NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Broncos-Lions and 49ers-Bengals Spreads, Every Game

NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds: An Expert’s Guide To Betting Broncos-Lions and 49ers-Bengals Spreads, Every Game article feature image
Credit:

Getty Images. Pictured: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater

NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds

Click on a matchup to skip to that preview
Lions-Broncos
4:05 p.m. ET
Giants-Chargers
4:05 p.m. ET
49ers-Bengals
4:25 p.m. ET
Bills-Bucs
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.



Lions at Broncos

Lions Odds +9.5
Broncos Odds -9.5
Over/Under 42.5
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via Gun Lake. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

As if the Lions weren’t already in for a massive letdown spot after getting their first win of the year in the comfy indoor confines of Ford Field, now they have to travel to play in the Mile High altitude without their best offensive player (D’Andre Swift), best offensive player’s backup (Jamaal Williams), and best pass catcher (tight end T.J. Hockenson).

Teddy Bridgewater is 41-20 (67%) ATS in his career, but the Lions have been pesky this season at 8-4 ATS and -10 is a big number to lay with a non-elite team, so I would rather tease this down.

Pick: Tease Broncos -10 down to -4 (to -11.5 down to -5.5)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

The Broncos are double-digit favorites in a game in which they may not have to throw much, making Teddy Bridgewater and their pass catchers risky propositions. Despite ranking 28th in pass-defense DVOA, the Lions have allowed the 12th-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, according to 4for4. The player who is best situated to produce here is Jerry Jeudy, who sees the majority of his targets on the left side of the field, where the Lions are ranked 30th in DVOA (compared to 21st on passes over the middle and 18th on passes to the right). With Jeudy in the lineup, Cortland Sutton is averaging 1.8 receptions for 20.8 yards per game and no TDs. Tim Patrick (2.8/39.5/0.5) and Noah Fant (4.0/34.0/0.0) have been only marginally better with Jeudy active.

Javonte Williams officially broke out with 29 touches for 178 yards and a TD last Sunday night. Melvin Gordon is listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis all week with a hip injury, so Williams is still worth playing in GPPs in this matchup, as the Broncos backfield may top 40 combined touches against a Lions defense that ranks 23rd in DVOA against the run and 31st in DVOA on passes to RBs.

Vic Fangio’s defense is the only unit in the NFL that plays man coverage on more than half of its snaps, which is a problem for one of the NFL’s least talented receiving corps.

Among Lions WRs and TEs with at least 10 targets, only T.J. Hockenson (1.59) averages more than 1.5 yards per route run against man. The bad news for the Lions is that Hockenson (hand) is doubtful, which thrusts Brock Wright into the starting role. Wright caught his first NFL TD last week but is a rookie who caught seven passes in three years at Notre Dame. Amon-Ra St. Brown is tied with Hockenson for the team lead in targets against man with 17, but he has turned them into 11 catches for 80 scoreless yards. His rostership and price will likely be at an all-time high this week, so there’s no point of playing him in DFS although he’s a solid WR3 in season-long fantasy. Josh Reynolds was last among Rams WRs with 1.00 yards per route run versus man coverage last season, and he’s been even worse this season, with 0.61. Kalif Raymond has seen only 19.2% of his targets come against man coverage and has seen a downtick in playing time since Reynolds was acquired.

The Broncos DST may outscore every member of the Lions passing game this week.

Fantasy Football CTA for PRO

Jamaal Williams was set to start in place of D’Andre Swift (shoulder) for the second straight game, but got placed on the COVID list on Friday. That leaves the backfield in the hands of rookie Jermar Jefferson and converted cornerback Godwin Igwebuike. The former will likely handle more of the carries while the latter dominates passing downs, though they will likely end up with a near-even split of touches. Both are viable in GPPs, as the Lions have little choice but to feature their backs with their top pass catcher out against a Denver defense that ranks 16th in DVOA against the pass but 25th versus the run and 23rd on passes to RBs. If forced to choose, I would pick Igwebuike, who has looked like the better player this season. Igwebuike is averaging 10.9 yards per touch on 13 touches compared to Jefferson’s 6.3 on 14 touches, and his 92.2 PFF rushing grade ranks first among the 150 RBs who have carried the ball this season.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: RB Javonte Williams, RB Godwin Igwebuike, RB Jermar Jefferson, WR Jerry Jeudy, DST Denver Broncos

Giants at Chargers

Giants Odds +9
Chargers Odds -9
Over/Under 43
Time 4:05 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Giants are starting Mike Glennon and the Chargers will be without Keenan Allen, but neither team can stop the run. There are too many variables at play to confidently handicap this game, and if you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

With the Chargers wide receiver room in flux due to COVID, Austin Ekeler is the top RB play on the board this week. Ekeler faces a Giants defense that is ranked 31st in DVOA against the run. Ekeler is averaging 98.5 scrimmage yards and 1.25 total TDs per game.

Mike Williams will get a chance to be the Chargers’ true WR1 for at least one game with Keenan Allen out due to COVID. Williams has huge upside, but I would tread lightly due to projected rostership and the fact that a Giants defense that ranks eighth in DVOA against the pass and 11th in DVOA against opposing No. 1 WRs will be solely focused on him. Jalen Guyton and Josh Palmer still rank outside my top-50 WRs even with Allen out, as the Chargers are well equipped to go with more heavy personnel featuring Jared Cook, Donald Parham, Stephen Anderson and Tre’ McKitty. This will help Ekeler in the run game but may not translate into big receiving numbers of any of them, as the Giants rank 10th in DVOA against TEs.

As Justin Herbert has been without his top two WRs in practice all week and faces a Giants defense that sets up as a run funnel efficiency-wise, I’m fading their passing game this week, which will likely draw relatively high rostership as entrants attempt to capitalize on the potential value opened up by Allen’s absence.

The Giants offense is in a similar situation to the Chargers, except their biggest absence comes at QB as Daniel Jones (neck) is set to miss his second straight start. Mike Glennon will fill in, so this is a great spot for the Chargers DST.

Like the Giants, the Chargers are a run funnel defense, clocking in with the ninth-best DVOA rating against the pass but the league’s worst against the run. If there were ever a matchup for Saquon Barkley to begin to justify his preseason ADP, this is it.

nfl-odds-picks-predictions-giants-chargers-cover-expert-betting-edges-week-13-2021
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Giants RB Saquon Barkley

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley is a defensive guru who centers his philosophy onlimiting big plays and keeping everything underneath, which sets up well for Sterling Shepard (questionable-quad) and Evan Engram. The Chargers now run man coverage at the NFL’s ninth-highest rate after starting the season as a zone-heavy team, which will likely continue this week against a backup QB, but it’s good news for Shepard, who is averaging an exceptional 2.50 yards per route run against man coverage this season. Shepard practiced all week and is expected to suit up for the first time since Week 8. Engram (0.76) has been far less impressive versus man, but much of that was due to the frustrating route concepts employed by former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Engram accounted for one-third of Glennon’s yardage last week with a season-high 61 yards and has an excellent matchup against a Chargers defense that ranks 23rd in DVOA versus TEs.

Since initially getting hurt in Week 5, Kenny Golladay (questionable-knee) hasn’t topped three catches or 50 yards, and he hasn’t found the end zone yet this season. Darius Slayton doesn’t match up well with a Chargers defense that takes away the deep ball, ranking fifth in DVOA on passes more than 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: RB Austin Ekeler, RB Saquon Barkley, WR Mike Williams, WR Sterling Shepard, TE Evan Engram, DST Los Angeles Chargers

49ers at Bengals

49ers Odds -2
Bengals Odds +2
Over/Under 49
Time 4:25 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I jumped on the 49ers early at +2 — you can read about why here — and now like them to -2 with the Bengals’ cluster injuries at linebacker as well as Joe Mixon and Tee Higgins likely operating at less than 100%.

Pick: 49ers -1.5 (to -2)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Ja’Marr Chase has cooled down since his 201-yard outburst against the Ravens in Week 7, but he still has at least five catches and/or a TD in four of five games since. Chase is set up for a potential monster game, as Tee Higgins is dealing with an ankle issue while the 49ers — who were already ranked 22nd in DVOA against opposing WR1s — will be without top cornerback Emmanuel Moseley (ankle).

On a slate without Keenan Allen and Diontae Johnson as options, Chase is back in the cash game mix.

With Higgins banged up, Tyler Boyd in a tough matchup with K’Waun Williams and C.J. Uzomah facing a defense that ranks as the league’s best against TEs by DVOA, I’m not sure there’s enough to warrant rosteting Joe Burrow this week, especially since we don’t know how his finger will react after a week of swelling. I would rather fire up the 49ers DST, as Burrow leads the league in interceptions (14) and has taken the second-most sacks (36).

Given that Joe Mixon failed to practice all week with a non-COVID illness and is facing a 49ers defense that ranks third in DVOA against the run, he is overpriced this week. If Mixon sits, Samaje Perine is worth rostering in GPPs due to volume alone, as No. 3 RB Chris Evans (ankle) is also out.

Elijah Mitchell (concussion/knee) was ruled out, which leaves the 49ers’ backfield to Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty. Mitchell had clearly emerged as the 49ers’ most talented runner, but their run game is so well-schemed and well-blocked (their 86.2 PFF run-blocking grades is third-best) that any back getting carries for them should be expected to have success. Wilson will likely handle more of the carries with Hasty as the primary passing back, but the workload may be split more evenly than when Wilson started and handled 20 touches three weeks ago in Jacksonville as the coaching staff attempts to ensure that his surgically-repaired knee doesn’t flare up again like it did last week.

Given their modest price, both are viable in GPPs. If choosing between the two, I would still lean Wilson, who posted a few monster games as the starter last season. The Bengals are ranked 11th in DVOA against the run but will be without two linebackers, including Logan Wilson (shoulder), who leads the team in tackles. Cincinnati allowed 126 yards from scrimmage and a TD to Chargers RBs last week.

After running a route on 71% of 49ers dropbacks in the team’s first six games, Brandon Aiyuk has done so on 96% of the team’s dropbacks over the last six. Over that span, he’s averaging 4.5 catches for 65.3 yards and 0.33 TDs. With Deebo Samuel practicing only once this week with a groin injury, Aiyuk is set up to be San Francisco’s WR1 even if Samuel plays, as the latter would be on a pitch count. Aiyuk is cash-viable on FanDuel at just $6,400 against a Bengals defense that has allowed the 12th-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game to opposing WRs, per 4for4.

The Bengals are ranked 24th in DVOA versus TEs and, as I just mentioned, are missing multiple linebackers due to injury, so this is a smash spot for George Kittle. Kittle has at least 78 yards and/or a TD in two-thirds of his games this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo is a fade due to his lack of rushing production. Despite owning the league’s fourth-most efficient pass offense by DVOA, Garoppolo has cracked 20 fantasy points only twice all season.

  • Cash Plays: WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Brandon Aiyuk
  • GPP Plays: RB Jeff Wilson Jr., RB JaMycal Hasty, RB Samaje Perine (if Mixon sits), TE George Kittle, DST San Francisco 49ers

Bills at Buccaneers

Bills Odds +3.5
Bucs Odds -3.5
Over/Under 54
Time 4:25 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Bucs should be able to dominate both sides of the line of scrimmage, but their track record against the other three quality teams they’ve faced doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in them covering the 3.5-point spread: A 2-point win over the Cowboys, a 10-point loss to the Rams, and a 2-point win over the Patriots.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Just like old times, the Patriots exposed the Bills defense, and now Tom Brady and Co. are set to take advantage. By running out heavy personnel on nearly every play, the Patriots forced the Bills to get out of their nickel base defense, taking slot cornerback Taron Johnson — one of the unit’s best players — off the field in favor of a linebacker, and it worked to the tune of 222 rushing yards. Two weeks earlier, the Colts used heavy personnel on over half of their snaps en route to 41 points in a 41-15 throttling of the Bills. The Bucs can do the same, as they have not one, but two serviceable options at TE behind Rob Gronkowski in Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard.

Despite Buffalo’s top-six ranking in DVOA against the run, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tampa Bay uses heavy personnel to spring Leonard Fournette to a big day.

This is also a plus matchup for the Bucs in the passing game because the Bills have a size issue at cornerback. Levi Wallace is 6-feet, 179 pounds. Johnson is 5-foot-11, 192 pounds. And Dane Jackson — who is replacing the injured Tre’Davious White (IR-ACL), is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds. Meanwhile, Mike Evans is 6-foot-5, 231 pounds. Chris Godwin is 6-foot-1, 208 pounds. And new No. 3 WR Breshad Perriman, who ran a route on 90% of Brady’s dropbacks last week against Atlanta, is 6-foot-1, 210 pounds. Given the mismatches on the outside, a normally stout Bills defense against TEs that has allowed the fifth-fewest catches to the position (44) may be forced to devote safety help to its cornerbacks, this springing Rob Gronkowski, who has at least 55 yards and/or a TD in all but one game.

Brady and every Bucs pass catcher is in play — including Cameron Brate, who should see an uptick in snaps if the Bucs try to mimic aspects of the Patriots’ game plan from last week. At worst, Brate — who is tied for fourth in the NFL with 16 red zone targets — is a leverage play on Gronkowski.

Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Bucs WR Scotty Miller

Todd Bowles’ defense relies on zone coverage at a top-five rate, which should allow for a bounce-back game from Stefon Diggs, who leads all Bills pass catchers with 2.00 yards per route run versus zone (min. 10 targets). Among Buffalo’s ancillary pass catchers, Cole Beasley leads the way in yards per route against zone at 1.83, ahead of Gabriel Davis (1.53), Dawson Knox (1.36) and Emmanuel Sanders (1.33). Late in his age-34 season, Sanders’ effectiveness has waned: He has been held to fewer than 30 yards in four of his past five games and was notably subbed out for Gabriel Davis on Buffalo’s final play of the game in the red zone against the Patriots. Davis is worth a dart throw in hopes that he finally starts to siphon playing time from Sanders. Davis averages 17.4 yards per catch in his career and has scored on a ridiculous 18.5% of his receptions (10-of-54).

After Matt Breida fumbled an exchange early in Buffalo’s loss to New England on Monday Night Football, the backfield devolved into a three-way committee with Devin Singletary playing 48% of the snaps, Zach Moss playing 41%; and Breida playing 12%. None of them are viable against a Bucs defense that’s allowed 84.3 rushing yards per game, second-fewest in the NFL.

  • Cash Plays: TE Rob Gronkowski
  • GPP Plays: QB Tom Brady, QB Josh Allen, RB Leonard Fournette, WR Stefon Diggs, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, WR Cole Beasley, WR Breshad Perriman, WR Gabriel Davis, TE Cameron Brate

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


NFL Predictions, Picks, Odds

Click on a matchup to skip to that preview
Raiders-Chiefs
1 p.m. ET
Saints-Jets
1 p.m. ET
Jags-Titans
1 p.m. ET
Ravens-Browns
1 p.m. ET
Falcons-Panthers
1 p.m. ET
Cowboys-WFT
1 p.m. ET
Seahawks-Texans
1 p.m. ET

Raiders at Chiefs

Raiders Odds +9.5
Chiefs Odds -9.5
Over/Under 48
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

On the surface, the Raiders look like a sharp play, as the Chiefs have covered just once in their last nine games when favored by seven or more points. However, I’d be worried about the Raiders defense from a schematic standpoint.

In the first meeting, Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley stuck to his guns and played mostly single-high safety despite having copious evidence that two-deep safety looks were giving the Chiefs the most trouble. As a result, the Chiefs scored more points against the Raiders (41) than they had in their prior three games combined (36) — and as many as they’ve scored in two games combined since.

Interestingly enough, the Raiders are shaping up as a square dog, getting 52% of the bets despite the fact we’ve tracked 69% of the money and six sharp moves on the Chiefs (per our NFL Pro Report).

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Josh Jacobs is averaging a career-high 3.9 receptions this season, nearly doubling his previous best of 2.2 set last season. With Kenyan Drake out for the year and Jalen Richard on the COVID list, Jacobs is set to carry a heavy workload against an exploitable Chiefs run defense that ranks 26th in DVOA. Jacobs is cash-viable this week.

Hunter Renfrow has at least five catches in 10-of-12 games and at least 56 yards and/or a TD in 10-of-12 games. He caught seven passes for 46 yards and a score in the first meeting between these two teams. I’m locking him in in cash games with Diontae Johnson off the slate and Deebo Samuel banged up.

Under savvy defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, whose defenses always seem to gel at the right time late in the season, the Chiefs play man coverage at a top-five rate. DeSean Jackson is averaging an absurd 7.34 yards per route run against man coverage this season and is worth a dart throw in GPPs because of it. Bryan Edwards is also in the dart throw conversation, as he is averaging 2.40 yards per route run against man coverage compared to just 0.79 against zone. Zay Jones has also been more effective against man, with 1.80 yards per route run in single coverage compared to 1.12 versus zone looks, but he’s still likely to be the fourth option.

Among Raiders WRs and TEs with at least 10 targets, Foster Moreau has registered the fewest yards per route versus man coverage (1.33) and could be in for another slow day as he gets another start in place of Darren Waller (knee). With Waller out last week, Moreau ran a route on only 62% of Derek Carr’s dropbacks as the Raiders went with more four-wide sets. I also wouldn’t roster Carr, who is averaging 41.2 passing yards per game fewer without Henry Ruggs (319.6 vs. 278.8).

Despite scoring double-digit fantasy points in three of their past four games and being favored by 10, the Chiefs DST is the cheapest favorite on the slate on FanDuel, slotting them in as the top cash game value.

Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley was anything but savvy the first time these teams met, choosing to run his preferred single-high safety scheme instead of mixing in more of the two-deep safety looks that have given the Chiefs trouble. It resulted in the Chiefs putting up 41 points — more than they had in the three games prior (36) and as many as they’ve had in the two since. I expect Bradley to adjust to some degree — he was, after all, able to stymie Mahomes with looks that forced the quarterback to dink and dunk while he was the coordinator of the Chargers in 2019 — but I’m still treating this as a plus matchup for Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce as Bradley’s defense is ranked 23rd in DVOA against the pass.

Byron Pringle is also worth a dart throw here. He has operated as the Chiefs’ clear No. 2 WR over the past four weeks and ran a route on a season-high 75% of dropbacks last week. This is a good matchup for Pringle, whose 1.87 yards per route run against zone ranks third on the team behind Hill (2.03) and Kelce (1.92).

Since returning from injury two games ago, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is averaging 15.5 touches but topped out at a 51% snap rate. Darrel Williams is syphoning over 60% of the routes out of the backfield. The Raiders are 12th in DVOA against the run but 23rd versus the pass, so this might not be a run-heavy game script for the Chiefs. I’m fading CEH this week.

  • Cash Plays: RB Josh Jacobs, WR Hunter Renfrow, DST Kansas City Chiefs
  • GPP Plays: QB Patrick Mahomes, WR Tyreek Hill, WR Byron Pringle, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Bryan Edwards, TE Travis Kelce

Saints at Jets

Saints Odds -5.5
Jets Odds +5.5
Over/Under 42.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Jets have more wins (two) over their last six games than the Saints, who are in the midst of a five-loss streak, so I picked New York as my half of the moneyline underdog parlay on this week’s Action Network Podcast. However, that was before Elijah Moore missed three straight practices with a quad issue.

Unless you’re a Jets or Saints fan, or have Alvin Kamara in fantasy, you should have zero interest in this game.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Zach Wilson will face a Saints defense that plays man coverage at the NFL’s eighth-highest rate without Corey Davis, which, in theory, should only increase the rate at which he relies on Elijah Moore, who leads all Jets WRs and TEs with 1.93 yards per route run versus man coverage. Thanks to Marshon Lattimore, the Saints are ranked eighth in DVOA versus No. 1 WRs, though they have allowed opposing WR1s to amass a nice average of 69.0 schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game, 12th-most. Still, with Moore missing practice all week with a quad injury, this is a situation to avoid.

If Moore sits, I still wouldn’t play Jamison Crowder, who has struggled against man coverage to the tune of 0.92 yards per route run. Keelan Cole and Denzel Mims have some man-beating ability, but will likely form a platoon at the other WR spot. I would play either if Moore sits, but neither if Moore suits up.

The Saints DST has reached double-digit fantasy points once in the past nine games. Although this is a great matchup, the Saints aren’t my preferred option among the highest-priced defenses, so they’re a fade for me this week.

Ty Johnson, (47% snap rate last week), Tevin Coleman (39%) and Austin Walter (14%) formed a three-way committee for the second straight week in Michael Carter’s absence. With Coleman (concussion) out, it will be Johnson, Walter and La’Mical Perine. Johnson is second after Moore in yards per route run versus man coverage (1.76) and is flex-worthy in season-long, but it’s hard to consider him a viable option in DFS against a Saints run defense that rates as the NFL’s best by DVOA.

With backup RBs Mark Ingram and Ty Montgomery on the COVID list, Alvin Kamara should feast on a Jets defense that is ranked 30th in DVOA against the run. Kamara practiced in full all week and is my projected RB2 for Week 14.

saints vs jets-nfl-betting-odds-picks-predictions-new orleans saints-arvin kamara-sunday-december 12
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Saints RB Alvin Kamara

Taysom Hill will make his second straight start but is playing through a finger injury. Though he — like Joe Burrow — was removed from the injury report, Russell Wilson has taught us that finger injuries can linger, and Hill is coming off a career-high four-interception game. Hill has enough upside to be rostered in GPPs, but I would not risk it in cash games, especially with Kamara back to resume his role as the offensive focal point.

Even with the knowledge that Deonte Harris would likely be suspended, the Saints released WR Kevin White last week and then cut Kenny Stills before re-signing him late in the week, meaning he hasn’t practiced with the team this week. Reading between the lines, it appears the coaching staff was set on increasing the playing time of Lil’ Jordan Humphrey, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound wideout who went undrafted out of Texas in 201 who is averaging 18.1 yards per catch this season and has caught a TD in two of the last three games. However, Humphrey popped up on the injury report Thursday with a hamstring issue. With Humphrey banged up and Jets slot corner Michael Carter II out, I would target Tre’Quan Smith, who has lined up in the slot 56% of the time compared to 19% of the time for Marquez Callaway.

The Jets struggle against TEs, ranking dead last in DVOA, but both Juwan Johnson (45%) and Nick Vannett (34%) ran a route on fewer than half of the team’s dropbacks last week.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Taysom Hill, RB Alvin Kamara, WR Tre’Quan Smith, WR Denzel Mims (if Moore sits), WR Keelan Cole (if Moore sits)

Jaguars at Titans

Jaguars Odds +8
Titans Odds -8
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 Titans beat the Jaguars 37-19 in Jacksonville in Week 5, but Derrick Henry (IR-foot) and A.J. Brown (IR-chest) accounted for 35 of Tennessee’s 61 offensive plays. Jaguars games have gone under in 10-of-12, but one of the two overs was that game against the Titans. Still, I would be willing to bet the under if Julio Jones (hamstring) ends up sitting out one more week.

Pick: Under 43.5 if Julio Jones sits (to 41)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Laquon Treadwell has risen from the dead to post back-to-back games of four catches and 50-plus yards. His underlying usage metrics are strong as well, as he ran a route on 86% of the dropbacks two weeks ago and 91% last week. Urban Meyer is weird. But with usage like this, Treadwell is viable as a deep-league/GPP WR dart throw and a cash game punt play on DraftKings at $3,400. According to 4for4, the Titans are allowing the third-most schedule-adjusted PPR points to opposing WRs.

Save for Treadwell, the Jaguars’ passing game is a mess — a hilarious statement in its own right.

Trevor Lawrence is averaging just 209.5 passing yards per game and has thrown only nine TDs in 12 starts. Marvin Jones has gone AWOL with one game above 52 yards since Week 4. His age (31) is beginning to show. Laviska Shenault Jr. hasn’t topped 50 receiving yards since Week 6 and has been surpassed on the depth chart by Treadwell, which is all that needs to be said about that. James O’Shaughnessy has taken over the Dan Arnold role as Jacksonville’s top TE, but this isn’t a spot to target him, as the Titans rank fifth in DVOA against the position.

This is a spot to fire up the Titans DST, which posted two takeaways, two sacks and a TD the last time these teams met.

Lawrence lobbied the coaching staff to put James Robinson on the field more after Robinson was benched for fumbling for long stretches in each of the past two games. This is a good time to buy back in on Robinson, who turned 19 touches into 147 yards in a TD in the first meeting between these two teams. The Titans are ranked 22nd in DVOA against the run and 16th in DVOA on targets to RBs. Robinson is in play in GPPs this week.

James Robinson Fantasy Injury Report Jaguars RB active inactive week 11 2021
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaguars RB James Robinson

Ryan Tannehill might get back Julio Jones (hamstring) this week, but his upside is capped in a game in which the Titans shouldn’t need many points. Tannehill is averaging 231.2 passing yards per game and has thrown for multiple scores just twice all season. The Jags are ranked 31st in DVOA against No. 1 WRs, so Jones is worth rostering in GPPs if he suits up. If Jones sits, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is worth a dart throw. Westbrook-Ikhine is averaging 4.5/62.0/0.5 on 7.0 targets over the past two games. Chester Rogers and Dez Fitpatrick round out the WR corps while Anthony Firsker, Geoff Swaim and MyCole Pruitt form a platoon at TE, but none of them are viable options.

The Titans have settled on a backfield committee of Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman. Both are FLEX-worthy plays in season-long in a game in which the Titans should have positive game script throughout, but they’ve been priced up too high for DFS, especially with other cheaper options available at their position.

  • Cash Plays: WR Laquon Treadwell
  • GPP Plays: RB James Robinson, WR Julio Jones, WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (if Jones sits), DST Tennessee Titans

Ravens at Browns

Ravens Odds +3
Browns Odds -3
Over/Under 42.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

I might be on an island here, but I love the Ravens in this spot.

Yes, Lamar Jackson is struggling, but I’m not sure the Browns are set up to take advantage. Case in point: Jackson threw four picks and was held to a season-low 165 yards passing by the Browns, and they still lost, 16-10. The Browns are coming off a bye, which means they are essentially preparing for the Ravens for a third straight week. But after the Browns played about as well as they could have hoped on defense, the Ravens will have the ability to make meaningful corrections.

And for all the talk about Jackson slumping, the Browns offense has failed to top 17 points in six of their past seven games. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt weren’t on the field for all of those games, but this is the same Chubb and Hunt who were held to a combined 36 scoreless yards on 15 carries by a Ravens run defense that ranks top-five in DVOA. Another underrated reason Cleveland’s run game may not be up to snuff: The Browns will be without right tackle Jack Conklin (knee) and two of their top three tight ends in David Njoku (Reserve-COVID-19) and Harrison Bryant (ankle). PFF grades Conklin as the sixth-best run-blocking tackle among 82 qualifiers this season.

There’s never a good time to lose Marlon Humphrey, who was the Ravens’ best cornerback, but the Browns are not exactly high on the list of teams that can make Baltimore pay as Cleveland is ranked 30th in pass attempts (30.0) and 24th in net passing yards (207.0) per game — numbers that have trended downward as Baker Mayfield battles a shoulder injury. Baltimore plays man coverage at the fourth-highest rate in the NFL, and even without Humphrey, I don’t think Wink Martindale will let up against a Cleveland offense that averages nearly a full yard per attempt less versus man than zone.

According to PFF, the Browns’ top receiver Jarvis Landry is averaging just 0.88 yards per route run versus man coverage this season, which ranks 90th of 99 wide receivers with at least 20 targets. Cleveland’s limited receiving options will make life tough on Mayfield against a Baltimore defense that generates pressure at a 26.9% rate, eighth-best; Mayfield’s 35.1 PFF grade under pressure ranks 33rd of 37 qualified quarterbacks.

Even though I bet against Baltimore in Pittsburgh last week and won, I still think it’s worth noting that the loss marked the first time the Ravens have failed to cover a divisional road game in Week 10 or later (excluding Week 17) in John Harbaugh’s career, as they are now 11-1-2 (92%) against the spread (ATS) in those spots.

With Jackson, Harbaugh is 14-9 (61%) ATS in the regular season. And over his entire career regardless of starting quarterback, Harbaugh has led his team to a 59% ATS winning percentage as a road underdog, per our Action Labs data.

Pick: Ravens +3 (to +1)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

The Browns deploy zone coverage at the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. Lamar Jackson has averaged 2 yards per attempt more versus zone coverage this season, so his struggles in the first matchup (165 yards, 1 TD, 4 interceptions) were perplexing. Even with Jackson producing more turnovers (10) than TDs (8) over his past six starts, he hasn’t posted a game below 13 fantasy points over that span — or during the entire season, for that matter. Because of this floor and a $7,900 price tag on FanDuel, Jackson is my top cash option at QB on the site.

Cleveland’s zone-heavy tendency is good news for Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews. Brown’s 2.16 yards per route run versus zone coverage ranks 17th of 100 qualified WRs while Andrews’ 2.08 mark is seventh among 42 qualified TEs. Sammy Watkins (1.85) has been more adept at finding a soft spot in between defenders than Rashod Bateman (1.15) and Devin Duvernay (0.90), but all three are splitting snaps, rendering them useless in fantasy and DFS (outside of Showdown slates).

Devonta Freeman took further control of the backfield with 19 touches for 95 yards and a TD last week against the Steelers, but he managed only 60 yards on 17 touches against the Browns two weeks ago, which was not surprising given that the Browns are 12th in DVOA against the run and fifth in DVOA on passes to RBs. Though Freeman is a top-20 play in season-long fantasy, he is not someone I’m willing to pay a similar price for as Gibson and Hubbard in DFS.

Get Your First Deposit Matched Up to $100!

Sign up and deposit up to $100

Your deposit will be fully matched

New users only

The loss of Marlon Humphrey hurts on the back end, but the Ravens should still be expected to field one of the NFL’s best run defenses. Wink Martindale’s unit ranks fifth in DVOA on the ground. In the first meeting, Baltimore held Nick Chubb to 16 yards on eight carries and Kareem Hunt to 20 yards on seven carries. There will be weeks when both are viable; this is a week where both are fades. Especially since the Browns are short on TEs and will be without right tackle Jack Conklin, who suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago, the blocking might not be up to the standard we usually expect from Cleveland.

The Ravens’ man-heavy scheme lends itself to a TE-centric passing attack for the Browns, as David Njoku (1.84) and Austin Hooper (1.73) lead the team in yards per route run versus man coverage. Hooper will be the team’s top TE with Njoku out and is worth a GPP dart throw.

Donovan Peoples-Jones leads the team’s WRs at 1.70 — nearly double that of Jarvis Landry (0.88). Some combination of Ja’Marcus Bradley (0.91), Anthony Schwartz (0.88) and Rashard Higgins (0.48) will man the WR3 spot, but none of them have been able to win in single coverage this season. Peoples-Jones is a sneaky dart-throw option against Baltimore’s banged up secondary that is still likely to play a lot of single coverage. Landry and Baker Mayfield, who has thrown for more than 247 just once since Week 2, are fades.

As this sets up as a hard-fought, low-scoring divisional matchup that produced six turnovers in the first meeting, both DSTs are in play in GPPs.

  • Cash Plays: QB Lamar Jackson
  • GPP Plays: WR Marquise Brown, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, TE Mark Andrews, TE Austin Hooper, DST Baltimore Ravens, DST Cleveland Browns

Falcons at Panthers

Falcons Odds +3
Panthers Odds -3
Over/Under 41
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

How do you not bet the under in this game?

The Panthers will be starting a quarterback who spent the first half of the season on the street and went 5-for-21 in his last game. They’re coming off a bye in which they fired their offensive coordinator because he didn’t run the ball enough for head coach Matt Rhule, whose target amount of rushing attempts per game is 33.

Both offenses are ranked bottom-three in DVOA, with Carolina clocking in at 30th and Atlanta at 31st. The first time these two teams met, they played a 19-13 game in which Matt Ryan was held to 131 net passing yards with more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1) — and that all came indoors in Atlanta, where Ryan in his career has averaged nearly a half-yard more per attempt and 13% fewer interceptions than on the road.

Historically, it has been profitable to bet divisional unders late in the year due to familiarity, and this has been especially true in the early window, with the under going 227-142-8 (62%) in divisional games in the 1 p.m. ET time slot from Week 10 on (excluding Week 17) since 2003.

When those games are played outdoors, the record improves to 159-92-6 (63%).

Pick: Under 41.5 (to 41)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

In five starts in place of Christian McCaffrey (IR-ankle), Chuba Hubbard averaged 20.6 touches for 83.4 yards and 0.4 TDs per game. With Matt Rhule mandating an extreme-run-heavy approach, Hubbard is viable in cash games against a Falcons run defense that is ranked 23rd in DVOA. Ameer Abdullah will likely handle a chunk of the passing-down snaps, but shouldn’t be much of a factor in a game the Panthers are capable of controlling at home with a run-heavy game plan.

Cam Newton and D.J. Moore are worth GPP consideration based purely on the fact that the Falcons defense is ranked 29th in DVOA against the pass and 28th in DVOA versus opposing WR1s. They will likely have to come through with efficiency, though, as volume likely won’t be there. Newton could still pay off unstacked, as his legs are likely to be a big part of Carolina’s run-heavy approach. Robby Anderson, Brandon Zylstra, Tommy Tremble and Ian Thomas are unlikely to be a big part of the action.

Start Your PRO Trial Today

Lineup builder and optimizer

Real-time DFS models

Data-driven analysis & tutorials

The only viable play on the Falcons offense is Cordarrelle Patterson. Because Patterson can line up in the backfield or out wide, he’s the only player on the Falcons offense who is difficult to game plan for. He posted 72 yards and a score on 14 touches when these teams met earlier in the season.

Like most teams, the Panthers were able to hold Kyle Pitts out of the end zone in the first matchup; he has only one TD all season. Pitts finished with 13 scoreless yards on six targets in that game. Russell Gage was also held without a target despite starting the game. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan is averaging only 225.7 passing yards and 0.86 TDs without Calvin Ridley. And Mike Davis is averaging under 3.5 yards per carry and under 6.0 yards per reception.

This is a spot to fire up the Panthers DST, who held the Falcons to 13 points while producing three sacks and two takeaways in the first meeting. At $2,800 on DraftKings, the Carolina DST is the top option for cash games on the site.

  • Cash Plays: RB Chuba Hubbard, DST Carolina Panthers
  • GPP Plays: QB Cam Newton, RB Cordarrelle Patterson, WR D.J. Moore

Cowboys at Football Team

Cowboys Odds -5
Washington Odds +5
Over/Under 48
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

A spread of 4.5 points is probably too many for the Cowboys on the road in the division against a Washington team that has won four straight, but Dallas is coming off extra rest and Dak Prescott is 19-8 (70%) ATS in the division in his career. Without Chase Young (IR-ACL) and Montez Sweat (Reserve-COVID-19), I’m not sure how the Football Team’s 30th-ranked defense in DVOA against the pass will get enough pressure to slow down Prescott throwing to a healthy combination of CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

Pick: Pass


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Dak Prescott and Co. will face a Washington defense that is ranked 30th in DVOA and is without two of its top pass rushers in Young and Sweat. With his top-three WRs healthy, Prescott is my top cash game play at QB on DraftKings at $6,700. I think he’s safer than Cam Newton and Taysom Hill.

Washington deploys zone coverage at the seventh-highest rate in the league. In terms of yards per route run versus zone coverage, Tony Pollard (2.26), CeeDee Lamb (2.25), Dalton Schultz (2.00) and Amari Cooper (1.94) lead the team while Michael Gallup (0.78) and Ezekiel Elliott (0.55) rank bottom-two among the 12 players on the team who have been targeted this season. This is a spot to stack Prescott with Lamb, Cooper and/or Schultz while fading Gallup.

Washington is eighth in DVOA against the run, so Elliott would only be worth playing if Pollard (questionable-foot) sits. Pollard failed to practice all week due to a foot issue, which puts him on the wrong side of his questionable tag.

Even if J.D. McKissic (questionable-concussion) returns, Antonio Gibson is cash-viable against a Cowboys defense that is ranked fourth in DVOA against the pass but 19th versus the run. In the two games prior to McKissic going down, Gibson averaged 22.5 touches, then handled 36 in the game McKissic exited late before handling another 28 last week with McKissic out.

Fresh off leading Washington to its fourth straight win, Taylor Heinicke will face a Dan Quinn defense that plays man coverage at the seventh-highest rate in the NFL. Especially with the health of McKissic in question, this sets up as a spot in which Washington looks to hide Heinicke and offer Dallas a heavy dose of Gibson.

fantasy football-buy low-sell high-week 8-trade targets-antonio gibson-khalil herbert-darre williams
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: WFT RB Antonio Gibson

Against man coverage, Washington’s best pass catcher has been J.D. McKissic, whose 2.82 yards per route run versus man ranks in the 90th percentile among 142 qualified pass catchers. Meanwhile, Terry McLaurin has been better versus zone (2.13) than man (1.79) while both potential TE options — Ricky Seals-Jones (0.69) and John Bates (0.00) have struggled when singled up. Making matters worse for McLaurin is the prospect of matching up with Trevon Diggs, who has allowed just a 72.5 passer rating when targeted and helped the Cowboys to a first-place ranking in DVOA against opposing No. 1 WRs. DeAndre Carter, Curtis Samuel, Cam Sims and Dyami Brown are splitting the WR2/3 duties and can’t be counted on to play enough snaps to be difference-makers in fantasy/DFS.

Rather than target the Washington passing game, I’d instead roll out the Cowboys DST, as Quinn’s defense is sixth in the NFL with a 15.8% rate of takeaways per drive.

  • Cash Plays: QB Dak Prescott, RB Antonio Gibson
  • GPP Plays: RB Ezekiel Elliott (if Pollard sits), WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Amari Cooper, TE Dalton Schultz, DST Dallas Cowboys

Seahawks at Texans

Seahawks Odds -8.5
Texans Odds +8.5
Over/Under 40.5
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Betting Pick

The Texans have lost to every team but the Jaguars in Urban Meyer’s first NFL game and a bizarro version of the Titans that had no skill-position players. Of Houston’s 10 losses, all came by at least three points, and all but one came by at least seven. Tease the Seahawks down to under -3 while you can and don’t look back.

Pick: Tease Seahawks -8.5 down to -2.5 (to -9 down to -3)


Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis

DFS Plays

Russell Wilson finally got back off the schneid in the win column for the Seahawks, and this week marks the end of his initial eight-week recovery timeline from his finger injury. He is worth firing up in GPPs paired with either D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett. This could also be a bounce-back game for Gerald Everett after a nightmarish Week 13 against San Francisco that included two fumbles. Whereas the 49ers are ranked first in DVOA against TEs, the Texans are ranked 28th.

Adrian Peterson was signed off the street and immediately slotted in as the team’s lead back last week. Now Peterson is out with a back injury, but Alex Collins is back and will likely be the 1a to Rashaad Penny’s 1b. If we knew Collins was going to have the backfield all to himself against Houston’s 28th-ranked defense in DVOA against the run, he would be worth a GPP dart throw, but there was talk of getting Penny involved more at the expense of Collins before the latter ultimately was forced from the game early due to injury a couple of weeks ago.

Brandin Cooks (questionable-back) should be in for a bounce-back spot against a Seahawks defense that plays zone coverage at a top-three rate. Cooks is averaging a team-leading 2.21 yards per route run against zone compared to just 1.33 against man. Cooks’ back issue looks more like veteran maintenance than anything serious.

Rounding out the top three in yards per route versus zone for the Texans are rookies Brevin Jordan (1.52) and Nico Collins (1.51), who are worth GPP dart throws against a Seahawks pass defense that ranks 26th in DVOA. Pharaoh Brown (1.22), Chris Moore (0.80), Chris Conley (0.70) and Davion Davis (0.00) haven’t been effective at finding the soft spots in zone coverage.

Davis Mills is an intriguing contrarian dart throw option. Despite having a rough go at it in terms of real-life effectiveness, Mills has still topped 20 fantasy points in two of his last four starts. His erraticness — eight turnovers and 19 sacks in six starts — makes this a good spot to target the Seahawks DST.

  • Cash Plays: None
  • GPP Plays: QB Russell Wilson, QB Davis Mills, WR Tyler Lockett, WR D.K. Metcalf, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Nico Collins, TE Gerald Everett, TE Brevin Jordan, DST Seattle Seahawks

DFS Cash Lineups

DraftKings

  • QB Dak Prescott $6,700 at WAS
  • RB Josh Jacobs $6,200 at KC
  • RB Antonio Gibson $6,000 vs. DAL
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase $6,900 vs SF
  • WR Hunter Renfrow $6,100 at KC
  • WR Laquon Treadwell $3,400 at TEN
  • TE Rob Gronkowski $6,000 vs. BUF
  • FLEX Chuba Hubbard $5,900 vs. ATL
  • DST Carolina Panthers $2,800 vs. ATL

FanDuel

  • QB Lamar Jackson $7,900 at CLE
  • RB Antonio Gibson $7,400 vs. DAL
  • RB Josh Jacobs $7,100 at KC
  • WR Ja’Marr Chase $7,200 vs SF
  • WR Hunter Renfrow $6,700 at KC
  • WR Brandon Aiyuk $6,400 at CIN
  • TE Rob Gronkowski $7,000 vs. BUF
  • FLEX Chuba Hubbard $6,500 vs. ATL
  • DST Kansas City Chiefs $3,700 vs. LV

How would you rate this article?