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The Rookie Report: Week 2 Starts & Sits

Welcome back to the Rookie Report! How great was it to finally have football back last weekend? The NFL season’s opening week went off without a hitch (assuming you didn’t have Mike Evans or Michael Thomas on your team), and hopefully you managed to get off to a 1-0 start. The rookies got off to an interesting start and plenty of them acquitted themselves well considering they didn’t get to play any preseason games. In a reversal of expected roles Jonathan Taylor put on a show as a receiver out of the backfield but struggled as a runner, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire had an impressive debut running between the tackles but didn’t catch a single pass. Both should be every-week starters going forward. Laviska Shenault, Joshua Kelley and Zack Moss all got in the end zone in week 1, and D’Andre Swift nearly did as well. Some other rookies like Michael Pittman, Cam Akers and Bryan Edwards had less successful debuts. Overall, we now have a much better picture of how these guys are going to be deployed and should have a better handle on which ones to consider for your lineups. Let’s dive into week 2…

Rookies to Start:

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (Wk. 2: @ LAC): Obviously you don’t need me to tell you to start CEH if you have him. He was fantastic as a runner in week 1 and made people who drafted him feel great about that decision. It was strange to see him do so much of his work running between the tackles though. It would have been nice to see him catch a few passes, and it would’ve been nice to see him cash in one of his 6 carries from the 3-yard line or closer for a TD (4 carries from the 1), but overall it was a strong debut and the fact that he got 6 carries in close should be seen as a good thing. Houston’s D-line dominated in those short yardage situations, but not every defense KC faces will do the same. The Chiefs are comfortably favored in week 2 and face a defense that ranked 25th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA stat last season. I’d also expect the team to make an effort to get CEH more involved in the passing game, even if only to prove a point. Edwards-Helaire is a fine play in all DFS formats as well as a locked-in RB1 for season-long leagues this week.
RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (Wk. 2: vs. Min.): Like CEH, you don’t need me to tell you to start Taylor. He didn’t really fill up the stat sheet as a runner last week (9 carries for 22 yards), but Philip Rivers utilized him a bunch in the passing game (6-67 on 6 targets). With Marlon Mack going down for the year, this backfield figures to be a 2-man tandem with Taylor and Hines. Taylor should dominate the early down work, and while the matchup against the Vikings isn’t that favorable – they allowed the 12th-fewest RB points per game last year, Taylor will see plenty of volume to make him a solid RB2 this week. With a price tag of just $5,700 on DraftKings, I would expect you’ll see Taylor in a high percentage of DFS cash game lineups this week.
RB JK Dobbins, BAL (Wk. 2: @ Hou): I know starting a backup running back in week 2 is a risky proposition. I list Dobbins here just to emphasize how much I like his matchup this week. Houston had a bottom half run defense a year ago and looked overmatched in the opener by CEH and the Chiefs run game (at least away from the goal line). Baltimore is a touchdown favorite this weekend, and I expect them to win the game easily. Houston just didn’t look right in week one, and I don’t think the Ravens are the antidote to what ails them. Dobbins already looked better than Mark Ingram in the opener, and I expect him to get plenty of run as the Ravens open up the lead. This may be me getting ahead of myself on Dobbins, but I like him to go for 80+ yards and a score in this one and finish as an RB2. The Ravens have the highest projected point total of the week at 29.25,
WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Wk. 2: vs. Atl.): The Falcons have had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL for two years running, and they looked as bad as ever in week 1 against Seattle. Russ Wilson can make a lot of defenses look bad, but the Falcons’ pass defense looked non-existent. This game figures to be a shoot-out with Dallas’ implied total of 28.5, so all 3 Cowboy receivers are in play, especially with tight end Blake Jarwin done for the year. It appeared that Dak was force-feeding the ball to Amari last Sunday, but I’d expect the targets to be more evenly divided in this one. Zeke Elliott should have a big game as well, but we could see all 3 Dallas receivers end up as top-30 WRs this week. Lamb was targeted 6 times in the opener. I’d expect that number to be higher in this one.

Borderline Rookies:

QB Joe Burrow, CIN (Wk. 2: @ Cle): Burrow is only worth considering in 2-quarterback or Superflex formats, but this should be a better matchup for him than the Chargers. The Browns ranked just 18th in pass defense DVOA last season and were absolutely shredded by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in week 1. Burrow proved that he’s capable of running the ball himself a bit in the opener, and only Cincinnati allowed more QB rushing yards in 2019 than the Browns. The Vegas sharps don’t expect a big output from Cincy’s offense, giving them an implied total of just 18.75 points, but I think they overperform in this one. I like Burrow’s chances at a top-15 week.
RB James Robinson, JAX (Wk. 2: @ Ten): Robinson’s performance and usage in week 1 may have been even more of a surprise than the outcome of the game. The Jaguars were heavy underdogs and came out with a win, and they may have found their feature back in the process. Most people expected a heavy dose of Chris Thompson on passing downs, but Thompson played just 12 snaps to Robinson’s 36. The Jaguars are heavy underdogs again this week, so temper expectations a bit, but this matchup has about the same degree of difficulty for Robinson as the last one with Indy. Robinson will be heavily involved and should be a solid RB3 this week.
RB D’Andre Swift, DET (Wk. 2: @ GB): Week one did not end on a high note for Swift, as he dropped what would’ve been a game-winning touchdown pass in the closing seconds as the Lions blew a 17-point lead in losing to the Bears. Here’s the positive – Swift led the Lions running backs in snaps, playing 10 more than Adrian Peterson and 14 more than Kerryon Johnson. He was battling an injury in practice last week and still was on the field a lot. You’d like to see more production come out of those snaps, but that should be coming. Green Bay fielded one of the worst run defenses in the NFL a year ago, and while AP still figures to see a lot of the rushing load, I’d count on Swift being more involved in this one as he gets closer to health. He’ll be a boom-or-bust upside flex option this week with more value in PPR formats.
RB Zack Moss, BUF (Wk. 2: @ Mia): Moss didn’t pile up a lot of yards in week 1 (27 yards on 12 touches), but his usage is encouraging for fantasy players. He was targeted 4 times in the passing game, and 8 of his 12 touches came in the red zone with one of them ending in a touchdown. The other half of the Bills’ backfield duo, Devin Singletary, had zero red zone touches among his 9 carries and 5 catches. Moss was on the field for the vast majority of red zone snaps. Miami gave up 1.2 running back scores per game a year ago and gave up another one in the opener this year. Moss is a solid bet to score a touchdown for the second straight week, which gives him some flex appeal in most formats. The Dolphins ranked 29th in run defense DVOA last season, and were 32nd in that stat in week 1.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (Wk. 2: @ NYJ): Aiyuk looks likely to return this week, and he’ll do so in a matchup against one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Jets do have a stout run defense up front, but they can’t cover on the back end. Buffalo attacked them through the air a ton last week with Josh Allen tallying 33 completions for 312 yards and 2 TDs. Buffalo is typically one of the run-heaviest offenses in the league. George Kittle is fighting through an injury this week and Deebo Samuel will be out again. That puts Aiyuk in line for probably 6-8 targets, and against this defense that could be fantasy gold. He could be a huge value this week if you have the stones to play him. Just make sure he’s active on game day.
WR Henry Ruggs, LV (Wk. 2: vs. NO): Ruggs got off to a hot start in week 1 before being sidelined for a bit with a knee injury. He was able to return and finish the game but did most of his damage before getting hurt. The Raiders clearly focused on trying to get the ball in his hands as you’d expect for a first round pick, and this week he faces off against a Saints team that allowed the 5th-most WR points per game last year. The Saints did revamp the secondary in the offseason adding Janoris Jenkins and Malcolm Jenkins and played a respectable game against Tampa last week, but the best part of that pass defense is top corner Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore doesn’t typically follow receivers into the slot, and that’s where Ruggs played more than 50% of his snaps in week 1. Getting away from Lattimore that often should help Ruggs to a 60+ yard outing this week, and he’s always a threat to take one to the house. If you’re in a deep league or trying to replace an injured starter like Godwin, Golladay or Michael Thomas, Ruggs should be in consideration.
WR Jalen Reagor, PHI (Wk. 2: vs. LAR): Reagor had the longest play of any rookie in week 1 with a 55-yard catch, but it was his only catch of the week. The Eagles had a clear game plan to use Reagor and DeSean Jackson as deep threats, but those tend to be low-percentage throws and neither guy put up a great fantasy day. Reagor and Jackson combined for 11 targets, and both had an average target depth of more than 30 yards. No other receiver on the team was even at 10. It was a good sign that Reagor was involved, but I’d like to see the Eagles diversify the way he’s used and not limit him only to deep shots. He was coming off an injury and played just 59% of the snaps. That was the team-high among the WRs, but I think it will go up this week. I expect Jalen Ramsey will shadow D-Jax, so there is some upside for Reagor on the opposite side. Even if he doesn’t see more short targets this week, it only takes 1 or two deep balls to post a nice fantasy day if he finds the end zone.
WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (Wk. 2: @ PIT): Courland Sutton seems like a long shot to play again this week, which gives Jeudy another opportunity as the lead wide receiver. Jeudy actually played fewer snaps than either Tim Patrick or DaeSean Hamilton in week 1 but had as many targets (8) as the two of them combined. The Broncos want to get the ball in his hands. The matchup this week is much tougher. The Steelers ranked 3rd in pass defense DVOA a year ago and did a good job limiting everyone other than Darius Slayton in the opener. I’d lean against playing Jeudy this week unless you have to, but his role in the offense gives him enough upside to consider here.

Rookies to Sit:

RB Cam Akers, LAR (Wk. 2: @ Phi): Akers struggled in his debut while teammate Malcolm Brown got the hot hand, and as a result Brown got the lion’s share of the backfield work. Things don’t get much easier for Akers to make a splash this week with Darrell Henderson a week healthier and a tough visit to the Eagles coming up. Philly allowed the 7th-fewest RB points per game last season and ranked 3rd in run defense DVOA a season ago. Peyton Barber found paydirt twice last Sunday against Philly, but the Washington backs combined for just 72 scrimmage yards on 32 touches. If Akers gets the hot hand early he may get more run than last week, but against this defense I wouldn’t bet on it.
RB Josh Kelley, LAC (Wk. 2: vs. KC): Kelly had an impressive debut tallying 12 carries for 60 yards and a score in the opener. The reports that he was going to have a big role alongside Austin Ekeler in this backfield were clearly accurate. He wasn’t targeted in the opener, but Ekeler was only targeted once himself. I think a lot of that has to do with the QB change the franchise went through in the offseason. Philip Rivers was heavily targeting his backs in his Colts debut, but Tyrod has typically not thrown to the running backs at nearly the same clip. The rushing usage should remain strong for both Ekeler and Kelley all year though. The matchup this week doesn’t favor Kelley. The Chiefs did let David Johnson get loose a little bit in the season opener, but this game has obvious blowout potential, and if that happens it’ll be Ekeler handling most of the work. Kansas City is favored by 8.5 points, but I expect them to cover that without much trouble. With no receiving usage to boost his totals, Kelley will need to get in the end zone to return value. I don’t have a lot of faith that he scores one.
RB AJ Dillon, GB (Wk. 2: vs. Det.): Dillon was mostly an afterthought in the Packers’ offense in week one, finishing the game with just 5 offensive snaps and 2 carries for 14 yards. Head coach Matt LaFleur expressed an interest in getting him more involved in week two, and with Green Bay favored by nearly a touchdown there is some chance at some extra run late if the Packers get out in front of Detroit. I still wouldn’t expect him to be used much as a receiver, and the red zone work still belongs to Aaron Jones. Jones handled 3 of the team’s 4 carries inside the 10, and he also had 4 red zone targets. Dillon isn’t worth consideration for fantasy lineups this week unless you expect a blowout win for Green Bay.
WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (Wk. 2: @ Ten): Viska didn’t approach the 10 touches that I was hoping for in the opener. He only got halfway there but did cash in a touchdown. The Jaguars will clearly be a slow tempo offense again this year despite a change in head coach and offensive scheme. That is going to limit Shenault’s weekly upside. They’re going to be creative in getting the ball into his hands each week, but if he’s only handling 5 or 6 weekly touches it’s going to be hard for him to return value in weeks where he doesn’t get into the end zone. He’ll have weekly fantasy starter upside, but he’ll be hard to rely on until he jumps ahead of Keelan Cole on the depth chart. I’d leave him on the pine this week.
WR Bryan Edwards, LV (Wk. 2: vs. NO): Edwards’ stat line in week 1 left a LOT to be desired, as he pulled in just one pass on one target for 9 yards. What you may not know is that Edwards led the Raiders’ receivers with 75% of the snaps played. The targets are going to come. Edwards and Ruggs are clearly the top two receivers in Vegas and they’re going to make an effort to get Edwards more involved. This week could be a rough one though as Edwards may be squaring off with the Saints’ best corner Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore doesn’t follow the opposing number one receiver into the slot, and Ruggs played more than half of his snaps last weekend in the slot. That means plenty of snaps where he’ll be facing off with Edwards. We’ve already seen a week where the ball didn’t find Edwards very much, so I’d be hesitant to trust him this week in a tougher matchup.
WR Chase Claypool, PIT (Wk. 2: vs. Den.): Claypool is the WR4 in this offense, but Pittsburgh did look for ways to get him involved in week 1. He was targeted twice and also got a rushing attempt on a gadget play. With AJ Bouye out for Denver there should be plenty of opportunities for the Steelers’ receivers to produce, but Claypool’s limited snaps will make him a touchdown dart throw for the foreseeable future.
WR Michael Pittman, Jr., IND (Wk. 2: vs. Min.): I wouldn’t be panicking too much just yet if you drafted Pittman in a deep league, but it’s going to take him a few weeks to work his way into a useful role. He’s still running behind Zach Pascal for the WR3 role in the offense. He did play more than half of the offensive snaps but was targeted just twice and ended with 2 catches for 10 yards. There will be better days ahead, but you’ll need to see more from the rookie before giving him flex consideration.
WR Van Jefferson, LAR (Wk. 2: @ PHI): Reports out of Rams camp had Jefferson pegged to be the team WR3 ahead of Josh Reynolds, but it was pretty clear on Sunday night that they’ll share the role early on this season. Neither was a big target priority though, with Jefferson seeing 3 targets and Reynolds just 1 on Sunday night. There could be some sneaky upside for one of those guys this week with Darius Slay likely to be shadowing Robert Woods, but I’d look for Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee to be the bigger beneficiaries of the matchup. I’d hold off on trying my luck with Jefferson.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (Wk. 2: @ IND): Jefferson and Bisi Johnson seemed to be on about the same footing in the WR pecking order for the Vikings in week 1, but they’re both still a distant second behind Adam Thielen. The Vikings were behind on the scoreboard for all but two of their offensive snaps Sunday, and they still threw only 25 times. This is going to be a run-heavy attack all year, and Jefferson is probably going to have to move clearly ahead of Bisi to be a weekly consideration for fantasy lineups. Keep him sidelined for now.
WR Devin Duvernay, BAL (Wk. 2: @ HOU): Duvernay played just 11 snaps in week one and is clearly behind Hollywood Brown, Miles Boykin and Willie Snead on the depth chart. Baltimore is favored by a touchdown and has a chance to pull away again and get some extra run for their backups, but that is more likely to help their backup running backs than Duvernay. Keep him benched this week.
WR John Hightower, PHI (Wk. 2: vs. LAR): Hightower played a healthy amount in week one, handling just 13 fewer snaps than Jalen Reagor’s team high 40, but he wasn’t used in ways that will give him fantasy value. He isn’t going to see a ton of targets, so he has to be used on deep balls to provide much value. In week 1, Hightower’s average target traveled just 8 yards in the air. I also expect DeSean Jackson and Reagor to see their snaps increase as they get closer to full strength. Hightower is a low-upside dart throw option this week unless something changes in his usage.
WR Tee Higgins, CIN (Wk. 2: @ CLE): Higgins was on the field for just 15 snaps with a big crowd of receivers in front of him on the depth chart. I don’t see a lot of reason why that will change in week 2 without injuries in front of him, and with the Bengals coming into this one with an implied total of 18.75 it’s hard to imagine him making a fantasy impact on so few snaps. Keep him sidelined in your lineups.
TE Cole Kmet, CHI (Wk. 2: vs. NYG): Kmet was targeted just once in the opener and served as the TE3 behind Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris. He’s nothing more than a long-shot weekly TD dart throw for now. The Bears are much more likely to look for Jimmy Graham in the red zone than Kmet.

Deep League Sleepers, Stashes, and Cheap DFS Options:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Wk. 2: vs. Buf.): I told you last week that if you’re in a 2-QB league you should be picking up Tua as your QB3 off the waiver wire, and after Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 3 interceptions in week one, I want to reiterate it. Fitzmagic will start again in week 2, but the Bills allowed the 3rd-fewest QB points per game last year and picked up right where they left off in week 1. With another poor start by Fitzpatrick, it may be time for the Tua era to start in Miami. There could be some growing pains in his first couple starts if DeVante Parker is out, but he’s going be an asset in the back half of the season.
RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (Wk. 2: @ ARI): Gibson didn’t play nearly as much as I would’ve liked to see in week 1 and it was a bummer that the team didn’t try to use him at all as a slot receiver, but Gibson led the Washington Football Team’s running backs with 44 scrimmage yards on 11 touches. It was tough sledding against a very good Eagles’ run defense for all 3 backs. Aside from a 20-yard carry by Gibson, the top three backs combined for 28 carries and 43 yards. The matchup gets easier this week and Washington will undoubtedly look to get Gibson involved. He touched the ball on 11 of his 18 snaps a week ago. Peyton Barber will still be the best bet for a touchdown in this offense, but I like Gibson’s chance at a better performance this week than what he did in the opener. He’s worth looking at if you need a flex in really deep league.
RB Anthony McFarland, PIT (Wk. 2: vs. Den.): James Conner is questionable to play this week after leaving Monday night’s game with an ankle injury, which could open the door for McFarland to make his NFL debut this week. He was a healthy scratch last week with Conner, Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels serving as the 3 active backs. If Conner sits, I’d expect Snell to handle a lot of the rushing load and Samuels to serve as the 3rd down back, but I’d expect the Steelers the try and get the ball in the hands of the speedy McFarland a handful of times. The Broncos aren’t exactly an easy matchup, so McFarland is mostly just a shoot the moon sort of DFS play this week. If Conner plays, ignore all of this.
WR Quintez Cephus, DET (Wk. 2: @ GB): Kenny Golladay looks likely to sit again this week, and Cephus saw a whopping TEN targets in the opener and played 79% of the offensive snaps. He only turned 3 of the targets into catches, but he clearly has some trust from Matt Stafford. He’ll avoid Jaire Alexander’s coverage this week, which makes him a nice play in a game where the Lions figure to be throwing a fair amount. The Packers are favored by 6. A repeat of the 10 targets might be asking a lot, but he’ll be involved enough to warrant flex consideration in deeper leagues, and his $3,800 DraftKings price tag could be a steal in DFS tournaments this week.
WR Gabriel Davis, BUF (Wk. 2: @ MIA): Davis is a guy you should be looking at if you’re in a dynasty league where he’s available. Buffalo’s offense looked different in week one. They played with a lot of tempo and played with a lot of receivers on the field. They went 4-wide on 20 of their offensive snaps. They had that many on the field for just 5 snaps in ALL of 2019. If this continues, Davis is going to be on the field a decent amount this year. He played more than 50% of the offensive snaps in week one, and while he’ll remain low on the target priority list for now, his high snap count is strong evidence that Davis is a part of Buffalo’s plans. He probably doesn’t belong on the waiver wire in most dynasty leagues.
WR Darnell Mooney, CHI (Wk. 2: vs. NYG): Mooney saw limited opportunity in the opener but made the most of his chances. He posted 3 catches for 38 yards on 3 targets in just 21 snaps. He’s already on equal footing with Javon Wims on the depth chart and is ahead of Riley Ridley. With the rumors that Allen Robinson may be on his way out of Chicago, now is the time to scoop up Mooney off the waiver wire, especially in dynasty formats. I can’t imagine Robinson is in Chicago beyond 2020, and if Mooney shows well he could be a big part of the Bears’ future plans at the position. Mooney didn’t put up gaudy receiving stats at Tulane, but he played in a low volume passing attack. He accounted for 41% of the team receiving yards as a junior in 2018 before seeing a dip last year.
TE Harrison Bryant, CLE (Wk. 2: vs. Cin.): New Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski clearly wants to recreate the offense he ran for the Vikings a year ago, and that means a ton of 2-tight end sets. Only the Eagles spent more time with two tight ends on the field than Minnesota did last year, and in week one only the Eagles played more snaps with two tight ends than the Browns did. David Njoku was placed on IR after the game and will miss at least the next 3 weeks. The Bengals coughed up 5 catches for 73 yards to Hunter Henry in the opener, and Bryant was a dynamic receiver in college who posted a 65-1004-7 line a year ago at FAU. With Austin Hooper around, it’ll be tough to trust Bryant in normal lineups this week, but he’ll cost the minimum in DFS and is a nice stash for dynasty leagues, two tight end leagues, and deeper TE-premium formats.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you make some tough lineup decisions involving rookies this week. Keep in mind that any players at the same position listed at under the same header are listed in the order that I would play them this week. Keep a close eye on the injury report and make sure you don’t end up playing an inactive player unexpectedly. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article at drinkfive.com
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The Rookie Report: Week 1 Starts & Sits

Welcome back to the Rookie Report! We’re on the brink of a new season, albeit a strange one. Stadiums with no fans, the Raiders in Vegas, 14 playoff spots, and no Tom Brady in New England are just a few of the things that will feel strange this year – but football will go on. Of course, there’s always the looming threat of a Covid-19 outbreak derailing things, but I’m going to operate from the optimistic point of view that things will go on as scheduled. If you’re new to the Rookie Report, each week I’ll be breaking down the matchups that the rookie class will be facing and letting you know which ones are good fantasy options and which ones should be avoided. I’ll throw in some sleepers and guys to stash on the bench as well, and I try to cover all of the fantasy relevant rookies each week (kickers excluded). Make sure to read the details on each player and not just what header they’re under since some of these may be format specific. Any players under the same header that play the same position are listed in the order that I would play them this week.
The rookies are always a tough group to predict for fantasy production, but week 1 is always tough since we don’t have any on field production to go off of when making decisions. This year we don’t even have preseason games. For some of these predictions you have to read the tea leaves a bit and read between the lines of the coachspeak, and sometimes you just have to trust the talent of the player to win out. With all that in mind, let’s dive in and talk about week 1…

Rookies to Start:

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (Wk. 1: vs. Hou.): If you have CEH, you likely took him in the first round, so you don’t need me to tell you that you’re starting him every week unless he gives you a reason not to. The Chiefs have the highest projected point total in the league this week at 31.75, and the Texans were in the bottom-6 in the league last year at limiting RB fantasy points. They were especially vulnerable to receiving backs, allowing more receptions per game to backs than every team other than the Colts. There’s no reason to shy away from CEH in DFS lineups despite a $7,000 price tag in DraftKings. Editor's Note: this article was posted here on /fantasyfootball after TNF aired, although it was composed earlier. Sheesh. :)
RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax.): Taylor will be in a prime spot to make a splash in his NFL debut. You likely drafted him as your RB2 unless you started with 3 straight running backs, so you’re probably going to play him regardless of what I write here. I won’t try to stop you. He’ll likely be splitting the backfield work with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines this week, but the Jaguars were one of the worst defenses in the league against opposing running backs last year and lost Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and AJ Bouye from that defense in the offseason. They’re projected to be one of the worst teams in the league and are an 8-point home underdog in week one. The Colts should be able to run plenty in this one, and I expect Taylor’s talent to show through even if his opportunities are limited. He’s a solid RB2 option this week.
WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Wk. 1: @ LAR): Lamb is the best of the rookie receiver crop in my opinion, and he gets a great opportunity to start proving me right in week 1. The Rams consistently use Jalen Ramsey to shadow the opposing team’s #1 receiver, and with Dallas that means Ramsey will be chasing around Amari Cooper. This will be good news for both Lamb and Michael Gallup who get to face off with Troy Hill and Darious Williams instead. Advantage Cowboys. Despite Zeke Elliott racking up plenty of carries last season, the Cowboys ranked 10th in pass attempts, 2nd in passing yards and 5th in passing TDs in 2019, so there is plenty of volume to go around, and this week that volume should be finding Lamb and Gallup. The Cowboys also have the 3rd-highest implied point total of the week at 27.5. You may not have drafted Lamb as one of your top 3 wide receivers this season, but this could be a week to get him in the lineup over someone you drafted before him. At just $4,100 in DraftKings, he’s a screaming value for tournaments.

Borderline Rookies:

RB Cam Akers, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. Dal.): Akers enters week 1 listed as the number 3 running back on the depth chart with Malcolm Brown as the starter and Darrell Henderson at #2, but I see ‘starter’ as a nominal title for Brown. He’s a guy the team trusts to do the job if the others don’t step up, but he’s not a feature back that you build around. Darrell Henderson is playing catch-up a little bit after being banged up in camp, and I think Akers has a real chance to take over the lead role in week 1. I expect the team will ride whoever gets the hot hand this week, but this is an offense that creates plenty of fantasy production for the running back position. We know that Todd Gurley was an otherworldly talent at his peak, but McVay has also gotten productive fantasy seasons from Alfred Morris and Rob Kelley when he was in Washington, and an incredible 3-game stretch from a seemingly washed up CJ Anderson in LA. Dallas was a middling run defense last season, so if Akers is able to get the bulk of the work this week, he’s got obvious RB2 upside.
RB Zack Moss, BUF (Wk. 1: vs. NYJ): The Jets boasted one of the best run defenses in the league a year ago, but in the offseason they lost two of the guys that were big reasons why they were so effective. CJ Mosley opted out of 2020, and Jamal Adams was dealt to Seattle. Even if the Jets are able to be a solid run defense again without those guys, they’re likely going to be playing from behind so much that the RB counting stats are still going to add up. Moss enters the season expected to be the Bills’ early down running back. The Bills had the 7th-highest rushing percentage in the league last year, running on 47.5% of their offensive snaps, and they figure to be run-heavy again. I’d expect Moss to finish week 1 around 15 touches, and he’d be first in line for any goal line carries. That puts him firmly on the flex radar in 12-team leagues and is a better play in non-PPR formats.
WR Henry Ruggs, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car.): Ruggs was the first receiver off the board in April, and he’ll open the season as the team’s WR1 with Tyrell Williams out for the year. Ruggs has the speed to be a dangerous deep threat, but with Derek Carr at QB he’ll likely have to make his living on schemed touches in the short part of the field where he creates yards after the catch. As the WR1, I’m sure Jon Gruden will make sure Carr is getting the ball to Ruggs, but the group of pass catchers that thrives in the short part of the field is crowded in Vegas. Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Jalen Richard are all good receivers in that area, so I don’t see Ruggs being a target hog early on. His road to being a fantasy standout will be through creating big plays. He’ll get a chance to do that against a Carolina defense that isn’t terrible against the pass but isn’t imposing either. Ruggs is a boom-or-bust option who is capable of a Marquise Brown style week 1 breakout (Brown went 4-147-2 in week 1 last year), but is also capable of falling short of 40 yards.
WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (Wk. 1: vs. Ten.): Jeudy is an outstanding talent and landed on a team where he’ll walk right into the WR2 role in the offense, but it’s not a high volume passing offense and he’ll likely start the year behind both Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in the pecking order. That outlook may have changed on Thursday with Sutton suffering a shoulder injury in practice. If Sutton sits, Jeudy could be the WR1 in week 1. No cornerback on the Titans should be capable of stopping Sutton, but they probably won’t be quite as overmatched by Jeudy. Fant should be in line for a nice day as the Titans struggled to contain tight ends last year, allowing the 6th-most points per game to the position. Keep an eye on the Sutton updates. If Sutton sits or is going to be limited, Jeudy should see enough volume to be a playable WR3 option. If it seems like Sutton is going to be fine, I would probably keep Jeudy benched until we see what his target share looks like as the WR2.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (Wk. 1: vs. Ari.): Aiyuk’s status is still up in the air this week, as is Deebo Samuel’s. If Aiyuk plays and Deebo doesn’t, there should be some consideration for getting Aiyuk in your lineup as a flex option. He may be facing off with Patrick Peterson in that scenario, but Peterson was anything but his typical self after returning from a 6-game suspension to open the 2019 season. He rounded into form late in the year, but Peterson is on the wrong side of 30 and Aiyuk is the type of receiver that can win at all levels of the field. The 49ers’ offense is going to run through George Kittle and their running backs, but they do have an implied point total of 27.25, so it’s likely that *some* receiver puts up a nice fantasy game Sunday. If he plays, Aiyuk is likely to lead the wide receiver group in targets, giving him the best shot of being that guy.

Rookies to Sit:

QB Joe Burrow, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): I like Burrow’s upside over the course of the year as a QB2, but I think there will be some growing pains in the early part of the season. The Chargers are not an inviting matchup for an NFL debut. They’ve got a solid pass rush anchored by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. No team blitzed less than the Chargers in 2019, and yet they ranked 13th in the league in QB pressure percentage. It didn’t translate into a lot of sacks, but the addition of Linval Joseph to the middle of the line should help free up the edge rushers to be more disruptive this season. The team will be hurt by the loss of Derwin James to injury, but they still boast one of the best starting pairs of corners in the league in Casey Heyward and Chris Harris. I think there is a good chance the Chargers make Burrow look like a rookie in his debut and would be hesitant to play him in 2 QB leagues if I didn’t have to.
RB JK Dobbins, BAL (Wk. 1: vs. Cle.): If I drafted Dobbins as my RB3 this season, I’d be tempted to play him this week. The Browns ranked 30th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA stat last year, and the Ravens are favored by 8 in the opener. There could be some garbage time for Dobbins once the Ravens get out in front, but Baltimore may still try and keep Gus Edwards and/or Justice Hill involved in the run game as well. The official team depth chart listed Dobbins as the 4th-string back. I expect he’ll work as the number 2 guy behind Mark Ingram but would like to see how the rotation plays out before putting Dobbins in my lineups. I
RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (Wk. 1: vs. Phi.): Gibson has had a ton of buzz around him during camp after Washington cut Adrian Peterson. He’s a versatile player who has drawn comparisons from the coaching staff to Christian McCaffrey. That’s obviously a pretty big stretch, but the head coach and offensive coordinator making the comparison were both in Carolina last year. I think Gibson will be the best fantasy back on the team this year, but I don’t love him for week 1. The Eagles ranked third in run defense DVOA last season, and I expect we’ll see Peyton Barber handle most of the early down work early in the season for Washington. Gibson will also be competing with JD McKissic and Bryce Love for 3rd-down work. The team is thin at wide receiver, so you could even see Gibson line up in the slot a bit since he played a lot of wide receiver in college. All in all, there’s just too much uncertainty about what his week 1 role will look like to trust him in fantasy lineups.
RB D’Andre Swift, DET (Wk. 1: vs. Chi.): Swift has been working through a couple injuries in camp but should be able to suit up on Sunday. The problem is that with the signing of Adrian Peterson this backfield figures to be a three-headed monster, and that’ll be a headache for fantasy players. Swift may get the valuable 3rd down passing work, but I’d like to see how the workload is divided before relying on any Lions running back in my fantasy lineups. I’d take a wait and see approach with Swift.
RB AJ Dillon, GB (Wk. 1: @ Min): Dillon enters week 1 listed as the 3rd running back on the depth chart in Green Bay, and while I would normally tell you to ignore the official team depth charts at this point, this one feels like how it’ll actually play out on the field. I’d expect Aaron Jones to be the clear lead back with a mix of Jamaal Williams and Dillon spelling him for some early down work. The best bet for Dillon getting a healthy workload would be garbage time in a blowout win, but that seems unlikely with the Vikings favored by 3. I’d keep Dillon away from your lineups.
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB (Wk. 1: @ NO): In case you drafted Vaughn early and have been living under a rock in recent weeks, the signings of Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy will make Vaughn mostly useless for now in fantasy leagues. He’ll likely be limited to special teams early in the season and won’t have much value without injuries in front of him. Feel free to drop him outside of dynasty leagues.
WR Michael Pittman Jr., IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax): Pittman should see the field quite a bit in week 1, but I don’t expect it to translate into fantasy production just yet. The Colts played 61% of their snaps last season in 11 personnel (3 WR), and their 3-WR sets to open the year should feature Pittman, TY Hilton and Parris Campbell, but the bulk of the passing volume should go through Hilton and Campbell (along with Jack Doyle and Nyheim Hines). The Colts are an 8-point road favorite this week, and I’d expect them to lean heavily on the running game which will limit how many targets there are to go around. If Pittman makes it to even 5 targets, I’d consider his week 1 to be a successful one.
WR Chase Claypool, PIT (Wk. 1: @ NYG): The Steelers have spent much of the summer talking up Claypool, but this is an offense with a lot of mouths to feed. The return of Ben Roethlisberger should make this a much more fantasy-friendly offense than it was last year, but Claypool enters the season as no higher than 4th in the target pecking order. The Steelers do have a favorable matchup this week and have the 5th-highest implied total of the week, and Big Ben hasn’t really played much with James Washington or Diontae Johnson, so if you want to roll the dice on Claypool in a DFS tournament (just a $3,000 price tag in DraftKings) I wouldn’t fault you for it. For season-long leagues you should have safer options for week 1.
WR Denzel Mims, NYJ (Wk. 1: @ BUF): It sounds like Mims is going to play this week, but after missing much of camp with a hamstring injury, I wouldn’t count on him getting a full workload in this one. It also remains to be seen which outside receiver will tangle with standout corner Tre’Davious White. Breshad Perriman is coming off an injury of his own, and both players make for poor options against a tough Bills defense with the Jets having an implied point total of just 16.5 points.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (Wk. 1: vs. GB): Jefferson is a very talented receiver, and the Vikings obviously believe in him after drafting him in the first round in April, but he’ll likely open the season splitting WR2 snaps with Bisi Johnson. The Vikings play with 3 WRs less often than any other team in the league. They consistently operate out of a 2 tight end base set with Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. Jefferson will eventually work his way past Bisi, but I’d want to see what kind of opportunities he gets early on before trusting him in my fantasy lineup. His week one matchup isn’t all that appealing either. Green Bay is one of just 2 teams in the league that allowed less than 10 receptions per game to opposing wide receivers last year.
WR Tee Higgins, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): With AJ Green expected to play week 1, it’ll be hard for Higgins to get on the field much. It looks like Green, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate will be the trio on the field in 3 wide receiver sets, and Higgins will be competing with John Ross for any leftover reps. There’s no reason to consider Higgins for week 1.
TE Cole Kmet, CHI (Wk. 1: @ DET: Kmet was the first tight end drafted in April, but he doesn’t figure to play a large role early in his rookie season. He’ll open the season behind at least Jimmy Graham on the depth chart, and possibly Demetrius Harris as well. The Lions were a middle of the pack defense against tight ends a year ago, but Kmet shouldn’t be a consideration in any formats this week.

Deep League Sleepers, Stashes, and Cheap DFS Options:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Wk. 1: @ NE): I don’t list Tua here with any thoughts of you using him in week 1. I mention him in case you’re in a 2-QB league where he’s sitting on the waiver wire. He’s going to take over for Fitzpatrick at some point this season, and when he does he’s going to have big-time upside. He’s worth stashing if you have the roster spot in superflex and 2-QB leagues. I would rather have Tua than fellow rookie Justin Herbert.
RB Josh Kelley, LAC (Wk. 1: @ CIN): Kelley enters week 1 as the likely backup to Austin Ekeler, but that role will probably come with 10-12 touches and possibly more if the Chargers pull away. Ekeler isn’t built to be a 20+ touch per game kind of back and the Chargers are shifting to a more run-heavy approach this season with Philip Rivers gone. Kelley looks like the back who will pick up the slack the Melvin Gordon left behind. Only 4 teams allowed more rushing yards last season than the Bengals, and while Cincy could be improved with the addition of DJ Reader to their D-line, I expect they’ll still find themselves in a lot of negative game scripts. For week 1, Ekeler has RB1 upside, but Kelley isn’t a terrible option as a flex in deep leagues. He’s someone you should be picking up everywhere if he’s on the waiver wire. I expect his role will grow as the season progresses.
RB James Robinson, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): What a difference a week makes for Robinson. A week ago Robinson looked like he was going the be the number 4 or 5 running back on the depth chart, but since then Leonard Fournette was cut, Ryquell Armstead went back on the Covid-reserve list, and Devine Ozigbo landed on IR. Robinson is suddenly the projected starter this week. Chris Thompson will handle most of the 3rd down work, but Robinson is going to be on the field a lot. The Colts didn’t give up many running back touchdowns last season (6), but they gave up plenty of yards to them, both on the ground and through the air. The Jaguars project to be playing from behind in this one, so Chris Thompson is probably the guy that will lead this backfield in fantasy scoring this week, but in deep leagues a starting running back is hard to ignore. Robinson certainly shouldn’t be on your waiver wire and he has 10+ point upside this week.
WR Bryan Edwards, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car): Ruggs is the guy with the draft capital, but Bryan Edwards may emerge as the alpha receiver on this Vegas team. He excels in the intermediate part of the field where few other receivers on the team do, and he’s easily the most physical of their receivers, which will serve him well in the red zone. His QB has compared him to former teammates Davante Adams and James Jones, both of whom excel at getting in the end zone. The Raiders have a reasonable implied point total of 25.25 this week, and if I had to bet on any Vegas pass catcher getting in the end zone it would be Edwards. He costs just $4,200 in DraftKings and is very likely to outperform that price tag. He may not get as many targets as Ruggs, but don’t be surprised if he outscores the first rounder in week 1.
WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): After all of the changes and injuries that have come up for the Jaguars over the last week or 2, about the only thing that seems clear with this offense is that DJ Chark is going to be targeted a lot. I’ll add a second thing here – Laviska Shenault is going to be very involved in this offense. Reports out of camp this week are that the Jaguars are getting VERY creative with the ways they’re using him. He’s a versatile player that lined up all over the field in college and is dynamic with the ball in the open field. I expect Jacksonville to make it a point to get the ball into his hands any way they can, even if it means handing it to him out of the backfield. Viska has a higher DraftKings price tag than some of the other rookies at $4,400, but he could be a really interesting option in limited slate contests. 10 touches isn’t out of the question in week 1.
WR Van Jefferson, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. GB): I wasn’t high on Jefferson coming into camp, but he’s been impressive. He’s not an explosive athlete, but his football IQ and feel for the game are off the charts. He’s a route running technician who was a tough cover for Jalen Ramsey in camp. It remains to be seen if he’s fully overtaken Josh Reynolds for the WR3 role in the offense, but if he has he’ll be on the field a lot. The Rams like to line up with 3 wide receivers on the field as much as anyone. Dallas was stingy against wide receivers a year ago, but they said goodbye to their number one corner Byron Jones in the offseason. Jefferson is more of a stash right now, but if he’s on the field as the WR3 a 4-60 kind of game wouldn’t be that crazy for him this week.
WR John Hightower, PHI (Wk. 1: @ Was): Hightower has a chance to benefit from a couple of injuries ahead of him this week, and also from the extra attention the Washington secondary will give to DeSean Jackson. D-Jax burned them in the opener last year with 2 TDs of 50+ yards. They’re going to do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That means less attention for JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, and Hightower. Of that trio, Hightower is the only one with the burner speed to hurt Washington deep. He’s a DFS tournament dart throw who will cost the minimum in DraftKings, and can have a nice NFL debut with just one or two deep balls.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you as you try to figure out what to do with the rookies on your team for week 1. Keep a close eye on the injury report this week to make sure you don’t end up playing anyone inactive. Feel free to hit me up on twitter (@Shawn_Foss) if you have any questions or want to yell at me about anything written above. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article from drinkfive.com
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Week 2 in the National Football League was as wild as it gets. The Cowboys provided one of the greatest comebacks in history, and the injury bug hit the San Francisco 49ers. MAC has 3 Top Rated NFL plays today plus his exclusive 2x NFL parlay. The MAC has been riding the magic bull, special release plays going 4-1 in weeks 1-2-3 and today will be a true bookie smasher day. MAC is making bankrolls fat again for his Patreon Clients and Gambling Report subscribers have been reporting record earnings since the start of the newsletter! Today's game releses are courtesy of the RedAlertWagers.com team as well as Roland "The Roarin MAC" McGuillaman - The Odds Maker Assassin and International Sharp Betting, A True Sports Betting Professional! Get Today's NFL Hush Money Move + MAC's Late Info Action only on Patreon - $7.00 Get's all MAC's Special Release Action & Top Stock Picks and Options Moves for 1 Month. Guaranteed to make you a fatter bankroll!! - MAC's Picks

MAC's Week 3 NFL Update & Game Predictions -

Week 2 in the National Football League was as wild as it gets. The Cowboys provided one of the greatest comebacks in history, and the injury bug hit the San Francisco 49ers.
2021 Super Bowl LV Odds
  • Kansas City Chiefs +500
  • Baltimore Ravens +500
  • San Francisco 49ers +1200
  • New England Patriots +1800
  • New Orleans Saints +900
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +1800
  • Dallas Cowboys +1600
  • L.A. Chargers +5000
  • Green Bay Packers +2000
  • Seattle Seahawks +1200
  • Philadelphia Eagles +4000
  • L.A. Rams +2200 (MAC's Long shot)
  • Cleveland Browns +4000
  • Minnesota Vikings +4000
  • L.A. Raiders +5000 (MAC's Money Mover)
  • Indianapolis Colts +2500
  • Tennessee Titans +2200
  • Houston Texans +6600
  • Chicago Bears +5000
  • Atlanta Falcons +8000
  • Buffalo Bills +2200
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1600
  • Denver Broncos +10000
  • Carolina Panthers +17500
  • New York Giants +15000
  • New York Jets +20000
  • Detroit Lions +10000
  • Arizona Cardinals +2000
  • Jacksonville Jaguars +17500
  • Cincinnati Bengals +20000
  • Miami Dolphins +15000
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San Francisco 49ers lose Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas - The 49ers beat the New York Jets 31-13 in Week 2, but it came with a huge cost. The Niners two starting defensive-ends, Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, suffered ACL injuries. Both are out from 6 to 8 weeks. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is questionable in Week 3 due to a knee injury. Running back Raheem Mostert is listed as doubtful due to an MCL sprain. The 49ers play the New York Giants in Week 3.
There’s a good likelihood the Niners sit both players even if either is ready to go. San Francisco is 1-1. Their next division game is in Week 6. That’s the battle coach Kyle Shanahan should circle for Mostert’s return. Garoppolo should be ready by Week 4. When it comes to Bosa and Thomas, other defenders must step it up. The 49ers have a good defense, but they lost Richard Sherman in the first week. The Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins are there next three opponents. But, after that, the Niners play the Rams, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and New Orleans Saints all in a row. Things could get tough for the SF defense unless a couple of players step it up.
Cowboys provide amazing comeback against Falcons - At halftime of Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys were down 29-10. Not only did the Cowboys come back and win, but they came back to win 40-39. The Boys got an onside kick, unheard of in today’s NFL, and then converted a field goal. What’s interesting about the onside kick is that instead of pouncing on the football, Falcon players waited for it to go out of bounds. That makes absolutely no sense and is the reason the Cowboys were able to notch their first win of the season. Atlanta’s defense is the worst in the NFL. Coach Dan Quinn is on the hot seat because of it. Boneheaded plays like the one that led to the loss at home won’t help Quinn’s case to keep his job.
Ravens and Chiefs on collision course in NFL Week 3 - There were other Week 2 highlights. The Las Vegas Raiders opened Allegiant Stadium with a solid 31-24 win over the New Orleans Saints while the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson beat Cam Newton and the New England Patriots 35-30. Also, both the Ravens and Chiefs won their respective games. The Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans 33-16 while the KC Chiefs required overtime to beat the Chargers 23-20. Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert played exceptionally well. Coach Anthony Lynn said Herbert would remain the backup if Tyrod Taylor were healthy enough to play in Week 3. We’ll see how long Lynn sticks with that plan. Next Monday night, the Chiefs and Ravens battle. Baltimore looks like the team to beat in the AFC. They were the team to beat last season as well. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens’ defense handles Patrick Mahomes.

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Will the Green Bay Packers win OVER/UNDER 9 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Matt LaFleur’s first season as Green Bay’s head coach has to be considered a success. He led the team to a 13-3 record, which secured the NFC North title.

The Packers held off the Seahawks to a 28-23 home win in the first round of the playoffs, but were ousted by the Niners in a brutal 37-20 thumping (a game in which the Packers dugged themselves into an early 27-0 hole).

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Aaron Rodgers will be entering his 16th NFL season. He had another excellent year with a 26-to-4 TD-to-INT ratio and over 4,000 passing yards. He finished as the 7th-best QB in the league according to PFF ratings.

At 36 years old, he is likely to have a few good years left. After all, Drew Brees and Tom Brady posted nice statistics in their late thirties.

Rodgers has been very durable throughout his career, but he’s not invincible either. Tim Boyle was the backup plan last year, and the team needed to upgrade the position while starting to think about the post-Rodgers era.

Still, drafting Jordan Love was the most questionable and talked-about pick in this year’s draft. People expected the Packers to go with a veteran backup QB. Rodgers has mentioned several times he wants to play in his forties; he can still offer a good five years of solid play in the frozen tundra.

Love has possesses great size, throws with velocity and he’s very mobile. The main knock on him is the decision-making and inconsistency.

As a sophomore, he threw 32 TD passes versus 6 interceptions. He regressed a lot last year by posting a mediocre 20:17 TD:INT mark. Granted, his surrounding cast was very weak and he had to go through a coaching change.

Love can throw from many different arm angles; he reminds people of Patrick Mahomes in this regard. He can throw a fastball or a soft touch pass.

Quick note: he almost quit football when he was 14 years old after his dad committed suicide. However, he knew his dad would want him to keep playing, so he did just that.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Aaron Jones is a top running back in this league. Along with Jamaal Williams, they form a lethal duo.

Including the playoffs, Jones ended up scoring 23 touchdowns in 18 games. His 19 regular season scores were the second most in Packers history. His numbers have increased in each of his first three years as a pro. He is also excellent as a pass catcher.

Despite playing in the shadow of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams still finished as the 17th-best RB based on PFF rankings. He does not seem like a lead back, but he’s a perfect change-of-pace guy. Much like Jones, he can do some damage as a receiver as well.

Williams has been a steady performer thus far in his career. He has rushed for 450-550 yards in each of his three seasons, while catching a minimum of 25 balls. He has 15 total TDs over this three-year span.

If you thought GM Brian Gutekunst made a strange move by drafting QB Jordan Love in the first round, he doubled down with another head scratcher in the 2nd round when he took A.J. Dillon.

Message to Mr. Gutekunst: Aaron Rodgers needed pass catchers, not a third running back! I really don’t get this pick either. I’m not saying Dillon won’t be good in the NFL; only time will tell. However, it clearly wasn’t a position of need for the Packers.

Dillon is a power back who rarely breaks off huge runs. He racked up big numbers in three seasons in Boston College. He’s unlikely to become a three-down starter, especially since he’s not a good pass catcher. He will likely be used sporadically as a rookie.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Davante Adams is one of the best at his position. He had a streak of three straight seasons with at least 10 TD receptions snapped last year, but he still caught 83 passes for 997 yards in 12 games (he missed four games because of a toe injury).

Outside of Adams, all pass catchers appeared lost on the field. None of them developed a good chemistry with Rodgers.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was a huge disappointment last year. He showed promise as a rookie with over 500 receiving yards. Here’s a jaw-dropping statistic: after Week #7, MVS did not get more than 19 receiving yards in any meeting. That’s awful.

One of the guys benefiting from Valdes-Scantling’s poor play was Jake Kumerow. He got more playing time than expected, but still only caught 12 passes. He is closing in on 30 years of age and is limited as an athlete, so he’s not a long-term answer for sure.

Allen Lazard was also thrown into action far more than expected. He finished second in terms of receiving yards for Green Bay, but let’s face the reality: the undrafted guy remains more of a #3 or #4 WR for any team.

Geronimo Allison was another bust last year. His top performance over the last 12 games (including the playoffs) was a meager 33 receiving yards. He left for another NFC North team, the Detroit Lions.

In other words, the #2 role is wide open. The team hopes newly acquired Devin Funchess can step into that role. The former second rounder had his best season in 2017 with the Panthers with a 63-840-8 stat line. He signed with the Colts last year, but played just one game before breaking a collarbone. He will be 26 years old this season and provides an interesting prospect for the Packers.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

We’re not done talking about 2019 busts. Jimmy Graham was one of them. He clearly looks washed. He received the lowest grades of his 10-year career, and deservedly so. The Packers released him and he signed a few days later with the Bears (a horrible mind-boggling two-year, $16 million contract).

Marcedes Lewis received surprisingly good marks from PFF. If you look into the numbers, the good grade occurred mainly because of efficient run and pass blocking. He’s not much of a pass catcher and he will be 36 years old when the season begins.

Robert Tonyan will also be in the mix, but the guy that has the best chance to break out as a receiver in 2020 only caught three passes last year (all in the playoffs): Jace Sternberger. Taken in the third round of the 2019 draft, Sternberger was a threat at Texas A&M in college. He missed most of the regular season because of injuries, but the door is wide open with Graham’s departure.

We might also see third-round rookie Josiah Deguara. He has a great motor and plays extremely hard. He’s undersized as a tight end, though.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The Packers had a pretty solid offensive line in 2019. All five starters managed to play at least 84% of the offensive snaps. And they all finished above-average according to PFF ratings!

The bad news, however, is the Bryan Bulaga left for the Chargers. Despite turning over 30 years old, he still played at a high level.

The Packers decided to replace him by signing Rick Wagner, formerly of the Lions. Wagner’s PFF grades from 2016 to 2018 were as follows: 74.0, 75.2 and 71.4. Last year, his play deteriorated a lot and he was tagged with a 59.0 grade. He finished as the #61 tackle among 81 guys.

I like the fact that the team is returning four out of five guys, but replacing Bulaga with Wagner has to be viewed as a downgrade.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The Packers offense finished in the middle of the pack in points scored per game. Barring major injuries, I expect about the same production in 2020.

The QB and RB situations remain the same.

Adding Funchess is not a huge move, but it won’t hurt. The team clearly needs someone to step up opposite of Davante Adams. At tight end, losing Jimmy Graham means close to nothing since he was so ineffective. Sternberger might bring a nice contribution, but we can hardly expect him to be a game-breaker.

Finally, the OL will take a dip with the loss of Bulaga. I don’t believe Rick Wagner can do better than him.

All in all, I view the additions/departures as a slight negative for Green Bay, but having so many starters returning to the lineup for a second straight season is always a good thing in the NFL. For these reasons, I expect a similar output as 2019 from this unit.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Stable

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

Kenny Clark had a fantastic season! He is one of the best interior rushers in the NFL. He recorded six sacks for the second straight year, and PFF ranked him as the 13th-best interior linemen out of 114 qualifiers.

The same nice comments cannot be made about Dean Lowry. He had the worst season of his four-year career as a pro. He did not post a single sack and wasn’t great against the run either.

Reserve Tyler Lancaster is only there to provide some depth. He isn’t particularly good in any aspect of the game.

The team did not make any move regarding this position during the offseason.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

During the last offseason, the Packers acquired two Smiths: Za’Darius and Preston. They burst onto the scene and got 13.5 and 12 sacks, respectively.

Obviously, both received high marks for their pass rushing abilities, but Preston finished as an average linebacker overall because of mediocre run defense and poor coverage.

Kyler Fackrell was a huge disappointment in 2019. After racking up 10.5 sacks in 2018, he only got one in 2019! He signed a one-year deal with the Giants.

First-round pick Rashan Gary wasn’t necessarily impressive during his rookie season. He played 23% of the snaps, while obtaining two sacks but very pedestrian marks from PFF (an overall 55.8 grade, which is near the bottom among edge defenders).

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Green Bay lost its leader in tackles from the past three years, Blake Martinez. After starting 61 of the last 64 Packers games, Martinez decided to join the New York Giants. He had the second-most tackles in the league last year, but don’t be misled by that number. Martinez still finished slight below-average (52nd out of 89 LBs) because of poor play against the run.

The Packers also lost some depth at the position when B.J. Goodson left for Cleveland.

Green Bay picked up a linebacker from the Browns roster: Christian Kirksey. He was picked in the 3rd round of the 2014 before being involved in all 16 games from his first four seasons in the NFL. However, he has been plagued with injuries over the most recent two years; he played 7 games in 2018 and only 2 games in 2019.

He is also capable of racking up tackles, as shown by his 2016 and 2017 seasons where he obtained 146 and 138. His PFF grades during his first four seasons varied between 61.9 and 69.3. Just to give you a rough idea, a 65.0 rating would have been good for 29th place out of 89 LBs.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Jaire Alexander has done the job as the #1 corner. He has obtained 72.4 and 71.2 marks from PFF during his first two seasons, which is well-above average. He’s so-so defending the run, but his coverage skills are very good.

The number two corner, Kevin King had five interceptions last year after getting just one over his first two years as a pro. He did show some improvement after two rocky years. He finished 2019 as a middle-of-the-pack corner.

Tramon Williams played 74% of the snaps and had a surprisingly good season despite his age. He will be 37 when the 2020 season begins. He is currently a free agent and it remains to be seen if the Packers bring him back or not.

In summary, Alexander and King are both pretty young and could still be improving, but Tramon Williams provided quality play and it’s uncertain if someone else can pick up the slack.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage were the top two guys here.

Along with Za’Darius and Preston Smith, the Adrian Amos was another excellent signing by the Packers during the 2019 offseason. Amos had been a reliable guy in Chicago for four seasons, and he continued to excel in the frozen tundra.

After being selected as the #21 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Darnell Savage did show some flashes as a rookie last year. He finished as the #47 safety among 87 qualifiers, which is very satisfying for a rookie. He earned nice marks in coverage (77.4), but horrible ones against the run (37.7).

Will Redmond will be back as the number three safety. He’s not starter material for sure.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Most of the starters are returning in 2020. That’s the good news.

The team lost their leader in tackles, Blake Martinez, as well as pass rusher Kyler Fackrell and CB Tramon Williams.

The only acquisition worth of note is Christian Kirksey. Him not having played very much during the last two seasons brings some question marks.

The Packers defense struggled against the run last year, and there’s no reason to believe that will change in 2020. Green Bay still finished 9th in points allowed, which was a very acceptable result.

Unfortunately, a decrease in effectiveness is expected and I predict this unit will end 2020 as a middle-of-pack defense (12th – 19th in points allowed).

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Green Bay Packers are expected to win 9 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results (excluding the simulated years where the Pack won exactly 9 games, since in those cases your bet would have tied):

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 9 WINS 51.4% bwin +115 +10.5%
UNDER 9 WINS 48.6% Heritage Sports +100 -2.8%
Tip: Bet OVER 9 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +10.5%
Rank: 25th-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): -106

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Packers’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: -6 vs ATL, -10 vs CAR, -4.5 vs CHI, -6.5 vs DET, -11.5 vs JAX, -3 vs MIN, -2.5 vs PHI, -3.5 vs TEN.
ROAD: 0 @ CHI, -2 @ DET, 0 @ HOU, +2.5 @ IND, +3 @ MIN, +5.5 @ NO, +6.5 @ SF, +2.5 @ TB.

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: I'll talk about the team whose ROI is the 24th-highest in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Did you like this write-up? If so, comment below! I'd like to know YOUR opinion on what to expect from the Packers' 2020 season!

Professor MJ
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Will the New York Giants win OVER/UNDER 6.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

Giants fans had hopes of making a playoff push after rookie QB Daniel Jones won his first two NFL games to bring back the team to a 2-2 record. However, the team underwent a nine-game losing skid, while seeing many good players go down to injuries.

The team fired head coach Pat Shurmur, and the new leader will be Joe Judge, a member of the Patriots coaching staff for eight years.

There is optimism around this franchise with young budding stars on offense. After six losing seasons over the past seven years, can the Giants finally turn the corner?

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Taking Daniel Jones as the #6 overall pick in the 2019 draft was a bit of a head-scratcher. No one is laughing at the Giants’ pick anymore.

Jones was brilliant during preseason games by going 29-of-34 for 416 passing yards, 2 TDs and no picks. The team still gave Eli Manning the starting nod, but that didn’t last very long. Prior to Week #3, head coach Pat Shurmur announced the Daniel Jones era was about to begin.

His first NFL game was one to remember. He threw 2 TD passes and rushed for a couple more in a wild 32-31 win in Tampa (thanks to a missed 34-yard chip shot field goal by Matt Gay).

Jones went on to throw 24 touchdown passes by completing 284-of-459 passes, a subpar 61.9% completion rate. His main issue was turning the ball over too often: he was picked off on 12 occasions, while fumbling 18 times.

Jones still showed a lot of upside. As a comparison, many considered Kyler Murray’s rookie season as a nice success. Both Murray and Jones threw 12 interceptions, but Jones racked up 4 additional TD passes with three fewer games played.

Eli Manning retired after an illustrious career, so the team signed free agent Colt McCoy, formerly of the Redskins. Every time I’ve seen him play, he’s been pretty bad as a passer. He can do some damage with his legs once in a while, but that’s about it. He has 29 career TD passes versus 27 interceptions over 10 years. Draw your own conclusions.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Saquon Barkley’s numbers were down from his rookie season, even accounting for the fact that he missed three games due to an ankle injury. His yards-per-carry average dropped from 5.0 to 4.6, which was still pretty good. He was also targeted a lot fewer in the passing game.

I’m not worried about him. He is super talented and he will benefit from having a QB that has now more experience in this league. Defenses won’t be able to stack the line because they’ll know that Daniel Jones can be dangerous. Barkley is one of the best in the business at his position.

Newly acquired Dion Lewis is the favorite to win the #2 role. He had his best year by far in 2017 with the Pats by rushing for 896 yards and reaching the end zone on nine occasions. His next-best season? 517 rushing yards the following year in Tennessee, but his 3.3 yards-per-carry average was really bad. He is more of a third-down back who can catch passes out of the backfield.

Last year, Wayne Gallman seemed to be Barkley’s main backup. However, the coaching staff didn’t seem to trust him very much. Gallman even ended up being a healthy scratch for a few games.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Sterling Shepard received the highest marks from PFF among Giants receivers, but one thing causes some concern about the 27-year old pass catcher: concussions. He suffered many of them during the 2019 season.

Hopefully he can be healthy in the upcoming season because he’s been very good. If you project his 10-game 2019 season into a full 16-game year, his stat line would have been 91-922-5. He has been a consistent producer in each of his first four years in the NFL.

Golden Tate missed 5 games last season (4 due to a suspension and 1 because of a concussion). He had missed just two contests in the previous eight seasons!

Much like Shepard, Tate has always been a consistent player. His “worst” season between 2014 and 2018 was 74 receptions for 795 yards and 4 TDs. He will be 32 years old when the season opens, but he seems to have gas left in the tank, as shown by the fact that he was on pace for a 983-yard season last year.

The team leader in receiving yards turned out to be a surprise: fifth-round rookie Darius Slayton. He caught 48 passes for 740 yards, while hauling in 8 TD passes. You can’t expect much more out of a fifth-rounder, especially playing with a rookie QB!

Slayton had three games with a couple of scores. All of them occurred on the road, which shows his great character. With Shepard and Tate with a clean bill of health, I’m not sure he can match his 2019 performance, so I’d be cautious if I were a fantasy owner.

Cody Latimer was thrown into action following the numerous injuries to the Giants receiving corps. He did a decent job, but he is now off to Washington.

Losing Latimer won’t hurt very much. Having a trio composed of Shepard-Tate-Slayton is nice.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

Evan Engram is certainly an upcoming tight end in the NFL. His main problem has been staying on the field. He missed one game in 2017, then five in 2018 and eight more last year. That’s worrisome.

He underwent a surgery that requires a lengthy rehab. He is likely to miss many offseason activities.

Prior to last year’s injury, he was on pace for his best season. If you project his numbers to a full 16-game year, he would have caught 88 passes for 934 yards and 6 TDs. Only Travis Kelce and Darren Waller caught more than 88 passes as tight ends last year.

Rhett Ellison was mainly used as a blocking TE. He missed a few months with a concussion and decided it was time to hang up his cleats.

In order to fill the void left by Ellison, the team signed Levine Toilolo. He only caught two passes with the Niners last year and he doesn’t offer much in the passing game. He is expected to be the primary blocking tight end in this offense.

Kaden Smith was drafted by San Francisco last year, then released and claimed off waivers by the Giants in September. He ended up getting quite a bit of playing time following Engram’s injury. Over the final six games, he averaged 5 receptions for 45 yards. He remains unlikely to be involved very much as long as Engram is healthy since he is limited in terms of talent.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

The team needed to upgrade this position in order to make it to the next level. Other than Kevin Zeitler, all other 2019 starters were either average, or below-average.

Zeitler had been one of the best guars in the league throughout his first seven seasons in the NFL. His 8th year, which happened to be his first in a Giants uniform, was no different. He was graded as the number 7 guard in the entire league by the PFF rating system.

The team’s other guard, Will Hernandez, saw his PFF grade drop from 66.7 to 58.4 after being chosen in the second round of the 2018 draft. He finished as the 53rd guard out of 81 players.

At center, the team relied on Jon Halapio. He played pretty poorly and tore his Achilles’ in the season finale. The team has yet to re-sign him as they plan to check on his rehab during the summer. If he doesn’t come back, Spencer Pulley is the favorite to get the job, but he’s no better.

Nate Solder protects Daniel Jones’ blindside. He is now 32 years old and is coming off a year where he received his lowest PFF grade over his 9-year career. That’s a source of concern for sure.

Finally, we are rounding off the offensive line with right tackle Mike Remmers. He was borderline starting material and he did an adequate job last year. However, he left for the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs.

Andrew Thomas was taken with the fourth overall pick last April. He is a lock to get a starting job right away. He played RT as a freshman with Georgia, before moving to LT in the next two years. Will he play RT with the Giants, or will they use him at LT while moving Solder to RT? No matter what, he’s very likely to be an upgrade for this unit.

The intriguing part is whether third-round rookie Matt Peart can crack the starting lineup or not. He played his first two seasons as a LT with UConn before sliding to the RT spot in his final two years. The word on Peart is he has the physical traits required to succeed, but he lacks aggressiveness and strength at the moment. He should compete with Nate Solder in training camp.

The team signed Cameron Fleming, who has been primarily a backup during his six-year career with the Patriots and Cowboys.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

Will the 2020 Giants offense be better than the 2019 version?

The first thing that comes to mind is how much this unit suffered from the injury bug last year. Barkley, Tate, Shepard and Engram all missed time due injuries (or suspension). That alone is more likely to diminish than to increase, so this should help the production.

I see more upside with this offense. Daniel Jones now has one year of experience under the belt. Dion Lewis provides better depth than Wayne Gallman or Buck Allen. The receiving corps is more likely to be healthy.

The lone question mark concerns the offensive line. They weren’t so good last year. They didn’t address the position in free agency, so all hopes are in Andrew Thomas’ hands (and possibly to a much lesser degree, their 3rd round pick Matt Peart).

My final conclusion is a moderate upgrade over 2019. The team had the 18th-most points scored last year, and it might go up to the 10th-14th spot.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate upgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

This is an underrated group. They don’t have big names, but they have been pretty effective. Indeed, all four main guys finished among the top 36 DLs out of 114 qualifiers, based on PFF rankings!

Leonard Williams was traded from the Jets to the Giants last year. He received his lowest PFF mark of his five-year career, but he was still way above-average. He is now looking at a massive contract extension.

Dexter Lawrence was the 17th overall pick in last year’s draft. He was good in all aspects of the game and finished as the 20th-best DL in the NFL. A great start to his career!

Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J Hill are two more young guys who have performed at a high level thus far in their respective NFL careers. Both played roughly 50% of the snaps and they finished as the number 16 and 20 interior defenders based on PFF ratings.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Markus Golden led the team with 10 sacks. That was great, but he is now asking for $10 million per year, which the cash-strapped Giants cannot afford. For this reason, he is unlikely to re-sign with the team, unfortunately.

The team found a cheaper option with Kyler Fackrell, who is coming over from Green Bay. He clearly had a down year with just one sack, one year after posting 10.5! His run defense is also very suspect.

After being selected in third round of the 2018 draft out of Georgia, Lorenzo Carter posted 4 sacks and 41 tackles in his rookie season. He slightly increased those numbers in his sophomore year with 45 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He is an above-average, yet unspectacular, edge defender in this league.

Rookie Oshane Ximines also recorded 4.5 sacks, but his PFF grade was much lower than Carter’s. Indeed, he wasn’t nearly as good against the run, nor in pass coverage.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Alec Ogletree is more name than game. Most fans know him, but he never obtained a PFF mark above 63.3. His skills defending the run are simply not good. His two seasons with the Giants have been disappointing and he won’t be back with the team in 2020.

New York signed last year’s second leading tackler, Blake Martinez. He has spent his first four years with the Packers and racked up at least 144 tackles in each of his past three years.

Don’t be misled too much by the numbers, though. He’s not that great. He does the job, but he’s from being a top-20 linebacker.

After two mediocre seasons and failing to crack San Francisco’s lineup during the 2019 training camp, David Mayo was an unlikely candidate to become a good LB. He had just 51 tackles in four years. Yet, he surprised many with 82 tackles and two sacks, earning surprisingly high marks from PFF. Still, I wouldn’t hold my breath about him matching his 2019 performance.

Deone Bucannon has been a major bust as a former first-round pick in the 2014 draft. He started the year with the Bucs before being released, and then signed by the Giants. He played nine games with the team. He’s unlikely to make a big impact.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Last year’s starters were rookie DeAndre Baker and Janoris Jenkins.

Baker was picked towards the end of the first round in last year’s draft. Coming out of Georgia, he struggled mightily in coverage. PFF graded him as the number 105 CB out of 112 qualifiers. He must clearly up his game in 2020.

Jenkins was much more solid year on the field, but off-the-field incidents led to his release late in the season. He openly complained about not being used to cover top wideouts, but the icing on the cake was an inappropriate Twitter exchange with a fan.

The Giants made somewhat of a splash by acquiring one of the top available corners on the market, James Bradberry. He instantly becomes their starting corner opposite of Baker. He has picked up eight interceptions in his first four seasons in the league.

PFF is not very high on Bradberry, though. He obtained the #68 spot out of 112 CBs last year, and has never received very high marks throughout his career. Don’t expect him to be the savior.

The team’s depth is great at the position: Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine and Grant Haley aren’t good enough to start in the NFL.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Antoine Bethea played 99.6% of the defensive snaps last year. The team was not satisfied with his play and released him in the offseason. According to PFF, he wasn’t horrible since he ended the year as the #40 safety out of 87 guys.

The other starter was Jabrill Peppers. The former first-round pick has done an “okay” job thus far in his career. He has one interception in each of his first three seasons.

With a glaring hole at the position, the Giants picked up Xavier McKinney early in the second round in this year’s draft. He was very productive with the Crimson Tide while playing from different spots on defense (from the slot, as a safety, or in the box). He has great instincts, but he could improve as a tackler.

Julian Love picked up the slack when Peppers down to an injury last year. He was a 2019 fourth-rounder out of Notre Dame and he also did respectable work.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

Markus Golden is gone; in comes Kyler Fackrell. That’s a net loss for the Giants. I also believe the team was better off with Janoris Jenkins at CB than newly acquired James Bradberry. Also, getting rid of Antoine Bethea may not be a positive for the team when focusing on the 2020 season, although rookie Xavier McKinney could successfully fill his shoes.

Granted, the team upgraded the linebacking corps by replacing Alec Ogletree with Blake Martinez.

As of late February, the team had the lowest cap dollars devoted to the defensive side of the ball. You can’t expect great results under such circumstances.

The team allowed the third-highest number of points last year, so there is not much room for going down further. Still, to me the talent level dropped a little bit overall in comparison to 2019.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Small downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the New York Giants are expected to win 6.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

I'll answer this question via two different methods.

4.1 Professor MJ's Prediction

I won't go into the mathematical details, but here is a summary of my own personal pick (based on my analysis above and my estimated spreads for the Giants' 16 games):

Estimated Probability Best Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 WINS 24% +130 (Pinnacle) -44.8%
UNDER 6.5 WINS 76% -118 (Sports Interaction) +40.4%
Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins

4.2 Based on BetOnline's Point Spreads

Here is the methodology I used here:

Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Best Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 WINS 35.4% +130 (Pinnacle) -18.6%
UNDER 6.5 WINS 64.6% -118 (Sports Interaction) +19.3%
Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins

In summary, both analyses recommend betting the UNDER. I do like this play quite a bit, personally. I believe their offense should be exciting to watch, but their defense is atrocious.

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Giants’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

TOMORROW: The 2020 preview for the San Francisco 49ers (the team whose ROI is the 14th-highest in the NFL)!

Professor MJ
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CreateYoureReality Week 2 NFL Analysis and Picks

The first week is in the books. Week two is here! There is a decent amount of content in todays post so lets just jump right in.
Week 1 Singles (2-1. +1.23u) Parlay (0-1, -4u)
Week 2
1 PM GAMES
LAR at PHL: Overall I have the Rams getting 2nd in their division to the Seahawks and I have the Eagles as a dumpster fire this year. Week 1, helped me build confidence in that narrative :P
McVay has been great in September going 9-1. The Eagles D looks to be the same as it was last year. Pretty ok run stopping...but one of the worst secondary's. Maybe, with some time, the addition of Darius Slay will give them a boost. However, without any preseason I'd say the Rams WR core lead by Woods and Cupp should have the advantage. To add, on the other side of the ball, we see an above average Rams pass rush vs an abysmal Eagles O-line.

CAR at TB: Very interesting divisional matchup here. Both teams coming off a week 1 loss. CAR D is suspect. They gave up 34 to Derrick Carr...in their house! Now they face Tom Brady in a divisional game, home opener, after Brady had a slightly embarrassing(by his standards) season opener?!
Honestly, this should come down to the Bucs Defense. We saw in week one they ALSO gave up 34 points! However, they were facing Drew Brees and the Saints offence, in New Orleans. They should be able to play a little better at home vs Teddy B. Although!!! These basically same Bucs D did play Teddy B in week 5 of last year (he was playing for the Saints then) and they let him put up 31. The only real difference there is he had Sean Payton coaching and...oh yea, Michael Thomas who put up 182 and 2 TDs XD
Tampa Bay should be able to use the CAR defense to get back on track but there is no way I am laying this high of a spread until we see some consistency from Brady and his new club.
*This game is a good candidate for a teaser, bringing TB down through the key numbers.

DEN at PIT: After another 5/6 weeks, I think this would have been a fantastic game. But in week 2 with DEN losing Lindsey in week 1 and Sutton sitting week 1 and Questionable for week 2, I think the young Drew Lock and the Broncos will struggle in this one.
I think Pit will be the AFC Villain this year posting a decent record around 10-6, 11-5 and giving either KC or BAL one of their harder challenges in the playoffs. 7/8 is a lot of points for a PIT team whos focus is defense and establishing the run, but if they are going to cover an over TD spread, a home opener vs a rookie QB seems like one of the best spots to accomplish that.
Once Sutton comes back, Look for Denver to pick it up and roll off at least 5 or 6 wins this year. TJ WATT have another good game?
*Another good spot for a teaser pushing through all the key numbers

ATL at DAL: Two offensive teams looking for their first win. ATL had trouble stopping Russel Wilson who put up 38 and DAL held the Rams to 20, but despite putting up over 400 yards of offense, couldn't get it done.
Dallas lost a few key defensive players last week, this may leave some room for that interesting ATL offense to score some points. ATL D I am still unsure off. They closed out last year very well, but started last year and week one of this year with very poor showings. Who is going to show up defensively? At the start of the week, I think there was huge value on ATL and the Over, however throughout the week it has been bet down most places on both accounts.

SF at NYJ: I cant wait to see how the SF defense rebounds this week. I have them fighting with AZ for 3rd place in their division this year and probably missing the playoffs (hence my take of the AZ ml last week). Fortunately for SF they have an easier test in the Jets struggling offense. I definitely lean the under here more than either side. The fact that 4 out of 5 tickets and two-thirds of the money are on SF and the line has only moved -6 to -7 is a little concerning. Is SF going to go super bowl slump this year? And as I am writing this, it looks as if Kittle was recently ruled out for this game. Maybe a little Jets sprinkle? (ugh I hate saying that)
With the 49ers receiving core decimated and the jets having none visible but Crowder (who is also out this week)I do expect this to be a very clock management/running game. Look towards the underrrrrrr!

BUF at MIA: Fitzmagic or Fitpicksix? Most of these MIA games are going to come down to that. 250 yards and 2TDs or 45 throws and 3 INTs. As bad as they played vs NE last week, they were only down a field goal with under 10 to go in the 4th last week. On the other side, the Bills did look good last week hopping out to an early 21-0 lead, but they really didn't play a full game. Honestly this one feels like a game where BUF should just win...however, my watchbot has flagged this as another potential upset. The watchbot only takes into account line movements and bet percentages but it is heavy leaning on MIA this week.

MIN at IND: Both underwhelmed in their week 1 matchups. Two aging QBs one that is used to throwig 50 times a game and one that should throw 50 time a game but is only allowed to throw 15. First things first, Vikings D is NOT the same defense it has been of years past. Trades, Opt outs, and injuries have taken away some of the speed and athleticism that the Vikings D has had in previous years. Conversely the colts were supposed to come in with a good d from last year and in week 1 gave up 27 to the Jags!
Personally my algo is projecting the Vikings D to regress which in general will make their offence less productive. They rely a TON on Dalvin Cook to control the game and with a weak defense, against any decent offence they will probably be playing second halves from behind. This limits the ability to run, taking the ball out of cooks hands and putting it in Cousins. And Cousins is now without his safety blanket in Diggs. Rivers on the other hand, looked pretty good when he had time in the pocket. The few times he didn't he made some bad decisions but overall I expect Indy to win every game that they play a team that cant play 60. If they played the Jags later in the year, I think they smoke them. The Jags I feel are going to start hot, but eventually cool off and come back to earth.
Look for Indy to bounce back this week and be a little more of the team everyone thought they could be once getting Rivers.

DET at GB: This is a very intriguing game to me. I think DET is better than their perceived value and I am not sure Green Bay is as good as theirs. I know its week 2 but GB is a public favorite and everyone loves to hate on the lions. The lions will face a battle without their best WR but with almost 80 % of the tickets and money on GB and the spread barely changing, there seems to be some good contrarian value on the DET side.

NYG at CHI: I am not sure how to feel about this one. The Bears opened up with a win, but an ugly win it was. They did shit throughout the first 3 quarters and then it looked like the Lions D just stopped playing. Also, if it weren't for the early season butter fingers of Swift, the lions would have easily won that game in the waning seconds. On the other side, the Giants looked...meh. But, the Giants were facing one of the better defenses in the league and their star Barkley was held to abysmal numbers. I think he bounces back with a much better game vs a CHI defense that I am still uncertain of. As with all of the teams I like getting 7 or less, there is some value on sprinkling a little on the moneyline.

Jax at Ten: This is another game I am unsure how to perceive. Jax looked ok in their win vs the Colts and Ten looked, OK. If not for some kicking issues they would have had a much more convincing win. I think the bright star to watch on the JAX squad will be Robinson. This probably wont be one of his games, but he might have one of the most interesting rookie years. There was a TON of value on JAX for anyone who got this spread when it opened. Since then, it has dropped 4/5 points and most of the value has evaporated.
*Now that the line is lower, TEN looks great in a teaser

4 PM GAMES
WAS at AZ: Another hard one. Washington front 7 is pretty legit. I'm not sure how much I trust the offence and the team to put up complete games, but they will be an interesting team to watch develop. AZ this year I think will be a fantastic team to watch. But do I trust them to cover a TD? I LOVE taking AZ when they are a dog, but I am not fully sure how much I trust them to cover a full TD.

BAL at HOU and KC at LAC: Both of these should be wins. These teams meet in week 3 and could the storyline be anything other than the possibly two best teams in the league both at 2-0 fighting to stay undefeated?! The market isn't juicing the big favorites to hard yet. If you're gonna take the best teams, the beginning of the year is the time to do it.
*However, a safer bet might be including both of these in a teaser and bringing them down to win.

NIGHT GAME

NE at SEA: This for me personally will be one of my most anticipated matchups for the weekend. My favorite coach vs. who I believe is the MVP this year. Last week we saw the Patriots open up with a win, but CAM threw less than 20 times. Russ on the other hand was the opposite throwing almost 40 times and racking up stats. I expect this game to be a low scoring clock grind fest with SEA coming out on top. However, SEA is one of those...win a ton of games by 3 or less... type teams and I don't really feel comfortable laying points against a Bill B coached team this early in a season.

Singles (2-1, +1.23)

Parlays (0-1, -4u)
Teasers (0-0)
Big Boy Daddy Long Shots
Futures

DraftKings $2 Million Pick em National Championship $1Million for First
Week 1 (1-4) Very difficult first week. But, honestly I didn't feel very confident with my week 1 picks and hindsight, I would have used week 1 as one of my bye weeks. No worries, lot of season to go!
Week 2

Thanks for reading, Good luck to all! :D
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What if the MLB and NPB Tigers and Giants traded leagues? [OOTP 21 Longread]

At the start of the 2020 baseball season, a common exclamation rang out on both sides of the Pacific.
"That can't be right."
"Are you sure that says Mariners and not Marines?" "I recognize the logo, but that roster sure as shit isn't Cincinnati!" "Do we even have a direct flight to Kansai International?!"
Due to a scheduling mishap caused by a rare software bug and/or a 14-year-old hacker from Finland, the MLB and NPB have effectively traded teams. The Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers have been placed in the NL West and AL Central, respectively; their similarly named cousins in San Francisco and Detroit join the Central League.
Betting websites have no idea what to do. MLB Network is okay with it because at least they now have early morning content for the Eastern Time Zone. The carbon offset market is flooded by 42 baseball teams striving to reduce their travel expenditures.
Let's see how these teams shape up relative to their new peers, eh?

Panic in Detroit?

The strength of this Tigers team is going to be pitching - Boyd, Norris, and Nova are a great 1-2-3 in NPB, and Joe Jimenez is already a top closer in Japan. The less said about the position players the better. Still, compared to the other NPB teams, they're a top-half team.

When the Lights Go Down in the City

The Giants are already rated top-4 in every category, with Posey, Longoria, Gausman, and Gott netting best-in-league honours. San Francisco is approaching this season with a surprising amount of excitement - at least they won't have to worry about the Dodgers in this league.

Viva Giants

Ohhhh boy. Only four players have green numbers or better - Rubby De La Rosa, Tomoyuki Sugano, Hayato Sakamoto, and Yoshihiro Maru...all of whom are free agents next season. Sugano's not even considered an ace in MLB; Maru's their only hope offensively and defensively.

The Colonel's Curse Works in Weird Ways

At least the Giants have a top-5 player. The Tigers are buried in the bottom-third at all positions. At least they have a DH to let Yoshio Itoi's bat loose? He's one of three players happy about this whole mess - the others are Justin Bour and Jerry Sands, about to embark on their revenge tour.

The Setup

In order to keep the San Francisco and Detroit teams compliant with NPB rules, I gave all members of the main roster temporary Japanese citizenship. They can only add four foreigners from their 40-man, to meet foreign player limits.
I didn't change minor league teams, so the ni-gun teams are staying in Japan and the full minor league system is intact for the ex-MLB squads. That's a long call-up if you're away from home.
Also, OOTP still can't get NPB rules quite right - there's no ties after 12 innings, and the Climax Series Final Stage is supposed to be best of 7 with the top seed getting a one-game advantage.
By luck of the draw, the NL West and AL Central will meet up this season to let the Giants and Tigers have some MLB action in Japan. I also went with the standard schedules - no coronavirus cancellations.

March

Have you ever been in San Francisco in March? Would you want to play baseball there? That's exactly what Detroit and the Frisco Giants did in their first ever NPB tilt at Oracle Park, where the wind is brisk and the mercury reads 45 degrees. The only thing colder were the bats - 0-for with RISP until the top of the 9th, when Jeimer Candelario clanked a triple off the right field wall, scoring 2. Jimenez picks up the save, and Detroit is unbeaten in NPB play! Boyd gets the win with 8 scoreless.
Meanwhile in MLB, Hanshin and Yomiuri took advantage of the lack of a foreign player limit to try and improve their roster by demoting youngsters, signing depth free agents, and calling up all their gaijin waku. Then their season got underway 6 days later, with Hanshin hosting Cleveland and Yomiuri hosting San Diego.
At Koshien, it wasn't Justin Bour or Jerry Sands who broke the game open, but 42-year-old Kosuke Fukudome with a 3-run jack to right in the 4th. Yusuke Ohyama hit one himself the next inning, and things were looking good for Hanshin...until Kyuji Fujikawa blew a gasket and gave up home runs to Jose Ramirez to get the Indians within one, and Roberto Perez to hand them the lead in the top of the 9th. 9-7 the final for the Tribe. Typical Hanshin.
Yomiuri didn't fare too much better, as Manny Machado cranked two solo shots, including the game-winner in the top of the 10th, to pace the Padres to a 3-2 extra-innings win at the Tokyo Dome. At least Maru got a two-run dinger of his own?
San Francisco has rebounded with 8 straight wins to tie Detroit for the CL lead at 8-2 as the calendar flips into April. Hanshin is 1-4 and Yomiuri is 2-3 over in MLB.

April

Things took a turn for the terrible for the Tigers in MLB. Hanshin went 7-19 for a putrid .269 win percentage; the lone bright spot was Yoshio Itoi plugging a five-hit game against the Yankees. Every starter has an ERA over 6, Bour is batting .141, and the team has resorted to dumpster diving to improve. Brian Dozier and Breyvic Valera both came over on waivers from the Padres. They are 12 games back of the AL Central after ONE MONTH.
The MLB Giants aren't faring much better with a 10-15 April, but most of that is a six-game losing streak they finished the month in. They added Hanley Ramirez on a minor league deal and Jonathan Lucroy off waivers from Boston. A highlight of the month was Gerardo Parra's return to Washington for a proper farewell; the Nats won 2 of 3, the last in extras, and each game by one run. Maybe Yomiuri CAN hang with this league!
The NPB Tigers have turned into pitching phenoms. Every starter's ERA sits at 2.75 or lower, and they rank 1st in the league for runs against, starters ERA, and FIP. They also league the league in HRs, as CJ Cron has racked up 10 to date. Detroit's seen two win streaks of five games or more in a 17-8 April. They're still 2 games back of...
The Giants of the NPB, both in name and results. In spite of a spate of injuries to Sandoval, Cueto, and Samardzija, San Francisco went 19-6 in April on the strength of their bats. Not sure how long Trevor Cahill is going to go without allowing an earned run, but he's at 22 IP already. The closest domestic competition to the Giants are the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and Yokohama DeNA BayStars, each 10 games back.

May

Hanshin went 7-22. Kosuke Fukudome still leads the team in HR and RBI. The starting pitching is still hot garbage. As a Hanshin fan, this is starting to hurt my soul.
On May 5, Yomiuri shipped Hirokazu Sawamura, one of their better relievers, to the Dodgers for a minor-league first baseman named Edwin Rios. Rios has batted .351 with 8 HR and 18 RBI since joining the Giants. Didn't exactly help, they still went 8-20 in May. More non-Japanese players are joining the roster too, like Cesar Puello (waiver from Boston), Jose Vinicio (minor league deal), Wilmer Font (waiver from Toronto), Clayton Richard (minor league deal), and Braden Shipley (trade from KC). Sugano's at least 4-3 with a 2.21 ERA.
Over in Detroit, Jeimer Candelario has turned it on and joins CJ Cron in double-digit HR territory, but a merely pedestrian 15-12 May isn't confidence inspiring.
San Francisco got Cueto and Anderson back, Kevin Gausman is 7-0 with a 0.95 ERA and won the Pitcher of the Month award, and the Giants have pulled 7 games ahead of the Tigers for the Central League pennant - they went 20-7 in May! The Japanese leagues haven't seen regular season dominance like this since the Invincible Seibu era.

June

Shintaro Fujinami's always been an enigma in NPB, but he's 2-2 with a 3.33 ERA in MLB; hope springs eternal in Nishinomiya. An 8-18 June is an improvement. I guess Logan Forsythe is an upgrade over Kento Itohara too, since he was claimed from the Phillies.
Yomiuri added another foreign hitter in Ildemaro Vargas; I mean, why not, Edwin Rios now has 15 home runs in 48 games. The other bats have gone frigid, though, and a 10-18 June shows it.
Casey Mize continued his absolute tear by throwing a no-hitter against the Chunichi Dragons on June 25; he's 9-3 with a 1.76 ERA after that start. With Michael Fulmer back from TJ surgery, Detroit's got a chance to gain ground on the Giants in spite of a 13-8 June.
Uh-oh - Johnny Cueto's UCL tore, he's done for the season. San Francisco's power is still in its lineup, with 3 guys hitting .290 or better (Posey, Flores, and Mauricio Dubon). A 14-7 June means they get to stay ahead of the Tigers by 8 games still,

July

NPB had both its All-Star Break, and one highlight of that was an American vs American showdown in the HR Derby, with Detroit's CJ Cron edging out Brandon Laird of the Chiba Lotte Marines 14-13 in front of his home crowd at Comerica Park (the game pre-empted morning shows across Japan!).
4-20. Not a weed joke, that was Hanshin's record in July. Fukudome cooled off in a big way, Fujinami returned to earth, Bour is still below the Mendoza line in spite of 18 HR, and Haruto Takahashi blew out his flexor tendon. Complete Mudville. The lone bright spot was their closer Suguru Iwazaki getting an All-Star nod.
An absolute shock at the July trade deadline - Tomoyuki Sugano was traded to the Dodgers for 2B Enrique Hernandez and SP Dustin May. Sugano's 4-9 record isn't impressive, but 3.45 ERA and 119 Ks in 128 IP is. And now he's joining a rotation of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, and Alex Wood (lard tunderin' Jayzus) to try and deliver a World Series for Los Angeles. Without him pitching for Yomiuri...the team's gotten better? 12-13 in July!
Jonathan Schoop had been a standout batter in NPB all season, and earned the Player of the Month award in July for a .338 batting average, 8 HR, and 18 RBI. That said, Detroit just hasn't been able to gain ground on the Giants. Their starting pitchiing has fallen behind San Francisco's too. A 11-6 month is decent, at least. (forgot to take a screencap)
Wait - did the Even Year BS make it to Japan? How else do you explain rookie Logan Webb going 8-3 with a 2.02 ERA in his first full season in a major league? San Francisco went 11-5, and maintained their 8.5 game lead over Detroit.

August

101 losses, and it's not even September 2. Hanshin's putrid year abroad continued with a 9-18 month in the Kansai heat. More foreigners are joining the squad - Mike Tauchmann on waivers from the Yankees, and Carson Fulmer on waivers from the White Sox. And the Tigers finish the month by hearing Yoshio Itoi's season is done after breaking his elbow.
And back down to earth go the Yomiuri Giants, 6-22 in August without their stud, eliminated from the postseason and 48 games back of Los Angeles. Dustin May was pressed into service as soon as he was acquired, and he's 2-4 with a 6.28 ERA so far. Wilmer Font also had his season end via elbow surgery. Woof. Bright spot is that Hayato Sakamoto and Edwin Rios are both tearing the cover off the ball.
(Sidebar: Tomoyuki Sugano signed an extension with the Dodgers - 5y95M. He's 5-1 since heading Stateside).
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics took up most of the month, so fewer games were played.
Meanwhile in San Francisco, the Giants have clinched a playoff spot in spite of going 5-8 coming back from the Oympics break. Buster Posey's in the running for the batting title, but the rest of the bats need to keep going to give this squad a title.
Schoop now leads the team in HR and RBIs, and is 0.001 back in batting from Niko Goodrum for the team lead there too. 7-6 isn't the best August record, but they did gain ground! They're 11 up on Yokohama, so a playoff spot is all but assured. And Casey Mize's 12 wins are generating Sawamura buzz.

September

Finally, something resembling normalcy - the Yomiuri Giants visiting Koshien to play the Hanshin Tigers. No need for a trans-Pacific plane ride to cheer on your squad! The Kyojin won two of three, with the Tigers' one win coming in extras.
The Hanshin Tigers matched the 2003 Detroit Tigers (hey!) with a 43-119 record thanks to a 7-18 September. Truly, truly, abysmal. Now their long march has ended, and they can turn tail and return back home next season without issues and a lot of their chaff (when did they get Trevor Rosenthal or Fernando Abad?).
The Yomiuri Giants lost 107 games and their best pitcher. A 7-16 September certainly continued that trend. At least they found their new first baseman, as Edwin Rios' 36 home runs and 108 RBIs pace the team. Maru and Sakamoto also break 20 HRs.
Michael Fulmer earned Pitcher of the Month honours with a 3-1 September, 37 Ks in 33 1/3 IP, and a .165 oppAVG. That helped pace Detroit to a 17-8 September, and get them within 4 games of the Giants with 5 still to play (SF has two games in hand). Losing star SP Matt Manning to a torn labrum may dampen their postseason hopes, though.
San Francisco righted the ship with a 14-10 September, and the starting rotation looks as strong as ever. Question is, how do you pare these six guys down to three or four for a playoff series?
(sidebar: The Dodgers went 110-52 to win the NL West, and the Toronto Blue Jays took the second wild-card spot at 96-66!)

October & November

The Tigers went a perfect 5-0 to finish their season, but came up just short at 93-50, while the Giants finished 95-48 after going 4-3 in October. San Francisco becomes the first American team to win the Central League pennant, and Buster Posey got his CL batting title in the end with a .299 BA.
The Detroit Tigers hosted the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in the CL Climax Series First Stage. Courtesy of strong outings from Casey Mize and Matt Boyd, and the offense waking up all at once, the Tigers cruised to a sweep by scores of 8-1 and 7-3. Schoop and Candelario (series MVP) each had two dingers in Game 2. Anyone wanna bet if Alex Ramirez loses his job now?
This sets up an American-style CL Climax Series Final Stage, with San Francisco hosting Detroit. The Giants walked off winners in Game 1, but the Tigers' pitching put up back to back shutouts in Games 2 and 3, the latter of those a grueling 14-inning affair only broken open by Jordy Mercer's 2-run triple. San Francisco fought back to take Game 4 courtesy of Logan Webb pitching a one-hit shutout (9 Ks too!). In the winner-take-all Game 5, Tigers pinch hitter Christin Stewart hit a go-ahead double in the top of the 7th to shock the Bay City crowd. Detroit's bullpen slammed the door the rest of the way, and the Tigers had punched their ticket to the Japan Series. Buster Posey took home series MVP honours in a valiant losing effort.
Detroit's opponent in the Japan Series? Only the most successful NPB team of the 2010s - the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, who won another PL pennant and got past the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 4. Jingoism was running at an all-time high to preserve the honour of the Japan Series by making sure it stayed in Japanese hands. The Hawks and Tigers traded wins in Games 1 and 2, with the winning team hitting 3 HRs in each. The series shifted from the heated PayPay Dome to Comerica Park in November (brrr), but the Detroit bats stayed hot to take Games 3 and 4, still hitting three HRs in each. Home runs by Akira Nakamura and Kenta Imamiya put Game 5 away early for the Hawks, bringing the series back to Fukuoka. Yuki Yanagita clobbered a three-run shot himself in the 1st of Game 6 to take SoftBank to an early lead, but it didn't last long, as the Tigers put up 5 runs in the 7th and 9th (CJ Cron with two dingers) to take the game 14-4 and the Japan Series in 6 games. Austin Romine earned JS MVP honours for the effort.
Detroit rejoiced - it didn't matter if it was on the other side of the world, the Tigers had won a championship for the first time in almost four decades.
(sidebar: The Blue Jays won 7-4 over Oakland at the O.Co in the Wild Card game, but bowed out in the ALDS vs Houston in 4 games. Also lol the 90-72 Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers in 5 in the NLDS, with MadBum getting two of the three wins. World Series was Braves over Indians in 7 games.)

Offseason

Epilogue

A darkened room in Seattle. A clandestine Telegram call. On one end, Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto. The other....a 14-year-old hacker in Finland
"So they made the playoffs? BOTH of them? I see. I think we need to visit our owners a bit more often, then..."
TO BE CONTINUED
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4 Roud Mock (With some trades)

A big project here that has been underway for a bit, with some tweaking as needed.
I only made trades in the first round. Any trades you see are reflective of first round deals. There's usually a handful of them, so I tried to really push for trades, rather than a take a less realistic approach to it and be super conservative about. Additionally, I added a few 3rd round compensatory picks, based on the projections from over the cap.

FIRST ROUND

1.1 - Cincinnati Bengals - QB Joe Burrow (LSU). Don't need too much explanation here. Burrow is the best QB in this draft, perhaps even the best player, given how Chase Young was a bit quiet against Michigan & Clemson. Bringing him back to Ohio is too good.
1.2 - Washington Redskins - EDGE Chase Young (Ohio State). Another very easy pick, as Young has the potential to step into the NFL as a game changer from the first snap. Explosive, smart, and incredible hands, he has franchise changing potential.
1.3 - TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers - QB Tua Tagavailoa (Alabama). Miami could perhaps outbid the Chargers, but I don't see Miami wanting to give up too much of their stockpile for one player, especially given how many needs the Dolphins have. Thus, their #6 pick, a 3rd, and a 2021 1st round pick to Detroit for LAC to get a QB who could get them back to the playoffs immediately.
1.4 - New York Giants - OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia). This feels like such a good fit. Thomas is incredibly powerful, and fits the MO of the Giants well, building a powerful run game behind Saquon Barkley.
1.5 - Miami Dolphins - QB Justin Herbert (Oregon). According to reports, the Dolphins have done the most work on Herbert, and with the Chargers jumping up for Tua, the Dolphins choose to tap Herbert as their new starting QB, and hopefully fill out the rest of their needs with their massive stockpile of picks.
1.6 TRADE: Detroit Lions - DT Derrick Brown (Auburn). The Lions move back and still have their pick of Brown or Okudah, the two most popular names here. Ultimately, I went with Brown, as Brown can solve both their struggles stopping the run, and provide an interior pass rush.
1.7 Carolina Panthers - CB Jeff Okudah (Ohio State). The Panthers are probably hoping to get Brown, as his explosiveness is unreal, but Okudah could be an excellent piece to Matt Rhule's new defense, with his lockdown coverage ability.
1.8 TRADE: New York Jets - OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa). As the Cardinals debate OL vs. WR, the Jets ensure they land a top OT by offering them their 3rd round pick and a future 6th round pick. The Cardinals accept, and the Jets get Sam Darnold some much needed protection.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars - WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama). A great spot for the Jaguars, as Jeudy is arguably the best player left on the board, and also fills a big need for an offensive playmaker. Whether Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew starts for the Jags next season, Jeudy will make their lives easier.
1.10 Cleveland Browns - OT Jedrick Wills (Alabama). With Cleveland a sure bet to take a tackle, the Jets hopped them to get their choice. The Browns still take Wills, who has the athleticism to play either side, but either way is a big upgrade for Cleveland, as they attempt to rebuild their offensive line.
1.11 TRADE: Arizona Cardinals - WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma). With their decision now made for them, the Cardinals take perhaps the biggest playmaker on the board. Lamb is an exceptional fit for Kingsbury's passing attack, and he should give them a replacement for Larry Fitzgerald, whenever he chooses to retire.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders - LB/S Isaiah Simmons (Clemson). With a big need to improve the speed of their LB spot, the Raiders take Simmons, which also fits nicely with Mayhew's affinity for Clemson players. Simmons' versatility is perhaps the best among any player in this draft.
1.13 TRADE: Philadelphia Eagles - CB Kristian Fulton (LSU). With teams like Dallas, Jacksonville, and Miami ahead of them, the Eagles act promptly to get the cornerback of their choosing. Sending their 2nd round pick and a 2021 day three pick to Indy, the Eagles land an elite cover corner in Fulton.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina). With the top 3 quarterbacks gone, the Bucs opt to do the smart thing, and take the disruptive DT from South Carolina. If they retain Barrett, this could be quite the deadly pass rush next season.
1.15 Denver Broncos - WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama). The Broncos could use some speed to compliment Courtland Sutton at WR. Pairing the two of them should give second-year QB Drew Lock a promising group of pass catchers, as he attempts to bring the Broncos back to the playoffs.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons - EDGE A.J. Epenesa (Iowa). Almost too good to be true for the Falcons, as they get the second best pass rusher at 16 without having to move up. Thankfully the board falls well to them, and Epenesa gives them a powerful pass rushing presence to boost their DL.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys - S Grant Delpit (LSU). This pick seems almost too trendy, but that's because it's just a fantastic fit. Delpit's stock dropped a bit due to some poor tackling, but his ability to make plays all around the field is still unmatched at the safety position. A great fit in Dallas.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (via PIT) - OT Mekhi Becton (Louisville). The next tackle off the board comes to Miami, as the Dolphins need to rebuild this unit in a massive way. And what better way than to add a massive pass protector like Becton, who can keep Herbert clean for years to come.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI) - WR Tee Higgins. Wouldn't it be nice to grab a QB here Bears fans? Instead, the Raiders add a weapon on the outside in Higgins, whose elite body control allows him to come down with some insane catches. He gives the Raiders the outside weapon they're searching for.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) - CB Trevon Diggs (Alabama). The Jaguars could use a corner to play across from Bouye, and Diggs has elite size, and the ability to be a stud for them.
1.21 TRADE: Indianapolis Colts - EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State). I'd love to see the Colts target Arik Armstead in free agency to improve their pass rush, but if they don't, grabbing a high potential pass rusher like YGM would be an excellent move, especially after trading back for more picks.
1.22 Buffalo Bills - WR Laviska Shenault (Colorado). Shenault can make plays in so many different ways. He'd give OC Brian Daboll and QB Josh Allen a major boost with his play making.
1.23 New England Patriots - EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU). The Patriots would be best not using this on a tight end, as they are slow developers in their first seasons. Instead, go sign Hunter Henry, and then draft a pass rusher like Chaisson to help your defense continue to disrupt opposing offenses.
1.24 New Orleans Saints - LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma). The Saints could use some help in the middle of their defense, and Murray can make plays from sideline to sideline, a very well-rounded player.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings - CB C.J. Henderson (Florida). Death, taxes, Vikings drafting 1st round corners. Though this time, the need for one is very clear, given the potential exodus of corners they could have in free agency. Henderson has the ability to be a lockdown corner in Mike Zimmer's defense.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (via HOU) - RB D'Andre Swift (Georgia). Fans usually hate running backs in the first round, but the value of Swift here, compared to reaching on a pass rusher or guard here, is fantastic. He's a dynamic back, with play making ability both as a runner and as a pass catcher.
1.27 TRADE: Tennessee Titans - EDGE Curtis Weaver (Boise State) - The Titans hop ahead of the Ravens, landing the pass rushing OLB of their choice in Weaver. A strong pass rusher with plenty of moves, he and Harold Landry would form a scary good young duo in Tennessee.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens - WR Justin Jefferson (LSU) - Rather than reach for an edge rusher, the Ravens add Jefferson, whose electrifying season was a big part of why LSU are the national champions. He can help Lamar Jackson in a lot of ways, and is a pretty willing blocker in the run game.
1.29 TRADE: Seattle Seahawks - OT Lucas Niang (TCU) - Picking up a 2021 3rd round pick to swap with the Titans, the Seahawks use this pick to grab Niang, and give Russell Wilson some more protection, an upgrade over Ifedi in Seattle.
1.30 Green Bay Packers - WR Jalen Reagor (TCU) - Back to back Horned Frogs at the end of the first round, as the Packers add a big time weapon to their offense. Reagor's ability to take the top off of defenses would be a huge boost for Rodgers.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs - RB Travis Etienne (Clemson) - Wanted to give the Chiefs some defensive help, but nothing stood out as a great fit. Instead, the Chiefs take the best player left on the board in Etienne, and continue to add elite weapons to an already dangerous offense.
1.32 TRADE: Carolina Panthers - QB Jordan Love (Utah State). The 49ers are low on picks in this draft, so a trade back to replenish their ammo would be great. And the Panthers land themselves Love, who can develop under Rhule and new Panthers OC Joe Brady, sending a 4th and a 7th round pick to the 49ers in return.

SECOND ROUND

2.1 Cincinnati Bengals - OT Josh Jones (Houston). Now that they have their franchise QB, they need to protect their franchise QB. With Jonah Williams added in last year, the Bengals add a long, athletic pass protector in Jones.
2.2 Indianapolis Colts (via WAS) - WR K.J. Hamler (Penn State). The Colts used their first pick to add defensive help, and now this pick turns into the speedy Hamler to help the offense.
2.3 Detroit Lions - CB A.J. Terrell (Clemson). After taking a DT in the first round, the Lions land a great fit in Terrell to give them some needed cornerback help.
2.4 New York Giants - EDGE Zack Baun (Wisconsin). Continuing to build the team from the inside out, the Giants add an excellent pass rusher in Baun, who has risen immensely since last season.
2.5 Los Angeles Chargers - OT Austin Jackson (USC). Like the Bengals, the Chargers need to find protection for their new signal caller, and this comes in the local product out of USC.
2.6 TRADE: San Francisco 49ers - CB Jeff Gladney (TCU). After moving out of the first round, the 49ers add extra picks and now select a cornerback to boost their outstanding defense.
2.7 Miami Dolphins - G Soloman Kindley (Georgia). Miami needs to take multiple offensive linemen in the first two days of the draft, and they so here with a strong interior guard in Kindley.
2.8 Arizona Cardinals - DT Raekwon Davis (Alabama). After adding CeeDee Lamb in the first, the Cardinals add a long, powerful DT to give a boost to their defense, rather than reach on OL here.
2.9 Cleveland Browns - S Xavier McKinney (Alabama). The Browns should have plenty of opportunities to fill their biggest needs with elite prospects, and they do exactly that by adding McKinney here.
2.10 Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin). The theme here is continuing to add weapons to this offense, and Taylor can be a big boost either in tangent with Fournette, or as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
2.11 Chicago Bears (via LVR) - G/C Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin). Back to back Badgers, as the Bears add some much needed help on the OL in Biadasz, who can easily slide to guard alongside Daniels.
2.12 Indianapolis Colts - QB Jacob Eason (Washington). The Colts may have waited a bit, but they do add a QB with immense potential in the strong armed-Eason. A season behind Brissett could do him wonders.
2.13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn). The Bucs find themselves a pass protector, and PTW may have the highest ceiling out of all these guys due to his immense athleticism.
2.14 Denver Broncos - OT Isaiah Wilson (Georgia). The Broncos too need to find some help at OT, and they get that with Wilson, another incredibly athletic SEC pass protector.
2.15 Atlanta Falcons - DT Neville Gallimore (Oklahoma). Didn't like a fit for any corners here, so the Falcons take Gallimore and provide a boost to their defensive line.
2.16 New York Jets - EDGE Terrell Lewis (Alabama). In need of pass rushers as well, the Jets take a chance on Lewis, who has immense potential, but has dealt with some injuries.
2.17 Pittsburgh Steelers - EDGE Julian Okwara (Notre Dame). The Steelers enter the draft, and they pick Notre Dame's top edge rusher, a crafty and surprisingly strong pass rusher.
2.18 Chicago Bears - TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame). The first tight end off the board is Kmet, who will provide Trubisky another weapon in hopes that he can get things figured out.
2.19 Dallas Cowboys - DT Justin Madibuike (Texas A&M). The Cowboys first two picks gives them two impact defenders to help straighten out their defense.
2.20 Los Angeles Rams - OT Trey Adams (Washington). If the Rams want another run at the Super Bowl, heck, even the playoffs, they need to upgrade their OL, and they do that with the massive product out of Washington.
2.21 TRADE: Indianapolis Colts - TE Hunter Bryant (Washington) Picking this up from the Eagles, the Colts reunite Bryant and Eason, giving them a natural replacement for Ebron as a pass catching TE.
2.22 Buffalo Bills - EDGE Jabari Zuniga (Florida). The Bills add a pass rusher here, as Zuniga's excellent play earns him a spot in the second round.
2.23 Atlanta Falcons (via NE) - CB Jaylon Johnson (Utah) - The Falcons add a corner with the pick they received in the Sanu trade. Johnson was a major asset for the tough Utah defense.
2.24 Miami Dolphins (via NO) - EDGE Jonathan Greenard (Florida). Just two picks behind a fellow Gator's pass rusher, Greenard fits Flores scheme quite well, and provides some pass rush help.
2.25 Houston Texans - RB Cam Akers (Florida State). Akers may be the most underrated back in this draft, as he managed to put up excellent footage in Tallahassee, despite playing behind that garbage OL.
2.26 Minnesota Vikings - T/G Calvin Throckmorten (Oregon). The Vikings run came to end as the 49ers obliterated their OL. They address that with the RT out of Oregon.
2.27 Seattle Seahawks - EDGE Darrell Taylor (Tennessee). The Seahawks will likely re-sign Jadeveon Clowney as a powerful SDE, but adding an edge rusher who gets after the QB a bit more would be great.
2.28 Baltimore Ravens - ILB Troy Dye (Oregon). Filling the void left by C.J. Mosley, Dye steps into to a Ravens defense, and could be a bit component for them going forward.
2.29 Tennessee Titans - RB J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State). This would change if the Titans re-sign Derrick Henry, however, with a very good offensive line, the Titans could likely continue rushing success without Henry.
2.30 Green Bay Packers - DT Ross Blacklock (TCU). Perhaps one of my favorite "sleepers" of the draft, Blacklock has a fantastic blend of size and quickness to him.
2.31 Kansas City Chiefs - CB Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi St.). A big, physical corner, Dantzler should step in and contribute for the Chiefs fairly quickly, given their needs at corner.
2.32 Seattle Seahawks - WR Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona St.). A big play waiting to happen every time the ball heads his direction, Aiyuk would give Russell Wilson an electric weapon.

Third Round

3.1 Cincinnati Bengals - C Nick Harris (Washington) 3.2 Washington Redskins - WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan) 3.3 Detroit Lions - EDGE Bradlee Anae (Utah) 3.4 TRADE: Arizona Cardinals - G John Simpson (Clemson) - from trade w/ NYJ (via NYG). 3.5 Carolina Panthers - DT Rashard Lawrence (LSU)
3.6 Miami Dolphins - G Shane Lemiuex (Oregon) 3.7 TRADE: Detroit Lions - WR Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) - from trade w/ LAC. 3.8 Arizona Cardinals - OT Yasir Durant (Missouri) 3.9 Jacksonville Jaguars - S Ashtyn Davis (California) 3.10 Cleveland Browns - G Ben Bredeson (Michigan)
3.11 Indianapolis Colts - DL Marlon Davidson (Auburn) 3.12 Tampa Bay Bucs - CB Deommodore Lenoir (Oregon) 3.13 Denver Broncos - CB Lamar Jackson (Nebraska) 3.14 Atlanta Falcons - WR Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) 3.15 New York Jets - S Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota)
3.16 Las Vegas Raiders - CB/S Shyheim Carter (Alabama) 3.17 Las Vegas Raiders - LB Jacob Phillips (LSU) 3.18 Dallas Cowboys - WR Tyler Johnson (Minnesota) 3.19 Denver Broncos (via PIT) - OT Robert Hunt (UL-Lafayette) 3.20 Los Angeles Rams - DT Leki Fotu (Utah)
3.21 Philadelphia Eagles - S Kyle Dugger (Lenoir-Rhyne) 3.22 Buffalo Bills - EDGE Anfernee Jennings (Alabama) 3.23 New England Patriots - QB Jake Fromm (Georgia) 3.24 New Orleans Saints - QB Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) 3.25 Minnesota Vikings - DL Nick Coe (Auburn)
3.26 Cleveland Browns (via HOU) - LB Malik Harrison (Ohio State) 3.27 Las Vegas Raiders (via SEA) - WR Devin Duvernay (Texas) 3.28 Baltimore Ravens - EDGE Khalid Kareem (Notre Dame) 3.29 Tennessee Titans - DT Jordan Elliott (Missouri) 3.30 Green Bay Packers - LB Jordan Mack (Virginia)
3.31 Kansas City Chiefs - LB Jordyn Brooks (Texas Tech) 3.32 Denver Broncos (via SF) - OT Scott Franz (Kansas State)
Compensatory Picks (as predicted by OverTheCap) 3.33 New England Patriots - OT Ezra Cleveland (Boise State) 3.34 New York Giants - WR Gabriel Davis (UCF) 3.35 New England Patriots - TE Adam Trautman (Dayton) 3.36 Seattle Seahawks - S Hamsah Nasirildeen (Florida State) 3.37 Houston Texans - EDGE Josh Uche (Michigan) 3.38 Pittsburgh Steelers - TE Colby Parkinson (Stanford) 3.39 Philadelphia Eagles - CB Thomas Graham (Oregon)

Fourth Round

4.1 Cincinnati Bengals - WR Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty) 4.2 Washington Redskins - CB Amik Robertson (Louisiana Tech) 4.3 Detroit Lions - RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) 4.4 New York Giants - CB Damon Arnette (Ohio State) 4.5 Houston Texans (via MIA) - C/G Netane Muti (Fresno State)
4.6 Los Angeles Chargers - C Matt Hennessy (Temple) 4.7 TRADE: San Francisco 49ers - C Jake Hanson (Oregon) 4.8 Arizona Cardinals - RB Chuba Hubbard (Oklahoma St.) 4.9 Cleveland Browns - OT Jack Driscoll (Auburn) 4.10 Jacksonville Jaguars - LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian St.)
4.11 Tampa Bay Bucs - RB Eno Benjamin (Arizona St.) 4.12 Denver Broncos - DT Raequan Williams (Michigan St.) 4.13 Atlanta Falcons - CB Darnay Holmes (UCLA) 4.14 New York Jets - EDGE Kenny Willekes (Michigan St.) 4.15 Las Vegas Raiders - QB Anthony Gordon (Washington St.)
4.16 Indianapolis Colts - RB Kylin Hill (Mississippi St.) 4.17 Dallas Cowboys - WR Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon St.) 4.18 Pittsburgh Steelers - OT Ben Bartch (St. John's) 4.19 New England Patriots (via CHI) - LB Logan Wilson (Wyoming) 4.20 Los Angeles Rams - WR Chase Claypool (Notre Dame)
4.21 Philadelphia Eagles - WR Denzel Mims (Baylor) 4.22 Buffalo Bills - WR Jauan Jennings (Tennessee) 4.23 Baltimore Ravens - RB A.J. Dillon (Boston College 4.24 New Orleans Saints - CB Bryce Hall (Virginia) 4.25 Houston Texans - TE Brycen Hopkins (Purdue)
4.26 Minnesota Vikings - WR Lynn Bowden (Kentucky) 4.27 Seattle Seahawks - G Logan Stenberg (Kentucky) 4.28 Baltimore Ravens - Cesar Ruiz (Michigan) 4.29 Pittsburgh Steelers (via TEN) - OT Justin Herron (Wake Forrest) 4.30 Green Bay Packers - OT Matt Peart (UCONN)
4.31 Kansas City Chiefs - CB Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern) 4.32 Denver Broncos (via SF) - LB Cameron Brown (Penn State)
Anyways. That's my shot at one. Tell me why you hate it...
submitted by boanerges77 to NFL_Draft [link] [comments]

San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers NFL Pick and ... Packers vs 49ers Predictions and Odds  NFL Picks for Conference Round  January 19 Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers Prop 1/19/20 Free NFL Picks, Tips, and Betting Prediction! NFC TITLE GAME: Green Bay Packers VS San Francisco 49ERS Game Audio/Scoreboard Only Packers at 49ers - Sunday 11/24/19 - NFL Betting Free Picks & Predictions l Picks & Parlays

Fresh off their bye, the Green Bay Packers (8-2) will visit the San Francisco 49ers (9-1) for the Week 12 Sunday Night Football matchup at Levi’s Stadium. Kickoff will be at 8:20 p.m. ET. Packers at 49ers: Week 12 preview, betting trends and notes Packers Betting Insights. Green Bay has put together a perfect 3-0 record against the spread this season. Most of Green Bay’s games this year — three out of three — have gone over the point total (100%). Conference Championships Green Bay Packers (13-3 SU, 11-6 ATS) vs San Francisco 49ers (13-3 SU, 10-6-1 ATS). SF . Sunday, January 19 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara California. Find the best moneyline odds, spread, and total; also get odds history, betting percentages, SBD's predicted score, team betting trends, and stat comparisons. Week 12 Green Bay Packers (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS) vs San Francisco 49ers (9-1 SU, 5-4-1 ATS). SF . Sunday, November 24 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara California. Find the best moneyline odds, spread, and total; also get odds history, betting percentages, SBD's predicted score, team betting trends, and stat comparisons. The Packers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine against winning teams, but the lone loss over that span came Nov. 24 at San Francisco in the 49ers' 37-8 win. That's Green Bay's last loss, and San Francisco comes into this game just as strong -- and maybe stronger. The 49ers should be able to control the line on both sides of the ball and get the cover.

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Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers 01/19/20 Free NFL Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds & Tips - Duration: 2:25. Vernon Croy Free Sports Picks and Predictions 1,845 views. CHTV NFC Championship Watch Party: Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers - Duration: 3:15:24. Cheesehead TV 21,835 views. ... Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers - Duration: 2:06:12. Tony Finn and Marco D'Angelo's take on Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers NFL Picks, Predictions, and Odds for their Conference Championship showdown on Sunday, January 19, 2020, from Levi's ... Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers NFC Championship Preview Subscribe to NFL: http://j.mp/1L0bVBu Check out our other channels: NFL Vault http://www.yo... Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers - Sunday 11/24/19 - NFL Betting Free Picks & Predictions l Picks & Parlays It is Week 12 of NFL regular season football is under way and we have you ...

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