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PIGSKIN PERFECTION: The glorious ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview of NFL Week 11

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Titans-Ravens, Dolphins-Broncos, Rams-Buccaneers, Packers-Colts and Chiefs-Raiders headline the epic slate of games for NFL Week 11.

Four years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.

The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of the BATSBY Sports Network programming.

So, without further ado, here’s a print doppelganger to the best 60 minutes in sports radio — Hour #3 of Czabe’s NFL-heavy Friday show (heard daily from 3-7 p.m. in Washington D.C).

As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:

WEEK 11

SUNDAY

TENNESSEE (6-3) @ BALTIMORE (6-3)

TIME: 1 p.m. EST
LINE: Ravens (-5) … Over/Under: 49.5
REFEREE: Alex Kemp
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)

ACTION JACKSON: Forget about the Ravens’ dispiriting defeat to the Patriots on Sunday night.

Despite the torrential rains and stifling winds, quarterback Lamar Jackson still accounted for 304 total yards (55 rushing) and two touchdowns.

In fact, this strong outing marked the fifth time since Week 4 that Jackson has notched multiple TDs.

Which brings us to this …

Heading into Week 11, the Titans defense claims bottom-6 rankings with completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed; and in last January’s playoff game, Jackson amassed 508 total yards (143 rushing) and one touchdown versus Tennessee.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: In a normal NFL campaign, a pair of balanced 6-3 teams would be shoo-ins for the upcoming playoffs, regardless of the weekend’s result.

However, there isn’t anything typical about 2020 in the AFC, where nine clubs stand 6-3 or better.

In other words, it’s entirely possible that multiple 10-win franchises might fail to qualify for the AFC postseason, even with the seventh playoff spot added during the offseason.

So here’s the brass tax: The Titans (tied for 1st in the AFC South, but not possessing the division tiebreaker) and Ravens (three games behind the Steelers in the AFC Central) cannot really afford a Sunday defeat — especially with road trips to Indianapolis and Pittsburgh the following week, respectively.

PITTSBURGH (9-0) @ JACKSONVILLE (1-8)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Jaguars (+10 1/2) … Over/Under: 46
REFEREE: Scott Novak
TV ANNOUNCERS: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (CBS)
BRAZIN’ IN THE GRASS:
The Jaguars own a bottom-10 ranking with rushing touchdowns allowed to opposing tailbacks.

This all bodes well for Steelers RB James Conner (691 total yards, 5 TDs), who holds robust averages of 105 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns in his last nine complete road outings played on natural grass.

PHILADELPHIA (3-5-1) @ CLEVELAND (6-3)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Browns (-3) … Over/Under: 47.5
REFEREE: Adrian Hill
TV ANALYSTS: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Lindsay Czarniak (FOX)

BETTOR’S HUNCH: Cleveland’s last two home games (loss to Las Vegas, win over Houston) have produced a grand total of 39 combined points — a low-scoring consequence of blustery weather conditions at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Sunday’s weather report doesn’t exactly scream high scoring, either, with the weekend forecast calling for variable winds, 43 degrees and a strong chance of rain.

In other words, don’t even think about taking the OVER with this matchup (47.5), especially with the last six head-to-head encounters generating middling combined averages of 39.3 points.

WEEK 11 PREP WORK

PASSING FANCY: Mahomes, Herbert, Jackson headline the QB rankings
RUN TO GLORY: Jacobs, Conner, Kamara, Cook carry the top PPR backs
CATCH A RISING STAR: Allen, Hill, Adams lead the top 70 PPR wideouts
BIG & BAD: Waller, Henry, Kelce highlight the top 30 PPR tight ends

HARD NUMBERS: Allen, Adams, two Cooks lead the 10 super-fun facts
PIGSKIN PERFECTION: The ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview of Week 11
WANNA BET? 15 sweet gambling picks for the NCAAF, NFL weekend

DETROIT (4-5) @ CAROLINA (3-7)

TIME: 1 p.m. EST
LINE: Panthers (-3) … Over/Under: 47
REFEREE: Ron Torbert
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman, Laura Okmin (FOX)

HAIL TO THE UNDERSTUDY: It’s a shame Christian McCaffrey (sprained shoulder; averaging 35 PPR points per game this season) couldn’t successfully lobby the Panthers coaches to play this weekend.

On paper, the Lions represent the easiest matchup for any ball carrier.

Why is that?

Detroit has surrendered the most rushing AND receiving scores to opposing tailbacks this season — a staggering total of 18 touchdowns (13 receiving, 5 rushing).

What’s more, the Lions are allowing 4.81 yards per carry to opposing backs; and this same position has enjoyed a hearty catch-to-target rate of 70 percent versus Detroit.

In other words, go ahead and bet the proverbial farm on Panthers RB Mike Davis (per-game averages of 102 total yards/1 TD from Weeks 3-6) racking up 130-plus yards or multiple touchdowns.

ATLANTA (3-6) @ NEW ORLEANS (7-2)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Saints (-4) … Over/Under: 51.5
REFEREE: Brad Allen
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Burkhardt, Darryl Johnston, Pam Oliver (FOX)

FANTASY FIX: If ever there was a week to start Saints tight end Jared Cook in 10- 12- or 14-team leagues, this is it.

Here’s why:

****The Falcons have given up the most receiving touchdowns to tight ends (8).

****Of equal relevance, opposing tight ends are harnessing targets/catches at an 83-percent clip.

****Cook has tallied three touchdowns during the Saints’ five-game winning streak.

****Cook collected double-digit targets in his last meeting with Atlanta.

FANTASY FIX, PART II: Falcons QB Matt Ryan has been a hot-and-cold fantasy asset for the schizophrenic Falcons, posting four games of three-plus touchdowns or 400-plus yards passing … and five outings of zero or one touchdown.

Ugh.

Fortunately, fantasy fans can expect a little more consistency heading into this weekend’s clash in New Orleans.

Charting his last seven meetings with the Saints, Ryan holds robust averages of 264 yards passing and 2.4 touchdowns.

NEW ENGLAND (4-5) @ HOUSTON (2-7)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Texans (+2) … Over/Under: 48.5
REFEREE: John Hussey
TV ANNOUNCERS: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, A.J. Ross (CBS)

DID YOU KNOW … of the Texans’ last six games, the opposition’s No. 1 running back for that day (Nick Chubb, Jamaal Williams, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, James Robinson twice) notched staggering averages of 136 total yards and 1.2 touchdowns.

This all bodes extremely well for Patriots tailback Damien Harris, who boasts two 100-yard rushing outings since Week 8.

CINCINNATI (2-6-1) @ WASHINGTON (2-7)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Bengals (+1 1/2) … Over/Under: 47
REFEREE: Shawn Smith
TV ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta (CBS)

ON SHAKY GROUND: Are we crazy for assigning a top-10 fantasy ranking to Bengals QB Joe Burrow this week?

After all, Burrow holds painfully ordinary averages of 231 yards passing and 1.5 touchdowns in his last two outings; and the Washington defense currently ranks 2nd overall in completions, pass attempts and passing yards surrendered.

What’s more, Burrow has produced a grand total of two touchdowns in his last three road games.

The lone saving grace here: In his short time in the pros, Burrow (seven TDs since Week 7) has never posted a completion rate of less than 61 percent in back-to-back outings.

Bombs away, baby!

MIAMI (6-3) @ DENVER (3-6)

TIME: 4:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Broncos (+3 1/2) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Land Clark
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (CBS)

BETTOR’S HUNCH: We’re reasonably optimistic about taking the OVER for this intra-conference clash, even though Drew Lock’s last five home starts as the Broncos quarterback yielded combined averages of just 45 points.

Here’s why:

a) The last five head-to-head meetings involving Denver and Miami produced combined averages of 48 points.

b) The Dolphins defense has scored twice in their last three games.

c) The Broncos’ Lock has attempted 40-plus passes in four straight outings.

d) Sunday’s weather forecast in Denver looks pretty good: 49 degrees, sunny and negligible winds.

N.Y. JETS (0-9) @ L.A. CHARGERS (2-7)

TIME: 4:05 p.m.
LINE: Chargers (-9 1/2) … Over/Under: 46
REFEREE: Craig Wrolstad
TV ANALYSTS: Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, Jay Feely (CBS)

MARKED FOR GREATNESS: There’s just no stopping Keenan Allen these days, as he destroys the competition on a weekly basis.

Since Justin Herbert took over as the Chargers’ full-time quarterback, Allen has produced seven games of 100 yards receiving and/or one touchdown.

And the one ‘clunker’ of the bunch still involved Allen collecting eight catches, 11 targets and 62 yards — or 14.2 points in a PPR world.

Which brings us to this …

Barring injury, Allen (three 100-yard games in 2020) should be viewed as lead-pipe cinch for double-digit targets and one touchdown come Sunday.

Here’s why:

****The Jets own bottom-10 rankings with receptions and receiving yards surrendered to competing wideouts.

****Opposing receivers have enjoyed a catch-to-target ratio of 72 percent against the Jets. That ticks slightly higher than Allen’s 70-percent clip for the season.

****At SoFi Stadium (the Chargers’ $5 billion home), Allen holds stellar averages of 10 catches, 13 targets, 114 yards and 0.3 touchdowns.

GREEN BAY (7-2) @ INDIANAPOLIS (6-3)

TIME: 4:25 p.m. EST
LINE: Colts (-1 1/2) … Over/Under: 51
REFEREE: Shawn Hochuli
TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (FOX)

CHANNELING YOUR INNER-MEGATRON: Packers wideout Davante Adams (61 catches, 741 yards, 9 TDs) has accounted for five outings of double-digit targets and seven touchdowns since Week 6.

What’s more, for the season, Adams has already posted three games of double-digit catches, 150 yards and one touchdown.

The last person to accomplish such a feat in a single campaign: Calvin Johnson in 2012.

DALLAS (2-7) @ MINNESOTA (4-5)

TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Vikings (-7) … Over/Under: 48
REFEREE: Bill Vinovich

TV ANNOUNCERS: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake (FOX)
THE MINNEAPOLIS MASHER: There are three guarantees in life: Death, taxes … and Dalvin Cook continually shredding the NFL’s weakest division.

Citing four career outings against the NFC East, Cook boasts otherworldly averages of 154 total yards and 0.8 touchdowns.

Here’s another thing to celebrate:

This week, Cook (1,143 total yards, 13 TDs) encounters a Cowboys defense which holds bottom-10 rankings with rushing yards and rushing touchdowns allowed

KANSAS CITY (8-1) @ LAS VEGAS (6-3)

TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
LINE: Raiders (+7) … Over/Under: 57
REFEREE: Carl Cheffers

TV CREW: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya (NBC)
FANTASY HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: With BATSBY Sports’ rankings for Week 11, we have Clyde-Edwards Helaire rated in the top 10, despite some uneasy trends from the last few weeks:

****Edwards-Helaire has registered only 26 total touches since Week 7, for a paltry average of 8.9 touches against three so-so defense (Broncos, Jets, Panthers).

This sluggish period also coincides with the arrival of Le’Veon Bell … but it’s worth mentioning that Bell has tallied only 20 touches for 80 yards during this same span.

****QB Patrick Mahomes has attempted 87 passes in the last two weeks (61 completions), on his way to 788 yards passing and nine touchdowns. Unfortunately, Edwards-Helaire and Bell were targeted only 12 times during this pass-happy surge.

****Kansas City has won its last three games by an average of 18.3 points; and yet, the club has been a little stingy about doling out tailback touches.

So, why the positive ranking for Edwards-Helaire, heading into Sunday’s rematch with Las Vegas?

a) Opposing tailbacks are averaging 4.6 yards per carry versus the Raiders.

b) The Raiders rank 27th in total touchdowns allowed to running backs (9 rushing, 2 receiving).

c) The Chiefs are certifiable locks to score more than 15 points on Sunday — the average amount Las Vegas has yielded during its three-game winning streak.

d) We’re confidently betting the OVER of 57 points.

MONDAY

L.A. RAMS (6-3) @ TAMPA BAY (7-3)

TIME: 8:15 p.m. EST
LINE: Buccaneers (-4) … Over/Under: 48.5
REFEREE: Jerome Boger
TV CREW: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (ESPN)

BLIND TASTE TEST: Is there anything more maddening than guessing which Rams running back (Malcolm Brown or Darrell Henderson) will garner the lion’s share of touches for a particular week?

Since that’s a rhetorical question, we’ll simply skip to the shaky rationale for predicting the (apparent) randomness for Week 11:

In Brown’s defense …

****Brown leads all Rams tailbacks in targets and receptions; and as luck would have it, the Bucs (Sunday’s opponent) have allowed the most catches to opposing backs (through 10 games).

****Brown has notched multiple touchdowns three times in the last two seasons (including last week).

****The University of Texas product proudly stands out as the Rams’ goal-line back.

In Henderson’s case …

****Brown has never scored a touchdown in back-to-back games.

****Henderson has collected a minimum of eight touches in every contest since Week 2. During this span, the Memphis product has five touchdowns.

****Rams head coach Sean McVay has become the NFC version of Bill Belichick, meaning he’ll never pass up an opportunity to confuse (read: screw over) fantasy owners.

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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