It was a brutal week for me picking props and plays last week as I continue to make good picks that don’t bring results. For example, I liked Jarvis Landry over 58.5 yards, and the man had 10 targets and 7 catches, yet he still couldn’t get to that number. Even worse, I forgot to list one of my top-5 plays that did hit (no sense in naming him). I lost a Drew Brees TD prop that may have hit had Jameis Winston not thrown a damn pass, and for a TD.
I also lost three props due to injuries, which can happen anytime and to anyone. The two big ones were Antonio Brown and Lamar Jackson, not my fault. But I also felt okay about going in on a Cole Beasley catch total prop (over 3.5) based on the Wild Card Round, yet that was a bad decision because Beasley’s sore knee was a much bigger issue last week. Throw in a couple of head-scratching losses on picks for Austin Hooper and Mark Andrews, and the week simply sucked.
Last week’s record: 6-9
Season record: 166-147
Devin Singletary (Buf, at KC) OVER 2.5 receptions on DK - I’ve been eye-balling this one all week. We can’t count on anything in the running game, but I suspect Singletary will actually get some carries in this one. But ultimately, I’m convinced the Bills need their top RB to contribute more this week, especially with WRs Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis banged up. The Chiefs are giving up 6.5 catches a game to RBs their last four games, and I have him with 4 grabs, so barring an injury, I’d be shocked if Singletary doesn’t haul in at least 3 balls, something he’s done in 6 of his last 10 games, and that’s mostly with Zach Moss in the mix and with slot man Beasley healthy.
Dawson Knox (Buf, at KC) OVER 23.5 receiving yards on FanDuel - I’m just using common sense here, given the fact that WRs Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis are banged up, how the Bills haven’t thrown a ball to a TE other than Knox in a month, and how Josh Allen will undoubtedly have to throw the ball 35+ times. KC’s been giving to TEs all year and give up 5.8/71 receiving to the position their last four games. Knox isn’t reliable and he doesn't get a lot of targets, but he’s also a vertical TE who can realistically get to this yardage number on a single catch. I have him projected to catch 3 balls for 43. The Bills likely need someone to step up and surprise them if they’re going to be in this game late, and Knox is my pick to be that guy.
Ronald Jones (TB, at GB) OVER 36.5 rushing yards on FanDuel - Jones at this point is a noted anti-Gurite and he’s burned me a few times this year. I’m listing him mainly because of the slim pickings available, but I do also want to win, and this is a worthwhile opportunity, despite Jones’ lack of ideal health. The Packers like to play in subpackages with more DBs on the field, which makes them lighter on their defensive front, which helps explain their weakness against the run. The Packers gave up 140 total yards per game this year and the fifth-most FPG (27.0), and Ram RB Cam Akers had plenty of room to run against them last week, posting 18/90/1 rushing, and that was with a banged-up Jared Goff under center. Jones ran for 113/2 in this matchup in Week 6, and he does claim that he’s feeling better this week. His quad grabbed him on his long run last week, so an aggravation is certainly possible. Considering all factors, I have him with 12.5 carries in this game. He’s at 5.1 YPC in his last four games and he posted 4.9 YPC against them on 23 carries earlier in the year. Giving him a realistic 4.7 YPC in this one, his 12.5 carries comes out to 59 yards. Basically, if he gets just 8-9 carries, he should hit this.
2:33 PM ET Update: Bucs RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn is inactive, which is a good sign for Jones.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, vs. TB) OVER 32.5 receiving yards on BETMGM - MVS is another player who’s been a royal pain in my ass, and I do like Allen Lazard a lot more in general, but again: the pickings are slim and I want to win, and his prop is a good bet to win. He’s incredibly boom-or-bust, but he’s actually hit this number in 10 of his 17 games, and he did lead the NFL with 20.9 YPR this year. He also had a season-high 8 targets last week, and the Bucs have given up a lot of catches to WRs this year (14 per game their last four). I have him with 3.5 grabs based on the matchup, but MVS is at 21.5 YPR his last four games, so he may need only 2 catches to hit this.
Aaron Jones (GB, vs. TB) OVER 23.5 receiving yards on DK - I don’t have Jones projected to smash this one, but I do like his chances of hitting this number with relative ease. Jamaal Williams actually has only 5/28 receiving TOTAL in his last SEVEN games and has 0 targets in 4 of his last 6 games, including his last two games. That explains why Williams’ receiving prop for this game is only 6.5 yards. Jones has 3 or more targets in all but two of his 15 games this season. Jones averaged only 1.5 YPC in this matchup earlier this year, and he had 3/26 receiving on 5 targets in that game. The Bucs are giving up 7/54 receiving to RBs the last four weeks, so we’re likely looking at 3 or more grabs for Jones. The return of DT Vita Vea should make their tough run defense even tougher, so the Packers will need more than usual from Jones in the passing game in this one.
Robert Tonyan (GB, vs. TB) OVER 34.5 receiving yards on DK - Tonyan’s targets are down lately but he caught all four of his targets for 60 yards last week. Tonyan managed 3/25 receiving on four targets in this matchup in Week 6, but it’s a good matchup by the numbers with the Bucs giving up 6/52 to TEs the last four weeks. He’s a reliable option for Rodgers, and his QB trusts him, so I think he’ll see 5-6 targets in this big game.
Allen Lazard (GB, vs. TB) OVER 45.5 receiving yards on DK - Lazard stands out to me this week, since he looks to have turned a corner last week with 4/96/1 receiving on a season-high 8 targets. The Buccaneers gave up the fifth-most catches per game to WRs this season (14.8), and Lazard should get a solid matchup if Carlton Davis is on Davante Adams as expected and with slot corner Sean Murphy-Bunting playing well right now and likely on MVS the most.