This last week, I made a big mistake. I had written my article for Sunday and went to submit it for editing, but I never hit send on my message. It is a shame too because the picks went 4-2. I hit higher than picks on Jacoby Brissett’s pass attempts, Amari Cooper’s receptions and Latavius Murray’s rushing yards. I also hit on a lower-than-pick on George Kittle’s receptions.
My two losses were a lower-than-pick on Geno Smith’s interceptions and a higher play on Randall Cobb’s receptions. That brings us to 71-63-2 for picks this season. I have three picks I like for this week, so let’s dive right in.
Josh Allen HIGHER than 44.5 Rushing Yards
The Patriots defense is good at stopping the run, but there is one major weak spot of their rush defense Allen will take advantage of. On designed quarterback runs, the Patriots rush defense has been torn apart. They are giving up the third-most yards per rush to quarterbacks. In the two games they’ve played against running quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson ran for 107 rushing yards, and Justin Fields ran for 82 yards.
Allen is averaging 51 rush yards per game, so this line is lower than his average. Allen should follow the trend of rushing quarterbacks having success against this Patriots defense. I give it a confidence rating of 4/5 and would play it to 50.5 rush yards.
Rhamondre Stevenson HIGHER than 33.5 Receiving Yards
This feels like Fields’ rushing yards lines, where the line can’t keep up with the player’s usage and upside. Stevenson has the fourth-most targets per game of all running backs. We have seen a major shift in his usage in the last five weeks, and he has had more than a 20% target share in each game. In the last five weeks, he ranks second only behind Austin Ekeler for all running backs in targets per game.
That five-game sample is so impressive because it includes three games where New England’s usual starter, Damien Harris, played. One reason Stevenson is seeing so many targets is that he stays on the field for third down. In that same five-week sample, Stevenson has played 46 snaps on third down, which accounts for 94% of the Patriots’ running back snaps.
Harris has the second-most, and he only has two snaps. Based on his elite usage in the passing game, I am confident in this pick. There’s a serious chance he goes higher than this line in the first half, as he did in two of the last five games. I give this pick a rating of 5/5 and would play it up to 42.5 receiving yards.
Also, if there is a reception line for Stevenson posted later in the week at 4.5 or less, I highly advise playing higher on that too.
Devin Singletary LOWER than 53.5 Rush yards
Singletary has had an awesome schedule during the last few weeks. Against the Packers, Browns and Lions, three of the worst rush defenses in the league, he averaged 75 rushing yards per game. The only other game he has gone over 53.5 rushing yards was Week 6 against the Chiefs. That means in seven out of 11 games this season, he has gone under this yardage total, and three of the times he went over was against horrible rush defenses.
As mentioned before, the Patriots defense is good at stopping the run. They give up the ninth-fewest rushing yards per game. They give up the fifth-fewest yards rushing per game and the third-fewest yards per rush. They also give up the fifth-fewest rushes of 10 yards or more to running backs.
The final support for this play is Singletary is unlikely to be game scripted into more usage if the Bills are winning big. Singletary has handled 70% of rush attempts when the Bills are winning by seven points or less, tied or trailing. When the Bills are winning by eight points or more, Singletary has handled only 49% of the rush attempts.
In Week 11, the last time they were up by more than seven points, Singletary and James Cook split carries 50/50. With so much support for this play, it is my strongest play of the game, and I rate it 5/5. I would play this down to 47.5 rush yards.
WATCH: How Buffalo Can Fill Von Miller’s Spot