Last week: 1-3
2020 season: 21-13-2 (61.8%)
All lines and totals are courtesy of America’s Line. All DFS costs are courtesy of DraftKings.
Packers -13.5 over Jaguars
Jacksonville nearly pulled off a sizable upset last week against Houston. The Jaguars played hard and had a chance to tie with a two-point conversion, but the attempt failed and the Texans survived. This week, however, holds a much taller task for the Jags, who will once again trot out backup quarterback Jake Luton against the 6-2 Packers at Lambeau Field.
The half-point here is crucial. If this was a 14-point spread, it would look significantly less appetizing. However, in a world where a 28-14, “not as close as it looked” victory is a win for Green Bay backers, I want as much of Gang Green as I can get.
Chargers/Dolphins: OVER 48.5
By and large, I thought the totals were pretty spot-on this week. This one, however, seems a few points low. Justin Herbert may be the best offensive rookie in football, and the Dolphins have shown they’re a competent offensive squad with a special teams unit that can make big plays.
This hits me as a 28-24 sort of game, with both defenses showing up but not being totally immune to big plays. I’m looking forward to seeing two rookie quarterbacks in action, and I’m rooting for them to put up plenty of points.
Ravens -7 over Patriots
This line confuses me. I know the Baltimore offense has been inconsistent, but the Patriots nearly lost to the bottom-feeding Jets on Monday Night Football and will be coming in on a short week. Perhaps the presence of Bill Belichick is keeping this line tighter than it should be, but whatever the case is, I feel like Baltimore should be a double-digit favorite.
The Patriots…are simply not good. The shine’s come off of Cam Newton, who has no wide receiving corps to work with, and while the defense hasn’t been awful, it also hasn’t been good enough to completely stop opposing playmakers. I think Baltimore wins and wins comfortably, far more comfortably than the seven-point spread would suggest.
Bears +3 over Vikings
Initially, I wanted no part of this game. I thought Chicago giving two, as the Bears were when wagering opened, was a decent line. However, with news that David Montgomery won’t suit up, the line has shifted five points, and I think that’s an overcorrection.
Yes, Chicago losing Montgomery will hurt. However, while the Vikings have won two in a row, it’s not like they were overwhelming in last week’s win over the Lions. The Bears, meanwhile, have been competitive against far better squads the last two weeks and should relish the class relief. I can’t pass up the chance to get three with the Bears here, and Chicago’s money line (+$160 as of this writing) wouldn’t be the worst bet in the world, either.
DAILY FANTASY PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT ($6,200)
WR Diontae Johnson, PIT ($5,200)
TE Eric Ebron, PIT ($4,400)
The undefeated Steelers face the Bengals, whose secondary has been ravaged by injuries and COVID-19. With that in mind, I think Sunday will be a great day for the Pittsburgh aerial attack, and that bodes well for this mini-stack. Johnson and Ebron are also pretty low-investment guys this week, which opens room in the budget for other playmakers.
WR Travis Fulgham, PHI ($6,400)
Fulgham has been a revelation for the Eagles, who moreso resemble a MASH unit than a football team. A sixth-round pick in 2019, he’s seen 41 targets the past four weeks and has found the end zone three times.
Philadelphia gets the woeful Giants on Sunday. Between his apparent talent and his likely volume, I like his chances at another big day. $6,400 isn’t a bargain price tag, but here you get a #1 wide receiver for high-end #2 money.
RB Duke Johnson, HOU ($5,000)
One of my players to watch last week, David Johnson, left the game early with an injury, which opened the door for Houston’s OTHER D. Johnson to shine. Duke will once again be the featured back this week in a game at Cleveland where heavy winds could keep the ball on the ground for most of the afternoon.
Duke doesn’t have the highest ceiling, and he managed just 73 yards on 20 touches a week ago. However, he did find the end zone, and with his likely workload, I need to buy low. A similar output Sunday would make him a bargain. Improvement after a week with the first-team offense would make him a steal.