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FANTASY FOOTBALL: 5 Fun Facts to celebrate in advance of NFL Week 7

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Jaguars tailback Leonard Fournette boasts stellar averages of 128 total yards and 1.2 TDs in five career meetings with AFC North defenses.

During the 1980s, the late, great actor John Ritter hosted a series of educational videos for children and young adults (“Where There’s A Will, There’s An A”), offering various methods (or tricks) for retaining sizable nuggets of important information.

Among the key lessons, young minds should condense the material into shorter periods of processing, creating more opportunities to recall the first and last bits of information.

So, taking a cue from Where There’s A Will … There’s An A, we’ve reduced the number of weekly Fun Facts to an easily digestible five items.

In other words, we’re taking a Less Is More approach to gleaning top-shelf insight for your fantasy league.

Enjoy!

FUN FACT #1
Six weeks into the season, the Bengals’ wretched defense has already surrendered 10 touchdowns to opposing tailbacks — seven rushing, three receiving.

Adding to Cincy’s misery, the same opposing runners are averaging 5.06 yards per carry.

All this bodes well for Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette this week.

For starters, citing his last seven games, Fournette has eclipsed the elite-level threshold of 90 total yards and/or one touchdown six times; and of his five career outings against the AFC North, the bruising back boasts stellar averages of 128 total yards and 1.2 TDs.

FUN FACT #2
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn really doesn’t have a sturdy leg to stand on these days.

Just 10 months removed from Quinn firing three coordinators (offense, defense, special teams) and installing himself as D-coordinator, the Atlanta defense currently ranks 26th in total yards given up and 31st in points allowed per game.

Here’s another thing to lament: Against opposing wideouts, the Falcons rank 27th in receptions allowed, 29th in receiving yards allowed and 31st in touchdowns yielded; and no team from those first six games can match the receiving firepower of the Rams.

Think Jared Goff can’t wait for the Friday flight to Atlanta, after last week’s eminently forgettable outing against the stingy 49ers?

The same goes for wideout Cooper Kupp … who has absurdly amassed 100 yards receiving and/or one touchdown in his last 11 non-divisional games (including the playoffs) — with robust averages of 6.5 catches, 91.3 yards and 0.9 scores.

FUN FACT #3
Without a doubt, anxious fantasy owners are feeling the pinch about DeAndre Hopkins’ five-game streak without a touchdown — his longest scoring drought in three years.

But help’s on the way, at least with this historical precedent:

Charting Hopkins’ last three outings versus the Colts — coinciding with the Texans drafting quarterback Deshaun Watson — the All-Pro receiver holds rock-solid averages of seven catches, 13 targets, 91 yards and one TD.

FUN FACT #4
The fantasy term “streaming” typically involves weekly searches for potentially golden kickers or defenses.

But one could also lead a productive existence merely streaming tight ends — regardless of pedigree — against the floundering Arizona defense.

For example, when encountering tight ends, the Cardinals possess bottom-5 tallies in the crucial categories of targets, catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns allowed — with dead-last rankings with yards and TDs surrendered.

Which brings us to this week’s hero: Giants tight end Evan Engram has been a bankable performer in his last five meetings with non-divisional foes, averaging 6.4 catches, nine targets, 73 yards and 0.2 touchdowns during this stretch.

That’s essentially 14-15 PPR points, even if Engram doesn’t find the end zone Sunday.

And last but not least …

FUN FACT #5
Yes, Cardinals tailback David Johnson has reportedly been dealing with back, elbow and ankle injuries; but since I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV), one must assume he’ll be good to go Sunday in New Jersey.

Why is that? Well, even a nicked-up Johnson still belongs in the upper tier of fantasy backs:

**Johnson has yet to collect 20 or more rushes in any of his last 10 games; and yet, during this stretch, he’s still averaging 91 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns.

Also …

**Charting three career games against NFC East foes, Johnson owns otherworldly averages of 124 total yards and two touchdowns.

**Opposing tailbacks possess a staggering catch-to-target rate of 90 percent against the Giants.

**New York has allowed healthy averages of 4.5 yards per carry to opposing backs.

So, what’s your beef?

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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