Tony Pollard’s Bounceback Continues Against Seattle: The Wrong Read, Week 13 – Thursday Night Preview
Image Credit: Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Tony Pollard.

The Wrong Read has had many lives — first as a reflection on insights from the RotoViz podcasts; then as a freeform 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 — mainly the Advanced Team Stat Explorer — 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.

Here’s an early week preview featuring the Thursday night game. Stay tuned for the full version later in the week.

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys

  • The Week 13 Thursday night game features two teams that seem to be heading in opposite directions. The Cowboys have won three straight games, including two against divisional opponents in which they scored 49 and 45 points. The Seahawks have lost two straight games against divisional opponents and managed only 29 points total in those two games.
  • Given that context, it’s not surprising Dallas has one of the top passing offenses in the league. They are No. 2 in EPA per attempt, No. 3 in boom rate, and No. 5 in success rate. They have the No. 3 offensive line, and while Seattle’s pass rush is above average, it doesn’t appear they will do much to slow down the Cowboys’ offense.
  • It’s perhaps more surprising that the Cowboys have one of the top pass defenses in the league. They are No. 2 in EPA allowed per pass attempt and No. 5 in passing success rate allowed. Dallas creates more pressure against opposing QBs than all but one team, and Seattle’s offensive line has been poor at preventing pressure. The Seahawks could have difficulty keeping pace with the Cowboys’ offense.
  • Dallas is somewhat beatable on the ground, however. They are No. 31 in rushing success rate allowed. Unfortunately Kenneth Walker is doubtful with an oblique injury. While Zach Charbonnet does have a higher first down rate (37.3%) and a lower stuff rate (13.4%) than Walker (18.8% and 20.8%), he evades tackles at a much lower rate (9% to Walker’s 20.8%). Dallas is No. 2 in evasion rate allowed, so Charbonnet could have even more difficulty breaking off long runs.
  • The Cowboys passing offense has been good enough to take a lot of pressure off their running game, which does make Tony Pollard’s job easier. He’s responded by averaging nearly 5.0 yards per carry — including 3.4 after contact — and a 35% evasion rate over the last three games. The Seahawks are No. 31 in yards after contact allowed and No. 26 in evasion rate allowed. While we expect Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb to have good fantasy days against Seattle, the matchup also sets up well for Pollard to have an explosive rushing day.

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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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