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GAME ENVIRONMENT DASHBOARD
The two quarterbacks in the marquee Buffalo Bills versus Kansas City Chiefs matchups are far and away the highest quarterbacks drafted. With other elites off the slate, Josh Allen is in a tier of his own at the top. He’s been absolutely dominant lately and I don’t expect that to change. Patrick Mahomes has been quiet the past few games but the Bills, with a soft defense, will likely push him to his limits.
There are a lot of question marks surrounding Lamar Jackson. He popped up on the injury report Thursday with an illness, something to monitor closely. Also, there is a major risk of heavy rain in Baltimore, so check weather reports. Lastly, he’s taken a bit of a backseat to the rushing attack, and the Los Angeles Rams do not project to push the pace here with a measly 16-point implied team total.
It’s Justin Fields versus the Detroit Lions week for those who celebrate. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in three straight games against the Lions, they cannot figure him out. He’s a better play than Jackson, who is going higher in drafts.
Brock Purdy continues to be underrated. He’s been incredible this season and is extremely correlated to a short list of elite players. Always has been and continues to be a great stacking option in these tournaments.
After Purdy, it dries up quickly. The Cincinnati Bengals versus Indianapolis Colts quietly is tied for the second-highest game total. Jake Browning and Gardner Minshew are virtually undrafted and provide correlation to elite wide receivers. I’m scrolling down to these guys once Purdy is off the board.
Christian McCaffrey is again atop the rankings. Don’t overthink this — his yardage prop is nearly 20 yards higher than RB2 — and he’s about 20 percent more likely to score than the next best running back. He also provides direct leverage on three always-drafted players.
Zack Moss continues to be a workhorse when he’s the lead back. The results were not there last week, but the opportunity certainly was. Moss boasted a four percent snap share, 91 percent of rush attempts and 68 percent of routes, while monopolizing both goal line and down-and-distance snaps. Moss should bounce back against a bad run defense in a high game total environment. I have him as RB3, but he’s drafted as RB6.
Rachaad White has unexpectedly turned into a bell cow this season, and the market is doesn't account for it enough. White’s yardage prop is higher than numerous backs going before him and also projects for more catches than most. Not a favorable matchup against a stout run defense, but White has the usage and he’s not always drafted.
Justin Jefferson being drafted as WR1 in the first round does not make sense. He’s returning from a hamstring injury, and QB Josh Dobbs has been bad. This is not the same offense and might not be the same Jefferson. Sportsbooks have his props scarily low. He is 13th in projected yards and ninth in touchdown likelihood. It’s wiser to put your money on over 65.5 yards and +175 anytime touchdown versus spending a first-round pick on him in Battle Royale.
Keenan Allen, on the other hand, is first in projected yards and tied for first in touchdown equity according to sportsbooks. Allen is being drafted as WR4. The offense has been a total mess, but Allen and Justin Herbert’s elite talent have produced regardless.
Will Mike Evans ever get the respect he deserves? He’s tied with Stefon Diggs for second in projected yardage, and we all know his unique touchdown ability. The Atlanta Falcons could be without their top two cornerbacks, which is something to monitor. CB1 AJ Terrell needs to clear concussion protocol and CB2 Jeff Okudah is dealing with an ankle injury. Even with these two, the Falcons have been quite average at defending wide receivers.
Travis Kelce is head and shoulders above the rest — he's the McCaffrey of tight ends — and should be the second selection always. He is projected 20 more yards than any tight end and is almost 20 percent more likely to score too. Based on ADP, he is likely very commonly paired with Mahomes. Get different by not doing so.
George Kittle should be TE2 on the slate based on sportsbooks odds. I tend to agree, and this doesn’t account for the leverage aspect of 49ers skill players against each other. While others chase Sam LaPorta’s eruption game, lean into Kittle and his upside.
David Njoku appears to be the best very low-owned tight end selection. Njoku has seen a major increase in usage over the past month and even had six targets in a down game last week. If Amari Cooper is unable to clear concussion protocol (has not practiced yet), Joe Flacco should look his way even more frequently.