Monkey Knife Fight is one of the fastest-growing daily fantasy sites and offers a unique product that is a lot of fun. There are no salary caps and you do not have to compete against DFS pros. Instead, you simply find the combination of player props you are most confident in and pick more or less. Since each combination (two or more players) are playing in the same game, we can use correlation to our advantage. For example, if we know that one starting quarterback throws for more yards than projected, the opposing quarterback is more likely to throw for more yards also.
In this weekly article, we will count down the five best props of the week, saving the best for last.
Looking back at last week
Last Week: +7 units
Full Season: +44 units
We opened the playoffs with yet another big week. Our long shot three-man prop in the Rams-Seahawks game did not hit and we missed the over on Allen Robinson by 3.0 fantasy points. However, we hit on everything else and cashed on three of our five parlays.
- We went with the passing yardage overs for Philip Rivers (266.5) and Josh Allen (299.5). Rivers (309) and Allen (324) both topped 300 passing yards.
- We were correct about the possibility of a shootout in the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game, taking the over on 15.5 fantasy points for both Baker Mayfield and Diontae Johnson. Mayfield had 22.8 and Johnson had 22.7 fantasy points.
- We went with a Tom Brady-Mike Evans team stack against Washington, with Brady (-6.5) outscoring Terry McLaurin by 9.5 points and Mike Evans easily outscoring Alex Smith. This is a spot where getting our money in early in the week paid off as Smith was taken off of the board on Friday night.
- We were correct in taking the under of 13.5 fantasy points for Emmanuel Sanders, who managed just 2.3 fantasy points. On the other side, Allen Robinson (6-55-0) did not quite get there. We needed over 14.5 fantasy points from him.
- Our longshot three-player prop did not come close to paying off. While we were right to have the receiving yardage over for DK Metcalf, Cooper Kupp (4-78-0) did not hit his over om receptions (5.5) with the Rams going ball control in the second half, and Russell Wilson (174 passing yards) did not come close to his yardage over. We are not going to get against this Rams pass defense again.
Number 5: Defense and Running Games in Green Bay
- Rodgers is scary to go against given the elite level of his play down the stretch of the season. However, the house knows that too, which is why there is value on his passing under given his passing yardage totals have actually not been all that high. He has thrown for 240 or fewer yards in three straight starts.
- Rodgers has not passed for 300 yards since Week 11. He is still throwing a bunch of touchdowns but the Packers have ridden a stout defense, strong running game, and a quality-over-quantity approach from Rodgers.
- Rodgers has not had more than 34 passing attempts in a game since Week 11. Expect another run-heavy game from the Packers on Saturday.
- If there is any defense in the NFL capable of holding Rodgers in check, it is probably the Rams.
- Los Angeles has not given up 275 passing yards since all the way back in Week 3, holding 14 straight opponents to 268 passing yards or fewer.
- Opponents have thrown for only 212.5 passing yards per game against the Rams. They have the second-stingiest pass defense in the NFL.
Packers defense allowed a passer rating of 75.3, had 20 sacks and intercepted 6 passes over the final 6 games of 2020. Rams defense allowed 84.0, had 21 sacks and 4 interceptions.— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) January 14, 2021
One of these defenses is facing the No. 22 offense, the other is facing the No. 1 offense.
- The Rams passing offense has been a shell of its former self down the stretch of the 2020 season. Goff has not thrown for more than 234 passing yards since Week 13.
- After taking over for John Wolford very early in the Week 18 against the Seahawks, Goff attempted just 19 passes. He completed less than half of them for just 155 yards but the Rams were able to pull out the win on the strength of a conservative, run-heavy attack and great defense. That should be the game plan again on Saturday.
- In addition to the potential for Goff to struggle against an excellent Packers pass defense, he will also have to contend with the elements. The temperature is expected to be right around freezing at kickoff with moderate wins.
- Given that Goff is just over two weeks removed from surgery on his thumb, the cold could be a major issue. In fact, we are getting a lot of value on the under even if just purely from the perspective that there is no guarantee Goff plays a full game.
Jared Goff (thumb) a full-go at Rams practice again, John Wolford (neck) a no-go again; Sean McVay says he's "taking it a day at a time" as to who will start vs. Packershttps://t.co/fUBtSg4RE2 pic.twitter.com/DYBDsYp1ej— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) January 14, 2021
- Wolford, with his mobility, adds an element to this struggling Rams offense and it is not hard to imagine that Sean McVay may feel Wolford gives him a better chance to win than an injured Goff, especially if Goff struggles early.
Number 4: Shootout in Buffalo
- If there is one player who is too hot to bet against heading into Week 19, it is Josh Allen. In each of his last three full games, he has put up 32+ fantasy points. The lone partial game during his hot stretch was Week 17 when he put up over 20 fantasy points in two quarters of play against the Dolphins.
ðŸˆ RAVENS-BILLS— Ken Bradley (@KenBradleyNC) January 14, 2021
â˜‘ï¸ The Ravens blitz more than any team
â˜‘ï¸ Josh Allen has been great vs. the blitz
Will Ravens DC Wink Martindale keep sending the house Saturday night in Buffalo?
ðŸ“ FROM | @jeffzrebiec â¤µï¸https://t.co/92Ts3mqjG1 pic.twitter.com/qQ6CXSvIZI
- We hit on the passing yardage over on Allen last week, when he passed for 324 yards and he is likely to have another big day throwing the ball. He has thrown for 307+ yards in over half of his starts this season. This week, we are targeting the fantasy points over instead of the passing yardage over due to Allen's rushing upside and the Ravens man-heavy pass defense. Allen has 25 career rushing touchdowns in three seasons and is averaging more than 0.5 rushing touchdowns per game. If he finds the end zone with his legs, 25.5 fantasy points is easily within reach.
- Lamar Jackson has been so prolific of late as a runner that he likely will not need to do much as a passer to top 25.5 fantasy points. Last week, he racked up 19.6 yards as a runner alone.
- Since returning from a COVID-related absence in Week 13, Jackson has averaged 94.3 rushing yards per game and scored five rushing touchdowns (14.4 fantasy points per game as a runner). The Ravens are 6-0 over this stretch and have found a winning formula with Jackson leading the rushing attack.
- Buffalo has allowed seven rushing touchdowns to quarterbacks this season, tied for 3rd-most in the NFL.
- The Bills are vulnerable on the ground, giving up the 5th-highest percentage of explosive runs (10+ yards).
- Unlike earlier in his career, Jackson has shown in recent weeks that games are not over if the Ravens find themselves in a hole. He led a comeback last week after the Ravens fell behind by double digits and proved against Cleveland a few weeks ago that he can go out and win a shootout against a hot offense.
"How do you keep him under control? I'm not sure that you can."— GMFB (@gmfb) January 14, 2021
Get out your pen and paper, @nateburleson is gonna show you how @Lj_era8 has taken his game to a new level.
It's Bur-Lesson Time. pic.twitter.com/lgFSNexB83
Number 3: Digging Deep: Banking on Efficiency
- On the surface, the numbers point to the under on each of these two props. However, digging deeper, we can pinpoint the specific reasons why there may be more value on the overs than expected. We are going to be on high-efficiency performances from both Dobbins and Brown.
- Our Footballguys consensus projections actually point to the under on both, with Dobbins projected for 58 rushing yards and Brown projected for 44 receiving yards.
- The Dobbins projection of 58 rushing yards is on 14 carries for (4.1 YPC). The carry projection makes sense, Dobbins has averaged 12.3 carries per game with a standard deviation of 1.9 since taking over for Mark Ingram II. We know he should get between 9 and 15 carries. Odds are, we will not get a true workhorse type of workload from Dobbins but we do not need a huge amount of carries to hit the yardage over.
- To feel good about the over of 65.5 rushing yards, we need to project Dobbins for more than 4.1 YPC or he is not going to get there. We probably need 5.0 YPC or more from Dobbins.
- We know that past YPC for running backs is not strongly predictive for future performances but Dobbins averaging 6.0 YPC on the season is not just about Dobbins and his skill but also about how the threat of Lamar Jackson as a runner forces defenses to defend the backs. Dobbins has bigger holes than the average back.
#Bills v. Colts All-22 review is posted! In my takeaways:— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 13, 2021
-Was the run defense really that bad? What about Edmunds/Milano?
-How the Colts kept finding openings through the air
-A personnel idea for Saturday vs. Ravens
Player grades & much more! All here: https://t.co/KCoBU0iKjm
- In addition to the structure of the Ravens offense, the matchup also points to Dobbins having a high-efficiency day on the ground. The Bills have the 2nd-worst run defense in the NFL according to ProFootballFocus and rank 28th in explosive run-rate. It would be a surprise if Dobbins doesn’t break off a couple big chunk runs.
- John Brown was held without a catch last week, which on the surface is discouraging. However, he did play 97% of the snaps and looked healthy. Against the Ravens' blitz-happy and man-heavy coverage scheme, Brown should find success.
Stefon Diggs and John Brown scored in the top-15 in both success rate vs. man AND press coverage last year in #ReceptionPerception. The Bills are just one of two teams with a duo of WRs who did this.— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) June 24, 2020
Get full access to 2019 RP data in the UDK here: https://t.co/qRCH0apWrm pic.twitter.com/9AWBjsL7QY
- As with Dobbins, we are counting on a high-efficiency day from Brown to hit his yardage over. This is a spot where Brown should be able to get behind the defense for at least one big play. The Ravens play an aggressive style of coverage, aiming to take away underneath passes and gambling for interceptions (especially Marcus Peters, who should spend a lot of time on Brown). This makes them susceptible to double moves and other man-beaters, routes at which Brown excels. We just need one deep ball completion to Brown for this over to hit and we expect to get one.
Number 2: Volume Wide Receivers
- This Jarvis Landry prop is my favorite of the week. Landry is coming off of a strong performance last week (5-92-1) and will almost certainly be seeing a lot of targets if this game goes to script.
- The Chiefs are favored by 10 points in a game with by far the highest game total (57) of the weekend.
- Landry has averaged 18.2 fantasy points per game over his last six. In each of these games, he had 5+ catches and 50+ receiving yards. His recent floor almost gets him to 12.5.
- The Footballguys consensus projection for Landry is 15.7 fantasy points. David Dodds (16.4) and Sigmund Bloom (17.4) have especially strong projections for Landry. There is a lot of value here on the over.
- The Browns allow the 8th-most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing wide receivers.
- Last week, Steelers wide receivers combined for 34 catches for 405 yards and 3 touchdowns (92.5 fantasy points!).
- Our consensus projection for Tyreek Hill is 20.9 fantasy points, so again we are getting some value on the over. Bloom is again the most optimistic, projecting Hill for 22.1 fantasy points.
- Hill was on a historic roll to start the second half of the 2020 season. Over a five-week stretch, he caught 43 passes for 637 yards and 9 touchdowns.
- Dealing with a minor hamstring injury, he coasted a bit down the stretch with a few merely mortal performances. He has now had three weeks to get the hamstring fully healthy and has a good chance of another of putting up another of those monster performances we saw regularly midseason.
Number 1: Pass-heavy game script
- We have the two stingiest rushing defenses in the league squaring off, so it makes sense to bet on the passing games, especially with two of the best to ever do it squaring off at quarterback.
- New Orleans gave up just 76.8 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs during the regular season.
- The Bears came into the playoffs with one of the league’s hotter rushing attacks and the Saints held them to just 48 total rushing yards last week.
- Not only is this an incredibly difficult matchup for the Buccaneers running backs, but there is also plenty of uncertainty about how carries will be distributed. That adds a ton of value on the under.
- Jones is nursing a calf injury that kept him out of the game last weekend. He also may be in the doghouse for questionable social-media posting.
- With Jones sidelined, Leonard Fournette took advantage. “I thought Leonard played his best game as a Buccaneer," Bruce Arians said Monday. We could see Fournette carry the load again or be used in a true committee approach with Jones, which would make the under an even stronger play.
- Tampa Bay allowed a league-low 60.3 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs. In fact, 41% of running back yards against Tampa Bay have actually come through the air. By far the highest number in the league. Even if Alvin Kamara gets his, it is just as likely to come through the air as it is on the ground. In the first meeting between these teams, 76% of Kamara’s yardage came as a receiver.
- For the past two years, Tampa Bay has been a “pass funnel” defense. In 2019, the Bucs defended 41.5 pass attempts per game (most in the NFL). In 2020, Tampa Bay faced 38.9 attempts per game (third-most).
- Footballguys projects Brees for 274 passing yards on 34 attempts. Based upon how teams have been forced to attack this Buccaneers defense, we could see Brees throw 40 times or more.