Game Overview ::
By mjohnson86 >>
- Houston is on the road after a huge upset over the Chargers while shorthanded.
- San Francisco can’t win their division, but can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a little bit of help.
- Jimmy Garoppolo is unlikely to play in this game, setting the stage for Trey Lance to come up big in his first home start.
- San Francisco has a huge edge in the running game and will likely lean heavily into that strength to protect Lance from having to do too much.
How houston Will Try To Win ::
The Texans came up with one of the bigger upsets of the year in Week 16. Despite having 20 players on the COVID list and being nearly double-digit home underdogs to the Chargers, Houston outplayed Los Angeles in almost every facet of the game and walked away with a convincing victory. Helping their cause was the fact that the Chargers were also hit hard by COVID absences and struggled on the road with missing many of their team’s leaders.
This week Houston heads out west to face a 49ers team that has scored over 30 points in each of their last three home games. San Francisco also has a much more stout defense that is terrific against the run and getting healthier in their pass defense. The 49ers are also in a “must-win” type of situation, and there is almost no chance the Texans can bank on an “off game” from San Francisco here, as they will be prepared and amped up to play. There is no secret sauce for Houston to try here, nor anything extraordinary in how they play that we should expect. They are a team that lacks high-end talent and plays at a pace that is close to the league average while also having near the league average run/pass ratio. I do think there is a decent chance the Texans come out aggressive early in this game. If they are able to score some points early, it would relieve pressure on their own offense and allow them to milk the clock and run the ball more freely while also forcing Trey Lance to make more plays and be more than a game manager.
How san francisco Will Try To Win ::
Houston has a bottom-5 rush defense, and San Francisco has a top-5 rush offense. San Francisco is starting a rookie QB who ran the ball 16 times in his only previous start, which was on the road against a much more talented team. There really isn’t a ton of minutia that we need to worry ourselves about for this section in this game. San Francisco is going to run the ball and run it a lot in this game. Eli Mitchell, who has been the 49ers best running back this season, has returned to practice and seems likely to play. Between Mitchell, Lance, Jeff Wilson, and Deebo Samuel, we can expect a lot of creative formations and misdirections that will all lead to a similar place – 49ers players making plays against an overmatched and confused defense. Consider the fact that San Francisco is PFF’s #1 graded run-blocking team, and Houston is the 31st graded defense in tackling. Putting everything above together, the 49ers will confuse and stretch this defense horizontally with a lot of weapons they need to worry about. Then, the 49ers will use their elite scheme and run blocking to get their ball carriers to the second level of the defense. At that point, the elite runners and tackle breakers of the 49ers will encounter one of the worst tackling units in the league. Trey Lance has not looked good as a passer this season, but the 49ers won’t ask him to do that much to start this game and are unlikely to need to ask him to as the game goes on.
Likeliest Game Flow ::
The Texans are likely to struggle to move the ball, and the 49ers are likely to impose their will and bully the Texans with their multifaceted running game. We should expect the 49ers to come out focused and energized, taking control of this game early and pulling away to a comfortable margin by halftime or shortly thereafter. The greatest threat to this game scenario would be mistakes by Lance, but as discussed previously, the 49ers should be able to simplify things and take a lot off of his plate in this set-up. San Francisco is unlikely to have any one player with a crazy amount of volume, but as a whole, they should run ragged over this Texans defense with three or four players having solid outings on the ground. Both teams play at a bottom-10 situation-neutral pace, and with the 49ers likely to run the ball at a very high rate and the Texans likely to struggle to move the ball (meaning short drives and more 49ers possessions), it is likely that this game moves very quickly and has lower play volume than most games.
TOP PLAYS OF THE WEEKEND
SORTABLE GREEN ZONE TOUCHES
TEAM & PLAYER DK POINTS
DFS+ Interpretation ::
By Dwprix >>
- T-6th lowest total on 14 game slate (44)
- SF favored by 12.5 (opened 13.5)
- HOU has won 2 straight scoring 71 pts vs LAC & JAX
- SF allows 22.3 pts/g (15th least)
- SF is currently in the 6th playoff spot
- They don’t have a realistic shot at moving up but could still miss the playoffs
- Mills DK pts in starts: (18.1, 15.6, 21.0, 24.4, 4.4, 8.2, 27.7, -.3, 10.7)
- He has 5 TDs to only 1 INT in the last 3 facing LAC, JAX, & SEA
- His price has risen from $5k in his first start to $5.5k this week (season high)
- Mills has 5 games of 30+ pass atts
- His season high (49) came in a 13-33 loss to SEA 3 weeks ago
- SF allows 19.1 DK pts/g to QBs (T-12th most)
- Brandin Cooks has 100+ yds & 10+ tgts in B2B games
- That makes 3 straight games a HOU WR has seen 10+ (Cooks 10, Cooks 11, Nico Collins 10)
- Cooks has 10+ tgts in 6 games this season
- $6k is his highest price in 5 weeks
- Collins ($4k) price is a season high & $400 more than his previous season high
- SF allows to 37.5 DK pts/g to WRs (T-6th most)
- David Johnson is on the COVID list & will likely miss
- Last week he missed due to injury
- Burkhead last WK w/ no Johnson: (22:149:2 TDs, 31.9 DK pts)
- This was the first a HOU RB saw 20 atts
- Freeman last WK: (12:34)
- His price ($5k) went up $500 from last week
- SF allows 22.6 DK pts/g to RBs(13th least)
- Lance in his only start: (15:29:192: 1 INT, 16:89, 15.6 DK pts)
- He scored 20.4 pts in the 2nd half WK 4 vs SEA: (9:18:157:2 TDs, 7:41)
- Lance was $5.7k in his first start, $4.8k this week
- HOU pts allowed to cheap QBs: (Lawrence 10.5) // (Wentz-11.12) // (Wilson 11.1) // (Siemian 19.9) // (Brissett 11.5) // (Wentz 17.02) // (Jones 12.5) // (Darnold 28.3) // (Mayfield 18.52) // (Lawrence 25.1)
- HOU allows 19.0 DK pts to QBs (T-12 most)
- Tgts last 3: Deebo (11, 5, 1) // Kittle (3, 6, 15) // Aiyuk (5, 2, 10) // Jennings (5, 6, 5)
- Last week was Deebo’s first game with 10 or more tgts in 10 games
- His price ($7.1k) has came down $300 from last week
- He’s the 3rd highest price TE (Andrews, Kelce)
- SF ranks 1st in yds/comp (12.1) // HOU D ranks 29th (11.1)
- HOU allows to 35.8 DK pts/g to WRs (16th least) & 14.6 pts to TEs (9th most)
- Eli Mitchell (Q) was a limited participant in practice Wed & Thurs
- He’s missed the past 3 weeks
- Atts when active: (19, 17, 9, 18, 18, 8, 27, 27, 22)
- His price ($6k) matches a season high last time he played
- Jeff Wilson w/o Mitchell: (19:50) // (13:56) // (21:110:1 TD) // (14:45:1 TD)
- HOU allows 28.0 DK pts/g to RBs (4th most)