Week 12; Sunday game previews

Well, the Thanksgiving games might not have been stunners, but financially they were awesome. Another 13 points of profit were added to the season bank, and we were up over 50 points before the speculative 1 point stake on L’il Jordan in the late game. As it happens that wasn’t even a stupid punt as he led the team in receiving.

Matt Breida scored at a decent price too, not tipped up but I had backed him the week previous so a little gutted I go in again, he should be a decent price for the Bills next game.

However, after all the trumpet blowing from myself (something I don’t tend to do), I do have to say that this hot-streak probably won’t last. It was a rough start to the year and I’m sure this run will come to an end, so stick to your staking plan and don’t expect every week to go as well as the last 10 days or so have.

There’s only 1 game on the slate this weekend with a total over 50, so things are expected to be a little tighter this Sunday, even more reason to head over to NFL-DFS.com and give Tom’s Draftkings preview a read where he picks out his best plays.

I’m actually at the Etihad to watch the Hammers (probably) lose to City tomorrow/today so will miss the start of these games, but hopefully not too much as it’s AFC North derby day against the old scumbags.

Atlanta Falcons -2 @ Jacksonville Jaguars: 45.5

At least I’m not a fan of either of these two teams, good luck trying to figure out who wins here. The Falcons are coming off a shut-out will be desperate to have Cordarrelle Patterson back as the offense was inept without him, given the talent on the field it’s not too much of a shock. Take out Kyle Pitts and there’s not much else.

There’s not been much talk about Trevor Lawrence being a flop. He’s in a terrible situation so I think most people are assuming his poor play is because of that and nothing deeper. He’s obviously talented so they’ll be hoping he doesn’t turn into a Darnold after a shit rookie year. They lost Jamal Agnew this week, you’d never have thought that would be a turning point for a team but he’s been important for them this year.

I’ve no idea. If Patterson plays I think I’d have to take the Falcons, if not then lean to the Jags. As pointed out on the Deep Dive pod this week, The Jags haven’t scored 24 points all year yet their team total is 22.5 (down from 23.5 earlier in the week) – Probably too late to get on there, but have to go under this total.

Carolina Panthers -2 @ Miami Dolphins: 41.5

Another I’m struggling to judge. Sure Cam Newton is back, and he looked fine, but his arm is still terrible. I mean it’s an update on Darnold/Walker of course, but it’s not a big jump in their prospects. He will run the ball and Christian McCaffrey will get a lot more in short-range but it’s no real improvement for Anderson or Moore.

The Dolphins aren’t a good team though, so I can’t really talk about them positively either. Tua Tagovailoa is fine, but the offensive line is killing him and the run game, led by Miles Gaskin, possibly improved by bringing in Philip Lindsay this week after his release from the Texans, but he probably won’t see the field here.

Not a whole lot to say about these teams and I’m trying not to bring pre-season biased into this as I was high on the Panthers and low on the Dolphins, but neither are interesting for me, sorry. I actually think the Dolphins could scrape out another win in, but I’m going nowhere on this game.

That’s a lie. Mike Gesicki o3.5 receptions – 4/6 (365) this has dropped back down to 4 catches, I can’t say no to it at that line.

New York Jets +2.5 @ Houston Texans: 45.5

Somehow I find this more interesting than the game above. Zach Wilson returns for the Jets as Flacco and White are on the Covid list, turns out trading for an unvaccinated QB might not have been the best idea. The Jets also have Corey Davis questionable for this one, so it could/should be another Elijah Moore game but the tape we’ve got on Wilson so far doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

One would hope that he’s been watching how the others have moved the offense and he’ll drop the ball short more often, but even that is tougher with Michael Carter out for the season. Ty Johnson should get more carries and he’s been involved a lot in the passing game.

Tyrod Taylors’ Texans won again last week as he rushed in for a couple of scores against the Titans and the defense caused turnover after turnover against a depleted Titans team. Again I’m assuming Wilson has improved but he’s still going to go Yolo on passes, so they should be able to get turnovers again.

They ditched Philip Lindsay from the run game this week and Sexy Rexy Burkhead seems more invovled now 11/4, while David Johnson looks a shadow of himself this year. Brandin Cooks more than likely the main target in the passing game.

I have to take the Texans covering here, it won’t be pretty.

Philadelphia Eagles -4 @ New York Giants: 45

The Eagles are making a fight of the NFC East with 2 wins in a row, they still sit two games behind the Cowboys but this division looked like it was done after 5 games of the season. They have realised they’re one of the best run teams in the league and Jalen Hurts at QB gives them chances in every game as his hat-trick showed last week. He’s 7/5 to score again. They are without Jordan Howard in that aspect so I’m hoping Miles Sanders finds the endzone as he’s done nothing for me in fantasy since I traded for him.

Devonta Smith is showing why he won the Heismann in college, he and Hurts have a great connection while Dallas Goedert will put up yards every week. Outside of those two it’s a crapshoot, but Quez Watkins has put up big gains on occasion.

Defensively they’ll be hoping Darius Slay clears concussion as he’s done well this year and had a pick-6 last week.

The Giants will have Saquon Barkley another week healthier, it’s been another lost season for him and it’s harsh to say he was a wasted pick but he seems hard to get right and was always a little boom/bust in college. He could break off a 90 yard run but a lot will be short runs. I do believe Freddie Kitchens coming in as the OC will help him though, he got the run game clicking in Cleveland when he was there.

I also think they’ll try and get Kenny Golladay more involved after paying a lot to get him on the roster, he’s one of the best contested-catch guys in the league but once again injuries have affected someone on their roster. Karadius Toney has been good but gets injured every game, he’s doubtful for this one.

Hard to not take the Eagles, I definitely wouldn’t be taking the Giants.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 @ Cincinnati Bengals: 44

The first of the AFC North derby games sees the Steelers take on the Bengals. The Bengals have won two in a row against the enemy including one with Ryan Finley at QB. The win earlier in the season has a definite asterisk next to it as the Steelers were without Diontae Johnson, TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith.

They have been far better since that game as the offensive line seems to have figured things out and they’ve got Najee Harris going on the ground instead of just dump-offs. He’s had a lot of carries this year as they struggled to get anything else going.

Big Ben has been better having gone 5 games without an interception now, sure he’s still him, will throw up dollies every now and then but compared to the start of the season. It helps having a couple of pass-catchers available, Diontae has been his guy all year while Chase Claypool has been in and out but will play tonight. He also seems to have formed a decent connection with rookie TE Pat Friermuth.

TJ Watt being back is probably the key to the game, he’s one of the best in the league and even I as a Steeler hater appreciate how good he is.

The Bengals bounced back from a couple of losses and their bye-week with a win in Vegas last week, it wasn’t a pretty win but they did control time of possession and restricted the Raiders on offense. As always protecting Joe Burrow will be the key, the tackles have actually been pretty good this year so they might be all right against Watt. Burrow has been all right this year but has thrown far too many interceptions as he stays aggressive. It’s a fine line.

Ja’marr Chase has dropped off in recent weeks but has still been scoring as teams realise how to defend him, it should mean more for Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd who will get softer coverage as a result. Chase could still have had 100+ yard games in the last two with a few drops on contested plays costing the team big.

Joe Mixon has been great at running back though as a result of an average offensive line, he’s scored in 7 games in a row now, the game between these two the last he played without finding the endzone, so 20/21 for him to score seems fair.

The defense had fallen off before the bye but looked good against the Raiders last week, so hopefully will bounce back here and I do think they’ll get a turnover.

I’m worried. I think the Steelers win. I am a pessimistic Bengals fan.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 @ Indianapolis Colts: 53

The Bucs got back to winning ways last week and are getting healthier week by week on both sides of the ball. Antonio Brown is still out but Gronkowski is another week healthier. Tom Brady is the rightful favourite for the MVP this year, leading the league in TD passes.

Evans and Godwin have good matchups here, Evans quietly has 10 TDs this year, Godwin has 5. They’re still the favourites for the Superbowl and it looks like they’ll be winning the South again. The run game is still what it is, Fournette gets most of the snaps but they mixed in Ronald Jones a little last week.

The Colts dominated against the Bills last week on the back of Jonathan Taylor who looks like the front-runner for OPOY after 5 TDs in that game, he leads the league in rushing and it doesn’t look like anyone will catch him, however this week is the toughest test for them against this run defense with Vita Vea back. The offensive line is probably the best in the league so it will be an intriguing match-up.

If they can’t run the ball they’re screwed, I don’t think Carson Wentz will be able to win the game for them if Taylor can’t run. It would mean more for Michael Pittman in the passing game, he’s really improved in his sophomore year. Outside of him it’s a bit messier. TY Hilton has had a rough year with injuries again. Zach Pascal is fine.

I can’t see past the Bucs winning and covering, I think they slow Taylor and that’s it for the Colts

Tennessee Titans +7 @ New England Patriots: 43.5

The Titans are decimated with injury and sent AJ Brown to the IR this week joining their other two studs Julio and Derrick Henry. It leaves them seriously depleted and I don’t see how they move the ball at all here.

Ryan Tannehill struggled with Brown out of the lineup after getting injured during the game last week, it left him with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine leading the WR corps with 7 for 107 and rookie Dez Fitzpatrick making a successful comeback with a TD. Running back Dontrell Hilliard had a lot of receptions as they looked to comeback against the Texans.

They cut AP this week leaving them with Dont’a Foreman and Hilliard at running back? It’s not pretty.

The Patriots are on fire at the moment though with 5 wins in a row and they get extra rest for this one after shutting out the Falcons on Thursday night. It’s been mainly on the back of their defense but Mac Jones is showing why Belichick drafted him. He doesn’t need to do much, but what he does, he does well.

Hunter Henry keeps scoring, he’s above 2/1 again this week after scores in 6 of their last 8 games. Bourne, Meyers and Agholor keep moving the ball through the air, but it’s the defense and run game which get them the wins really.

Harris and Stevenson have formed a good partnership, both are questionable here but I’d imagine they both make it and play. I can’t pick between them for props or scorer now, Stevenson looks the better short-yardage back but Harris got more when they were both healthy.

It’s impossible to take the Titans despite the spread reaching a TD now. Have to say Patriots and under.

Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 @ Denver Broncos: 48

The battle for the AFC West continues and while I think the Chiefs will win it these two will think they’ve got a chance still.

The Chargers should have won easily last week against the Steelers but allowed the most 4th quarter points any team has this season to make it a closer final than expected. They needed to let Justin Herbert cook and seemed to do that last week, he’s probably the best young QB in the league at the moment and has all the assets as shown by 90 yards on the ground last week to add to 380 yards through the air.

Austin Ekeler notched up 2 on the ground and 2 receiving scores and has a decent matchup here as well as the Broncos rank 28th vs. the run. Nearly evens for him to score (10/11 365) seems generous for him.

Allen and Williams have shown up as one of the best 1-2 punches in the league, Allen continues to get more of the yardage while Williams could be back in form in the scoring department after a rough few weeks. Outside of those two take your pick of random TEs getting the yards.

The Broncos come off their bye week and should look to run the ball a lot. Javonte Wililams and Melvin Gordon have done well and most fantasy players will be looking for Wiliams getting more of the carries.

They are near full strength at skill positions now with Jeudy back looking healthy, and after signing Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick to deals this week will be hoping that going forward they can be a high-scoring offense. They need to upgrade on Teddy B at QB but they’re putting things in place to do that over the summer.

The Chargers are the better team, they win and cover here.

Los Angeles Rams -2 @ Green Bay Packers: 47

The 925 slate could have big repercussions in the NFC as this and the next game. The Rams need the win to keep hope of the #1 seed as they’re currently a win behind the Packers and 2 behind the Cards who currently hold that spot.

The Rams were stumbling coming into their bye week so you’ve got to hope that they’ll have sorted things out and Matthew Stafford bounces back to the form which got them off to a good start this year. He’s still 1st in QBR for the season despite 4 interceptions in their 2 recent losses.

Cooper Kupp is on target to a record-setting year, the connection between him and Stafford is fine but it’s behind him they need help. Odell Beckham should have more of the playbook sorted out with the bye week, he and Van Jefferson should add some depth behind Kupp while Tyler Higbee scored in their last match.

The Packers lost another piece on the offensive line as their backup LT went down, that’s a worry for them with Rodgers nursing the worst toe injury known to man, but he was very good against the Vikings last week, arguably his best performance of the season.

Aaron Jones is hoping to return, but with the Packers on bye next week it seems unlikely that they’ll rush him back in this one if there’s a possibility of another week of rest for him. AJ Dillon is a fine backup behind him so there’s no real reason to rush him and risk a more serious injury.

Devante Adams is un-coverable, he’ll get 100 odd yards as he always does. He won’t be shadowed by Ramsey as some might expect, Ramsey doesn’t tend to follow players, so he’ll get his receptions as always. Outside of him it’s tougher to call. MVS had his big gain TD last week as he tends to do a few times a season. Lazard is banged up, so Equanimeous St. Brown will need another decent game.

This should be a Rams win, they should be able to get pressure up front and on paper they’re the stronger roster at the moment.

Minnesota Vikings +3 @ San Francisco 49ers: 49.5

This game will be decided by 3 points. I’m just not sure which way as both of these teams look to push for a wildcard spot in the NFC. They’re both coming off wins and looking good doing it.

The Vikings beat the Packers last week with a last-second field goal after a long drive. Dalvin Cook is great, and the passing game is… well, it’s not elite, but Justin Jefferson is proving one of the best in the league this season with 2 100 yard games in a row now and a couple of TDs last week leaving him 4th in yards so far this year. Thielen still tends to get the TDs in the passing game.

This is Kirk Cousins outside of his safe-space… a late kick off. He’s been great this season and has won in the late time-slot but it’s historically been bad for him.

The 49ers have been grinding out drives on the ground and opened the game with a 13 minute field goal drive against the Jags last week, they’ll probably look to do the same here and should have Elijah Mitchell back in the backfield alongside Jeff Wilson.

The return of George Kittle has been huge for them, he’s scored 3 games in a row since coming back from injury. Deebo Samuel has been outstanding this year, he led them in rushing yards last week but sits second in receiving yards as they utilise his elite YAC-ability and it seems like Brandon Aiyuk is out of the dog-house as well.

This should be a great game, both teams are capable of putting up points, but both are equally capable of grinding out drives on the ground and slowing the game down so it’s a risky total to attack. I would be taking the Vikings getting points if I had to though.

Cleveland Browns +3.5 @ Baltimore Ravens: 47

The AFC North’s other matchup closes out the day as the Browns take on the Ravens.

Baker Mayfield is seriously banged up and is not playing well at the moment, but they’ll look to negate that with Kareem Hunt returning to the starting lineup for the first time in over a month adding to the ground attack which will surely get the vast majority of the work in this one. Nick Chubb has over 100 rushing yards in 4 of their last 5 games and I think they go run-heavy so should get close to that again.

The passing game isn’t great due to Baker and a lack of healthy receivers. Jarvis Landry is the de facto 1, he’s been nursing injuries through the year while Donovan Peoples-Jones missed out last week and is officially questionable for this. Austin Hooper and David Njoku are a good TE partnership and will be required to try and move the ball.

The injury report for both of these teams is absurd, at least 18 players on either side listed on there this week. The Ravens should have Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown back after both missed their win last week, it was a heavy Mark Andrews week with a backup QB and no other reliable target, but they will be stronger for this one.

The run-game isn’t exactly great but Devonta Freeman has been fine, he scored in their win last week.

Shit, there’s not much to say about the Ravens other than they’re a very well coached team and I expect them to beat a batter Browns team who go on their bye next week.

Best Bets;

Once again, very good couple of weeks, variance will hit at some point, so go steady this week.

There’s a lot of low totals and close games this week so not a whole lot I’d consider a banker.

I’ve got nothing on the spreads again, a few that catch the eye but nothing I want to put money on; the Texans, Chargers, urgh, the Steelers (may well just be my pessimism though)

Best TD scorers

  • Joe Mixon – 10/11 (365)
  • Austin Ekeler – 20/21 (365)
  • Rex Burkhead – 9/4 (365)
  • Hunter Henry – 12/5 (365)

Best Prop

  • Mike Gesicki o3.5 receptions – 4/6 (365)
  • Dontrell Hilliard o22.5 rec. yards – 5/6 (Skybet)

I’m sure you were expecting more but time is getting short and I don’t want to force anything.

Good luck if you follow along, hopefully the good run will continue.

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