NFL Playoff Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert’s Divisional Round Betting Guide For Rams-Bucs, Bills-Chiefs
Getty Images. Pictured: Rams WR Cooper Kupp, Bills QB Josh Allen
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Rams at Bucs
|Time||3 p.m. ET|
|Updated odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.|
This is the toughest matchup for me to handicap.
This is the only matchup featuring two teams that truly fit the profile of a Super Bowl contender according to DVOA, and I don’t see value on either side of the number.
The under is somewhat intriguing with the Bucs banged up on the offensive line, but as my colleague Stuckey astutely pointed out on this week’s Action Network Podcast, it’s possible that the Bucs use an up-tempo, no-huddle approach on offense to mitigate some of their injuries and keep the Rams on their heels.
Follow me on the Action App to see if I end up taking a position on this game or getting down on some props.
Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis
Cam Akers proved he is an alien last week, returning from a summer Achilles tear to rack up 95 yards on 18 touches. Akers led the Rams backfield with a 53% snap rate and could see his workload increase even more this week. Even against a Bucs defense that finished 12th in DVOA against the run (and is probably better than that at full strength), Akers is viable in cash games due to being priced before his astonishing return to action took place. Sony Michel is likely to garner sub-5% rostership. Because he could still see a similar workload to last week (40% of the snaps), he is worth playing as a contrarian option in large-field GPPs on the main slate. Jake Funk saw a couple of touches last week but likely will not this week unless the Rams are on the right side of another blowout, which is unlikely on the road against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Although I’ve pointed out repeatedly how Matthew Stafford has struggled down the stretch, he’s still my favorite GPP play this week because he is projected to be one of the least popular QBs on the slate and is facing a defense that has historically been tough to run on. Stafford threw for 343 yards and four TDs when these teams faced off in Week 3. Cooper Kupp is the obvious GPP play, but Odell Beckham Jr. is cash-viable due to his salary.
After being eased into action in Week 10, OBJ has caught a TD in five of his past seven games as a Ram. This is also an excellent spot for Van Jefferson, as the Bucs play zone at a top-10 rate; Jefferson is averaging 1.69 yards per route run against zone compared to just 0.96 against man. He leads the team with three TD catches against zone coverage this season. Tyler Higbee is also in a good spot, as the Bucs allowed the fourth-most schedule-adjusted targets per game to TEs during the regular season (8.1). Kendall Blanton (3), Brycen Hopkins (2) and Ben Skowronek (1) were the only other skill-position players to run a pass route last week. Skowronek is the best option on Showdown slates, as the Rams could run more four-wide if this game turns into a shootout.
Tom Brady could be very uncomfortable in this game. Center Ryan Jenson will have to tough it out through an ankle injury, which could lead to unrelenting interior pressure from Aaron Donald. Right tackle Tristan Wirfs (ankle) is likely on the wrong side of questionable, which could also spell trouble off the edge against Von Miller and Co. Brady is still a GPP option regardless, as he proved in the first matchup he could put up big numbers even in a losing effort, but this is also an excellent spot to roster the Rams DST, preferably stacked with Akers or Michel.
The Rams are the third-most zone-heavy defense in the league, which sets up as a smash spot for Rob Gronkowski. Gronk’s 2.52 yards per route against zone coverage is more than a full yard better than Mike Evans (1.44). Raheem Morris could also decide to break tendency and stick Jalen Ramsey on Evans in this game, as the Bucs have nary another threatening WR on the outside. Evans is still in play due to his TD upside — he’s scored 15 times in 17 games (including playoffs) — but Gronk is a better bet for a monster game. Tyler Johnson ran a route on 85% of Brady’s drop backs last week and has to be in GPP consideration because of it. Breshad Perriman (hip) and Cyril Grayson (hamstring) are on the wrong side of questionable, so we could see a lot of Scotty Miller, who would also be an option on the main slate if both of them sit out. Cameron Brate could also see added usage and is a solid low-cost contrarian play. Jaleon Darden and O.J. Howard would also see an uptick and are in play on Showdown slates.
As of this writing, the Bucs backfield is still a bit of a question mark (read our Rams-Bucs injury report here), with Leonard Fournette (hamstring) practicing but yet to be activated off injured reserve. If Fournette is activated, he will be the only player worth using on the main slate. Ke’Shawn Vaughn (19) and Giovani Bernard (18) split touches last week and would do so again if Fournette sits. I’d prefer Bernard, as he is the passing-down back and posted his best game of the regular season (9/51/1 receiving) when these teams met in Week 3. Ronald Jones (ankle) still hasn’t resumed practicing and will likely miss another week. If he returns, he will likely cut into Vaughn’s work — not Bernard’s or Fournette’s.
Even with last week’s nearly flawless performance, Stafford has still thrown eight picks over his past five games, making the Bucs DST a solid GPP option.
- Cash Plays: RB Cam Akers, WR Odell Beckham Jr.
- GPP Plays: QB Tom Brady, QB Matthew Stafford, RB Leonard Fournette (if active), RB Sony Michel, RB Giovani Bernard (if Fournette sits), RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn (if Fournette sits), WR Cooper Kupp, WR Mike Evans, WR Van Jefferson, WR Tyler Johnson, WR Scotty Miller (if Perriman and Grayson sit), TE Tyler Higbee, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Cameron Brate, DST Los Angeles Rams, DST Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bills at Chiefs
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
|Updated odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.|
In what may very well be the game of the year, choosing a side to bet comes down to one simple fact for me: Both of these teams have an elite offense, but only one of them has an elite defense.
Here are how these teams stack up in offensive and defensive DVOA (including postseason):
- Offense: Chiefs third, Bills fifth
- Defense: Bills first, Chiefs 25th
The Chiefs defense is undoubtedly better than that ranking since making some key personnel changes, namely acquiring Melvin Ingram, which allowed Chris Jones to kick back inside where he is most effective; and limiting the snaps of Daniel Sorenson, who is a liability in coverage. Still, it’s hard to argue that the Chiefs defense is anything other than the weakest unit in this game. Even as they’ve improved, they’ve had some alarming performances since their bye, allowing 404 yards to the Broncos, 428 to the Chargers, and 475 to the Bengals. In these teams’ first matchup, Josh Allen averaged 12.1 yards per attempt and 21.0 yards per completion. It also doesn’t help that the Chiefs have been one of the worst teams at defending quarterback runs, allowing a league-high seven rushing scores to opposing passers (including one to Allen) during the regular season.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills are better equipped than almost any team to slow down Kansas City. The Bills lead the league in pressure rate at 30.8% while blitzing only 26.0% of the time, with their +4.8% differential between pressure rate and blitz rate ranking third-best in the league and top among playoff teams remaining in the Divisional Round.
Here are Patrick Mahomes’ numbers when kept clean compared to under pressure:
- Kept clean: 75.4% cmp, 7.7 YPA, 109.4 rating
- Under pressure: 42.3% cmp, 6.6 YPA, 69.8 rating
Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league for a reason, and he and Andy Reid will surely come with a strong plan to counter the Bills pressure, but they have a lot of adjustments to make after Mahomes was held to 5.0 yards per attempt and 8.2 yards per completion in the first matchup.
The Chiefs may have home-field advantage over the Bills for this game, but I’m not sure the Chiefs should still be considered atop the AFC hierarchy. Here’s how the Chiefs cumulatively fared against the Bills, Titans and Bengals, i.e. the other three AFC teams that made it to the Divisional Round.
- Record: 0-3
- Avg. point differential: -15.0
- Avg total yardage differential: -46.7
Give me the points.
Pick: Bills +1.5 (to +1)
Click the arrow to read Raybon’s DFS analysis
Josh Allen needed just 26 pass attempts to throw for 315 yards and three TDs when these teams met in Week 5. He also added 11/59/1 on the ground. He will face a Chiefs defense that allowed the most rushing TDs to opposing QBs (7) during the regular season. Projected as the overall QB1 on the slate by nearly 2 full points in terms of median projections and nearly 3 full points in terms of floor, he’s far and away the top option for cash games on the main slate.
Devin Singletary continues to be a cash game staple as well. Singletary is averaging 18.4 carries and 2.2 catches per game over his past five games. The Chiefs have improved their run defense down the stretch, but still rank 20th in DVOA on the season. They also rank 26th in DVOA on targets to RBs. Zack Moss is only an option on Showdown slates, as he may not play if this game stays competitive.
The Chiefs play man coverage at the sixth-highest rate in the league and did so at a rate slightly above their season average in the first meeting. They were similarly ineffective in both man and zone looks, so there’s little reason to think they will stray too much from the norm. This sets up well for Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox. Davis has an absurd seven TDs on 29 targets against man coverage this season, and Knox nearly matched that ridiculous rate with seven TDs on 30 targets against man.
When the Chiefs do go to zone coverage looks, it favors Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie in the slot. Both are expected to combine for less than 10% rostership. As Stefon Diggs is expected to be the most highly rostered WR on the slate, I like fading him for all of the other Bills pass catchers (outside of Allen stacks). Diggs caught 2-of-5 targets for 69 yards with no TDs in the first matchup between these two teams. Emmanuel Sanders is expected to ganer sub-5% rostership. Davis, Sanders, McKenzie and Beasley — in that order — split routes behind Diggs last week. Jake Kumerow is the WR6 and will likely only see more than a route or two if this game gets out of hand. Fullback Reggie Gilliam has been handling backup TE duties and is a better dart throw on one-game slates than Kumerow.
Patrick Mahomes struggled in the first matchup against a Bills defense that led the league in pressure rate (30.8%). Still he threw 54 times in that game, completing 33 passes, which is good news for his receivers’ PPR value. At $6,600, Tyreek Hill is the sixth-highest priced WR on DraftKings — an absolute steal. Hill is cash-viable at DraftKings. The Bills rank No. 1 in DVOA against both WR2s and non-WR1/2s, so it makes sense to relegate Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman to one-game and Sunday-only slates. Due to Travis Kelce’s price tag, we expect him to be the third- or fourth-most highly rostered TE. Kelce went 6/57/1 on 10 targets in the first matchup. The Bills are 13th in DVOA against TEs, their second-weakest position after RB (16th). With Josh Gordon inactive last week, Marcus Kemp saw snaps as the WR5. He’s worth a Hail Mary dart throw on Showdown slates if Gordon is scratched again, though backup TEs Blake Bell and Noah Gray are better options. Fullback Michael Burton has 12 touches and one TD in 17 games this season and is also in play in one-game contests.
Jerick McKinnon surprisingly led the Chiefs backfield last week and balled out, piling up 142 scrimmage yards and a TD on 18 touches. McKinnon looked as good as any Chiefs RB has all year. I have him projected to split snaps 50/50 with Clyde Edwards-Helaire this week. Darrel Williams failed to practice Wednesday and Thursday after playing eight snaps and receiving one touch (which he fumbled) last week. Williams (if active) and Derrick Gore are nothing more than one-game contest dart throws at best. Edwards-Helaire is a superior play to McKinnon based on projected rostership.
The Bills DST posted 17 fantasy points in the first meeting. I like them in GPPs and as a cash-game punt play on FanDuel. The Chiefs committed the seventh-most turnovers per drive during the regular season (13.7%).
- Cash Plays: QB Josh Allen, RB Devin Singletary, DST Buffalo Bills
- GPP Plays: QB Josh Allen, RB Devin Singletary, DST Buffalo Bills
We’ve “collapsed” Raybon’s analysis for Saturday’s two games, but you can click the arrow to unfold it.
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
|Time||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.|
Despite the Bengals entering the Divisional Round as the AFC’s “Dangerous Team On A Roll That Nobody Wants To Face,” sportsbooks are offering up the hook on the Bengals at +3.5. Why? As of this writing, 60% of the tickets and 82% of the handle are on the Titans (check real-time public betting data here), and we have tracked sharp action on them as well.
I think that’s the right play.
The bye was hugely beneficial for a Titans squad that used an NFL-record 91 players during the regular season but may have all 22 starters healthy for the first time all year. Getting Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones on the field together is a massive boost for this offense, as the Titans averaged 7.0 yards per play with all three of those players on the field together — a huge increase from their season average of 5.1 yards per play.
The Henry-Brown-Jones trio is especially massive for the Titans’ play-action game. After leading all NFL passers in play-action passing usage rate last season (36.4%, per PFF), Ryan Tannehill used play action on only 29.1% of his drop backs this season, 11th-most in the league. With Henry and Brown mostly healthy over the past two seasons, Tannehill led the league in yards per attempt in play action in 2019 (13.5) and was fifth in 2020 (9.7). This season, that number dropped to 8.6.
Cincinnati’s pass defense has been Bengals’ weak link this season, ranking 24th in DVOA during the regular season — and they’re particularly bad against play action. Per Sports Info Solutions, Cincinnati’s 117.7 QBR allowed ranks 27th in the NFL and second-worst among playoff teams, and the Bengals’ 8.7 yards per play allowed in play action rank 30th in the league and worst among playoff teams.
One of the main reasons the Raiders ended up needing a last-second touchdown drive that never came to cover was that Derek Carr fumbled deep in his own territory, but Tannehill should benefit from better protection, as all five starting offensive lineman for the Titans are healthy and ranked in the top half of the league at their position in PFF’s grades. In fact, left tackle Taylor Lewan — a three-time Pro Bowler — graded out as their worst offensive lineman, and he still finished 37th of 84 tackles (56th percentile).
On defense, the key for the Titans is that they can get pressure without blitzing. Per PFF, Joe Burrow shredded the blitz to the tune of 10.8 YPA with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions, but was a bit more human when not blitzed, posting an 8.3 YPA figure with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Titans generated pressure 24.0% of the time despite blitzing just 19.9% of the time (fifth-lowest), and their +4.1% pressure-to-blitz rate ranks fifth-best in the NFL. When pressured, Burrow’s passer rating drops to 92.4, down from 113.7 when kept clean.
Another concern for the Bengals is how well their offense will travel. While their difference between home points per game (27.6) and road points per game (26.3) is minute, DVOA — which is opponent-adjusted — tells a different story, as the Bengals are ranked ninth in offensive DVOA at home but 25th on the road. That 16-place gap is the second-largest in the NFL behind a Patriots team that got thumped 47-17 on the road by the Bills in the Wild Card Round.
Under Mike Vrabel, the Titans tend to suffer confounding losses but get up for big games, and this season has been no different. The Titans have faced four teams that made it to the Divisional Round (Chiefs, Bills, Rams, 49ers), and they went 4-0 against those squads, outsourcing them by a combined 109-67 margin.
It is worth holding out closer to kickoff to see if late money comes in on the Bengals and pushes the line to -3; there’s a much bigger difference between -3.5 and -3 than -3.5 and -4 since 3 is the most prevalent key number.
I also like the under on Nick Westbrook-Ikhine’s receiving yards prop. Westbrook-Ikhine has been held to 27 or fewer yards in nine of 16 games this season, and he’s had 25 or fewer yards in eight of 16 games, but that was with Brown and Jones both in and out of the lineup. With Brown, Jones, and Henry healthy and the Titans favored, we are likely to see a bunch of heavy personnel in Todd Downing’s game plan.
The Bengals rank 12th in DVOA against non-WR1/2s, but 24th against tight ends, which increases the chances of the Titans using heavy personnel, as Westbrook-Ikhine would see the most of slot CB Mike Hilton, who ranks 20th in PFF coverage grade out of 121 qualified CBs.
Westbrook-Ikhine’s median receptions in this game is 2, and since he averages 12.5 yards per catch, this prop should be +EV at anything above 25.
Pick: Titans -3.5 (to -4), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine under 29.5 receiving yards (to 25.5)
The way salaries are set up this week, the most usable player in cash games in this matchup is Tyler Boyd, who costs a modest $4,800 on DraftKings and $5,800 on FanDuel. Boyd will primarily face off against Titans slot corner Elijah Molden, who allowed the highest passer rating of any Titans cornerback this season (103.6). Boyd has at least four catches, 55 yards and/or a TD in each of his past six games and has scored in four straight.
Like the Raiders, the Titans like to sit back in coverage, rarely blitzing, which doesn’t make this a smash spot for Joe Burrow. Our NFL Pro Models project him with the fifth-highest ceiling among QBs, meaning he is priced fairly as the fifth-most expensive QB on the main slate. He is also projected to clock in last in percentage rostered.
Along with Boyd, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins make for excellent GPP plays, as the Titans have been a WR funnel, ranking top 10 in DVOA against RBs and TEs but 15th against WR1s, 17th against WR2s, and 29th against non-WR1/2s. The Titans are ranked third against TEs, so this is not a good spot to chase C.J. Uzomah’s production from last week. I’m only using him on one-game slates. Drew Sample was the only other non-starting Bengals WR or TE to run more than one pass route last week. He is worth a Hail Mary dart throw on Showdown slates.
Joe Mixon projects for the second-highest ceiling among RBs this week. He is best used stacked with the Bengals DST in a correlated positive game script stack, as he averaged 85.6 rushing yards per game in wins compared to 51.8 in losses. The Titans were average in run defense from an efficiency perspective, ranking 14th in DVOA, but they allowed the second-fewest rushing yards per game (84.6). Samaje Perine played 13 snaps to Chris Evans’ three last week behind Mixon, making him the preferred Hail Mary dart throw option among the two on Showdown slates.
With Derrick Henry expected to make his return alongside a healthy A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, we should expect a heavy dose of playaction a two-TE sets with Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser. Even with a conservate usage projection, Henry still carries the highest ceiling projection on the slate at RB, yet he’s expected to be the fifth-most highly rostered player at his position. The Bengals ranked 13th in run-defense DVOA during the regular season.
Tannehill’s value comes not from his projected rostership, which is expected to be fourth-highest among QBs, but from the fact that Brown and Jones aren’t expected to be popular relative to the other WR duos, and Swaim and Firkser will be among the slate’s least popular TEs. As mentioned in the betting blurb, I don’t think we will see a lot of Nick Westbrook-Ikhine here, so I’m using him only on one-game slates. Chester Rogers and Racey McMath will round out the WR corps. Rogers has played starter’s snaps at times and is the better option of the two on Showdown slates. Ryan Izzo is the TE3 and will likely goose-egg, but the MyCole Pruitt role has been known to yield a TD here and there — he caught three this season — so I don’t mind him as a Hail Mary dart throw option on Showdown slates.
With Henry back, D’Onta Foreman will likely back him up with Dontrell Hilliard potentially seeing work on passing downs. Both are viable on Showdown slates and would provide massive leverage on Henry. Fullback Khari Blasingame has five touches for 10 yards on the season, and three of those touches came when he was the team’s third-string halfback in Week 12; he’s unlikely to score a random TD.
Given that the Titans are the second-largest favorite on the board and Burrow led the league with 51 sacks taken during the regular season, the Tennessee DST is an underrated tournament play. It makes for an excellent stacking partner with Henry.
- Cash Plays: WR Tyler Boyd
- GPP Plays: QB Joe Burrow, QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry, RB Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR A.J. Brown, WR Tee Higgins, WR Julio Jones, DST Tennessee Titans, DST Cincinnati Bengals
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Find real-time NFL playoff odds here.|
As the 49ers emerged from the Wild Card Round, it looked as if a nightmare scenario mat be coming true, with the status of their starting quarterback and two best defensive players in doubt heading into the Divisional Round. But the 49ers got good news, as Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa and Fred Warner all practiced in full Thursday and were not even listed on the final injury report.
At full strength, the 49ers are a dangerous team that can keep it close — as they did in a 30-28 loss in Week 3 — if not win outright.
In studying the DVOA profile of all Super Bowl teams since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, I found that only one of these teams profiles as a Super Bowl contender, and it’s not the Packers. If the Packers make the Super Bowl, they’d do so with the worst-rated special team in the modern era, and one of the worst defenses.
While there’s no doubt the Packers are the better team due to their quarterback, the 49ers are a more balanced team. San Francisco is one of two teams to finish the season top-five in DVOA in both rush offense and pass offense. The Packers are solid against the pass (15th in DVOA) – and should get even stronger with the return of cornerback Jaire Alexander (questionable-shoulder) – but their run defense (27th) is an issue.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers aren’t going to stop Aaron Rodgers, but they have the recipe to contain him: Getting pressure with a four-man rush.
By subtracting a defense’s blitz rate from its pressure rate, we can get a metric that measures how strong its four-man rush is. The 49ers generated pressure 24.1% of the time while blitzing just 19.8%, a difference of 4.3%, which ranks fourth in the NFL. While San Francisco’s season-long pass-defense metrics look merely average at 16th in DVOA, they are 10th from Week 10-on.
Why is this crucial? Rodgers is an expert at diagnosing the defense pre-snap, so if you’re sending extra rushers, he will find the open man and play pitch-and-catch. And if you don’t get any pressure, you may as well say night-night. Here are Rodgers numbers from a clean pocket, when blitzed, and when pressured (courtesy of PFF):
- Clean pocket: 77.3% cmp, 8.5 YPA, 29 TD, 1 INT, 123.7 rating
- Blitzed: 67.1% cmp, 7.5 YPA, 13 TD, 1 INT, 116.3 rating
- Pressured: 38.4% cmp, 5.1 YPA, 8 TD, 3 INT, 67.9 rating
In the 49ers’ 37-20 route of the Packers in the 2019 NFC Championship Game, they used the combination of a dominant running game on offense and strong pressure up front on defense. Both of those elements are present once again.
Rodgers is a tough out, and his record against the spread (ATS) at home is impeccable: He’s 69-37-4 at Lambeau Field in his career, according to our Action Labs data. However, filter for the postseason, and he becomes a more human 4-3-1.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are 25-17 (60%) ATS as a dog under Kyle Shanahan, including 17-10 (62%) ATS as a road dog.
Pick: 49ers +6 (to +5)
Elijah Mitchell has rushed for 85+ yards in eight of his 12 active games this season. The Packers held the 49ers in check on the ground without Mitchell back in Week 3, but Mitchell’s consistency and matchup — the Packers rank 27th in run defense DVOA — make him a top value in cash games despite facing a negative projected game script with his team a 5.5-point underdog.
Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder/thumb) practicing in full should cement a bounce-back spot for George Kittle, as the Packers rank top seven in DVOA against all WR positions but 28th against TEs. Take advantage of his salary drop and lock him into cash games. I would be worried about Kittle if Trey Lance was forced into action, as Kyle Shanahan would likely try to hide him even more than Garoppolo. With a big game from Kittle potentially in the cards, Garoppolo is in the contrarian GPP mix at QB.
“Wide back” Deebo Samuel continued his monster season with 13 touches for 110 yards and a TD last week. Samuel has now scored in 12 of 17 games. Due to his salary, he is expected to be only the eighth- or ninth-most highly rostered WR, making him an excellent GPP play. On FanDuel, he’s affordable in cash games at $8,600. Brandon Aiyuk has at least 55 yards and/or a TD in eight of his past nine games and is a solid option despite the tough matchup. Aiyuk is averaging 1.93 yards per route run against zone compared to 1.68 against man.
Joe Barry’s defense tends to play zone coverage at a rate slightly higher than league average, so this doesn’t set up as a particularly good spot for Juan Jennings, who is averaging 2.07 yards per route against man coverage but 1.22 against zone. Still, Jennings has caught two TDs against zone looks and projects for single-digit rostership. Here’s how the routes broke down for the rest of the 49ers’ skill-position backups last week: Kyle Juszczyk 16, Trent Sherfield 7, Travis Benjamin 4, Charlie Woerner 3, Jeff Wilson Jr. 1. Juszczyk is the best bet in Showdown slates. Benjamin is intriguing because he can be stacked with the 49ers DST in hopes of a potential double-dip kickoff or punt return TD. I’d only go there on Showdown slates, though.
Even in the frigid Lambeau climate, Aaron Rodgers is likely to come out throwing against a 49ers defense that ranks 16th in DVOA against the pass but second against the run. This, along with the absence of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (doubtful-back) makes Randall Cobb an attractive GPP dart throw at near-minimum price. Davante Adams is expected to be the second- or third-most highly rostered WR, so I would limit him to Rodgers stacks, but he should eat, as San Francisco ranks 31st in DVOA against No. 1 WRs. Rookie Ambry Thomas has played better down the stretch, grading out with at least a 65.2 PFF grade in coverage in each of his past four games after failing to earn higher than a 46.4 mark in his first six, but this is still Davante Adams and a rookie that we’re talking about.
‘Allen Lazard was third on the team in red-zone targets and makes for a strong GPP option as well. With Cobb available at a cheaper salary, Lazard could very well end up with a single-digit roster percentage. Equanimeous St. Brown, Juwann Winfree and Amari Rodgers will round out the WR corps. Winfree and St. Brown are both solid dart throw options on one-game slates. Rodgers is unlikely to see much action with Cobb back, as he primarily plays in the slot.
Josiah Deguara has been hovering around a 60% route participation rate as the starting TE in place of Robert Tonyan (IR-ACL), but the 49ers are second in DVOA against TEs. I’m fading Deguara, Marcedes Lewis, Tyler Davis and Dominique Dafney outside of Showdown slates.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are each expected to carry a similar roster percentage, which makes Jones unquestionably the better play of the two. Whereas Dillon will have to contend with the 49ers’ stingy run defense, Jones can also buoy his production in the passing game. Despite missing two games, Jones still ranks second on the team with 15 red-zone targets. Dillon is best equipped for one-game slates, preferably stacked with the Packers DST, which is the largest favorite of the weekend at -5.5. The Packers are the ideal cash-game DST on DraftKings at $3,200, but they’re hard to get up to in cash on FanDuel at $4,500.
- Cash Plays: RB Elijah Mitchell, WR Deebo Samuel, TE George Kittle, DST Green Bay Packers
- GPP Plays: QB Aaron Rodgers, QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Aaron Jones, WR Davante Adams, WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR Allen Lazard, WR Randall Cobb
DFS Cash Lineups
- QB Josh Allen $7,600 at KC
- RB Elijah Mitchell $5,800 at GB
- RB Cam Akers $5,500 at TB
- WR Tyreek Hill $6,600 vs. BUF
- WR Odell Beckham Jr. $5,300 at TB
- WR Tyler Boyd $4,800 at TEN
- TE George Kittle $5,300 at GB
- FLEX Devin Singletary $5,900 at KC
- DST Green Bay Packers $3,200 vs. SF
- QB Josh Allen $8,800 at KC
- RB Elijah Mitchell $7,300 at GB
- RB Cam Akers $5,700 at TB
- WR Deebo Samuel $8,600 at GB
- WR Odell Beckham Jr. $6,500 at TB
- WR Tyler Boyd $5,800 at TEN
- TE George Kittle $6,400 at GB
- FLEX Devin Singletary $7,200 at KC
- DST Buffalo Bills $3,500 at KC