Top Plays for Week 5 Underdog Pick Em
Last week proved rougher for the picks in this space than our 1st 3 trips.
I highlighted 20 picks in the Week 4 article. Two wound up not playing because of injuries (Jameis Winston and Amon-Ra St. Brown). Another (Rashod Bateman) left his game early.
That left 17 to play out, and we only hit on 8 of them. Healthy QBs went 3-3, receivers 3-6 and rushers 2-0. (Thanks, Josh Jacobs and Dameon Pierce.)
The benefit of hitting these Pick Em plays earlier in the week is that we get softer lines, making our picks before many of the numbers move up or down as games draw closer. The drawback: We’re jumping ahead of some key injury and weather info.
As I mentioned, injuries knocked out a couple of my highlighted players. That’s no big deal, as bets on guys who wind up inactive get canceled out an refunded. Where there’s greater potential for impact is when a guy has just enough of an injury to play but run the risk of limited usage or re-injury. So be aware of players bringing injuries into the week and check practice reports (and/or Shark Bites) when possible.
Weather also jumped in last week for a couple of key games: Bills-Ravens and Jaguars-Eagles. Trevor Lawrence might well have fallen short of his Week 4 yardage prop even in good weather. But I know I’d have been less likely to pick him vs. Sunday morning’s forecast than I was last Wednesday.
Here are the pick performances by week so far (correct-incorrect) …
Week 1: 16-8
Week 2: 16-8
Week 3: 11-5
Week 4: 8-9
Now on to this week’s picks …
(New to Underdog? Get your 1st deposit matched up to $100.)
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Dolphins
Draft Sharks projection: 277.3
Carson Wentz, QB, Commanders
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars
Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos
Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
Jacoby Brissett, QB, Browns
Total yards – Marcus Mariota, QB, Falcons
I've mentioned it before, but let me make it clear here: This article does not necessarily represent guys I'm comfy picking in a given week. I'm merely comparing our site projections for the week vs. the Underdog lines and highlighting the biggest differences in the yardage pick. There's already collective Draft Sharks opinion built into the projections themselves. So I'd rather give you a fuller list to pick out your own favorites than to add more of my own bias on top by whittling it down to a few plays.
There will likely be players included each time that I'm not comfy picking for a given week. And there will be other lines not listed in the article that I do feel good about (such as "over" Matt Ryan's 0.5 INTs for the Thursday night game).
Last week, for example, I said I wasn't ready to bet on Russell Wilson. He did hit the over, though (albeit by just 1.5 yards), so he wound up being a good play.
Mitchell Trubisky's Week 4 is another example worth highlighting. We'll always project the starting QB as though he's going to finish the game. So last week's number in our projections didn't account for the chance he'd get pulled mid-game for Kenny Pickett.
That specific scenario isn't likely to play out much more, but it's worth keeping in mind at least for considering a player's chances of simply not finishing a game (as opposed to just whether he'll meet that number or not).
As for this week's QBs: I'll admit that I feel fine about going back to Lawrence. (Anyone know the Sunday forecast for Jacksonville, though?)
Mo Alie-Cox, TE, Colts
Draft Sharks projection: 32.6
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
Ashton Dulin, WR, Colts
Christian Kirk, WR, Jaguars
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Dolphins
Tyreek Hill, WR, Dolphins
Kylen Granson, TE, Colts
The rain probably didn't help Christian Kirk last week either, but he's less risky than his numbers from that game might suggest. He still led the Week 4 Jaguars with 9 targets. He just caught only 2 of them on a rough day for his QB. They'll like seeing the Texans instead of the Eagles this week. (And as of right now, at least, The Weather Channel says high of 81 and low chance of rain for Sunday.)
It's interesting to see 2 Colts TEs here. There's some risk to each, in that the team has varied statistical leaders at the position. But there's also plenty of room for both to hit this week. Indy will arrive to the matchup with an injured Jonathan Taylor and face a Denver defense that's much stronger at CB than it is at safety or coverage LB.
Colts TEs also collectively rank 7th at the position in receiving yards so far, compared with 10th for Colts RBs, 13th for Colts WRs and 10th for the team overall.
Damien Harris, RB, Patriots
Draft Sharks projection: 76.7
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Patriots
Even with relatively fewer yardage lines available this early in the week, these are some of the widest gaps we've seen in this category all season. I'll be jumping on Damien Harris, for sure, before his line has a chance to move.