Well, when I said “separating the wheat from the chaff” after last week, I didn’t realize it would be separated so dramatically… We had a ton of blowouts last week, and somehow the Rams didn’t feature in one of them. Thankfully, this week should bring us some more evenly-matched teams. For example, the Eagles and the Lions will square off in a battle of suckitude. The Panthers and the Falcons get to square up in a battle of bad (or “meh” at their best). And, of course, we should still have our blowouts this week, with the Bills favored by an absurd 13.5 points over the Dolphins in Orchard Park. The Rams have it even easier, as they are favored by -14 for their matchup with the Texans in Houston. Luckily, there are still plenty of player props to cash in on!
Adam’s Betting Record: 22-26 (A perfectly .500 week last week)
Elijah Mitchell OVER 71.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -110)
On Fanduel: Elijah Mitchell OVER 71.5 Rushing Yards (-113)
I like Mitchell to go over 71.5 rushing yards this week against a Bears team that is going to be turning over the ball quickly and doesn’t defend the run particularly well.
Mitchell has sandwiched two very okay games with two very good games this season:
It’s important to note that in each of these games, the volume has really been there. Mitchell has gotten RB1-ish levels of carries and the results have mostly been there on that workload. The one outlier thus far has been the game against Philadelphia, where the Eagles held San Francisco essentially all game.
I’m willing to bet that the 49ers’ defense will be able to force Bears QB Justin Fields into making mistakes and creating turnovers. And, even without turnovers, the Bears’ offense really hasn’t done much of anything lately (granted, they played Tampa’s world-beating front seven last week), so the 49ers’ offense should have the opportunity to work early and often against the Bears. However, a word of caution: the Bears’ defense is no slouch; the defensive unit is projected to finish 7th by DVOA and currently sit 8th in Weighted DVOA, according to FootballOutsiders. The 49ers may have some trouble moving the ball against this defense, especially if Jimmy Garoppolo can’t get the ball to his receivers every once in a while. At that point, the Bears could simply key in on the run and try to stop Mitchell, daring Garoppolo to beat them through the air.
I don’t think they’ll be able to do that, though, and Mitchell, provided he gets the same workload as he did last week against Indianapolis, should have the opportunity to go out and pick up chunks of yardage against what should be a tired Bears’ defense.
Here’s some extra encouragement:
5 carries, 57 yards and a TD.
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2021
Also consider: Elijah Mitchell Longest Rush OVER 15.5 Yards (DK, -120)
Cordarrelle Patterson OVER 36.5 Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: There’s no direct equivalent to this prop, but you could also consider Patterson OVER 25 alternate receiving yards (-250) or, if you’re feeling bold, Patterson OVER 40 receiving yards (+106)
Hey, Dave Ragone, what happened last week?? Why did you stop feeding Cordarrelle all the targets?
Even though Patterson ended the day with just 2 catches for a whopping 1 yard, I’m still confident that he’s going to surpass 35 receiving yards this week. He has the game log to prove it:
In virtually every game except against Philadelphia (where the Falcons insisted on feeding the ball to Mike Davis, for some reason) and last week, he has crushed the 35 receiving yard-mark. And, now that the Falcons have realized that Patterson is actually the superior RB/WR/ATH, they’re starting to feed him with greater regularity on the ground and through the air, which means more opportunities to produce yardage (and be the 8th-overall RB in PPR thus far).
The opportunities should mostly be there this week, even if the matchup against the Panthers isn’t particularly inviting. After the early season success, the Panthers’ defense has slipped from its top-10 ranking in Weighted DVOA, currently sitting at 12th overall, which is still a pretty impressive ranking. They also don’t allow any receiving yardage to the RB position, ranking as the best defense against RB receiving yards in the NFL. The Panthers may be slipping in other categories, but they certainly aren’t going to let teams beat them by allowing RBs to make plays, which doesn’t bode well for Patterson’s receiving numbers.
However, I will point out that the Falcons’ don’t really use Patterson as a traditional RB, which has allowed him to maintain his success through Week 7. He’s running real routes:
Cordarrelle Patterson’s routes run at WR:
Week 1 – 3
Week 2 – 9
Week 3 – 4
Week 4 – 11
Week 5 – 17
Week 7 – 23
So, not only is he getting more RB work – he's out-carried Mike Davis 28 to 17 over the last two games – Patterson is also getting way more burn as an actual WR.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 26, 2021
Can we get WR and RB eligibility for Mr. Patterson?
At any rate, Patterson should be able to move on from last week’s “mediocre” performance (still finished as RB19 last week in PPR) and put together more than 35 receiving yards.
Also consider: Cordarrelle Patterson OVER 84.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (DK, -115)
Mike White UNDER 219.5 Passing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Mike White UNDER 219.5 Passing Yards (-113)
Look, I consider myself to be a considerably well-informed football fan. Granted, I have other things to do during the week, so I don’t have all day to be researching fantasy football players, but I think I could tell you pretty much every starting QB in football on any given day. But, even after all of that, I had no idea who the HECK Mike White was. White is taking over for Zach Wilson against the Bengals this week, although I wouldn’t expect his reign to last long with Joe Flacco on the way back to New Jersey.
Although, this pass did look pretty good…
MIKE WHITE 👀👀👀
— PFF (@PFF) October 24, 2021
Look, I’m not trying to fully discount Mike White‘s abilities just yet, but he’s probably going to find it very tough sledding in his first career start against the Bengals. Cincinnati currently ranks 5th in defensive DVOA and 8th against the pass. And, in this offense, where Zach Wilson (who I’m assuming took most of the first-team reps in practice until this week) threw for an average of 194.7 yards per game, White is more than likely going to struggle at least as much as Wilson.
If he doesn’t struggle and instead throws for at least 218 yards, more power to Mike White. But, I can’t really see that happening unless White picks up chunks of yardage in garbage time.
Also consider: Mike White UNDER 1.5 INTs (DK, -235)
Jalen Hurts OVER 46.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -110)
On Fanduel: Hurts OVER 44.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
Hurts and the Eagles get a fantastic matchup with the Lions this week after some very mediocre (at-best) offensive showings against the Raiders and the Buccaneers.
The Lions’ defense is ranked 26th overall by Weighted DVOA, but rank 13th in Rushing Yards allowed to QBs. I’m willing to bet, though, that the Rushing Yards allowed metric has been aided by the nature of the QBs the Lions have played against, and that the Lions, if faced with a QB who uses their legs, is going to be gashed all the same. Let’s take a look at each of the QBs the Lions have taken on so far and their rushing yardage during the games:
There’s really nothing in this chart to suggest that the Lions are actually good at defending QBs who use their legs because they’ve faced one QB that might qualify as “mobile.” Therefore, when Hurts steps under center, he shouldn’t have any problem gashing the Lions on the ground.
And, Hurts has done more than enough gashing on the ground to satisfy fantasy football managers (but not Eagles fans, apparently. Don’t listen to local Philly sports radio) this season, so that this prop doesn’t feel totally unreasonable:
Hurts doesn’t consistently gash teams on the ground, but he definitely has the opportunities to do so. The Eagles were designing up more runs for him this week, as opposed to Hurts improvising and running for his life from opposing defenders, which obviously helped his rushing total. I think the Eagles will keep doing that for Hurts this week, and he’ll have better success because he’s facing the cardboard cutout of a Lions defense.
Also consider: Jalen Hurts OVER 1.5 Passing TDs (DK, -160)
Dalvin Cook OVER 84.5 Rushing Yards (DK, -115)
On Fanduel: Cook OVER 84.5 Rushing Yards (-114)
Cook and Co. host Dallas this week, in what should be a high-scoring, high-flying affair. Of course, that will ultimately depend on whether Dak Prescott plays, but it seems like he will play and the Cowboys will still have most of their pieces for this coming week. That means that Dallas will certainly be able to put up plenty of points. It’s a good thing the Vikings have an All-Pro caliber running back just waiting to take the ball out of Kirk Cousins’ hands.
The Vikings go up against Dallas’s 15th-ranked Opponent Rushing DVOA this week, which is not bad, but it’s not “Stuffing Dalvin Cook” levels of good. They’ve done a good job of stopping running backs in general, too, allowing the 4th-fewest yards to opposing running backs this season. Against any ordinary running back, this would be quite promising for an UNDER type of bet. But the Vikings don’t have any old running back. They have Dalvin Cook, the 2nd- or 3rd-best running back in football when Christian McCaffrey is healthy.
Cook has been inconsistent this season, part of which is due to injury. He hurt his ankle a few weeks ago and Alexander Mattison had to step in to try and fill Cook’s shoes. Cook played through the injury against Carolina two weeks ago and rushed 29 times for 140 yards and a touchdown. Thankfully, the Vikings are coming off a bye, so Cook has had an extra week to rest that ankle and get closer to full health. As a result, Cook is no longer on the injury report for this coming week, which is very promising for his workload in Week 8. One of the few things that stops Cook from getting 20-25 carries a game is his health. And, if his health isn’t in question, as it doesn’t appear to be, then Cook should be just fine getting a huge workload.
I’m confident in firing up Cook for this player prop (and in all fantasy formats), even when faced with a tougher matchup against Dallas. The Vikings won’t need to abandon the run because they won’t fall too far behind the Cowboys and, even with a subpar offensive line, Cook should find plenty of running room against this defense.
Also consider: Dalvin Cook OVER 25.5 Reception Yards (DK, -110)
Tom Brady OVER 2.5 TD Passes (DK, +110)
On Fanduel: Tom Brady OVER 2.5 TD Passes (+130)
This Tom Brady fella is pretty good at football, I hear. So good, in fact, that he leads the NFL in TD passes currently. Mr. Brady has thrown for 21 TDs to just 3 INTs in 7 games. That’s 3 TDs per game, an absolutely monster rate. If he continued to throw TD passes at this rate, Brady would beat his own PR, set in 2007 (50 TDs).
While I don’t think he’s going to continue to throw touchdowns at a rate that would put him just shy of Peyton Manning’s single-season TD record (2013, 55 TDs), I don’t think this is the week that he’s going to stop throwing less than 3 TDs. The Saints are a strong defensive team, for sure, but they also have a not-so-good offense, meaning that the Bucs are going to have the ball plenty of times and get the ball in probably pretty decent field position (for scoring TDs). I think the Tampa defense is going to be able to pump the brakes on Alvin Kamara and try to force Jameis Winston to do most of the work for this offense, which is a formula that more often than not leads to good results for opposing defenses.
Brady isn’t going to have the full gamut of the Bucs’ ‘offensive weapons’ at his disposal this week, as Antonio Brown has been ruled out. Rob Gronkowski was back at practice earlier this week, so it appears he is trending towards playing, but I’m not absolutely sure that he will. At any rate, Brady will at least have two elite WRs in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans and a solid 3rd receiving option in Tyler Johnson. It looks like O.J. Howard might also be available if Gronk can’t go, but this offense is still quite deep regardless of whether Gronk or Howard or neither is healthy this week. Fire up Brady and the Bucs for fantasy and for this prop.
A little bonus Brady content:
Not Tom Brady playing Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa” after he destroyed the Bears yesterday 😭😭pic.twitter.com/zcvcvmVrVc
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) October 26, 2021
Also consider: Tom Brady UNDER 0.5 INTs (DK, -130)