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.
FUN FACT #1
Don’t expect a repeat of Ezekiel Elliott’s pedestrian performance against the Vikings last week, racking up only 63 yards on 22 incidental touches.
Prior to Week 10, Elliott possessed a supreme track record versus the NFC North, reaching the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one touchdown in all eight outings (including the playoffs).
In fact, the three-time NFL rushing champion had previously enjoyed robust averages of 141 total yards and 0.6 TDs against the Bears, Vikings, Packers and Lions (Sunday’s opponent).
FUN FACT #2
Speaking of running backs …
BATSBY Sports has an unofficial over/under of 3.5 tailback TDs for Sunday’s Bengals-Raiders clash; and here’s why:
**Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs has been superb for all of October/November, proffering a five-game run of 115 total yards and 0.8 touchdowns.
(HUMBLE ADMISSION: I was absolutely wrong about Jacobs back in August, foolishly suggesting his preseason fantasy hype might have been exaggerated … but I was dead wrong.)
**The Bengals have yielded 4.8 yards per carry this season, while also ranking 30th in rushing scores allowed.
**Cincy rusher Joe Mixon has accounted for 100 total yards and/or one touchdown in four of his last five outings, indicating the Cincy coaches are finally finding comfort with Mixon-related play-calling.
**Mixon also has top-15 potential over the next six weeks, among running backs, thanks to a super-friendly slate of the Raiders, Steelers, Jets, Browns, Patriots (OK, that might be tough) and Dolphins.
**The Chiefs, Lions and Raiders have given up five receiving TDs apiece to opposing backs. For good measure, the same opposing running backs are on a pace for one receiving score … with every 10.6 receptions.
FUN FACT #3
Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins (68 catches, 665 yards, 4 TDs) has been on a stealth run in recent weeks, averaging 9.3 catches, 12 targets, 80 yards and 0.5 touchdowns over his last four games.
Here’s another thing to celebrate: Citing his last nine outings played outdoors, Hopkins notched 100 yards receiving and/or one TD seven different times; and during this stretch, the Clemson alum cumulatively tallied 7.3 catches, 85 yards and 0.8 scores.
Now for the bad news: Charting the Ravens’ last six games, the opposing team’s No. 1 wideout (Julian Edelman, Tyler Lockett, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyler Boyd twice) posted so-so averages of 5.5 catches, 53 yards and 0.3 TDs.
FUN FACT #4
Sunday could be a long one for the Panthers defense, which has yielded the third-most targets to wide receivers.
Charting his last eight meetings with Carolina, Jones owns sterling averages of 6.5 catches, 118 yards and 0.4 TDs; and for what it’s worth, the two-time All-Pro has collected nine-plus targets six times during this four-year stretch.
On the down side, Jones hasn’t found the end zone in six games — similar to his drought of September/October 2018.
But here’s the good news: Jones has a track record of catching fire with touchdowns, immediately after snapping ugly streaks.
And last but not least …
FUN FACT #5
We don’t have a statistical record of quarterback Patrick Mahomes playing on foreign soil, given his shallow sample size of starts (27, including the playoffs) and the NFL’s quick-strike decision to relocate last year’s Chiefs-Rams game from Mexico City (shoddy field) to Los Angeles (the teams combined for 105 points — the highest tally in Monday Night Football history).
However, here’s something of substance: Mahomes has logged multiple scores in seven straight complete games against AFC West foes; and for this prolific stretch, the reigning MVP holds absurd averages of 304 yards passing and 3.1 TDs.
Adding to the prospective fun, for 2019, opposing quarterbacks have enjoyed a staggering completion rate versus the Chargers.