NFL DFS expert Chris Raybon breaks down every matchup on Sunday afternoon’s Week 9 slate, with cash game and GPP plays for each, plus his DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Texans at Dolphins
After Tua Tagovailoa was involved in trade rumors with the Texans over the past few weeks, we should see Angry Tua here. Even if motivation weren’t a factor, though, this would be a smash spot for him.
Tagovailoa has a 35.4 passer rating under pressure but a 108.9 rating when kept clean, per Pro Football Focus, while the Texans have generated pressure only 19.3% of the time, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL, according to Pro Football Reference Advanced Stats.
The Texans play zone at the fourth-highest rate, which makes Mike Gesicki the most likely Dolphins pass catcher to have a blowup game. Gesicki has caught 24-of-27 targets for a team-leading 300 yards against zone. Unsurprisingly given Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 scheme, the Texans are 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA versus TEs.
Jaylen Waddle leads the Dolphins in targets (40) and catches (27) against zone coverage, but he’s averaging just 7.4 against those looks, which relegates him to a DraftKings-only play for me.
Myles Gaskin is averaging 17.0 touches over his past two games and finally has a chance for some positive game script as a six-point home favorite against a Texans defense that is ranked 31st in DVOA against the run.
For the Texans, Tyrod Taylor makes his return and should give a boost to Brandin Cooks against a Miami defense that is ranked 20th in DVOA and 24th in schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game allowed to No. 1 wide receivers despite the presence of cornerback Xavien Howard, whose PFF grade of 59.4 ranks just 75th of 115 qualified cornerbacks this year.
The Dolphins are ranked 31st in DVOA against non-No. 1 and 2 wide receivers and 20th against TEs, but the Texans use platoons at every spot beyond Cooks, with Danny Amendola (64% of snaps last week, Nico Collins (64%), Chris Conley (41%), and Chris Moore (25%) splitting time at WR and Jordin Akins (64%), Brevin Jordan (25%) and Antony Auclair (25%) splitting time at TE.
The story is similar at RB, with Rex Burkhead (49%), Scottie Phillips (25%), David Johnson (18%) and Phillip Lindsay (13%) all seeing action.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Tua Tagovailoa, QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Myles Gaskin, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Jaylen Waddle, TE Mike Gesicki
The Texans have been much better with Tyrod Taylor, but Tua Tagovailoa has smashed bad defenses.
Broncos at Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott is a cash game play on DraftKings at $7,000 against a Broncos defense that is ranked 27th in DVOA against the run. Since the start of last season, Elliott is averaging 21.6 touches for 104.1 yards and 1.09 TDs per game in 11 games with Dak Prescott compared to 18.5 touches for 77.6 yards and 0.18 TDs per game in 11 games without the Cowboys QB.
After a full week of practice and ample rest from his Week 6 calf injury, Prescott is a smash play in GPPs at just $7,900 on FanDuel and $6,900 on DraftKings.
Because the Broncos play man coverage at the highest rate in the league, Amari Cooper has the best chance of a blowup game here. Cooper leads the Cowboys with 21 targets and 14 catches against man coverage by a significant margin over CeeDee Lamb, who has 14 targets and eight catches versus man. Cooper is one of the top values on the board at $5,700 on DraftKings and $6,900 on FanDuel.
Dalton Schultz is averaging 5.2 catches for 59.8 yards and 0.5 TDs on 6.2 targets in six games with Prescott throwing him the ball. He should continue to be productive with fellow TE Blake Jarwin out with a hip injury.
Only two Broncos’ opponents have scored more than 23 points this season, while the Cowboys are third in the NFL at 32.1 points per game. That means Teddy Bridgewater could see more trailing game script than usual.
The Cowboys have improved from 21st to seventh in pass defense DVOA under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, but they have been vulnerable on passes to the deep left and deep middle, where they rank 32nd and 28th in DVOA, respectively.
Cortland Sutton leads the Broncos with a 37.1% market share of targets to the deep left and middle, while Jerry Jeudy has seen 36.3% of his targets on the season come in those areas of the field. Meanwhile, only 14.3% of Tim Patrick’s targets have been in those areas.
With Noah Fant out, second-year pass-catching TE Albert Okwuegbunam becomes a viable dart throw against a Cowboys defense that is ranked 29th in DVOA against TEs. In his young career, Okwuebunam has been targeted on 23.7% of his routes and racked up 1.8 yards per route run, both of which are superior to Fant’s marks this season (20.7%, 1.3).
The Broncos two-headed RB committee of Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams will continue to be a fade as long as they are splitting work nearly evenly. Through eight weeks, Gordon is averaging 13.3 touches per game, while Williams is at 12.3. The matchup is also tough, as Dallas is ranked 11th in run defense DVOA and sixth in DVOA on passes to RBs.
- Cash Plays: RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Amari Cooper
- GPP Plays: QB Dak Prescott, WR Amari Cooper, WR Courtland Sutton, WR Jerry Jeudy, TE Dalton Schultz, TE Albert Okwuebunam
This number is an overreaction to the Von Miller trade, as I have it at 7.5 while our PRO projections make it 6.6. The Cowboys will be without left tackle Tyron Smith, which bumps their offense down despite getting Dak Prescott back at QB. With Jerry Jeudy healthy at WR and little drop-off from Noah Fant (out-COVID-19) to Albert Okquebunam at TE, the Broncos’ 13th-ranked offense in DVOA should be able to score enough points to keep the game close or get a backdoor cover.
Another thing working in Denver’s favor with Teddy Bridgewater at QB is that he knows how to manage the game and limit turnovers, as the Broncos have turned it over multiple times in only one game. This is key vs. a Dallas defense that has lived off turnovers, forcing a takeaway on 17.5% of opponent’s drives, third-most.
Bridgewater’s game-managing prowess has allowed him to thrive against the spread (ATS) in these spots, going 23-5 ATS (82%) on the road in his career, according to our Action Labs data.
Bridgewater is 7-1 ATS as a road underdog of 7 or more and 4-0 ATS as a road dog of 8-plus.
Pick: Broncos +10 (to + 8)
Vikings at Ravens
Lamar Jackson is the top QB value on the board and top cash game play at the position this week.
While the Vikings are third in pass defense DVOA on the season, they are coming off a listless performance that saw them shredded by Cooper Rush for 325 yards and two touchdowns in his first ever NFL start. Minnesota also lost top pass rusher Danielle Hunter in total pressures (31), hurries (22), and sacks (six).
The Vikings are allowing the fifth-fewest DraftKings and FanDuel points per game to tight ends but the seventh-most to WRs, so this is a spot to target Marquise Brown over Mark Andrews. I’m also fading Rashod Bateman this week, as he failed to practice Friday with a groin injury after missing the start of the season with the same issue. Sammy Watkins, Devin Duvernay and James Proche will also continue to share WR reps with Bateman behind Brown.
The Ravens run game should get a big boost with blocking TE Nick Boyle slated to make his return, but the backfield unfortunately consists of dog-housed second-year man Ty’Son Williams and Madden 17 all-stars Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman. In Week 7 without Latavius Murray (out-ankle), Freeman played 40% of the snaps, Bell 30% and Williams 29%.
Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s scheme features the NFL’s fourth-highest rate of man coverage and fifth-highest blitz rate (32.5%) while generating pressure at the sixth-highest clip (27.0%).
Kirk Cousins has been fine against the blitz with a 95.6 passer rating, but has struggled against pressure overall with a 63.0 rating. With the total sitting at 50, Cousins is in play as a GPP option who could have a big game if the Vikings fall behind.
Justin Jefferson should bounce back against the Ravens’ man-heavy scheme, as he leads the team in targets (24), receptions (19), and yards (285) — well ahead of Adam Thielen (16/12/191). Thielen is still in play due to his penchant for finding the end zone — he has 20 TDs in 22 games since the start of last season.
Tyler Conklin has what appears to be a good matchup on paper against a Ravens defense that has allowed the most receiving yards per game to TEs (77.9), but much of that production came against studs like Darren Waller and Travis Kelce. Conklin has only nine targets and five catches against man coverage this season, which are fewer than K.J. Osborn (11, nine). With that, I’m fading Conklin for Osborn when stacking Cousins with one of his cheaper receivers.
Dalvin Cook’s price has come down just in time to face a Ravens defense that is a middling 15th in DVOA against the run and an abysmal 31st in DVOA on targets to the position. Cook is in an underrated blowup spot here.
- Cash Plays: QB Lamar Jackson
- GPP Plays: QB Kirk Cousins, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Adam Thielen, WR Marquise Brown, WR K.J. Osborn
John Harbaugh is 9-4 (69%) ATS off a bye, but Mike Zimmer is 32-16 (67%) ATS off a loss.
Patriots at Panthers
Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady has clearly seen enough of Sam Darnold, dialing up 47 run plays last week and perhaps sabotaging Darnold with a designed run that got him concussed a play after a Darnold run on which he … almost got concussed.
Complicating matters for the Panthers passing game is that Bill Belichick’s defense continue to force offenses to play left-handed, ranking fourth in DVOA against No. 1 WRs, which is bad news for D.J. Moore. On the other side Robby Anderson has dropped four passes in his last three games and has caught under 40% of his passes on the season.
Rookie Terrace Marshall should make his return from a concussion but is averaging only 19.3 yards per game this season. Ian Thomas hasn’t found the end zone yet while Tommy Tremble hasn’t cleared 30 yards. The only options here are whomever starts at RB (Christian McCaffrey or Chuba Hubbard) and the Patriots DST.
Mac Jones, Jakobi Meyers, Hunter Henry and company could be in for a nightmare day, as well, as the Panther rank sixth in pass defense DVOA and fourth in pressure rate (28.2%). The Panthers do set up as somewhat of a run funnel, ranking 13 spots lower in DVOA against the run than the pass. That means Damien Harris is the only option here besides the Patriots DST.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: RB Damien Harris, RB Christian McCaffrey, RB Chuba Hubbard (if McCaffrey sits), DST Panthers, DST Patriots
Ugly under of the week alert: The Panthers are averaging just 269.5 total yards and 148.4 net passing yards over their last few games. Even if Christian McCaffrey makes his return, this will still be a under-type of game, as the Panthers are now committed to hiding Sam Darnold at all costs, dialing up 47 runs in last week’s win over the Falcons. Carolina’s best pass catcher, D.J. Moore, will struggle for production against a Belichick scheme that looks to take away the opponent’s No. 1 option and has been successful at doing so, ranking fourth in DVOA against opposing No. 1 wide receivers.
On the other side of the ball, this is a scary road spot for Mac Jones. The Panthers are ranked sixth in pass defense DVOA and boast three cornerbacks in the top 50 (A.J. Bouye, 33rd; Keith Taylor, 37th; Donte Jackson, 48th) — not to mention former Patriot Stephon Gilmore, who notched the game-sealing interception for the Panthers last week and would rank first among all corners if he had enough snaps to qualify. The Panthers also have linebacker Shaq Thompson, who is ranked second among all linebackers in PFF grade, back in the fold after he missed Weeks 5-7. Overall, Carolina’s defense ranks second in yards per play (5.0) and yards per game (295.6) allowed.
Given the tough matchup and rookie QB, Belichick will likely play conservative and rely on his defense here, which is what he’s been doing on the road for years now, resulting in Patriots unders hitting at a 65% clip over the past five-plus seasons.
Pick: Under 41.5 (to 41)
Bills at Jaguars
Stefon Diggs is cash-viable on FanDuel at $7,600 against a Jaguars defense that is ranked 23rd in DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers and 32nd in pass-defense DVOA overall. The Jaguars play man coverage at the seventh-highest rate, and Diggs has 29 targets against man coverage, while Cole Beasley (11) and Emmanuel Sanders (10) have combined for just fewer.
The Jaguars have allowed the lowest rate of explosive runs and the highest rate of explosive passes. That means even though the Bills are 14.5-point favorites, this is not a game to fade Josh Allen for game script reasons and look to the committee of Zack Moss and Devin Singletary instead.
If you’re looking for a contrarian play on the Bills side of things, tight end Tommy Sweeney ran a route on 72% of Allen’s dropbacks last week and could hit as a punt option.
The Bills defense is generating pressure on an NFL-high 31.4% of dropbacks, making BIlls DST a superior play to Trevor Lawrence, who is completing just 44.9% of his passes for 5.1 yards per attempt with three TDs and four interceptions under duress.
The Bills are top three in DVOA against all WR positions and seventh against TEs, so this could get ugly for Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault Jr. and company.
Bills safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde tend to eliminate opposing TEs, so I wouldn’t play Dan Arnold simply because the Bills rank a couple of spots lower against TEs than WRs.
The only Jaguars pass catcher worthy of consideration is Jamal Agnew, due to his salary relative to usage. Agnew is averaging 5.7 catches for 52.3 yards and 0.33 TDs over his past three games while running a route on 72% of Lawrence’s dropbacks.
However the rushing workload is split between a banged up James Robinson (questionable, heel) and Carlos Hyde, the Jaguars aren’t likely to have success on the ground, either, as Sean McDermott’s defense is ranked fifth in DVOA against the run.
- Cash Plays: WR Stefon Diggs
- GPP Plays: QB Josh Allen, WR Jamal Agnew, TE Tommy Sweeney, DST Bills
I’m not in the business of betting on 14-5-point favorites, and I’m not in the business of betting on Urban Meyer.
Browns at Bengals
With Kareem Hunt on injured reserve, Nick Chubb is cash-viable against a Bengals defense that is allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points per game and 12th-most DraftKings points per game to opposing RBs.
Mayfield has been better without Beckham on the field, but his shoulder is too banged up to trust even in GPPs. However, a couple of his receivers could have success in this matchup. Jarvis Landry is averaging 4.9/56.6/0.3 splits without Beckham compared to 4.3/51.8/0.0 with Beckham since the start of last season. And David Njoku leads the team in targets (17), catches (14), and yards (257) against zone coverage, which makes him a sneaky play against a Bengals defense that plays zone at the 10th-highest rate.
Although the Browns rank third in run defense DVOA, Joe Mixon is too cheap at $7,400 on FanDuel for a back that is averaging 19.3 touches for 90.0 scrimmage yards and 0.88 TDs per game. As FanDuel’s scoring system emphasizes TDs over yardage, Mixon is cash-viable there.
The Browns play zone at an even higher clip than their crosstown rivals, clocking in with the seventh-highest rate, which sets up well for Tee Higgins, who leads the Bengals in targets (3.8), catches (3.0), and yards (37.2) per game against zone. Higgins is cash-viable on DraftKings at his $5,300 price tag.
Joe Burrow should have success throwing to Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd against Cleveland’s 25th-rated defense in DVOA against the pass. The odd man out will likely be C.J. Uzomah, who has not scored any of his five TDs this season vs. zone coverage.
- Cash Plays: RB Joe Mixon, RB Nick Chubb, WR Tee Higgins
- GPP Plays: QB Joe Burrow, WR Ja’Marr Chase, WR Tyler Boyd, WR Jarvis Landry, TE David Njoku
This is a sneaky spot to back the Browns. Here are Baker Mayfield’s career splits with and without Odell Beckham Jr.
With Beckham Jr.: 59.6% completion percentage, 7.1 YPA, 4.6% TD%, 3.1% INT%
Without Beckham Jr.: 64.25 completion percentage, 8.0 YPA, 4.7% TD%, 2.1% INT%
Beckham would often freelance his route, which creates problems in a timing offense, particularly under pressure. With Nick Chubb back, Beckham gone and facing a Bengals defense that is ranked a middling 14th in pressure rate, the Browns offense should find success.
In fact, the underlying metrics say the Browns are a far better team than the Bengals, as Cleveland is ranked sixth in overall DVOA while Cincinnati is 21st. And even though the Bengals are the home team, this is an interstate game that doesn’t put the Browns at much of a travel disadvantage.
In a game with a tight spread where the home team is favored but both teams are coming off disappointing games in which they did not cover, the road dog tends to be underrated.
I make this game a pick’em and would bet it down to +1 but am hoping to get a +3, so I would wait until close to kickoff to lock in the Browns.
Pick: Browns +2.5 (to +1)
Raiders at Giants
Hunter Renfrow has at least five catches in every game and should benefit from the release of Henry Ruggs. With the Raiders shorthanded at WR, Renfrow is cash-viable yet again this week.
Despite the Raiders’ short handedness out wide, I would rather not pay up for Darren Waller after Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham executed a successful plan that held the Chiefs offense to 20 points by taking away Travis Kelce (6/4/27/0) while letting Tyreek Hill go off for 12/94/1 on 18 targets. And despite a likely uptick in routes, I don’t trust Bryan Edwards or Zay Jones against Giants perimeter cornerbacks James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson, both of whom are ranked in the top 20 among 115 qualifiers at the position in PFF’s grades.
The Giants set up as somewhat of a run funnel, checking in with a rank of 23rd in run defense DVOA compared to 11th in pass defense, which makes Josh Jacobs an intriguing GPP play based on his TD upside. Jacobs has scored five TDs across five games this season, failing to hit paydirt only once.
You can count on Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to deploy his signature Cover 3 scheme as he does every week, leading to a ranking of second in the league in terms of highest rate of zone coverage played on defense. This makes Kadarius Toney the best stacking option to pair with Daniel Jones, as Toney leads the team in catches (19) and yards (242) against zone coverage despite playing half the snaps in only half of the team’s games.
The return of Kenny Golladay saps the value of Darius Slayon, as both will likely be relegated to low-percentage downfield routes against a defense that is ranked fourth in DVOA on deep passes but 30th against short passes. In fact, this is a sneaky spot for Evan Engram, as the Raiders also rank 26th in DVOA vs. TEs and 29th in schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game allowed to the position (73.9).
With Saquon Barkley slated to miss out again, Devontae Booker becomes a top GPP play. Booker is averaging 17.8 touches for 79.5 yards and 0.75 TDs over the last four games in place of Barkley.
- Cash Plays: WR Hunter Renfrow
- GPP Plays: QB Daniel Jones, RB Josh Jacobs, RB Devontae Booker, WR Kadarius Toney, TE Evan Engram
Daniel Jones is 5-12 (29%) ATS at home, but the Raiders are dealing with more off-the-field turmoil, so this is a tough game to cap.
Falcons at Saints
Cordarrelle Patterson has arguably been the Falcons best skill player, and definitely their most consistent. Patterson is averaging 17.0 touches per game over his last three games. Calvin Ridley’s absence leaves behind 10.2 targets per game. Patterson has a tough matchup, but his dual-threat viability is the definition of a DFS cheat code. He’s one of the top values on the board at RB, and his dual-threat usage makes him viable in cash games.
The Saints are ranked second in DVOA against TEs but plan man coverage at the eighth-highest rate, so Kyle Pitts could have a big bounce-back game here. He leads the Falcons by a significant margin in targets (18), catches (12) and yards (216) versus man coverage, and Matt Ryan’s No. 2 target against man, Ridley (11/7/66), has stepped away from the team for personal reasons.
Along with Patterson, Pitts should dominate target share with Ridley out, as Russell Gage ran 21 invisible routes without a target last week after a promising 4/64/1 output in his return to action against the Dolphins the week prior.
With Patterson cutting into Mike Davis’ backfield work and the Saints stonewalling the run to the tune of an NFL-low 3.5 yards per carry allowed, Davis is a fade as well.
With Trevor Siemian starting at QB over Taysom Hill, Alvin Kamara should retain most of his value after struggling last season with Hill at the helm. Kamara did see his usage slightly cut into by Mark Ingram, but Kamara’s price has also dropped to season-low levels as a result. He is an intriguing GPP play against a Falcons defense that is ranked 25th in DVOA against the run and 19th on passes to RBs.
As this could be a letdown spot for the Saints after an emotional upset of the Bucs, I’m avoiding paying up for their DST this week.
Marquez Callaway leads the Saints in routes run per drop-back this season (81%), but he dipped to 71% as Sean Payton continues to spread the usage among multiple WRs and TEs, making the entire Saints passing game a fade despite a soft matchup with a Falcons defense that ranks 29th in DVOA through the air.
- Cash Plays: RB Cordarrelle Patterson
- GPP Plays: RB Alvin Kamara, TE Kyle Pitts
Last week, I picked the Saints to upset the Super Bowl champion Bucs and the lowly Panthers to beat the Falcons at home … so naturally I’m backing the Falcons against the Saints this week.
This is a major letdown spot for the Saints, who are just 6-14-1 (30%) ATS as a home favorite off a one-possession win under Sean Payton.
The Saints are also 0-2 as a favorite of more than three points this season, and Payton is 22-32-1 (41%) ATS as a home favorite since 2014.
The Falcons are not in an ideal spot without Calvin Ridley, but they should be able to keep within striking distance against a Saints team that tends to play down to its competition, losing to the Sam Darnold-led Panthers and the Daniel Jones-led Giants while beating the Geno Smith-led Seahawks by only three.
Pick: Falcons +6.5 (to +4)
Chargers at Eagles
Dallas Goedert has run a route on 86% of Jalen Hurts’ dropbacks in a post-Zach Ertz world. That is elite usage — only Darren Waller (90%) has a higher rate on the season. Goedert should be locked into cash game lineups as he faces a Chargers defense that is ranked 30th in DVOA and 28th in schedule-adjusted receiving yards per game (72.5) allowed to TEs.
Even without cornerbacks Michael Davis (hamstring) and Asante Samuel (concussion), this doesn’t set up as a big spot for the Eagles pass game outside of Goedert, as Tevaughn Campbell and Chris Harris both rank among the top 40 cornerbacks in PFF’s grades.
Hurts remains in play for his rushing upside, but Devonta Smith, Jalen Reagor and Quez Watkins could struggle against a Brandon Staley defense that is allowing the fewest yards per game to opposing WRs (118.1).
Boston Scott and Jordan Howard both scored multiple TDs in a 44-6 romp of the Lions last week, but despite a good matchup against the Chargers 32nd ranked defense in DVOA against the run, Nick Sirianni can’t be trusted to run the ball in neutral or negative game script. The Eagles are still last in the NFL in RB carries per game (16.6). None of Scott, Howard, or Kenny Gainwell cleared a 50% snap rate last week. All are fades.
It’s time to get back on Justin Herbert after two tough weeks against man-heavy defenses helmed by Wink Martindale and Bill Belichick. Whereas Martindale and Belichick are apt at confusing opposing passers with different looks, the Eagles simply line up and play zone most of the time, making them much easier to prepare for. Herbert should smash as a GPP play this week.
Keenan Allen has at least eight targets in 6-of-7 games and at least five catches in 6-of-7 games and is viable in cash games on FanDuel at just $7,000.
Mike Williams is in line for a get-right game against an Eagles defense that plays zone at the third-highest rate in the league: Williams has piled up 331 yards on 23 catches against zone coverage compared to just 89 yards on eight catches against man coverage.
Austin Ekeler has 30 targets against zone to Jared Cook’s 18, so he should be the preferred checkdown option for Herbert in this game. Ekeler also has a good matchup on the ground, as the Eagles are ranked 22nd in run defense DVOA.
- Cash Plays: WR Keenan Allen, TE Dallas Goedert
- GPP Plays: QB Justin Herbert, QB Jalen Hurts, RB Austin Ekeler, WR Mike Williams
After I faded the Chargers last week in a tough matchup with a Bill Belichick defense, I’m buying low on them this week while selling high on the Eagles coming off a 44-6 rout of the Lions.
While the Eagles looked good last week, they’ve been outscored 179-127 by all opponents not named the Lions and Falcons. And whereas Belichick and Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martin presented difficult schemes that feature a heavy dose of man coverage, the Eagles are perhaps the NFL’s easiest defense to prepare for, playing zone at the third-highest rate in a bend-but-don’t-break style that still breaks, ranking 26th in third-down conversion rate (43.6%) and 29th in red-zone conversion rate (74.1%).
The Chargers are the better team on both sides of the ball, ranking 12th in both offensive and defensive DVOA while the Eagles rank 15th and 16th, respectively — a gap that may be at its closest point with the Chargers coming off two losses and the Eagles coming off a blowout win of one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Since 2016, home teams .500 or below coming off a blowout win of 16 or more are just 16-27-2 (37%) ATS.
Pick: Chargers -1.5 (to -3)
Packers at Chiefs
The Chiefs are the cheapest home favorite on the board at DST, making them the top cash game play against Jordan Love in his first pro start. Davante Adams is still in play, however, as he actually was slightly more productive in seven games without Aaron Rodgers back in 2017, averaging 16.3 and 13.3 PPR and half-PPR points per game compared to 15.1 and 13.2, respectively, in seven games with Rodgers.
With a bunch of receivers behind Adams that were hardly relevant even with Rodgers behind center — Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, Amari Rodgers — and a bunch of replacement-level TEs slated to fill in for Robert Tonyan (IR, ACL), the Packers offense should run through Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon against a Chiefs defense that is ranked 29th in DVOA against the run and 28th on passes to RBs.
Even as he continues to work out the newfound kinks in the offense, Patrick Mahomes is a high-upside GPP play against a Packers defense that ranks a middling 18th in DVOA against the pass. With defenses forcing Mahomes to throw underneath more, this increases the floor/ceiling combos of Tyreek Hill, who hauled in 12 catches last week; Travis Kelce, who will likely be targeted heavily after a nightmarish 27-yard game in which he lost a fumble; and Mecole Hardman, who is averaging 5.5 catches for 57.3 yards over his past four games.
The Chiefs backfield is a stay away after Derrick Gore came seemingly out of nowhere to split the workload with Darrel Williams last week. Gore had 11 carries for 48 yards and a TD while Williams carried 13 times for 49 yards.
- Cash Plays: DST Chiefs
- GPP Plays: QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Aaron Jones, RB A.J. Dillon, WR Davante Adams, WR Tyreek Hill, WR Mecole Hardman, TE Travis Kelce
If you were lucky enough to get the Chiefs or the under early, in the week before Aaron Rodgers was ruled out with COVID, enjoy. I’m right in line with the market after adjusting for Rodgers’ absence.
Cardinals at 49ers
Deebo Samuel had one of his worst receiving games of the year against the Cardinals (9/3/58/0), but that was with Trey Lance at QB. In Jimmy Garoppolo’s six starts, Samuel is averaging 6.8 catches for 126.8 yards and 0.67 TDs per game on 10.5 targets.
With George Kittle back also back at a depressed salary, the 49ers passing game is worth investing in in GPPs despite a tough matchup against a Cardinals defense that is ranked second in DVOA against the pass, particularly if Kyler Murray (questionable, ankle) and DeAndre Hopkins (questionable, hamstring) play.
Elijah Mitchell (questionable, ribs) plays, he’s a GPP option against a Cardinals defense that is ranked 32nd in explosive rush rate allowed. Mitchell has 100-plus yards and a TD in three of his five pro games. If Murray sits, Mitchell is stackable with the 49ers DST.
With Murray and Hopkins banged up and A.J. Green on the COVID list, this is a week to play the rest of Cardinals supporting cast: Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore, Zach Ertz, Chase Edmonds and James Conner.
- Cash Plays: None
- GPP Plays: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Elijah Mitchell, RB Chase Edmonds, RB James Conner, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Christian Kirk, WR Rondale Moore, TE George Kittle, TE Zach Ertz, DST 49ers (if Murray sits)
The Cardinals could be missing Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, but this line has moved aggressively toward the 49ers, and Kyle Shanahan is just 8-18-1 (31%) as a favorite when not coming off a bye.
DFS Cash Lineups
- QB Lamar Jackson $7,300 vs. MIN
- RB Ezekiel Elliott $7,000 vs. DEN
- RB Nick Chubb $6,300 at CIN
- WR Amari Cooper $5,700 vs. DEN
- WR Tee Higgins $5,300 vs. CLE
- WR Hunter Renfrow $4,800 at NYG
- TE Dallas Goedert $4,500 vs. LAC
- FLEX Cordarrelle Patterson $6,300 at NO
- DST Chiefs $2,300 vs. GB
- QB Lamar Jackson $8,300 vs. MIN
- RB Nick Chubb $7,600 at CIN
- RB Joe Mixon $7,400 vs. CLE
- WR Stefon Diggs $7,600 at JAX
- WR Keenan Allen $7,000 at PHI
- WR Hunter Renfrow $5,600 at NYG
- TE Dallas Goedert $6,200 vs. LAC
- FLEX Cordarrelle Patterson $7,000 at NO
- DST Chiefs $3,300 vs. GB