What a week for the Watchman. All five teams we highlighted last week won their games by an average scoring margin of nearly 12 points. Maybe there is something more to the pressure rate matchup comparisons? The recommended bets went 3-0-1, with the Buffalo Bills (-8) ATS pick finishing as a “push” on that meaningless last-second Cleveland Browns score.
Last week’s article hit on Travis Kelce (the cover player) in a big way as he not only topped all tight ends in fantasy scoring, but he finished behind only Tony Pollard in total fantasy points across all positions for the week. Kelce amassing 115 yards and three touchdowns is the result we hoped for.
We also recommended Isiah Pacheco (second-most yards rushing), Keenan Allen and Josh Palmer, both finished in the top 11 in yards receiving with Palmer garnering 30% of his targets from the slot, and he had two touchdowns. Devin Singletary (fifth in yards rushing, one touchdown), George Kittle (14th in yards receiving, two touchdowns) and Chris Olave (ninth in yards receiving, one touchdown) all helped make this another successful week.
I was tempted to just use the same focus statistic as last week after such a wild success, but in the interest of keeping things fresh, we will explore net yards per pass attempt (NY/At) matchups, instead.
Teams in the top 50% of NY/At, playing against defenses in the bottom 50% of NY/At:
Bills (vs. Lions)
Raiders (vs. Seahawks)
Betting Stats to Know
The Bills (-10) could have stayed put in Detroit on a short week, but decided against it. They will play the Lions, who are coming off a dominant win over the Giants. Just like a Thanksgiving meal, the spread is large; however, the talent gap is larger. Without the worry of the weather, I would bet on the Bills to feast.
In another Turkey Day faceoff, the paltry Patriots (+3) offense travels to the dome in Minnesota to play the Vikings. Mac Jones is running out of time to show some passing chops, and a date with the Vikings may be his best chance. The total seems right, currently at 42.5, and I am just not comfortable putting money on Jones at this juncture.
The Dolphins (-13) host the Texans on Sunday. This game could really be a blowout considering Houston has not scored more than 20 points since Week 4. The Texans may have given up on the season. Yet, even a game that ends 31-17 tops the 46-point O/U. I will take the over.
The Ravens (-4) come to sunny Florida to take on the Jaguars in what could be a sneaky shootout. The Jaguars are well-coached and coming off of their bye week. I will be on the over (43.5) and the Ravens.
Both the Seahawks (-3.5) and Raiders make the Watchman list this week. The Seahawks are at home, and the Raiders are proving to be overrated, so I will take Seattle.
Philadelphia (-7) nearly dropped their second straight game and now takes on the Green Bay Packers and emerging receiver Christian Watson. Fortunately for the Eagles, their defense is the top unit in NY/At and is a nightmare for wide receivers. The Packers’ only hope is their run game, which is the Eagles’ weakness. The Packers’ most glaring weakness is also their run game. Sneaky under? With a total currently at 46, I would lean toward the under.
Kansas City’s (-14.5) offense is incredible. No Tyreek Hill. No problem. They play a dead Rams squad in a game that the NFL wishes they could have advertised as a potential “Super Bowl preview.” How sad. Patrick Mahomes and company are actually only 7-10 ATS as favorites of 10 or greater. The better bet might be taking the over of 46.
DFS Stats to Know
The Thanksgiving slate is shaping up to be pretty decent. Plate all your Bills against a Detroit defensive unit that way overperformed last week. The Lions’ defense is 30th in rush EPA and 28th against wide receivers, so Josh Allen, Singletary, Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis should all be in play and can be super-stacked together with Amon-Ra St. Brown on the bring-back. The Bills are actually only 24th vs slot wide receivers this season.
The other games on the Thursday slate is less enticing. Jones could be a contrarian selection facing the Vikings’ defense, which is terrible on multiple fronts: 32nd vs non-slot wide receivers, 31st in pass yards per game, 30th in first downs per game and 30th in yards per play. The better play (on a slate with Josh Allen available as a QB) is an outside wide receiver. Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and Tyquan Thornton all spend more than 48% of their routes lined up wide. It is anyone’s guess as to which will get the targets this week.
The third game not on the main slate is Packers-Eagles on Sunday night. Jalen Hurts has a high rushing floor against the 27th-ranked Packers rush defense. Miles Sanders is also appropriate. Aaron Jones deserves consideration as showdown captain in lineups with one Packer and the remainder Eagles.
Houston’s defense is bad against running backs (29th) and wide receivers (24th), allows the second-most yards per game and is 29th in interception rate. Fire up all the Dolphins: fantasy-league-winner Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Jeff Wilson.
The Ravens should abuse the Jaguars using Mark Andrews since Jacksonville’s defense is 28th vs tight ends, 30th in sack rate and 24th in third down conversion percentage. Lamar Jackson is obviously in play, and Watchman/Dispatch favorite alpha-slot wide receiver Christian Kirk on the bring-back. Baltimore’s defense is decent overall, but only 26th vs slot wide receivers.
The Seahawks will be happy to play Las Vegas’ defense ranked 32nd vs slot wide receivers, 28th in yards per play, 29th in third down conversion percentage, 30th in interception rate and 32nd in sack rate. Play Geno Smith and Tyler Lockett this week.
On the flip side, the Raiders will wish Darren Waller was still healthy as they play a Seahawks’ defense ranked 30th in EPA vs tight ends and 27th in third down conversion percentage. Maybe Foster Moreau can fill in? Josh Jacobs should once again be a focal point.
The Chiefs are not famous for their run game, and nothing should change this week, as the Rams’ rush defense ranks second against the run. Expect Mahomes, Kelce and Skyy Moore to have another great game.
Check out what my colleagues are saying about waiver pick-ups! Moreau and Moore are good bets for volume due to teammate injuries.
Check in again next time for The Wednesday Watchman: Week 13!
(Data courtesy of SIS and TruMedia Networks)
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