Last week’s record: 6-6 Season record: 172-153
The 2020 season has one more chance to show me some love and throw me a bone with some luck. I’ve been part of the problem, since I default to Overs too often (I’m a fantasy guy, can’t help it), but as I’ve whined about all year, the football Gods have not afforded me much good fortune.
In the Conference finals, Aaron Jones got hurt in the game, yet he still should have hit over 23.5 receiving yards, since he had 6 targets and 4 catches. Packer RBs combined for 11 freaking targets, so the analysis was there. I thought Devin Singletary going over 2.5 catches was a lock, and it would have been if TJ Yeldon didn’t emerge from the grave to bogart 4/41 receiving on 5 targets. Yeldon didn’t have a damn target the game before and had just 2 touches. Mike Evans had 8 targets but didn’t get to the 5 catches I thought he would, and Ronald Jones did get the 8-9 carries I thought he needed to come through, but despite getting 10 carries, his sorry ass couldn’t even get to 37 rushing yards.
I guess I can’t help it but to go with overs, and I’m doing it again, but almost all of the picks that I like are very low numbers, and I obviously think they’re all doable.
Mecole Hardman (KC, vs TB) OVER 28.5 receiving yards on DK - I’m expecting the Bucs to attempt to double both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce often, and if they do they will take their chances with KC’s secondary options, namely Hardman and Sammy Watkins (assuming he’s good-to-go on Sunday, which is highly likely). There’s not much support for Hardman in terms of the numbers, which in this case means nothing. Anyone who’s seen Hardman play knows he can take a screen pass 30+ yards on any given play, and he’s gotta catch 3-4 balls at least in this matchup (the Bucs have given up a lot of WR catches all year). I’ve personally talked to HC Andy Reid about Hardman, and I know he has a lot of confidence in him, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Hardman emerged as the sleeper of the game for KC.
Leonard Fournette (TB, vs KC) OVER 25.5 receiving yards on DK - I do like Fournette’s rushing/receiving prop of over 78.5 yards, but we’re talking about Fournette, a guy who’s let me down more often than he’s come through. I can’t say he’s a lock to get 50+ yards rushing, since Ronald Jones could always show up, so I’m rolling with a prop I feel a lot better about. Jones not only has stone hands, which is why he’s averaging fewer than 1 catch per game in his last four, but he’s also not the pass-protector Lenny is. In fact, Scotty Miller’s TD in the title game would not have happened were it not for Leonard picking up a block that Rob Gronkowski missed. The Chiefs LBs aren’t very impactful, and the Chiefs gave up a league-high 48.1 receiving yards per game to RBs in the regular season. KC does blitz a lot, so I think Fournette will dominate the passing-down snaps, since they need him in pass protection. Last week, I did lose my Devin Singletary over 2.5 catches prop by 1 catch in this matchup against KC, but he and T.J. Yeldon totaled 6/50 receiving, so I was on the right track. Fournette may be held to only 5-6 yards a catch and come in just under this number, but despite him showcasing some shaky hands himself this postseason, I’m still convinced he’s catching 4-5 balls in this one. Basically, I see him duplicating his averages in the passing game the last four games, which is 4.8 targets, 4 catches, for 29 yards (7.3 YPR).
Sammy Watkins (KC, vs TB) OVER 36.5 receiving yards on DK - Sammy hasn’t played since 12/27/20, and he’s still questionable through Friday’s practice. BUT, he did go fully on Friday, which is a good sign. He’s been optimistic all week about playing, so he does appear to be healthy enough to seriously contribute. Watkins had a so-so 4/38 on 7 targets against the Buccaneers in Week 12, but he also put up 14/288/1 in three playoff games for the Chiefs last year, including 5/98 in the big game. He averaged over 20.5 yards a catch in the playoffs last year, so if he can sneak past the defense again in the big game, he could easily get to this number on 1-2 catches. The Bucs will likely take their chances with him in single coverage often, so he’ll probably hit this number if he catches just 3 balls.
Darrell Williams (KC, vs TB) OVER 12.5 receiving yards on DK - There’s risk here with Le’Veon Bell lurking, but I don’t see why they’d use Bell as anything more than an emergency or third option behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Williams, who has been very effective. I think there are still some issues with CEH in terms of pass protection, so I can see them using Williams at least half the time on third down and/or in obvious passing situations. Ironically, Williams played one season at LSU with CEH, and he led their RBs with 23 catches that year (they also had Derrius Guice). Williams’ role in the passing game has been hit-or-miss, but he does have two 4-catch games in his last four. He had only 1 target in their last game, but CEH had only 2, and Williams caught that ball for 9 yards. My man probably needs to haul in only 2 balls to hit this, and the Bucs have given up catches to RBs all year. Just last week, Packer RBs totaled 11 targets and 9 catches.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC, vs TB) OVER 7.5 rushing attempts on DK - Based on my position of Williams in the passing game, I’m going to correspondingly go in on this prop for CEH. He did play Williams early in the game in the conference finals and a decent 46% of the snaps, but he didn’t look great. But that was also his first game back from his ankle and hip injuries, and with two weeks to get healthier, he could be a sneaky key to the game, as they look to keep the Bucs pass rush at bay. Tampa’ run defense hasn’t been quite as dominant in the second half of the season, and CEH has a lot of juice and could pop off a longer run or two and really help this offense, which would almost guarantee he gets at least 8 damn carries.
Mike Evans (TB, vs KC) OVER 63.5 receiving yards on DK - Evans is definitely struggling lately, as evidenced by his poor 52% catch rate their last four games, but he’s averaging 16.8 YPR in that span and has a catch of 27+ yards in 6 of his last 8 games. The Chiefs corners are very solid, but they are hardly shutdown guys and Kansas City gave up the ninth-most receptions of 20+ yards with 54 in the regular season. I do think the Bucs will go with a lot of 12 personnel to help with their pass protection, which would make Evans’ contributions on the outside and down the field a little more important.
Mecole Hardman (KC, vs TB) OVER 2.5 receptions on DK
Sammy Watkins (KC, vs TB) OVER 3.5 receptions on DK
Tom Brady (TB, vs KC) OVER 62.5% completion rate on DK
Patrick Mahomes (KC, vs TB) UNDER 70.5% completion rate on DK