (No. 13) 22% (No. 18)
Receiving EP 57.9 (No. 9) 49.4 (No. 22) 55.8 (No. 20) 58.3 (No. 24)
Receiving FPOE 3.5 (No. 11) 1.5 (No. 15) 1.5 (No. 13) -0.8 (No. 7)
Rushing EP 21.3 (No. 3) 20.6 (No. 4) 18.4 (No. 24) 18.6 (No. 25)
Rushing FPOE 2.3 (No. 7) 4.2 (No. 2) -1.0 (No. 8) 4.8 (No. 29)
Positive Rush % 40% (No. 20) 45% (No. 6) 41% (No. 10) 44% (No. 24)
Boom Rush % 10% (No. 10) 12% (No. 6) 9% (No. 19) 11% (No. 28)

Dallas enters 2023 without Ezekiel Elliott in a tilt against a division rival that bleeds points to RBs. Tony Pollard will hope to keep up his efficient play as the Cowboys receivers may have a tougher time. The Giants ranked 7th in receiving FPOE allowed and come in with the third ranked pass rush. The good news for the Cowboys passing attack is their own offensive line ranked No. 8 in pressure rate allowed, enabling them to get positive EPA on 48% of their attempts (No. 6).

New York’s pass rush is good, but Dallas’ is arguably even better. They ranked No. 1 in pressure rate and No. 5 in pass rush points saved per snap. On the other side of the ball, the Giants had the No. 31 ranked offensive line at preventing pressures. This is not the ideal matchup for Daniel Jones and his cadre of inexperienced WRs. The Cowboys are good at limiting positive passing plays and passing efficiency, but they did allow more FPOE to WRs than all but six teams last season. The Giants’ young WR corps will have some chances for big plays.

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

Advanced Metrics (Per Game) Visitor Offense Home Offense Visitor Defense Home Defense
Team Bills Jets Bills Jets
Total EP 102.5 (No. 6) 87.3 (No. 15) 99.0 (No. 30) 81.7 (No. 7)
Total FPOE 11.2 (No. 3) -9.1 (No. 30) -6.3 (No. 1) -5.8 (No. 2)
Passing EP 20.7 (No. 6) 17.7 (No. 13) 20.2 (No. 30) 15.6 (No. 6)
Passing FPOE 2.0 (No. 4) -3.8 (No. 28) -3.5 (No. 1) -3.1 (No. 4)
Pressure Rate 32% (No. 10) 36% (No. 24) 34% (No. 13) 36% (No. 8)
Positive Pass % 50% (No. 2) 38% (No. 28) 44% (No. 14) 42% (No. 5)
Boom Pass % 23% (No. 7) 20% (No. 19) 20% (No. 10) 19% (No. 2)
Receiving EP 63.0 (No. 7) 54.7 (No. 13) 61.6 (No. 29) 49.2 (No. 7)
Receiving FPOE 6.2 (No. 6) -4.9 (No. 32) -2.5 (No. 3) -2.8 (No. 1)
Rushing EP 18.5 (No. 12) 14.9 (No. 24) 16.6 (No. 11) 16.9 (No. 16)
Rushing FPOE 2.9 (No. 5) -0.4 (No. 25) -0.8 (No. 9) 0.2 (No. 13)
Positive Rush % 47% (No. 2) 36% (No. 32) 43% (No. 18) 37% (No. 2)
Boom Rush % 13% (No. 1) 8% (No. 18) 9% (No. 14) 9% (No. 19)

The Bills’ visit to the Meadowlands marks the first meeting between one of last season’s most explosive offenses and one of the least forgiving defenses. The Bills ranks top 12 in every offensive metric listed above, and the Jets rank top eight in every defensive passing metric. Yet there are some notable weaknesses. The Bills’ pressure rate allowed is relatively low, but their offensive line ranked only 24th in pass blocking points earned. The Jets’ forced pressure on 36% of their opponents’ dropbacks (No. 8) and could make Josh Allen uncomfortable at times. No team was better at limiting receiver efficiency than the Jets. Even though the Bills have an effective passing attack, this matchup will not be easy. They might instead look to lean on James Cook’s vision and efficiency. He was one of two RBs with more than 50 carries to average 3.0 yards before contact. The Jets’ rushing defense is much more exploitable than their pass defense.

The only other qualified back to average 3.0 yards before contact is on the other side of this game.

Breece Hall returns from his ACL tear to share the backfield with Dalvin Cook. Even though the young star might not get a full workload in Week 1, he opens with what is perhaps the most exploitable matchup for opposing RBs. No team allowed a higher evasion rate or broken tackle rate than the Bills. Only one team allowed a higher missed tackle rate, and only two allowed more yards after contact. Hall has as good a chance as any back in the league to take a long rush or a catch-and-run all the way to the house.

The Bills ranked near the bottom of the league in passing EP allowed, largely because their opponents’ were often having to keep pace. With Aaron Rodgers replacing the trio of Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White, the Jets hope to be able to use this opportunity to actually put up points (and fantasy points). Garrett Wilson won the offensive rookie of the year award last year despite being relatively inefficient — the Jets ranked No. 32 in receiving FPOE. Imagine what he could do with even league average efficiency.

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Blair Andrews

Managing Editor, Author of The Wrong Read, Occasional Fantasy Football League Winner. All opinions are someone else's.

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