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Top Plays for Week 6 Underdog Pick Ems

By Matt Schauf 10:10am EDT 10/12/22


The immediate Teddy Bridgewater departure last Sunday wasn’t merely unfortunate for the Dolphins and such a likable veteran. It also delivered a big blow to our Week 5 picks.

In tallying up the weekly scores, I discount the players who leave early with injuries. Obviously, a guy who leaves the game before hitting our over is still a loss in the ledgers. But counting that as a loss in the record -- or a win if we get the under -- doesn’t really help us in tracking how our projections fare.

So I’m not counting Bridgewater in the loss column. But his departure left Miami’s top 2 WRs there. We had both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle as “overs.” That certainly wouldn’t have been the case if we knew Skylar Thompson would be throwing nearly all of the passes.

That hurt, as did both Colts TEs falling short – especially Kylen Granson finishing at 16 yards, with an Underdog line of 16.5.

Yet even with a 2-5 performance in the receiving picks, we still came out in the black for Week 5. QBs not named Teddy fared well once again. And all 3 of the RBs who didn’t leave injured (Damien Harris *crying emoji*) hit their yardage overs as well. Rhamondre Stevenson's yardage would have been enough for both Pats to go over -- with enough left for probably Ty Montgomery and Pierre Strong as well.

Here’s the weekly tally and season performance to date …

Week 1: 16-8
Week 2: 16-8
Week 3: 11-5
Week 4: 8-9
Week 5: 10-8
Overall: 61-38

Now let’s get to this week’s plays – our largest batch of options since Week 2. And remember to check the rankings pages at any point during the week to help reveal more good plays.

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Passing

Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
Draft Sharks projection: 290 yards
Underdog: 264.5
Difference: 25.5

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars
DS: 267.4
Underdog: 245.5
Difference: 21.9

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
DS: 250.4
Underdog: 229.5
Difference: 20.9

Carson Wentz, QB, Commanders
DS: 244
Underdog: 227.5
Difference: 16.5

Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
DS: 296.2
Underdog: 285.5
Difference: 10.7

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
DS: 246
Underdog: 235.5
Difference: 10.5

Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
DS: 256.9
Underdog: 272.5
Difference: -15.6

Jacoby Brissett, QB, Browns
DS: 193.6
Underdog: 213.5
Difference: -19.9

Matt Ryan, QB, Colts
DS: 205.4
Underdog: 235.5
Difference: -30.1

These last 2 projections come in well under what each QB has averaged in recent weeks. But Ryan threw for just 195 yards in a 24-0 loss in the 1st meeting with Jacksonville. And Cleveland looks headed for a slower-paced game against a New England D that should be a run-funnel – as a 3-point home favorite. If Brissett winds up around 220+ passing yards, then it’ll likely either mean he found Donovan Peoples-Jones deep or the Browns spent too much time trailing.


QB Total Yards

Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Draft Sharks projection: 266.4 yards
Underdog: 300.5
Difference: -34.1

Marcus Mariota, Falcons
DS: 199.9
Underdog: 227.5
Difference: -27.6

Lamar Jackson, Ravens
DS: 279.6
Underdog: 290.5
Difference: -10.9

We haven’t included many total-yards plays here, but these guys stood out for their differences. It’s always risky betting against Hurts delivering yardage, but he has come up short of that 300.5 total each of the past 2 games and faces a Dallas D that’s stronger (6th in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA) than any other he’s faced so far.

Mariota’s total-yardage line showed up in this space last week, and we hit – even with the trailing game script.


Receiving

George Kittle, TE, 49ers
Draft Sharks projection: 55.4 yards
Underdog: 43.5
Difference: 11.9

Allen Lazard, WR, Packers
DS: 57.7
Underdog: 47.5
Difference: 10.2

Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
DS: 77.6
Underdog: 68.5
Difference: 9.1

Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
DS: 69.6
Underdog: 60.5
Difference: 9.1

Romeo Doubs, WR, Packers
DS: 51.9
Underdog: 44.5
Difference: 7.4

Michael Pittman, WR, Colts
DS: 57.6
Underdog: 65.5
Difference: -7.9

Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
DS: 89.2
Underdog: 101.5
Difference: -12.3

I’ll be honest: I will not be betting the under on Kupp’s receiving yards. He has topped that number 4 times in 5 games – catching 11+ balls in 3 of those. None of the others in this category scares me off, though.


Rushing

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
Draft Sharks projection: 73.6 yards
Underdog: 51.5
Difference: 22.1

Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
DS: 72.4
Underdog: 83.5
Difference: -11.1


RB Total Yards

Breece Hall, Jets
Draft Sharks projection: 86.7
Underdog: 75.5
Difference: 11.2

Joe Mixon, Bengals
DS: 96.6
Underdog: 87.5
Difference: 9.1

Kareem Hunt, Browns
DS: 67
Underdog: 59.5
Difference: 7.5

AJ Dillon, Packers
DS: 54.6
Underdog: 64.5
Difference: -9.9

With scant rushing lines available this early in the week, I threw in the top options among RB total yards. Elliott is scary to bet on at this stage, but he has fallen short of 51.5 rushing yards just once in 5 games – and even that contest found him 49 rushing yards and 81 total. He has seen 15+ carries in 4 straight games. It is worth noting that he got just 10 rushes in the team’s lone loss so far (Week 1). It’s also worth noting that Philly ranks 3rd in pass-defense DVOA, but just 20th against the run.

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