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NFL: Melvin Gordon, Aaron Rodgers, Stefon Diggs carry the super-fun facts for Week 14

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Charting his eight complete outings from December, Chargers tailback Melvin Gordon reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one TD seven times.

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 four items.

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

Enjoy!

INVITATION: While diving into this week’s playoff-relevant nuggets, please peruse the many sublime dishes at Hooters restaurant, particularly the Smothered Chicken Sandwich or Baja Fish Tacos (location finder).

TAKE #1

Chargers tailback Melvin Gordon has been impressive in his last four outings, averaging 21 touches, 111 total yards and 0.8 touchdowns during, all while sharing substantial field time with Austin Ekeler.

However, the time has come for Gordon to resemble an all-world back —and fantasy difference-maker — perfectly coinciding with the launch of the playoffs.

Check this out:

a) The Jaguars possess bottom-5 rankings with opposing tailbacks, citing the crucial categories of rushing yards and rushing TDs allowed.

b) For the season, Jacksonville rates 28th overall in rushing yards allowed (136.6 yards per game); and along those lines, opposing rushers are happily averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

c) Opposing backs have enjoyed a catch-to-target rate of 80 percent versus the Jags.

d) Charting his eight complete outings from December, Gordon reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one TD seven times; and for that stellar stretch, the Wisconsin alum averaged 109 total yards and 0.6 scores.

TAKE #2

The Chiefs, Titans and Texans are the first NFL defenses to yield 100 targets to opposing tailbacks this season; and as luck would have it, the Patriots’ James White will encounter Houston and Kansas City over back-to-back weekends … coinciding with the fantasy playoffs.

Last Sunday, New England eventually got around to exposing Houston’s statistical weakness, plying White with 25 touches (14 rushes, 11 targets), 177 total yards and two touchdowns.

And for this week, the Patriots draw a Chiefs defense which ranks 27th in receptions allowed, 29th in receiving touchdowns yielded and dead-last for targets and receiving yards surrendered.

Here’s one more thing to celebrate: Charting the Patriots’ last 34 outings (including the playoffs), White notched six-plus targets 20 times.

TAKE #3

BATSBY Sports boasts a laundry list of reasons to support Aaron Rodgers’ No. 1 ranking for Week 14, among quarterbacks:

a) The Redskins have surrendered the eighth-most passing touchdowns this year.

b) Opposing QBs have enjoyed a robust completion rate of 69.2 percent versus Washington.

c) For the season, Rodgers (3,065 yards passing, 23 total TDs) holds remarkably clean averages of 301 yards passing and two touchdowns against NFC East foes.

d) Charting his last nine complete home games in December, Rodgers owns rock-solid averages of 272 yards passing and 2.3 TDs.

e) Since 2011, Rodgers has posted three or more touchdowns in back-to-back games 13 times.

TAKE #4

There’s a reason why the Lions possess bottom-5 tallies with catches, targets and receiving yards allowed to opposing wideouts — aside from Detroit’s woeful pass rush (27th in sacks).

Over the last six weeks, Anthony Miller, Michael Gallup, Terry McLaurin, Darius Slayton, Randall Cobb and Golden Tate — a six-pack of less-than-elite fantasy wideouts — have stealthily averaged 6.1 catches, 102 yards and 0.5 touchdowns versus Detroit.

And before putting that production squarely on the shoulders of every cornerback not named Darius Slay, remember Bears wideout Allen Robinson averaged seven catches, 10.5 targets, 86 yards and 0.5 scores over two recent meetings against Slay.

This all bodes well for the Vikings’ tandem of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen (apparently back from a hamstring injury).

Covering their last six meetings with Detroit, Diggs boasts robust averages of 6.2 catches, 84 yards and 0.3 TDs; and Thielen accounted for eight catches, 80 yards and/or one touchdown five different times.

And last but not least …

TAKE #5

Jameis Winston’s six-game streak of 300 yards passing might be over, but the Bucs quarterback remains a popular starting asset for this week’s fantasy playoffs.

Here’s why:

**Citing his last 14 home or neutral-site outings, Winston enjoyed 13 efforts of 300 yards passing and/or multiple scores.

**For that same stretch, Winston collected solid averages of 314 yards passing and 1.8 TDs.

**The Colts defense ranks 22nd in completions allowed to quarterbacks.

**This season, the Bucs’ elite receiving duo of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans have combined for five outings of multiple TDs.

**Sunday’s preliminary weather forecast involves sunny skies and 78 degrees.

Counter that against seven weekend games being played outside in Midwest cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Cleveland … and schizophrenic East Coast markets such as Philadelphia, Boston (Foxboro), New York and Buffalo.

In other words, why risk potentially dicey weather in colder climates, at the most nerve-racking time for fantasy football … when neither Winston, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson nor Ryan Tannehill will likely worry about wind, rain, cold and overall bluster?

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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