NFL DFS and betting expert Chris Raybon runs through every Week 11 matchup to reveal his cash game and GPP recommendations as well as his spread and over/under picks. He also outlines his DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Lions at Browns
Nick Chubb returns from a stint on the COVID list and slides right into a smash spot against a Lions run defense that has been shredded for 135.7 yards per game (30th) and ranks 29th in DVOA. D’Ernest Johnson has seen only 6.5 touches per game with Chubb in the lineup since Kareem Hunt (IR-calf) went down.
With Baker Mayfield banged up and the Lions starting backup quarterback Tim Boyle, it’s unlikely the Browns have any interest or need in throwing the ball. Neither of Cleveland’s starting wide receivers — Jarvis Landry and Deonovan Peoples-Jones (questionable-groin) — logged a full practice this week, and each missed a day. The Lions do struggle against TEs, ranking 22nd in DVOA, but Austin Hooper (68%), David Njoku (61%) and Harrison Bryant (40%) have split snaps in a three-way committee.
After last week’s drubbing against Mac Jones and Co., the Browns slipped to 26th in pass defense DVOA. Still, this is a prime spot to target them against Boyle in his first ever pro start. The Browns are still a top-eight pressure defense (27.0%) and can force Boyle to speed up his clock in what are forecasted to be windy and wet conditions.
The Browns play zone at the sixth-highest rate in the NFL, so this would normally be a spot to target Kalif Raymond and T.J. Hockenson, who pace the Lions wirth 273 and 254 yards against zone coverage, respectively. However, with Boyle at the helm, I’m laying off.
This is also a week to fade D’Andre Swift, who is coming off a huge workload last week (36 touches) and could be the recipient of fewer checkdown passes with Jared Goff (oblique) out of the lineup. Jamaal Williams (thigh) is also expected to be available to spell Swift.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: RB Nick Chubb, DST Cleveland Browns
This is a spot to target the under. Both teams are bottom-six in situation-neutral pace, are dealing with injuries at quarterback, and have weak wide receiving corps.
It’s also worth noting that when the visiting team is on its second straight road game like the Lions, unders have hit at a 60% clip since 2003, according to our Action Labs data.
There are also 13 mph winds and possible rain in the forecast.
Pick: Under 42.5 (to 41.5)
49ers at Jaguars
With value all over the place, we get to experience the joy of playing Deebo Samuel in cash games this week. Cooper Kupp is on bye, which means no player on the slate is averaging more receiving yards per game than Samuel (108.8). Samuel has at least 52 scrimmage yards in every game and has caught fewer than five passes in a game just once. He is in an absolute smash spot against a Jaguars defense that has bottom-three ratings both against the pass (31st) and No. 1 wide receivers (30th).
George Kittle is a top-three TE play against a Jaguars defense that is ranked 26th in DVOA versus TEs. Kittle is averaging 8.5 targets over his last four games and has yet to haul in fewer than four receptions in a game.
Brandon Aiyuk has climbed out of Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse to run a route on at least 93% of the dropbacks in each of the past three weeks. Aiyuk is a GPP option against a Jags defense that is ranked 30th in DVOA versus WR2s. With his top three pass catches in plus matchups, Jimmy Garoppolo becomes a GPP option as well.
After breaking a finger last week, Elijah Mitchell will sit this week, giving way to Jeff Wilson to lead the backfield. Given that Shanahan has built a mansion-sized doghouse for Trey Sermon, Wilson is in play in GPPs, as he could handle upwards of 20 touches. Wilson can be stacked with the 49ers DST against a Jags offense that has scored the second-fewest points per game (16.6) and committed the fifth-most turnovers per drive (15.2%).
After being eased in his first game as a Jaguar, playing only 32% of the snaps, Dan Arnold has caught at least four passes for at least 60 yards in four of his past five games as their starting TE. Capable of hitting value without scoring, Arnold is the top cash game option at his position against a 49ers defense that’s allowed a score to a TE in two of its last three games.
The 49ers pass defense has been weakest to the left side of the field, ranking 19th in DVOA compared to sixth on the left side. Laviska Shenault Jr. leads the Jaguars with 25 targets to the left, while Marvin Jones Jr. is the team’s target leader on the right side with 29. Shenault Jr. is the preferred option this week, though I would still fade Trevor Lawrence, who only has two games above 273 yards passing all season.
Jamal Agnew bailed us out with a long rushing TD and 101 yards on five carries last week, and now it’s time to bail on him. Despite playing a season-high 76% of offensive snaps last week, Agnew’s star is fading in the passing game. Over the past three weeks, Agnew has caught just 9-of-22 targets for 65 yards and a TD.
James Robinson returned from a foot injury last week to play only 59% of the snaps, loggin 16 touches. Robinson will likely see more work this week, but he is a fade against a stout 49ers defensive front that is ranked fifth in run defense DVOA and fourth on passes to RBs.
- Cash Plays: WR Deebo Samuel, TE Dan Arnold
- GPP Plays: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Jeff Wilson, WR Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Brandon Aiyuk, TE George Kittle, DST San Francisco 49ers
This could be a trap game for casual bettors, as 78% of tickets and 81% of the money are on the 49ers at the time of this writing (check more real-time public betting data here). However, Kyle Shanahan is just 8-19-1 (30%) against the spread (ATS) as a favorite when not coming off a bye. The Jags have covered in three of their last four, but I’m still not betting on Urban Meyer.
Colts at Bills
Although Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll identified the running game as a fix to its inconsistent offense last week in a 45-17 romp of the Jets in which the Bills ran 24 times for 139 yards and four TDs, Daboll is likely to come out passing against a Colts defense that is ranked second in DVOA against the run but 24th against the pass. The Colts are bottom-20 in DVOA versus WR1s and TEs but top-12 against WR2s and non-WR1/2s, so this is a spot to target Stefon Diggs and Dawson Knox while fading Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley.
The Bills backfield devolved into a three-way timeshare last week, with Devin Singletary logging eight touches, Zack Moss logging seven, and Matt Breida logging six, so this is a situation to avoid in a tough matchup.
Buffalo’s defense is ranked No. 1 in DVOA against the pass and pressures quarterbacks at the highest rate in the league (30.6%), so this is a spot to target the Bills DST and fade Carson Wentz, whose passer rating drops 33.7 points under pressure. In Tre’Davious White (31st), Levi Wallace (29th) and Taron Johnson (7th), the Bills have three cornerbacks ranked inside the top 35 of PFF’s grades for the position. This is a rare week to fade Michael Pittman, and its not the time to get cute by playing T.Y. Hilton or Zach Pascal, either.
The lone Colts player worth rostering is Jonathan Taylor, who is averaging 22.0 touches per game over his last four. With that type of usage, he can overcome a rough matchup against a Bills defense that is ranked third in DVOA against the run and 10th on passes to RBs.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Josh Allen, RB Jonathan Taylor, WR Stefon Diggs, TE Dawson Knox, DST Buffalo Bills
This line looks about right to me, though it is worth noting Frank Reich is 4-13-1 (24%) ATS coming off a multi-game winning streak. There’s big money on the under here with 91% of money compared to only 51% of tickets, but referee Brad Rogers’ games tend to find a way to hit the over, doing so in 26 of his 36 career games (72%).
Dolphins at Jets
The Jets are ranked 31st in DVOA against the run, 32nd against the pass, and 22nd or worse against every position in the passing game. This is a spot to target Tua Tagovailoa, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki and Myles Gaskin — Gaskin may actually crack 3.0 yards per carry and Gesicki may actually catch a pass.
The Jets will start Joe Flacco, who led them to a rousing grand total of zero points against Brian Flores’ defense last October. After stymieing the Ravens offense in a 22-10 win last Thursday, the Dolphins are up to 14th in run defense DVOA and 17th in pass defense DVOA. This is a spot to target their DST.
Given that the Jets failed to score the last time Flacco started against Miami and the Dolphins have been above-average against RBs, I’m fading Michael Carter this week; there are too many other affordable options with higher ceilings.
The Dolphins the second-most man coverage in the league, so the lone Jet worth targeting is Elijah Moore. The rookie leads the Jets in targets (17) versus man coverage, and leads the team’s top three WRs in yards per route run versus man (1.34). Moore still has a frustrating low floor because he customarily runs fewer routes than Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole. All three of the latter are competing for looks with Moore, but there’s no point in targeting veterans on a bad team in a somewhat difficult matchup.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Tua Tagovailoa, RB Myles Gaskin, WR Jaylen Waddle, WR Elijah Moore, TE Mike Gesicki, DST Miami Dolphins
The Jets offense will likely be listless against a suddenly decent Dolphins defense. And while the Dolphins offense should be able to exploit the Jets’ bottom-ranked defense, laying more than a field goal with a 3-7 team in a divisional road game will end poorly more often than not.
Football Team at Panthers
Priced at just $5,100 at DraftKings, Cam Newton is effectively a cash game free square as he gets set to take on a Washington defense ranked 27th in overall DVOA and 29th against the pass.
After Robby Anderson got going last week, Newton and the Panthers will likely look to get D.J. Moore reinvolved this week against a Washington defense ranked 22nd in DVOA versus No. 1 wideouts. With his price dropping to a season low, it’s time to buy back in on Moore.
The Panthers are the top DST play on the board at just $2,700 on DraftKings and $4,100 on FanDuel. The Panthers are all the way up to third in DVOA and can lock up outside, which could spell trouble for Taylor Heinicke, who tends to lock on to his first read.
In GPPs, the Panthers DST is stackable with Christian McCaffrey, who doesn’t need to play the whole game or score a TD to go off in fantasy. CMC should eat against a Washington defense ranked 21st in DVOA on passes to RBs.
Logan Thomas was drafted as a top-10 TE in fantasy because he runs a route on 90% of Washington dropbacks, and the team’s TE usage didn’t change when Ricky Seals-Jones was inserted. With Thomas still on IR and Seals-Jones ruled out, John Bates is next up. Bates — a fourth-round pick out of Boise State with an 88th-percentile agility score, per PlayerProfiler — caught three passes for 25 yards despite playing only 36% of the snaps last week. Carolina’s deep cornerback group is likely to lock up Washington’s WRs, which gives Bates some viability as a cash game punt play on DraftKings at $2,500.
Terry McLaurin is a high-ceiling low floor GPP in this matchup, as the Panthers are ranked second in pass defense DVOA but 29th against WR1s. You would expect that to improve with Stefon Gilmore added to what has already been an elite cornerback group, but there aren’t many places for the ball to go in this offense. Curtis Samuel (questionable-groin) could be back, but he’ll be splitting reps with DeAndre Carter, Adam Humphries and Dyami Brown.
The Panthers set up as a run funnel defense, ranking second in DVOA against the pass but 19th versus the run, so Antonio Gibson will likely get as much work as he can handle. Gibson is averaging 17.1 touches per game but could approach the 26 he saw coming out of the bye last week.
- Cash Plays: QB Cam Newton, TE John Bates, DST Carolina Panthers
- GPP Plays: RB Christian McCaffrey, RB Antonio Gibson, WR Terry McLaurin, WR D.J. Moore
This is my favorite under of the week.
The Panthers are third in both defensive DVOA and pressure rate (27.8%). Their elite group of cornerbacks should be able to stymie Tyler Heinicke, who tends to lock into his first read. On the other side of the ball, Carolina wants to run, and its 54% rush rate on early downs over the past four weeks ranks fourth-highest. Washington, however, is No. 6 in run defense DVOA and second in rushing success rate allowed on early downs (40%), according to Sharp Football Stats. Even without Chase Young (ACL) and Montez Sweat (jaw), Washington should still be able to field a respectable run defense.
Washington has gone under in four straight games while Carolina has gone under in three of the past four.
On top of that, this game will be refereed by Bill Vinovich, whose games have historically been kind to under bettors.
Pick: Under 43 (to 43)
Ravens at Bears
The Bears play man coverage at the fifth-highest rate in the league, giving Mark Andrews the edge as the top pass-catcher to stack with Lamar Jackson (questionable-illness) this week — Andrews leads the Ravens in targets (20), catches (13), yards (134) and TDs (2) versus man coverage. And with Marquise Brown out, Rashod Bateman becomes one of the top WR values on the board. Bateman is averaging 4.5 catches for 60.3 yards per game in his first four game as a pro and is a cost effective GPP option.
The Ravens generate pressure at the second-highest rate in the NFL, so this is a spot to target their DST — even if you can’t reliably pair it with Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman, who figure to split the backfield snaps with Murray back and Le’Veon Bell released. The Bears are ranked 21st in DVOA against the run, but we have no way of knowing how carries will be divided up in Baltimore’s backfield.
With Allen Robinson out, Darnell Mooney and Marquise Goodwin will get opportunities against the Ravens’ man-heavy scheme. They can be stacked with Justin Fields, who can also be rostered solo due to his increased scrambling production. After scrambling one time or fewer in each of his first three starts, Fields has scrambled at least five times in each of his past four outings. The rookie has seen his rushing production climb from 8.3 yards per game over his first three to 57.3 over his last four.
Cole Kmet came on with six catches for 87 yards against Pittsburgh in Chicago’s last game and is a GPP dart throw option against a Ravens defense that is allowing 72.7 schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game to TEs, third-most.
David Montgomery is too cheap at $5,500 on DraftKings. Montgomery returned to play 85% of the snaps before the bye. The Ravens are ranked a middling 15th in run defense DVOA and 31st in DVOA on passes to RBs.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Lamar Jackson, QB Justin Fields, RB David Montgomery, WR Darnell Mooney, WR Rashod Bateman, WR Marquise Goodwin, TE Cole Kmet, DST Baltimore Ravens
Surprisingly, Jim Harbaugh hasn’t been great off a loss, compiling an ATS record of just 21-28-2 (43%). Still, the Ravens are likely to bounce back. Plus it’s difficult to back Justin Fields, who ranks 36th of 37 qualifiers in passer rating under pressure (35.3), against a defense that generates pressure at the second-highest rate (28.5%).
Saints at Eagles
Mark Ingram II saw 14 carries and seven targets on an 85% snap rate last week in place of Alvin Kamara. With Kamara (knee) out again, Ingram is the top cash game value on the board against an Eagles defense that is ranked 20th in run defense DVOA.
This is another spot to target Deonte Harris. The Eagles play zone at the fourth-highest rate, and Harris’ 3.59 yards per route run versus zone ranks third of 130 players with at least eight targets this season. As Harris’ value is tied to racking up a ton of receptions rather than huge yardage, he doesn’t need to be stacked with Trevor Siemian, who offers nothing in the way of rushing production.
Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway ran a route on 90% and 78% of the team’s dropbacks last week, but both don’t see as many targets as Harris versus zone coverage and work to cancel eachother out on the perimeter. Adam Trautman has been leading Saints TEs in routes run, but is yet to offer a usable fantasy game all season.
This is a solid matchup for Jalen Hurts, as the Saints will either have to dial back their man coverage looks or risk Hurts running all over them with their defenders’ backs turned in coverage. It will be tough to pinpoint which receiver to pair with Hurts, however, so he is best played solo. DeVonta Smith could have trouble with Marshon Lattimore, and may draw double teams after erupting for three TDs over the past two weeks. Dallas Goedert was removed from the injury report, but has to deal with a defense that is ranked fourth in DVOA versus TEs. Saints slot corner P.J. Williams has earned a top-five PFF grade and should be able to lock up Quez Watkins, which leaves the only option as Jalen Reagor. The second-year pro will likely spend most of his time matched up with rookie Paulsen Adebo, who ranks 108th of 119 qualifiers in PFF’s cornerback grades.
The Saints rank first in run defense DVOA and have allowed just 2.9 yards per carry to RBs, so this is a week to fade the Eagles backfield, especially with the uncertainty of usage surrounding the return of Miles Sanders (ankle), who was activated from IR on Saturday.
- Cash Plays: RB Mark Ingram II
- GPP Plays: QB Jalen Hurts, WR Deonte Harris, WR Jalen Reagor
Though life will be tough without Alvin Kamara — and despite the Saints getting upset by Jalen Hurts last season, 24-21, in Philly — there is death, there are taxes, and there is a Sean Payton-coached team finding a way to win a game it’s not supposed to.
Pick: Lean Saints +130 (to +105)
Texans at Titans
D’Onta Foreman is worth targeting in GPPs after he was the Titans’ most productive running back last week, gaining 78 yards from scrimmage on 13 touches. And for the second week in a row, Foreman was the Titans’ most efficient running back as well. Since Derrick Henry has gone down, Foreman is averaging 5.9 yards per touch (18-107) while Jeremy McNichols averaged 3.0 (14-42) and Adrian Peterson averaged 2.4 (20-48). Most importantly, Foreman led the backfield in snaps for the first time last week, playing 35% of the offensive downs while Peterson played 33% and McNichols played 27%. At this rate, Foreman’s usage is likely to increase, and there’s an outside shot he is used in a Henry-like workhorse role if he continues to outperform a washed AP.
The Titans are double-digit home favorites against the Texans, so this is the perfect spot for a lead back to go off in fantasy. This is also a #RevengeGame for Foreman, who was let go by the Texans two years after selecting him with the 89th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Also helping Foreman’s cause is the absence of passing-down back McNichols, who was ruled out with a concussion. Houston’s defense sets up as a run funnel, ranking 14th in DVOA against the pass but 27th versus the run.
The Texans defense is ranked sixth in DVOA versus WR1s but has still allowed the seventh-most schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game to the position (78.3), so this could be a get right spot for A.J. Brown. I wouldn’t chase Marcus Johnson’s 5/100/0 line from last week, as he ran a route on only 60% of Ryan Tannehill’s dropbacks while Nick Westbrook-Ikhene (50%), Chester Rogers (37%), and Dez Fitapatrick (22%) all mixed in.
At TE, Geoff Swaim was ruled out with a concussion, but this is still a committee with Anthony Firsker and MyCole Pruitt splitting reps.
After he busted out of the gates with averages of 7.7 catches, 107.3 yards and 0.33 TDs over his first three games, Brandin Cooks cooled off, posting an average stat line of 5.7/53.2/0.17 in the next six games. However, Cooks is averaging 9.4 yards per target with Tyrod Taylor compared to 6.9 with Davis Mills, so Cook’s prospects are looking up now that Taylor is back in the lineup after missing much of the season with a hamstring injury. Cooks could post monster numbers against a Titans defense that’s allowed double-digit catches to the two alpha receivers it has faced over the past three weeks — 10/86/2 to Michael Pittman in Week 8 and 11/95/0 to Cooper Kupp in Week 9.
Taylor is an intriguing GPP option based solely on his rushing ability. With a bye week to shake off the rust and get back on the same page with his receivers after a long hiatus due to an injured hamstring and an uncharacteristic three-interception outing against the Dolphins, Taylor may more closely resemble the QB who went 31-of-44 for 416 yards passing with three TDs and no interceptions while adding 55 yards and a TD on the ground through the first 1.5 weeks of the season.
The Titans are 21st in DVOA versus No. 2 wide receivers, so this could be a breakout game for Nico Collins. It’s usually a +EV move to target rookie WRs coming off a bye.
The Texans’ TE depth is a black hole, with Jordan Akins, Pharaoh Brown, rookie Brevin Jordan and blocker Antony Auclair likely to split snaps. Texans TEs may not rush for too many fewer yards than the team’s similarly dire collection of RBs. They have four backs on the roster — David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay, Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman — and none have cracked 40 rushing yards in a game this season.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Tyrod Taylor, RB D’Onta Foreman, WR A.J. Brown, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Nico Collins
The Titans offense hasn’t done much since Derrick Henry went down, averaging just 229.0 total yards and 16.5 first downs over the past two games compared to 377.1 total yards and 23.1 first downs over the first eight. On the other side, Tyrod Taylor completed 70% of his passes for 9.5 yards per attempt with four total touchdowns and only one turnover prior to injuring in hamstring in Week 2, and he should be closer to pre-injury form following the bye week.
Underdogs in this spot that were held to fewer than 10 points in their last game tend to bounce back ATS in their next game, compiling a 63% ATS win rate since 2003.
That trend includes an 82-52 (61%) ATS record in divisional matchups.
Pick: Texans +10 (to +8.5)
Packers at Vikings
With Aaron Jones hurt for the first time this season and Jamaal Williams no longer there to cockblock a featured role for A.J. Dillon, the second-year pro is a smash play in cash games against a Vikings defense that DVOA rates as a bottom-five unit against the run.
Here are Davante Adams’ last four lines against the Vikings, starting from the most recent:
Adams has posted 100 yards and/or a TD in each of his past eight meetings with Mike Zimmer’s defense dating back to 2016. With value at the other positions, I’m locking in Adams in cash games this week and throwing away the key.
I’m fading Aaron Rodgers, however, as the Vikings generate pressure at the fifth-highest rate (27.4%) and Rodgers’ 39.0 passer rating under pressure ranks 35th of 37 qualified quarterbacks. Rodgers also isn’t likely to get much help from Randall Cobb and Marquez Valdes-Scantling against a Vikings defense that is ranked sixth in pass defense DVOA.
This isn’t a blowup spot for Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Co.: The Packers are ranked eighth in pass defense DVOA, and Cousins hasn’t topped 259 yards or two TDs in his last four meetings with Green Bay. Packers cornerback Kevin King has earned top-10 marks from PFF, and Green Bay is ranked top-five in DVOA on passes to both the left and right side. The Packers are first in DVOA versus non-WR1/2s but 23rd against TEs and did give up 52.8% of Russell Wilson’s passing yardage to TEs last week, so the one player I would consider in the Vikings passing game is Tyler Conklin, who caught two TDs last week and caught five passes in each of the two games prior.
This is a smash spot for Dalvin Cook, as the Packers set up as a run funnel, ranking eighth in DVOA against the pass but 22nd versus the run. Cook is averaging 22.5 touches per game and went off for 226 yards and four TDs on 32 touches the last time these two teams met.
- Cash Plays: RB A.J. Dillon, WR Davante Adams
- GPP Plays: RB Dalvin Cook, TE Tyler Conklin
Like many NFL teams with veteran head coaches, you want to bet them when everyone else is counting them out. That scenario is usually presented either when the team is (a) coming off a loss or (b) when the team is an underdog. Last week the Vikings covered coming off of a loss. And this week, I’m betting that they do the same as underdogs.
Since taking over in 2015, Mike Zimmer has led his team to a 62% ATS win rate as an underdog, including a 4-1 record this season.
The Vikings are also at home, and the underlying metrics suggest they are the better team, as they rank ninth in overall DVOA while the Packers clock in at 12th.
This will be a tough test for Aaron Rodgers, as Minnesota generates pressure at the fifth-highest rate (27.4%), while Rodgers’ 39.0 passer rating under pressure ranks third-worst of 37 qualified quarterbacks.
This contest also takes place in the early window, which is when Kirk Cousins tends to surprise people.
Pick: Vikings +1 (to PK)
Bengals at Raiders
Another week, another play on Hunter Renfrow in cash games.
In both games without Henry Ruggs, Renfrow has nine targets, seven catches and a TD. In fact, Renfrow has caught seven passes in three straight games and has caught at least five passes in all but one game this season. The Bengals play zone at the 11th-highest rate, and Renfrow leads the Raiders in targets (38), catches (31), and yards (294) versus zone coverage.
After erupting for 10 catches, 105 yards and a TD on a whopping 19 targets in Week 1, Darren Waller has been disappointing, averaging a 4.9/55.6/ 0.14 line from Week 2 on. Waller hasn’t found the end zone since Week 4 and has topped 65 yards just once in his last seven games. Waller has still been a high-floor commodity, catching at least four passes in every game and cracking the 50-yard mark in seven of nine. With a declining price, he’s still worth playing in GPPs, as he won’t kill you even if he doesn’t go off.
Derek Carr has thrown multiple TD passes in seven of nine games and passed for at least 296 in six of nine. He is a GPP option against a Bengals defense that ranks bottom-five in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. Carr is unlikely to have as much success targeting Bryan Edwards, however, as Edwards is averaging just 0.86 yards per route run versus zone compared to 2.73 against man. Edwards and Zay Jones should be avoided until we know how (or if?) DeSean Jackson’s role will grow going forward.
This is a matchup to fade Josh Jacobs, as the Bengals set up as a pass funnel, ranking 10th in DVOA versus the run but 21st through the air. Jacobs has promisingly seen an increased receiving workload, but he has struggled to stay healthy for the duration of games and isn’t worth the headache with RB value abound this week. Further complicating matters for Jacobs is that Kenyan Drake’s touches are also up to 9.8 per game in four games under interim coach Rich Bisaccia compared to 7.4 per game in five games under former coach Jon Gruden.
This is a week to stack Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins with Joe Burrow while fading Tyler Boyd and C.J. Uzomah. The Raiders play zone at the second-highest rate, and Chase (2.01) and Higgins (2.34) average more than two yards per route run versus zone while Boyd averages 1.55 and Uzomah averages 0.93.
The Bengals also figure to give the Raiders a heavy dose of Joe Mixon, as Cincinnati’s coaching staff has identified the run game as a point of emphasis coming out of the bye. The Raiders are ranked a middling 16th in run defense DVOA and aren’t a prohibitive matchup for Mixon, who is averaging 19.1 touches for 92.3 yards and 1.0 TDs per game.
- Cash Plays: WR Hunter Renfrow
- GPP Plays: QB Joe Burrow, QB Derek Carr, RB Joe Mixon, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tee Higgins, TE Darren Waller
Like Vikings-Packers, this is another spot in which we’re getting the better team as a home dog, as the Raiders rank 23rd in overall DVOA while the Bengals rank 25th.
Schematically, the Raiders match up well on defense with the Bengals because the Raiders plays zone coverage at the second-highest rate in the league under Gus Bradley, who leans on Cover 3. Bengals receivers are destroying man coverage to the tune of 11.9 yards per target and a 12.5% TD rate, but those figures dip to 8.6 and 2.1% against zone, respectively.
There’s also the fact that under Zac Taylor, the Bengals are 4-15-1 (21%) straight-up on the road. This is a coin-flip game that I believe the Raiders are slightly more likely to win.
Pick: Raiders +1 (to PK)
Cardinals at Seahawks
With Chase Edmonds (ankle) on IR, DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) ruled out and Kyler Murray (ankle) once again a game-time call, James Conner figures to again be the Cardinals offensive centerpiece. Conner is a top-three cash game play at RB against a Seahawks defense that ranks in the bottom-three in 4for4’s schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs. Over the past two weeks, Conner is averaging 19.5 touches for 118.5 yards and 2.0 TDs.
Don’t look now, but Seattle has two cornerbacks in the top 45 of PFF’s grades: D.J. Reed Jr. (33rd) and impressive rookie Tre Brown (42nd). The Seahawks play zone at the third-highest rate and are weak in the slot with third-year man Ugo Amadi (99th), so this is a spot to target Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore, who are top-two for the Cardinals in targets, catches, and yards versus zone as well as in routes run from the slot. Perimeter WRs A.J. Green and Antoine Wesley are likely to struggle to find soft spots in the defense. Zach Ertz is also a GPP option — he’s averaging 1.03 yards per route run against man this season, but 1.76 against zone.
Getting Russell Wilson at $7,300 on FanDuel is essentially the same as getting Cam Newton at $5,100 on DraftKings — a free square. I’m playing Wilson in cash games on FanDuel this week. As mentioned in my betting blurb, Wilson is as good a bet as any QB in the league to bounce back after last week’s embarrassing shutout.
This is a blowup spot for D.K. Metcalf, who most often lines up on the left side, meaning he should draw RCB Marco Wilson in coverage. Wilson is ranked 111th of 119 qualifiers in PFF’s cornerback grades and has allowed a passer rating of 130.7 this season. LCB Louis Murphy Jr. has done a better job of keeping it together, ranking 62nd of 119 and allowing a passer rating of just 72.5. Tyler Lockett is always liable to make a big play, but Metcalf has the clear matchup edge here. Freddie Swain and rookie Dee Eskridge will split WR3 duties; none is worth a play. This isn’t the week to chase Gerald Everett’s 8/63/0 line, as the Cardinals are ranked No. 2 in DVOA against opposing TEs.
Seattle is running a league-low 55.7 plays per game on offense and Arizona is ranked eighth in run defense DVOA, so there isn’t enough upside to playing Alex Collins, who could see 15-20 carries but doesn’t offer much in the way of PPR value. Collins’ high in routes run per dropback over the past four games is just 38%, as Travis Homer is the team’s preferred two-minute back. There is also talk of Rashaad Penny getting more involved, though I’ll believe that when I see it.
- Cash Plays: QB Russell Wilson, RB James Conner
- GPP Plays: WR D.K. Metcalf, WR Christian Kirk, WR Rondale Moore, TE Zach Ertz
Just when you’re ready to count the Seahawks out, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson tend to find a way, cashing spread tickets at a 67% clip coming off a loss.
I should also note that it has been extremely profitable to back teams that got shut out in their previous game.
Wilson and D.K. Metcalf should be able to feast on cornerback Marco Wilson, who has allowed a passer rating north of 130.
On the other side of the ball, Arizona has already ruled out DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring). And with the Rams sputtering over the last two weeks before going on bye this week, there’s no way the 8-2 Cardinals can enter their bye next week without the NFC West lead. That could impact how much they are willing to do with Kyler Murray (ankle), who is a game-time decision.
Pick: Seahawks +1.5 (to PK)
Cowboys at Chiefs
With Amari Cooper on the COVID list, Michael Gallup becomes the highest-upside cheap WR on the slate. Due to his projected rostership, I would pivot to Cedrick Wilson and Dalton Schultz in some Dak Prescott stacks. CeeDee Lamb is a top-five WR play this week with Cooper out. Thanks to some personnel changes over the past few weeks, the Chiefs pass defense has improved from abysmal to merely very bad and still ranks 27th in DVOA.
Ezekiel Elliott is set up well in this spot, as the Chiefs rate as a bottom-five run defense by DVOA. Elliott is averaging 18.7 touches for 92.4 yards and 0.89 TDs per game. Tony Pollard has mixed in for 12.8 touches for 72.1 yards and is a GPP option as well. He is due for TD regression after finding paydirt just once on 106 touches through the first 10 weeks of the season.
Patrick Mahomes got right for 406 yards and five TDs through the air last week, and though he may struggle to replicate those gaudy numbers against a Cowboys defense that ranks third in DVOA against the pass, he will still have to throw to keep pace with Dallas’ high-powered offense. That puts himself, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce into prime GPP consideration, per usual.
The Cowboys play the eighth-most man coverage, so even though the Chiefs have been unpredictably rotating WRs behind Hill. Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle, Josh Gordon and Demarcus Robinson are all splitting reps, but Hardman is the only viable option here. He’s averaging 1.63 yards per route run versus man coverage, more than Pringle (0.54), Robinson (0.39) and Gordon (0.00) combined.
The Cowboys rank just 18th in run defense DVOA, but the Chiefs backfield is a fade with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) slated to return from a stint on IR.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Dak Prescott, QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Ezekiel Elliott, RB Tony Pollard, WR Tyreek Hill, WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Michael Gallup, WR Cedrick Wilson, TE Travis Kelce, TE Dalton Schultz
This line is about right. The Chiefs are probably more likely to win this game, but it’s enough of a toss-up that they aren’t getting the full field goal. The Cowboys tend to be public darlings, and they’re currently getting 53% of the tickets and 63% of the bets, making a +3 highly unlikely.
DFS Cash Lineups
- QB Cam Newton $5,100 vs. WAS
- RB A.J. Dillon $6,200 at MIN
- RB James Conner $6,100 at SEA
- WR Davante Adams $8,400 at MIN
- WR Deebo Samuel $7,800 at JAX
- WR Hunter Renfrow $5,800 vs. CIN
- TE John Bates $2,500 at CAR
- FLEX Mark Ingram II $5,400 at PHI
- DST Carolina Panthers $2,700 vs. WAS
- QB Russell Wilson $7,300 vs. ARI
- RB James Conner $7,200 at SEA
- RB A.J. Dillon $7,000 at MIN
- WR Davante Adams $8,400 at MIN
- WR Deebo Samuel $7,600 at JAX
- WR Hunter Renfrow $6,100 vs. CIN
- TE Dan Arnold $5,400 vs. SF
- FLEX Mark Ingram II $6,800 at PHI
- DST Carolina Panthers $4,100 vs. WAS