Vikings at 49ers
Team Totals: 49ers 26, Vikings 19
Not the imposing defense they feigned early on, San Francisco’s per-game points allowed skyrocketed from 11.0 in Weeks 1-8 to 25.9 in Weeks 9-17 as 49ers DC Robert Saleh’s unit faced a parade of injuries, superior opponents, and schematic holes. Over the 49ers’ last five games, opposing quarterbacks completed 120-of-188 (64%) throws with a 12:1 TD-to-INT ratio and two additional rushing scores, while 7-of-9 signal callers to finish the year banked top-ten fantasy results against Saleh’s defense. Kyle Shanahan’s background with Kirk Cousins suggests he’ll be able to give Saleh pointers on how to exploit Cousins’ weaknesses more than most, but this matchup isn’t as worrisome as it may initially appear. Just like last week, Cousins is a viable DFS-tournament play, especially with Adam Thielen back near 100%.
Fully back from shoulder/chest injuries that essentially kept him out of 2 ½ of the Vikings’ final three regular season games, Dalvin Cook was a Wild Card moneymaker with 130 yards and two scores on 31 touches in Minnesota’s road upset of New Orleans, his fresh legs evident in the win. Cook will almost certainly remain the focal point of OC Kevin Stefanski’s Week 19 game plan, especially after the Niners coughed up four rushing TDs and 98.3 total yards per game to enemy backs over the last month. Cook’s bellcow usage and versatility make him Week 19’s top RB1 play over Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones.
UPDATE: Adam Thielen suffered cut on his ankle in Wednesday’s practice serious enough that he required stitches to close the laceration. Thielen did not practice on Thursday and is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game. Thielen still sounds likelier than not to play. On the off chance he does not, Stefon Diggs, Olabisi Johnson, Kyle Rudolph, and Irv Smith‘s fantasy outlooks would elevate at San Francisco. Dalvin Cook took on a more prominent passing-game role in Thielen’s 2019 absences, too.
UPDATE II: After looking more into Adam Thielen‘s ankle laceration, I’d be willing to play him aggressively in DFS tournaments, using the injury as a means of creating leverage on the field. It doesn’t sound like the cut should cause any problems for Thielen’s availability or effectiveness.
Cousins’ Week 18 target distribution: Thielen 9; Kyle Rudolph 7; Cook 5; Stefon Diggs and Olabisi Johnson 3; Alexander Mattison 2; Tyler Conklin and Alex Hollins 1. … Making his first true impact since Week 6, Thielen shook off a horrific first half that consisted of drops, penalties, and a lost fumble to log 7/129/0 receiving including a sensational 43-yard over-the-shoulder bomb that helped seal Minnesota’s upset at New Orleans. … Neither Vikings wideout sees a favorable Week 19 draw – San Francisco allows the NFL’s fourth-fewest yards per game to enemy wideouts (131.9) – but I’m betting on Diggs to retake Minnesota’s receiving lead as the Divisional Round’s squeaky wheel. Diggs wasn’t afraid to express his frustration with last week’s light receiving load on the Superdome sideline. Diggs’ route quickness will be difficult for plus-sized 49ers perimeter CBs Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman to handle; PFF charged inconsistent Witherspoon with 21 completions allowed on 28 targets (75%) for 244 yards (8.7 YPA) and five touchdowns over the final four regular season weeks. … Held to 50 yards or fewer in 15-of-17 games, Rudolph’s fantasy appeal continues to be touchdown driven, while 49ers TE stopper Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) is due back for the Divisional Round. Tartt has given up two touchdown catches since Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season. … Held to 35 yards or fewer in ten straight games, Johnson lacks dart-throw fantasy appeal at San Francisco. … Rookie TE Irv Smith somehow was not targeted on 17 pass routes run in last week’s Wild Card Round. He’s a low-volume role player on a run-heavy team.
Takes backing Jimmy Garoppolo as one of Week 19’s top DFS quarterback plays may be sparse, but Jimmy G’s environment, resume, supporting cast from coaching staff to personnel, and elements of his matchup keep Garoppolo firmly on the Divisional Round tournament radar. Garoppolo finished 2019 with four top-six fantasy QB1 scores and is well positioned to capitalize on Minnesota’s deficiencies in wide receiver and tight end coverage. The Vikings’ defense has flashed pass-funnel tendencies, while schematically savvy OC Kyle Shanahan catches Mike Zimmer’s unit at home with an additional week to prepare. Jimmy G was a low-floor but high-ceiling QB play in 2019. He should be treated similarly here.
Raheem Mostert never lost his late-season hold on San Francisco’s lead back job, but his Weeks 13-17 touch counts (21 > 12 > 15 > 11 > 11) on part-time playing-time clips (73% > 59% > 53% > 54% > 54%) leave Mostert with little margin for error, and Mostert’s capped receiving involvement heightens his touchdown reliance. He hasn’t caught more than two passes in a game since Week 2, while Tevin Coleman and to a lesser extent Matt Breida are siphoning enough usage to lower Mostert’s floor and ceiling. Excluding Week 17 where the Vikings rested starters, Zimmer’s run defense was a game-by-game adventure over the last month a half; it got clobbered by Packers (29/187/2) and Seahawks (39/205/2) backs but stymied Lions (22/70/0), Chargers (19/62/0), and Saints (12/42/1) RBs. Ultimately, Mostert’s touch projection lands in the 11-15 range, and he’ll likely need an end-zone trip to pay off.
Garoppolo’s Weeks 13-17 target distribution: George Kittle 44; Emmanuel Sanders 29; Deebo Samuel 26; Kendrick Bourne 12; Mostert 9; Kyle Juszczyk 8; Breida and Coleman 4. … The Vikings conceded the NFL’s eighth-most catches (84) to tight ends in 2019, then a perfect 5/54/0 receiving line on five targets to Jared Cook last week. With 85-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 9 of his last 11 games, Kittle is neck and neck with Travis Kelce as the Divisional Round’s top tight end play. Playing both in the same lineup is one viable DFS-tournament approach. … A boom-bust producer since his acquisition from Denver, Sanders has managed 41 yards or fewer in 7-of-10 games as a 49er but mixed in slate-breaking eruptions against Arizona (7/112/1) and New Orleans (7/157/1). As the Vikings’ primary defensive deficiency remains cornerback play, fourteen different enemy wideouts cleared 60 yards versus Minnesota over the last nine weeks. After a first-round bye that allowed Sanders to nurse his body back near full strength following a nicked-up season, Sanders’ chances of booming rather than busting should be elevated versus the Vikings’ pass funnel. … Samuel has likewise been a volatile box-score presence, but his creative run-game usage by Shanahan has quietly elevated Samuel’s floor. Samuel averaged 24.4 rushing yards and scored twice on the ground over San Francisco’s final five games, showing big-play chops whenever he touched the ball and nearly equaling Sanders in targets during that span. More consistent than Sanders, Samuel opens the playoffs with 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six of his last eight games. Choosing which of the Niners’ top-two wideouts has a bigger game may be critical on this week’s slate. … This is how routes run were distributed among 49ers pass catchers in their Weeks 16-17 wins over the Rams and Seahawks: Sanders 56; Samuel 51; Kittle 49; Bourne 30. Slot man Bourne did almost nothing in the yardage column all season but did catch five TDs and is worth touchdown-or-bust punt-play consideration with Vikings slot CB Mackensie Alexander (knee) sidelined.
Score Prediction: 49ers 24, Vikings 23
Titans at Ravens
Team Totals: Ravens 28, Titans 19
Evidenced by Derrick Henry’s stretch-run touch totals – 35 > 32 > 21 > 19 > 29 over his last five games – the Titans’ offensive approach is straightforward with a chance to cause Baltimore’s overrated run defense Week 19 fits. Enemy backs touched up Ravens DC Wink Martindale’s group for a crisp 106/490/2 (4.62 YPC) rushing line over its last five games, while Henry’s career per-game touchdown average more than doubles from 0.48 in September through November to 1.05 in December and January, when 247-pound Henry’s MACK truck power can prey on beaten-up late-season opponents. Although the possibility of the Titans facing negative game script that would threaten Henry’s workload is a concern as nine-point road dogs, Henry undoubtedly projects as the centerpiece of OC Arthur Smith’s game plan in an effort to control possession and keep Baltimore’s NFL-best offense off the field.
Essentially playing run-funnel defense, the Ravens incredibly held 11 of their final 12 regular season quarterbacks faced to fantasy scores of QB18 or worse. Baltimore’s D/ST is arguably a superior cost-relative fantasy bet to Ryan Tannehill, who projects to lack both volume and efficiency at Baltimore. Tannehill has averaged just 23 pass attempts over his last eight starts, while the Ravens have yielded the NFL’s fourth-fewest yards per attempt (6.6) and second-lowest passer rating (77.5). Only New England surrendered fewer touchdown passes (13) than Baltimore in 2019 (15). Despite his remarkable second-half success that saved the Titans’ season, Tannehill is a contrarian DFS-tournament option at best.
Tannehill’s 2019-2020 target distribution: A.J. Brown 63; Corey Davis 48; Jonnu Smith 39; Tajae Sharpe 28; Anthony Firkser 27; Adam Humphries 24; Dion Lewis 17; Henry 14; Kalif Raymond 12; MyCole Pruitt 9. … Erased by a combination of Stephon Gilmore and Tannehill’s season-low 15 attempts in last week’s win, Brown is certain to see more targets in projected catchup script but faces another imposing draw. Since the Ravens acquired Marcus Peters from the Rams in Week 7, outside CBs Peters and Jimmy Smith have yielded completions on just 59-of-109 throws (54%) for 622 yards (5.71 YPA) and a 4:4 TD-to-INT ratio. They suffocated perimeter WRs Robby Anderson (4/66/0), Diontae Johnson (4/54/0), Odell Beckham (4/44/1), Emmanuel Sanders (4/41/0), Deebo Samuel (2/41/0), John Brown (3/26/0), and James Washington (0/0) over the last five weeks. Matchup and opportunity working against him in a low-volume passing game, Brown is purely a bet-on-talent DFS gamble. … Scoreless since October 20 and coming off a Wild Card goose egg, Davis finds himself in the same predicament lower in Tennessee’s pecking order. He’s a Hail Mary play. … This is how routes were distributed among Titans pass catchers in Weeks 17-18: Brown 38; Davis 37; Sharpe 23; Smith 22; Firkser 17; Pruitt 10. … Sharpe rarely sees useful volume, but his matchup is favorable enough for dart-throw consideration. In the second half of 2019, fellow slot types Jamison Crowder (6/90/2), Julian Edelman (10/89/0), Mohamed Sanu (10/81/1), Jarvis Landry (7/74/0), Tyler Boyd (6/62/0), Tyler Lockett (5/61/1), Kendrick Bourne (3/42/0), and Cole Beasley (4/29/1) all produced at- or above-expectation PPR results against the Ravens. … Although Smith plays the most because he’s the best blocker in Tennessee’s tight end group, Firsker and Pruitt have turned the position into a three-man TEBC in passing situations. Smith and Firkser are low-floor, low-volume punts. No defense allowed fewer fantasy points to tight ends than Baltimore this season.
In Gardner Minshew, Josh Allen, and Deshaun Watson, the Titans faced three top-five rushing QBs this season. Tennessee went 0-3 in such games as Minshew, Allen, and Watson combined to complete 62-of-99 passes (63%) for 666 yards (6.7 YPA), and a 6:3 TD-to-INT ratio with a 25.7 rushing-yard average. NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is better than all three and enters Week 19 on a wicked tear with a 25:1 passing TD-to-INT ratio, four additional rushing scores, and 78.8 rushing-yard average over his last eight starts. Just ahead of Patrick Mahomes, Jackson is the favorite to lead all players in Divisional Round fantasy points.
Mark Ingram admitted to hearing a “pop” upon straining his calf in Week 16, then experienced early-week “tightness” in the muscle when attempting to practice. While he is tentatively expected to play, odds are Ingram won’t be anywhere near 100%. Tennessee played stout run defense all year and limited enemy backs to a pedestrian 101/404/5 (4.0 YPC) rushing line over its last five games. Ingram’s passing-game expectation is low, his matchup is unappealing, and his health is suspect. Even as a home-favorite feature back in one of the league’s run-friendliest offenses, Ingram is a low-floor, touchdown-reliant DFS risk. … Ingram’s health begs the question of whether Gus Edwards and Justice Hill’s Divisional Round roles might be larger than usual, rendering both DFS-tournament darts on this high-volatility four-game slate. Hill is the most explosive receiver in Baltimore’s backfield, while Tennessee permitted the NFL’s third-most running back receptions per game (6.3) this regular season before coughing up ten catches to Patriots backs in Week 18. Should Ingram sit, Edwards would become a legitimate 20-carry candidate.
UPDATE: Titans coach Mike Vrabel conceded Thursday that every-down ILB Jayon Brown “probably” won’t play against the Ravens after leaving last week’s win over New England repeatedly due to shoulder-injury aggravations. Brown’s absence is notable because of how many snaps he soaks up and for his pass-coverage abilities. Give matchup boosts to the Ravens’ tight ends and running backs.
Jackson’s post-bye target distribution: Mark Andrews 43; Marquise Brown 30; Nick Boyle 22; Willie Snead 19; Hayden Hurst 18; Ingram 17; Seth Roberts 16; Pat Ricard 8; Hill 7; Miles Boykin 4; Edwards 3. … Andrews’ matchup is pristine; only three NFL defenses allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than Tennessee this regular season, while Jared Cook (3/84/2), Jack Doyle (6/73/1), Darren Waller (6/72/0), Jordan Akins (5/54/0), Ben Watson (3/38/0), and Foster Moreau (3/14/1) each met or beat box-score expectations versus the Titans over their last six games. Titans coverage LB Jayon Brown’s (shoulder) absence would positively impact Andrews. … In the five games prior to facing New England’s nonexistent Week 18 perimeter wideout corps and Houston’s Week 17 resting offense, Tennessee’s secondary was touched up by Michael Thomas (12/136/1), DeAndre Hopkins (6/119/0), Zach Pascal (7/109/0), Will Fuller (5/61/0), Marcus Johnson (4/55/0), Rico Gafford (1/49/1), and Kenny Stills (3/35/2). This is a potential smash spot for Brown, who comes at an especially affordable DraftKings price and warrants aggressive Week 19 ownership. … Since the likes of Boyle, Snead, Hurst, and Roberts are always lucky to command more than three targets in a game, they’re all touchdown-or-bust dart throws against the Titans. For DFSers seeking low-cost punts, this is how routes run were distributed among Ravens pass catchers in Weeks 15-16: Brown 51; Andrews 43; Roberts 38; Snead 31; Boyle 28; Hurst 25; Boykin 16.
Score Prediction: Ravens 28, Titans 17
Texans at Chiefs
Team Totals: Chiefs 30.5, Texans 20.5
Fresh off luckboxing last Saturday’s overtime win via Josh Allen, Brian Daboll, and Sean McDermott’s collective late-game meltdowns, a legitimately below-average Houston team visits Arrowhead to face a legitimately Super Bowl-contending Chiefs team that should squash the fraudulent Texans at home. As was the case in Houston’s thrilling Wild Card comeback win, however, Deshaun Watson looms as an ultimate X-factor with Will Fuller (hamstring, groin) due back after essentially missing four of the Texans’ last five games. Worrisome for Watson is that Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo’s defense appears to have found its stride, holding five of its last six quarterbacks faced to fantasy scores of QB18 or worse with point totals allowed of 3 (Broncos), 16 (Patriots), 9 (Raiders), 17 (Chargers), 3 (Bears), and 21 (Chargers). As the Texans are ten-point dogs, it’s notable that Watson’s career yards per pass attempt spike from 7.7 when leading to 8.4 when trailing, 4.3 to 6.1 in terms of yards per rushing attempt, and Watson has scored 45 of his career all-purpose TDs when playing from behind as opposed to 31 with a lead. Even if the Texans get boat raced as a team, Watson’s box-score ceiling remains immense.
The Chiefs played leaky run defense for most of 2019 but stiffened during the final month, collectively holding Chargers, Bears, Broncos, and Patriots backs to a 71/281/2 (3.96 YPC) rushing line in Weeks 14-17. Albeit in a small sample, Kansas City’s up-front improvement was just enough to not deem Carlos Hyde’s Divisional Round matchup an outright gimme. Hyde ran roughshod over the Chiefs when these clubs met in Week 6 (26/116/1), yet critical Kansas City defenders DT Chris Jones (groin), NT Xavier Williams (ankle), and MLB Anthony Hitchens (groin) were all missing and are now near full strength, while prized offseason pickup DE Frank Clark was playing at a markedly lower level than he is now. Hyde’s lack of passing-game usage is a big concern as a two-score road dog with just six receptions since the month of September, rendering him a low-floor, contrarian DFS-tournament pick who will almost certainly need a touchdown to pay off. … The 2019 Chiefs gave up a league-high 59.4 receiving yards per game to running backs, suggesting Duke Johnson offers sleeper appeal as Houston’s main pass-catching back. Yet Johnson has gone five straight games without reaching double-digit touches and handled the ball just six times on 39% of Houston’s Wild Card Round offensive snaps despite a three-quarter-plus deficit. Not unlike Hyde, Johnson is a low-floor DFS pick who probably will need a touchdown to hit.
Even if Fuller returns, there are no matchup-based cakewalks for Houston’s pass catchers at Arrowhead. The Chiefs wound up allowing the NFL’s second-fewest regular season fantasy points to wide receivers, while neither DeAndre Hopkins (9/55/0) nor Fuller (5/44/0) blew the doors off in these clubs’ Week 6 date. Fuller did drop three potential TDs in that game, however, and Hopkins primarily ran low-aDOT routes that moved the chains and kept Patrick Mahomes off the field. Ultimately, Hopkins projects as a high-volume but potentially capped-upside DFS play, and Fuller the opposite considering his history of in-game injury aggravations. … I continue to throw my hands up at Kenny Stills’ weekly unpredictability, regardless of Fuller’s status. Stills’ fantasy appeal is always limited to DFS tournaments with three games of 60-plus yards all season and no noticeable plus or minus correlation in connection with Fuller’s availability. … Rather than wide receivers, running backs and tight ends were the best means of attacking Kansas City’s defense all year. With Jordan Akins (hamstring) sidelined, Darren Fells played all but three of Houston’s Week 18 offensive snaps and delivered 4/37/0 receiving on five targets. Fells will be playable again if Akins sits, but this otherwise is a situation to avoid.
Hobbled by knee, ankle, and hand injuries throughout a regressive yet still-impressive third NFL season, full-strength Patrick Mahomes caught fire during a difficult Weeks 15-17 stretch against the Broncos, Bears, and Chargers for a combined 66-of-92 passing (72%), 765 yards (8.3 YPA), and 5:2 TD-to-INT ratio with an additional rushing score. Winners of six straight to close out the season, key to Kansas City’s late-year dominance was the reemergence of versatile RB Damien Williams, who tallied an efficient 63/398/3 (6.3 YPC) rushing and 15/98/1 receiving line over his final five appearances and played 71% of the Chiefs’ Week 17 offensive snaps against the Chargers. Andy Reid has all but phased LeSean McCoy out of his offense, while Darwin Thompson isn’t trusted for more than spot duty with consecutive touch counts of 5 and 5 since Williams returned from injury two games ago. This is an eruption spot for Williams; the Texans surrendered a combined 241/1,163/7 (4.83 YPC) rushing line to enemy backs over their last ten games, permitted the NFL’s second-most running back receiving yards per game in 2019 (55.7), and got torched for a season-high 76 receiving yards by Devin Singletary in the Wild Card Round. Williams is a home-favorite probable feature back in a near-optimal Divisional Round draw.
As Texans-Chiefs offers serious shootout potential and all of his pass catchers draw gorgeous Week 19 spots, Patrick Mahomes’ ceiling is the second-highest behind Lamar Jackson among quarterbacks on this year’s Divisional Round slate considering his fast regular season finish and upward-trending health. Mahomes’ foremost passing strength is his ability to threaten all quadrants of the field, so it’s notable that Houston surrendered the NFL’s eighth-most pass plays of 20-plus yards (58) this regular season, then five more such gains in their squeaked-out Wild Card win over the Bills. Right behind Jackson, Mahomes is a close-second favorite to lead all players in Divisional Round fantasy points.
Mahomes’ Weeks 10-17 target distribution: Travis Kelce 62; Tyreek Hill 54; Sammy Watkins 34; Williams 16; Demarcus Robinson 15; Mecole Hardman 9; Darwin Thompson 8; Blake Bell 7. … The Texans allowed 2019’s ninth-most fantasy points to tight ends, including big games to Noah Fant (4/113/1), Mark Andrews (4/75/1), Eric Ebron (4/70/1), and Jonnu Smith (5/60/0) down the stretch. This is a no-brainer smash spot for Kelce. … Despite playing only 51% of Kansas City’s offensive snaps in his first game back from a multi-week shoulder injury, Hill torched Houston for 5/80/2 receiving when these clubs met in Week 6, while Texans DC Romeo Crennel’s secondary was flamed for three 100-plus-yard games by enemy wideouts over the past four weeks. Especially in a high-totaled game, Hill offers slate-breaking upside. … Scoreless since Week 1 with a single game above 50 yards since Week 4, Watkins is always a leap-of-faith play whose matchups don’t matter. … Robinson has cleared 45 yards once since Week 2. He’s a touchdown-or-bust dart throw. … Hardman’s target counts in Weeks 13-17 were 0 > 1 > 2 > 0 > 1. If you’re like me and believe Hardman deserves more usage, you’re willing to punt play him against the Texans. But there’s no getting around the fact that Hardman has a goose-egg floor.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 34, Texans 20
Seahawks at Packers
Team Totals: Packers 25.5, Seahawks 21.5
The Packers host Seattle with significant advantages up front, where DC Mike Pettine’s aggressive defense ranks top 12 in both sack rate (7%) and QB Hit Rate (16.2%) and now faces a Seahawks offensive line missing LG Mike Iupati (neck), C Justin Britt (ACL), and quite possibly All-Pro LT Duane Brown, who had his meniscus “trimmed” on December 27 and hasn’t played since Week 15. Only five NFL defenses yield fewer fantasy points to quarterbacks than Green Bay, and only three permit fewer QB rushing yards. The Packers’ D/ST is a green-light Week 19 play. … Russell Wilson’s independent DFS-tournament viability can never be dismissed, of course, especially with his dynamic wideout duo playing at such high late-season levels, Seattle’s running game in an unreliable state of transition, and Green Bay’s offense capable of having its way with the Seahawks’ vulnerable defense, which would force Wilson to retaliate.
Maniacal gum chewer-slash-devoted fourth-and-short-punt lover Pete Carroll promised this week to escalate street signee Marshawn Lynch’s playoff usage following Lynch’s BeastModian Wild Card Round touchdown run and Travis Homer’s 17 scoreless yards on 12 touches with a fumble mixed in. While Lynch likely still lacks stamina to endure anything resembling a full workload – his snap rates are 31% and 28% with touch counts of 12 and 8 through two appearances – Lynch remains one of the best touchdown bets on this week’s running back slate and should be ready to begin flirting with 15 touches. Lynch’s matchup is also pristine; enemy backs roughed up Green Bay for a 87/405/2 (4.66 YPC) rushing line over its last four games, while the Packers permitted the NFL’s seventh-most running back rushing yards on the year. “Very limited” in practice all week, Packers top DL Kenny Clark (back) appears likely to play far short of 100%. At very least, Lynch looks like a better straight-up play than Homer in DFS.
Wilson’s Weeks 13-17 target distribution: Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf 39; Jacob Hollister 35; David Moore 14; Malik Turner 9; Jaron Brown 5. … Green Bay allowed the NFL’s tenth-most receptions of 20-plus yards (56) and second-most 40-plus-yard completions (15) in 2019, while Lockett and Metcalf were both top 15 in 20-plus-yard downfield targets. Seattle’s injury-depleted backfield should also revise OC Brian Schottenheimer’s normally run-first approach; in last week’s closely-fought contest at Philly, the Seahawks dialed up 31 Wilson dropbacks versus just 17 running back runs, and Lockett and Metcalf each cleared eight targets. Lockett and Metcalf are both high-ceiling DFS plays who check boxes for individual talent, opportunity, and matchup in an environment where Seattle is likelier than usual to lean on its passing attack. … Hollister will go overlooked on a tight end-rich slate that includes Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews. Yet Hollister lost no snaps (88%) in Luke Willson’s Wild Card Round return, and Green Bay surrendered 60-plus yards to six different tight ends over its last ten games, including George Kittle (6/129/1), Darren Waller (7/126/2), Greg Olsen (8/98/0), Hunter Henry (7/84/0), Kaden Smith (6/70/0), and Travis Kelce (4/63/1). All of this makes Hollister a contrarian DFS-tournament play. … Moore ran a robust 29 pass routes on 68% of last week’s offensive snaps, but his playing time is now threatened by Turner’s (concussion) potential return. For the second straight week, Moore will be one of the playoffs’ top low-cost punts should Turner sit but tough to play at all if Turner gets cleared.
Pete Carroll this week called Lambeau Field the NFL’s toughest place to play, and many numbers bear that out as Aaron Rodgers has maintained positive career home-game splits. Especially pronounced this season, Rodgers’ yards per pass attempt sky from 6.12 on the road to 8.0 in Green Bay with a passer-rating improvement of 89.6 in away games versus 101.6 at Lambeau. Rodgers’ pocket should be squeaky clean behind one of the NFL’s premier offensive lines at home facing one of the league’s weakest pass rushes, while Rodgers boasted a 20:3 TD-to-INT ratio and 69.1% completion rate when kept clean in 2019. Whereas Carroll’s defense finished the regular season bottom three in sack rate (4.5%) and dead last in QB Hit Rate (11.3%), Rodgers absorbed just 12 sacks in eight home games. In a contest with back-and-forth potential and Green Bay’s scoring projection elevated, Packers team stacks are firmly in Week 19 DFS-tournament play involving Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Davante Adams, and a few notable others.
This is an eruption spot for Aaron Jones, who leads the NFL in all-purpose TDs (19) and catches a Seattle defense enemy backs lit up for the league’s second-most rushing scores (18) in 2019. Jones has scored 19 touchdowns in 19 career home games (1.0 average) versus 13 TDs in 21 career games on the road (0.62). Seattle has coughed up over 100 rushing yards in five straight weeks; enemy backs during that span touched up Carroll’s unit for a combined 112/534/8 (4.77 YPC) rushing line. I like Jones’ chances of outscoring Derrick Henry as a Week 19 DFS play and challenging Dalvin Cook as this week’s overall RB1. … Jamaal Williams injured his shoulder in Week 16, missed Week 17, rested in Week 18, and should be near-all systems go against the Seahawks. Williams managed Weeks 14-16 touch counts of 7 > 9 > 8 compared to Jones’ 22 > 13 > 25. Nevertheless, Williams’ improved health and plus draw give him some contrarian DFS-tournament appeal on Week 19’s small slate.
Rodgers’ Weeks 10-17 target distribution: Adams 80; Allen Lazard 33; Jones and Jimmy Graham 23; Geronimo Allison 21; Williams 17; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 15; Robert Tonyan 9; Jake Kumerow 6. … Matchups continue to not matter for Adams, who’s drawn double-digit targets in eight of his last nine games and logged 100-plus yards in six of his last seven. Adams is always a high-floor WR1 with slate-breaking upside in Rodgers stacks. … Lazard emerged as Green Bay’s locked-in No. 2 wideout over the last three games on playing-time clips of 78% > 75% > 76% and corresponding target counts of 3 > 9 > 8. Although his fantasy results are scattered, Lazard combines plus size (6’3/225) with plus opportunity as Rodgers’ No. 3 pass option and a winnable matchup at reasonable DFS costs, rendering Lazard a viable play. … This is a revenge game for Graham, who established a 12-week high in targets (7), seven-week high in snaps (55%), and 12-week high in routes run (40) in Green Bay’s Week 17 win over Detroit. Seattle gave up the NFL’s second-most fantasy points to tight ends, including stat lines of 7/116/0 (Tyler Higbee), 12/91/1 (Zach Ertz), 7/86/0 (George Kittle), 7/73/0 and 7/32/0 (Dallas Goedert), and 4/50/1 (Kyle Rudolph) in the second half of the year. Graham’s DFS price is cheap, his matchup is favorable, and his ownership should be minimal. … Beyond Adams, Jones, Lazard, and perhaps Graham, none of Green Bay’s ancillary weapons see consistent enough usage for anything beyond Hail Mary DFS treatment.
Score Prediction: Packers 24, Seahawks 23