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Majesstik is one of the most respected Slate Breakdown artists in DFS
*Tabs are updated throughout the Weekend
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JMToWin is a high-stakes tournament champion (Thunderdome, Luxury Box, Game Changer, Wildcat) who is focusing this year on single-entry/three-entry max
This is, instead, a look at the player pool I’ll be fishing.
:: covered in-depth in the Angles Pod (it’s highly recommended that you listen to the breakdown of the roster in order to see the thinking behind it, and in order to understand what we’re talking about when we look at a “bottom-up build”
:: these are my “Tier 1” plays: the plays I feel confident leaning into across different types of builds; players who have a high ceiling and a low likelihood of price-considered failure
:: these are games, offenses, situations, or scenarios I’ll be looking to build around across my rosters
:: these are players who don’t fit into the categories above — either Upside pieces who don’t have the floor to be Blue Chips (and are not being focused on within my game-focused builds) or players who may not have a strong shot at ceiling, but are worth keeping in mind from a “role” perspective
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Full breakdown (of what this is, and what the thinking is behind these players) can (and should) be found in the Angles Pod (above).
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Jonathan Taylor’s touch counts across his last six games :: 27 // 35 // 20 // 32 // 29 // 27. Now, it should be noted that Taylor has only 43 total receiving yards across these six games, including two targets and zero receptions in his last three, making him a true yardage-and-touchdown back at the moment. This opens some paths to him disappointing against his price tag; but against a banged-up Raiders defense that has allowed the fourth most running back touchdowns in the NFL, his raw floor remains high, and his ceiling is absolutely high enough to justify the price tag.
As explored in the Angles Pod :: if Taylor has a strong game, this increases the already-high chances of the Raiders leaning pass-heavy themselves, which increases the chances of Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones, and Foster Moreau hitting. As we should be well aware of by now, the Colts defense (a defense fundamentally designed to filter targets to the middle of the field, specifically to tight ends) has faced the most tight end targets and allowed the most tight end receptions and yards on the year. I like Moreau quite a bit this week.
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Hilow is a game theory expert and tournament champion who focuses on mid/high-stakes single-entry/three-entry max
I remember writing the End Around during the middle of the season, before this recent bout of COVID hit, and before game totals shrunk across the league, and before we had an immense number of injuries to contend with, and I remember saying that the field was likely to struggle with information overload. I laugh to myself now thinking back at that because of the number of moving parts we’ve had to contend with over the previous three weeks, and all of that is coming to a head this week. Over 470 unique individuals have been placed on the league’s COVID list over the past three weeks alone. Teams are left playing for pride, or the future, or whatever they need to tell themselves to go out there and play a game of football having already been eliminated from the postseason. Teams have had their head coaches out for games. There has been more news and background information to sort through than ever before, and this week we have to do all that for 28 freaking teams on a 14-game slate. Buckle up, Buttercup.
Before we dive into the rest of this slate, I quickly want to discuss something that has been burning a hole in my mind this week, and that is the additional variance associated with players coming back from COVID. We know that this virus affects individuals differently, we know that more severe cases can lead to lethargy, lost weight, poor appetite, amongst other symptoms, and that those symptoms can last over two weeks in some cases. We know for others the symptoms feel like the common cold and that those symptoms can subside in under a week. Why is all this important? Well, the only news we get from teams is what they have to report to the league as part of the COVID protocols, which means we are privy to who has the virus, who is symptomatic, and who has reported their symptoms to be subsiding or improving (as part of the newly agreed-upon protocols). We have no idea who has experienced more severe symptoms or who simply felt like they had a cold for three to four days. What this does is add an additional layer of variance that we must contend with, and the field (and other providers) are not discussing this truth, giving those of us who are considering this wrinkle an additional edge. We didn’t see this affect the chalk over the previous two weeks but that has seemingly flipped this week, with the field largely staying away from players who have recently returned from the COVID list due to that same uncertainty. With that said, we’ll discuss a few places where we can leverage these findings below.
Expansive chalk. Lance is simply priced too low for a game against the Texans, one in which the 49ers need to win to get into the playoffs. While he is highly unlikely to hurt you, he is also highly unlikely to provide a differentiator score. As in, he is highly unlikely to hurt you if you play him and he is highly unlikely to hurt you if you don’t. He’s just kind of “there.”
Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. I’ve talked about Michel and his recent surge in usage ad nauseam this week, so I won’t belabor it again here. One of the top touch-per-dollar expectations on the slate.
Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. If Michel is the top touch-per-dollar play at the running back position, DMo would be second this week.
Restrictive chalk. Not much else needs to be said about Taylor at this point other than he’s priced up to match his likeliest range of outcomes. He has also seen his pass game role dry up of late, meaning he represents the definition of “yardage and touchdown” back. Think of Taylor the same way we were thinking of Derrick Henry late last season.
Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. RoJo could possibly be one of the last men standing for the Bucs this week, in a game against the bottom-feeder Jets. Pay close attention to the expected statuses of Antonio Brown and Mike Evans. That said, he played only 52% of the offensive snaps last week in another game the Bucs controlled throughout. Lots going on here.
Neither restrictive chalk nor expansive chalk. Currently listed as questionable after apparently aggravating his ankle injury in practice. Keep a close eye on his expected status, as he is currently projected to be the highest-owned wide receiver on the slate.
Expansive chalk. Berrios presents a rare path to double-digit targets priced under $4,000 this week. Similar to Trey Lance above, Berrios is unlikely to hurt you if you play him and unlikely to hurt you if you don’t.
Restrictive chalk. Not much else needs to be said about Kupp at this point other than he’s priced up to match his likeliest range of outcomes. Think of Kupp the same way we were thinking of Davante Adams late last season.
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A weekly staple of The Oracle :: In no more than two or three sentences, tell us what makes this slate particularly unique.
Two things stand out to me ::
Firstly, we have 14 games. Outside of the final week of the season (when the NFL scraps TNF and MNF in order to level the playing field for playoff preparation), this is the largest slate we can possibly have — and as it’s coming on the heels of bye weeks followed by Saturday games, it is quite a bit larger than any slate we have seen in a while. This can make it harder for the field to narrow down their focus and find the games/players that stand out to them the most. This can also lead to some of the better game environments and/or players seeing less-concentrated ownership than they might see on a smaller slate.
Secondly, we have only two games with an Over/Under north of 46.5. This is an incredibly small number of games clearing that low threshold.
Put it all together, and this is a week for which OWS members are uniquely well-equipped.
Step 1 :: narrow things down to a focused, sharp pool.
Step 2 :: pay attention not only to Vegas-implied team totals, but also to game environments and coaching tendencies (as explored in the NFL Edge) to understand which team totals have a better shot at going FAR over than others.
This is a huge slate, which means a couple of things:
My advice, for what it’s worth, is try your best to avoid that (I am bad at this personally but working to be better!). Avoid the “but what if so-and-so has a big game?” reasoning, as that is fear-based decision-making and rarely leads to good DFS results. Be disciplined and stick to a narrow core
Don’t listen to Xandamere…play everyone! Ok, OK…he’s right. As much as I hate to admit it, we need to be disciplined this week. My core will be relatively tight but as many of you know I like to play at least one stack of every game so my pool will at least appear pretty expansive. At this moment, I’m still waiting patiently for some WR value (with upside) to open up, because the unique thing about this slate appears to be the abundance of studs that will be available at low ownership. Like we always say, chalk forms regardless of the nature of the slate. In this case, chalk is forming in the mid ranges, leaving plenty of high-price, high-ceiling players as awesome low-owned tournament plays. The potential trap being our choices for salary relief in order to get to them. I can’t wait to read what my colleagues name as values!
More information overload! COVID issues abound, low game totals across the board, teams with playoff aspirations, teams with nothing to play for, head coaches out with COVID, head coaches coaching for their jobs, varying levels of how players coming off the COVID list respond to having the virus (more on this in the End Around and on the Saturday Inner Circle podcast), only two clear pay-up options available (Cooper Kupp and Jonathan Taylor), very few “value” options available at the wide receiver position, etc etc etc. The field is going to have an extremely hard time with this slate.
I think this slate comes down to the two players at the top (Taylor/Kupp). They are the clear top RB/WR raw points plays and are priced accordingly. Playing both is difficult, which is likely to make the less popular of the two under owned. The under owned guy looks like it’ll be Taylor as of now, which makes me interested in him if current ownership projections are correct in predicting he’ll be under 20% played. I’m starting my builds this week by making the decision for each roster of if I want to play Taylor, Kupp, both, or fade them.
Be comfortable with blind spots this week. We talk about focusing on who you are playing vs. who you aren’t playing. Essentially, being comfortable with blind spots is saying the same thing. With 14 games on this main slate, it’s huge. Add in the COVID news and adjustments along with the ever-present massive point spreads, and we have another unique slate on tap. In a slate like this, it’s overkill to say it but it’s important to just cross out certain games. For me it’s Giants/Bears, Titans/Dolphins, and Raiders/Colts. With the exception of JT, I’m not interested in any players in any of these games.
The second unique aspect of this slate for me is my comfortability this week in not playing much of the projected Friday chalk. Here are some surely popular players whom I will have zero exposure to (with one brief reason): Antonio Brown (is he healthy?), David Montgomery (not in that game environment), Sony Michel (not against that top five rush defense), Devin Singletary (Buffalo’s backup RB (Josh Allen)? No, thanks), and Braxton Berrios (a Jet near 20% ownership?). I guess this either sets up for me to succeed or fail this week.
The size of the slate is obviously the most unique thing about this slate and I’d like to combine some things that my peers have discussed in their responses. Papy brings up a good point about Kupp and Taylor being the clear top players on the slate. However, the raw size of the slate makes it much more feasible that rosters with neither of these players will end up the optimal way to build. Additionally, we don’t have nearly the same amount of quality value options available this week as we had last week, making a “stars and scrubs” build much more difficult to move to the top of the leaderboards.
Basically what I am saying is that JT and Kupp have by far the best chances of any players on the slate to score 35 points….but with 28 teams playing and no clear values available with high ceilings, there are likely to be enough mid-tier players who score 22-30 points for you to survive without playing either of them.
I also want to discuss something I mentioned in Discord this week. On a slate this large you should consider playing “Early Only” and/or “Afternoon Only” contests as they naturally limit the size of your player pool. Going a step further, I would encourage you to use lineups you build for those short slates and play them in the Main Slate. Doing so would be both unique and help you narrow your player pool on just a few games. On a week like this it can be very easy to try to play too many different angles, so finding unique ways to combat this problem can be +EV. My big hit last year on DraftKings was for $200k during Week 17 and was on the “Afternoon Only” slate. Ironically, the lineup I made also would have won most of the contests I played in the Main Slate but all of my lineups on that slate had players from both early and late games.
We’re back to a full slate with 14 games and 9 of those games have a spread of a TD or less (as of Friday morning). That’s exciting from an options perspective. Only two games have totals over 50 with KC/CIN and ARI/DAL both at 51.0 and 51.5, respectively. We’re still dealing with a lot of Covid list deactivations that will make the slate interesting up until game time for some players. The Covid stuff is what is most interesting to me. It seems like we want to pick on teams that have been heavily hit by it, as those players have conditioning issues, some have lost weight, and some teams will be missing several starters. This is a week to use injury/Covid lists as a guide towards where we want to go and pay less attention to data or prior trends in some cases.
Game Environments, Week 17: While we can talk all we want about players getting their production “on the way up” (and while we can point to some isolated examples where this happens :: Chiefs against the Jets last year, anyone?), a simple journey through game logs of high-priced players reminds us that a player’s ceiling is likeliest to be reached in a competitive game. While there are individual exceptions to this rule (for example: last week, we explored — in several places on the site — the increased likelihood of the Bengals electing for a pass-heavy approach against the Ravens), we should generally expect that a player’s ceiling is likeliest to materialize in a back-and-forth game.
With that said, however, we have only two high-total games on this week’s slate (Chiefs at Bengals // Cardinals at Cowboys), and not only can both of those games pretty clearly go sideways (with each team maxing out at three or four touchdowns — or in the case of the Chiefs and Bengals, a case could even be made that with the way these two defenses have played and the way these offenses have adapted to defensive alignments throughout the year, the game could downright disappoint), but also, there are some clear “low-resistance” spots for good offenses this week.
With all of this as a background, we’ll explore this question like this ::
Do any teams from that list (all carrying Vegas-implied team totals of 28.0 to 29.5) stand out to you over the other potential “build-around” options, AND are there any teams missing from that list that you could see yourself building around more heavily than the field this week?
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Larejo is a mid-stakes tournament mastermind who specializes in outmaneuvering 150-max players with a small number of entries
When I set out on my OWS journey a few seasons ago, like many of you jumping over and following JM from RotoGrinders, I had no idea what to expect. My singular thought at the time was this guy writes the best weekly articles on RG NFL, and if he’s only going to charge $40 for a season subscription, I’ll give him a try. And when I made this move, I didn’t anticipate writing content and contributing to this site because frankly, DFS was a side hustle for me (like it is for many of you). I was writing articles here and there for the RotoGrinders Forums, but only when I found myself with some extra time. However, as my journey has evolved, I have to say being able to explore my own writing chops, as well as having any kind of voice in this incredibly sharp community at OWS has been nothing short of a phenomenal experience.
We still have two regular-season weeks left and some playoff football upcoming, but I wanted to make sure I say thank you to all of you who have read this space this season. I’ll second the notion again before the season wraps up but it’s been so cool analyzing these games with all of you and chasing the elusive first-place prizes. Thanks again for your time this season and I can’t wait to see how many binks we pull down in Week 17!
This week’s slate is full of games. It’s likely you have just read in The Oracle about how the main slate is carrying 14 games (most on the season), and how we are again dealing with COVID adjustments as well as many games with large spreads this week. Inevitably, with a slate this large, we have to “x” out certain games as we cannot cover every square. For me, a few of those games include Giants/Bears, Raiders/Colts, and Dolphins/Titans, while possibly also including Lions/Seahawks and Broncos/Chargers (pains me to say, but with how slow Denver is and their low game totals this season coupled with constant underperformance lately from the Chargers, I’ll let others go here). I’m also only considering one angle respectively (QB + DEF) in both the Panthers/Saints and Eagles/Washington games.
Let’s dive in…
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Sonic is a Milly Maker winner and large-field tournament mastermind who focuses on mass-multi-entry play
This week is nuts! So many potential plays given the massive 14-game slate. I tried to give you thoughts on most every relevant player. I hope it helps you in your pool-trimming process. I know I’ll be sleepless on Saturday night as I weigh some of these decisions.
Before you begin this next phase of your roster construction ask yourself some questions. Who am I? What does this slate offer? How do these two things intersect?
If you are playing large field tournaments, chances are high that you’re going to crash and burn on most weeks. Knowing this, put your best foot forward and place without fear. If you go down in flames, at least you went down swinging and you did it your way.
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Xandamere is one of the most respected Showdown minds in DFS, and focuses his Main Slate play on mass-multi-entry
It’s Week 17, and we’re closing in on the end of the regular season. I’ve already almost binked the Superdraft GPP SIX times now, and I’m determined to do it this year. There’s still overlay on Superdraft every week, so if you aren’t playing there, why not?
Before you read this article, you should read my NFL Superdraft Primer to get a basic understanding of the site, how it’s different from Draftkings and Fanduel, and the strategy elements that come into play. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can get $100 free with a minimum $100 deposit!! (Promo Code :: OWS)
First, all the normal NFL strategy about stacking and correlation still applies. It definitely makes sense to strongly consider pairing your QB with a receiver. Game stacks are entirely viable here. The good news is you don’t have to change your entire approach to be successful on Superdraft. All you have to do is change your mentality of player selection, since the multiplier introduces so many different strategy dynamics, as the primer goes over. With that, let’s take a look at Week 6. I’m not going to go game by game here (we have the Edge for that!), but rather, position by position, trying to spot where I think there are good opportunities to leverage attractive scoring multipliers.
Before I dig into the positions, I just want to note that similar to the past couple of weeks, this week is WILD with uncertainty. There are so many players being put on the COVID list, and some who might unexpectedly test out of it and be able to play (like Carson Wentz) so it’s quite likely that even though I’m writing this on Friday, the landscape of the slate could change significantly by Sunday morning. Be ready to adjust!
Multipliers make for goofy quarterback usage on Superdraft, but we need to embrace it (or at least consider embracing it). My highest projected quarterback is Trey Lance, who is a talented prospect but who was also kind of a disaster in his first and only start. That said, because of his rushing ability, “disaster” was still 15.58 fantasy points, which with a 1.65x multiplier ain’t half bad. Against Houston, I’m willing to go here. Next up is Sam Ehlinger, who may (or may not) fill in for Carson Wentz this week at a 1.85x multiplier. But we don’t know here, because new testing rules mean Wentz might be able to get cleared in time. Uncertainty! I’m also interested in Nick Foles, Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Matt Stafford, and Kyler Murray. All of them (except Foles) have lower multipliers, but all of them also have 30+ raw point ceilings in them, which don’t need super high multipliers to pay off.
My highest projected running back is Jonathan Taylor, who out-projects the field by over two full points despite a 1x multiplier. Sure, I’m on board with Taylor, he’s been absolutely smashing. Sony Michel should continue to see 20+ touches every game with no Darrell Henderson, and Joe Mixon has the best matchup against the Chiefs. They are my favorite low-multiplier backs aside from Taylor. Rex Burkhead is going to project well based on last week and he’s still at a juicy 1.7x multiplier, but just remember that he ran into the perfect game script with Houston (surprisingly) playing from ahead all game. Now he’s on the road against a much tougher run defense. Personally, I’m staying away here. I will, however, play whoever the 49ers primary back is on the other side of this game. RB is tough this week so my pool is likely pretty small, but I’m also interested in some sprinkles of DeAndre Swift, David Montgomery, Ronald Jones, Devin Singletary (assuming only 1 other active RB for the Bills), and possibly Derrick Gore (Gore has a fat 2x multiplier and assuming CEH misses, he should have a split role with Darrel Williams – at a 2x he can pay that off).
As always, I’ll discuss stacking options later, but in this section, I’ll just highlight receivers I’m comfortable using as floating plays in any roster:
Travis Kelce being on the slate means he has a 1x multiplier, which kind of shoves every other tight end’s multiplier downwards. I’ll play Kelce, I’ll play Gronk (especially if Evans is out), I’ll play Mark Andrews, I’ll play George Kittle, but the guys I’m really fixated on this week are Kyle Pitts and Zach Ertz. Pitts has been having an absolute elite rookie season for a tight end, but he just hasn’t been getting the touchdowns. There’s risk here against a really good Buffalo defense, but a 1.4x multiplier makes me feel the risk is worth it. Ertz gets me exposure to the highest-total game of the week at what I expect will be modest ownership. One key thing about tight end this week, though, is that there’s a lot of clustering. I have a whole big pile of dudes (10, in fact) all projected within two points of each other. There aren’t any clear stand-out plays, really, so it kind of feels like a “play whoever you want” week at tight end (or, correlate your tight end position with your game stack, which is what I usually try to do anyhow).
One thing that’s tougher about Superdraft sometimes is adjusting to the format when thinking about game stacks. Multipliers can attract us to different game stacks than we would use on a salary-based site, as just looking at projections makes “weird” plays look viable. You can choose to trust the projections and use plays like that, but personally, I have a hard time seeing a ceiling there. I try to combine players who project well in Superdraft’s scoring format while also playing what I consider to be strong overall plays based on game environment, talent, and matchup. It’s more art than science sometimes (i.e. Ben Roethlisberger projects well by median outcome, but does he really have the kind of ceiling we need in tournaments even at a high multiplier? I’d guess no, but could be wrong). Here are some stacks I think look attractive this week:
Jreas11 leverages research from the NFL Edge in order to replace DFS cash game play with profitable prop betting
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The Betting Channel of the Discord has been very active this season. There are bettors in there dailey talking NFL, NBA, NHL, and College sports using numerous different tools and strategies. I continue to urge you to check into the prop market if you have not done so thus far. The ROI for many of us has been very profitable- especially when compared to DFS Cash Games in 2021. This is the equivalent of getting into DFS on the ground floor glory days, go where the profit is! Best of luck in Week 17! OWS has promotions available with numerous books for deposit bonuses- make the free money work for you!
James Robinson: Over 73.5 Rushing Yards
Result: Loss (10 Rushing Yards)
I feel for James Robinson. He survived being undrafted, signing with the Jaguars, Travis Etienne, and of course Urban Meyer to be taken out by an Achilles injury. Hope for a speedy recovery and a return to form for one of the more impressively consistent backs in the NFL. On to 2022.
Matt Ryan: Under 248.5 Passing Yards
Result: Win (215 Passing Yards)
Matt Ryan attempted just 24 pass attempts in this one, completing 18/24 for 215 yards and one touchdown. The 75% completion rating is great, but Ryan continues to be a game manager on an offense that has limited ability to make plays after the catch. As a result, we can continue to see low counting stats as the 2021 season winds down. The 24 pass attempts were his second lowest total of the year, with Ryan now attempting 30 pass attempts or less in seven of his last nine games. Kyle Pitts cracked the 100 yard receiving milestone in this one (102), with no other Falcons player able to accumulate over 40 total yards.
Week 1: +10.0 Units
Week 2: -1.1 Units
Week 3: 0.0 Units
Week 4: +4.65 Units
Week 5: +3.1 Units
Week 6: +2.4 Units
Week 7: -0.3 Units
Week 8: -5.7 Units
Week 9: +11.75 Units
Week 10: +5.8 Units
Week 11: -0.13 Units
Week 12: +6.67 Units
Week 13: +2.18 Units
Week 14: -0.1 Units
Week 15: +1.47 Units
Week 16: +0.00 Units
2021: +40.78 Units
Book: DraftKings (-115), BetMGM (198.5 -113), Bet Rivers (197.5 -110)
“Heinicke has just four games of 260+ pass yds, and none since W8.”
“Heinicke is expected to cede reps to Kyle Allen again.”
“Washington has stated that they intend to give Kyle Allen some run at quarterback in an attempt to evaluate future plans at the position.”
“As such, it isn’t entirely apparent that Washington wants to try to win this game, evidenced by the reports out of Washington stating that the team is likely to utilize multiple quarterbacks this week as they look towards the future.”
“Expect an inefficient and conservative Kyle Allen to see snaps in direct backup of an inefficient and conservative Taylor Heinicke. A whole lot of meh here.”
“Finally, Washington ranks seventh in the league in overall rush rates during the second half of the season and Philadelphia ranks 12th in DVOA against the run while 21stagainst the pass (primarily short-area work allowed).”
“Taylor Heinicke averages 7.8 intended air yards per pass attempt this season, while Kyle Allen is all the way down at 7.1, indicating how conservative this offense has been forced to be this year behind highly inefficient quarterback play.”
“The matchup against the Eagles should be considered net-neutral, as they allow an above-average catch rate but the lowest yards per reception in the league.”
This is a playing time bet, so tread carefully. The Washington Football team, while not mathematically eliminated (who is?) due to expanded playoffs, seem to know they have a minimal chance to be the 3rd team in the NFC East to make the playoffs. As such, I don’t see a likely path for Taylor Heinicke to finish this game and get the garbage time yards needed to break the 200 yard milestone. The Eagles defense sees an average of just 32.5 pass attempts per game against, with large target shares funneled to the running back and tight end positions- two areas the Washington Football Team is dealing with injuries to playmakers with Logan Thomas and both Antonio Gibson/ J.D. McKissic out for Week 17. Terry McLaurin should be held in check by a healthy secondary lead by Darius Slay, forcing Heinicke to try to accumulate yardage and drive the field with his secondary, or worse, skilled position options. Heinicke has not surpassed 225 yards passing over the last five weeks and will be asked to try to carry his team to victory versus a very hungry (and run-oriented) Philadelphia team looking to continue their playoff push. Knowing his head coach could pull the string at any moment certainly won’t help.
Book: DraftKings -115, BetRivers -115
“Hurts has the 21st most rush yds/g of ALL players in 2021 (52.9).”
“Philadelphia currently sit in the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC and can ensure a playoff berth by winning their final two games.”
“Philadelphia leads the league in rush rate over the second half of the season by a massive margin. Their rush rate since Week 8 stands at a whopping 60%, a full 5% more than the Colts, the next closest team.”
“The problem for us is that the heavy rushing load has been split by no fewer than four players during that stretch – quarterback Jalen Hurts and running backs Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, and one of Boston Scott or Kenneth Gainwell.”
“Their offensive line ranks second in adjusted line yards, first in stuffed rate, fourth in second level yards generated, and seventh in open field yards generated.”
“Even with the elevated pace of play, the Eagles run 62.9 plays per game this season, which ranks 16th in the league. That gives us a solid baseline expectation of 32-36 total rush attempts here, with room for more should game flow allow.”
“One final consideration is the fact that Washington has ceded the third-most quarterback rushing yards and most quarterback rushing scores this season.”
“Final note here, Jordan Howard is listed as questionable this week with a “stinger,” the same injury designation that caused him to miss multiple games last season.”
The Eagles need to win their final two games to reach the playoffs, so you can expect them to continue to operate the same way which they have since Week 8 in essentially a playoff game versus a division rival in the Washington Football Team. With the Eagles signing Kerryon Johnson to the practice squad this week, I think there is a strong chance they will exercise caution with Jordan Howard (neck stinger) after he was forced to miss multiple games with the same injury last season. With Miles Sanders already ruled out with a broken hand and the Eagles still expected to run the ball over 30 times in a game they should be able to control with their season on the line, it is likely they will lean more heavily on Jalen Hurts rushing ability instead of opening up the passing game unless forced. While a backfield of Scott, Gainwell, and Johnson would be serviceable during a midseason matchup, expect Hurts rushing attempts to increase above the projected eight to 12 in this week’s Edge write up with their season on the line. This is an ideal match up for rushing quarterbacks, as the WFT defense has given up over five yards per carry to QBs this season.
Book: DraftKings -120
“Hubbard’s rush att as starter: 13 // 24 // 16 // 12 // 24 // 10 // 8 // 6.”
“Hubbard’s yds as starter: 71 // 134 // 65 // 56 // 91 // 33 // 41 // 9.”
“NOR ranks 1st in def rush DVOA.”
“Chuba Hubbard has been one of the least efficient running backs in the league this year, and the Panthers offensive line has been a bottom-10 unit in terms of run blocking by most metrics, including PFF’s grades.”
“Facing a Saints defense that is getting back close to full strength and is ranked #1 in run defense DVOA and #2 in run defense PFF grade, it seems likely that Carolina will have little to no success running the ball and may not even try besides a few token “keep them honest” runs.”
A little bit of an IKB (I know better) play, as very few books even have props up for this backfield. The Saints defense is elite at stopping the run and Hubbard has been one of the least efficient runners in the NFL in 2021. The Carolina Panthers are going back to Sam Darnold for a two game audition, which in theory will leave more rushing attempts for the backfield with Cam Newton on the sidelines, but this is not the game environment I expect it to matter. Expect an increase in pass percentage and a negative game flow for rushing from the Panthers this week with Chuba needing a long run early for this to get close.
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