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Week 17 Underdog High/Low Picks: Big Games Coming From Akers, Moss

Cam Akers Rams vs. Broncos

It has been a great week for our picks. We went 2-0 on Thursday Night Football and called Dalton Schultz having a big game. Add that to our picks from last Saturday and Sunday and we are 6-1 for the week, which brings our season total to 92-79-2. Thankfully the weather across the NFL looks to be good, especially compared to last week, so I was able to find plenty of higher picks that I really like this week, with one lower pick I will also be playing. As always, I have included my confidence in the pick on a five-point scale and what I would play the line to if it moved. 

Cam Akers HIGHER Than 69.5 Rushing Yards

Cam Akers has finally arrived. All it took was playing a Broncos' defense that looks to have given up. Akers has solidified the starting running back role, and has had 79% of running back rush attempts in the last four weeks. The Chargers' defense is one of the best matchups for running backs, giving up 5.33 yards per rush attempt. The Chargers just gave up 63 rushing yards to Zack Moss and the terrible Colts' offense. Under Baker Mayfield, this Rams' offense has come back to life, so the Rams should be able to move the ball better than the Colts did. This line is really high, and while the Chargers' rush defense is bad, it still doesn’t give up a bunch of big rushing plays. I still like this line enough to play it, so I rate it 3/5 for confidence and would not play it any higher. 

Drake London HIGHER Than 58.5 Receiving Yards

The quarterback change in Atlanta has not had a negative effect on London, and he has had a 35.1% target share over the last two weeks with Desmond Ridder. He has turned that elite target share into two games with seven receptions each game and an average of 83 yards receiving per game. The Falcons get the Ravens this week, who have been a below average pass defense this season. The Falcons' offense is a difficult one to predict, so I do not feel super confident in this play, but it is hard to ignore a player with this high of a target share. I give it a confidence rating of 3/5 and would not play it any higher. 

Zack Moss HIGHER Than 58.5 Rushing Yards

Just as everyone predicted at the beginning of the season, Zack Moss might be a league winner in fantasy football championship games this weekend. After Jonathan Taylor’s injury, Zack Moss has slipped into the starting running back role for the Colts. Last week, Moss had 92% of the running back rushes, with Jordan Wilkins only having one rush. Moss gets one of the best matchups this weekend for running backs, with the Giants giving up the most yards per rush in the league. Zack Moss had 63 rush yards last week against a terrible Chargers rush defense, and I expect him to have a similar, if not better, game against the Giants. New York has kept games close this season, so I expect the Colts to be able to run the ball more. Considering this offense now goes through Nick Foles, I am nervous about this offense falling flat, so I rate it 4/5 for confidence and would play it up to 64.5 rush yards. 

Terry McLaurin LOWER Than 61.5 Receiving Yards

The Washington Commanders have gone back to Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback after the Tyler Heinicke experiment eventually failed. In the first five games Wentz started and finished at the beginning of the season, McLaurin wasn’t Wentz’s favorite target. Curtis Samuel led the team in target share with 21.7%. McLaurin was actually tied for second on the team with McKissic. McKissic is done for the season after landing on the IR, but I don’t see his target share transferring over to McLaurin, especially with the emergence of Jahan Dotson. McLaurin will likely see a drop in target share with Wentz back at quarterback, and that should make him go lower than this line. 

The Cleveland Browns' defense has encouraged opposing teams to stop passing and commit to the run against them. The Browns have by far the worst defensive rush total EPA in the league, per TruMedia. This has led to the Browns to have the sixth-fewest passing yards against them. The Commanders do not need to be encouraged to run the ball. The Commanders have the eighth-most rush attempts this season, and I expect them to double down and use Brian Robinson Jr. very heavily in this matchup. This line is already very low, so I do not have full confidence in this play and give it a 4/5 confidence rating. I would play it down to 55.5 receiving yards. 

Evan Engram HIGHER Than 47.5 Receiving Yards

This line just can’t keep up with Engram’s heavy use in this Jaguars offense. He’s averaging an insane 112 yards receiving per game over the last three games. While that is likely unsustainable, his use in this offense is not just going to disappear. In the last three weeks, he’s had a 29.2% target share. I don’t see that target share getting below 20%. He’s averaging nearly 11 yards per reception this season, so if he continues this heavy usage, he should easily go higher than this line. 

While the Texans' defense has been effective at limiting opponents from passing because their rush defense is so bad, tight ends have still been effective against them. They give up the 11th-most yards to tight ends. I wouldn’t consider that a reason to target them, but it at least shows that the defense is not a reason to be less confident in this play. I think Evan Engram continues his incredible run of games and easily goes over this line, so I give it a 5/5 for confidence and would play it up to 55.5 receiving yards. 

Jakobi Meyers HIGHER Than 47.5 Receiving Yards

One of the most interesting trends from this season has been how different the Dolphins' defense has been at home and on the road. The Dolphins allow 50 more yards rushing, 40 more yards passing, and nearly twice as many points in away games. With this game in New England, I really like the Patriots' offense to find its groove this week. Meyers has been seeing a stable target share with DeVante Parker being out the last few weeks, and Parker is looking like he will be out for a third straight week. This line just seems too low for the situation, especially with Meyers averaging 60 receiving yards per game, and he has been under 47.5 receiving yards in only four of his twelve games he’s played. Because of how low this line is, it is my most confident play of the week, so I rate it 5/5 for confidence. I would play it up to 58.5 receiving yards. 

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