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NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Every Week 16 Game, Including Rams-Vikings

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Every Week 16 Game, Including Rams-Vikings article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Bills WR Stefon Diggs, Vikings WR Justin Jefferson

  • In search of NFL odds and betting advice for Week 16? Our expert breaks down every Sunday afternoon matchup.
  • Find his top betting picks and predictions below, as well as his daily fantasy plays for each game.

NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Click on a matchup to skip to that preview
Bucs-Panthers
1 p.m. ET
Giants-Eagles
1 p.m. ET
Chargers-Texans
1 p.m. ET
Lions-Falcons
1 p.m. ET
Ravens-Bengals
1 p.m. ET
Rams-Vikings
1 p.m. ET
Jaguars-Jets
1 p.m. ET
Bills-Patriots
1 p.m. ET
Bears-Seahawks
4:05 p.m. ET
Steelers-Chiefs
4:25 p.m. ET
Raiders-Broncos
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.



Bucs at Panthers

Bucs Odds -10
Panthers Odds +10
Over/Under 44
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

This is too many points for a short-handed Bucs team in a divisional road game, but Tom Brady is 42-16 (72%) against the spread (ATS) off a loss since 2003, per our Action Labs data.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Leonard Fournette (hamstring) has been placed on IR, opening the door for the reemergence of Ronald Jones, who faces a run-funnel Panthers defense that ranks eighth in DVOA versus the pass but 24th against the run. Jones has the top Projected Plus/Minus among RBs in both our DraftKings and FanDuel NFL Pro Models this week. He is a cash-game must play.

The same is true of Antonio Brown, who will make his return just in time for an offense that will be without Chris Godwin (IR-knee) and Mike Evans (out-hamstring). Brown is averaging a sterling 3.77 yards per route run against man coverage this season, which the Panthers play at the league’s 12th-highest rate. Brown is egregiously underpriced on DraftKings at $4,900.

Tom Brady projected for 5-6% rostership is a gift from the DFS gods. While Brady’s median outcome is surely below his league-leading season averages of 310.6 yards and 2.57 TDs passing, his chances of finishing as one of the top QBs on the slate are exponentially higher – even in a tough matchup. Not to mention, Brady offers significant leverage on Jones and enables for differentiation in lineups with Brown and/or Rob Gronkowski. The latter projects for the most rostership among TEs but also has the highest ceiling, so I would still play him, but only stacked with Brady.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski, QB Tom Brady

Tyler Johnson and Breshad Perriman took turns as the team’s WR3 while Brown was out, so it’s unclear who would get the nod as their WR2 with Scotty Miller also back in the mix (assuming Perriman is activated from the COVID list). I’m staying away from the Bucs’ ancillary options since Brady himself provides ample differentiation.

Despite entering last week as a 14.5-point underdog and ultimately losing by 17 points, Cam Newton finished as a top-three QB on Sunday’s slate of games. Projected to be in just one out of every 50 entries, Newton profiles as one of the top GPP plays at his position.

In a somewhat unexpected twist given all of the injuries the Bucs have suffered to their secondary, their pass defense (fifth) ranks higher in DVOA than their run defense (12th). One only rosters Cam for his rushing upside, so D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Co. are fades. Moore is still a startable WR2 in season-long fantasy, as the catches and yards have been there even though the TDs haven’t. Unfortunately, the Bucs DST is too pricey on DraftKings and projected for double-digit rostership at the third-highest price on FanDuel, making rostering it a negative-expected-value proposition.

Chuba Hubbard is averaging just 9.5 touches per game in the two since returning to the starting role. He is mired in a committee with Ameer Abdullah, rendering both of them useless with the Panthers installed as double-digit underdogs.

  • Cash Plays: RB Ronald Jones II, WR Antonio Brown
  • GPP Plays: QB Tom Brady, QB Cam Newton, TE Rob Gronkowski

Giants at Eagles

Giants Odds +10
Eagles Odds -10
Over/Under 40.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via Parx. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

This is a lot of points to be laying with a .500 Eagles team that scored all of seven points in an upset loss to the Giants a few weeks ago, but the Giants are trotting out a rookie quarterback on the road in his first ever pro start.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Jalen Hurts turned in a miserable three-interception game against the Giants in the first matchup after hurting his ankle, but he is off the injury report after logging a full practice on Friday, making him a top-three value at his position and my preferred cash-game option on FanDuel at $6,400 — only $200 more than Tyler Huntley. Hurts has posted at least 19.6 FanDuel points in 10-of-13 games and faces a middling Giants pass defense that ranks 13th in DVOA.

With Dallas Goedert projected for double-digit rostership, this is a good week to pivot to Devonta Smith, who is expected to register a negligible roster percentage. Over Smith’s past six games, he has cracked 20 fantasy points one-third of the time. Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins will continue to log fantasy-irrelevant snaps alongside Smith.

Miles Sanders did not practice all week but did not receive an injury designation, so he will likely remain in the lead role against New York’s bottom-five run defense. However, he is yet to score a TD on the year, so we should feel safe fading him at what will likely be a double-digit rostership.

The play here is Jordan Howard, who logged 15 carries for 69 yards last week despite Sanders’ huge day. Howard offers leverage on both Hurts and Sanders. Somewhat stunningly, Howard also led the backfield in percentage of routes run per dropback last week (47%).

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Former Georgia Bulldog star QB Jake Fromm will make his first NFL start for the Giants, so this is also a spot where you can stack Howard with his DST.

This week in the Giants’ non-injured WR carousel, we get Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Darius Slayton — but none of them are options in an offense helmed by Fromm, who averaged 4.8 yards per attempt on 36 preseason throws before completing 6-of-12 passes for 82 yards in relief of Mike Glennon last week. Evan Engram has topped 50 yards twice and scored twice all year and isn’t viable, either. The lone option here is Saquon Barkley, who projects for rostership in the 5% range and faces a mediocre Eagles defense that is ranked 15th in DVOA versus opposing ground games.

  • Cash Plays: QB Jalen Hurts
  • GPP Plays: RB Saquon Barkley, RB Jordan Howard, WR Devonta Smith, DST Philadelphia Eagles

Chargers at Texans

Chargers Odds -10
Texans Odds +10
Over/Under 46
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Chargers’ leader in scrimmage yards (1,347) and touchdowns (17) is Austin Ekeler; he’s likely out due to COVID. The Texans’ leader in scrimmage yards (966) and touchdowns (5) is Brandin Cooks; he’s likely out due to COVID. Oh, and by the way, both of these teams rank top-12 in defensive passing DVOA (Houston 10th, LA 12th).

Indoors or not, this game has zero business having the third-highest total on the board this Sunday.

This game opened at 47 and has been bet down, and it has historically been profitable to follow the money in these spots.

Pick: Under 46 (to 44)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Austin Ekeler described his own status as “not looking good,” which thrusts Justin Jackson into a lead role. After posting a season-high 99 yards from scrimmage on 14 touches alongside of a limited Ekeler 10 days ago, Jackson should be considered cash-viable against a run-funnel Texans defense that ranks 10th in DVOA versus the pass but 27th versus the run. Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree III will mix in behind Jackson.

Despite Houston somehow fielding a top-10 pass D, Justin Herbert still projects as the overall QB1 this week. That’s largely due to him having Keenan Allen at his disposal.

Allen is yet to post a game below 10 points on DraftKings (he’s fallen just short on FanDuel twice), and I don’t expect him to start now. As per usual, Allen is a locked-in cash game play. Mike Williams projects for a similar rostership percentage as Allen with a similar ceiling but a much lower floor, so I’m fading him this week, though he remains a solid WR2 play in season-long.

Jared Cook has an excellent matchup – the Texans rank dead last in DVOA versus TEs – and makes for a more cost-effective, lower-rostered pivot off Allen or stacking partner with Herbert. With Donald Parham (concussion) out, Cook may pick up a few extra snaps. Josh Palmer would be intriguing at near minimum price if Jalen Guyton is not activated from the COVID list.

Against a Chargers defense that ranks 12th in DVOA against the pass but 31st versus the run, the Texans obviously need to run the ball. Too bad they obviously can’t, averaging league-lows in yards per game (77.4) and yards per carry (3.2). Still, Rex Burkhead is in play as a GPP dart throw after logging at least 15 touches in four of the past five games. Despite being prematurely ruled out and the return of David Johnson from a two-game absence, Burkhead played a season-high 64% of offensive snaps last week against Jacksonville.

The Texans’ passing game is somehow even in more dire straits. Brandin Cooks (COVID-19) is expected out, leaving rookie Nico Collins as the team’s top WR. Our models project Collins with one of the highest rostership percentages on the slate, rendering him useless in GPPs. There’s no telling how the remaining snaps will be split among Phillip Dorsett, Chris Conley and Chris Moore at WR — and it’s hard to trust Brevin Jordan after he was active but didn’t play last week — so there are no viable pivot options off Collins, either. It’s Chargers DST or bust here.

  • Cash Plays: RB Justin Jackson, WR Keenan Allen
  • GPP Plays: QB Justin Herbert, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Keenan Allen, WR Josh Palmer (if Guyton sits), TE Jared Cook, DST Los Angeles Chargers

Lions at Falcons

Lions Odds +5
Falcons Odds -5
Over/Under 43
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via Gun Lake. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Falcons are a simple team to read:

  • Versus teams with a winning percentage currently below .400: 4-1, +3.8 point differential
  • Versus teams with a winning percentage currently .400 or higher: 2-7, -16.1 point differential

I wouldn’t feel comfortable laying more than a field goal with this team against any opponent, but I like teasing them down to -0.5 or -1 against a 2-11-1 Lions team that will be without its starting quarterback.

Pick: Tease Falcons -6.5 to -0.5 (to -8.5/-2.5)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

This is a major bounce-back spot for Cordarrelle Patterson, who faces a Lions defense that ranks 29th in DVOA on the ground and dead-last on passes to RBs. Thanks to a top-five ceiling projection and a rostership projection that falls outside of the top five, Patterson profiles as one of the slate’s top GPP plays. The late-blooming runner is averaging 14.0 carries and 3.5 targets per game over his past four and has seen his number called 18 times in the red zone over that span.

This is also a good spot for Russell Gage and Kyle Pitts, as the Lions are ranked 22nd in DVOA against both WR1s and TEs. Gage has now topped 60 yards in six of his past nine games, while Pitts is averaging 65.8 yards per game since Week 5. While both are strong season-long plays, both are priced at or near their season-high and are expected to draw double-digit ownership, which dents their value in DFS.

Matt Ryan has thrown for 300-plus yards and multiple TDs in one game since Week 8. He’s not an option in a game which he may not have to do much due to projected game script.

Christian Blake, who has been targeted on just 49-of-394 career routes (12.4%) with no TDs to show for it, will run wind sprints in place of Tajae Sharpe (doubtful-foot). Olamide Zaccheaus could see an uptick in usage but has posted one fantasy-relevant game all season, catching a fluky two TDs against the Saints.

Priced at just $2,600 on DraftKings and $3,800 on FanDuel, the Falcons DST projects as the No. 1 value on both sites in our NFL Pro Models in a matchup with Tim Boyle. In Boyle’s only start of the season, he completed 15-of-23 passes for 77 yards with no TDs and two interceptions. Boyle torpedoes the value of Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is expected to draw double-digit ownership anyway, and Josh Reynolds, who is priced at a season-high.

No. 3 WR Kalif Raymond and TEs Brock Wright and Shane Zylstra weren’t ever in play to begin with.

D’Andre Swift would be intriguing if he returns from his shoulder injury. He’s posted at least 135 scrimmage yards in his previous two healthy games and faces a Falcons defense that is ranked 26th in DVOA against the run. I can’t see the franchise allowing Swift to play unless he is fully healthy in what has long been a lost season, so I wouldn’t hesitate to fire him up if active. If Swift is inactive, it’s hard to know whether Jamaal Williams or Craig Reynolds will lead the backfield, so I would lay off in that scenario. Williams was activated from the COVID list this week.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: RB Cordarrelle Patterson, RB D’Andre Swift (if active), DST Atlanta Falcons

Ravens at Bengals

Ravens Odds +3
Bengals Odds -3
Over/Under 45
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

Editor’s note: The Ravens placed backup QB Tyler Huntley on the reserve/COVID-19 list after we published this story, swinging the spread as high as +7.5 at some books. The following pick has been updated by our analyst.

These teams are fairly evenly-matched.

The Ravens are 16th in overall DVOA while the Bengals are 19th, but the Ravens are more banged up. Still, the Ravens have had more answers for opposing defenses now than they did when a less decisive Lamar Jackson as of late. Huntley is not a downgrade on the version of the offense we saw with Jackson during a stretch in which Baltimore was held to fewer than 20 points in all but one of his starts, a stretch that started against this very Cincinnati team with a 41-17 loss in Week 6.

Prior to backing the Bengals as a dog in last week’s outright win over the Broncos, I faded the Bengals for three weeks straight and went 2-1, giving me a 3-1 overall record in their games over their past four. I’m looking to make it four-of-five by fading them there in a major revenge spot for the Ravens.

Though its not ideal to have a banged-up secondary against the Bengals, getting shredded by Joe Burrow for more than 400 passing yards in the first matchup may have been a blessing in disguise for the Ravens, as that miserable performances combined with the injuries to the secondary will force defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to be less aggressive. He foolishly blitzed Burrow 15 times in that matchup, and Burrow torched his defense for 16.3 yards per attempt in two touchdowns. The key to beating (or covering against) the Bengals is to make them drive the length of the field, as the offense entered Week 15 with the third-highest sack rate (9.2%) and fourth-highest interception rate (3.2%).

According to our Action Labs data, the Ravens are 31-21-3 (60%) ATS as road underdogs under John Harbaugh.

They’re also 12-1-2 (92%) under Harbaugh in divisional road games from Week 10 on, excluding the last week of the season — meaning if you tailed this column and took the Steelers against them in Week 13, you were a part of history!

Pick After Huntley News: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Editor’s note: The Ravens placed backup QB Tyler Huntley on the reserve/COVID-19 list after we published this story. The following blurb and GPP lineup have been updated by our analyst.

The Bengals are ranked a middling 17th in defensive passing DVOA.

Mark Andrews is the top TE play on the board this week, and with all of the value that has opened up at other positions, Andrews is affordable in cash games despite being the highest-priced TE. The Bengals are ranked 26th in DVOA versus TEs and are missing Logan Wilson (shoulder) and Akeem Davis-Gaither, who rank first and third, respectively, among their linebackers in coverage snaps.

The Bengals rank 10 spots worse in DVOA on passes to the offensive right (16th) than left (sixth), which benefits Marquise Brown and hurts Rashod Bateman. Brown has seen 61 targets to the right compared to 31 to the left while Bateman has seen 23 to the left and 13 to the right. Some combination of James Proche, Tylan Wallace, Miles Boykin and Sammy Watkins (if he gets activated from the COVID list) will take up the remaining WR snaps in place of Devin Duvernay (doubtful-ankle), but none are viable options.

Devonta Freeman out-snapped Latavius Murray 39-29 last week, but it was Murray who edged out Freeman in touches, 8-7. None are options against a Bengals defense that ranks 10th in DVOA against the run and 13th in DVOA on passes to RBs.

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Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase were massive disappointments last week against the Broncos, but I’d go back to the well here against another one of the NFL’s man-heaviest coverage schemes. Burrow still leads the NFL in yards per attempt against man coverage, while Chase’s 3.3 yards per route versus man ranks seventh among 101 WRs with at least 10 targets. In the first meeting between these two teams, Burrow threw for 416 yards – 201 of which went to Chase.

Tee Higgins (2.10 YPRR vs. man) and C.J. Uzomah (1.85) both also fare well when singled up, while Tyler Boyd (1.45) is more of a zone beater. All of them project for single-digit ownership, but I’m targeting Higgins and Uzomah and not chasing on Boyd, who posted a 4/39/0 line in the first matchup. Burrow has been mistake-prone this season, entering Week 16 as the league leader in interceptions (14) and sacks (44), so I wouldn’t hesitate to roster the Ravens defense despite its injury-ravaged secondary.

Joe Mixon has a tough matchup – the Ravens rank fifth in DVOA versus the run – but he doesn’t project to be one of the higher-owned RBs, especially on DraftKings, keeping him in play in GPPs. Mixon has scored 14 times in 14 games this season, including a 21-yarder against the Ravens in Week 6.

The Bengals are the cheapest favored DST on FanDuel at only $3,500, making them the top cash game option on the site.

  • Cash Plays: TE Mark Andrews, DST Cincinnati Bengals
  • GPP Plays: QB Josh Johnson, QB Joe Burrow, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tee Higgins, WR Marquise Brown, TE C.J. Uzomah, DST Baltimore Ravens

 


Rams at Vikings

Rams Odds -3.5
Vikings Odds +3.5
Over/Under 48
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

Losing Dalvin Cook (reserve/COVID-19) is never ideal, but Alexander Mattison has filled in admirably with Cook out, which I talk more about in the DFS blurb below. This is still a great spot to back an above-average Vikings team as a home dog getting more than a field goal against a Rams team that is good, but not elite.

Kirk Cousins can get the ball out quickly — which can neutralize a fierce Rams pass rush led by Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd and Von Miller — as the Vikings’ sack rate of 4.2% rates second-best in the league. Cousins will also get a big boost with the return of Adam Thielen, which allows him to have a second player who can win routes if the Rams choose to match up Jalen Ramsey with Justin Jefferson. On defense, the Vikings can counter the Rams’ eighth-best third-down offense (42.4%) with the league’s third-best third-down defense (34.3%).

According to our Action Labs data, the Vikings are 33-21 (62%) ATS as an underdog under Mike Zimmer, including 5-2 this season.

Meanwhile, the Rams are covering at just a 28% clip in 29 games when coming off a multi-game straight-up winning streak under Sean McVay, going 8-21 ATS in those spots.

The Vikings are a good teaser piece, as you can tease them up over +8 despite them not losing by more than eight points all season.

Pick: Vikings +3.5 (to +3); Tease Vikings +3.5 to +9.5 (to +2.5/+8.5)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Cooper Kupp has posted double-digit fantasy points on Draftkings in every game and on FanDuel in all but one game. I’m rostering him in cash games on the latter, as he’s easily affordable due to the site’s low RB pricing. The Vikings are 18th in DVOA versus the pass but 24th against WR1s.

Matthew Stafford has the top ceiling projection on the slate. Van Jefferson ran a route on 100% of Strafford’s dropbacks last week while Odell Beckham Jr. clocked in at 94%, so I’m not being deterred by their duds last week. Tyler Higbee was activated off the COVID list on Friday and should also be expected to be on the field for nearly every snap. There are myriad stacking options with Stafford.

Sony Michel out-snapped Darrell Henderson, 48-18 last week in Henderson’s first game back off the COVID list, but Henderson could see more action this week in what could be a pass-heavier game script. With Michel’s rostership projected north of 10% and Henderson likely still slotting in as the team’s RB2, it’s hard to get behind rostering either of them, even against Minnesota’s 21st-ranked run defense.

Alexander Mattison will fill in this week for Dalvin Cook, who was placed on the COVID list Thursday and will miss this week. In three starts in place of Cook, Mattison is averaging 31.0 touches for 149.3 yards and 0.66 TDs. Even against a Rams run defense that is ranked fourth in DVOA on the season, Mattison should be treated as a locked-in cash play based on projected volume alone. He is laughably cheap on FanDuel at $5,500.

alexander-mattison-dalvin-cook-justin-jefferson-najee-harris-have-most-popular-thursday-night-football-player-props-for-steelers-vs-vikings
Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Alexander Mattison

Kirk Cousins is the GPP leverage pivot play off Mattison, who is expected to appear on 10 times as many rosters. Justin Jefferson is also expected to be rostered 15% less than Mattison, keeping him in play despite him being expected to be among the most highly rostered players at his position. Even with Jalen Ramsey, the Rams defense has mustered a ranking of just 25th in DVOA versus opposing No. 1 WRs. Adam Thielen practiced in a limited fashion all three days this week and is slated to make his return. Expected to draw sub-5% rostership, Thielen is a high-leverage pivot option off not just Mattison, but also Jefferson.

The Rams are the second-most zone-heavy defense in the league, which in theory benefits Tyler Conklin, who averages 1.65 yards per route versus man compared to 1.38 for K.J. Osborn, but I’m fading Conklin as well, as the Rams rank sixth in DVOA versus TEs.

  • Cash Plays: RB Alexander Mattison, WR Cooper Kupp
  • GPP Plays: QB Matthew Stafford, QB Kirk Cousins, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Adam Thielen, WR Van Jefferson, WR Odell Beckham Jr., TE Tyler Higbee

Jaguars at Jets

Jaguars Odds +1
Jets Odds -1
Over/Under 41.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Jags were my moneyline dog pick of the week on the Week 16 Action Network NFL Podcast, but they’ve since encountered COVID issues.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

After suffering through Urban Meyer’s shenanigans all season, James Robinson was re-installed as the team’s clear-cut lead back last week in their first game post-Meyer firing, topping an 80% snap rate for the first time since Week 6. Robinson posted 21 touches for 88 yards and a score and should be in line for even more production against a Jets defense that is ranked 32nd in DVOA against the run and 26th on passes to RBs. Carlos Hyde (concussion) has been placed on IR, which gives Robinson 100%-snap upside. Robinson is viable in cash games on DraftKings at $5,900, but his $8,200 salary on FanDuel is too expensive.

Laquon Treadwell made it four straight games with at least four catches for 50-plus yards and could be in line for more with Laviska Shenault going on the COVID list. He is viable as a cash-game punt play on DraftKings at $3,500.

The Jets pair their last-place DVOA ranking against the run with a last-place DVOA ranking against the pass, so this is the rare week I don’t mind taking fliers on Trevor Lawrence and Marvin Jones, who each projects for 1-2% rostership. The Jets play man coverage at the 11th-highest rate, which should benefit Jones, who is averaging 1.67 yards per route versus man but 1.01 against zone. The Jets are also bottom-three in DVOA in targets to opposing TEs, putting James O’Shaughnessy in play if Dan Arnold (knee) is not activated from IR. Each of them provides leverage on Robinson entries.

Since Zach Wilson can’t face his own team, the Jaguars present the best possible matchup he can face, as they rank 31st in defensive passing DVOA. Wilson has run for a TD in three of the past four games and is worth a flier in GPPs.

The only Jets pass-catcher I’m willing to roster is Braxton Berrios, who should inherit the role of Jamison Crowder (doubtful-calf). Berrios leads all Jets WRs and TEs expected to be active Sunda in yards per route run (1.57) and scored a rushing TD last week. Keelan Cole, Denzel Mims and Jeff Smith will round out the WR corps while Tyler Kroft, Trevon Wesco and Daniel Brown will split snaps at TE.

The Jags rank above-average in DVOA against the run (13th) and on passes to RBs (third), so I’m fading Michael Carter after a disappointing Week 15.

  • Cash Plays: RB James Robinson, WR Laquon Treadwell
  • GPP Plays: QB Trevor Lawrence, QB Zach Wilson, WR Braxton Berrios, WR Marvin Jones, TE James O’Shaughnessy (if Arnold sits)

Bills at Patriots

Bills Odds +2
Patriots Odds -2
Over/Under 43.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Patriots are 47-21 (69%) ATS off a loss under Bill Belichick’s watch since 2003, but I’m not even sure they beat the Bills the first time in anything remotely resembling normal weather conditions. This is a game I’d rather enjoy watching than sweat.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Rhamondre Stevenson was placed on the COVID list Friday, which returns Damien Harris to lead-back status after he missed last week with a hamstring injury. Harris practiced all three days this week and is a prime GPP play at what is projected to be sub-1% rostership.

After occupying the top spot in DVOA for much of the year, the Bills’ run defense has been in freefall and is down to ninth. They gave up 217 yards and a TD on 38 carries to the Patriots a few weeks ago, including 10/111/1 to Harris. Brandon Bolden will likely handle the majority of passing-down work but is only an option on Showdown slates.

The Bills play man coverage at the ninth-highest rate in the league but no longer have the services of top cornerback Tre’Davious White (IR-ACL), which sets up well for Jakobi Meyers, who is averaging 1.74 yards per route against man compared to 1.54 against zone. With Nelson Agholor (concussion) ruled out and Kendrick Bourne failing to practice all week after landing on the COVID-19 reserve, Meyers’ main competition for targets may come from N’Keal Harry, who is averaging just 0.78 yards per route against man compared to 2.53 versus zone.

Hunter Henry is at his highest price of the season and faces a Bills defense that is allowing the seventh-fewest schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game to TEs (41.7), so this is not a spot to chase last week’s production. The Bills are annually among the league’s best defenses versus TEs thanks to strong safety play from Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, who both rank in the top 10 among 91 qualified safeties in PFF’s grades this year.

After throwing three passes in the first matchup, I want no parts of Mac Jones against a Bills defense that ranks second in DVOA against opposing aerial attacks.

Devin Singletary played 93% of the snaps and logged 23 touches in last week’s win over the Panthers but projects for single-digit ownership. He is the best bet among Bills players in GPPs. The Patriots have been good against the run (sixth in DVOA), but even better versus the pass (third).

Josh Allen has the ninth-highest projected ceiling on the slate but is expected to be fifth or sixth in terms of rostership, so he’s a fade this week. The Patriots are ranked third in DVOA against the pass and sixth against the run. True to brand, Bill Belichick’s defense has eliminated No. 1 WRs, holding them to the fewest schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game (46.7) while ranking third in DVOA; even without Cole Beasley (COVID-19) and Gabe Davis (COVID-19), Stefon Diggs is a fade as well.

The Patriots also rank first in DVOA against TEs, taking Dawson Knox out of play, but they are “only” eighth against WR2s, so this is an intriguing spot to go ultra-contrarian with Emmanuel Sanders, who is at his lowest salary of the year.

The Patriots are averaging the most fantasy points of any DST and have posted double-digit performances in six of their past eight games, so I’m using them in cash games on FanDuel at $2,900.

  • Cash Plays: DST New England Patriots
  • GPP Plays: RB Damien Harris, RB Devin Singletary, WR Jakobi Meyers, WR Emmanuel Sanders

Bears at Seahawks

Bears Odds +6.5
Seahawks Odds -6.5
Over/Under 42
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Seahawks are the better team, but I don’t know which Russell Wilson I’m going to get, and Nick Foles just might have a puncher’s chance if the Seahawks spent most of the week preparing for Justin Fields (out-ankle).

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Russell Wilson has been up and down since returning from his early-season finger injury, but he faces a Bears defense that ranks 22nd in DVOA against the pass and 29th in DVOA on deep passes. Wilson projects for sub-5% rostership while Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf project for sub-10% ownership. In GPPs, you know what to do.

The Bears are 10th in DVOA versus TEs, so Gerald Everett isn’t an option this week. Neither are Freddie Swain and Dee Eskridge, who are splitting WR3 duties.

The Seahawks are favored by 6.5 points at home and facing a Bears defense that ranks 22nd in DVOA against the run, so this would have normally been a good time to fade David Montgomery and pivot to Rashaad Penny. However, if you watched the Rams game, you saw (a) Penny struggled to stay on the field due to injury and (b) DeeJay Dallas ran 10 times harder than Penny. With Alex Collins and Travis Homer back in the fold, the Seahawks’ running game is largely useless for DFS purposes. I still have Penny as a FLEX-worthy option in season-long fantasy, but I don’t feel good about it.

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: David Montgomery.

I initially liked Montgomery early in the week, but he is expected to garner rostership in the 20% range and faces a Seattle defense that has climbed to seventh in DVOA versus the run, so I’m off of him.

With Foles at the helm, the Bears passing game is looking like a losing GPP proposition as well. Darnell Mooney averages just 5.4 yards per target on 49 career targets from Foles compared to 7.3 or higher with every other passer. Cole Kmet is expected to draw double-digit ownership, which erodes much of his value despite facing a Seahawks defense that is ranked 20th in DVOA versus TEs. As of this writing, Allen Robinson has still not been activated off the COVID list, but he wouldn’t be an option either way in the midst of his worst full season as a pro.

This is a matchup in which to target the opposing DST and keep it pushing.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Russell Wilson, WR Tyler Lockett, WR D.K. Metcalf, DST Seattle Seahawks

Steelers at Chiefs

Steelers Odds +8.5
Chiefs Odds -8.5
Over/Under 45
Time 4:25 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via Parx. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

Two of the most valuable players to the spread and total are in limbo.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

The big question for the Chiefs is whether Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will be activated from the COVID list in time for Sunday afternoon’s 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff. Both would likely garner single-digit rostership if active, so there may be no better time to stack either or both with Patrick Mahomes. If both are out I wouldn’t play Mahomes. If at least one of Hill or Kelce is out, I would be interested in rostering Byron Pringle, as the Steelers tend toward zone coverage and Pringle is third on the team behind Hill (2.25) and Kelce (2.09) with 1.83 yards per route versus zone (min. 10 total targets).

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is projected for the seventh- or eighth-most rostership at his position, which is low enough to fire him up against a Steelers defense that has allowed an average of 192.4 scrimmage yards and 1.8 TDs to RBs over the past five weeks. The Chiefs DST is a strong stacking option with CEH, as it is projected for 2-7% ownership. Kansas City is allowing the seventh-fewest points per game at home (18.7).

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards Helaire

Despite projecting for a top-three ceiling at RB, Najee Harris projects to rank somewhere in the 9-12 range in terms of rostership. Fade recency bias and pay up for Harris against a Chiefs defense that is ranked 20th in DVOA against the run – 11 spots worse than they rank against the pass after a rapid ascension in that area down the stretch.

With Chase Claypool now splitting snaps with Ray-Ray McCloud and James Washington, and Pat Freiermuth (concussion) out, the Steelers’ passing game starts and ends with Diontae Johnson, who has posted double-digit fantasy points in all but one game on DraftKings and all but three games on FanDuel. Johnson’s rostership percentage projects to be 8% lower on DraftKings, so that is where I would prefer to roster him, even though he is more of a bargain on FanDuel.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Patrick Mahomes (if Hill or Kelce plays), RB Najee Harris, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, WR Tyreek Hill (if active), WR Diontae Johnson, WR Byron Pringle (if Hill or Kelce sits), TE Travis Kelce (if Hill sits), DST Kansas City Chiefs

Raiders at Broncos

Broncos Odds -1
Raiders Odds +1
Over/Under 40.5
Time 4:25 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

As bad as the Raiders have been without Henry Ruggs – and more recently, without Darren Waller as well – they should not be laying points at home against a team quarterbacked by Drew Lock.

Teddy Bridgewater (out; concussion) posted a 94.9 passer rating and 7.3 adjusted yards per attempt this season. With a similar supporting cast last season in 13 starts, Lock managed a 75.4 rating and 5.8 AYA – not to mention a 59.1 rating and 3.9 AYA on 40 attempts this season. In Bridgewater, the Broncos are losing a quarterback who was 24-6 (80%) ATS on the road and 42-21 (67%) ATS overall.

I fully expect the Raiders to beat the Broncos as an underdog for the second time this season.

I also like the first-half under, as Broncos’ first-half unders are 18-4 on the road since Vic Fangio took over, including 5-1 this season and 8-1 in Lock’s career. The Broncos’ first-half scores this season are 17, 17, 23, 10, 16 and 13.

Pick: Raiders +1 (to -2); First-half under 20 (to -125)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Josh Jacobs is a borderline RB1 play in season-long fantasy and profiles as a solid GPP play given that he is expected to fall outside the top five RBs in terms of rostership percentage. Jacobs is averaging 14.8 carries and 5.8 targets per game over his past four and faces a Broncos defense that ranks 23rd in DVOA both against the run and on passes to RBs.

Drew Lock led the NFL with 15 interceptions last season despite starting only 13 games, so this is a good spot to stack the Raiders DST with Jacobs.

Derek Carr will face a Broncos pass defense that has run the most man-heavy coverage scheme in the NFL this season while ranking 20th in DVOA. In terms of yards per route versus man coverage, DeSean Jackson leads the team with an absurd 5.33 – well ahead of Bryan Edwards (2.32), Zay Jones (1.66), Hunter Renfrow (1.52) and Foster Moreau (0.94). Given that this game’s total of 41 is among the lowest of the week, Jackson is the only member of this passing game worth targeting, and even he is only a large-field dart throw given his frustratingly low snap counts that have hovered in the 29-51% range over the past five games. Jackson is projected for zero ownership and thus has one of the highest Leverage Plus/Minus on the slate. Renfrow is a solid WR2 play in season-long fantasy who could have a big game based on volume alone, but he projects to see double-digit rostership in GPPs, and you don’t need him in cash games.

Moreau is a desperation TE streamer but has been too inefficient against man coverage to chase last week’s production that came against a zone-heavy Cleveland team.

Whereas the Broncos defense is the most man-heavy unit in the NFL, the Raiders are the league’s most zone-heavy outfit. On paper, this is good news for Jerry Jeudy, who leads the team with 1.98 yards per route versus zone this season (min. 10 targets). However, Jeudy and Drew Lock have never clicked: Jeudy’s career catch rate on 98 targets from Lock is 43.8% compared to 67.2% on 64 targets from all other QBs. Courtland Sutton is averaging only 1.03 yards per route versus zone while Tim Patrick is at just 0.83, so the only option here is Noah Fant, who has posted a solid 1.76 YPRR figure versus single coverage. The Raiders are ranked 28th in DVOA versus TEs.

The Raiders are 13th in DVOA against the run, so this is not a week to target Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, who are both at or near their season-highs in salary.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: RB Josh Jacobs, WR DeSean Jackson, TE Noah Fant, DST Las Vegas Raiders

DFS Cash Lineups

DraftKings

  • QB Jalen Hurts $6,400 vs. NYG
  • RB Alexander Mattison $6,800 vs. LAR
  • RB James Robinson $5,900 at NYJ
  • WR Keenan Allen $7,700 at HOU
  • WR Antonio Brown $4,900 at CAR
  • WR Laquon Treadwell $3,500 at NYJ
  • TE Mark Andrews $7,000 at CIN
  • FLEX Ronald Jones II $5,100 at CAR
  • DST New England Patriots $2,900 vs. BUF

Editor’s Note: This DraftKings lineup was updated after publishing to replace Tyler Huntley with Jalen Hurts.

FanDuel

  • QB Jalen Hurts $7,700 vs. NYG
  • RB Alexander Mattison $5,500 vs. LAR
  • RB Justin Jackson $5,400 at HOU
  • WR Cooper Kupp $9,800 at MIN
  • WR Keenan Allen $7,700 at HOU
  • WR Antonio Brown $7,000 at CAR
  • TE Mark Andrews $8,000 at CIN
  • FLEX Ronald Jones II $5,400 at CAR
  • DST Cincinnati Bengals $3,500 vs. BAL

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