TE Tom Crabtree - New Orleans Saints
|6-5, 244||Born: 11-4-1985||College: Miami (OH)||Drafted: ---|
Photo: David Manning, US Presswire
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Week 3: at Carolina Panthers
All TE vs CAR
FBG says: Neutral matchup. We all know that Drew Brees isn't quite the same mega-productive passer on the road, but not everyone is aware just how stark the difference has been of late. Dating back to 2015, he's averaged 1.58 fewer yards per attempt and posted a 38% drop in touchdown rate away from the Superdome. All told, he's averaged 31% fewer fantasy points on the road over that span. Through two weeks of the 2017 season, he's struggled noticeably - once at home - and definitely misses Willie Snead, who will return from suspension in Week 4. Ted Ginn simply isn't an across-the-field receiver; he's a one-speed guy with iffy hands, and he's of little help to Brees on short and intermediate routes. What's worse is that he has yet to shake loose for a deep ball thus far, despite facing two burnable cornerback groups. Defenses have effectively swarmed WR1 Michael Thomas, who's caught just 10 of his 18 targets and registered just one high-impact catch pre-garbage time. He has a better outlook against the Panthers' shaky cornerbacks but is definitely struggling with all of the defensive attention. Also missing both starting offensive tackles, Brees and the Saints passing game may be at least a week from putting it all together.
The Panthers have yet to be tested by a NFL-caliber passing game in 2017. They've "shut down" the anemic units of San Francisco (193 yards) and Buffalo (125), but neither prepares them for Drew Brees and his cast. It's nice that they've been rushing the passer well, registering seven sacks thus far, and that they've yet to allow a completion of more than 22 yards. But the numbers have been inflated (or rather, deflated) by the toothless competition, and it's worth noting that cornerback James Bradberry has been burned for two long would-be touchdowns that were both dropped. The ageless Julius Peppers still brings strong pressure off the edge, as do fellow rushers Wes Horton and Mario Addison. But it's hard to draw a bead on their performance thus far - and the peripherals they've put on paper don't bode particularly well as Brees comes to town.
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