NFL DFS Showdown Lineup Picks: Rams-Packers
ARE YOU READY FOR THIS CRAZY WEEK TO FINISH OFF WITH A ... whatever this is gonna be?
Look, NFL Week 15 opened with Mr. Irrelevant (Brock Purdy) helping the 49ers clinch a playoff spot on the road. Then came an NFL-record comeback on Saturday. Sunday presented myriad surprise multi-TD games and a Cowboys-Jaguars OT thriller. And now we get ... Rams-Packers.
Sure, the 1st time Baker Mayfield took the field with his latest team, we got an exciting game-winning drive that might have locked Mayfield into the top 5 of most popular all-time Rams QBs. But that sequence made it easy to forget how sorry a game that 17-16 victory over the Raiders really was.
Now the 4-9 Rams bring the league's 2nd-worst scoring offense into Green Bay to face the 5-8 Packers. Vegas has the game tied for the week's 3rd-lowest over/under, ahead of only Steelers-Panthers and Cardinals-Broncos.
The Packers arrive as a positive fantasy-scoring matchup for RB only, which has been an especially weak spot for the Rams offense all year.
L.A., meanwhile, has been strongly negative for opponent scoring at QB, RB and TE -- with a reprieve for WRs. Although this year's Packers would prefer to lean on Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, that setup might just make it a nice night for a pair of Green Bay wideouts that we project well ahead of their market lines in receiving yards.
This doesn't set up as an explosive offensive matchup, so the DFS value plays on either side could prove especially important. Let's check the charts to see who pops ...
Let's say you're no fan of Cam Akers (understandable) and are thus intrigued by some upside potential with Kyren Williams. Well, you might want to turn your gaze to Malcolm Brown instead.
I'm not saying there's anything special in the 29-year-old with 15 carries and 4 catches on the year. But Brown did see almost exactly as much playing time as Williams last week -- including leading the rookie in pass routes. Brown has spent 7 of his 8 NFL seasons with the Rams and worked back into a backfield that released Darrell Henderson earlier this year. So HC Sean McVay clearly likes something about him.
The Rams' pass-catching corps presents a number of options, but it might not even be worth trying to guess that group correctly. Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek led in targets and were the only 2 Rams with more than 2 receptions last week. But that marked Atwell's 5 receptions against the Raiders nearly doubled his season total (now 11). Skowronek's 7 receptions followed a 6-game stretch in which he totaled 8. And Van Jefferson led both of them in routes for the game.
Beyond the lack of clarity, Green Bay's defense arrives ranked last in the league in Football Outsiders' DVOA against the run; 10th-best against the pass.
The FanDuel chart says start with Packers and fit in the Rams player you need. That certainly makes sense, given that the Rams head in with the lowest Vegas team total for the week. Green Bay comes in as a 7.5-point favorite. And the chart features arguably the highest-upside athlete remaining in a Rams uniform at a nice salary. Atwell is certainly no lock to get targeted heavily again. But if this game follows the Vegas projection and finds L.A. falling behind, then we should get plenty of Mayfield pass attempts. How close they'll be to their intended targets will be anyone's guess. The guy is completing just 58.5% of his passes for the season so far.