's general consensus seems to be that the coming Clásico will be the worst in possibly decades, with both teams going through periods of crisis and/or transition.
But El Clásico was, is, and will continue to be the biggest, most renowned matchup in world football, with the two most successful clubs of our generation, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. facing off for the 245th time (the 181st in La Liga). It's fair to say this match should be on the watchlist of every football fan, so I'm going to give some insights on what to expect for the uninitiated. https://preview.redd.it/nslpljd2cvu51.png?width=1100&format=png&auto=webp&s=f9a964e76ca2a450b4c90980a8249a7b5b1a8956
Statistics and history of El Clásico
|Stat ||Barcelona ||Real Madrid |
|El Clásico wins ||96 ||96 |
|El Clásico wins in La Liga ||72 ||73 |
|Goals scored in El Clásico ||399 ||405 |
|Top scorer in El Clásico ||Lionel Messi (26) ||Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo Di Stéfano (18) |
|Most matches played in El Clásico ||Lionel Messi (43) ||Sergio Ramos (44) |
|Highest win in El Clásico ||7-2 (24/09/1950) ||11-1 (19/06/1943) |
As you can see, El Clásico is not only a very high-level rivalry, but also an incredibly balanced one, with both teams having the same number of wins in competitive matches (52 draws), with Madrid having a positive goal difference of 6. Whoever is the winner of this Clásico will accordingly be the all-time best team in El Clásico, at least before the two teams meet again in April. Some more fun facts:
- The fastest goal in El Clásico was scored by Karim Benzema after 22 seconds in Madrid's 1-3 loss on 10/12/2011
- Xavi and Iker Casillas have shared the most matches together on the pitch (36)
- The fist Clásico in La Liga was played on February 17, 1929. Madrid won 2-1.
- Before last season's 0-0 in Camp Nou, the last Clásico to end in scoreless was on November 23, 2002
- This list features every player that has played for both Madrid and Barça at some point.
, Source 2 (in German)
Political importance https://preview.redd.it/v9lkhi2jmvu51.png?width=674&format=png&auto=webp&s=fdef8f71e6ee282fec2f67e69e6720255e416a07
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid is a rivalry that surpasses sporting aspects.
In Francoist Spain, Barça was a symbol for local fans to not only express their support for the football club of their city, but also their Catalan identity. The meaning of Barça's club motto, "Més que un club" (= "more than a club"), is likely not what you think it is. To the people of Barcelona and Catalunya, Barça is a symbol of their regional identity, a medium to freely express their beliefs, a safe haven to freely speak their language and to vouch for democracy and the end of Franco's nationalistic regime. To this day, there is overwhelming support by most of Barça's fanbase for the movement of Catalan independence, with their supporters often being left-wing.
Madrid on the other hand has always been a symbol of Spanish nationalism, centralism and support for the Spanish monarchy. The club is viewed by its fans as the Spanish King's club, magisterial and full of honour. Most of Madrid's fans are supportive of the Kingdom of Spain and the monarch, some even with right-wing tendencies. They support the idea of a centralist Spain, as opposed to independence of any of the "nacionalidades históricas"
(Galicia, Basque country, Catalonia).
This stark political contrast has led to clashes in the past.
It has also led to last season's Clásico in Camp Nou being postponed. Authorities had to make this decision as they believed the safety of fans (in- and outside the stadium), players and officials wasn't guaranteed at that time due to the wave of protests taking place in Catalonia in October 2019
Current form, injuries and suspensions, expected lineups Barcelona's last 5 matches:
W (4-0 Villarreal), W (3-0 Celta), D (0-0 Sevilla), L (0-1 Getafe), W (5-1 Ferencváros) Madrid's last 5 matches:
W (3-2 Betis), W (1-0 Valladolid), W (2-0 Levante), L (0-1 Cádiz), L (2-3 Shakhtar) Last 5 Clásicos:
Barça 1-1 Madrid (Copa 18/19), Madrid 0-3 Barça (Copa 18/19), Madrid 0-1 Barça (La Liga 18/19), Barça 0-0 Madrid (La Liga 19/20), Madrid 2-0 Barça (La Liga 19/20)
Players unavailable (Barça)
: Ter Stegen (injury), Umtiti (fitness), Matheus Fernandes (injury) Players unavailable (Madrid):
Carvajal (injury), Odriozola (injury), Ødegaard (injury), Hazard (injury), Mariano (fitness)
Expected lineups: Barça:
Neto - Alba, Piqué, Lenglet, S. Roberto - De Jong, Busquets - Fati, Coutinho, Dembélé - Messi
Neto obviously in goal as MATS is still injured. Alba has been included in the squad after recuperating from an injury, so I expect Koeman to also play him. Alternatives would be Dest and Firpo. I also expect Piqué and Lenglet to be starting, although some Barça fans seem to prefer Araújo over Piqué. Sergi Roberto should make it over Dest. I also don't think either of De Jong or Busquets will be replaced by Pjanić. The biggest uncertainty is whether they start Griezmann as a CF, or Messi, with Coutinho at CAM. I personally think it's best for a player so out of confidence as Griezmann to start the match on the bench. Madrid:
Courtois - Mendy, Ramos, Varane, Nacho - Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Isco - Vinícius, Benzema
With an undisputed defensive line other than him, Nacho might be replaced by Militao or Vázquez, depending on how ZZ wants his team to play. The midfield 3 will most probably look like this, potentially with Modrić instead of Valverde. Playing Isco is something that I fully expect him to do, as Isco and the 4-1-2-1-2/diamond he brings with him are the "secret weapon" Zidane always reserves for big matches such as Clásicos and UCL finals. Vinicíus should be playing over Jović with the form both of them are in.
Zidane's Clásico tactics
Madrid have had some terrible, terrible results in El Clásico throughout the last decade. 1-5, 0-4, 0-5, 2-6... under Zidane though, their record against Barça has been remarkable (4 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses, GD of 14:11).
Zidane's Madrid normally play against Barça how they play against every big team: relatively passive. Handing the possession to the opposition, playing zonal marking or man marking high up the pitch instead of actively pressing throughout the whole match, with being effective on the counter through long balls, crosses and fast, line breaking passes, their offensive strategy.
Casemiro has been a key piece in not only giving Kroos more playmaking freedom, but also locking down Messi and the half-space between the defensive line and midfield, with Messi "only" scoring 3 non-penalty goals in the last 13 Clásicos since and including Case's iconic performance in 2016's Clásico:
One of Zidane's essential points of focus is stopping Messi, which can backfire sometimes, like when Kovačić had to man-mark Messi in 2017's 0-3 loss: https://reddit.com/link/jgt04v/video/ro13rio5tvu51/player
Zidane loves to use a diamond formation in big matches, and I except him to do so against Barça as well. With Ødegaard out, he will probably try to have Isco draw players on him, creating space for attackers to make runs, ideally looking something like this (excuse my poor MS paint skills): https://preview.redd.it/0nvrwb13vvu51.png?width=1863&format=png&auto=webp&s=5b42a5c468b101abe8eb6726d9b31e8285232e25
We haven't seen much of Koeman's Barça (no Clásico of course) so far, so my tactical analysis will not be very thorough.
The formation looks to be permanently switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Messi now having less positional freedom. Having two proper wingers eases the defensive pressure off of the two full backs, while having one central midfielder less will most probably make quickly passing through their midfield easier than before.
They still play high-press, possession-based football, but Koeman seems to like giving away some of the possession to the opponent (compared to Valverde and especially Setién), as in 4 of 5 league matches, their possession was only slightly above 50%.
Since I lack the material, the tactical knowledge, the dedication and the knowledge about Koeman's Barça to go any further than this, I'm going to link this brilliant and detailed tactical analysis of Barcelona's 3-0 win against Celta
posted by u/Andremerlaux
for the people that want to dive into a more in-depth analysis of the tactical side of Barça's style of play. Sadly, the only thing I found on realmadrid
regarding tactics were memes, so now you have to look at the abomination of a tactical analysis of mine.
5 reasons Barça is going to win Leo Messi
- we've probably all experienced the little magician's otherworldly touch at some point in our life as a football fan. There's little explaining to do, on a good day, Leo Messi can decide matches on his own. The last time this happened was in the 2nd Clásico of 2016/17, where Messi scored 2 and made THAT celebration, so it might be time for another Messi masterclass against Madrid by now. https://preview.redd.it/vsdmucrdzvu51.png?width=761&format=png&auto=webp&s=d80cef34ce6d71a977ca44db2f0e4fe8dd6514b5 Madrid are having trouble scoring
- Real Madrid are having massive trouble getting their players into goalscoring positions, and even then, Jović, Vinícius and co. often fail to finish the job. Post-restart, they've only scored 1,65 goals per game on average, extremely sub-par for their standards. If Barça score 1 or 2 goals, chances are high they're also winning. Playing at Camp Nou
- Camp Nou has been an absolute fortress over the last decade. In the 2010s, Barça only lost 9 matches at home in La Liga (Source)
, and since their loss against Betis in November 2018, they went unbeaten for all of 2019 in all competitions at Camp Nou before finally losing again to Osasuna in July 2020. Playing without fans might take this advantage away though. Change of playstyle and formation
- Zidane's tactics and his utilization of Casemiro to neutralize Messi have worked relatively well against Barça on most occasions. Barcelona's style might have changed over the years, but it was always possession-heavy. Zidane's Madrid have shown weaknesses when having too much of the ball, so maybe Koeman giving away more possession will hurt Madrid more than it benefits them. Ansu Fati
- the rising star has been in amazing form and with just 17 years, he's having essential influence in Barcelona's games this season. Reckless and calm in front of goal, he's already collected 4 goals and 1 assist in all comps this season, more contributions than any of Madrid's players. On the left wing, he'll likely be facing Nacho, Madrid's makeshift RB and possible weak point, since Carvajal and Odriozola are both injured. https://preview.redd.it/vx84kodyzvu51.png?width=1002&format=png&auto=webp&s=0dc8bbab2a563efebbc40a86860f61e085b8af68
5 reasons Madrid is going to win Defensive stability
- Before the two matches against Cádiz and Donezk, Madrid have been extremely stable defensively. As hard as they struggle scoring goals, Madrid have been incredibly consistent in their defending, especially post-restart, only conceding 10 goals in 17matches (before the Cádiz match). If they can return to their usual defensive form and keep a clean sheet, another Ramos penalty might be all they need to collect all 3 points. Zidane's Clásico expertise -
out of 8 Clásicos played under Zidane, Madrid have only lost 2 (4 wins, 2 draws). Apart from the Kovačić man marking Messi disaster (0-3, 23/12/2017) and the Messi masterclass with a red for Ramos (2-3, 23/04/17), Zidane's tactics have been working very well against Barça, especially taking Messi out of the match. If there's one man that knows how to get a win or draw against Barça, it's Zizou. Sergio Ramos
- while Messi can be extremely decisive for Barça, the same goes for Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid. Madrid's captain is not only their leader and most important presence on and off the field, but also their defensive mastermind, as well as their free kick and penalty taker, with only Benzema (27) topping his goal tally of 13 last season. If there's one man to score a last minute winner in a big match, we all know it's him. https://preview.redd.it/a29vxaa60wu51.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=4d416332137adb09ab6c71b6899eb89792e1f14c They have the better midfielders and defenders -
with all due respect to Barça, Madrid's depth and quality in midfield and defense (including GK, since Ter Stegen is injured) is higher than Barça's, on a normal day, that is. A midfield of Casemiro, Kroos and Valverde, with Isco and Modrić being options off the bench, might win the tactical battle for Madrid, while Courtois - Mendy - Ramos - Varane - Nacho with support of Casemiro is a backline that is hard to break down even for Messi, Fati and co. Barça's fear of big matches -
Barças latest performances in the most important matches have been underwhelming, we're not only talking about the infamous UCL bottlejobs, but also about them losing the 2019 Copa final against Valencia, the last Clásico, the Supercopa semifinal against Atleti and struggling with Sevilla and Atlético in the league. There seems to be some mental blockade in big matches.
5 reasons for a draw Attackers out of form -
Griezmann, Benzema and Messi have not been racking up the goals so far this season. Combine this with Hazard's injury and Jović + Vinícius and their chronic inabilities to put the ball into the net from the easiest of positions, and placing bets on a player to score first in this match will get really hard. Might want to try Ramos. Both teams not scoring or conceding much -
Barça (GF 2, GA 0,5) and Madrid (GF 1,2, GA 0,5) haven't scored much this season per match on average in La Liga, but neither have they conceded much. Smells like a 0-0. Last year's Clásico at Camp Nou
- last year's Clásico at Camp Nou ended in a 0-0 draw. Both teams had the same number of points before the match, the risk of letting their rivals wander off with a 3 point lead was too high, so maybe the situation will be the same this year (Madrid at 10pts, Barça at 7 with one match less). The average goals per game in La Liga has never been this low -
matches in La Liga are seeing 2,1509 goals on average this season so far. The only season that had less goals per match on average was 1972/73 (2,1438). I'm not saying this match will be a guaranteed 0-0, but seeing goalfests in La Liga is a rarity at the moment. Both teams neutralizing each others weaknesses -
Barça's defense isn't the most reliable - we've know this at the very latest since the infamous 2-8. On the other hand, Madrid's attackers are having massive trouble scoring or even creating chances. While Barça still is an offensive powerhouse (at least looking at the teamsheet) with players like Messi, Dembélé, Griezmann and talents like Fati, Trincão and Pedri, the core of Madrid's success last season has been their defense, with the likes of Ramos, Courtois, Mendy and Varane putting up insane performances in La Liga ever since the restart. All in all, both teams seem to be perfectly neutralizing each others weaknesses.
5 reasons for you to tune in Messi, Benzema, Griezmann, Ramos, Coutinho, Kroos... -
even though the teams have surely lost quality in Cristiano, Neymar, Suárez etc. over the last few years, El Clásico still features some of the best and most appealing players in world football. Two world class teams, only meeting each other twice every La Liga season. Polemics of El Clásico -
even though the Clásicos are not as heated as they were when Pep and Mou faced off, the likes of Jordi Alba, Piqué, Suárez, Vidal, Ramos and Reguilón have generated heated encounters and situations in El Clásico throughout the last years. Watch the players confront each other, watch two sets of fans creating conspiracies about the ref on soccer
and I'm sure Alba will obligatorily wipe his hand through someone's face once again. Not something you'd want to miss. https://preview.redd.it/w7p7kfjc3wu51.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=b12637c3ba46e46d41b57cd314cc5c63dab24296 PL has Fulham-Palace on at the same time -
I know this sub is full of PL fans who couldn't care less about the rest of Europe's leagues. But let's be honest, even to you guys Fulham vs Palace is surely not the most interesting white vs blue-and-red matchup taking place at 3pm this Saturday. The losing team will be in massive trouble -
both teams have lost points twice already this season, and with some Barcelona fans increasingly unhappy with the club's general situation and some Madrid fans increasingly worried about the way Zidane's team is playing, the losing team and its fans will want to turn their trajectory around as fast as possible. Watch the hot takes coming in - KoemanOut? ZidaneOut? - or think of something more creative. Possibly Messi's last Clásico at Camp Nou -
it's no secret the little magician wanted to leave Barça this summer. His contract is running out next summer, and if there is no other tie involving both teams this season, this could very well be his last Clásico at home. With the Messi-Ronaldo era in La Liga coming to an end, form your opinion on the new generation of La Liga's stars - Vinícius, Rodrygo, Valverde, Jović, Militão, Ødegaard for Los Blancos - Fati, De Jong, Dembélé, Pedri, Trincão, Puig for the Blaugranas.
Will this be the worst Clásico of our time? We can only speculate, but one thing is for sure: a new era of El Clásico has begun.
WEEK 11 WAIVERS
Jameis Winston Every Play Weeks 9-10
While I really hope it’s not the case, there’s a non-zero chance that Drew Brees has played his last snap in the NFL. The legendary QB turns 43 in less than 2 months, and received an early birthday gift this past Sunday, in the form of multiple broken ribs and a collapsed lung. While the outlook for his return is nebulous at the moment, there’s no doubt that he will miss at least several weeks, leaving the door open for Jameis Winston to step in as the starter. Winston looked so-so in relief of Brees during the 2nd half of Week 10, going 6/10 passing for 63 yards, with no TDs or INTs. Most of the passes were quick 3-step drops, designed to go to a hot route at or behind the line of scrimmage, which was a smart strategic move on Sean Payton’s part. This was doubly reinforced by the few times Winston looked to throw the ball deep, during which he was nearly intercepted, and was sacked twice. The two sacks came in consecutive plays deep in the redzone, and the latter was a result of Winston displaying poor pocket awareness. It seemed like Winston overreacted to the previous play, and balked at nonexistent pressure, ultimately stepping up into defenders who would have otherwise been cleanly blocked. While it would have been nice to see a more impressive fill-in performance from Winston, it’s important to remember that besides a single garbage time throw and several kneel-downs in Week 9’s blowout, this was the first meaningful action Winston has seen since being the Buccaneers starter in 2019, and the game was hanging in the balance. The Saints will likely utilize a short passing game to let Kamara and the skill position players carry the load for the offense, and Payton now has a blank check to pull out all the stops with his playcalling.
Taysom Hill Every Play Weeks 1-10
…Which brings me to Taysom. The do-it-all QB/RB/WTE/LB/PHD/.JPEG should be more involved than ever with Drew Brees out, but make no mistake, Hill will not be the traditional starter at QB unless we see true vintage 30TD-30INT Winston. The Saints use Hill to run read-options, to catch passes, and even to throw bombs on flea-flickers, but the 4th year utility player has only 18 total passing attempts across his 573 offensive snaps with the team. At 6’2”, 221lbs, Hill is an absolute unit of a ball-carrier, and he has surprising burst and wiggle. He is much more on the power end of the spectrum, yet he is also an ankle collector who will regularly leave tacklers grabbing at air, and is a competent route runner to boot. Most of Hill’s value lies in his redzone usage, and if not for being tackled within the 3-yard line seemingly every game, Hill could easily have a handful of touchdowns on the season. He had also been coming on strong prior to Brees’s injury, as Weeks 8 and 9 saw Hill rack up a total of 140 yards as a runnereceiver, to go along with 48 yards as a passer. Moreover, Hill carries dual designation as QB and TE on ESPN, and potentially on other platforms as well. Besides the small top-tier of tight ends in fantasy, most guys at the position are touchdown-or bust anyway when it comes to providing value. If your platform allows Hill to be started as one, he brings a unique blend of involvement and touchdown upside in the upcoming weeks.
Wayne Gallman Every Play Weeks 1-9
| Every Play Week 10
A top waiver target last week, hopefully you were able to grab Gallman before the news broke of Devonta Freeman being added to the IR for his ankle woes. Gallman is not a sexy name, and I think some of it can be chalked up to the guy having been on the team for a few years now, with no real success to speak of when he did get his chances to shine here and there. Hell, I even saw Alfred Morris truthers out and about last week, but Alf followed up his Week 9 workload split (10 touches, 16 snaps, 21% snap share) with a nearly identical Week 10 workload split (8 touches, 15 snaps, 21% snap share). Gallman is clearly the back to own for the Giants, and he added to his 3-game scoring streak by cashing in twice on the goalline in Week 10, making it 5 total rushing TDs in the past 4 games. His 18 carries and 59% snap share were both season-highs, although a measly 2.9YPC limited his fantasy impact. After his strong involvement contributed to a big division win in Week 10, Gallman should see similar work after he comes out of the Week 11 bye to face the woeful Bengals defense.
Kalen Ballage Every Play Weeks 2-9
| Every Play Week 10
People can clown him all they want, but Ballage is quietly playing a workhorse role for the Chargers over the past two weeks. With Justin Jackson the latest LAC running back to hit the IR, Ballage has been far and away the leader in this backfield, and he saw a big uptick in playing time from his Week 9 Chargers debut. Logging a 73% snap share, Ballage turned 24 opportunities into 102 scrimmage yards, and was just barely denied a goalline score. He is being shown tons of trust from the coaching staff, who again gave him rushing attempts on 4th down, as well as entrusting him to pass block for their rookie franchise QB. Fellow RB Troymaine Pope technically returned after missing a game due to a concussion, but he failed to log a single offensive snap. Joshua Kelley has no injury to report, yet he saw only 17 snaps in Week 10, marking his lowest snap count of the season. Until Ekeler returns, Ballage should continue to thrive in this offense, and with news that Ekeler likely won’t even practice this week, Ballage should safely remain locked in as a solid RB2 when the Chargers host the lowly Jets.
Nyheim Hines Every Play Weeks 1-6
| Every Play Weeks 8-10
Jonathan Taylor managers have officially reached DEFCON-1 levels of panic. The highly-touted rookie saw his lowest snap count of the season in Week 9, and followed that up with an even lower snap count in Week 10. Hines, on the other hand, balled out in a birthday explosion which saw him tie or exceed season-highs in carries, rushing yards, snap total, and snap percentage. He amassed 115 total yards, and scored twice, once on the ground, and once through the air. Hines was already known as the most explosive athlete in the Colts backfield, but his limited opportunity made him too risky a start, considering he would have to be ultra-efficient on his 20ish snaps in order to return worthwhile value. However, now that we know that this type of usage is a possibility, Hines becomes an interesting play this week. He already commanded every snap in 2-minute drills, and tons of passing-down work, but Week 10 showed what he can do with more consistent usage throughout a game. He carries high risk this week, considering how he followed up his Week 1 explosion with an absolute dud in Week 2. However, if there’s ever a time to gamble on him, it’s definitely in a home matchup with Green Bay’s atrocious rushing defense.
Salvon Ahmed Every Play Week 9
| Every Play Week 10
I don’t know what is going on in Miami these days, but there’s gotta be something in the water. Their defense is surprisingly looking like one of the best in the league, the QB switch from Fitz to Tua could not have gone any smoother, and now they are getting great RB play from a guy who was basically 5th in line on the depth chart. 2020 is wild man. The UDFA rookie was initially signed by the 49ers after the 2020 draft, but they couldn’t possibly need RB depth this year, so he ended up in Miami as the backup to Myles Gaskin, who he also backed up in college at Washington. With Gaskin on the IR, Ahmed stepped up in a big way in Week 10, logging a massive 76% snap share, and posting 90 scrimmage yards to go along with a score. As Matt Breida is currently out nursing a pesky hamstring injury, and with the release of Jordan Howard, Patrick Laird is the only other candidate to take snaps from Ahmed. Laird really didn’t do that in Week 10, logging more special teams snaps than offensive snaps, which he has done in every single game this season. Ahmed, on the other hand, looked explosive and decisive, following his blocks well on short-yardage attempts, as well as making defenders miss in the second level. He is built almost exactly like Gaskin, although his lone target across two weeks suggests that the Dolphins may not utilize him in the receiving game in the same way. Either way, as long as Gaskin is out, Ahmed has a chance to pop off in upcoming matchups with the Broncos, Jets, and Bengals.
Cole Beasley Every Play Weeks 1-6
| Every Play Weeks 7-10
Through 7 weeks of the season, Beasley was the model of consistency in PPR, seeing at least 6 targets in all but one of the 7 contests, as Josh Allen looked to be putting together a fantasy MVP campaign. Then Week 8 came, and Allen completed only 11 passes in an ugly rain game vs the defending SB champs, which explained away the fact that Beasley struggled to the tune of 2-24-0 on just 2 targets. However, Week 9 brought Beasley probably the best possible WR matchup in the Seahawks, and Beasley disappointed again, hauling in his 3 targets for 39 yards. He also didn’t register a single target in the second half, despite Allen throwing for a season-high 415 yards. This is likely because fellow WR John Brown was finally healthy and involved in Week 9, seeing 11 targets against the Seahawks after struggling through injury all season. Beasley bounced back in a big way in Week 10, to the tune of 11-109-1 on 13 targets, and now Smoke is dealing with an ankle injury he picked up in the game. With Brown’s availability already in question for a game two weeks away, it’s unlikely that he returns as a healthy player in Week 12, which should further reassure Beasley managers. The Bills are on bye in Week 11, but in Week 12 Beasley gets a chance to shine against a Chargers defense which has struggled against the passing game.
Michael Pittman Jr. Every Play Weeks 1-10
The rookie WR from USC is coming on strong after returning from an early-season injury, breaking out for 122 total yards in Week 10. After logging back-to-back games with 57+ snaps, MPJ looks to have recovered fully from his odd injury, a form of compartment leg syndrome which forced him to have surgery after Week 3’s contest. The 6’4” WR has yet to be given a chance to show off his massive catch radius in the endzone, but Week 10 saw Philip Rivers target MPJ several times deep in the redzone. In fact, he could have easily logged multiple touchdowns in his breakout day, but was tackled at the 1-yard line on a redzone slant, and took an end-around 20+ yards before being tackled at the 2-yard line. With the Packers coming to the dome for a Week 11 matchup, MPJ could be primed for another big game.
Curtis Samuel Every Play Weeks 1-5
| Every Play Weeks 7-10
The often-overlooked 3rd option in the Panthers offense behind DJ Moore and Robby Anderson, Samuel has quietly put together consistent usage numbers with McCaffery out. The speedster has played on at least 70% of snaps in 6 of 9 games, and hasn’t seen fewer than 4 targets since Week 2. He has also logged at least one rushing attempt in every game so far, and has converted 2 rushing scores. Fantasy managers probably took notice after Samuel’s Week 7-9 stretch, where he put up a total of 225 scrimmage yards and 4TDs across the 3 games. However, a dud in Week 10, combined with the news of Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury, could lead to him being dropped during this week’s round of waivers. Samuel was involved early and often in a tight first-half contest with the Buccaneers in Week 10, but Tampa Bay absolutely dominated the time of possession in the second half through long drives and forced turnovers. As a result, Samuel only saw a single target in the second half, an incomplete pass from backup QB PJ Walker in the waning minutes of what had morphed into a blowout. Matt Rhule should be able to set up a good gameplan around PJ Walker for the upcoming matchups with Detroit and Minnesota, and it should feature plenty of Samuel.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling Every Play Weeks 1-4
| Every Play Weeks 6-10
Bring on the hate. I don’t like it any more than you, and I’m personally not touching the guy since there are better options in my leagues. But after two big weeks which saw MVS haul in a total of 202 yards and 3TDs, he’s made a convincing case to be picked up in standard scoring leagues. After all, he is playing 60+ snaps with an Aaron Rodgers who is absolutely dealing right now, heavy winds and all. News of Allen Lazard’s impending return will turn managers off, as will a bad matchup with the Colts, and of course MVS’s tendency to drop easy catches doesn’t help either. But if you’re down bad, especially in deeper roster formats which start lots of WRs, you could do way worse than MVS. On average, he’s playing on 88% of the offensive snaps in the past 7 contests, and it will likely take a bit before Lazard cuts into that too much.
Logan Thomas Every Play Weeks 1-9
| Every Play Week 10
Probably the most consistent tight end outside of the elite tier, Thomas is still available on tons of waiver wires. In Week 10 vs the Lions, he put up another solid day for the position, grabbing 4 of 6 targets for 66 yards. He also came close to scoring his 3rd touchdown in 4 games, by hauling in a catch at the 2-yard line, and then later drawing a holding flag on an endzone target. Thomas has been playing a massive amount of snaps this season, and Week 10 saw him log an astounding 87 snaps. According to the Football Outsiders database, there have only been 2 single-game snap counts higher from a skill-position player in 2020, Cooper Kupp (92) and Robert Woods (88), both in Week 8. Thomas is 3rd among tight ends in offensive snap percentage, and 9th among tight ends in total offensive snaps. The guy just doesn’t come off the field for the Washington offense, and with Alex Smith throwing the pigskin a whopping 55 times in Week 10, there should be plenty of opportunities for Thomas in the upcoming weeks. Speaking of, the upcoming matchups for Thomas are quite juicy, with the Bengals and Cowboys on the slate.