Adjusted Line Yards Analysis: Week 5

Running Back Stud, Dud, Sleeper and Start of the Week For Week 5

Football Outsiders has created a metric called adjusted line yards which measures the push an offensive line gets vs. defensive line from the line of scrimmage. This metric helps measure the boost the line gives to the overall ground game. In this analysis, we have reviewed the adjusted line yards on the offensive and defensive side of the ball to identify the top matchups on the week.

Adjusted Line Yards Analysis: Week 5

For this analysis, we took it a step further and factored in who each team on the offensive and defensive side of the ball has faced so far in 2021. This allowed us to create a new adjusted line yards metric. This new adjusted line yard metric is shown in the chart below from the best-to-worst matchups on the week.

Matchup Metric

Chart Key
Metric Rank – This is the matchup rank from 1-32 with 1 being the best matchup and 32 being the worst matchup on the week for the offense based on the new adjusted line yard metric
Offense – This column represents the team offense for the analysis
New OFF ALY – This represents the new offensive adjusted line yards metric that includes Football Outsiders adjusted line yards and factors in who the offense has played so far this season.
Defense – This column represents the team defense for the analysis
New DEF ALY – This represents the new defensive adjusted line yards metric that includes Football Outsiders adjusted line yards and factors in who the defense has played so far this season.
New ALY Matchup Metric – This metric combines the offensive and the defensive new adjusted line yards for this week to see which offense has the best matchups. This should help us identify which RBs to buy and fade

Stud of the Week

Team: Dallas Cowboys
Opponent: New York Giants
ALY Matchup Metric Rank: 1
Primary Impacted Player: Ezekiel Elliott

After a brief Tony Pollard scare through 2 weeks, Zeke Elliott has reestablished himself as the #1 option in the Cowboys offense. Since Week 1, Zeke has seen his rushing yards increase each week going from 33 in Week 1 to 143 in Week 4. This includes three straight games where he rushed for a touchdown as well.

This week, the Cowboys take on the New York Giants who have struggled this season vs. the run. This includes allowing at least two 100-yard rushers and the best YPC days for both Antonio Gibson and Mike Davis.  Currently the 6th highest priced RB on Fan Duel and 8th on Draft Kings, Elliott makes for the ideal DFS RB option in Week 5. Oh, and start him in season long leagues as well.

(Honorable Mention: Nick Chubb)


Start of the Week

Team: Los Angeles Rams
Opponent: Seattle Seahawks
ALY Matchup Metric Rank: 3
Primary Impacted Player: Darrell Henderson

When healthy this season, Darrell Henderson has operated as a clear workhorse. In the 2 full games he has played in 2021, Henderson has seen 30 of 34 carries and all of the RB targets for the Rams. This has led Henderson to two top-18 finishes in those contests. This production came vs. two similar opponents to his Week 5 matchup in Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears who allow the 14th and 18th highest new ALY this season.

This week, Henderson will have a similar opponent to Arizona in the Seattle Seahawks as both defenses are tied in new ALY rank so far in 2021. Henderson failed to find the end zone vs. the Cardinals but topped 116 total yards on 19 touches. The Rams should be in a more positive game script after trailing for most of the day vs. Arizona. Better game flow to go along with the high probability of scoring a TD should give Henderson an opportunity for a big day in week 5.

(Honorable Mention: Damien Harris)


Sleeper of the Week

Team: Chicago Bears
Opponent: Las Vegas Raiders
ALY Matchup Metric Rank: 7
Primary Impacted Player: Damien Williams

The loss of David Montgomery will be felt by the Bears, but Damien Williams has handled his own this season. In 2021, Williams has a higher yards per attempt, yards after contact per attempt and higher rate of breakaway runs than Montgomery. Granted, Williams sample size is much smaller than Montgomery, but it is good to see that Williams has performed well when called upon. This includes a solid 8-55-1 in relief of Montgomery last week.

In Week 5, the Bears take on the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders this season have allowed quality rushing performances to Ty’Son Williams (9-65-1) and Myles Gaskin (13-65). In Week 4, Austin Ekeler was the first true test on the ground for the Raiders and he exposed them for 15-117-1. With Bill Lazor now calling plays and Justin Fields’ mobility opening up running lanes, look for Williams to have a nice day in week 5.

(Honorable Mention: Zack Moss)


Dud of the Week

Team: Indianapolis Colts
Opponent: Baltimore Ravens
ALY Matchup Metric Rank: 28th
Primary Impacted Player: Jonathan Taylor

In Week 4, Jonathan Taylor took care of business rushing for over 100 yards vs. the Miami Dolphins. This marked the third time already in 2021 that the Dolphins allowed a 100-yard rusher. From a fantasy perspective, the Dolphins have been an RB point-scoring factor as they have allowed 5 RBs to get over 12 points in .5 PPR so far this season.

This week, the Colts take on their toughest run defense yet in the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens this season are ranked as a top-5 run defense in our new ALY metric so far in 2021. This includes holding every running back they faced to under 60 rushing yards. It will be important to monitor the status of the Colts offensive lineman this week because with Quenton Nelson already out, it could be a long day for the Indy ground game in Week 5. Currently ranked as a top 10 RB on the week, Taylor might be best viewed as a flex option this week.

(Honorable Mention: Antonio Gibson)

XTB NFL Skill Positions Leaderboard Sources:, football outsiders pro football focus, pro football reference, fantasy pros and fftoday