Two game slates force a player to be close to perfect, and the normal rules do not exist. Play three pass catchers with one quarterback, two running backs from the same team or a player against your defense. This one has a big price gap between the top of their positions and the secondary players, giving us an easy way to the top at each position.
We also have rostership data for free, which can be found in the article linked here.
- The 49ers’ secondary will be tough to beat as they have been all year. Geno Smith will see a ton of Cover 3 and Cover 4 looks. He has thrown 43.1% of his touchdowns and 54.6% of his interceptions against those coverages
- The 49ers will rely on rushing four, allowing them to play seven players in coverage to limit the passing game. The Seahawks couldn’t contain their pass rush in either of the team’s previous two matchups. Smith was pressured on 31% of dropbacks and sacked five times.
- From a route tree perspective, the two routes the 49ers don’t defend well are corner and post routes, which attack their safeties.
- The 49ers’ weakest point is the slot position because of the personnel they utilize for their nickel package. Instead of bringing in a slot corner, they bring in a third safety
- Their safeties are excellent in the box at tackling, which limits what you can do in the run game. Their interior linebackers are also amongst the best cover linebackers in the NFL and can cover a ton of ground. Seattle will have to move the ball from the slot area, but even that will be a challenge
- The Seahawks mix and match who gets into the slot, but the main player is Tyler Lockett. Lockett has seen the most targets on the routes that hurt the 49ers
- On the perimeter, the Seahawks have to get DK Metcalf matched up with Deommodore Lenoir because Charvarius Ward covered Metcalf well down the field earlier this season. Metcalf’s strength has allowed him to make a couple of plays against Ward, but Lenoir is the corner giving up over nine yards per target
- Noah Fant will get some work from the slot but rarely runs the routes that have hurt the 49ers the most, and they have multiple tight ends
- The last wide receiver to note is Cade Johnson from South Dakota State. To date, 18% of his route tree has consisted of corner and post routes, which is the highest rate on the team, making him a sneaky punt play for the Seahawks’ passing attack
- Metcalf is the targeted most frequently against the 49ers’ primary coverages, but Lockett is the player averaging more yards per route run. Both players will dominate the target share in this playoff matchup, but I expect Lockett to be the key for this game
- I don’t believe this is a smash game from Smith, and I will not be getting to him on this slate
San Francisco 49ers
- Brock Purdy has thrown two touchdowns in every game he’s had at least 80% of the snaps, and it’s a credit to Kyle Shanahan and his play design near the red zone
- Purdy has averaged more than eight yards per attempt in each game this season, but this will be the first time he’s facing an opponent for the second time
- The Seahawks run a zone-heavy scheme with a lot of two-high safeties and Cover 3 when they bring one into the box. Purdy has a small sample size to utilize some of his data for, but he has seen 40% of his dropbacks against Cover 3 and has averaged 7.7 yards per attempt
- Purdy has thrown screen passes on 11.8% of his attempts and is averaging 8.8 yards per attempt on such passes
- The Seahawks are the best team in the NFL at defending pass catchers on the perimeter but struggle with slot players, tight ends and running backs. The two main routes the Seahawks struggle with are shallow routes and corner routes
- The 49ers will be at full strength for the second time this season, and this offense has plenty of ways they can win. Brandon Aiyuk plays in the slot more often than Deebo Samuel, but on three wide receiver sets, it’s more likely Jauan Jennings or Ray-Ray McCloud will be the slot player
- Since Purdy has taken over, Aiyuk has been the player getting more work down the field with an aDOT of 10.4, while Samuel has an average depth of target of 3.7
- With the exceptional cornerback play of the Seahawks, I do not anticipate them attacking the perimeter or down the field, but instead, mainly focusing on the short areas of the field. Aiyuk will win on shallow routes, which account for 25.7% of his targets, and Samuel will be used on many screens
- George Kittle is the player to note in the passing attack because of his chemistry with Purdy and the mismatch he creates against the Seahawks. Shanahan will have plays designed specifically for him, and I expect them to have plenty of success
- I expect Christian McCaffrey to have a high target share because of the struggle the Seahawks have at linebacker.
- Purdy will continue his efficiency, but it’ll be difficult to picture a big DFS day from someone I do not anticipate throwing much. In the passing game, the work will be divided amongst all of their players, but I expect Kittle and McCaffrey to lead this team
- Shanahan is all about creating mismatches, and the way they will win is through the running game and play action for Kittle
- Kenneth Walker will be force-fed early to help slow down the 49ers’ pass rush, but San Francisco’s run defense has been stout all season long
- According to the Trenches Tool, the 49ers have a significant advantage in the run game. If Walker doesn’t see north of 20 carries, it’ll be difficult for him to make it into the optimal lineup.
- In addition, the 49ers rank first at defending a gap scheme and second at defending a zone scheme. Seattle’s two tight end sets will allow the 49ers to keep three linebackers on the field, so running the ball will be tough.
- The best shot for Walker will be in the passing game, but I can’t imagine him being effective enough to make a difference.
San Francisco 49ers
- The 49ers had Elijah Mitchell return, and he looked good in his first game after injury. I expect him to have a role for this rushing attack in late-game situations and lessen McCaffrey’s workload.
- Mitchell and McCaffrey are playable together on this slate, giving you a chance for uniqueness if you do it.
- The 49ers have a sizeable advantage in run blocking against the Seahawks, who have been one of the worst teams in the NFL at stopping the run.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Justin Hebert has had an underwhelming season for his standards, but he still managed to throw for 4,739 yards and 25 touchdowns without his full weaponry during the majority of the season
- Mike Williams will not play in this matchup due to a back fracture, leaving DeAndre Carter as the player to step up in three wide receiver sets. The Jaguars struggle to defend deep routes, and the loss of Williams will be felt for that specific reason
- The Jaguars’ defense has a lot of energy and youth, allowing them to create pressure. Jacksonville can get pressure at the fourth-highest rate among playoff teams, but they sack the quarterback at the second-lowest rate
- The Chargers are aware of their offensive line struggles, so getting the ball out quickly is going to be a frequent thing we see from Herbert. When they want to go deep, it’ll have to be off of play action or with movement in the pocket
- Down the stretch, the Jaguars started playing a lot more Cover 4 and Cover 3 coverage, but at the beginning of the year, they played a lot more Cover 1 and Cover 2
- If the Jaguars take the lead, they will likely play more Cover 2 because the Chargers don’t have the players to win over the top
The Jaguars and Chargers rank in the bottom 10 at defending Crossers, Posts, Corners, and Vertical routes.
Both Teams have allowed over 900 yards receiving on these routes, with the Chargers allowing 10 touchdowns and the Jaguars allowing 9 touchdowns.
— Jordan Vanek (@JordanVanekDFS) January 11, 2023
- Without Williams, there will be three primary players to consider, with Keenan Allen leading the way. Allen will see a heavy workload in this matchup
- The Chargers will want to get Josh Palmer active early because he will be their best bet on winning on vertical routes. Palmer showed some ability to win off of these routes when Williams missed time earlier in the season. Palmer also had 99 yards in the first game against this Jaguars’ secondary
- Carter has mainly been a slot wide receiver, so I expect to see a lot of bunch sets from this group to allow these players to play a similar slot type of role off the line of scrimmage. Carter has been more frequently targeted on posts and corner routes than Palmer, but Palmer has the advantage on the vertical routes
- The tight end room for the Chargers features three players, Gerald Everett, Tre’ McKitty and Donald Parham. The Jaguars are one of six teams to allow 1,000 yards receiving to tight ends this season, and they gave up seven touchdowns to them
- Tight ends that split into the slot scored slightly more points than in-line tight ends, Everett is this team’s main slot tight end, but Parham will also see some snaps in that area
- Parham is my preferred tight end because when he gets targeted, it is down the field, and Everett is more of a check-down player.
- Austin Ekeler will see high usage against these Jaguars’ young linebackers and will be a safety blanket for Herbert.
- Jaguars corner Tyson Campbell allows a 46.5% completion rate, but a 7.0% pass touchdown rate when targeted. He is a main player for this Jaguars squad, and Allen will have the advantage against him in the red zone.
- When you get the Jaguars into their nickel package and Tre Herndon at corner you can go his way often. Herndon allows a 61.8% completion rate and 11.3 yards per target on the season. This is the matchup for Carter or Palmer to win.
- Overall, I believe this Chargers’ passing game has the advantage against the Jaguars’ secondary, and they can beat them in many ways.
- Out of the pass-catching group, there’s a lot to love with Allen, but on this two-game slate, Palmer, Carter and Parham will be the preferred long-shot plays in Herbert stacks
- Trevor Lawrence looked rattled in his first “big” game in the NFL
- A lot of the throws he missed were ones he had made all season long, and it will be up to Doug Pederson to correct those mistakes and get his young quarterback comfortable
- The Chargers’ secondary will press you and play a lot of Cover 1 and Cover 3. Against these coverages, Lawrence averages around seven yards per attempt and has a low touchdown rate, but many of his touchdowns come from goal-line situations.
- The Chargers will have Joey Bosa back in this game, and they can get after Lawrence when rushing four, but they also rush five players at a high rate with Bosa.
- Lawrence is among the best in the NFL at throwing against five pass rushers, ranking first in completion percentage and seventh in yards per attempt. The Jaguars need to establish Travis Etienne against one of the worst run defenses and then allow Lawrence to throw comfortably in the pocket.
The Chargers bring 5 pass rushers at the 9th highest rate in the NFL and 2nd highest amongst playoff teams.
Trevor Lawrence Rank against 5 pass rushers:
(Minimum 30 ATTs)
Comp %: 1st (72.6%)
YPA: 7th (8.4)
TD Rate: 14th (4.7%)
— Jordan Vanek (@JordanVanekDFS) January 9, 2023
- The Chargers have four key pieces to their secondary, Derwin James, Asante Samuel Jr., Michael Davis and Bryce Callahan
- After reviewing the film from the first time these teams met, getting Christian Kirk on Callahan will be a key to his success because Samuel defended him well
- I anticipate Marvin Jones Jr. beating Davis for big plays along the sideline
- Evan Engram will draw James, and when he does, I do not anticipate him finding much room to work. The Chargers get beat on a similar route tree as the Jaguars, and Jones Jr. is the player I expect to get utilized most
- The first matchup featured quick passes to the sidelines for Zay Jones, but I expect Brandon Staley to try and make Lawrence beat them down the field
- Against the primary coverages of the Chargers, Kirk is the most effective wide receiver and will get targeted most frequently. Jones Jr. gets the most down-the-field action and has an average depth of target of 13.2, while Jones has the lowest average depth of target and second-highest target rate
- If Lawrence can correct his mistakes from last week’s performance, specifically in the red zone, he can have a multiple-touchdown game. The issue will be the loss of yardage to Etienne in the run game, and if he can keep pace with Herbert, who will have more volume and a similar advantage
- Jones Jr. is the key player for the ceiling game of Lawrence, and at his price, I am willing to play in my tournament builds
- Ekeler will have more carries than he did in the first game against the Jaguars, but I am unsure of how effective he will be
- According to the Trenches Tool, the Chargers have the third-worst run-blocking matchup, and the Jaguars are one of the best teams in a gap scheme
- Ekeler will have the goal-line carries and get plenty of usage in the passing game to keep him relevant for DFS
- Etienne is in the best matchup of any playoff running back. He’s a chalk play but still worth it.
- The Chargers allow 5.6 yards per carry, which is the most in the NFL. I imagine the Jaguars will use the running game to ease Lawrence into his first playoff start
- Etienne did not run well in the first game against the Chargers, but he was in a timeshare with James Robinson and was not the starting running back
|Player||Pos||Team||Opp||DK Salary||FD Salary||VegasPts|
|Justin Herbert||QB||LAC||@ JAC||$6,600||$7,800||24.75|
|Trevor Lawrence||QB||JAC||vs LAC||$5,700||$7,700||22.75|
|Brock Purdy||QB||SF||vs SEA||$5,500||$7,100||25.75|
|Christian McCaffrey||RB||SF||vs SEA||$8,500||$9,800||25.75|
|Austin Ekeler||RB||LAC||@ JAC||$8,100||$9,000||24.75|
|Travis Etienne||RB||JAC||vs LAC||$6,000||$7,100||22.75|
|Eli Mitchell||RB||SF||vs SEA||$4,700||$5,500||25.75|
|Keenan Allen||WR||LAC||@ JAC||$7,000||$8,400||24.75|
|Tyler Lockett||WR||SEA||@ SF||$6,000||$7,400||16.75|
|Christian Kirk||WR||JAC||vs LAC||$5,900||$7,500||22.75|
|Brandon Aiyuk||WR||SF||vs SEA||$5,800||$6,700||25.75|
|Deebo Samuel||WR||SF||vs SEA||$5,700||$6,900||25.75|
|Josh Palmer||WR||LAC||@ JAC||$5,300||$6,500||24.75|
|Zay Jones||WR||JAC||vs LAC||$4,300||$6,300||22.75|
|DeAndre Carter||WR||LAC||@ JAC||$3,600||$5,700||24.75|
|Marvin Jones||WR||JAC||vs LAC||$3,400||$5,500||22.75|
|Cade Johnson||WR||SEA||@ SF||$3,000||$4,700||16.75|
|George Kittle||TE||SF||vs SEA||$5,900||$7,700||25.75|
|Gerald Everett||TE||LAC||@ JAC||$3,800||$5,600||24.75|
|Noah Fant||TE||SEA||@ SF||$3,100||$5,100||16.75|
|Donald Parham||TE||LAC||@ JAC||$2,700||$4,400||24.75|
WATCH: Best Wild-Card Bets
Opening Spread: 49ers -10
Opening Game Total: 42.5
Opening Team Totals: 49ers (26.25) Seahawks (16.25)
Weather: Outdoors, rain expected
The Line Report
- This line opened as 49ers -10
- This line has moved to 49ers -9.5
- This total opened at 42.5-points
- This total has moved to 43.5-points
49ers: Questionable: RB Christian McCaffrey, LG Aaron Banks, DT Arik Armstead, DT Javon Kinlaw, LB Dre Greenlaw.
Seahawks: Questionable: Edge Shelby Harris, DT Al Woods, S Ryan Neal.
49ers Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
I have the 49ers’ offensive line tiered as a top-ten unit. I have the Seahawks’ defensive front tiered as a bottom-tier group. The 49ers’ offensive line has a significant advantage in the trenches against the Seahawks.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The 49ers are 11-6 against the spread this season
- San Francisco is 9-8 on overs this season
- Brock Purdy is 4-1 against the spread in his career
- Purdy is 4-1 on overs in his career
- Kyle Shanahan is 50-47-1 against the spread in his NFL head coaching career
- Shanahan is 50-46-2 on overs in his NFL head coaching career
- San Francisco scores 26.5 points per game, good for sixth in the league
- The 49ers are 13th in the league in yards passing per game and eighth in yards rushing
- San Francisco is passing on 55% of their plays and running on 45% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
- The 49ers are 5-0 under Purdy, which doesn’t include San Francisco’s win against Miami when Purdy came on for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo
- Including that game against Miami, Purdy’s offense has breached 30-points in five of six games
- Per the Edge, Christian McCaffrey was eighth in the league in yards rushing with 1,139 and the leader in yards receiving among running backs with 748
- In his lone game against Seattle this season, McCaffrey ran for 108 yards and a score on 26 carries while catching six-of-eight targets for 30 yards receiving
- McCaffrey has an exceptional matchup, in both phases, against the Seahawks
- Since Purdy took over in Week 13, Deebo Samuel has 12 receptions for 121 yards receiving with a 22% target share and a 14.4% air yards share. Samuel has only been active for three games since Purdy took over
- Since Purdy took over in Week 13, Brandon Aiyuk has 27 receptions for 363 yards receiving and two touchdowns with a 24.7% target share and a 39.6% air yards share
- Jauan Jennings has 11 receptions for 147 yards receiving with an 11.7% target share and a 16.5% air yards share since Purdy became the starting quarterback.
- George Kittle has 24 receptions for 315 yards receiving and seven touchdowns with a 21.6% target share and a 25.2% air yards share with Purdy being his quarterback.
- Per TruMedia, Kittle has played the third-most snaps as an inline tight end with 570, with 78 more on the perimeter and 177 in the slot
- Seattle has allowed 23.6 points per game, which is 25th in the league
- The Seahawks are seventh in the league in sacks, third in forced fumbles and 12th in interceptions
- Per The Edge, Seattle is allowed the sixth-most yards rushing per game and the fifth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
- The Seahawks have given up the 31st-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
- Seattle has allowed the second-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
- The Seahawks have allowed the second-most PPR points per game to inline tight ends
Seahawks Offense vs. 49ers Defense
I have the Seahawks’ offensive line tiered as a league-average unit. I have the 49ers’ defensive front tiered as a top-five group. The 49er’s defensive front has a moderate, to significant advantage in this contest.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Seahawks are 7-10 against the spread this season
- Seattle is 8-9 on overs this season
- Geno Smith is 26-23-2 against the spread in his career
- Smith is 24-26-1 on overs in his career
- Pete Carroll is 109-94-7 against the spread since 2000 as an NFL head coach
- Carroll is 104-103-3 on overs since 2000 as an NFL head coach
- Seattle scores 23.9 points per game, which is ninth in the league
- The Seahawks are 10th in the league in yards passing per game and 18th in yards rushing
- Seattle passes on 66% of their plays and runs on 34% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
- Smith finished eighth in the league in yards passing and fourth in touchdown passes
- Per the Edge, Kenneth Walker III finished 12th in the league in yards rushing with 1,051 and 10th in rushing touchdowns with nine
- In his last matchup against the 49ers, Walker was held below 50 yards rushing, but he saw five targets, which is the second-most he’s seen all season
- DK Metcalf has 90 receptions for 1,048 yards receiving and six touchdowns with a 25.5% target share and a 36.9% air yards share
- Tyler Lockett has 84 receptions for 1,033 yards receiving and nine touchdowns with a 22.8% target share and a 30.8% air yards share
- Lockett has led Seattle in yards receiving in both matchups against San Francisco this season
- Noah Fant finished the season with an 11.4% target share and a 9.2% air yards share
- Per TruMedia, Metcalf has played 714 snaps on the perimeter and 136 in the slot
- Lockett has played 467 snaps on the perimeter and 282 in the slot
- San Francisco has allowed 16.3 points per game, which is the best in the league
- The 49ers are ninth in the league in sacks, sixth in forced fumbles and first in interceptions
- Per The Edge, San Francisco has allowed the fewest yards rushing per game and the 17th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
- The 49ers have given up the sixth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
- San Francisco has given up the eighth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers and the fifth-most to those in the slot
- The 49ers have allowed the 23rd-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
This Is What You’re Betting On
San Francisco beat Seattle 27-7 and 21-13 this season. The 49ers have won their last 10 games, with the last six coming after Purdy took over for Garoppolo in Week 13. The Seahawks went 3-5 in their final eight games, with a 3-4 record since their Week 11 bye.
If You’re Betting on the 49ers
San Francisco has one of the best offensive coaches in the league, a top-10 offensive line and one of the most complete skill groups in football. On top of that, the 49ers’ defense gave up the fewest points per game this season. If you’re betting on the 49ers, you are betting on one of the two best rosters in the league. There’s a lot to like about a supremely talented team, with significant recent success in the playoffs, against a Seahawks team that finished below .500 in the second half of the season.
Since the 49ers have to win by two scores, you have two core concerns with that bet. The first is Purdy playing his most uneven game since taking over at quarterback, meaning the 49ers don’t approach 30 points on offense. The second is the Seahawks’ offense looking more like it did in the middle of the season than it has in recent weeks.
If You’re Betting on the Seahawks
It would be surprising if the Seahawks won this game outright, as the 49ers could dominate this contest in every phase. However, there are a few variables in the Seahawks’ favor. The first is familiarity. This is the third time these teams face each other this season. Seattle knows better than anyone what the 49ers are capable of, which means the talent disparity between these two teams won’t be a surprise. Second is even if Seattle loses decisively, Smith’s offense is capable of back-door covering as two-score underdogs.
The third factor is Purdy is only making his fifth NFL start and a multi-turnover game is in his range of outcomes. Seattle will need to play a near-perfect game to leave with a win, but they do have a few paths to keeping this close.
Now, your biggest concern as a Seahawks bettor is they are simply playing a far superior team. If Smith’s offense continues to underwhelm as it has throughout the second half, Seattle is in trouble. Similarly, if Purdy’s offense continues to score 30 or more points as they’ve been consistently doing, the Seahawks are in trouble.
Score Prediction: 49ers 27 Seahawks 16
Ryan’s Recent Betting Record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 48-32
Props 2022: 57-40
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