NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Broncos-Bengals, Packers-Ravens, 49ers-Falcons

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Broncos-Bengals, Packers-Ravens, 49ers-Falcons article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase, 49ers WR Deebo Samuel

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Click on a matchup to skip to that preview
Falcons-49ers
4:05 p.m. ET
Bengals-Broncos
4:05 p.m. ET
Packers-Ravens
4:25 p.m. ET

Note that all defensive pressure stats are courtesy of Pro Football Reference, all DVOA starts are via Football Outsiders, and all other stats are courtesy of PFF unless otherwise noted.


Falcons at 49ers

Falcons Odds +8.5
49ers Odds -8.5
Over/Under 46.5
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I’d lean the 49ers here, as they’re playing good football and have the Falcons outmatched on both sides of the ball. But I’m always wary of the 49ers in these spots, as they’ve had a tendency of playing down to the competition under Kyle Shanahan, going 12-23-1 (33%) ATS as favorites since he took over in 2017.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

The Falcons rank 30th in defensive DVOA (29th in passing and 23rd in rushing), so this is a smash spot for the entire 49ers offense.

Due to price, Jimmy Garoppolo is one of the top GPP plays at QB. The Falcons are dead last in pressure rate (17.0%), and Garoppolo is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt from a clean pocket.

Atlanta’s defense is also ranked 29th in DVOA versus WR1s, 32nd versus WR2s and 19th versus TEs, which sets up perfectly for Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle to go off. Samuel, who is still fourth in the NFL in receiving yards per game (85.7), has an absurd 218 rushing yards and five rushing TDs over his last four games. Samuel will likely continue operating in a dual-threat role with Elijah Mitchell (knee) out. With Samuel lining up more in the backfield, it has unlocked Aiyuk as the team’s new WR1. Aiyuk is averaging 4.7 catches for 68.0 yards and 0.5 TDs over the past six weeks.

Nothing much needs to be said about Kittle, who has now posted back-to-back games with at least nine catches, 150 yards and a TD.

The leverage play on the 49ers passing game is Jeff Wilson Jr. In two starts, Wilson is averaging 16.5 touches on a 59% snap rate – not eye-popping, but enough to pay dividends in GPPs if he can find the end zone. Wilson scored 10 TDs on 139 touches a year ago, so he is unlikely to stay quiet much longer.

The 49ers are quietly up to eighth in defensive DVOA and rank third against the run, though they are 21st versus opposing aerial attacks. Still, I can’t bring myself to play Matt Ryan, who has been held to fewer than 200 yards passing in four of his past five starts with no multi-TD games over that span. Kyle Pitts is unlikely to have much success against this defense, as it ranks first in DVOA against TEs. San Francisco is banged up at cornerback with Emmanuel Moseley (ankle) joining Jason Verrett (ACL) on IR, so the only option in the Falcons passing game is Russell Gage, who is averaging 7.0 catches for 85.7 yards and 0.33 TDs over his past three games. He will face a 49ers defense that has slumped to 27th in DVOA versus No. 1 WRs.

cordarrelle-patterson-mike-davis-fantasy-football-rankings-week-12
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cordarrelle Patterson.

Given Cordarrelle Patterson’s floor – he has posted fewer than 10 PPR/half-PPR points only twice all season – I’m willing to roster him for his ceiling despite the tough matchup, as he is unlikely to totally ruin a GPP lineup. Patterson is averaging 18.0 touches per game in three games since returning from injury, and that was apparently despite the Falcons monitoring his touches. Mike Davis popped for 86 yards last week but is averaging 4.1 yards per touch and has scored three times all year. He’s still a fade unless Patterson is out of the picture completely.

The 49ers offense should be able to put up points and force the immobile Ryan into more passing situations than Arhur Smith is comfortable with, so this is a great spot to target the 49ers DST. The Falcons have committed the seventh-most turnovers per drive (14.4%) and scored the seventh-fewest points per game (18.8).

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Cordarrelle Patterson, RB Jeff Wilson Jr., WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, TE George Kittle, DST San Francisco 49ers

Bengals at Broncos

Bengals Odds +3
Broncos Odds -3
Over/Under 44
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I bet against the Bengals for three straight weeks and went 2-1, but I love them this week.

Schematically, this is a perfect matchup for the Bengals, as the Broncos play the most man coverage in the league and the Bengals are averaging an NFL-best 11.3 yards per target against man coverage while no other team even cracks double digits. The Broncos have talent on the backend and can suffocate lesser teams like the Lions with their coverage, but receivers like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins have proven they can consistently win in one-on-one matchups. If Denver keeps its two safeties back as Vic Fangio loves to do, Cincinnati will be able to gauge them on the ground with Joe Mixon.

Thanks to an easy schedule, the Broncos rank second in points allowed (17.5) despite ranking 21st in defensive DVOA, which is a major indicator that their defensive performance will be unsustainable. They’re below-average against both the pass (19th in DVOA) and the run (25th).

On offense, I’m not sure Denver can keep up. After starting the year averaging 25.3 points per game against the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets, the Broncos have failed to crack 20 points in six of their past 10 games and now face an above-average defense in the Bengals, who rank 12th in DVOA on that side of the ball. The key for the Bengals is their 10th-rated run defense, which can take the Broncos out of their offensive comfort zone of going run-heavy with Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams.

Getting the +3 with the Bengals is a major edge, as they’ve lost by exactly three points four times and by more than three only twice all year, meaning this number would have a 7-2 record this season after removing pushes.

Late in the season, the market tends to be overconfident in small-to-moderate home favorites, thinking they have enough information to warrant spreads that are oftentimes larger than they should be. Since 2003, road underdogs between +3 and +8.5 in Weeks 15-16 facing home favorites with a straight-up winning percentage of .400 or better have covered at a 65% clip, beating the spread by 2.54 points per game.

Pick: Bengals +3 (to +1)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

The Broncos have been a slightly below-average pass defense, ranking 19th in DVOA, and their man-heavy scheme sets up well for Joe Burrow to post his third straight 300-yard game. I love him in GPPs stacked with Chase, who leads all WRs on the slate in yards per route run versus man coverage (3.65).

Tee Higgins profiles as the Bengals’ zone beater, but I wouldn’t fade him in this spot, either, as he still averages a stellar 2.30 yards per route versus man coverage. Tyler Boyd takes a back seat when the Bengals get single coverage, averaging just 1.46 yards per route versus man. The sneaky play here is C.J. Uzomah, who has ripped off 2.08 yards per route against man.

Joe Mixon is also set up for a productive afternoon, as the Broncos are ranked 25th in DVOA against the run and 23rd on passes to RBs. Mixon is averaging 21.0 touches for 95.2 scrimmage yards and 1.08 total TDs per game.

As much success as the Bengals have had against man coverage, I still wouldn’t hesitate to roster the Broncos DST, as Burrow leads the NFL in both sacks taken (41) and interceptions thrown (14). At $2,900 on DraftKings, the Broncos are the cheapest favorite not named the Jaguars and are cash-viable.

The Bengals defense has been more exploitable through the air (18th in DVOA) than on the ground, so this is a week to fade the committee of Melvin Gordon (questionable-thumb) and Javonte Williams (questionable-knee), who both popped up on the injury report.

The top dog in the Broncos’ passing game is unquestionably Jerry Jeudy, who has caught at least four passes in six of seven contests. Though Jeudy is due for some TD regression after going 43 targets and 33 catches without a score, he’s still a better play on full-PPR sites like DraftKings until he realizes said TD regression.

Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy

Courtland Sutton has been reduced to a useless onlooker with Jeudy in the lineup, averaging just 1.7 catches for 19.0 yards per game with no TDs. Tim Patrick has also seen his value evaporate with Jeudy active, averaging just 36.9 yards per game.

Noah Fant has become more of a 1a in a frustrating committee with Albert Okwuebunam, but he is worth a play in GPPs in this matchup, as the Bengals are ranked 27th in DVOA versus TEs and are still missing Logan Wilson (shoulder) — their top coverage linebacker.

Although Jeudy and Fant should be productive, Teddy Bridgewater likely won’t put fourth a GPP-worthy performance. Bridgewater has thrown for 300-plus yards just twice all season and accounted for more than two TDs only once.

  • Cash Plays: WR Ja’Marr Chase, DST Denver Broncos
  • GPP Plays: QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins, WR Jerry Jeudy, TE Noah Fant, TE C.J. Uzomah

Packers at Ravens

Packers Odds -7
Ravens Odds +7
Over/Under 43.5
Time 4:25 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I don’t see any edge in betting this game with Lamar Jackson’s status up in the air.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Devonta Freeman has seized control of the Ravens’ backfield, averaging 19.0 touches over the past four games. He is viable in cash games against a Packers defense that sets up as a run funnel, ranking 24th in DVOA on the ground compared to 13th through the air. Latavius Murray’s touches have declined every Week over that four-game span that Freeman has emerged, going 12, 8, 4 and 1.

Another factor that should work to funnel the ball to Freeman is the uncertainty surrounding the Ravens quarterback situation.

Lamar Jackson failed to practice all week after getting carted off last week with an ankle injury and looks to be on the wrong side of questionable, which would thrust Tyler Huntley into the starting role. A banged-up Jackson would be overpriced, but Huntley is worth a look in GPPs if he starts. Huntley threw for 270 yards and ran for another 45 in relief of Jackson last week. Given his rushing ability, Baltimore won’t change the offense much for Huntley.

The Packers DST, which has scored 13 or more fantasy points in three of its last four games, would also be worth a look if Huntley starts.

The Packers rank above-average in DVOA versus all WR positions, but below-average to backs and tight ends, so this is a spot to target Mark Andrews while fading Marquise Brown. With an 11/115/1 performance last week, Andrews took hold of the fantasy TE1 spot. Brown, meanwhile, hasn’t topped 55 yards since Week 9 or scored since Week 7.

marquise-brown-fantasy-rashod-bateman-mark-andrews-latavius-murray-ravens-week-11-2021-1
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Ravens TE Mark Andrews, WR Rashod Bateman

Rashod Bateman blew up for a 100-yard game last week, which will likely garner him more attention than he deserves. Since Sammy Watkins returned, Bateman’s routes run per team dropback jumped around from 58% to 38% to 75%. Potential high rostership and an uncertain snap count make him a fade as well.

Under defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, the Ravens play man coverage at the fourth-highest rate in the NFL, and didn’t alter that strategy much in his first game with cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Among WRs on this slate with at least 10 targets this season, only Ja’Marr Chase is averaging more yards per route run versus man coverage than Davante Adams’ 3.23.

The Ravens have turned into a pass funnel defense, ranking fourth in DVOA against the run but 26th through the air, so it should be as simple as a game of pitch-and-catch for Adams and Aaron Rodgers at M&T Bank Stadium. On this slate, Adams is my top projected WR and Rodgers is my QB3. The former is in play in cash games at FanDuel at $8,500; the latter on DraftKings at $7,500.

Adams isn’t the only Packers WR who could have success: Marquez Valdes-Scantling is averaging a robust 2.43 yards per route run versus man, and Allen Lazard has three TDs on 13 targets when singled up. Both are in play in GPPs.

Josiah Deguara ran a route on more than 60% of Rodgers’ dropbacks for the second straight game last week but is averaging just 0.49 yards per route verus man.

You may not have noticed it last week because he found the end zone twice, but Aaron Jones operated as the 1b to A.J. Dillon’s 1a, logging eight touches on 45% of the snaps while Dillon handled 15 touches on 54% of the snaps. Jones missed practice on Thursday with a knee injury and illness before getting in a limited session on Friday, so this week is not looking like the one where Jones gets his usage ramped up.

Jones still has the better matchup than Dillon in the sense that Jones will operate as the primary passing-down back against a Ravens defense that ranks 29th in DVOA on targets to RBs, but Jones is overpriced given his projected touch count.

Jones and Dillon have to be treated as RB2/3s in fantasy and both are fades in DFS for me this week.

  • Cash Plays: QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Devonta Freeman, WR Davante Adams
  • GPP Plays: QB Tyler Huntley (if Jackson sits), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR Allen Lazard, TE Mark Andrews, DST Green Bay Packers (if Jackson sits)

Editor’s note: The following previews are for games that kicked off at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.


NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Click on a matchup to skip to that preview
Panthers-Bills
1 p.m. ET
Jets-Dolphins
1 p.m. ET
Cowboys-Giants
1 p.m. ET
Titans-Steelers
1 p.m. ET
Texans-Jaguars
1 p.m. ET
Cardinals-Lions
1 p.m. ET


Panthers at Bills

Panthers Odds +12
Bills Odds -12
Over/Under 44.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

This is my favorite under of the week.

In order from best to worst, here are the DVOA rankings of the offenses and defenses in this game:

  • Bills defense: 1st
  • Panthers defense: 10th
  • Bills offense: 14th
  • Panthers offense: 30th

What we have here is a matchup between two top-10 defense, one bottom-three offense, and another offense that was supposed to be good but has been merely average. These teams want to run the ball better, and both will likely be inclined to do so with temperatures forecasted to be in the mid-20s.

Since 2015, games played in temperatures at or below freezing have cashed at a 59% rate, per our Action Labs data:

Pick: Under 44.5 (to 44)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Josh Allen (foot) practiced all week and was removed from the injury report, so I wouldn’t hesitate to roster him in GPPs.

The Panthers play man coverage at the 10th-highest rate, which sets up well for Gabriel Davis, who is averaging a team-leading 2.26 yards per route run versus man coverage and will start in place of the injured Emmanuel Sanders (doubtful-knee). Stefon Diggs may see some shadow coverage from Stephon Gilmore, but the Panthers haven’t been able to leverage Gilmore’s talent into the ability to slow down opposing top options, ranking dead last in DVOA against WR1s. Dawson Knox is also a good bet for a TD here, as his four TDs versus man coverage are third in the NFL behind only Rob Gronkowski and C.J. Uzomah, who have five each.

I would sell high on Cole Beasley after his 9/64/0 outing last week, as he averages a pedestrian 1.12 yards per route versus man coverage compared to 1.75 versus zone.

The Panthers are 21st in DVOA against the run but first on passes to RBs, so there’s not enough there to warrant targeting Devin Singletary or Matt Breida. Zack Moss may be active given the matchup on the ground, but he’s still liable to split snaps three ways. If Breida is scratched and Moss is active, which is unlikely, then it’s a signal that Moss may be featured.

The Panthers offense is in shambles with Cam Newton proving that he is indeed back if we’re talking about the Patriots version of himself. The Bills are ranked second in DVOA against the pass and eighth against the run. With D.J. Moore battling a hamstring issue and Chuba Hubbard not seeing work on passing downs, there’s nothing to see here. Roster the Bills DST and keep it moving.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Josh Allen, RB Zack Moss (if active and Breida inactive), WR Stefon Diggs, WR Gabriel Davis, TE Dawson Knox, DST Buffalo Bills

Jets at Dolphins

Jets Odds +9.5
Dolphins Odds -9.5
Over/Under 41
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Dolphins beat the Jets 24-17 on the road in Week 10. Factor in home-field advantage and this line is about right.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

With Jalen Waddle going on the COVID list, this is a smash spot for Mike Gesicki against a Jets defense that ranks dead last in DVOA against TEs. I have Gesicki projected as the TE5 for the week and the top cash game value at his position.

On DraftKings, you also have to play DeVante Parker at $4,300 in cash games. Parker has caught at least four passes in every game and is averaging 5.0 catches for 64.8 yards on the season. He will be up against a Jets defense that ranks dead last in DVOA against the pass and 20th versus opposing WR1s. Parker has been targeted on 21% of his pass routes while Albert Wilson (18%), Preston Williams (16%), Mack Hollins (12%) and Isaiah Ford (19%) all clock in south of 20%.

Tua Tagovailoa has completed an eye-popping 84-of-105 (80%) passes over his past three starts and thrown multiple TDs in two of them. He makes for an excellent GPP QB stacked with one or both of Gesicki and Parker.

If not targeting the Dolphins passing game, a stack of Myles Gaskin and the Dolphins DST is an excellent alternative. Over his past seven games, Gaskin is averaging 19.4 touches for 61.6 yards and 0.71 TDs. He’s not the most efficient runner behind Miami’s shaky offensive line, but he has massive TD upside in a game in which the Dolphins are implied by the odds to score 25.3 points – 5.8 higher than their season average of 19.5. Gaskin should lead the backfield with Salvon Ahmed backing him up after both were activated off the COVID list this week. Duke Johnson Jr. will provide depth.

Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini reported that Michael Carter will have a “significant role” upon his return from a knee injury, which suggests he should hover somewhere around the 19.3 touches he was averaging in the four games prior to being injured against these very Dolphins in Week 11. Carter was well on his way to posting a monster outing in that contest, racking up 10 touches for 65 yards on just 20 snaps. Miami is by no means an easy matchup, ranking 14th in DVOA against the run and seventh on passes to RBs, but the Jets have no choice but to feature Carter and volume is king at RB. His friendly salary ($4,700 on DraftKings, $5,900 on FanDuel) makes him cash-viable this week. Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman will return to bit roles behind Carter.

Only the Broncos play man coverage at a higher rate than the Dolphins. Unfortunately, the only receiver on the Jets who could beat mean coverage was Elijah Moore. Only Ryan Griffin (1.36) and Braxton Berrios (1.02) are north of 1.0 yard per route run versus zone, while Keelan Cole (0.96), Jamison Crowder (0.88) and Denzel Mims (0.38) wouldn’t project for 100 yards even if they ran 100 routes in this game.

This is an easy spot to fade Zach Wilson and the Jets passing game and target the Dolphins DST.

  • Cash Plays: RB Michael Carter, WR Devante Parker, TE Mike Gesicki
  • GPP Plays: QB Tua Tagovailoa, RB Myles Gaskin, DST Miami Dolphins

Cowboys at Giants

Cowboys Odds -11.5
Giants Odds +11.5
Over/Under 44.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I’d lean Cowboys here, as Dak Prescott is 19-8 (70%) against the spread (ATS) in his career versus sub-.500 teams. Still, this is a ton of points to lay for a divisional road game, and the Cowboys are just 2-2 ATS when the number is -7 or higher.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

The Giants set up as a run funnel, ranking 10th in DVOA against the pass but 27th versus the run. This is a sneaky spot to play Ezekiel Elliott, whose rostership should be low after a couple of dudes and with Tony Pollard (questionable-foot) expected to return. Elliott is tied for fourth in the NFL with 11 carries inside the 5-yard line.

The Giants tend to lean on zone coverage, which sets up better for CeeDee Lamb (2.24 YPRR vs. zone) and Amari Cooper (1.84) than Michael Gallup (1.03). Dalton Schultz has struggled for targets as the Cowboys have gotten healthier at WR and faces a Giants defense that ranks 10th in DVOA against TEs, so I’m fading him as well.

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Dak Prescott’s struggles last week in a good matchup on paper may lower his rostership in a tougher on-paper matchup this week, so I like him in GPPs. Prescott threw for 302 yards with three TDs and one interception in the first meeting between these teams.

The Cowboys rank first in defensive DVOA against the pass but 19th versus the run, so Saquon Barkley is the only hope for the Giants’ Mike Glennon-quarterbacked offense. Barkley saw 19 touches for 95 yards and a TD last week and is off the injury report this week.

I’m not touching any of Glennon, Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton or Evan Engram versus the league’s top-rated pass defense. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Cowboys DST outscored them all.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, RB Saquon Barkley, WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Amari Cooper, DST Dallas Cowboys

Titans at Steelers

Titans Odds -1.5
Steelers Odds +1.5
Over/Under 43
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via Parx. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Steelers had their bi-weekly meltdown last week, so now it’s time to back them again.

Derrick Henry has been out for five games, and the Titans are already down to 23rd in offensive DVOA – one spot below the Steelers. Even with Julio Jones back, the rest of the Titans skill players are the type of guys that the average fan has to Google. In five games without Henry, the Titans are averaging 19.4 points per game, and even that is misleading as they got a pick-six and started another touchdown drive two yards out in a 28-16 win over the Rams.

With T.J. Watt (groin) and Joe Haden (foot) practicing in full Friday, the Steelers defense should be back to full strength in a hostile home environment that will expose the undermanned Titans offense. The Steelers offense has its share of struggles and is averaging just 20.9 points per game (21st), but this is the rare game where that should be enough.

This is also a game you’d expect the Steelers to get up for at home – a classic “rah-rah” Mike Tomlin spot. Under Tomlin, the Steelers have cashed against the spread at a 56% clip coming off a loss, beating the spread by an average of 2.0 points per game.

Pick: Steelers -1 (to -2)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Despite Ben Roethlisberger’s precipitous decline, Diontae Johnson has no games with fewer than 11.7 DraftKings points or 9.7 FanDuel points. He’s a matchup-proof cash game play who is facing a defense that ranks 14th in defensive passing DVOA and 18th in DVOA versus opposing No. 1 WRs.

Here are the routes run per dropback for Steelers WRs not named Johnson last week and the week before:

  • Ray-Ray McCloud 89%, 69%
  • Chase Claypool 57%, 66%
  • James Washington 43%, 44%

Claypool is only going to improve on his lack of situational awareness with more reps, but McCloud has now out-snapped him on passing plays for two consecutive weeks. Claypool has only one 20-point fantasy game this season, so I’m comfortable with fading him in this spot.

I do like McCloud as a low-cost dart throw. McCloud has two games with six-plus catches over his last four and drew his first two targets inside the 10 of the season during that stretch as well. The Titans are ranked seventh in DVOA versus TEs and allow the fourth-fewest schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game to the position (37.2), so Pat Freiermuth is a fade this week.

Ben Roethlisberger posted his first two 20-point fantasy games of the season over the past month, but I’m not expecting this to be a ceiling week, as the Titans have allowed only three 300-yard passers all season.

Najee Harris is the top RB play on the slate. The rookie Alabama alum leads the NFL with 297 touches (22.8) and faces a Titans defense that ranks a middling 18th in DVOA against the run. He’s too expensive for cash games this week, but should be considered the most likely player to on this slate to finish as the overall RB1.

najee-harris-justin-herbert-player-props-steelers-chargers
Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Najee Harris

Minus Derrick Henry (IR-foot) and A.J. Brown (IR-chest), the Titans are fielding a JV-level group of skill position players aside from Julio Jones. With Jones escaping from last week’s shutout of the Jaguars without any setbacks to his ever-delicate hamstring, this is as good a week as ever to target him in GPPs. While Jones has shown his wear versus man coverage, averaging just 0.95 yards per route run, he has still been able to shred zone to the tune of 2.90 yards per route run against zone coverage, which the Steelers play at the 11th-highest rate in the league.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine ran a route on 87% of Tannehill’s dropbacks but averages less than half as many yards per route run versus zone (1.39) as Jones and therefore isn’t a viable option with Jones healthy. Chester Rodgers, Racey McMath and Cody Hollister will split snaps as the WR3 and aren’t viable options. The same is true for the three-way TE committee of Anthony Firkser, Geoff Swaim and MyCole Pruitt.

This is a spot where I’d target the defense Ryan Tannehill is playing against rather than Tannehill, who has thrown for more than 213 yards just once in the past five weeks and tossed multiple TDs only twice all year. At $3,700, the Steelers are the cheapest favored DST on the board on FanDuel, making them my top cash game option on the site.

After letting Dalvin Cook (27/205/2) and Alexander Mattison (6/27/0) run wild for a combined 33 carries, 227 yards and two TDs on the ground last Thursday, the Steelers are now a bottom-three run defense, clocking in at 30th in DVOA. D’Onta Foreman’s usage last week looks shaky on the surface, with 15 touches on a 32% snap rate, but 13 of those touches came in the first half with the game still in doubt. Averaging 17.5 touches, 87.5 scrimmage yards and 0.5 TDs over his past two games, Foreman is worth firing up in GPPs based on matchup.

Dontrell Hilliard and Jeremy McNichols are unlikely to siphon anything more than change-of-pace work as long as the game remains competitive.

  • Cash Plays: WR Diontae Johnson, DST Pittsburgh Steelers
  • GPP Plays: RB Najee Harris, RB D’Onta Foreman, WR Julio Jones

Texans at Jaguars

Texans Odds +5.5
Jaguars Odds -5.5
Over/Under 39.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I bet the Texans +3.5 early in the week (you can read more about why here), when Urban Meyer was still the head coach of the Jaguars, thinking the line would probably close at +3 or less by kickoff. But then word got out of Meyer kicking his kicker, and all hell broke loose.

The Jaguars will almost certainly play better without Meyer, but I’m skeptical of how much better they will truly be. After all, Darrell Bevel is taking over as the interim head coach, and he is still the same Darrell Bevell who led the Jaguars to an average of 9.1 points per game over the past seven games — and he’s essentially on a short week of preparation as Meyer wasn’t fired until Wednesday.

The Jaguars have no business being favored by more than a field goal against anyone – even the Texans – as both of their wins came by three points.

Pick: Texans +5.5 (to +3)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

After Trevor Lawrence publicly lobbied for James Robinson to be on the field, Urban Meyer got fired. And now with Carlos Hyde ruled out, Robinson is set up for a smash spot. He will face a Texans defense that sets up as a run funnel, ranking 28th in DVOA against the run but eighth versus the pass. In a tough slate for RB value, Robinson is cash-viable at just $5,400 on DraftKings and $6,300 on FanDuel. I expect Robinson to land closer to the 20.6 touches he averaged last season than the 14.2 he is averaging so far this year.

Despite little talent, the Texans have surprisingly fielded an efficient pass defense, ranking eighth in DVOA on the season. The Texans will be without safety Justin Reid (concussion) and cornerback Terrance Mitchell (Reserve-COVID-19) in the secondary, but are graded by PFF as bottom-10 players as their respective positions, so there shouldn’t be much dropoff. The Texans are able to get by mostly on Lovie Smith’s well-schemed Tampa 2 philosophy.

Marvin Jones Jr. came alive for a six-catch, 70-yard performance last week after nearly dipping out on his now former head coach after a heated argument during the week, but he is averaging just 1.07 yards per route run versus zone coverage this year, which doesn’t bode well against Smith’s scheme. Laviska Shenault Jr. has too much talent to be wasting away like this and could see a couple of extra carries with Hyde out, but he faces the toughest matchup of all Jags WRs in the slot against Tavierre Thomas, who ranks 13th of 120 qualified cornerbacks in PFF’s grades.

The only options here are Laquon Treadwell and James O’Shaughnessy. Treadwell has caught exactly four passes in each of the past three games and is averaging 61.0 yards over that span. O’Shaunessy has taken over the Dan Arnold role and has a great matchup against a Texans defense that ranks fourth-worst in DVOA against TEs.

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Over a three-game stretch from Weeks 9-12 in which they faced similarly inept offenses of the Dolphins, Titans and Jets, the Texans DST averaged 12.3 fantasy points per game with two 15-plus-point showings. Houston’s DST is worth a look in GPPs against a Jags offense that is averaging under 10 points per game over the past seven weeks and is tied for the league lead with 25 turnovers on the season.

I liked Davis Mills last week and I’m running it back again this week. Over his past two games, Mills is averaging 320.5 yards passing with three TDs and one interception. He has now posted at least 21 DraftKings points and 18.0 FanDuel points in three of his past five starts. This week, he will face a pass-funnel Jaguars defense that is ranked 31st in passing DVOA but 13th in rushing DVOA.

The obvious stacking partner for Mills is Brandin Cooks, who has caught at least five passes in 9-of-13 games and is averaging 5.0 receptions for 65.0 yards on the season.

Nico Collins is also an option. Collins posted a career-high five catches for 69 yards last week. The Jaguars rank 30th in DVOA versus WR1s and 31st in DVOA versus WR2s. Brevin Jordan is also an option at TE after drawing a season-high seven targets and finding the paint for the third time in six games as a pro. He’ll face a Jags defense that ranks 26th in DVOA versus TEs.

The Texans’ running game is a mess. With no run-blocking to speak of, Houston RBs are averaging just 2.92 yards per carry. Rex Burkhead (hip) was initially ruled out by head coach David Culley but is now listed as questionable. If he sits, David Johnson and Royce Freeman would form an uninspiring committee versus an above-average run defense. None are options.

  • Cash Plays: RB James Robinson
  • GPP Plays: QB Davis Mills, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Nico Collins, WR Laquon Treadwell, TE James O’Shaughnessy, TE Brevin Jordan, DST Houston Texans

Cardinals at Lions

Cardinals Odds -12
Lions Odds +12
Over/Under 47
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via Gun Lake. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I’d lean Cardinals here, because why would you ever lean toward the 2021 Lions. At the same time, those Lions are 8-5 ATS, and the Cardinals are just 8-10 ATS as a favorite in Kyler Murray’s career.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Even without DeAndre Hopkins, Kyler Murray projects as the top QB on the slate against a hapless Lions defense that ranks 30th in DVOA against the pass and 29th versus the run. In a weak slate of QBs, I’m using Murray in cash games on FanDuel.

The Lions have been competent defending passes to the offensive right (19th in DVOA) but abysmal to the left (30th), so this is a week to target every Cardinals WR but A.J. Green, who has 83% of his targets come on the right side. Christian Kirk should lead the team in targets with Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz behind him. Antoine Wesley is also a sneaky play and ran a route on more than 75% of the team’s pass plays with Hopkins out.

Chase Edmonds (ankle) is expected to make his return from IR, which could cut into the workload of James Conner, who practiced only one day this week with an ankle issue. The Lions present a beautiful matchup, but Conner and Edmonds are both fades in GPPs, as Conner is still priced as if Edmonds is out and Edmonds has been more of a floor play than a ceiling play.

With Jared Goff set to face a Cardinals defense that ranks fourth in DVOA, the Lions will likely keep the ball on the ground as much as they can, as the Cardinals rank eight spots worse in DVOA against the run.

Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff

According to the Lions website, Craig Reynolds and Jermar Jefferson split the bulk of the first-team reps. Godwin Igwebuike had a miserable game last week, turning eight touches into 25 scoreless yards while fumbling once and almost losing another in the red zone on a play where it was ultimately ruled he was out of bounds before coughing up the rock. I wouldn’t be surprised if Igwebuike barely plays this week.

Given the scarcity at RB this week, both Reynolds and Jefferson are worth GPP dart throws. If forced to choose, I would pick Reynolds, who turned 13 touches into 99 yards last week. The case for Jefferson is he has been on the active roster longer and has also looked explosive, averaging 6.3 yards per touch.

The Cardinals DST may very well outscore Goff, but is too pricy in a week in which it’s tough to come by value.

Amon-Ra St. Brown now has two weeks straight of at least eight catches and 73 yards and is in play in GPPs, especially with T.J. Hockenson (hand) on IR and Josh Reynolds dealing with a thigh issue that limited his practice reps this week. Kalif Raymond could also be involved but has seen his playing time dip since Reynolds was acquired. Shane Zylstra and Brock Wright split reps in place of Hockenson last week and aren’t viable options as long as they are part of a tandem.

  • Cash Plays: QB Kyler Murray
  • GPP Plays: RB Craig Reynolds, RB Jermar Jefferson, WR Christian Kirk, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown,, WR Rondale Moore, WR Antoine Wesley, TE Zach Ertz

DFS Cash Lineups

DraftKings

  • QB Aaron Rodgers $7,500 at BAL
  • RB Devonta Freeman $5,900 vs. GB
  • RB James Robinson $5,400 vs. HOU
  • WR Diontae Johnson $7,500 vs. TEN
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase $7,100 at DEN
  • WR DeVante Parker $4,300 vs. NYJ
  • TE Mike Gesicki $5,000 vs. NYJ
  • FLEX Michael Carter $4,700 at MIA
  • DST Denver Broncos $2,900 vs. CIN

FanDuel

  • QB Kyler Murray $8,800 at DET
  • RB James Robinson $6,300 vs. HOU
  • RB Devonta Freeman $5,900 vs. GB
  • WR Davante Adams $8,500 at BAL
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase $7,500 at DEN
  • WR Diontae Johnson $7,200 vs. TEN
  • TE Mike Gesicki $6,200 vs. NYJ
  • FLEX Michael Carter $5,900 at MIA
  • DST Pittsburgh Steelers $3,700 vs. TEN

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