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Top 5 Passing Matchups
LA Rams vs Detroit
The Rams are gaining dividends for their trade of Matthew Stafford. The longtime Lion has flourished under Sean McVay, hitting on 70% of his throws at a robust 9.9 adjusted yards apiece. Working behind an elite front line helps, and our Matt Bitonti ranks this Rams group sixth league-wide. It also helps that Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have meshed so well with Stafford’s style. Kupp is a slot man at heart, but he keeps winning on all levels of the field. He’s relegated Woods to a clear No. 2 role and has topped 90 yards in 5 of 6 games thus far. Tight end Tyler Higbee always looms as an auxiliary threat, while second-year man Van Jefferson has stepped up as the No. 3 wideout. Their timing and instincts help Stafford strike quickly and effectively, and the end result is one of 2021’s most potent attacks. In a matchup like this, the only concern is how long the game will stay competitive.
The Lions probably have the league’s weakest group of cover men, so it’s unsurprising they’re such an appealing fantasy target. This unit needed a talent injection even before its cornerbacks began dropping like flies. Now they’re forced to feed full-time snaps to the likes of Amani Oruwariye and Jerry Jacobs, and the results are often explosive. No team has allowed more net yardage per throw, and they’ve let a receiver top 95 yards in each game thus far. Last week it was Ja’Marr Chase’s turn to blow past Jacobs for one splash play after another (4 catches for 97 yards); he could’ve produced even more had that game stayed competitive. The weakest link might actually be in the slot, where rookie A.J. Parker looks like a sitting duck for Cooper Kupp this weekend. Parker has been roasted for a number of big plays, and Kupp is adept at climbing past the slot man. Overall, it’s unfair to ask this toothless unit to hang with the Rams’ air attack, so the sky is truly the limit for Matthew Stafford and company.
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