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Chris Kennedy

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NFL Week 14 Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers Over 50.5

I like the Packers scoring points and bouncing back after losing their head coach during one of the worst years in recent Green Bay history. The Falcons’ defense has allowed over 26 points per game in their four-game losing streak, and I expect that to continue. Green Bay is a different team at home where they are 4-1-1, so I like them winning this game outright while putting up points for a 31-27 final score.

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots Under 48

We’ve reached the point of the year where the Dolphins play the Patriots late in the season, and the Dolphins make the whole country question if the Patriots are still Super Bowl contenders. It’s like clockwork every year. While I am too afraid to touch the spread on this game due to those reasons, I do like the under. I expect Miami to keep this close and low scoring until the Patriots decide to put the game away. Patriots win, 27-17, and the under cashes.

NY Giants -3.5

Just like it’s the right thing to fade Brock Osweiler, it’s entirely the right thing to fade Mark Sanchez. If the NY Giants defense is available in fantasy, start them. If you have any Redskins receivers, bench them. Mark Sanchez is in the league to be a third string Quarterback that doesn’t play and just serves as a good teammate to help prepare. He was not supposed to be the guy under center for a 6-6 Redskins team. Fade Mark Sanchez, lay the points. Giants win and cover the spread.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

New Orleans Saints -9:

I feel like this pick is a fairly easy one, as the Saints have the best point differential in the league, at plus 150. Yes, the fell to a streaking Cowboys team last week, but I think this will be a big bounce-back week against the Bucs. Tampa Bay gives up the third most points in the league, and even though Brees tends to not play as well on the road, I think that the Saints have enough firepower to get them a double-digit win.

Oakland Raiders +10.5:

Yes, the Raiders are a hot mess this year, but the Steelers are on a two-game skid and are without their bell cow in James Conner. The Raiders played the Chiefs pretty closely last week, and I don’t think the Raiders lose by double digits this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers cover, but I usually shy away from double-digit spreads.

Cincinnati Bengals +14:

The same reason I picked the Raiders above is why I’m taking the Bengals. The Chargers run defense has struggled lately, and with the absence of A.J. Green, I see the Bengals involving Joe Mixon a lot more into the game plan. The Bengals should be able to keep the game close, even with Driskell behind center. Cincinnati is 3-2 against the spread, when on the road, while the Chargers are 2-4 at home against the spread.

***All stats from ESPN and Vegas Insiders***

Top DFS Stacks for Week 14 (Draft Kings NFL Main Slate)

Week 14 is here, and that means just a few more weeks left of fantasy goodness. In my last article, I targeted certain players to target in your lineups (and also to avoid). Here, I’ll continue to offer my recommendations on stacks that will help to give you an advantage over the rest of the field. In this article, I’m going to target players that have higher implied totals so that you can maximize the scoring potential from each stack. Also, these are stacks that I would recommend for my Houston Preeminence Draft Kings Contest. Here we go!

Aaron Rodgers - $6,000/Davante Adams - $8,400: I would normally want to add the opposing WR to this stack, in this case, it would be Julio Jones, but Jones isn’t 100 percent right now, and I don’t want to blow most of my salary on three players. So, for now, we’re going to stick with the most popular DFS stack in the QB/WR1 stack. The Packers are 4-1-1 at home, and Rodgers is averaging 20 fantasy points per game at Lambeau. Adams, averaging 23 fantasy points per game himself, has a positive matchup against the Falcons’ Robert Alford.

Philip Rivers - $6,500/Keenan Allen - $7,400: The Chargers have an implied today of 31 this week, so expect the points to be coming early and often. Over the last three weeks, Rivers has been the seventh best fantasy QB, and Allen has been the number one fantasy WR. The one concern is that this game could be decided by halftime, as the Chargers are a 14 point favorite at home, but I think that’ what makes this for a sneaky good stack.

Deshaun Watson - $5,900/DeAndre Hopkins - $7,800/T.Y. Hilton - $6,300: This is a matchup I love for the Texans. The Colts’ pass defense is ranked 21st in DVOA, which means nothing but good things for Watson and company. Hopkins scored 33 fantasy points the last time these teams faced off in Week 4. On the other side of the ball, you have the “Texans Killer” in T.Y. Hilton. In six road games against the Texans, Hilton is sporting a line of 32/734/6. He’s dealing with a shoulder injury, but as long as he plays, he is a worthy start. If he can’t go, look to swap Hilton for Eric Ebron. He is top five in receptions and targets for TEs, first in TDs, and second in red zone targets.

***All stats provided by Football Outsiders, 4for4.com, and Pro Football Reference***

Draft Kings Week 14 Report

The season is winding down, with just three weeks left. Week 13 brought us some key injuries, which means there will be some really nice value throughout fantasy football. This is the time of year when RB2 and WR3 really make an impact on their teams, so let’s dive in and try to win you some money this weekend.

QB:

Aaron Rodgers - $6,000 (LOCK): I believe that a coaching change is just what the doctor ordered, and I’m sure Rodgers isn’t complaining. In 12 games this season, Rodgers threw for over 300 yards just three times, along with three TDs just twice. I feel that he will break out this Sunday, as he’s facing a Falcons defense that gives up a 69 percent completion rate, a six percent touchdown rate, and 21 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.

Marcus Mariota - $4,900 (VALUE): Since Week 9, Mariota has been averaging 20 Draft Kings points per game, and for someone that’s priced at $4,900, that’s a great value. I know that he’s facing the Jaguars, and they had a great game against the Colts last week. Let’s not forget that this is the same Jacksonville team that lost seven straight games prior to last week, giving up an average of 27 points per game. Taywan Taylor is healthy, giving Mariota another weapon alongside Corey Davis. I like Mariota to hit value in this spot.

Andrew Luck - $5,900 (FADE): I’m a believer in this Texans defense, and it’s not just because I work for Houston Preeminence. Luck had an absolute dud against the Jags last week and was sacked more times in that game than he had been in the seven weeks prior to that. The Colts are a road underdog, and that doesn’t bode well for Luck, especially as he’ll be facing a Texans defense that ranks sixth in total DVOA.

RB:

Christian McCaffrey - $9,300 (LOCK): His price tag might look a bit daunting, but he’s well worth it. He’s the third highest scoring fantasy running back, and he’s going up against a Browns defense that gives up 113 rushing yards, 52 receiving yards, and 20 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Even with Devin Funchess back from his neck injury, I expect McCaffrey to continue to see a heavy workload in the passing game.

Jaylen Samuels - $3,700 (VALUE): When the Steelers feature a running back, they really feature a running back. With James Conner already ruled out for Week 14, that means Samuels will get the call. The fifth round pick out of NC State has almost as many targets as he has rushing attempts. Granted, those rushing attempts have led to just 2.6 yards per attempt. The upside with Samuels outweighs everything, as he needs just 12 points to hit value, and he’ll be going up against a Raiders defense that has been shredded by RBs for an average of 126 yards per game.

Todd Gurley - $8,800 (FADE): DO NOT bench Todd Gurley in your season long leagues. I just don’t like his price in DK, facing a tough Bears defense in Chicago. Yes, Saquon Barkley rushed for over 100 yards last week, but the Bears haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher at home all season. In fact, the Bears haven’t given up more than 51 rushing yards to a single RB at home all year. I love Gurley, I do. But I’m looking elsewhere in DFS this week.

WR:

Julio Jones - $7,900 (LOCK): Julio burned me last week, but I’m going back to the well on this one. The Falcons are road underdogs against a Packers defense that allows 37 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs. Jones is averaging 22 Draft Kings points per game, which is fifth best among WRs. As underdogs, the Falcons will most likely be playing from behind, which means Matty Ice will be airing it out to his number one guy. With a 29 percent target share, and 14.7 aDOT, I expect Julio to have some big gains through the air.

Zay Jones - $4,200 (VALUE): Jones’ only competition for targets this year was Kelvin Benjamin, and the Bills released Benjamin today. That makes Jones the clear-cut number one option in Buffalo, and it couldn’t come at a better time. He’ll be matching up against the Jets’ Buster Skrine, who has been repeatedly embarrassed by opposing WRs this season. As Josh Allen continues to improve, so will Jones’ fantasy numbers.

Tyler Boyd - $6,100 (FADE): A.J. Green is done for the season, and that just means that more of the opposing defense’s attention will be put on Boyd. In the games that Green has missed this year, Boyd only topped 20 fantasy points once. That’s not what you want to see from a “number one” receiver. This week he gets a stout Chargers defense. I don’t see this going very well for Boyd.

TE:

Travis Kelce - $6,700 (LOCK): I don’t care about his price tag, you jam Kelce into your lineups no matter what. He’s only second to Zach Ertz in receptions and targets, first in yards per game and also in red zone targets. The Ravens defense has been good but not great against opposing TEs, allowing almost 15 fantasy points per game. The Chiefs are a home favorite, which is a great sign for Kelce’s scoring potential.

Jordan Thomas - $3,000 (VALUE): In Thomas’ last three games at home he has averaged 11 PPR points. Not too bad for a guy that just needs nine points to hit value. The Colts are surrendering 15 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs this year. Thomas has caught five of his six targets in the red zone this year, and four of those receptions have been for TDs.

N/A (FADE): I actually don’t have any TE fades this week. All of the top priced players ($5k and up) have really nice matchups.

All stats provided by Football Outsiders, 4for4, Pro Football Reference, and NFL Next Gen Stats

Week 13 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Houston Texans @ Cleveland Browns OVER 47.5

Both of these teams have figured out how to score the football. Over the last four weeks, the Browns are averaging 25.5 points per game while the Texans are averaging 29.5. Baker Mayfield has the offense clicking, and despite the Texans’ defense improving every week, they will still allow points on the board. I am looking for a 30-24 final score.

LA Chargers +3.5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Something isn’t right with this Steelers team lately, coming off a loss to the Broncos and a dirty game against the Jaguars that was way too close. On the other side, the Chargers are freshly rested off a 45-10 beat down over the Arizona Cardinals last week. I think the 3.5 number is a little high because of the Chargers not having Melvin Gordon in the lineup, but Austin Ekeler should fit right in. The Steelers might win this ball game, but the Chargers keep it close.

Chicago Bears @ New York Giants UNDER 44.5

As of Thursday, Nov. 30, Mitchell Trubisky is ruled doubtful for this week’s contest in New York. Chase Daniel is a solid backup to have, but their main agenda will be to grind out a tough win through defense and the run game. Last week, the Giants went 1/3 in the Red Zone and as long as they continue kicking field goals instead of extra points, the under will be the play.

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins -3.5

Last week, the Dolphins put up a good fight against a hot Indianapolis Colts team and almost walked away with the victory after being up 24-14 in the 4th quarter. Ryan Tannehill returned from injury and went 17 of 25 for 204 yards and two touchdowns. They are a different team with Tannehill throwing the ball instead of Osweiler. The Bills are coming off a two-game win streak, but it ends this week.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 47.5

The Jaguars are banged up on defense and haven’t allowed less than 20 points to their opponent since week 3 against the Titans. They are not the same team defensively as last year, and I expect Andrew Luck to carve them up, especially if Jalen Ramsey is out. During the Colts’ five-game win streak, they are averaging 34.6 points per game. As long as the Jaguars find the end zone twice, I like the over. The last time these two teams faced off, the final score was 29-26 in the Colts’ favor. I think we see the same kind of game this week. The Colts win this game 30-21.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

New York Giants +4:

This is just the kind of game that the Giants should lose, but could very well win. They’re going up against a Bears defense that has won five straight games, without allowing more than 22 points in any of them. With that said, while I don’t have any data to back up my prediction, I just have a hunch that the G-Men will cover this spread.

Oakland Raiders +15:

I know the Raiders won’t win, but this spread is just too high for me to bite on. The Chiefs defense is bad enough for Derek Carr to put up some points, even with Seth Roberts and Marcell Ateman at receiver. The Raiders are a mess, and the Chiefs are a juggernaut, but I’m taking the Raiders for the points.

New England Patriots -5:

I like the Patriots to win the game, but I think the Vikings keep it close. The Patriots’ secondary has been exploited all season, which means that Diggs and Thielen will get their opportunities to score. New England is 4-1 at home, and the Vikings are 2-2-1 when on the road, against the spread. The Patriots are fighting for home field in the playoffs, and Belichik knows how to push the right buttons towards the end of the season.

All stats provided by ESPN and Vegas Insider

Top DFS Stacks for Week 13 (Draft Kings NFL Main Slate)

If you read my article from a few days ago, then you have some players that you can use to start building your pool with. This article will focus on some stacks that you can put together to really maximize your lineups with players that are in good positions to score a good amount of points, especially targeting games that have high over-unders. Stacks are a great way to differentiate your lineups from the competition, so let’s dive right into it.

Jared Goff - $6,400/Robert Woods - $6,900/Bruce Ellington - $3,500:

The Rams are favored by 10 and Detroit is ranked 30th in DVOA pass defense. Robert Woods has a great matchup against Nevin Lawson, as Woods has the advantage in speed and size. This game could be closer than some expect, as the Rams haven’t played as well on the road as they have at home, which is why I like adding Ellington to this stack. Ellington isn’t a guy that will stretch the field, but he will rack up the receptions, especially playing from behind. Since Marvin Jones has been out the last two weeks (now for the rest of the season), Ellington has been second on the team in targets.

Kirk Cousins - $5,500/Adam Thielen - $8,000/Julian Edelman - $7,100:

This stack is a bit expensive, but Cousins does help to add some savings. I expect the Patriots to win, which is why I like the Cousins and Thielen stack, as they will most likely be playing catch up. Edelman on the other side has a favorable matchup against Mackensie Alexander that he should be able to take advantage of. Both teams rank in the top seven in game pace this season, so we should see a lot of plays throughout the game. Thielen should draw Jason McCourty, who has not been stellar in coverage this season.

Cam Newton - $6,600/Curtis Samuel - $3,900/Mike Evans - $8,100:

I love playing Cam in DFS because he gives you the rushing upside that most QBs don’t provide. It just so happens that Tampa Bay is awful against both the run and the pass, as they rank in the bottom five in DVOA for both. If Devin Funchess can’t go, then I love Samuel in this spot. He’s a playmaker with great speed and would be the number two WR alongside D.J. Moore. Mike Evans is a no-brainer to add on the other side of this game. He averages 17 yards per target, and 17 percent of those targets come in the red zone.

Aaron Jones - $6,700/Green Bay Defense - $2,800:

I’m still a fan of stacking a home favorite running back with its defense, especially in a matchup as tasty as this one. The Cardinals give up 132 rushing yards and 45 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs. Since Mike McCarthy started to finally recognize Jones as the lead back in Week 10, Jones has been a top five fantasy RB, averaging 27 Draft Kings points per game. The Packers defense hasn’t been stellar, but Josh Rosen and company can make any defense look good. Arizona has turned the ball over 22 times this year, which is second worst in the league.

All stats provided by Football Outsiders, 4for4, and Pro Football Reference

Draft Kings Week 13 Report

We’re more than two thirds of the way through the season, and Week 13 is upon us. Now is the time of year when injuries are stacking up, and you’re scouring the waiver wire for replacements. That also means there are some really nice value plays in DFS. As always, I’ll be showcasing my favorite plays this week at each position, along with some guys you might want to avoid. Let’s get after it!

QB:

Jared Goff - $6,400 (LOCK): I think that Goff will be highly owned, but I like him as a pivot off of Mahomes who should be the highest-owned QB this week. The Rams are a big play team, and they’re going against a Lions defense that gives up a lot of big plays (plays of 20 plus yards.) Detroit is also allowing the second highest completion percentage and TD rate to opposing QBs this season. Even without Cooper Kupp, Goff has plenty of weapons at his disposal to shred this defense.

Chase Daniel - $4,800 (VALUE): If Trubisky can’t go on Sunday, save at QB and add Daniel to a few of your lineups. He played alright in his debut on Thanksgiving, with a 230/2 TD line. The Bears will face off against the New York Football Giants this week, who just don’t have an identity right now. Daniel has enough talent around him, including a solid offensive line that will allow him to succeed if he needs to fill in for Trubisky for another week.

Deshaun Watson - $6,100 (FADE): Sorry, Texans fans. It’s not that I’m low on Watson this week, as much as I’m really high on this Browns defense. This season, Cleveland has a pressure rate of 11%, and a top ten defense in the league. They also only allow a 62 percent completion rate, and just four percent TD rate to opposing QBs. Watson hasn’t thrown the ball more than 25 over his last six games, and has only thrown for two TDs or more in one of those games. I just don’t see him reaching value this week.

RB:

Christian McCaffrey - $8,800 (LOCK): I know he will most likely be the highest owned player, but I don’t care. Find a way to jam him into your lineups. He’s top five in the league in total touches, receptions, red zone targets, and touchdowns this year. He’ll be facing a Buccaneers defense that gives up a big play 17 percent of their opponents’ rushing attempts, 50 receiving yards, and 26 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Last week, we saw McCaffrey explode for 46 fantasy points, and don’t be surprised if he gets close to 40 points this week.

T.J. Yeldon - $4,400 (VALUE): Leonard Fournette is suspended for this week, which means we’ll see a bigger workload for Yeldon. The Jags are underdogs against the Colts, and they’ll be starting Cody Kessler behind center. When Fournette was out with injuries, Yeldon was a top ten fantasy running back in PPR formats. He’s going against the Colts, who allow 69 receiving yards and 29 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs. Carlos Hyde hasn’t been able to get much going with just 3.4 yards per attempt this year, so I’m not too worried about him taking away key touches from Yeldon.

Ezekiel Elliott - $8,000 (FADE): Elliott is in contention for the MVP this season, but I really believe in this Saints defense. They’ve allowed just 50 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs this season. So far this year, New Orleans has held Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon, and Saquon Barkley all under 70 yards rushing. I know Dallas is at home, but so were Barkley and Mixon.

WR:

Mike Evans - $8,100 (LOCK): This was a tough one, as there are a lot of great plays this week at WR. I’m going with Evans because the Buccaneers are road underdogs in what should be a fairly competitive game. Also, with an over-under of 56, the points will be a plenty. Evans has found the end zone just five times this year, though I’m sure having a revolving door of QBs hasn’t helped much. Regardless, he still averages more yards per target than any other WR in the league, and will be facing a Panthers secondary that gives up 40 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs.

Courtland Sutton - $4,200 (VALUE): We’ve been waiting all season for Sutton’s breakout game, and I feel like this week could be it. He’s going against the Bengals who are on pace to allow the most total yards in NFL history this season. The over-under for this game is just 42, but both of these teams are in the top ten in pace, so I feel like this could be a sneaky shootout. Sutton is averaging 20 yards per target, which is just second in the league to the Niners’ Marquise Goodwin. Sutton needs just 13 points to hit value, which makes him a great play in this spot.

Odell Beckham Jr. - $7,800 (FADE): I love Odell, but I just don’t trust anything that’s happening in the Giants’ offense. He’s up against a stout Bears defense that only allows 35 fantasy points per game to all WRs, and only 60 receiving yards to opposing WR1. Odell hasn’t hit value over his last three games, and I don’t see him doing it this week.

TE:

Jared Cook - $4,700 (LOCK): I love Kelce this week, but at $7K, it’s a bit high for me. Cook could be both my lock and value pick, as he has such a great matchup for such a low cost. Cook has scored in back to back games, and would need just 14 points to hit value. The Chiefs have allowed 17 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs, which is second worst to only the Panthers this year. Oakland is a big underdog, which means that Derek Carr will be airing it out all game.

Gerald Everett - $2,900 (VALUE): Everett has scored three times in his last two games, and this week he’s facing a Lions defense that has allowed the fourth most TDs to opposing TEs this year. If you’re looking to pretty much punt the position this week, Everett is as good of an option as you’ll find.

Jordan Reed - $5,300 (FADE): With the exception of just one game, Reed has really burned a lot of fantasy players this year. He’s been healthy, but has only cracked 13 PPR points three times. He’s also going against an Eagles defense that allows just 8 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs, along with giving up just three TDs all season to them. Reed is a hard pass for me this week.

*All stats provided from Football Outsiders, 4for4, Pro Football Reference, and NFL Next Gen Stats

NFL Week 11 Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Week 11 Picks (Last Week 1-2, YTD: 10-13)

Atlanta Falcons -3

Who are these Dallas Cowboys? I don’t think anyone knows. This pick will be settled in the first quarter, because what we do know about the Cowboys is that they have one way they are able to win games: take the lead early and control the game by running the ball. I think the Falcons prevent this from happening in Atlanta and they never look back. Matt Ryan going toe to toe with Dak Prescott? Give me Matt Ryan and lay the 3 points.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints OVER 55.5

55.5 is not too far off the monstrous total in the Monday Night Football game in Los Angeles. It’s definitely a high number for an NFL game. Who are we kidding, though? The Saints are at home where their game is elevated even more, and they’re coming off a week where they did not punt the ball one single time. On the other side, Philadelphia is officially in desperation mode being two games behind the Redskins in the NFC East. The Saints win this game but the Eagles score some points, and with this Brees/Kamara/Thomas three headed monster, we might only need about one Eagles touchdown to hit the over.

Arizona Cardinals -5.5

The Raiders simply just suck. They’re awful. They’re in Vegas mode and coming for the number 1 draft pick. Out of all the terrible things Jon Gruden has done in his first of ten years as head coach, the one thing he’s not going to do is win this game and jeopardize having the top overall pick. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have a rookie Quarterback looking to figure things out, and actually did put up some effort against the Chiefs last week. This game will be ugly, but I expect the Cardinals to win by at least two field goals.

Minnesota Vikings +2.5

Let’s all pump the brakes a little bit on the 2018 Bears. Yes, they are having an impressive year with young talent spread all around the field both offensively and defensively, but that key word is young talent. At 6-3, five of those six wins were against the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Jets, Bills, and Lions. Now they head to the bright lights on Sunday Night Football against their division rival Minnesota Vikings freshly rested off a bye week. This matchup will be a test for the Bears, and like most divisional games, I’m taking the points.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams OVER 63.5

This game is the second time this year for both the Rams and the Chiefs to have a heavy matchup between two offensive juggernauts. For the Chiefs, it was the highly anticipated Week 6 Sunday Night game against the Patriots that didn’t disappoint with a 40-43 final score. For the Rams, it was the equally anticipated Week 9 meeting with the Saints that also lived up to the hype with a final score of 45-35. Both of those games went way over the total. Now here we are in Week 11 in a clash of offenses on Monday Night Football. I can’t think of any scenario where the final score doesn’t have both teams in the 30’s. Grab your popcorn and take that over.

Chris Kennedy’s Week 11 Picks (Last Week 1-2; YTD: 5-4):

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5:

This game has the highest over-under in the history of the NFL, at 63.5, and features two of the top three highest scoring offenses in the league. The Chiefs are 8-2 against the spread, and 5-0 against the spread when on the road this year. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Chiefs win by 6 or more.

Carolina Panthers -4:

The Panthers offense has been impressive so far this year, though their pace of play has been one of the slowest in the league. They face the Lions who actually have the second slowest pace of play this season, mostly due to their inconsistent offense. Carolina has struggled on the road this year, but I think the Lions defense is too bad to lose to.

Arizona Cardinals -5.5:

Since Byron Leftwich took over as the head coach, he’s been making sure that his playmakers are getting the ball. We’ve seen an uptick in targets and usage for both Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. Oakland is a complete dumpster fire right now, and I’d be shocked if they win another game this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants OVER 52:

Ryan Fitzpatrick is back behind center, and he’s just slinging the ball all over the field (sometimes to the other team.) I can see both teams exceeding their season averages in points this Sunday, as neither defense is very good. The Giants give up more points at home than they do when on the road. Give me the over.

Week 10 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Week 10 Picks

Overall Record: 9-11 (Last Week: 2-3)

Atlanta Falcons -5.5

The Falcons have now won three in a row and absolutely in the playoff race at 4-4. They seem to be clicking now and were even able to get Julio Jones in the end zone last week. On the opposite side, the Cleveland Browns have now lost four in a row by an average margin of 14.5 points. Baker Mayfield and company will get it right one day, but this is way too important of a game for the Falcons and their season. Atlanta wins and covers.

Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots OVER 46.5

I hate to say this, but Marcus Mariota looked like a good Quarterback last week against what is regarded as a good Dallas Cowboys defense. Combine a healthy Mariota with the Patriots quick offense that has averaged 35.5 points per game in their six-game winning streak, and I really like this over the pick.

Seattle Seahawks +10

This is a divisional game between two teams that clearly do not like each other. Seattle was coming off a loss to the Chargers last week, and at 4-4, they are stuck fighting for their season against arguably the best team in football. While I obviously don’t think they beat the Rams, they will play with desperation and put up a fight. This is their second meeting of the season, in which the first match was a 33-31 Rams victory. I’m looking for another close game that the Seahawks cover.

Chris Kennedy’s Week 10 Picks (Last Week: 3-0):

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3:

The Redskins have quite a few injuries throughout the offense, which doesn’t bode well for one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. The Buccaneers have scored 27 points at home this season with Fitzpatrick behind center. The Redskins defense has been fairly good this season, ranking in the top ten, but I like Fitzmagic to come in and hand Washington their fourth loss of the year.

Arizona Cardinals +17:

I don’t see this being the blowout that most are expecting. Yes, the Cardinals have been abysmal on offense this year, scoring just 14 points per game. They don’t give up a lot of big plays (20+ yards), however. On the other side, the Chiefs defense is susceptible to big plays, especially against RBs. I think we see much solid production from David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday, with a bit of Christian Kirk sprinkled in. While I fully expect the Chiefs to win this game, I’m still taking the Cardinals to cover the spread.

New Orleans Saints @ Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 54:

The Bengals will be without A.J. Green this week, which means we should see more of Joe Mixon in the passing game. John Ross will also be relied upon more, especially if C.J. Uzomah can’t go this week. The Saints have been stellar against the run this year, giving up just 56 yards per game. The Bengals defense has had their issues this season, and that will continue in this game. I just don’t see it being the total shootout that it could have been if A.J. Green were playing.

- All stats from ESPN

Draft Kings Week 10 Main Slate Report

Draft Kings Week 10 Main Slate Report

Last week I advised you to fade just about every member of the Chiefs, except for Kareem Hunt. I told you to fade James Conner. Well, I was wrong, and I apologize. With that said, I do hope you played some of my lock and value plays, as they would have helped you to win some money. It’s a new week, and with a new week comes new hope!

QB:

Philip Rivers - $6,000 (LOCK): Rivers is having one of the best seasons of all NFL QBs, and nobody is talking about it. He’s on pace to reach 4,000 passing yards for the sixth straight year, a career-high 38 passing touchdowns, and a career-low six interceptions.z This week he plays the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 20 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.w Rivers CAY (completed air yards) is third best among the main slate QBs, at 6.9.y Football Outsiders has Oakland’s pass defense ranked dead last this season. In a game that has an over-under of 50.5, and the Chargers implied total at 30, look for Rivers to have a big game.

Alex Smith - $5,300 (VALUE): Now, I normally wouldn’t recommend that you play Alex Smith in DFS, but this isn’t just any normal week. This week, Smith goes against the J.V. team of the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are the worst in the league in opponent completion percentage (74), opponent touchdown rate (7.56), and fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs (23).z With Jamison Crowder’s status uncertain for Sunday, look for Josh Doctson to continue to see an uptick in targets.

Jared Goff - $6,100 (FADE): I loved Goff last week, but this week against Seattle I’m looking elsewhere. The Seahawks are ranked in the top give in both pass defense and weighted defense (higher emphasis on games played later in the season), according to Football Outsiders. Seattle also ranks fourth best in fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs.w

RB:

Alvin Kamara - $8,700 (LOCK): Kamara will be going against a Bengals defense that has been allowing an average of 106 rushing yards, 53 receiving yards, and 31 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs this year.z Karama doesn’t need to worry about Mark Ingram, as he has out-touched Ingram 62 to 40 over the last four weeks.w One stat that I love is: Kamara’s usage in the red zone. He leads all RBs with 20 targets in the red zone this season.z This game has the highest over-under of the week (54), with the Saints being just a four-point favorite. Kamara will EAT!

Duke Johnson Jr - $4,700 (VALUE): I’m a big fan of Nick Chubb, but this week it’s all about Duke. The Browns are road underdogs to the Falcons, so expect Baker Mayfield to throw a lot. Chubb is not known for his receiving ability. Atlanta gives up a league-high 82 receiving yards to opposing RBs.z Atlanta’s defensive scheme is built around dump offs and check downs to the RB, because they’re so afraid of getting beat deep with their injured secondary. Much like last week, the game script should favor Duke Johnson on Sunday.

Joe Mixon - $7,700 (FADE): Last week we saw Mixon have his first 100-yard rushing game, and we’ll have to wait another week before we see it again. This week he will go up against the New Orleans Saints, who give up just 52 rushing yards and 42 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs.z With the Saints having the best run defense in the league, I won’t have any exposure to Mixon in my lineups this week.

WR:

A.J. Green - $7,600 (LOCK): While I’m fading Green’s teammate, Mixon, this week; there’s not a chance in hell that I’m passing on this matchup. Not only do the Saints give up the most receiving yards, TDs, and fantasy points to opposing WRs this year,z but they also allow the third most receiving yards to WR1.v Green has had just one game this year with multiple receiving TDs, and I do believe he gets another one this weekend. He commands 40 percent of the targeted air yards, which is the third highest among the main slate WRs.y So, with the Bengals being an underdog in the highest projected game of the week, look for Green to be targeted early and often.

Josh Doctson - $4,300 (VALUE): Again, I’m sticking with the underdog at WR. Why? The team that’s the underdog is most likely going to be playing from behind, which means they will need to throw more. Targeting the WR1 or WR2 from the underdog is a great way to leverage your lineups. Even if Jamison Crowder comes back this week, I still love Doctson in this spot. It doesn’t matter if he’s the WR1 or WR2, the Bucs are in the bottom three in the league when it comes to covering both positions.v

Julio Jones - $8,300 (FADE): After Julio catching his first touchdown in 12 games last week, I think many people will be on him this week. The problem is that this week he goes up against Denzel Ward of the Browns. Ward has been one of the best corners in the league this year, as he allows opposing WRs to catch just 55 percent of targets against him.x I love Julio, just not this week.

TE:

Zach Ertz - $6,300 (LOCK): No TE in the league has more targets and red zone targets than Ertz this season. That will certainly help as he faces off against the Cowboys on Sunday, who allow just over 13 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs.w With Sean Lee likely to miss this week, Ertz shouldn’t have any trouble finding space to work with. Ertz should be matched up against Jeff Heath, who has been anything but impressive this year.

Trey Burton - $3,900 (VALUE): Allen Robinson is still battling a groin injury, and even if he does suit up, I don’t expect him to be extremely productive until he’s healthy. That means Burton should have a bigger role in the offense this week. This week’s game against the Lions should be a bit closer than last week’s shellacking over the Bills; so I can see Trubisky airing it out more. The Lions have allowed four receiving TDs to opposing TEs, which is the third most in the league.z

Rob Gronkowski - $5,600 (FADE): Gronk didn’t play last week due to a back injury, and even if he’s active this week, I’m going to look elsewhere for TE. When Gronk is injured and plays, he’s usually out on the field as a decoy and that’s it. Also, he’s going up against a Titans defense that is one of the top five teams in the league against TEs.v

*Stat Source Key (v = Football Outsiders, w = 4for4, x = Pro Football Focus, y = NextGenStats, z = Pro Football Reference)

Draft Kings Week 9 Main Slate Report

Houston Preeminence is officially LIVE, and we aren’t going away. That includes myself, as I continue to provide you with the DFS content that you crave. We’re looking at Week 9, and there are some really nice matchups to focus on. As always, I’ll share with you my “LOCK,” “VALUE,” and “FADE” picks for the Draft Kings NFL Main Slate. Let’s get after it.

QB:

Jared Goff - $6,000 (LOCK): Here is a slam dunk of a pick. Goff is going up against the Saints this week and in New Orleans. At home this season, the Saints are giving up an average of 400 passing yards per game to opposing QBs,z and they rank sixth worse in the league in total DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).v Goff has been very impressive this season, completing 67 percent of his passes, and sporting a TD rage of 6.7.z The Saints, have been allowing a completion percentage of 70 and a TD rate of 5.91.z Cooper Kupp is also on track to play, which gives Goff another piece of ammunition against this porous Saints defense.

Ryan Fitzpatrick - $5,500 (VALUE): I’m going with Fitzpatrick here until he gets benched again. Who knows with this team. In the first three games of the season, Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards in each game, and at least 3 TDs.z He’ll be facing a Carolina defense that has been average against the pass, ranking 20th in Pass Def DVOA.v This game has an over-under of 55, with the Panthers as a six-point favorite, so I fully expect Fitzpatrick to be slinging the ball all over the field on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes - $7,100 (FADE): Do you know who ranks first in Pass Defense DVOA?v Or who gives up the least amount of fantasy points per game to opposing QBs?w The Browns. Yes, you read that right. The Cleveland Browns have been the best team in the NFL against the pass this season. The Brown are allowing opposing QBs to complete 60 percent of their passes (second lowest of main slate defenses), and a TD rate of only 3.32 percent (lowest on the main slate).z I know Mahomes has been phenomenal this year, but this week I’ll be looking elsewhere at QB.

RB:

Kareem Hunt - $7,700 (LOCK): While I’m fading his QB, I’m all in on Hunt. Tampa Bay surrenders an average of 118 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs,z along with 27 fantasy points per game.w The Chiefs are an eight and a half point favorite this week, which means I’m expecting Hunt to carry the load towards the end of the game.

Kenyan Drake - $5,300 (VALUE): Drake is looking to continue his fantasy success this week against the Jets. Over the last two weeks, Drake has averaged just over 21 PPR (points per reception) points.y The New York Jets are allowing 92 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs this year, to go along with 26 fantasy points.z The Dolphins offensive line ranks eighth in the NFL this year in 2nd Level Yards, meaning that they’re giving their RBs a better opportunity of gaining five to ten yards beyond the line of scrimmage.v

James Conner - $7,200 (FADE): I know that Conner has been superb this year, but he’s facing the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens allow just 70 rushing yards per game, and an insane 18 receiving yards per game to opposing RBs.z Last week, Baltimore held Christian McCaffrey to just three yards per carry, and 11 yards receiving on just four receptions.z

WR:

Robert Woods - $7,000 (LOCK): The Rams have so many offensive weapons to choose from, especially with Cooper Kupp returning to action. I’m going with Woods as my pick because the Saints are the worst in the NFL against opposing WR2, giving up 113 receiving yards per game.v Woods leads this receiving core with eight targets per game, and with the Rams projected to score almost 30 points on Sunday I think Woods has the big day for L.A.z

Amari Cooper - $4,600 (VALUE): That’s right, folks! This is the week that Amari goes bonkers. Ok, maybe not bonkers, but I think he has over 100 yards receiving and two TDs. He’s facing a Titans defense that has allowed 41 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs,w and 81 receiving yards per game to WR1.v Amari is able to line up all over the field, so look for Dallas to try him out in different areas to see if he can exploit a mismatch.

Tyreek Hill - $8,000 (FADE): Hill should see a decent amount of Denzel Ward this week, which doesn’t bode well for Hill. This year, PFF has ranked Ward as the eighth best cover corner in the league.x While Hill can hurt you in so many areas of the game. I’m going to look elsewhere at that price.

TE:

Greg Olsen - $4,700 (LOCK): Olsen found success against a stout Ravens defense last week, and I think he continues that success this week. Yes, he’s against the abysmal Buccaneers, but he’s also going to be matched up against Justin Evans. Evans is giving up a league-high 3.64 Y/RC (yards per reception completed), among NFL safeties.x

Cameron Brate - $2,700 (VALUE): While Brate doesn’t have the targets or yards that O.J. Howards does, he does have the same number of TDs and more targets in the red zone.z Carolina surrenders 18 fantasy points per game to opposing TEs, and Brate should get some opportunities in this high scoring match up.w

Travis Kelce - $6,600 (FADE): Maybe I should have just said to fade all Chiefs (except Hunt) this week. Kelce should be matched up against Jabrill Peppers, who is only allowing 50 percent of completed passing thrown his way.x The Browns just don’t allow many fantasy points to opponents in the passing game, including just nine fantasy points a game to opposing TEs.w

*Stat Source Key (v = Football Outsiders, w = 4for4, x = Pro Football Focus, y = ESPN, z = Pro Football Reference)

Week 9 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Overall Record: 7-8 (Last week: 2-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers +2

The Steelers face the Ravens this Sunday in one of the greatest rivalries we have in the NFL. This divisional matchup always seems to be a close one and like I said last week, I believe this is the time we see the Steelers start to pull away. While I think this will be a close game, I will take the 2 points but have Pittsburgh winning this game outright.

New York Jets +2.5

This is another game that I like the team to win outright but will take the points. For the third week in a row, I am fading Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins. This is a game where Sam Darnold can show he is a liable Quarterback for the future. Give me the Jets in an easy win and put the cherry on top with a Brock Osweiler pick-6.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns UNDER 52

The Kansas City Chiefs are a team that has been a good bet on the over this year, but 52 points is getting high for an NFL game this far into the season. It’d be one thing if it were two high scoring offenses like the Rams/Saints matchup this weekend, but the Browns are averaging just 16 points per game over the last four weeks. The Chiefs are going to convincingly beat the Browns early and run the clock out in the second half for a final score of around 28-10.

Denver Broncos -1

I’m sorry, I know this is a Houston based website, but this is the game the Texans lose. I hate to do this, but you aren’t supposed to bet with emotions. Just think about it, the Texans are not going to win the rest of their games to finish 13-3, and that’s fine. The Broncos are a different team at home and opponents don’t usually perform well in Colorado; just look at Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs losing all game before barely squeezing out a comeback win on Monday Night Football a month ago. It was only two weeks ago that Deshaun Watson had to ride a bus to Florida instead of flying because of the altitude, so that could definitely be a factor in the Mile High City. The Denver pass rush is an advantage to Houston’s offensive line. Let’s just get out of there healthy into the bye week with a favorable schedule the rest of the way. My heart and wallet disagree on this one. Broncos cover the spread.

Minnesota Vikings -5 *J-Lee & CK Consensus Pick*

If the Vikings want to go back to the playoffs, they need to win this game against the Detroit Lions. Both teams are coming off a loss, but the Vikings hung in there with the Saints while the Lions put up an ugly performance against the Seahawks. I think the Vikings get right, at home, before heading into the bye week and prepare to face the Bears, Packers, and Patriots over the following three weeks. Vikings win by at least a touchdown.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

Minnesota Vikings -5:

The Detroit Lions rank in the bottom five for overall DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), but also in Passing and Rushing DVOA.z This means they just can’t stop anyone whether it’s on the ground or through the air. The Vikings have only once failed to score less than 20 points in a game this season. The Lions defense is a mess, and even their top cover corner, Darius Slay, hasn’t been up to par this year. I like the Vikings at home this week.

Atlanta Falcons +1.5:

The Falcons are coming off the bye week with a two-game winning streak, and are scoring an average of 27 points per game this year.y While the Redskins defense has been stout this year, giving up the third least amount of points per game, I’ve been really impressed with the way Matt Ryan has been playing since Freeman landed on IR. I think that Atlanta comes into Washington this week and steals a victory.

L.A. Rams @ New Orleans Saints OVER 58.5:

Both of these teams have combined for an average of 66 points per game.y You add that on top of the fact that they are playing in NO, which is pretty much the “Coors Field” of the NFL, and you have the makings of a crazy high scoring game. Cooper Kupp is on track to play, and that will certainly help to open things up for Goff.

Stat Source Reference: y = ESPN, z = Football Outsiders

Week 8 Draft Kings NFL Showdown (Sunday Night) - Saints @ Vikings

A look at who to pick in the NFL Showdown primetime matchups.

I give much love to the NFL main slate, and probably a bit too much love. So, I want to start providing you with some insight into the prime time matchups on Sunday and Monday nights. DFS sites have started offering “Showdown” contests this season. What is a showdown? It’s a salary based contest, much like your standard classic contests, except it’s focused on just a single game. Where in a classic contest, you pick a QB/RB/RB/WR/WR/WR/TE/FLEX/DST, a showdown allows you to pick six FLEX (including kickers) positions. The other twist of a showdown is the Captain position (represented by a crown).

 The Captain of your lineup will cost 1.5x more than their standard salary, but will also reward you with 1.5x their standard score. For example, Drew Brees is priced at $15,900 as a Captain, but $10,600 as a standard FLEX player.

That also means if he scores 20 points in the FLEX, he would score 30 points as your Captain. Got it? Good. The key to selecting your Captain is to figure out whom you feel will have the most upside, without blowing your budget on one player.

 The last thing I want to mention is ownership. Since it’s just a single game, you’re going to have the same players as almost everyone else in the contest so you want to diversify your picks by selecting players that not many others might, and then mixing those guys in with more popular/predictable options. Now that I’ve gone over the general basis for a Showdown let’s pick out some contrarian plays that should help you to gain an edge over the field.

Disclaimer: Do not fill up your entire roster with these players, but sprinkle them throughout your lineups for diversification.

Mark Ingram - $7,200: Over the last two games, Ingram has out-touched Kamara, 33 to 29.x Now, Kamara is still the guy in New Orleans, but I like Ingram as a pivot off of Kamara. Ingram has also been used in the red zone, with five carries inside the ten, which he has converted two of those carries into scores.y

Roc Thomas - $400: Who? Exactly! Houston, meet Roc Thomas. A UDFA (undrafted free agent) out of Jacksonville State, Thomas is a compact RB that can make plays happen in the passing game out of the backfield. With Dalvin Cook out this week, Thomas should see some opportunities behind Latavius Murray. He only has eight touches this season, but he has seen two targets in the red zone.y

Tre’Quan Smith - $5,400: Smith hasn’t seen a lot of targets (13), as he’s been fighting for playing time with Cameron Meredith.y With Ted Ginn Jr on IR, Smith should see more opportunities. The last two games that Smith has played with Ginn out, he’s been second on the team in targets and had a 111 yard/2TD performance against the Redskins in Week 5.y With Xavier Rhodes out this week, that potentially leaves Mackensie Alexander or Marcus Sherels with the task of covering Smith. I’ll take Smith every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Laquon Treadwell - $2,600: Laquon Treadwell, the man that caused me so much pain in Dynasty Football drafts in 2016, has now started to show signs of life. He has already met or exceeded almost every stat this season than he had all of last year. Treadwell has a 76 percent catch rate and is averaging about five targets per game.z With Thielen, Diggs, and Rudolph occupying most of the attention, give Treadwell a look in what should be a high scoring game.

Will Lutz - $3,200/Dan Bailey - $3,400: Yeah, I’m throwing kickers into the mix. So what if I kind of wants to throw up a little. Lutz and Bailey both average as many or more Draft Kings points per game than both of their team’s TEs. Lutz is in the top ten in XP made, and just outside of the top ten (11th) in FG made.w Bailey, since he joined the Vikings in Week 4, has averaged 2.75 XP and FG per game.y Need to save $1,000 or so? Grab a kicker and ditch the TE.

Stat Source Reference: w = ESPN,x = 4for4, y = Pro Football Reference, z = Pro Football Focus

PGA: The CJ Cup Draft Kings Report

This week we’re off to The Club at Nine Bridges, in South Korea. Only the second year of this tournament, it was considered by many as one of the top five most difficult courses on tour. Justin Thomas beat out Marc Leishman last year in a playoff. Leishman is coming off a victory at last week’s CIMB Classic.

The Club is a par 72 that runs just under 7,200 yards. The weather can play a factor, as last year they saw high winds. This course will require golfers to be accurate in their approach shots, along with solid putting. Only 78 golfers will be playing this week, and with no cut, all of your players have a chance. Here are the categories that I’m focusing on this week:

Prox (Proximity)

SG: T2G (Tee to Green)

BoB Gained (Birdies or Better)

Bogeys Avoided

SG: P (Putting, with an emphasis on Bentwood greens)

The fairways aren’t very narrow, so I’m not too concerned with driving accuracy.

$10k+:

Hideki Matsuyama - $10,400: When it comes to recent form, you won’t find many better than Matsuyama. Over his last 12 rounds, Hideki ranks in the top five in the field in all key stats, with the exception of Bogeys Avoided (21st). Matsuyama has finished in the top 15 over his last four events, which include two top five finishes. A lot of people are going to be on JT and for good reason, myself included. Matsuyama is as good of a pivot as there is.

Justin Thomas - $11,600: The defending champion from last year’s inaugural CJ Cup. JT has been playing out of his mind recently, ranking sixth in T2G, second in Birdies or Better, and sixth in Bogeys Avoided. His putting hasn’t been bad either, as he ranks 24th in the field over his last 12 rounds. Thomas’ last five tournaments have produced four finishes in the top 24, and three of those were in the top 10.

$8k-$9.9k:

Billy Horschel - $9,700: I’m going back to the well with Horschel! He didn’t have a great showing at the CIMB Classic, and I’m hoping that drops his ownership for this week. He is still top 10 in T2G and BoB Gained, and not counting last week he has three top five finishes over his last four tournaments. I like Horschel to bounce back this week for a top 10 finish.

Tyrrell Hatton - $9,500: At 27 years old, Hatton has been a force on the European Tour. He has taken off the last few PGA events, and I can see him up near the top of the leaderboard by the end of this tournament. Hatton is top 10 in Prox, T2G and Bogeys Avoided. If Hatton can avoid the three putts, he’ll be in great shape.

$7k-$7.9k:

Si Woo Kim - $7,400: This price range was the toughest because there are so many golfers that are very close, and I could have gone with a dozen of them. I wanted someone who has good recent form with Putting and BoB Gained, and Kim fits the bill as he’s in the top 20 for both key stats. Kim was also a top 10 finisher in last week’s event.

Charles Howell III - $7,700: CH3 is one of my favorite golfers, and from the interviews I’ve heard him do, he seems like a great guy. Over his last 12 rounds, Howell III ranks in the top 20 in BoB Gained, Bogeys Avoided, and Putting. He also finished 20th in this event last year, and had a top 25 showing in the BMW Championship last month.

$6.9k and under:

Jason Kokrak - $6,800: At this price it’s hard to find a golfer who is in the top 20 in most key stats, and Kokrak checks the boxes in four of my five categories. BoB Gained has been a bit of an opportunity for him, but I’m not going to be too picky.  

Hyun-woo Ryu - $6,500: Sixth in BoB Gained and seventh in Bogeys Avoided, Ryu is a guy that can shoot for par without gaining too many bogeys. That skill will be key this weekend, as this course will frustrate a lot of golfers. I’m not super excited by anyone $6.9k and under, but these are a couple to look at if you’re trying to save some money.

  *All statistics courtesy of Fantasy National Golf Club