Fantasy managers and sports bettors (who followed my advice) thrived on week 9 points and payouts. All five of my props worked, which means that in the 9th week the pressure is maintained.
I’m Sherlock diligently revealing hidden benefits with six teams goodbye. Using the Sportzshala metrics database and some help from a statistician. Kyle SoppeI’m here to help you win fantasy and books.
Minnesota Vikings (-3, 43.5) vs. Washington Commanders
Sunday, 13:00 ET, FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
Pick: Taylor Heinicke OVER 230.5 passing yards (-119)
Heinicke was my stream for the week leading up to the small win at Indy last Sunday. ODU Pride scored over 22 fantasy points and ended the week as fantasy QB8 in this fearless effort. He scored 3 underdogs against the Vikings this Sunday, which means his shoulder should stay warm and give fantasy football fans another run for the top 14.
Since the start of 2021, Heinicke has averaged 7.7% more yards per pass when trailing than when leading. So he pushes. The concern, of course, is that its accuracy will decrease under pressure. Except that Minnesota is not a high pressure team, allowing for a top four completion percentage (68.9%). This sets up Heinicke well, who averages 32.2% more yards per pass when unpressed than when under siege. This also means that he is less likely to take off than to drop. This last part is great for the over in the line above – and that’s why it’s not in my top ten fantasy QBs.
Obviously, Vegas thinks the game will be close. On occasions when the score was within a field goal, Heinicke took to the air, passing almost 65% of Washington’s total yards. It is interesting that such a mobile QB trusted his hand so confidently. While the squad of commanders blocking the pass was far from perfect, it was more effective than the Viking defensive front. In fact, Commanders are posting the second largest lead (17) in pass blocking this week on LBM.
Conversely, Washington is not as well set up against Minnesota’s run-backs, finishing eighth in run-blocking. It’s not good for racing Paul Heinicke (already mentioned) or Brian Robinson Jr. But the wheels are on that prop and Antonio Gibson (who comes off seven tries and is the Sportzshala RB22 consensus at full PPR point).
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Green Bay Packers (-3.5, 49.5) to Detroit Lions
Sunday, 1:00 pm ET, Ford Field, Detroit.
Choice: Amon-Ra St. Brown OVER 71.5 receiving yards (-117)
Unhindered, for the first time since week three, St. Brown returned to double-digit fantasy form last Sunday. The USC product converted seven out of 10 69 yard looks while passing 36 routes of the season. Finally recovered, St. Brown is ready to shine as the Lions’ brightest offensive star and one of the top 12 players for VR fans.
St. Brown has been targeting 32.5% of its routes this season, trailing only Tyreke Hill and DeAndra Hopkins (and ahead of Cooper Kupp and Stephon Diggs). He’s averaging 8.3 shots per game and has yet to drop below 10 goals in a healthy game this season. And that was before Detroit traded TJ Hockenson (and his six looks a game).
Assuming St. Brown’s volume remains steady (and he should be underdog with 3.5 points against a division rival with a projected total of 49.5 points), he thinks he’ll finish the game with no problems. Green Bay-facing receivers that recorded at least seven hits also covered at least 73 yards. And in only three (out of eight) WR games, the opposing team’s No. 1 failed to reach the aforementioned seven-look benchmark while battling the Packers.
St. Brown may not have an elite YPR (9.8), but its share of opportunity (target share of 33.6%, WR3) is what makes it so reliable. Even in a seemingly difficult match, he is worth the extra bet.
Las Vegas Raiders (-2, 48) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 1:00 pm ET, TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida.
Choice: Christian Kirk 52.5+ receiving yards (-119)
Fantasy Managers went on a road trip with Kirk this year. However, despite losing games, he is currently a WR16 fantasy overall. Despite surviving a failed run (which was expected due to the Denver matchup), the former Cardinal is due to correct course in Week 9.
Kirk not only lived in the slot (220 slot snaps, WR6), but also thrived inside, posting 357 slot yards (WR3) in 2022. The Raiders were generous with opponents in the specified area of the field, which allowed for the second highest number of completions (78.9%) of passes thrown into the slot. Also, with Nate Hobbs (arm) in IR, Trevor Lawrence will probably pepper the inside. He also considers himself effective in those attempts, as Kirk hasn’t missed a pass in seven of eight games this season.
Kirk has broken the above line in all but three games this season. On the other hand, the Raiders have allowed an opponent for at least 55 receiving yards this year 12 times. Kirk deserves to be considered in the top 20 and should be on par with Michael Pittman Jr. and Juju Smith-Shuster.
Buffalo Bills (-11.5, 46) to New York Jets
Sunday, 1:00 pm ET, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Pick: Devin Singletary OVER 50.5 yards (-119)
Leading offensive rusher No. 4 (according to DVOA) will forever remain relevant to fantasy. Singletary only averages 11.1 fantasy points per week, but his consistency (and his QB) makes him hard to sit. In a week full of goodbyes and winning matches, he deserves some extra attention as a top 20.
The Bills acquired Nyheim Hines and closed a deal with Zack Moss last Tuesday. The addition of Hines will certainly take away the ability of the Singletary to catch a pass, but the presence of the former Colt is unlikely to immediately affect the Singletary’s rushing attempts (especially with Moss outside the building). His sweepstakes are priced to stay in double figures as the Bills are 11.5 favorites and are up against the fifth-ranked Jets defense. In fact, according to LBM, Buffalo’s ground game represents the third-highest lead (17), with the Bills’ 14th blocking block protecting against the Jets’ 31st defensive team.
New York appears to be struggling with defenders who run to the right, allowing nearly two yards per carry (5.17 YPC) to position than when RBs rush to the left (3.31 YPC). As it turns out, Singletary crashes when running to the right, locking in 6.62 yards per carry when moving in that direction. I think Singleteri will put in over 13 rush attempts, but nine rushes to the right is all he needs to get past the above line.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals (-2, 49)
Sunday, 4:05 pm ET, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona.
Pick: Kenneth Walker III OVER 73.5 yards (-119)
On Wednesdays Fantasy Focus Capsulea listener in the chat asked me which one I would prefer ROS, Walker or Jonathan Taylor. i still lean. Given the recent news about Taylor’s ankle injury, the answer is Walker. The newcomer was a revelation to fantasy managers and the Seahawks.
Walker has had at least 19 touches in every game since taking over from Rashaad Penny in Week 6. In addition, over 22% of his carries (14) came from the red zone, which contributed to his four TDs in the last three weeks. He retires from a 51-yard rush but must come back against a Cardinals team that allowed him 97 yards in his debut as a Seattle leader.
Arizona has been stellar against the pass but has struggled on run defense, especially over the past four weeks. The Cardinals defensive group has been passing 24% more yards per carry since mid-October before contact with RB than during the whole of September and early last month. It’s this vulnerability that causes Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to pop another pack of gum.
Seattle has ranked sixth in percentage of ground yards gained since Walker has been in control of the backfield. Given a spread of only two points, this trend will not change. Walker has script, matchup, and volume, all working in his favor. This week he is as good in the game as Dalwyn Cooke or Ramondre Stevenson.
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